What is in this article?:
- MUFSO 2012: Jon Huntsman addresses economy
- The energy issue
The keynote speaker outlined issues that will shape the economic future for restaurants
Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman
This is part of Food Management's special coverage of the 2012conference, taking place Sept. 30-Oct. 2 at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas. Tweet with us using #MUFSO.
With the national elections looming on the horizon, former Republican candidate for President Jon M. Huntsman Jr. painted a generally optimistic economic picture in his keynote address delivered Monday at MUFSO.
Huntsman, who also is a former governor of Utah, told attendees he believes that while the country is divided at a time when it ought to be pulling together, “we’re Americans first and foremost, and there are some common solutions that we can all agree to and get this nation moving forward…We’re a resilient people and this is a resilient country.”
Regardless of who wins in November, he said, “we’re going to … have a moment of clarity shortly thereafter in terms of tax policy, because that’s where the marketplace is moving for Republicans and Democrats; in terms of spending priorities, which is completely bankrupting this nation and leaving the next generation saddled with the most massive obligation we’ve ever passed down to the next generation.”
And, he continued, “I believe it will be a boost for this marketplace like we haven’t seen in a very long time. We’ll look back next year and see that we’re still wallowing in debt, the housing market is still sucking wind, but we kind of know where we’re going, but we’ll keep moving forward as Americans and pull ourselves together.”
Huntsman also underscored what he believed to be four key issues that will help to shape the future — the United States, energy, China and Europe.
The United States, he said, has three “deficits” that must be addressed — the fiscal deficit, the trust deficit and the confidence deficit. To address the fiscal deficit, lawmakers must be willing to take on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the Defense Department, he declared.
“There can be no more sacred cows…everything must be on table to get fiscal house in order,” he said.
Huntsman also noted that the trust deficit is “just as corrosive” as the fiscal deficit. “It is quite clear to me that people in this country no longer trust their elected officials,” he said, noting that Congress has an 8-percent approval rating. “If you don’t trust your elected officials, if you don’t trust your institutions of power, if the banks are too big to fail, what happens when a country is devoid all of a sudden of trust?”
The confidence issue also troubled him, he said, but added the nation can get over that quickly. “We’re a little bit in a funk … but that’s not who we are,” he said. “We’re a bunch of blue sky, optimistic problem-solving people who always find solutions.”