Trump and Clinton Advisers Discuss Economic Policy in 2016 CSPAN October 17, 2016 3:00am-4:39am EDT
strickland live at 7:00 eastern on c-span. from now until election day, debates onollow key c-span. them the economic policies of the presidential candidates. debate during an event held for business economics. this is one hour, 40 minutes. >> good afternoon and welcome to the nabe economic debate of 2016. my name is stuart mcintosh. i am president of the national association for business economics.
first, if you words about name -- we are the voice of business economics in america. our members are very interested in the results of this election and the implications for economic policy for the u.s. and globally. our output includes the economic policy survey, our outlook survey and our business conditions survey. the results of our recent policy survey is on our website, www.nabe.com for you to consult. it addresses current fiscal policy, federal budget deficit, tax reform, monetary policy committee migration and trade and yes, also the u.s. elections. looking ahead, we hope you will join us in 2017 and our economic policy conference which will be held here in washington at the capital hilton from march 5-7.
the debate is the third election cycle in which we posted debates here at the national press club. joining us is the peterson foundation. we would like to thank them for their support of today's event and the support of other nabe events in the past and we must thank the nabe foundation, who is also supporting today's event. joining us in our effort today to broaden the understanding of the candidates' key economic policies to elevate the campaign discourse, to focus on economics . now, i would like to hand over and introduced doug hamilton, vice president of research and the peterson foundation, to say a few words.
mr. hamilton: thank you, stewart, for those kind remarks. the peterson foundation is very pleased to sponsor this important debate. many have said that this is the most consequential election in a generation. i suspect our two debaters today would agree on that point. even if they disagree on nearly everything else. and few issues will be more consequential for our long-term future than the fiscal course the next president sets for our country. although deficits are down from the heights of the recession, the debt is still high, deficits have begun rising again and our current fiscal path is unsustainable according to the nonpartisan congressional budget office those rising debts will have well-known economic consequences. that will reduce the flexibility
of future policymakers to respond robustly to another serious recession and they will crowd out private capital and undermine productivity, wages and growth. at the same time, interest on our debt will become a bigger and bigger drag on our budget, crowding out important investments that fuel economic growth like infrastructure, education and r&d. interest costs alone will become the third largest category of the budget after social security and medicare. these fiscal problems are well known and they stem from a fundamental disconnect between spending and revenues. on the spending side, we face growing pressures from an aging population and an inefficient health care system. on the revenue side, we have been in desk we have an inadequate tax code.
addressing these challenges will take vision, commitment and leadership. network will not be easy. an active and engaged debate on these issues like we will have here today can help people better understand the challenges we face and the choices we have to make. thank you, stewart, tom, and nabe for pulling together this important discussion. [applause] >> thank you, doug, for laying it out like that for us so effectively and thanks again to the peterson foundation. i would like to encourage twitter users to use #nabe debate. to those watching at home on c-span, they can tweet their questions to us. let me introduce the economic
advisers. stephen moore is currently on leave from the heritage foundation. he is a distinguished fellow. representing the clinton campaign is gene sperling. he advises for biographies. now, it is an honor and privilege to turn the program over to our co-moderators, christine from cnn and greg from the wall street journal. >> thank you. we will ask a question, say who it is for, it will be three minutes for a response. we are not too ferocious on the time, but we will let you know if it is going to long -- too so let's get started. again hashtag #nabedebate.
there will be time for questions from the audience. a year from now, donald trump is president. what will the people in this room notice that is different from the economy then ran today and why? >> good afternoon. good to see you. they did for being here. this has been a tough 10 days for me personally, given everything that has happened. just when i think things couldn't get worse, the cubs score. the latest poll just came up. rasmussen has the race tied. the day he enters office just like the day ronald reagan entered office, we will have a
-- we will be able to pass our business tax cut within the first 100 days. you could have paul ryan is the speaker of the house but the bill that we propose is not much different from what the house has and they can get that pretty quickly and if he wins he can get 20 votes even among democrats to cut the business tax rates -- it is something we should have done a while ago. that will be different. -- one ofhe things the things i have told him to do and i think he will do is that the day he enters office like , the day ronald reagan entered office, we will have a stack of executive orders that he can sign that will undo a lot of the
executive orders that barack obama has put in place. overturning the power plant rule, if you do that, you can put tens of thousands of coal miners back in their jobs where they belong. those are two things right away, executive orders that can take effect right away. i think a lot of businesses have been sitting on just piles of capital now for six or seven years, they've been profitable, having a pro-business president for once will unleash a lot of that capital that has been pent-up. right out of the gate, you can see a significant rise in optimism and growth. christine: that was exactly three minutes. if it is president clinton, what is the one thing people feel first is different in the economy thenan now?
gene: there is such a divide in the selection that i almost want to dwell on what he said, which is what i think so many people would object to, the moving away from a caring about climate change and a very regressive tax that i think would be extremely expensive and do very little to help working families. for hillary clinton come obviously, what's going to be different, some of that is going to depend on the cooperation of congress -- one, you would have a supreme court that could overturn citizens united. that would be an important thing for our country and democracy. if she has a solid win, there's a good chance she could do something steve would support, we would have another chance at comprehensive immigration
reform. for all the talk about the economic impacts from immigration reform is widely seen by economists on all sides including the cbo, to increase revenues, to increase growth, to increase wages and increase productivity up to .7%. that is a place where i do believe more republicans would realize it's time to do that. that would give tremendous confidence -- you would see a focus on a tightening labor market. she would press very hard for major infrastructure that would tighten labor markets and mean more employers were raising wages and reaching out to people who had not fully benefited from the economy. people who are long-term unemployed, people who did not get a good start, people coming from prison who have not gotten the advantages. you will see a tighter labor
market that would be good for wages and good for getting people back in the workforce. you would see a real chance of major immigration reform. which would be good on a military in an economic basis and more confidence we could do things and there's important things we would like to do for the families like the very important child care tax credit proposal that would be so important for poor families to move out of poverty and for middle income families to make sure they are not spending more than 10% of their budget on childcare. that would also mean more participation in the workforce for more parents who may be have trouble getting in because of the high cost of childcare. stephen: citizens united, really? this is the problem with hillary as a candidate. she wants to take special interest money out of politics? this is the candidate who will be raising $1 billion in special
interest money -- it is so hypocritical for her to talk about that we should not have special interest money in politics and she is the queen. i was just in florida and literally come every time you turn on the tv, it's a hillary ad attacking donald trump with special interest money. the wall street journal summarized this agenda that she has been talking about. hope without change. everything that gene just mentioned are things that have been in barack obama's budget for six or seven years. if american people want change come i don't think they will vote for that agenda.
>> economists overwhelmingly support free trade. they believe increase more winners than losers. in the recent poll, the majority believe the transpacific partnership is a very good deal and not to be ratified as it is. secretary clinton once supported tpp but now says she is not satisfied with it. what would have to happen before she could support it? gene: secretary clinton, like a lot of people in a lot of endeavors in life was hopeful as part of president obama's team, many people were, that this well-intentioned effort to have a gold standard trade deal that would help isolate china would get to the finish line in a way
that she could support. a lot of times in life, you are excited about a house or car, you kick the tires and look closer and walk away. when she looked at the rule of origin, currency, when she looked at the projected impact on manufacturing by those who supported the bill, it did not meet her standard. secondly, as we go forward, i think she wants to help unify us on what could be a very strong jobs agenda that could get support. that would not be unnecessarily divisive. that type of agenda, and immigration, these are the types of things we could unite and work and get done and going back to tpp is really not in her
vision of what an economic progressive economic agenda looks like for her. we do appreciate the importance of trade for creating jobs. we do appreciate that you want more exports. what we want to do it is show china that you've got to be extremely tough on them. there's measures she's going to take from denying the market economy status to going hard on the subsidization of steel that's hurting our workers, she will build up that enforcement mechanism to make sure that our trade partners live by the rules in a way the bush administration never did with china when they never used the 421 measure that was put in place.
you can feel comforted, for those who are upset that she is against tpp, we are not supporting the trunk plan, which is to simply slap on a 45% or 35% tariff to pretend you can magically make imports go away and that that would cause no disruption to my has no sophistication about the role of how economies work and the different parts that go into products that are exported. hillary clinton is against tpp after she has look closely at it. she will be very tough on china and ratchet up our trade enforcement come again, particularly on china where we feel workers have not been protected she is not going to then go to a place where we are proposing a legal test illegal tariffs that would make it harder for our workers to export.
a steelworker, auto park worker does not want on fair -- unfair dumping that will cost them their job but they don't also don't want -- in her term as secretary treasury, that was the largest increase in exports, 3% in gdp in exports of any presidential term on record. >> it's no secret that mr. trump is very unhappy with the trade agreements that country is now involved in. he has called nafta a disaster and he once it -- he wants it renegotiated. what specifically is he looking for? what has to happen?
stephen: i was quoted in your newspaper today that i agree with donald trump on about 80% of the issues. i don't fully agree with him on trade. there is something to what he sang on trade. -- there is something to what he is saying on trade. talking to people in pennsylvania, going to places like grand rapids, michigan or illinois and talking to working-class folks who are extremely upset about the economic situation in this country, they are incredibly financially stressed out and anxious. they are anxious about trade agreements. i don't fully agree with -- that is trade that is destroying
their jobs, but it is true -- i still don't understand what hillary's position on trade is. she was for tpp and then against it and now for it -- she did not really turn against it until trump made a big case about how bad of a trade deal it was. i believe with a president trump we will see somebody who is a fiercer negotiator. barack obama -- the democrats have been charged for eight years. i think they are stealing. i read a statistic that $200
billion of american intellectual property is stolen by the chinese. we produce intellectual property in this country. we produce technology, we produce music and computer technology and drugs and vaccines and those come with patents and property rights. what happens if we send them over to china and they still them? it's tough. they've done that with impunity. i think trump will get much tougher. on tariffs, i don't think you've heard donald trump recently talk about tariffs. what i've told him, you can solve a lot of these problems tougher. with our in balance and trade by fixing our taxes them, getting these regulations off the backs of business -- there was a study that just came out a couple of months ago that showed regulations cost manufacturers
about $19,000 per worker. if we can reduce those regulatory costs, guess what? more manufacturing jobs will stay here. gene: one, just the facts, hillary clinton as soon as the tpp agreement was available did not hesitate to come out against it. she looked at the deal and was against it. americans are not against all trade but against agreements they feel have not been enforced. agreements that don't have workers first in mind and third, we have never put in place the more robust training economic development agenda -- too many workers who lost their jobs have seen their communities cycle downward with no help at all. there's a lot of reason for her to be skeptical and want to have
a very high standard for a trade agreement. barack obama did -- was the first president to enforce the 421 anti-surge agreement on china. it sends a good signal. steve can try to say comforting words to this crowd about trump on trade, but when he's out there, he sounds like the man who was just going to go outside the law and do things that rather than tough en tower stands and enforcement and make everybody live by the rule of law go outside the global agreements and do things that many people worry will end up hurting our ability to create jobs through exporting. >> next question is about the national debt. the national debt is on an unsustainable path thanks to medicare and social security
spending and interest on the debt. mr. trump's physical plans will make the problems worse -- physical fiscal plans will make the problems worse. is mr. trump willing to let the debt rise this much? if not, how will he prevent it? will social security remain untouchable? stephen: hillary clinton has zero credibility on the debt. she is with the obama administration which has been the most physically reckless desk fiscally reckless -- here we are eight years later and the production of the debt will take off again. we borrowed more money under barack obama than we did with george washington through george w. bush. there's a couple recent but that has accelerated so much under
obama. the single most important one has been that the growth rate has been so anemic. our major case against hillary clinton is you've been part of an administration that's given us the weakest recovery since the great depression. eight years later, you cannot blame this on george w. bush. the growth rate has been 1.25%. it's pathetic. people don't get pay raises, they have to worry about the future of their jobs and so on. if the economy is not growing, you will not produce the revenues. donald trump has been clear about this and i happened to fully agree with him on this, we have to make jobs and economic growth job number one. we have to do whatever we can to get growth up. gina knows these numbers as well as i do.
you cannot get enough revenues into the government to balance the budget if you don't have solid and consistent and sustainable growth. we will concentrate on getting that tax cut through. the numbers that came out by the brookings institute were so bogus, they don't even know what they're talking about. we will make growth number one. you will get a lot of revenue and the deficit will come down. secretary clinton wants to expand social security and medicare. how will she rein in the cost of those programs? gene: first of all, i will mention what you just expect me to mention -- the only four years of surplus and had a strategy very much like hers, which was raising taxes on those who could afford it the most and
having a strong public investment strategy. that was part of the last time we had 4% growth. his second term was the last presidential term where we had 4% growth and private sector growth under bill clinton was 4.3% in the first and second term while all of those numbers were stronger than even the reagan administration. it cannot stand to try to blame the debt on barack obama. yes, there was a robust recovery reagan administration. plan. it was $800 billion. it helped take us from the brink of depression in the first quarter of 2009 when we were losing 7% growth, 800,000 jobs a month to out of recession, that plan. did an enormous amount to prevent the fiscal fallout.
that's $800 billion. the debt has been cut by two thirds. let's get the record straight there. as we look on the long-term that's $800 billion. deficit, i do think that the most important thing we could do right now is to tighten the labor market, frontload a jobs plan that is fine for the long term but gets more demand in the economy, tighter labor market in the economy so we could get the kind of stronger growth that we all want over 3% in the 4% would be just as -- would be better. the most consequential thing that has happened in these last six or seven years has in the projections for government health care spending have gone down dramatically. well over $1.5 trillion. one of the most amazing statistics is that we spend less -- the government spends less on
health care than was projected in 2010, even including the affordable care act and covering 20 million people. i'm not going to make this a simple partisan point like it must be all obamacare, etc., but it is to say the following. what happens to drive down the cost of health care, dwarf the kind of budget negotiations we have with a little options from the cbo book and we as a country and hillary clinton will focus on what we can do to move toward more bellevue-based health care, less fee-for-service -- more value-based health care. the savings that brings to the long-term deficit and debt dwarf what we fight about in the normal budget negotiations which i've been a part of many times the last decades. stephen: my premiums have gone through the roof.
the greatest single failure of modern times is obamacare. americans are feeling it in the pocket book right now. we have to start over. we need a health plan that works that allows people to keep their doctor and her hospital -- there hospital. i'm paying thousands of dollars more. that's one of the reasons people are not getting pay raises. the increased costs of health care to employers is crowding out pay raises. that's an area, a dramatic difference between trump and hillary. hillary will double down on obamacare. this is an important episode of american history -- the one thing i will say about barack obama's presidency is that he has basically disputed economics -- we've had massive amounts of debt, we had an $800 billion
there is no evidence that they are on an unsustainable trajectory - >> >> the drop in medicare spending has been more significant than savings. that dwarfs what we were talking about at the table in a budget negotiation. so i was giving you an answer -- it may not have been the one you wanted, but it is saying that this argument where we get to see the budget, do we nix this or that, it's less important than is figuring out how is a country -- how do we deliver health care in the way that is value-based, and that is a lot of what has driven -- there are elements of that that has driven it down, and i think we as a country -- and i did not make it a partisan point -- should try to understand and work on policies that lead to more
better value for lower cost and these type of measures that are being experimented with now and we're examining are more important and have a broader effect than the tradition al i'm going to nick this benefit this way or not. so i would like a chance to come back on some of the things steve just said as well. >> private sector growth -- so yes, peopledid not know how much the downturn was in 2009. if you look at jason furman's response, he went through this very well, you can take several other measures -- unemployment has come down. jobs and unemployment were down much less than projected, it was difficult coming out of a financial crisis like we had,
but when you look at private sector growth, it was 2.6%. when you ask, what was different about this recovery than other recoveries, it was that state and local government was contracted when in every other previous recovery going back 30 years, state and local government expanded during that time. ronald reagan was helped dramatically by a burst of state and local government spending. when you look at his private sector growth of 2.6%, if you had more help from republican congress on infrastructure and deferred maintenance come on helping state and local governments during this time, you could very easily have been over 3% growth, even with the obstacles we face globally.
>> what would president trump do about social security and medicare? stephen: this should not rest -- we should learn from what happened in 2009 and the failures of the obama stimulus. the money was supposed that it was sold as shovel ready projects, they would rebuild american infrastructure. the money went to social programs. they spent money on unemployment insurance and food stamps. you had the speaker of the house say that food stamps on unemployment insurance were stimulus to the economy. that is economic nonsense. that is the left's view. we still have 40 million people on food stamps. on social security and medicare, republican candidates have been
so demagogue, that lady in the wheelchair going off the cliff, you cannot win an election right now by talking about cutting the social security and medicare. you don't have to cut the social security benefits. if you get growth back up, if you have pro growth economic policies, you will have enough money to pay all of social security benefits for a long time. the problem is the return that workers are going to get from it. the most important thing we are going to do on entitlement reform is get rid of obamacare. >> let's talk about the corporate tax rate. now, the u.s. now has the world's highest corporate tax
rate, discourages investment in the u.s. and encourages companies to move to other countries. what is clinton's plan to reduce tax avoidance? >> i think we would all agree we have a broken corporate tax system. i think we have differences on how to fix it. i think right now we are engaged in a race to the bottom. i think hillary clinton differs in that she doesn't think the way you compete with that is just to race more to the bottom. we believe that too many of our companies spend too little time way you compete with that is or spend more time on international tax arbitrage than they do on expanding their markets and focusing on the core of their company. i think she believes that number three that our tax system cannot no longer be indifferent to location. that it is not just about the
bottom line of a company. it's about the bottom line of the u.s. economic growth and productivity. so when we're judging a tax initiative or corporate tax reform we have to look not what does it do for the bottom line, just what does it do for the bottom line of a company but what does it do for our bottom line of investment research. a perfect example is the 2004 repatriation holiday, which most people voted for and almost everybody realizes was a mistake. and why? it satisfied the corporate bottom line because people brought back money but it went to dividends. it did nothing to help the bottom line of the united states government during that time. so when she looks and says we want a tougher measure like 50% invest rule, exit tax. when she says we want to do more incentives for small business job growth for manufacturing, for investing in lower income in hard-hit communities.
what she is suggesting is we need a reform that encourages the right type of behavior, that alines corporate tax incentives with what actually leads to economic growth and job creation in the united states. and that is not what we see. that the -- that's not what we see right now. we all know that the amount of corporate taxes paid is not particularly high. it's perhaps in the middle of the path. so what we have is a system where some people are probably paying too much and some not paying at all. she hasn't shown her hand on exactly where she would go as president but she's laid out principles by which she would judge these types of measures. and i do believe that those principles could include particularly after us having extended all of the business extenders without paying for it that in a corporate tax reform you could also have enough additional revenues to help fund a very pro-job, pro-productivity
agenda that it can include dealing with deferred maintenance, encouraging manufacturing supplier location in the united states, and doing more for small businesses that start and grow and expand here on our shores. >> three minutes on taxes. >> if you cut me i bleed red white and blue. i want companies located here. the fact is we've known for a long, long time that our corporate income tax is so anti-american. it's almost unpatriotic, frankly, to support a bill, a law, that is basically exporting jobs. look, these companies, we know this. burger king, wall greens wants to leave, fieser wants to leave. there are dozens and dozens of companies that are leafing and more are going to leave if we don't fix this.
frankly, shame on barack obama for not fixing this. what is so hard about cutting the corporate tax rate so we can be competitive? we should have done this five years ago. taxes do matter. it's the heart of what i believe. tax rates matter. if you've got location a with a high tax rate, location b. all of the things equal people are going to move from a to bfment. it's not that complicated. why can't we fix this? we're going to get it to 15% under trump. we'll allow immediate exmensing. so when companies build factories or invest in machinery equipment they can write that off in the first year. it applies to every small business in america. you want a growth on hormones injected into the economy do that. frankly i just don't understand why obama hasn't done this. a siren alarm should be going
off. >> in their tax plan which both the tax foundation and tax policy center judged to be $6 trillion, about $2 trillion of that comes from the corporate tax cut alone. this corporate tax cut which goes for the race to the bottom of just going to 15% has no assurances that it will lead to locational g pacts of job creation. we have no idea. this is again the kind of blind kind of supply side. i don't think most americans right now want a tax cut where more goes to the top 1% than the bottom 99% combined by simply cutting off business rates to 15% without the type of more thoughtful analysis that is going to show that is not going to crowd out our ability to deal with social security and
medicare, that it's not going to crowd out our ability for infrastructure, that it is not going to have negative effects on the trade deficit as greg pointed out in one of his recent columns. so i think this is -- when hillary clinton says this is kind of very basic kind of supply side belief steve mea believe it deeply but i think for our country to go in that kind of direction and to say that the answer is $2 trillion less for corporations and god foes how much less for high income americans who have business income as opposed to investing those things in thing that is we need -- we know we need to do in this country whether fixing bridge roads, schools, investing in the skills of our workers all skills so they're more matched with the jobs that are open, this is just a businessic to us mismatch of priorities.
>> one quick thing because this is important. it's a good economic discussion we're having. just to explain why we want to do this because it's important. gene, our theory on this, and i think it's well substantiated with evidence, is that when the biggest beneficiaries of a business tax cut will be middle class american workers, kevin, a first-rate economist american enterprise institute has done some of the best research. when you cut the corporate tax businesses invest more. that's how you get workers to have higher wages. the capital to labor ratio is what over time leads to higher wages. that's -- we're not doing this because we want to help people who get dividends, although most americans own stock. we're doing this because we think it's the best way not only to create jobs but higher paying jobs. >> janet yellen term's expires in 2018. mr. trump said --
>> what? >> janet yellen's term will expire in 2018. mr. trump has been very critical of janet yellen has said her policy has been politicized and would like to replace her. what sort of person does he want to replace her with and what would he like the next chair of the fed to do differently? >> let me just say, i'm not a monetary economist. i'm not an expert on monty policy. gene probably knows a lot more than i do. so i will give is a couple quick impressions. i think you would see someone who -- what we i think as free market economists believe in is to move to some kind of a price rule, where you take discretion away from these individuals and you have something locked in. what that price rule would be, whether commodities, i think it would be more stabilizing for the economies. bodes of you cover these
markets. will janet yellen raise the rates? wouldn't it be better if people knew what she was going to do and it was done by a kind of formula rather than having these, quote, smart people make these decisions? but my own view on the morntry stuff, and i think trump agrease that our problems are not monetary. the people on wall street hyperventilate about what the fed may or may not raise by a quarter point it's not going to make a bit of difference. the growth has to come through tax and regulatory reform. that's what dysfunction al with our economy. we have low interest rates. that's a good thing. it is the fact that we have a tax code and regulatory structure that is strangling our business. >> what would hillary clinton change about the feds, if anything? >> first let me say what i think should be clear to most people which is the attacks on janet
yellen for being political or lacking independence are just absurd. secondly, to the degree that economists supporting mick have had differences with the fed it has been that we have thought that perhaps they have not been enough -- that there's much more likelihood of a hawkish mistake than a doveish mistake. we believe there is still a degree of tightening that can go on in the labor market. i think that she supports what you would think of as full employment focus. and i think that's not -- i think that is something that when you look at the evidence now, when you look at the degree that you haven't had as much
wage gains over so many years, when you look at the importance of tightening the labor market after you've had a period of this type of strain that happens at the worst financial crisis, ben bernanke never said 2% was a ceiling. he said it was an anchor. as there are times that it can be below, if it goes above for a while, if that helps give a bit more demand, if that helps give employer as bit more focus to help more african americans who unemployment rate could still come down further, other people who have been discriminated against because they're long term unemployed. i think that's a positive thing. if anything we have probably believed that the evidence at this point makes a much stronger case for worrying more about a doveish -- more about a hawkish mistake than a doveish mistake. and that a more -- while you
still want the dual mandate that there's a much greater case for a much stronger full employment view for monetary and fiscal policy. my last point is, and we just have a fundamental disagreement, which is that i believe that monetary authorities have been strained beyond both the united states and europe beyond what they should have to do because fiscal policy has not risen to the challenge. and i do believe that failure of us to help state and local governments to have at least been doing deferred maintenance that we're going to have to do anyway, at a time it would help labor markets, lowest borrowing cost that we have ever had has put our federal reserve and i think other monetary authorities in the position where they've had to do things that -- more expansive than they might like but i think were necessary because they realize that with not enough fiscal impetus they became basically economic saviors of last resort.
so i think we would like to see a future where we are doing the part fiscally and putting less pressure on monetary officials to deliver the type of growth that both steve and i would like to see. >> i'll give you a minute to respond. would secretary clinton reappoint janet yellen? >> i'm absolutely going to comment on that because i've talked to her about it many times. that's what we're focused on is what you would do two years out. and then secondly if we had actually talked about it, the way i've been close to the clintons is by telling people about those conversations. so nice try. [laughter] >> a minute to respond. >> i look at the world differently than gene does. this idea that we haven't had fiscal stimulus? we borrowed $8 trillion in eight years. really this idea that if we had only spent more money we would have a better economy? i don't get that logic.
i think americans -- americans are pretty fiscally conservative. they understand that a great nation can't borrow a trillion year after year after year. i just don't get the logic that our problem is not spending enough and not borrowing enough. the keynesian idea, and look, keynesianism has been discredited. we've had this horrendous recovery and we've done everything they've told us to dosm we borrowed like crazy, spent like crazy, and printed money like crazy. none of this worked to create the kind of jobs or higher wages that americans expected. it's given us a 1% growth rate. i think that's why trump is going to win. we can't do this any more. it doesn't work any more. >> the next question goes to the heart of some of the unease we've seen on the campaign trail, in particular in both -- in both parties. despite a recent recovery, real household incomes are still
lower today than in 2007. real wages have barely grown. yet companies increasingly complain they can't find the right skilled workers. and job vacancies by some measures are back higher than their prerecession levels. so what secretary's clinton's strategy for better matching workers to vacancies and getting wages up? >> i think that's a really good question. to be clear it was encouraging but it wasn't good enough. it was encouraging. family income is now a tiny bit above where it was in 2000. household income is still a bit below. either way, americans expect over a period of a couple of decades that to see their income grow. we were fortunate in the clinton administration to have seen the time where you actually did see the typical family go up $10,000 in real income. the typical african american family went up 11,000.
you had a period of true shared growth. but it's not just the politics. the world is more complicated. you're seeing more job polarization, more global pressures. and we have to have kind of a stronger policy response for that. so i think that one of the things she's doing is making college education really very high in her agenda. now, some of that is relieving family pressures like allowing people to refinance. it's encouraging more people and more families to seek a college education through having to be more affordable, debt free, or even free tuition. but one thing that she says everywhere she goes -- and i will even say that i heard some of the republican candidates like marco rubio mention it, too. is that we have to have a strategy for getting people the
higher education of any type that works well for them to match to jobs. i think in the future -- for me personally i wouldn't call one thing college and the other thing like training, et cetera. i think everything should be seen as higher education that are different types. it's her supporting apprenticeships is an example. i think in the future 10, 15 years from now people may ask you what's your credential. i say this from my experience in the administration. this is a place that whether donald trump or hillary clinton wins, industry and government need to work together a bit. you have to have a greater sense of what are the credentials that are needed to fill those jobs. when you hear people saying
there's a welding shortage, there should be -- you should be able to take a community college class this san diego and know that the credentials that you are gaining will put you at the front of the line for all the top employers looking for welders. so i think we need to stress the college education. four-year completion is still one of the most important things for completion tor social and economic mobility. but i think we need to broaden and i think it's going to take some really good -- i think it's going to take more focus on credentials and standards. we'll have to develop policy wise, they'll have to give people a way for financial support for those type of training or credentials but without having the type of complete lack of accountability and often abuse that we've seen in the existing for-profit schools industry. >> a couple of things. first of all, if you want to have skilled workers, it is i think gene is right, i think he and i agree on this and i think donald trump and hillary clinton agree, that we're not training workers today for the jobs that are out there.
and i talked to a good friend of mine named bob funk the single biggest employer in the united states. he run it is biggest temporary agency in the country puts 800,000 people on jobs. nobody has thing finger on the pulse of jobs better than bob. he says give me somebody who has a useful skill and i can find them a job in 24 hours. i can find them a job -- if you know how to do something, a carpenter, electrician, engineer, welder, trucker, you can find a job. and that's true. those jobs are out there. then the question, why aren't there workers prepared for this? and we spend trillions of dollars a year on education and so on. there's something seriously wrong with our education system that we're spending all this money on kids and frankly i'm not sure a four-year degree is always such a great idea. i actually think -- >> yeah.
>> i think it's a big problem and i think it could be solved in a bipartisan way. a couple of things related to this. now i'm going on the attack a little bit. the worst possible thing we could do for the labor force is to raise the minimum wage to $15. that is a terrible idea. what you want right now one of the problems with the u.s. economy is you've got a very high teen age unemployment rate. the black unemployment rate is something like 35, 40%. i really believe what we need to do is smufe away from europe. what's happening is people aren't starting to enter the workforce until they're 22, 24. most people who get minimum wage is a starter job and most are under the wage of 25. we don't want to price those people out of the labor market and you're going to do that. we were talking, i have two sons that are teenagers. i love them to death but i would never pay them $12 nor would any
employer. what you're going to do if you raise that unemployment rate, you're going to put those people out of work. >> i think that's a really bad idea. i think getting college away for free is also a really bad idea. kids should work for their education. especially if they're 20 years old or higher. >> i think the price of 15 is one of the most that it will work. i think in seattle and los angeles where it's even been more aggressive, you have not seen an negative impact. so another place -- >> i don't mean to interrupt but you don't think there's going to be displacement? >> i think that you have to be smart in how you do it. if you look at new york, that they're trying to phase it in a way that allows them to phase in take account of where you have lower median income than places like bigger cities where lots of them could go to $15 an hour.
right now i believe or very soon, and not face displacement. and what it does for rewarding or attracting people into the labor market, for the dignity in providing for your family. one last thing, not an attack on trump. i think when we're looking about the skills of our labor force, we have got to be focused on what i think of as the accelerating inequality that happens to young people in their teen years. and everybody in this room knows what i'm talking about. when our kids get to this age we provide them, they're going to the best schools, they have the best counselors, the best s.a.t. or what ever prep they can have. the very same kids who face inequality spiral down. they have no college advisory, no connection. we have got to have a greater commitment to creating a pathway up for low income, for minority youth. and it's really a shame on us
for the idea that somebody with all the ambition in the world simply because their parents never went to school or don't speak english, that we start with those disadvantages and right at the critical time that they enter the workforce those of white house are more fortunate do everything to benefit our kids and we put -- and we do nothing for the other kids who dot no have those benefits. it is an accelerating inequality that we should all be fighting, and i have no partisanship and that, i just think for a country where the action figure birth should not determine outcome of in r middle years andocus onki ma se eyeay ve pawaanalthhe tge cle a n jt adntesoruridwhar alad my tm,ui iveg. t nt esons ou del guti. thpuose ofheegatn rympta, stgr w ntleerirclnewar,
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