The federal government can cut the budget and create a surplus as some states in the country have — and Mitt Romney can get that done as president, Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas told Newsmax TV in an exclusive interview.
Brownback, a Republican who served 14 years in the U.S. Senate and on the Appropriations Committee, said at the federal level the budget hasn’t been cut in at least 50 years.
On what it takes to do so, he said, “You really have to have go into the weeds. You've got to really look at what's taken place and what you pay for rent and what you are doing and say that we can't do everything for everybody and there are programs that need to eliminated and there are programs, in some cases, that need to be extenuated and you need to put more money into.
"But that hasn't been done at the federal level in 50 years and it is doable and it needs to be done and if Mitt Romney's elected president, he will get that done and it's going to be critical for our future because that's the small end of it.”
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“Then, on top of that, you've got to start dealing with your entitlement reform at the federal level, and that's a much bigger picture,” he added.
“You've got to do this piece of it first. You get the credibility with the American public that you're serious about finally dealing with the budget and the deficit.”
Brownback corrected critics who are saying tax cuts will lead to $900 million in spending cuts, particularly in schools.
“Let's start with clearing the facts up on this. When I came into office, I was facing a $500 million budget deficit for the state of Kansas and we didn't cut schools at that point in time,” he said. “And, in two budget cycles, now, without cutting schools, we now have a $500 million surplus.
"So they can talk about $900 million in cuts. We're not going to do that. We're going to do everything we can to protect K-12 funding.”
He went on, “We've already been through this exercise of sorts there. Plus, we had the highest taxes in the region and we had out-migrationed every neighboring state except Nebraska and we've started to lose people to Nebraska. We can't just constantly increase government spending, increase taxes with it and lose people and call that a good strategy for the people of the state of Kansas because it's not.”
Brownback added: “We've got to get on a growth strategy so that's why we've got to get these tax rates down. We took them to zero on small business, LLCs and sub assets to create a growth model where we can grow and we can employ people that come up through our educational system.”
The governor said he is disappointed that the Farm Bill is being held up in Congress, but not surprised.
“Harry Reid's done everything he can to make the Senate disappear this year and not do anything and you've just had a great deal of difficulty getting any sort of agreement on anything, even something as bipartisan as the farm bill, which has almost always gotten through the Congress,” he said.
“It's just a tough atmosphere and nothing's going to happen until after the election, plus, most people from both political sides would look at it and think all of your solutions right now have some degree of difficulty associated with them. You're looking at budget cuts in major areas. You're looking at trying to get this thing solvent and it's going to involve some difficulty and a lot of people are just hesitant about doing that, so they want to just put it off until after the election.”
Regarding Romney’s plan for Medicaid, which essentially gives states what they had the previous year plus inflation and one percent, Brownback said, “I would take that deal in a heartbeat. That's a great one.”
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