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tv   Martin Bashir  MSNBC  December 6, 2012 4:00pm-5:00pm EST

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would love for you to meet. martin, bashir, it is all yours. >> that's fabulous. the dirty debt ceiling. thank you so much. good afternoon. it's thursday, december 6th, and the president is not for turning. >> we need a persuasive, frightening message for the president to see. >> is the administration prepared to go over the fiscal cliff? >> absolutely. >> the gop is on the ropes and they're ready to cave. >> the house republican leadership are like generals, hunkered away in a bunker who don't realize that their army has already laid down its arms. >> what we got today was a seminar on how to surrender. >> need the president to scare the dickens out of those people. >> if congress in any way suggests they're going to tie negotiations to debt ceiling, folks, i will not play that game. >> do we need a better mouthpiece for the republicans.
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>> revenues will come from guess who? the rich. >> maybe they need to learn a thing or two from president obama. >> this is a solvable problem. i do remain optimistic that we can get something done that is good for families. ♪ it's exactly one month since the president's resounding re-election, but if you thought the campaign was over, you'd be wrong. in the fight over the fiscal cliff, the president is again reaching out to voters for their support. this afternoon a northern virginia family got a special visit after sharing their story about how a $2,200 tax increase would hurt them. and for the president, it was a chance to remind the public and congress that without a deal, taxes will go up for everyone at the end of the year. >> the message that i think we all want to send to members of
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congress is this is a solvable problem. the senate has already passed a bill that would make sure that middle class taxes do not go up next year by a single dime. it's very important that we get this done now, that we don't wait. >> with just 26 days before the country goes over the edge, the president and speaker boehner spoke last night, both are staying mum about what exactly was said, but the president made clear today that he's not budging on top earners. >> just to be clear, i am not going to sign any package that somehow prevents the top rate from going up for folks at the top 2%, but i do remain optimistic that we can get something done that is good for families like this one's and that is good for the american economy. >> indeed. even some of the top minds in conservative circles are waving the white flag of surrender on
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tax cuts for the top 2%. >> so are you saying then for pr purposes, that they should give into obama on the tax rate? >> not exactly. well, yeah, i guess i am. >> i'm sorry, that was not one of the top conservative minds. that was ann coulter, but you have to and it to her. she's onto something there. a new quinnipiac poll shows 65% of americans support higher taxes on incomes over $250,000. the same survey showing the president's approval rating at a three-year high, 53%. the highest level since the body of osama bin laden was dumped in the north arabian sea. perhaps that's why senate majority leader harry reid felt confident enough to declare that until republicans move on tax rates, more spending cuts are off the table. >> the president made clear, i have tried to make very clear, until there's some movement in tax rates, we're -- i'm not
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talking about any other proposals, not about where there will be a cut here or a cut there. >> no. as a matter of fact, the only cuts the senate is talking about today are in terms of staff on the republican side. with the surprise news today that senator jim demint after blasting speaker boehner's debt reduction plan will step down from the senate to head a conservative think tank. quote, i've decided to join the heritage foundation at a time when the conservative movement needs strong leadership in the battle of ideas. yes, the strong leadership of lobbyists. asked by rush limbaugh if boehner was forcing him out, demint replied, it might work a little bit the other way. let's get to our panel. with us from washington is msnbc political analyst david corn, msnbc contributor dr. jared bernstein, senior fellow at the center on budget and policy priorities and a former economist for vice president joe biden and also with us is msnbc
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political analyst karen finney. david, first, senator demint dumps all over boehner's job plan, now he's jumping ship altogether. how much of a loss is mr. demint, a man who once said single mothers who live with their boyfriends should not be allowed to teach in public schools? >> we at mother just put up the seven craziest things jim demint has ever said. there was a lot to choose from. don't ask me why we stopped at seven. >> do you have one better than the one i just quoted? >> that was pretty good. i think that's on the list. >> good. any others? >> people can just go there. the main thing here is that jim demint has been more an obstacle in the senate than, of course, in the house and i think his departure from there is good news i think for the one remaining moderate republican senator because he's really been quite responsible for choosing and picking and getting behind
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these tea party republicans like rand paul that have burrowed their way into the senate and made it much harder for anyone to come up with a reasonable deal there or any place else on capitol hill. so if he wants to go make a million dollars at the heritage foundation, which is i think what the last guy made, it may make things work easier in the senate, but i still think it's not going to make a big difference on the negotiations between the white house and john boehner because i don't see much progress there. i think boehner, even though in control of his kau tus, doesnca have a lot of negotiating room because of the tooe party. >> do you think mr. boehner will be glad to see the end of mr. demint. >> i'm sure he will. i think it represents the weakens of the tea party within congress. jim demint is a movement conservative. we have certainly not seen nor heard the last of him. he will find other ways to create headaches for both boehner and mcconnell, but i agree with david.
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most importantly, it may be a slight relief from the headache for john boehner, but he's still got a big challenge in that he is negotiating at this point with himself and not facing the reality that he doesn't really have a lot of leverage. >> indeed. jared, speaking of the details themselves, speaker boehner is saying that his is a serious offer that produces sufficient revenue and savings for the next decade. you're an economist, does it? do his numbers really add up? >> well, no, they don't add up because they lack any level of specificity that you would need to even write them down and put a plus sign next to them so see if they'd add up. he did the same -- >> hang on a second though. he said he stuck $800 billion in revenues on the table. >> so he did the same maneuver that mitt romney did, and as i have said, that's the kind of thing you might want to do in a presidential campaign. though interestingly, it didn't
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work for mitt romney. he said i can raise "x" billion, he said $800 billion, by closing undisclosed loopholes and tax expenditures, but once you get down to the level of specifics and you say, i want to close the charitable deduction, i want to close the mortgage interest deduction, i want to close the state and local deduction, then you awake a lot of o opponents for whom your loophole is their treasured program. that's are not scorable, addible numbers at all and the president is correct to say, look, we've got weeks -- we're weeks out from the fiscal cliff. bring to me a deal we can start negotiating. >> david, karen was saying earlier she feel that is speaker boehner doesn't really have a lot of leverage or room for maneuver. we've all been focused on the president's assertion that the tax rates for the top 2% are going up but that's not the only thing that the president wants to alive is it? because he also wants to prevent
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these periodic fights over the debt ceiling. he's had enough of that, hasn't he? >> well, it sounds like you read the piece i had out today, so thank you for doing that, martin. talking to people in the white house, the president is very adamant. he has a red line here which is if there's going to be a big deal, and i mean a deal that gets into entitlements, spending cuts, and pearce them off with tax rates, he says that has to include no more hostage taking on the debt ceiling. people remember this from a year and a half ago. the president felt it was an unconstitutional ewe surption of power on behalf of congress by saying you can't pay for the bills that we ourselves accrue with our spending and threaten default unless you do what we want you to do in terms of spending cuts. the president feels this personally. i think he's rather adamant. i don't think it's gotten a lot of attention because the focus has been on the tax cut issue, but he's willing and he said so
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yesterday publicly, he's willing to kill any deal, any big deal, that doesn't let him extend the debt ceiling without going through that rigmarole again. i think a big deal probably will be off the table. we may just be focusing on what can be done about the tax cuts. >> jared, why is this debt ceiling fight so detrimental to the overall american economy? >> i would actually say global economy. >> okay, global. >> it's because we have significant borrowing from creditors not just here in the united states but across the globe, and if congress plays this game of chicken with the debt ceiling, we are literally threatening to default. that is we are saying we're going to prohibit the congress from going out into credit markets and borrowing what it needs to pay its creditors for spending as david correctly pointed out and as krystal ball brilliantly summarized, spending
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that has already occurred. now, will you lend money to any debtor who just defaulted on their debt? i mean, it's unthinkable. interest rates would go through the roof. we'd jam the economy into a devastating recession. i mean, david said it well in his piece this morning. if you think the fiscal cliff is a problem, this kind of hostage taking around the debt ceiling is multiples of that and the president is, i think, very correct to stand extremely firm and be extremely clear that he's not going to play that game. >> karen, the politics of this are frightening for the republicans. the latest polling does not support their stance. and given that they spent four years obstructing this president and failed, why do it again from the outset of his second term? >> well, you know, there's good news for the republicans, martin. karl rove's group, crossroads gps is going to spend some money for some ads, and we know that's a successful strategy in
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convincing the american people. >> that's good news. >> i can't pass that chance up to do that. >> i understand. >> i think part of what's so important about the polling, we talked about this on monday and the quinnipiac polling you were showing, the republicans have had time to make their arguments and it's not working. more people are moving towards siding with the president. they believe it's the president and democrats who are making a legitimate effort. the private has been privately and i think publicly very clear from the beginning that he's no longer going to engage in this debt ceiling hostage taking. again, i think we mostly were focused on the top 2% piece, but he's been very clear, and i thought yesterday he was brilliantly clear with the business round table by talking about what games he was simply not going to engage in. >> karen, there's one point -- the reason he's talking to the business round table about that is because they have a real vested interest -- >> that's right. >> in precisely this kind of
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hostage situation not occurring. >> but politically speaking i think one of the things that's brilliant that the white house is doing is we're talking about the mcconnell provision as a way to get around the debt ceiling. so using it against them. this is a mechanism that mitch mcconnell himself came up with last time to kind of get us out of this. so now, you know, you have had geithner talking about it, the white house talking about it, let's adopt the mcconnell provision. again, the republicans politically are becoming further and further isolated and seeming to be more and more like petulant children. >> david, you can speak but i don't want you to promote your magazine or anything you have written. >> i'll promote the show. >> okay. >> but the republicans, especially the tea party republicans, are going to get trapped in a corner. a lot of them are already saying if we give on the tax cuts, then we want to have a fight on the debt ceiling. we want to do something. and so you asked before, martin, why will they take this even though public opinion seems poised against them, even though the president is organizing the
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business round table against them. i go back to the old story of the frog and the scorpion. if you don't know it, wikipedia it. it's this their nature. >> now he's plugging for wikipedia. >> karen, jared, david, thank you all so much. next, the empire strikes back. why the koch brothers matter even more in america. >> this vote in the senate, it was bipartisan in support, they needed 66 votes, and it failed. >> it's a christmas miracle! no rights for disabled foreigners. suck on that figgy pudding, tiny tim. you and the rest of the great britains crutch crowd can eat your goose on the stairs. [ female announcer ] research suggests cell health plays a key role throughout our lives. one a day women's 50+ is a complete multivitamin designed for women's health concerns as we age.
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cut the hell out of spending and balance the budget and reduce regulations and support business. >> that was david koch, one half of the koch brothers, whom forbes magazine describe as among the 50 most powerful people on the planet. that interview was recorded two years ago, so we have to assume that neither brother is entirely happy that his preferred party is about to cave on taxes. however, "forbes" is out with a lengthy cover story, an interview with he and his brother, charls, which suggests that the koch brothers didn't get where they are today by backing down. joining us is the editor of " r "forbes." in the piece it says charles
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used to give his children sunday afternoon economics lectures. what do you think the lecture will be now that it appears speaker boehner and others may be forced to accept a tax hike on the rich? >> well, charles, when he lectured his children, he fancied himself more of a sucratic lecturer. if you look at the koch brothers, they are playing a game that's not measured in days or weeks or months or election cycles. they're playing a multidecade game. whatever is happening this week with the fiscal cliff, it's just one little blip in a multidecade goal to reshape how america looks politically, business. they are very philosophically focused and very, very disciplined, and very, very wealthy. >> the piece is to mark his 77th birthday, so he has been at it for some time. here is another interesting passage from your article. charles' many critics owe on the
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left, including the president of the united states, accuse him of accumulating too much power and using it to promote his own economic interests through a network of secretive organizations they call the kochtopus. what is it and how far does it stretch? >> on the left the idea is that they are funding many if not most, certainly many, of the leading right wing think tanks. if you think about it, this is how they play the game. they're talking about long-term investments. a lot of people are focused on how much money was spent by super pacs and donors in this election cycle. what the kochs have always done is said we're going to look at this and say how can we lay the seeds? they know their message, this individualist kind of very, you know, based on the ideas of -- these are kind of deep economic
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thoughts, are not going to be the kind of thing you're going to pass in a populist kind of way, so they have to change the debate over time. that's why they fund think tankings. so it's kind of what the super pac idea -- it really isn't where their action is. they are playing a long game and if you look at what they have done with koch industries where charles koch took it over in 1967 when it was worth, i don't know, $10 million, $20 million, somewhere in that neighborhood. both kochs are closing in on $100 billion, each of them are worth $31 billion. so you don't get that kind of wealth and it's a private company, so they didn't get some bang from being public. they slowly built, they're disciplined. the story goes into great detail on how they built their business and how that can then be applied to how they think politically. >> i am assuming randall, final question, that notwithstanding the fact that mitt romney was emphatically defeated, they are
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looking forward to 2014 and 2016. >> they are looking forward to 2040. david said in our story, we are going to do this until we stop breathing, until our last breath. everyone who thought, 2012, they put a lot of money in, they're going to go away. david koch said we're not going to play dead. they aren't going anywhere. >> intonations of immortality. randall lane, thank you so much. stay with us. music is a universal language. but when i was in an accident... i was worried the health care system spoke a language all its own with unitedhealthcare, i got help that fit my life. information on my phone. connection to doctors who get where i'm from. and tools to estimate what my care may cost.
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the president has just returned to washington after visiting a family in northern virginia who had responded to a white house social media campaign my2k, which asked
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middle class families to describe what would happen if their taxes were forced to go up. after hearing their story, the president reminded republicans in washington that everyone will have some skin in this game. nbc's mike viqueira joins us live from the white house. mike, it seems as though the president was using today's visit as a visual aid for republicans to remind them that the majority of americans are on his side when it comes to continuing tax cuts for the middle class but raising them for the top 2%. >> well, i think that's entirely accurate, martin. over the course of the past two weeks, think of what we've seen now in this public relations xin xran and the president have launc launched to try to get republicans to cry uncle on this tax hike. we have seen a parade of ceos coming up and down the driveway. we've seen the president travel to the business round table yesterday. we have seen the president talk to middle class taxpayers. we've seen this twitter campaign that you describe, my2k.
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the 22k being the $2,000 on the line if the country goes over the cliff. the president also went to philadelphia a week ago tomorrow to that toy factory. it was a toy factory but it's clear the president is not playing around here. he is really hitting the republicans hard from the outside, trying to crumble their defenses amid signs that those defenses from within are weakening. >> mike, the president and speaker boehner apparently did have a telephone conversation last night. are we inching closer to a deal or is that too much of a grown-up christmas wish? >> it's really impossible to say. i think most people in this town would say if it were up to john boehner, he would cut the deal. there are a lot of indications of softening of positions from within republican ranks. i myself am not entirely convinced. i thin there are going to be a lot of hard core bitter enders, if you like, who are not going to vote for a tax increase under
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any circumstances within the house gop conference, and it could be a very ugly fight within the gop. so the fact that neither side is telling us anything, jay carney today 23r from the podium would not characterize it other than to confirm it took place. kind of ironic, people were taking that as a positive sign. >> mike viqueira delivering depressing news with a smile on his face. thank you, sir. stay with us. the day's "top lines" are coming up. [ male announcer ] it's that time of year again.
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republicans hate the united nations more than they like helping people in wheel cares. >> if anybody needs a camel we have a live one. >> the constitution promises freedom of religion not freedom from religion. >> you have 100 mosques in new york city, you could build it three blocks away. >> it's 30 degrees but that baby is wrapped in a electric baseball. >> i want to let in this country 200 gramy irish mep a year. >> "wall street journamarijuana. >> some republicans are so bummed they don't want to live in america anymore. >> the race between barack obama and -- >> romney lost. >> damn it. >> the silver tour teaches seniors the benefits of medical marijuana. >> watch cheech & chong travel to mexico to watch them pick up the first van made entirely of marijuana. >> they are so daysed and confused they haven't been able to decide.
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>> take a toke, baby, eat a magic brow ni. it just fits so well into the seen area lifestyle. >> three, two, one. >> some of that last segment i thought maybe they had to liven everything up for me. >> 51% now favor the legalization of marijuana. >> okay. >> is it one hump or two humps? >> it's a two humper. >> let's get right to our panel now. goldie taylor is an msnbc contributor. cristal ball is my colleague and one of the hosts of "the cycle." and jimy williams is a democratic strategist. if i can start with you, we just saw some forward thinking from fox news on washington state's decision to decriminalize marijuana. obviously they don't approve, but a majority according to a poll this week are in favor, 51%. stepping away for a moment from the legal issues, did the republicans not just fail to
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understand the demographics of america this election but also the generation al changes that have occurred in this country? >> well, absolutely they have, and they also underestimated that young people would actually go and vote, and i think one of the trends, frankly, that surprised a lot of people in this election is that young voters made up a larger percent of the electorate this time around than they did in 2008. so this is a group who's not going away. they had very clear views. it's remarkable how different their views on things like same-sex marriage and marijuana legalization are from their elders, and i think as we move over time, it's sort of inevitable that the country is going to move in that direction because not only are they more and more coming of age, there's also a feedback loop where they're also talking to their parents and talking to their grand patients and changing attitudes on their own. >> goldie, the seattle police department has a unique way of addressing the issue. on its official website it
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explains the law telling people to please keep it indoors and it ends by saying, and remember, folks, the dude abides, and so can you, with a picture of jeff bridges from "the big lewbowski." >> weed busts really put a tax on law enforcement. you have to pull somebody over, if you find a bong or something else, there's an arrest, probably a misdemeanor. there really is a draining of police resources but i'll tell you where the money is being made. it's being made in the court system on the fiennes. so there is no grand rush to legitimize or legalize marijuana frankly because the penal system is profiting from it. i'll tell you what else is happening. some kids are being convicted of misdemeanors, low level felonies, and it's ruining their lives. they're not able to get jobs or federal student aid for school and those kind of things.
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i'm the biggest truther there is on some of this stuff, but if you're smoking it in your house, i just think it's your business. >> what does the federal government do? >> the federal government considered pot the same as lsd and heroin. >> same classification of drug. >> heroin. i didn't even know heroin still existed. apparently it still does. and pot does, too. the difference is you can grow heroin in your backyard. you can grow it -- >> grow marijuana you mean. >> i'm sorry, grow marijuana in your backyard. >> i don't know that much about heroin but i don't think that's how it works. >> he wants to grow marijuana. okay. >> let me be clear, i didn't make that mistake because i have been smoking anything, i have not, no. it's farcical. this is a generation al issue
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and the obama administration is going to have to gibe at some point on its theory of law. i think a couple days the u.s. attorney in washington said the federal law trumps what you guys are going. people are going to say no, enough. and the obama administration just started ramping up prosecutions of this. this is unusual for me. >> yeah. do you agree, goldie? >> i do, except heroin is making a comeback and that's really unfortunate. but do i think the legalization of marijuana will increase its usage, i don't. people who want to partake, are already partaking. so i think that we ought to just remove the gloves, let people do what they want to do in the privacy of their own homes. free up our police to direct their things to things that are much more important. these people aren't going to get in the car and drive. hell, they can't even kind their far keys after a good joint. so the issue really is about criminalizing things and making
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a pathway for our young boys, chiefly boys, from the high school straight to prison. that pipeline is as straight as it's ever been. >> krystal, another change versus just a few years ago, same-sex marriage. here are the nine states plus d.c. where it is legal, another five states allow civil unions. you can see them there. poll numbers show it's growing in acceptance as well. what's happened here? >> there has been a remarkable change in acceptance, and i think it's been sort of, you know -- >> but is it because those who have fought for this right have cast it as a civil right? >> i think that's definitely part of it, and pop culture is a big part of it. as, you know, seeing same-sex couples has become more normal, more mainstream. people are used to see it and more gay couples feel comfortable telling people around them this is who i am, this is my family. that really changes mores.
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there was already a huge generational gap but now we're seeing major shifts through all generations. for first time white catholics support -- a majority of white catholics support same-sex marriage. >> marco rubio was asked about his views on same-sex marriage. let me play you what he said. here he is. >> is homosexuality a sin? >> i can tell you what faith teaches and the faith teaches it is. as a policymaker, you know, i could just tell you that i'm informed by my faith and my faith informs me in who i am as a person, but not as a way to pass judgment on people. >> okay. so rubio says his faith informs him that its a sin but he's not going to cast judgment on others. he's not going to point the finger, but can rubio fight an election in that fudge given what's happening in the country? >> well, he can run for president but i'm not sure he
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can be elected president in four years under that scenariscenari. my gay republican friends will tell you it's not an issue. here is the bottom line, it is an issue. it's an issue because in 2004 george bush won the presidency over john kerry on this issue. it's still an issue for gay republicans. if you think that it's not a civil right, if you think that in the last election that this issue was not debated, it was debated heatedly. when you take away a civil right, then you're taking away people's equality. when you give them a civil right, you're giving them equality. that's the difference. the republicans don't see it that way. they have to figure out a way -- they talk about a big tent and talk is nice but it means nothing unless you put it in your party platform. it means nothing when you say, i think you should have everything i have just not call it the same thing. separate but equal is not okay for the democrats and it's not okay for the republicans. until rubio around those people
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that are contenders for 2016 on the republican side get that through their thick heads, saying his faith teaches him that, does he understand that it's just as mortal of a sin according to the bible, according to leviticus, that if you eat shellfish your going to hell. i'm but shrimp and grits does not make you go to hell. okay? >> that's a bold stance. >> i won't challenge your understanding of la vit tus. jimmy, cold goldie, krystal. thank you. coming up, why are republicans so hong up on fetishes? ung up o? i'm done!
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attend their annual red necks and turtlenecks party where they will dress up in their tackiest sweaters and drink pink martinis at a well-known washington watering hole. they're clearly neither shaken nor stirred by the fiscal cliff. joining us is congresswoman jan chakowski from illinois. >> good afternoon. >> can i thank you for remaining at work given the urgency of the situation. speaker boehner says raising tax rates on the top 2% is unacceptable without serious entitlement reform. and a few hours ago nancy pelosi wondered what exactly he had in mind. take a listen. >> what are we talking about here? what are we talking about when we say restructure entitlements? what does restructure mean? destroy, wither on the vine, voucherize, or does it mean let's work together to make these stronger? >> now, given that speaker
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boehner doesn't tell us anything, are you able to give us any specific examples of what democrats may be prepared to concede in terms of earned entitlements? >> well, i am not willing to say that we cut benefits at all because we can, in fact, make medicare more cost-effective and bring down health care costs without cutting benefits. we did that, and the republicans hit us over the head with it. you remember that number $716 billion and the accusation that democrats were taking it away from seniors and from medicare. >> i remember that lie very, very well. >> and then the president wins the election and now they say and you must cut medicare. well, you know, first of all, that's a very, very unpopular position. and second of all, that's exactly what we did, that's what obama care does. make the program much more efficient.
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>> but what about this idea of raising the entitlement age so the age at which you qualify for some of these? i mean, the president in his original grand bargain discussions with speaker boehner allegedly floated the idea of raising the age to 67. is that something you would consider? >> it is based on the premise that we're all living longer, but you know what, martin? if you're a lower income person, if you're in the lower half of income, you are not living longer, and if you're a poor woman, you have actually lost ground when it comes to longevity. and so it's perfectly fine for many of these ceos, each of whom has an average of $9 million in their retirement fund, to say that we ought to raise the retirement age because we're all living longer. that really isn't happening, and i have people in my office literally crawling in almost almost every week saying i hope i can make it until i'm 65 years
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old. i need to have this procedure or that procedure. you know, where are they going to get the health care? the reason we have medicare is that insurance companies are not really interested in giving old people, sick people insurance. that's why it was formed in the first place. and, martin, who thinks that our country is actually poorer today than 50 years ago when medicare and medicaid came in? or poorer today than 70 years ago when social security came in? can't the richest country in the world say to our senior citizens, people with disabilities, yes, you're entitled to your medicare. you pay it in and you continue to pay. i think that's an untold story, too. medicare is not free. >> no. >> seniors are paying about 20% of their income on health care right now. >> absolutely. it is an earned entitlement. i wish we had more time but
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thank you. >> thank you. next a crisis overseas intensifies and america may soon have to act. stay with us. initiated. neural speeds increasing to 4g lte. brain upgrading to a quad-core processor.
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the whole world is watching. the words of defense secretary leon panetta warning syrian president assad against using chenlcle weapons on his own people. pentagon sources tell nbc news that the syrian government has loaded sarin gas, a deadly nerve agent, into aerial bombs and is awaiting orders from president assad to use it. michael o'hanlon of the brookings institution joins us now. mike, every day it seems the urgency grows on the syrian crisis. how is the u.s. dealing now with this very real threat apparently of chemical weapons? >> hi, martin. well, i don't know how we're dealing with it at the military
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planning level but certainly as you mentioned, at the political level there are clear threats and the united states would have to do something if assad decided this was his hail mary attempt to slow down the insurgency in an effort to destroy them. i think if that happened what we would do at a minimum would be to attack from the air any known chemical weapon depots. then the question becomes can we really just do that, make a statement, and go home or are we now essentially involved in the conflict at least up until its bitter end with the overthrow of assad? i would tend to think the latter. those are the kind of issues that are getting contemplated. >> if we actually hit these weapons dumps from on high as it were, does that not provoke the very gas to be released that we're seeking to restrict in some way? >> well, it's a good question, martin.
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my understanding of the basic way you would conduct this sort of a thing is you have to actually hit it pretty hard and try to essentially incinerate the agent as you do so. you're still right to voice that worry because even if you were to drop a number of big bombs on a given facility, there might be some chemicals that are partially buried in some kind of basement area or otherwise partially protected. the very concern you mentioned could, indeed, be borne out. depending where the depot is, you may decide to leave it alone but go after any attack helicopters or aircraft or artillery tubes that are nearby. you may try to impede the movement of any vehicles that might be seen going into that depot area to load up the chemicals. there are alternatives, but dropping a number of big bombs on a facility might also achieve the same effect. >> of course, this brings back horrifying memories of saddam hussein and what he did against the kurds. >> indeed. and so we know that defenseless people can be killed by the many thousands in this sort of an operation. whether assad would do that or whether he would say you know what? i can't hold onto my air fields
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anymore, i can't necessarily drive the insurgents out of some key territory they've established around damascus, but maybe with the sarin gas, maybe i can blanket the area and take back that particular tactical location. that may be the kind of thinking that they're working through in assad's inner circle. michael o'hanlon, thanks so very much. >> thank you, martin. >> we'll be right back. before cdw virtualized it. how? cdw and hp networking implemented a virtual application network that reduces the time to deploy cloud location. applications from months to minutes. with fewer bottlenecks like this. finally. charles! client golf. aim for the lake. really? a new way to save on your prescriptions.
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it's time now to "clear the air." even as republicans are dragged kicking and screaming toward the reality of raising some taxes, it's been interesting to hear the language they've been using as they seek to impugn the president's position. here is house majority leader eric cantor. >> we have got to do something about the spending. an obsess to raise taxes is not going to solve the problem. >> for mr. cantor this is an obsession, but for one
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conservative commentator who appeared on this broadcast yesterday, it's even worse. >> president obama has this fetish of we've got to raise the rates on the top two because we're going to raise the deficit. >> who knew a balanced approach could be characterized as an obsession that evokes an erotic response. what this is about is the president drawing attention to a dirty little secret, their own fetish that republicans just don't like to hear ventilated in public. according to the congressional budget office in the years since 1979 as federal taxation has become less progressive, the income of the top 1% has grown by over $700,000, while the average pretax income for the bottom 90% of households has fallen by $900. did you get that. the top 1% up by $700,000, the bottom 90% down by $900. accusing the president of being obsessed is a