Forbes visits Western Tidewater

Published 10:34 am Saturday, June 11, 2011

U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., chats with Franklin-Southampton Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Teresa Beale before a lunch Friday at Cypress Cove Country Club. -- Dale Liesch | TIDEWATER NEWS

FRANKLIN—U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., spent most of Friday in Western Tidewater.

Forbes, whose district includes Franklin as well as Southampton and Isle of Wight counties, visited American K-9 Interdiction in Walters before speaking at a luncheon sponsored by the Franklin-Southampton Area Chamber of Commerce.

Forbes spent the morning with American K-9, a company that trains dogs for use by the military and police. He watched as American K-9 President Paul Roushia led a group on a tour that included showing dogs complete drills for the detection of explosive devices as well as controlling of suspects.

“I thought it was incredibly impressive,” Forbes said. “When you go and look at what they do and realize those dogs will be able to save lives, it’s an extraordinary program.”

Forbes later spoke to about 75 people as part of a program sponsored by the chamber and The Tidewater News.

“I think it was a nice turnout,” said Teresa Beale, chamber executive director. “It was a good representation of our local business community.”

Beale said the chamber welcomes Forbes once a year to speak about the state of business affairs on a national scale.

“He has been a good friend to the chamber and the community for many years,” Beale said.

Forbes said the federal government can’t continue spending twice as much revenue as it takes in. He said the United States is borrowing 42 cents for every dollar it takes in and paying China $73 million in interest every day.

“We’re creating superpowers,” Forbes said.

He said these types of figures would give China a stronger economy than the United States in as little as five years.

He said proposals to increase revenue and help alleviate concerns over the deficit include raising taxes, but that proposal will hurt businesses.

Forbes said between 42 and 51 percent of Americans pay no income taxes, leaving the burden of any increase on the businesses that create jobs.

“If we continue to pull money from job creators they will stop creating jobs,” he said. “What this economy needs is jobs. When people have jobs they will spend money and the economy will begin picking up.”

The Chesapeake lawmaker also said regulations are killing business. He said each year more than $1.75 trillion is spent by businesses to comply with government regulations.

Forbes said more transparency in government would decrease the amount of regulations.

Forbes said one remedy to the deficit issue would be passage of a balanced budget amendment. The law would require the government to only spend the amount of money it brings in each year, he said.

Forbes also told the business leaders that Congress should not make cuts to the military and the idea of making cuts “scares me to death when I look at the threats out there.”