The Gasden Times: Senate candidate Mo Brooks talks U.S. debt, need for change
Congressman Mo Brooks, R- Huntsville, painted a bleak prospect for the economic future of the United States government Saturday, unless the nation’s leaders change course.
Brooks, speaking to the Etowah County Republican Breakfast, said the country’s current economic path leads to insolvency. It’s a possibility in as little as 10 years, he said. Without change, it’s a near guarantee in the next 30 years.
The economic future of the nation is one of the key reasons Brooks entered the race to fill Jeff Sessions’ seat in the Senate. He said appointee Luther Strange is a place-holder in the Senate until the special election to fill Sessions’ seat after he was named U.S. Attorney General.
The nation’s debt is on track to grow at such a rate that debt service will increase to an amount equal to the nation’s spending on national defense: $550 billion.
Money will have to be diverted to pay this debt service to prevent the nation’s insolvency.
Brooks said warnings have been coming from such sources as the Congressional Budgeting Office that the “current financial trajectory is unsustainable,” for some time, and have not been heeded.
Instead, he said, the nation’s representatives have focused on their electability by continuing or establishing programs the nation can’t pay for without borrowing money.
The government pours some $800 billion into programs – not earned programs like Social Security or Medicare – that Brooks believes could be cut.
There is $50 billion a year going to indirect or direct foreign aid, he said, that could be cut. While he believes national security is the top priority, involvement in Afghanistan and other nations should be reexamined, he said.
“I’m tired of the U.S. being the police cop on every corner of the planet,” Brooks said. He said the U.S. should look at making its allies protect the shipping lanes in the China sea. Other nations are more dependent on the oil shipped through that corridor, he said, and they should station ships there to guard it.
The U.S. must grow its economy, he said, and he believes it’s growth has been constrained by regulations and undercut by trade agreements during the past couple of decades.
The adjusted gross domestic production growth rate used to average 3.3 percent, he said; for the last 15 years it’s averaged 2.2 percent. The difference means $1 trillion in the national economy.
Brooks said studies have shown that current regulatory burdens U.S. companies face cost about $10,000 per employee. Asked what the biggest thing that could be done to help the economy, he said, “anything that decreases the cost of doing business in the U.S.”
He said the U.S. should be more aggressive on imports, especially in going after China.
Ford has a company in China, he said – where it must rent from the Chinese government because the Communist country would allow ownership of property. The government subsidizes its own industries so that no American company can compete. It’s companies lack environmental regulations, so the prices are much lower.
“We want clean air and water and proper disposal of hazardous wastes and that’s good,” Brook said. “We need a tariff (on Chinese goods) to equalize the costs we put on businesses to meet regulations.”
Brooks told the Republicans from several counties in attendance Saturday that part of the problem the current administration has faced in its programs is the result of understaffing caused by blockage of cabinet appointments.
If cabinet appointments are not approved, the sub-cabinet appointments cannot be made and there is not adequate staff to draft a detailed legislation.
Then Democrats have used those failures to criticize the Trump administration, Brooks said.
As far as the Senate race goes, Brooks said he believes a proven conservative track record will be the key to the race, and he believes he has the record in Congress and throughout his career to prove it.