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ST. MARYS — An area Congressman visited with a local service group on Wednesday — answering a wide variety of questions 13 days before Election Day.
“There are moments that matter in people’s lives,” U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan said during the St. Marys Rotary Club’s weekly meeting at the Eagles. “There are moments you don’t forget ... I would argue we are at one of those times right now. This isn’t just about the election — one of those critical moments in our nation’s history where we have to deal with some big issues and problems.”
Jordan called attention to the nation’s rapidly increasing debt issues. The Republican noted the nation’s debt has grown to more than its annual economy.
“We have a $16 trillion debt,” Jordan told Rotarians. “That is a very dangerous position to be in. We are going to spend $220 billion in interest servicing that debt at a time when interest rates are a record low.”
Jordan assailed the spending habits of the past two administrators as well.
“We have to cut spending,” Jordan said. “You cannot deal with $16 trillion in deficits that last four years with spending cuts alone. You have to create an environment that’s conducive to economic growth ... Both parties have some blame in this game. The previous administration spent too much money and didn’t do all the things they told voters they would do when they put them in office.”
Jordan called upon tax reform as part of the next major legislative push in Washington. The code, he noted, is “broken.”
“Any tax code that allows, on the personal side, allows almost 50 percent of the population not to participate in the main take is broken,” Jordan said. “And on the corporate side, which says to American companies, ‘You are going to pay the highest rates in the world,’ is stupid. So if it’s broken and stupid, you might want to start over.”
Developing a practical energy plan is something Jordan said he believes would benefit the nation and help pull it out of its current stagnant economy. Jordan touted a speech given by Condoleezza Rice this summer that called for a renewed focus on revamping the nation’s energy plan.
“She talked about how that world is better when America leads,” Jordan said. “To lead diplomatically, you need to lead militarily. To lead militarily, you need to lead economically. To lead economically — and you can’t lead economically unless you have readily available energy at affordable costs. Energy is the foundation.”
Domestic sources of oil and natural gas should be explored — a venture that Jordan said “makes sense.”
“Right now, with this administration, we are seeing their animosity toward coal, gas and oil,” Jordan said. “Their infatuation with anything that’s so called green is just dangerous, it really is.”
Following the election, a battle could ensure as part of the lame duck Congress regarding the extension of tax cuts set to expire at the end of the year.
“We do need to reform that tax code — step one is to make sure taxes don’t go up,” Jordan said. “This will be a fight in the lame duck. I think what happens in the lame duck session of Congress largely depends on who gets elected in 13 days ... The first thing we have to do is make sure the tax cuts stay in place and we don’t raise the tax burden on job creators and frankly any American. I would vote for the package that we already voted for, which sits in the Senate, which extends the current code for a year, and within that time frame, we have to throw it out and start over.”