Uncommon Knowledge
Sowing the Seeds of Growth

Sowing the Seeds of Growth

May 24, 2017

Recorded on May 11, 2017 John Michael “Mick” Mulvaney, director of the Office of Budget and Management, sits down with Peter Robinson to discuss the complex process of budget reform by having to blend President Trump's budget proposal with the realities of dealing with Congress. Mulvaney explains the need for bipartisanship in budget negotiations within the Senate to get the budget passed, which means getting at least eight Democrats to vote for the proposed budget (to get to the magic number of sixty votes) and keeping Trump's promises to his base. Mulvaney talks about the unique opportunity for the Republicans to reform the federal budget five months ahead of schedule as a result of the Obama administration’s inability to get a twelve-month budget passed. Furthermore Republicans have been able to invoke old laws that allow them to undo many policies enacted in the late days of the previous administration. That loophole allowed them to confirm several appointments and to pass the proposed budget without the requisite sixty votes but with fifty votes. But the Republicans need sixty votes in the Senate to pass the appropriations bill. The Democrats wanted a shutdown, but the Republicans were able to move money around to satisfy the Democrats and get the votes necessary to pass the appropriations bill and avoid a shutdown. For example, there was/is no money for new bricks and mortar construction of the “Wall,” but Republicans moved money around and funded their priorities for border security via a virtual wall with money already available for technology and surveillance. Mulvaney notes that the budgeting/appropriations system is set up so the House and Senate pass twelve appropriations bills every year. Those are the spending bills, which are the end process of the budget. The budget is the start of the process, authorizations go in the middle, and appropriations go on the end, which is how money gets out to be spent. Mulvaney was in Congress for six years, in which time Congress should have approved seventy-two appropriations bills but only approved three. Mulvaney says that the system is broken because of the sixty-vote rule to approve appropriations bills in the Senate. Therefore instead of small manageable appropriation bills that Congress could negotiate and pass, Congress ends up with large unwieldy bills that no one knows what is in them and thus punts with a resolution to continue with what done earlier. Mulvaney says that the system is not even close to what the Founding Fathers created and/or what is needed for a manageable and functioning government and society. Mulvaney describes his vision for the future of the American economy, noting that the way to reduce the deficit isn't necessarily cutting spending or raising taxes but creating room in the American economy for growth. He argues that the lack of new businesses and jobs, because of regulations and taxes, has prevented the ideal three percent growth necessary to eliminate the deficit and grow the economy. He also argues that regulatory reform can have twice the impact on economic growth that tax policy can. Mulvaney ends the interview saying that he loves his job and loves going to work. The eighty-plus-hour workweeks go by in the blink of an eye because the work is engaging and invigorating and because he feels he has a golden opportunity to change things for the better and get the United States, especially the economy, on a better trajectory. Mulvaney said that he is working at the highest levels on complicated but wonderful ideas, ideals, and issues with the leader of the free world and that President Trump is a great boss. (Playing time: 38:21)

Drug Decriminalization

Drug Decriminalization

May 17, 2017

Released May 18, 1996 In the 1996 first ever episode of Uncommon Knowledge, Peter Robinson discusses the origins of Uncommon Knowledge before invited guests former US attorney general Edwin Meese III and former San Jose police chief Joseph McNamara. They have a spirited debate about the war on drugs and the best way to handle the drug problem in the United States. According to Peter Robinson, “Ed Meese wants to win the war on drugs; Joe McNamara wants to end it.” Twenty-one years later, we look back as Meese and McNamara debate the merits of marijuana legalization and make predictions about where the United States would be in ten years (2006). Although their predictions were not entirely accurate, their insights into the legalization debate and the war on drugs remain helpful today. They answer questions about how they believe that legalizing marijuana will increase crime and addiction rates, how to beef up educational and prevention programs, and the effect of middle-class drug use in the United States. (Playing time: 26:32)

Carly Fiorina on the Future of the United States

Carly Fiorina on the Future of the United States

May 11, 2017

Recorded on March 16, 2017 Although many people have heard of Carly Fiorina, former presidential candidate and first woman to lead a Fortune 20 company as CEO of Hewlett-Packard, few have had the chance to sit down and speak with her. In this special live taping of Uncommon Knowledge, at the National Review Institute’s Idea Summit, with guest host Michael Franc, director of Hoover’s Washington, DC, Programs, Fiorina discusses the 2016 presidential election, her personal path to conservatism, and her beliefs about the future for US and global politics. She opens up about the often-brutal criticisms she received during the election, her choice to become conservative, the loss of her stepdaughter to drug addiction, and the ways in which she believes conservatives are fighting to help people help themselves by giving them the tools and resources necessary to change their own path. Fiorina goes on to analyze the current state of the union, the disenfranchised Americans she’s met, and the solutions she believes in for the future of the United States. Special Guest Host: Michael Franc is the Hoover Institution’s director of DC programs, where he oversees research and outreach initiatives to promote ideas and scholarship in our nation’s capital. He holds a dual appointment as a research fellow. Mike Franc is a longtime veteran of Washington, DC, policy making. Before joining Hoover, Franc served as policy director and counsel for House majority leader Kevin McCarthy. He also served as the vice president of government relations for the Heritage Foundation from 1997 to 2013. During that time, he managed all the think tank’s outreach with Capitol Hill and the Executive Branch. He also completed a tour of duty as communications director for former House majority leader Dick Armey (R-TX) and worked for the US Department of Education and the Office of National Drug Control Policy. He has been quoted widely in the print and broadcast media and was a regular contributor to the National Review Online and other publications. Franc has a BA from Yale University and a JD from Georgetown University. (Playing time: 40:04)

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App