How would the candidates tackle the national debt?
Part 2 of the first presidential debate
- Duration 13:56
- Date Oct 3, 2012
Part 2 of the first presidential debate
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That's talks -- -- on the economy this is theoretically now -- second segment still on the economy.
And specifically on what to do about the federal deficit than the federal debt.
And questioned each had two minutes on this and governor Romney you you go first because president went for -- something that might want you and the question is -- what are the differences between the two of you.
As to how you go about.
Tackling the deficit problem in this country.
I don't get I'm glad you raise that and it's it's a critical issue I think it's not just an economic issue.
I think it's a moral issue.
I think it's frankly not moral for my generation to keep spending massively more than we take end knowing those burdens are going to be passed on -- the next generation.
And they're going to be paying the interest and the principle although lives and the amount of debt -- adding -- trillion a year.
It's simply not moral.
So how we don't.
We'll mathematically they're there -- three ways that you can cut it.
That the deficit -- core system to raise taxes that number two is to cut spending and number three is to grow the economy.
Because of more people work in a growing economy they're paying taxes and you can get the job done that way.
The president's would -- would prefer raising taxes I understand the problems raising taxes.
Is it slows down the rate of growth and you could never quite get the job done I wanna lower spending and encourage economic growth at the same time what things that I -- for spending.
Well first of all I will eliminate all programs by this test if they don't pass it is the program so.
Critical it's worth borrowing money from China to pay for -- -- not.
Margaret -- that Obama shares on my list I apologize Mr.
President I use that -- -- with all respect I like good -- okay good.
So so I get rid of that.
I'm sorry Jim I'm gonna stop the subsidy to PBS I'm gonna -- other things I like PBS I love big bird actually like -- to.
But I'm not gonna I'm not gonna keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay force that's number one.
Number two I'll take programs that are currently good programs but I think -- be run more efficiently at the state level and send them the state.
Number three -- make government more efficient -- -- cut back the number of employees combined some agencies and departments -- cutbacks will be done through attrition by the way.
This is -- -- approach we have to take to get America to balanced budget.
President said he cut the deficit in half.
Unfortunately doubled it.
Trillion dollar deficits for the last four years.
The president's put it in place as much public debt almost as much debt held by the public as all prior presidents combined.
President two met -- I want to mayoral office I had more than a trillion dollar deficit -- And we don't work and two wars that were paid for -- -- credit part to tax cuts that were not paid for.
And a whole bunch of programs that were not paid for and then a massive economic crisis.
And despite that what we've said is yes we had to take some initial emergency measures to make sure we can slip into a Great Depression.
But what we've also said is let's make sure that we are cutting out those things that are not helping us -- So certainly seven government programs everything from aircrafts that the air force had ordered but -- work -- very well.
Eighteen government eighteen government programs for education that were well intentioned but weren't helping kids learn.
We went after medical -- In Medicare and Medicaid.
Very -- more aggressively than ever before and that save tens of billions of dollars fifty billion dollars of -- taken out of the system.
And I worked for Democrats and Republicans cut a trillion dollars out of art -- discretionary domestic budget that's the largest cut.
In the discretionary domestic budget since Dwight Eisenhower.
Now we -- although we've got to do more.
And sought put forward a specific four trillion dollar deficit reduction plan it's on web -- you can look at all the numbers what cuts we make.
And what -- weren't we race.
And the way we do it is two dollars and fifty cents for every cut we asked for a dollar of additional revenue paid for as I indicated earlier by asking.
Those of us -- done very well in this country to contribute a little bit more to reduce the deficit governor Romney earlier mentioned by the Bowles Simpson commission.
Well that's how the commission.
Bipartisan commission the talked about how we should move forward suggested we have to do it in a balanced way with some revenue.
And some spending cuts and this is a major difference the governor Romney and I had -- -- let me just finish this point because you're you're looking for conference.
You know when governor Romney stood on a stage where it other Republican candidates.
For the nomination and he was last.
Would you take ten dollars of spending.
Cuts for just one dollar.
-- -- And he said now.
Now if you take such an unbalanced approach.
Then that means you're going to be cutting our investments in schools and education.
It means that governor -- -- talked about Medicaid and how we could to send it back to the states but effectively this means a 30% cut.
In the primary program we help for seniors were nursing homes for kids who were -- disabilities.
President and and that is not a right strategy for us to move forward widow the two -- -- governor what about sentinels we've support -- involves.
The Simpson -- -- president should grab that.
I mean -- support sensible -- I have my own plan it's not the same as some symbols but in my view the president should -- -- it.
Mean if you want to make some adjustments to it take it go to congress fight for.
That's what -- don't make some adjustments to it were putting him for before congress right now four trillion dollar plan to the president of art Harris you have president four years.
You said you cut the deficit in half it's now four years later we still have trillion dollar deficits the CBO says we'll have a trillion dollar deficit each of the next four years.
If you're reelected we'll get to a -- -- trillion dollar debt.
Mean you have said before you cut the deficit -- And get this -- I love this idea fortunately they catch you found four trillion dollars of ways to reduce -- to get closer to a balanced budget except we still show trillion dollar deficits every year.
That that doesn't get the job done.
Let me come back is that why is it that that I don't wanna raise taxes why don't want -- raise taxes on people.
And and hit actually you -- -- back in 2010 you said look I'm gonna extend the tax policies that we have now I'm not gonna raise taxes and anyone.
Because when the economy's going slow like this when we're in recession you shouldn't raise taxes on anyone.
Well the economy is still going slow -- -- destroying much more slowly now that when you made that statement.
And so if you believe the same thing you just don't want -- raise taxes on people and the reality is if it's not just wealthy people imagined Donald Trump is not just Donald Trump you're taxing.
It's all those businesses that employ one quarter the workers of America.
These small businesses that are taxed as individuals you raise taxes.
And you kill jobs that's why the National Federation of Independent Businesses said your plan -- kill 700000.
Jobs I don't wanna kill jobs in this and.
-- -- one more point that kidnapped and that has -- after the Texas thing for a moment okay.
President while we -- we've had this discussion before.
The other night about the idea that in order continue to reduce the deficit -- there has to be revenue in addition to cuts is that there has to be revenue in addition -- cuts are governor Romney has ruled out -- It is -- about our revenue absolutely company so -- -- -- -- the revenue I get.
Is by more people working getting higher pay -- pay more taxes that that's how we get growth and how we balance the budget but the idea of taxing people more.
Putting more people out of work.
It that you'll never get there you never balance the budget by raising taxes Spain Spain -- expense 42% of their total economy.
We're now spending 42% of our economy and government.
I don't -- -- put on the path to Spain I want to go down a path of growth that puts Americans to work with more money coming in because they're working.
That that mr.
-- you're -- in order to do to get -- -- -- the job done it got to -- now she got and if we're serious we've got a take a balanced responsible approach and by the way this is not just when it comes to individual taxes.
The -- about corporate taxes.
Areas where we can.
Make a change that I believe would actually help the economy -- the oil industry gets four billion dollars a year.
And corporate welfare basically they get deductions that those small businesses that governor Romney -- first -- they don't get.
Now does anybody think that.
Some extra money when they're making money every time you go to the pump.
Why would we want to eliminate that.
-- when we eliminate.
Tax breaks for corporate jets my attitude is if you got a corporate jet you're probably afford to pay full freight.
Not get a special break for.
When it comes to corporate taxes governor Romney has said he wants -- in revenue neutral way.
Close loopholes deductions he hasn't identified which ones they are but -- thereby bring down.
The corporate right well I want -- do the same thing but I've actually identified.
How we can do that and part of the way to do it is to not give tax breaks to companies that are shipping jobs overseas right now.
You can actually take a deduction.
For moving a plant overseas.
I think most Americans would say it that doesn't make sense and all that raises revenue.
And so if we take a balanced approach what that then allows us to do.
Is also to help young people the way we already have during my administration.
Make sure that they can afford to go to college.
It means that the teacher that I met in Las Vegas.
Wonderful young lady.
Who describes to me she's got 42 kids -- class.
The first two weeks.
She's got I'm certain -- -- sitting on the floor until finally they get reassigned they're using textbooks that are ten years old.
That is not a recipe for growth that's not how America was built.
And so budgets reflect choices ultimately we're gonna have to make some decisions and if we're asking for no revenue -- Then that means that we've got to get rid of a whole bunch of stuff and the magnitude of the tax cuts -- -- -- talking about governor.
Would end up resulting in severe.
Hardship for people but more importantly.
Would not help us grow as I indicated before when you talk about shifting Medicaid to states.
We're talking about potentially -- thirty.
Or other 30% cut Medicaid over time.
Leo that may not.
Seem like a big deal when it just is -- -- the numbers on a sheet of paper.
But if we're talking about a family who's got an autistic kid and is depending on that.
Medicaid that's a big problem and governors are creative there's no doubt about it but they're not creative enough to make up for 30%.
Of revenue on something like Medicaid what ends up happening -- some people end up.
Not getting help.
Jim let's work we -- we've done a lot of topics there and decided.
To -- could take a minute to go from Medicaid good schools and many oil to tax breaks to companies going overseas so let's go to the one by one.
First of all of the Department of Energy has said the tax break for oil companies is two point eight billion dollars a year.
And it's actually an accounting treatment -- you know that's been in place for a hundred years now time and and and in one year you provided ninety billion dollars in breaks to the green energy world.
-- I like green energy as well.
But that's about fifty years worth of what oil and gas -- and you say Exxon -- -- Actually this two point eight billion dollars goes largely to small companies to drilling operators and so forth but you know if we get that tax rate from 35% 125%.
What that two point eight million dollars on the table courses on the table that's probably not gonna survive to get that rate down to 25%.
But but don't forget.
You put nine -- billion dollars.
Like fifty years worth of breaks into into solar -- wind.
Did it to decide that Solyndra.
And -- or Tesla Ener1 an -- I had a friend who said you don't just pick the winners and losers you pick the losers -- so is -- that this is not.
This is not the kind of policy you wanna have you wanna get America energy secure the second topic which is you -- you get a deduction for taking a plant overseas.
But I've been in business for 25 years.
I have no idea what you're talking about I maybe need to get a -- account and -- but but the the idea that you get a break for shipping jobs overseas is simply not the case.
What we do have right now is -- setting right what to bring money from overseas back to this country.
And finally Medicaid the states -- not quite sure where that came in except this which is I would like to take the Medicaid dollars.
-- go to states and say to a state you're gonna get what you got last year plus inflation inflation inflation plus 1%.
And then you're gonna manage your care for your -- in the way you think best and I remembers a governor when this idea was floated by Tommy Thompson.
-- had the governors Republican and Democrats said please let us do that.
We can care for our own poor in so much better and more effective way than having the federal government tell us how to care for -- poor.
So so -- statement -- -- -- magnificent things about this country as a whole idea that states the laboratories of democracy don't have the federal government tell everybody.
What kind of training programs they have to have it.
And what kind of Medicaid they have to have let states do this and by the way for states get gets in trouble -- we could step in -- -- -- find a way to help them.
But but but the right the right approach it is one of which relies on the brilliance of our people and states not the father got -- -- and we're going on still on the economy.