Former Sen. Jim Talent at UMSL

Former Sen. Jim Talent (center) visits with UMSL Professor of Economics Dave Rose (left) and UMSL Chancellor Tom George before leading a discussion on March 21 in the J.C. Penney Building/Conference Center. (Photo by August Jennewein)

Former U.S. Sen. Jim Talent discussed “The Decline of American Power and Its Consequences” on March 21 in the J.C. Penney Building/Conference Center at the University of Missouri–St. Louis.

During his talk, Talent spoke critically of the recent sequester for its mandatory cuts to the defense budget. He voiced concern over the national security risks that could result from cuts in military spending.

“What’s happening with the defense sequester is in my judgment the worst thing for American national security in the 20 years that I’ve been involved,” Talent said.

He fielded questions from an audience composed mostly of UMSL students, faculty and staff and distributed copies of two recent articles he’d written for the National Review: “Defense is not optional” and “Rough times coming for America.”

Talent’s public service began in 1984, when he was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1992 and the U.S. Senate in 2002. He served on the House Armed Services Committee and Senate Armed Services Committee.

After leaving the Senate in 2007, Talent joined the Heritage Foundation as a Distinguished Fellow specializing in military affairs and conservative solutions to poverty. He was the senior policy advisor to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney during Romney’s campaigns for the presidency in 2008 and 2012.

UMSL Chancellor Tom George introduced Talent to the crowd and applauded him for being “an outstanding friend” of higher education and UMSL over the years.

“I have spent a fair amount of time when I was in office involved in trying to help the University of Missouri–St. Louis, and that’s because of what this university has done for so many of my constituents and my friends over the years,” Talent said after the chancellor’s introduction. “It’s an absolutely integral and important part of the St. Louis community, so it’s an honor to be here with you.”

The Department of Economics at UMSL and the F.A. Hayek Professorship at UMSL sponsored his talk.

Visit the St. Louis Beacon to read more about Talent’s talk.

Ryan Heinz

Ryan Heinz