tv The Kudlow Report CNBC December 17, 2013 7:00pm-8:01pm EST
we're open to it. start a tax-free business at startup-ny.com. thanks to the terrific people at whole foods when made our experience terrific in alwa somewhere. i promise to find it right here on "mad money." i'm jim cramer. see you tomorrow. the results are in, and paul ryan won the budget. he made the democrats look like they lost a budget deal even though that wasn't their intention. passed today a key herd in the senate. going to pass tomorrow easily. we're going to talk to one gop leadership senator who actually voted against the deal. i want to ask him, did you vote no? but are you really hoping yes? that's been done before. now, victory isn't a word president obama has been able to say for a while. another new poll out today has dreadful news for the white house and it's mostly because of oba obamacare. here's the question. suspect it time for the republicans to offer one united alternative to the president's
disastrous health care law? and folks, how do you feel? are you lucky today? we're just a few hours away from a massive megamillions drawing. jackpot is closing in on 700 million bucks and the ticket buying frenzy has gone right to the wire. all those stories and much more coming up on "the kudlow report" beginning right now. good evening, everyone. i'm larry kudlow. this is "the kudlow report." we're here live, 7:00 p.m. eastern, 4:00 p.m. pacific. senate cleared a key hurdle in the budget vote today. that sets up final vote for tomorrow. surprising number of republicans, 12, made this budget vote truly bipartisan. cnbc's eamon javers joins us now from washington. all right, eamon, first up, we're going to vote tomorrow. do we know what time? is that all locked in? >> well, based on the way the clock is ticking, they have this procedural process, larry, where we expect that between 4:00 and
5:00 is the earliest they could start voting on this tomorrow. as you say, it was a surprising show of support today. 12 republicans. all of the democrats voting for this bipartisan deal. we're told speaker of the house john boehner and paul ryan were working on the republican senate colleagues to get this bill over that procedural hurdle today. that clears the way. we think it will pass overwhelmingly tomorrow based on today's vote. >> i'm wondering if more republicans might actually vote for the final vote on the budget. now, some people disagree with me, eamon but the think the wind is blowing in that direction and i think the gop is realizing paul ryan is saving them, he's their savior in this thing and they should back- him up. >> they change their vote when they see the way the political wind is blowing and explain their vote earlier on the procedural thing as just simply a matter of whether or not there should have been continued debate. really on the substance of it, i feel totally differently than i voted yesterday. we've seen that in the past. something to watch for tomorrow. >> last one, the cynic in me, i
actually asked this question later of our senator. some of these republicans voted no but they really mean yes. >> well, look, they had a cushion. they had 12 republicans voting for this today. oftentimes leadership will tell those senators who are on the fence, okay, we'll allow you to vote now on this, we don't nee your vote. if they needed those votes, would they have pressured the senators to vote for it and gotten those votes? those are questions we don't know the answers to right now. >> eamon javers, thanks very much. we appreciate it. folks, here's my quick take. while it's not a perfect dole, paul ryan essentially saved the gop from itself. ronald reagan used to say, take half the loaf, fight for the rest later. paul rion got 70% and that is a victory in itself. the deal saves most of the sequester cuts. democrats wanted to do away with all of them. the deal has no tax hikes. democrats wanted $1 trillion tax hike. and in a blow to liberals, it doesn't extend unemployment benefits. which democrats also wanted.
so, i think ryan won, but as bob woodward explains, on sunday, he may have had some help. take a listen to this. >> i think this budget deal worked, quite frankly. let's go right to the center of this. because obama was not part of the negotiations. he is not a good negotiator. >> all right. great lead-in. joining us now, columbia university associate professor dorian warren and bill kristol, founder and editor of "the weekly standard" among his many credits. you were on set when woodward said that, weren't you? >> sitting right next to him. i told him to say it. in the commercial break. bob has always turned to me and said, what should i say next? take a cheap shot at obamacare. why not, right? >> how much truth is this? obama has to be the worst negotiator probably in the hit history of the white house or one of them. how much truth is there to this? >> he considers himself above negotiating, perhaps. you know, look, that's what congressmen and senators do, what presidents do sometimes.
i think paul ryan, what you said earlier is right. paul ryan did a service for the republicans. you didn't mention is he put back, replaced half the defense cuts and defense is wildly disproportionately affected, as you know, by both the budget control act, itself, and the sequester and a lot of people i've talked to really are concerned that this was cutting deep at the muscle, way beyond the kind of trimmings of fats from the pentagon. i think he did a service in that way and from a republican point of view, he's now assuming it passes the senate tomorrow, he's cleared the decks. won't be a government shutdown in the next year and a half. >> bingo. >> we can focus on obamacare. >> focus on obamacare, tax reform, pro growth steuff. >> do you have disagreements? >> paul ryan did come out the winner in this and actually the super rich are also the winners because the tax loopholes that the democrats wanted are going to not be closed. the people that lose, though, on this deal are the folks that are going to lose unemployment insurance, as you pointed out. the folks that are also going to
not be hired. there's nothing in this compromise that helps job creation, which should be the focus. not so much the deficit. >> but i disagree with you. i think more unemployment compensation would damage job creation and actually at this point in time raise the unemployment rate, and if i may, dorian, tax reform was never really on the table for this bill. you know, democrats, i love them, god bless them. they wanted to close tax loopholes, right, for $1 trillion. that was in their budget. they kind of forgot the other side. a lowering marginal tax rates. that's what i call reagan-esque, jack kemp, kudlow, kristol, moore. that's real tax reform. you kind of forgot that second part, too, didn't you, old buddy? >> your point on unemployment insurance, both conservatives and liberals actually agree this is a short-term stimulus for the economy. >> we've had four of them. how many do you want? you're at 7% unemployment rate. >> so we're just going to cut off a million people that are
desperately seeking work from any -- it's not like people are getting rich off unemployment benefits. >> if you pay people not to work -- i don't want to get bogged down. >> i agree with you, it would surprise you a little bit, in one respect. i think conservatives -- larry would agree with this, too. conservatives need more of a pro-growth, pro-opportunity. we had a piece in the "weekly standard" take unemployment insurance back to what it use to be. not 99 weeks. there are other things that are market friendly, incentives for people to work, maybe pay for them to travel to a job the first few months. instead of paying them not to have a job. i do think we need fresh conservative thinking. >> pay somebody not to work, they won't work. i am a compassionate conservative, okay? if you really need help in that area, why not have transparent wage subsidies from the government? we can all look at it on the budget, see it on the budget, say this is it. it's a safety net. people want to vote for that, fine. but just dolling out the
benefits -- >> we have income tax credit. >> this would go further. this gets you almost to milton friedman's negative income tax. i don't want to get hung up on this. i'm glad they voted it down. you're actually glad, too. it will get the unemployment rate lower. dorian and bill, hang with me a minute. de spite conservative opposition, 12 joined to advance the deal. among the backers, ron johnson from wisconsin who explained why he's supporting the deal on our show last evening. take a listen. >> i'm as unhappy as anybody we're going to bust those budget control act spending caps. i don't like that at all. the same time, i'm looking economically. the worst thing for our economy is really going to be threatening some more government shutdowns. we need to bring certainty into our economy. the federal government does enough to harm our economy. we don't need to heap on additional harm by threatening shutdowns. so this agreement takes that off the table and i think that's a good thing. >> joining us now is one of the
republicans not backing the budget bill. senate republican conference chairman john thune of south dakota. as always, senator thune, welcome back to "the kudlow report." >> it's nice to be with you, larry. thank you. good evening. >> good evening. listen, so you voted against the ryan budget deal through the procedural cloture vote today. let me just ask you, i want to know why, or is there a second alternative where you voted no but secretly you hope yes? what's going on here? >> well, look, we know we've got to do something to not end up where we did before in a government shutdown. the house of representatives did what i think they could do, what they had the votes to do. probably got the best deal they possibly could. and i'd give them credit for making a very good-faith effort. most of us here in the senate had basically been of the view that we ought to fund the government at the budget control act levels, provide flexibility for the agencies, but maintain the spending discipline that was put in place two years ago in the budget control act. it's the first time since i've been here that we've actually
reduced overall federal spending and done it two years in a row which hasn't happened literally since the 1950s. so i think adherence to the budget control act is really what many of us in the senate have been able to do. >> look, i'm a strong supporter of the budget control act and your theory is absolutely correct. the sequester has worked. but, look, as ryan has told many of us, he was lacking -- he was short 50 votes in the house. between the defense hawks and the appropriators. he couldn't do it. so what did he do? he got 70% of the sequester that democrats wanted to zero out completely. now, to me, you know, like reagan said, give me half a loaf now and i'll take a full -- the other half later. ryan got 70%. it's the best you could have done. >> well, i mean, if you look at the individual components of the bill, though, larry, about a third of it is fees, revenues. however you want to call it. and about half of the savings in the bill actually occur in the last two years of the deal. so, again, we are kicking the
can down the road. now, having said that, i totally understand where they were coming from. and i think paul ryan and his colleagues over there negotiated probably the best deal that they could under the circumstances. but for those of us who had been hoping we were going it be able to fund the government, at the budget control act levels and frankly a position that many of us here in the senate have been advocating for some time, it's disappointing. that being said, we are where we are. and, you know, we'll have the vote in the senate tomorrow. i think it will pass. and hopefully we'll be off to do some other things that actually might be good for jobs and the economy. >> that's the thing. i mean, to me, first of all, ryan did get some small, minor entitlement changes which i think would be a harbinger of the future. i give him credit for that. but senator thune, the other part is this. look, in some sense, ryan safes the gop from itself because now the shutdown is off the table. you could have fought this thing but you would have gone into shutdown mode. you go into shutdown mode, all of a sudden you lose the whole conversation and criticism of obamacare. what ryan did, i think, was keep
the criticism of obamacare which is going to be the real meat and potatoes for 2014. >> agreed. i think his hand was weakened by the first shutdown. i think we would have been in a much better position, and if the house, frankly, larry, has been in a position to pass a clean cr at budget control act levels, he would have been able to get a much better deal out of the senate democrats as well. so, what happened before, obviously, shaped where we are today, and we have to play the hand that we're dealt. like you said, i think they had to do what they had to do to get something through the house. it will in the end pass the senate. there are those of us who don't like it and who were in favor of the budget control act spending levels who think that these are, again, kicking the can down the road. it's basically spend now, pay later which is something we do all too often here in washington, d.c. but it does settle the budget issue for the next couple of years and hopefully will enable us to focus on some of the other things we ought to be talking about like tax reform and entitlement, spending reform. energy policy. >> obamacare.
>> first and foremost, right, obamacare, which i think will be front and center of our agenda. >> are you going to vote nay tomorrow or change your mind tonight after having this conversation with me? >> you are so persuasive, larry, i'm starting to have second thoughts here, but, i'll be a no vote tomorrow. >> mr. thune, i worked for a guy, his name is ronald reagan. he made deals, sir, he made deals. republicans got to show that once in a while they can make a deal. let's not go through that. i hear you loud and clear. delighted to have you back on the show as always. senator john thune. thank you, sir. >> great to be with you, larry. merry christmas. all right. right back with our panel now. dorian warren and bill kristol. bill kristol, one of the things i find weird about this, guys like mcconnell and cornyn and other members of the republican senate leadership absolutely ripped the face off of cruz and lee and the tea party and whatever last summer over the defunding which led to a
shutdown. now, what they're saying is, we don't want to vote to take the shutdown off the table. because if they lose this -- if this vote doesn't go through, the next step is a shutdown. now, they've switched positions. i don't like that. i believe the word is hypocrisy. >> they would say, they just want to preserve the sequester and boehner should be able to get to 118 votes to do that. as you said in the conversation with senator thune, i don't think he could have because there were enough people who wanted to bust the sequester, anyway, in the house. in that respect, ryan did have a somewhat weak hand on the spending side and had to give away a little bit. the other thing i would say, some of the senate republicans -- you and i have talked about this over the years, larry -- they were obsessed with the sequester. they love the sequester. love to say spending is down for who years in a row since the 1950s. >> we had three recessions -- >> they became obsessed. they're a little nervous about putting forth a bold conservative reform alternatives so they kind of, hey, spending's down, spending's down,
sequester. john thune knows the defense is being gutted. somehow they talked themselves into idle i'd idolizing the sequester. let's have appropriations. let's put conservative ideas on the table for how to reform hud, hhs, energy, education, all the programs in those -- everything was frozen with the see quester. >> ryan gets entitlement reform. mr. thune calls it revenues. that's not the case. cost of living adjustments is not a revenue -- the airport user fee is a revenue measure, i'll grand you that. >> a lot of americans are going to be paying more. you're going to be paying more -- >> upper middle class. upper middle class americans. that is a good progressive revenue measure. you would have liked that. if you want to close the revenues, talk to your senators from new york who seem to be defending carried interest. one of the less defensible, if we can be honest, loopholes for extreme lly wealthy people. where is chuck schumer and
senator gillibrand on that? >> are you surprised democrats -- i guess 55 have voted for this, have gone along o be obedie obediently? the president was not involved so he didn't do arm twisting. harry reid, i don't ever get harry reid. patty murray put this thing together. i guess reid was behind it. not a single democratic defection, okay? it is not a deal that really favors the democrats. they didn't get what they wanted in their budget. >> not at all. >> why do you think they went along with this so totally? >> it's hobson's choice. shutdown or a bad deal. i think the shutdown, most senate democrat s decided the shutdown is the worst alternative. this is least to worst option before them to keep the government open. of course, they're going to vote for it, but we're going to see some other -- the one issue you didn't mention that's going to be back in the agenda come january is immigration reform. >> the reason they had to vote for it is the house republicans, much derided, crazy house republicans voted more than 2-1 for it. the house republicans had voted
to avoid a shutdown. they put the senate democrats in a difficult position. it would have been clearly the senate democrats' fault if this -- house republicans did they job in the chamber. they control and put the burden on the democrats to do their job. >> by the way, at the risk of getting 120,000 negative tweets, i am going to say that i would like to see some sensible immigration reform, which if done correctly, is pro-growth and pro-jobs and pro-brainiac and pro-kids and pro a lot of things if done correctly. i'm going to pay for that with bad tweets. that is my view. i have been pro-immigration reform for i don't know how long. i'm a reagan guy through and through and jack kemp. dorian and bill, stick around. now, folks, stay with me. tune in tomorrow night. i'm going to be joined exclusively by house budget committee chairman, paul ryan, himself. now, this evening, a huge drug company announces it will stop paying doctors to promote their drugs. is obamacare the reason why
glaxosmithkline is going to be pull back? watch out, people, multivitamins may be banned for your health. there's a new study out saying don't take them. that's coming up next. later, speaking of obama care, the president's disastrous plan is dragging his poll ratings to a historic low for a fifth-year president. isn't it time for the republicans to present american people with one clear health care plan of their own? especially telling them how to take care of the sick. don't forget, free market capitalism is the best path to prosperity. i think ryan is very much on that path. i'm kudlow. we will be right back. so i got the windows nokia tablet. it's, well, impressive. it's got the brightest hd screen,
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welcome back to "the kudlow report." this is a first. british giant glaxosmithkline will stop paying doctors to promote drugs. glaxo which makes top sellers like paxil, flonase, aquafresh and tums is saying it's going to change the way it pays sales representatives. it's to longer going to tie their compensation to the number of prescriptions that doctors write. why now? glaxo wants to change the perception of conflict of interest, any doubts patients may have about their
medications. it's also trying, perhaps, to repair its reputation. keep in mind, glaxo is at the center of corruption investigations in china for accusations of bribing hospitals and doctors and officials. also last year, it had to pay a record $3 billion fine to the u.s. to settle accusations it marketed drugs for unapproved uses. now, analysts and industry watchers are paying attention to today's move. they say the broader industry is facing this kind of pressure and others will follow suit. there's so much regulatory focus on the industry. the fines are piling up for these very types of marketing issues and practices. so they say you can expect others to do it, and also, larry, you'll like this point. part of obamacare that goes into effect next year is that these pharma companies will have to disclose just how much they are paying to doctors only adding pressure on these giants. >> i actually do agree with that. that may be the only part of obamacare that i agree with. sarah --
>> you found one. >> -- many thanks. you uncovered that. nice going. so, question is, are pharmaceutical companies going to sacrifice sales and profits by chooses not to pay doctors who promote their medicines? or are they adding integrity to the process? here now to discuss, barbara ryan, managing director at fti consulting. barbara, welcome back. what are they doing? do they have any choice here? >> not really. i mean, as sarah said, they are in the crosshairs of a number of investigations and their reputation has certainly been challenged by those. so i think, you know, they're stepping forward and doing the right thing. and i thing it's a good thing for glaxo. i think it's a good thing for the industry. but the reality is we're going to see a lot of other companies follow because there's nothing that glaxo is being accused of doing or has actually been found guilty of doing in the united states that most every other drug company really hasn't been engaged in, either. >> once upon a time, did glaxo and other drug companies actually give cash to doctors
who took and pushed their prescriptions? >> well, basically they paid them for speaking engagements. i think there's a couple of things that we need to keep in mind. one is the roi, that's going down. one of the reasons is because the payers have introduced strict formularies that dictate what drugs patients should get and what the co-pays for the patients are going to be. the doctor is having less power of persuasion. the second, as sarah said, is the disclosures which are going to be public in obamacare and that's another deterrent. and the other is, unfortunately, this is an industry that does tremendous good for mankind. >> right. >> and they've done certain things that have really put that out of center stage. >> right. >> and i think it's about time that -- >> so some integrity is coming into the process. >> absolutely. >> probably long overdue. what about the scale salespooem people, no longer paid on the
number of prescriptions doctors write. what happens to them? >> sales forces have been tremendously shrinking in the pharmaceutical industry for a variety of reasons and managed care being one of them. and i certainly think that the industry would like to align itself with selling wellness and selling better health care than pushing pills. and so i think to incentivize sales force efforts in a different way than how many pills did you actually sell? >> they're still talking to doctors. >> oh, absolutely. >> they can give grants to non-profits. they can have doctors consult in the non-profit education or whatever in order to develop new drugs. >> absolutely. i think we have to keep in mind that this is an industry that's driven by data, by clinical trials, by huge investments. and doctors are at the center of that. you do want doctors to weigh in on what the best medical practice is, certainly. >> right. >> we want them to communicate that to the public in large, as well as their constituents, but it's gotten a little out of hand
with the incentive structure. and so bringing that back into a better balance, i think, is hopefully what we're seeing happen. >> big story today. bunch of new studies come out. multivitamins, multivitamins may actually be bad for your health. this is one that may affect pfizer, pfizer has, what is it, centrum silver. they're saying it doesn't help cognitive decline, doesn't help heart disease, doesn't help cancer. $23 billion business. what's your take on this? >> well, the reality is that vitamins have to be demonstrated to be safe in order to get on the market. they don't have to prove to be effective at really doing anything. obviously there are a lot of things that we get in our diet that are essential to our wellbeing, and some people have poor diets and may be supplem t supplementing their diets with nutritional supplements is healthy. we have two big studies looking at cognitive function -- actually, three. cardiovascular disease and cancer. the data suggests there really
isn't much benefit. >> this is a blow to that business. got to be a blow to that business. >> well, i think that there are lots of people out there that are going to buy things because they think it's going to improve their health care. you know, we don't have the right studies to defeinitively say there is no benefit. obviously these are essential elements that we all need, but certainly -- >> we're not sure. we're no longer sure after these studies. >> then i think, you know -- >> pfizer -- >> it's too small to matter to pfizer. >> all right. too small to matter to pfizer. barbara ryan, thank you very much. appreciate all your knowledge. now, the next few hours the number one story in america is this. the megamillions jackpot is up near $700 million. as we await tonight's drawing. we have a live report on that still growing jackpot, and we're going to get some wise advice and wisdom about lottery mania, up next. i'm kudlow. please stay with us. ♪
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$630 million. that's what's on the line in the megamillions drawing a few hours from now. nbc news jay gray is live in dallas with all the latest. good evening, jay. >> reporter: hey there, larry. food to talk to you. fuel city, a wonderful place in city where you can get your car inspected, washed, you can get candy, soft drinks, a cowboy hat. and today what those people are including along with their purchase, lotto tickets. it has been crowded all day.
people coming in and buying. 22,000 tickets a minute selling nationwide. that's where all the action is. the machine where the numbers are picked and the tickets are given out. look, a lot of people here looking for those tickets. and what i've seen is that they're buying tickets with quick fix. most people don't have numbers. they want the cash payout, not the 30-yard payout. everybody wants their money upfront. a lot of people talk about the plans they have for all of the money they are going to win. a lot of vacations. a lot of nice cars. couple people saying they're going to buy their own private jet. a lot of people spending this money before it's actually even drawn. if it is drawn, and there's no winning ticket, which for the last 21 drawings there has not been, then what we will see is the jackpot rise to $1 billion or more come friday. so if you don't have the winning ticket this week, or this drawing, no need to quit. next friday could be $1 billion. back to you. >> jay, do you want to hold up your ticket or do you just want to hide the numbers from us?
>> reporter: a ticket? well, i wasn't going to do that, but here you go. and really, i don't want to discourage people, but the winning ticket's already been sold here in dallas. >> all right. all right. many thanks, jay gray. we appreciate it. good luck, buddy. >> reporter: thank you. but now, all the big names in tech met with president obama at the white house today. was this just a photo op for team obama as it deals with yet another disastrous pole? we're going to talk about that and the need for the republicans to back one simple alternative to obamacare. that's next up on "the kudlow report." [ male announcer ] here's a question for you: where does the united states get most of its energy? is it africa? the middle east? canada? or the u.s.? the answer is... the u.s. ♪ most of america's energy comes from right here at home. take the energy quiz.
welcome back to "the kudlow report" live from cnbc headquarters. president obama's approval is closing out 2013 at lows beat only by president nixon during watergate. according to the latest "washington post"/abc news poll, obama's approval rating stands at 43%. having plunged from 54% this time last year. some other polls, he's down below 40%. perhaps the obama administration was hoping for an image boost today with the vip tech meeting/photo op at the white house. meeting that was less about healthcare.gov and more about, well, i'm not sure exactly what. eamon javers joins us now from washington with the details on
that closed-door gathering. eamon, once again, good evening. what were they talking about? >> well, larry, the top of the meeting we were told was about healthcare.gov, and then they did this transition after about 45 minutes in the room, the president and the vice president arrived for the meeting and the rest of the meeting, we're told, about two hours, was with those tech ceos. the ceo of google, facebook, twitter, yahoo! all in the room there for a meeting about the nsa spying scandal. the edward snowden disclosures. we're told the tech executives pushed for more transparency and they released a statement after the meeting saying they want the president to move aggressively on reforms here of nsa spying. the tech executives are caught in a very difficult spot here. their customers don't necessarily like t the idea tha the companies are participating in this nsa spying, but of course, by law, they're required to do what the government tells them to do when they get an intelligence press, larry. >> all right. that's a very odd story. thank you, eamon javers. we appreciate it. bill kristol, can i get 20
seconds on this whole nsa i'm going to call it a fiasco. you're probably more hawkish on this than a lot of people. >> i believe i'm ambivalent. it's too easy for everyone to say, oh my god, oh my god, they're looking at everything. we do not know how many -- i think they're doing it with good intentions, first of all. there's been no evidence of abuse. they may well have helped our counterterrorism efforts. having said that, you know, a lot of people probably need to take a fresh look at it. >> some people are talking about making a deal with snowden. >> that sounds horrible. >> doesn't sound good. >> can i add -- >> real quick. >> on this point, the private sector does as much surveillance on us as the nsa. every time we click to download an app on our iphone, we're basically giving up rights. nobody reads the fine print. there's as much surveillance in the private sector. >> going to leave it there. now, obama and his tech ceos may not be focused on health care, but i tell you who should be, gop. the law is crumbling well enough on its own weight. i get that. i'm talking about the republican party perhaps putting its cards
on the table. isn't it time for the gop to come forward with some kind of unified position on health care policy? persuade the public that they care and know what they're doing. joining us now, ohio republican congressman and physician, brad wenstrup. brad, welcome back to the show. we appreciate it very, very much. >> thank you. >> let me ask you, this is a serious question. i mean, timing is everything in life. do you think this is the right time for the gop to call us around a specific all ketern ti plan? >> i do think it's a good time to do that. i will say some of the ideas from the plans that we have have been there for years but were ignored. when the president comes out often and says republicans have no plan, there's a difference between having no plan and not listening to what that plan is. because i often found in town halls, et cetera, people say you have no plan. i say, look, we've been espousing. for some time. it's on our website. the rsc website. one of the plans. that's one we can talk about tonight. >> all right. let's talk at the republican study committee plan. first of all, you changed the
tax treatment. is that right? >> yeah. we would like individuals to be able to get a tax deduction by purchasing insurance on their own. that way it gives them much more affordabili affordability. they can go from job to job and keep their insurance. so we're talking about doing things like that. subsidizing state-run high-risk pools to help those with pre-existing conditions. we're not really talking about changing medicare and medicaid which are there for the american people. but we are talking about repealing what's in place. we can do things like expanding hsas so people can pay with pretax dollars. t.o.r.t. reform. competition across statelines amongst insurance companies. all these will drive costs down and give people more access to care. >> congressman, can i ask you two questions, two specific -- first, pre-existing conditions, okay? i'm just going to call it the sick. i think the country needs to be persuaded the republican party cares about the sick and under all circumstances, whether a couple million, 2 million or 3 million people, would take care
of them. do you think that's a priority and do you all want to actually make statements on that? i think that is something obama kind of lords over you. >> i definitely think that. and that's something we've been saying all along that we are in favor of taking care of those with pre-existing conditions. and let's be honest, if we can get these things in place and people get into insurance, then someday there won't be people with pre-existing conditions. the other thing that would really help us along the way is if we would do things within the economy that got people into jobs that had insurance. there's no greater social reform than having a job, but unfortunately within obamacare, it's doing a lot of things that take people away from their jobs or into part-time roles. >> last one, quickly, sir. can't we just let 1,000 flowers bloom? in other words, no mandates, let people cross statelines and let insurance companies create dozens and dozens and dozens of insurance plans as long as there's a consumer demand for it. i mean, i'm talking about maybe 100 different plans kind of thing. why do we have to mandate
one-size-fits all? >> well, it doesn't work, and, you know, consumers love to have choices. that's the american way. go into a store, like to have choices about what you're getting. competition across statelines, we certainly see that in auto insurance. everyone who watches tv can understand there's competition between the auto insurers and they're out there trying to tell you we offer more and do it forless. it can be the same in health care. >> congressman brad wenstrup. thank you, sir. appreciate it as always. now let's go to commentator, dorian and bill kristol about to rejoin us. all right. i'm just cut off. we're going to go to the next block and the commentators will comment on whether it's the right time for the republicans to have that plan and what should be in that plan. i'm kudlow. stay with us. ♪ i wanna spread a little love this year ♪
and some of the best offers of the year at the lexus december to remember sales event. this is the pursuit of perfection. all right. the topic is whether the republican party should have its own health care plan to reassure the nation. let's bring back our political panel, dorian warren and bill kristol. bill, as i said to the congressman, time is everything. is this the right time for the gop to push for a plan? we'll get to the plan in a second, but timing. >> yes. i mean, i think it's the right time to both criticize obamacare and vow to repeal it, to try to help people escape from obamacare with targeted fixes like if you like your insurance, keep it. maybe allowing temporary health
insurance plans being sold now to go longer, et cetera. then i think it's very important for republicans to step forward with a set of plans that comprehensively address the health insurance system and they're going to do it. paul ryan i'm told is working with governor jindal of louisiana, tom coburn in senate and are going to come up with not one huge 2,700 page plan but a series of plans to address the different parts of the health care system, pre-existing conditions, the individual market, the tax treatment equalizing tax treatment for individuals, et cetera. and i think they'll try to get that out before the state of the union. >> all right. that's an interesting point. should other people are asking whether the gop should cooperate and try to help get us through this next year of obamacare. it's a tricky one. >> i think the way to cooperate is to help people escape from the problems of obamacare. in my view, it can't be fixed and i don't think the republicans have the responsibility to fix it within its four corners. why not let people sell insurance -- let's modify obamacare to get rid of
ridiculous regulations and let people keep the insurance they've been happy with for the past few years. that did pass the republican house in november. >> you have a situation where right now, the government, hhs is backstopping the insurance companies with funds -- in order to let the insurance companies provide insurance for people who may not have signed up, haven't even made any payments, have never been verified. in other words, there's a bailout within a bailout going on here. the insurance companies are in bed with obamacare. do you like that? do you think that is a sustainable position? >> i think that's the necessary position now to implement the law. but let me answer your first question, larry. the time for republican party to have a health care plan was 2009 when this issue was being debated. there was no plan. they lost that debate. now the position is -- >> wait, wait. >> -- vote for me, i'm trying to get you and your neighbors not to get health care. >> professor, with all due respect, 2009 was a time for
president obama to bring republicans into the fold and have some kind of bipartisan deal. what you got now is the gop has absolutely no incentive to help the guy. they were never involved in first place. it's completely unlike medicare and medicaid, many, in years ago. he never consulted with them. >> larry -- >> now he's got amazing political problems. >> even if that were true -- >> of course it's true. there was. there was. the actual vote, if you just go back to -- there's this thing called the congressional record you should look at. many the actual vote -- >> there's a thing called romney care which is obamacare nationalized. >> the republican plan was defeated by the democrats obviously in the house in 2010. if that plan had been implemented, actual republican plan that was defeated and obamacare was passed, obviously, country would be much better off. i'm happy to debate the republican alternative. it wasn't as grand as obamacare but fixed a few practical problems. it didn't transform the whole health insurance system of the united states. what a terrible thing. >> here's a predictment.
the republican party is in a position of having to run after dozens and dozens of votes it repeal with an alternative. so to run for re-election in 2014 saying i voted to prevent you and your neighbors from having health care, i have no alternative care, that's not a winning political platform. >> i tell you what, i think president obama with all due respect brought these locusts down on himself. and if he had played ball with the gop even in a one-quarter way, he'd be in better shape today. but alas, it's going to knock out the democrats in 2014. that is a kudlow prediction. thank you very much, dorian warren. bill kristol, great to see you on this set. we appreciate that. up next on "kudlow" wall street still laser focused on ben bernanke. the one last time, and we're about 18 hours away from the big announcement from the fed. investors seem to be waiting for. cnbc's own steve liesman has more on what to expect, and then we'll debate is next up on "kudlow." there's a saying around here,
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last fed meeting of the year kicks off today. but just a few hours from now, we may have more insight from policymakers on their decision to scale back their bond-buying program. let's go straight to cnbc's ace reporter steve liesman for the latest on the taper talk. good evening, steve. >> reporter: good evening. the cnbc fed survey showing that
wall street is bringing in closer the date of the federal reserve tapering. is it tomorrow? not according to the majority. 21% say it will happen in december. that is at tomorrow's meeting. but by january, it's 55%. compared to october's survey, that's up from 16%. so they think it's going to happen sooner. the average back in october was for the fed to taper in april. now the average, brought back to february, with a good percentage thinking it could happen in december or in january. all that comes along with a higher growth forecast for this group. the 42 economists. wall street strategists and advisers expecting 2.2% growth for the end of 2013 and for a little bit of acceleration next year to 2.6% gdp growth for 2014. that will come along with a somewhat higher stock market, just 4% up, but also higher bond yields expected to end the year with a ten-year around 3.4%. we asked about the economic effect of the health care law, and they roundly thought it was negative. both near-term and for
long-term, about 60% say the effect will be lower growth and the primary channels of that will be through higher health care costs and through lower employment. so not very high marks coming from this group for the obamacare new health law, larry. back to you. >> many thanks, steve liesman. appreciate the wrap-up. now let's bring in carol roth and zach karabell. carol, the last meeting in september, i guess, when we thought they were going to taper, it was a close call. 50/50. according to the officials. the economy's improved since then, retail sales, industrial production, gdp, employment, whatever. so why shouldn't they run? why should they reduce their bond buying? >> well, i personally think they should. i think they should have been out of the way long time ago. i don't know that they're going to. i think if you look at the unemployment number, it's a little bit deceiving. you have a low labor participation rate. look at u6, that's over 13%. i think they're going to use this meeting to perhaps set some benchmarks, whether it be in
january -- >> benchmarks for 7% unemployment rate? that was a benchmark. guess what? we hit it. what are we waiting for? do they have a backbone, or what? >> i certainly think you're dealing with bernanke who wants to preserve his legacy here. i also think, again, if you look broadly at this, larry, 13%, u6. the 7%, sounds great at the upper level but i don't think it's really a good solid number. the types of jobs we're creating are not the types of jobs that really sustain growth. >> get rid of the health care plan like steve liesman said. zach, on the other hand, i think the economy is sturdy enough to weather less bond purchases. fewer bond purchases. profits are more important than all this stuff. >> yeah, i mean, look, i've never been in the camp that believes this current equity strength is purely a derivative of fed easy money policy. that's been the real concern in the markets, right, if you take away this proverbial punchbowl, and that's a thesis you hear. even if stocks dip, if you do have a taper, it won't prove
that thesis. we're never going to be able to replay this tape and know what the effects were. the flip side of it is we get caught up with this notion of when do they taper? going from $85 billion to $70 billion which is maybe what they'll do, and then holding there for six months and then going to -- i mean, it's going to take two years for them to get anywhere near to what they were. maybe it will take three. maybe we're going to have some level of buying in this market for years. >> the consequences, we don't really understand how they're going to unwind their balance sheet. they've got $4 trillion of as t assets on their balance sheet. >> they're going to sell it all to the treasury. the banks don't want the money. >> the fed -- >> china doesn't want the money. >> what are the consequences when that happens? >> sell it off. >> they have an elastic balance sheet. could have $10 trillion on the balance sheet. we go, oh my god, but they literally could. there's nothing that precludes them from doing so. they'll have to deal with negative marks if rates go up. what if rates don't go up? i think we'll be in a period of
low interest rates for a long time -- >> can i get a forecast? taper or not? yes or no? >> modest. not tomorrow. >> yes or no? >> january. >> can i ask you internationalist that you are, why aren't people really investing heavily in japan? >> look -- >> japan. the dollar's going up against the yen. >> there's been some investment in the topix. >> they're up 50% this year but i think they have a long ways to go. japan. >> look, japan is going to be a much better story than it's been. i think the rest of asia that has really sold off based on fed tapering, the whole idea that the emerging market growth story is a derivative of the federal reserve speaks really ill of the acumen of western investors. yes, there's easy money and hot money that goes into and out of the markets. india, brazil, indonesia, australia, crkorea -- >> right now, japan has the pedal to the metal. >> an easy money policy. >> a total easy money policy. in 20 seconds, fafrvorite investment, carol roth?
>> going with newskin. though it's been up 250% this year. >> whoa. >> i think that it's still trading at a discounter's growth. it has an incredible balance sheet. >> buy low and sell high. carol roth. zach karabell. tune in tomorrow night. by the way, i'm going to be talking to paul ryan, house budget chairman committee. i'm larry kudlow. ♪ i wanna spread a little love this year ♪ [ male announcer ] this december, experience the gift of true artistry and some of the best offers of the year at the lexus december to remember sales event. this is the pursuit of perfection. impact wool exports from new zealand, textile production in spain, and the use of medical technology in the u.s.? at t. rowe price, we understand the connections of a complex, global economy. it's just one reason over 70% of our mutual funds beat their 10-year lipper average.
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>> narrator: in this episode of "american greed"... arthur williams jr., a south-side chicago street-tough turned counterfeiting craftsman. his bills -- impeccable. >> the case agent testified at art jr.'s sentencing that they were probably the best quality he'd ever seen. >> narrator: he rolls millions off the press, but makes the mistake of turning it into a family affair. >> his dad asked him, "so, son, what are you doing for a living?" art says, "well, dad, i make money." "okay, how do you make money?" "i make money. i'm a counterfeiter."