tv NOW With Alex Wagner MSNBC November 22, 2011 12:00pm-1:00pm EST
cuts, domestic and defense spend pentagon. there will be no easy off ramp on this one. >> this morning is all about finger pointing.ç democrats blaming the gop for protecting tax cuts for the wealthy. republicans believing they will get a mandate in the next election and make deep cuts following it. and president obama scolding congress but saying deficit reduction will happen one way or the other. that is the spin but what is the reality? joining me today the u.s. managinged for of the financial times and kristina is editor and publisher of "the nation" and author of the book "the change i believe in." publisher of the ""new york daily news"" zuckerman, and msnbc contributor. thank you for joining me today. let's begin with the soouper committee. there is a lot of spin going on. what the reality of the whole debacle? >> perhaps we're re-entering. it's a complete mess.
basically once again america has been shown to have a political system that really isn't working effectively. it just adds to the air of growing uncertainty. even though many have both take effect in quite a while, i was talk og some defense contractors this morning who were saying that, in fact, they are already looking at things in job cuts, cuts to r&d and things like that. pretty disappointing. >> i think it shows the political system worked. no, i mean, i think the fact that you had a political party, the gop, which refused to consider any tax increases on the very rich, not compromise, not give any revenue stream, and no deal is better than a bad deal. and to me you see an agreement which understands that job creation is the crisis of our time, not debt and deficit reduction. the whole super committee wasç misconceived. it was the odius step child
brought about by republicans who held hostage a congress with no compromise. >> so you're saying that the super committee in and itself was a paper tigyingtiger. >> the crisis in the country today and i'm sure mort will disagree is not debt and defendant is its. it's a crisis. we have a political system focused on exactly the wrong thing. the best thing to deficit plan is job creation. >> mort? >> i finally agree with something. >> it's official. >> you look at all of europe. you're telling me that deficits and debts don't count. you and i know it's very different about the way the economy works. the economy that we have is going to be in very deep trouble. it is being in double. this whole recession was started by afternon excessive amount of at the corporate level, the individual level, at the real estate level, and the government level. if we don't get it unthor control we're going the to have an even worse trouble.
>> we could end up like europe. >> let's talk about who caused this problem. the fact is that the republicans did -- and i'm not a republican. i'm a democrat. okay? the republicans did make a proposal and you saw it in bob's column in "the washington post," they did make a proposal to try and improve the tax base by broadening it and lowering tax rates, but all that $250 billion of additional taxes over the next ten years, as he says, were taxes on the wealthy. so it's absolutely untrue that they weren't prepared to put any tax cuts or cuts -- >> but here -- >> just a minute. i'm sorry. i have to finish. your version of the crisis and mine is quite different. we do have a political clash here and a politicalç paralysi which is a part of the crisis. this has been brewing for a long time. we haven't been able to do it for a long time and there are people who don't just blame one side. >> americans deserve compromise. they deserve that.
congress to get the job done. fascinating study i was reading the other day. the democrats in congress under obama -- sorry, under george w. bush vote with him 41% of the time. they make just make fascinating comments today about gridlock. >> they are always fascinating. >> fascinating but this time ringing slightly true. and finally, there has been a breakdown. fundamentally i was always taught when i was learning history, cambridge university, talking about america, that america is more moderate than either republicans on the very far right or the democrats on the far left, we would have us belief. fundamentally the american would compromise. 80% of americans wanted compromise. wanted republicans and democrats to work together to get the job done. >> i want to talk about this because the "wall street journal" editorial board today writes, this is why they failed, the two parties disagreed profoundly on the version of government, sounds like we need
an election. but, countering that, meanwhile, conservative comments from the "new york times" david brooks was on "charlie rose" last night. let's hear what he had to say. >> we usually have a governing party. in the '30s, democrats. '80s, republicans. now we don't have a majority party. we have two minority parties. the elections we've had over the last couple of years. we've had this whole shift. basically what happens is they're not positive elections. people are not given mandates to do anything positive. negative elections. 2008 we really didn't like the republicans. in 010 we didn't like the democrats. >> is that the issue, that everybody is calling for a mandate,ç supposedly 2010 was mandate, 2008 was a mandate. really these aren't mandates. maybe these are just reactionary electoral results. >> i think that is the issue. if you get to mort's point about reaction to europe, they don't like it when there's no effort to deal with the crisis. they want to see a plan and
competent government. it's worth thinking for a moment about the uk because by golly the uk has done so many things wrong in the two years. >> to representatives here. >> one thing they did go is 18 months ago they came into power and would use a plan to cut the deficit very similar to what in some ways the bipartisan committee was suggesting late last year, the spending cuts and revenue increases, very similar, demanded. >> we now have reverse growth in the uk. >> and you have incredibly low yields in the market. >> the markets versus people. >> you have reverse growth in the uk but a collapse of growth in the rest of europe because they weren't able to address these issues. >> if i could just say the debt crisis in this country, the root of it, the bush tax cuts two unfunded wars and an economic crisis brought about by the masters of the universe.
those who have not had to pay for the economic mess they've paid in this country. at the moment the interest rates in this country are low and the masters of universe on wall street are still doing very well. this is a moment where the crises again of this country is not a debt crisis and we see the crisis in europe where austerity hangs over everything. because of austerity measures. they aç new deal. >> that's your version. if i may say so, almost every serious economist i know recognizes the threat that we face with the huge amount of debts in the year, in this country, absolutely. >> i have a list of economists to show you after the program, mort. >> i'm sure you do. >> my reading list is broad enough but needs to be broader. >> some level when you've got spending record highs at 25% of gdp here in america and revenue is at 15% for the all-time low.
it's fundamentally a math problem here. >> and the tax burden on the richest is at a four-decade low, mort. you know that. the income of concentration of income wealth in this country is at an all-time high. >> i have supported the higher taxes on the wealthy? >> have you? >> for years now. >> would you increase tax on hedge funds? >> i won't get any every detail with you. i personally have written it, spoken about it. i support that because everybody has to be shown to pay the price. >> the republicans don't. >> that is not -- >> i'm not trying to justify everything the republicans do. >> but that -- that notion that everybody needs to share in the crisis is something that is -- >> you have the whole simpson commission put forth with the bipartisan commission and the president, they came back with a whole program. >> yes. >> the president said, i will stand by your recommendation. they're still waiting for them to stand by his recommendation. >> certainly have more on obama and the debt and job creation. stay with us. we'll have the president speaking live in new hampshire.
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we are waiting for the president to take the stage in new hampshire but meanwhile we are continuing our robust discussion on the super committee. and -- the failure of the super committee. i'd like to touch on the president -- the presidential angle here because the white house is taking a very definitive stance which is the buck stops here, iç will veto y attempts to unwind the sequestration and triggers. does this new attack the president is taking which is the harry trumanish, give them hell
harry, is that working for him? i've got to mention a political poll finds a number of people who approve of his dealing with congress has dropped from 50% to 38%. now, that -- is that a short-term thing, a long-term thing? how well is he served by this position? >> i wish he went as forceful about that as the simpson commission late last near. if he would come out and back it strongly we would make a lot more headway than today. chances, yes, obviously he's gambling that taking this position with the super committee is going to make sure the republicans get blamed. i think what's going to happen is that the whole of washington is going to get blamed. >> how can he be from congressional dysfunction? >> i think gillian is right. poll ratings are 9% and sinking. you have a sense in the country government is not working for people. it's rigged against them. president obama has a tough road to walk if he's going to be like the reasonable man in a city which has gone haywire, we've gn
hijacked and isn't willing to consider shared sacrifice. i think the truman strategy of fighting the do nothing, know nothing congress is well, what's available to him short of doing something much bolder, which is out of the cards. >> much bolder if his hands tied. >> that is a a good segue to the president is in new hampshire and when this was announced i could hear the clanging of the election bell ringing. romney had a new ad out this morning. i think we would like to play that ifç we have sound t. soun for it. it's coming. and really takes an aggressive stance against the president, effectively what do you call it when you set the ground for a boxing match? drawing the rings around, you know. and sin viting president obama to go one-on-one with him. let's listen to the ad. >> thank you, new hampshire.
how is everybody doing today? i am confident we can steer ourselves out of this crisis. we need a rescue plan for the middle class. we need to provide relief for homeowners. it's going to take a new direction. 23 if we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose, lose, lose. >> if we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose. that is a quote which is actually the president quoting john mccain in 2008 but is being used in the romney ad and positioned in a way where it sounds like it's coming from the -- it sounds like it's coming from the white house. is this fair? we know rick perry had an ad out last week. >> of course it's fair. >> it's politics. >> american politics. he's making the same point that john mccain made. they are still talk tath economy. it's much worse than anybody anticipated when obama was elected. 24 million people who are either underemployed or unemployed. 58 million people in america who live below the poverty line and this is an administration who came in saying they were going
to turn thing around. they only have not it's gotten worse. it's going to be a difficult thing to overcome because the country holds primarily the president responsible for the leadership of and direction of this economy. >> you don't think there's anything disingenuous about the context of which he said this stuff and making it seem as in the rick perry ad when he said americans are lazy or hearsaying if we talk about the economy, we lose? >> well, we canç -- >> i find -- the real issue here is exactly what he is saying. that the president made a reference to the fact that if they are still talking about the economy in four years, three years, now it's going to be four, that they're going to lose. that's exactly the point that he is making. we are talking about the economy that's almost no other issue by far on any of the poll other than the economy and jobs. and of course, this is the thing that america has always voted on primarily. this is the president's burden and responsibility. he's the leader. if it doesn't work the country is going to say should we change the leader. >> that is mccain strategist who
said that. >> i thought it was quite extraordinary start campaigning so early. on our little island it lasts a month, $50 million for all parties. only every five years. >> yes. >> and nothing -- >> i second the motion so strongly. >> take us back to england. >> the money because of the length of the campaign. >> so nothing gets done. and that's the thing that's happening super committee, whatever, is the american people are not having a government who is actually doing any governing. >> it's so sad. >> the sad part is that campaign should be big issues and we're seeing the play and the manipulation. mort is right. american politics are usually sort of down-sized and little sound bites. but i do think that president obama can call out this congress and point to other alternatives that this congress refuses to count. by the way, the idea of shared sacrifice, i think that's obscene. mort may disagree.
so many people in this country have sacrificed in these last few years. you ticked off the unemployed, those whose houses have no worth. people -- other people have done well in this country. those who called that classç warfare is ridiculous. >> when the president talks about shared sacrifice i think he's asking for higher taxes on the top 1%. >> so many people have had the budgets burden dned on their backs already. that's why the super committee was wrong headed and displaced because people have already sacrificed in this country. there are others who have not. so i think you can point and i think the president in this environment, let's be honest, are looking now at a country very focused on the 99% versus the 1%. income and equality is being focused on in way wes have not seen in years. he has a chance to talk not in a class warfare way which the republicans trot out but in a way of fairness, about fairness and the need for those who have done so well now to contribute to invest in this country. that he can do. and to point out that they have not been along for the ride. they have obstructed whether it was a stimulus that was large
enough, a wall street reform bill that was strong enough, for a health care plan that was real enough. >> i have to say and i think those points are all well taken. gillian, i would ask you this. that requires, first of all, the american public to be listening to the president a this point and to understand what is a fairly if not nuance point, not a black and white point. i wonder, are, you know, does work for him? he's going to be in new hampshire the day after the super committee failed and he's going to have to sort of jockey a very fine line between not having -- not being associated with that and then also presenting a path forward that does not involve congress? >> it's going to be tough indeed. i was with george w. bush a few weeks ago at a dinner and he made this point about the problems of trying to campaign or have any discussion without hyper ventilating media because everybody expects quick sound bites and stuff and getting a longer thoughtful discussion is very hard indeed. >> this is america. we have a hyper -- we've had a hyper ventilating media for decades, okay?
we have a very different syste] than the british. i wish we had the british. i grew up with it. you have a cabinet. the cabinet makes the decision. the majority of parliament follows or they get voted out of office. >> you have a media filled packers. that's hype ventilation. >> you will agree with that. >> we have a system in which president has to work with the congress. we have 535 people in the congress. everyone is a separate government. and the president has to find a way to lead that. he has not found a way to do that. like it or not that's why a lot of people were voted out of office and he may be voted off. the president is still the person who generates everything. the major direction in this country. if i doesn't work, he is held accountable. it's not the prime minister, it's not the cabinet. we have to find somebody who knows how to work within this system. this president has not demonstrated that. >> you were saying so corroded, the inability to find compromise is not simply about cumbayah,
it's the fact, for example that the filibuster which should be abolished has been used more in the last year than in the '50s and '60s combined. that is structural malfeasance. >> it's where the moderates come forward and moderate politicians. >> what is barack obama if not a moderate? >> evidence -- evidence-based pragmatic moderates. being a democratic establishment. >> swing towards that in 2012. >> the last two big elections, 2008 and 2010, i go back to the brooks commentary which is, are these really -- are these mandates or are these american reactions to frustration? >> call it what you will. when we have an election it's called a mandate. we had one in 2008, it was a mandate. 2010, we had another one. it's a mandate. 4zmeát republicans will say and anybody who win answer election will say it's a mandate. >> they're wait for another mandate in 2012 to figure out
what to do with the deficit. >> that's right. if we don't deal with it now it's going to be dealt with as a result of the election in 2012. that's exactly right. >> when things change to rapidly no one the n. congress actually ever feels they have this directive from the american public to do anything, whether that's compromise or i mean, there is a sense of congress sitting on its hands -- >> well, there's a larger sense, i think, of a disconnect between congress and the rest of this country. i really do. i think people in this country look at congress and there are good people inside congress. we may disagree on who i think the progressive caucus but they see a system rigged against the ordinary people and how that has come about is a 40-year not just right wing but democratic establishment marched through institutions. seven lobbyists for every representative. i think you have a really tough road to hoe here to get to a democracy and reclaim it. >> one of the other problems which i think feeds into what david brooks is writing in his piece, which is terrific, is that there isn't really a common thing to shock people the american people into action and
to rally against. you go back to the so-called moment that the president actually invoked early this year. now, what's interesting about that moment is that was one shock when americans woke up and realized the soviet union was in some ways steaming ahead. the problem with things like china and the threats today is they've come upon america gradually and coming in all directions and there isn't a sense of actually rallying together. >> what country are you living in? we have 25 million people unemployed or underemployed. >> that's a crisis. >> we have millions and millions of homeless who -- people who have lost their homes. people have lost confidence in the future. tq 245 that's what they voted on in 2010. >> psychologically -- >> we have a democracy. these people were elected. democratically elected. as far as i'm concerned, they're entitled to say we have a mandate. >> the issue is those problems have been drum beat of those problems steadily now for a long time. there's not been one sudden shock that everyone can rally
around. >> what about the 2008 economic crisis? that's comparable to the great depression. if that isn't a shock to the system, i don't want to think what could be. and we did have 9/11 which was a shock to this country's political system. i would argue largely because george w. took it into the endless war on terror. >> the president is speaking in manchester, new hampshire. we're going to go to him live. he's getting interrupted right now. >> okay, guys. >> by some protesters in the aweden. we're listening in -- we're listening in right now. >> obama, obama, obama, obama, obama. the crowd is rallying over the protesters. >> i'm going to be talking about a whole range of things today and i appreciate you guying making your point. let me go ahead and make mine,
all right? and i'll listen to you. you listen to me. all right in. what i was saying was i was having some coffee with some of your neighbors. and one of them was the corporates. you may know as mr. corbrey just said he's a math teacher here at central high. even though a visit from me tends to disrupt things a little bit, he did?xu(u me to remind all his students you still have homework to do. but as chris said, he's also a colonel. recently retired after 26 years in the military. tours of duty in iraq and kuwait and haiti. and i couldn't thank him enough for his service because obviously we know our service members are veterans, they are the ones to keep us safe, they
are the ones preserving our freedom. in fact, this holiday season is going to be a season of homecomings for us all across america because by the end of next month all of our troops will be out of iraq. now, over coffee we were joined by chris' wife of 16 years, kathy, who owns part of a local business and they've got two sons, they're trying to save for their son's college education. and like millions of families all across the country they're doing the best that they can in some tough times and families like the corberys, families like yours, young people like the ones here today, including the
ones who were just chanting at me, you're the reason i ran for office in the first place, because -- [ applause ] -- because it's folks like you who are why i spend so much time out here in the dead of winter four years çago, because even then we were going through a difficult decade for the middle class. more good jobs and manufacturing that was leaving our shores. more of our prosperity was built on risky financial deals and homes that weren't properly financed and families watch their incomes fall and wages flat lined and the cost of everything, from college to health care, kept on going up. and then the financial crisis hit. in the closing weeks of the campaign, and that made things even tougher. today many americans have spent
months looking for work and others are doing the best they can to get by. there are a lot of folks out there who are giving nights out -- they just can't do that anymore because they've got to save on gas or make the mortgage. their families who are putting off retirement to make sure their kids can go to college and then there are young people who have gone to college, gotten a whole bunch of debt and find themselves unable to find opportunity. so a lot of the folks who have been down in new york and all across the country in the occupy movement, there is a prop fund sense of frustration -- there is a profound sense of frustration about the fact that the essence of the american dream, which is if you work hard, if you stick to it, that you can make it,
feels like that's slipping away. that's not the way things are supposed pob, nto be, not here,ç america. this is a place -- this is a place where your hard work and your responsibility is supposed to pay off. it's supposed to be a big compassionate country where everybody works hard should have a chance to get ahead. not just the person who owns the factory but the men and women who work on the factory floor. this is a place that's always prospered most when we say fundamental, we stay true to a fundamental idea. the idea that we're all in this together. that's what we're fighting for. that's what is at stake right now. so we've been weathering some hard years. we've been taking some tough punches. but one thing i know about folks
in manchester and folks in new hampshire and folks all across the country is, we're tough. we're fighting back. we are moving forward. and we are going to get this right so that every single american has opportunity in this country. we are not going to let -- [ applause ] -- we are not going to have an america in which only a sliver of folks have opportunity. we're going to have an america where everybody has an opportunity. and that's going to take some time. our economic problems weren't caused overnight and they won't be solved overnight. it's going to take a lot of time to rebuild an economy. responsibility is rewarded. it's going to take time to rebuild an economy that restores security for theç middle class makes opportunity for folks trying to reach the middle
class. it's going to take time to rebuild an economy that's not based on outsourcing or tax loopholes or risky financial deal but one that is built to last, where we invest in education and small business and manufacturing and making things that the rest of the world is willing to buy. we're going to get it done. we're going to get there. right now we've got to do everything we can to put our friends and neighbors back to work and help families like them get ahead and give the economy the jolt that it needs. and that's why two months ago i sent congress the american jobs act. it's a jobs bill that will put more americans to work, put more money back into the pockets of working americans. it's full of the kinds of ideas that in the past has been supported by democrats and republicans. it's paid for by asking our wealthiest citizens to pay their
fair share. independent economists said it would create nearly 2 million jobs, grow the economy by an extra 2%. that's not my opinion. that's not my team's opinion. that's the opinion of folks who evaluate these things for a living. you know what? some folks in washington don't get the message, that people care right now about putting folks back to work and giving young people opportunity. so when this bill came up for a vote, republicans in the senate got together and blocked it. they refused to evenç debate i. 100% of republicans oppose it even though almost two-thirds of americans supported the ideas in this bill. democrats, republicans, and independents alike. not one republican in washington
was willing to say it was the right thing to do. not one. now, what we've done is we've refused to quit. so i said, i will do everything in my power to act on behalf of the american people with or without congress. [ applause ] so, over the past several weeks we've taken steps on our own to give working americans a leg up in a tough economy. we announced on our own a new policy that will help families refinance their mortgages and save thousands of dollars. a lot of the young people who were in new york and around the country, they're worrying about student loans on our own without congress. we were formed the student loan process to make it easier for more young people to pay off
their debt. by the way, that was building on top of legislation we passed a year ago that said instead of sending $60 billion to banks to manage the student loan program let's give it directly to students so that millions more young people can afford a college education. we enacted several newç initiatives to help returning veterans find jobs and get trained for those jobs. the kind of -- the kind of outstanding young men and women that chris was talk about who come home. i was up in minnesota who met a young man who had been an emergency medic in iraq saving lives under the most severe circumstances. he came home and he was having to take nursing classes all over
again even though for the last two years he had been saving lives in the field. didn't get any credit for it. so we're starting to make changes to say, if you're qualified to save a life on the battlefield, you can save a life in an ambulance. and yesterday i signed into law two new tax breaks for businesses that hire america's best. because nobody who fights for america overseas should have to fight for a job when they come home. now, i proposed these tax breaks in september as part of my jobs bill. thanks to folks like jeanne shaheen and republicans with we actually got this part of the bill passed. we finally got them to say yes to taking action that will create jobs and boost this economy. but there is a lot more that
we've got to do if we're going to get folks back to work and rebuild an economy that works for everybody. next week congress is going to have another chance to do the right thing. congress is going to have another chance to say yes to helping workingç families. see, last year both parties came together to cut payroll taxes for the typical household by $1,000, this year. that's been showing up in our paychecks each week. you may not know it but it's been showing up business of the action that we took. which reminds me, by the way, the next time you hear one of these folks from the other side coming and talking about raising your taxes, you just remind them that ever since i've got into office i've lowered your taxes, haven't raised them. that's worth reminding.
this payroll tax is set to expire at the end of next month and the next month, end of the year, this tax cut ends. if we allow that to happen, if congress refuses to act, middle class families are going to get hit with a tax increase at the worse possible time. for the ranch family your tax less go up $1,000 if congress does not act by tend of the month. becan't let that happen. not right now. it would be bad nor the economy. it would be bad for the employment. that's why any jobs bill extends that tax cut. right now one better, extends the tax cut. the average working family will get a tax cut of more than 15 $00. that's $1500 that would have been taken out of your paycheck would instead be going into your pocket. that means you would be spending in small businesses and that would increase their business
which means they would copo terrib potentially hire more people.ç the american jobs act would cut payroll tax necessary half for small business owners. say you have 50 employees making $50,000 apiece, you've got a tax cut of nearly $80,000. that is real money you can use to the hire new worker or buy new equipment. now, the republicans in the senate voted no on my jobs bill and those tax cuts, but in the spirit of thanksgiving, we are going to give them another chance. absolutely. next week, next week goring to to get to take a simple vote. if they vote no again, the typical family's taxes will go up $1,000 next year. if they vote yes, the typical
working family be l. get a $1500 tax cut. so i just wanted to be clear for everybody. no, your taxes go up. yes, you get a tax cut. which way do you think congress should vote? >> yes! >> pretty simple. when we set up a straightforward tax calculator on white house.gov, so you see what each vote would mean for your bottom line. i know republicans like to talk about we're the party of tax cuts. a lot of them have sworn an oath, we're never going to raise taxes on anybody for as long as we live even though they've already voted against these middle class tax cuts once. but the question they'll have to answer when they get back from thanksgiving is this, are they really willing to break their oath to never raise taxes and raise taxes on the middle class just to play çpolitics? i sure -- i sure hope not. you know, this isn't about who
wins or loses in washington. this is about delivering ain for the american people. a $1500 tax cut for middle class families, that isn't a mandate that is a big deal for people. how many business owners could stand to see their customers taking $1,000 less next year? that's $1,000 less than they can spend at the small business. now, how many of you could use an extra $1,000? an extra 15 $00 in your pocket? it makes a big difference for those of you in new hampshire and across america. keep in mind, we're going to do it responsibly because unlike several tax cuts that were instituted over the past several years, we're going to make sure that it doesn't add to our
deficit. we're asking the wealthiest americans, folks who got the biggest tax cuts over the past decade, the folks who made it through the recession better than most, folks who have seen their incomes go up much more quickly than anybody else over the last three decades, exponentially. we're asking them to contribute a little bit more to get our economy work for everybody. we're asking people -- we're ask ing -- we're asking people like me toç pay our fair share so middle class families can get a tax cut. and i believe that most americans are willing to do their part. you know, the truth of the matter is, i can't tell you how many well-to-do americans that i meet say to me, look, i want to
do more because i know that the only reason i'm doing well is because somewhere along the line somebody gave me a good education, somewhere along the line somebody gave me a college scholarship, somewhere along the line somebody gave me a chance and i want to do the same thing for the young people who are coming up now. that is what america is all about. so congress has a very simple choice next week. do you want to cut taxes for the middle class and those who are trying to get into the middle class or do you want to protect massive tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, many of whom want to actually help? do you want to help working families get back on solid ground and grow this economy for all of us or do you really want to vote to raise taxes on nearly 160 million americans during the
holidays? you know, when push comes to shove, are you willing to fight as hard for working families as you are for the wealthiest americans? what's it going to be? that's the choice. you know, as i look around this room and i see these young people but i also see their parents, i'm thinking, youç kn, folks in manchester, you guys work hard. you play by the rules. you're meeting your responsibilities. and if you're working hard and you're meeting your responsibilities, at the very least you should expect congress to do the same. they should be doing everything in their power to make our economies stronger, not weaker. they should be doing everything they can to protect the middle class from tax hikes, not hike
your taxes. and this is where you can help. now, your members of congress, they work for you. you've got an outstanding senator here. she's already on the program. but to everyone who is here or watching at home or online, if your members of congress aren't delivering you've got to send them a message. make sure they're listening. tell them, don't be a grinch. don't vote to raise taxes on working americans during the holidays. put the country before party. put money back in the pockets of working families. do your job. pass our jobs bill. now, the american people are with us on this. it's time for the folks who are running around spending all their time talking about what's wrong with america to spend some time rolling up their sleeves to help us rebuild america and rebuild our middle class and
give young people opportunity. there is nothing wrong with this country that we ca'] fix. i was just traveling in asia over the last week. let me tell you, the fastest growing region of the world, but what was amazing was you everybody still looked to america. they did a poll in asia that said, what do you think about america compared to china? eight out of nine countries in asia, they said america is the country that we look to. they understand that this experiment in democracy, this belief that everybody can make it if they try, this belief in a broad middle class that lifts
everybody up, not just some, they know that -- that idea of america is more powerful than anything else. but we've got to have folks in washington who have that same belief, that same sense that, you know, when this economy is going well, it's going well because it's going well for everybody. and when it goes well for everybody, it's good for folks at the top as well as folks at the bottom. and it's certainly good for folks in the middle. so -- so those values that built this country, those values that all of you represent, that's what we're fighting for. that's what the american jobs act is all about. that's what the debates in washington are all about. and we've got to constantly +tp'd what we believe in.
we are americans. our story has never been about doing things easy. it's been about rising to the moment when the moment is hard. it's about doing what's right. it's about making sure that everybody has a chance. not just a few. so let's do the right thing. let's meet the moment. let's prove once again that the best days of the united states of america are tell ahead of us. thank you. god bless you. god bless the united states of america. >> that's president obama wrapping up in manchester, new hampshire, where he is making a forceful argument of the extension of the payroll taxes and unemployment insurance. what did you guys make of it? does it work, mort? i know this is something you heard in december of 2010. >> yes. i mean, there is a program that would have worked which is the bowls simpson program which is an impress i've and long-lasting
and effective program. this takes money out of the social security fund. they did not work the last time that they put it into effect. it's not nearly adequate. >> what do you mean, it did not work? >> it dodd not work. the unemployment numbers got worse, not better. that to my measurement is something that didn't work. it wasn't adequate to the challenge. we can't do this every week. we've got to find a major program that works. this is not going to work. it has nod worked in the past. therefore, i think it is a mistake particularly since it takes most of the money out of social security. >> i agree that we need a bolder plan. if franklin eleanor rest volt had a new deal i think we just heard president obama's fair share. that was a masterful weaving of rebuild the american dream of 49% fuse with a story this president needs to tell the american people about thoseç w are blocking his plans. i thought it was masterful. it speaks again to the themes i write about in my book "the change i believe in" that the president that is moved by his
times and movements. those people in new hampshire who were heckling were not romney's members of supporters. those were occupy wall street. and these sense of unfairness and economic inequality and economic injustice in this country is moving a president to speak more boldly with echos of new hampshire 2008 in feisty spirited ways, and also doing the right thing. doing the right thing. >> and insofar as this becomes sort of a horse trading in congress to get these things extended, i think republicans are going to have to be very careful about the positions that they take to seem not insensitive to the american public clrks is hurting and the fact that it is the holiday season. >> it's not about economics. that grinch that stole christmas line is going to dominate for the next few days because i think it's a very clever way of capturing the debate and picking up on katrina's point, this idea of fair deal is so dominant right now. and he really did pick those themes up very well in that
speech. >> that cold fairness has been lost but it's also about the american dream. it's interesting how he's talking about other countries. i came here because i believe in american dream. i think it's still there. people in this country are finding the american dream inaccessible. it's trying to make that american dream accessible for all once again. >> i think you're right because part of what we're seeing in the movements right now is a sense not just of the income in equality but colliding with downward mobility which was at the heart, upward mobility has been at the heart of the american dream. so many families, too many people feel that is slipping away. i thought president obama i agree withç gillian that the le about the grinch will dominate. >> grinch in our monitors. >> class warfare because president obama, i think, rightly, speaks less about, quote, shared sacrifice about who are you willing to fight for? are you willing to fight for working families or the wealthy? >> mort, who are you willing to fight for? >> i'm willing to fight for a
program that is going to make sense for this country. just so that we have this clear. i supported obama. the daily news endorsed obama. i found that the programs were not equal to the challenge. when everybody was concerned about the economy and jobs he spent eight or nine months on his health care program. that was the time when you could have made a big difference and it did not. the stimulus programs that he put in if i may say so half of it was sde voted to the public service yun glunions. >> issue is on the table. >> this program is not going to work. that's my problem with it. it is a political program. it is not an economic program. >> you're looking at american public where census numbers came out this week that shows that one in three americans is living at or near poverty and these are precisely federal program, subsidies, tax credits. >> i don't disgrow with that. what you have to understand what this does. this is going to effect some people, not affect the people frankly who are out of work. it doesn't effect them. it doesn't create jobs.
this is exactly the problem that i have with it. >> i don't think unemployment insurance creates jobs and helps people get by the goal. >> i agree with mort. we need some far bolder. with real deficit in this country is the investment deficit in people, in rebuilding this country. mort, i was also interested that he spoke president obama of the 1% in this country who want to be part of the 100%. those who should be in the majority among the wealthiest in this country areç those who support increasing taxes. >> and we will certainly have more arguments to come regarding the 1% and the 99%. i have to cut it off there. thank you, everyone. thank you to gillian, katrina, imogen and mort today. we'll be right back. this w as t he gulf's best this w tourism season in years. all because so many people wanted to visit us in louisiana. they came to see us, in florida
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but i will be back tomorrow where myç special guest will b grover norquist at noon eastern. until then, you can follow us on twitter at now with alex. "andrea mitchell reports" is next. here's a look at your business travel forecast. two big storms on the map. one moving through the ohio valley and southeast today and another one on the west coast bringing heavy rain there. it's a difficult travel day today and tomorrow unfortunately. a lot of airports in the east will have light rain today. heavier rains will arrive tomorrow. warm out for thunderstorms tomorrow in the southeast. booking a flight by itself is an uh-oh. see if we can "stitch" together a better deal.
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