College Republicans host economic forum

Article by: Ryan Boyle

“…straight out of the Communist manifesto.”

The College Republicans hosted an economic forum Tuesday featuring Suffolk professor and chairman of the Beacon Hill Institute David G. Teurck, PhD. Prior to his work at Suffolk and the B.H.I., Teurck was a director in the Economic Analysis Group at Coopers and Lybrand, in addition to serving as a director of the Center for Research and Advertising at the American Enterprise Institute.  Teurck also holds a doctorate in economics from the University of Virginia.

Teurck started off with a brief overview of his political background, sharing how his interest in politics took off during the Kennedy campaign and how his mother used to say he was “baptized a Democrat,” coming from a family of Roosevelt era Democrats.

The forum opened with Teurck reflecting on President Obama’s campaign. “[Obama’s] selling a bill of goods he never should be allowed to sell,” he said, referencing the promise of economic recovery through green jobs, tax cuts, and various stimulus programs.  Teurck feels raising the taxes for Americans that make over $250,000 is more of a punishment then a productive stimulus measure, “straight out of the Communist manifesto.”

Teurck called the Green Jobs Stimulus a public relations campaign for the Obama administration, saying the jobs created are “jobs you give to people for things that people don’t want to buy.”  Further attacking the administration’s Green campaign, Teurck calls the numerous greenhouse emissions regulations ineffective in the long run without worldwide cooperation. He did, however, point out that the United States is setting an example, and ideally, other nations will follow suit after seeing our commitment to the environment.

When asked what he would do to stimulate the economy, Teurck responded by saying there are “two schools of economic thought,” further stating that “markets left unrelated will do well” and “keeping taxes low, will result in a good economy.”  Expanding upon his previous statement, he said he would also, “freeze capital trade taxes, put health care reform on hold, work to control the deficits [and] bring federal spending down” resulting in the economy correcting itself.

Taking a question from audience member junior Mike Gomez  regarding how Obama was handling the economic crisis, Teurck responded by saying, “Obama got elected on a bad deal.”  In regards to Obama’s mounting debt and federal deficit, Teurck is left wondering when the “savings binge to backup the levels of debt” is coming.  He noted that when the government carries excessive debt, it’s a bad sign to businesses. He also stressed the point that the government needs to encourage savings through freezing taxes on capital gains, marginal rates, and dividends.

In regards to federal and state contracts, Teurck called union labor contracts, the “kiss of death,” saying that the unions unnecessarily inflate project costs, and take away the competitive atmosphere of the construction industry.  He commended former President Bush for banishing union labor contracts from the federal government, and cited how non-unionized contracts resulted in cost savings and more competition between bids for contracts.

Teurck predicts that Obama will not get re-elected in the 2012 election, unless he “acts more like a Republican” and that the Democrats in general will “lose lots of seats.”

Another question asked of Teurck by Suffolk GOP President Karl Hoffman was in reference to jump starting jobs in Mass. Teurck said the state should “rescind the sales tax increase, rid spending, and reduce the corporate tax,” despite the fact that high-tech and investment companies in Boston were performing well in this economic struggle.  In regard to the state’s health welfare program Teurck said, “a generous public welfare program has got to go” and that the minimum wage should be lowered to allow for more competitive jobs among teenagers and immigrants.

In addition to lowering the minimum wage, Teurck feels that salaries for teachers should be increased, in addition to police officers. “We pay [officers] for the job of fighting crime and going after the bad people instead of standing over a manhole cover,” referencing a Mass. law that requires a police presence on job sites.

The last way to reduce the deficit and save money is through eliminating Medicare and urging Americans to save for healthcare and other expenses, while leaving Medicaid alone.

The one thing Teurck agrees with is Obama’s new plan for government Pell Grants, saying, “it gets students to Suffolk and helps them graduate, I like that.”

“There was a really strong turnout and it was refreshing to hear a different Republican viewpoint at the forum,” said Hoffman, where some come with such a “stringent viewpoint.”

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