Tag Archives: newt gingrich

Will the Republicans embrace an agenda that will get our country back on tract?

Will the Republicans embrace an agenda that will get our country back on tract?

Republicans need to cut spending as the video above says. I wish the Republican candidates for president will embrace these policy positions:

A Republican Agenda for Real Change

by Doug Bandow

This article appeared in Forbes on October 3, 2011

The desperate search for an acceptable Republican Party presidential candidate continues. Republican leaders apparently are pushing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who previously said no, to jump into the race.

The GOP’s frustration is palpable. Mitt Romney has been running for four years but generates little enthusiasm. Rick Perry was an instant front-runner before losing much of his support after unimpressive debate performances. Michelle Bachmann briefly streaked across the political firmament but now barely registers in the polls. Newt Gingrich committed political seppuku shortly after announcing his candidacy. Ron Paul’s support is fervent but limited.

However, the real Republican problem is positions, not candidates.

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. A former special assistant to Ronald Reagan, he is the author of Foreign Follies: America’s New Global Empire(Xulon).

More by Doug Bandow

The Republican Party cheerfully ran up the national debt before surrendering the keys to Capitol Hill and the White House. President George W. Bush’s promiscuous war-making cost the U.S. thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars, while making Americans less secure. The GOP centralized more power in Washington. Republican lawmakers managed to turn laudable opposition to tax hikes into a deplorable defense of the status quo.

Most of the GOP presidential candidates offer little new. Mitt Romney, the ultimate political weathervane, implemented ObamaCare in Massachusetts before there was ObamaCare. He now fervently defends Social Security, despite its design as a public Ponzi scheme. Gov. Perry talks of domestic budget cuts but on foreign policy appears to be Bush-lite, yet another hawk disconnected from reality. The sharpest dissent from big government conservatism comes from the candidates least likely to win the nomination: Rep. Paul, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, and former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, who has been excluded from most of the debates.

President Barack Obama obviously is vulnerable, as well he should be. The problem is not that he is responsible for all of America’s economic woes — no president “runs” the $15 trillion U.S. economy. But this president has no solution for slow growth and high unemployment other than spending more money, increasing the deficit, and running up the debt.

Unfortunately for the Republicans, simply denouncing President Obama for every ill known to man may not lead to victory. Voters dislike much current GOP orthodoxy. President Obama could win an election which turns into competitive political demonization and personal destruction.

Republicans should offer a positive agenda while addressing the party’s past failings. First, they should explain that current budget policy is unsustainable on both a short- and a long-term basis. Economist Larry Kotlikoff figures that America’s real public debt is $211 trillion, 15 times the nominal national debt. Public finance in states like California already looks a lot like that in Greece.

Unless Americans want to turn their entire incomes over to government, public spending must be cut, and cut sharply. And it must be cut across-the-board.

However, to regain lost credibility GOP politicians should lead with proposals to cut spending benefiting “their” interest groups. Corporate welfare should top any Republican Party list of budget cuts. Too often Republican apparatchiks have been pro-business rather than pro-free market, attacking financial transfers to the poor while endorsing subsidies for corporate America.

The GOP also needs to support significant reductions in military outlays. There is no more important responsibility for the U.S. government than protecting America. However, most of the Pentagon’s current activities have little to do with protecting America.

Instead, most U.S. forces currently defend prosperous, populous allies around the world. Europe has a larger GDP and population than America, yet continues to rely on Washington to provide most of NATO’s combat capability. Japan long had the world’s second largest economy but nevertheless relied on America for its protection. South Korea has 40 times the GDP of its northern adversary, but nearly 30,000 U.S. military personnel remain in the South, creating a “tripwire” for war.

Equally wasteful and far more costly in human terms have been nation-building exercises in Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, and more. Going to war in 2001 to punish the Taliban for hosting terrorist training camps made sense. Staying at war a decade later in an attempt to create a competent, honest centralized government in Kabul is foolish.

Also required is an honest discussion of Social Security’s and Medicare’s funding crises. Neither is financially sustainable and both risk triggering generational conflict. The longer Congress puts off addressing these issues the costlier will be any solution.

The GOP should reaffirm its opposition to tax hikes, but emphasize that taxes can be kept low only if outlays are reduced. Endless borrowing threatens a financial death spiral of increased debt, higher interest payments, slower economic growth, and lower investor confidence. The U.S. now is on the road to fiscal ruin.

Moreover, Republicans should endorse President Obama’s attack on special interest tax breaks. Not all tax preferences are equally bad, but the narrower the tax break the more it approaches a special interest subsidy. The GOP should push legislation that simultaneously kills dubious tax “loopholes” and reduces overall marginal tax rates. Republicans should similarly respond to tax proposals from President Obama or congressional Democrats. Rather than defend the undefendable, the GOP should challenge yet another form of corporate welfare.

With job creation at issue, Republicans should develop a list of regulations and taxes which interfere with a growing economy. Political candidates enjoy denouncing “over-regulation” in the abstract, but they would be more convincing if they targeted specific policies costing real jobs. The House GOP should follow the example of its earlier majority which held hearings on regulatory abuses.

Republicans should challenge politically popular public agencies. For instance, the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were at the epicenter of the housing and financial crises. The GOP rightly criticized Democrats for not including the two GSEs in last year’s financial “reform” bill. But so far House Republicans have done nothing to close Fannie and Freddie, which continue to lose money.

Deregulation should include proposals to make more market friendly controls which are necessary even in a free society. After all, few Americans want to breathe dirty air or swim in dirty water. And there is no simple market solution to such problems. But people don’t want to needlessly waste money and destroy jobs when cleaning up the environment.

The Republicans also should offer a more restrained foreign policy. Doing so is necessary to curtail military outlays — in effect, the defense budget is the price of a nation’s foreign policy, since the more Washington seeks to do in the world, the more military force it requires. So long as the U.S. government is determined to dominate every region of the globe against every power, it will have to spend as much on the military as the rest of the world combined. Indeed, real, inflation-adjusted military outlays have doubled over the last decade, and today are higher than at any point during the Cold War, Korean War, and Vietnam War.

But a more humble foreign policy also would be a better foreign policy. Rather than engage in social engineering abroad, Republican politicians should leave friendly states with responsibility for international problems. If there is a problem in the Balkans or North Africa, Europe should address it. Japan, South Korea, Australia, and other democratic nations should cooperate to restrain potential Chinese aggressiveness. Only the Afghans can create a sustainable political order, of whatever form, in Afghanistan.

The GOP should simultaneously support a globally engaged America and Americans. For instance, international cooperation can help meet humanitarian, environmental, and other problems which transcend national boundaries. Whatever U.S. policy toward illegal aliens, Americans should expand the legal immigration of entrepreneurial professionals.

Trade benefits Americans. Washington’s failure to ratify the free trade agreement with South Korea is beyond foolish. A commercial war with China would hurt Americans while poisoning the most important bilateral relationship of the 21st century.

Other issues also deserve attention — such as expanding educational opportunities for children stuck in poorly performing public schools. Even here, however, the GOP needs to break with recent Republican Party orthodoxy. President Bush and the Republican Congress centralized even more authority in Washington with the “No Child Left Behind” legislation.

Perhaps Chris Christie or some other late electoral entrant will revolutionize the GOP presidential sweepstakes. But without good ideas well-expressed, the GOP could still end up outside the White House looking in. The Republican Party deserves to win in 2012 only if it recognizes that it deserved to lose in 2008.

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Republican mainstream candidate Romney slips behind Gingrich and Paul

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich appears at a news conference before a tea party rally in New York Saturday. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Who would have thought that the mainstream candidate Mitt Romney would fall to third in the polls in Iowa behind Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul?

I am not too happy with Newt because of his womanizing ways of the past which are pointed out by the liberal columnist Gene Lyons in the current issue of the Arkansas Times.  Another reason I oppose Newt is because of his liberal tendencies of the past.  I am more inclined to support Ron Paul who is vastly more conservative than Gingrich.

Many like Max Brantley of the Arkansas Times Blog claim that these candidates can not win because they are out of the mainstream. In fact, Brantley is pulling for Gingrich to win the Republican nomination because he believes he will lose in the general election to President Obama. I am hoping that he is wrong.

Recently Peyton Hillis got on the Ron Paul bandwagon. (According to the Arkansas Times earlier this year Hillis was  named the cover star of Madden NFL ’12, the latest edition of the most enduringly popular sports video game on the market which has indicated that his stardom has risen in the last few years.) Take a look at the video below:

Evidently a close friend of Peyton Hillis has convinced him that Ron Paul is the candidate that he should support.

 

All candidates respond to last question in Republican debate of October 11, 2011 (with video clip)

You can get a good comparison of the candidates from this clip above. Below is a very good summary of the candidates from early this summer.

The 2012 Contenders and the Debt Ceiling

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 June 29, 2011

This article appeared on National Review (Online) on June 29, 2011.

You can tell that we are getting close to the deadline for a deal on raising the debt ceiling, because President Obama has finally noticed the issue. Not a “put forward an actual plan” notice, but at least a “denounce the Republicans as immoral” notice. Republicans rightly criticize this lack of presidential leadership. But what about Republicans who want to be president? Republicans in Congress, of course, have been willing to put specific ideas on the table, and, since the responsibility for voting on the debt limit will actually fall on them, that’s key. But Republicans should also want to know where the would-be 2012 presidential candidates stand on this vital issue.

At one end of the Republican spectrum are those who would answer the question with “Yes, but …” These candidates agree that the debt ceiling will eventually have to be raised. But in return they demand Democratic concessions on spending or other policy matters.

Generally, these candidates are seeking some sort of restraint on future spending. Jon Huntsman, for example, wants to cap spending at 18 to 19 percent of GDP. Similarly Newt Gingrich would raise the debt limit only in exchange for — unspecified — spending cuts. Gingrich has suggested that in the absence of a grand compromise, Congress could pass a series of three-week increases, sort of like the series of continuing resolutions that substitute for a budget. Other Republicans would tie their agreement to raise the debt ceiling to other policy matters. For example, Rick Santorum would demand the repeal of Obamacare. And sometimes potential candidate Sarah Palin has suggested that drilling in Alaska could be attached to any debt-ceiling vote.

[R]epublicans should also want to know where the would-be 2012 presidential candidates stand on this vital issue.

At the other end of the line are those who respond, “Hell, no.” For the most part though, this appears to be a tactical position — more a matter of tone rather than policy from those above. When really pressed, most of these candidates leave room to eventually vote for an increase if the concessions are big enough.

For example, Michele Bachmann is firmly in the “Hell, no” camp, saying that she will vote against any increase in the debt ceiling. What if the Republican leadership cuts a deal? She would “have to tell you then. But right now I’m a no vote.” Tim Pawlenty also opposes any increase, writing in the Washington Post, “Don’t raise the debt limit — reform entitlement spending.” That does leave a problem, however. While he is entirely correct about the need for entitlement reform, any changes to those programs will involve long-term, not short-term savings, meaning they won’t solve the immediate debt-ceiling problem.

Unsurprisingly, the two libertarians in the race, Ron Paul and Gary Johnson, oppose raising the debt ceiling regardless of any Democratic concessions. Paul, who has always voted against debt increases, will do so again this time. Similarly, Johnson cannot foresee circumstances under which he would support an increase.

In between these two camps are those whose position is, well, a bit fuzzy. Mitt Romney, for example, has “repeatedly refused to answer multiple questions from reporters about whether the nation’s debt ceiling should be raised,” according to news reports. Romney has, however, praised Republicans for insisting on spending cuts as a precondition for a debt-ceiling increase. At the same time, he has not said what conditions he would demand or whether he would support raising the debt ceiling if those conditions were (or were not) met. And, Herman Cain started out as a firm “Hell, no,” but has since backed away, saying that he agreed with Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke that failing to raise the debt limit would mean financial chaos.

Of course, with the exception of Bachmann and Paul, none of these candidates will actually have to vote on the issue. Nonetheless, with so much on the line, its time for those who want to be president to step up and be heard.

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Barney Frank and Chris Dodd mentioned in October 11, 2011 Republican debate with video clip

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Reagan’s 1982 tax increase mentioned during the Republican debate of October 11, 2011 with video clip

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Ron Paul on Fed during the Republican debate of October 11, 2011 with video clip

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Cain’s 9-9-9 plan center stage at Republican debate of October 11, 2011 (with video clip)

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Romney not conservative enough (clip from Republican debate of 10-11-11)

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Herman Cain’s recent visit to Arkansas

Uploaded by on Oct 28, 2011

Herman Cain on Foreign Policy “The Cain Philosophy”

_________________________________

Jason Tolbert had a fine report on Cain’s recent speech in Northwest Arkansas:

Republican Presidential candidate Herman Cain spoke Thursday evening to a record northwest Arkansas crowd, which he brought to their feet with several standing ovations during his lively speech.  Cain arrived in Arkansas leading in most national polls by several points over Mitt Romney.

“Thank you for making this the most successful Washington County Lincoln Day Dinner ever,” organizer Robin Lundstrum told the crowd. She noted some of their past speakers have included Bill O’Reilly, Mike Huckabee, Steve Forbes, Newt Gingrich, and Bobby Jindal. Tonight’s event was the largest with over 1,450 tickets sold.

An assorted mix of Republican officials were on hand, some supporting Cain, some others, and some undecideds. Arkansas Land Commissioner John Thurston sported a Herman Cain 2012 button and said that he is impressed with Cain, who is likely to get his vote. 

Lieutenant Governor Mark Darr, who endorsed Romney, was also in attendance, but said that Cain brought a lot of business expertise to the race as a “fellow pizza man.”  Darr owns a pizza restaurant in Northwest Arkansas. State Rep. Charlie Collins, R-Fayetteville, wore his Perry for President button to the event. He said he believed Perry was going to bounce back once people found out more about his record of creating jobs in Texas. Cain sat at a table between Sen. John Boozman and Secretary of State Mark Martin, both from northwest Arkansas.  Neither has indicated who they support for President.

“I feel right at home here, not only on this trip, but every trip I have made to Arkansas,” said Cain. “You truly understand Southern hospitality.”

“The American dream has been hijacked, but we can take it back,” said Cain, who accused liberals of hijacking the American dream.  He addressed the economic and military strengths that people attribute to the United States saying that we can restore America’s greatness again.

Cain said one of the things that makes America great is our ability to change when we have to make a change.  Cain spoke about great leaders in the past – such as John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and Martin Luther King, Jr., who were bold to propose major changes.  “The American people are itching for some major change in this country,” said Cain.”We have a severe deficiency of leadership crisis in the White House.”

Cain spent a lot of time talking about his foreign policy philosophy, which he called “The Cain Philosophy,” characterized as “peace through strength with clarity.”  He said that we have to make clear who our friends are around the world and quit giving money to our enemies.

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Ron Paul on Fed during the Republican debate of October 11, 2011 with video clip

I really like Ron Paul a lot and the reasons I like him are in this article below and in the clip above.

Ron Paul’s Success

Posted by David Boaz

The Washington Post reports that Ron Paul “is enjoying a surge in support and the most high-profile campaign of his life. ”

Paul’s unwavering ideals of small government and free markets, which rendered him a quirky sideshow for decades, have gained traction amid concerns about rising government debt. His longtime opposition to the existence of the Federal Reserve, income tax and foreign aid is now shared by many in his party….

[Ron] Christie noted that Perry and former House speaker Newt Gingrich have been pushing anti-Federal Reserve stances in recent television debates. Other strategists observe that all the candidates have started peppering their speeches with references to the Constitution. Paul’s years of insistence on small government are widely considered to have paved the way for the emergence of the tea party movement.

Over the past few months various reporters have asked me about Ron Paul’s greater prominence this year as compared to 2007, and I’ve generally told them something like this:

In 2007 (which is when he got the most attention in the last cycle) Ron Paul warned that an economy based on debt and cheap money from the Federal Reserve was not sustainable, but the economy was booming and nobody wanted to listen. After the crash, they started listening. In 2007 he said we should replace the Federal Reserve and fiat money with the gold standard, and even some libertarians said things like, “What’s the beef with the Fed?  They’ve dramatically reduced the volatility of the business cycle while achieving low, reasonably constant inflation.” Nobody’s scoffing at criticism of the Fed now. In 2007 Ron Paul criticized excessive federal spending, but with a Republican in the White House Republicans weren’t so interested. With even more excessive spending by a Democratic president, that’s become a central issue of the era. In 2007 Ron Paul criticized endless military intervention, but most Republicans were content to repeat, “The surge is working.” Now even Republicans are getting weary of war. In 2007 Ron Paul said that Congress and the president should not act outside their powers under the Constitution, but Republicans didn’t want to hear about unconstitutional acts by a Republican president. Now, after the bailouts and the health care takeover and the unauthorized war in Libya, all the Republican candidates are talking about restoring the Constitution.

It’s not that Ron Paul has moved closer to the center but rather that the center of American political discussion has moved closer to him.

Like many libertarians, I’ve had my differences with Ron Paul on trade policy, immigration, gay rights and federalism, and the unsavory company he keeps. But as long as he keeps recruiting people, especially young people, to the cause of limited constitutional government, sound money, and non-intervention, I’m glad to see him making an impact.

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Will the Republicans embrace an agenda that will get our country back on tract?

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Republican debate transcript and video October 18,2011(Part 1)

Republican debate transcript and video October 18,2011(Part 1)

Aired October 18, 2011 – 20:00   ET

Republicans Get heated during CNN WRLC Debate (Media Credit: CNN)Republicans Get heated during CNN WRLC Debate (Media Credit: CNN)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR AND DEBATE MODERATOR: I’m Anderson Cooper in Las Vegas.

Tonight, the presidential candidates come here to win the West.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NARRATOR: The west. From the mountain majesty of the Rockies, to the desert sands of the Mojave, the American frontier is a historic land of opportunity for Republicans.

GOV. RICK PERRY (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Believe in America.

NARRATOR: Tonight, the fight for the GOP presidential nomination comes here, to a region where Barack Obama made inroads four years ago, to a state that could be decisive in the primary season and the general election, to a city where dreams are made and crushed.

Stand by for a Las Vegas event, the Republican presidential contenders on stage and in depth after a dramatic reshuffling of the pack.

Herman Cain, now among the leaders surging in recent weeks.

PERRY: We put more boots on the ground.

NARRATOR: Rick Perry, trying to get back on track after a meteoric rise.

FORMER GOV. MITT ROMNEY (R-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thanks for being here today.

NARRATOR: And Mitt Romney, steady, holding his place in the top tier.

They could have the most to win or lose. But Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul could be wildcards. And Rick Santorum, eager to beat the odds.

The candidates facing tough questions about jobs and the economy, the immigration wars, and other issues that matter to westerners and voters across the nation.

Now, with nothing less than America’s future at stake, the presidential campaign goes West.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(APPLAUSE)

COOPER: And welcome to the Sands Convention Center at the Venetian in Las Vegas, our host of the Western Republican Presidential Debate.

Tonight, seven contenders will be on this stage to convince you he or she should be the Republican nominee for the president of the United States.

I’m Anderson Cooper.

Welcome to our viewers in the U.S. and around the world.

Tonight’s debate is airing on CNN, CNN International, CNN en Espanol, and the American Forces Network.

We want to thank our cosponsors, the Western Republican Leadership Conference, representing 16 western states and territories. Western voters will play an active role in tonight’s debate. Voters here in our audience will have a chance to put questions directly to the candidates on this stage.

Let’s meet the 2012 Republican presidential contenders.

Joining us on stage, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.

(APPLAUSE)

COOPER: The former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich.

(APPLAUSE)

COOPER: Texas Governor Rick Perry.

(APPLAUSE)

COOPER: Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

(APPLAUSE)

COOPER: The former president and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, Herman Cain.

(APPLAUSE)

COOPER: Texas Congressman Ron Paul.

(APPLAUSE)

COOPER: And the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum.

(APPLAUSE)

COOPER: Ladies and Gentlemen, the Republican candidates for president of the United States.

(APPLAUSE)

COOPER: Well, the crowd is on its feet. Everyone, please remain standing. It’s time now for our national anthem performed tonight by Tony award-winner Anthony Crivello, starring as the Phantom in “Phantom Las Vegas,” the Las Vegas spectacular. Please stand for the national anthem.

(APPLAUSE)

CRIVELLO: (SINGING NATIONAL ANTHEM)

(APPLAUSE)

COOPER: I want to ask the candidates to please take your podiums. While the candidates are taking their podiums, I just want to tell you a little bit more about how tonight’s debate is going to work. I’ll be the moderator. I’ll ask questions on a wide range of issues. And I’ll work to make sure that each candidate is getting his or her fair share of questions.

Also, Western voters right here in the hall will be asking questions, as well, and viewers watching at home can participate, also. We’re accepting questions for the candidates on Twitter. If you send a question for the candidates on Twitter, make sure to include the hash tag #cnndebate, on Facebook at facebook.com/cnnpolitics, and on cnnpolitics.com.

Now, each candidate will have about one minute to answer the questions and 30 seconds for follow-ups and rebuttals. I’ll make sure candidates get time to respond if they’re singled out for criticism. There are no buzzers. There’s no bells. I’ll just politely inform the candidates when they need to wrap things up.

We want everyone watching to emerge from this debate more informed about the candidates, more able to judge who should be the next president of the United States.

Now that everyone is in place, it’s time for the candidates to introduce themselves to our audience. All the candidates are going to keep it short. Here’s an example. I’m Anderson Cooper. I’m usually anchoring “AC 360″ on CNN, but I’m honored to be here in Las Vegas at the Western Republican Presidential Debate. That will be my introduction.

(APPLAUSE)

So, Senator Santorum, you’re first. Let’s start with you.

FORMER SEN. RICK SANTORUM (R-PA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you, Anderson. I’m Rick Santorum. My wife, Karen, and I are the parents of seven children. And my little girl, Isabella, 3 years old, had some surgery today. She’s doing fine. But I just wanted to send to her a little “I love you” and I will take the red eye home to be with you tomorrow and make sure that you’re feeling fine.

(APPLAUSE)

REP. RON PAUL (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I’m Congressman Ron Paul from Texas. I’m the champion of liberty. I am the only one that has offered a balanced budget in — in a sincere method. And also, I present the case for a free society as being the best defense for peace and prosperity.

(APPLAUSE)

HERMAN CAIN, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am businessman Herman Cain. I’ve been married to my wife, Gloria, for 43 years. And I’m a 42-year businessman, which means I solve problems for a living.

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: I’m Mitt Romney. I was a businessman for 25 years. Then I had the fun of getting the chance to help run the Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City next door. And then I had the fun also of being governor of Massachusetts. I also solve problems, sometimes for a living, sometimes for other people to make things better. And I hope to be your president. Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

PERRY: Good evening. I’m Texas Governor Rick Perry, a proven job-creator and a man who is about economic growth, an authentic conservative, not a conservative of convenience.

(APPLAUSE)

FORMER REP. NEWT GINGRICH (R-GA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I’m Newt Gingrich. And unlike President Obama, I’m glad to be in Las Vegas. I think it’s a great place to have a convention.

(APPLAUSE)

And — and when I am president, we’re going to replace class warfare with cooperation so all Americans can get off food stamps and onto paychecks.

(APPLAUSE)

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hi, my name is Michele Bachmann. I am thrilled to be able to be with you tonight in Las Vegas. And this is one night when I hope what happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas.

(APPLAUSE)

COOPER: All right. Let’s — time to begin. We’ll begin with actually a question in the hall.

QUESTION: This is for all candidates. What’s your position on replacing the federal income tax with a federal sales tax?

COOPER: I’ll direct that to Congresswoman Bachmann. You’ve been very critical of Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan, which calls for a 9 percent sales tax, a 9 percent income tax, and 9 percent corporate tax. In fact, you’ve said it would destroy the economy. Why?

BACHMANN: Well, I am a former federal tax litigation attorney. And also, my husband and I are job-creators.

One thing I know about Congress, being a member of Congress for five years, is that any time you give the Congress a brand-new tax, it doesn’t go away. When we got the income tax in 1913, the top rate was 7 percent. By 1980, the top rate was 70 percent. If we give Congress a 9 percent sales tax, how long will it take a liberal president and a liberal Congress to run that up to maybe 90 percent? Who knows?

What I do know is that we also have to be concerned about the hidden tax of the value-added tax, because at every step and stage of production, you’d be taxing that item 9 percent on the profit. That’s the worry.

In my plan — again, that’s a tax plan, it’s not a jobs plan — my plan for economic recovery is real jobs right now. I have a tax plan. I have a jobs plan. I have an energy plan and a plan to really turn this country around and create millions of high-paying jobs.

COOPER: Mr. Cain, a lot of prominent conservatives now are coming forward saying that your 9-9-9 plan would actually raise taxes on middle-class voters, on lower-income voters.

CAIN: The thing that I would encourage people to do before they engage in this knee-jerk reaction is read our analysis. It is available at hermancain.com. It was performed by Fiscal Associates. And all of the claims that are made against it, it is a jobs plan, it is revenue-neutral, it does not raise taxes on those that are making the least. All of those are simply not true.

The reason that my plan — the reason that our plan is being attacked so much is because lobbyists, accountants, politicians, they don’t want to throw out the current tax code and put in something that’s simple and fair. They want to continue to be able to manipulate the American people with a 10-million-word mess.

Let’s throw out the 10-million-word mess and put in our plan, which will liberate the American workers and liberate American businesses.

(APPLAUSE)

COOPER: Senator Santorum, will his plan raise taxes?

SANTORUM: Herman’s well-meaning, and I love his boldness, and it’s great. But the fact of the matter is, I mean, reports are now out that 84 percent of Americans would pay more taxes under his plan. That’s the analysis. And it makes sense, because when — when you don’t provide a standard deduction, when you don’t provide anything for low-income individuals, and you have a sales tax and an income tax and, as Michele said, a value-added tax, which is really what his corporate tax is, we’re talking about major increases in taxes on people.

He also doesn’t have anything that takes care of the families. I mean, you have — you have a situation where, under Herman’s plan, a single person pays as much in taxes as a — as a man and a woman raising three children. Ever since we’ve had the income tax in America, we’ve always taken advantage of the fact that we want to encourage people to — to have children and not have to pay more already to raise children, but also pay that additional taxes — we gave some breaks for families. He doesn’t do that in this bill.

And we’re going to — we’ve seen that happen in Europe. And what happened? Boom, birth rates went into — into the basement. It’s a bad tax for — again, it’s bold. I give him credit for — for starting a debate, but it’s not good for families, and it’s not good for low-income…

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: I’m going to give you 30 seconds to respond. That 84 percent figure comes from the Tax Policy Center.

CAIN: That simply is not true. I invite people to look at our analysis, which we make available.

Secondly, the — the point that he makes about is a value-added tax — I’m sorry, Representative Bachmann — it’s not a value-added tax. It’s a single tax.

And I invite every American to do their own math, because most of these are knee-jerk reactions. And we do provide a provision, if you read the analysis, something we call opportunity zones that will, in fact, address the issue of those making the least.

Will the Republicans embrace an agenda that will get our country back on tract?

Will the Republicans embrace an agenda that will get our country back on tract?

Republicans need to cut spending as the video above says. I wish the Republican candidates for president will embrace these policy positions:

A Republican Agenda for Real Change

by Doug Bandow

This article appeared in Forbes on October 3, 2011

The desperate search for an acceptable Republican Party presidential candidate continues. Republican leaders apparently are pushing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who previously said no, to jump into the race.

The GOP’s frustration is palpable. Mitt Romney has been running for four years but generates little enthusiasm. Rick Perry was an instant front-runner before losing much of his support after unimpressive debate performances. Michelle Bachmann briefly streaked across the political firmament but now barely registers in the polls. Newt Gingrich committed political seppuku shortly after announcing his candidacy. Ron Paul’s support is fervent but limited.

However, the real Republican problem is positions, not candidates.

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. A former special assistant to Ronald Reagan, he is the author of Foreign Follies: America’s New Global Empire(Xulon).

More by Doug Bandow

The Republican Party cheerfully ran up the national debt before surrendering the keys to Capitol Hill and the White House. President George W. Bush’s promiscuous war-making cost the U.S. thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars, while making Americans less secure. The GOP centralized more power in Washington. Republican lawmakers managed to turn laudable opposition to tax hikes into a deplorable defense of the status quo.

Most of the GOP presidential candidates offer little new. Mitt Romney, the ultimate political weathervane, implemented ObamaCare in Massachusetts before there was ObamaCare. He now fervently defends Social Security, despite its design as a public Ponzi scheme. Gov. Perry talks of domestic budget cuts but on foreign policy appears to be Bush-lite, yet another hawk disconnected from reality. The sharpest dissent from big government conservatism comes from the candidates least likely to win the nomination: Rep. Paul, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, and former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, who has been excluded from most of the debates.

President Barack Obama obviously is vulnerable, as well he should be. The problem is not that he is responsible for all of America’s economic woes — no president “runs” the $15 trillion U.S. economy. But this president has no solution for slow growth and high unemployment other than spending more money, increasing the deficit, and running up the debt.

Unfortunately for the Republicans, simply denouncing President Obama for every ill known to man may not lead to victory. Voters dislike much current GOP orthodoxy. President Obama could win an election which turns into competitive political demonization and personal destruction.

Republicans should offer a positive agenda while addressing the party’s past failings. First, they should explain that current budget policy is unsustainable on both a short- and a long-term basis. Economist Larry Kotlikoff figures that America’s real public debt is $211 trillion, 15 times the nominal national debt. Public finance in states like California already looks a lot like that in Greece.

Unless Americans want to turn their entire incomes over to government, public spending must be cut, and cut sharply. And it must be cut across-the-board.

However, to regain lost credibility GOP politicians should lead with proposals to cut spending benefiting “their” interest groups. Corporate welfare should top any Republican Party list of budget cuts. Too often Republican apparatchiks have been pro-business rather than pro-free market, attacking financial transfers to the poor while endorsing subsidies for corporate America.

The GOP also needs to support significant reductions in military outlays. There is no more important responsibility for the U.S. government than protecting America. However, most of the Pentagon’s current activities have little to do with protecting America.

Instead, most U.S. forces currently defend prosperous, populous allies around the world. Europe has a larger GDP and population than America, yet continues to rely on Washington to provide most of NATO’s combat capability. Japan long had the world’s second largest economy but nevertheless relied on America for its protection. South Korea has 40 times the GDP of its northern adversary, but nearly 30,000 U.S. military personnel remain in the South, creating a “tripwire” for war.

Equally wasteful and far more costly in human terms have been nation-building exercises in Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, and more. Going to war in 2001 to punish the Taliban for hosting terrorist training camps made sense. Staying at war a decade later in an attempt to create a competent, honest centralized government in Kabul is foolish.

Also required is an honest discussion of Social Security’s and Medicare’s funding crises. Neither is financially sustainable and both risk triggering generational conflict. The longer Congress puts off addressing these issues the costlier will be any solution.

The GOP should reaffirm its opposition to tax hikes, but emphasize that taxes can be kept low only if outlays are reduced. Endless borrowing threatens a financial death spiral of increased debt, higher interest payments, slower economic growth, and lower investor confidence. The U.S. now is on the road to fiscal ruin.

Moreover, Republicans should endorse President Obama’s attack on special interest tax breaks. Not all tax preferences are equally bad, but the narrower the tax break the more it approaches a special interest subsidy. The GOP should push legislation that simultaneously kills dubious tax “loopholes” and reduces overall marginal tax rates. Republicans should similarly respond to tax proposals from President Obama or congressional Democrats. Rather than defend the undefendable, the GOP should challenge yet another form of corporate welfare.

With job creation at issue, Republicans should develop a list of regulations and taxes which interfere with a growing economy. Political candidates enjoy denouncing “over-regulation” in the abstract, but they would be more convincing if they targeted specific policies costing real jobs. The House GOP should follow the example of its earlier majority which held hearings on regulatory abuses.

Republicans should challenge politically popular public agencies. For instance, the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were at the epicenter of the housing and financial crises. The GOP rightly criticized Democrats for not including the two GSEs in last year’s financial “reform” bill. But so far House Republicans have done nothing to close Fannie and Freddie, which continue to lose money.

Deregulation should include proposals to make more market friendly controls which are necessary even in a free society. After all, few Americans want to breathe dirty air or swim in dirty water. And there is no simple market solution to such problems. But people don’t want to needlessly waste money and destroy jobs when cleaning up the environment.

The Republicans also should offer a more restrained foreign policy. Doing so is necessary to curtail military outlays — in effect, the defense budget is the price of a nation’s foreign policy, since the more Washington seeks to do in the world, the more military force it requires. So long as the U.S. government is determined to dominate every region of the globe against every power, it will have to spend as much on the military as the rest of the world combined. Indeed, real, inflation-adjusted military outlays have doubled over the last decade, and today are higher than at any point during the Cold War, Korean War, and Vietnam War.

But a more humble foreign policy also would be a better foreign policy. Rather than engage in social engineering abroad, Republican politicians should leave friendly states with responsibility for international problems. If there is a problem in the Balkans or North Africa, Europe should address it. Japan, South Korea, Australia, and other democratic nations should cooperate to restrain potential Chinese aggressiveness. Only the Afghans can create a sustainable political order, of whatever form, in Afghanistan.

The GOP should simultaneously support a globally engaged America and Americans. For instance, international cooperation can help meet humanitarian, environmental, and other problems which transcend national boundaries. Whatever U.S. policy toward illegal aliens, Americans should expand the legal immigration of entrepreneurial professionals.

Trade benefits Americans. Washington’s failure to ratify the free trade agreement with South Korea is beyond foolish. A commercial war with China would hurt Americans while poisoning the most important bilateral relationship of the 21st century.

Other issues also deserve attention — such as expanding educational opportunities for children stuck in poorly performing public schools. Even here, however, the GOP needs to break with recent Republican Party orthodoxy. President Bush and the Republican Congress centralized even more authority in Washington with the “No Child Left Behind” legislation.

Perhaps Chris Christie or some other late electoral entrant will revolutionize the GOP presidential sweepstakes. But without good ideas well-expressed, the GOP could still end up outside the White House looking in. The Republican Party deserves to win in 2012 only if it recognizes that it deserved to lose in 2008.

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 rapid-fire, no-holds-barred multiplayer smackdown with the toughest set of questions ever posed to presidential candidates.The Republicans were challenged as candidates rarely are challenged, and by two journalistic organizations generally considered friendly to the GOP.The questioning was so sharp that Newt Gingrich was reduced to complaining about having to explain two contradictory quotes about Libya because Fox hadn’t included a third quote of his.Indeed, the debate ranged so widely and so quickly that several candidates rose and fell in the course of it.Take the breakout star of the first two debates, Michele Bachmann.She saw an opening when she was attacked by her fellow Minnesotan, ex-Gov. Tim Pawlenty, and proceeded to chew up him and spit him out.Advantage Bachmann.

But then she chewed on him and chewed on him and began looking mean.

Ten points taken from Bachmann.

Then she was asked a real doozy by Byron York of the Examiner about whether she actually believed a woman should “submit” to her husband — a view she has promulgated in the past — and answered quietly and with a profession of love and respect for her husband. Bachmann was back!

Then, 10 minutes later, she gave an answer on her opposition to raising the debt ceiling so incoherent that even those inclined to support her view must have been baffled and confused.

She claimed the Standard and Poor’s downgrade supported her view when S&P actually said the very fact that the need for a debt-ceiling increase had been in dispute helped cause the downgrade. Bad Bachmann.

Charting her performance in the debate would be like charting the Dow over the last week. Volatile would be the word for it, and volatility is not what Republicans are looking for in a candidate.

As for Pawlenty, rarely has a fluent and well-prepared candidate with a solid record of accomplishment and an ability to think and argue on his feet proved so . . . meh. His candidacy is a wet match, and last night probably marked its end.

Utah ex-Gov. Jon Huntsman’s baffling decision to run for president proved even more baffling when he began the debate by admitting he didn’t have an economic plan ready yet. Throughout, he looked as though he was in the middle of one of those school-anxiety dreams where you’re got to take a final exam on material you’ve never studied.

And then there was Rep. Ron Paul, who said it was fine with him if Iran got nukes and there should be no Federal Reserve Board and America should get off everybody’s lawn. His major combatant was ex-Sen. Rick Santorum, and the two of them sparred and scuffled for no particularly good reason, as neither of them has any business pretending he might be president.

What Republicans nationally are looking for in a candidate is someone who can win next year. And yet again, there was no question that the only plausible candidate on the stage fitting the description was Mitt Romney.

Romney is a weak frontrunner for all kinds of reasons, but standing on a stage next to seven other people who have no chance of being president, he looks like a Colossus.

So he won. Again. But his performance was sufficiently unmemorable that he is clearly vulnerable to a strong showing by the incoming Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Or just about anybody else serious who might want to get in.

This is a race Republicans can win. There’s still time. Romney’s got problems. Perry’s far from perfect. The next debate should be one that isn’t just fun, but that actually features a genuine argument between two or three people who might actually be president.

jpodhoretz@gmail.com

Ron Paul “We Just Plain Don’t Mind Our Own Business! That’s Our Problem!” Republican Debate pt 5

Ron Paul “We Just Plain Don’t Mind Our Own Business! That’s Our Problem!” Republican Debate pt 5

MAGGIE HABERMAN comments below on the debate last night: 

Paul also against the debt deal

By MAGGIE HABERMAN | 8/1/11 5:20 PM EDT

With a 12-paragraph statement that came in longer than Newt Gingrich’s, Rep. Ron Paul registers his (unsurprising) disapproval of the debt-ceiling deal, a quarter of which is below:

“While it is good to see serious debate about our debt crisis, I cannot support the reported deal on raising the nation’s debt ceiling. I have never voted to raise the debt ceiling, and I never will.

“This deal will reportedly cut spending by only slightly over $900 billion over 10 years. But we will have a $1.6 trillion deficit after this year alone, meaning those meager cuts will do nothing to solve our unsustainable spending problem. In fact, this bill will never balance the budget. Instead, it will add untold trillions of dollars to our deficit. This also assumes the cuts are real cuts and not the same old Washington smoke and mirrors game of spending less than originally projected so you can claim the difference as a ‘cut’.”

“The plan also calls for the formation of a deficit commission, which will accomplish nothing outside of providing Congress and the White House with another way to abdicate responsibility. In my many years of public service, there have been commissions on everything from Social Security to energy policy, yet not one solution has been produced out of these commissions.”