With words of encouragement and warning alike, former Attorney General John Ashcroft addressed members of the Associated Industries of Missouri (AIM) and state legislators on the importance of business for the young legislature.
In his keynote address at the Doubletree Hotel in Jefferson City on Wednesday afternoon during AIM's SHOW ME Leadership event, Ashcroft called upon the legislators and AIM members to work together this year, citing the words of Thomas Payne to describe the potential that comes with a new session at the Capitol.
"We have it within our power to make the world over again," Ashcroft said. "If the American people have, at any time, registered a more profound idea that they want their circumstance, their environment, their communities made over again than this last November, I don't know when it was. Certainly not in my lifetime."
Among the topics that Ashcroft touched on in his address, the uncertain state of the economy was prominent. <!-- The former governor and U.S. senator recounted that, in the days after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, President George W. Bush implored him to make certain that another incident of that magnitude did not happen. Likewise, Ashcroft said he hears a similar plea now regarding the economic downturn of the last few years.
"I think the American people are looking to governments right now and are saying, "Don't ever let this happen again; don't let us get into a position again where we are so behind in our ability to be responsible for our own expenditures,'" Ashcroft said.
"The expenditure of the resources of the generations to come is a freedom issue. This nation began because somebody cared about somebody else making decisions about what to do with their resources. No taxation without representation. We are fast becoming a nation spending the resources of the next generation that is unrepresented."
He indicated that one of the most significant ways that can be accomplished is by bringing more certainty to the tax structure for a longer period of time in order to make it possible for more businesses to make decisions about making long-term investments in communities in Missouri and beyond.
"We created an uncertain environment (for potential terrorists in the days after 9/11) with the hope and understanding that it would increase our capacity to defer, default, detect and disrupt acts of terror," Ashcroft said.
"If an uncertain environment will default, detect and disrupt acts of terror, then an uncertain environment will also default, disrupt and defect (economic) opportunity." -->