This is a rush transcript from "Sunday Morning Futures," September 17, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARIA BARTIROMO, HOST: Good Sunday morning! This week President Trump will deliver his first speech in front of the United Nations. The big six put together their framework for tax reform and lawmakers wrap up the pressure on James Comey.
Hi, everyone I'm Maria Bartiromo welcome to "Sunday Morning Futures."
Republicans say they're close to a deal on tax reform, will we get more details? House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady will join me live coming up.
Plus, we will get analysis on taxes from Grover Norquist also up ahead in the program. Then North Korea ratchets up the tensions over its nuclear program. Can the U.S. get China on board to reign in Kim Jong Un? I'll speak with Senator Mike Rounds of the Armed Services Committee. Then the heat is on, Congressman Trey Gowdy says Jim Comey needs to come back to the Hill and testify. Is the ex-FBI Director in trouble over the Clinton email scandal? Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales will join me live as we look ahead right now on "Sunday Morning Futures."
Well, the battle over tax reform is heating up now as the so-called big six in the Republican Party remain divided over basic elements of a new plan including rewriting the tax code and long promise tax cuts. House Republicans are still promising to release a plan next week. Joining me right now is the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Congressman Kevin Brady. Mr. Chairman, it's always a pleasure, thanks so much for joining us.
REP. KEVIN BRADY, R-TEXAS, CHAIRMAN, WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE: Thanks, Maria.
BARTIROMO: Well we know pretty much the principles. You and I have spoken about tax reform now multiple times. What will we learn next week that we don't already know, Sir?
BRADY: Yes, some pretty important things. One you'll see details about our business and individual rights that we propose going forward on tax reform, a dramatic simplification of how we tax so families can keep more of what they earn and our businesses can compete anywhere in the world and when especially here at home. Now, there won't be details on every aspect of the tax code. Obviously, the Ways and Means Committee and Finance Committees will do that, but I think you're going to see some key details and clearly, unified consensus document about how we move forward on tax reform.
BARTIROMO: Yes, a lot of people have been weighing in in terms of what's important to them. Last week, I spoke with Senator Ted Cruz who had some ideas both on the individual rate which he's talking about a flat tax as well as the corporate side, he's talking about expenses. Love to get your thoughts on those ideas. Here is what Ted Cruz told me just this past week. Listen to this. I started by asking him --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARTIROMO: Calling for a single flat tax, I'm reading through your ideas and I know you want to simplify in terms of three brackets versus seven but you're talking about a single flat tax. What would that be?
SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS: Look, that would be my preference, is just a single flat tax that's fair and uniform for everyone. It's a big standard deduction and then everyone pays the same simple rate because I think there's power in bold simplicity. When businesses invest in plant and equipment and new buildings, right now they depreciate those over a number of years. One of the most pro-growth tax reforms you can do is immediate expensing. What that means is that makes it much easier for a farmer to buy a tractor. If you're a steelworker, it makes it much easier for the company you work for to build a new steel factory. If you're a truck driver, it's much easier to buy a new truck or a taxi or Uber driver much easier to buy a new taxi or Uber.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BARTIROMO: So what about that, Mr. Chairman are you considering that?
BRADY: So we -- welcome Senator Cruz's ideas. In fact, the postcard style system that we are working toward and I think succeeding and achieving that was one of the key elements he proposed in his Presidential race. And of course, look, expensing which is the ability to immediately write-off those major business investment, capital investments is key to growth. I think driving the rates, you'll see this from the unified blueprint coming forward for the President and the Senate as well. We want to drive our business rates for every size business as low as we can and you'll see this. And then we want to drive the incentives for investment up as high as we can. You'll see that as well.
BARTIROMO: So you do like the idea then of expensing?
BRADY: Well, absolutely. Look you have two twin towers of growth in the economy. One is driving those rates down for every size business, the others unleashing the investment. Look, we're about 30 years low in business investment, our productivity as Americans the same level. We need to unleash that capital in a major way because that really drives productivity in wages in a way the rates don't always -- aren't always able to achieve. So really, let's drive both of them as strongly as we can.
BARTIROMO: You know, let's talk about individual rates for a moment Mr. Chairman because there's been a discrepancy on really what you determine as rich. I mean, the President has been very clear this past week saying look, my priority is the middle class. I want to lower individual rates in the middle class as much as possible. But I was looking at the tax foundation data, and the last dollar of the highest earners is $131,000. Do you consider $131,000 among the highest earners and the people that are not going to get a tax cut?
BRADY: Well I certainly don't, and I don't believe anyone does. One, we are unified around a very strong middle-class tax cuts. I want to lower the rates at every level so people can keep more of what they earn and we can grow the economy. I just honestly believe Washington takes too much of what people earn. And frankly, they also waste too much of what they take while they've got it. And so, I think, for us to grow this economy, drive a major middle-class tax cut and really create jobs in a way we've not seen the long way. Let's try to lower those rates, create that growth at every level.
BARTIROMO: So how are you dealing then with the deductions and eliminating of deductions? Last week on the morning program, I had on two Congressmen, one on both sides of the aisle and they could not agree on number one, eliminating the deduction of state income, eliminating the deduction on mortgages, they couldn't even agree on a 15 percent corporate tax rate. So where are you on this debate?
BRADY: So look, we're going to have difference of opinions there, but I think you'll see in the unified document between the President and Senate Republicans and ourselves. You're going to see a dramatically simpler tax code for families and businesses. The only way you'd do that in a -- in a growth way is just jet us in special interest provisions for some so we can lower rates for everybody and moving towards a postcard-style system were really nine out of 10 Americans will be able to use that simple postcard style approach. One has tremendous support I think from the American public and I think it's going to grow the economy as well.
BARTIROMO: Yes, I know. I understand the simplicity end of it for sure and certainly the corporate rate decrease as well. The individual rates now, I think people have some questions because the President seems to continue to reiterate how he doesn't want any tax cuts for the rich. And in fact, we both know that the highest earners pay the majority of taxes. The tax foundation right here is telling me that 10 percent of all taxpayers, the highest earners, the top 10 percent pay 70 percent of the tax. Isn't that right? So can you really do a tax cut plan and not include the highest earners? Are you really cutting taxes if you're not cutting taxes on the rich?
BRADY: Well look, I think it's important again that we try to lower rates at every level so people can keep more of what they earn. And it turns out too, as we know from the Reagan tax cuts which were bipartisan and President Kennedy's approach as well, when you lower rates for every American including the middle class, you drive the economy in a major way. That's what we're going for, Maria. As you know growth in jobs and paychecks and leapfrog America to the lead pack is the best place on the planet for that maximum job and investment. We want to achieve those, and I think you'll see in the unified tax reform approach, we're doing exactly that.
BARTIROMO: All right, so you're looking to lower taxes on everybody. So the next question becomes, how do -- how do we pay for it? And of course, that brings you to the question of revenue neutral. Do you need to have this tax plan revenue neutral which would mean of course if you're going to lower taxes, you're going to have to find revenues somewhere else over a 10 year period, what's your take, or do you not need to be revenue neutral?
BRADY: So -- yes, I want to focus on permanence. I want families and businesses to be able to count on this tax code so they can make the long- term decisions to grow their success and grow the economy as well. The best way to do that is to balance within the budget and there's two ways you do it. One, we will get economic growth from bold transformational tax reform. That's good. But we also have to get the special interest provisions, loopholes, exclusions, so that we can lower the rates for everybody. That's the work that we continue to do. And at the end of the day, if we make it this permanent or as much of this tax reform as permanent, you'll get the greatest growth for the greatest years. That's my focus.
BARTIROMO: Yes. And we're already seeing people anticipate that and things have already started to turn toward that 3 percent number in terms of economic growth that you're looking at.
BARTIROMO: Give us some kind of a structure that we could actually understand. You're going to come out with more details next week. What does that mean in terms of a bill? When does the bill come down to the floor or -- and then get to the President's desk, Sir?
BRADY: Yes, perfect question. So here is the sequence. At the end of next week, Ways and Means Committee Members will be coming back working on the final details of tax reform moving forward. The week of September 25, the President, Senate Republicans and the House Republican tax writers will bring out our unified framework. It will be all of the core elements of tax reform. And then we turn to the budget. That really needs to be completed by mid-October because that gives us the runway, the rules that allow us to land tax reform on. When that budget is complete, the Ways and Means Committee will bring forward and begin action on tax reform.
BARTIROMO: So then we will know whether or not you're going to use reconciliation where you'll need only 51 votes versus 60 votes needing Democrats in?
BRADY: Well, I will tell you what. One, no budget, no tax reform. It's clear that -- that's clear and if Republicans don't unite and move this budget so that we can move tax reform, you know, I'm convinced the President will look elsewhere but for partners to deliver on this. So this budget is incredibly important. But using reconciliation, Maria, doesn't preclude us from including Democrats and their ideas in tax reform. In fact, you know, their communities are getting hit as hard as Republican communities. They have good ideas on tax reform, so we should continue to engage them and their ideas as we go forward.
BARTIROMO: All right, we'll be watching everything. Mr. Chairman, it's good to talk with you again thanks so much.
BRADY: Thanks, Maria.
BARTIROMO: I appreciate it. Kevin Brady joining us there. Meanwhile new calls this morning to get James Comey back before Congress after Senate Republicans said that he plans to clear Hillary Clinton before even interviewing Clinton herself. Should he be forced to testify? Former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales will weigh in after the break live. Remember to follow me on Twitter @MariaBartiromo, @SundayFutures. Let us know what you'd like to hear from Alberto Gonzales as we come back. Stay with us we're looking ahead right now on "Sunday Morning Futures."
BARTIROMO: Welcome back. GOP Congressman Trey Gowdy wants former FBI Director James Comey back before Congress. That to testify in the Hillary Clinton email case. This after the Senate Judiciary Committee and transcripts -- had transcripts that said that Comey wrote a memo clearing Clinton even before he ever interviewed her or other key witnesses in the case. Joining me right now, Judge Alberto Gonzalez, former U.S. attorney general under President George W. Bush. He is also the author of the book True Faith And Allegiance, a Story of Service and Sacrifice in War and Peace. And you certainly have sacrificed as well. Mr. Attorney General good to see you, Sir. Thanks very much for joining us.
ALBERTO GONZALES, FORMER UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL: Thanks for having me, Maria. I appreciate it.
BARTIROMO: I want to play for you the sound bite from Trey Gowdy. He was on "America's Newsroom" here on Fox News this past week. Listen to this, I got to get your reaction to this, Sir.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. TREY GOWDY, R-S.C.: What I'm saying is there's sufficient factual basis to bring him in and ask him when did you make up your mind that you were not going to charge Secretary Clinton? I can tell you because I've seen with my own eyes he made up his mind before he interviewed her. How far back whether it was two weeks or two months quite frankly, Bill, is immaterial to me. He did it before he interviewed the last witness.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BARTIROMO: What's your take on that Judge?
GONZALES: Well, I think -- I think this is rather murky. I think whether or not a prosecutor would find some kind of wrongdoing by the former Director I think remains to be seen. Quite frankly it's unfair to the process and to James Comey and the investigation as to whether or not what should be the outcome here. Oftentimes in connection with the investigation, investigators and prosecutors have a pretty good idea about where they go with an investigation. They know though at the end that if they don't have an interview of the primary person involved if he had not interviewed Hillary Clinton, there would have been serious questions raised why didn't he interview Hillary Clinton.
And so, it's not -- it would not be -- I would say it's common you make up your mind very early in the process but it's certainly not unusual that you certainly develop a feel about where the investigation is going to go. And so, again, a lot of murky information here, and so you know, I do think that it's not inappropriate for Congress to ask the Director, the former Director to come back and clarify some of these questions.
BARTIROMO: Yes, I mean this is really bizarre because both sides of the aisle are mad at Comey because they feel that he was the judge, the jury, and the executor all at once basically saying, we're not going to prosecute and having that memo that indicates that he already had made up his mind before he actually did the interview. Is it typical though your honor to basically plan an interview based on what the subject wants? In other words, Hillary Clinton apparently did not want to be recorded. She didn't want it to be on the record. Jim Comey did not do the interview himself. I mean, they agreed to all of these things to get her in the door. Is that right?
GONZALES: Well, I think that there are many certainly many former high-level DOJ officials who believe that there were many mistakes made by Director Comey in connection with this investigation. His involvement and publicly having that press conference and then interjecting himself just, you know, weeks before the election. So there are many things that happen here that really are extraordinary. Now, as to whether or not any of this raises to criminal wrongdoing, connects with the leaking of some of the FBI memo and pre-judging the case, whether any of that rises to criminal activity really I think from the public record, I think it's a stretch. But there are serious consequences that may arise nonetheless.
For example, the Inspector General of the Department of Justice is undoubtedly looking at Jim's performance and they very well may welcome out with a harsh indictment of the way Jim exercised his authority as FBI Director and started interjecting himself as the prosecutor in this case when in fact as the head of the FBI they are the investigators. The officer pressed with the responsibility is charged with assessing whether or not any lawyer within the Department of Justice fulfills his obligation to the American people to act with the highest professional ethics and professionalism. And the office of professional responsibility may also come out with a harsh indictment. So there could be serious consequences that arise here for Director Comey that fall short of any kind of criminal wrongdoing.
BARTIROMO: Well, I guess -- I guess the broader issue here and this is why I think viewers are sort of scratching their head about this. They look at some of the situations where they see wrongdoing, Loretta Lynch telling Jim Comey to call the investigation a criminal investigation, call that criminal investigation a matter, not an investigation and he did it. He went publicly and called it that we're looking at this matter instead of a criminal investigation, nothing done about that.
They look at you know, what has gone on with the IRS, you know, and basically seeing just last week's news that the Department of Justice has decided they're not going to do anything else on Louise Lerner targeting conservatives because she didn't agree with their politics. That case is sort of gone away. And then we've got here Jim Comey, Trey Gowdy saying he wants them back and yet it's not a major thing that the DOJ is actually looking at. So I guess people are saying, is the Department of Justice being run by Republicans or are these Obama holdouts? How come all of these stories that are against the Democrats are never followed through?
GONZALES: Well, let's just take, for example, the IRS situation. The decision not to move forward with respect to that prosecution is ultimately signed off by the Head of the Criminal Division which is a Trump appointee confirmed by the Republican Senate signed off by the Deputy Attorney General, again, an appointee of this President signed off by Republican- controlled Senate. And so the fact that that decision was made tells me that they just did not believe there was sufficient evidence they could credibly prosecute that case and be successful in a court of law. So for me, it would be a stretch to say that they are not doing their job in terms of ensuring that justice is followed in every particular case irrespective of politics.
BARTIROMO: All right, Mr. Attorney General, we'll leave it there. Good to see you, Sir. Thanks so much.
GONZALES: Thanks, Maria.
BARTIROMO: Judge Alberto Gonzales. We'll be back with North Korea wraps up its rhetoric. What to do now. Stay with us.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back. Big week for President Trump. He's gearing up to address the United Nations this week. It is the U.N. General Assembly. It comes amid growing tensions with North Korea. Of course, the rogue regime flying a second missile over Japan on Friday. Joining me right now is South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds, a Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee joining us. Sir, are you with us?
SEN. MIKE ROUNDS, R-S.D., ARMED SERVICE COMMITTEE: Hi, Maria.
BARTIROMO: Good to see you, Senator. Thank you very much for joining us. I see that the President of South Korea is going to be speaking at the U.N. General Assembly actually Monday. The President has his speech on Tuesday. What would you expect from the President at the U.N. General Assembly this week?
ROUNDS: I think he makes it very clear that there are military options but that we would prefer to have a diplomatic solution that would be better for everyone. I think that's got to be his message, to begin with. I think also he has to send a message to China that they do have a responsibility here and that they can help us to eliminate the possible use of military forces in the future based upon our own timeframe and I hope that that's the message that he's able to convey.
BARTIROMO: Yes, in fact, Secretary Mnuchin has been very clear saying look, if we don't get what we need from China, we're prepared to decline the numbers in terms of trade. We can stop trading with any country. That sort of frightened me a bit Senator and I wonder what you think about putting additional sanctions on Chinese banks, about pushing back on China, getting real aggressive in terms of trade. That impacts the United States negatively.
ROUNDS: It does and the question is which is a better move? Do we take the pain in the short-term in order to move them in a positive direction or do we possibly have a much more difficult outcome with a military action at a later date? I think most of us would prefer to take the short-term pain if necessary due to changes in our -- in our policies with China. We're hopeful that China would also recognize that long-term, they have a rogue nation on their neighbor and that they are able to negotiate with us so that they don't see U.S. troops on that border. That's what they are concerned.
Look, they want stability and right now they do not have the stability that they desire. North Korea is not a good neighbor. They're involved in corruption, they're involved in currency manipulation and look, they're one of the guys that right now causes problems for the provinces in that part or next to that part of China. And so, I think China understands that they also have issues that North Korea is the problem with. And so, I think that they do have an interest in trying to resolve this but they most certainly don't want us or South Korea as their neighbor. I think that's the issue that would have to be resolved.
BARTIROMO: But what about the capabilities of North Korea at this point? What can you tell us? I mean, Kim Jong Un is out last week on Friday saying, he would like to -- this is from state media in North Korea -- that he would like to turn the U.S. into dust and ash -- ashes and darkness, then said that we are -- we are ready to sink Japan. I mean, these threats, how much should we take them seriously?
ROUNDS: Every day that goes by, he's going to continue to try to increase his capabilities, whether it be nuclear or the ability to deliver a nuclear strike and I wouldn't rule out other types of weapons as well. I think, look, he is not part of the civilized world and most certainly, you can't assume that he doesn't have other types of weapons as well. But the reality is, he at this point does not have the huge capabilities that it would take to actually deliver such a blow. He can cause us pain. He can cause our allies pain and most certainly with South Korea and Seoul, he has a significant conventional military force on the border. Literally, thousands and thousands of artillery pieces aimed at Seoul, and they are hardened and it would be very difficult to take those out. So that's the major threat is, our neighbors are at risk from this rogue nation.
BARTIROMO: Senator before you go, let me ask you about the domestic agenda because I know that you've been working on a deal on subsidies. You'd like to get something out by the end of September. Where are you on that?
ROUNDS: We continue to work on a bipartisan basis. Senator King and I have been working with the Senator Alexander and Senator Murray. We've offered to assist them in trying to find a bipartisan solution to get us up to the point between now and 2020. It means providing direct Congressional authorization for the use of the cost-sharing arrangements, the CSR's and then along with that a relaxation on the guidelines under Section1332 which are the exemptions that allow the states more of an opportunity to actually make improvements and pick some of the problems that are currently in existence.
This works very well with what is currently going on with Senator Casey and Senator Graham's Bill and the two are not mutually exclusive. So I like Senator Casey and Senator Graham's bill. I think long term, it's the best solution. It would be done on a partisan basis. The plan that we're working on right now would be a bipartisan approach to get us by a couple of years where we'll have people that really get hurt if we don't do something about those cost-sharing arrangements. It's about 7 billion a year.
BARTIROMO: And what about -- what about tax reform? You heard Kevin Brady at the top of the show. Where are your sacred cows? People are worried if a bill gets to the Senate and the Senate once again stops it.
ROUNDS: But we have a real interest in seeing a tax reform but I think most people in America want to see something on the bottom line. They want to see the opportunity for job creation. But just as important, they want more money in their paychecks. So I think if nothing else, I still suggest that if nothing else happens, let's make a down payment on a reduction in taxes collected from the personal income taxes.
If you just take two points off every single tax rate, people in South Dakota making 68,000 a year, four individuals in the family, they would have an $800 reduction in their personal income taxes. It would mean about $150 billion back in the economy that could be reinvested but we still have to do something about repatriation of the dollars that are outside and there's clearly between 2.5 and $3.5 trillion that could be reinvested back into the United States economy. It is critical that we allow that money back in, in some kind of incentive for all. And if not, we can't jumpstart this economy the way that we need to.
BARTIROMO: So will you vote yes with 15 percent corporate tax rate then?
ROUNDS: I would be very interested at seeing a corporate tax rate at 15 percent, but I also want to see something for the pass-through corporation, the small businesses. if we go 15 percent --
BARTIROMO: Well, that would be much more powerful. I agree with you.
BARTIROMO: That would give much more (INAUDIBLE). And on the individual side are you going to vote to tax cuts for everybody including the highest earners?
ROUNDS: I have no problem in offering a tax cut to everybody. If we can't get it for everybody, I'll take what I can get. I'm open for discussion but I think the real issue here is trying to get more money back into the economy and that means all segments. It doesn't mean everybody has got to have an equal amount of a tax break. As I say, if you take a look at just two points off every single tax rate, somebody in the 10 percent category right now gets a 20 percent rate of reduction. Somebody in the 39 percent category doesn't quite get that kind of a reduction but they still get something to put back into to reinvest in the economy.
BARTIROMO: That makes a lot of sense. Senator, it's good to have you on the program this morning. Thank you so much.
ROUNDS: Thank you.
BARTIROMO: Senator Mike Rounds there. Well, the big six still at odds over tax reform. We're going talk more about it this morning with Grover Norquist. He'll join me next with his take as we look ahead on SUNDAY MORNING FUTURES. Back in a moment.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back. The Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Kevin Brady just told us we are going to get more detail on tax reform next week, the week of September 25th. What should we expect to see? I want to bring in Grover Norquist right now. He's the Founder and President of American for Tax Reform. Grover, it's always a pleasure to see you. Thank you for joining us.
GROVER NORQUIST, AMERICAN FOR TAX REFORM FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT: Absolutely.
BARTIROMO: What did you hear from Kevin Brady that gives you more detail about that plan next week?
NORQUIST: Well I think the big six, Kevin Brady Head of Ways and Means as well as the White House and Senate folks, they agree on what needs to be in the tax cut. What there's still a discussion about is how much rate reduction, how much full business expensing, getting rid of the (INAUDIBLE) tax and alternative minimum tax are consensus issues. How much do you reduce individual rates and do you make it retroactive to the beginning of this year? So, a lot of interest in that, and what gets made permanent and what gets made temporary.
So, the good news is all the ingredients, the pro-growth ingredients, the tax reform there's a consensus on. What you don't yet have is how much of each of the ingredients and how big the pot is? How much tax cut can you afford if you go to current policy as opposed to current law? That's one way to have a larger tax reduction that's permanent, making sure you have accurate explanations of projections of how much revenue comes from growth. That allows you to cut more tax rates permanently.
NORQUIST: Those are the debates they're going to have that have to show a little ankle before they have the budget vote because a lot of Republicans in the House are willing to swallow a budget that's not terribly attractive or aggressive or doesn't cut spending as much as I like. Because they know without the budget, you don't get tax reform, people want tax reduction reform but they need to be able to go to their constituents and say, I voted for this budget thing, not all that interesting but that was what was necessary to get to this rate reduction.
BARTIROMO: Yes, but there's a real debate certainly amongst Democrats about cutting taxes on the rich, the highest earners. Now, Grover, you and I both know that the highest earners pay all the taxes. So if they're not going to cut taxes on the rich, can you really say that that's going to move the needle on economic growth since the rich pay all the taxes 70 percent?
NORQUIST: Well, we know because 45 of the 48 Democrats in the Senate sent an insulting letter to the Republican leadership saying we'd like to work with you on bipartisan tax reform, it just can't even be -- it can't be a tax cut, period. We're taking tax cuts off the table. It can't be pro- growth. That's off the table and it can't cut everyone's taxes. It has to pick winners and losers. So they've announced that the Democrat plan, remember, Hillary ran promising more than a trillion dollars over a decade in higher taxes. Obama's demand every time tax reform came up was 1.4 trillion in higher taxes. The modern Democratic Party wants higher taxes. The Modern Republican Party wants lower taxes. Tax Reform as the President has said, we would love to have Democrat votes for. But there aren't any Democrat votes to pass it. They want --
BARTIROMO: But we month that it's not just the Democrats, Grover. The Republican Party is also having debates and arguments over where this should go, whether or not it should be revenue neutral.
NORQUIST: Well, they're healthy debates about how much is made permanent and that's where the -- it's not revenue neutral it's deficit neutral in the years 11 and out. If you want any of the tax cuts that can be permanent, it has to be deficit neutral in after year 10. For the first 10 years as Bush showed when he had a tax cut for10 years, rather substantial tax cut for 10 years, it then all disappeared. A lot of Republicans say would really like permanent. I like permanent too but I'd much rather have a 15 percent corporate rate for 10 years because I know darn well that when you get close to 10 years, the pressure on the Congressman even Democrats to extend good tax policy, pro-growth tax policy will be overwhelming. Now when Obama folded and gave us 85 percent, 90 percent of what we wanted on making those tax cuts permanent even though he voted against them in the first place.
BARTIROMO: Yes. So do you think we will get tax cuts by year-end and do you -- what's the most important element of this plan that you think will, in fact, move the needle on jobs and economic growth?
NORQUIST: Sure. The three big job creators are taking the corporate rate and the pass-through rate, the Subchapter S, small business rate down as close to 15 as you can get. It's got to be a substantial cut from 35 and 40 down towards 15. That's one. The second is full business expensing. That doesn't have to be permanent but if you do it for three years it will be so pro-growth that it will -- like the research and development, R and D tax credits will never go away. And the third part is to allow American companies that have earned money overseas at three-plus trillion dollars to bring it back to the United States immediately. That would be an incredible rush of adrenaline into the American economy. It will take money that's now overseas and bring it back to the United States and it's our stupid tax policy that keeps that money away from America.
We can easily fix it. The rest is very good but those are the three drivers. We will get all three because the Republican House does not come back if they don't pass pro-growth tax cuts that give you solid growth going into the first six months of next year. And the Senate where the Republicans could gain five, seven, eight seats, you won't see those gains unless they deliver the growth that Trump and the Republicans promise.
BARTIROMO: Yes, so I think they know that and they want to get this done by year-end. It sounds like you agree that we will, in fact, see that in the coming months.
NORQUIST: Yes, politics and economics combined to say this has to happen.
BARTIROMO: Yes, exactly. Grover, it's good to see you. Thanks so much.
NORQUIST: Thank you.
BARTIROMO: Grover Norquist. Let's get a look at what's coming at what's coming up at the top of the hour "MediaBuzz." Checking with Howie Kurtz right now, Howie, good morning to you.
HOWARD KURTZ, HOST, "MEDIABUZZ": Good morning Maria. President Trump dancing with the Democrats as friends Chuck and Nancy getting some rare positive press except from conservative pundits who are angry and even feel betrayed. ESPN totally boxing with the situation after one of its hosts calls the President a white supremacist. Why some journalist are blaming the White House and that Hillary T.V. blitz for her new book seems to be a lot of slow pitch softball coming up on "MediaBuzz."
BARTIROMO: All right. We will see you in about 15 minutes, Howie, thank you. Meanwhile, the President made a lot of ways meeting with those top Democrats to talk immigration reform. Our panel will break down the potential deal over DACA when we come back. We're looking ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures." Back in a moment.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back. President Trump meeting twice with top Democratic Lawmakers in the past two weeks to talk immigration policy among other uses. I want to bring in our panel right now to talk about that. James Freeman is the Assistant Editor of the Wall Street Journal Editorial Page. Steve Forbes is Chairman and Editor in Chief for Forbes Media. And it is good to see you both. Thank so much for joining us.
JAMES FREEMAN, WALL STREET JOURNAL ASSISTANT EDITOR: Good to be here.
STEVE FORBES, FORBES CHAIRMAN AND EDITOR IN CHIEF: Thank you.
BARTIROMO: A lot of people getting unnerved by these meetings with Chuck and Nancy over immigration, taxes, healthcare. What's your take?
FREEMAN: I think it's good news. I don't think we ought to get unnerved. We had a President for eight years who liked creating controversies about immigration, liked to inflaming it as apolitical issue. Maybe we now have a President who actually wants to solve the problem. So you look at a president who can say credibly to his voters, I am enforcing the rule of law at the border but also, reach out and say for people who are law- abiding and want to work here, let's let them in, allow them to stay.
BARTIROMO: Yes, I guess, yeah, I mean, one of the issues is people are wondering if the President is going back and forth on some of his issues. I mean, first, he said we have to have the rule of law. We're going to make sure to you know, deport and we're going to make sure that we are following the DREAMers Act but if you're here illegally you're not staying and then change.
FREEMAN: Yeah, well i think -- OK, obviously build the wall pretty clear is kind of one of his signature messages but I think of course people understand what he was -- I think what he was really saying and what they want is we're not going to have a culture of lawlessness at the border or by the President. You remember President Obama basically creating a policy outside the law. If that's over, I think and President Trump can show people as he can that illegal crossings are coming down. I think he's got a lot of room to maneuver on what would we like immigration policy to be when we have a secure border?
BARTIROMO: What should it look like, Steve Forbes, and also -- you know, it could be a message that the President is sending to the GOP. You can't get this done. I'm going to get this done where I can.
FORBES: Well I think what he did on the debt ceiling was a good thing in the sense there was a slap in the face to the Republican leadership and the Caucus, get your act together. That's going to be good in this tax thing that's going to be coming up in a couple of weeks, a week or so. No more of this dilatoriness. And so that's a good thing on the immigration thing, the American people on the so-called DREAMers, people who are brought in by -- when they're minors. I think most people support, yes they should have not be deported.
BARTIROMO: This is the only country they know.
FORBES: Yes, so I think there'll be legislation on that but I think Trump also recognizes that unless you get a big fat tax cut and the economy is visibly feeling to be doing better, not just the GDP number every quarter and people don't feel it. What they really feel it, that sets the stage one for more political capital and two, it lowers everybody's temperature.
BARTIROMO: But even there, Steve, come on. The President keeps reiterating all week last week I'm not interested in the highest earners. I'm not cutting taxes on the rich even though the rich pay all of the taxes, so is he changing his tune when it comes to tax cuts as well? The key thing is what you actually get done. I think he's just right now, saying the emphasis is not going to try to be -- the Democrats always say you're trying to help the rich.
And so he's trying to take that off the table. But the key thing is on the tax side, you're going to have to do it across-the-board like Ronald Reagan did years ago. You're going to have to also do something with Obama and the Republicans did six or seven years ago to make sure that everyone feels their pay is going up as perhaps take two or three points as they did a few years ago off Social Security, so everyone feels their pay is going up. You do something like that, people don't care what you do at the top. They just want to feel my life is getting better.
BARTIROMO: Yes, exactly. And that's why making it retroactive would also make people feel that way.
FORBES: Critical. And that way, it doesn't matter if you pass it in December if it goes back to January 1, good.
FREEMAN: Yes, I think what they got to realize here, I think they're getting to this understanding is you got to grow the economy. So a year from now if people have more jobs, they are going to care less about immigration. They're also going to care -- they're not going to care what the rates are on somebody else. If they are seeing improved job prospects, a better economy, if their business is thriving, this kind of politics of envy we've been in for years now it really recedes.
BARTIROMO: All right. Let me take a short break. We will come back with our panel. We're going to take a look at next week. Stay with us on "Sunday Morning Futures."
BARTIROMO: Welcome back. We're back with our panel Steve Forbes and James Freeman. And Steve just said you do expect the Republicans to get a tax bill across the -- across the aisle.
FORBES: Absolutely. Big fat tax cut, why? Because they don't want to become Uber drivers after next year's elections. They know if the economies not booming, they're going to have to, as they say, pursue new job opportunities. Most of them don't want to do that.
BARTIROMO: That's how you're expecting it by year-end?
FORBES: Yes. And retroactive.
BARTIROMO: James? A retroactive --
FREEMAN: Yes, I'm a little concerned just because a lot of the rhetoric has been about how they're going to revolutionize our tax system and fix all of the problems and that to me sounds like a 2019 project. I think if they focus on cutting the rates, getting a big cut in that corporate rate especially get job growth going, I think they will be in good shape.
BARTIROMO: A lot of the White House people are out today trying to defend the President on this climate change story. Last night, the Wall Street Journal reported that the President -- there are some people in White House are saying maybe he won't withdraw from the Paris Accord. I actually tweeted out the story last night from the journal. As soon as I tweeted out that story, I said, and now this, the Journal saying that maybe the President is thinking about backtracking. Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted back at me and said, the President has been very clear we are withdrawing from the Paris Accord unless we get better terms. I'm just wondering if you think these meetings with the Dems is changing his mind on all of these things.
FREEMAN: Well, you always have to worry. Obviously this -- Donald Trump was a New York liberal for much of his life and so it's always been a question of where is he philosophically, but I think the statement from Sanders is pretty clear which is exactly what he said when he got out of it, is ,you know, we'll listen if there's a better deal, we'll consider it. But if it turns out he gets out of it, I think people are going to start asking again, you know maybe Steve Bannon was serving something of a useful role in the White House in terms of pressing conservative policy.
BARTIROMO: You mean if he doesn't withdraw from Paris if he stays in Paris?
FREEMAN: If he stays in Paris, excuse me. Right.
BARTIROMO: What do you think Steve?
FORBES: With this whole DACA thing?
FORBES: I think he will stay out of Paris. You can do DACA, upset the base a little -- upset the base, but if you do two -- too much.
FREEMAN: OK just in terms of upsetting the base, we talked about the credibility he has. U.S. Customs and Border Protection says illegal crossings year-to-date down 24 percent.
FREEMAN: Down 41 percent last month. So this is what gives Donald Trump credibility when he does deals on immigration, is to show people, I am enforcing the border.
BARTIROMO: That's really good numbers. I'm glad you brought that up. Steve?
FORBES: Yes, and this also means in terms of the whole Paris Accord thing. He's sounding reasonable if you come up with something pro-American. So since we're the only ones reducing emissions in the world, not much they can do, so it's a face-saving way for the Europeans to say well maybe he will go our way. He isn't. He can't.
FREEMAN: Well you look at the rebound in Coal Country.
BARTIROMO: Good point.
FREEMAN: You look at everything, I mean, the economy is kind of slowly, we hope, kind of getting out of the slow growth Obama era but one real bright spot has been energy and specifically coal, and you look at the rebound in those areas it's really hard for me to see him saying oh, just kidding. Actually, I'm going to put you out of business just like Obama and Hillary want to.
BARTIROMO: That would be -- that might lead to Uber. Gentlemen good to see you both. James Freeman, Steve Forbes, there -- that will do it for us. Thanks so much for being with me. I'll see you tomorrow morning on Fox Business on "Mornings With Maria" 6:00 a.m. Be there. Stay with Fox News, here is "MediaBuzz," next.
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