FORT LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – In his first year on Capitol Hill, South Florida 22nd Congressional District Representative Allen West has quickly become a strong conservative voice and a lightning rod for criticism from Democrats.
In an exclusive interview with CBS4, West takes some shots at President Obama and the Democratic Party, saying the summer of deficit discontent was a stressful time.
“The end result was that we didn’t come out with a perfect plan, a hundred per cent plan, but something that gets us in the ballpark,” said West.
West says the House did its job, proposing plan after plan, and puts the blame for the bitter battle squarely on Senate Democrats.
“There are people on the other side who are just sitting back pointing fingers and blaming and being obstructionist,” said West. “It’s been eight hundred and twenty nine days since the Senate Democrats have passed a budget. You can’t run a country without a budget.”
He insists the road to deficit reduction is to reform the tax code and cut corporate taxes to grow business and increase tax revenues, and claims President Obama’s plan to raise taxes is the wrong recipe for growth.
“The top 25% of wage earners in the U. S. pay 86% per cent of taxes. Right now what you have is a separation between the production class and the entitlement class,” said West. “How much do you want to take from the people who are supposed to be the job creators before, guess what? They stop producing.”
West also wants national security to stay strong, “The last thing we want to see happen is draconian cuts at a time when we’re engaged in combat operations. I could take the entire defense budget and zero it out and still have a trillion dollar deficit because the federal government has grown too big.”
Republicans are partly to blame for that, West said.
“The failure with the Bush Administration is very simple. You cannot have tax cuts and grow the government at the same time. That’s how you take a surplus and turn it into a deficit.”
But he argues the Obama Administration has made things dramatically worse and that the downgrade of American debt was an essential wakeup call.
“Something has to jolt us into a sense of reality or else we will be headed down a path to look like Greece. Hopefully not what we’ve seen in London.”
The congressman also briefly addressed his longstanding feud with the head of the Democratic National Committee, his fellow South Florida Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
West said it was time to move on to more important things.