Another View: McClintock talks election, waste, payroll tax

By: Interview Jenifer Gee Journal editor
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Congressman Tom McClintock (R-Elk Grove) stopped by the Journal office on a recent visit to his district. The following is McClintock’s responses to questions about the 2012 presidential election, Colfax wastewater woes and the payroll tax. The Republican presidential primary race is in full swing and Mitt Romney is in the lead so far. Do you support him, or is there another candidate you’re in favor of? I haven’t made an endorsement yet, but overall I’m pleased with the field of candidates. I never endorsed either (presidents) George Bushes and I didn’t endorse Meg Whitman (2010 California gubernatorial election). Romney’s not my first choice. I’ve always been a fan of Newt Gingrich. I’ve observed him for many years and he’s always impressed me. Do you think any of the Republican candidates has a chance of unseating President Obama? I think they all do. I think the American people clearly understand this is an election they have to get right. We cannot support policies that this administration is pushing that take us to the brink of bankruptcy. What struck our country were not acts of God. They were acts of government. We can change that if we summon the political will. You opposed the payroll tax cut extension that passed late last month. Where do you stand now and how are you going to proceed when you’re back in session? The payroll tax cut is not economically stimulative. I don’t see it increasing productivity. It does make a huge difference for an awful lot of families trying to make ends meet. (McClintock said he supports Congressman Jeff Landry’s (R-Louisiana) proposed legislation to give taxpayers the choice of a year’s worth of relief in exchange for postponing their retirement by a month). It gives a family the freedom to choose. It’s one of the first issues (Congress) will discuss when we return next week. I plan to press very hard for the Landry proposal. In the wake of Colfax’s wastewater treatment plant woes, you recently proposed legislation to protect small communities like Colfax from environmental regulations that are ever changing. What is the status of that legislation? I’m cautiously optimistic about that measure. We have a long way to go. We have to get it scheduled for a hearing. In the meantime, will you be able to help Colfax obtain additional grants to help pay for required upgrades to its plant? I have supported all of Colfax’s requests through the competitive process, not the political process (referring to not giving earmarks). You’ve taken the time to visit local clubs and service groups including the Auburn Lions and tea party groups. What are the concerns, complaints or praises you’ve heard? The economy. Everyone is suffering with the economy. It’s also produced an unprecedented focus by individual citizens on developments in Sacramento and Washington (D.C.). That is a prelude to change. On that note, what are your thoughts on the Occupy and 99 percent movements? It’s a confusing movement. There hasn’t been a coherent theme as opposed to the tea party movement, which is very clear and focused on policies. However, the resentment toward corporations using political influence…on that point the Occupy movement has a very good point. Free government is not supposed to pick winners in the marketplace. What do you think needs to happen to fix the budget? People tell me all the time we need to cut waste, fraud and abuse out of government. I agree. The fact is if you shut down government…it still would not balance the federal budget. Entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicaid, the debt, unemployment, are consuming more than the revenue of the entire federal government. Until that issue is addressed, the country is rapidly moving to bankruptcy.