Live from Music Row, Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – guest host Aaron Gulbransen welcomed Fox contributor and finance guru Liz Peek to the newsmaker line to give her take on the debt ceiling debacle and Janet Yellen’s job.
Gulbransen: On our newsmaker line right now finance guru, Fox News contributor Liz Peek. How are you?
Peek: Good morning. Good morning.
Simon: Hey, Liz. Don’t be depressing with us again. We want upbeat news cause some of us who invested have 401Ks and all the rest.
Peek: I’m sorry about that.
Gulbransen: I’m going to go burn my 401k if that’s gonna happen today. But Liz, I did want to get your thoughts on and I think everybody’s talking about this in every single circle if you’re paying attention to any kind of public policy and especially finance, what did you think of the DeSantis rollout yesterday?
Peek: Obviously, it didn’t go the way he hoped. And who knows why this particular platform crashed, whether there are too many people or whatever. Look, I’d say if I had the choice or the opportunity to do something with Elon Musk, I would leap at the chance.
Elon Musk is, according to one poll I was just looking at, the most popular person in the entire country, (Chuckles) beating everybody else. He’s a genius and frankly, if this cements his feeling or support for Ron DeSantis, that is a huge win for the Florida governor.
This kerfuffle about the glitch or whatever you wanna call it, afterward he went on Fox TV and gave some interviews, it’s going to roll over. It’s not a big deal. And I think, two weeks from now we’ll be talking about something else.
Gulbransen: I think you’re 100 percent right on that. I think if you’re a partisan against DeSantis, it didn’t look good and you’re going to remember it and you’re going to constantly bring it up to ding him on it. If you were undecided about DeSantis or you were for him, I don’t think it really changed the thing.
Simon: But you’d still be undecided, I can promise you that. It wouldn’t throw you over in his camp.
Peek: I think that’s true, you have to hope that voters look at a record and look at the CV. The guy has almost a perfect CV for a Republican candidate, right? Very successful governor. Not just in terms of managing his state, which obviously has attracted enormous inflows of people for pretty good reasons. Also, his CV is extraordinary.
He’s got the veteran thing going for him. He’s a lawyer who worked his way through college. This is not a stupid guy and he will reboot from this unfortunate ding of his rollout. I think on the other side you have to say, step back a moment. Everybody is pounding this guy mercilessly and has been even when he wasn’t in the race. And why is that?
Simon: Hey Liz, can we move over to your terrain, which is money? (Chuckles)
Simon: What happens if there is no budget deal?
Peek: There has to be. At some point, we have to have a debt ceiling agreement. I think the question is how long it takes and how fraught the ending of this controversy is. Unfortunately, this is not such an economic matter.
It’s also political, and I say unfortunately because our nation’s finances really shouldn’t be held hostage by either side. And so, where are we? I think you can make a case that Biden has played his cards very poorly here by resisting negotiating on this. And the American people didn’t like it.
We had a CNN poll that came out two days ago saying 60 percent of the country, including 45 percent of Democrats want there to be cuts to spending tied to an increase in the debt ceiling. That is really powerful. I was surprised by those numbers.
I think they’re right because I think Americans understand the big spending in reaction to a COVID downturn led to inflation, and led to the Federal Reserve hiking rates very aggressively. One of the most aggressive rate hiking sequences in our country’s history.
And that led in turn to a slowdown, an imminent recession, and the failure of free big banks. This is not a good story. And it all really goes back to wanton spending, trillions of dollars of excess spending, particularly I think, at the hands of Democrats. Yes, Trump did it too. But he did it because the economy was briefly in free fall. It was rescued. But then, we didn’t need more spending when Joe Biden took office.
Gulbransen: I’ve asked everybody who is an expert on or an expert or directly involved in it on the show this week, do you think we’re in any real danger of defaulting? Is that a political message or is it real?
Peek: It depends on what you mean by default. I sound like Bill Clinton. There could be a period when the United States will not be able to fund all the obligations of the federal government, but are we going to always pay the interest on our debt? Yes. There are all kinds of ways the treasury can make that happen.
Do they want to start closing down the parks and other things? Remember in 2011, when some of those things happened? People, oh, there were all these terrible stories about people traveling across the country to go to the Vietnam Memorial and only to find it closed because of the government controversy over spending. That could happen again, for sure. I think the idea though, that we’re going to default on our debt specifically, the answer is no. We will not.
Simon: And what do you think about Yellen’s role in all this? She seems sometimes to me as an outsider and a non-economist, she seems like she’s just being a face woman for Biden’s dopiness rather than someone with her own training and abilities.
Peek: I think she has totally basically just shattered any kind of delusions people had about her being a non-political player. I heard something on Bloomberg yesterday. People were saying, oh, the treasury’s not political. You got to be kidding me. First of all, she totally whiffed on inflation.
Remember she was one of the cheerleaders saying, oh, it’s transitory. Oh, it’s really not a problem. Yes. Guess what? It wasn’t transitory. It was a problem. And it really is the reason that now we are facing, as I say, a possible downturn. Janet Yellen, frankly I thought she was always overblown in terms of her reputation.
And now I think she’s really just turned into a sort of political hack. She’s doing all the things that Joe Biden wants her to do in terms of getting the United States to basically give over to globalist institutions more and more of our financial rules and regulations and taxes and so forth. I don’t approve of her. I think she’s done a lousy job.
Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Liz Peek” by Liz Peek.