By Carol McIntire
February 26, 2013
Congressman Bill Johnson talked about everything from gun control and energy dependence to immigration and spending with a group of about 40 people during a town hall meeting in Carrollton High School Friday night.
Johnson called spending in Washington “an out-of-control disease.”
“It is jeopardizing our future,” he said. “We have to get it under control. The Senate has not passed a budget in four years. If they don’t pass one by April 15, they won’t get paid. In the House, we are going to produce a budget that will balance the budget by 2050. The $85 billion in proposed cuts are real cuts, not cuts in future spending. We can’t balance the budget if we don’t make real cuts.”
He noted the federal government’s total spending projection for 2012 is $3.54 trillion and projects receipts are $2.4 trillion.
In answer to a question about how to get high fuel prices under control asked by local resident Joy Reed, Johnson noted the United States “gets most of its oil from overseas.” “If we want to drive prices down, we start by increasing domestic production right here at home,” he said.
In his view, energy independence includes producing oil and natural gas at home, harvesting American coal, expanding nuclear power and finding out where wind and solar energy fit into niche markets. He noted regulatory reform, as well as tax reform, must accompany these things.
He said during a recent conversation with an official from an oil company that has “set up shop in southern part of the district,” he was told technology is allowing companies to extract large amounts of oil from the ground that was not accessible before, as much as three times more.
“Did you know that in the next three to four years this zip code right here is going to be the wealthiest in America?” he asked pointing to the floor under his feet. “And we’re not talking about a period of 20 to 30 years. We’re talking about a journey of 40 to 60 to 80 years of prosperity for a portion of Ohio that has been overlooked by Columbus and Washington for a long time. Life is going to change here.”
On the subject of immigration, Johnson agreed there is a need for reform, but added the issue is much more complex than most people realize. “We have to protect our borders and cut off the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States, and it needs to happen soon, but we have another problem,” he explained. “We have 11 million illegal immigrants in America now and they have had three million children while they were living here who are U.S. citizens. I don’t think Americans would tolerate us putting 11 million illegals on a bus and taking them to the border while their children were left screaming behind.”
He added the American birth rate has dropped to the level that we need 900,000 legal immigrants working per year to replenish funds such as Medicare.
Johnson received comments of approval from the crowd when he replied to the question: “How much of our 2nd Amendment Rights are you willing to compromise on the issue of gun control?” asked by Carrollton Mayor Frank Leghart.
“None,” Johnson replied.
The Congressman said Friday’s meeting was the first of many to be held in Carroll County.
“We do these frequently,” he said. “We use the phone, Facebook and face-to-face meetings. We will talk again.”