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National Restaurant Association - Experts explain election, tax reform and more

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Experts explain election, tax reform and more

After witnessing a bruising political campaign that took no prisoners, Mark Halperin and Mark McKinnon are deep into analysis – the electoral kind.

The two pundits, hosts of Showtime’s “The Circus,” told our Public Affairs Conference that our slow economic recovery led to a desire for change. They also shared some thoughts on potential legislation like tax reform and their experiences with restaurants. Here are their observations:

On understanding the election …

Halperin says the real story was 2 percent growth in our nation’s economy. Most people just won’t feel the impact of that kind of limited growth. After almost a decade of 75 percent of people thinking the country was on the wrong track, that their kids wouldn’t have the same economic opportunities, voters opted for change.

On improving the economy …

The big question, Halperin notes, is whether the Trump Administration and 115th Congress can get to 3 or even 4 percent growth?

On voter frustration …

Halperin says voters opted for change “because they didn’t see Washington doing enough to make their lives better.”

On possible tax reform …

Whatever the tax plan is, the President’s got to say, “This is what’s good for America, good for families and business. This is what I believe in, what I’ll fight for,” Halperin says.

On making America great again …

“An infrastructure bill or building a massive jobs program makes so much sense to me,” McKinnon says. “It’s a natural.”

On restaurants and dining out …

Halperin was once a cashier at a Pizza Hut in Bethesda, Md., and McKinnon was a bar back and bartender. Both say in 2016, they easily ate out in more than 300 restaurants. The standouts? Halperin’s is La Juanita in Soux City, Iowa, and McKinnon says Upland in New York City is his fave.


On campaigning at restaurants …

“It’s where you’re bound to find real Americans, the communal fireplace in a town or city,” McKinnon says. “If you want to find out where people are politically, the best place to go is a restaurant.”

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