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tv   Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Talks to Axios Co- Founder Mike Allen  CSPAN  March 27, 2017 10:04am-11:10am EDT

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happening in europe presently, because of the disincentives we put into play in this country with respect to nuclear. if you really care about some of these environmental concerns, nuclear ought to be in the mix. >> c-span programs are available at, on our homepage and researching the video library. ♪ ♪ >> c-span -- where history unfolds daily. 1970 nine, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television countries. it is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. treasury secretary steve mnuchin last week sat down for an interview with journalist mike allen. president'sed the trade agenda, overhauling the tax code and health care bill. the interview was from before house speaker paul ryan pulled
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the bill from house floor, and treasury secretary said he thought the health care replacement bill would be approved. this is 50 minutes. [applause] mike: thank you so much for being here. you were saying you were born and raised in new york. sec. mnuchin: i was. mike: in my home country, los angeles. this is your first time in washington. sec. mnuchin: i am enjoying it. mike: what do you like about d.c.? sec. mnuchin: it is a very livable city. that is what i think. mike: the art galleries, the restaurants. not quite as spread out as los angeles and as hectic as new york. mike: how people hear different? sec. mnuchin: i am hanging out with all the politicians. i do not know if there is anybody other than that here in bc -- d.c. secretary, you are just
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back from london and berlin. what did you learn from your world counterparts? sec. mnuchin: it was a great experience for me, my first foreign trip as secretary. i felt it was important to start in london and meet with my counterparts there. i spent time with theresa may as well, which i appreciated. i flew from there to berlin, to meet my counterparts in berlin. we had a big meeting their. -- there. we had a press conference. i had the opportunity to go out to dinner with wolfgang schaeuble, an interesting person. he has been around politics so long, and seen so much. listening to his perspective, going back to the reunification of germany and other things, is pretty interesting. probably the most tired i ever did, spending the most -- the next 18 days on bilateral meetings and sitting in groups and doing press conferences. counterparts that are not
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american -- how are they feeling about this america first thing? sec. mnuchin: i think there is -- well, first of all, there are very important issues that we discussed. one of the issues was balanced trade. this was probably 20% of what we talked about, and was reported as 90%. the other issues we talked about, which could not be more important within treasury and within my counterparts, the fight against terrorism, money .aundering, illicit activities we spent a lot of time talking about other things on trade. on trade, the point i made my counterparts was, the president wants to have free trade here in the largest trading market in the world. we are the most open trading market in the world. he wants to have fair and balanced trade. to renegotiate
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agreements that are not advantageous to the american worker. people understood that. there was a lot of press around this issue that we took out the language, that we will not be protectionist. the issue there was, as long as we can renegotiate deals that are good for us, we will not be protectionist. otherwise, we will. mike: you did have a role in the language that came out. the weight of reuters put it is, g 20 ministers in berlin, the countries gave you space to define the trunk trade agenda. with someat go down of these countries that are not going to be benefiting from these changes? sec. mnuchin: let me put it this way. this is a new experience for me. business, you reach an agreement and you put out some type of statement, what the agreement is. in politics, i find, you negotiate for the month before you get there, without even
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seeing anybody. you get there and you simultaneously negotiate and communicate while you are having discussions. communication reflects what we have been discussing. understood that. the canadians were helpful in negotiating the language for us. people understood the message. mike: how soon do we expect to hear president trump ramping up the trade agenda, executive orders, and other actions? sec. mnuchin: look, i think the president has instructed that we are renegotiating nafta. that will be the first major agreement that gets reviewed. we are looking at the various different agreements with the wto. one of the things i think you will see ramping up his trade enforcement. the next thing will be, where there are issues that our counterparts are not living up to the agreements, you are going to see us taking positions defending american rights.
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mike: what specific actions are on that menu? sec. mnuchin: again, i think they will be -- again, there is cases where there is dumping, and other things. you will see. the first thing we are going to see is make sure we have strong enforcement of agreements. sec. mnuchin: it sounds -- mike: it sounds like the president is going to be very aggressive. sec. mnuchin: i do not want to say aggressive. the president is active in wanting an agenda that is good for american workers and good for american companies. i think as you know, he has probably met with a couple of hundred ceo's since he has been in office. this is a president who is willing to listen. he is willing to listen to big business, small business, small ceo's for banks, manufacturers, airlines, retailers. at the end of the day, he is going to do what he thinks is good for the american public and for american companies. mike: you have known the
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president 15 years and been working with him now on qualities major conversations about the economy. on the scale of traditional fullratist republicans to bone protectionist, where is the president at the moment? many say again, it has been a great experience. i had the opportunity to travel with him on the campaign. traveling all over the country, going to rallies, where there is people,eople, meeting meeting business. it has been a great experience to hear and learn so much as we travel through the country. again, this is a president who has a clear agenda. and the economy -- the number one issue is the economy. he wants to create economic growth. or 3.5 to get back to 3%
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percent growth. the difference between that and 1.8% is huge. and trade is one part of the agenda. regulatory reform is another big part. and tax reform. these are all the types of things we think will bring back proper economic growth. mike: in the year and half of traveling with him, what is the biggest way you have seen his views of all? sec. mnuchin: i think he has been consistent. again, i think he has been very consistent in saying he is the negotiator in chief. and he has been consistent. whether itod deals, is buying fighter jets, where he is renegotiating to save hundreds of millions of dollars, or whether it is trade deals. as he likes to say, you can buy the biggest building in the world, if it is a billion dollars, and a billion dollars here is a rounding error. these are big deals, and he is going to make sure we get good
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deals. mike: speaking of negotiator in chief, you have had problems with health care in the last 54 hour. what can we learn from the debacle over health care that will help you as you head into tax reform? sec. mnuchin: in the past, it will not be a debacle. [laughter] -- if it passes today, it will not be a debacle. i think that, first of all, health care m tax reform are very different things. somemnuchin: this -- mike: of the same players. you can learn a lot. sec. mnuchin: health care, first of all, is a very, very complicated issue. in a way, it is a lot simpler. it really is a lot simpler. the goals of tax reform, ok, which are about creating a middle income tax cut, creating tax simplification, and
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making u.s. businesses competitive, where we have a very high business tax rate, worldwide income -- we are able to take the tax code and redesign things. very, very there is strong support. i think in health care, it is a much more complicated issue, where you start out with obamacare, which had all these issues, and you are trying to kind of get rid of it and make changes simultaneously. we would famously said have tax reform by the august recess. is that still true? sec. mnuchin: ice -- i hope so. this is optimistic. this is a big challenge. we are going to try to get it done. if we do not, we will get it done right afterward. it is a big priority. the other thing people always ask me is, why did we do health care first? why did we wait for tax reform? we have been working the last
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two months on tax reform. this is something, because we are designing it from scratch, and running through a lot of scenarios -- we have needed to work on it. we would not have been ready to go month ago on tax reform, and now we are. mike: you are saying august recess or right after, so certainly by the fall? sec. mnuchin: absolutely. mike: there are some conversations based on the health care experience that it may be more practical to do tax reform in pieces. sec. mnuchin: no, we are going to do tax reform as absolute both the personal and corporate side. we're not doing little pieces at a time. mike: this will become friends of tax reform, the fall -- sec. mnuchin: absolutely. that is the objective. mike: and you are optimistic about passing that my fall. sec. mnuchin: i am. mike: what is the most egregious
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tax break in the u.s. tax code? sec. mnuchin: i have never even thought of it that way. even the word egregious -- we have a tax code that is very, very complicated, and creates lots of different rules for lots of different people. i would say the concept of deferral -- we have a worldwide tax system with high corporate taxes and a deferral system. the rest of the world has low corporate taxes and a territorial system. it is not a surprise that our companies are using and keeping trillions of dollars offshore. that is one of the big priorities we want to fix. we think trillions of dollars will come back and be invested in this country. not take say you would the word egregious. you do not think there is they problems in the tax code? sec. mnuchin: i do think there is big problems. you set egregious. mike: not that bad? sec. mnuchin: there are
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different issues that incense -- incent behavior. people have lived with different behavior over time. i shop fornd that work at walmart. make the case for me that the border adjustment tax is good for me. sec. mnuchin: let me just make a comment. there has been a lot of discussion on the border adjustment tax, ok? i think what i said is, there are certain aspects of that tax that are attractive, and certain aspects that are concerning. the border adjustment tax has , and that system is a system that most of the rest of the world uses. that we is an argument should be on the system that is similar to the rest of the world . it is very complicated. so one of our concerns about it currency moves,
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the walmart shopper should not be impacted. , that hasrency moves an impact for our exporters. it is a very compensated issue. we are looking at it carefully. you could expect that we are going to come out with a plan pretty soon. mike: looking at it carefully, that does not sound like a warm embrace. sec. mnuchin: there are parts of it we like and parts of it we are very concerned about. so yes, we are not looking at it as is. we understand the concerns of retailers and small businesses, you said. as he studied it, is there a way to obviate those? or is that going to be the biggest hurdle? again, each one of these things has pluses and minuses. obviously, one way of dealing
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with these things is, you could carve out certain types of items, if you were worried about energy -- which, again, i worry about energy. we do not want a situation where people have to ship oil from here overseas, and then come back, because of tax reasons. there is lots of ways of dealing with these issues. but whatever we do, we want to make sure it is simple and it works. mike: this is a question from my colleague, dan, on the 15% corporate tax rate. would thee goal, or white house be comfortable with the 20% rate proposed by speaker ryan? sec. mnuchin: i would say it is premature for us to tell you exactly what we want to get. i would say we want to get a lot lower than we are now. we are looking at a bunch of different options on that. and if you go the other 5%, what do you do on the other side of the ledger to make up for it that is not the ryan plan? sec. mnuchin: again, there is
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lots of pieces of the house plan, with certain aspects that we like as is. again, i would say the senate, the house, and the administration share the goal of making corporate taxes and business taxes competitive. that does not mean it has to be a specific number of getting to 15%. it has to be competitive. mike: the last question on tax reform, and then we have a question from one of our readers. you said in confirmation hearing that you want to tax carried interest at a higher rate, preserving longer-term investment. how do you find that now? sec. mnuchin: i think the president said during the campaign that we think hedge funds should be taxed. i think that is something we will put into the plan. that, a big part of
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part of any real estate deal with commercial/industrial is carried interest. there is a lot of changes, probably, coming to the tax code. how do you balance other changes you might make in the tax code, affecting real estate, with the carried interest part of it? on the carried interest, we want to tax hedge funds. we are going to look at, carefully, what the impact is to other areas, so we do not disincentive -- disincentive buys very important investment by pension funds, by state funds, by lots of other institutional investors, retail investors, into infrastructure, real estate, energy. these are all things that we need to continue big investment on. i think you know the president wants to spend a trillion dollars on infrastructure. a significant component of that
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we expect to be funded by private enterprise. mike: is it possible real estate will be taxed differently? sec. mnuchin: absolutely. mike: you mentioned a couple other areas. sec. mnuchin: absolutely. it is absolutely possible. [laughter] mike: fair enough. ios" is,he axioms at "axui take care of readers, not journalists. so we have a reader first question on the screen. there it is. transition,g the you said no absolute tax cuts. do you still agree with that? sec. mnuchin: it is funny. during the confirmation, senator .yden created the mnuchin rule i said i felt i was in very good company, that there was a buffet rule and able to rule. i am honored he has created a
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rule on this. what i would say is, the president's objective is a middle income tax cut. when we, with the tax plan, we are very conscious of what the distribution is, and our primary focus is on tax cut for the middle income, and not the top 1%. so that is where we are going. mike: your full statement when you enacted your rule -- you said any reductions we have an upper income taxes will be auctions, soted there will be no absolute tax cut for the upper class. that may not be absolutely feasible. sec. mnuchin: we're working toward that is a goal. do not hold it to me to the penny, but is that the direction we are going? absolutely. mike: so it is the mnuchin go al. sec. mnuchin: no, it is the mnuchin rule, but it does not get calculated on the 0.001
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decimal. secretary, the cover of "the economist" this week -- hot air balloons. the world economy's surprising rise. what could stop that, or what worries you? sec. mnuchin: i would say the one good thing is, or the one bad thing -- we are never really good at predicting what the next problem is. so, look, i think we are in an environment now where i think that we are set for additional growth in the united states. i think that growth is good for the rest of the world. i think you see, by the rise of the u.s. stock market, by the rise of the dollar, there is huge confidence in the u.s. economy, particularly on a relative basis, relative to europe and the rest of the world. i mean, obviously, the one thing that would be the risk would be some type of terrorism, or
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something else. i think that is one of the reasons why the president is so focused on proper vetting, on combating terrorism. this week, the secretary of state posted -- i think it was about 40 nations that came in on an isis focus. besides the economy, the president's other big objective is to make sure everybody is safe. mike: the u.s. economy, s&p is up 5% since election day. what do you attribute that to? sec. mnuchin: the president, his policies, the optimism. this is a whole new environment. i mean, we have an administration that wants to grow this economy, and is willing to speak to business. and again, this is small and medium-sized business, big business, entrepreneurs. he constantly has people in the white house to give him ideas.
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,ur job is to grow this economy and that is his focus. we donuchin: -- mike: hear from ceo's that talk to him. they say it was talking points, that people in the administration are open to what they are pitching. sec. mnuchin: it is less scripted. we have had working sessions. -- people call him, and he constantly picks up the phone, or he calls people on his cell phone. yesterday, iis -- had someone who came in who was a longtime friend of his, who is a very well-known business person, and he wanted to hear his views. this is a president who is very willing to listen, but he also has excellent judgment and is willing to make quick decisions. mike: do you sometimes worry about who is calling? sec. mnuchin: no. [laughter] sec. mnuchin: do you?
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[laughter] this president, who does have much less traditional channels, both for input and output -- how does that complicate your job? sec. mnuchin: i think it is terrific. look, this president understands modern communication. he understands how to , and howte with people to get feedback. and i think for too long, presidents have surrounded themselves with people who either just want to tell him what they want to hear, or people who are traditional washington. look at the cabinet. jobsave a lot of people in , a lot of people with different experience. mike: do you ever tell him things he does not want to hear? sec. mnuchin: of course. mike: how does he respond? sec. mnuchin: what i would like to say is, he is willing to listen. sometimes, he will agree with me.
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sometimes, he will not agree. that is obvious. but i would not have taken the job if i did not feel like he was willing to listen. that is true now and was true in the campaign. the stockalked about market and you attributed the 5% gain in the s&p to the president. if it comes down, then that also means it is the president? sec. mnuchin: if it comes down, it is congress. [laughter] mike: just checking. there has been a lot of conversation about whether the the mostket rise is ambitious possible manifestation of the regulatory relief, the reform,itious possible and possible downdraft including a trade war are not included. sec. mnuchin: let me just say, markets always react to certain
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news, but are not always efficient. so clearly, the market expectation has certain things built into it. does it have it all built into it? absolutely not. again, i think the dynamic for u.s. growth is very attractive. the difference between 3% and 2%, is huge. and it is a big difference of budget. it is a big difference for the deficit. it is a big difference for corporate profits. and, again, we are in an environment where the u.s. assets are the most attractive assets to invest in, on a global basis. i think you could have a , thision where, kind of is definitely not well baked in. mike: what would be the consequence of that? sec. mnuchin: the consequence would be that the market could go up significantly. never beeni have
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focused on where the market is, short term. i have been focused on, where is the market a year, two years, five years from now? that is the way i have looked at trends in the past. mike: you think it's good news that isn't sufficiently baked in. there ishin: i think some good news that's baked in, but i think there is for the room for significant growth in the economy, which would be reflected in the markets. mike: you are a bull. sec. mnuchin: absolutely. mike: what sectors are you most bullish on? sec. mnuchin: now you are getting into the details, which is not appropriate for me to comment on. and also, unless focused on. -- i am less focused on. to me, i'm focused on how to we grow the economy, and what do we do to make sure all the sectors increase? mike: you've been in california for a long time. what is your sense of what's going on in silicon valley?
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what are your worries and hopes? sec. mnuchin: i heard you talk about snapchat before i came on -- not to comment on any individuals investments, better understand these valuations. i didn't understand lots of these valuations. mike: are you a snapper? sec. mnuchin: i'm not, but my kids are. they use it all the time. that's why it is as big as it is. i think there has been incredible innovation that has come out of silicon valley for years. this goes back to whether it was intel designing the chip and moores law. when moore's law came out and people said it would grow as exponentially as it would, people thought that was crazy. i think that technology has been very good for the u.s. and the u.s. economy. and you see particularly coming
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out of california -- now it's in many places, it's not just california. you really see the innovation of entrepreneurs around technology and the new use of technology. in the fifth or sixth inning, not the eighth or ninth inning. mike: the big idea of the new tom friedman book, thank you for being late is the moore's law now applies everything, not just chips but the hardware and software and news. sec. mnuchin: it's true. mike: how does that affect your job? do you think about your goals for the department and what you can account which is secretary? this new, faster world, how is that included and how do you respond? i'm not sure. my biggest focus from the department and from the administration on technology is really around cyber security.
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that's my biggest focus. i'm adjusted in cyber security. by the way, this is something that's important across the government, but as it relates to me, the safety of the financial system is critical. security int cyber that we need to have a safe and sound financial infrastructure. this is a real issue today. need of a lot of resources into this, the private sector has been lots of resources in it. i probably have had 10 meetings on this so far. i will be using my role as to make in other areas sure that from a regulatory standpoint, with all of the agencies that we incorporate that. and also within our own building. within the irs, we have an obligation to protect americans information. we have a lot of it. even within the budget, a major priority for us is spending on
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technology. and that goes back to the impact on the economy and everything else. i think the demand for technology is as high as it's ever been. mike: when you talk to ceos, the one thing they are all spending money on is cyber. sec. mnuchin: as they should. mike: how worried are you? sec. mnuchin: when i say or not worried, i think it's a priority. i just think this is something that requires a coordinated , buttment, both in money more important, in outcomes. so that we are prepared if there are cyber issues, how we deal with that. that's things we will be going through and creating playbooks and creating drills, and something a very focused on. mike: companies have record cache files right now and are spending more of it on stock buybacks that on hiring or r&d. the problem hasn't been available cash, help getting
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companies more cash aid in hiring or r&d? all, it'sin: first of a pretty wide statements, because there are a lot of companies that have cash, so let's take apple on the one extreme, this is the most obvious. why does apple have all this cash? apple has all this cash because foreign tax rights are much lower, and we have a deferral system. why would they bring cash back on shore and pay huge amounts of money? this is the most extreme, but they are borrowing against their overseas cash. that's one extreme. i think with lots of small and medium-sized businesses, they don't have extra cash that around. of tax reform,s particularly on the business side is if we lower taxes, we lower the cost of capital. and we make investments more attractive. bewe want companies to
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incentive to use that money. mike: do you subscribe to the traditional u.s. position of support for a strong government? sec. mnuchin: what i've said is longer-term, i think that the strength of the dollar is important. we are the reserve currency in the world, and we benefit from that. we are also the largest economy in the world. dollar,strength of the which has grown over long periopdds of time is like the re in the stock market and rising confidence. the shortd that, in term, are there issues for the economy when the dollar becomes too strong, too quickly? yes. but that's for marcus to determine. -- for markets to determine. mike: the president talked about bringing back manufacturing. to what degree can manufacturing
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come back, and to what degree does the world changed forever? sec. mnuchin: absolutely, it can come back. i don't believe that all the world has changed forever. you already have seen the president has announced many companies who have agreed that were either going to mexico will either come back or built plants here. we want to see mexico do well and have a good economy. but we want to see this balanced. we don't want our companies moving to mexico purely for region -- reasons of trade deals and nafta or taxes. that's really what we're focused on. and the same thing. we met with tons of ceos who have said as long as you give us tax incentives to invest here, we would rather have our jobs and our business here. mike: we had an event with mark cuban, who was very focused on artificial intelligence and how that was going to affect the workforce. what's your take on that?
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sec. mnuchin: i think that is so far in the future that it is -- technology has helped productivity. so as a relates to artificial intelligence, technology has made the american worker more productive, in terms of artificial intelligence taking over american jobs, i think we are so far away from that, that not even on my radar screen. mike: how far away? sec. mnuchin: 50 or 100 years. it depends on what you think of artificial intelligence. again, weng cars, were discussing this last week.
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do i think you busy is an area where you have tunnels? and you put self driving cars in tunnels and they go from one part of the country to the other? absolutely. that to me, isn't artificial intelligence. as computers and using real technology we have today. those types of things are very real. that's very different than artificial r2-d2 taking over your job, interviewing me. [laughter] are you worried that your job is going to be displaced artificial intelligence? mike: the treasury secretary has at least 50 years, if god gives me that, i will be happy. r2-d2,other end, from robotics and the fact -- the effect it has on skilled jobs. i saw something about a robot that can fold towels and sheets in a hotel. how worried are you about this? -we think about more short-term
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effect? sec. mnuchin: i'm not worried. i'm optimistic. that's what creates productivity. we need to invest in training, we need to invest in education for the american worker. stronger because our american workers do things very efficiently. very well. trained, so if you have a robot who fold towels , so that our workers can be doing higher productive things and higher wages, that's a great thing. that's a fabulous thing. that creates productivity, that creates opportunity, that creates profits. mike: you are not worried in the near term of mass displacement of workers by robots. sec. mnuchin: not at all. robotics have been important part of business, and have supplemented, if anything was done is it's taken jobs that are
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low-paying jobs, and what we need to do again is make sure that we are investing in education and training for the american worker. mike: a reader first question. they wrote it on this card. what are the ways you expect to finance president trump's commitment to rebuild the nations of the structure -- the nation's infrastructure? sec. mnuchin: that's a good question. he's used the number of $1 trillion. i think it's clear he wants to do something very significant. it may turn out is even bigger than that by the time we get done with private public partnerships. but it gets pretty clear we're not going to fund $1 trillion out of the deficit. iis is an going to be -- think we've said we would like to figure out a way where we use a couple hundred million dollars and we leverage that. and whether it's off-balance-sheet, whether it's
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guarantees, whether it's private public partnerships, we look at all of these. i think the cost will be more in the line of a couple hundred billion dollars. the other thing we're looking at is government budgeting is a little bit bizarre and unlike anything else you look at. we looking everything on the cash basis. to the extent that we are making thatvestment in something has a 30 or 50 or life, it makes no sense that we are at that investment in the same way we are looking at something that is consumption in one year. one of the things we talked about is should there be some concept of capital budgeting for the government to deal with these issues? mike: when you take in the private part of it, you taken the leveraging, the total effect you say could be more than $1 trillion. sec. mnuchin: absolutely. we see tremendous interest in
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people who want to invent -- to invest. the biggest problem is not the money, it's the regulatory issues. this administration is very focused on how we can have clean air, clean water, but unlocked these regulatory restrictions that are preventing so many great projects from doing done -- from being done. mike: specifically in the upper structure basket -- infrastructure basket, what changes are you pushing for? sec. mnuchin: facilitating a lot of these things. things are just stuck in either a state system or a federal system, and figuring out how to move them forward. there are too many easy things, it's too easy to say no. these systems are designed for stopping projects, not starting project. mike: you met president trump about 15 years ago in new york. when did you first cross paths with the president? sec. mnuchin: i think i got
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invited to his office with some common friends, and we went to talk about a few things. we did a little business together, but it's been probably 80% personal relationship and 20% business. mike: and before you became his finance chairman, you told people that you were a friend, not quite supporter, advisor. what types of things that he ask you about? sec. mnuchin: i would say specifically as it relates to the campaign, i remember him thinking a lot last time about whether he was going to run, and he decided not to the last minute. and then he gave a lot of thought about running this time. this was purely coincidental, he was nla right before he decided to run, so we got together and we had dinner together. i remember talking to him about it. i was very excited about that. after he announced, we stayed in touch, i've come to visit him
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periodically. all hishe was spending own money campaign, he didn't really need my help. and then it was right after the new york primary where i was in new york and i was there with him. he ended up pulling me up i was right behind him on the stage. the next day he called me up and asked me if i would be his finance chairman and i said yes right away. mike: for many years, you were the other end of the calls that we talked about. sec. mnuchin: yes. [laughter] mike: and he would just call and ask you about issues in the news are issues of finance trade. sec. mnuchin: yes. we was each other periodically and talk about lots of things. -- we would see each other periodically and talk about lots of things. mike: in the white house, how would you describe president trump's style? it's really no different than his style has
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been since i've known him for the last 15 years. office isto the oval really no different than walking into his office at trump tower. people who aree around him, he has an open door. people are coming and going and he thinks about something, he calls somebody on the phone. he's very involved. mike: what is the similarity to trump tower? sec. mnuchin: i'm just saying, this is not a formal, scheduled president just has a bunch of people telling him what to do. he understands his agenda, he's got a great team of people around him and as i said, whether it's his advisers or whether it's other people, business people, friends, congress, i think you saw yesterday he had lots of people over, he's constantly on the phone. he's constantly on the phone or consulate talking to people. what's one way using them
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changes he's become mr. president? sec. mnuchin: i think he understands the seriousness of this job, and the responsibility. responsibility, and president of the united states, and i think he understands that. i think that's hard to understand until you walk in to the oval office and use it in that seat. mike: how can you tell that he feels that or how has he changed in response? sec. mnuchin: i can just tell. it's not an everyday thing, but i can tell at times, that's the one change. other than that, i think you brought -- this guy has more stamina than anybody i've ever met. i thought i was in good shape, i traveled with him all the time. it's unbelievable. he is constantly doing things. mike: given his diet and exercise, how does he pull that off? sec. mnuchin: he's got perfect
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s.ans -- gene mike: what? sec. mnuchin: he does. mike: what do you mean by that? sec. mnuchin: he's got perfect genes, he's got unbelievable energy and is very healthy. fcke: you are not a big k trim?, how you stay sec. mnuchin: since he got to the white house, he is not eating kfc or mcdonald's anymore. their chefs are great. mike: any previews on what to expect from the dodd frank review report out this summer? sec. mnuchin: this is something that i have been around in the finance area virtually my entire career, and i have the opportunity to help the president think through the economic programs during the campaign.
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in a way, we been working on this for a while. when the president came and office, he signed the executive order instructing me to look at the core principles. it's much bigger than. frank. dodd frank is one aspect of this. but we have a whole team of .eople that are reaching out yesterday, think we had a group of about 150 people from banks. we reached out to all the regulatory agencies. we reached out to banks, nonbanks, processors. we are seeking input from just about everybody that you can by the is impacted israeli tory issues. what we are going to come back is we are to tell the president here are recommendations. certain things can be done by the regulators, by changing regulations, certain things can be done by him through executive orders.
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certain things will require legislation. we are going to have an all-encompassing plan to make sure that we unlock the importance of making sure that sure thatlend, making we have community banks. it is just about having global banks. or regional banks. and that companies can get the proper access to capital and that financial markets have appropriate liquidity. those are high on the agenda. mike: how do you see the depth in this playing out? sec. mnuchin: that's one of the really fun parts of my job. what i said when i went through my confirmation hearings and i said to everybody who asked, so thank you for asking, we've spent the money. the concept of the debt limit is somewhat of a ridiculous concept. this isn't a limit of what we should spend, this is a payment
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limitation. i have certain powers, which i've used, that will allow us to function past the summer. i am hopeful this is something that congress addresses before the break and i think that is something that they will be doing. but i think everybody understands whether you are republican or democrat, we need to raise the debt limit, and that is something we're going to do. and that the full faith and credit of the united states is the most important thing. mike: that will be done before the easter break? sec. mnuchin: i've told people that i hope this is done before the summer break, not the easter break. how worried are you about selling that in this environment? sec. mnuchin: i'm not worried. we have plenty of time, i'm not worried at all about this being
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an issue in the full faith and credit. it is administratively something we have to do. this is very different than tax reform, this is very different than health care. everybody understands the debt limit will be raised. you know the world of finance and timidly, but what has surprised you about the building of the department of the treasury? mike: -- sec. mnuchin: there are three components of the treasury , domestic, finance, international finance, and what i, terror financing all the investigative work around that. , i knew lots about. the last, almost nothing. i am more pleasantly surprised that the career staff is unbelievable. at the treasury. i have people came with me to europe who had been there 20, 25
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years working at the treasury, they have been studying these things forever. the resources are huge. is an area i didn't have a lot of experience in. i spend a lot learning about the sanctions and what we do to combat terrorism and illicit financing. i don't know if you remember, but my first day in office, i went to a press conference at the white house and announced that the vice president of venezuela was to be labeled under the king connect. these are some of the most important tools we have been ,overnments to combat terrorism and we are to continue to use them very aggressively. mike: we will finish with a reader first question. your family has a longtime interest in art. piece of currency would you most like to spruce up? [laughter] sec. mnuchin: i think we should look at putting president trump
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on the $1000 bill. [laughter] mike: who's that no? sec. mnuchin: we don't have a $1000 bill. [laughter] mike: of the ones that are more likely to be in this room, what can you imagine changing or updating? all mnuchin: i would say of the things, there is a plan to update the currency, it's a very large investment. it is something we're looking at. but what i'm much more focused, to be honest with you -- i was over at the secret service this week for a meeting on this. the secret service was started under the treasury to combat counterfeiting. at one point, going back to the old days, counterfeiting was as high as one third of the u.s. currency. the great thing is today, counterfeiting is not anything that is really significant.
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but the secret service does an unbelievable job, and this is something we still look at. when we spent a lot of time here, you look at the new $100 bill that has the security feature of the blue stripe, there are many things that you just have no idea how many things are built into the currency to prevents counterfeiting. we are focused on the safety of then we are the pretty pictures. as amnuchin: -- mike: former producer, what is your favorite movie? sec. mnuchin: no question, "avatar," the largest grossing film ever. have you seen wolves of wall street? sec. mnuchin: i have. completeness representation. mike: have you seen "the big short,"? sec. mnuchin: complete misrepresentation.
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[laughter] mike: what the movie we should see? sec. mnuchin: and a lot of remote anything i'm involved in, so you asked me the question and i am not promoting any product. we should send all your kids to lego batman. [laughter] did "batman superman"? sec. mnuchin: i did. i'm leaving the movie business now that i'm in the treasury. mike: what is something d.c. could learn from hollywood? sec. mnuchin: hollywood to learn more from d.c. than d.c. could you -- could learn from hollywood. to thinkwould like c-span and your viewers for joining our conversation today. tropicana, for making this possible. i think my colleagues -- i thank my colleagues for
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coming out, and thank you, mr. secretary. ♪ [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> the senate judiciary committee is meeting at new ofay to consider three president trump's nominees. the first is supreme court nominee neil gorsuch. the committee wrapped up his confirmation hearings last week. today, we expect the committee to delay the vote for mr. gorsuch are one week. ron rosenstein for deputy attorney general and original brand for associate attorney forral, both are possible those justice department on these -- nominees. the american israel public affairs committee annual policy conference, over 16,000 activists and policymakers will be attending the event and today we hear from house speaker paul , u.n. ambassador rice to
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haley, house majority leader kevin mccarthy and minority leader steny hoyer that starts at 4:30 p.m. eastern live on c-span3. after the failure last week of the republican health care bill, the house is back in session at 2:00 eastern the legislative day. billss consider three dealing with national disaster preparedness, the federal emergency management agency. tomorrow, house takes of a measure disapproving of the federal indications rule on broadband internet service providers ability to share customer information. live coverage of the houses here on c-span. two, the u.s. senate gavels in a 3:00 eastern where lawmakers debate adding montenegro to the nato allowance -- alliance. >> c-span's voices from the road. we recently visited 17 historically black colleges and universities, asking students what issue would you like
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congress or the of administration to address in the first 100 days? student at north carolina central university and in the first 100 days in office, i would love for him to grasp althoughstanding that we did not vote for him, we are all represented under him and i would like for him to work on building and maintaining relationships with other countries that we have developed over the years, as our commander-in-chief. and what inior here would like to see for the first 100 days of the trump administration is taking care of i also would and like to see in the first 100 days better medicare, and extending obamacare. as a black man, i would like to see that. major graphicr pr design minor at howard university. in the first 100 days of trump's
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presidency, i would like for him in congress to address the issues with federal funding towards women services, because that affects people like myself and lower-class people. >> ima junior and for the first 100 days, i believe that trump should approve the immigration policy. i don't agree with the muslim ban because i have a friend who is muslim and is not a terrorist. as for the wall policy come i don't think it will work either. i believe illegal immigration is an issue but the wall will not help. >> i am a communications major and a student here. my message to president donald
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trump is i know a lot of candidates make a lot of promises when running for president but i would like him to lower the rate of unemployment. >> voices from the road -- on c-span. >> tonight, on "the committee caters," advisor with matt lira to kevin mccarthy and the ceo and cofounder of cyber reason about how congress and companies are interesting -- are addressing questions of cyber security. fundamentally challenging our entire in economy and the government has no choice but to reflect that reality and it will. i don't think we have ever been it -- ever been through it at this scale. we have survived and thrived and
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i would argue democracy has improved upon itself in an industrial society. where at that inflection point today between the industrial economy and may be an information economy. that creates an amazing opportunity to not just survive as a democracy but to create a more perfect union. >> i believe the cyber security agenda in general, this is super important. it needs to be pushed. the reason is that cyber security is not the problem that you deal with in technology and it will be gone. it is a problem that's here to stay. >> watch the communicators tonight on 8:00 p.m. eastern. ♪ >> this week on q&a, senior
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fellow thomas soul who recently ended his syndicated column which he had for 25 years and he talks about his life and career and his love of photography. dr. thomas sowell, you wrote this at the end of 2016, age 86 is well past the usual retirement age. the question is why i kept at it so long. why did you? >> there's a lot of things i thought should be explained in a different way. i enjoyed doing it and hearing back from people. i have your last column.
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>> we had cold water which many other black families do not have. it says were a came from. >> you moved to harlem. >> i live with family and some
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members who were in new york but fortunately, they ran into a boy he named eddie who was quite unusual for those days. he came from a highly educated family was obviously very cultured. before i ever arrived in new york, they had decided this was someone i needed to meet. if this could help me in life. he could tell me things that they did not have the education to tell me. at the time, i myself by any means was not looking that way, but thank heavens, others were. >> where was eddie today and what did he do in his life. >> ironically, i received a card from him on my birthday. he's a year older than i am. he went on to become one of the deans of the colleges. he's now retired living in a very nice area, so it was quite
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a pleasant surprise. but my life really could have been very different had i not been introduced to him, and i would never have been introduced to him except members of my family were older and saw immediately that this was someone who could be helpful to me. he and i never lived within a quarter mile of each other, and he was a year older, so i would never have been in the same class with him in school, but he was able to tell me things that i didn't know, for example, he took me to a public library for the first time in my life and at the time, i didn't know what a public library was and i didn't have the money to buy one of them. -- i was dubious when i saw those books and i didn't have the money to buy one of them. and he patiently explained it all to me, and somewhat reluctantly, took out a library card and bought a couple of books.
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-- and borrow a couple of books. and that was important to me because i had began to acquire the habit of reading on my own, years before i ever would have acquired it in the normal course of events. >> what kind of books were you interested in in those early days? >> oh, heavens. i remember reading the children's editions of dr. doolittle, alice and wonderland, things like that, but i got into the habit of reading. other kids in the same neighborhood where i grew up, odds were against meeting someone like that, as they were for me, except others saw the significance of introducing it. >> how long did you live in harlem? >> until 19 --oh, i was 20 years old the first time i moved out of harlem, and then i came back for a couple of years. so i grew up there from the age of 9 years old.
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>> besides eddie, what impact did harlem and your family experience have on you other than the library? >> oh, i think a tremendous effect. i didn't realize it at the time. for example, when i was much older, and had a son of my own, like most first-time parents, i wanted to know when he was supposed to do these various things so i asked one of the surviving members of the family: how old was i when i first began to walk? and she said, oh, tommy, nobody knows when you could walk. somebody was always carrying you. i was raised as an only child in a family of four adults. when i got to be too much for one of them, she could always hand me off to somebody else. and i remember one episode in particular that was recounted many times in many years, that a
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member of the family took me to a movie, and everything went fine. it was in a different part of town. it was only when we got back and i saw the house where we lived, i picked up some rocks and started throwing them at birdie. i must have 4 years old at the most. and later on, she would tell that story and just laugh, you know, i was a little angel until i got back there. and in much later years i thought, you know, you could take that attitude when there's one child and four adults. if it's the other way around, one mother and four children, it wouldn't have been nearly as funny. >> you know, we talked about, and you always mentioned that you liked to think things through before you write a book or a column and you're not in any hurry to have it published. how about this final column. how long did you think that through and what kind of message


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