How Government Can Save $100 Trillion Thursday, February 2, 2012
By: Scott Rasmussen, NewsMax.com
Scott Rasmussen's Book Tells How Govt Can Save $100 Trillion
Scott Rasmussen, NewsMax.com - February 1, 2012
Independent pollster and political analyst Scott Rasmussen tells Newsmax that the real federal debt is $120 trillion — and he has a new book with proposals that could save the government more than $100 trillion over the coming decade.
Rasmussen says a million people were interviewed for the data in his book, “The People’s Money: How Voters Will Balance the Budget and Eliminate the National Debt,” which will be published on Tuesday. He maintains that “the people are the solution” to the budget crisis, which he says the “political class” continues to ignore.
Rasmussen is founder and president of Rasmussen Reports and co-founder of the sports network ESPN. He has been an independent public opinion pollster for more than a decade, and most major news organizations cite his reports.
In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, Rasmussen says “The People’s Money” is “totally based on our polling data. We probably interviewed a million people to gather the surveys for this. But it’s something else. It’s also a belief that the American people should be heard."
“We have a budget crisis in this country because the political class has been pursuing their own agenda for decades rather than listening to voters. So our polls were designed to give the voters some voice in this.
“Voters are willing to make the right choices if they are given credible choices. They are willing to cut spending. But the politicians are not willing to do that. It’s not just Democrats, it’s Republicans and Democrats combined. They each have their pet programs.”
Asked to define the “political class,” Rasmussen says: “The political class are people in Washington and on Wall Street who generally think they’re supposed to rule the world. They tend to like the idea of taking our country back to 1775 when kings were kings and you didn’t have to worry about the voters.
“But in terms of our polling, we also have a distinction among those who support the political class, who trust the politicians more than the wisdom of the people, and that’s about one out of every 10 Americans.”
Discussing the huge federal budget crisis, Rasmussen tells Newsmax: “We’ve gone through more than 50 years of spending growth, but during all that time, voters were voting for politicians who promised to cut spending and taxes.
“Unfortunately, we had two presidents in the ’60s, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, who both gave benefits to voters at that time and put the costs of paying for those benefits off to a future generation. By the way, that’s us.
Rasmussen’s book predicts a drastic change in the budget and the federal debt in coming years.
“In the book, I show first of all we’re not $15 trillion in debt. The real number is about $120 trillion. The political leaders don’t like to talk about all the unfunded liabilities, but that’s a real part of the problem. And the proposals in the book we’ve identified as having popular support would reduce that by over $100 trillion in the coming decade.
“Today, the American people are decades ahead of the politicians in terms of wanting to restrain the growth of spending.”
Commenting on his assertion in the book that people are the solution, not the problem, Rasmussen says: “That’s not my idea. That was written in our Declaration of Independence. This is something that is the very founding idea of America and it’s the reason I get so offended when politicians and others [disrespect] the public and ignore them.
“If you don’t believe the people are the solution, then you are repudiating the very founding ideas of our nation, and again, the collective wisdom of the American people is almost always pointing in a better direction than the collective wisdom of Washington.”
Rasmussen also was asked whether the tea party movement has had an influence on fiscal sanity.
“The number of people who identify themselves as part of the tea party is way down from where it was two years ago, but the ideas that animated the tea party are still very strong,” he responds.
“They want fiscal restraint. They want Washington to listen.”