Whitfield speaks to chamber
by Franklin Clark -- fclark@cadizrecord.com
Apr 15, 2009 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
First District Congressman Ed Whitfield, when he spoke before the Cadiz-Trigg County Chamber of Commerce at Cadiz Restaurant on Wednesday, April 8, said that President Barack Obama’s stimulus package will probably benefit Western Kentucky to some extent.

However, it likely won’t do what the area needs, which is jobs what he said were the right areas, an example of which would be the manufacturing sector as well as more jobs in the private sector.

Referring to the economic downturn, Whitfield said it is “a worldwide problem, it’s a complex problem, and we all recognize there are a lot of reasons that we got ourselves in this position.

In addition to the stimulus package, Whitfield talked about the recent bailouts, the federal spending bill, alternative energy and other topics, and sad he voted against the stimulus package because he was given only an hour to read it, something Whitfield said he couldn’t do.

Whitfield said he voted against the omnibus spending bill because according to him, it will quadruple the size of the national debt and focuses on the wrong areas. While the federal debt today is $11.1 trillion, it will be a projected $23 trillion “at the end of ten years,” according to the representative.

“The federal government is spending a lot of money … in retrospect, there will be some benefit from the stimulus package, because a lot of that money will come down through the states for education and for Medicaid and so forth,” Whitfield said.

The representative said he disagrees with raising taxes on those making $200,000 per year and over, and also disagrees with taxing people for income they make out of state or out of country, saying that both policies could put a damper on job creation or could result in more jobs being taken overseas.

Also discussed was renewable energy. Whitfield said the country needs to have less dependence on foreign oil, especially oil from the Middle East, but added that a few of Congress’s proposals might drive up energy costs instead of lowering them.

Whitfield said Western Kentucky still needs coal, as solar and wind power alone wouldn’t generate enough power for everyone. When asked about nuclear power as an alternative fuel source, Whitfield said he was a fan, and mentioned France as an example of nuclear power done correctly.

Whitfield also thanked the Chamber of Commerce for what he said was the work they do in the area of economic development.

“I know the unemployment rate here in Trigg County is around 15 percent, and throughout our country today, it’s about 8.5 percent,” Whitfield said. “It was 8.1 percent last month, it’s gone up another 4/10th of a percent.”

Afterward, Whitfield, stopped at Trigg County Hospital to meeting with hospital board members and finished his day at a Princeton-Caldwell County Chamber of Commerce meeting after visiting the area’s Research and Education Center.
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