American humorist Will Rogers once said, “This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer.” My mother loves to tell the story that as I child I simply destroyed my toys. In 1964, at the age of five, mom purchased one of the new Tonka toys from West Main Hardware in Rock Hill. The salesman stated this new line of construction toys made of metal were the perfect toy for kids who were hard on their toys.
Mom said she put me in the backyard, locked the gate, assuming I was good for the afternoon. She claims within the hour she saw me sitting on the ground beating the dump truck with a hammer. Perhaps more priceless was the shocked look on the salesman’s face when mom walked back in with the remnants of a bashed in yellow dump truck.
One of the first elected officials I met when I arrived at the Lake Norman Chamber was Representative Sue Myrick. Rep. Myrick has represented North Carolina’s ninth district for 18 years. There is no question she has been an outspoken spokeswoman for conservative principles,America’s security, and business.
Sue, as she prefers to be called, served two terms as Mayor of Charlotte, a term on the Charlotte City Council, and ran a successful advertising firm. She’s also a breast cancer survivor and has been a staunch supporter of American healthcare – sponsoring a law to provide Medicare coverage for mammograms and pap smears for low-income women.
The Chamber has made annual trips to Washington DC for more than a decade and Sue always made time to listen to our delegation about issues of importance to the Lake Norman region. She was just as accessible back home in the district hosting town hall meetings, business briefings, and legislative forums.
Rep. Myrick has railed against the corporate income tax, which hovers at slightly under 40% and higher than business taxes in France,China, and many other industrialized countries. Rep. Myrick has pointed out that adding new bureaucratic jobs in Washington is not the answer. Lowering taxes and rolling out the welcome mat to primary job creators and small business and entrepreneurs is the solution. “Government jobs don’t grow the economy,” said Sue. “The only thing that grows the economy is private sector jobs.”
This month as we celebrate Small Business Week – May 21-25, it is fitting that we have Rep Sue Myrick on May 11th to get us focused. The Chamber will honor Rep. Myrick for her unwavering support of business at the luncheon as she caps off a wonderful career of public service.
I’m not sure Will Rogers was flattering Congress with his remarks but I am certain that Sue Myrick knew when to use her velvet glove and when it was appropriate to bring out the hammer.
Unfortunately, I didn’t leave many hand-me-down toys to my brother Todd. But I am certain Rep. Sue Myrick leaves the citizens of District Nine and our nation much stronger because of her sound judgment and commitment to conservative values and principles.
Sue once told our Chamber delegation, “We have to make those tough choices so our America will be there for our kids and our grandkids.” Representative Myrick went to Washington to make a difference – to make her district and her nation better than she found it – and she did. It is her legacy of leadership.