Ross Perot on Budget & Economy
1992 & 1996 Reform Party Nominee for President
OpEd: made deficit reduction a proxy for public virtue
Ever since Ross Perot began howling about it, deficit reduction has become a general proxy for public virtue; politicians all across the spectrum feel the need to honor the conventional wisdom, which is repeated endlessly by commentators professing
to be ideologically neutral. In fact, the holy grail of smaller government and budget balance is deeply conservative.
Source: Obama`s Challenge, by Robert Kuttner, p. 77
, Aug 25, 2008
Donated land for commercial airport in Fort Worth
In 1988, Perot launched a flock of new companies under the umbrella of the Perot Group, all making money or accumulating real estate. The linchpin was his donation of land for a commercial airport in Fort Worth, which would be built by federal funds;
while some executives have praised his maneuver as important economic development, others have sternly criticized the plan as a taxpayer-subsidized boondoggle. It remains the Perot Group's most visible--and speculative--project.
Source: The Man Behind the Myth, by Ken Gross, p.199-200
, Sep 20, 2000
Building new businesses is key to country's future
Creating and building new businesses is vital to our nation's future. Businesses are like people--they are born, mature, grow old, and die. We must create thousands of new businesses each year to provide good jobs for the American people.
The giant companies that make up the Fortune 500 were once just an idea. "From small acorns mighty oak trees grow!" We must keep planting the seeds to create millions of good jobs in the US for the 21st century. This is our highest priority.
If our government does everything perfectly, and we don't have a growing, expanding job base:
The future of our great country is in the hands of people who successfully create new companies.
Source: My Life & Principles for Success, by Ross Perotp. v
, Sep 25, 1996
- The standard of living will continue to decline for millions of hardworking Americans.
- We will not continue to have a large middle class.
We will not have the tax base to pay our bills.
Weak dollar means weak America
A weak currency is the sign of a weak economy, and a weak economy leads to a weak nation. Judged by military might, the US is by far the most powerful nation in the world. Judged by economic standards the US is powerful but slipping. A nation that is
weakening on the economic front will play a diminished role in the community of nations.
King Solomon wrote in Proverbs: “The borrower is servant to the lender.” So it will be unless the US puts in economic house in order-and soon.
Source: The Dollar Crisis, p. 45
, Jul 2, 1996
Lack of Balanced Budget Amendment caused dollar’s decline
In the 1980s, we ignored our fiscal problems by allowing ourselves to live with an unbalanced federal budget, building a staggering national debt in the process. During the same time period, we became the world’s largest debtor nation. In fact, we are
value against other major world currencies. This decline was attributed to the failure in the Senate, by one vote, to pass the Balanced Budget Amendment.
Too much fluctuation in the value of the dollar-in either direction-is not good for the economy
of the US or the world. While it is important to all nations that the US maintains a stable currency, it is particularly important to the citizens of this country.
Source: The Dollar Crisis, p. 29-33
, Jul 2, 1996
Idea for Balanced Budget Amendment began in 1787
The long-term solution to the chronic deficit situation remains the constitutional amendment. It is not a new solution to the chronic deficit situation. While Thomas Jefferson was in Paris negotiating for our new government in 1787,
James Madison and others were writing the Constitution. After Jefferson returned, he said that if he could add one amendment to the Constitution, it would be to prohibit the federal government from borrowing money. He wrote, “We should consider
ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves.“
The constitutional amendment in 1995 did not absolutely prohibit the federal government from borrowing money, as Jefferson suggested. The authors
of this book believe that there are rare occasions, such as a war or a recession, when the federal government may need to spend more than its revenue. But government spending should not exceed revenue for 27 consecutive years, as we have done.
Source: The Dollar Crisis, p. 77
, Jul 2, 1996
Balanced Budget in 1970s equals $15,500 more income now
The bipartisan watchdog organization, Concord Coalition, has analyzed the deficit to determine what it has cost us over the last two decades. The study concluded that income would be $15,500 per family higher each year if we had balanced our budget
over the last two decades.
Speaking of balancing the budget, what if a constitutional amendment had been in place in 1980 when our national debt totaled less than $1 trillion? Instead of paying $344 billion in gross interest during fiscal year 1996,
we would pay less than $70 billion. Actually the bill would be appreciably less than this amount because interest rates would be much lower. A constitutional restriction would have given us more than $300 billion extra today for education or health care
or reducing taxes. Because lower interest rates would have encouraged more industrial investment and home building, our productivity and standard of living would be much higher than they are today.
Source: The Dollar Crisis, p. 88-91
, Jul 2, 1996
Tax incentives to encourage corporate & personal savings
The federal government [should alter the tax code because today it] rewards businesses that create debt to finance growth rather than financing growth through savings or equity (stock) financing. A corporation that borrows money can write off the interes
payments, [while] stock dividends are not deductible.
The tax code needs to differentiate more between productive and unproductive use of resources. Corporations should be given every incentive to spend money for the following activities:Tax breaks that encourage savings by individuals can save the federal government more in interest than the cost of the incentive. [Another method] to encourage savings is to require higher
down payments for major purchases. “No down payment” is almost uniquely an American phrase.
- Plant modernization and expansion
- Worker training.
Unless we, as a nation, do a better job of saving, our currency is destined to continue its downhill slide, and will take our standard of living with it.
Source: The Dollar Crisis, p.119-121
, Jul 2, 1996
Stabilize dollar with central bank intervention
The US should join with Japan and Germany and a few other nations with sound currencies in a statement that the dollar will be permitted to go up or down within certain publicly specified limits. Whenever those limits are exceeded, the central banks
will agree to enter the market to stabilize the currency. When an overvalued currency declines in value, it is likely to fall farther than it should, and in that type of situation intervention will be helpful.
Source: The Dollar Crisis, p.127
, Jul 2, 1996
OpEd: Balanced budget mania swept country in 1992
Perot had elevated deficit reduction to topic A. Balancing the federal budget was a matter of common sense and would be simple, Perot claimed. Balanced-budget mania was now sweeping the country. The deficit problem had never been central to
Clinton's vision, but the Clinton team now realized they were obliged to include specific deficit reduction goals in their overall plan. Unfortunately, Clinton's campaign pledges--new investments, a middle-class tax cut, a stimulus of fast-track spending
to jump-start the economy, and health care reform--were expensive and could increase the deficit.
Promising to balance the federal budget at the end of a
4-year presidential term was standard campaign fare. Someone suggested that Clinton promise instead to cut the deficit in half at the end of 4 years, a more realistic goal. Clinton approved.
Source: The Agenda, by Bob Woodward, p. 41-42
, Jun 6, 1994
United We Stand America: Focus on economy & debt
The goals of United We Stand America include:
Source: Save Your Job, by Ross Perot, p. 0 [X-ref Education]
, Jan 1, 1993
- To get our economy moving and put our people back to work.
- To balance the budget.
- To pay off our nation’s debts.
- To build an efficient and cost-effective health care system.
- To make our
neighborhoods and streets safe from crime and violence.
- To create the finest public schools in the world for our children.
- To pass on the American Dream to our children, making whatever fair shared sacrifices are necessary.
Limit power to tax; expand power to intervene in market
Perot has stated in a rather straightforward fashion that he favors:
Source: Strong-Man Politics, by George Grant, p. 88
, Nov 7, 1992
- Limitation of the congressional power to tax;
- protection of the job base though government intervention in the market apparatus;
- initiation of a national industrial initiative that forges a solid big-government/big-business partnership mimicking the Japanese government’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry.
More federal involvement in business
[Perot] advocates a larger role for government in the market apparatus. Perot believes that instead of less government involvement in business, we need more. He has called for something like a federal department of business which would decide which
businesses should receive government subsidies and which should not. He has said that he favors government intervention in such things as wages prices, and perks. He believes that free markets and fair trade, though desirable, are not entirely feasible.
Source: Strong-Man Politics, by George Grant, p. 92-93
, Nov 7, 1992
Will balance budget in six years by adding jobs
Q: [to Clinton]: You are promising to create jobs, reduce the deficit, reform health care, rebuild infrastructure, guarantee college education, all with financial pain only for the rich. Is it possible?
CLINTON: I believe we can increase investment
and reduce the deficit, if we not only ask the wealthiest Americans to pay their share; we also provide $100 billion in tax relief and $140 billion of spending cuts. Take money from defense cuts and reinvest it in transportation, communications and
environmental clean-up systems.
BUSH: I don't like trickle down government. Clinton says grow government. Government doesn't create jobs. If they do, they're make-work jobs. It's the private sector that creates jobs.
PEROT: We still have a
significant deficit under each of their plans. There's only one way out of this, and that is to have a growing job base. My plan balances the budget within 6 years. We didn't do it faster than that because we didn't want to disrupt the economy.
Source: The Third Clinton-Bush-Perot Presidential Debate
, Oct 19, 1992
Change rules to foster small business investment & growth
Most new jobs won’t come from our biggest employers. They will come from our smallest. We’ve got to do everything we can to make entrepreneurial dreams a reality:
Source: United We Stand, by Ross Perot, p. 58-60
, Jul 2, 1992
- Free up credit. The deregulation of our savings & loans was poorly thought
through and poorly executed. Now we have to repair the damage. Our small businesses are starved for credit.
- Stimulate investment. We can establish incentives through the tax code and in other ways to stimulate the creation of capital pools for
small business where the risk is spread out and thereby reduced. Most new businesses are founded on less than a $100,000 investment.
- No capital gains tax for small business investment. This is the quickest and surest way to convince investors
to take the risk of backing entrepreneurial ventures.
- Establish mentor programs. Small businesses fail for two reasons: lack of money and lack of experience. We have a huge resource in our talented retired people. Let’s put them to work.
Congress needs to be held accountable for enormous debt
We were told before the taxing summit and budget summit that our 1991 deficit would be only $63.1 billion. By the next April, they gave us a new forecast of $318 billion, and that's a $255 billion mistake.
I say, who's keeping the books here? Folks, nobody's keeping books up there.
Source: The Man Behind the Myth by Ken Gross, p.222
, Jul 1, 1992
Page last updated: Apr 27, 2013