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Shelby brings news of economic stimulus effects

From the nation’s Capitol to Pike County, U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) brought news of just what a $790 billion economic stimulus bill will mean to workers at Lockheed Martin — very little.

“They say it’s going to create 3 million jobs. It won’t create 3 million jobs,” Shelby said.

And while Shelby said the package will do some good and may bring some back into employment, this is not the way.

“I don’t believe you can borrow your way to prosperity,” Shelby said.

With two grandchildren of his own, Shelby said creating debt may boost our economy in the short term, but the stimulus will only hinder future generations.

“We’re stealing from our grandchildren. Our parents didn’t do this to us, and I worry about it,” Shelby said.

And in a time when the nation is experiencing economic prosperity, Shelby said Pike County residents may have to just keep patience in the coming year.

“We are in a global recession, but our glass isn’t empty. We have 155 million workers in America, even though unemployment has gone up some,” Shelby said. “I’m optimistic—2009’s going to be hard, but hold on to your pocketbook and things will improve.”

Shelby also addressed issues that deal specifically with Lockheed Martin, like a grant the company has applied for to keep making Joint-to-Air-to-Ground missiles.

Through these, Shelby said the company could expand jobs.

“We don’t know what the new administration is going to do. They are looking for big cutbacks,” Shelby said. “I pledge to you, I’m going to always vote for national security.”

Shelby, who is on the defense appropriations committee, said it will be a fight to keep military spending high.

“I hope we will not cut our future system,” Shelby said. “But it will be a fight. We should never shortchange soldiers.”

Shelby’s visit to Troy was part of his annual county visits. Shelby said he is committed to attend each county in Alabama at least once a year.