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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Speaker Tells County Commissioners US Will Bounce Back

mikejensen

Mike Jensen

County governments are in a unique position to set an example for state and federal leaders through fiscal responsibility. Mike Jensen, former chief financial correspondent for NBC News, advised local officials to set that tone during his keynote address at the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania conference in Harrisburg.

“We need to live within our means,” said Jensen, citing 40 years of reporting on domestic and international economics as a print and television journalist. “That includes governments — including counties — and individuals.” Although the federal government has opted to deepen the federal deficit and address the economic crisis through massive spending, Jensen noted, the tide will eventually turn and conservative economic policies will return.

Jensen asked for a show of hands from CCAP delegates on the American Recovery and Revitalization Act and found that only about one in five commissioners favored ARRA. Asked by Potter County Commissioner Paul Heimel how he interpreted those results, Jensen said local officials are showing that they are more conservative than their federal counterparts.

“You folks are also leery about how you might be expected to implement these lofty plans,” Jensen added. “I sense that counties right now are in a ’show me the money’ mode and are a bit skeptical about how all this is going to work.”

Citing his international experience, Jensen encouraged CCAP members to cherish the fundamental strengths of the U.S. economy and way of life: “The media tends to be too preoccupied with our flaws. I’m here to tell you that our most potent weapon is our freedom in this great country, as well as the incredible power of our economic engine — designed around the free enterprise system — to simply refuse to stay down. I have a great deal of confidence in our ability to bounce back and demonstrate to the world and to ourselves what it is that makes the United States such a great nation.”

Reported by Potter County Commissioner Paul Heimel on location at the County Commissioner's Association Spring Conference in Harrisburg.

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