THE PAIN that consumers felt at the gas pump and at the grocery store will loom large during this fall’s election season. For the incumbents, inflation is kryptonite. President Joe Biden is hoping weeks of falling gas prices will soften the blow of a midterm correction.
How are GOP Senate hopes aimed at fixing the economy?
In Tuesday’s primary, New Hampshire Republicans will choose a challenger to face Sen. Maggie Hassan in November as the Democrat seeks a second term.
The Union leader took part in a debate Wednesday with the five Republican candidates: Senate Speaker Chuck Morse of Salem, former Brig. General Don Bolduc from Stratham, former Londonderry City Manager Kevin Smith, Bitcoin millionaire Bruce Fenton from Durham and entrepreneur Vikram Mansharamani from Lincoln.
The 90-minute Live Free or Die GOP Senate primary debate at New England College was sponsored by AARP New Hampshire and hosted by Chris Ryan, host of “New Hampshire Today,” the morning talk show on News Radio 610 .
The panel posing questions to the candidates included Josie Albertson-Grove, Union Leader reporter, Lily Geber, student reporter at New England College, and yours truly, who kicked off the debate with a question about the economy:
“Consumers have been hit with higher prices for just about everything as fallout from the pandemic, supply chain and war in Ukraine affect energy prices, food prices and other commodities. What steps should the federal government take to stop inflation and protect the economy from future shocks?”
Here are the candidates’ answers in the order in which they were presented. Each had 60 seconds. Their responses were as varied as their backgrounds, blaming inflation on COVID-19 relief, monetary and energy policies and other factors. Morse, who is aiming to upset favorite Bolduc, chose to use most of his time attacking Hassan.
Bruce Fenton: “Inflation is caused by broken money, and politicians broke money. It’s a cycle that started over 20 years ago – in fact, it was 51 years ago years when we left the gold standard. The US dollar used to be backed by something real, a real form of money — gold — that had been recognized for hundreds and hundreds of years as a form of currency.
“In 1971 they dropped the gold standard and created what we have now, which are just images of dead presidents that people call money. And politicians print it out of thin air, with no accountability and with wild abandon for increasingly reckless crony bailouts and pork projects and projects and new green deals and things like that.
“Printing new money out of thin air with no accountability is what caused inflation. That is what causes inflation. And any politician who says he can easily fix it is most likely lying or not don’t understand the situation. The way to fix it is to get back to a sound monetary norm and implement sound economic policies.”
Chuck Morse: “The way to fix it is to stop spending and stop borrowing. That’s what we have to do. Maggie Hassan can’t understand this. Maggie Hassan thinks the only way to make a move things in Washington is Washington She wants to fund education and spend a trillion dollars right now writing checks.
“It’s an insult to everyone in the state of New Hampshire who paid their bills and signed on the dotted line to do so and to all the parents who worked hard to send their children to school. She said signed an infrastructure bill that she spent over a trillion dollars and came back to New Hampshire and said, “Here we are. Here’s New Hampshire’s share.” We were 51st in the country when Maggie introduced this bill.
“She can’t stop spending. We have to stop this. We have to go to Washington and live within our means, just like we do in New Hampshire. We’re the envy of the Northeast because of the how we govern in New Hampshire and how we budget in New Hampshire. Let’s bring this to Washington and do it the 603 way.”
Vikram Mansharamani: “I think one of the main causes of inflation that we face today is really energy policy. We have a really society-oriented energy policy that starts with climate alarmism, where we chose to beat cheap, reliable energy that can power Basically, that extra energy cost trickled down to all goods and services.
“I was lucky enough to sit on the board of a trucking company, and I can tell you that the cost of diesel has driven up the cost of freight. And anything that’s moved by a tractor-trailer will therefore have higher costs.
“So a bad energy policy where we have gone from being energy independent – able to export energy to our friends and allies – to an energy policy where we are dependent on countries that hate us – is not good policy. It produces inflation. Our country is in geopolitical danger, and it is absolutely hurting the families of the Granite State.
“Inflation is a tax. We foot the tax bill for bad policy.”
Kevin Smith: “Let’s not forget how we got here. We’ve had so much money flooding the system right now between all the COVID relief funds, the infrastructure bill, this latest loan bailout We’re devaluing the dollar. The way we’re getting back to lowering inflation and reviving the economy is going back to what we were doing just a few years ago.
“One: we need a balanced budget. We haven’t had a balanced budget since 1994, when we had a Republican Congress and Bill Clinton was president. I said back to the Gramm-Rudman amendment, which called for a truly balanced budget, and there were automatic budget cuts if you didn’t have one every year.
“We need to cut personal tax rates. We need to cut corporate tax rates. Repeal the Jones Act, which raises the cost of shipping liquefied natural gas and oil. And end many regulations environmental. And also I agree with Vikram. We need to become energy independent again, because a lot of those higher costs depend on moving goods and services. If we have higher energy costs, it eats away all of this. “
Don Bolduc: “It’s simple. It’s not difficult. It’s common sense. And that’s what we’re missing there. We now have an energy dependency. Biden’s policies that have put us in a situation where we are energy dependent. We need to start drilling. We need to start hydraulic fracturing. We have to start drilling at sea. We have to start drilling in Antarctica.
“Yes, we have to focus on a balanced budget, and I agree with that. We have to cut taxes. We have to do that. It’s essential. People can’t live. They’re suffering there. I saw the moms and dads. This is what we need to do to get America back to where it needs to be.
Mike Cote is editor for news and affairs. Contact him at [email protected] or (603) 206-7724.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. They do not represent the views and opinions of the sponsor, its members and affiliates.