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tv   Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer  Current  December 7, 2012 2:00am-3:00am PST

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follow commentator. there's laura ingraham. oops! oh oh! [ laughter ] >> their excuse was it wasn't laura. all right we'll see you guys monday. >> good evening, i'm eliot spitzer and this is "viewpoint." the status quo rarely lasts more than 24 hours. just ask jim demint. he has done everything in his power to perpetuate the grid lock between the white house and
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capitol hill, including support for some far right candidates who won office in the conservative wave election of 2010 and for con turf as i haves like richard how are dock who may have cost the tea party many seats. he announced he was leaving for a lucrative post as one of the presidents of the heritage foundation. he explained. >> chad conley told the hill: >> this morning, house minority leader nancy pelosi was asked what it meant to her.
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the congressman reflected on his role. >> that was one of the saddest days so anyone who was a party to that, well, i wish them well wherever they are going. >> while we always wanted to wish someone well while they go on, i will not miss his often bizarre views or tea party rhetoric that defined his view on every issue he took. i'm delayed to be joint any congressman debby wasserman-schultz. she has just been nominated by president obama to serve as chair woman of the democratic national committee following her speck tack her performance in this election just past. we're thrilled to have you with us. >> thank you great to be with you, eliot my pleasure. >> how do you want jim deminute's departure from the senate? is this reflective of the tea
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party on the run chasing money does he believe he can leverage this position into greater power? >> i think senator demint clearly sees that the tea party is not a growth industry. i mean, he had an election that just passed that did not see the ranks of tea party members expand the senate candidates that he expected to be very likery to join him in the senate were rejected in red states by the voters who simply know that extremism is just not the way that we need to go forward in getting our economy turned around, in reducing our deficit in creating jobs. so i think when jim deminute looked around, he looked and saw a future where he would be standing by himself very often and likely face ago dwindling even greater dwindling number of tea party advocates and allies. i think he headed for the doors
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because he thinks that probably, as he said, the only way he's going to have a significant impact is through a think tank. >> to switch over to your side of the capitol the house of representatives, the tea party there seems to be playing defense. i know alan west, one of your close buddies was upset that he lost, he is gone. how does it feel when you look at john boehner the speaker republican leader and he knows every day that the tea party which had held him hostage the last two years the tea party in the house is playing defense, as well it seems. >> well, i was playing more than defense. unfortunately it feels like in the house the tail continues to wag the dog. you still seem to have a leadership on the republican side in the house led by speaker boehner and eric cantor who are dug in, continuing to say that they are not going to generate revenue through increasing tacker rates on the wealthiest 2% of this country.
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eric cantor said he would not bring the bill that is sitting over in the house having passed the senate to the floor that gives certainties to the middle class passing the tax cuts that we all agree needs to be extended right now. i'm hopeful ever hopeful that we can work together and have a balanced approach to deficit reduction to avoiding the fiscal cliff with revenue and spending cuts departments are willing to embrace so we can make sure we avoid this fiscal cliff and particularly raise the debt ceiling and avoid economic disaster. >> if that's the only particular issue to confront us next year if it is not wrapped up in this one negotiation as it should be. later in the show, we'll talk to chris van hollen, your colleague about a motion to dismiss possibility that would circumvent john boehner's extrasty to keep this bill off the floor. we will see about that. look, will rogers famously said i'm not a member of on organized
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party, i'm a democratic. you seem to tame the beat. under your leadership, the party has been unified. you had remarkable gains in the senate. how did you do it? >> this is a team effort. in fact, you took the words right out of my mouth from the d.n.c. meetings. i quoted will rogers in celebrating our victory because i think that will rogers would be surprised and proud that the party that he knew not to be organized was very well organized, had a ground game that was well coordinated that, you know, the tens of thousands of doors we knocked on, really hundreds of thousands of doors the phone calls the data driven decisions that we made, this is an organized unified political party that knows the direct we can take this country and that's forward, focus on job creation, turning our economy around, rebuilding this economy from the middle class out.
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the essential components of that right now is to avoid the fiscal cliff and give certainty to the middle class passing those middle class tax cuts rate now. >> you have just articulated what i anticipate we'll hear from the president in the state of the union. the politics of knocking on doors, the good streets politics of the grassroots party. there's greater unit, which is important. >> this election was not just two paths and visions laid out on issues. you had a handful of billionaires on the republican side trying to buy the white house from mitt romney and you had a grass roots movement that was organized from the ground up with volunteers, people-powered campaign. it demonstrated that you can't buy democracy in this country. you really have to work it, and hour voters and supporters were determined to get out their get
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to work, and stay on line, even with all the obstacles thrown in their way by republicans across the country preventing them from getting access to the polls. >> it's so important. there were two competing advices. in a way this was a good election for democracy. there were two articulate candidates with good advices and that's a choice. how do we build on this, the one remaining piece is the house your task, i think ahead in 2014 is to put us in a majority in the house. what will it take and what are those seats that can be residing right now? >> we need to do exactly what we have been doing, build off our ground game, our success focus on recruiting top tier candidates. we added eight seats to the house. we have seven to go to take the majority back. typically in the second term, mid material, it's tough for the
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majority party. we know that because i think we're likely to have the two very contrating directions that republicans and democrats present to the country. i think with the gains with he made with a 12-point gap with women, 74% of the hispanic vote, 71% of the asian american vote you have an opportunity to build off that success. so far it doesn't seem like the republicans get that they were really rejected on the issues by those demographic groups and because they were so extreme. we're going to continue to be the party of diversity and of everyone and of moving our economy forward. >> i hate to disagree with you about one small thing. i'm not the sure, i think the republicans do understand they loss. witness their choices for committee chairs in the house of representatives, the first 19 all white men. so, how can you say they don't understand they're not showing diversity to the. they're showing us the future of
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the american party. >> they did give a woman an administrative committee at the last minute. i can clearly get it. >> i saw that today. to be serious, they are smart they understand the numbers you just set out in terms of latino voters and the gender gap. one would presume they would reach out in one way. maybe there's hope for an immigration bill this term. >> because i care about that issue and i know president obama cares about comprehensive immigration reform so much, i hope so. but so far, all the indications are that they don't get it. there doesn't appear oh be an embrace of comprehensive immigration reform. the dream act has not been embraced. they aren't making the kinds of noises that you'd hear if they were getting ready to bring that bill to the floor quickly. they still have, remember, they didn't lose that many of their tea party entrenched incumbents
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on the house side. john boehner still has to deal with that element of his party and they are extreme as we saw in the last congress. >> indeed they are extreme. congresswoman, thanks for coming on the show. >> thanks for having me. >> could a bill that would extend only middle class tax cuts get to a vote in the house and win d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d very, very excited about that and very proud of that. >>beltway politics from inside the loop. >>we tackle the big issues here in our nation's capital, around the country and around the globe. >>dc columnist and four time emmy winner bill press opens current's morning news block. >>we'll do our best to carry the flag from 6 to 9 every morning. >>liberal and proud of it.
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>> eliot: one thing everyone in the so-called fiscal cliff negotiations agree on is the tax cuts should remain in the middle class. because john boehner refuses to bring any proposal to the floor unless his own party sports it, there is yet to be a vote in the house. i had a chance to discuss this ridiculous state of affairs with congressman chris van hollen earlier today. he had an answer for that crazy situation. >> the issue of the fiscal slope, what is the "state of play" right now. how do you assess the two positions? >> well, things remain in the air still. the president supported a very specific plan. you had speaker boehner come forward with something on paper but a lot less than met the eye he was not specific at all the cuts. i guess the good news is in the
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last 24 hours, they've talked on the telephone the speaker and president. we've got a long way to go. >> eliot: it presumes toward the end there will be some sort of compromise that kicks the can down the road. there is a procedural technique something called a motion to discharge that would permit to get to the floor of the house a vote on the bill that would extend the cuts for 90% of the. that you care about the president cares about. how would that work. >> that's exactly right. we already have the senate bill. it would extend middle class tax cuts. the speaker of the house john boehner doesn't want to bring that bill up. we have a procedure in the house called the discharge petition. it means if a majority of the members of the house sign the discharge petition even if the speaker doesn't want to bring a bill to the floor for a vote, he's required to. we've gotten 150 democrats to sign it and if we can get all
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our democrats onboard, we'll need about 26 republicans only 26 to sign it, requiring the speaker to bring the bill to the floor of the house. we can get it done. >> eliot: there are republicans who would vote for the bill but can't get their own speaker to bring the bill to the floor. it sits there in limbo without ever getting that vote. >> that's right. we've got an overwhelming majority willing to volt for it. some republicans have said they also would support it. there's no way for any of us to force the speaker to bring it to the floor except the discharge. >> you need 28 republicans brave enough to say we'll sign the motion to discharge. even some republicans who say they'll vote for the bill might not vote for the discharge which sounds incrediblyar cake. >> you've got a number of republicans who say they agree with the president and with the departments, that we should move forward immediately and ask for middle class tax cuts. we say join us in signing this
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discharge petition and you'll get a chance to vote on it. they say no. they do not want to undermine the power of the speaker, even though the bill would put in place the policy they say is necessary. >> eliot: this is where you say i'm a team player, i disagree with you but i'm not going to perform a mutiny, signing the petition almost as a feud knee against the speaker. >> that's right. if it became common practice, the democrats together with in this case, 26 or so republicans could usurp all those powers the speaker has to be the person who determines what actually comes to the floor for a vote and what doesn't. >> eliot: if i'm joe citizen i say that sounds great to me, because it means the bill gets to the floor for a vote regardless of party power an permits democracy to work. do you think it would be a good thing if motions to discharge were more frequent? >> i
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the minority right now. it would be better for the system if there were more of that for the very reason you say. it's democracy a majority vote. one of the obstacles to this is republicans put in this informal rule. there's nothing in law that says you have to do it, that the speaker will not bring a bill to the floor of the house to vote unless a majority of the republicans think it's a good idea. even if we have a majority vote that would pass the bill for the good of the re public the speaker has taken the position in the past that he won't bring it to the floor unless a majority of his own party. >> eliot: it's like the filibuster that permits a minority to maintain an iron grip of what gets to the floor for a vote. >> that's right, this allows a minority of the entire house to essentially control what comes to the floor. it is the leverage the speaker depends upon from the
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>> eliot: this has been a fascinating education in the rules of governing. >> i'm glad you brought it up. the opportunity actually allowed democracy, small d., to work. >> eliot: this is where the two sides are bumping heads. my suspicion is that the republicans will cave on rates and say ok, we'll give you your tax breaks for the 98% but not vote to raise the debt ceiling try to use that. >> i think the president will insist as part of any agreement that we deem with the debt ceiling. the republicans can allow the tax cuts to proceed and say we're going to work on round two. the american public did not look kindly on the republicans holding
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hostage. the fiscal cliff is bad, but not irretrievable. you can go into january and still put the pieces back together. as you know, defaulting on the debt is irretrievable thing. that's the economic equivalent of a nuclear weapon. that is a big dynamite compared to the fiscal cliff crew having said that, as they get to the year end, i think they'll say we'll vote to extend middle class tax cuts. our leverage is greater because it's the nuclear bomb so they can increase their leverage as they move toward a vote. we may end up into january early february negotiating again about a debt ceilingle. >> that would be very hazardous. an economic nuclear deterrent is only effective if you're ready to set it off. i'm not saying there aren't tea party republicans that would be willing to tank the economy on this, but i think republicans
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really hand if they think they're going to get a lot of leverage out of this debt ceiling. they may think that. but people remember that episode more than a year ago and it really backfired. it backfired. so you'd have a situation where i think republicans would make it even worse. >> eliot: that is when public opinion crystallized against republicans. is john boehner trying to harness and limit the power of the tea party? they suffered serious defeats at the polls. is he trying to look them in the eye and say you forced us into this backwardation, now play ball with me or is he at their beck and call. >> it's a mix. he may still need some of them, not all of they will, but some of them. at the same time, i think he's saying look, wake up, guys. this election should not be in they were related as the republicans losing, because they were too moderate. our candidate, mitt romney had
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to go far to the right and never was able to bring himself back. i think speaker boehner's gained some credibility with his own party. flashback to the payroll chasm cut episode a year ago when he urged his colleagues, this time a year ago. we better extend. his guys said no and of course they were right back here in january, having to agree with the president, which is why i also think right now boehner's real sort of view is probably closercloser than he would say. >> eliot: maybe the best thing for boehner is that allen west lost. >> when you have very vocal members lose, it sends a message. >> eliot: a man who helped create and define (vo) when the clock runs out when the last card is played what will be remembered? explore the lives of the famous and infamous who changed our
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world forever. experience the drama, back to back to back. of all the hours in all their days, the ones you'll never forget are the final 24. don't miss the final 24 mini-marathon this sunday on current tv. save the best for last.
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>> every once in a while someone will have the intellectual acutety and integrity to challenge long held beliefs that may not comport with the data. they may have the courage to publish their findings. such is the case with our next guest, bruce bartlett, who served in senior administration in the reagan and first bush administrations and served in the center of the economic world for years. he is currently a contributor to
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"the new york times" and best selling author of the "benefit and burden." tax reform, why we need it and what it will take. was the notion that cutting marge national rates was essential to stimulating economic activity, do you still hold that belief and how would you apply your current tax policies in the dilemma to the economic dilemmas we face today? >> i still agree with everything ronald reagan did. it was a good idea to drop the top rate from 70% to 50%. i think getting it down to 35 is ok but i don't think it's going to hurt the economy if we go back up to 39.6%. fred smith the chairman of federal express said so today. he used to be a member of the bother of the cato institute. this whole idea that there's a line in the sand that republicans have drawn is ridiculous. we need different policies under different circumstances and right now, we don't need more
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rate cuts. >> it sounds to me like your against absolutively. that a higher rate will dissuade people from investing isn't necessarily intellectually the case. at a certain point rates have dropped low enough, such that a small bump up will not have the outcome that many republicans right now are saying it will, which is to tell people who are job creators to go home. >> that's exactly right. i mean, republicans have talked themselves into believing that the only thing that matters to a business is its tax rate and that it's sales customers, you know, and things of that sort of essentially irrelevant and that's absurd. >> it is counter that the evidence that has been presented by a warren buffet, those that control capital saying look, it's simply not the case.
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a good investment is something i will want to pursue even if the margenal rate is 39. >> right after his article came out, a university economist john cochran said he's wrong. >> eliot: i would like to ask that professor how much capital have you advocated. explain to us the transformation that you went through you're an intellectual, you look at data. how did you come to your new conclusions and how have you been received within the worlds of action dame i can't. >> i was working on a book about the 1930's, and i convinced myself that john was right. >> was that a difficult day. >> it didn't happen all in one moment. i finished this book right in the fall of 2008 just as the economy was falling apart and it
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suddenly was unmistakably clear to me that we were having the same problems and needed the same identical solutions. we needed more aggregate demand, deficit spending, we needed public worse an easy money policy. that is what the economy needed. i think our problem is we didn't get enough. >> eliot: it's fascinating you articulated this way. judge poser was an iconic voice within the chicago school of economic supply. he went through the same transformation saying different circumstances call for different responses. you don't disavow of word of margenal rates. >> that's exactly right. i don't understand this idea of cocky cutter economics where you simply do the same thing regardless of circumstances. you analyze the data, look at the economy, you come up with policies that are appropriate. >> eliot: now, you have been a
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rather harsh critic of the way the second president bush ran the economy basically saying he disa vowed principles and put in place massive spending without caring about deficits at all. you were there. what happened as you saw this and did you push back? >> oh, yes i wrote a book called imposter, president bush destroyed the economy. which got me fired from my think tank job. it was contrary to conservative dogma, yet the conservatives refused to admit it and till won't. it just is intellectual cowardice? you have brought intellectual rigor back. given where we are today we're
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till persistently high unemployment with interest lathes that are low. how would you craft a policy to bring us back? >> i still think we need more ago degree get demand. people don't understand that to get spending going in the economy, the government has to buy goods and services. it's not enough to put dollars into people's pockets because a lot of of it gets suspended or used to pay down at the timeette debt. the key thing that would help the most is not putting enough money into public works. clearly, we have a vast, your own state needs at least $50 billion to fix up from the hurricane, and to put into place some things that will prevent future damage. the roads are falling apart the bridges are falling apart there's crying needs. this is a win-win for the economy. >> eliot: this sounds very much like paul krugman has been calling out for this, there are
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ways to get demand back to where it needs to be to stimulate hiring. the two consequences the deficit hawks said would result is interest rates would go up and inflation would spike. neither has happened. why not? >> that's right. because we still don't have an economy that is operating anywhere close to potential. we have vast unused resources people unemployed who could be working. we could hire these people for very little, finance it for at. rates that are the lowest of my lifetime. we're going to look back someday at the enormous wasted opportunity we had to build things that we need for this economy, for this country for practically nothing. >> eliot: very quickly unfortunately time is running short. do you think the republican leadership still believes contrary to the evidence that you and others presented that lowering the margenal rates will stimulate aggregate demand?
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>> yes because they listen to fools like larry cudlow who has been saying the same identical thing for the 30 years i've known him. they never reach out to anybody who is not part of the clan who tells them exactly what they want to hear and the same old same old. >> it's the beauty of listening to one's own echo chamber. thank you for joining us tonight and what you have done to shed light on the limits of the economics. >> eliot: we're way past the point
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>> eliot: now is the time to withdraw from afghanistan but when will the penalty heed those calls. >> eliot: i'll talk to barbara lee of california. later, a 1%er who has a message
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>> eliot: it is time to end the longest war in our nation's history. the war in afghanistan. this war has coast more than 2,000 american lives up wards of five must not $90 billion. pressure from both republican congress is mounting on president obama to hasten the withdrawal of the 68,000
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american troops who remain in the country, ahead of 2014 when the u.s. led coalition forces of set to leave afghanistan. barbara lee delivered the sole vote against the afghanistan war in 2001 and is now spearheading bipartisan efforts to bring the troops home faster. >> congresswoman, thank you for joining us. you have and many colleagues put out a statement about the need for us to pull our troops home from afghanistan quickly. that explain why and what you think we've accomplished or not in that endeavor. >> absolutely. with when we look a what our brave young men and women have accomplished, they have done their job well. we have written with the president and want to work with the president to make sure the 2014 deadline is quicker. we want to see our young men and women come home on that an accelerated, expedited plan add safely and orderly as possible.
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we have signatures urging the president now to consider an expedited and accelerated withdrawal. there's no military solution in afghanistan. everyone knows that. the american people are way out in front of where members of congress are. 70% of the american people want this over. our troops deserve to come home, to be with their families, and we have to really address their mental health, health needs and make sure their economic security is there in tells of their jobs. >> eliot: you are so right in my opinion on that conclusion. it seems to me there are always three different objectives there, one attainable, two that are not, we've accomplished the first, let's bring our troops home. do you think we need a residual plan. >> we need to help with the development of the country. of course, we had an opportunity
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to meet with women from afghanistan. we know what we need to do to insure their rights and we need to work with women to insure equal opportunities for women there. there's many things with he need to do in afghanistan. we need to provide the help the training affords us, but we don't need a combat mission. we need to bring our troops hole. you are talking $600 billion plus. when you talk about deficit reduction and creating jobs, we can use those resources to nation build here at home. >> at a moment when the fiscal conversation is front and center you look at what we're spending in an endeavor that is doomed to failure. there is not a military there that is corrupt. is the white house sympathetic? >> we want to work with the white house, we are just getting the letter to the white house. each and every year i put forth by amendment and it receives 100
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votes, not just one. we're not going to appropriate funds for anymore than a safe and orderly withdrawal. hopefully, the white house will begin to see the validity of that position and work with the military officials and develop a plan and work with us to bring our young men and women home and to help stabilize the region by a stronger diplomatic effort. >> eliot: as you said, the public has been ahead of the elected fibs. the republican said several years ago we don't understand the mission here. the fight over who the next secretary of state should be, you know, without weighing in ambassador rice, john kerry the two most prominent names what is in john mccain's head? >> i'm shocked at some of the statements that he has made. i do know that our ambassador susan rice is qualified rhodes scholar, she is a brilliant
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woman, worked in the national security, within that team. she knows what she's doing, has done her job well, isen a expert and deserves a fair hearing. do not airport her. do not make it appear that she has not done her job when in fact what she was doing was her job. if the president wants to put her name forward she needs a fair hearing and she is such a well-qualified woman that i hope quite frankly that the president does put her name forward. >> eliot: if there was ever a case where the messager was being shot, she didn't write the information she put forth the c.i.a. did. senator mccain was going after her, some thought there was a personal feud. >> it's hard to imagine but senator mccain should be praising her for doing her job well especially when you have
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national security crisis, you want most of our officials you want everyone to be on the same page. she was on the same page, so he should be saluting her applauding her and really not providing these kind of horrible statements about her. i've known her for many years and she is a very tough negotiator on behalf of the united states. she represents the united states well, and she is such a brilliant woman. that's what i think senator mccain may or may not be able to understand. >> eliot: switching gears quickly. the republican party and tea party got thumped. is there a lesson. there in the house, do you see colleagues, i know you try to get along with everybody on a personal level but intellectually, what did they take away? >> we're seeing this during the negotiations now. i'm not sure the tea party republicans quite get the message, but there are many moderate republicans who understand the factual that what the president put forth and
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american people voled for is the very much rich, million ayres and billionaires need to pay their fair share and we need to end the tax cuts for these individuals who really don't really understand -- who really don't need that and who are willing to allow these. when you talk middle income people the poor, we cannot allow the most vulnerable, our senior citizens to pay for these tax cuts of the very wealthy. that was the message of the campaign and some republicans really understand. >> eliot: john boehner harnessed the tea party many thought john boehner wanted to move forward the middle and the far right keeping him they tethered. >> his hand should be stronger and he should be a stronger leader. he should be able to bring forward members of his party to get enough votes to make sure these bush tax cuts for the very
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wealthy end. he should be able to do that. you know, he leads their party. he leads their caucus and he should be able to make the argument of why this is best for the country. >> eliot: i certainly hope so. thanks forever joining us. >> warren buffet isn't the only one. dan berger wantststststststststststststststststststststststststststststststs very, very excited about that and very proud of that. >>beltway politics from inside the loop. >>we tackle the big issues here in our nation's capital, around the country and around the globe. >>dc columnist and four time emmy winner bill press opens current's morning news block. >>we'll do our best to carry the flag from 6 to 9 every morning. >>liberal and proud of it.
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>> eliot: many on the light like to think of themselves at patriots whether tea party or
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john mccain's 2008 campaign slogan country first. the claim should not be limited to that narrow slice of the political spectrum. some in the so-called 1%, including but not limited to warren buffet want to pay higher taxes and think doing so would be patriotic. take a listen. >> 10 years ago one made a mistake. you gave tax cuts to millionaires hike year. >> and me. >> and me. >> you decided our country needed less money. >> and millionaires like me needed more. >> now they have more money. >> and our country has left. >> 10 years ago you gave me a tax cut i didn't want and i didn't need. >> fix the mistake you made. >> because it is the right thing to do. >> tax me. >> tax me, tax me, because my country, our country means more than my money. >> eliot: perhaps john boehner and the gop can learn that it is
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his patriotic duty to pay more. thank you for your willingness to write the check. explain how this began. i agree with you. explain the genesis of this movement. >> eliot thanks for having me on. i appreciate those kind words. let me sigh that starting about two years ago actually, it was in the lame duck session of the 2010 election cycle this group was folder. it's a group of about 200 or more individuals who earn a million dollars a year or more, which as you point out corresponds roughly to the top 1% income earners in the united states and we have advocated slightly higher taxes on the 1% in order to address the budget deficit, the debt, and related
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fiscal is. we don't want to pay higher taxes, but are willing to pay higher taxes as a program of shared sacrifice, which we think would make sense under the circumstances. >> eliot: and you also reject the premise of the entire republican argument, which is if you raise these tax rates margin ally on the so-called job creators somehow that will harm our economy. >> that's utterly ridiculous. first it's false imperically. we want through the analysis with bruce bartlett, who articulated them very well. as buffet pointed out in his op-ed piece taxes went up from 2000 when clinton was in and the second part of the reagan administration because of the imbalances created by the reagan tax cuts and we created
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23 million jobs. by the same token, you know, the tax cuts to the wealthy were extended a number of times including by president obama under duress and starting in 2009 that create add boom in financial assets, but didn't produce many jobs. those are just anecdotal situations, but you can see there have been studies done including most recent one, which was suppressed by the republicans. >> eliot: the republicans suppressing the story that actually shows the data contrary. >> so there's no evidence for their contention, ok, that a., tax cuts to get the wealthy create jobs or b., taxing the wealthy would somehow hurt economic growth. >> eliot: it is no longer a surprise to us that the republican leadership reject it is either science are an littics when it is contrary to an idealogy they very much want to embrace. have you tried to engage with
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the leadership of the republican party to say if you're an litically correct i support you but you're not let's follow the empirical data. >> we met with some people on the hill in washington, democrats and the principles in both the house and the senate. when it came to the republicans the principles would not meet. they sent their lackeys underlings, their staffers. we got a split reaction. some in private conceded that taxes would have to go up. others were true believers, they had drunk the kool-aid and walked out on us. so, you know, i would say that, you know, ventures up to capitol hill are exercises in political 166. >> eliot: once again what troubles me so much is the unwillingness to confront data,
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to look at what has worked in the economy. you have studied the history and know the marginal tax rates were up when our economy was booming early in the last century. how do they square those positions. >> i can't speak for them. i don't live in the bubble and i don't read the literature, the propaganda. it's a myth. it's the knowing lower of capitalism. it's the mythology of capitalism and more reflective of a philosophical position, which is concentrate wealth in the hands of a few. >> right. let me focus for a moment on the group, the millionaires themselves. is that a bipartisan group? >> it is. we have republicans independents democrats progressives, and yes, it is bipartisan. i think, you know, it's, you know it's indicative. there's a lot of people in the 1% who are prepared to do this. not as, you know, not because they want to pay higher taxes but they recognize to the extend
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that there is a fiscal crisis, and to a certain degree, that's been manufactured, and it's an artifact of where we are in the economic cycle. you know, but to the extent there is, we're willing as a part of an organized plan of shared sacrifice to do it. >> eliot: very quickly explain to me the response to the argument gee the top 1% already pay a disproportionate share in taxes. >> it's not true, the rates the federal income sample is prosecutingive, is mildly progressive, moderately progressive at best. what the rich pay or the 1% pay isn't anywhere close to the highest rate, 35%. on average people in the 1% pay 22%. they don't pay that much more than people in lower income groups. if you act
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