According to the Morristown Citizen Tribune, U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., said he was astonished to find out that the unemployment rate in Morristown had swelled to more than 10 percent during a visit to the community on Friday.
His visit Friday was intended as a roundtable conference to get input from local business leaders and address the shrinking job market. Along with unemployment, he was queried on a variety of issues including health care, education and the stimulus package.
Roe explained that he feels it is in the best interests to keep the car industry from going bankrupt but cautioned at least one of the big three may not make the cut.
"Tennessee is the third largest car manufacturer in the United States," said Roe. "We have suppliers to these auto manufacturers that provide numerous jobs. Ford was not having problems. It was Chrysler and GM that were in trouble. Before long we may only have the big two auto makers."
Roe discussed the controversial insurance giant AIG who used $165 million from the bailout to pay executives exorbitant bonuses.
Congress voted to impose a 90 percent tax on the bonuses of these executives thereby recouping most of the money.
"I had mixed feelings about the vote," said Roe. "I don’t like using the tax code to punish individuals, but these bonuses were so egregious. For that reason I voted yea."
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