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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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October 8th, 2013
11:29 PM ET

Sen. Johnson: Americans need to know the truth about nation's spending

Eight days into the government shutdown, and there is still no compromise, or viable political solution from Washington. But one thing the political parties have produced is plenty of mean-spirited rhetoric.

The latest ad from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, slapped together a personal dig against House Speaker John Boehner, calling him "chicken," and "spineless."

The argument from President Barack Obama, and other lawmakers, is that passing a spending bill and raising the debt ceiling are not crazy things for Congress to do.

"He's also saying do all those things, and I'll sit down and negotiate seriously with you, which he's never done," said Senator Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin.

Johnson said the long-term driver of the nation's debt and deficit is health care spending – which Obama has said as well.

But Johnson, a member of the Senate Budget Committee, said the nation does not realize the extent of the matter, pointing to a 30-year projection he did, which found a $36 trillion deficit in Medicare.

"That's the first thing you have to agree on, is the extent of the problem, and then we need to actually describe it to the American public, so they are prepared for the solution," said Johnson.

For more of our interview with Sen. Ron Johnson, watch the video above.

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