Mandy Connell Show, Ken Buck, January 21, 2015

Station:   KHOW, 630 AM

Show:      Mandy Connell Show

Guests:    Buck


Date:       January 21, 2015


Click Here for Audio


HOST MANDY CONNELL:   It was his first pomp and circumstance as a member of the U.S.Congress.  Joining me now, Congressman Ken Buck.  Good morning, sir.

U.S. REPRESENTATIVE KEN BUCK:  Good morning, Mandy.  How are you?

CONNELL:   You know, I’m doing great.  I’ve got to ask you right out of the chute.  Give me your personal impressions of the entire spectacle of the State of the Union, itself –not the speech, just the whole thing, because this was your first joint session of Congress.

BUCK:  It was.  You know, it’s interesting.  I’m used to watching things like that on TV.  And there’s the Chairman of the [inaudible] staff, and there’s the [inaudible] board, and it is –it really is, I guess, a spectacle.  I’m not sure I’d use that word, but it is a — it’s an impressive gathering of people to hear a message that wasn’t that impressive.

CONNELL:   Yeah!  [laughing]  Well, that was a very delicate way of putting that.  Uh, very much so!

BUCK:  [laughing]  I should run for office.

CONNELL:   Yeah! Yeah, you should.  Now, I, of course, also watched it last night and I was underwhelmed, myself  But what were the things that leapt out at you, specifically?

BUCK:  Well, what was amazing to me was the issues that the President didn’t talk about.  We have 18.1 trillion dollars of debt, and the President didn’t mention that.  He had no plan for how we’re going to reduce our debt, how we’re going to balance our budget, how we’re going to rein in government spending and government regulation.  Not one single word! All he could talk about were just the same old, big government, –uh, you know, government top-down kinds of programs that have failed us in the past.  Then he has the audacity to take credit for an economy that’s booming.  And he talks about how we’re creating more energy.  He’s the one who is trying to stifle oil and gas production in this country, and he’s taking credit for the good things that have happended in spite of his efforts.

CONNELL:   Well, I will say this:  when he said or implied that the Russian economy was somehow in tatters because of actions that the United States had had taken, I actually laughed out loud. I mean, I really did, because when you get right down to it, the Russian economy is in the crapper because Saudi Arabia is trying to shut down fracking, which he opposed in the first place!

BUCK:  And I don’t know what Saudi Arabia’s motives are, whether it’s Iran, whether it’s Russia, whether it’s the U.S. fracking.  I’m not sure.  But I am sure that it has very little to do with President Obama.  And again, he tries to take credit that the stimulus programs, where he spent 787 billion dollars, had no positive impact on our economy.  It’s hard working Americans who are working through the obstacles that this President has created.  That’s what — that’s why our economy is doing well.  And yes, I laughed a few times.  You know the best line that I heard, that I laughed hardest at?  He said that — and I don’t have the exact words, but he said something to the effect of the– uh, our enemy, you know, we shouldn’t react to headlines with military force.  That’s exactly what our enemy wants.  What he was saying, in effect, was that our enemy wants us to go to the Middle East and kill them.  Now, how rational and odd is that?

CONNELL:   Well, you’re asking for rationality about someone whose foreign policy could hardly be described as rational in the long run. You know, I want to take you back to something you said at the beginning of the segment, though, because something just popped into my head. You said he never once mentioned the national debt.  But the reality is, Ken, we had a caller earlier this morning that proved that the President did a masterful job last night, in alluding to our spending problems while actually not addressing –.  When he said, “We have lowered deficits.”  Now, of course he ignores the fact that he has increased the deficit over 50o billion dollars a year, since George W. Bush left office, and has only increased the national debt.  But we had a guy call this morning, saying, “Hey, he cut the deficit!”  He has no idea what the deficit versus the debt means, so I have to give it to him on that one.  You’ve got to say, well played, politically.

BUCK:  Well-played to people who don’t understand the fact that he has, in his six years– and really it was eight years, almost doubled our debt.  And what that means is, over two hundred years, we accumulated just over a [inaudible] trillion dollars of debt.  And he will almost do that in his years as President.  That’s an absolutely amazing figure, and something that he should not be proud of.

CONNELL:   Well, the list of things, last night– I kind of jokingly — no, I totally jokingly said on Twitter, by the end of that speech, I was confused as to what things in my personal life I was going to be responsible for paying for, because we got free community college, free childcare.  Uh, I’m pretty sure that he gave a free puppy to everyone in the country, at some point. I think I heard that.  But the reality is that Congress is facing reality.  They don’t have the option of sort of throwing out all of these pie in the sky things. So what happens from this point forward, Ken?  What happens with the Republican caucus?

BUCK:  I think that the Republicans in Congress can’t throw out pie in the sky things.  You know, obviously, the Democrats passed Obamacare when they were in power.  The Democrats passed the stimulus package.  The Democrats passed on and on and on — Dodd-Frank.  What we have to do, now, is get our country on a path that is sustainable.  And there — you and I probably share one of our favorite economists, [and that] is Milton Friedman. And the thought that there is a free lunch went out the window with Milton Friedman’s essay.   [inaudible] is no free community college.  Someone will have to pay for that, and undoubtedly it’s going to go on our national debt.  I think it would be a great idea for us to create tax incentives for companies to, you know, encourage training programs and community college educations, and let those companies invest in employees and future employees.  But the idea that they are somehow going to create all these things for free is just nonsense.

CONNELL:   Well, how do you — you know, here’s the problem I have, Ken.  You and I are in complete agreement about the problems facing the country when it comes to spending, and yet there are so many people in the country that are simply willing to let someone else subsidize their healthcare premiums, that love the idea of forgiving all student loans, because it would take the responsibility off of them.  It would be a fantastic thing if Santa Clause Obama could go out and give all this stuff out, but the reality is, is that someone’s — like you said –got to pay for it.   How to Republicans craft a message that is more appealing than, “Hey, Buttercup, suck it up and take care of your own stuff”, which is how I put it, but that’s why I’m not an elected official.

BUCK:  [hearty laughter] Well, I can tell you, Mandy, I don’t know that there is any good way.  I ran for office and promised people that if they elected me I would give them less.  And yet, I still got elected.  Because, I think a lot of people have come to the realization that we cannot keep continue to give more. And I think, you know, when you say “a message”, we have to be fair.  When we talk about tax cuts, we have to get rid of the corporate cronyism as well as the unfair benefits for those who are not working and don’t want to work.  And so, I think fairness is one of the key aspects of getting this country back on track.

CONNELL:   Could I ask you if you are familiar with the FAIR Tax program?

BUCK:  I am familiar with the FAIR tax.  I like the FAIR tax.  I’d like to see us flatten our tax codes first.  And frankly, I think there are a lot of unintended consequences with the FAIR tax so I want to know more about them before I sign on completely to something like that.  But I think any kind of sales tax would be beneficial.  We just have to figure out how to help people on the lowest end of the scale if we’re truly going to go to a FAIR tax.

CONNELL:   Well, they have a pre-bate system.  I urge you to — you can go to and I think it’s a fantastic plan.  And last night, when the President was talking about, you know, flattening or making our tax code more equal and getting everybody to pay their fair share, I thought, “Oh, my God!  How awesome!  The bottom 47% are actually going to pay some income taxes now!”

BUCK:  Yeah, I don’t think that is what he was talking about.


BUCK:  And, he’s a wonderful, you know, orator.   And he gives — he makes everybody happy.  The reality is that he has no intention of flattening the tax code.  He has every intention of making sure that he is creating a majority vote — a 51% vote with people who are receiving benefits from the government that they wouldn’t otherwise receive.

CONNELL:   Yeah, uh, well, Congressman Ken Buck. I appreciate your time this morning.  I got an email from someone who said, “Will you please ask Congressman Ken Buck if he is going to follow through on the things he campaigned on?” So, I feel it is my duty to ask you this question.

BUCK:  Absolutely. And I’d love to — I mean, if the person wanted to email me I would love to talk to him, or visit with him on email about what those specific issues are.  But I am doing everything I can. I voted for the Keystone Pipeline.  I am voting for, and working hard, on issues I campaigned on.

CONNELL:   Absolutely.  Congressman, I appreciate your time.  We’ll talk you again soon.

BUCK:  Thank you very much, Mandy.