December 20, 2017

Representative Dave Brat (R-Koch Industries) needs to be one of the first representatives we send home in 2018. We know this can happen, because Virginia voters proved turnout can overcome voter suppression and gerrymandering if it is large enough.

To that end, this interview with Katy Tur will be useful for ads and other campaign efforts in that district, especially the part where Representative Mansplainer goes after Katy Tur for asking him a reasonable question.

This was a 12-minute segment with Professor Ayn Rand Incarnate, but the last six minutes or so were instructive. Tur was prepared for him, too.

What follows is a rough transcript which includes a few moments before the video above, but you should watch at least the last minute or so.

TUR: Congressman, it feels like you are relying on this tax cut of the corporations of the wealthy to trickle down. Is that what you are relying on?

BRAT: We were poor until 1776. Until you had capitalism and free markets. If you want to be rich you have to have economic growth. We used to make $1,000 a year and now we make $50,000 a year on average.

TUR: Why is this a tax cut going to corporations? Record profits, record cash stocks. Why give this to the corporations and not to the average american citizen?

BRAT: Because it's better to give tax cuts to corporations than it is to dictators and head of federal government. That's what causes economic growth.

TUR: I'm not talking about dictators or head of governments. I'm talking about American people.

BRAT: We are giving a tax cut to every bracket to the middle class a single mom at home will get over $1,000 back. The #70,000 family with two kids will get $2950. The growth piece is by far the most important. Wages have been flat. Bernie brought that up. He was winning on that. Trump came in and ran on the middle class. Wages have been stagnant for about 30 years.

TUR: We haven't had proposals to how you increase tax cuts for wealthy will help the economy? There is no evidence that that has worked in the past.

BRAT: All the evidence from every Nobel Laureate, you have to go read it. If you read that literature the biggest contributor to economic growth is capital. No debate. The second is probably human capital. The third is technological growth. Those are the three determinants of economic growth in our country's history.

If you want the economy to grow you got to invest in capital, technology and you have to be positive about business. Everybody works for either a small business or corporation. So that's what feeds and pays for government. If that's not growing like in Virginia our economy only grew at 0.6 last time. How do you fund government jobs when the Virginia economy is only growing at 0.6?

TUR: You are relying on tax cut for the corporations and for these corporations to create more jobs and to make paychecks rise and give more money back to their workers. I want to play and i'm sure you see this, a sound byte from a month or two ago. Gary Cohn with a number of CEOs asked are they going to reinvest. Listen.

COHN: Can I ask you all a quick question? If the tax reform bill goes through do you plan to increase your company's capital investment? Just a show of hands.

COHN: Why aren't the other hands up?

TUR: Those are the folks that are creating jobs. How can you say that they are creating jobs when they say they are not creating jobs?

BRAT: I can say it easily because in the entire corpus of economic literature says so. At least 30 data points to do any kind of science. And if you control for other variables you do more. The entire economic literature over the past 50 years it all shows on average if you give corporations an incentive to invest in capital they do so. Billionaires can only have so many boats and houses and whatever. The rest goes into the stock of the company.

TUR: You are trusting that corporations already sitting on a ton of cash, that by giving them more money they're suddenly going to say I want to give this to my worker? Why aren't they doing it now?

They already have a ton of cash, Congressman. Why are you so positive by giving them more money than you are giving the average American voter that that is somehow going to transfer to regular people if it's not already happening? They are already sitting on a ton of cash.

BRAT: They do have a ton of cash so you have to be irrational not to invest that and make more unless the current environment is no good. For the last eight years we just had regulation on regulation so the cash didn't go into the economy. Now the cash is going into the economy. The federal reserve is the best evidence of this. They are raising interest rates for the first time. That tells you for the first time in the last eight years they wouldn't do that. Now they are raising rates. That tells you they have confidence in the underlying economy as well as the stock market. They think it is robust enough to raise interest rates. That shows you businesses will start to put all that cash sitting on the sidelines at rest. That is a terrible thing. We want that invested in the economy in the capital equipment to give workers wage rates. If the average worker, I look at General Motors assembly line, you put capital in the hands of your workers Americans do great things.

TUR: Why not give that capital to the American worker through a tax cut that benefits them more than it benefits the most wealthy people in this country, the wealthiest of the wealthy, top 0.1%? Why not give it directly to them so they can spend and start the economy running again? It is running better than in the past. Why not give money directly? My question to you is this about your donors?

BRAT: If you're familiar with my election, that question is kind of humorous. Let me go back to the economics. Supply and demand. The demand side is the people.

TUR: That wasn't a no.

BRAT: If you're familiar with my election.

TUR: I am familiar with your election. I am also familiar with you saying that you can't add to the deficit and this adds to the deficit.

BRAT: I'm a man of the people back home. My district knows who I am. I was a liberal arts professor. I am one of the few people who got a pay raise when they came up to Congress.

My donor relations is all good but that is not what drives me. What drives me is economic outcomes that help American people. I want to do good for them. I want their kids and the kids I taught for 20 years to have multiple job offers. They search for one they don't have multiple job offers to use god given talents to go out and find the purpose and the passion in their life. That is what I want for these young kids. That is what we are going to deliver today.

TUR: What is median household income of your district?

BRAT: Right about 60.

TUR: We have it at 73,000. What are you making? What is in your bank account right now?

BRAT: In my bank account?

TUR: What tax bracket are you?

BRAT: Well, I got the chart for you here. I will be probably in the 24% bracket. Everybody can look up their rates. I had a guy at Arby's making 20 grand, married and he said how am I going to do this. You get the first 24 grand 0 tax rate. He said that is not true. He said it goes from 10% to 12%. I said absolutely not true. And trust me but wait until you see your paycheck. You pay 0 tax because first $24,000 is not taxed for anybody.

TUR: If we check next year you at 24%.

BRAT: Yeah. What are you at?

TUR: I have to take a look at it. I'm also not a lawmaker. I'm not involved in marking up this bill or selling it to the American people.

Here's a challenge for anyone who got this far. See if you can identify and count Brat's flat-out lies in this segment. It was mind-boggling!

Can you help us out?

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