A: When you look at the mess that President Obama inherited--losing 800,000 jobs a month--in the first few months of his presidency, he's turned that around. He's got 32 straight months of job creation, 5.2 million jobs, the national export initiative in the first two years, exports were up 38%. I think people are going to hear that and I think they are also going to recognize that Governor Romney's plan of adding $2 trillion to military spending and at the same time promising $5 trillion of tax cuts largely skewed to the wealthier parts of the population without any specifics, right? I mean, what are those deductions and tax credits he's going to get rid of? Are we going to lose the home mortgage deduction? Are we going to lose the deduction from giving to philanthropic organizations like churches that are in many cases our best partners at fighting poverty?
BUCK: No, I don't. I think we've got to find spending cuts. And I don't know what you're talking about in terms of tax cuts.
Q: Extending the Bush-era tax cuts for the highest earners. The president says it would cost an extra $700 billion. If you want to cut that deficit, do you then have to pay for the tax cuts you want to extend?
BUCK: Well, first, where are the families going to pay for the money that they've got to send the federal government? That's the bigger question to me.
Q: You either believe in the balanced budget or you do not. If you extend tax cuts, you said just a moment ago they have to be paid for. Then how do you pay for it?
BUCK: We pay for it by cutting spending. When we leave money in the hands of taxpayers, they buy things; they pay taxes. It's not a one for one exchange. Every economist I've talked to has told me that it would be bad in a recession to try to increase taxes.
We are not under-taxed. The federal government is overspending. And as the endless string of spending in Congress continues, so will the call for higher taxes. As the push for higher taxes emerges, I will push to downsize government, not raise taxes. I'll stay true to the Taxpayer Protection Pledge I have signed.
None of this will be easy. These problems weren't created overnight, and they won't be solved overnight.
SCHAFFER: You’re correct that under Republican leadership, deficits grew, and I think it has mainly been a function of war. However, I was in Congress for six years. I got elected 1996; I left in 2002. During those years, we did balance the budget. We did it by trimming the rate of growth in spending, but more than anything else, the tax cuts that we helped pushed forward, which applied to middle class households. Mark Udall likes to talk about it as tax cuts for the rich--but we actually grew the economy faster than had been projected--we actually increased the amount of revenue coming to the federal government while we were slowing down the rate of growth in spending and reforming on the regulatory side. Welfare reform, for example, & other reforms, helped unleash the productivity of the economy. We need to do that again.
In addition, we have eliminated the marriage penalty, lowered vehicle registration fees, increased the elderly pension exclusion, and provided an income tax credit for long-term care insurance - all while we have twice increased the earned income tax credit for low-income Coloradans.
This tax relief was broad-based, fair, and good for all Coloradans. I worked hard for this tax relief because I firmly believe that this is the people’s money. They earned it. We did not. Coloradans should be given the opportunity to save, invest or spend those dollars, because it is their money - not ours.
Q: Should Colorado grant a tax credit to individuals who donate food and to farmers who allow the needy to glean their land?
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