Martin Bashir | November 29, 2012
>>> we can go forward with a big, bold, and balanced agreement to end this fiscal crisis, to stop going any closer to the cliff. it can be done.
>> house minority leader nancy pelosi just moments ago insisting with just a little cooperation from republicans, the dreaded fiscal cliff can be resolved. songman john yarmouth is a democrat from kentucky, the same state that mr. mcconnell, the senate minority leader, represents. good afternoon, sir. exactly what will it take to get republicans to play ball on this? do you have any idea, sir? you're there. what do they want?
>> obviously it keeps changing. what's really clear right now is that they're trying to throw in all sorts of ancillary issues in this fiscal cliff debate and they have nothing to do with it. medicare , medicaid , social security , don't have anything to do with the fiscal cliff and neither does the debt ceiling. this is strictly a matter of statutory provisions that go into effect on january 1st , but they want to burden up this and muddy the water to basically, i think, to refuse to do a deal.
>> right. because over in the senate, as i was saying, mitch mcconnell is refusing to even consider the president's proposal to maintain the bush tax cuts for those earning less than $250,000 a year, but to raise taxes on those earning more. now, today short of a sol solution, he offered a series of ideological insults.
>> only reasons democrats are insisting on raising rates is because raising rates on the so-called rich is the holy grail of liberalism. their aim isn't job creation. they're interested in wealth destruction.
>> sir, can you explain what mr. mcconnell is doing resorting to rants about the holy grail of liberalism when every poll since the election shows that a majority of americans believe support taxes going up on the wealthy for the good of the country.
>> mitch is not making in he sense but this is not the first time that's happened. what they're trying to do is replay the entire campaign. i mean, this whole idea of holding up solutions to our nation's problems because they want to defend the wealthiest americans , that's their ideology. and he forgets to talk about that. that's been their holy grail from day one. so they need to realize the election is over, president obama is not messing around. he's not playing chicken . he's laid down his requirements. he wants these rates on the wealthiest americans raised. there is no other way to generate any significant income through deductions or any of the other restructuring they've suggested without also impacting the middle class . so -- or letting the very wealthiest americans get out scot-free. it doesn't touch somebody who is making 10 million a year or $20 million a year. they're just trying to avoid anything that's going to raise these rates and it's a mystery when 60% at least of the american people think that's an appropriate way to help balance the deficit.
>> now, speaker boehner keeps telling us that he's put revenues on the table in form of closing loopholes, but democrats have not offered anything in terms of those earned entitlements. now, i know you said earlier that these are not connected issues, but are you and your colleagues willing to give any ground in terms of cuts, say, to medicare , medicaid , or social security or something?
>> you know, this is somewhat laughable because, again, the republicans spent the entire campaign talking about how democrats slashed $716 billion from medicare and governor romney said i'm not going to take that money out of medicare . now they're demanding we take money out of the medicare . this is another example where their message keeps changing. it's not consistent and they're just relying on the same amnesia of the american people to let them get away with it.
>> very briefly, sir. do we think there will be a deal or will we hit the cliff and go over it 1234 .
>> i'm getting more and more pessimistic by the minute now. if they try to throw medicare , medicaid , and social security in, which is their ultimate agenda, to privatize medicare , to bloc grant medicaid , if they headache that part of the deal, then there's absolutely not going to be a deal.
>> congressman john yarmuth of kentucky. thank you.
>> thank you.