Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) joined Fox News Radio's Guy Benson this afternoon to discuss a wide range of topics including Tariffs on Mexico, the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests & the tax situation in the Congressman's home state of Illinois.
Guy Benson [00:00:10] We are back at the Guy Benson's show on this Tuesday. Thank you for listening. Very happy to welcome back to the show. Congressman Adam Kinzinger a Republican from Illinois and Congressman I have to tell you you are the first lawmaker. On the newly revamped program in our new timeslot. So welcome and thank you for joining.
Rep. Kinzinger [00:00:29] Do I get a plaque somewhere that's off.
Guy Benson [00:00:32] I don't know if we can get you a plaque but we can perhaps get you a tweet or something like that if that's good enough.
Rep. Kinzinger [00:00:38] Just something to you know to remember this moment is very special.
Guy Benson [00:00:43] So Congressman let's start with one of the issues that is coming before potentially before Congress which has to do with this struggle with the southern border crisis and now the president's policy on tariffs that is currently under negotiation there are reports in The Washington Post and elsewhere that some Republicans are thinking about ways of perhaps countering those tariffs if they go into effect. I'm wondering as someone we've had we've talked about this you were deployed to the southern border. You've seen the crisis firsthand. How do you try to balance your conviction that something really needs to be done about that emergency while also taking a look at economic policy and trade policies. You know I'm not one who thinks that the president's idea here linking the two issues with Mexico is a good one how do you think about those two issues.
Rep. Kinzinger [00:01:34] Yeah I agree with you and I understand what the President's trying to do and there's a massive crisis and I hope he's successful. I mean if he's going to do this I hope it's successful. I want to say that because it's a real bad problem but where I get uncomfortable is I think tariffs can be used and should be used for instance against China to create a fair trade environment. That's where that comes in. But when you start linking it to different policies that you just disagree with I mean what I worry about is the precedents. Now you know maybe England didn't deploy a ship that we wanted or you know Germany does something so now we just start threatening tariffs all around. And I think that can lead to some instability and then frankly look I have to look out for the interests of my farmers too and they've been taking it on the chin and I think they've been as the President said very patriotic about it. I talked to them and they want the president to win in China most of them support what he's doing. But Mexico is a huge trading. It is our largest trading partner. And especially in ag and I look at my constituents and say you know there's gotta be a point at which you know we're working to open markets and not just restrict them even though you know I hope if the president does this he's successful.
Guy Benson [00:02:43] Are you in favor of Senator Toomey's bill which would require not just this president but any president to justify specifically the invocation of emergency powers in order to levy tariffs.
Rep. Kinzinger [00:02:55] You know I haven't seen this bill. I like the theory of it. I think you know I supported the president's declaration for instance of a national emergency. You know and I know this deals with some of the national emergency issues and I supported what the President was doing on China. But I look at that and say we've given up and this happened you know decades ago we gave up so much of our authority especially when we're the body that regulates interstate commerce and so I would love to see Congress clawback some of that authority doesn't mean I don't support what the president's doing. I do on the national emergency and on some of the terrorists with China but I also think there's got to be a point at which Congress know the voice of the people claws back some of that authority. And I do think the president has a lot of power on foreign policy and I think he should have he should have that power. You can't have Congress making foreign policy decisions but on some of these issues I think we need to reassert ourselves.
Guy Benson [00:03:47] You've now mentioned China a few times. Speaking of that country today is the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests and massacre where pro freedom demonstrators some of them were killed by the communist regime in China. One of my formative memories as a kid I was a toddler maybe 4 or so living in Hong Kong. And I we were watching some of the feed live in the Chinese government cut it and the screen went black as we were watching and my parents have talked about that a number of times as we look back on what happened 30 years ago and the people who really stood up to that authoritarian government at the time and the three decades out of that ensued. You put on the uniform and volunteered for this country. I think it's just a reminder of the blessings that we have here. And the truth that the freedom to say what you want to say what's on your mind is absolutely not universally shared.
Rep. Kinzinger [00:04:44] Yeah I agree. And that's a cool experience. I mean that you saw I remember when I was I would have been I guess 11 when Tiananmen Square happened. I remember it. And it was one of the first things that I remember kind of looking at and paying attention to and asking questions about what was happening. You know one or the other early memory was Desert Storm. And and you know just understanding how lucky we are so at this moment you one of the things I've been really burdened about and everybody shares the blame on this left and right and in between is we're convincing ourselves that we're like in the worst time to ever be alive because you know everybody's miserable. People are complaining they're arguing they're yelling you know. But at the same time you have every piece of information at your fingertips. You have you know we have unprecedented wealth in this country the poorest among us are still the richest in some other countries. And even if you don't like President Trump you can say you don't like him and you don't have to fear go into prison or being killed like you do in some other countries so I always tell people you know be engaged in politics and pay attention. That's important to be a good citizen but also take a moment to hug your kids to appreciate life because I don't think anybody on their deathbed ever said I wish I'd have spent more time angry in politics. I think they all say basically I wish I'd spent less time worried about things I couldn't control. And so you know appreciating this moment I think is essential.
Guy Benson [00:06:04] Yeah well sad and I think the hyperbole that accompanies so much of our politics is a joke. I mean it's just it's completely crazy and out of control a lot of the time and look sometimes I'm sure I've been guilty of it and we're not going to be always perfect on this show. I'm sure there are things that you've said that you regret. But overall the perspective that you just gave I think is exactly right. Let's talk about your home state. I lived in Illinois for seven years or so I went to school in Chicago then lived in Chicago for a couple of years. I loved living in Illinois but I was very happy to get out of that tax situation and that political morass with the corruption there is now strong Democratic majorities in both houses at the state level in Springfield. A Democratic governor has been governor Pritzker has been elected and the state is moving further in this direction that has already basically bankrupted the state. People are leaving Illinois like myself in droves and it seems like the answer among people in the other party in Springfield is just more of the same. Let's double down on this stuff and see what happens.
Rep. Kinzinger [00:07:12] It is. And you know you'll tell him Look the wealthy out of Chicago are moving to Florida and I literally will hear people in other party in the Democratic Party go Good Good riddance. Like well they're paying a huge portion of Illinois's bill so you raise taxes on them. I mean and these are the people the wealthy in Chicago the job makers they may keep their business there but they're taking their taxes away. And and you know it's going to lead to a bigger hole as it has been doing on top of that they just made basically abortion legal to the moment of birth took away any restriction on it legalized marijuana which you know is fine if the state wants to make that decision but then raise the smoking is to 21 and then you know so it's this contradiction of we want adults to be adults but then we're also going to baby people on and when it comes down to it the bottom line is they raise taxes they increased spending they gave themselves a pay raise in the process and there were no reforms to the thing that's truly bank up in Illinois which is the pension system so right.
Guy Benson [00:08:09] You know everybody's going to because the unions the unions are so powerful and the House speaker they're Madigan is I mean he does not allow meaningful reforms to happen on his watch period it's been that way basically forever. And to your first point about the rich and successful people leaving the state. One of my good buddies is Brad Thor bestselling author he's been wildly successful. He lived in Chicago. I got to know him in Chicago. He finally got so tired of paying the taxes in Illinois and specifically being demonized constantly by the leadership of Illinois. He put out I think on social media this clarion call Hey I'm thinking about leaving Illinois where should I move. And he had multiple red state governors pitch him explicitly on why he should move to their state he ended up moving to Tennessee but he had a couple others in the running including Texas. That is a public example of a very real phenomenon where if you demonize and soak the rich you're going to lose them. And that is not going to help the already disastrous balance sheets of the state of Illinois.
Rep. Kinzinger [00:09:19] Right. Exactly because you're going to end up. I mean obviously people are gonna have to pay the money and the rich leave. You may say good riddance. You know the rich we hate the rich but then you the middle class voter or lower income voter is not going to have to cover that bill. That's just periods like those they leave in this cost burden goes with them they leave and it's just revenue that goes with them and it's the same battle when we hear in Washington we heard about all these corporations leaving for other countries and we had to cut the corporate tax rate to basically make sure they came back because you work through incentivizing. They've come back. We actually see higher revenues to the federal government than we had under the old tax code because America's back in business and each state has to compete the same way. There is a reason Texas and Florida and some of these states are growing gangbusters. It's not just the weather. All right. I mean the weather's nice but it's also because they haven't.
Guy Benson [00:10:08] I don't know though the weather in Houston in August is not exactly it's not exactly fun times.
Rep. Kinzinger [00:10:14] Yeah you're right. It's same with like Southern Florida. And see I'd say get brutal. But you know people go in there because they say hey look we want you here we appreciate you. And I mean my taxes on my house my house is worth 200 grand in Illinois and my taxes are six thousand dollars a year on it and that's not even some of the horror stories I've heard.
Guy Benson [00:10:33] Oh man at that I mean that is what I do not miss. I moved to a purple state from a blue state and it's it's an improvement and I could see if I could own a gun. You know if I want you without worrying about things Adam Kinzinger ,Republican from Illinois a state that I love. But man there are some serious worries there and he's doing his best to represent some of those folks in Chicago land. Congressman thank you so much for your time. Anytime brother Tigger will definitely have you back and we'll be back with much more of the Guy Benson show on the other side of this break.