Corker says change needed in White House
By Dale Gentry
Standard Banner Editor
With a large election-year crowd in attendance, the U.S. Senator urged fellow Republicans to get behind their presidential nominee in the fall, and support fiscal restraint and reforms that will attack a growing deficit. He also cautioned his party against repeating the mistakes it made when it last had control in the White House, and missed the opportunity to change the country’s fiscal direction.
“I am genuinely fearful of what another four years of this president will bring,” Corker told the audience. If President Obama is re-elected, Corker said there is “no question” he will continue to limit the amount of energy resources in this country, continue to over-regulate, and try to punish success. Any of those left in the Republican primary will make a better president, he added.
“The choice is clear,” he said. “The single most important thing we can do is ensure our nominee is elected.”
If Republicans obtain a majority in the House and Senate, Corker said they must stay on a road map that takes the country to fiscal sanity. Pro-growth tax reform, the elimination of tax loopholes and subsidies will create more revenue, he said, and lower everybody’s tax rate. In addition, they must lower spending, control entitlements, and balance the federal budget.
As an example of out-of-control entitlement programs, Corker said the average family with two wage-earners pays in $119,000 to Medicare during their working years, but receives $357,000 in benefits.
If given the opportunity, Republicans cannot make the same mistakes they did the last time they held majorities, Corker emphasized. “We are where we are now because the last time we were in charge, we didn’t really pay attention to fiscal issues. We spent too much. We thought we could win elections by making sure we did things to make people happy.”
Senator Corker concluded by emphasizing that his party must uphold the moral value set forth by America’s founding fathers, entitling citizens to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Studies have shown that the thing that makes people happier than anything else is to earn success, he said. That success is achieved through the free enterprise system, which is “being trampled upon” in the vacuum created by the recent recession.
“We’ve got to remember that the thing that has made this nation distinctive is the free enterprise system,” he said, adding that millions of people around the world have been lifted out of poverty by emulating the U.S. approach.
Those gathered for the dinner at Carson-Newman’s Stokely Cafeteria also heard from U.S. Representatives Phil Roe and Jimmy Duncan, who both advocated repealing “Obamacare.” Duncan, who now represents most of Jefferson County following redistricting, said costs are certainly rising due to the national healthcare legislation. Roe said that as there is more demand for care than dollars, rationing of care and increased costs will take place.
Local Republicans also heard from State Representatives Frank Niceley and Jeremy Faison, and honored State Senator Mike Faulk, who recently announced he will not seek re-election.
“Serving you in the senate is the honor of a lifetime,” Faulk told the crowd. “But a year from now, I would rather be known as a good son than the good senator,” he added, referring to the need to care for his ailing mother.
Representatives from each county in the Fourth Senatorial District came to the stage to jointly present a plaque to Faulk, thanking him for his four years of service in Nashville.
Four other special awards were presented by the local party, to outstanding men and women who have been longtime volunteers, supporters or exhibited character in serving the public.
Sue Hoke was honored with the Barbara McAndrew Jefferson County Republican Woman of the Year award, for her service to the women’s arm of the local party.
Chancellor Telford Forgety received the Elmer Franklin Public Service Award, given to a public servant who has exhibited high character in carrying out his duties.
Billie Jean Chambers was honored with the Republican of the Year Award, for her lengthy record of working in elections and supporting the local party.
Phyllis Finchum received the Lifetime Achievement Award, given to someone who has served the party and the community over many years.
Beau Tucker, Chairman of the county party, presided over the event. Ally Richey sang the national anthem, Landon Sanders led the pledge of allegiance, and Kaylee Kesterson sang America the Beautiful to close the event. A silent auction was also held, to raise funds for the party so that it can support Republican candidates.