1 week ago

Trump tax cuts architect: Trump probably would not be president without Jeff Sessions

Renowned economist and writer Stephen Moore, widely viewed as the architect of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, told Yellowhammer News on Monday that President Donald J. Trump would likely not have become president without the support of then-U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) in 2016.

Sessions is currently running in a crowded GOP primary field for his old Senate seat, and Moore traveled to Montgomery Monday for a Sessions campaign event.

Ahead of that appearance, Moore interviewed with Yellowhammer about why he supports Sessions, as well as important economic issues facing the nation and the state of Alabama.

Moore’s resume is that of legends. He was the founding president of Club for Growth and has served on the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal, worked two stints at the Heritage Foundation and served as director of President Ronald Reagan’s Privatization Commission, among many other feats. Moore advised Herman Cain’s 2012 presidential campaign on economic issues, as well as Trump’s 2016 campaign. Moore then went on to play a leading role in the crafting and passage of Trump’s signature tax reform legislation in 2017.

Those Trump tax cuts, Moore told Yellowhammer, are working for the American people.

“The tax cuts and reform have had a profoundly positive impact on the economy, we’re seeing,” Moore advised. “We have the lowest unemployment rate, lowest inflation rate, lowest interest rates in 50 years, and we’re starting to see really nice wage gains.”

“The whole idea of the tax cut was to try to help middle-class workers have more job opportunities — bigger pay increases,” he continued. “We’re seeing the average family in the United States since Trump took office has gained about $5,000 in annual income. That’s a big number.”

Moore noted that he saw the president a few weeks ago and told him that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 is even “working out better than we thought it would.”

“We’ve imported one trillion dollars of capital from the rest of the world because of our low repatriation tax,” Moore added. “So, it’s worked like a charm.”

Sessions and the rest of Alabama’s Republican primary field are running for the chance to face Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) in the November general election. Jones has spoken in opposition to the Trump tax cuts and even voted in 2019 to undo part of the legislation.

State of the economy

Overall, Moore praised the state of the American economy under Trump’s leadership.

“This is about as good an economy as we’ve had in about 30 years,” Moore explained. “Some ways even in 50 years.”

Just as with Alabama’s economy, the largest issue now facing the nation is a shortage of qualified workers for the jobs currently available.

“When we’ve got 3.5% unemployment rate (nationally), the biggest problem in the economy today is too few workers, not too few jobs,” Moore remarked. “That’s a good problem for a country to have.”

“The stock market obviously keeps hitting all-time highs,” he added. “So, that’s a very good thing for all Americans who are on 401k plans or retirement plans and own individual stock.”

“It’s hard to find really anything to complain about with this economy,” Moore stressed. “I really do think it’s the best economy in three decades.”

Commenting further on the type of labor shortage states like Alabama are faced with due to unemployment rates well under the full employment rate of 4% (Alabama’s last recorded seasonally adjusted rate was 2.7%), Moore detailed, “The upside of that is it gives workers more flexibility to ask for raises, and it means the chances of being laid off are much smaller. So, that’s a good thing for the Alabama workforce.”

However, from a policy standpoint in the Yellowhammer State and federally, workforce development has become a major focus. For the president’s administration, Ivanka Trump has been instrumental in innovative, impactful workforce initiatives, including a concerted investment in apprenticeship programs across the U.S. She even visited Alabama in recent months to roll out a manufacturing-centric partnership.

“Nationally, and I’m sure this is probably the case in Alabama, too, we need to do a much better job educating and training kids for 21st century jobs,” Moore said. “And we need to retrain older workers, reskill them. And we need to make sure kids aren’t graduating with political science and psychology degrees but degrees that will actually prepare them for the science and technology and engineering and nursing jobs that are out there in abundance — anyone with a skill. Let me put it like this: we’re just graduating too many kids from college that don’t have a useful skill. And that’s a problem.”

Moore gave high praise to the work Ivanka Trump is doing in the workforce development arena.

“I think what Ivanka is doing is fantastic,” he said.

The Fed

Moore has also been well known as an outspoken critic of the Federal Reserve in recent years.

In December 2018, Moore stated that he believed “the people on the Federal Reserve Board should be thrown out for economic malpractice.” He had decried that the Fed was causing deflation in the economy.

In February 2019, Moore said, “There’s no bigger swamp in Washington than the Federal Reserve Board. It’s filled with hundreds of economists who are worthless, who have the wrong model in their mind. They should all be, they should all be fired and they should be replaced by good economists.”

The next month, Moore co-authored a column in the Wall Street Journal that asserted that the Fed’s policies were slowing the economy and causing “wild swings in the stock market.”

That column was shown to Trump by adviser Larry Kudlow, and the president soon thereafter announced his nomination of Moore to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors on March 22, 2019. Three months later, Moore withdrew his nomination.

However, during his nomination period, Moore vocally called on the Fed to lower interest rates. This was controversial — supported by Trump but opposed by Fed chairman Jerome Powell and others.

Yet, soon after his nomination was withdrawn, Moore seemed to be vindicated.

The Federal Reserve in September lowered rates by a quarter of a percent and again in October.

Moore reacted by calling it “an example of where I was right, and where my critics were wrong.”

Speaking to Yellowhammer News, Moore commented on the Fed’s actions in the last five months.

“A year ago the Fed was pursuing a disastrous policy, right? I mean, they were raising rates, and we saw in late 2018 that they crashed the stock market and took a lot of wind out of the sails of the economy when the Fed kept raising interest rates even when we had a dollar liquidity shortage,” he advised.

“The Fed in the last year, though, has really reversed course,” Moore continued. “And they’ve been cutting rates rather than raising them, creating more dollar liquidity in the economy, including overnight purchases of assets. That’s put more dollars in the economy. We have no inflation… I think the Fed’s in a much, much better place today than they were a year ago. And I don’t see inflation that’s any kind of threat right now. I think that the Fed should, if anything, cut rates one or two more times. But, at the very least, it should not raise rates. And I don’t think it’s very likely for 2020 [to raise rates]. That’s one of the reasons I’m very bullish on the U.S. economy this upcoming year.”

‘Enormous benefit to the conservative movement and to Donald Trump’

When asked about his support of Sessions’ 2020 candidacy, Moore responded, “How could I not support Senator Sessions? He was one of the best senators for many years when he was in the Senate.”

Moore continued, “He has played a heroic role in terms of getting Trump over the goal line in 2016. I mean, Trump may not have won — probably would not have won — the nomination of the party if it had not been for Sessions. So, Sessions is one of the guys who brought me in, Larry Kudlow [in] to the campaign. And he brought an incredible staff of people, like [Stephen] Miller and others, over to Trump.”

“Jeff Sessions is just a great man,” he added. “I was just flattered when he asked me to come [to his campaign event] and speak on his behalf. I’d love to see him get back in the Senate. I think on judicial issues, economic issues he is second to none.”

Moore, through his leadership in Club for Growth and Heritage Foundation especially, worked with Sessions on such issues of importance for the country. Both organizations support free-enterprise and limited government.

“We always rated him at or near the top,” Moore said of Sessions on the issues the organizations advocate for.

Sessions for years served on the Senate Budget Committee, rising to become the committee’s ranking member.

“I worked most closely with Sessions on budget issues… he was very tight-fisted, a real fiscal conservative and believes in limited government. That’s where I really got to know him, working most closely with him on fiscal discipline issues. Of course, boy do we need that now, because there’s no fiscal discipline whatsoever in Washington today. Neither party is showing much fiscal discipline.”

Moore concluded, “Sessions has been one of the consistent conservative voices in Washington now for almost two decades. I think he has proved his mettle, and having someone like him back in the Senate would be an enormous benefit to the conservative movement and to Donald Trump.”

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

7 hours ago

Alabama voting rights activist jailed on drug charges while on bond for capital murder charge

An Alabama activist is jailed on assault and other charges.

Records show 54-year-old Kenneth Glasgow was being held without bond at the Houston County Jail on Tuesday.

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He was arrested Saturday on charges including drug possession, assault and evidence tampering.

Police tell news outlets that Glasgow struggled with an officer who tried to arrest him after finding crack inside his pocket.

Glasgow has worked for years to register prisoners to vote inside Alabama jails and prisons.

He was charged with capital murder in 2018 after a fatal shooting but was out on bond.

He’s the half-brother of nationally known activist Al Sharpton.

 (Associated Press, copyright 2019)

RELATED: Al Sharpton’s half-brother, already facing Alabama capital murder charges, arrested again

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7 hours ago

Hurts: Time back in Alabama going ‘really well’ — ‘Love’ for Bama will ‘never go away’

MOBILE — The Senior Bowl Week Media Day was held on Tuesday at the Arthur R. Outlaw Convention Center, and former University of Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Jalen Hurts had droves of reporters on hand hoping to capture yet another classic Hurts press conference. The humble Hurts did not disappoint.

To kick off his remarks, Hurts commented once again on being back in the Yellowhammer State. He, of course, played at Oklahoma this past season as a graduate transfer from Tuscaloosa. Hurts finished as the runner-up in the 2019 Heisman Trophy voting.

“I think being here and being back in this state is [going] really well. I’m having this opportunity to play in this game and showcase my abilities and show what I’m made of. I’m thankful for it, I’m appreciative of it. And I’m ready to attack it,” Hurts said.

Asked on a follow-up question to compare the Alabama and Oklahoma fanbases, he responded, “I have a lot of respect for both universities. Both have rich tradition, history. I appreciate all the support.”

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The quarterback would later say both programs have “great coaches.”

RELATED: Hurts on Saban: ‘We always had a love for each other … our relationship will never die’

Of the universities, Hurts added, “The appreciation I have for them both, the love I have for them both, it’ll never go away. The way that they’ve accepted me, both schools, not many people can say that they’ve experienced that or they have that … so I’m thankful for it.”

Hurts said that during Senior Bowl Week and in the game on Saturday, he simply wants to “be the best version of” himself. He listed executing, learning and being a “student of the game” as priorities.

The former Tide star was also asked if he has had the opportunity to visit with the outgoing Bama players at the Senior Bowl, his former teammates Jared Mayden, Terrell Lewis, Raekwon Davis and Anfernee Jennings.

“Yes, sir,” Hurts answered. “It’s been well [sic]. Great seeing them. Good to be out there on the practice field with them again. I think they have the same approach I have in terms of maximizing this opportunity.”

RELATED: Bama’s Jared Mayden glad to be reunited with ‘natural leader’ Jalen Hurts for Senior Bowl

Hurts later quipped that he plays with “a boulder” on his shoulder rather than merely “a chip.”

Asked about the reception he expected back in the state of Alabama and what it has been like so far, Hurts commented, “It’s been pretty hectic so far — in a good way. Just being back here, a lot of love. I’m appreciative of it all.”

“I get on the elevator, one of the workers at the hotel we’re staying at — she let me have it in terms of just screaming,” he continued with a smile. “‘Jalen Hurts is really on my elevator,’ just stuff like that. That’s special to me, and I know it won’t be like that forever. I’m just soaking it all in.”

You can watch Hurts’ full interview below:

Media Day followed the Senior Bowl Week introductory press conference that was held Monday evening.

RELATED: Senior Bowl Week kicks off in Mobile as director praises ‘beloved’ Jalen Hurts — ‘He’s come so far’

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

Byrne: Impeachment is nothing to smile about

For three years now, the American people have been forced to endure the efforts by Democrats and the liberal mainstream media to impeach President Trump and remove him from office in the face of his clear electoral victory in 2016. They have tried everything, from a needless special prosecutor investigation, which resulted in nothing, to an Adam Schiff-coached whistleblower who admitted he had no firsthand information and relied on news articles by that same liberal media.

The farce produced just two articles of impeachment, neither of which alleges “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors” as required by the Constitution. An unprecedented and totally partisan process in the House produced nothing that Democrats could even allege is impeachable.

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Then Nancy Pelosi, after insisting for weeks that impeachment couldn’t wait and had to be done by Christmas, held onto the articles, refusing to send them to the Senate as is required. This prolonged the spotlight on her, as the ever-worshipful liberal media gushed over her political brilliance, ignoring the inconvenient fact that her strategy of forcing the Senate to adopt her preferred process for the trial completely failed.

The Constitution is clear. While the House has “the sole Power of Impeachments,” the Senate has “the sole Power to try Impeachments.” And the Constitution clearly states that each house of Congress sets its own rules. Pelosi had no right or power to dictate trial rules to the Senate. Her behavior was unconstitutional and brought embarrassment and dishonor on the House. So, I filed a resolution censoring the speaker for her inappropriate behavior.

Finally, last week as Democrats began to abandon Pelosi’s position, she relented, and the House appointed seven “managers” to present the House’s articles and “case” to the Senate. Led by Schiff, who literally made-up words for the transcript of President Trump’s call to the President of Ukraine in his first day of impeachment “hearings,” and by the bumbling and incompetent Jerry Nadler, the House managers will finally have to behave according to the rules of a truly fair process, presided over by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the competent John Roberts, who will tolerate none of the misbehavior the Democrats repeatedly engaged in as this mess moved through the House.

Pelosi couldn’t stand to lose her spotlight, and, in one last shameful act, had a “signing ceremony” where she and other Democrats smiled and laughed as she pronounced President Trump “impeached forever” and handed out pens. Even some of her adoring fans in the liberal media said she went too far.

What now? The Senate will meet every day except for Sundays beginning at 1:00 p.m. Every senator must attend. They cannot talk or bring electronic devices. They will initially hear the House managers’ “case” for the articles of impeachment, and then the president’s lawyers will finally be allowed to present his case. Be prepared for the House managers to be longwinded and ineffective. Be prepared for the president’s team to be briefer and speak clearly to the essential points of weakness in the articles. Then senators will be allowed to ask questions through Chief Justice Roberts.

What happens next is unclear. Will the Senate dismiss the articles? Will they acquit the president? Will they unnecessarily delay things further by calling witnesses? We don’t know.

But, we do know that not a single Republican voted for these articles in the House and even a few Democrats voted against them. One Democrat changed parties over the vote. We also know there are not nearly enough senators to meet the two-thirds threshold to remove President Trump from office. And we know this will have all been a complete waste of time.

This fall, in the general election, the American people will finally have their say, as the framers of our Constitution intended. I predict Pelosi, Schiff and Nadler won’t be smiling.

U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne is a Republican from Fairhope. He is a 2020 candidate for the U.S. Senate.

8 hours ago

Watch: Jessica Taylor touts ‘humble roots’, takes aim at ‘The Squad’ in first TV ad

Jessica Taylor, an attorney in Prattville seeking the Republican nomination for Alabama’s second congressional district, released her first television advertisement on Tuesday.

The ad, which is titled “My Squad,” is mostly composed of footage and soundbites from Taylor’s viral announcement video that garnered national attention.

The video begins by touting Taylor’s “humble roots,” and the candidate goes on to say she wants “to protect life, the Second Amendment, our borders and President Trump from socialists in the swamp”

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Taylor’s competitors in the March 3 Republican Primary will be former Alabama Attorney General Troy King, former State Representative Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) and Dothan businessman Jeff Coleman.

According to Taylor’s campaign, the spot “will air on broadcast and cable over the next two weeks in the Montgomery media market beginning this Wednesday.”

Predictably in an ad titled “My Squad,” the spot makes references to “The Squad” while displaying images of Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN).

The Squad” is a group of four U.S. Representatives that are new to Congress, female and represent the furthest left wing of the Democratic Party. Cortez and Omar are two members of “The Squad” that have generated particular ire among Republican primary voters.

As a response to “The Squad,” Taylor led the effort to create the “Conservative squad,” which is composed of four female conservative Republicans currently seeking election to the House.

In a statement sent to reporters that accompanied the ad, Taylor said one of her goals in Congress would be to “fight back against radical socialists like AOC and Ilhan Omar.”

The spot also continues to use the language and iconography of basketball, which Taylor grew up playing.

“Alabama, put me in the game!” proclaims Taylor to conclude.

Watch:

10 hours ago

Bama’s Jared Mayden glad to be reunited with ‘natural leader’ Jalen Hurts for Senior Bowl

MOBILE — Reunited and it feels so good. That was the sentiment expressed by one of Jalen Hurts’ former University of Alabama Crimson Tide teammates during the Senior Bowl Week Media Day on Tuesday.

Hurts, of course, played for the Oklahoma Sooners this past season as a graduate transfer from Alabama. He finished as the runner-up in the 2019 Heisman Trophy voting.

He will play for the South Team during Saturday’s Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, as will the Tide’s Jared Mayden, Terrell Lewis, Raekwon Davis and Anfernee Jennings.

As captured by Yellowhammer News, Mayden spoke with reporters during Media Day about how it feels being on the same field — and the same team — as Hurts once again.

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“It means a lot,” Mayden stressed. “Especially since he’s on my team [as opposed to playing against him on the North Team]. I’m glad he’s on my team because Jalen’s a leader, a natural leader. He doesn’t have to try too hard. It just seems like it comes natural to him. I know he’ll probably have some things to say that’ll get everybody ready to play. He did it at Bama; I expect no less from him [now]. So I’m excited to get the opportunity to play with him again.”

If you missed Yellowhammer’s coverage of the start of Senior Bowl Week, read more here.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn