NORTH CAROLINA VISIT
The Senate was in recess this week, and I was grateful to spend the week in North Carolina visiting with constituents and learning about many exciting new projects going on in our state.
You can see my full schedule of events here, but I have highlighted a few of them for you below.
On Monday, I had the chance to attend an award ceremony for Rodney Cress, who served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War. It was an honor to watch as he proudly accepted the Bronze Star Medal with Valor device.
Also on Monday, I visited the Career Academy and Technical School at Iredell County High School. This innovative high school program is a breath of fresh air. It’s important that every child leaves K – 12 with the marketable skills to be hired, and far too often school systems rely on community colleges to teach vocational skills.
On Tuesday, I attended the Wake Forest BioTech Place Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. This groundbreaking facility will bring design, life sciences and innovation to North Carolina and will help to bolster our economy. In addition, the facility will help to highlight and resolve the challenges of health care, and it will find ways to do it cheaper, faster and with higher quality.
CHARLOTTE OBSERVER OP-ED
On Thursday morning, my op-ed on the failed stimulus ran in the Charlotte Observer. You can read the full op-ed here, and I have included some key excerpts below.
Three years ago, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Investment Act, better known as the stimulus bill, into law, promising the American people that his $825 billion spending package would create shovel-ready jobs, keep the unemployment rate below 8 percent, and turn the economy around.
These claims, however, have amounted to nothing more than broken promises. Shovel-ready jobs are still nowhere to be found, and unemployment has exceeded 8 percent every month that he has been in office, hitting a national record of 36 straight months.
I do not blame the President for the economic difficulties he inherited, but I do hold him accountable for the ineffective, expensive, job-killing policies he has forced onto the American people over the last three years. It is time for him to face the facts – his policies have failed, and they are making our economy worse.
Despite clear indicators like our national unemployment rate, the Administration still refuses to acknowledge that the stimulus failed to deliver. President Obama and others in the Administration, including Vice President Biden in this very paper, continue to tout the success of the stimulus bill, asserting that their expensive law not only overcame the economic hurdles they inherited, but also jolted our economy back to life. One has to wonder what evidence they are looking at that could lead them to such a misguided perception.
More government spending has not spurred job growth over the past three years, and it won’t work now. President Obama promised that the stimulus would create 3.5 million jobs, but 1.2 million jobs have been lost since he took office. Close to 20 million Americans are unemployed. He promised that the stimulus would lift 2 million Americans from poverty, but 6.3 million Americans have fallen into poverty under his watch.
The bottom line is that the stimulus wasted taxpayer money and failed to deliver on its promises. Billions of dollars went to companies and projects connected to Democrats’ political allies and donors, including half a billion dollars to now-bankrupt Solyndra, which laid off 1,100 workers last year.
Rather than acknowledging the gravity of our economic challenges and making tough choices to get our economy back on track, the President’s budget for the 2013 fiscal year proposes more of the same egregious spending, imposes tax hikes that will hurt job creators and our economy, ignores the pending insolvency of Medicare and Social Security, and fails to reduce the debt and rein in spending. I have news for the president: words alone are not enough to turn our economy around and put Americans back to work.
President Obama needs to realize that turning our economy around is not about how much money Washington bureaucrats can spend. It is about getting government out of the way and creating the climate for growth and jobs.
VIETNAM VETERANS HOMECOMING CELEBRATION IN CHARLOTTE ON MARCH 31, 2012
Today, the entire delegation of North Carolina’s representatives in the United States Congress encouraged all Vietnam veterans, their families and friends, and all North Carolinians to reserve their free tickets to the “Vietnam Veterans Homecoming Celebration,” an event to honor veterans of the Vietnam War taking place at Charlotte Motor Speedway and hosted by the USO and the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters, along with Charlotte Motor Speedway.
I joined with Senator Hagan and Congressmen G. K. Butterfield, Howard Coble, Rene Ellmers, Virginia Foxx, Walter Jones, Larry Kissell, Patrick McHenry, Mike McIntyre, Brad Miller, Sue Myrick, David Price, Heath Shuler, and Mel Watt to support this important, long-overdue event honoring the brave Americans who served and sacrificed in the Vietnam War and never received the recognition and gratitude they deserved upon returning home.
On March 31, our nation’s Vietnam veterans will gather in Charlotte for the inaugural Vietnam Veterans Homecoming Celebration. This grand tribute applauding the courageous efforts of our Vietnam veterans and acknowledging the tremendous sacrifices they made to defend the freedoms we hold so dear is long overdue. We owe it to our Vietnam veterans to thank them for their dedication, commemorate their service, and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. I am proud that the inaugural tribute will take place in North Carolina, and hope that this celebration will be the first of many in the years to come.
WHAT: Vietnam Veterans Homecoming Celebration 2012
WHEN: March 31, 2012 (Doors open at 9am, opening ceremonies begin at 11am)
WHERE: Charlotte Motor Speedway
ENTERTAINMENT: The Charlie Daniels Band (Headline), George Clinton, Rockie Lynne, The 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Band, The 82nd Airborne Division “All-American” Chorus, Master of Ceremonies – Chris Noel
MILITARY EXHIBITS, DISPLAYS & DEMONSTRATIONS: U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute demonstration, U.S. Air Force Flyover, Flag Story from U.S. Army Color Guard and Flag Troops, Various military static displays from supporting NC military units and recruiters
RESERVE FREE TICKETS: For more information and to reserve free tickets, visit www.CharlotteMotorSpeedway.com/WelcomeHome.