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tv   The Kudlow Report  CNBC  March 16, 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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i know i am going to try to get one this weekend. now, here's the deal. this stock is still cheap. why? because all you've got to do is divide by ten. all right? so you've got a $60 stock. i think you can go to $70. would that be such a wild move? it is only because we think of a 500 to 600 to $700 stock this is so daunting. divide by 10 and you'll get more comfortable, the way i am in owning apple even right here, my charitable trust does have it. i always try to find it just for you here on "mad money." i'm jim cramer. i'll see you monday! hey, larry, what are you looking at before the weekend? >> jimmy, as you know, i'm still an optimist on stocks and the economy. that's my big theme tonight. good evening. i'm larry kudlow. this is "the kudlow report." things may not be perfect, okay? but i am still an optimist on stocks and on the economy. and in a moment, i'm going to show you some key charts that will try to make my case. and it's a friday night and
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a new movie is out. this is the obama so-called documentary, but it's more like a propaganda movie because unlike a documentary, it has no negative points. i may supply a few. that in just a moment. first up, the big story, another stock market gain. this is the fifth straight week. the dow is up 311 points. the nasdaq closing over 3,000. the s&p over 1400. now, again, this story ain't perfect. it should be better. but you know what? let me try to make the case why the markets are pretty decent along with the economy. all right. let's go right to the board. retail sales first up. remember, folks, a week ago, we had a good jobs report supplying income. this week we got retail sales. and you can see, we're running year on year back to about 8%. even taking out gasoline. we'd be up to 8%. this is good on the consumer demand side. second, on the supply side, today's industrial production report, if we can get it up there, business equipment. think cap ex, okay? business equipment from
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profitable companies are doing extremely well, up about 17% year on year. these are very solid numbers. now, you've already seen the stock market pictures. let's look at some other stuff. long-term treasury rates. nice move up to, let's see, 230. that bond was about 2%, was about 1.80 not long ago. if the real gdp economy is growing at 3%, real interest rates have to go up. in fact, i think the ten-year treasury is going to 3% before long on the strength of a strong economy. it's good news, not bad news. now, the dollar has been rising very nicely. it lost a little smidge today. it's about 80. but you can see the dollar rising. that's because of the stronger economy and higher interest rates. it's a very bullish signal. money might come into the u.s. and finally, i think we have a gold chart. i love this chart. okay? you know i'm a gold guy. i'd like to link the dollar to gold. but gold has been falling pretty steadily.
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down to 1650, 55. actually, it wasn't long it was at 1900. why is gold falling? because the end of the world armageddon at any time coming and instead the economy is growing, interest rates are rising and the dollar is rising. the armageddon was taken off the books. this year when the banks published its stress tests which showed a great massive improvement over where we were three years ago. the end of the world is not coming. that's so great for stocks. it's good for risk taking. by the way, banks are making loans at about a 12% rate. it's bad for gold. and if it's bad for gold, that's good for the economy and the stock market. remember, in the 1980s and the 1990s, a fabulous bull market with the strong dollar and a falling gold price. i don't think things are as prosperous today. i'd like the economy to grow at 6% instead of 3%. and we've got some lingering problems all over the place. all i'm saying is that things are improving in the right direction.
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and i don't think we've seen a peak in the stock market which itself confirms the better story. all right. now, despite the optimism overstocks and the economy, our next guest is going to disagree with me. he may rain on my parade. he's a great friend. let's dive in and talk to michael pento. president of pento strategies. you're not in the bull camp. tell me why. >> well, you almost convinced me, larry. we haven't solved one fundamental problem with the economy. after 13 straight quarters of deleveraging, the u.s. consumer is now releveraging his and her balance sheet. our national debt is now eclipsing 100% of gdp -- >> hang on -- >> let me get this out, please -- total nonfinancial debt as a percentage of gdp is 250%. an all-time record high. now, if you believe as i do that debt caused the meltdown in the credit crisis in 2008, then what have we solved? we have inflation and we have debt. >> you know, one thing i'm going
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to disagree with you, i was looking at charts from john riding from the flow of funds. >> right. >> flow of funds from the fed. actually, debt as a share of income has come down, and corporate debt as a share of income has come down. now, i think we have a government debt problem. i think we have a huge one, and that's one of those unsolved problems. >> that debt is our debt. we have to pay that back. it's a future tax on production with interest. >> we have deleveraged -- >> on the margin, larry. not on the government side. >> i understand. but corporations have delevered. households have delevered. what's your biggest objection to my bull market scenario? and again, i'm not saying this is a fabulous prosperity. i'm just saying things are getting better. and i do think the banks stress test. >> they didn't figure in the most pernicious variable which is rising interest rates. all we've proven is that the economy can subsist when interest rates are at 0% and the government is borrowing per annum and most of which is printed. when that ends -- larry-- larry,
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when that ends -- >> that's a long-term problem. and i agree with you. i don't see, though, what's going to trip up the economy in the shorter run? and let me say this. >> other than the election and the huge tax increases coming in 2012? >> next year. next year. 2013. i don't know. we're going to see about that. that could be a big negative. you know, bank loans are growing 12%. the money supply is growing 10%. in other words, my point is, banks have competition capital. banks have excess liquidity. corporations are profitable. and that's why these numbers are moving in the right direction. >> i'll tell you what worries me about bank lending. i look at it as you do. do you know that in january and february of 2012, banks loaned more money to the government than they did all of 2011. they're on pace to buy more treasury and agency debt than they did all of last year. they already eclipsed that. >> somebody's got to buy it. somebody's got to buy it. >> half a trillion -- >> otherwise we wouldn't be able to finance the government. >> larry, expanding monetizing treasury, that is not the way
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you want to grow money supply. you want to make loans to create capital goods. >> can i just say one thing? technically we don't monetize the debt. the federal reserve does not buy the bonds directly. >> okay. >> the banks buy the bonds. that's just not exactly right. >> all right. >> so you're worried, long-term debt, i happen to agree, treasury debt and government debt is a big problem. we spend too much and they are threatened to hike taxes next year. if those tax hikes are going through next year, i won't be near as optimistic. >> i'm also worried about an attack on iran by nato or israel. these things you have to worry about. >> all bets are off. all bets are off. >> i'm saying that ostensibly -- >> did i say you're not so bad in the short run? >> i said os stetensibly we loo like we're healing. i'm saying keep one foot towards the exit. >> did you hear that, folks? he's a bull.
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s&p is at 1500. >> due to the fact before the election -- >> 1450? >> 1275 because there is going to be -- oil goes to 200 because iran is attacked by the election. >> you're betting on iran. you may be right. >> i don't want to happen. it's going to happen. >> michael pento, great pal. he's still kind of leaning in my direction. the inflection point was everything. president obama and his supporters are tooting their own horns tonight. this after watching what they call a documentary on the administration's so-called achievements. we're going to run it through our own truth squad in just a minute. first up, eamon is going to preview and premiere this film. we get to see it first. good evening. >> good evening. it is designed to remind core obama supporters of the successes as they see it of this obama administration. and it begins with a reminder of just how bad the economic picture was at the start of the administration. >> there was a screen set up for slides, but we might as well have been showing a horror movie
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because what was described in that meeting was an economic crisis beyond anything anybody had imagined. >> the campaign video also includes a vigorous defense of the president's auto bailout from none other than former president bill clinton. >> if you closed all these car dealerships and you killed all these auto parts suppliers, people have no earthly idea what would have happened not only to the economy but to our self-image. >> now, this is a video that really draws an express comparison between barack obama and mitt romney, pointing out in the obama video that romney would have let detroit fail rather than go in and do the auto bailout. that is going to be a campaign theme. we see throughout the rest of this year, larry, as the obama administration has clearly decided that that auto bailout is something that they want to run on in the fall. >> all right. eamon javers, thank you very much for the movie premiere. next time i want some popcorn,
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real criticism, maybe an oscar performance. let's bring in our guests who will go do the criticism. we bring back keith boykin, clinton white house aide. jennifer ruben, the author of "the washington post" blog and my pal mark simone, radio talk show host. mark simone, i don't know if it was a bailout of detroit. bailing out unions? what's so good about that? >> you could go with the romney organized bankruptcy. that might have been a good way to go. but as far as this movie, let me put this very politely. it was shovel ready, if you know what i mean. >> shovel ready! >> it's unfair to call it propaganda because propaganda is disguised as a real movie. this didn't even try to look objective. this was just an out-and-out infomercial. it was ridiculous. >> keith boykin, i didn't hear in the movie -- i acknowledge all i got was eamon's report, but i got a little more than that backstage. why this is really the worst
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economic recovery going back to the 1930s where it should have been the strongest, what goes down is supposed to spring back up. this one didn't spring back anywhere. we got a little improvement, as i said earlier, but it ain't much. >> because he inherited the worst economic crisis since the great depression. >> shouldn't that have a spring back? the more it goes down, the more it goes up. >> we had factors we didn't have before. we had the collapse of the auto industry, collapse of the financial industry, collapse of the housing market. i remember being here on election night in 2008 up in the boardroom. one of the ceos looked at me after obama won and he said, i would hate to be that guy right now because he's going to have to preside over the biggest deleveraging of the country. this was a crazy process that this administration inherited and the transition team tried to guide us through. my god, we have been through a lot. and to come out to the point where we are right now is quite an accomplishment. >> jennifer ruben, one thing the supporters tout is obamacare.
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is that possibly one of the reasons that the deep recession didn't have a big springback in the economic recovery? >> i think so. that probably won't make the film which bears as many redecember plans reze resemblance of a documentary. not the ill effects. as much as "spinal tap" but not quite as funny. >> ooh! >> yes, i think obamacare, dodd/frank, the spector of increasing taxes. as you said, we'll have to pay back that debt sometime. whether it's in the president's plans now or whether it's the post-election surprise, there is a lot of pressure being put on the private sector right now. and i think if you talk to people, and you talk to businesspeople all the time, they are not aiming to greatly expand their work force right now. they're nervous about tax hikes. they don't know where we're going in terms of -- >> they don't like obamacare. >> they don't like it. >> i was down at the business roundtable moderating a panel. i guess it was last week. that's all the 220 biggest shots in the corporate world.
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and they don't want to make a commitment until they know what the tax hikes are going to be, what the regulatory are going to be, they just don't like obamacare. but mark simone, i don't think they had a section on gasoline prices. >> no, that's another thing. >> did they forget that? >> when he took office, the conditions were so horrible. you had unemployment at 7%. what is it now? 8.5%. >> ooh. >> you had horrifying gas prices. they were up to $2 a gallon. now they're double that. >> you have taken this completely out of history. first of all, unemployment was on the rise. when he came into office, almost all of the jobs that were lost in this administration were lost in the first year because of the bush recession. we've had 4 million new jobs created in the past two years. private sector jobs because of this recovery. don't act like we -- like he walked in and everything was great. anybody who has historical knowledge knows that's not true. >> 1% up in the job numbers. at the current rate it's growing, we'll be back to full-rate employment at 2019.
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>> when ronald reagan was president -- i'm sure larry knows this because he was there -- the unemployment rate never dipped below 7% until the sixth year of his administration. and you guys are criticizing this guy who inherited the worst economic recession? >> much faster rate. >> his high is 11, 10.8%. getting to 7% was one heck of a thing. jennifer, i want to come back, though. mark simone kind of glossed over this. i always believed the detroit bailout of general motors and chrysler was, in fact, a union uaw bailout who owned big chunks of this corporation and the bondholders got completely screwed, senior bond holders. and wouldn't a car business have had to downsize dramatically anyway? wasn't that the real story? >> yes, and they may still have to because we allowed general motors to get through this process, and chrysler as well, now fiat, to get through this process without restructuring their labor costs and contracts. they probably still are going to have a period of time where they're overproducing their
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market rates, their labor rates are too high. it's not a question between -- as the film portrays it -- saving the auto industry and letting it die. it's between making a choice to have the taxpayers subsidize too much -- >> that's the thing. i know you're keen on this topic. don't you think the country hates bailouts? of any kind? >> of course they do. >> so why is the president touting his bailout of detroit? >> because it took courage to do that, larry. it took courage to do that, larry. they'll tell you there was no private equity to bail out the t country. >> you'd have a better business model. >> romney said if you bail out detroit, you mow what? the auto industry would die. it did not die. clearly he was wrong. if you guys want to run on defending romney on the auto bailout, i'm welcome to have that debate because you will lose. the american people support that. >> i was completely opposed and i still am opposed. jennifer's right. what is so courageous about the
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president spending the taxpayers' money on his union friends? what's so great about that? >> bill clinton -- the film tells you it wasn't for his union friends. >> bill clinton had no union friends. that's one of the reasons i liked him so much. >> we would have spent less money had we said to general motors, you know what? you're going to take less money from the taxpayers because you're going to get your own house in order by cutting these labor contracts. they're still at a disadvantage. you're right, we still have overcapacity. >> you're going to lose michigan, ohio, pennsylvania and you may lose indiana if you make that argument. and i hope you do. i hope republicans make that argument because that is an argument for failure. there's no way you're going to win on that. there's no way. >> we will see. i think bailouts are very unpopular. jennifer ruben, keith boykin, mark simone, thank you very much. now, folks, volume low. the vix volatility index lower. but if you're in the stock market, your portfolio is a whole lot higher again this week. we are in a pretty darn good bull market. we're going to talk about how
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long the rally can run. and then jimmy cramer pays us a quick visit for a bonus pick of what he's looking for next week. and regarding bailouts and everything else, folks. please don't forget, free market capitalism still the best path to prosperity. keith boykin, "the kudlow report" is coming right back. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 let's talk about fees. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 there are atm fees. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 account service fees. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 and the most dreaded fees of all, hidden fees. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 at charles schwab, you won't pay fees on top of fees. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 no monthly account service fees. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 no hidden fees. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 and we rebate every atm fee. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 so talk to chuck
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what a week. all three major stock averages post impressive gains near 3%. their best gains for the week since last december. so let's bring in some experts, phil orlando, chief equity market strategist at federated. dan fitzpatrick. you read very pessimistic. i don't know if you saw my opening shtick. i like the action, i like the fact that the dollar is up, interest rates are up and gold is down. why are things going to be so bad? >> i don't think they're going to be bad, larry. it's just that stock market's up 30%, 31% since the october bottom. we're probably up 12% or 13% since the beginning of the year. remember, our full-year target for the s&p 500 was 1450.
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and we're a little over 1400. >> are you keeping your 1450, phil? >> we are absolutely keeping the 1450 in place. but it looks like we may get there by the middle of the year at the pace we're going. >> all right. i think that's probably a pretty good point. make adjustments later. dan fitzpatrick, what's your take on this story? are you a bull or a bear? >> well, long term this year, i'm a bull. i think we're poised for some kind of a pullback. but the thing is, we've been poised for that pullback for, you know, the last month, two months. it just seems like this is a trickle-up market. and so you look at all the technicals, larry, and they're really pointing to higher equity prices. there's no way around it. you just kind of have to define your time frame for your bullishness or your bearishness. i think we're going to hit that 1450 mark pretty easily, actually. i think the question is, do we go to 1500 or not, not whether we go to 1450. >> phil, i know you're a huge institutional manager, but if i'm not mistaken, you also
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manage some retail money. the volume of this rally has still been pretty soft which has given a false signal to some professionals. do you think that the so-called retail crowd will come back into the stock market, or are they still so singed from what happened several years ago? >> well, the low volume, larry, i think is a function of the fact that you've still got some institutional bears that are not believers and that are waiting for a pullback. the retail investors are not believers at all. but the spike we've seen in the treasury yield, i think, was important. taking the treasury, the benchmark 10s up to about 2.3% when these investors realize they're starting to lose money on their treasuries, i think there's going to be some disintermediation at the stocks, and i think the remail money is going to start to move into the equity market. >> dan, i always thought rising interest rates from a growth trade, economic growth as really bullish and, in fact, people will get out of bonds. they're willing to take some risks. especially after the successful stress test. there's no armageddon and maybe
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come into stocks. >> yeah. i agree. i mean, the fact that treasuries were up, the yields were up so much this week, and particularly today, really does reflect that rotation from bonds into equities. the thing is, you know, ben bernanke's basically tipped his hand for the next couple years, though the bond market doesn't really believe that. and so you've got this rotation into equities. you know, the point is, if we've got some institutional bears, that's just fuel for the bulls' argument when they start flipping, and they will. also, you've got all these retail investors on the sidelines. well, they can't really sell because they don't own anything. so there's a lot of potential money coming into the market. and it's not going to go into bonds. there's no place for it to go but equities. >> thanks very much, phil orlando, dan fitzpatrick, thanks so much. coming up, jim cramer's bonus stock and two other stories you won't want to miss. remember dennis kozlowski? well, he's out of prison now, sort of, kind of. we'll explain. and putting the cuffs on
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clooney. that's right. it's not a new movie. it's real life in washington today. clooney cuffed. we'll be right back. this is "kudlow." in america, we believe in a future that is better than today. since 1894, ameriprise financial has been working hard for their clients' futures. never taking a bailout. helping generations achieve dreams. buy homes. put their kids through college. retire how they want to. ameriprise. the strength of america's largest financial planning company.
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welcome back to "the kudlow report." there's few other headlines to get to tonight. the man behind the viral kony 2012 video is now behind bars.
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and the san diego police say jason russell was arrested yesterday for allegedly being drunk and performing a lewd act in public. convicted tyco ceo dennis kozlowski has returned to park avenue, but it's still a far cry from his palatial apartment overlooking central park. he is now in a work release program after serving almost seven years in federal prison. ford says 1700 of its factory workers will take early retirement offers and be out of work by june 1. 250 will be replaced by lower paid workers. and the usda will offer schools a choice in beef purchases starting this fall. that's after a social media firestorm erupted when regulators said pink slime filler met food safety standards. now, i had the pleasure of appearing on "squawk on the street" this morning with my great friend, jim cramer. we talked some natural gas. and let me say this. natural gas, the untapped resource that can power the entire economy. jimmy's here to tell us how. good evening, james.
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>> hey, lawrence. you and i talked about oil and gas this morning on "squawk on the street." and i've been thinking about it for the rest of the day, frankly. you know what? this move to use natural gas as a surface fuel for automobiles, for trucks, it's gaining momentum. and i'm beginning to believe that nothing can stop it. it's happening. it's happening, larry. it's in the air. we all know it. with oil up huge, with the threat of embargo or war, this country is switching fuels. switching to natural gas as a cheaper resource. i wish the switch could be done with the help and not the opposition of washington, hastening the substitution with the credit that could be paid back for truck buyers who junk their diesel clunkers for clean nat gas. i want to hasten this change. that way in a couple years we'll be forcing the world price of oil lower. at the same time as curing our balance of payments issues, making the clies clearer and making us less dependent on our enemies in the middle east. but a combination of an aversion to all fossil fuels which you talked about including the president.
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and a persistent lobbying effort of chemical companies which want to get a cheap food stock, that's kept this change from coming about as fast as it should. nevertheless, i think it's become obvious to all but washington, the change is going to come. we've got to start thinking yes. after a tremendous plunge in price, that at long last natural gas may have bottomed in the $2 zone. if that's the case, we have to examine who's the most and who is least levered. if you want to know the pure plays, you've got to buy southwestern energy, as is ultra petroleum. they've always stayed true to this fuel. then the switchers. trying to become less depend ent on gas. there i'm chiing chesapeake, devon, anadarko. finally, the levered speculative play is this company called hekman, h-e-k. it missed its last quarter. but to me remains a colossally fabulous spec on this nation embracing the cleaner, cheaper
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and more abundant fuel. i do not expect immediate tightness. that's not going to change any time soon. but i think a statement about how we've seen the lows makes a ton of sense. i am proud to make it here on "the kudlow report." larry, back to you. >> all right. jimmy, great stuff. appreciate it. you are so right, the importance of natural gas. now let's switch gears and talk oil. what's behind the rise in oil prices? that's a question asked today by top energy analyst dan jurgen in "the wall street journal" op-ed. averaging more than $4 in six states and washington, d.c. oil had its biggest gain in three weeks. natural gas prices also rose a bit. anyway, cnbc energy analyst dan jurgen, chairman of cambridge energy associates and author of "the quest." thank you for joining us. if you had to pick out a single factor behind the jump in oil prices whether it's texas crude or brent crude, what would you finger? >> i'd say two things. one is we have a tight oil
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market to begin with. but the main thing is iran, the tension over iran and the expectations that these sanctions the united states is going to put on iranian oil is going to reduce the flow of iranian oil into the world market. >> now, those sanctions come in august, as i understand it. >> a little earlier, but in the summer, right. >> all right. in the summer. are those sanctions in the oil market, or do you think that physical delivery shortages will boost oil prices even more when the sanctions go into place? >> i think the sanctions won't be in a vacuum because it will come along with increased tensions with iran over its nuclear program to be happening at the same time. so i think what's in the price now is only partway there. and the big question is going to be are there going to be other sources that could replace those iranian barrels in the market particularly if we're moving into a period of economic recovery? >> are there other sources? >> this is the open question. there are people looking at iraq, angola, libya. but the other thing that you can count on happens to be the united states where our
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production this year is up 20% since 2008. it might be up another 300,000 barrels this year. >> dan, on the strength of a stronger economy and presumably no more easing by the fed, the u.s. dollar is appreciating. can't that help keep a lid on oil prices? >> well, it would -- an appreciating u.s. dollar would keep a lid for us. it makes it more expensive for the europeans. the europeans now are actually paying in their currency higher prices than they did in 2008. but it would be good for us. >> all right. that's words of wisdom. final one, this is real quick, strategic petroleum reserve. i'm hearing from a lot of people, washington, it's time to use spro. wouldn't it be easier to wait what happens in the middle east? >> absolutely. it's absolutely going to be expected. there are going to be all these calls for it, but it's there to deal with a real disruption. and when you're looking at the problems with iran, it's not something that you want to rush in and use. so it really needs to be -- that's what it was created for, to deal with a real disruption.
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>> we'll leave it there. >> thank you. >> dan, best in the business. thank you ever so much. now on "the kudlow report" ahead, the gop race in the great state of illinois. this is a very important primary. check out how close santorum and romney are just three days before the vote. pretty close and the real clear politics average. we first told you about the naacp. they want to haul texas over the united nations over voter i.d. rights. tonight the president of the naacp, an historic group, is with us to explain why he wants to get the united nations involved. heck, are we going to see helmeted troops in the lone star state? we'll be back in just two minutes. [ female announcer ] the next generation of investing technology
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welcome back to "the kudlow report." i'm larry kudlow. mitt romney's campaigning in puerto rico this evening hoping the commonwealth sunday primary will boost his delegate lead. but the next big prize in the gop race for president will be the illinois primary on tuesday. the most recent polling average shows mitt romney clinging to a seven-point lead. but some recent polls suggest momentum is swinging his way. robert costa with the national
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review, a cnbc contributor. going to run it down. good evening, robert. can you just ask you real quick, puerto rico, does romney win? >> i think romney wins there. most important factor, he has the support of the governor there, fortino, a popular republican and conservative. >> missouri, sunday, what happens in missouri? santorum's already won that primary. these are the caucuses, i guess. does romney win those, too? >> i think romney is pretty well organized. they still have a little more in their delegates selection. the real prize is illinois. i think missouri's going to be split. >> talk to me about illinois because some polls show romney with a double-digit lead. >> that's right. but look. santorum has closed very strongly in a lot of these polls. people didn't expect santorum to win in mississippi and alabama. the polls didn't have him winning down there in the deep south. but he closed strong. i still think romney's going to win in illinois. he has all the establishment republican support. a deep network. and he's outspent santorum. spent $1 million in illinois. santorum has spent way less than
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that. >> let me continue the illinois conversation, bring in our pal of the american enterprise institute and cnbc contributor. romney lost alabama and mississippi, as we all know. how badly does he need a clear electoral win in the illinois primary? >> well, i mean, i think it's all about the delegates now. i think he'll win. the delegates are going to end up being split up. illinois -- listen, illinois should be a pretty good state for not only is it more moderate, but illinois is in a fiscal nightmare. the economy's terrible. and the voters who really like mitt romney are the ones who are most worried about the economy. and that's pretty much like every voter in illinois. >> see, that's a great point. bob, let me ask you. let's talk message, okay? illinois, a basket case. illinois, jacking up tax rates. their businesses are going to ohio and wisconsin. places that are cutting tax rates. first of all, how is santorum's message in illinois? is he emphasizing his tax cuts,
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or is he staying on the social issues? >> he's staying on the social issues. and i'll tell you why, larry. illinois is almost two states. in the north by chicago, you have suburbs. romney was there today. he does very strong in the chicago suburbs in the polling. but downstate in the south part of illinois, you have a lot of social conservatives. and santorum thinks he can resonate with social issues. he is talking about his tax cuts but probably not enough. romney has been focused. >> i've heard more about santorum and pornography in the past few days than i have about his corporate tax cut plan. >> what i also have been reading, okay, is that romney has been running on the delegate count mike he's now sort of mr. arithmetic. >> probably too much. >> that's right. >> math magician. >> what i gathered is a lot of people, jimmy, have criticized him for that. republican professionals and consultants have said, get back on message. you're off message. this election is not about your delegate counting process. so i want to know, are you hearing that he's back on message?
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i haven't really seen much of romney's message in recent days. >> no. i mean, it seems to me the tax cut piece has kind of gotten a bit lost. talking about the delegates, you begin to try to create some sort of quasi-air of inevitability. he's talking about cutting debt, the better. >> one of the most interesting stories about this campaign is about newt gingrich, has this $2.50 gas plan and the obama white house is going after gingrich and energy. gingrich is having a real bounce. where's romney messaging on taxes? i'm not hearing it. >> he's got to get gingrich out of this race. offer him something. offer him alpha. >> i'm hearing it from every side. >> i think you're right. that's too bad for mitt romney. >> the voters are going to ice newt out, around they? >> louisiana later this month. he could maybe come back. he's not leaving. he has a little bit of money. >> historical figure.
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this is great. maybe he'll get a brokered convention. >> the real problem, larry, though, you're hitting on it. if romney talks too much about math, he may be putting himself in a corner. because if he doesn't reach that 1144 that he needs to -- >> he won't. >> -- if he zeptd reach that, and he's the math guy, then where's the message? if he's not going to win on matd, he's got to win on message. >> hang on a second. he's got to tout tax cuts. he's got to tout energy reform. and, you know, paul ryan's going to release his budget this coming week. so presumably there's going to be a lot of entitlement form and deficit and debt reduction. in other words, i want both of you to weigh in. jimmy, how off message has mitt become? and isn't that going to hurt him? isn't that going to turn people off in this race? i mean, illinois is a basket-case economy, and oil prices, gasoline prices are 4 bucks. >> he's supposed to be the economic candidate, the math he needs to talk about is capping spending at 20%. 20% tax cuts.
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not 1144 but those two 20s. those are the key numbers he needs to talk about and make sure that every voter knows with some degree of specificity what this guy is going to do to turn around the economy. he should be the man with the plan, not the man with the delegate math. >> bob costa, real quick, the last word, is rick santorum talking about energy and drilling and shale? i mean, illinois's got a lot of energy. >> give santorum a little credit. he walks around with a piece of shale in his pocket and talks about it in every speech. romney should maybe pick up that include. romney is running a negative campaign. probably too negative. he needs to put some shale in his pocket. >> that would kill the line of his suit. >> class warfare, jimmy. >> did you hear that? you're right. you nailed him, bob costa. that will push him back into the corner. robert costa and in the corner, jimmy. next up on "kudlow," we are the number one economy. we are the number one military superpower. and april 1st wi, we'll be the
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number one -- wait for it, wait for it -- corporate taxer. how can that kill the recovery? why isn't anybody doing anything to stop it? i don't want to be the number one in corporate tax rates. i've been riding since i was 17.
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america the leader of the free world, the land of opportunity and growth and free enterprise, right? well, come april 1, america will be number one for another reason. we're going to have the highest corporate tax rate in the world. say it ain't so. what a rotten idea. let's talk to our pal, steve moore, the "wall street journal" editorial board, author of "return to prosperity." japan cuts its tax rate april 1. we are number one in the world. here's my question. why doesn't this so totally embarrass the white house, the senate and the house that they won't do something about it? >> yeah, whatever happened to the reagan revolution when we
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were cutting tax rates? you know, it's amazing, larry, you go back 20 years ago or so, the united states actually had a corporate tax rate that was well below the international average. now, as you just said, starting april 1st, we'll have the highest corporate income tax rate in the world. and the real -- by the way, that means higher than france, higher than germany, higher than china, russia, sweden. that's unbelievable, isn't it? and the problem is, we've been talking for four or five years on this show, larry, about why don't everybody get together, cut those tax rates, clear out the pollution in the tax system. that's something all the politicians say they're for. it just never seems to happen. >> so president obama proposed his own corporate tax rate to get it down to 28%. >> that's right. >> what's your take on that? is that something that could be a starting point, improved upon? see, here's my problem, stevie. i don't see any urgency in this. and we ought to be, for the reason you said. we don't want to be number one in taxes. >> there should be an urgency. there should have been an urgency four or five years ago before this. i don't see it.
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i'll give you an example. last week there was a key amendment, jim demint, great idea. get rid of all the corporate welfare and all the special interest tax provisions in the tax code for oil, coal, wind, solar, everybody, ethanol. and use the save togz lower the tax rate. now, that's something about everybody should be in favor of. that only got 125 votes in the senate. every democrat voted against it. i thought they said they were for tax reform. >> what is the flaw in president obama's tax reform plan? >> i think the real problem is, larry, that the tax that would be imposed on foreign income -- and look, 80% of the markets are now abroad. they're not here in the united states. he wants to significantly hike the tax rates paid on american corporations that do business abroad. when i talk to major ceos and people at the chamber of commerce, they said you know what? president obama's plan in some ways is worse than the current system. look, we've got to get rid of all the special interest carve-outs in the corporate tax. i believe if you did that, you could get the rate down to about 25% which, by the way, is the international average.
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we're like a sore thumb at 40% today. >> so in our position with the highest corporate tax in the world, that means that our multinational companies and others are going to keep their money offshore. they're not going to invest it here at home. is that really the bottom line, antijobs? >> it is. you know, the way i put it -- and i know some of my liberal friends aren't going to be happy about this -- i believe it is unpatriotic, larry, and i use that word, unpatriotic, to support a 35% corporate tax rate. what we're doing with that system, we're exporting jobs, outsourcing jobs to other countries. i want a tax system that brings jobs here to the usa. >> steve moore, thanks very much. up next, george clooney under arrest. we'll explain why. we'll also talk with one of the men arrested with him, the hid of the naacp. he also wants the u.n. to get involved in a separate voting i.d. issue in texas. we'll talk about both stories in two minutes. please stay with us.
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welcome back. actor george clooney and our next guest, the head of the naacp found themselves behind bars today after a human rights protest at the sudanese embassy in washington. but earlier this week he was protesting another so-called human rights issue before the u.n. that being voter i.d. laws here in the u.s. 31 states have voter i.d. laws
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on the books. 16 of them require photo i.d.s. joining us now to tell us, naacp president and ceo, mr. ben jealous. i really admire your fight against sudan. i mean, that is just an awful, hideous place. i'm with you 100%. 100%. you're very brave. >> thank you. >> what i don't get is why you would go off message and bring the u.n. human rights commission which has stalwarts like china and cuba and russia into this texas voter i.d. issue. the two are plecompletely unrelated. you go off message. >> look, the state of texas is a real issue. i mean, here's a state that's saying, you can no longer vote with your student i.d., but you can vote with your gun license. and when you look at the demographics of who are students in texas versus who are gun owners, you see that texas is really part of a pattern across this country. we've seen more states pass more laws, pushing more voters out of
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the ballot box in the past 12 months than at any point in the 103 years that the naacp has been here. and so we were over at the u.n., first time in 60 years that we've actually brought an entire delegation over there. >> this is the problem i have, mr. jealous. look, even the pro -- okay, i respect your right to disagree with the texas i.d. law. i just don't respect bringing the united nations in. the u.n., you know, all these crazy countries in there. >> a bunch of black men in blue helmets. i've got to say, all these far right-wing bloggers who blog about blue helmets are the ones that blog about black helicopters. the u.n. is the highest global form -- an expression of u.s. ideals of democracy. >> but we're not that -- >> sometimes it's healthy to have our ideals reflected back to us. >> yeah, but then you know the u.n. has so many undemocratic, anti-democratic, totalitarian
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members that give the institution a bad name. they have no jurisdiction over the united states in any way, shape or form. i just want to know, look. you know, you talk about violations rights. we've also had more voter fraud in recent years than ever before. 31 states -- >> when? when? come on. >> 31 states have i.d.s. >> dead people vote. >> listen. whole elections -- whole elections have been determined over lawsuits over voter fraud. >> no. not this issue. not this issue. >> a democratic party and unions have been in the lead in contesting elections over fraud. >> oh, come on. >> why not -- what are you afraid of with having a picture i.d. on voter registration? what are you afraid of here? >> okay. so there's sort of two things i would contrast. so the first is that george bush said this was a big issue. voter impersonation, big issue. his doj spent millions of dollars in five years diving into the issue. found about 16 cases a year during that five-year period. that's like .000 -- i think about 3% -- .0003% of votes cast
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in that period. then the republican lawyers association said we're going to do a huge expansive study. they looked at 15 years, 50 states, hundreds of millions of votes cast. they had those hundreds of millions of votes cast, 350 cases over 15 years. about 24 cases per year. >> well -- >> then you have nickey haley going, i've got the smoking gun. 900 dead people voted in my state. they found that actually voted. why? because dead people don't vote. why? because they're dead. >> i get that. but i don't see -- you can't do anything without an i.d. card these days. >> that's not true. >> you can't go on an airplane. >> yes, i can. i flew on one last week using one more security setting. >> all these states have photo i.d.s. indiana got a supreme court decision in its favor for a photo i.d. what i don't get, sir, honest to god, with the greatest respect, why you have to bring in the united nations which frankly the
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area of democracy is a pretty ugly place in so many cases. >> you asked two honest questions. >> i'm sorry, we're out of time. >> all right. next time. co have me back. >> i do respect you on the sue darr and i thank you for coming on the show. ben jealous. have a great weekend, folks. i'll be back in the saddle 7:00 p.m. sharp monday night. good evening. have a great weekend. americans believe they should be in charge of their own future. how they'll live tomorrow. for more than 116 years, ameriprise financial has worked for their clients' futures. helping millions of americans retire on their terms. when they want. where they want. doing what they want. ameriprise. the strength of a leader in retirement planning. the heart of 10,000 advisors working with you one-to-one.
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