published Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Corker shares ideas on debt-limit debate at Law Day event

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    Judges Jeff Atherton, left, and Frank Brown, center, greet U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., during the Chattanooga Bar Association's annual law day breakfast held at the Chattanooga Convention Center early Tuesday morning. Staff Photo by Dan Henry/Chattanooga Times Free Press
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Without permanent changes to how the United States spends money, many important social programs cannot continue, U.S. Sen. Bob Corker says.

Speaking Tuesday to a group of nearly 300 lawyers and judges, Corker, R-Tenn., outlined part of a proposal he supports and is traveling during the Senate’s recess to promote — a “binding cap on federal spending.”

The featured speaker at the Chattanooga Bar Association’s annual Law Day event, Corker drew a standing ovation from the crowd.

He advocated limits on spending and reform of Medicare and a close look at changes to Social Security and Medicaid programs. He called the lack of action on debt the “greatest threat to our country’s sovereignty, security and economic growth.”

“I agree with him,” said local attorney Jamey Hurst. “He’s got a lot of insight on the most important issue that we face.”

Many of the past featured speakers for Law Day have had connections to either a law profession or a famous case, such as a recent speech by the daughter of one of the attorneys involved in the landmark desegregation case Brown v. Board of Education, said Lynda Hood, the bar association’s executive director. But bar members knew Corker would draw a crowd, she said.

Bar President Ira Long Jr. commented that the crowd of about 270 at the Chattanooga Trade and Convention Center was the largest he had seen at the annual event.

After the hourlong event, Long said, “[Corker] seems insightful, giving us what’s behind the headlines. It’s show rather than tell.”

Corker used a brief slide show to illustrate the growing gap between revenue and expenditures by the federal government. Figures he cited from the Congressional Budget Office showed that current debt is 62 percent of gross domestic product.

Lacking any change in spending, that number could rise to 146 percent by 2030, he said.

“I think it’s very damaging to our country,” he said.

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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twharr said...

I'm a Dem for life, but I have a lot of respect for Corker.

June 1, 2011 at 7:22 a.m.
inquiringmind said...

I respect Corker also, but he is not being fully forthright. The facts are that re-instituting the taxation policy where the folks who make $200,000 or more get taxed like the rest of us stiffs would fully make up all the problem with Social Security and Medicare. We are spending about a trillion $/yr on the wars in Iraq and Afganistan plus the costs of the massive anti-terrorism programs, cut this and we'd get that balanced budget. Osama Bin Laden said his goal was to force the US to spend grossly out of proportion to combat his effort, why are we taking his bait?

Oh, don't bring up the argument the $200,000/yr folks are the poor independent small business people who will be hurt, and cost us more jobs, they did fine before they were created as holier than us. Add into this the fact most small business people get big cuts out of profits of their companies that far exceed any salary they make.

June 1, 2011 at 8:05 a.m.
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