Romney And McAdams Share Political Philosophy
Friday’s Virtual Park City Council Roundtable hosted by Mayor Andy Beerman and Council Member Max Doilney, talked with a couple members of Utah’s Congressional delegation about social safety nets, the national debt, and politics in this time of COVID-19.
The U.S. Congress has collaborated in passing federal legislation to distribute trillions of dollars in relief to Americans impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. H.R. 748, known as the CARES Act addresses economic fallout of the pandemic. A second bill is awaiting a signature from the President.
Democrat Ben McAdams joined the Park City Council Roundtable sharing some concerns about how the country recovers from the financial setbacks caused by the virus.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act is the largest stimulus in U.S. History costing about $1.8 trillion. McAdams said the federal deficit is an issue of national security and he said the first piece of legislation he introduced in Congress was to balance the budget. He said he reluctantly supported the recent COVID spending and recognizes more may be required.
“For me, we are doing what we’ve got to do right now. As soon as things get back on track and the world gets back on its axis, I think we've got to, this is highlighted to me even more, the importance of being fiscally responsible and addressing the deficit in a responsible way.”
Republican Senator Mitt Romney said he shares the spending concerns with McAdams.
“McAdams is one of the sponsors of a bill called the Trust Act which is designed to reign in some of our excesses and to find ways to get additional revenue to make sure that we save Social Security, Medicare or the Highway Trust Fund. These are priorities that we share and our structural imbalance of spending an extra trillion dollars a year is a real problem.”
Romney said he shares concerns with McAdams about access to healthcare and paying people a living wage. He does not think there is much political will to do anything about it until after the election.
“As we’ve gone to this pandemic, we recognize that our system has not solved the reality that many, many people do not have health insurance. I don't know that there's been a a great solution that's been proposed yet, but I think that's going to have to be addressed. And I’ll mentioned one more and that is minimum wage. The questioner asked about a living wage. I do believe that we should raise our minimum wage and I've long felt that it should be tied to the consumer price index and just go up every year. But I think when the economy is up and going again, we really need to increase the minimum wage and we also need to address making sure that our citizens have health insurance.”
McAdams said the pandemic has shined a light on the need for paid sick leave so people can afford to stay home when they’re ill.
“And people who can’t afford to stay home where the financial consequences of missing a week of work could be devastating. We’ve seen how important paid sick leave is. I’ll throw that in for the healthcare conversation about something that we have got to figure out. I agree with Senator Romney that there’s not a political will for that right now but the circumstances are getting more and more difficult and people are clamoring for for some reforms that will make it both access to affordable and quality health care in whatever form, whatever policy solution that takes is something we've got to get very serious about.”
Romney said the government can’t continue to borrow and spend money leaving the ballooning debt for future generations to manage.
“And that may be that we’re going to have to increase revenue in some cases and other cases we're going to try and change the, not the benefits for people who are currently relying on the social safety net, but for people who are younger, coming along. We need to make sure they know what Social Security and Medicare will look like.”