‘Your World’ on Build Back Better and inflation

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This is a rush transcript of “Your World with Neil Cavuto” on February 1, 2022. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), MINORITY LEADER: We’re fighting hard for Build Back Better. There are lots of provisions in that bill that are very important, many of which Senator Manchin supports, such as, say, drug pricing.

And so we are continuing to work on it.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): Working Americans and their families are being hammered by the worst inflation in 40 years. And Washington Democrats own it.


CHARLES PAYNE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Inflation raging, and now so is the debate over it.

Democrats push for more D.C. spending. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell tearing into attempts to revive any piece of that massive social spending bill today.

We will talk with Senate Minority Whip John Thune in just a moment about where this is all heading.

Welcome, everyone. I’m Charles Payne, in for Neil Cavuto. And this is YOUR WORLD.

First to Chad Pergram on Capitol Hill with the very latest — Chad.


Well, Democrats need to win after stumbling on voting legislation. And despite what Chuck Schumer says, Build Back Better is in the same place as it was in December. Democrat Joe Manchin says the original bill is dead.


QUESTION: Can you just clarify your remarks on Build Back Better? You’re open to looking at the…

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): There’s no formal talks going on now.


PERGRAM: Build Back Better could become build back broken up.

The GOP is making a preemptive strike.


MCCONNELL: And now Washington Democrats are trying again to revive the talk of yet another, another reckless bout of spending this year.

American families are already hurting enough. They need that bad idea to stay buried.


PERGRAM: Progressives want the Senate to pass the bill before President Biden’s State of the Union speech. That’s March 1. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi cautioned that early March is — quote — “aspirational.”

The left is prepping to accept a lot less compared to what the House approved in December.


THOMAS KAHN, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY: I think people want to move. We can get this over with.

And, frankly, I think even the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, at this point, they just want to get whatever they can.


PERGRAM: Pelosi is hinting it’s time to move on to avoiding a government shutdown later this month. And Pelosi is also trained on a bill to help the U.S. compete with China. That’s on the floor later this week — Charles.

PAYNE: Chad, thank you very much.

A Democratic think tank reportedly urging the party to go for a — quote — “skinny” Build Back Better plan.

So, would any Republicans support that?

With me now, Senate Minority Whip John Thune, Republican from South Dakota.

By the way, we did call Majority Whip Dick Durbin. And he’s welcome any time.


SEN. JOHN THUNE (R-SD): Sure he is.


PAYNE: Senator, let’s start with this skinny version of it.

Obviously, Senator Manchin appears to be in the driver’s seat there. Is there anything that he has already listed as something he would be favorable toward that Republicans might also agree to?

THUNE: I don’t believe so, Charles.

I think the — however you try and label us, if you slap a lipstick on it, it’s still a pig. It’s still a bloated thing that would exacerbate the inflationary problem, the crisis that we’re already seeing in the country. The textbook definition of inflation is too many dollars chasing too few goods.

And so the Democrats talk about spending at one time up to $5 trillion, most of which would be borrowed, and then finance some of it with tax increases, which would also be harmful to inflation. Trying to break it down and pass it in pieces doesn’t make it any better. It’s still wasteful spending at a time when we really ought to be focused on dealing with the issues that are front and center for the American people.

And that is trying to get inflation under control, so that the things that they’re buying in their daily lives aren’t costing so much that they’re exceeding the amount of pay increases they may be getting year to year.

PAYNE: No, it’s excruciatingly painful. We know that.

And yet, though, every time President Biden speaks, he says Build Back Better would actually bring inflation down. What do you say to that?

THUNE: Right.

And I have no idea where that’s coming from. And, like I said, it’s economics 101. And the idea that you could flood the zone with more spending — and, honestly, Charles, if you think about it, the $2 trillion bill that was passed last March is really, I think, what has fueled the inflationary crisis that we have in this country today.

And that was too much spending at the time. And this is just compounding that problem. So it’s — they can say what they want, but they’re going to have to — it’s going to have to be phony math for them to suggest that in any way possible that you can put more dollars out there and have it not add to the inflationary problem.

PAYNE: Back in the day, they used to call it voodoo economics. I think that’s the best way to describe it.


PAYNE: Senator, I’d like you to listen to some remarks about inflation, the same topic, from New York Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez. And then I want to get your reaction.

Take a listen.



REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): A lot of these price increases are potentially due to just straight price-gouging by corporations.

If we say we’re helping working people too much, and say that the cause of this is, oh, it’s because we provided too much assistance during the American Rescue Plan, stimulus checks were too generous, that is why we are dealing with the problems that we’re dealing with now, what that’s going to result in is a pullback in the assistance that some families need the most right now.


PAYNE: So, obviously, she’s countering what you’re saying.

I would also bring up, though, some of these programs are so extraordinarily wide-ranging. The child tax credit went to folks, households of $400,000. Do you think there was an overreach on the Democrats’ part to sort of widen the net of people who were becoming accustomed or who gained government assistance?

Because it’s nonsensical that someone in a household of $400,000 would be getting these kinds of checks from the government.

THUNE: Right.

And I think that you what you heard her articulating is a far left ideology. But my experience here, Charles, is when Democrats get power in Washington, they grow government and they spend money. That’s what they do.

And this is a perfect example of that. And, yes, we doubled the child tax credit, the 2017 tax law, during the pandemic, and they took it up to $3,600 if you’re — if you got kids under 6 years old, and widened the income bracket, so that there are more people eligible for it.

Obviously, that flooded the zone, as I said earlier, with a lot of money out there. And all that does is fuels inflation. So — and, in the end, if you get inflation growing faster than wage increases, then everybody comes out net-net loser.

So, her math, her economics breaks down pretty quickly.

PAYNE: What about this deflection, pointing a finger at business?

Listen, we know, after maybe a hurricane there may be a local gas station or two that may take advantage, but we haven’t seen any sort of real evidence of large corporations and massive price-gouging. In fact, that’s one of the reasons we are embracing capitalism in this country. Yet, they’re really doubling, tripling, quadrupling down on this, not just AOC, but President Biden himself.

I think it’s a dangerous, slippery slope.

THUNE: It is.

And when you start bashing businesses — the businesses obviously create jobs in this country. And there are lots of good-paying jobs available right now, and partly because, again, you have got a work force shortage right now. People are having to pay more for labor. So you’re getting people who have better opportunities to make money in this economy.

But to suggest, I guess, that everything falls on business is a fairly typical — it’s kind of a throwaway Democrat line. But, in the end, it pits you against the very people that are going to help us grow the economy and create jobs and make the investments that are necessary to raise the standard of living and the quality of life for everybody in this country.

And so they — it’s — I get it. I mean, it’s part of their philosophy. But as I said earlier, I have been around here a long time. And what Democrats do is, they want to grow government, and instead of growing the private economy, and that’s just a difference of opinion that we have.

PAYNE: Yes, you could argue that this might be the greatest jobs market in the history. And that’s why 4.3 million people quit last month, and 47 million quit last year.

Meanwhile, President Biden meeting with top Republican and Democrats on the Judiciary Committee today, this, of course, for the upcoming Supreme Court vacancy.

Now, of the names that are being floated out there, are there any that have gotten your attention, any that you like? Or do you just see a really fierce fight ahead?

THUNE: I think it’ll probably be a fairly fierce fight, because there isn’t anybody they’re going to nominate who isn’t going to come, essentially, from the far left.

I mean, these are going to be people whose judicial philosophy is very different than ours. And ours is, basically, we want someone who’s going to call balls and strikes, is going to apply the Constitution and the law in a fair and even-handed way and be impartial.

And they believe in legislating and moving their agenda from the bench. And so I suspect that it’s going to be very hard to find Republicans. There will be some maybe, perhaps, depending on who the nominee is. We don’t know that yet. We have heard some names mentioned.

And they are people who are pretty qualified, but they’re also very, very liberal. And so, at least for me, it always comes down to judicial philosophy and what I want to see in somebody on the Supreme Court.

PAYNE: Right.

THUNE: And I think that’s where most of our members will come down.

PAYNE: Are you prepared for allegations of racism?

THUNE: I expect that we will get that. We’re getting it on everything else right now.

It’s — they’re trying to manufacture crises, like they did with Georgia, some of the Georgia election laws, to create this impression that every Republican is Jim Crow 2.0. And, again, it’s just — it’s kind of the worst kind of demagoguery.


THUNE: It’s propaganda of the worst kind, but that’s what they are — have been attempting to do on other issues. So I would expect that they will try and extend that to whatever discussion we have about the Supreme Court.

But I can tell you this. republicans are going to evaluate, give a thorough, fair vetting to whatever nominee they sent up here. We will be respectful, unlike the way the Democrats were when Kavanaugh was being processed up here by the Senate.

But we’re going to we’re going to look at the temperament, judicial qualifications, and, frankly, judicial philosophy.

PAYNE: Right.

THUNE: And I think those are the issues that are going to determine the outcome, where Republicans are, at least, with respect to the potential nominee.

PAYNE: Right.

So, the Senate working on a bipartisan Russia sanctions bill. We’re told, a lot of this would happen after an invasion. Do you — not before. Do you agree with this?

THUNE: Well, I think anything you want to do, you want to do preemptively.

The whole objective of most of these things is to deter bad behavior. And we had an opportunity. We had a vote a few weeks ago to sanction the Putin pipeline, and the administration lobbied ferociously to keep Democrats in line. And they defeated it. We actually could have done something meaningful on energy, which is something that, of course, is very critical to Russia’s economy.

And it would have sent a powerful message, I think, to Putin and his allies, and also to our allies in Ukraine.


THUNE: Unfortunately, Democrats took it down.

So, yes, thinking that you can wait until he goes in and then you can — then all of a sudden we will pounce, I think, misses the point. If you want to deter bad behavior, you take those steps earlier, rather than later. And we missed a golden opportunity a few weeks back.

PAYNE: Senator Thune, I want to thank you for your time. You have been very generous. And it’s always fantastic to have these conversations with you.

Thank you.

THUNE: Thanks, Charles. Good being with you.

PAYNE: So, is every state becoming a border state? A growing number of lawmakers demanding that those migrant flights be shut down. What the White House is saying.

And a crime wave hitting the nation’s capital, as the hunt is on for a suspect in yet another deadly shooting. What will put a stop to this? Ted Williams on what and who we should be addressing next.


PAYNE: To the backlash over the border, a growing number of lawmakers demanding an end to those secret migrant flights.

FOX News White House correspondent Jacqui Heinrich has the latest — Jacqui.


Yes, the White House maintains that there are no secret flights happening. And the video that caused such a stir they say shows unaccompanied minors being transported as part of the regular process to either a relative or a sponsor.

But House Republicans, they do not want any part of it, especially those from New York, where that video was taken.

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik telling the president to stop transporting illegal immigrants by plane or any other method to New York state, also demanding to know the current location and status of each migrant that was transferred, writing: “The New Yorkers we represent are entitled to know how your failure to address the crisis at our Southern border continues to impact their communities and day-to-day lives.”

And no reaction yet from the White House, but, just yesterday, Republican governors left their meeting with the president less than satisfied over his answers on immigration.


GOV. DOUG DUCEY (R-AZ): He didn’t touch on the flights that we are also concerned about.

And why I say he’s so disconnected, he was very generous with his time. But he went on and on about the good old days, about when he and Lindsey Graham were trying to solve immigration when they were both senators.


HEINRICH: House Republicans also won’t let the president forget about this promise he made for what’s now a long-awaited report on whether Border Patrol agents were in fact whipping migrants after all in Del Rio, Texas.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: People being strapped, it’s outrageous. I promise you, those people will pay. They will be — there’s an investigation under way now, and there will be consequences.


HEINRICH: A group of House Republican lawmakers telling the president in a letter: “According to reports, one DHS officials speaking under condition of anonymity said they doubt the current administration will release this report on the horse patrol incident because it makes the administration look terrible.”

They are pressing for that report to come out and they want answers yesterday, Charles.

PAYNE: Thank you, Jacqui, very much.

I want to get right to this with my next guest, former acting ICE Director Ron Vitiello.

Ron, let’s just start with these flights that are now — the Biden administration pushing back on. I should note, Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida, also said there were 70 secret flights last summer just into Jacksonville alone.

We’re not supposed to believe our lying eyes, I guess, on these, huh?

RON VITIELLO, FORMER ACTING U.S. IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT DIRECTOR: Yes, don’t believe the facts or what you see with your own eyes. Very well put.

So we have been talking about these flights since the spring. And if it is, in fact, unaccompanied minors who are being sent to shelters or to sponsors or family in the United States, why can’t the administration just publish the manifests to the states that they’re going to or to those airports, right?

Those flights don’t take off whenever they want. They don’t land whenever they want. That’s all very regimented. Those contractors that are employed by ICE to bring those people to those destinations have to file flight plans. They have to get permission to take off and land at airports.

Why can’t they just put that out so that the governors, members of the House can see where these flights are going and what the volume is? Why are they not doing that, even though we have all been talking about it since at least the spring, and all they have got to do is be a little bit more transparent, so they can stop having this conversation about what might or might not be secret flights?

But they could just tell everybody what’s going on. The reason they don’t want to talk about it, they would have to expose the volume of activity that’s going on, on the border that’s been created by the lack of coherent policy at the beginning of this administration.

PAYNE: Right.

A paper from — just recently from Heritage brings up a point, because as I’m watching these videos, and the one thing that always stands out are these young, strapping young men, look like they may be in their 20s, that are the type of people you need to rebuild your nation, wherever you’re coming from.

And they’re saying that the Biden administration, by failing to detain or remove single adult males, the administration for moving the last disincentive to illegal immigration. Do you agree with that statement?

VITIELLO: It’s all about incentives and disincentives. And it’s absolutely right.

If you — if people come to the border and are released en masse all over the United States, they’re going to send home for more of their friends, more of than relatives. It’s going to encourage more people to come.

So, if you look at what’s going on in the policy side, if you look at what’s going on operationally, in which the Border Patrol and CBP are distracted by the care and comfort mission and the processing, which lets a lot of people come to the border and get away — they aren’t even encountered by the Border Patrol — many of the ones that are being encountered are being released.

And so you’re encouraging people from all over the globe to come to the border now. On top of that, the rhetoric around immigration enforcement inside of the United States is all backwards too, because the secretary himself said that they’re not going to go after people in the country just because they’re here illegally.

Well, that’s an incentive. If you make it to a place like New York City or Chicago, you know that no one’s looking for you.

PAYNE: So, we saw this video. I suspect everyone’s seen this video with the border agents and leadership. And, obviously, there’s a tremendous amount of tension there. What’s going on?

VITIELLO: Well, they recognize that the policies that were in place before this administration have been removed. They watched in real time the border implode, literally.

We have record numbers of activity, when, in fact, the beginning of January last year, we had record lows of activity at the Southwest border because the policies that were in place disincentivized people from coming in large numbers. And those agents are frustrated because that traffic that comes to them, those people that they have to process, they can’t walk away from that. They’re stuck.

That lays at their feet until it’s taken care of.

PAYNE: Ron, speaking of frustration, we just started Jacqui mention this report that’s due on the so-called horse incident. Listen, I got to tell you, when the president of the United States accuses an agency like the Border Patrol agency of actually strapping, to borrow his words, that’s a serious, serious charge.

How important is it for the White House to come out with this response and clear the air on this?

VITIELLO: Yes, they need to get the facts out, because I think the facts are going to support what the agents did. The reporter who took that still photographs said that no one was injured, it wasn’t an assault.

But yet you had the top three in the chain of command running down to Border Patrol and say that they were going to pay, that they were going to have consequences. So that’s bad enough, right? Those three people that make those statements, they’re all lawyers. They’re law school graduates.

If you wear the uniform of this country, you still have the right to due process. And, frankly, the rhetoric that went out around that incident wasn’t due process.


VITIELLO: They were condemned at the beginning. And that’s wrong.

PAYNE: Yes. I mean, as an American, we would hate to even believe something like that was true. So they need to clear the air, for sure.

Ron, thank you very much. Always appreciate it.

VITIELLO: Thank you.

PAYNE: So, folks, are D.C. police any closer to catching the suspect in this deadly Georgetown shooting? We’re going to have the latest for you.

Also, a Houston deputy is laid to rest today after being shot and killed in his SUV. The suspect, an illegal immigrant, but a top official says he’s not the only one to blame.


TED HEAP, PRECINCT 5, HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS, CONSTABLE: Those in authority who are coddling the criminals and enabling this behavior have culpability just as those who are pulling the trigger.



PAYNE: Shares of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, jumping more than 6 percent in after-hours trading.

The search engine company smashed earnings and revenue in the latest quarter and declared a 20-for-one stock split.

We’re back in 60 seconds.


PAYNE: To Washington, D.C., where the manhunt is on for the suspect behind last night’s deadly Georgetown shooting, police offering a $25,000 reward for information.

Alexandria Hoff has the latest from Washington — Alexandria.

ALEXANDRIA HOFF, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Charles, what caught the attention of a lot of people is that this gunman felt comfortable enough to fire a deadly shot on a high-end shopping street during its busiest time.

Just after 6:00 p.m., D.C. police swarmed the elite Georgetown neighborhood of D.C. but have been unable to locate the suspect that they say took the life of a 27-year-old man.

While police believe that the shooting was targeted, it has offered little consolation to Washington’s wealthy and powerful, who are forced to confront the realities of rising violence right in their own neighborhood. In today’s briefing, Press Secretary Jen Psaki addressed rising crime and highlighted the president’s trip to New York City on Thursday to discuss community violence, adding this:


JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president’s budget also doubles federal support for community policing, with $300 million more for cities, plus another $200 million for community violence interventions.


HOFF: Now, what she didn’t address was concerns over prosecutors in Democrat-run cities exercising soft-on-crime policies that allow criminals to re-offend.

Last week, Psaki laughed off FOX News’ coverage of crime.


PSAKI: On FOX is Jeanine Pirro talking about soft-on-crime consequences. I mean, what does that even mean, right?

So there’s an alternate universe on some coverage.


HOFF: The National Fraternal Order of Police responded with this statement, saying — quote — “I think it’s wrong, very wrong, for Ms. Psaki to suggest that violent crime in our country is of no concern or just laugh it off,” adding that, “While Psaki may feel safe in the White House, not everyone lives with that kind of security.”

So, some words back-and-forth there, but Psaki, she has remained Adamant that President Biden himself doesn’t support defunding the police, and contrary to what other progressives have suggested — Charles.

PAYNE: Thank you very much.

And to former D.C. homicide Detective Ted Williams.

And, Ted, let me pick up from there.

So, Jen Psaki doesn’t know what soft on crime means. It’s — I think it’s pretty evident. And to laugh it off is certainly no joking matter. Your thoughts on this?

TED WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you’re right. It’s no joking matter, Charles.

It’s no joking matter to Officer Wilbert Mora, who is being — his wake is being conducted as we speak in New York, because he was shot and killed, along with his partner, Jason Rivera. It is no joking matter to Corporal Charles Galloway, who was buried today in Houston, Texas, after being involved in an altercation in a — during the course of a traffic stop.

Crime is no joking matter in this country. Men and women in this country are dying. Law-abiding citizens are dying. So, you’re right. Clearly it is no joking matter.

PAYNE: Ted, you and I are old enough to know that we have seen the ups and downs of major crime. And I lived in Harlem in the ’70s. You lived in D.C. through and worked as a police officer during some of these difficult times.

I think one of the things that’s starting to differentiate this period is the brazenness of it all. Is that something that — what is that all about, Ted?

WILLIAMS: You know, Charles, it is scary. You’re right. It is brazen.

Just think about it. You’re shopping in a shopping center. And within two minutes of being in a shopping center, you have a large mob that will go in a shopping town and just about clean out a store in that shopping center. You have here what we have been talking about, the shooting in Washington, D.C., in Georgetown, in the middle of rush hour.

Someone goes in shoots and kills a man and runs away.


WILLIAMS: There is a great deal of shock about what is going on throughout this country when it comes to crime.

PAYNE: Ted, you mentioned the Texas deputy who’s being laid to rest in Houston today.

There’s a lot of talk about who’s to blame for this rise in crime. I want you to listen to Texas Constable Ted Heap, at the funeral for Charles Galloway today.


HEAP: Those in authority who are coddling the criminals and enabling this behavior have culpability just as those who are pulling the trigger.

People need to be held accountable, because enough is enough. There’s no other way to say it. We’re tired. We’re tired. We’re tired physically. And we’re tired emotionally.


PAYNE: Ted, what do you make of the constable’s comments?

WILLIAMS: Charles, he is absolutely on target.

We’re tired physically and we’re tired emotionally. We, as law-abiding citizens, all we want to do is to live in our community and raise our families. And when you got DAs like Al Bragg in Manhattan soft on crime, when you got a DA, Kim Foxx in Chicago, soft in crime, when you got a DA, George Gascon in Los Angeles, soft on crime, those individuals are not doing what is in the best interests of their community.

And if they’re not, and I think that the community feel the way I do, they need them vote them out. Enough is enough.


WILLIAMS: We are sick and tired of living in fear of criminals. Criminals should fear us. They don’t fear us because we have prosecutors who are soft on crime and willing to let them back out on the damn streets of this country.

PAYNE: Ted Williams, thank you very much.

Imminent and at any time, those are words from the Pentagon on when Russia could invade Ukraine. Hear from someone who says we can’t stop this by going after Vladimir Putin’s pals.

And truckers in Canada sounding off on vaccine mandates. Why these protests up there could have an impact here.


PAYNE: A stark warning from the Pentagon moments ago on when Russia could make its move against Ukraine.

To FOX’s Jennifer Griffin at the Pentagon with the very latest — Jennifer.


Well, Secretary of State Blinken told Russia’s Foreign Minister Lavrov that, if Russia is serious about talks, then they should pull back its 130,000 troops from Ukraine’s borders. Putin held a press conference for the first time since late December.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Principal Russian concerns were ignored. We didn’t see an adequate response to our three key demands, preventing expansion of NATO, the nondeployment of strike weapon systems near Russian borders, and returning the military infrastructure of NATO in Europe to the positions existing in 1997.


GRIFFIN: Those three issues that Putin mentioned today are basically nonstarters for NATO and its allies.

Here’s the Pentagon’s John Kirby:


JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: We believe that he has enough capability to move now, if he wants to. Depending on what his goal is here and what he wants to do, he could move imminently any — at any time.


GRIFFIN: Most U.S. officials think Putin is biding time until February 20, when the Olympics end.

Putin is accusing the West of ignoring the principle that the security of one nation shouldn’t be strengthened at the expense of others, ironic, since he is the one that has placed 130,000 troops on Ukraine’s three land borders.

Putin made a thinly veiled threat about European energy supplies, suggesting Europeans could face problems next year. Russia’s neighbors say they feel like they are living next to a volcano. The prime ministers of Poland and Britain were in Kyiv today, promising more weapons and support to Ukraine, portable air defense systems, drones, mortars and ammunition.


BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: As we are also preparing a package of sanctions and other measures to be enacted the moment the first Russian toe cap crosses further into Ukrainian territory.


GRIFFIN: Ukraine’s president signed a decree Tuesday expanding the country’s army by 100,000 troops and raising army wages — Charles.

PAYNE: Thank you very much, Jennifer.

So, a new piece in The Wall Street Journal editorial from The Wall Street Journal editorial board making a case to not only hit Vladimir Putin with sanctions, but also to hit the so-called Kremlin mafia, the billionaire elites who also play a major role in running that country.

Let’s get the read now from Wall Street Journal editor at large Gerry Baker.

Gerry, who makes up this Kremlin mafia?

GERRY BAKER, FOX BUSINESS CONTRIBUTOR: Hey, Charles. Thanks for having me.

Well, there’s a lot of these so-called oligarchs.

PAYNE: Right.

BAKER: These are the very, very, very wealthy people around Vladimir Putin.

They got very wealthy in the disintegration of the Soviet Union, when they took over large chunks of what the — of the utilities and the energy companies and the others that belonged to the Soviet Union. They made a fortune.

Now, the key thing about these guys, Charles, is that they don’t spend their winters in — they don’t spend any time really in Moscow or St. Petersburg. Maybe they go and pay your service, lip service, to the emperor every now and then. They hang out in South of France and in London in their very large — very large houses and on their $300 million yachts.

Now, this would be a really effective way of going after Putin and actually deterring him perhaps from doing what he might do in Ukraine, or, if he does do it, then responding to it, because there’s a lot of concerns about regular sanctions, Charles. Russia has built up huge foreign exchange reserves. It can probably withstand significant economic sanctions.

Some of those economic sanctions hit us, would hit the West as hard as they would hit Russia, things like cutting off the energy supply to Europe and things like that. But this, going after these guys, going after these oligarchs, these mafia, who are really close to Putin, who are looking after a lot of Putin’s own money, that would be a really, really powerful way to really send a message to Russia, send a message to Vladimir Putin, we really are going to hurt you if you do this.


I mean, you read all the time about the $150 million homes they buy in places like London, or the size of their yachts that are parked off the — in Saint-Tropez or wherever they go. So it seems like a smart target.

Gerry, real quick, because I want to also ask you about what’s going on in Canada, just what’s what’s your thoughts about Germany, though, with respect to trying to participate in this? It just feels like they’re dragging any efforts down.

BAKER: Yes, it’s a very good point, Charles.

Look, the Germans have spent the last, since — the entire time since the since the end of the Cold War building a very strong economic relationship with Russia. They’re dependent on Russia for most of their energy supplies. They have a new government, a new government that is led by a Social Democrat, Olaf Scholz, who is with — whose party has historically been quite close to Russia.

They don’t want, frankly, to do anything that’s going to upset their relations with Russia. And they — look, a former chancellor, a former Social Democratic chancellor of Germany, sits on the board of Gazprom, the Russian energy giant.

So, the German-Russian relationship is very tight, very close.

PAYNE: Right.

BAKER: And it’s a lot of diplomatic work to get them to try and sign up to these sanctions.

PAYNE: So, in Canada, you have got this big trucker strike. They’re protesting vaccine mandates and a heavy-handed government.

What could that mean in terms of our economy? Because already perhaps there are signs that some important things aren’t getting through to the U.S.?

BAKER: Yes, look, this is the whole problem with this — many of the problems with these vaccine mandates is, they’re not only authoritarian. They’re inflicting significant damage on the economy.

And, Charles, you have been talking about this. We’re going to get the jobs numbers this week for January at the end of the week on Friday. We’re going to get the January numbers. And they’re probably going to show a decline in jobs for the first time in months. That’s in large part because a lot — a lot — in part because a lot of these vaccine mandates are taking effect.

Some companies are not being able to — don’t have as many staff as they would like to have. And this Canada problem, in particular, this applies to those Canadian truck drivers who come across the border. Many, many of them, understandably, don’t want to get vaccinated. They don’t want to have to submit to this.

And they’re not going to be able to bring those supplies across.


BAKER: So, again, this is an example of where government intervention is not only unfree. It’s not only authoritarian. It actually hurts the economy in really concrete ways.

PAYNE: It really does.

Gerry, thank you so much.

And, folks, make sure you catch Gerry Baker all the time on “Wall Street Journal at Large.” It’s on FOX Business Friday nights. It’s a must-watch show 7:30 p.m. Eastern.

so, we have got inflation raging, but Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says, do not blame D.C. spending. We’re going to debate that.

And you think Tom Brady saying that he’s retiring today is the biggest news that he made? Well, what if I told you something he didn’t say in his initial retirement statement?


PAYNE: The GOAT getting the goat of New England Patriots fans, the legendary NFL quarterback retiring after 22 seasons, 20 spent with the Patriots, but no mention of his original team in his official retirement statement.

Now he did tweet out later in the day thanking Patriots nation and that he was grateful beyond — he was beyond grateful.

Let’s get the read from “FOX Nation” host Abby Hornacek, along with Internet radio host Mike Gunzelman.

All right, Abby, so does this make everything OK?


ABBY HORNACEK, “PARK’D” HOST: Charles, you’re asking the wrong girl because I truly thought Tom Brady was going to retire with — by riding a jet pack over Raymond James Stadium with fireworks going off left and right.

But I gets it’s all relative.

Look, I don’t want to spend too much time hating on Tom Brady for this…

PAYNE: Why not?

HORNACEK: … because I would hate for — well, Charles, I would hate for a small detail to overshadow a big moment for Tom Brady.

I mean, the guy gave us 22 seasons of incredible football, seven championship rings, three NFL MVPs. Do I find it a little odd that he didn’t mention a team that he spent 20 seasons with, who drafted him with the 199th pick, gave him a chance, who he helped deliver their first Super Bowl ever?

Yes, I do find it a little weird.


HORNACEK: But he did give them a tribute when he left New England to go to Tampa Bay. So I think Tom Brady deserves to ride off happily into the sunset without any hate from us, you guys.

PAYNE: Hey, listen, I’m sort of a neutral person here.

I’m one of these jealous New Yorkers. Our teams never go anywhere.


PAYNE: But, Mike, the fans also, though, we kind of feel like we’re part of the team, right?


PAYNE: There are certain things I do when I watch the game, I think, and it has an outcome.


PAYNE: And so maybe that’s the part. They felt like, as a teammate, they were overlooked.

GUNZELMAN: It’s just Patriots fans. It all comes down to one word, selfish. They’re being selfish. They want Tom Brady to come back and just give them all their love and attention and whatnot.

Listen, the bottom line is, Tom Brady does nothing unless it’s calculated, OK? He didn’t just happen to forget to mention the Patriots. He doesn’t get along with head coach Bill Belichick. They had a falling out. This is publicly known.

And he was just like — I feel like he didn’t mention the Patriots because he would have had to thank Belichick, and he doesn’t want to do that. So he purposely didn’t match the Patriots. You look through that whole entire thing, it’s a novel.

He thanked everybody under the sun, except the Patriots. The Patriots fans are whining, and they’re all selfish. Bottom line is, from a sports standpoint, this is sad. It’s a sad day for sports fans. There will never be another football player that wins seven Super Bowls. It will not happen.

Free agency. We see how difficult it is in the sport of football. This will never happen again. Tom Brady, greatest quarterback of all time, hands down.

PAYNE: And, of course, when he goes up there, Abby, he’s going to get hero’s welcome, won’t he, his next visit back?


HORNACEK: Oh, always.

I mean, it doesn’t matter who you’re a fan of, or if it’s the Patriots, Tampa Bay. I mean, anyone that you’re a fan of, it doesn’t really matter, because Tom Brady is one of the greatest athletes of all time. And he said, look, if I’m not going to be on the field being competitive every single day anymore, I’m going to retire, and I’m going to give the young guys a chance.

And he deserves it. He can spend time with his family. He can be the competitive dad coach for his kids. And I’m really happy for him.

And, just quickly, part of the tribute that he gave to them, by the way, when he left, he said, I wouldn’t be the man today without the relationships you allowed me to build with you.

So he left classily. And whether or not this was a petty moment, it just — it doesn’t matter.

PAYNE: All right.

Well, we will leave it there before we start to get petty.


GUNZELMAN: Let’s go, Jets! Go, Jets!

PAYNE: Abby, never you. That’s just for me and Mike.

Never you, Abby. Never you.

All right, talk to you both later. See you.


PAYNE: With inflation surging, you can’t blame D.C. spending, right?

Well, we will debate it next.



OCASIO-CORTEZ: A lot of these price increases are potentially due to just straight price-gouging by corporations.

If we say we’re helping working people too much, and say that the cause of this is, oh, it’s because we provided too much assistance during the American Rescue Plan, stimulus checks were too generous, that is why we are dealing with the problems that we’re dealing with now, what that’s going to result in is a pullback in the assistance that some families need the most right now.


PAYNE: New York Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says government spending isn’t to blame for raging inflation. Republicans disagree.

So who’s right?

Well, let’s ask former Trump economic adviser Steve Moore and Democratic strategist Kelly Hyman.

Steve, let me just start with you.

Some would say it’s economics 101. A lot of money poured into this economy, including that big tranche early last year. And maybe that put us over the top.

STEPHEN MOORE, FORMER DONALD TRUMP CAMPAIGN ADVISER: Yes, look, a year ago, exactly one year ago today, the inflation rate was 1.7 percent. By has been in office for 12 months. It goes from 1.7 percent to 7 percent and probably going higher.

Is there a relationship there with all the massive increase in government spending? I don’t think there’s any question about it. Why is it for the last 30 years — if it’s price-gouging — and, by the way, companies are going to always try to raise prices. But for the last 30 years, we have had very tame inflation in this country, Charles.


MOORE: It’s been an amazing story. And now, all of a sudden, we have a massive increase in inflation.

They say it’s price-gouging. The two places, by the way — there are two people in the world that are price-gouging right now. It’s OPEC and the Russians, because we’re not producing oil here in the United States.

PAYNE: Kelly, even before, though, this went through, Larry Summers, who is by no means a Republican, warned that the outcome would be massive runaway inflation.

So there were some Democrats who were concerned about this, weren’t there?

KELLY HYMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, I would disagree with you on that.

We have to understand, first and foremost, who has the power to tame inflation, and that is the Federal Reserve. And we have to understand economists have said the best way to deal with the pandemic is end the pandemic. And I think that’s key. That’s the way to help us get out of this, and that the fact that Biden is doing stuff to help this, whether it’s making sure that the ports are open 24 hours to have the supplies, or also making sure to — that there’s gas available for people and opening up the 50 gallons to have that.

But, ultimately, it’s up to the Federal Reserve to have the ultimate impact on the inflation by increasing rates.

PAYNE: So, are you concerned, though, Kelly, that the war on fossil fuels helped send up the price of gasoline, spiking to levels where it might start to break a record this summer?

Are you concerned — you mentioned the ports — that nothing has happened there, except that ships are waiting further out in the sea, so you can’t see them, but the record levels are still where they are? And are you concerned that too much money has poured into this economy, where you had these — that’s how you got all the issues in the port in the first place.

Those ships were summoned here because of so much money and so much spending?

HYMAN: No, I think we need — I think we need drivers to drive the trucks. I think that’s key.

And I also think that we need to end the pandemic, and so to make sure that people have information and are informed and follow the science, to get vaccinated, to get boosted, to wear their masks when need to, to have social distancing, to know that we’re all in this together. And not only the U.S. is dealing with this inflation. It’s globally as well, due to the pandemic.

PAYNE: Steve, your thoughts to that?

MOORE: Well, look…

PAYNE: Yes, go ahead.

MOORE: Yes, Kelly is right that — you’re exactly right, Kelly, that the Fed plays a big role in this. No question about it.

And I have said on your show, Charles, and on Neil’s show for 12 months the Fed has been way behind the curve in terms of getting — pulling some of this money out of the economy.

But when you have the federal government borrowing $2 trillion a year, when you increase the government spending by $5 trillion, the Fed has accommodated that by putting money into the economy. So I think it’s equal blame between Biden and between the Fed.

And, by the way, you’re right. We have got to do something about the COVID crisis. I don’t think that — I’m with the American people. I don’t think COVID — that Joe Biden has very good grades when it comes to — what did he say, that he was going to shut down the virus. I don’t think he’s done that.

PAYNE: No, that hasn’t worked out.

But I tell you what. We will know a lot more on Friday.


PAYNE: And I’m not sure we want to see this news, because some now are saying we might have lost 400,000 jobs last month.

We will have you both on to talk about it. Thank you both very much.

Of course, folks, you can catch me weekdays 2:00 p.m. on “Making Money” on the Business Channel.

And I got to tell you, this is an amazing week. We came back from the depths of hell last week in the market. Great surge today. Nice numbers after the bell. We might be coming back.

Now, here starts “THE FIVE.”

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