Interview With Peter Roff, Senior Fellow at Institute for Liberty

Dustin Siggins: The CBO says not doing the Obama tax increases would increase the deficit by over $3 trillion over ten years. Your response?

Peter Roff: Keeping tax rates where they are under current law is the right thing to do. Allowing them to go up, as Obama intends, will further depress an economy that’s already flat on its back. Taking more money out of the private sector- which already isn’t hiring, innovating or expanding- is a recipe for disaster.

DS: So should Republicans campaign on spending cuts to offset what CBO says?

PR: It’s a false argument for two reasons:

  • It’s current law- to pay for something that is current law is absurd. Under current law, you bring in X taxes. They believe that if tax rates go up, it will bring in an additional figure: Y. So when they talk about a $3.5 trillion dollar hole, what that really means is it’s X+Y-Y, Y being the hole. They are getting X now, even in a static analysis. If you leave current law where it is, they will get X next year. They expect to spend X+Y, so they want to tax at X+Y. If they spend at X+Y, and only tax at X, there will be the hole.

DS: What is reasonable spending reform unrelated to the tax rates?

PR: Cut off the stimulus. Repeal ObamaCare, and replace it with a patient-centered, market-oriented system. Cut the federal work force across the board, including non-military Defense Department positions (i.e. cutting civilian defense employees). The American public is concerned about federal spending in ways they have never been before. But the real issue is bringing growth back to the American economy. How do you do that? You put an end to economic uncertainty. People have to know what the cost of hiring will be and what their taxes and regulatory costs will be. And THAT’S what you have to stimulate the economy. Encourage the American people to engage in economically-productive activity, rather than punish them.

Interview With Seton Motley: President of “Less Government”

Dustin Siggins: If Republicans take back the House, how effective will they be in restraining/overturning Obama’s policies?

Seton Motley: They can’t overturn, but they can defund and defang what’s been passed.

DS: Do you think Republicans who target the community center/mosque are making a mistake?

SM: Any issue where it’s 70-30 on your side, it’s not a mistake to make that argument. An indicator of that is when the left says it’s a distraction…it’s damaging the left, and they want you to stop doing it.

DS: Mitt Romney has avoided the debate, and wrote in the Boston Globe about the economy…

SM: It’s not like the mosque is going to be talked about to the exclusion of the economy. That’s absurd. What’s going to happen is that it’s another in a long series of issues where the left is flying directly in the face of the American people. The political tone-deafness of President Obama to be silent for weeks, to the point where the lines are clearly demarcated for where the American people stand on it, and then he comes out on the opposite side of it. In that way, it’s no different than the myriad spending bills; health care; and the stimulus, where they know where Americans stand but they do the opposite.

The fact that Obama waited weeks, then came out against the American people, leads one to think that he might not pay any attention to what the American people say.

The American people have made it clear they support extending the Bush tax cuts, and Democrats aren’t going to do that. Peter Roff did write in U.S. News that the “October Surprise” may be Democrats extending some of the cuts to attempt to minimize the damage that will be done to the Democratic Party in November.

DS: How can Republicans show they are serious about spending right away, after November, especially since the deficit impact of extending the Bush tax cuts can be mitigated through simple spending cuts.

SM: Paul Ryan (Representative from Wisconsin) has come up with a plan. The cry of “Party of No” is a joke; when Republicans have so few votes in Congress, that is basically all they can do is say No. BUT, that claim about being the “Party of No” is inaccurate, since Republicans like Paul Ryan have detailed plans to address the spending problem in Washington.

Voters Now Trust Republicans Most

This has nothing to do with what’s going on at AFP, sort of–but it now appears as though voters trust Republicans more than Democrats on all ten of the key issues Rasmussen Reports tracks. Click on the link to see the full breakdown.  Not every lead is statistically significant, but it should give us hope nonetheless!*

From the article:

Incumbent members of Congress don’t exactly get a vote of confidence from their constituents. Just 27% of voters think their representative in Congress is the best possible person for the job, down six points from November of last year. Only 37% believe their local congressional representative deserves reelection, compared to 42% who felt that way way last fall.

Sixty percent (60%) of voters say most members of Congress don’t care what their constituents think. Most voters continue to believe it would be better for the country if the majority of Congress is thrown out this November, but they also remain unconvinced that a Republican takeover will make a noticeable difference.

Now we can all just cross our fingers and hope that the 60% of voters who think their Congressman doesn’t care actually vote out their dud Congressman come November.

*I swear I’m not a fan of the Republican Party–but I think we can mostly agree that the Republican Party is better than the alternative.

Allie Winegar Duzett is the author of How to Save America: A Tactical Guide for Practical Patriots.  Find her on Twitter for livetweeting of the event. Crossposting today at Rightosphere and Conservatives4Congress.

BEFORE You Pass the Unemployment Extension!

Unemployment is the new-old hot button issue that is all over the news again since we finally corked the oil spill in the Gulf for the time being. This is also a topic that affects far more Americans directly, so naturally, it is back on the front burner before Congress takes their August recess.  Today it is looking like we are going to get the extension passed without any consideration for how it will be paid for, or what it will even accomplish.

There is one talking point I would like clarified by our friends on the left: has the stimulus been successful, or are we in a dire situation? We cannot have it both ways, and yet, President Obama and his cabinet would like you to believe that the stimulus was successful while at the same time lecturing the Republicans on the reasonableness of passing the unemployment extension because we are in a crisis (and God knows, this Administration won’t let any crisis go to waste!). You can’t have your cake and eat it too, although, we are supposed to eat ours.

So which is it? Those of us with a more Conservative (or rugged individualism) proclivity are likely to say, “a year for unemployment benefits is ample time! Suck it up and get a job!” Those of us who may be more mindful of taking care of our fellow man (or, at least forcing others to do so through government so we don’t have to do the dirty work ourselves) might argue, “there are no jobs, what are they supposed to do?”

Taking only one side of this issue leaves one without a complete understanding of our present crisis’ gestalt. There are certainly a number of situations where people have been using unemployment benefits to subsidize their sloth; while one cannot take away from the fact that some areas of a state simply have no infrastructure for job growth. You cannot deny that the job situation has gotten worse, the New York Times has an interactive map that shows the growing unemployment rates state by state and how they climbed over time. Furthermore, the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not show a particularly peachy picture of jobs to come, considering at the present moment there are five Americans competing for every one job.

I know it won’t happen, but there are two things I would like to see done if Congress and the President are to pass the Emergency Unemployment Benefits Extension:

First, I cannot imagine why we can’t find a way to pay for it. Emergency unemployment benefits are not paid by the employer during the worker’s tenure, it comes straight out of thin air thanks to the Federal government’s Nietzschean ability to posit something from nothing; in this case, create money and with it, value. The Federal government sets aside a block grant to the state, whose Department of Labor hands out the benefits accordingly. Our Federal deficit stands at a paltry $1.6 Trillion dollars this year, as projected by the administration. The Unemployment bill that is set to pass today will add yet another $36 Billion to our gluttonous budget, and all the Republicans and a few Blue-Dogs ask for is a means to pay for it… part of it? Half of it? Any of it? Somebody please go to YouCut and find one of those programs that Representative Cantor’s office has bulls-eyed and we could have this extension paid for.

Secondly, I’ve already hinted to it earlier in the piece, but the Wall Street Journal has an article about stimulating unemployment where a crazy correlation was made: “A 2006 NBER study by Raj Chetty of UC Berkeley on a related subject begins, ‘It is well known that unemployment benefits raise unemployment durations.'” Imagine that: incentivizing people to not get jobs, and then telling them “well instead of getting a job call your Congressman and ask him or her to extend unemployment benefits” would lead people to strive for nothing. That’s as stupid as setting time-tables in a war. Nevertheless, if we are going to do this last emergency extension, why the hell would we not get something out of it in return? Why not ask of people (and I say ask now, but rather, I’d be much more willing to demand it as part of the prerequisite for receiving such benefits) to help out their community? I would make it mandatory for people to volunteer at least 20 hours of their week towards their community, state or nation in exchange for their free benefits (because we must remember, that they did not pay into this unemployment pool). This would allow people to create at least some value from their benefits outside of paying for the bare necessities that had to be paid for already. Giving money away doesn’t add value; but giving money to people in exchange for something does.

When I mentioned this on my Twitter account (follow me, rcaster – we are not afraid of shameless self promotion here) I was accosted by some #P2 fellow, which means he is a “Progressive” in Twitter lexicon. He claimed my idea was unfair because “the unemployed are not criminals!” I would have re-posted the conversation for you, but BlackJedi”somethingorother” was embarrassed enough to just erase his entire end of the conversation, and my tweets went as well (I guess that means I was blocked).

Imagine that, doing something for your community is an activity that should be relegated to those people who are being punished. Perhaps this is the truth about the soul of our communities, and why liberal areas tend to lack it. Doing community service is a punishment? Well I would rather bestow benefits upon people willing to contribute to their community, than give it to those who do not. And besides, who can take away the fact that people will feel better once they get into a productive groove; perhaps they will put their rear-into-gear afterward and go look for that next job with some new skills; perhaps they won’t sit around and feel sorry for themselves, but feel a sense of accomplishment for having achieved something, and that may just be the push they need to go out the door and apply. I used to get into arguments with my high school history teacher, Mr. Lubenetski, about FDR’s New Deal and whether or not it ended the Great Depression. He would say to me, looking exactly like Teddy Roosevelt (he did, red hair, mustache, glasses and all) and explode with his booming voice, “it may not have brought people all the way up to their feet, but it kept them off their knees!” If we are going to pay people who lost work, I say we put them back to work, because you may not be able to measure the benefit of doing so, but a man’s pride can carry him further than his pouting ever will.


Comparing Bush Spending to Clinton Spending

Yesterday, Jed Lewison of Daily Kos put up a post comparing Clinton’s eight years of spending to Bush’s eight years of spending. The post- which cited the very reputable Tax Policy Center for its budget claims- showed just how badly Bush spent compared to Clinton. According to Lewison, Clinton saved over $100 billion in his final budget, Fiscal Year 2001.

I found the post interesting- not the least because Lewison cited the TPC, a partnership of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution- but also because TPC’s (and, thus, Lewison’s) claims are in direct contrast to what the Treasury itself shows in the 2000-2001 Fiscal Year, which is an increase in the federal debt of over $100 billion. I decided to contact Lewison about his claims. Below are the questions I sent, and his responses:

1. According to the Treasury, the debt increased from 9/30/2000 to 9/30/2001. What are the differences between the numbers you used and the numbers from the Treasury?

2. How much of the Bush debt you cited can be attributed to the growth in entitlements started pre-Clinton and pre-Bush years (i.e. not including the Medicare Drug Bill, etc. that added to the debt) and that obviously grew during both presidencies?

Lewison’s response:

1) The increase in total debt is basically an increase in the Social Security Trust Fund (i.e., intragovernmental debt, money that the government owes itself, which accounts for a bit over a third of all debt). I’m not an expert on all the accounting rules, but if you look at the non-intragovernmental debt, it decreased. But how Social Security is accounted for is a separate issue from the overall fiscal well being of the Federal government under Bush and Clinton.

2) Outside of new programs like the Medicare drug plan, the rate of growth in entitlements should be a wash; since they are proscribed by law, both administrations would have experienced growth in them. The underlying demographics would have had to have been huge to explain the difference in overall spending growth rates.

Regarding #1, Clinton almost balanced the annual budget, but never took care of the long-term entitlement issues America was (and still is) expected to face. So while he (and his Republican Congresses) should get credit for almost balancing the budget, they should also get blame for not touching the Third Rail of politics that is Social Security. I think Lewison is mostly right on this one, though I disagree with his last sentence. (Note: the 2000-2001 recession cut into the revenues in FY2001, which Clinton could not have accounted for in his FY2001 budget, since the recession started one month after the start of FY2001.)

Lewison is a bit more inaccurate in his second point. The rate of entitlements can’t be a wash, as they continue to annually increase as a percentage of the national budget. This in no way excuses Bush and the Republicans for their spending spree(s), nor the Democrats who were in charge for two fiscal years during the Bush presidency, but it does clarify things a bit, I think.

Lewison’s post does point out that a Democratic president spent much better than a Republican president, and rightly so. He did, however, miss that that Bush was opposed by most Republicans on TARP (which Democrats mostly supported, as well as much of the Republican leadership), and while he acknowledged the drop in revenues from the recession at one point in the post, he neglected to do the final math. Using Lewison’s numbers:

  • The FY2009 deficit was $1.4 trillion;
  • the stimulus accounted for $200 billion of that deficit;
  • and the recession accounted for $400 billion losses in revenue for FY2009.

So, while the deficit was an atrocious $800 billion, what Bush was directly responsible for in FY2009 deficit was not nearly as bad as Lewison would like to think. It certainly was not as bad as the FY2010 or proposed FY2011 budgets under President Obama (who, admittedly, has to deal with a terrible recession and seven decades of entitlements and many years of war he is not responsible for).

Overall, as I have been saying for some time, both parties need to grow up. The Debt-Paying Generation is here, as a previous post pointed out, and unless we get a batch of politicians willing to reform how much we spend on Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and defense, the situation is only going to get worse. (And no, the new health care law won’t help prevent that financial worsening.)

Full disclosure: I informed Lewison I would likely be using his comments in a post. I am not pulling a bait-and-switch by asking him for his thoughts without disclosing I would use them.

Profiles in Courage in Georgia

Originally published at The Daily Caller.

I was recently speaking with one of my teachers from high school, reflecting on her summer reading assignment, JFK’s Profiles in Courage.  If you have never read the book, it can be summarized quite simply in that it follows the actions of statesmen throughout the history of our country which took serious resolve and unwavering confidence.  That’s not to say that these individuals who were profiled did not face fear in their hearts, fear for their jobs, and possibly fear for their lives.  Fear is an emotion and it is understandable to have felt such emotion being placed in the situations that these men were embroiled.

Emotions however are not actions, and actions are not words.  Words are funny things.  They form sentences and go on to form speeches.  Speeches stir emotions and cause people to talk about issues.  Sometimes this causes people to become involved and take action, which is good.  However the difference between words and actions is that a word may or may not cause an action, while an action will always be the process of doing.  And the men of Kennedy’s most renowned work were doers.

In February of this year, my Congressman, John Linder, announced his retirement from public office.  I’ve always liked Mr. Linder even though I was turned down for a position at his state office when I was 20 and looking for work while in college.  It has always given me a sense of pride for some reason that my congressman introduced the Fair Tax legislation, even though I obviously had nothing to do with it.  So now Linder will take his leave, and Georgia’s 7th District looks for new leadership.  The heart of the 7th is Gwinnett County, a suburb of Atlanta, home of the Tripple-A Gwinnett Braves and 800,000 of your closest friends (except during rush hour).  The district also contains other metro counties including Forsyth, Barrow, Newton, and Walton.

The district will be won by a Republican.  That’s not a prediction, it is a statement.

So the question many are asking in the 7th at this moment is, “Who can be as good as Linder?”  That’s the wrong question.  Let’s ask who can be better than Linder.  And that’s not a knock on Linder.  That’s simply American to raise the bar and our expectations of our leaders.  And to Linder’s credit, he set the bar rather high.

In the past months we’ve seen a lot of candidates in the 7th.  Some have come late and some have gone early.  Some even left the race to return to houses of waffles only to wind back up in state politics.  There are many candidates for the seventh.  Most of them have words.  Some of them have even had years of career political words.

There is one candidate, however, who is a candidate of action and most certainly can raise the bar.

Some of you will recognize the name Jody Hice from The Jody Hice Show, a nationally syndicated talk show featured on over 400 stations across the country.  Others of you will recognize the name from his courageous battle with the American Civil Liberties Union.  Several years ago, the ACLU journeyed to Georgia to force the Ten Commandments out of the Barrow County courthouse. Jody formed an organization which raised money to fund the county’s defense, standing toe to toe against one of the most anti-American institutions of the last hundred years.

Ultimately, this fight against the ACLU later led to legislation that was passed in Georgia allowing the display of the Ten Commandments in front of government buildings as long as it was displayed in historical context along with the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

In the Fall of 2008, Dr. Hice stood with 33 other pastors across the country to challenge an IRS code that strips pastors of their right to freedom of speech by way of threatening the removal of the tax-exemption status of the churches they pastor.  Get this: He mailed a copy of his speech to the IRS daring them to come after him.  They didn’t.  Probably a good decision on their part.

Earlier this year in January, Hice decided to step down from the pulpit.  He felt strongly that his current call was in defense of his nation and he had determined that he would make a bigger push with his radio show.  Now before dollars start clouding your vision, understand that Hice is not paid to run his radio program.  He stepped down from a paying gig in order to do a non-paying gig full time having no idea how he would support his family all for the sake of restoring the Republic.  Take a second with that in this economy.  Don’t brush over that fact.

In March of this year Hice was approached and recruited to run for Congress and was made aware he could retain his radio show while representing the people of Georgia.  So Hice accepted being tapped to run.

In case you didn’t catch that, I’ll write it again. The Jody Hice Show will be retained in some fashion even if Dr. Hice is elected to Congress.

Hice will be the only member in Congress who can walk out the door of the assembly chamber and walk into a radio station and sit there and tell you exactly what is going on in your government.  We aren’t talking about members of Congress getting 30 seconds here and there on your favorite news network.  We are talking about a radio show of several hours for a Representative to sit down and hash out with the public what is actually happening in the chamber.

That’s political Direct Media at its finest.

In the coming weeks, individuals will begin to pull levers here in Georgia during early voting leading up to the 20th of July.  The vote will be of vital importance for the second most populated district in Georgia.

I have personally endorsed Dr. Jody Hice.  And in full transparency so has, a conservative candidate evaluation platform of which I am a co-founder.  But that group has also endorsed other candidates in the district who met organizational criteria as well.  I was not paid to write this, I don’t work for Hice, and I have not donated to any primary campaign.  Rules of which all members of agreed to abide by at the projects onset.

The simple truth is that I am of the conviction that actions speak louder than words.  And the profiles in courage of Dr. Jody Hice putting his feet to the fire speaks for itself as the representative leadership that we need in Washington, D.C.

Resurgent Republicans in the Northeast

Over the last several years, the common mantra among the left (as well as some on the right), has been that New England and the Northeast are doomsday regions for Republicans. There are no Republican Representatives in New England, for example, and only three Republican Senators in the entire NorthEast.

Unfortunately for liberals, this mantra has been proven premature. While the Republican resurgence- begun by Senator Brown (R-MA) and New Jersey governor Chris Christie- isn’t necessarily conservative (Christie is a moderate on social issues, and Brown recently voiced support for the financial regulation bill working its way through Congress), it certainly is Republican. One allegedly blue state in particular, New Hampshire- which has kicked out two Republican Representatives; a Republican Senator; and a Republican governor in the last six years- has now competitive races in its four Senate, Representative, and gubernatorial races this year. Another “blue” state, Connecticut, may elect a Republican to replace the corrupt Democratic Senator Chris Dodd.

As a conservative, I find this pretty optimistic. While few of the candidates are as conservative as I would like, they are at least less liberal than those Democrats currently holding offices or running for open seats, and in some cases they are very conservative. Admittedly, this is happening in a strong anti-Democratic year, but it’s still happening, and that’s the important thing.

One race in particular that I think is being overlooked in the national scheme of political races is the 4th District race in Connecticut. Held by Republicans for decades, it was the last Republican Representative seat in New England until 2008- and Chris Shays only lost by slightly over 2,000 votes that year. The current Representative, Jim Himes, has voted with the Democratic Party line on the big votes- including, but not limited to, cap-and-trade, health care and financial regulations- and is being opposed by several Republicans.

One of the Republicans, Rob Merkle, is a very conservative candidate who has term limits; limited government; tax reform; effective job growth; and pro-life platforms. He opposes the stimulus and TARP, and wants Too Big To Fail to end through the free market- the best anti-TBTF policy in existence. Best of all, though, unlike his major primary opponent, Dan Debicella, Merkle has never run for political office before. He is a businessman who actually knows what works, unlike both Debicella (who, for example, wants a cap on increases in federal spending, instead of reversing the deficits, which is what Merkle wants) and Himes (who worked for crony capitalist Goldman Sachs for years).

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I work for Rob Merkle as the campaign blogger and online media specialist. (Check out the blog here.) I was brought onto the campaign a) on the recommendation of a mutual acquaintance whose conservative credentials are unchallengeable, and b) after a lot of talking with Merkle about his view of government; its limits; and how best to apply changes to bring the government within those limits. According to Merkle, the biggest issue facing America is the national debt, and he wants to lead the charge against the unwillingness of Members of Congress to risk re-election in order to implement appropriate changes.

All in all, the Northeast is not yet strong Democratic territory. It may not be conservative central, but given the gifts of bad bills; arrogance; and the inability to create jobs the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress have given the Republican Party, perhaps conservatives like Rob Merkle can bring a strong Republican resurgence to the Northeast.

Interview With John Stephen, Republican Candidate for Governor in New Hampshire

Dustin Siggins: So, I guess my first question, it’s a pretty simple one- you’ve run for Congress in the past, and this is a very pro-Republican/pro-conservative year in Congress. Why run for governor? Yes, the tide is anti-incumbent, but New Hampshire has a tendency to buck trends, and Governor Lynch has won by two huge margins in his last two election runs.

John Stephen: Well, you know, my background and experience suits me well for running for governor. You know, I ran the largest state department, Health & Human Services, and was able to run it with fiscal discipline and return $143 million over four years, and kept my budget flat each year, and when you deal with Health & Human Services spending, you’ve gotta make sure that you take care of the people in need, but yet, if you can return value to the taxpayers, and be more efficient, that’s what people expect. And then I was also at the Department of Safety as Deputy Commissioner. I was the first Homeland Security Coordinator, and I’ve done a lot, you know, and I was Assistant Attorney General, prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General- appointed by Governor Gregg, and then appointed by Shaheen, who’s a senator, a U.S. Senator- she was governor at the time- a Democrat governor. Then I was appointed by Republican governor Craig Benson, and I’ve had governors on each side come to me and appoint me to positions.

In the last two years- roughly two years- I’ve been working as a health care consultant for a firm in Boston called The Lucas Group, and I have private companies I consult with, to help them grow, and to help them achieve success in terms of the bottom line, and I do a lot of consulting with venture capitalists, and things like that. It’s been a tough economy, as you know, but yet we’ve been working hard with private business. But then I also had the opportunity as head of our government team at The Lucas Group to work with three governors over the last couple years and help them save, in one case, in two cases, over a billion dollars, putting them on a road to savings of a billion dollars or more. And just by coming up with ideas that I know well in terms of efficiency. I started out in my mom and dad’s restaurant business, washing dishes, mopping floors, so I started out with a small business perspective- watching budgets, making sure we controlled spending. So I took that conservative- that fiscal conservative- thought process and values, the values I share, all the way to the government positions that I’ve held. And running for governor, is like, you gotta make sure you run it like a business. I helped other governors do that, but problems in Washington have come to New Hampshire. High taxes and spending, here in New Hampshire, are choking jobs, they’re hurting small businesses. We had this governor, in the last four years, has passes 84 new taxes- 84, in small New Hampshire? A 24% increase in spending? At the same time, I was working with other governors- one a Democrat in Illinois, with his Taxpayer Action Committee, and also Governor of South Carolina, helping re-engineer his state government. Employment commission and also helping the governor of Rhode Island get a health care waiver that saved millions of dollars for his state.

I had my hands in savings opportunities and seeing these governors in other states cut spending, seeing what’s coming ahead, knowing that you can’t tax your way out of a recession. At that point, a number of folks from the New Hampshire State Republican Committee contacted me, and I have two young daughters here, and I live here, I love this state, I was born in this state. This is not the same New Hampshire I was born and raised in. And I was contacted by folks from all over the state to take that experience that I’ve garnered, or gained, over the years, and bringing value to taxpayers, to come back to New Hampshire and do the same thing again, ‘cause now’s the time. We need to stop the spending, stop the out-of-control spending in New Hampshire, stop the excessive taxation that’s hurting our culture and our New Hampshire way of life, and you know- coming from Littleton, Dustin- New Hampshire’s a low-tax, limited-government state. Live Free or Die. We were the first state to declare its independence from Great Britain, the first colony, and we always pride ourselves on being first in the nation, well- I’m running so we can get back to the first in the nation, and showing the entire United States what it’s like being from New Hampshire. Independent, cutting spending, and also returning value to taxpayers.

DS: Which is great. My only question is, that’s what the guy ran on in 2006. I forget the guy’s name off the top of my head- he ran on a similar platform. I interviewed him for my campus paper [DS: Correction. I organized an event on my campus for the candidate, one Jim Coburn, and a campus news reporter interviewed the candidate. I apologize for my bad memory.] He got shellacked. Governor Lynch won a record re-election in the state. It was something like 74, or 76, percent. [DS: 74%-26% was the margin between Lynch and Coburn- I guess my memory improved.] And obviously now, it’s 2010, it’s a different year, different political culture. How do you plan on taking this and saying to New Hampshire, “Hey, the guy you voted for three times in a row isn’t the right guy?” And a lot of people, you know, 84 taxes, it’s hard for people to grab onto what that means-

JS: Well, first of all, when Governor Lynch ran against those other two candidates, we didn’t have the environment. Like you said, 84 new taxes and fees. We didn’t have an environment of a 24% increase in spending in four years. We didn’t have an environment where our limited liability companies in New Hampshire- which are the bedrock of New Hampshire’s small businesses- received an income tax passed by Governor Lynch during the deepest recession of our time. I mean, times have changed. And another thing is, Governor Lynch is running for an unprecedented fourth term. That’s unheard of in New Hampshire history. He’s had his chance, and we can’t afford two more years- and the people are responding. In the latest Rasmussen poll, the poll showed that 47% are supporting him on re-election. And that number is going down. He’s had 70% approval a little more than six months ago, so we’re starting to get our message out, and today- or as of the latest poll- he’s at 51% approval, which tells you, Dustin, his support is diminishing. What you had said was absolutely correct- those candidates, during those times, the message didn’t work, the fact is that people weren’t paying as much attention to what was going on in Concord, the liberal spendthrift agenda was starting to percolate, but it hadn’t come to the point where it actually was hitting their wallets and their pocketbooks.

Today, ask any person in New Hampshire that has legally registered a car how much they had to pay. Ask the guy from Rochester that has to go to work in Boston every day, how his toll prices have gone from five hundred dollars to $1,500 in four years. Ask Andy Crews, who owns AutoFair in Manchester- car dealership- who, he had some extra money a year ago to buy another dealership a year ago, and his accountant told him because of the LLC tax, not to buy the dealership. He would have been able to grow jobs- create jobs- and ask the 50,000 people in New Hampshire that are out of work today if they like what Governor Lynch has done the past few years. You know, it’s all about government being fiscally responsible and creating an environment- because government doesn’t create jobs- creating an environment so that small businesses can flourish and create jobs. And that’s what our campaign’s gonna be about- low taxes, limited government, creating an environment to grow jobs by having tax cuts on employers- and those are the things that Governor Lynch does not support. Those are ideas that Governor Lynch does not support. He has shown his penchant for big government, and so there is going to be a very stark contrast in New Hampshire now- believe it or not- and I don’t like to say this, but it’s true, according to the Tax Foundation, has the highest business tax rate in the country. Now when we start telling people en masse about this issue in New Hampshire, I believe strongly this is the last term of Governor Lynch.

DS: When I left New Hampshire, the spending was just starting to increase- I left in 2008. And I talked to Corey Lewandowski from Americans for Prosperity-

JS: Yes, Corey’s a good guy.

DS: And he explained to me how the LLC tax is only going to go on for a year, I believe- that it was only going to go on for a year, and it was going to be dropped because of opposition from New Hampshire citizens.

JS: Correct.

DS: So that’s at least a good thing, that that tax is going away. What would you say- and just briefly, I only have a couple more minutes with you- briefly, what’s the one tax that you would eliminate, and also, what’s a program you would cut to offset the revenue lost from cutting that tax? What’s a program you would cut or streamline?

JS: Well, first of all, I’m gonna be putting out a plan on Monday with a number of ideas, but I would definitely work to restructure and modernize state government. And one big area I would move forward on is managed care for Medicaid. And Anthem did a report a few months back that indicated we could save $300 million in New Hampshire a year- now, Dustin a year!- if we were able to have what 40 states have in this country- a Medicare managed-care product; which means, mainly, that the 150,000 (roughly) lives that in New Hampshire are on Medicaid- the people, that are on Medicaid- that they have to go through a gatekeeper, like we do for health insurance, like everyone else. Right now there is no gatekeeper. They go to emergency rooms if their child has a cold, or, you know, there’s no program like that. So that alone is one area. Then there are other areas where can consolidate functions- backroom functions- every department has HR, every department has business office, every office has attorneys- we are going to look at doing a lot of things that the private sector is doing in terms of efficiency. And I would work to eliminate the Business Enterprise Tax, which is hurting a lot of small businesses. And I would eliminate it for those businesses that pay taxes after their year-end shows a loss. Even if they lose money, they pay taxes in New Hampshire, which is just unconscionable, as far as I’m concerned.

Many of the other taxes that passed, most of them need to be looked at. And one that- I mean, there are many that I would roll back and repeal. But I would want to have a tax holiday for rooms and meals. We increased the rooms and meals tax by 12% under Governor Lynch just last year. I’d want to go back to no rooms and meals tax, zero, no tax, during certain periods of the year when we want to increase tourism during the slow periods. And I would be the first governor in this state to basically stand up and say, “No rooms and meals tax.” We’re going to look at restricting the tax code on businesses as well.

DS: And would that lead to an imbalance in the budget? I mean, I believe New Hampshire’s Constitution says it has to be a balanced budget, and so if you obviously cut taxes without cutting appropriate spending- you mentioned $300 million a couple of minutes ago- cutting all of these taxes, would you still have a balanced budget?

JS: Absolutely. Absolutely. Not only will- these tax cuts will stimulate job growth, they’ll help employers make more profit to give to their communities, employees, and the state, for the business profits tax. And what it will also do is start to create an environment where, overall, we’ll have more and more job growth through creation of new lines of business. People will start coming into this state. I think that’s important. But we’ll no longer have the highest business tax rate in the nation. We’re going to turn it around and have one of the lowest in the Northeast. That alone will stimulate job growth. And what will happen is people who are working outside the state will start thinking about coming back here, and more people will be working in New Hampshire, and that leads to more revenue. But also, you’ve got to control spending. Yes, the spending can be controlled. You absolutely can make reductions, even across the board. We’ll keep spending in check, balance the budget, and begin to restore the Rainy Day Fund. And when New Hampshire companies are going to Massachusetts- which I heard, throughout this campaign trail- they’re going to Massachusetts to do business rather than in New Hampshire, that’s a problem. And once you fix that problem, and you create jobs, New Hampshire will, once again, be the envy of the nation.

DS: Well, I guess I have one last question for you, and it’s not economics-related at all. The conflicts and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq- as the governor, you’re in charge of the troops from New Hampshire, correct?

JS: That is correct.

DS: Do you support being in Iraq and Afghanistan, until at least the July 2007 deadline [DS: Clearly, I meant the 2011 deadline…I have no idea why I said “2007.”] and beyond that, if necessary? Do you believe that’s a worthy cause for New Hampshire citizens to be fighting over and dying for?

JS: As the Commander-in-Chief for the state, I’m gonna support the decisions made in Congress.

DS: Even despite the federalism that is allowed to you?

JS: I mean, first of all, I’m a big supporter of the 10th Amendment, and I believe strongly that we also need to have a strong national defense. And, you know, I’m going to work alongside and with the federal government to make that we follow the lead of the United States federal government in terms of national forces.

DS: Okay. Thank you very much

Interview with Bob Turner (R-CAND/NY-9)

The campaign of Bob Turner- who is running against Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) this year- was kind enough to schedule an interview with Mr. Turner. The interview was originally published at, and is seen below.

Dustin Siggins:  So I was reading National Review, the review you got, and I found it very interesting- especially because, on a personal level, I tried to interview Rep. Weiner some weeks ago

Bob Turner: *Chuckles*

DS: On his Politico piece about Social Security. I was going to do a bit of investigative journalism, getting his perspective; getting the perspective of someone else who disagrees with him; and his press secretary answered my phone calls, never responded to my e-mails, and blew me off. So it was very interesting how that worked, especially considering how much he’s on Fox, and how much he’s out there, that he wouldn’t want to talk to someone. I found that very interesting. So I will admit I have a bit of a personal vendetta in going to talk to you.

BT: *Chuckles* Okay.

DS: I have no shame in admitting that. Speaking of Politico, I’m sure you have an opinion on Social Security. Do you agree with the Congressman that Social Security is sound, and if not, how do you fix it?

BT: Weiner suggests that Social Security is sound. In reality, it is no more secure than any other U.S. debt obligations. Some people think the Social Security fund is like a secured savings account, but Social Security money has been spent. What’s left is an IOU, so this is no more secure than every one of our other debts, and all our debts are reliant on the state of the economy.

DS: Okay. How would you- what do you think are good policies to implement, to prevent this IOU from getting worse, which it’s only going to, at this rate?

BT: Well, to fix and to secure Social Security, we need to address the overall health of the economy. Obama’s economic policies- which Weiner supports- are a failure. The way to fix the economy is not through social stimulus spending, but we have to promote business growth. That is the tried-and-true way; it’s still tax cuts and tax credits for research and development; lower capital gains tax; incentives for venture capitalists; new business credits. These are the kind of programs and stimuli that create jobs and expand the economy.

We also have to keep an eye on prudent spending- spending cuts, reduction in government expansion, elimination of waste- you know, all of the tried-and-true methods to get this train back on track.

DS: Okay. I’ll take a little segue into social issues for just a moment.

BT: Okay.

DS: I didn’t see anything on your website regarding abortion. I was wondering what your opinion on it was.

BT: I’m an unabashed pro-lifer. I’m opposed to abortion on moral, religious, social grounds. Partial-birth abortion is particularly heinous, and Weiner has supported that. That would put me on the extreme other end of that position. This is not so much a legislative issue as judicial, except for federal fundings, which if- no, when I’m elected, I would certainly oppose all federal funding of abortion.

DS: You mentioned judicial issues. Can you explain that, just a little bit?

BT: Well, in Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court has said the states cannot legislate abortions as a personal right, so it would probably take a Constitutional amendment, and a major social issue I just don’t think is on the agenda for the next two or four years. The only practical opposition here will be funding- or defunding- of any abortion programs on the federal level.

DS: Fair enough. This has [inaudible] issue since Mitch Daniels- governor of Indiana- said we should have a truce, but obviously with President Obama in office we’re never gonna be able to get a pro-life-

BT: Well, exactly.

DS: – person on the Supreme Court. I guess my third question- I don’t know how much you’ve followed this- Rep. Weiner has targeted Goldline-

BT: Oh, yeah, I got a lot to say about this one.

DS: I was wondering two different questions (related). One, whether or not Goldline has done good or bad things, is this what a Congressman should be involved in? Should a Congressman be involved in targeting a company like this? And second of all- and related to that- if not, why do you think not? If so, why do you think so?

BT: There’s far more to this than meets the eye, and I’d like to give you a bit of my personal experience on this. I believe Representative Weiner is carrying the water for the Obama administration in his fight against Glenn Beck. In reality, it’s a diversion and a sideshow from many of the real issues that Beck is speaking about. You know, we have serious issues, and this ordinarily wouldn’t be worth too much attention, but what they- they: Weiner, Pelosi, Obama, and Company- are really doing is targeting this advertiser to chase the advertiser off the air. By so doing, they harm Beck. Get enough advertisers to do that, and he’s off the air.

Now, some years ago, I did a program, the TV program, with Rush Limbaugh. It lasted three or four years on the air. It was a half-hour television show. I don’t know if you remember it. It was in the mid-90s.

DS: Um, I was 10 at that time, so probably not.

BT: [Laughs} Oh, okay- so you don’t. You were not the target audience.

DS: No, I was not. [Laughs]

BT: At that time, it was a syndicated program, that means the company I was running produced, financed it, distributed it to the stations, and then sold the advertising time to recoup its investment. We found ourselves scrounging for advertisers because a lot of mainline advertisers had received letters. It didn’t take many, and through a little investigation we were reasonably sure those letters were generated by surrogates of the DNC. Most of the letters were from GLAAD, or NOW, accusing Rush of being homophobic, misogynistic, etc. What it did was make the advertisers hesitant. What ultimately happened is the rates we were charging were about half of what we would ordinarily get- which hindered the program. The program was still profitable, but instead of the ratings- which were a little under a 3, which might have generated $25 million a year- we were doing $15, $14 million per year, not making it that attractive for Rush to continue, or his executive producer- brilliant young guy names Roger Ailes.

DS: Roger Ailes? I’ve never heard that term applied to him, but maybe it’s all relative.

BT: That was in the mid-90s. [Laughs]

DS: [Laughs] I’m 24 years old, so I may be a little-

BT: So after that number of years we said, “This is not-“ It was profitable, but it was not profitable enough to be worth the effort, particularly when Rush was doing 10 times better or more in radio. So that effort against the advertisers turned out to be decisive. I see the same thing here, and I can tell you that from personal experience this is not about attacking Goldline- this is about attacking Beck’s advertisers to hinder or cripple the program.

DS: I think it’s a sign of success when he has-

BT: Oh, indeed. He has them scared.

DS: He’s got them scared. You know, they keep talking about all these advertisers that have dropped him, but the evidence just isn’t there that- I just read the most recent numbers; he got something like 2.54 million viewers on his Fox show. [DS: The actual ratings, according to Huffington Post( have Beck at 2.057 million viewers per day- third in cable behind O’Reilly and Hannity, respectively.] It’s something along those lines. I mean, he’s smoking everybody, except for Hannity and O’Reilly. So it’s really not working.

So I guess- one of my last questions- I looked at Real Clear Politics to see what they judge the race as, and they don’t even judge the race as competitive. According to the National Review piece, you got in because there was no one to write a check to.

BT: That is true.

DS: So how do you- I don’t know how long Rep. Weiner’s been in office for, but it’s been quite some time-

BT: He’s going for his seventh term.

DS: He’s articulate- I’ve seen him on TV- he’s articulate-

BT: Slick.

DS: Slick, okay. He has a lot of alleged facts at his control- how do you overcome this? I guess it’s an anti-incumbent year, but-

BT: True. I’m not sure how others may judge the competitiveness of this race, but I know something about the people of the 9th District and what they’re concerned about. This is a district of working middle-class homeowners, small business operators- these people work, they pay taxes, these are (dare I say) typical Americans in a very ethnically-diverse area. But these are the things they have in common, and they are worried. They are worried about jobs, about the economy, and they are extremely dissatisfied with the current administration and, I believe, they tie in the Democrats Pelosi and Weiner with as being architects of this problem. Now, the fact that Anthony Weiner has not run against anyone in the last few elections, to me, does not mean he is unbeatable. In the grassroots support, I just feel it. We have just begun, and my political career is three months old. We had our first meeting with volunteers, and we had about 70 people show up.

DS: Wow.

BT: The goal is to get a thousand to cover every one of the 512 EDs in this district, but it’s growing exponentially. I asked, with a show of hands, “How many of you have [n]ever been involved in a political campaign before?” [DS: The audio did not catch the “n” in “never”- which Mr. Turner did say.] And my hand was the first one up. But after that, about 90% of the people in that room have never been involved, and they cut across multiple ages and areas of this district. I found that a very encouraging sign.

If you talk to Karl Rove or Dick Morris, they’ll tell you you need a photogenic candidate. You need Slick slogans and political tricks, and you need a ton of campaign money. Well, how are we doing? Well, I’ve got a face for radio-

DS: [Laughs] I’m in the same boat you are.

BT: And as far as slick political slogans and all, we’re gonna run on principles. That should be unique.

DS: [Laughs]

BT: And for a ton of money, we got volunteers, and we have a lot of them. I can feel the ground moving, and the grass is swaying in our direction. I think this will be under the radar until September. We’re getting a reasonable response to the contribution effort, but a lot of this won’t be seen until later in the campaign, but I think people will kind of wake up around the beginning of September, and they’ll realize this will be a very competitive race.

There are a lot of things going on- a lot of changes in this district that are not apparent on the face of it, but I think this is going to be a very competitive race.

DS: Well, then, I guess I have one more question for you, before I let you go. You mentioned earlier the Obama social spending, and you just said you are going to run on principle. For me personally, I believe the biggest issue facing this nation is our debt- the debt crisis coming down the pike. According to the CBO it’s 2020, according to the IMF it’s 2015, that we hit 100% of debt-to-GDP ratio.

BT: Yes.

DS: So I was wondering two things: How do you think Americans (I don’t know if you will be able to answer this), how do you think Americans can trust Republicans, considering it was Bush who really started this spending, and Obama, who’s just made it worse. How can Americans trust Republicans, and secondly, as a Member of Congress, would you be willing to cut defense spending- which has at least doubled in the last decade- as a part of reigning in that spending?

BT: I’d be looking to cut spending. I’d be less inclined to cut defense spending when we’re in the midst of the long war, and in a very uncertain world. I believe America’s strength is in its strong military, and secondly, in its strong defense of the right and principles and human freedom, and not some wishy-washy diplomatic tactician’s-

DS: But it’s worked out so well.

BT: [Chuckles] Yeah. The money that can be cut- and there’s only so much real cutting that can be done- is in the redundancies and the wasteful government spending and a cap on spending. And digging into the administrative programs to cut out billions- hundreds of billions- in waste and unneeded programs. But the real way to manage the deficit is to increase the productivity of the nation as a whole. It may even have to be- and it will be- tax decreases in particular areas, particularly against business, that will help grow the economy, and bring that ratio of GDP to deficit down to what we can have manageable levels. It will take a long time before we can really attack this, and I think what we need is appropriations reform in the House- how bills are put together- how earmarks and riders can be attached to bills. We can change all that within the House rules, and a majority of Republicans can do that. Whether they have the political will, I think, in January, we’re gonna find out. We’ll be the majority, and we have [to] them to the test. I am more committed to the principles than to the party, and I hope there are enough others like that, but that remains to be seen. But you’ll get a fight from me, I can tell you that.

DS: Well, you got in because, as you said earlier, there was nobody to write a check to, so I doubt you’re going to be in for a 25-year career in the House.

BT: [Laughs] That would be most unlikely. I think an actuary would put my life expectancy at a little under that anyway, but-

DS: Well, I don’t know how old you are- 66?

BT: 69.

DS: Wow. Geez.

BT: [Laughs] Yeah, we don’t have to dwell on that-

DS: [Laughs] No, no, no- you have the experience, you have the…all the things Rep. Weiner does not, that’s your advantage, right?

BT: Well, yeah, that’s true to a degree. I’ve actually started businesses, and run them, and had real jobs, yes. Mr. Weiner, Mr. Obama, have never had a real job, have never in a business environment, never been at risk.

DS: Well, we definitely agree on this last point.

Interview With Rep. Michele Bachmann

(You can grab the audio of the interview here via “Right-click… Save as…”.  Or hover your mouse over the speaker icon to listen to the interview as streaming audio. -nick)

Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN) was kind enough to give a few minutes of her time last week to talk about the national debt and how if Congress trusts the American people, the so-called Debt-Paying Generation (those young Americans whose futures will be crushed by the tsunami of debt the nation faces) will be able to live the American Dream and not be forced to live a life of less quality than their parents.

Representative Bachmann is the Republican representative of the 6th District of Minnesota. She has represented her constituents since 2007, and has been a conservative leader in everything from government transparency to health care reform to reversing course on the size and scope of the federal government.

Dustin Siggins: So you and I met, briefly, Representative, when you were on the Laura Ingraham Show back in March…

Michele Bachmann: Mm-hm, isn’t she great?

DS: Oh she’s awesome; she’s a riot.

MB: She is such a talent.

DS: I really liked when she was on Bill O’Reilly a couple of weeks ago, and they were talking about blaming Napolitano- I don’t know if you saw it?

MB: I didn’t.

DS: They were debating and Bill O’Reilly decided that he wasn’t going to blame Napolitano for the BP response for the oil spill. And he was trying to play the middle road, and so Ingraham just went crazy on him and then picked up his cup of water from behind where he was sitting and went, “He is drinking the Kool-Aid!”

MB: Oh! (laughter) She is so creative. Well you know the great thing is, he has a tremendous audience, and a lot of interests, and he tries very hard, I think…I think he is really trying to be fair and balanced and trying to get both sides or both perspectives. And obviously he has been very successful for a long period of time. But people really do love Laura and I think that her stock is only going to continue to soar.

DS: Oh I have to agree with you. There’s no way, and especially with what’s going on here in DC, there’s no way any conservative’s stock is going to tumble in the next two to four years.

MB: Yeah.

DS: Um, so I was talking to Dave, whom I met a couple of weeks ago, and I am currently at the Heritage Foundation working on the Debt Paying Generation project…

MB: Oh good so you’re working with Bill Beach!

DS: Exactly.  According to Mr. Beach you are a ‘huge fan.’

MB: I am a huge fan! This is the issue, I told Bill, that I really want to hit on because I think that young people’s ears are starting to perk up on their future, what their future is going to be like. And I think that it’s a tremendous shock for a lot of young people to find out that their standard of living could be demonstrably lowered beyond what their parents had. And even though people may hear that in the abstract, especially for younger people, it’s hard to believe that it could be true or that it could be translated into a diminishing reality going forward, and I think it’s important for us to make that case and I think it will be easier, then, for us to talk about positive solutions to be able to dig our way out so that we can have a way forward. Because, there is, it isn’t something where we have to give up and realize that we have to consign ourselves, especially the young debt-paying generation, to a future of less. We can have a better future, but what it means is people in my generation are going to have to make alterations as well.  We can’t let the government try to be the answer to every problem.

DS: Your generation, 31,32?

MB: That’s right. (laughter) No actually I love getting older, to be honest with you. I’m 54 years old and I told my husband that I love getting older so it doesn’t bother me at all.

DS: Interesting. Well I’m 24 and look 20, or 19 and 18; so I wouldn’t mind looking a little older, but-

MB: Ahh, well I’m sure, well your…It’ll come sooner than what you think.

DS: Well hopefully- I think the grey hair would help make me look distinguished.

MB: Yes, undoubtedly. Get a pair of glasses- that will help.

DS: I’ve had glasses since I was one and a half and it hasn’t helped (laughter) Well anyway, a little side-tracked. Regarding the debt paying of this generation, I mean obviously the democrats aren’t going to pass a budget in the house. Rep. Hoyer just stated that yesterday, correct?”

MB: That’s right.

DS: Why are they not passing a budget? Are they scared that American will look and say “oh wow, they made it worse than the Republicans did?”

MB: Well, it’s a dereliction of duty and it’s also an admission that they can’t govern. They had made the comment about Republicans passing budgets and I think now what is good for the goose is good for the gander. I think they’re going to have to live by their own statements. If they make an admission that they can’t pass a budget when they own the white house, when they own the senate, and when they own the house, they are making an admission that they cant govern. And frankly, they are digging a hole for themselves…that they hole that they dug for themselves is embarrassing. The debt and the taxing…the taxes that result from this out of control debt will be one that will mean fewer jobs will be created in the private sector. You have to have a growth economy to create jobs and we saw that there were some 40,000 jobs that were created last month, that is not going to get us anywhere. Especially for the debt paying generation, there is certainly more than 41,000 people who graduated from college last year. Those recent college graduates and those individuals that have left high school and chose not to go onto college, they are looking for employment; and unfortunately, under President Obama’s policies and Speaker Pelosi’s policies…their policies are not inducing entrepreneurs to grow and create jobs. Without private job creation, there can be no healthy public sector either. And so, they are making some very foolish decisions that have long term consequences and they bode ill for the debt paying generation.”

DS: The Center for American Progress did a study- well I guess they called it an analysis, I wouldn’t call it an analysis myself- but they cited several polls showing that the most popular thing for America is to cut the budget of Foreign Aid which is two percent of the budget that President Obama proposed and yet older Americans seem to like Social Security and seem to like Medicare, how do we convince people in my age bracket that we have to get rid of these programs, or at least reform them severely, as President Bush tried to do in 2005. How do we convince people this is best- that they’re going to have to suffer a little bit for the long-term benefit of the country?

MB: Well, I think the best way we can do that is to make the case to people that these programs are going to collapse of their own accord- no one will benefit from that. We don’t want to see senior citizens put in a situation where they’re dependent on either Medicare or Social Security, and one day when they go to their mailbox, they open it up, and there’s no check there because these programs have collapsed because we’re actually bankrupt. That’s why we need to do the responsible thing and make these programs work for the people they were intended to benefit. And we can do that- we could do that sitting down with a magnifying glass and a pencil, and we could make adjustments so that we can actually save these programs for the people who really, truly need them and who truly depend on them, and then for the Debt-Paying Generation we want to make sure going forward that we have alternatives for them so that they can have a secure retirement and deal with health care in a more rational level.

Government takeover of health care has been the Obama way and the Obama solution, and it isn’t that I think President Obama is an evil, negative person- I think he just simply, simply has it wrong. I think he’s simply wrong about the government takeover of health care, and a person can’t point to one jurisdiction or area where the government takeover of health care has actually improved healthcare for people, or made it more inexpensive, because adding the price of bureaucracy to a product doesn’t make a product cheaper, it makes it more expensive and more difficult to obtain- and I think Americans intuitively know that will be our future going forward.

This is why I think, when it comes to health care, which is a new entitlement program, that’s why I think we have a real, and realistic, chance, of actually repealing the bill, and I was the first Member of Congress to issue a full-scale repeal of the bill, and ObamaCare, and it is very popular, as a measure, and we’re looking at about 2/3 of the American people hoping Congress will have a repeal. If you have 2/3 of the American people, wanting to repeal the president’s signature achievement over the last 18 months-perhaps the signature achievement of whatever length of time is his presidency- I think that we will be able to make the case on a number of areas of government overreach.

DS: Well, I guess my last question- and you talked about what the Democrats have done badly, and I agree with you- but I came of age during the Bush years, and Republicans obviously didn’t do so well between 2001 and 2006 with the Medicare Part D, and they jumped the cost of government, the size of government, up. How do you convince the American people that Republicans are trustworthy? Not you individually, of course [DS: Rep. Bachmann was first elected in 2006, and served her first term starting in 2007], but how, I mean, the Republican Party as a whole. This year, yes, it’s anti-incumbent, but I don’t think, personally, that it’s so much pro-Republican.

MB: Oh, I think you’re accurate about that. I think people are reacting negatively to what they have observed from the Pelosi/Reid/Obama agenda. People intuitively understand that they can’t live with excessive spending that creates unsustainable levels of debt- if they can’t live like that in their own personal lives or in their businesses, they certainly know that government doesn’t have a magic formula that defies economic reality. So people are rejecting the Obama agenda. People want to know, “Republicans, if we give you the gavel, can we trust you? Will you be responsible? Do you have a plan to get us out of this hole?” And that’s up to Republicans, now, to make that message. I think one of the best things we could do, is let the American people know- number one- if you put us in office, we will vote to full-scale repeal ObamaCare. Root and branch, we will pull it out, and we will repeal that measure. I think that’s something that is a very saleable proposition. I also think it’s saleable to tell the American people that we will pass a budget- a balanced budget- and I think that’s what people want us to do, is to pass a balanced budget, and then to show the American people, first of all, that the tremendous straits that we’re in, financially, going forward, once people know the difficulties and the reality of the problem that we’re in right now, I think they’ll be more amenable to the solutions that we can propose to put our financial house on a- in the right order.

DS: I hope so, because I’d like to see this country be as good for me as it was for my parents, so-

MB: Exactly. I will tell you, anywhere I go to speak, I ask that question. “Do you believe you live better than your parents?” Almost everyone in the audience puts their hand up. I ask them, “do you think your children will live better than you financially?” Virtually no one puts their hands up. I doubt in the last 234 years, if you ask that question of any generation, that they would think that their children would not be better off than they are; I just don’t think that you would have gotten that response. That’s really what is frightening today, because we’ve always been a country that’s been about forward- looking people, and growth. And this is one of the first times when Americans look into the future, and they see diminished way of life, and they see decline.

The beauty of America, is that we get to choose.  We get to choose decline, or we get to choose if we want growth. I think that if you put the question to a referendum to the American people, they will choose growth. And if that means pinching back on a social safety-net, I think that we’ll have buy-in from people, because, ultimately people do want better for their children and for the next generation.  Even if people are childless, they want the next generation to be able to do well. In fact, I think it’s simply the matter of having to make the case, you know just like you’ll see on Glenn Beck with his chalkboard, he makes a compelling case if he’s describing an issue. And I think that’s something that Republicans will have to do, so to speak, have our own kind of a chalkboard where we make the case to the American people of two futures for America: one where we go down the road of the Pelosi-Reid Agenda that they have taken us down, which the American people are thoroughly rejecting, but take it beyond the year 2010…play it out to 2020, and play it out to what America will look like when we are in the same economic bind that Greece is in today. Economists like Larry Lindsey tell us that we are looking within a ten-year window of having that type of economic decline. That truly is not a road that people would choose to go down, and that’s what gives me great hope and great excitement because even people who are senior citizens, they don’t want to bequeath a future grounded in decline. I know that sounds like an oxymoron; but senior citizens don’t want to see that for their own children and grand-children. And that’s what gives me hope going forward- because we really are a nation of very bright people, who make good choices. We could trust the American peoples’ choice, we just need to give them the truth and put all facts on the table, and then I have every hope and every reason to believe that people will make choices for their own gain and their own benefit because no one wants to succeed… I mean, no one wants to fail, everyone wants to succeed.

DS: Well, Representative Bachmann, I think I’ve run out of time. I really appreciate what you’ve said and hopefully we’ll see you doing a lot of that, especially if Republicans take back the House.

MB: Well, and we’ll do this again soon, I’d love to do this again!

DS: Alright, thank you very much.  Take care!

MB: Alright, bye bye.

[Note: I would like to thank RJ; Will; and Nick for helping transcribe the interview. This would not have gotten posted without their help. DS]

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