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Opposition to GOP Tax Plan; Tax Bill Expected to Pass; Trump's Approval Rating; Trump's National Security Speech; Aired 8:30-9:00a ET

Aired December 19, 2017 - 08:30   ET


[08:30:00] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Doing is giving dividends to shareholders and stock buybacks.

REP. PETER ROSKAM (R), ILLINOIS: So it's a cute antidote. It took place several weeks ago. And I think it's in the midst of a lot of negotiation. And a lot of those folks didn't know what was in the tax bill and what wasn't in the tax bill. Not --

CAMEROTA: So you think today all those hands would go up?

ROSKAM: No, no, but let me -- let me -- let me make one other point. No, no, let me make one other point.

Did you see the news from AT&T where AT&T announced yesterday that they plan to invest an additional $1 billion in the U.S. economy. So the notion of this -- you know, just a loose question out to a group of people, show me a show of hands that's going to be dispositive, I -- that's just not the way things work. There's a cute -- no, it's a cute -- no, it's absolutely a cute moment.

CAMEROTA: It's not just that moment. And you know that. I mean, listen, congressman, you know it wasn't just that anecdote. No, in all sorts of earnings calls with CEOs, they're talking about paying dividends and stock buybacks. They're not saying that they're going to increase wages or hire more people.

ROSKAM: Look, there's -- here's -- there's two entities that are going to spend the money in the future, it's either going to be the government or it's going to be the private sector. My money is on the private sector and its ability to be more wise and more discerning in terms of how to create opportunity. And companies have to compete on a global basis.

What you're going to see with the change in the international system, for example, is a lowering of the threshold so that more money can come back. And most folks say there's between $3 trillion and $4 trillion that are locked out of the U.S. economy right now and with the passage of this bill, that money is unlocked and can begin to come back. That's good for the U.S. economy regardless of who raises their hands in a cute meeting.

CAMEROTA: Congressman Peter Roskam, we appreciate you coming on with your perspective. As they say, time will tell. Thanks so much for being here.

ROSKAM: Thank you.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Among the tax bill's most vocal critics, you have Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan. Here's a little taste.


REP. TIM RYAN (D), OHIO: This economic philosophy stinks! It doesn't work and it hammers working class people.


CUOMO: But how does he really feel? His passionate speech on the House floor is going viral. We're going to speak with him and see if he can counter the points coming from the other side, and then you decide. That's what testing is all about. Let's get after it, next.


[08:36:05] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. TIM RYAN (D), OHIO: President Bush did this, said, we're going to cut taxes for the wealthy. It's going to lead to growth. Wages are going to go up. We had the most stagnant decade of growth since the Great Depression and it ended in a complete economic collapse. This is a canard. This economic philosophy stinks! It doesn't work and it hammers working class people.


CUOMO: That's Congressman Tim Ryan making his case on the House floor last month against the GOP tax bill. That speech has gone viral. The House is set to vote today with Republican lawmakers confident they can send the bill to the president's desk this week.

Let's talk about that with now Tim Ryan himself.

Thank you for being with us. The best for Christmas to you and your family.

REP. TIM RYAN (D), OHIO: You too. Merry Christmas, Chris.

CUOMO: Why are you so angry about a tax cut? Americans ask for them all the time. People need tax relief. Now they're going to get it. This was part of his signature promises of this campaign.

RYAN: Well, a few some are going to get some crumbs, but the wealthiest people in the country are going to get all of the benefits here. It is going to be a great Christmas for the big corporations who are sitting on more crash than they've ever had in their lives. These are the highest time for corporate profits.

Meanwhile, back in Youngstown, Chris, people are trying to figure out how they're going to finance Christmas dinner or be able to get their kids some Christmas gifts. And Apple's going to get a $40 billion tax break. That's absolutely insane.

And the fact of the matter is, that we're going to go to China and borrow $1.5 trillion. After we make our payments on it, it's going to be more like $2.2 trillion that we're going to pay to China to give Apple a $40 billion tax break. Yes, they may throw a few crumbs here or there at working class people, but if you're at the bottom bracket, your tax rates actually go from 10 percent to 12 percent. So this is a big giveaway.

CUOMO: Eighty percent of the benefits, you guys argue, goes to the top. But they also pay 80 percent of the taxes. And the Republicans see that as a wash and they say, you're going to give them tax cuts because those are the people paying the taxes, but all the way through the income strata people wind up paying less taxes, at least early on, that they double the standard deduction, they make it simpler for families. And by helping businesses, they will feed business and that will lead to capital expenditure and labor increases.

RYAN: First and foremost, Chris, to whom much is given, much is required. There's a responsibility that comes with being wealthy in the United States. You have to help the rest of society.

And, look, they've been making a lot of money for 30 years while the wages for average people have been stagnant for 30 years. We have to rebuild our country. We can't go and -- even if we wanted to, I mean, the economic philosophy, as I said in my speech, this doesn't even work. President Bush tried this, cut taxes for the wealthy and we thought this was going to lead to growth, we thought it was going to lead to increased wages, and we had a stagnant decade of growth after the two rounds of Bush tax cuts.

This doesn't work. This is a fantasy that we're continuing to push on to the American people. And what we need to do is we need to rebuild the country. So that family in Youngstown is going to have about $20,000 more dollars of national debt that's going to be on their backs for their kids to pay. Meanwhile, to --

CUOMO: But they say they're going to deal with that, congressman, when it comes to spending and they come right at Democrats like you who say, you know, you spent us into this situation. We're going to take a look at not spending as much and that's how we'll address the deficit. You don't tax your way to a better economy. You free up commerce. You create incentive for innovation. You repatriate money. That's how do you it.

RYAN: Well, if that worked, that would have worked when we tried this 20 years ago with the Bush tax cuts. That doesn't work. You need this plan. And we've got to get out of this -- this argument where it's either all government or no government. The reality of it is, in 2017, '18 and beyond, you need a blend of public/private partnerships. We need reinvestments back into our country, into our neighborhoods, to take down blighted homes, to build public infrastructure, light rail, high speed rail, put people back to work, roads, bridges, those are good paying union jobs with pensions and benefits. That's what we need to do.

[08:40:21] CUOMO: Yes, you say that and the president says he wants to do infrastructure and then you just lose three lives and 100 other people because you guys pushed the deadline on putting in positive trail control just in -- you know, congratulate corporate America and give them more time to spend money on safety. So where is the real resolve by any of you guys down there to do the right thing?

RYAN: Well, no -- well, I wouldn't say you guys. The Democrats have been pushing for implementation. Democrats have been pushing for reinvestment. We lose thousands and thousands of people on highways every year. We have got to rebuild the country. Our airports, our bridges, our roads. We need to be a country that promotes high speed rail and light rail and walkable communities. There's no reason why any American should walk through a blighted community with abandoned factories in 2017 in America. We should take all these down.

Now, here's the question, Chris, because we've also got to invest in research and development, incubate companies in places like Youngstown where we can grow our wage as a new economy, invest in research and development and things like additive (ph) manufacturing, advanced manufacturing, renewable energy like wind and solar.

If you look at just wind alone, there's 8,000 component parts to a windmill. We manufacture that stuff in northeast Ohio. If we move to a green economy, a renewable energy economy, that's manufacturing jobs in communities like ours.

But here's the deal. If you go to China now and you borrow $1.5 trillion and you pay them interests payments every year on that --

CUOMO: Right.

RYAN: Guess what China's doing? They're going to battery-powered cars. They're going to renewable energy.

CUOMO: But you guys have been doing that since you and I have been alive.

RYAN: Doing what (ph)?

CUOMO: I mean you've been borrowing on the backs of Americans, you know, down in Washington, D.C., since we've been alive.

RYAN: Well --

CUOMO: We had one gap in it during the tech boom when you had all this unprecedented revenue. But other than that, tax and spend has been the way no matter who's in power.

RYAN: That's just not true, Chris. If you look at what we did with the Affordable Care Act, that was paid for. Yes, we made the tough decisions. Yes, we asked the wealthiest people who have been very, very successful to help us pay for that. And the Congressional Budget Office said that over two decades that bill, the Affordable Care Act, actually brings down the deficit by $1.5 trillion because we're investing in preventive health care, not waiting until someone gets sick and taking care of them.

CUOMO: I don't remember those projections. They didn't -- they didn't coupling to be made manifest. We'll see what happens now.

But I take your point and I appreciate you, congressman, for making the case here on NEW DAY. You're always welcome to be tested. The American people need it.

RYAN: Thank you, Chris. Appreciate it. Merry Christmas.

CUOMO: All right, be well. Best for Christmas for you and your family.


RYAN: You too.

CAMEROTA: OK, now to this story. Sarah Palin's oldest son, Track, charged with beating up his father. What we're learning about the circumstances, next.


[08:45:22] CAMEROTA: The police chief in Charlottesville, Virginia, is stepping down immediately. No reason given for Alfred Thomas' sudden retirement, but it does come just weeks after a scathing report accused the force of failing to protect the public during the white supremacist rally which turned deadly in August.

CUOMO: Sarah Palin's family is back in the spotlight after a bloody family fight. Her son, Track Palin, the oldest in the family, is in custody this morning facing multiple charges after he allegedly beat up his dad in a dispute over a truck. Court documents show Sarah Palin told police that her son was, quote, freaking out, and was on some type of medication.

CAMEROTA: President Trump's water break is trending on social media this morning. The president reached for a glass of water during his national security speech and Twitter took note. It has led to comparisons of how the president needs to use two hands, apparently, to drink from a water bottle. He did that during the speech last month and then again yesterday. The water works with the president started -- the water works started with the campaign, of course, when he poked fun at Senator Marco Rubio for pausing mid-sentence for some water. But this is an even smaller glass yesterday where he used two hands. I believe last time you called it the baby grip.

CUOMO: Well, that is the sippy cup grip that you're using there right now. It is (INAUDIBLE). Now, I don't get all the hands thing and the glass. You know, I don't -- I don't know what it's all about and this --

CAMEROTA: You drink form a vase.

CUOMO: This is what I drink out of.

CAMEROTA: Wow. CUOMO: I drink out of a -- and I hold it like a man, with one hand.


CUOMO: But that's, you know, that's me.

CAMEROTA: Right, that's you. You just have giant --

CUOMO: And I don't think it's a judgment -- certainly not one of our biggest concerns. If you want to hold the cup with all your hands, you know, you -- that's what you do.

CAMEROTA: It is the sippy cup grip.

CUOMO: This is my glass.

CAMEROTA: Wow. That's what you do shots from.

CUOMO: Yes, but only when I'm working.


CUOMO: The House is set to take up tax reform today, but a new poll shows you don't like this bill. So why do it? "The Bottom Line," next.

Fill my glass.


[08:51:16] CAMEROTA: Our new CNN poll out this morning shows the GOP tax plan is not popular. Fifty-five percent of Americans oppose it. It's gone up in just the past month.

So, let's go inside the numbers and get "The Bottom Line" with CNN political director David Chalian.

So, David, we just had Congressman Roskam on from Illinois. He says that they will be the beneficiaries of low expectations. That's what Republicans are banking on, that once Americans live it, that then, you know, everybody will be happy with it.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: It's a big bet, right? I mean we don't know the answer to that.

What we do know is that a lot of what's in this bill, according to our latest polls, Alisyn, the American people are buying the Democratic argument on it. It is indeed skewed to the wealthy and not to the middle class, as promised by President Trump on the campaign trail in 2016.

And here's what's so significant about that. I don't know that the Democrats, come next November, are going to campaign against vulnerable Republicans just on this bill alone. But it's of a piece of their larger argument and it's one that the American people are buying right now as it relates to this bill.

CUOMO: So it's going to pass in all likelihood, right?


CUOMO: It's not popular. Really, I mean, I don't even know if it's a Democratic argument versus a Republican one, but it's just about the maybes versus the certainties in this bill. They're banking on the maybes. So, will it be manifest in time for the midterms?

CHALIAN: Right. I -- that is the big question. Here's what I would highlight the difference here and why Republicans are feeling better today than they've probably felt throughout much of this year, even though they're keenly aware that the bill is unpopular, Chris. They held together here.

You remember John Boehner, back at the beginning of last year, sort of let the truth slip out in the comment he made. He said, Republicans have never agreed collectively on what to do on health care. On taxes, that's not the case. And so this is the delivering of a promise to Republicans, to their core voters, that they can finally check that box and say, we got one of these major initiatives done, we got it to the president's desk. This is what complete Republican control of Washington looks like. And their voters will feel good about it.

The problem is, independents, some of those Democrats who crossed over to vote for President Trump in some of those very key states in the Midwest he won, this bill cuts against the grain to the winning argument Trump made to those voters in 2016.

CAMEROTA: David, the president's poll numbers are also at an historic low. I believe 35 percent in the poll that is out this morning approve of the president's job. If this -- when this tax bill passes, today even possibly, as early as today, that -- does it stand to reason that those numbers go up, that a legislative win, having something in that column, will help his poll numbers go up?

CHALIAN: Potentially you could see -- I think he's had 85 or 86 percent support among Republicans. You could see that number go up and therefore help his overall number uptick a bit. We'll see.

But -- but here's the thing. What that 35 percent really represents, Alisyn, if you develop a strategy where you spend your entire year playing to your base, that's what you get, you get your base, you get 35 percent support and you don't grow beyond that.

CUOMO: And he's got to hope that whatever upside you get with the tax cuts isn't met by a downside to health care in this country because of getting rid of this mandate and other things they've been doing in the executive.

What's your quick take on whether or not he scored a win with his national security speech?

CHALIAN: Well, obviously his speech didn't match the published text. But I think that when Donald Trump is able to sort of hit the campaign themes, he feels he's on stronger footing. The problem here is, if you are in a world capital around the world and you're trying to assess what the United States strategy is, do you look at that document or do you listen to the president's words?

[08:55:07] CAMEROTA: All right, David Chalian, thank you very much for "The Bottom Line."

CHALIAN: Thank you, guys.

CUOMO: How about a little "Good Stuff." And I'm not just talking about me going on vacation. This is like "Good Stuff" for everyone.

CAMEROTA: Oh, no, better than that?

CUOMO: Ah, I don't know.

CAMEROTA: Come on.

CUOMO: Next. Not for you.


CUOMO: "Good Stuff." A nine-year-old Ohio boy is taking comfort in giving this holiday season.

Hello, Cuomo boys and girls, wake up.

His grandmother says young Micha Fry (ph) did some quick arithmetic when he saw people out in the cold. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If the Xbox is $300, and the blankets are $10, then I could buy 30 blankets.


[08:59:48] CUOMO: He wound up purchasing blankets for the less fortunate with the money his family would have spent on that Xbox. Microsoft caught wind of his kindness and arranged for a special surprise. Micha got the Xbox and a few other gifts, even though they gave away all the blankets. Micha remembers his family's hard times when he was the one borrowing a blanket. It's why he's taking the lead