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April 8th, 2011
09:15 AM ET

Rep. West:"It really is about reducing the size and scope of the federal government"

Rep. Allen West believes a conglomeration of failures that brought the country to the point of a shutdown. He denies that the problem is social issues, such as the EPA and federal funding for abortion. Instead, it's about spending and keeping the government inside constitutional mandates. He wants $61 billion in spending cuts. Republican Alan West is a freshman in the Congress and a member of the Tea Party Caucus and he speaks to CNN's American Morning about the possible shutdown.

Filed under: Politics
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Edwin W Bodine

    We have approximately 8 mil people on unemployment not paying the taxes they did when they had a job. We have another 4-8 mil people under-employed not paying taxes at the rate they used to pay. We also have large companies like GE and Exxon Mobil that are paying little or no taxes on their income. It sounds to me like we have a revenue problem, not a spending problem. This situation will continue until people are again working at decent paying jobs allowing them to pay more income and payroll taxes, and until all large companies are paying their fair share of taxes on profits. In the meantime I have an idea for a revenue stream for the Federal Government that could help solve a big portion of the deficit problem.

    Credit Default Swaps (CDS) have become a popular financial tool since the early 1990’s. On February 15th, 2011 during hearings on the Dodd-Frank Financial Regulation Law, Gary Gensler, CFTC Chairman, indicated that approximately $300 Trillion of Swap agreements and approximately $40 Trillion of Futures agreements exist in the US market. In the near future, the CFTC will have the responsibility of regulating CDS agreements along with the rest of the derivative agreements they presently regulate. I would like to propose a 0.5% Financial Speculation Tax (FST) directed specifically at the CDS Derivative market to help reduce our deficit and debt. The winner and loser of each CDS agreement would equally share this tax burden at 0.25% each. A similar tax could also be applied to products associated with the Futures Market Derivatives, such as oil futures. I would recommend exempting agricultural products (i.e. corn, wheat, soy beans, oranges, etc) from such a tax. Based on a $300 Trillion US Swap market alone, this tax could generate $1.5 Trillion dollars. A small tax such as this would not hinder the economic growth in this country and would provide a respectable stream of revenue to the Federal Government. I believe a similar tax was applied to stock market transactions from 1914 to 1966 and acted as a good source of revenue to the Federal Government during that same period.

    I would hope such a FST on CDS Derivative agreements and non-agricultural futures products be considered to help reduce our deficit and debt.

    Ed Bodine
    New Albany, IN

    PS: Reference Gensler Video @ this C-SPAN address to confirm $300 Trillion Swap market:

    April 9, 2011 at 7:05 am |
  2. Donna Field

    How is taking the poison out of our air and water a social issue? I would think it might be a health concern. How is protecting our national parks a social issue? The earth and all of its grandeur is one of God's greatest gifts to us. How can we trash that? How can we deny the significance of clean air and water and the devastating effects of global warming? I feel like we have lost all rationale. Planned Parenthood and global warming really don't belong in the same arena.

    I guess the industrial giants can sleep easy knowing they don't need to have any semblance of conscience when they poison us. What a way to make a living.

    April 8, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
  3. saynsumthn

    As reporters why don't you report how Planned Parenthood makes Triple Digit Fat Cat Salaries off the backs of middle and poor class tax payers.

    Why don't you tell the truth about how RACIST Planned Parenthood has been since it was founded by Sanger who admitted she gave Klan speeches and advocated forced sterilization by joining the Eugenics Society now known to have STERILIZED THOUSANDS OF BLACKS- where has Planned Parenthood ever apologized for this- NOPE- NEVER- instead they take our tax dollars and name their top award the Margaret Sanger Award after that racist KLAN Speaker ! Demand they are defunded- Learn more about racism- Watch Maafa21 and see what the media and the gov't are hiding

    April 8, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
  4. Denise Eades

    I think it's a power play. If the democrats are willing to meet the republicans at 50%, and the mark keeps getting pushed by the reps, it's either a power play or the reps don't have a clue as to how to do their jobs. 2 parties, to keep each other honest, supposed to keep the best ideas and throw the others out and meet in the middle. Part of it is they are trying to bring O'bama down. The only saving grace for me will be that it's only two years until I can vote for someone else.

    April 8, 2011 at 9:40 am |