600 KCOL Mornings, Cory Gardner, 8/02/2011

Station: KCOL

Show: 600 KCOL Mornings

Guest: Cory Gardner

Link: http://www.600kcol.com/main.html

Date: 8/2/2011

Topics: Budget, debt ceiling, economy.

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Fallen: Representative Gardener, thank you for taking the time this morning.

Gardner: Well thank you for having me on. Thank you.

Fallen: I will cut to the chase here. You raised some eyebrows with your yes vote on this.  What led you to your yes vote?

Gardner: You know I have said all along that we have to cut spending and that we need to put some process in place to keep this from ever happening again.  This will cut over $2 trillion in spending.  It put caps in place.  It will force a balanced budget amendment to be voted on in the House and Senate.  And it is a bite at the apple, it is not the whole apple.  We’ve got to stop spending and changed this broken political process in Washington D.C..

Malmberg: How do you feel about being called a terrorist apparently by the Vice President of the United States and some of those in the media who are opposed to the tea party?

Gardner: It is incredible. I think the San Francisco Chronicle said that the Democrats were held hostage by this deal.  The New York Times said that the President and the Democrats were suckered by Republican extremists.  And to have the Vice President insinuate that people that associate with the tea party are terrorists is simply wrong and offensive and I certainly hope that he apologizes. We are actually considering setting a letter to the White House right now asking for his formal apology.

Malmberg: Well 95 Democrats voted the same way you did.

Gardner: Yea, are they terrorists as well? And unfortunately people who are with the tea party, it’s not a one group. There are a lot of people who associate with the tea party or believe in the same ideas.  People who believe the lower spending, less government, they don’t agree on everything. They are not all lockstep in their thinking. They just believe that government just done too much and grown too far.

Fallen: Let me ask you this, Representative.  There are those that say that this action, raising the debt ceiling, that essentially what it does it takes us off the path of careening towards financial disaster and simply makes it a stroll towards financial disaster.  Your response?

Gardner: We have to do more. There is no doubt that we have to do more.  If you look at what Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s has said, they talked about a two-part problem.  The first part being to make sure that there was a plan in place by August 2nd to avoid an economic downturn. A significant economic downturn. To avoid higher interest rates on credit cards and car loans and other things. But they also said we have to put in place a plan tool to lower our debt and our deficits. This will cut trillions of dollars in spending. This will be the first time that we have cut discretionary spending back-to-back since World War II. We will continue to do more. But we’ve got to start now and we can’t wait any longer. And the real change begins when we have different people in the Senate and the White House.

Malmberg: I have said earlier that in my lifetime, I don’t think that I’ve seen a freshman class that have more influence in the House of Representatives. And for that, I will take my hat off to everybody who stood up for what they believed in.

Gardner: This never would have happened. Cuts of this magnitude would’ve never happened had it not been for people demanding that they occur. Back in January, if you look at what the President talked about, he talked about either freezing spending or in fact increasing spending. Throughout the summer he talked about increasing taxes and here we are now cutting trillions of dollars in spending and putting spending caps in place.

Malmberg: And that brings us to the forthcoming general election in 2012. What can we expect during this campaign season that we are quickly coming up on?

Gardner: Well, again, a focus on jobs. The numbers on this economy are incredibly awful. If you look at our gross domestic product, the largest downward revision in our gross domestic product just occurred. I think it was .4 percent that first quarter. Last quarter barely over 1 percent. The job growth is anemic, unemployment is high and I think you can see that that will be the focus of this election. That is why we have to get our economy back to strength and health and start focusing on the policies that promote job creators and pointing out those policies that hurt job creators.

Fallen: And what are the specifics of that plan?  President Obama sayings once we move past this debt ceiling kerfuffle that the administration and Congress will once again focus on jobs.  I am not sure that a stimulus is the way to go.

Gardner: There are two different ways to focus on jobs.  One is by unleashing innovation and entrepreneurs by getting government out of the way and that is a path that I support.  Making sure that we are reducing regulations that are hurting small businesses. Making sure that we are putting in place smart decisions and reducing the burden on businesses and reforming the tax codes so that it is fair for people doing business in this country and not an unfair advantage for those people who move overseas. I think you hear from the White House and others that more stimulus spending is the way to go. More taxpayer bailouts is the way to go and bigger government. They have tried it and it has failed.

Fallen: You or take on the super committee? There are those that say that the super committee is usurping the job of Congress.

Gardner: Well the committee is structured like another committee of Congress. There are committees throughout Congress that are appointed to hear legislation and put forward legislation. So the committee will come up with proposals to cut spending. Those will be referred to the House and the Senate for votes on a different procedure to make sure that they are not block by filibusters in the Senate. And the House and the Senate will be able to vote on them. The question is whether or not they will come up with an agreement that will pass the House and the Senate. If they don’t, this bill then, through the spending caps and that triggers will force across-the-board spending cuts. These are provisions that were known as Gramm-Rudman spending caps decades ago and the actually did work to cut spending and now they will be back in place.

Malmberg: Do you foresee a day that instead of raising the debt ceiling and the debate over that, that there is going to be a debate over lowering the debt ceiling?

Gardner: The only way that we can do that is by getting control of the deficit and making sure that we are spending less and less every year instead of more and more. And that is why every step we take, every move we make…Wow that sounds like a 1980’s song, I am sorry about that… Every plan that is put in place to cut spending helps lower the deficit and so that is what adds up to make this debt so bad.

Fallen: We are waiting for the Senate vote on the debt limit deal. How do you think that’s going to play out?

Gardner: I think it will pass. I don’t know what margin it will pass by but I think you have people like John Thune from South Dakota who said that it’s not perfect but it is a plan that takes a step to cut spending.

Fallen: All rights are well it is going to be interesting to see how displays out and thank you again for your time this morning I certainly do appreciate it.

Gardner: Well thank you both for having me on.