Georgia Senator David Purdue began his conversation with Erick Erickson this morning on a positive note, praising the state of the economy under President Donald Trump and touting the many accomplishments made by the White House and Republicans in Congress.
Perdue said that after Trump promised action on cutting regulations, unleashing the energy sector, rolling back taxes and repealing the most onerous provisions of Dodd-Frank, Republicans worked together and delivered. A a result, unemployment has gone down and middle class income has gone way up. Perdue added that it makes him “bananas” when Democrats try to claim credit by saying that the economic expansion over the last three years resulted from the policies of Barack Obama. Democrats, he said, “were doing everything they could to kill the economy.”
The conversation then turned to the national debt—$22 trillion and counting. Perdue distilled that down to a sobering number: $1 million per household in America. He outlined five courses of action that can help arrest debt growth and start to turn it around. The first is to keep growing the economy, which over time will lower the debt curve. The second step is to fix the budget process in Congress, which is currently a disaster. The third is to get rid of redundant agencies—a process that is already underway, with the first-ever audit of the Department of Defense ordered by President Trump. The fourth is reform of Medicare and Social Security in order to keep them solvent. Lastly, the country needs to find a way to get control of medical costs, which is perhaps the biggest driver of entitlement programs.
Debt, Perdue stated, is literally the number one threat to national security.
The Senator then made a few observations about the current state of the progressive movement. He noted that the progressives have run Congress two-thirds of the time over the last century, and that Republicans have been the minority party because they’ve always been on the defensive. With Trump, however, that’s beginning to change. Perdue went on to say that progressives have actually failed the very people who vote for them, and that they only want bigger government and greater control—not solutions to actual problems. Perdue said that only innovation, capitalism and the rule of law can provide the long-term prosperity that helps everyone.
Talk then shifted to Dodd-Frank. Erickson thanked Perdue for his leadership in rolling that back. Perdue observed that Obama wanted the feds to control all capital, which was the genuine reason behind pushing the law. Between regulations and the crazy laws regarding repatriation of overseas cash, it kept $6 trillion of capital on the sidelines, which only ended up strangling the economy. Perdue said that President Trump removed uncertainty by stripping away those regulations. It also helped community backs get back into the business of home and auto loans, which has a positive effect on local communities.
Talking about Georgia, Perdue praised the agricultural sector, which makes up a huge part of the state economy. He also said that Georgia has great fundamentals with Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and the Port of Savannah port, but that the state still needed to work on the training the labor market for skilled jobs and expanding infrastructure to keep things growing. Thankfully, Perdue said, Georgia has the right political leadership with Republicans like Governor Brian Kemp in charge, which will help with those goals.
To maintain that leadership, though, Republicans will have to work hard. Perdue said that the election landscape for 2020 will be interesting, with Democrats making campaigns less about the issues and more about the candidates. He mentioned that with Dems going full on socialist with the Green New Deal and wanting to establish one-party rule by abolishing the Electoral College, voters will be faced with a stark choice. Perdue expressed confidence, however, that Trump’s results-oriented approach will ultimately win.