Former United States Sen. Bob Kerrey says he returned to Nebraska and returned to politics, because he’s worried about the direction of the country and appalled by its fiscal policies.
Kerrey says it will take a combination of budget cuts and tax hikes to lower the deficit and put America on the path to a balanced budget.
“Because if you solve this budget problem with cuts only, you’re going to put the economy in a recession,” Kerrey tells Nebraska Radio Network in an interview. “On the other hand, if you just come willy-nilly and raise taxes and don’t think about a tax increase having a negative impact, you could put the economy in a recession in that way as well.”
Kerrey says that combination worked in the 1990 when he last served in the Senate. Democrats in Congress compromised with Republican President George H. W. Bush to raise taxes in 1990 and 1993. Kerrey rejects notions that the economy of the ‘90s differs greatly from the economy today.
Kerrey is running against Republican Deb Fischer, a state senator from Valentine, for the United States Senate seat now held by Democrat Ben Nelson. Republicans consider the pick up as vital to their efforts to take control of the Senate from Democrats. Once considered a sure Republican bet, recent public opinion polls suggest the race has tightened considerably.
Kerrey supports the federal health care overhaul pushed through Congress by President Obama, though he says it needs some adjustment to reduce its regulations. Kerrey compares passage of the law to passage of Medicare in the 1960s.
Islamic terrorism remains the country’s biggest threat, according to Kerrey, who endorses greater oversight of the country’s intelligence community by Congress.
Kerrey says his negative television ad campaign against Fischer over her land dispute with neighbors of her ranch in Valentine discloses how she conducts business. He claims it questions whether Fischer makes commitments she cannot keep.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:40]
AUDIO: Brent Martin interviews Democrat Bob Kerrey about his U.S. Senate run. [23 min.}