U.S. Representative Dr. John Fleming was presented Tuesday at Celebrations with the "Spirit of Enterprise" award by the Greater Vernon Parish Chamber of Commerce.


U.S. Representative Dr. John Fleming was presented Tuesday at Celebrations with the "Spirit of Enterprise" award by the Greater Vernon Parish Chamber of Commerce.
The award honors a commitment to businesses. Fleming received the award from the Chamber last year, as well.
The award, according to Eddie Wise, Executive Director of the Vernon Parish Chamber of Commerce, is given to a member of Congress each year who votes the most "for businesses."
According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the chamber will inform Congress of its position on certain priority issues. Members of Congress who support the Chamber of Commerce on at least 70 percent of the issues are then eligible to receive the Spirit of Enterprise award.
Fleming was one of seven elected officials in Louisiana to receive the award for the 2010 year; six of those recipients were congressmen, and one was a senator (Sen. David Vitter).
After accepting the award, Fleming explained to attendees the state of the nation's budget and what problems the nation could encounter if changes were not made.
"Washington has an overspending problem," he said.
Fleming told the public that the nation's monetary concerns would not be solved by raising taxes, but instead by focusing on jobs.
"It's not how much we tax people," he said. "It's the size of the economy."
Fleming also said that the nation needs to continue to look at creating more jobs to benefit the economy.
"There's a number of reasons why businesses aren't hiring," he said. "If we try to create the notion that businesses are evil, you're not going to create more jobs."
Fleming also spoke with the Young Professional Society Wednesday morning at Joe Red's on Third Street. The informal gathering of a handful of young, local business professionals centered on similar themes, including Fort Polk's impact on the local economy and what federal aid could be garnered to bring more business and more opportunity to the area.
Fleming voiced concerns that American society had grown into an attitude of dependence, which adds unnecessarily to the country's financial burden.  
"We've created a very expensive infrastructure of government workers," he said, mentioning recent similar issues in Wisconsin and New Jersey concerning "taxpayers pushing back."
A new Wisconsin law requires almost all public employees on all levels of government - from teachers to librarians to state Capitol janitors - to contribute more to their health care and pensions, according to a news report from Forbes.com. The changes amount to an average 8 percent pay cut. The bill also strips them of almost all their collective bargaining rights, allowing them to negotiate only on wages.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie also recently signed a bill into law raising pension and health-care contributions by public employees, saving that state's pension fund $120 billion over the next 30 years, according to Robert Grady in an interview with The Washington Post. Grady is the chairman of New Jersey's Investment Council.  
Fleming said that putting more money into the public sector, i.e. through government jobs, welfare and similar programs, meant lest money into the private sector, which shrinks the ability for an economy to grow jobs and businesses.
"Washington has a big heart, but no brain," he said. People will work within the systems they're given. "Why don't we just give them good rules and good systems?"