Mallory Donald presided over the meeting. Bill McLeod provided the opening prayer. Ryan Kelly led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Mallory led the club in the Four Way Test. The meeting was held at the Holiday Inn in Hattiesburg.
Several guests were introduced.
Stew Deen then conducted the 50/50 raffle. There was no winner today so the pot will carry over next week. Thanks to all of the members who are participating in the raffle. Proceeds from it will be donated to a local charity.
A.D.Hunt then introduced today’s guest speaker, Senator Roger Wicker. Senator Wicker has represented Mississippi in the U.S. Senate since 2007. He is the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.
Senator Wicker noted that the U.S. economy was going well in January 2020, and then Covid-19 appeared. In January that year our inflation rate was 2.5%. The unemployment rate was 3.5% and the average mortgage rate was 3.62%. You could buy a gallon of gas that month for $2.50.
The Cares Act was passed by the Congress in March 2020. The economy began a slow recovery after the act was passed. Later that year the Quantum Leap legislation was passed, mandating that the government develop a Covid vaccine. The vaccines became available, free of charge, to Americans in November and December of that year. People took the vaccines and slowly began returning to work.
The Cares Act extended unemployment benefits, which Senator Wicker says was a mistake. Many Americans were making more money staying at home rather than returning to work. Another legislation passed in early 2021 added $1.9 trillion dollars in relief. The result of this legislation was dumping money on an expanding economy, setting the stage for what we are now seeing in the economy. Another mistake made in the early days of the Biden administration was the war on the oil and gas industry, increasing the cost to all Americans.
The highlight of the Trump administration, according to the Senator was the tax relief package that was passed in 2017.
Things that need to happen to fix today’s economic problems include a repeal of the recent tax increase, reopen the Keystone Pipeline and return to the “Remain in Mexico” policy for immigrants. Senator Wicker also says we need to build more ships, preventing a war with China.
There being no further business to come before the club, Ryan thanked Toni for her remarks and then adjourned the meeting with our motto: “Service Above Self.”