Special Report Online: 1/2/13
The politics behind the 'fiscal cliff' deal
- Duration 31:12
- Date Jan 2, 2013
The politics behind the 'fiscal cliff' deal
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Welcome to another edition of special report on line the first of 2013.
-- welcome aboard you have been here before this is a place where you can type in your questions or comments.
And we will read them here and interact with panel.
I want to get my computer working which is a key part of this whole -- change is to have the computer actually working.
So hopefully you can hear and see me because I can't hear -- you -- It's okay we're going to keep going forward and I hope that technology.
Remind -- it's a minor glitch -- didn't start twentieth thirteen with a minor glitch.
Our panel of course Bill Kristol.
Kitchen powers and Charles Krauthammer.
Let's start off or we.
You had this wonderful -- that we decided to I decided to trip you up with the details of and I completely muffed it.
-- -- -- -- you're better than composed and we needed that charter and Glenn Beck chalkboard or some kind of -- them.
You need nine Glenn Beck hit his -- -- that.
But there -- -- the point I wanted to make I think bill was right.
The one thing that Republicans who when they they get control of one or two houses has happened -- Newt Gingrich.
Nearly ninety's is they think.
They can govern from and they do have a mandate but it the way our system Israel and you cannot govern out of congress you can from the White House.
Which you can do is block and I think the house Republicans have a great job for that last two years since 2010.
In preventing the crew of the metastasis of the Obama.
Ambitious I would say social democratic agenda.
And stop whether obamacare it stop -- cold after the mid term elections.
And I'm not sure that particularly with the decrease majority -- -- in the house in the new congress if you do anything more so I think.
Bill's right they should not imagine they can legislate that I think there's a lot.
To block and to block what Obama spoke about last night he basically said.
I want to increase spending because an investment that's got to be stopped because it's insane.
Given -- the level of debt in the fact we have started to cut something and that he also said I have not yet to begun to tax.
He's interest in now in getting the deductions -- increased.
In revenue from the rich that the speaker had offered him originally at the end after Election Day.
In which -- spurn peace that I wanted in rates he got the rates.
Now he's gonna want a trillion in new tax through in the elimination of deductions.
And when you add onto that all the taxes in Obama care.
That's quite a chunk of money and I think he thinks that he's going to reverse the thirty year.
Sort of re unite idea that he introduced of that -- a low tax country.
He wants to undo that because he is an ambitious.
Social Democrat who wants an entitlement state and you gotta have revenues.
And I think he's this is now step one what happened last night and he wants a lot.
More taxes in the future and that's where the house can step in and say no.
So -- I guess and you mentioned in the panel about you know the Clinton.
Type folks who were in this administration.
You know Gene Sperling.
If what Charles is saying is true and that's where the president's mindset is.
And his ideology is are those folks really going to sign on to that.
-- for the long term.
With that without the thought of -- dealing with significantly with the deficit and debt.
Before the end of their time in office.
I mean the policy people in the White House he has the funniest and their -- hands basically.
Want that -- if they they want to address that's that's the advice that he gets the question is whether or not.
Charles' theory is correct that he is you know this social Democrat who strangely hired all these people who aren't that's the -- that doesn't make sense to me.
You know who are advising him in this direction and then he you know seem to have.
Get caught up in this the political theater of this and really seemed to enjoy.
-- to his face who interestingly aren't really even not happy with misty -- so.
You know I think that he's not really acting like a leader and the way -- he behaved throughout this whole process of having to.
Cancer rub it in the faces of the Republicans is not the way they eat you behave when you need to work with other people and and I'm still.
I -- on offense in terms of knowing what his real true deep ideology as I can only look at the people he surrounds himself with -- the people that he's chosen to work Timothy Geithner for example.
Thinks this is a problem thinks of something that we need to address.
When I -- Look and -- his associates.
Or appointees until stances.
You can do anything -- did the first two years except for racquet up.
A trillion a year in any appoint -- commission.
Which gave excellent recommendations the idea of the tax reform entitlement reform in detail.
Completely ignores it they need demagogues -- the other party throughout the election and now he's got a second term where he can do anything he wants.
And what he said last night this adjusted and spending and then increase it was investments.
And I'm going to increase taxes even more I mean he's never shown an iota of interest.
And actually doing -- debt reduction.
And with interest rates at zero.
Maybe he thinks he can.
Go through a second term without.
Saying guess what we showed his name.
Bill and cost of spending series that we did was when the debt is this -- If the Federal Reserve.
Fails to essentially hold off inflation inflation starts coming they have to raise interest rates if interest rates are raised.
Even just a little bit suddenly that what we're paying on interest on our national debt.
Becomes a major cost for the federal government to the forwards overtaking.
The payments that would make too I mean sandy would be nothing compared to the interest that we could be -- -- per day.
Now it every serious economists and -- -- -- is looked at this is terrified of the prospect interest rates.
Will rise they will rise at some point they have to they have and I can't be and this great for -- -- keep rates is you can't be clinically about deficits and financing that would service -- interest rates and it'd be nice if want to do that forever and that every nation in the world -- doing it and we'll be living way beyond their means -- that's not how the -- a reality work so I agree it's a huge problem it's very hard to predict when it hits.
And they've actually you can -- present -- lucky in that you know people warned about it what's gonna hit next year it hasn't and maybe he'll make it to anybody or -- I do.
Wonder you know -- -- sandy.
What about a certain way so.
Are there are folks in the White House saying no -- we get it we get that thing about the industry -- and -- paying the -- I mean they understand that.
Danger active stance that he says but we have slowing economy now so we don't want -- -- this what was the fiscal cliff all about what it was about.
Not having too much contraction because we have a slow economy we need to sort of let -- let let.
Governments spend more and let.
And not have to sort -- tax increases would have happened if the bush -- satisfied.
So these sort of sophisticated liberal view is to be sort of relaxed about the debt and deficit short term but we'll get really tough on it.
Longer term that was the point if that's what the 2011 negotiation was supposed to sort of do.
And so far.
Castro says it's been no progress at all on the long term entitlement reform which is the only serious when you get control over the long term debt.
And then -- -- that will be at some point and the question is whether you have to have a crisis were far right designs engineers are we gonna have to go through a horrible crisis for personal can we act.
To do this in a sensible way ahead of time.
-- -- -- you know on the sandy thing that we began the panelists.
I think you're -- the consensus as you said and in Washington invaders how horrible they Christie you know last.
-- -- -- but Republicans and Democrats from the new York New Jersey area of last a little bit and it really -- I think -- in the past Friday looks terrible to be interesting if this could change though what if they do -- -- billion dollars Friday.
And if we decide -- that's -- enough for the time being maybe another few billion you know -- later that lets us and take -- -- -- have hearings this look at this huge piece of legislation here and really see what's needed what isn't.
I wanted to dynamic shift a little bit this kind of attempt to stay and keep everyone.
And discuss a -- stimulus moment you know it in early 2000 I'd be distributed through that it was a great -- we take a look at how we're -- money and suddenly the appetite for doing that.
Decrease pretty quickly -- -- this I think in it.
This that alleged mistake of speaker Boehner and not letting the sixty billion -- come up could be an interest -- moment if two weeks from now.
The conventional view is it was fun just -- nine billion dollars.
Actually remember post.
To be yourself when Nancy Pelosi said we need to pass it before -- see what's in it.
The sound -- it was played now over and over again.
And Republican said we know what we're going to read these bills were going to make sure we know what's in it and then.
You know this happened again where it was -- would clearly couldn't read that bill in the sense they got to that eleven.
Fifty something I think that passage that.
I don't know one something -- and I don't think everyone who voted on it probably read every word I would venture -- -- And so.
Is there something to what -- -- is there something to pay a way to certainly we should slow this process them or change the process.
Substantively absolutely and that's true that I thought this question is politically what does it -- Oceana is there's there's no doubt that that.
That's -- to -- that's the best outcome but -- the the question is.
The -- he's -- this plays out and often does it play out well for Republicans to -- seemingly you know that there opposing.
Aid to people who are suffering I just didn't rubble Republican Party brand right now is really getting -- beating and any of these types of things I just think.
Is not taking them out of sort of the tail -- up there in right now.
We promising progress -- topics including secretary of state Hillary Clinton who was came out of the hospital tonight discharged from the hospital.
She's been there she is picture.
On the former president and Chelsea Clinton.
When those pictures came out and we have the video of State Department said.
They didn't have official word that she was discharged every woman standing outside the hospital watching -- drive away and then bam.
We waited until mid show and then.
Got official word from the State Department.
She is being treated for a blood clot in her brain -- her skull between your skull and her right here.
And they are saying that -- prognosis is good.
And that she should make a full recovery.
What about -- -- Charles you have had some.
We had some pretty aggressive things -- beginning of this debate to say about.
How this developed and you among others have said.
Didn't know whether this was really.
Something that was legitimate.
What do you think now.
What I did say the officers on Hannity assured him PBS.
That I didn't doubt that she had the flu which you have the -- -- the concussion.
What I didn't understand.
And it had to do with the way the information was released.
How what they were telling us about her condition for the first two weeks.
Could explain her complete absence and disappear -- -- that time.
Remember they were systematic.
And also -- -- of information.
For example on the withholding.
We still have no idea whether she got an MRI.
At the time of her -- or not and what it showed its they had one.
We don't know if he had any -- -- logic symptoms in the two weeks we didn't hear anything about it.
The State Department spokesman kept emphasizing that the reason she was in disposed.
And once unable to appear at the hearings on and guys and or elsewhere was because.
And I quote Victoria -- when -- had a very uncomfortable stomach virus.
And she was quote under the weather.
Now -- -- the -- they're just not explain.
How one of the five most senior officials in the government.
The secretary of state.
Who has important appearance before the congress.
For two weeks.
And the complaint I made I think it was on special report last week.
Was that we were getting about as much information about her condition as we get.
About Hugo Chavez.
So there was -- downplay it it made it sound -- Her problem was the residual effects.
Of a stomach -- Which you know I feel -- -- for her but it doesn't explain in our day and age.
I was secretary of state will be unseen unheard of you -- information for two weeks.
And that's what was -- -- me it didn't connect and then on day seventeen.
We get the story of -- blood -- which apparently and again we're not a 100% true.
As I've said it was only discovered incidentally in a routine follow up not because.
She had these symptoms of what we heard today that -- no no -- symptoms and no deficits.
And at that time when they released a story from the hospital instead of looking at that.
And other issues related with -- concussion.
We have gotten no information in the of any complications.
As a -- for a concussion.
And they can be serious had we heard any of those -- we heard from the State Department.
-- spokesman of course I would have been tongue in cheek and speaking about the big guys the allergy syndrome.
But what we were hearing about her condition which I say involved.
The withholding of information as in the MRI.
And the mitigating.
Did not explain why she was apps and and that was the issue I had.
And that's why I was speaking in those terms but I explicitly was asked about.
I think our.
And I said no and I said on this show I think that I take her word and -- did any of this happen.
It was ten -- stomach flu.
Resulted in the two week disappearance so when you hear people like Elizabeth and allies say is Charles going to apologize to Hillary.
I have no apology to make consent just explain -- -- I did as a result of the information I received.
And I would say that perhaps the State Department.
If not apologize ought to explain why -- withheld information.
And why a lot of it was mitigating.
What we know are hearing.
Might have been a more serious.
Set of -- symptoms but we still don't know what she was suffering in those two weeks.
-- I felt that there are a lot of people who referred.
Sort of just painfully into the Ben -- flu and so forth plant that was kind of distasteful personally and she had a concussion and wasn't just that she had the flu.
And we now know that there was the blood clot according to the statement put out -- in State Department.
Says that that is a direct result of her concussion so she did have a serious.
The concussion for anybody this series I think her -- just this particularly serious and I don't think there was enough evidence to suggest that she was being dishonest status -- there is any thing you know -- -- -- they've said she's going to testify at a later date she should testify there's no reason.
That she shouldn't be able to do that in the future look if in the future she keeps on being sick for the next three years and I think we probably have a reason to be suspicious but at this point.
I thought it was over I instant thing it was.
-- -- John in Texas says I wish ms.
Clinton had great recovery our associate testifies to the -- doesn't and the bank doesn't hearings.
And -- and yet he finds his I mean.
Sort of Hillary on this.
I left and right and I haven't really responded.
-- no evidence.
Or at least it's highly.
Disputed whether or not what she has which is -- so honorable.
Convenience thrombosis essential -- -- -- This kind of spontaneous.
Clock which is extremely rare and adults is a result of her concussion and and there's a school of thought that it is not related.
Because it requires a tremendous.
-- ahead in this likely.
Either a coincidence or is -- to predated.
And second look I obviously feel for her it's a serious event to have a blood clot.
In the scholar she does.
And of course I wish her well and I'm not in anyway critiquing -- I'm just.
Troubled by the way the information is released and if you -- to speculate you might say again this is some speculation.
Somebody who's in who did a public guy who might want to have a future running for the presidency.
Knowing how sensitive people are about the health condition candidates like John McCain's reason -- second.
Run for office might want to have spokesman -- people around them.
Not emphasize the seriousness of something but that's what I think caused the difficulties because they were.
The mitigating what they were saying was going on.
And -- it seemed as if she wasn't able to appear anywhere and that did not square in my mind.
Password you're done you agree with -- in South Carolina she says enough about Hillary Clinton and -- do -- talk about Syria if there's a new UN -- on that Wallace I mean to listen I think -- ten -- you don't.
I grew do you have a lot of people and -- again.
About what you said -- in the show -- on other shows and I want to give you the opportunity to do with us appreciate it and I hope to have imperial considering leaving us.
The I do want -- government Syria the.
UN now estimates that there have been 60000.
Killed in Syria since the civil war if you're gonna call us to war and start.
People that's an amazing number if you think.
And if you look back.
To what President Obama said about Libya.
And the speeches that he gave about the necessity for the US acted Libyan I think we have this.
-- and yet let's play.
Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities and other conference.
The United States of America is different.
And as president I refuse to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.
Now we've seen a lot of images sixty thousands -- pretty amazing number.
-- Yeah I mean I just feel like it was over a year I believe she lets him down -- -- went on FOX News Sunday and asked that Syria.
I said it's bad we're making a situation worse -- -- of -- -- we could do some good moves without sending tens of thousands or 2000 ground troops and and you know the administration has been very determined really quite striking to determine I would say not too.
Not even not intervene as robustly as Senator McCain or senator Lieberman or other soft but really not to.
Didn't even if you at all I mean you know not -- really didn't even -- patriots on the border or no fly zones -- things that are pretty.
Minimal insurers have really risking many American lives are great expenditure American.
Money and I think we've hit a very big for grand prize first of all that.
Some very good quotation you -- and you've -- clip you played President Obama is unfortunately falsified number kind of that's bad for.
Reputation of the United States abroad.
Secondly the series and her you know it's allowed the perception in the middle east of all places.
To grow that we -- -- not serious that we're weak and he said if Clinton in president Obama's at the beginning look I would just we can't get involved there that wasn't his position he said.
Facade Moscow -- will go -- that we've done nothing.
And I myself -- met diplomats from elsewhere in the Middle East to say.
They don't even that they've been in like the idea of -- -- though some of the but it's like really haven't this is the US you say you want one thing -- and you do nothing.
As Charles -- -- was necessary on the show.
And meanwhile our inaction has allowed very bad players to act.
And we that we're gonna end up with a very much worse situation than we might have been able to achieve.
-- earlier actions have for humanitarian point of view from a sort of geopolitical point of view for strategic point of view.
I think it's been a real disaster.
From a realistic point of view there doesn't seem to be any appetite -- this White House for doing so doesn't doesn't cares.
Now Hank it's hard to follow their reasoning I actually wasn't a supporter and have been Armenia and Libya but you can say if you.
If you war says he was.
There's a lot you know there was.
Not just there's not as evidence -- Syria I mean we're talking about staving off something that might happen in the future in Libya in terms of humanitarian issues I mean that the humanitarian issue is obviously.
Very real -- you know in terms of a -- I don't know what the United States can really be doing but there's certainly plenty that we can be doing.
On humanitarian front come and it is disappointing and -- hard to square -- administration.
Isn't he more robust enough for two is it possible that this you know becomes President Obama is -- want to.
As -- Clinton looked back and said he regretted.
I think there's disagreement on not just because of of what I said I think that it's not it's not the famous -- on the offensive he was it was just.
Easier to intervene -- it's not you know people talk about arming rebels and -- not clear you know how well that would.
Work inside -- I don't I don't see and I've I've heard people discussing this a clear path actually.
Changing the situation our but.
Like I said perhaps as -- done on -- humanitarian front terms.
And I think the big strategic error was allowing the rebels to get their weaponry.
From the saudis and the Qatar's.
Who are interest -- for their own ideological reasons and supporting them more Islamist and jihadist elements.
We should have been supporting the rebels and we in the your opinions.
Together with the military should have been supplying arms to -- non Islamic rebels of whom there are -- And who -- the overwhelming majority.
Until very recently.
And because we abdicated on that -- -- Imposing ourselves with the boots on the ground even having.
You know flying airplanes overhead and shooting down.
Syrian military airplanes or helicopters.
Forget about all that.
Just supplying the weapons through Turkey we could -- a decisive influence.
And seeing who's gonna have the upper hand when the rebels -- like in Libya.
Where they're all kinds of factions that at least in Libya the stakes are lower there are also more separated geographically here.
If these jihadist take control of Syria which I mean I don't know how likely it is.
But they are the ones with the superior weaponry and the other way to kind of the leading edge.
Of what might be the final stages of the regime they could be in a position to inherit Syria and Syria unlike Libya is a serious country.
With a lot of weapons of mass destruction everybody knows is true in fact that Syrians have admitted when they said we're not gonna use them.
So this isn't a trivial event envisioned a remote country would those -- importance.
And to allow.
You know even our allies to back the wrong people.
In a situation where power is going to shift.
I think is a huge strategic error an opportunity missed.
Okay -- thing -- get a couple more questions my computer is definitely slow and I apologize for that.
Where this this week but we will work on for next week.
Jack in Pennsylvania is is very depressing about the fiscal cliff situation for anyone trying to save a little money right now.
Joseph in swans -- North Carolina raise taxes raise spending then off to Hawaii.
-- from California have Boehner should be reelected just for telling -- to go F themselves.
I can say that as -- -- -- David Georgia who could have done better than -- Obviously billion don't think many people -- of there you know -- -- that.
You know praise that the speaker even though he voted against.
The fiscal cliff bill.
You know his style as speaker is a little.
You know I was a little different blitzes.
He let's the members -- have their set.
Do their votes -- and basically they gave him a choice they said if you guys who come up with the votes to amend this bill which is gonna kill it.
We'll do it it's risky.
But will do and they didn't have the -- sort of event that.
I think look after 2010 and the Tea Party.
Infused elections swept in how many 85 and I gave -- -- Republican freshman I was -- pick -- -- foresees that -- that was more Republican freshman replaced.
Think older Republican members.
Yeah they were willing to be let it.
-- -- around in the way that previous speakers would have so whatever John Boehner I'm sure he wouldn't mind.
Being an old -- speaker who just cracks the whip and have one -- -- to it but.
That wasn't the way it was going to be and I think it's a healthy thing actually told that members left the house work its will have to use a phrase -- like.
-- season left the conference work its well.
I never was really comfortable and -- the Republicans about this.
This whole thesis about from Wilmington everything's the floor the majority of the majority support in the -- has it was understandable also kind of tactical matter of running the house and -- your conference together and it was a narrow.
Majority but it did it did lead to a certain sort of -- for our assess.
And I think there -- that's another way it was set vote less than the kind of -- saying I mean they're -- or let there be times when he doesn't when he is eighty -- and 85 the members of this conference off.
Majority of them and he says look I mean I can't control everything here and some of them will come to the floor and we'll lose some votes and or where we'll have a split Republican vote on various issues it wouldn't be a bad model and wouldn't be -- Democrats exempting itself with.
So what immigration and you could really go crazy trying to make the Republican no I'm not -- -- to force a little Republican congress who produced an eighteen votes good weapon that.
And maybe be healthier legislative process really if you just said look at some of these bills we're gonna let the committees marked them optimal victims -- the floor and we'll let -- And we'll see where the house themselves.
See that's what I think his stylus is if you think that this should be defeated or you think that there's a better thing.
Put -- forward will vote on it.
But if you don't have the votes we're gonna do the up and down thing and if I don't have the majority of Republicans so be it and that's what happened last time.
But I think immigration particularly to -- the bills that are likely come down the pike.
And in 2013.
That's one that would be a real candidate for sort of relaxing the ratings and really both parties are going to be divided let there be more real legislative process -- Hillary's speech but it's only that includes hearings.
Old fashioned things -- of -- that's -- phrase they use when they actually healing votes on amendments.
And change bills you know.
And the senate could use some of that too is that the sixty million dollars -- sixty billion dollar bill for which there's no hearings that I know of no markup no legislative record no -- -- -- the different provisions that's.
It's really not and it would just be better as a matter process that.
-- -- -- -- You don't -- -- Capitol Hill is a little more challenging when there's all these behind the scenes back door.
Meetings deciding legislation.
Literally there are no hearings to go to.
To see how the process develops and you can't report -- there are fascinating between vice president vibrant and Mitch McConnell.
-- always had a little some of these mega you know.
-- didn't -- stroke of midnight kind of things but there -- to be votes in committee.
I'm mark up and you know one thing -- -- twelve to nine you have to be to defeated fourteen to seven and you actually see in -- -- be votes where people would not necessarily vote with that was -- a party.
And it was I think in some ways to produce something which you could get more consensus in the today OK it's John no budget no debt ceiling raise.
Much let's see a lot of people saying about -- guns.
The percentage of gun sales are going through the roof in December they found uninteresting.
And brands in Michigan says -- always just be discussing after Obama's inauguration speech.
-- -- And -- speech.
The first inauguration speech was a memorable one -- I think you know -- my the first inauguration speech really didn't.
Tell us about anything about him a month later he gave an address to a joint session of congress.
I think it was 24.
-- -- unveiled an incredibly aggressive liberal agenda which -- -- was.
You know courageous ever -- to -- on the same time.
I think he might do that again I think what's really important State of the Union Address and I think he'll be as open.
And unashamed and pushing his agenda as it was last night -- on Monday night.
Monday afternoon where he said I'm -- -- someone who -- an amendment.
Expand their welfare state and that's why I'm here I'm not here yeah.
I think -- -- -- -- can they used to be that tax collector for the ordinary Americans.
Of the welfare states I think he's can become open about it.
Okay Robert says I love this after SR program and Nancy from prosper Texas asks how do you get your question posted.
So this is the deal.
Welcome back every Wednesday we are trying to do it the computers a lot faster usually -- panel thank you very much as always.
Thanks Trojan into the online show tonight we will be back here tomorrow 6 PM eastern for special report control room have a good night -- and the beauty.
She's always logged on she says great show -- -- studio cruise control room and Lama was right there -- -- they are running the show.
All right see you next time.