Arthur Levine, 49-year-old delegate from Indiana, retired (!).
A: Well I think we all share that concern to an extent, however there are always times of national emergency, and situations where you have to help the economy, and tax cuts are the way to do it. And the short intermediate problem is obviously a bigger deficit and bigger government.
But I think one of the things that we're resigned to is that the money is going to be spent, the question is, the Republicans are going to try to accomplish certain goals, if the money's going to be spent, we're gonna want to do it the way Republicans are gonna want to do it. And hopefully with a growing economy the deficit is going to take care of itself, just like it did in the '90s, but in the meantime our programs are going to be established, and sometimes they do cost money.
Q: One of the reasons why the deficit was [cut] in the '90s, presumably, is that there was political capital behind the idea; it was a national topic. Do you get a sense that that's a pressing issue for the Bush Administration and the Republicans.
A: I think that one of the great shames is the ridicule that trickle-down economics took. Which was nothing more than the '80s tax cuts that carried into the '90s, that just absolutely turned the economy into a boom. The fact that Bill Clinton increased taxes in 1994 was so negligible and really punitive, and is being given credit for solving the budget deficit, when the reality is we truly did grow our way out of the economy. We grew our way out of the deficit because of the tax cuts of the 1980s.
Q: Switch to another topic: You mentioned that, you know, in a time of crisis you gotta do what you gotta do, basically, and you trust the Republican way of doing it better. I presume we're talking a lot about foreign policy, and fighting wars, and being tough on terror. If it came down it right now, do you think we could fight another war somewhere if it became necessary? Do you think we might be over-extended somewhat? Is that a worry of yours?
A: Well, I would never short-change the U.S. military and what it's capable of doing in times of emergency. We were obviously able to do it during World War II, although it's true that we had a draft. But I think that anytime there was a necessity I would never sell our country short its ability to beat it. So I don't lose sleep over it.