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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Saturday, May 25, 2024

Sen. Johnson speaks before student debate

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., spoke about economic issues and their importance in this year’s election at Union South Tuesday prior to a debate between members of a student panel representing different political opinions.

Johnson criticized President Barack Obama’s economic policies, arguing his tax policy and healthcare legislation have limited job growth and added to the national deficit.

“Unfortunately for all you young people, for the nation,” Johnson said, “President Obama took the wrong path.”

He argued Obama’s plan to raise taxes on wealthier Americans would not raise enough revenue to offset spending deficits.

“President Obama has this concept—the American economy’s like a pie—and his solution is let’s divide up that pie,” Johnson said. “The conservative solution is let’s grow the pie—let’s grow the economy, let’s make sure everybody’s piece of that pie is larger.”

According to the first-term Senator, “the federal government is so far removed, it is not accountable” to citizens for increasing the deficit so much.

Following Johnson’s opening remarks, four students representing four political viewpoints continued the economic conversation, debating some of Johnson’s remarks and general economic policy issues as they relate to students.

University of Wisconsin-Madison College Democrats publicity chair Austin Helmke said the biggest issue for voters this election is “jobs, jobs, jobs” and that Obama’s policies, including the Affordable Care Act, help struggling families and the economy.

“Healthcare costs are out of control,” Helmke said. “You’ll see once we put in place President Obama’s model, we will be able to reduce our costs and that will have a large impact on our long-term debt problems.”

But UW-Madison College Republicans public relations director Ryan Hughes disagreed, saying Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s budget plan is the best way to address long-term debt problems and provide a stronger way for the economy to grow.

“What he’s doing is saving programs that are otherwise going to go bankrupt,” Hughes said.

Charlie Kirk, the founder of Turning Point USA and representative for the Independent viewpoint, said Ryan deserves some credit, “because he did put forth a plan” to reduce the deficit.

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Brendan Moriarty, a student representing a Social Democratic viewpoint, took a middle ground on the issue and said the country needs to look at a combination of spending reductions and tax increases to ensure economic stability.

Turning Point USA, a conservative advocacy group focusing on youth voters, sponsored the event.

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