Skip to main content

tv   FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace  FOX  November 14, 2010 9:00am-10:00am EST

9:00 am
>> and they did a good job with the escape capsule too. >> why stop at 7 feet? why not keep going? >> who knows. well plenty of sunshine for today. but monday overnight and into tuesday we are talking some rainfall. keep the umbrella handy. it looks like tuesday could be a soaker by the afternoon- evening. >> that does it for us this mo >> chris: i'm chris wallace, and this "fox news sunday." unfinished business on capitol hill. from the bush tax cuts to cutting the deficit, to keeping the government running, we'll discuss the tough issues facing the lame duck session of congress with white house senior advisor david axelrod. and the man known as senator tea party, republican jim demint. then the white house signals the u.s. may be in afghanistan for years. and a new government takes shape in iraq.
9:01 am
we'll ask our sunday panel about the latest developments in america's two wars. and our power player of the week. a crazy hard academy award winner makes it his mission to end childhood hunger. all right now on "fox news sunday." hello again from fox news in washington. congress gets back to work this week on some key issues that were left unfinished before the election. with a new political reality here after the midterms, we want to discuss the president's agenda with white house senior advisor david axelrod who joins us from chicago. let's start with the bush tax cuts, which expire at the end of the year. there seems to be some confusion about where the president stands. let's try to clear that up. does the president rule out a permanent extension of all the tax cuts for the middle class as well as those who make more than $250,000 a year? >> yeah, chris, i think the president's position has not changed at all.
9:02 am
he made it clear again overseas. the president believes we should extent the tax cuts for the middle class. the middle class have taken a terrible beating over the last decade. wages have declined. they have born the brunt of this recession. it's the wrong thing to do, to allow these taxes to go up, as the bush taxes were scheduled to expire on january 1. he also feels we have to proceed in a way that's fiscally responsible. we can't afford to borrow another $700 billion for tax cuts that almost entirely are going to go to millionaires and billionaires. we just don't have that money. so that has been his position, that is his position. he is eager to sit down and talk about where we go from here. but the important thing is that we get something done in the next few weeks so that on january 1, people wake up with security that their taxes are not going to go up. >> chris: all right. but in the interest of getting something done, and
9:03 am
i've noticed that the last few times the president talked about no permanent extension of the tax cuts for the wealthy. does he rule out a temporary extension for several years of all the tax cuts for the middle class and for the wealthy? >> chris, i'm not going to negotiate with you on this program. i've heard many different variations discussed over the last week publicly. i've heard a variety of ideas surfaced publicly by various members of congress and others. we're looking forward to getting together with the leaders of both parties in congress. but the important thing is that we move forward. everybody has principles they want to defend. american people are looking for to us do that and to make progress on the things that are important to them. this is certainly one of them. and important to our economy. >> chris: well, i just want to follow up, though. you ruled out the permanent extension. you didn't rule out the temporary extension. >> let me repeat what the
9:04 am
president's position is. we have to extent these middle class tax cuts. absolutely have to do that. we should do that permanently. give people the security of knowing that their taxes aren't going to go up. that would be important for the middle class and important for the country. we cannot afford to go the additional step and permanently cut taxes primarily for millionaires and billionaires at a cost of $700 billion for the next ten years alone. >> chris: all right. let me ask you. you say you want to talk about things that are important to the american people. let's talk about earmarks, because house republicans announced this week that they are going to vote to ban all earmarks for the next congress and the house republican leaders challenged the president to promise he will veto any spending bill that includes earmarks. is the president willing to take that pledge? >> first of all, as you know, chris, the president spoke on this yesterday. we are pleased with the movement toward doing away with the earmarks. the president has been about
9:05 am
earmark reform since he got to the united states senate. when the republicans were last in charge earmarks exploded to 16,000 in one year alone. democrats have cut that in half. but we should go the final step here, because they've become a symbol of -- >> chris: so the final -- >> so, so, so the president supports that. obviously, there's some discussion within the republican ranks. senator mcconnell last week rejected this. so you can talk about that with senator demint and see where they are. in terms of where we'll see what comes to us, chris. obviously, this is very late in the game in terms of budgeting and keeping the functions of government operating. one of the problems is that these things come embedded in bills that have to be signed. that's one of the reasons why the president has asked for a constitutional authority, line item veto. i hope while the republicans are talking about reforming earmarks, they'll also give
9:06 am
the president this authority to excise those things and larger bills aren't held hostage to earmarks. >> chris: the president meets with congressional leaders of both parties for dinner this week. i want to ask about a statement you made this week, we have to deal with the world as we find it. does the president intend to pull a clinton, to move to the center, to deal with republicans, as bill clinton did after democrats took a drubbing in their midterm in 1994? >> listen, i don't think the question is moving left, right or center. the question is what we can work together to move this economy forward, chris. that's what the president wants to do. i think it's clear that the american people elected us and elected this congress to try and work together on the problems of this country. i was dismayed when senator mcconnell said that the most important thing that he has in front of him in the next two years as the leader of the caucus is defeat the
9:07 am
president. there will be plenty of time for elections later. this ought to be a season for cooperation in terms of pushing our economy forward, job creation, steadying the middle class. and laying the groundwork for a better future. that's what we want to work on with republicans and democrats. >> chris: there is this debate about what voters were actually saying on election day. as i understand it, the president's explanation is that the voters were saying two things. one, that the economy didn't turn around fast enough. and two that he and all of you didn't do a good enough job explaining his policies. but that's not what the exit poll said. i want to put a couple of them up on the screen. 52% said mr. obama's policies will hurt the country. 43% said that will help. and 56% said government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals. 38% said government should do more. mr. axelrod, this was not a
9:08 am
failure of communication. this was a repudiation of the president's policies. >> chris, there is a volume of research and i can make a variety of points off of exit poll and other research. but the bottom line is this, the american people have gone through a very difficult time. we walked in the greatest recession since the great depression. people have taken a terrible beating out there. there are millions of people still looking for work. even though we stop the freefall and we've had ten straight months of positive job growth, and even though our economy is growing, we need to accelerate that growth. that's fundamentally what the american people -- >> chris: you don't think they were saying -- >> and they want to us work together to do it. >> chris: if i may, you don't think that the country was saying, the voters were saying there has been too much big government, too many 2,000-page bills, too much spending, too much intrusion? >> well, i have no doubt that people are concerned about
9:09 am
spending. but they're fundamentally concerned about their jobs, chris. and they want to see robust job creation. they want to see this country strengthen its economy and grow. that's what we want as well. so, i think that's fundamentally the message. that's what the president is going to be focussed on. >> chris: there are so many issues. i want to do a lightning round of quick questions and quick answers to go over them. i'll do my part. you do your part. >> no promises. go ahead. >> chris: i'll try. co-chair of the deficit commission, bowles and simpkins came out with a plan to cut the debt by $4 trillion over the next decade. will the president include some of those proposals in the budget in february? >> well, we're obviously very, very interested. the president empanelled this commission for purposes of looking at this very difficult problem. and we're eager to look at
9:10 am
all the recommendations. once the commission reports on his commitment to the chairman was to not, was to refrain from commenting on their work until after december 1. obviously, we're looking for all good ideas to help deal with our long-term debt problem. this is something that is going to affect our economy, it affects our kids. and we need to deal with it. >> chris: you say refrain from commenting. nancy pelosi didn't refrain from commenting. she immediately rejected the package as "simply unacceptable." does the president agree or disagree that this package is simply unacceptable? >> well, i've seen comments from the left and the right on this, chris, in fairness. >> chris: but i'm asking about pelonancy pelosi. >> i understand. but i'm telling you that there are comments on both sides about this. this is something that we have to confront as we move forward. one thing i know, nancy pelosi had concerns and i
9:11 am
understand those concerns and i respect those concerns. the truth is as we move forward, the if one side says we can't can raise any taxes on anybody or any interest, and the other side says we can't cut anything, we're obviously not going to make progress on this. and our interest is in making progress on this. within that, we are going to protect important equities for sure. we shouldn't cut without sensitivity to the impact of those cuts and certainly social security, which is something she is concerned about is a great concern to us. we should move forward in the spirit of cooperation. we're not going to solve this one party or another alone. we have to do it together. that's what we want to do. >> chris: you're failing miserably at the lightning round rules. >> i was afraid of that. >> chris: there is a report that the mastermind of 9/11 khalid sheikh mohammed will likely remain in military
9:12 am
detention without trial past the 2012 election. why not try him, either in a military court or a civilian court? >> well, the attorney general is working through those issues. we are working through those issues as an administration. they will make a decision and we will proceed. obviously, it's a complicated issue, because of the sensitivities, localities and congress have expressed. we have to work through all the issues and come to the right conclusion and we will. >> chris: in 2008, your campaign expanded the eelectoral map. turning red states like indiana and virginia and north carolina blue. but if you look at the house tracker, of how people voted this election night, in the mid-terms, you're now looking at roughly the same map that al gore and john kerry faced.
9:13 am
how do you win back those states that turned red again? >> well, chris, as you know, two years is an eternity. two years before the last election you nor anyone else would have predicted that barack obama would get elected president of the united states. i think the american people are looking to see we make progress on the fundamental issues that impact their lives and on economic growth and laying the foundation for a strong future. making america competitive in the world. keeping america's leadership in the world. that's what the president is going to do. i think we'll have a whole different situation come 2012. in between, the important thing is that we work on the problems that people are most concerned about. and that concern the future of this country. if we fail to do that, if we fail or the republicans in congress fail to do that, then i think each of us will pay a price for that. >> chris: all right. finally, 30 seconds left. let me ask you.
9:14 am
david axelrod, question, when are you going to leave the white house and begin working on the president's re-election campaign? if i were to call you six months from now, will you be working in the white house or will you be working back in chicago on the campaign? >> well, that -- you're right on the line there, i think, chris. sometime in the spring, late winter, early spring i'll be going back, coming back here to chicago. beginning to work on that project. >> chris: wherever you are, i hope you take my phone calls, sir. >> i'll always take your phone calls, sir. i might not be as brief as you like, but i'll take the calls. >> chris: if we're off the air, i don't care. thank you for coming in. good to talk to you. >> thank you. >> chris: up next, reaction from the man known as senator tea party jim demint right after the break.
9:15 am
what are you looking at? logistics. ben? the ups guy? no, you see ben, i see logistics. logistics? think--ben is new markets. ben is global access-- china and beyond. ben is a smarter supply chain. ben is higher margins. happier customers... everybody wins. logistics. exactly. see you guys tomorrow.
9:16 am
that lets business owners handle payroll on the go. or, like adp, you can dream it and do it. adp lists on nasdaq, the world's most innovative can-do exchange. affect wheat output in the u.s., the shipping industry in norway, and the rubber industry in south america? at t. rowe price, we understand the connections of a complex global economy. it's just one reason over 75% of our mutual funds beat their 10-year lipper average. t. rowe price. invest with confidence. request a prospectus or summary prospectus with investment objectives, risks, fees, expenses, and other information to read and consider carefully before investing.
9:17 am
>> chris: joining us with a very different perspective on the upcoming lame duck session of congress is republican senator jim demint, one of the leading advocates for the tea party movement and he's in his home state of south carolina. you heard axelrod talk aboutbe the tax cuts and i want to explore where there might be room for compromise.
9:18 am
would you accept temporary extension of all the bush tax cut for middle class as well as those making more than $250,000 a year? >> well, good morning, chris. and we need to remind everyone that we're not talking about cutting taxes. we're talking about keeping current tax rates the same. i don't think there is any room to negotiate on raising taxes; particularly, on smaller businesses. i hope we can get a permanent extension, but if the president wants to compromise on two or three-year extension, what is important here is that businesses know what their tax rates are going to be the next few years so they can plan growth and plan to add people. if we keep things in a state of flux, i'm afraid we'll continue to have a jobs problem. >> chris: two or three-year extension of all the tax cuts, you'd be on board for it? >> well, if that's all we could get out of the president and he is the president, so we'll work with him on that. i hope he doesn't come back with the idea that oh, we're going to raise taxes on 750,000 small businesses as he's been talking about.
9:19 am
i think if he can work on our side of the ledger, i think we might can work together. >> chris: all right. let me talk about something in which you're dealing with your fellow republicans. you have plan to bring up a resolution to the house republican conference on tuesday in which your party would agree to seek no earmarks in the next congress, over the next two years. one, do you have the votes to pass that ban? and two, is that going to be a first test as to whether or not the republican establishment here in washington gets what the tea party movement was all about? >> chris, this is not just the tea party movement. this is a 70% issue with the american people. right now we've got over 500 congressmen and senators who are in washington who think it's their job to bring home the bacon. that takes your eye off the ball. we're not working on important national issues when we're trying to pave a local parking lot. john boehner, eric cantor, the house leadership and
9:20 am
really i think everyone in the house has gotten the message, they're going to push for an earmark ban. just about every new republican freshman is pushing for the earmark ban. i think we'll win the vote because i think most of the republicans in the senate have gotten the very clear message from the american people that we need to stop wasteful spending. >> chris: well, you say most people have gotten the message. apparently not all of the top republicans in the senate, because a lot of them think banning earmarks is a mistake. here is what the senate republican leader mitch mcconnell said just this week. >> you could eliminate every congressional earmark and you would save no money. it's really an argument about discretion. >> chris: senator, their argument is congress will appropriate whatever they will appropriate. when he says it's a matter of discretion, it's who gets to decide whether to spend the money? an administration bureaucrat or senator from south carolina who wants to spend some of that money in his
9:21 am
home state and knows better, according to senator mcconnell, knows where the money should be spent? >> mitch is a good friend. on this issue we disagree. you would see spending come down dramatically if you took out the self-interest they' they're -- that earmarks represent. if you put in a little bacon in for senators and they'd vote for a big bill they otherwise would not vote for. it is spending. we can control how president spends money and make it grants, competitive grants to the states. we don't have to give the administration a blank check. everyone in the senate knows that. >> chris: another one of your republican colleagues, jim inhoff, he says basically you're being hypocritical because over the years you put in for earmarks for
9:22 am
multi-million dollar road projects in the state of carolina. >> i am a recovering earmarker. we have support groups all over the country, called tea parties. people realize if you try to play the system and reform it at the same time, it doesn't work. four years ago i decided to go cold turkey on this because i saw it was destroying our country. we have can't spend all our time trying to rob the federal treasury to get money for the states and congressional districts and be serious about the big issues like reforming the tax code and fixing social security and fixing medicare. we have to focus on the interest of the nation not on our parochial issue. >> chris: as i discussed with david axelrod, the president's debt commission, the co-chairman came out with a plan this week to cut the national debt by $4 trillion over the next decade. it was a mix of spending cuts
9:23 am
to tax increases of 3-to-1. your fellow deficit hawk, senator tom coburn said he would be willing to accept a mix and he understood he couldn't get everything he wanted. there had to be a compromise. would you be willing to accept a mix of spending cuts and tax increases if you could get, let's say, $4 trillion out of the national debt? >> well, i want to see the whole report once it's done. as you know this is a recommendation from the chairman to the commissioners. i want to get back to washington and talk to paul and others on the commission to see what they are actually going to recommend. the important thing is realize in the last four years, we've increased the debt of our nation by over $5 trillion. it's not very credible to come back now after adding hundreds of new programs, entitlements, adding all of these new government agencies. things like cash for clunkers and bail-outs and now all of
9:24 am
a sudden say we've got debt, we've got to cut social security and raise taxes. if we need to cut spending, we don't have a taxing problem in this country. we already have one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. what we need to do is go to 2008. spending levels immediately. repeal the trillion-dollar obamacare and take back the bail-out money and what stimulus money hasn't been spent. we need to look at the big picture of ways to devolve the federal role in areas like education and transportation back to the state. >> chris: senator, let me ask you about one very big area, because last week you were asked about entitlements. i want to put up on the screen what you said. "we're not talking about cuts in social security. if we can just cut the administrative waste, we can cut hundreds of billions of dollars a year at the federal level. cutting benefits to seniors is not on the table." now, here is the question i have.
9:25 am
are you saying no cuts to seniors who are currently in the program? or are you ruling out cuts in social security benefits to people who are ten, or 20 years away from going on the program? >> we need to remind everyone that social security has not added a penny to our debt at this point. as a matter of fact, the country would show a lot more debt if we reported how much the government borrowed from social security, which is trillions of dollars right now. i have probably done more work on to social security reform than anyone in the senate. i have put out proposals with people like paul ryan in the house. we don't change anything on anyone who is in retirement or over 55. but we restructure the program to give younger workers more choices, allow them to take more savings on to themselves. and we can actually reduce the cost of social security without reducing benefits. that's with a we need to get people to look at, rather than just raising taxes and cutting benefits to seniors.
9:26 am
we need to look at ways that we restructure social security so we give younger workers better choices and cut the debt over the long-term. >> chris: if i may, briefly, sir, the two co-chairs of the debt commission say you can't make enough in savings and they're talking about -- again, we're always talking here about people who are 10, 20 more years away. they talk about raising the retirement age. they talk about cutting benefits who are better off. they talk about ereducing cost of living increases. are you talking about ruling out all of those things? >> again, i've introduced legislation that shows we can cut the cost of social security without all of these cuts that they're talking about. this is what we've done for years, chris. we've cut benefits and raised taxes on social security, without changing it from a political slush fund which is what it has been for the last two decades to a real savings program. so we need to look at real reform before we go straight to social security, which
9:27 am
people paid for and start cutting things. there are other things they did not consider, like repealing obama care, and taking back money from -- you know, privatizing fannie mae fannie, privatizing general motors. all of these things need to be on the table before we start cutting programs like social security that people have paid for. >> chris: senator, i got less than two minutes left. i want to get in two more questions to you if i can. first of all, how do you feel about michael steele serving another term as chairman of the republican national committee? do you think it would be good or bad for to party? >> chris, i want to look at the choices. frankly, i think where we lost a few senate seats, our ground game was not as strong as it could have been. we were outmanned on the ground. going into 2012, we need a strong leader for the republican party to match the get out the vote the we saw from the obama machine last time. so, i appreciate michael steele's service, but i'm looking for some alternatives right now. i have haven't decided who i
9:28 am
would support. but we need a strong national republican organization to help organize the energy of the tea parties and the other citizen activism that we are seeing out there right now. we need to make sure we have a lot of boots on the ground. >> chris: and in 30 seconds, do you think that you could get elected president in 2012? or do you think you're too far to the right? >> i don't think i'm far to the right at all. i think this election shows that my views of balancing the checkbook are not radical at all. americans want us to cut spending and debt. i think they want us to return the role of the federal government back to more of a limited constitutional role. right now, i have no plans to run for president. i'm looking for someone who will have the courage and leadership abilities to come out and make the hard decisions that we need to turn this country away from a cliff. >> chris: senator demint, we want to thank you as always for talking with us. please come back, sir. >> thanks, chris. >> chris: up next, our sunday
9:29 am
panel on the upcoming battle over tax cuts, earmarks and that controversial plan to slash the federal debt. ah, it's stinging a little bit more than usual! yeah, you'll get used to it. the longer you keep your high mileage car, the more it pays you back. get castrol gtx high mileage. it helps engines last longer by fighting the main causes of engine failure. i think a dime went up my nose.
9:30 am
yeah, it happens. don't change your car. change your oil to castrol gtx high mileage. its more than just oil. it's liquid engineering. here's to the believers.
9:31 am
the risk-takers. the visionaries. the entrepreneurs... who put it all on the line to build and run their own businesses. at at&t, we know something about that. our company started out in a small lab, with not much more than a dream. and today, we know it's small businesses that can create the jobs america needs. that's why at&t is investing billions to upgrade and build out our wired and wireless networks. making them faster, smarter, and more secure. connecting small businesses to markets across the country, and around the world. we invest now, because we know it will pay off... with new jobs, new growth, from a new generation, putting their belief in the future on the line. now is the time for investment and innovation. the future is waiting. and the future has always the future is waiting. and the future has always been our business. at&t.
9:32 am
it be fiscally irresponsible for us to permanently extend the high income tax cuts. i think that would be a mistake. >> we support the tax cuts for everyone, but not an
9:33 am
additional tax cut at the high end. it's too costly. >> chris: the president and house speaker nancy pelosi with two differing views about whether even a temporary extension of the tax cut for the wealthy is on the table. it's time now for our sunday group. brit hume, fox news senior political analyst. mara liasson of national public radio. bill kristol of "the weekly standard." and fox news political analyst, juan williams. brit, after a confusing week, where do you think democrats are on this question of extending the bush tax cuts and what do you make of this apparent split about whether a temporary extension is on or off the table between the president and nancy pelosi? >> i think that a temporary extension is on the table. and the only question is how long it will be. it doesn't really matter at this point. i don't know whether nancy pelosi can hold her democrats if the president and the republicans want to extend the upper income tax cuts for two more years. i'm not sure she can do that.
9:34 am
i guess the republicans and the president will make a deal and the deal will hold. >> chris: mara, is this where we're headed where you have the president and nancy pelosi, the house democrats and that there is some distance between the two? >> there is definitely some distance in a big sense. but on the narrow issue of these tax cuts, the question about nancy pelosi holding her democrats, if she could have held them, she would have had the votes before they went home to campaign. that was the big kind of surprise for everybody. that this seemed to be the position that the democrats settled on. the tax cuts for the middle class were popular. for the rich, they weren't. it was a good issue for them and they were going to vote. they didn't vote because they didn't have the vote. temporary extension is probably what we'll get, but does nancy pelosi bring this up in the lame duck so her caucus can vote on the middle class tax cuts alone being extended and challenge the republicans to vote against them. she probably doesn't have the votes now, if she didn't have them before, but it might be a useful exercise for the
9:35 am
democrats. >> chris: bill, there is also a split among republicans on the question of earmarks. late friday, house republicans announced that they are going to vote this week. clearly, they have the votes to have a total ban on earmarks in the republican conference for the next two years. but as we just saw between demint and mcconnell, there is a disagreement in the senate. what is going to happen? >> i think the earmark banners are going to win in the senate for a couple of years. mitch mcconnell can make theoretical arguments he wants, earmarks aren't that important. but what is the harm in trying ban on earmarks for a year or two? if they're using the discretion that mcconnell is worried about, most is not at the discretion of the obama administration. it's grants and the like. if things go wrong, they can reinstate the earmarks in a year or two and make a case to the public. i think senator demint will win in the republican congress. republicans will be against earmarks, president obama will be against earmarks and
9:36 am
we have a wonderful moment of bipartisan bliss. we'll have an agreement on extenting current tax rates for three or four years i think, agreement not to have earmarks, agreement on spending cuts, agreement on prosecuting the war in afghanistan. we'll have the obama-boehner-demint agenda for the next few months and it's going to be good for the country. the most fervent opponent to barack obama, nancy pelosi. >> which wouldn't be bad for obama. >> wouldn't be bad for the country either, if president obama signs on to the republican agenda. i encourage him to do it. >> in the spirit of bipartisan you're right on most of that. but it's just the flavor of the moment the earmarks thing to my mind. i don't see it will make a huge difference. it's a small percentage of the actual federal budget. in fact, i find myself agreeing with mitch mcconnell who says you know what? is this really going to make a difference? or is this playing for crowd? grand standing in a way that doesn't actually change anything? allows people to say they're
9:37 am
conservative, but does it change anything in the way that washington works? does it make a difference? i think lawmakers know more about their state than anybody else. if they know there is a worthy project, they should be able to support it. that's not what this is about. it seems to me that whatever they are capturing, that demint is about here, about the idea somehow they'll arrest federal spending. that's what people think they're doing. i don't think it accomplishes that. >> one theory of it is, and i don't think it make sense. earmarks are log rolling. you get a whopper bill that has all kind of stuff in it, that you might be able to rally people against, because it's so excessive. but if individual members have got their little project they promise in the home district or state, in the bill, though it's not adding to the overall amount, they are going to be more inclined to support it. that is a lot about the whole appropriation process, i'll scratch your back, you
9:38 am
scratch mine and pretty soon you can pass anything. >> chris: i want to break in because there is a subject i wanted to talk to you, brit, about all week. co-chairman -- you have been talking about the national debt for a long of months now. obviously it's a big concern of yours. we had the co-chairs of the debt commission, the president's debt commission come out with their plan this week. i want to put out a brief outline of what it would do. deep cuts in domestic and defense spending. raise the gas tax by 15 cents a gallon. cut benefits and raise taxes for social security. and for a 33:1 mix of spending cut to new taxes reduce deficit by $4 trillion in the next ten years. brit, you have been asking for stiff medicine. is this the -- >> this is strong medicine. i think it's a tremendous start. now mind you it was only the two co-chairs. the rest of the commission hasn't signed on to this or anything like this. but this is in terms of the overall dimensions, it's the kind of thing that it will
9:39 am
take. i'm especially, i was especially pleased to see that one of the changes they want to make is they want to eliminate all the individual tax deductions, in exchange for that bring down the individual tax rates. lower individual tax rates have considerable history. economists analyzed this of spurring economic growth. so this is not simply some green eye shade deal where it's all agony and no reward. the individual tax rates will come down. they're also talking about eliminating the home interest deduction. i'm not sure it's a bad idea but i know it won't be easy to pass. >> chris: eliminate it by $500,000. >> different options on that. >> chris: your thought? >> my thought is where are the republicans cheerleading this? this is good news. i hear dick durbin on the democratic side says he hates this like the devil hates holy water. but i can understand why liberals would say we want to protect the interest of the
9:40 am
core of society and make sure it doesn't disro portion nately benefit -- disproportionately benefit the rich. this is a good deal for republicans. i think republicans would be standing up at the top of the capital. >> republicans aren't spending anything. that's good. in other words, the people shooting at this from the sidelines so far have been proponderanly liberal. >> chris: if they embrace it, they think it kills it? >> there are very few groups saying we don't want elimination of one single tax break. what we haven't seen yet and what is an important step in the process, important educationm process for american people. if you don't like this plan, what do you prefer? we haven't seen the income distribution tables that show how will people be affected by the changes? i suspect it comes out better for the middle class than liberal groups think.
9:41 am
>> chris: we'll take a break here. when we come back, timeline for the u.s. troops in afghanistan gets longer and will the mastermind of 9/11 ever face trial?
9:42 am
the new healthcare law gives us powerful new tools to fight it.... to investigate it... prosecute it... and stop criminals. our senior medicare patrol volunteers... are teaching seniors across the country... stop, spot, and report fraud. you can help. guard your medicare card. don't give out your card number over the phone. call to report any suspected fraud. we're cracking down on medicare fraud. let's make medicare stronger for all of us.
9:43 am
9:44 am
we will drawn down our troops over a period of time. but we have every intention of being active and aggressively involved. >> chris: secretary of defense robert gates explaining this week the u.s. will be fighting the taliban in afghanistan for at least four more years. we're back now with our panel. it didn't get much attention this week between all the focus on politics and the president's trip to asia, but secretary gates, secretary of state clinton, and the chairman of the joint chiefs mike mullen attended a security conference in australia, where they all
9:45 am
said 2014 is now the key date for handing over the war to the afghans. bill kristol, how big a shift is that? >> that is a pretty big shift. the president foolishly announced the july 2011 date to begin withdrawaling for domestic political reasons a few months ago. they've been quietly backing away from this. they will back away further next week when they move to the 2014 date. i think he will try to drawn down a little bit in summer of 2011, but what bob gates said we're taking the war to the taliban and doing damage and taking casualties ourselves, unfortunately and we have a strategy to have david petraeus to succeed, not to exit. i think president obama crossed the bridge in his own mind. he's not interested in an exit strategy in his first term from the afghanistan, interested in success strategy. >> chris: juan, the white house tried to play down the shift saying no, no, we still plan to begin the drawdown in july of 2011 as the president said in his west point speech. but they acknowledge that now
9:46 am
it's going to be a very gradual drawdown and at least to 2014 before we turn things over to the afghans. how big of a deal do you think that is? >> a big deal in this sense. the way the white house would portray this, a shift in strategy. what we're talking about is a post-2011 strategy for afghanistan. and here are the diplomatic economic efforts that we're going to be making post 2011. i think that's all semantic. i think the reality is that there has been a shift here. i don't think i agree it's about winning. i think if you start thinking you will win in afghanistan, that's the sure road to defeat. because that's not possible. the big moves this morning is that "washington post" interview with the afghan president hamid karzai who says he thinks it's time for the u.s. to get out now. said the u.s. nighttime operations with the ops and i think they've been successful but he says they're intrusive on afghan and this is
9:47 am
disrupting their lives. i don't understand if he is not about winning, then why should we be about sacrificing american lives? that's why the war is unpopular at home. president obama is making tremendous sacrifice. he put the additional troops in. he should get additional support. >> chris: brit, i want to hit a couple of subjects here. big story in the "washington post" this weekend. that reports the khalid sheikh mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of 9/11 will likely remain in military detention and not face trial either in a civilian court or a military court until after the 2012 election. what do you make of that? >> it's a sure sign that the policy outline for dealing with these terror suspects doesn't work. they want to try them in federal court. for all the political howling was over with and they couldn't pull it off. it was a failure. where are they going to try him? there is no place in
9:48 am
continental united states where anybody would accept it. what are they going to do? try him in guantanamo? oh, my god, that would be a complete political confession of the utter foolishness of their whole policy. they will kick the can down the road. it's blow to the idea that terror suspects would be treated ordinary, not ordinary but a similar way to the ordinary criminals in the process of justice. >> chris: the way the "post" portrayed it there was a lot of politics on this. one hand, the local officials in new york said no way are we going to have the trial in downtown manhattan, but they don't want to have the trial in guantanamo, which is where they already begun a trial before obama took over because that says to liberals we haven't done what we said we would. >> that's right. that was one of his prominent promises and one of the first things he did when he came in august, on the first day or second day he would close it in a year and it hasn't happened. so you have the right now in power in congress, which would defund any trial going forward in the united states.
9:49 am
not just the local official telling about it. it will not happen. republicans have a veto over that. you can't do it in guantanamo because it would be betrayal of your base. he is stuck. he has the third option, not necessarily a great one. which is this indefinite detention. it shows you, well, it shows you how difficult kind of gordian knot this is to cut. what do you do with these terror suspects? he hasn't been able to figure that out. >> chris: i want to go to one more subject. that is iraq. because, bill, after eight months of haggling after the national elections back last spring, the iraqis have apparently agreed on a new government with nouri al-maliki, the prime minister. but a significant role for the sunni faction including ayad allawi who actually got the most votes. your reaction to this government? and can it bring, this coalition, will it bring stability to iraq? >> well, good news, wouldn't
9:50 am
promise stability but it's the next step on the path to stability, which is negotiating agreement with the government in place at the request to leave some american forces this to ensure basic security and stability. >> chris: wait. i thought we were getting out. >> the plan is get out at the end of 2011. that is risky and foolish and we've sacrificed a lot in iraq. the idea of leaving 20,000, 40,000 troops now and not taking casualties now as a safeguard for the political process and safeguard against more iranian meddling than they're already doing is a good idea. the president accepted the invitation from the iraqi government and i think he will get it and we have a reasonable path forward in iraq and afghanistan and all he has to do stop iran from getting nuclear weapons. he'll be re-elected on the foreign policy. >> chris: does it worry you that bill kristol seems happy with the direction that the obama administration is going? >> on foreign policy, no. i think the president with
9:51 am
the drone attacks the commitment of the additional troops in afghanistan and the fact that there are troops on the ground. he announced the end of combat missions in iraq. but that's not real. we still have troops there. they're still fighting. although casualties are down. but i think the important thing here, when i look at iraq, it took eight months to get to this point. it's not a stable deal. i don't know that this deal will even hold. it's just such a disappointment they can't get the politics together and continue to rely on the u.s., it seems to me, militarily and economically to buttress what they're doing. they should take responsibility here and should take over. bill's point -- this is one that worries me. again, this has been an unpopular war with the american people. you continue to have american forces there. you say kind of vaguely, yeah, we should have forces there, buttress against this or that. you're thinking of iranian incursions and the like. you know what? we can't be the world's policeman.
9:52 am
i don't think the american people in terms of budget, patience or american blood want the job. >> chris: mara, if as bill suggests and i had not heard this mention that the new status forces agreement, we'd be talking late 2011, early 2012, beginning of presidential election. if he agrees to keep troops in iraq longer and we're going to be in afghanistan until 2014, doesn't the president have real problems with the liberal base? >> you know, i don't think it's as simple as that. i think that so far there is -- yes, the liberal base of the democratic party is anti-war. that's what fuels their great games in 2006, and 2008. however, there is so many other factors that i think are more important. look how unimportant iraq and afghanistan were in this election. i think if the economy is on a better track and he can reclaim the post partisan identity that he lost in the last two years over the next two years, i think that won't matter as much. >> in terms of his re-election, if he had to fight his base in the
9:53 am
nominating process, that would probably help him. republicans are not going to buck him on afghanistan and iraq. not many of them. >> chris: like kennedy -- >> who is going to challenge him? [ overtalk ] >> the area of bipartisan cooperation. it would be moment of bipartisanship. my sense about it is that obviously he had trouble with the left. every president does. right or left. democrat or republican. that's not a big deal. >> chris: thank you, panel. see you next week. don't forget to check out panel plus where the group picks up with the discussion we will post the video before noon eastern time. up next, the power player of the week. [ male announcer ] how can rice production in india affect wheat output in the u.s., the shipping industry in norway, and the rubber industry in south america? at t. rowe price, we understand the connections of a complex global economy. it's just one reason over 75% of our mutual funds
9:54 am
beat their 10-year lipper average. t. rowe price. invest with confidence. request a prospectus or summary prospectus with investment objectives, risks, fees, expenses, and other information to read and consider carefully before investing. and other information to read and consider carefully if you live for performance, upgrade to castrol edge advanced synthetic oil. with eight times better wear protection than mobil 1. castrol edge. it's more than just oil. it's liquid engineering. [ male announcer ] you can dream of making travel
9:55 am
easier to book and more affordable. or, like, you can dream it and do it. lists on nasdaq, the world's most innovative can-do exchange. and word is people really love got our claims service.fficeq, gecko: 'specially the auto repair xpress. repairs are fast and they're guaranteed for as long as you own your car. boss: hey, that's great! is this your phone? gecko: yeah, 'course. boss: but...where do you put...i mean how do you...carry... waitress: here you go. boss: thanks! gecko: no, no i got it, sir. anncr: geico. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance. >> chris: celebrities often come to washington to push their favorite cause, but seldom are they as deeply committed as our power player of the week. ♪ ♪ >> i just think what it would
9:56 am
be like to not only be that kid, but to be the parent of the kid. how heartbreaking that is. >> chris: jeff bridges is talking about ending childhood hunger. >> look around you. one in four kids in the u.s. faces hunger. >> chris: he's been at it for almost 30 years. which is why he was in washington this week. trying to build support for a new effort. >> trying not to break down because it's right here. >> chris: bridges is spokeman for the no kid hungry campaign, which has set a goal of making sure every child gets the food he needs by 2015. that will be tough, because the problem is growing. 16 million children were at risk last year. up a third over the previous year. bridges says the resources are there. >> there is $1 billion available to states not being used that's allocated for school meals.
9:57 am
>> chris: you're saying that the money is out there to feed kids? >> yes! it's not being used. $1 billion. >> chris: he says some parents don't sign their kids up for school meals because of the stigma they're too poor to feed them at home. he says there is bureaucratic red tape that keeps children from being fed. >> the kids are not getting enough calories to their brain, they are not going to be able to learn. >> chris: jeff bridges says he is trying to use his celebrity to do some good. where do you feel you are in your life? >> i feel pretty darn good. this year, especially, chris, c'mon, man! >> chris: he has been in and around hollywood all his life. his father lloyd bridges stars in "sea hunt." in 1971, he became the star in the "last picture show." while he has had a distinguished career, it wasn't until this year playing the broken down country singer bad blake in "crazy heart," that he finally won the academy
9:58 am
award. what did it mean to you to win the oscar? he says he saw it as an acknowledgment of his father. >> i always felt that i was sort of an extension of him. like a relay race he passes the baton and doing his work, so the baton is that guy. >> chris: he has been married for 33 years and next month he stars in a new version of "true grit" playing the role made famous by john wayne. but he says the most important thing is making sure children get fed. >> the programs are in place. the money is there. the food is there. we have to examine why it's not working. >> chris: if you want to find out more about jeff bridges' campaign, go to the website. that's it for today. have a great week. we'll see you next "fox news have a great week. we'll see you next "fox news sunday." captioned by closed captioning services, inc
9:59 am