Congressman Sean Duffy visited the Stevens Point area to take questions and concerns from the people he represents here in Wisconsin.
Congressman Duffy, who has made it clear he is not a member of the millionaire congressman club, has been holding what his team calls “Coffee with a Congressman” since he was elected to fulfill the promise he made during his candidacy that he would hold at least one town hall meeting in every county of the 7th congressional district.
Residents of Plover and Stevens Point gathered in the town hall meeting held at the Comfort Inn to express their concerns on varying topics from bringing troops home from war in the Middle East to taxes and the economy here closer to home.
“I was pleased that at how well the meeting went, I didn’t have to step in at all,” Dan Mahoney said, who moderated the town hall meeting.
One of the issues Duffy addressed was the increasing cost of higher education and how action needs to be taken to level off the rising tuition costs, but didn’t give much to answer what exactly that action needs to be.
Plover resident Sandra Beach asked, “Are you prepared to tax the 1 percent?”
“Ok, let’s talk about taxes,” Duffy said. “You’ve all heard the president talk about taxing millionaires and billionaires, but that’s not all he’s talking about. He’s also talking about taxing small business owners and the middle class.”
Duffy also said that in his community the people that own the small businesses or manufacturing firms are the same people that fall into that income bracket.
“But we do have a tax problem in this country; General electric pays zero dollars in taxes. So if you increase the tax rate like the president is talking about to 30 or 40 percent GE still pays no taxes,” Duffy said. “That’s the problem, we need to weed out the loopholes to make sure those people pay.”
“What about the benefits for government officials?” Melva Sullivan asked Congressman Duffy.
Along with business inequalities, Duffy voted to cut the congressional budget in half last year and agrees with concerns that government payrolls are getting out of control.
Duffy also voted to cut military spending dramatically last year as well.
“Are we going to wind up cutting so much from the [military] budget that we have ports of unused ships or are they still going to keep something for us?” Navy veteran Larry Field asked, pointing out that Congress forced the military to build fleets they didn’t want then forced them to cut budgets.
“Again, there is fat to be cut but I’m concerned that we are getting to the bone,” Duffy answered. “We live in a dangerous world and it’s not a peaceful place, there are a lot of threats out there and we have to be sure that we are ready to meet those threats.”
“We have a lot of work to do, but together we can get it done,” Duffy said.
Congressman Duffy encourages people to send their concerns to his offices around the state and in Washington, D.C.