Ron Barber

Ross D. Franklin

The most important thing we can do is to grow our economy by getting people back to work. This will create economic momentum as well as reduce our deficit. Our first principle should be that we cannot have a thriving America without a thriving middle class.

Growing our middle class is the primary path to prosperity for the economy as a whole. That's why I voted to keep taxes low for middle-class families, which keeps more money in more pockets, businesses growing and Arizonans working.

Jobs are created in the private sector and government should encourage that, not get in the way. For example, this summer I voted for a transportation bill that will create thousands of construction jobs here in Arizona. I support lowering the corporate tax rate from 35 to 28 percent and the manufacturing tax rate to 25 percent while eliminating major tax loopholes.

This will keep jobs in the U.S. and bring jobs back home. My wife and I owned a small business in Tucson for 22 years, so I understand the problems our small businesses face and the solutions.

I will continue to promote Southern Arizona as a leader in solar energy and build on the high-tech and bioscience industries currently operating. We've already created thousands of good-paying jobs in these industries, and tens of thousands more are possible.

As a member of the Armed Services Committee and the Veterans Jobs Caucus, I will protect the missions at Davis-Monthan, Fort Huachuca and the 162nd Fighter Wing and ensure that our service members have jobs when they come home.

Our military installations and defense industry are central to our national security and critical drivers of our region's economy. Many economists are concerned about impending across-the-board budget reductions, which would cut nearly $500 billion from our defense budget. This would have a devastating effect on Arizona's economy.

I will work to hammer out a bipartisan plan to minimize these cuts, reduce federal spending and bring down the debt.

We must invest in research at the University of Arizona, support moving innovation to commercial application through Tech Launch Arizona, develop the technologies that will secure our borders, and maximize our potential in solar and other high-tech industries.

Rebuilding our middle class isn't just the right thing to do - it's good economic policy.

Barber, the incumbent, is the Democratic candidate in District 2, which includes much of Tucson plus Vail, Green Valley, Sahuarita and southeastern Arizona.