U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln spoke to citizens at the
Salem Senior Citizens' Center in Salem Aug. 13 about
issues concerning voters.
The senator said the last tax bill passed was not
balanced; it only helped a small percentage of people
but not the workers who could put money back into the
economy, she said.
"Our economic situation is difficult right now," she said.
Lincoln worked hard on the child tax credit and will
continue to work on economic problems, she added.
The loss of jobs to overseas companies has been a
continuing problem, the senator said. She said creating
jobs is critical.
She said inexpensive labor in other countries is hard to
compete with. She said trade agreements require fair
trade and the United States maintains higher
standards for wages and working conditions than other
Other countries can find less expensive labor, but the
United States cannot lower its labor standards. She
said one possible solution is to get other countries to
improve their labor standards.
She said most industries indicate they would like to
remain in the United States but can't compete globally
because of lower prices in other countries.
The national debt is frightening, she said. She said she
is concerned the debt will cause instability in long term
Lincoln said residents are interested in playing a role in
Another concern the senator voiced is the military being
stretched too thin. The military is the world's most
technologically advanced and is located in 34 countries
across the world, she added.
Lincoln said the government has stretched the military
too far without supporting their families. She said the
government needs to help provide needs of families
when soldiers are not with them.
She said she has been busy trying to put together an
energy policy and has been looking for alternative
Other topics she touched on included prescription
drugs and health care. The senator encourages
patients to question hospitals and medical facilities
about healthcare costs.
Another controversial act is the medical privacy act
HIPPA. She said because of the legal interpretations of
the act it has put healthcare providers into a situation
where information cannot be released.
The senator said her job is to visit cities to discuss
issues and bring the information back to Washington.
"We hear a lot of griping about government, but it is still
the greatest country on our earth," she said.
In 2001, her third year as a U.S. senator, Lincoln
became the third woman and fifth Arkansas senator to
serve on the Senate Finance Committee.
Lincoln's subcommittee assignments for the finance
committee include the subcommittees on health care,
international trade and taxation and IRS oversight.
Lincoln also serves on the Senate Agriculture
Committee, the Special Committee on Aging and the
Select Committee on Ethics.
She is the daughter of a seventh-generation farm family
from Helena. She made history in 1998 when she
became the youngest woman ever elected to the U.S.
Senate. She is the second woman from Arkansas to
win a U.S. Senate seat. The first was Hattie Caraway in
Concluding her second year in the senate she helped
in passing eight bills into law during the 106th