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Nebraska City News-Press - Nebraska City, NE
  • Fortenberry concludes August town hall meetings in Nebraska City

  • U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry borrowed from Larry the Cable Guy to conclude his August town hall meetings outlining issues facing America and encouraging Nebraskans to be a part of the solution. “We're Nebraskans. We invented the phrase G...
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    U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry borrowed from Larry the Cable Guy to conclude his August town hall meetings outlining issues facing America and encouraging Nebraskans to be a part of the solution.

    “We're Nebraskans. We invented the phrase Git-R-Done,” he said.

    After seven town hall meetings, which began in Lincoln Aug. 7 and concluded in Nebraska City Monday, the 1st District congressman said there is lingering sentiment that the government appears incapable of working constructively on issues, such as deficit spending and the national debt.

    “I would suggest to you that there is a flaw in our government,” he said. “That is why I support a balanced budget amendment. The ability of Congress and the President to overspend leaves consequences that are hidden, but, never-the-less, are real.

    He said American can benefit from Nebraska's example of a balanced state budget and its avoidance of borrowing practices that triggered the national housing crisis.

    It would cost each American $51,000 now to pay off the $15 trillion national debt, which is comparable to the size of all of the nation's economic output for a year.

    He said the debt is a form of taxation because it pushes the costs for how we live today onto our children and grandchildren.

    He said it also a way of selling our national assets, with over 30 percent of the national debt held overseas.

    He said China manufactures the things Americans buy, so China has the cash. Americans run up the debt, so China buys that.

    He said the reasons for China's military build up are unclear and called their economic system an odd hybrid of capitalism and communism, but said the America has a national defense interest in gaining control over its debt.

    The national debt is also an inflationary force that hurts America's poor and those on a fixed income.

    “It devalues the currency and prices increase. Supply and demand is not the whole story, it's not a full explanation,” he said.

    Fortenberry answered questions involving budget earmarks, progress of the 2012 farm bill, discretionary and defense spending and flood prevention along the Missouri River.

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