Archer campaigns in Fairfield
U.S. House of Representatives candidate John Archer of Bettendorf met with constituents in Fairfield at the Pizza Ranch Friday, 11 days before the general election, asking not only for their vote, but for help recruiting others come Nov. 6.
Archer, a Republican, is running against Democratic incumbent Dave Loebsack for Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District seat. A group of about 25 Republican supporters asked Archer to share his vision for job creation, entitlement programs and healthcare.
Archer’s plan for job creation relied on the concept that shrinking the size of government and reining in spending would result in growth in the economy. He said clearly laying out a plan to lower taxes and balance the budget would restore businesses trust in government and promote spending and hiring.
“Businesses have a lot of money they’re not spending because of uncertainty with the tax code,” he said.
Archer said he would bring his common sense to congress, citing his 12 years experience at John Deere & Company.
“We need to elect someone with business experience,” he said. “I have a proven track record of growing the economy.”
Archer’s other ideas to reduce the deficit included eliminating fraud and duplication in government programs, selling federal land for drilling and selling vacant government buildings.
He also expressed the need to re-examine “Dodd-Frank” regulations, passed in 2010 to eliminate bank fraud.
“‘Dodd-Frank’ was meant to target big banks,” he said. “Now community banks have to comply with burdensome regulations.”
He said rules are still being implemented, causing uncertainty in the banking industry and “stifling job creation in southeast Iowa.”
Some constituents expressed concern voting for Romney and other Republican candidates would mean losing services they relied on like food stamps or Social Security. Archer said such programs need to be reformed, not eliminated.
“We need to have an honest conversation and lay out the facts,” he said.
The nutrition program should be available for those truly in need, but said the current number receiving assistance is unsustainable, he said.
“Maybe I’m naïve, but people don’t want to rely on the government,” he said. “They want to work, and feel better about themselves.”
Nancy Wood, a grandmother and member of a local Republican women’s group, had concerns about her Social Security payments.
Archer said Congress needed to pass a bipartisan reform of the program, or it would be bankrupt in a little more than 20 years due to increased life expectancy in the United States.
“I hope you live another 15 or 20 years,” he said to Wood, “and if you do, you want Social Security to be there don’t you?”
He was in favor of changes, such as requiring citizens to work longer or to tailor payments to individuals based on need.
“Those who have done well for themselves might get less,” he said.
Archer said he’d reverse many of President Obama’s initiatives like the Affordable Care Act and other executive orders.
“I’ll tell the president, ‘Sorry, you can’t do this,’” he said.
When asked for his thoughts on health care, he used his own family’s high deductible insurance plan as an example of an effective model. He said it encourages him to make better financial decisions, such as buying cough syrup for his daughter before taking her to the doctor.
“It’s good to reach into your own back pocket sometimes,” he said.
Archer said he’d reach across the aisle to restore harmony in Congress, which he said Loebsack has been unable to do. When asked how he’d both achieve partisan goals and work harmoniously with others, he said he knew how to compromise.
“I’m representing Republicans, Democrats and Independents wants and needs,” he said.
Archer promised he’d visit with constituents in each of the 24 counties in his district twice a year if elected.