An Evening With Congressman Dan Lungren

Galt Town Hall Meeting, Tuesday, October 18 by Michael Monasky Special to EGN Congressman Dan Lungren started out his meeting as he usua...

Galt Town Hall Meeting, Tuesday, October 18
by Michael Monasky

Special to EGN

Congressman Dan Lungren started out his meeting as he usually does, introducing his staff but not the two menacing bodyguards in dark suits. Tonight he had four Sacramento County Sheriff's deputies and two police officers from the City of Galt. Staff and police nearly outnumbered the citizen audience.

Lungren talked about the congressional supercommittee whose task it is to cure the debt and solve the current budget crisis. He lamented that should the bipartisan gang of twelve fail to come to consensus, the resulting budget cuts would be most catastrophic to the military. He was very cavalier in answering questions about ending Social Security and MediCare as we know these programs. Anyone younger than 55 years old would, under his plan, lose benefits in both programs.

Lungren's pride was apparent for having seven district candidates at West Point. Neither has he served, nor is there any indication that his children are serving in the military. The congressman espoused a flat tax for all individuals and corporations, so that everyone pays federal taxes. Some citizens questioned the prudence of a flat tax over a progressive one, and Lungren opposed progressive taxes for rich individuals and corporations, saying that they create jobs.

Congressman Lungren's only comments on the jobs and unemployment crisis were that the Obama jobs plan was unacceptable, and that the congress had passed a Jobs For Veterans bill last week.

Lungren opposed federal Environmental Protection Agency regulations, citing a case that involved boilers and the University of Notre Dame, his alma mater. He praised the free trade agreements between the US and Colombia, South Korea, and Panama. He touted the recent passage of funding for the Homeland Security Agency.

The crowd was restless and had many questions for the congressman. Stan Jacobs of Elk Grove declared that he was unemployed and started an elder worker network for job seekers. He asked the congressman for assistance in finding a place for their meetings to counsel other job seekers.

Lungren repeated his opposition to the Obama Jobs bill and his support for the successful passage of the veteran's jobs bill. No staff asked Jacobs for his contact information, and he left without an answer to his dilemma.

An 88 year old woman stood up and approached Lungren, but was told to sit down by two county sheriff's deputies. The crowd objected and asked that she be allowed to speak. She told of being born in 1923, a so-called “notch” baby. The notch babies were born in the decade before Social Security was enacted, and were entitled to a smaller portion of the payment in cost of living increases. She asked Lungren to help her get a full payment, as she worked all her life and as a widow received less than seemed fair. Lungren avoided the question, offered no help, and the staff did not take her phone number. She lives on about $500 a month.

Frank Burton, an organizer for of the Greater East Bay, asked Lungren why his grandkids couldn't have full Social Security and MediCare benefits. Burton argued that these programs are what make this country great.

It looks like this may be the last hurrah for Lungren, as Galt has been drawn out of the district, and the new boundaries give his Democratic opponent a 16,000 vote advantage.

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