Michael Faulkender PhD ~ Trump Administration Economist ~ Economic Plan Solves Momentous Problems

Michael Faulkender is the Dean’s Professor of Finance at Maryland Smith. He joined the University of Maryland in 2008 and was the Associate Dean of Master’s Programs in 2017 and 2018. Dr. Faulkender left that role at the beginning of 2019 to serve as the Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the US Department of Treasury. In that role, he advised the Secretary on domestic and international issues that impacted the economy. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he assisted in negotiating the CARES Act and was the senior Treasury official who led the implementation of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). In January, he was awarded the Alexander Hamilton Award for Distinguished Leadership, the highest service award granted at the Department of the Treasury.

His research lies at the intersection of financial economics and public policy. Examples include the job impacts of the PPP, corporate capital structure, risk management, corporate liquidity, and executive compensation. His work has been published in top academic finance journals, received numerous “best paper” awards, and has been cited in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and The New York Times, among others.

Professor Faulkender teaches classes in the MBA and EMBA programs at the Smith School. Professor Faulkender has a PhD in Finance from Northwestern and a Bachelor’s Degree in Managerial Economics from UC Davis. He has also served as a faculty member at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, the Kellogg School at Northwestern University, and the Olin School at Washington University in St. Louis.

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Michael Faulkender PhD ~ Trump Administration Economist ~ Economic Plan Solves Momentous Problems

Originally Recorded on January 11, 2024
Season 2, Episode 232

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Full Episode Transcript

Michael Faulkender PhD ~ Trump Administration Economist ~ Economic Plan Solves Momentous Problems

Mike Lindell: Hello, everyone. Please keep supporting Gene Valentino’s Truth Podcast. We need our voice to get out there far and wide and help save our country.

Narrator: With breaking news and political commentary from a public servant, serial entrepreneur, community leader, philanthropist, and American patriot, and a darn nice guy, it’s time for the Grassroots Truthcast and your host, Gene Valentino.

Gene Valentino: Hi friends, Gene Valentino. Welcome to another episode of Gene Valentino’s Grassroots Truthcast. My guest today is Michael Falkender. He is Dean’s Professor of Finance. He’s with the University of Maryland.

And since 2008, where he had his associate’s dean of master’s programs in 2017 and 2018. Very interesting individual. We’re getting off on a, on a [00:01:00] interview with Michael on issues related to the economy and related to the policies of an economy that have transpired. Since his involvement with the Trump administration a mere three years ago he works as a professor in a university now, teaching, and this is why, Michael, I enjoy having you on is because we get to talk not only about the policies of econo of the Trump administration, but I’d like to know more about how things evolved.

Would you like to introduce yourself and, and where you’re coming from and where you are now and where you’re going? Go

Michael Faulkender: ahead. Go ahead. Happy to. So, as you said, Mike Falkender, I’m a professor of finance at the University of Maryland. I’ve been there since 2008. I oversaw all of the graduate master’s programs in 2017 and 18.

Thought I was going to become a university administrator, and then in late 2017, the Trump administration reached out to me, and I went through an interview process and [00:02:00] ultimately was nominated by the President to be the Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the Department of Treasury. In that role, I served as the Chief Economist directly working for Secretary Mnuchin.

During the pandemic, I was asked by Secretary Mnuchin to lead the implementation of the Paycheck Protection Program, among other activities implementing the CARES Act. At the end of the administration, I went back to the university, but I came on to the America First Policy Institute as well as their chief economist, and I’ve been leading our economic planning efforts here since October of 2022.

Gene Valentino: I’m very interested in the CARES Act, Professor, and what came of that policy. What, what was the benefit of it? How was it presented? I had the impression it was a loan first that kind of morphed into a forgiveness of sorts.

Michael Faulkender: Am I right? Well, not exactly. So the CARES Act, broadly speaking, had five different elements to it.

The overall objective was then recognizing that [00:03:00] we were being hit by a pandemic that we had not faced in this country in more than a hundred years. And that literally the week that the president signed the CARES Act, we had nearly 6 million Americans apply for first time unemployment claims. It was absolutely necessary that the government act exceptionally quickly to support households, make sure that we could replace the wage income of people that were going to temporarily be laid off by the pandemic, ensure that access to their financial wealth was going to be able to take place, try to curtail as much as possible any of the output reductions that were going to arise from locally based stay at home orders.

And also I think one of the things that’s least appreciated about the Paycheck Protection Program is that we needed to relieve the pressure on state based unemployment insurance systems. Just to put that in context, in the worst week of the 2008 2009 financial crisis, 700, 000 Americans applied [00:04:00] for first time unemployment insurance claims.

And the Obama administration recognized that there were There were problems and challenges with the unemployment insurance system at that level of claims. Imagine throwing 10 times the number of claims into that system. And so we needed to do what we could to ensure that as many people as possible stayed employed so that we weren’t stressing these unemployment claims systems that are not.

engineered to handle them. There’s been some interesting academic research showing, for instance, that many of these systems are run on programming languages that were developed 40 to 50 years ago and have not really been updated. They are not scalable, and the backup for them is manual input. And so if you’ve got a system where you have to manually input, manually file for claims during an airborne virus, You are looking at a public health crisis.

And so there was very much a desire for us [00:05:00] to mitigate the challenges to the state based unemployment insurance system by replacing a lot of that income. And that was the genesis of the Paycheck Protection Program, which was one of the five elements of the CARES Act. In your opinion,

Gene Valentino: since the Biden administration began,

I’m concerned about where the economy is and where it’s going and how much of this Act. How much did this act help bolster the economy? My understanding, and I speak from where I’m coming from, Doctor, is that I used to be a county commissioner and for two terms and I was quite involved in economic development.

And I think one of the things government gets right is that they’re providing the necessary incentives to help businesses out in certain ways at certain times. Providing incentives is one thing. I think that’s a good role for government. But [00:06:00] stepping back or stepping out is the other question.

Forgiving debt, like the student loan program, is is an ex Is an extreme example of what I’m trying to make the point on and that is where government then recklessly walks away from any responsibility of a payback or where’s their ROI? Where’s the return on investment for that which government put out there in the first place?

Your comment?

Michael Faulkender: Right, so let me distinguish between the economic assistance that government provided at the onset of the pandemic versus the provisions that came later. So, the CARES Act was passed into law in late March of 2020, and in the second quarter, so April through June of 2020, we saw on an annualized basis about a 32 percent reduction in economic output.

So, the idea that you’re going to come in, provide massive government assistance at a time that ultimately About 12 million [00:07:00] Americans were, or I think it was more like 15 million Americans were unemployed. That’s something that you could argue that government should very quickly step in and do. By the end of 2020, a significant portion of that employment had been returned into the labor force, a significant amount of that economic output had been had been realized.

So we had a 32 percent annualized reduction in economic output in the second quarter, but we had a 33 percent gain in the third quarter. So by the middle of 2021,

So I very much stand by the scale and breadth of what we did in the CARES Act. And let me distinguish that from what Congress did in December of 2020 and then also what Congress and the Biden administration did in March of 2021, the additional 3 [00:08:00] trillion that came in the form of those two components, in my view, was greatly in excess of what was needed.

You know, it’s very different pumping 3 trillion into the economy at the midst of, of What’s, we’re on the verge of potentially a depression versus nearly full recovery and pumping another three trillion into it. And so I’ve had the opportunity to testify to Congress about the inflation that we incurred starting in March of 2021 and very much believe that it’s tied to the excessive amount of government spending that happened right around that time.

Now with regard to the forgiveness in the Paycheck Protection Program, again, the businesses would not have taken on these. The, what we tried to do was find a mechanism to provide support to businesses who were otherwise were going to lay people off. If the workers can’t be productive, the businesses aren’t gonna pay them.

If they don’t pay them, then they’re gonna end up on an unemployment system that can’t handle them. The way to keep people off on employment was for the paychecks to keep flowing, even if the gover, [00:09:00] even if the employers weren’t going to still get much benefit out of those employees, and so we provided them.

And the only way to get that much money out that quickly was to use the banking system, right? You think about that the federal government sent out economic impact payments and those took weeks beyond the amount of time it took for us to get the Paycheck Protection Program up and running. And those were weeks that we could not stand to wait for.

So the banking system was the only way to get it out there quickly. You had to use existing infrastructure. And that means banks doing what they know how to do, which is loans. And then what we said is if you do these loans and people use the money as the Congress intends, we will forgive those loans, essentially turning loans into a grant.

But from the get go, the only reason these businesses took those loans was because they knew that if they followed the requirements, they would be forgiven. That’s vastly different to somebody voluntarily taking out a [00:10:00] student loan is not to keep them employed during a pandemic, but is to permanently improve their income capacity over their lifetime.

Student loans are a loan because the primary beneficiary is the student borrower, and they are going to be in a position to pay back that loan because they’re going to realize income improvements from the skill set that they attained from college. And so when the Biden administration started making parallels between student loan forgiveness and Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness, I was aghast.

I wrote a Wall Street Journal op ed where I called out the, the foolishness and the You know, the outrage that I, that I felt at making any comparisons between a program that we put out there to save lives during a pandemic versus student loans that are meant to improve individuals and their career opportunities.

We’re talking

Gene Valentino: with Michael [00:11:00] Falconer, professor of Finance, university of Maryland, and Chief Economist at America First Policy Institute. He’s also the former Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy, which is what he’s referring to now at the United States Department of Treasury, on and in and around the Trump administration.

We’re taking a break. We’ll be back right after this.

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Gene Valentino: friends. Welcome back to our second half of our episode here on Grassroots Truthcast. Again, we’re with Dr. Michael Falkender, Professor of Finance, University of Maryland, Chief Economist, and what had me most interested was his grab into the Trump administration kind of alleviated some of his plans as a university administrator, the Trump administrator brought him in, Trump administration brought him in to work as a chief economist, assisting and doctor, what I find most interesting.

In simple language, compare the economic policies and implementations during the [00:13:00] Trump administration from those now in the last three and a half years under the Biden administration, if you would.

Michael Faulkender: Sure. So when I think about an America First approach to the economy, it very much is unleashing American entrepreneurial spirit.

It puts It puts faith in the American people and American industry to serve their fellow Americans rather than a belief in government. And so when I look at the current administration, what I see is despite their rhetoric, it’s a top down central planning approach to the economy where they pick winners and losers.

So it’s, it’s high taxes, high regulation, where they tell you what kind of car you can drive, what kind of stove you can use. Whether you can work part time or full time, how many hours a week is going to be classified as what, it really does operate under the belief that the government central planners are in a better position to make decisions for you than yourself.

Whereas, under the Trump administration, under an [00:14:00] America First administration, in the next administration, it’s very much about returning to a system where we Stop the spending. It’s the, the inflation that we realized during the first three years of the Biden administration has come in at nearly 18%.

Over the first three years of the Trump administration, it was around 6%. So a tripling of the price increases, the American people are suffering from a reduction in the purchasing power of their wages and of their earnings, because when government tells you what to do and how to do it, you have a lot of time and effort that goes towards paperwork and compliance rather than actually increasing the supply of goods and services.

So what we want is to stop the spending the Washington directed economy, return power to the people through deregulation, unleash American energy abundance so that American Consumers are able to purchase energy that was produced here in the United States rather than importing it from [00:15:00] abroad. We want to extend pro growth tax reform, operate with sound money, and engage in trade practices that are reciprocal around the world.

So those are the themes that we would have in a, in an In the next America Firster administration, because it very much recognizes that if you’re gonna serve a diverse heterogeneous population of 330 million here in the United States, it’s individuals helping their neighbors. It’s Americans serving their fellow American that are better going to serve those needs of this diverse population than a one size fits all central planning approach coming outta the Biden administration.

Gene Valentino: What am I missing? I don’t see how we could have stumbled along. We’ve, we’ve given up on, when are we going to restart American manufacturing? When are we going to bring supply economics back into our own country and not rely all of our supply from [00:16:00] foreign? When are we going to restart re drilling? To, which is the real initial step that President Trump talks about in bringing in, in restarting the economy.

Drill, baby, drill, he says, but without being political, it’s so in your face obvious. These elements in the economy are triggering events that we’ve walked away from. We’ve allowed the rest of the world to basically handcuff us and control our ability to produce. Your comment.

Michael Faulkender: You know, I was on Larry Kudlow’s show about a year and a half ago, and he asked me if I could only do one thing to impact the economy, what would it be?

And it would be to end the Biden administration’s war on American energy because energy costs permeate the entire economy. It goes into the production of every good. It goes into the transportation and provision of those goods and services, as well as the direct costs that Americans face from heating their homes to [00:17:00] driving their cars.

We absolutely need to unleash American energy. And while oil production in the United States has finally returned to the levels it was at the beginning of the pandemic, I’ll remind people that while the rest of the economy only took a year to recover from the pandemic, energy production has taken three years.

And in that time, our population has grown. We’ve only become in need of More energy usage, not less. And so while we have returned to pre pandemic levels of production, our needs for energy have gotten larger. And so we have not really returned to energy independence, let alone energy abundance. And what’s stopping us from doing that?

It’s exactly the things you just mentioned. It’s that we have a permitting process that makes it exceptionally difficult. Look at how much trouble it was to try to build the Keystone Pipeline. To bring oil from the Canadian sands down to refining facilities here in the United States. Look at the reductions in leases of federal land where there are [00:18:00] proven reserves of oil and gas.

Look at the fact that we haven’t reformed the permitting process to actually bring the ener, the electricity transmission lines that we are going to need for. You know, this is one of the things that I don’t understand about the Biden administration’s energy policy, which is they want to move us entirely towards electricity based appliances and cars, and yet there’s no effort to upgrade the transmission grid that would actually provide all that energy.

And they’re moving us from low cost, reliable sources of energy to high cost, unreliable sources of energy, and then wonder where the inflation’s coming from. So it’s an, the approach is entirely inconsistent with what they say their achieve, their, their goals are that they’re trying to achieve. It looks more like a justification for authority vested with them rather than actually a policy that will make things less expensive and make the environment better.

Gene Valentino: Correct me if I’m wrong, but to me, I [00:19:00] see personalities being put before principles. I see well, it should be principles before personalities. I see, it’s so in your face now, whether you want to talk about the border, the economy, inflation, the cost of goods everything. Their work, it’s almost as if they’re intentionally moving in a direction to hurt capitalism in a democratic constitutional republic.

Your comment?

Michael Faulkender: I wouldn’t agree with you that the objective seems to move away from capitalism. There seems to be an embrace of a more European type socialism, despite the fact that Europe has lower. output for, you know, per citizen, obviously overall lower output. They have higher you know, rates of, of poverty than we have here in the United States.

So I don’t know why we would want to abandon [00:20:00] the system that has allowed us to be the greatest nation in the history of the world and move towards something that has lower standards of living for the American people. But yet, That’s because the objective doesn’t seem to be improving the lives of the American people, it seems to be the centralization of power in the hands of a few elite.

And so, you know, one of the things that I’ve observed over time is that no matter what they say their objective is, whether it’s reducing poverty, whether it’s improving the environment, whether it’s engaging in social justice, whether it’s improving public health, No matter what they say the objective is, the solution for them is always the same.

Give them more power, give them more authority, allow them to spend more money, and it seems like the stated objective is just the latest marketing trend.

Gene Valentino: I try so hard to distinguish between a conversation with people [00:21:00] on a political level versus an economic level, but in this case with you, sir, I see them as so inextricably interconnected.

You can, we have got to get a government assistance now to right the ship. The debt alone and the cost of that debt has one impact. You’ve got to create more jobs, you’ve got to create the free flow of jobs a reduction, an increase to the money supply in the sense that it’s being used to, to incentivize.

Entrepreneurs going out and doing it on its own as opposed to what you said earlier, the top down theory where everything should be managed by the elitists at the top, as if to suggest that the entrepreneur John Q and Jane Q public can’t handle it, let the big state handle it for you. What do you

Michael Faulkender: think?

Yeah, that seems to be the thing. It very much, I think, is a difference in values. You know, it’s do you [00:22:00] think that individual Americans, individual ingenuity, and entrepreneurial activity are the source of economic growth, economic dynamism, and shared prosperity? Or do you think it’s government central planners?

And it seems to me that for many on the left, the, the evidence, the data is irrelevant. It’s just become a religion. And so you couple the, the socialist religion within the, the green environmental religion, and that seems to be, to me, what motivates the left these days. And they’re looking to use economic power to realize this, this agenda, you know?

And so when I look at the economic challenges that we have, and one of the reasons I really appreciate being part of the America First Policy Institute is because our mission goes beyond just the economy. We have 20 different research centers that have You know, all different sorts of, of policy objectives associated with them because we recognize how intertwined they [00:23:00] are.

You know, how can you talk about what’s best in education if you don’t think about what the economic implications of it are? You know, you think about. You think about the role of the family, you think about the impact of fatherhood and the role that it has on setting children on a path to self sufficiency and economic contribution to their nation.

And so, you know, you have to, you have to think about all of these issues all at the same time. Look at also the way that the. Your economic might allows you to realize national security objectives, right? And so the economy is so intertwined with almost every other national and social issue that we have here in the United States.

And so that’s why I think it naturally lends to a conversation about the economy, resulting in. Policy discussions, conversations about social policy, conversations about national security. You know, back to [00:24:00] energy, I, I was saying to a number of people, you know, a year and a half, two years ago, that the biggest economic challenge facing the United States was inflation.

The biggest national security challenge was the. Was the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the solution to both of ’em was $40 oil. Right. You know, that’s right. If you, if you had $40 oil, you wouldn’t have seen the inflation permeated the entire, you know, bundle of goods and services that people purchased.

But you also would not have enriched Vladimir Putin to the point that he could afford his incursion into the Ukraine. And so, or

Gene Valentino: the, or maybe the incursion into the southern

Michael Faulkender: border. Well, then we got that one as well. Yes. And so all of these issues are so intertwined with each other, you know, like you said, the issues on the southern border impact employment, they impact poverty, they impact the ability of those with just a high school diploma to find meaningful labor that provides a standard of living that’s [00:25:00] worthy of the work and effort that they put in every day.

All of these issues are intertwined with each other. And again, that’s why working in a place like the American First Policy Institute, where we have the breadth of research centers, understanding how these different policy decisions intersect with each other is essential. I think there

Gene Valentino: you can an economic strategy has to bring them all together there.

You can’t work in a vacuum. Speaking of vacuums, that’s, that’s what seems to have happened in the last three years. Do you sense that there is something more formidable and less obvious in one sense, with Economists or strategists behind the, I’ll just say it, behind Joe Biden, behind the Biden administration that are pulling his strings.

I can’t imagine a man being so oblivious and to so many different issues in the economy. Do nothing but take us down. We must [00:26:00] move on something. We can’t wait till November, 2024. I really believe things need to happen sooner. Just by the way, the clock is rolling up debt, increasing inflation. I, well, to that point, you see a recession coming

Michael Faulkender: well in, in terms of the economists.

You know, lemme just say, when I served as assistant secretary, I always thought of myself as an economist first and a policymaker second. Whereas the group that I see, the Biden administration has built, they’re, they’re politicians first and economists second. And so I think that they have allowed their political ambitions to deter from advising the president on, on good economics.

When it comes to my forecast of of the economy. You know, the way I’ve been describing it to people recently is that it feels like there are two economies right now. There’s the private sector economy that’s been struggling [00:27:00] with high interest rates, with the fact that wages have not kept up with inflation, with the fact that many households have exhausted the savings that they built up during the pandemic and that credit card debt.

has hit in excess of a trillion dollars for the first time in America’s history. So there seems to be some struggles on the part of the private sector. You’re not seeing much in terms of business investment. Certainly residential real estate investment has been curtailed by the high interest rates. But at the same time, you have the federal government running 2 trillion annual budget deficits, throwing massive amounts of government spending into the economy.

So when you look at the jobs reports for the last number of months, what are the leading hiring sectors? It’s government, it’s social assistance, it’s healthcare, which is largely financed by government, and then there’s been a number of construction jobs, which I think a lot of it is going to implement the CHIPS Act and the infrastructure bill.

And you can do that temporarily. But we cannot [00:28:00] afford to run 2 trillion budget deficits as far as the eye can see, which is what the Congressional Budget Office is currently forecasting, and expect that that’s not going to continue to have negative implications for the interest rate environment, for the money supply, and for inflation.

So this is unsustainable, but yet it’s this growth in government spending and government jobs that seems to be temporarily Inflation, but as you and I both know, anything that’s unsustainable is going to at some point have to stop. And so what we need to do is hopefully get this economy back towards private sector driven, sustainable growth, and change policies to get us there before a failure in the bond market or some other calamity in the government’s ability to continue issuing this amount of debt happens, and so I testified in front of the.

House Ways and Means Committee about how costly this debt service is to our nation. And [00:29:00] while there’s some ability to continue raising the amount of debt that the federal government’s issuing, it’s not unlimited. And I don’t, as I said in one of the hearings, I testified, I don’t wanna find out where the limit is because finding out that limit is catastrophic.

Gene Valentino: So therefore, we don’t know what the threshold would be for a recession in 2024.

Michael Faulkender: If, if government keeps spending at the clip they’re doing, they may be able to keep us out of a recession because the downturn in the private sector side of the economy may be offset by this continued government. But that’s not long term sustainable.

It’s not going to generate high growth, and it certainly isn’t going to generate wage increases that keep up with inflation. So, if your prescription is stagflation, then by dynamics is your key. But if what you actually want is sustainable, affordable growth, Then we need to move back to a model that’s private sector driven, which means unleashing American energy, moving power back to the people through deregulation, cutting government [00:30:00] spending and, and elongating the pro growth tax reform as long as well as sound money and reciprocal trade that’s going to, you know, that are the core of an America first economic agenda.

I think

Gene Valentino: those are the priorities. You start somewhere and you eat that elephant one bite at a time. Although I would say that the recent increase, rise in the Dow, S& P and Nasdaq is a temporary patch on the tire. I think it’s federal money. Like you said, giving us an artificial sense of security in our valuations.

But if the truth be known, we’re coming home with 15 to 20 percent less disposable money every day, every week. But, hey, my stock, my, my stocks are doing just great. Well, you know, if you look deeper into it, you’ll see the federal government continues to go in deeper in debt. I’ve heard 34 trillion is the recent number, and frankly, I’m not [00:31:00] surprised.

Are you?

Michael Faulkender: No, so you’re correct that government continues to run these deficits. The other thing is that the market seems to be pricing, if you look at the current bond market, seems to be pricing in seven rate cuts approximately this calendar year. Now, the most recent economic projections of the Federal Open Market Committee are only calling for potentially three rate cuts this year, And yet the market somehow is inferring seven.

And so, you know, being a finance professor, if, if I cut my discount rate by nearly 2%, right, that’s going to increase valuations by a lot more than 2%. And so that partially explains why we’re seeing this uptick in the stock market. Every, there seems to be this Goldilocks view that We’re going to have inflation under control despite these 2 trillion budget deficits, and that the Fed is going to engage in massive rate reductions.

I can’t understand where the rate reductions are coming from unless you assume one of two scenarios. Number one, we enter into [00:32:00] a recession, and that’ll lead the Fed to lower interest rates, but then again, valuations don’t seem to be pricing in a recession. Or two, the Fed so much wants Joe Biden to be reelected that they come in and they alter monetary policy in a way to provide for an interest rate environment that’s more appealing and that you can potentially improve the president’s numbers, polling numbers on the economy.

I certainly hope that the governors at the Federal Reserve act as the independent governors they’re supposed to be and that they engage in a professional, unbiased view of the economy and that they not. Impose their, their political ideology or their political desires onto the exercise of monetary policy.

Because I really struggle to see how, at least the current data justifies seven rate cuts this year like the market is calling for. I mean, the Fed has set a target of an average inflation rate of 2%. Well, we have not seen 2 percent [00:33:00] inflation since the very beginning of 2021. So if you’re going to get to an average of 2%, you need inflation to be below 2 percent for a prolonged period of time.

And yet we’re, you know, according to the recent numbers that came out, we’re still at nearly three and a half. I don’t see how that justifies massive rate reductions this year. And yet it’s those expectations of rate reductions that seem to be driving the recent uptick in the stock market. And I

Gene Valentino: couldn’t agree with you more.

And I also think it’s, for those buying into that, it’s a false sense of security and it’s not long lasting and it doesn’t have a long pathway. I can’t see beyond 2024 where this is going to have any value at all. Debt’s only going to go up and limitations will increase, causing us to be paying more taxes just to cover some of these extra expenses.

Folks, we’re talking. On our current trajectory.

Michael Faulkender: On our current trajectory. Yes sir. If we get a change in leadership this year, we [00:34:00] could change our trajectory and we need not realize that path of much higher debt levels, much higher interest payments. We have got to get a leader in here who is going to get the spending under control so that we don’t continue having two trillion dollar a year budget

Gene Valentino: deficits.

So glad you brought that up. Would you want to share any opportunity that may be forthcoming for you if we see another Trump administration?

Michael Faulkender: I, as Chief Economist here at AFPI, I’m happy to advise any presidential candidate that’s seeking to implement America First policy, economic policies, and if I were so blessed to be approached by the next administration and they’d like to call upon me, I would very much welcome the opportunity to once again serve the American people.

Gene Valentino: Folks, Dr. Falkender’s being way too kind. He’s one of the 25 Marilyn Smith professors named in the top 2 percent worldwide in terms of academic and [00:35:00] professorial capability and I commend you for that. for being in that elite group of folks. That’s a hell of an honor and I’m proud of you for being in that category.

You stand apart. I hope, I hope you are considered. Your limited time with me today has certainly given me comfort and insight knowing that a good economic plan can solve this momentous problem. The debt is out of control. I think we both agree spending is the biggest thing that government does poorly.

And we, and if we just put an anchor around that, And we’ve seen a lot of uprisings in this, in the Congress this last year, mostly from the Republicans because of this concern about how we’re spending money. Even with some of the Republican leadership, we were it was, it was coming into question.

So it’s not a political issue to me, doctor. It’s, it’s a matter of good, sound economic sense, not being impacted by political [00:36:00] preference or ideology. Thank you for joining me today. Any

Michael Faulkender: parting words? It was great to be with you and I hope this is an opportunity for your audience to get a sense of the very contrasting economic plans and economic approaches that are on the ballot in November.

Gene Valentino: Give us your website and any contact information you choose to offer so that any economic questions or questions of substance can

Michael Faulkender: be addressed with you. Sure, so you can reach us at AmericanFirstPolicyInstitute. com, and you can also find us at A1Policy. Dr.

Gene Valentino: Michael Falkender, Ph. D. and a professor of finance at the University of Maryland, chief economist at the American First Policy Institute, as he said.

But most importantly, he’s on the show today because of his grassroots experiences with, as Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy with the United States Treasury, Department of Treasury, [00:37:00] in the Trump administration. And I’d be honored to have you back. Again, sir, so that we can follow up. Maybe we’ll target one or two other topics in these 30 minute segments and stay focused.

Would you like to do that?

Michael Faulkender: I would. Thanks for the opportunity. It was great to be with you and I hope your audience benefits from seeing what what the Return to an America First economic agenda would look like.

Gene Valentino: Thank you, Dr. Falkender. And thank you, folks, for joining us on another episode of the Grassroots Truthcast.

We’ll see you back real soon.

Narrator: Thanks for joining us for Gene Valentino’s Grassroots Truthcast. Be sure to like and subscribe and God bless America.