tv After Words CSPAN April 11, 2015 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT
festival's programs to air on booktv in the coming weeks. next, on april 18th and 19th booktv will be live from the university of southern california for the 20th annual "los angeles times" festival or books. our full schedule of coverage is available on the web site, book tv.org. then on april 25th the booktv will be consecutiving the annapolis book festival. in the stay of geathersburg, maryland will hold the book festival on may 16th and you'll see it live on booktv that day. let usow ft. book fairs and festivals in your area and we'll add the to our list: next week we're live from "the los angeles times" festival of books.
coverage on saturday and sunday. watch all weekend long for event coverage and call-ins featuring books on journalism, world war ii, climate change, the 2016 election and more. check facebook and twitter for more information in the coming week, and keep an eye on our web site for a complete schedule. booktv live from "the los angeles times" festival of books on april 18th and 19th. "after words" is next on booktv. in "end the irs before it ends us" grover norquist, president of americans for tax reform argues that americans have reached a tipping point in their tolerance for the irs and our tax system. he is interviewed by stan boiger, resident scholar at the american enterprise institute. >> host: grover, how is it going? we're going to discuss today
your new book "end the irs before it ends us." it's a fascinating read. it's a very broad, sweeping, book ranging from a history of the united states as driven by -- to personal advice for the reader on how to minimize your tax burden. so, there's going to be a wide range of topics for us to discuss. i want to start with the title. end the irs before it ends us? why do you want to end ther is centers and even in your materialized dream world with a single rate flat tax only on consumed income someone would still be in charge of collecting tax revenues to pay for the national defense and -- >> guest: sure. as you in the from the book, this is a sweep of history.
we went from one to two percent of our income being collected in taxes prior to the american revolution, before the original tea party. one to two percent in london they were paying 20%. it's expensive to run an empire. we paid one to two. we were greg and moving along and tremendous things happened. over time, the series of things happened and government got bigger and bigger and taxes got higher and higher and more complex and more repetitive, and the economy slowed and our relative strength compared to the rest of the world slowed and reversed, and the question is, we were doing very well. we moved a. from a policy to work to one that doesn't work as well. how do we get back there? and the solution is part of it. it's not things you do today that fix things tomorrow. i do think we can look forward to a time when perhaps you didn't have an income tax. didn't have an income tax until 1913. also, in the book what i talk
about is doing things at the state level that becomes models for federal activity. term limits started at the state level and now hit congressmen and senators as committee chairs, which is very powerful and importantment wouldn't have happened without the states. transparency at the national level followed transparency stayed-by- -- state-by-state. welfare reform school choice a number of issues. we now have nine states with no income tax. >> host: north carolina -- >> guest: another ten or so actively moving to phase out their tax. you'll see arizona join the group, wisconsin talked about that. north carolina is in that direction. kansas has pulled the trigger. mississippi, the house just voted to follow a kansas model of -- as revenue comes in, additional revenue beyond two or three percent growth will go to phase down the income tax.
what happens in states without such a ratchet, additional money comes in because there's growth or a lot of capitol gains taxes and the labor unions grab and it spend it all and it never -- you never think through what happens. it shows up magically and disappears to the special interest. >> host: you want a similar model at the federal level. >> guest: go state by state. we have half the states with no right to work laws so at the national level you can think about altering federal right to work laws. we have nine states with no income tax. i think we'll get to half over the next ten to 15 years, and at that point you say we always thought we had to have an income tax here in arizona oklahoma. do we need one at the federal level? and the answer i think if we actually look to reform government, is maybe not. and we just keep moving in that direction. >> host: okay. i think people will be
skeptical. you still need military, do you just want us to -- >> guest: not tomorrow. , not next year, and we are not talking about changing the name. >> host: this is a long-term scenario. >> guest: yes. >> host: in the -- >> guest: didn't get into this mess overnight. it took deck spades will take decades to fix it. >> host: for sure. more of a short-term concern is what you start the book out with. you talk about how the irs targeted conservative groups in the runup to the 2012 elections. i was wondering, did that drive your title choice. >> guest: it does. you're right. eight pages into the book and we discuss what i think is very possibly a decision by irs bureaucrats, politically appoint bureaucrats to go after the agreeing tea party movement and deny them 501(c)(4) status so
they can have staffers and rent a office and grow into state institutions. tea party started in 2009. just a couple months into the obama administration. and i would have told you at the time that it couldn't happen. that i've been working in the taxpayer movement for a long time, and i knew from experience the american people will rise up against a tax increase, proposition 13 against property taxes in california. kemp lott, the increase in taxes nationally. proposition 2, mississippi, proposition 13 property tax revolt. they didn't revolt during the previous ten to 15 years when spending got out of hand and then taxes rose. they waited until taxes increased if thought we would have to wait until obama would spend a lot of money and i would go hey look at that, and everyone would go, that's not a problem.
then as soon as tax are raised they go hey, it's a problem. the american people sensed that all that spending was going to lead to massive tax increases and didn't wait for the tax hikes. tax hikes followed but the tea party came first. the first antispending movement in american history. that's a tax revolt. the first antispending movement and when they did that they had maybe 600 to 1,000 rallies we could document around the country. a wonderful study that aei put out, with some harvard and university of sweden -- >> host: i obviously think it's wonderful. >> guest: yeah. and this was very powerful because it was study that said here's where you had a tea party really and will have one but it got rained out. what was the difference in voter turnout and money raised for political campaigns and numbers of volunteers and future attendance at demonstrations? and they were estimating between
three and six million additional votes came out for republicans in 2010 beyond which you otherwise would have expected because of the rallies. if you think about it, the left is always doing rallies. i thought that's because they don't have jobs when i was younger. why do they go to rallies? well you meet people at recall yas and you say i'm part of a movement. this is bigger than me. you have friends and your local friends you get together. >> host: i think one remarkable finding is how local these effects are. part of the narrative, the left said about the tea party movement astro turf organized from d.c. by evil billionaires, and i think the massive or local variation driven by rally turnout, driven by local weather on a daily schedule shows you how organic a lot of it was.
>> guest: and at first, the obama administration pooh-poohed it. the president said he didn't watch the rallies, didn't know anything about it. i got calls from grownups in the media saying, you and exxon are doing this right? they thought i'd organized it with some fortune 500 company. before the kochs. and say actually, no. i was trying to find all these guys because we'd love to work with them but we'd never seen them. went to early rallies and people would say how many have ever been to a politicallal before, and ten to a% would raise their hands. these were people who had never done this before. 2010, the democrats got wiped out, lost the house, because the tea party surge in voter turnout, and it was at that point that senators and the president were screaming outloud, something has to be done. nobody rid me of this turbulent priest and lois lerner gave a
speech on my birthday, october 19, 2010, and she said they're all telling me i have to do something. so people who are looking for the e-mail? you don't need the e-mail. she said outloud they're all telling me. you can see net letters from senators and in the president's commentses that there was something terribly wrong, and her comment was they want me to do something before the election. north carolina. before the election. what if a general started talking about, we really need to make decisions before the election. 45 days in may. this is crazy. a general should not talk like that. neither should somebody who runs portions of the irs. they harassed people trying to set up 01c4s, little associations so they could get a bank account and elect a president and have a group that would grow. we didn't have the growth of state tea party groups the way we did out of the 1978, '79,
'80, taxpayer revolt. there were groups formed then that have bank accounts and have little offices and are major players in california massachusetts, and other states. obama and lois lerner succeeded in nietzsche -- in kneecapping the tea party and that -- if there had been a similar upsurge in republican votes, obama would have lost. >> host: you have romney outperformed by that much. >> guest: obama was down three million but there was a margin of four million and before we saw three to six million in the surge, something like that, if that had continued -- should have actually built on itself over a two-year period, not just replicate itself. there was a serious argument that was major factor in obama's re-election. you can't have part of go
government playing politics against the american people and that's what we have with the irs. let's say they didn't quite do enough to make it happen. they were trying. >> host: for sure. it happened and obviously unforgivable. >> guest: yes. >> host: one reason why the left can do that is because many of the people who work in these agencies, i think, self-identify as liberals some more partisan than others. why do you think that and is why do you think conservatives, even when in control of the federal government, have such a hard time invading these agencies? >> guest: during the american revolution there were the patriots sons of liberty and they're up against loyalists or what were called friends of government. so in the american tradition, always been friends of government. the friends of government were the people who wanted to stay with britain, and the government, the british government, brought an army in
to try and let them win that fight. what happens when you have sons of lisch today republicans, libertarians, conservatives and friends of government status of any kind of liberal, democrats, when the government comes in and is not the servant of the people but a participant in the political struggle and hits at tea party activists or republicans and subsidizes organized labor and the environmental groups and gives them hundreds of millions of dollars that can show up in an election. is it you tilt the playing field. one, conservatives and runs tent not to go work for the government. they tend to want to work for themselves or in the private sector. the government is a very static career. you know what you'll make ten years from now. no such thing as, i'm really good at this so i'll make twice as much as the guy sitting next next to me in me cubicle.
what you notice is when nixon said to the irs, would you go tell me -- give me some tax returns of people i don't like, they leaked that to the press. when kennedy and johnson did it, the answer was here they are sir. what bothers me about the irs corruption is not just lois lerner. she is a political hack appointee by obama. there will no who isle blowers. no whistle-blowers. we now know that in the irs people are still using their own gmail account. your data could be on somebody's gmail account. this is hillary clinton at the irs, hundreds, maybe thousands of people, sloppy with your data and mine and the american people's. we know they shared some conservative donor lists with opposition groups in order to attack them and bother them. and threaten them. that is a real threat. the fact that had -- i'd be much happier if lois lerner said we're going to do this and
somebody said, i'm calling the "new york times." butow quite right that the irs culture is such and much of the government's culture, is that they're friends of government. not friends of the people. they sea themselves as loyal to the state rather than the nation and they serve the interests of the state which is bigger government. >> host: now, i sometimes get the sense that you would like to change that. yes. i wrote a book. >> host: precisely. part of your book is about how to get there. it's about the sort of coalition, the leave us alone coalition, i believe you call it in an earlier book. how do you see that organizing process? how do you think it will end up bearing fruit? how do you see its future? >> guest: what i try to do in the book is not just diagnosis the diagnose the problem. thank you, don't do windows and i'm leaving. or write a book and say here's the problem and if everybody
would do my one solution, we would win. how do you get them to do that? there oar solution others people are working on. what if your project doesn't work? doesn't happen? so there are -- in the second half of the book is dozens and dozens of things you can do at the state level things that would take four years to take effect the paul ryan entitlement reform the ryan budget plan. so we try to lay those out -- >> host: getting to -- one big part of the book is about different types of tax reform. i get to that part and expected, now we're going to see grover's tax reform. >> guest: i think we ought to be moving towards taxing income one time, consumed income, one time, at one rate.
now, that could be a fair tax retail says tax, flat rate income tax flat rate income tax of zero and raise taxes other places which i where we were for more than half of our country's existence. so the idea we can't go there strikes me as ridiculous. maybe a lot of work. me a you don't go there. maybe you could live with an income texas if it wasn't run by lois lerner and was five percent instead of 50%. and a lot of things could be moved to the state level, not the national level. so there are lots of things we need to do to move in the right direction. you can sell assets. we own trillions of dollars worth of stuff under the ground, under the water -- >> host: it's weird that doesn't enjoy more bipartisan support. even the economists magazine which is not the voice of the extreme right had a cover page
and a loadedder toal about this. a lot of western countries sell off their assets and get rid of basically all their debt or lower taxes dramatically. why do you think no one wants -- there's not broader support for that. >> well, step one -- one of the project is run at americans for tax reform is the no tax increase pledge, and in the middle of the book i tack about here's the problem and the role that tax player protection pledge had, which says no net tax increase. the pledge is a simple one sentence 58-word commitment by an elect official that says i put in writing i will oppose in the net tax increase no raising rates you. can do any reforms you want as long as it's not a net tax increase. so it was written to help us enact reagan's 1986 law because people worried you what if the rates pop back up again, people
leave the rates high. we got 100 congressmen and 20 senators to commit in write can they would vote against and oppose any effort to raise rates or to broaden the base without keeping rates down. we now have a majority of the house, and almost a majority in the senate who have signed the pledge, over in raise taxes. a thousand state legislators, a lot of governors. of the republicans running for president today, all but jeb bush have signed it either as governors or senators and kept it and they brought -- signed the pledge. say the track record of signing the pledge and keeping it. and bush has not raised taxes when he was governor, but i think he has his father's decision to take the pledge, which is why he won the primary, take the pledge, which is why he
won the general, and then the threw away a perfectly good presidency -- his brother learned exactly the opposite. take the pledge, keep it. the problem was that making the commitment. he would have never been the nominee if he had not made that commitment he beat dole because dole wouldn't take it in new hampshire. he was 14 points down to dukakis when he said read my lips, and announced he was running against reagan and wouldn't raise taxes. its when he broke it that he made it impossible for himself to be trusted on anything, and to get re-elected. i think tend of the day, jeb bush will make a commitment the -- maybe not the pledge but in writing to the american people and that's the important part. >> host: do you worry, though you -- in the book you discuss senator hatch's initiative to repeal the ethanol tax credit --
>> guest: bill kolbert. there was an effort -- the pledge. the pledge became a great wall of china. as long as they had the governorship from 1994 till 2009 there was no tax increase in -- the longest period in american history with no tax increase. only when they were all democrats democrat s in 1993, and then in 2009 when they passed the tax increase only with democratic votes. that period is the longest period without tax increases. as soon as the republicans got control of the house no tax increases again. so, the reason why you say no tax increases is to force a discussion about spending reform and government reform and prioritizing. if tax increases are an option government never reforms itself. they just -- all the things we
have been doing, some smart, some stupid, keep doing those and i have two new ideas and add those and raise taxes. it's like a ship that keeps accumulating bar nells and there's never an effort to decide whether some of this stuff doesn't wok anymore. the pledge forced the sequester and the spending cap. because of that people who care deeply about national defers are talking about calvert's legislation to reduce the number of civilian employees at the pentagon by 100,000 save $85 billion in five years, 170 billion in ten years, a lot of what you need to get to the sequester numbers without reducing the number of people in uniform or the number of planes and tanks. you'd never have these discussions, and didn't, during the bush years there wasn't reform in military spending. we good at war going on. instead of reforming government they just added on it to.
when we did world war 2 they actually set up an antiappropriations committee. a committee whose job it was -- all they did was recommend unspending that's why the civilian conservation corps we had during the '0s it's notice there anymore. they said window need this anymore and they put the money into world war ii. the wpa the work projects, all of these things that i remember wondering, how come they're not still here? so many dummiedded are. why didn't this become national service? why didn't it grow like other things? because there was a committee whose job it was to end unnecessary spending. one of the recommendations i make in the book is, let's bring that committee back. senator roberts has actually put together legislation to that effect, and i'm hopeful we can get that discussed now and enacted with a republican president. >> host: do you worry sometimes that -- because one way i think
sort of around the pledge is to call spending tax credits. is that -- do you see that -- for example under lee and rubio have a tax reform plan where on the business side there's a lot of -- the capital taxation side there's a lot of stuff you probably like a lot. on the individual side they raise rates and they want to -- i guess they want to funnel -- they want to send funds to families with lots of children. they call it's tax credit but it might as well be spending. >> guest: two things. if it's refundable it's spending. there are better and less good tax cuts in the world. tax deductions, tax credits are generally less helpful to economic growth than rate reduction. it's a much improved piece of legislation than some of the guys who were thinking it up started with. they dramatically reduced the
cost of taxation on capital almost zero. capital gains and dividends and so on. >> host: drastic move. consumption tax. >> guest: it is toto senator lee of utah and senator rubio of florida, their bill would super charge the economy. they spend a lot of tax credits on per-child and so on to build political support. the progrowth part of that is actually very impressive. senator rand has a bill, i've seen general outlines of it, coming out in the next couple of weeks, dramatic reductions in tax rates, that also would super charge the economy. i think you'll see a lot of strong republicans running for -- a lot of governors, people who have track records, who actually organized things unlike barack obama and too many of our -- >> host: a bunch of current senators too. >> guest: we do and they'll have to make the case they're
different than obama and how they can compete with people who have been governors. the depth of the republican bench is a very healthy sign for the republicans. democrats have hillary clinton and -- then what? the one character they were going to run, the former governor of maryland, was so unpopular with his tax increase policies that his lieutenant governor, who should have been a shoe-in a deeply blue state lost, and hogan, the republican won in -- >> host: surprising margin. >> guest: yes. so it's hillary or nothing else. if she wins that's okay. but it does suggest that they're not building the farm team. used to be republicans didn't have the farm team. that didn't have the local talent state legislators and governors, and now it's the d's that don't and that's troubling long-term for the democratic party.
>> host: a logical consequence of the last few elections where they have lost so many governorships so much control of state houses. >> guest: one of the reasons why republicans can experiment at the state level and democrats can't is, one only good ideas can flourish at the state level. real stupid ideasen only be enacted at the national level. i you want to have a minimum wage of $50,000 a year and do it nationally it would be very bad for the economy. people would wonder, what caused that? make the weather or the federal reserve. but if you do it in vermont, everybody knows what happened. the reason why when they passed government-run health care under dukakis, because they knew it would very badly damage the massachusetts economy. so they didn't want to do it. they could only do obama car nationally. you could never do it state-by-state in the manner he
did it. too devastating -- >> host: vermont and single pair. >> guest: vermont said no to doing it at the state level. so this is the advantage. tax advantage that free market, limited government republicans, libertarians, reagan republicans have they can try things out at the state level. school choice, and when one state does it, the argument that the world ends if you give parents parental choice in education, or if you don't have an income tax or you have right to work or you don't have government unions in the public sector, it works better and you can check that. then you run for president on that background. and we now have more than 30 republican governors, 24 states with a republican governor, republican house and a republican senate, with half the country's population in those 24 red states. the democrats have seven states they run completely. now, california is one of them. >> host: a big one. >> guest: it is, and then
there's six others, hawai'i and delware and connecticut, oregon. there's a real challenge for the democrats in that they don't have control of state bodies, and the republicans do. >> host: the one they control you're not allowed to shower anymore. >> guest: and the policies don't work and people are leaving blue states and moving to red states. >> host: so i think that's what governor perry's central argument in running. >> guest: i've been governor 14 years and have a successful state. people move to my state. yes, very strong narrative. >> host: i want to go back a little to your policy prescription. so, i want to talk about selling stuff. there is a lot of money in there. how do you think -- how would you make case to the american people that large -- lots of federal lands should be sold off. how would you -- because the
environmental movement has been opposed to it. how do you see the future of that? >> guest: step one. hold the pledge hold the pledge hold the pledge. as long as tax increases are off the table, then the spending that needs to occur in a free and open society, national defense, courts, they go -- right now as long as the federal government is running the roads, the highway system. i'd rather send that out to the states and have them do it. but -- you're seeing this happen state-by-state. the people who want to build more roads or spend more money on roads go, we'd like more money. they say week not raising taxes. what do you suggest? find me a spending reduction somewhere else and we can couple that spending reduction with your more spending on roads, and you can have your roads but the government won't get bigger and not raise taxes, or one state will give you a gas tax increase but the income tax has to come
down. south carolina, bay larger amount. you turn a spending interest roads, national defense, into your ally in reforming government, and that's particularly true on selling assets. the pentagon owns a lot of the air waves, spectrum. their position is if we were to -- they'd have to re-organize it to free it up, so there's all this stuff, but you could get it dune a fraction and then sell it off. if we sold it off they go on to the general revenue and we reside see none of it back. piece of it back back? >> guest: i'm in favor of it. i've been talking to congressmen and senators the pentagon owns uses, this spectrum. there are tens and maybe hundreds of millions of dollars available. say to the pentagon you restructure, you sell it, and it goes into the pentagon budget
beyond what sequester allowed. okay? but we're not going past sequester with taxes or spending but you have that money and don't have to cut it. then all of a sit the pentagon instead of hoarding spectrum, because some day we might need it which they've been saying for 60 years -- goes, i don't need this. i'd rather have a shiny new plane. >> host: aircraft carrier. >> guest: the base restructuring and closing effort which the army came up with in the '80s in which the pentagon says, here are a series of bases we don't need, commission comes in, so it's bipartisan, and regional and nobody tells they're getting screwed, and they pick 30 of these bases and say these can be closed. they're the ones the pentagon doesn't want anymore so we're not taking some important thing away from the pentagon in terms of bases. then let the house and the
senate votes to overturn the decision, those bases can be restructured closed, mover people from smaller bases to larger bases. we've saved tens of billions of dollars. there's another amount to be done. there's a half a billion dollars we're spending on leased property. that's a lot of money. and it's those kind of reforms that only will happen if the sequester holds and we say no to tax increases. i spoke with one of the leading congressmen who deals with military spending, and i said look, i want to help you on this spending restraint that you have so tell me what won't congress let you do to save money and i'll help fight to get that done. and every proposal i put out which is something i knew was being offered somewhere, to save money, he wasn't interested because it didn't solve all of his problems. the only way to raise -- solve
all of his problems is raise taxes and end the sequester, and then the chairman said what can i do to be helpful? tell everybody there's not a penny to be saved in the pentagon. that's nonsense. and that person is no longer in office and no longer the problem he was, but that was the thinking. not a penny to be saved in the pentagon, even though i talked to him about ideas that would save tens and hundreds of billions of dollars over time. he wasn't interested in putting any effort into that. with the sequester, the new guys in charge of the pentagon are very interested. i gave a presentation of this on the hill, and some hawks came right up, tell me about the savings idea. tell me about the house guy. the calvert bill was very interesting to some senators. with a spending restraint, cap, sequester, all of a sudden people who care about national
defense become the ally of the taxpayers, not their enemy. their ally. so, i think how do we get stuff sold off? there isn't anymore money. there's a pile of about a trillion dollars over time trillions of dollars in oil and natural gas and minerals under the ocean, under american properties, government property, in federally owned land, imagine if we'd had the expansion in fracking on federal land as we had on private land as you know, 100 plus percent of all the growth in our oil and natural gas production largely from fracking, took place on state and local land because under obama and the democratic -- >> host: 100 plus%. >> guest: it's again down on federal property. so obama has had a negative role had an explosion of energy production, because you couldn't stop it because he couldn't stop it. if you go to his spending
coalitions and say we have to cut your budget, or we could responsibly drill for oil and natural gas on federal land and you've seen these things. you poke a hole in the ground. doesn't burn down the earth. doesn't burn down the forest. and that is how we force reform. don't raise taxes and then the spending interests will fight each other to push other people away from the table. >> host: that sounds like a laudible scenario. >> guest: it's been working at the state level. >> host: it would be helpful if the president were on bordes as well. >> guest: yes. >> host: what would you make of the issues that say that hillary i the presumed nominee on the democratic side. what do you think of the republican field. >> you look around. chris christie, new jersey, he got a reform in their pension
system that saves $130 billion over 30 years in reducing the unfunded liability. he is the democratic house and senate he worked with. he vetoed every tax increase allowed every tax increase to lapse, to lapse been a serious governor in a difficult state. scott walker. you would have thought that wisconsin was as blue as new jersey but in point of fact they now have a republican house, senate and governor and it changed labor laws in the state for public sector unions, and the changes he made include you have to have an election every year to continue your organizing unit or it disappears because all of the people paying union dues in wisconsin have never voted to join a union. the union was created 50 years ago and they were just told you're here, condition of employment. teachers, government workers in that state, are paying -- at make 50,000s a year pay
$1,000 a year in dues. threats not voluntary and they can't withhold it from your paycheck so -- it's dropped between half and two-thirds. there's been a drop of about 100,000 employees, not paying union dues, not part of the union and since that's $1,000 per person, it's $100 million every year out of the pocket of organized labor. that's a small c conservative up in it's probably higher because unions are not rushing to tell how how they're collapsing. as a result the efforts at voter fraud in the last election -- i talked to republicans who police against voter fraud. they were waiting at 6:15 on election day to get the calls. they're showing up with 20 people in a bus here. gate lawyer down here. never happened. and didn't have the money for it anymore. the way the unions spend money to move people to polls to move
nonvoters from poll to poll, they couldn't afford to do it because they don't have the money because they can't take it without people's permission anymore. he is dramatically changed the bar for what a successful governor looks like. if he is the president, every governor has to do through his check lift of things and do those in order to be considered a republican in good standing which that could hwa chipping the country. texas, governor rick perry, 14 years as governor. texas big state very successful state. very good narrative. bobby jindal. this is a campaign against hillary care, obamacare, he is the expert on health care. he did a dramatic expansion of school choice, parental choice for education cut taxes. passed an ethics law in louisiana. minnesota style ethic law. the legislature hates him for it but he got it passed.
and he has been a phenomenonnal government in a very difficult state. it's technically a republican state but a lot of democrats that may switch jerseys but not a mindset. you go around cruz woks just announced, a pledge-taker, serious on spending restraint. rubio, spanish speaking, do very well with the hispanic vote. wins in florida. very serious both well-spoken and very serious policy guy. jeb bush running. he was a cutting edge governor 12, 14 years ago. the challenge for him is he was elected pretea party. and before the tea party there was one level of expectation, which was very low and he was good. he was -- i said groundbreaking.
other governors should do what he did. bet post tea party you could do more and were expected to do more. not a criticism of bush but just completely different time. being prereagan and owes reagan as an elected official. bob dole never caught up a with the reagan mindset. they were born too early, got elected too early, they learned how politics works before reagan changed the rules. in the house and senate pre-and post gingrich. people before gingrich thought the republicans were naturally the minority. if you think, half of the people say you're going to love me, and then -- it changes how you approach things, and then there's this big change maybe bigger, with the tea party. before and after the 2009-102010. they took spending on earmarks, which prior to the tea party was considered a sign of fer tility.
and look how manly i am. i've stolen money from other people and given it to people who live near you. in the obituaries we talk about how somebody brought money back to the district. today ear miracles are like parting at the dinner table. they're considered -- what? it's corruption. a measure of corruption, not competence to be an earmarker. that is a change in washington, dc that i worry sometimes that at the people who made the tea party happen don't understand how dramatically they've succeeded already in changing the way washington works and politics work. have we won yet? no, but boy are we heading in a defendant direction than -- a different direction than we were pre-tea party. >> host: a lot of people say, look, we started this in opposition to the bailouts and
obamacare, and the bailouts happened obamacare is still in place. we have not succeeded. that was the main driving source. >> guest: that's the center of our public high schools to not explain to the people that the president has the veto. we had the house but didn't have the senate. only recently got the senate. we don't have a veto. which mean it takes two-thirds of both houses plus to override a veto or a different president, and the answer it takes a different president and nobody should get frustrated because we took the house we took the senate, and we can't make the president sign the dissolution of -- most people will not contribute both of their kidneys to you. the president will not sign the abolition of obamacare. it's who he is. ey can yell at him and run radio ads and beat him in debate. it isn't happening. there's no way to trick him into it. sign this. it's an order for a sandwich.
we need to be ready to get a different president and then move, and that, i think we're on track to do. >> host: do you worry, as the program remains in place -- people are receiving subsidies. do you worry the longer it stay in place the longer it gets to make changes. >> guest: i worried about that in the past. i worry about it less now. the reason for that is that now the tax increases are largely kicked in they're very unpopular. another tax increase let to come whiches designed to destroy gold plated meaning competent, good insurance policies. and that kicks in, like 2018 and so there's another wave that are really going to disappoint people who organize themselves on one understanding how much money they were putting in and what they were getting, and
obama is taxing it away. already people are seeing health savings accounts, nest flexible savings accounts, efforts people use for special evidence ins kids are being tacked and damaged by the government. there are 20 different taxes in obamacare. eight of them directly hit the middle class. the lie i was never going to tax the middle class obamacare is full of tacks on middle class people, particular particularly as they announce the forcing you to boy obamacare is in fact a tax,in' not a mandate. so obamacare remains wildly unpopular, and social security went in a lot of republicans voted for and it it was reasonably popular. when medicare and medicaid came in republican voted for it and it was popular. this one, republicans did not vote for and it eight wildly unpopular. if the independents vote with the rub russ, the republicans win. the independents are with the ds on some issues, then all the republicans together huffing
and puffing woken make it work. the independents are with the republicans in their hostility towards obamacare and its taxes and mandates. i think a different president and you could reform obamacare to the point where it isn't obamacare anymore and it's consumer-based. patient-based. not government-based. >> host: how would you do that. >> start by dramatically making it easier to health health savings account asian louing people buy insurance across state line's so the state rules can be avoided by buying your insurance in a different state. by taking the -- they took the bad state mandates and made them a federal problem. get rid of those mandates. take medicaid and block grant it to the states the way we did with aid to families with depen tent children. take medicare and do the -- for the bipartisan reforms that now paul ryan has put forward that will allow competition. there are two ways to keep prices down on something. wage and price controls.
hasn't worked for the last 4,000 years, at least 0 not without a lot of blood on the floor. and competition. the more you have competition between states and between consumers and vendors, the better off you are. if we say, no tax increases -- we have to clean up the irs as well. we started talking about that. but there's legislation that will be voted on during the week of april 15th seven different pieces of legislation get rid of the death tax is one of them. these are reforms that say no using private e-mails and putting public data on them. there are 500,000 hours each year used for union purposes at the irs. so when they don't answer your phone you saw 60% of phone calls into the irs are not answered and the head of the irs obama's political appointees says that's because you're not giving
me enough money. he has 500,000 hours given to labor unions for free, meaning people -- workers, the people are paying for actually working for union. want to have a union that is not taxpayer dollars paying for it, and that's the irs. we need to ban an effort that they started which is to say, did you contribute to a conservative group we think they gift tax, which is supposed to stop the kennedys from gifting money to their kids around the death tax. we think the gift tax -- a very powerful bun -- they were calling conservative donors and saying you can give -- we think you may owe a gift tax 25%. well not true. it's not -- never been interpreted that way before. they didn't call liberals and then them. one guy negotiation maybe shouldn't give as much money maybe i shouldn't contribute to
the tea party. you can discombobulate a guy and everybody he talks to with a threat like that. so the law by lipscomb is extremely helpful. >> host: you mentioned -- one back door to consumption tax is to drastically expand the room for 401(k)s and making -- do you see anyone pushing that angle? >> guest: yes. the republican solution to everything is 529s for kids college education. obama wanted to kill it. health savings accounts obama's tried to weaken it. flexible savings account. obama cut it back. there is real conflict between the two parties. the republican want you to be able to save money for your home, for investing in the future for your retirement lifetime immunization accounts retirement savings accounts health savings accounts, education savings accounts. and then the democrats are
trying to close them down, damage them and there's even been a couple of intellectuals on the left one that clinton was pushing years ago, that wanted to do what argentina did reach into everyone's 401(k) and tax the buildup in there and then throw that into the government -- one government welfare pension system. that's exactly what they did in argentina. and they're talking about doing it in -- you say, that's somebody steering, you see them do it -- flexible savings accounts, health savings account, and trade to kill 529 11 million, 529 accounts, seven million people contribute to them for their kids and grandkids. there was a revolt and obama backed off. what he said was he still wants to do it. he just knew he cooperate get away with it this time -- couldn't getway if a it on this time but it's still on the torn do list, which is to question
destroy your 529. >> host: i don't think people will realize that. >> guest: we need to focus dish try and focus on it in the book. >> host: in the directly helpful chapter in which you tell people how to minimize their tax liability. >> guest: you can have a flat tax, you can do reagan tax reform. you can do what the reform cons want to do the big tax credits for kids and dramatically lower taxes on capital and investment you do the retail sayses tax and there's one where you say hering things to do just within the law, take advantage of your company's 401(k) plan. don't overpay because if you get money back from the government at the end of the year, you gave. the an interest, free loan. don't do that. give an interest-free loan to your brother-in-law. not to uncle sam. but it's the series of those reforms, the personal is political. more people have fsas, in the end, how do we create a coalition committed to liberty that will win the election to
give us these battles -- people give you polls all the time, but everyone things this. peek lime rhubarb. do they vote on rhubarb? know. they don't care if 90% of people like or don't like rhubarb. everybody with a 529 knows that one party wants to take it away from them because obama tried. two million people home schooled in the united states. it was illegal 30 years to home school. people went to jail for truancy. now two million kids are being home schooled. ten million americans have been home-schooled. they know that one party wants to take that right away from them. they're not available to the democratic party as a result. there are 11 million americans with a conceal carry permit, right to carry a gun. in the purse, car women can feel secure at night.
11 million people. there's a huge jump in numbers they've know one party wants to take that away. you can get into obscure things like vaping. the democrats want to want that. that's a lifestyle issue where people feel threatened by the government. all those of savings and investment vehicles 529, the democratic party ultimately wants to take those away from you, and so by alerting people one to the fact they really do want to take it away and two, you haven't got one yet? you can. once you have done it you're a different human being who is saving a few thousand dollars a year. >> host: all of these numbers are big and add up to a lot of people, but somehow the current president still managed to get elected twice. how would you explain that?
>> guest: well, two things. when you had the irs going after the structures created with the tea party. two, we need -- we have such stronger candidates -- i mean numbers of stronger candidate -- there are were two or three people running for president in 2008 and two or three people running for president in 2012 and the rest were selling books or going on the lecture series. they hoped that lightning would strike and it would work but that's very, very rare. this time we have a collection of people who can look you in the eye and says here why i want to be president and you can't laugh them off the stage. the strength of the candidates is good the weakness of hillary they had to go back to an older candidate from a previous tile whose claim to fame what she married a guy who was president and then she was going to run with secretary of state.
now she is back to i was married to bill. we don't promote people that way. we don't do kim, kim, kim, assad, assad assad. i'm not sure people like clinton, clinton, clinton. it's a challenge for her and a very difficult and -- with the way -- >> host: you think they like bush, bush. >> guest: that is a boat anchor for the bush campaign. he was a good governor but that is not helpful. that hurts rather than help. >> host: um, so, i want to move to a different topic. one topic you don't focus on too much no your book is entitlement reform. i guess partially because it's not a very original topic to include in the book, and you want to make it as interesting and at times very funny as -- >> guest: thank you. >> host: but so what do you see -- what room for maneuvering do you see there? do you think because hoff the
sequester and because of the debt dynamics we can expect to see over the next ten years, where there's no super urgent problem do you think it's gotten harder to -- >> guest: easier. and maybe because i refer to it as the paul ryan reforms. that is the into itment reforms. that is everything except social security. the means tested welfare programs get block fraternitied to the states as we did with -- block granterred to state as we did with aid to families with depend tent children. the pensions we need to move pensions, state and local, federal, from defined benefit plans, like gm has, detroit has to defined contribution plans, 401(k)s and iras without unfunded liabilities that the government can't lose for you or forget to raise the taxes to pay. utah has done this completely. all new hires in utah as of a few years ago, dan lillianquist
got this passed. all new hires, your pay 10% into a 401(k). if you're a policeman or firearm, 10%. you want to move take another job -- private of private seconder has moved over to defined contribution plan. state by state you're seeing that move at the state and the local level, and at the national level we need to do that as well. for new hires you don't have too deal with somebody who is 65 years old and has been promised one thing. okay fine. but new guys in, have to have something that is sustainable. so, all pensions to defined benefit. all welfare programs block granted to the states. medicaid, block ingredient the states. medicare, the voucher plan or the plus-up plan where everybody gets a basic benefit and then you decide how to spend additional resources on your own and you compete.
companies compete to give you that additional add-on. that together -- if we don't do the ryan plan which has passed four times in the house -- depth of understanding among sitting republican congressmen of the ryan plan i want to put congressman ryan chairman around, together with hernando desoto, the peruvian economist, and i called and said, gee, her unanimous dough desoto is in and would like to meet with you hospital. i read his books, i'm a big fan. i'd loaf to meet with him in two and a half months. i said two manage months? only need to 20 minutes. he said i'm spending every free half hour meeting half hour at a time with every republican member of the house to walk through with them the new ryan budget. just the changes from last year, not start to finish. so everyone has a tutorial on this. they feel very comfortable with
it. they've won elections twice since they voted for i it. >> host: which is remarkable because of the medicare reform sunny can explain it to young people, middle aged people, retired people, and say this is not a threat to you. this is a hope to you and your kids' future and your future. you have that base of understanding. i think makes all the difference in the world. the establish. left has always believed that there would be this grand bargain, that unchanged, we go to 40% of gdp spent by the federal government and become france. we're at 20 now but but go up to 40. /...