Tags: Editor's Pick | obama | debt | budget | spending

Rep. Steve Scalise: President Obama Risks Turning America Into Greece

By Bill Hoffmann and John Bachman   |   Friday, 04 Jan 2013 11:17 AM

President Barack Obama is aiming the nation in the tragic direction of debt-strapped Greece if he doesn’t seriously concentrate on budgetary spending cuts, according to Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise.

“We’re going to be working, especially with the Republican Study Committee . . . to come up with a plan that actually solves the spending problem as part of a component to deal with the debt ceiling,’’ Scalise told Newsmax TV in an exclusive interview.

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“If the president doesn’t want to participate in this debate, he’s basically saying he doesn’t mind our country going down a path to Greece where, ultimately, inflation, interests rates, high unemployment, will be the norm.

“That’s not something we can support. It’s immoral to do that to our kids and our grandkids.’’

Alert: End of America's Middle Class a Startling Reality. Read More Here.

Scalise, who represents Louisiana’s 1st District, is on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and recently took over Jim Jordan's role as the Chairman of the Republican Study Committee, said he believes Obama has refused to acknowledge there is a spending problem in Washington.

“Frankly, it’s the biggest threat to our country. It’s the biggest threat to the American dream,’’ Scalise said.

“It’s basic math. It’s something that every family deals with when they sit down around the kitchen table and say, look, you can’t spend more than you take in. And yet Washington refuses to address it.’’

He noted the Senate hasn’t passed a budget in more than three years, and the president “continues to have trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see in his budget.’’

But Scalise said there is no reason for the nation to be anywhere near a default.

“Let’s put a path together that gets us back to a balanced budget as part of a deal to work with the debt ceiling just like we did with cut, cap, and balance last year,’’ he said.

Scalise agreed the Hurricane Sandy bill, earmarking $60 billion for storm-ravaged New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut — and the subject of a Capitol Hill revolt when House Speaker John Boehner temporarily shelved it — is a political football.

“Just about anything right now in Washington is political, even some of the most basic issues, unfortunately,’’ he said.

“We ought to prioritize national disasters . . . in a fiscally responsible way. In years past, when Congress would fund the budget for FEMA and other agencies that deal with disasters, they would not to do honest accounting.

“They would underfund those agencies knowing that you’re going to have disasters and then those would come through in emergency supplemental that’s not paid for.’’

On the subject of President Obama’s replacement for resigning Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson, he or she “should be somebody who understands that common sense regulations mean you follow the law.

“You’re the referee, in essence. People shouldn’t even recognize you’re there because you’re just making sure that the laws are followed.’’

Scalise said he has “strongly disagreed’’ with many regulations Jackson pushed and said many went “outside the law’’ and beyond legislative authority.

Alert: End of America's Middle Class a Startling Reality. Read More Here.

Those issues include greenhouse gases and fracking.

“One of the few areas of our economy that’s been growing [is] the ability to create more energy in the natural gas arena through fracking,’’ he said.

“She’s tried to shut that down too. So we’ve seen very aggressive regulations coming out of that agency that have killed jobs in America.’’

Scalise said whoever is selected to lead the EPA must not be “an activist who’s there to pursue a radical agenda from the left that kills jobs in America and runs them to foreign countries like China.’’

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