McConnell visits Springfield

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By Brandon Mattingly

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. was in Washington County on Thursday to speak to community leaders at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College’s Springfield campus.

McConnell – who made several stops throughout the Commonwealth last week – addressed the current condition of the economy, and said that with the way things are headed, our nation’s financial situation could get worse before it gets better.
McConnell, the majority leader of the Senate, cited that tax cuts from the Bush administration will come to an end in February, and said it’s expected that whoever is in the White House after the November election will ask for the debt ceiling to be raised once again.
McConnell did not hesitate to point out that President Barack Obama had the benefit of a democratic congress during his first two years in office, and said it’s time to evaluate where that has led the country.
“Everything we did the first two years when the president and this administration owned the congress, and got everything they wanted, is now in place,” he said. “I think it’s reasonable to ask the question, ‘How’s it working out?’”
The congressman conceded that Obama inherited a tough situation, but said he believes the president only made it worse.
Because of this, McConnell said Obama’s presidential campaign is trying to avoid responsibility by essentially saying, “It’s not my fault.”
“The public does not like anything (the Obama administration) has done,” McConnell said. “There’s not much on the positive side other than getting Osama Bin Laden, which is great and I applaud him for making that decision, so he’s got to shift the blame to anybody else.”
In order to see change, McConnell said America has to alter policies that they normally wouldn’t consider.
He acknowledged there was a time when suggesting a change to entitlements – like Medicare and Social Security – would mean certain defeat in the following election, but said it is now time to reconsider the way these benefits are funded.
If the federal government is unable to come to an agreement on how to fix the nation’s financial situation, the congressman fears we could be headed for a fate similar to that of many European countries recently.
“This problem is not going away, and I’m in favor of dealing with these problems prospectively, rather than keep on kicking the can down the road, and have it all come crashing down on us as you see happening in southern Europe,” McConnell said.
McConnell also spoke on last week’s Iowa Caucus, and while he refrained from backing any of the candidates, he did say he believes Obama will have a difficult path to a second term regardless of the opponent.
The congressman pointed to the close results in the caucus – Mitt Romney edged Rick Santorum by eight votes – as a good indication that it’s going to be difficult for any of the candidates to gain an advantage going forward.
“I think it ought to be really hard to get to be president,” he said. “It’s the toughest job you can ever imagine, so it ought not to be easy to get it. So, this vetting process these candidates go through is about as tough as anything as you can imagine.”