GLENN: Radio City was built in the 1930s to house network radio shows. The United States government got involved and said you can't do that and so Radio City never had network radio shows in it that broadcast daily until today, putting the radio back into Radio City. Hello and welcome to the program. My name is Glenn Beck. I am so glad that you're here.
Stephen Moore is one of the big cheeses over at the Wall Street Journal. He started Club For Growth, he's an optimist on the economy, right, Stephen?
MOORE: Well, you know, I mean, I'm getting a little more sour every day in the stock market. By the way, Glenn --
GLENN: You are starting to come my way, aren't you, baby?
MOORE: You made election coverage so much fun last night. I mean, this is the way to coverage elections. So congratulations on a great night last night.
GLENN: Thank you. I don't know if a soul watched it but we had fun. So Stephen, let me first start with what the heck happened with the Dow yesterday?
MOORE: Well, you know, I think you put your finger on the problem that we got in Washington right now which I think is depressing the stock market which is, you know, it used to be we the people in this town and now it's we the special interest groups.
MOORE: And we have a budget that is out of control, we have politicians that keep saying that they can give out political favors like their candy, you have the major Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. I don't know if you saw this week, Glenn, when she said that we may have to garnish people's wages to pay for her healthcare plan. I mean, this is insane kind of talk out of major candidates.
GLENN: How long before the business community says, good God almighty, we have got to pull our money out of the United States and put it some place else?
MOORE: Well, you know, that's really a big problem with the U.S. economy right now because as you and I have talked about before on this show, the biggest sickness on this economy over the last few years has been the fall on the value of the U.S. dollar. Our dollar is depreciating in value and when that happens, it means that investors from around the globe find America to be a less attractive place to invest in and foreign investment over the last, you know, 20 years has been one of the engines for our growth. If foreigners pull out because of fears of higher taxes or government-run healthcare system or our budget run amuck, that's going to bring the economy down.
GLENN: Okay. So I said earlier today, Stephen, that you know, you get government healthcare in with Obama or Hillary Clinton and I said, it ain't gonna last and here's why, and please talk me down from this tree if I'm wrong.
MOORE: I'll try.
GLENN: Here's why it won't last. Because you cannot put something that large on the table without addressing Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security already. The credit of the United States will be downgraded, the rest of the world will know we're not serious by any stretch of the imagination. In a very short period of time foreign governments will say, I'm not loaning these people any money because they can't pay it back.
MOORE: Well, I don't know if this answer's going to talk you down from the ledge but, you know, we just had the President's budget came out $3.1 trillion. That's up from $1.9 trillion just seven years ago. So that's a pretty fat increase. And President Bush had a proposal. I mean, it really accentuates the point you're making. President Bush said instead of having Medicare grow by 8% per year, let's let it grow by just 5 1/2% per year. And my God, the interest groups and the Democrats and the liberals said this is going to be the end of civilization if we only allow the Medicare program to grow by 5 1/2% per year. I mean, it's just, I can't describe to you the insanity of the way these people spend money. They think money is free in this town.
GLENN: All right. So Stephen, please speak clearly to the average person.
GLENN: Because the average person says, well, we've always had deficits, we've always never had too much money, it's always worked out, it's always... what is coming is dramatically different. Yes or no?
MOORE: Well, it is because when you talked about the healthcare system and both Hillary and Obama have plans to nationalize healthcare, that is almost 15% of the U.S. economy. If we socialized our healthcare system, I mean, what's next? Are we going to socialize the automobile industry? Are we going to socialize the computer industry? Are we going to socialize steel production and so on? We are not a socialist country but what's scary is a lot of voters say they want to take America down a socialistic road. At the same time most countries are moving away from socialism because it doesn't work!
GLENN: Okay. Two things. Yesterday there was -- and I don't know that -- you know the people who give the ratings for the bond insurers?
GLENN: They made an announcement yesterday, because I've been watching this and I'm such a novice on this. I've been watching the bond market because it's my understanding that if the insurers are downgraded and these bonds lose their AAA status, a lot of these retirement funds are going to be forced to dump these bonds because they can't hold them anymore and this is a really bad thing.
MOORE: Well, it's really bad and it's bad because if the U.S. Government were to lose its AAA bond rating and I don't think it's going to happen anytime soon but if we continue on this path, it will happen. What it means is not only will we be borrowing trillions of dollars, Glenn, it also means that we're going to have to pay more interest on that. So it becomes a cycle, you know, it becomes a destructive cycle of higher interest rates and higher debt.
GLENN: Right. But what I'm talking about specifically are the municipal bonds, the ones where these insurance companies are now being downgraded. Yesterday, I don't know if you saw this, one of the big, you know, ratings company said we're putting them on hold or we're putting them on notice, which is the intermediate step of basically warning people we're going to down grade these bonds.
GLENN: Is that true or false or what is going on there?
MOORE: Well, I'm not sure of the specific story you're talking about but, you know, you have both the federal debt that we were talking about and then, you're right, you have states and localities that do billions of dollars of borrowing, too. And the problem for the states and localities is that, you know, their primary source of income is property taxes. But when you have a housing crisis like we do now where housing values are declining, that means that people pay less property taxes because their house is worth less. And guess what. That means that states and cities have a very difficult time paying their bill. The state to really pay attention to is California. I mean, my goodness. California already has a $14 billion deficit and it's growing every week.
GLENN: Yeah, the whole -- I love this story today. The Hollywood homes have lost 48% of their value. Did you see that story?
MOORE: You know, I mean, it couldn't happen to a nicer group of people.
GLENN: Let me ask you. Scale of 1 to 10, 10 being Armageddon, 1 being Ronald Reagan with a Republican congress that was in control, rate the candidates on what they are going to do to the economy.
MOORE: Well, I think, you know, the interesting kind of thing on the Democrat side of the aisle is that Obama's actually moved more to the middle on economics and Hillary has moved way to the left. So I would say that -- wait. What's the worst score?
GLENN: 10 is Armageddon.
MOORE: Okay. 10 is Armageddon. So I give Hillary about a 9. I would give Obama about an 8 because he wants to cancel the Bush tax cuts and raise capital gains and raise the payroll tax. And I give John McCain about a, maybe a 3 or 4.
GLENN: That's not as bad as I thought. Maybe I'm a McCainiac. Stephen Moore, thank you. We'll talk again, my friend.