Wednesday, the Alabama Political Reporter asked Republican Senate candidates about how they intend to deal with the national debt. The debt grew during the Global War on Terror, grew during the TARP bank bailout, grew during those slow painful years of economic recovery following the Great Recession. Now the economy is booming; but the deficit is still over a $trillion dollars and there is no balanced budget in sight.
GOP candidates: former Chief Justice Roy Moore, Congressman Bradley Byrne, businessman Stanley Adair and State Representative Arnold Mooney all submitted responses to APR on the worsening debt crisis.
“Our national debt is out of control,” Moore told APR. “This is not a new problem. George Washington, in his farewell address, said that ‘As a very important source of strength and security (we should) cherish public credit.’”
Moore told APR that the debt is a bipartisan problem.
“Both parties are responsible,” Moore said. “This past July Democrats and Republicans agreed to suspend the debt limit until after the 2020 elections, enabling a $50 billion hike in spending on Democrat welfare programs and Republican defense initiatives for public support in an election cycle.”
“We can’t continue to ignore our debt crisis,” Congressman Bradley Byrne told APR. “A critical first step is passing a Balanced Budget Amendment to our Constitution. Families, businesses, states, counties and cities must have balanced budgets. Why should the federal government not have to play by the same rules? That’s why I’ve introduced a Balanced Budget Amendment and fought hard against wasteful government spending.”
“Our deficit is now twenty-two trillion dollars,” businessman Stanley Adair told APR. “The CBO now predicts it will grow in the next ten years to a staggering thirty-three trillion dollars. This is unsustainable. We must have responsible fiscal policies. We cannot continue to raise the debt ceiling without any substantial change in fiscal spending. The size of government needs to be reduced and resources can be more efficiently prioritized without relying on tax increases. The country is moving forward and the economy in growing at a better rate than expected and with this growth we can expect more revenue. However, we need to pass a Balanced Budget amendment. I believe we can balance the budget by reducing the wasteful spending. We must return to the principles of fiscal responsibility.”
“We don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem,” State Rep. Arnold Mooney told APR. “We have decades of budgets based on fake math written by career politicians in Washington who are obsessed with getting re-elected and can’t see beyond the next campaign. This kind of thing is the exact reason I’m running: to put a stop to it and save America for my children and grandchildren.”
“Inflation continues to grow,” Moore warned. “A dollar in 1913 would be nearly $26 today since the gold standard was discarded and the Federal Reserve began to create money. Our monetary system is unsound because it is based on fiat currency, and public credit is ignored by both parties to the detriment of our Country and its citizens.”
“The biggest driver of our debt is mandatory spending, specifically welfare programs that are allowed to continue to grow without any constraints,” Rep. Byrne explained. “We have forgotten that these programs were designed to lift people out of poverty, not keep people down. I’m committed to reining in these programs, taking them off auto-pilot, and making sure we are actually succeeding in helping people get out of poverty. These welfare programs amount to almost $1 trillion so getting control of them and cutting their cost will have a substantial positive effect on the deficit.”
“Medicare, Medicaid and socialist programs like Obamacare will only worsen the problem to the detriment of the American public who continue to see outlandish inflation and a deterioration of our national sovereignty among the world powers,” Moore stated. “Politics must yield to principles of sound monetary policy. Our congressional representatives of both parties in the House and the Senate must take a stand against the continued increase and national debt.”
“We must stop wasteful spending!” Moore said. “A return to sound money based on the gold standard, a constitutional amendment to balance the budget, and a reformation of our tax system based upon a ‘fair tax,’ wherein citizens would be taxed only on purchases of new goods and services would help remedy the problem. A constitutional amendment under Article 5 of the United States Constitution is the only way to stop irresponsible government spending.”
The national debt is $22,535 billion. Gross Domestic Product is at $21,349 billion. The deficit has soared to $1,002 billion and is increasing even though we are at full employment and GDP is up 13.5 percent over 2016. Federal spending is $4,512 billion. The largest components of federal spending are: Medicare and Medicaid at $1,173 billion per year (26 percent of federal spending); Social Security at $1,035 billion (23 percent of federal spending); defense at $642 billion (14.3 percent); Interest on the debt at $379 billion (8.4 percent); income security programs (including the earned income tax credit, school lunches, SSI, unemployment, foster care, etc.) at $298 billion (6.6%), federal pensions at $287 billion (6.4%) and USDA at $156 billion (3.5%) of which ~$76 billion is SNAP, still commonly referred to as food stamps (1.7%).
Former Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville and Secretary of State John Merrill are also running for the Republican nomination for the Senate seat currently held by Doug Jones.
The Alabama Republican Party is optimistic that their eventual nominee can take the Senate seat away from Jones.
The major party primaries will be on March 3 with the general election scheduled for November 3.
Sen. Doug Jones won’t support SCOTUS nominee before Nov. 3 election
“Certainly, power grabs are not uncommon in our political system, but few are accompanied by such blatant hypocrisy as we are witnessing now,” Jones said.
Sen. Doug Jones, D-Alabama, on Friday said he would not support any nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court before the outcome of the Nov. 3 election is determined.
Speaking during a livestreamed briefing, Jones said that while Republicans appear to have enough votes to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, he will not be a party to denying the people a voice in the process in the election of the next president “in just under 44 days.”
President Donald Trump said Saturday that he plans to nominate Amy Coney Barrett to replace Ginsburg, who on Friday became the first woman, and first Jewish person, to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol.
Several Republicans who voiced opposition to President Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court more than 10 months before the 2016 election have reversed course, and now say they support Trump nominating a selection with election day just a little more than a month away.
“Certainly, power grabs are not uncommon in our political system, but few are accompanied by such blatant hypocrisy as we are witnessing now,” Jones said. “In fact, I believe that the level and intensity of hypocrisy being displayed by Senator McConnell and the president, with regard to the rush to confirm Justice Ginsburg’s successor, is unmatched in the history of our constitutional government.”
Jones said what McConnell and other Republicans should be focusing on instead is getting another round of much-needed COVID-19 aid to small businesses and people impacted by the pandemic.
“Rather than pushing this confirmation to the top of the Senate calendar, the majority leader should turn his focus instead to protecting the lives and livelihoods of the American people. We should pass a new bipartisan COVID-19 stimulus package to give Americans and businesses the relief that they desperately need, and that economists say if required to shore up the economy now,” Jones said.
Jones expressed concern as well for what medical experts are warning could be a new spike in COVID-19 nationwide.
“There could be an even greater urgency, if our health care professionals’ warnings come to pass,” Jones said. “And that is as temperature drops and people go indoors that this virus spikes, and we see another surge.”
Asked why his opponent, Tommy Tuberville, won’t debate Jones, he said, “It’s pretty simple. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”
“He has no clue. He is Coach Clueless,” Jones said.
Jones noted that when asked recently on his thoughts on extending the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act of 2020, Tuberville stumbled through an answer that indicated he wasn’t sure what the Voting Rights Act was.
“He had no earthly idea,” Jones said.
Jones said Tuberville isn’t going to debate him because Tuberville doesn’t want to talk about issues.
“He doesn’t want to talk about a plan. His plan is simply this: Whatever Donald Trump says, I’m good,” Jones said, “and if Donald Trump says or does something that is not good, it’s crickets coming from Coach Tuberville.”
Jones noted that after multiple news outlets, including Fox News, confirmed reporting that Trump had said disparaging things about veterans who died in combat, Tuberville has not spoken out against Trump’s comments.
Jennifer Griffin, senior national security correspondent for Fox News, reported that she has spoken to senior U.S. officials who backed up reporting by The Atlantic, and said Trump said of the Vietnam War “anyone who went was a sucker.”
“He has not said a thing about what was confirmed by Fox News about the president’s comment,” Jones said of Tuberville. “That’s just disgraceful.”
Merrill gives guidance on straight party, write-in voting
Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill issued guidance Wednesday on straight party and write-in voting.
“Voters who wish to vote straight party for all of the Democratic or Republican candidates on their ballot may do so by filling in the bubble next to their party preference at the top of their ballot,” Merrill explained in a statement.
“If a voter wishes to vote for any candidate outside of the selected party, however, he or she may do so by filling in the bubble next to the preferred candidate’s name. In doing so, the candidate(s) voted on outside of the voter’s designated party ballot will receive the vote for that particular race.
“In addition, if a voter wishes to write-in a candidate, he or she may do so by filling in the bubble next to the box marked ‘Write-in’ and then printing the name of the preferred candidate on the designated line.
“Write-in votes must be hand-written and not stamped or otherwise artificially applied to the ballot.”
Sample ballots for the Nov. 3 general election are available online.
Opinion | For Coach Tub, no thinking required
Has Tommy Tuberville ever had an original thought? It doesn’t sound like it. Coach Tub basically spews Republican talking points and keeps his mouth firmly locked onto Donald Trump. He disrespects Alabama voters so much that he thinks that’s all he needs to do to win a place in the U.S. Senate.
Tuberville recently addressed the St. Clair County Republican Party at its September meeting. As reported by APR, Tuberville is quoted as saying the following, and I’ll offer a short rebuttal. I’m doing this because Tuberville is clearly afraid to death to debate his opponent, U.S. Sen. Doug Jones.
So here goes:
Tuberville: “America is about capitalism, not socialism. I think we are going to decide which direction we are going to go in the next few years.”
Me: We decided which way we were going to go years ago, when the federal government started subsidies for oil and gas companies, farmers and other big industry and business. That, coach, is your so-called “socialism.”
I’m not necessarily opposed to subsidies to boost business, depending on the cause, but I’m not going to let a dimwitted, know-nothing, mediocre, former football coach pretend we don’t already have “socialism” in this country.
What Tuberville really means is that he’s against “socialism” like Medicare or Medicaid or Social Security or food assistance or health insurance. He’s a millionaire already, so there’s no need for him have empathy for or support a safety net for people who are less fortunate socially and economically. That’s Tuberville’s “socialism,” and the Republican Party’s “socialism,” and Trump’s “socialism.”
That’s a cruel, mean perspective that would cast aside the great majority of Americans for the rich (Tuberville, Trump) and connected and, where Trump is concerned, the fawning.
Tuberville: “I am not a Common Core guy. I believe in regular math. We need to get back to teaching history.”
Me: I would love to ask Coach Tubby, one-on-one, exactly what he thinks “Common Core” is. I’ll guarantee you he can’t explain more than he already has. “I believe in regular math?” There is no other math. It’s math. Does he think there’s a math where 1+1=3? There isn’t one. There are a variety of ways to teach math, but there’s only math, not a “fake” math or a “Republican” math or a “Democratic” math or, God forbid, a “Socialist” math.
And when Coach Tommy said, “We need to get back to teaching history,” one wonders if he’s ever been into a classroom. We know more than a few of his former players weren’t in many classrooms, if reports are correct. But they always played the game under his uninspired coaching.
Of course schools teach history.
The history Coach T. is talking about is Donald Trump’s “white” history, the one we’ve been teaching in our schools forever. Not real history; you know, the one where the United States was founded as a slave-holding nation, where Native Americans were massacred and starved by the hundreds of thousands, where white supremacy was codified within our laws, where any color but white was subjugated. That history. The history that is finally fading away, so we can really see where we’ve been as a nation—so we know where, as a nation, we need to go.
Tuberville: Tuberville said he supports following the Constitution and appointing a replacement for Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday.
Me: Well, of course he does. Tuberville doesn’t have an independent thought in his body, and Donnie told him this is what he’s supposed to think. The big question: How much will a Senator Tuberville be able to function as a member of a minority party in the Senate — with no Papa Trump in the White House to tell him what to do?
Both scenarios are real possibilities, if not likelihoods.
There is no question that Doug Jones is far more qualified than Tuberville. Jones can work across the aisle, which will be vitally important if Democrats take control of the Senate. Jones has his own thoughts, which sometimes go against the Democratic Party’s wishes. Jones is independent, smart and represents Alabama well.
Tuberville is a failed football coach who lives in Florida. That’s about it.
President Donald Trump endorses Barry Moore for Congress
President Donald Trump on Wednesday endorsed Republican 2nd Congressional District candidate Barry Moore, sharing his endorsement on Twitter.
In the tweet, the president wrote, “Barry Moore (@RepBarryMoore) will be a terrific Congressman for Alabama! An early supporter of our #MAGA agenda, he is Strong on Jobs, Life, the Wall, Law & Order, and the Second Amendment. Barry has my Complete and Total Endorsement! #AL02”
Moore met with the president in the White House on Wednesday.
“I’m truly honored to be endorsed for Congress by President Donald J. Trump,” Moore said. “I have never regretted being the first elected official in America to endorse him for president in 2015, and I’m looking forward to working with him in the next Congress during his second term.”
Barry Moore (@RepBarryMoore) will be a terrific Congressman for Alabama! An early supporter of our #MAGA agenda, he is Strong on Jobs, Life, the Wall, Law & Order and the Second Amendment. Barry has my Complete and Total Endorsement! #AL02 https://t.co/hlrWU7Drr2
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2020
“President Trump has already accomplished so much and kept so many of his campaign promises despite all that the establishment and the Democrats have done to obstruct him, but he knows there’s still lots to be done,” Moore continued. “We must contain and control the COVID pandemic, restore our economy to the pre-pandemic level of growth and prosperity we enjoyed during his first three years in office. We must restore and maintain law and order on our streets and in our cities. We must finish building the wall, and then fix our broken immigration system.”
“We had great meetings at the White House with the president’s domestic policy team,” Moore said. “Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, was also there. We discussed a new health care plan being introduced, economic recovery, trade with China and expansion of opportunity zones in depressed areas. The president has a bright vision for America.”
“I’m convinced that Donald J. Trump is the president we need to lead us for the next four years, and I hope the people of Alabama’s 2nd District see fit to elect me to work with President Trump as their congressman on Nov. 3,” Moore concluded.
It was an honor to visit the White House and meet with President @realDonaldTrump and VP @Mike_Pence – These are two great men who care about America and the people of Alabama. I look forward to working with them! #MAGA #Trump2020 #BarryMoore2020 #WhiteHouse #alpolitics WH PHOTOS pic.twitter.com/sK3SUXPZg6
— Barry Moore (@RepBarryMoore) September 23, 2020
Moore served two terms in the Alabama House of Representatives from 2010 to 2018. Moore is a graduate of Auburn University, a veteran, a small business owner, husband and father.
Moore is running for Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District in the Nov. 3 general election. Incumbent Congresswoman Martha Roby, R-Alabama, is not seeking another term. Moore faces Democratic candidate Phyllis Harvey-Hall.