Pennsylvania’s Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey said the country has a window of opportunity to change the path it is on and avoid full-blown a fiscal crisis.
“The spending the government has been doing is completely unsustainable,” Toomey said, speaking Thursday at the Pike County Chamber of Commerce annual dinner at Woodloch Pines Resort in Hawley. “This never ends well for a country that lives beyond its means.”
Against a backdrop of the November presidential election, much of Toomey’s message focused on fiscal issues.
“I think we’ve got a regulatory regime that has a chilling effect on getting out of this pattern,” Toomey said.
As an example, he mentioned new compliance regulations for banks.
“I don’t know how small community banks can stay in business with all the new compliance regulations,” Toomey said. “I think we’ve got to push back on the idea that the federal government needs to control every part of our economy.”
Toomey called the health care bill a mistake and hopes it will be repealed.
He also said he was reasonably certain Mitt Romney would be the next president. If he is, Republicans will have more sway, and he hopes constituents hold their feet to the fire on turning the economy around, Toomey said.
He acknowledged Pike County’s high unemployment rate.
“In Pike the economy is weaker that the statewide average,” Toomey said.
He offered hope through the recently passed jobs bill, a rare bipartisan bill that he says will help bring jobs to Pennsylvania.
He said he would like to see Washington work in a bipartisan fashion more often but predicted the election will dominate everything else.