Two people faced off during the final US Senate debate, but a third person was prominent in the debate.
Democrat Bob Kerrey pressed his claim that Republican Deb Fischer has painted herself into a corner by signing a no-tax hike pledge.
“Her signing of the Norquist pledge, her support of this particular balanced-budget amendment will necessitate deep cuts in everything that she talks about that she wants to do,” Kerrey proclaimed during the debate sponsored by NET.
Kerrey brought up Grover Norquist’s name repeatedly during the hour-long debate before a live audience at the NET studios in Lincoln. Norquist, a conservative lobbyist, founded Americans for Tax Reform, which sponsors a pledge in which signees, “…solemnly bind themselves to oppose any and all tax increases.”
“We hear about the Norquist pledge, that’s a pledge I’ve made to the people of the state of Nebraska,” Fischer responded, pointing out that Sen. Ben Nelson, a Democrat, also signed the pledge.
Kerrey has made the Norquist pledge and Fischer’s support of a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution a focal point of the campaign. He claims the combination would wreck the economy, causing drastic spending cuts to lower federal expenditures from the current 25% of the Gross Domestic Product to 18%.
Fischer countered during the debate that her outcome expressed more optimism in the economy. Fischer has claimed that economic growth would bring in more than enough revenue to fund federal governmental programs, eliminating the need for tax hikes.
Fischer claimed her jobs plan, which relies heavily on reducing regulations and reducing the federal corporate income tax from the current 35% to 24%, would spur that economic growth.
Kerrey rejected the notion.
“No, that’s the Fischer slogan. The Fischer plan says to Grover Norquist, no tax increase including on people (who make) over a million dollars,” Kerrey stated.
Fischer stated her jobs plan outlines a step-by-step plan to create the economic climate that would give incentives to start up new businesses and to allow existing businesses to grow.
“Those are specifics, not slogans of the Fischer plan,” Fischer said. “I haven’t heard that from the Kerrey plan.”
The two also discussed campaign finances, climate change and the war on terror during their hour-long debate.
Click here for link to NET US Senate debate.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:55]