KUDLOW: All right, let’s talk some issues. First of all, in San Diego, you had a little run-in with Senator John Edwards. Edwards wants an excess profits tax on corporations and an excess income tax on individuals. You disagreed, and I’ll quote. You said, “Democrats, wherever we can–wherever we have a solution, we want to tax.” And then you go on, “I’m different; I’m a tax cutter.” End quote. Can you expand on that? What would your tax strategy be if elected president?
GOVERNOR BILL RICHARDSON: Well, I wouldn’t always just look at a tax increase to deal with every solution. I believe we have to grow the economy. I’m a pro-growth candidate. What I would do, Larry, is–for instance, to bring jobs into depressed communities or anywhere, I would give an incentive to companies if they pay over the prevailing wage, if they have a technology start up. I’d do what I’ve done in New Mexico, no taxes for three years. In rural areas, I would incentivize those companies so that they hire people, train people.
I did this as governor of New Mexico. I got the state income tax in half. I cut capital gains in half, to be competitive with our surrounding states, and it works. Our economy is growing, we got a surplus. I also balanced the budget. I just believe the Democratic Party–I remember, John F. Kennedy, `We should be the party of entrepreneurship, of innovation, of science research, of space, of growing the economy.’ And, you know, JFK had those tax cuts in his second year, and it really spurred the economy. We pay for those taxes. We should always do that, but I just wonder–and I’m not saying this is a trait in the party, but every time it seems that, for instance, health care plan. I would have universal health care without any new taxes, without any new bureaucracies. I think we can cover everybody with sensible pro-growth policies reforming the existing system.