WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., today discussed the need for Washington to act courageously to bring spending under control during CNBC’s “Squawk Fiscal Summit.” In addition to Corker, the four-member panel included Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., Economist Alice Rivlin, and former Service Employees International Union (SEIU) president Andy Stern.
On the State of the Union address last night:
“I think we all know that State of the Union is sort of a feeling speech, and we'll see the budget here in a month or so and that will be laying out more specifics. Look, I live in a world--I think your business audience understands we live in a world where here we wake up every day hoping that our country is going to have the courage to deal with issues as they really are, juxtaposed against, you know, the crassness of self-preservation and shortsightedness that exists here at the Capitol; and, you know, I woke up just a little bit less optimistic.
“I hope that as many commentators and others reflect on this speech that the White House is really going to move towards acknowledging that they've received the memo that our country is on the verge of being broke and we really have to do some courageous things to take us where we need to go. But again, I thought the President--he’s a good speechmaker. I thought he showed a good balance of humility and humor at the same time. But I still don't believe that the memo has been received. And, like Kent [Senator Kent Conrad, D-N.D.], I know that we've got to do things much, much more serious and severe than were laid out last night.”
On the economy:
“We have tremendous innovators in this country. I still believe in American exceptionalism. What we need to do is allow the greatness of our country to continue to be even greater by lessening the amount of regulations, and I think we all understand that the major companies in this country were not created by central planning. They were created by individuals and teams of people in the private sector that had a vision and took advantage of great opportunities that exist not only in this country but in the world.”