Big Morning Show, Jon Becker, September 6, 2012

Station:      KFTM, 1400 AM

Show:        The Big Morning Show with John Waters

Guests:      Becker


Date:         September 6, 2012

Topics:      ACA, Obama Care, Affordable Health Care, Taxes, Raising Taxes, Small Business Owners, Health Insurance Plans, Employer Penalty, Campaign, Presidential Campaign, Democratic National Convention, Republican National Convention, Sustainability, Federal Spending, National Debt, Social Issues, Tax Refund, US Economic Dominance, Economy, Inheritance Tax, European Union, Higher Education, Prisons, K-12 Education, Infrastructure, Roads, Austerity Measures, Economic Models, Paul Ryan, Obama

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HOST JOHN WATERS:  It’s 8-46 on your Thursday morning.  Joining me in studio is State Representative Jon Becker, head cold and all.  Good morning, Jon.

STATE REPRESENTATIVE JON BECKER:  Good morning.  How are you?

WATERS:  Well, we were talking a little bit beforehand, of course, your lovely life Crystal is an elementary teacher, so you get everything she brings home, including those viruses and bugs.

BECKER:  You know, I get to test out every cold, every year.  I just take it for a test drive.  It just depends on what the new deal is.  She brings it home and I think my agreement was I’ll test drive it and see how bad it is.  So—

WATERS:  Well, no worries.  Obamacare will take care of it.

BECKER:  Yeah, no doubt.  I’m going to go try and take care of that this afternoon.  But I’m not going to hold my breath on that whole deal.  But it is a lot of fun when your wife or your spouse is a teacher, you get to just experience everything.  And you try to avoid it, and it just–.  This happened—last year was her first year teaching and she came home and I – inevitably, it was like two weeks into school, and I got a cold.  Well, now it was one week into school, and here I am with a lovely cold. I thanked her again this morning and she better be bringing me home prizes.  [laughs]

WATERS:  By the way you’re going, by next year you’ll be spending the cold to school with her.

BECKER:  No doubt!

WATERS:  Yeah.

BECKER:  I think that’s what I’m going to do first.  I’m going to go out and get a cold, and I’m going to send it to her.

WATERS:  Start the epidemic, huh?

BECKER:  Yeah.  I think that’s a great idea, Jon.  And I’m going to tell her it was your idea, by the way [laughing].

WATERS:  [laughs] Oh, wow!  Well, obviously, Jon, [a] very interesting season politically right now, with all the campaigns going on.  Obviously the presidential campaign, the Democrat National Convention is going on right now, the Republican Convention was last week.  But also races at the state level, local levels.  Ah, it’s maybe, I will say, the most interesting election cycle I’ve ever seen.

BECKER:  It definitely is one of the most interesting I’ve ever seen, or got to watch and take a look at.  And I didn’t know that there was a DNC going on.  I thought those were just good cartoons I was watching that night.

WATERS:  [laughs]

BECKER:  No.  All right.  All right.  But, uh, it is a definite – it is an election season that we haven’t seen like this for a long while, because there is — you have two distinct ways that we’re going to move this country.  And you’ve got to look at it and you hope that everybody understands, no matter which side you’re on—I don’t care if you’re Republican, Democrat, Independent, whatever party you’re in – Green Party, I don’t care.   You have got to see that the spending at the federal level and most states levels is unsustainable!  I don’t care what side you’re on.  There is no way we sustain this spending.

WATERS:  Well, especially when you look at our national debt, just went over 16 trilllion dollars this week, in debt

BECKER:  Yeah!  Oh!  Absolutely amazing!  So, how do you – All of us have to look at that and say, “You know what?  That’s our debt!  That’s us!”

WATERS:  Well, let’s break it down.  For those who don’t understand that 16 trillion dollar number, what that comes down to, Jon, as I understand it, what I read yesterday, is every single man, woman and child in the United States is on the hook for $50,000.

BECKER:  And rising.  And—so, yeah.   You have to look at it and go, “OK.  What does that mean to me?”  Well, It’s going to mean higher taxes.  Has to.  There’s just no way you’re going to experience the same tax levels that you used to.  And I love it when I go to the coffee shop, and I love to go to the coffee shops around here and in other towns when I’m there and listen to the conversations because they believe, “Well, we’ll just tax business and we’ll be done.”  You know?  You hear those.  “We’re going to tax business.”  Well who do you think gets the economy going again?  If you keep taxing them, eventually, that economic model drives business into the ground and you no longer have producers.  If you don’t have producers, your economy is going nowhere, because government is not there because there’s no business.  I mean, the only reason that government is there is because we’re producing dollars and that has created the government.  It’s not the other way around.

WATERS:  Right!

BECKER:  Business is not there at the pleasure of the government, no matter what Obama would like to say about that.  So, I look at this and I go, “We can’t be that naïve to say that there needs to be a fix.”  And so we should be demanding of any person running for office right now, let’s bypass all these blinding issues that they are trying to put forward, and let’s go straight to the economy.  Let’s go straight to debt.  How are you going to fix this?  What are you going to do to start moving this thing forward?  And don’t say –you know, the thing right now, is we’re going to give tax breaks to the middle class or to the lower one- third.  Well, guess what?  The lower one-third doesn’t pay taxes.  You can give them tax breaks all you want!  They don’t pay taxes!

WATERS:  Right.

BECKER:  They get – most of them will get a refund.  And there’s a few out there who will probably pay some taxes, depending on their situation.  So don’t think that my opinion covers everything, but I’m saying you have got to—and the reason that you look at this  and they’re saying they are giving tax breaks to businesses, and then they push that a step higher and say to the rich.  Well, I don’t know how many of you know the small business owners and the business owners around Morgan County.  Just go talk to them and I will tell you that those people work their butt off, and by any means, I would not consider them to be rich, I’d consider them to be in the middle class and they are the ones employing people and that’s what starts pushing the economy forward.   So, I think we need to start demanding of anybody running for office, “What is your idea?  How do you see this working?”  And if you don’t agree with them, you need to tell them so you can have a logical and truthful conversation on what goes on about the economy and how we’re going to start getting the US back to dominance in the world.  Because the path that we’re on right now, I will tell you this, it’s unsustainable.  We’re going to lose higher education spending altogether, because we can’t maintain this spending.  You’re probably going to be looking at lowering prison terms because you can’t maintain your prisons.  And these are the unprotected places in our Constitution in Colorado, and I know that those are the things that are looked at every year.  And then on top of that you’ll start looking at k-12 and a bunch of other things that we all hold near and dear which are the staples of what government should be doing.

WATERS:  And infrastructure and things like that.

BECKER:  Infrastructure and roads.  And think about it.   You’re not hearing that right now, iInfrastructure and roads.  Amazing.  Have you heard that on any political campaign or ad, “Our infrastructure is not there”?  I haven’t heard it.

WATERS:  Mmm-hmmm

BECKER:  I really haven’t heard it, because usually you hear them and say, “We want to start taxing the miles that you drive, and blah, blah, blah.  They’re just leaving that alone because it’s a polarizing issue, because our infrastructure is – it’s—really, we don’t have enough money to maintain it.

WATERS:  Right.

BECKER:  So, this is a frustrating campaign season.  I will tell you, don’t be blinded by the issues that they all try to bring forward, which have been there for a lot of years, and nobody has changed their position.  There is still the position on abortion.  You know, you’ve got the R’s position and the D’s position.  That hasn’t changed for years upon years upon years.  Don’t be polarized by that position.  I’d say take a look at what they are doing with spending, and know this:   you are responsible for that.  You are responsible for it.  You will pay for it somehow, and I’ll tell you how you’ll start paying for it.  Inheritance tax, that’s going to go back.  And the level will go from 5 million—or 3 million to 1 million, which means you’ll be taxed at 55 percent on one million of inheritance.  And everybody goes, “Well, that’s not that – you know, that’s a lot of money.  Well, think about it this way.  We’re an agricultural community.  Think about how much these [inaudible] these fields go for now.

WATERS:  Yeah, it doesn’t take that much farm ground to make up a million dollars.

BECKER:  Yeah.  Yeah.  –To make up a million dollars.  So, you’re harming the family farms.

WATERS:  Right.

BECKER:  And  we think, “Oh, we’re going to get out of debt that way.”  No, we’re not!  We’re not going to do it that way.  You’re only harming the middle class business people who are keeping us alive right now, and the entrepreneurial spirit that we have, and hold near and dear and keeps this good nation going.   And that’s what we’re going to end up doing.  I don’t care what side you’re on.  You look at any economic model from any of these economists on any side, and they’ll all tell you the same thing – that we’re in for a disastrous cliff come November / December, if we don’t start bringing forward good tax policy.

WATERS:  Well, again, my guest is State Representative Jon Becker.  Ah, when you look at the economy, you really don’t have to look much farther than the European Union to see what the potential is if we keep going the direction we’re going.

BECKER:  Right.

WATERS:  Regardless of who is in charge.

BECKER:  [laughs]

WATERS:  If we keep going the direction we’re going – and there is plenty of blame to go on both sides.

BECKER:  Absolutely.  I think that there is plenty of blame on both sides, and we need to take a look.  That’s a great example.  You can’t spend your way out of a recession, because they are talking about another stimulus package here.  We just need to look over there.  You can’t do it.  You can’t keep shoving money at the problem.  You actually have got to control the spending.  You’ve got to plug that hole, and it’s a gaping hole in the dam right now that is just gushing money.

WATERS:  Mmm-hmm

BECKER:  You’ve got to figure it out.  And I’ll tell you that everybody that talks about federal Health Care.  First of all, I still think it is the most unconstitutional thing we’ve done.  I don’t care what the Supreme Court said,  even though they have left it up to the states, and I think the states need to do the right thing now.  It is fundamentally, on their static model that they ran for this program, it is fundamentally unaffordable.  Unaffordable!

WATERS:  Mmm-hmm.

BECKER:  There is no way we can afford to move forward.  And the people who tell you, “Yes, we can”, I want you to show me how you figured that out in a long term, dynamic model that moves with what things go on.  And the reason I say that is, we were just speaking about it, John, is that for businesses with over 50 employees, that have insurance plans that we all love, near and dear, I mean, I have a one with the company I work for now.  I like that plan.  It’s a great plan for me.  But, what happens is, once this kicks in, it is cheaper for that business that I work for to drop everybody off the plan and pay the penalty, so that I go on the Federal Healthcare Plan

WATERS:  Mmm-hmm

BECKER:  Well, that Federal Healthcare Plan model says that won’t happen.  Why wouldn’t it happen?  Businesses see that it is cheaper to drop their employees and pay the penalty.

WATERS:  Right.

BECKER:  Then Federal Healthcare is no longer sustainable.  And this is just one piece of it.  No longer sustainable.  Can’t happen.  So what happens is they raise those fees, businesses start getting into the same trouble they were in before, and we have a program that is going to fail.

WATERS:  Yeah.  It is built for failure.

BECKER:  It is built for failure.  And it’s amazing to sit there and look at it, and that’s why I’m starting to listen to and watch these economists that are putting out these models that show you how health care will work and what’s going on and see the assumptions they made inside of those models.  Because I will tell you, this really is a scary time.  And if we want to get the economy back on track,– you just mentioned the European Union.  You look there and see what they have done, because they are steps ahead of us.  Their debt was skyrocketing.  You just look and see if you want to live through that, or if you’d rather finally pull this Band-aid off and fix what’s going on.

WATERS:  Right.  Otherwise we’ll live through the austerity measures and all that sort of thing, and it is not pleasant.

BECKER:  Oh!  It is not pleasant.  And I just don’t understand how we believe we’re going to keep moving forward on this path.  And you listen to the politicians and there is not a lot of real answers on how we’re going to do this.  Now, I believe that Paul Ryan has got some good, harsh answers for us.  I believe there are some answers, and they are not the prettiest, I will tell you.

WATERS:  Right.

BECKER:  But we’re in a tough spot, and I would like my children to have a go of it.  And if we keep on this path, there is just no way that they are ever going to experience what we’ve all got to experience as we’re moving through.

WATERS:  Well, and it’s – we have just a minute left.  But it’s – I guess I liken it back to our home budgets, once again, and if you’re spending more money than you’re making, eventually it gets to the point where you have to make those hard decisions of, “Okay, I need to sell my vehicle and get a cheap vehicle.  I need to sell my house and rent something for a little while.”  Whatever the case may be, and make those hard decisions for a while until you get back on track.

BECKER:  And that’s exactly it.  And I hope people take it on that measure because it is a lot like your home budget.  And you say, “No, no, no, it’s the Federal government.”  But you are responsible for what the Federal government does.  And the way that they get that from you is from – that money is from taxes.  You pay taxes, and that’s where they are going to get it.  So, Federal government’s spending way too much money, we need to fix it.

WATERS:  Yeah, and unfortunately there is not a magic money tree in the backyard of the White House.

BECKER:  [laughs]

WATERS:  Anyway—Well, Jon, we’re all out of time, and we always wonder if we’re going to have anything to talk about.

BECKER:  No doubt.  I was thinking –.

WATERS:  Yeah.


WATERS:  Jon, for those who would like to get in touch with you to talk about anything, how can they do that?

BECKER:  You know, right now, since we are away from the Capital, the best way to get a hold of me is my cell phone, which is, 768-6500.

WATERS:  All right, and when you call, just be prepared to hear things the way they are.

BECKER:  Yeah,

WATERS:  All right.  My thanks to Jon Becker for joining us this morning.  This is AM 1400, KFTM, Fort Morgan, Brush, Wiggins.  Coming up on nine o’clock and time for AP radio news.