Former Republican Senator George V. Voinovich Wednesday criticized President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney for “not having a plan” to reduce the growing federal government debt.
Voinovich, who last year endorsed Romney, chided both Romney and Obama for not mentioning the “fiscal cliff,” a term used to describe the challenge that the president and Congress faces at the end of the year when a broad array of income and investment tax cuts expire and congressionally imposed automatic spending reductions are scheduled to go into effect.
“Neither of the candidates has addressed this challenge,” said Voinovich in a conference call with reporters. “(But) most analysts agree that’’ the combination of spending cuts and tax increases “would push the country back to a recession.”
Voinovich, who retired from the Senate in 2010, co-chairs the Campaign to Fix the Debt, which Wednesday launched its first chapter in Ohio. The debt campaign is a national bipartisan coalition of elected officials and leaders in business, academics, and communities who want Americans to focus on the national debt as a threat to the nation.
“(We want to) get people to acknowledge that if we don’t get our finances in order, we will not be able to keep the world at peace,” said Voinovich. “We have to bring the debt on a downward path.”
The debt campaign wants to use the public awareness to put pressure on politicians in Congress to work on a debt deal, and it encourages Ohio citizens to ask their leaders to take action. This means forcing some drastic changes in the federal budget and getting rid of tax expenditures and deductions.
Voinovich is worried that Congress will return in December and simply delay the expiration of the tax and spending cuts until next year. Thus the campaign has a goal of generating major changes before next July 4.
“(This is) going to be controversial,” Voinovich said. “(And) this is going to take some courageous people. But we’re going to have to do some tough things for the benefit of our children and grandchildren.”
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