Posted at: 01/29/2013 6:24 PM
By: Dan Conradt
(ABC 6 NEWS) -- They're numbers that boggle the mind. But around the country, members of congress are gathering ideas on ways to help erase the federal budget deficit.
On Tuesday, it was Albert Lea's turn
"What are the things that can be cut, what are the things that should be invested in in this country to make the budget situation work," said Minnesota First District Congressman Tim Walz. "What we hope to do today is get feedback from the community with neighbors."
"We hear discussions about raising revenue, raising taxes. But there are also cuts that will have to be made," said Albert Lea Chamber of Commerce Director Randy Kehr.
"And when we talk about cutting it's not just some theoretical ‘let's cut this’. What does that mean? Where can we cut it from and what are the implications on jobs and people?" Congressman Tim Walz asked.
"I think every one of these policy decisions that relates to the budget impacts us in our quality of life and day to day decisions," added Albert Lea City Manager Chad Adams. "Whether it's in health care, economic development or a small town business that needs tax incentives or tax breaks."
“There are people in the room today who represent different segments of the population who may be facing some of those cuts," said Chamber director Randy Kehr. "It's difficult to get your head around trillions of dollars, but if you think in terms of what we do in our own home."
“It’s not rocket science,” said Congressman Tim Walz. “You can't spend more than you have is a basic thing, and you should spend on necessities rather than wants."
And when Tim Walz goes back to Washington, he'll go back with some ideas from Albert Lea. “It's helpful to me to see how my neighbors feel about the issue."
The Albert Lea Town Hall meeting was done in cooperation with the non-profit Concord Coalition.