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Reid v. Angle, Part 4 By Joshua Nave This is part four of commentary on the recent debate between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and challenger Sharron Angle. The next set of questions focuses squarely on the economy.

10/22/10

- but they have forgotten the lesson of President Clinton: It’s the people, stupid.

Okay let’s move on to the economy, and this is for you, Senator Reid. Nevada has the highest foreclosure rate in the country. Las Vegas has the highest unemployment rate in the country. In fact the jobless rate has soared five percentage points in Nevada since President Obama has taken office. At what point will you stop putting the blame on President Bush and start blaming the current President, Barack Obama? Reid:

Reid’s answer is technically correct but is of little comfort to the nearly 15% of Clark County that is unemployed or the thousands of people who have already lost or are in the process of losing their homes. Nor does a moratorium on foreclosures by one bank do much to help the majority of Nevada home owners who now owe more on their house than it is worth. In his debate with Congresswoman Dina Titus, Dr. Joe Heck made the point that we need to get people to think about their house as a home and not as an investment.

There’s plenty of blame to go around. Uh, the fact is, I’ve worked hard to do something to help beleaguered Nevada homeowners. Two hundred million dollars here to work on mortgages that are underwater. Forty-eight thousand people in Nevada now have homes as a result of legislation that I pushed, the first-time homebuyer’s tax credit. We, as a result of my pressure on Bank of America, now have no more foreclosures by them, there’s a moratorium there.

In January of 2009, the economy was in freefall. Any hopes of a full recovery by the end of 2010 were naïve at best, and the Democrats may have overextended that hope 2 years ago.

We have to do more of course, But we have to understand that they won’t be able to do to us again as I indicated earlier, what they did to us before, because we passed Wall Street reform that will stop these greedy bankers on Wall Street from taking advantage of homeowners.

Of course not. You know, Mitch, when we, when President Bush took office, he had a surplus, over ten years of seven trillion dollars. We were paying down the debt in the Clinton years. We paid down the debt by $600 billion. So we’re in this hole, and we’re trying to dig out of it.

This was yet another opportunity missed by Reid because he

We lost eight million jobs during the Bush years, we’ve created three and a half million of ‘em. There’s a long ways to go and no one’s satisfied where we are, but let’s realize where we were and how far we’ve come.

skipped over the question. This question is really at the heart of not only this election, but elections across the country this year. Democrats made huge gains in 2008 largely because the electorate blamed President Bush and Congressional Republicans for the collapsing economy, but in the two years that have followed that antipathy has turned on Democrats for not bailing the country out of this crisis fast enough. Democrats have largely responded by touting specific bills and numbers - and in fact by the numbers, the recession is over

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Do you think President Obama shares enough, as much blame as President Bush? Reid:

That’s no solace to somebody that’s been, lost a job, or a home, but we’ve made progress. Small signs of recovery from Senator Reid. Too little, too late.

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Angle:

government that we really have spoiled our citizenry.’’

The housing bubble was caused a long time before this recent recession. And it has to do with things that we have refused to deal with in our Senate, that Senator Harry Reid has refused to deal with over the years.

Two questions. Number one, do you think the unemployment - do you think the unemployed - are spoiled? And then Hugh from Carson City wants to know: what you plan to do to fix the unemployment problem, especially if you believe that getting jobs for Nevadans is not your job.

The first one is that we have a problem with the Federal Reserve. We need a true audit of the Federal Reserve. Secondly, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have never been really truthfully dealt with. They’ve kept sweeping that away and away and away - in fact, in this last finance reform bill we could have dealt with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae but they said no, it was too big a problem to deal with. We need to start looking at these and looking at true solutions. And first we have to investigate what caused the problem in the first place. Certainly this problem has been going on ever since Senator Reid has been in leadership and that was before the Obama administration, but they’ve failed to deal with it in the Obama administration as well. I consider myself to be a reasonably well educated man. I follow politics the way some people follow football. I have no idea what Sharron Angle is saying here. The best I can come up with is that she is attacking the Federal Reserve along with Freddie and Fannie as part of her populist anti-government rhetoric.

Angle: Well, first of all, no I don’t think that our unemployed are spoiled and that was totally mischaracterized by my opponent. However he did call us that want to know what the answers are selfish children. We need to get Nevada back to work, and the way we do that is by encouraging the private sector to do what they do best, with policies from the government that give them confidence so that they can go forward. Right now they’re in a cloud of uncertainty and they’re holding back two trillion dollars that they would like to invest in jobs for Nevadans and Americans but they’re holding back because of more taxation and regulation coming out of Senator Reid’s administrative policies. Unemployment insurance pays you a fraction of the income you made from your last job. This is a vague answer playing on Reid’s unpopularity here in Nevada, but offers no actual solutions.

Reid: Well we do have a commission, we have a Las Vegan, Byron Georgiou, and Heather Murren on that to find out what really happened at the collapse, so we’re, we’re on top of that. The Federal Reserve - I called for a Federal Reserve audit in 1985 - ‘87, I’m sorry. So, I agree with my opponent on that, there should be a Federal Reserve audit. We haven’t gotten it yet, it’s uh, but we’ve made some progress in that regard. Freddie Mae and Freddie Mac - Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - all experts say it needs reform but you can’t do away with them for heaven’s sakes. We would have no way of even sustaining the housing market we have today. Seems like Reid is about as perplexed as I am. Thank you. A next question goes to you Mrs. Angle, and it is on unemployment. You were quoted as saying ‘’you can make more on unemployment than you can going down there and getting one of those jobs. That is an honest job but it doesn’t pay as much. We have put in so much entitlement into our

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Okay let me ask a follow up. Do you believe that getting jobs for Nevadans is not your job? Angle: I believe that my job is to create the policies that will encourage the private sector to do what they do best and that is to create jobs. Probably the most direct and honest answer of the evening. Although the federal government does create jobs, both directly and indirectly, most people agree that the biggest role of the federal government in relation to job creation is to create policies that make it easy for companies to hire employees. Republican and Democrat administrations both tout their job creation numbers, but it’s a short hand way of talking about the number of private sector jobs created under their watch. The difference between the two parties is not a matter of who creates the jobs, but what policies will encourage the private sector to create the jobs that Americans want.

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That would be a no. Okay. Senator Reid, your response? Reid: Mitch, yesterday or the day before, we had a company from China come here to create a thousand jobs. They’ve already leased the warehouse, they’re going to make LED lighting. They’re going to build windmills. That’s the result of tax policy that I put in a bill. We have now almost two billion dollars worth of work going on in Nevada with renewable energy jobs. That’s the result of tax policy, incentives to have them do that. McCarran airport, as a real, as a result of tax policy, we have a $3 billion project going on there today. Harrah’s, as a result of language in a bill there, they, we saved 31,000 jobs at Harrah’s alone. All these things I’ve talked about today, my opponent is against those, she wouldn’t do that. My job is to create jobs. What she’s talking about is extreme. We have to do this, we’ve been doing it since Boulder Dam was created 81 years ago. We started construction. Second use of the ‘’extreme’’ card. Senator Reid talks about private sector job creation and retention encouraged by policies he helped create or supported but also reminds us that sometimes federal money is used to create local jobs by citing the Boulder Dam (known to most as the Hoover Dam).

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What Reid isn’t saying explicitly is that senators get to divvy up portions of the federal pie and that he believes part of his job is to direct some of that money to Nevada. As Majority Leader, he does have the ability to bring home the bacon and as a first termer Angle would not have the influence to bring as much of that money back to Nevada. Angle: Once again, Harry Reid, it’s not your job to create jobs, it’s your job to create policies that create the confidence for the private sector to create those jobs. And they have lost confidence because of things like Obamacare. There’s a, a business in Reno, where he wanted to hire twenty-four - five - more employees but instead laid of five, just because of the provisions in Obamacare. We’re seeing those kinds of policies actually crush our economy over the last 20 months. Angle’s frequent use of the term ‘’Obamacare’’ is stinging reminder of just how poorly this administration has sold the health care reform bill. Check back tomorrow for the final installment of our debate coverage where we’ll talk about the Supreme Court and one of the high profile issues under judicial scrutiny today.

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Reid v. Angle, Part 4