Santa Cruz Good Times

Oct 07th
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Town Hall with Congressman Sam Farr

sam_farr2Do you think President Barack Obama made the right case to congress and the nation about his plan to stimulate the economy and create jobs?

I spent Congress’ August recess meeting with people up and down the Central Coast, including holding a series of town halls, and everywhere I went there was one issue on everyone’s minds: job creation. People are tired of the political games taking place in Washington, and simply want their government to address the dire needs of millions of unemployed workers, and families living pay check to pay check.

I think the American Jobs Act presented by President Obama gives our country a clear way forward by investing in areas that create jobs today and well into the future. While some of the ideas presented by the president might not seem revolutionary, they are the most basic and surest way to get people working now. 

The idea is simple: get people back to work as quickly as possible. Investing in our nation’s infrastructure has the widespread ability to do that—not to mention that it would repair and build much-needed upgrades to our nation’s roads, bridges and other means that keep goods and business moving.

The plan also injects a heavy dose of fuel to our nation’s economic engine—small businesses. Time and time again, small businesses have proven why they are the backbone of our economy—they create jobs. And by supporting this critical sector of our economy our federal government can help them grow their business and hire workers.

Again, these ideas may not prove revolutionary, but they are the basic investments we must make in our people, communities and infrastructure to guide our nation out of this deep economic down turn. The president’s address now stands in stark contrast to the record of House Republicans, which is now nearing 250 days in the majority without passing a single piece of job legislation.

With a clear path forward I hope my colleagues from across the aisle will embrace the president’s plan that includes bipartisan ideas that can bridge the partisan divide that has gridlocked Congress. I know that there is room for agreement, and that needs to be our target moving forward for the future of our country.

our nation recently had time to reflect on the tragic events of 9/11. After marking the 10th anniversary, what do you take away looking back on that day?

Even after 10 years, I continue to be filled with some of the same emotions that I felt on that tragic day in September. I think for many Americans across the country, it is a day we will never forget. The details of the day remain engraved in our memories: where we were, what we were doing and who we were with.

The stories we remember may be different, but the sense of disbelief and deep concern for our loved ones was very much the same for all of us as we watched the senseless acts of violence unfold right in front of our eyes in New York, Washington, D.C. and in a rural field in Shanksville, Pa.

Ten years later, I think back to that day and wonder if anything is different. Did we take a lesson from Sept. 11 to make the world a better place? Has the nation grown closer and more unified in the common battle against terrorism? Did our basic American values and liberties survive the crisis of our military response?

But as I reflect on the world after 9/11, I also remember and honor the brave men and women who answered the call to serve in the military after the attacks, sacrificing life and limb in the defense of our American ideals. With an unshakeable commitment they have borne the burden for our security during a decade of war in Afghanistan and Iraq—and for that they deserve our unwavering commitment and support.

I believe the liberties they fought to protect—though sorely tested—still resonate with the American people. However I think that the closeness and commonality we all felt the “Day After” has unfortunately faded, and too often we have retreated to our private corners of concern rather than paying attention to the greater good.

But if there’s anything that 9/11 has come to symbolize it is that America is resilient and will always bounce back.

I am proud of my country and I am proud to serve it. On 9/11 and on all days I am proud to be an American and share my thanks to you, her citizens, for standing by her on this day and all days.

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