Martin Bashir | December 04, 2012
>> it certainly 'tis the season and whether you're counting the days to the fiscal cliff, the debt ceiling, christmas day , or judgment day , there's much to do and not much time to do it. as for us, we're counting down the minutes to house speaker john boehner who will be lighting the capitol christmas tree 234 just about an hour. if you're among the wealthiest of americans , then, boy, does boehner have a gift wrapped for you. in republicans ' counteroffer to avert the fiscal cliff, the rich get to keep their bush era tax cuts , even as the boehner budget slashes $1.2 trillion in spending, half of it from medicare, medicaid, and other social programs. it is a lump of coal delivered by the republican reindeer to the vast majority of americans . as for new revenues, they have reached in santa's sack for that old favorite. they plan to raise $800 billion by closing loopholes and deductions. only one problem a problem that flummoxes no less than mitt romney and paul ryan throughout the campaign, a problem as real today as it will be tomorrow -- the math. as the president explained in his first post-election interview on bloomberg this afternoon.
>> it's a simple proposition that you can't raise enough revenue, and if you don't raise enough revenue through closing loopholes and deductions, then it's going to be middle class families who make up the difference.
>> indeed. as the president notes, you can't get $800 billion in revenue without eliminating, for example, charitable deductions, which would put all manner of hospitals, shelters, and churches on the road to ruin . as the president said, that's not his idea of a balanced approach.
>> middle class seniors who are on medicare, young people who are trying to get student loans to go to college, i can't ask them to sacrifice and not ask anything of higher income folks.
>> no, that's republicans job, of course, a very special christmas for the very, very rich brought to you by the makers of romney and ryan. congressman charles rangel is a democrat from new york and he joins us live from capitol hill . good afternoon, sir. jay carney said today that the republicans ' offer is, i'm quoting him, magic beans and fairy dust . speaker boehner says democrats like you are living in la la land . as one serving his 22nd term in congress, can you tell us, sir, who is living in an enchanted universe and who is operating on planet earth ?
>> well, quite frankly, the republican party is so confused that they don't truly realize that president obama won re-election, and there are certain parts of them that said, hell, no, they're not going to accept that. even mitt romney has gone off to shangri-la somewhere because of their refusal to accept reality. instead of just saying, as the president has said, that you can't get to $800 billion without hurting so many people, americans , and that it would be unacceptable, why don't we tell speaker boehner , first of all, that's going to be unacceptable by republicans and most americans . two, why don't you lay out the $800 billion? i for one, if you didn't care about the economy and you didn't care about the american people , you bet your life you can get $800 billion or trillion dollars out of raising -- eliminating deductions and tax credits .
>> but conman, he kncongressman, if you muster all those deductions together they only amount to about $400 billion.
>> i think we could do that. i think we can do it. first of all, you have to make certain that local and state tax deductions are not there. then you take away all the charitable deductions that we have. then you take away all of the mortgage deductions for the rich and the middle income , all that you have there. and then you start looking at the deductions that you have for children, for earned income tax credits , for the poor people that are there. if you really look at everything that so many americans have taken for granted and even if you don't reach the $800 billion, at least you will find out what is this man talking about. just don't say you can't do it, it's not arithmetic. give them a piece of chalk, go to the blackboard, and show us, mr. speaker, what the heck are you talking about?
>> well, as speaker boehner , sir, prepares to light the tree, one wonders how much good cheer he's feeling from his conservative senate colleague jim demint who has chastised him today and i'm quoting mr. de ment menthe, speaker boehner 's $800 billion tax hike will destroy american jobs and allow politicians in washington to spend even more while not reducing our $16 trillion debt by a single penny, and he continues with this line, big government is the cause of our debt crisis. sir, big government , what about the two big long wars and the big bush tax cuts as being responsible for the in accordance debt? did they have no part to play?
>> well, there's no question about that, but the truth of the matter is you start your slashing of government in matter what part, laying off people, throwing them into the unemployment marment, making certain we have no disposable income , can't pay for mortgages, can't pay rent, can't pay for food and services, what happens to the small businessman that's already catching hell in the community? in other words, unless people get together and have some protection for the vulnerable and to make certain that those in the top 2% pay their fair share , and the truth of the matter is that i meet some of these people on the train coming back and forth from washington to new york , and they are saying that no one represents them in terms of protecting them against an increase in the taxes. these taxes haven't been changed since 1950 . many of these people go from millionaires to billionaires and they expect that the government should be able to demand from them a share of the responsibility that it is to be working, living, and make this type of money in these great united states . and so they're protecting people who are not asking to be protected, and they are out hurting the people that god knows need the protection.
>> you said earlier, sir, that some republicans don't seem to realize that the president did, indeed, win the election, that democrats increased their numbers in the senate, and in january in the house. but this is what the president actually said. we're going to have to see the rates on the top 2% go up and we're not going to be able to get a deal without it. so i have to ask you, sir, if they don't believe na the election delivered the president back into the white house , are they ever going to agree to this tax rise?
>> well, i just hope that they're not looking forward to having this so-called fiscal fall. i never thought any responsible member, democrat or republican, liberal or conservative, would want to see our country embarrassed to such an extent that it would say basically we can't govern except by sequester. but i know one thing. if, indeed, all of the taxes go up and the first bill that the president has is reducing taxes for 98% of the people, that's going to pass with almost 100% republican support. it's a bad scenario. it's an irresponsible scenario. but it is one.
>> well, i guess it is. in further signs of gop implosion, speaker boehner has stripped four house republicans of their committee seats saying they're not team players. they have, of course, have responded very angrily accusing the speaker of not allowing conservatives to be true to their principles. i have to ask you, sar, how is speaker boehner supposed to reach a deal with the president when members of his own party treat him with such contempt and oppose him.
>> i'm afraid speaker bain ser trying to count votes to see how he's going to get re-elected by the republicans , and believe me, the way he's going and dividing his party, the votes may not be there. and he's not just getting rid of members of congress, you're getting rid of their staffs. you're providing a whole line of division within the republican ranks. i tell you as much as partisan as i am and as much as a democrat i am, this is no time for the party staff and what not to be as confused as the leadership and that is what is happening on the other side of the aisle.
>> congressman charles rangel of new york , sir, thank you for joining us.
>> thank you.