The federal deficit and fiscal responsibility were the themes of a speech delivered by Arkansas Attorney General Mike Beebe Oct. 15 at a Democratic rally in Salem.
Beebe was the keynote speaker at the event held inside the Hickinbotham-Miller Building at the Fulton County Fairgrounds.
Beebe said the federal deficit is a key issue in the Nov. 2 election. He said if the deficit remains unchecked it will soar above $7.4 trillion over the next decade.
"The strongest force in nature is a mother's love for her young. Nobody in their right conscious would put their children in harm's way, but that is exactly what's happening in Washington as we allow the deficit to grow," Beebe said.
He said nobody, including himself, likes to pay taxes, but people need to realize that without taxes schools won't improve, roads will stay the same and U.S. troops serving overseas will not receive the training or equipment they require.
"Over the next few years we have some tough choices to make. We are either going to have to raise taxes or cut government programs. We can't have it both ways," Beebe said.
Beebe said politicians, regardless of party affiliation, need to be honest with the voters.
"Telling the truth should be a moral value all of us should have, especially our elected officials. It's better to be mad about the truth than comforted by a lie," said Beebe.
Beebe told the pro-Democratic audience voter turnout is the key to victory Nov. 2. He said a wave of newly registered voters is going to shock the country on election night.
Beebe's visit marks the third time a prominent politician has campaigned in Fulton County over the last six weeks.
Gov. Mike Huckabee spoke Sept. 9 at a rally for Republican candidate Diana Turner in the Hickinbotham-Miller building. Turner is running for the District 82 seat in the Arkansas House of Representatives.
First Congressional District Congressman Marion Berry spoke at a political debate Sept. 4 in Mammoth Spring.
U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln and Lt. Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller have also made speeches in the tri-county area this year.
"Politics are waking up in Fulton County," said Fulton County Republican Party Chairman Gary Phillips.
Phillips, a candidate for Fulton County Judge, said competitive races for county judge and the District 82 seat have made Fulton County a focal point for both parties.
"I'm glad everyone is getting involved," Phillips said.
Phillips is running against Democrat Charles Willet to replace current Fulton County Judge Curren Everett.
Everett, a Democrat, is vying for the District 82 seat vacated by term-limited Democrat Boyd Hickinbotham. Everett is opposed by Turner and Independent candidate Linn Garner.
Early voting for the general election began Oct. 18.