Paris TN: Jobs, debt and energy top U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander's list of topics in speech to Paris Lions Club members

Senator attends local Lions Club meeting

Posted on September 2, 2010

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander said Tuesday the three issues about which he is most concerned are jobs, the national debt and energy.

“The biggest problem here in Tennessee and across the country right now is our lack of ability to create new jobs,” Alexander told members and guests of the Paris Lions Club at the club’s weekly meeting at the Paris Civic Center on Volunteer Drive.

“We must make it easier to create a good environment for jobs,” he continued. “Too many actions being taken in Washington today are not helping to create jobs — and raising taxes is definitely not a good way to create jobs.”

Alexander said while he believes the health care system needs revision, he voted against the health care bill because it mainly just expands regulations and accompanying problems instead of trying to eliminate what’s wrong with the current system.

“A serious problem affecting the future of our children and grandchildren won’t be solved easily,” he said. “By 2020, our country will be paying eight hundred billion dollars just in interest on its debt.”

The senator and former Tennessee governor said he and a few others are hoping to help control the spiraling debt by cutting some $300 billion in spending throughout the next 10 years.

“I also believe we’ll just have to bring Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid spending under control.”

Alexander is proposing the government begin adopting budgets in two-year increments.

“Adopt a budget for two years,” he said, “and then spend that second year in oversight mode, instead of battling over budget numbers again.”

He said that oversight time could be used to decrease the size of government and its rules and regulations … citing as an example the large and still growing rules concerning higher education.

“More than seven cents of every education dollar now goes to paperwork,” he said.

“Our government is full of waste and promotes more waste in time and money,” he continued, “so a freeze of spending with a two-year budget would, I believe, help us cut a large amount of that waste.”

Turning to the energy problem, Alexander said TVA wants to give us cheap, clean energy.

“Right now, though, Tennesseeans use more electricity per person than any other state.”

He is against wind turbines in Tennessee.

“Our state doesn’t have enough wind and they’re just too big,” he said.

He also is not a big believer in biomass for production of electricity.

“We need to get back into the nuclear power plant business as most other industrialized countries in the world have already done and continue to do.”

When questioned about storage of the spent nuclear fuel rods, Alexander said all of them currently in use could be stacked a few feet deep in an area the size of a football field.

“And, scientists are telling me that within the next twenty years or so, a method of recycling that fuel will allow us to practically use it up completely, so long-term storage will no longer be a problem.”

He also voiced support for electric cars saying they will continue to be made more efficient.

“Nissan’s plans, right here in our state, for manufacturing both electric vehicles and the batteries for them couldn’t come at a better time,” he concluded.