tv Martin Bashir MSNBC December 11, 2012 1:00pm-2:00pm PST
apparatus that's overseen the last two presidential elections clearly doesn't get it anymore. it's time for new blood and a new way forward. let's hope the rnc's new committee is willing to take a good hard look at itself. if not, some of my friends and i will tell them, we told you so. okay. martin, it's all yours. >> s.e. cupp's answer to the republicans, smile more. well, it's a start. thank you. good afternoon. it's tuesday, december 11th, and have no fear, we are here. we've traveled to washington in order to offer our love and support to a republican party in deep crisis. >> the president and i met on sunday. it was a nice meeting, cordial. >> who in america is betting on john boehner. >> right now the american people have to be scratching their heads and wondering when is the president going to get serious? >> i think people are scratching their head at why we just had to watch that. >> i'm willing to compromise a little bit. >> boehner does not have unity behind him.
>> there is probably a slightly better than 50/50 chance that there will be a deal. >> i don't think there's a republican alive who can stop what is going to happen. >> how about manning up here, mr. president? >> they just have nowhere to go in this debate. >> big labor is furious. >> i actually don't view this as anti-union. ♪ >> not only did our commander in chief sit through this anti-american performance, he was caught on camera shaking his hand. >> why would he even be in the same room with this guy? that to me is scary. ♪ it's the most wonderful time of the year ♪ it is crunch time here in washington. exactly three weeks left to cut a deal before automatic tax increases and spending cuts will
send the economy over the fiscal cliff, and around the capitol there's largely the sound of silence as the white house and congress try to work out a deal behind closed doors. the president has no public events on his schedule. and all through the house, not a creature was stirring except, that is, for john boehner, who emerged to gavel the house into session this afternoon after a week's recess with his trademark holiday cheer. >> washington has a spending problem. now, the president doesn't agree with our approach. he's got an obligation to put forward a plan that can pass both chambers of the congress because right now the american people have to be scratching their heads and wondering when is the president going to get serious? >> i'm sorry, i meant his trademark ba ham bug which he's been doling out by the sleigh load. >> there's a stalemate. let's not kid ourselves. we have a debt problem that is out of control.
we've got to cut spending. washington has got a spending problem. just more of the same. >> more of the same indeed. and as minority leader nancy pelosi today declared with americans making their lists of holiday shopping and calculating their year-end finances, now is no time for playing politics. >> it is not a time to inject even more uncertainty into the lives of the american people and the economy of our country and what that means globally. it simply isn't the time. many of these ideas are bad at any time, but they're particularly harmful at this time. >> and while speaker boehner bemoans the lack of spending cuts, white house spokesman jay carney was happy to hold up the physical evidence of those cuts in today's briefing. >> pages 17 to 45 details on proposed spending cuts by the president. what we haven't seen from republicans to this day is a
single specific proposal on revenue. >> i wonder why that would be? sheer stubbornness or might there be some sort of strife in the republican power structure? majority leader, harry reid. >> they can't decide what they're going to do. we have heard about the infighting going on with the house leadership, boehner is having trouble finding help from his leadership as to what they're to do. >> according to senator reid, the battle is between boehner and congressman kevin mccarthy, eric cantor, and one paul ryan. ho, ho, ho. let's get right to our panel. with me here in washington is msnbc political analyst david corn, and in new york msnbc political analyst professor michael eric dyson. david, can i start with you? the president began with, o come all ye faithful, and now we have speaker boehner singing in the bleak winter. how far does the president have
to go to give boehner something that helps boehner go to his caucus and say let's just do our deal. >> you want someone to be singing "i'll be home for christmas." >> there you go. >> first, it's nice to see you in d.c. >> it's a great pleasure. >> we have this little bubble of optimism in the conventional media the past few days. although they're talking, they're not saying much, there must be progress, but we still have a fundamental divide here. the president says rates have to go up. he doesn't want to trade the debt ceiling for anything. he thinks that should be separate. and boehner put out a proposal saying we'll raise invest knews but we're going to lower rates. won't specify, as you noted earlier. there seems to be in the staff level at least not much progress, any progress, being made. i have to believe the fundamental dynamic is still the same, that boehner is going to have a hard time convincing more than half of his caucus, even half of his caucus, to support something that really gives the president a lot in terms of
revenue cuts and doesn't go to the debt ceiling as ransom. i don't know what breaks that log jam. today in the bureau we got in a little bit of a tizzy, boehner is going to talk at noon, he's going to talk at noon, he's going to talk at noon. why? he said nothing. he obviously was talking to his own people saying the same thing he said along. he may not be able to cut a deal. he may not be able to cut a deal until it's ten minutes to midnight when he says to these guys, listen, i have no choice. >> professor dyson, speaker boehner wonders when the president is going to get serious about these matters. but even rush limbaugh says the speaker has no leverage left. would you like to share with the speaker what the president has been saying for the last 12 months? >> absolutely. let me, first of all, begin by let's throw another song into the mix that many of the american people are saying james brown says, santa claus please come to the ghetto. the reality is this, the president has been saying the
american people deserve to be treated fairly. now, we've gone along with this madness from the republicans that those at the top need a tax break and a tax cut, and this is just ludicrous. the american people have spoken. the re-election of president obama validates his particular approach here, which is that middle class people should not have a burden placed upon their shoulders. the working classes should not be punished, and god knows the working poor should not be further marginalized in this economy by trying to give goodies and treats to the republicans. they are playing grinch for -- the grinches who stole the christmas of working class people here, and president obama is trying to talk about the spirit of generosity and common sense of the american people. so what he's been trying to say is, i'm not going to budge, and i think he's got a reassured approach here. the american public has spoken. president obama has girded up
his lions and he's digging in his heels. it may be one of these right before the stroke of midnight that he says, look, i have no other choice here. we're not going to have this mexican standoff, so to speak, and i have to get out of the way in the game of chicken. recogniz otherwise, ear all going to be soup at the end of the day. >> harry reid cites paul ryan as one of those giving boehner heartburn. do you think ryan is trying to bully boehner with his presidential dreams, his p 90x? >> there's a great shakespeare play to be written involving eric cantor, paul ryan, kevin mccarthy and others. we've seen in the course -- >> is that the comedy of error s shakespeare? >> i think it's more of a tragedy than a comedy. >> maybe "hamlet." >> they all end up on the floor at the end. >> exactly.
>> poor york. the thing is the internal dynamics of that leadership bloc have been fascinating to try to watch and discern from the outside, and eric cantor has gone from playing good cop, back cop, back and forth -- >> your book details all of that. >> up until last year and it's taken a few new rounds since then. the question is whether boehner has the ability to negotiate in good faith with the president without being stabbed in the back by one of hirs tehis team leaders. at the moment you see these story in the post and the ti"th time times", that boehner has more control of his party than ever br. that's really a low bar. >> professor dyson, republicans are so aggrieved over how this fiscal fight is doing, they have now called in karl rove's crossroads gps to make some ads
about it calling the president a job killer, and karl rove made his triumphant return to fox news last night. i guess the party is united in amnesia, if nothing else. >> no doubt. out, out, damn spot, or i am more sinned against than sinning, or tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow creeps on its petty tape. take one of those lines from shakespeare and you see what the conundrum is. they portrayed themselves as the defenders of the elite in the name of the middle class, and that shenanigan has been proved to be wrong. the kun in ordnard that they ar putting this forth has been disproven. the wagon is we have to give tax breaks to the rich. there's no other way to present it. there's no other story. we have exhausted the narrative. give it up, fell las. go ahead and join with the
american people and let's do something good for the american people. stop this namby-pamby pee-wee herman like approach. i know you are but what am i and try to get on board to figure out what we can do to make the american public better. >> the only thing i would offer is mcbeth which i think aptly described john boehner, full of sound and fury signifying nothing. david corn, professor michael eric dyson, thank you both. neck, another republican governor in a blue state turns bright red. ho, ho, ho, indeed. stay with us. begin. tomato, obviously. haha. there's more than that though, there's a kick to it. wahlalalalallala! smooth, but crisp. it's kind of like drinking a food that's a drink, or a drink that's a food, woooooh! [ male announcer ] taste it and describe the indescribable. could've had a v8. that was me... the day i learned i had to start insulin for my type 2 diabetes. me...
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legislation in michigan is ultimately about one thing, republicans wanting to turn a blue state red. angry protests have accompanied the decision by the states legislature to send two bills which would weaken unions to the desk of the state's governor. that man, rick snyder, has promised to sign them perhaps by tomorrow. ironically in a building named after mitt's father, george romney, who according to buzz feed opposed right to work laws, unlike his son. but governor snyder tells an dia mitchell moments ago that this is about helping workers. >> i think it's a good thing. it's about being pro-worker. it's about giving freedom of choice to workers and secondly as was mentioned in the earlier report, it's about economic development. >> that's what we describe as a crack burger. the president stated on monday what actually will happen. >> these so-called right to work laws, they don't have to do with economics. they have everything to do with politics.
what the they're really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money. >> joining us now is julian epstein, a democratic strategist, and dr. james peterson, an associate professor at lehigh university and a contributor to thegrio.com. welcome to you both. julian, you spent a considerable amount of time toiling in michigan politics. you know the phrase right to work is about as good a euphemism as fair and balanced. this has nothing to do whatsoever with right to work, does it? >> no. this is a gratuitous attack on the labor movement, and the labor movement was in many ways born in michigan and detroit, and it's a curious thing because the argument on the right to work side is that it's going to help grow the economy as they argue it has done in some southern states. the truth of the matter is it's hard -- the data kind of speaks both ways. southern states generally tend to have higher unemployment and lower wages. they also tend to be areas that
have higher growth rates. so the data is kind of inconsistent, but a couple economists have looked at that at hofstra university. if you look at what the ceos of the major big three auto companies are saying, they don't want any part of this right now. so this is an attack on worker rights at the time when the fundamental problem this country faces right now, there is one economic problem that everything we're talking about whether it's the budget or anything else is all rooted in, and that is the fact that wages in this country have been stagnant for 10 to 12 years. rather than trying to lift workers up, this is another effort by the republican party to go right between the eyes of working people. >> ant right at the moment when corporate profitts are at astronomical levels. >> and michigan is a very
inhospitable state for chief executives. this governor is going to face a very, very, very tough re-election. >> isn't the giveaway here that the governor wanted to push this through during a lame duck session to seek some kind of revenge as julian just hinted at the president who won re-election? >> well, that is one giveaway. julian is right here. the right to work is actually a movement that ultimately will diminish workers' rights. when you look at the right to work laws and the states they're in, they're in some of the most economically challenged states in the united states. i think what's really sad here though, martin, when you think about the history of michigan and dream hampton and michael moore and others have said this already, that the sort of post-industrial movement, the sort of sapping of the middle class started in michigan in places like flint, michigan, and detroit, michigan. it's really tragic that if this is some kind of political gamesmanship to try to institute this right to work piece here in michigan, that it's sad.
but i do think there are more than just political outcomes for the governor and for whatever wealthy cronies he has in his back pocket. at the end of the day when you have these right to work laws in place, the economic gap, the concentration of wealth in the top 2%, ceo payouts and ceo salaries can be higher when workers' wages are lower. >> julian, by our count seven 69 ten poorest states in the u.s. are right to work states. >> exactly. >> nine of the ten richest are not. >> that's true. >> why do they support this legislation claiming that it helps workers? it does the exact opposite. >> if you look at the right to work states, they generally tend to have lower wages, generally tend to have higher unemployment. the argument on the other side was economic growth, they tend to be growing faster. >> so that's the rick perry argument. >> that's the other side of the argument. the economic data is very, very, very clear. there is absolutely no impact. most of the major -- if you ask
any one of the big three auto companies, they will tell you they want no part of this. the other thing about what's going on there, i don't think even though this is going to be a defeat for labor, i don't think it's as big a defeat for two reasons. one is labor is in the life blood in michigan politics and the culture of the michigan economy. i don't think you will find many free riders. if you give union workers the right to opt out of the union, i don't think many will opt out. secondly, this is the kind of energization that the labor movement really needs in michigan. i think, one, you will see this get back on the ballot. there is a provision under the michigan constitution that allows this to get back on the ballot in the next election. i think you will see that. i think, as i said, you will see the governor have a difficult time with re-election, and i think this is going to be the kick in pants that labor needs in michigan. at the end of the day this could be something that could be a blessing in disguise for them. >> julian epstein, dr. james peterson, thank you so much. next, a three-day workweek
or why i could be calling mayflower movers and making d.c. my new home. folks, there's been a lot of soul searching going on at fox news and i'm confident that they eventually will find one. for those with visions of doing this... ...this... ...and this, dancing in their heads... ...we have these. home depot gift cards. give the gift of doing, in-store or online. [ male announcer ] it started long ago. the joy of giving something everything you've got. it takes passion. and it's not letting up anytime soon. at unitedhealthcare insurance company, we understand that commitment. and always have. so does aarp, an organization serving the needs of americans 50 and over for generations.
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>> well, not millions of dollars, billions of dollars. >> billions. >> to launder from mexico, and i thought one of the interesting things today is the justice department announced this $2 billion settlement with hsbc is for some of the banks in mexico, the cartels were such regular customers, they knew the exact dimensions in the teller windows, what the gap was, and they had boxes specially made so they could slide the bocks of cash through the teller windows. what the government said today is that they were turning a completely blind eye to this or at least knew about it and failed to do anything about it, and then, of course, doing business, allowing banks to launder money that was coming from cuba, libya, the sudan, and other countries that are on the list of prohibited countries to do business with at u.s. banks. for all those reasons it was a massive settlement with hsbc. >> it's hard not to assume without slandering or libelling
anyone that this was not part of a systemic structure within this bank. to launder this amount of money and for no alarm to be raised suggests there was engagement deliberately by this bank. >> and the government actually maintains here that in some cases, that the hsbc bankers were instructing their customers how to obscure the fact that they were doing business with prohibited countries. so it wasn't merely a failure to take care. it was actually participating and helping some of these companies evade these restrictions. >> right. didn't someone realize, for example, that $290 million in traveler's checks might be a little excessive for a used car dealership in russia? >> and, of course, what hsbc would say, they have a brand new ceo, as you know, and they have changed a lot of their top leadership. he said, you know, we did terrible things here. we're very sorry. he claims they're trying to turn the bank around, that they've made a lot of changes, and this
may be one of the reasons that the government didn't -- the u.s. government didn't prosecute hsbc. that's become one of the questions. if they did all these things and you think it was willful in many cases, why weren't they prosecuted? the justice department says they are trying to turn around, and, secondly, they were worried, candidly, if they went ahead and charged hsbc with a crime, it could be a big blow in the global economy. >> pete williams, justice correspondent, thanks so much. >> yes, sir. >> stay with us. the day's "top lines" are coming up. ves you 1% cash back on all purchases, plus a 50% annual bonus. and everyone likes 50% more... [ midwestern/chicago accent ] cheddar! yeah! 50 percent more [yodeling] yodel-ay-ee-oo. 50% more flash. [ southern accent ] 50 percent more taters. that's where tots come from. [ male announcer ] the capital one cash rewards card gives you 1% cash back on every purchase plus a 50% annual bonus on the cash you earn. it's the card for people who like more cash. 50% more spy stuff. what's in your wallet? this car is too small.
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their flk taxes go up. >> we're broke. >> you all don't like that. >> as long as the whos slow walks this process, the closer our economy gets to the fiscal cliff. >> we can solve this problem. >> when is the president going to get serious? >> people have a lot of different views. i'm willing to compromise a little bit. >> how about manning up here, mr. president. >> i would hold my nose despite the fact that raising those two tax brackets is bad economics. >> the obama administration is accepting corporate donations to help pay for next month's inauguration ceremony. on the bright side, the ceremony is being renamed the toes at the tees pepper jack scoops presidential throw down. >> white house is decorated and from the looks of it the obamas will have a fun holiday. >> the white house is ready for christmas. today first lady michelle obama has given a tour and that is not it. >> there's been a lot of soul searching going on at fox news. and i am confident that they eventually will find one. >> i think they park better than i do.
>> psy said some anti-american things. ♪ >> no big deal. we don't believe psy. >> controversy erupts after president obama embraces a rapper once calling for the death of innocent americans. >> he was caught on camera shaking his hand. he's not going to stand up for our brave men and women in the military? that's pretty sad. >> we have specifics coming out of our eyeballs. i'm very confident we can take the smat. we're doing to win this race because people know we need a better future for this country and i don't think people are hoping for four more years of this mess. >> let's get to our panel. jonathan capehart is an msnbc contributor and karen finney is an msnbc political analyst and the former director of communications at the dnc. karen, the rnc has just announced something called the growth and opportunity project to assess their injuries, yet the five people chose ton chair this august body includes former
bush secretary ari fleischer, who on election day tweeted about being amazed about african-american turnout in ohio. so i guess is it acknowledging black people like to start? >> i think you might have recognized that at some point. he's been in politics a little bit. the biggest problem in reading about this, we went through something similar in 2005 when howard dean became chairman. the difference was he made the point of talking to the state party chairs to find out what would it take to win in their state, and he talked to rank and file democrats. we also did a poll to try to understand was it our message, was it how we were communicating. we found it was our message people agreed with, it was how we were communicating. that's kind of the big piece they don't want to admit. nobody agrees with them. all of this is window dressing to cover up the fact that reince priebus doesn't have a vision for the party. this is a cya move so he could say we have this commission and we did these things. >> ari fleischer was brilliant about lying about the iraq war
for about six years. jonathan according to rny filings with the election commission, $59 million was spent with vendors in the five weeks leading up to election day. of that amount one-third went to a single telemarketing firm which just happens to have been founded by current rnc chief of staff jeff larson. >> it's sort of a closed loop world here where -- >> unbelievable. >> you have people working for the party but they have side contracts with the party and then no matter what happens, no matter the fortunes of the candidates, for the senate or congress or even presidentially, the folks who have the deals, they always end up coming out on top, win or lose. >> right. and karen, no less a conservative than bill krystal is writing about this now. he says of his own party, quote, the conservative movement is in deep disarray. it may be that major parts of american conservatism have
become such a racket that a kind of refounding of the movement as a cause is necessary. it is a racket when you have a serial adulterer like newt gingrich and you have got a criminally wrong dick morris still in the racket still making millions. >> but they're the party of family values, what do you mean? >> sorry. they're making millions. >> absolutely, they are making millions, and the thing is they're not winning. you would think somebody would say, wait a second, we're going to spend all this money, what are we getting for that. ? one of the beginnings governor dean did, everybody was off thed nc coal. >> really? >> it broke a lot of china. people didn't like it. his point was why are we listening to the same set of consultants when we're losing? this racketeering, the problem is the five people who are on this, you know, commission, if you will, or this autopsy if you will -- >> growth and opportunities. >> are all part of the same racket and they will cover for the newt gingrichs of the world and the dick morrises of the
world and the car roves of the wor world. >> and learn nothing? >> i think they will come back they have to do a better job communicating their message. >> but i wonder if it also depends on -- okay, so they put out their report and it's a big cya. i wonder how bobby jindal responds to that, who has been very forceful since election day about the problems of the party. what does chris christie say about what's in that report? it's one thing to have this autopsy body doing this report. it's another thing, again, to rank and file, the governors who are out there who have to pick up the broken pieces of their party if they're going to move forward. >> but will they even have an opportunity to have a voice? here you had when they announced their committee chairs no women. not even anybody at the table to say, excuse me -- >> there were never going to be any women. >> their immigration reform proposal, right, it was so much
less than even the bare minimum of what we've been talking about. nothing that the latino community would agree with. there was nobody at the table to say this isn't going to fly. that's part of the problem. will they listen to voices of people who might actually say, excuse me, we can't accept that. >> i know you were delighted karl rove was back on fox news last night. according to his own filings, mr. dick morris used his super pac to solicit cash from conservatives eager to part with their money by sending it to morris in return for, get this, his e-mail list. he was using his e-mail list to raise -- does that sound like a scam to you? >> well, i mean, well, yes, and clearly it's a legal scam, and i want to find out how you do that because i have a sizable e-mail list. i would love to rent it out to people. it goes back to the original question you asked and my response. there's a closed loop within the
republican party, republican circles, that just feeds on itself and rewards failure. >> and they're talking to each other. they're not actually talking to any of the people that, you know, that 90% or so, the rest of us who voted. so, of course, they're shocked that all those black people came out to vote. if you're not talking to them and not talking to anybody who is actually engaging in the real world and you're trying to convince women there's no war on women while you're trying to take our rights away with transvaginal probes, you're totally out of touch. >> this idea that black people weren't going to come out to vote, anybody who had their eyes open knew that everybody, every black person in america who could get to the polls was going to go to the polls, and then you throw on top of it the voter suppression stuff, and so then all of a sudden it's like, oh, no, you're not going to take away my right to vote. ari was so shocked. >> yes, he was.
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to relieve your stuffy nose. [ sighs ] thanks! [ male announcer ] you're welcome. that's the cold truth! [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus. ♪ oh what a relief it is! ♪ [ male announcer ] to learn more about the cold truth and save $1 visit alka-seltzer on facebook. during the campaign we heard mitt romney and many of his supporters say that taxes were too high on corporations. the gop calls these companies, what was it? >> job creators. >> job creators. >> job creators. >> job creators. >> right, how could i forget? job creators. except these job creators seem more adept at creating tax havens. bloomberg reports google has she willered -- sheltered at reported $10 billion in tax shelters.
we're joined by robert reich, former secretary of labor and now professor of economics at uc-berkeley, and the author of "beyond outrage." good afternoon. >> good afternoon. >> while we're focused on cuts to entitlements rather than corporate tax cheats who relentlessly steal money from this government every year without fail? >> because the corporate tax cheats among many others, wealthy and powerful interests in this country, have a very, very cunning ability to distract attention from what they are doing and put attention on programs that benefit many middle class people and many poor people and say they have to be cut. medicaid has to be cut. that kind of welfare has got to be cut. we have 47% of americans who are basically takers instead of givers, and by doing that they
are distracting attention from corporate welfare, huge amounts of subsidies and tax breaks going to individual companies, and they are also distracting attention from all of these hi jinxes such as the tax avoidance industry represented by what google is doing. >> and, indeed, i remember mitt romney's tax return. in fact, it took me about four weeks to read it because it was prepared by some of these very same people. what corporations contribute to federal revenue as you know has declined dramatically from 33% to about 9% by one estimate in the past few decades. yet what individuals pay in payroll taxes has increased dramatically. isn't that a kind of taxpayer funded corporate welfare? >> it is, and beware. focus on that. the payroll tax is relatively regressive, and by that i mean if you are earning $50,000 or even $100,000, you are paying
every dollar of that is being subjected to the payroll tax. but once you hit $110,000, you are no longer paying any additional payroll taxes. it's a ceiling on the social security payroll tax. and those have gone up. the payroll tax has gone up substantially. sales taxes have gone up substantially. property taxes have gone up substantially, but the corporate income tax has gone down. the effective income tax, that's what corporations actually pay, has plummeted over the years. and that is something we do not talk about. certainly we talk about the fact that the top marginal income tax rate has also dropped, but the fact that the top corporate effective corporate tax rate has also dropped, no. you hear, instead, the business round table, the chamber of commerce, all of these companies and trade associations say, no, we can't be competitive because our tax rates are too high. >> yes. well, you'll remember mr. romney
actually applauded these tax cheats in august. he said they know how to find ways to get through the tax code, save money by putting various things in the places where there are low tax havens. how do you fight someone who sees cheating as a virtue? and indeed as many of these companies appear to. >> well, first of all, you have to acknowledge that they are creating jobs. they are job creators, but the skro jobs they create are tax advisers, tax attorneys, and accountants to find special places around the world that charge nothing with regard to corporate income taxes and cleverly help them transfer their profits to these places. how do you stop it? well, you have got to have laws that prohibit it absolutely. you have got to have very high fines and penalties to make it not worth their while, and you've got to have enforcement mechanisms, enforcers in the irs and other tax authorities around the world that can actually root this out.
some of it is very complicated. but you see, martin, one of their techniques is to put a squeeze on the enforcement authority's budgets so that the enforcement authorities, the irs and the treasury department, doesn't have the manpower to do this. >> brilliant. professor robert reich, thank you, sir. >> thanks very much, martin. bye-bye. >> stay with us. much more ahead, but first hampton pearson has the cbs market wrap. good afternoon. >> hello, martin. late day comments from harry reid about the lack of progress on the fiscal cliff talks really put the brakes on today's rally. at the close we saw the dow gaining 78 points. the s&p adding 9 points. the nasdaq up 35. that's it from cnbc, first in business worldwide. [ male announcer ] this is joe woods' first day of work. and his new boss told him two things -- cook what you love, and save your money.
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the associated press is now reporting that the white house offered a new fiscal cliff proposal to the house gop since their meeting sunday. just this afternoon speaker's office countered. speaker boehner has refused to comment, but the speaker himself, well, he had an early christmas greeting for the white house today from the floor. >> we know that the president wants more stimulus spending and an increase in the debt limit without any cuts or reforms. now, that's not fixing our problem. frankly, it's making it worse. >> congressman joe courtney is a democrat from connecticut and he joins us in the studio. welcome, sir. great to have you. do you have any idea what the fresh deal may be? >> no. i mean, the transparency in this process has been zero. and to some degree i think people understand that private conversation is good, but this is moving at an incredible snail's pace given the fact that at some point the public does
need to know what's going on and certainly the caucuses who vote on this. >> speaker boehner's caucus needs to know. >> absolutely. >> i mean, do you think, for example, that the president may have given some where perhaps in relation to, i don't know, qualifying age for entitlements or some other areas they may be seeking some compromise on. >> it's possible. personally, i think that's a really mistaken policy, but having said that, i mean, i think listening to speaker boehner's comments, he forgets the fact that a trillion dollars of cuts was implemented through the budget control act when it was passed in august of last year, and if you look at the affordable care act which they were screaming about cutting medicare just a few weeks ago, in fact, it has moderated the rate of growth to a historic low level. the fact is that this administration has clean hands in terms of on the spending side. and, you know, what we've got to make sure is we have to balance the needs of a still weak economy. >> indeed. stay there, congressman, because our white house correspondent
kristin welker is joining us now from the white house. kristin, are you able to flesh out some of the details that's being reported by the associated press amongst others? >> reporter: well, both sides are being fairly tight-lipped right now but here is what i can tell you. my republican sources on the hill confirm that house speaker john boehner has presented the white house with a counteroffer to an offer that he apparently presented to house speaker bonn boehner on sunday. what are the details of that offer? they are not saying except to say it includes new revenues and entitlement reforms. they're also still calling on the president to release more specifics about what he would do to reform entitlements. the white house has spent much of the day pushing back against that saying look at our proposal from 2011 for deficit reduction. the two sides are meeting though, martin. as you know, the president and house speaker john boehner met on sunday and with the exception of the nugget we're getting right now, they're not telling us a whole lot. one person in the white house
tells me there's a reason for that. they're trying not to release too many details, so some of this negotiation can go on behind closed doors so they can make progress on this. senior administration official noting to me that if this ripens too soon, it could spoil. essentially meaning that the political pressure on this situation could derail a deal if too much is revealed before we get closer to that deadline. but, again, what i can confirm is that according to my republican sources on the hill, house speaker john boehner has presented the white house with counteroffer to a new proposal that was delivered to them on sunday. martin? >> congressman, you were saying earlier that you are very concerned now about the time that we have left. christine le guard of the imf, the international monetary fund, has already said this would be a catastrophe for the global economy if we slip over. do we have enough time for a deal to be done. according to kristin, it sounds as if they're getting closer. >> it is, and, again, i certainly think logistically,
yeah, you could schedule a vote and pass it and send it to the president in record time. but as you recall, when t.a.r.p. was voted on that last time when the whole eyes of the world were watching the congress, the fact is the first vote capsized because i think, frankly, people took it too much for granted that the chamber was just going to swallow what was sort of hashed out behind closed doors in too tight a process. so, again, i recognize the need to have honest communication and sometimes it has to be done behind closed doors, but the fact is the clock is getting very tight in terms of, in my opinion, something this big. >> and your opinion is worth well because you know how congress works. going back to you for a moment, kristin, you just said that speaker boehner came back with some additional revenues, but here is the question, kristin. did that -- did you mean by that a possible tax rate increase? >> reporter: no, to be clear i absolutely did not.
they are not letting us know specifically what the revenues, what the entitlement reforms would look like. i have been trying to get specifics and i imagine hopefully we will over the next several hours or so, but, again, they're being very tight-lipped about what is actually in this deal except to say that it does include those components, and as you know, president obama was initially asking for about twice the amount in new revenues that house speaker john boehner was saying he could deliver. the house speaker getting some push back from members of his own caucus for offering up $800 billion in new revenues. of course, he wanted to achieve that by rolling back tax breaks. president obama wants rates to go up on the wealthiest americans. there is no sign that that impasse has been broken at this point. those are still one of the big issues that likely needs to be worked out. but, again, what we do have it seems at this point, at this hour, is a proposal and a counterproposal coming from the
hill. martin? >> thank you, kristin. congressman courtney, finally and briefly if i can put this to you, is it possible they're getting closer but actually they don't want to reveal that they've reached a closer agreement because it will give too much time for blood-letting? >> it's possible because, again, just remember, people are just flying into town tonight, and so the time to present it is really now. but this week we better start seeing some real movement. >> congressman joe courtney, i'm sorry, but thank you so much. and nbc's kristin welker, thank you. thanks so much for watching. "hardball" is next. for those with visions of doing this...