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The McLaughlin Group

Subject: The Mid-Term Elections, The Economy

Participants:
John McLaughlin, Host;
Pat Buchanan, Author and Columnist;
Eleanor Clift, The Daily Beast;
Tom Rogan, National Review/Daily Telegraph;
Mort Zuckerman, U.S. News & World Report

Time: 11:30 am EDT
Date: Sunday, October 12th, 2014

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JOHN MCLAUGHLIN: Issue One: Libertarians Unleashed.

TONY FABRIZIO (pollster and Republican strategist): (From videotape.) And as you can see, for the second year in a row -- (cheers, applause) -- Kentucky Senator Rand Paul won with 31 percent, Texas Senator Ted Cruz came in second with 11, Ben Carson came in third at 9, Governor Christie came in at 8, Governor Walker came in at 7, Senator Santorum, former Senator Santorum, at 7, and Florida Senator Marco Rubio at 6.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Since Kentucky Senator Rand Paul's stellar showing at the Conservative Political Action Conference six months ago, Senator Paul has continued to make waves around the nation. As the 2016 presidential race draws closer, two years away, Senator Paul is centering himself at the heart of Republican Party politics. And get this: He has reframed traditional libertarianism. He's repudiated its isolationist character. For example, he'd vote in favor of military action against ISIS.

(Begin videotaped segment.)

BILL HEMMER (Fox News Channel): If the vote came to you, would you vote yes or no?

SENATOR RAND PAUL (R-KY): Yes. I would vote yes. And I would do it in a heartbeat, because I think that radical Islam, ISIS, is a threat to the United States. It's a threat to our embassies, to our consulates, to our journalists.

(End videotaped segment.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Is Senator Rand Paul a libertarian? And is he leading libertarians towards the mainstream of American politics? Pat Buchanan.

PAT BUCHANAN: I think that's a fair assessment, John. Rand Paul is not as pure a libertarian as his father, Ron Paul, was. And Rand Paul is making accommodations to what's happening. For example, he backed off his total cut in foreign aid. He is much tougher on doing battle with ISIS than a lot of libertarians are, who might say just get out of the region.

But he's going to have some problems, I think, in the primaries, because the fundamental core of the Republican Party at its elite level is still very interventionist. It's very oriented to cold war. It's still beyond sort of the Cheney-Bush foreign policy. And also you get into some social and cultural and border issues and things like that, and the more traditional conservatism is still dominant in the Republican Party. But he's really -- he's been a very powerful force and an effective force for almost two years.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor, twice as many men as women declare themselves to be libertarian. Can you account for that?

ELEANOR CLIFT: Oh, I think men like to think they can do it on their own and they don't need government. And I think women traditionally -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mmm hmm.

MS. CLIFT: -- look to government for a helping hand, because we know they -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Very insightful.

MS. CLIFT: They know they can't count on the men, to add a footnote to that.

But as for Rand Paul, I don't think his recent support now for airstrikes against ISIS is redefining libertarianism. It's more putting his finger to the wind and checking where public opinion is. He's definitely got ambition to run for president. He's putting together a team. And Politico detailed a dozen people who he considers his insiders. I would point out there wasn't a single woman among them.

I think he's an interesting figure. I think he is desperately trying to run away from his father's image.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mmm hmm.

MS. CLIFT: He does not want to be seen as a pure libertarian. He is trying to redefine the Republican Party in some positive ways. And along the way, maybe he'll redefine libertarianism. But he does not want to be known as a libertarian, first and foremost. He wants to be seen as a mainstream Republican -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah.

MS. CLIFT: -- who is modernizing the Republican Party.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: There's a little --

MS. CLIFT: He may be successful.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Here's a little poll data. Since 1972 show -- 1972, the data shows that women are far more likely than men to identify with the major political parties than to call themselves independents or affiliate with minor parties. Politically, women stick with the major brands, Eleanor. Does that surprise you?

MS. CLIFT: No, that doesn't surprise me. Again, women are looking for security in a changing world. And I think the traditional brands offer a little more of that than some of these outliers.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tom, what kind of a libertarian are you?

TOM ROGAN: I would suppose that I am a conservative libertarian. I'm not on the Rand Paul side. But at the same time, as a conservative, I recognize there's incongruity between having, for example, conservatives saying we should be able to have guns in homes, but rights for homosexuals, for example, is something that we would find uncomfortable.

I think Rand Paul's opportunity is that he is very popular with younger Americans. He has the ability to bring in people who would never have considered voting for the Republican Party before. But as Pat points to, I think he's going to struggle in 2016 to deal with that establishment conservative line, which is much more interventionist on foreign policy.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: OK, who are the libertarians? The Pew Research Center reports this about libertarians. Quote: "Men were about twice as likely as women to say the term libertarian describes them well and to know the meaning of the term (men 15 percent, women 7 percent)," unquote.

More college graduates, 15 percent, identify themselves as libertarian, whereas those with no more than a high school education, 7 percent, identify themselves as libertarian.

There were also partisan differences. Fourteen percent of independents said they were libertarian, and 12 percent of Republicans said they were libertarian, and 6 percent of Democrats said they were libertarian.

Mort, are you libertarian?

MORT ZUCKERMAN: No, I am not libertarian. And I --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You've got to say what you are, Mort.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Well, I would consider myself to be a moderate liberal and a moderate conservative, depending on who the candidate is.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: (Laughs.)

MR. BUCHANAN: Depending on what the polls say, right, Mort? (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You mean finger in the wind, huh?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: No, no. I really make a judgment about the candidate in personal terms more than anything else. To me, that's the most important part of anybody's potential to serve the country, to work as the leader of the country, and frankly -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So you're called an independent.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: I am an independent, yes.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: No party affiliation.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: I have no party affiliation. I've never had a party affiliation, although I have predominantly supported Democrats for national office.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You vote more frequently Republican or Democratic?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: No, as I say, in the national terms, I voted much more frequently for the Democrats. In state and local terms, I've voted much more frequently for Republicans.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you know about -- you must know some tea partiers. Do you?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: I know them very -- very few of them. I never get invited to a tea party.

MS. CLIFT: (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think that tea partiers are libertarian?

MR. BUCHANAN: No.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: I don't think they're libertarian. I think they just have a political philosophy that -

MR. BUCHANAN: They're small government, John. That's one of the libertarian issues.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Right, right.

MR. BUCHANAN: I mean, where Rand Paul and all the Republicans are basically together is sort of small government, although Paul Ryan now -- he's moving to reform the welfare state and change it, to a degree, and Portman and some of these other folks. There's a real ferment, John.

You know what it goes back to, John. You've got two great figures in the conservative movement, libertarian. Murray Rothbard is a libertarian figure. You see Lew Rockwell's website. And Russell Kirk is the traditionalist conservative. And they're the -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah. Whom did --

MR. BUCHANAN: -- (inaudible).

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Whom did Murray Rothbard train? Was it Hillary?

MR. BUCHANAN: No, no. He didn't train Hillary. He's a libertarian.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Who am I thinking of?

MS. CLIFT: I don't know. But Pat -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Where did he operate out of?

MS. CLIFT: -- when you ran for president, that wasn't as a libertarian, right?

MR. BUCHANAN: No. They were both for me, though -

MS. CLIFT: Oh, OK.

MR. BUCHANAN: -- both those groups. But they've both come up inside -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Where -- yeah.

MR. BUCHANAN: -- traditionalism, John. And let me say, take a look at Scotland and all these other places. There are two -- libertarian is one of the forces. But communitarianism, nationalism and, excuse me, tribalism are some of the most powerful forces in the world today. And both of them are rising.

MS. CLIFT: Well, yeah, but libertarianism always sounds good on its face, but then when you realize it means cutting off all those wonderful services you enjoy from government, people back off.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: All right, don't forget the McLaughlin Group has its own website, and you can watch this program or earlier programs on the Web at any time from anywhere in the world at McLaughlin Group. Could anything be simpler -- McLaughlin.com -- or more character-building?

Issue Two: Democracy or Plutocracy?

Since 1990, nearly 35 years, the Washington, D.C.-based CQ Roll Call has calculated the net worth of every member of the United States Congress -- 435 representatives and 100 senators -- and then ranked them.

To crack this year's list, calendar year 2013 data, of the top 50 richest members of Congress, a member has to be worth at least $7.4 million, up from $6.7 million one year ago. The top 50 are also white. Eighteen percent of the richest members are women. Thirty are Republican. Twenty are Democrat.

First, here are the top 10 richest members from the House of Representatives: Number one, Representative Darrell Issa, California Republican, net worth $357 million. Representative Issa is the richest member of Congress, House and Senate.

Number two: Mike McCaul, Texas Republican, $118 million. Number three: John Delaney, Maryland Democrat, $112 million. Number four: Jared Polis, Colorado Democrat, $74 million. Number five: Scott Peters, California Democrat, $45 million. Number six: Suzan DelBene, Washington Democrat, $38 million. Number seven: Vern Buchanan, Florida Republican, $37 million. Eight: Chellie Pingree, Maine Democrat, $34 million. Number nine: Gary Miller, California Republican, $33 million. Number 10: Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, $29 million.

Question: Why does Congress attract millionaires, do you think, Tom Rogan?

MR. ROGAN: I think a big issue is that a lot of people who are millionaires have the financial flexibility to be able to run for office and to be able to take the time out and the investment of time that that takes campaigning. Also I think -

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And the money.

MR. ROGAN: And the money. But at the same time, if you look at people who are wealthy, they tend to be a lot of the time in positions of, you know, CEOs or positions where they have a lot of influence. And so moving into a national-level leadership position perhaps is, to some degree, an extension of that. So I think those are the two factors I would point to.

MR. BUCHANAN: John, some -- I mean, just take the Rockefeller family. You know, they've got enormous wealth. They inherited it. And Nelson Rockefeller wants to go into public service. His brother, Win Rockefeller, was governor of Arkansas. Their son is -- the son of one of them out there in West Virginia, he's in public service.

They like to go into these things because they've got all the money in the world, and they're not satisfied with that. And I think they want to do something for public service. And it's not a bad thing at all.

MS. CLIFT: Yeah, there are some wonderful examples of families in public service. But I must say, you know, looking at that list, I think if you're an average voter out there, you're not distinguishing between the super-rich, the mostly rich, the just rich enough to make it to Congress. People think members of Congress live in a bubble, that they don't really understand their concerns.

I just sat in on two focus groups of women voters in Little Rock, Arkansas and in Des Moines, Iowa. And they say, oh, members of Congress, they have their health care. They don't have to worry about feeding their families, putting gas in the car. I mean, the gulf between people and Congress is enormous in this country. Maybe the wealth is part of that, but I think that's a very -- people -- voters think everybody in Washington is rich.

MR. BUCHANAN: A salary of $200,000 almost, and that puts them pretty much out of the -- that's about four times the median average.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: That's right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: OK, Roll Call's richest senators in the U.S. Senate.

One: Jay Rockefeller, West Virginia Democrat, $108 million. Two: Mark Warner, Virginia Democrat, $95 million. Three, Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut Democrat, $62 million. Four: Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat, $44 million. Five: Jim Risch, Idaho Republican, $19 million. Number six: Bob Corker, Tennessee Republican, $19 million. Number seven: Claire McCaskill, Missouri Democrat, $18 million. Number eight: John McCain, Arizona Republican, $15 million. Number nine: John Hoeven, North Dakota Republican, $15 million. Number 10: Ron Johnson, Wisconsin Republican, $14 million.

Question: Given the number of millionaires in the Senate, do you find it a bit audacious that 48 Senate Democrats voted to amend the Constitution to restrict political spending by other rich people? Mort Zuckerman.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: No. I mean, why would that be a surprise coming from the Democratic Party? Because, let's face it, the Republicans have access to many more people of wealth, by and large, than the Democrats do. So of course they're going to want to try and limit that source of funding.

MS. CLIFT: Yeah, but that's a much bigger issue, what went on in the Senate a couple of weeks ago. And that's the Democracy for All constitutional amendment that would amend the Constitution to put some restrictions on money giving.

You ask people out there why we can't raise the minimum wage, why we can't stop companies from taking -- from going ashore and denying the taxes they should be paying to the treasury, why we can't get a lot of things done in Washington. It's because of special-interest money lobbying and influencing lawmakers. And so, because of the Supreme Court decision, there is now some effort around trying to pass a constitutional amendment. It will take a long time.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah.

MS. CLIFT: But the influence --

MR. BUCHANAN: You know, John, I think --

MS. CLIFT: -- of big money, a lot of it called dark money because --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah.

MS. CLIFT: -- people don't even have to disclose who they are --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah.

MS. CLIFT: -- is really -- it's poisoning our democracy.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah, speaking about dark money, do you have any of that, Mort?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Well, let me put it this way, John. To the best of my knowledge, I do not. But I have to confess that if I were in the Senate, you would probably have me on one of those lists, maybe the number one person on the list.

MS. CLIFT: Well, Mort --

(Cross talk.)

MR. BUCHANAN: Number one? Number one? You've got more money than Rockefeller?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: This Rockefeller? Yes.

MS. CLIFT: Well --

MR. ZUCKERMAN: (Inaudible.)

MR. BUCHANAN: I'm impressed, Mort. (Laughs.)

MS. CLIFT: Well, Mort does good things with his money. And there is a new book coming out.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah.

MS. CLIFT: It's called "Billionaires," and assessing their political influence. Mort is in the book. I approve of everything he does with his money. He supports a lot of health issues and so forth.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think that the --

MS. CLIFT: So it's what you do with your money that makes a big difference.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think that the rich can really understand the plight, P-L-I-G-H-T, of the lower classes?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Well, yes, I think some of them can. And some of them will not, because obviously they are living a different lifestyle, to put it mildly. But they also have a perspective on a lot of other issues, and one of the things being, for example, the fiscal health of the country. That's something which a lot of wealthy people have a real concern for and it's something they're going to talk about. They also understand, if I may say so, what philanthropy means and how the community has to support a lot of the issues that we want to have resolved.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: There's also -- there's also this, and that's putting up buildings in the public good. You've got a new Zuckerman building going up. Is that completed yet?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Almost.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Almost?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Almost, yes.

MR. BUCHANAN: John, one thing about big money --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: (Inaudible.)

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Yes.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And I commend you on that.

Issue Three -- hold on.

MR. BUCHANAN: OK.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Spinning a Webb.

FORMER SENATOR JIM WEBB (D-VA): (From videotape.) I've decided that it was time to come back in and really rejoin the debate. We're in a transitional period in the country. And, you know, we need to have strong debate inside the Democratic Party and between the two parties on where the country needs to go.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Former U.S. Senator Jim Webb ignited speculation about a run for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination during a late August trip to Iowa. Senator Webb stumped 800 miles of the state, ostensibly on behalf of Democrats up for reelection in November. Senator Webb was noncommittal when asked by a Radio Iowa interviewer whether he would run in 2016.

Jim Webb is a decorated war hero, receiving the Navy Cross for extraordinary heroism. He is opposed to interventionism in foreign policy. He has been selectively critical of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Jim Webb is not lacking in national security credentials, and he's also the author of nine books. In addition to his six years in the U.S. Senate, Webb was secretary of the Navy under President Ronald Reagan. After graduating from the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Webb fought as a Marine in the Vietnam War, where he earned two Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts.

His latest book, "I Heard My Country Calling," is a memoir of his life, growing up in an Air Force family and his subsequent military career.

Question: Can Jim Webb give Hillary Clinton a run for her money if he gets in the race? Eleanor Clift. Be brief, please.

MS. CLIFT: I think Jim Webb is a fascinating individual. He considers himself an intellectual. If he gets in the race, there'll be some very high-minded conversations. But he left the Senate after one term because he can't stand the falderal of politics. I don't know that he would have the stomach for a campaign trail. But I welcome him in the debate. I think he could offer a lot.

MR. BUCHANAN: He's a terrific guy, John. He really is. He's a war hero. He served the country well. He doesn't suffer fools gladly. I think it would be tremendously interesting to have him in there. And I think he's a good, different voice inside the Democratic Party. He's a patriotic guy, but he's not a big interventionist in wars because he's seen an awful lot of it.

MS. CLIFT: Well, he's been a Republican and a Democrat, and probably an independent. I mean, he's not a down-the-line Democrat by any means.

MR. ROGAN: I would say, you know, as a conservative, I will probably not be voting for the Democratic candidate. But I think it would be a great thing for the country to have, you know, Jim Webb in there with Hillary Clinton. And quite frankly, I would much rather that he was on that primary campaign trail than Elizabeth Warren, because I think he brings a unique perspective to the Democratic Party. And everyone in the country could benefit from those exchanges.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Here's an interesting factoid. Wealthy politicians -- are they more likely to favor the economic status quo? Do you care to address that?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: No, I would say they aren't more likely to do that.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: They are not?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: No, not with the people that I know or have dealt with. They understand that we have to make a lot of changes in our current -- particularly our fiscal policy and our tax policy in order to get the economy of this country moving again, and to do it in a sustainable way.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, it says here that the body of political science data that shows that ownership in a society makes one more wedded to the status quo, whether that ownership stake is middle class, homeownership, or a millionaire's wealth.

MR. BUCHANAN: I don't think that applies to guys that go into politics. I do think that applies to a lot of people with wealth. A lot of folks I know that go into politics with a lot of money want to change things --

MR. ZUCKERMAN: That's right.

MR. BUCHANAN: -- and the dramatic figures, and, you know, progressive -- (inaudible).

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let's push this out a little bit. There are no billionaires in either the House or the Senate. Correct? Do you think you could correct that?

MR. BUCHANAN: The silk-stocking district must be (open ?), Mort. (Laughs.)

MS. CLIFT: I remember there have been efforts to draft you to run for mayor in the past in New York.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: That is true.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Think about mayor of New York. The only billionaire politician that I am aware of active on the scene today, still active --

MR. BUCHANAN: Bloomberg?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- is --

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Mike Bloomberg.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- Mike Bloomberg.

MS. CLIFT: Right.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: He was a terrific mayor for New York.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And he's got about, what, $22 billion?

MR. BUCHANAN: Eight billion, I think, isn't it?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: That's this weekend.

MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, he gives a lot away.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: He gives -- he's unbelievably --

MR. BUCHANAN: He's not giving it all away, John.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: -- (inaudible).

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: (Inaudible) -- Johns Hopkins. Am I right?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: He is enormously philanthropic, OK; not just Johns Hopkins. I first met him on a board of something. He was phenomenal.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: He does a lot of work -- (inaudible).

MR. ZUCKERMAN: He does a lot of work everywhere he goes. He was a terrific mayor. He was there for 12 years as a mayor, and he really rebuilt the sense of the city, and --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: (Inaudible.)

MR. ZUCKERMAN: No, no, no. He's not. He's about 73 or 74.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why doesn't he run?

MR. BUCHANAN: For what?

MS. CLIFT: Run for what?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: He's --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: For president. He tried before, but it was kind of --

MR. BUCHANAN: John, he couldn't even be able to carry New York.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- a half-baked --

MR. BUCHANAN: He wouldn't be able to carry New York City against the Democratic candidate.

MS. CLIFT: And he's an independent now, so he --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exit question: On a political probability scale from zero to 100, zero meaning no likelihood whatsoever and 10 meaning metaphysical -- and 10 meaning metaphysical certitude, what is the likelihood that Webb will run for president? Pat Buchanan.

MR. BUCHANAN: I'll put it at one in three.

MS. CLIFT: I'd put it at four. (Laughs.)

MR. ROGAN: I'd put it at five.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Well, I really want to continue the trend. I'll put it at six.

MS. CLIFT: (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I'll put it at eight or nine. I saw that piece that he did with those two women out in -- I think it was Idaho or Iowa. And he was right on the money.

Issue Four: Beyond the Rebound.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: (From videotape.) First, beginning with the number one thing that most Americans care about, the economy, this morning we found out that our economy actually grew at a stronger clip in the second quarter than we originally thought. Companies are investing. Consumers are spending. Over the past four and a half years, our businesses have now created nearly 10 million new jobs. So there are reasons to feel good about the direction we're headed.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We are now five years into the economic rebound from the recession of 2007 to 2009. But jubilation is premature. So says a new report from Harvard University's U.S. Competitiveness Project titled "An Economy Doing Half Its Job," unquote. The report's co-authors are Professors Jan Rivkin and Michael Porter, experts in business strategy and economic competitiveness.

According to the study, which surveys the views of almost 2,000 Harvard Business School alumni in a range of occupations, U.S. corporations are now well-positioned to compete internationally. Wages and incomes are stagnant, depressing the vital consumer spending the economy needs to thrive. The median household income is still 4.6 percent lower than it was in 2007, when the recession began.

If the Harvard study is correct, things are going to get worse. Four out of 10 survey respondents said wages and benefits for U.S. workers will drop even more over the next three years. Almost half said more businesses will outsource work to contractors instead of hiring new employees.

The short-term result will be a two-tiered economy in which corporations and shareholders prosper while the middle class continues to decline. And that, say the study's co-authors, Professors Jan Rivkin and Michael Porter, is unsustainable in the long run.

Quote: "Businesses should be taking the stagnation of living standards of the average American as the canary in their coal mine. Companies will not survive for the long run if their communities are stagnant," unquote.

Question: Who is right, President Obama, who says we should feel good about the economy, or Professors Porter and Rivkin, who say the economy is only doing half its job? Mort.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Well, I certainly agree with the professors on this matter, because, in fact, it's even worse than some of the things that they're suggesting, because a lot of the employment that we're talking about today is part-time employment. And part-time employment is treated by all the national statistics as if they were full-time employment.

It is one of the weakest recoveries, maybe the weakest recovery we've had, since the end of World War II. And despite a huge stimulus, both in monetary and fiscal policy, we have barely eked out growth. I mean, you're looking at 2.1 percent growth in GDP, which is well below what it should have been under the circumstances of this kind of stimulus. So we're nowhere near out of this downturn in the economy. It has not created the jobs we need at the wages we need.

MR. BUCHANAN: John --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: When will (we be ?) at the downturn point?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: As soon as you see a major increase in GDP for an extent -- for at least two years, that will run three and a half percent or better.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: But this isn't exactly news. We've been hearing about and reading a lot about the wealth gap, the income gap, the skills gap. And this was a survey of these well-placed Harvard graduates --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mmm hmm.

MS. CLIFT: -- business school graduates. And they pinpoint education as a problem, transportation infrastructure, job skills and political dysfunction. I think they should step up a little and start lobbying some people on Capitol Hill, because government is not working --

MR. BUCHANAN: John --

MS. CLIFT: -- to help this recovery move along.

MR. BUCHANAN: John, I wrote a book a number of years ago, (about 15 ?), called "The Great Betrayal." What has happened is American corporations have gone out into the global economy, and they're doing great competing. But they do well by getting rid of all these high-paid American workers, getting these factories out of the United States, getting away from the regulations. And they're dumping behind America and they're going into the global economy. Globalization is what is killing the working folks of the western world.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Speaking about global economy, can you shed light on that, Tom?

MR. ROGAN: Yeah. I think globalization does a lot of good around the world. I think it's inevitable. You want to bring income levels up. It produces new opportunities in the United States. But at the same time, what Mort's talking about, and the fact that we have companies refusing to bring people on, whether it's because of "Obamacare" regulations or other taxes -- the tax code is littered with complexity, so we see businesses moving abroad. American -- the American economy is struggling because of structural issues that we are ignoring.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: That's right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well stated.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: There's been --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well stated. Out of time.

Predictions. Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: Rand Paul will be one of three finalists for the Republican nomination.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: The constitutional amendment to regulate campaign spending -- campaign donations will gain strength after the 2016 candidates each have to raise a billion dollars.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tom Rogan.

MR. ROGAN: The next president of the United States will be a Republican.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mort Zuckerman.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: The next election year will still see the economy and jobs as the principal issue, because the weakness in both of those categories will continue until then.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Right. With one month to go before the November midterm elections, I predict that the Hispanic turnout will fail to reach the 31.2 percent level of 2010. This year the turnout rate will not rise above 30 percent due to disillusionment with President Obama over his repeated postponement of immigration reform.

Bye-bye.

(END)