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'You can't spend more than you take in'

Rep. Connie Mack IV, a Republican U.S.
'You can't spend more than you take in'
'You can't spend more than you take in'

Rep. Connie Mack IV, a Republican U.S. Senate candidate in Florida, recently shared his thoughts on fiscal conservatism at the Conservative Political Action Conference: "You can't spend more than you take in."

Given his personal circumstances, it's an odd maxim for Mack to base his campaign on.

Congressman Connie Mack has made penny-pinching debt-reduction central to his U.S. Senate campaign, but privately he has struggled at times with borrowing and paying his own obligations, court records show.Mack sometimes appeared to spend more than he earned, had property liens filed against him, overdrew his bank account and didn't have enough money to pay his federal income taxes after his 2004 congressional election, according to court records from Fort Myers to Jacksonville to Fort Lauderdale. [...]Mack's biggest expense: a $675,000 home in the Washington suburb of Alexandria, Virginia. Mack used a generous jumbo loan and credit line from the former Countrywide Mortgage to close on the deal less than 20 days after his election. He later took out a $17,000 line of credit on the home with another lender -- effectively borrowing nearly 98 percent of the purchase price of the house.

This is the same guy running for the Senate on a platform of fiscal responsibility?

Asked to explain his financial difficulties, Mack blamed his divorce and ex-wife, but a Miami Herald analysis found, "[T]hough his divorce certainly contributed to his financial problems, it does not account for all the troubles he was having."

In fact, in 2004, during a successful congressional campaign, Mack borrowed an undisclosed sum from his father -- himself a former U.S. senator -- to pay his federal income tax bill, which came due long before his divorce. Around that time, Mack was spending thousands of dollars more each month than he was taking in.

The congressman is one of several candidates running in the GOP Senate primary. These revelations probably won't help give Mack an edge over his rivals.