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Bitcoin Bonanza

Episode #22  |  February 10th, 2021
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In This Episode:

If you thought GameStop was something, wait for the juggernaut that is Bitcoin. Elon Musk has endorsed the cryptocurrency, and Millennials treat it like 21st-century gold. But what exactly is it? And is it a safe bet for most American investors? Anthony Scaramucci (Manager at SkyBridge Capital) details the history and evolution of Bitcoin and his new crypto-focused fund. On the political front, U.S. Texas Congressman Brian Babin explains how all this bloated spending in Washington threatens all Americans’ economic stability. 

Guests:

Anthony Scaramucci

Former White House Press Secretary, & Entrepreneur, & founder of Sky Bridge
Anthony Scaramucci is Founder and Co-Managing Partner of SkyBridge focusing on marketing and business development. Prior to founding SkyBridge in 2005, Mr. Scaramucci co-founded investment partnership Oscar Capital Management, which was sold to Neuberger Berman, LLC in 2001.

Brian Babin

Representing the 36th district of Texas
Dr. Babin became involved in politics by supporting Ronald Reagan for President in 1980 as the Reagan County Chairman of Tyler County. Since that time he has worked to turn what had previously been a heavily Democrat region Republican by building a conservative voting base and encouraging and supporting good local candidates to run as Republicans.

Episode Extras:

  • The Basics of Bitcoin: it’s a store of value that investors will treat like gold over time. It’s portable, transferable, safe, and scare, i.e., very valuable. 
  • Bitcoin is to cryptocurrency what Amazon is to retail, what Google is to search, and what Facebook is to social networks. 
  • If you had put $10,000 into Amazon on its IPO date in 1997, you’d now have 21 million dollars. Anthony Scaramucci believes that Bitcoin’s trajectory could be just as profitable for investors getting in now. 
  • Bitcoin by the numbers: there are currently 21 million coins, 105 million users, and the price per coin has risen as high as $47,000.

Transcript:

Trish Regan:               Well, if you thought GameStop was something, have you seen bitcoin? Bitcoin’s been on a really, really wild ride. Hello, everyone. I am Trish Regan. This is American Consequences With Trish Regan, and we’ve been watching the price of bitcoin skyrocket, upwards of $44,000 per bitcoin, in part because of none other than Tesla and Elon Musk saying he was going to make a commitment.

And he’s not the only one. You’ve got a lot of big players in this space, whether it be BlackRock, MassMutual, or my friend Anthony Scaramucci over at SkyBridge Capital, who is making a big commitment to bitcoin as well.

I’m so thrilled to have Mooch on the show today. Hello, Anthony. Welcome.

 

Anthony Scaramucci: Well, it’s great to be on. Just promise me one thing, Trish, that you won’t tell people how long we know each other because I have been lying about my age for the last 15 years. And so I just want to keep that between us, OK? I just met you like six months ago.

 

Trish Regan:               All right, that’s a deal. That’s a deal. I probably have been lying about my age, too, so, hey. Anyway, Anthony and I go way back, and we’ll just leave it at that. But anyway, it’s good to have you on the show.

I was really excited to see this week – I have been following bitcoin also from the very beginning, going back a ways, and it’s always been amazing to me. Just this year it’s really caught on in a massive way. We look at Elon Musk getting into it. We look at Larry Fink with the BlackRock investment. They’re getting into it. MassMutual is getting into it.

And then I read Anthony Scaramucci is getting into it, so I wanted to talk to you, Anthony. What is it about bitcoin at this moment in time that makes you so excited about it and willing enough to put money on the line?

 

Anthony Scaramucci: Let me just step back because I think this is important for your listeners. The Winklevoss brothers came to our conference, the SALT conference, which I know you about, in Las Vegas 2014.

Bitcoin was trading at that point at $400 a coin. Today as we’re speaking, let’s call it a bid/ask range of $45,000 to $47,000. So just think of the magnitude of the growth over the last seven years.

Now when I met with them and they were explaining to me what bitcoin was, I told them, “I can’t invest in that.” I’m an institutionalist, and unless it starts taking on the curve of Metcalfe’s law – which is basically a term that’s used in the technology space where something is getting adopted and then it’s exponentially growing as it relates to users.

That could be a cellphone back in the ’90s. it could be PCs back in the ’80s, Trish. And so it was too early for me, bitcoin at $400. But bitcoin at $16,000 back in October or November, it finally met the three criteria that would allow an institutional company like ours to invest.

One, it was scaling according to Metcalfe’s law, over 100 million users. Today there’s 145 million users. And so it’s a fully robust monetary network akin to what Amazon is as a retail network, what Google is as a search and advertising network, and Facebook as a social network.

Bitcoin is saturating now where there’s a very large group of people that will accept it from each other as a store of value or a value transfer.

The second thing which was super important to us is regulation and taxation. We felt that it had to get big enough where a regulator would get it in its strike zone, if you will, or in its crosshairs and want to start taxing and regulating it.

That has effectively happened. Some countries frankly have banned it, like India and China. The United States right now hasn’t done that, but we are taxing it, and we’re treating it as an intangible.

And then the third thing, which was the ultimate thing for us, was storage. And so for your listeners, what is bitcoin? It’s a cryptographic code on the Internet. It’s sequenced in a way where it gets transferred to you over the blockchain, which is a billion-plus cryptology, if you will. It makes it almost impossible, if not impossible, to crack. It transfers from line to line.

The code itself can be stored electronically on a USB, on a SIM card. Those I think are not great storage for something like bitcoin, which is quite valuable. Or it can be stored now at Fidelity Digital Assets, which I think is a very safe place to store it because you’ve got Fidelity’s balance sheet, you’ve got their technical prowess, and then you’ve got their insurance wrapper from Lloyd’s of London.

And so again just cursory stuff. Bitcoin, there are 21 million coins. It’s capped. It’s a finite number of supply, two million coins left to be mined. There’s about three million coins, Trish, that have been lost as a result of poor storage.

And so now that you’re able to store it in an institutional setting, it made sense for us. We put $25 million of our own capital in a bitcoin-specific fund, and then we put about $300 million of capital across our funds and our accounts for our investors. Because of asset growth, now we’re over $500 million worth of NAV in bitcoin.

I hope that’s a good summary, but that’s where we are. I think the potential here is great because, yes, it will be a store of value. It will be treated as a store of value despite its volatility.

As you look at a Metcalfe’s law curve like Amazon, I’ll just point out to your listeners Amazon since inception, if you were brave enough and you put $10,000 in Amazon on its IPO date May 15, 1997, it’s worth $21,140,000 today. However, you would have had to suffer through declines of 50% in value, seven times in the 24 years.

So for me, I’m telling people a small amount of bitcoin, 1% to 2%  of the portfolio. If we’re right, you’ll be very happy. It’ll help you reach your actuarial goals. If we’re wrong, a loss of 1% to 2% of your portfolio is not going to – you’re not going to miss a meal as a result of it.

 

Trish Regan:               I think that’s an interesting way of looking at it. It’s sort of like, “Well, what the heck.” Let me just ask you, because if you talk to these bitcoin enthusiasts, a lot of them would like to someday see it as a kind of currency, right, an online currency.

I guess that’s where I sort of question the volatility there because one of the reasons why people like the U.S. dollar, Anthony, is because it’s pretty stable. These days it may get increasingly challenged with all the money we’re spending, but nonetheless it’s a pretty stable place to be.

Whereas bitcoin, gosh, if you bought your Tesla with bitcoin and you took it off the lot and the next day it goes to $44,000, you’re saying to yourself, “Wait a second. Why did I make that purchase in bitcoin?”

So do you see it at any point becoming this type of currency that people really do transact in, or do you continue to see it as just something to keep in the portfolio?

 

Anthony Scaramucci: These are great questions, and I don’t know the answer to that. That’s what makes investing so challenging and so tricky and ultimately rewarding if you get things right. So, I don’t know the answer. I’m just going to give you my surmise.

I think that bitcoin will be a store of value. I’ll be aggressive about this and say that it’ll be treated like gold over time. Certainly the Millennials, that generation, my adult children, are treating it that way. It’s portable, it’s scarce, it’s easily transferable, and it’s impregnable in terms of that cryptography. All of those reasons are making it very valuable.

Can it convert over to being currency where we could literally go to the Starbucks and buy bitcoin or, as you’re saying, Tesla may eventually accept bitcoin? I don’t know. I will say this.

If we get a digital yuan and ultimately get a digital dollar, then it’ll make it easier because then you’ll be – these smartphones and this technology that we’re living with will be forced to encrypt and put your money directly onto the phone. You’ll cut out the credit card vendor, if you will, and then that will make it easier for bitcoin to toggle back and forth between U.S. dollars fairly seamless, fairly costless.

Will that come to pass? It’s hard for me to say. Guys like Michael Saylor, the CEO of MicroStrategy, have over $3 billion of bitcoin. He thinks it will.

One of my former Goldman Sachs colleagues, Ross Stevens – who runs something now called New York Digital Investment Group, also known as NYDIG. Ross would tell you – he’s a contemporary of mine, and I know him very well – that it’s unlikely to become a currency because the fiat currencies are going to be pretty aggressive from a regulatory standpoint in blocking it. But could it sit on the shelf like gold? I think the answer is yes.

And then the other question is, well, what about Ethereum and these other coins? Well, there’s a silver market. There’s a copper market. There’s other types of commodity markets. It’s not impossible that these other digital currencies will be successful.

But here’s the thing I would say. Bitcoin has slayed the crypto dragon. There’s been 8,300 attacks on bitcoin. If you go to Bitfinex, which is the largest exchange, based in Singapore, there are 8,300 digital cryptocurrencies available there.

Bitcoin has scaled into the stratosphere relative to those. It’s trading right now let’s give it a band of $700 billion to $900 billion in terms of its market capitalization. So it has become the big gorilla in the jungle. It is the Facebook to let’s say a Myspace. It is Google to, let’s say, a Lycos or an Ask Jeeves.

So we’re here now. It makes me confident that it will continue to scale. I just want you to imagine the scenario that we’re right, and it trades comparable to gold. Well, comparable to gold, gold’s at a $12 trillion market cap. This is at an $800 billion market cap. If we’re halfway right and it gets to a $6 trillion market cap, well, you still see this tremendous upside. And so it’s scaling.

Some of this is what I call a short squeeze. People experienced that a couple of weeks ago with GameStop. When people are short something and they don’t believe it and there’s others buying it, the shorts that are in a deficit related to it, they need to cover. They need to go out and aggressively buy it to keep their P&L and to keep their margin requirements intact at the various banks that they work with.

And I think that’s one of the reasons why bitcoin has literally blasted up 15% since the Elon Musk announcement that he’s a buyer of bitcoin.

 

Trish Regan:               I love that, by the way. I hadn’t thought about Ask Jeeves in years. You stumped me on that one. I was like, “Wait a second, Ask Jeeves.” That’s a good analogy.

 

Anthony Scaramucci: I just gave up my age, Regan. I just gave up my age. You see that? I shouldn’t have done that. I take back Ask Jeeves. I delete Ask Jeeves from this conversation.

 

Trish Regan:               Satoshi Nakamoto, that’s the supposed creator of bitcoin. We don’t know if it is was one person, multiple people. There’s some suspicion that it was multiple people. Does it make you kind of freaked out that you’re investing in something where you don’t even know who the heck created it?

 

Anthony Scaramucci: That would be the natural skepticism. But when you step out of the skepticism box and you look at what they did, either it was one person or a group, likely a group, they open sourced it.

And so you can go on the Internet if you’re a computer programmer and you can look at the open sourcing, you can look at the programming, and you can look at the add-ons to the programming, and you can see that that is totally robust and totally decentralized.

So whoever created it was smart enough to float it into the Internet and allow the Internet and the programmers, the coders, the miners, the people that are operating nodes on bitcoin – and so what is a node, effectively? A node guarantees the network.

There’s probably 150,000 nodes globally, and so bitcoiners basically say, “OK, I’m going to go protect this network. I’m going to protect it from cyberattacks. I’m going to protect the transactions by ensuring that there’s enough computing power in this open sourcing to protect that cryptography.” SkyBridge is operating a full node now at our headquarters on our servers.

And so what you find is whoever did launch it into the ether did it in a way where it’s totally decentralized. Now there’s no backdoor into it. It’s missile-locked. And so, no, I’m totally comfortable with that aspect of it.

I think where people get uncomfortable is, “OK, what is it?” Well, it’s a cryptographic code on the Internet that we’re now ascribing $47,000 of value to. Well, why would you do that? You can’t eat it. You can’t melt it and turn it into jewelry. So then why would you ascribe that level of value to something that’s just effectively a cryptograph on the Internet?

And that’s where you’ve got to understand intellectually what money has been in our society for the last 5,500 years, whether it’s the paper in our pockets, the digital numbers that are in our bank accounts. Every one of your listeners can log into their bank account, see their money, and then depending on the numbers that are displayed they either feel very rich or very poor. But yet all they are is just digital inputs on a ledger at the bank.

And so ultimately if you read Niall Ferguson’s book The Ascent of Money, what he describes brilliantly in that book is that money has always been something that we tender to each other that is worth way less than the goods and services that we’re trading for.

Whether it’s a seashell or a piece of wampum or it’s a dollar or it’s a gold coin with the profile of a political figure stamped on it, ultimately it has way less value than the goods and services that we’re transferring.

What Niall would say, and he just wrote a great piece in Bloomberg, one of your old stomping grounds. If you go to bloomberg.com and look up Niall Ferguson, you can read his analysis of bitcoin based on his assessment.

It’s effectively a very smart technology, and if you step back in time 5,500 years of recorded history, well, what is money? It’s a technology. It is something that we use to transfer value between each other. It is a ledger, effectively.

And so the things that we’re trading, Trish, they don’t have a lot of value, per se. Even gold, if you were to melt it down and start making just the jewelry, the metallic value of gold is way less than the intrinsic value we’re ascribing to gold as a traditional store of value.

So this is a scarce thing. It’s a scarce commodity. It’s very easy to store, a result of which it’s become a – to me, it is becoming accepted as a store of value, particularly by the Millennials.

I’ll make one last point on this. I think it’s very important. Our technology is transforming everything, transforming the way we meet with each other now over Zoom. Airplanes transformed our air travel. We went from the horses to the horseless carriage.

Every aspect of our lives has been transformed by technology. It would make sense that our money would also be digitized and transformed by technology.

Remember, there was DigiCash out there. There was Technocash. There were other early innovations that never grabbed hold because there were loopholes in it or there was something that made the thing unstable. Bitcoin has none of those things, and so it’s here to stay.

If we’re right, these coins could easily trade to several hundred thousand dollars a coin. Remember, as that monetary network expands and people accept it, then the value of those coins will increase.

It’s very similar to Metcalfe’s law and these other S-curve technological innovations like the microwave oven, the smartphone, the PC, Amazon, etc. You could pick these different realms. Bitcoin is tracking those realms now.

 

Trish Regan:               Just absolutely fascinating stuff. I’ve long been intrigued by it. I lost a bitcoin once on air. You brought up Bloomberg, and one of our cohosts there gave us a bitcoin, believe it or not, Anthony, on the air.

But then apparently he showed the QR code, which we learned was sort of like sharing a bank account and a PIN number. Just for fun, it wasn’t worth anything at the time, although by the way it’d probably be worth a whole lot now. Somebody made off with it.

 

Anthony Scaramucci: That’s one of the problems with where we are now. We’re in a mature phase. When you got that bitcoin, God only knows, maybe it was worth $50 at that time. The network wasn’t robust. There were competitive cryptocurrencies out there. It wasn’t clear who the winner was going to be in terms of who had the best mousetrap, the best technology. But ultimately bitcoin did, and it scaled.

Weirdly, Trish, I think you’ll get this because you have a lot of experience in the institutional investment community. As I said, about a month ago I was more comfortable with bitcoin at $30,000 a coin than I was at $400 a coin in 2014 because the scale wasn’t there. The network effect wasn’t there. The regulation wasn’t there, and the storage.

Now you lost your coin. It was very hard to figure out a way to store the coins successfully and safely, in my mind, from an institutional perspective back in 2014. But all of that stuff is in place now.

 

Trish Regan:               It’s quite fascinating, and I think that the industry is maturing and will continue to mature. I think that regulators, it’s in their interest to get their head around it. When you see institutions, whether it be SkyBridge, whether it be BlackRock, making these big forays into the space, whether it be Elon Musk and Tesla, there’s an incentive now for people to take it very, very seriously.

Since I have you, Anthony, and it’s a big week indeed in Washington, D.C., what are your thoughts on all this? Do you think we’re going to wind up in a more divided state right now with the theater happening in Washington, D.C.?

 

Anthony Scaramucci: Well, you and I are friends a very long time. We probably have different opinions of the president. I’ve gone through my arc of my relationship with the president where we were social friends, and then we became political colleagues.

Then obviously I worked for him. People remember my 11-day infamous stint working for him, but I really worked for him for over a year and was on his transition team and provided a lot of media advocacy for him even on shows where you were the host.

But for me, what happened with my relationship with him is I thought the erratic behavior – he fired me. No problem, I’m a big boy. I stayed loyal to him for two years after he fired me. But he just got more erratic, in my mind.

And then I was on the Bill Maher show literally defending him. Somebody asked me a question. I said, “Well, geez, I wish the president wouldn’t talk like that.”

And then he decided that he was going to take issue with that and started lighting me up on Twitter, which I thought was bizarre, Trish, because I raised him about $20 million for that campaign, gave him $1 million personally of my hard-earned money, hundreds of hours of media advocacy.

So I then said, “OK, there’s got to be something wrong with him to be doing that.” So I said I could no longer support him if he’s going to act like that. Then he takes the Ted Cruz step. He starts attacking Deidre, who you know. You’ve met Deidre at different events that we’ve been at, my wife.

I’ll tell your listeners this. My wife probably hates him almost as much as Melania hates him, probably in the same league. We almost got divorced as a result of me working for him.

So the notion that he would go after my wife on the presidential Twitter feed, for somebody like me, the way I grew up, the area I grew up in, the community and the culture that I’m from, that’s a nonstarter for somebody like me. And so maybe it isn’t for somebody like Ted Cruz, where I guess he thought that was an OK thing for Trump to do in terms of calling his wife ugly and so forth.

 

Trish Regan:               Well, and then there was his father, right? But Ted Cruz is a politician. You’re not a politician, Anthony.

 

Anthony Scaramucci: No, I’m not a politician. So once he did that, I took the gloves off, and then I basically just plaintively said, “There’s something wrong. He’s going to melt down.” These are my opinions. I know you share different opinions of him.

He mishandled the pandemic, in my mind, which brought a loss of 13 million jobs. If you look at the four years, in my mind he made the country weaker, sicker, and poorer. And then we can debate this, but the evidence is there.

Krebs and I are very close friends. I helped Krebs get hired at the Department of Homeland Security when I was on the transition team. He’s a very honorable guy. Raffensperger, I’m going to be interviewing him on SALT Talks next month, a very honorable guy. He actually voted for Donald Trump. He’s the secretary of state of Georgia.

Nobody saw any evidence of fraud. And so you’ve got different networks now are basically – they’re putting these mini infomercials in their programming saying, “Well, our pundits may have a certain opinion, but we have a totally opinion based on the evidence.” No evidence of fraud, yet the president seemed to suggest – he’s the first person as president in American history that challenged the peaceful transfer of power.

So in my mind, he incited the whole thing. He incited it the morning of January 6, but he really contributed to that incitement from November 3 to January 6.

So I have no patience for that. I love the country. It’s a democratic country. We’ve had this great experiment going for 244 years, and somebody like him should have not been the sore loser that he was. He should have accepted the defeat graciously, but he wasn’t capable of doing that.

Listen, he won’t get convicted. The Republicans don’t have the will to convict him, even though I think there’ll a lot of evidence on display this week that will talk about the contribution that he made to the insurrection in terms of inspiring it.

And then the secondary factor, the Article II of that impeachment is the abuse of power. He’s letting these guys – he’s pardoning people left and right. Again, to be fair to him, he has that right to pardon, but you just have to be super careful about it in terms of conjoining it with your economic interests, which I think that’s also going to be exposed this week.

So I don’t have a lot of patience for it, to be honest, Trish. I spoke my mind. The election is over. Biden is the president now. I want him to be successful.

I’m classically a center-Right person, agnostic on social issues. I laugh at my conservative friends. You guys want a smaller government everywhere except in my bedroom. You want a larger government in my bedroom. I don’t get that.

To me, I think they’ve gone off the rails, and if they don’t come back into something more normal, I think the Republican party is in trouble over the next decade if they don’t fix this.

 

Trish Regan:               I would agree with that assessment, for sure, Anthony. I think that the Republican party indeed is in trouble. They’ve got to find their way. You’ve got these extremes on both sides right now, and I would love to see an extreme in the middle, center-Right, with some fiscal responsibility.

 

Anthony Scaramucci: I am all about that. I couldn’t agree with you more. We have real problems. These problems are not going to be solved by Right-only ideas or Left-only ideas, and I would like these people to stop focusing on left and right, and how about what’s right or wrong for America?

Are they going to do that? Probably not, because their incentives are set up in a way where it doesn’t motivate them to do that. Until we can change these incentives or you get more honorable people in Washington, and that’s not going to happen, you’re going to be in this mess for a very long time.

 

Trish Regan:               Would you ever run?

 

Anthony Scaramucci: Well, as I have said, I’m running for reelection in my marriage, Trish. OK, right now my goal is to stay married. I can’t speak for other people’s marriages, but I could be on a one-day term here. Who the hell knows? For all I know, I could be term-limited and not even realize it.

 

Trish Regan:               Well, I hope you keep that job, for sure. Deidre’s a wonderful woman.

 

Anthony Scaramucci: Well, I appreciate that. I’m the incumbent, so I think I’ve got the advantage. But my point being is I’ve never been a politician. I don’t speak like a politician. I certainly don’t think like one.

And so I’m enjoying returning to SkyBridge and building the business. But the flip side is that I love the country. So we’ll see what happens over the next three to 10 years. Right now I have no plans to do anything.

I also live in New York, and New York is a one-party state. It would be very hard for somebody with my views, my center-Right views on business and so forth.

But then again, the Left has made such a disaster of the city of New York, and if you look at the state budget and the deficit and all that other stuff, who knows? Maybe there’ll be an opportunity where people will say that they want a change in policy or a change in political philosophy. We’ll have to see.

 

Trish Regan:               I want to encourage everyone to follow you on Twitter and to go to SALT.org. They can read and watch your interviews there, the SALT Talks, really great sources of information.

I guess if they’re looking to invest in bitcoin, what is the minimum investment right now? Did I read $50,000?

 

Anthony Scaramucci: Well, we’re taking tranches of $25,000 because it’s a little volatile. We’re telling people if you’re committing $50,000, you can scale in $25,000 at a clip.

But I also do a podcast called Mooch FM, and so I’m going to ask you right here on the air a home and away. I’d love to get you on that podcast so I can do the interviewing, Trish. I would really love to have you on there.

 

Trish Regan:               Well, I will tell you right now here and now on the air I will be there. You just name the date.

 

Anthony Scaramucci: OK, terrific. I’m going to have my producer reach out. There you got it.

 

Trish Regan:               You got it. OK, thank you, Mooch. We’ll talk to you soon.  

 

Anthony Scaramucci: Great to be on with you, Trish.

 

Trish Regan:               There’s so much happening in D.C. this week, and I’m so honored, so thrilled, to have the congressman from Texas, Congressman Babin, on this show, who was a frequent guest with me over the years.

I’m glad to have your perspective, Congressman, at a time like this right now when I think so much is at stake certainly on the political front with impeachment, in terms of the division in this country, but also just when I look at all the things that are happening in Washington, D.C., and all of these executive orders and all of the spending.

I’m sitting here going, “We can’t afford it.” Even Larry Summers knows that. Give me your overall take, because you and I haven’t talked in a while, on what’s really going down right now.

 

Brian Babin:               Well, it’s great to be with you again, Trish. I’ve been missing you, and I’m glad to be on your podcast today. But there is an enormous amount of stuff that is happening in Washington, inside the Beltway, and to me none of it is much good.

I think it bodes ill for the future of America, what this president and his administration are trying to do. The bloated government spending, it’s just incredible. It’s so irresponsible, ruining America’s economic future, quite frankly, and stability for our children and grandchildren in the years to come. We’re going to just continue to try to push back on this.

Quite frankly, the shell bill alone that Democrats have pushed through so that they could get reconciliation, which is a – you know what it is. It’s a parliamentary procedure that basically abolished the 60-vote rule filibuster in the Senate so they can shove this $1.9 trillion COVID package down our throats when less than 20% of the last COVID bill they passed has not been spent yet.

It’s just incredible. I guess you just have to realize that they don’t really – they claim to be seeking unity, but it is just simply belied by their actions.

 

Trish Regan:               Well, I look at it, and you know my background, Congressman, is in business and markets and economics. I look at this, and I say, “Wait a second, it doesn’t really add up because if we continue to just print money and hand out checks – “

Look, I know government needs to be there, right? In times of struggle and in times of pain for people. But nonetheless, what is it, $1,400 this month. What do you do next month and the month after that? And do you run a risk if you are offering so much from the federal government – and by the way, they’re talking about a lot of money.

Back during the Obama years, this may have been too miserly. But the Obama administration was only giving out $25 a week in unemployment benefits. We’re talking about more than 10 times that now, and then you factor in state benefits. And I just question, “Why bother?” At some point you’re like, “Well, what’s the point in going back to work?”

_____ [break in audio] with this $15 minimum wage, which even the CBO is saying is going to result in 1.4 million jobs being lost from our economy by 2025. I’m like, “What are they thinking?”

 

Brian Babin:               You wonder. Of course I represent Texas, 36th. I’ve got more petrochemical refining facilities, ports, infrastructure down here in East Texas, basically from Houston over to Louisiana.

But yesterday I was talking to a New Jersey businessman who is a good supporter and a former military man. He’s got a transportation business, and he was lamenting the fact yesterday that he can’t get his employees to come back to work because they are making too much money because they are incentivized not to work.

Over and over and over again, I was very proud to have voted for the CARES Act, the initial bill that we passed. But now this $1.9 trillion proposal of Biden, it is so chock-full of bloated government things that are going to set time bombs for our economy: the $15-an-hour minimum wage, as you mentioned, the $1,400 stimulus checks, $400 unemployment bonus until the end of 2021. The $15 minimum wage alone could lose 1.5 million to 3.7 million jobs.

It’s just more of a bailout, especially for blue states. Local and state governments run by Democrats have been mismanaged for decades, and we’ve got billions in this package to basically have the American taxpayer bail them out. We just simply can’t afford that.

 

Trish Regan:               I look at some of these energy-rich states, and you think about the shift in policy right now that’s going to make it pretty onerous. You look at the cancellation of the Keystone Pipeline, and I’m like, “This is going to be costly.”

 

Brian Babin:               There is no question about it. Kevin Brady, Chairman Brady, the former Ways and Means chairman, our Minority Leader McCarthy, probably – oh, there were six or eight other members of Congress, one from New Mexico and another one from Oklahoma.

We met at the Port of Houston, which I represent in my district, the 36th District of Texas, and were talking about how devastating these executive orders, the killing of the Keystone Pipeline, and many of these other orders that are just going to kill oil and gas, which will really give us a double whammy here in Texas and especially in my own district.

The infrastructure that we’re getting built to help move many of our energy products around the world, we’re getting all of these set through the Trump administration. We were very successful in getting a lot of these projects.

I guess it’s a good thing because now that we’ve killed this pipeline, one of the safest – in fact, the safest way to move petroleum products and that type of product with a minimum emissions of carbon, less carbon footprint, cheaper, safer is by pipeline.

By killing this Keystone Pipeline, we are going to put thousands of Americans out of work, many of which are union. These are the ones the Democrats brag about creating prosperity for, and these poor folks are going to be thrown out of work. We’re going to have to have an increase in emissions and pollution to ship these products to and from Canada to our ports in the United States. It’s going to be dirtier.

We’re going to become more dependent upon Russia, upon the Saudi Arabians, on the Iranians, Middle Eastern oil and gas products. America under Trump had just achieved energy independence. We were there. We were the largest exporter in the world.

Now these executive orders are going to really hurt us, and we’ve got to make sure that we push back on this and save – we’ve got to save our economy, without question, Trish.

 

Trish Regan:               Congressman, are you worried that this impeachment is going to lead to further division in America right now?

 

Brian Babin:               It is an absolute – just a travesty of justice to be seeing this. It’s going to never result in any kind of unification of this country, which is so divided right now. The Democrats are absolutely obsessed with destroying our president. They have been for four years.

They need to remember that they won’t always be in power. The things that they have been doing I think are going to be very damaging to them and to the country as a whole, but it will come back and bite them as well.

I’ll tell you the impeachment is a waste of time. Trump is not going to be convicted here if things stay the way they are today, and I think they likely will. And so the Democrats know this. They’re still continuing to drag America through another sham impeachment without due process, without really real witnesses.

The president we know did not incite that riot. He was still talking at the time the riot was occurring. He said they will peacefully go down and protest, patriotically and peacefully. Sen. Leahy is going to make history as the first person to preside over an impeachment as both judge and juror. Give me a break, Democrats. This is not going to help America.

 

Trish Regan:               Congressman Brian Babin of Texas, thank you so much for joining us today. Rep. Brian Babin, @RepBrianBabin, they can follow you on Twitter. I so appreciate your time and your perspective.

And I want to remind everybody to go to americanconsequences.com, where you can read more of my writing and hear more of these podcasts, and I’ll see you every day on trishintel.com as well.

It’s so good to have you listening to this show. Remember, this is where you’re going to hear the truth, and the truth is really important at a time like this. I’ll see you next week here and tomorrow on Trish Intel.

 

Announcer:                 Thank you for listening to this episode of American Consequences. Want more Trish? Read her weekly articles Thursdays in our magazine at americanconsequences.com, and subscribe for free to get all of our daily articles and the monthly magazine.

We’d love to hear from you, too. Send Trish a note, [email protected]

This broadcast is for entertainment purposes only and should not be considered personalized investment advice. Trading stocks and all other financial instruments involves risk. You should not make any investment decision based solely on what you hear.

Trish Regan’s American Consequences is produced by Stansberry Research and American Consequences, and is copyrighted by the Stansberry Radio Network.

 

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