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Rick Santorum on Budget & Economy

Republican Jr Senator (PA)


I opposed the Wall Street bailouts and the auto bailout

Q: You opposed the auto bailout. What do you say to an auto worker who has that job because of the bailout?

SANTORUM: I would just say to them that I in principle oppose government coming in and bailing out an industry with government dollars and with government manipulation of that market, which is exactly what happened twice, in 2008 & 2009. The first time was the Wall Street bailout. On principle, I opposed the Wall Street bailout, even though I understand reasonable people could disagree. I felt that having the government come in in such a major way and have a huge influence over the direction of that industry, that that would be damaging to what I believe is the best way to resolve these types of problems, which lets the market work, constructive capitalism. And that means pain. I understand that. But it also means limited government and allowing markets to work because we believe they're more efficient over time. I held the same consistent position when it came to the auto bailouts.

Source: CNN's 2012 GOP Debate on eve of Arizona Primary , Feb 22, 2012

2005: Fannie & Freddie should create housing affordability

In his eight years on the Senate Banking Committee, there was one issue where Santorum sought to play a leading role. Santorum, despite his reputation as a conservative stalwart, had a keen interest in providing disadvantaged families greater access to affordable housing.

In 2005, when Banking Committee Republicans were trying to tighten the regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Santorum pushed to include language in the legislation that would strengthen their affordable-housing goals. "We're very concerned about making sure that we do things in working with this legislation to improve the access to affordable housing," Santorum said during a July 2005 hearing. He wanted to orient Fannie and Freddie "toward taking a more active role in creating housing opportunities for low and moderate income families."

But 6 years later, GOP presidential candidates say Fannie & Freddie should have been far less oriented toward providing affordable housing--not more so, as Santorum was advocating.

Source: Kevin Wack in "American Banker", "Santorum Runs from Record" , Jan 9, 2012

Newt Gingrich's economic stances compared to Santorum's

Do Santorum & Gingrich agree on Freddie and Fannie? (No, Santorum supports low-income mortgages and Gingrich would abolish the whole program). How do Santorum & Gingrich differ on the Death Tax? (They both would limit the estate tax, but with different justifications). We cite details from Santorum's books and speeches, and Gingrich's, so you can compare them, side-by-side, on issues like these:

Rick Santorum vs. Newt Gingrich on Economic Issues

Source: Paperback: Santorum vs. Gingrich On The Issues , Jan 8, 2012

Spend-o-meter: track spending on all Senate amendments

PAUL: [to Santorum]: I believe Congress should designate how money should be spent. I always voted against spending. You're a big spender; that's all there is to it. You're a big-government conservative. So to say you're a conservative, I think, is a stretch. But you've convinced a lot of people of it, so somebody has to point out your record.

SANTORUM: I've convinced a lot of people of it because my record is actually pretty darn good. I supported and voted for a balanced budget amendment, the line-item veto. In fact, I used to keep track when I was in the Senate of all the amendments that increased spending. I put them on something called a spend-o-meter. If you look at my spending record and you take all the "spending groups," I was rated at the top or near the top every single year, particularly in defense.

Source: WMUR 2012 GOP New Hampshire debate , Jan 7, 2012

TARP was biggest government intrusion into private sector

I opposed the single biggest government intrusion into the private sector, the Wall Street bailout, the TARP program. I opposed it because it violated the principles of our Constitution, the spirit of our Constitution, because the experience I had, that if you open up the door of government involvement in the private sector, some president will, and in fact did, drive a truck through it and explode the size of the federal government and constrict our freedom.

The four people on this panel that actually supported TARP at the time of its passage are the people who say that they are the anti-Washington candidates, that they are the business candidates, and they're the four on this program that supported the Washington bailout, giving Washington--naively, I would say--tools to constrict our freedom.

The four people were Governor Huntsman, Governor Perry, Herman Cain and Governor Romney all supported TARP.

Source: 2011 GOP debate at Dartmouth College, NH , Oct 11, 2011

Govt has averaged 18% of GDP and we're now at 25%

Q: The deficit cutting super committee is now getting to work. Democrats will demand that savings come from a combination of spending cuts and tax increases, maybe $3 in cuts for every $1 in higher taxes. Is there any ratio of cuts to taxes that you would accept? Three to one? Or even 10 to one?

A: No. The answer is no, because that's not the problem. The problem is that we have spending that has exploded. Government has averaged 18% of GDP as a percentage of the overall economy that government eats up. And we're now at almost 25%. So if you look at where the problem is, it is in spending, not taxes. And we'll get those taxes up if we grow the economy. I put forward the plan to grow the economy and I've provided leadership in the past to get bipartisan things done.

Q: But just confirming, Senator, you would not negotiate on raising taxes?

A: Absolutely not, because it's not the problem. We need to get the economy growing. That doesn't mean taking more money out of it.

Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa , Aug 11, 2011

Audit the Fed; but no gold standard

Q: You said that you were "the Tea Party before there was a Tea Party." But a top Tea Party goal, particularly in Iowa, is to revert back to the gold standard, something you oppose.

SANTORUM: Well, first off, I didn't say that, the Washington Post said it. I simply commented on what they said. I don't take the claim, the Tea Party organization is flat and it should stay that way. It should support ideas, not candidates. And people who stand up and say they lead it, well, I think most of the Tea Party people think their leadership is among the people, not anybody who is a member of congress or anywhere else. I think there's some reforms we can do at the Fed. And I agree we need to audit the Fed. I disagree with most of what Ron Paul said. Just because he's mostly wrong, doesn't mean he's always wrong. I appreciate his contribution in that regard.

Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa , Aug 11, 2011

Stopping debt ceiling increase is showmanship not leadership

Q: [to Bachmann]: You voted against the debt ceiling increase deal. Why?

BACHMANN: Consider what happened by raising the debt ceiling: The Congress gave Barack Obama a blank check for $2.4 trillion. Instead, we should have cut government spending.

SANTORUM: Rep. Paul and Rep. Bachmann had an opportunity to lead. But they couldn't lead the Congress to do something responsible in making sure that we didn't have the fiasco that we have in place now. We should have balanced the budget. The balanced budget amendment should have been the focus from the beginning. To suggest that we never need to raise the debt ceiling, that is showmanship, not leadership. Of course we have to raise the debt ceiling at some point. We're borrowing 42 cents of every dollar. You're going to cut 42 cents of every dollar? Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, defense, and interest on the debt is 60%. That means cut everything else and something of those. That's showmanship, not leadership.

Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa , Aug 11, 2011

Voted YES on $40B in reduced federal overall spending.

Vote to pass a bill that reduces federal spending by $40 billion over five years by decreasing the amount of funds spent on Medicaid, Medicare, agriculture, employee pensions, conservation, and student loans. The bill also provides a down-payment toward hurricane recovery and reconstruction costs.
Reference: Work, Marriage, and Family Promotion Reconciliation Act; Bill S. 1932 ; vote number 2005-363 on Dec 21, 2005

Voted YES on prioritizing national debt reduction below tax cuts.

Vote to table [kill] an amendment that would increase the amount of the budget that would be used to reduce the national debt by $75 billion over 5 year. The debt reduction would be offset by reducing the tax cut in the budget framework from $150 billion
Reference: Bill S Con Res 101 ; vote number 2000-55 on Apr 5, 2000

Voted YES on 1998 GOP budget.

Approval of the 1998 GOP Budget which would cut spending and taxes.
Status: CR Agreed to Y)78; N)22
Reference: H. Con. Res. 84 as amended; Bill H. Con. Res. 84 ; vote number 1997-92 on May 23, 1997

Voted YES on Balanced-budget constitutional amendment.

Approval of the balanced-budget constitutional amendment.
Status: Joint Resolution Defeated Y)66; N)34
Reference: S. J. Res. 1; Bill S. J. Res. 1 ; vote number 1997-24 on Mar 4, 1997

Other candidates on Budget & Economy: Rick Santorum on other issues:
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Page last updated: Mar 07, 2012