FoxNews and Facebook did an excellent job of presenting the 17 Republican candidates for President of the United States in their two debate programs last week. What they managed somehow to conceal from the world, through tightly-controlled real-time editing of all video footage and audio tracks, and through mass hypnosis of all the members of the live audience to selectively erase their memories, was that there was an 18th candidate on the stage, responding to all the moderators' questions along with all the others.
While the identity of the 18th candidate couldn't be ascertained by press time, through massive bribery, uh, a modest fee paid to the Chinese and Russian hackers who own Hillary Clinton's email server, we have been able to obtain the original, raw footage and audio. Below is a transcript.
Megan Kelly: Candidate 18, what is your position on Medicaid expansion?
Candidate 18: Medicaid is a failed system. Studies have shown that in terms of actual health outcomes, statistically you are better off having no insurance at all than being enrolled in Medicaid.
Besides, states need to reject all programs that make them beholden to the federal government for goodies. If all federal aid to all states ended tomorrow, we would all be better off. After all, where does all that federal money come from in the first place? It comes from the taxpayers in all of the states! Except that by the time it comes back to your state, it has Washington D.C.'s cut taken out of it and all kinds of strings attached. It's a bad deal that should be categorically as well as constitutionally rejected.
Bret Baer: Candidate 18, is ISIS the fault of Republican Hawks, and what should we do about them?
Candidate 18: Nobody had ever heard of ISIS before Barack Obama said the magic words in December 2011, "Our war in Iraq ends this month", possibly the most preposterous thing ever uttered by an American president. Imagine if Harry Truman had said upon his inauguration on April 12, 1945, "our wars in Europe and Japan end this month", and then immediately began withdrawing troops and canceling any further offensive actions, before victory had been achieved. After all, it wasn't his war; he didn't start it. It would rightly be considered the greatest betrayal of the sacrifice of millions of people and an opening for the resurgence of the Nazis and the Japanese imperialists.
I applaud my colleague Lindsey Graham who has the courage to say what no one wants to hear, which is that we are going to have to put boots on the ground in Iraq again if we don't want to see ISIS's boots in Europe and the United States. As I said, no one wants to hear that, but that is the predicament that Obama's reckless and feckless action has put us in.
Mike Wallace, Jr.: Gentlemen, we’re going to turn now to the subject of the economy, jobs and money and the government. And Candidate 18, I’m going to start with you.
Candidate 18: Chris, reviving our economy isn't all that complicated. Ronald Reagan showed us how to do it, Calvin Coolidge showed us how to do it, and even John F. Kennedy show us how (it's too bad JFK wouldn't have a prayer of getting the Democrat Party nomination today, but I digress). It only requires us to get over the most difficult childish, immature and poisonous fetish from which our society suffers today, and that is is, envy.
You know, it's interesting to note in all the hysteria over Donald Trump -- some hate him, others love him, still others find him amusing as some sort of rodeo clown -- yet very few seriously resent him for his wealth. And yet the Democrats have successfully spooked every rational attempt to the get the government's jackboot off the necks of our job creators and small business entrepreneurs by playing the Envy card, whipping us all into a frenzy of resentment -- not against Steve Jobs or George Soros or Chaim Saban or Bill Gates or Warren Buffett who make billions -- but against your neighbor who may have earned $200,000 this year. "Ooh, tax cuts for the rich, whine, whine, whine!"
Let me tell you something about $200K per year. The overwhelming majority of the people who earned that this year are not part of some permanent, immune hereditary class we call 'The Rich'. It is just as likely as not that last year they made $50K, the year before that they made $100K, and the year before that they lost $75K, had expenses in excess of revenues to the tune of seventy-five thousand dollars. They don't live like government bureaucrats on a guaranteed salary schedule mapped out thirty years in advance. They are entrepreneurs and job creators, the heart and soul and power plant of our economy. They own mom-and-pop repair shops, hardware and grocery stores. They are bakers and hairdressers and wedding planners. A lot of them are liberals, too.
To punish people in their successful years is to punish success itself. Apart from being unfair and demoralizing, it serves no positive economic purpose. It hurts all of us, especially those of us who rely on such people for the creativity that will provide us our next job.
Now, I for one have never earned $200K in a single year. I've had a few up years and a lot of down years and I am sick and tired of hearing the party I once belonged to tell me that if I happen to have an up year, I'm part of the problem, with a target on my back.
For these reasons as president I will propose at the federal level the 9-9-0-0-0 tax plan. One flat, single-digit rate of 9 percent on personal income and on real (inflation-adjusted) capital gains, and that's all. No taxes on corporations (because corporations don't pay taxes, people do), no taxes on Death (because George Soros knows better than Hillary Clinton or Ted Cruz where his money should go after he's gone), and no new national sales tax. The complexity and length of the tax return forms should be reduced by 90% or more, not only to make it easier but because most of that information is none of the government's damn business.
If we had the courage and the maturity to do that, we would have growth unmatched by the Asian tigers; Jeb Bush's bold target of 4% may be too modest. And all of the poor people, the blacks, the Hispanics, the women and the handicapped who have been thrown out of the workforce by the Obama-Clinton axis would see their opportunities explode once again. And we would have the strength to deal with the foreign threats that Obama has done so much to exacerbate.
Megan Kelly: Candidate 18, Would you have invaded Iraq in 2004 knowing what we know now?
Candidate 18: History is not kind to people who have short memories. Are we all now nostalgic for the Golden Age of Saddam Hussein? Do we want him back?
There is no question that mistakes were made, and the first was to make WMD the main justification. Saddam Hussein had murdered hundreds of thousands of his own citizens, with particularly horrific genocide reserved for the Kurds. He was in violation of over a dozen UN resolutions. France, Russia and China agreed with us that he had weapons of mass destruction; the man himself was a weapon of mass destruction. Our invasion was justified by his playing footsie with the UN inspectors for years and diverting food aid to his military ambitions. At any time he could have come clean, let the inspectors in and defused the whole situation. He was in control. But he chose defiance over rationality. We went in, took him and his regime out, and after some bumbling, by 2009 we had established the least-worst conditions of any nation in that troubled region. I disagree with Mssrs Trump and Paul that our presence destabilized the region. Yes, we removed a counter-weight to Iran. But WE ARE the best possible counter-weight to Iran. To the contrary, look at the most unstable, tyrannical and wretched places on Earth, and you will be looking at the places where our influence is the weakest.
Our second biggest mistake in Iraq in my humble opinion was that we did not more energetically establish the scaffolding of a free market economy with rigorous registration and defense of private property rights. We should have given equal common shares of stock in the national petroleum company to every adult citizen, male and female, and then sold the enterprise to the highest bidder on the world market, with the proceeds going to the value of the stock and/or its dividends. The Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto has demonstrated the indispensability of universally recognized private property to poor people in the Third World. We didn't give individual Iraquis a great enough personal stake in the success of the national project.
Mike Wallace Jr.: Gentlemen, we’re turning to a new subject that all of you have been talking about and some of you have been disagreeing about, and that is the issue of immigration. Candidate 18?
Candidate 18: Thank you Chris. I'm glad you mentioned the word 'disagree' because it's true that this issue has been a point of contention within our party. But I think that what we on this stage all agree upon is that the Obama administration has turned a challenge into a disaster. While we in this room have had our differences, we have discussed and debated them honestly. But Obama has not even engaged in debate; he has only issued aggressive and unconstitutional executive orders which have turned the worst possible hazards into present reality. While singing the praises of hard-working, law-abiding immigrants, he has encouraged the worst elements of the immigrant population, thrown the door wide open to welfare abusers and criminals.
There are plenty of classically liberal-minded people on the right, influenced by the Wall Street Journal and the Cato Institute, whom the Administration could have reached out to in order to come to a rational bipartisan agreement. But bipartisanship and sharing credit is not this administration's goal; only demonizing Republicans and packing the voter rolls with a growing population of dependents beholden to the Democratic Party. Their actions have made immigration reform based on the free-market notions of the free flow of goods, services and labor impossible because they have not created the prerequisites of freedom and voluntary exchange, but rather have imposed costs and unfavorable conditions by force upon U.S. Citizens against their will.
I do not support comprehensive immigration reform. I do not support Comprehensive Anything reform. Have we learned anything from Obamacare? The very notion is preposterous: if only we could cram a few more thousand pages and a few more billion dollars worth of pork into a bill that nobody will read but which will be passed at midnight on Christmas Eve, then everything will be perfect -- Not! We can do what we must in short, individual issue bills which get debated honestly in the light of day and are only a few pages each and certainly no longer than the U.S. Constitution itself. How many pages does it take to say 'Build and operate a security Fence'? How many pages are required to propose a new Bracero guest worker program? How many trees have to die to ensure that violent criminals are not give a second, third and fourth chance to murder innocent Americans like Kate Steinle? The next Kate Steinle can't wait for a 3 thousand page bill.
If we want to solve the problems that we associate with illegal immigration, then we have to address larger issues that are not strictly speaking limited to immigration. We achieved welfare reform in 1996. Obama undid it; we have to redo it. We cannot permit people to come to this country merely to live off the hard work of American citizens. We need to stop teaching multiculturalism and Spanish as a first language in our schools. We need to stop printing election materials in foreign languages. We need to teach the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and require a high standard of knowledge of American History as a prerequisite for citizenship. Right now we are encouraging foreigners NOT to assimilate; this has to stop. I agree with my colleague Bobby Jindal who said that immigration without assimilation is invasion. We need to enforce our laws and maintain our standards of civil order from the federal right down to the neighborhood level, without worrying that it is 'racist', 'culturally insensitive' or otherwise politically incorrect to do so. If American values and customs, like English, law and order, peace and quiet, hard work and honest dealing offend you, go back to where corruption and disorder, laziness and deceit are considered virtues.
It's not about comprehensive reform piled into Godzilla bills. It's about the consistent application of the principles that made America the most desirable place on Earth to live in the first place.
Megan Kelly: Candidate 18, would you make abortion illegal even in the case of rape or incest?
Candidate 18: Megan, I think we should be talking first about what is happening in the overwhelming majority of cases and not what is going on in a tiny minority of cases. By couching this conversation in terms of rape and incest, we allowing the left to dictate the terms of the conversation and I don't accept that premise.
The terrible tragedy that has so many Americans upset is that abortion is being used as a casual method of birth control, not just in the first or second trimester, but right up to the moment of birth itself, where a medical profession is compelled to deliberately and forcibly kill a perfectly viable and ready-for-life-outside baby.
We've poured billions of dollars into government-administered sex education with the promise that it would reduce the need for and occurrences of abortion, but abortion has exploded. It is my hope that Americans will watch these videos, and even you've had an abortion yourself, you will find it in your heart to look at those tiny arms and legs, recognize that this is not some undifferentiated tissue mass but a human being, and say that this has gone too far, that we must take steps to reduce this terrible practice. In the civic process of formulating laws and policies there will of necessity be negotiation and compromise; but demagoguing on the most infrequent cases and spewing inflammatory phrases like 'war on women' is not good faith.
Mike Wallace, Jr.: Candidate 18, we've heard from Governor Christie and from Governor Huckabee on Social Security. Your thoughts?
Candidate 18: Well, in defense of Governor Christie, don't shoot the messenger. We have known for decades that Social Security is headed for insolvency because of the fundamental way that it is structured, relying on the current contributions to service the liabilities. It is the kind of Ponzi scheme that gets private citizens like Bernie Madhoff incarcerated, except that the scale of Social Security is like a nuclear bomb next to Madhoff's firecracker. The longer we postpone reform, the more painful those reforms will have to be, including possibly needing to raise the retirement age. George W. Bush had made an attempt at reform, but we didn't want to listen, so we're going to suffer more than we should have.
35 years ago on the very day that Ronald Reagan was elected president of the United States, the people of Chile democratically chose to have a private account option added to their failing public retirement system. Under this plan, people own the money they pay into the system; the money isn't used to pay someone else's retirement; it belongs to each individual and earns real interest compounded annually. The system has operated in the black ever since and frankly it puts ours to shame. It was so successful that it has been imitated in several other countries, from Mexico to Poland.
How did they do it? The finance minister of Chile, Jose Piñera, simply followed the free-market principles and advice he got from our own Nobel laureate in economics, Milton Friedman. I think the time is overdue that we took our own rock star economists' advice.
Bret Baer: Candidate 18, your closing statement?
Candidate 18: I would like to close by taking about a few issues that I feel haven't received sufficient attention tonight.
First, Climate Change: this has fallen off of the radar of most Americans, because they rightly don't take it so seriously anymore. But we cannot let down our guard, because the left is hell-bent on implementing policies that are destroying our prosperity and our constitutional Liberty, and which will hurt the poor of this country and of the third world most of all. Make no mistake: Obama's carbon emission reduction goals mean first, $10 per gallon gasoline, then $100 per gallon, then no gasoline at all available at any price. And it is completely unjustified: Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, it is plant food and it is particularly beneficial to crops in places like California that are recovering from drought, because plants that get more CO2 need less water. The climate change hysteria is the greatest fraud ever perpetrated upon the American public and we need to roll back every policy and regulation that is based upon its erroneous claims.
Closely related to that issue is the need to decommission any and all federal agencies and charter organizations which are unconstitutional and harmful to our economy and Liberty. With respect to climate change, that means the EPA. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which socialize the risks and privatize the profits of mortgage lending, need to go. Canada does not have a Fannie Mae or a Freddie Mac, they have a higher rate of home ownership than the United States, and they did not have a housing market crash to wipe out the life savings of millions of their citizens as we did.
Finally, the Department of Education and with it Common Core are on my chopping block. Neither Barack Obama nor George Bush nor Hillary Clinton nor even Ronald Reagan should be dictating from on high how our education system shall work, what its standards or content should be. States, municipalities and parents are fully capable of managing this themselves thank you very much. Take a close look at the content of what is being force-fed to our kids under Common Core and you will see that what I'm talking about is not just some hypothetical remote hazard; it is a clear and present danger. I call on my colleagues who have expressed sympathy with Common Core to renounce it in the most unequivocal terms.
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