"We can't cut our way out of it," Marshall replied. "We've got to grow our way out of this deficit."
Later, Burr said the question in the election is whether America gets its fiscal house in order or "be included with Greece and the rest of them," an allusion to European countries hobbled by debt.
In a year when voters across the country are frustrated with government, Burr set the tone early. "Washington has to change," said Burr, adding that Congress, "is not held in high regard. We don't deserve to be."
Marshall, North Carolina's Secretary of State, said she could help fix that. "[Americans] see one side saying 'no' and the other side running scared," she said. "If we keep sending back the same people who got us into this mess, we're not going to change anything."
Marshall described Burr as beholden to special interests. Marshall, who repeatedly described herself as "a strong independent voice," called him one of the top recipients of "big-oil dollars."
Burr has received $78,200 this election from political action committees representing oil and gas companies, according to the Center for Responsible Politics. Ten senators have received more.
Marshall, however, said cuts alone wouldn't save the country's economy. "We've got to make appropriate investments--the same thing you would do to make your business more profitable," Marshall said. "You can't cut your way into huge profitability."
Marshall pointed to stronger regulation, saying the mentality on Capitol Hill has been that Wall Street will heal itself and that market forces will take care of things. She said that regulators need more funding, and that businesses have had too cozy of a relationship with the government officials that oversee them. "We've seen what happens when capitalism takes over," said Marshall, a regulator herself as NC's secretary of state.
Burr said government shouldn't be playing a bigger role with a stronger hand but should focus on regulating the products that were overlooked--such as the complex derivatives blamed in the nation's economic collapse--and to make sure the existing regulators are doing their jobs.
Burr said oil companies had been forced to go into the riskier territory because they were "chased" away from land drilling and shallow water drilling. He said officials need to ensure that deepwater drilling is saf before quickly allowing it to continue. President Obama's administration had imposed a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, but a federal judge struck it down. The government is appealing that decision.
But ending such drilling entirely, Burr said, would lead to economic disaster."You'll have no economic growth," he said. "You'll have no job expansion. You'll have a contraction like you've never dreamed of."
"We're not even ready to think about" carrying out death sentences, Marshall said, pointing to past allegations of prosecutorial misconduct and eyewitnesses to crimes naming the wrong suspects.
The above quotations are from 2010 N.C. Senate Debates.
Click here for other excerpts from 2010 N.C. Senate Debates.
Click here for other excerpts by Elaine Marshall.
Click here for a profile of Elaine Marshall.
Elaine Marshall on other issues:
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