This is a rush transcript from "Sunday Morning Futures," December 2, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARIA BARTIROMO, HOST: Good Sunday morning. Tomorrow, lawmakers are voting to go to conference on the tax bill, big week ahead. Special Counsel Robert Mueller turning up the heat in the Russia probe and the U.S. racing to deal with a nuclear threat from North Korea. Good morning everyone I'm Maria Bartiromo, welcome to "Sunday Morning Futures." Republicans looking to pass tax cuts by the end of the year, lawmakers in the House and Senate now set to go into conference, hammer out a deal on a single bill after the Senate passed its bill yesterday.
What obstacles if any remain, Senate Budget Committee Member David Perdue will join me coming up live. The Justice Department weighs federal charges against the illegal immigrants acquitted in the murder of Kate Steinle while lawmakers are making a new push for Kate's law. Would it prevent deaths like Steinle's? House Homeland Security Chairman Congressman Michael McCaul will join me on that coming up. And the threat from North Korea is real. National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster says the potential for war is increasing every day. What happens now? I'll speak live with former U.N. Ambassador Bill Richardson as we look ahead right now on "Sunday Morning Futures."
Well, the House is set to vote tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. Eastern to go to conference with the Senate to hammer out one deal on the GOP tax bill. After the Senate passed its version, this weekend in the wee hours yesterday morning. Now both chambers must agree on a single bill that goes to the President's desk for his signature. Let's bring in right now Georgia Senator David Perdue who sits on the Senate Budget and Banking Committees. Senator, good to have you on the program. Thanks so much for joining us.
SEN. DAVID PERDUE, R-GA., BUDGET AND BANKING COMMITTEE: Hi Maria.
BARTIROMO: Congratulations to you and your colleagues getting this over the finish line last night. Tell us how this went down. You passed a bill Saturday morning without Bob Corker's vote. He voted no.
PERDUE: Well, you know, I love sausage but I hate to see it made and that's what we've been doing the last nine months. But you're right, Saturday morning just before 2:00 a.m. we passed a historic tax bill first one since 1986 and I'm very excited because this is going to be so stimulating for our economy. Our workers are going to become competitive again Maria. And as you talked in the last hour, capital formation is going to come out of the woodwork to support this economy so I am extremely pleased that we got this done. We'll go to conference next week. We could have this on the President's desk within 10 days.
BARTIROMO: So a lot of conversation about the so-called trigger that your colleague Senator Bob Corker wanted to put in the bill whereas if the revenue was not there, that you expect from this tax bill that a trigger would be in place to actually raise taxes. This was massively debated, at the end of the day, it is not in the bill. Talk to us about why you feel comfortable going forward without that trigger here.
PERDUE: Well, first of all, the maligned JCT, the Joint Committee on Tax and even CBO both says -- JCT says you only have to grow two-tenths of one percent in the GDP to more than pay for this and even the CBO says four- tenths of one percent. And look, what the President has been doing all year, (INAUDIBLE) he said was growing the economy, rollback regulations as you've talked repeatedly on your show. Go after energy which we've done and now reform the tax package. So what we've got is a situation where this economy is going to grow. I have full confidence as a business guy that lived to work around the world Maria, this is going to be so stimulative. The rest of the world woke up Saturday morning and took a deep breath because they were so afraid we weren't going to do this. America is back in business globally Maria.
BARTIROMO: Yes, this is a good -- this is a good positive for sure. A lot of economists are expecting this to increase earnings and help the backdrop for business so that business turns around and invests in R&D and infrastructure and hires new workers. How worried are you that in fact the savings businesses will see will result in those businesses buying back stock or increasing dividends as opposed to actually hiring new workers?
PERDUE: Well, Maria, I come from the school that you know, all of the above is acceptable. This is capitalism. Capital flow is very important in the generation of jobs and economic growth. And that's what happens whether it's in dividends or training or what. But the people that I've talked to in positions of power in the business world are saying that look, we have been in a recession now for over eight years in some terms. I mean, this is the lowest period of economic growth in our history. What these people have are pent-up needs in terms of job training, worker training and so forth, capital investment in plant and equipment.
And what we're going to find is a lot of the I.P. is going to come back to our shores Maria, because of the details of this tax package. But let me iterate this. The benefit to the individuals is not to be ignored. 68 percent of the tax cuts in this bill go to individuals such that a family of four, this is two kids and a couple making a median income of $73,000 will get a 60 percent tax cut. A single mom making 41,000 with a child is going to get a 75 percent tax cut and we took 6 million people who pay taxes now will come off the road, Maria. This is a great day for the middle class.
BARTIROMO: Let me -- let me ask you to compare the Senate bill versus the House bill. Our viewers want to understand better how the final bill might look different from what you guys just passed in the Senate. Talk to us about the differences and how you see this bill looking differently once it gets to the President's desk?
PERDUE: Well, you know, to some degree Maria, we passed that Rubicon and in many ways over the last week. The Senate bill began to move toward the House bill which is a good thing. In fact, some people were saying that maybe the House could go ahead and vote on the Senate bill. We're not asking them for that yet but it got so close that I think that's a possibility. Look this committee, this group that's going to get together and rationalize whatever minor differences, are there will do very quick work this week so I don't anticipate many changes. We moved in the SALT area, the state and local tax such that we gave relief to some of the high- cost states but also, I believe that we have taken out a lot of the differences. So I think this is going to move very quickly.
BARTIROMO: Is there room to lower rates for some taxpayers here if you make a difference on SALT, the State and Local Tax Deduction being eliminated obviously is a big deal for some of these high tax states who may very well see higher taxes for some of their constituents. Is there movement that you see happening in the next week that would lower rates for those individuals?
PERDUE: I really don't think so Maria. I think the majority of people in the country are tired of subsidizing the high tax states. And why should a couple with two children making an income exactly the same for the same couple with the same kid in California? Why should the couple in Iowa pay more federal income tax? That's been the case for the last 30years. This moves to correct that to some degree.
BARTIROMO: At the same time though, you know, your colleagues on the left are calling this warfare. The Washington Post is out with a story today saying this is class warfare. We know that these are talking points from the Democrats. We were expecting this but there's video that Senators, you know, are saying that look, this is going to take us all the way into 2018. This is going to be our issue. The fact that this is helping the rich and not doing enough for middle-class families, they're going to be singing this song going into the 2018 elections. Are you expecting the House to lose the majority as a result of this talking point?
PERDUE: Maria, this is coming from the same people that taxed 8 million people in 2014 under ObamaCare, $2 billion and half of those folks make less than $25,000. This is such nonsense. They know that what just happened, the 68 percent of these tax cuts are going to the middle class. What we've got here is a situation where we're making America competitive again with the rest of the world. We're lowering the tax rate to 20 percent. Asia is already at 18, Europe is at low 20s moving to that, U.K. goes to 17 next year. The best -- the person that's going to benefit the most from this tax bill though is the person that gets a job, Maria.
BARTIROMO: I agree with you but look, we know what the left is saying and I want to ask you about this AMT because this is also very significant. The Senate bill keeps part of the Alternative Minimum Tax. Why did you do that and isn't this going to mean that those people that we're getting a tax break are no longer getting a tax break, Senator?
PERDUE: Well, for the way we did it though, for the most part, it's the wealthy that the left is talking about got such a break. We've put this back in there primarily to pay for an enrichment of cuts on the individual side. Just in the last two weeks Maria, we took the cuts on the individual side. This is in the middle class now from the median income and up, we took it up by 20 percent from 3 trillion to $3.6 trillion. We cut the tax code for the middle class. So when you look at the math, there is absolutely no support that this is just for the rich. And as a matter of fact, even the repatriation tax that we're talking about, when it comes back in the U.S., the beneficiaries are going to be American workers. It creates a level playing field for the people who work with their hands every day across America.
BARTIROMO: Right. Yes. But why was there no movement Senator, on the carried interest deduction? You know, this is a deduction that obviously high earners use when it becomes real estate individuals, hedge fund managers, who are able to show income as capital gains rather than -- rather than standard income at the top rate and that's not changed. This deduction is in there.
PERDUE: Well some of us really wanted to do that. It also affects other industries like energy and so forth, so you know, when you get in the final hours of a bill like this, you had to decide are you going to shut this bill down or are you going to try to get the best you can get and that's what we've been doing the last week. So this is one that might get some conversation in the conference as well but again it was one of those items that in our negotiations we looked at trying to make all of the chemistry work for all of the industries out there and this one didn't get put in there somehow.
BARTIROMO: All right, real quick final question here. Give us the procedure this next two weeks. What does it look like before this bill actually lands on the President's desk?
PERDUE: Well, the House and the Senate both will name a conference committee. They go together and work very quickly to work out any minor differences between the Senate bill and the House bill. It comes back to then the House and Senate. We vote one more time and it goes to the President's desk. But to me, this is mostly perfunctory because the Senate bill got so close to the House bill. I don't see a lot of controversy this week. I'm hopeful that we'll see the Senate voting on this again by the end of this coming week Maria.
BARTIROMO: All right. Wow, this is exciting times. Senator, it's good to have you on the program this morning. Thanks so much.
PERDUE: Thank you, Maria.
BARTIROMO: We'll be watching this big week ahead. Meanwhile, the verdict in the Kate Steinle trial putting the spotlight back on Kate's Law that passed in the House but stalled in the Senate. Could it prevent deaths like Steinle in the future? I'll talk with House Homeland Security Chairman Mike McCaul, one of the bill's strongest supporters. He'll join me next live, Chairman McCaul. Phone me at Twitter @MariaBartiromo, @SundayFutures. Let us know what you'd like to hear from our guest this morning. Stay with us. We're looking ahead right now on "Sunday Morning Futures."
BARTIROMO: Welcome back. The Justice Department is considering federal charges against the illegal immigrant acquitted of murder on Friday. That's in the 2015 shooting death of Kate Steinle. The suspect had been deported five times before killing which he claimed was an accident. House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul is one of the strongest supporters of Kate's Law, a bill that would stiffen the penalty for anyone caught repeatedly entering the United States illegally. Congressman McCaul joins me right now. Congressman, it's good to see you, Sir, thanks so much for joining us
REP. MICHAEL MCCAUL, R-TEXAS., CHAIRMAN, HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE: Thanks, Maria. Thanks for having me.
BARTIROMO: We have a lot to talk about in terms of Sanctuary Cities and Kate's Law. I'll get to that in a moment. Let me first get your take on what has taken place this weekend in terms of the Robert Mueller investigation. We know now that the ABC report on Friday was erroneous, that the President directed Michael Flynn after the election one month before taking office. What's your take in terms of these developments this weekend?
MCCAUL: Well, with respect to Mike Flynn's investigation, you know this is an ongoing process. I hope we can wrap this up very shortly. I think the more disturbing report I heard come out was that one of the FBI agents assigned to the Mueller investigation was reassure signed because of his political views. I worked in the Justice Department for many years, FBI agents should not bring in their own political bias into these investigations. And the fact that this was one of the lead agents on the Hillary Clinton email investigation, if true I think is very disturbing and possibly could call for reopening of that investigation.
BARTIROMO: This individual played a key role in the original FBI investigation of the Trump-Russia matter -- Trump-Russia investigation, even though I know Loretta Lynch wants us to call it a matter by the way. In addition, he was not fired, he was moved to H.R. in the FBI. So what's that all about? You know, they know that he's political sending you know, texts to people, disparaging the President, you know, pushing Hillary Clinton forward and yet he's taken off of that role but still in the FBI. He's in the Human Resources Department.
MCCAUL: Well, I think it was correct to take him off this investigation. With respect to how they handle him from a personnel standpoint, you know, leave that to the Attorney General but you know, again, I think this raises greater questions about the fidelity and the integrity of this investigation. You're never supposed to bring your personal politics into this sort of thing. I worked in the public integrity section and so not only this -- the Mueller investigation into the Russian collusion now is being called into question but again, going back to Hillary Clinton's e- mails, perhaps that was improperly handled because of this political bias. I don't know the answers to all of that but it sure does raise a lot of questions that I think the Attorney General now has to put this right. I found this as a former federal prosecutor again very disturbing and it does throw into question the entire investigation.
BARTIROMO: So you think maybe it could be reopened then?
MCCAUL: I think the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation if he was very pro Hillary and anti-Trump, this type of agent should never be assigned to this type of case
MCCAUL: It's a political investigation. You're not supposed to put your political views, you know, into that type of investigation. Again as a former DOJ guy, I find this troubling.
BARTIROMO: All right, let's move on to Kate Steinle and we know that the killer here, the murderer, well he was -- he was found you know, acquitted but he was deported five times and it opens up the question of Sanctuary Cities, Mr. Chairman, and why it is that San Francisco refuses to follow the law of the land.
MCCAUL: Well, this should never have happened. I'm a father of five. Kate Steinle said to her father, daddy please help me as she died in his arms. This is one of those tragic things. And then to see a San Francisco jury acquit this killer of the charges is even more tragic for the family and I think for the nation it signals a broader problem in our failed immigration policies. These Sanctuary Cities that give, you know, those who come into the country illegally who are criminals, safe haven. And cities like San Francisco, it is a public threat and it needs to change. We passed Kate's Law in the House.
I would hope the Senate would do the same. We passed a No Sanctuary for Criminals Act which is sitting in the Senate. These things could be quickly moved and signed by the President. And finally Maria, my border security billboard or Security for America Act needs to be passed quickly in the Congress. This will get the border secure so we don't have people like this guy returning five times. He was deported five times with multiple felonies and brought back. He came back into the country and then perpetrated this killing and then, unfortunately, got off the hook by I think a biased jury in San Francisco because they knew this was a referendum on Sanctuary Cities.
BARTIROMO: Incredible. And I mean, at this point, are you expecting support there? I mean, Kate's Law is mandating jail time for someone who continues to come back after being deported.
MCCAUL: We need to get these killers, these criminal aliens off the streets to protect the American people and the safety of the American people. To me, I don't understand what the holdup is in the Senate but I think with this jury verdict coming down, it cries out for action in the Senate. I know the President is very supportive and would sign this legislation tomorrow it put on his desk and it also cries out for why we need the border secure. We need the wall and we need my border security bill passed.
BARTIROMO: Yes, and do you think that will happen in 18?
MCCAUL: I do. I do. We've been working very closely on that border, interior enforcement and we also have to deal with DACA at some point.
BARTIROMO: Congressman, thank you so much for joining us this morning.
MCCAUL: Thanks, Maria. Thanks for having me.
BARTIROMO: Great insights from you Chairman Michael McCaul. We'll be right back.
BARTIROMO: White House National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster says North Korea is now "The greatest immediate threat to the United States." This after the rogue regime last week test-launched a missile that U.S. officials say could reach Washington D.C. Let's bring in former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson. He's also the former Energy Secretary under President Bill Clinton and former Governor of New Mexico. Good to see you, sir. Thanks so much for joining us this morning.
BILL RICHARDSON, FORMER UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATION: Thank you, Maria.
BARTIROMO: How serious is this threat? What can we be doing about it?
RICHARDSON: Well, it's very serious. The good news is that for 74 days or so, the North Koreans did not shoot a missile. Now, I think that was because of some diplomacy by the administration. But now for some reason, they shot another more sophisticated missile. Look, it's a very serious situation but what I think I like here is McMaster and Tillerson talking more diplomacy. Yes, they have to put out the word that this is unacceptable what the North Koreans are doing but then they're undermined by the President you know, who goes out and says he's a sick puppy Kim Jong-un. I don't like the President being insulted either but you know, this good diplomacy that maybe we're trying gets disrupted by the President's early morning tweets insulting each other. So it's -- escalation is not good and it's happening again.
BARTIROMO: What about the fact that we've got this enormous armada off the Korean Peninsula sitting there warships basically saying look, America is here should you make a serious mistake North Korea.
RICHARDSON: Well that's fine. You know, I think we have to protect ourselves, the Japanese, South Koreans, there's 25 million South Koreans there, American troops in Japan, dependence also in South Korea, troops in Japan. You know, it's a very strategically important area for us but I think what we need to push and I think the Secretary of State has been trying to do this is a freeze for a freeze. In other words, North Korea cuts down on shooting missiles for a period of time and maybe we reduce a little bit of this military cooperation with South Korea, just a little signals back and forth to get the two sides talking because I don't think a military option makes sense with the collateral damage. Yes, we would beat the North Koreans. Sanctions I think have gotten a little better, the Chinese are a little more serious but not enough. So then I think the third option is diplomacy, especially in this time of escalation.
BARTIROMO: Well what should we understand about this most recent missile test? I mean, the fact that it has gone, it went as high as it went shows you that it's really powerful because the higher it goes, the more length it can correct? It can travel.
RICHARDSON: That's right. 3,000 -- it went up 3,000 miles and it can go 8,000 miles which would reach Washington D.C. Now what the North Koreans I don't think have yet is the capacity to put a nuclear warhead on it. Nonetheless, it's still a missile that threatens Guam, Hawaii, Alaska, you know, the Continental United States so their technology is evolving very rapidly. Now in trying to be an optimist, I think Kim Jong-un who is a rational actor even though he's totally unpredictable, I think his game plan is now that I have the capacity to hit the United States in some way, then I'm ready to negotiate. That's my hope. And this is why I think this period we should take advantage of this period and not overreact.
BARTIROMO: Should China be doing more here? I mean, obviously, China is a trade partner to North Korea. Have they done enough in terms of cutting off certain important trade products that the North needs?
RICHARDSON: China has done more than they have in the past, significantly more but not enough. They need to do two things. A total ban on oil imports. They refuse to do that. There's only a cap on that, but the key is enforcing the sanctions the U.N. has supported and China has supported, coal, seafood, North Korean workers that live in China. 80 percent of the commerce going into North Korea comes from China, so they -- if they enforce that cross-border smuggling that does exist, in other words, work to do this a lot more it would be significant. But you know, to those that say China has not done anything, that's not true. And I give credit to the administration. They've pushed China in the right direction but it's still not enough so I think the best option is again diplomacy. Work something out short-term and then talk about the future, denuclearize the peninsula. It's going to be hard but at least we should try.
BARTIROMO: Governor, it's good to have you on the program. As always wonderful insights from you, we appreciate your time this morning.
RICHARDSON: Thank you.
BARTIROMO: Bill Richardson joining us there. Allegations of sexual misconduct rocking the media, rocking Washington. Congressman John Conyers so far refusing to step down amid growing allegations. Coming up, Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn will talk to us about that and her proposal for handling harassment on Capitol Hill as we look ahead right now on "Sunday Morning Futures." Back in a moment.
BARTIROMO: Well, Mnuchin is getting worse, sex scandals casting a dark cloud on Congress as well as this new claims this morning of bad behavior and reports of payouts to make the allegations go away. Politico reporting that Texas Republican Congressman Blake Farenthold used $84,000 in public funds to settle a sexual harassment claim by a former staffer. Meanwhile, Michigan Democratic Congressman John Conyers rejecting calls to resign over multiple harassment claims. This morning we see that there may be more accusers there. Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn is with me. She's cosponsoring a bill that would name members of Congress who have used taxpayer money for sexual misconduct hush funds. She's also running for the Senate Seat that would be vacated by Senator Bob Corker. She joins me right now. Congresswoman, it's great to see you again. Thanks so much for joining us.
REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN, R-TENN.: Sure.
BARTIROMO: Let's first talk about what's happening in terms of the issues on this misconduct. We've got list a bloom. The attorney for the accusers saying, there are more accusers saying that John Conyers acted inappropriately. What's your take on this situation?
BLACKBURN: My take on all of these situations, Maria, is that these are things that these members of Congress or their staff need to settle and they need to do this in a way that is not using taxpayer funds. And then it is going to be up to those members, their families, and their voters to decide when and how and if they resign, but the most important point for us is taxpayer dollars should not be used to settle these misconduct allegations and come to those office of compliance to those settlements. And this is what Representatives DeSantis and then Gabbard, Rice, and Cooper who joined with us in doing a bill that says you cannot use taxpayer funds to pay for these sexual harassment settlements. And if you did, you need to pay these back with interest and we need to bring some transparency and accountability to this fund and to the office of compliance.
BARTIROMO: Yes, especially since the American people had no idea any of this was going on.
BLACKBURN: That's right.
BARTIROMO: What exactly is that fund for? I mean is this all sexual harassment payouts or is these payouts for other things as well, like asbestos and other issues that the American people were unaware of?
BLACKBURN: You're exactly right. The fund is used to pay many different types of settlements and claims and it could be an American with disabilities act claim. It could be asbestos. It could be something dealing with capitol police or the architect of the capitol. Our point is when it comes to the hostile work environment and sexual harassment, that those claims should not be settled with taxpayer funds. That should be the responsibility of that individual. Because Maria, we're talking about things that are happening within the work of your official duties as a member of Congress but taxpayer dollars ought not to be used to settle those filings and complaints and those settlements.
BARTIROMO: So how much of the fund has been paid out for sexual misconduct?
BLACKBURN: We're not exactly sure and I will tell you, Chairman Harper who is Chairman of the House Administration Committee is really in behind this. He is doing a good job to get answers. We know that all total since1995, there have been 268 claims paid. We know the total is 17 million. How that breaks out with different types of complaints and settlements we do not know. That's the information that we are hopeful to get. The Chairman is working to get that for us and working with him, you have those of us who are members who are trying to structure the manner in which this works, the way members are utilizing these funds and to bring the accountability, transparency and eliminate the hush fund that has been there that has been utilized in some way, shape, and form.
BARTIROMO: Yes, I want to get to your Senate seat run in a second but let me ask you this. Do you think that there is a double standard when it comes to Congress in this situation because obviously, there were you know, accusations against Matt Lauer, he's been fired? Charlie Rose, he's been fired. You know these companies in the private sector took you know, no tolerance, right, zero room for error here and yet we've got Al Franken hanging around, you've got John Conyers hanging around. They still have their jobs so is there a double standard here when it comes to Washington?
BLACKBURN: You would think and it does appear that there is a double standard that is here. And the utilization of taxpayer funds for personal bailout to settle these settlements is something that is a taxpayer bailout as one of my constituents said tome last night. This is not an issue of on your own time, on your own dime. This is an issue of on the people's times and on the people's dime.
BARTIROMO: Right. I think you make a lot of good points this morning. Let me ask you Congresswoman about your Senate seat bid. You are running for the seat which will be vacated by Bob Corker in 2018. Why the move? Why do you want to run for that seat? Why do you want to be in the Senate?
BLACKBURN: For me, running for the Senate is the opportunity to continue to work on those issues of safe family freedom, hope, and opportunity and to bring accountability, legislative accountability, and accomplishment to the U.S. Senate. I think everybody is frustrated with the U.S. Senate and we all cheered when they passed their tax bill on Friday night. But Maria, we have to get things through the Senate and to the President's desk. The American people elected Donald Trump to work on issues of healthcare reform, tax reform, securing the southern border, and dealing with the nation's infrastructure. I am committed to those goals, I share those goals, and I am energized about this race. It is really going well.
BARTIROMO: Why were you shut out of Twitter just because you were talking about what you were trying to pursue in the Senate?
BLACKBURN: I was shut out because I used some pro-life language and they considered it to be inflammatory. I was talking about a record of accomplishments that I have and sharing the select investigative panel where we shut down entities and moved forward with eliminating the sale of fetal body parts. And that is something that is not allowed. It is outside of federal statute and Twitter considered that inflammatory and I was so pleased at others in the social media universe stood with me and it is a free speech issue.
BARTIROMO: Exactly. Do you feel that you were shut down because of your conservative thinking?
BLACKBURN: There is no doubt. They noted that if I remove the pro-life language, they would put it back up and I said no I'm not going to remove the pro-life language because I am 100 percent pro-life. So finally they changed their mind and they allowed the announcement to go back up.
BARTIROMO: Well, we just tweeted out that you're on the show. We'll be watching the developments obviously. Big week for the Senate this week.
BLACKBURN: Yes it is.
BARTIROMO: We know Bob Corker voted no on that tax plan by the way. We'll be watching your efforts to claim that seat Congresswoman. Good to see you.
BLACKBURN: Thank you.
BARTIROMO: Thanks so much Marsha Blackburn there. President Trump another step closer to a big legislative victory with tax cuts. Coming up, former Reagan Economic Advisor Art Laffer will walk us through what's different in that Senate bill to hash out what this final bill might look like. We're looking ahead right now on "Sunday Morning Futures." We'll be right back.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back. Republican Lawmakers hoping that they can iron out key differences between the House and Senate tax bills during conference beginning tomorrow night. Both chambers must agree on a unified tax bill before it can reach the President's desk for signage. Art Laffer is a former Reagan administration Economic Advisor. He joins me now. Art, good to see you, sir. Thanks so much for joining us.
ART LAFFER, FORMER MEMBER, REAGAN'S ECONOMIC POLICY ADVISORY BOARD: Good to see you, Maria. Boy, what a good interview with Marsha Blackburn. Isn't she wonderful?
BARTIROMO: She was terrific just there. Yes.
LAFFER: She's amazing. She will be a great Senator. Let me tell you.
BARTIROMO: It looks like she's got the front row seat here. She's the front runner so far.
LAFFER: Way ahead. Yes.
BARTIROMO: Art, let's (INAUDIBLE) with this tax plan in terms of the Senate and the House. What strikes you as most important and how will it be different than what actually lands on the President's desk hopefully in the next couple of weeks.
LAFFER: Well, let me just tell you. There's one thing that bothers me a lot about it, Maria. Now, I love the bill, so don't get me wrong. I'm way, way plus on it but the delay of the corporate tax rate reduction is a big, big, big mistake. It's a mistake we made in the1981 tax bill and it caused the great recession of 81-82. If you know they're going to cut taxes next year, you're going to -- for all the income you can, all of the sheltering you're going to keep it all, you're going to not change your corporate headquarters, none of that stuff will happen until the actual tax rate drops from 35 to20 percent. So that's the one thing that worries me.
BARTIROMO: I totally agree. I mean, why would business managers make long-term investment plans? You're not going to make an investing plan for five years knowing that you're not going to get a 20 percent rate for a little while.
LAFFER: That's correct.
BARTIROMO: So do you think that changes by the time -- I mean, the House has it right away in 2018 at 20 percent.
LAFFER: Well I hope the House wins on this one I really do and if my advice means anything I think these people should be very worried because we can ill-afford a bad economy in 2018. We had a terrible economy in 81- 82 and lost we seats in the House and the Senate. And you know, it wasn't until January 1, 1983, our tax cuts took effect, then we got the boom of the century and we won the presidency but we had a very bad election in 1982 and I would hate to see the Republicans have that same thing happen in the next election in 18 because frankly, we should pick up a lot of seats in the Senate.
BARTIROMO: Well, if the House loses the majority in 2018, Nancy Pelosi becomes the new Speaker of the House and you know what the first order of business is going to be Art.
LAFFER: Yes I do.
BARTIROMO: Impeach Donald Trump.
LAFFER: I think that might be the case and I mean, we've had enough of this type of politics. I was in the Nixon White House in 70-72 and I remember all the changes all of the stuff that occurs. You know, when you're under impeachment, when you're under threat, it doesn't make for a good government.
BARTIROMO: Constant investigation, how do you get anything done with constant investigation and in the executive -- in the executive office? Let me ask you this--
LAFFER: You don't -- no, you don't. And same thing was true with Bill Clinton by the way. It was really wrong of them to do the impeachment of Bill Clinton as well. They shouldn't have done that and it's too bad.
BARTIROMO: So, in addition to the 20 percent sort of delay here in getting to 20 percent, is there anything else that you think will change in this as the final bill? For example, they don't entirely repeal the AMT in the Senate version which is something I just spoke with Senator Perdue about.
LAFFER: No they don't. No, they don't repeal the AMT, and I would like them to repeal the AMT. I'm not as upset about the AMT as I am about if they got rid of them. I know the Senate did something really great with the mandate. They got rid of the mandate. Now that was really, really good and I hope the House accepts that portion of the Senate bill. So you know --
BARTIROMO: But how do you pay for all of this Art? That's what the skeptics are saying. A trillion dollars adding to the debt, I mean, if you don't do these things if you don't delay the 20 percent, how do you come up with the pay-fors?
LAFFER: Let me just tell you, this is the biggest red herring I have ever seen in my life. Either one of those tax bills will pay for itself many times over. What you're worried about here and what all these other people talk about is this phony accounting system done by the Congressional Budget Office and by the Joint Tax Committee and I am unwilling to let any of that determine my thoughts on this. This will raise revenues dramatically because we'll get higher growth. When we've ever had surplus, it's under Kennedy (INAUDIBLE) the 60s, it's under Bill Clinton's Phenomenal administration, we had the worst times under 74 under Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter, and under Obama W. This is going to raise revenues a lot just the way it did with Reagan.
BARTIROMO: By the way, I've got a J.P. Morgan report right in front of me saying they're telling clients earnings are going to be up eight to nine percent on top of the strong earnings period we've ever seen as a result of the tax plan. And that's with 2018.
LAFFER: There you go. And what about the 401 (k)?
BARTIROMO: That's why this market is up $6 million.
LAFFER: It's terrific isn't -- I this is what we've all been dreaming of Maria. So let's not let them spoil it now. Tell them don't do it. Please, you're the voice of reason.
BARTIROMO: Art, good to see you, sir. Thank you so much.
LAFFER: Great to see you, Maria. Thank you.
BARTIROMO: Art Laffer there. We've got a panel on deck right, next, as we look ahead on SUNDAY MORNING FUTURES. Back in a moment.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back. We bring in an all-star panel now. Caitlin Huey Burns is a National Political Reporter for Real Clear Politics, former New York Senator Al D'Amato, also a Fox News Contributor. Good to see you both. Thank you so much for joining us. The tax bill, here we are, Senator, finally on the doorstep of passage, your thoughts?
AL D'AMATO, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Thank God they got a bill done, but it could have been much better Maria.
BARTIROMO: Really? You don't like this bill?
D'AMATO: Look, it's better than nothing because it will help the economy but there are some inequities here that are horrific.
BARTIROMO: Like the delay of the corporate rate.
D'AMATO: Delay of the corporate rate and you're just not going to get this economy going. It's a mistake, like keeping carried interest. That is giving people the lowest tax rate possible who haven't invested money.
BARTIROMO: And the rich.
D'AMATO: And the rich that is over$100 billion that could have been used instead of going up the state and local taxes and wiping them out to help those people because middle-income people particularly in New York and in the northeast are going to be heard.
BARTIROMO: I don't -- I don't think it makes it to the final bill. I'll be honest with you. I don't think the delay in the corporate rate makes it to the final bill. Carried interest, I'm not sure about it. That's a head stretch.
D'AMATO: Well, can I tell you something and I say to Republicans and Democrats alike for God sakes you know it's a giveaway to a handful of wealthy people who are not investing money. That hundred billion dollars could be used to help working-middle-class families.
BARTIROMO: Yes, but that's not even in the House bill so I don't think that makes it into the final bill. I mean --
D'AMATO: The carried interest?
BARTIROMO: Yes, the carried interest deduction is there, it's in the House bill, it's in the Senate bill so it's not going to be eliminated.
D'AMATO: They should eliminate it. They could save a hundred billion dollars.
BARTIROMO: Caitlin, what do you think.
D'AMATO: My God, wake up and stop being the arm and tool for lobbyist. It's wrong. And I'm a lobbyist but that is outrageous.
CAITLIN HUEY BURNS, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, REAL CLEAR POLITICS: Well here's where the politics comes in, right? Because the tax bill for several months has been kind of this proxy for governance, right? Republicans have needed to show something for their majorities in Washington. So on that note, this is a very big deal. Of course, they have to be reconciled, the House and Senate versions before they get to the President's desk but this is a very big deal for Republicans trying to show they can govern. They are going to have to face those political ramifications that you were describing. What this bill does for middle- class Americans, whether it is perceived by voters as something that is you know, geared more towards the wealthy than middle-class. We'll see what the economy looks like in 2018. I think that will be a big indicator of how and whether this looks.
BARTIROMO: Look, all the major firms are now looking at four percent global growth in 2018. There's a lot of optimism about what's happening here, the tax plan as well as the rollback and regulation. On Friday major selloff because of an ABC report that now we know was misleading.
BURNS: Right. And ABC had to offer a significant correction, the correction, of course, was that the President -- their reporting showed that the President directed this during the campaign, it turns out that it was not during the campaign.
BARTIROMO: It was not at all.
BURNS: That's a very significant correction here. I think the Flynn news is also very important of course as the President is trying to tout an accomplishment that would be the tax bill that overshadowed by his top -- you know, advisor.
BARTIROMO: Monday I would expect we get a rally in stocks now that they -- now that they passed this but we'll see about that.
D'AMATO: Well, listen, Republicans needed a tax bill. They can make a bill that I think is good for the business, better for the American people. They really have a chance to do that in conference. I hope they do it.
BARTIROMO: So in the next week and a half then.
D'AMATO: Oh yes.
BARTIROMO: We'll see about that. Al D'Amato, Caitlin Huey Burns, great to see you both.
BURNS: Good to see you too.
BARTIROMO: Senator, always a pleasure. Come back soon. That will do it for us on "Sunday Morning Futures," I'm Maria Bartiromo. I'll see you tomorrow morning bright and early 6:00 a.m. on the Fox Business Network. Join us for "Mornings With Maria" 6:00-9:00 a.m. but stay with Fox News right now "MediaBuzz" with Howie Kurtz after this break.
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