Jackson County Times

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Friday, June 11, 2010

Thirty Minutes of Straight Talk With Allen Boyd

Boyd Gives the TIMES an Exclusive Interview
After Representative Boyd had completed his commitment to the Democratic Executive Committee on Monday evening, he graciously agreed to come to the offices of the Jackson County Times for an interview.  We sincerely appreciate his willingness to discuss key issues of the moment with us.
TIMES:  How did the economy get in such bad shape?
BOYD:  In 1997, my first year in Congress under President Bill Clinton, there were policies in effect providing for balances in government spending.  The Clinton administration had “pay as you go” and “discretional spending gaps” but all those policies were allowed to expire in 2002 when (George W.) Bush was president.  Then there was no backdrop or safety valve for balancing the budget and irresponsible spending resulted.
TIMES:  Isn’t government spending in Washington, D.C. out of control now?
BOYD: Yeah, and it started about 10 years ago.
TIMES: Are you in favor of stopping or curtailing offshore drilling as a result of the oil spill?
BOYD:  This country is not going to stop drilling offshore.  We need to look at what happened, who was responsible and how to stop it from happening again.  That’s the main thing.  It’s been 48 days. That well killed 11 people and the oil is still flowing at the rate of God knows what or how much. We’ve got to have a better plan.  The American public needs to be assured that with whatever drilling, they’ve got a good plan.
TIMES:  Isn’t it true that most of your constituents are against nationalized health care?  Won’t it reduce the quality of American health care, traditionally the best in the world and will it not put the elderly at risk if rationing occurs?
BOYD:  Let me tell you something.  Number one, it’s not nationalizing health care.  There’s no public option, there’s no government takeover and it uses the private sector to implement this plan.  This is close to what Republicans proposed in 1993.  No public option, no government takeover; it’s all private health insurance plans.  If you are not happy with what you have, you can come to this exchange and see what Blue Cross, Aetna or whoever else brings a plan into this exchange—what they have, what kind of coverage they provide and how much it’s going to cost.  It’s almost identical to the federal employees’ health insurance plan.  It’s much less expensive than the state retirement plan.  You get to pick and choose.
TIMES:  Do you think most of your constituents are for the health bill or against it?
BOYD:  I don’t know.  Many are for it; many are against it.  I think when people begin to understand what’s in it and what’s not in it…there is so much disinformation out there.
TIMES: Did you read the bill?
BOYD:  Yes, it’s more than 1,200 pages.
TIMES:  The country is experiencing a resurgence of conservatism, and many elected officials from the Democratic Party have been replaced by Republicans, particularly in New Jersey and Massachusetts.  Does the conservative Tea Party movement worry you and do you think you may be replaced this year with a conservative, or Republican in Congress?
BOYD:  First of all, I’m not worried.  I don’t spend my time worrying about the Tea Party.  In our democracy, everybody has a right to organize and talk about what they have in common.  
TIMES:  You voted for the $750 billion stimulus bill.  Has it worked and are you glad you voted for it?
BOYD:  I supported for the first stimulus and I’m glad I did. About half of the $750 billion was for tax breaks and the other half was put into government functions—building roads and bridges, water and sewer projects.  Some money went to states to keep them from laying off teachers.
TIMES:  But unemployment in the private sector has increased since the passage of the stimulus bill.
BOYD:  Have you ever seen an aircraft carrier turn around?  Its size makes that take a long time, doesn’t it?  This is the largest economy in the world, a $15 trillion economy.  It started down in 2007.  We started negative growth and went into a recession in 2008.  It was announced that our financial institutions were about to fail, so the TARP bill was proposed.  I talked to 15 economists about what to do and not one said that doing nothing was an option.  The stimulus was (also) helpful.  You’re not going to turn unemployment around instantly.  Half the stimulus money was in tax cuts and incentives.  Some of the Bush tax cuts were good and some were not.
TIMES:  You voted for the cap and trade bill.  Would you do it again?
BOYD:  It depends on what’s in it.
TIMES:  Do you believe global warming is a real man-made crisis, that the buying and selling of carbon credits will help save the planet, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says, or do you think it will just make people like former vice-president Al Gore wealthy?
BOYD: Who wrote this question?
TIMES: I did.
BOYD:  Let me tell you something.  I can’t editorialize on Al Gore, but do you know what the price of gas was here in Marianna in the summer of 2008?  Nearly $5.  Do you know what that did to our country?  This country doesn’t control the price of oil.  There are 88 million barrels of oil consumed in the world on a daily basis.  Out of that 88, we consume 25 percent, yet we only produce in America about 10 percent—about 9 million barrels.  Out of all the world’s oil reserves, we control only 2 percent.  Gasoline is cheap when oil is $25 a barrel but what happens to us when OPEC controls and it goes to $135 a barrel?  In 2008, the largest transfer of wealth in the history of the world occurred when America sent $500 billion that year to oil-producing countries.
TIMES:  Some consider that to have been an exchange of wealth rather than a transfer of wealth; we did obtain the oil in return for the money.
BOYD: But spending that money is one of the major factors that sent us into the recession.
TIMES: Shouldn’t we do more to increase the use of our oil and gas reserves in America, and build more nuclear power plants?
BOYD:  I’m for more nuclear power and I’m for drilling in Alaska, but not in the Gulf of Mexico.  I think a lot of people who have been for it before are not going to be now.
TIMES: And the cap and trade bill?
BOYD: It’s dead.
TIMES:  Concerning immigration and illegal aliens, do you support the Arizona crackdown bill and have you read it?
BOYD:  No, I haven’t read it.  And I won’t take a position on the Arizona bill.  I’ll tell you that my position on immigration is that we ought to be able to know who is coming into our country and be able to stop people we don’t want to come here.  We need to secure our borders.  But, at the same time, we also need a guest worker program.  It’s a two-headed monster.  Immigrants are coming here to do jobs that employers cannot otherwise find people to do.
TIMES:  Do you think the country of Israel acted correctly and legally last week in stopping the Turkish flotilla from breaking Israel’s blockade of Gaza?
BOYD:  The United States is a solid ally of Israel and that has not changed, but I am not up on the recent events concerning Israel; I have been too busy assessing this oil spill.    
TIMES: Mr. Boyd, thank you for your time and your willingness to have an open dialogue with our paper. 

1 comment:

  1. What Boyd failed to mention is that Bill Clinton was the one who caused most of our economic problems. He demanded FANNIE MAE and FREDDIE MAC rewrite their underwriting rules allowing people who could not qualify for home loans to get homes they couldn't afford. Clinton said "everyone should be able to own a home".
    I was an appraiser and started writing articles exposing Clinton's action, what I predicted would happen and it did happen. This started before Bush was in office but Obama and the Dems are still blaming him for it. It was just another liberal scheme gone bad like the schemes liberals have going on now. Look where that's getting us.