Guest Host today, Judge Andrew Napolitano
National debt is now at $13.9 trillion. It is expected to exceed the debt ceiling of $14.3 trillion this spring.
Government economic advisor Austin Goolsbee says that not to raise the debt ceiling would cause the U.S. to default and would have catastrophic impact on the economy.
In the segments that follow, several guests participate. Comments have been grouped by guest, so some commingling of topics within that segment occurs.
- Ron Paul (TN)
- Mike Lee (UT)
Judge Napolitano – Should we raise the debt ceiling?
- He would not vote to raise the debt ceiling unless it contained a balanced budget provision.
- We should have a “spend what you have plan”. The incoming TEA Party candidates have already had an influence with the House leadership even though they have not been sworn in yet.
- It may be that the best course for repealing Obamacare is through the courts. He referenced Judge Henry Hudson’s decision in the current Obamacare case where Judge Hudson declared the individual mandate to purchase medical insurance to be unconstitutional.
- We have got to stop excessive spending. It is not a question of whether there will be painful cuts, it is a question of who will be affected and when. We should not continue to kick this can down the road.
- He wants the repeal of the 17th amendment (allows for the direct election of senators instead of appointment by the state legislatures), but knows that this will not happen. The federal government should stick to those powers granted it, not a “be-all, end-all” for everything.
- He thinks the courts will declare Obamacare unconstitutional.
Judge Napolitano - Will the new congressional members remain true to their cause of controlling spending or will they backslide as we have seen with the republicans who came into office in 1994?
- Steve Moore, Economic Writer for the Wall Street Journal
- David Buckner, Professor Columbia University
- New congressional members tend to get drawn into the congressional process over time.
- There is no plan on the debt ceiling so that if the debt ceiling is raised, the spending is identified to a purpose. If the ceiling is not raised, he would recommend the “spend what you bring in” plan.
- Of course the big spenders will attempt to co-opt the new members. He is scheduled to speak to the new members tomorrow. He will tell them to defend the constitution and stop the overspending immediately. He was there for the 1994 sweep and saw that, over time, the new members lost their fervor and fell into bad habits.
- Ordinary Americans are having to cut back, but not the government. He talked to Paul Ryan, the number one Republican on the House budget committee, who said some federal departments have seen a 70% - 80% increase in their budgets over the last few years.
Judge Napolitano – California has over 700 new laws as of 1 January.
Guest: David Boaz, Cato Institute
- California legislators are dealing with small things that they can get done instead of the large things that must be done such as the state’s $28 billion deficit.
- He is glad to hear that new Governor Brown says that he will “Bite the bullet” to solve the state’s debt woes. He may finally understand how really bad the problem is.
- One reason California has a debt problem is that businesses and people are leaving (and taking their tax payments with them).
- If California and other states ask for a federal bailout and the House says “No”, will they be able to get it from the Federal Reserve under Ben Bernanke? It’s a possibility. We have bailed out businesses with more than $1 trillion. If you’ve bailed out AIG, how can you not bailout California?
- The Congress needs to review what the Federal Reserve can and cannot do. Currently, there is no control and no visibility.
Judge Napolitano – Repeal of the Health Care Law
- Congressman-Elect Jason Chaffetz (R – UT)
- Michael Cannon, Cato Institute
- Our best hopes are with the courts. But if the Republican House votes to repeal the law, the Democrats still control the senate. However, many democratic senators may also vote for repeal due to the law’s unpopularity.
- Obama has already agreed to repeal one provision, the Form 1099 requirement for businesses that spend over $600 with another business annually. Other provisions are also unpopular…
- So far they have had to grant 222 waivers of the law to exempt companies from complying.
- Special payments have had to be made to Medicare Advantage Plans so that those Plans don’t leave Medicare, forcing patients to seek other medical care.
- Repeal of Obamacare is what people want. No one knows how it will work, no one understands it’s ramifications and we can’t afford it.
- The Secretary of Health and Human Services has regulatory power that has the effect of legislation. This requires congressional oversight.
- Death Panels were removed from the original legislation but have come back a year and a day later in the form of regulation. He is not surprised by anything this administration does.
- The Department of the Interior did a federal “land grab” on December 23rd and now this Death Panel.
- It’s business as usual, but it’s not the will of the people. This is not a kingdom for the President. This stuff has to go through the House and the Senate.
- We have to move towards a balanced budget. We have to start killing things to start the spending reduction.
Judge Napolitano – As of yesterday, the EPA has started regulating carbon emissions. How can unelected bureaucrats regulate something that the legislature has declined to regulate?
- Chris Horner, American Enterprise Institute, Author of “Power Grab” http://www.amazon.com/Power-Grab-Policies-Freedom-Bankrupt/dp/1596985992/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1294101968&sr=8-1
- Nancy Skinner, Radio Talk Show Host
- The Clean Air Act gave the EPA authority to regulate pollutants. A Supreme Court case gave the EPA the authority to declare carbon emissions (or anything else it wants) as a pollutant.
- Scientists should determine which emissions should be regulated.
- There is now a court case on EPA regulating carbon emissions. Talking points don’t fly real well in court.
- This is a case of bureaucrats run amok.
Judge Napolitano Wrap-up
- Death Panels were removed from legislation. Now they are back.
- Glenn and I anticipated that when the President lost control of Congress he would rule by decree.
- Currently servicing the national debt consumes about one third of all federal revenues and the administration wants to increase the amount of debt, making it even worse.