Martin Bashir | October 01, 2012
>>> spend $5 trillion on tax cuts for the wealthy without raising tacks on middle class families. how do you spend $2 trillion on new military spending that our military hasn't asked for and cut our deficit? you can't do it. the math doesn't add up.
>> mitt romney and paul ryan seem to demonstrate why the united states is now ranked 25th in the world for mathematics. they both produced economic plans but neither appears to stand up to scrutiny. and this is particularly painful for paul ryan , who has described him as a policy wonk , a numbers guy , and a man who is always prepared to do the math. we're joined now by jared bernstein, former chief economic adviser to vice president joe biden and a man who eats numbers for breakfast. jared , we mention mr. ryan 's problems with the math, so please take a listen.
>> you're the master of the budget, so briefly lets go through the plan.
>> i don't know exactly when it balances because we haven't -- i don't want to get wonky on you but we haven't run the numbers on that specific plan.
>> you haven't given me the math.
>> well, i don't have the time -- it would take me too long to go through all the math but --
>> paul ryan says he doesn't have the time to explain his budget but we do. so you tell us, does it add up?
>> no, it doesn't. and the problem that he's having basically is that of two plus two doesn't equal five no matter how much time you have. the issue here, and we've talked about this before, the nonpartisan tax policy center figured out the following. if you cut the tax rates on the top 1% by 20% as mitt romney has proposed and you close all of their loopholes to try to make up the difference, there's just not enough revenue in all of those loophole closures to pay for the cut in the tax rates . i think i just explained that in about 15 seconds. it's not that complicated. you just don't have the revenues in the loophole closures to pay for the cuts in the tax rates and paul ryan knows that. what he's doing here i find frankly quite nefarious which is to coop fuse the voting public. we need more clarity on these issues and we're getting a lot more confusion.
>> jared , are you saying it's not a question of being incapable of explaining the mathematical e quition he appears to have stumbled on, it's more he's intentionally not telling us because if he did tell us, if he did tell us, for example, the deductions he might choose to close, mortgage interest, employer health care , and so on, if he chose to tell us that, well, people would not vote for him.
>> well, in a way it's a little worse than that because what the tax policy center found is that you can close every single loophole that benefit the top 1%, around you still won't have enough to offset the cost of their tax cuts . and then if you're really talking about not increasing the budget deficit , you're going to have to raise more revenue elsewhere, and that rebounds to the middle class . your point is well taken. once you start talking about how i'm going to pay for my tax cut by closing loopholes and you refuse to tell what loopholes those are, well, the mortgage interest deduction , the health care expenditure for employers, you know, state and local, medical, there's so many --
>> charitable contributions. there are plenty he can give us if he wants to, just tell us.
>> so, you know, again, what i think bothers me so much about this is not that -- they have a tax plan, but they're afraid to actually tell us how their tax plan would work because the truth, the truth with actually legitimate arithmetic, would imply that either taxes are going to have to go up for the middle class or you're going to have a larger budget deficit , and you're going to be closing a lot of loopholes that people care about. so it's politics as usual and it's extremely unfort na in this climate.
>> we have had a further embellish frment mr. ryan today. on a radio program he said he didn't want to explain the math and i'm quoting him, because he was afraid people would change the channel. is he -- sorry, jared , to point this out, but is he now saying voters simply don't care about the smshs, they're not interested, they're bored by the details?
>> look, he's just trying to dance his way -- look, i'm not the one to makes these decisions, martin, but we have a tv station here and i think we would give mr. ryan all the time he needed to explain his math. so, frankly, i think we should invite him to come here. we're not worried about the channel. we're interested in clear politics. so come on, explain the arithmetic, we will listen to you.
>> good luck with that, jared . we've been asking for about a year. jared bernstein, thank you so much for joining us.
>>> next, we get close to the president's desert retreat as he prepares for wednesday night's debate. stay with us. [