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Bills makes campaign stop in Red Wing

Economics teacher and U.S. Senate-hopeful Kurt Bills rolled into Red Wing aboard his blue campaign school bus Tuesday. No surprise, his lesson focused on the state of the U.S. economy.

"The Budget Control Act is the fiscal cliff," he warned during a stop at the Republican Eagle. He went so far as to call the measure "the Budget Uncontrolled Act" and described the looming Jan. 1 deadline as potentially catastrophic.

President Barack Obama signed into law Aug. 2, 2011, the act designed to resolve a debt-ceiling crisis. U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who is seeking a second six-year term, supported the act.

The federal government actually resolved nothing, Bills said. The consequences -- higher taxes and no actual government spending cuts -- come due in three months. The Republican quotes state economist Tom Stinson in saying the effects will be like going to bed Dec. 31 with today's gas prices and waking the next day to $10-plus a gallon.

"The alternative minimum tax will hit households like you wouldn't imagine," Bills said. Those paying the highest price will be small-business owners whose personal income tax returns cover their operations -- such as entrepreneurs and main street retailers.

"This is why I am running. There is no more time," Bills said. "This election isn't really Republican vs. Democrat; it's Americans vs. Washington."

He teaches first-hour economics as usual at Rosemount High School every weekday before hitting the campaign trail. Having visited 23 counties in the past week, he stayed closer to home early this week by concentrating in Dakota and Goodhue counties.

The daily economics lessons continue, however, as he works to educate people about what the nation faces. He backs the five-year, budget-balancing measure GOP vice presidential candidate Ryan Paul and others propose called the Platform to Revitalize America.

"When Minnesotans read that plan -- and it is a tough plan -- I want them to realize this is what we need to do," Bills said.

Acknowledging he can't rival Klobuchar's campaign treasury, he likened the final weeks before Election Day to a sprint. He'll keep educating and then spend his dollars judiciously.

Government and government spending have grown during Klobuchar's time in office. Meanwhile, middle-class families have seen their net worth cut in half, he said.

"I don't want to see the national deficit double in six years again. I don't want to see unemployment double in six years again, I don't want to see gas prices double in six years again," Bills said. "There's a real distinction in the ways forward."

Anne Jacobson

Anne Jacobson has been editor of the Republican Eagle since December 2003. 

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