Today, Democratic Senate nominee Alexi Giannoulias debated Republican Congressman Mark Kirk on Meet the Press. Mark Kirk, who has said unemployment isn't a "big issue" and has voted against middle class tax cuts, is a vocal supporter of extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.
But like most Republicans, Mark Kirk doesn't reconcile being a self-proclaimed "deficit hawk" with the fact that tax giveaways to the wealthiest Americans will cost us $700 billion.
Today, Alexi called him out on it and deconstructed the Republican argument for tax cuts for the rich. In just 55 seconds, a Democrat rebuts every argument of Republican "fiscal responsibility."
Watch the video:
David Gregory: The question, Mr. Giannoulias, is should tax cuts be paid for?
Alexi Giannoulias: This is why this race is so important. This is a fundamental public policy difference between myself and Congressman Kirk. He says he's a fiscal hawk.
The Congressman has told some real whoppers during this campaign but that may be the be biggest one of all.He voted for every single one of the Bush budgets, which doubled our national debt, he voted to increase his own pay six times. He voted for the bridge to nowhere twice, he voted to raise the debt ceiling four times.
The list goes on and on.
So Congressman, saying you're a fiscal hawk doesn't necessarily make it true, and your voting record proves that it's not true.
The question is – for the congressman – the $700 billion in tax cuts for the wealthiest americans – we don't have $700 billion – so my question for the congressman is which country do you plan on borrowing $700 billion from? The Saudis? China? We can't afford it, and that's one of the problems, quite frankly, with Washington D.C. this over borrowing, this overspending.
Mark Kirk had no response.
And after the debate, Alexi didn't let the issue go. From his Twitter account:
If Mark Kirk wants to make being a "deficit hawk" the center of his campaign, then he owes the people of Illinois an explanation as to where he'll dig up the $700 billion he wants to give to people like Paris Hilton and other wealthy Americans in the hope that they'll break with historical patterns and "create jobs."
Congressman? We're waiting.
Update [2010-10-10 19:21:7 by Alexi for Illinois]:: By the way, check out our"10 Quotes, 10 Reasons to vote for Alexi." Some highlights from the debate:
5. ON PROTECTING SOCIAL SECURITY: "I am personally not in favor of, of increasing [Social Security's] age limit...I do think we do need to look at, on the revenue side, different options, maybe increasing the taxable wage base, finding ways to get more revenue. But I'm all for strengthening Social Security, not diminishing it."
6. ON HEALTH INSURANCE REFORM, WHICH REINS IN HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANIES: "The difference is he wants to repeal it, I want to reform it and fix it and make sure that it works for small businesses and for families."
7. ON BEING PRINCIPLED IN HIS POLICY STANDS: "The people of Illinois may not always agree with everything I say, but they'll always know where I stand...I'll tell you where I stand, and that's leadership. That's what the people of Illinois want. That's what I'll give them for the rest of my career. And I think that is a, a fundamental difference in principles, in values and morals, between myself and the congressman."
8. ON FIGHTING TO SAVE ILLINOIS JOBS: "When we fought and saved jobs at Hart Schaffner Marx, one of the things we did was go after Wells Fargo. We looked at them and said, listen, you can't let this company falter, you can't let them fail."
9. ON TRUE INDEPENDENCE: "You know, the, the congressman always uses the word independent. The truth is the only thing he's been independent of in this race is the truth."
10. ON THE ISSUE IN THIS RACE: "This is an incredibly important race. We need some fresh leadership, we need some new ideas, we need to help create jobs. People in Illinois are getting crushed, crushed by this recession. Washington, D.C., isn't working. And my question is why in the world do we send the same people who created this mess back to Washington, D.C.? That's why the people of Illinois need, need some new ideas and some fresh voices."