The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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October 9, 2012

Candidate visits dairy

JOHNSTOWN — When Tom Smith’s youngest of nine grandchildren was born a few weeks ago, the little baby’s share of the national debt was already more than $50,000.

Wanting to help reduce that economic burden on future generations was one of the main reasons Smith decided to seek a seat in the U.S. Senate. The Republican nominee, who is running against Democrat Sen. Bob Casey, once again discussed the importance of addressing the $16.1 trillion debt shared by America’s more than 300 million citizens during a visit to Galliker’s Dairy in Richland Township on Tuesday.

“That little guy, when he showed up, was $51,000 in debt,” said Smith. “Sixteen trillion dollars, a lot of us can’t really comprehend that. I for one. But I can comprehend when you do the division, and that guy is $51,000 in debt. My nine grandchildren owe $459,000 towards the national debt. And, Sen. Casey, in his one term, has voted seven times – separate times – to raise that debt ceiling.”

Along with the debt, Smith discussed a wide range of issues, including the coal mining industry, job creation and government regulation.

Smith, who still lives on the Armstrong County dairy farm where he grew up, also addressed the 2012 Farm Bill. The legislation passed the Senate but did not come to a House floor vote. Most money in the bill would be spent on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

“I’m kind of disappointed that 75 percent of the Farm Bill is with food stamps,” said Smith. “We need to reduce the number of food stamps that people are getting. What I’m finding as I travel across Pennsylvania, the voters of Pennsylvania want to talk about jobs and the economy. They don’t want an unemployment check or food stamps; they want a job.”

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