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Macron's Landslide Win in French Presidential Election; Warren Buffett Says GOP Bill Benefits Him; North Korea Detains Another American. Aired 9:30-10a ET
Aired May 8, 2017 - 09:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[09:30:00] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: A French lesson this morning. Appreciate it.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: You're welcome.
HARLOW: The opening bell on Wall Street this Monday morning. We'll be right back.
HARLOW: All right, protests this morning in the streets of Paris. Hundreds have gathered at La Place de la Republique (ph) to protest the newly elected president Emmanuel Macron's plans for labor reform specifically.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, earlier today the president-elect met briefly with the outgoing president, Francois Hollande, who confirmed that Macron's inauguration will be this coming Sunday. They do it very quickly in France.
Let's go now to the streets of Paris in the midst, I think, of these protests. That's where we find CNN's Isa Soares.
Isa, what are you seeing?
[09:35:03] ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, the celebration is certainly over. I can tell you that much. Take a look at the scenes here in Paris. We've just come up from La Place Republique and what started as a few hundred, there's definitely more than a thousand or so. These are mainly people who voted against Macron, but also didn't vote for Le Pen. There was, of course, there were 11 million voted for Le Pen, more than 10 percent or so who voted white (ph), and that basically means that they didn't want either of the candidates.
I've been speaking to many people here and these are mainly unions, big unions, who traditionally, historically, vote for the left, vote socialist, for the likes of Melan Strong (ph), who didn't make it (ph). But, today, they're taking to the streets to protest against what they call an elitist president-elect. A president who only serves those at the very top. Many telling them -- telling me they don't approve of the reforms that he has in place.
What we've heard from Macron, from the president-elect, is that he's trying to bring a more free trade globalized vision of France, more open for business. He's trying to bring the unemployment rate down. It's probably at 10 percent. He will -- brings it down to 7 percent, John. And he also wants to reform the labor market.
People here, you know, view the working week as a very sacred thing. They always have. And the fact that he has come out and he's said he wants to make more flexible hours, perhaps business open on Sundays, many people say that is not right and the unions are out in force today.
And if you can see all the way down, (INAUDIBLE) behind me as well, you see so much riot police here because although there are two unions or so, there are also large groups of other young kids who clearly aren't here to start some trouble.
But this is what we heard throughout the campaign and really this divide, John, that we've heard it's -- it's against the globalized version of Macron to those who really are not to the top. So it's what we heard from Le Pen. I t's between the haves and the have notes, between the elitists and those really -- that really struggle to make it day by day. And this is why we are seeing so many people here in the streets. Many families, I should say, some children too. Clearly disillusioned so far with the fact that they didn't like either of the candidates and disillusioned with President-elect Macron.
HARLOW: But, clearly, just a remarkable election and a total shift from politics as they've been for 60 years in France. Isa Soares, thank you very much, on the streets of Paris there.
All right, still to come for us, guess who is predicting that he would get richer? Was it you, John Berman?
BERMAN: He gets -- het gest richer no matter what, this guy. No matter what happens, this guy gets richer.
HARLOW: Who gets richer under the GOP health care bill if it became law? The billionaire Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett, with some tough talk this morning about what that bill would do. Hear what he said, next.
BERMAN: He just got richer during that tease.
HARLOW: He did. That's true.
[09:42:06] BERMAN: All right, Warren Buffet, who is very, very wealthy --
BERMAN: Has said that he believes medical costs are a tapeworm on the American economy. That can be very, very painful. And just this morning he said that one of the biggest differences with this new effort to repeal and replace Obamacare is it will make him even richer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WARREN BUFFETT: Based on the House bill, I'm a lot healthier now than I was a week ago financially.
It was huge what they did on cutting taxing for the rich in this plan. I mean if there's one clear cut message that comes out of that bill, it is, we're going to cut the hell out of income taxes for the rich on investment income.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: All right, joining us now to talk about it, CNN's senior economics analyst, Stephen Moore, a former senior economic adviser to the Trump campaign, and Austan Goolsbee is here, economic professor at the University of Chicago and former chairman of the Council on Economic Advisors under President Obama.
So, just to be clear here, we know Warren Buffett's politics. All right, he was a big supporter of Hillary Clinton in this election. Now, put that to the side, but it's important to note.
But, I mean, Stephen Moore, just looking at the numbers here, this is a guy who knows numbers and he says it makes me a whole lot richer. Can you argue with that, that this is what, you know, the economists you debated on this show on Friday called reverse Robin Hood?
STEPHEN MOORE, CNN SENIOR ECONOMICS ANALYST: Well, Warren Buffett is not going to like the -- I guarantee you he's not going to like the Republican health care plan because there's nobody probably in the United States of America who takes advantage of more loopholes than Warren Buffett does. In fact, he -- he writes off billions and billions of dollars of income that he never paid taxes on by contributing it all to the Gates Foundation, and that's billions of dollars that was never taxed. We're going to get rid of that loophole. But -- but --
HARLOW: OK, just to be clear, that's because he's following tax policy that all of us follow. He's following the tax laws.
MOORE: But I just had to say that. He's a little -- he's a little hypocritical --
HARLOW: He's following the tax laws, but, OK.
MOORE: I know but he's -- I know he's just hypocritical when he keeps saying I want to pay more taxes but then he puts billions of dollars in a -- in a foundation to avoid paying taxes.
But I'll say this, look, and Austan I think will -- can verify this, that every time we have cut the capital gains tax in the last 35 years, going back to '81, '87 under Bill Clinton, in 2003 under George W. Bush, every time we cut the capital gains tax, we have had more revenue into the government, not less. So this isn't going to reduce revenues, it will increase them. There are other taxes, by the way, in Obamacare that really hurt the economy. The medical devise tax, the tax on drugs and vaccines, the tax on health insurance plans. I mean all of those things didn't just effect the rich, they effected the middle class as well.
BERMAN: Austan, you know, Stephen said you would verify his claims. Could you please --
AUSTAN GOOLSBEE, FORMER CHAIRMAN, COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISERS: No.
MOORE: I'm waiting, Austan.
GOOLSBEE: Let me say one thing about Warren Buffett. He gave the largest charitable contribution I believe in the history of the world. And he should not be criticized for that. It's not a tax loophole that you can make a charitable contribution.
[09:45:00] Number two --
MOORE: Yes, but -- my only point, Austan, is never pay tax on that money.
GOOLSBEE: Warren Buffett is correct. Warren Buffett is entirely correct that if you go look at the Republican health plan, it, on one side, cuts taxes for high income people by hundreds of billions of dollars and on the other side -- and I haven't seen it as remarked, it's going to get Donald Trump in a heap of trouble because a central campaign promise that he made to the American people was that he would never cut Medicare or Medicaid. And it's an almost $900 billion cut to Medicaid. So it's defacto. This bill cuts taxes for massively high income people by hundreds of billions and cuts the health care of low and middle income Americans by hundreds of billions.
HARLOW: Let me get --
GOOLSBEE: I just don't think that's going to make it easy.
MOORE: Well, can I just correct one thing.
HARLOW: Let me -- let's -- no, Stephen Moore --
MOORE: Austan, let me just correct one thing. He never -- he did say he would not cut Social Security and Medicare. I mean I was there when he said it. But he never said that we weren't going to reform Medicaid. I mean Medicaid is exploding (INAUDIBLE).
HARLOW: That's not true. He said -- I'm going to quote -- he said I am not going to --
GOOLSBEE: That is not correct. He specifically said to Mike Huckabee that he would never cut Medicaid or Medicare.
HARLOW: Yes, and he said it --
MOORE: I don't believe so because that was central to our plan all along. GOOLSBEE: We're going to get his tweets and he's going to get himself in a whole lot of trouble --
GOOLSBEE: Because they're just going to run the tape of exactly what he said.
MOORE: Wait, wait, Austan, it isn't true because, look, what -- what Obamacare really is was just a massive increase in Medicare spending. So how can you reform Obamacare if you're not going to reform the Medicaid program. What we do, Poppy, is we turn the program over to the states.
GOOLSBEE: I -- you -- you should ask Donald Trump that. You should ask Donald Trump. Just ask him. He promised no cuts to Medicaid.
HARLOW: All right, guys, guys, we're going to pull the tape. I've got to jump in on this -- on the jobs question tied to health care --
HARLOW: But we're going to pull the tape. They ran three sound bites on "State of the Union" on this network yesterday where he talked about not touching Medicaid.
MOORE: All right.
HARLOW: On the jobs front, Stephen Moore, when you look at how much money has poured into the health care system --
HARLOW: It has meant 1.1 million health care jobs added since 2014. The CBO say if you pull out, you know, 60 to 80 billion a year over the next decade, which this previous Republican plan would do, should the Trump administration expect the see some pretty significant job losses in the health care sector?
MOORE: Well, look, I think the whole problem, Poppy, with our -- with our health care market -- and this is something liberals have been saying for decades is that we -- we spend way, way too much of our GDP on health care, you know, which is, what, right now, 15 to 16 percent of our -- our GDP. So the fact that we're -- we're having more and more jobs in two industries, health care and education, and we're not building factories, we're not building middle class jobs for this country, I think is a bad thing. We spend too much on health care in this country. I thought that's what liberals have been saying for 20 years.
BERMAN: Austan, last word.
GOOLSBEE: Yes. Look, I don't -- I don't -- I don't disagree with the main thrust of what Steve's saying there, though I don't want to get rid of the education jobs. Let's keep the -- let's keep (INAUDIBLE).
MOORE: Well, that's because you're a professor.
GOOLSBEE: But I think Steve's right, look, let's not -- if we could find a way to deliver the same health care for less money, that would be great. We would be able to expand jobs in other industries.
BERMAN: Right, let me just --
GOOLSBEE: So I don't think the jobs angle is a great (INAUDIBLE).
HARLOW: Hold on. We have an important live -- live fact check here.
BERMAN: Let me just give you a dramatic reading, you know, of one of the statements Donald Trump made, "I'm not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican and I'm not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid," he told the conservative "Daily Signal."
MOORE: OK, well, I stand corrected. But, John, my only point was, if you're going to fix Obamacare, the massive increase in Medicaid spending -- and all we want to do is turn some of this back to the states, deregulate it so they can -- they can, you know, come up with their own plans.
MOORE: They've done this in states like Indiana and Rhode Island, improved care, improved coverage and lowered cost. It's just what -- what Austan was talking about. Austan, why do you -- why do you (INAUDIBLE) that?
GOOLSBEE: OK, but, let me say --
BERMAN: Guys, we've got to go. We're going to go here. But it is the issue -- it is the issue occasionally with over promising, you know, and lack of detail sometimes in these proposals.
Stephen Moore, Austan Goolsbee, thank you very, very much.
HARLOW: Nice to have you.
MOORE: All right.
BERMAN: All right, a new U.S. professor has been detained in North Korea. What the government is now saying about why he was working against the regime.
[09:53:38] HARLOW: This morning, another U.S. citizen is detained in North Korea. Professor Kim Hok-song is being held on suspicion of hostile acts against the North Korean government while doing agriculture work in the country. CNN's senior international correspondent Ivan Watson is live in Seoul for us.
I mean this comes just a few weeks after another American professor was detained there. IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right.
Barely two weeks. Another American professor from the same Pyongyang University of Science and Technology.
Now, Poppy, imagine what it would be like to find out that your husband had just been detained by the North Koreans on suspicion of plotting crimes against the state. That is what happened to Kim Mi-ok, the wife of this naturalized U.S. citizen, this agriculture expert who had been teaching techniques to harvest rice in North Korea and also an evangelical Christian pastor. And I asked this very distressed woman what her message was to North Korea right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIM MI-OK, KIM HANK-SONG'S WIFE (through translator): We are all the same people. We have been serving the people we love. So I hope this detention issue is solved in a humanitarian way and he is sent back to our family. Members of our family are waiting.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON: Now, she says that she was waiting in China at a train station for her husband to arrive from Pyongyang on a train on Saturday, and he never came off that train. She says he's been falsely accused.
[09:55:10] Now, the two men that have been detained in the last two and a half weeks, they are in a very serious situation because you have this major confrontation between the U.S. and North Korean governments over its nuclear program. You have U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, who's suggested that maybe these Americans are being used as bargaining chips. And there are no official diplomatic relations between these two governments. Two other -- at least two other American citizens who have been in detention since 2015 and 2016 in North Korea have been sentenced to 10 and 15 years of hard labor.
BERMAN: Unbelievable. Real people caught in the middle.
Ivan Watson in Seoul, thank you very, very much.
A crucial day of testimony on Capitol Hill. What did the White House know about Michael Flynn's contacts with Russia? A key witness under attack this morning from the president himself. We have new developments next.