Inouye sounds off on U.S. debt - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Inouye sounds off on U.S. debt

Sen. Daniel Inouye Sen. Daniel Inouye

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Unlike some democrats, U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye said finger-pointing has no place in shouldering the blame for Standard & Poor's downgrading of America's credit rating.

"As far as I'm concerned there's enough blame for everyone. I don't think we should say, 'You're at fault' or 'You're at fault,'" he said.

On Sunday, President Barack Obama's campaign strategist David Axelrod blamed the Tea Party.

"We should be big enough to say we're all in it," Inouye said.

Inouye warns against corporations reacting to America's money problems by causing interest rates to rise. He said that would negatively affect all Americans.

"That interest rate will show up in everything we do and buy and sell," he said. "That's indirect taxation of the worst kind."

As for the nation's raised debt ceiling, Inouye said a balanced approach can help work America out of debt. He favors cost-cutting and closing loopholes on big U.S. companies that incorporate overseas to avoid paying taxes. That includes thousands of companies that list their corporate headquarters at one building in the Cayman Islands.

"They've got all kinds of deductions and exemptions. That's why we want to get some of that money," Inouye said.

On the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan, Inouye said Saturday's killing of 22 Navy Seals, including Maui native Kraig Vickers, reminds us of the realities of war.

"As long as we're present there, one should anticipate and expect casualties and death. That's the price of war we pay," he said.

As for the 2012 presidential race, Inouye said Obama is holding his own.

"I'm not saying this because I'm a democrat, but I think he will be re-elected because I don't see any really strong, serious candidate facing us yet," he said.

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