Western Pennsylvania holds plenty of opportunity for farmers to succeed in their business. But sometimes farmers seek a new challenge, like Tom Smith did. Smith was just your average Pennsylvania farm boy who turned in to a millionaire after his discovery of coal-mining. One afternoon Smith was cutting wheat on his tractor listening to the radio when he heard Sen. Ron Johnson, a businessman with no political background, win in 2010.
Smith donated $300,000 to Republican campaigns in the past, but he was a lifelong conservative Democrat. Once Smith caught wind that no one was going to stand up to challenge U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr., Smith changed his voter registration to Republican last August to run against Casey.
Due to Smith’s fortune he was able to get more advertising than any of his opponents. He created television ads enabling to bring his name and message right to families’ televisions. Smith outspent his competition putting him on top and was declared the winner in April. Smith has always had strong conservative policy beliefs, calling global warming “the biggest hoax.” He backs that belief by saying that science does not support climate change being man-made. Smith has also stated that he wants to get rid of the U.S. Department of Education in favor of state programs.
Smith based his platform on a five-point plan to “restore the American Dream”- simplify the tax code, end out-of-control federal spending, end regulation, energize the future and reform social security as well as healthcare.
Smith’s simplification ofthe tax code calls for a flat tax for all citizens as well as a closure of loopholes that protect special intrest groups. If all goes according to plan, GDP would grow 4% annually.
Reducing federal spending by 20% per year is how Smith wants to control spending by the federal government. Smith also feels that repealing bills such as Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley, as well as bringing and end to regulations that stunt job and economical growth, could end regulation.
Smith’s plan to energize the future calls for building the Keystone XL pipeline, as well as bringign an end to the “job-killing-over-regulation” tactic employed by agencies such as the EPA. He would also like to see alternative energy explored by the private sector.
Although Smith’s ideas are vivid, some locals do not agree with Smith saying Smith’s association with the Tea Party movement is out of touch with everyday Pennsylvanians, and hope that link, along with Smith’s low no name recognition, will prevent him from making inroads against Casey.