A Teleconference With Kevin McCarthy, Jim Jordan, And Mark Kirk

I just got off a teleconference with the following Congressmen: Chief Deputy Republican Whip Kevin McCarthy, Jim Jordan, and Congressman Mark Kirk. What follows are my notes, not quotes from the teleconference.

The Opening Statement

Jim Jordan: This budget is unbelievable. It is going to run the 10 largest deficits in history.

To do any of these things is a bad idea, but to do all five in a recession makes no sense — largest tax increase in history, continue to spend at an unprecedented levels, take away the right for secret ballot for unions, nationalize health care, and spike energy costs with cap and trade — and all during a recession.

Our vision is to cut spending and cut taxes on small business.

Mark Kirk: How do we pay for this? The bureau of the public debt has to handle it. On the trading floor of the bureau of the public, there used to be 45 lenders to the US. There are now 16. The primary lender until recently was the central bank of China. I asked how they will raise this money? They will have to borrow 150 billion dollars a week.

The German government, for the first time in its history, failed to auction off its debt in January. What would happen if we failed? 90 seconds later, it would be reported to the market and it would be an immediate crisis. The Fed has announced it would loan money to the treasury if necessary, so you have one part of the US Government loaning money to the other part of the government. Last year, we have 17 trillion dollars of bids for 6 trillion in debt. We’re auctioning off debt at such a rate that it may not work. China bought 455 dollars of debt last year. This year, we think they will only buy 150 billion. So, the level of debt we have is exploding, but our principal buyer is leaving the market.


Germany has now had a similar problem for two months in a row — not being able to sell their debt. How do Republicans take the high road with the American people after doing a lousy job during the Bush years?

* Their argument is that since we didn’t have fiscal conservatives running things during the Bush years, we can’t have them ever again and therefore must allow the deficit to triple. We don’t accept that.

* Just because Republicans spent too much during the Bush years, doesn’t mean we should spend even more in the Obama years.

So how do we get credibility back?

It’s like anything else. It takes time.

We have to go back and earn trust one vote at a time.

What are we doing about losing to the Democrats?

* We get our message out. We won’t sit back and just say “no.” We will submit a budget that will be better than Obama’s budget. Our microphone isn’t as large because we are in the minority.

* We can’t win the vote around here, so we have to try to engage the American people.

Isn’t the Cap and Trade tax increase a double whammy in the sense that it’s inflationary?

* Yes. The President claims the tax credit will cover the costs of Cap and Trade. The size of the tax is higher though. It’s a tax increase.

* Our competitors aren’t paying this tax.

Has anyone done deficit numbers using realistic numbers? Obama’s budget numbers don’t work.

We’re working on it, but it isn’t done yet. The assumptions Obama used in his budget remind me a lot of the assumptions George Custer used in his final battle. It’s very dicey.

Summary: This was a shorter teleconference because they have a vote coming up. But, I’m glad to see the GOP getting more engaged with bloggers and staying on point on spending issues. Also, Mark Kirk is one sharp cookie.

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