Beto O’Rourke Criticized ‘Extravagant’ Federal Government in 2012: ‘We Have To Look at Cutting’ Spending
In a new report, CNN’s KFILE team unearthed presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke’s stance on government spending when he was first running for Congress in 2012. In short, the former Texas congressman sang a different tune than the rest of the current Democratic contenders and advocated for reducing government spending.
“O’Rourke at the time endorsed cuts to defense and domestic spending in the middle and long term, along with seriously considering changes to Social Security and tax laws that would do away with some tax breaks,” the CNN report noted. “Those past positions are at odds with the current and more progressive liberal base of the party that has largely embraced increased government programs like cost-free college and ‘Medicare for All.'”
Back in 2012, O’Rourke was running against Democratic incumbent Rep. Silvestre Reyes and bashed him for not being specific on where he would cut spending because “there are certainly places in the federal budget where we have to look at reorganizing, where we have to look at cutting…”
“Are cuts important over the long term?” O’Rourke asked. “Absolutely. You have kids, I have kids, as we have, uh, as our kids have kids, um, their ability and options and opportunities in life are going to be significantly curtailed if we don’t get our national debt under control because every dollar they pay in, in taxes is going to go right out to China or to someone else who’s financing our extravagant government.”
He even went as far as suggesting Social Security needed to be overhauled:
“Social Security, the people who paid into social security and who are earning their checks back from investment in social security, that needs to be protected. That’s inviolable. But going forward for future generations, for my kids’ generation, five, three, and one year old. Right now, we need to look at things like means testing. We need to look at perhaps a longer a later age at which my kids are going to retire. That’s a tough decision. It’s not easy to say it’s going to be politicized by my opponent, but those are the tough things that you’re going to want me to weigh in on when I’m in Washington, DC.”
After winning the primary, O’Rourke continued his rhetoric on tough decisions are going to have to be made with cuts in government spending.
“It will require significant cuts and tax increases. And I’d be looking at every single exception in the tax code. It doesn’t do any good to trick someone. You have to be true to your word. If you aren’t that way, they’ll remember you. It’s better to be honest and direct,” he said.
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