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Trump's Tax Plan; Trump Jobs Market; Clapper & Yates to Testify; Trump's Position on Wall; Administration Positions Unfilled. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired April 25, 2017 - 08:30   ET



[08:31:25] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, so President Trump plans to unveil his new tax plan tomorrow. Sources tell CNN the president wants to cut the corporate tax rate drastically from 35 percent to 15 percent. Treasure Secretary Steve Mnuchin says the tax plan will pay for itself.

Hmm, let's discuss. Let's debate with Anthony Chan, managing director and chief economist for Chase, and Stephen Moore, CNN's senior economics analyst and former senior economic advisor for the Trump campaign.

Now, Stephen, let's just lay the politics out there. They got problems with the health care bill. They're not going to be able to account the savings they got there to how (ph) to pay for the tax cut. So now we get this idea. Make the case for how a tax cut for big business means growth.

STEPHEN MOORE, CNN SENIOR ECONOMICS ANALYST: Well, I'm smiling just because I waited a long time for this day. Finally we're going to get the official announcements of the tax plan. I worked with Donald Trump on fashioning the plan back during the campaign. It looks right now like what Trump is going to unveil tomorrow is going to be very similar to what he talked about in the campaign, which is a business tax rate of 15 percent. And, by the way, just so your viewers know, it's not just for the big businesses. It's not just for corporations. From the first meeting I ever had with Donald Trump, he said he wanted to make this available to the 26.5 million small businesses.

Now, you asked me the question about how it's going to be paid for. I don't know if I would say that this is going to entirely pay for itself, but I think almost all economists agree that we're very severely hampering our economy with our very highest in the world corporate and business tax rate, and that reduces jobs and wages in this country. So you are going to get some feedback effects. You're going to see a lot of those businesses that have been leaving the country coming back here. Guess what, they start paying taxes here.

CUOMO: All right, Anthony Chan, what's the other side of this?

ANTHONY CHAN, MANAGING DIRECTOR & CHIEF ECONOMIST, CHASE: Well, the other side is that the labor market is very strong. We have a 4.5 percent unemployment rate. We have a tight labor market. We have the -- one of the highest quit rates that we've had during the economic expansion. So I'm not sure why Stephen believes that this labor market is weak.

But I do agree with him that we are going to get the economic grows faster with this tax cut. But are we not going to pay for it? Are we going to pay for it? Absolutely not. And I was really happy that Stephen was candid and mentioned that because for every 1 percentage point that you cut the corporate tax rate, that's $100 billion that you lose over a 10 year period. You go to 15 percent, we're talking about $2 trillion over the next ten years. How are you going to pay for that? A lot of the components that were going to be used to be paying for it, like the border adjustment tax that will raise about $1.1 trillion, at this point it's not clear that the president is fully supportive of that.

And, by the way, even before you finish this story, you have to also talk about other things, such as cutting the personal tax cuts, which the president also talked about. That's another $1.2 to $1.3 trillion. So there's a lot of different components and this is not going to be paid for.

Now, I know some people will say, oh, the economy will grow faster. Dynamic scoring will be the magic. But that is not the end all solution because if you project that dynamic scoring will do it and the economy will grow for the next 10 years, guess what, this is already the third longest economic expansion. This expansion will be eight years in June, the average age is about 4.9 years. So we are not going to see this expansion continue for another ten years. Even though I hope we will. So it's definitely not going to pay for it.

CUOMO: A lot of question marks, Stephen. There's also something else. Isn't the reality that why the nominal rate for c corporations, big corporations, 35, that the practical rate is down around 20 percent? So, you know, hasn't this been baked in a little bit already for businesses? They already find their ways around this, you know, apparently burdensome tax of 35 percent?

[08:35:12] MOORE: Well, that's why we have the dumbest corporate tax system in the world. You can't -- you couldn't sit down and come up with anything dumber than what we have right now. So we have the highest statutory rates in the world. The Congressional Budget Office just validated that. They also found, by the way, that we also have the highest effective rate. So we -- even when you take into account the loopholes, we still have the highest rates in the world. That makes American uncompetitive. I mean there's just no doubt about that. My goodness, France is going to reduce their corporate tax rate to lower than the United States rate. What's wrong with this picture when France has lower business tax rates than the United States of America?

Now, on this issue about, you know, what makes it so stupid, by the way, is, you're right, you do have some corporations that are paying effective tax rates of, you know, 5 percent or 10 percent and you have others that are paying, you know, 35 percent. That's not fair.

By the way, we only raised $300 billion a year from our corporate tax system and yet, as you guys know, I mean the compliance costs of the corporate tax are extremely high and has very negative effects on workers.

One last thing. I mean, look, how can you possibly say that this is a good labor market? Every single survey and poll taken by CNN and other major pollsters have found the major thing that Americans are concerned about are not just jobs. I mean, look, the job market is pretty good if you want a job to work at Walmart or Burger King. The problem -- the problem is we're not creating the high paying jobs. We need the high paying jobs.

CUOMO: All right, Anthony, answer that criticism because we're out of time.

CHAN: Stephen, if you look at the Gallup polls today, they're saying that this is one of the best times to find a quality job. So there is no argument that the legal market is not strong. Can it be better? Absolutely.

And, by the way, Stephen, I do --

MOORE: It needs to be a lot better.

CHAN: I do agree with you, that this taxism (ph) could be improved --


CHAN: But that doesn't mean that it's going to be paid for. We're going to have massive red ink. And, in fact, don't use the words of a Democrat. Use the words of George H. Bush that actually called dynamic scoring voodoo economics.

MOORE: Well --

CHAN: So I hope it works, but it just hasn't --

MOORE: Yes, I --

CHAN: It didn't work in 1991, and it didn't work in 1981.

CUOMO: All right.

MOORE: So George H.W. Bush admitted that he was wrong because we had a doubling of the revenues when Reagan cut the tax rate. So George H.W. Bush admitted it wasn't voodoo economics. It worked. We had the biggest boom in American history for goodness sakes.

CUOMO: All right. The question is, was it because of it or despite it.

Stephen Moore, Anthony Chan, thank you very much. Appreciate your takes.


CUOMO: Helpful to the show and the audience.

CHAN: Yes, take care.

CUOMO: All right. So, the president ran on the promise to be a jobs creator, right? That's why we're talking about what's going to be in this tax plan. So, how's he doing 100 days in? How are we doing with jobs? You just heard the two experts talking about it. Let's look at the numbers, next.


[08:41:41] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: OK, time for "CNN Money Now." President Trump claimed that he'd be the greatest job producer God ever created. So how many jobs has he created in his first 100 days? Chief business correspondent Christine Romans has the number.


As you know, on the campaign trail, he said this was basically the worst economy since the Great Depression and he said that the jobs scenario was terrible. Now, 100 days in, after the last jobs report, he's very confident.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We've created over 600,000 jobs already in a very short period of time, and it's going to really start catching on now because some of the things that we've done are big league (ph) and they are catching on.


ROMANS: A short period of time, a very different view from this president. Let's take a look at that claim. He says almost 600,000 jobs. It's really 317,000 jobs. This is sort of trumpian. Donald Trump likes to exaggerate a little bit. A little bit of hyperbole there. But 600,000. Even if in January, when he wasn't the president for the entire month, if you add those numbers in, you still get to 533. So we'll take that bit of exaggeration and we'll -- we'll examine what it looks like compared with his predecessors.

And this is what's really interesting. President Trump, at 317,000 jobs created in 2017, much better than his predecessors. You can see what happened with Barack Obama. I think that needs no explanation. That was the end of the world almost for the economy there. So we were hemorrhaging jobs there. 2001, that was a slow recovery after the dot com bubble. And then look at this, Bill Clinton created 194,000 jobs. Look, he went on to create almost 23 million jobs over the next eight years. Donald Trump has promised 25 million over a period of ten years. So he has work to do. He's got to have 208,000 jobs per month to be the best job creator God ever made, you guys.

CAMEROTA: All right, we know that you will keep track of the numbers so we don't have to.

Thank you very much.

CUOMO: All right, there's another big development for you this morning. We just learned who the first witnesses to testify in the Senate investigations into Russia's meddling in the U.S. election will be. That's part of "The Bottom Line," next.


[08:47:43] CAMEROTA: OK, we have some new information this morning. The Senate Judiciary Committee just announced moments ago that former director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, and former acting attorney general, Sally Yates, will testify on Russia's election interference on May 8th.

Let's find out what this means in "The Bottom Line" with CNN political director David Chalian.

David, great to have you here in studio.

So now we have a date certain. That's for the Senate Judiciary Committee. The House Intel Committee, which obviously is still investigating Russia's meddling, also is going to be interviewing Sally Yates. So what does this mean?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: And you remember, this was the testimony that White House tried to block, did not want Sally Yates to testify, which pretty much guaranteed that she was going to be testifying. You have to remember Sally Yate's role in this drama for why this is not going to be a pleasant day when she -- May 8th when she testifies for the administration because she was the one, as acting attorney general, that went running to the White House counsel to say, hey, Michael Flynn wasn't truthful. He is not -- what Mike Pence said is not right. Michael Flynn was not truthful with you guys. I know things that you should know because of the conversations he was having with the Russians.

So this -- now she's going to detail sort of, I'm sure, in an hour by hour way of what she learned. And I don't think this administration on May 8th, just after they're trying to rack up these accomplishments for 100 days, is going to want to revisit Michael Flynn who they jettisoned.

CUOMO: Yes, they jettisoned and it will be interesting to see how they throw him on the bus. They have to be careful because if Flynn testifies, they may not like what he says.

But -- so you're teeing it up as Yates is the bigger get for them than Clapper?

CHALIAN: I mean, no doubt, both have a story to tell here. Remember, I mean, Clapper was part of the definitive statement when those 17 agencies came together and said Russia meddled in the American election.

CUOMO: Right, but his big political takeaway was, you know, at the time that you left, did you ever see any proof of any collusion or any type of wrong communication between Russia and Trump's people? He said no. CHALIAN: Right. He -- he is going to offer a lot more testimony I

think on the side of the Russian meddling in the election, not the Trump collusion, the Trump associate collusion side of it.

CAMEROTA: We've been talking about the border wall with Mexico this morning and whether or not President Trump is backing off of that because that was going to be sort of the lynch pin of whether or not they were going to pass this spending bill and keep the government open and he was asking for $1.4 billion. But now people are saying, well, it can just be border security. It doesn't have to be a border wall. And we had heard that the White House was saying, we're not going to actually hang the future of the government shutdown on this. President Trump just tweeted about it. He said, "don't let the fake media tell you I've changed my position on the wall. It will get built and help stop drugs, human trafficking, et cetera." Has he changed his position on the wall?

[08:50:32] CHALIAN: No. I don't think anybody's saying he changed his position on the wall. What he did is punt for the funding of the wall to a different time. He clearly wants to build the wall. I don't think anybody's saying he's changed the position on that. But what is clear is, he saw what was coming down the pike. If they were going to hold a hard line --


CHALIAN: That wall funding had to be in this bill to continue to fund the government just through this fiscal year, through the end of September, the government was likely going to shut down because not a single Democrat was going to come on board. And I think it was so important to the White House to avoid that cliff-hanging drama at the end of the week of his first 100 days that he said, it does not need to be in this bill.

CUOMO: Well, and I do, I think you could argue a couple things. One, I think Reince Priebus did change on the Sunday show with Chuck Todd about where they were. He started saying border security, not just a hard line on the wall. So that's one of his guys. He can take it up with him.

But also, do you like this if you're one of his guys, doubling down on this promise. You know you don't have a lot of GOP support for it. You know you have no Democrat support for it. Is he still putting himself at risk for another big lose?

CHALIAN: Did you listen to the voters that Alisyn was talking to? This is --

CUOMO: I'm saying in Congress.

CHALIAN: I know, but this -- this was the rallying cry. The biggest -- one of the biggest applause lines at every --

CUOMO: So was repeal and replace.

CHALIAN: At every rally. Yes. And, you know, they haven't given up on that either because they understand there is a political imperative to deliver on some of your biggest promises. And, yes, even if they are not politically popular with Congress rite large or even with the majority of the American people, he has got to show that he is working on those core promises because while the base is so clearly with him and they are willing to hang through thick and thin, if you start throwing away the core promises and just say I have no interest in that anymore, I don't know how much longer the base sticks with him at that point.

CAMEROTA: But you're so right about that, David, because he -- you're right, he hasn't changed his position. But if you never get funding, then you don't ever have to change your position (INAUDIBLE) --

CUOMO: And he kind of did also from Mexico's going to pay for it, to they'll pay for it in some form later. We'll pay for it first.

CAMEROTA: Now that's true. That is true.

CHALIAN: There's no doubt about that.

CAMEROTA: That's where the details have certainly changed. But as long as he never backs off his position, then they can always say, and you heard it in the Trump panel here, well, it's Congress's fault. Congress is the impediment.

CHALIAN: Which is why I think you heard all this talk from the White House in the lead-up to the 100 days, we've got to go for health care again, even though they understood there was no way health care was not going to get revisited this week in a serious way. But what they -- what they wanted to show was the continued fight for it.

CUOMO: Who is they, because, you know, I continue on this, that somebody did the president a disservice telling him, hey, get out in front of that health care thing, say it's going to happen, say we'll get both done next week. I wonder who was putting that in his head because he set himself up for disappointment.

CHALIAN: Well, there was a divide, Chris. I mean I don't think the White House staff was all in one place on whether or not health care should be first.

CUOMO: So, do you think it's a fair metric in looking at these first 100 days to look at all of the positions that haven't filled -- been filled around the president to help him do the job? Five-hundred and fifty-six key positions, 470 not even a nominee. That is light to losing compared to previous administrations. What do you make of it?

CHALIAN: He's not serving himself well, that's first of all, because you don't have all these people in these slots that can move your agenda forward. So never mind that it may look politically incompetent that he hasn't been able to get his folks through, it's just not serving the functioning well for what he wants to do.

CUOMO: Right.

CHALIAN: I don't know -- I think that's a pretty decent metric. It's one of many metrics. So I don't think you could take 100 days and just sum it up in one metric. I think you've got to look at the totality of it.

CUOMO: Right.

CHALIAN: I think that's a fair one to look at.

CAMEROTA: David Chalian, thanks so much for "The Bottom Line." Great to have you here.

CHALIAN: Sure. Thank you.

CAMEROTA: "The Good Stuff" is next.


[08:58:49] CUOMO: Time for "The Good Stuff." Simple, sweet and complete. Take a look. That's Jordan James doing what he loves best, riding his bike. But that's not his original ride.


JORDAN JAMES: My grandpa bought me a new bike. Then that one got stolen.


CUOMO: They stole his bike when he went into the store to buy something.

CAMEROTA: How dare they?

CUOMO: Enter Nevada Officer Mark Evans (ph). He hears about what happened. Surprises the eight-year-old with a brand-new bike. Jordan and his uncle couldn't believe it.


JAMES: It's brand-new, and it is so great.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The excitement in my sister's face and his face, their voice, it's just -- it's heartwarming.


CUOMO: Evans isn't made of money, but he knew it would matter a lot to the kid, so he did the right thing, protect and serve.

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh. That is so wonderful. The generosity that we highlight of police officers just knows no bounds in our stories. Great "Good Stuff."

All right, time for CNN "NEWSROOM" with Poppy Harlow and John Berman.

Good morning, guys.


We have a lot of news this morning. Let's get right to it.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

[09:00:00] HARLOW: Top of the hour, 9:00 a.m. Eastern. Good morning, everyone. I'm Poppy Harlow.


We do have breaking news this morning. A fiery reception for Ivanka Trump. The first daughter on her first official overseas trip in the middle right now of maybe her first foreign controversy.