Klobuchar and Bills Tackle U.S. Economy

By KBJR News 1

September 21, 2012 Updated Sep 21, 2012 at 10:15 AM CDT

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar and Republican challenger Kurt Bills took on national and local issues Tuesday in a debate hosted by the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce.

From the U.S. economy to Non-ferrous mining, both candidates tried to prove that they're the best person to represent Minnesota in Washington.

It was a campaign stand off in Duluth Tuesday.

Amy Klobuchar, current U.S. Senator versus Kurt Bills, a school teacher hoping to snag her seat.

With no current budget deal in Congress, and automatic spending cuts and tax increases set to take effect in January, the U.S. economy was a hot topic.

"We spend and print and go into debt so much at the federal level, that corporations and banks would rather run to Washington to receive their industry, capture their monopoly, their lockdown, rather than competing. And that's the problem," said Bills.

Senator Klobuchar says she supports extending the Bush Era tax cuts, with exception to those making over $250,000 a year.

Bills sees that as a short term solution.

"If you were to tax 100% of all income over $250,000, you would come up with about $1.4 trillion. That would fund the government for about 141 days."

"We agree that we need to bring down our debt, but look at the choices of how we do it, and who will be the ones on the short end of the stick if we do it the wrong way," said Klobuchar.

With a father who worked in the mines, she did throw her support behind mining, as did Bills.

"We have to keep pushing, we have to make sure that the permitting process is in place so that we keep our safety rules there but we want to make sure it moves as swiftly as possible," she said.

"Streamline the process, have it transparent, and make sure the federal government is running it in a very linear way, making sure that all these operations are up and running in a hurry," Bills said.

In less than two months the debate will be taken to the polls.
And with supporters from both sides out in full force tuesday, it was a sure sign that it will be a fair fight.