Democrat Bob Kerrey accused Republican Deb Fischer on Tuesday of “pandering” to Nebraskans by promising to cap federal spending at 18 percent of the nation's gross domestic product if elected to the Senate.
Tuesday in Omaha, Kerrey said Fischer, a state senator from Valentine, Neb., is telling voters what she and the national GOP wants them to hear, promising to cut spending, but avoiding talk of the costs: Kerrey says limiting spending to the level Fischer proposes would lead to major cuts to large programs such as Medicare and Social Security.
Under Fischer's plan for Social Security, he said workers under the age of 40 would pay more into Social Security and get less.
“She's trying to fall into the trap of appeal, but she goes further than anyone I know,” said Kerrey, a former Nebraska governor and Senator.
Spokesman Daniel Keylin defended Fischer's record of leveling with voters and stressed that Kerrey “wants to raise taxes on the middle class.”
Kerrey's Social Security plan is modeled on the 2010 Simpson-Bowles report, a set of anti-deficit recommendations a bipartisan group put together.
The Simpson-Bowles plan would have set a GDP spending goal of 21 percent. That 3-point difference would preserve about $500 billion a year in spending, Kerrey said.
Kerrey has faulted his party's current standard-bearer, President Barack Obama, for not embracing Simpson-Bowles — a broad mixture of tax increases and spending cuts.
Kerrey said his support of the plan is one reason he chose not to attend the Democratic National Convention.
Said Kerrey: “My message wouldn't be welcome.”
Keylin challenged the assertion that Kerrey, a former head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, wouldn't be welcome in Charlotte.
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