6) FIORINA: I think we need to do three things with the tax code. One, lower the rates so that they are competitive. Two, close every loophole with the possible exception of a tax exemption for charitable giving, because the data is clear…….. Close the loopholes. And three, simplify it dramatically. Why? Because our tax code, like our regulatory regime, has been written by big business, big labor, and big government. Simplify it. And if we have to carve out something special for big business, fine, to regulate them more carefully than the small business. But we have to restore the entrepreneurial foundation of this nation. It is what creates jobs.
7) GRANHOLM: But if Mitt Romney and the Republicans only want to do what we did under George Bush, we have seen the results of that. We don't want to go backwards. We've got to be more active.
8) WILL: Will Rogers once said the difference between death and taxes is that death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets. The fact is -- when Reagan and Rostenkowski and the others simplified the tax cuts in 1986, since then, the tax code has been re-complicated more than once a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Wouldn't it be nice to have a tax code that looks like someone designed it on purpose? Instead it is exactly as Carly described, it's a favor machine, much more than the appropriations committee in the Congress.
9) WALKER: We're number 28 out of 34 countries in the world in fiscal sustainability. On rankings we're worse than Spain. We're worse than Italy when you look at total government debt, which is federal, state and local. Look, we can turn this around. But my view is, it's absolutely imperative that we make meaningful progress by no later than the end of 2013.
10) FIORINA: So let's just stipulate that everybody at this table, and the vast majority of politicians, are interested in creating as many jobs as possible and raising as many people out of poverty as possible. The data from the real world is crystal clear and all you have to do is go to our home state of California. California used to be the most vibrant economy in the world. And what is it today? It is an economy with yawning budget deficits, deteriorating public services, double digit unemployment. And what's happening in California? People are leaving.
GRANHOLM: Let me put Michigan on the table as a counter example. Michigan had the toughest economy in the nation for the first decade of this past year because of the loss of automotive and manufacturing jobs. There was a decision by the Obama administration to intervene. At that point, we had hit bottom. Our unemployment rate was 14.5 percent. It's now 8.4. It's the second quickest -- the second fastest drop of any state in the country. But the reason is, because there was a decision made to intervene, to save that industry, put it on solid ground. They had great management. There was a decision made to intervene to allow us to diversify the economy. And as a result, Michigan is now seeing a recovery. The hands-off strategy would not be working.
FIORINA: That's not what I'm advocating. I'm not advocating a hands-off strategy at all. Invest in the industries that matter through basic research. Fundamental reform the tax code. Do everything necessary to get small business going. Take on the structural educational problems. Do some of the things that we're talking -- that's not hands-off.