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The Hour - Himes Talks Business in SoNo

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Location: Norwalk, CT

By Chris Bosak

Congressman Jim Himes, D-4, fielded a variety of questions ranging from small business relief to a potential war in Iran during an informal meeting with members of the business community on Wednesday at SoNo Corporate Center at 50 Washington St.

"We have to be mindful of not hurting small businesses as we deal with corporate taxes. Simplification and keep rates low. That's the key to small business taxes," Himes said in response to a question about failing small businesses. "Nothing can be as valuable to small businesses as a strong economy."

He also expressed confidence in the state government, led by Gov. Dannel Malloy, in helping small businesses thrive in Connecticut.

In terms of job growth, Himes said he would put government money into "rebuilding," citing the Atlantic Street construction project in Stamford as an example.

"Those 300 construction workers are eating at the local delis and putting money back into the economy," he said. "Let's put people to work rebuilding. That's the best short-term answer."

A lively discussion ensued about the possibility of a war in Iran. Himes said the probabilty of the U.S. going to war against Iran is low.

"We need to keep turning the screws on sanctions," he said. "We can't coverage for a lot of people, which is a good thing -- but it's not a free thing."

He added that mandating coverage is a tricky issue. Using the example of a 25-year-old, Himes said the individual may not want to purchase health care insurance because he or she is not likely to use it.

"But the mandate is important because what that person is saying is: 'I'm not going to contribute to a system that will take care of me should I need it.'"

Himes also addressed questions on topics such as crime in South Norwalk, the economy and supporting returning veterans.
afford another conflict."

Clay Fowler, principal of local development company Spinnaker Partners, agreed.

"We've neglected this country as we have become the world's cop since World War II," he said. "We have to turn ourselves inward."

On health care reform, Himes said he would "build on what is good. It got coverage for a lot of people, which is a good thing -- but it's not a free thing."

He added that mandating coverage is a tricky issue. Using the example of a 25-year-old, Himes said the individual may not want to purchase health care insurance because he or she is not likely to use it.

"But the mandate is important because what that person is saying is: 'I'm not going to contribute to a system that will take care of me should I need it.'"

Himes also addressed questions on topics such as crime in South Norwalk, the economy and supporting returning veterans.


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