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Brooks shows conservative stance

U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks speaks to the crowd during a town hall meeting Tuesday night. | Brent Maze

Fifth District U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, didn’t disappoint many of the 63 people who showed up for one of his town hall meetings at the Depot in Hartselle Tuesday night.

He used the first 20 minutes of a 90-minute presentation and question and answer period to emphasize the danger Americans face in the future if the nation’s debt is not brought under control.

“Our budget deficit has averaged $1 trillion a year for the past four years and has reached the astronomical amount of $14 trillion,” Brooks pointed out. “And the compromise debt-raising bill passed in Congress recently will add $2.4 trillion to the debt even though the legislation calls for spending cuts.

“If the debt ceiling had not been raised, it could’ve had a positive effect on our credit rating; however, it would’ve had a bad effect on the economy and hurt us in other ways.”

He said there are only three possible remedies to the debt crisis: cut spending, raise taxes or grow the economy.

“I prefer the latter,” he pointed out.

Brooks expressed concern about the level of debt China holds over the U.S.

“They are holding 29.2 percent of our debt. That gives them leverage on fair trade policies,” he stated. “No one knows what the relationship with China will be in the future. They could become our military foe instead of a trade partner.”

Brooks fielded about 25 questions from the audience. They ranged from chiding the federal government for not living within its means to complaining about the tightening of regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency.

One questioner, a woman, applauded Warren Buffet’s stance on paying more income tax and suggested that Congress ought to levy higher taxes on the rich.

The audience responded with a negative reaction.

“I disagree with Mr. Buffet,” Brooks said. “It would only result in the further loss of jobs.”

“I don’t want to be a part of the first generation of Americans to leave their children and grandchildren with less opportunity to achieve the American dream that what we had,” Brooks said in summing up his comments. “I’ll do everything I can to live up to that principle. I think it’s wrong to steal from future generations so that we can live out lives in excess.”

Afterward, Brooks said what has impressed him in the feedback he has received in 14 previous town hall meetings is that people are becoming more aware of the perilous status of the nation’s economy and federal government.

He said he looks forward to 2013 when all of Morgan County will belong to District 5.

“I only live nine miles from Lacey’s Spring in northeast Morgan County.” he pointed out.