Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Wendy Long is fed up about the federal debt and held a press conference in front of the National Debt Clock this morning to sound the alarm bells over its looming size. And, unsurprisingly, she blamed incumbent Senator Kirsten Gillibrand for the problem.
“Since she took office in January 2009 in the U.S. Senate and since Barack Obama was elected, the national debt at that point was $10.6 trillion, and it’s now about to be $16 trillion,” Ms. Long said. “This is unacceptable.”
Of course, many other GOP pols have made similar speeches in front of the National Debt Clock, including Ms. Gillibrand’s 2010 opponent, Joe DioGuardi. However, Ms. Long combined the generic criticism of spending and deficits with an interesting pledge. If she’s elected, she vowed to take a 25% cut in her salary each year she fails to bring down the federal debt.
“We’re here to call on Senator Gillibrand, President Obama, and all of those representing us in Washington to get this clock going in the other direction and to bring federal spending, debt and deficits under control,” Ms. Long said. “I will pledge that if I’m elected, this clock will start going in the other direction. If it doesn’t, I would agree to take a cut in my salary, 25% for every year that this clock goes in the wrong direction.”
“I call on my opponent and I call on every elected official going back to Washington to take the same pledge, that if they can’t bring the debt down and get this clock going in the other direction, that they will take a cut in their salary,” she continued. “Because this is the most fundamental thing that we are paying their salaries for, to set the federal budget and to live responsibly within our means.”
Another number ticking in the wrong direction for Ms. Long are her poll numbers. Earlier this month, a Siena College Institute Poll found Ms. Long distantly trailing Ms. Gillibrand 65% to 22%, a slightly larger gap than the month before. Asked when those numbers will start to turn around, Ms. Long simply told us “soon.”