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Bonner Column: Airbus Groundbreaking Only the Beginning of Good News


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It's been a week since more than a dozen shovels broke the ground at Brookley Aeroplex, turning over more than just soil. The groundbreaking signified a new chapter in our region's economy and a new direction for our future. The excitement of that day might have quieted for the moment, but don't mistake that silence as an end to the good news headed our way.

I was honored to participate in the ceremony marking the beginning of construction of Airbus' $600 million final assembly complex in Mobile, one of only four such Airbus facilities in the world. It was a great day for business leaders and politicians to make speeches, but what really captured the attention of the crowd of nearly 1,000 who gathered to watch the event were the words of a 14-year-old student. Victoria Corob, an eighth-grade student at Mobile's Clark-Shaw Magnet School, put a fine point on the importance of the event when she talked about its impact on her generation.

To watch her speech in full, please visit my Facebook site:

After the completion of the historic Airbus assembly center and the nearly 3,000 construction jobs it will provide, we will gather on that site again and again. Next will be the ribbon cutting of the newest commercial aviation assembly line in the world, and then later to watch the first A-320 roll out on the tarmac and soar into the sky.

Not only will the 1,000 aircraft assembly jobs in Mobile beginning in 2016 be a cause for celebration, but the economic footprint of the Airbus facility is expected to extend outwards for hundreds of miles. After last July's announcement of Airbus selecting Mobile as their new home in North America, I traveled with other state officials to the international air show in London to personally promote communities all over Southwest Alabama as sites for the many supplier companies that are anticipated to locate within our region. I continue to work with Airbus officials to make sure the new A320 suppliers know Southwest Alabama is ready to receive them. We still have plenty of work ahead of us, but the future is looking bright.

President Obama's Budget Stuns and Disappoints

This week, President Obama finally delivered his FY2014 budget to Congress. Even though his new spending plan was more than two months late, the president still didn't find the time to make it balance. It all begins with priorities, and, unfortunately, the president has not matched the House in making a balanced budget a priority. In addition to being 65 days late, President Obama's new budget adds $8.2 trillion in new debt, hikes taxes by more than $1 trillion and never reaches balance.

In contrast, the House passed a new budget blueprint on March 21 that actually lays the groundwork to reach balance. It does so without raising taxes. The House shares the same priority as a majority of Americans who support a federal government that tries to live within its means, just as they must do.

The Republican "Path to Prosperity" budget, for which I voted, reduces the annual growth of federal spending from five percent to 3.4 percent. Furthermore, it cuts overall government spending by $4.6 trillion over a decade through a series of reforms designed to promote increased efficiency and eliminate waste. Our budget not only stops Obamacare's raid on Medicare, but it would eliminate the president's health care law entirely. We would also reform and strengthen Medicare for future beneficiaries, not ignore its looming insolvency like the president has done.

Finally, our plan leads to a balanced federal budget in ten years. I call on the president to work with the House to rein in government spending and adopt the priority of a balanced budget. These goals will encourage business investment in the economy, generate more revenues to help balance the budget without higher taxes, and create more badly needed jobs for hardworking Americans.

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