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Houston County Courier - Local News
Stories Added - August 2010
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Congressman speaks in Crockett
Houston County Courier

By Lynda Jones
Managing Editor

Congressman Joe Barton (TX-06) drew a standing-room only crowd to his town hall meeting at the Houston County Courthouse Thursday, Aug. 12. During the one-hour meeting, Barton gave a summary of his recent two-day trip to Afghanistan. He said Afghanistan does not yet have a government of the people, that it still has the Taliban and insurgency issues to overcome. Barton explained that part of his oath of office is to “defend our country against all enemies, foreign and domestic”. He went on to say that Al-Qaeda and Taliban are “bad people”. “We’re there to defeat them. We’re going to kill them,” Barton said. Prior to the town hall meeting, Barton granted an interview to the Houston County Courier. When asked about Congressman Lloyd Doggett’s bill that would put strings on federal money tagged for education in Texas, Barton said he is opposed to the bill. “I don’t see any purpose in singling Texas out,” Barton said. “I respect Lloyd,” he continued. However, Barton doesn’t support that particular bill. Barton said he is fine with the principles of having an educational bill, but Doggett has issues pertaining to low income health care in the same bill. Congress doesn’t pass too many geographically specific laws, Barton said in response to the Courier’s question, “What current piece of pending legislation will most greatly impact Houston County?” He then said it is probably the end of federal tax cuts that is coming in December. “People that are working and raising families are going to feel a noticeable impact,” Barton said. All the tax brackets will go back up, with the lowest bracket being eliminated. Barton discussed the issue further in the town hall meeting. There, Barton said the death tax will go back up to about 50 percent next year. Barton said Congress still has an option to repeal the Bush tax cuts. “The economy is just starting to recover; we don’t need the taxes to go up,” Barton said. To rein in government spending, Barton is proposing to cut every program except the earned entitlements by two percent per year. He suggests a 60 percent or more vote in both the House and Senate be required to exempt a program from a cut. During his discussion of the health care bill, Barton said private health care as Americans know it will go away if this bill isn’t changed.


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