First District Congressman Alan Nunnelee’s Oxford Town Hall Meeting Mostly About National Debt CrisiBy Sandra Knispel | Published 09 Jun 2011 11:54pm |
It was a largely peaceful town hall meeting in Oxford, when First District Congressman Alan Nunnelee submitted to the questions of roughly 75 constituents at the City Courthouse. A theme emerged quickly last night, as MPB’s Sandra Knispel reports.
Just like at many other town hall meetings across the country right now, politicians are finding themselves fielding questions and comments about the national debt crisis and necessary budget cuts. Eighty-six-year-old George Simpson from Harmontown told Congressman Alan Nunnelee: “I’ve been through the Depression and WWII and I’m old enough to have seen a lot in my time. And you’re absolutely right about the debt; Congress made it, Congress can fix it. Why can’t they go item by item, just like I do at my house, item by item and say ‘We don’t need this, we don’t need that. We can’t afford this, we can’t afford that.’ “
Jerry Pope from Abbeville felt it was time to change tack.
"Now, I wasn’t necessarily a fan of Jimmy Carter but he did suggest zero-based budgeting," Pope said. "So, it appears to me if you’re gonna fix some of these things you’re gonna have to change the rules on how you’re going about fixing them.”
Congressman Nunnelee replied,"We did something that has not been done in my lifetime. We cut spending. Not by the definition of Washington users but we cut spending by the definition that the people of Lafayette County, Mississippi use. We cut domestic discretionary spending 45 billion dollars," Nunnelee said. "We changed the rules. For the first time in American history, in my life time, we’re cutting spending and we’re committed as we adopt the 2012 budget to cut spending even further, because we know we cannot continue at this rate.”
A retired teacher asked Nunnelee to consider very carefully any Medicare cuts, which the Congressman duly promised, while telling a college student that keeping President Bush’s tax cuts in place was not the reason for the country’s enormous debt burden.
“I just don’t think we’re in this mess because our taxes aren’t high enough. I think we’re in this mess because of unrestrained spending by the United States Congress," Nunnelee said.
Sandra Knispel, MPB News, Oxford.
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