GLENN: Hello, you sick twisted freak, welcome to it. The next President of the United States is going to be Barack Obama and our new national anthem is... I think, I'm just guessing is -- I mean, why not. Let's be honest. This is a kick-butt national anthem. I like it better than ours. I don't know what the words mean, but -- and don't send them to me because I'm not going to open e-mail. But -- no, I'm not. No, I'm getting yelled at that I should open up the -- I'm not. I don't want to know what the word -- look, you don't want to know what Barack Obama's policies are. I don't want to know what the words are of this cool national anthem. Sure, it's Soviet, sure, it's probably something about Lenin and, you know, great Stalin killing all the people in the middle of the -- you know. Anyway, I don't want to know it. I just like the way the music sounds, and isn't that all that's really important here? It's hope and change. I like that. This music makes me feel good. Why worry about the details of what the words mean?
Stephen Moore is with us. He's the chief editorial writer for the economic part. I don't even know. What is your title, Stephen?
MOORE: Hello, Glenn.
GLENN: How are you? I never know your title.
MOORE: I am the senior economics writer for the Wall Street Journal editorial part.
GLENN: That's way too complex.
MOORE: That's not important.
GLENN: Yeah, you write important stuff for the Wall Street Journal. I'll leave it at that. Because you yelled at me one time. Like the first time you were on, no you were like, no, no, no, that's not what I did. And I'm like, whatever. So you -- I just read an editorial that is -- when is this going to be printed in The Wall Street Journal?
MOORE: Well, we call it Obamanomics and it will be this week and basically we looked at the Obama economic program and it is -- you know, I describe it, Glenn, as the nanny state on steroids.
GLENN: He's really -- you know, I never thought I would pine for Hillary Clinton. I mean, seriously I'm thinking about putting a campaign sign in my front yard.
MOORE: I sent her $100.
GLENN: I mean, really. The listening audience, everybody should send her money.
MOORE: Well, you have it. He's going to -- you know, people say that Barack Obama is all style and no substance. That's not -- well, he's a lot of style, but the truth is he's telling us what he's going to do if he becomes President on the economy. He's going to raise taxes through the roof, especially if the evidence comes to over $200,000. Of course, those are the people Glenn who are the wealth producers and the job creators. Two thirds of the people, these rich people that he continues to say have to pay more taxes, those are the small businessmen in America. Those are the people who create the jobs.
GLENN: We have a -- hang on just a second. It's amazing to me that -- because I think we have a pretty big company and yet I'm told that I'm a small businessman. I'm not even a medium. I'm a very small businessman, and it amazes me. Because I don't know if Barack Obama, I don't know if he's going to get in, I don't know what's coming the next year, I probably have two new divisions that I would be doing right now. And Stu and I were just talking about it.
GLENN: That if -- you know they are giving away all these tax rebates to people who never -- you know, they didn't pay taxes. If you would just say, hey, everybody gets 1% back of what you paid, if I got 1% of my taxes back, you cut me 1%, I would create jobs with that money.
MOORE: Yeah, but I've got some good news for you, Glenn. You are not going to have 1% back. You'll probably end up paying about 15% more and that's because the top income tax rate would go, under the Obama plan, from -- today it's about 35% to 40%. But then if you make over $100,000 which isn't, you know, a whole lot of money these days, he also gets rid of --
GLENN: Remember when $100,000 used to be something.
MOORE: Yeah, those were the good old days. He gets rid of the cap on the Social Security tax. Right now you pay Social Security tax on income up to $97,000. He would say get rid of that cap. So that's an additional 12% tax that you'd pay. So your marginal tax rate is going to go up to above 50%. We haven't seen tax rates like that in this country since the bad old days of the 1970s.
GLENN: Wait, wait. But in the bad old days of the 1970s and this is what drives me crazy. In the bad old days of the 1970s, we had all of those loopholes.
GLENN: The rich never paid the tax.
MOORE: Well, that's the other interesting point. I listened to Obama last night and he did go -- I don't know if you listened to him, Glenn, but he went on and on and on and on and one of the things he keeps talking about is getting rid of the special interest groups in Washington. Well, I've lived in this town for 20 years. I'm all in favor of getting rid of the special interest groups but if you raise the tax rate up above 50%, you are going to see legions of special interest groups. You are going to create a new tax shelter industry in this town. I mean, the corporate K Street crowd is going to multiply four fold.
GLENN: So here's what you have. And let me just go through some of the highlights of your article that's coming out in The Wall Street Journal later this week.
GLENN: Raise the highest income tax rate from 35% to 39.6
GLENN: Repeal the income cap on Social Security payroll taxes. Americans pay 10.2 on Social Security tax on income up to 97,500 of income. They would also likely apply the payroll tax surcharge on all income more than $200,000. You say that this fundamentally changes what FDR did.
MOORE: It does because, you know, the original idea behind Social Security was, in fact -- this is amazing statistic. When FDR first instituted Social Security in 19, I believe it was 1936, the first tax was 1% on the employer, 1% on the employee on the first $4,000 of income. Today it's a 15% tax and it's on income up to $100,000 and Obama would just get rid of it. He would essentially transform Social Security, which is supposed to be an insurance program, a retirement pension program, into just a welfare program. And Lord knows we've got enough of those in Washington.
GLENN: Okay. Now, you also say, so the combination here would raise the highest marginal tax rate on wage and salary income in the U.S. to 52%. That's 39.6 income tax, 2.5 Medicare. Do you think that's going to sit there? 10.2 Social Security tax. For those living in high income tax areas such as California, New Jersey, New York, the combined tax increase could rise to nearly 60%.
MOORE: Right. And the real problem there, Glenn, I mean, that's a scary number. What makes it doubly scary is that all over the world other countries are cutting their taxes. I mean, there are now 20 countries in the world that have flat taxes of less than 25%. How will American companies and businesses going to be able to compete when they have tax burdens that are twice as high as the companies we're competing against.
GLENN: I just started reading Atlas Shrugged. Do you ever --
MOORE: I mean, my Bible is Atlas Shrugged.
GLENN: I just started reading it again. The first time I read it, I highlighted it. It's been probably ten years. I'm just going back and I'm reading the highlights. I've got to tell you, man, I'm looking for that place where we can all go.
MOORE: You can looking. Well, here is the amazing thing when you read that book. And by the way, I would urge all the listeners. It is a must read. If you never read Atlas Shrugged, it's probably one of the most important books ever written. What's so funny about that book is you know it was written, what, 50 years, Glenn? And she was parodying all these stupid laws that the politicians would enact but our politicians are enacting them.
GLENN: They are all there. They are all there. You know what's amazing? I read one page that I had highlighted and it was the Government saying, well, why would we help you -- or why would you want to develop your railroad there? We can't let you develop your railroad and put those lines there; we already have railroad lines for somebody else there. And the one politician looked at the other and said, this woman doesn't understand Progressive thinking; this isn't Progressive of you. And it's riddles with a slam on the Progressive movement, which I want to remind you Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are Progressives. You want to understand who these people are, man, go back and look at what they did to the country around the turn of the century. They are the reason we fundamentally change from a free society to a, sliding into a socialist country.
MOORE: Yeah. I was listening to Barack Obama last night and he kept talking about all these wonderful things the Government is going to do for us. If you can't pay your credit card bill, the Government's going to help you. If you can't get health insurance, the Government's going to help you. If you can't get into college, the Government's going to help you. On and on and on. And I'm thinking, you know, it reminded me of what Ronald Reagan used to say, that the Government's big enough to give you everything you've got, is big enough to take everything you've got.
GLENN: Yeah. It will just be a slave state really. For a lot of people it will just be a slave state. They will take everything from the producers, they will take everything and give it to the nonproducers.
MOORE: One of the things that Obama has in his plan is something called patriotic corporations and so he divides the country into patriotic corporation and, quote, nonpatriotic corporation.
GLENN: So FDR. This is so FDR.
MOORE: I mean, who is going to decide who is a patriotic corporation? By the way, Glenn, I don't think your company's going to be labeled patriotic.
GLENN: No, I can guarantee it. And you know what's funny? They all say, oh, wrapping yourself in the flag, oh, the PATRIOT Act. Like if you vote against the PATRIOT Act, you are somehow not a patriot. He wants to make patriotic companies!
MOORE: Yeah. Well, this reminds me of Mussolini.
GLENN: Yeah, yeah. Now, so what he wants to do is say if you ship your people abroad, then you are not a patriotic company and you'll receive a higher tax. If you keep your people here and employ Americans, then you are a patriotic company.
MOORE: But you know what? Can I intervene and just say one thing?
MOORE: If that's the philosophy -- and look, I don't like it when companies send jobs abroad. But if you want to facilitate companies moving jobs abroad, raise tax rates. If you raise tax rates, the companies are going to move abroad.
GLENN: Here's the idea. He says I'll make you a patriotic company. I'll lower your tax rate if you keep your people here. Moore right.
GLENN: If that works, why not just lower the tax rate.
Look for this in the upcoming Wall Street Journal in the editorial. Stephen Moore, thank you so much.