U.S. Rep. John Rose paid a visit to the Student Government Association’s meeting on Monday, Oct. 18 to discuss his experience in office with the SGA members .
Rose is currently serving his second term representing the Sixth District of Tennessee. He graduated from Tech with a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness economics. During his time at Tech, he was a member of SGA, which was formerly known as Associated Student Body, or ASB.
In his speech, he touched on the numerous challenges that the country currently faces, including the national debt.
“At around 28.9 trillion dollars today, the federal debt is at about 125% of the gross domestic product … which is the highest levels in the history of this country,” Rose said. ”More concerning still is the rate in which we are accumulating debt — 6 or 7 trillions dollars in the past years.”
The Congressional Budget Office’s projections from February of this year prove that his worries may be valid. According to CBO, the national debt will nearly double in size in the coming decades.
“What may be even more distressing to me is the proposals that we see coming out of Washington, from the White House and Congress, is to add about 5 trillion in additional spending that will be put into the debt just in the next two or three years,” Rose said.
Additionally, Rose shared his concerns about the power Big Tech companies such as Amazon, Facebook and Google have over the population. “What we see in recent months and years is that our Big Tech companies … have gained so much power over our communication that they now use it to suppress voices that they disagree with,” he said.
Although there are false, inflammatory and hurtful statements being made on the Internet, he still urged students to remember that the right to free speech is important for our future.
“I’m reminded of a quote made by Alice Walker,” Rose said. “‘The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.’”