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Jobs and small business a priority to visiting Kuster

Congressional candidate Ann McLane Kuster operates a cut to length package saw to slice 12x12 lumber at White Mountain Lumber Monday. Jonathan Benton. (click for larger version)
October 20, 2010
BERLIN — Democratic candidate for N.H.'s second congressional district Ann McLane Kuster dropped by White Mountain Lumber Monday to get a better look at North Country business and Tea Bird's Cafe as part of her 30 diners in 30 days grassroots campaign across the state.

"Part of what I try to do is just listen and learn about what's happening in various sectors of the economy in in different types of of businesses," said Mrs. Kuster who also noted that 65 percent of the N.H. economy comes from small businesses. "We've been traveling all over the state looking at jobs and talking to people to see what it would take to make or save one more job."

Owners of White Mountain Lumber, Barry and Mark Kelley, gave Mrs. Kuster a tour of their facility from the retail aspect to the lumber mill discussing how WML's diversity of manufacturing and selling directly to consumers has let them ride out the recession. In Mrs. Kuster's twelfth trip to the North Country in the last six months she was given brief first hand experience into working at WML stacking wood and even operating cutting tools.

"We've learned there's no silver bullet for this, the deepest tax cut nor the largest stimulus is going to to turn the economy around on a dime," she said.

After literally greeting each patron of the Tea Bird's Cafe before she would order a meal, Mrs. Kuster finally took the time to sit down with reporters to talk about her Job Plan.

Part of her plan involves tax incentives that help new companies get off the ground and grow in the way of job expansion. "One thing I have suggested is repealing the capital gains tax for small business investment because it would bring money off the sidelines into those businesses," she said.

Mrs. Kuster also talked with the press about modernizing N.H.'s infrastructure to create jobs. Projects that focus on the state's highways, bridges and even state wide broadband. "The visit to White Mountain Lumber was interesting because they are an ancillary beneficiary of infrastructure improvements," said Mrs. Kuster. That is because amongst other things WML provides the timber needed to temporarily brace bridges while they are being built.

"There are other incentives going on right now so we won't have to increase funding or change funds in any way, " said Mrs. Kuster, "For example Congressman Bass has voted for tens of billions of dollars in oil and gas subsidies that are not benefiting or creating jobs in N.H.."

As the final days of the campaign wind down Mrs. Kuster is optimistic of her chances against former congressman and Republican candidate Charles Bass when the polls finally close on Nov. 2. The win would be very sweet for Mrs. Kuster seeing as her mother ran for the same congressional seat in 1980 and lost to Judd Gregg.

Littleton Chmber
Varney Smith
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