tv The Last Word MSNBC October 30, 2013 10:00pm-11:00pm EDT
deliver, that's not what this as it but. not about explaning a mroth plot liplot -- plot line. lifting entire sections of a website. inserting them in your speeches and passing them off as your own original thoughts. this is something that high school students know not to do. you are presenting yourself as potential canned date for president. it has nothing to do with me. you heard senator paul there say, "nothing i said was not given attribution to where it came from." that is absolute and provably not true. senator somebody else's published word ended up in your speech without attribution. how did that happen? do you understand that is a problem? i'm grateful for jorge ramos and fusion that senator rand paul has been forced to respond to the plagiarism tonight given his incoherence in his ex-play nachlg -- explanation. i have a feeling this may not be the end of it. today, president obama went to the very spot in boston where
mitt romney signed romney care into law. and there, president obama defended the affordable care act. >> president obama is expected to share the limelight. >> so health care reform in this state was a success. >> president obama is minutes away. >> stop in boston by the president. >> from a critical speech on his health care law. >> let's face it. we've had a problem. >> website glitches. >> website hasn't worked the way it is supposed to. >> no doubt about that. >> no excuse for it. apologize. >> i am accountable to you for fixing these problems. >> taking the blame. >> kathleen sebelius. >> we were wrong. we must fix it. >> a few committee members. >> had their rehearsed one-liner. >> to be played on cable news.
>> some people like to drive a ford not a ferrari. >> has a man ever delivered a baby. >> of come on in the water is fine. >> toto, we are not in kansas. >> the proverbial, we are not in kansas any more. >> you are from kansas. we are not in kansas anymore. >> you clearly, whatever. >> we are working overtime to improve it every day. >> that's good news. >> this is the hall where. >> mitt romney. >> pick any other republican in the country. >> he did the right thing on health care. >> he is the worst republican in the country. >> we are in this together. aened we are going to see it through. we are going to see this through! [ cheers and applause ] >> so sorry that we can't afford the rights to clips of wizard of oz. the secretary of health and human services faced hours of questions at a house committee
hearing today about affordable care act. president obama by passed congress to speak directly to the american people at nathaniel hall in boston today. >> this is the hall where seven years ago, democrats and republicans, came together. to make health reforeign minister a reality for the people in massachusetts. it's where then-governor, mitt romney, democratic legislators, senator ted kennedy -- many of the folks who are here today, joined forces to connect the progressive vision of health care for all with some ideas about markets and competition that had long been championed by conservatives. enrollment was extremely slow. within a month. only about 100 people had signed up. 100.
but then 2,000 had signed up. and then -- a few more thousand after that. by the end of the year, 36,000 people had signed up. all the parade of horribles. the worst predictions about health care reform in massachusetts never came true. they're the same arguments that you are hearing now. businesses didn't stop covering workers. the share of employers who offered insurance increased. people didn't get left behind. racial disparities decreased. care didn't become unaffordable. >> president obama took responsibility for the problems with the federal insurance exchange web site. >> let's face it. we've had a problem. the website hasn't worked the way it is supposed to. over the last -- couple of weeks. and as a consequence, a lot of people haven't had a chance to seep just how good the prices
for quality health insurance through the marketplaces really are. ultimately this website. health care.gov will be the easiest way to shop for and buy the new plan. you can see all the plans next to each other. compare prices and see -- what kind of coverage it provides. but -- look. there is no denying it. right now the website is too slow. too many people have gotten stuck. and i am not happy about it. and neither are a lot of americans who need health care. and they're trying to figure out how they can -- sign up as quickly as possible. so there is no excuse for it. i take full responsibility for making sure it gets fixed asap. we are working overteam to ime improve it every day. every day. >> and the president responded to the controversy about people who are losing their existing health plans.
>> it is also true that some americans who have health insurance plans that they bought on their own through the old individual market are getting notices from their insurance companies suggesting that somehow because affordable care act they may be losing their existing health insurance plans. this has been the latest flurry in the news. there has been a lot of confusion and misinformation about this. i want to explain what is going on i you had one of the substandard plans before the affordable care act became law and you really liked that plan you were able to keep it. that's what i said when i was running for office. that was part of the promise we made. but every since the law was passed, if insurers decided to downgrade or cancel substandard plans, what we said under the law eyes have gis you have to r. for the vast majority of people that have health insurance that
works you can keep it. for the fewer than 5% of americans who buy insurance on your own you will be getting a better deal. so many one peddling the notion that insurers are canceling people's plan without mentioning that almost all insurers are encouraging people to join belter plans with the same carrier and stronger benefits and stronger protections, while others will get better plans with new carriers through the marketplace, and that, many will get new help to pay for these better plans and make them actually cheaper. if you leave that stuff out, you're being grossly misleading. to say the least. but nobody is losing their right to health care coverage. and no insurance company will ever be able to deny you coverage or drop you as a customer altogether. those days are over. and that's the truth. that its the truth. that is the truth. joining me, richard wolf, and robert reich, former clinton labor secretary and professor at university of california
berkeley. his film "inequality for all" in theaters now. richard wolf, i keep thinking could have been you. could have been you. with the launch of the new msnbc website. >> an awful lot simpler than the affordable care act website. >> every website is complicated. just because you can click on something doesn't mean it is simple. lots of promises on the website, healthcare.gov. yes, a mess to begin with. any one who has done this, who can see how quickly they're crunching through this, you have got to take your hat off to them. a lot of man hours going in right now. >> robert reich. ironic that the story that has come along to, kind of -- oversthad dough possibly, helpfully in a way for the obama administration, the website problem is this story abut, people are losing health insurance. that here we have the launch of the affordable care act. and the, the story that is leading the news now is people, losing health insurance. the president just explained its a kind of gross
oversimplification of what is actually happening. >> well, not only an oversimplification, lawrence, but also, it is tear bleep misleading. i mean that -- it is terribly misleading. i mean that 5% of americans in the private insurance market. half have been losing their health insurance every year. the private insurance market, the insurance premiums, co-payments and deductibles have been taking huge leaps, 15%, 20% increases every year. so all that the affordable care act does, it says look, you guys you have got to play by standard rules. you have to provide minimum coverage. in terms of competition if you want to go 15%, 20% a year increase, compete directly with others in the exchanges. now, of course the exchanges have got to by up and running for people to see the benefits of that. >> and richard, it turns out that what the president was saying. in his campaign for the presidency and his campaign to
pass the bill turns out to be true in the bill. you can keep your plan, the plan you had at the time he was saying this before the law was enacted. all of the plans even substandard ones were allowed to continue under this law. if they're not continuing it is the insurance company deciding. >> because he is not a socialist, marxist, muslim revolutionary, he is not telling the private sector you must keep the plans in place. it is extra ordinary to watch people twist this for political gain. a bit like someone saying i will tell you a $500 car. the pesky government says this car has to be road worthy. an astonishing idea that somehow the bad policies, i cover the insurance industry for many years. insurers sell cheap policies because the they never pay out on them. the prices are low. because they never spend any money on them. it is pretty simple. if you spend a lot of money on insurance. generally you should get something back. not always. generally.
that's insurance. so when you get a cheap policy. you get no benefits for it. what is it really worth? >> and robert reich. every headache the obama administration has the at this point in the rollout of the affordable care act, comes from -- the operating principle going into writing the legislation that they -- did everything they possibly could to preserve private insurance companies' positions in the health care marketplace and allow them to preserve their profit margins. >> exactly, lawrence. the big irony here, is that many of us had been arguing for years that any new comprehensive health care system offered by the democrats taught to be graf grafted on to social security, medicare. paid for by the payroll tax. that's called -- a kind of single payer. but the republicans for years have been saying -- no we don't want it that way. we want private insurers. we want a profit motive the we
want a market. and indeed if you look back, historically, richard mixston came up with a proposal that was very, very close to the affordable care act. democrats didn't like it. it wasn't close enough to social security and medicare. mitt romney, the reason the president is -- in massachusetts is because obama care was modeled exactly after romney care in massachusetts. including the individual man date, which mitt romney after he signed that into law and was asked where did the mandate come from. he said an idea from the heritage foundation. and i heard from it through newt gingrich. that's where -- that's where this comes, this comes from. so for republicans now to turn around and say, oh, we think this is just awful. we don't like any of this. well it its beyond ironic. it is sort of -- tragic and combic com comic. >> secretary sebelius --
>> the president made it clear. and our policy was put a grandfather clause in employer-based coverage and. >> in the federal. >> private insurance plans. making private decisions. >> richard wolf, will that message get through this, these are private insurance plans making private decisions which, this -- all encompassing government program allows them to do. >> allows them to do. >> i don't think it will break through. republicans just don't want to hear that what this -- what this socialist marxist revolutionary president has done is empower consumers. >> you actually have to label that as a joke. in this kind of programming. without a laugh track in the audience, people aren't really sure. >> excuse me, some web sites, web sites, probably should fail. will peck thick this up and tret as serious. about empowering consumers and, one of the problems.
many of the congressmen have rich, varied lives before they went into the browbeating session today. but as some one who has tried to buy insurance in the individual market place for many years, it is incredibly hard to compare anything with anything. you are looking at variable throughs out. having informed consumers is surely the most free market approach you can get. will they accept this -- explanation, i don't think so. >> robert reich, richard wolf. thank you beth for joining me tonight. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> coming up, told cruz is backing down. he really is. there is big news about ted cruz from a private meeting of republican senators today. and in tonight's episode of campaigning versus governing, no one, no one oversimplifies on the campaign trail more than chris christie. and kathleen sebelius, the wizard of oz, and bill o'reilly are together in tonight's "rewrite." as a business owner, i'm constantly putting out fires.
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when house democrats held a closed door briefing with health and human officials, house republicans demanded their own meeting with health and human service officials to discuss the health care website problems. so that meeting was schedule ford republicans and just republican tuesday. of the 232 republicans in the house who demanded that meeting, exactly 20 showed up. up next, senator ted cruz is backing down. in the nation, we know how you feel about your car. so when coverage really counts, count on nationwide insurance. because what's precious to you is precious to us. ♪ love, love is strange just another way we put members first.
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ted cruz is backing down. remember this ted cruz? >> we saw the house of representatives stand strong, listen to the people, and stand strong against obama care. sadly as you just noted, what we then saw was senate republicans not unite but be divided. if senate republicans had united and supported house republicans, supported the american people, we could have had a very different outcome. >> that was ted cruz talking two weeks ago. actually while congress was still voting to open the government, raise the debt ceiling, and yes, continue funding the affordable care act to. day politico reporting that ted cruz is backing down and promised his fellow republican senators he will stop attacking them. according to politico, ted cruz attended a closed door lunch meeting with senate republicans where he told them he won't engage in the senate
conservative fund's hardball tactics to defeat his colleagues. the freshman conservative told his colleagues he would not intervene in their 2014 primary fights or fund raise for the controversial outside group. the jim demint founded senate conservatives fund aligned itself with ted cruz leading up to the government shutdown. even putting him in one of their ads. >> we need congress to stand up and defund obama care now. >> ted cruz is not disassociating with the group entirely according to the "dallas morning news." cruz's spokeswoman says he will continue to work with them on common conservative issues as they arise. joining me now, jonathan capeheart, an analyst, and josh barrow, politics editor for business insider. jonathan, that was quick. >> well, i mean -- the story
points out that he promises not to campaign against them in their re, in their re-elections. but i, look, i believe firmly this is a trust but verify situation. with senator cruz. there its nos nothing stopping from going to the floor or going out to the cameras and saying, well, you know, the senate is not doing what it need to do. you just, you do not spend as many months as he has spent in the senate, however lit they'll hathey'll -- however lit they'll have been in the senate. beating the hell out of the constitution and republican colleagues and over one lunch decide i will back off. leave you alone. >> we are going to fiend out, josh, whether this means simply not naming names anymore or just kind of as jonathan said, be able to go out and say, the senate isn't working, and our side of the senate isn't working well. >> well, expect he will go out and say that.
the senate conservatives fund. mitch mcconnell declared war on it. they have been backing his oement opponent in the kentucky senate race. and how the senate conservatives fund is working to help democrats by undermining the republican majority in the senate. i think ted cruz through a number of things forcing republicans into the shutdown has angered a lot of his colleagues and helped raise his profile nationally but maybe made them too angry to serve ted cruz's purposes. this is not a surrender by ted cruz. i would call it strategic retreat. i think he need to rebuild relationships there. clearly ted cruz's power to fame and power within the party and his own presidential run in 2016 involves running against the rest of the senate caucus as not conservative enough. this is not the end of ted cruz's fight. he main be a little less noisy for the next few months. >> we were all kind of marveling at how he can do this. we have never seen anything like it. attack your own party in the senate. so wilt not surprise me itch he
actually stops doing this. it is unprecedented behavior already. let's listen to something meek lee said yesterday that sound lick like he may be pulling back. >> however justified, frus raci -- frustration is not a platform, anger is not an jenn, outrage as a habit is not conservative, they're gargoyles of the left. for us, optimism is not just a message. it is a principle. american conservatism at its core is about gratitude and qup racing and trust. and above all, hope. it's -- it is also about inclusion. successful political movements are about i've dent tieing converts not haerratics.
>> in the future we will leave your mike open during that kind of video so we can hear the laughter. you finished laughing. >> i fin,ed laughing. >> ready to comment. >> platitudes are us. is he talking about -- his and senator cruz's behavior to their own colleagues in the senate. or talking about the conservative movement as a hole. and their vision for the country. where they want the country to go. because if you look at what they have done, vis-a-vis obama care, where is the hope? where is the looking forward? where is the coming together, the, the, the tolerance that he was talking about? where are the ideas? where are the real idea? that are coming out of senator lee and senator cruz to make those platitudes he mentioned so, so well. make them a reality. >> so here is, tea party republican mike lee.
he seem to now have gone from attacking republicans to attacking the tea party. how dare he say -- anger is not an agenda. how dare he attack the tea party like that. >> a really interesting speech from senator lee. the whole speech is worth a read. this part was platitudes. there are substantive approximately see ideas in the speech. some of which are good. some are bad idea. he does seem to be trying to reengage with creating a positive policy agenda for the republican party. rather than just attacking. what's weird about it. it is so different than what he has been doing with senator cruz for the last few months. we have been seeing news stories about after shut down was resolved. congress went home. ted cruz went home to a hero's welcome. got a standing ovation. in utah, lee was not as the well received. utah like texas is a conservative state. >> poll numbers went underwater. >> poll numbers want down. mormon conservatism is different. not as interested in this kind of disorder and trying to fight
the government. and break everything. so, i think, lee maybe findinging that that didn't sell so well with his home base. hasn't sold well with the republican caucus. he may set out to do something constructive. i am pretty happy. >> jonathan capehart, josh barrow. thank you for joining us. coming up what you have been told abut chris christie's governing record by chris christie not exactly true. in the rewrite tonight, republicans drag the wizard of oz into the house hearing on the affordable care act today. jonathan, someone has got to tell those republicans, the wizard of oz is not a documentary. okay? >> it's not? my asthma's under control.
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>> i know we still have work to do. i really believe finally jersey is moving in the right direction. >> that was new jersey governor chris christie and his newest campaign ad. in the spot light tonight, another example of what new york's former governor mario cuomo would call campaigning in poetry and governing in prose. this time in new jersey. here is what then-candidate chris christie promise heed would do as governor campaigning against john corzine in 2009. >> here's what i will do as governor, i will cut spending and end special interest give aways cut taxes and restore property tax rebates. i will bring good jobs back to new jersey. and not chase them to other states. i will make sure all of our children get the education they deserve. >> but today "the new york
times" reports as governor chris christie, quote, has relied on the same kind of short-term strategies diverting money from things like affordable housing and property tax rebates to balance the budget. he has issued more debt for transportation projects than any of his predecessors. overall spending has risen 14%. and while state surpluses nationwide are growing, new jersey's has shrunk to its lowest percentage in a decade. the state's bond rating is among the worst in the country. mr. christie's budget for 2014, at just shy of 33 billion will reach the second highest amount in state history and more than govern governor corzie's last two years in office. christie's opponent highlighted these failures during a debate last week. >> this is a governor balanced his budget by raising property taxes, cruelest tax of all without asking millionaires to
pay a penny more. a governor raised taxes on the working poor and ve tomorrtoed minimum wage. and raising fares on trains and buses. you may not call it a tax, it has the the same effect. increases the cost of living for beleaguered commuters and increased tolls. need i go on. let me say this, i said it last week, i will say it again. you are the last person to talk to anybody about taxes, governor. >> joining me, crystal ball and john wrightmeier, a reporter for the bergen report who covers the new jersey budget. crystal, controversy of the day in washington is president obama said, you could keep your health insurance approximately sees. turns out i can't keep mine. well, you know, he didn't say -- i can prevent your insurance scum pan from taking itfrom -- taking it away from you. here is christie with variations on his campaign language and what he actually did.
>> absolutely. what you sesee with chris chris magical republican thinking, his budgets and how rhetoric matches up with reality. barbara buono was reporting out in republican world, a tax increase counts as a tax increase if it is on the wealthy. lowering earned income tax credit. a tax on the working poor she points out. that doesn't count. raising fees. that apparent lely doesn't coun. the other piece of magical thinking, remind me of paul ryan. he projects that lowering taxes on businesses and on, millionaires is going to somehow magically increase revenue. he has a lot of rosie predictions about the state's growth that when it doesn't come to pass his revenue projections fall far short of what was originally anticipated. he has to grab money from the other pots to fill the gap. >> john, we just saw the video. he ran for governor saying -- here's exactly what i will do as
governor. exactly what i will do. i will cut spending. didn't cut spending. the list goes on. i will cut taxes. restore your prompt tax rebates. he raises property taxes. how does this work in new jersey? >> he cut the program and turned it into a direct credit. not only did he significantly reduce how much, most low income. middle-class homeowners and seniors receive. he converted it. instead of receiving a rebate check. you can then go out and spend. transferred into a direct credit on your property tax bill. shows up as a line when you get your tax bill. you no longer get that check. if this was the campaign commercial a month after he won election, i think that the results may have been a lot different. i think the takeaway is what he found is it is a lot harder when you are running the state and you are in control of the budget than when on the outside and you are criticizing the guy who is. >> crystal, it seems that he -- that he tries how to work this
reputation as the straight talker. but it isn't actually based on doing what he says he would do. >> yeah, that's exactly right. and i mean in fairness. he doesn't tripe how y to work . he does work it. great, coasting to re-election. one thing we were talking about here. he will do a big thing. he will mix the tunnel project. >> disastrous. the stupidest thing i have seen a politician in the region do in my lifetime. >> nixes the tunnel project. a very big you, know. splashy thing. >> very important. >> then mean while, he gets the reputation as, as making tough choices. and cutting spending in a big way. he has this reputation that doesn't match what he is actually doing. and i think that speaks to a lot of what he is doing. people used to say that george w. bush was all hat and no cattle. i think that could apply to chris christie as well.
>> you isolate barbara buono in that debate. sound like she should be scoring points? >> the problem is no one really watched it. >> ah. there is that. okay. >> her challenge the whole time. polls that came out this week, shows there are still 30%, 35% new jersey voters don't know enough about her to form a solid opinion about her. so for all that, she has been out on the campaign trail. trying to make her points. and going on the debate. being aggressive with the governor. his staff whether the campaign side or the governor's office they're skilled at creating the narratives. pull. ing them out through social media. youtube videos. he talks over the news media. he is able to go right around us, go right to his constituents. where we might be presenting a more objective version, one rooted in the facts. such as increases, spending increases, tolls are up. property taxes are up. rebates have been cut. the narrative out of his office that everybody is listening to, sandy or generic leadership carries the day.
>> let's listen to barbara buono's new ad. >> 400,000 new jerseyans out of work and our poverty rate at a 50 year high. christie raised taxes on the working poor. but went ask millionaires to pay another dime. he wants to be president. i want to be your governor. >> crystal. hard to get the message through. he has an overwhelming amount of money in terms of tv advertising over here. >> he has an overwhelming amount of money. the chicken and egg problem with her. running against this guy that everybody was afraid to run against. she had trouble getting off the ground. getting support. nobody nationally came in to help her. all focus has gone to virginia. this race is seen as already gone. so she hasn't been able to get the attention she really hasn't been able to get the campaign rolling and score points on him. when there are places where he genuinely is vulnerable.
if he did run for president in 2016. a lot more scrutiny. and the worst unemmriment raplo. >> he would hear that in the republican primary as well as general election. crystal ball, john wrightmeier, thank you for joining us tonight. >> thank you, lawrence. >> coming up, things congressmen say on tv. even when they know they're on tv. today's house committee hearing on the affordable care act produced some gems including a couple, from the oldest member of congress who is actually the only one. wise enough to know that when he tries to tell a joke in a committee hearing. he actually has to explain to the audience that it is a joke. that's in the rewrite. ♪
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>> i was in the third grade there, i thought i saw you on a tricycle there one day. >> well, it -- it was an illusion. >> to date house of representatives rewrote the importance of kansas. now i am not saying kansas isn't important. let's remember it is only one of 50 states. it is in fact one of our smaller states buy population, 32 states have more people than kansas. california has 13 times more people than kansas. but because health and human services secretary kathleen sebelius is from kansas or more accurately married her way into kansas, some members of the house of representatives seem to believe that the secretary's kansas connection explained a lot about at fothe affordable c act. 90-year-old congressman ralph hall thought he saw kathleen sebelius on a tricycle when he was in the third grade. never mind that kathleen
sebelius was at least 18 years away from being born when ralph hall was in the third grade. i guess we are to assume that ralph hall was joking, but it is never easy to tell when a 90-year-old congressman is joking. and ralph hall seems to get that. because, he usually labels his jokes a joke. >> there has been 197 million dollars obligated. and that is -- to last through march of 2014. and as i said before about 104 million dollars has expended. >> i will try to be here on 2014 to make sure your testimony is correct, okay. i'm just joking with you. >> okay. >> yeah. okay. i suppose, a 90-year-old
congressman joking about his life expectancy could be funny. i do think the audience was absolutely correct in holding their laughter until they were absolutely certain it was a joke. texas congressman joe barton is 26 years younger than congressman ralph hall, but he already speaks hall's language. >> there is a -- a famous movie called the wizard of oz. and in the wizard of oz there is a great line, dorothy, at some point in the movie, turns to her little dog toto and said, toto, we are not in kansas anymore. well, madam secretary wheel you are from kansas, we are not in kansas any more. some may say we are in the wizard of oz land given, the parallel universes we appear to be, habitating. >> no, no, no, no one might hack seashell say, in a congressional hearing, we're in the wizard of
ozland, no one, except a congressman with a staff who cannot control him. and so he wastes his precious few minutes of speaking time at an important hearing talking about the wizard of ozland. the next speaker, frank pallone, a democrat from new jersey could not resist the setup. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i know we are not in kansas, but i do believe increasingly we are in oz because of what i see here. this wizard of oz comment by my colleague from texas, i think is particularly apropos given what we hear on the other side of the aisle. i don't know how you keep your cool, madam secretary. >> bruce brayley, a democrat from iowa was inspired by joe barton's riff on the wizard of oz and with dorothy's dewy eyed optimism and hope and change he turned the wizard of oz back on the republicans. >> one of the things that keeps
coming up in this hearing because you are from kansas is references to the wizard of oz, and people went to see the wizard because of the wonderful things that the he did. and the act is doing a lot of great things in iowa. >> can't you just hear dorothy saying at fordable care act is doing a lot of great things in iowa. in the future, congressman brayley would be well advised to confine his affordable care act comparisons to things that actually exist. unlike say, the wizard of oz. i hope by now congressman's staff has ex-mrind plained to h the wizard of oz is not a documentary. when the only member of xhet from kansas got to speak, the republican was not happy that his colleagues had already stepped all over his obviously planned wizard of oz bit. >> thank you for coming, secretary sebelius.
won't surprise you i would look to talk about kansas today. much like with some of my colleagues have made references to the wizard of oz. i don't think anybody not from kansas should do oz cal goerall. >> those folks worked hard to go down the yellow ]. road. end of the day when they got there and pulled back the curtain, they found there was nothing that they didn't already have. and, as we pull back the curtain on affordable care act, they're finding it's not exactly what they worked so hard to find their way to as well. >> mr. chairman, i would look to remind the committee that the wizard of oz is not a documentary. now, all of this talk of dorothy and toto and yellow brick road and yet unborn kathleen sebelius on a tricycle was all because the secretary of health and human services spent most of her working life in kansas. >> kathleen sebelius is former
governor of kansas. okay. well you are not in kansas anymore-thee. you are in the big time. >> and nothing, i mean nothing makes you feel you are in the big time more than the number of times members of congressmention the wizard of ozzen a wic ein a important hearing. when our little girl was born, we got a subaru. it's where she said her first word. (little girl) no! saw her first day of school.
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with ted cruz apparently backing down on his attacks on fellow republican senators, does that mean ted cruz will back down the next time they have to raise the debt ceiling and vote to continue funding the government. members of the house and senate budget committee are at least talking to each other. in all seriousness, we have our work cut out for us. it's not going to be easy. >> i am ready to listen to their idea. as long as they're fair, for seniors and our families, i am ready to make tough concessions to get a deal. but compromise works both ways. >> it will not be easy. >> joining me is a columnist for "new york" magazine. jonathan, do you think a deal is possible? i think i will read to the audience the headline of your most recent column. yes, there is a budget deal in
the work. here's what it will look like. why don't we go to that? >> sure. i think the republicans are actually waiting to deal. they set up the previous year, attempting to execute the plan to extort unilateral concessions. that's what boehner wanted to do with the debt ceiling and ted cruz with the government shutdown. that failed. a disarray. they're on the backup plan. the backup plan is a small deal. i think they're going to try to lift sequestration cuts. automatic cuts to the, to the nonmandatory spending programs. for a year, maybe two, probably one year. and just fry to cobble together a small package. stop hurting the economy as much as they have been doing. so, by recent standard this would be real progress. >> what would be the elements of the deal, jonathan, as you see it? >> well, what people are just question is that president obama had about $200 billion in his budget of cuts to what he called
entitlement, not medicare, medicaid, not social security. things like farm subsidies. federal pension reform. postal, this, and you know sort of user fees, transportation fees. sort of asortassorted change. and the cost of sequestration for a while. that's what people think they're going to do. obama will only offer up these cuts to medicare and social security if republicans give him more revenue. republicans would rather die than give them more revenue. that's sort of where we are, the lowest common denominator. >> that's the version of what they would call the grand bargain, one that would include more tax revenue and cuts to the big entitlements. >> right. >> paul ryan would cut off his left leg before he goes with it. he spent his last three years, killing the grand bargain left and right. started the whole thing off. no grand bargain. forget the grand bargain. they are apparently open to this
kind of small deal. it's possible they can shake loose tiny little revenue here and there. cults th cuts that are acceptable to democrats. that's where they're going with this. >> strategically. the question republicans have to answer for themselves. what's more important to them. defense spending or say, agricultural subsidies because it is the defense spending that they would get restored in this kind of deal. >> right. they have to give up agriculture subsidies. republicans like agriculture subsidies. >> they do. >> yeah. >> a lot of them get agricultural subsidies. they're wealthy. rural. overwhelmingly white. the kind of people republicans are genuinely happy to see getting help from the government. one of the few government programs. republicans have been debating more be spent than the democrats want to spend. that's the kind of cut that democrats are trying to get in this budget agreement. >> all right. there is possibility fee here. you sold me this is possible. >> i'm not making any