Bob Turner gathered a handful of his 13 grandchildren together below the federal debt clock in midtown Manhattan this morning to lay out what he thinks the federal government should do to lower the deficit and turn economy around.
- In short, he proposed:
- A “significant” cut in spending to lower the debt
- No further stimulus
- “A sound energy policy”
- Taking corporate money off of balance sheets
- No payroll tax cuts
Most economists think that debt and deficits are not the most pressing problem, that jobless and a double-dip recession are, and have suggested increased deficit spending as a way to grow the economy.
Turner, the Republican candidate for the Congressional seat held by Anthony Weiner, disagrees.
“Part of this problem is overspending. We are borrowing 40 cents for every federal dollar we spend. A return to prosperity may involve a lot of things. Not raising taxes. The stimulus has been a failure. We have to stimulate real jobs and real growth,” he said.
The way Turner said the government could stimulate real growth, he was beginning with “a sound energy policy,” and then “I would begin by repatriating dollars that are overseas. I would begin by taking money off balance sheets that are not being used now while there is this level of uncertainty. I understand there is over a trillion dollars on corporate balance sheets right now not being used for plant development, equipment, new products.”
Asked about the possibility of a payroll tax cut–one of the few tax cuts that Republicans have resisted, and Turner said, “At this time we will hold that as it is.”
Asked if that meant he did not favor it, Turner replied, “Yea, fair enough.”
Turner was also asked about the possibilities of debating with David Weprin, his Democratic opponent for the Brooklyn-Queens who pulled out of a debate last night.
“We most certainly look forward to another debate,” he said. “But I can’t debate myself.”