By Michele Dargan
U.S. Rep. Allen West said Friday that if Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigns, having members of the Muslim Brotherhood in power would be dangerous.
"Let us remember, Anwar Sadat was assassinated by the Muslim Brotherhood," West said. "The Muslim Brotherhood works in conjunction with Hezbollah."
The ramifications affect the national security of the United States, as well as its greatest Middle East ally, Israel, he said.
West also discussed the deficit, taxes and the need for the United States to develop more energy sources. He spoke to nearly 100 members and guests of the Palm Beach Business Group during a breakfast meeting at 264 The Grill Friday.
A retired lieutenant colonel in the Army, West served 23 years of duty, including in Iraq. The Tea Party-backed candidate won a hard-fought campaign for the District 22 seat, defeating incumbent Democrat Ron Klein in November. He was sworn into office one month ago and is serving on the Armed Services and Small Business committees.
He invited everyone, if they are in Washington, D.C., to stop by his congressional office and let him know their concerns so he can better serve the district.
West said there is a large "ideological divide" over how to govern the country today.
"We all have to realize that, because if we don't, the future and the legacy that we leave to our children and grandchildren will not be the same as was left to us by our parents and grandparents," he said.
There needs to be commitment to make the United States better and to uphold the values that made the country great, he said.
West held up a copy of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address, scrawled with notes West had made.
"When you hear the president talk about freezing government spending at the current levels, the current levels are what got us into this mess in the first place," West said. "We're talking about going back to 2008 to continue funding this government, maybe even going back to 2006 levels."
The estimate for the U.S. deficit in 2011 is $1.48 trillion, West said. The government spent $3.3 trillion last year, he said.
"In America, it's not the revenue problem that we have," he said. "In America, it's the spending problem."
Congress needs to find the inefficiencies in government programs and make necessary cuts in order to decrease spending, West said. There is "a laundry list" of excessive programs, he said.
West said government is over-regulating Americans' lives. If the public sector continues to outpace the private sector in compensation and in growth, the United States is on its way to becoming a bureaucratic state, he said.
"If that's what you want in this country, let us know and we will run your lives from cradle to grave."
Extending the Bush tax cuts is important to small business owners, West said. One-third of the earnings of corporations and businesses goes to the federal government, he said.
"You are telling people to get out of the country and take their business elsewhere."
Regarding energy independence, West said the United States must develop "a full spectrum of energy resources," which includes hydrogen, bio-fuels, solar, oil and natural gas.
Palm Beach Town Council President David Rosow said he agreed with West on all points.
"I was stunned by the historical perspective that he knew in describing what's going on around the world today," Rosow said. "The man is extremely well-read and I think he has a tremendous aptitude to connect the dots. I'm impressed that he takes the complex issues and explains them with such ease and makes them understandable."
Town Councilman Robert Wildrick also attended and has heard West speak many times before. Wildrick said his message never changes.
"In my opinion, he's a true patriot and sees the big picture and puts the country before himself," Wildrick said. "He's the kind of leader that we need more of. He knows exactly what he's talking about and does his homework. He truly believes in the American dream and he's an example of it."