Karen Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state, is a candidate for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated in January by Sen. Saxby Chambliss. (Staff Photo: Jim West)
ALBANY — Karen Handel, candidate to represent Georgia in U.S. Senate, has a four-point plan to foster economic opportunity and prosperity in Georgia and throughout the nation, she told The Albany Herald on Friday.
A former Georgia secretary of state and chair of the Fulton County Commission, Handel said she’s eager to address what she sees as a national fiscal crisis perpetuated by the Obama administration, first by repealing the Affordable Care Act, sometimes known as “ObamaCare.”
Handel cites a number of reasons for its repeal, saying that 3.5 million Americans have received health insurance cancellation notices on their private policies, the high cost to taxpayers of the Affordable Care Act web site and the higher cost of medical care.
Handel also cites an article in The New York Times that two-third of America’s poor blacks and single mothers will be denied coverage by the act. The Times article noted that most of those passed over by the plan are in states with Republican administrations that have not expanded Medicaid under the act’s provisions.
The second part of her plan is to reduce spending, Handel said, and solve the federal budget deficit by implementing her “One-Cent Solution.”
“A real 1 percent cut in the budget for a period of six years gives us a balanced budget again,” Handel said. “We should ask ourselves if we like a particular project, but if you know we have to borrow the money from China or wherever, do we still want to fund it? I think the answer for the American people will change very quickly.”
Handel would also repeal the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which establishes the federal income tax. She said she favors instead the FairTax, or a tax on purchases. According to Handel, after a monthly payment to consumers, called a “prebate,” of the tax on purchases of necessities up to the poverty level, all consumers would pay a 23 percent sales tax on consumables. Handel disagrees with criticism that the Fair Tax is essentially a “regressive” system that unfairly taxes low-income citizens at the same rate as the wealthy.
“It’s not an income tax, where they’re coming in and ripping dollars out of your pocket,” Handel said. “You get to drive your own destiny based on your buying decisions. That’s what makes it fair.”
Finally, Handel would work toward easing burdensome regulations, governmental “red tape,” and “never-ending rules,” facing businesses in Georgia and throughout the county, she said. To that end, Handel would urge passing of the REINS act, which would expand House authority over the executive branch by making major regulations subject to House approval and automatically sunset all major regulations unless they are reauthorized by Congress.
“Shortly after Ronald Reagan was elected, when I was 17 years old, He told our country our best days were still ahead,” Handel said. “That’s why I’m running for U.S. Senate — because I want to make sure our best days are still ahead.”
Handel faces five Republican contenders in the May 20 for the GOP nomination to replace U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, a Moultrie Republican who is leaving the Senate when his term expires in January. The GOP nominee will face the Democratic nominee in the November general election.