Matt Schlapp, the chairman of the American Conservative Union, sat down on C-SPAN with Steve Scully. The interview included calls from viewers all across the country from both ends of the political spectrum. The video is a great way to get informed on all of the major stories coming out of Washington right now. He discusses everything the tax reform bill, welfare, the Alabama Senate race, and General Michael Flynn. The full video is below, as well as some of the highlights from this interview.
The President would like a 15% corporate tax rate, if he had his choosing, but Pual Ryan and others decided that the best course of action would be to try to make as much of it permanent as possible. In order to make it permanent through the budget reconciliation process, you have to find a way to pay for it… I think Republicans want to make sure the final package does not raise anyone’s taxes.
The war on poverty has been a failure. It was well intended to try to help people, to lift them up for temporary periods of time when they find themselves not able to take care of paying for the staples in life. But welfare has become a way of life. I was with several members of the Trump administration the other day. I think they are focused, next year, on doing something about this problem.
I think voters are struggling with these horrendous allegations that I take seriously. I think there is a desire by people who do not consider themselves elite, who do not consider themselves part of the beltway inside game, they do not want to hear from those folks when it comes to whom they will vote for and who they will elect. What you heard from a lot of Washington Republicans is condemnations, which, if true, are right. But the voter has to decide if they believe unsubstantiated allegations… I would take every moment between now and election day to ascertain whether I thought the allegations were true. If I thought there was any plausible case,that the allegations were true, I could not vote for Judge Moore, even if the Senate were in the balance… I have a 14-year-old. If someone called me for permission to date my oldest girl, I would take out the key to my gun closet.
Capital Gains Tax
For those of us who believe in a flat tax, everything would be taxed at the same rate. So your income – by the way, a corporate income tax is really just a jobs tax. In the end, it just means we have fewer jobs in America. Fewer promotions. Lower salaries. We have been facing that for already a decade. That is a terrible policy… On Capital gains, we always think it is about rich people, but remember, that capital gains rate, many times, is lower because it is a working man or woman who buys a rental property, who has to maybe flip it, and that is how a lot of people make a little extra money. So capital gains is not just about people on Wall Street with big financial deals. Sometimes, it is regular old Americans trying to figure out how they can increase their economic prospects.
There is an economic malaise in this country, a hangover from the Obama years. I think the tax bill, and stopping all of these insane regulations, that were really not in balance in any way, really could help the men and women across this country. My biggest concern is that ‘does that medicine kick in fast enough?’ Having a good job is more value to that for people. ‘Can America still lead?’ ‘Can we still be the number one economic power?’ ‘Is this the place to come if you have great ideas and want to put them in the marketplace?’ That is what is being tested. Next year will determine it.
When I talk to CEOs, I get recurring themes. On the tax bill, they are not asking for permanence. They just want 10 years to lower the rates so they can ,are the investments in the country. The second thing they tell me is that one of the reasons we have a jobs problem in this country is because of our education system. The public education system, colleges, community colleges, they are not necessarily thinning out gradually. There are a couple of Republican business leaders in Silicon Valley and you hear they are starting their own schools because what they are getting out of our system isn’t working. My mother was vice mayor of Wichita, Kansas, on the city council. You realize the number one expense in state after state is the university system. We are spending more on that than protecting our country. With due exceptions, the academies are amazing. I think there are great public schools and private schools, but by and large, we cannot continue to spend all this money on a public school education system that is not preparing graduates to take the jobs American companies need to compete and win around the globe. This could be our problem of the country.
The Russia Investigation
Michael Flynn, unfortunately, had a lack of judgement, and lied to the FBI. He was not under oath, but even if they are interviewing you, you cannot lie to the FBI. I think it is important to know that what he lied about, which is making calls overseas to Russian officials, there was nothing illegal or unethical about that. There was nothing even wrong about that. I think you feel — I think he felt he needed to lie because he had not had these interactions publicly, which is why the Vice — after the Vice President had went on national television, and said the conversations had not occurred. These were all after the election. The President is saying there is no collusion. There’s no evidence they did anything to change the election. There is a little bit of question on the other side with Donna Brazile’s book. That the other side was reading their process, and there is evidence the Clinton administration was working with people close to Putin to figure out dirt on Donald Trump. What I find ironic with the Clintons, is what they accuse their opponents of, they are sometimes guilty of. I think the Mueller program has to look at the series of things. General Flynn used to work for President Obama, and was fired by him because General Flynn was pushing the President to be more aggressive on the War on Terror, and then he switched to work for Trump… This got petty between Obama and Flynn. it is part of the story I think deserves more attention.