U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Moultrie, told the Sandy Springs business community on Monday, May 21, he’s a man who is willing to compromise in an uncompromising political environment.
“I’m not one of these guys that’s going to Washington just to vote ‘no,’” Chambliss told the Sandy Springs/Perimeter Chamber of Commerce.
The inability of government to govern because of Democrats and Republicans butting heads has left the U.S. vulnerable to a debt that if left unchecked will cripple the economy, Chambliss said.
According to the U.S. National Debt Clock, the current total federal debt is more than $15 trillion. A 2010 report by the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform predicted a “looming crisis” where increasing debt will mean revenue from taxes will fund only interest payments, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
There have been several attempts to begin paying down the debt, but both involve touching the sacred cows of both parties – raising taxes, a non-starter for many Republicans, and cutting entitlements, like Social Security, a non-starter for many Democrats.
Chambliss in 2011 was part of the so-called “Gang of Six,” six senators – three Republicans and three Democrats – who proposed a compromise to resolve the “Debt Ceiling Crisis.” In the Summer of 2011, congress deadlocked over the proposal to raise the limit of the amount the federal government could borrow to pay for government operations. The crisis nearly caused the U.S. to default on its loans, threatening the country’s credit rating.
Chambliss discussed three recommendations of the 2010 National Commission Report; reducing spending, entitlement reform and reforming the tax code to raise revenue.
“There was a lot in that report that I liked and a lot in that report that I didn’t like,” Chambliss said, adding that it means it was probably a good solution.
Congress did not enact the report’s recommendations, however.
Sandy Springs City Councilman John Paulson asked Chambliss whether the government should move toward the city’s model of outsourcing most of its basic services. Chambliss said the federal government already outsources some services where it can, like research and development.
“There are lots of things the private sector simply does better than the government,” Chambliss said.