Simone: Tom, you recently published an article on FoxNews: “The Trump economy is roaring—Biden’s attempt to take credit for it is economic plagiarism” and you included a chart in that article to make the point. Why don’t you explain to me what that chart tells us?
Tom: Well, as you know, recently Joe Biden and other Democrats have been claiming that the reason why we have good economic times today is because of the Obama administration. But that just underlies their dramatic lack of understanding of the economics. Well we know, and the chart I gave you shows it, that economic performance was diminishing under President Obama, was actually reducing. And then, once Trump got into the office and his policies could begin to take effect, economic growth picked up. So the question is why is this? And, it’s pretty basic. Economics actually is pretty simple. The more something costs, the less of it you get, that’s called the law of demand. And it’s a foundational principle. So, for instance, the reason why more Toyotas or more Fords are sold than Bentley is because Toyotas and Fords cost so much less. The same applies to the economy as a whole. The more expensive it is to do businesses in a place, the less business you will get. So by the end of the Obama term, all of their tax increases, 18 different taxes increases under Obamacare. All of their regulatory increases began to pull the economy down. The economy would have grown more without all of that. So the economy actually grew at all under Obama despite their efforts, because they made it harder on the economy by increasing taxes, increasing spending, increasing deficits, and increasing regulations. So what you see in the chart is that growth was diminishing, falling off towards the end of the Obama term. And it picked up under President Trump for a very simple reason. He lifted a lot of the regulations. He lifted taxation in the sense he cut it for a huge percentage of the economy. So, the cost of doing business rose under President Obama, which means by the laws of economics, he was not helping the economy. The cost of doing business in the United States under President Trump has been dramatically less, and so the economy has rebounded and is doing well.
Simone: So more specifically, some Democrats have been making this argument: “We’re in the 10th year of a recovery that started in 2009 when Barack Obama was president, Donald Trump is elected in the last two years of this recovery, so he has inherited the momentum.” Does this argument have any merit in it?
Tom: So presidents take credit for the economies that they don’t deserve and they get blamed for things they don’t deserve as well. We know that in the third quarter of 2008, [it] was the worst of it for the economy. It had actually begun to recover in January of 2009 when President Obama took office. Now the question is—did Obama’s policies help that recovery or hurt it? If you believe in economics, and you’d know that he hurt it. The excessive spending, which by their own admission now helped very little. The increases in taxes, the increases in regulations, they cannot help according to the law of demand, basic economics. They couldn’t have helped the economy. In fact, Americans by themselves lifted the economy up, despite the added weight President Obama put on it. So it wasn’t the government who caused the turnaround, in 2009, it was individuals. Now look, the economic growth rate under Obama was the worst of any president we’ve had. He didn’t even reach 3 percent one year, and overall, 8 years it was under 2 percent. That was his fault because he added cost to the economy. President Trump took a dramatically different path. [He] has been cutting regulations and cutting taxes. And I will remind people that most of the Democrats claimed that you couldn’t get to 3 percent growth ever again. That, of course, is an absurdity. If we got rid of all the regulations tomorrow and taxes, economic growth would explode. I’m not advocating that, but it’s also ridiculous to say that the reason why you can’t get the 3 percent growth is somehow we’re a mature economy and that won’t happen again. In fact, the last 12 months, we’ve had 3.25 percent growth, and I predicted back in December of 2017 when the tax bill was going to be passed, that we would have growth above 4 percent in the second quarter, and sure enough, we did. So all the Democrats and Obama trying to claim that they are the reason why the Obama economy rebounded are not telling the truth, and that flies in the face of basic economics. President Trump, through his tax reform, his regulations, unleashed the economy, an allowed it to grow from the 1.8 percent under Obama which the American people did despite Obama, and now it’s above 3 percent and the reason for that is the change in policies. President Trump got the economy out of the way, and the American people had brought it back.
A Majority of Millennials Now Approve of President Donald Trump’s Job Performance
Simone: The latest Zogby poll shows a majority of millennials now approve of President Donald Trump’s job performance. Can you tell me the numbers and the reasons behind it?
Tom: Well, historically, growing economies tend to unify a country and stagnant economies tend to divide a country. So when you saw under President Obama where we had the weakest economic growth in American history for eight years, on average 1.8 percent, you had a lot of dissatisfaction, you had groups politically fighting each other, and not economically working together. So one of the reasons why I supported the tax reform so very much is cause I knew it would unleash the economy. And I knew, that from a historical perspective, a growing economy tends to unify a country as people are able to realize their dreams. Now, this kind of thing doesn’t happen overnight, it takes a while. But what we see in this latest Zogby poll and in the CBS poll today is that more and more Americans are feeling good about the economy and more and more Americans are giving credit to President Trump. That’s why now a majority of millennials support the job approval of President Trump, and this is important because this that’s a key demographic going forward.
Simone: You said that Trump’s improved standing among millennials could have long term effect. Why?
Tom: Well, we know that the first political affiliation of someone, literally the first party they register with, they tend to stay with that for life. So when Reagan came along—I actually, first time I voted was for Ronald Reagan—there was a huge bump up in Republican registration under those 35 and younger. And basically, they have stayed that way. Now if we look at today’s millennials, we need to remember that President Trump only got 36 percent of that vote against Hillary Clinton. She got 55 percent. If Trump were somehow able to split the vote, the millennial vote, in the upcoming election, that could matter one or two points in particular states and could be the difference. Remember, he won the key states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, just by 77,000 total votes. So if that key demographic can go toward or be more evenly balanced in the next election, that could tip a state or two in Trump’s favor.
Simone: I wonder if the millennials are only approving President Trump’s performance on economy. If they still don’t like many other aspects of the president, how would that play out in 2020?
Tom: Well, it is true that President Trump still remains not the friendliest person in the view of a lot of people. But keep this in mind, the millennials just went through eight years, and we used to have all these stories of them living in their parents’ basement. You don’t have those stories anymore. Now they are out and about, getting apartments with jobs. And millennials would in this circumstance, I think, rely heavily on the economy, at least those moving towards President Trump. We also need to remember that on the social issues, the millennial’s are fairly divided, in fact, the strongest pro-life demographic today, you can make the argument for, are those 29 and younger. Since Trump has come out in that regard, it’s very possible that he can get a much larger split, I would think in the upcoming election, especially if Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden are running, that Trump, instead of getting 36 percent of the millennial vote, could get much closer to 45 percent. That would be very significant.
Simone: Did you just say the millennials become the strongest pro-life supporters?
Tom: Yeah, if you look at the recent polling, you find that a majority of Americans support the heartbeat bill, which is no abortions after a heartbeat. The strongest support from that isn’t among seniors, it’s actually among millennials who supported 57 percent.
Simone: So overall, you think the millennial support for President Trump could be long-term, instead of a one-time thing stimulated by good economic numbers?
Tom: Oh yes, I think it’s very possible that it’s long-term. Now look, if the economy goes south, or there’s other problems like a war, it could reduce the millennial support. However, if things stay where they are, and the economy is actually gathering strength contrary to all of the opinions of some of the economists, bad geese, and all the naysayers. The economy actually is continuing to exhibit very good growth, strong numbers, and so I believe that throughout this election, the Republicans and Trump will be able to rely on those strong numbers. And therefore that three-year period is where millennials can get a stronger view, a deeper held view of the Republicans and Donald Trump and that could last a long time.
Will Joe Biden’s Son’s Business Dealings Jeopardize His Chances of Being Nominated?
Simone: Present Trump was criticized for saying Joe Biden’s son needs to be investigated for his business dealings in China. Do you think the president has a point?
Tom: Well we just went through a two year period where the Democrats went all in on a claim that people related to the Trump campaign were somehow colluding with Russia or had some special relationship. But we know for a fact that Joe Biden’s son, while he was vice president, was in China and struck an amazing deal with essentially the Chinese military. There’s no getting around that, and that is inappropriate. Biden shouldn’t be, as vice president, making deals for his son and John Kerry’s son, and of course, this happened in the Ukraine as well. So yes, I think there needs to be further light shed on that, and as the inspector general report comes out, demonstrating the abuse of power on the Democrat side, Joe Biden is gonna be the only presidential candidate among the Democrats with any ties to the Obama administration, and he’s gonna have to answer for all of that. And what happened in Ukraine, and what happened in China will be added on to that. And I think the majority of independents will look at Joe Biden and say, “where were you during this period of time, what did you know, when did you know it, and why is it you were trading on your office to help your son in China and the Ukraine.”
Simone: Do you think his son’s business dealings in China would jeopardize his chances of being nominated?
Tom: I don’t believe Joe Biden is gonna last as the front runner. I think that he will fade. He’s proven over time that he’s not a good campaigner. They’re not putting him out there very much, he has a very light schedule. New polling in Iowa shows that he’s only tied with Sanders, his trailing him in New Hampshire. And I think the debates and the inspector general’s report and the scandals will harm him. I think his gaffes will harm him. He will fade, and I don’t expect him to be the nominee, and I do think things like the China deal will make people wonder what he’s been doing and why and all those things are why he won’t win the nomination.
Simone: So you don’t think Biden is going to be nominated, who do you think will be nominated then?
Tom: We need to remember, in American politics, running for the presidential nomination of your party isn’t about national polls. It’s about state by state primaries. While Joe Biden may well have good national polls, what matters is how the turnout on the ground. How many supporters do you have in individual states who are willing to work for you. Because Joe Biden is keeping a light schedule, he’s not going to be building a strong infrastructure that, for instance, Bernie Sanders already has. In Iowa, Bernie Sanders has 24,000 volunteers, many of them helped him four years ago, that’s why he’s tied in Iowa, he being Bernie Sanders, despite these national polls. So if Bernie Sanders wins Iowa, and wins New Hampshire, Joe Biden, if he’s in the race at that point, will look very suspect. They’ll wonder whether he can withstand an entire national campaign. On the other hand, Bernie Sanders will pick up a lot of steam with those victories, and that’s why I think that he will be the nominee in a crowded field of Democrats.
America Is Shifting Right. Which Party Is Riding the Tide?
Naration: On Jan. 22, the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision marked its 47th anniversary. It guaranteed a woman’s right to an abortion. On the same day, New York’s Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Reproductive Health Act into law. The RHA permits abortions after 24 weeks if a health care professional determines the health or life of the mother is at risk, or the fetus is not viable. Previously, abortions after 24 weeks were justified only in cases where the mother’s life was at risk. Under the old law, New York criminalized abortion unless it was “justifiable.” The RHA removes abortion from the state’s penal code altogether.
At the State of the Union address, President Trump urged Congress to pass legislation to prohibit late-term abortion.
President Trump: These are living, feeling, beautiful babies who will never get the chance to share their love and their dreams with the world. And then, we had the case of the Governor of Virginia, where he stated he would execute a baby after birth.
To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb.
Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life. And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: All children—born and unborn—are made in the holy image of God.
Simone Gao: Another emotional moment was when the president talked about New York’s new late-term abortion law. He urged the Congress to pass laws prohibiting late-term abortions. So do you think the president is doing the right thing, and do you think the majority of Americans are with the president on this issue?
Tom Del Beccaro: Well, certainly from my personal perspective he’s doing the right thing. And I think he’s doing the right thing by his own conscience. The vast majority of Americans are against these type of late-term abortions. And, quite honestly, it’s shocking to the American conscience that there are politicians who think just before birth that you can go forward with an abortion. This is a losing issue for the Democrats. They are pushing far too far to the left in the eyes of Americans. So by highlighting this issue, Trump is doing the right thing from a moral standpoint, from his own conscience, and it’s also in keeping with the views of the vast majority of Americans.
Narration: According to a recent Pew Research Center poll, looking ahead, 58 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters say they want the GOP to move in a more conservative direction.
Among Democratic and Democratic-leaning registered voters, 53 percent of them want the Democratic Party to move in a more moderate direction, while 40 percent want the party to move further left. This number dropped since Trump’s presidential election victory in 2016. At that time, 49 percent of Democrats wanted the party to head in a more liberal direction.
Simone Gao: You are the author of “The Divided Era.” How serious do you think this problem is and whether and how do you think the country should go forward as a whole?
Tom Del Beccaro: Well, if you consider my premise of the book “The Divided Era,” which is basically the more government decides the more it divides. Because every action the government picks a winner or a loser and someone to pay for it. The larger government gets, the more divisive it gets. And so, right now government continues to grow in America. It’s about at 36 percent. Actually there’s the potential, as the private sector continues to grow, for it to be a much smaller percentage. But the Democrats are not interested just in the economy anymore. In fact, I could make the case that the economy is way down on the list to them. They’re more interested in social justice. So the chasm between Democrats and Republicans is as large as it’s ever been in American history. And while that chasm continues to get farther and farther apart with the Democrats pushing for essentially socialism and the Republicans pushing the opposite way, there really is very little opportunity for compromise between them. And so, in my mind, the division is going to continue until there’s an overriding reason to bring them together like a foreign policy concern, the last one of which we had, sadly, was 9/11. So I expect this division to continue.
Simone Gao: How do you think the president is doing? Does he want to unite the country? Or, even if he’s not able to unite the country, is he doing the right thing for the country?
Tom Del Beccaro: Well I think from a policy perspective he’s doing quite well. The economic and regulatory reforms he’s undertaking are making a huge difference. The reason why we have growth in excess of 3 percent right now is solely due to policy changes that freed up the American economy and gave Americans a chance to bring the economy back, as compared to what it was like under President Obama when the heavy hand of government was keeping growth down. On the foreign policy front, five years ago America was watching beheadings of ISIS on TV, and that seems like a distant memory now. He’s made strides with respect to North Korea. He’s making strides with respect to a better trade policy with China. So I think from a policy perspective, he’s doing well. But keep in mind the Democrats aren’t interested just in the economy. In fact, I don’t think they’re very much interested in the economy. They care more about social justice. They’re obsessed with picking the next Supreme Court justice. So they’re going to disapprove of anything Trump does. I mean, Trump could give away the winning lottery numbers and they would complain, asking what took him so long to help everyone. So from that perspective, I think Trump is doing well from a policy point of view. But he’s still under attack. They won’t be very aggressive in the short term, but they’re going to find their voice again. In about four months the Democrats are going to start their debates to get the presidential nomination in 2020. Those are going to be lively, and they’re going to be very far to the left. And that’s when all the stories are going to change coming out of America. How far left is America going to go, and Trump gets to cut a very different viewpoint by saying we shouldn’t be socialist. We need to grow the economy not your taxes. So I think that’s really what this year is going to be about: how far left the Democrats go. And Trump needs to demonstrate that he’s already had things on the mend and there’s no reason to go backwards.