“But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned;

if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity;

but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand."

Ezekiel 33:6


"A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring."

Proverbs 25:26

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

A Constitutional Report Card for the CNBC/Michigan Republican Party Presidential Debate 11/09/2011



 A downloadable PDF of this report card is available here
(full report is also below).

BACKGROUND: On November 9, 2011, the eight leading Republican candidates took the stage at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, for the “Your Money, Your Vote” Republican Primary Debate. The purpose of this document is to provide a report card that will help Christian families evaluate the statements made by the candidates during that debate from a constitutional perspective. This report card is limited in its scope in that it only addresses issues specifically on the table during the November 9 debate. The scores are based on the actual statements made by the candidates during that debate. Candidates’ comments are taken at face value and evaluated without regard to their past statements or policy records, unless the candidates or those posing the question specifically addressed the past statements or previous policy record of the candidate. Nothing in this report card should be construed as advocacy for a specific presidential candidate.
The debate was hosted by the Michigan Republican Party and was moderated and broadcasted by CNBC. The purpose of the debate was to focus primarily on issues that are most important to Michigan voters in the upcoming primary, namely, jobs and the economy. This report card is intended to score each of the eight candidates on the basis of their own answers; on whether or not their proposals, as stated, are in keeping with their duty to uphold and defend the United States Constitution, if they were elected as President of the United States.
* Each candidate is scored on the basis of his or her answers in this debate alone. To score an (A) the candidate only needs to provide an answer that will not in some way violate the United States Constitution.

I. Foreign Policy and the Global Economic Crisis

The Constitution of the United States grants both the President and Congress the joint authority to engage in foreign policy. However, the President is not authorized to enforce treaties without the ratification of Congress. Moreover, Congress has exclusive authority to tax international trade. The power to declare war is reserved solely to Congress. While the president is Commander in Chief of the armed forces, he does not have the authority to declare war or to engage in international conflicts without a declaration of war issued by Congress. The principles outlined in the Constitution favor a non-interventionist approach to foreign affairs. Moreover, Article 1, Section 8, provides that “Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States.” This is known as the taxing and spending clause. Money raised by Congress may only be allocated for a limited number of purposes and may only be used to finance a legitimate constitutional function of federal government. While the Constitution permits Congress to raise taxes for the payment of national debt, the Constitution does not permit Congress to raise taxes for the payment of private or foreign debts.
Question #1: As President, what would you do to ensure that foreign economies do not harm the economy of the United States?

Businessman and Columnist Herman Cain:

Mr. Cain answered that he would begin by doing two things: growing the economy in the United States so that it does not negatively affect the rest of the world, and assure that America’s currency is sound. He said that if America shows good economic growth, has sound money, and cuts spending it could whether the storm created by failed foreign economies. When the moderator asked if he would allow nations like Italy to fail, Mr. Cain responded that little could be done for Italy now, and that Americans needed to focus on growing their own economy or America will fail also.
Constitutional Grade: B
Remarks: Mr. Cain provides an answer that is in keeping with the Constitution. However, he has received the score of “B” because he refers here to sound money. While sound money is important, Mr. Cain answer presupposes that the Federal Reserve Bank should be the institution that creates sound money, and not the United States Congress, as the Constitution provides.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney:

When asked by the moderator if America should allow nations in the Eurozone to fail, Gov. Romney replied that Europe is able to take care of its own problems and should not be bailed out by the United States. Gov. Romney said that he is not interested in bailing out American or Italian banks.
The moderator then pointed out that the United States contributes to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the IMF has given $150 billion to Europe and asked Gov. Romney if he intended to stop funding the IMF. Romney said that he would be happy to continue to participate in the World Bank and the IMF, but he did not have any interest in offering bailouts to banks. Gov. Romney warned that if America does not get serious about getting its own borrowing under control and does not seek to curtail spending, then the same type of problems that Italy has experienced will occur here.
Constitutional Grade: F
Remarks: Gov. Romney holds the line in saying that he does not support bailing out Italian or American banks. However, he holds that America should fund the World Bank and the IMF which will effectively do just that.

U.S. Representative Ron Paul:

The moderator pressed Rep. Paul saying surely he recognized that the IRAs and 401(k)s of Americans are on the line if banks are allowed to fail. Rep. Paul answered that America must allow the debt situation to liquidate. If the United States continues to attempt to prop up the debt crisis, then it will only prolong and worsen the problem. He stated that our debt is not sustainable. Rep. Paul offered the example of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac who are currently asking the government for more money instead of allowing the free market to determine what home mortgage are worth. He warned that if we perpetuate the current system, the economic crisis could continue for decades.
Constitutional Grade: A

Former Utah Governor John Huntsman:

Gov. Huntsman said that if Americans want a picture of the future, if they do not get the nation’s debt problem under control, they should look at what is playing out in Europe as a benchmark. The former Governor said that he was worried about what the problem in Europe could do to America’s banking system. He pointed out that the United States has six banks that have combined assets worth 66% of the nation’s GDP ($9.4 trillion). He stated that he was opposed to banks that expect a bailout, because they are supposedly “two big to fail.” He said America needed to move toward smaller and decentralized financial institution.
Constitutional Grade: A
Question #24: The moderator pointed out that the State of California had hired a Chinese firm to build major portions of a new bridge between Oakland and San Francisco because it was cheaper. Was this the right thing to do?

Businessman and Columnist Herman Cain:

Mr. Cain stated that if his 999 plan were in place, those companies would be more inclined to keep business in the United States. Under his plan, businesses would take sales minus purchases, net exports, and capital, which, he maintained, would level the playing field between goods produced here in the United States and the rest of the world. He said that the current tax code was to blame for the outsourcing of jobs and manufacturing overseas.
Constitutional Grade: C
Remarks: Mr. Cain’s 999 Plan is problematic for several reasons. Two of the reasons that make the plan constitutionally suspect is the fact that it would create a value-added tax, which would cause the same product to be taxed numerous times during manufacturing. Secondly, the plan includes what it calls “Opportunity Zones” which would create an inequality of taxation.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney:

Gov. Romney said that China was not playing according to the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Gov. Romney said that America needed free trade so that we can do business around the world. He accused China of stealing intellectual property and hacking into America’s government and corporate computer systems. He also pointed out that they have been manipulating their currency in order to artificially lower the price of Chinese products.
The former Massachusetts Governor said that he would open the markets for free trade and crack down on China. He said he would label China a currency manipulator and would bring an action before the WTO. He said that would enforce tariffs to level the playing field.
Constitutional Grade: F
Remarks: Gov. Romney’s solution to bring charges in the W.T.O. is not a constitutional solution. The Constitution states that the laws of Congress, the Constitution, and Treaties that are consistent with the Constitution are the supreme law of the land. While the United States may hold China accountable to the terms of a treaty, it may not recognize the “higher authority” of an international arbitration organization as binding in matters concerning the United States.
Question #25: There are many multinational companies that have ambitions to market their products and services to the Chinese population, which now numbers 1.5 billion. The best these companies can do is to enter into joint ventures. How do you deal with this trend?

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich:

Rep. Gingrich said that the next President needed to make sure that domestic regulation and taxation be reformed in such a way that would allow American business to compete with China. He pointed out that some believe that manufacturing in South Carolina and Alabama will be cheaper than manufacturing in China by the year 2015. He said that, strategically, Americans need to find dramatic ways to hold China accountable for their currency manipulation and theft of intellectual property.
Constitutional Grade: B
Remarks: A good answer, but regulation reform is not as constitutional an idea as deregulation.

Former Utah Governor John Huntsman:

Gov. Huntsman disagreed that the use of tariffs is a good idea. He said that if we attempted to place tariffs on Chinese goods for currency manipulation, then they would point out that America has also manipulated their currency through quantitative easing programs and place tariffs on American goods as well. He suggested that the way to deal with China is to sit down and talk to them and work out the problems through negotiation.
Constitutional Grade: A
Remarks: While it is hard to agree with Gov. Huntsman on the practicality, or even morality, of his position, his approach would be permitted within the scope of the Constitution.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney:

Gov. Romney disagreed with Gov. Huntsman saying that the days for sitting down and allowing the Chinese to steal American jobs was over. He appealed to his experience as a businessman working with global firms. He said he had witnessed companies who, like China, artificially held prices down to run competitors out of business and then raised those prices again. He agreed with Mr. Gingrich, saying that he believed America could compete head to head with China.
Constitutional Grade: A
Remarks: Gov. Romney’s approach, although different form that of Gov. Huntsman, would also be constitutional, notwithstanding the involvement of the WTO.

U.S. Representative Michelle Bachmann:

Rep. Bachmann pointed out that the Chinese had dumped counterfeit computer chips on the United States’ market, and that some of those computer chips are being used in the weapons systems at the Pentagon. She pointed out that the Chinese had recently completed construction of a 3000-mile tunnel system to house nuclear weapons. Bachmann warned that there were real consequences to being in debt to China for over a Trillion dollars. She said that America is sending so much in interest payments to China that we have effectively built their aircraft carriers. By 2015, our interest payments will support the entire People’s Liberation Army. She said that America needed to stop enriching China, borrowing from China, and spending money we do not have.
Constitutional Grade: A

II. Federal Bailouts and Subsidies

The Constitution of the United States only authorizes the United States government to carry out a limited number of functions. If the federal government exercises a power that is not specifically authorized in the United States Constitution, the exercise of government power is unauthorized and invalid. Article 1, Section 8, provides that, “Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States.” This is known as the taxing and spending clause. Money raised by Congress may only be allocated for a limited number of purposes and may only be used to finance a legitimate constitutional function of federal government. Congress is granted the power to regulate interstate commerce between the states. Under the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the commerce power was unconstitutionally expanded to include intrastate commerce also, along with virtually any commercial or non-commercial activity that could be shown to remotely affect commerce. This unconstitutional expansion of power has been used by Congress to regulate areas previously unreachable by the federal government under the Constitution. Congress has also been granted the authority to exclusively regulate special areas of law such as maritime law, bankruptcy law, copyright law, and patent law. The Constitution does not provide Congress with the authority to save organizations from bankruptcy by providing funding, nor does it allow companies to provide them with subsidies.
Question #2: The moderator pointed out that when the automakers first got into trouble in 2008, Gov. Romney asked “Where is the Government?” Later, when the Government assistance was given he opposed it. The moderator then asked Gov.Romney why Republicans should place confidence in his economic leadership when he had been on both sides of the issue?

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney:

Gov. Romney defended himself by saying that he had always been against the bailouts. When he asked, “Where is Government?” he was referring to the way the Federal Government had failed automakers by putting CAFÉ requirements in place, which helped foreign automakers to gain a more sizable market share. He said that he believed that these companies should have been forced to enter private bankruptcy. He criticized the bailout, saying that after billions of dollars were wasted, they finally opted toward a managed bankruptcy, gave the company to the UAW, and gave Chrysler to Fiat. Gov. Romney said that a private sector bailout and bankruptcy would have been much better.
The moderator then redirected Gov. Romney to the original question, which went to his reputation for being on both sides of an issue and flip-flopping. Gov. Romney said that the people in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Michigan, and Utah knew him as a man of “steadfastness and consistency.” He pointed out that he had been married to the same woman for 42 years; he had been in the same church his entire life. He said he had worked at the same company for 25 years before leaving to work for the Olympic Games.
Gov. Romney criticized the Obama administration for being the “most political presidency we have seen in modern history.” He accused President Obama of actually determining when troops will be pulled from Afghanistan on the basis of politics. “If I’m President of the United States, I will be true to my family, to my faith, and to our country, and I will never apologize for the United States of America. That’s my belief.”
Constitutional Grade: A

Texas Governor Rick Perry:

Gov. Perry said that the next President needed to send a clear message to the world and not only to the American people. He said that Americans must send the message that winners and losers will not be picked by Washington, D.C.; rather Americans will trust in the private sector and capital markets to make decisions, allowing consumers to pick winners and losers. Gov. Perry said, “It doesn’t make any difference whether it’s Wall Street, whether it’s some corporate entity, or whether it’s some European country. If you are too big to fail, you are too big.”
Constitutional Grade: A
Question #8: Would you favor giving government incentives to the American oil industry, in order to provide the workers and businesses necessary to support an oil boom?

Former Senator Rick Santorum:

Sen. Santorum said that he did not support subsidies for American oil companies because oil companies in Pennsylvania were able to drill without federal subsidies. He said that since Marcellus Shale had begun to drill for natural gas, the price of gas had dropped from $12 to $3.65.
Sen. Santorum then turned to the issue of manufacturing jobs and pointed out that the unemployment rate among those without a college degree is well into the double digits in America. It’s 4 or 5 percent for people who have college degrees. He said the importance of his manufacturing plan was not just that products would say “Made in America”, but also to create opportunities for those who did not have a college skill set. He said his type of income mobility was what the candidates needed to be focused on.
Constitutional Grade: F
Remarks: Sen. Santorum’s plan isolates only one sector, instead of seeking a deregulation that would affect every sector. Moreover, his plan tends to perpetuate Marxist notions of class warfare.

III. Taxation

The Constitution of the United States grants Congress the power “to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts [a compulsory fee] and excises [a tax on the manufacturing, sale, or consumption of goods within a country] shall be uniform throughout the United States” (Article 1, Section 8). In Article 1, Section 9, the Constitution originally forbade any “capitation, or other direct, tax [to] be laid, unless in proportion to the census or enumeration.” In other words, taxes were to be collected directly from the states apportioned according to the size of their population and not according to the size of their wealth. In this manner, all states were to be taxed equally.
The Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution changed this by providing, “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.” The Sixteenth Amendment allowed for the federal government to levy an income tax directly without regard to the population of the state. Many constitutional scholars still point out that the current graduated tax system is unconstitutional since it appropriates an uneven and non-uniform tax burden throughout the United States, contrary to Article 1, Section 8.
Question #3: Why is tax reform the key to job creation, and what else would you implement to get people back to work?

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich:

Rep. Gingrich criticized Ben Bernanke for being a large part of the problem and said that he ought to be fired as soon as possible. In addition, he said that Federal Reserve needed to be audited immediately.
The former speaker pointed to the tax and regulation reforms that took place under President Ronald Reagan and the Contract with America, both of which led to the creation of more jobs. He distinguished this philosophy from “Saul Alinsky radicalism” of higher taxes, bigger bureaucracy with more regulations, no American energy... and finally class warfare.”
Constitutional Grade: C
Remarks: In his answer, Rep. Gingrich presupposes the legitimacy of the Federal Reserve and calls for regulation reform and not for deregulation.

U.S. Representative Michelle Bachmann:

Rep. Bachmann pointed out that the United States has the second highest corporate tax rate in the world. The capital that America once had has gone to other nations where the tax rate is lower than the United States. Rep. Bachmann also pointed to the regulatory burden caused by “ObamaCare” and Dodd/Frank as being detrimental to jobs. She also focused on the importance of legalizing American energy, building a border fence, and getting a handle on immigration.
Constitutional Grade: A
Question #4: The moderator pointed out that Sen. Santorum had proposed a “zero tax” on manufacturing. He then asked Sen. Santorum, isn’t that the kind of distortion in the tax code that people want to get away from in order to get rates down; to get rates flatter, simpler, and fairer?

Former Senator Rick Santorum:

Sen. Santorum said that getting the rate down to zero was a good thing. Then the moderator asked, since he is only lowering the tax rate for the manufacturing industry, wasn’t that like picking winners and losers? Sen. Santorum said that’s what needs to be done since it is a down sector in our economy. He said it was not like picking an individual winner or loser since it applied to an entire sector of the economy, which benefits others by creating jobs. He stated that there needed to be competition on taxation and regulation. He called for the repeal of ObamaCare and any other regulation that cost businesses over $100 million. Moreover, Sen. Santorum said he did not want to go into a trade war with China. He suggested that Americans should look to lower taxes and strive toward an energy policy that is productive. He said that he would end all subsidies.
Constitutional Grade: F
Remarks: Sen. Santorum proposes a plan that reflects Marxist notions of class welfare. His plan would regulate certain sectors of the market while deregulating others. This would give certain sectors an advantage over others.
Question #9: Why should the tax rate be the same for everyone, regardless of their income?

Businessman and Columnist Herman Cain:

Mr. Cain pointed to his 999 plan as a solution. He said that his tax plan was simple, transparent, and would not cost Americans $430 billion by its complexity. In addition, he said that his plan was fair because everyone is treated in the same way instead of picking winners and losers. When the moderator asked how he would assure that once in place the Government does not turn it into a 19-19-19 Plan, Mr. Cain responded “tax codes do not raise taxes, politicians do.” He sad it was the job of voters to hold the feet of politicians to the fire.
Constitutional Grade: C

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney:

The moderator pointed out that it seemed so many were moving toward a flat tax and asked Gov. Romney what he found wrong with the idea. Why do you believe in a progressive tax system? Gov. Romney responded that he would like to see taxes flatten. He said that President Obama’s economic policies have hurt the middle-class the most. He pointed out that 25 million people are out of work and the median income has dropped 10 percent with the price of food, gas and healthcare increasing. He said that eventually he would like to see the tax code simplified and lower taxes for everyone, but for now his first priority would be to take care of the middle class.
Constitutional Grade: F
Remarks: Gov. Romney’s approach represents an inequality in taxation and reflects Marxist notions of class warfare.

U.S. Representative Michelle Bachmann:

When asked why she thought Gov. Romney’s tax plan was wrong, Rep. Bachmann said that President Obama was the one who was wrong, since his plans for job creation have nothing to do with the people who need jobs. She said when you have 53 percent of Americans paying income taxes, but 47 percent of Americans pay no taxes, it is a real problem. She said under her plan everyone would be paying something, even if they did not contribute the same rate. “What it does is create a mentality in the United States that says that freedom is free. But freedom isn’t free. We all benefit. We all need to sacrifice. Everybody has to be a part of this tax code.”
Constitutional Grade: F
Remarks: Mrs. Bachmann’s approach represents an inequality in taxation and reflects Marxist notions of class warfare.
Question #19: Do you oppose an extension of the current payroll tax cut?

U.S. Representative Michelle Bachmann:

Rep. Bachmann said that she disagreed with the extension of the current payroll tax-cut, because it presents a $111 billion shortfall in the Social Security Trust fund. She accused President Obama of extending the payroll taxes only for political reasons. She pointed out that with baby boomers in their peak earning years this is when money should be flooding into Social Security. She said that America is in trouble with spending because out of the $2.2 trillion dollars the Federal Government receives in taxes, Washington spends $3.7 trillion.
Constitutional Grade: F
Remarks: Mrs. Bachmann presupposes the legitimacy of the unconstitutional Social Security program.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney:

Gov. Romney said that he did not want to raise taxes on anyone in the middle of a recession. He said that the issue with deficits and spending was not just about dollars and cents, but it is a moral imperative: “We can’t continue to pass on massive debts to the next generation.” Gov. Romney said that he was not willing to raise taxes, but rather he would cut spending. He said he would seek to balance the budget in three ways. He would cut programs that Americans do not need, send many of the programs Americans do need to the states, and bring productivity and management expertise to the federal government. In addition, he said that he would bring the compensation of government workers in line with the wages earned in the private sector.
Constitutional Grade: B

IV. Moral Integrity and Character

The Constitution of the United States prohibits the United States Congress from making any “law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” This prohibition included in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution was intended to be a limitation only on Congress. It was not intended to apply to the states, which at the time of its passage and afterwards, had establishments of Christian denominations. The language does not prohibit the establishment or free exercise of any other person, assembly, or government body outside of Congress. The provision was intended to secure religious liberty among Christian denominations that had been persecuted prior to the American War for Independence. The amendment prohibits Congress from establishing a state religion. The amendment was not intended to separate faith from law or God from government. It is important to understand, as John Adams said, that “our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.”
Question #5: The moderator called attention to the recent allegations of impropriety brought against Mr. Cain and asked why the American people should elect a President if his character is at issue.

Businessman and Columnist Herman Cain:

Mr. Cain defended himself by saying the American people deserved better than to see a person tried in the court of public opinion on the basis of false accusations. He said that for every one person that has accused him of impropriety there are thousands more that would vouch for his character and integrity. He said that America needs leadership and that is why Americans have been enthusiastic about his candidacy despite these accusations.
Constitutional Grade: N/A
Remarks: It is important to point out here that Mr. Cain does not attempt to placate the importance of moral character as was the case during the Clinton Administration, but rather Mr. Cain seek to vindicate his character against what he calls “baseless allegations” and “character assassination.”

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney:

When prompted to comment on these accusations Gov. Romney said “Herman Cain is the person to respond to these questions, and that he just did. The people in this room and across the country can make their own assessment.”
Constitutional Grade: N/A

V. Business and Job Creation

The Constitution of the United States grants Congress a limited number of powers, under Article 1, Section 8 that residually affect industry and the national economy. First, Congress has the power over the federal purse through the taxing and spending clause. Second, Congress is granted the power to regulate interstate commerce between the states. Under the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the commerce power was unconstitutionally expanded to include intrastate commerce also, along with virtually any activity commercial or non-commercial that could be shown to remotely affect commerce. This unconstitutional expansion of power has been used by Congress to regulate areas previously unreachable by the federal power under the Constitution. Third, Congress has the authority to exclusively regulate special areas of law such as maritime law, bankruptcy law, copyright law, and patent law. Finally, Congress has the sole authority to coin money and fix standards for weights and measures. A constitutional response to this question would require the candidates to affirm fidelity to the limitation of the federal government and to commit to widespread deregulation and defunding of those programs, which are not clearly within the grant of power given by the United States Constitution to the federal government.
Question #7: Do you believe public companies have any social responsibility to create jobs, or do you believe that corporations should exist solely to create maximum profit for their shareholders?

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney:

Gov. Romney said that this topic was a wonderful philosophical debate, but that corporate profit and job creation were not opposed, but went together. He explained that Democrats believe corporate profit is a bad thing, because they think profits go to pay the executive their large bonuses. Gov. Romney explained this was false because profit represent money left over after the executives have been paid. Profit is what companies use to grow their business, thereby creating new jobs. He said that profitable enterprises are good for America and we should make sure they are successful and thrive. The former Massachusetts governor explained that the real disconnect is when you have a president that is anti-business, but at the same time wants to create jobs.
Constitutional Grade: A

Texas Governor Rick Perry:

Gov. Perry said that the tax plan that he had suggested was intended to grow businesses and create jobs. His plan would impose a 20% personal flat tax and a 20% corporate tax.
Constitutional Grade: B
Remarks: While Mr. Perry’s tax rate is much higher than is necessary for a constitutional government, his answer reflects a tax plan that strives to create equality in the area of taxation.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich:

Rep. Gingrich said it was obvious that corporations should do both. He said he was baffled by the fact that much of the academic world, the news media, and the Occupy protesters had no clue about history. He asked if Henry Ford, who worked at Edison Electric and built his first car in his garage as part of the 99% or the 1%. He asked the same thing about Bill Gates who dropped out of college to found Microsoft. He said that historically America has been the wealthiest nation in the world because corporations have succeeded and created both profit and jobs. He accused the news media of not reporting that historical fact accurately.
When asked by the moderator what the media was not reporting accurately about the economy, Rep. Gingrich responded by saying that he loved humor disguised as a question. He said that he had yet to hear a single reporter ask a single Occupy protester a single rational question about the economy that would lead them to say who is going to pay for the park you are occupying if there are no businesses making a profit?
Constitutional Grade: A
Question #19: What advice would you give to Boeing with regard to the aggressive regulations placed on them by the EPA and the National Labor Relations Board?

Businessman and Columnist Herman Cain:

Mr. Cain said that Boeing’s efforts to build a plant in North Carolina should not be shut down merely because they refused to unionize workers. The government has no business attempting to pick winners and losers, whether it is through the front door through legislation or the back door through regulation. Mr. Cain said that his 999 Plan helped every sector grow and did not affect only one sector.
Constitutional Grade: B
Remarks: Mr. Cain is right. There is absolutely no constitutional authority for Congress to determine where and how a private manufacturer builds and manages a plant. However, there are some industries that will be affected differently by his 999 plan since it would create a value-added tax.

VI. Bureaucracy

The Constitution of the United States places the power over the federal budget for expenditures and debts solely on the Congress of the United States. The President has no legislative power and is bound to faithfully execute the laws passed Congress. However, the President also has what is sometimes referred to as the power of persuasion found under Article 2, Section 3 of the United States Constitution. He may recommend that Congress consider certain measures that he judges to be necessary and expedient. In extraordinary circumstances, he may convene Congress for a special session. The President may also make appointments to key positions to ensure that the laws of Congress are faithfully executed. Congress also may appoint commissions and officers to carry out various assignments on its own behalf. However, these appointments are limited to the powers granted to those permitted by the granting authority and may not exceed the bounds of the Constitution of the United States.
Question #10: In addition to your tax plan, what federal agencies would you close and where would those government employees go to find new jobs?

U.S. Representative Ron Paul:

Rep. Paul said that those jobs would eventually go into the private sector; but he said this transition would not be immediate for everyone. The Texas Congressman said that his tax plan addressed taxes in a different way. He said higher taxes were merely the symptom of the disease of high spending. “Every time you spend, spending is a tax. We tax the people, we borrow, and then we print the money and the prices go up, and that is a tax.” Rep. Paul proposed to cut $1 trillion out of the budget in the first year in five departments. He said that he would also stop the fixing of prices by the Federal Reserve, which has created the bubbles that have destroyed the economy. He said that the government should allow the market to determine interest rates.
When asked by the moderator if he believed the economy would be stronger if interest rates were higher, the Congressman explained that it would create more incentive for growth. He explained that the government gives 0% interest loans to banks, the banks then loan that same money back to the Government at 3% interest, thereby ripping off tax payers and cheating retirees.
The moderator then pressed further, pointing out that it would be more expensive to borrow money for mortgages. Rep. Paul responded that that is why you allow the free market to decide. He asked, “Whoever thought that one person, the Federal Reserve Board chairman, knows what the money supply should be?” He warned that in the past six months, M1 has gone up at the rate of 30%, which pointed to inflation. This means that the standard of living will go down, while prices will rise.
Constitutional Grade: A
Remarks: Rep. Paul brings up several important points here, but we will only touch on a few. First, the federal government main source of revenue is taxation. Every time the government spends money taxes must be levied to cover the expense. Secondly, the moderator was attempting to argue that if the Federal Reserve did not fix interest rates, the interest on a loan would be higher, costing borrowers more. However, this is a fiction, since housing prices are also artificially inflated far above what they are actually worth. If the market were allowed to decide the value of housing, the interest rate may be higher, but the price of housing would be far lower.
Question #22: What government programs would you cut to achieve long-term deficit reduction? Include your approach to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and Defense in your answer.

Texas Governor Rick Perry:

Gov. Perry said he would make cuts to every one of those programs. He said that we have to take a serious look at the entitlement programs that are eating up huge amounts of the budget. Gov. Perry said that Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are areas where there needed to be major cuts and hard decisions had to be made.
Gov. Perry said that Social Security was a program that could be a blended program in which there is a blend of prices and wages. He said that those who are depending on Social Security need to understand that it will be available to them. He said that he was going to stand up for young people too and establish a program that will secure their retirements also.
Constitutional Grade: C

VII. The Housing Crisis

The Constitution of the United States does not grant authority to any branch of government to fix the price of housing, to subsidize banks, or to regulate interest rates for mortgage loans. Congress is granted the power to regulate interstate commerce between the states. However, the application of the commerce power to regulate private industry and fix prices and services is an unconstitutional expansion of Congressional power.
Question #11: With regard to the current housing crisis, Gov. Romney said that the federal government should let the foreclosure process run its course and allow the free market to work itself out. Is this the proper approach?

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich:

Rep. Gingrich said that the nation needs to get to the real value of housing as fast as possible so that there can be growth again or Americans will be trapped in a bad economy as Japan has been for 20 years. He said that if Dodd/Frank were repealed you would see the housing situation improve over night, because Dodd/Frank kills small banks. Rep. Gingrich said it should be easier to short-sale a property where the mortgage is greater than the value of the home. He pointed out that when the unemployment rate is at 4%, you suddenly see an increase in the demand for housing, but at the current 9% unemployment rate, it’s going to be hard for the housing market to make a comeback.
Constitutional Grade: A
Remarks: Rep. Gingrich appeals to a private, market-centered solution.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney:

The moderator pointed out that not one of the 59 points in his plan deal with housing. Gov. Romney responded that his plan was not a housing plan. He said the key to fixing the housing crisis was to allow the economy to work itself out and get people into jobs so that they can afford houses.
The former governor criticized President Obama for keeping the free market from working itself out. He said the answer for how to get the economy moving again was to do just the opposite of what President Obama has done.
The moderator pointed out that 2.7 million jobs have been created since February 2010, yet the housing market has continued to decline. The moderator warned that if the current trend continues, housing values will be at 1999 levels in four to five years. Romney responded by asking if the moderator would have the federal government buy all the mortgages in America? He said that was not going to happen because markets work. When government plays a heavy role, markets blow up and people get hurt.
Gov. Romney pointed to the fact that the reason there was a collapse in the housing market was because the government intruded into the market with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the Dodd/Frank legislation required banks to loan money to buyers who could not afford to pay them back. He reemphasized that government was the problem and that markets should be allowed to work.
Constitutional Grade: A
Question #12: Every quarter, housing yields a negative number on the GDP report. Around two million construction jobs have been lost. Doesn’t that indicate that a positive growth in housing would create jobs?

Texas Governor Rick Perry:

Gov. Perry said that the way to fix housing was to create jobs. This will require deregulation and opening up the energy industry to create those jobs. The Texas governor said that he would also introduce a corporate flat tax and deregulate. He proposed auditing every regulation since 2008 to determine whether they create jobs or kill jobs, and repeal all the regulation that kill jobs.
Constitutional Grade: B
Remarks: Mr. Perry’s answer entails favoring some sectors of the market over others.

U.S. Representative Michelle Bachmann:

Rep. Bachmann pointed out that when the crisis began, 50% of home loans were financed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Currently the rate of home loans owned by the government is at 90%. She pointed out that these institutions had done such a poor job that they had applied to the government for another $7 billion bailout. Meanwhile, they had just provided bonuses of 12 million dollars to their top 10 executives. “We need to put them back into bankruptcy and get them out of business. They’re destroying the housing market.”
Constitutional Grade: A
Question #13: The moderator pointed out that in 2006 former Speaker Gingrich’s firm had received $300,000 from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He then asked Rep. Gingrich what he did with that money?

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich:

Rep. Gingrich answered that as a consultant, his firm gave Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac advice that they did not take. The moderator then asked if his firm was advising them on how to fend off the Bush administrations efforts to curb Freddie Mac. Rep. Gingrich said that his advice was that being forced to make loans to people who they knew could not pay them back was insanity, and unfortunately he had proved to be right. He said the crisis in the housing market makes a good case for breaking up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and retuning the housing market back to the private sector where it will be both competitive and responsible.
Constitutional Grade: A
Question #14: Government-sponsored entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac now underwrite or guarantee 90 percent of the home financing in this country. Would you shut Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac down when it could create higher interest and make it even harder for Americans to get home loans?

Businessman and Columnist Herman Cain:

Mr. Cain answered that he would not begin with housing, but would begin with fixing the economy by implementing his 999 plan. He said he would then get regulators out of banks so that small and medium-sized banks would not go out of business. He said that banks would be in a better position to allow homeowners to reset their mortgages if there were more certainty in the market. He said that, after he did these things, he would turn Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into private entities and allow the market to work out the future of housing.
Constitutional Grade: B

VIII. Healthcare

The Constitution of the United States does not grant authority to any branch of government to fix the price of health care. This question is predicated on the assumption that the government has plenary power to regulate any industry that it pleases in order to promote the greatest good for the greatest number of people. As mentioned before, Congress is granted the power to regulate interstate commerce between the states. However, the application of the commerce power to regulate private industry and fix prices and services is an unconstitutional expansion of Congressional power.
Question #16: If you repeal “ObamaCare” what would you do to solve the problems that that legislation was intended to solve?

Former Utah Governor John Huntsman:

Gov. Huntsman said he would meet with the 50 governors from around the nation and talk about how to create healthcare reform in their states. He also said that the government should do a better job harmonizing medical records. Finally, Gov. Huntsman said that Government needed to close the gap on the uninsured without a costly mandate. He suggested allowing the free market to work and bring people together with truly affordable insurance.
Constitutional Grade: F
Remarks: Gov. Huntsman favors a plan that would only localize the paternal statism symbolized by ObamaCare.

U.S. Representative Ron Paul:

Congressman Paul suggested that Government needed to get out of the business of healthcare. While we should give people the right to opt-out of ObamaCare, we should give them the option to opt-out of every thing by returning the issues back to the patient/ doctor relationship with tax-deductible medical savings accounts.
Rep. Paul said that too much government was involved in the medical industry. He said that during the time he has been a physician, he has seen quality in the medical industry go down hill while prices have skyrocketed. He then said that this mess was created and was bipartisan.
Constitutional Grade: A

Texas Governor Rick Perry:

Gov. Perry suggested that Medicare should be reformed by allowing for a menu of options and striving toward a system of “healthcare” and not a system of “sick care.” The Texas governor said that he would send Medicare to the states and allow them to solve those issues.
Constitutional Grade: F
Remarks: Medicaid would not be any more constitutional on account that it is sent to the states.

Businessman and Columnist Herman Cain:

Mr. Cain called attention to H.R. 3400, which would have allowed doctors and patients to make decisions and not bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.
Constitutional Grade: C
Remarks: While H.R. 3400 would deregulate much of the healthcare industry, it would also create new regulations in the industry.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney:

Gov. Romney said that first the states should be given the responsibility for caring for the uninsured. Medicaid money would be sent to the states so that they could craft their own plans. Secondly, you allow individuals the opportunity to purchase their own plan and not have to take the plan offered through their company. Third, you have to allow healthcare to work like a free market, allowing people to have a greater stake and input in the quality of healthcare. Finally, the malpractice system needs to be reformed.
Constitutional Grade: F

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich:

Rep. Gingrich criticized the moderator for asking such an absurd question and then only allowing 30 seconds to answer it. He said that was the reason he intended to challenge President Obama to a Lincoln-Douglas style debate.
With regard to healthcare, he said that he would localize healthcare with an emphasis on the doctor/patient relationship. He said that he would also place Medicaid in the hands of the states. In addition, he would focus intensely on a brand-new program on brain science because illnesses with the highest costs originate in the brain.
Constitutional Grade: F
Remarks: Providing a block grant to the states would not solve the overarching constitutional problem. The federal government would still impose a FICA tax, and the money would still pass through the hands of Congress and be allocated for an unconstitutional purpose.

U.S. Representative Michelle Bachmann:

Rep. Bachmann said the biggest problem with healthcare is the expense. She pointed out that the Obama administration said last year that by now we would begin to see savings of up to $2,500 on premiums. That did not happen.
Rep. Bachmann said that she would change the system by allowing people to buy insurance policies across state lines as they could anything else in a free market. Moreover, she said that she would allow every American to deduct the amount that they pay for health insurance form their taxes. Finally, she would strive toward true medical malpractice liability reform.
Constitutional Grade: A

Former Senator Rick Santorum:

Sen. Santorum pointed out that in 1992 he introduced the first health savings account bill that was the basis for consumer-driven health care. In 1998 he had proposed a block grant for Medicaid with Phil Gramm. He led the way for reforming the Medicare program back in the 1990s. He also pointed out that when he was in the Senate he had supported curbing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He called attention to the fact that five out of eight people in the debate supported the bailouts for Wall Street. Sen. Santorum said he knew best how to solve problems from the bottom up, not by government intervention in the marketplace.
Constitutional Grade: F
Remarks: Although Sen. Santorum says he supports a bottom up government, the history he provides does not support this assertion. Block granting Medicaid to the states will not take the unconstitutional Medicaid program out of the hands of the federal government, since funding for Medicaid would still be collected by the federal government through the FICA tax. Additionally, requiring states to offer Medicaid is a violation of the right to property, which the Constitution requires states to protect. Moreover, “consumer driven” healthcare which is constitutional requires the repeal of legislation, not more legislation. Additional legislation only compounds the problem and legitimizes the federal government’s role in the health care sector.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney:

Gov. Romney said that he believes very deeply in the functioning of the markets and knows from private sector experience how health care markets work. He said that government had played too heavy a role in healthcare. “We have to get the market to work to make sure that we get the kind of quality and value that America deserves.”
Constitutional Grade: A
Question #17: The moderator pointed out that while Ron Paul believed that healthcare should be left in the hands of the doctor and patient, while Mitt Romney had recently stated that it was the responsibility of the states to insure the uninsured. He said, based on the previous record, Gov. Romney seemed to believe that Government should have a large role in Healthcare, asking Gov. Romney is this true?

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney:

Gov. Romney said that he believes that people have responsibility to receive their own care and that responsibility is between the doctor and the patient. When the moderator asked if he believed that government had the responsibility to force them, he said that he did not know whether or not Ron Paul advocated abolishing Medicare. He said that what he had supported was placing Medicaid in the hands of the states.
Constitutional Grade: F

U.S. Representative Ron Paul:

Rep. Paul responded by saying that his plan to cut the budget by a trillion dollars factored into Medicaid. He explained that his plan would preserve Medicaid, but would send it into a transition period until the economy would be stable enough to move it back in. He said cutting a trillion dollars out of the budget was a huge task, and it required making cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
He then turned to the housing crisis and criticized the bailouts given to banks. He said the banks were fixing the price of the mortgages too high, and that is why no one will buy them. Rep. Paul said Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac needed to be abolished and the mortgages placed back into the market place. He pointed out that the reason for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was to protect the investment of the banks that are in big trouble.
Constitutional Grade: F
Remarks: It is somewhat surprising, in light of his general approach, to hear Congressman Paul leaving room for some future resurrection of an unconstitutional program like Medicaid.

IX. Bipartisanship

The Constitution of the United States only authorizes the Executive Office of the United States government to carry out a limited number of functions. Among these important functions are serving as Commander in Chief of the armed forces, serving foreign policy and treaty power with Congress, upholding and enforcing the Constitution of the United States, and the power to veto acts of Congress. However, the President has absolutely no lawmaking authority. If the President exercises a power that is not specifically authorized in the United States Constitution, the exercise of government power is unauthorized and invalid. However, the president’s ability to build consensus among lawmakers typically makes a huge impact on his ability to carry out the duties of his office.
Question #18: How will you work across party lines to solve the issues important to Americans?

Former Senator Rick Santorum:

Sen. Santorum said that he would create a platform that Democrats can buy into, because they see the advantages of your plan. He said that one of the reasons he has put forward a manufacturing plan was because it was a plan that both Democrats and Republicans can support. He said there bipartisan groups would come together on issues of taxes and manufacturing. He stated that his plan might not be the boldest plan out there, but that it was a plan that would work.
Constitutional Grade: C
Remarks: Sen. Santorum’s answer is adequate on the issue of consensus, but reflects iIncrementalism in that only one sector of the market is deregulated which would eventually lead to inequality in the marketplace.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney:

Gov. Romney pointed out that as governor he had to work with a legislature that was 85% Democrat. He said it he would search for Democrats who cared more about the state than they did for reelection. He said that he believes that people on both sides of the isle understand that America is in a crisis and that it was time to worry about America and not reelection.
Constitutional Grade: A

Texas Governor Rick Perry:

Gov. Perry suggested there are too much concern about bipartisanship and not enough emphasis on effective leadership. He said there was a reason why manufacturing was moving to the State of Texas, and that it did not have anything to do with Republicans vs. Democrats. He said that Americans are more concerned with tax reform and regulation reform. Gov. Perry said that his flat tax plan was the only plan that balanced the budget by the year 2020. In addition, he said that he would abolish the Departments of Commerce, Education, and Energy.
Constitutional Grade: C
Remarks: A good answer except for the fact that if Gov. Perry impounded the funds for all unconstitutional activities enacted by Congress he could balance the budget in the first year.

Businessman and Columnist Herman Cain:

Mr. Cain said that if you put together a bold plan and the people understand it, they will demand it, and that is how you get both sides of the isle to work together.
Constitutional Grade: A

X. Social Security

The Constitution of the United States only authorizes the United States government to carry out a limited number of functions. If the federal government exercises a power that is not specifically authorized in the United States Constitution, the exercise of government power is unauthorized and invalid. Most constitutional scholars claim that programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are authorized under Article 1, Section 8, which provides, “Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States.” This is known as the taxing and spending clause. However, the taxing and spending clause does not provide Congress with an unlimited power to raise taxes, duties, imposts, and excises for any legislation thought to fall within the general welfare of the United States. The general welfare clause in Article 1, Section 8 is not a power in and of itself; it must be paired with one of the constitutionally enumerated powers of government in order to be valid. Money raised by Congress may only be allocated for a limited number of purposes and may only be used to finance a legitimate constitutional function of the federal government. The United States Constitution is a document that models decentralized governmental power, and is inherently non-socialistic in its construct. Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are examples of socialism and wealth redistribution programs. The United States Constitution does not provide Congress with the power to initiate and fund Government social welfare programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Each of these programs is an unconstitutional government intrusion into the lives of Americans. Furthermore, the centralization of power by the federal government over these programs is a violation of provisions within the Bill of Rights, including the Ninth and Tenth Amendments.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich:

Rep. Gingrich said that if you deal with Social Security as a free-standing issue and give younger Americans the ability to opt-out for a private retirement account, Social Security will achieve long term security. He said that politicians in Washington should not be able to use Social Security as a tool to scare the American people. Americas should know “that money is sitting there. That money is available. And the country ought to pay the debt it owes the people who put the money in there.”
Constitutional Grade: F

XI. Student Debt Crisis and the Cost of Education

The Constitution of the United States only authorizes the United States government to carry out a limited number of functions. If the federal government exercises a power that is not specifically authorized in the United States Constitution, the exercise of government power is unauthorized and invalid. The authority to exercise jurisdiction over public or private education is not granted to the federal government in the Constitution. Article 1, Section 8, which provides, “Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States.” This is known as the taxing and spending clause. Money raised by Congress may only be allocated for a limited number of purposes and may only be used to finance a legitimate constitutional function of federal government. There is no provision in the United States Constitution that permits the United States to assume the debt accumulated by student loans.
Question #21: How would you make college more accessible, more affordable for college students around the nation who are assuming large student loans and facing the rising cost of education?

U.S. Representative Ron Paul:

Rep. Paul pointed out that the question illustrated why the federal student loan program has been a total failure. He said that the trillion-dollar debt in student loans should not be dumped on the taxpayer. And what have they gotten for their money, asked Paul, “A poorer education and costs that have skyrocketed because of inflation, and they don’t have jobs.”
The Texas congressman pointed to the fact that there is no authority in the Constitution for the federal government to be involved with education and student loan programs. He then called for the abolishment of the federal Department of Education and the issuance of tax credits to those who need help. When government gets involved in housing, the stock market, medical care, and education, the prices in these sectors skyrocket. When the moderator asked how the students are to pay for education, Rep. Paul answered, that they will pay for it like they pay for cell phones and computers. He pointed out that when there is a competitive marketplace, the quality goes up and the prices go down.
Rep. Paul ended by saying that we should look at where the bubbles come from—the Federal Reserve. He said the Federal Reserve should be audited and abolished.
Constitutional Grade: C
Remarks: An excellent assessment from Congressman Paul, except the issuance of Tax credits as opposed to Tax deductions would constitute an unconstitutional fiscal support of education.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich:

Rep. Gingrich said that America was “at the end of the welfare state era of dependency, debt, distortion, and dishonesty.” He called the student loan program an absurdity, pointing out that students stay in college longer, take fewer hours per semester, allow tuition to increase, and take longer getting through school because they do not see the cost. He pointed out that by 2014 there would be one administrator for every teacher on a college campus. He looked to the College of the Ozarks, a work-study college, as the model for the future of education. He said that students should be provoked “to go to class, study, get out quickly, charge as little as possible, and emerge debt free by doing the right things for four years.”
Constitutional Grade: A

Texas Governor Rick Perry:

Gov. Perry said that he did not think that the federal government should be in the business of paying for student loan programs that build up a huge debt. We need to force universities to be more efficient. He said that governors who appoint trustees should set the goals of having graduation rates that go upward while the cost of tuition goes downward. He said that the governor has to have control of the board of regents or the state legislature has to have control. He suggested that Americans should be innovative and let students have the opportunity to get an education through distance learning.
Constitutional Grade: F
Remarks: Gov. Perry advocates a huge role for government in the education of adults and children.

XII. Economic Policy

The Constitution of the United States grants Congress with the sole authority to coin money and fix standards for weights and measures in Article 1, Section 8. This duty has been completely abandoned by the United States Congress. Instead that power has been unconstitutionally vested in a private banking institution, the Federal Reserve, a non-governmental private bank run by unelected officials. Moreover, Article 1, Section 9 of the United States Constitution, prohibits any state from coining money, issuing bills of credit (paper money), or making anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts. The Federal Reserve has been vested with powers of regulation that even the United States Congress does not have under the powers granted in the Constitution. (Oddly enough, the fed is responsible for printing and giving weights and measures for an unsound paper currency that has no real value derivative to any real commodity. Yet several of the candidates openly place their trust in the Federal Reserve for maintaining “sound money” contrary to the Constitution.)
Question #6: Do you believe there is something wrong with the structure of our economy in the income inequality that it produces? Is that an issue that government should seek to do something about; and if so, what?

Former Utah Governor John Huntsman:

Gov. Huntsman answered the question by saying he wanted to be the President of the 99%, but also wanted to be the president of the 1% (he is referring to the popular Occupy slogan). He said the nation was divided, and it is painful and unnatural for the American people. He said that although he did not like the anti-capitalism message, he was happy that the protestors had a chance to speak out. He said that he agreed that the Government should never bail out corporations again.
Gov. Huntsman pointed out that the government had blown through trillions of dollars with nothing to show for it but debt. The nation is still unable to compete and has been unable to address the problem with unemployment. He said that the fact that we have banks that are too big to fail in this nation poses a big problem. Moreover, there is a need to fix taxes, and fix the environment of regulation. He said that as long as we have instant banks that are too big to fail, we are setting ourselves up for disaster.
When asked if he believed, with Mr. Romany, the bailout in Michigan was a mistake, Gov. Huntsman said that the $68 billion bailout of the auto industry was not a good use of taxpayer money. He suggested that there should be some way of taking the auto industry through some sort of reorganization to get them back on their feet. He said the American people are sick and tired of bailouts.
Constitutional Grade: B
Remarks: A good statement, but Gov. Huntsman suggests that the government should have had a process whereby they might “reorganize” a private industry. The constitutional manner this would take place is bankruptcy.
Question #15: The ten largest bank holding companies in the Nation now hold nearly 90 percent of all the assets in the banking system, up from 75 percent in 2006. Would you break up the banks to remove the risk for American taxpayers?

Former Utah Governor John Huntsman:

Gov. Huntsman appealed to the human element of the housing issue and reemphasized that the economy would have to pick back up in order for housing to recover. Regarding banks he pointed out that there are six banking institutions that equal 65 percent of the GDP, yet they have an implied guarantee that they will be bailed out by taxpayers because they are “too big to fail.” Gov. Huntsman said that was not right for the taxpayer.
Gov. Huntsman said that banks needed to be “right-sized”. He would accomplish this by collecting a fee from banks and starting a fund that would mitigate the risk that taxpayers are currently carrying.
Constitutional Grade: F
Remarks: This is a classic example of creating more bureaucracy to solve problems created by too much bureaucracy.
Question #21: The Federal Government still owns 500 million shares of GM stock, guarantees trillions of dollars, and is responsible for 90% of all mortgage origination loans. The Federal Reserve has purchased $2.62 trillion in treasury securities, agency securities, and mortgage securities. If elected President, what would your administration do to reverse these obligations?

Former Utah Governor John Huntsman:

Gov. Huntsman said he would clean up the balance sheet. He criticized President Obama for his lack of leadership and his failure to get the economy moving and create jobs. The former Governor said that Americans have no faith in Congress, the executive branch, or in Wall Street. He said that in order to bring the economy up, he was ready to institute a flat tax. He said he would phase out the loopholes and the deductions for individuals, and he would end corporate welfare and subsidies for corporations. This would be balanced out by lowing the tax rate.
Constitutional Grade: B
Question #24: Before privatizing Social Security, how would you make the stock market safer for individual investors and how to you restore public faith in the markets?

Businessman and Columnist Herman Cain:

Mr. Cain said that you have to restore faith in business by providing certainty so that businesses can grow. He said that volatility is driven by uncertainty, and the healthcare and tax rules have caused a lot of uncertainty in the economy. Mr. Cain said that you have to provide certainty so that business can grow. Moreover, he said that Dodd/Frank needed to be repealed.
Constitutional Grade: A

Texas Governor Rick Perry:

Gov. Perry pointed to the climate in Washington, D.C. in which corporate lobbyists have a cozy relationship with lawmakers. He said that America needed the leadership to recognize the problem and will put people in key position that will work for the American people. Moreover, he said when people push the bounds and break the laws, they should be criminally prosecuted.
Constitutional Grade: A
Remarks: This is an important point. Many anti-capitalists criticize the free market as leading to corruption and excess. However, not only are socialist markets not free from the same types of corruption, the proper role of government is to execute justice against those who are corrupt.

U.S. Representative Ron Paul:

When asked if Governor Perry was a crony capitalist, Rep. Paul said he had not analyzed the issue enough to call him a crony or not. However, he said there was a lot of crony capitalism going on in Washington. He said that Occupy Wall Street needs to distinguish between capitalism and crony capitalism. Crony capitalism is indicated by “people who benefit from contracts from government, benefit from the Federal Reserve, and benefit from bailouts.” Rep. Paul said that those who practice crony capitalism do not deserve the compassion of government, but deserve to be taxed and to have their benefits removed.
Constitutional Grade: A



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