The delegates responded to these other questions:
The GOP's stance on the environment
Getting out the message
The size of the "Big Tent"
Colin Powell's place in the party
A question from Jeff Towler of Norwood, NY
With the proposed across-the-boards tax cut to boost up the economy, how will Bob Dole et al. control Mr. Greenspan, (Chairman of the Federal Reserve), a man not controlled by the whims of politics but raw data? Wouldn't he put the brakes on the economy with higher interest rates? That leaves us in a much more precarious deficit condition. Given Mr. Greenspan's recent history, this scenario is not unfathomable. Thank you.
Tom Keating - MT
Ecomonic growth and the reduction in federal spending can balance the budget without causing greater inflation. The manipulation of the money supply by the Federal Reserve is the attempt to moderate growth and inflation at the same time. This balancing act will not work in the absence of economic growth. Deficit spending is the principle cause for the devalution of the dollar which is reflected in monetary inflation and price inflation. Balancing the budget while growing the ecomony would only strengthen the dollar and avoid inflation.
John Miller CT
Senator Dole's proposal for an across- the- board tax cut to boost the economy is right on the money in that we have to have growth if this country is to move forward and provide a better environment for future generations. Without growth we'll have exactly what we are getting from the Clinton administration - they can only function by raising taxes and when the average voter is contributing close to 40% of their income to taxes, clearly we have surpassed stagnation. As long as the economy grows, interest rates will not be raised.
Ben Montoya - CA
Actually, you are right that rates would probably go up but it would be much more difficult to put the brakes on the economy. Remember in the 80's when our economy was clipping along at a growth rate of almost 4%? Well, interest rates had been at an all time high in the late 70's and actually dropped down to a reasonable level in the early 80's and stayed there through the decade. I think you would see an initial increase in the interest rate and maybe some inflation because that is the price of money. If you have more money in your pocket you can afford more. So the price goes up. In a balanced economy where the private sector has a continuous growth rate, you will be able to afford more (so the price will go up) but a strong economy will stay ahead of inflation and will continue to sustain itself. Higher interest rates are a natural check on economic growth but they will find a relatively painless place to level off on which will not squelch the economy.
Ron Freeman - MO
You have touched on a debate that will be central to this campaign cycle. Can you reduce taxes and not have a revenue shortfall. The answer is unequivocally, yes! In the 1920's, the 1960's and the 1980's, Presidents Coolidge, Harding, Kennedy and Reagan reduced taxes and saw federal revenues increase significantly. The 1980's were the most dramatic. When Ronald Reagan took office in 1980, revenues for the federal government were right at $500 billion, by 1988, they were $950 Billion. The problem then was a big spending Congress.
If tax rates are cut and Congress reduces spending we can balance the federal budget and have a surplus that can begin repaying the national debt. The most recent evidence of this principle was in the state of Michigan. When John Engler was elected the state had a deficit problem. Governor Engler reduced tax rates and the liberals went wild. They just knew that tax cuts would be bad for the economy. Today, Jeff, the state of Michigan has a booming economy and a $2 billion surplus.
If the Dole Kemp tax strategy is implemented and Congress does it's job and controls spending, the nations economy will explode and we'll see similar results.
David Ferdinand - ID
The economy is not growing at the same rate it was when George Bush was in office. Greenspan saw it work in the Reagan years and will probably listen to the broadening of the GNP.
Toni Hellon - AZ
Bob Dole is no stranger to Mr. Greenspan. Dole, more than any other possible president, can get a handle on this situation, based on his long record of national work. Dole can work with Greenspan better than Clinton to come to an agreement on the economic future of our Federal Reserve
Hans von Spakovsky - GA
I am not a economics expert (is that a contradiction in terms?), but I do not believe that the actions Greenspan is able to take due to his position could douse the economic growth that would be caused by the tax cuts Republicans want to initiate. When you look at the enormous growth that resulted from Kennedy's tax cuts in the 1960's and the long, sustained growth due to Reagan's tax cuts, our GDP would be simply to large for him to affect negatively. The continued cuts in federal spending planned by the GOP along with the increase in tax revenue that would be the result of our economic growth doubling to 5% from its current anemic 2.3% would also balance the budget in a relatively short time (and alot shorter time than if Democrats are in control of the Congress, as in they would never balance the budget).
Scott Tipton - CO
NO! Mr. Greenspan will not. Once the economy is stimulated to acceptable growth-it will be driving job creation and production--none of which will be "drivers" of interest rates. In the Reagan Administration we proved that we can cut taxes, improve personal income, create jobs, hold down interest rates, hold down inflation and help all Americans. Now, however, we have the second side of the equation -- a Republican Congress that will control spending while serving the needs of our citizens.
Connie Cierpiot - MO
You bring up a very good point. The part of the equation that was missing during the Reagan years and the period of great economic growth was a Republican Congress. The spending cuts that voters know must happen will become a reality when President Dole signs the balanced budget amendment. The 2.2% growth that the current touts is woefully anemic. Put money back into the pockets of families and we will see unprecedented growth.