tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN November 29, 2016 7:00pm-8:01pm EST
think we can actually get done? >> i would say infrastructure. it's the best bet. by the way, if he called me tomorrow i would say don't step back on what obama has done on cuba. that would be the first thing i would say, leading that bill to lift the embargo. >> that would be the first thing you would say? >> yes. i would just say it but then i would go -- >> how about you? >> first thing i would say? probably hello. >> yeah. really? to finish answering dana's question, the thing that i think has the most potential, based on partly what chris said is, and he raised it the first night, infrastructure. i live eight blocks from that bridge that fell down in a summer day in minneapolis, 35w bridge. not just a bridge. it's a highway. 13 people died and i will never forget that. and if he's willing to finance a major infrastructure development in this country, we already have passed the fast act, led by senator mcconnell and senator boxer. and so we have baseline funding
already. so it's not like we're just making up for things. we actually could have a chance to do something on perhaps broadband, roads, bridges. you name it. wastewater treatment plants. and you talk about a rural agenda, a state that's a pretty rural state, that would be a big step if we started working on that. how we pay for it, there is some interest in overseas money, trillions of dollars that are overseas. senator schumer, our leader, has been devoted to this for a long time. i am, as well. and that is finding some way to bring that money back from overseas. it won't be -- i will say it will be a bit controversial on our side. but finding a way to bring the money back. and then what you could do, if companies voluntarily bring the money back with a rate that we have enough votes to pass, you could then, as part of the deal, have a certain percentage of it go into either an infrastructure financing authority. i don't call it an infrastructure bank because that creates problems on your side with some people.
infrastructure financing authority or straight into the highway fund. that could be a big -- >> i think you should take some more time to think about it. she's done. boom, boom, boom. >> but he probably wouldn't listen that long to me on the phone. >> he might. >> so i just put it out there now because maybe one of the advisers is watching c-span. and so i think -- >> maybe the president-elect is -- no, he doesn't watch c-span. >> senator, you, obviously, your passion and main portfolio is national security and international policy. and he's -- look, as republicans go, he's not so hawkish. >> he isn't. i would talk to him about manufacturing first. i've led, along with senator baldwin, an initiative in my caucus called manufacturing for america. we've put together 25 bills that are on a wide range of issues, tax trade, immigration, intellectual property, skills for the workforce that are all around how to strengthen and sustain the growth in manufacturing.
we have had 900,000 new jobs in manufacturing added over the last five years. we are actually winning again, to borrow his phrase, at manufacturing. and there are things that we can do to accelerate the trend and move in the right direction. we can increase, i think, both employment and productivity. this is an area that puts people to work without four-year university degrees. it allows folks of a wide range of backgrounds, skills and education to have a decent life, high wage and good benefits. fighting for manufacturing would be the first thing i would talk to him about. yes, i would also talk to him about russia, middle east, africa, nato, but he would have hung up on me after -- >> i will invite students or anybody else to make your way to the microphone. dana, what does the media need to change? >> nothing. we're perfect. >> i thought that would be a short response. >> where do i start? i mean, look, it's -- we always
have to -- i think we always have to be -- put ourselves under the microscope. i want to let them get their questions. and be reflective especially in this new world where you have a president tweeting and the inclination is to sort of follow the shiny red object. and the inclination is also -- and i think you guys are right -- conflict is good tv. but sometimes it's not just about conflict. it is about compromise and i think working harder on that, especially in today's day and age is important. >> really important. we'll go to your questions. if you can keep them short and keep your answers relative succinct, we'll get in as many as we can. you've got to go. you have a meeting at 7:15 and you have to go, too. you're on. >> i'm curious in general with unprecedented election psych sbl now quite unprecedented moving
forward with the new president-elect. a lot of people have been talking about the future of elections and the electoral college and things within the united states and political parties and divides. and i was wondering if you guys had any opinions or ideas about the future of these things. and i know a lot of people have heard the conversation. >> well, i would, first of all, make it easier for people to vote in a lot of states, not harder. the voting rights reauthorization, reauthorizing that would be good. electoral college. it turns out that, in fact, despite the -- what donald trump may have said on his tweets hillary clinton did win the popular vote. so i think that's worth looking at. i know that will be very difficult. one thing, if i could do one thing it's the campaign finance side. my new perch is the ranking member rules, we have some jurisdiction over that. i'm going to focus on it. citizens united decision has brought in so much of this outside money that candidates no longer control their own message
or what they're doing. and the money that we raise, which at least is all reported, is dwarfed by what comes in, in major campaigns from the outside. i think it's very damaging to our democracy. >> next question. >> thank you. >> with the way the president-elect looks at zero policy with winning and losing only and how foreign policy has become more unilaterally focused with action from the president in recent history, what do you think the senate can do to try to wrestle back some of that power from the president as it looks like the president-elect will not be diplomatic in any way? thank you. >> i don't know that he won't be diplomatic in any way. i will be nervous at the first state dinner. i'll just say that. because he is so informal in how he speaks and he's not careful sometimes in how he does t i think that's part of it, sinking in that he's the president of the united states and everything that he says matters. but he is a very smart
businessman and does know how to be be able to move issues and has traveled around the world. his passion for america to be first is not a bad position. quite frankly, the world benefits with a strong america. as we continue to strengthen, the world continues to strengthen. we're still a quarter of the world's economy. if our economy continues to struggle, the world economy continues tole. so there's really both here. he's not walking away from nato, i don't think. nato does not live up to its military obligations. they never have. no country except us has kept their end of the bargain to maintain what is required to stay in the nato alliance. if pressure was put on those countries, we want to keep an alliance, but you have to live up to your end of the bargain, that's not necessarily a bad thing. while we don't know somewhat and we'll know more after he picks a secretary of state exactly what direction he wants to go in foreign policy, again, i'm not
all that concerned about that. >> your turn. >> briefly, an article that just went up in democracy that lays out five areas where i think the senate, on a bipartisan basis, can and should make a conduct in foreign policy. there's never been a nato country that's met the spending goals or military commitment. we've been disappointed in several of our largest nato allies. that may be one positive outcome that comes from his somewhat reckless statements. they may step up and invest more. that would not be all together bad. i'll briefly say we really have not stepped up to or lived up to our constitutional role to declare wars. we are now conducting conflicts in half a dozen countries based on the 2001 and 2002 authorizations of the use of military force. they've been stretched beyond all recognition from the original scope. we should, on a bipartisan basis, talk a hard look at what we're authorizing the president to do, in what geographies, to
what purpose, to what time and work in a bipartisan way to authorize the wars that we are conducting today and do it in a way that doesn't have the leaking and ungoverned edges of the current situation. my question for senator langford. senator mccain, in discussion with reporters this morning, kind of exasperated, said i don't want any more questions about president-elect. that's my write as a senator. first part is, do you think that is your right as a senator? second of all, what's your advice to your republican congressional colleagues and field i fielding questions? >> are you a student here? >> i am. >> don't we have the best students? >> that's a great question. >> that is. let me clarify my question on t on the senate republican side, what we affectionately call the gauntlet that we walk through. we've renamed it the trump gauntlet. there's a line of reporters that
line at the hallway and try to stop us and catch us and ask us a question about something trump said ten minutes ago that they want to be the first one to ask us, when we haven't heard the whole context of it and say trump just said this. what do you think? i respond to reporters, i'm not trump's spokesman. i'm just not. i'm not trying to negate that. if you want to know what trump meant by something, ask his spokesperson. because my responsibility is to be able to speak for my state and what i believe as a senator, not have to speak for john mccain and what he says or speak for the president-elect and what he says or the house members or goodness knows chris koontz. i don't speak well for them. i may have opinions on one thing or the other but it's become the gauntlet. it's the constant gotcha, trying to divide republicans to say this vk battling this republican. that's a great story. well, you know what? it's actually kind of boring now
to say, i'm sorry we don't agree on everything but not all republicans think alike. and that should be okay. >> next question. >> good evening. as a legal immigrant that turned citizen here and a trump supporter i just had a question about his immigration because that has been such a huge drive in his campaign for so long. do you think that will be one of the issues where the senate can meet halfway at b instead of a and c? do you think that's one of the things where it's easy to be negotiating and he will back down like he did with the whole hillary thing and prosecuting? >> yes. i do. and i think part of it is what chris and amy were saying before. the senate is a place where good bills go to die. >> but not immigration. we passed. >> i know. it went the other way. the house will pass something. they'll be passionate about immigration. president-elect and future president will be engaged in this issue.
the senate will be the place where the minority voice is always heard, always. that's the only place in the federal government that the minority voice is always heard. so there will be that bash in between. and my hope is that at the end of it, we don't walk away and say we're going to do nothing. we actually engage and say what prob progress can we make and move on that? >> we did have a history where we did work out a bill and had some significant support for that bill. there's a lot of people that are very knowledgeable about the issues and have worked together on it before. and a lot of those same people are there. so that also bodes well. but i still think it's going to be hard to get this, given the rhetoric. but the facts are -- and i have raised immigration reform myself. i do think that there could be a chance. but it would be to do it immediately. i'm trying to picture how that happens, given the campaign. >> we need to get you out of here. >> amy and i serve on the judiciary committee together. we did three weeks of mark-up on the bill. we had literally hundreds of
amendments and the terrific work of the bipartisan group of senators that pieced that together. i believe they're all still serving with us. and made significant contributions. a lot of the architecture is already there. we do need a president who is willing to take risks, meet in the middle and craft a bill that actually can gain support from both parties. >> just 20 seconds, totally agree with you as an observer of the political system. if president trump makes conservatives happy with the supreme court pick and figures out a big win like reforming obamacare, then he's going to have a lot of chips that he can call in for immigration reform. i think it's totally possible. >> i absolutely think it's possible. at the end of the day if the debate is about whether we're going to give citizenship to people who are here currently undocumented, i think the whole thing falls apart, but there are so many other areas of immigration reform that we can pull together.
>> you don't get immigration overhaul without dealing with that at some point. >> there's difference between giving citizenship and some sort of legal status and that will be a lot of the debate. >> so you can -- >> but you have to deal with the issue. >> i completely agree. but you have to deal with all the basics on it first. if people are willing to be able to say, let's come, let's find agreement on it. but that will be one of those a and c type issues. everyone demands it. we can't move on this unless you give everyone citizenship. it all falls apart. >> next question. we have to get our senators out. they both have places to go. >> i want to make clear i was not a trump supporter this election cycle but one of the things that appealed to a lot of people who did support him was the idea that he couldn't be bought. and, really, he self funded a lot of his campaign in the primary, in comparison to jeb bush, who had $100 million in corporate money. how does donald trump's campaign
change campaign finance reform in the united states, even if things like citizens united remain? >> he has not made that a major topic. he has made drain the swamp a major theme, and mostly focused on lobbyists and those issues. there's some support on the democratic side for some of that. but he has not -- >> he's a unique character, like lightning in a bottle. a unique character. >> i think he spent a third of what hillary clinton spent. >> yeah. >> but that all being said, he has not talked about putting a justice in that wants to change citizens united or constitutional amendment to change citizens united which, to me, is the way you put control of the campaigns back in the candidates themselves and, thus, the citizen. >> i am so sorry that we can't take more of your questions. maybe there will be a chance for you to mingle and mix with -- i know you're going to hang around for a few minute. >> or maybe a chance to come intern in one of our offices. >> wow!
>> would you like that? anybody interested in interning in their offices? all right. we'll take cards. let me ask each of you through this conversation, which has been built around what trump means and what it governs to do. 10 or 20 seconds on what young people here should be watching for and thinking about as they experience and learn washington. >> well, i think that they should be looking at, first of all, getting involved yourself. the last thing for those people that were disappointed, i'll speak to them, at the election results, the last thing would be to just put your head under the covers and say i can't believe this happened. i'm not going to be part of this. we need you as watchdogs and we need you urging us to action. and we need people to volunteer and stay involved in the system. and one of my most heartening things is that i have kind of -- i thought maybe people would be like that. they haven't been like that at all. they're active. they're out there. they want to talk about issues. they've been coming up to me in diners and airports more than they've ever done before.
they may have different political views but they're not uninterested. so i think that is what you have to do as young people. >> yeah. real quick, i would say a couple of things. be more interested in policy than you are in politics. there are a lot of people that are fascinated with the campaigns. that's the job interview. >> uh-huh. >> be more interested in the job than the job interview. that will help a tremendous amount. >> governing. >> yeah. on a personal level, let me say two-fold. i see some of you that are concerned, afraid, whatever it may be. i would tell you in my state, in oklahoma, eight years ago when president obama was elected, i had people running up to me going oh, my gosh, he's going to shut down this industry and this industry. i'm afraid for my job, my family. what's going to happen? there were conservatives that were afraid the other direction. it's still america and we're going to work this out. i wouldn't panic about it. the final thing i would say is if you're a person of faith, live your faith. that is one of the most deepest -- that is the deepest part of who we are. and for individuals that don't
have a faith, you can still be a great american and not be a person of faith. but for people that have faith, live that out. because that is the stabilizing force for most individuals in their own personal life. >> so, first, let me suggest you look to these two as role models. senator langford has an article he wrote with senator scott, finding our way toward each other across racial divides that is worth reading and reflects how thoughtful he is. senator clovershar was just recognized by the school of journalism for literally being the leading senator in taking bipartisan bills and getting them signed into law. we have two great examples here of folks that make a difference f i could offer some closing advice, it's make a difference. be willing to be engaged. learn from people who are different from you. live your faith and make a difference in the world. because then you'll find things that really matter to you. and we have to have an engaged, passionate electorate or
democracy won't work. this will be a rough couple of years for us as we try to find a new accommodation with a new president. but it's still america. the lights are still on. it still works as a democracy. the media, our elections, our governance and sense of community depend on you. so, thank you for investing the time this evening. i hope we've offered some encouragement. >> boy, i don't want to follow that. [ applause ] >> i will just say, kind of end where i started, which is that, you know, the system may be frustrating and broken but it -- and i say this to people and i have for two decades that i've covered washington, especially congress. to a person, these individuals come to washington and run not because of the power, the glamour. because it's not easy. but because they want to get stuff done and because they believe in the ideas and the
ideals that drove them to public service. and, you know, just be optimistic about it. because it's real. you've seen it tonight. >> and fight for what you believe in, you know. >> yeah. >> raise your voice. mac a difference. that's why you came to gw. that's why you came here this evening. your voices are heard. i wanted us to have this conversation. i'm so sorry we've run a little over. it's been worth every second of it. because -- part of this is the media issue. we hear the same voices saying the same things and what people don't get a chance to hear is individuals, there are relationships. you're not marching in lockstep behind donald trump. you didn't march in lockstep, necessarily, behind obama. though close. but -- but it's important for people to realize that the men and the women who work in these
jobs are three dimensional human beings and bring more to the jobs than the sound bites we often see. that's the danger we saw in this past campaign, ideologyized, dumbed down, and america rose up and said burn the house down. now we burned the house down and will start again presumably. at least it's on fire some place. there's a lot of work to do. it isn't easy and it isn't a straight line. and i think that's the lesson that we take from this. this doesn't end. it's just -- takes a different shape. guys, thank you all very much. join me in thanking these wonderful panelists. hope you enjoyed this. have a good evening.
mcconnell and served as secretary of transportation during the george bush administration and labor secretary during the george w. bush administration. and tom price as their pick to head the health and human services department. he speaks at the brookings institution thursday. you can watch that live at 3:00 pm eastern here on c-span 3. c-span's washington journal live every day, with news and polishes that impact you. coming up wednesday morning, democratic steering and policy committee vice chair congressman eric swalwell. then congressman chris stewart on president-elect trump's emerging national security team and foreign policy challenges.
and new york magazine's senior editor max reed on his article "fake news" and whether the internet is a reliable tool for furthering democracy. be sure to watch c-span's washington journal live 7:00 am eastern wednesday morning. join the discussion. follow the transition of government on c-span as donald trump becomes the 45th president of the united states and republicans maintain control of the u.s. house and senate. we'll take you to key events as they happen without interruption. watch live on c-span. watch on demand at c-span.org or listen on our free c-span radio app. >> thank you all very much. welcome to congress. we're joined by mike lilis.
tell us why tim ryan is challenging democratic leader nancy pelosi. >> i think there are several reasons. going back to 2010 when the democrats lost control of the speaker's gavel and they were wiped out, there was grumbling then. why should we return the same leaders to the same spots if they weren't able to keep us in the majority? since then every election cycle you've heard a little bit of that grumbling. it's been behind closed doors. this year is very different because of the trump victory, because the democrats were expecting to pick up significant house seats. they didn't do that. and now what was once behind close doord d doors is now beco very public in the form of tim ryan's challenge. you can break it down a couple of different ways. one is generational. leader pelosi has been in charge for 14 years, in her mid 70s. steny hoyer, jim clyburne, also been there more than a decade, also in their 70s.
there's grumbling by younger members there's no room to move up in the world of democratic leadership. what you've seen is a brain drain. you've seen an exodus of people like chris van hollen, steve israel, donna edwards, who have moved on to other places because of this bottleneck at the top. tim ryan is saying we need a fresh face, need new ideas and i'm the guy who can do it. the other component is regional. he represents youngstown, ohio, very blue collar, manufacturing base. and he points out that pelosi is liberal from san francisco. hoyer is from maryland. the other leaders are all from the coast. all of them are from the coast, almost without exception. and he says that they simply don't speak to these kind of working class, white, rust belt voters. he, again, is the guy to do it. those are the two arguments we're hearing over and over and over again. >> who is tim ryan? what's his track record on
capitol hill, in the house in particular? >> he's young, 43. he does represent a new generation but he's not a about new guy. he was just elected to his eighth term. he was very young when he arrived. he was 29, the youngest democrat in the house when he did arrive. but he's seasoned. he has been here, be entering his eighth term, exactly the 14 years that nancy pelosi has been the leader. so, little bit of irony there. he wants a change. but he does represent this manufacturing district. it did go for trump. yet he was able to secure 68% of the vote. so he's saying we need somebody who can go into -- he keeps saying the fish fries, the church services. we need somebody who can go into talk to these voters and broaden the appeal of the democratic party. >> insurgent dems support challenger tim ryan. tell us about the supporters in the democratic caucus.
>> you've seen a trickle of supporters. the number stands at 11. we might see a couple more, we might not. we are not sure how many people will come out publicly. ruben dellego and seth molten, an iraq veteran. actually, so is dellego. molten is also young, also new from massachusetts. they had successfully delayed these leadership elections. pelosi wanted them to happen two weeks ago. they said no way. not after this election. we're going to take some time. we're going to have a reckoning and figure out what went wrong. they were successful. the election is tomorrow. but they hadn't endorsed anybody until today. they were kind of holding their fire. and now they are just trying to build a little bit of momentum for ryan, even if it's a losing effort, they're young. they'll be here when pelosi is gone so they see it as a strategic move more than anything. >> walk us through, if you can,
the timeframe and logistics on the vote. we understand it will be a secret ballot wednesday morning? >> secret ballot. it's always a secret ballot. that plays to the advantage of tim ryan. pelosi is an extremely powerful force in this caucus. she's very well respected. but she's also feared, to an extent. so that's why you're not seeing so many people come out publicly. last time she was challenged in 2010, it was heath schuler. he was a blue dog. hadn't been around very long. and he got 43 votes. very few of them were public. people will vote in a secret ballot because they can remain anonymous and not have any kind of political reprisal from pelosi, who has in the past denied people committee assignments or denied them campaign cash, things like that, where she could -- it's kind of a form of retribution, how she keeps people in line, how she
keeps everybody so unified. so tomorrow morning starts at 8:50. 9:00 in the morning. it will be in the basement of the capital, where the democrats meet every week for their caucus. you will have somebody nominate pelosi. you'll have somebody nominate tim ryan. we don't know yet who those figures will be. you'll have a couple speakers on behalf of both of the candidates. you can expect pelosi probably will grab female lawmaker, probably somebody from the chc, somebody from the black caucus. she'll have a whole swath of people and tim ryan will probably try to do the same thing. he's got some diversity there. he has marcia fudge, former chc -- sorry, former black caucus chair woman from ohio who would probably speak on his behalf. then they vote in the closed ballot. and whether or not we know the tally is another thing. the tally in the schuler vote
was leaked. we don't know if we'll know the tally, at least not immediately. >> we'll look for your reporting on all of this. senior congressional reporter for the hill. read more at the hill.com. thanks for joining us. >> thank you for having me. appreciate it. grover nor quist, president of americans for tax reform. he was a guest on this morning's washington journal talking about president-elect trump's tax policy. this is 40 minutes. >> and our guest, grover norquist, president for americans for tax reform here to talk about the incoming trump administration. good morning. >> good morning. good to be with you. >> how would you describe donald trump's tax policy and do you like it? >> it is extremely powerful in terms of economic growth. what trump has done is something along the lines of what reagan did. he takes not the individual rates, which do need to come down. he brings those down somewhat. but he says what's not
competitive in the world is our top corporate rate, business rate is 35%. and the rest of the world -- we used to be the lowest in the world. now we're the highest. you add to the 35% almost 5% because the average state corporate income tax is 5, 4.8%. you're looking at 40% business taxes. we're competing with europe where the average is 23, where it's under 15 for ireland. we're higher than all our competitors. taking that down to 15. then you have to add the 567fiv. so you really have 20. makes us competitive with most of the rest of the world where we weren't before. that will be a phenomenal help in terms of trade and job creation. the second part that he put in -- and that's actually lower than paul ryan and chairman brady's 20%. he has led the republicans in saying you're right, we need to take the corporate rate down, to
15. not just 20. some people talked about 25. 20 became the new 25, then 15. and add to that the full expensing for business investment. right now, if you invest in a factory or new piece of equipment or car or truck for the business, you depreciate over three years, five years, ten years. it's very complicated. how do you decide how long it takes to depreciate this in a company? it's crazy. we don't know. so when you buy it and you pay for it and you don't have the money anymore, you expense it and say it's not part of my profits because i don't have the money anymore. that tremendously reduces the cost of investment in job creation and productivity increases. so those two pieces of his tax plan -- and the death tax, a pure texas on people's lifesometime savings. just a destruction of savings every generation. why do that? and then add to that
territoriality. the rest of the world taxes what happens inside their borders, doesn't punish people for making money overseas and bringing it back. if you make money overseas and want to bring it back we have this tax. $2 trillion of money, american companies have earned overseas and our present law says, if you park it overseas you don't have to pay this ridiculous tax and you could build new factories overseas. what trump wants to do is have a territorial system which allows you to bring the money back to the united states and build factories here if you like. >> that's built on the idea that you see growth. >> yes. >> what happens if that growth doesn't happen, especially when it comes to the federal budget. when you reduce taxes on one end it affects the budget on another. >> sure. we know from history certain tax reductions will give you growth. we saw it under obama. he had a mini version of expensing for small businesses. and you saw that part of the economy actually did well. i was hoping he might convince himself to extend that to the entire economy. so we've seen that happen.
we saw that happen under john f. kennedy. the investment tax credit was at approximation of expensing. more complicated. expensing better. reagan had 10-5-3, an approximation of expensing. you saw a boom in investment. >> was the economy in surplus or deficit we're seeing right now? does that make a difference, the economic climate? >> deficits in both of those periods but what we have now is an economy that's still recovering from the recession of 2008, 2009. the recession didn't end until halfway through 2009. first six months of obama we were still in the recession. it bottomed out in july 2009. we've been recovering. the economic growth has been about 2%, 2.1% over that period.
during the same period from when reagan cut taxes and the economy turned around in december, january of 1983, reagan's growth was at 4%. obama's rate of growth was at 2% each year. the difference there is today if you were to grow at 4% for a decade instead of 2% per decade federal government, growth alone -- not higher taxes but growth would get $5 trillion more revenue. the best way to pay down the debt is to have strong economic growth and stop spending so much money, which is the second part of doing this and is a critically important part. on the growth part, trump's plans are extremely helpful. i would add people tend to focus on taxes because they're easy to understand. you have one vote on taxes. regulatory burden, which is $2 trillion in regulatory costs are more damaging sometimes even than taxes and certainly
particular industries, coal, natural gas. those have been hard hit by government regulations. >> let me tell our viewers if you want to ask our guest questions, republicans 202-748-8001. independents, 202-748-8002. how would you respond to giving them the benefit? >> put together by the guys at brookings and so on. that shows that trump's tax cut, compared to what hillary was proposing is better off. poorest american, richest american or middle income american you're better off with trump's tax cuts than hillary's tax proposal. hillary's tax proposal was a $1.4 trillion tax increase. so when you say what's going to happen to the economy now that trump is the president, you have
to back up and say, what would have happened if hillary had won with the senate and the house? one of the reasons the stock market has jumped up is not simply they say trump's plan looks good to us, but the specter of what hillary was planning to do on tax policy, labor policy, regulatory policy, the war she started with sharing or gig economy. all of those things would have been very damaging to economic growth worse than obama's years, unfortunately. >> our guest is taking calls. democrats line. hi, allen, you're up first. >> caller: good morning and thank you for c-span. mr. norquist? >> yes. >> caller: i had a comment or question for you. you said that we have the highest tax rate for businesses in the united states. 35%? >> marginal tax rate, yes. >> caller: yeah. but are you aware, though, that in reality according to the irs with the tax write-off,
entitlements, deductions, whatever, businesses actually pay around 10%? pfizer wanted to relocate to, what is that, scotland for lower taxes? their rate was 7%. and classic, what about ge? they pay zero percent. on the books, i agree with you. it says 35%. but in reality, corporations pay far less than that. >> all decisions in the world are made on the margin. what you've done so far doesn't affect your decision about tomorrow. and that's why it's the marginal tax rate on the next dollar you earn. you're quite right that there are deductions and credits. but what you're talking about is taxes on your income. you're saying it doesn't count as income if it's a deduction or expense because you have
depreciation schedules. you've already paid for it in investing in equipment or it's paid out in other ways. when you look at what is defined as income for purposes of your taxes, as profit, not all income is profit. a lot of your income goes to pay workers or to buy a building or cars and trucks and things like that. that's income that you get but it's not profit. so there are two issues. one is the 35% is on your net income, but also it's on the marginal dollar. it doesn't matter that you got a deduction ten years ago or five years ago on something. what is the decision you're making? decisions are made about the future. that's why 35% matters. people who say it's only 10%, would they not mind then if we cut the rate to 10%? that would be fine, if that's what you think the number is now. >> sterling virginia, republican line. gary, hi. >> caller: hi. mr. grover -- mr. norquist?
>> yes? >> caller: the biggest thing that the president trump to do to drain the swamp and get rid of the waste, fraud and abuse is to use satellite computers to design our transportation infrastructure, because waste, fraud and abuse is endemic in the transportation system. where there's smoke, there's metro. metro is burning up. it's not working. they need to use satellite computer. it's common sense. >> okay. well, there are all sorts of interesting things on transportation. here, you have the big revolution recently on transportation. it's been lyft, uber. a whole new approach which uses satellites to track where your car is, where you are, and let you know exactly where you've been. safety is way up because you and everybody else knows exactly where you and the driver are. if there's any sort of problem. and you rate the drivers. and it is tremendously dropped
the cost of particularly people who live in underserved neighborhoods, in d.c. and across the country. so this is an innovation that came about because the whole gig economy, the independent sector where people work for themselves as independent contractors. not as employees. they work for themselves and they decide what hours they'll work. that's exactly the part of the economy that's going to flourish now that you have a republican house senate and trump. obama and hillary clinton -- hillary said she was going to, quiet, crack down on independent contractors and obama set up through the national labor relations board an effort which is ongoing. it has to be undone by trump and the republicans, which would basically make it illegal to have the president franchise. somebody owns a franchise, subway or others, millions of americans work in franchise businesses.
little independent businesses where somebody does the advertising. that's fine. but they run the business. and the nlrb, obama administration, hillary supported this, unfortunately. oh, no, you're all employee. you're not an entrepreneur. ease toy unionize you and force you to pay union dues, which find their way back to politicians, easier to sue everybody and they control employees. they don't like a lot of entrepreneurs out there. it's very, very healthy. on some of the tax cuts if you go to full expensing, this much growth will happen. models that will tell you how helpful that would be. quantify taking the top rate of companies 15% to 35%, what that means in gdp. but it's very difficult to quantify the wonderful opportunities that will now exist for people to be self employed, that were about to be shut down if we had continued on
the path. so not only are we doing things better, about to do some things better if trump and the republicans do as they said they will, but we've also avoided a future that you saw coming. and i think the stock market is reacting first to all the things that aren't going to to the economy and later will react to what trump is able to do. >> carl from new hampshire, independent line. hi. >> caller: hi. how are you? >> hey, carl. >> caller: good morning. the thing i don't understand is back in the '50s, we had very, very high taxes and we had the biggest growth we ever had in the 20th century. i think that what we really need to do is put in a corporate tax that's graduated. if a company makes $10 billion, they pay 35%. if they make a billion dollars then they only pay 25. if they make 100 million, they
pay 20. and do it like that. so that we discourage big companies. because those big companies you talk about, big american companies are no longer american companies. they're international companies and they're solvent unto themselves. look at the banks and what they've pulled. i mean really. big is not better. >> well, you're quite right that we had high marginal tax rates, 90% for some individuals in the 1950s, a legacy of world war ii rates. very few people paid those. in fact, even the people making that much money figured out ways to get around them, which is how the tax code got more complicated because 90% kind of a ridiculous tax burden to put on people. but the reason i worry about high tax rates on anybody, a big company or individuals, is we have trickle down taxation. first, they tax the other and then everybody else. the reason you're supposed to put up with a 25% tax rate is because some other guy,
theoretically, is paying 90. how about we take everybody down below 25? those states, in the 50 states -- my home state of massachusetts, prior to immigrating to the united states, i lived in massachusetts. we have, by constitutional amendment acres flat rate income tax there. then states with graduated income taxes. if you divide people into five or six or ten different groups, you can mug them one at a time. let's get rich people. then they go, hey, we got the rich people. let's get you. then all the rich people aren't there to help protect you because you weren't there to help protect them. if they divide people into different groups, the government can mug them one at a time. that's why a graduated or progressive tax code is dangerous. it allows the government to pick on different sectors, raise taxes one at a time and everybody ends up worse off. so i much prefer a single rate
tax in nine states in the united states that single rate income tax is zero. you don't have to have a corporate -- individual. individual income tax. it's zero. you don't need an individual income tax in most states and it's good to see some states like north carolina are actually moving to phase theirs out. >> george lives in ocala, florida, independent line. >> no income tax, florida. >> caller: exactly. it's great. i have a sub s and progressive taxation kills me. one year i paid 34.9. before i paid it by ca and whatever intangible. that's something else. but i think a fair tax with a -- what would i say -- percentage on goods. you know, there's 50 million people that come to orlando every year. we would get some of the money back through their tax -- they pay for goods. why not -- two other things that are a little bit crazy. one is that i think we should
sponsor an international lottery. it could be a billion a week, you know. all the people that are friendly to -- the countries that are friendly to us can play in it. number three, and then i'm going to go. are you still there? >> yes, i am. i'm watching. this is good. i was writing down lottery so i remember. >> caller: the navy utilizes all its great high-tech functions and pulls up every treasure they can on the bottom of the ocean. great maneuvers. thank you for taking my call. >> great. lotteries are interesting. we didn't have them. then a lot of cities and states did. then there was some corruption problems so they sort of closed them all down and then they came back again slowly. there are benefits and costs to the lottery. benefit is it's voluntary. you don't have to play if you don't want. i think we should have a rule, though, that the government, when it runs a lottery, has to have a payout rate better than when the mob used to run it. because they have crowded out the mob but they don't pay as
well as they used to. >> from meridia, mississippi, democrats line. cecilia, good morning to you. >> caller: good morning. >> hi, mississippi. >> caller: i just want to say to mr. norquist that he's trying to perpetuate the same lie they've told for 20 years. they've had the tax breaks. they've had the opportunity but they decided to send all the jobs over there and they keep quoting ronald reagan. it started with trickle-down economics and us middle class people are getting the trickle. the thing about it, they kept quoting ronald reagan. they should have been quoting president kennedy who said, not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. corporations are sitting on $1.7 trillion in cash that they didn't have to spend because they robbed the rest of us. >> well, several things there. i think you mentioned kennedy
and reagan. both of them reduced marginal tax rates for all americans, about 20%, 25% across the board and strong economic growth pethe k . the kennedy tax cut took all rates down. top rate from 90 to 70. reagan from 70 to 50 and all the same rates percentages. both had strong economic growth. you are quite right. reagan isn't the only person to have done that, and you've had success both of those times you've done it. richard nixon raised taxes after kennedy had cut them, and then george bush and clinton raised taxes a little bit after reagan had reduced them. we need to get the rates down and reduce the regulatory burden to get jobs created in the united states and better paying jobs. >> grover norquist joining us. atr.org is the website. there's a story from "the wall street journal" taking a look at how republicans on capitol hill
are responding to these proposals from donald trump. not only the tax cuts but also the infrastruct are spending he wants to do. you have an ear to a lot of these republicans. is it concerning that at the same time he wants these deductions and is proposing these spending projects? >> i think it's very important that people read trump's book and also go on his website and see his positions. he talks about a trillion dollars in infrastructure. that includes, as a lot of things we generally think of as private sector projects. pipelines and other things. there's a collection of private sector infrastructure that businesses with their own money are ready to pay for. liquefied natural gas export facilities because now we can export natural gas. we used to import it. getting pipelines so that we can produce and pay better to the workers in north dakota and further west in texas.
they found a whole bunch more oil and natural gas. we need to get pipelines to these areas. there are more than 26 major plants that are all held up by the obama administration's regulatory regimes. one of the most important things trump is talking about doing is to cut that red tape, to shorten that period. my hope is that in those -- 7 of those are in pennsylvania. seven of those projects held up by the government. my hope is that trump will go out and do what he did during the campaign. have a rally with 10,000, 20,000 people and say we can have this many jobs created if the federal government will do its job and get these permits done on a regular base, i not drag their feet nrd to punish people for political reasons and call out by name the bureaucrats who are holding these up and killing thousands of jobs in pennsylvania and indian awisconsin and across the
country. i think if he did 20 of those rallies, we'd get 20 of those things fixed right away. and the bureau kracrats in d.c. would be famous, by name who decided not to sign the paperwork to say americans can create jobs. when democrats hear infrastructure, they think the federal government will steal your money and washington will play with it and send some of it out to their friends. those days are gone. we're not doing earmarks anymore. there are always some people who think, wouldn't it be nice to bring back the bridge to nowhere. the answer is no. it would be awful to bring back the bridge to nowhere. that way leads to corruption and destruction and it's not where we want to be investing. what we could do is have a quarter to a third more roads and bridges with the present gas taxes we pay. how? abolish the davis bacon law which requires the government overpay by about 20% to 30% in terms of what they're paying for construction. get rid of davis/bacon.
west virginia jut abolished their version of davis/bacon. a lot of states used to have davis/bacon. ohio reformed theirs. now they can build 11 schools for what used to only get them ten schools because they got rid of their state davis/bacon. we can have a lot more and better roads. the other one is we take 20% of your gas tax money. you drive, you pay gas takeses. they take is it and put it into big city subways. that's not a road. you want subway people to pay for subways, have the subway people pay for it. you just have to wonder in an age where in an x-number of years there will be driver lgs cars these subways that cost billions and billions of dollars and don't move and don't go where people want to go. you want a transportation system that serves people not like the
soviet union had which is we'll tell you where you will live and you will like it because you have to live on either side of this subway because there aren't any roads and cars to get you around. >> from florida, republican line. dan, thanks for waiting. go ahead. >> caller: good morning. i've got just a couple of things. on the taxation, if i really like the -- them to review the social security. it seems to me that it's got to a point to where over the years, getting down to having to work the last ten quarters is what you're based on as far as what you receive. it's really not necessarily in the best interest of the people. they work for 30, 40 years and you usually, it's got -- in the society today, as you get older, if you're not locked into a specific high dollar savings and all that and you could end up working because the older people
lose their ability to be desired by the workplace because of their age and everything that employers would have to pay them to continue to keep them in the workforce. second, on the business side of it, i think one of the worst things the government ever did for small business people is inventory tax. if it's sitting on a shelf, they have to pay inventory on it, even though they haven't sold it. and because it's a wholesale, they didn't pay tax but they paid their taxes on it when it was sold. so those 24 issues i'd like to see taken care of. >> inventory taxes, politicians and governments love it because they're easy to collect. you go into the guy's store and count everything and tax it. it's harder for them to tax that income. remember they used to tax people by how many windows they had in europe. count the windows. makes it easy. taxation should be done to limit the damage it does to the economy.
all taxation hurts the economy and slows economic growth. you want to keep that to a dull roar as low as possible so that we have more opportunities and more growth and it shouldn't be done to make it easy for the tax collect tor do his job. it should be done to make it easy for taxpayers. >> mr. norquist, you've become infamous because of the pledge your organization gives to republicans or legislators to sign to not raise taxes. has donald trump ever done that? >> trump has not signed the pledge. he said in the campaign, i will not raise taxes. and said it clearly. his campaign guy lewandowski sent me an e-mail saying we've signed it, we'll send it over, and then he left the campaign. so somewhere, i'm told, it's sitting over there. as far as i'm concerned, as far as the american people are concerned, it's a commitment to the american people when they see it in writing. politicians -- i'm glad he said it. i expect he'll keep his word. i always feel more comfortable if elected officials feel
comfortable putting it in writing and we do have -- asked for two witnesses and a date on it. we have a majority of the members of the house of representatives and a majority in the senate who signed a pledge never to raise taxes. no tax increase is ever going to get on trump's desk so fairly easy for him to sign it. >> have you talked to him directly about these issues? >> i haven't. i had one brief conversation about his tax policy and just -- i thought it was very good. and we'd certainly -- and we also, they were kind enough to talk to us when they were designing his original package. they talked to many people and got a lot of good advice. their tax proposal, their deregulatory proposals are very reaganite. they're exactly what will help with economic growth. it's what reagan did. less regulation. lower regulation, regulatory burden, and lower tax rates. that gives you growth. and then lots of other things
you can do, but those two are really getting the ball going. >> who should be the key person in his administration to deal with this, especially at treasury? >> there are a number of people they are looking at. everybody on their bt l -- their list is a great economist. larry kudlow, one of the people working on that, would be a great person in any capacity at omb. steve moore who has also been working on tax reform over the years and worked directly with trump. all these people, i think, come highly recommended. and the people he's been talking about for other parts of the economy, i think quite good. >> from -- c-span's "washington journal," live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up wednesday morning, democratic steering and policy committee vice chair congressman eric swalwell talks about the democratic agenda in the next ng