Jack Heidel is a retired math professor at the University of Nebraska-Omaha who says the numbers do not add up.
He is referring to government spending and the national debt.
“It’s enormous. It’s out of control, and our national leaders, including Deb Fischer, are simply not addressing it. They’re ignoring it,” Heidel tells Nebraska Radio Network.
He says deficit spending is the reason for the debt problem, and provisions of the tax reform bill and the most recent spending bill are not helping the situation.
“If we could shrink our annual deficits, not necessarily all the way to zero, but way down from what they are already,” Heidel explains, “then our debt would begin to shrink as a percentage of GDP, which is what we need to do.”
Heidel is completing his second term on the Learning Community of Douglas & Sarpy counties.
He finished third in the Second Congressional District’s GOP Primary in 2012.
Now he faces three other men and incumbent Deb Fischer in the May 15th Primary Election.
“It’s an uphill battle, for sure. I mean, she’s a nice lady. She’s on the Agriculture Committee, which is good for Nebraska,” Heidel admits. “She’s simply ignoring the biggest problem of all – it’s the debt.”
He says he supports tax cuts, but the tax reform law passed last year missed the mark.
“When you cut the corporate tax rate, then you have to offset, make offsets, to keep the revenue at the same level. It could have been done.”
Heidel favors universal health care, but any new laws need to control costs.
“Health care is too expensive for the individual. It’s too expensive for the government that’s subsidizing it, too expensive for employers who are paying for it as a business expense,” he says. “It’s totally out of control for everyone, and we need changes. We’ve simply got to address it.”
To curtail mass shootings, Heidel says stricter background checks will help, as will improved mental health care.
He calls himself a supporter of the Second Amendment, but also favors a ban on assault weapons.
“There are restrictions on guns. A ban on assault weapons does not affect people’s abilities to protect themselves,” he says. “I support a ban on assault weapons, but the purpose is to curtail mass shootings.”
On international affairs, Heidel says he supports a hardline on China when it comes to trade and negotiating with the Taliban to resolve U.S. involvement in Afghanistan.
He also says we have to get tough on Russia.
“You know, they meddle in our elections. They’re just – Putin is a bad actor, and you just have to be tough with him,” Heidel says. “I think President Trump is coming around to that position.”
AUDIO: Mike Loizzo reports [:59]
This is one of a series of reports from Nebraska Radio Network profiling Primary Election candidates for governor and U.S. Senate who do not typically receive wide media or voter attention.