Senator Jim Risch explains how America will be just fine with less spending in Washington, DC

Instead of looking at all of Washington and just declaring they stink, Glenn has decided to take a hard look at some of the strongest champions for liberty who are ready to stand together against the GOP Progressives. One Senator that has been highly ranked on "Most Conservative in the Senate" lists is Senator Jim Risch of Idaho. Glenn invited Senator Risch onto radio to discuss some of the issues facing the country today. What did he think?

Read the Rush Transcript below:

GLENN: Okay. We have a guy who I don't know much about and we are going to start making a list and checking it twice of who's naughty and nice. Instead of looking at all of Washington and saying they all stink, Ted Cruz is out and he is trying to ‑‑ he said yesterday, "You know it's time to have another party, maybe." I think it is. But I don't want to ‑‑ I mean, you know, you ‑‑ that's a long process. That's 20 years. We can make inroads if we can get a group of guys to stand together on liberty principles and really stand together and say, "I don't care what John Boehner says; we're not going to do it." And if they would really stand together, I think people in ‑‑ the American people would gather around them. They are going to be called names, they are going to be called everything under the sun, but if they would stand together. You know, Rand Paul, Cruz, Mike Lee, it would be great.

Now, there's a senator that I don't think I've ever spoken to, at least politically. I understand that we met one time up in Idaho when he was the governor and now he's the senator. And he was ‑‑ was he number one on one of the conservative lists of the most ‑‑

STU: Yeah, most conservative in the Senate on one list, yeah.

GLENN: And I said, we have to start ‑‑ let's start at the top and go down and meet these guys and introduce them to you. Senator Risch, how are you, sir?

RISCH: Good. Good to talk to you again, Glenn. It has been a while since we've talked.

GLENN: Yeah. Where was that? It was up in Idaho.

RISCH: Yeah, it was at Frank VanderSloot's home.

GLENN: That was years ago. Yeah, that was years and years ago.

RISCH: It was a while ago, yeah. A lot of water under the bridge.

GLENN: So Jim, you are ‑‑ tell us a little bit about yourself on where you stand on the Constitution and what is happening right now in our country.

RISCH: Well, I was ‑‑ I started my career as a prosecutor and I spent almost 30 years in the state Senate, then I was lieutenant governor, governor and now in the U.S. Senate but, you know, I guess people are ‑‑ I've had some people surprised about soliciting but, look, I cast 20,000 votes when I was in the state Senate and they're not any different than what I vote on here.

Look, there's two things that guide me. Number one, what's happened in this town and what shocked me since I got here going on my fifth year now is the lack, total lack of disregard for the sovereignty of the states. There is no ‑‑ there's absolutely no discussion about the rights that have been reserved to the states in the Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and these things are ‑‑ you know, I was one of the senators that voted against the violence against women's act and brought a lot of heat on that in the media, but that ‑‑ I'm not soft on violence against women. I think it's terrible. When I was a prosecutor, I put people in prison for that. But the United States government has no business in that at all. It is the function of the states to do that and that's what's caused this government to grow is that these people come here and they see something that they would like to do and do good on and so they introduce a bill and away you go and then if you don't vote for it, then you're a bad guy because you support violence against women, which is absolutely insane.

GLENN: Okay. So ‑‑

RISCH: And that's what's happening in this town and that gets me. But the second thing that gets me, Glenn, and your listeners know this: As bad as they think it is in Washington D.C., it is much, much worse than that. They are borrowing 42 cents out of every dollar they spend. They spend between $10 and $11 billion a day, but they have to borrow over $4 billion every single day in order to pay their bills at night. This has got to stop.

GLENN: So how do you do that? When they are, right now they are saying that, you know, this 2 or 3% cut with sequester is going to shut everything down: The airports are going to stop, our children are going to be out in the streets without teachers and there's no firemen or no policemen?

RISCH: Glenn, that's crazy. You heard the FAA saying they are going to close down towers and what have you. They are going to have the same amount of money they had in 2009. They were operating the towers in 2009. Why would they have to close them down now? This president is going to do his best to make this as painful on the American people as possible. I think this one's going to come around and bite him. He's the CEO.

Look, when I was in Idaho, we had holdbacks from time to time because the money didn't come in, and we cut back, but we all got together and said how can we do this as painlessly as possible and still make the trains run on time? And we did it and we did it without punishing people. But that's what this president is trying to do. It's nonsense. It's crazy.

GLENN: Okay. So ‑‑

RISCH: And not only that, but on the sequester, this is de minimis compared to what's coming. Anybody who thinks we're going to get out of this thing without a substantial amount of pain is whistling Dixie. I mean, there ‑‑

GLENN: What kind of percentage, what kind of across‑the‑board percentage do you think in the end we're going to have to cut?

RISCH: Well, if you ‑‑ if you look at what we're borrowing, borrowing 42 ‑‑ just to get even, just to stop the hemorrhaging you've got to cut 42%. Well, of course, we all know that can't happen and you're going to have a collapse and chaos and everything else. But there's a simple way to do it. It will never happen in D.C., and I'll tell you why in a second. But the simple way to do this if we just spent 1% less every year for the next six or seven years, we could get back to a balanced budget. We'd still have a $20 trillion debt we'd have to deal with, but we could at least get back to a balanced budget.

And let me tell you why it's not going to happen. In Washington D.C. when you say we need to spend less than we spent last year, they look at you like you got three heads. The Republicans have compromised and compromised and compromised and got us up to $3.8 trillion spending, it's time for the other side to compromise and roll this thing backwards. Just a percent at a time and we can do it without bringing the house down around us.

GLENN: Do you think we could ever do that with the Republicans? I mean, John McCain, I mean, he's saying that Hagel is going to get confirmed. You know, you got the Lindsey Grahams and the John McCains in there and I mean, you're never going to get that?

RISCH: I'm already going to vote on cloture on that, I'm going to vote no. But I think there are enough people that are going to ‑‑

GLENN: So how do you make this happen, the tough things happen when you can't even get ‑‑ you can't even get Hagel, you can't even get enough Republicans to say absolutely not?

RISCH: Well, we got other problems besides that. You know, we got Brennan coming up who's a real problem also. But, you know, look, we can't give up. Yeah, we're in tougher times right now. We don't have the White House and when they have the White House and the national media on their side, you've got to ‑‑ you've got to get up every morning and get dressed and get ready to go down and fight because it's not going to be handed to you by any stretch of the imagination. When we do get the White House, we still have the national media against us, but I'm looking forward to that day. You know, we've got the days coming until this nightmare's over and we're going to get another shot at this. In a couple of years we're hoping that we're going to do better on the ‑‑ in the U.S. Senate and there's a real possibility on that.

GLENN: Well, I think there's a real possibility if the Karl Roves don't destroy everybody who could come in and back people like you and Mike Lee and everybody else up. But I mean, if the Karl Roves take this party, you're done.

RISCH: Well, you know, again like I said, this country's worth fighting for. I'm going to do it and I've got friends up here that are ‑‑ they are going to do it. And win, lose or draw, they are going to get a fight.

GLENN: Let me ‑‑ one other thing, I can't let you go: Where do you stand on ‑‑ I know this answer because of Idaho, but where do you stand on guns and what's coming?

RISCH: Nobody needs to take a stand on guns. It's already in the Constitution. It's black and white. It's written in plain English. And these people ‑‑ here in D.C. I get this question all the time: Well, why do you need an automatic weapon and a big clip to hunt for deer? Well, the answer to that is you don't, but the Second Amendment's got nothing to do with hunting. It was written by people who put it in place so that free Americans could defend themselves against people who wanted to take our rights away. It has nothing to do with hunting. Forget hunting. Take it ‑‑ take hunting out of the conversation. It's got nothing to do with that. But if ‑‑ I'll tell you what: Thank goodness we have the Second Amendment. Thank goodness when those guys sat down and they wrote the First Amendment and gave us all our God‑given rights in writing, they then said, "Okay, what are we going to have to do to keep these?" Somebody said, "I got an idea for number two," and number two is just crystal clear and black and white. Thank heaven we've got it.

GLENN: Thank you very much. Senator, great talking to you.

RISCH: Good talking to you, Glen.

GLENN: We'll talk again. So I think he goes up on the board. Do you agree?

STU: Yeah, I like him.

PAT: Definitely.

GLENN: So he goes up on the board as, let's get a ‑‑ let's get some magnets of all these guys ab we'll decide which one goes into the board. Which one goes into the GOP board and which one goes into the new GOP or the new ‑‑ the libertarian kind of constitutional kind of board.

STU: Kind of feels like our own creepy version of e‑harmony. Like we're just ‑‑ like we're going through, like, "What do we have in common with you?"

PAT: We've matched them on 28 dimensions of compatibility.

GLENN: But you know what? If we could get ‑‑

PAT: Found our soulmate.

GLENN: If we could get them and promote them as a group.

PAT: Yeah.

GLENN: We could say ‑‑ and they would start actually moving as a group, they would have some power.

PAT: Yep.

GLENN: You can't take all of them. I mean, you can, one at a time. But if they move together, you'll be okay. I mean, you at least have a shot. And at least then you start changing the dialogue. You don't talk about ‑‑ don't talk about all the crap that the GOP and the Democrats are talking about. Talk about principles. Make sure you base everything on principles. What do you say the Big 10, the Bill of Rights? Just base them all on that. No, you don't have a right to search without a warrant; no, you don't have a right to hold me without a trial. I have a right to a trial with a jury. I'm sorry, you can't just take my records of something. You can't snoop on me. You can't listen on my phone. You can't just take my stuff. You can't just tell the states what to do. It's not in the Constitution. It belongs to them. You can't take my gun, and I have a right to say that. If we can just get people to back the top ten, we'd be a lot farther than we are now.

 

The themes of healing and redemption appear throughout the Bible.

Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. — 1 Corinthians 15:43
It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners. — Mark 2:17.

So, for many Christians, it's no surprise to hear that people of faith live longer lives.

Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise. — Jeremiah 17:14.

But it is certainly lovely to hear, and a recent study by a doctoral student at Ohio State University is just one more example of empirical evidence confirming the healing benefits of faith and religious belief.

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Moreover, the study finds that religious belief can lengthen a person's life.

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. — Proverbs 17:22
Lord, your discipline is good, for it leads to life and health. You restore my health and allow me to live! — Isaiah 38:16

The study analyzed over 1,000 obituaries nationwide and found that people of faith lived longer than people who were not religious. Laura Wallace, lead author of the study, noted that "religious affiliation had nearly as strong an effect on longevity as gender does, which is a matter of years of life."

The study notes that, "people whose obits mentioned a religious affiliation lived an average of 5.64 years longer than those whose obits did not, which shrunk to 3.82 years after gender and marital status were considered."

And He called to Him His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. — Matthew 10:1

"The researchers found that part of the reason for the boost in longevity came from the fact that many religiously affiliated people also volunteered and belonged to social organizations, which previous research has linked to living longer. The study provides persuasive evidence that there is a relationship between religious participation and how long a person lives," said Baldwin Way, co-author of the study and associate professor of psychology at Ohio State.

Prayer is good medicine, and faith is a good protector.

In addition, the study showed how the effects of religion on longevity might depend in part on the personality and average religiosity of the cities where people live, Way said.

Prayer is good medicine, and faith is a good protector.

And the power of the Lord was with him to heal. — Luke 5:17
Heal the sick in it and say to them, The kingdom of God has come near to you. — Luke 10:9

In early June, the Social Security and Medicare trustees released their annual report on the fiscal health of these programs, and the situation looks dire. Medicare is scheduled to run out of money in 2026 (three years sooner than anticipated), while Social Security is expected to run out in 2034. The rising national debt is only one of the well-known financial struggles the millennial generation faces. The burdens of student loan debt, high housing prices (thanks to zoning restrictions), stagnant wage growth, the rising cost of healthcare and lingering aftershocks of the Great Recession are among the biggest sources of economic anxiety millennials feel.

Progressive politicians have been very successful at courting the youth vote, partly because they actually promote policy ideas that address many of these concerns. As unrealistic or counterproductive as Senator Bernie Sanders' proposals for single-payer health care or a $15 an hour minimum wage might be, they feel in theory like they would provide the economic stability and prosperity millennials want.

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Republicans, on the other hand, have struggled to craft a message to address these concerns. Fiscal conservatives recognize, correctly, that the burden of the $20 trillion national debt and over $200 trillion in unfunded liabilities will fall on millennials. Some conservatives have even written books about that fact. But the need to reform entitlements hasn't exactly caught millennials' attention. Pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson, in her book The Selfie Vote, notes that millennials generally view protecting the safety net as more important than reducing the deficit.

Clearly, Republicans have a problem. They need to craft solutions that address the millennial generation's struggles, but they can't seem to sell entitlement reform, their biggest policy preference that addresses those problems. The Republican approach to wooing millennials on policy is failing because talking about stopping the debt from reaching an unsustainable level is long-term and abstract, and offers few immediate tangible benefits. A new approach to both pave the way for entitlement reform and give millennials an immediate financial boost is to first reform not entitlement spending, but the payroll tax: specifically, by partially (or wholly) replacing it with a value-added tax.

Under the current Social Security model, workers pay for the benefits of current retirees through the payroll tax. This system creates the illusion of a pension program, in which what you put in is what you get out, but in reality Social Security is a universal safety net program for the elderly paid for by taxes. The payroll tax falls on workers and is a tax on labor, while the value-added tax (VAT) is a tax on consumption imposed at every part of the production process. Assuming that this policy change is revenue-neutral, switching to a VAT will shift the responsibility for funding Social Security and Medicare away from workers, disproportionately poorer and younger, and onto everyone participating in the economy as a whole. Furthermore, uncoupling Social Security funding from payroll taxes would pave the way for fiscal reforms to transform the program from a universal benefit program to one geared specifically to eliminating old-age poverty, such as means-testing benefits for high-income beneficiaries, indexing benefits to prices rather than wages or changing the retirement age.

Switching from the payroll tax to the VAT would address both conservative and liberal tax policy preferences.

Switching from the payroll tax to the VAT would address both conservative and liberal tax policy preferences. As the Tax Policy Center notes, the change would actually make the tax system more progressive. The current payroll tax is regressive, meaning that people with lower incomes tend to pay a higher effective tax rate than people with higher incomes. On the other hand, the value-added tax is much closer to proportional than the payroll tax, meaning that each income group pays closer to the same effective tax rate.

For Republicans, such a change would fit conservative economic ideas about the long-run causes of economic growth. A value-added tax has a much broader base than the payroll tax, and therefore would allow for much lower marginal tax rates, and lower marginal tax rates mean smaller disincentives to economic activity. According to the Tax Foundation's analysis of a value-added tax, the VAT would be a more economically efficient revenue source than most other taxes currently in the tax code.

Not only would replacing part or all of the payroll tax provide an immediate benefit to millennial taxpayers, it would also open the door for the much-needed entitlement reforms that have been so politically elusive. Furthermore, it would make the tax code both more pro-growth and less regressive. In order to even begin to address the entitlement crisis, win millennial support and stimulate the economy in a fiscally responsible manner, Republicans must propose moving from the payroll tax to the VAT.

Alex Muresianu is a Young Voices Advocate. His writing has appeared in Townhall and The Federalist. He is a federal policy intern at the Tax Foundation. Opinions expressed here are his only and not the views of the Tax Foundation. He can be found on Twitter @ahardtospell.

Glenn was joined by Alanna Sarabia from "Good Morning Texas" at Mercury Studios on Thursday for an exclusive look at Mercury Museum's new "Rights & Responsibilities" exhibit. Open through Father's Day, the temporary museum features artifacts from pop culture, America's founding, World Ward II and more, focusing on the rights and responsibilities America's citizens.

Get tickets and more information here.

Watch as Glenn gives a sneak peek at some of the unique artifacts on display below.

History at the Mercury Museum

Alanna Sarabia interviews Glenn Beck for "Good Morning Texas" at Mercury Studios.

Several months ago, at the Miss Universe competition, two women took a selfie, then posted it on Instagram. The caption read, "Peace and love." As a result of that selfie, both women faced death threats, and one of the women, along with her entire family, had to flee her home country. The occasion was the 2017 Miss Universe competition, and the women were Miss Iraq and Miss Israel. Miss Iraq is no longer welcome in her own country. The government threatened to strip her of her crown. Of course, she was also badgered for wearing a bikini during the competition.

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In an interview, Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, said:

When I posted the picture I didn't think for a second there would be blowback. I woke up to calls from my family and the Miss Iraq Organization going insane. The death threats I got online were so scary. The director of the Miss Iraq Organization called me and said they're getting heat from the ministry. He said I have to take the picture down or they will strip me of my title.

Yesterday, Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, posted another selfie with Miss Israel, during a visit to Jerusalem.

In an interview, she said that:

I don't think Iraq and Israel are enemies; I think maybe the governments are enemies with each other. There's a lot of Iraqi people that don't have a problem with Israelis.

This is, of course, quite an understatement: Iraq, home to roughly 15,000 Palestinians, refuses to acknowledge Israel as a legitimate country, as it is technically at war with Israel. The adages says that a picture is worth a thousand words. What are we to do when many of those words are hateful or deadly? And how can we find the goodness in such bad situations?