US Congressman John R. Carter (R-Round Rock) hosted a packed Town Hall meeting on Tuesday night at the St. Barnabus Church on McNeil Road in Round Rock. The event was co-sponsored by the Greater Round Rock West Neighborhood Association. Bob Eskridge, president of the association, counted 363 folks in attendance.
At the beginnning of the evening, the congressman gave his views on a variety of national topics, such as health care, taxes, off shore drilling and more. When the congressman called for the total repeal of the Obama health care law, he received a standing ovation. However, two folks left the meeting in protest. Congressman Carter also said the biggest problem facing the nation is the looming tax increases scheduled to begin Jan. 1st, 2011. He said all taxes will rise and some new taxes, scuh as a VAT (value added tax) may be added. Congressman Carter discussed the estate, or death, tax and said, “If you want to leave your estate to your kids, I hate to say this, but now is the time to die” since the estate tax will increase hugely in 2011. One of the audience members said that the estate tax is only on the rich, but Congressman Carter went on to explain that many in the audience could be affected by it, if they own a home and a small business whose total value is at least $1 million.
Next, audience members were invited to give their suggestions to the congressman about how to govern. Over thirty speakers did so for approximately one and half hours. The majority agreed with most of the congressman’s views and made suggestions that called for less government interference in their lives and lower taxes. In response, Congressman Carter said, “If I had my way, I would abolish the income tax.” He also said he supports the Fair Tax. His remarks were very well received.
In one of the most emotional speeches of the evening, a recent veteran of the war of Iraq stood and raised a copy of the United States Constitution. The young man said that he would like every bill before Congress to be tested and evaluated to see if it is constitutional before passage. He said that he fought for all of our freedom willingly, but he came home to start a new small business, and the taxes he is being asked to pay may bankrupt him and his family. He said that he did not mind paying his fair share, but 39% of his income to taxes will make it difficult to feed his family. HIs remarks were met with several standing ovations. Congressman Carter and others thanked him for his service to America.
The meeting lasted over two hours. In attendance was Larry Gonzales, candidate for State Representative, District 52, WCRW President Barbara Goergen, me and many more. When it concluded, the congressman thanked everyone for attending and urged them to go to http://www.americaspeakingout.com to provide additional input.