WASHINGTON (AP) - Colin Powell worries that President Barack Obama is trying to tackle too many big issues at one time and he offers this advice: take a hard look at costs and consider the additional red tape that will be created.
"The right answer is, 'Give me a government that works,'" the former secretary of state said in a television interview to be aired Sunday. "Keep it as small as possible," added Powell, who said he has spoken recently with Obama and stays in touch with him. Powell, a Republican, endorsed Obama last year over the GOP presidential nominee, Arizona Sen. John McCain.
Obama wants to overhaul the health care system and take on climate change while also helping the country emerge from the recession.
"I think one of the cautions that has to be given to the president - and I've talked to some of his people about this - is that you can't have so many things on the table that you can't absorb it all. And we can't pay for it all," Powell said.
"And I never would have believed that we would have budgets that are running into the multi-trillions of dollars, and we are amassing a huge, huge national debt that, if we don't pay for in our lifetime, our kids and grand kids and great grandchildren will have to pay for it."
It's not a new theme for Powell
He complained about the government's size and intrusiveness in his 1996 speech to the Republican National Convention. He said then that the nation no longer could afford more entitlements, higher taxes and more bureaucracy. In the interview with CNN's "State of the Union" that is to air Sunday, Powell said he hasn't changed his mind.
"Keep it as small as possible. Keep the tax burden on the American people as small as possible, but at the same time, have government that is solving the problems of the people," he said.
He said Obama "has to start really taking a very, very hard look at what the cost of all this is. And, how much additional bureaucracy and will it be effective bureaucracy."
(Oh how the liberals love Colin Powell when he endorses POTUS, wonder what they will think now? I think Colin Powell can't figure out which side of the fence best suits his ass! Yeah, I said it and you are entitled to my opinion. VN8)