Martin Bashir | December 05, 2012
>>> in speaking to a business round table in washington this morning, the president praised on entrepreneurs for their innovation and their record corporate profits. but he also took the opportunity to explain why raises taxes on the wealthiest of americans is unlikely to prove particularly damaging.
>> let's allow higher rates to go up for the top 2%, that includes all of you, yes, but not in any way that's going to affect your spending, your lifestyles or the economy in any significant way.
>> congressman steve from new york and chairman of the democratic congressional campaign committee . good afternoon, sir.
>> hi, martin.
>> congressman, notwithstanding the fact that speaker boehner 's office is considered mathematically dyslexic by many economists, has it surprised you some republicans have actually condemned boehner 's office and would much prefer to keep taxes as they are and take an axe to social programs, medicare, in order to reduce the deficit?
>> what's to surprising about that? for so many republicans, they said in the 1990s they wanted medicare to wither on the vine. you know, they now think they have the opportunity to do it in 2012 . speaker boehner 's proposal is based on the mathematical equation, two plus two equals whatever you want it to be. that's not how you grow the middle class . you do it in a balanced way. let's reduce the deficit we've already supported, $2 trillion in spending cuts, but let's do it in a way by asking the richest 2% to do their fair and grow the economy by making smart investments and things like job creating infrastructure. that's what the middle class wants and sdooefshdeserves. we ought to do it now. we don't have to fall off this cliff.
>> the president spoke about today why he wants to take the debt ceiling issue out of discussions about the fiscal cliff. take a listen.
>> if congress in any way suggests they're going to tie negotiations to debt ceiling votes and take us to the brink of default once again as part of a budget negotiation, i will not play that game.
>> congressman, the last time republicans used the debt ceiling for political purposes, the full faith and credit of this nation was downgraded. are they really happy, really happy, in the face of what you've just heard the president say, are they happy to do if again?
>> yeah, they have acted irresponsibly. many house republicans have acted like children. they have behaved like children. when children behave containing yously, you take the dangerous ? toy as way from them. they want to continue on a three-month basis. they have tried to schett down the federal government on a three-month timetable because they don't fundamentally believe the government should help grow the middle class or help small businesses retire people, retain employees, or helping veterans. so we don't think it's a good idea for them to continue this three-month attempt to shut down the government. we ought to balance the budget, reduce spending where we can, we ought to increase revenues, make those investments and smart things like infrastructure and we ought to take the partisan politics , the obstructionism and tea party agenda away from them. they do this because they signed a pledge to grover norquist . that's why they're willing to shut down the government. they're not taking an oath to the constitution of the united states but an oath to grover norquist . if you do things like that you shouldn't have the right to try to continue to shut down the government and use the debt ceiling as a weapon.
>> finally, congressman, there are reports the president may ask congress for $50 billion for hurricane sandy, you know, to cover costs of relief and rebuilding. do you expect that to even be held hostage as well by region sn -- republicans?
>> yes, do i.
>> so no agreement on fiscal cliff, no agreement on debt ceiling, no agreement on this either?
>> that's because they are obstructionists. they've turned the win into a partisan political instrument. they've turned the weather into a partisan political instrument. we have a solution to this ? 37 we have introduced a discharge petition . we think that we shouldn't be holding the middle class hostage. everyone agrees the first $250,000 in income should receive a tax increase. i believe it should be higher in some areas like long island. but i'm not telling to tell somebody making $130,000 won't get a tax cut until somebody at $300,000 gets theirs. let's just vote today, tomorrow o a bill to give people a tax cut up to the $250,000, we offered a discharge petition . we need 40 republicans to sign that petition, get this out to a vote, put brakes on going over the cliff.