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President Of The United States Went After The Mayor Of An American City; Relief Efforts That Are Under Way In New York; New CNN Polls Shows Just How Divided Americans Are Over The Decision By Many NFL Players To Take A Knee During The National Anthem To Express Their Views; President Trump Is Pushing Hard For The Biggest Overhaul Of Nation's Tax Code In Three Decades. Aired 4-5p ET
Aired September 30, 2017 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[16:00:28] ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. Thank you for being here on this Saturday. I am Ana Cabrera in New York. Great to have you here.
Today the President of the United States went after the mayor of an American city, a mayor who is desperately begging for help and talking about Puerto Rico. And the people there are dealing the catastrophic aftermath of hurricane Maria. Power is still out and still no cleaning running water for millions of people. And the mayor is pleading to anyone who can hear her voice.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR CARMEN YULIN CRUZ, SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO: I will do what I never thought I was going to do. I am begging, begging anyone that can hear us, to save us from dying. If anybody out there is listening to us, we are dying. And you are killing us with the in efficiency and the bureaucracy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: President Trump responded in an early morning tweet by calling the San Juan's mayor a poor leader. He wrote, poor leadership ability by the mayor of San Juan and others.
Also this, they want everything to be done for them when it is a community's effort.
And just a few minutes ago a new tweet from the President, this one praising Puerto Rico governor saying, the governor of Puerto Rico Ricardo Resellio is a great guy and leader who is really working hard. Thank you, Rickey.
CNN's Boris Sanchez is in San Juan right now.
Boris, we are now getting out about these tweets from President Trump. How are people in Puerto Rico reacting?
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They are not taking it well, Ana. Several people telling me things that I cannot repeat to you on the air. It is inappropriate to use the adjective they did about President Trump. I spoke to three elderly women who told me that it is his obligation to care for the American people and he is not doing that. Several people telling me that it hurts. They have to remind the mainland that they are Americans.
I want you to listen to what this gentleman told me, someone who is taking matters into his own hands, not waiting for help on the outside but going on the high-rises neighborhood that I am in right now. It called (SPEAKING LANGUAGE) to check on senior citizens whose elevators have gone in repair and can't get up and down stairs. He is banded together with a group of doctors to go into their requirements. Check on them and make sure they have water and medication. Listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMAURY RIVERA, PUERTO RICAN RESIDENT: What we are doing is that the doctors and ourselves who are using from our own personal money to buy the medicine that for those that are in need. Fortunately, the (INAUDIBLE) pharmacies that are around here have given out some donations. We are going to need help because what we are doing is taking care of the immediate need but that does not take care of the need in the next few weeks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: That gentleman, Amaury Rivera, Ana, is homeless right now. Hurricane Maria left him without a home but he is still going into his neighborhood and helping people. That directly contradicts what the President is saying that Puerto Rico is asking for the federal government to do everything for them. And we are seeing things like that again and again.
Just one last note, Ana, I do want to point out. It is sort of raining where we are in San Juan. That is going to present a serious problem for an island that is saturated with water specifically in neighborhoods that flooded during hurricane Maria and tend to flood even for minor rainstorm.
One man that I spoke to in one of those neighborhoods not far from here already has several other families inside his home that he gave shelter to. He is offering them resources that are difficult to find right now on the island. So there is certainly a sense of ownership and community here but not liking for the President had to say about the people here in Puerto Rico.
CABRERA: When you say operating the resources that are difficult to find on the island, I am assuming you are talking about some bare necessities.
SANCHEZ: Yes, absolutely. Food and water and gasoline and electricity is a serious problem. But for people who lined up for hours outside of supermarkets trying to feed their very hungry children, it is heartbreaking to then walk in and seeing that store shelves are empty. Yesterday, a mayor in a town, south of us toward the central port of
the island went around town with people running into the street calling out his convoy begging for aide, he was able to provide them with things that they have not had in several days, potable water and food, MREs, emergency tool kits. But he even admitted to them that he knows that that will only last them a certain amount of time. They will need much more to get back on their feet in Puerto Rico. Ten days after hurricane Maria struck the island.
[16:05:21] CABRERA: All right, Boris Sanchez in San Juan. Boris, thank you.
Let's get reactions to President Trump's comment from a Texas Democrat familiar with hurricane damage. Congress Al Green represents parts of Houston, the city is still struggling to recover from Harvey's devastating blow. And he made some headline this week when he called for President Trump's impeachment. And also Congressman Green suggested African-American should consider declining White House invitations until President Trump apologizes for his profane description of NFL players who kneel during the national anthem.
Congressman, thank you for being here. I want to get your take on President Trump's attack today on Puerto Ricans saying they want everything done for them.
REP. AL GREEN (D), TEXAS: Thank you for having me. I was very disappointed, in fact, I was hurt when I heard that the President said this. And I am hurt because it causes me to harken back to a time when persons would say that African-Americans were lazy and they just wanted handouts. They were not going to pull themselves up by their (INAUDIBLE).
The Puerto Rican people are hardworking loyal Americans. They have done everything right in terms of responding the storm. And the President knows that only the federal government can help them and extricate them from their current situation.
We should have sent them more helicopters. The President knows this. In Texas, when we had a shortage, we sent in more helicopters. We sent in more National Guardsmen. We made sure we took care of Texas. But then Texas has 38 electoral votes. Florida had 29 electoral votes. Puerto Rico has zero. The President is playing politics with the lives of the Puerto Rican people.
CABRERA: How would hurricane survivors there in Houston react of the President said they want everything done for them.
GREEN: I guarantee you the President won't say it. But if, per chance, he did say something as an aim off this, the people in Houston, Texas, will be up in arms not with guns but they would be outrage and they would show it. And they would have an opportunity to express themselves of the next election of the people of Houston and Florida, people that the President has to depend onto get elected.
He can't get elected without Houston, without Texas and Florida. He knows this. So he is playing politics. But you shouldn't play politics with the lives of people. When I heard that mayor, issuing the crawly and call which she did, it reminded me of the mayor down in Louisiana, in New Orleans who issued a crawly and call for help. Very similar circumstances. We don't leave people stranded when we got the most powerful military in the world and we can do something about it.
CABRERA: Given the history of the President's rhetoric and us versus them that comes through and his comments attacking the mayor of the people of Puerto Rico, do you think that these remarks have anything to do with the color of their skin or the fact that they are Spanish people?
GREEN: Well, I will tell you this. I don't believe that if they were all Anglos we will do it. I just don't believe it. I have to be truth full with you. If they were all Anglos, I don't believe the President would have the attitude that they have because you don't hear that kind dog whistle of people not letting to prove themselves by (INAUDIBLE) or Anglos. That's not been reserved for people of color. And it sends a signals to others as to what the defense would be for the President.
So now, they all know when they get on this program, they are supposed to talk about the budget and what it is going to cost. We don't worry about costs when people have their lives at stake. A lifeguard doesn't ask about the depth of the person that is about to drawn. The live guards have the duty to dive in and save lives. The President is the life guard of the United States of America. He is the guy in- charge and he ought to act like every American life has equal value and all of us are the same. He should not put some above the others and that's what he is doing.
CABRERA: Now on the other hand, Puerto Rico governor says the federal government is responding to all of their requests and recognizing the urgency of the situation. Those were his words.
So congressman, do you think all the criticisms is fair?
GREEN: Well, I understand why he is doing it. He is not in the position to be exceedingly critical. Because if you do, the President has his back in calls. We are under his control. This system works such that when you have these natural disaster, you have to kiss up to the people that are coming into help you so that they will give you the help that you need expeditiously. And that's unfortunate that we put people in a position where they got to say things that they don't necessary believe so that they can get the help that they think they deserve.
CABRERA: Congressman Al Green, thank you so much for your time.
[16:10:01] GREEN: Thank you very much for having me.
CABRERA: I want to keep the conversation going and bring in a Republican to respond to his remarks. Joining us now is Jack Kingston, the former Congress from Georgia. Also with us Maria Cardona, Democratic strategist who has family roots in Puerto Rico.
But Jack, to you first. Reaction to Representative Green's comment specifically when that, if these people were all Anglos he probably wouldn't have said what he said.
JACK KINGSTON, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER RO THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN: You know, I'm sorry with Al. I'm disappointed. That is just pure raw race baiting. And Al bring us better than that. I know he wants to impeach the President. And so, any criticism of Trump is valid as far as he is concerned. But I am disappointed in Al. I know Al and I think he is better than that. But it is just race-baiting. That's not what we need.
You know, I represented the coast of Georgia, live in the coast of Georgia. We had hurricanes and I have been in Congress. There are four of them. It is a frustrating time. We have not had anything of the degree of what Puerto Rico is going through. But I know that people get very frustrated because you lose your conveniences, you lose your transportation. You get separated from groceries, water, medicine. The nerves and the emotions were on high.
But I want to point out that the mayor has not been to the command and control center which is something that she says on Fredricka with just this afternoon with something that (INAUDIBLE). And you have to have unified leadership from the federal state and local MO. And if she is going to criticize how the recovery efforts are going, she should at least go by the command center in San Juan. I think that would be helpful.
But I know this. Jennifer Gonzales who is the delegate who is the federal representative. She has been very complementary and working steadily with the White House. But she is not all kisses either, she is saying this is a tough job. We got more to do and certainly the governor has said the same thing. So I have to say that if everybody was on one page saying this is horrible, then it maybe one thing. But I do think some of this, the criticism of the San Juan mayor maybe instead of running to the television said she should run to command and control center.
CABRERA: Maria, go ahead.
MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Wow. There is just so much here to say Ana. And as you know my brother lives in Puerto Rico. I grew up in Puerto Rico. I have friends and family who still cannot get in touch with their friends and family and their love ones on the island.
So when I see this disgusting, disgraceful tweet that this President is leveling against one of the local leaders who is not just showing leadership. She is living this nightmare. Her home was destroyed and she is living in a shelter with 700 other American citizens of the 3.5 million American citizens who are now suffering on the island.
And Jack, I am sorry. These people did not just lose their conveniences. Many of them are losing their lives. And this President has been nothing but cruel. He has been callous. He is morally corrupt. And for him to send those tweets from his guided golf course and then Mr. New Jersey, it means that he has got to get his butt off that gulf course. He has got to go down to Puerto Rico. He has got to see the devastation on its own, by himself, roll up his sleeves and let's see if he has (INAUDIBLE) to even spend one night in the shelter where the mayor is living the breathing the devastation that nobody understands unless they have been down or unless they are talking to people who are living this nightmare on the daily basis.
KINGSTON: Maria, but as you know he is going Tuesday. He could not have gone earlier because it would have diverted energy and resources from search and rescue. And by the way, they have search --.
CABRERA: But Jack -- let me stop you there. Hold on. Hold on because it is been ten days. The President went to Houston, to Texas twice in the first week after hurricane Harvey hit where they too.
KINGSTON: But that's because -- the President goes as soon as it stabilized. This has not been stabilized. This is a much bigger disaster. As you know, they have had to search 2600 bills and they have rescued 843 people, you know.
But look at what's happening. Before the hurricane hit, they had 4500 federal employees on the ground. Right now that number is 11,800. They got about 70 percent of gas stations are opened. Eleven of the major roads are opened. The hospitals --.
CABRERA: Ninety-five percent of people still don't have electricity and almost half of the people in town nearly - the number of people water. That's water. That's not electricity. That's what u was going to say.
CABRERA: Jack, hold on. Jack, how do you the President tweets help the situation?
KINGSTON: I don't think they do. And let me say this.
CARDONA: Thank you.
KINGSTON: I want to say -- you know I am in agreement with you on that. I think the President has been frustrated. But the truth the matter is --
KINGSTON: And there is a lot of frustration on the ground whether it is a flood, whether it is a fire, whether it is hurricane. I understand emotions run high. But if you look at the response that has been down there, it has been decent which is my why the governor and delegate.
[16:15:14] CARDONA: No. It has been dismal, Jack.
CABRERA: One at a time.
Let me ask you this, Maria. I want to ask you this question, Maria. Because this was a tweet from President Trump, when he was citizen Trump. This is August of 2016 where he writes, President Obama should have gone to Louisiana days ago instead of golfing too little too late. So it would be easy to call Trump a hypocrite here. But looking at the criticism, President Bush received for Katrina and President Obama got for Sandy.
Is President Trump really doing anything drastically different or is this simply hurricane recovery takes a while, criticism is certainly natural.
CARDONA: Well, criticism certainly is natural. But I have to say given of what happened in Texas and what happened Florida which you know by many reviews, the federal government has gotten good reviews for that. This President did not plan, the federal government did not have the right plans in place for Puerto Rico.
Ana, you know that this hurricane did not just show up out of the blue. This had been tracked. We knew it was coming. We knew Puerto Rico's infrastructure was completely -- hang on, Jack. Hang on. I did not interrupt you, Jack.
CARDONA: Hey, Jack! I am not filibustering, I am answering the question. I know it is tough to hear the truth of the President that you --
CABRERA: Hey guys, one at a time.
CARDONA: OK. The fact that the matter is, Jack, that this President was incompetent and/or he was executing willful ignorance because he was not prepared for this. He knew this was coming. He might have had 4500 people on the ground, Jack. But guess not, that want enough. Why is it that our own CNN reporters are able to get to the most vulnerable people and the first thing they say to them is they have yet to see somebody from the federal government go and talk to them.
That's disgraceful. It is shameful for the richest and most powerful country in the United States to not have had a general that is focused on this two days this hurricane hit. The way that they did after Haiti had their earthquake when they had 25,000 troops in the first week, it is nothing but disgraceful.
KINGSTON: They had 4500 people on the ground before the storm. They had 11,800 right now.
CARDONA: It is not enough.
KINGSTON: And by the way, when you talk about --
CABRERA: Jack, the general who is in charge right now, Jack - I want to give you a full chance to respond. But the general, just again looking at the facts and what has been said. The general who is now been assigned to leave the response by this administration has said there is not enough people there yet.
KINGSTON: Well -- listen. We all need to unify and make sure that there are enough people there. And sometimes, your first reaction during the storm, though, is to rescue lives. Twenty-six hundred buildings have been searched, 843 people have been rescued. Their lives have been saved. Hospitals right now in San Juan about 60 to 70 percent of the hospitals are operating at some level. Electricity is back in most of these hospitals as well.
CARDONA: They don't have the supplies they need.
KINGSTON: But they got some like ten more ships coming in right now. So it is a difficult clean up. But again, the governor and the delegate who are highest elected officials are very complementary of what's going on in the White House.
I hate to see the disaster coming down to -- well, this is not enough. We shouldn't be fighting about this. Because I can promise you no matter how good the response is, there are always going to be unhappy people for legitimate reasons, too. Let me say that.
There is always going to be some shortfall. You can always do better. But Maria, you know the history of Puerto Rico. They got so many disasters over the years.
CARDONA: Yes, I do.
KINGSTON: I think the people --.
CABRERA: All right, guys. Thank you both.
CARDONA: That's why the President has been so incompetent.
KINGSTON: That's an opinion though.
CARDONA: No, it is actually a fact.
CABRERA: All right, we'll let you continue this conversation into the break. But we are going to save them in. Thank you both.
Coming up, we will take you to the relief efforts that are under way in New York where New Yorkers are now banding together to help Puerto Ricans in desperate need of help. Stay with us.
You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[16:23:45] CABRERA: Puerto Ricans across the islands (INAUDIBLE) here on the mainland are banding together to bring relief to millions of victims of hurricane Maria.
And images like this of Puerto Rican families living in flooded homes without any food, water and electricity have been really what is really creating people opening their hearts to this tragedy.
And our Polo Sandoval is joining us now from the Bronx, New York where lawmakers are holding a benefit drive.
Polo, what has the response been like in the Bronx there? Lots of people we can see who are trying to respond to this call for help.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Here is the thing, Ana. It would be very hard first to find a community like the Bronx that's helping in this way. That is because there is cultural and there are family fibers that's connect this rural in the New York area along with that island of 1600 miles away. All of this is solely going to be making its way to Puerto Rico.
Let me give you a shot of what it looks like right now. Just about anything that you can think of is in the (INAUDIBLE) right now. Food, water, clothing, cereals, dry goods that are slowly filling up in some of these large - some of these large tracks, Ana. I have counted at least six large tractor trailers that's been filled up and then hauled away.
So much help has come in that the National Guard had to be brought in to help out. You can see some of those pictures of those men and women in uniform that have come in potentially help some of these volunteers load up these trucks.
What stands out here, Ana, what is different from what maybe some of the other efforts we have seen is organizers are telling me that all of this is going to very quickly be shipped to victims of the earthquake in Mexico, but mostly to some of the individuals that need that help in Puerto Rico.
The Bronx home to about 400,000 Puerto Ricans. So there are many people here in this crowd that have been personally affected by this. Their family members are still out of touch and in desperate need. And so that is what drives so many people here to grab a box, load in the back of the truck and then send it south.
But I have to tell you, Ana, I have been speaking to people here. You don't have to Mexican, you don't have to be Puerto Rican. You only have to be human being and it really does encourage you to want to give back.
So again, this is just one glimpse of what is a massive effort of what is happening here in the New York City area to help the people in Puerto Rico.
[16:26:07] CABRERA: Nice to see those people coming together trying to help.
Polo Sandoval, thank you.
And we will be speaking to the governor of New York. Andrew Cuomo next here in the NEWSROOM. Stay with us.
[16:30:42] CABRERA: A new CNN polls shows just how divided Americans are over the decision by many NFL players to take a knee during the national anthem to express their views.
Take a look at this, 49 percent say kneeling is the wrong thing to do while 43 percent says it is the right thing. But over 60 percent of Americans say the President did the wrong thing by criticizing those players.
In a new episode of "Axe File" premiering tonight, CNN senior political commentator and former senior adviser to President Obama, David Axelrod sat down with former White House chief of staff under President Reagan, James Baker and got his take.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES BAKER, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF UNDER PRESIDENT REAGAN: I think it is outrageous. There are plenty of ways that you can call into question of some of the racism that may still exists in this country. But that's the wrong way to do it. You don't denigrate -- the one thing that used to and I hope it is still will unify us, is that we are all Americans.
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Colin Kaepernick was expressing in sentiment that many, people in the community feel about injustice about the problems within our criminal justice system that are deeply felt. And he drew attention to them. He made clear that he was not protesting the military, the flag. He was exercising the rights of the flag.
BAKER: You cannot tell me that not standing up for the national anthem with your hand over your heart is not denigrating this national anthem, but the flag it is?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: David Axelrod joins us now.
Now, David, this NFL anthem protest debate is not going away. It touches on race and patriotism and the American identity. And as we find your interview with secretary baker, people have firmed opinions on this. Does he agree with how President Trump has addressed this this issue?
AXELROD: Well, look. I should point that this came up in the context of discussion about 1988 campaign for President that James Baker ran in which a President then vice President George H. W. Bush attacked his opponents on two issues, one was the flag and other was a racial issue involving an escaped prisoner named Wily Horton. And I asked him that's what happens in the campaign but now it has been taken into a Presidential administration, this device of issues, is that the right thing to do and he teed off on this.
You know, he did not opine specifically on the President's handling of this. But his reaction to it reflects the great division in our society over these issues and that's, of course, why the President should not have weighed into these waters unnecessarily. This wasn't even topical when he raised the question of Colin Kaepernick. He did it to inflame a debate, to stoke up his base and that's not what the President should do.
CABRERA: Thank you so much for your time. We look forward to your special.
Make sure you watch it. That's tonight's. New episode of "the AXE FILES" right here at 7:00 p.m. eastern.
[16:37:56] CABRERA: President Trump is pushing hard for the biggest overhaul of nation's tax code in three decades.
CNN Money's chief business correspondent Christine Romans has more now on the final details of the President's framework for tax reform -- Christine.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN MONEY CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Ana, this is the opening argument in tax reform. The President unveiling what he and Republicans would like to do in terms of your taxes. And it looks like what they have on paper here is real tax reform.
Real tax reform different than just tax cuts. In real tax reform, you simplify the tax code. And that's what they want to do here. Making much more easy for you to just file your taxes of maybe forming a size of a postcard. Close a lot of loopholes. Lower tax rate and boost growth of hiring. That's the point.
Let's talk about what is in here. Cutting the tax bracket. Middle tax class income, 25 percent. Incoming would be tax at 35 percent. And the low end of the spectrum, 12 percent. So taking seven tax brackets and shrinking it down to three.
Now, this was a little bit higher than the lowest tax bracket now. Today, the lowest tax bracket is 10 percent. This is 12 percent, though. But what the White House says it is by doubling the standard of deductions of families. The first $24,000 of income for married couple is tax free. That would actually help people, millions of families would not pay taxes whatsoever.
Let's talk about what this eliminates. Most itemized deductions. If you live in a state like California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, these are states where you pay big state taxes. Today, you can write those off on your federal returns. This would eliminate that. That's why you are already seeing pushback from Republican congress members of those states. It gets rid of the alternative minimum tax and the estate tax. These are two-points that critics have said shows that these tax plan really benefit the rich and companies more than anyone else.
Here is what individuals keep in this plan. The mortgage interest deductions, a very popular, charitable giving deductions and some higher education or retirement plan, the 401-k for example, 529 plans. Those are still tax advantage.
Here is the corporate tax rate. Today at 35 percent, proposed 20 percent. You look at the small business tax rate. This what helps small business and entrepreneurs. So this is the business part of the tax reform plan here that's on the table. Again, opening argument, Ana, this is the part of the plan that Wall
Street really likes. They think this will boost profit and boost growth -- Ana.
[16:40:14] CABRERA: All right, Christine. Thank you for breaking it down for us.
Let's talk more about the President's tax plan and its potential impact on American families on U.S. homes.
Joining me now, Rana Faroohar, CNN global economic analysts and global business columnist and associate editor at "Financial Times" and Stephen Moore, CNN senior economics analyst, also distinguished visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation and former tax policy adviser to the Trump campaign.
So let's start with winners and losers here, Stephen. President Trump says his plan equals middle tax release. But as Christine just showed us, the lowest tax bracket under the President's plan goes from 10 percent today to 12 percent. So it sounds to me that people in the low income will actually see an increase.
STEPHEN MOORE, CNN SENIOR ECONOMICS ANALYST: Actually, a lot of people are saying that, Ana. But actually, it is not true. And the reason for that is that this plan doubles the standard deductions. So the vast majority of people of the lowest and fact that this plan will take millions of people of paying taxes now off being (INAUDIBLE). So what it does is essentially creates a zero bracket for millions or more people.
But look. If we have to reduce the 12 percent rate to 10 percent, I am fine. I mean, the standard charge that is been made over the last few days is that this is a tax cut for wealthy people. And you know, my response to that is a tax cut for the rich. It is a tax cuts for the wealth, for middle class. It is a tax cut for the poor. Anybody that's paying taxes is going to get a tax cut here.
On the cab ride over here, I was asking my driver, you know, what do you think of the Trump's tax cut, and he said show me the money. For a lot of people, I am going to get back a lot on my paycheck and for the vast majority people say yes.
CABRERA: So for Rana, do you believe it is a win-win for everybody?
RANA FOROOHAR, CNN GLOBAL ECONOMIC ANALYST: You know, I got to say no. I mean, I really think that if you look at the map, the main benefits of this tax plan do approve to the wealthy.
Now, I want to caveat and say that it is hard when the top ten percent, the individual level make up 70 percent of your tax rates, it is hard to extract your tax plan where you don't have the wealthy benefit in the most. So I will say that I think the really interesting thing about the tax plan is two-folds. To what extent are the wealthy going to be able to take advantage of the pass through income by a low small business tax, the 20 percent tax versing the high individual rate. We got to make sure we structure that carefully so that doesn't become a loophole that people can jump through. Other than that, I think that the action really is in the corporate tax reform here. That's something that a lot of people wanted it true that American corporate taxes are much higher than other rich country.
However, I am really, really eager to see how we are going to close some of these very contentious loopholes. And you already see industries fighting each other. You see Republicans and there is a lot of interests fighting in the party about this. It is crucial if you are going to lower the tax rate. You got to close loopholes otherwise, you will end up with higher deficits.
MOORE: Yes, I agree.
MOORE: I just say I agree with them. I think that's right. And that would be the key, because if you want to do tax reform, you have to close a lot of those loopholes. And I hold up for a number. I worked for Ronald Reagan in the '80s. We did - the last time we cleaned really out the stable of the tax system, Ana, was 1996. And it was brutally difficult to do, actually, you know. We did close a lot of loopholes. We got the rates down. But the way, just an interesting historical --.
CABRERA: But -- can I interrupt for just one quick question? Because I'm not an economic expert. And so, I really want to understand this. And I'm trying to figure how this is big tax cut to big business that tend to benefit are going to affect the average workers. How average American workers are going to benefit from that.
FAROOHAR: This is the place where I think Stephen and I disagree a little bit. You know, I look at the last 20 years of tax cuts and I see that under George W. Bush and under President Obama, you didn't see sustained growth after you have a big tax cut. Now, during the Reagan era, you did see some growth. But to me, I'm not looking for that kind of hiccup here from corporate tax reform and I will tell you why because so many of the fundamentals, economically are different. And back then we had a 20 percent debt. We now have 77 percent of PG debt. We had women coming into the work force back of 1970s. That was a big productivity bill through the 80s and even into the 90s. That's done now. Most women are in the work force to some extent. There were a lot of factor that is were different. And I really think that business leaders and Republicans say we are going to get some huge kickoff in growth in cutting the corporate tax rate are maybe in for a surprise.
MOORE: So let me say what is different about today versus back then. You know, you are right. There - we have fewer people honoring a workforce right now. But we are also paying a trillion dollars in Europe, the federal level paying people not to work at.
I think there is millions of millions of additional people who could be and should be working. And you know, cutting taxes for them is a good way to get them on the workforce. But then there is really different about the tax code today and world frankly versus even the 70s and 80s was that we are a totally global economy today. I mean, every company in Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania is competing against companies in China and Mexico and Australia. And it used to be, here is the amazing thing, Ana, it used to be the United States raid of 35 percent on corporate rate. It used to be actually below the average of all the countries that we have been, you know, that we compete with. Today, we are the highest. And that's just doesn't work well in terms on when you ask how is this going to benefit American workers. And by the way, that is the goal is to benefit American workers.
[16:45:42] CABRERA: Right
MOORE: We want to bring those jobs back. We want to bring the factories back to America.
CABRERA: Right. The economic policy institute, for example, says last year CEOs made 271 times more than their average employees. Now, compared that to 1965 where they say CEOs looking at the data made just 20 times more than the typical employees. So what evidence is there, Stephen, that the people who are making most money in these companies are sharing the wealth?
MOORE: Well, look -- congressional budget office which is hardly a referee that has been kind of to Republican lately as we learn from the healthcare debate. They estimate -- and again, this is congressional budget office which I think is pretty liberal analysis. They say about 60 percent of the benefit of cutting the corporate tax rate goes to workers because there is more jobs, there is ability for workers who work with more capital equipment and productivity is how you race wages. We want wages and salaries to go up for middle class Americans. And one way to do that is to have corporation spend more and invest more.
FAROOHAR: You know, I am just not convinced that corporations if they are given the lower rates are necessarily going to spend more in the U.S. I was talking to the CEO the other day and said, you know, there is just not the demand here. There is not the consumer demand in the U.S. that there is an emerging market and other places growing higher. And if you think about that, you know, average Americans have not gotten a raise in real terms since the early 1990s. And the economy of 70 percent consumer spending, you got to have the demand.
I don't believe corporate tax cuts are how you get demand. I think that investment into worker training, I think that investment into education, I think actually, you know, more progressive of taxation can help with this. What you seen the last few years --
MOORE: So how does progressive taxation --
FAROOHAR: Let me just finish the thought. What you have seen the last few years is that because this week (ph), the CEOs and everybody in the board room are paid largely in stock options. Companies spend the majority, their spare cash, buying off shares, paying back dividends. That makes the top 20 percent and only 80 percent of stocks are wealthier. But doesn't really help average Americans. And I don't see that that situation is going to change based on a tax cut.
CABRERA: All right, guys. I will leave it there. We are out of time.
MOORE: Because their after tax rate of return on investment will increase. So you know, if you tax something less and you will get more of it and if you tax something more, you will get less of it. We want to take that tax burden, Ana, on corporate investment in America down so they invest more in American workers. That's the goal here.
CABRERA: That's the theory, I guess.
FAROOHAR: We will be back.
CABRERA: You will. I want you to both come back. Thanks for the thoughtful discussion, guys. Stay with us.
We will be speaking, by the way, to New York governor Andrew Cuomo up next on the relief effort underway in Puerto Rico and what he saw while he was on the ground there early this week.
[16:53:04] CABRERA: Devastation in Puerto Rico. Residents are running out of food, water and fuel power has only been restored to five percent of the island. Patients are in dire need of medication.
Joining us now on the phone, New York governor Andrew Cuomo. New York, of course, is home to arguably the largest population of Puerto Ricans outside of the island.
Governor, thank you for spending some time with us. I know you got to chance to see firsthand the devastation just days after this hurricane. What struck you?
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO, NEW YORK (on the phone): It is a devastation. As bad as it looks in the pictures is actually worse in person, Ana. And the - frankly, the slowness on the response, you know, it is a great debate now on twitter, but I don't think there is any question. But that if the tape was replayed, you would have seen more federal sources and resources pre-deployed before the situation.
Once the storm hits, now you are playing catch up. I think part of the complication is FEMA's whole indication is to the support of the local government. If you ask them, they will say they are willing to support the local government. Well, that's one situation in Florida or Texas or New York where you have a local government with a lot of resources. It is a different situation in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico, had big problems to begin with. So I think they would just slow --
CABRERA: Do you think any of that had to do with being spread a little think given there have been to other big devastating hurricanes that hit the U.S.?
CUOMO: You know, actually, I don't. The federal government has tremendous resources. We have resources. Every state has a National Guard. We have a commitment. I sent down hundreds of National Guards, Blackhawk, helicopters, I sent down my state police. The federal government put out a call. They could have got anything they wanted.
I think they underestimated the situation and they underestimated the amount of support that Puerto Rico was going to need. Because as a local government, it has just fewer resources. And it is one thing to help Florida and Texas. It is another situation in Puerto Rico. It is an island isolated. It is basically financially in sovereign. So the federal government has to play a much larger role.
[16:55:35] CABRERA: Right.
CUOMO: I seem to think that focus on now is what's next, right? We are in this first phase which is the emergency response phase and quote "three hubs in a cub (ph)." That people order medical supplies and etc. We are going to the rebuilding phase. And let's not make the same mistake twice. Let's anticipate the scope of the rebuilding because the truth is, we don't want to replace what was there in Puerto Rico. Much of the equipment was substandard. The power system that where it was substandard.
You are going to pump billions of dollars into Puerto Rico. How do you use those funds and actually rebuild the island to a better place? Not just to build back but build back better. And that's what we have to think of now so we don't have to play catch up again.
CABRERA: I hear you. And I think anybody can agree with your sentiment.
Let me read you some of the latest letter that we are getting right now from FEMA in terms of what the situation, what the reality is right now in Puerto Rico. We know that according to FEMA, the urban search and rescue team have now covered 100 percent of Puerto Rico. They made some 843 rescues. They say we are hearing that 45 percent of customers now have portable water so not quite 50 percent are dealing with running water. There are still a lot of people don't have that necessity. Only five percent of electricity had been restored, 33 percent of telecommunication and infrastructure is backup and 11 percent of cell phone towers are functioning. How do you read those numbers ten days after the disaster?
CUOMO: It is not acceptable, you know. There is no debate. Now the only thing that the federal government can say is, well, Puerto Rico was not in a position to help. Puerto Rico had problems.
Yes. That's the nature of the beast. That's what the doctor is saying that the patient was sick. I know the patient is sick. And it is what I was saying before. FEMA organization is, we are here to support the local government. But Puerto Rico, support means, you have to bring all resources. And it should not have taken this long.
These are American citizens. They are American citizens. This is not an operation of mercy in a foreign country. They are our brothers and sister Americans and the one thing this country has been good at and I am New York and so I lived through 9/11. When things are at their worst, people are at their best and Americans come together to help Americans. And I am sure this President could have had all the support he needed to put together whatever forces or funds or etcetera, Puerto Rico requires. We are doing a volunteer drive across the state this weekend. It is amazing what people are giving and donating and how they want to help. Everyone you talk to wants to help.
CABRERA: No doubt about it. Governor Andrew Cuomo, thank you very much. Thank you for the effort that's happening now right now in your state. We appreciate it.
Coming up, we will hear what Puerto Ricans devastated by hurricane Maria think of President Trump's attack on the mayor of San Juan. You won't want to miss it. Stay with us.
But first, dating apps have changed how we meet new people. But Bumble Founder, Whitney Wolfe, says there is more work to be done to bring feminism into dating. Here is why she says women should feel empowered to make the first move.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WHITNEY WOLFE, FOUNDER, BUMBLE: I'm a fund believer that you cannot start a business just to start a business. You have to start a business to solve the personal pain. Given my situation in dating and my experiences of watching my friends, I think I have it. Women are going to make the first move. They want 24 hours to do so. If they don't, the match will disappear.
The idea was to give women the control to guide the conversation in the direction that they want it to take the pressure off of the man from maybe thinking he needs to start with something aggressive or something out there and allowing the woman to say, you know, I am going to be in the driver's seat. We want to be the social network that introduces you to people. That is the ultimate social.