Congress on Your Corner: U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Saks, spoke to a group that included Coosa County Sheriff Terry Wilson, left, at the Equaility Volunteer Fire Department Wednesday at noon | Albert C. Bulls IV

Archived Story

Rogers cites issues like universal health care as election catalysts

Published 11:46pm Wednesday, October 13, 2010

U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Saks) made one of his Congress on Your Corner campaign stops in Equality on Wednesday in support of his fifth term in office.

This was the first time a national district representative had visited the community.

The incumbent congressman spoke and answered questions for just over an hour at the Equality Volunteer Fire Department on issues that ranged from out of control government spending to illegal immigrants.

Rogers started out by acknowledging that change does not come easy.

“If you make changes, whether good or bad, it upsets folks,” he said. “People don’t like change. When you talk about big change you are going to offend somebody.”

Among the topics that Rogers cited as catalysts for driving voters to the polls this November were the nationalization of student loans and General Motors and the issue of universal health care.

“What I think you’ll see in November is a big uprising,” Rogers said. “I think November is going to be the biggest since ‘64. It’s going to be an interesting November 2, not only across the nation but in Alabama, too.”

The illegal immigration topic, along with the solvency of Social Security and the legitimacy of Medicare and Medicaid were hot topics on Rogers’ platform.

The representative acknowledged that the country is made of immigrants, but that the new ones don’t seem to want to assimilate. Rogers, in his 24th year as an elected official, is in favor of keeping the borders open, but on a conditional case-by-case basis. Those that he would allow to come in would need to be positive contributors to society and stay out of legal trouble. He said that he would not extend permanent citizenship to them, nor the right to vote.

“There is a need for the labor in construction,” Rogers said. “Everybody sees the numbers in their communities. I’m one of these guys who believes in a tall fence and a wide gate.”

The older generations in attendance at the assembly were naturally concerned, as the younger generations should be, with the state of Social Security and Medicaid.

“Medicaid has 10 years before it hits the wall, Social Security has a little bit longer,” said Rogers. “Unless we cut spending, Medicaid is not going to be around, Social Security is not going to be around. We are going to have to make some tough decisions.”

The issue of taxes was also on the incumbent politician’s agenda.

“If tax cuts aren’t extended by the end of this year, everybody’s taxes are going up. Everybody’s,” Rogers said. “D.C. wants to extend tax cuts for those who make less than $250,000. I believe it is class warfare to raise taxes of those who make more than $250,000.”

When the congressman opened the floor for discussion after his presentation, some of the topics on the crowd’s mind were Social Security, legislation that would regulate the number of patients a nurse would be responsible for and medical fraud by medical practitioners.