Aviation

At Aero Club, Pompeo blasts U.S. spending

The biggest threat to the aviation industry is a well-meaning federal government that spends too much, U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo said Monday.

The government can't keep spending a trillion dollars a year more than it collects, Pompeo, R-Wichita, told attendees at the Wichita Aero Club luncheon.

"This is an American problem of epic proportions," Pompeo said.

Deficits are nothing more than a debt deferral, he said.

"And debts come due."

It will be "completely irresponsible" to raise the debt ceiling if the federal government doesn't change its spending habits, Pompeo said.

"For too long, politicians have muffed it and kicked the can down the road," he said.

Businesses, including Wichita's aviation-related companies, are also threatened by uncertainties surrounding health care and tax laws, he said. That uncertainty means businesses are hesitant to invest and create jobs.

President Obama's health care plan "is the most onerous piece of legislation," Pompeo said.

And new regulations will drive up the cost of energy in America, said Pompeo, who serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Six major regulations will be unveiled in the coming months, he said.

Pompeo said after the speech that he is still working on an effort to bring Obama to Wichita to visit aviation leaders.

"I would so love to have him come out to see these people whose livelihoods depend on" the aviation industry, he said.

Aviation and union officials began working on an effort to bring Obama to Wichita after he criticized the use of business jets by CEOs of the nation's top three auto companies when they flew to Washington in company jets to ask for federal bailout money.

Obama's visit to Wichita would communicate that he cares about "every corner of America," Pompeo said.

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