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We’ve Reached Peak Biden.

Episode #39  |  June 9th, 2021
Listen Now

In This Episode:

Inflation nation, here we come! Have you seen oil prices lately, America? We may be heading to $100 a barrel soon — and it’s not just at the pump that you’re noticing this surge in asset costs: food and lumber prices are soaring as well. Listen, our economy is finally improving but can it continue with the dampening effect of the Fed’s recklessness and Biden’s socialist spending agendas? With the dust from the pandemic settling and the self-induced economic wounds of lockdowns slowly healing, all we need now is simple: for the government to step out of the way. 

Renowned economist and author Stephen Moore returns with a searing take on Joe Biden and the financial landscape: with the President’s Bernie Sanders’ governing style experiencing pushback from moderate Democrats, it’s clear the markets never took Uncle Joe seriously from the beginning.

The two also discuss the absurdity of America’s labor shortage, the minimum global corporate tax, and the Left’s undying distrust of Big Business. 

Guests:

Stephen Moore

Stephen Moore co-founded and served as president of the Club for Growth from 1999 to 2004. Moore is a former member of the Wall Street Journal editorial board. He worked at the Heritage Foundation during the period from 1983 to 1987 and again since 2014. Moore advised Herman Cain's 2012 presidential campaign and Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign. Moore advocates tax cuts and other supply-side policies. Moore's columns have appeared in outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, The Weekly Standard and National Review. Along with Larry Kudlow, Moore advised the Trump administration during the writing and passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Episode Extras:

  • The Labor Department cites 9.3 million job openings in America, the same as the entire workforce of Ohio and Indiana combined. And surreally, the U.S. unemployment stats are almost identical, floating around 10 million. 
  • According to Stephen Moore, the free money hemorrhaging out of Washington isn’t just giving Americans a safety net — it’s giving them a hammock.
  • Many thought that at this point, Joe Biden would have packed the Supreme Court, eradicated the filibuster, and been responsible for the most staggering tax increase in history. But his FDR 2.0-Bernie-Sanders-lite routine isn’t garnering support from moderate Dems — Wall Street’s wise to this and acting accordingly. 
  • Just as the Right is always wary of Big Government, the Left will always be suspicious of Big Business. These seemingly irreconcilable differences equate to deadlock in Congress and feeding partisan culture wars. 
  • Instead of kowtowing to Janet Yellen’s call for a global minimum corporate tax of 15%, America should push forward with the most competitive tax rate. Otherwise, China keeps laughing at us. 

Transcript:

Trish Regan:               Inflation Nation is here. Have you seen the data points? Have you seen oil prices? Oh my gosh, I did a big story on this, you need to check it out at americanconsequences.com. I did a big story on how we could very soon be looking at $100 oil. All of this has a massive inflationary effect, and it’s going to hurt us where it hurts.

 

                                    Hello, everyone, welcome to American Consequences With Trish Regan. I am Trish, and anywhere you turn now, it seems you’re looking at inflationary levels, whether it’s out in Mendocino, California, where you’re paying upward of $6 a gallon – can you imagine, in gas? Or anywhere else in the country where they’re now struggling with, increasingly, $3 or $4 a gallon gasoline…  where we’re looking increasingly at higher wages if you can find anyone to work… where you’re looking at higher food prices… and where you’re looking at higher prices for just about everything. We’ve talked about a 300% increase in the price of lumber, so good luck if you’re buying a home or building a home these days.

 

                                    Look, the reality is, our economy – and this is the good news – we are improving. We are in much better shape than we have – I mean, you’d have to go all the way back to pre-pandemic levels to see the success of what we’re now witnessing. The question is, can it continue, given the inflationary concerns? I mean, at some point, that really does act as a dampening effect, right? When you have those higher energy costs, when you have those higher food costs, when you have those higher labor costs, how can you keep growing? Everything should – you know, normally, come into some kind of balance, right? Supply/demand equation at work.

 

                                    And yet, when you have a Federal Reserve that keeps on printing money, that isn’t worried about these inflation levels, and somehow, just thinks that this can go on through – what, they’re talking 2024, 2023 – well, then you have the makings of additional trouble for prices. And they’re everything that consumers consume.

 

                                    So, when we think about the success of the economy right now, we have to also keep in mind what our government is doing. On the Biden front – I mean, look, I don’t think he’s going to be able to get through any of these programs that he’s so enthusiastic about. He may have to wait until 2022, and that’s another reason why it’s critical that Americans elect adults. I don’t care, from either side of the aisle, I will take as many Joe Manchins as we can get from the Democrat party who are standing up for American values, including the American value of capitalism. But, between now and then, it doesn’t look like he’s going to get a lot of his spending through, which brings us right back to the Federal Reserve, and the Federal Reserve kind of seeing themselves as the only game in town.

 

                                    Look, we went through this in the Obama/Biden years. The Fed really was the only game in town, because outside of the $800 billion stimulus that Biden had – which, by the way, doesn’t that almost feel quaint, now? Eight hundred billion, when you’re talking about 1.9 trillion, and the hope of 6 trillion? Eight hundred billion really does feel quaint. Anyway, it was 800 billion to nowhere, it was really poorly allocated, it didn’t quite work, and we didn’t see the boost that we should’ve gotten in our economy. And so, the Fed played a very active role – and continues to play a very, very active role.

 

                                    But here’s the good news, right? We’re not dealing with a systemic crisis. This is very different than 2008 because the coronavirus crisis is all sort of self-induced, right? And now we have the vaccines, and so, people can get out and about once again, but I say self-induced because we shut ourselves down instead of thinking more strategically about what could be open and what couldn’t be open and really, you know, hurting small business owners in the process. We did that to ourselves.

 

                                    Well, the good news is, it’s over, it’s done with. Now, we can get back to work, and people indeed are going back, and they’re consuming – which Americans do so well, right? Americans are great consumers, if nothing else. And so, as much as people thought, “Oh, you know, they’re going to change their spending habits, things will never quite be the same.” No. You know what? people have short memories. Things are sort of getting back to being the same – that is, you know, if you can get the services, if you can go out to eat, because restaurants are so crowded and don’t have enough in the way of the labor force right now to actually meet all the demand we’re seeing.

 

                                    Anyway, people are going back out and so, that is acting as a natural boost to our economy, and therefore, should be a natural boost, a good boost to profits, etc. Which means if we can get this kind of growth that we need and that we want, it can help to justify higher asset prices in the markets, because you should theoretically have that much more profitability, etc.

 

                                    But what happens when inflation starts to get out of control? Deutsche Bank actually had a very interesting note this week on it, and Deutsche Bank worries – or is worried and did warn about this effective time bomb, being inflation… a “global time bomb” was actually how they specifically referred to it as. And I think that there’s some truth in that… In that, if we allow this inflation to get out of control – and it will be, it will be out of control because the Fed isn’t going to do anything – then that will have a dampening effect on growth. I mean, think about it – at some point, you have to keep charging more and more and more for those goods as a producer because you’re paying much, much more for goods, or your profitability margins get reduced significantly.

 

                                    And then what does the Fed do, I mean, once inflation really starts to kick in? My advice would be to be a little bit more anticipatory. I mean, unfortunately, the Federal Reserve, I’ve said this before, they’re always a day late and a dollar short. They always come to the table ready to act at the last possible moment. And so, they’ll leave rates too low for too long, and then they’ll raise them too fast, and they’ll raise them and they’ll keep them elevated when they shouldn’t. And so, it creates these unnatural flows in the economy… flows that really, we could, in my view, even out if we had a Fed that was more anticipatory, or maybe just no Fed at all. [Laughter] That’s the other solution, right? It’s just “Go back to the gold standard and be done with them.” Anyway, that’s an extreme that’s not really going to happen, although I realize there’s some support for it.

 

                                    But knowing that we have this body of Federal Reserve governors, why can’t they be more productive and anticipatory? Why is it that they’re always so darn late? If they could just look at the data that we all see – I mean, I see it, I’ve been talking about $75 to $100 oil since January and gosh darn, look at it… we’re in that range, we’re heading into that range, oil just topping $70 a barrel. And the traders at the NYMEX are all putting $100 options on oil now because the expectation is, it will be there before the end of the year. It’s sort of baked in, and yet, the Fed doesn’t want to recognize it until, dare I say, it’s too late.

 

                                    And so, consequently, I worry about the market right now in this environment. You want to be invested, right? Because you want to be able to capture some of that inflationary pressure. If you’re not in the markets, where are you going to be, right? You want to be in assets that are going to capture that inflation, but you also have to be extraordinarily careful, because at some point, this will start to turn.

 

                                    Coming up, we’re going to be talking with Steve Moore, the wonderful economist. He actually was on the Trump team and Trump advisory team for the economy and did a phenomenal job with the former president in terms of helping to get through those lower tax rates – less regulation. He on shored so much money in capital.

 

                                    They’re talking about doing the exact opposite right now… think about it, right? They want to raise taxes to 15% all across the world. Instead of saying, “Well, maybe we should be more competitive here,” the idea is, “Let’s make everybody else less competitive.” How does that make any sense in the world at all? Janet Yellen speaking at G7 in London over the weekend, talking about a global race to the bottom in corporate taxes. Listen to her here…

 

 

Janet Yellen:               For too long, there has been a global race to the bottom in corporate taxes, where countries compete by lowering their tax rates instead of the well-being of their citizens and natural environments.

 

Trish Regan:               [Laughter] OK! You know, why not just say Ireland was smart? Ireland came up with 12.5% tax and guess what? Got a ton of business as a result. I mean, why can’t the United States of America be the most competitive place on the tax front?

 

                                    Don’t forget, the year that President Trump lowered taxes for businesses, for individuals, we had the highest tax revenue ever – ever! I mean, it was a historic high. Because, again, you know, just put incentives in the right place and you suddenly get people’s behavior affected in positive ways.

 

                                    But she believes, somehow, everybody is trying to outdo each other in terms of these lower taxes and she doesn’t want to partake in that, so it’s somehow this global race to the bottom. So, the alternative, she says, is to just tax everyone.

 

Janet Yellen:               G7 has taken significant steps this weekend to end the existing harmful dynamic, making commitments today that provide tremendous momentum toward achieving a robust global minimum tax at a rate of at least 15%. That global minimum tax would end the race to the bottom in corporate taxation and ensure fairness for the middle class and working people in the U.S. and around the world.

 

Trish Regan:               OK, but here’s the problem with that – how are you going to get every country to sign on? I mean, you’ve got your wealthy, Western democracies by way of the G7 that we have an informal agreement now, they’re agreeing that they want to do this, but how are you going to get everyone else? Really? I mean, what about Guatemala? Guatemala, where Kamala Harris wants more investment, they’re saying – if they’re smart – “Well, why don’t I offer a more competitive rate?” Right? So, if Guatemala offers 6% and Kamala Harris is saying, “Please, American companies, come spend your money here down in Guatemala and Honduras and the Northern Triangle,” then, if companies do that, I guess it helps those countries.

 

                                    So, we’re going to leave Western democracies at a disadvantage? By the way, if I’m China, I’m loving this, right? I’m like, “Oh, great, let them do all the taxes they want. We’ll do what we can to preserve our own economy.”

 

                                    So, a global minimum tax, I don’t think that’s the answer. I mean, not to mention, how presumptuous is it, really, of us to say, “Well, we – we are here and we want to keep being here, so therefore, we’re going to require all of you to charge a minimum of 15%.” I mean, if I’m Ireland, I’m not liking that one single bit. Ireland with 12.5% tax has seen enormous economic success as a result of its policies. And shouldn’t every country be afforded the opportunity to be competitive on that front? The idea that the U.S. is somehow going to rule the world in terms of taxes is pretty bizarre. I mean, you want to talk about globalist, right? This is full-on globalist-type talk.

 

                                    Anyway, let’s get back home to the U.S. of A. where – wow, I mean, we are starting to see the economy open up in a really tremendous way. We’re starting to see things come back to life, people go back to work, but not everybody’s gone back to work, right? That’s been an issue, one of the things that I know Steve Moore wants to talk about, because he and Casey Mulligan, the economist at UChicago have been doing tremendous work in this field, looking at how much you can make just by staying home, not going anywhere. Uncle Joe wants you, remember, to stay home on the couch. I wrote about this in last week’s americanconsequences.com.

 

                                    Anyway, joining me right now, the tremendous economist, my very good friend, he was an economic adviser to President Trump, was successful in helping to reduce the tax rate for corporations and individuals all across the country, my friend, economist Steve Moore. It’s so good to have you on the program again.

 

Stephen Moore:          Hiya, Trish! It’s so good to be with you again.

 

Trish Regan:               So, what the heck is going on? I mean, I, maybe one of the few along with you that actually worries about things like inflation, and when I look at what’s going on in terms of the economy – which is looking pretty decent if you ask me, but naturally it should, Steve – given what we went through, I’m seeing some signs of inflation, and I don’t think the Fed or, frankly, the federal government, really cares. What’s your take?

 

Stephen Moore:          I guess my response would be they are asleep at the switch. [Laughter] They are not really looking at what’s happening in real America. I hear Jerome Powell and others on the Federal Reserve board saying, “Oh, well, this inflation is temporary, it’s going to go away in a few months,” but I sure pray that they’re right. But I’m very dubious about that. I think that it’s – you look at what’s happening with gas prices, you look at food prices – I don’t know, the other day, I went online to make some summer travel plans and looked at some airline prices, I couldn’t believe, Trish, how much airline prices have gone up.

 

                                    So, you just see, in just about everything, try to get a construction crew. Try to buy some lumber. Look at restaurant prices, they’re rising.

 

Trish Regan:               I just wanted to throw a kid’s birthday party. I can’t even do that, Steve, [Laughter] because there’s no one around to work. Nobody wants to come to work. I mean, they’re going to have to raise wages, I guess, at this point. Maybe that’s what Biden actually wants, but I would think at some point, if you raise wages because there’s no one available, you’re going to have to pass those costs on to consumers, along with, yes, the higher costs of everything, aren’t you?

 

Stephen Moore:          You are, and I’m so glad you brought up this issue of the labor shortage because just recently, the Labor Department estimated that there are now 9.3 million job openings in America, Trish, 9.3 million. You know, that’s basically the equivalent of all the workers in Ohio and Indiana combined. That’s how many job openings there are in this country.

 

                                    And why is it happening? Because we’re paying so much in benefits now – unemployment benefits, supplemental unemployment benefits, $3,000-per-child cash payments, enhanced food stamps, rental assistance. All of this free money that’s just pouring out of Washington, and people are not going back to work. And all you see all over the country, from California to Maine, including the little village I live in, in Maryland, is “help wanted” signs. These small businesses are desperate – desperate – to get workers back. Some of the restaurants where I live are closed down because they can’t get the kitchen help.

 

                                    And this is amazing because we still have 10 million unemployed people. You know, we’re coming out of a recession, we can’t get people on the job. I mean, you can’t make this stuff up. Our study, Trish, estimates that, if you’ve got a family of four, two unemployed parents in a state like Maryland or Massachusetts or New York, they can get annualized benefits, the wage equivalent of about $100,000 a year. I mean, that’s crazy! That’s not a safety net, I mean, you know, that’s a hammock! Come on! I mean, I’m in favor of a safety net for people who lose their jobs, but how is it fair, Trish, that people who are working are now making less money than people who are staying at home watching Netflix?

 

Trish Regan:               It’s almost like they should have a poster of “Joe Biden wants you to sit home and do nothing,” right? Or Uncle Joe, like Uncle Sam, wants you to stay at home and do nothing. That’s sort of how it feels.

 

                                    I’m looking, by the way, because I get your e-mail every day, “The Unleash Prosperity Hotline,” and you know, you’ve gone through, you and your colleague, Casey Mulligan at UChicago, the economist, you’ve equated to what this actually, the annualized payment equates to in hourly wages. And basically, people have got to offer one heck of an hourly wage – businesses do – to get anybody to come back to work because as long as those unemployment benefits are there, it doesn’t make any sense.

 

Stephen Moore:          You are so right about that. And so, you know, what’s really – and we found, in some cases, you can get the equivalent of a $35 an hour for not working, and that’s just ridiculous. And by the way, the people being creamed by this, just crushed, are not, you know, Walmart… and not Amazon and not Target and the big companies. It’s the small businesses, the little hardware stores, the little mom and pop stores, the little construction firms with 10 or 15 or 20 workers.

 

                                    They’re getting crushed because they can’t – now, all my liberal friends want to say, “Oh, yeah, all the companies are going to have to raise their wages,” but these are businesses that were flattened by the pandemic, you know, they have almost no revenues. A restaurant has very small margins, profit margins to begin with, and then they have to have all these extra costs loaded on them. And I love these politicians in Washington who’ve never run a business in their life telling small businesses how to operate. [Laughter]

 

Trish Regan:               Yeah, no, forget about it. And I see it everywhere I am as well, in sort of the New England area where these small businesses, these small restaurants, you know, you go in and you’ll just – you know, I grew to expect it now. You’ll wait and you’ll wait and you’ll wait because they may have only one waiter or one – you know, the other day they said to me, “Well, the manager’s also the bartender and also the waiter” and, you know, it was a big, full restaurant and they were working their tails off. But they just don’t have any help, and I get it, and the economic implications of this are pretty severe.

 

Stephen Moore:          You know, one of the things I’ve done throughout this pandemic, and I’d urge other people to do it is, you know, the heroes of the economy are those people who continue to work through this – the people in nursing homes and the people who are working at the hospitals and the nurses and the delivery people and the waiters. And so, I’m increasing my tips, because they’re the ones who are really the heroes. Meanwhile, the guy next door sitting on the couch is making almost more money.

 

                                    But I don’t understand why 25 states have not gotten rid of these extra benefits. We had the extra benefits when we lost 25 million jobs during the pandemic. But Trish, the pandemic is over. COVID is over, businesses are reopening. Everywhere you go, you see people out. You see people out at stores now, you see them in the malls, you see them in the restaurants. In a lot of restaurants, people are lined up outside the door, because they don’t have the help to service all the tables.

 

                                    It’s just, it’s a real crisis, and it’s a crisis that was made by – this isn’t a natural disaster, this is not a pandemic. This is a crisis that was made in Washington.

 

Trish Regan:               Don’t even get me started on that, because I couldn’t agree with you more wholeheartedly. Look, I mean, we did this to ourselves, we shut ourselves down, we closed off – I mean, think of a generation of kids, Steve… lost. In Chicago, they’re still not back in school full-time. I mean, my gosh, I hope they go back by the fall! But it shows you the power of the unions, it shows you the power of Big Government, and how detrimental that can be.

 

                                    I’m reminded of our friend, Amity Shlaes, when she wrote The Forgotten Man and all the policies that were put in place in the FDR years, Steve, that basically prevented the country from doing what it knew how to do best, you know, if you just got government out of the way. Are there some similarities with what we’re going through now? And then second part of that question is, does any of this go through? You know, Joe Biden, the $6 Trillion Man, is asking for the moon. Thank God we’ve got some grownups in the room – Joe Manchin, hats off to him – does he get it?

 

Stephen Moore:          So, you know, I get asked all the time, you know, why is the stock market doing so well if we’re doing so many dumb things in Washington? And I think the answer to that is that No. 1, you know, we’ve got the vaccine, which overrides everything, and that’s been an incredible miracle, and it’s so awesome to see, you know, people back – most people back on the job and businesses reopening.

 

                                    And here’s what’s going on, I think, Trish, with respect to the markets and the economy. I think that the markets have figured out that we’ve reached what I call “peak Biden.” [Laughter] And what I mean by that is, I think Biden has really stalled out. I think that, you know, three months ago when you and I talked, we were so worried about, “Oh, they’re going to pack the Supreme Court, they’re going to get rid of the filibuster, they’re going to make Washington, D.C. a state, they’re going to, you know, pass a $22 trillion increase in the debt over 10 years, they’re going to have the biggest tax increase ever.”

 

                                    But now, you look at it, and there’s not a lot of support in that. I mean, even some of the moderate Democrats – you mentioned Joe Manchin – but a lot of others are starting to hear from their constituents, saying, “Hey, we didn’t sign up for this. We didn’t want to bankrupt our country. You know, we didn’t want the biggest tax increase in history. We didn’t want the death tax to go up and our capital gains tax to go up.”

 

                                    And so, I think there’s a lot of opposition now to what Biden is doing, and that’s a good thing because all we need right now to make the economy grow is just to get the government out of the way. Just stop. You know, stop spending and borrowing, taxing and regulating, and shutting down our energy and the economy will be just fine. It doesn’t need any help now.

 

Trish Regan:               Interesting. Interesting, Steve. You know, there were a lot of people that said not long ago, you know, I think a lot of people voted for Joe Biden because they thought they were getting Mr. Nice Guy and he was going to keep the status quo and the economy would do great and the stock market would do great and we didn’t have to worry about the sort of up and down nature of the Trump news cycle, right? So, they wanted to get away from that.

 

                                    And so, I think a lot of people that might have otherwise voted Republican or maybe were in the middle just threw up their hands and said, “OK, you know, we’re going to go with Joe Biden.” And all of a sudden, they woke up and they’re like, “Wait, what? Who did I elect? This guy’s a socialist? He’s talking about doing what?”

 

                                    And so, there’s been this big backlash. There are some in the market that I think maybe just never bought it, to begin with. I mean, even when you look at the market taking this news of a 15% global tax in stride, it strikes me, Steve, that people don’t believe it. They’re kind of like, “Yeah, like the Europeans are really going to get it together? I mean, France has 31% tax, Ireland has 12.5% tax. You really think they’re all going to agree to 15%? I mean, are we really going to see everybody eventually come on board with that at G7?” Just, like, are we really going to see him get what he wants here? I mean, he’s already retreated on the tax thing, for corporate taxes, anyway.

 

Stephen Moore:          Yeah, so, I think that’s right, and I think – you know, remember, during the debates, Joe Biden kept saying, “You know, it’s me, Joe Biden, it’s not Bernie Sanders.” And I thought, “Well, wait a minute, from what I see so far, he’s been to the left of Bernie Sanders in terms of this agenda.” And I think people are kind of capped out on this.

 

                                    You know, I saw Biden give a little brief statement the other day, and he was talking about how well the economy is doing, and we are getting these businesses back up and running. And I thought, “Yeah, that’s true, Joe, but you know, this is because of the vaccine.” And, you know, if Biden were – I mean, I’m sorry, if Donald Trump were president today, I think we’d see this economy so strong. I mean, it would be like a rocket ship. And so, it frustrates me, because I was an adviser to Trump and he didn’t do everything right, but when it came to the economy, he really knew what he was doing.

 

                                    And look, this is – a mutual friend, Larry Kudlow, put out a release yesterday saying, “This is the Trump V-shaped recovery, and the only thing that’s inhibiting it is all these new regulations and talk of all these new taxes and debt.”

 

Trish Regan:               Yeah, no, and listen, talk can be threatening. Because, to your point, you could be doing a whole lot better if businesses felt like there was going to be, you know, more of a path forward. I mean, the hiring thing is a big issue.

 

                                    The other thing that I think is a big issue, though, is inflation, and I’m curious to get your take on that. Because, as the economy recovers, if the Federal Reserve is not able to really actively move forward, raise rates at the appropriate time, taper a bit without seeing a full-on temper tantrum from the markets, then what happens? I mean, have they boxed themselves, in your view, into too much of a corner? And I hate to say this, but maybe even for political reasons?

 

Stephen Moore:          Well, that’s a complicated question. Definitely, as we talked about earlier, we are definitely seeing higher consumer prices, no question about it. The Fed does feel that it can box this in, and I hope they’re right.

 

                                    You know, the biggest thing is, when it comes to this potential – you know, because you and I lived through, well, you’re maybe a little younger than I am, but I lived through the 1970s when prices went up and up and up all the time and every time you went to the store, you know, a new sticker price is on everything. And I saw the detrimental effects of that because it’s a tax on low-income people, that’s what inflation is.

 

                                    Now, the real question is, what should we do to stop inflation from raging, and the first thing is, stop borrowing – you know, this idea of another $2 trillion spending bill, unpaid for, would be a disaster, a catastrophe. I mean, you think we’ve got inflation now, wait until we print $2 trillion more money, Trish. I mean, that’s going to cause prices to go through the roof.

 

                                    So, again, if Congress would just stop, you know? [Laughter] They’re acting like we’re at the beginning of the pandemic – no, we’re at the end of the pandemic. It’s over. You know, we just need to get the government out of the way. I mean, I can’t say that enough, because there’s natural healing powers in the free market system. You and I believe that.

 

Trish Regan:               I do, and I think that, you know, if you look at the states, there’s some conservative-led states with conservative governors that have said, “You know what? We’re putting an end – an early end – to the unemployment benefits offered by the Federal Reserve,” which, by the way, Steve, are a lot, right? I mean, they used to offer $25 in federal unemployment during the 2006, you know, debacle during Obama’s years, and now we’re offering $300. So, just think about that, right? [Laughter] Plus state benefits as well.

 

                                    So, some conservative states, red states, have come out and said, “We’re not going to do this anymore.” And just the threat of that, I think, has really incentivized a lot of people to get back into the workforce. You know, but right now, it looks like it’s going to continue through September. Do you think that Biden is going to be able to pull back, come September?

 

Stephen Moore:          Well, first of all, I think there’s a lot of pressure, given these new numbers that have come out, on how many unfilled jobs there are. I think there’s a lot of pressure to immediately, Congress should immediately suspend that bill. And we’re not saying get rid of unemployment insurance, just these supplemental benefits. And that would be the best thing we could do for the economy right now and to help the small businesses.

 

                                    And why aren’t – you know, Trish, you have to explain this to me. Why won’t New York, why won’t Connecticut, why won’t Massachusetts, why won’t my home state of Illinois, why won’t Pennsylvania, Michigan, Oregon, Washington state – why won’t they suspend these benefits when we now know that they are completely unnecessary and having a damaging effect? Maybe it’s just they love spending money. I just don’t get it, because it’s clear as the nose on your and my face that these are hurting – and look, polls showed 80% of Americans agree with us on this.

 

Trish Regan:               Steve, you know – look, this is what’s so troubling. They don’t care about business. They don’t like business. There’s a fundamental disconnect between the left and the right on this, and it really bothers me. Because I try to look at things as sensibly as humanly possible, right? Which means you want growth, because the more we can grow our economy, the better off we all are, etc.

 

                                    But they really have a fundamental lack of trust, even in small business owners. And small business owners are the lifeblood of this economy. I’m sorry, they just are. I mean, this is what the American engine is. And so, if you don’t like business, to me, you don’t like America.

 

                                    And so, this is kind of what’s at play. I mean, they would rather keep people dependent on government as opposed to quote-unquote dependent, if you see it that way, on business for a job.

 

Stephen Moore:          The way I put it, and I agree with what you said, I put it slightly differently, that you’ve got this kind of unholy alliance right now between big business, big labor, and big government. And, you know, they are trying to shut out the small businesses, they’re trying to shut out the little guy, you know, the people who are working for themselves or set out a shingle and have a little business, and they did great.

 

                                    You know, think about this. Everything we did during the pandemic, it benefited the big guys like Amazon and, you know, the Walmarts of the world. And now, the policies are still benefiting the big guys. Because look, if you’ve got 80,000 employees, you can afford those costs and higher wages. If you’ve got eight workers and you’ve got a thin profit margin, you go out of business if you have to pay these exorbitant wages.

 

                                    So, I don’t know. I’m very frustrated by this, too. And you put it so well, Trish – they are, they are the spinal cord of our economy is those men and women who heroically, you know, and those are the last people to get paid, right? They only get paid if all the payrolls are paid, all the bills are paid. There might be a little bit of money left over – that’s what the small businessman and woman get. And, you know, I’m so sick and tired of people, “Oh, those are the rich people,” you know? No, those are the people who put their grit and their heart and soul into making those businesses possible.

 

Trish Regan:               Yeah, no, I mean, and that’s the reality of what – you know, look, the Democrat Party, in my view, has gotten so away from its foundation. I mean, they have sort of forgotten about the worker that is so vital to making this whole American economy succeed, and that small business owner that is so vital.

 

                                    I know I just have a few minutes left with you, so I’ve got to get your take on this 15% global tax, because I’m really struck by the fact that right now, the way it seems, you know, they talk about going after big tech, but one of the biggest big techs of them all, Amazon, isn’t going to have to pay this. Your thoughts?

 

Stephen Moore:          Well, first of all, I think it is so dispiriting that the country that should be the land of the free and the country that was started on the premise of low taxes when we had the Boston Tea Party, now we’re going around to the rest of the world and telling other countries to raise their taxes? I mean, it is just – it’s really dispiriting.

 

                                    I mean, we should be – and by the way, this gets to the point of these poorer countries usually use a lower tax rate as a way to get more business. I mean, the lowest tax country in the world today is Ireland. They’ve done very well with their 12.5% corporate tax rate. Well, you know, why don’t we do that? [Laughter] Instead of raising the corporate tax rate, why don’t we cut our corporate tax rate, and all the businesses – and when we did the, remember, the repatriation tax, Trish, when we said to businesses, “You bring your money back to the United States, we’ll charge you 10% and reinvest it here in America,” we brought almost a trillion and a half dollars back to the United States. It was amazing, it was like a magnet! And that led to incredible numbers of new businesses, it led to a surplus of jobs, it was big wage increases, as we had more investment in this country.

 

                                    So, why do we want to be raising our tax rates? That makes us less competitive. I’m a big fan of putting America first, and one way to do that is to keep our tax rates low.

 

Trish Regan:               We talk talking with Steve Moore, he is host of Moore Money on WABC radio. He has a wonderful program on Newsmax with FreedomWorks over the weekend. You’ve got to follow him on Twitter, you’ve got to subscribe to “The Hotline,” the American Center for Prosperity. Where can we go to get that Hotline? I’ve actually signed up a bunch of friends on my own because [Laughter] I get the e-mail in my inbox and there’s a section, I know, where you can sign additional people up, but where do people go? What’s the main site?

 

Stephen Moore:          Committee to Unleash Prosperity, and just you know, a click on the button addition gives us your e-mail – we’ll send it to you for free. Great to be with you, love what you do. I want you on my show again next weekend.

 

Trish Regan:               I would love to come, Stephen. I just want to say, about that, I get a lot of e-mails, it is one of the best. American Consequences, a tremendous e-mail as well, but if you want sort of quick hits of the day on the economic front, you can get a lot of fantastic information from Steve.

 

                                    I appreciate you so much, sir, coming on the program. Love having you, as always, and I look forward to seeing you on  yours.

 

Stephen Moore:          OK. Thanks, Trish. Have a great weekend. Take care.

 

Trish Regan:               Always great to talk to Steve. I really have appreciated his perspective. We’ve been very good friends for at least 20 years, and he comes at economics and investment with such sensibility. And really, you know, that’s what we need more of right now. I’d like to get away from some of the partisan insanity, because to me, you know, we should all be after the common goal of seeing this economy grow and making sure that more and more Americans can prosper.

 

                                    I was reading some quotes the other day and some really terrific ones. Man, one of my favorites actually was Ronald Reagan saying the following. He said, “The scariest words in the English language are, ‘I’m the government, and I’m here to help.’” [Laughter] I loved that. But another one that you all know is JFK talking about, you know, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”

 

                                    And I thought about that because that was, it seems, the Democrat party of yesteryear, and it really should be a sensibility that I think is carried through both parties, right? Because, again, we want economic prosperity. We need everybody to be invested. We want businesses to grow. We’re not anti-small business – we shouldn’t be, anyway. That’s not our foundation, those are not our roots.

 

                                    And so, finding a way to get back to our capitalist roots, that’s something that’s really important right now. I fear that, increasingly in this polarized environment, we’ve gotten too extreme on both sides, right? There’s a populist element on both sides. I will stay say – and by the way, I encourage you to read the magazine, theamericanconsequences.com. You can go there, of course, read all the articles. But there’s a terrific magazine article – I’m talking my own book here because I wrote it and it’s the cover piece coming up for the month of June. But it’s looking at the Republican party and the need for this soul-searching. Because the policies of the MAGA movement in the way of economic policies, I think, were really spot-on – lower taxes, less regulation, let’s look out for the American worker, let’s look out for the American economy.

 

                                    These are values that need to continue within the Republican Party, regardless of whether Trump is there or not. And I’d like to see values like this embraced in the Democrat party. Unfortunately, it’s the AOC, Bernie Sanders, squad-style socialism that is the cause du jour, and that’s a dangerous path for the country. As you heard Steve and I talk about, I don’t think that Joe Biden is going to be successful in a lot of the policy issues that he’s trying to put forward, and that’s actually good news. That’s very, very good news.

 

                                    But it’s still a few years to go until 2024, and anything can happen, and 2022 is right around the corner. It’s important that Americans, regardless of their sort of political polarization, I think, try and remember what’s really important. And that’s that we want… to see  everybody succeed, right? And everybody have equal access to opportunity. We’re not going to be able to guarantee their outcomes, but we sure as heck ought to be able to help offer better opportunities to every American. Meaning, you know, the kids in Chicago, just because you grow up on the South Side of Chicago, shouldn’t mean that you don’t get the chance to go to school during the pandemic while kids in some wealthy New England suburb are back in school. That’s not right.

 

                                    We need to put more pressure on politicians, in general, to do what’s right for the economic health of the people. I firmly believe that, and you know that’s one of the things that we’re devoted to at the magazine. So, again, please make sure to go to americanconsequences.com, sign up, get our e-mails. Steve’s are great, [Laughter] ours might be a little better – again, I’m talking my book – but ours are really tremendous in the way of the insight that you will get. So, I look forward to seeing you there.

 

                                    I look forward to seeing you again on this podcast next week, americanconsequences.com, signing off. For all of you, have a terrific weekend, I’m Trish Regan.

 

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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