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Himes Breaks Down Budget Problems

U.S. Rep. Jim Himes continued his Town Hall meetings with a doubleheader Saturday, speaking and listening to packed crowds in Westport and Stamford. At the start of each session, Himes gave a brief PowerPoint presentation on the federal budget problems, outlining how we got here and offering some possible solutions.

“We have to be honest,” said Himes, D-4th District. “We need to develop a comprehensive plan for sustainability, spending cuts, taxes and reform. But we must be careful not to cut at a speed that slows down the economic recovery. That’s what they’ve done in Great Britain, and their economy is starting to sputter.

“We need to invest in the things that generate prosperity,” Himes continued. “Education and infrastructure. You drop a bomb on Libya, and you never see that money again. But send somebody to college, and there’s a lifetime payback.”

After his presentation, Himes took questions from the crowd. There was no shortage of people who lined up to speak, nor was there any limit to the scope of their questions or comments, which dealt with the economy, military involvement overseas and alternative energy sources, among others. Many speakers did not ask questions so much as state their frustrations on issues. Afterward, Himes said it “is a valuable and legitimate as a question — it’s how the people get their voice heard, and that’s an important part of representing them.”

Saturday’s meetings, at the Westport Library and the UConn-Stamford branch, followed the format used earlier in the week at a meeting in Trumbull, where Himes sensed “a really strong anti-nuclear sentiment.” He will hold another meeting in Ridgefield on Monday.

“I sense the overall level of anger and emotion has gone way down,” he said. “Maybe that’s due to the economy. Some of the Town Hall meetings on health care reform two years ago felt like they were going to turn into riots.”

Did you attend one of U.S. Rep. Jim Himes' meetings? What would you like to tell him or ask him?

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