Get updates from the campaign
I am Terry Adams, veteran, entrepreneur, and attorney. My wife Phillis Burnett and I together own and operate a small business in Knoxville, in addition I practice law, an entrepreneur representing entrepreneurs.
My professional life began with public service. I joined the Navy reserves on the early enlistment program while I was still in High School, to serve my country, and help pay for college. I graduated from the University of Tennessee with the help of the Montgomery GI Bill and ultimately went to law school.
My mother was a songwriter in Nashville, she wrote the song “Cry, Cry, Cry” for Connie Smith in her heyday. When music didn’t pay the bills she cleaned office buildings, worked in hospitals, and ultimately worked as a secretary at the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy, where she retired. My father was a US Air Force veteran. After getting out of the service, he pumped gasoline and raised me, for several years in a one bed room apartment in Nashville.
I am proud to have lived and worked in the three grand divisions of Tennessee: Memphis, Nashville, and Knoxville. My upbringing is about as far from Washington D.C. as you can get but I believe a little Tennessee common sense is what we need in our nation’s capital today.
An economy that works, works for middle class and working Tennesseans. It is not only vital to the working families of Tennessee to have a strong and steady economy, it is vital to both our national economic interests and our national security interest to again be the world leaders in manufacturing, agriculture, and energy.
We have to get back to basics on the economy, starting with reinvesting in the American Dream. We must invest in our public education system with the aim to be the best in the world so that American workers can compete and win in the global economy. College and tech training must be affordable and we have to get a handle on the student loan debt crisis before it is too late.
The middle-class and small businesses are the bedrock of the economy and new industries are the future of Tennessee and the future of America.
Smart economic policy means eliminating wasteful spending in Washington D.C., a loop-hole free tax policy where everyone pays their fair share, even big corporations, and sending our troops abroad only when the vital national security interests of the United States is threatened.
We send our leaders to Washington to solve problems, not create them. The government shutdown cost the economy as much as $24 billion dollars in lost jobs, back pay to federal workers, delayed mortgages, lost productivity and lost sales to businesses. Not only that, the Crisis-Driven fiscal policy of Congress over the past five years has cost Americans 900,000 jobs, slowed the recovery, raised corporate bond rates, raised unemployment, and lowered GDP.
Simply put, this is unacceptable. Anyone who claims to be for working and middle class Americans, for small business, and for growing the economy cannot also support the brinkmanship that has been the calling card of this Congress. We must demand more of our leaders. We need fewer career politicians and more citizen legislators, that is how our Constitution was designed. If Congress won’t pass term limits, we need to elect people who will term-limit themselves. If the people we elect cannot or will not create solutions to the problems that we all face as a Nation, then we need to send them back home and elect someone else.
"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation."
If you think that quote came from a stump speech from the last presidential election, you would be wrong. President George Washington said that more than 200 years ago, and it still remains true today.
Every person who serves honorably in defense of our nation deserves a fair shake. Veterans across the board have had an unemployment rate at 4% above the national rate and that is unacceptable. Our nation needs a Service to Citizens program that begins in boot camp and continues throughout a military career.
It is unacceptable that disabled veterans and their caregivers have a backlog of 500,000 benefit claims for services and benefits already earned. It is equally unacceptable that there are 900,000 veterans who are on food assistance which has already been cut and Congress seeks to cut further.
It is the duty of this Nation to take care of those who have volunteered to, if necessary, make the ultimate sacrifice for this country. Perhaps it is because the number of veterans in Congress is at the lowest point since World War II that these issues are not at the forefront of the Congressional agenda. This has to change, not only because our national security is at stake but also because it is the right thing to do.