Risch zeroes in on economy - Coeur d'Alene Press: Political

Risch zeroes in on economy

Republican senator says citizens need to rely on their own enterprise

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Posted: Saturday, June 16, 2012 12:00 am

COEUR d'ALENE - When U.S. Sen. Jim Risch responds to jabs about why the federal government doesn't create jobs, his answer is simple.

The government can't create jobs.

It can only help nudge Americans in that direction.

In three ways, specifically: "No. 1, lowering taxes, No. 2, getting rid of regulation and No. 3, getting out of the way."

The Republican senator, elected in 2008, agreed during a visit with The Press editorial board on Friday that jobs and the economy are the chief subjects fixing public interest.

But if citizens want their financial woes resolved, he said, they have merely to rely on their own enterprise.

"If you're looking for the government to change America, that's not going to happen," he said. "America needs to change itself."

How, Risch acknowledged, is a tricky question, especially as citizens have diverging visions for the country.

But he believes "the American people can do this," he said.

"We've proved it for two centuries," he said. "We can do it without the government."

Risch noted that Americans have spanned the financial spectrum in that duration, but that's part of our capitalist legacy, he said.

"Were there really rich people? Yes. Were there really poor people? Yes. Was there everything in between? Yes," Risch said. "You know why? Because we're free. The minute the last rich person disappears in America, we're not free anymore."

Risch dubbed the country's most urgent issue as the $16 trillion federal deficit.

He fears that other lawmakers aren't as determined to find a solution, he added.

"There's about 10 or 12 of us that think this is a crisis, in the Senate. The other 85, to a large degree, think this is a problem," he said. "They say what I said, before I got there. 'This is America, nothing can possibly ever go wrong here.' You know what? I don't believe that anymore."

He disagrees with the theory of filling the deficit by taxing the wealthy, he said.

Risch pointed out that President Obama's recent push for a tax on the super-rich was projected to net $4.5 billion, insignificant in the grand fiscal scheme.

"That's what it takes to run the federal government for 11 hours," Risch said.

Although he had no definite solutions, Risch said the problem is clear.

"It's a spending problem," he said. "It's not an income problem."

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  • Kirsty posted at 11:28 pm on Sun, Sep 2, 2012.

    Kirsty Posts: 20

    Maybe senator Risch should ask for help from Cohen Asset Mgmt. We do need some new ideas and ideas that work. Politicians seem to have forgotten lately about the well being of citizens.

  • riversharkes posted at 11:15 am on Mon, Jun 18, 2012.

    riversharkes Posts: 100

    we need to evaluate all regulations that are in place and find out if they need to be there or are they redundant. remove the bad ones strenghten the weak ones and for the love of pete lets not let the banks rip us off again with thier casino gambling practices...the whole country suffers when bankers take your money and speculate on oil, grains, and other commodities...regulations were put in place because a problem existed that needed to be fixed..as for risch..if he is beating the same drum that caused the problem he needs to be fired..

  • kBled posted at 11:21 pm on Sun, Jun 17, 2012.

    kBled Posts: 70


  • jmowreader posted at 11:09 pm on Sat, Jun 16, 2012.

    jmowreader Posts: 1494

    Jim Risch has done exactly one positive thing in his entire political life: when he was governor, he had Rex Rammell's stray elk shot so they wouldn't infest the wild elk population. (I'm thinkin' mad cow disease; considering Rammell thinks Wyoming's economy has everything to do with their lack of income tax and nothing to do with all the oilfields they have there, the evidence is pretty clear.)

    Let's count the atrocities in this letter.

    First, the $16 trillion is the national debt rather than the federal deficit, which is less than $2 trillion. Don't get me wrong: a $2 trillion federal deficit, ESPECIALLY since we were running a budget surplus on January 20, 2001, is a disaster of epic proportions. But overstating the problem by a factor of eight is also a problem.

    Second, the government creates jobs--it's the biggest job creator in the nation. This is how:

    1. The government can just go out and hire people. Whether that's good or bad depends on what they're hiring them to do; I think even the most serious libertarians would agree the Marines need to remain government employees.

    2. The government can buy goods and services. Skip over the jokes about $20 muffins (or whatever they were supposed to cost) and look at fire apparatus. There are about 60 manufacturers of firefighting equipment, and all of them deal almost exclusively with government-operated fire departments. It is therefore safe to say that if you make firefighting equipment, every job in your company was created by the government.

    3. The government can put a LOT of its employees into an area. This causes other businesses to pop up to either support the employees or support the government agency. Think of an army base. I lived outside Fort Bragg for over a decade, and at least two-thirds of the businesses in Fayetteville, N.C., would not be there if Fort Bragg wasn't. Does any town need twelve Army surplus stores--or in the case of Fayetteville's collection, "off post supply rooms"? It does if there are fifty thousand paratroopers right outside the city limits, and they probably have more than twelve now. Does a town that is by no stretch of the imagination a tourist destination need the world's largest indoor skydiving wind tunnel? They do if there are thousands of Green Berets who need to practice High Altitude Low Opening parachuting but can't because 1st Special Operations Command owns one wind tunnel and two airplanes. I could go on, but you get the idea; at least half the people in Cumberland County, N.C., have jobs that are directly related to the military. And the military belongs to the government.

    And 4. The government can invent a technology that has civil applications, like the Global Positioning System that's expected to have a $23 BILLION worldwide civilian market by 2016, and wouldn't exist at all if a government agency called the Air Force hadn't invented it, bought satellites and launched them, then told the world how to design GPS receivers.

    Next is the assertion that all the government can do to create civilian jobs is cut taxes, reduce regulations and get out of the way. It's completely false and I can prove it. Jobs are created by Demand. Not low taxes. Right now, the biggest companies in America pay no taxes, thanks to various tax credits, deductions and other devices intended to make American business invest in certain job-and-wealth-creating things like...oh, buying new machines and training workers. They're not hiring because no one in his right mind hires people to make frammises if frammises aren't selling. Right now, frammises aren't selling. One of the things FDR did to help pull us out of the Great Depression was to create a make-work program called the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The intent was to get money into people's pockets so they could afford frammises, thereby encouraging frammis manufacturers to hire more frammis builders.

    I've got to address the "reduce regulations and get out of the way" part for a second. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, Commodity Futures Modernization Act and American Dream Downpayment Initiative worked to reduce regulations on and get the government out of the way of the financial services industry. They repaid us by driving America to the brink of collapse. There are reasons to regulate. You've heard the saying "when the cat's away the mice will play"; the mice almost ate America last time the cat went away. Please. No more deregulation.

    If We the People want to solve this problem, there's a simple three-step process.

    Step 1: Send Grover Norquist to Gitmo. This eight-ball, whose organization Americans for Tax Reform forces all Republicans to sign an anti-tax pledge before they can run for office, demands tax cuts above all. If the government were to figure out how to cut $1 trillion in spending, Norquist wouldn't let them use it to lower the deficit or the debt; it would have to be used for tax cuts. Norquist has stated he wants the government "small enough to drown in the bathtub." We can't drown Grover Norquist in the bathtub for many reasons--it's illegal, it's immoral, no one wants to touch him, and he wouldn't fit--so just deporting him to Cuba will have to do.

    Step 2: Not worry about the deficit yet. Rather, build a real stimulus package--$1 trillion in spending, NO tax cuts--and start building road. The teeny little stimulus we got created a couple million jobs; a serious stimulus would create many more.

    And step 3: Once the economy is back to prosperity--give it five years--we can start a program of spending cuts and tax increases to reduce the deficit. Liberals don't like tax increases--we pay taxes too!--but sometimes they're necessary.

  • AnonymousCda posted at 9:00 pm on Sat, Jun 16, 2012.

    AnonymousCda Posts: 350

    How about legalizing Industrial Hemp Farming. So we can start making real jobs. Not Government jobs created out of thin air mandated, or forced upon by usurping laws. I disagree on lower taxes there already at all time low for the rich, I say raise the taxes on the too greedy that don't invest into America but ship jobs across sea's into other Nations with cheaper labor.

  • idaholiberal posted at 8:07 pm on Sat, Jun 16, 2012.

    idaholiberal Posts: 238

    No, aayupp, it's Idaho. They will vote for him again.

    Remember, Obama outlawed all of the guns and ammunition, so now we have to vote for the Republicans to save the guns. Aren't you all glad to bought all of those guns and ammo before it became illegal? Fox News has the dumbest viewers.

  • aayupp posted at 1:46 pm on Sat, Jun 16, 2012.

    aayupp Posts: 319

    When U.S. Sen. Jim Risch responds to jabs about why the federal government doesn't create jobs, his answer is simple.

    The government can't create jobs.

    and i'am a tater head. if yer home state of idehicks (like you) did not have the government bailing them out because they don't know how to create a real tax base. come on man- we are at the doorstep of your "global economy" and we are "right to work" to boot, and you still at 8-10% unemployment.

    you and your cronies in boise dim wits including the governor, and i'am a republican. the disaster that is oregon , washington, and cali has spread to idaho by osmosis. sir- how come n idaho is paying some of the highest prices for gasolin in the nation?

    talk is cheap, sir- and thats all you do. i think we are all in agreement not to vote for this bird again.

  • Peter posted at 11:36 am on Sat, Jun 16, 2012.

    Peter Posts: 691

    In Idaho's case of where it's at economically is due large in part by the people it continually elects both local, state, and federal. Idaho reaps what it sows. The feds are not the problem here in Idaho. If you continue to vote for the same people over and over again you will always get what you already have.

  • searcher posted at 11:36 am on Sat, Jun 16, 2012.

    searcher Posts: 365

    Can't decide if he's pathetic, or just plain scary - maybe both.

    "We've proved it for two centuries," he said. "We can do it without the government."

    Really?? Does he really believe that Teddy Roosevelt's trust busting was a bad thing? Does he really believe the New Deal was a bad thing? Yes, there will always be rich, poor and in between, but when you funnel so much of the wealth to the top, those at the bottom lose all hope and prospect of ever being able to get ahead. You can't pull yourself up by the bootstraps if you don't have boots.

    I am truly amazed that so many religious politicians so heartily embrace Ayn Rand philosophies and worldview. There's a major cognitive disonance there. or... is it that they just want to build a theocracy our of our democratic republic? Seems to be happening in Idaho.

  • idaholiberal posted at 9:45 am on Sat, Jun 16, 2012.

    idaholiberal Posts: 238

    Can Idaho not find smarter people to represent them? Come on Republicans, do better. There are decent Republicans out there, you're just not finding them.

    Government CAN create jobs. It created his! He just doesn't like the jobs government creates because there is no rich person (ie campaign contributor) on the receiving end. I would like him to be specific about which parts of government he would eliminate. No one wants to answer that question.

    If you make over a million a year, you would be financially crazy to not vote for the Republican/Paul Ryan viewpoint. But face it, most people in Idaho are poor. Vote Republican and be ready to be on your own. I know, everyone says that would be great, until they need help.

  • babydriver posted at 7:18 am on Sat, Jun 16, 2012.

    babydriver Posts: 1393

    James Risch Supports the TSA and thinks they do a great job.

    James Risch voted FOR the NDAA.

    Thsat is enough for me to vote against him next time around.

  • voxpop posted at 5:27 am on Sat, Jun 16, 2012.

    voxpop Posts: 738

    "Although he had no definite solutions, Risch said the problem is clear."

    When you work for someone or some company, from CEO to janitor, you're not paid to say, "Oh jeez, look - there's a problem.." You're paid to solve those problems. If you can't, that company will find someone who can. Risch needs to go and we need to find someone with solutions. And if govt is going to have few or no regulations then it shouldn't be bailing out business with taxpayer money. You can't privatize profits but socialize failure.

  • apple123 posted at 5:00 am on Sat, Jun 16, 2012.

    apple123 Posts: 17

    This coming from the man who change the school taxing system putting Idaho schools at the bottom for school funding.

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