Latest Republican Debate Offers a Better View of Fiscal Policy

One of the major complaints about the recent Republican debates has been that many of the issues tackled by the candidates have been incredibly topical. Indeed, there was a great deal of backlash after the first debate by everyone from left-wing pundits to financial analysts like Dawn J. Bennett. According to critics, a large number of the candidates had devolved into name-bashing and lacked a substantive punch. However, there has been some progress since.

Republican debate candidates
Image courtesy of REUTERS/EVAN SEMON

Despite some truly comical questions from the moderators in the third debate, certain fiscal stances were established and a conversation on the topic was at least started. In the most recent fourth debate held in Milwaukee, WI, on November 10th, some of these economic issues and the envisioned policies to deal with them were fleshed out a bit more, at least by some. Here are two of the more important topics that were spoken about at the debate:

Minimum Wage

Whether or not raising minimum wage would harm the economy was a highly contested question at the recent debate. While John Kasich, the current governor of Ohio, claimed that his state has implemented a somewhat higher minimum wage, citing that “people need help,” Ben Carson and Donald Trump were both staunchly against any government controlled increase.

Fellow candidate Marco Rubio elaborated on his stance, saying that “If I thought that raising the minimum wage was the best way to help people increase their pay, I would be all for it, but it isn’t. In the 20th century, it’s a disaster. If you raise the minimum wage, you’re going to make people more expensive than a machine.” Instead, he argued for more vocational education in order to create and fill higher-paying jobs.


On the subject of bailouts, Kasich was also on the side of occasionally helping out banks and other institutions that were failing, based on an assessment of the patrons of these banks and who could afford to lose the money. Ted Cruz took issue with his stance, and called for a return to the gold standard and for the Fed to act as a last resort lender.

Marco Rubio lamented a system that he believes allows small banks to be kept mired in regulations, while larger banks simply hire teams of lawyers and work around the rules. He suggested a repeal of the Dodd-Frank Act (Obama administration regulations intended to keep banks from becoming too big to fail), as he deems it to be helping big banks to get bigger. Ben Carson similarly called for policy that wouldn’t allow these banks to get so large in the first place, but held back from saying that these banks should be broken up.

This debate has certainly provided more answers to the questions on everyone’s minds than the prior ones. However, whether knowing what the candidates have to say about monetary policy will actually effect any change is another matter.

Dawn J Bennett Interviews Chris Duane, Author and Self-Made Millionaire

Dawn J Bennett of Financial Myth Busting recently interviewed Chris Duane, the founder of Sons of Liberty Academy, U.S. Marine, venture capitalist that made him a self-made millionaire by age 30, as well as a YouTube sensation. He also wrote the book, “Thrivalist: How To Survive After The Collapse”. Duane doubled his wealth several times during the Great Recession. Dawn Bennett begins the interview by asking him about his backstory, as well as his strategy during the Great Recession.

“I was a part of a family business that was very successful, and I’m the second generation,” said Duane. “And I saw in 2005 that the economy was too good. I woke up very wealthy and wondered why things weren’t always this way, and it actually scared me. And it made me start questioning how things were so good. I mean, the property value of my house had doubled in three years, our sales were going through the roof, and I started to question that reality, and what I found scared me, saved me, and ultimately it made me a lot of money. I found that our entire economy is built off of debt, and that our money is actually debt, and it was a weird thing for me to have so much of it and have very little understanding of the very nature of our money, and this is something that your listeners have got to understand; every dollar that comes into existence is backed by a dollar’s worth of debt plus interest.”

Duane described the fact that the entire economy is backed by somebody else’s debt – from credit cards to treasury bonds to mortgage payments. When debt is created, money is created; when debt is paid off, money is destroyed which is why our federal government’s debt continues to rise. Debts continue to grow because our monetary base is growing.

Duane continued, “So I saw in 2005 that the only reason why the economy was doing well was because there were so many baby boomers taking out so many mortgages, buying all these investment properties—it was creating a lot of money and it was flowing through the economy, to the restaurants and businesses and through the regular economy. But I saw that it was unsustainable, because I saw that at some point, I couldn’t even afford to buy the house that I had bought four years ago, because the property prices had gone up so much, because everybody was doing it. And it was as a direct result of the Federal Reserve, which is a privately owned bank.”

“I recognized that things were growing too good, and I got out. I sold everything. I sold all my stocks, I sold my house, I sold my business. I got out, and I invested everything into gold and silver, because I just looked, and what else could I put it into? And trust me, none of my business partners or my family was happy that I did all this stuff, but it was the ultimate deciding factor in making me financially independent now.”

Dawn J Bennett brought up the fact that the Fed quietly revised their total U.S. debt from 330 percent to 350 percent of GDP and Chris Duane wasn’t surprised. “…the United States federal debt has been frozen since March at $18.2 trillion. We literally have had it frozen for months, and nothing seems to happen. And the reason why is because the people who do know profit off of it.”

Read the full interview between Dawn J Bennett and Chris Duane here: