On this Saturday's Cashin' In, the topic of Ron Paul wanting to completely eliminate five of our government agencies was brought up during one of their panel segments and apparently their regular Jonathan Hoenig has decided to turn full-blown Libertarian after listening to his support of Paul's idea during the segment from Fox above.
CASONE: Imagine wiping our five government agencies from the map in Washington. That's what GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul wants to do as part of his $1 trillion spending cut plan. He says it will get the American economy booming again. Okay, will it? Jonathan Hoenig, will it?
HOENIG: Cheryl it will, I mean, government spent $3.8 trillion last year. We don't need a little tweak, we need a slash and burn, and Rep. Paul's program does just that. We've come to think of this bloated government as something normal, but it's really not. You know, Housing and Urban Development was a product of the 1960's. The Energy Department which he wants to get rid of was a product of the 1970's. We should slash and burn, return to the Constitution, put this country back on a course for economic prosperity.
After fellow panelist Wayne Rogers pointed out that those agencies employ 235,000 people and have a budget of $175 billion, it's unrealistic to think that the Congress is just going to dismantle them and that making cuts to those agencies would be a more realistic approach, Casone asked the lonely Fox “liberal” on the panel, Regina Calcaterra to weigh in. As she pointed out, Paul's plan does a whole lot of damage to everyday working Americans that Hoenig apparently wasn't that concerned about.
CALCATERRA: It also substantially reduces funding for preschool programs for impoverished kids. It reduces funding for food stamps. And it wholeheartedly eliminates the Community Policing Program, which was put in place in the 1990's, which led to a substantial decrease in crime nationwide. So you look at what programs he's proposing to cut here, and they're going to be cut in low community incomes and while he's doing this, he's also saying he wants to extend the Bush tax cuts, he wants to repeal all tax income on investment income and on estates and like you said, he wants to repeal wholeheartedly, without even looking at the merits some of the issues relating to Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley. And those two laws were put into place because of the bad actors on Wall Street...
At which point she got shouted down by the rest of the panel on the show.
Tracy Byrnes followed with a little screed, carping about how the politicians in Washington are wasting our money, which I don't disagree with, but certainly not for the same reasons Byrnes was going ballistic over here. She goes on to say that “no one even knows what the Department of the Interior does, and for all we know, they decorate, which was thankfully rebutted by their lonely "liberal" a bit later in the segment.
CALCATERRA: It's also going to affect the employees nationwide. You're just looking at the salaries of the administrators sitting behind desks in Washington, but when you cut the Department of Interior, which doesn't have to do with interior design, it actually has to do with national parks and a controlled oil drilling and federal parks as well, you've got park rangers and you've got people operating that that don't make over a hundred thousand dollars...
After which Tracy Byrnes started talking over her again and screaming again about how we'd better get rid of all the federal employees working “useless jobs.” To which Calcaterra managed to get a word in edgewise and point out that regulators at the federal level are necessary when you look at what happened with BP and the disaster in the Gulf.
After Hoenig got a chance to make one one last comment at the end of the segment, talking about how wonderful Ron Paul's ideas are for our country, Calcaterra got one last shot in at him as well for “cutting our funding for poor kids.” Which was met by moans and groans from the rest of them as the time for the segment ran out.