September 17, 2014

Kerrey gives Ryan credit for budget plan, disagrees with results (AUDIO)

Democrat Bob Kerrey

He gives him credit for effort. He doesn’t agree with the results.

Democratic United States Senate candidate Bob Kerrey calls Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan competent and smart as well as gutsy. Kerrey says he has a great background. But, Kerrey doesn’t agree with the Ryan budget plan.

Ryan is the Congressman from Wisconsin who chairs the House Budget Committee. Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has chosen Ryan as his running-mate.

Kerrey says the Ryan budget plan falls short.

“I don’t support the budget, but standing back from about 40,000 feet I’d say he’s 100% right about three big things. One, is we’ve got to get a sustainable path to balance,” Kerrey tells Nebraska Radio Network. “My problem is, he doesn’t really balance it for 60 years. Even he’ll be dead by then. So, that’s way too long a period of time.”

Kerrey contends Ryan doesn’t tackle the biggest obstacle to balancing the federal budget: the twin entitlement problems of Social Security and Medicare. Ryan does propose turning Medicare into more of a voucher program with much more power given to the states than under the current plan. Kerrey says that won’t solve the underlying problem with Medicare.

“The big problem with health care remains,” according to Kerrey. “We’ve got 70-some million Baby Boomers who are drawing down Social Security and Medicare and the cost of health care is going up.”

Kerrey says Ryan’s plan to balance the federal budget cuts too deeply and asks too little from wealthy Americans.

“And I don’t think it’s shared sacrifice if you let a relatively small group of people with relatively high incomes get tax cuts,” Kerrey says. “So, we maybe have a thousand households in Nebraska with more than a million dollars a year in household income; I would just say to them, we need shared sacrifice to get this thing behind us.”

Kerrey argues that only a budget calling for shared sacrifice can attract the votes needed to pass Congress and be signed into law by the president.

[For previous story on Kerrey's Social Security/Medicare plan click here]

AUDIO: Democrat Bob Kerrey discuss Ryan Budget Plan with Brent Martin. [3:15]