tv JFK and the Reagan Revolution CSPAN October 1, 2016 11:00am-12:01pm EDT
talking about it together and we are honored to have you here not to mention larry lives across the street and is a regular customer here. that makes it so special and personal so please join me in welcoming lawrnece kudlow and brian domitrovic. >> thank you very much, appreciate it. are we on both microphones? c-span, thank you for covering us. i am lawrnece kudlow, i am a
local. when random house started organizing this -- that works, we will do what we can. penguin random house said a while back when we got this thing written and published it is good to have a couple of local bookstores. how about across the street? terrific idea. we will do a bunch of these, tons and tons of media, people have been wonderful to us, wonderful op-ed piece, this is my co-author and great friend brian domitrovic. brian is the curator or head -- what is the -- >> senior associate. >> senior associate and longtime friend of mine. his prior book iconoclast is all about the supply-side revival
going on, he is a harvard trained historian, his historiography is the glue that held this together. what i want to do is read a few excerpts from this thing and brian will speak on whatever he wishes to speak about and then we will enjoy some cheese or whatever is out there. the under heading to today's piece that the journal published, return to jfk's rising tide model, and agencies kennedy and reagan had bipartisan tax cuts, that is just what is needed now. if you take away anything, you may disagree with me, i appreciate that but i'll of disagreement. i have been in the disagreement
business for a long time on tv and radio. i am used to that. the essence of this book is first, john f. kennedy, 20 years later ronald reagan both used lower marginal tax rates as well as the sand dollar, to revive moribund economies, this is not something from the 18th century were the 15th century but recent times in the 20th century. our argument is we have experienced a long dry spell the last 15 years, under republicans and democrats, very poor growth, that is one of the points we may, you can draw whatever conclusions you want to draw but i am not here to write a
politicized book, we don't mention the current election but raise history, we can learn a lot from history, and john f. kennedy who i would argue is the greatest democratic politician in the last 50 or 60 years, i speak as a former democrat, john f. kennedy was in fact the first supply side. the first supply side or. the first pioneer. you have to go back to the 1920s. that was a long time ago. kennedy was responding to poor economic growth during the eisenhower years when there were three recessions and kennedy felt having won by a cat's whisker in 1960 that if he
didn't produce growth, talked about 5% growth that he would lose in 1964. he was looking around at things that would get the economy out of the doldrums. there were three recessions in the eisenhower years, the unemployment rate with increasing up to 7%. i read a couple excerpts and hope you get a flavor for what we are talking about. we have a model to follow as we seek to return our nation to economic growth. it is the john f. kennedy ronald reagan model, the model of getting the government restrained and modest in two areas of economic policy, fiscal and monetary policy. both candidates -- kennedy and reagan, identified substantially cutting income tax rates, getting the dollar strong and stable, specific policy that would let the private sector, the real economy thrive.
we need that. we need that. most of us are aware reagan's tax cuts, he had to deal with stagflation, week growth and high inflation. it came to end in the first years of his presidency. some of us are aware that bill clinton used some of that model to foster prosperity in the decades after ronald reagan with the republican congress, clinton cut capital gains tax rates and was a proponent of free trade. what is generally not known or at least not remembered, the subject of this book is about, president john f. kennedy in the early 60s, largely pioneered the exact same model, kennedy. he came to office during a period when growth was a little better than today, his own presidency launch the greatest and longest economic boom the
nation history. and a strong dollar, it is 5% economic growth. from 1962 and when it ran out of gas, politics changed in 1969. of americans had known this history, probably would have tried the jfk mix years ago and the slow growth 2000s would have kept tax rates low, maintain a strong dollar, traded stagnation for expansion as we did in the 20th century yet this history has been obscured. today's liberals and progressive acts, tax rates and meaningful dollar are shockingly far right policies that were never put in practice in the 1960s, failed in the 80s and could only work in a dream world. democrat kennedy launched those policies.
that by itself is the great facts from this book. let me read you a couple quotes. we were recording a long radio interview. he actually found the tape with kennedy's boston accent, a great famous speech kennedy made in december of 1962. very famous speech which is the breakthrough of his new policies. in short, the paradox of the truth, tax rates are too high today and tax revenues too low. the soundest way to raise revenue in the long run is cut rates. the reason is only full employment can balance the budget, tax reductions can pave the way to that employment. the purpose of cutting taxes is not to incur a budget deficit but to achieve the more
prosperous expanding economy which can bring a budget surplus, that was jfk in 1962 december. let me turn the clock forward in history. ronald reagan comes into office. i served as one of his budget deputies a long time ago. february 18, 1981, a month into his presidency, he announced he was seeking the 10-10-10 tax rate cut, 30% across-the-board tax rate, kennedy's was roughly the same, 30% across the board so we skipped we do decades. here is reagan. when calvin coolidge set taxes across the board government revenue increased. when jack kennedy did it, his economic advisers were all telling him the government will lose revenue and the government gains revenue. they made a sizable financial
error. jack kennedy's line about it was, quote, a rising tide all boats. this is what we believe the tax proposals are aimed at. that is reagan's almost identical words of john f. kennedy and finally, can you cut taxes and fight inflation? i very much believe you can. our true choice is not between tax reduction on the one hand and avoidance of large budget deficits on the other. and economy stifled by restrictive tax rates will never produce enough revenue to balance the budget just as it will never reduce enough jobs or even enough profit. reagan quoting, quote, john f. kennedy said that back in 1962 when he was asking for tax decrease, a cut in tax rates
across the board and he was proven right. that is reagan and before that is kennedy. i want to say this again. kennedy, the democrat, reagan, the republican. as the under heading of this morning's paper for us kennedy and reagan spurred growth with bipartisan tax cuts. that is just what we need now. [applause] should become something of a career among our critics to blame reagan, to blame arthur laffer, blame jack kemp, a lot of people who contributed to this story. i am fine with that. i am very thin-skinned. but get your facts right. if you want to blame, blame john
f. kennedy. he started it. in great fashion. he was tragically assassinated. it succeeded, reagan borrowed it, it succeeded again. all i want to say is we haven't election, this book is not about the election but whoever, somebody needs to form a bipartisan coalition, reach across the aisle is kennedy did and reagan, kennedy's top economic advisor was a republican, treasury secretary doug cohen. that is all i ask. stop yelling, stop cursing, stop snarking, stop being mean, just look at the facts and read some history and you can see there is a way out of the slump that america is in. that is our message. let me turn it over to brian
domitrovic. [applause] >> larry and i had a great time writing this book. a lot of it here in new york city, across the strait, a lot of events happened in this neighborhood. i was talking to jacqueline kennedy onassis, reservoir, right down the street, the carlyle hotel, that is a couple economic reports, don't dare cut tax rates, he turned his back on that, and in the canyons, not far from here. one thing i wanted to do was kind of correct by means of evidence, this impression the tax-cut of 1964 was keynesian, kennedy was a demand size, not a
supply-side, never understood that given his tax cut with a cut in marginal tax rates which is not keynesian, not sure why that argument had traction. we really wanted to identify the really important role douglas dylan, his treasury secretary, played in 1962, 3 and 4. and read you a presidential memo from the treasury secretary. in the context of what we are talking about when kennedy turned on his keynesian advisers this memo turns out to be really important. paul samuelson, jim towbin, and increased amendment spending, get off the gold standard, if you have a tax cut, we have to preserve the current tax structure, you got to do that. in 1962 every forecaster says it is another recession and dylan writes this memo to john f.
kennedy, told about the advice he is getting in europe, any significant adaptation of government policy aimed at economic expansion should be presented in a clear-cut simple package with consensus on these points. if there is a tax cut it should be oriented toward improved business incentives, should be as permanent and reformed character, on lower bracket personal incomes would be regarded as fiscally loose circumstances although some companion action in this sector would be understandable. a deficit should be presented at the cost of essential tax reform, overall feelings and expenditures should be announced and it is important deficits be financed out of current savings out of looseness.
and allowing interest rates to rise, combining demands from private sector and government deficit with upward pressures and kennedy took every point, he said i am not going to do the spending, i will stop monetary looseness, stop trying to finesse the gold standard, cut tax rates and raise incentives, the highest rates drying capital back to this country, bring growth and save the gold standard, if i might read one more passage a lot of people asked this afternoon, why was kennedy's policy in the 1960s forsaken and why wasn't it the policy all the way through the 1980s, why did we have stagflation in the 1970s you one
of the reasons was john f. kennedy's opponent in the 1960 election became president in 1969, nixon made sure he didn't do john f. kennedy's policy, going off the gold standard and raising the tax rate and regulation and spending so here is an interpretive passage about the 60s and 70s, the assassination of november 1963 provided an enormous short-term boost to the cause of the tax-cut past and 64, it was fatal in the long-term. the assassination was so shocking that the opponents of kennedy's legislative agenda had to submit on at least one goal out of the respect of the slain leader the obvious choice was a tax cut and once that was enacted all it leverage was lost blocking all rights, the big legislative initiative. in the long term kennedy's
absence after 1963 deprived the tax cut of a principal exponent articulator and enforcer. the cerebral tone kennedy brought to the question of the tax-cut, kennedy's commitment sinking through the real economic effects of attacks rate cut while unencumbered by the intellectual paradigm of university economics as they were the supreme social standing he had in common with douglas dylan, the native ambition kennedy possessed solving the economic growth problem of the day constituted the reason and credibility behind the administration's commitment to seeing the tax cut through. and the mechanism kept the motive force strong, no matter the phenomenal quality of the
prosperity it unleashed. >> in other words didn't take johnson long to undo the best policy he was associated with for a lot of different reasons relating to the war. he raised tax rates, might have put the individual rate from 70 to 78% and began to unhinge the dollar and this is a bipartisan nonpartisan book of the next president, richard nixon who i met any times, dear friend of mine, nixon once said to me when he was out of office in downtown you don't think of my economics, do you? i said no, sir, i really don't. nixon raised taxes and unleashed the dollar, unhooked it from any monetary discipline and imposed massive regulations on the economy including wage and price
control. again, in a bipartisan way, democrat and republican got it right, we had a democrat, republican who got it wrong, the question is how is the balance going to wind up tipping? my question is no better than yours, it is important, doug dylan is a very wealthy banker, which for many years, among the whitest of the white investment banks, doug dylan had just about as much money as joe kennedy and john f. kennedy and traveled in high social circles even higher than the kennedys, kennedy could not stare him down, kennedy would have been in office of treasury secretary. sometimes got to let people
listen to you. money and social standing, i take it any way i can get it. good policy, the main point, this is not a partisan book, i want america, to coin a phrase, to get moving again. we have got to turn less then 2% growth over a couple decades back to 3% to 4% growth which is what we do historically and to get there we have to take strong remedial actions, business tax cuts to grow the economy at 5% or 6% for several years in order to get back on track. kennedy and reagan showed proof that it can be done. it can be done. since i love america and believe in democracy we can get it done, we will see. that is our story, happy to take your questions, even your
criticisms. >> thank you. kennedy's time at carlisle. [laughter] >> i was listening to and interview with nicholas, a book about the decline of people participating in the workforce, working age, not even looking for jobs, out of the labor force, wondering if this development was significant, limiting the effectiveness of a new policy of going through another round of these tax cuts. >> he argues probably two key issues, when his lack of economic growth. might create jobs, you want
lower deficits, grow, help solve poverty grow. once employ more people, grow. there are other issues neck raised, federal policies, entitlements and regulations, a disincentive to work, that is too bad because you want to get everybody able-bodied to work. i saw the same argument today, the federal reserve board, a similar argument, the participation rate is the backbone of the economy, 25 to 54, you know why? not growing. and went to look at gigantic black and brown unemployment rates you are not growing, you want to see why people are cranky, not happy, pointing
fingers at everybody. not growing. not growing. and and >> i believe in theories on how to control recession. a couple years ago, what he did was wrong. and he declared it to be invalid. >> he is a personal friend of mine. we had a caption about alan greenspan, he gave an interesting talk in 2002 to a
bond convention in which he said with all these surpluses, four straight years of surpluses in the 90s, we could envision a future in which there is not enough government debt for the government to continue its operations with the cascade downward in ratio to gdp getting that fast, i am ready to believe the economic stagnation that arose in the mid-2000s was a survival mechanism on the part of government institutions. i certainly remember visiting the imf in 2008 early that spring and everyone was scared to death, there was so much cash no one was begging the imf for money and sure enough the crisis came with another 50 year lease on life. one of the other benefits of big time economic growth was to
clear out the nonreal entities, the fed, the imf and all these things in the midst of prosperity. >> alan is a friend of mine, a superb federal reserve chairman, served four terms, don't think anybody else has done that which when he made a statement it was a statement about the ability of free markets to function properly at all times. a lot of people blamed the financial meltdown of 2008. what is called ultra easy ultralow interest rates that alan was responsible for, partly responsible for. he made mistakes but i think he's losing his nerve, said the markets didn't work the way he thought they would.
i think he is gaining his legs more and realizes government regulation paid a huge role, overregulation played a huge role and i don't want to go deeper on that because it is not our subject, greenspan years of economic policy, was a free-market guy and also a sound money guy. maybe people in high office shouldn't served four terms, one or two is enough. >> how do you feel about tpp? >> it is a good idea, a good idea. it has not been done properly. i am a free trader. and will remain so. the geopolitics are very good.
india, japan, australia, it is a buffer or warning to china depending on how you want to put it, it will lower trade barriers among countries which we need. there are problems when a couple international boards that will not reflect the american electorate and so forth that will be used to decide issues in conflicts, i am sick of international courts. i want an american board. i don't want it to be governed by world courts or distant institutions like the imf and the world bank, i am sure they are good for employment but as far as i am concerned -- i am sick of the thousand economist at the federal reserve board doing more harm than good, sick of davo's and all that crap that has done more harm than good and
>> and i think that's a fair description. >> [inaudible] >> well, he went to truman, if my memory serves me. would you contrast, would you care to contrast the era of the public posturing and public statements in comparison to this latter-day minstrel show of the fed board of governors and the way they conduct themselves in this day and age? there is a difference, isn't there? >> you want to take a whack at that? >> yeah, sure. >> i have a thought, but i want my partner -- >> i'll say something about wild bill martin, the federal reserve chairman from 195 is-1969 -- 1951-1969. it's clear that bill martin was trying to do a good job. in the '50s, he really had trouble, the famous comment where the fed has to take away the punch bowl, that's because we had 91% marginal tax rates.
the fed had to be extra vigilant. and in that context, the united states was losing $2 billion of its gold because foreigners were quitting on the u.s. economy. so when kennedy reappointed martin, martin was ready to raise interest rates in the context of economic growth that was inspired by tax cuts. i have listened to some cell phone conversations that the fed has of martin and lbj, and i've noticed how obsequious martin got towards lbj. he really kind of folded when he asked him for anything, hey, can you transfer a balance to me, which is technically illegal, and martin said, sure thing, mr. president, i'd be happy to. so the federal reserve chair was trying to be obliging towards the presidents he served and that's why he was at his best under kennedy. >> and reagan. you know, carter appointed volcker -- >> but, again, this constant
showboating on a daily basis by the individual governors. i don't recall that -- >> oh, i hate that. i've written about that. it's called fed yapping, and it does more harm than good. >> thank you. that's what i wanted -- >> when i was a child, i worked with the federal reserve, and i actually worked under paul volcker. i was one of his secretaries or clerks, whatever you want to call it. i did some speeches, some correspondence. anyway, volcker as chairman wouldn't put up with it and, basically, total everybody to keep quiet. by the way, volcker as chairman didn't want anybody to know what he was doing. kind of cool. i mean, the good news is he did it right. the bad news is it might not have always been so. so it depends on who the president is. carter wouldn't let volcker do his job, even though he appointed him. reagan did. reagan said do whatever it takes to get rid of the inflation, and volcker did. right now there's a debate about that. i don't agree with one of the candidates who believes that the whole fed is politicized. i don't agree with that.
the fed makes a lot of mistakes because they have lousy econometric models, and they see the world often the wrong way. but, i don't know, brian's right. you cut tax rates, open the doors to trade, a lot of things get easier and better. yes, in the back. >> so, larry, if we got back to 5-6% growth, that'd be the old normal? and today's normal is 25 fed funds, and we're debating today whether we go in september or december, move it up to 50. but the if we had 5-6% growth, wouldn't we be going back to the old normal, and we'd be talking about 350? so higher rates are going to impact that outlook, and how do you see that playing out, because one is going to work against you if you cut those rates. >> no. no. no, no, no, no. if we slash tax rates again -- and i think the big issue today is business tax rates which is
the greatest obstacle we face -- then interest rates will go up normally without any manipulation. as the economy rise ares and real interest rates -- rises and real interest rates will go up, and all the fed has to do is let that happen. follow the market. that's what i've always wanted the fed to do. in the '80s and '90s when we had great prosperity, average interest rates -- let's take the ten-year -- was about 6%. now 1.5 or so, 1.60. the reason rates are low today is because the economy's terrible. in fact, there's no -- there's greater deflation and, secondly, stagnation. those are the biggest reasons why we have low rates, particularly out 5, 7, 10, 30 years. fed doesn't control those rates. all these jockeys come on cnbc, they just don't understand that. the fed doesn't control rates, the market controls rates.
the fed controls one or two rates at the bottom. a healthy economy would have a 5 or 6% interest rate. it'd be a good thing. but you've got to cut taxes first. i'm very happy with ms. lael bernard today. she's a democrat, but i agree with what she said. let's not jump the gun here. my point is wait until you cut tax rates and then let interest rates go up normally, and it'd be great. investors would be happy, savers would be happy, america would be happy. i want america to be happy, and america's not happy now. that's part of the reason we put out this book. america's cranky. i hate that, don't you? i just hate that. i want america to be in a good mood. [laughter] i mean it. and part of that has -- look, if you didn't have any wage hike for 15 years, you'd be in a bad mood too. i get that. and by the by, if you look at the actual statistics, the top 1% haven't done so great either,
seriously. the top 1% today all in market income is right where it was about the year 2000, 2005. it got smashed during the downturn, lost 50%, the top 1%, and kept back only about 35% of it. it's fascinating. anyway, i don't want to dwell on that, but i'm just saying one of the reasons we need tax cuts and sound money, a new dose of kennedy/reagan religion is it will make people happier. it will. and you'll have less crime and more job opportunities. and we can enforce civil rights laws, and we can figure out a way to do immigration without killing people. you follow me? i get very into this because i think in many ways the whole political debate today is putting the cart before the horse. put the horse before cart. the horse is the growth rate that will pull everything out. this is not small potatoes.
real lives are at stake. i mean, i don't know what i am. my friend, arthur laffer, says he's a kennedy democrat and a reagan republican. i'll buy that. [laughter] i'll buy that, you know? i'll buy that. >> larry? >> yes, peter. >> from an economic 101 standpoint, can you talk a little bit more about gold and how this relates to this and also king dollar. [laughter] >> you want to the -- all right. i'm guilty of king dollar. i've been saying it for about 25 years, i'm going to keep on saying it. i don't know if we have to go back to the gold reference point anymore. i would personally prefer what my friends, wayne angell andmanly johnson -- and manley johnon did, heller from san francisco. i think it was bob heller from san francisco, and greenspan. you can use a market basket of commodities, you know, 25 commodities. and that's judging the value of the dollar. so if inflation is rising, if
the market commodity baskets rally, that tells you you've got to do something. if it's falling, that tells you you probably should loosen up. that's what i'd do. i mean, i'm an old gold guy. i just think nowadays you probably have to make the basket a little larger. we're never going to have balance of payment transfers in gold. as i said, again, the fed with open market operations and volcker, they used to literally move gold from one country to another to settle balance of payment accounts. they don't do that anymore. they don't do that anymore. so, robert finch. >> i'm going to try to make you both happy and give you each a magic wand and three picks -- [laughter] policy actions that you think would be -- you only get three though, and you don't have to agree, obviously, but three policy picks that you would implement right now whether it's immigration, regulatory,
corporate and individual taxes, capital gains, whatever. what would be, what would be the tree things that you would wish -- the three things that you would wish for? [inaudible conversations] >> you know, the reaganites, arthur laffer always talks about the five pillars -- >> you've got six between two of you. >> yeah, right. [laughter] i'm going to say you can eliminate one of the five. you actually don't need to worry about spending. spending will naturally fall if you cut tax rates, get the dollar strong and stable again and have real regulatory rollback. if you had those three things, the demand for the private sector would be so great, people would just jump off of welfare, they would get out of obamacare, they would just go into the real economy if you had low tax rates. investment that would come from king dollar and getting this regulation out of the way, spending would just start to really plummet like it did in the 1990s. >> yeah, i like that.
i mean, i've always believed that, at least as a share of gdp. taxes come down when you grow. by the way, each point of growth, real growth above the 2% cbo baseline is worth close to $3 trillion in lower deficits. but you know all this. i would say my view is the singlemost important thing to do is to slash business tax rates for lark -- for large and small companies, just slash 'em. 15% is a very good number. i would abolish the corporate tax altogether. 15% is a good start. you won't get it, but it's a good start. you'll work on it and you might get 20. single best thing we could do. and i think also obamacare must be repealed and rewritten. completely rewritten. it turns out it is -- i mean, the new york fed says it's costing jobs, and i think that's probably right. and i don't want to lose the free trade path.
i understand deals must be enforced. absolutely. and we've been lax on that. but free trade is a good thing, not a bad thing. it helps both sides. and i've always believed and you know this, robert and i worked together for many years day-to-day and just talking on the phone and so forth, americans should have the freedom to purchase the best quality goods at the lowest available prices anywhere around the world. i believe that and i'm still going to believe that, and i'm never going to give up on that. chinese borrow, cheat and steal, i get that, and some actions have to be taken. but as far as the generic point, you're just not going to move me on that. kennedy, by the way, was a big free trader. yes. yes, sir. >> do you believe inequality plays -- [inaudible]
as a barrier at all to growth, or do you believe that inequality run rampant? >> no. i'd put it the other way. i'd let growth run rampant. i think this inequality stuff only happens when the economy is sour and times are -- [inaudible] it's a resentment. i don't like that. first of all, in america as a free country and a representative democracy, we all must start at the same line. we must all be treated equal under the law at the same starting line. you follow me? we must all have an equal opportunity at the same starting line. but in a free economy, in a free country, we don't all end at the same place at the finish line. some are going to do better than others. that's a good thing, not a bad thing.
and i have no truck with the redistributionists. and there is no -- in my opinion, you may disagree, i don't see any real evidence that there's so-called inequality. first of all, i think it's vastly exaggerated when you look at various statistical studies that we won't go through here. but the case that inequality causes slow growth is unproven. unproven. in fact, most of the or some of the northern european countries have shaken that off, and they're cutting taxes and deregulating labor markets. you know, inequality exists. i don't think, i don't think people -- i don't resent you becoming a multibillionaire by starting a social media operation and wearing dark hoods over your head. [laughter] i may hate it from a fashion standpoint -- [laughter] but i have no -- fine. that's the way you want to dress. and he discovered, you know, this terrific social media with others, and he gets rich.
by the way, the 30,000 people who work for him get rich because they all own stock options. i'm fine with that. i have no problem with that. just give the rest of us a chance. and that's why an open free market, capitalism, is the best path to prosperity. >> back. >> could you talk a little bit about the coolidge tax cuts and was that effective, did kennedy -- was that a precedent that he used? and the second is are you aware of any situations either in the u.s. or foreign countries in which you felt that tax cuts were not effective in spurring growth? is there any contrary precedent? >> about the coolidge tax cuts, tax cuts of the 1920s, yeah, i mean, tax rates, income tax rates went up eleven-fold during world war i to 77%, and by 1920, and james grant, of course, has written about this so eloquently
in "the forgotten depression." by 1920 there essentially was an investment strike in this country. there was no investment that could be measured in housing, in railroad track and station maintenance while municipal bonds were selling like crazy because they were exempt from tax says. so there was this big -- taxation. so there was this big portfolio shift out of the economy into, you know, the public purse. and so harding and coolidge under the guidance of andrew mellon, the treasury secretary, who was reading the memos of his three democratic predecessors, all of wilson's treasury secretaries said we created a monster. you have to cut tax rates. and this is back when the democrats were beholden to their position as tax cutters. and, yeah, kennedy referred to that and the keynesians referred to that, and they said we don't want to do that because that ghei us the great depression of
the 1930s. it's like tax cuts that don't work, there is the case of foreign countries that are really tossed by their exchange rate to the dollar. i mean, if the dollar goes like this all the time and they have a currency board or they're trying to make a brave monetary policy, it can really neutralize the effect of really good fiscal policy. so there are examples, japan might even be one, certain countries in eastern europe, that have good low flat tax rate systems, but investment just doesn't move in the right direction because there's no guidance from the leader of world monetary policy, the united states. >> yeah, you know, volcker gave a speech about this a year, year and a half ago and said we've got to move back to a rules-based monetary policy. that that's the commodity basket idea. and international currency cooperation. very important. we have neither.
they just had a g20 meeting. there was no headline coming out of the g20 meeting. more progress to solve global warming. [laughter] i don't want to get boo -- into that. there may be reasons for and against it. but the pressing issue for the g20 in economic terms was currencies. we are having currency wars breaking out, currency manipulations. we are as guilty more so than anybody. and that's what volcker's referring to. in the old days, those guys would sit down and hammer out agreements. one of those agreements, bretton woods, lasted half a century or something. we need to do that. we need to do that. right mow it's just war out there. -- right now it's just war out there. yes, sir. >> what's your thought on artificial intelligence and the increased productivity effect on middle class jobs? >> i mean --
>> i think the only way we'll know that the economy is incapable of creating a lot of jobs is if we have very low tax rates and really strong current i and little regulation. until we get those circumstances, we should not look for other causes of our unemployment problems. so i fully expect there to be an abundance of jobs with the full technological revolution when we get tax cuts and -- [inaudible] >> yeah. i mean, there's an argument floating around about this that i just don't like, and the basic argument is that advanced high technology breakthroughs along with the automation that goes along with that are necessarily bad for the economy and jobs. so i just -- here's a case where they should look back in history. every time we've had tech breakthroughs in this country, we had one in the, after the civil war with the railroads and so forth, the 1920s were full
of technology breakthroughs in electricity, radio and so forth. the 1960s i think we have some examples in our book about breakthroughs. intel was started in the '60s and, of course, the most famous is the '80s and '90s. look, employment exploded. now, you know, at the turn of the last century buggy whipmakers were in a bind, i agree with that. [laughter] i accept that. on the other hand, henry ford and the rest of them created tens of millions of jobs for products that were cheap enough for tens of millions of more people to buy cars. think of that. >> yeah, but it put the harness makers out of -- >> i said the buggy whipmakers, they lost out. [laughter] they're adaptable. look, we moved the whole country from the farms to the industry in the cities. we did great, okay? microsoft, apple, all -- i mean,
they're huge companies. people forget that just like, you know, the only person getting rich was bill jobs. nonsense. you who to seattle, washington, which was -- i don't want to be to offensive here, but i used to travel that route for bear stearns, it's a nothing city. now it probably has more millionaires per capita than any place in the world. why? a few high-tech companies did very well. silicon valley's the same way. you may go lu patches of this, you know -- go through patches of this, you know, but robots are not going to take over the world. jobs will do, you know, as brian just said, give us economic freedom and great things will happen. i'll just bet on it. i'll just bet on it. economic freedom produces great things. so does political freedom. >> one more question. >> one more question? well, you are very kind to come. you filled the joint up, i never thought that would happen. [laughter] brian and i are going to sign
some books for you, and we are very grateful that you came. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> this weekend on booktv we're live with author and historian gerald horne. he sits down with us on "in depth" to discuss all of his books and to answer your questions. you can call, tweet us @booktv, e-mail us, email@example.com, and post on our facebook wall. other programs to watch for this weekend, on afterwards "face the nation's" john dickerson remembers mel rabble presidential campaign moments, and charles murray presents his plan to replace the welfare system with a universal basic income. also this weekend national book award finalists cathy o'neal and heather ann thompson discuss their respective books on big data and the attica prison uprising.
and be booktv visits penn low, colorado, to talk with local authors and visit the city's literary sites. that's just a few of the programs you'll see on booktv this weekend. for a complete television schedule, booktv.org. booktv, 48 hours of nonfiction books and authors. television for serious readers. >> i think the trend has been clearly in the wrong direction on both sides. the congress has not been assuming its responsibilities which has forced, at least this president, to do more things by executive order. there's no question that they should have come together and passed immigration reform legislation. [applause] and they weren't that far apart. and yet this president and this congress, the congress would not sit down and talk it through.
so in the book, i emphasize, you know, it doesn't take to change this, it doesn't take but one thing, one person that is willing to be a leader and step up. whether it's a congressman or senator paul ryan has the potential to do that kind of thing as speaker. i have a lot of faith in him. or a president. say, you know, i worked all the time with bill clinton. you know? we didn't agree philosophically. he was a character, but we talked. and a lot of times when i didn't want to talk. you know, he called one night at 2:00 in the morning. the phone's on trish's side of the bed. she picks up the phone, says it's the president, hands it over to me, and i say, yes, sir, mr. president, we'll look into that. yes, sir. all right, sir. i hung up, good-bye. i handed the phone back and she said, what did he want? i said, i don't know. [laughter] something about central america. [laughter]
but here's the point, we talked all the time. we worked through all kinds of things, budget issues, tax issues, defense issues, safe drinking water, portability insurance, you name it. did we agree? no. and a lot of times he pressed, we pressed each other to the point we'd get mad, but we communicated. that was true with reagan. when i was whip in the house for eight years, we met with president reagan just about every tuesday morning that congress was in session at 9:00. sometimes it was bipartisan, sometimes it was just republicans. so this trend of not communicating has just -- is a recent phenomenon. it started developing with george w. even though he tried very hard to get immigration reform. and by the way, i say to mississippians a lot of -- look, immigration is one of the big issues in this campaign. admit it. if we'd have done what we should have done in 2007, we wouldn't be here now. and immigration reform is not just about illegal immigrants, it's about legal immigrants. we've got people that want to
come into america that have something to offer, can't get here. one time i had two doctors from canada that wanted to come to picayune, mississippi. you know where that is? underserved medical area. two doctors, highly qualified. you would have thought i was trying to sneak in saddam hussein. [laughter] it was hard. so it started with bush. i saw it coming in 2006, and now this president and this congress, they just don't talk. that's why they haven't, you know, the deficit worries me more than ever. because now i worry about my grandchildren. it's not about me anymore or us, it's about the next generation. this is a booger here, and congress and the president are not dealing with it. so the next president -- all hillary would have to do if she's president would be to follow the role, to a degree, of president bill clinton. because he did meet with us, and he did talk with us. or if it's trump, somebody, some of us have got to reach out and
say, you know, mr. president, you say you're going to change washington? the first thing you need to do to change it is to begin to communicate. there are four things you need to make washington work. number one is communication. if you don't talk, you ain't going to get nothing done. real simple. number two, you have to develop a chemistry. i mean, clinton made me nervous, but we had a relationship. it was a chemistry that a made it possible for us to turn that into action. the other thing we've lost is a vision. what in the hell are we really for anymore? republicans or democrats? do we really know? do we really know what either side would actually do if they're in the majority in the congress and have the white house? and last but not least, i've seen it, leadership. one man or one woman that will face the, you know, the slings and arrows and the media and say
we're going to develop an energy policy in america. we're going to, we're going to have all of the above. we're going to do it. so it could change, stuart, on a dime. but it's going to take a person with strength, because i've seen it. washington is a tough place, you know? i rode the high road, and i got knocked down into the valley. but the best thing about being in the valley is you learn when you get back up how you can do things better. so it can change. i don't see it right now. i don't see it with mitch mcconnell, i don't see it with nancy pelosi. i do see hope in paul ryan. i don't know what to expect from chuck schumer who will probably be the senate democratic leader. he's smarter than reid, he's every bit as partisan as harry reid are, but there is one difference, he's transactional.
you can do business. they don't say it that way in new york city, but they understand it. [laughter] so there is some hope out there. but it all begins in the white house. leadership begins in the white house. so we've got to get a different, you know, tempo coming out of that place. >> you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. >> welcome to pueblo, colorado, on booktv. located just over 100 mile south of denver on the arkansas river, it has a population of about 160,000 and is one of largest steel-producing cities in the world. with the help of our comcast cable partners, for the next hour we'll travel the city to talk with local authors as we learn about the history and culture of the area. we begin with csu pueblo professor fawn montoya on the rockefellers and the legacy of ludlow.
>> when people say the name rockefeller in the early 20th century, i think before ludlow i don't think there's as much of an acknowledgment of him. from my perspective, he doesn't necessarily -- his ownership in cs and i is not necessarily widespread throughout the region. after 1914 it's a dirty word. it was the main company, it was also victor american as well. pueblo was considered the pittsburgh of the west, so we're talking about almost all of southeastern colorado from the colorado to mexico border all the way to pueblo, so 100 miles that way and probably 100 miles across. so definitely controlling this portion of the state, and then their coal and their steel is going -- [inaudible] outside of here. the early 1900s in southern colorado it's more of the growth of industry in the united