GOP Debate Highlights Free Enterprise, Low Taxes

     Although the October 9 GOP presidential debate at times strayed from its central theme of being about the economy, some of the Republican candidates responded to the moderators questions that indicated they had the right ideas when it came to growing the economy, reducing the tax burden and curbing the growth of government spending.


    Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani when asked by Chris Matthews if there was a downside to wealth created by private equity firms and hedge fund managers: “I mean, the free market is our – one of our greatest assets and the leading Democratic candidate once said that the unfettered free market is the most destructive force in modern America. I mean, just get an idea of where the philosophy comes from. The free market is the asset that has allowed us to – the sky’s the limit.”


    Sen. John McCain on whether or not our progressive tax system is fair and if it should be reformed: “Sure, it’s fair. Should we – because the bulk of the taxes are paid by wealthy people. Should we reform our tax code, which is completely broken, which no one understands, no living American understands? Absolutely, we should fix our tax code. And we should fix it immediately. And we should have Congress either vote up or down on a freer, fairer, simpler tax code.”  


    Former Sen. Fred Thompson on income taxes, the elimination of the alternative minimum tax and the potential of the federal government losing revenue: “Well, in the first place, I don’t buy the concept that any reduction in taxes is lost revenue to the government. The taxpayers haven’t lost it. It’s in their pocket. They know exactly where to find it. We shouldn’t confuse the wealth of government with the wealth of nations. Just because the money’s sent to Washington doesn’t mean that the people are any richer. In fact, it’s just the opposite is the case. As you pointed out, the AMT was designed for the – to target the rich guy.”


    Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney on ending the employer-based health care system and replacing it with something else would be a smart idea: “Well, I don't believe in replacing what we have, but I believe in improving it. And the way we improve something is not by putting more government into it – of course, that's what Hillary Clinton wants to do. Hillarycare is government gets in and tells people what to do from the federal government’s standpoint. In my view, instead – the right way for us to go is to bring in place the kind of market dynamics that make the rest of the economy so successful.”


    Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani on if London would replace New York as the financial capital of the world: “Is the U.K. going to replace the United States of America? This is the strongest economy on Earth. It’s the last best hope of humanity. We have been like that. If this generation can't keep it that way, shame on us. This country is the leader in the world. When Congressman [Tom] Tancredo talks about the immigration problem, how about look at it this way – what country do millions of people want to come to? United States of America. What country – I don't care if they bash us all over the world – what country do they most want to come to? What country do they most want to copy? What are China and India trying to do? China and India are trying to develop themselves to be like us, which is why we got a heck of a lot we can sell to them if we just put on our entrepreneurial hats and act like confident Americans.


    Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney on the same question - if London would replace New York: “Is London going to replace New York? Of course not. Should we fix Sarbanes-Oxley and take out Section 404 as it applies to smaller companies? Of course, we should. Is this country the hope of the world? Absolutely.”