“Tom Price owes a significant amount of responsibility for that, because he’s No. 5 in the House leadership,” Kazanow said of Price, the chairman of the Republican Policy Committee and his opponent in the Nov. 6 election. “We cannot cut ourselves enough to get rid of this deficit. He is being myopic, he is being foolish and he sold his soul to Grover Norquist.”
Kazanow, a Kennesaw business consultant who is planning to move to Roswell, was referring to a pledge that Price and 237 other House members, nearly all Republicans, signed with Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, promising not to increase taxes.
Kazanow, 57, said he would like to take a balanced approach to dealing with the fiscal cliff, a budget deficit reduction that would be caused by a group of tax increases and deep spending cuts if a deal isn’t worked out, in a balanced way. He said he would like to see 50-to-65 percent of the deficit reduction done through spending cuts and 35-to-40 percent through tax increases.
Kazanow said he is “vehemently opposed” to keeping the Bush tax cuts for the top 1 percent of earners in the country and “strongly opposed” to keeping the cuts for the top 2 percent, but would like to keep the tax cuts in place for the rest of the country. The pending expiration of the tax cuts, initially passed in 2001, is among the issues leading to concerns of slowing economic growth.
“The goal is to get money and keep money in the hands of those that will spend it,” Kazanow said. “You don’t invest in a business, unless people come into your door and buy stuff. A tax cut for the very wealthy, assuming that they actually own a business and they’re not stock traders and hedge fund managers, will not generate more investment in the economy…so it does not support job creators.”
Kazanow said there could be more room for cuts in the military budget than the 9.4 percent cut in discretionary military spending that is currently looming.
“Not every program is being run efficiently, I don’t want to bring up the $1,000 handles on toilet seats and stuff like that,” he said. “But they need to look at, ‘What is the military strategy for the future? And do we need tools of the past to fight it, and are the programs we’ve got in place now the ones to fight it?’ ”
As for locals who work in the military and for Lockheed Martin in Marietta, which has already discussed sending layoff notices to some employees, Kazanow said Price voted to cut funding to the F-22 fighter plane, which ended production at the Cobb plant earlier this year.
“I would do my best to preserve the programs that we need that are at Lockheed,” he said. “But it may not be nice to say, but if it’s not necessary and a cut has to be made, I’ll do my best to fight for my constituencies, but some cuts have to be made.”
Kazanow’s finances are barely a fraction of the incumbent’s, with Price reporting more than $1.7 million in cash on hand to the Federal Election Commission in July, compared to $2,786 for Kazanow. By election day, he said he will “at best” raise $100,000.
“I think that’s optimistic,” Kazanow said.
But Kazanow still insists he can win the election. He said redistricting following the 2010 Census has made District 6 less Republican, replacing Cherokee County with northern DeKalb County. It still includes parts of east Cobb and north Fulton counties. Kazanow said the district now sits at 55 percent Republican and 45 percent Democrat.
“That’s still a mountain to climb, it’s not Everest, but it’s a steep climb,” he said.
Kazanow said he plans to win by having more than 1,000 volunteers who are working directly or indirectly with his campaign make 150,000 live phone calls to voters. He said Price has refused to debate him.
Kazanow has an unlikely campaign model for someone who supports a government run single-payer health care system.
“Rick Santorum started with very little money and caused Mitt (Romney) an awful lot of grief,” Kazanow said. “I agree with practically nothing Rick Santorum says, but his strategy was very effective.”