At the Lincoln Day Dinner

Blount Republicans tout fiscal discipline with tax dollars

The federal government doesn’t need to print more dollars, it needs to stretch the ones it has to go further.

That’s the message U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn and U.S. Rep. Jimmy Duncan gave at the Blount County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner on May 22. The cafeteria at William Blount High School was filled with Republicans, supporters and some early candidates for the Republican nomination for Governor of Tennessee.

Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and wife, Crissy, were in attendance, as was U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp and Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and wife, Sindy. Local tax attorney Tab Burkhalter and wife, Kristi, were on hand to represent Shelby County district attorney and gubernatorial candidate Bill Gibbons.

Duncan thanked Blount Countians for their support throughout the years and said changes are happening in Washington, D.C.

“This is my 21st year in Congress, and things are going on I cannot believe. They’re spending money like there’s no tomorrow, and there may not be if they keep spending money like they’re doing.

“I used to say it’s terrible what they’re doing to our children and grandchildren,” he said. “Now I say it’s terrible what we’re doing to ourselves.”

Duncan said the country wouldn’t be in such tough economic mess if Republicans had run congress the last 40 years. “This country needs Republican leadership now more than anytime in its history,” he said.

Blackburn, who was elected seven years ago, echoed Duncan’s thoughts on government spending of late. “It seems the money keeps rolling off the presses,” she said. “Government doesn’t have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem, and it’s time to stop.”

Blackburn said President Obama’s first budget creates more debt “than all previous administrations from George Washington to George Bush,” she said. “They’ve been spending $1 million a hour, and they have just started.”

Blackburn said President Obama’s plans to shut down Guantanamo Bay and bring terror suspects to the United States is wrong. “The people that are there are there for a reason. They don’t belong in a state prison. They are right where they should be.”

Blackburn told the group that the president’s economy forces future generations into debt and puts $163,000 “on the heads” of each child born today. Blackburn told those gathered that if Republicans are going to win in 2010, they have to get busy. “Now is the time for entrepreneurial spirit,” she said. “Let’s get to work. We’re committed to having a simpler, flatter, fairer federal income tax.”

People all across the country are tired of big federal government, Blackburn continued. “Local government is what works best,” she said. “This is what people want to see. It’s time to reduce the size of the federal government.”

Blackburn said the Republican Party stands for what made the country great: “Faith, family, freedom, hope and opportunity.”

Susan Mills, chair of the Blount County Republican Party, recognized veterans for their sacrifice. “I want to thank all of you for your service. The freedom we enjoy is because of the men and women in the military.”

On the other side of the local political spectrum, Blount County Democratic Party chair Tony Webb said the Democrats are taking a different tact and are planning smaller get-togethers versus one large banquet. “We’re actually going to be going into the community and instead of hosting a large event, for the rest of this year we’re going to go into the community and do things and hopefully get a lot of people to come host these get-togethers,” Webb said.

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