HUCKABEE: I would say that a lot of us have cut things. And during the recession of 2001 to 2003, when 91% of our state budget was basically three things--educate, medicate and incarcerate--we ended up cutting 11% out of the state budget through that recession so we didn't have to go in and raise a bunch of taxes, and there were people who thought we should. So it's just not accurate to say that nobody else up here has ever cut. I believe every governor has probably had to make tough decisions.
JINDAL: Mike, I share many of your social views, but your record as Governor tells a different story. In your time as Governor, spending in Arkansas went up 65%, number of state workers went up 20%, the taxes for the average citizen went up 47%. That's not a record of cutting.
HUCKABEE: Well, Sandra, first of all, let me mention the fact that I think there's a big difference between welfare programs and what some people call entitlements. Namely, Social Security and Medicare. I just want to remind everybody out there who has ever had a paycheck, the government didn't ask you if you wanted them to take money out of your check for Social Security and Medicare. They did that involuntarily. Those are not entitlements and that's not welfare. That's an earned benefit. And by gosh, you paid for it. And if the government screwed it up, you shouldn't have to pay the penalty because of an incompetent government. That's different than the social programs that we've spent $2 trillion on since the War on Poverty began exactly 50 years ago this year.
HUCKABEE: Well, do you know an American that will just stop spending? I don't. Look, Americans will go to the marketplace with more money they've ever had. For the first time they'll be having their whole paycheck. You see, most people don't understand that when you buy something that is made in America, 22% of the cost of it is the embedded tax they never even know they paid. It's why China has beaten the daylights out of us: they can build stuff that we can't because they're not taxing it; they don't tax capital and labor and we do. They bring something over here, it's automatically cheaper even without the regulatory environment because they're not embedding the taxes; we are. Take the embedded taxes out.
A: The reason we still have so much poverty is because it was never designed to get people out of poverty. It was designed to make sure that there was an industry of poverty, so that the people in the poverty industry would have a lot of jobs. But the people who are poor haven't been benefited. Nobody who is poor wants to be. That's a nonsense statement and I hear it all the time: "Well, poor people ought to work harder." They're working as hard as they can, for gosh sake. But the problem is the system keeps pushing them down because, if they work, then they get punished. They lose all the benefits. When we did welfare reform in the '90s, you know what we did? We said you're not going to lose everything at once. There's not an arbitrary threshold. So as you move up the ladder from work and training, you'll actually always be better off than you were before. That's the American way.
The above quotations are from Fox Business/Wall Street Journal Two-Tier 2015 GOP primary debate|
First Tier: Top Eight by polls
Second Tier: Four other Republicans.
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