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Trump Tax Reform

Condolences On Tax Day

Why aren’t people realizing they received a tax cut? How does Illinois have all this government but still come out as the worst state for taxpayers? What are we getting for our money in Illinois? The Capitalist Pig, Jonathan Hoenig joins Dan and Carol Roth to discuss.

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DC Press Corps Silent On Farrakhan

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US News Ranks Illinois 50th In Fiscal Stability

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Proft: Dan and Amy, so since the noblemen and magistrates in Springfield are convening today to vote on all kinds of gun control legislation, I got a question. This guy in Oswego, Dave Thomas? You saw the story, Amy. Jacobson: Oh yeah. Proft: Man armed with an AR-15 helped stop a knife attack during an argument in Oswego. Dave Thomas witnessed the attack, went into his home and got his rifle and ordered the suspect to stop. "I ran back into the home, into my house, to grab my AR-15. I grabbed the AR-15 over my handgun, it's just a bigger gun. I think a little bit more than an intimidation factor definitely played a factor in him stopping." No shots fired, suspect got away briefly before police captured him, stabbing victim taken to the hospital is expected to recover. "The AR-15 is my weapon of choice for home protection," Thomas said. "It's light, it's maneuverable. If you're trained and know how to use it properly, it's not dangerous." And this is just a perfect example of a good guy with an AR-15 stopped a bad guy with a knife, and there were no lives taken, so all in all it was a good day. I'd say so. So does he get to keep his AR-15? Does he get to? Jacobson: Because he's over 21, sure. Proft: Yeah, okay. Yeah...alright. Jacobson: That's a story of a good guy with a gun! I'm glad we brought that story to people's attention. Proft: Yeah...and now 3/4 of the General Assembly will summarily ignore it. Steve Moore, switching gears, our friend Steve Moore, Heritage Foundation economist, Wall Street Journal columnist, joins us now to talk things economic. Steve, thanks for being with us, appreciate it. Moore: Good morning, guys. Proft: So, hey...Warren Buffett, I know he's got that underpaid secretary that he's always complaining about, who pays more...a higher rate of...on her income taxes than he does? Report out from Fox, $29B windfall for... Jacobson: 29 BILLION? Proft: 29 BILLION dollar windfall, BILLION, for Berkshire-Hathaway...so what do you think is fair, since he's a fairness guy, what do you think is fair in terms of what percentage of that he should give his secretary, Steve? Moore: Well look, a secretary's gonna get a big tax cut too, as well. I mean, let's say if his secretary makes $80K a year, she's gonna get about a $2K tax cut. I don't know if you saw the big study...this has been a mini-scandal that's developing, that the New York Times had an article yesterday saying that they found something...they...actually, they looked all over the country to find some middle-class, middle-income person who is gonna pay more taxes, who's paying more taxes under the Trump plan. They couldn't find anyone, so they...they...INVENTED a couple, and they...you know, with all sorts of conditions, they're sort of a "Where's Waldo?" type thing, to find the one person in America who's gonna pay more taxes. And, did you hear about this? So they, they have this, you know, John and Jay Taxpayer, and they said "Well, this person's gonna actually pay $3,000 MORE in taxes!" Well, it turns out one of the top tax experts at the University of Chicago found out that they made a big mistake, and this couple wasn't going to pay more in taxes, they were actually gonna pay a lot less in taxes. And now the New York Times has a lot of mud in their eye. We'll see if they issue a retraction...none yet. Proft: Well, first of all... Jacobson: Oh my...that's SICK! Proft: No, I think that's unfair to the New York Times, let me tell you why. We use composites for Obama's past girlfriends, we use a fictional woman "Julia" for Obama's re-election campaign that, fictional...(Moore laughs) yeah, you have Pajama Boy to sell Obamacare. We like fictional characters, and so using a fictional person to argue against tax cuts, however erroneously, that is, that is standard operating procedure these days, Steve! Moore: I mean, this was follow up from, I think, I believe it was USA Today, I might be wrong but it was one of the major newspapers...issued a similar "study", and I use that word with quotation marks around it, right before the tax cut passed that found one person, you know, that was living in Boston, MA, who had an income of $300K, and was living with his mother and didn't have a house and all of these things, and AHA! This person is gonna pay more taxes! It's like "He's left-handed, he's bald, he's dadadadada....", you know? But look, 90% of people are paying less taxes right now, there was a good story, a cover story, a front-page story in The Washington Post yesterday, Democrats are pulling back on the tax cut message, because they thought this tax cut would be extremely unpopular with voters and now they're finding out that the vast majority of voters in their districts kind of like tax cuts for businesses and families! Jacobson: Wow, so I mean, or...so, do we...do you think we're going to see even more tax cuts in the future? Because even my Democratic friends do like having more money in their paycheck. Moore: Well, you...look, I don't think there's going to be any more Federal tax cuts. I mean, I think the big issue, and this is a big issue for the state of Illinois...you know, we cap state and local tax deduction at $10K now. Many people, many many many people in Illinois pay a lot more than $10K in their property taxes each year...will there be a big tax cut coming from Springfield? Because, if there isn't...Art Laffer and I just completed a study...we think there are going to be well over 50K people in the next two years, high-income people, are gonna move out of Illinois, and they're gonna be moving to those wonderful destinations like West Virginia and Kentucky... Proft; No question. Moore: No, but they're going to Florida, they're going to Tennessee, they're going to Texas. Now, that's going to put an even BIGGER hole in your budget! Proft: Well... Moore: Right, Dan and Amy? Do you think Springfield, the people of Springfield, get it? Will they pass a tax cut so people stay in the state? Proft: No. No. No. No, not with the current leadership, because they don't care! They've been chastened by the electorate, the electorate loves what we're getting here. And, you guys, you and Art Laffer, put together that Rich States, Poor States ranking every year. (Moore: Yep!) And it's interesting because US News just came out with their ranking of the states by a bunch of categories and the ones I want to focus on...Fiscal Stability and Quality of Life, where Illinois is, not unlike it routinely is in your surveys, Steve, 50th in Fiscal Stability and 47th in Quality of Life, and Quality of Life has everything to do with Fiscal Stability. Moore: Well, it also has to do with things like the quality of the schools, (Proft: Yeah, right.) the fiscal situation such as the tax burden, the quality of public services and they're all bad. And I gotta tell you, two or three weeks ago I was visited by the...what's her name, Jeanne...the woman who was running for... Proft: Jeanne Ives. Moore: ...yes...and I was EXTREMELY impressed with her! And you know, everybody I know is...there's a buzz about...I don't know about Illinois but around the country there's a buzz going on about Jeanne and how this conservative who has free-market conservative solutions to the problems of Illinois...I don't know, is she catching on there? Because there's a real buzz around the country about her. Proft: Well, that's encouraging to hear. I think she is catching on, although again the Illinois Republican Party is the Junior Partner to the Chicago Democrats, so... Moore: *laughs* Jacobson: Nice analogy! Proft: So, you know, there's been a bit of a headwind, bit of a headwind she's running into, but appreciate that perspective, Steve, as usual. Just one thing on the rankings though is...you...speak to the Rich States, Poor States ranking that you do and...and the methodology and kind of the meaning for...for families. Moore: So, I'm trying to remember...I know Illinois is in the Bottom 5, I think Illinois ranks...47th...so you're not as bad as...take a bow...you're not as bad as Maine, and you're not as bad as New York, and you're not as bad as California. But, things are bad there, and you know, your tax burden is through the roof, you have poor public services. Here's the thing: You get poor public services, AND you pay a lot of money for that stuff! So it's the worst of all words. Your regulations are too high, and as I've said SO many times on your show over the years, Dan, Amy...until Illinois becomes a Right to Work state, where workers have a right to join the Union or not join the Union...you know, a lot of businesses just will not move into a state that is not Right to Work! That's another way that the dominoes are falling all around you! I mean, Michigan is now a Right to Work state, West Virginia is now a Right to Work state, we're working on Ohio, Wisconsin's Right to Work. I mean, you're gonna be an island of Forced Unionism, and that doesn't work for the state! Jacobson: Oh, you're not making me feel very good about living in Illinois... Proft: No. Although the Supreme Court could help us... Moore: I love Illinois! I'm a Chicago guy! I love Chicago, I think it's one of the greatest cities in the coun...in the world! You know, it's being ruined by politicians in Springfield, and you know, people around the country get it. You know, Madigan has run that state...the Governor doesn't run Illinois! Right? It's run by Madigan! How long has Madigan been there, 30 years? Jacobson: Somewhere around 37... Proft: More or less...he gets a lot of help from Establishment Republicans though, Steve, as you know. (Moore: Haha! Exactly!) That's the problem. Moore: YOU NEED A REVOLUTION! Jacobson: We need Jeanne Ives! Proft: The Janus case, Steve, the Janus case could help do for Illinois what the politicians won't, can't it? Moore: Sorry what was that? Couldn't hear you. Proft: The Janus v. AFSCME case? The Fair Share case before the Supreme Court? Moore: Oh, that's a huge one! And the Liberals are going crazy, because I think the Liberals know they're going to lose that. This is about whether people should be forced to pay Union dues, government employees. I say no, if you don't want to be in the Union...look, if the...the First Amendment talks about Right of Association, right? You're ...you have the right to associate with groups you want to. But, the First Amendment also says you have the right of NOT associating, if you don't want to associate with some group, you can't be forced to. And in the case of Unions, even if you don't want to associate with the Union, you're forced to. And that's why I view this strictly as a First Amendment case. I'm not anti-Union, if people want to join a union and pay dues, and have collective bargaining, I don't have a problem with that. What I do have a problem with is forcing people who don't want to be in the Union to pay dues, especially when the money is going towards political views that they don't agree with. I mean, 40% of Union households voted for Donald Trump, but yet the Unions are out there trying to destroy Donald Trump! Proft: Speaking of Trump, he announced he's running again in 2020... Moore: What a shock THAT is! Proft: Yeah, right? But as he's...as he's putting his Cabinet together, you want me to put in a word for you for Treasury Secretary, or what do you want? Moore: Mmmm...yeah, Cabinet Secretary would be either Treasury Secretary or Commerce Secretary, so I could reverse the STUPIDEST thing that Donald Trump has done since he's been President, which is these idiotic steel and aluminum tariffs, which are actually going to COST American jobs, because it makes everything that we produce in America more expensive and less competitive. So President Trump, if you're listening to this show, DO NOT GO FORWARD WITH STEEL AND ALUMINUM TARIFFS, you're going to actually hurt the manufacturing base that you're trying to rebuild. You agree with me on that, right Dan? Proft: I do. Jacobson: But you're actually also going to hurt the consumers, because...canned vegetables...everything that is canned that we buy, those prices are gonna go up. And beer is gonna skyrocket, Dan, so get your 24 cases of Miller Lite right now! Proft: I...uh...only drink (?). Moore: Well Amy, you get your A in Economics today. This is all going to be pushed onto consumers, just to make things more expensive. And think about this; automobiles, manufactured products, machinery, all that is made of steel. How are we going to compete in global markets when we're using steel that's 20% more expensive than any other country? It just doesn't make any sense, even from a jobs perspective. Proft: All right, you persuaded me. Secretary of Commerce Steve Moore... Jacobson: Yes, I'll do that! Proft: The only problem is that I don't believe the Secretary...the Department of Commerce should EXIST, so we're gonna have to traverse that, but... Moore: *laughs* I'm with you on that! Proft: ...Steve Moore, CNN Senior Economist, Heritage Foundation, Wall Street Journal. Steve, thanks for joining us, appreciate it. Moore: Take care guys, have a great week!

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View full transcript


Proft: Good morning, Dan and Amy. Trump State of the Union Address yesterday, He made it clear, from his perspective, that the era of economic surrender in the United States is Oh-va! Trump (from tape): America has also finally turned a page on decades of unfair trade deals, that sacrificed our prosperity and shipped away our companies, our jobs, and our wealth. Our nation has lost its wealth, but we're getting it back so fast. The era of economic surrender is totally over. From now own, we *glitch* iting relationships to be fair, and very importantly, reciprocal. Proft: Alright, fair and reciprocal trade. Are those words music to the ears of one Steve Moore, Wall Street Journal Columnist, Heritage Foundation Economist, joins us now. Steve, economic surrender is over...did you like that part of the speech? Moore: Well, good morning. I liked a lot of the speech. I loved the "America is open for business again", and this idea that we are going to put America first, in terms of cutting taxes, cutting regulations, in terms of making sure that we're the number one economic superpower in the world. And look, he took a victory lap, well deserved, the economy is booming under his stewardship, so that was all good. But uh, you mentioned the one area that makes me nervous about Trump's policies, Dan...congratulations. Proft: Well I'm in the market for a new washing machine. So that's why I had to mention it. Moore: So look, I think when you think about what could disrupt this incredible boom that we're on right now, I think it IS trade protectionism, and so it does make me nervous. Does NAFTA need to be renegotiated and modernized? Yeah, I think it does, it could be improved, but I'm worried that Trump may try to get us out of NAFTA. I'm worried about, you know, his talk about tariffs against other countries in the world, which I don't think is very good policy. But, on balance I think that was a great speech, Trump is...one of my colleagues, Larry Kudlow, calls Trump "a one-man Chamber of Commerce for the United States". That was a speech...this speech, and his speech is Davos...both were appeals to people around the world, and businesspeople, and people with capital, to come to the United States, this is the place you want to invest in. And you know what? He's right. Jacobson: And President Trump touted the low unemployment rates, but also reminded us that we're going to have more take-home pay. If we don't see it in this paycheck, we're going to see it in the next paycheck. But the Washington Post this morning is saying what he didn't talk about, in what they call his "Reagan-ist speech", is that he didn't talk about the budget deficit. Moore: Sorry...about the budget deficit? Jacobson: Yeah, there was no mention of that whatsoever. Moore: *laughs* Well, you know, yeah...and I have to say this about Trump, and I kind of agree with them...you know, for the last 30 years the Republican Party has been obsessed about the budget deficit. And look you know, I've been for a fiscal analyst for the last...when I came to Washington in the early 80s, I was, you know, one of the budget experts in town, I know this stuff back and forwards. Would I like to see a balanced budget? Sure. Do I want budget control, do I want to see a shrinking of the government? Yes. But, I think what Trump has done is...the Republican Party is now a party of growth, it's a party of prosperity. We put prosperity ahead of balanced budgets, and let the Democratic Party be the party of austerity. You know, it was amazing to me last night, listening you know to some of the commentary, and you know, I did some of these post-elections debates, and the Democrats are still railing against the tax cut! I'm like "Really? Are you paying any attention to what's going on?" I mean, they're actually going to say the tax cut isn't working, when you've got 100 major companies, from Exxon to Disney to Apple, to FedEx, you know, announcing major bonuses for workers, and all this money coming back to the United States? So, look, I like the fact that he's a tax cutter, that he's trying to make America the most prosperous place in the world, and so far, so good. Proft: Yeah, so I mean, they're not just railing against the tax increase, or tax cut should I say, they're railing against employment! They're unhappy about low unemployment! Moore: They are! I mean, they're rooting against America. The Left is rooting against Trump and rooting against America and rooting against the American worker. They don't want Trump's policies to work, which is pretty pathetic, actually. It's pretty unpatriotic to say, "Gee, we hope we can score political points by..."...they'd love for the American economy to crash! They've been waiting the last 14 months for that happen, and of course it isn't happening. I'm predicting, guys, that we're gonna hit 4% growth this year. The reason that we only got 2.6% growth this quarter is...I agree with my buddy Art Laffer, what happened is a lot of businesses delayed their, you know, delayed their capital spending and a lot of their capital output until 2018, because that's when you get the tax cut, that's when you get the lower tax rate. We're gonna see a very, very strong first and second quarter this year, we're gonna have 4% growth, we haven't had that in 20 years! Proft: Right, but let me go back to something that you said. I agree with you in terms of market positioning...the Growth Party vs the Austerity Party, of sorts, even though I mean...Democrats and Austerity, they'll...the Democrats will spend money like termites go through wood. But, here's the thing...ultimately, you can't grow, or you're going to cap out, you're creating structural infirmities if you don't deal with things like a ballooning debt and unfunded liabilities. Moore: True. Proft: So...? Moore: So let me say this. This was my line to Trump and a lot of the Congressional Republicans, when I...and in fact I just talked to the Senate Republican Caucus yesterday and made this point...yes, we're concerned about that debt and the liabilities, Dan, you're exactly right. But, you're not going to make any progress on any of those problems unless you get the economy growing. You just can't get from here to there if you don't have 3 or 4% growth, I mean, I've looked at the numbers. You could slash everything, but if you don't get the economy growing, and people paying taxes, and businesses expanding...you know, when businesses are expanding and people are making more money...guess what? They're paying more taxes. So the first step in getting the debt under control, and these unfunded liabilities that you're talking about, is to get back to a strong economic growth pattern. We only grew at less than 2% under Obama, and now we're at 3 and if we get to 4, that makes this SO much easier to solve! Proft: Well that's true, but you have to introduce that into the conversation, so it becomes something that is discussed and debated and moved forward, so for example your...the plan that you've touted, we've talked about many times on this show, the Penny Plan. I mean, that can at least be part of the conversation so that at some point in the not to distant future, there's actually movement on it. Moore: I agree, and in fact...look, I agree with 90% of what Trump said last night. I am not in favor of getting rid of the Defense Sequester, and the sequester...the great budget control we've had over the last six or seven years was the Budget Control Act, which put caps on domestic and defense spending, and it actually has made a difference. I mean, government spending as a percentage of GDP is actually much lower today that it was during Barack Obama's first term, or actualy, George Bush's second term. So, you know, let's keep the caps in place, let's have some budget discipline! I love the idea...for those who don't know the Penny Plan, it's really is an amazing formula...you just cut every government program by one penny in 2018, and then cut it another penny...that is, a penny for every dollar they spend. So you reduce spending by one penny per dollar in 2018, and then again in 2019, 2020, 2021, and guess what? You've balanced the budget. It really is that easy! It just requires spending control. You don't even have to slash spending! You just have to make sure the rate of increase is cut in half. Jacobson: Well, that sounds like a brilliant idea! Proft: Well there you go! That's why Steve Moore's proposing it, yes! Jacobson: So, President Trump yesterday had a number of people he featured that were heroes, but he also featured business owners, and I thought that maybe you took that to heart. Steve Staub, and Sandy Keplinger, who say they've seen a bump in their business this year. Did you like that? Moore: You know what? I loved that aspect of the speech. I think everyone agrees that the fact he had these amazing American heroes and he called them out, and it really punctuated every point he wanted to make. And I thought another great moment was when he called out that gentleman from North Korea, I don't know if you remember that moment. Proft: Ohhh...that was the best moment EVER! Moore: Yeah, it was awesome! And he basically said "Look, this is what North Korea is about! These people are tyrants, they're our enemies, they are killers, and they're killing their own people!" And anybody can...I don't believe they Left...they seem to want to appease Kim il-Jong (sic), rather than...we've gotta take their weapons away from them, it's the most dangerous thing in the world. So I love the fact that he did that, it was such an effective device to make his point, to show...you know, whether it's a businessman, or a victim of Communism or so on, I think he's almost changed the way that State of the Union speeches will be given in the future. Proft: He is Steve Moore, Wall Street Journal Columnist, CNN Senior Economist, Heritage Foundation Economist, Steve thanks as always for joining us, appreciate it. Moore: Okay guys, have a great week, take care!

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