Outgoing Sen. LeMieux says spending is the problem

08/13/10 Mabili Ajani
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U.S. Sen. George LeMieux, and the the Arlington, VA-based Concord Coalition, hosted the "Fiscal Solutions Forum" in Orlando and Tampa on Wednesday.

Republican Sen. George LeMieux was appointed to complete Sen. Mel Martinez term and will not be on the ballot in November’s election. In his short time in office LeMieux proposed a constitutional amendment that would require a balanced federal budget; a bill that would temporarily reduce payroll taxes of employees and employers; and legislation to cap federal spending at 2007 levels. LeMiuex claims this would balance the budget and cut debt in half.

”I have proposed legislation to cut the payroll tax, so that everybody who is working would get a 3% pay cut, and every employer would get 3% tax cut. I should say the get a pay raise and employers get a tax cut. They can hire more people with that. I’m working on a small business lending program that would try to get more money out to local banks, so they could hire more people for small businesses. We got to do something. I know how tough the economy is.”

Lemiuex and a representative from the Concord Coalition, repeated the Republican demand to cut federal spending on social security, Medicare and MedicAid and defense. At the Stetson law campus in Tampa Wednesday Sen. LeMieux claimed people in their 40's and 50's do not expect social security to be there when they reach retirement age.

”We’re going to have to look across the board. My view is that we don’t have a revenue problem in Washington. We’ve got a spending problem. We’re going to have to look at our spending programs. We’re going to have to prioritize. No one even looks to see whether or not we’re spending our money efficiently and effectively. It’s going to take some principal people to go up there and try to do the right thing. We’re going to have to re-tool government to make sure that it works for the people, but it’s in an efficient way.”

The forum focused especially on the net interest, the amount the government pays on accumulated debt, which has been run up by the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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