By John Duncan Jr.

Several years ago, I attended a meeting in a small but ornate room on the first floor of the Capitol just below the House floor.

This room was called the “Board of Education” by Sam Rayburn, the longest serving speaker of the House. He used the room to have drinks with friends and to have “Come to Jesus” meetings with members who had made him mad for one reason or another.

Rayburn was born on a farm in Roane County about a mile from the Buttermilk Road exit off of I-40.  He lived there until he was five and a half when his family rode a wagon to Lenoir City and caught a train to Texas.

The room described above has a place in history because it is where Vice President Harry Truman was having a drink with the speaker when he got the call to come immediately to the White House due to the death of President Roosevelt.

After the meeting I attended, I was sitting with four or five other members of the House when one started talking about some stocks he regretted not buying.

Congressman Chris Shays from Connecticut said something I have thought about often since then.

He said, “You know, there’s nobody who can’t ‘If’ his whole life away.”

There is an old saying “If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, every day would be Christmas.”

At some point, we all need to stop ‘ifing’ and start counting our blessings.  We have far too many people who don’t seem to realize how blessed we are to live in this country.

I read not long ago that almost half the people in this world want to come here to live.  They would be happy with a minimum wage job here.  And they know we have far too many U.S. citizens who are unwilling to work.

Our schools, hospitals, jails, sewers, roads – in fact, our entire infrastructure and economy – could not handle a rapid influx of several hundred million people.

This is why we need to have a legal, orderly system of immigration, and it must be enforced.

The Democrats seem to favor totally open borders with unlimited immigration because they believe they get the overwhelming majority of votes from those in the U.S. who were foreign born.

But it will be very cruel to our own children and grandchildren if we allow this country to be destroyed from within mainly to win the next election.

No country in the history of this world has even come close to doing as much for other countries as the U.S. has done.

Liberals and those who make money off of foreign aid realized a long time ago that this aid was not popular so they have falsely said it is only one percent of the federal budget.

But what they have done is just put foreign aid into the budgets of almost every federal department and agency.

Most foreign aid today is done by the Defense Department.  If you don’t believe that, study in detail what the Department has done in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And for many years, we have been doing all these projects, spending money we do not have so all these top federal bureaucrats can feel more important and travel the world at taxpayer expense.  We are now over $27 trillion in debt.

I believe the only thing that is saving us is that almost every other country is in worse shape than we are, so people are still investing their money here.

I wonder how long it will continue.  When countries get so horribly in debt, they almost always have terrible inflation or terrible deflation or, worst or all, a combination of both.