CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - FOX19 Spoke with Senator Rob Portman Tuesday while he was in town after spending weeks on Capitol Hill negotiating the debt ceiling.
The FOX19 commitment to covering all sides of an issue means asking tough questions of government officials. Senator Portman fielded those questions ranging from issues of government mistrust, to Medicare and investment concerns.
FOX19: According to a Fox News poll that recently came out we're talking 62 percent of Americans polled now mistrust the government. What's your response to that?
SEN. ROB PORTMAN: There's a lot of reason for that mistrust. I think Washington is not tackling the problems. I think there are two huge ones right now. It's the record deficits and debts, but it's also the economy and they're related. Unless we can get the economy moving again it is very hard for us to get out of these record deficits and debts. In other words, we need to grow our way out as well as cut the spending.
FOX19: What do you have to say to Cincinnatians we have recently been watching their 401Ks take a real hit?
SEN. ROB PORTMAN: Yeah, my 401K is looking like a 201K I think. Like many people I am in the stock market. I think they've got to tell their elected representatives to get busy focusing on restraining the spending because that's part of the problem here, but also pro growth policies: tax reform, regulatory relief, expanding exports, dealing with the energy problem, making sure we're producing our energy here at home that we have.
FOX19: Finally with Medicare in talking about the reforms that many are calling for right now, the head of the American Hospital Association just came out saying that funding cuts could overload ERs, shut down trauma units, and reduce access to the latest treatments. [What's] your response to that?
SEN. ROB PORTMAN: I think the way the administration has started to reform Medicare is just by taking it out of providers so it's doctors and hospitals and clinics and a lot of them aren't interested in taking future Medicare patients as a result so you've got to deal with it in a more structural way: look at the program itself, create more incentives for choice, more competition. There are proposals out there to do that. You don't have to recreate the wheel.