Johnson Has “No Opinion” On Bush Deficits

Jul 07, 2010

“I’ll say just no opinion,” Johnson replied when asked about Bush’s tenure as president

MADISON — On the same day that U.S. Senate candidate Ron Johnson started running a new TV ad “highlighting his concerns with the unsustainable debt and spending,” the Republican candidate told Politico in an interview that he has “no opinion” on the over $10 trillion of Bush administration debt.

As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has detailed, current deficits and debt were driven largely by the failed economic policies of the Bush Administration that led to the 2008 financial collapse and worst recession since the Great Depression. In addition to the economic downturn, the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy; the Republican Party expansion of Medicare Part D; two unfunded wars; and the Wall Street bailouts were all put on a government credit card, increasing the deficit and adding to the nation’s debt.

“Ron Johnson wants voters to believe he is concerned about debt, but he supports the failed policies that have created it, and he supports policies that would increase the deficit,” said Mike Tate, Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. “He has no credibility on the deficit when he says he has ‘no opinion’ on over $10 trillion of debt.”

Johnson, a multimillionaire who has spent over $1 million of his family fortune on television ads says in his new TV ad, “One thing I can guarantee if I go to Washington, I’m going there to fix these problems,” yet last week Johnson came out in support of extending the Bush tax cuts, adding over $4 trillion to the debt that he calls “intergenerational theft” and “immoral” in his TV ad.

On the Charlie Sykes radio program, when Sykes asked Johnson, “What about tax cuts, though? Can you cut taxes without also exploding the deficit?” Johnson replied, “Well first of all, you shouldn’t allow the tax cuts that Bush instituted to expire.” 

Johnson has also said his first priority is to repeal deficit reduction measures that cut the deficit by more than $143 billion over the next ten years and by more than $1.2 trillion in the following decade by ending overpayments to insurance companies, reining in waste, fraud and abuse, and ensuring taxpayer dollars pay for the highest quality of health care.

“Ron Johnson doesn’t even have the guts to stand up and speak out about George W. Bush’s deficits,” Tate said, “There can be no doubt that he would go the U.S. Senate and be a rubber stamp for Bush’s failed economic policies that didn’t create jobs, but rather drove our economy into the ditch and ballooned the deficits.”