Rep. Tom Price

Rep. Tom Price, R-Roswell, visited the Rotary Club of Sandy Springs on Aug. 8 and gave two simple reasons the U.S. economy is hurting: high taxes and excessive government regulation.

Price gave a list of what he said would “send the right message” to the markets, which, as he spoke, were tumbling in the wake of a downgrade of the U.S. credit rating from AAA to AA+.

When someone asked him if the Standard & Poor’s downgrade of the credit rating was done in error, Price said the rating was accurate.

“I don’t know how you could look at our books and not downgrade our credit,” he said. “I’ve got the greatest amount of faith in this country ever. I wouldn’t shoot the messenger, I’d change the message.”

Price proposed an 18-month moratorium on new government regulations, a 10 percent salary reduction for anyone in the federal government making more than $100,000 annually and cutting the departments of Education, Commerce, Interior and Energy by 25 percent.

“Some of those could be done tomorrow,” Price said. “That would send a message to the markets and would send a message to those young men and women across this country who are wondering if they’re going to have the opportunities you and I have enjoyed.”

When asked for a response, Eric Gray, spokesman for the Georgia Democratic party, called Price’s proposals “nutty” and said he’s a millionaire who’s out of touch with his constituents.

“We believe that Congressman Tom Price is not in a position to prescribe medicine for an illness that he himself has helped cause,” Gray said. “Price’s nutty proposals–salary reductions for middle-class citizens while preserving tax breaks for billionaires, cutting education by 25 percent–only further show that he is out of touch with working Georgians who struggle to put food on the table every day.”

Price said the public should not have a “pity party” over the nation’s current troubles and should “reinvigorate” itself, working together to solve problems. When asked who among the current crop of 2012 Republican presidential candidates he supports he said “anybody else” besides President Barack Obama.

“Our top five or six folks all would do a much better job rallying the country,” Price said.

Eugene Jordan, director of programs for Rotary and a Price supporter said Price’s comments were “right on target.”

“His ideas need to be embraced,” Jordan said. “We are in a crisis.”

Jim Buckler, another rotary member, said he appreciates the regular updates Price gives to the club and said the congressman “represents us well.”

“Hoepfully, he’ll have the wisdom to know when to compromise,” Buckler said.

Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt wrote for Reporter Newspapers from 2011 - 2014. He is the founder and editor of