tv Campaign 2022 Wisconsin U.S. Senate Debate CSPAN October 8, 2022 12:09am-1:07am EDT
the states 2022 senate race. senator johnson served two terms in congress since he was elected in 2010. >> good evening, on tuesday november eighth. wisconsin will decide who will be there u.s. senator for the next six years. we will help you make an informed choice as you hear from the two major party candidates. and -- incumbent ron johnson and lieutenant governor. they agree to the rules for each question. there will be told the length of time they have for responses. either one minute or 30 seconds. and they and i can see countdown clocks. when they hit their time limit i will advise them if they continue, i will notice and to their microphone will cease to work. if candidates fail to answer a
specific question or change the subject i will exercise the moderators option to call it out and give them 30 seconds to give a specific answer. please note, this debate will provide an additional service for voters. many issues require a deeper context and verification. especially when charges and counter charges are exchanged or when statistics or shorthand terms are used. thanks to our debate data team, we will be providing a links to additional research material about our topics to read more about a subject, follow the link you will see on screen or the wba on facebook or instagram or twitter. our #is wba debate. for the response for the first and last questions was determined by coin toss. with that, let's begin with the first question. from a member of our question team from wti in milwaukee. you are seeing her picture,
despite her hard work she cannot be here because of covid protocols. she asked her teammates to present her questions. that, let's go to waukesha. >> good afternoon, good evening. we want to start with the topic of marijuana legislation. this news is coming out yesterday that president biden is pardoning thousands of americans convicted of session of marijuana under federal law. he says it is a dramatic step towards decriminalizing the drug and addressing charging -- changing practices that affect people of color. what is your position on the federal legalization of marijuana. ron: i want to thank the wisconsin broadcast association and public tv station for hosting this. i want to think the premise for participating. i hope the questions will be fair and balanced.
and focused on the issues that impact wisconsinites. we have good discussion on inflation, record gas prices, skyrocketing crime and open borders and the flood of illegal drugs. talk about drugs. marijuana. i think it should be a state-by-state decision. i think the only thing on federal basis does make any cases where marijuana is legal. so these marijuana companies have mountains of cash which leads to a potential for crime. i can see federal legislation to open up making to those states we have legalized marijuana. i would not suggest any state should take a look seriously by being -- the legalization of marijuana. >> thank you senator. madela: thank you for hosting the debate and question. i supported full legalization as
a member of the legislation. as lieutenant governor and i hope we can accomplish as a nation. far too many people fall victim to a system that incarcerates folks for marijuana possession. this is something that is legal in our neighboring states in illinois, michigan and medical marijuana in minnesota. those estates are receiving huge benefits because of revenue generated from the legalization. that is money that goes to the schools and roads. most importantly it is money we miss out on. if we have federal legalization we can do so much more in the state. it is unfortunate we have people who are decades behind this issue. people who are supported by the pharmaceutical industry where we have an issue of over prescription of drugs. marijuana is harmless is -- and is something that states over the country have impressed. >> your comes up. thank you.
>> not to mark. ron: this is a question on conditions for bail. >> the trial of darrell brooks that underway. he is charged with killing six people in the christmas parade after getting out of jail on bail. the cases raise in issue on which defendant should be kept behind bars. a bill introduced last year discourages states from making the payment of money a condition. for pretrial condition. it details how defendants with access to money can buy their way out while poor defendants remain locked up. would you agree conditions for keeping a defendant locked up should be aced on whether the defendant is a threat to safety and likely to fail to appear and not the ability to pay bail? lieutenant governor we will begin with you. madela: i appreciate this question because it has been sensationalized and mischaracterize. i supported bail reform.
under my plan dangers people do not get to buy the way out. senator johnson may not have encountered a problem to buy his way out of. that is not a problem for the majority people in the state. what has come to light is people have used the waukesha tragedy, going as far to use the re-traumatizing families. under my plan the perp would not have an able to get out. he paid a thousand or 100,000. this is about keeping people safe and those who are likely to offend and cause harm do not get to by the way out. that is the system we have. this reform, i support has been supported by republicans across the country. >> senator. you have one minute. ron: we have a huge problem with skyrocketing crime. one of the issues is not keeping criminals in jail. the lieutenant governor is using the legislature to eliminate cash burial. that is one of the methods we can use to make sure criminal stay in jail.
the lieutenant governor, the goal it is to reduce the population but -- prison population by 55%. they reduced it by 15% and paroled 884 criminals. you think these are nonviolent. only a hundred criminals, the other were violent criminals, including 44 child rapists. 270 criminals who committed or attempted murder. and to the murders were horrific. if you want to reduce crime, first you have to fully fund the police and my opponent is supposed to fully funding police budgets. we need to keep criminals in jail. >> senator thank you. >> time is up. we will give you time at the end if there is something you feel has been misrepresented. you will have time at the end in a final question. let's go to wisconsin.
>> there is agreements on both sides of the eye how that something about our country's immigration system needs to change. how is the sticking point. employment rates by the year 2030, it is estimated the working population in our state will shrink by 130 thousand people if we do not have an increase in migration. would you look at making a path to citizenship -- citizenship as a solution to our employment crisis? senator johnson. ron: in order to have immigration reform we have to secure the border. we secured at the last administration. we stop the flow of unaccompanied children and families exploding our asylum. we even cut in half adult immigration. until president biden took office and the border was open. we have about 7000 people per day being encountered, processed and dispersed throughout america. about 3 million people. it opened our border to deadly
drugs. illegal immigration is not good or humane to the immigrants. they are being abused by traffickers. how do you think young women pay off their human trafficking push mug the human trafficking and sex trafficking is untold and the news covered to the biden administration. >> senator i have to exercise the moderators option. the question was about immigration reform. once you done that we have to fix the asylum standard. we have a low standard of credible fear. all you have to do is step into the country say they are afraid to go home. even if they do not come close to qualifying we let them in. we are so backlogged we have about 3 million people sense in the administration took office. that is out of control. >> lieutenant governor. madela: our inc. -- immigration system is broken. i support comprehensive reform that includes a path for our
dreamers and families. what we are doing does not work. people across wisconsin agree that it -- it is unfortunate that a member of the senate does not side with the people. i spent time with talking to family farmers. fixing our broken immigration system and -- is not humane, but good for our economy. this is something we have to do. we need to create a system that keeps our border safe, treats people with dignity and respect and is not subject our immigrants to the horrors of separation. the senator had 12 years to do something about this with a bipartisan infrastructure lot. there was funding for order modernization. the senator decided to play politics. >> thank you. let's go to aga from wk w. >> this is a two-part question. the social security trust fund is on pace to be underfunded by
2034. senator johnson, you said you support making it discretionary. congress could make changes each budget cycle. it lieutenant governor you said you post. why should or should not social security be made discretionary? what should congress do to ensure the program remains funded? lieutenant governor, you will go first. lt. goverment: when i think about social security think about my grandparents, parents and other retired american who paid into a system who deserved to retire with dignity and -- and respect. it is unfortunate that senator johnson says social security is a ponzi scheme. there is an instance where he called social security candy. he called it candy. this was people who worked their entire lives afloat. it is a threat to take that away does not sit well with me. along with most people. we do not just need to make social security solvent, but strengthen it.
we can do it by making the wealthy pay their fair share. we need to make sure that billionaires are paying more into the system. the senator goes on the deficit. we had no glowing a $2 trillion hole into the deficit by passing the 2017 tax bill that gave $215 million in tax deductions to his is donatist. he won social security on the chopping block. >> your time is up. to be specific, let me exercise the moderators option. should it be renewed, reviewed each year. >> it should not be discretionary question -- discretionary. senator johnson: let me make myself clear. i want to save social security. i want to save medicare. the greatest threat to social security and medicare is the out-of-control deficit spending in our debt. we added $7.5 trillion of new deficit over the last three years. that is the greatest threat.
that sparked inflation. 40 or high inflation. the dollar you held at the start is only worth 88.3 cents. if you are a senior, fortunate to have a nest egg. with a hundred thousand dollars you had at the start is only worth $88,300 because of the out-of-control deficit spending. i said we should be looking at all spending so we can prioritize and social security, medicare will be at the top yard i never said i would cut it or put it on the chopping block. that is a false attack. >> you called her to ponzi scheme and candy. >> lieutenant governor this is his time. i will add time to that. you proposed reviewing social security rather than having it being called an entitlement. senator johnson: you are putting words in your mouth. part of the reason $31 trillion
in debt as we suffer mandatory discretionary spending. we do not look at 70% of the budget. we spend on drugs on 30%. we need to combine everything and look at all of it. we cannot afford to spend $369 billion on the green new -- three new deal fantasy. >> entitlement versus review. your position. back to whether. senator johnson: the greatest threat to the promises is deficit spending. host: let's go to the next question. my sorry, my mistake. let's go to the next question with brad williams. >> and our question is about minimum wage. many americans struggle to make a living wage when it comes to the federal minimum wage you said you support an increase in the minimum wage. giving the rise in inflation,
specifically, what dollar figure would you support setting the minimum wage at and why? senator johnson your first. senator johnson: i said i would consider possibly increasing it. maybe indexing it towards inflation. you have to be careful because when you increase the minimum wage you can eliminate jobs. the strong economy is the best approach. i do not like the federal government doing price-fixing, including wages. our strong economy we had under the previous administration. you had plenty of jobs and rising wages. i think something like two to $4000 per year is what the average family increased their wage by. that is the best thing to have the marketplace take care of it then the government set a minimum wage. then starts eliminating jobs. it does not do much good if you have a higher minimum wage and do not have a job. you have zero wage. lieutenant governor. lt. goverment barnes: the
senator throughout a figure with inflation. the reality is, people have been making seven dollars and $.25, since 2000 nine. that is the last time the minimum wage went up. wisconsin has a $7.25 in wage. upper i -- i am a proponent of $15. 2014, when the average hard-working people started calling for it. we should be at $15. people are working harder than before. they are not making the money they used to. if senator johnson's there we have to make sure people can keep up with the bills. there is no reason people who work full-time should struggle to pay the bills. that is the reality. it will continue to be the reality if we have people who are only going to prioritize the riches people and leave hard-working people behind. host: let's go to the next question. >> i will ask a series of
questions on abortion. it would start with the most general. since the overturning of roe v. wade, we are on in 1849 law that bans all abortion except for the life of the mother. over 60% of residents over -- oppose the overturning. you said he you disagree with overturning roe v. wade. senator johnson this will allow citizens to vote at a state level. the wisconsin legislature gaveled out rejecting the opportunity to allow such votes. let's talk specifically about what you would do at the national regarding abortion. lieutenant governor you have one minute. lt. goverment barnes: i am an only child but not my mother's only pregnancy. before that my mother had a complicated pregnancy and an abortion. she wanted others to know they are not alone and it was her decision to make not the politicians. everyone should make that. doctors should not have to live under the threat of being criminalized for helping women through a difficult decision.
senator because the overturning of roe v. wade a victory. he celebrated the decision. he said if women do not like the law of their state, like the 1849 abortion ban we have. he said they can move. i cannot think of a more callous out of touch or extreme position to take. if i was in this and i would vote to codify roe v. wade to protect the right to an abortion and the right to choose the women's rights. host: senator. senator johnson: this is a profound moral issue and should not be decided by the nine justices congress, or the wisconsin state legislature. what we should do, and the most extreme position would be no limits on abortion. allow abortion up to birth. which is what lieutenant governor's support. what i recommended is that we the people decide with a one time single issue referendum that ask the decision that we
need to come to a decision on. which is at what point does society have the responsibility to protect life in the womb. we agree that society has a responsibility to protect life. at what point does the society protect life and the womb? we the people should decide that. i would have one vote like every wisconsin decision. >> your follow-up. >> in the overturning of roe and reproductive health. some women are concerned with the senate proposed of three quarters minute making decisions for them. what are your thoughts on when life begins as it relates to birth control, morning-after and additional embryos crated through ivf or in vitro. senator johnson of one minute. senator johnson: i laid out these answers on which facts.com. you can defer to that. i support birth control. i support in vitro fertilization. my daughter had two children
through gestational surrogacy. i support those things. i would never consider charging a woman who had an unplanned pregnancy. i lay all there and i've been transparent about this. this has been a divisive issue for 50 years. because nine justices made decisions for all of us. it did not solve the problem. the best thing, and i support roe v. wade as to turn it back to the states where we the people can make that decision. the question that has to be answered is at what point does society have the responsibility to protect life? it is that simple. i laid out a sample referendum ballot. you can find that at my website. host: governor. just lieutenant governor. lt. goverment barnes: the senator knows that referendum will not happen with the legislature. he is trying to run away from his out of touch session.
when you take a position like that, there is so much that you do not always be. let's talk about texas. if there is a woman who had to be hooked up to a breathing machine because she had complications with her pregnancy and could not get an abortion. it 10-year-old in ohio was raped and had to cross state lines to get an abortion. that is ron johnson's america. 70% of the people think roe v. wade should be the law. we talked about children and unplanned pregnancies. senator johnson went so far to say it is not able's responsibility to take care of our children. unsupported couch -- child tax credit. people are dealing with tough circumstances. the senator would make a political point and protect families or women. host: let's move on to ajay. >> we are in the city of milwaukee, which is on pace for a third year to set a record number of homicides in a year. milwaukee currently gives more
money to its police than any other city. what is the role of congress in addressing such violent surges in cities should -- if such a role should exist. what are three specific actions congress should take, if any, to address violence. lieutenant governor bronte will go first. lt. goverment barnes: i cannot speak for anybody else. i know the pain of losing a loved one to gun violence. having experienced that more times than i care to account. i lost my first friend in high school and several others after. it does not have to be this guy because it was not always this way. i granddad to move to milwaukee, he got a job at the union steelworkers in a safe city. one factory started to close their doors, we saw a decline in opportunity, but we also saw a rise in crime and violence. what we need to do, to make sure communities have the resources they need to prevent crime from happening. that means funding our schools,
it means making sure they -- there are good paying jobs. we invested $100 million in a law enforcement public safety and crime prevention initiative through the american rescue plan. which senator johnson voted against where he does not -- likes to play politics instead of putting safety first. >> senator johnson. senator johnson: first you support law enforcement. unfortunately, the lieutenant governor has not done that. he wanted to defund the police. he does not say that word, but he has a long history of being supported by people who lead the effort to define. he used code worth. talk about reallocating. over bloated police budgets. he says it pains him deceitfully see fully funded police budgets. that is his view. whenever is he an officer i said thank you for your service, and i have time please do not be disparaged by the loud few who
are trying to defend you. and they are being dispirited. because that defund the police ever, it is difficult to recruit. we are a thousand officers below where we were in wisconsin from 2008. people are having a difficult time recruiting new officers. where they may had a hundred recruits and a dozen. all this defund the police effort. >> we are over time. thank you. we will go on to mark. >> we will talk on gun legislation. following the mass shootings with assault style weapons in uvalde and buffalo, the gun safety law was passed this summer. pulls show americans want congress to do more. to that and, what restrictions would you put on the sale of military style assault weapons, and when it comes to mandatory background checks by a firearm, do you agree with bipartisan public support of that plan?
we will start with senator johnson. >> we have something like 10,000 gun control laws throughout america. gun control is the solution we would have been solved. it is not the solution. if we want to cut down crime the macro issue is renew faith, strengthen families, have more supportive communities. another gun control will not work. as long as we have them, i would suggest enforcing them. there was a hundred and 12,000 failed background checks in 2017. there were 12 prosecutions. before you pass any new gun control laws. try enforcing the ones on the books. i don't we take a look at what is happening with our society that is causing this violence. >> lieutenant governor. lt. goverment barnes: as i mentioned, i have dealt with this too much. that has been my career working to make community safer. the overwhelming majority support background checks. people do not think -- domestic
abusers should get a handgun. neither do i. unfortunately senator johnson does not agree. the atf does not have searchable databases because the laws the senator did mentioned that police officers. with that being said, i am sure he did not have the same interaction with the hundred 40 officers that were injured during the january 6 insurrection. one officer was stabbed and another crushed between a wall and door. another hit with a fire extinguisher. we talk about respect let's talk about the officers he left behind because of an insurrection he supported. with that being said, there is more we need to do to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. >> lieutenant governor for specifics. the questions were about background checks. i support background checks as lieutenant governor. we need senators who support background checks. we need senators who are not bound by lobbyists.
senator johnson received $1.2 million from lobbyists. that is why he has to make up every excuse why we cannot do anything. this is what he is supposed to do. he refuses to. host: we are out of time. we will take another question from tim murphy who cannot be with us. it will be by another person. >> i want to talk about the electoral college reform. after the january 6 assault on the effort to -- to show of the state of the electors, a group of 32 senators proposed to the electoral college reform act. the provisions include identifying a single conclusive slate of electors, affirming the rule of the vice presidents -- raising the objection threshold and protecting each state
popular vote. lieutenant governor, we will go to first for one minute. you support this? lt. goverment barnes: we all saw what happened you were sixth and every conspiracy theory petal. we saw a senator to send face -- fake electors. that matter of sectors -- seconds ended up with a whole day assault on the capital. they wanted to hang the vice president. we have to do is we can to protect our democracy. the first plan was the democracy and accountability agenda. the senator does not like democracy because it has not been looking out for him. the reality is if we modernize our electro or account system can prevent this. we can restore trust into our electoral process. we trust the process because we have folks elected who will spend their time trying to overturn the election and cast out into a free and fair election. observers said was the most
secure in our lifetime. >> senator johnson. senator johnson: i would support that. i wonder -- want to remind people when i got back -- i was not impacted. when i turned on the tv i immediately and forcefully condemned and condemned it strongly. i also condemned the 570 riots during the summer. so many people ignore those. lieutenant governor made excuses for the riders. they are frustrated. if you want to talk about writing let's look at kenosha. the day after the first night of rioting wearing it was set on fire. the senator tried to -- lieutenant governor gave a press conference and said it felt like a vendetta was carried out against one of our community members. he incited the right. the governor did not provide the
manpower to stop the right. we will focus on the right, why would do not focus on 570 riots host: time is up. >> to have a follow-up? >> last month i interviewed former president mike pence when he was visiting wausau. when referring to his actions on january 6 when he resisted pressure from former president trump to overturn the election. and refused to accept the fake electors, including some that were offered by senator johnson's office. he said he acted out of respect for the u.s. constitution. we would like you to go on the record, did the former vice president do the right thing. senator johnson you can go first. senator johnson: i had no idea when i got a call from a lawyer from the president, to deliver something to the vice president
did i have a staff member that could help. i had no idea what it was. the fact was nothing was delivered. the whole episode took less than an hour. i was not involved. i had no knowledge of altered state of electors. i voted to confirm, but not disrupt any of president biden selectors. from my standpoint, this is a nonissue. i notice being blown up because everyone wants to january 6 when we should look at the violence in 570 riots. 2000 law enforcement officers injured. a couple dozen people lost their lives. including two in kenosha. because the lieutenant governor and governor did not provide the manpower to quote the rights. one to 2 billion of property damage. why do we not focus on 570 riots. host: your time is up. the question was did mike pence do the right thing on january 6? senator johnson: >> yes,
president biden is the president. lt. goverment barnes: i was sated to push back the republican share from kenosha said the governor answered every call and gave all the resources they requested. he may not have noticed that it ends with him was happening. he called those people patriots. he called them tourists. these are the folks he supported. this is an act he supported. you can make any comparison one. reality is, this was an attempted overthrow of the. not -- trying to overturn a fair election. the vice president did the right thing. host: let's go to the next question from brad williams. >> the issue of say -- water. from wausau to ryan lander people are concerned about drinking water. the water seeing excessive levels of man-made and industrial chemicals which have been linked to illnesses and
conditions including cancer and infertility. hundreds of families in the la crosse area have been supplied with bottled water for the past year because of high levels in their well water. the cost of supplying crippling water has shifted to families and local governments. what should congress do to provide financial relief to towns and families affected by this? this goes to lieutenant governor. you have one minute. lt. goverment barnes: clean water, safe droop -- drinking water is an issue in so many parts. it is the unfortunate county that brings people together. this is something we should expect in the most -- should not expect from the most civilized nations. it is not the reality. this is a freshwater state michigan to the east, mississippi to the west. i have spent my time working on clean water issues. the governor declared the year of clean drinking water. we issued a number of grants.
we need help from the federal government. we should talk about lead level lines across wisconsin. the bipartisan infrastructure law want -- went to go find. this is another instance that the senator voted against the entranced. he voted against our health and safety whether it is this contamination or lead. host: more specifically what do you think needs to be done at the federal level? lt. goverment barnes: my apologies we have a responsibility. the federal government has a responsibility to from the initiatives that make sure every community has access to clean and safe drinking water. also, we have a responsibility to make sure that polluters are held accountable. >> senator johnson. senator johnson: i suggest the epa rather than focus on co2, focus on these pollutants. for example, rather than spend 369 billion dollars, which is
what will be spent on the inflation reduction act. which is an orwellian named bill. it will not reduce inflation. it will probably further enhance it. we should state that 369,000,000,002 addressing pollution. which is what fast is. host: let's go to the next question. >> i would like to -- talked about respect for marriage act. when reverses wade was overturned. claire's time -- clarence thomas c gay marriage it and rachel marriage b has the potential being overturned. collins had proposed bipartisan legislation for respect for marriage. which would make it offer land and protects it from being overturned. how would you vote? senator johnson. senator johnson: i supported civilians. once -- the supreme court ruled the different way for gay marriage i thought there was an
issue that has been settled. we have other problems. that decision will never be overturned. it is another scare tactic by the left. i know justice thomas open the door. star decisive very powerful. he will not disrupt millions of lives. i do not what millions of lives disrupted. there is another element. if you see the way the laws written, it threatens religious liberty. before i vote for that i want to see very strong protections for religious liberty. we see what happened after the decision. he people starting to sue acres. the supreme court and back after harassing that guy. i would need very strong religious liberty protections. >> lieutenant governor. lt. goverment barnes: we're talking about civil rights and the right for a person to marry who they love. normally this would be a no-brainer. this is something supported by
the legislature and something i would be proud to support as member of the senate. he said the supreme court will not be overturned. a lot of people thought roe v. wade would not be overturned. we are in a position where we are losing rights. people have fewer rights than 50 years ago. that is what is on the line with the selection. we need people who will fight for our fundamental freedoms. if you want to marry who you love, that should be a no-brainer. it is a shame we are in this place having the same argument. here we are. we need the people to fight to make sure you love who you love and make your own health care decisions without interference. >> host: our next question is coming from kim murphy, but it will be addressed by mark. >> her question is on climate change. the death toll from hurricane ian as at least 120 people, the storm made landfall as a category four. scientists say that historic
storm was for -- fueled by warm waters and to those waters are the effect on climate change. what would be three solutions you believe in for addressing climate change, lieutenant governor we will begin with you with one minute. lt. goverment barnes: the climate clerk -- crisis is here. it is impacting all over the country and growth. wisconsin specifically. i had a chance to visit farmers who had to deal with the impact of devastation from these one hundred year storms that are happening more regularly. flooding events -- historic flooding events wiping out infrastructure and impacting cities with urban heat. the senator couple questions ago said co2 is not harmful. he has gone as far to call climate change bs. these are people's lives we're talking about this is our future. what we need to do is reduce carbon emissions, we also need to do is towards clean energy
and make sure wisconsin is in the driver's seat. 80% of the solar panels are built in china. can build them in wisconsin and to charting a path to clean energy. we can make sure our family farmers have the support they need for generative agriculture. host: time is up. senator. senator johnson: the climate always change and will change. i do not deny climate change. the question is can you do anything about it? when china and india will be burning fossil fuels. america will have to burn. each cent of our energy caps from fossil fuel because wind and solar are not reliable. the reason you are paying more than four dollars a gallon at the pump is because of the democrats war on fossil fuels. this green energy, in terms of converting to electric vehicles. we do not have the minerals. we cannot build the batteries.
a lot of -- a lot of things we're seeing are those electric vehicles are exploding. the amount of problems. we have to focus on how to use fossil fuels responsibly? we cannot be affording to spend hundreds of billions of dollars trying to solve the problem that is not solvable. host: you have been so efficient that we have been able to continue with one-man answers. we will continue on that path what cutting into thirds -- without cut into thirds. let's go to ajay. >> the debt forgiveness plan is widely supported by young americans. however, many voters believe it is unfair. do you think it is fair or not to forgive up to $20,000 in student loan debt? senator you will go first. senator johnson: i think it is unfair. people who went to college and saved in sacrifice to pay their loans are not happy that the group of people who voluntarily
entered alone get that. it was not forgiven just transferred on the back of other americans. by the way, sense they took of the student loan program, the student loans exploded. as has the cost of college. as the 1960's when we started keeping track of. the cost of college increased 2.7 times inflation. because we are throwing so much money into it. what is different about what college spend their money not than the rest of society? the federal government has fueled that rise of college costs. we need to focus on the. this is grotesquely unfair for people never went to college and paid off their student loans. the tenant governor. lt. goverment barnes: i had a family member dennis, he did not see college as his path. he went to the trades he was making a great living. it is important for other paths
-- us to think about other paths. the deep apology is college is unaffordable. the costs continue to rise. we can go back to the older questions about the minimum wage. cost can rise with college. we're talking about people who take minimum-wage and many cases to support their time -- support themselves. we should forgive student loans debts. we need to make it easier for people in vocational education and technical. so they can have opportunity to get ahead and we can rebuild the middle class. senator johnson is against every form of government support for students. if you have federal student loan debt, senator johnson did not want you to have it. host: the question, was it fair. lt. goverment barnes: people are being student loan debt. the burden. they cannot fully participate in the economy. the first generation of the worst off. that is a travesty and a shame
that many people have fewer opportunities than my granddad when he came back from world war ii. it is absolutely fair that people get student loan relief. host: we go to mark. >> one of the white house's stated reasons for up to opting student loan forgiveness will -- it would narrow the racial wealth gap. a federal judge in green bay dismissed a lawsuit wrought by the wisconsin institute vogel and liberty. the lawsuit argued that they had an improper racial motive. they plan to appeal. at the federal level, whether it is federal law -- loans, what should be done to address the racial wealth gap? lieutenant governor we will start with you. lt. goverment barnes: as mentioned, my granddad moved after world war ii. he got work as a steelworker. that is the story of a lot of black men. when those opportunities are dried up, there was nothing that came in and fill the void.
we sell those rises in crime which led to rise in incarceration. so many other devastating results because the industrials -- diaz trails asian. that has been -- offshore makes sense. ignore the hold it has taken on communities in the city and walkie. we need to do more to make sure -- walkie. we need to do more to make sure there are good paying jobs and schools are fully funded. we need to make sure every single person has health care. that is what helps us close the gaps we experienced. host: i am told by the timekeepers that we can now move to 32nd questions. my apologies. senator johnson: i think you're aware of my project. i teamed up with church in inner-city milwaukee. we instill the requirement need
for good attitude and commitment to success. this is from former incarcerated and abusers. get them career type jobs. we transformed their lives. hundreds and thousands of people impacted. that is how you do it. you do not do it by spending money we do not have sparking forty-year high inflation. it took a dollar at the start turned into 88.3%. that helps no one into the black community. host: you have more time. senator johnson: the other thing we should be doing -- and not be doing is letting 87,000 irs agents on middle-class. lieutenant governor supports that. host: we will move to my 32nd questions and my apologies for stepping on euros -- 30 second questions. it is brad williams. turning to the supreme court.
following recent rulings. public confidence is at an all -- lowest level in years. critics have suggested that changes such as replacing lifetime appointments with term limits or expanding the court gone nine justices. they proposed more strict ethical oversight of the high court because the conflict of interest. would you support any or all of these ideas for court reform and why? let's start with senator johnson. senator johnson: the reason people are complaining as they are leftist themselves. they are biased media. you do not like it when you have a court that has conservative justices that apply the law and then alter it. i am opposed to juice to -- judicial activist. that is what the liberal press likes. an activist court. when you find you have conservative justices. i vote for conservative justices i will not like some of their decisions. they will apply the law and not alter it. host: lieutenant governor.
lt. goverment barnes: the first plan was the democracy and accountability agenda. one of the most important provisions was impose ethics standards. our justices should abide by the same sets of standards that every other court has to abide by. i support term limits for u.s. supreme court justices. these should not be lifetime appointments. host: let's go to ajay. >> there was a new development involving gas prices. despite president biden's attempt to persuade opec to do otherwise, the group of countries decided it will cup oil production and move that -- that will cause prices to rise. how should congress respond? we have 30 seconds. lieutenant governor you will go first. lt. goverment barnes: the problem is our reliance on thousand fuels. we need to be energy independent and do more to -- to generate
renewable energy in wisconsin. the senator will say the path forward is fossil fuels your he will make up every excuse for the fossil fuel. we need to hold him accountable for using inflation as a smokescreen to? prices. the senator received hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign support from fossil fuels. that is why he will put their interest. host: senator. senator johnson: if you want to have lower gas prices, you need to be energy independent. we were independent the last administration. if you're concerned about climate change, you should be supporting nuclear power. most of armless oppose it. there is a solution that environmentalists will not embrace real solutions. host: we have one more question, let's go to dale. >> rock band is not a luxury, it is a necessity.
the pandemic showed us how important broadband is, in particular with online learning and telehealth. wisconsin ranks 33rd in broadband rankings of internet coverage, speed and availability. how will you advocate for wisconsinites on capitol hill to continue to close that digital divide? senator johnson we will start with you.
> guys who had the best wi-fi. the best opportunities to expand broadband without bipartisan bill. >> your time is up. we are at our last question which i promise to give you a chance to clear up any misconception. >> during this debate, you have heard things said about you. they were plain wrong. we want to give you the floor to set think straight. what has been said about you that you want to knock out. senator johnson, you can go first.
>> one of the more grotesque distortions is the fact that there is a tax cut. 95% of american voters needed that tax cut to survive the pandemic. in terms of tax reform, it means saving people's lives. in my experience, 40 years of working in the private sector, i'm not sure about the private sector. i also what is like to work in a factory, create jobs. >> thank you, senator.
>> we embrace the characterizations. one of his allies, i embrace that. that we are different. one of the worst parts of a broken system, you are a multimillionaire. little bit of breathing room . >> women have to live with the threat of their most personal decisions being interrupted by politicians. i believe hard work can take off
and we can give everyone a shot at the american dream. >> we want to thank everyone who has been working behind the scenes to give you information. had to the debate website and social media to find those. wbadebate. all of their stations have contributed their time to this effort. we would also like to think wisconsin public broadcasting. and now, let us go to the wba president and ceo. >> thank you for joining us at
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