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Farragut Chamber welcomes Duncan

U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr. (R-Tenn.) spoke at a Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce event, highlighting what he said were some of the hot issues.

Many people who attended the Speaker Series Breakfast Tuesday, June 10, said they enjoyed hearing Duncan speak.

Robert M. Leonard, son of former Farragut Mayor Bob Leonard, said, “I think it’s always very positive when a Congressman is back in his district and relaying a little bit of his thoughts of what’s going on to his constituents.”

Leonard said he was glad Duncan spoke on the war in Iraq.

“I think the little bit of discussion on Iraq was positive. He was one of the few very early on who said ‘I don’t see the need to do this,’” he said. “I think he’s right. The next president, in my opinion, if they’re sworn in at twelve o’clock, by twelve-o-three the planes would be landing to get those boys out of there.”

Duncan specifically addressed the lack of attention on casualties of the war.

“When I hear people say it’ll be a blood bath if we leave, I say what do you think we have there now?” Duncan said. “We’re having so many get killed on almost a daily basis that no one’s paying attention to it anymore in the news.”

Cathleen O’Hare of Turkey Creek said she appreciated Duncan expressing his opinion.

“It was good to hear some of the points that he made,” she said. “In particular, he made a comment about Iraq, the soldiers and the loss of lives. I’m glad that’s being kept in the forefront. I don’t know if I’m a stay or get out kind of person, but there is a loss of life, and I think that needs to be acknowledged. We need to be reminded that’s happening. Whether we should be there or not is a whole other point.”

John Morelock said he agrees with Duncan about the war, but more attention needs to be given to domestic issues.

“I think his views on the military conflict and the borders are so much right on track, however, with those kinds of things going on people forget about the healthcare and the other financial issues going on. I think that was probably the most important aspect that he brought up,” he said. “We get so preoccupied with the foreign stuff, we forget to look at what’s going on right here at home.”

Duncan touched on what he called the nation’s fiscal irresponsibility.

“[David Walker, comptroller general,] said by far the most serious problem we have facing this nation is not somebody hiding in a cave in Afghanistan or Pakistan, it’s our fiscal irresponsibility,” Duncan said. “Where we’re headed, we’re not going to be able to pay all our social security pensions, military pensions, civil service pensions, prescription drugs benefits, all the benefits of Medicare and Medicaid, … unless we start taking drastic action now.”

He also discussed immigration, a topic he said is “the biggest issue” of the last few weeks.

“There is no nation in this world where the people are more generous, who have given more to people in other countries, than the United States of America,” he said. “Our government estimated several years ago, in my early years in Congress before immigration became such a hot topic, that half the people in the world would want to come here to live if we just said we’d opened our borders for the next year or so. Our entire infrastructure, our schools, our roads, our hospitals, our jails, sewers and everything, just couldn’t handle that rapid massive influx of people. So we have to have some sort of legal working system.”

On a more local note, he said, “If there is any place in this world that has a bright future, I think it’s right here, right here in this little part of East Tennessee.”


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