tv JFK and the Reagan Revolution CSPAN December 26, 2016 10:00am-11:01am EST
state university and the two of them worked on the book together and they will be talking about it together and we are so thrilled and honored to have you both here and i should mention also that route larry is a regular customer at thecorner bookstore and has been for years . and that makes it so special and so personal so please join me in welcoming larry and brian, thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much, i appreciate it. are we on, both mike's? we welcome c-span for covering us, thank you very much. it's true, i larry kudlow and i'm a local.actually, when random house started organizing this, which one?
that works. this one doesn't sound great. random house said a while back when we finally got this thing published, it's good to have a couple local bookstores and i said how about across the street? he said terrific idea. weregoing to do a bunch of these around the country, we've done tons and tons of media .a lovely op-ed piece of ours was published in today's wall street journal. this is my cowriter and a good friend brian domitrovic. brian by the way is the head of the laffer center? >> senior associate. >> senior associate and a longtime friend of mine. his previous book iconoclast was all about the supply side revival going on and he's a harvard trained historian as i've said before. his historiography is the
glue that held this entire book together so what i want to do is just read a few excerpts from this thing to get a feel for it and brian will then speak on whatever he wishes to speak about and then we will enjoy some wine, cheese, whatever's out there. i wanted again, this is real simple. theótwo the under heading to today's op-ed piece that the journal kindly published by brian and me,return to jfk case rising tide model , kennedy and reagan both scored growth through bipartisan tax cuts and that is just what is needed now. if you take away anything, and you may disagree with me and i appreciate and love disagreements, i've been in the disagreement business for a long time in tv and radio so i'm glad it's going to be a q&a. i'm used to that too as long as it's civil. the essence of this book is that first john f. kennedy,
20 years later ronaldreagan , both of their lower marginal tax rates as well as a sound dollar to revise moribund economies and this is not something from the 18th century, it's not something from the 15th century, this is something from recent times in the 20th century and our argument is that we have experienced a long dry spell the last 15 years, frankly under republican and democrats, presidents and congress of poor economic growth, very poor drug. that's one of the points we make. you can draw whatever conclusions you want to draw but i intend here not to write a politicized book, i don't really mention the current election but to just raise history. we can learn a lot from history and one of the great
things about history is when you forget history, you forget that john f. kennedy who i would argue is the greatest democratic politician in the last 50 or 60 years, i speak myself as a former democrat in my long dark past. john f. kennedy was in fact the first supply cider. first supply cider. he was the pioneer. it went all the way back to the 1920s, that was a long time ago but kennedy was responding to very poor economic growth during the eisenhower years and there were three recessions and kennedy felt having one by a cats whisker in 1960 that if he didn't produce growth, in fact he talked about five times growth during the campaign that he would lose in 1964 so he was looking around for things that would
get the economy out of the doldrums. there were three recessions during the eisenhower years and the unemployment rate was gradually increasing, up seven percent so i will just read you a couple excerpts from this book and i hope you get a flavor for what we are talking about. fortunately 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. it's the model of getting the government restrain and modest into areas of economic policy. fiscal and monetary policy. both kennedy and reagan identified substantially cutting in income tax rates, getting the dollar raw strong and stable as the specific policy that would let the private sector which is to say the real economy thrive. we need that. we need that. most of us are well aware that reagan was a tax cutter. he's the guy that had to deal with the horrible inflation of the 70s and 80s
which came to end in the first years of his presidency. some of us are aware and correctly that bill clinton through some of that model fostered prosperity in the decade after ronald reagan with a republican congress in which he cut capital gains tax rates and was a proponent of free trade which would make him part of the mix. however, what is generally not known, at least not remembered but the subject of this book is about is that president john f. kennedy in the early 60s not only used but largely pioneered the exact same model. kennedy. he came to office during a period in which there was only a better than days, his own presidency launched the us on one of the greatest and longest economic booms in our nation's history. these are the tax rates and a strong dollar, there was by the way five percent economic growth for a year between 1962 and when it ran out of
gas and policies changed in 1969. if americans had noted this history, they probably would have tried the jfk reagan policy mix years ago during the slow growth 2000. we would have kept tax rates low, contained a strong dollar, traded stagnation for expansion just as we did in the 20th century and yet this history has been obscured. today's liberals and progressives act the tax rate and a meaningful dollar are shockingly part far right policies. they were never put in practice in the 1960s and failed in the 80s and could only work in adream world but it was democrat kennedy who launched those policies . that by itself i think is the great factoid from this book. let me read you just a couple quotes. we were recording along radio interview with my pallets
running tonight at 11:00 and he found the tape with kennedy's boston accent, a great famous piece kennedy made in december 1962, very famous speech which really was the breakthrough of his new policies. in short, it is the paradox of the truth that tax rates are too high today and tax revenues to low and the soundest way to raise revenues in the long run is to cut rates now. the reason is that only full employment can balance the budget. tax can save the way to that employment. the purpose of cutting taxes now is not to incur a budget deficit but to achieve a more prosperousexpanding economy which can bring a budget surplus . that was jfk in 1962. december. now, let me turn the clock
forward. ronald reagan comes into office. i gratefully served as one of his budget deputies a long time ago. on february 18, 1981, a month into his presidency, reagan gave a speech to the nation. he announced he was seeking the 10 1010 tax rate cut, 30 percent of across the board. kennedy's was roughly the same, 30 percent across the board so we skip over two decades. here's reagan. back when calvin coolidge cut taxes across the board, the governor's taxes increased. when jack kenny he did it, his economic advisers were telling him the government would lose revenue and the government would gain revenue. it's a reality. they make quite a financial error. jack kennedy's line about it was quote, a rising tide lifts all boats area and this
is what we believe the tax proposals we have made our aimed at. that was reagan in almost the identical words of john f. kennedy and finally, last quote from reagan. can you cut taxes and fight inflation by so doing this? i very much believe you can. let me read you something. our true choice is not tax reduction on the one hand and the avoidance of large budget deficits on the other.an economy stifled by restrictive tax rates will never produce enough revenue to balance the budget. just as it will never produce enough jobs or even enough profits. that's reagan quoting. john f. kennedy said that back in 1962 when he was asking for a tax decrease. a cut tax rates across the board and he was proven right. that is reagan and before that is kennedy and i just want to say this for the umpteenth time, kennedy the democrat and as the under
heading in this morning's paper for us, kennedy and reagan both spurred growth through bipartisan tax cuts. that's just what we need now. [applause] so it's become something of a career among our critics to claim reagan, to blame me, to blame michael laffer, jack kemp, to blame a whole lot of people who contributed to this story. i'm fine with that, go out and blame. i'm a big boy, i can take it. but for heaven sake, get the facts right. if you want to blame, blame john f. kennedy.he started it in great fashion. and unfortunately he was tragically assassinated but
reagan borrowed it, it succeeded in place and all i want to say is we have an election here and this book is not about the election but whoever, somebody needs to form abipartisan coalition , reach across the aisle as kennedy did and reagan did. kennedy's top economic advisor was a republican treasury secretary doug dylan. i think we need to do the same thing and that's all i ask. stop yelling, stop persecuting, stop snarking, not being mean. just look at the facts and read some history and you can see, there it is, a way out that what america unfortunately finds itself and i'm going to turn it over to my pal brian domitrovic. [applause] >> larry and i had a great time writing this book.
a lot of it right here in new york city across thestreet . and a lot of events in this book happen in this neighborhood, i just walked up to jacqueline kennedy at the reservoir. jfk said the crash pad is down the street, the carlyle hotel. that's where he got one of the pebbles of his economic report that we discussed including a report that said don't you dare cut tax rates ever. he turned his back on and of course the economic club of new york is down in the canyon not far from here. one of the things we wanted to do in this book was trying to correct by means of evidence the impression that the tax cut of 1964 was keynesian, that kennedy was some kind of demand side from timer and not a supply cider. we understand that given that his tax cut was marginal tax rate but which means it's not a dickensian tax cut, we're not sure why that argument had traction so we wanted to
identify the really important role that douglas dylan is treasury secretary played in 1962, three and four and what i'd like to do is review a presidential memo from the treasury secretary. usually these things are dry as studs but in the context of what we're talking about, when kennedy actually turned on his keynesian advisors, this memo turns out to be really important. kennedy listen to this advice from his advisers, paul samuelson, jim tobin saying you got increase spending, get off the gold standard. if you're going to have that only temporary tax cuts because were going have to preserve the current structure for programs in the future, you got to do that. in 1962 every forecaster is fingers going to be another recession area dillon writes this memo to john f. kennedy. he taught told him about the advice he was getting in europe.
paul believes, dylan wrote that any significant adaptation of government policy aimed at stimulating economic expansion should be presented in a clear-cut, simple package but with consensus on these points. one, if there needs to be a tax cut it should be oriented toward improved disincentives . it should be of a permanent and reformed character. reduction centered on lower bracket personal incomes would be regarded as fiscally loose bread and circuses . although companion action in this center would be understandable. two, the deficit should be presented as the response of tax reform. type overall ceilings on expenditures should be announced. it is important that debts be financed out of current savings as opposed to federal reserve looseness. three, the government should declare its willingness to allow interest rates to rise if combined demands from the private sector and large government deficits right through.
and kennedy took every point in that advice. he said i'm not going to do the spending, going to stop the monetary looseness and i cut tax rates and the rates that matter, the rates that have incentives, especially the highest rate and that's going to draw capital back to this country, bring big-time growth and save the gold standard because of the demand for thedollar. i might read one more passage . a lot of people asked this afternoon why was kennedy's policy in the 1960s, why was it forsaken? why wasn't it a policy all the way through the 1980s? why did ronald reagan have to resurrect it mark whited stagnated inflation in the 1970s? one of the reasons we did have stagflation in the 1970s is that john f. kennedy's opponent in the 1960s election became president in 1969 and nixon dubiously made sure he didn't do john f. kennedy policy so your first
policy, going off the gold standard and raising the capital gains tax rates and goes this regulation and spending so here's an interpretive passage that we write about the 1960s and 70s, the assassination we right of november 1963 provided an enormous short-term boost to tax cuts passed in 1964. it was fatal to it in the long term. the assassination was so shocking that the opponents of kennedy's legislative agenda had to submit on at least one path kennedy goal out of due respect for the leader, the obvious choice was the tax cut. once that was enacted all leverage was lost on blocking civil rights, kennedy's other big initiative. in the long term however, kennedy passed in 1963 deprived the tax cut of its principal exponent articulator and enforcer. the cerebral tone that kennedy brought to the question of the tax cut , you heard about it in the new
york speech, kennedy's commitment to thinking through the real economic effects of the tax cuts while unencumbered from intellectual paradigms at the university of economics, the supreme social standing he had in common with douglas dillon and dillon alone and the native that he possessed constance assault economic growth problem of the day that constituted the credibility behind the administrations of commitment and seeing the tax cut through. but kennedy gone, the mechanism of the tax cuts and the motive for strong was gone too. no matter the phenomenal quality of the prosperity it could unleash. so harsh words. in other words, it didn't take johnson long to undo the policy he was associated with . and for a lot of different reasons relating to the war
and politics and whatnot, he raised tax rate both at the individual rate from 70 back to 78 percent and then began to unhinge the dollar and as i said, this is a bipartisan, nonpartisan book so the next president richard nixon who i've met many times and his family are dear friends of mine but as nixon once said to me when he was in the office in downtown, you don't think much of my economic policies, do you? i said no sir, i really don't so nixon raised taxes and nixon unleashed the dollar, unhooked it from any other monetary discipline and impose a massive regulation on the economy including wage so again, in a bipartisan way the democrats and republicans got it right and democrat and republican got it wrong and now the question is how is
the balance going to wind up getting? i can't answer that, my crystal ball is no better than yours and it's important and the other point that brian read which i love is doug dillon, a very wealthy anchor, dylan read which for many years and did investment banks, dillon had just about as much money as joe kennedy and john f. kennedy and traveled in very high social circles area in fact, even higher than the kennedys and kennedy did not stared him down, he had to listen dillon spoke. kennedy went to his office as treasury secretary the wound up pretty good. sometimes you got to be able to make people listen to you whatever it takes. in this case it was money and social standing.
me, i take it any way i can get it and good policy is good policy but themain point here again , this is not a partisan book. i just want america to coin a phrase to get moving again. we've got to turn less than two percent growth over a couple decades now back to 3 to 4 percent growth which is what we do historically and to get there were going to have to take strong remedial actions, particularly on business tax cuts to grow the economy as five or six percent for several years in order to get us back on track. kennedy and reagan showed that it can be done. now since i love america and believe in democracy i believe we can get it done, we will see. that's reallyour story. i'm happy to take your questions . happy to take your questions, even your criticism. yes sir. >> thank you. and i've never before associated kennedy with economic policy. [laughter] i was recently
listening to an interview with aei scholar nicholas staff that the book had about the volume of people participating in the workforce, particularly men working age who are not even looking for jobs out of the labor force. i'm wondering if this development that you argue is significant, whether that would in any way limit the effectiveness of a new policy of going to another round of these tax cuts. or would it go the other way. as he argues in his piece, there are probably two key issues here. one is a lack of economic growth . we create jobs, it will grow. you want to lower budget deficits, grow. want to help solve poverty, grow. there are other issues that nick raised, federal policy regarding more entitlement,
other regulations and a disincentive to work and that's too bad because we want to get everybody's able bodies to work and i saw the same argument today, brand art with the federal reserve made a similar argument how well the participation rate is in the backbone of the economy which is the 25 to 54 , that's gone down. do you know why? it's not growing. they're not creating jobs. you want to look at gigantic black and brown unemployment rates in this country they're not growing. you want to see the reason why people are cranky , unhappy and pointing fingers at everybody? we are not growing. we're not growing. i know we need rules and integration and so forth but a lot of this is about growth. nobody complained much in the 60s and 80s and 90s about these subjects. when we's stop growing, they
complain. yes ma'am. >> i always believed in alan greenspan and his theory on how to control recession and a couple years ago he came out with the fact that what he did was wrong. if it was working, all of a sudden he declared it to be invalid area want to answer that one? she's a personal friend of mine. >> we had a caption about alan greenspan in our book. alan greenspan even interesting talk in 2002 i believe it was to a bond convention in which he said, you know, with all these surpluses in the late 90s, we actually can envision a future in which there is not enough government threat deck
for the fed to continue its open market operations. the gdp was adding that fast. i'm ready to believe actually that some of the economic stagnation that arose in the 2000 with the kind of survival mechanism on the part of some of these governments institutions, i certainly remember visiting the imf in 2008 early that spring and everyone was scared to death because nobody wanted their business, there was much cash around the world, nobody was begging the imf money and sure enough, a crisis came in the imf has another 50 year lease on life so one of the other benefits, big-time constant economic growth is if you clear out some of the nonreal entries that the imf and all these things, these are nonexistent and happy prosperity. i think alan rightly said, he's a friend of mine and i
think he's a super federal reserve chairman area easter for terms i think. i don't think anybody else has done that. when he made his statement, it was a statement about the ability of free markets, to function properly all the time and a lot of people blame the financial meltdown of 2008 on what's called ultra easy, ultralow interest rates that alan was partly responsible for . i think he made mistakes but i think he's losing his nerve and he testified in front of some committee and said the markets didn't work the way we thought they would area i think he's now gaining his legs more and realizes that government regulation later huge role. i don't want to go deeper on that but greenspan through 40
years of economic policy influence and service was a free market guy and also was a sound money guy and maybe people in high office shouldn't serve for terms, one or two is enough. >> how do you feel about tpp? >> well, tpp, pacific trade is a good idea. a good idea. it's not done properly. a good idea. i'm a free trader. and will remain so. i think the geopolitics of it are very good. our allies india and japan, it brings them closer to the fold and serving as a buffer or warning to china depending how you want to put it. and it will lower trade barriers among these countries which we need which is good for growth.
there are some probabilities here where there's a couple of international boards that will not reflect the american electorate or so forth and that will be used to decide issues and conflicts. i'm sick of international boards, i'm sick of them. i want an american board. really, i don't want us to be governed by world courts. i don't want us to be governed by institutions like the imf and the world bank. i'm sure they're good for employment of phd's but as far as i'm concerned there no good area i'm sick of 1000 economists at the federal reserve board, they've done more harm than good in my public opinion. i'm sick of devils in that crowd was done more harm than good and i loved brexit, the whole european union. i call it magna carta 2.0.
getting rid of that which has a wonderful legacy, i love britain. i love what they just did. the magna carta , representative democracy, that equals growth, that's the way i see it and the eu, i put them right in there with the imf and the world bank and all that. so i look for free trade that i want free trade to be governed properly in accordance with american interests anddemocracy . >> what do you think of the uk leaving the european union ? >> that brexit. i'm in favor of it. yes sir. >> i came to work at wall street under the chesney martin who as you recall replaced truman's poodle marriner eccles. [inaudible] he won if my memory serves area would you contrast, would you care to contrast the era of chesney
martin and 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 andage ? there is a difference, isn't there? >> i'll say something about wild bill martin. the federal reserve chairman from 1951 to 1969. i think it's clear bill martin was trying to do a good job in the 50s, he really had trouble but when the famous comment out of the fed era that take to take away the punch bowl, that's because he had 91 percent marginal tax rates and 24
progressive brackets going on. the fed had to be astrophysical and in that context, the united states was losing $2 billion of its growth because foreigners were just quitting on the us economy so when kennedy reappointed martin, martin was ready to raise interest rates in the context of economic growth inspired by incentive laden 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. the kind of folded when lbj asked him for anything. can you transfer a balance to me? martin said sure mister president, i'd be happy to. though the federal reserve chair was trying to be obliging towards the presidents he served and that is why he was at his best under kennedy. >> you know, carter appointed his offer. >> but that showboating on a daily basis by the individual voters, i don't recall that from my years . >> i hate that, i've written about that. it does more harm than good.
when i was a child i worked for the federal reserve and i asked for paul broker, i was his secretary and the era. and i did some speeches, i did some correspondence but anyway, both as chairman wouldn't put up with it you he just basically told everybody to keep quiet. both are as chairman didn't want anybody to know what he was doing area and it was kind of cool. he had it right. it might not have always been self so it depends on who the president is. harder wouldn't let booker do his job even though he appointed him. reagan did, reagan said do whatever it takes to get rid of inflation. right now there's debate about that. i don't agree with one of the candidates who believes the whole fed is poker size, the fed makes a lot of mistakes because they have lousy economic metric policies and they see the world often the wrong way but brian is right area you cut tax rates, open
the doors to trade, other things get easier and better. yes, in the back. >> we got back to five or six percent growth, with that be the old normal? today's normal is 25 fed funds and we're debating today whether we go in september, december to move up to 50 but if we had 5 to 6 percent growth, wouldn't we be going back to the old normal and wouldn't we be talking about 350? i rates are going to impact outlook and how do you see that playing out because the fedis going to work against you if you cut those rates ? >> no. if we/tax credits again and i think the big issue today is business tax credits which are the biggest obstacle we face, then interest rates would grow go up normally. without any intuitive because the economy rises, 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 and in the 80s and 90s when we had a greatprosperity , average interest rates would take 10 years, about six to 10. now one and a half percent. the reason rates are low today is because the economy is terrible. there is no greater deflation and stagnation, those are the biggest reasons why we have lower rates , particular in five, 10, 30 years and all these jockeys and i love them all on nbc, they just don't understand that. that shows one or two rates at the bottom. it helped the economy with a five or six percent interest rate. it would be a good thing but you got to cut taxes first go very happy with this canard
today, she's a conservative, she's a liberal, she's 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 everybody would be happy.investors would be happy, stators would be happy, america would be happy. i want america to be happy, america is not happy to now. america is cranky, i hate that. i just hate that. iwant america to be in a good mood. i mean it . and part of that has to be look, if you didn't have any wage hikes for 15 years you'd be in a bad mood too. i get that. if you look at the actual statistics , the senate isn't so great either. the manhattan institute has done a lot of work on this. the top one percent today, all in market income is right where it was about the year 2000, 2005.
we've got smashed her in the downturn, lost 50 percent of the top one percent and got back only 35 percent area anyway, i don't want to dwell on that but i'm just saying one of the reasons we need tax cuts and new money in a dose of kennedy, reagan religion is it will make people happier. it will. and you will have less crime and more job opportunities area you can enforce liberal rights laws and we can figure out a way to do integration without killing people . i get very into this because i think in many ways this whole debate today including the cart before the horse. put the horse before the cart, the horse is the growth rate that will pull everything out. it's not small potatoes, real lives are at stake and my friend arthur says he's a kennedy democrat and a reagan republican, how about that? how about that?
>> from an economics 101 standpoint can you talk a little more about goals and how that relates to this and also king dollar? all right. i'm guilty of king dollar, i've been saying it for 25 years and i'll keep on saying it. i don't know if we have to go back to the old reference point anymore. i would personally prefer what my friends willie angel and manley johnson did and heller from san francisco. i think it was bob heller from san francisco. alan greenspan. you could use a market-based commodity, 25 commodities and that's judging the value of the dollar both in inflation is rising but the market is rising, that tells you you got to do something, tighten up the dollar. if it's smaller, that tells you shoot you should probably loosen up.
i don't know that i'd use, i'm an old gold guy. i just think nowadays you probably have to make the basket a little larger and we're never going to have balance of transfers in gold. and in the fed, i've worked at the fed and help market operations and they use to literally move gold from one country to another if they fell down the payments, they don't do that anymore. so robert sent i'd like to make you both happy and give you each a magic wand and prefix the policy actions that you think would be the only entry on you don't have to agree but threepolicy pics you would implement right now whetherit's immigration, regulatory , cooperative factors , whatever. what would be the three things that you would wish for? >> i'll take that.
the reason i turned to the five points of reaganomics, low taxes, 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 role. if you have those three things, the demand for the private sector would be so great people would just jump off 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 us regulation out of the way.spending which it did in the 1990s i really believe that. at least as a share of gdp, deficits come down when you grow.
real growth is two percent cbo baseline. it's close to two or $3 trillion but i would say my view is the single most important thing to do is/business tax rate for the large and small companies. just/them. 15 percent is a very good number. i was would abolish the corporate tax rate. they don't get it . work on it and you might get 20. it's the single best thing we could do and i think also obamacare must be repealed and completely rewritten. the new york said that is costing jobs now . i think that's probably right and i don't want to lose the free trade yet. i understand deals must be enforced, absolutely and i've been a lock on that but free trade is not a bad thing.
it helps both sides and you know this, robert and i worked together for many years talking on the phone and so forth. america should have the freedom to purchase the best quality goods at the lowest available prices anywhere around the world. i believe that and i still believe that, i'm never going to give up on it. but borrow cheat and steal, i get that and some actions you have to stay but as far as the point, it's not going to move me on that. by the way, eddie was pro-free trade. yes. yes sir. >> do you believe that inequality promotes a barrier at all to growth or do you believe let inequality run rampant? >> i'd put it the other way. i let growth run rampant and
i think this any quality stuff only happens when the economy is sour and times are bad, it's a resentment area i don't like that. first of all, in america the country in a representative democracy, we almost start the same line. we must all be treated equally at the same starting line, we must all have equal opportunities in the united states area in a free economy, in a free country, we don't all and at the same place, we end at the finish line. some are going to do better than others and that's a good thing, not a bad thing and i have no truck with the redistribution and in my opinion, you may disagree, i don't see any real evidence of so-called inequality. i think it's been vastly
exaggerated when you look at various statistical studies that we all do here but the view that inequality causes slow growth is unprovable. in fact, some of the european countries have taken that off and theyare cutting taxes and deregulating . inequality exists. i resent you becoming a multibillionaire bike starting a social media operation or wearing dark woods overyour head . i may hate it from a fashion standpoint but i have know, fine. that's the way you want to dress and he discovered this terrific social media and he gets rich and by the way, the 30,000 people who work for him get rich because they all own stock options, i'm fine with that. but just be aggressive about the chance and that's why an
open free market has to have a handle on prosperity. >> can you talk a little bit about the coolidge tax cuts and with that effective and kennedy, is that a president that he used and the second, are you aware that any situation either in the us or a foreign country in which the tax cuts were not effective in spurring growth? is there any contrary precedent? >> about the coolidge tax cuts, tax cuts in the 1920s, tax rates, income tax rates went up 11 fold during world war i from 77 percent and by the end of the 20s, as james grant has written about this so eloquently in his great book put on the depression, by 1920 there essentially was an investment strike in this country. there was no investment that could bemeasured in housing , in maintenance, any other
categories. while municipal bonds were selling like crazy because they were exempt from taxation so there was this big portfolio shift at the nations capital out of the economy and into you know, the public purse. so harding and coolidge under the guise of the treasury secretary who was reading the memos of these three democratic president predecessors, they all said we created a monster. you have to cut tax rates and this is back when the democrats were still beholden to the tradition of tariff cutters and tax cutters and there was this series of great cuts at the top income tax rate of $73.25 and kennedy referred to that and dylan referred to that and the keynesians referred to that and said we don't want to do that because they gave us the great depression of the 1930s. it feels like tax cuts that don't work, there is the case of one countries that are tossed by their exchange rate
to the dollar. if the dollar goes like this all the time then they have a currency board or they're trying to make a break monetary policy it can neutralize the effect of really good fiscal policy so there are examples. certain countries in eastern europe that really have good low flat tax rate systems for some point in time 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 area . >> you know, walter gave a speech year, year and a half ago and said we've got to move back to a rules-based monetary policy. and international currency cooperation. we have neither. we just had a g 20 meeting and there was no headline coming in, more progress to solve global warming. i don't want to get into that
but i think it works against it. the pressing issue for the g 20 and the economic terms was custom, we were having currency wars breaking out, currency manipulations . we are as guilty if not more so than anybody. that's what folk are is referring to. in the old days those caps would sit down and hammer out agreements. one of those agreements lasted half a century. we didn't do that. we didn't do that. right now it's war out there. >>. [inaudible] what are your thoughts on artificial intelligence and will it increase productivity? >> i think the only way we will know that the economy is capable of creating a lot of jobs if we have low tax rates
and a really strong currency and little regulation. until we get those, we should not look for other positives for our unemployment problem so i fully expect there to be an abundance of jobs, a full technological revolution and king dollar. >> there's this argument floating around about this. and the basic argument is this, that advanced high-technology breakthroughs along with the automation that goes along with them are necessarily bad for the economy and jobs so here's a case where they should look back at history. every time we had tax rates go down, we had one after the civil war with railroads and so forth and the 1920s were full of technology breakthroughs in electricity, radio and so forth. the 1960s, we had some examples in our book about breakthroughs.
my intel was started in the 60s and most famously the 80s and 90s. employment exploded . now, at the turn of the last century , with makers were in a bind, i agree with that. i accept that. on the other hand, henry ford and brandon the rest of them created tens of millions of jobs for products that were cheaper, tens of millions of more people buying cars went into that. >>. [inaudible] they lost out but look, the whole country from the farms to the industry in the city did great, okay? microsoft, apple, they are huge companies. people get that. the only person getting rich was jobs, nonsense. when you go to seattle washington which was, i don't
want to be offensive here but they're serving through, they got nothing on this city and now it probably has more millionaires per capita in the world. why? a few high-tech companies that do very well. so you may go through patches of this but robots are not going to takeover the world . jobs will do, as francis said, give us economic freedom and great things will happen.i'm just betting on it. economic freedom produces great things, so does political freedom. one more question. well, you are very kind. and brian and i are going to sign some books for you and i'm very grateful. [applause]
>> this is book tv on c-span2, television for serious readers. here's our primetime lineup. tonight starting at 8:30 p.m. eastern, astrophysicist neil degrasse tyson leads a discussion on the universe. at 10:30 p.m. eastern, film and media professor heather hendershot remembers william f buckley's television program firing line and we wrap up our monday primetime lineup at 11:45 with author courtney martin. she talked about her latest book the new better off: reinventing the american dream. that happens tonight on c-span2's book tv. >> i'm here with scott ferris, the author of inga: kennedy's great love, hitler's perfect beauty and j edgar hoover's prime suspect. who was in arvada west
market. >> was missed market 1931 but she was more than that. she was actress,a ballerina, a concert pianist, and explorer, washington columnist , screenwriter for mgm and editor of harper's bazaar but she was the great love of john f. kennedy's life and they desperately wanted to marry each other but it was not a flame, a romance. she was a suspected nazi spy and is still married to her second husband. >> based on your research you believe that is an accurate accusation of her being a suspected nazi spy? >> there's a 1200 page fbi file on her and eventually they concluded she was not a spy so interestingly of course, for several months he was considered the prime suspect by each of the espionage networks in the us. all based on super essential evidence but when j edgar hoover himself was convinced that go was not a spy, president roosevelt intervened with the observation of miss arvad to be covered under surveillance
and have her phone, mail open. it was a remarkable thing . >> you're the author of two other books on kennedy and reagan, why their legacies and door and almost president, a man that lost the race but changed the nation. what do you think the legacy will be of president obama's administration and how do you think this past election cycle has affected the united states? >> resident obama's legacy will be overturned over the coming years. as our first african-american president his legacy is secure in that regard but the most important thing he did is probably what he did following the great financial crisis of 2008 2009. most americans are not aware how close we came to not only having a great recession but a great depression and history will be kind to him on that. the other great accomplishment was obamacare and the question is is that a steppingstone to healthcare reforms people will view as a pivotal moment to building on medicare and moving on to maybe a single-payer health
care system or is it going to get repealed? if it's going to get repealed then maybe his legacy will be less than right now but only time will tell. it's only time will tell. harry truman left office is one of the most unpopular presidents in america and 20 years later he is considered of our near great presidents or our great president so time will tell what his legacy is but he's obviously historically significant and we will see how that goes. >> in terms of this past election cycle, how do you think it has affected america? that's also going to be time will tell. mister trump is like and unlike anybody we've ever had in the white house. no other president has ever not held elected office before or they've been in general in our army so he's a different type of president with a different type of background.it's hard to say what's going to happen. i wrote about losing presidential candidates and their impact on american history so the question is what will mrs. clinton's legacy be an american history? like obama, she is the first
one to the nominee of an american party, she's historically significant but the question is what is her campaign do? i guess it's an open question. if she leaves to do a certain trump is him in the era of america with good or bad, people will say that's important and her campaign was not successful and allowed president trump to come to office but did she change the democratic party? that's hard to say. she may have one been one of the last centrist democrats for a while, then we may move to the left under sent senator sanders influence but historians need some time to get some perspective and again, there have been losing presidential candidates at the time, barry goldwater, george mcgovern being too. they were complete disasters and now from the perspective of 50 years later we see barry goldwater transformed the democratic party and george mcgovern transform the
republican party so it will take a few decades before we know what mrs. clinton's legacy is as well as president trumps. >> to bring it back your current book inga, what was it that sparked her interest in this topic and maybe want to write this book? >> it's just an unbelievable story straight out of an alfred hitchcock movie from the 30s. religions, spies, glamorous women and all sorts of things. it's a corner of history of the kennedy presidency that i don't think most people are familiar with. if the book argues that inga arvad was as responsible for john f. kennedy becoming president has anybody. we think of john f. kennedy as this handsome, witty remainderman was destined to be resident but when she had a romance, she was a young officer in the office of intelligence, he was skinny, gawky and disheveled and most importantly had an inferiority complex compared to his brother joe junior and did a number of things for president kennedy. she bolstered his confidence. she had been around the world, knew the president of france, knew the king and queen of denmark and she
convinced kennedy he had everything itself and was superior to be president. she encouraged jack kennedy to go to his father and tell him what you want to be in life. the kennedy family didn't know that he had any political aspirations and he didn't think he had any political talent and she managed to get him to stand up to his father and get the support he needed to become president. because their affair was so scandalous, president kennedy was nearly court-martialed out of the navy but here he is an officer of naval intelligence dating a suspected not the spy so he was nearly court-martialed and instead transferred and eventually ended up in combat in the south pacific where he became a war hero when his boat was some area at that time, he thought his career was over because he thought thinking that boat would be a disaster for his career. when he came back he sat down with a reporter named inga arvad who realized the act was heroic. she wrote the story that was the template for all future stories about john f kennedy that portrayed him as a war hero, not a failure and that was the basis of the
political bureaucracy for all the years until his run to the white house. >>. [inaudible conversation] shall we start? i don't know. okay. so i was caught completely unprepared and came to reading without my own copy of the book. i know. i think they do use them. but the mic is on, i can't hear. i don't think it's on, right?
i could scream but at some point my voice is going to give out. okay. i'll just move a little closer. what i was trying to say, is there a format for this? is it a half hour reading and then q and a? we will do a few readings and un day and maybe not as many readings as in the past. i want to give you a chance to ask questions if you have them but after the reading, the reading i did in the city i held a forum on facebook of course as the chip implanted in my brain will work so i can write for facebook as i speak and one of the best passages in the past wanted to be read and so i'll give you input but iwill review the list . which is, so, the top winner in the polls was the final shareholders meeting where fp x gets shut down and might i realize my life o