12:00 p.m. In the third of a series of candidate forums sponsored by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute, GOP 3rd Congressional District candidate Erik Paulsen is giving a speech entitled, “Why We Need Forward Thinking Leaders to Solve the Economic Crisis.”
12:05 p.m. Paulsen says his reason for running for the 3rd District is that Congress is ‘broken.’ Paulsen also says he has learned civility from retiring Representative Jim Ramstad, for whom he once worked in D.C. Ramstad and Paulsen have criticized the Ashwin Madia campaign for its ‘gutter tactics’ in this race.
12:13 p.m. Paulsen says he was not a fan of the stimulus check that was sent out earlier this summer. He is opposed to these ‘short-term solutions’ and the country needs real economic incentives by making changes to the tax code, and making these changes permanent (he wants to make permanent the Bush tax cuts).
12:18 p.m. Paulsen believes if the Bush tax cuts are not made permanent there will be a harmful effect on both small businesses and families (due to the lack of job creation that Paulsen states will accompany the raising of those taxes if the cuts are not extended).
12:19 p.m. Paulsen believes the U.S. corporate tax rate – which is second in the world behind Japan – is only encouraging businesses to move overseas.
12:21 p.m. Beyond tax cuts, Paulsen says the key to the growth of the American economy is education – making sure we have the most creative entrepreneurs and educated scientists in the world.
12:23 p.m. Paulsen says the United States is not graduating enough engineers from our universities – the U.S. is falling behind countries like China, Japan, and South Korea.
12:28 p.m. Paulsen believes Congress needs to tighten its belt and that John McCain is ‘a little off base’ in supporting another 300 billion dollar stimulus, stating it is short-sighted.
12:30 p.m. In a question and answer session with Center Director Larry Jacobs, Paulsen says he has been disappointed with congressional Republicans, as well as the Bush administration, for not being fiscally conservative. He says he tells this to his Republican audiences and always gets a round of cheers.
12:33 p.m. Paulsen was not a supporter of the first financial bailout package, but did support the second bill, despite the 100 billion in pork that ended up in the legislation. Overall, however, Paulsen states he is wary of the notion that the financial center of the country could be shifting from New York City to Washington, D.C.
12:42 p.m. Paulsen does say that while there can be overregulation of the financial industry, federal regulation does need to ‘catch up with the times’ (e.g. in the areas of hedge funds etc.).
12:46 p.m. Paulsen is also in favor of more federal action in dealing with the ‘unethical’ behavior of financial industry executives.
12:49 p.m. Paulsen advocates ‘smaller government’ though he acknowledges sometimes government needs ‘to help people help themselves.’ He says he will look at each program one by one on its merits, rather than let a blanket ideology decide his support or opposition to federal spending.
12:52 p.m. Turning to audience questions, Paulsen says there is no existing tax cut that he would like to see lapse that comes to mind. Paulsen says, however, he will not take a ‘no new tax’ pledge. He said he took the pledge once in 1996, but has not renewed the pledge since.
12:57 p.m. Paulsen somehwat supports going back to the pay-as-you-go budget rule, but not across the board. Paulsen believes that the education funding he proposes can be supported because renewing the Bush tax cuts would create more revenue, but also through cutting some spending (such as agricultural subsidies to ‘millionaire farmers’).
12:59 p.m. Paulsen supports a balanced budget amendment, and would support any president having the line item veto, including a President Barack Obama.
1:02 p.m. Paulsen is worried student loans may be facing a crisis – just like the home mortgage crisis, with many students defaulting on their student loans.
1:08 p.m. Paulsen has seemed quite comfortable throughout the question and answer session with all the different types of questions that have been posed of him. He has not seemingly relied on recycling quotes from his speech or felt the need to avoid answering the questions by changing the issue.