Glenn interviews Romney on economics


Mitt Romney

GLENN: Welcome to the program. Third most listened to from Manhattan. My name is Glenn Beck. Glad you're here. Mitt Romney is a guy that has been a CEO, gets it, understands the economy unlike any other people that I hear talking, even the current CEOs I'm thinking, what are they even saying. Mitt Romney, welcome to the program. How are you, sir?

GOVERNOR ROMNEY: I'm terrific, Glenn. Thank you.

GLENN: Can you please help tell me and everybody else what the heck is even going on? What is this and what does this mean to the average person?

GOVERNOR ROMNEY: Well, the good news is that bank accounts are insured, brokerage accounts are held in people's names and to the extent they're not, they're also insured. So people don't need to worry about losing their money as they see the topsy turvy things going on in Wall Street. But what's happening is that over the past several years with interest rates extremely low, held artificially low and with mortgage banks and by the way, politicians of Republican and Democratic stripe alike all saying give money out to people so they can buy homes, mortgage money was handed out like candy and the result of this was homes were being bought like crazy and now people are finding they can't make the payments and so what you have on your hand is a housing crisis and a mortgage crisis, where the mortgages are not being paid back and so the institutions which hold those mortgages or have guarantees on them are finding themselves in trouble and they're going under one by one. And the government is having to step in to make sure that the well, not that their shareholders are protected but rather make sure that the public is protected.

GLENN: I heard a former Fed chair say this morning that he thinks this is it, this is it. Now we're now it's going take us about two years to dig our way out but this is the last shoe to drop. Do you buy that at all?

GOVERNOR ROMNEY: It's possible. You know, the strange thing about recessions is that as Alan Greenspan has pointed out, they are oftentimes caused by a healthy dose of irrational behavior and you never know what irrational behavior's going to do. It's hard to predict. But, you know, I think with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac now in stable hands and with this AIG picture behind us, there's a real good shot that we won't see major financial institutions like this in trouble. But, of course, we're going to have banks go under. We usually have about 100 banks a year that go under in this country. We'll have at least that many this year and there will be plenty for the media to write about that will be scary but, you know, we can hope that and I think we have a good prospect of believing that the worst is behind us in terms of these financial institution bankruptcies.

GLENN: Here we are, we get up this morning and I think, oh, wow, this is fantastic, we own an insurance company now, and the largest one in the world. This is great. We seem to be in an acquisition mode that makes me slightly uncomfortable. Meanwhile Pelosi and Reid are politicking for a new federal agency whose job would be to buy bad assets from corporations. This is where are we getting this money?

GOVERNOR ROMNEY: Well, actually the it was something I recommended about a year and a half ago, something similar which was, look, there ought to be a voluntary effort where people that are holding these mortgages or banks that are holding these mortgages or other investors could contribute them to an entity, contribute them to the entity and then the entity goes out and tries to collect what they can and ultimately sends the money back to whoever contributed it and

GLENN: Wait, wait, wait. That's a federal agency you wanted to create?

GOVERNOR ROMNEY: I wanted to make that a very private and voluntary effort on the part of institutions.

GLENN: Right.

GOVERNOR ROMNEY: And so that was a way to go. What you don't want to have happen and is what's happening right now which is that let's say one bank holds a piece of debt from General Motors and that bank is in overnight trouble, disaster. They have to sell that piece of paper they got from General Motors for 10 cents on the dollar. Well, because we have a rule that says everybody that holds that same paper must mark to market, they all write down that General Motors paper to 10 cents and that causes all of their balance sheets to be in trouble. Some of our rules just don't make sense in this kind of a, kind of a panic selling setting where some institutions are selling well below the true value of their asset.

GLENN: You said just a little while ago, and it just I mean, I tell you, Mitt, I think this is the winning strategy and I think it's because you mean it and I think Sarah Palin means it and I hope John McCain means it. This is not a Democratic problem. This is a Republican and Democratic. This is a Washington problem.

GOVERNOR ROMNEY: Yeah, you're absolutely right on this. We watched people on both sides of the aisle celebrate as mortgages were being given out and being backed by the federal government through effectively Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, mortgages were being given out to people who didn't have to show they had the ability to pay, people who didn't have to put a down payment down, people who were getting interest only mortgages with a variable rate. We were celebrating that. Republicans and Democrats were celebrating it, and it led to a bubble, overwhelmingly high prices and some mortgages out there that weren't worth very much and that's all coming home to roost and, you know, shame on the people who were encouraging it. And there's plenty of blame to go around. It's not one party or the other. And it's Wall Street, it's Main Street, it's homeowners, it's mortgage banks, it's bankers, it's regulators and it's Republicans and Democrats alike. So, you know, let's stop worrying about who's to blame. Let's worry instead about what you do to fix it and how to get our economy growing again.

GLENN: Okay.

GOVERNOR ROMNEY: And there's where John McCain's right. Hold down taxes, keep trade open with other nations and stop sending billions of dollars every day out of our country to buy oil.

GLENN: Yesterday Joe Biden said that, you know, Obama was going to hike the taxes over, anyone over $250,000. He said no economist has ever said that's bad for the economy. Meanwhile Barack Obama's tax plan and I just figured this one out he wants to raise the minimum wage yet again but in a different way. He is going to give tax rebate checks to anyone who is making minimum wage of up to $1100 a year. What do these two things do to our economy?

GOVERNOR ROMNEY: Well, first of all, raising taxes on anyone, even though sometimes it's popular to raise taxes on your enemy, but raising taxes on anyone is never good for the economy. It takes money out of the free economy, it takes money out of investment funds which can be used to create new enterprises and create jobs and puts it in government's hands. And that's not good for the economy. Around the world the nations that have low taxes like Ireland, for instance, are growing like crazy and those with high taxes like Japan and us are having a much more difficult time. So raising taxes is never good. And, you know, right now there are about 40% of Americans that pay no income tax at all, none, and at some point you say, you know, isn't it appropriate that everybody pay something, that there's a fair share. And if Barack Obama wants to basically pay off voters in saying, look, all you guys, I'm going to give you checks and take money away from the wealthiest Americans, it's a politics of envy that I just don't think works economically and I don't think it will work politically.

GLENN: The headline today is Carly Fiorina, CEO of HP, she said this is the headline that Palin and McCain are not qualified to be CEOs. What she actually said is none of the four are qualified to be CEOs. You're a CEO. You're a very successful businessman. Any of them qualified to be CEOs?

GOVERNOR ROMNEY: Look, I would be happy to have John McCain and Sarah Palin as CEOs of enterprises I've invested in over the years and there's no question that they have executive and leadership experience. I have to tell you that Barack Obama and Joe Biden are a little more difficult for me to assess because neither one has really ever had a leadership responsibility. So I'm not going to opine on those two, but John McCain and Sarah Palin I'd be happy to hire them.

GLENN: What is the have you met Sarah Palin?

GOVERNOR ROMNEY: I sure have.

GLENN: What do you think of her personally? Do you think she's did you see Batman by any did you see Batman?

GOVERNOR ROMNEY: Of course I haven't seen the latest. I saw the earlier. I saw the earlier Batman.

GLENN: The last Batman and I hate to wreck the ending for you but the last Batman is the guy that everybody thinks is good actually turns bad and Batman says you are going to have to blame it all on me because we have to have somebody we can believe in. Sarah Palin seems to me to be a genuine reformer, somebody that will take on her own party, take the beam out of her own party's eye first and that's what America is looking for right now and that's exactly what we mean or what we need. Do you believe she is and has the spine to remain who we think she is?

GOVERNOR ROMNEY: Well, I believe she does, and frankly I believe John McCain does. Look, over the years John McCain has made a lot of Republicans mad. He's probably made this President mad. We don't have tapes of the White House like we used to in the Nixon days but my guess is there's been an expletive or two expressed in John McCain's direction when he voted against Bush on issue after issue and, you know, you want that kind of backbone. You want a person who will explain why they don't agree with something and who will stand their ground and not just do what their party tells them to do, and John McCain has done that, Sarah Palin has done it, and I think you'll see if those two are in the White House and working together, you're going to see them dramatically change the way government works in Washington. And it will be painful will for a lot of people, but you're going to hear a lot of screaming from the fat cats, from the lobbyists, a lot of screaming from congressmen who want pork projects from their home district and McCain's going to stare them down and say no way.

GLENN: Mitt Romney, thanks.

GOVERNOR ROMNEY: You bet, Glenn, bye bye.

From the moment the 33-year-old Thomas Jefferson arrived at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1776, he was on the radical side. That caused John Adams to like him immediately. Then the Congress stuck Jefferson and Adams together on the five-man committee to write a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain, and their mutual admiration society began.

Jefferson thought Adams should write the Declaration. But Adams protested, saying, “It can't come from me because I'm obnoxious and disliked." Adams reasoned that Jefferson was not obnoxious or disliked, therefore he should write it. Plus, he flattered Jefferson, by telling him he was a great writer. It was a master class in passing the buck.

So, over the next 17 days, Jefferson holed up in his room, applying his lawyer skills to the ideas of the Enlightenment. He borrowed freely from existing documents like the Virginia Declaration of Rights. He later wrote that “he was not striving for originality of principle or sentiment." Instead, he hoped his words served as “an expression of the American mind."

It's safe to say he achieved his goal.

The five-man committee changed about 25 percent of Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration before submitting it to Congress. Then, Congress altered about one-fifth of that draft. But most of the final Declaration's words are Jefferson's, including the most famous passage — the Preamble — which Congress left intact. The result is nothing less than America's mission statement, the words that ultimately bind the nation together. And words that we desperately need to rediscover because of our boiling partisan rage.

The Declaration is brilliant in structure and purpose. It was designed for multiple audiences: the King of Great Britain, the colonists, and the world. And it was designed for multiple purposes: rallying the troops, gaining foreign allies, and announcing the creation of a new country.

The Declaration is structured in five sections: the Introduction, Preamble, the Body composed of two parts, and the Conclusion. It's basically the most genius breakup letter ever written.

In the Introduction, step 1 is the notificationI think we need to break up. And to be fair, I feel I owe you an explanation...

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…

The Continental Congress felt they were entitled by “the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" to “dissolve the political bands," but they needed to prove the legitimacy of their cause. They were defying the world's most powerful nation and needed to motivate foreign allies to join the effort. So, they set their struggle within the entire “Course of human events." They're saying, this is no petty political spat — this is a major event in world history.

Step 2 is declaring what you believe in, your standardsHere's what I'm looking for in a healthy relationship...

This is the most famous part of the Declaration; the part school children recite — the Preamble:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That's as much as many Americans know of the Declaration. But the Preamble is the DNA of our nation, and it really needs to be taken as a whole:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The Preamble takes us through a logical progression: All men are created equal; God gives all humans certain inherent rights that cannot be denied; these include the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; to protect those rights, we have governments set up; but when a government fails to protect our inherent rights, people have the right to change or replace it.

Government is only there to protect the rights of mankind. They don't have any power unless we give it to them. That was an extraordinarily radical concept then and we're drifting away from it now.

The Preamble is the justification for revolution. But note how they don't mention Great Britain yet. And again, note how they frame it within a universal context. These are fundamental principles, not just squabbling between neighbors. These are the principles that make the Declaration just as relevant today. It's not just a dusty parchment that applied in 1776.

Step 3 is laying out your caseHere's why things didn't work out between us. It's not me, it's you...

This is Part 1 of the Body of the Declaration. It's the section where Jefferson gets to flex his lawyer muscles by listing 27 grievances against the British crown. This is the specific proof of their right to rebellion:

He has obstructed the administration of justice...

For imposing taxes on us without our consent...

For suspending our own legislatures...

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us...

Again, Congress presented these “causes which impel them to separation" in universal terms to appeal to an international audience. It's like they were saying, by joining our fight you'll be joining mankind's overall fight against tyranny.

Step 4 is demonstrating the actions you took I really tried to make this relationship work, and here's how...

This is Part 2 of the Body. It explains how the colonists attempted to plead their case directly to the British people, only to have the door slammed in their face:

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury...

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice... We must, therefore... hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

This basically wrapped up America's argument for independence — we haven't been treated justly, we tried to talk to you about it, but since you refuse to listen and things are only getting worse, we're done here.

Step 5 is stating your intent — So, I think it's best if we go our separate ways. And my decision is final...

This is the powerful Conclusion. If people know any part of the Declaration besides the Preamble, this is it:

...that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved...

They left no room for doubt. The relationship was over, and America was going to reboot, on its own, with all the rights of an independent nation.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The message was clear — this was no pitchfork mob. These were serious men who had carefully thought through the issues before taking action. They were putting everything on the line for this cause.

The Declaration of Independence is a landmark in the history of democracy because it was the first formal statement of a people announcing their right to choose their own government. That seems so obvious to us now, but in 1776 it was radical and unprecedented.

In 1825, Jefferson wrote that the purpose of the Declaration was “not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of… but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm… to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take."

You're not going to do better than the Declaration of Independence. Sure, it worked as a means of breaking away from Great Britain, but its genius is that its principles of equality, inherent rights, and self-government work for all time — as long as we actually know and pursue those principles.

On June 7, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania State House, better known today as Independence Hall. Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies' independence. The “Lee Resolution" was short and sweet:

Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

Intense debate followed, and the Congress voted 7 to 5 (with New York abstaining) to postpone a vote on Lee's Resolution. They called a recess for three weeks. In the meantime, the delegates felt they needed to explain what they were doing in writing. So, before the recess, they appointed a five-man committee to come up with a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain. They appointed two men from New England — Roger Sherman and John Adams; two from the middle colonies — Robert Livingston and Benjamin Franklin; and one Southerner — Thomas Jefferson. The responsibility for writing what would become the Declaration of Independence fell to Jefferson.

In the rotunda of the National Archives building in Washington, D.C., there are three original documents on permanent display: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. These are the three pillars of the United States, yet America barely seems to know them anymore. We need to get reacquainted — quickly.

In a letter to his friend John Adams in 1816, Jefferson wrote: “I like the dreams of the future, better than the history of the past."

America used to be a forward-looking nation of dreamers. We still are in spots, but the national attitude that we hear broadcast loudest across media is not looking toward the future with optimism and hope. In late 2017, a national poll found 59% of Americans think we are currently at the “lowest point in our nation's history that they can remember."

America spends far too much time looking to the past for blame and excuse. And let's be honest, even the Right is often more concerned with “owning the left" than helping point anyone toward the practical principles of the Declaration of Independence. America has clearly lost touch with who we are as a nation. We have a national identity crisis.

The Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

It is urgent that we get reacquainted with the Declaration of Independence because postmodernism would have us believe that we've evolved beyond the America of our founding documents, and thus they're irrelevant to the present and the future. But the Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

Today, much of the nation is so addicted to partisan indignation that "day-to-day" indignation isn't enough to feed the addiction. So, we're reaching into America's past to help us get our fix. In 2016, Democrats in the Louisiana state legislature tabled a bill that would have required fourth through sixth graders to recite the opening lines of the Declaration. They didn't table it because they thought it would be too difficult or too patriotic. They tabled it because the requirement would include the phrase “all men are created equal" and the progressives in the Louisiana legislature didn't want the children to have to recite a lie. Representative Barbara Norton said, “One thing that I do know is, all men are not created equal. When I think back in 1776, July the fourth, African Americans were slaves. And for you to bring a bill to request that our children will recite the Declaration, I think it's a little bit unfair to us. To ask our children to recite something that's not the truth. And for you to ask those children to repeat the Declaration stating that all men's are free. I think that's unfair."

Remarkable — an elected representative saying it wouldn't be fair for students to have to recite the Declaration because “all men are not created equal." Another Louisiana Democrat explained that the government born out of the Declaration “was used against races of people." I guess they missed that part in school where they might have learned that the same government later made slavery illegal and amended the Constitution to guarantee all men equal protection under the law. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were an admission of guilt by the nation regarding slavery, and an effort to right the wrongs.

Yet, the progressive logic goes something like this: many of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, including Thomas Jefferson who wrote it, owned slaves; slavery is evil; therefore, the Declaration of Independence is not valid because it was created by evil slave owners.

It's a sad reality that the left has a very hard time appreciating the universal merits of the Declaration of Independence because they're so hung up on the long-dead issue of slavery. And just to be clear — because people love to take things out of context — of course slavery was horrible. Yes, it is a total stain on our history. But defending the Declaration of Independence is not an effort to excuse any aspect of slavery.

Okay then, people might say, how could the Founders approve the phrase “All men are created equal," when many of them owned slaves? How did they miss that?

They didn't miss it. In fact, Thomas Jefferson included an anti-slavery passage in his first draft of the Declaration. The paragraph blasted King George for condoning slavery and preventing the American Colonies from passing legislation to ban slavery:

He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights to life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere... Determined to keep open a market where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.

We don't say “execrable" that much anymore. It means, utterly detestable, abominable, abhorrent — basically very bad.

Jefferson was upset when Georgia and North Carolina threw up the biggest resistance to that paragraph. Ultimately, those two states twisted Congress' arm to delete the paragraph.

Still, how could a man calling the slave trade “execrable" be a slaveowner himself? No doubt about it, Jefferson was a flawed human being. He even had slaves from his estate in Virginia attending him while he was in Philadelphia, in the very apartment where he was writing the Declaration.

Many of the Southern Founders deeply believed in the principles of the Declaration yet couldn't bring themselves to upend the basis of their livelihood. By 1806, Virginia law made it more difficult for slave owners to free their slaves, especially if the owner had significant debts as Jefferson did.

At the same time, the Founders were not idiots. They understood the ramifications of signing on to the principles described so eloquently in the Declaration. They understood that logically, slavery would eventually have to be abolished in America because it was unjust, and the words they were committing to paper said as much. Remember, John Adams was on the committee of five that worked on the Declaration and he later said that the Revolution would never be complete until the slaves were free.

Also, the same generation that signed the Declaration started the process of abolition by banning the importation of slaves in 1807. Jefferson was President at the time and he urged Congress to pass the law.

America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough.

The Declaration took a major step toward crippling the institution of slavery. It made the argument for the first time about the fundamental rights of all humans which completely undermined slavery. Planting the seeds to end slavery is not nearly commendable enough for leftist critics, but you can't discount the fact that the seeds were planted. It's like they started an expiration clock for slavery by approving the Declaration. Everything that happened almost a century later to end slavery, and then a century after that with the Civil Rights movement, flowed from the principles voiced in the Declaration.

Ironically for a movement that calls itself progressive, it is obsessed with retrying and judging the past over and over. Progressives consider this a better use of time than actually putting past abuses in the rearview and striving not to be defined by ancestral failures.

It can be very constructive to look to the past, but not when it's used to flog each other in the present. Examining history is useful in providing a road map for the future. And America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough. But it's right there, the original, under glass. The ink is fading, but the words won't die — as long as we continue to discuss them.

'Good Morning Texas' gives exclusive preview of Mercury One museum

Screen shot from Good Morning Texas

Mercury One is holding a special exhibition over the 4th of July weekend, using hundreds of artifacts, documents and augmented reality experiences to showcase the history of slavery — including slavery today — and a path forward. Good Morning Texas reporter Paige McCoy Smith went through the exhibit for an exclusive preview with Mercury One's chief operating officer Michael Little on Tuesday.

Watch the video below to see the full preview.

Click here to purchase tickets to the museum (running from July 4 - 7).

Over the weekend, journalist Andy Ngo and several other apparent right-leaning people were brutally beaten by masked-gangs of Antifa protesters in Portland, Oregon. Short for "antifascist," Antifa claims to be fighting for social justice and tolerance — by forcibly and violently silencing anyone with opposing opinions. Ngo, who was kicked, punched, and sprayed with an unknown substance, is currently still in the hospital with a "brain bleed" as a result of the savage attack. Watch the video to get the details from Glenn.