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tv   Politics and Public Policy Today  CSPAN  December 24, 2019 12:33am-1:05am EST

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tuesday morning, as part of authors week, reverend jim wallis will talk about his book. moore discusses the trump's economic record and the 2020 election. be sure to watch "washington journal" tuesday morning. during the discussion. and be sure to watch all this week starting at 8:00 a.m. >> we want to welcome back terry jeffrey. good monday morning and thank you for being with us. >> thank you. merry christmas. this from the wall street journal. party. it begins, congress has left town for the year, but alas, not before another bipartisan spending party that has typified
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the trump presidency. the numbers are likely to have more long-term impact than impeachment. a discretionary spending bill, and this year's debt exceeding $1 trillion. guest: crazy. that editorial is exactly right. you have a bipartisan agreement on the hill, and it is not a new one, where they are allowing the government to grow out of control. and it has a lot of federal spending that is driven by social security and medicare, and you have the baby boom generation retiring, increasing the amount of money spent on those. social security passed more than $1 trillion last year. that is spent by the department of health and human services. in addition, you have massive and bothnary spending, parties in congress are doing absolutely nothing to try and roll that back. host: in the number we have been referring to, courtesy of debt clock, the nation's debt, $23
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trillion. how much money is that? and don't just say a lot. guest: i tell you, put it this 2019, the debt increased about $1.2 trillion. millions not quite 128 households in the country during that year, according to the census bureau. the federal government, just in -- if americans can imagine, if they own credit irds and you charge $9,000, think they would be a little upset. in addition to the spending the government is paying for with the taxes they take from us, lest you they spent more than $9,000 per household in this country with money they had to borrow. in an interview with the
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president in july he said the reason he had to increase spending was to rebuild the military he said was decimated under the obama presidency, but he said he would deal with the debt and deficit in his second term. do you believe him? guest: well, i hope he will. if he is going to do that, he needs to make -- let me put it this way, when president trump i think social conservatives particularly were not sure, is this really the guy we want in the white house, and can we trust him? one of the things he did to earn their trust was put out a list of the people he would name to the supreme court if elected. i think president trump intends to rollback federal spending and deal with the federal debt in the second term, and he should put out a concrete plan that the nation can have a referendum on and that he is promising to do. and he should challenge democrats and republicans to be with him on the plan or not. host: do deficits matter?
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dick cheney famously said they don't. guest: well, they do. you look at federal spending, and you mentioned that trump was worried about not having enough defense spending, the number one thing spent on is the department of health and human services, which includes health care spending. the second thing is social security, which you have the baby boomers retiring. the third thing is the department of defense, which last year spent more than $615 billion. a lot of money. not like we're spending a little money, we are spending a lot of money on defense. does the federal government have a great many things they can cut? without question. host: the issue is, is this sustainable? the issue came up in november with jerome powell, the fed chair. you will hear from ohio republican bill. here is what happened. [video clip] >> i would define sustainable as the debt is not growing faster than the economy.
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our debt is growing faster than our economy by a margin. so i think, by definition, that makes it unsustainable. continue toebt indefinitely grow as a percentage of gdp? at what point do we reach that tipping point where we are unrecoverable? >> it is not a question to which the really is an answer, the specific tipping point. there are examples of countries that have much higher levels. what you do know is that over time as the debt builds up, you will be spending more -- more accurately, our children and grandchildren will be spending more their tax dollars. they have grown interest on the borrowing we have done. as opposed to things we need like education, health care, social security. host: what are you hearing from the fed chair? guest: good point. after the defense, the next thing was interest on the debt. currently some of that interest goes back to the government itself.
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the government has debt held by the public, treasury securities uy, and they also have intergovernmental debt, money basically stolen out of the social security trust fund, and the treasury owes that money back to the social security program. some of the interest now was being paid back. the government pays interest to itself on paper. but more than $300 billion of that interest is cash interest they have to be on treasury securities. the average interest rate on treasury securities now is about 2.5%, which is historically very low level. up $1 trillion in new debt every year, and at some point interest rates will go higher because people will be more reluctant to buy our debt. for example, the treasury department publishes the major foreign holders of u.s. debt. for a long while, china was a major holder, buying more treasury securities than anybody else.
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in recent times, they have been eclipsed by japan, and now japan has a little bit more u.s. debt than the chinese. the chinese ownership of u.s. debt pete in 2013. if you looked at the people's republic of china, this communist regime around the world, as one of our principal lenders -- they borrow money from the people's republic of china. six years ago, the people's republic of china started saying, maybe there are other places that are better to invest than u.s. treasuries. they're still our second-biggest holder, but they are down in the last six years. that is a sign that you will find more and more people reluctant about u.s. treasuries and we will have to raise the interest rate. in portland,ves oregon, and you can send us a text message at (202) 748-8003. abouts, why is it always spending and not tax cuts to the rich? guest: if you look at individual
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income tax rates, the individual income taxes americans paid in fiscal 2019 where the highest ever. on $.7 trillion in the individual income taxes -- $1.7 trillion in individual income taxes. corporation taxes are significantly down. corporate tax revenues were up in 2017 to 2018, but there significantly down from 2007 when they hit their peak. it is not like the federal government is not taxing people. the federal government is imposing a higher income tax on the american people now than they ever have. but they are spending so much more that the debt increased $1.2 trillion the same year that the federal government was collecting more individual income tax than it ever had. this lisa merriman has point, that spending should be cut across the board.
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that is a tweet. good morning. welcome to the program. caller: good morning. i believe in truth, facts, results. pinocchios and every bit of pants on fire. i was watching predictions about all this going on with the debt. perothed cnn savage ross in the past. it distorted what he said. now i am watching cnn tell distorted lies about donald trump. if you want an example, yes, we did lower taxes, but he also failed to mention he took away most of the rich people's write-offs. again, truth, facts, results, far beyond your concept. i voted for barack obama.
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and i watched him say -- [indiscernible] never coming back. i want cnn to say, why aren't they ever coming back? i don't know. you got me to the point where i blocked cnn on my fios. truth, facts, and results. you'ree donald trump, fired. host: thanks for the call. terry jeffrey. removal one was the limits on some of the deductions on tax cuts that president trump signed. and quite simply, you have more people working, a record number of people working in the united states. unemployment is at a recent historic low. more people working, more people paying income taxes. cut it is true that the tax
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benefited corporations more than individuals. robert is next on the phone from greenville, texas, independent line. caller: good morning. a hypothetical here, why can't we have our budget that congress be basically transferred over to the irs to adjust its tax rates on a year-to-year basis, to actually come to some kind of a balanced budget? i know it would be a bitter pill to swallow, that $9,000 per household you are talking about earlier, but why not have it where -- because politics, these politicians, they would have to get their house in order real quick or they would be voted out if they don't figure out how to balance the budget. host: thank you for the call. we will get a response. guest: the constitution gives the power of the purse to congress.
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this power over this question, and the problem is that the american people do not hold congress responsible for the excessive spending that they do. some of the spending that congress does is targeted to please certain constituents. that deserves more exposure. one of the reasons i think that you see the sort of process where, as "wall street journal" points out, congress has the massive bills and we are now almost three months into the fiscal year, they should have been passed before september 30, so that people cannot read them and study them and look at them and debate them and see where the money is actually going. the issue of spending and democratic proposals came up in the final debate of 2019, cohosted by cbs news hour and politico. a question to senator elizabeth warren of massachusetts. [video clip] >> senator warren, every
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candidate on the stage has proposed tax increases on the wealthy pure you have an especially ambitious plan. apart from health care, hike taxes an additional $8 trillion over the decade, the biggest tax increase since world war ii. how do you answer top economist to say taxes of this magnitude would stifle growth and investment? >> oh, they are just wrong. [cheers and applause] let's start with wealth caps, the idea of a two cent tax on the great fortunes of this country, $50 million and above. for two cents, what can we do? we can invest in the rest of america. we can provide universal childcare, early childhood education for every baby in this country aged zero to five. universal pre-k for every three-year-old and
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four-year-old, and raise wages to every child care and preschool teacher. we can do even more for our public school, for college graduates appeared we can cancel student loan debt. think about the economic impact of that. for the billionaires, they are not eating more pizzas, not buying more cars. reinvest that in early childhood education and childcare. that means those babies get top-notch care. it means their mamas can finish their education. it means their mamas and their daddies can take on real jobs, harder drugs, longer hours, and we can increase productivity in this country, and we can start building this economy -- their mamas and their daddies can take on real jobs, harder jobs, longer hours. that is how we build it in rural america and urban america, an economy that works for main street as much as it works for wall street. host: the debate is available on
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our website, courtesy of cb -- pbs, c-span.org. paul krugman is saying to fox news that the deficit is vastly overrated, go ahead and deficit spend because it is an investment in the future, whether it is pre-k or the green new deal. guest: when the federal government borrows $1 trillion a year, you're stealing money from future generations that will have to pay the interest. talking about paying down the debt or paying off the debt, when americans buy a home, they want to pay off the mortgage so they own the home. we have a government that continues to renew its mortgage and imposes deficits on future generations of americans. elizabeth warren wants a bigger government and wants more taxes. a: my did in october looked at i did in column october looked at a consumer
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expenditure survey, which had detailed data that calculated the average american consumer unit, and they mean basically a household but it could be an individual who lives with other people that keeps independent expenses, they calculated with the average household or consumer unit spends on areas different items. it turns out that the average american consumer unit, according to the federal government analysis, spends more money on taxes than they spent on food, clothing, and health care combined. when you look at the numbers, you can add entertainment. so the average american is paying more to the government in federal, state, local taxes, more than $18,000 per year for the average consumer unit, then we pay for food, clothing, health care, and entertainment. i think people listening really think, is the government giving me more than my food, clothing, health care, and entertainment? they are not.
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i think we have a government that is disproportionately large and is overtaxing people. country whereree people like elizabeth warren not think they have the right to take additional money that you make. host: a tweet saying american households paid the largest federal income tax aggregate in 2019, meaning the largest drain of aggregate demand from the usa economy. i want to share from the "washington post company numbers from the treasury department, and look at the year-to-year debt, which came down during the obama administration and is now increasing during the trump administration, approaching $1 trillion this fiscal year alone. andy from sterling, virginia. good morning. caller: i don't understand why c-span continues to have frauds like this gentleman or norquist come on your show when they are
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saying basically what mitch mcconnell wants to do. in order to pay down this debt and deficit, listen up, trump supporters, trump zombies, they are going to go after your social security, your medicare, your medicaid in order to pay for those huge tax cuts that trump gave to his billionaire buddies and to the corporations. this is what is coming down the road. this is what they are after. this is where they know were all the money is. better listen up, trump supporters, they're coming after you. thank you. host: how do you respond? iest: if you read my column, blame mitch mcconnell for the spending. $4.4 trillion federal government, was a big enough? that is what it says. guest: there is a bipartisan agreement to spend more money. mitch mcconnell is not controlling the spending. republicans are not controlling the spending. the individual income taxes at
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the federal government collected in fiscal year 2019 were more than ever collected, but they still have a deficit of more than nine had a billion dollars in borrowed. it is the political establishment on capitol hill controlling the deficit or rolling back the debt of the federal government. an amendmentas offered that said to reduce the amount appropriated to be 2% less, the amount appropriated for fiscal year 2019, and that felt significantly. guest: it lost. there were 25 republicans who voted against it and 24 who voted for it. trying toul was just cut discretionary spending in one fiscal year by 2%. i did the analysis, and if you look at certain government agencies -- the department of education, and the last 20
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years, since 1999, the beginning of this country, it has grown more than 100% in real terms, federal spending on the department of education. it is discretionary spending. politicians are spending twice as much now as they were 20 years ago. congress -- there was a bipartisan vote with mitch mcconnell on the wrong side. saying,rk from new york can you please have your guest answer this, how many loopholes were removed from the upper-class taxes so they could get this magnificent tax cut? guest: there were. i did not memorize all the details, but they did limit some deductions and removed some deductions. i think that is partly responsible for why people pay more individual income taxes last year. they increased the standard deduction which is for the lowest end of the income scale, but i'm not sure what it did for people in the middle class and
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people moving upward. the american dream is to work hard and make more. be more successful and make more money. why should the government try and inhibit that by penalizing people for making a little bit more money next year? you made more money, we will take it away and then spent and borrow more and your kid will pay interest because the extra money we took for me was not enough to run the government. host: baltimore next, steve on the republican line. caller: i have a question in reference to mutual funds. the u.s. treasury money market and the u.s. treasury government money market, which a lot of americans hold -- i hold those through t. rowe price -- we currently have a prices debt crisis in the repurchasing market, putting in the $160 billion a day and have been for the past two and half to three months, into these repurchasing agreements. and what the federal government
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did was the interest rate, as the gentleman spoke, was 1.75%. it rose to 10% in less than one week's time, at which time mr. powell came in, federal reserve chairman, and we have but a cap on what you can earn on those two funds. they did that just for the reason we were discussing. we cannot afford to be paying s, repurchasing agreements, so we are right back where we were in the 2008 crisis when banks cut in over their head. otherwise, why would we have mr. powell come in and cap those two marketplaces? in those two funds, u.s. of thosemoney, 30% funds, both have 30%, are of repurchasing agreements. i feel that that goes against everything when it comes to a
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little contract, which is a prospectus from t. rowe price or raymond james, because they all -- host: i will stop you and get a quick response. guest: i have not followed that mutual fund issue. host: a headline from the "wall street journal," u.s. deficit in the one truly dollars first few months of the fiscal year. that is a first. guest: in this calendar year, just like in this fiscal year, they have already increased the debt i more than $1 trillion. we are not seeing anywhere in the future where this will be reversed. there will have to be significant changes. host: michael in imperial beach, california. thank you for waiting period caller: -- thank you for waiting the government was stealing from social security to pay other bills for
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years. i believe george w. bush said in his second term that one of his main goals was to invest that money into wall street to get a better return. we all know what happened to the pension funds, once they started doing that all over the united states. so is the united states government considering actually investing in wall street to get a better return on the money that they are stealing from social security? because handing over money to wall street, in my opinion, it is a disaster waiting to happen. your thoughts? president george w. bush wanted social security reform, but i do not think he went far enough. there were other plans where the idea was to let people create individual personal internment accounts where they were putting a certain percentage of their , rather than into social security taxes, they were putting it into broad-based mutual funds to build up their own retirement funds that did not belong to the government, that belonged to them. the idea was that when a person
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retired, it is from their private investments that they able to get at least the equivalent of a social security benefit, and they would be on their own. if they did not, the government would make up the difference in guarantee they got that. i thought that was a better plan because you will not be dependent on government the way people are now. nowadays people and their employers play this massive -- pate this massive social security tax, and they do all their life until retirement, and then they depend on the government to make those payments in social security to them. it is not a good thing in every public for people to be dependent on the government for their income. a comment saying, limiting the interest deduction on mortgages and an limit on state and property taxes had the upper middle class and rich more than media is stating, but mainstream media only calls the tax cuts for the rich. guest: right.
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i am a native of california and have lived out here since 1986. in the california, i grew up in the bay area, and life is expensive in that area. housing is expensive the cost of living is expensive. there are areas of new jersey and around new york city that are like that. in d.c., it is very expensive. so there are places in the country where someone, if they're going to have a middle-class life and be able to afford a home and raise a family, they will have to be in that income bracket. host: alan greenspan on cnbc earlier this month, here is the headline -- as inflation is inevitably going to rise as the deficit balloons over $1 trillion. will it? guest: yes. if you look at the structure of the debt, we talk about the intergovernmental debt where the government is borrowing from surplus social security taxes and paying it back to itself,
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more and more of the debt will be publicly traded treasury securities. if you look at the way that is structured, a lot of the federal bills, whicheasury mature in one year. inis not like it is all 30-year bonds with a set interest rate that we will be paying for the next 30 years. as the interest rate rises, the government will be rolling over these bills and notes that they are now paying a very low interest rate on, and those interest rates are going to jack up. that will accelerate the cost of the debt. host: a call from michigan. tim, good morning. caller: hey, steve, i cannot wait to hear your republican callers come calling in and
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saying how biased you are by having somebody like terry on. host: you must have been listening yesterday. caller: i was. i tried to get in and defend you. you are my favorite. name, she is not on. i saw her on the interview. help me out. host: greta? caller: no, no. she got boosted up. host: susan swain? anyway, she was doing an interview on "q&a." host: right, susan swain. caller: yes, i miss her. she would when moderate. i like to put a plug-in for stephanie miller on free speech tv. untilhow was my favorite i discovered stephanie miller. getting to this guy.
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cuts too talk about tax the rich, and that guy from virginia, what was his name? host: you got me. go ahead with your question. rich.: tax cuts for the they give money away from them and then they create deficits starting with reagan and they take it out on people like me on social security. they have already done it. they are raising the age wanting to cut the benefits, not to mention medicare and medicaid. now on abortion. mister?"so pro-life, bombing't these people the clinics? why aren't you out in force at the cages freeing the children that are already born and are dying in modern-day mini
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concentration camps? why aren't you manning those cages? i do not know how you can call yourself a christian. it --n atheist but that if that is your deaths -- definition of christianity, pal. mr. trump. a great businessman. rating, from a scale of one to 100, the trump organization is 16. if you do my believe me, you can look up for your viewers or have one of your republican viewers call him thank you so much. unpack.lot to your reaction? on border security in the wall street journal editorial,
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they mentioned the new deal spends about $1.37 million for border security. legitimately wanted federal money, a moral policy for the border, you would secure the border so thoroughly that people were not try to leave other places, they wouldn't take their kid and move all the way across mexico and go out to the desert. home and legally apply to immigrate to the united states. spends record spending -- , formerrry jeffrey senior advisor to that buchanan's presidential campaigns. now i columnist and editor in chief of cnn news not -- cnn news.com. to share with you the insights

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