THE Democratic Party has held a majority in the House of Delegates since 1930. Minority Leader Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, is leading a campaign of 30 Republican incumbents and 52 new Republican challengers.
The message: The economy.
"We need to build our economy on a strong, stable foundation consisting of a fair electoral process, and an open, ethical government," Armstead told a rally at the Capitol recently.
Resting on this foundation, Armstead laid out what he called "the Four Walls of a stronger, more vibrant economy":
n a fair and competitive tax structure;
n a high-quality educational system;
n a predictable and just legal and regulatory process;
n a sound and modern infrastructure.
Armstead's positive message is the right approach. People know how things are. Voters want to know what Republicans would do to make things better.
n n n
OUTSPENDING the resources of taxpayers by $1 trillion a year is unsustainable. With 62 percent of the federal budget now going to "entitlements," Washington must trim social spending.
As the Senate Budget Committee reported:
n 46.7 million Americans now receive food stamps — up from 19.1 million 10 years ago.
n The number of people on disability has risen by 7.6 percent since the end of 2008.
n The number of people on Medicaid has risen by 9.3 percent since the end of 2008.
n The number of people on food stamps has risen by 65.2 percent since the end of 2008.
n The number of people with jobs has gone down by 0.7 percent in that time.
The nation has 110 million people receiving checks and only 144 million people working to pay the taxes to fund these programs.
This cannot continue. The nation cannot prosper unless the economy can grow, and the books cannot be balanced without changing "entitlements."