Senator Orrin Hatch and Mayor Mia Love spoke with a small group of college students at an informal roundtable discussion in West Jordan on Thursday, Oct. 18.
Senator Hatch is running for re-election to his current seat in the United States Senate. Mayor Love is running for Congress in Utah’s new 4th Congressional District.
Their joint discussion focused solely on issues that college students face, including a difficult job market for college graduates, the future of the national debt problem and today’s struggling economy. In attendance were students from many colleges and universities across the state, including University of Utah, BYU, UVU and Salt Lake Community College.
Throughout the discussion, the two candidates remained positive and avoided directing comments at their opponents, instead giving specific insight and plans to address each of these issues if they were elected to represent Utah in the upcoming election.
Love reaffirmed her position that the best solutions to problems, including those facing college students, can be found at the local level. Senator Hatch backed Love’s position and confirmed that economic issues such as school vouchers are better addressed at the local level.
Both candidates also mentioned that the national government is using too much money, and each planned to cut this spending in the future.
“One of our problems is that we are spending way too much,” Senator Hatch said. “It isn’t that we don’t raise enough money. Once we get through this recession … we will have enough revenue. The problem is that we are spending too much money. This is why every department has to be scrutinized if you are going to have a future.”
As part of her plan, Love said that the economy needs to grow first. She believes, however, that the economy cannot grow under the current administration’s tax plans and regulations.
“You have to understand that the federal government doesn’t make money, they tax it or borrow it,” Love said. “When it does come back to us, it comes back with strings attached.”
Love says she wants to encourage and promote the private sector both in Utah and in the nation. She believes this would not only jumpstart the economy, but would also allow private companies to get more directly involved with college educations with loans, internships and other important parts of a college student’s education.
“So many people are graduating, but they don’t have the specific skills that they need,” Love said. “Here is what I think is absolutely wonderful about the private sector really getting involved in education, and I support it whole heartedly, is the fact that they are really getting involved. They are giving grants, they are helping students go out and get the tools that they need, the education that they need, so that they can fulfill the requirements that they need in their businesses.”
Each candidate took the time to promote small government, stating that large government causes economic problems, including the problems of debt that the country now faces. Both candidates discussed plans to promote larger domestic energy investments, taxes plans and small business growth. Love also mentioned that small business growth would lead to more growth for students.
Spending plans led into a discussion about debt, especially debt accrued by student loans and even the issue of national debt, which is over 16 trillion dollars.
“One of the things we are worried about is, ‘What do we do about the debt limit problem?'” Senator Hatch said. “I just sent a letter … asking them, ‘When are we going to run out of money? And when we do, what other methods can we use to make sure we don’t mess up?’ These are really big questions.”
Senator Hatch took as much time as possible to promote Love for Congress, focusing on her ability to affect necessary changes in the federal government.
“I can tell you right now, she will be one of the great Congress people in Washington,” Senator Hatch said.
In the end, both candidates expressed the importance of voting for the right people during this very pivotal election.
“Your lives depend on this election,” Senator Hatch said. “Your lives are going to depend on who you elect this time.”