It's an old-fashioned, very outdated, non-functioning idea that we can drain all the resources from directly around us and skyrocket to the top of a skyscraper, and that's success. We have to understand that when one has to leech from others to that degree, then that's something we need to watch and stop.
First of all, we have seen now in six years of Obamacare that it has been a disaster. It is the biggest job-killer in this country. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs, have been forced into part-time work, have lost their health insurance, have lost their doctors, have seen their premiums skyrocket.
Number one, it is absolutely critical that we tone down the rhetoric when it comes to the immigration debate, because there has been an undertone that has been ugly. Oftentimes, it has been directed at the Hispanic community. We have seen hate crimes skyrocket in the wake of the immigration debate as it has been conducted in Washington, and that is unacceptable.
As Americans, we're raised with this idea of, 'We're number one.' As an individual, you absorb and you consume until you skyrocket to the top with your money and your whatever. That's not my philosophy. My philosophy is quite the opposite in that there's limited space, we have limited resources, and so it's not about the individual.
Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. . . . Because I'm capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants, natural gas-you name it-whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.
Well, I'm telling them two things. One is that, look, this is going to be something when the American people realize - once it's passed - that, A, it does take care of preexisting conditions; B, you're insurance rates aren't going to skyrocket; C, the insurance companies aren't going to be running the show like they were before; D, you're going to be in a position where you can keep your insurance that you have. That once the American public realizes that, you're going to get a reward for this. They're going to be rewarded.
When Congress votes for all sorts of benefits, without voting for enough taxes to pay for them, they get the support of those who have been promised the benefits, without getting grief from the taxpayers. It's strictly win-win as far as the welfare-state politicians are concerned. But it is strictly lose-lose, big-time, for the country, as deficits skyrocket.
But can we please stop insisting that if low-wage workers earn a little bit more, unemployment will skyrocket and the economy will collapse? There is no evidence for it. The most insidious thing about trickle-down economics is not the claim that if the rich get richer, everyone is better off. It is the claim made by those who oppose any increase in the minimum wage that if the poor get richer, that will be bad for the economy. This is nonsense.
The government has brought on the housing problem, partly by these very low interest rates, which encouraged many people to go way out on a limb. They've brought it on by highly restrictive building policies, which have caused housing prices to skyrocket artificially. And they've brought it on by the Community Reinvestment Act, which presumes that politicians are better able to tell investors where to put their money than the investors themselves are. When you put all that together, you get something like what you have.
While big corporations make huge, tax-free profits, taxes for the everyday working person skyrocket. While politicians take free trips around the world, those same politicians cut back food stamps for the poor. While politicians increase their salaries, millions of people are being laid off. I do not understand a government so willing to spend millions of dollars on arms, to explore outer space, even the planet Jupiter, and at the same time close down day care centers and fire stations.