Johnson Town Hall BRF

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson visited Black River Falls last week for a town hall meeting where the Republican discussed domestic and foreign policy issues with a group of about 15 attendees.

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson said last week immigration and securing the country’s southern border are an “incredibly complex” issue that will take years to address.

Johnson, who chairs the Senate’s committee on homeland security and governmental affairs, also said fencing should be considered, but he cautioned that solutions will need to be “multi-faceted” over a number of years.

The remarks came at a Wednesday, Aug. 19 town hall meeting in Black River Falls where the Republican also touched on the Iran nuclear deal, taxes, Planned Parenthood funding and the status of Social Security as he fielded questions from a group of about 15 attendees.

“Border security is a huge issue and a huge problem,” said Johnson, first elected in 2010 after defeating three-term incumbent Russ Feingold. “Certainly fencing works and in some areas we need to put it up.”

The comments on border security came after concerns raised by John Willock of Merrillan who urged stronger action on the U.S.-Mexico border.

“We spend a lot of money ... but we seem not to have as much attention paid as should be paid to the southern border,” Willock said.

Jerry Sweeney of the town of Garden Valley asked Johnson about his position on the Iran nuclear deal, which Johnson argues is a treaty – not an executive agreement – that is a “bad deal for America and world peace.”

“I just think this is a really bad deal,” Johnson said. “(President Obama) is just doing this on his own, and there’s not much we can do about it.”

Dennis Gjerseth questioned why Johnson has characterized Social Security as a “legal Ponzi scheme,” which the senator again reiterated and said the federal assistance program for the elderly and disabled will need to be addressed by Congress.

He said he’s presented different proposals for reform, but they haven’t generated serious discussion.

“Unfortunately, we’re not close to sitting down and doing that, as much as I have been trying,” said Johnson, who’s being challenged by Feingold in the 2016 election.

A question from Gjerseth also prompted Johnson to discuss the nation’s tax system, which the senator said “needs to be scrapped.” He said he favors an income-based tax in part based on one’s ability to pay, and the senator also said government intervention has stifled economic growth.

“... the problem is we’ve been growing government, and it’s been getting in the way of growing the economy,” he said.

The town hall’s discussion also touched on federal funding for Planned Parenthood, a non-profit organization that provides reproductive health services. The organization recently has experienced criticism after videos surfaced where group leadership discussed harvesting fetal tissue.

“I think Planned Parenthood has an awful lot to answer for,” Johnson said.

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(3) comments

Goose

Jed, the reason those problems still exist is because of greed in this world and I can think of no people more greedy than the people in the Republican party. For them, more wealth for the wealthy is the mantra. There is enough food produced in the world to feed every human being, yet people die of hunger every day. Yet is the ultra conservatives who believe that all the poor should die because they are lazy. And then they go on to say how they are such good Christians. Funny thing is, Jesus didn't see it that way. That's what I call hypocritical. Being poor is not a choice. If you were born poor, you'd understand that.

Jed Starnes

And even after 18 years of Russ Feingold and 24 years of Herb Kohl, all of the problems you describe still exist. Yes, yes... clearly, it is the Conservative who is the idiot.

"Poor and afraid" is a personal choice.

Goose

What an idiot. But the sad thing is that he has the ability to fool so many people. You see, he talks about building a wall along the border with Mexico and the Iran nuclear deal. It's a red herring. What he wants is a diversion of what the real problems are in this country. We don't have to fear Mexicans or Iranians. What we do fear is a lack of taking care of our own people. Why should he care about the homeless and the starving people in this country? Why should he care about people who can't access affordable healthcare because our governor pulls the rug out from under us? Why should he care about access for everyone to higher education regardless of economic status? Why should he care about jobs that pay above the poverty line? He would rather divert the discussion to topics we are spoon fed as the "important" subjects, not the subjects that really matter. I guess that's what happens when you keep people poor and afraid. That is the recipe for controlling people: Poor and afraid.

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