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Hugh Hewitt Book Club

Stephen Moore Hints at Donald Trump’s Senior Economic Advisors

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The audio:

07-25hhs-moore

The transcript:

HH: Donald Trump got a huge bump, an eight point swing over the week, and I’m joined now by Stephen Moore, senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, author of Fueling Freedom, most recently. Stephen Moore, let’s start with, I just concluded an interview with Dr. Liam Fox, the new minister for trade in the United Kingdom. He is all gung ho for Brexit. He has said elites were out of touch, we’re going to open up for business, we’re doing to do great. What do you make of that?

SM: I agree totally. I mean, I think Brexit was a call for sovereignty, self-government. And it was a revolt against the arrogance and corruption of government. And you know, it’s been said so many times, but it is so true that that’s exactly what’s happening here in America. That’s exactly what the Trump campaign is about, a revolt against a government in Washington that’s completely out of touch and corrupt, and incompetent.

HH: Do you think we are in for that kind of a surprise, the polling surprise, with Trump that they experienced in Great Britain? I suspect that our pollsters are getting a lot of false positives for Hillary, and a lot of shy Tories, as we used to call them back in the day, when John Major won unexpectedly.

SM: Yeah.

HH: What do you think?

SM: You know, it’s funny you should ask me that question, because I was driving over to Fox News at like Midnight on the night of the Brexit vote, and I remember it was late. I was tired, I was cursing myself about why am I doing this, because I just believed what everyone had said. You know, I think 95 out of 100 of the experts said that Brexit would not pass. Remember that, Hugh?

HH: Yes.

SM: And so I got to the studio, and like oh, my God, this thing’s actually going to pass. And of course, then it was the huge story, and I was on Fox for about three hours we were talking about it. And so yeah, I think the polls are not necessarily accurate. I think Trump is going to outperform the polls. Now you just, I just heard you say that Trump got a bounce out of the convention. What, I haven’t seen those polls.

HH: The CNN number show he’s now ahead of Hillary Clinton by 44-39.

SM: Wow.

HH: And that is an eight point swing over their last poll.

SM: Wow.

HH: Her negatives are also up to 68% say she is not honest and trustworthy. Those are lethal numbers.

SM: Those are lethal numbers. They show that, if those are accurate and reflected in some of these other polls, because the polls bounce around a lot, then the Republicans certainly, and Trump accomplished everything they hoped for, because there were two things they wanted to do. They wanted to move into the lead, which apparently this poll shows, and they wanted to drive up Hillary’s negatives, and they certainly did that. And then the guy who I think gets a lot of applause for doing that is, I thought Chris Christie was just devastating. So was Rudy Giuliani. Both of them really went after Hillary for corruption and for lying.

HH: For prosecuting the case, they both did, and I thought on international matters, Tom Cotton did a fantastic job. Scott Walker took the wood to her as well on Thursday night, as did Marco Rubio, though he was not in the hall. You know, I was there for pretty much every minute of the proceedings with NBC, and I must say it was not what was billed. It turned out to be, and by the way, Cleveland, isn’t Cleveland wonderful? Shouldn’t we have the Ohio Olympics, Stephen Moore?

SM: (laughing) You know, well, is it always 75 degrees and sunny in Cleveland?

HH: It is.

SM: The most beautiful weather I’ve ever seen, and it sort of felt, you know, it’s 101 degrees in Washington, D.C. today, and so I kind of wish I were still in Cleveland. Yeah, they put on a great show. The law enforcement people there were amazing, weren’t they, Hugh? I mean, they just were, I met law enforcement people from Utah, Missouri and all over the country, and every one of them, I just said thank you for keeping us safe. And boy, did they do their job. The only thing I would say, look, I thought the convention was a very big plus for the Republicans. The one thing I thought was missing was the growth message. I wanted more on the economy and what Donald Trump is going to do to turn things around. He talked a little bit about that during the speech, but you know, look, I’m an economist, and I’m working with Trump on the economic stuff, so I wish there had been more of that, and more specificity about what is he going to do to get this economy moving from this anemic 1 ½% growth to the 4 and 5% that we had under Kennedy and Reagan.

HH: And the one thing I am not in step with Team Trump on, the biggest, is international trade. I just had on Dr. Fox.

SM: Yeah.

HH: Now he is going to go negotiate deals with us, with China, with Australia and New Zealand. They’re going to become Singapore with a much bigger economy and a much bigger defense budget, and a much bigger footprint. They are going to be a free trade haven if Liam Fox has his way. He even spoke with praise for the Boeing Airbus deals with Iran in an old Nixonian page about exporting your ideas as well as your goods to your adversaries. If we get on that bus, we could, this world economy can boom. But Donald Trump is worried about that. What’s your assessment of that, Stephen Moore?

SM: So I agree with you mostly, although I’m not quite as dire as you are about where Trump is on trade. I’ve been working with him a little bit on this. And we finally got him to say stuff like trade is good. That’s an obvious thing. We learned that from Adam Smith 200 years ago. But it’s also true, I mean, look, I think Donald Trump has a point, an important point, that Americans feel that these trade deals have not been in America’s interest. And I think this is partly a snap back from Obama. I mean, Obama, everything that he has negotiate, it was the Iran treaty, the Asia trade deal, the climate change deal, all of these things, and there are many more, they put America last rather than first. It’s like on the climate change stuff. Okay, we’re going to jump off a cliff and we’re going to shut down our energy, and then the rest of the world laughs at us, saying yeah, we’ll be right behind you. That’s got to stop. We do have to put America first in these deals. And if we do that, you know, and I think that TPP needs to be renegotiated, in my opinion, that that deal, why does it take thousands and thousands of pages to do a free trade deal?

HH: I don’t know. And I just am in favor of making sure that we’re growing the economy and pushing our…

SM: I know. Yeah.

HH: And sometimes, he gets close to be protectionist, and we do not need Smoot-Holly, right?

SM: Of course not. I mean, Smoot-Holly was the instigator of the Great Depression. One of the things we’re going to do, Hugh, because I’ve been working with Trump mostly on his tax plan, which will be announced in the next week or two, the specifics of it, we’re going to change the way we tax where we start, we stop, we have been, let me put it like this. We have the dumbest business tax system in the entire world. You couldn’t come up with something dumber. So what we do is we tax what we produce here in the United States, but we don’t tax what’s imported into the country. That’s the reverse of what every other country does. The tax system we’re going to put forward on the business side, if something’s produced here in the United States, whether it’s Ohio or California or Texas, and we send it abroad, it’s not going to be taxed. But if something is brought into the country, it will be taxed. And that’s the right way to do it. And you can solve 80% of our trade problems by doing that, by just changing our tax system.

HH: Now Stephen Moore, your new book, Fueling Freedom, I wish everyone in Team Trump had read this, and I’m also wishing that he would do what he did with the Supreme Court appointments, that he would put out two lists – a list of his five or six people like you who are going to be on his council of economic advisors, and a list of five or six people who are going to be on his national security team. It would reassure again, he telegraphed with Mike Pence that he’s going to govern conservatively, and with a growth and national security agenda. But we need some names on that list, don’t we?

SM: All right, so Hugh, I’m going to just slip you an answer then. Here are the three senior economic advisors that he is announcing – Larry Kudlow, Arthur Laffer and Steve Moore. That’s a pretty good team.

HH: That is a very good team.

SM: And on the econ…I know you’ve known Arthur for years. You know, he was one of the architects of the Reagan revolution. So I feel good about the economics people he’s surrounded himself with. My friend, Sam Clovis, is the policy director. When it comes to the people, I think this is actually one of the great assets of Donald Trump. You know, you don’t become incredibly successful in business, and he is. These ideas that oh, he’s gone bankrupt, is ridiculous. He’s built an empire. You don’t do that without surrounding yourself with really, really good people.

HH: When’s that announcement coming, Stephen?

SM: Probably the week after, not this week because of the Philadelphia convention, probably the week after, we’re going to announce the advisors, we’re going to announce the tax plan. And you mentioned the other thing that’s so important is the energy stuff. I believe, and Donald Trump believes this, too. We get this right, within five or six years, the U.S. is the dominant country in the world on energy.

HH: Stephen Moore, I think you just gave us some news, and I love it. Thank you, my friend.

End of interview.

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