On Monday, shortly before President Obama’s address on the need for political parties to work together and put aside self-interests, U.S. Rep. Tom Price expressed the importance of compromise in Washington, D.C.
The Congressman spoke during a Sandy Springs Rotary Club luncheon. Local residents were also able to listen to Price's telephone town hall meeting on Monday evening.
“The challenges that we have and the difficulties that we have in this county are huge,” said Price during the luncheon.
The faltering economy, Price said, lies at the hands of the Obama Administration.
Rotary Club members and guests asked the Congressman about the downgrade of the country’s credit rating by Standard & Poor's, getting the country out of debt and his pick among the current Republican Presidential candidates.
The S&P downgrade should’ve been expected considering the country’s financial condition, Price said.
For a healthy economy, he recommends a moratorium on federal regulations and a freeze on federal hiring for 18-months. Price also suggests there be a 10 percent reduction in salary for anyone who earns over $100,000 from the federal government.
Additionally, Price would implement free trade export opportunities with Columbia, Panama and South Korea; and cut the Commerce, Interior and Education departments by 25 percent, if he could.
Any of the Republican Presidential candidates would do a better job than Obama, he added.
“I think our top five, six folks all would do a much better job rallying the country in a positive way and addressing the economic challenges,” he said.
Additionally, President Obama has been "reckless in his leadership and lack thereof," he said.
Stacey Abrams House Minority Leader for the General Assembly told Patch. “Bush , Price, and their colleagues made a decision to make tax cuts they couldn’t pay for, and wars they couldn’t fund. And to assume that two years can undo eight years of poor planning and poor investment is fiction.”
Abrams believes S&P’s downgrade is an indication of the inability of Congress to compromise.
“[S&P is] forecasting not only on current debt but our political structure, and the intractability of our politicians,” she said. "The agencies don’t believe that we have the ability to remedy the situation as adults.”
Abrams continued, “Our ability is entirely reliant on our ability to create tax revenue. If they believe that we cannot generate adequate tax revenue they are going to downgrade us."
And so cutting federal department funding would not serve the country, she said.
Both Price and Abrams agree business investments and expansion is important. Where Price would recommend cuts in Commerce, Interior and Education, Abrams says that any corporation looking at a prospective state wants to know if they can move their product and is there quality of life for their employees.
Abrams believes that is Obama’s focus.
“Obama has made steps that I wouldn’t always agree with but in the direction of progress. Never has a decision evolved by divesting…from citizens,” she said.
The Big Question
It all begs the question, can there be compromise in Washington? Perhaps it depends on how you look at it. Webster's Dictionary offers different definitions of "compromise."
One says, "A settlement of differences by mutual adjustment or modification of claims, principles, [or] demands."
In contrast, another says, "An endangering of reputation, exposure to danger, suspicion."