Appearing on a national TV panel this morning, Gov. Nikki Haley predicted it will take “deep spending cuts and spending caps going forward” for the GOP-controlled U.S. House of Representatives and the Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate and President Barack Obama, a Democrat, to reach an agreement to raise the federal debt limit.
Haley appeared on a town hall meeting as part of CBS News’ “The Early Show” with fellow Republicans U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, U.S. Rep. Tom Ryan of Wisconsin and U.S. Rep. Allen West of Florida.
Haley decried Washington as “just dysfunctional right now,” appealing for fewer federal mandates that require states to spend money on health care for the poor, through Medicaid, or on prescribed educational efforts.
“D.C. is -- is totally -- in chaos. And has -- is just-- not doing anything,” Haley said. “The states can’t wait. We have to lead. And so, what I would beg of both the Congress and the Senate ... is give us flexibility. Quit mandating any ... spending down. Medicaid alone is a quarter of South Carolina’s budget. Give us the ability to decide what the health care needs are of our citizens. When it comes to any education mandates, let us decide how to educate our kids. When it comes to any of the health care, let us decide our health care.”
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Other highlights of Haley’s comments included:
Q. What should President Obama do to stimulate and grow the economy that he isn’t doing?
Haley: ... What I would like to see this president do is really lead and asked for a balanced budget. ...
But from a governor’s perspective, everything I’ve tried to do to govern in South Carolina has been stopped by President Obama. Whether it’s how we’re gonna deal with the health-care crisis. He’s mandating more on our states and we can’t afford it. Whether it’s creating jobs. He’s actually got the National Labor Relations Board suing a great American company for creating jobs in South Carolina.
Or when it comes to illegal immigration, he’s stopping my labor director from allowing her to enforce the laws that are in place. So, you know, the key is let the states have the flexibility and the freedom they need to have in order for us to govern, which at the end of the day is really down to the states. The federal government needs to get out of the way. We need-- a president that really understands ... what the 10th Amendment’s all about. Let them have states’ rights and let them handle their states in the way they need to.
Q: Why should Republicans be handed control of the federal government, after Republican President George W. Bush turned surpluses, under Democratic President Bill Clinton, into a deficit?
Haley: ... Both parties made a mistake. I mean, both parties did not handle the government responsibly the way they should. We have got to ... cut taxes. In South Carolina, we have an economy where I have basically said, “Government was intended to secure the rights and freedoms of the people. It was never intended to be all things to all people.”
So, what we did was we said, “This is gonna hurt, but we’re gonna get back to the basics. And we’re gonna get strong again. And we’re gonna do it independently of the federal government.”
And a lot of that is we are cutting unemployment taxes for employers. We are cutting down the weeks for employees on what they get in terms of unemployment taxes.
But we are incentivizing those that are successful to want to be more successful.
And we have to remember that when you give businesses cash flow, when you give them profit margins, what’s the first thing they do? They hire people. So, your goal has to be on jobs. It has to be on job creation. ...
... When you know both parties have messed up, guess what that ... brought about? The rise of the Tea Party, which were upset with both parties. That said, “We want to take our government back. We’re gonna do it. Now it’s government’s responsibility to control the spending and know the value of the dollar.”
Q. Why are corporations -- turning in record profits -- not hiring?
Haley: ... I’m proud to say that while the economy is taking a downward turn, nationally, in South Carolina it’s going up. ... Unemployment’s down for the fourth time in the row. They have a governor that’s fighting for jobs every day. We just passed tort reform. We just passed Medicaid reform. (We) just passed that every legislator had to start voting on the record. ...
We’re doing things that are giving companies confidence. ... We are fighting the unions every step of the way. We are a strong right to work state. We’re gonna stay that way. That’s what gives a company confidence to come and say, “This is a state where we can make money.” ... Then they come to stay. And my job as governor is to continue to ... say, “How do we help you expand?”
Q. Asked about the conditions needed for the private sector to grow jobs.
Haley: ... When you’ve got a president that allows the National Labor Relations Board to actually sue an American company for creating jobs, you are actually incentivizing companies to do business overseas. That was huge. ... If we have to create jobs, government can’t be the one stopping them. ... President Obama can’t say on one side, “I am for job creation.” And on the other side, sue one of the companies (Boeing) that is trying to create thousands of jobs. ... That sends a terrible message to our companies. ... When I was at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, we had a Canadian company that said, “I’m not doing anything until I see what happens with this lawsuit.”