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tv   National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow on Tax Reform  CSPAN  April 11, 2019 8:46pm-9:35pm EDT

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an interest of that and i thought he was unlikely to let me see her diaries and at the end of the interview, she said, and you can see my diaries. and that was an incredible gift. >> sunday night at eastern on c-span's q&a. white house national economic council director larry kudlow spoke about trade, the economic outlook, and the 2017 tax law. he also addressed herman cain nomination to the federal reserve board. this 45 minute program was hosted by the newspaper.
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on the airplane and helicopters, following pipelines, all right, well, pipelines. all right. >> well, thank you for being with us director cudler, anyone with back pain knows how reappreciate it. hopefully that pillow will help you. wither here to talk about the faction tax, the economy, and by all figures here, the economy is humming. will it continue into the rest of the year and into 2020? because there is a lot of fears. critics have said maybe there is a recession coming, but be positive. >> i don't see any recession this year or next year. i will say a couple things on
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this point. a lot of people have misunderstood, you know, just don't agree or philosophical differences regarding economic analysis and economic modeling. i know there is this idea that 2018 was a good year because we got 3% growth, but it's a sugar high. it's all going to go away. but i want to rebut that. what we have done is not a kind of one-time, you know, tax rebate. i can't see you over there. move that. or maybe i can move up. this is not a one-time cash tax rebate kind of thing and it just goes away. what we did was we lowered marginal tax rates, particularly on the business side, large and small companies. >> uh-huh.
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>> and this was the bulk of the plan, individual tax cuts and some of those rate reductions and some of them weren't, but the heart of it was on the business side and lowering the corporate rate from as you know 35 to 21%, 100% expensing, new international rules. we went territorial, so we didn't get overtaxed. so from my life as a supply sider, the argument is we are creating incentives. at the margin you keep more of what you earn on the extra hour work, the extra dollar, the extra investment risk dollar. and those incentives will be in place for a long time. now, if i get this right, the expensing -- 100% expensing, which is very important, is i think another 5 years, if i'm
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not mistaken. the corporate tax rate reduction is permanent, quote, unquote, permanent. ditto for the territorial treatment of overseas profits. so what am i saying? i am saying these incentives designed to rebuild the economy -- we haven't had good capital investment, capital stock. we haven't had real wage increases. these are designed to be maintained for many years to come, literally as far as the eye can see. so therefore i don't -- you know, it doesn't end. it continues. and a point i want to make, a lot of the larger companies are really probably going to produce more investment by which i mean
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capital goods, intellectual property, which is really booming now, for years. unless and until these tax -- these lower tax rates are repealed and we will certainly -- don't expect that, such that they would never happen in the senate, but if they did, the president would veto it. we expect this to go on for a long time and these other companies with just beginning to adjust their investment horizons to take advantage of the tax incentives. you follow me? those big shifts take longer to follow around. smaller companies can move faster and that's a source of job creation. we are also seeing as part of this a tremendous increase in new business applications and new business formations.
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>> uh-huh. >> which is very important. we all say the small businesses are the biggest job creators in the economy. that's true. but actually it's the brand and new businesses that are the biggest job creators, so what i'm saying is the taxes stay in place, the lower marginal rates stay in place and consequently, unless there is some shock, i don't see why the economy can't continue to grow, you know, on 3% baseline. >> with the economy strong in unemployment rate lowest in 5 decades, why did the republicans lose the house then with the messaging, stretch of the election. >> i'm not a political analyst per se, many reasons for what happened, other issues, midterm elections.
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it's hard for me to though. but i'm interested in the polling on this, where many of the polls i have seen show positive, you know, approval of economic conditions or the president's economic policies. those numbers are up in the high 50s, low 60s, those are big numbers and i think people are aware -- now, some people would say, well, the tax cuts per se don't seem to poll well. i don't know if that's true. i'm not a polling expert. but the results are definitely polling well, as you know unemployment way up, employment way down. and i want to add one more point on this. that is we believe -- this is my dear friend and colleague kevin hasset and i worked on this plan
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way back almost three years ago, that a new economic theory -- i won't say brand-new, but it was controversial -- lowering business tax rates would help middle income, lower-middle income workforce the most, the most. i don't know what the right phraseology is. i'm not doing as well as i like to do early morning with the hill, but what i will say is blue collars, main street, ordinary working folks that actually outperform quite a bit. when you look at the wage numbers, the rate of increase for the nonsupervisory workers, okay, is way ahead of the
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supervisory workers. white collar, blue collar, simplistic. it is interesting. i brought the numbers on this because i love this stuff. average weekly earns for workers lost 3.3%, which is a terrific number. supervisors rose 2.6%. two years since 2016 the average weekly earns of workers rose 7.4%. all right. so it's much bigger than the overall number. for supervisors, 5.9%. so what i'm calling the ordinary workers, i don't mean that as demeaning, i'm just saying the nonmanagers are doing better than the managers are doing. and this is an idea we had looked at. it was controversial. i reckon it is still
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controversial, but then we get help. we have been short stock, short investment, short productivity and we have been short real wages. that seems to be turning around and i know, you know, a couple years doesn't necessarily clinch that and we will wait to see more evidence as the data comes in. but that was our point and we are seeing, you know, the productivity numbers are up, thankfully 1.8 less in the year, and i know it's just a year, so i appreciate any skepticism, but it's a good move. the increase in cap goods, intellectual property is doing good and wages is doing good. so at the moment i would argue the supply side models are working, incentives is working and as long as they are in place, no reason the economy can't continue to grow. >> what about on trade,
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everybody is looking for a trade deal with china. are you looking at this spring there will be a deal with china? >> confident. >> what are the chance. >> i'm the happy warrior. i'm going to play it from the optimistic side. as you have seen in quotations, the treasury was out yesterday sounding optimistic, the president has been optimistic, my dear friend bob lighthowser. he is the best trade negotiator i have ever seen. he and i are antiques. we are relics from the reagan years. i love that. we love reagan antiques. we worked 35-some odd years ago. i was 13 years old. that was the year closer to what
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i would be. >> but have you seen progress. >> yes, i have seen progress. tricky business. got to be a great deal. you heard the president say that, got to be a great deal. got to be an enforceable deal and enforce the issues on technology and irkp and cyber hacking and then of course the commodities, tariffs and nontariffs. we make enormous progress. they have been on teleconferencing this week. that's already thursday, yeah, they have been teleconferencing. they continue to make progress. i can't say the deal is done. it's not done. there are things that need to be covered. so am i confident? well, i would just say, you know, i'm going to play this from the optimistic side, but there are issues that still have to be done. >> the economy, where it can go
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from here, a lot of people say if there is a deal with china, then the economy would really take off. where is it? i know it's not the only economic indicator, but could the dow hit 3000? what is the ceiling here? >> well, look, you are asking me. i'm the happy warrior. i think america has unlimited potential. i always have. they will do my model of -- my intellectual model is when free market forces rule the roost when incentives, work, sand and dust is in place, the dollar is steady, inflation rate is low. i think it's unlimited. look, from the end of world war ii to the year 2,000, i believe
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the baseline is 1947 when the statistics were in place. usa grew 3 1/2% a year after inflation, tremendous. and we hit a slump for whatever reasons in the last 16, 18 years since 2000. we hit a slump with democrats and republicans in charge. i think we can get back to that 3 1/2% long term trend line. president talks about getting to 4, 4 1/2%. i don't see why not. i don't believe in secular stagnation. there are no categorical imperatives for policies and creating of opportunities for everybody. i don't see why we can't continue. i understand over time the business cycle will produce its
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own booms and busts, but really i think we can get back to that long-term trend line. that's one of our goals and i think it's an across-the-board goal. i'm always optimistic. look, the united states, we are a free economy. the government doesn't run the economy in this country. maybe we can talk about green new deals and social. >> reporter: one of my favorite topics to talk about. using their god given talents to be entrepreneurs, to be great workers and vendor, as long as we give them the freedom to produce, i believe our future is unlimited. absolutely unlimited. i'm the quintessential optimist, i learned from ronald reagan 35 years ago and i'm still there. >> do you think -- your
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chairman, old pal is doing a good job? >> i do. i know we have had some discussions about that in recent weeks. i think -- >> discussioning with him? >> we just had a lot of discussions. >> tell us about those discussions. >> i started my career at the reserve, a little known factor, so i was 13 when i was in omb, so i don't remember how old, i was in the om fed in 1963, freshly minted princeton grad person , so i have a long history with the fed. look, it's obviously well known that the president did not agree, does not agree with the last couple of rate hikes. i agree with the president on this. i thought they were unnecessary. now, again, the independence central bank, we aim to keep it
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that way. right? that doesn't mean we can't express our opinions periodically. the president himself is a very well informed investor and businessman. i have views, we all have views, so as i have said before, wouldn't mind when the fed is ready, would nd mind seeing them lowering the target rate 50 points or so along with the falling rate. powell is a great friend. he is turning into a good fed chairman. speaking personally, he has my confidence. rich clara is the chairman. a good old friend of mine, i think he is a brilliant, brilliant guy. i think they will work well. as we say, i wish they had a raise, i notice from the various
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reports and so forth, they changed their view. i don't think rates will rise in the foreseeable future, maybe never again in my lifetime or they will fall. i don't mind them falling. i'm not storming the ram perts. >> along those lines. >> i'm not sure the difference is as big as sometimes portrayed. >> okay. >> i will just make that statement. >> we talked to republicans that say herman cane cannot get the votes to serve on the fed board. is the administration standing by herman cane? >> yes, we are at the moment. >> at the moment. >> at the moment, that's right. he is in the vetting process. >> paperwork has not yet gone. >> his paperwork is in. he is being looked at from the fbi. >> to the senate. >> that's correct. it will. >> so plan on moving forward
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with that. >> we have to start internally with the white house. that process is going on, and president said yesterday he continues to support it and we will see how that turns out. i don't want to prejudge it one way or the other. we have already in fact started consultations with senate banking committee. senator crapo is a good friend of mine. they will go through their process. i don't want to prejudge it. i know there are things about allegations and so forth. this town is full of allegations, sometimes they are true, sometimes they are completely untrue, as we have seen. i want to give him, herman, a decent chance to go through that process. >> is the vetting process undergoing the allegations from the four men, would that stop him internally. >> i would just say when the fbi bets, they bet pretty good. count on it. they bet very well.
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>> you got through. >> i have been vetted a couple times down through the year. well, my ex-wife and i get along. i pay my taxes. i have been married 32 years, haven't had a drink in 25 years. life is good. all grace. these things, we will see. all i'm saying is he is in the process. we will let him go through it and the president insists on that. and as of late last night, we got off marine one landing here from texas. the president said he stands -- he continues to stand behind mr. cane, and we will be consulting with the senate banking committee. they will do their own vetting and my goal as director is making sure these processes go
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fine. >> many are raising their minimum wage -- federal minimum wage to be increased, pushing that legislation. >> i love it when companies raise their minimum wage, love it. that's the best way to do it. i don't want the federal government to do it. i have never understood how the government can fiddle with minimum wages and other regulations just because, you know, cost of living are different in different parts of the country. the cost of living in idaho is different than it is in new york or washington, d.c. and that's one of the reasons. i have other reasons, but one of the reasons i didn't like minimum wages. but when you are in a prosperous good, strong growth period like we are now, these companies are raising their minimum wages. it's fantastic. fantastic. and it lets me come back to
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another point. it's kind of a fed point, but it's also a generic point on macro economic policy. more people working at higher wages, first of all, is a good thing, not a bad thing. second of all doesn't cause inflation. and that is maybe an e conometric philosophical difference we may have with some of these models. right now workers, as we went through the numbers a few moments ago, even the lower end workers are getting the biggest wage increases, earning it through higher productivity. there is nothing wrong with that. it's a fabulous thing, actually. and therefore -- i don't remember who was in the paper this morning raising -- $15 --
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somebody was in the paper this morning. i think before that it was amazon. i love that. >> yep. >> i love that. i don't want to order them or mandate the companies to do it. they are doing it because is economy is booming. that is the best way to do it. and they are doing it as individual privately owned companies, fabulous, absolutely fabulous. and love to see more of it. bet we will see more of it. i would like my minimum wage to go up. >> one thing that has been bad news and you were very critical of the deficit and level in the obama administration. we got a number 691 billion deficit in the fiscal year. we are looking at trillion doctor deficits, at least some part of that are the tax cuts. are the tax cuts paying for
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itself. >> yes. and they always will. >> we are talking about nonpartisan experts here, who said that it's blowing a hole in the deficit. >> i have to process that, nonpartisan expert part. i will think about that. >> okay. >> but look, interestingly, i jus saw february, march year on year federal revenues are coming in when you adjust for a day short in march or day short in february, about 9%, good number. rev knews coming in nicely. i believe what will happen here is as we share gdp, which you have to look at these things in relation to the economy, you will see a deficit on a steady glide power lower, saying for the overall public health debt, i think that if you look at the
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adjustments, let's take a nonpartisan cbo -- i'm going to call them nonpartisan this morning -- their own numbers show pretax cut, post-tax cut. they raise the level of nominal gdp, which is your national income revenue number quite a lot, if my memory serves me and i'm not doing so great this morning, but 7 trillion. give me some elbow room, i'm a wounded warrior, bad day. that in an average tax rate of 17, 17 and a half% has produced something around 1.2 something trillion extra dollars that generated increased from the
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nominal gdp. and averaged 1.4 trillion. our numbers showed the name thing in the office of managing budget. i think we are right on target. give us some time, you know, i never argued in year one it would pay for itself. the curb doesn't suggest that. but after a couple years i believe it will and then some. i think we have gotten off to a good start. we do have to have limited government, tough budget, lowering 5% across the board. the president has indicated if the spending caps going all the way back to the 2011 deal are not met, then we will sequester across the board, both defense and nondefense, we were run by
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those rules. it's tough stuff. i think it's appropriate. i'm reading in the paper that some people in the congress want to raise spending on both domestic and military. i don't think we can do that. i have always been a limited government guy. i think the key here is growth, growth, growth, growth, that's the ultimate solution, but i think you have to try to run an efficient government while it performs, and are we doing that? we are trying to do that. we are work not guilty that direction. i kind of like what we are doing. i don't think our budget position is near as bad. >> we turn to as you said your favorite topics, social. >> reporter: , you called on republicans to put social. >> reporter: on trial. if the democrats win back congress in 2020, what happens to the economy? >> well, look, i will say this.
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socialism, highly centrally planned collectivist policies does not work. with all due respect to those people who are talking. we should forget the soviet union. we should have a look at venezuela, look at history, centrally planned collectivist, these kind of political economic models, they are despotic, they are tyronical. they are impoverished. i don't want to forget that. i want to have this conversation. i like this conversation a lot. yesterday or the day before senator sanders put out his
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healthcare plan, universal medicare, potential government take over. i know mr. sanders, he was a guest on my tv show years ago. i respect his views. i just completely disagree. i think -- not only would it be so costly -- and the estimates run 20 trillion center right think tanks, and that's inside ten years. but the number that sticks in my craw on that is 180 million -- 180 million people with private healthcare plans would lose it. that is extraordinary. and that is endemic to the socialist model where the government takes over everything. >> but where do -- >> i believe it would be
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catastrophic. i do not believe that -- and i believe it would -- let me add the new deal and the idea of again, financing anybody who doesn't want to work, no regulations. all of that would decimate the economy. i think you would lose 15% of gdp inside 10 years. >> is that a deal or combining. >> combining some aspects of the green new deal include the universal medicare. >> okay. >> but we looked at these numbers up and down. they are imprecise. some of the statements are not as detailed as we would like them to be. we are looking at a loss of gdp inside of 10 years, that is remarkable. that would destroy this company's economy and our
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freedoms would be destroyed. our morale would be destroyed. there is nothing more demoralizing, nothing more demoralizing than individual men and women having the government absolutely run everything inside the economy, which will lead, by the way, to a curtailment of political liberties as well. i want to make that clear. i want to have this discussion. i think it 's very important. i look at polls, by the way, it's funny coming in here, the ponies -- so interesting, country likes social. >> reporter: . no, it doesn't. i was looking at my pal, long time friend caroline bowman who was tracking -- if i can find it, tracking gallop polls and asking the same question year in and year out. maybe i don't have it here.
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but about 2 to 1 people oppose socialist, that hasn't changed down through the years, so the impact on the economy and our liberty would be devastating and i go back again, one of my historical idols, you know, i'm so old i used to have breakfast with him periodically, not for a while. winston church hill. church hill argued if you are not a socialist in your 20s, you have no heart. and if you are not a capitalist in your 30s, you have no mind. and the reason i say that is i personally want to talk to the younger group, the millennials. i know i'm an old guy. i want to give them the benefit of my history. it would be deafs stating to the
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economy. >> along those lines, do you think the dep house, which has been in power for a few months now is holding back or hampering the economy? and do you think they will approve of the new nafta mca. >> yeah. >> you will. not a lot of movement on that so far. >> yes and no. look, i think speaker pelosi has been very accommodating to us. bob light houser has addressed the democrat conference, which is very -- you know, very positive things, and i think she is looking at it. ms. pelosi has many trade deals down through the years, so i'm not going to prejudge that. by the way, i haven't seen her in a bit since i took office, but she was a guest on the --
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report down through the years. so i believe -- and i'm not a political expert -- she will determine the vote. i think we will get a vote on usmca. >> this year even? >> i believe we will. this is just my view. and i think if we get a vote, we have an excellent chance of passing that vote. i want to put a plug in for usmca. we talked about china. usmca is a very good trade deal. here you have not only i think a better distribution with respect to domestic content of manufacturing, particularly automobiles, and some wage adjustments, very important, and some farming adjustments. we had some good breakthroughs on the dairy farm with our neighbors to the north. but also the new economy, which
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has gotten short shrift. this is so vital to entrepreneur ship, so vital, expansion of digital service, expansion of financial services, expansion of biologics and so forth and so on. i love the new economy stuff. i love the old economy stuff. i think it's very pro growth and that's why i want to try to push it wherever i go. and i think we have a very decent chance. i think the speakers have been evenhanded on this. you know, just as a sideline, if you will permit me, a lot of people criticize the trump administration for being anti-trade or whatever. and actually, you know, as we sit here this morning, we have a
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decent chance of a historic china trade deal. as i say, somewhat optimistic on that. we have a very good chance of a historic renewal of, you know, usmca, negotiating with europe, negotiating with japan. we passed a very good south korean trade deal. i think the president's trade reform, you know, we have been, you know, free, fair, and reciprocal trade, zero nontariff, zero subsidies has been his model, allowed free trade to work with him to support it. i think it's working rather well, a lot of people were skeptical. we are doing pretty well, especially in the last year or so. i will say this, one thing he has taught me is sometimes tariffs can be very effective
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negotiating tools. >> as leverage. >> as leverage, yes, sir. it's interesting, and he has been tougher especially on china than anybody. he did he recollect party in the last several decades. i'm going to say i'm going to regard the trade story as potentially very pro growth. now, i can't guarantee. i don't want to get ahead of that curb, but frankly i think it's a good story. >> we have had a number of questions that come in from social media. andrew louts, at least one of these. what has the white house done to provide certainty in investors and opportunity funds related to opportunity zones? >> oh. well, we are launching. wither launching -- we are pretty much finished with the regs. as part of our tax incentives,
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this goes back -- one of my mentors down through the years and very, very dear friends t late jack kemp, this comes out of that. and it basically through, again, lower tax rate incentives, it basically is designed to promote a lot of investment -- private capital investment in areas, you know, poverty areas around the country. i don't -- it's going to cover a lot of areas, bob. i don't have the number in my head, but it's going to cover a lot, a lot of areas. i think the number will be in the thousands when it's all said and done. you know, hats off to hud secretary ben carson for pushing this. he is part of that group and the
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administration that's working on this. we have added not only the tax incentives, but we have added a piece on education reform, job training reform, things of that sort that can go along with it. security and safety also. i think it's a fabulous idea. i think it's a great way to try to broaden the base of prosperity. the way i look at that is -- i think i said this in cabinet the other day, you know, for me i want every nook and cranny of america to share in the prosperity. but i don't believe -- and judging from the experience of the past many decades, the government can do that. and i do believe we should try
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the private investment capital route. and again, help by these other reform, especially education and job training, i think it's a very big deal. i think it's kind of under rated. anyway, the final product will be out very soon. i think you will see a lot of movement of capital in these areas. >> as you know, we are already in the political season, but going into 2020 is the administration and you and others going to be asking that quintessential question for four more years are you better off than you were four years ago. >> i think it would have to be yes. >> is the economy going to be the number one issue in 2020. >> look, the economy is going to be very key, going to be very, very key, it always is.
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peace and prosperity tends to be historic needs. i think we are proud of our record on the economy. and as i said, the prosperity that's developing, which i think is going to broaden and strengthen. so that's going to be crucial, absolutely crucial. we are proud of our record on jobs and wages. but we are proud of our record on trade, and i know the president is fighting hard and will continue to fight hard for various security issues, international security. that includes border security. and will include the wall and reforms that he wants. i think that -- you know, i think border security is really part of economic security down there. i think -- i'm not going to go through the foreign policy side. the president has made significant reforms in our
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foreign policy that i believe are working, and that will be subject to great discussion, as you might guess. i think on some of the social issues, as you know, he is a strong pro lifer. i am too. i think that would be part of the discussion. so we can review a whole bunch of issues, but to your point, absolutely, the economy will be central. it always is. it should be. and we are proud of our record and i'm sure he will be quite happy to run. he is a growth president. he is a growth president, growth, i mean, we were kidding -- last thigh we were coming home and the final leg on marine one and we were doing our growth routine. sure, growth. growth. growth. growth. you can get a pipeline -- again, broke my back yesterday. our executive order on expanding -- you know, we become number one energy producer in
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the world, which is a remarkable thing. down in the permian basin, if it was a country, it would be the fifth or sixth largest gas producer or oil producer or both producers, i don't know. but anyway, the price of that gas is close to zero. it produces so much they have excess, they have to burn to get rid of it that's no good. the reason they do that is there are not enough pipeline capacity. you can pipe a lot of it south to the gulf, but we need to pipe it to the east coast and the northeast, so we don't have to buy russian gas and fuel, new york and england buying a lot of stuff from russia. i don't want that. we can pipe it west and sell it
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to asia and europe. we can undermine russia. i don't think russia should be the dominant oil and gas producer in europe. that's not necessary. we are highly competitive. so we are making some deregulatory changes. i haven't spent enough time this morning on our roll back of regulations, which i think is incredibly important to the growth of the economy across the board. i apologize. and the pipeline initiative and materialals and refineries go along with it. we want a reasonable regulatory structure that will allow us to bring much cheaper fuel to key parts of the country like the mid-atlantic and northeast and new england and also to europe. this is big stuff, really big stuff. and one other thing -- i'm not all together this morning, but on this regulatory stuff, i want to go back. you asked me very early in the
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game about the economy and businesses. the small business explosion and the explosion of net new business formations i believe is a direct result of the regulatory roll back. i saw this during the reagan years, that if you make it easier, it's paperwork, but it's also some of these other regulations that go too far. i'm not against regulations, but i am against extreme regulations. you are seeing this whole new generation of people, men and women of all stripes, races, and so forth, exploding this new business story. and i think that has a lot to do with the tax cuts, but it has a lot to do with the regulatory roll back. anyway, we were selling pipeline down in texas the other day, it was wonderful. you have to love that.
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hard hats, people in pipes, metal constructs. i'm a city boy, so i love to watch that stuff. it was great. the fact that i can't walk is something we will deal with later. >> well, we have run out of time. thank you so much for joining us, especially with your back. thank director cudlo for joining us, back to jack. >> c-span's washington journal live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up friday morning, a discussion of the two main elements of the mueller report, collusion and obstruction of justice with two federal former prosecutors, and then florida republican man john rutherford talks about security and news of
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the day, c-span sunday join the discussion. . >> here is a look on friday. holding conference and 2:35 germany finance minister talks about u.s. european relations and at 9 a.m. eastern, the european commissioner talks about brshgsrexit and eu. and at 5:30, a look at the roll of labor unions with secretary alex acosta and the head of the labor organization sky rider. . >> the only thing you have to fear is fear itself. >> ask not what your country can do for you. ask what you can do for your
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