Tag Archives: texas governor rick perry

Republicans need to tackle runaway entitlement spending

Republicans need to tackle runaway entitlement spending

Uploaded by on Feb 15, 2011

Dan Mitchell, Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, speaks at Moving Forward on Entitlements: Practical Steps to Reform, NTUF’s entitlement reform event at CPAC, on Feb. 11, 2011.

__________________________

I am disappointed in some of the Republicans who do not want to take the bull by the horns on this issue.

GOP Needs an Entitlement Plan

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 September 28, 2011

This article appeared on National Review (Online) on September 28, 2011

There was telling moment during the CNN Republican presidential debate: Asked about the possibility of repealing George W. Bush’s Medicare prescription-drug benefit, which is adding some $17 trillion to Medicare’s unfunded liabilities, every one of the candidates pledged varying degrees of fealty to the program. No one came out for significantly cutting this vestige of Bush-style big-government conservatism, let alone repealing it. This put the current crop of Republicans to the left of John McCain, who at least campaigned in favor of means-testing the program in 2008.

The failure to stand up against one of the Bush administration’s most obvious mistakes is not just a case of hypocrisy; it is part of a disturbing trend toward ducking the tough decisions on budget cutting among the Republican aspirants. For all the sound and fury, and the charges and countercharges surrounding entitlement reform, the GOP candidates have been remarkably reluctant to put forward actual proposals.

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, for example, has been attacking Texas governor Rick Perry over Social Security from the left, praising the program as “an essential federal program,” that has been a “success” for more than 70 years. But for all his criticism of Perry, Romney has been much vaguer about his own plans for reform. At times he has sounded almost like Obama, suggesting that there are lots of reform ideas — raising the retirement age, means testing, changing the wage-price indexing formula — that are “on the table,” but not actually endorsing any of them. One reform that Romney has taken off the table is allowing younger workers to privately invest a portion of their payroll taxes through personal accounts. In his book, No Apology, Romney endorses so-called “add on” accounts, allowing workers to save in addition to Social Security, but not carving out a portion of their current taxes. “Given the volatility of investment values that we have just experienced, I would prefer that individual accounts were added to Social Security, not diverted from it,” Romney wrote.

The Republican candidates all talk about reducing government spending. But they cannot do that unless they commit to real entitlement reform.

On Medicare, Romney has avoided specifics as well, praising Paul Ryan’s proposed reforms for example as “taking important strides in the right direction,” but not endorsing them.

For his part, Governor Perry has been forthright about the flaws of Social Security but has offered nothing in the way of a proposal for reform. As Romney has pointed out endlessly, Perry suggested in his book that Social Security might be returned to the states. But Perry has since disavowed that idea, claiming that he was only referring to state employees, some 7 million of whom are currently outside the Social Security system. Perry has also praised the privatized system for public employees in Galveston and two other Texas counties, suggesting that he might be open to some type of private investment option. But “suggesting” is as far as he goes.

On Medicare, Perry has been equally murky. At times, he has suggested that we should “transition away from” the current Medicare system, but without saying what we should transition to. His aides point out that Perry has only recently joined the race and hasn’t had time to develop specific proposals. But given his fiery talk on the issues, until he does he will seem more hat than cattle.

Rep. Michelle Bachmann has also largely tried to have it both ways on entitlement reform. She voted for the Ryan plan in Congress but promptly put out a statement distancing herself from it, claiming that her vote came with an asterisk. On Social Security, Bachmann once called the program a “monstrous fraud,” but has now joined Romney in attacking Perry’s “Ponzi scheme” description. She says that a key difference between her and Perry is that she believes Social Security “is an important safety net and that the federal government should keep its promise to seniors.” But with Social Security currently facing more than $20 trillion in unfunded liabilities, the question is how it will keep that promise.

Second-tier candidates, with less to lose, have been more willing to spell out their proposals. Businessman Herman Cain, for example, supports both the Ryan plan and Chilean-style personal accounts for Social Security. Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum takes similar positions, as does former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson. Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman has endorsed the Ryan plan but has not spelled out his views on Social Security reform. Newt Gingrich, on the other hand, has focused on cutting “fraud, waste, and abuse,” rather than fundamentally altering the structure of those programs. Ever the iconoclast, Rep. Ron Paul opposes both the Ryan plan and personal accounts for Social Security, since he opposes a federal role in either health care or retirement on principle.

The facts are both simple and frightening. The unfunded liabilities of Social Security and Medicare run between $50 trillion and $110 trillion. Those two programs, along with Medicaid, are the primary drivers of our future indebtedness. In fact, by 2050, those three programs alone will consume 18.4 percent of GDP. If one assumes that revenues return to and stay at their traditional 18 percent of GDP, then those three programs alone will consume all federal revenues. There would not be a single dime available for any other program of government, from national defense to welfare.

The Republican candidates all talk about reducing government spending. But they cannot do that unless they commit to real entitlement reform. There’s time, and lots of debates, to hear specifics from them. But so far, the omens are not auspicious.

Mitt Romney’s religion is becoming an issue

This issue concerning Mitt Romney’s religion is heating up.

Baptist pastor taken to task

Russ Jones and Chad Groening – OneNewsNow – 10/10/2011 11:05:00 am

Popular radio and television commentator Glenn Beck wrapped up the Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC, Sunday in a wave of anti-Mormonism comments lodged towards GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.

 

 

The weekend gathering of conservatives provided GOP presidential candidates a platform to present their ideas. Robert Jeffress, pastor of the First Baptist Church in downtown Dallas, was asked by Summit sponsor Family Research Council to introduce Texas Governor Rick Perry. But the Texas pastor captured more headlines than the candidates themselves when, during an interview after the introduction, described Mormonism is a “cult” and said presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is “not a Christian.” (See related story)
 
Glenn BeckBeck, founder of Glenn Beck TV, delivered a 39-minute speech at the conclusion of the event. In a tearful moment, he defended his Mormon faith as he referred to Pastor Jeffress’ remarks.
 
“People have come onto this stage and been for and against, I guess, members of my faith,” Beck stated. “I celebrate their right to say those things in America. I am a proud member of the church of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior — he redeemed me.”
 
In earlier remarks, William Bennett, who served as Secretary of Education under President Ronald Reagan, also responded to Jeffress’ comments, saying the pastor had overshadowed the speeches of Rick Perry and all the GOP candidates who spoke at the conference.
 
“Do not give voice to bigotry,” said Bennett. “And I would say to Pastor Jeffress, you stepped on and obscured the words of Perry and [Rick] Santorum and [Herman] Cain and [Michele] Bachmann and everyone else who has spoken here. You did Rick Perry no good, sir, in what you had to say.”

 

Story continues below …

 


To what extent does a presidential candidate’s personal faith influence how you vote?

Vote in our poll

 


 
Dr. Robert Jeffress (First Baptist Church, Dallas)Speaking Monday on the Fox News Channel, Jeffress did not back away from his comments over the weekend.
 
“It was John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, who said, ‘We have the duty and privilege as Christians to select and prefer Christians as our leaders,'” he said. “If I’m a bigot, then the first chief justice of the Supreme Court is also a bigot.”
 
Presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman are both members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann declined to answers questions about Jeffress’ comment; Rick Santorum and Rick Perry both say they do not consider Mormonism a cult.

 

Texas Congressman Ron Paul easily won the Summit’s annual straw poll, but Values Voter straw poll organizers suggested there was ballot-stuffing, making the results virtually irrelevant.

 

On Jeffress’ side
An author who grew up in the LDS Church says she agrees with Pastor Jeffress’ statements. Tricia Erickson is the daughter of a Mormon bishop who left the movement, and is the author of Can Mitt Romney Serve Two Masters? The Mormon Church Versus the Office of the Presidency of the United States of America. (Listen to audio report)

“The Mormon Church fits the definition of a cult,” she tells OneNewsNow. “They have secret rituals, they have charismatic leaders, they have false prophets, they believe things that are so irrational — but they cover it. [They] know it amongst themselves, but they understand enough to know that their beliefs, if they really came out …would be ridiculed more because they’re so outrageous.”

Erickson says she is thankful that Jeffress had the courage to tell the truth about Mormonism.

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Republicans need to tackle runaway entitlement spending

Republicans need to tackle runaway entitlement spending

Uploaded by on Feb 15, 2011

Dan Mitchell, Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, speaks at Moving Forward on Entitlements: Practical Steps to Reform, NTUF’s entitlement reform event at CPAC, on Feb. 11, 2011.

__________________________

I am disappointed in some of the Republicans who do not want to take the bull by the horns on this issue.

GOP Needs an Entitlement Plan

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 September 28, 2011

This article appeared on National Review (Online) on September 28, 2011

There was telling moment during the CNN Republican presidential debate: Asked about the possibility of repealing George W. Bush’s Medicare prescription-drug benefit, which is adding some $17 trillion to Medicare’s unfunded liabilities, every one of the candidates pledged varying degrees of fealty to the program. No one came out for significantly cutting this vestige of Bush-style big-government conservatism, let alone repealing it. This put the current crop of Republicans to the left of John McCain, who at least campaigned in favor of means-testing the program in 2008.

The failure to stand up against one of the Bush administration’s most obvious mistakes is not just a case of hypocrisy; it is part of a disturbing trend toward ducking the tough decisions on budget cutting among the Republican aspirants. For all the sound and fury, and the charges and countercharges surrounding entitlement reform, the GOP candidates have been remarkably reluctant to put forward actual proposals.

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, for example, has been attacking Texas governor Rick Perry over Social Security from the left, praising the program as “an essential federal program,” that has been a “success” for more than 70 years. But for all his criticism of Perry, Romney has been much vaguer about his own plans for reform. At times he has sounded almost like Obama, suggesting that there are lots of reform ideas — raising the retirement age, means testing, changing the wage-price indexing formula — that are “on the table,” but not actually endorsing any of them. One reform that Romney has taken off the table is allowing younger workers to privately invest a portion of their payroll taxes through personal accounts. In his book, No Apology, Romney endorses so-called “add on” accounts, allowing workers to save in addition to Social Security, but not carving out a portion of their current taxes. “Given the volatility of investment values that we have just experienced, I would prefer that individual accounts were added to Social Security, not diverted from it,” Romney wrote.

The Republican candidates all talk about reducing government spending. But they cannot do that unless they commit to real entitlement reform.

On Medicare, Romney has avoided specifics as well, praising Paul Ryan’s proposed reforms for example as “taking important strides in the right direction,” but not endorsing them.

For his part, Governor Perry has been forthright about the flaws of Social Security but has offered nothing in the way of a proposal for reform. As Romney has pointed out endlessly, Perry suggested in his book that Social Security might be returned to the states. But Perry has since disavowed that idea, claiming that he was only referring to state employees, some 7 million of whom are currently outside the Social Security system. Perry has also praised the privatized system for public employees in Galveston and two other Texas counties, suggesting that he might be open to some type of private investment option. But “suggesting” is as far as he goes.

On Medicare, Perry has been equally murky. At times, he has suggested that we should “transition away from” the current Medicare system, but without saying what we should transition to. His aides point out that Perry has only recently joined the race and hasn’t had time to develop specific proposals. But given his fiery talk on the issues, until he does he will seem more hat than cattle.

Rep. Michelle Bachmann has also largely tried to have it both ways on entitlement reform. She voted for the Ryan plan in Congress but promptly put out a statement distancing herself from it, claiming that her vote came with an asterisk. On Social Security, Bachmann once called the program a “monstrous fraud,” but has now joined Romney in attacking Perry’s “Ponzi scheme” description. She says that a key difference between her and Perry is that she believes Social Security “is an important safety net and that the federal government should keep its promise to seniors.” But with Social Security currently facing more than $20 trillion in unfunded liabilities, the question is how it will keep that promise.

Second-tier candidates, with less to lose, have been more willing to spell out their proposals. Businessman Herman Cain, for example, supports both the Ryan plan and Chilean-style personal accounts for Social Security. Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum takes similar positions, as does former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson. Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman has endorsed the Ryan plan but has not spelled out his views on Social Security reform. Newt Gingrich, on the other hand, has focused on cutting “fraud, waste, and abuse,” rather than fundamentally altering the structure of those programs. Ever the iconoclast, Rep. Ron Paul opposes both the Ryan plan and personal accounts for Social Security, since he opposes a federal role in either health care or retirement on principle.

The facts are both simple and frightening. The unfunded liabilities of Social Security and Medicare run between $50 trillion and $110 trillion. Those two programs, along with Medicaid, are the primary drivers of our future indebtedness. In fact, by 2050, those three programs alone will consume 18.4 percent of GDP. If one assumes that revenues return to and stay at their traditional 18 percent of GDP, then those three programs alone will consume all federal revenues. There would not be a single dime available for any other program of government, from national defense to welfare.

The Republican candidates all talk about reducing government spending. But they cannot do that unless they commit to real entitlement reform. There’s time, and lots of debates, to hear specifics from them. But so far, the omens are not auspicious

John Huntsman: “I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming”

This may get interesting.

Former Utah Governor and Republican presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman warned his party against rejecting science

AFP reported today:

Republican presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman took a swipe at his rivals and warned his party against rejecting science in an interview that will air Sunday.

“I think there’s a serious problem. The minute that the Republican Party becomes the party — the anti-science party — we have a huge problem,” the former US ambassador to China told ABC television’s “This Week.”

Earlier this week, Texas Governor Rick Perry, also running for the nomination, called man-made climate change a “theory that has not yet been proven.”

He added that “there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects.”

Shortly after Perry’s comments, Huntsman, who has been lagging in the polls, scored big on Twitter when he wrote: “To be clear, I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.”

At least 3,600 people on the micro-blogging site ‘retweeted” Huntsman’s claim over the next 24 hours, making it the most repeated comment by a Republican White House hopeful in 2012, according to the 140elect.com website.

Huntsman told ABC that if Republicans opt for a stance that “runs counter to what 98 of 100 climate scientists have said,” they will find themselves “on the wrong side of science and, therefore, in a losing position.”

Despite his impressive resume as a successful Utah governor and Obama’s well regarded ambassador to China, Huntsman has yet to catch fire with Republican primary voters looking for a standard-bearer in the November 2012 elections.

Huntsman has drawn considerable media attention, but has been polling inside the margin of error in most surveys.