tv Washington Journal Dan Meuser CSPAN July 26, 2019 11:18am-11:45am EDT
which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. sit ncicap.org] host: we'll be live again from capitol hill in about 40 minutes at noon eastern. gerry nadler, the chair of the house judiciary committee, will hold a briefing focusing back on the hearings this week with the former special counsel, robert mueller. that's live coming up today at noon on c-span. as we wait for that, more from today's "washington journal." continues. "w" host: another member of the budget committee joining us also from pennsylvania, this is dan meuser, republican joining us for a discussion on yesterday's vote. good morning to you. guest: good morning. host: why did you vote for the bill? guest: it was a tough vote.
there were many reasons, many issues i had with it. i think we are in a fiscal crisis as we continue to spend in. than we bring we have issues with discretionary and nondiscretionary spending. this bill, after weighing all considerations and sides of it, it is basically a $49 billion increase from one year to the next. $22 billion of it goes to our military, $9 billion goes to our veterans. it also has a provision providing for its ability with no restrictions for border security, $7 billion or $8 billion that could be used to secure our borders, for deterrence, asylum and detention centers and care. weighing all of that and seeing that as probably the best deal that we could get, and actually in discussion with leadership,
democrat members and republican members, and also president trump -- i spoke with him yesterday morning, and he made those points clear. so we thought it would be something i would be supportive of. so i was affirmative and i voted increase.iling host: how do you make the case then for the long-term effects it will have on debt and deficit? 2000: well, since the year really since 9/11,, we have been taking place, deficits have gone up, the debt has gone up $22 trillion in the last 19 years. under george w. bush, it went up by $7 trillion. under president obama it went up another $10 billion -- $10 trillion. so yes, we have been spending more than we bring in.
but as a member of the budget committee, and i am a former revenue secretary for the commonwealth of pennsylvania, our revenues are quite healthy. year,venue growth is 7% a in the state, that is phenomenal. when i was secretary of revenue, the most revenue growth we had was 3.5%. our discretionary spending goes up about 2.5%. so everything outside of medicare, medicaid, and service on the debt, and social security i everything else we spend on is going up less than 3%. the problem is the mandated spending, nondiscretionary, is going up almost 20%. so clearly, anyone reasonable and just look at the graphs and see, if we are going to control our spending and truly be fiscally responsible, we need to
, as republicans and democrats, work on this together. host: so when it comes to the discretionary side, what should be targeted first? guest: there is no necessarily targeting. we have to look at the big, richer set out long-range plans to see how we will get there -- we have to look at the big long-range set out a plan to see how we will get there. when i was in the pennsylvania cabinet, we reduced spending by almost 1.5% just by rooting out waste, abuse and fraud from our annual budget. that is something that can be done. it is a project that will require bipartisan support. it starts with rooting out waste, abuse, and fraud. it is about efficiency and doing things better. we have got to do things better how the private sector does things. we just can't keep raising
taxes, and going home and feeling good about it. planed a true, strategic that the american people can adopt and get used to. that is clear in understanding. the government should never set up a program and then pull the rug out from underneath people. we need a longer term plan, more social security -- longer-term plan for social security, medicaid, and medicare. it is just a question of standing up and doing it. i looks forward to being part of that in congress. i am not so sure right now with the leadership in the house, although sometimes they speak favorably in this way, the top leadership of the democratic caucus, about being involved in such a fix, but frankly, i don't see it in the next year and a half. that is one of the reasons i am excited to do the work we can do here, then in the next congress,
hopefully, with the american provide the votes to gain a republican leadership and really bring in fiscal , and is president is reelected, which is very important, we can work on the right plan for america. host: our guest is here until 9:00, when the house comes in for a pro forma session. up until then, if you would like to ask questions about the issues of budget, 202-748-8000 for democrats, 202-748-8001 for republicans, and 202-748-8002 for independents. our first call is from texas. caller: thank you for taking my question. i am going to ask the representative if he voted for the tax cuts, especially for the
rich, how could he justify cutting all the spending? why couldn't we just have the taxes where they were so that we could continue being solvent? time, when you were referring to the businesses, how business is run, they also look for more ways to make money. that is not the only way they survive, not by cutting expenses. so let us be realistic and look at what we needed to bring in. taxes are below where we were before reagan. confused? we -- why are we cutting the taxes and putting pressure on the middle class?guest: that is a good question . the tax cuts, i was not in congress. this is my first year in congress, i was elected last november, so i was not here when cut act was tax passed.
but i fully support it. there is no question that the tax cuts helped the middle class dramatically. i am in a district where the average per capita income is $41,000 a year. the average family in my district received a tax reduction of anywhere from $1200 to $1800 a year. that cuts for the middle class were 3%. there is no getting around that. it was a 3% reduction. in the standard deduction was $24,000.rom $12,000 to so you no longer paid any tax on $12,000, and if you made $50,000, you had a 3% reduction on that final $26,000, that in itself adds up to at orst 1100 or $1200 a year $100 a month. taxes are necessary for our country to run, and for government to provide the services that our constitution
calls for. however, taxes have to be competitive. when we reduced the corporate taxes from 35% to 21%, look what happened to our economy when that was done. it sounds like a dramatic reduction. however, the rest of the world has reduced its taxes. so why would a business want to be located here as opposed to say ireland, where the corporate tax rate is 12%? the corporate tax rate in ireland is a most half of where we are now even after the reduction. so in order to bring back the manufacturing jobs we now have, and repatriate a lot of the money and investments that were being made overseas, those corporate taxes were absolutely essential. there is a reason why we have an unemployment rate of 3.7%, the lowest in my lifetime. it is because businesses are moving here and growing. they are reinvesting. and employees are part of those
corporations. let's not make corporations out to be just money hungry organizations. i mean, that is where people receive their pay, where they receive their livelihood, where they receive their health care, where they spent 30 years of their life. we also had a reduction on small businesses of approximately 20%. i have hundreds of small businesses throughout my district, and they all tell me when i ask them, that the tax reduction was extremely favorable, it allowed them to hire one more person, allowed them to expand, allows them to buy new equipment. so we needed to be competitive, and we needed to reduce these taxes to actually drive our economy. and i will tell you this as well as far as revenues go, the lower taxes very often increase revenues. now, we have not attained a revenue neutrality, or with the
new tax rates, we have not yet achieved a higher level of revenue than we had prior. but we are getting there. if you look at the $100 billion ,eficit going into next year 150 million of that comes from the tax reductions. so it is a small percentage and it is worth it. and that is not a dynamic model. if you can't the less people that are on social programs, and work that into the formula as well, it really gets the revenue neutrality. jobs are the best way of increasing revenues, and jobs are the best thing as a service the energy for our country and for american families. host: from alabama on our independent line, charles, you are next. caller: i sure wish i could have got in with that character from
the democrat. host: well, you're on with our guests now. caller: my comment is, ron paul put in an amendment on the budget to cut across the board, 1%, of the government organizations. not one mark rutte voted for it -- not one democrat voted for it. so they should have no complaints about the budget going up. something that goes way back , that dirk is used to irkins used to say, you spend 1000 here, you spend 1000 there, pretty soon you are talking about a bunch of money. host: thank you. guest: i understand.
as a country, we need to be fiscally responsible. we need the part -- the proper amount of revenue to come in. it is easy to reduce spending by 1%. and i say that from a private sector perspective -- i was in business for 25 years -- if our goal was to reduce costs or overhead by 1%, we could do it quite easily. as a matter of fact, in the private sector, most companies reduce their overhead by more than that every year. small businesses and large businesses. so there is no reason government cannot do it as well. it would be something that i would definitely be favorable to. electd to get serious and people who are serious, and we can do things far more efficiently. there is technology, there is innovation, there is higher levels of productivity that exist in the real world, that does not yet exist in washington and in many state governments.
we've got to change that and i am dedicated to doing that. host: from new york on the republican line, joe. go ahead. caller: ok. even with the tax cuts, i think the money came back this year. cuts --'t think the tax the deficit because we bring back money from other countries. second thing, the tax cuts helped jobs. now, unemployment is lower than -- because you have more jobs. more companies are getting people to work. i saw more people come by from the stores. same thing with the tax cuts. so i don't think the tax cuts make the deficit, but i do think
spending makes deficits. right.you are i am not giving you a dynamic model, i am just giving you numbers from the congressional budget office. you're also right, if you count the amount of money that came back to the united states from repatriation due to the lower taxes, if you added that in, and that is not considered revenue, that is considered cash that is just going into the private sector, that companies are bringing back and reinvesting here in the united states, you are right. if you look at a full dynamic model, the lower taxes are driving a much stronger economy, a much stronger gross domestic product, and the plans of the president of deregulating, lower taxes, getting government out of the way, being focused on lowering health care costs, are working. working for virtually all
americans. and it is our job to make sure all americans are included in this booming economy. the: it just came across government is reporting that the gross domestic product grew 2.1% from april to june slowed from 3.1% from the first month of the year. marketwatch says report showed that the economy was stronger in some ways but there was a loss in momentum among businesses. from a revenue perspective, what do you think of those numbers? does it cause you concern? guest: it is a little better than we were hearing. we were hearing it would come in at 1.9% or so. we would still be close to 2.8% 3.0.9%, if not look, contractions take place when amounts of investment take
place. with the jobs act and tax act, it allowed for 100% repatriation. what that means is if companies purchase high levels of equipment, they were able to write that off on a tax deduction. so a lot of times, you go through those sorts of things, a lot of purchasing and inventory buildup. those are not great numbers, but the economic indicators that exist are terrific. our unemployment, inflation rates, all the different people, different demographics that are getting jobs, wages are going up. to me, which increases is the most important indicator. because of law employment and the number of jobs -- because of low employment, and because american products are the best, our food is the best, our products are the best, as long as we can keep them well priced,
and we have fair trade agreement, our long-term growth can be sustained. some of that downturn may be to the fact that we have not yet u.s.m.c.a., the united states mexico canadian agreement. it is a bill that is ready. it has been ratified by mexico and by canada. it is a north american agreement on trade. it is teed up and ready to go. we know that it will pass the house. we have got the majority, if not virtually all republicans that would be favorable to it. my district is demanding it. my district is in need, from our farmers, our fabricators, to our retailers in our manufacturers. we are looking for speaker pelosi to bring it to the floor. you will see the economy advance even further. and his team are
working on a trade deal with china. once that is complete as well, we will have added growth. i am very confident of it, as our most economists. host: from massachusetts on the independent line, donna, hello. caller: hi. i would just like to ask if the gentleman is familiar with the panama papers. corruption is really a huge problem. when he gets bored, he could pull it -- google it. it is a rude awakening. backoney could be coming to us where it belonged, but they shove it somewhere else. host: ok, thank you. guest: ma'am, i don't blame you for being highly suspicious of the things that go on in the world, in the private sector but even more particularly, the
state,sector, the deep some of the things we saw this week with the f.b.i. and investigations that take place. there is a lot of confidence in many aspects of our government. i was in business for 25 years. i served for four years as department of revenue secretary in pennsylvania, with governor tom corbett. but we need people who are frankly here for the right reasons. that will be honest and will level with the general public. will provide real information and not this represent the facts for their own good. ida know if you have heard the phrase, do a job, not have a job. those are all fine sayings. i do my very best to abide by them. i feel that you should have more faith. we have some leadership -- one of the things that has impressed
me about coming to congress -- you here before you get here that perhaps some people -- you hear before you get here that perhaps some people do not belong, but we have some impressive people here, particularly the leadership. steve scalise, kevin mccarthy, these cheney -- liz cheney just to name a few, these are incredible americans. they care so much, they are so dedicated, they work hard and they are honest. and look at how transparent things are largely due to technology and the amount of cameras and the electronic information that never disappears. so i hope that that sort of days.is in the old we've got to move forward and do better in government. host: the organization known as club for growth their president put out this statement after the passing of the bill saying,
congress is no longer concerned about the extended budget deficits or the debt the ad -- that they add. guest: yesterday's vote was more about a payment of bills than it was a spending bill. those our debts that we owed, dollars that needed to be brought in so we could pay our obligations. i came here to reduce spending and make our government work better, make it more effective, make it more efficient, and find areas to reduce wasteful spending, apply it in the right areas, get leaner, and get back to being a constitutional government. club for growth, i respect them very much. i appreciated your position. but i give you my reasons earlier as to why i wanted to vote. this was a vote for military, a vote for our veterans, a vote
for border security. the president felt that this was the best deal we could get. elections have consequences. republicans don't control the house. so nancy pelosi, and steny hoyer and the other leaders of the democratic party were very much involved here. so it was a negotiation. frankly, i didn't like. the fact that it rushed up on us in this way, but i am sure steve mnuchin in the treasury department didn't like it either. but that is another thing government does not do very well, long-term planning. that sort of thing is rare in business. it happens, but it is rare. if it does happen, there are people who have made some big mistakes. we need long-term plans. we need a long-term budget. and a long-term strategic plan of what we're going to deliver
for the people of our country. again, i firmly believe we can get back in the house leadership ifrepublicans can -- republicans can get back in-house leadership, i think kevin mccarthy and steve scalise will have a plan that people are happy about. host: russell in baltimore, you have about 30 seconds for your question or comment. caller: my question is, how can a regular person running a business compete with a tax ?helter with deep pockets guest: while, i guess you got to do your best. i am not sure which tax shelter, or if you are talking about nonprofits, or what sort of organization that you think has an unfair advantage. i would go to your accountant figure things out,. if they are in the same business as you, they should be following the same accounting rules as you.
nonprofit,t is a nonprofits play an important role as well. but if you are in pennsylvania, or if you are in my district, i would be happy to talk to you and help. host: representative, you have been in congress now for seven months. how do you approach the issue of the budget and deficit, the next time you have to make these considerations, how would you -- what would you do different? guest: we were working on long-range plans in committee that would deal with mandatory spending and with discretionary spending. if we can get the previous leader back into leadership and put together a budget, i think the american people will see that it is very fiscally responsible. it will be about making tough decisions. i am here to support those decisions that we make. i am on the budget committee right now. i believe it is the first time that a budget did not come out
of committee. we had no budget that came out of committee. i think that is unprecedented. not only did a budget not get voted out of the house floor, and did not make it out of committee. in the past, democratic leadership has yelled at republicans, their budget was a reflection of their values. we heard that often from speaker pelosi last year. this year, their values are to do nothing except maybe to investigate rather than legislate. host: that was representative dan meuser, republican from host: when the house is out for the august recess, we'll hear from the chairman of the house judiciary committee, jerrold nadler, in a few minutes. about 15 minutes from now at noon eastern. we'll have live coverage of that here on c-span once it gets under way. until then we'll take you back to the briefing, in just a short while ago, speaker of the