tv Washington Journal Grover Norquist CSPAN July 10, 2020 3:55pm-4:39pm EDT
charlotte,t 24, and north carolina, before moving onto jacksonville, florida. the democratic and republican national conventions, live on c-span beginning monday, august 17, and watch anytime on c-span.org or listen live on the three c-span radio app. c-span, your unfiltered view of politics. ♪ unusual to say this, is july 15. grover norquist, president of americans for tax reform, joining us to talk about tax day this year, an unusual one with the delay from april 15. what do you think the pandemic has done to the coffers, the anticipated revenues of taxes? revenues have come down because the government shut down
a lot of activity. we are starting to come back, may had 2.5 lien net jobs, and june, 4.8 million net new jobs. both of those are historic records. we have never had that much job creation before, because it is not as the economy was weak and getting stronger. the economy is strong. it was shut down in many parts and as it opened up, it is returning to the more robust economy we had. nothing has changed. lower taxes that gave us growth are still there. deregulation, which as of a year ago is saving 220 million dollars a year in terms of
excess costs because of the changes in regulations. that is the old number strong. .hey have not yet come back revenues for state and local governments are lower. there has not been as much activity by the state to rein in spending, recognizing this challenge. some states have good, robust rainy day funds. minutes go for about 40 with rainy day funds. host: in terms of federal response, $2.6 trillion in federal money so far passed by
congress. do you think most of that response has been appropriate and well used? guest: it is not only government programs. there will be massive errors and mistakes and checks going to people and companies that do not exist but given that it is a brand-new program, one expects problems like that. the government did a calculation they think they preserved 51 million jobs so far with the paycheck protection plan. that was helpful. those were jobs threatened because of the government shutdown, not the restaurants, not that some company was stupid and lost money, so it should go bankrupt because it was misspending its own resources.
these are economic problems caused by the government, like when a government decides to build a road across your form, they have to pay you for the damages to your farm. was to try to keep people employed, not lose their jobs and go on unemployment. that has certainly stabilized job loss. people lose their jobs even in a strong economy. jobs are created, jobs are lost. it is that what you would expect to have them in a regular economy, people leaving or coming back. that has been helpful. one challenge is when they increased, they put a federal addition on the unemployment compensation. states have state plans, usually covers half your salary after a certain point. it is a good cushion.
not the same thing as having a job. it gives you something. week fordded $600 per $2400 per month for four months, temporarily. most of the federal response, almost all, has been temporary reforms. that is helpful. you don't want a temporary problem to always be here and make permanent changes, 100 years from now you are still paying for the covid program. they have avoided that. because they added the $2400 a month onto state unemployment for 63% to 68% of americans, they took home more money unemployed than employed. it will discourage bringing people back into the workforce. that ends august 1. you should see significant
people returning to work. the washingtonp, post points out a photo from last year. americans for tax reform foundation took a loan of $150,000 to $350,000 from that program, the ppp. betweenthe difference your foundation and americans for tax reform. how did you use the money from that loan? guest: americans for tax reform is a political organization that fights for lower taxes and less money. 4.1(c) that was not open to the ppp programs, received no federal money, would not take federal money. the foundation is like the brookings institute, which is a foundation that does research.
foundations and companies were open to keeping people employed. we laid no one off. i took a pay cut. with atr. we did not have to lay anyone off, which is exactly what ppp was looking for. whether you are a foundation, university, college, not-for-profit, they wanted those jobs protected as well as what we think of a manufacturing firm or company. it is for nonprofits and for profits. the goal was to make up for the damage, telling people they cannot fly places or do certain work, does to any nonprofit or for-profit. host: do you think your organization will need additional aid for employees? guest: i don't think so. it was badly hurt at first.
conferences and so on that they organized, and they were all canceled. that will not continue forever. i think that is fine. we have been able to protect jobs and keep people working, which is the point. unemployment can cost the government in some other way. you never know how other ways you could have done it. we have been advocates of the idea of eliminating, for six months or one year, social security tax, fica tax. that would drop the cost of hiring someone for a company/ nonprofit by 15%. expensive ands they keep more of their earnings. workkes coming back to more remunerative and less
expensive to keep someone in a job or to hire someone new. the president expressed interest in the idea. less support in congress. it is always brought up as an option. it has been done in the past. host: what impact might it have on social security? reduce revenues to the trust fund? guest: they have done this in the past, simply saying, the federal government will make up the money not collected for social security. it adds to the deficit. if you spent the money on some other program, it adds to the deficit. this is a tax cut you do deficit spending into the social security program. social security, thank you for asking, wait a minute, are we not fully funding social security? all the money that would have been raised for social security would be raised, similarly through the income tax and right now through deficit spending.
that is one proposal. the most important thing to do is consistent with health concerns to open up those parts of the economy that can be opened. there weretates, some mistakes made. people were told they could not go out in a boat in the middle of a lake by themselves or they could not play golf by themselves. but it is ok if you wandered around on the golf course, but not if you have a golf club, this was the governor of michigan. that has nothing to do with health. jobs, with masks, can be done safely. we need to move more and more of that as quickly as we can to get people working. covid,lth concerns of there are also health concerns of people not being at work, mental health and because they told people, you cannot come into hospitals and do certain
elective surgeries, people have been putting off surgeries. we have seen an increase in death from other things, that maybe because people don't go to the hospital and let something go longer than they should have. the cost of the reaction to covid is not just more unemployment. it is also a health cost we need to keep down. host: our guest is the president of americans for tax reforms. we approach july 15, moved from april 15, tax day, because of the pandemics. we welcome your comments. (202)-748-8000 for democrats, (202)-748-8001 for republicans, (202)-748-8002 for independents. calls,we get to headlines from the wall street journal. "mnuchin sees new stimulus." talk of mitch mcconnell
interested in additional spending. what is your view of more federal response, monetary response to the pandemic? guest: the different ways you can do it, certainly there are tax cuts you can do to make it easier to hire people and keep people hired. some of those were down in the first plan, in terms of companies losing money, could you average tax burden over forward and backward so you're not paying more or less in taxes but you even it out. that was helpful. saved a lot of companies. that was a good idea. is, whene challenges you talk about stimulus, if you take a dollar from somebody and give it to someone else, you have not stimulated the economy. if you take a bucket of water from one side of the lake and walk around the lake and pour it back in, you have not stimulated the lake. you simply moved it.
we have this challenge when obama did $800 billion in what he called the stimulus package. we have the weakest recovery sincethe great depression you did not change the incentives to people to work, save and invest. you just threw a bunch of money out there. that can be helpful in a crisis. if there is nothing else. it does not stimulate the economy. both, the vice president said they wanted to keep it to $1 trillion, which for washington, is restraint, and there are concerns we need reform. trial lawyers have been talking about suing the people who make vaccines. that will delay vaccines. if people go back to work and get covid, can you sue everyone involved? which pace, people won't be hired.
-- in which case, people won't be hired. i think reducing or eliminating social security tax for the rest of the year is a way to increase wages and reduce the cost of hiring people and keeping them and that would give you a real impact as a way to do it. host: one of your notable quotes, paraphrasing, you said in the past you don't want to get rid of government but you would like it small enough to drown in a bathtub. extending the metaphor, could a government the size of a bathtub respond to something like this pandemic? guest: that is an interesting issue. what is the response to covid? what did we learn in health care? 700 plus different deregulations, getting rid of laws, suspending regulation, because we found they got in the
way of fighting against the virus. americans for tax reform, atr.o rg/rules, look for the deregulation. deregulations. cdc announced we will come up with a test. no one else is allowed. six weeks, they did that. they came up with a test that did not work. instead of going to the various companies, universities around the world and the u.s. in saying , what do you got? come up with a test. we will buy it. for six weeks, we had a government monopoly, cdc, saying they were smarter than anyone else and no one else could do it. it was opened, we got lots of different testing and accurate tests. we have plenty of testing out. we lost six weeks because government bureaucracy got in the way.
cdc wanted the tests. rules.d all these fda has a lot of rules on a new drug. they are going back to some progress we made in the fight against aids. all of the things the administration did that got in the way of speeding things up, they sidetracked that for aids. we should do that for all new drugs. forward asmove it safely and as quickly as possible. when you come up with a new medicine that saves 5000 lives per year, ok, but it took you 10 years together, that means 50,000 people died while you are waiting for that. maybe you have to spend some time testing but was 10 years necessary? maybe not. levelare laws at state
where a doctor across the state line is not a doctor in the next eight or a nurse practitioner -- the next state or a nurse practitioner, and those things have been put aside because they had to move practitioners across state lines. most of the problems have come from government being too sporadic. governments are always monopolies until you take it to the local level. i think we have learned a great deal, it has been helpful, and we can avoid some of those mistakes in the future. government was too large, too monopolistic and stop others from helping and got in the way. remember the plastic bag bans? a bunch of cities did that. they found that those one-time use plastic bags were very good in avoiding getting covid or other viruses because we have
those bags you use again and again and again, they build up problems. plastic bags got people sick. government telling people what to do and how to take care of their health -- the do-gooders wanted to ban plastic bags kill to some people. host: let's open it to callers. south bend, indiana, donald. caller: i told the screener i will be civil. listening to this man's spiel. said about theu infamous quote. here if thise current administration have gutted -- the
people that were supposed to go potentialght such epidemics -- guest: do you mean china? caller: listen to what i'm saying. i understand people don't like to pay taxes. i understand that. there is a role for the government. this is a classic example where people,rnment who had health care professionals ready to help uswherever pandemic or virus at bay. i think people like you and i think people like christian you, youou people like are responsible for what we are going through right now. -- i hold two people
you responsible. if you want to know why i hold christian responsible, it is -- thisof how he project read map and how that has gutted our governments that were so one-sided -- host: i will let you go south bend. he has not followed what happened. the idea that governments fix things. communist china is a big, powerful government. they decided to lie to the world about the nature of covid, about whether it was spreading and they knew about it for some time. then the world health atanization bought the line the same time telling people,
this is not a big deal. the idea that we have too little government is counterfactual. communist china is a big government which decided to lie to people about the problem, lied to the world and the who. the reason why we are pulling out of the who is they were praising the chinese for the stuff they were doing and not playing a role of getting information out but basically repeating -- i understand governments don't like to be embarrassed. that is why governments and monopolies are problematic. they don't like embarrassing things. you go through a list of how we got from here to there, too much government, too much intrusive government allowed this to spread faster. governments lying to people, not letting people have information.
dictatorship and how it runs its politics. they have a government monopoly on the press. they did not allow americans to show up and look around. if the u.s. have enough resources on the ground early enough in china, cdc or otherwise, you pointed out your issues with the cdc's slow response. what about on the ground in china? could we have had a better presence? communist chinese had given permission -- having people on the ground walked around by communist chinese officials would not necessarily have bought you more. in all the preparations, for the virus, or spent down early in the obama-biden years, not
replaced. this idea that government plans ahead terribly well is counterfactual or that joe biden and obama did a good job there is counterfactual. they never brought us back to the stores we had. i think we should have them stored in private hospitals, private capacity, so we don't rely on the government to tell us, oh yeah, we got enough. how do we know? clunky andis big and does not get things done quickly. they set up monopolies and tell other people they cannot participate. that is what the cdc and fda did. the swiss tested drug. we don't care what you think. we will spend time and do it all over again. japan says the u.s. will look at it for a month. as long as their tests look good, that drug is available here. they don't replicate the
expensive american process again. there is no reason why we should and coming up with vaccines, have to replicate serious work from the swiss, german, japanese universities in efforts, or companies. there is a lot we can do. competition always beats monopolies and government is always a monopoly. host: renee, waterboard, waterburg,, -- connecticut, republican line. caller: hello! i hope you can be as honest as you can. guest: ok. caller: i am wondering why did someone with as much education, wealth and backing behind you feel you needed to take the cares act for your nonprofit and
at the same time you are asking for smaller government, yet you are taking this money and you have all this power, knowledge, friends and do you feel at all guilty for the mom-and-pop's that cannot get the money now because you took it and was there any alternative you could have done in your company with all your wisdom to have not taken that money? host: renee, thanks for that. guest: we have been through this. that call was on the republican line? look. the point is, what we are trying -- it has plenty of resources, so her assumption of crowding out is not true. it is a loan.
your goal, when you get badly damaged as a company or business or foundation or school or university, to try and make sure you do not have to lay people off short-term. reform, ther tax sister organization of the foundation, we did not oppose the plan for just that reason. this is an effort by government to fix a problem the government created. they shut your business down. they told you you could not go to work. they made the planes not fly. as a result, it is reasonable for the government to make some effort to make people whole. we want to do it in the most effective way possible. ituggest a better way to do is to temporarily reduce or eliminate fica tax. junction,ett, grand
colorado, republican line. caller: good morning. i would like refer to a place in the constitution on taxes. maybe you can explain to me and your audience. section one, i mean, article one, section 8, taxes throughout the u.s. should be uniform. could you explain the uniform part as far as percentage goes, how that would balance out with people? i would also like to encourage people to read the constitution. wordt through it word for since this impeachment thing was going on. i would like to make a small comment about the guarantee in the constitution, for the democrats, to look for the word democratic or democrat in the constitution or the confederation papers, section,
article 4, section 4, it refers union, "the in this united states shall guarantee to every state in this union, a republican form of government." democrat'in there anywhere. guest: because taxes have to be uniform, that was the reason they struck down original efforts to get income tax because it would discriminate among people based on income as opposed to a sales tax or head tax or property tax. downresult, it was struck by the courts. they had to amend the constitution to allow the income tax to be put in. 1913, it wasut in,
7%. you had to make $11 million to pay 7%. below that for everybody else. all taxes tend to grow. income tax was put in, partly as a result of trying to replace the money lost during prohibition. they wanted to get rid of liquor sales in the country. the prohibitionists helped get the income tax because people said, we cannot outlaw this, that is a lot of revenue but we will fix that with income tax. we got prohibition. not very helpful. and income tax. more than 100 years without a tax break. just fine. that was the argument you had. forward, thisg election gives you a stark comparison between the
candidates and how the economy will do will be determined more by the direction of taxes in the next year than the pandemic, at this point, as we are opening up and things are getting better. look forward. friend, mr.our taxn call for $4.3 trillion increase on the american people, over a decade, three point trillion, hillary clinton wanted $1 trillion. he wants three times this large a tax increase as hillary did. $3.4 trillion. when we are talking china, the chinese have a 25% tax on businesses. when obama was president, we had 35% taxes. jobs moving overseas, investment going to china, they only pay
25%. the federal income tax was 35% on businesses. we lost money, jobs. tookepublicans and trump 35% american corporate rate currently down to 21%, which makes us competitive with europe. ireland is at 12.5%. 21% is still high. we are below china and germany and france. response fromet a brad who texted. why do we have great economic growth, above 3%, during the clinton terms, after he raised taxes and increased safety regulations? guest: if you look at the growth in the eight years clinton was president, the first two years, not much growth. tax increased. won thethe republicans house and senate, they would
mean there would be no regulatory programs and no tax increases. that is when the stock market shot up and republicans passed a cut in the capital gains tax, 28% to 20% and the president had to sign. that gave a lot of growth. the republicans three times past welfare reform. the first two times, it was vetoed by clinton. the third time, he embraced it. it was the big success of his prid presidency. trying to help low income people, we had states trying to handle it and we learned what works and what doesn't work better. we had a strong economy when the republicans had the house and senate and they dropped clinton's planned spending by $200 billion per year. he had planned to spend every penny of the tax increase. republican said, no, we are not jumping that up. as revenue came in, the capital gains tax, spending did not
jump, as the president had planned in all his budgets -- these are recovered budget numbers -- we actually went into a surplus as a result. the current administration -- the clinton administration is an example where taxes are not very helpful. rating and spending is extremely helpful -- raining in spending -- reigning in spending is extremely hopeful. caller: good morning c-span. show aas been on your number of times. administration left the cdc intact and they were able to handle ebola and the other pandemics that came around. when the republicans and donald trump came in, not only did he fold that organization and molded into another, he also cut the research grants.
c-spanhas had people on saying the trump administration has cut research. what you're saying is totally incorrect. these tax cuts donald trump has done has exploded our deficit. i notice we never talk about deficit problems with republicans in office but they explode the deficit like you cannot believe. i hate to say this to you, also, you talk about clinton. clinton closed a lot of the military bases which freed up a lot of capital and that is the reason we had a great economy under bill clinton. like i said, grover belongs in jail. host: we will let you go. , well, it issponse problematic when someone gets a little bit carried away.
, he did notes are rebut anything i said. saidoint is when the cdc they could only do the testing, their monopoly and assertion of power, and no one else could participate in getting this done, lost us a bunch of time. the fda having rules making it difficult to come up with new drugs, expensive and take too long, has been a problem for quite some time. there was a tremendous step forward when 40 states past the right to try law. if you have a drug the fda says is safe but they want to spend another several years deciding if it is effective, they are not going to let you buy it, unless they say it is effective, the state said, you know what, if people have a terminal disease and their child is dying and the
product is safe and is not -- we are not willing to wait for years and watch the child die while you decide if it is effective or not. we will handle that. legalized basically medical care for the terminally ill that is safe but not yet approved by the fda fully. that law was taken to washington and congress enacted it. it is the law of the land. the fda fought it all the way through. gettinge slowing down medicines to people because they wanted to control the bureaucracy on that. they got slapped down by people who lost children that were told they could not use drugs. these are drugs they have already said are safe. but we want to check and see if it is effective.
there has been -- this was signed by president trump, very bipartisan, past in blue states, red states, california vetoed it at first but when they realize what they had done, they passed it and made it the law of the land in california as well -- there are real steps forward we have had with getting the government out of the way and allowing more and better drugs, quicker and less expensively. host: stephen, independent, aurora, illinois. caller: good morning. to see grover on your show, americans for tax reform, is just laughable. americans for tax reform, grover norquist, nothing more than his attempts to continue to feed the billionaire elites in this country entitled to what they think is complete control over the tax structure of america. reaganomielieves in
cs, trickle-down economics, the largest fraudulent legislation ever passed in this country, the transfer of 60 trillion dollars dp, and wealth. if you are an american for tax havem, why for 20 years you had every gop legislator sign an edict when they start office to never raise taxes on the rich? please answer that for all of america. guest: ok, couple things. one, let me start with the facts. 1986,ans for tax reform, in order to pass the tax reform act that reagan put forward with bipartisan support, which reduced our marginal tax rates and helped give us a strong seven year economic growth,
which did not end until bush raised taxes and threw away a perfectly good presidency, we created the taxpayer protection pledge, which people can sign as a promise to the american people they would vote against any effort to raise taxes. that allowed people to trust them when the politicians went into the smoke-filled rooms to make the final deals on the '86 tax reform bill, it would not morph into an income tax hike. that became so popular that in 1994, 95% of all republicans running in the house and senate made the commitment to the american people not to raise taxes, period. the guy said just on rich people but he missed speaks. misspeaks.
won theult, republicans house and senate in 1994. with, we are not going to raise taxes, we will reform government to make it cost less and live within your means, that is a winning political message and certainly a winning economic message. we saw the growth from the trunk tax cuts. recoverye weakest because of the way obama handled it, much weaker than all the other recoveries going back to the great depression. spending more money does not stimulate the economy. changing the incentives for people to invest more. the challenge we have his biden is promising to eliminate the tax cuts and that means for a family of 4, median income, $2000 per year tax increase,
every year forward. single-parent, one child, median income, $41,000, $1300 tax increase. biden is saying to the middle income person, single-parent, one child, raise your taxes $1300, to a couple with two children, raise your taxes $2000. he has reiterated the other day, he wants to takes the capital gains tax to 40%, to double. that is not just for rich people. the caller and some people like to say, it is just rich people. he said on every single american. making it clear, lower income 2019, everyber 23, single solitary person, capital gains are going to, they will pay 40% on capital gains tax. taking a corporate rate up higher than china's competitors
will take us back to the day during obama when american companies were purchased by people overseas or moved overseas because taxes were so much higher on the margin than other countries have. burger king was bought by a canadian company. same company, worth more as a canadian company them an american company because of our policies when biden and obama were president. look at your taxes when you fill them out on july 15. to 3, 4 years ago and see how they have gone down. it is particularly important. we saw the job creation that came, twice. the job creation, the increase in the value of your 401(k) or ira, 81 million americans have a 401(k) or ira and that is their life savings. 65.e are under
people of working age, life savings in a 401(k) or ira, that savings increased as a result of lower taxes on the entire economy, less regulation, more growth. people's retirement is more secure. it went down during covid. it never went as low during covid as it was when obama and biden were running things. theireconomic policies -- economic policies were comparable to the worst of covid. pension is, ira, strengthened. biden says he will take that away. host: americans for tax reform, "washington journal" continues. host: we are joined by tiffany cross, author, commentator, and cofounder of