U.S. Rep. Adam Smith Thursday compared himself to Ross Perot, minus the billionaire stuff.
He was joking about the line of charts and graphs that he placed on easels in front of Tacoma Rotary 8 members to illustrate his viewpoint on the federal budget problems. A pie chart showed the distribution of federal spending. A bar chart showed how the feds will raise $2.16 trillion and spend $3.4 trillion.
The federal government borrows more than one-third of what it spends, Smith said, yet when asked what specific area of government they would support cutting, a majority of Americans can’t agree on a single area.
“Which gets us to the problem,” Smith said deficit reduction. “If you’re 40 percent out of whack and you don’t want to cut anything and you don’t want to raise taxes you’re not going to get there.”
Smith’s advice for the so-called Super Committee charged with finding $1.2 trillion in cuts over the next 10 years is that everything be on the table – savings in entitlement programs, cuts in defense and more revenue.
“Revenue has got to be part of the equation,” he said. But when asked by a Rotarian if he thought the Super Committee, which is co-chaired by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, has a chance of succeeding, Smith said, “probably not.” The reason is that the committee is afflicted with the same politics that nearly brought the U.S. government to a budgetary standstill in August.
“A lot of Republicans still say no revenue increases. Democrats are not as reluctant to put entitlements on the table but they are still very reluctant,” Smith said. Read more »