John Kasich on Budget & Economy
Republican Governor; previously Representative (OH-12); 2000 & 2016 candidate for President
Understand, the numbers supporting Clinton's budget didn't actually support his budget at all, and as soon as we were able to convince enough members of Congress to stand against it, we started battling long and hard over priorities. I was not willing to stand behind Clinton's counterfeit numbers and tell the American people that we were achieving something when I knew we were not. Out of that shutdown we were finally able to balance the budget in 1997--for the first time since man walked on the moon, according to the headlines that dominated the newspaper coverage that followed.
In the '90s, when we balanced the federal budget, paid down the federal debt, cut taxes, and created surpluses, the result was a sustained period of economic growth, lower interest rates, job creation, and national prosperity. Businesses were growing, unemployment was at historic lows, and nearly anyone who wanted a job could have one.
We didn't only balance the budget. We were able to reform welfare, end generational dependency, reform the Pentagon to strengthen our defenses, cut the capital gains tax, and much more.
You know, I tell younger audiences about this, and they look at me like I'm crazy. They don't believe it ever happened. But we know it did, and it can happen again [if we] challenge the status quo & work across the aisle.
We were talking about balancing budgets. People were saying, could we do it? I was the chairman of the Budget Committee and the lead architect the last time it happened in Washington, and when we did it we had great economic growth, we cut taxes, and we had a big surplus.
Economic growth is the key. But once you have economic growth, it is important that we reach out to people who live in the shadows. And that includes people in our minority community; that includes people who feel as though they don't have a chance to move up.
You know, America is a miracle country. And we have to restore the sense that the American miracle will apply to you. Each and every one of the people in this country who's watching tonight, lift everybody, unite everybody and build a stronger United States of America again. It will be and can be done.
A: You know, look, that's past history. Wall Street is necessary. Because it helps move the financial operations of America forward. But I'll tell you the problem with Wall Street. It's too much about, "I've got to make money." There's too much greed. If all you seek is money without values, then you're bankrupt. And so what I think is our financial community has to realize that there's a moral underpinning. Free enterprise and free markets are exactly what we ought to have in America. But there has to be a conscience that underlays it.
Q: Anything positive to say about Lehman?
A: The greatest thing I got from Lehman is I spent a lot of time in the Silicon Valley. And when I went out there, I could see the future. And that's what we have to be about in America, bringing ourselves together, innovating, you know, in terms of innovation and vision.
In 1989, Kasich landed on the Budget Committee, where he let his inner deficit hawk soar. In 1993, Kasich became Chair and the key player in the bloody budget battles with President Clinton. A couple of government shutdowns later, Kasich emerged as chief architect of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.
Bottom line, for now, he says, "my energy and my passion and my fight is in two things: Ohio and my balanced-budget cause."
Speaking of which: When I suggest that crisscrossing the country in the hopes of convincing 34 states to call a constitutional convention on balancing the budget seems a bit quixotic, he appears almost amused. "Is it? Am I Don Quixote? I've been that way before!" He flashes me a smile. "And you know what? It seems to work out."
In 1989 there was offered on the House floor the President's budget, and the Democrats' rebuttal budget, and the Kasich budget. The Democratic budget received 230 votes. The Bush budget received 213 votes. The Kasich budget received 30 votes.
Every year I offered my own budget for consideration, and my 3rd or 4th year my budget received more votes than the President got for his budget, and in so doing I learned a few things about leadership. Leadership is not talking. Leadership is doing. Every time they beat my budget on the floor of the House and I lay there in a bloody heap, people knew I was committed. It wasn't talk. It was action.
As it happened, Pres. Clinton wanted to phony up the numbers on this first go-round, so we shut down the government. I look back and think it was one of the greatest moments of my career. Why? Well, typically, politicians make their decisions based on votes. And yet in at least this one instance politicians set aside these concerns and stood up for what was right. For our children. For our shared future. For America. For this one battle, for the time being, we forgot about politics and focused on good government, and if we had to take a beating for it then so b it. And as a direct result of that government shutdown in 1995, we wrote a bill that provided for the first balanced budget in nearly forty years and allowed us to pay down the largest chunk of our staggering national debt in the history of this country.
The cleanup continues, and frankly I don't think we're doing a good job of it. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, hailed as the most significant change to federal securities laws since the New Deal, has had a deleterious effect on American business. I see it as a clear case of the government overreacting to a serious problem, one that can't be solved through legislation. Why? Well, for one thing, you can't legislate ethical behavior; you either know the difference betwee right and wrong, or you don't.
On the positive side, Sarbanes-Oxley has established a strong set of internal controls. But they've been a deterrent to legitimate American businesses. They've put many honest businessmen and women on the defensive.
Q: Do you support the use of block grants given to states, rather than federal spending, in the following areas: Agriculture?
Q: Farm subsidies?
Q: Food stamps?
Q: Law enforcement?
Q: School lunches?
[As part of the Contract with America, within 100 days we pledge to bring to the House Floor the following bill]:
The Fiscal Responsibility Act:
A balanced budget/tax limitation amendment and a legislative line-item veto to restore fiscal responsibility to an out-of-control Congress, requiring them to live under the same budget constraints as families and businesses.
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