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Question of the Week: What's on your mind?
Posted by Randy | February 22, 2012

This week, I am hosting a Town Hall and Listening Series throughout the greater Chesterfield area to hear what's on the minds of Fourth District citizens.  Americans are frustrated with Washington.  They want leaders that will bring people together to solve problems, not divide them for political gain.  I believe that the common-sense solutions we need to fix our nation's problems come from hardworking taxpayers, not Washington.  I've already had the opportunity to hear from many of our neighbors, business leaders, and seniors at our first town hall and listening sessions over the past two days.  However, I realize that not everyone is able to travel to Chesterfield or attend these events in person.  Below you will find issues or comments that I have heard about frequently over the course of the past few days from a tele-town hall I conducted in my Washington office and my travels throughout Chesterfield.

Question of the Week: What's on your mind?

(  ) I'm concerned about the cost of gas.

(  ) I'm worried about possible changes to Social Security and Medicare.

(  ) I'm a job creator still worried about the uncertainty of regulations.

(  ) I'm alarmed by possible cuts to education.

(  ) I believe our nation needs to cut its spending.

(  ) I think we're sacrificing the strength of our military.

(  ) I'm concerned about changes with new health care law.

(  ) Other (share your thoughts below).

Take the poll here.

Learn more about the Chesterfield Town Hall and Listening Series tour here.

What do you think? Weigh in:
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  • NANCY WHITT commented on 2/22/2012
    I am concerned about the freedom of the American people,our president just seem.s to want to destroy us beyond repair reguardless of how we are stuggeling he act,s as if he turn,s a deaf ear to us.
  • John Dooley commented on 2/22/2012
    I am deeply concerned about the ugly discourse that Republicans are now engaging in that is masquerading as religion. If you are the man of faith you say you are, I pray you will speak out against this dangerous discourse that treathening to hurt our Chrisitan witness.
  • Daryl Lev commented on 2/22/2012
    Comment I am extremely concern about the power of corporate money in politics...all else pales in comparison. Our founding fathers could not have imagined the influence that corpoarate money has on the day to day affairs of this country. Please advise me as to your stance on this matter. Many thanks for contacting me. Daryl Lev Chief Executive Officer CBC Cost Benefit Corporation 1-800-864-6877 captain@callcbc.com
  • TOM BELANGIA commented on 2/22/2012
  • Michael Barnes commented on 2/22/2012
    Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the events in Chesterfield this week. My comment, as a recent military retiree, is focused on the proposed Tricare fee changes. I get it that the cost of healthcare has risen significantly. However, I was promised by my recruiter long ago that if I were to retire from the military I'd have free medical benefits for the rest of my life. Why did he tell me this? Because he believed it and he, too, looked forward to that EARNED benefit. Now, years later, I've accepted that my medical care is, indeed, not free. Granted, I don't pay as much as a non-military retiree, but I've paid the required price upfront for the reduced cost of my medical care. My service to my country for 21 years came at a tremendous cost not borne by your average American. To suggest that my Tricare fee be tier based on rank is a slap in my face, to my service, and to my family that also had to endure the challenge of military service. No other federal health plan must abide by the same rules. What is currently proposed is a tremendous injustice to those that have faithfully served their country and earned, I say again, EARNED the benefit of reduced healthcare. Please take a stand against this, I'll be watching for how you and the other political appointees in Virginia react to this proposal.
  • Mary Prier commented on 2/22/2012
    I am concerned about the gridlock in Congress and like most people, I don't care whose fault it is. I would like to see a bipartisan plan for reducing the debt and stimulating the economy.
  • Stephanie Pazur commented on 2/22/2012
    Please Stop the Anti-Woman Tirade Vote NO on HB1 and vote NO on SB484
  • Stephanie Pazur commented on 2/22/2012
    Please vote No on HB1 and SB484. Please end this anti-woman tirade.
  • Hugh Dawson commented on 2/22/2012
    Congressman Forbes, the President's "tiered" TRICARE plan greatly disturbs me. I had a draft number of 35 during the Vietnam draft era, joined NROTC and ultimately served 30 years in the Navy. When I was commissioned I was "promised" health care for life. I have seen that "benefit" erode and now with proposed TRICARE system it seems I will be penalized for being successful and staying in for 30 years. I wish someone could explain to me how that makes sense. Do members of Congress pay more for health care the longer they serve? I don't belive so. I urge you to oppose this legislation. I can never assume where I would be career wise had I served the Navy for a much shorter time and I do not regret the time I served. However, it truly bothers me to be "penalized" for my successful service. Sincerely, Hugh Dawson, CAPT, USN (ret)
  • Mark McGahee commented on 2/22/2012
    I'm concerned about the destruction of our armed forces. The budgets are being concocted to greatly reduce their numbers in both personnel and equipment. Then we have this recent incident in Afghanistan where an Amercian general is groveling and apologizing for our troops doing their job. Reports have come out that these "holy writings" were in fact methods our enemies were using to communicate. If the Amercian troops are disciplined for what they did, there needs to be a Congressional investigation.
  • Glenn Hurley commented on 2/22/2012
    I am more than concerned about the state of our Nation. If the leadership is not changed , none of the other will matter.
  • H. Musick commented on 2/22/2012
    The Federal Workforce is taking it on the chin far too offen.
  • Randall O'Neal commented on 2/22/2012
    In additon to every issue mentioned in your poll, I am very concerned about our so-called "foreign policy". It is an insult to me as an American veteran, in particular, when our socialist-leaning "president" makes apologies to the Saudis and other middle eastern countries on behalf of the most benevolent , honorable country on this earth. If Obama is arrogant enough and naive enough to believe that Iran is pursuing nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, Israel, the United States, and every other peace-loving, freedom loving nation on earth is in deep trouble. Obama,Reid,Pelosi, Waters, etc. are bound and determined to destoy our constitution, our capitalist system, our military, and our way of life as we used to know it. It is time for the Concervatives, Republicans and Independents, alike to pull together and hand the liberal Democrats a huge defeat if we are to save our Great Nation in November 2012!
  • Joe Doherty commented on 2/22/2012
    I know I'll be a complainer but, you asked? Why do all gas companys' charge the same for gas ALMOST to the penny? Bogus, RACKATEERING. Why are tolls even being discussed? The only road that needs fixing is I-64 between Richmond & Hampton Roads, everything else you have to leave the house a little early. Let's charge the retired military MORE for health care, darn it, the goverment promised FREE medical, dental and vision for retirees, more BOGUS. EGYPT is getting free money from the US? Cut that.
  • Thomas G commented on 2/22/2012
    Mr Singleterry's first sentence is where I also begin. I am clueless why congressman Forbes refuses to rescind his commitment to the Grover Norquist blackmail pledge so that he can be free to work with colleagues to solve the nation's problems and move the country forward. That pledge causes me to question the congressman's patriotism, and that bothers me a great deal. It's as if this pledge has been a trade of one's soul, a theft of one's ability to discern, and then responsibly act when the facts change so dramatically. I'm calling for congressman Forbes to either rescind this pledge or to resign and leave public service. I don't think there is any middle ground here. This country accomplished incredible things in its first 200 years, and now, when great historians such as Delores Goodwin sadly acknowledge the congress is without great leaders, it only drives home the point that the country makes with its historic low opinion of the congress. I watched as three times last year congressman Forbes voted to shutdown the government. I watched his repeated refusal to increase the tax on millionaires and billionaires when these people, along with the public in overwhelming numbers want this done. It is outrageous this unfairness the congressman perpetuates, and the thousands in the streets still cannot reach this man. How can the congressman ask us if we are concerned about gas prices knowing that he opposes the very restraints on speculation that ignited the problem in the first place....the free market that is doing us in! There is no doubt in my mind that Teddy Roosevelt would be ashamed of today's republican party. This great American president understood what congressman Forbes ignores. As a member of the Judiciary committee it was astonishing the ridiculous argument congressman Forbes made regarding Richard Cordrays recess appointment. The public is worried because our legislators do not know how to govern. We hear about concern over government intrusion and then collective barganing rights are taken away, actions clearly designed to suppress the right to vote are pursued, and our own state appears poised to go down in national embarrassment over what can best be described as state sponsored rape of women with the ultra-sound mandate. We've had opposition to the end of Iraq war, demands for approval of the Keystone pipeline when there is no route to even approve, claims about the effect of government regulations that were clearly debunked by the CBO and resistence to financial industry reforms in order to recreate the environment that got us all in trouble in the first place. We sent congressman Forbes to Washington along with president Bush and to a balanced budget...and we promptly got back 7.5 TRILLION dollars in debt with stewardship of the nation's economy pathetically managed. We saw our nation resort to torture, failing to protect the citizens in New Orleans and watched as our civil rights were compromised in the Patriot Act. I'm concerned about several of the items in the question listing but sacrificing the strengh of the military doesn't even belong on this list...it is a total fraud to even suggest it. No nation on the face of the planet will come even close to competing with defense commitments and spending in spite of hundreds of billions of dollars in necessary cuts. The first order of business congressman Forbes is to begin telling your constituents the entire truth.
  • Chuck Albright commented on 2/22/2012
    Free and Open Beach access for Cape Hatters National Seashore Recreation Area, and to stop DOW and other special interest groups from suing the Government and expect that there fees will be paid for by the Tax payer.
  • Spencer Shaffer commented on 2/22/2012
    I am a federal employee and am especially concerned about proposed cuts to my benefits. Why should the federal workforce be the majority to help pay down the national debt. I work extremely hard and we are about to see a large portion of the workforce retire. I fear we will not have the incentive to bring in younger employees with fresh ideas. Not to mention the shaft that the administration is giving the employees who have devoted so much of their lives to serving their country.
  • Lewis Turner commented on 2/22/2012
    Money earmarked for public radio being used to buy out religious broadcasting stations.--this has happened
  • Harry Harrington commented on 2/22/2012
    Mybiggest concern is our infa structure. Our bridges, overpasses, roads, levees, justabout anything is crumbling. At the same time I have to listen to Republicans saying "we signed a pledge to not increase taxes.". In Virginia, ever since Gilmore used the car tax to get elected this single pledge, and all the others sworn to by Republicans is having the same effect. If we do not start fixing our infastructure no one will have to worry about this country competiting against any country in the world because our infastructure will cripple us. With so much unemployment, and everyone wanting to work I can not understand your avoidance of this problem. This problem needs to be addressed, and solved. Has anyone done a study to see how many people this will employ? As the owner of an IT company, with techs on the road everyday I have beem screaming for an increase to the gas tax since Gilmore used this ploy. Now you want to do tolls! What a crock. Increase the gas tax and let those of us using the road pay our share. WAKE UP!
  • Marvin Carman commented on 2/22/2012
    Stop all spending until we get the national debt down to 2000 level. Stop all wars until we could afford it without bankrupting the USA. Stop giving money to other countries until we can afford it. Balance the budget when we get it down to 2000 level. Get the government OUT of people lives, businesses, religion, and schools. Too much regulations in people and businesses to get the jobs to improve. We need a sales tax to elimnate other taxes. Elect Ron Paul in 2012.
  • Bobby Wright commented on 2/22/2012
    I am concerned, worried and alarmed about our Congress. All of the things in the list of possible concerns would not be there if we had a Congress that was concerned about the health and welfare of our country and the people in it. Most may have at started out with that purpose in their political life, but the political machine has eaten their heart out and now it is more about staying alive with the machine. Foremost is staying in office, even if you have to support people, organizations or industries that are not in the better interests of our country and its people.
  • TOM TRACY commented on 2/22/2012
    I am concerned that our children will incur too much debt trying to pay their way through college. I am upset about the staggering annual tuition increases at public universities - especially at the University of Virginia, which is where two of my engineer sons attend(ed) and my youngest son just gained admittance. If we fail to adequately assist those deserving children, then the trickle down effect ( Reagan term) is that the customer, i.e., the student and family, will foot more of the the bill, preventing us form buying such durables as cars, homes, etc. Second, those that can afford and will continue to pay won't be the American family, but those families from China, who as a result of their one child policy, will take our children's places in our own esteemed academic institutions. If you do not beleive me, look at the stats of those that applied this year to UVA. Finally, when is our Congressman going to untie his hands and take his picture off lobbyist Grover Norquists's Tax Hall of Shame picture board -- so prominantly displayed on 60 Minutes?!
  • Dave Montgomery commented on 2/22/2012
    I checked several of the issues in your question of the week, but also feel that we need to drill ourselves into some kind of oil-independence stance, and realize OUR economy is petroleum-based not tree-hugger-based! I've read your energy proposals, but think many of the ideas will take too long to develop and might not be potent enough to replace fossil fuels or demands.
  • Eric DeGroff commented on 2/22/2012
    I dread the thought of Obamacare not being repealed in the next Congress, and I'm incredulous that Congress does so little to stop Obama's unconstitutional power grab. What, for example, gives any President the authority unilaterally to cede a part of our sovereign national territory in the form of five environmentally-critical and valuable Aleutian Islands?
  • Atwood Brooks commented on 2/22/2012
    I'm concerned about all the items on your list. To roll them all into one though, I'm most concerned that if Obama wins re-election he will unleash the hounds of hell on this country. He will continue to strip us of our constitutional rights and cause a civil war in this country. May God have mercy on us if he stays in the White House.
  • Bruce Hale commented on 2/22/2012
    I am deeply concerned that the collective brilliance of 536 people in Washington doesn't include the humble ability to recognize the limits placed on them by the constitution. Never is the argument advanced, by either party, that something, somewhere is not "their" problem to "fix". "We have met the enemy and it is us". -Pogo
  • Becky Brown commented on 2/22/2012
    I cannot understand, nor will any Representative address, why or how this Congress refuses to use its Congressional Powers to abide and enforce U. S. Laws and Border Protection.
  • Arthur Moss commented on 2/22/2012
    Obama health care must go. Doctors are retiring or quiting because of the Insurance costs. Many cancer related tests are not being offered to seniors for various cancer related tests. The democrats seem to think that if you are 70 years old, you have lived long enough and cancer with some possible treatment might be long enough.
  • Mary Harrison commented on 2/22/2012
    How does the federal govt. get away with reducing payroll tax which is supposed to be a separate account (social security)? Do the many who may find it a plus to have the $$$$now not realize it's reducing their own future income OR have they already figured they won't have any soc.sec anyway?
  • John Pastore commented on 2/22/2012
    Under Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution, the House has the responsibility for the finances of Federal Government. My pressing concern is when is the House going to step up and begin to resolve the crushing National Debt, while still ensuring the National Defense and critical infrastructure of the country?
  • Stephen Dexter commented on 2/22/2012
    It seems to me that despite all the hoopla over spending cuts there are certain basic services which most Americans do not want to do without. In addition there is the little matter of our burgeoning National Debt. While efficiencies and fraud prevention can make some inroads into cutting spending a little the real causes of our deficit (and thus our increasing debt) are threefold: The Bush/Obama tax cuts, Medicare Part D and tax loopholes. We simply need to address all three head on - and yes, folks, you will likely have to pay more taxes.
  • Darrell Edwards commented on 2/22/2012
    I am 55 years old and want to know, What happened to the country I grew up in? It seems like most people listen to promises and don't hold the ones making them answer why they didn't keep them. I remember that when the lottery was voted on to be legalized the proceeds were to go toward education. What happened to that. I don't understand why fuel costs didn't go back down to at least $2 a gallon when the cost of a barrel was at the same price when it was $2 a gallon. Who is really controlling our government and/or the economy of the world? Do we really need to be in the UN? My personal thoughts is NO! If the federal government is going to regulate what each state can do, why do we have state governments? I was raised to believe that each state was it's own ways of dealing with issues and the federal government was where all states came together to confront issues that were dealing with the country as a whole. I believe we are and will even more so be taxed to death with these proposals for new taxes on miles driven and so on. How about a flat tax on what we make. Everyone who works pays the same percentage on their income as tax and the government can only spend what it receives in taxes. If I handled my finances like our government has, I would be in prison and my name would be smeared across the television and internet as a crook. I also believe that welfare is only to help people get back on their feet not support a bunch of lazy loads. Give them mandatory drug tests and to stop the flow of illegals, have them do those jobs. It would ease the drain on welfare. Social Security and Medicaid is for senior citizens who paid into it not the ones draining the hell out of it now. Plus the federal government has no right to dip their fingers into it either as they don't pay into it. I can go on for days about alot of other issues, but I'll give it a rest for now. Disgusted American
  • Dr. Tarynn Witten commented on 2/22/2012
    Randy- I don't even know where to begin. There are so many things to discuss, things that would best be discussed in an adult way over coffee and a long dinner. Many of them have been mentioned above; the failure of our educational system (on so many different levels), the intent of the Christian right to rewrite the constitution so that the separation of Church and State no longer exists, the intent by these same individuals to force their religion on the rest of the population, the fact that 99% of the wealth is in 1% of the country's population, the anti-GLBT attitude in this country (and I don't even mean on the subject of marriage), equal rights for all members of the US population - not just the select few who seem to want to thrust their religious opinions on the rest of us, the abhorrent idea that the Supreme Court should vote in a manner that supports what the US population thinks (they are there to support the law, not opinion), the fact that you are seen as poor if you make less that $150,000 in this day and age and yet the median income in this country is less than $50,000, the fact that individual salaries for women are still half what their equal peers make in so many different disciplines, the fact that we should have been working on alternative energy decades ago and we still cannot seem to get our act together on the matter, the fact that there are people out there who do not believe that global warming is a reality (just look at the weather we have been having here in VA), the fact that our country has evolved into being anti-intellectual, anti-education, anti-GLBT, anti-woman and so many other anti's that we are certainly no longer the land of the free. You would have to be dumber than a rock to realize that corporate America runs this country, not the US government; the fact that we still have not dealt with the Wall Street fiasco and as a result the 99% are paying with their dearest penny, the inequities in our tax law, the negative attitudes, lack of respect and lack of support towards our senior population, I could go on and on. So, as they say on YouTube - I invite you to my house for dinner any Tuesday, Thursday, Friday or weekend and we can discuss these matters in a face to face conversation rather than a politically posturing way. And I won't even invite the neighbors.
  • Henry Phillipa commented on 2/22/2012
    This isn't rocket science! We have a dedicated unadmitted Marxist in the Whte House. We also have dedicated ADMITTED Marxists in the obama admin./regime. These facts are indisputable. The only difference between Hugo Chavez and obama is that Chavez is in Venezuela. President obama is in America. Simple as that. Currently, Americans are at war! That war is with a Marxist regime in The White House. Their plans are already spelled out. They are merely checking off each requirement from the Chavez playbook. Ultimately it is the full and complete takedown of America as a free society. Thee are no if's, no and's, no but's about this reality. The main requirement to install Marxism in a free country is to have an Ignorant Class. This Class has NOTHING to do with income nor race. Are Americans awake enough to see and accept the reality that if obama wins re-election, America as a free nation is finished? Is the Republican Party in Washington DC aware of this fact? I'm not certain either of these two entities are aware of this reality. Are you?
  • Michael Bjorklund commented on 2/22/2012
    Fix social security! I'm 58. Raise my retirement age to 67 or 68. Eliminate the earnings limit. It seems so simple, so why don't you have the spine to do it?
  • Edward Graham commented on 2/22/2012
    Government is too large. We need to get back to the Constitution. Congress, the President and the whole judicial system should focus on working within their Constitutional duties. They should all strive to avoid creating and reducing programs and making decisions that are not expressly constitutional. Our founding fathers would roll over in their graves if they could see how the Federal Government has strayed so incredibly far from their intent. The Federal Government has grown to be a micro-manager of its States and citizens over the past 100 years.
  • David Carey commented on 2/22/2012
    I would like to know why when General Motors turned a profit the employees got a $ 7,000.00 plus bonus. Why was the profit not used to pay back our Government loan. They should be feeling lucky that they have such a high paying job. The U.S. Government bailed out their pension plan at the tune of 9 billion Dollars. The government had General motors close over 900 Dealerships. Look at the people that was put on the street without a job,but thats right Obama made a deal to pay these people unemployement and he keeps extending it's time frame. most people do not know that unemployement is a percentage of their base pay. Do you think these people are looking for a job. The government is lowering the employement rate by putting people on Disability. The unemployement and underemployement rate is really 19.2% not 8.3%. People needs to wake up Obama is destroying America and at the rate he's doing it in 10 more months I don't know if we can ever recover from what he is doing.
  • charlie anderson commented on 2/22/2012
    I hear alot of people complaining about the people in congress, I think the problem is more the people who vote for them,And the biggest problem is from the top in the white house and the type of people who voted for Obama, I knew he would be a diasaster before he was put there, if he gets put there for 4 more years it will be a sign that most of the people in America are totally ediots are the gov't is putting too much in there pockets,What happened to the time when we were responsible for our on actions and relied on our own ability to earn what we receive.America not only needs to clean up Washington but also clean up main street. Improve our moral values and quit asking what we can get but what we can give in all walks of life.It seems we often have to vote for the lessor of two evils; I want you to know Randy Forbes is one of the good guysmbackly43-5
  • Collin Skocik commented on 2/22/2012
    I am furious with the state of our national space program. Four years ago we had a bustling and proud program poised to take us to the Moon and Mars and anywhere else we care to go. Now we're buying seats from the Russians to our own space station, the Shuttles are lawn ornaments, and there is no means of human transport into space in the immediate future. We have given up on a grand and beautiful dream. How can we ever fix the problems of our country if we've lost a sense of who we are? How can we be the greatest nation in the world if we won't even try? Newt Gingrich proposed a bold--really an unrealistic--plan to put a base on the moon by 2020 and people laughed at him. There was very little intelligent discussion of the feasibility of the plan; people just laughed. It's as if we've regressed to pre-1957 times, when space flight was pure fantasy. It's as though we want to be a third-world country. I for one don't. I want to see a base on the Moon in my lifetime--actually I want to see a base on the Moon in the very near future. I want to see Americans on Mars in my lifetime--in fact I'd like to be one of them. If we don't dream big we don't do big things. I know this country is in tough financial shape, but the tremendous economic boom that would result in a serious committment to an ambitious space program could very well solve those problems. It would generate hundreds of thousands of jobs, spur new technologies, create tremendous wealth, and put us back on top of the world stage. As it is right now, the commentary of the state of our nation is the rotting remains of Launch Complex 39, a few miles to the south of my home; a once-proud icon, now a relic of the past--as our country is in danger of becoming. Restore the Vision for Space Exploration.
  • Jason Manes commented on 2/22/2012
    It seems to me on so many issues there are so many excuses. Everything stems from the economy and yet one topic that kills the economy is fuel prices. There is always an excuse for driving, hurricanes that don't happen, but still prices went up because it might happen, really? When gas is formulated 4 months and sitting in a storage tank for pickup, how can the price go up because, someone think the economy is looking better, Iran, Greece, Hurricanes, ect. This gas/oil was speculated and paid for 6months ago yet we as a public continue to believe this crap. Get oil out of SPECULATION!!!! It drives up food cost, traveling, cost for employers, employees, everyone and everything. When people stop driving, oil companies stop producing to keep cost overpriced, so the public gets it no matter what. The more you look into it the more you see how many people are involved in this crime. So make something happen that contributed to everyone, this puts money back in everyone wallet except the one's responsible, and we won't waste anymore time on that tonight. JUST GET IT DONE!!!!
  • L Evans commented on 2/22/2012
    Flat Tax (EVERYONE no special groups --- same for businesses/corporates and ONLY on profits (after overhead and cost) with following exceptions: Below poverty (ex: if un-employment benefits are being pay and are at 'above poverty' then taxes should be payed); non-consumer type medicines/medical payments for health care (elective and non-auth care... would not fall here) Re-group America: stop exporting our natural resourses (oil/gas/coal/food/etc) except where there are real 'do-it-now' crisies and ONLY if we can afford too! ; give incentives to our industries to bring back jobs -- like really hiking import taxes: this includes American goods made overseas; SEND ILLEGALS HOME!! I'm just sick of the argument! We've got to... suffering will just have to be dealt with; CUT all special programs for at least one year- unless lives will honestly be lost-- we simply cannot afford them; NO NEW LEGISLATION - PLEASE!! unless lives will truly be lost... listen to the majority not the minority!! Well... enough said... I'm just tired of this whole mess... and all we do is talk talk talk.... nothing seems to be getting done to turn this mess around. By the way... Mr. OBAMA is not our emporor!! He's an elected public servant and needs to stop his "I'm in charge" act... and why are folks letting him get away with his shananigans?? Oh yes... one last thing.... We Americans need to stop this hypocracy of ecological preaching. How is it okay to reap the benefits of oil from countries outside of our continent but condem drilling here on our own soil?? Makes no sense. Stop importing and start supporting our own interests.
  • Hugh Messer commented on 2/22/2012
    I would like to know why the gun dealers or manufacturers selling guns relating to fast and furious have not been arrested.
  • George W. Reed commented on 2/23/2012
    Congressman Forbes: I have never been so frightened as I am now for the future of our beloved Country. Ovbama is systematically eroding our freedoms, and trampling on our Constitution. PLEASE do whatever you can to stop him and the damage he is doing to our Country
  • Kim Rudisill commented on 2/23/2012
    I am tired of the term "job creator". Job creators is a term used to obfuscate the need for changes in our tax code, regulations and almost anything else related to a business. I believe Republicans are the ones who coined this term, as though it were defining some new phenomena. Wealthy people are referred to as job creators and God forbid their lives are made one iota different by a change in tax code. Unfortunately being wealthy and creating jobs are not synonomous. Look no further than Wall Street for an example, at the money earned and then look at all the jobs that wealth has created; essentially nothing. With the exception of initial public offerings or when an existing company issues new stock, not one dime of all the money spent to buy and sell stoks goes to the underlying company. The only people who make money when we normally buy and sell stock are the stock brokers and the sellers who either have a profit or loss at the time of sale. So companies create jobs the same way today as they did a hundred years ago. Terms like job creator and Obamacare and socialism are used more often than not simply to stoke the fires of racism, class warfare, envy, etc. I am also tired of the "excuse" offered by Republicans that companies are not expanding, hiring, investing, etc. due to the uncertainty about regulations and tax rates. There has always been and always will be uncertainty...I challenge anyone to name one time when there wasn't. Companies today are no different than companies a hundred years ago...they have always created jobs, most have always sought to maximize profits without regard to anyone or antthing else and always sought to eliminate anything that stands in the way of their profit maximization motive. Regulations are the result of the profit maximization goal of companies. The only reason Child labor laws exist is because companies used to work children in sweat shops for long hours and practically no money, and tey would still be doing it if it weren;t for Child Labor laws. The Environmental Protection Agency would not exist if companies did not dump every form of sewage and chemicals under the sun in our rivers and drinking water, pollute our air and otherwise destory our environment. Regulations are generally the byproduct of company greed, necessary to protect the world's people and only exist because companies have shown their complete lack of concern for anything but their bank accounts. So put your violins back in their cases and get your Republican asses in gear to work with Democrats to solv ethe problems that matter and Americans really care about. And contrary to popular belief, socail issues like abortion are not what most Americans care about. So get out of our bedrooms and fix the streets and bridges, reduce the debt with a combination of expense reductions and revenue increases, get us out of these stupid wars, etc.
  • Carrol Walker commented on 2/23/2012
    I am very concerned about the mortgage restrictions. I have rental properties and the rules keep changing. I used to be able to buy a house based on the city assessment and pull cash out to fix up after fixing up the house I rent to low income families keeping the rent low. I got stuck in the market change. I borrowed a interest only loan on a piece of property to buy another piece of property time the house was renovated ready to get mortgage the policies changed and I could not get a loan on the house; leaving a 2nd on another home which now is not worth what I owe. I can not refinance because I have 4 rentals with mortgages. I can not even refinance my home because of this and also now you must have 6 months of mortgage payments saved up! I would love to refinance to get the lower interest rates but even with a very high credit score I can not.
  • Jason Walker commented on 2/23/2012
    I am most concerned about the fact that all of the above comments will fall on deaf ears. Until congress can figure out how to stop putting the party before country and re-election, nothing will change. Please be a leader and do what is right for our country, even if that means working with the other the other party. They have good ideas as well.
  • Lynn Lark commented on 2/23/2012
    You and Governor McDonnell and all of your insane Republican cohorts need to get a grip on reality. There are many concerns that I have regarding our economy, gas prices and so forth. However, it seems to me that the Republicans are doing everything possible to make sure that our nation remains in crisis in order to make sure President Obama and therefore, America fails. In the meantime very high profile Republicans, including our governor insist on violating women at every possible turn. This assault on women's rights WILL NOT STAND!! Be sure of that, and know that all of us previously non-activist, not necessarily very political citizens will have your jobs. Bet on it!!
  • margo and jim vandiver commented on 2/23/2012
    We're concerned with the regressive, invasive, controlling tendencies and actions of Republicans. Bills couched in religious fervor have become demeaning to women. Corporations are running our politics, from candidates to environmental policies. Our military can stand some trimming. Our president deserves more respect than he is accorded. The stridency of your party, and the dearth of an intellectual capacity to deal with significant problems is quite apparent to the majority this year. Diversionary tactics don't solve problems...and ours, as a nation, are significant.
  • Michael Manard commented on 2/23/2012
    I fail to understand Rep. Forbes' continued support for the Republican war on the federal workforce. How am I supposed to recruit new engineers to service our nuclear-powered fleet when Rep. Forbes and his idealogical peers feel that the way to fund payments to Medicare doctors is QUADRUPLING the the retirement witholding for new federal employees? As our economy continues to recover from the disastrous policies of the Bush administration, qualified engineers will avoid federal employment at facilities like Norfolk Naval Shipyard when they consider a future of pay freezes and retirement uncertainties and seek positions elsewhere.
  • Cheryl Scott commented on 2/23/2012
    I am concerned about all the talk about helping small businesses create jobs, but when it gets right down to getting busness loans, the only way to qualify for expansion and hiring plans is if you don't need it. I've exhausted several banking relationships along with the SBA, my SCORE rep, and the Va Dept of Business Assistance. All have said that if I only needed it a little bit, I could get it. I've been in business for 27 years, made a major investment in December 2007 (ouch), still pay 100% of my employees' health insurance, and have not laid off a single employee. You say you help small businesses...you do not. Check the labels on the products in your home...do they say made in China.
  • S Donahue commented on 2/23/2012
    I'm concerned by the undue influence of corporations and the ultra-wealthy have over our nation's decision-makers. I am frustrated because I feel like my voice isn't heard. I am disgusted by the vitriolic tone of politics and the way in which it tears us apart and distracts from the real issues, causes and solutions. I am tired of elected leaders wasting time on social and religious matters.
  • Shirley Warren commented on 2/23/2012
    I am concerned that our wonderful country is going totally Socialist/Marxist under this administration and the present makeup of the Democrat Party. I would like to see a return to our traditional values, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I am concerned that fewer people are working and paying taxes and more people are receiving government handouts and voting themselves more benefits from the public treasury. Having more in my paycheck due to the reduction in the FICA tax is nice, but somewhere down the line a bill for that "tax holiday" will come due. What then? The workers in this country are penalized through high taxes on just about everything .....federal, state, personal property, gas, utilities , sales and on and on.....and the nonworkers are rewarded for doing nothing by receiving government handouts. Individuals trying to be selfsufficient and not depend on the government to take care of them are getting the "short end of the stick." Our government has gotten too big and too controlling of the individual citizen. Most of all, I am concerned about the moral state of our nation.....same sex marriage, murder of preborn children through abortion, co-habitation, and the out and out attack against anything Christian. What kind of America will my grandchildren inherit?
  • Harry Crews commented on 2/23/2012
    As a small business owner I find that the way the Virginia Employment Commission is run a complete sham and is anti-business. I have concerns regarding the length of time that benefits are given to the unemployed as well as how they qualify. Example I hired a full time student at a local college during the summer and he continued to work part time during the school year. When we slowed down and no longer needed his help he applied for unemployment and was given benefits. This individual is still a full time student. If employers knew that students actually qualify for unemployment when they go back to school it could kill part-time or summer jobs.
  • Richard Borgsmiller commented on 2/23/2012
    BALANCE THE BUDGET AND LOWER THE DEBT!!!!!! It isn't so bad to spend more, but lets find the revenue to pay for it as well as GET OUT OF DEBT. The collaspe (sp) of the dollar will be the downfall of the United States of America
  • Virginia McKenzie commented on 2/23/2012
    I am concerned deeply about our cuts to education and merit based pay. As an educator, I feel merit based pay will drive away what few teachers we have willing to teach in our inner cities because of the threat to our job security. We have larger classes than ever, inclusion of students with behavior problems, limited and outdated resources and we have mandates that all students should pass standards by 2014. Even condoms have a 3% failure rate. People get into teaching for the love of the job and the challenge, clearly not the money. Merit based pay will ensure that teachers will seek the most secure job possible: wealthy suburbs. Clearly, if one is willing to teach with amazing odds stacked against him or her (and the students) we should not be punishing that person through pay. Rather than creating an incentive to motivate teachers to push for better practices and scores, you are discouraging talented people who cannot afford to take a risk.
  • bobby olsen commented on 2/23/2012
    It seems like President Obama is always looking for anyway to increase taxes. I wish he would work that hard at cutting government spending. I also wish that Congress or someone would confront the President when he doesn't tell the truth when he gives a speech. I don't think the President has a clue on how to govern this country.
  • Jim Richards commented on 2/23/2012
    I am deeply concerned at how this and other presidents create bureaucratic regulations that bypass congress yet carry as much weight as law. I also feel that all politicians should be held liable for campaign promises made and broken. This is a form of fraud. They get our support money and votes by lying to us and then we, the tax payers, have no recourse until the next election after the damage is done. When they vote in opposition to promises made it should be ground for impeachment and imprisonment. Those are, after all, the rules the rest of us live by.
  • George Hubbard commented on 2/23/2012
    Among many other things, I am botherd by the Obama love for Union management & their tacticks. I am a VERY strong believer in "Right to Work" and I dont believe there are enough of the dirty tricks put before the people. National Right to Work can do just so much. If you are not on the mailing list I think it could be useful.
  • sherri haverty commented on 2/23/2012
    Besides being worried about the cost of gas and commuting to work, I also worry about the truck drivers who deliver our commodities to stores, hardware, groceries, etc. I think the Federal Gov't should step in at this point and AT LEAST waive the Federal tax on diesel fuel. at 47cents now, it would be a big savings and hopefully help the consumers by not having to raise the price of goods and food.
  • orson strickland commented on 2/23/2012
    I worked at a local base for a short while -The rule is the more money we wast and spend the more we get next year. To spend all day to get and install a battery in a fork lift is waste but that is how you keep cost up. How much money could we save if we change the way the government does business with contractors.
  • Roy Scherer commented on 2/23/2012
    In addition to the topics you suggest, I'm concerned about the ever-expanding power of government (on all levels) over the citizen. One specific point is the "Fast and Furious" operation, where the Justice Department and the BATF explicitly directed licensed firearms dealers to sell to people who were obvious "straw purchaser". Although they claimed that this was part of an ongoing investigation. they ended up letting THOUSANDS of guns go into Mexico to crime cartels, and at least one American law enforcement officer was murdered as a result. Please support the investigation that Congressman Issa is conducting into this debacle. I'm also deeply disappointed that, 75 years after it began, the government is still putting people in jail for victimless crimes related to marijuana. We cannot afford the costs in money, nor in ruined lives, nor in corruption of law officers. More important, we cannot afford to have yet another generation of kids growing up and regarding the police as their enemy -- particularly when after all is said and done, it's not reduced the use of marijuana to any noticeable degree!
  • Susan Shaver commented on 2/23/2012
    My husband and I are concerned about our government being too big and too intrusive. Government has no business trying to control my healthcare! Another concern is the national debt... the wasteful spending of our government is unacceptable. Government run entities are usually not cost effective. Free enterprise is best for America! China holds a lot of our nations debt and they bring our nations imports. Big problem!
  • N. Karnath commented on 2/23/2012
    The legislatures in Washington are not the brightest financial leaders in the world. They all need some experience of running a household on a budget and then apply that to the government. Too many programs have lackadaisical employees and supervisors which provide many weak links in the chain. There needs to be more discipline in the governmental employment human relations departments and not tolerate employees who do not do an efficient and knowledgable job. I have seen correspondence written by supervisors that cannot spell or use proper grammer. Makes one wonder if they cannot do these simple chores why are we trusting them to work with numbers???
  • Chuck Howard commented on 2/23/2012
    We've gone to war over Al Qaeda's terrorist threat in several countries since September 11,2001 and we have yet to secure our borders to that same threat. We have a Justice Department that is up to it's ears in involvement in Operation Fast and Furious and no one is being held accountable for the hundreds of deaths and counting, due to that fiasco. Obamacare. Our National debt. TSA. The corrupting influence of Political Correctness. Unions having too much power. The list goes on and on!
  • Dave Carr commented on 2/23/2012
    Like others, I am extremely concerned about national and international issues including the debt, deficit spending, the socialistic trend of our current government, our troops (especially wounded warriors), health care, etc. However, there is one issue which concerns me on a local and state level. That issue is the outrageous tolls that are soon to be levied on the citizens of Hampton Roads. Mind you, this toll is not imposed on visitors to the area only but to all of us who live in this region. God forbid that we should be relieved of this burden since as we all know, other regions (state capitol or Northern Virginia regions, for example). I'm just saying.....! All of these years we have been working towards unification of the region, and with a stroke of a pen, it is all for naught. Never mind that we endure endless traffic jams which are added to by all the trucks on the road. Hey, did anybody notice that we are one of the great ports on the East Coast. We sure did, and we are proud of that and willing to endure the traffic. But this? Why not just shoot us and get it over with. I'm just saying......!
  • Thomas G commented on 2/24/2012
    Wow and congratulations to the public!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well said by everyone. Let there be no doubt whatsoever, the people in this country are furious with the leadership of the congress and the perpetual obstructionism that has greatly harmed our nation and set us back years. What is it going to take for this congress to get the message? So many of the public's concerns are legitimate here. I second the invitation of Dr Witten. Congressman Forbes, I personally invite you to come to my house for dinner so that we can review together some history, take a look at poll results, examine some statistics, share insight from public reporting and we can take all of these comments and review them one by one to weigh value in action. You know how to reach me sir...I will make this happen any day and at any time....I ask for 3 hours of your time.
  • Bruce Sims commented on 2/24/2012
    I am still wondering why, after it has been proven beyond a shadow of doubt that Mr. Obama was NOT born in the U.S.A. but in Kenya and yet he still occupies the Oval office! Why also was it determined that an Iranian Judge on the Georgia S/C gave the directive that Mr. Obama was eligiable to be on the Ga. ballot for president! Congressman, these are facts, Mr.Obama has been proved to NOT be legal to be in the office he serves and yet....NOTHING has been done to change the course that this nation has taken! When will someone step up to the plate and see to it that what is right is done? When will the border issue and Illegal immigration be solved for all states....NO ILLEGAL Immigration, no illegal president!!!
  • Bruce Sims commented on 2/24/2012
    Mr Congressman, I have much respect for you sir, and I'd also like to know if you might help in the matter of raising "TRICARE" rates again as is proposed...again! I am tired of always being threated w/increases and yet will be told it will not be increased when elections come around! Please fight to keep TRICARE as it is and affordable as it has been! I was told I would receive health care for life, and it would be free, but... May I also ask: is it REALLY necessary to raise the rates or would it be more conducive to lower the rates that medical dr's charge for their services? i.e. does it really cost 1,200.00 for a blood test? Isn't the govt etc being billed exorbatant rates for many, it not most health care procedures? There is a search that needs to be done and it would be on the pricing and pricing practices regarding medical procedures! That may preclude the price increases that are so fixated in the minds of those who benefit by those increases and yet break the backs of those who pay or can no longer pay!!
  • Thomas G commented on 2/25/2012
    To Bruce... I believe your comments strike at the core of what is wrong in America....simply astonishing conclusion.
  • Jodie Sykes commented on 3/16/2012
    New drilling will not help decrease prices at the pumps, because it is the oil speculators of Wall Street and oil lobbyists in DC that set prices at the pumps,which in turn they contribute the millions of dollars of money they receive from price gouging the People at the pumps and pulling it into politician's campaign trails by way of systems like ALEC and AIPAC,they raise these prices every general election before November to contribute the funding into Super PACs who then in turns gives the money to their politician of choice that supports their political interest.,which is a major conflict of interest and corruption of the democracy process.
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