Friday, February 13, 2009

My Trip to D.C.

Yesterday I participated in a D.C. Fly-In, hosted by the Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority. It was a very productive trip and I would like to personally thank Rick Platt for doing an outstanding job with the itinerary. The delegation consisted of ten people:
  1. Al Bonacci, Atlantic Inertial Systems

  2. Mike Cadenhead, Bionetics

  3. Brad Feightner, Licking County Commissioner

  4. Mike Emmelhainz, The Boeing Company

  5. Rick Platt, Port Authority

  6. Ron Sheldon, Port Authority Board Member

  7. Richard Waugh, Mayor City of Heath

  8. Tim Weisert, Port Authority Board Member

  9. Bill Wright, Port Authority

  10. Myself

We flew out in the morning and came back last night. So in the span of one day, we met with:

  • Congressman Zack Space, 18th Congressional District

  • U.S. Senator George Voinovich (staff)

  • U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (staff)

  • Congressman Pat Tiberi, 12th Congressional District (staff)

  • Congressman Steve Austria, 7th Congressional District

As I listened to Emmelhainz, Bonacci and Cadenhead tell their positive success stories, I couldn't help but be proud of the 950 jobs and the $60.5 million in payroll that The Base (Port Authority) contributes to the Licking County economy. Here are some more stats:

  • The Base employees exceed $2.4 million in state income taxes withheld in 2008

  • Tenants and their employees paid over $1.3 million in local taxes in 2008

  • The Port Authority has paid over $1.5 million in property taxes since 1997 vs. $0 when the facility was an Air Force Base

To see more details about our trip, you can go here.

It was an interesting day to be in D.C. First it was President Lincoln's birthday. It made me feel humble being there and thinking about all this man did for our country. Next, it was stimulus day. Early in the day, we were told that the vote would happen in the afternoon. As the day wore on, we were then told it wasn't going to happen at all that day - too many details to be worked out.

Something that was said yesterday gave me a very uneasy feeling. We were told that there is already some discussion on another stimulus bill being needed in six months. How can they even think about another stimulus bill when they hadn't even passed the first one? And more importantly, they have no idea what the true results are going to be from the first one.

There are many reasons that the government exists and is needed. But we shouldn't look to the government to solve all of our problems. I wish I could ask President Lincoln his thoughts on the state of our country today and what he thinks of all this government stimulus stuff. I'm sure he wouldn't be pleased to see the size and scope of our government today.

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