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Peter Schiff Takes on a Republican Strategist on Trumpanomics

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On the Aug. 10 edition of Countdown to the Closing Bell on Fox Business, Peter Schiff faced off against Republican strategist Kevin Paul Scott to debate the success of Trumpanomics.

Liz Claman started the segment  touting the “great jobs numbers.” So, has Peter jumped on the Trump economic bandwagon?

Not at all.

First of all, all the trends that you’re pointing to, those are the exact same trends that existed under Barack Obama. And when Donald Trump was a candidate, and when I voted for him, he was calling out Obama for claiming credit for what was phony numbers – that the real unemployment rate, according to Donald Trump when he was a candidate, was 20%, 30%, 40%, because he was looking at all the people that were working part-time but wanted to work full-time, but more importantly, all the people who weren’t working but are not even counted as being unemployed because they dropped out of the labor force. They’re discouraged and they’re not looking for jobs. And that trend hasn’t changed … Donald Trump inherited a big, fat, ugly bubble, to quote Trump, from Obama, and all he’s done is blown more air into it.”

Scott responded by rattling off some statistics, saying more people are working and more people have money to spend. “That’s good for American workers and that’s good for the economy.”

Peter continued to press the fact that the numbers look a whole lot like they did under Barack Obama, specifically pointing out GDP growth, prompting Scott to interject, “We got 4.1%!”

Yeah, that’s one quarter, and we’ll see if it holds up. I mean, Barack Obama had four quarters that were over four. He had a quarter that was over five. But none of that mattered because none of it held up for the entire year. I don’t think that we’re going to be over 3% in 2018, and more importantly, we are headed into a massive recession. Trump bought the economy some time with the tax cuts, but all it’s doing is pushing off the day of reckoning. We had to borrow a lot of money to finance those tax cuts. Donald Trump helped make government bigger and more expensive by increasing welfare spending, increasing military spending. He reduced the revenues necessary to pay for that. That is bad for the economy.”

Claman bolstered Peter’s point, saying the deficit is approaching $1 trillion and by reminding viewers of the massive and ever-increasing US debt. Scott agreed that the spending was a problem, but pivoted quickly back to the great jobs numbers. He said most business owners believe the economy is in great shape. “I’m going to put my money with those business owners.”

Peter agreed that a lot of business owners are optimistic.

But I think the optimism is false, and I think they’re going to be very disappointed when the tax cuts don’t work. And it’s not only the budget deficits that are soaring. The trade deficits, despite what Donald Trump is saying, the trade deficit is running at a 10-year high.”

Claman asserted the widening trade-gap is a function of Americans having more money in their pockets and that they’re spending it. But as Peter said, that money is borrowed money.

Where’s that money coming from? It’s coming from debt. We’re just going deeper into debt. We’re creating money out of thin air.”

Scott interjected, that people are working and the money is coming from their jobs. The consumer debt numbers back Peter’s point, and he wasn’t about to yield it.

No. The jobs that we’re getting now are the same type of low-paying, part-time jobs that we had under Barack Obama. You talked about high school dropouts – a lot of them aren’t unemployed because they’re living at home with their parents in the basement and they’re not looking for a job. And if you’re not looking for a job, you don’t get counted. But that doesn’t mean you’re employed.”

Claman noted that wage growth isn’t keeping pace with the inflation numbers. Scott said he was optimistic the great jobs market will push wages up soon. Peter again hammered on the point that all of this optimism is unwarranted.

The economy is not booming. Real wages are falling, and they’re going to fall even faster because inflation is going to get higher when we go into the next recession.”

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