Boustany jumped right in to the problems the country is facing, how they could be fixed and the divisiveness that the country faces.
He started by reading a moving quote from a World War II soldier that General Dwight Eisenhower overheard, wrote down and saved.
The quote stated that the soldier didn’t care about victory or safety but how his children and the future of his country would survive to see an America that gives them the chance at prosperity.
“That defines who we are as Americans,” said Boustany. “It’s up to us to embrace any challenge that confronts us and if one generation fails we could lose everything.
“In World War II, we defeated the Japanese and the Germans, in the ’70s everyone was worried about the Japanese overtaking us as an economic power and we overcame that,” he said. “If anyone recalls we took on all concerns and became the greatest nation in the second half of the 20th century.”
Boustany said the aforementioned challenges of today could be fixed by pursuing two things–our spending problem and policies that promote growth in the private sector.
“We need to reduce spending and get back to having a balanced budget,” he said. “We need to fix Social Security and Medicare and we need to figure out just where the federal government’s place is when it comes to a variety of these issues.
“Secondly, we need to emphasize building policies that promote growth in private sector...that kind of growth is important. This means having a strategy in place to use our own oil and gas. The technology is there.
“This would expand production and help with our unemployment. We also need to look into tax reform and lower the top rate to 25 percent. We need to embrace international trade. I want to see a mother in China or India buy a shirt that says ‘Made in U.S.’.”
Lions Club member Roy Geesey asked about the federal government and what it’s proper function is.
“The federal government has had their hands in everything and it shouldn’t be that way,” replied Boustany. “The state government should have control over issues such as our school systems and sewerage projects.”
Geesey also asked about the fundamental difference between both sides of the aisle and how you get past it.
“I’ll paraphrase Winston Churchill here, you can always count on Congress to do the right thing when everything else both parties have tried has failed,” he said as the group laughed. “There is hope. Before we broke from our lame duck session we had a meeting with Republicans and Democrats. No staff members were there. We understood that we have a real problem here. This committee (Ways and Means) has always stood up and did the right thing. We decided to find where we can agree. If we can start there we can come to an agreement that will prevent American family’s from a $3,500 tax hike.
“We need to build relationships. We have too many guys on both sides of the aisle who pound their chests and say ‘Look what I did for my constituents.’ We are going back to a divided government and we need people who are committed to working together to solve the problems that are facing this country. We need to stop listening to the Rachel Maddows and the Sean Hannitys and move together from the extreme right and left.
“There is a meeting between the President and John Boehner on Friday that gives me hope. We’ll have to see where we can go from there.”
Lions Club President Louis Saab, prior to introducing Dr. Boustany, asked that everyone pray for the family of fellow Lions Club member Tim Mader who’s sister died recently.