Are you wondering what policies will help our nation’s economy recover from the COVID-19 crisis? Do you understand how different economic ideas will impact you, your family, or your job? What will bring a robust recovery? What could slow progress? How can we improve the economy and protect the health of our citizens? Listen as the highly respected economist, Steve Moore, shares with Linda his recommendations and reports from the front lines of working with the current administration and policy leaders in the fight for prosperity.
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Linda J. Hansen: Thank you for joining us today. I have a special guest. A repeat guest, Steve Moore. Many of you know he’s not only an advisor to Prosperity 101™ and my good friend. But he is a well known, highly respected economist. Who also is, a news commentator and the founder of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, and an original founder of Club For Growth, and the list goes on and on. You can see his bio on the Prosperity 101™ website, as well as he also is an Economist for Freedom Works and with Heritage Foundation as well. You can find his bio many places but he is here with me today and we are doing this outside so please bear with us if you hear birds or crickets or anything else. But this is a great opportunity to have Steve talk directly to the podcast audience so thank you Steve for being here.
Steve Moore: Hi Linda. It’s great to be in the great great state of Wisconsin, which we have to make sure goes red in November of 2020.
Linda: Yes, and I thank Steve very much because he’s taking time out of his vacation to actually meet with me and do this podcast interview. So, thank you to you and your wife.
Steve: Thanks, it’s great to be here. And you know everywhere I go around the state people you know come up to me and whisper in my ear “I like Trump” so I think Trump is going to do well here in Wisconsin. This is a highly consequential election and I think you put it well when we were talking earlier that people have to realize the costs of making a bad decision here which could take decades for America to recover from if we were to put the wrong man in the White House.
Linda: Yes, yes. You know it is interesting, I was just reading you a response I had regarding a tribute I gave to Herman Cain. And a lady wrote to me and said that she fears if America makes a wrong choice now, we may never recover. Right now, I feel that there are just so many people gravitating to feel good philosophies that seem good in the moment but are not really good for long term or for future generations.
Steve: Well look, policy has consequences and ideas have consequences. That’s why you and I do what we do. I have been doing it for about forty years and you for about the same amount of time. We will recover, American is a very resilient country. I think we could have a very strong and quick economic recovery if Donald Trump is re-elected. As he said many times, he re-built the economy once from the disastrous Obama years he can do it again this time around after we get out of this corona virus crisis. And so, clearly we are in an early stage of recovery thanks to a lot of Trump’s policies, like the payroll tax cut that he wants to put in place. I think he is doing a magnificent job of getting our businesses back open again. Because look, you can’t have a functioning economy if you don’t have your businesses open or people working. It doesn’t matter how many trillions of dollars of aid the federal government sends out to people. Ultimately you are going to have to have a vibrant economy and I really honestly believe that we can have very strong growth in 2021 if we vote the right way.
Linda: I agree, he has built the economy to historic levels prior to corona virus and we can see some of these historic rebounding things happening now. With the payroll tax cut, I know you fought for that, you and Dr. Laffer fought for that very hard. So, thank you for your efforts for that and could you go into a little bit more detail of why that is so helpful for American business and American workers, American families.
Steve: Well, you know I just talked to President Trump last week about this. He had called me and asked me about how to implement this payroll tax cut. Pelosi does not want to do it; the democrats don’t want to support a payroll tax cut even though ten years ago when Obama did it they said “Oh this is the best thing that ever happened to the economy” now they are saying that it’s a disaster if Trump does it. What’s the old saying, “If liberals didn’t have double standards, they would have no standards at all”. Look, this is very simple and I think most Americans get it. If you eliminate the payroll tax for the rest of the year, which is what Trump wants to do, you’re giving every worker about a 6.5% increase in their paycheck. Even a minimum wage worker gets 6.5% more. So, everybody listening to this podcast if you have a job, you get that boost in your paycheck right away. Then for employers, we have 30 million small business employers around the country, they are the heartbeat of America, those small business would see a 6.5% reduction in their payroll costs. So, they could have more money to hire more workers. So, it encourages more people to work and it encourages companies to hire people. Economics is all about incentives. If you tax something you get less of it, if you tax something less, you get more of it. We want more people working, more people being hired. Now the left says, oh no, let’s just increase unemployment benefits, which is ridiculous. Right now, Linda, we are paying people twice as much money not to work as to work. It’s just not fair to the heroes of our economy, the nurses, the doctors, the first responders and the police, the sanitation workers and the construction workers who have really gotten us through this crisis by working hard every day. And then they come home from work and the democrats want the people who aren’t working to make more money that the people who are working. And that is just nuts to me.
Linda: I agree, we need to incentivize work. What would you say to people who want to refute or maybe give a logical argument back to the people in our society who are pushing for socialism and they say capitalism is evil, capitalism is bad? Give them a one liner for talking.
Steve: Well, I really do think the free enterprise system is the goose that lays the golden egg. It’s the reason the United States has become the richest country in the world. It’s the reason that everybody wants to come to America, because we have freedom and free market capitalism. Really, I would be very despondent if the American people voted for a left, you are not voting for Joe Biden, you are voting for the left. You are voting for the mob. I know especially young people; Trumps’ numbers are not good with the millennial generation. I always tell them freedom and liberty are such precious gifts. Why would you want to voluntarily give away your freedom? I don’t understand it, why would you vote for somebody who wants to take away your liberty and freedom and take you money and give it to somebody else. It’s such an alien concept to me. The reason I know Trump is going to win is because Americans in our DNA we crave freedom. People truly have given up their lives and their fortunes and their sacred honor for our freedoms. Don’t give it up. I am worried that this young generation, they value safety and security over freedom. That is a terrible thing. Obviously we need to be safe and secure but the way you become safe and secure and prosperous is through freedom, and free enterprise.
Linda: Yes, freedom and free enterprise, it’s the way we can build an economy and safety. You can’t have safety unless you’re free and we can’t have government overruling people. What would you say to this whole thing regarding the economy and the reopening of schools? Right now, that is a hot topic.
Steve: Yes it is. I think it is actually pretty simple Linda, I mean first of all we have to open up our schools. You can’t have a functioning economy if schools aren’t open. So, the schools have to open. I 100% agree with Donald Trump, if public school districts or counties around the country aren’t going to open up the schools, then the federal government should give the money directly to the parents so they can find schools that will open. Whether it’s a Catholic school, a Jewish school, a Montessori school, a Charter school, a Home School. People are now putting together makeshift, what do they call that?
Linda: Learning pods.
Steve: Learning Pods, right. My wife is part of that. You get 5 or 6 parents, sometimes a couple of fathers and a couple of mothers and a couple of educators and they will teach. We can’t go a full year without kids getting an education. Think of what that does to 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 year old. It is really devastating to their future. Especially for kids who are, you know kids in the top 1/3 in terms of academic achieve and stuff, they are doing ok with distance learning. It’s the kids below 50%, most of them aren’t even going online. I talk to teachers all the time. They say the top 50% are doing pretty well, and then the bottom 50%, we don’t even know what happened to these people. The left loves to talk about in-equality. Think about what that means. The top 50% are going to get educated and the bottom 50% are going to get no education at all. That has very devastating consequences. So number 1 we should open up our schools. Number 2 it should be the choice of every teacher and parent. If the teacher doesn’t want to teach, I fully respect that decision, obviously if they are worried about their health, I don’t have any problem with them not teaching. Then we find somebody who will teach. I also believe in parental choice. If parents feel afraid, many times for good reason, if they don’t want to send their kids especially if they have some kind of health problem, then I don’t think the government should force parents to send their kids to school.
The polls show overwhelmingly that 60% of parents want those schools open. We’ve got to do it and we’ve got to do it right away because the consequences are so negative. I saw a poll the other day. This wasn’t so much young people, but the 15 to 24 year olds, did you see the CDC study says that it’s just chilling, it says 1 in 4 are depressed and considered suicide. You can’t keep young people isolated like this. It’s almost like a form of torture for a lot of people. It’s like solitary confinement and that is just a terrible thing for the development of our kids. Look, this is a very simple thing about corona virus. We don’t know everything, but we do know some things. It’s an old persons disease, persons who are over the age of 65 are very much at risk, or people who are obese or people who have diabetes or other health conditions. But young people, your child, if your child is under the age of 20, they are more likely to be struck by lightning than to die of corona virus. I think there is just so much fear mongering and partly it’s because, I have become more and more cynical, I think the left wants the economy to collapse. I think they want to keep the society locked down, so they can get rid of Donald Trump. And I think there is more and more evidence that there is a lot of that behind this.
Linda: I actually agree on that quite a bit and I think the fear mongering is really detrimental to our society.
Steve: By the way, Trump, I talked to him this week. He is always upbeat, he is so pro America, He cares about American workers. It is so interesting that the working class Americans love Trump, it’s the elite rich liberals who are really driving this election and they have created this kind of chaos. They say we’ve got to get rid of Trump to get rid of the Chaos. Well they created the Chaos.
Linda: Exactly. We look at this as, I would like all of our listeners to really think through whether or not they are being manipulated in a sense of what you are being told in the media, because there is a lot of fear mongering.
Steve: So, let me do a little advertisement if I can. You’re getting our daily….
Linda: The Committee to Unleash Prosperity Hotline.
Steve: The Hotline. I really believe two thirds of the things you read in the news paper is wrong about corona virus. There is a scare campaign going on to try and frighten the American people, paralyze them with fear. We can’t succumb to that fear, we have to, I am not saying this is not a serious pandemic, it is, we’ve lost almost 200,000 Americans, so it’s serious. But we can’t be paralyzed with fear. We have to go on with our lives. Life is for living, it is not for huddling in a cave and being afraid. I think most Americans are ready for that. They want to get back their lives. They want their kids back in school. The left doesn’t want that. They want the Americans to be paralyzed with fear.
Linda: Exactly. One of the things too, you said we want to get back to life, my 91 year old mother, she has been in isolation basically at her assisted living. I visit her over the balcony, which at least we can do that. She knows how to FaceTime and text; she is pretty amazing. But she has serious health problems so she is quite at risk, but she looks at me and says, “I wish they would just let me live before I die.” Then you hear about all these people like the 102 year old lady who survived the Swine Flu, Cancer and now corona virus. We have no idea. Yes, we want to be responsible but…
Steve: There is a video that we helped support at Committee to Unleash Prosperity called Life is 4 Living. It’s the number 4, and it is a beautiful video. I mean what is the point of life if you are not living it. I don’t understand some of my liberal friends who are huddled up in a cave and won’t go out. I mean I have friends who haven’t been outside in 3 or 4 months. I just think that is an overreaction to this. So, look, we are going to get through this. Every sign is that this fall we are going to see this disease in remission. I think you are going to see a comeback in the economy and I really do feel that we are going to see Donald Trump re-elected in November. I really do, I think it could be much more of a landslide than people think.
Linda: I hope so for the sake of our country.
Steve: We all have to work though. We have to work hard. We can’t let the left out work us, and they are out there. They are everywhere. They are raising money; they are banging on doors. We’ve got to start doing that. That is how we won in 2016. We outworked them, we out maneuvered them, and we need all hands on deck. Freedom is really on the ballot in November of 2020.
Linda: Yes, it really is on the ballot and this is the thing, I know we’ve talked before with Prosperity 101™, resources and materials, we seek them to be basically non-partisan. Educating about policies and now we are talking about a partisan election obviously. But if you look at the platforms of the two different parties, if you look at the platforms of what they are trying to do with businesses, with taxation, with everything, I feel that every employer out there needs to talk to their employees and help them understand what this would do to their ability to provide jobs. What would you say to those employers out there who are fearful that their employees are going to go to the voting booth and vote themselves right out of a job?
Steve: Well, that’s always a danger. For example, the left says “Oh we are just going to raise your taxes by two trillion dollars on the really rich. Well, who are those people? They are your employers, the top 1%, the evil 1%. Two thirds of those people are people who are business owners and hey, without employers you don’t have jobs. I think it is the responsibility of employers I believe, to educate their employees, not in a partisan way. Just about how finance works and how economics works. The way the world turns. And it turns and we evolve in progress because we have freedom and free enterprise. A lot of people don’t think in those terms. They take for granted the freedoms that we have and so I think it’s the responsibility of employers, not to tell their employees who to vote for, that’s everyone’s personal decision, but the policies. Do you think it makes sense to have the government run the healthcare system? Do you think it makes sense for taxes to massively go up? Do you think it makes sense to have a Green New Deal that’s going to destroy 8 to 10 million oil and gas jobs in America? Do you think it makes sense that we would have policies that would strangle other industries with regulation? Wouldn’t it make more sense to have a lower tax rate on Americans so that the private sector could take over more of our activities? Businesses can’t expand if they don’t have more money. If the government takes more money from businesses then the businesses can’t hire more workers. It’s really pretty simple isn’t it?
Linda: Yes, it’s really pretty simple. I know our time is running short here so I just have one other hot button item that I would like to have employers consider talking about with their employees and that is actually this universal mail in voting. That is very different than absentee voting, which we have in legal ways in many states. But this universal mail in voting and what that can mean to our economy, to businesses, what it can mean when we have large scale voter fraud or even voter errors. Counting errors, late ballots and things like that. This is really significant for our country and I really hope that employers will stress employees the need to go to the polls. If people can riot in the streets, and that is ok, we can go to the polls. If you can stand in line at Trader Joe’s or Starbucks, you can stand in line to go to the polls. This is a matter of our freedom; our national security and we really need to think about what this means to the economy as well.
Steve: Well also, look, I think everybody should vote but it has to be a fair and honest election. We know there has been so much fraud with mail ballots. We just know there is. And there is something else to think about. When somebody votes fraudulently like maybe somebody votes three or four times. When someone casts an illegal vote, they are basically taking your vote away from you. So, it’s an assault against our representative form of government. We should do everything we can to get out people to vote, legally and that means going to the polls, and if need be to use the absentee ballot process. But to have massive mail in ballots, I don’t agree with. I would just say one thing on the way out which is I just love the product that you and I have worked on now for fifteen years. The latest edition of Prosperity 101™ I think it is just an excellent tool for small business and medium size businesses and large business employers to just give it to your employees. Some of them will read it some of them won’t but we’ve found that when some of these employees read this stuff they get into it. They really like it. So, I really want to just salute you for putting out a really great tool. Can people get it online? I know you have the book but is it also available online?
Linda: Yes, it will be online, yes. For those of you listening I do have an exciting announcement. Very soon the newest of my Prosperity 101™ book that is an updated edition of the original one that Steve and I and Herman Cain worked on in 2008-2009. It’s updated and it will be available very soon so keep listening to these podcasts for the updates and it will be available through my website Prosperity101.org and then I will make sure that Steve knows how to get it and we can get it to people all over. So, if you are an employer looking for great tools we have that. Please sign up for or go to committeetounleashprosperity.com.
Steve: Our daily hotline. You just click a button and you’ll love this folks and it is free.
Linda: It is great and it is something that I think you will really find to be helpful in terms of interpreting what you are hearing in the news and getting some of as Paul Harvey used to say, “The Rest of the Story”. So, with that I want to thank you Steve Moore and if people want to reach you they can reach you at The Committee to Unleash Prosperity or just go to Freedom Works website and you can reach him there too.
Steve: Thank you Linda for everything that you do to promote what we have been talking about today which is liberty, freedom and free enterprise, which is getting the government to get off our backs because they do more harm right now than good.
Linda: Agreed. Thank you and thank you to our listeners.
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