If the United States were a typical American consumer, it wouldn’t even qualify for a credit card given the state of its finances, Rep. Connie Mack tells Newsmax.TV.
But to keep this reckless consumer from spending more, the Florida Republican says that Congress should take two years to repeal laws that add more costs to doing business in American, and stave off the energy of would-be entrepreneurs.
“If the federal government was an individual that individual wouldn’t be able to get a credit card because the debt-to-income ratio is out of whack,” declared Mack in an exclusive interview on Friday.
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Mack, who is running in the Republican primary for a chance to take on Florida’s incumbent Democratic senator, Bill Nelson, favors his own so-called “Penny Plan” over Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” to address the nation’s burgeoning national debt crisis, which now stands at more than $15.6 trillion.
“Paul Ryan’s budget is a good start,” said Mack. “The part that I don’t like about it is it takes 20 to 24 years to balance [the budget] . . . I don’t think we have that much time to wait. And the idea that we’re going to end up with a $22 trillion debt — we can’t afford that.”
Mack’s plan would trim 1 percent — or one cent from every $1 — in government spending each year over six years.
“This is not a draconian cut, but it’s a realistic cut that puts us in a direction that balances our budget in eight years,” Mack explained. “We cap spending at 18 percent of GDP in the 7th year. This way we have revenues matching, spending which is how you balance a budget.”
He said that his plan is the only plan that balances the budget over the next decade. “We have to do something now, and you know my plan is very simple. I like to joke that it’s so simple that even members of Congress can understand it.”
When government refers to spending baselines in Washington, D.C. officials are actually speaking about a spending increase, according to Mack. “They try to make people believe that a baseline is flat, that every year you know if you stick to the baseline that it’s going to be the same spending every year,” he explained. “In Washington, a baseline actually is an increase in spending of 5 to 7 percent every year.”
While fellow Republicans collectively have committed to solving the debt crisis, Mack said there are differences of opinion as to how that should be accomplished.
“Of course there’s friction,” acknowledges Mack, who leads both his Republican challengers in the polls as well as the incumbent. “We all have ideas and we want to bring our ideas to the forefront but we’re all working on the same goal and that is to balance the budget.”
For example, Mack initially supported the tea party-backed “Cut, Cap, and Balance” plan to require immediate spending cuts and a constitutional amendment on a balanced budget, but later voted against it based on the fact that it permitted a $2.4 trillion increase in the debt ceiling.
“Imagine saying to your kids that ‘you need to work hard. You need to go to school. You need to get a good job and, oh by the way, when you get that good job, the government is going to have to take such a large percentage in taxes just to pay off the debt off what we’re spending today.’ That is not what we want to leave for America,” Mack insisted.
Mack, who chairs the House Foreign Relations Committee's Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, also criticized President Barack Obama’s open-mic comment earlier this week when he was caught assuring outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he will have "more flexibility" to deal with contentious issues like missile defense after the November presidential election.
“First of all I think it’s very important that the president stop begging other leaders of other countries for more time and flexibility,” snapped Mack.
“Can you imagine someone like Ronald Reagan, who was bold and strong and stood in front of a wall — and said ‘tear down this wall’ — and now we have a president that’s begging with the president of Russia for his own re-election campaign.”
Mack blames Obama’s weak support of Israel for the growing Iranian nuclear threat.
“Iran does not question or slow down — or pause at all in the thought of its nuclear program — because they see a weak president,” said Mack.
“We need to have a president who will be strong — who won’t let any daylight between the United States and Israel in the defense of freedom — whether it’s here at home or around the world.”
Mack advocates what he describes as a two-year repeal Congress, which would focus on repealing legislation rather than creating it.
“We obviously can start with Obamacare and Dodd-Frank,” he said. “But I’d like every member of Congress to be up in Washington thinking about what bills we could repeal that will shrink the size of government — that will put back the trust in the entrepreneur and the risk takers — and the families of this country, instead of going to Washington with the next idea of how to grow government.”
The Mack name is already familiar to many voters. The candidate’s father, Connie Mack III, served two terms in the U.S. Senate. He is also the great grandson of Connie Mack, the manager and owner of baseball's Philadelphia Athletics, and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, according to Wikipedia.
Mack is also a great-grandson of Morris Sheppard, a U.S. Senator from Texas, and a step-great-grandson of another Texas senator, Tom Connally, who was the junior senator to Sheppard for 12 years. Mack's great-great-grandfather was John Levi Sheppard, who was a Texas congressman.
Mack insists that there are stark differences between he and Florida’s Democratic incumbent.
“Sen. Nelson is a big government, central planning liberal Democrat,” said Mack. “He believes that the answer to all of our problems is more government control in our lives. Basically what he’s saying is he doesn’t believe in you. He doesn’t believe in the people of America. He believes that his ideas are better than any idea you could come up with for you or for your family.
“I’m the opposite. I believe in the individual. I believe that people ought to be able to make the best decisions for themselves and for their families, not government,” he added.
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