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Republican Senator Charles Grassley and Democrat Art Small
(#3208)
October 22 , 2004

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IOWA PRESS #3208>>

Borg: A SEAT IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE. INCUMBENT REPUBLICAN CHARLES GRASSLEY WANTS ANOTHER SIX-YEAR TERM. DEMOCRAT ART SMALL WANTS TO REPLACE GRASSLEY. WE'LL QUESTION THE MAJOR-PARTY CANDIDATES, GRASSLEY AND SMALL, ON THIS EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS."

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM WAS PROVIDED BY "FRIENDS," THE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION FOUNDATION; BY THE IOWA BANKERS ASSOCIATION... FOR PERSONAL, BUSINESS, AND COMMERCIAL NEEDS, IOWA BANKS HELP IOWANS REACH THEIR FINANCIAL GOALS; AND BY CAPITOL RESOURCES, INC., LOCATED IN BROOKLYN, IOWA; AND NICOLE SCHLINGER AND ERIC LANGE INDIVIDUALLY, FUND-RAISING AND COMMUNICATION SERVICES FOR MAJOR CAMPAIGNS SINCE 1996.

ON STATEWIDE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION, THIS IS THE FRIDAY, OCTOBER 22 EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS." HERE IS DEAN BORG.

Borg: IF YOU'VE BEEN FOLLOWING ALONG WITH US HERE ON "IOWA PRESS," YOU KNOW THAT WE'VE BEEN TRACKING THE IOWA CAMPAIGNS FOR CONGRESS IN RECENT WEEKS. WE'VE LOOKED AT THE CAMPAIGNS FOR IOWA'S FIVE SEATS IN THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND TODAY WE MOVE TO THE SENATE. INCUMBENT SENATOR CHARLES GRASSLEY IS A REPUBLICAN FROM NEW HARTFORD. HE'S SEEKING A FIFTH TERM IN THE SENATE. SENATOR GRASSLEY HAS SERVED IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES IN BOTH THE U.S. CONGRESS AND THE IOWA LEGISLATURE. HIS DEMOCRATIC CHALLENGER IS ART SMALL OF IOWA CITY. HE ALSO HAS STATE LEGISLATURE EXPERIENCE, FIFTEEN YEARS AS BOTH A STATE REPRESENTATIVE AND A STATE SENATOR. GENTLEMEN, WELCOME TO "IOWA PRESS."

Grassley: GLAD TO BE WITH YOU.

Small: THANK YOU.

Borg: AND ACROSS THE "IOWA PRESS" TABLE: "DES MOINES REGISTER" POLITICAL COLUMNIST DAVID YEPSEN AND "ASSOCIATED PRESS" SENIOR POLITICAL WRITER MIKE GLOVER.

Glover: MR. SMALL, ONE OF THE FIRST HURDLES THAT A CHALLENGER HAS TO GET OVER IS TO CONVINCE VOTERS THAT THE INCUMBENT HAS TO GO. MAKE THE CASE THAT SENATOR GRASSLEY HAS TO GO.

Small: WELL, I SUPPOSE IF IT WERE THE OLD CHUCK GRASSLEY, I PROBABLY WOULDN'T HAVE ENTERED THE RACE. HE ALWAYS USED TO TALK PERSUASIVELY ABOUT THE NEED FOR BALANCED BUDGETS, FOR FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY, ON AND ON. HE'S BEEN DOING THAT FOR FORTY-SIX YEARS. THEN THE LAST FOUR YEARS, WHEN HE'S BEEN CHAIR OF THE SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE, ALL OF THAT CHANGED MIRACULOUSLY. NOW HE PUSHED FOR ONE TAX CUT AFTER ANOTHER TAX CUT AFTER ANOTHER TAX CUT AND ALSO VOTED FOR ALL THE SPENDING. AND THE RESULT IS WE HAVE THE LARGEST DEFICITS IN AMERICAN HISTORY. AND I THINK IT'S TIME TO CALL A HALT TO THIS.

Glover: SENATOR GRASSLEY, ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS AN INCUMBENT HAS TO DO IS CONVINCE VOTERS THEY DESERVE ANOTHER TERM IN OFFICE. WHY DO YOU DESERVE ANOTHER SIX YEARS IN THE SENATE?

Grassley: COULD I THANK PUBLIC TELEVISION FIRST FOR HAVING THIS FORUM SO PEOPLE KNOW MORE ABOUT THE TWO OF US AS CANDIDATES.

Glover: SURE. AS PART OF THAT ANSWER, YOU MIGHT WANT TO RESPOND A LITTLE BIT TO WHAT MR. SMALL SAID.

Grassley: WELL, I WOULD LIKE TO ALSO THANK ART SMALL FOR ENTERING THIS RACE. I THANK HIM FOR HIS PUBLIC SERVICE THAT HE'S HAD. I SERVED FOUR YEARS WITH HIM IN THE IOWA LEGISLATURE. I KNOW HIM TO BE A PERSON OF INTELLECT, A PERSON WHO IS INTELLECTUALLY HONEST. AND I PARTICULARLY WANT TO COMPLIMENT HIM ON RUNNING A VERY CLEAN, ISSUE-BASED CAMPAIGN. I HAVE BEEN IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE, TIME TO DEMONSTRATE TO PEOPLE THAT I WORK HARD. WHEN CONGRESS IS IN SESSION, I'M THERE DOING THE JOB. THE BEST ATTENDANCE RECORD OF ANY SENATOR. WHEN WE'RE NOT IN SESSION, I'M IN IOWA MAKING THE PROCESS OF REPRESENTING GOVERNMENT WORK, FINDING OUT IOWANS WANT. I VISIT 99 COUNTIES EVERY YEAR. I'VE DEVELOPED A LOT OF SENIORITY. I'VE TRIED TO EMPOWER PEOPLE OF IOWA SO THAT THEY COULD HANDLE MORE OF THEIR TAX MONEY. I'VE TRIED TO REPRESENT THE SENIOR CITIZENS OF AMERICA BY MAKING THE MOST SWEEPING CHANGES IN MEDICARE WITH AFFORDABLE PRESCRIPTION DRUGS IN THE 38-YEAR HISTORY. I WORKED FOR RENEWABLE RESOURCES AND THE JOBS IT CREATES IN INDUSTRY IN IOWA. IT MAKES US LESS DEPENDENT UPON ARAB OIL. I'VE WORKED FOR THE JOBS BILL IN MANUFACTURING. THE LAST BILL WE PASSED JUST BEFORE WE CAME HOME. I'VE WORKED FOR TRANSPARENCY IN GOVERNMENT BECAUSE THE PUBLIC'S BUSINESS IS THE PUBLIC'S BUSINESS, AND IT OUGHT TO BE PUBLIC. LASTLY, WE -- I HAVE AN OUTSTANDING REPUTATION AMONG SENATORS FOR OVERSIGHT, FIGHTING WASTE, FRAUD, AND ABUSE. THE FALSE CLAIMS ACT I GOT PASSED IS BRINGING $12 BILLION BACK TO THE FEDERAL TREASURY. WITH THIS SENIORITY, I WILL BE ABLE TO DO MORE FOR IOWANS IN THE NEXT SIX YEARS, AND I ASK IOWANS FOR THEIR VOTE.

Yepsen: MR. SMALL, WHY HAVEN'T YOU AND THE DEMOCRATS RUN A BETTER CAMPAIGN? YOU HAVE WAGED WHAT IS ESSENTIALLY A TOKEN EFFORT HERE. YOUR MONEY IS FAR LESS THAN SENATOR GRASSLEY'S. PEOPLE DON'T KNOW WHO YOU ARE. WHY HAVEN'T YOU AND THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY GIVEN IOWANS A BETTER CHOICE.

Small: I'M GIVING THEM THE BEST CHOICE I CAN. I'M RUNNING AS VIGOROUSLY AS I CAN. I'VE BEEN IN PROBABLY 80 COUNTIES DURING THIS CAMPAIGN. ONE OF THE REASONS I DON'T HAVE -- I HAVEN'T RAISED THAT MUCH MONEY IS I DON'T ACCEPT PAC AND SPECIAL-INTEREST MONEY. I JUST DON'T. SENATOR GRASSLEY, ON THE OTHER HAND, HAS ABOUT $7 MILLION, AND SPECIAL INTEREST MONEY HAS JUST FLOWED INTO HIM. HE GOT OVER A QUARTER OF A MILLION DOLLARS JUST FROM THE PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES, AND HE GOT IT AT THE TIME HE WAS PUTTING TOGETHER THE MEDICARE PRESCRIPTION DRUG BILL. IT IS UNEQUAL IN THAT BASIS, BUT I'M CERTAINLY NOT RUNNING A TOKEN CAMPAIGN. THAT PHRASE WAS ORIGINALLY USED BY SOME REPORTER IN YOUR PAPER. AND I DISPUTED IT AT THAT TIME, AND I DISPUTE IT NOW.

Yepsen: HAVE DEMOCRATS ABANDONED YOU? HAVE THEY -- WHY HAVE THEY NOT GIVEN YOU MORE SUPPORT?

Small: WELL, WHAT DEMOCRATS? YOU KNOW, I'VE GOTTEN ALL SORTS OF CONTRIBUTIONS --

Yepsen: THE IOWA DEMOCRATIC PARTY.

Small: WELL, THE IOWA DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS PRIMARILY FOCUSED ON THE KERRY RACE AND GETTING PEOPLE REGISTERED TO VOTE. I HAVEN'T BEEN ABANDONED AND I FRANKLY THINK I'M RUNNING A GOOD CAMPAIGN. THIS IS JUST OUT OF EDITORIALIZING ON YOUR PART.

Glover: SENATOR GRASSLEY, MOST OF THE POLLS THAT I HAVE SEEN WOULD SUGGEST THAT YOU'RE AHEAD IN THIS RACE BY A SIGNIFICANT MARGIN. WHAT EFFECT WOULD THAT HAVE ON THE REST OF THE TICKET IF THAT'S THE WAY THINGS PLAY OUT?

Grassley: I DON'T KNOW WHAT EFFECT IT WILL HAVE ON THE TICKET, BUT I CAN TELL YOU I TAKE VERY SERIOUSLY MY RESPONSIBILITY AS A SENIOR REPUBLICAN IN IOWA AND AT THE TOP OF THE TICKET BELOW THE PRESIDENT, TO DO EVERYTHING I CAN TO MAKE SURE THAT ALL THE ISSUES OF THE CAMPAIGN ARE BROUGHT OUT ON THE TABLE, EVERYTHING WE CAN DO TO MOBILIZE REPUBLICANS TO COME VOTE, EVERYTHING WE CAN DO TO GET INDEPENDENCE, TO REGISTER AND VOTE AND, ALSO, EVEN DEMOCRATS. I'M JUST HOPING THAT WE'RE ABLE TO GET OUT A MASSIVE NUMBER OF VOTES. AND I DON'T KNOW WHETHER -- REGARDLESS OF WHAT VOTES I GET, WHAT IMPACT IT HAS ON THE REST OF THE TICKET, BUT PEOPLE WHO HAVE STUDIED IT SAY THAT THEY EXPECT ME TO DO VERY WELL IN GETTING OUT THE REPUBLICAN VOTE. SO I'M USING ALL THE RESOURCES AND ALL THE TIME I HAVE TO DO JUST WHAT A SENIOR REPUBLICAN SHOULD DO, PLUS THE ISSUES OF MY OWN REELECTION.

Glover: YOU'VE PROBABLY HEARD THE COMPLAINTS THAT SOME REPUBLICANS HAVE PRIVATELY, THAT YOU DON'T DO ENOUGH TO GO OUT AND GET OTHER REPUBLICANS ELECTED, DON'T DO ENOUGH TO GO INTO CLOSELY CONTESTED LEGISLATIVE RACES AND CAMPAIGN FOR REPUBLICANS. HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THAT?

Grassley: WELL, ALL THEY'D HAVE TO DO IS LOOK AT MY SCHEDULE FOR THE LAST TWO WEEKS, AND THEY WOULD FIND THAT I HAVE BEEN INVOLVED WITH 15 DIFFERENT CAMPAIGNS FOR THE STATE LEGISLATURE. WHEN YOU SEE REPORTS COMING OUT ON CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS, YOU WILL SEE THAT I HAVE RAISED A LOT OF MONEY FOR LEGISLATIVE RACES IN IOWA, FOR CONGRESSIONAL RACES IN IOWA AS WELL, AND DOING EVERYTHING I CAN. SO I HOPE THAT THOSE REPUBLICANS ARE LISTENING, AND THEY WILL FIND OUT THAT I'M TIRELESS IN BOTH MY EFFORTS TO HELP WITH FINANCES AS WELL AS MY OWN TIME, HELPING MY COLLEAGUES ON THE TICKET.

Glover: MR. SMALL, IF WE COULD REFER TO THOSE SAME POLLS AGAIN, MOST OF THE POLLS SHOW THAT YOU'RE BEHIND IN THIS. DOES THAT MAKE THINGS MORE DIFFICULT FOR YOU?

Small: I WOULD DO THE SAME THING THAT I'M DOING, WHATEVER THE POLLS SHOW. I HAVE NO MONEY TO RUN POLLS. SENATOR GRASSLEY MENTIONED THAT IN HIS CAMPAIGN HE'S TRYING TO GET ALL THE ISSUES OUT, WHICH IS REFRESHING. BUT ACTUALLY, IF YOU GO TO THINGS LIKE "VOTE SMART," WHICH IS A QUESTIONNAIRE THAT ALL NEWSPAPER PEOPLE ASKED US TO FILL OUT, HE DIDN'T FILL IT OUT. HE DIDN'T GET ANY ISSUES OUT. YOU LOOK AT HIS CAMPAIGN ADS, WHAT ISSUES ARE THOSE? HE MOWS HIS LAWN. WONDERFUL. I USED TO HAVE A ROUTE MOWING PEOPLE'S LAWNS. I'M HAPPY NOW TO HAVE A BED OF HOSTAS, AND I DON'T HAVE TO MOW THE LAWN. BUT THERE ARE NO ISSUES THERE. I AGREE HE WORKS HARD BUT WHAT I'M INTERESTED IN IS WHAT DOES HE DO, HOW DOES HE VOTE, WHAT DOES HE PUSH FOR.

Yepsen: MR. SMALL, IS THE FACT THAT YOU HAVE NOT RAISED MUCH MONEY AND THE FACT THAT YOU ARE IN LOW DOUBLE DIGITS IN THE POLLS A VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE BY YOUR OWN PARTY?

Small: WELL, YOU KEEP SAYING THAT.

Yepsen: I'M ASKING YOU A QUESTION.

Small: NO, I'VE HAD STRONG SUPPORT ACROSS THE STATE. AND YOU SAY DOUBLE DIGITS, WELL, DOUBLE DIGITS COULD BE 99 --

Yepsen: I SAID LOW DOUBLE DIGITS.

Small: LOW DOUBLE DIGITS. WELL, WE'LL SEE ON NOVEMBER 3. THAT'S THE ONLY POLL I'M INTERESTED IN.

Borg: LET ME JUST FOLLOW UP ON --

Yepsen: SENATOR -- WAIT JUST ONE MINUTE.

Borg: GO AHEAD.

Yepsen: SENATOR GRASSLEY, I WANT TO GIVE YOU A CHANCE TO RESPOND TO THE CHARGES THAT MR. SMALL HAS LEVELED HERE, THAT YOU TAKE A LOT OF MONEY FROM SPECIAL INTERESTS AND THAT YOU DON'T DEAL WITH THE ISSUES.

Grassley: WELL, FIRST OF ALL, I'M GLAD TO RESPOND TO YOUR QUESTION. AND I'VE ADDRESSED THESE THINGS MANY TIMES IN PAST CAMPAIGNS. MY PRINCIPLE OF CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS IS TO ACCEPT MONEY THAT'S LEGAL AND WITH NO STRINGS ATTACHED. I HAVE 13,000 INDIVIDUALS THAT HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO MY CAMPAIGN. ALL BUT ABOUT 800 OF THEM ARE FROM IOWA. AND OF THOSE 800 THAT ARE OUTSIDE OF IOWA, MAYBE LIKE TOM STONER AND TOM TAUKE AND PEOPLE LIKE THAT, THEY'RE FORMER IOWANS OR IOWANS YET AND THEY CONTRIBUTE TO MY CAMPAIGN. SO I THINK THAT THE BEST WAY TO DO IT IS JUST TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION HISTORICALLY. THE CHARGES WERE LEVELED IN THE 1980S ABOUT PAC CONTRIBUTIONS, AND I HAD ACCEPTED PAC CONTRIBUTIONS FROM DEFENSE CONTRACTORS. BUT EVERYBODY KNOWS THE REPUTATION I HAVE TAKING ON THE DEFENSE DEPARTMENT AND THE DEFENSE CONTRACTORS. IN REGARD TO THE PHARMACEUTICAL CONTRIBUTIONS, FOR INSTANCE, HEADLINE IN YOUR PAPER, SOME PHARMACEUTICAL V.P. CRITICIZED ME. AND IF THEY CRITICIZE ME, I CAN'T BE ONE OF THEIR FRIENDS. BUT HERE'S WHAT I DO. IN GENERIC DRUGS, IN THE PRESCRIPTION DRUG BILL, WE DO -- WE GET GENERIC DRUG ON THE MARKET BY DOING AWAY WITH THE LEGAL SUBTERFUGE WHERE A PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANY BUYS OFF THE GENERIC DRUG COMPANY. THEY CAN'T DO THAT ANYMORE. I HAVE PUSHED FOR AND VOTED THREE TIMES FOR THE IMPORTATION OF DRUGS. BOTH OF THOSE ARE TWO EXAMPLES OF SOMETHING THAT THE PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES ARE FIGHTING VERY DRAMATICALLY. I DON'T THINK THERE'S ANY EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER OF THAT BECAUSE I ACCEPT CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS, THAT I MAKE ANY COMMITMENT.

Glover: LET'S TALK ABOUT SOME LABELS, SENATOR. I'D LIKE TO GET YOUR DEFINITION OF THE TERM FISCAL CONSERVATIVE. YOUR CRITICS SAY YOU'RE CHAIRMAN OF THE SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE. YOU'VE PRESIDED OVER BIG TAX CUTS AT A TIME WHEN WE HAVE RECORD DEFICITS AND WE'RE AT WAR. WHAT'S YOUR DEFINITION OF FISCAL CONSERVATIVE?

Grassley: WELL, FIRST OF ALL, YOU KNOW, THE FINANCE COMMITTEE DEALS WITH TAXES, TRADE, SOCIAL SECURITY, MEDICARE, MEDICAID, WELFARE, ALL OF THOSE PROGRAMS. WE DON'T APPROPRIATE MONEY. WE RAISE MONEY OR WE CUT TAXES TO REJUVENATE THE ECONOMY, BECAUSE WHEN IT COMES TO FISCAL DEFICITS, YOU KNOW, YOU'VE GOT TO GROW THE ECONOMY. YOU CAN'T GET OUT OF A DEFICIT JUST BY RAISING TAX RATES. YOU'VE GOT TO GROW THE ECONOMY IF YOU'RE GOING TO GET OUT OF A DEFICIT. SO MY DEFINITION OF FISCAL CONSERVATISM IS I'D HAVE ONE IN PEACETIME, ANOTHER ONE IN WAR. WE'RE IN WAR, THE WAR ON TERRORISM. WHEN YOU GO TO WAR, THE BUDGET DEFICIT IS NOT THE MOST CONCERN. THE MOST CONCERN IS PUTTING THE RESOURCES BEHIND THE MEN AND WOMEN THAT ARE ON THE BATTLEFIELD, TO GIVE THEM THE RESOURCES THEY NEED TO DO WHAT WE SEND THEM THERE TO DO, TO WIN THE WAR. AND YOU ONLY GO TO WAR AS A LAST RESORT, BUT WHAT WE HAVE DONE IS SHIFTED FROM DOMESTIC PROGRAMS. WE INHERITED A 9-PERCENT INCREASE IN SPENDING FROM THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION. WE HAVE THAT DOWN TO 1 PERCENT EXCEPT 3 PERCENT FOR EDUCATION, 7 PERCENT FOR DEFENSE, 10 PERCENT FOR HOMELAND SECURITY. WE ARE DOING THE ADJUSTMENT IN SPENDING TO GET THE DEFICIT UNDER CONTROL.

Glover: MR. SMALL, YOUR DEFINITION?

Small: OF FISCAL CONSERVATIVE?

Glover: YES.

Small: WELL, IT'S CERTAINLY -- I THINK YOU HAVE TO BE TIGHT WITH YOUR MONEY. I CHAIRED THE -- IN THE IOWA GENERAL ASSEMBLY, THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS, AND I CAME IN WITH A BUDGET THAT SPENT MILLIONS LESS THAN WHAT THEN-GOVERNOR TERRY BRANSTAD HAD RECOMMENDED. BUT I THINK THAT MOST OF THE BIG SPENDING FLOWS FROM POLICY DECISIONS AND NOT SAVING $50 ON A HAMMER OR OTHER THINGS THAT SENATOR GRASSLEY IS NOTED FOR. HE TALKS ABOUT HIS COMMITTEE AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY. IT'S NOT JUST THE BUDGET DEFICIT THAT I'M CONCERNED ABOUT, WHICH IS ABOUT $440 BILLION IN ONE YEAR ADDED ON TO THE 7 TRILLION, BUT THE TRADE DEFICIT IS 660 BILLION. THEY HAVEN'T ADDRESSED THAT PROBLEM AT ALL. THEY HAVEN'T DONE ANYTHING.

Borg: SENATOR GRASSLEY, EARLIER AND JUST NOW, MR. SMALL HAS LAID AT YOUR FEET MAJOR RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE DEFICIT. YOU HAVE DEFENDED -- AND YOU JUST DID A FEW MINUTES AGO HERE, DEFENDED THE TAX CUTS ENACTED EARLY IN THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION. IN RETROSPECT, LOOKING BACK AT WHERE WE ARE RIGHT NOW SNAPSHOT, WOULD YOU STILL DEFEND THOSE TAX CUTS?

Grassley: VERY DEFINITELY. LOOK AT THE MOST RECENT NOBEL PEACE PRIZE -- NOT PEACE PRIZE, NOBEL ECONOMIC WINNER, MR. PRESCOTT, SAID THAT THE TAX CUTS WERE NOT DEEP ENOUGH, THAT THEY NEED TO BE DEEPER TO GIVE INCENTIVES FOR PEOPLE TO WORK. CHAIRMAN GREENSPAN SAID THAT THE TAX CUTS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR TURNING THIS ECONOMY AROUND, CREATING 2 MILLION NEW JOBS, GROWING OUR WAY OUT OF THE DEFICIT, PROVIDING THE RESOURCES FOR WAR. I THINK THOSE EXPERTS ON THE ECONOMY ARE PROBABLY BETTER THAN ANYTHING I CAN SAY TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION. IN REGARD TO THE TRADE DEFICIT YOU ASKED ABOUT, I THINK IT'S VERY CLEAR THAT THE WAY YOU DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE TRADE DEFICIT IS TO EXPORT. THE MORE WE EXPORT, THE LESS TRADE DEFICIT WE HAVE. AND THAT'S WHY I FIGHT FOR FAIR AND FREE TRADE, REDUCE TARIFF BARRIERS; 65-PERCENT TARIFFS ON AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS ON AVERAGE AROUND THE WORLD, GET THOSE DOWN. WE'LL EXPORT MORE AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS, REDUCE OUR DEFICIT. THE LAST BILL WE PASSED JUST BEFORE I CAME HOME TO CAMPAIGN WAS THE JOBS AND MANUFACTURING BILL. IT REDUCES THE COST OF CAPITAL, REDUCES THE TAXES FOR CORPORATIONS THAT MANUFACTURE IN AMERICA SO THAT THE JOBS ARE CREATED HERE. WE ALSO CLOSED $50 BILLION OF CORPORATE TAX LOOPHOLES IN THE MOST SWEEPING REFORM OF TAX SHELTERS SINCE 1986.

Borg: MR. SMALL, ISN'T THAT A CONVINCING CASE FOR THOSE TAX CUTS THAT YOU HAVE CRITICIZED?

Small: NOT ME. HE POINTED OUT THAT THE TAX CUTS GIVE PEOPLE A GREATER INCENTIVE TO WORK. WELL, WARREN BUFFET, THE SECOND RICHEST MAN IN THE WORLD WHO IS WORTH MULTIBILLIONS, 30 BILLION, HE GOT AN EXTRA $310 MILLION FROM THOSE TAX CUTS. HE WROTE AN ARTICLE IN THE "WASHINGTON POST" -- I THINK IT WAS ALSO PUBLISHED IN SOME OTHER PAPERS IN THE STATE -- WHERE HE POINTED OUT THAT HE THOUGHT THIS WAS TERRIBLE PUBLIC POLICY. HE DIDN'T NEED AN EXTRA $310 MILLION TO SHOW UP TO WORK, AND HE POINTED OUT THAT HIS SECRETARY PAID TAXES AT A HIGHER RATE THAN HE DID.

Grassley: YOU KNOW, WARREN BUFFET, IF HE'S UNDERTAXED, ALL HE HAS TO DO IS SEND A CHECK TO THE FEDERAL TREASURY. WE'LL TAKE IT ANYTIME. NOW, THE OPPOSITE OF THAT IS, I -- YOU KNOW, WHETHER IT'S BEEN THIS CAMPAIGN OR ALL YEAR, I HAVEN'T HAD A SINGLE IOWAN COME UP TO ME AND TELL ME THAT THEY WERE UNDERTAXED.

Yepsen: SENATOR, REGARDLESS OF HOW WE GOT TO WHERE WE ARE WITH THE SIZE OF THE DEFICIT AND THE SIZE OF THE NATIONAL DEBT, WHETHER IT'S THE TAX CUTS, THE WAR, THE STOCK MARKET COLLAPSE, THE ECONOMY, REGARDLESS OF HOW WE GOT TO THIS POINT, WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? IF YOU'RE REELECTED, YOU'LL BE CHAIRMAN OF THE FINANCE COMMITTEE FOR FOUR MORE YEARS. WHAT DO WE DO NOW PROSPECTIVELY TO START DIGGING OURSELVES OUT THIS DEFICIT HOLE?

Grassley: OKAY, I'VE ALREADY INDICATED ON THIS PROGRAM ONE THING THAT WE'RE DOING VERY MUCH, BECAUSE WE HAVE TRADE DEFICITS -- OR WE HAVE BUDGET DEFICITS, NOT BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE UNDERTAXED BUT BECAUSE CONGRESS OVERSPENDS. WE ARE BRINGING DOWN THE EXPENDITURES TO WHERE THEY CAN BE SUSTAINED OVER A LONG PERIOD OF TIME. NINE-PERCENT INCREASES THAT WE INHERITED FROM THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION ARE NOT SUSTAINABLE OVER THE LONG TIME. AND WE'VE GOT THEM DOWN TO ONE PERCENT. WHEN WE GET DONE WITH THE WAR ON TERROR, WE'RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO REDUCE DEFENSE EXPENDITURES. WE'LL HAVE OUR HOMELAND SECURITY BEEFED UP SO WE WON'T HAVE TO KEEP POURING MORE INTO THAT. WE'RE SPENDING A LOT MORE ON EDUCATION, 3-PERCENT INCREASES. WE'RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO EDUCATE OUR WORK FORCE SO WE CAN BE COMPETITIVE IN THE GLOBAL ECONOMY, BECAUSE EDUCATION IS HOW YOU INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY. AND BY INCREASING PRODUCTIVITY IS HOW YOU INCREASE YOUR STANDARD OF LIVING, AND THIS IS HOW WE'RE GOING TO GET THE BUDGET DEFICIT NOW. BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS WHAT WE'RE DOING ON DECREASING EXPENDITURES, BRINGING EXPENDITURES UNDER CONTROL.

Glover: MR. SMALL, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Small: WELL, I CAN'T SEE HOW HE'S SAYING THEY'RE DECREASING EXPENDITURES. THE BUDGET KEEPS GROWING AND HE HAS VOTED FOR EVERY SINGLE APPROPRIATIONS BILL. HE'S VOTED FOR ALL THE SPENDING, AND HE'S ALSO VOTED FOR ALL THE TAX CUTS. YOU PUT THE TWO TOGETHER, AND WHAT DO YOU GET? YOU GET THESE MONSTROUS DEFICITS THAT OUR CHILDREN --

Glover: WELL, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Small: ...THAT OUR CHILDREN -- WELL, FIRST OF ALL, AS I MENTIONED EARLIER, MOST OF THE BIGGEST EXPENDITURES FLOW FROM POLICY DECISIONS. THE POLICY DECISION, FOR INSTANCE, TO GO TO WAR IN IRAQ COST US, I THINK IT'S VARIED, 150 BILLION, 200 BILLION. AND IT SEEMS UNENDING THAT WE'RE GOING TO BE SPENDING THIS TYPE OF MONEY.

Borg: SENATOR GRASSLEY, THERE ARE SOME WHO FEEL THAT YOUR RECORD AS A -- OR YOUR IMAGE AS A FISCAL CONSERVATIVE WAS TARNISHED AND REALLY OUT OF CHARACTER WHEN YOU APPROPRIATED OR SAW FOR THE APPROPRIATION OF SEVERAL MILLION DOLLARS FOR A TOURIST ATTRACTION RAIN FOREST IN THE CORALVILLE AREA. HOW DO YOU DEFEND THAT?

Grassley: WELL, IT'S ALL ABOUT KIDS. YOU KNOW, IOWA HAS TRADITIONALLY STOOD FOR THE THREE Rs, READING, WRITING AND ARITHMETIC. THIS PROJECT IS AN EXAMPLE OF STANDING FOR THE THREE Es, EDUCATION, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, THE ENVIRONMENT. YOU KNOW, IT'S VERY MUCH AN ADJUNCT TO THE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, ABOUT THE EDUCATION OF KIDS, ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT. WE'VE GOT TO DO A LOT TO ENHANCE OUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE ENVIRONMENT, AND THE RAIN FOREST IS A VERY IMPORTANT PART OF THE ENVIRONMENT, VERY MUCH NEGLECTED. IT CREATES A BILLION DOLLARS OF ECONOMIC ACTIVITY AS WELL. AND IT CLEANS UP A BROWNSFIELD PROJECT THAT WOULD OTHERWISE HAVE TO HAVE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS SPENT ON IT ANYWAY.

Glover: MR. SMALL, WHERE ARE YOU ON THE WHOLE RAIN FOREST THING?

Small: I THINK IT'S A STUPID PROJECT. CHARLES GRASSLEY WAS AWARDED BY THE CITIZENS AGAINST GOVERNMENT WASTE, THEIR TROPHY AWARD AS THE STUPIDEST PORK PROJECT. THERE WERE HUNDREDS OF THESE PORK PROJECTS IN THE ENERGY BILL, AND HIS WON THE TOP PRIZE. AND THE ENERGY THAT -- IT WAS ORIGINALLY PUT ON AS AN AMENDMENT TO THE ENERGY BILL, WHICH THE PURPOSE WAS TO DECREASE OUR RELIANCE ON FOREIGN ENERGY. IT'S ALMOST HARD TO CONCEIVE OF A MORE ENERGY CONSUMING PROJECT THAN A TROPICAL RAIN FOREST IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS STATE WHEN IT GETS 30 DEGREES BELOW ZERO.

Glover: MR. SMALL, I'D LIKE YOU TO STEP BACK AND LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE FOR JUST A SECOND. SENATOR GRASSLEY IS CHAIRMAN OF THE SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE. HE'S RUNNING FOR A FIFTH TERM IN CONGRESS IN AN INSTITUTION WHERE SENIORITY REALLY MATTERS. CAN IOWA AFFORD TO LOSE SUCH A SENIOR POLITICIAN?

Small: I HAVE NO TROUBLE WITH THAT. HE TALKS ABOUT THE GREAT POWER HE HAS, AND HE HAS GREAT POWER NOW IN HIS POSITION. BUT WHAT HAS HE DONE? THAT'S THE QUESTION. IT IS -- SOME PEOPLE LIKE THE FACT THAT HE WAS ABLE TO BRING A CITY INTO A TROPICAL RAIN FOREST. WELL, I DON'T KNOW ANYBODY WHO REALLY WAS PLEADING FOR THAT TYPE OF THING. IF YOU LOOK AT THE STATISTICS IN THE STATE, WE'VE LOST 30,000 MANUFACTURING JOBS. WE'VE -- SOME JOBS THAT HAVE COME IN TO REPLACE THE JOBS THAT HAVE BEEN LOST PAY ABOUT $6,800 LESS PER YEAR. IT'S JUST ONE FIGURE AFTER ANOTHER. WHAT HAS HE DONE? ACTUALLY, I RAISED THAT QUESTION IN THE MEETING. AND FINALLY ONE PERSON SAID, WELL, HE GAVE US AN INDOOR TROPICAL RAIN FOREST. WELL, I DON'T THINK THAT BALANCES IT OUT.

Glover: YOUR RESPONSE, SENATOR GRASSLEY?

Grassley: WELL, MY RESPONSE IS THAT MY JOB IS ENTIRELY, AS CHAIRMAN OF THE SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE, ABOUT ENHANCING THE QUALITY OF LIFE OF IOWANS. IN FACT, I CALL IT THE QUALITY OF LIFE COMMITTEE WITH TAX REDUCTIONS. WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO STIMULATE THE ECONOMY, CREATE TWO MILLION NEW JOBS. YOU GROW YOUR WAY OUT OF A DEFICIT, OVERCOMING THE MILLION JOBS THAT WERE LOST AS A RESULT OF SEPTEMBER 11 OR THE JOBS THAT WERE LOST BY THE RECESSION WE INHERITED FROM CLINTON, WORK FOR FREE AND FAIR TRADE BECAUSE THOSE JOBS PAY 15 PERCENT ABOVE THE NATIONAL AVERAGE, WORK TO FIGHT VERTICAL INTEGRATION TO PROTECT THE FAMILY FARMER, WORK FOR HELPING SENIOR CITIZENS WITH AFFORDABLE PRESCRIPTION DRUGS WITH THE FIRST MAJOR CHANGE. I'VE DONE ALL THIS BECAUSE I CAN WORK IN A BIPARTISAN WAY WITH THE DEMOCRATS. AND NOTHING GETS DONE IN THE SENATE THAT'S NOT BIPARTISAN, AND THAT'S WHY WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO MAKE THESE TREMENDOUS ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN A YEAR WHERE THE COUNTRY IS VERY MUCH DIVIDED.

Borg: MR. SMALL, VERY QUICKLY. WE'RE ALMOST OUT OF TIME. WHAT DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO REMEMBER AS THEY ENTER THE VOTING BOOTH?

Small: WELL, ONE THING I THINK ALMOST EVERY IOWAN RECOGNIZES IS -- OR CERTAINLY EVERY IOWA FARMER, IS THE NEED TO ROTATE YOUR CROPS IF YOU WANT GROWTH. GRASSLEY HAS BEEN IN OFFICE CONTINUALLY FOR 46 YEARS, 30 IN WASHINGTON, D.C. OVER THOSE YEARS I'M SURE HE'S ALWAYS BEEN A STRONG ADVOCATE FOR TERM LIMITS, BUT HERE HE IS AGAIN, ANOTHER SIX YEARS.

Borg: MR. GRASSLEY, CAN YOU DO IT IN TEN SECONDS?

Grassley: I'M A HIRED MAN FOR THE PEOPLE OF IOWA. I THINK I'VE DEMONSTRATED THAT I'VE WORKED HARD AS THEIR HIRED PERSON ON THE JOB IN WASHINGTON, ON THE JOB WHEN WE AREN'T IN SESSION HERE AT HOME AND, LASTLY, WITH SENIORITY, HAVE PROVEN TO BE ABLE TO DELIVER AND DELIVER FOR THE FUTURE.

Borg: THANK YOU VERY MUCH. ON OUR NEXT EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS," THE WEEKEND PRIOR TO THE 2004 ELECTION, WE'RE GOING TO GATHER REPORTERS AROUND THIS TABLE AND TALK ABOUT THE CAMPAIGNS. THEY'VE BEEN ON THE TRAIL FOR SEVERAL MONTHS. THAT WILL BE NEXT WEEK: NEXT FRIDAY, 7:30; SUNDAY AT NOON. AN ADDITIONAL PROGRAM REMINDER, THIS COMING WEEK, WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY -- ON TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY, AND THURSDAY, KAY HENDERSON OF "RADIO IOWA" DISCUSSES ISSUES AND POLITICS WITH CANDIDATES WHOSE NAMES WILL BE ON THE GENERAL ELECTION BALLOT. AND THAT PROGRAM IS TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY, AND THURSDAY HERE ON IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION. I'M DEAN BORG. THANKS FOR JOINING US TODAY.

CAPTIONS BY: MIDWEST CAPTIONING DES MOINES, IOWA.

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM WAS PROVIDED BY "FRIENDS," THE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION FOUNDATION; BY THE IOWA BANKERS ASSOCIATION... FOR PERSONAL, BUSINESS, AND COMMERCIAL NEEDS, IOWA BANKS HELP IOWANS REACH THEIR FINANCIAL GOALS; AND BY CAPITOL RESOURCES, INC., LOCATED IN BROOKLYN, IOWA; AND NICOLE SCHLINGER AND ERIC LANGE INDIVIDUALLY, FUND-RAISING AND COMMUNICATION SERVICES FOR MAJOR CAMPAIGNS SINCE 1996.