tv After Words Stephen Moore Trumponomics CSPAN December 30, 2018 9:01pm-10:03pm EST
he is interviewed by a senior research fellow at george mason university's center. "after words" is a weekly interview program with relevant guest hosts interviewing top nonfiction authors about their latest works. >> host: it is my pleasure to be here today with stephen moore to talk about his new book, trumponomics. it's a book that he co-authored. steve, i don't think you need introduction to anyone that has worked in washington, d.c. but since the audience, you are a distinguished fellow at the heritage foundation that you have been pretty much everywhere. you cannot do cato institute and which year was that? that?guest co. around 1999. >> host: in 2004 committee were on the editorial board of
the journal if you are of a contributor at cnn. beware that fox news before and give them everywhere. you were a reagan economist, and he is the president of so is my pleasure to be here to talk with you today. you and the head of the council of economic advisers are in my opinion the happiest warriors for the free market. just i agree you are this happy warrior. few are optimistic anyou are opa
true leader, and i've not known you for a long time, and this is one of your distinguished features. >> guest: look, i think that we as free market conservatives are naturally optimistic. we think things are going to get better. the mentor in this whole philosophy is life on earth gets better when you allow people to act freely in the free market and that is certainly true. but the rest is so doom and gloom coming together because of climate change or we can't grow faster than 2% growth. incidentally, i think that trump is an economic optimist very much like reagan. if you put in place the right policies, people will flourish and get richer. everyone benefits. that is one of the things that really attracted us to trump.
>> host: inet art in person once and it was in the early '90s we were having breakfast at the intercontinental, and i remember i was a student in economics and it was meeting like a rock star jimmy. he said something that stuck with me my whole life and to this day i think about it even outside of the context of taxes he said to me talking about the reagan tax cuts, one of the problem or mistakes that was made was to actually make the tax cuts implemented. i couldn't even remember what he'd responded but it was maybe a good thing and he was like absolutely not. you tell people things are going to be less expensive and they are going to differ the investment and it just stayed with me.
>> guest: that is relevant to the tax debate. one of the stories that we tell him that because there is a stage near the end of the tax debate that has been a phenomenal success, it's been positive for the economy, but there was an issue about whether we should delay the business tax cut in exchange for a slightly lower rate in the longer term and i was kind of agnostic i thought there are arguments on both sides but they said you are making a big mistake if you do this you will hurt the economy. people will delay their decision said that while lead to less economic activity and he said that is one of the mistakes reagan made until the full
thrust was put in place. >> host: it makes a lot of sense what's talk about the bo book. what do you think the book is about? >> guest: it starts when we first met trump and originally there were the three of us everyone watching the show probably knows donald trump stole him away from us and was the most important economist in the world. he's fantastic but anyway, we met trump almost exactly three years ago in late 2015 when the presidential race was just starting and we go through from the first couple meetings but put them through the campaign and what we try to do is people have strong opinions one way or another and half the people of trump and have paid him he's a pretty polarizing figure but
what we try to do is give an honest assessment on how we operate the good and the bad and the ugly there is a lot of great things we try to play that out in the first-hand account. he was focused on growth and he understood you have to get the economy growing to solve these other problems and of course that was music to the ears, so that i think is really the focus of what trumponomics is about. it's about growing the economy, putting people back to work and the second feature and i will stop here is that trump is pro-business, pro- american business and i loved it because you can't have jobs or higher
wages of businesses are not doing well and that is a big change from eight or nine, ten years ago when we had community organizers that didn't know a lot about this too were focused on how all of these public policy positions will benefit american businesses. >> host: first i want to talk about the men. one of the things, there was a good reminder in your book. you reminded us how unlikely it was, what a force president donald trump is at the time. did you see this coming? >> guest: he took a big risk taking the chance everybody said he couldn't win. i was rolling on the ground laughing. i thought it was a sort of publicity stunt. i just didn't buy into it for the viability of trump.
i remember walking out of that room after staying an hour with him and thinkin into thinking hd chance of winning. he has a winning attitude, he's very personable and i would say most politicians are wonderful people in terms of private. he can be a jerk in public that he's a wonderful person when you meet him personally. that kind of can-do spirits really resonated with him and the other thing that turned me out was attending his rallies. i started to go to two or three of them because something was going on and i didn't know what it was. trump was the only one i'd ever met. i went to one or two of these
and i was struck by the people who were there. the first thing i said when i met him in that meeting i don't know if i loved you but i sure love the voters and these were people who were not republican, not democrat, they were people who tended not to be very politically active in the paper just people that were left out of the political system. they were angry. they felt like there were people from michigan, ohio, wisconsin, that felt like the middle class had been left behind in both partieparties are not attentiveo what they were saying was that it was immigration or trade with their personal economic conditions. trump really tapped into that and saw it before anyone else did. you go to these rallies and you see the stripers and school teachers and construction workers in nevada veterans he would be surprised how many blacks and hispanics would show up.
i remember one of my favorite stories was over 500 to a thousand motorcycles at the side of the arena because they dominated the vote and these were people who were upset about washington. they thought washington had become greedy and self indulgent and completely out of touch with america. and they were right. >> host: i'm always trying to think about the strong phenomenon and he was the greatest coach in american history and he used to say the most important thing you can do is to meet the person you are talking to feel important and i wonder whether this is the president of trump has done or is doing at these rallies that the others were not doing. >> guest: he was attentive to what they were saying and listening to what they were saying. and i think, you know, a turning point was when phil or a clinton
called these people deplorable. a lot of republicans were, but the left held these people with contempt. these poor working class reagan democrats worked 40 hours a week, worked hard and felt like nobody was paying attention to them. the financial stress, worry about their jobs leaving the small towns they lived in. when not nancy pelosi that hillary said these are deplorable people, this was the kind of elitist view of liberals that somehow they know better than the people themselves about how to run their lives and that was the key to the victory. i didn't know that he was going to win but he had a good shot at it. people were saying there is no way, zero chance of.
>> guest: one thing i learned from the trump campaign and i think this is an important lesson whether you like donald trump or you don't like them whether it is science or finance or business or sports or whatever it might be, but often times, more often than you would think the experts are wrong. every political pollster, consultant, they all have it wrong and that's why when people say we know something is going to happen, people should be skeptical of that because -- >> host: actually calling on economists in particular to be more humble because there is a lot of things economists can tell you and even more things economists can tell you so when we predict that particular spending increase is going to
grow in the economy by whatever percent and then you have like three members it's the exact number of jobs. >> it's a lot of relationship with climate change. it's not true it is our ticket out. if you read the report it's likely a minute -- >> host: we can't even predict what the budget is going to be. going back to the phenomenon one of the things you talk about t
the. you've touched on this which is one of the things i find the most remarkable. he's a great listener and will focus on what you are saying and listened attentively. if you want to elaborate a little bit i suspect -- >> guest: he likes to debate. he likes the fact that when we told him we were for free trade and he is not by any means we
had a lot of fights about that. a good ceo shouldn't be surrounded by yes men and ultimately he's the president and he is going to make the ultimate decision but people say he's got a disagreement on this or that. what's wrong with that, he should have disagreements. >> host: that being said, and i agree on the fact that it's important to have people telling different side of the story but he seems to have the fighting spirit within his administration isn't peaceful -- >> guest: there is chaos there is no question about it there is
a lot of chaos and look at just the first two years how many of the original cabinet is even left at this point there's been a lot of turnover. if you fail you are fired that was always his famous saying. he demands performance. one of the things that has been unfair about him or the criticism he didn't pay some of the vendors. he would go through the buildings after for adult and if something wasn't working he would say i'm not paying you until you fix it.
number one, both trump and ronald reagan left people and donald trump loves to be around people in every venue he goes up to people and second of all this kb the most important thing. but the delay they are different ronald reagan was ideological and i mean that barack obama is ideological in tobago in conservative and barack obama was ideologically liberal and that means they understood the free market he grew up with bill
buckley and the trump is not ideological. what makes sense and what doesn't. fortunately because most of the things we believe in the right solution for he comes around in most cases through the kind of solutions that we believe are the best way to grow the economy. now there's two issues and we can get into this. he's taken on the conservative dogma. he is not a conventional free trader and the fact of immigration in terms of restrictive and what he wants to do those are areas where he's conflicted with the party. >> host: i can think of a few
others. i am concerned that because there is no ideology there, he can be swayed. i know a ton of businessmen who phenomenally are incredible at making money and yet there is a fundamental understanding of economics that's very thin and that could be a problem now. i recognized he could be the head of the country and not know absolutely everything but it does raise a real concern. >> host: one of the things i don't like about donald trump is the gm layoffs we had recently, he said we are not going to give you any more money you got to keep this plant open and so on.
i hate when they close and i don't want people to lose their jobs but do we want the government to tell businesses when they can open and -- >> host: one thing i want to ask you is should the government be ran like a business there is no profit in law to tell you when you are correct and i can see the appeal of the message. i'm just actually not quite sure that it works. a lot of these analogies don't translate to a.
it might be energy for sure, but there is some limits and certainly one of the things as you know i worked a lot on cronyism that is between the government and businesses and president trumped all of his business acumen one of the problems i see is his temptation is to go full on cronyism. all the encouragement and incentives to go settle layouts and we've seen it here there is a risk of being pro-business you get rid of the barriers to to do
business in this regulation and taxes and a whole lot of things and we are going to talk about this i think on deregulation he's like this is an area that is incredibly he knows what he is talking about but there is always a risk they are pro- cronyism at the same time. the government has a 4 trillion-dollar enterprise, the biggest enterprise in the world. bringing business principles to help we operate at you have a bottom line and make sure if you have so much revenue you don't spend above the revenue amount. trump has brought some of those principles to washington which
is long overdue but barack obama didn't know anything about business so he can't know what policies are going to work in businesses as well. >> host: the biggest difference between president obama and president trump that felt like an antibusiness sentiment. companies are relieved. >> guest: we have charts in the book that show this is the obama recovery works. the last year he was in office the economy grew 1.5% and look at what happened to business confidence, consumer confidence,
literally two days after the election he went through the roof. when i talk to businessmen and women people ask me what is the single most important thing chomp has done and in my opinion it wasn't any one thing it's that businesses knew if they were successful they were not going to hit him over the head with it and that is just getting the government out of the way. we all want clean air and safe water and financial protections and so on but in ways that are not going to inhibit the business. i am pro-business. if you can't have jobs without business into the problem is the democratic party has become very antibusiness and their outlook. >> host: let's talk about the tax cut. you and i have been talking
about the reform and the idea of him 25 years i will still be calling for a reduction. please tell us about that tax cut, how it came to be. >> guest: he asked us to be economic advisers. he knew in general the direction he wanted to go to help the businesses succeed to make america a more competitive place and we were fully on board so we put some meat on the bones and came up with this idea of the 20% business tax rate we were off.
the rest of the world was down here but this is a 20% tariff where putting every american business right out of the gate at a disadvantage. >> host: they had the highest. >> guest: in almost twice as high as the average. we have a tax system so those two things together were determined to to companies and the left is always talking about keeping their money abroad but it isn't a solution. every investment decision that is dictated is not conducive to the greek business decisions are economic outcomes.
>> guest: i remember one of my favorite stories in the book said we are recommending that you run out of the business tax rate and he said i'm not going to do that. what's interesting is from that day it was almost a year ago we got the votes we needed and i remember mitch mcconnell coming to see the president and he said i'm so sorry mr. president i couldn't get 15%, with a 20. absolutely. and i'm convinced trump is a master negotiator and understood something we didn't have the beginning. he started to negotiate.
every business man and woman that started this mess gets a tax cut so for the large corporations, every small business that has a tax liability has gotten a tax cut and that is where a lot come in and then we did the repatriation to have the money overseas to bring it back at a lower rate cuts coming back we estimate about half a trillion dollars that has come back to the factories and the estimate here. >> there is a minimum tax. one of the changes need is to have a minimal global tax. there's so many elements we got rid of the corporate alternative minimum tax. for businesses it has been a very positive thing we are
seeing a lot of business investment and the most important point and this is something where he used to say to trump all the time and he says it now because it is true when you cut taxes for businesses as a middle-class tax cut. when you get businesses invest in more in the country they will hire more workers and pay more of the productivity and business investment so i always like to say if you have a company that is a team trucks and all of a sudden the 20 d. have to hire two more truck drivers so it was oriented towards getting business is healthy and incidentally, you know this to be in america we have 7 million more jobs than we had people to fill them, so that gives workers a want of opportunities to bring their wages up. >> host: it is a plan that is worth repeating that the corporate income tax rate is not just a giveaway to businesses.
the economic research shows very clearly that it leads to more capital investment, which leads to more productivity and higher wages and it means as you said, more jobs but also the jobs that exist so it's something that is just counterintuitive i think for people and in the fight for -- >> guest: this was a tax cut for rich people and corporations that is just wrong. we did a study that the average american has gained -- the average middle-class workers have seen a 2,000-dollar after-tax increase in their income and then when you include the increase in the salary they are getting lee estimated about $3,000. if you are a family making 50 to 80,000 a year and you get an
extra 2500 a year in your paycheck, that is a big deal. i don't care if nancy pelosi said that from citizens. i was in dallas a couple months ago walking down the street and this latino woman walked by me and kind of grabbed me by the arm and said nice to know you talk about economics and i smiled and said that was me. i'm not sure if she was going to slug me or something. she said i didn't vote for donald trump i don't even like him but i got the 2,000-dollar bonus from my employer and she said for the first time in five years, i will be able to take a vacation. that's the kind of thing that means a lot to a middle-class family. >> host: i'm sure. in fact, after the tax plan was announced that he was a done deal and was assigned, there were all of these bonuses across the country increasing wages and please leave.
but it wasn't in my opinion the tax cuts were working per se the mechanism of the tax cuts for the optimism. people felt good about the future. let's talk about the individual side of the tax plan. >> guest: you and i have known each other for a long time and i think we would love to see a flat tax to get their grade down as low as possible. we tried to do as much of that as we could and it was an area that failed. taking up a special interest groups to get rid of the loophole is a difficult thing to do. we were not able to get rid of deduction and a lot of the special interest loopholes that have been in the tax system, we got rid of some of them and i'm proud of the fact example no longer can people in high tax states deduct their taxes because if you choose to live in a high tax state, people in new
york state finally i can deduct my high taxes anymore. number two, why should somebody living in texas behind your taxes so you can have high taxes in europe? it doesn't make sense to $10,000 per household and that is very positive. the highest tax rate down because the race by ten to 15% which we got down from 40% to 37% and small businesses can deduct 20% of their business and come off their taxes so the rate is effectively closer to 30%. >> host: the state and local tax deduction, we solve this very dear to political moment where the democrats in high tax states were complaining about the richest taxpayers were not going to be deducting their taxes and th their bill was goig to go up and it was bizarre. >> guest: this is a great point i want to explain to the
viewers if you are a liberal you have to understand. one of the things we did in the tax plan is we doubled the standard deduction that is the check off a box and get a standard deduction i think around $10,000, or you can go through and itemize your deductions but what we found is that almost 90% of americans now are better off just checking the box. you don't have to keep all of your receipts and all that. so the only people with a few exceptions left itemizing are those in the top percentage of income and most of those itemized deductions go to the top% so what the liberals say they want to bring back in the state and local tax deduction what they are saying is they want to bring back a tax deduction for the richest because the vast majority goes to george soros and bill gates and really rich people so in this case they do.
>> host: i wasn't a fan at all of the individual side. there were things i liked, but it's important for people to know that a vast majority of income tax because we are talking here about the income tax became paid by the top 10% of americans like 17% roughly. 17% of income taxes paid by the top 10% income earner. what i didn't like and what i think was a big mistake, again politics is not my thing, but you talk about it in the book, why you would do it for political reasons, but it was a missed opportunity talking about the middle-class tax cut that was just nonsensical.
the middle class when it comes to the income tax is a percentage of the whole thing into the standard deduction is effectively what it means you pick more people out of the tax and politically i get it, but economically it's a bad idea. then on top of that the price you pay in terms of economic trade-off is you are not getting the biggest bang for the buck in terms of economic growth. now again, the politics, i get it. but the rhetoric also bothered me. it's not just bad economics, but also the rhetoric was problematic. >> guest: i think it was a positive thing to do because what we were trying to do, conventionally there were no deductions. 18% and the only deduction you get this for your kids, your self and you have a great
system, the rich will pay their fair share because they will not be able to shelter all their money and what we try to do by doubling the standard deduction for 90% of people don't have to itemize is we've take they've ty the political constituency for these groups and now if we do another round of tax reform in the direction that you and i would like to see, it's going to be easier to get rid of the remaining loopholes because only rich people get them and let's get rid of all the deductions because it's only the people like jeff getting them but there are political decisions made all the time. we had to fight to get the 50 votes in the senate and was very dicey. we didn't know until the last day almost three days before christmas whether we had the votes to get it because n. obamacare remember we came one vote short in the senate. we were terrified and needed to get this done because the
economy would be so enormous. notwithstanding your point, i'm proud of it and i think it is one of the most pro- growth pieces of legislation and by the way so far the results have been unbelievable. we have massive job creation, the lowest unemployment rate, women, blacks, hispanics, the manufacturing movement, people feel that every day and we have increased the growth rate from 1.5% to about 3.5% and there was a heavy left but it was a big part of it. >> host: as i said i think the corporate side -- i saw the side tried as a way to fail. >> guest: when reagan reformed the tax system in the 80s when the highest was 70% comes down to 28% and the economy boomed. the problem then was more on the individual side.
the biggest problem we had when trump became president was a business tax system. you wrote a book about this. we had the worst business tax system in the world. how can you be competitive with that when you are right we didn't do a lot to fix the individual side but hopefully there will be another crack at it. >> host: we will talk about this later in the context of the spending but let's talk about deregulation. i will say i have been a vocal critic of president trump whether it is on some aspect of the trade and immigration, but i will say this on the regulation side, we've been an incredible champion to the american economy and the thing that's important to know is fundamentally the president when it comes to regulations he doesn't have a ton of power and yet he has been using every single tool in his
toolbox to actually do what he could do, starting from day number one calling on the congress to appeal the latest regulation that came out. can you talk more about this? >> guest: i will tell you the story when the three of us started working for trump during the campaign, one of the first things he did is i think he called it his business roundtable and it was about 30 ceos who run great companies in america, financial service manufacturers, energy companies and so on. i will never forget because it had a big impact on and i think on him. he didn't talk at the meeting, he went around asking every business man and woman what is your biggest problem and i thought they would have said the tax system. but they said that the red tape and regulation.
under obama it got worse and worse every year and that's why the growth rate was so low because they stopped investing because somebody's going to whack you over the head and you aren't going to do it. also the fact that he's a builder, he's a realistic man. >> host: i remember watching him do a presentation and i will say this honestly the first time when he was talking about economic issues i was like he guess it is a very profound level. he had a banner made with all of the licensing stages for the building. and if was really quite striking and he was explaining things like there are licensing requirements that make you get ttwo in a row and then to get te third one you have a mandatory time is like nine months to wait before you can even apply for
it, or six months. all these incredible requirements. >> guest: remember of the state of the union speech, using real examples is a great thing to do. to get a permit to build a road can take five to ten years. that's ridiculous. you need a road where you have congestion you can't build for five to ten years because of the walls and so on. another, obama passed the climate change legislation but its intention was to destroy the coal industry in america but we have 100,000 people employed by the coal industry. this is important we get one third of our electric power generation you're just going to strangle this industry with these regulations that are almost impossible to comply with and in that case they knew the industry couldn't comply, they knew that it would bankrupt the industry that you don't want the government bankrupting an industry to build a political
objective. you could tell the stories hundreds of times. the last chapter in the book by the way is called a light swit switch. after the first year and a half in office what has happened to the economy, and i got that from a guy who runs an auto repair shop outside of cleveland ohio and he has about 20 employees. i said how is your business doing that and as i said this was about six months after the election. he said to steve, it's almost like the day after the election a light switch went off and ever since then, i've had more business than i can possibly handle, and that is just kind of unleashing of this business is knowing it's going to be okay and they are not going to get whacked by obamacare and regulations. i can't tell you how many times businessmen and women have told me similar stories and that's why we have a strong economy
now. >> host: we can expand the optimism in a lot of places but i want to leave the last few minutes left to actually go to three issues that are actually you barely touch on them and they are the big missing parts i think spending, trade and immigration. spending, next month the death is going to be $22 trillion. $22 trillion. when president obama got into office was roughly almost 11 trillion. so in 11 years, uncle sam has accumulated more debt than its entire history before and it's only uphill from there. you make a mentioning of this that there' there is not enough spending cuts and in fact [inaudible] and in this sense we are back to the reagan years and bush years where everything, every spending cut, every financial records is
a fiscal responsibility taking a backseat in the name of an spending. and it's very surprising coming from donald trump who seems like a reasonable -- you have things now you talk about how he's frugal, and it's just like it's not that it hasn't come through -- >> guest: first of all, you are exactly right it is way too long because of the audience knows, in 2018, the first year of this big tax cut, federal revenues in the united states were higher than they've ever been in history. i know you know this but it's not a problem. tax cuts have grown the economy and we are getting the revenue -- >> host: index was also saying that while not all at least as productive of the tax cuts is going to pay for itself, it's not the problem.
it's a drop in the bucket. >> guest: to finish this point and then i will get on spending, the congressional office already advised over the next ten years that we've recouped by about two thirds of the static revenue cost for this spending is out of control, no doubt about it. trump made a terrible decision where he said i want to spend more money on the military but i'm not going to do that because i'm no military expert. the only way is to spend more money on social programs so we got $300 million more for these programs and then that led to the deaths. we are trying to get him right now to do a war on waste and go through every note and cranny of the government. >> host: social security, medicare, i noted that his administration is doing a lot of reform on medicaid in a way that
serves its population, but medicare and social security are two areas he said he doesn't want to -- to be fair to him, the republicans don't seem to have any interest in reforming social security. they are republican. >> guest: the democrats don't either. >> host: [inaudible] there is jusis just noise in thd the driver of the debt is going to mean less growth, higher taxes and by the way higher taxes for everyone because you can't get back that kind of money. we can pay for the social programs we just need more growth. one thing is for sure if you don't get the faster boat we are on this. we showed the curve, here is the debt with a 2% growth that is
being populated and if you look at it with 3.5% growth it goes down so growth is going to be a component and one of the things i don't think trump wins for election, i think there's no question they were rolling the wheel chair over and then we would have nancy pelosi. >> host: it is like a catch-22 because no one wants to do that and there is just no way -- >> guest: nobody wants to put their big boy pants on and say we have a big problem with these programs. >> host: people don't really recognize and i think republicans don't recognize this enough if you value your tax cuts he better start valuing your spending. look at the french and what's happening now. the thing people don't quite
understand is the big government they have very aggressive taxes, so the friend should have much more regressive income taxes. they have much higher value added tax of 20%. the social tax seven points higher than we do and we are not keeping the tax cuts if you are not cutting spending -- >> guest: i want them to start vetoing spending bills. we should see some fights on spending. the amount of money we are spending for the country that is $20 trillion in debt is completely outrageous. >> host: one final thing is too much government spending is
going to kill growth. growth is important. >> guest: it is the true cost of government -- >> host: you said you are a student of julian simon. he who believed fundamentally and you wrote about this and it's not just people like me, you've been such a vocal advocate. the ultimate whistle. i'm very surprised. >> guest: it has changed a little bit. we need more legal immigrants in this country we don't have enough workers to fill the jobs and we need the agricultural workers and anybody that wants to work under this country i want them to work. here's the problem, the american
people especially made it very clear and i talked to them personally, they don't want to do anything about the system increasing their fees us until the border gets secure. i'm with you, i'm with them on that but skip the ball rolling getting built. you have sanctuary cities and catch and release. that's idiotic. if you are going to come into this country, you have to come legally. if we can get the border security done, and hopefully it can get done in 2019, then you can pass and trump is very open-minded on legalizing a lot of these in the country but also it allows us to expand our legal immigration system and that is a great outcome. >> host: i don't know that the wall is going to have that much but we also have our job as free-market economists there are
so few of us that can praise immigration for the greatness that it does to the country. >> guest: that's all i'm saying. >> host: then you have to reform the system to allow these. >> guest: we should be selective in who we bring in. for example, i've become opposed to immigrants bringing in their elderly parents. they are not going to be a benefit to the country -- >> host: in your mind it's not a high skill low skilled -- >> guest: i think we should have some switch to the high skilled immigration. >> host: if there's things that close guild immigrant -- >> guest: a high school will bring more benefits than low skill. >> host: but actually allowing americans who are here who are middle-class to go up the ladder to -- >> guest: it's a merit based system trump wants to move towards where you get more skills if you have skills and
you know english and have the education and the talents that we need. countries like australia, countries like canada have a system that works well for them so why shouldn't we move in that direction as well? >> host: i think that if we get the spending in line and taxes in line and every one is going to want to continue coming here [inaudible] >> guest: people say trump hates hispanics. wait a minute, he's got all these hispanics at the border trying to get into the country so how racist can we be if everybody wants to come here. >> host: the final thing, you and i know that fundamentally the benefit, the economic benefit of trade is unilateral. yes, we would love if there were no trade barriers around the world but ultimately, -- the
economics are pretty clear on this. look at hong kong, all lines of zero. >> guest: wouldn't it be better if we could have the moral outcome be that all countries have zero. so he's using the terrace as a negotiating tactic to get the others to reduce. it's just a truism in the buck. >> host: canada has lower. >> guest: not according to the cia reports. >> host: we went to war with them and also the current state of the world right now because of this if we have higher tariffs on a lot of things -- >> guest: i'm optimistic
trumped is going to win. i'm against the steel and auto tariffs, i agree on that. the big idea right now americans should be concerned about is china and my concern is china is the new soviet union, they are out of control. the fact h. e., steal, lie, intellectual property is stolen, all the things we can't live without anymore and if it takes tariffs to get them to start behaving themselves and stop stealing to achieve, we've got to do that. >> host: fundamentally they are paid by americans. >> guest: and hispanics. both countries. >> host: it hurts both countries and it's really hurting us and it's interesting when you look -- >> guest: not just letting china continue to do -- >> host: i think that there are ways in. there's no silver bullet ever so one thing that is important is there are different ways -- >> guest: like what flex
>> host: i think that it was a great way -- it's the most reckless organization ever. >> host: it was the highest level complainant against the united states and the data shows the united states complies much less than china. >> host: are you kidding me? [inaudible] >> host: go check. [inaudible] >> guest: i've looked at the data. they are three times higher than we are -- >> host: but they are hurting their own people. >> guest: but they are also hurting our companies that can't do business over there. >> host: so basically what i'm posing, high taxes on americans when they start treating their people right.
we will see. the jury is out. >> guest: i'm optimistic. trump is using leverage here and i think it's about time. every country needs access to america's market to grow, especially china. trump is saying you are not going to have access until you start eating yourself and create a level playing field, open up your markets to america. do you think that they should be able to steal -- >> host: absolutely not, but the way to go certainly -- go read the exemption of the commerce department to request for exemption for all these tariffs they are heartbreaking stories. we talk about the consumption tax, but you know what, workers and manufacturers in america were consuming a lot. it is so hurtful. >> guest: here's where i disagree, i think trump is going
to win and we are going to get a free trade system with china as a result of what trump is doing. they will reduce the terrace to cut tariffs. they will have to. >> host: they will do the minimum but the taxes are still going to be there. >> guest: i agree with you. those are hurting america because they are making america's manufacturing jobs suffer. >> host: i'm not at the head of the country, just an economist. .. . >> so to be into perspective.