Americans for Prosperity Foundation’s “Economic Freedom Tour” Comes to Summit
Thursday, September 20, 2012 • 3:38pm
SUMMIT, NJ - With the presidential election less than two months away, one of the biggest issues in the country is the enormous debt. While President Obama inherited $10 trillion in debt, the U.S. is now $16 trillion in the hole.
The Summit Young Republican City Committee hosted the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, the state’s leading free-market, grassroots organization, Wednesday night at city hall, and State Director Steve Lonegan spoke to the community. The AFP Foundation is traveling throughout the state on its “Economic Freedom Tour” attempting to inform people about what is really going on with the economy and the state. Summit Republican Committee Chair Lisa Allen was quite pleased and impressed with what Lonegan told the residents of the community.
“We feel this is one of the most important elections of our respective lifetimes,” Allen said. “It’s important for people to understand that America is falling on the economic freedom index. So I think that everybody should have a voice about where we want America to go.”
The program’s goal was to enlighten Summit residents about the benefits of economic freedom: how it allows societies to flourish, how it can bring greater prosperity and improve the overall quality of life for people.
Lonegan captivated the audience with numerous key facts as to why the country and the state are in debt. The U.S. went from being one of the most prosperous and economic free countries in the world to one that is slowly on the decline, he said. Until 2000, it was one of the best in the world, but in 2010, it dropped to 10th and last year it dipped to 18th.
In order for this country and state to succeed, there must be a free market that involves peace, prosperity, health and freedom, he said. This country and state have gotten away from these things, Lonegan added. He also stressed people need to have a personal collective choice, there needs to be freedom to enter and compete in markets and people need to have protection of their property from aggression by others.
“It starts by cutting spending,” he said. “You have to have politicians that have backbones to make real hard hitting spending cuts.”
He criticized former governors Jim McGreevey and John Corzine. In 2003, McGreevy attempted to solve the high property taxes in New Jersey by passing an income tax rate on people earning over $4 million, which was crazy, Lonegan said. Furthermore, McGreevey wanted to cut property taxes and keep seniors at home. Then Corzine, who Lonegan described as a “hybrid McGreevey” raised sales taxes back to seven percent. Consequently, when Chris Christie took office in 2009, the state had awful income and property taxes and it was dead last in every area of economic growth, Lonegan said.
The country has declined, while others are rising in economic prosperity, he said. With 21 percent of the country living on welfare and food stamps, the government should see there is a problem, Lonegan said. He also explained it is important to keep the interest rates low -- otherwise the government could not pay off its debt.
“The exact period of time that our economy was declining we were forfeiting our liberty,” he said. “We can’t afford the social security system we have today; it has to be privatized like Chile’s. We have to cut spending in places we don’t want to cut spending.”
Summit residents Richard Poole and Fran Franklin were quite impressed with Lonegan’s presentation. Poole, who has seen him speak before, said Lonegan always informs him about new and interesting facts. Franklin on the other hand, was astonished at some of the things he said.
“It’s a lot of wonderful very pertinent information,” she said. “It makes me crazy to think how our constitution is so poorly thought of. What happened to the love of a constitution?”
The event also includes a social media seminar to empower citizens to promote the cause of economic freedom using Twitter and Facebook