Martin Bashir | July 18, 2012
>>> mitt romney and his cohorts in congress want the bush tax cuts extended for everyone. not just those earning under $250,000 as p obama is offering. when democrats announced they may let the tax cuts expire in january only to turn around and vote on a cut for the middle class , well, let's just say republicans aren't taking it too well.
>> i think the president's attack on the private sector in america is exactly what is wrong with this administration. doesn't give a zamn about middle class americans who are out there looking for work. what he is trying to do is distract the american people in order to win his own re-election.
>> them is fighting words. congressman peter welch is a democrat from vermont. and chief deputy whip and joins us live from capitol hill . thank you, congressman.
>> thank you.
>> what is your reaction when you see speaker boehner clearly frustrated, say that president obama doesn't give a damn about the middle class ?
>> it reminds me about the romney campaign essentially whining about the desire to have him show his tax returns . there's a rapport issue important the american people . it is about what our tax policy will be and bring down our debt. and that's where this question of whether you have tax cuts expire above $250,000 as the president advocates as democrats support or you extend them for everybody. and the reason why that's so important on the debt is that if you do what mr. boehner sing suggesting, it is going to cost us when you add in the interest costs on this about $1 trillion in addition to the debt without benefitting the economy. there is a fundamental issue here. the americans support tax relief for middle class folks. they are working hard. making less, hanging on by their fingernails but know that the folks who are really doing well will get a tax cut of $10,000 or more on that first $250,000 but above that, you know, that's -- that's going to help us pay do you our debt.
>> yeah. it certain sly a clash of priorities between democrats and republicans. you quoted a story saying this s year comes down to leverage being on the side of democrats. and that your party can't blink. explain what you mean by that, you know, not blink statement there.
>> well, this is -- this is legislative tactics. i mean, bottom line, we want to preserve tax cuts for middle income folks that want them to expire at the high end . in the legislature, the power of no tends to be the most dominant power, unfortunately. mitch mcconnell had it in december of 2010 . the president wanted to avoid a shutdown and the deal mcconnell got by saying no was that he got the tax cuts , $800 billion extended for the high end and got $13 billion in -- extended on unemployment benefits. now the leverage has shifted. if the democrats do nothing, we just say no to the bluster of john boehner and others, then the -- bush tax cuts are going to all expire come january 1. that's with us doing nothing. so we come back on january 2 and put a tax cut bill on the table that provides tax relief and -- for 90% of americans or more. right up to $250,000. and -- most of us are going to want to vote for that including republicans.
>> yeah. well -- another tricky dick is back here not nixon but former vice president dick cheney who made the rounds on capitol hill tuesday urging members to push for more defense spending and fight against the automatic cuts in place in a bipartisan agreement made last summer. are republicans taking the marching orders from the man that say deficits don't matter?
>> you know, he had quite a following here but it is really quite bizarre. we passed today the defense sequestered transparency act. what that did is tell the -- office of management and budget to tell us what would happen if the sequester went into effect. think about it. congress passed this sequester for half defense and half domestic discretionary bills. last august. and now we are asking what did we do? why do we do it? what will happen if what we directed be done is done. so this is, again, congress at its most feckless. we have to mauck basic decisions to get our economy going and get our tax policy righted. that means we have to put everything on the table and it has to be some entitlement reform and domestic discretionary, pentagon has to help but we must have that as part of the package.
>> we thank god there is another alternative vision being promoted there p congressman welch from vermont, thank you so much, my friend.
>> thank you.