BET co-founder credits Trump tax cut with bringing black workers back into labor force

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BET co-founder Robert Johnson said “the Trump tax cut” has led to economic growth in an interview with CNBC on Friday, adding that “you’ve never seen African-American unemployment this low and the spread between African-Americans and whites narrowing.”
“You’re iconic. I don’t know what you want to talk about today, but there is the economic backdrop, I want to get your viewpoint because you have so many businesses and how things are going, but I want to get your comments on the political environment as well and how it relates to the economic environment. How is business?” asked “Squawk Box” co-host Joe Kernen.
{mosads}“Business is very good,” replied Johnson, who became the first African-American billionaire in the U.S. after selling BET to Viacom in 2001. “I believe that if you take into account the Trump tax cut, you take into account the drop in unemployment and particularly unemployment for African-Americans, it’s the lowest it’s ever been in history. And you take into account the fact that interest rates are fairly stable, they will probably drift up, but so far. … And I think the business community is committed to reinvest capital that they get from some of the tax advantages and that as a result of that, I think the economy is going to grow.”

“We’re about the 21st largest car dealership group in the country. People are still buying cars as interest rates are favorable,” Johnson continued, referring to his RLJ Companies business.

“Hotels seem to be coming back, business travelers are going back on airplanes and traveling and staying in hotels. That works for us. And there’s still capital out there to raise in the private equity field,” he added. 

“So when you put all that together, and particularly from our vantage point of the focus on urban markets and African-American community, when you got about — African-Americans are down around 4, 5 [percentage points in unemployment] …  that’s a pretty good testament to the fact that there are a lot of jobs out there looking for people who are traditionally underemployed,” Johnson, 71, concluded. 
Johnson attended Harvard Business School with the president’s new senior economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, a former contributor to CNBC and The Hill who was tapped by the president to replace Gary Cohn last month. 

“I’m glad he’s in D.C., I’m going to call and tell him, ‘Welcome to D.C.,'” Johnson said.  

The U.S. jobs report fell well-short of expectations on Friday, adding 103,000 jobs in March when about 195,000 were forecast.  
The unemployment rate held at 4.1 percent, the lowest level since December 2000, the Labor Department reported on Friday

Wages rose 0.3 percent, or 2.7 percent year over year, which was an increase slightly more than anticipated. 

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