Is Larry Kudlow the next economic adviser for Trump? Does high turnover in the White House accurately mean chaos? Did Hillary Clinton’s comments about Trump voters being backwards give Republicans the opportunity to take back the position as the party for the common man? Are the states that Hillary won actually worse off? CNN Senior Economist, Steve Moore joins Dan and Amy to discuss.
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Proft: Good morning, Dan and Amy. Well, a lot of matters economic to discuss. Tangentially, as well as directly, personnel choices for the President to make, most notably to replace Gary Cohen as the top economic advisor. Border security, economic policy with respect to trading partners, the tariffs and the exemptions from those tariffs... Jacobson: The new branch of our military, the Space Patrol... Proft: The Space Force, how we're gonna finance our Space Force. I've suggested that Nathan Fillion, who commanded Serenity on Firefly, would be a good choice to head up that Space Force. And then, (to Amy) your former paramour, Captain...well, excuse me...ADMIRAL Adama, could... Jacobson: Right, I suggested him. Proft: Yeah, he could command Space Force One. Yeah. So we got a lot of slots to fill, that's the point, in addition to the foreign policy team shakeup. For more on this, we're pleased to be joined by Stephen Moore, Wall Street Journal Columnist, CNN senior economist, Heritage Foundation... Jacobson: All around good guy... Proft: New Trier graduate. Steve, are you going to be at New Trier today to join in the walkout and the T-shirting? Moore: Oh my gosh, is that what they're doing? I mean, it's just not the same school I was at 30 years ago. Good to be with you. I do think that...got a news flash for you...I think that Larry Kudlow will be the next National Economic Council Chairman. Proft: Your dream has been realized! Jacobson: Yeah, you said that last week, that you're pulling for him. Moore: I know, but I think it's getting closer, it's not a done deal yet but I just...I feel it. I think it's coming, and you've heard it first on the Dan and Amy show, but I think it is gonna happen in the next 48 hours. And I think it'll be awesome for the President, and I can't...I'm a little biased, Larry was the Best Man at my wedding, but he will be an awesome advisor to the President. He will communicate...is there a better communicator of economics than Larry Kudlow? Proft: No, he's great. Moore: He's been (?) about the tax plan, I'm just so excited about this, I hope it happens. Jacobson: But here's the thing, he's against tariffs isn't he? Just like Cohen was? Moore: He what? Jacobson: Isn't he against the tariffs? Moore: Well, that would...that's a problem, isn't it? And the President, he had effusive praise for Larry yesterday, but then he said "Well, we don't always agree on tariffs.", so that'll be an interesting development, assuming that Larry does get the job. You know, what I hope that Larry could do is, you know, push Trump in, you know, a more positive direction on this. I am one who, and I think Larry would sort of agree with me...yeah, get tough on China! I mean, it is time to get tough with China, they're cheating, they're stealing, a report came out just last week I think it was, maybe a week or two ago, that China is now stealing a half a BILLION dollars a year...I mean half TRILLION dollars a year, five hundred billion dollars a year, in our technologies, our computer software, our music, our...you know...our technologies, our patents, our copyrights, they just don't honor them! And, so we spend billions and billions of dollars to produce this stuff and China just steals it, and that can't stand! And maybe we do need tariffs to get tough with China (*Proft hums disbelievingly*), but you know, I think that Larry had a big impact on getting Trump to walk down...walk away from the tariffs on...you know, our allies, like Canada and the UK and Mexico, so we'll see, Dan and Amy. But this is an area where they disagree, but on most other things they are in full agreement. And, you know, I worked with the two of them during the campaign, and we didn't have a lot of agreements except for on trade. Proft: Well, look...the exemptions that are being much-ballyhooed by free marketeers, you know, they're "Oh look, he's just positioning, he's just leveraging, see look he's exempting Canada and Mexico, that's a good thing!" Well, okay, but this is also a lesson for proponents of tariffs generally because now the higher prices paid by US consumers for steel and aluminum go to three places; higher revenues for US Steel and aluminum producers, higher revenues for the US Treasury, because it's a tax, and higher revenues for the Canadian and Mexican producers of steel and aluminum, who also benefit from the higher price! Moore: Well, I mean...there is some truth to that, Dan. I mean, you got your economics right, so is this a perfect solution? *laughs* This is NOT a perfect solution, but I do think by the way Trump is going to announce sometime in the next few months a very tough tariff policy against China. I mean, China is a bad actor on the international scene right now, they facilitated the North Korean nuclear program, they not only facilitated it, they encouraged it and enabled it, they, I mean, as I said, they're stealing. I mean, why do we let that happen? I mean, what we produce more and more of in the United States is not steel and aluminum, we produce intellectual property, you know, the amazing things that are coming out of Silicon Valley and startup companies in Chicago that are developing, you know, intellectual property. And if that's what we produce and everyone is stealing it from us, then can we make money, how can we continue to thrive? So I find myself in favor of a very tough position with China, and some of the other bad actors on the planet, like Russia. But I don't...but...I'm worried. I have to tell you, full disclosure, I'm worried about what's going to happen with NAFTA, because Canada is not negotiating with Trump, and I know Trump, if he doesn't feel like there's progress being made, he's just gonna throw up his hands and say "Okay, we're outta here!" You know, you got Trudeau, who's the president of Canada, and he's a moron, an idiot! He's like a Bernie Sanders guy, and all he wants to talk about is climate change, and he doesn't want our states to have right-to-work laws, and things like that. So, you know, look...this is a turbulent time for trade, there's no question about it. Proft: But he looks better in traditional Indian garb than does Hillary... Moore: *laughing* Yeah! That was pretty funny. Proft: So let me...but no, Steve let me ask you this. If Kudlow does get the top economic advisor post, are you gonna backfill his radio show and compete with us? Moore: *laughs* You know, I just want to do...this is gonna be so cool. I mean, I think it is gonna happen, I think, you know, you've got a rock star in there now helping Trump on...you know, the free marketeer. I mean, what...you know the Kudlow Creed, right? It's, you know, "The best path path to prosperity is free-market capitalism.", and he is right about that. And you know, it'll just be...you know, he's an old Reagan guy, he helped do the Reagan tax cuts, he helped, he and I helped write the Trump tax cut, and I'm just really, you can tell I'm really excited about this because I think he's gonna be a real asset to the whole country. Jacobson: Yeah, have you spoken to him? I mean, he was the Best Man at your wedding but... Moore: I speak to him every day! He's my best buddy and you know, he's fighting for this and he's rested and ready to go so I think it's (Proft: Oh boy...it's like Nixon in '68.)...it's not official yet but listening to Trump yesterday it sounded like he'll...like it's 98%. Jacobson: Do you think he'll find out via Twitter whether or not he got the job? Moore: *laughs LOUDLY* Jacobson: I mean...that's what's happening... Moore: ...probably! I mean, that's how Tillerson found out, right? (Jacobson: Yeah! That was so cruel. "Thanks for stopping by!") Proft: Well, Kudlow is...Kudlow is a very encouraging pick, that would be a very encouraging sign. Moore: I'd like to say one more thing about this if I may...you know about this...you know, that...look, I'm on Fake News now, as you guys know, CNN...and their whole thing is "Crisis and chaos at the White House, it's all chaos!" And you know, the truth...look, you know Trump, Trump has people in his administration, and then you know if he doesn't like what you're doing, you're fired! I mean, that's his persona. And this is...you know, this is...chaos is not the right word to describe this, this is kind of creative discretion, right? This is what a businessman does! If he likes the job you're doing, you stay, if you don't...if you do...if you don't...if you... Jacobson: Well, when is it too much turnover? HR McMaster is probably next, John Kelly...there's talk this morning of moving the VA Secretary out and putting Rick Perry in there. I mean, don't you think that's a LITTLE ehh....that's a lot... Moore: Yeah. That's a lot of chaos, there's been a lot of turnover, no question about it. But I'm saying better to get the right people in there at the right time. Look, I actually think Gary Cohen, who was the NEC Director, was the right...I was opposed to him at first, but it turned out he was a good choice. He was a great manager, he got the whole office set up, he put some really good people in there, he helped get the tax cut through. Now, it's Larry's turn to sell the message to the American people about how well this economy is doing, and there's nobody better. You know, so I...look, the main thing is, the US economy is in an INCREDIBLE boom period right now, I mean you saw the Jobs Report last week. Unbelievable, 350K new jobs when you include the upward revisions, wages are rising. I would refer people to the piece that Larry Kudlow and I yesterday in the Wall Street Journal called "Who's Afraid of Higher Wages?" I mean, we're starting to see middle class Americans really benefit for the first time in 20 years from the economic policy in Washington, and isn't that what Trump promised? Proft: Okay, so the turnover is all Schumpeterian in nature, fine. Let's...I want to move on to something that Hillary said... Moore: (*reacting to Schumperterian*) Yeah, I like that! I'm gonna use that. Creative destruction, right? Proft: Yes, exactly. You can use that, just attribute me! So, one opportunity Larry has right away is to pick on something a colleague,of yours, Jason Willick, wrote in the Wall Street Journal yesterday. And this, I kind of missed this with Hillary's comments in India over the weekend. But he makes a great point, talking about how HIllary talking about winning voters that represent 2/3 of the GDP production in this country... Moore: Oh yes! I'm writing a piece about this, right now. Proft: That it is such an opportunity for the Republican Party to take the "Common Man" mantle, which no longer belongs to the Democrat Party, back permanently. Moore: I complete agree with you, it was such an arrogant thing to say, and you know...what does this hearken back to? Remember her famous statement in the campaign...the deplorables, right? The people who don't vote for me, and people who don't believe in the liberal cultural and economic agenda...are deplorable people who were xenophobes and homophobes and racist and so on. And she does...she keeps saying that she didn't really MEAN that, but she DID mean it, right? And that's the way liberals think about middle-class Americans, they think that...liberals believe that they're culturally and intellectually superior to working-class Americans. And you know what? They're NOT! And she was wrong factually! She kept saying "Oh, the dynamic places in the country voted for me!" and then she pointed to states like New York, Connecticut, and Illinois. You know, those states are LOSING all their jobs and their people! The dynamic places in America today are Texas, and Tennessee, and Florida, and Utah, and the mountain states, that's where the action is! And so she had a complete backasswards! And, I'm glad you brought that up, Dan, because I'm writing my latest column on this and saying wait a minute, the places that she won are the places that are losing jobs and losing people, and unfortunately, Illinois is one of them. Proft: He is Steve Moore, Wall Street Journal Columnist, look forward to that forthcoming piece, CNN Senior Economist, Heritage Foundation Economist. Steve, thanks for joining us as always, appreciate it. Moore: Okay, see you guys, take care, have a great week, bye!