Where’s The America First President?

Why can’t Trump separate Russian meddling and collusion? Why does Trump continue to give ammunition those who want to unseat him? How much damage did his remarks do to the agenda of his administration and upcoming midterms? New York Post Columnist, Michael Goodwin joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

Related Content

Is The Left Finally On Board Against Totalitarian Regimes?

Is it possible for members of the mainstream media to question Trump’s remarks about Putin before they go into full on hysterics? Was the President not prepared properly for the joint press conference? If Trump could openly disagree with Putin on Crimea, why can’t he call out Putin on meddling in the 2016 election? President of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Cliff May joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

Related Content

US Protection Or Russian Pipeline?

Should Trump consider pulling out of NATO after Germany’s pipeline deal with Russia? Should the United States even care about the pipeline deal? Germany needs to decide, the United States’ protection or Russia’s pipeline. Former United States Deputy Undersecretary of Defense, Jed Babbin joins Dan and Amy to discuss the recent NATO summit.


Trump Leading The Dialogue On Immigration Reform

Is Trump finally taking the lead on immigration reform since Congress and former presidents have kicked the can down the road for years? Immigration is a complex issue Trump is willing to tackle. Is that why leftists instead are focused on denying pictures with Paul Ryan and denying services to Sarah Sanders? Mike Gallagher joins Dan and Amy from the U.S./Mexican border and shares his experience visiting migrant camps.

Related Content

Elder And Proft On Kanye, Race, And Trump

Is the Democratic Party detrimental to black Americans? Can the GOP convert minorities without dismantling the welfare state? What effect does the left-leaning media and academia have on culture and opportunity? In this special episode of Against The Current, Bestselling Author and nationally syndicated talk show host Larry Elder, 'the Sage of South Central' joins Dan Proft for an in-depth discussion on race, culture and identity politics in America. Elder also explains Trump's likeness to Reagan and why Kanye is good for conservatives.


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. 


Black Unemployment Rate At Record Low

Black unemployment is at its lowest rate since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking it. 196K more manufacturing jobs were also added in 2017 along with 16K fewer federal government jobs. Maybe it doesn't take a genius to be a POTUS, just restraint? What are the most advantageous reforms the Trump administration should tackle next, immigration, entitlement reform or an infrastructure project? CNBC Contributor and columnist for the American Enterprise Institute, Jim Pethokoukis joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

View full transcript

Proft: Good morning, Dan and Amy. So I don't put a lot of stock in the Bureau of Labor statistics, the Unemployment rate, their measuring of it. It's certainly not the straight unemployment rate, more interested in the U6 rate, which includes those that are... Jacobson: They call it the REAL Unemployment rate? Proft: Yeah, those that are underemployed, right? Jacobson: And those that have just stopped looking, too. Proft: But at least you can do an apples-to-apples comparison. And the Left was quick to tout a declining unemployment rate during Obama's years, so you can't blame President Trump for doing the same. And particularly this number, we discussed this with Scott Shellady with the December Jobs report on Friday, but we didn't get to this number, as more breakdown was done by economists...this was our friend Mark Perry over at American Enterprise Institute, whose "Carpe Diem" section at AEI, his "Carpe Diem" blog is always excellent, that's a must read for me. And he notes that lowest black unemployment...the lowest...the gap between white unemployment and black unemployment, 3.1%...that is the lowest gap since the Bureau of Labor Statistics started tracking the black unemployment rate back in January of 1972. And so this is something that should be roundly celebrated, that that gap is declining and the overall rates are declining, right? That's good news. Also, and correspondingly, 196K manufacturing jobs created in 2017, and 16K fewer Federal government jobs. That's small, but still a little bit of shrinkage at the Federal level, and expansion of the manufacturing sector. It's the latter... Jacobson: Too bad we can't do that in Illinois! Proft: Well right! Jacobson: Expand manufacturing and reduce government jobs. Proft: Exactly! Jacobson: Well see, that's the number one employer of Illinois, right? Proft: Well...agribusiness, but it's certainly associated, yeah, with John Deere and Caterpillar, so...exactly right! I mean, imagine that...expanding the wealth-producing sector and constricting...contracting...the wealth redistribution sector! What a concept! In Illinois, by contrast...I made this mention before but I don't think I can say it enough...the greatest disparity between government jobs and manufacturing jobs anywhere in the Midwest. You want to know why Illinois' manufacturing renaissance isn't occurring as it is in our neighboring states? Illinois, 175K more government jobs, at every level, than manufacturing jobs. Alright? Federal government, Federal level, 186 new manufacturing jobs, 186K, 16K fewer Federal government jobs. Who’s going in the right direction? For more on these and other topics, we're pleased to be joined by our friend Jim Pethokoukis, CNBC contributor, columnist for the aforesaid American Enterprise Institute. Jim, thanks for joining us, appreciate it. Pethokoukis: Hey, thanks for having me on, guys. Proft: So what about this Jobs report on Friday, and kind of the numbers within the numbers that I just mentioned? Pethokoukis: Well listen, we've had a very long economic recovery. It has not been particularly vigorous, but it has been steady, as month after month we've been sort of chopping down at the unemployment rate, other...you talk about those internal numbers like labor force participation, those have served...those have strengthened. So the prime age workers, 25-54, that's strengthened. That's enough that you have a very long recovery, again not very robust, though we're adding lots of jobs every month, so we're...listen, I have a little more...I think the unemployment rate is a meaningful number, I think it's a good number. And listen, some of these Wall Street banks, they're thinking we may have an unemployment rate closer to 3%, you know, over the next 18 months. And we haven't seen that since the 1950s. So right now, slow but steady. Jacobson: So what is the reason behind the African-American unemployment rate dropping to record lows? Is it because more African-Americans have college degrees? Pethokoukis: We've had a very long recovery, so ALL these unemployment rates are dropping. Why that GAP has narrowed specifically? Well, one thing I can tell you is that certainly we've seen better wage gains and strong job gains through the lower half of the term "job spectrum", and on the top, not so much in the middle, so that's going to affect different groups differently. But listen, in another year and a half, two years of this kind of job market, not only would I expect wages to go up faster, but I expect that gap to shrink further. Proft: There's some suggestion that the tax cuts may push off the national business cycle, and the downturn that is coming, because as you said, we've had this long steady...not vigorous...but long and steady recovery from the depths of the Great Recession, and that if the tax cuts push off the downturn, the market correction, say past the 2018 election, then you've got a president whose going into his election, or re-election year potentially, in recession. Do you kind of see the same timeline in terms of market correction, natural business cycle, that at some point this recovery is going to stall and we're going to see two quarters of negative growth? Pethokoukis: Listen, recoveries...expansions usually don't just end because they've gotten too old, okay? Usually it's something happens, that something is the Federal Reserve trying to tamp down inflation pressures, and ends up raising interest rates too fast, and we get a recession. This is probably a pretty (?) Federal reserve, they're probably going to take their time with this new sort of fiscal stimulus that we have from the tax cuts. So listen, I don't know the timing, nor would I say a low unemployment rate necessarily guarantees anybody's re-election...I think if I was running for President, and I was the incumbent, I'd rather, you know, have a very low unemployment rate than a very high unemployment rate! But you know, if you look at the 2000 election, we'd just had a boom period, but yet the Democrats did not win that election. So there's...it's no guarantee. Proft: And, with respect to...just thinking about economic growth. So the next step you would take? There's discussion with what's on the Republicans...the Congressional Republicans agenda, and the President's agenda this year. Is it going to be something on the spend side, entitlement reform, which of course is Paul Ryan's bailiwick, or is it going to be a big infrastructure project that President Trump wants to do, some kind of public-private partnership, as politicians are wont to say, these big public works programs, or is it something else that they should be doing to forestall that recession that some are concerned about? Pethokoukis: Yeah...I'm very skeptical about getting entitlement reform, because I think Paul Ryan is the only person in Washington now who cares deeply about that issue, I'm not sure anybody else does. I'm very skeptical about the infrastructure piece as well, I mean there really isn't even a plan put together yet, and now we're moving into 2018, a midterm year, I just don't think...nothing really big is going to happen. Listen, I think that at least for the moment, Washington should be in the "Let's not screw anything up" stage. I think there's a lot of stuff happening in the tech sector that will begin filtering into the rest of the economy, which should boost productivity. Now, I hope that happens, and I would hate to start screwing that up, either by doing something...another big spending plan that could enormously raise the deficit. Even as is, we're probably going back to trillion-dollar deficits, I remember when people used to care about that, apparently they don't care about that anymore. Right? We should take a breath and just think about what we need to do about some of these longer-term issues. Particularly education, which is an issue that excites NOBODY, but it's probably the most important one for our long-term growth. Jacobson: Well I think on the top his agenda, President Trump, is you know, building the border wall, and tying that to DACA...but where are we going to get $18B dollars? Pethokoukis: I dunno...the same place that we're getting $1.5T dollars. Charge it! Proft: Hahaha, yeah, charge it. That's pocket change! Just run my AmEx on that. What about the Energy sector? Kind of an underappreciated event last week, because of all the furor of the Michael Wolff book, was the Trump administration given the green light to drilling rights off both Eastern and Western seaboards. And the energy sector was, you know, one of the most robust sectors that probably deserves a lot of credit for that expansion, however kind of slow and steady it was, and Trump seems to be doubling down on energy independence. Pethokoukis: Well it's sort of...I think it's amazing that it's still kind of an under-reported story about what's happened. I mean, there's been two massive technological innovations in the 2000s; one has been the Internet, and the advent of smartphones, having a supercomputer in your pocket. And the other has kind of been the Shale Revolution. One...I certainly read a lot more about the one, on the front page of the business sections than the other, but both have been tremendously important, and will continue to drive growth going forward. Proft: Alright, he is Jim Pethokoukis, CNBC contributor, columnist for the American Enterprise Institute, and a stable genius in his own right, he did...his is a Jeopardy champion as well. Jacobson: Oh yeah! That's right. Pethokoukis: Half of that description is true! Not saying which. Proft: ...stable? It can't be stable. Pethokoukis: No, listen...I report, you decide. Hey sports fans, stay warm! Proft: *laughing* Thanks Jim, appreciate it.

Related Content

How Fascism Happens

Fascism requires the entirety of civil society to be folded into the state.

The government, the arts, technology, and business become one.

Therefore, intellectuals, artists and captains of industry must be on board.

It is not the “banality of evil,” as Hannah Arendt argued.

It was not the passivity of the hoi polloi but rather the intellectual activism of elites like Hans FK Gunther that gave rise to the Third Reich.

So the outrageous attempt recently by CNN to tar Trump voters with the fictional "banality of evil" argument is properly understood as a desperate misdirection play by Antifa sympathizers.

Not even liberal intellectuals who believe in Brandeis’ “more speech, not enforced silence” formulation for a free society like Columbia’s Mark Lilla or Harvard’s Alan Dershowitz are given quarter.

So think about the ideology and conduct of those in America who dominate academia, the arts, Fortune 500 C-suites and social media channels.

Are they Trump supporters or dissent silencers?

Are they advocates for individual liberties or group benefits?

Martin Niemollers or Martin Heideggers?

Peruse a public school curriculum, take a spin around a college campus, review Google’s definition of diversity, visit the Castro-loving Colin Kaepernick exhibit at the Smithsonian African-American History Museum, and then tell me where the threat of rolling up all of civil society into a fascist state really lies.


The Role Of Populism In Modern Politics

Illinois Opportunity Project Director of Communication, Kathleen Murphy recently joined host Garrard McClendon on WYIN's Counterpoint to discuss the role populism has played in modern politics. 


The First Rule of Political Fight Club: Don’t Tweet About It

President Trump is a fighter.

He is a counterintuitive counterpuncher, said Trump’s mini-me Scaramucci.

Those are nice euphemisms but what I see lately from Trump is wild, overhand, looping punches, not Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

The quality of the fight—the why and the how—matters.

If it is to courageously and consistently make the case for policies in furtherance of first principles against criticism and the forces of an untenable status quo, that is a good fight.

If it is to use temper tantrums as tactics to blame-shift responsibility for predicaments on to subordinates and independent allies, that is not a good fight.

Trump still conveys an understanding of who he is fighting for but his public ridicule of AG Sessions and tolerance of the cartoonish antics of his Communications Director/impersonator will erode his base support if both do not stop.

If, as Sun Tzu argued, the art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting, Trump’s public fighting with his allies—through his enemies in the DC press corps no less (e.g. The New Yorker, CNN)—is subduing his chances for a successful Presidency.

Public spectacles are not necessary to identify and root out enemies inside the President’s perimeter, as needed.

The first rule of political fight club: don’t tweet about it.


Perfectly Happy To Be In The Minority

What has the Obamacare replacement fight within the GOP revealed (again) about the party? What is the greater threat to a free society: Trump’s own brand of populism, or big government republicanism? Is the whole system of government set up to slow down populism? What can Trump accomplish without a working legislative majority? Is this a poor reflection on Senate Majority Leader McConnell? Dan & Amy posed these questions and more to Jonah Goldberg, National Review columnist, and author of “Liberal Fascism” & “The Tyranny of Clichés: How Liberals Cheat in War of Ideas.”


Charles Cooke: Standing For Conservatism In The Age Of Trump

Before his election, many conservatives had reservations about Donald Trump's commitment to limited government, and some still do. Charles Cooke, editor of National Review Online, has been one of the leading voices for skepticism of Trump's small government credentials, while still giving credit to Trump for his early accomplishments. On this edition of Against the Current, Dan Proft talks to Cooke about conservatism in the age of Trump, intellectual diversity at National Review and how the right should be defending its values. In this wide-ranging discussion, Proft and Cooke cover everything from defending free markets to free speech, the second amendment, social values and much more.


Is Putin A Liar?

ISIS has been pushed out of Mosel, what does that portend for the future of Iraq? Should we celebrate the Syrian ceasefire? Is Putin a liar? If the Left is so worried about meddling in US elections, why are they so uninterested in domestic voter fraud? Did Trump have a successful G20 summit substantively only to undermine it rhetorically? Dan & the Chicago Tribune's Kristen McQueary asked former Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton.


The High Cost Of The Swamp

Do government regulations keep people safe? What is slowing down efforts to reform government? Why is IRS Commissioner John Koskinen still in office? Will Republicans embrace the President's agenda? Why are the President's policies being slow-walked within his departments? Ed Feulner, Founder and President of The Heritage Foundation joined Dan & Amy to detail the high cost of waiting to drain the swamp.


A Partial Victory

The SCOTUS handed a partial victory to the Trump Administration. Is Trump’s temporary travel restriction a Muslim ban? Can Trump's tweets be used to show his intent? What impact will yesterday's SCOTUS decision have on religious freedom? Dan & Amy posed these questions and more to Randy Barnett, Georgetown Law Professor& Author of “Our Republican Constitution: Securing the Liberty and Sovereignty of We the People”.


Democrats Are Hysterical Over Trump's Budget

Is a 2% cut in non-defense spending the end of civilization as Democrats claim? Is Trump's proposed budget a great budget? Will it grow the economy and drain the swamp? And what of failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's claim that the budget contains "an unimaginable level of cruelty"? Dan & Amy are joined by Steve Moore, Wall Street Journal Columnist; Senior Economist for CNN & former Donald Trump advisor, for reaction to President Trump's budget proposal.


Fully Engaged

Mike Gallagher, Host of The Mike Gallagher Show on AM 560 The Answer, joins Dan & Amy to discuss his sit down with the President to review his first 100 days in office. What did Trump confide in Gallagher? How have the President's first 100 days gone? What should we expect next?


The Next 100 Days

Every long-lasting, successful organization has accountability mechanisms up and down the chain of command.

100 days in, we are about to find out if the Trump-led national GOP will be successful and their legislative majorities long-lasting.

Legislating—where direct benefits are conferred or removed--is where discipline is required and unity of purpose is displayed.  

Legislating is where we separate the flag-wavers from the flag-movers.

Legislating is where moral precepts are translated into law.

On this measure the next 100 days for President Trump and congressional Republicans will be much more significant than the first 100.

$20 trillion in debt and five times that in unfunded liabilities were not racked up by the federal government overnight and will not be paid down overnight.

But those numbers do demand bold action on spending and growth. The former must be restrained so the latter may be unleashed.

The imperfect Obamacare replacement 2.0 and the less imperfect tax relief plan are good places to start—legislating.

For if the party fails to hold itself to account, external Captain-Bligh-style accountability will come next year in primary and general elections.

Related Content

The First 100 Days Of Trump-onomics

How will President Trump's Buy American / Hire American protectionist E.O. impact the American economy? What doesn't Tucker Carlson get about Capitalism? Why are Republicans making tax reform so difficult? Dan and Amy ask Trump Advisor and Chief Economist at the Heritage Foundation Stephen Moore.

Related Content

The Clash At The Kremlin

How's that "Russian Patsy" narrative on Rex Tillerson holding up? Following, his meeting at the Kremlin, what is our relationship status with Russia? How is Obama like Stanley Baldwin? National Review Online writer Victor David Hanson discusses "Rexxon's" meeting with Putin and Trump's reversal on NATO with Dan Proft and John Kass.  

Related Content