Rep. Johnson: GOP Budget Could Cause Baltimore Type Violence

Eric Scheiner | May 12, 2015 | 10:27am EDT
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Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) says with budgets like the GOP plan, “the have-nots of this country will rise up like the people in Baltimore.”

During an interview last week on WABE radio’s “A Closer Look” program Johnson said he voted against the GOP budget measure because of its domestic spending cuts and added that its passage could result in violence.

“If we’re not careful the have-nots of this country will rise up like the people in Baltimore,” Johnson said.

“What happened in Baltimore stems from deeper economic issues and if you would take a ride down the streets of some of the greatly impoverished areas of Baltimore where change has not come, where things are the same as they were 50 years ago and have been allowed to grow worse then you will understand the lack of hope of which those riots are born from.”

“So are you saying, when you say ‘rise up like Baltimore’, – let’s define that a little bit more,” Host Denis O’Hayer said. “In terms of the protests or in terms of the violence?”

“No, I’m saying in terms of the violence and it’s unfortunate,” Johnson replied.

O’Hayer followed up, “You’re saying budgets like this can lead to violence?”

“Yes, I am,” Johnson, said.

The Georgia Democrat earlier said that the country is divided, “I do realize that we are at a philosophical divide in this country.”

“One between free-marketers who think that everything should be left up to the free market economic system, laissez-faire capitalism, and that there should be limited government, versus those who believe in a government involvement in the macro economy.”

“That is the ideal that’s at stake here,” Johnson continued.

“I’ll tell you the free-marketers have been winning of late and it’s to the detriment of this country.”

The U.S. Senate voted last week to approve a non-binding budget blueprint that passed through the House earlier in the month.

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