COVINGTON - Republican Congressman Paul Broun Jr. was in Newton Tuesday meeting constituents and community leaders and trying to garner support for his bid for reelection in the 2012 primary.
The majority of Newton is now in Broun's 10th district due to redistricting maps that have passed on the state level and are awaiting federal approval.
Broun said Newton voters should know that, "I believe in the Constitution of the United States as our founding fathers meant it." Broun said he's for "getting the federal government out of people's lives."
"I'm trying to build bridges and send power back to the states and the people," he said.
Broun didn't mince words when discussing President Barack Obama's policies and proposals. Though Broun has not yet publicly endorsed a GOP presidential candidate, he said, "Any one of them would be hundreds of times better than this president. He's a socialist, a Marxist. He's leading us to a European-type economy and his policies are guaranteeing poverty for everybody."
Broun has made headlines recently for his remark that the Occupy Wall Street movement is an "attack upon freedom."
"I call it the Woodstock of Wall Street," he said Tuesday.
"They're pushing to socialize our government, they are against a free enterprise system. Free enterprise is what made this country so great as a political experiment. They view corporations as being evil. Corporations create jobs ... We've got to create an economic environment where all businesses, big and small, can flourish and grow. They are against what's made America great. That's the reason it's anti-freedom."
He said Democratic leaders are embracing the movement because "it is fostering what Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barack Obama want, which is to make us a socialized nation and take away our freedom."
Broun doesn't believe Obama's Job Plan will work, calling it a "campaign ploy to blame Republicans for his incompetence, the poor job he has done."
Broun said his plan - the Jumpstarting Our Business Sector Act of 2011 - is a better solution. The legislation would remove the corporate tax rate and permanently eliminate capital gains and dividends taxes. Broun said this would increase competitiveness of the U.S. economy, attract more investment and stimulate job creation.
Broun also said Obama's healthcare plan needs to be "pulled out by the roots." There's a chance to reverse course, "If we can get a president that will repeal it," he said.
The Independent Payment Advisory Board tasked with cutting Medicare spending beginning in 2015 will ration healthcare based purely on economics, Broun said, though the board's proposals are not supposed to ration health care, raise revenues or increase Medicare beneficiary premiums, cost sharing or otherwise restrict benefits.
Broun said the answer to healthcare problems is to lower the cost for insurance, drugs and doctor's visits.
His Patient Option Bill would allow individuals to deduct 100 percent of health care expenses, including insurance; create high risk pools to expand options for affordable healthcare for the sick; allow consumers to shop for health insurance across state lines; and create association health plans to allow businesses, individuals and other entities to form pools and use their large numbers as negotiating power to lower costs for employees or members.
Broun was elected to Congress in 2007. He has been appointed to the House Homeland Security Committee, the House Committee on Natural Resources and currently serves as Chairman of the Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee for the House Science and Technology Committee.