High school juniors hear from freshman Congressman

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U.S. representative discusses economy with Leadership students

By Linda Ireland

U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie spoke to the LaRue County High School Leadership students Monday morning.

Eleven of the 16 juniors in the group were present to hear the congressman’s views on the economy, the war on terrorism, education, the environment and leadership.

Guthrie shared his experiences in Washington, D.C., as a freshman representative of the minority Republican Party. He has worked to establish “credibility” among his peers, concentrating on business issues since he has a background in manufacturing. He plans to file a bill that will provide for retraining of workers who have lost their jobs.

Guthrie spoke against the cap and trade bill as an expensive means to address pollution created by power plants. He said Kentucky’s electrical costs are among the lowest in the nation, thanks to a ready supply of coal, and could double if the regulation becomes law.

The measure passed the House but “bogged down in the Senate,” he said.

Guthrie also discussed the health care debate. While the Democrats want the government to provide insurance to all, Guthrie said it would be expensive to taxpayers. He favors letting the private sector influence the market and changing laws that restrict competition.

He said the billions of stimulus dollars have improved Wall Street’s status but hasn’t impacted job loss.

“I don’t think it will,” he said.

He is a firm believer in Reaganomics and credited former President Ronald Reagan with inspiring him to go into politics. He suffered an injury in football practice while in high school, he said. During his recuperation, he watched a lot of T.V. and became interested in the Republican’s outlook and policies.

Reagan, he said, used a long-range approach to fix the economy while the Democratic plan was a quick fix.

When discussing the war on terror, he reminded the students that if the militant Taliban had its way, six of them – the young women – would not be sitting around the table. He discussed the Taliban’s belief that women should not be allowed to work or have an education. Women who disobeyed risked execution if caught.

Guthrie took time to answer questions from the students after the speech.

The students in the Leadership group are Leah Carter, Cassady Crim, Emily DeWitt, Bo Haun, Cody Williams, Brent Gozzard, Andrew Skaggs, Nathaniel Nash, Kayla Tungate, Emily Greyling and Shelby Rogers. In the group, but not present Monday, were Lyndsay Whitlock, Valerie Whitlock, Michael Huff, Mac Blair and Ian Mather.

The group is sponsored by Marsha Duncan and Kristi Wright. Superintendent Sam Sanders also attended the meeting.