If the liberal media says the GOP tax reform plan is hardly a middle-class tax cut and only benefits the rich, then why are the wealthy in Illinois, Connecticut, and New York complaining that they will be paying more? Is there an even greater incentive for the Senate to pass tax reform before the Alabama special election? Does either party have a moral high ground in the Alabama Senate race? Wall Street Journal Columnist, Senior Economist for CNN, and former Donald Trump advisor, Steve Moore joins Dan and Amy to discuss.
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Dan Proft: Dan and Amy...and let's get a little pre-holiday assessment of where things stand with the tax reform package that passed out of the House, and the prospects for something similar to get out of the Senate as soon as soon as next week so it can be reconciled and this gets done before the Christmas holiday. Amy Jacobson: *quietly* That would be nice... Proft: For more on that we're pleased to be joined by our friend Steve Moore... Jacobson: Steve! Proft: Chief economist of The Heritage Foundation, Wall Street Journal Columnist, Senior Economist for CNN, Steve... Jacobson: Happy Thanksgiving, Steve! Proft: Yeah! Steve Moore: Happy Thanksgiving, guys! I spent my first 25 years in Chicago for Thanksgiving and I always have a kind of nostalgia this time of year for the...no better place in the country to spend Thanksgiving than Chicago, Illinois! Proft: Hmmm...yes. For ONE DAY only...Steve... Moore: *laughing* C'mon, Dan! Proft: Where are we with "our friend" Ron Johnson, and other recalcitrant members of the Republican Caucus and Senate on tax reform? Moore: Okay Dan, well first of all...cheer up, Dan. Cheer up! (Simultaneously) Jacobson: Yeah, DAN. Proft: No... Moore: *laughs loudly* Jacobson: *sarcastically* Gobble, gobble! Moore: Let's show some optimism here, for once! We're going to get this done. I've talked to Ron Johnson, I think, you know, he has a legitimate point, by the way, guys. Did he...he doesn't think there's enough tax cuts for small businesses, and I happen to agree with him on this. I hope the Bill is improved in the Senate so that, you know, the 27 million small business men and women out there get more of a tax cut than they're getting. I mean, they will get a deduction in their taxes, but I think they deserve more. I also want to see the highest income tax rate...Koch...now I know what you're thinking, "Ugh, Steve Moore is an apologist for the greedy rich, the top 1%!" Well, I want them to get a tax cut because that's the deal, right? You close the loopholes and you cut tax rates for EVERYBODY, and those "evil people, the top 1%" that they talk about on MSNBC and CNN and how horrible they are, those are the job creators in this economy, they're the people writing the paychecks, folks! Jacobson: Well, if you keep reading every headline, you know, "Middle-class tax cut? Hardly.", "Another secret tax hike for the middle class slipped into the bill", so what is happening here, please help me? If I see one more commercial, too, help me...my head's gonna fall off! Moore: *laughs* The irony of that claim, by the way, is that my phone has been ringing off the hook for the last week from wealthier people who are basically saying "I get screwed under this new tax bill, my taxes are gonna go up!" So meanwhile the media is saying it's a big tax cut for the rich, but for rich people who live in Illinois, or New York, or Connecticut, or California, their taxes may actually go up because they may get a little bit of a tax RATE deduction, but they're losing...you are losing your state and local tax deduction here, which I think is a very very good thing. We've talked about this before, there's no reason that low tax states should have to subsidize the flabby services of high tax states. But, it is not a tax cut for the rich, it is a tax cut that will benefit businesses, will benefit workers, will benefit families, and...shame on the Democrats, by the way! I'm gonna shout out that the Illinois Democrats in the House of Representatives who NOT ONE, not one of them voted for a tax cut this year. It's unbelievable, not a single Democrat in the entire House of Representatives, Dan, Amy, voted to cut taxes on businesses and families! Proft: What happens, from your sense of talking to these policymakers, what happens if Roy Moore wins that Special Election? Are they going to move to expel him? Moore: You know, it's interesting you asked me this question, because I was on CNN Tuesday night talking about this very subject, and I'm not an expert on it. But I'm glad you asked me this, cause it's gone viral, and I want a chance to defend myself. What I said was, you know, they asked me, "Do you think Donald Trump should denounce Roy Moore and tell people not to vote for him?" And I said, you know, I think Roy Moore's a CREEP. You know, I think his actions are creepy, and I don't think I could in good conscience probably vote for him, if I lived in Alabama. But I said, number one, I don't think this is a decision that should be made by people in the media, it's not a decision that should be made by people in Illinois or New York, or anywhere else. It's up to the people in Alabama, they've heard the evidence and they should make...a jury of his peers, to decide whether they want him in the Senate. And the second point I made, which is absolutely infuriated the Left is I said look...NEITHER PARTY has a moral high ground in this race, because the Democrat in this race is for partial-birth abortion! And I said a lot of Catholics and a lot of Christians think that's tantamount to murder! Or at least manslaughter. And oh my God the Left has gone SO CRAZY over this! But, I stand by my comments! I mean, this is a tough decision for people in Alabama, because both...both of the candidates are so defective. Now, how does this relate to the tax cut? Well, you're right, if the Republicans lose this seat, and they could very well, then all of a sudden you only have 51 Republicans in the Senate, and that makes it harder to pass. And that's why, Dan, if that comes to pass, Republicans have to pass this bill, not by December 23rd, but by December 12th, before the new Senator gets sworn in. So that moves up the timetable by about ten days. Proft: By the way, just a point about your comparison with Jones, it's interesting. Because we talked to Star Parker yesterday, and she made this point about the Left GENERALLY not specific to the Alabama race. But isn't it interesting the Left all of a sudden wants to impose rules of moral rectitude when it comes to abortion...they want 14-year olds to get an abortion without Mom or Dad's knowledge, much less consent. They've got no rules whatsoever, Hollywood has a movie out right now, Amy was mentioning it before, this movie...this new movie "Army Hammer" that's generating Oscar buzz because it's about two dudes falling in love...25-year old man and a 17-year old boy. Jacobson: Yeah, it's called "Call Me By Your Name". Proft: So, but the whole idea of the Left now becoming outraged over sexual conduct...we would say MISconduct, and the allegations against Roy Moore...and I think they're legitimate, as you do...but otherwise it's Sodom and Gomorrah, it's Caligula for the Left and everything's fine! Moore: Well, this is the point. And I made this point on CNN the other night too, it also drove the Left crazy. I said look, again I'm not an apologist by any way, I mean I do think Roy Moore is a creep and you know, for a 30-year old to date a 15-year old, I mean I have a big problem with that. But here's the point: Ted Kennedy. Ted Kennedy, we know what happened in the backseat of his car, and by the way...not only was Ted Kennedy NOT expelled from the Senate, he is STILL considered by liberals "The Lion of the Senate"! Proft: Yeah... Moore: *laughs* I mean, maybe a PREDATOR lion, he WAS a lion! What about Chris Dodd? I mean, his sexual misconduct was well-known in Washington, nothing was ever done about that. What about Robert C. Bird? I mean, Robert C. Bird, we live under the BYRD RULE, by the way, in the United States Senate today. Robert C. Byrd was a card-carrying member of the Ku Klux Klan! I'm not making this up, you can...he was a member of the Ku Klux Klan and he served in the Senate for 40 years and the Democrats never...never batted an eye about that! So all of a sudden, they're trying to claim a moral high ground, and there's incredible misconduct on BOTH parties here! I mean, these people in Congress are not the most upstanding people, and I've been telling people about this my whole life! *simultaneously* Jacobson: We're learning that! Proft: Yeah. Jacobson: And then this morning, the Detroit Free Press Editorial Board is calling on John Conyers to resign after a second woman has come forward saying he sexually harassed her and tried to fondle her...on a daily basis! And that he used tax dollars to pay off another woman, $27000. Moore: That's pretty bad, isn't it? I mean, how can anybody defend that? You're exactly right. And so, there's a double standard here. You know, it would be interesting to see what happens. I think the people in Alabama have a VERY difficult decision to make here. And look, the people that are blaming Trump, saying he's not condemning...you know, he's not telling people in Alabama not to vote for, you know, not to vote for Roy Moore. Well, you know, I mean, look, as I said both candidates are seriously flawed. This guy is a total left-winger who doesn't necessarily stand with the values of the people of Alabama...he might win in Illinois, by the way! *laughing* But I don't think he can win in Alabama. So, we will see, but I'm gonna stick with my prediction, guys, because this is the Eve of Thanksgiving, that we are going to get a tax cut passed, we're gonna get it signed into law, maybe December 23rd or December 24th, and it will be the biggest tax cut since Ronald Reagan, and Dan and Amy, even you guys are gonna get a tax cut here. Proft: Mmmmmm....*sarcastically* no, not Amy. She makes too much money... Jacobson: Oh, please... Moore: I am so tired of your skepticism and your negativity! Proft: Amy's got like a 15 million dollar compound on the lake. I mean, the property taxes here are killer. Jacobson: I live in an A-Frame in Lake View that everyone wants to buy to tear down... Proft: I got another economics question for you, Steve. This is gonna be an underreported... Moore: I'm a typical...I'm a typical liberal, I'm not making ANY of the dinner for tomorrow night, but I'm eating it all. Proft: There you go, there you go. This is going to get lost over the weekend, but I want to point this out because it's particularly relevant to Illinois. The US Military is overhauling its retirement system effective Jan 1 2018, this announcement, they're...they're changing the way that the pensions work for service men and women. Substantial...substantial structural changes, now they have defined contribution plans as opposed to the defined benefits, the time benefit plans we have here in Illinois, that we can't afford. They're going to incentivize more saving on the front end, they're going to reduce the payout a little bit on the back end...this is, you know, this is REAL entitlement reform, at the Federal level, projected to save as much as two billion dollars from the cost of military pensions. Boy, if it's good enough for our service men and women, maybe it's good enough for Illinois state workers, Steve? Moore: Amen. I can't...I can't improve on that, and I'll simply make one last point. The stock market is up by five trillion...that's not billion, that's five TRILLION since Trump was elected. And people will say well this is only...the liberals...only the rich people who benefit from this. Every single pension plan in America, the 55 million 401K plans, the 30 million IRAs...those are all invested in the stock market. A healthy stock market is good for people's retirement accounts. Proft: Alright, he is Steve Moore, Wall Street Journal Columnist, senior economist for CNN where he got excoriated the other day, and Heritage Foundation Chief Economist, Steve thanks for joining us as always, Happy Thanksgiving. Moore: Alright, thanks for defending me, guys.