I was at the Fred Thompson speech and am just getting caught up now. Speaking to a friendly audience, Thompson reiterated our need to return to the traditions of our founders and support the rule of law, free trade, low taxes, and strict constructionist judges.
He talked about keeping capital gains taxes low, pointing out that the capital gains tax cuts were worth 800 points to the Dow, and asked, what would happened if we hiked the rates back up?
He got a hearty laugh when he joked about the odd incentives caused by the estate tax expiring in 2010 and going back into affect in 2011. If you're elderly, "be careful, you might not want to spend New Year's with the kids."
He also spoke about the "unsustainable" entitlement mess. "You'd think this would be the biggest thing we'd be talking about other than national security," he commented. "So we've got to, we've got to talk about it."
A solution would have to come through a bipartisan basis.
"You can come up with 15-point plans all day long…and that's important, that's part of the dialogue," Thomson said. "But the underlying principles are even more important."
One idea he presented was indexing Social Security benefits to inflation rather than wages.
In the question and answer session, he was asked about some of the areas in which he differed with the CFG.
On campaign finance reform, he said, "It was a valid concept, but we went too far." While the
On tort reform, Thompson prompted the audience to "remember our principles of federalism." He only thinks the federal government should be involved on matters of interstate commerce, but said we shouldn't be "allowing states to abdicate their responsibilities" by passing reform at the federal level.