Tag Archives: barack obama

Republican debate Oct 18, 2011 (middle part) with video clips and transcript

Below are several segments of the October 18, 2011 Republican Presidential Debate and the transcript:

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SANTORUM: Mitt, the governor of Massachusetts just is coming forward saying we have to pick up the job left undone by Romneycare, which is doing something about cutting health care costs.

What you did is exactly what Barack Obama did: focused on the wrong problem. Herman always says you’ve got to find the right problem. Well, the right problem is health care costs. What you did with a top-down, government-run program was focus on the problem of health care access. You expanded the pool of insurance without controlling costs. You’ve blown a hole in the budget up there. And you authored in Obamacare, which is going to blow a hole in the budget of this country.

COOPER: Governor Romney, I’m going to give you 30 seconds.

ROMNEY: I’m — I’m sorry, Rick, that you find so much to dislike in my plan, but I’ll tell you, the people in Massachusetts like it by about a 3-1 margin.

And we dealt with a challenge that we had, a lot of people that were expecting government to pay their way. And we said, you know what? If people have the capacity to care for themselves and pay their own way, they should.

Now, I can tell you this, it’s absolutely right that there’s a lot that needs to be done. And I didn’t get the job done in Massachusetts in getting the health care costs down in this country. It’s something I think we have got to do at the national level. I intend to do that.

But one thing is for sure. What Obama has done is imposed on the nation a plan that will not work, that must be repealed. And when it comes to knowledge about health care and how to get our health care system working, I may not be a doctor like this one right over here, but I sure understand how to bring the cost of health care down and how to also make sure that we have a system that works for the American people.

SANTORUM: It didn’t do it. It didn’t do it.

COOPER: Speaker Gingrich, you’ve also been very critical of Mitt Romney’s plan not only on Obamacare, but his plan to lower the capital gains tax only on those earning under $200,000.

GINGRICH: I want to say on health for a minute — OK, let’s just focus. “The Boston Herald” today reported that the state of Massachusetts is fining a local small business $3,000 because their $750-a-month insurance plan is inadequate, according to the bureaucrats in Boston.

Now, there’s a fundamental difference between trying to solve the problems of this country from the top down and trying to create environments in which doctors and patients and families solve the problem from the bottom up.

And candidly, Mitt, your plan ultimately, philosophically, it’s not Obamacare, and that’s not a fair charge. But your plan essentially is one more big government, bureaucratic, high-cost system, which candidly could not have been done by any other state because no other state had a Medicare program as lavish as yours, and no other state got as much money from the federal government under the Bush administration for this experiment. So there’s a lot as big government behind Romneycare. Not as much as Obamacare, but a heck of a lot more than your campaign is admitting.

(APPLAUSE)

COOPER: Governor Romney, 30 seconds.

ROMNEY: Actually, Newt, we got the idea of an individual mandate from you.

GINGRICH: That’s not true. You got it from the Heritage Foundation.

ROMNEY: Yes, we got it from you, and you got it from the Heritage Foundation and from you.

GINGRICH: Wait a second. What you just said is not true. You did not get that from me. You got it from the Heritage Foundation.

ROMNEY: And you never supported them?

GINGRICH: I agree with them, but I’m just saying, what you said to this audience just now plain wasn’t true.

(CROSSTALK)

ROMNEY: OK. Let me ask, have you supported in the past an individual mandate?

GINGRICH: I absolutely did with the Heritage Foundation against Hillarycare.

ROMNEY: You did support an individual mandate?

ROMNEY: Oh, OK. That’s what I’m saying. We got the idea from you and the Heritage Foundation.

GINGRICH: OK. A little broader.

ROMNEY: OK.

BACHMANN: Anderson?

COOPER: He still has time. Let him finish.

ROMNEY: I get a little time here.

Number two, we don’t have a government insurance plan. What we do is rely on private insurers, and people — 93 percent of our people who are already insured, nothing changed. For the people who didn’t have insurance, they get private insurance, not government insurance.

And the best way to make markets work is for people to be able to buy their own products from private enterprises. What we did was right for our state, according to the people in our state. And the great thing about a state solution to a state issue is, if people don’t like it, they could change it.

Now, there are a lot of things.

BACHMANN: Anderson?

COOPER: Congresswoman Bachmann.

BACHMANN: Anderson, I think it has to be stated that Obamacare is so flat-out unpopular, that even the Obama administration chose to reject part of Obamacare last Friday, when they tried to throw out the CLASS Act, which is the long-term care function.

Secretary Sebelius, who is the head of Health and Human Services, reported that the government can’t even afford that part and has to throw it out. And now the administration is arguing with itself.

When even the Obama administration wants to repeal this bill, I think we’re going to win this thing. We’re going to repeal it! And I will!

(APPLAUSE)

COOPER: We’ve got to take a quick break. We will continue this discussion on the other side.

We have a long way to go. We’ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: And welcome back to the continuing debate. We got a Twitter question. We ended talking about medicine, Obamacare. We actually have a Twitter question about it. It was a question left at CNN debate.

If Obama’s health plan is bad for the U.S., what is the alternative, and how will you implement it?

Congressman Paul, is there any aspect of Obamacare that you would like to keep, whether it’s keeping kids to stay on their parents’ insurance until they’re 26 or no pre-existing conditions?

PAUL: Really not, because he’s just adding on more government. There’s been a lot of discussion about medicine, but it seems to be talking about which kind of government management is best. Our problem is we have too much. We’ve had it for 30, 40 years. We have Medicare. We have prescription drug programs. We have Medicaid.

And what we need — I mean, there’s a pretty good support up here for getting rid of Obamacare, because it’s a Democratic proposal, and we want to opt out. I think we’d all agree on this.

But if you want better competition and better health care, you should allow the American people to opt out of government medicine. And… (APPLAUSE)

And the way to do this is to not de-emphasize the medical savings account, but let people opt out, pay their bills, get back to the doctor-patient relationship. There is inflation worked into it. When a government gets involved in an industry, prices always go up. We have tort laws to deal with. And we need more competition in medicine.

But the most important thing is letting the people have control of their money and getting it out of the hands of the third party. As soon as you go to the government, the lobbyists line up, the drug companies line up, these insurance companies line up. And even with Obamacare, the industries, the corporations get behind it and affect the outcome, and already insurance premiums are going up.

(APPLAUSE)

COOPER: Herman Cain, same question. Is there any aspect of so- called Obamacare that — that you would keep?

CAIN: No. I think we all agree that Obamacare must be repealed because it is a disaster. And the more we learn about it and the more time goes along, the more we see. We’re all in agreement with that.

But here’s where I would start in answering that question. It’s called H.R. 3400. This was introduced back in 2009, but you didn’t hear a lot of talk about it. Instead of government being imposed on — on our system, it imposes — it basically passes market-centered, market-driven, patient-centered sort of reforms to allow association health plans, to allow loser pay laws, to allow insurance products to be sold across state lines, and a whole list of other things. So that’s a great place to start.

It allows the patient and the doctors to make the decisions, not a bureaucrat. I’d start with HR-3400.

(APPLAUSE)

COOPER: Governor Perry, in the last debate, Governor Romney pointed out that Texas has one of the highest rates of uninsured children in the country, over one million kids. You did not get an opportunity to respond to that. What do you say? How do you explain that?

PERRY: Well, we’ve got one of the finest health care systems in the world in Texas. As a matter of fact, the Houston, Texas, Medical Center, there’s more doctors and nurses that go to work there every morning than any other place in America. But the idea that you can’t have access to health care, some of the finest health care in the world — but we have a 1,200-mile border with Mexico, and the fact is we have a huge number of illegals that are coming into this country.

And they’re coming into this country because the federal government has failed to secure that border. But they’re coming here because there is a magnet. And the magnet is called jobs. And those people that hire illegals ought to be penalized.

And Mitt, you lose all of your standing, from my perspective, because you hired illegals in your home and you knew about it for a year. And the idea that you stand here before us and talk about that you’re strong on immigration is on its face the height of hypocrisy.

(LAUGHTER)

COOPER: Governor Romney?

ROMNEY: Rick, I don’t think I’ve ever hired an illegal in my life. And so I’m afraid — I’m looking forward to finding your facts on that, because that just doesn’t –

PERRY: Well, I’ll tell you what the facts are.

ROMNEY: Rick, again — Rick, I’m speaking.

PERRY: You had the — your newspaper — the newspaper –

ROMNEY: I’m speaking. I’m speaking. I’m speaking.

(CROSSTALK)

ROMNEY: You get 30 seconds. This is the way the rules work here, is that I get 60 seconds and then you get 30 second to respond. Right?

Anderson?

PERRY: And they want to hear you say that you knew you had illegals working at your –

ROMNEY: Would you please wait? Are you just going to keep talking?

PERRY: Yes, sir.

ROMNEY: Would you let me finish with what I have to say?

(BOOING)

ROMNEY: Look, Rick –

COOPER: I thought Republicans follow the rules.

ROMNEY: This has been a tough couple of debates for Rick, and I understand that. And so you’re going to get testy.

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: But let’s let — I’ll tell you what, let me take my time, and then you can take your time. All right?

PERRY: Great. Have at it.

ROMNEY: All right.

My time is this, which is I have in my state — when I was governor, I took the action of empowering our state police to enforce immigration laws. When you were governor, you said, I don’t want to build a fence. You put in place a magnet.

You talked about magnets. You put in place a magnet to draw illegals into the state, which was giving $100,000 of tuition credit to illegals that come into this country, and then you have states — the big states of illegal immigrants are California and Florida. Over the last 10 years, they’ve had no increase in illegal immigration.

Texas has had 60 percent increase in illegal immigrants in Texas. If there’s someone who has a record as governor with regards to illegal immigration that doesn’t stand up to muster, it’s you, not me.

(APPLAUSE)

COOPER: Governor Perry, you have 30 seconds.

PERRY: You stood here in front of the American people and did not tell the truth that you had illegals working on your property. And the newspaper came to you and brought it to your attention, and you still, a year later, had those individuals working for you.

The idea that you can sit here and talk about any of us having an immigration issue is beyond me. I’ve got a strong policy. I’ve always been against amnesty. You, on the other hand, were for amnesty.

COOPER: I’ve got 30 seconds, then we’ve got move on to another immigration question.

ROMNEY: OK.

You wrote an op-ed in the newspaper saying you were open to amnesty. That’s number one.

Number two, we hired a lawn company to mow our lawn, and they had illegal immigrants that were working there. And when that was pointed out to us, we let them go. And we went to them and said –

PERRY: A year later?

ROMNEY: You have a problem with allowing someone to finish speaking. And I suggest that if you want to become president of the United States, you have got to let both people speak. So first, let me speak.

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: So we went to the company and we said, look, you can’t have any illegals working on our property. I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake, I can’t have illegals. It turns out that once question, they hired someone who had falsified their documents, had documents, and therefore we fired them. And let me tell you, it is hard in this country as an individual homeowner to know if people who are contractors working at your home, if they have hired people that are illegal. If I’m president, we’ll put in an E-Verify system, which you have opposed –

COOPER: Out of time.

ROMNEY: — to make sure that we can find out who’s here illegally and not, and crack down on people who come here illegally.

COOPER: All right. We’re going to stay on the topic of immigration.

(APPLAUSE)

COOPER: We’re going to stay on the topic of immigration. Everyone is going to get a chance to weigh in.

This is a question that was left at CNNPolitics.com. “As president, will you order completion of the physical border fence along the entire border between the U.S. and Mexico?” That’s from Marilyn L.

Herman Cain, let me start with you. Obviously, over the weekend, you got a lot of headlines by saying you would have an electrified fence. You then later said it was — you then later said it was a joke. And then last night, you said, “It might be electrified. I’m not walking away from that. I just don’t want to offend anyone.”

(LAUGHTER)

So…

(APPLAUSE)

So would you build an entire fence along the entire border, and would you have it be electrified?

(LAUGHTER)

CAIN: Allow me to give a serious answer. Yes, I believe we should secure the border for real, and it would be a combination of a fence, technology, as well as possibly boots on the ground for some of the more dangerous areas. I don’t apologize at all for wanting to protect the American citizens and to protect our agents on the border, no.

(APPLAUSE)

Secondly, the second thing that I would do — see, I believe in let’s solve the whole problem. We must shut the back door so people can come in the front door. Secondly, promote the existing path to citizenship by cleaning up the bureaucracy in Washington, D.C.

Thirdly, enforce the laws — the immigration laws that are already on the books. (APPLAUSE)

And here’s another one of these bold ideas by the non-politician up here. Empower the states to do what the federal government is not doing in terms of enforcing those laws.

(APPLAUSE)

COOPER: Governor Perry, you have — you have the — your state has the longest border with Mexico. Is it possible — to the question — is it possible to build a fence, an — across the entire border?

PERRY: Sure. You can — you can build a fence, but it takes anywhere between 10 and 15 years and $30 billion. There’s a better way, and that’s to build a virtual defense zone, if you will, along that border, which — not unlike what Herman’s talking about, and you can do it with strategic fencing in the obvious places where it matters.

But the way you really stop the activities along that border that are illegal, whether it’s the drug cartels or whether it’s bringing in illegal weapons or whether it’s illegal immigrants that are coming in, is to put boots on the ground.

I will tell you, Herman, you put a lot of boots on the ground. You use Predator drones that are being trained right up here at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada to use that real-time information to give those boots on the ground that information, and they can instantly move to those areas. And that is the way to shut that border down, to secure that border, and really make America safe from individuals, like those Iranians that are using the drug cartels to penetrate this country.

COOPER: Congresswoman Bachmann, do you agree with Governor Perry?

(APPLAUSE)

BACHMANN: Well, I think the person who really has a problem with illegal immigration in the country is President Obama. It’s his uncle and his aunt who are illegal aliens…

(APPLAUSE)

… who’ve been allowed to stay in this country, despite the fact that they’re illegal.

This last Saturday, I was the very first candidate that signed a pledge that said that, by a date certain, I will build a double-walled fence with — with an area of security neutrality in between. I will build that, because this is what we know. This is an economics issue and a jobs issue. Every year…

COOPER: You’re saying you would build a fence along the entire border? BACHMANN: I will build it on the entire border, and I’ll tell you why. Every year, it costs this country $113 billion in the costs that we put out to pay for illegal aliens. It costs the state and local government of that amount $82 billion. For every household of an American citizen, it costs us $1,000 a year. We are robbing the household of Americans who can’t afford that.

I will build the fence. I will enforce English as the official language of the United States government.

(APPLAUSE)

And every — every person who comes into this country will have to agree that they will not receive taxpayer-subsidized benefits of any American citizen…

COOPER: Time.

BACHMANN: Thank you.

COOPER: Governor Perry, does that — can you actually — does that make sense? She says she can build the — the fence along the entire border.

PERRY: As I said, you can build that fence, but by the time that fence gets built…

COOPER: She’s also talking about your taxpayer-subsidized benefits.

PERRY: But my — my point is that, by the time that fence gets built, there is a lot better way than to stand here and to — to play to some group of people somewhere and say, “We’re going to build a fence,” and then wipe our hands of it.

I’ve been dealing with this border for 10 years as the governor. And the reason that we have this issue is because the federal government has failed miserably to defend and secure that border.

BACHMANN: Which is why we build…

(CROSSTALK)

PERRY: You know, for someone that’s been in the United States Congress to — to lecture me on the issues that are going on, on that border is not right. Let me tell you, we’ve had to deal with that issue in the state of Texas. We’ve had to deal with the impact on our state. And I put $400 million on that border of Texas, taxpayers’ money, Texas Ranger recon teams there.

We know how to secure the border. I shared with you earlier how to do it. You put the boots on the ground, the aviation assets in the air, and you secure that border.

COOPER: Governor…

BACHMANN: Anderson, can I respond?

COOPER: He wasn’t talking about you directly.

BACHMANN: No, he did respond.

ROMNEY: Let’s step back. I think it’s important for us as Republicans on this stage to say something which hasn’t been said. And that is I think every single person here loves legal immigration. We respect people who come here legally.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: And the reason we’re so animated about stopping illegal immigration is there are 4.5 million people who want to come here who are in line legally, we want that to happen in an orderly and legal process.

And in terms of how to secure the border, it’s really not that hard. You have a fence, you have enough Border Patrol agents to oversee the fence, and you turn off the magnets. And that’s employers that hire people who they know are here illegally.

That’s why you have an E-Verify system so they can know that. And, number two, you turn off the magnets like tuition breaks or other breaks that draw people into this country illegally. It is not that hard. We have to have the political will to get the job done.

And, Governor Perry, you say you have got the experience. It’s a bit like saying that, you know, the college coach that has lost 40 games in a row has the experience to go to the NFL.

But the truth is, California — I’ll say it again, California and Florida have both had no increase in illegal immigration and yours is up 60 percent…

COOPER: Time.

ROMNEY: … over the last 10 years.

COOPER: Governor Perry, 30 seconds to respond.

PERRY: Well, the bottom line is that we have a federal government that has failed. There is a clear problem here. And he hit the nail on the head a while ago. He said there was a magnet of people that will hire illegals. And you are number one on that list, sir.

And people need to understand that. You’re one of the problems, Mitt.

COOPER: I think we’ve been down that road.

ROMNEY: Yes…

(CROSSTALK)

ROMNEY: We’ve been down that road sufficiently. It sounds like the audience agrees with me.

COOPER: We are continuing on immigration. We have a question in the audience.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

ROBERT ZAVALA, LAS VEGAS RESIDENT: Good evening. Thank you for the opportunity to ask my question. We have 50 million Latinos and not all of us are illegal. What is the message from you guys to our Latino community?

COOPER: Speaker Gingrich? President Obama got I think 67 percent of the Latino vote last time around.

GINGRICH: Look, I think that there’s a very clear message to Americans of all backgrounds. Latinos, Korean-Americans, Vietnamese- Americans, there are hundreds of different groups who come to America.

As Governor Romney said, I think anybody who understands America has to be proud of our record as the country which has been the most open in history to legal immigration.

But the truth is most Latinos in the United States aren’t immigrants. Most Latinos in the United States now have been born in the United States. And the fact is they want virtually exactly what everyone else wants.

They want an economy that is growing. They want a job that has take home pay. They want access to health insurance that they can afford. They want a chance to get educated that is actually useful and worthwhile. They want to be able to know that their family is going to grow up in safety. And they want to have a chance that their country is going to work to give their children and their grandchildren a better future.

I think we have to have the same message for every American of every ethnic background that we want to make America work again. And you’ll know it’s working because you will have a job and you’ll have a chance to take care of your family.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

COOPER: Congressman Paul, there’s some Latino voters who believe that some of these strong anti-immigration laws — anti-illegal immigration laws are actually anti-Latino laws. What do you say to them?

PAUL: Well, I think some people do believe that. I think a fence is symbolic of that. And I can understand why somebody might look at that. But when we approach this immigration problem, we should look at the incentives and that — or the mandates from the federal government saying that you must educate, you must give them free education.

You have to remove these incentives. But I don’t think the answer is a fence whatsoever. But in order to attract Latino votes, I think, you know, too long this country has always put people in groups. They penalize people because they’re in groups, and then they reward people because they’re in groups.

But following up on what Newt was saying, we need a healthy economy, we wouldn’t be talking about this. We need to se everybody as an individual. And to me, seeing everybody as an individual means their liberties are protected as individuals and they’re treated that way and they’re never penalized that way.

So if you have a free and prosperous society, all of a sudden this group mentality melts away. As long as there’s no abuse — one place where there’s still a lot of discrimination in this country is in our court systems. And I think the minorities come up with a short hand in our court system.

COOPER: Herman Cain, the 14th Amendment allows that anybody born in the United States is an American citizen. Should that change?

CAIN: I want to go back and answer this question first, OK? And that is, my message to Latinos, blacks, whites, and all Americans is that we must first start with significantly boosting this economy, which is on life support.

This is why I have put forth a very bold plan, and I’m not afraid to try and sell it to the American people. I’m not afraid to fight for it when I become president of the United States of America. So that’s my message.

If we have this economy growing, people will be able to take care of their families and go after their American dream. And until we boost this economy, all of us are going to suffer for a long time.

COOPER: Then let me ask the question of Governor Perry.

Governor Perry, the 14th Amendment allows anybody. A child of illegal immigrants who is born here is automatically an American citizen. Should that change?

PERRY: Well, let me address Herman’s issue that he just talked about.

COOPER: Actually, I’d rather you answer that question.

PERRY: I understand that. You get to ask the questions, I get to answer like I want to. And Herman talked about –

COOPER: That’s actually a response, that’s not an answer, but go ahead.

PERRY: — the issue of how we get this country back working. And truly, the plan that I laid out last week, where we talk about the energy industry and this treasure trove that we have under this country, and we need to recognize that the administration that we have today is blocking mining that could be going on in the state of Nevada. I talked to Brian Sandoval before I came in here today. You have an administration that is killing jobs because they want to move us to a green energy. You have a secretary of energy who has basically said he wants to see gas prices up close to the European model. The president himself said electricity rates are necessarily going to skyrocket.

That’s what we’ve got to stop. That’s the reason we got to have a president of the United States that understands that if you get Americans working, and it addresses these issues that we have in this country, then the fastest way to do it is open up these federal –

COOPER: Time.

PERRY: — plants, to pull back those regulations, and get America working again.

COOPER: Time.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: To the question on the 14th Amendment, do you support repealing the 14th Amendment?

PERRY: No.

COOPER: No, you do not?

PERRY: I do not.

COOPER: Congresswoman Bachmann, do you support it?

BACHMANN: I think there’s a very real issue with magnets in this country. And I think the issue that you’re referring to is the issue of anchor babies. And that’s an issue that — I was just in Arizona this last weekend, and the state is very concerned, because when someone comes illegally across the border, specifically for the purpose of utilizing American resources for having a baby here, then all of the welfare benefits then attach to that baby.

This is an issue that we don’t have to deal with the Constitution. This is an issue that we can deal with legislatively. And there are a lot of Americans that would like us to deal with this issue of anchor babies legislatively.

(APPLAUSE)

COOPER: Senator Santorum?

SANTORUM: I’d like to address the issue that the gentleman brought up, which is, what are we going to say to the Latino community? And not one person mentioned the issue of family, faith, marriage.

This is a community that is a faith-filled community, that family is at the center of that community. I disagree in some respects with Congressman Paul, who says the country is founded on the individual.

The basic building block of a society is not an individual. It’s the family. That’s the basic unit of society.

(APPLAUSE)

SANTORUM: And the Latino community understands that. They understand the importance of faith and marriage. They understand that bond that builds that solid foundation, and that inculcation of faith and religious freedom. And I think the Latino community knows that’s at stake in this country.

There’s a lot going on right now that’s eroding our religious freedom, that’s eroding the traditional values of marriage and family. And there’s one candidate up here who consistently sounds that theme.

Look, I’m for jobs, too. I have got an economic plan, and I agree with everything that’s been said. But we keep running roughshod over the fact that family in America and faith in America is being crushed by the courts and our government, and someone has stand up and fight for those institutions (ph).

(APPLAUSE)

COOPER: Time.

Congressman Paul, you were referenced directly. Thirty seconds.

PAUL: Well, I would like to explain that rights don’t come in bunches. Rights come as individuals, they come from a God, and they come as each individual has a right to life and liberty.

But I might add about the border control and the Latino vote, is we lack resources there. I think we should have more border guards on it, a more orderly transition, and run it much better. But where are our resources?

You know, we worry more about the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. We need to bring the guard units home and the units back here so we can have more personnel on our border.

(APPLAUSE)

COOPER: We have a question in the audience.

QUESTION: My question for you is, do you support opening the national nuclear repository at Yucca Mountain?

COOPER: Speaker Gingrich, we’ll start with you.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Sorry, go ahead.

GINGRICH: Look, we — we worked on this when I was speaker. I think that it has to be looked at scientifically. But I think at some point we have to find a safe method of taking care of nuclear waste. And today, because this has been caught up in a political fight, we have small units of nuclear waste all over this country in a way that is vastly more dangerous to the United States than finding a method of keeping it in a very, very deep place that would be able to sustain 10,000 or 20,000 and 30,000 years of geological safety.

COOPER: Is Yucca Mountain that place?

GINGRICH: I’m not a scientist. I mean, Yucca Mountain certainly was picked by the scientific community as one of the safest places in the United States. It has always had very deep opposition here in Nevada. And, frankly…

COOPER: You were for opening it in Congress, right?

GINGRICH: Huh?

COOPER: When you were in the Congress, you were…

(CROSSTALK)

GINGRICH: When I was in Congress, frankly, I worked with the Nevada delegation to make sure that there was time for scientific studies. But we have to find some method of finding a very geologically stable place, and most geologists believe that, in fact, Yucca Mountain is that.

COOPER: Congressman Paul, you oppose this?

PAUL: Yes. Yes, I’ve — I’ve opposed this. We’ve had votes in the Congress. There was a time when I voted with two other individuals, the two congressmen from Nevada. And I approach it from a state’s rights position. What right does 49 states have to punish one state and say, “We’re going to put our garbage in your state”? I think that’s wrong.

But I think it’s very serious. I think it’s very serious. But quite frankly, the government shouldn’t be in the business of subsidizing any form of energy. And nuclear energy, I think, is a good source of energy, but they still get subsidies. Then they assume this responsibility. Then we as politicians and the bureaucrats get involved in this. And then we get involved with which state’s going to get stuck with the garbage.

So I would say, the more the free market handles this and the more you deal with property rights and no subsidies to any form of energy, the easier this problem would be solved.

COOPER: Governor Romney, where do you stand on this?

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: Congressman Paul was right on that.

(APPLAUSE) I don’t always agree with him, but I do on that. The — the idea that 49 states can tell Nevada, “We want to give you our nuclear waste,” doesn’t make a lot of sense. I think the people of Nevada ought to have the final say as to whether they want that, and my guess is that for them to say yes to something like that, someone’s going to have to offer them a pretty good deal, as opposed to having the federal government jam it down their throat.

(APPLAUSE)

And by the way, if — if Nevada says, “Look, we don’t want it,” then let other states make bids and say, hey, look, we’ll take it. Here’s a geological site that we’ve evaluated. Here’s the compensation we want for taking it. We want you electric companies around the country that are using nuclear fuel to compensate us a certain amount per kilowatt hour, a certain amount per ton of this stuff that comes.

Let — let the free market work. And on that basis, the places that are geologically safe, according to science, and where the people say the deal’s a good one will decide where we put this stuff. That’s the right course for America.

(APPLAUSE)

COOPER: Governor Perry?

PERRY: You know, from time to time, Mitt and I don’t agree. But on this one, he’s hit it, the nail, right on the head. And I’ll just add that when you think about France, who gets over 70 percent of their energy from nuclear power, the idea that they deal with this issue, that their glassification, and that the innovation — and, Congressman Paul, you’re correct when it comes to allowing the states to compete with each other. That is the answer to this.

We need to have a — a — a discussion in — in this country about our 10th Amendment and the appropriateness of it, as it’s been eroded by Washington, D.C., for all these many years, whether it’s health care, whether it’s education, or whether it’s dealing with energy. We don’t need to be subsidizing energy in any form or fashion, allow the states to make the decision. And some state out there will see the economic issue, and they will have it in their state.

pt 8

Pt 9

pt 10

pt 11

Jay Leno’s discussion with Michele Bachmann on Tonight Show

The LA Times reported:

Michele Bachmann chatting with Jay Leno on the Tonight Show 9-16-11

As usual, there was nothing confrontational about Jay Leno’s interview with his political guest, in this case, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.).

She was on the West Coast on Friday to speak in Orange County and at the state Republican Convention in L.A. and, who knows? Maybe to schmooze some money from the people who give California its Golden State name too. Watch out. President Obama is on his way to California too in a few days. Although, the story is, some Hollywood folks are kinda unhappy with him.

Bachmann’s star soared last summer. She won the Ames Straw Poll, which means nothing in reality but sounds good in the media for a while. But that same day, Rick Perry entered the Republican presidential sweepstakes. He’s a big-shot GOP governor from Texas and began sucking the air, the money and the media attention away from the only female in the contest so far.

Late-night American TV is a special breed. Some jokes. A little music. Some chatter. Maybe a movie starlet swears she got locked out of her Paris hotel room with nothing to wear but a hand towel. Nothing too complicated or controversial because regardless of the time zone, Americans are in their beds beginning to drift off to zzzzzz…

Not all Americans realize that these late-night interviews, especially with politicians, are

… negotiated and effectively outlined in advance between the show’s and politician’s staffs. (How do you think Leno has those quips so readily at hand?) Generally, the topics to be discussed — and the ones to be left out — are predetermined.This can be tricky because both sides want the exposure. The show wouldn’t mind a spontaneous gaffe; remember Barack Obama’s “joke” about not being as bad an athlete as a Special Olympian? Ooops, he had to apologize from the plane on that one.Buttons on sale at the california republican convention, 9-16-11Leno is very good at touching touchy subjects without seeming prosecutorial. Bachmann clearly wanted to talk about Texas Gov. Rick Perry attempting to order girls to get immunized against HPV, which can cause cervical cancer.

This has been Bachmann’s main attack on an allegedly authoritarian Perry to stem her drop in the polls. Watch Leno’s language in this exchange. As per agreement, he sets up Bachmann to say what she wants, as he already knows, and then gently questions the validity and gets her off the predictable “crony capitalism” talking point. And she doesn’t return to it.

LENO: You and Perry went over this HPV vaccine topic. Explain this whole deal.

BACHMANN: Well, there was a situation where it was an abuse of executive power. And that’s something that the governor admitted, that it was an abuse of executive power. It was an action by the governor to write an executive order to order all 12‑year‑old girls to have an injection before they could go into school.

LENO:  But it was never implemented; right? He signed it, but it was never implemented.

BACHMANN:  Right, right, right.

LENO:  OK.

BACHMANN: But it was highly controversial, and the Legislature in Texas was so angry, that they were going to — they passed a law to overturn it because they didn’t want to have the children go through that.

LENO:  OK.  I mean, is that bad?  I mean —

BACHMANN:  Well, I think so.

Michele Bachmann California Republican Convention Keynote speaker 9-16-11

LENO:  It’s a vaccine to prevent — what is it? Cervical cancer?

BACHMANN: Well, it’s HPV. And the concern is that there’s, you know, potentially side effects that can come with something like that. But it gives a false sense of assurance to a young woman when she has that that if she’s sexually active that she doesn’t have to worry about sexually transmitted diseases. And that’s not necessarily true.

LENO: Well, I don’t know if it gives assurance. It can prevent cervical cancer; correct?

BACHMANN: But it’s the — again, it’s something that potentially could have dangerous side effects. But it’s also the fact that — of crony capitalism. People were worried that potentially —

LENO:  But parents can opt out of it; right?  A parent can say, “I don’t want my daughter” — 

BACHMANN: You can opt out, but the way that these work is the fact that when you have to opt out, you have to be very proactive. And people just assume that the government does what’s best for you. And my experience has been that’s not always necessarily the case.

LENO: Yeah. OK. All right.

Leno did the same thing on the “tea party” movement’s debt-ceiling-increase opposition.

LENO: Do you think you would have been this strident if it was Bush-Cheney?

BACHMANN: Absolutely.

LENO:  Yeah?

On her family’s gay therapy clinic. And on gay marriage:

LENO: If two gay people want to get married, that’s their business; that doesn’t concern us. I mean, why is that — why is that even an issue?

BACHMANN: Well, because the family is foundational, and marriage between a man and a woman has been what the law has been for years and years.

LENO: I know. I tried it myself. It works great for me.

Bachmann got her national exposure with a cultural icon. Leno likely lived up to his bargain. That’s the only way he can get guests such as her to return. But he also made clear some expressed doubts about what the candidate was dishing out.

Other posts related to Michele Bachmann:

Video and Transcript of Bachmann rebuttal to Obama speech

Outstanding rebuttal by Michele Bachmann to President Obama’s speech of September 8, 2011: Unfortunately, it seems, every time the President speaks, his policies have cost the American people jobs and future prosperity. Tonight the President under the veil of one of the most sacred deliberative forums, a joint session of Congress, delivered another political speech […]

Responding to Oppenneimer and Lizza:Defending Francis Schaeffer’s influence on believers such as Michele Bachmann(Part 9)

Both Oppenneimer and Lizza have attacked Francis Schaeffer’s view, but the way to know his views best is to take time to watch his film series. I said that in my first post and I will continue to show all ten episodes of his film series “How should we then live?” This is a series of posts […]

Responding to Oppenneimer and Lizza:Defending Francis Schaeffer’s influence on believers such as Michele Bachmann(Part 8)

Both Oppenneimer and Lizza have attacked Francis Schaeffer’s view, but the way to know his views best is to take time to watch his film series. I said that in my first post and I will continue to show all ten episodes of his film series “How should we then live?” This is a series of posts […]

Responding to Oppenneimer and Lizza:Defending Francis Schaeffer’s influence on believers such as Michele Bachmann(Part 7)

Both Oppenneimer and Lizza have attacked Francis Schaeffer’s view, but the way to know his views best is to take time to watch his film series. I said that in my first post and I will continue to show all ten episodes of his film series “How should we then live?” This is a series of posts […]

Responding to Oppenneimer and Lizza:Defending Francis Schaeffer’s influence on believers such as Michele Bachmann(Part 6)

Both Oppenneimer and Lizza have attacked Francis Schaeffer’s view, but the way to know his views best is to take time to watch his film series. I said that in my first post and I will continue to show all ten episodes of his film series “How should we then live?” This is a series of posts […]

Brummett: Obama would defeat Rick Perry (Part 1)

Cato Institute Scholars Analyze the 2010 State of the Union Address Uploaded by catoinstitutevideo on Jan 28, 2010 Cato Institute scholars address several items in President Obama’s first official State of the Union Address. Scholars include Daniel J. Mitchell, Mark A. Calabria, Neal McCluskey, Michael D. Tanner, John Samples, Jim Harper and Malou Innocent. http://www.cato.org […]

2012 Presidential Republican Primary Debate In Iowa pt.9

2012 Presidential Republican Primary Debate In Iowa pt.9 JOHN PODHORETZ comments on the Republican debate below: Republican debate: Time to get real By JOHN PODHORETZ Last Updated: 8:28 AM, August 12, 2011 Posted: 1:55 AM, August 12, 2011 Last night’s Fox News-Washington Examiner debate in Iowa was the most sheerly entertaining political event in decades — a […]

President Obama’s job speech reacted to by Heritage Foundation scholars (Part 6)

President Obama’s job speech reacted to by Heritage Foundation scholars (Part 6)

I love going to the Heritage Foundation website because of articles like this:

Heritage’s experts watched President Barack Obama’s jobs speech delivered to a joint session of Congress. Here are some of their immediate reactions:

Obama Calls for Reviving Failed Hiring Tax Credit

What to make of President Obama’s plan in his speech tonight to revive a tax credit for businesses hiring new workers? In March 2010, the President signed into law an almost identical credit.

It was a credit he pushed for Congress to pass. The credit lasted from March through the end of December. It had no beneficial impact on job creation and added billions to the national debt. There is absolutely no good reason for trying it again.

As we argued before the first hiring credit became law, such a policy won’t spur permanent hiring because it only temporarily reduces the costs of employing new workers. Businesses only hire new workers when they anticipate those new workers will increase their profitability over the long haul.

A credit of a few thousand dollars, a mere fraction of the cost of hiring a worker, does nothing to change that calculation. The only positive effect on hiring the credit could have would be on temporary positions if it makes adding a few new temps profitable in the short term. But once the credit expires businesses will let those workers go.

To get the true picture of the credit’s effectiveness, however, you can’t just look at the few temporary jobs it might create. You also need to subtract the jobs foregone because the government took the money for the credit out of the hands of the private sector by taxing or borrowing to give it to the businesses that qualify. In the end it is more likely the hiring credit will actually destroy jobs on net.

– Curtis Dubay

Extending Unemployment Benefits

Today, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) quoted Albert Einstein who he said once defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. By that measure President Obama’s plan to boost the economy by spending more on unemployment benefits is insane. Unfortunately, the President isn’t joking.

Congress has expanded unemployment insurance (UI) dramatically since the recession began. Laid off workers can now collect up to 99 weeks of benefits in some states. It isn’t hard to see why Congress did so. Normally workers can collect benefits for to up to six months. But the average unemployed worker has now been out of a job for nine months.

For welfare reasons Congress wants to help workers who cannot find jobs. This is understandable. That doesn’t mean it will help the economy, no matter how much the President wants it to.

The stimulus bill extended UI benefits. Congress has kept them in place several times since then. All told the government has spent over $300 billion on unemployment benefits since Obama took office. All that spending has done nothing to boost the economy. Unemployment is higher than the Administration projected if Congress did nothing. This failure was predictable.

The studies that show that UI spending stimulates the economy are based on macroeconomic models programmed to show large “multiplier effects” from government spending. These models assume that each dollar of government spending creates more than a dollar of economic growth. They essentially assume their conclusion. Actual empirical research shows that UI payments do not boost GDP. This is exactly what economic theory predicts.

One of the most thoroughly established findings of labor economics is the fact that extended unemployment benefits cause workers to remain unemployed longer. Even Alan Krueger, President Obama’s nominee to chair the Council of Economic Advisors, agrees. Studies show that raising benefits to 99 weeks during the recession has increased the unemployment rate by 0.5 to 1.5 percentage points. Extended benefits come at an economic cost.

There are understandable reasons for wanting to extend UI benefits despite this cost. But as much as it would be wonderful if doing so also boosted the economy, it does not. It would be similarly wonderful if an all you can eat bacon and ice-cream diet helped shed pounds. Wishing does not make it so.

If Congress thinks that keeping extended benefits is good policy then Congress should pay for it by reducing spending on less important programs. But spending tens of billions more on unemployment insurance will not stimulate the economy any more than the last extensions did.

– James Sherk

President Obama’s job speech reacted to by Heritage Foundation scholars (Part 5)

President Obama’s job speech reacted to by Heritage Foundation scholars (Part 5)

I love going to the Heritage Foundation website because of articles like this:

Heritage’s experts watched President Barack Obama’s jobs speech delivered to a joint session of Congress. Here are some of their immediate reactions:

Obama Calls for Tax Hikes on Job Creators – In Jobs Speech

It was expected that President Obama would rehash and recycle a litany of policies that have no hope of stimulating job creation in his big speech tonight. What comes as a surprise is that he called for offsetting the costs of his sure-to-be-ineffective policies with tax hikes. On job creators.

The President has said himself that tax hikes slow economic growth and deter job creation. That was the justification he gave in December for extending the Bush tax cuts through 2012. It seems he has forgotten what he himself said less than a year ago.

The President called for raising taxes on investors, businesses, and entrepreneurs in his speech. These are the job creators he so desperately needs to help revive the economy. Raising their taxes will reduce the already limited incentives they have to invest and add new workers right now.

This is akin to bailing water into an already-sinking ship.

If Congress foolishly passed the President’s ill-advised plan the tax hikes would be permanent and the jobs policies permanent. The American people would get a permanently enlarged federal government for temporary jobs policies that won’t create any jobs.

Uncertainty is the major factor causing businesses to hold back on new investment and refrain from adding workers. One of the biggest sources of that uncertainty is the President’s never-ending crusade to raise taxes. As long as their taxes might go up, job creators will be hesitant to add new workers.

If the President stopped incessantly demanding higher levies it would relieve some of the uncertainty. That alone won’t cure all that ails the economy, but it would be a big help.

C’mon Mr. President, surprise us in your next major speech by not calling for tax hikes.

– Curtis Dubay

Unsurprisingly, Obama Ignores Energy Exploration as a Solution

Increasing energy supply should have been a no-brainer for President Obama.  It’s a policy that can lower energy prices, create jobs and generate hundreds of billions in revenue from more royalties, leases, and rent.   And it’s a massive revenue raiser that occurs without raising taxes. Instead, the president used the opportunity to take a jab at oil companies and the “tax loopholes” they receive.

To be clear, what the President and anti-oil crusaders label a tax loophole is not tax treatment specific to the oil and gas industry. These are broad tax policies that apply to many industries.

The reality is the economy is weak and steep energy prices will hurt the economic recovery.  Despite the fact that oil settled at $89 per barrel, gas prices remain high and the economic pain as a result of higher gas prices spreads far beyond the pump. Higher energy prices also drive up production costs, which must be reflected in product prices, especially for goods reliant on transportation. Since higher prices reduce quantities sold, producers produce less. In turn, this drives wages down and incomes decline.

At least the people of Louisiana have the Saints to watch, because they don’t have jobs. Despite the fact that the administration lifted the official moratorium on deepwater drilling, the molasses-like permitting process is impeding the Gulf’s economic recovery; 20 rigs are in jeopardy of leaving the Gulf.

But it’s not just the Gulf that would benefit from allowing access for energy exploration and creating an efficient regulatory process that allows energy projects to move forward in a timely manner.  Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming have all suffered from a slower permitting process would see tremendous economic benefits if companies could explore and drill in a more timely manner.  Alaska has 19 billion barrels of oil of its coasts and another 10.4 billion in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).  Increased proven natural gas reserves increased states like Pennsylvania, New York, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana has increased regional interest.

Increasing access to oil and natural gas reserves in the United States both onshore and offshore, would help offset rising demand, increase jobs and revenue, and provide the real economic boost our country needs rather than more the same tried-and-failed government spending programs.

– Nicolas Loris

President Obama’s job speech reacted to by Heritage Foundation scholars (Part 2)

I love going to the Heritage Foundation website because of articles like this:

Heritage’s experts watched President Barack Obama’s jobs speech delivered to a joint session of Congress. Here are some of their immediate reactions:

Obama’s False Choice – and Missed Opportunity – on Regulations

The President tonight missed an opportunity to constructively address one of the major problems facing the economy: regulation.

After acknowledging that “there are some rules and regulations that put an unnecessary burden on businesses, and claiming credit for the small steps taken so far toward reform, he then slipped into a rhetorical — and rather cartoonish — description of the issue.

“What we can’t do,” he said, “is let this economic crisis be used as an excuse to wipe out the basic protections that Americans have counted on for decades.  I reject the idea that we need to ask people to choose between their jobs and their safety.”

But no one is suggesting that any basic protections be erased — instead the pressing need now is to stop the tidal wave of regulation — costing almost $40 billion dollars — that has swamped Americans and the economy since the president was elected.

From lightbulbs to the Internet, from guitars to health care, Washington has imposed new rules. It is time to stem this flow. This need not be a partisan issue – both sides agree the current rulebooks are too fat. But demagoguery and rhetoric will get us no closer to a solution.

– James Gattuso

The Futility of Infrastructure Banks

Building and repairing roads and bridges neither creates net job growth nor boosts the economy in the near term.

First, increasing government spending on these projects simply moves resources from one place to another — it may employ construction workers, but only by reducing jobs in other sectors. Further, the money never gets out the door soon enough to promote near-term job growth: “shovel-ready” projects are not nearly so shovel ready as they may seem, as the President himself recently acknowledged.

Further, the infrastructure bank the President proposes would require a whole new bureaucracy that would only increase the central government control over transportation — which would be consistent with the President’s government takeover of health care, student loans, financial markets, and other sectors.?

– Patrick Knudsen

President Obama’s job speech reacted to by Heritage Foundation scholars (Part 1)

Everyone wants to know more about the budget and here is some key information with a chart from the Heritage Foundation and a video from the Cato Institute.

I love going to the Heritage Foundation website because of articles like this:

Heritage’s experts watched President Barack Obama’s jobs speech delivered to a joint session of Congress. Here are some of their immediate reactions:

Jobs for Teachers?

In his remarks tonight, President Obama argued that his jobs proposal would create more jobs for teachers. He went as far as to say laying off teachers…”has to stop”.

But since 1970, student enrollment in public elementary and secondary schools has increased just 7 percent, while public elementary and secondary staff hires have increased 83 percent. Moreover, in the 1950′s, there were approximately 2.36 teachers for every non-teacher in a school district. Today, in our nation’s school systems, that ratio is closer to 1 to 1. So every teacher in the classroom has an administrative counterpart in your local public school district. That is a tremendous strain on state budgets. But it is also a huge boon the education unions.

President Obama’s call to spend more precious taxpayer dollars to “prevent teacher layoffs” may do more to inflate schools’ non-teaching rosters than to retain teachers.

On a per-pupil basis, federal spending on education has nearly tripled since the 1970′s. And those who have benefited the most from this profligacy aren’t the children sitting in the nation’s classrooms. No, the increase in federal education spending (and commensurate increase in Washington’s involvement in local schools) hasn’t led to improvements in academic achievement, to increased graduation rates, or even to a narrowing of the achievement gap. It hasn’t served to improve outcomes for children, but it has propped-up the public education jobs program that too often aims to meet the needs of the adults in the system, not the children it was designed to educate.

– Lindsey Burke

A Puzzling Plan to Allow Refinancing of Mortgages

One of the more puzzling parts of the President’s plan promises to allow more Americans to refinance their mortgages, but provides no details about how.  The President promises that with refinancing, families could save about $2,000 a year, but like similar past promises few homeowners are likely to see those savings.

Briefing papers released by the White House say that the economic team will “work with” Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the regulator that runs them since both effectively failed three years ago, and “industry leaders” to make the 2009 Housing Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) more effective.

This means that the White House still has no idea how to do this. HARP, which was supposed to help between 4 and 5 million homeowners who owe more than their property is worth, and several other attempts to help under water homeowners have all been resounding failures.

In theory, refinancing at today’s record low mortgage rates is a good idea that would reduce monthly mortgage payments for those whose mortgages are refinanced. This would especially benefit homeowners who have paid their mortgage on time, but still owe more than the house is worth. These homeowners would be more likely to stay in the house.

However, even a well planned refinancing program would still be slow and complex. And sadly, there is no sign that the Administration has figured out how to successfully structure such a program.

Mortgages are both made and refinanced one at a time. The several past efforts to do mass refinancings have foundered in a mass of overwhelmed phone lines, complex paperwork requirements, and confusion. Some housing advocates talk about redoing hundreds of mortgages at a time, but have no idea how to legally implement such a goal.

Another question that must be answered if the mortgage refinancing proposal would cost money. Briefing papers are silent on this, but a refinanced mortgage will produce lower earnings for the lender. If the mortgage value is written down to the actual value of the house (which is unknown at the moment), there would be additional costs. And most importantly, how would this proposal create jobs?

Until there are details, the President’s proposed mortgage refinancing program, like its predecessors will be little more than another unkept promise.

– David John

In 2010, the U.S. spent more on interest on the national debt than it spent on many federal departments, including Education and Veterans Affairs.

BILLIONS OF DOLLARS (2010)

Download

In One Year, Spending on Interest on the National Debt Is Greater Than Funding for Most Programs

Source: White House Office of Management and Budget.

Chart 29 of 42

In Depth

  • Policy Papers for Researchers

  • Technical Notes

    The charts in this book are based primarily on data available as of March 2011 from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The charts using OMB data display the historical growth of the federal government to 2010 while the charts using CBO data display both historical and projected growth from as early as 1940 to 2084. Projections based on OMB data are taken from the White House Fiscal Year 2012 budget. The charts provide data on an annual basis except… Read More

  • Authors

    Emily GoffResearch Assistant
    Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy StudiesKathryn NixPolicy Analyst
    Center for Health Policy StudiesJohn FlemingSenior Data Graphics Editor

     

Brummett: Obama would defeat Rick Perry (Part 1)

Cato Institute Scholars Analyze the 2010 State of the Union Address

Uploaded by on Jan 28, 2010

Cato Institute scholars address several items in President Obama’s first official State of the Union Address. Scholars include Daniel J. Mitchell, Mark A. Calabria, Neal McCluskey, Michael D. Tanner, John Samples, Jim Harper and Malou Innocent. http://www.cato.org

_________________________________

__

John Brummett suggests that Rick Perry could not beat President Obama in his re-election attempt in 2012. In Brummett’s article “Laboring over holiday arrows,” September 6, 2011, Arkansas News Bureau, he asserted:

President Obama— You cannot get re-elected in an economy like this unless the Republicans nominate someone more unsettling even than the economy, a possibility.

arrowdownsmallRick Perry, Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann — The possibilities mentioned above

I will respond in 6 parts. These 6 parts all deal with fundemental economic disagreements that President Obama and Rick Perry disagree on, and I will you determine if the public agrees with Perry or Obama.

These observations come from an article I read by Bradley Gitz on Sept 4, 2011 in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette:

Much is being made of Texas Gov. (and now GOP frontrunner) Rick Perry’s “Texas Miracle.” Conservatives favorably compare Texas’ economic performance with the rest of the nation under Barack Obama. Liberals claim the “miracle” really isn’t much of a miracle at all and that Perry shouldn’t get the credit even if it is.
   Both sides have a point. By any objective standard, Texas has done pretty well in recent years, although upon closer inspection it still has problems (like any state) and it remains unclear how much of the good stuff can be attributed to Perry’s policies.
   In clarifying all this, it might help to remember that government is necessary for economic development but, past a certain point, is a potential obstacle to it. The logical corollary is that the marketplace is generally self-correcting, unless presidents (and governors) do dumb things that prevent such corrections. Sound economic policy more often than not means government laying the right foundation for economic growth and then getting out of the way.
   So what would such a “right” foundation under present circumstances consist of?
   First, limiting the size of the welfare state and government spending in general. Much easier than figuring out the right policies is identifying the wrong ones, foremost among which is government spending more each year than it takes in. At this point we have no choice but to overhaul entitlements, drastically cut discretionary spending and hope we have learned to never go down this road again…
   
   That the Obama administration doesn’t like most of these ideas explains certain things, and also suggests a rather obvious ninth step the voters can take in November of 2012.
   —–––––
•–––––—
   Freelance columnist Bradley R. Gitz, who lives and teaches in Batesville, received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Illinois.

2012 Presidential Republican Primary Debate In Iowa pt.8

2012 Presidential Republican Primary Debate In Iowa pt.8

Iowa debate turns Minnesota nasty
By: Alexander Burns
August 11, 2011 10:14 PM EDT
AMES, Iowa — The simmering rivalry between Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmannerupted at Thursday night’s Republican primary debate here, transforming Iowa’s first 2012 forum into a full-blown slugfest.The Minnesota duo have been in a low-grade tug of war for months over the affections of Iowa conservatives. With a crucial test looming for both at the Ames Straw Pollthis Saturday, the Pawlenty-Bachmann rivalry turned so intense that it threatened to crowd out the other candidates completely.The charges were familiar: Pawlenty once again called Bachmann’s accomplishments “nonexistent.” Bachmann wielded well-worn attacks on Pawlenty’s tenure as governor.But this was their most ferocious exchange to date — with more than a hint of desperation visible for both.

“She speaks of leading these [conservative] efforts in Washington and Minnesota,” Pawlenty lashed out. “Leading and failing is not the objective.”

Bachmann assailed Pawlenty with a litany of alleged deviations from conservative orthodoxy, blasting: “When you were governor, you implemented cap-and-trade in our state and you praised the unconstitutional individual mandate.

“You said the era of small government is over. That sounds a lot more like Barack Obama if you ask me,” Bachmann said.

The caustic exchanges were no accident: A defeat on Saturday could snap Bachmann’s momentum in the race, or seal Pawlenty’s fate as a 2012 also-ran.

For the race beyond the straw poll, however, neither the candidates nor the moderators did much to draw blood from national front-runner Mitt Romney, who sauntered unscathed through his second consecutive debate.

The questions from Fox News and the Washington Examiner lobbed potentially difficult questions at Romney, asking him to defend his record on taxes in Massachusetts and his near-absence from the recent debate over whether to raise the federal debt ceiling.

On both issues, Romney stuck to narrow talking points, declaring that his support for the conservative Cut, Cap and Balance pledge told voters all they needed to know about his views on the debt ceiling.

Asked about a presentation his administration once gave to Standard & Poor’s, saying that Massachusetts deserved a credit rating upgrade in part because it raised taxes, Romney sidestepped the issue entirely.

Romney was barely challenged on his carefully parsed answers. With Pawlenty and Bachmann focused on each other, and several of the other candidates flailing in their attempts to stand out from the crowd, Romney took little heat from his fellow Republicans.

Indeed, virtually all of the candidates helped confirm — in one form or another — that Romney will likely face a tougher political challenge from a late-announcing candidate like Texas Gov. Rick Perry than from any of his currently declared rivals.

 

With the exception of raucous back-and-forths between Rick Santorum and Ron Paul on Iran and marriage, they did little to capture the spotlight.

Jon Huntsman, who was making his first performance in a 2012 presidential debate, fell short of his campaign’s recent promises that he would take a more aggressive approach to delivering his message to draw contrasts with his rivals. On Thursday night, the former Utah governor delivered only the softest and most implicit of criticism of his opponents, alluding to candidates who want to “run from their record,” in an apparent reference to Mitt Romney.

For the most part, Huntsman spoke softly and carried an exceedingly well-mannered set of talking points reminiscent of the civil campaign he promised when he launched last month.

None of the other candidates seemed to have a moment on stage to give them an extra head of steam going into the straw poll, though Paul drew repeated rounds of applause from his enthusiastic fans as he delivered his distinctive libertarian message.

Perhaps the most memorable moment of the night — outside the Bachmann-Pawlenty blowups — wasn’t instigated by a candidate at all, but rather by Byron York.

The Washington Examiner columnist queried Bachmann about a story she once told, relating how she decided to become a tax lawyer at her husband’s urging, out of a belief that wives should be “submissive” to their spouses.

Would Bachmann, York asked, be submissive to her husband if she were president?

Bachmann paused as a murmur ran through the crowd, and then began her answer: “Thank you for that question, Byron.”

“Marcus and I will have been married for 33 years this Sept. 10,” Bachmann said, explaining that to her and her husband, being submissive “means respect.”

“I respect my husband,” she said. “And he respects me as his wife. That’s how we operate our marriage. We respect each other. We love each other.”

Gingrich, too, won a moment of applause by pushing back at the moderators, in a blunter way than Bachmann.

Asked for the umpteenth time to explain the mass exodus of campaign staffers in June by Fox’s Chris Wallace, the former House speaker fumed: “I took seriously [Fox anchor] Bret [Baier]’s injunction to put aside the talking points. I wish you would put aside the gotcha questions.”

At times, Gingrich displayed the kind of fluency with issues that earned him a reputation as the GOP’s ideas man. He cut the professorial, wonky profile he cultivated for years before deciding to seek the White House, seeming closer to finding a comfortable role for himself in the 2012 field.

Still, overshadowing the whole debate was anticipation of a new strong candidate — Perry — entering the 2012 field Saturday.

And as the moderators noted, at least two other prominent Republicans, Sarah Palin and Rudy Giuliani, have not ruled out campaigns of their own. Palin is scheduled to visit the Iowa State Fair on Friday.

The candidates professed indifference at the prospect of new competition.

“Welcome to the contest,” Herman Cain said when he was asked about a potential Perry campaign. “From my perspective, it doesn’t bother us or my campaign. That’s just one more politician and that makes this business problem solver stand out that much more.”

Brummett touts Buffett’s math, but it is wrong

Five Key Reasons to Reject Class-Warfare Tax Policy

Max Brantley on the Arkansas Times Blog, August 15, 2011, asserted:  

Billionaire Warren Buffett laments, again, in a New York Times op-ed how the rich don’t share the sacrifices made by others in the U.S.. He notes his effectiie tax rate of 17 percent is lower than that of many of the working people in his office on account of preferences for investment income. Candidates such as U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin believe — with election results to support them — that Americans support such a tax system.

There is one huge problem with this math. Taxes on dividends and corporate taxes and the death tax are all DOUBLE TAXATION.

Warren Buffett’s Fiscal Innumeracy

Posted by Daniel J. Mitchell

Warren Buffett’s at it again. He has a column in the New York Times complaining that he has been coddled by the tax code and that “rich” people should pay higher taxes.

My first instinct is to send Buffett the website where people can voluntarily pay extra money to the federal government. I’ve made this suggestion to guilt-ridden rich people in the past.

But I no longer give that advice. I’m worried he might actually do it. And even though Buffett is wildly misguided about fiscal policy, I know he will invest his money much more wisely than Barack Obama will spend it.

But Buffett goes beyond guilt-ridden rants in favor of higher taxes. He makes specific assertions that are inaccurate.

Last year my federal tax bill — the income tax I paid, as well as payroll taxes paid by me and on my behalf — was $6,938,744. That sounds like a lot of money. But what I paid was only 17.4 percent of my taxable income — and that’s actually a lower percentage than was paid by any of the other 20 people in our office. Their tax burdens ranged from 33 percent to 41 percent and averaged 36 percent.

His numbers are flawed in two important ways.

  1. When Buffett receives dividends and capital gains, it is true that he pays “only” 15 percent of that money on his tax return. But dividends and capital gains are both forms of double taxation. So if he wants honest effective tax rate numbers, he needs to show the 35 percent corporate tax rate.Moreover, as I noted in a previous post, Buffett completely ignores the impact of the death tax, which will result in the federal government seizing 45 percent of his assets. To be sure, Buffett may be engaging in clever tax planning, so it is hard to know the impact on his effective tax rate, but it will be significant.
  2. Buffett also mischaracterizes the impact of the Social Security payroll tax, which is dedicated for a specific purpose. The law only imposes that tax on income up to about $107,000 per year because the tax is designed so that people “earn” a corresponding  retirement benefit (which actually is tilted in favor of low-income workers).Imposing the tax on multi-millionaire income, however, would mean sending rich people giant checks from Social Security when they retire. But nobody thinks that’s a good idea. Or you could apply the payroll tax to all income and not pay any additional benefits. But this would turn Social Security from an “earned benefit” to a redistribution program, which also is widely rejected (though the left has been warming to the idea in recent years because their hunger for more tax revenue is greater than their support for Social Security).

If we consider these two factors, Buffett’s effective tax rate almost surely is much higher than the burden on any of the people who work for him.

But this entire discussion is a good example of why we should junk the corrupt, punitive, and unfair tax code and replace it with a simple flat tax. With no double taxation and a single, low tax rate, we would know that rich people were paying the right amount, neither too much based on class-warfare tax rates nor too little based on loopholes, deduction, preferences, exemptions, shelters, and credits.

So why doesn’t Buffett endorse this approach? Tim Carney offers a very plausible answer.

Cutting spending is the way to balance the budget despite what liberals say

President Obama really believes that we must raise taxes in order to balance the budget. Nevertheless, conservatives argue that the bloated federal spending should come down to a level where he can balance the budget. Take a look at the excellent article “Unbalanced,” by Michael D. Tanner 

Michael Tanner is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and coauthor of Leviathan on the Right: How Big-Government Conservatism Brought Down the Republican Revolution.

Added to cato.org on August 10, 2011

This article appeared on National Review (Online) on August 10, 2011

During his brief media appearance on Monday responding to S&P’s downgrade of the U.S. credit rating and the subsequent stark market plunge, Pres. Barack Obama once again renewed his call for a “balanced approach” to debt reduction, combining modest entitlement reform with tax increases. This was the same formulation repeated endlessly by the president, Democrats in Congress, and much of the media throughout the recent negotiations over raising the debt ceiling.

But beyond raw ideology, there is no reason to believe that coupling tax hikes with spending cuts would solve our debt problems.

President Obama usually couches his call for tax hikes in terms of fairness. How, he asks, can we cut programs that help people without also asking the wealthy to “sacrifice” something as well? Setting aside the fact that this formulation establishes a false moral equivalence between giving less to people who have not earned it and taking more from the people who have, this ignores the fact that the wealthy in America already pay a disproportionate share of taxes.

The richest 1 percent of Americans earn 20 percent of all income in America but pay 38 percent of income taxes. The top 5 percent earn slightly more than one-third of U.S. income while paying nearly 59 percent of income taxes. At the same time, roughly half of Americans pay no federal income tax. One might suggest, therefore, that the wealthy already pay their fair share, and then some.

Of course other taxes, such as payroll taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, and the like, tend to be more regressive. But even if you include all types of federal, state, and local taxes, the wealthy pay a considerably higher proportion of taxes than their share of income would warrant.

Others less prone to moral posturing argue for including tax hikes along with spending reductions on the grounds that it is “impossible to balance the budget through cuts alone.” But the evidence strongly suggests that cutting spending alone may be the only way to really balance the budget. Indeed, by including tax hikes, we slow economic growth, thereby making it harder to balance the budget.

Simply look to those European countries today that have adopted such a “balanced” approach to debt reduction. Britain, Greece, Portugal, and Spain have all included major tax hikes as part of their austerity packages. The result across the board has been anemic economic growth and scant progress toward debt reduction. Britain, for instance, imposed a new 50 percent top income-tax rate, hiked the capital-gains tax rate from 18 percent to 28 percent, and increased the VAT rate from 17.5 percent to 20 percent. The result: During the first quarter of 2011, the British economy grew at just 0.5 percent, barely enough to offset the 0.5 percent decline during the last quarter of 2010.

Paul Krugman and others have argued that it was the spending cuts, not the tax hikes, that slowed economic growth. Others more plausibly have suggested that the continuing shocks that are buffeting the world economic system have reduced economic growth generally and made it difficult to judge the effectiveness of any particular policy or group of policies.

But the body of evidence from outside the current economic crisis tends to confirm the hypothesis that additional taxes would slow economic growth, making it harder to reduce the debt. For example, a study by Harvard economists Alberto Alesina and Silvia Ardagna looked at more than 100 debt-reduction efforts in 21 countries between 1970 and 2007. They found that a combination of spending cuts and revenue reductions was actually more likely to result in debt reduction than a combination of spending cuts and revenue increases.

History shows us that countries as divergent as Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and Slovenia successfully reduced the size of their governments relative to their economies and lowered their debt burden substantially. They did so by controlling spending, not by raising taxes.

In this country, look to the end of World War II. The U.S. government cut spending by nearly two-thirds, from $84 billion in 1945 to just $39 billion in 1946. While the country ran a budget deficit of nearly 21 percent of GDP in 1945, it was running a surplus by 1947. At the time, many economists predicted that cuts of that magnitude would destroy the U.S. economy and bring about Depression-era levels of unemployment. Instead, civilian employment actually grew, and an era of economic expansion began that would last throughout the 1950s.

All this implies that we should find a way to cut spending. And that brings us back to President Obama’s press briefing. At the end of his remarks, the president once again laid out his plans for the future, and called for more spending: more spending on education, more spending on unemployment insurance, more spending for an infrastructure bank, more, more, more.

Perhaps that, and not a mythical “balance,” is what really lies behind his calls for higher taxes.