Symposium 2011: What role, if any, should the federal government play in education? Should we demand a repeal of No Child Left Behind?

Cartwright:  None.  Who’s better at deciding how to teach the kids—a bureaucrat in Washington or your local educators?

There are quite a few problems with our education system today.  We’ve got teachers in some places who because of tenure can’t be fired and who are just riding their chairs until they retire; they’ve given up on teaching kids.  We need to be able to get rid of teachers who aren’t teaching. Continue reading

Symposium 2011: President Obama has suggested a new infrastructure stimulus as part of his jobs plan to help get the economy going. Should transportation continue to be a primary responsibility of the federal government, or should we devolve transportation spending to the states?

Sydney:  I’m not entirely sure that the infrastructure stimulus was all that effective the first time. So there doesn’t seem to be a lot of sense in trying again. It seems to be a good idea to transfer transportation funding to the States as this would help the Federal Government save money. Maybe a better idea would be to privatize large transportation projects and perhaps provide only modest financial incentives to the private companies who take on these projects. This could be done by either the Federal Government or the States depending on the type of infrastructure and whose responsibility it was. Continue reading

Symposium 2011: The Republican candidates for president often state that the size of government is too big. There are hundreds of departments, agencies, boards, offices, and programs. Which ones, if any, should we eliminate?

Michigan:  We can debate this forever.  What elected official is going to vote to eliminate any agency or department?  Everyone talks about it but until we let our elected officials know who they are working for, nothing will happen. Continue reading

Symposium 2011: Even before Obamacare, the cost of healthcare had been skyrocketing. What do you feel is the cause of the high healthcare costs? If Obamacare were to be repealed, what solutions do you feel would create downward pressure on healthcare costs?

Cartwright: As I recall, we talked about this four or five years ago when I participated in the last symposium, well before the American people had Obamacare shoved down their throats.  This just goes to show how stupid some people in Washington really are.  Medicare has trillions of dollars in unfunded liabilities.  It has the capacity to bankrupt America. Obviously, Medicare isn’t working too well.  So, in their infinite wisdom, they decide to force through a massive healthcare bill for everyone else that isn’t going to work any better than Medicare.  It’s disgusting and insulting to the intelligence of the American people. Continue reading

Symposium 2011: What rates would you propose for the personal income tax, the corporate tax, capital gains & dividends? Should we abolish the death tax? Which tax credits and deductions, if any, would you keep? Do you support Obama’s proposal to extend the 2% payroll tax holiday for another year?

RMC:  This is a real simple one for me. Zero percent for personal income tax, 0% corporate tax, 0% capital gains and dividend taxes.  Yes, we should get rid of the estate tax or the death tax.  Mortgage interest deductions.  And, finally, no we should not extend the 2% payroll tax holiday. Continue reading

Symposium 2011: What reforms, if any, would you suggest be made to the Federal Reserve? Should the Fed’s dual mandate to achieve maximum employment and price stability be repealed or should there be specific targets for each?

RMC:  Well, I think the Federal Reserve has a useful purpose but it has been responsible for the biggest economic disasters in the past fifteen years.  Low interest rates fueled the internet bubble back in the late 1990s.  That didn’t turn out too well for the economy or stock market.  And accommodative policy helped fuel the real estate bubble and we’re still trying to recover from that.  Continue reading