This morning, Rep. Mike Pence, one of the brightest new stars in the GOP, took time to do an interview with FNC’s Jon Scott. Here’s a transcript of that interview:

Jon Scott: Democrats call it a blueprint; Republicans say it’s a target. Some of them are labeling the $3.6 billion [sic] plan a higher tax, weaker economy job killer. Indiana Congressman, Mike Pence, one of the critics of the plan, he joins us now.

Rep. Mike Pence: Hi, Jon.

Scott: You say that Republicans lost the legislative battle here but actually won the argument. Congressman Pence, can you explain that?

Rep. Pence: Well, I think we won the argument on the stimulus bill and on the massive omnibus bill. I think the American people know we can’t borrow and spend and bail our way back to a growing economy, and that is the fundamental flaw behind the President’s budget proposal. A President’s federal budget proposal ought to put fiscal restraint and jobs first, and this proposal, which involves massive increases in federal spending and tax increases on virtually every American, does exactly the opposite. I think it’s a prescription for economic decline.

Scott: You’ll have to excuse me if I’m a little bit slow on this; I’m having trouble hearing you. But I wanted to ask you this question: You know, President Bush was in power, was in office, when we finished out 2008. We just got those budget numbers that suggest the economy was worse than expected, down 6.2% in the final quarter of 2008. Do you think that voters are going to hold that against Republicans?

Rep. Pence: Well, I think voters are going to hold it against Washington, D.C.; I think they’re going to hold it against leadership in both parties if we don’t do the right thing from this point forward. And most Americans know that increasing federal spending, as we did in the stimulus bill, as we did this week in the omnibus bill and as the President is calling for in this massive new budget, which includes all kinds of new government spending. And adding to that, Jon, massive tax increases that touch almost every American, that’s no prescription for getting this economy growing again; it’s no prescription for creating jobs or ultimately achieving the goal of a balanced budget. I really believe the American people want to see Congress put jobs and fiscal restraint first.

Scott: Well, right there is a huge disagreement with the President; he says there will be not a dime’s tax increase for 95% of Americans.

Rep. Pence: Yeah, I heard that. I was in the Well the other night. But people deserve to know a couple of things. Number one, the President’s call for raising taxes on Americans that make more that $250,000 a year, Jon, according to a liberal tax policy group here in Washington, more than half of the Americans who file at that level are actually small business owners filing as individuals. So if you think raising taxes on small businesses in this country will help create jobs, I think you’ve got another thing coming. The other thing that the President neglects to mention…Democrats and this Administration just raised taxes on smokers and in the President’s plan he wants to raise taxes on capital gains and dividends. That’s going to hit retirees. That’s going to hit every American’s pension fund. Look, virtually every American is going to be touched by the tax increases. It’s just wrong, in a recession, to raise taxes on virtually every American. Herbert Hoover raised taxes during a recession and it drove us into a depression. That’s why many of us here in Washington believe that the President’s budget is a blueprint for economic decline.

Scott: Well, if in fact that is what Republicans, in general believe, given the fact you have smaller numbers in the House and the Senate and you don’t have the White House anymore, what kind of power do you have to change things?

Rep. Pence: Well, I always tell my colleagues in the House, Jon, that a minority in Congress plus the American people equals a majority. I think when the American people take a look at this pattern, which is more spending and more debt, and now on top of it more taxes on virtually every American, I think the American people are going to rise up, they’re going to say, ‘look, we want Washington D.C. doing what every one of us are doing,’ and that is practicing fiscal restraint, finding places to save dollars, and ultimately pursuing policies that don’t put a higher tax burden on working families and small businesses.

It’s important that we harp on the fact that President Obama just finished signing the stimulus bill but now he’s submitting a budget blueprint that calls for a trillion dollar tax increase that lands mostly on small businesses. That’s stupid considering the fact that small businesses are the job creation engine for the economy.

The question we’ve got to ask every Democrat is whether they’ll pass this monstrous tax increaase on small businesses. If they say they will pass it, then they should be asked what they’ve got against job creation.

President Obama had better tread lightly. Tea parties are are drawing visceral reactions from anti-tax increase protesters. The Fort Worth Telegram wrote this about the Fort Worth protest:

Chanting “No more pork!” and “No more bailouts!” a few hundred “tea party” protesters stood outside a west Fort Worth sports bar for hours Friday, cheering and waving signs at passing drivers to protest the Obama administration’s economic stimulus program.

“I bet there’s not a single person here today who wants to pay their neighbor’s mortgage,” Tarrant County Republican Chairwoman Stephanie Klick said to yells and applause.

Tampa Bay held a protest, too:

“We wanted to let the people in Washington know how angry we are about the stimulus bill,” said John Hendricks, a Tampa-based consultant who organized the gathering. Hendricks said he and many others think government spending is out of control.

“We’ve got to do something about it before it’s too late,” he said.

It’s obvious that people don’t trust President Obama’s radical agenda. That’s what’s driving their visceral reaction to his policies.

They held a waterfront Tea Party event in St. Louis Friday:

Dana Loesch, a radio host on 97.1 FM, had talked up Friday’s rally and served as emcee. Signs waved around her included, “Pork, the new ‘Red’ meat,” and “King Barack III and the House of Lards.”

Jackie Smith, former tight end for the old St. Louis football Cardinals, said, “We are mad as hell and we need to stay mad as hell. Don’t let up.”

Megan Dunham of Maplewood brought her four daughters with some painted signs “because it’s important that the kids take part.” She said it was her first protest. “All I’d ever done before is yell at the TV. This is exciting.”

Ms. Dunham’s reaction is telling. It doesn’t sound like she’s a political activist. Nonetheless, she showed up because President Obama’s policies have animated her in ways that cookie cutter politicians couldn’t have.

Oklahomans are upset with the stimulus bill and President Obama’s policies:

There was no tea, and Boston Harbor is about 1,500 miles away. But more than 300 people gathered Friday outside the state Capitol for a “taxpayer tea party” to protest the $787 billion federal economic stimulus package.

“We want to send one message to Congress: We don’t want a bailout,” said Stuart Jolly, Oklahoma director of Americans for Prosperity. The group has helped sponsor similar events across the country, including in Chicago, Los Angeles and Tulsa. “There’s other ways to stimulate the economy, and this isn’t it.”

Jolly said tax cuts would be better to create jobs and get people back to work.

The event was held to let people voice frustration over Congress voting to approve the $787 billion economic stimulus plan.

One of the things that’s driving the anti-pork protests is the fact that people are upset that Congress didn’t even bother reading the bill before voting on it. They’re also upset with the mortgage bailout because (a) it’s expensive and (b) they don’t think it’s fair that the 92 percent of mortgage holders who pay on time don’t think their taxes should be increased to pay for those that made bad decisions.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

5 Responses to “Rep. Pence on Obama’s Tax Increases”

  • eric z says:

    Mike Pence:

    http://mikepence.house.gov/Biography/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Pence

    Gary, I am curious, do you see Mike Pence as a potential presidential or vice-presidential candidate?

    I realize it takes organization, alliances, and money to position that way, but is the potential there?

    Would a Pence-Palin ticket be in the cards?

    As a former talk radio host, he can probably fashion and deliver an argument quicker than listeners can dissect it’s content and logic. Couple that with Palin, and I can see an appeal to a large part of the GOP.

    Any thoughts?

  • Gary Gross says:

    Eric, I can picture Mike Pence eventually achieving higher office, though I don’t see it in the next 2 election cycles. I could picture him running for governor when Mitch Daniels moves along. I could also see him running for Speaker or Majority Leader in a few years.

    I see people getting upset with the Democrats’ overreach on spending generating a major backlash. While I don’t see that leading immediately to a GOP return to the majority, I think it indicates the D’s might have a difficult cycle in 2010.

  • eric z says:

    “One of the things that’s driving the anti-pork protests is the fact that people are upset that Congress didn’t even bother reading the bill before voting on it.”

    Gary, in all honesty, did you read it? Do you know all the details?

    ……..
    I did not. I only read what others said of it. Those things are often many, many pages long. Even in Minnesota, the final output of each legislative session is rushed through, without any legislator knowing everything buried in the fine print. Isn’t that just a part of the problem with the legislative process – more on the State level than nationally – there is pissing around and pissing around, rhetoric and all, then the deals are cut, understandings reached, and things passed last minute in quick sequence before end of session?

    Without that end-of-session deadline, things in Minnesota might never get done. But using the deadline and lengthy bills to hide stuff, I’d bet the Romans and before did that, as long as there has been written language.

  • eric z says:

    Gary, your response – I expect there will be a strong view of putting whatever was in the past into history and judging Obama by what he manages to do rather than what he inherited. Except when each side gets into playing the blame game. It’s the nature of a two-party dominated system to do that finger pointing.

    However, if the GOP risks retarding Obama getting his mandate accepted, do they risk being characterized as throwing a sabot into the machinery of government? While if they go along, they are only fellow-travelers and not the leaders.

    It probably will hinge on whether things get better, stay in doldrums, or improve. My guess is the housing situation will take a few more years to play out and the rebound will be too slow for most people having had the bulk of their family reliance on ever escalating home pricing. That, plus the party in the minority (especially if not in the White House) usually being stronger in off year gains does suggest those writing obits for the GOP are being premature.

  • Gary Gross says:

    Eric, you raise a number of good questions. I’ll try my best to answer them one at a time, starting with this:

    Isn’t that just a part of the problem with the legislative process – more on the State level than nationally – there is pissing around and pissing around, rhetoric and all, then the deals are cut, understandings reached, and things passed last minute in quick sequence before end of session?

    Eric, there’s no doubt but that that was a problem at the end of the 2007 session when Speaker Kelliher rammed through a number of 500-1,000 page omnibus bills through the last night. The difference is that President Obama’s bill cost $750 billion more than the Minnesota budget did.

    However, if the GOP risks retarding Obama getting his mandate accepted, do they risk being characterized as throwing a sabot into the machinery of government?

    If the GOP was the party that just says no to everything, that would be a legitimate complaint.

    That isn’t happening because the House GOP is offering thoughtful alternatives to President Obama’s agenda.

    My guess is the housing situation will take a few more years to play out and the rebound will be too slow for most people having had the bulk of their family reliance on ever escalating home pricing.

    BINGO!!!

    It won’t help Democrats that they’re advocating radical policies that cost unprecedented sums of money.

    Republicans made the mistake of going for the whole entchilada following their sweeping victory in 1994. Democrats are in the process of doing the same in 2009.

    There is a difference, though, between those examples. The things emphasized by Republicans in 1995 were popular things. Eight of the ten things from the Contract got signed into law.

    A number of things in President Obama’s budget aren’t wildly popular.

    While President Obama is wildly popular, his ideas aren’t. Compare that with President Bush. President Bush wasn’t popular but the policies that he pushed were fairly popular, which is why he got many of them passed.

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