Tags: obama | lemieux | florida | senate | debt

LeMieux: Obama's Failure to Lead Threatens Generations

By Henry J. Reske and Kathleen Walter   |   Thursday, 04 Aug 2011 05:23 PM

President Barack Obama’s failure to lead in the recently concluded debt debate resulted in an anemic solution that is the equivalent of slapping a Band-Aid on a bullet wound, U.S. Senate hopeful George LeMieux tells Newsmax.TV.

LeMieux, who announced his candidacy for the Senate seat held by Bill Nelson, D-Fla., in April, said that despite the fact that the debt crisis is the “challenge of our generation,” Obama did not lead.

“This president failed to put forth any proposal about how we were going to find a solution and I think that was a huge failure in leadership and I think that is why we came out with a pretty anemic proposal,” he said.

LeMieux, chairman of the Florida-based, business-centered Gunster Law Firm, served 16 months in the Senate as the appointed replacement for Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., who retired. He said if he was still in the Senate he would have voted against the debt deal.

“It’s just not enough of a solution to this debt problem that we have,” said LeMieux. “We’re staring at a fourteen and a half trillion dollar national debt.

“It will be $26 trillion by the end of the decade. That’s a $200 billion interest payment today, a $900 billion interest payment by the end of the decade.

"This proposal that was put together at the last minute doesn’t address the real underlying problems with our spending. I like to say it’s like putting a Band-Aid on a bullet wound. We have to do a lot more.”

LeMieux was asked if he agreed with Rep. Ron Paul, R-Tx., who recently said that if we don’t get control spending we are still headed for default.

“Absolutely,” LeMieux said. “This was not about the debt ceiling this was about the debt. “

"The only way to get the United States’ fiscal house in order is to “cut everything.

“For those who will say we have to hold this harmless and hold that harmless, there’s just not enough money,” he said. “We are borrowing more than 40 cents on every dollar. About four and a half billion dollars a day is borrowed by the U.S. government. It’s absolutely unsustainable. Eighty-five percent of the budget now is Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and defense. Those are the big drivers; they’re all going to have to be trimmed back.”

The burden for fixing those programs will fall on younger Americans, he said.

“For those of us who are 55 and younger, we are going to have to work a little bit longer,” he said. “When these programs were created the average life expectancy was 65 and you got the programs at 65. Now thankfully people are living decades longer but that means the programs are more expensive.

So if we are going to preserve these programs for people who are now retired or who are about to be retired, people my age are going to have to work a little longer and if you are making a lot of money in retirement you’re going to have to get a little less. That’s the only way we are going to make these programs work.”

On other issues, LeMieux said:
  • He favors a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution as well as putting a cap on spending and giving the president line item veto power.
  • “Bureaucracy grows and grows and grows whether Democrats are in charge or Republicans. We’ve got to put a stop to it.”
  • President Obama’s proposals to remove tax breaks on corporate jets were nothing more than sound bite politics.
  • He decided to seek his own, full-term in the Senate because he was “very afraid for the future of this country.”

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