"Joe Biden's inflation is crushing Americans, and Biden and Beto support higher taxes. That would crush us even more. But in Texas, we are fighting back," the ad states.
The campaign spot also goes on to say that Governor Abbott has responded by cutting property taxes and increasing energy exploration, lowering gas prices, and banning income taxes.
Travis County Democrat Chair Katie Naranjo and Matt Mackowiak, Chair of the Travis County Republican Party, joined FOX 7 Austin's Mike Warren to discuss.
BELOW IS A DIRECT TRANSCRIPT OF THEIR DISCUSSION:
Mike: Katie, starting with you, how much blame should Joe Biden receive for inflation?
Katie: Well, I think it's ironic because as we've talked about in many of our segments, right, voters want to know who's accountable. And the governor of Texas is accountable for our broken tax system, our broken school finance system here in Texas, and so on. He wants to point the fingers at Joe Biden. The reality is, is that inflation is happening across the globe. It's not just a reaction to the pandemic, but also we're seeing by the Russians in the war in Ukraine.
Mike: Matt Mackowiak. How much blame should Joe Biden get for inflation and taxes?
Matt: He deserves a significant amount. And the reason for that, which Katie ignored, is the massive spending that Democrats have put forward at the federal level as they've controlled the House, the Senate, and the White House. Two separate COVID packages done in a partisan basis, the so-called inflation bill, which in fact is not going to reduce the deficit. In fact, it's going to increase the deficit, which has massive tax increases in it as well, and massive spending on green energy. When you spend money at the federal level, it does affect the value of the dollar, and it affects inflation. And so for most Texans out there that are watching this, they're wondering why gas prices are higher. It's because Joe Biden has made it harder to produce more energy in the United States. They're wondering why their grocery prices are up. It's because of all these inflationary pressures across the United States. And it's fundamentally about supply, food supply. So all these issues are connected. And that is a big part of why Biden's numbers are in the low forties. And it's why I think Republicans are going to make significant gains this November.
Mike: Katie, is it a good strategy for Republicans to try to tie Beto to Joe Biden?
Katie: I can't really speak to their strategy because they really haven't had a strong one this entire election season. I think that's why they're making this desperate attempt. The reality is, … in Texas, we pay more taxes than people in California. And so while Matt wants to blame Democrats for a number of different things, it really should be the Republicans looking in the mirror here. One Trump is really close with Russia, and their war in Ukraine is really increasing the cost of our gas in the United States. OPEC just announcing that they're going to cut another 2 million barrels in production. President Biden has opened unprecedented opportunities to have domestic production of natural resources for gasoline to property taxes. We pay more in property taxes in Texas than folks in California. And as it pertains to our income. And so our broken tax system, which the governor is responsible for, should really be addressed here. And that's why Texans are feeling such a burden when it comes to their pocketbooks.
Mike: Matt Mackowiak, how do you reply to Katie's points right there?
Matt: Well, it's the wrong time for Beto O'Rourke's plan. Beto wants to raise taxes on oil and gas producers. He wants to raise corporate taxes. He wants to raise capital gains taxes. Those are his stated positions I'm sure Katie will deny those are his positions. I'll be happy to send them to you. Katie, we can look back at all the words he spoke.
Katie: I don't deny them. He wants to tax the 1%. He wants to tax the 1% and make sure everyone else has a tax cut.
Matt: I'm delighted to hear that you agree Beto wants to raise taxes, Katie, that that'll be useful in the future.
Katie: On 1%. On 1%. He wants to raise taxes on 1% of Texans.
Matt: There's not enough money, Katie, for all the things Beto wants to do if you tax the top 1%, 100% of their income. Okay. So you have a basic math problem as it relates to that. But but but again, look, the question is, does Beto think Texas the Texas economic miracle doesn't exist? Beto has a problem. He's running against the progress and the direction and the strength of the Texas economy. He has to convince a majority of the people that live here that Texas is not a good place to be and that's not what Texans are.
Mike: Okay. Well, we're out of time for now. We will continue this later. Katie, Matt, both of you, thank you so much.
Katie and Matt: Thank you.