Shelby focuses on national debt at Town Hall meeting in Eutaw


Eutaw Mayor Raymond Steele introduces Senator Richard Shelby at Eutaw Town Hall meeting

Between 15 and 20 people gathered at the Eutaw City Hall on Saturday, February 12th to listen to and question U.S. Senator Richard Shelby.
The main focus of Shelby’s message was the debt that the United States had incurred.
According to Shelby, in 1990, the national debt was $3.206 trillion. By 2010, the debt had soared to $13.5 trillion and was projected to reach $24.055 trillion by 2021.
“We are still a wealthy country,” he said. “We produce more manufactured goods and more food and fiber than any other country. Our greatest challenge is our debt. It affects our economy. It will limit our options as to infrastructure and industrial development. We need a strong economic base to survive.”
According to Shelby, the budget for this year is three trillion, three hundred billion dollars. He said the United States will have to borrow at least 40% of this from the Chinese.
He also talked about education and the percentage of dropouts. “Our prisons are full of high school dropouts,” he said.
Several people in the audience spoke disparagingly about the proposed changes to the health care program. Shelby replied that the main thing to consider was whether or not the country could afford the plans. “I am going to be the top Senator on the Health Committee and I am going to try and prevent the funding,” he said.
“What we in Congress need to do,” said Shelby. “is to look at every program we have created in the past 50 years and see if we need them. We need to have hearings and dig deeply into these programs.”
Other questions asked included additional funding for Coskata, the future of the U. S Post Office and immigration.
Shelby addressed each question and said the additional funding would be hard to get; that the future of the post office did not look too bright for the smaller units and that the United States is having to go overseas to find qualified people for many of our more technical jobs. “I think we should drain the world of talent,” he said, speaking of how the German immigrants during World War II helped push the United States ahead in various technical fields.
He also spoke about bringing about $700 million in funding to various projects at the University of Alabama and Auburn University, but said the county and city would have to go to the state government for more funding for highway projects.
Shelby said the current administration was very short-sighted when it came to off-shore drilling and that the drilling could be done safely.
“Will we have accidents – yes,” he said, but indicated that the pros on drilling far offset the negatives.

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