Synopsis of Town Hall meeting with Representative Paul Broun

Paul Broun
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Citizens frustrated about federal budget

Wednesday, June 8. 2011
For those at a town hall meeting in Hoschton with their Congressman, the politicians in Washington, D.C., just haven’t slowed out-of-control federal spending.

“For us to keep putting our head in the ground and acting like it’s not there is just unbelievable,” said one man talking about the failure to cut the federal budget.

It was a common theme on Tuesday night: Citizens are frustrated with Washington’s handling of their tax money — especially given the slumping economy.

U.S. Rep. Paul Broun (R-10) emphasized that he’d take comments from his town hall meeting in Jackson County back to the nation’s capitol.

“Frankly, I know you’re angry and I understand it — rightfully so,” he told the man. “But I think it’s wrong to assume that 435 members of the House and 100 members of the Senate are all doing the same thing. You see, we can find solutions. We can work in a bipartisan way.”

According to Broun, 40 cents of every federal dollar spent in the U.S. is borrowed.

“We’ve got to change,” he said. “We’ve got to cut the size of the federal government. We’ve got to stop this outrageous spending that is going on in Washington and I’m fighting very hard for that and there are other members, too, that are doing the very same thing.”

Taking an informal poll of the audience at the Hoschton Depot, Broun asked what the top issue is among citizens. Almost everyone responded with a show of their hands that federal spending and debt are prime concerns — surpassing jobs, Medicare and rising gas prices.

One woman reminded Broun that smaller amounts in the federal budget — even $1 million — can quickly add to billons of dollars.

“It’s real money,” she told him. “That’s what it feels like to us — that you guys don’t see it as real money.”

Broun, who favors the Fair Tax, said he views the money as real.

He pointed to a recent newspaper article outlining the nation’s estimated $62 trillion debt through unfunded mandates, such as Medicare.

Broun, a physician, has proposed his own healthcare bill that counters the national healthcare reform bill that was signed by Pres. Obama in 2010. Some opponents of the measure have referred to the law as “Obamacare.”

Broun said his healthcare bill would fix the country’s medical system. He addressed criticism that Republicans would destroy Medicare and Social Security, and “want grandma to eat dog food.”

“The reality is Democrats have absolutely no plan that they presented — none, zero” Broun said.

Broun said his proposal, which he introduced during the last legislative session, would fix Medicare and make it sustainable.

“So, if you think about, the ‘R’ (in Republican) when it comes to Social Security and Medicare stands for ‘reform’ and ‘repair,’” he said. “The ‘D’ (in Democrat) stands for ‘destroy.’”

But, Broun said both political parties are guilty of allowing the federal government to spend beyond its means. He emphasized that he’d vote against a proposal in Congress to increase the nation’s debt limit unless massive cuts are included.

Broun said he wants the country to return to a Constitutionally-limited government and urged audience members to read about the Founding Fathers’ intentions for government.

On another key issue, Broun said he favors the federal government reforming its immigration policy that includes securing its borders. He also opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants in the country.

“They’re criminals they should go home,” Broun said, while adding that English should be declared the official language of the U.S.

Hoschton Mayor Erma Denney told Broun at the end of the town hall meeting that the city drastically slashed its budget by 67 percent last year to keep the small town afloat. The cuts included closing the city’s police department.

Denney said she hopes the federal government does the same to make tough choices when it comes to trimming the budget.

“Nothing can be sacred — everything has to be put on the table,” Denney said. “Nothing — nothing — can be impossible to cut. It’s obviously the will of the people.”


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