U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson wants people to recapture the spirit of America and limit government in their lives.
Johnson, R-Wis., made his comments at a stop in Baraboo on Tuesday where he met with Baraboo Area Chamber of Commerce members during a listening session at Teel Plastics.
"We the American people need to solve the problems of this country together," he said.
Johnson, who unseated Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold in 2010, earned great financial success at his plastics company, PACUR, in Oshkosh.
"The day I fear is when creditors stop loaning the United States money or they tell us they will be charging us more for loaning money to us," he said. "That's depressing enough so we better act now. Not in 2013, not 2014 and not 2015. We need to act before we bankrupt this nation."
Baraboo National Bank Chairman Merlin Zitzner asked Johnson what is the solution to the nation's financial problems.
Johnson said change will come if people, who do not want to be career politicians and rest on their laurels, come to Washington and simply get the job done because they know firsthand what the problem is.
"We also have to fight to keep our fiscal disciplines in check," Johnson said. "We don't need to raise taxes, but we do need to limit our spending as a nation."
Lollie Wheeler of Wheeler's Campground asked how businesses can increase their sales if consumers don't have money to spend. "The bottom line with businesses and corporations is the bottom line," Wheeler said.
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She also said government has made a promise to people with Medicare and Medicaid, but there is a disconnect between politicians and the people.
Johnson said the United States has created a "very compassionate society," but in Wisconsin that same compassion has created a welfare state that encourages people not to work.
"A family unit can't survive on $22,000, but after they receive all of their government entitlements they receive more than $62,000," he said. "We have a safety net for the poor, but not for those who are out there working."
Johnson said the United States government has made numerous promises to its people, and that is one of the reasons health care is so expensive.
"We don't have a free market when it comes to health care," he said. "If we had the same economic model that applies to health care and place it on the food industry we would all be eating filet mignon."
Johnson said the only way to wean people off entitlements is overhauling the system to help boost the economy and get people working again.
When questioned by the News Republic on his comment last month on why good workers don't stay at minimum wage for long, Johnson said he would like to restructure unemployment insurance so people can take entry level positions and get working.
"Good employees show their worth," he said. "And when those employees show their worth, employers will see that effort and move them up the ladder."
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