tv The Kudlow Report CNBC December 16, 2013 7:00pm-8:01pm EST
thinking small worried about a fire here a problem with plane there. he's got you where you have to go. which is dramatically higher and boeing's not done yet. i like to say there's always a bull market somewhere. i promise to find it for a small but slowly growing group of gop senators now saying that they will support the ryan/murray compromise budget bill which faces a critical senate vote tomorrow. now, it's not perfect, but republicans should accept the deal and move on. in fact, i believe paul ryan saved the gop from itself. if they have any hopes to retake the senate in november, the focus must be on obamacare. not another budget shutdown. and obamacare's ongoing enrollment errors weren't enough, get this, turns out your personal data may not be safe on the federal exchanges. not just some hackers, but from the very people meant to help
you navigate the onerous obamacare monstrosity. that means your health information, social security numbers, taxes, could all be at risk. we'll explain in just a few moments. plus, investors anxiously watching this week's year-end fed meeting. the stronger economic data and a budget deal mean a tighter fed is coming. will any change in policy prove the grinch to any christmas rally? all those stories and much more coming up in "the kudlow report" beginning right now. good evening, everyone. i'm larry could low. this is "the kudlow report." we're live here. 7:00 p.m. eastern. 4:00 p.m. pacific. but first up, this evening, a huge rally on wall street. the dow up about 130 points. so, let's go down to mary thompson at the new york stock exchange for an explanation. good evening, mary. >> good evening to you, larry.
it was data and deals that drove the markets off their oversold position coming into monday's session. of course, this followed the worst week for the dow and the s&p since august. let's talk about the data. better than expected industrial production and capacity utilization numbers from the u.s. helping to drive the markets higher along with a number of deals. first of all, lsi corporation being acquired by avago for $6.6 being. aig selling its aircraft leasing business to aercap for $5 billion helping to put a little fuel in this market's rally in today's session. take a look at the dow movers. we had strength in the dogs of the dow this year. ibm and caterpillar amongst them. the worst, some of the worst performers in the dow for the year, the best performers today. helped, of course, by gains in exxonmobil as well after it had its readings upgraded at goldman sachs. goldman in particular likes exxonmobil saying it's the best value. take a look at the sector check. better than expected economic data giving a lift to industrial stocks. i.t., of course, also strong on
the news that that lsi acquisition. we also saw strength in energy stocks as oil climbed a bit and strength in consumer discretionary as well. general motors also announcing it's going to be investing $1.3 million in 5 plants in the u.s., sent its shares to a one-year high. a couple of stocks raising their dividends. archer daniels midland along with pfizer today raising their dividends. pfizer changing, or infishing unchanged. after the bell, we had boeing saying it's going to be raising its dividend by 50% and it's also going to be buying back $10 billion worth of stock. should be active in tomorrow's session and give a lift to the dow. lastly, larry, we're keeping an eye on the ten year. it's at 2.88%. the markets behaving well, even as it climbed a little bit. of course, the 2.991-92 level tends to cause the market little bit of trouble. we'll be watching that tomorrow. back to you. >> mary thompson, thank you. a great optimistic, very bullish report. now we go from mary thompson on wall street to washington.
a federal judge ruled today that nsa phone spying is, quote, almost certainly unconstitutional. so what happens now? cnbc's eamon javers joins us live from washington. good evening, eamon, what can you tell us about this big decision? >> good evening, larry. it was a big decision and big defeat for the nsa in a federal courtroom in washington today. as you say, that federal judge saying the nsa's metadata program is most likely unconstitutional. that federal just saying the program's technology is almost orwellian, quote/unquote. the judge here staying hid own injunction. that's going to allow the government to have some time to appeal this case. that's expected to take about six months. a big defeat for the nsa. we got some reaction today from edward snowden. the nsa leaker, himself. who said, today, a secret program authorized by a secret court was when exposed to the light of day found to violate americans' rights. it is the first of many. and larry, this is going to be topic number one at a meeting
tomorrow at the white house. the president is scheduled to meet with the ceos and top executives from some of the nation's biggest and most important technology companies. including google, twitter, facebook and yahoo! and others about a dozen companies all told are going to be participating in that meeting. nsa situation is going to be obviously number one on their list to talk about. also talking about healthcare.gov and the problems with the government's website. >> eamon, from what i gather, those big communications technology companies are very unhappy with the nsa's story. and don't really want to participate. >> they don't like it. they don't like being dragged into the bad publicity surrounding it. when you talk to some of the companies you get the sense they would like to have a little more freedom to talk about what it is that the government requires of them. but, of course, because of the secrecy imposed here, they don't have the ability to really say with any certainty in a public way how many requests they get from the government for data and information. that sort of thing. a lot of these companies say
they'd like to be able to release a lot more data about what it is they're turning o'er over the government but they're prevented from doing even that. you can imagine there's going to be an ask here of the president of the united states saying, let us tell the people what it is we're doing here. >> last one. i know we're running out of time but i can't resist. are you picking up any vibes or buzz that the nsa or other u.s. intelligence agencies, intelligence-gathering agencies want to make a deal with snowden so he doesn't release even more difficult information? >> well, we saw a trial balloon to that effect over the past 48 hours or so, but the white house did the best they could to squash that today. white house spokesman jay carney saying that the white house, for its part, has not changed its position on any kind of amnesty deal for snowden. of course, there have been suggestions maybe it would be worth if from the u.s.' perspective to give him a deal in order to stop further leaks from coming out. the question is whether those leaks could be stopped now at all, anyway, since a lot of this material is already in the hands
of reporters around the world. >> all right. eamon javers, thank you very, very much. we appreciate it. >> you bet, larry. folks, the senate will take a critical vote on a two year compromise budget bill tomorrow. easily passed the house last week. conservative opposition in the senate suggests it could be a razor thin margin in the upper chamber. cnbc's chief washington correspondent john harwood joins us with all the latest. good evening, john. >> good evening, larry. as you know, you can't overestimate washington's ability to get in the way of a good news story so there has been some at least publicly suspense over whether they can get the votes to end debate on is bl struck by patty murray and paul ryan and pass it. here's dick durbin, second ranking senate democrat, over the weekend. >> the struggle is still on in the united states senate. we will need about eight republicans to come our way. i feel we'll have a good strong showing from the democratic side, but we need bipartisan support to pass it. >> but behind that statement, larry, there is a high level of
confidence, i think, in both sides that they will get the votes. what's going on right now is some jockeying over who gets the right to vote no, to register their objections since both sides have objections to the deal. you have some 2016 republican candidates for president, you've got senators from both parties up for re-election in 2014. it does appear there are enough republicans including your next guest, ron johnson of wisconsin, who are willing to go along with almost all of the democrats to get over 60 votes and pass this thing. >> john, if the procedural vote passes tomorrow with 60 votes, is that it? lock, stock and barrel? >> yes. i think that's it. they're looking at a vote that would occur on final pass only wednesday evening unless members of both parties decide to yield back debate time. it's not expected that republican opponents will do that. but that could expedite the process if they decide to to get on to other things they need to get done before going home for
christmas. we have a distinguished political panel who's going to break everything down in a moment. first, let's begin on capitol hill. we're joined by wisconsin republican senator ron johnson. he's one of six republicans who have indicated they will vote in favor of the deal. senator johnson, you've made some news on this. let me ask you what was behind your decision. >> well, larry, first of all, i'm as unhappy as anybody we're going to bust those budget control act spending caps. i don't like that at all. the same time, i'm looking economically. the worst thing for our economy is going to be threatening for government shutdowns. we need to bring certainty to our economy. that's really from my standpoint really what paul ryan was charged with, is prevent government shutdowns. we're going to be doing that with this agreement through fiscal year 2015. i think that's a good thing. i just want to get out and a announce the fact i'm willing to support the deal that paul brokered with patty murray. don't marlparticularly like it, this is the best thing to get
this behind us and move on and strengthen our economy and start creating jobs. >> senator johnson, i hate labels just about as much as you hate labels, but you are regarded at least in some circles as a tea party senator. and this would make you the first tea party senator to come out in favor of this bill. have you had any feedback, negative feedback, from those backers? >> oh, a little bit. you know, but larry, we're talking anlt the financial markets. if we threaten shutdowns enembroil the financial markets just a little quarter of an interest, quarter percent interest increase would add $44 billion which is really the first year of additional spending in this agreement. $44 billion to our interest expense. so, again, we have to grow our economy. you know, another good little factoid is even with meager mick growth from 2009 to fiscal 2013, now, we've added $669 billion of revenue through meager economic growth. so let's not do anything to harm economic growth. let's get the economy going. you know, government -- the
federal government does enough to harm our economy, we don't need to heap on additional harm by threatening shutdowns. this agreement takes that off the table. i think that's a good thing. >> speaking of interest expense on the debt, there will be a debt limit vote i don't know when because the treasury department hasn't really -- >> may, june. >> yeah, that's right. may, june. i think you're right, sir. paul ryan said over the weekend on one of the news shows that there will be some republican demands or they'll want something to go along with an increase in the debt ceiling. can you think of what that something might be? >> i can tell you what i'd like to see. let's face it, larry. any time the president comes to congress asking for a debt burden on our kids and grandkids, we should install a fiscal discipline. we're seeing the disaster the health care law is to people's lives, to the health care system. i'd like to attach something that preserves something of freedom in choice, health care system, to that debt limit
increase. that's what i'd like to see. we can attach some energy provisions, we could attach just some good government provisions. an automatic continuing resolution if we don't pass appropriation bills. there's a number of things we could take a look at that i think would strengthen our economy that could potentially limit the damage of the health care law. i'm hoping we're looking at that in a very strategic way and will probably have to ask for something modest, something the american people would support and i think that's only reasonable if we're going to increase the debt burden on our kids and grandkids. >> i heard there was some discussion between senator murray and budget chairman paul ryan about tax reform, particularly corporate tax reform. is that too farfetched to be attached to a debt limit increase? >> no, again, there are a number of things we possibly could do. corporate tax reform, any kind of tax reform that is pro-growth would certainly be something that i'd like to see attached to the debt ceiling. we'll see if, you know, we've got max baucus in favor of it. so there's some bipartisan efforts to do tax reform. so, you know, maybe this can be
the start of something good where we start working together for the american people to create economic growth and start creating a far more robust job situation. >> just one last one, senator. you're going to come back and stay with us. you're being very gracious with your time this evening and i pear personally appreciate it very much. do you have any concerns that your tea party backers will rebel or revolt against you? i mean, you've got a lot of tea party senators and, again, i hate these labels because it's more complicated than that. you have marco rubio, rand paul, and you have others that will not agree with you on the votes tomorrow, i reckon. maybe i'll be wrong. you have any danger, any political dangers? >> larry, one promise i made during my campaign is i'll never vote with my re-election in mind. i'll vote in the best interest of america and wisconsin. i think that's what i'm doing here. from my standpoint, we need to do everything possible to remain unified as fiscal conservative, moderate republicans, social
conservatives. if we're unified, we have a chance of saving the nation financially and culturally. i'm hoping everybody in our coalition, a broad spectrum coalition. we need more people supporting us, not less. purity is not possible. we've got to actually reck nice our 80% friend is our friend. >> yeah. actually that's a great point to close on. this is in effect this was a 70% deal regarding the sequester. and i worked for a guy years ago named ronald reagan who always said give me half a loaf now, and i'll get the other half of the loaf later. so there's some of that, too. ryan was a protege of jack kemp and ronald reagan. senator johnson, please stay with us. coming up, we've got our ace political pundits standing by. what did they think of the paul ryan deal? what do they think of mr. johnson's change? and did this split the republican party or is it going to save it in the end? maybe we need a little less rhetoric and a little more policy. more obamacare problems, by the way. one week until the deadline,
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welcome back to "the kudlow report." so, question, will paul ryan's budget deal save the gop from itself? that's a column i just wrote. my answer is, yes, not everyone in the world agrees. here now is former democratic congressional budget aid stan collander and also welcome back dan heller with the heritage action for america. senator ron johnson being very kind and gracious with his time is back with us. dan, let me go to you. i know you're not a happy camper. i, myself, i just want to say this, this is like true confession. if the votes were there, i would be in your camp. okay? i want 100% sequester. i want 110% sequester.
i spoke to paul ryan over a week ago. he said the votes were never there, so we got 70% sequester. is 70% good puenough for you? >> i don't accept the premise there are enough republican votes in the house to maintain current spending levels. i think if we, include you in this, larry, say our goal is to protect the sequester, we're not going to give into the democrats' threats to shut down the government by increasing spending, we're not going to do it. i'm sure we could have avoided this spending increase and maintain the level of the sequester that may very well get us the real entitlement reforms down the line. >> well, okay, look, i agree with every one of these policy objectives. let me just add one thing before i get to stan collander. the issue here, okay, i may be wrong, but the votes weren't there to get a clean bill that would have kept the sequester 100% in place. having said that,s then, having said that, i'm arguing, and it's a political argument, i acknowledge this, that ryan's
deal will avoid a shutdown, and that means the republicans will not distract themselves or the country over a shutdown and will stay focused on obama care which is the real ticket to regaining the senate come november. your thought on that scenario? >> well, look, larry, i do not think that the government would have shut down had the republican party insisted on the current spending levels. that republicans and democrats voted for back main 2011. i think this is a fight we could have won. no democrat, president obama, harry reid, nancy pelosi, are going to say they want to increase government spending and that's why we have a government shutdown. that won't fly. we didn't have to cave on this, but we did. >> stan, let me bring you in, and the political dimension to this and there's a fiscal dimension to this. my hunch is you're not too much in agreement with either, but please tell us your view. >> well, look, first of all, you're absolutely right, this was a political deal.
this was more important to congress than it was to the country as a whole because, as you suggested, it makes the possibility or the likelihood of a shutdown in january less likely, but larry, it doesn't eliminate it completely. don't forget they still have to pass individual appropriations bills to prevent the shutdown or an omnibus bill. it's not clear that that's going to be as easy as we think it's going to be in either house, especially as you get into an election year. that's number one. number two, from a fiscal policy point of view, this does nothing. $23 billion in net deficit reductions over ten years when the country's going to spend somewhere between $40 trillion and $50 trillion in, you know, on its budget, the combined budgets over that period of time. i mean, there's nothing about reducing the deficit that significant here in the slightest. and every time i hear john boehner say this is a deficit reduction deal and you should vote for it, you realize how much he's stretching to make people think positively about it. >> well, you're right. you make a lot of good points
there. i'm not sure paul ryan would even disagree with your points on the fiscal side. but, senator johnson, look, let me come back to you on this. like stan collander, i want to see entitlement reform. my guess is you want to see entitlement reform. >> absolutely. >> that's what you're talking about with the whole health care bill. but senator, don't you need, at this point, a republican senate and a republican house to get that kind of entitlement reform? and maybe you really can't even do that unless you have all three houses, the presidency, and the senate and the house of representatives? >> yeah, larry, the reality of the situation is president obama is in the white house. harry reid is in firm control of the senate. i was working at the white house trying to find agreement, looking at a large deal that actually starts to solve these long-term problems. you know, they simply aren't willing to agree with it. here is an indication of how far the sides are apart. the house budget passed over ten years would reduce spending by $4 trillion. patty murray's senate budget
increases spending by $1 trillion, increases taxes by $1 trillion. we're $5 trillion apart. in the end, you go, we can't force that and move the logic which is the democratic party that refuses to acknowledge the problem, much less work with us in good faith to start solving the long-term drivers of the debt and deficit. in the end, from my standpoint, the fact we're not going to shut down our government, provides some certainty economically and what this is about. the number one component of the solution, truthfully, is economic growth. let's not harm economic growth by having these shutdown fights which i just disagree with dan. we did not have the votes in the house. i talked to the appropriate committees, people in the armed services. we didn't have the votes and would not win a shutdown fight. obviously we didn't win it last time, we're not going to win one in january, either. >> dan, i want you to react to that and also something paul ryan said yesterday that republicans have to have a big family, victories cannot be done without the tea party group or
groups like yours. i fully agree with that. i'm not attacking you, buddy. we're having a political disagreement. i'm not attacking. you. john boehner got his irish up. i'm not sure what that was about. ryan didn't attack you, either. how do you feel on a monday having gone through this process in the last three, four days? do you feel like you have your political fisticuffs ready to go or some meeting of the minds that can create a merger here? >> i don't care about the speaker's attacks last week. we're concerned about the policy on this. $63 billion in spending increases. it's new deficit spending throughout the remainder of president obama's term. it's not conservative policy. so, you know what, i want to see conservative policy. i want to work toward that end. but here's a major problem with what's being said. if the republican party in the house is not strong enough and united enough behind small government principles, to maintain the sequester, we have major issues in this country. and that is extremely alarming. so i don't accept and i know what people said behind closed
doors, but you won't have those people forced to cast a vote and it was a republican priority. it was speaker boehner's priority to maintain the sequester, i'm sure his folks would fall in line. if they wouldn't, we have serious problems and are not going get the entitlement reform even if we have republicans in the white house, senate and the house. >> stan, i want to give you the last word on this house. at the beginning of this process, the democratic budget wanted to abolish the sequester and wanted a very substantial tax hike, as you know, loophole closing. they didn't get either. the other side, mr. ryan wanted to maintain the budget caps but had to settle for 70%. he didn't really get any tax cuts. he did, however, get some small entitlement reforms. don't you think the republicans actually got the better of this deal? >> i don't know about better here. i'm not going to add to normative discussion to this. there was a compromise here, larry. and that was unusual in itself over the last five years. don't forget one of the tenets of the tea party is compromise
is a sin and compromise is collaborating with the enemy. that was a major change. i don't think we understand fully the political implication, repercussions of this. my guess is the tea party folks are going to have to go after one of the more mainstream republicans, one of those who compromised in a republican primary. this is not the end of the fight, this is just the beginning. >> i got to give dan holler the last word on that one. >> well, i mean, i think it's open to interpretation. if senator johnson and others can go back to their constituents and explain why we needed a $63 billion spending increase, why deficits needed to increase, why all the deficit reduction is in 2022 and 2023 when a lot of them may not even be in office? if they can sell that to their constituents, more power to them. i think it's really hard for them to do that. >> all right. i'm going to leave it there. senator ron johnson, thank you, sir. good luck. >> merry christmas. >> merry christmas. happy holiday. always. stan callender, great to see you back on the show. dan holler, thank you very much.
i'm not the enemy. i hope you know that. i'm dealing with the reality or trying to, anyway. up next on "kudlow" the man who helped rich hide their money in swiss bank accounts is under house arrest in new jersey. we're going to have that story coming up on "the kudlow report." please stay right here. (announcer) scottrade knows our clients trade and invest their own way. with scottrade's smart text, i can quickly understand my charts, and spend more time trading. their quick trade bar lets my account follow me online so i can react in real-time.
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us now with the details. what you got, eamon? >> yeah, larry, he was one of the most powerful swiss bankers in the world once. the u.s. government says he oversaw the swiss bank ubs' $20 billion so-called cross-border business helping wealthy americans hide money from the irs. today, this man, raul weil was in a courtroom in florida where he was ordered to post $10.5 million in bail and turn over his passport. he'll be subject to electronic monitoring and allowed to live in jersey while awaiting trial. he was indicted for his alleged roel in ubs' secret swiss bank business but remained out of u.s. legal reach in switzerland for all those years. that all changed in october when he flew to italy and checked into a hotel in his own name. authorities arrested him in that hotel room. with his wife looking on, weil said nothing in court today. his attorney said he's ready to mount a defense. >> i'm not going to talk about
the substance of the case at this time. we're prepared to present the case and defend the case in court and that's why we're here. >> but larry, the question now is what information, if any, weil will be prepared to turn over to the feds? the most interesting will be what he knows about political figures including american political figures who sources have told cnbc had secret adowns at the bank. those politically sensitive names were turned over to the u.s. government, a source told me, but have never been made public. if anyone knows who they are, it's rauol weil. >> all right. many thanks. eamon javers, appreciate it. tough stuff there. up next, we're a week away from the supposed obamacare deadline. sign up by next monday or don't get your coverage next year. but, folks, beware of the so-called navigators. many of them are just obama democratic organizers and stories of identity theft are popping up everywhere. and the administration's not doing a thing about it, so far as i know.
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scandal, so-called navigators. they've never been trained, no background checks. number of anecdotes concerning identity theft. hhs apparently hasn't done a thing about it. what's up with this? where are we going? as we approach the first major obamacare deadline, we're nowhere near the administration's goals, apparently about a half a million people have signed up using state and federal exchanges. but nearly 5 million people have lost their insurance altogether and of those who have signed up, so many of them are medicaid people. leading people to suggest the real name of this should be obamacaid. we have democratic strategist carrie wofford. kurt bardella and mr. roy of the manhattan institute. kurt, let me go to you. this navigator story is not brand new but officially uncovered now by the investigations committee. who are these people? they're not trained. they don't have any credentials.
a lot of people said, as you know, james o'keefe and others have said, these guys are just obama election operatives who are trying to get information for the next democratic campaign. who are these people? >> well, i think, larry, that's the question that everyone in america should be asking themselves right now. how comfortable are you giving your personal and private information, your social security number, your tax information, your income information? how comfortable are you giving it to people who aren't qualified experts, who aren't health insurance experts, who aren't health care experts? people how may have had five hours of online training who are supposed to act as the gateway to obamacare. these are the people that are on the front lines of imp lemting healthcare.gov. these are the people you're supposed to forfeit your information to. larry, would you be comfortable giving your personal information to these people? most americans probably aren't. >> yeah, heck, no. listen, carrie, let me go to you on this. there's another nasty part of this. it has been reported that numerous navigators have told their clients, so to speak, to
put up false information. particularly regarding income. so they can get more tax credits or more subsidies. so basically they're in the falsification mode. the lying mode. now, that can't work. >> now, numerous would be inaccurate. this report came out in september, as you said, and hhs has already fired the navigators who were accused of wrongdoing. so let's think about medicare. >> they just fired five of them, carrie. five of them is the report. five of them. this has got to be a bigger problem than five. >> no, listen, medicare is the important part of a fabric of how america takes care of our grandmas and our grandpas. we make sure they have quality health insurance and peace of mind they won't be bankrupt by doctors bills. now, how do they find out about medicare? through navigators. navigators has been around for decades. cms runs it. it's an office at hhs that runs medicare and medicaid. and this is a system that's been around for a long time.
if there are navigators who are accused of wrongdoing, they're fired. this is not a big problem. and just as today there's so much partisan politicizing of obamacare and fear mongering, there is fear mongering about the beginning of medicare and millions of americans have done very well with medicare and it's a very popular program. so the same will be true about obamacare. >> yeah -- >> just wait and see. >> you comment generically, but, you know, i think this whole business, look, social security numbers, birth dates, addresses, phone numbers, annual income, sensitive tax information. carrie says that the navigators have been around for decades. is that true? i've never heard of them. this is new to me. >> larry, that's not true at all. >> yeah, it is. >> let me correct the record here. there's something really important to understand which is that shopping for insurance on the exchanges is a lot more complicated than medicare. you qualify for medicare when
you're 6 65 and today either enroll in part "a" or part "b" or enroll in part "c." there's a default option. it's straightforward. the exchanges, the so-called navigator has to know about your income in terms of the subsidy you qualify for and the plan, the bronze, the silver, the gold, the platinum, the different deductibles, different situations in your life. it's a lot-complicated and there's a lot more personal and private information involved. let me just cut to the chase here. the whole reason why these navigators, without any real background in insurance, are being utilized to do this, is because the obama administration is terrified that if they don't enroll enough people quickly enough this law is vulnerable to repeal. so that's why they're being very unrigorous about the people who are the so-called navigators because they want to make sure as many people sign up as quickly as possible so that the political strength of this law is increased and it doesn't matter if people's privacy or if people make mistakes or if
people are signed up for the wrong plan or if it turns out they're not eligible for subsidies later and pay a fine from the irs. those are not the concerns of this administration. >> that is not fair. the people who have run medicare are career civil servants. they've run it for decades. they run this program. they know -- >> they don't run this program. >> -- how to hire people. >> that's the thing about cms. cms has publicly said in documents uncovered by the oversight committee they do not have accountability measures for the navigators because they push the responsibility on to the state exchanges who have never done this before because this never existed for. there's no accountability for the navigators. cms admitted in documents, e-mails, transcribeder be views, testimony, said there's no accountability measure and they're concerned about that. >> there's the same fear mongering when medicare started. there were people trying to spread fear. once americans get a chance to see the affordable care act for themselves, depoliticize it, go on healthcare.gov.
find out the subsidy you get. most americans are going to get help paying for their health insurance. most americans are going to be much better off. >> most americans will have sticker shock at the rising cost of their premiums and out of pocket costs. >> one at a time. >> we finally get rid of the terrible rules of the road. no more pre-existing conditions, lifetime limits and all the caps on coverage. >> carrie, you may or may not be right about the success of ob a obamacare. maybe you'll be right. i'm not going to rule it out. doesn't look good but i'm not going to rule it out. what does bother me about this navigator story is in testimony, among various committees incl e including the investigation oversight committee, darrell issa's committee, hhs, cms people did not deny, did not deny the chaos surrounding the faf ga navigators or lack of training and said they really had virtually no management control over this group, carrie. that's what is so concerning here. >> look, the rollout of the
affordable care act has been less than desired. the good news is that healthcare.gov is starting to work. americans are starting to find out what kind of quality care they can get without pre-existing conditions and caps on coverage. kids up to, out of college, can stay on their parents' insurance up to 26. your mom, if she -- >> you're not answering my chan question. you're not answering my question. >> have there been problems -- >> there's been a lot of reading on this, and apparently the officials from the administration said, yeah, right, we don't really know who these navigators are, don't have any management control over them and we didn't train them. >> let me say something here, larry. so there are a number of states that have been concerned about this problem, and they passed legislation requiring that navigators have the same knowledge of the insurance market that licensed insurance brokers have. they have to pass an exam to understand basics about income, about subsidies, about premiums and deductibles and networks and
things like that so they can actually help people. and the obama administration has objected to these measures because they actually actively don't want the navigators to have that basic knowledge because, again, their only concern is political. it's to enroll as many people as possible and correct the mistakes, quote/unquote, later on because they're worried about the vulnerability of the law. they're not worried, actually, if there's some eggs broken along the way in terms of people getting fined by the irs. it is really a shame. >> this has become so partisan and political. if people are worried about navigators, go by yourself to healthcare.gov alone. >> this isn't partisan. 13 attorneys generals have written the administration asking for help. >> my understanding is a whole lot of people have gone to the website without much luck. >> no, guess what, december 1st and december 2nd, the first two days of december had as many enrollments as the month of november. >> what i would call off a low base. carrie wofford.
we appreciate your efforts at defense. kurt bardella, thank you. the dow rallies 129 points today, ahead of today's stock meeting. are stocks falling in love with a fed taper? that might be a switch. we're going to ask our fed and stock market experts next up on "the kudlow report." so i got the windows nokia tablet. it's, well, impressive. it's got the brightest hd screen, super-fast 4g lte, so my son can play games and movies almost anywhere, and it's got office for school stuff. but the best part? i got the lumia 928 for my daughter for free, with the best low-light smartphone camera this side of the north pole. dad for the win. mm! mm! mm! ♪ honestly, i want to see you be brave ♪
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tomorrow kicks off the highly anticipated two day december fed meeting. investors on wall street may or may not be holding their breath to find out if the fed is going to slow down its bond purchases. the thing is, some real good economic stats coming out. we had a heck of a good rally today. so let's talk about it. all right. we have jack ablin, bmo private bank executive, vice president and chief investment officer. dan clifton, head of policy research at strategis. today an interesting day. fed taper or not. mary thompson reported at the top of the show it was the cyclical pro-growth, you know, industrials, tech, energy stocks that rallied. that's pretty positive in terms of the economy's future. >> absolutely. i think that economic growth is accelerating, and, you know, if you want to make a case for a fed taper, you know, this month, i mean, in fact, wednesday,
there's a decent argument for it. i think, though, first of all, i am a taper fan. i think the fed does need to move to the sidelines. whether they do it in december ahead of the christmas selling season and right in front of year end, probably not. i think it's a little too messy right now. >> well, okay, maybe not, but when you look at this thing, i don't know, dan clifton, it sort of felt to me, today -- i may be that wrong -- that all the good numbers -- it was a close call for the taper in december, right? close call. since that time you've had better retail sale, better jobs, better gdp, pretty much better everything. so the market's message, to me, today, may only be one day, is that go ahead, slow down your bond purchases, in effect it's a de facto tightening, and we're okay with it because it's just part in parcel of a strong economy. now, that makes some intuitive sense, does it? >> that's exactly right, larry.
the economy is getting stronger. that's a reason to taper. if you go back to ben bernanke's non-taper press conference, he also referenced two other facts of why they weren't tapering. the first was there was a series of government budget catalysts and the second was there was going to be a large fiscal drag in 2014. we've removed bo ed both of the hurdles, particularly if the senate passes this bill tomorrow because you're reducing the fiscal drag to near zero in 2014 and kicking fiscal policy out for another two years. so not only do you have an improving fiscal situation, you have an improving political situation and we're moving to policy normalization. both on the fiscal policy side and both on the monetary policy side. >> that's pretty bullish. that's pretty bullish. let me bring in bob mcteer, former ceo of the dallas federal reserve and wise man in general terms. bob mcteer, can the fed slow down their bond buys? can they taper? is the economy strong enough? >> yes, i think so.
and i think they need to quit teasing us about it and having up stock market reaction every few weeks. $85 billion is an arbitrary number to twbegin with. if it were $60 billion or $50 billion, it wouldn't make much difference and wouldn't be that much of a tightening and it would be a sign that we have confidence in the economy. i think it's time. >> all right. jack ablin, let you finer and we'll come back. >> i think the fed finally got the communication right. when bernanke first initiating taper talk back in april of may, what we noticed was the two-year treasury zoomed from about 20 basis points to 50 basis points. essentially equating taper with tightening. since that time, the fed has done a nice job of trying to disaggregate the two, separate it. in fact, the two-year even in the face of tapering has now gone from 50 basis points back down to 20 basis points. >> you're not worried.
>> i'm not worried. i don't think tapering is tightening. >> i want you to hang on. we're going to have fun in the next segment. don't move a muscle. we're going to go to fed mt. rushmore. the 100th anniversary of the federal reserve system. i want to know a simple question, in recent memory, who's the best chairman? we have three houses. paul volcker, alan greenspan, and ben bernanke. think about it, folks, during the commercial. we're going to come back. i'll give you my view. we'll all give you our views. we have a live picture of fed's mt. rushmore on "kudlow." please stay with us.
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happy birthday to the fed. 100 years ago, president woodrow wilson signed the law that created america's first central bank. fed chair bernanke, former fed chairman alan greenspan, paul volcker, bunch of other fed heads celebrated in d.c. about this today including our own robert mcteer. who is the best of the lost of the fed chairmen? we're back with former fed head robert mcteer. fed rushmore. got to check this out. producer, bree kelly, put this together. leading the pack, that's ben bernanke. there's robert mcteer, second. mcteer was a pretty strong money guy running the dallas fed. that middle picture is supposed to be paul volcker. then there's alan greenspan, and the last one is your humble correspondent. bob mcteer, who is the best federal reserve chairman in the
modern time? >> well, they brought different strengths. paul volcker really was courageous in staying with his policy that was very, very unpopular until it succeeded. of course, i love alan greenspan's wisdom. i spent all my 14 years on the committee with him as chairman. and ben bernanke has really surprised me with his creativity in dealing with unprecedented situations. but i guess my heart is with greenspan. >> yeah, i mean, i got to say, dan clifton, look, i worked for volcker once upon a time. stayed in touch throughout the years. i believe he's the greatest central banker. in fact, i believe he's the greatest central banker since the federal reserve was created in 1913 because he basically eliminated a 15% inflation rate which was destroying the economy and the financial markets and every other darn thing. and he did it against great political opposition. reagan was for him, but builders were coming at him with 2 x 4s.
people were picketing. they were marching on the fed. i mean, that took, i believe the word is chutzpa for volcker to do it or character. what's your quick take? >> that's absolutely correct. compare it to today. we're worried about tapering, $10 billion or $15 billion. he had to break the back of inflation. it took a very different type of person to do it. i think he'll be regarded as one of the best central bankers ever, if not the best, and i think at some point we're going to need somebody like him and it's going to be very hard to find in the future. >> all right. jack ablin, i'll make it easy for you. i have two candidates left now. alan greenspan, ben bernanke. rate those two. who's the better banker? >> i think bernanke because of the originality, as you said. i would also go so far as to say paul volcker is probably one of the best -- one of the last long-term thinkers in washington. i also would -- i believe greenspan was probably one of the shortest-term thinkers in washington, as we found, you know, after he swept all that dust under the rug throughout most of his tenure. so i would agree with volcker, but i also think that, you know,
faced with the issues that bernanke had coming into that job, i think he did an admirable job at negotiating. >> bob mcteer, history is going to judge bernanke. we've never seen anything like what he's done and it may backfire. i have to give greenspan, greenspan understood the high-tech technology productivity boom. now i'm out of time, as always. i'm larry kudlow. we'll be back tomorrow night. thank you, gentlemen. mt. rushmore and the fed. can sey ridiculousness... from fashion that flies off the shelves. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle... and go. you can even take a full-size or above, and still pay the mid-size price. (natalie) ooooh, i like your style. (vo) so do we, business pro. so do we. go national. go like a pro. [ male announcer ] how could switchgrass in argentina,
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