Rick Santorum on Budget & Economy
Republican Jr Senator (PA)
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.
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.
Rick Santorum vs. Newt Gingrich on Economic Issues
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Other candidates on Budget & Economy:||Rick Santorum on other issues:|
Mayor Rudy Giuliani(NYC)