Congressman talks to Lions
Congressman John Fleming was in his hometown Thursday for a visit with local businessmen and women during the weekly meeting of the Minden Lions Club.
Fleming, who is seeking his third term this election season, spoke chiefly about the battle between President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney. The presidential election is expected to be a historically close vote, and Fleming said a Romney victory would do wonders to improve the American economy.
"When you have a pro-business president and a pro-business Congress, there will be a whole new attitude sweep across America," the Minden physician told the crowd. "Trillions will rush into the stock market, private business will grow. If Mitt Romney is elected president and especially if Republicans take control of the Senate, when you wake up on November 7 you will look outside, see blue sky and the birds will be singing once again."
Fleming, a Republican, said there are people willing to invest and create new jobs, but they would be foolish to do so under the current administration. He said a "taxmaggedon" is coming in January due to the president's health care initiative, and that business owners have the right to be uncertain and fearful.
"What is the good news that would lead someone to start or expand business?" the Congressman asked. "But our [Republican] vision is a smaller, less intrusive government. We want to bend this spending, repeal Obamacare, adopt a simple, common sense energy policy."
Fleming said Republicans cannot balance the budget in a single year due to mandatory entitlements, which he said make up 60 percent of the budget. He said reform must be made to be able to cut those areas.
"It will be like a battleship that is going full speed ahead," he said. "We will slow the ship down and begin the turn."
A point that Fleming returned to often during his talk was that of "rampant" spending.
"It took over 200 years to get the national debt to 5 trillion," he said.
"President Bush doubled that in his two terms. And now President Obama has taken us to 16 trillion and rapidly approaching 20 trillion.
"We are at the 100 percent mark compared to our GDP (Gross Domestic Product)," he said. "And if it continues, before long we will be at the 150 percent mark, then the 200 percent mark."
Only once before has America been at the current debt to GDP mark, he said, and that was during World War II when the war effort took hold of the nation.
"We ramped it up and then quickly got it back down," he said. "But now there is no great conflict. No reason to be at this mark. It's entitlements."
Topping spending concerns is Obamacare, he said. However, Fleming advised the reality of the health care reform is not true to what was sold to the American people.
"Access to a waiting list is not access to care," he said. "Under Obamacare you will have a bunch of people waving a card around thinking they have access to health care. But what they really will have is access to a waiting list and rationing."