Brunner shares Johnson's call for a 'meat ax' to cut federal spending
St. Louis businessman John Brunner, a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, is embracing much of the message from U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., who told local Republicans that their party needs to “take a meat ax” to the federal budget should the GOP win control of the U.S. Senate this fall.
Among other things, Johnson says that the rising costs of entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare need to be reined in for future retirees. Among the possible options: increasing the eligibility age and perhaps imposing means-testing to curb benefits for those with higher incomes.
Brunner called Johnson’s ideas “a common-sense approach” to address the federal debt and the budget deficits.
Johnson, a successful businessman with tea party ties, was in town to help Brunner raise an estimated $50,000 at a fundraising event Wednesday in Clayton that was cohosted by some of region’s best-known Republican businessmen.
Among them were: Sam Fox, founder of Harbour Group; August A. Busch III, former chief executive of Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc.; and George H. “Bert” Walker III, chairman emeritus of Stifel Financial Corp
Earlier, Johnson addressed several dozen of Brunner's supporters at his campaign headquarters in west St. Louis County. Among other things, Johnson predicted that the tea party – which helped him get elected in 2010 --- will help elect even more fiscal conservatives in 2012.
Johnson said that Brunner was the first 2012 U.S. Senate candidate that he has endorsed, in part because the two men were successful businessmen with a common commitment to curb federal spending.
Johnson said that one of the best ways to address rising medical costs, such as for Medicare, was to make the public more aware of how much medical procedures costs – and to have them pay a portion. “People don’t have skin in the game,’’ Johnson said. They’re unaware of how much medical procedures cost and so they don’t do any comparison shopping.
Johnson believes that more competition would bring down medical costs. He also calls for changing the laws on medical lawsuits, known as “tort reform,” so that fewer physicians feel the need to practice “defensive medicine.”