In spite of the early hour on a drizzly morning, the breakfast town hall today at the Lamplight Inn in Richmond, Indiana had a crowd of about 100 energetic seniors. One of our special guests was Ken Johnson, one of the co-founders of the Richmond Tea Party and President of the Indiana Tea Party, which comprises 70 different groups from around the state. Another guest was Chase Downham, the Indiana State Director of Americans for Prosperity. Chase brought one of the AFP buses to our event and also passed out AFP tee shirts and literature.
David Williams told the assembled crowd that the $716 BILLION that was cut from Medicare by Obamacare will not be used to address waste, fraud and abuse; it will be used to reduce payments to doctors, which will severely impact the quality of health care. He also told the crowd that the true unemployment rate in the nation is at least 15%. David said that raising taxes at a time when the nation is struggling to get back on its feet, when unemployment is so high, is unconscionable. PPACA taxes will be used to put calorie counts on menus in New York and to study where bike lanes should be. When the debt ceiling was raised last year, it enraged citizens. We do have the power to change policy with our votes. David told the group to support 60 Plus and to look to us to tell them the truth about what is going on in Washington.
He also introduced Jim, who said he felt right at home in Indiana. His family holds a yearly reunion in nearby Rushville, Indiana. The crowd reacted with enthusiasm to Jim’s speech and quips, stopping him after almost every sentence with laughs, applause, and cheers—even finishing his sentences several times. The largest response was when Jim called for an adherence to the Constitution of the United States.
Jessica, our northeast Indiana field director challenged the group to participate in phone banks, to visit senior centers, and to volunteer.
Our second stop was at the state house in Indianapolis. In spite of having to go through security delays and rain to attend, we had about 50 folks join us in the rotunda there for our town hall. The crowd was moved by Rick’s song ‘Psalm 91’ about the psalm of protection.
Jim presented Indiana Treasurer Richard Murdock with our Honorary Guardian of Seniors Rights award. Murdock said it was appropriate that he attend a meeting of 60 Plus…he celebrated his 60th birthday this year by running in the Chicago Marathon! He said that the Social Security and Medicare promises made to America’s seniors must be ‘kept to the penny’ and a message must also be sent to the younger generations that they must have a different set of expectations of retirement economic and health needs, and begin now to prepare for it. He said that since Indiana state employees have been given the option of having Health Savings Accounts, 90% of the employees have switched over to these HSA’s.
Jim’s comments about MediScare tactics are like the story of ‘crying wolf’ too often, and that seniors aren’t going to be scared into the voting booth again.
Another special guest was Representative Todd Rokita, who Amy said “talks the talk and walks the walk”. Todd served in the state house for 8 years before representing Indiana on Capitol Hill. He said Indiana is a good example to the nation on how to live within a budget, how to be good to one another, and how to exercise Hoosier common sense. He said the Hoosiers’ work ethic leads the way for the nation to follow. He also said he refuses to believe that there are any seniors in the country who don’t care deeply for their grandchildren. He said it is universal for older generations to want their progeny to be better off in the future and to have economic freedom. He praised 60 Plus for presenting the truth about what is happening in Washington and across the nation. Jim presented Todd with both our Guardian of Seniors’ Rights Award and our Benjamin Franklin Award for his consistent work on behalf of seniors and to defeat the death tax.
David thanked 60 Plus as the true individual voice for seniors and taxpayers in his remarks.
Rick closed out the event with ‘God Bless the USA’, the seniors braved the rain to sign the bus.
After a quick stop at Cold Stone Creamery for ice cream, we left for our final event of the day at the Ritz Charles in Carmel, Indiana…to find the line out the door in the rain. OVER THREE HUNDRED people came to our town hall!!! The team had to keep setting up new tables.
They all loved Rick and his songs. He sang ‘Coming to America’ (legally) and ‘Taxman’. Rick recently moved to Virginia Beach from Nashville and is less than thrilled with Virginia’s high taxes.
Amy asked the crowed if they were ready for the next 41 days. She said her sense of duty led her to follow in America’s seniors’ footsteps. She sees their dreams slipping away, and she’s not going to let that happen.
Jim spread the 60 Plus philosophy of limited government, less taxes, and an adherence to the Constitution. He presented our Honorary Guardian of Seniors’ Rights Award to Susan Brooks, who was delighted to see her former boss George W. Bush honor Jim in the film tribute. She’s been a federal prosecutor (during the Bush Administration) and also was Deputy Mayor of Indianapolis.
David again praised the efforts of 60 Plus to protect seniors’ rights. The crowd was not amused to hear that the government granted Harry Reid’s home state of Nevada $25 THOUSAND to study Mariachi music. He challenged seniors to repeat the efforts that defeated the ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ by writing letters, making calls, and voting for candidates that would abolish Obamacare, the most egregious tax increase in world history.
Rick introduced his closing song by asking “Can they take away our freedom? We are so blessed to be given this great nation. We honor those on the front lines who are vigilant so that we can be free.” He urged us all to never take this for granted, and to continue our fight. What a perfect way to end the day!