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The McLaughlin Group

Host: John McLaughlin

Panel:
Pat Buchanan, Author and Columnist;
Eleanor Clift, Newsweek/The Daily Beast;
Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner;
Mort Zuckerman, U.S. News & World Report

Taped: Friday, May 3, 2013
Broadcast: Weekend of May 4-5, 2013

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JOHN MCLAUGHLIN: Issue One: South of the Border.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: (From videotape.) I believe we've got a historic opportunity to foster even more cooperation, more trade, more jobs on both sides of the border. And that's the focus of my visit.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: President Obama met with Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto this week. President Nieto was sworn in five months ago and has new watershed priorities for his country.

One, drug war. Mexico wants to curtail the U.S. role in fighting Mexico's drug cartels and narcotics trafficking. President Nieto wants to limit how much intelligence is shared between the two nations. Joint U.S.-Mexico operations against top drug kingpins may be subordinated to Mexico-only controlled operation to protect its citizens against crimes like kidnapping and extortion.

Two, economic ties. Nieto is working to break telecom monopolies in Mexico, to rework the nation's tax code, to expand Mexico's oil industry. President Nieto wants new trade agreements with the U.S. and with other nations. Trade between the U.S. and Mexico going both ways was $500 billion in 2012. Mexico is the U.S.'s second-biggest export market for U.S. goods. And for 22 of our 50 U.S. states, Mexico is the number one export market. On the flip side, the U.S. is the number one buyer of Mexican goods.

Three, immigration reform, another big Obama-Mexico priority, notably President Obama's endorsement of the path to citizenship for the 11 million illegal aliens in the U.S. Mexico has long urged better legal protections for Mexicans who work in the U.S.

Question: What is Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto's principal concern regarding U.S. immigration policy? Pat Buchanan.

PAT BUCHANAN: I think what he wants desperately is amnesty and a path to citizenship for the Mexicans in the United States. I think he wants easier access for Mexicans to come to this country. I think he's remaining somewhat silent about it because he knows it's sensitive. I think they realize Marco Rubio is the indispensable man in this campaign and it is not Barack Obama.

But, John, let me tell you, Mexico is heavily, heavily dependent on the United States of America. We gave them a $60 billion trade surplus last year, which is responsible for over 100 percent of their GDP growth. We buy something like 20 to 25 percent of all they produce. We buy their oil. So there's a real close relationship here. And Barack Obama doesn't have to be too reticent in pushing the United States interests when it comes to the cartels and when it comes to the border.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.

ELEANOR CLIFT: I wouldn't call a trade relationship, where we export all this goods to them, them being dependent on us. I think this new Mexican president comes in with a pretty strong hand. The growth in Mexico is twice what it is in this country. They've discovered some oil in Mexico.

And I think he's made a decision that he doesn't want to outsource the drug fighting to U.S. police and border guards, that he wants to take over that. It wasn't working under the previous president. You had thousands of people who were killed. So let's see if his new approach works.

The point is, the U.S. isn't the only game for Mexico. They're doing lots of trade with China and with Korea. And they stand to gain if this immigration policy is reformed. And the president needs him because of border concerns. But I think the Mexicans are in a pretty strong hand here.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah. And they have huge amounts of natural gas and huge amounts of oil. In fact, let's do a geo bio, a brief one, on Mexico.

Size: Three times the size of Texas, 758,450 square miles. Mexico's neighbors: The United States, a shared 2,000-mile border, and Guatemala. Population: 116 million. Government: Federal republic. Gross domestic product, GDP, growth rate: 4 percent in 2012. Gross domestic product per capita: $15,300. Inflation: 3.6 percent. Unemployment: 5 percent. Underemployment, estimated: 25 percent. Literacy rate: 86 percent of the population above age 15 can read and write.

Question: What jumps off the screen at you in that geo bio?

SUSAN FERRECHIO: Well, first of all, I think, talking about the strong ties economically, we buy their goods; they buy our goods. We're tied economically; there's no question. The first thing you listed on that earlier graphic, though, was the drug war. They're losing it. And it's going to affect their tourism. It's going to affect a lot of things there. We'll see if the new president can try to turn things around.

But the massacre in Mexico of people due to this drug war has been absolutely horrific. And it's really the big story there in Mexico. It doesn't get enough attention or play here in the United States. I'm, you know, eager to hear what can come out of this meeting where we can talk about solutions.

And I think kicking the United States out and just turning it over to Mexico right now, I don't have a lot of confidence in their ability to battle their own drug problem there and their drug war. I think that the president, you know, would be wise to make sure that the U.S. is still playing a big role in this, because they're not winning.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mort, do you think that --

MS. FERRECHIO: It's spreading over the border too.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think Nieto is charismatic?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Oh, I think without question he's charismatic. And what is more, he seems to be a lot more progressive and willing to take on a lot of their own domestic interests that no previous Mexican president had been willing to do.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You're talking about the PRI?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Well, yeah, the PRI has come back in power at this stage of the game. But they're not the same kind of sort of, I would have to say, corrupt leadership, with cartels dominating that party as it was when they were last in power, because they'd been out of power for a while. The question now is he's now going after the telecom monopolies and other monopolies that were built up in that period. And we'll see what he actually accomplishes.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: OK, Central American stay-over.

Mexico was only destination one of President Obama's south-of- the-border trip. Destination two: Costa Rica, part of the Central American isthmus -- south of Nicaragua, north of Panama, with coastlines on both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

Mr. Obama is the first U.S. president to visit Costa Rica since Bill Clinton. Mr. Obama meets Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla and other leaders of the Central American Integration System, or SICA -- S-I-C-A. SICA was founded in 1993 to encourage economic cooperation among member states: Costa Rica, Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and the Dominican Republic.

Question: What is the number one on President Obama's Costa Rica agenda? Susan.

MS. FERRECHIO: I think strengthening the ties between the United States and this Mesoamerica part of the world. I think that he went there for a reason, that people feel his attitude has shifted, that they weren't getting a lot of attention from him. And I feel like he wants to, you know, strengthen economic ties, strengthen -- you know, he's also talking about, you know, trying to help them with their own security problems there, trying to deal with the gangs.

And I think what he wants, most of all -- and he is in position to do this when he gets there -- to talk to these countries -- there's many countries involved in this group -- getting them to work together, to deal with their major security problems there, dealing with their drug-war issue and gang problems and other -- the violence, really, that has taken over the region.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Carlos Slim was the richest man in the world, and he's from Mexico. And he owns, what, the whole telegraph -- telephone system?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Yeah, telephone and television.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Net worth of about $65 billion.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: My recollection it was over $100 billion.

MR. BUCHANAN: He has part of The New York Times, or did have part of The New York Times.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: He had a position in The New York Times. He didn't -- he just invested in The New York Times, enough to have access to --

MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Nieto told him -- and he has accomplished this, and this is in process now -- to break up his monopoly of the telephone system. This is Carlos Slim, this extraordinary billionaire --

MR. ZUCKERMAN: That's right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- the richest man in the world, to break it up. And he has or is in the process of breaking it up. Is that a tribute to Nieto?

MS. CLIFT: I guess Carlos Slim is sort of a one-person AT&T. And we broke up AT&T. You know, I think that's all well and good, but I don't think people in this country are hanging on everything he does with the telecom industry.

But you brought up Costa Rica. I mean, this is -- the president is basically on a trade mission. We need these people -- these countries to buy our goods. It's an international trading stage now.

MR. BUCHANAN: The problem is, Eleanor, they all sell us --

MS. CLIFT: Wait a second.

MR. BUCHANAN: -- more than they buy from us.

MS. CLIFT: Excuse me. And the rest of the theme, which follows off Mexico, is that Central America isn't nearly as in America's grip as it once was. Back in the days of Reagan, we were sending troops over there. We were fighting proxy wars.

MR. BUCHANAN: We were trying to get rid of communists, Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: Yeah.

MR. BUCHANAN: (Inaudible.)

MS. CLIFT: Oh, my heart be still. (Laughs.) That was -- that is silly.

MR. BUCHANAN: But let me -- John, the key thing in this whole thing -- let me tell you, if you get amnesty and a path to citizenship, what the Mexican president wants, that will lead to the erasure of the southern border of the United States, because the Hispanic population in all those border states is going to be decisive in elections, and they will begin to demand that, that people shut up about immigration and let it come forward. And when that happens, you're going to have an entirely different USA.

MS. CLIFT: They're talking about 13 years minimum as a path to citizenship for people who are already in the country. If you can't handle that -- this is not amnesty.

MR. BUCHANAN: I mean, 13 million illegals in your country is no problem?

MS. CLIFT: Thirteen years -- 13 years is not a giveaway and it's not amnesty.

MS. FERRECHIO: (Inaudible.)

MS. CLIFT: So I would appreciate it if you didn't always use that phrase, because you're --

MR. BUCHANAN: It's not amnesty?

MS. CLIFT: No, it's not amnesty --

MR. BUCHANAN: They came in illegally --

MS. CLIFT: -- any more than the background checks bill is a national registry. (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What about drugs? What about drugs coming from Central America, notably Mexico?

MR. BUCHANAN: Narcotics.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Narcotics.

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, that's the primary source ever since we finished off the source through the Caribbean. But, John, that's an enormous problem for the United States of America, no question about it. And the Mexican --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Cocaine trafficking.

MR. BUCHANAN: Yeah, all these things. And the Mexicans complain because a lot of American guns go down there to the cartels.

MS. CLIFT: Yeah. Well, they feel that we should handle our demand, that we're buying it and it's our problem.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It moves up --

MS. CLIFT: And legalization should come into the picture.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- over land through Colombia and then through Panama -- you follow me? -- up the chain.

MR. BUCHANAN: It comes through Central America.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah. So it isn't Mexico's originating some of the drugs --

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, it's got -- as you mentioned, Mexico is --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It moves up that whole chain.

MR. BUCHANAN: But you mentioned Mexico is three times the size of Texas. That's a very big country.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yes. It's going to --

MR. BUCHANAN: But the point is --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And it occupies our total southern border.

MR. BUCHANAN: Exactly. You've got four states across there. You've got a 2,000-mile border with Mexico.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yes. What's the point?

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, the point is, that's where all those narcotics are coming through and that's where the war is going on.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So our narcotics problem is somewhat attributable to the porosity -- if that's a word -- porousness of the border.

MR. BUCHANAN: Exactly. They could become --

MS. CLIFT: And their narcotics --

MR. BUCHANAN: -- a narco-state.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: All right --

MS. CLIFT: And their narcotics problem is partially attributable to our insatiable demand --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: All right, there's --

MS. CLIFT: -- and refusal to legalize a product that could be taxed.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mort, there's a larger question here, and it's the diversion of -- not diversion -- but it's the attraction of this theater to Barack Obama. You know, it's our kind of backyard. It's over here. It's not China and it's not Europe. Is that a wise political move for him? Because we've had successive presidents who suddenly remember we have a hemisphere. We had the Alliance for Progress. When did that occur?

MR. BUCHANAN: That was Jack Kennedy, '61.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Jack Kennedy, the Alliance for Progress. You remember that?

MR. BUCHANAN: 1961.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And Nixon went down there and he was shot at in his limousine in Colombia. Am I right?

MR. BUCHANAN: He wasn't shot at. He was --

MS. CLIFT: Tomatoes thrown.

MR. BUCHANAN: They tried to kill him.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: How long, in the course of a habitation of the White House in this country, to remember that we have a hemisphere here and it's up for grabs from the point of view of political history and future endowment, if you will, of the history of this president?

MS. CLIFT: It's a 72-hour --

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Well, let me --

MS. CLIFT: -- investment that's wise.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: There is a huge -- it is a wise investment, in my judgment. But what we are looking at, of course, is a country which not only is one of the major sources of narcotics coming in, but also illegal immigration. I mean, I've flown along that border at night, the Mexican border. There are thousands upon thousands of people climbing over all the fences. They get put into these large holding pens. Then they get shipped back again.

MR. BUCHANAN: John, there's a reason --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you have any reason to believe --

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Then they come over again.

MR. BUCHANAN: There's a reason why you don't pay attention --

MR. ZUCKERMAN: This is a huge problem.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Wait a minute. Do you have any reason to believe it's mitigated by reason of the improved economy, somewhat improved economy, in Mexico?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: I'm sure it is mitigated to an extent, but it's nowhere close to enough, considering what the alternative is if they can get into the United States.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: This is part of our immigration issue, which is going to be debated in the upcoming week, correct?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: That's right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is it going to be critical to the upcoming debate?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Yeah, I think it will be. It's bound to. This is absolutely essential. Anybody who's been in that part of the world knows the enormous inflow --

MR. BUCHANAN: John, the money --

MR. ZUCKERMAN: -- of illegal immigrants.

MR. BUCHANAN: The money from narcotics is enormous. But we don't pay attention to Latin America for a reason. Europe was the cockpit of history for the first half of the century, and Asia is going to have 60 percent of the world economy.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exit --

MR. BUCHANAN: That's why you focus on that.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We've got to get out. We've got to get out, Pat. You can't, you know, maintain the platform continuously.

Exit question: Based on their economic policy, which of the two presidents, Obama or Nieto, is more likely to create strong economic growth in his country, Mexico's president or our president? Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: Mexico, because they depend on the United States of America almost 100 percent for their growth.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: (Laughs.) Mexico, because, yes, they have a wonderful, thriving export market; but Mexico, because they don't have a congress that is obstructing everything the new president is doing.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Susan.

MS. FERRECHIO: Mexico, because they've got oil.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Mexico, because they start from a much lower base and they have a much easier opportunity to increase it. We have a giant economy. It's much more difficult to get the economy growing at a percentage rate that you would get with Mexico.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I think it's Nieto, because he's busting up the monopolies, the teachers' unions. He's transforming the tax code. He's promoting oil and natural gas production instead of propping up green-energy phantasms. Obama could take a lesson from Nieto on what he's going to be able to accomplish.

This could be the century of Mexico. What do you think?

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Not the century, but at least the year.

MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Two: Syria -- Stay Neutral or Intervene?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: (From videotape.) We want to make sure that we look before we leap and that what we're doing is actually helpful to the situation, as opposed to making it more deadly or more complex.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: There are 10 reasons why the U.S. should not intervene in Syria.

One: If you break it, you own it; Colin Powell's dictum, said about Iraq. It's also true of Syria.

Two: Most Syrian options are not options. There's no such thing as half-pregnant. They put us on the escalator to full intervention. Even if we set out to enforce a no-fly zone, it ends in full-scale confrontation with the Assad regime.

Three: Syria's air defenses are first-rate. Some U.S. Air Force planes enforcing a no-fly zone will be shot down. Some U.S. flight crews will be taken prisoner, putting us on the escalator for full- blown confrontation with Syria.

Four: Securing chemical weapons depots. That means boots on the ground, exposing our troops to attack by the very weapons we're seeking to neutralize. Such an attack would escalate our involvement to a full-scale intervention.

Five: U.S. strikes on regime targets. They will turn the tide of the war. That means regime collapse, and that means the U.S. must secure Assad's chemical weapons. You break it, you own it.

Six: Key elements of al-Qaida affiliated. U.S. intervention could facilitate their rise to power and control over chemical weapons.

Seven: U.S. public opinion, as measured in the latest New York Times/CBS poll, is overwhelmingly against military intervention in Syria; 62 percent against intervention. Twenty-four percent support intervention. Fourteen percent don't know.

Eight: Syria is not the U.S.'s problem. It is Putin's problem. Syria is a Russian protectorate. Obama should publicly put the monkey on Putin's back to keep Assad from using chemical weapons.

Nine: Iraq and Afghanistan. The U.S. military has engaged in the longest-running war since the Revolution. It stretches the troops too thin to engage in a third Middle East war.

Ten: It's too late. The toothpaste is out of the tube. If we wanted influence over the Syrian opposition, we needed to take operational control by arming it 18 months ago, before Qatar took over and radical Islamist elements gained a foothold in the opposition.

I want you to dispute those elements or promote them -- accept them. But I also want to know how much credibility will President Obama lose if he does not make Assad face any consequences for using chemical weapons?

MR. BUCHANAN: John, that was excellent. I agree with about nine out of 10 things you said there. I only disagree -- I don't think Putin's got that much control there. But I do agree with everything you said.
There's another point that can be made. Look, on Assad's side, he's been good on the Golan Heights. And it's a dictatorship. It's been there 40 years, has not bothered us. On his side are Iran and Hezbollah. On the other side are al-Qaida, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Al-Nusra Front and groups that say when we win this, it's going to be Christians to Beirut and Alawites to the wall.

What we'd like to do is bring this thing to an end. Obama's got egg all over his face. He made foolish statements about, you know, red lines and game changers. But he did the right thing when he took his beating politically and did not intervene.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mort.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Well, I do think that is the major loss at this stage of the game, Obama's credibility. For a president who draws a line in the sand and then doesn't honor it, it's going to definitely reduce our effectiveness with Iran going forward. It's going to really persuade a lot of people that you can't rely on what this guy said publicly.
Having said that, I don't believe that the United States should go in in a big way into Syria. It doesn't mean we shouldn't try and help arm and finance the opposition, the right part of that opposition, because they're having immense effects on a country like Jordan.

Sixty thousand Syrians are -- refugees are coming out of Syria into Jordan, breaking the back -- the bank in Jordan. Jordan could fall apart as a result of this. That would be another huge damage for the United States. We've got to find some way to intervene without it becoming a full-fledged military engagement.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yes. And, of course, if we did intervene and we de facto took over the country temporarily, we'd have to secure the chemical weapons.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: Yes. One way or another, that's something very dangerous.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Very dangerous.

MS. CLIFT: Well, the president is going to take the egg on his face rather than being pushed into a bad corner. So he's going to be deliberate about this, and I think that's appropriately so. We can -- in the countries over there --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah.

MS. CLIFT: -- the notion that the U.S. says, oh, chemical weapons have been used, and then we go plunging in, you know, it's not Obama's credibility. It's U.S. credibility.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mm-hmm. (Acknowledging.)

MS. CLIFT: But they have singled out a Syrian general who defected a year ago, General -- I think it's Idnis (sic/means Idris). David Ignatius has written about him in The Washington Post.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mm-hmm. (Acknowledging.)

MS. CLIFT: He seems to be assuring the U.S. that he can maintain command and control. And so they're going to funnel more aid through him. They're going to stop short of shoulder-fired missiles.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah.

MS. CLIFT: But if you want to do a no-fly zone, which they can do militarily, you need Russia to stand down. You need U.N. authorization or else no go.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Susan, will you summarize all this in 20 seconds or less? That's all we have.

MS. FERRECHIO: Devil's advocate -- humanitarian reasons and stabilizing the Middle East by getting rid of this guy and making sure that these chemical weapons don't proliferate that it's important.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So you favor involvement in Syria?

MS. FERRECHIO: Well, I see reasons why we need to do something other than draw red lines over and over, yes.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: How does this add up, Pat? You're no.

MR. BUCHANAN: I say no, but I do believe that --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, quickly -- no. You, Eleanor, quickly, quickly.

MR. BUCHANAN: (Inaudible.)

MS. CLIFT: No, unless Russia --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: No or yes. No or yes.

MS. CLIFT: -- unless Russia stands down.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Quickly.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: No.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The answer is no.

Issue Three: Tax the Net Now? Wow!

SENATOR KELLY AYOTTE (R-NH): (From videotape.) There's nothing level about this playing field about tax-strapped states looking for more money and again coming to Washington and imposing burdens on other states, states that have chosen to have a low tax burden, states like mine, without a sales tax.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The Internet's days as a tax-free domain may be doomed. The U.S. Senate is on the verge of passing legislation called the Marketplace Fairness Act. If the bill becomes law, Internet vendors with more than $1 million in annual sales must impose state and local sales taxes based on where the buyer lives, his or her place of residence.

Supporters argue that this law levels the playing field between physical store retailers, who are obliged to collect sales taxes, and online vendors who, under the Internet Tax Freedom Act of 1998, are currently and for the past 15 years been exempt from imposing and collecting sales tax.

Opponents of the Marketplace Fairness Act, like eBay CEO John Donahoe, argue that making small Internet businesses become tax collectors for every jurisdiction where a consumer lives is an unfair burden. And just how many different state and local sales taxes do we have in the U.S.? Well, over 50. According to the D.C.-based think tank the Tax Foundation, the different sales tax jurisdictions number 9,646.

Get this: Not all online retailers oppose the Marketplace Fairness Act. For years, Amazon had opposed similar legislation. In this go-around, Amazon supports the bill. Why? Ostensibly because of its growing physical facilities that are already subjected to sales taxation in practically all locations.

After the Senate, the Marketplace Fairness Act must still pass the U.S. House of Representatives before it becomes law.

Question: Is the Marketplace Fairness Act, to impose sales tax on the Internet, enlightened public policy? Yes or no. Mort.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: It is absolutely enlightened public policy, and it's fair public policy. It should not -- we should not have a tax of this kind that is isolated -- isolates some people from charging it, and they get a comparative advantage because they have a lower price point to work with.

MS. CLIFT: Yeah, Mort's absolutely right. I mean, I think when the Internet started out, the assumption was everything would be free. But the Internet's grown up now, and you have to level the playing field.
But what's fascinating is that the Republicans seem willing to go along with this. It is a tax. But it doesn't seem to bother them, a sales tax. It's a kind of a regressive tax. That -- you know, that Republicans are -- maybe this is an opening in their ideology.

MR. BUCHANAN: John --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let me point this out on the question, is it really a burden on the Internet business to collect sales taxes? Isn't there an app for that? Some savvy entrepreneur will step up to develop an app, a software application, that can manage thousands of tax jurisdictions for Internet businesses. The software will be written and copyrighted within days of the passage of the legislation.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: (Inaudible.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you understand?

MR. BUCHANAN: I do understand. But, look, there's not only -- California has got a 7.5 (percent) sales tax, highest in the country. Localities have tremendous numbers of different taxes. People are going to go to New Hampshire or they'll go to the Internet through New Hampshire or Delaware, which have zero tax local, zero sales taxes at the state level, and they'll buy through there.

MS. FERRECHIO: Or --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And they will have what they buy brought to the front door and delivered at the front door. I mean, the whole thing is so easy.

MR. BUCHANAN: People are going to --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Ordering on Amazon is so easy.

MR. BUCHANAN: People are going to set up businesses in Delaware, in these zero-tax states.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Predictions. Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: I said we shouldn't get into Syria, but we will. We're going to be sending arms into the Syrians who we believe are on our side.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: There will be another vote on gun background checks in the Senate before Congress goes home on the August break.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Susan.

MS. FERRECHIO: Internet tax bill will pass with flying colors this week.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mort.

MR. ZUCKERMAN: One of the major countries in Europe will have a full-fledged economic crisis within the next 18 months.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The U.S. Census Bureau misinterpreted the delayed childbirth phenomenon in the United States. A new international study by Germany's Planck Institute now says that the U.S. birthrate is above the replacement rate. So those predictions about the graying of America and a major shift in the U.S. ethnic makeup are not only exaggerated. They are wrong.

Bye-bye.

END