Kelley & Co, Mike Coffman, 9/14/2011

Station: 710 KNUS

Show: Kelley & Co.

Guest: Coffman


Date: 9/14/2011

Topics: Obama Jobs Bill, Corporate Tax Loopholes, Stimulus, Targeted Tax Cuts, Temporary Jobs, Referendum, Vacancy Elections, HPV Vaccine, Perry, Social Security, Ponzi Scheme.

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KELLEY: Last Thursday night, that was 17 times, I was counting, that the President said pass this jobs bill. Congressman Mike Coffman joins us on Kelley and Company. Just thought I would replay that in case you missed it. Congressman, you were there and he wants you to pass that jobs bill.

COFFMAN: Yea I kind of got that message after 17 times.

KELLEY: Did it get through? You had a chance…have you had a chance to process, absorb this with your staff and did it take a long time to read? And what is your reaction?

COFFMAN: First of all, I think there are a few positive things in it. The passage of the trade agreements, the dealing with regulatory reform to lower the burdens on particularly small business and doing away with corporate deductions and loopholes in exchange for a lower corporate marginal tax rate, I think those three things are positive. I think the rest of it is just more of the same. More big government-type demand side stimulus that hadn’t worked to create jobs when the first trillion dollars was passed and it is not going to work now with a half trillion.

KELLEY: So you won’t vote for it?

COFFMAN: The President is making this an all-or-nothing proposition because he wants to use this as a campaign wedge issue. But the reality is that there are parts of it that will move forward and there are certainly parts that will not move forward in the House.

KELLEY: So you will debate it? It is not actually dead on arrival in the Congress, in your mind?

COFFMAN: No, I would not say that it is dead on arrival. I would say, though, that the notion of these temporary targeted tax cuts to spur job creation haven’t worked. They have created some temporary jobs but it really takes permanent tax cuts for to create the kind of investor confidence to create permanent jobs, and we know that. And then of course the President wants to tax the same investors, which makes no sense, to create this government program. Certainly I think that tax cuts are important but these targeted temporary things are, again, just don’t change economic behavior. I think we need to, sort of, just lower the marginal tax rates and lets not have the business decisions micro-managed out of Washington, D.C. I think business owners are the best ones to make their decisions in their respective businesses.

KELLEY: This was Dave Ramsey a little earlier this morning:

Ramsey: I think it is pretty obvious that the President has really good intentions but he can’t help himself. When he says small businesses-the answer on one hand, then on the other hand he comes over here and does social engineering and he tells small businesspeople like me whom I should hire. Maybe that’s my decision and I think that whether I hire someone who has been unemployed for three weeks or three years A) is my business and b) in either case I took someone off the unemployment rolls.

KELLEY: Financial guru Dave Ramsey there. How much do you guys in Congress, men and women, do you get together and just say look-we have got to get something done. Your approval rating, and I wonder how you feel about the approval rating of Congress being at the lowest ever in the history of keeping track. The poll number is what, 10 percent for Congress?

COFFMAN: The last numbers I saw were 13 percent. I think we are somewhere between pedophiles and trial lawyers and I think the pedophiles are closing the gap.

KELLEY: How does that make you feel as a Congressman?

COFFMAN: But let me tell you this, the House has passed 11 jobs bills that are sitting in the United States Senate. We put forward proposals to free up employers to create jobs, to lower the regulatory burdens, to lower the tax burdens, to do everything that historically worked to create jobs in the American economy. And the Democrat controlled Senate is sitting on these bills. And I wish that the mainstream media would focus a little more on that. But I understand it is what it is.

KELLEY: But here inerrant is the problem again. You highlighted it perfectly. OK, we have passed Cut Cap and Balance, lets say. Now it sits over in the Senate. These grown men and women cannot come to any sort of an agreement. Meanwhile, we out here, your constituency, are just languishing in this recession.

COFFMAN: I think that the American people will decide which way to go. In the 2012 election, and I am sorry that it has to wait till then, will be a referendum on that. Now I think that there are certainly negotiations going on as we speak to try and move the process forward. But I think that this President will lay out the issues very clearly that if you believe in the big government approach, then you have obviously some folks to vote for that support that. And if you believe in a smaller constitutional government and the free enterprise system, you have another choice to make. I think it is going to be a referendum on really the future of this country. And unfortunately we are deadlocked. We are a divided government. The House is obviously more conservative than the Senate.

KELLEY: I may have buried the lead here. You talked about a referendum, was what happened in New York, the first time in 123 years.

COFFMAN: Yea what happened in New York is a stunning referendum.

KELLEY: What is your reaction?

COFFMAN: Shock and disbelief. This is the bluest of blue district. This is a heavy Democratdistrict.

KELLEY: Three-to-one.

COFFMAN: Yea, where we absolutely didn’t have a choice. And we absolutely didn’t, quite frankly, didn’t put any resources in the district. The focus was on Nevada, the special district race there. The focus was not for all intents and purposes, this district by the Republican Party was written off. And he had very little money and was given very few odds and all of the sudden he pulls it out. And by a decent margin. And I think at the end of the day, in terms of exit polls, this was a referendum on President Barack Obama by the Democrats and rejecting his economic policies. Also, I think that there were some issues in Israel with trying the 68 borders. That there was a heavy Jewish population that was upset about that. But ultimately it was really about economic issues and this President clearly fumbled the ball. I can’t frankly wait to see the faces of the Democrats today in the Congress of the United States. Because they have got to be stunned.

KELLEY: So this wasn’t just a simple referendum on a guy just being a louse? Much deeper?

COFFMAN: This could be very well one of these bellwether elections. Sometimes you get these special elections, what they call vacancy elections in the US House that come some distance before the general election that give indications of the direction of the American people. This is certainly still early out but it is a wake up call for the White House.

KELLEY: Before we let you go, Congressman Coffman, the debate the other night I thought was excellent on CNN. It was a little more refined and a little opportunity to get a back and forth going. Of course Tim Pawlenty has backed Romney. Where do you stand right now, even 14 months out?

COFFMAN: I am obviously going to support whoever the nominee is. But I have to admit to you philosophy I am closer to Perry. Obviously I hope he gets better on the debate stuff. I think he did good. I think he did better on Social Security. I think obviously it is a ponzi scheme but he has to say he is going to fix it. And he did that in the last debate where he didn’t do that in the first debate. Now I think that was positive.

KELLEY: I see CNN really trying to blow up the HPV vaccination. The executive order he signed down in Texas. You don’t think that is going to haunt him?

COFFMAN: Not in the general election. I think it is certainly going to cost him some in the Republican primary. That is why I am interested in why CNN is weighing in on the issue. Because it is actually more a moderate position that he quite frankly took. I wouldn’t have done it. But that is probably more sympathetic with the general electorate than it is with a more conservative Republican primary voter.

KELLEY: With that, we thank you and will talk with you down the road Congressman.