Power Play 12/4/2012
Democrats try to hold the line on entitlements. What would actually pass the Senate? And the consequences of stalemate.
- Duration 26:30
- Date Dec 4, 2012
Democrats try to hold the line on entitlements. What would actually pass the Senate? And the consequences of stalemate.
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Congressman I'm not hearing a lot of give.
On the entitlements on this side.
Well I let me -- again there's some major philosophical difference over the best approach to savings in Medicare where do not believe we should be passing cost structure so I was seeing here is is no no -- that's not true we we there that you can reform Medicare you can build on what we -- Affordable Care Act but -- -- -- December -- without unloading these rising health care costs on the backs of seniors.
The median income of Medicare beneficiary.
Dollars so it's important to be really careful when you talk about reforms which is why the president's approach has been.
Reduce health care costs overall not just transfer rising costs -- -- the backs of seniors.
And that is why take so gosh darn long to do anything in Washington that.
Because it took Chris van Holland Democrat of Maryland in the lead Democrat on the House Budget Committee took him about.
Eight minutes to tell Brett -- -- special report last night that Democrats were not understated in dealing with entitlement reform as part of the fiscal clues.
-- negotiations with Republican this.
This hour class and I am ever yours always yours in an actress -- it is good to be back with you're.
So the Republicans are trying to broaden the playing field Democrats are trying to narrow the playing field as it relates to the fiscal cliff as it looks increasingly likely.
Let's see the graphic let's see the good graphic for the fiscal clips -- that the folks at home understand the gravity of what it looks like when a Delorean is launching off the side.
Of a -- I hope that we can show that very soon because it matters it matters to you Internet.
-- but it looks increasingly likely that we're having a Dr.
Strangelove period in Washington where people learn to stop worrying and love the -- So what's gonna happen we'll talk about that we'll talk about what could really pass the senate that's a good question what could really get through the United States senate -- Nothing that is our offer currently that's that's one way to look at it.
And we will also talk with the consequences to you at home.
In the economy.
About what happens if we do estimate we are going to fiscal cliff it all the way up today.
And our favorite ridge runner.
-- AB Stoddard.
Few you love her.
Because she writes a column for the -- you love her because she is a frequent panelist on special report you love her because she is fair minded.
And generous of spirit -- being.
Were we don't know we -- over we go down.
Well I -- just too many Democrats and Republicans these last 5710 days to sound like we are going over and it was -- -- I think that's.
The problem here is the debt ceiling increase and people keep talking about the tactics -- takes a great source of revenue it's really not -- -- debt ceiling.
If President Obama wants to.
Jam in the final days.
This tax issue.
Down Republican serves which they said they're gonna get on.
-- out -- something else in exchange is that what Ben Howland and and senator Durbin talked about this.
And you know it's real aggressive as a -- reform as part of the initial down payment meeting right now not.
It's right that they wanna bring entitlements into the Democrats saying what we can have a title and later we have entitlements that -- structural changes to entitlements maybe later.
But what van Holland was going -- with Brett.
Unless I was basically him saying.
Reforms inside Medicare -- as it's currently can situated to the.
Have some costs it.
This -- this question about the debt ceiling is really all we need to tip consider it the week without.
Entitlement reform Republicans wont raise the debt ceiling President Obama.
House until around -- summertime in February to get that done so if he ignores that and thinks this is just a question of taxes.
He will probably get something at the last minute.
That will involve probably more revenue and -- a -- rate hike.
But if you will not -- -- -- a small deal it will poison the well for the coming debt ceiling debate in February and probably the -- the year.
All the CR's immigration reform it's a real problem.
The big deal needs to happen now not.
Let's to have one alien an -- to -- but the rest off later.
So the debt ceiling so the Republicans but no debt ceiling increase in the air in their offer and President Obama -- prudent debt ceiling right.
So let's focus on the debt ceiling not the rest is not it doesn't -- without that.
You know -- tank makes point and says no phone does that mean you're not reading tweets what here's the phone and I am reading here tweets Internet I'm out there for you and I should also point out that.
Should be following.
You can't follow it -- because she's better than -- just announced today now she won't participate just living in another world that's what gets the nineteenth century and I -- an improbable because I care.
And you can follow me Nancy -- if you do.
You may have my column each day that I -- for you.
And I talked here about the preposterous.
Be preposterous idea that somehow.
Grinding all hole.
Now is somehow going to set this this table that -- -- the Republicans and Byron York road apiece.
Other people are talking about this about like -- what we'll do set up a new commission.
And new triggers and new stuff like it's gonna work better in June when you get closer now when you get him closer to primary season -- -- like it's gonna work.
Better than tomorrow now know that's.
That's outrageous I think what you that's why when you say -- over I think the likely -- is that we will because I think that Republicans.
It's easier for Republicans to vote for tax cuts in January -- -- tax hikes now Democrats wanna be right they don't want to -- on entitlements so it's very.
Possible I'm just wondering where is the sequester on January cyber attack and what happens.
Mechanically right to to all this and I no one's really able to answer my questions about that.
Going back and retroactively reinstate tax cuts for 90% of Americans counties it is actually not and then what if you have Republicans saying no we wanted to do that until we have the -- -- this could go on and on and on.
She has -- What we will discuss in the third segment when we talk about the economic -- what happens as she did as a B has the stupidly.
Pointed out the mechanics of this become a big issue and the larger issue of course becomes the confidence of consumers and the confidence of investors all of these people who rightly.
After two years of very good experience in this field have learned to believe that nothing.
Nothing happens here that this is the place.
Where good ideas go to die.
Sorry to blow you out Internet access to sort of -- that's sort of how we're feeling today.
In Washington and it's not just because -- be and -- both now have to face the prospect of many alliances.
Of doing this to you.
And we would rather today be talking about Anna wintour.
Oh yeah he's going to the cord -- -- yes the double.
Obama -- only tenacity -- the vast right -- -- double for war.
I think that will be the Drudge Report headline will be Obama so yes doubles.
We're going to take a quick break because you need to put yourself.
After this much -- excellence Internet but when we come back baby will be with this government -- your friend and mine will be here.
And we will talk about what could really pass the senate we talk about the house a lot.
But the senate is a weird place.
Full of a hundred people who know how very important there are.
So we'll talk about that when we come back.
-- -- -- Mark -- rich he's a senator from Alaska Mark Pryor is a senator from Arkansas.
Very later she's a senator from Louisiana and Kay Hagan -- senator from North Carolina what do they have -- common.
They are all red state Democrats.
Who could find themselves in a very awkward situation as we tried to deal with the fact that the government can't function.
And this is power play.
So we talk a lot about the house what can Boehner get through that house the speaker can he do this what does the president want we keep talking about how this is essentially.
And it is a negotiation between the Republican speaker of the house in the democratic president but the US senate is a real pain and they do tend to make things very difficult.
And it's almost election time so what could really pass.
Mike Emanuel knows because he bird dogs the senate and the house the whole shooting match.
For -- Fox News Channel.
And AB Stoddard -- because she has.
A sweet -- when it comes to people that she knows but -- -- cynical heart when it comes to observe in the process of politics of Washington's.
And so there's this.
There are 660 votes would be needed now they could do reconciliation right they didn't do there's there's a way that at the end and and I think you sort of -- Squeeze it I mean if you do with a health care law you can certainly find a way to do it on this but.
Theoretically Mikey needs sixty votes.
When -- count the Democrats.
And especially in this lame duck session not only do you have folks like baggage prior -- and Hagan who would be averse to.
Voting for a tax increase right before an election but also -- have some lame ducks like Ben Nelson.
And and you have Joseph -- West Virginia and other moderate Democrats who don't want to be involved what could really get through this.
Well that's that's certainly the question and I think -- is looking at the president saying.
You may have to sit on some of these people as well to push it through but I mean.
There are also senators who represented very expensive states that don't think that 250000 dollars.
There's a lot of money talking to you New Jersey and Chuck Schumer in New York who would much be much more comfortable with the million dollar threshold as opposed to fifty.
So there's someone you know -- some discomfort with the Obama plan as it stands.
And so the question is where they go from here.
So -- beating.
The question is this president has a plan.
That when he put it out.
Now there's a question about whether Boehner could get his proposal really through the house but it's there's more plausible -- the president said fifty billion in new stimulus spending do.
Yeah that was a joke and it was.
Inflame the situation and it was a missed I just did you get that out right I mean.
I'm sorry if I'm out of there right per cent ceiling increase we never have to ask you again right hand never comes out again right that is preposterous.
There it was in his stimulus is that it it just was a joke at every level so it's really.
It's he's got to move off that he's got to move -- -- quickly unless he favors going over the cliff which we think he might Republicans.
It as I said he -- easier for them to vote for new tax cuts in January than tax hikes now.
So we could be going over the cliff in terms of looking at.
The actual were also focus on that rate hike I really believe that the rain had a threshold for which -- -- -- is going to go pop off to fifty.
Vice President Biden slipped up in his debate with Paul Ryan -- -- a million consumers remain closed just for million.
Everyone knows Republicans that wanted to -- millionaires and they've told me it goes off.
Just a 50000751.
Defending those people forget it so it's going to go off of 250.
But the question is what are the Democrats -- is an exchange or is this is just a temporary -- are we looking at the four trillion dollar deal that gets us on to clean fights.
But you know fiscal sanity the debt ceiling and an entitlement reform is really.
I'm much more focus on that then then this question of the taxes because Republicans have assured -- privately they can't hang themselves out on the line from million and I.
Twice and -- you've seen the White House sit made it clear they're not gonna stick to 39 point 60 go somewhere in the middle so that's up for negotiation.
It's -- -- and -- not being negotiated.
Says Kimberly Judy.
-- has it right on the mechanics of going over the cliff and then reinstating the tax cuts.
My sister works at JCT joint Clinton could -- committee -- on taxation on taxation and that's what she says that she says that's how it goes so.
We're Smart viewers by the way yeah yeah.
Now Mike both in terms of business.
In August we -- talking about big mess.
Now what we're talking about is.
Smallest we're talking about just getting over this equipment getting over the 31 and and all of that stuff when we look at the senate.
That's the only place that you're likely to see it being compromised he kind of plan comes together how much of an appetite is that how much of an -- I think that is we've seen these different gangs get togethers the gang of -- gang of aids.
Until they get -- -- Does say something about that though consists token went from one of it but hey gang members recently the -- on Sunday.
And I just their very frustrating and most of the action is over on the senate side in terms of the compromises have been working really hard behind the scenes there are.
Suggested there's a few left on the house side that have been involved.
And -- try to put some symbols that -- the -- and it's mostly work is on the senate side they're being consulted -- -- people with the ideas.
They've been doing all the work they've put their heart and soul into it.
And now it's all this let's fight on the phone between Boehner and Obama and Hussein were the ones that have actually had all of us.
You know spreadsheets and all of that fear that that that meetings and conferences and that.
And the given it's taken and -- given they've really gotten a lot of actually Republicans and Democrats in a room almost.
I -- in large numbers that time.
And that's the only reason I got who who -- -- is because in the old days.
When you used to do deals.
For example on the 1990 deal that was Bill Bradley.
There is a force in the senate it was the same -- of the world and and the powerful figures in the senate.
Not necessarily majority leaders the people who wielded real influence and had strong.
Networks in the senate becoming get the job done and to eighty point the senate is like an onlooker in this -- Harry Reid really deliver in the -- Well there's a lot of bruised egos as well in the United States and politics what.
Who's you know are looking at it realizing that if Obama and Boehner can come up with a deal and he gets handed to them and Chris receive.
That they're probably have to swallow hard and and take it and so the senate there are a lot of senators who feel kind of irrelevant right around Allen.
Are frustrated the process is broken down this way -- And that this is the reality -- looking at yet again.
On a huge fiscal matters now Kent Conrad said that he still thinks there's an opportunity for earth is five trillion dollar deal and called -- -- Camp David -- summit.
I'm -- -- humor and wit and Biden will get involved that vice president and and some people who might it not in the gangs but -- bridge from the leadership to the gangs and really.
Surprise us that -- without that they've added the action will -- the senate side if there's anything.
As good -- they -- it happen there if there's anything that's going to be bigger than a patch it's got to generate the senate but if the president doesn't want.
The senate if he doesn't want somebody else's plan then -- so.
And then there's your there's your take away from the first two segments of our placement closer clips surfing and -- I'm good -- definitely not hand -- and -- good thanks guys very -- thank you for making time for the Internet today.
And good luck records and okay.
We're gonna take a quick -- but when we come back time for panel don't think I think we ought to have partisans.
Attack each other viciously on this question for your amusement.
Like they're made -- so we'll do that when we come back to stick around.
Is what it looks like -- people make money doing things we also call that the economy.
With a particular eye on the small businesses the people who.
Constitute the majority of the American economy.
So what happens to -- of the fiscal cliff stuff and going over the cliff with a -- -- worthy.
Crevasse -- the -- or whatever you want to call it how does this process affect them.
This is power play and we're we aim to do exactly that.
And I -- think I could hardly think.
-- -- people with -- to do that then you know Jonathan -- GO.
Because he speaks on behalf of American crossroads a little group.
You may have heard of -- spent a few hundred million dollars in the election doing stuff.
You may have heard of them and I know that he knows Rosenberg because.
He is the director.
At present present don't presidents and very private sector do the president of the new democratic network you're Democrat Democrat -- democratic you're -- on my sheet Democrat.
New Democrat network and what they are is a center left organization.
That is in keeping with the spirit of Tony Blair and Bill Clinton's third way.
Creating -- Centre left coalition in this country that can actually govern and do stuff.
Which I mean whatever government do stuff what the -- what are you talking about don't you know -- -- was to be engaged in bitter productive political.
-- and then have elections and that's all we're supposed to do.
Anyway I'm I'm sorry if my my -- irony is rather move heavy today -- -- the end -- the ship out dial it back OK so.
It started to use and so here's the thing.
Whatever you whatever the Internet thinks ought to be done about the -- The very fact of stalemate and -- -- and now we've bits like the ship is drifting.
In the harbor and there -- now at the beginning they -- urgent signs from both parties we're gonna look busy we're gonna do this now we're at basically.
Get lost you get lost and we're drifting and we saw it was the it was the institute for supply management I asked him which basically.
-- a survey of manufacturers every month and that we found the lowest level of manufacturing output.
In the month of November -- point three years and they said why and that's why this that this -- clip we have no idea what's gonna happen Washington's -- impact.
So I think if there is no deal that would be bad for two reasons one is it sets a bad precedent for anything getting done over the next two years -- us.
Republicans still controlled house the Democrats -- -- -- the presidency.
And we assume that there will be bills coming out of the house it was different from those coming out of the senate and yeah I -- -- -- we actually ever bring us together on any issue right.
And and so if this goes down in flames it sets a bad -- in the second as it will be clearly bad for the economy taxes are gonna go up there's.
Predictions -- we'll go back into recession.
And that whatever momentum we had coming in the last you know two to three years will be lost and we couldn't.
You go back in recession so I think there is really tremendous pressure on both sides come together and do -- deal.
The Washington -- Jonathan -- hold Q.
And found at the people think the Republicans would be to blame that when bad faith when bad things happen in this they're going to blame the Republicans.
That's what I think can create his disincentive for the white Stephen deal on this this conventional wisdom both sides want them to be able to do -- The problem is that Democrats have an opportunity to go back to Clinton -- tax rates without having the fingerprints on it.
And blaming those tax increases on Republicans.
I see very very little incentive for the White House to actually come up with a spending cut plan because as long as they -- a tax -- on the Republican get to the right now.
On the tax issue that's only been talking about of course taxes we haven't seen any substandard.
Did to spending cuts coming out -- any kind of proposal from the White House.
Tom I'm pessimistic right now and and I don't really see anything that's gonna change this.
Who is Smart was here before and she was saying this.
The only time time -- that you could really get a big deal done is when there's pressure to get a big deal done if there's no urgency.
That this is going to continue to slip and slide and slip and slide.
And the four trillion or five trillion dollar deal now you guys have a plan you guys have basically the outlines -- plan that's a big plant that would deal with things in a big way.
If we get pass the -- If we get past the cliff.
And then there's no incentive really to do a big deal is there.
-- question I I think that where I disagree with my my -- here is that I think the president and I was in a meeting with him last week where he talked about this at length.
He doesn't want nothing to happen next -- -- he doesn't want to beat up the Republicans on tax rates and immigration reform and other issues -- talking actually he actually believe it's -- believes that they're going to be important things done and that's warriors is only got four years left.
He wants to figure a way to get the Republicans on board and what they're working on right so I think that he would view this as a political failure not a political success because it.
Could set the -- and I think the White House economic team is really worry about the economy.
Yeah going south and which would then also make the rest of his four year term I'm not so good right here they just came out of a bad period and economy they're kind of enjoying it recently in the White House and so they like to continue that actually think.
That makes the ability for them to get other things on -- -- more possible so I don't actually believe.
But there it is -- -- so I don't believe -- heard the president himself say this to a small private -- when people.
That I don't think the president wants to go over the cliff I think he thinks it's risky and dangerous and how do we resolve -- gone for three or four months and business investment is dropping in confidence and I says he is so I think he really wants to do a deal but he's also feels -- By the election results and is gonna drive a hard bargain.
-- and I've done that I hear people on the red team say some thing cynical now.
It's not something cynical which is this the sort of the first of what you talked about for the president having a motivation to let the -- fall.
For us fall off the cliff -- the -- If for -- poses like (%expletive) you wanted to -- that you want an economic disaster you wanna take the oath of office a second time with the economy tanking again would you like to do that again.
We'll have that -- the -- your -- you know these.
Indeed the issue the issue here is that I mean you eat in order for real do have -- -- have to be spending cuts and they're gonna be some kind of revenue enhancements right.
A pretty good offer on revenue -- enhancements and we haven't seen any offer substantively on on on spending when they see anything in public right now because that has seen that it was discussed -- -- you're wearing a lot about taxes but we're not hearing anything about them but do Republicans the president gets on with that account.
Did they wanted I I think that everybody says look at their core wants to see the economy -- that -- It was a little Chris that's a little cheerful that's a -- your -- good -- today how much money did you guys spend attacking the president for cutting Medicare -- -- amendments -- off -- -- -- I don't know what I do know is that David -- -- and the billions and tens of millions of dollars -- -- tens of -- -- -- President -- -- so he's actually we -- -- cut spending -- entitlement programs Mitt Romney once -- -- -- yeah yeah that's almost -- -- -- -- -- just if we have to go we go away again thank both of you for being with us.
You know it is going to happen to you -- Internet on the hunt with Jonathan Hunt is coming -- -- from the United Nations Jonathan how are you out there.
-- I'm here for a very special live edition all the on the -- who live there.
From the east side of Manhattan at the United Nations we'll be focusing today on the Syria as you know.
They're regime of president slash I'll Al Assad appears to be closer to collapse by the day amid increasing -- they say is that he may.
At the end -- using chemical weapons will be getting into all of that and of -- We'll be talking about it all -- like -- rush towards the fiscal cliff -- And if you thought it was bad Internet living in Washington DC.
There's always you can always watch what's going on overseas and be reminded of the fact that it could be an awful lot worse they have not brought chemical weapons in -- yet here to make sure you watch -- job that it would cheer you up in a perverse way OK so that's that.
Now think about this looks -- -- power -- real quick.
The end of congress I don't -- -- today we're rock in the -- so we're just gonna wallow for a second power points in the end of congress.
Over the past fifty or sixty years.
We've seen a steady didn't initiative the -- of congress and American life we have an -- balance of powers the courts have taken on social issues.
Like abortion and gay marriage that might be rightly -- legislated.
The president starting.
In world war two and continuing in the Cold War the war on terrorism has continually expanded his powers.
And guess what it's been cool with the members of congress because they don't like voting on stuff that's controversial so they have allowed the power.
To slip away and it is faded away and mostly they exist to.
Raise money for their campaigns and run for office again and then they don't do stuff.
So here's the second PowerPoint no surprises there are no surprises in what's going on right now in Washington.
There are no surprises because.
The writing has been on the wall we have it came in.
Majorities in both houses.
Who don't do the kind of deal making don't do that kind of geographically based.
Or moderate to moderate based coalition building that they used to do in the past.
They -- show up and answered the bell and it doesn't work.
It -- it does not work I have to tell you Internet it does not work so here's your third PowerPoint the rules of the game.
Got to change if things are going to be better John Boehner deserves credit he has opened up the rule making process -- -- -- he's closed it a couple of times but he has had.
And run a much more open house the senate is.
Close it is hard to move legislation is hard to do things and Harry Reid runs a tight -- he wants to run and even tighter ship next year.
But we need rules that allow old fashioned coalitions to come together so things can actually occur or otherwise we won't need congress to do anything.
Except -- people spend or help local television stations read.
Rewards every two years so that's the -- -- to be so gloomy today will get over it I promise.
Thanks for being with us and now as we like to do every day.
Normally with the word from our French -- It's surprising to me the president essentially.
Who could get the revenues he wants from deductions and exclusions but insist on -- race not for economic reasons but the political.
He wants to break the back of Republicans and that that this is a continuation of his campaign he thinks he won it and now he want.
To drive a stake through her -- was all about politics it's nothing about economics.