REXBURG - Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, issued strong warnings about the economic health of the country during a visit to Rexburg Tuesday morning.
In a speech to the Rexburg Chamber of Commerce and an interview with the Standard Journal Crapo said that the level of the national debt is a grave concern that needs to be addressed.
"I personally believe this debt crisis is the most serious threat we've ever faced," he said. "I think the American dream is at risk."
However he believes that efforts to curtail spending and rationalize the tax code have the potential to get the economy moving again. He stated that his recent efforts on a senate commission to come up with a solution lacked the votes to get it out on the floor of the senate for consideration.
"I'm absolutely certain that if our proposal had been accepted the downgrade (to the nation's credit rating) would not have happened," he said.
That proposal would have trimmed $4.7 trillion from the national budget.
"...I believe that the "gang of six" proposal is the most powerful solution that's on the table right now, " he said. "I'm very hopeful we'll be able to get a proposal like this enacted into law soon. The reason I say that, is it focuses on reducing the debt and our spending in both the entitlement and discretionary spending categories."
He said it would create enforcement mechanisms to prohibit Congress from finding loopholes that often wind up breaking the budget.
He said the crisis has reached the point where special interest groups across the country must accept the fact that maintaining the status quo on spending is more dangerous to them than the kind of reform he and other conservative politicians are proposing.
See the video below for Crapo responding to residents' questions:
(If this video did not appear, see http://youtu.be/EK--Fwe15nY)
There were be more details on Crapo's visit in the Thursday edition of the Standard Journal.