"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.
"I voted three times to pay for unemployment (benefits)," he said, explaining that the Senate had waived its pay-as-you-go policy to extend the benefits. "We're $13 trillion in debt. The answer is to stop spending. Americans are saying 'enough'. The answer is, let's stop spending."
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."
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."
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."
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. "We've seen what happens when capitalism takes over," said Marshall.
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. "I fear that we're headed down a path that will be too overburdensome, too duplicative, it will raise the cost of credit, will choke the credit for small business and for individual loans," Burr said.
The above quotations are from 2010 N.C. Senate Debates.
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