Let’s talk about the “politics of recovery.”

Newell Normand
Wednesday, September 13th

Let’s talk about the “politics of recovery.”  Irma & Harvey caused some $200 BILLION dollars in damage to homes, cars, commercial real estate, public infrastructure.  Who pays to fix what insurance won’t?  Do we keep extending the nation’s debt as if there’s no limit?  Then, who pays the price?

This segments guest:
Ron Faucheaux - Political Analyst & President of Clarus Research Group


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Welcome back in our next are we going to be talking a little bit more about recovery in the storm and impact and it's having and with us in studio is Ron fellowship of the political analyst and president of Claris research group. I read your lunchtime politics. Bulletin all the time and always and very interest in what you have to say and so. Thank you so much for joining us today in studio so let's get right into it sure. You know often say that the best and worst thing about this country is a two party system. It's great because it's not a plurality government and we can reach compromise when we really want to just two parties. And and the worst thing about it. It's all about control. And we ended up going to each corner. Different corners of the rang and we just comment lobbying in this word. This nasty she wore. Compromise. It just blows me away that we can compromise at home every day without a significant other and I in in and everywhere else. The one who walk out of the front door of our house and we start engaging in the political forum. We no longer have that ability to do so your thoughts. While I totally agree with that I think it's in it's one of the big problems we have in this country now unfortunately we have a more and more in state government as well. You know it's fine for people to him of party identifications. To fight one another. In elections and to try and win elections. That's what democracy's all vote but but after the elections over people are willing to work together for the public good. And all the wanna do is destroy the other party. It's not good for the country. And I think we're seeing that more and more. I personally became an independent 45 years ago for that reason. And and it gives me the chance to criticize both sides. We've equal opportunity so you're a visionary that god how I know but visionary but up. I just didn't want a big part of book of of of either party's you know polarized side. And I think it is hurting the country and I think come. One of the things that we're missing now in congress is a lack of of people in the political center. And of Bush's assaulting here in Louisiana world very familiar with we have. Some notable centrist one John Breaux win. Bennett Johnston then and Russell law Russell Long the number of members of congress for years. And who who could work with the other side hand and they were very influential for the state for the country. And and in Louisiana's had a tradition even partisan Democrats or Republicans like. Bill Cassidy for example and merry land group. Before have we have a making attempts. To work with the other side so so we still have a semblance of that they are but but there's nobody in Washington to make deals with that more. Exactly and at one point time in Louisiana history. As it relates to congress. We could probably say. That all things some what came through Louisiana. Because we had that group in this the centrist group and control thirty to forty to fifty votes. And knows what the folks that were there the brokers a deal makers right you don't people often say boy that we wish we aired. People in congress like Lyndon Johnson who who could. Make the deals and get stuff done with people forget is that when Johnson was senate majority leader. We basically hit four parties. In in the senate we hit southern Democrats. Northern Democrats. We get conservative western and midwestern Republicans. And we had liberal eastern Republicans. So when you would build a coalition to get four pieces to deal. But when you only have two pieces in nobody wants to move across the oil it makes it very difficult to get anything done. And the make or break ideology. That exist today on just one singular issue. Defined you Detroit in the end that's unfortunate because. When your end government here in the legislature urine congress you voting on hundreds of issues you're taking positions and hundreds of issues. And and if you're going to be defined by just one of those issues. It's in it's sort of throws the whole system on a lack. So let's talk about the politicization. Of this hurricane relief then and we started to see a little bit of that. Early on. And then it seemed to get squelched a little bit right and their their seems to. Have been some harmony. Combed by moment you know and then it started to splinter. Well I think I think what you're gonna see and we saw with Katrina relief. Is well. That that's the first wave of Har Kane. Spending on the part of congress. He is really about funding FEMA to do emergency immediate relief for. In generally speaking that isn't politically controversial. Some people makes walk a little bit about it and in there are people who make an argument about well if we're gonna spend that money we should offset that with all the cuts. But but generally speaking that's money flows through pretty quickly in all 400 billion or so that came into Louisiana. From from Katrina. About half of the money was FEMA money in much of that was was repairing public facilities as you know better than anybody. And and in in other other. Things like that but dumb but then when you get into the long term recovery money. Which involves housing and haunted and Army Corps of Engineers money and money that goes to the Defense Department and in the long term rebuilding. Then that's when it becomes politically Contra for full so I suspect we're gonna see. Both farm up in four Harvey will see these initial appropriations bills getting passed pretty quickly. And of course another thing to consider is that you're dealing with both Florida and Texas now. In those are two of the three biggest states in the country. And they have big congressional delegations. They have a lot of Republicans who live there very much for a vote Republican majority in the in the house and the senate. And a lot of electors and electoral a lot of electors in the Electoral College in Florida of course is a swing states and that's important for everybody. So when we come back we're gonna. Tie this to debt ceiling extension tax reform and immigration so if you got something to say let's hear final four. 01870. Dual Norman every Dario. We're back you were where were to run push a political analyst and president of Claris research group and we're talking about. The politics. Of recovery. We saw a little bit of this. In in the first. Bills and made their way through congress. And we saw a small or short extension. On the debt ceiling. Where do we see that go. Well well. Though the way it was structured they thought that it it would postpone the debt ceiling problem and just explain to a listeners. Even though congress is incurring. Deficit spending every day. And there's hundreds of millions hundreds of billions of dollars a year in operating deficit that exist. The law also says she can't borrow money to in effect continues that. Beyond the circuit cap. So you have to raise the cap periodically if you if you keep running a deficit. And some people argue there shouldn't even be cap because congress in effect news. He is when they're appropriating money there they're appropriating. In a deficit but dumb turn on a process like sure. And and in fact president trump has been talking about doing that just getting rid of the cap. And the cap was big news politically Bob both sides Barack Obama voted against the cap one time. When he was a US senator because he didn't like appropriations going to the war in Iraq. A lot of the Republican presidential candidates had voted against the cap. Because they wanted to tie it to cutting spending so. So what both sides have been doing is they've been saying. Well we can't get anything done in congress but we do know they have to raise the cap I mean you just have to do it. If you don't the the credit of the country would collapse. And in there would be tremendous economic problems with that so both sides are saying well let's throw some thing. In civil into the legislative vehicle that has the cap. Does that ultimately yes the past. And so that creates a lot of complex. Politics as she could imagine. What would president trumped it was he may he went made a deal with the Democrats and said okay. Fuel can support this will will raise the cap for the next three months. And they will put the the off our key money in that. And ultimately most members of congress voted for. There's now talk that the cap may not have to be raised. Maybe 45 or six months because. As part of the deal it looks like they have congress the treasury before and has the ability. Under emergency circumstances. The sort of circumvent the cap temporarily. In using the hurricane. Relief money in as a as a reason for that so it's possible they they might not have to raise the cap in December but they're gonna have to raise it in early. When he eighteen no matter what. But so so that's an ongoing saga. So another lot of people are confused about the strategy. As it relates to what. The president didn't. Contrary to what. The new rich and Roy wanted Roy he was looking for an eighteen month brought an extension on that debt ceiling. And then we have this very short period of time. Russell what what was the thinking behind that worked well you know it. There was basically you know pro pairs one job of the members of congress have another job in the up the Republican leaders in congress didn't want of a short. Extension. On the cap because now they have to come back in a few months and do it all over again which soft ties. Them up and cause they're politics open and in what they can do. Trump was just looking to sort of move the thing the long. And and figured well we can work out some kind of a deal and get it done again. So. But I also think that that that's the sort of hidden agenda that isn't so much talked about. He is trump is not happy with the Republican leadership in congress mostly because of health care it also because they have a pro tax reform. If he feels like they promised him a lot of things and didn't deliver so he wanted to show their album. Hey. If you're not delivering them to go and stop making deals with the other side get them delivered make you roll. Hence the photo op with capsule with Schumer and policy exactly and Pelosi product may be that most hated person for. Right in a Democratic Party right from the republic jarrah. And and that's what you know and you have to remember Donald Trump was a real estate developer and if he could make a deal with so no one side. He go to the competitor and make a deal with them. And so that's the that's the mindset that he's operating. Do you anticipate that the long term recovery money. Most it will reveal itself yet again in relation to the debts sealed the I mean I think there will be. You know. I think congress wolf one immediate theme of wanting. And I think they will also fallen. So long term recovery bought in. It it it probably will be may be roughly in the in the category that the the Katrina money was and give it takes some dollars but dom. But but but but that definitely will affect. The debt ceiling because it it sort of a big chunk of money that's common. Around the corner but long term recovery money is always spent in the first year. Five years after Katrina. 25%. Of long term recovery money hadn't been spent you see so so some of that money takes some. Years to get out and I think we still have money that has yet to be spent we do as a relief is cute Katrina right. So when we think now about this and and the big chatter. Is now you know tax reform. So is there going to be a link. You think with this hurricane relief money. And using that as leverage. For tax reform when we think about. The breath and depth of the size of the population of the state of Florida right. And the fact that the greater Houston area's 5% of the US population right fourth largest city in the country and we talked earlier about all those electors in the Electoral College. Is they're gonna be a nexus there. Well all I think there definitely is and end of although the whole tax reform bill that made it cuts two ways on the one hand. The need to get hurricane money for Florida and Texas. May be a vehicle. To bring some people on board on on tack on certain elements of tax reform. If it's included in this thing measures. On the of us saw to that point. The big problem you have with tax reform is. Is it revenue neutral meaning you know it's not gonna affect. With the government spending and taking in. It is gonna raise some taxes and lower some taxes or is it ineffective tax cut. It's always been my awful loss of three. And then in in the assessment of political strategy there it's almost impossible to ever pass tax reform with out attacks. Because because the tax cutters which you use. To you know to act as the incentive. To was to get it done. So why so if you have a tax cut as part of tax reform. And it increases the deficit. As it normally would no matter how you score you know for the short term. Then it increased deficit with tax reform on top of an increased deficit with arcade money. Makes the whole thing that much more difficult social the bottom line is yes the league the the hurricane money will complicate. The tax reform effort it's possible in some ways it could help it but it's also possible to make it more difficult. In any case it'll make it more complex. I always find it interest thing. As to how we define these so show economic strata right because we we often hear the Democrats saying the wealthy. And yet we never really truly defined. The right what is well and we were hearing. That out of the trop administration. The middle class. I've never heard a definition of what the middle class is and narrowly seems to be the definition of the pork right. Because we we actually publicly actually have a really conduct an illegal poverty level right definition. In this country how does that play into. Well aired it it it it's. It's really all in the eye of the beholder and it's all about political message. Everybody talks about middle class because a lot of people who may be. For close to fourth think of themselves as middle class and and a lot of people actually do pretty well think of the fields don't place so it covers a lot of people. A ball we just had a poll and if lunchtime politics the other day that showed that. That most voters. Think that. That taxes on the middle class of two ally in most voters think that taxes on the pop up or income class but to blow. Of course none of that was the fall so it again it's inaudible.