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AP: NH’s Bass, Kuster discuss economic issues at forum

Published on September 18, 2012.

NH’s Bass, Kuster discuss economic issues at forum

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire Republican Congressman Charles Bass and his Democratic rival Ann McLane Kuster agreed Tuesday that the private sector, not government, creates jobs, but they disagreed about what government’s role should be.

The two 2nd Congressional District opponents squared off in a forum over business and economic issues.

Bass said the federal government has too many regulations, while Kuster said tax credits and other programs can help businesses grow. Both agreed the federal deficit must be addressed for the economy to improve.

‘‘The biggest problem business faces is an explosion of the federal government getting involved in everything,’’ Bass said.

Kuster said America relies on the entrepreneurial spirit of business to grow, but government is there with important supports — like highways.

‘‘We’ve had these free staters come to the state who do not want government. Fine, bring your grievances to Concord but don’t drive on our highways,’’ she said.

Kuster tried repeatedly to align Bass with GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan’s conservative budget plan to cut spending such as Pell grants to students. She pointed out that he had voted for a series of automatic, across-the-board cuts that will take effect in federal defense and domestic programs on Jan. 2 if Congress does not reach a budget solution in the next few months.

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