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SETCO Luncheon - McCarthy sees parallels 2012 election to 1980
Congressman says America is poised for rebound
Rep. Kevin McCarthy came to Porterville Wednesday to hear from constituents, but also to appeal for support for the GOP presidential ticket of Romney-Ryan in November.
The House of Representatives majority whip spent a whirlwind day in Porterville, meeting with civic and business leaders, students and speaking before the SETCO Republican women.
McCarthy, who is in his third term in Congress, will became the Porterville area representative through reapportionment effective Jan. 1, 2013. He follows Devin Nunes, another Republican.
“I really think we’re like 1980, with similar challenges,” he said of the upcoming presidential election and comparing it to when Ronald Reagan won the White House.
McCarthy told more than 125 people at the SETCO luncheon that voters in November will have a chance to decide how big they want their government to grow.
“2012 is a fight for size and scope of government,” said McCarthy, who was critical of President Obama and the $16 trillion debt the nation now faces.
During his talk with The Recorder and later with a small group of constituents, the congressman said he was pleased with the GOP ticket, calling vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan a close friend.
“Paul’s into policy and ideas,” he said of his friend who was dubbed one of the Young Guns in Congress along with McCarthy.
He said in 1980 Reagan replaced Jimmy Carter and inherited an economy that was in shambles. He said it is similar today.
“Do you want a European socialist country or see the greatest American comeback ever,” he asked the gathering at Nuckols Ranch. “We can turn this around,” he added.
McCarthy said the biggest thing holding back the nation’s economy is uncertainty over the future by small businesses. He said small businesses — the people that Obama wants to raise taxes on — account for most of the hiring in the nation, saying that small businesses created 7 million jobs before the recession while big companies cut 1 million jobs.
“Today is the lowest point in 17 years that we are seeing the starting of new businesses. Why?, because of the uncertainty,” he stated.
McCarthy noted that California is also at a crossroads and in need of correction. He said California makes up only 12 percent of the nation’s population, yet has 32% of the people on public assistance. He said 25% of California’s tax income comes from just 144,000 of the state’s 37 million residents.
He said California, like the nation, needs tax reform, regulatory reform and a solid energy policy. He said the state needs to begin drilling for oil offshore, noting that North Dakota has surpassed California and Alaska as the No. 1 oil and gas producing state in the nation. He also said unemployment in that state is 3% and jobs are so plentiful McDonald’s is paying $18 an hour.
“We can compete if we have the right plan,” he said of the Golden State. “We need to structurally reform Sacramento.”
On some other topics:
- Farm labor shortage. He said he is hopeful the next Congress will address the issue of immigration that he said has been ignored the past four years. “I don’t see a perfect plan right now, but we have to have a trust system where people can come here to work and go back home,” he said.
- Success Dam. He was supportive of efforts to get the question over the dam’s safety finally resolved. Calvin Foster, with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said he hopes to hear in early Spring if they will be allowed to fill the dam to capacity this next year. He also said he is working on bringing a marina back to Success, but that it will likely be a two year process.