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Economist Stephen Moore on How Trump Plans to Boost Economy

Economist Stephen Moore on How Trump Plans to Boost Economy Read Transcript

Well, with us to talk about how the Trump team plans

the strengthen the economy and help increase incomes

is Steve Moore.

He's with the Freedomworks, and he was an economic adviser

the Trump campaign.

Steve, something's happening.

Something's working.

Is it the deregulation?

What's going on, in your opinion?

Well, Pat, I think it was a month or so ago on your show

that I said we have a Trump bounce with the economy.

And now we've got to call it a Trump moon

bounce because we have had really good numbers

in the last couple of months.

We've seen a record high stock market,

a record low unemployment rate.

Now, there are still millions of people who need jobs out there.

But you know, there's just no question about it.

The trend is very positive.

You see it in the confidence numbers

of small businesses and consumers

that are ready to expand.

The businesses want to expand their operations.

So it's good.

It's a good situation.

Not a great economy right now, but it's a good economy

and it's improving.

So what do they have to do to get it to be great?

I think we need to get that tax cut done.

Well, Steve, the health care, they didn't sell it.

They didn't really go out to the people and sell it.

I understand there's a major grassroots effort

to sell this tax cut.

Am I correct in that?

Well, you're right on both counts.

First of all, the messaging on the health bill was a disaster.

We let the liberals take over the narrative

that somehow all these people were going to lose their health

insurance when, in fact, you know, what's happening right

now is people are losing their health insurance because it's

so expensive under Obamacare, where people's premiums have

more than doubled in just the last three years

and nobody can afford that.

And so, yeah, we have to do a lot better job

on the tax front.

And this is not hard to do.

It's a very simple message, Pat.

We have the highest business tax rates in the world.

We're way up here and the rest of the world's way down here.

That's leading to a lot of our businesses

moving their factories or their headquarters

or their operations out of the United States

and taking their jobs to places like Canada

or places like China.

I was in Ireland not long ago.

Dublin, you know, all you see in Dublin

is American companies that have moved out of the United States.

Now we've got to move them back to America

and create some jobs in Michigan, in Pennsylvania,

Ohio, and Virginia, all over, by lowering that tax rate so we

go from being the highest tax rate country in the world

to the lowest.

Got to get it done by the end of this year.

What you saying is so eminently reasonable.

But will the Democrats demagogue this thing

and say, well, all the Republicans

are doing is the tax cut for the rich, blah blah blah?

It's the usual stuff.

Are they going to play that game?

Is there enough juice in Congress

to get this thing passed?

You know, it's a sort of sad situation, politically.

I'm old enough, Pat--

I think you're old enough to remember as well-- back when

Ronald Reagan was president, remember when his 1981 tax

cut passed?

The Democrats ran the House of Representatives.

You remember that, Pat?

And yet, Ronald Reagan made the case

that the economy needed a tax cut.

And we got dozens and dozens of Democrats

to vote with Ronald Reagan to get that tax cut done.

And then in 1986, you may recall we did the Tax Reform

Act under Ronald Reagan.

And that was led by a lot of Democrats,

like Bill Bradley of New Jersey and Dick Gephardt and Ted


Today, there's not virtually a single Democrat

who wants to cut our taxes and make America more competitive.

It's a sad situation.

That means we're going to be in the same situation

where we were with health care, Pat.

We're going to need to get 50 votes, 50

Republicans in the House--

I mean, I'm sorry-- in the Senate to vote for a tax cut.

But I do believe we're going to get this done.

I'm fairly confident of it.

And I think it'll make a big difference in terms of jobs.

So there's an old saying, if you want

more jobs and higher incomes, you

have to have healthy businesses.

And when I go around the country and talk

to the men and women who run these great companies

in America, whether they're large companies or maybe just

companies with 10 or 15 employees, they say,

you give me that tax cut and I will reinvest it in my business

and hire more workers and pay them more

and maybe purchase another truck so I

can hire another truck driver.

That's how you expand the economy, Pat.

Well, let me ask you on this one.

Do you think the Republicans should

try for a total overhaul of the code, which

is just a nightmare of special interests?

Or should they just do for a targeted tax cut,

like the business tax and a few things you're talking about?

Which would you prefer?

Well, by the way, I've always been

a huge advocate of just blowing up the tax system.

You know, let's have a big bonfire

and blow up this 60,000 page tax code and start over.

But I don't believe we have time to do it

in the next couple of months, Pat.

So here's what I've been advising the Republicans to do.

And I'd love your thoughts about this.

Let's do the tax cut now, as Reagan did in 1981.

Get the tax rates down to get the economy moving again,

mainly for our businesses, but also

put some money into the hands of American middle class workers.

And then once we get that done, then

let's use 2018 and '19 to rewrite the tax system,

make it really simple and affordable for people,

and maybe even have a Steve Forbes-style flat tax.

I know he's been on your show.

So I would do it in a 2-step process.

What do you think?

Well, I think that sounds eminently practical.

I think the other will be too tough.

There are just too many vested interests in that arcane system

we've got now.

Let me ask you something.

We did a show the other day and we

talked about what the Obama people had done in relation

to the health savings, the insurance premiums-- not

the health savings, the insurance

premiums of the Congress.

That they had declared these Senate and House

as small businesses, and therefore the employer

could give subsidies for the employees.

And therefore it was a 73% subsidy.

And then there's a district court judge

who's also ruled that it is unconstitutional to, at least

not in accordance with the law, to give

subsidies to keep shoring up these insurance exchanges.

You know, the pressure is on Trump to cave in on that

and give them the money.

Are you advising on that?

I think it'd be a big mistake to do that.

First of all, there's two points here, Pat.

The first is, I don't think a lot of Americans

realize how corrupt Congress is, that they actually

wrote themselves out of the Obamacare bill.

Did you know that, Pat?

Obamacare does not apply to Congress

but applies to the rest of us.

I mean, you can't make this stuff up.

It's crazy.

And that's because members of Congress didn't want Obamacare,

but they want the rest of us to have it.

So that has to be taken care of.

Congress, don't you think, Pat, should live by the laws

that they pass on the rest of us?


Go ahead.


On your second point, which is really more important--

and I want to alert all your listeners to this and viewers

to this because this is so critical.

Right now, as we sit here, Pat, there are a bunch of--

I'm going to call them turncoat Republicans-- who

are negotiating with Nancy Pelosi

and negotiating with Chuck Schumer of the United States

Senate, the Democrats, to essentially surrender

on health care.

And we would get virtually no reforms.

But the Congress would appropriate $30 or $40 billion

more to bail out the insurance companies,

bail out the Obamacare exchanges.

Now that's not repeal of Obamacare.

That's enshrining Obamacare into the fiscal budget forever.

We will never get rid of Obamacare.

That has to stop.

And my bottom line here, Pat, is no bailout

for insurance companies or Obamacare.

If Republicans do that, it will be a complete betrayal of what

they told us they would-- it would not get rid of Obamacare.

It would make it irreplaceable.

Steve, has the president got the intestinal fortitude

to stand up for that and demand it?

What you're saying is absolutely right.


The answer is Donald Trump is not

going to sign a bill that is an Obamacare bill.

Now look.

If the deal were, we got rid of the employer mandate,

we got rid of the requirement that people

have to be in Obamacare, if that were the price to pay and maybe

bailout some of these companies temporarily so that we actually

move towards a new reformed system,

then I might take that deal.

But Democrats, you know, they don't want

to give Republicans anything.

I mean, Nancy Pelosi said this on Chris Wallace.

You saw on Fox News the other day.

She said we should have a bipartisan solution

and the bipartisan solution is everything we

as Democrats want to do.

That's not very bipartisan.

And so I think Donald Trump is very steadfast here.

But we've got to get citizens involved.

Write your congressman or woman.

If you live in Tennessee, Lamar Alexander

is one of the guys who is negotiating

the surrender on Obamacare.

I mean, you can tell I'm infuriated by it,

Pat, because this is not what Republicans told us

they would do.

Well, I think they're going to lose the Congress if they do.

They will.

Without question, the people won't stand for it.

But you know, was there not a district court judge

who said that these subsidies are illegal,

and that Congress hadn't put it in as part

of the original bill?

Is that not correct?

That's right.



So just to clarify what you're talking about,

you're exactly right, Pat.

Congress has to appropriate money.

And what was happening under Obama,

Obama was spending money without a congressional appropriation.

That's a violation of the separation of powers.

You got the story exactly right.

And that is illegal.

You can't do that.

Well, it's gone to the DC Circuit.

Who knows how they're going to rule.

But if the Trump justice department

does not defend that law, or does not

defend the actions of Obama, it would fail in the court,

it seems like to me.

I don't understand.

I mean, Trump has the power.

He can keep the Democrats from winning on this one.

Again, can you bolster him so he won't do that,

so he won't cave on it?

I don't think he will cave on it.

I think he's going to say to Congress,

look, if you want this additional money for next year

then you're going to have to give me something.

And by the way, it's the Republicans

who struck out here.

But not a single Democrat has been in favor of anything.

They don't want to do the Medicaid reforms, which

are bankrupting states.

They don't want to get rid of what I think

is reprehensible, this individual mandate.

I mean, Pat, what other product in America

does the government require you to buy?

I mean, that's ridiculous.

This is America.

You can't do that.

If we had a free enterprise system in health care,

I believe we can cover everyone.

So this idea people aren't going to get-- we can cover everyone

for 30% to 40% less.

It's called the free enterprise system.

It's called competition.

It's called choice.

You don't get any of that under Obamacare.

Steve Moore, may the American people listen to you.

I'm nervous, Pat.

From your mouth to God's ears.

No bailout.

No bailout of Obamacare.

I'm with you, buddy.

I think what Trump said, let the stinking thing fail.

I mean, it's going to fail.

And then come in and do something better.

Give me a bill that will work.

Steve, appreciate it so much.


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