Politics and Economics Made Simple: Congressman McEwen explains politics and economics in simple terms, the difference between conservative, libertarian, and liberal policies, and “€œHow to make a rich place poor and a poor place rich.”€

Air Date: 2016-12-22

Guests: Former Congressman Bob McEwen (OH)

  • Politics Easy as PIE
  • WallBuilders | American historical events, founding fathers, historical documents, books, videos, CDs, tapes, David Barton’s speaking schedule.



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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast.  However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers.

Politics Made Simple


You”€™ve found yourself at the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live! Where we’re discussing today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and culture all from a Biblical, historical, and  constitutional perspective.

Your hosts are David Barton, America’s premier historian our founder and president here at WallBuilders, also best selling author in Warner Times magazine top 25 most influential  American evangelicals. We also have Tim Barton, national speaker and pastor.  And my name is Rick Green, former Texas state representative, author, and a speaker.  


Normally, the three of us would carry on a conversation and talk about whatever that particular issue is for the day. However, today we’re actually going to take the program to the Pro-family Legislators Conference.  Actually, going to pick up where we left off yesterday. So it’s going to be Bob McEwen for the rest of today.

You’re going to be hearing him speak at the conference. And the reason we’re doing this is because sometimes those speakers at the conference where these legislators are coming together to exchange ideas, talk about how to do things back in their home states, what’s going to make the country better, what are the right policy positions on things, what’s the Biblical perspective, all of that’s happening at the conference. Sometimes a speaker just hits the nail on the head in a way that it’s not only applying just to those legislators but it actually applies to everyone of us as citizens as well. And Congressman Bob McEwen certainly did that again this year at the legislators conference. So we want to share his presentation with you. Yesterday was the beginning. Today we’re going to get as much of it in as we can. And then tomorrow we’ll get the conclusion. All of it will be available at our website WallBuildersLive.com

So let’s dive right back in and pick up where we left off yesterday with Congressman Bob McEwen at the Pro-family Legislators Conference.

Liberals Fight Until They Win


When God blessed Israel time after time, gave it a shadow by the day and a sun to heat it at night, gave it water when there was none, and on and on and on. Then they get to the Promised Land.  See, “€œThere it is.”€

And they go over and said, “€œOh my goodness! All of this is so difficult. We are but as grasshoppers in their sight.”€

“€œHow do you know what they are thinking? You see can”€™t through their eyes. I have brought you all the way here. I’ve given you this and now you’re whining. Here’s what I think of you all.  Forget it. Just go back out there until you’re all dead. And when I get new people, then we’re going to go in and take the land.”€

He Has Given Us A Chance To Storm The Barricades

Well, that’s where we are. He has brought us here. Now don’t mope and groan and complain about it. He has given us a chance to storm the barricades. We’re going to have to fight, we are going to have to cross over the river, we’re going to have to do all that. But he’s on our side. So don’t surrender.

Conservatives Fight Until They Lose

The thing is liberals fight until they win. Conservatives fight until they lose. “€œOh, that’s the law of the land.  Well, the way it is.  Time to move on.”€ Nonsense. We can beat them thirty eight to nothing. Every state legislature, we change our Constitution, we- do they quit? No, they stay at it. Well, now we’re winning and we need to take the land.

So who do we choose? God said very simply, “€œProvide able men such that fear God, there has to be a standard of truth, hating covetousness.”€ Now, interesting that if you fear God and you want to know what you need to run a government.  It’s all right there.  It’s very significant and that’s what I’m focused on the next 20 minutes.

Only 2 Things To Vote On:  Integrity And Economics

Here we go. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  There has to be a starting point. There’s only two starting points. The starting point is what I say.  The starting point is what God says, and we”€™ll proceed on. As you know the principle that when you go to vote whether in Boston or Baghdad or Belgium or Buenos Aires, you only vote on two things. You vote on integrity and economics. Those are the only two things that you vote on. And just there are only two dials that you turn. One is integrity, right and wrong, a Godly standard. The other is economics, how much do I allow you to produce and create wealth, or how much do I steal.  Those are the only two dials.


If you’re a conservative, you want very high- as the Founders of our nation, you had a very high integrity, a Godly standard, with a very limited government theft– two to three percent of GDP.  And that creates the greatest wealth. So that this little nation from nowhere surpasses the entire world. As we said created everything that there is.


Libertarians say, “€œIntegrity is not important. That doesn’t matter. If I want to sleep with my daughter and sell dope on the weekends that’s up to me. If I want to do prostitution and whatever, who are you to tell me?  If I want to marry my dog, I’m entitled to do that.”€ But economically I know that government steals wealth and so therefore I want to have a low threshold of government intervention. But I also don’t want God telling me what to do. And that’s called the Libertarian principle.

Which is you and I, just quickly as an aside, understand you cannot have economic freedom if you do not have a spiritual value system. So if you’re in the most spiritual nation on earth, United States of America, then you can be cute about that and you can be some hedonistic Hollywood producer and you can say that. But only because you’re living in a Christian culture.

But you try it in Congo and you find out there’s no spiritual value system that you have to have an army. I’m not exaggerating. You have to have an army around your mine or around your factory and you have to escort your trucks to the rail station and have guards on the rail station to the port and you have to bribe the guy at the port. So all of that, because there’s no spiritual value system. So you have poverty. So in order to have wealth you have to have both. So libertarians want low integrity low government.


Liberals want low integrity and high government. That’s called socialism or communism. And that’s the greatest source of poverty which would be North Korea. Now, those two dials are all that we turn in politics.  When you understand it you can make any rich place poor any poor place rich. And that’s what we’re going to focus on.

DVD On Common Core


Hi friends! This is David Barton of WallBuilders. The current condition of education in America is abysmal. Not only is educational achievement plummeting, but every year, some 19 percent of high school seniors who graduate is completely illiterate. They can”€™t read at all but it was not always this way.

For generations, we taught students how to think. But after the progressives took over education in the early 20th century, things began to radically change. Education shifted from thinking to learning, which made the emphasis on the teachers rather than the students. And that elevated indoctrination above knowledge.

At that time, progressives also made massive changes in the way we tested students. They extended school from 8 to 12 years. They introduced graded education and they added compulsory education. Statistics prove that these changes have harmed education rather than helped it. And now the progressives are pushing common core.

In our new DVD on common core, we give you eight reasons why this current approach is so dangerous to our kids and our culture. We also show you an amazing history of education. So get this new DVD at WallBuilders.com.

Integrity Means You Can Count On It


Politics equals integrity. What is integrity? Integrity is made up of two things. You say that this platform has integrity. You say a bank has integrity. What does that mean? It means it performs the task for which it was designed. You can count on it. You can lean on it. It’s there.

I discovered in my small town where I grew up when people gave their word, you could count on it. Because, as I discovered later, as it became more clear because the head of the bank who was the leading leader in that community was also the leader of the community Bible study that met at 6:30 every Wednesday morning.  And that the head of the radio station, the man that owned the radio station, was also the head of the young married couple at the Church of Christ.

And so those people, when they gave you their word they had the integrity and they had the economic understanding. When I went off to Congress and met with folks from the bigger cities I found out that when they said they were going to do something and they didn’t do it or led you to believe that they would and they didn’t. It wasn’t that they did anything immoral or they did anything illegal. They didn’t. It’s just that they didn’t do anything at all. And that was disconcerting to me.  And I discovered that what integrity means is you can count on it.

When Moral People Lack Integrity.

Integrity is made up of two things. First of all, made up of morality which we define as not doing what’s wrong. But as Edmund Burke said, “€œAll that is necessary for tyranny to prosper is for good men to do nothing.”€ You can sit on the couch all day and be moral, but that lacks integrity because integrity means doing what is right. Having the character and strength.

So your daughter comes home from school and says, “€œEverybody was picking on Sally today calling her “€˜Fatty, Fatty”€™ and all but I didn’t do it.”€

“€œI didn’t do it.”€ That’s good. You did not do anything wrong. But did you have the character to stand up for her and do what was right?

Here’s the conclusion of this point as we move on. You cannot do what is right if you’re doing what’s wrong. You cannot be a person of character if you’re a immoral. You can be moral and still have a weak character but by definition you cannot be a person of character and immoral both at the same time.

You Can”€™t Separate Private Integrity From Public Integrity

So when Larry King was interviewing Governor Cuomo and he said about the president at the time.  He said, “€œI would not trust him with my sister but I know in time of crisis, he’ll do what is right for his country.”€ No, no, no. If your family can’t trust you, rest assured your country can”€™t trust you.

“€œBut no it doesn’t matter because it’s what he does on his private time. That really doesn’t matter”€”€¦.No.  When he”€™s at work”€¦Can you imagine, you walk into a bank and there’s a teller and you go up to the president the bank you say, “€œYou know your teller there. He’s been arrested three times in the last month for breaking and entering.”€

And he replies, “€œYeah, I know, when he’s not at the bank he’s a real scoundrel, that guy. But he does a good job for us at the bank.”€

No, no, no. Either you have integrity or you don’t. That’s number one. We’ll come back to it in a minute.

Economy Made Simple

Next up is the economy. You may remember this.  This is 95% of all the economics a person needs to know. That is let us say that this represents 100 % of your income. 100 % income of any city or state or nation, and let’s say it represents a 100 dollar bill. Then you walk into Wal-Mart.  The most expensive thing in the stores is $99.  You have $100.  That means you’re completely free to choose anything in the store. Suppose someone comes along and takes 25 percent of it away from you leaves you with $75.

What happens? Two things. Number one, you have fewer choices. There’s some things you can no longer choose. Thomas Jefferson said, “€œFreedom is having choices. The more choices I take away from you, the less freedom you have.”€ Anybody that ever raised a teenager has had this debate.

Is Uncle Sam Enslaving Us?

So the less freedom you have and the more money I take away from you, the lower the standard of living. Which sounds elementary unless you’re with the New York Times and this becomes a profundity, that when I take money away from you you’re worse off. Republicans see that intuitively, but Democrats- nevertheless.

So I suppose someone comes along and takes 50 percent of it away.  What happens? Even fewer choices. Less Freedom.  Lower Standards. Suppose someone comes along and takes 75.  What happened to your choices? Suppose someone comes along and takes it all.

2 People Can Take Money From You: A Criminal And The Government.

What we call a person who works all day keeps absolutely nothing? That person is called a slave. Now, there are two people that can come and take money away from you. One is called a criminal, who has a gun and can come and take money away from you. The other is called the government, that has a gun and can come and take money away from you.

Here’s the point, the impact is the same. Fewer choices, less freedom, lower standard of living. So you go to pay when you pick up your money walk across the parking lot a person comes up with a gun in your ribs  and says, “€œI want 50% everything you produce.”€ You sit down with your wife and children, “€œThis is how much money we have for food, clothing, shelter, vacation, what  kind of car we can drive.”€ Or you make it all the way to your truck. You open up the paycheck. Uncle Sam’s already been here. You see that half the money is already gone.  The impact is the same.

The Greater The Government, The Greater The Poverty

So, you show me what percentage of the GDP of any city, or any state, or any nation and here’s the principle. The greater the freedom, the greater the wealth. The greater the government, the greater the poverty. And it only works this way… every time.

That’s what politics is. Which direction do we go here? When I was in the state legislature in Ohio, Ohio was number one and new job creation.  Number one. Folks said, “€œWe can put a stop to this.”€ And so we began to pass more taxes, more regulation. When John Kasich took over as governor, Ohio was 49th out of the 50 states, 49th.  And for the first time in history, Ohio Buckeyes were saying “€œThank God for Michigan.”€

So you can you can make any or city or any nation. Let’s just walk through how it works.  The example yesterday North and South Korea. I like to use these. You can use lots of them. Another one would be Hong Kong.

Moment From America”€™s History


This is David Barton with another moment from America’s history. Christians have always believed that the greatest life changing experience available to any individual is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. And the testimonies of numerous converts confirms the dramatic changes which often accompany salvation.

One such testimony of change comes from Founding Father Noah Webster who explained, “€œI was led by spontaneous impulse to repentance, prayer, and entire submission and surrender of myself to my Maker and Redeemer. I now began to understand and relish many parts of the Scriptures which before appeared mysterious and unintelligible. In short, my view of the Scriptures, of religion, of the whole Christian scheme of salvation and of God’s moral government are very much changed.”€

The power of God to change a life yielded to him was just as evident at the time of the Founding Fathers as it still is today. For more information on God’s hand in American history contact WallBuilders at 1 800 8 REBUILD.

What Creates A Successful Economy?


I majored in economics. They explained to us the reason why America’s successful is we had lots of natural resources, tempered climate, hardworking people, blah, blah, blah.

If you want to talk about-Hong Kong, it’s built on a rock. There are no natural resources at all. People would float in there from around the South China Sea. And they say, “€œ No, no, no, you can’t come here.”€

And so they’d tie their sand pans together and you know, 8-15 deep, people would go around and sell vegetables and cut hair and weave mats and etc. And the GDP, the gross domestic product of the people around in Hong Kong under the British when they turned it over to China. That the gross domestic product per capita was 40 times as great as just across the border in the New Territories with China with all of its great heritage and culture and etc.

Economy Since The Korean War

What was the difference? Freedom. North and South Korea, I like this because it doesn’t have any neighbors. You can only blame effect. Same heritage, same culture, same climate, same language. South Korea at the end of the Korean War was a third poorest nation on earth. There are no 60 year old trees in South Korea. People took the bark and boiled it for broth just to stay alive.

But as the president told Liz and me at a dinner.  He said, “€œWhen they separated the country, North Korea got 75 percent of the arable land. We got all the refugees, twenty five percent of the arable land, mountains, and freedom. Last year South Korea had the tenth largest GDP on the planet.  And North Korea, over the last five and a half years have had two and a half million people starve.

Socialism Can Destroy Anything

As you know food, clothing, shelter, the first thing you do is food, then clothing, and then shelter. But they eat sticks and leaves just to fill their stomach. They’re starving to death. What’s the difference? Freedom is the difference.

Well, the same time that Japan, which is next door, they encountered the United States on December 7, 1941. We responded in kind and this is a place called Nagasaki. At the end of the second world war, we won the war. They got freedom. And Nagasaki, it looks like this today.

Freedom Creates Wealth.  Socialism Creates Poverty.

Freedom creates wealth. Socialism creates poverty. So at the same time that Nagasaki looks like that, the richest city on the planet was a place called Detroit, Michigan. It wasn’t close. There’s like 18 percent and nearly a fifth richer than any place else in the world. There are more single family, three story, private homes in Detroit than any place in the world.

However, 1957 when they elect Coleman Young and Republicans are ejected from then on, that richest spot on the planet begins to turn into this place. Such that was dedicated 100 years ago. Last year it was considered the most elaborate and gorgeous and attractive public transportation facility in the world. People came to America, went to Detroit to see the murals that were in the train station in Detroit. But socialism can destroy anything. And since the Democrats controlled the city council and local post and school boards, etc., they make such that 48,000 single family dwellings in the city of Detroit are not uninhabited– but uninhabitable.

People Flee

What happens when you get in this condition is people flee. And why is all this happening? Because well, that’s that’s my next point. When I take things from you, you leave.  You like to go away. And so the population of Detroit is now smaller than it was in 1900. And that’s what the cities looked like.

Now there are other cities just like it. Cleveland is in competition.  It’s coming in there number 3.  And Cincinnati is at number 4. So now they claimed the accomplishment is now the fact that they destroyed places. And so the mayor of Cleveland and the mayor of Detroit go to businesses and say, “€œOh look, we have all this good infrastructure.”€ And they show blank blocks where they’ve knocked down all the buildings, all the trees are gone, there is just nothing and are trying to invite people to come to the places where they’ve destroyed all the wealth.

The Tax Rate Was 83% When Reagan Came In

Now, just as a quick aside, you folks would understand this or I wouldn’t put this in here. The tax rate in 1980, the top tax rate was 70 percent and the revenue that came into the government from that top bracket was 19 percent. When you cut taxes, when you lower taxes. Let me explain that for a quick second. Federal taxes were 70 percent when Reagan came in. State taxes are maybe 8-9 percent, local city taxes and maybe 2 or 3.  So that means that taxes are about 83 percent.

That means if you invest and you lose, it you’re out of your money. But if you hit it and you win you get 17 cents on the dollar. Well, the risk is awful high, so you don’t do that. So when you cut taxes, then they don’t hide the money. They take it out of gold. Gold went from $832 an ounce to $329. It goes from hiding places back into the capital and financial markets and you begin to invest and create jobs and then create wealth because you get to keep more of it.

Frustration Of The Labor Party

That was a frustration to the Labor Party in Britain is that every time they increase taxes on the rich, sales of Rolls-Royces went up. Why? Because if I risk it over here, you’re going to take it from me even if I win. So then I am not doing that, I’m going to go spend it. I’m going to go spend it on a boat, on a house, etc.

It Takes About $240K For Each Job To Be Created

So jobs are not created in America, takes about to earn $240,000 for each job to be created. Somebody has to save it in order to do that. So when you tax it, you don’t have the investment, you don’t create the jobs. They don’t pay the taxes and everybody comes poorer. And that’s called what every Democrat runs for office promising to do. And they do it. They do it in the city, they do it in the state, in the nation.

What Democrats Promise to Do, And Have Done

So when you cut the taxes down to 38 percent, that top bracket pays nearly 40 percent of all the revenue. Now, if you really hate the rich and you want to take their money, lower their taxes because they’ll give it to you. And in the process of doing it they will create jobs and everybody will benefit.

Bring A Speaker To Your Area


Hey, this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders.  And as you’ve had the opportunity to listen to WallBuilders Live, you’ve probably heard a wealth of information about our nation, about our spiritual heritage, about the religious liberties, and about all the things that makes America exceptional. And you might thinking, “€œAs incredible as this information is, I wish there was a way that I could get one of the WallBuilders guys to come to my area and share with my group.”€

Whether it be a church, whether it be a Christian school, or public school, or some political event, or activity, if you’re interested in having a WallBuilders speaker come to your area, you can get on our website at www.WallBuilders.com and there’s a tab for scheduling. If you”€™ll click on that tab, you’ll notice there’s a list of information from speakers bio’s, to events that are already going on. And there’s a section where you can request an event, to bring this information about who we are, where we came from, our religious liberties, and freedoms. Go to the WallBuilders website and bring a speaker to your area.

America”€™s History With David.


This is David Barton with another moment in America’s history. In the Supreme Court case, the Supreme Court ruled that the Bible could no longer be an independent textbook in public school curriculum. Would our Founding Fathers have agreed? Benjamin Rush certainly would have disagreed. Benjamin Rush was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and he was a leading educator of the day.

In fact, he was the first Founding Father to call for free public schools. Benjamin Rush declared, “€œThe great enemy of the salvation of man, in my opinion, never invented a more effective means of extinguishing Christianity from the world than by persuading mankind that it was improper to read the Bible at schools. The Bible should be read in our schools in preference to all other books.”€ In the view of Founding Father Benjamin Rush the Bible was the textbook of preference for public schools.

For more information on God’s hand in American history contact WallBuilders at 1 800 8 REBUILD.

Government Creates Poverty


Many of you have seen this before. For those that haven’t, it’s one thing to understand how things work. It’s another thing to understand why. What I want us to understand is why. We know that government creates poverty. Why? Here’s why.

Let us suppose you’re going to buy something for yourself. If you’re going to buy something for yourself, you care about two things.  You care about the price because you’re paying for it, and you care about the quality because you’re going to consume it. No one can make that decision as well as you can. You might pay $4 for a cup of coffee at seven in the morning for which you wouldn’t pay 50 cents at 3:30 in the afternoon. When it’s your money, for you, you get the maximum benefit. That’s called a first party purchase.

Now let’s suppose that one of those things is not controlled by you. Let us suppose you’re going to buy something for someone else, do you care about the price? Yes, because you’re paying for it. But you are a little more flexible on the quality. “€œEhhh, she will like it. And then by the time it breaks, they’ll be married for three years.  They”€™ll forget who gave it to them anyway. This will be fine.”€ You know, we’ve all bought things for people we never would have bought for ourselves. We’ve all received things as gifts we never would have bought for ourselves. Do we care about the price? Yes, because we’re paying for it. Do we care about the quality? Not so much.

Let’s suppose the other way around. Let’s suppose that we’re going to consume it.  If we’re going to consume it, do we care about the quality? Yes, we do. So if the waitress comes along and says, “€œWould you like to have some orange juice?”€ And you say, “€œWell yes that will be good. How much is it?”€ She says, “€œ It is $3 a glass.”€ “€¦ “€œNo, really I’m fine.”€

So if you’re consuming, you care about the quality but when you’re not paying for it she says, “€œOh by the way, you’ve got the pancakes.  It comes free with the pancakes.”€ And you reply, “€œWell in that case, I’ll take 3 glasses! Pour away!”€ You might walk off and leave half a glass. You wouldn’t if you’re paying $3 for it. But do you care about the quality? Yes. Do you care about the price? No, because you’re not paying for it. That’s called a second party purchase.

Pro-family Legislators Conference.


Well, friends, we are out of time for today. That was Congressman Bob McEwen you were just listening to.  If you tuned in halfway through, we were actually listening to a presentation he gave us at the Pro-family Legislators Conference WallBuilders puts on. It happened just a few weeks back and it was so powerful we wanted to share it with you here, our listeners at WallBuilders Live.

And so if you missed yesterday or you missed part of today’s program, both of those are available right now at WallBuildersLive.com. So visit that website. Share those links with your friends and family and then be sure and tune in tomorrow because we’re going to at the conclusion to Congressman McEwen”€™s presentation.  Just powerful information. And if you’ve never had a chance to listen to Congressman McEwen or study some of his books or videos, he’s able to take these complicated economic issues and other things and actually make them where we can understand them.  It makes sense. He is so good at taking those timeless principles and teaching them in in an understandable way.

So I encourage you to learn more from Congressman McEwen and we’ll have a link to his website at our website today at WallBuildersLive.com. But that is all the time we have for today so make sure you join us tomorrow here on WallBuilders Live.