tv Governor Scott Walker Delivers Remarks at CPAC CSPAN March 3, 2017 7:19pm-8:01pm EST
and early 1900s when the observatory was constructed, was really going through a heyday of discove discovery. this telescope was largest of its kind in the world in 1888. >> watch cspan's cities tour of san jose, california, saturday at noon eastern on cspan 2's book tv. and sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. on american history tv on cspan 3. working with our cable affiliates and visiting cities across the country. more now from the recent cpac meeting with the governors of kentucky, kansas, arizona and wisconsin. they talked about their experience as conservative executives and discussed the advantages of localized control over budgets. this is about 40 minutes. ladies and gentlemen, welcome to our next session. the state's versus the state. how governors are reclaiming america's promise.
please welcome -- and governor scott walker of wisconsin. or moderator from the harry bradley foundation, richard ghraiber. ♪ >> got it? >> good morning, everyone. my name is rick, i'm president of the bradley foundation. it is great to be here. our topic today is federalism. and certainly over our lifetimes, we've witnessed a frightening and really disturbing expansion of federal government.
far beyond what our founders ever anticipated, and they truly did work hard to work against and to prevent. and that expansion of federal government has only gotten worse over the last eight years under president obama. today we have the great privilege to welcome four outstanding governors to discuss these very significant issues of federal growth and regulatory overreach. and they really do bring a great firsthand perspective why states should be the laboratory of the governmental system in the united states. just a couple of works on each of our governors. starting to my far right, governor doosy, the 23rd governor of arizona. [ applause ] he was elected in 2014. he inherited a $1 billion deficit that he fixed. thank you, governor. [ applause ] he's consistently been committed to economic growth, job restoration, and of course,
protecting the citizens of arizona. comes to the job with a great business background. he worked for proctor and gamble. he's also a partner and ceo of an ice cream chain called cold stone creamery. governor dusy. governor sam brownback of kansas. [ applause ] governor of kansas, elected in 2010. he's now in his second term. he's an attorney general by training. also, of course, a former congressman and senator. he signed the largest income tax cut in kansas history in 2012. [ applause ] a champion for limited government, better education system, and creating an environment that promotes job creation. our next governor, my governor, governor scott walker, the 45th governor. [ applause ]
in his second term, he was a member of the wisconsin legislature. former county executive from milwaukee county. he won this heavily democratic county in the wake of what was a huge scandal at that time. and then was easily reelected to that job. his accomplishments in wisconsin have been very well documented. of course, he survived a recall. he's brought about sweeping changes and collective bar gaining rights for public employees in wisconsin. and he's overseen an economy in wisconsin that really has revived itself. governor walker. [ applause ] and then finally, from the commonwealth of kentucky, governor matt bevin, the 67th governor. [ applause ] elected in 2015, he's the third republican governor of kentucky since world war 12. rising to the rank of captain in the united states army, in finance and investment world and his family business. been a strong advocate for low
taxes, small government, sustainable energy, and a strong locally controlled education system. so a great panel of governors. [ applause ] let's jump right into the questions. the first one is a two-part question. and we'll go around the horn and ask each governor to give an example from your state, where you're already handling a problem that is really best handled at the state level and not the federal level. and follow up with that with another example of where you think you could really get a whole lot more done in your state if only the federal government would get out of the way. so let's start down on this end. governor deucy? >> it's great to be here. this is my first time at cpac. as a new governor, and conservative, coming out of the private sector, i think one of the things that i'm most proud of is the fact that we were able to balance the budget in
arizona. i think government should live within its means. i always say as someone who ran cold stone creamery, you get a lot of undeserved popularity selling ice cream. most of that goes away when you do balance that budget. but it puts you in a position where you can really start to make reforms. so in addition to balancing the budget, lowering taxes these first two years, we passed the american civics act. it's the task that every high school graduate is going to have to take to graduate in arizona. the same test a new american takes. these are things -- [ applause ] these are things we've been able to get done at the state level, that i think has been good common-sense leadership. when i look at this new administration, i look at, you know, the education category, the health care sector, and, of course, social services. i mean, to me we've got thousands of arizonans that are
out of work. and we've got thousands of job openings. yet we've got the federal government giving people a check every two weeks. we'd like to take these people and give them the job opportunity, the opportunity to build a fulfilling career. i think if we are in a position to ask mother may i to health and human services, or welfare, we can really make the difference at the state level. and that's something i'm looking forward to advocating as a governor this week at the national governors association. >> great. [ applause ] governor brownback? >> thank you, guys. i'm delighted to be here at cpac. fabulous organization. keep it up. and i want to ask you, you've got to match the energy of the left with the energy from the right. we've got to have good energy moving forward. we've got to be passionate about
what we stand for. we've got to push, and push aggressively. [ applause ] there's a lot of motivation out there. you've got to match that side to side. one of the things that i think we can do, and there are a number of things we can do i think better than the federal government, but one we've done in particular, we've got the numbers for it, welfare reform. simple thing. said, look, if you are able bodied without dependents, you have to either apply for work or take job training to be able to get the payment from the government. [ applause ] and what happened -- this is amazing. we tracked everybody. afterwards we said, what happened? we had a decline in the welfare rolls, but people's income tripled doing that. they went up 120% on average. and we tripled the number of people getting out of poverty. which should be our measure. and welfare is not how many people you have on it, but how many people you get out of poverty. [ applause ] this is one of the things we need to do. i really hope it's something we
take on as a conservative movement. because the welfare programs that the left has put in place since lbj have failed. trillions of dollars in it, and put a number of people in a very difficult, if not a situation where they're just held down. and they need to be liberated and have the dignity that comes with having their own job and moving forward. we've shown that. we need to expand that and be given more opportunities from the federal government for us to be able to innovate at the state levels. [ applause ] >> governor walker? >> first off, i'm confused. when i came out here i thought i see arizona, i see kansas, wisconsin, kentucky. i think this is the final four show right here. watch for all of us, right? >> we know who the champion will be. >> oh, yeah, yes, we do. >> i still have my bourbon from beating kentucky a few years ago. but actually, i would say on those two questions. i echo exactly what sam said. i talked about welfare reform this morning. when i first came in as governor, it was interesting, the person who was our secretary of work force development, like the federal department of labor, that person said to me, what
should be my measure of success? because my predecessor measured how many more people they could sign up for unemployment insurance. it was bringing federal money into the state. that was their argument. i said it's how many people no longer need unemployment insurance. not because we kicked them out, it was because we helped them get a job. >> yes. [ applause ] >> and i think that's a consistency you see from the republican governors. the other part of your question, rick, is what part the federal government should get out of. i think the better question to that is, what part should they not get out of it. to me, other than the military and preserving things like social security and medicare, i think about everything else is better done by the states. [ applause ] i just reached in my pocket, and i never say the f word, federalism, i'll make an exception, i say most americans actually think that that means more federal government.
when i tell people, take a dollar out of your pocket, out of your wallet or your purse and ask yourself, where would you rather send this dollar, would you rather send it to washington where you get pennies on the dollar back, or would you rather keep it in your school back home? would you rather send it to washington, or would you rather keep it back in your local community and in your state where you can fix your roads and your bridges? would you rather send it to washington where you get pennies on your dollar back or keep it back in your communities where you can take care of the needy the way you see fit in your state and not have the federal government dictate it? i hope with the new president and congress, i hope we can have more go back as the founders intended to the states. [ applause ] >> governor? >> i'll tell you, in kentucky, when i was elected in 2015, we had a democrat controlled house. the last one in the south. so it makes it difficult when you come in. they had had control, uninterrupted, since 1920. they had had the majority for 96 straight years.
it was expected that would continue. we're a state heavily registered in the democrat side of the aisle. all that to say, what the powerful thing about a governor is, not only as it relates to what we can do individually as states, but in pushing back by the overreach by the government, is be sounding boards for good ideas, common sense, foundational principles, the constitutional principles this nation was built on. so we worked on things that we could get done from a bipartisan standpoint in the first place, but then i said, you know what, i don't want to have 44 out of 100 people which is what we had when i was elected. i spent a year also working to try to do something about that, with the energy of a lot of people like those in this room, we did do something about that. and now we have a super
majority. 64 out of 100 seats one year later. [ applause ] and in that first week, that first week of this new majority in the house, in five days, we passed right-to-work legislation, we repealed the prevailing wage, abolished the most corrupt crony board in the state. passed a transparency bill, put a 20-week ban on abortion and passed an ultrasound bill in five days. five days. [ applause ] which goes to show the power leadership goes a long way. these gentlemen i take a lot of cues from. they have a lot more experience at this than me. i've never been elected to anything prior in my life prior to being governor. it's frankly, everything you imagine it to be in bureaucracy, but we have the ability to influence things in a positive way. what i hope the government would do less of, i'm encouraged by the people that are being appointed in this new administration at the cabinet level. i'm very, very encouraged. [ applause ] because, frankly, i wear this
lapel pin, it's a pair of scissors cutting red tape. we need to cut red tape in america. the wonderful thing about it, doesn't matter if you're a liberal or conservative, doesn't matter if you're republican or democrat or somewhere in between, nobody likes red tape. while he was digging in his pocket, i reached in my pocket, don't you think other goch nors would look good with a cut the red tape button? here you go. here's one for you. one for you. [ applause ] i encourage any and all people to steal this idea, including the federal government. we pledge to cutting 30% of all of the red tape in kentucky in the next three years. we have 130,000 rules, pretty confident we can govern everybody with 90 some thousand. [ applause ] >> let's get into the weeds a little bit on the back half of that first question. in your day-to-day governing, where does it drive you crazy that you've got to deal with all these federal regulations? what are the businesses in your
states saying about those regulations? maybe it's not you, maybe it's the people that you work for in your states. what is driving them the craziest about what's going on? >> so, as a conservative, we know that lower taxes makes your state more attractive to work, or it do business in. also, the reduction of these regulations. we set up a website this year in my state of the state, i announced it as we launched it, called red tape.gov.az. we want the small business owners to give us suggestions. if it's a regulation that doesn't protect public safety or consumer safety, our team is going to do the research and get rid of it. there are hundreds of regulations. we have a goal to get rid of 500 regulations this year alone in the state of arizona. [ applause ] the larger regulatory tangle en
masse is at the federal level. i want to echo what governor bevin said. i'm thrilled with this cabinet that president trump has appointed. [ applause ] and even more so, that there is a former governor who understands what red tape can do at the state level, named mike pence, as vice president. [ cheers and applause ] and if we can get a joint cooperative effort and states compete, and governors compete, the world of ice cream people vote with their dollars, in the game of states, people vote with their feet. >> yes. >> and the better we can make our states, i think if you see the lower taxes, lighter regulation states versus the nine highest taxed states, you see people moving from one zip code to another state, p 70% of the adults in the state of arizona came from somewhere else. so i like to say, people either
live in arizona, or are planning to moving to arizona, that's the type of tax and regulatory environment that we want to have. >> great. >> i think on a daily basis, if you're asking the biggest piece, it's obamacare. it's recent. it's been put in place. it's driven up insurance prices. it's driven people out of the insurance marketplace. and into medicaid. i think that's the one that really needs to be taken down, it needs to be addressed, in a politically sound fashion, but that's the one -- i want to back up on an earlier question. you said what can be done better at the federal level? i think we can deal with hot-button issues better at the local level. roe versus wade needs to be repealed and driven to the state level. let it be handled by the states. [ applause ] that's what will happen when roe is repealed. when it's repealed, the issue
goes to the states. then the states decide this difficult -- this is a difficult social issue. i'm pro-life. but this would be much better handled at a state-by-state basis, then people can look and adjust the policies as they see fit there. that would be much better handled at a state level. [ applause ] >> i think we all hear about obamacare quite a bit. i would echo, and just add, and i love the cabinet, particularly love the new administrator at the epa, administrator pruitt, who i think is going to be great, but i would stress we've made all kinds of reforms, and included agencies like our department of natural resources which is our epa equivalent at the state level, and i can't tell you how many times, it's great to hear employers say, wow, the dnr, which is what it's called, is so much better to deal with than it was before. but, and there's almost a but, but the epa is still messing things up.
so i love the cabinet and i love the new administrator. my hope would be with this president, with this congress, that they go further than just putting good people in, because what we've seen in our states is, until you make transformational changes in agencies, you can have people at the top, but the bureaucracy is still there. my hope is the congress would not only work with the president and administration to reorganize and in some cases not just reorganize existing structures, but send more back to the states. epa, states could do that better. let states handle that. there are 50 of us that handle that. let us decide those decisions, not the federal government. [ applause ] >> i agree completely with those things that were said. it's interesting when you this i
about what is the one area we have felt the most encroachment. it's hard to think of a single one. i think even of just the lawsuits, i've been governor for a year, the lawsuits i've had to engage in on behalf of the commonwealth of kentucky against the federal government. pushing back against the federal government dictating who goes into our locker rooms and bathrooms in the public schools is number one. number two, pushing back in a lawsuit against the federal government dictating which doctors would or would not in fact in their instance all would be required to perform sex change operations under fear of losing their license, pushing back on that. pushing back on the overtime rule that came out of the department of labor that was trying to be jammed down the throat of small business. you mentioned the epa. the streams rules. the methane rule. these are just a handful of the suits that we've been involved in in the last year. the environmental protection agency truly has become a regulatory frankenstein. it started with good intentions. read shelley's book about frankenstein, it, too, was created with good intention, and
it turned on its creator. nobody wants to drink dirty water or breathe dirty air. there's not a state that to governor walker's point could not manage this and not be incentivized to manage this at the state level. the fact of the matter is, whether it's the environment, education, whether it's commerce, whatever the case might be in on the energy front as well, push these things back to the state level control. that is where federalism was intended to be in the first place. [ applause ] >> let's follow that line of thought. how do we make that happen? how do we in effect turn back the clock and return the power to the states? how can our federal representatives help us do that? >> let me say something on that real quick. you're how we make it happen. literally. [ cheers and applause ] this is what a government of and by and for the people does. if we abdicate our responsibility, the thousands of you assembled here for this cpac
conference, the reality is, of and by and for the people only works if the people get engaged. it only works if you truly knock on doors, get engaged, create dialogue like you've never done before. otherwise it doesn't work. and the greatest demise of any culture, any civilization or any form of government worth having, including the noble experiment we've been blessed with by people who had brilliant minds 240 years ago, the only way this is preserved is if the people stay engaged. because the greatest demise always comes from apathy. cultures and civilizations crumbled from within. it is the apathy of the populist that destroys great civilizations. don't let it happen on your watch. [ cheers and applause ] >> matt hit it right on the head. it's interesting, a couple of weeks ago we put out our state budget. and the immediate response from the media was, what are you
doing to lobby the legislature to pass it? i said, i'm not, i'm going out to the people. i spent the next day and the day after and the day after making my case as to why the budget had merit in it. and asked them to call their representatives, even though we have republican majorities, as i mentioned before that we've added to, it's still important for people no matter what party they are to hear from people who care about these issues. certainly as we've seen in the last month or so, they're going to hear from the left. they need to hear just as much from you and people like you across the country about what are priorities. to this specific issue, again, i don't think we can stress it enough. it is important, and i think as governors we've shown it in our respective states, that it's not enough just to change the map from blue to red. it's not enough. and you've got to have -- this is an opportunity, unique opportunity in time to have transformational change.
and that means you're going to have to push for it. because you can see the challenges they're having right now just dealing with the repeal and replace of obamacare. the challenges they're having just dealing with comprehensive tax reform. and that city under the circumstances and the environment that they live in, it is difficult to do those things. i can't want them to inherit the mess. i want to inherit a country our founders were intended where powers were precisely spelled out and those that weren't in the institution were inherptly the rights of the states and more importantly, people, we need to demand that once and for all. >> two things for me. one is approve judge gorsuch to go on the u.s. supreme court.
that would be a very helpful thing because of the dominance of the support and the second is is to understand the philosophical underpinnings of what our society and form of government is and why socialism doesn't work. okay, i mean, i think we need to, you've got the left moving hard towards a much more bigger government. government taking more. government doing more. and a lot of people on the left saying okay, yeah, that sounds like a good idea. no, this is a terrible idea. that since when have we added more government anywhere that's taken more taxes and you end up with a product that's you less. what's your example? but what we have seen is when you pull government out of something, you get a product that tends to be higher quality and cost you less because u you got more competition for that. look at your tell foep and when we used to have a lot of regulation. your airline. when we used to have a lot of regulation. much higher, poor service.
why would we want to go that a way? i think you need to, you're being able to talk and articulate to people, what are the philosophical underpinnings. michael novak was a great writer. just passed away this past week. i just got his book that i'm carrying to read on two wings, where he talked about the forming of the foun kags of this country on two wings. one based on the faith and other on the reason and common sense and the fruit that comes out of this. the fruit of america. that is great. we need to understand that philosophical underpinnings and carry that on so we know what we would believe and we would express it. >> in so many ways, the people in this room have done their job. we have a conservative house. a conservative senate. we have a conservative that's going to be put on the supreme court. and what i said to my team on the wednesday after the tuesday election, is that we is
celebrate today, but we need to get to work tomorrow. the victory is not on november 8th. that is an assignment for change and real reform, so we need to see repeal and replacement of obama care, we need to see real tax reform. we need to see a federal government that gets its spening under control. so i think that as governors, as activists as engaged citizen, we need to hold all elected leaders accountable for results in this cycle right now. we may not get this same opportunity again. we can't squander it. >> switch gears to a specific topic. k-12 education and all of you have focused on education one way or another during your terms. arguably, the united states no longer has the best k-12 system in the world.
we're slip iping by a number of studies. how do we reverse that? particularly in our big cities. there aren't many, if any big city public school systems that are working. how do we attack that very tough problem? >> this has been a big subject in arizona. i was fortunate to have a governor that proceeded me by about 25 years named fyfe simington along with lisa graham keagan, who sewed the seeds with first public charter school laws. i know you know that a charter school ask a public school, private management. today in arizona, we have 500 charter schools, we have 180,000 children in those charter schools, we lead the nation in parental choice. arizona has three of the top ten public high schools in the nation that are as good as any schools in the country. our district schools have
improved because of this competition in choice and i think this is the way forward is to provide parental choice, innovation, let parents be consumers. they know what's best for their children. i think we've got a great model in arizona. we've gotten incredible secretary of education in betsy devos, who believes in parental choice and i think that's the way forward. >> i would answer that with a question. the day is is what it is. higher education i don't, i don't think there's another place in the world that has the quality that the united states does. we all compete. we all compete against each other and so, my guess is your kids graduated, i had five children graduated. there was schools competing for them from all over. we were getting mailings every day. looking at rankings and yes, okay, how did we get that one so
right and we're not doing so well in this other one? it's choice and competition within information. so you got a marketplace in one and the other one, you've got kind of a state run without. i think it's information, schools should be graded. so that people know. i think it's options. people should be able to have options. and so that you can have that sort of competition. we know how to do this well. if you just look at the higher education. system and one of my schools in kansas that's going to win the final four this year. >> we understand competition. >> we'll have three in it. >> oh. >> well, sam raised a great point. i've got two sons, one who's here with some of his fellow students from wisconsin. alex is a seep ynior at the university of wisconsin. one graduated from a private john edwards wit, one down, one
to go. but the i often say when we talk about choice, people say what about that. i said nobody flinches. when i say i got one at m marquette and one son at wisconsin. as a nation, both in the state and the federal government, we give students assistance through financial aid and student loan assistance. we give them to both. why? for the exact reasons. good competition. we perform well. we have people from all over the world that come to our colleges and universities. i think you hit the nail on the head. it's about competition, not only among different choices. doug talked about chaer charter. we have charters galore. there was the first parental school choice program in milwaukee.
we lifted the income. we lifted the numbers. you have all sorts of families because i trust parents. i trust parents to make the right decisions for their sons or daughters, but we also made changes not only in terms of allowing more charter schools. we also made -- kind of broke that monopoly within public schools. part of the challenge that public schools have had is under these union contracts, collective bargaining contracts, of the past they were stuck. years before i was governor, in the city of milwaukee there was a teacher that was the outstanding teacher of the year, an english teacher, for the entire state. when democrats were in change, they actually cut money to the schools. so in turn, they had to make spending reductions. what did they do under the old contracts? the last hired was the first fired. the last in was the first out. this woman who had been named
the outstanding teacher of the year for the entire state was one of the first to be laid off. that makes no sense. it's illogical. that's exactly the kind of schoolteacher you want in milwaukee, an urban school district. what we did is we changed that. we broke that monopoly even within the public school system. now public school districts in our state can operate like charter schools. they can hire and fire based on merit, seniority, they can pay on performance. they can put the best and the brightest in their classrooms. >> i was struck by something about what scott and sam said by the word monopoly and the idea of the government being involved in something isn't necessarily a good thing. think about this. anytime the federal government has declared war on something it means it is going to cost you hundreds of billions or trillions of dollars. and you after 50 years or more end up with more than what you
declared war on. war on poverty. how's that working? war on drugs. how's that working? war on terror. how's that working? the bottom line is it is a code phrase for taking your money. the same thing has been done in education for a long time. it isn't to say we don't need good public education. thomas jefferson said we need to use taxpayer dollars to educate young people because why? we want to produce virtuous citizens. it is somebody who is engaged, who is a fabric of the community, who is an integral part of society. there is a reason for this. kentucky is one of seven states where there is zero competition for public education dollars. that's about to change. we're going to bring charter schools to kentucky. that will happen this year. that's legislation that hasn't passed, but i'm confident i'll be signing that into law. number two, it's important for us to recognize the fact that it is the idea that every kid coming straight out of high school needs to get a four-year
degree is nonsense. that's a fact, and we need to start to recognize the idea that we're sending every kid -- 60% of the kids in kentucky go straight on to college. only 20% of them graduate in a timely manner or at all. we're sending kids down a path we shouldn't be sending them down. what is the alternative? how do we get good r.o.y. for our public education dollars? the way you do it is you rethink k through 12. maybe you start thinking k through 14. everybody is going to have some kind of postsecondary training or education. start focusing on apprenticeship programs. start reinvigorating at the high school level things like vocational training. let's start having internships. let's start being realistic with the situation that we're faced with. last thing i'll say is this. we did two things.
we put $100 million into workforce development. $100 million that said the only way the state is going to come alongside -- first of all, we're not going to give you 100% of what you asked for. we're not building lots of new buildings. we're going to look at programs. what we're going to do with that 100 million is we're going to require the local high school, technical school, four year school, and the local business community, all three together have to jointly apply for this money. if all three start talking, good things happen. the first 65.5 million that we've put out is matched by 85-plus million in the community because they love that idea so much they're going to do it whether we fund it or not. that's where good ideas come from. young people deserve better opportunities in terms of education, and it doesn't necessarily mean getting a degree in interdisciplinary studies. [ cheering and applause ]
>> unfortunately, we're out of time. we could have had this conversation for a couple more hours, i know. boy, isn't it invigorating and exciting to hear what's going on in the states? [ cheering and applause ] >> let's have one more great big round of applause for our governors. >> thank you. >> thank you. [ cheering and applause ] ♪ oh, we're half way there oh, living on a prayer ♪ ♪ take my hand we'll make it i swear ♪ ♪ oh, living on a prayer
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2017 grand prize winner. wednesday, march 8th at 8:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. this weekend the c-span cities tour along with our comcast cable partners will explore the life and history of san jose, california. saturday at noon eastern on book tv, hear about silicone valley, home to google, facebook, and apple. tech business reporter of the mercury news talks about the success and challenges silicone valley has had on san jose and the region. >> silicone valley is booming. it is absolutely rampant, and that raises the possibility that things will go in the other direction as they have in the past. >> then an author talks about his big "not so golden after all." >> if you know anything about california -- among other things, i'm a native
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of its kind in the world in 1888. >> watch c-span's cities tour of san jose, california, on saturday at noon and sunday. working with our cable affiliates and visiting cities across the country. tonight on c-span 3, the chief adviser to the president of afghanistan. then interviews with freshman members of congress tom o'halleran and al lawson. then a gathering of the governors at the national meeting of the governors association. the dheef achief adviser to afghanistan's president was in washington, d.c. today where he discussed the sit