Pelosi on the Budget: Let’s Not Talk Numbers

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CLAY: Buck, we have got a big week on Capitol Hill. The debt ceiling is in play. The $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill, the infrastructure bill which has already been passed, that one has, by the Senate. Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, told us that she was gonna vote on if today.

In fact, she promised to the moderate members of her caucus that she would. They now have bounced it back to Thursday, and I don’t know if this is gonna happen, Buck. But the entire Biden legislative regime of bills has the possibility of collapsing right here and now.

BUCK: Pelosi, as you mentioned, has had to back off a little bit on this. I’d also note for everybody that we really should be thinking about this as $5 trillion of additional spending. Just bounce that one around. They keep saying the $1 trillion of infrastructure, $3.5 trillion, you know, plus able to say here and there. We’re looking at basically a $5 trillion spending package.

CLAY: Yes.

BUCK: This is on top of the other expenditures, this is on top of the covid money that’s already been spend. I mean, to put it in perspective, when Obama was doing his stimulus package, it was just shy of a trillion dollars, I think, was what the original number was. And that led to the Tea Party movement. We’re talking about $5 trillion here, give or take, in new spending.

And we’re acting like, “Oh, well! I guess this will just not have some massive inflationary on the economy.” Here’s wait they want to try to justify this Clay which is what I want to get to. Somehow this is not gonna cost anything — or if it does cost something, it’s only gonna be those evil rich people.

PELOSI: Chuck Schumer and I and Secretary Yellen the other day came forward in a precedent and said that we have reached a framework of agreement. People said, “What are the specifics?” Well, we’ll see what we need. We’ll see how the number comes down and what we need in that regard. But we have agreed on an array of pay-fors in legislation.

This will be paid for — and that’s the beauty of it — by those in our economy and society have not paid their fair share paying their fair share. So again, the Senate and the House, those are who are not in full agreement with president’s rate, let’s see what our val… Let’s not talk about numbers and dollars. Let’s talk about values.

CLAY: By the way, you’re not married yet, Buck, but just take that last sentence. If your wife comes home to you and we ask, “Hey, how much are we gonna spend on Christmas presents this year?” and she says, “Let’s not talk about numbers. Let’s talk about values.” No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Let’s talk about numbers.

BUCK: This is a budget bill! It’s not like we’re talking about health care or something where they want to avoid the cost, the price tag, this is an actual spending bill. And Nancy Pelosi says, “Let’s not talk about dollars. Let’s talk…” No, let’s talk about the dollars, Nancy Pelosi, ’cause there’s a lot of them, almost $5 trillion!

CLAY: Let’s think about this. In normal life, Buck, if you were saying, “Hey, we’re thinking about buying a new car,” which everybody out there at some point in their life has done. Everybody may want the… I don’t know. I’m not a huge car guy. But let’s just say you want the Range Rover, right? Might cost $130,000.

Most people don’t spend $130,000 on a car. So if you said, “Hey, what’s our budget?” and one of the spouses — ’cause sometimes men are clueless, sometimes women are clueless when it comes to household budgets. Just about everybody out there has got somebody in their family who has no clue how to spend money and they said, “Let’s talk about the values that we want in a car. We gotta buy a new house! Let’s not talk about the cost of the house. Let’s talk about the values that we want in the new house.”

BUCK: “Does this house care enough about climate change? That’s really the key. I want to know! Is this a house that believes in equal pay? Let’s not worry about the original payment, honey.” Totally agree. But Nancy here, this is… Clay, they’re actually saying… This whole notion of “pay for,” it’s called taxes.

CLAY: Yes. Yes.

BUCK: They’re going to be taxing you.

CLAY: The largest tax increase ever.

BUCK: They’re going to be taxing you heavily, thoroughly, across the board in so many ways. There will be costs that are passed on to you even if you’re not affected by this. But when they’re talking about raising capital gains to the income rate —

CLAY: Existing tax rate.

BUCK: — the existing tax rate on income, that’s gonna have a huge implication on investment and people’s willingness to put money forward into that, which also has a huge implication for starting new businesses, for growing businesses. Clay, you very successfully started and sold a business, right? These are things that people are gonna have to think differently about. The notion that it’s… The other thing, Clay, is they say it has no cost.

CLAY: Yes.

BUCK: They keep saying, “There’s no cost.” This is Crazy Town. What they’re saying is, “It’s not going to be added to the debt in the way that you think because we’re going to tax people so heavily.” That’s the cost!

CLAY: Yeah. And look. Democrats have a childlike understanding of basic economic issues. Their new policy is effectively “money grows on trees.” That’s their policy. That’s Modern Monetary Policy. You can agree or disagree with, for instance, the Trump tax cuts, but the logic there is very sound in the context of what Reagan economics was.

You lower the tax rate, you increase the overall growth rate, you put more money to work, and the tax revenues pay for itself, right? This is a theory that was born out with the Trump tax cuts. This is what’s so frustrating, I think. And I know there’s a lot of you out there who understand this, too, but I don’t think an argument gets made very well.

The Trump tax cuts worked fabulously well. In January and February of 2020, we were seeing real income grow across the entirety of the country. The black unemployment rate was at an all-time low. The Hispanic unemployment rate was at an all-time low.

The profit margins were being reinvested based on these tax cuts. And then covid hit. And so, it was like a meteor all the sudden hit right as all of the excellence of the Trump tax cut plan was coming into its essence, and it’s as if that didn’t even exist and it wasn’t working, and Democrats have abandoned this.

BUCK: When was the last time…? When you think back to what the country was doing in, say, 2019, pre-pandemic America in Trump’s first term, in 2019, I think it’s difficult to think of a more prosperous, stable, good time in America.

CLAY: It was Reagan-like.

BUCK: Remember, the great fear that everyone was supposed to have was over the imaginary Russian Kremlin theft of the election.

CLAY: Yes.

BUCK: That was the thing that kept —

CLAY: That was the bogeyman.

BUCK: — insane liberals up at night. Now it’s that they might be outside with two masks on breathing fresh air. But at the time it was the Russia collusion madness because there was… Clay, if they had had a border crisis, the Afghan debacle, inflation rising, 30% rise in murders, the highest in history under Trump, we would have heard about that stuff nonstop.

One of the reasons we heard so much about Russia — the Russia collusion fantasy, fable, the myth — was because they had nothing else out there? What else were they gonna say? “We hate all this peace and prosperity and American Greatness that people are feeling; oh, it’s so terrible”? Although there are libs that actually feel that way.

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