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Take The Deal

As soon as President Trump deleveraged by ending the partial government shutdown, obtaining only a fraction of the money and miles of border barriers he wanted was inevitable.

Rather than quarreling about whether this is a win now, Trump should use it as the stepping stone on the path to victory in 2020.

Trump will have pictures of new infrastructure along the border, the support of border patrol and stats demonstrating a decline in illegal crossings.

That will be more than enough evidence to wipe away the specific numbers on miles and dollars from the concerns of most voters, particularly his base.

He should take the deal and build on it.

Trump should leave the Democrat Socialists to rail against inanimate objects and find an accommodation for DACA designees to cement his position as a leader who cares about the safety of human beings on both sides of the border.

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Trump Trickbags Dems On DACA

Whether you think Trump’s public policy posturing is asymmetrical or just simply erratic, his proposal on DACA summarily pronounced DOA by congressional Dems improved the GOP’s electoral chances in November—bigly.

Here’s how:

First, by seeing a path to citizenship for 800,000 DACA recipients and raising the Democrats 1 million more, Trump took Schumer’s and Pelosi’s mascots away from them.

If you’re offered the prospect of a path to citizenship, are you willing to pass on your chance to pursue the Left’s open borders fantasy?

Schumer may not have experienced his last sleepless night in Brooklyn.

Second, by providing a path even for those who were eligible but did not seek the DACA designation, Trump out-flanked the Democrats on the issues of fairness, good faith and empathy.

It’s a bend but don’t break that will leave some Trump supporters muttering under their breath but it’s not a betrayal.

Third, Trump positioned himself with 70%+ of Americans on the immigration issues punch list: normalizing DACA designees, building the wall, prioritizing based on skills, and punishing sanctuary cities and states.

Trump has put congressional Democrats in God’s little acre.

If they cut a deal, Trump is the pragmatic, reasonable businessman who got a decent, bipartisan deal done.

If they don’t cut a deal, Trump is the pragmatic, reasonable businessman foiled by inflexible Democrats whom he met more than halfway.

The art of this deal is Trump painted Democrats into a corner. 

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View full transcript


Proft: Good morning, Dan and Amy. South Korean president Moon Jae-in attributing the recent warming in relations between his country and that cartoon character dictator north of them in North Korea to President Trump. "Trump, I believe, did a lot," said the South Korean president, to bring North and South Korea together, such that they're discussing Kim Jong-un participating in some of the Winter Olympic Games in South Korea in just a month or so. Jacobson: Yeah. They're gonna walk together, probably, more than likely, you know when they introduce all the countries. And they did this...gosh, was it eight years ago?...for the Olympics, when they walked together as one country. Proft: I understand Kim Jong-un, like his old man, is quite the athlete. I understand that from him, and from fake Twitter DPRK. Jacobson: Well, didn't he get like 11 holes-in-one the first time he ever played golf? Proft: That was Kim Jong-il. Jacobson: Oh, okay! Proft: He was a hell of a golfer. I think Kim Jong-un's sport of choice is figure skating, but I'm not sure. Jacobson: Well every time...I mean, the last time we had the Winter Olympics was four years ago? I watched the North Koreans in figure skating, because everybody...all eyes are on them, to see if they succeed, and if they fail are they gonna get killed when they return to their home country? So... Proft: To see if they can extract themselves from the training table, because it's the first time they've seen FOOD in so long! Jacobson: Well it's...I mean, it's a dictatorship over there, so I feel really bad for the athletes and I'm sure that once they get a taste of freedom and see how the other half of the peninsula's living, they're gonna want to defect and run away. Proft: Well, it's just interesting too, in terms of like...substantive outcomes, despite the Tweeting and the Michael Wolff book and all the stuff, substantive outcomes. You have this Axis of Evil country, as so defined by George W. Bush, this enemy of America, this threat to global stability, and South Korean president giving a hat tip to President Trump over his approach to Kim Jong-un, which he thinks has helped to thaw the relations between North and South, and perhaps stop some of the provocative missile tests. So, just interesting to note. More on this and other topics, we're pleased to be joined by Steve Cortes, Fox News contributor, former Trump Hispanic Advisory Council President. Steve, thanks for joining us, appreciate it. Cortes: Good morning, Dan and Amy! Thanks for having me. Proft: So, what about the continued challenge that...well, those sympathetic to the Trump administration have of trying to separate what Trump is sometimes saying or Tweeting from what he's actually doing, what's actually being accomplished? Cortes: Right. And no, I think those of us who message for Trump, we need to be loud and proud about the many achievements of the first year of the Trump presidency, and optimistic about the successes to come. By the way, one quick word on Kim Jong-un...I want to see HIM in some kind of a lycra suit, whether it's bobsled or something like that. Wouldn't that be great? Proft: I'd like to see that, yeah. He'd be like a little John Candy. Cortes: That's right...that's right. But back to Trump. I think when we look back at the year in the books and look ahead to the prospects of what's going to happen, it's nothing but a record of incredible success, particularly when it comes to the economy, and it's not just the stock market. I actually wrote an article published yesterday in Real Clear Politics, that I think the President...my advice to him is not to focus quite so much...a rising stock market is fantastic, but let's focus more on the REAL economy. Because the stock market did great under President Obama, the REAL economy did not. Particularly for middle income workers. (Proft: Right.) Almost all the benefits of slow growth over the past decade flow to the very highest sectors of the socio-economic strata in America, and that's changed dramatically, thankfully, (cut off) than Trump. As an example, unemployment for people...for workers without a high school diploma, their unemployment just hit a low not seen since the year 2000. So, Hispanic and Black unemployment, all-time lows. So this is a BROAD recovery, this is a real expansion for real America, for Main Street, not just for Wall Street. I love that Wall Street's doing great, but I want to see Main Street do great as well, and they are. So every chance I get, I'm on shows like yours, I'm on Fox News, you know, I'm singing from the rooftops about those types of accomplishments...about the fact that ISIS is all but eliminated, our Southern border is largely under control, President Trump nominated many, and got confirmed MANY, conservative justices. He set a record for a first-year President for circuit court confirmations to the Federal bench. Of course, it's of course soon to be seen in the court (?), and I hope many more to come. At least one more in his first term, and I hope a couple more in the second term. So I think he's reshaping our judiciary, which is BADLY needed, as we saw from that disastrous 9th Court...you know the 9th Circuit just continues to put out appalling rulings, and yet another one on DACA two days ago (Proft: Yeah, it's absurd!). To me, his REAL record is incredible, and I mean, sometimes you have to ignore the cacaphony of the clamoring critics of the media. Yeah, the ones who howl at every Tweet or every apparent misstatement instead of...let's focus on the substance of what he's doing. Jacobson: Yeah, I mean, look at the Dow too. It's surged 7,250 points since the election...that's a 40% gain. I mean, how high do you think it's going to go? Cortes: I think it can go higher, I do. But it's come a heck of a long way. So I don't love, as a market guy...you know, I do politics, I'm fairly new to politics, I've been doing Wall Street for 20 years. As a market guy, I don't love committing new capital here, because it's already had such an incredible run, and if there's one thing I know about markets, even though I'm incredibly bullish on the economy, markets are dynamic and they're volatile and at some point we're going to get a big pullback. I don't know what's going to cause it, it could be North Korea, it could be something different, I don't know. But I'll tell you this...if and when that pullback does occur, I do believe that's a pullback to buy, because I think the paradigm has truly shifted. The Obama stock rally, by the way, I think was in some ways artificial, it was built on artificially low interest rates that practically FORCED money into the stock market. This is very different now, this is REAL growth. But again, I'm not (?) over some stocks...I love that stocks are doing great, it's wonderful, it creates wealth for the country. But I'm WAY more focused on...that wealth, though, focused disproportionally only flows to people who are already very wealthy. I'm much more focused on the American worker, who hasn't done well, who's been struggling for a decade-plus in this country, and their lives are getting better, more prosperous, safer. They're getting bonuses, we've seen hundreds of companies offer bonuses...just today Walmart raised its minimum wage. That's the right way, by the way, to get companies to raise their minimum wage...isn't be executive edict from on high, it's by creating conditions where they feel confident that they CAN pay people more, and we see a lot of companies doing that, not just Walmart, but they're just the latest to announce it. Companies are giving bonuses, they're putting more into charity, they're putting more into employees pension plans, so these are tangible real benefits for the American worker. And I think it's magnificent and it's long overdue. Proft: Part of the conversation about immigration reform is with the American worker in mind as well, at least that Trump's perspective on it as he's previously articulated, so how did you perceive that remarkable meeting he had the other day with Congressional leaders from both parties, where he seemed to be very warm to the idea of permanent status for the DACA recipients, so long as he gets...at least a wall, if not also an end to chain migration and the Diversity Visa Lottery? And also...and also, even going so far as to say "Even if there's things coming out of Congress that I don't love, I'm still gonna sign it, because I respect you guys in this room so much." I mean, really pushing to get a deal done. Cortes: Right, and I think pushing the Congress, to say "Will you finally do your job, rather than just bloviating?", which is what Washington does...has done well for decades. And particularly on this issue, by the way. There's so much grandstanding, particularly on the Left, on immigration. They claim to care a lot about immigrants...I think they care a lot about immigrant VOTES. I think they want to give as much amnesty as possible because they believe those votes will automatically flow their way and they don't care about the American worker, who has to compete, far too often very unfairly, with illegal immigrant labor. But, having said that, I think the President here has a chance...and this is actually an issue where thankfully he actually comes to me for advice, and I've talked to him in person about this. As a Hispanic, as a southern immigrant, I LOVE legal immigration, but we have to do it better in this country, we have to get control of illegal immigration, which we're doing quickly. And regarding DACA and a deal, I think this is a chance where truly everybody can win. I think the DACA recipients, those young adults, are a different category of illegal immigrant, that didn't choose to come here, they didn't choose to break our laws, so in my mind they should be treated differently. We can show heart towards them, but then we can also show toughness, which is END this insane Visa Lottery System. It's terrible for our national and economic security. Restrict chain migration, the idea that one person comes and suddenly the entire village is here, it's just absurd. We need merit-based immigration, chain migration I believe should be restricted only to your spouse and your MINOR children, it can't mean you can bring your cousin and your parents and your grandparents, I mean that's just not sensible, because guess what? We might not WANT all of them. (Cortes and Jacobson spend about 5 seconds talking over each other.) Jacobson: So do you think there should be a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers? Cortes: No, I mean...and by the way, I reject that term "Dreamers", I think the Left often hijacks the language and...Americans have dreams too. So, I don't want to call them "Dreamers". But, the DACA young adults...and they're also not KIDS, the Left always calls them kids (Jacobson: Yeah, they're older now.). Right. So these young adults, pathway to citizenship? I'm fine with that, but I believe they have to get in line. They have to go through the normal process. So, they're protected until then, they're not gonna be deported is my advice, but should they just snap their fingers and get citizenship? No! Not when you have literally millions of people all over the world going through an incredibly lengthy and often expensive process to try and become an American citizen. So people who came here illegally, even if it wasn't of their choosing, can they hop the line and effectively cheat that system? I don't think so, I don't think that's fair. But I do think it's reasonable to say, as long as you're keeping your nose clean, you're working, you're in school...one or the other or both...you're not a criminal, we will allow you to stay here even though you came under illegal circumstances, we will allow you to stay because it wasn't your choice, you came as a child, and you can become a citizen, but you've gotta get in line with everyone else. Proft: He is Steve Cortes, Fox News contributor, former Trump Hispanic Advisory Council president, and you can check out his latest piece on the Trump administration at RealClearPolitics.com. Steve, thanks so much for joining us, appreciate it. Cortes: Thanks, thanks for having me, have a good day.

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View full transcript


Proft: Dan and Amy. So the virtually unprecedented, hour long, televised negotiation on a deal on DACA and border security between the President and party leaders, both parties, where you had... Jacobson: He was sitting next to Dick Durbin! Proft: Dick Durbin, yeah, was to his right. He should have put him in a headlock and given him a noogie! Trump trying to be conciliatory... Trump (from tape): But it also has to be, I feel, having the Democrats in with us is absolutely vital. Because this should be a bipartisan bill, this should be a bill of love. Truly, a bill of love, and we can do that. Proft: And the Democrats being somewhat conciliatory as well. Steny Hoyer, House Major...excuse me, House Minority Whip. Hoyer (from tape): Democrats are FOR security at the borders. I want to state that emphatically, there's not a Democrat that is not for having secure borders. Proft: I don't know if I BELIEVE Steny Hoyer, but it's nice that he said it. And so the deal that seems to be coming into formation is, at minimum, the DACA designees stay and wall and border security funding happens...the wall where the wall needs to be...right, as the President said. He also added, though, did President Trump, he repeated he wants the deal to include an end to chain migration, and an end to the diversity visa lottery. We'll see if those are component parts of whatever deal is ultimately struck, assuming one is before March 5th, the deadline the President has set on the DACA designees. For more on this topic and the economic impacts of it, we're pleased to be joined by our friend Steve Moore, chief economist for the Heritage Foundation, senior economist for CNN, Wall Street Journal columnist. Steve, thanks for being with us, appreciate it. Do we have... Moore: ...25,000... Proft: Okay, there we go. I'm sorry Steve, go ahead...we missed that first part, go ahead. Moore: How do you like Dow 25,000? Proft: My 401K likes it. Jacobson: We had a party. We were swinging from chandeliers we were so excited, Steve. Moore: Hahaha...I told you! Proft: What about...yes, well, let's keep it going. There are some that are predicting that ultimately, you're only forestalling the natural business cycle, and we're going to see a recession in 2020, going into the President's re-elect...excuse me, 2019, going into the President's re-elect. Moore: Well look I mean, it's hard to predict where the economy is going to go from here, but every indicator right now is pointing straight north. I don't know if you saw the latest survey numbers on how Americans feel about the job market, but they feel more optimistic than any time in the last 25 years. The Small Business Index is pointing straight north, the highest, you know, optimism of small businesses in 30 years. I mean, no matter what statistic you...my favorite right now is that the black unemployment rate is the lowest it's been since we started recording these numbers in 1972. So something has to be going right with Trump, which is why I think these people that say he's a moron, an imbecile, too unfit for office...I mean, my God, he's only been in office one year and he's already rebuilt the economy faster in one year than Obama could do in eight years. On this immigration issue, I mean look you know, I'm pro-immigration, I think immigrants are very important for our economy, I think they're one of our great comparative advantages. But I do think...build the damn wall! Let's get the wall built so Americans feel like the border has been secured, that Washington is taking illegal immigration and border security seriously, and once that happens I think the kinds of things that would help the economy, like more technology-based immigrants, more agriculture workers, the things that our industries need, we can get the immigrants that we want and need, and want to become Americans. So I'm all in on this but I think the people like Durbin that say "We're not gonna build the wall!", they're...look, we had an election, right? If there was a mandate for anything, it was...I was at the rallies..."Build the wall!" Jacobson: Right, everyone wants the wall built. But Trump kept saying during the campaign, "We're gonna make Mexico pay for it!" But Mexico...they're not going to pay for something they don't want (Moore: *laughing* Probably not!), and clearly we're gonna have to pay for the wall. Moore: Probably not. But you know, that was a sound byte of Trump's, and I didn't think it was very likely. But the truth is there are ways to...you can put a little fee when people cross the border, to pay for the wall, things like that, which would make people who cross the border and use the border help pay for the wall. But what I find ironic, Dan and Amy, is I've been in Washington 30 years, I've virtually never seen the Democrats opposed to a spending program. The only spending program in 30 years I've seen Democrats oppose, besides the school vouchers for DC kids, is building the wall! The one thing America NEEDS, which is our national security, and our, you know, defending our borders, that's the only thing they DON'T want to spend money on! Proft: Yeah, it's interesting...though Steny Hoyer saying they're very serious about border security. But as you note, their record suggests otherwise. But also, by the way, in terms of this, you know, Trump is saying $40 billion, it should be more like a third of that, and should take a year, not seven years. I mean for goodness sake, it took three years to build the Golden Gate Bridge....you know, the last century. And so you know, with respect to immigration, and the spend side of it...the deal that Trump is proposing, that the wall is a must, he also wants this, but a wall for permanent status for DACA designees, that's a deal that you would strike? Moore: Yeah I don't...look, I don't know all the latest negotiations on this, but I do know this; I certainly think that you could make a deal for, you know, a legalization program, but I think for a lot of Americans including myself, legalization...I mean, citizenship, may be a bridge too far. I mean, I'm talking unless...not necessarily about the kids, but the parents who came in illegally. I'm not so sure people do agree with the idea that they should become citizens when they came in illegally. But I don't know, how do you guys feel about that one? Proft: Yeah... Jacobson: Well, I'm a big supporter of having "Dreamers", the 700K people who are taken here without their...I mean, they didn't know, they were kids! (Proft; Not the kids, the parents.) No I know, but I mean I'm in favor of the kids becoming, you know, their path to citizenship. Their parents...if they haven't broken any laws, if they are paying mortgages, or obviously if they have jobs and they're paying taxes, we should give them a chance. Moore: Can I have one other thing? Let me add one other thing to that, that I think is important. I think it's really important if we give, if we...if we bring legalization and maybe eventually citizenship to these folks, that they not have been using welfare benefits. That's where I get off the train. I am for, Dan and Amy...immigrants want to come into this country and contribute and create a better life for themselves, and share in our freedoms and liberties, but not coming in and going on welfare. If you come in on welfare...it used to be in the golden age, you know the golden ages, that people came in and lifted themselves by their bootstraps, and made a better life for themselves. But we used to turn back people if they were going to become a public charge. Now, when they come in, first thing liberals want to do when they come into the country is put them on Food Stamps! Proft: Yeah, because it makes them a Democrat voter. Here's the...and I mean, just in terms of financing this, you do have NAFTA renegotiation ongoing, so building that in. On the spend side though, since that hasn't been talked about in terms of the immediate agenda items on the Republicans' agenda, the new year; DACA, infrastructure, entitlement reform...that's a spend reform, obviously. What about this plan that has been advanced previously, I think including by you, certainly by Senator Mike Enzi...the Penny Plan. (Moore: Yeah!) To take one penny out of every dollar the Federal government spends, over a decade you'd reduce our debt load by almost half, and then you know, you start to have the Federal Government living within OUR means. Moore: *sarcastically* Dan, how in the WORLD could you be so cold-hearted? I mean, we can't...are you saying the Federal Government can save a PENNY ON THE DOLLAR? I mean, that is CRAZINESS! I mean, no, look...the Penny Plan is a brilliant plan. It basically says next year that every agency, including military, including every agency of government, will save one cent on the dollar. And then next year they'll save another cent. And you do that for five years, and then in ten years you've balanced the budget. Was that so hard? Now people literally, you know, go into cardiac arrest when you try to talk about that in Washington, but I want to urge your listeners to go to my friends at OpenTheBooks.com...have you looked at that website? Proft: Yeah, sure. Moore: I mean, if you want to see where it is that the Federal Government can save one cent on the dollar, go to OpenTheBooks.com and take a look at the way the Federal Government is wasting money. I'll give you one, just one big example, which is that $150B a year, according to the Federal Government's own auditors, is spent on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, on fraudulent payments, on people receiving a benefit that they are not eligible for. One hundred and fifty...I didn't say million...$150B! You don't think the Federal Government can save one cent on the dollar, cmon! Proft: Alright, he is Steve Moore, Wall Street Journal Columnist, economist for CNN and for the Heritage Foundation, Steve thanks for joining us, appreciate it. Moore: Have a great week, guys, take care!

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