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Ryan’s opponent calls for taxes, spending

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FRANK J. SCHULTZ
July 22, 2010

Paul Ryan’s Democratic opponent in the Nov. 2 election agrees the national debt is going to be major crisis.


“Any objective economist is going to say that,” John Heckenlively of Racine said in some of his first policy statements of the campaign.


“I do think that if you look at who’s piled it up, it has been Paul Ryan’s party, especially George W. Bush, who came into office with a massive surplus and turned it into a deficit,” Heckenlively said.


“What ultimately put us in the hole is folks on Wall Street, who basically decided the rules didn’t apply to them and so would do whatever they wanted,” Heckenlively said.


“The Bush administration let it happen, so for that they have to take responsibility,” Heckenlively said.


Dealing with the debt and budget deficit will most likely mean tax increases, Heckenlively said.


Heckenlively said he would raise taxes on those most able to pay them, while he believes Ryan wants to cut taxes for that same group.


While Ryan said the economic stimulus spending is not working, Heckenlively said more should be spent.


“I would agree with (economist) Paul Krugman that the stimulus needed be far larger to get the economy going again,” Heckenlively said. “… A lot of economists say a second round of stimulus spending is necessary, because if the private sector isn’t going to step up and provide jobs and pump money into the economy, then the only people with the capability to keep the economy afloat are the American taxpayers.”


Heckenlively said he would vote to keep Nancy Pelosi as House speaker, something that is anathema to Ryan.


Heckenlively said he’s not a fan of Pelosi, “but I do respect the speaker a great deal. I think she has guided this Congress well through a very difficult period. I think she’s gotten a remarkable amount of important legislation passed, especially the health care bill.”


Asked where he parts ways with Democratic leaders, Heckenlively said it would most likely be on military policy.


“I have serious misgivings about whether or not we can have any sort of success in Afghanistan,” he said.


As for fiscal conservatism, Heckenlively said his stance is much like that of Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis. He noted Feingold has a record of attacking wasteful spending.


Elections officials certify Ryan challenger

John Heckenlively survived a Republican challenge and will be on the 1st Congressional District ballot Nov. 2.


Heckenlively, a Racine Democrat, said the Government Accountability Board on Wednesday certified 1,048 of the signatures he had gathered, 48 more than the minimum requried.


The state Republican Party had questioned the accuracy of some of Heckenlively’s nominating petitions.


The board denied ballot status to independent candidate William Tucker of New Berlin because he submitted only 977 valid signatures.



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