So what are a few of the issues most important to you in this election?
Although I haven't yet decided who I will vote for yet, these are the issues that most concern me:
1) Expansion of government
In general I'm weary of government becoming too large. I believe it ultimately restricts freedom and harms economic mobility of individuals. Of course I'd like a minimum of social safety nets to protect people and prevent riots and violence, an issue in my town of Milwaukee lately that is due to high unemployment and poverty. But there is only so much the government can do, and I personally don't benefit from it growing so large, and it will eventually reach a point that it is counter intuitive.
2) Small business incentives/disincentives
From my experience, this is much more significant on a state level. In Wisconsin in particular, starting or expanding a small business is particularly restrictive. So much so, that one of the bigger issues here is that once students finish college they simply leave the state and find jobs elsewhere (The brain drain). This is even more true when it comes to business school grads, who will simply look to the far friendlier conditions of nearby Illinois.
Pay role taxes, insurance provision issues, and disincentives for expansion in general, among other things do not make Wisconsin particularly friendly to smaller businesses. This is paramount to it's economic condition, being as they provide an overwhelming amount of the jobs available. The cities in particular (Milwaukee especially) have become depressed and are shrinking as unemployment and poverty have been a direct result from at least a decade of these practices.
At a federal level, I can only say from personal experience that lately the larger companies often seem less likely to invest because they fear more future regulation, and a shrinking return on their investments. This has the affect of ultimately harming the smaller business, and seemingly making it inevitable that all we will be left with are the giant corporations as the only ones that can compete.
3) Social liberalism
I'm pro choice, pro gay-marriage (or perhaps, rather anti-hetero-marriage being recognized by the government as anything more than some type of economic union, which should be available to everyone, with exactly the same standards and incentives for everyone), pro free-speech, pro- pretty much anything that should be left up to an individual, especially when it is an issue of their own privacy or happening in their own hone. In general, I don't believe the government should have any say in these matters, and I am strongly alienated by any politician who insists on imposing their own view points of morality on others. I mean, I respect those who believe that eating pork is immoral, as I don't eat pork, but it'd be crazy for me to insist that others believe, and follow the same (Although I don't believe it's consumption is immoral).
So that's pretty much it for the big issues I'm concerned with. There are a lot of smaller, less significant things, but those are what matters most to me. So if there were a realistic choice of a candidate that is business friendly (both small and large businesses), will offer incentives for smaller businesses to expand, and is socially liberal, that is the guy who I'm most likely to vote for.
So what are the most important issues to you this election?