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Congressman Mike Bost Speaks to Mascoutah High School JROTC Cadets

By Zachary Daum

Republican Illinois 12 Congressional District Representative Mike Bost spoke to members of the Air Force JROTC (Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) cadets at Mascoutah High School on Feb. 4. Students asked hard hitting questions about the economy and gun laws.

Bost answered a question about the economy, explaining that he believes a portion of the current economic crisis is directly related to COVID and spending during that time. “Bad decisions were made during COVID and just after COVID. What causes inflation? Too many dollars pursuing too few items,” Bost said, continuing. 

“The first four COVID bills were passed overnight in a bipartisan manner. We’d done as best as we could, because we did it in a bipartisan manner. Right after the last presidential election, our Commander in Chief came in and he wanted to do another COVID bill. We didn’t need another COVID bill. And it was an expensive bill. Even his own advisers said ‘Don’t do this, there will be massive inflation if you do.’ Now what we’ll have to do is we’ll have to watch and see how the feds handles inflation, trying to keep us from going into a recession. Which is going to be very difficult, because we’ve had two other bills since then that have put more money out into the public, which then you have inflation because of two reasons. One is what I just said, One too many dollars chasing too few items, and a breakdown of the supply chain after COVID.”

Bost continued, explaining how supply chain issues increased the problem and he believes that getting the supply chain back up to standard will fix many of these issues. “Eggs are coming down a little bit, but to see how high they were. And it’s one thing if inflation affects the large ticket items, which you need to purchase every other day. When inflation starts affecting your mood, your housing, your electrical bill, those assumptions, that everybody has to have regardless of income. That’s a problem. And that’s why we have to be very careful to bring it back to mind, which we’re trying to not throw any more money out there thinking that throwing money at problems is gonna cure the problem. And then we’ll be very, very cautious of what the as we watched the feds on what they’re starting to do about inflation rate, and to try to put people back to work because right now after COVID, a lot of people decided that maybe working was just kind of a good thing that maybe there’s a whole lot more the economy is affected by that. So we’re watching that very closely. The biggest thing about inflation, the way to bring it down is to create one way to bring our fuel prices down. And we can do that by allowing our fuel producers to produce at the level they were prior to this previous administration coming in.”

Bost was also asked by a student what Congress was doing to protect people from the rise of mass shootings in America and gun violence. “We have a very unique situation, we have the Second Amendment. We’ve got to remember why the second that was put in our Constitution. Our forefathers, if you’re citing the writings and everything like that, they put it in because they had to fight against a government that was over them. They had to arm themselves because they were gonna happen and then it would be that if the British got their way back, and we would lay down arms and give up to them, okay. So they were very clear that that second amendment isn’t for hunting. It isn’t protecting your home, it is for protecting yourself against a government that might go awry. So that’s why it’s so important when we write gun laws.

“One more thing we can say is that, remember we are not a democracy; we are a constitutional republic. The difference is a democracy works on the whim of the people and voting them in and out allows for change. But a constitutional republic allows for a lengthened group of people to represent you that take an allegiance to a certain document is our Constitution. So the answer is, we secure and provide for and encourage certain things through our states, and some funding from the federal government to our schools that allow them or other institutions that might come under attack for mass shootings. Why, like a School Safety Act, which allows for each individual school to say, ‘Okay, why we’re the school and obviously, you’re working with the local police or the county police to come up with an idea on how to secure your school for you to feel calm and avoid that possibility of a mass shooting. Or, as someone coming in and doing exactly what we have.’ 

So we’ve got some that were longer, some safety officers. One of the towns in my district, the real issue was the teachers needed to call the police for help. It was a small school, with no phone service. So we got them a grant to build a cell tower, allowing them to call for safety. So we can do things like that. But we are very, very limited and here’s the problem; people who don’t understand weapons. And when I say that, I say that, let me let me tell you this. The proposal for the assault weapons ban. What is the assault weapon? I was born and raised in a household where my first rifle was a Ruger 10/22. And you can get those indestructible. So if it has a pistol grip then it’s classified as an assault rifle. That’s a case where somebody who doesn’t understand guns writing gun laws. We have to make sure those of us who understand make sure we try to provide as much safety as we can, without taking away the freedoms of others, and taking away a constitutional right.”

From Murphysboro, Illinois, Bost spoke about how he doesn’t ever see himself running for president after a student asked him if he ever would. “There are two reasons why I don’t. One, I’m from this little district in the middle of the United States and it’s just not been a drive for me. If I was asked the same question about running for governor I’d say the same thing. I couldn’t afford it. The reason I couldn’t afford it, my wife said it would have to be with my second wife, and I can’t afford that. The answer is no, I’ve never considered it. I represent one third of Illinois but I’m only one member of 17 members of congress. I don’t think like people in Chicago, I think like people in Southern Illinois, so I wouldn’t get their votes even if I ran for governor. I just, honest to goodness, I’m 62 years old. I’m really looking for a younger president. I think there’s new ideas out there. I’m the last of the baby boomers, I think we need to go on to the next generation.”

Congressman Mike Bost is the 12 Congressional District Representative that encompasses 34 Illinois counties throughout the southern Illinois area. He has offices in Mascoutah, Murphysboro and Effingham.

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