PREBLE — The Preble County Chamber of Commerce hosted Congressman Warren Davidson for a State of the Nation address at the Preble County Historical Society on Thursday, Aug. 6.
Speaking at the Preble County Historical Society’s amphitheater, backdropped by Aukerman Creek, Davidson updated Preble County on how the government has dealt with numerous changes in 2020.
He began his address by updating the audience on the work being done in Washington D.C. by both Congress and his office, saying that it has been a very eventful four years in American politics going back to 2016.
“Everybody stayed productive and we did more case work in those two months then we did, you know, in a comparable – almost a year’s worth of casework in a two-month period, partially because the federal government launched so many new programs, things like the payroll protection plan, all sorts of funding mechanisms,” he said.
The focus then shifted towards the executive authority that Davidson said has been seen throughout the country over the last five months, citing Gov. Mike DeWine’s attempt to move Ohio’s primary date in March.
“I’ve got a bill called the Defending Freedom Act that basically pushes the Attorney General and U.S. attorneys to look for civil rights violations,” he said. “In our case in Ohio, we did pretty well with the executive authority, other than the fact it’s all been executive authority. So, even if you agree with 100 percent of the decisions, I think it’s concerning to say that you don’t have a real due process.”
Davidson said that the main way the executive authority showed itself was by deeming some things essential and others non-essential.
“Whether that was essential healthcare procedures or non-essential health care procedures,” he said. “Whether that was a bike shop on Main Street, they couldn’t sell bikes, but Walmart could sell bikes, or a flower shop that couldn’t deliver flowers to a loved one, but Amazon could deliver fake flowers, right? We worked through a lot of those things in Ohio, and thankfully, we’ve moved past that.”
He said that the Defending Freedom Act would help the Department of Justice identify where action should be taken, and that this would help small churches and businesses save time on ligation.
“The great news is that it hasn’t been as bad as we initially feared, right? I mean, people didn’t close the economy around the country because of what has actually happened,” he said. “The modeling was that it was going to be far more people. None of our hospitals, even in New York City, were so overwhelmed that they couldn’t function. Certainly in our side of the state they weren’t.”
Davidson added that layoffs in businesses deemed non-essential has resulted in more money that the federal government has needed to print and put into circulation.
“The federal government printed it, put it into circulation, so inherently that undermines the value of all the other money,” he said. “So, before we print more money, we should make sure that we can make use of the money that’s already been printed.”
Davidson then cited some of the COVID-19 specific funding that has been made available to state and local governments and that the costs have not been as big as expected.
This led to discussion about government spending and Davidson’s creation of the Sound Money Caucus, focused on avoiding the dilution of the value of the United States’ money.
“In theory, the share prices of public securities reflect the underlying value of the companies and that is increasingly disconnected in part because of Federal Reserve activity and monetary policy,” he said.
He then explained how those who have their net worth tied to securities see their net worth supported, while those whose net worth is tied to labor do not see their assets inflated.
“I think it accounts for a big part of the wealth gap,” he said. “But it also undermines the dollar as a store of value or means of exchange, and that’s what we hold our value in. We have dollars and we benefit greatly from having the world’s reserve currency. So, we created the Sound Money Caucus to call that to attention.”
After providing his update, he opened the floor to questions from the audience.
Mary Bullen, who is running for a Preble County Commissioner seat this fall, asked Davidson how he has changed since he was elected to the House of Representatives in 2016.
He said that he has learned a lot about policy, and that he still supports term limits in Congress.
“I will say it’s important to have that, but that alone won’t fix the problems in D.C,” he said. “It’s broken differently than I thought, so you’ve kind of got to navigate it a little differently.”
When asked what three things he would like to accomplish, he said it would be broadly defending freedom with the Defending Freedom Act, pushing a reform to monetary policy though the Sound Money Caucus, and continuing to work with pro-life by ending the tax exempt status of abortions through reform of the IRS.
Additionally, he added that a fourth objective would be pushing infrastructure bills.
Finally, when asked about the coin shortage in the United States, Davidson said he has co-sponsored a bill to protect the dollar as legal tender in the United States.
“Legal tender, to me, means that if you operate a business in the United States, you gotta accept the legal tender currency of the United States in cash or coins,” he said. “Got to. It’s not optional. That’s part of what we do here.”
He warned that the government determining which transactions can go through and which can’t results in a society that doesn’t have freedom or privacy.
“Frankly, with our banking system right now, when I talk about privacy, I don’t think I’m letting any secrets out here; you don’t actually have privacy with your bank accounts,” he said.
After answering questions from the audience, Davidson ended his address with a positive message to those in attendance.
“Lord willing, this will all be over soon,” he ended with. “We’ll be back to high-functioning, normal society and we’ll be able to see our friends and families and socialize and engage not just in public health versus economy, but in the civic life and freedoms that make our country America.”
Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @BradenMoles