It was a lesson he said he learned when he first went to Washington 15 months ago. “I knew things were messed up,” Graves said. “I didn’t know they were this messed up.”
Following Graves’ presentation, attendees made it clear they had suggestions — and expectations.
“I’m a frustrated voter,” Terry Jones said. “I’m tired of all the gridlock going on in Congress.”
He said the best bet for solving the country’s economic woes looks to be the plan put out in January by the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, rather than the “Cut, Cap and Balance” plan supported by Graves and other conservative lawmakers.
“I like it but, with the environment we’re in, it ain’t gonna pass. Find something that will pass,” Jones said.
Real estate agent Mark Spota said a balanced budget amendment, and a simple tax only on sales and property would be fair to all in the long run.
“It would be brutal to real estate and banking industries, but it’s a sustainable system,” he said. “You’re being taxed on your equity in the country.”
Richard Keith questioned the special breaks given to some industries while the trucking industry is socked with high fuel prices they pass down to shoppers in the cost of their groceries and other goods.
“Somebody’s not saying no,” he told Graves. “We need another (President Harry) Truman in there. That’s what we need.”
Robert Holland also decried the politicking that pits the “entitlements” Americans have worked for against the cost of foreign aid and services to illegal immigrants.
“And what about all the lobbying?” Holland asked. “Who’s lobbying for the average person who works? I don’t think that should be legal. It looks like (Congress) is for sale.”
Graves said he’s not taking the remarks as criticism.
“This is how government works,” he said. “I’m taking your concerns to Washington.”