Mitchell Reports | October 05, 2012
>> both campaigns, of course, are weighing in. we've seen the president and mitt romney today. joining me now to discuss today's report from the obama administration's perspective, roger altman , chairman of evercore partner, now a supporter of the obama campaign joining us from seattle. great to see you. first of all the jobs number and the view from wall street of this, this economy kind of bumping along on the basement, but is it really a turn around at this stage?
>> well, today's numbers are just good across the board. as greg gibbs said, not only did we add jobs, but the work week expanded and incomes expanded. and i think it shows that the president's economic policies are working. we've now had 31 straight months of private sector job growth , that's 5.2 million jobs. and we're moving in the right direction. and changing course now to go back to the policies that got us into this mess in the first place doesn't make any sense at all.
>> you've been through a lot of presidential debates, you've watched them in the past, you were involved with the hillary clinton campaign last time around and this time, of course, with president obama . let's talk about the president obama who showed up. who was that man who showed up on that stage wednesday night? and why didn't he, with plenty of room to maneuver, why didn't he go after mitt romney on taxes, and deficits and the accounting line? just seemed that there were so many opportunities that were missed that night.
>> i don't think it was the president's best night, but i think one of the other big things that happened that night was the -- astonishing walking away or effort to walk away by governor romney of some of the most -- some of the key proposals he's been making for 18 straight months. you know, on the central issue of taxes, he's been saying every day for 18 months that he wants a 20% cut in marginal tax rates and he'll figure out a way that won't increase the deficit. well there's only one way to make that happen, that is to raise the tax burden on middle income americans. the number on his tax cut is $5 trillion. because he's talking about a 20% cut in marginal rates , eliminating the alternative minimum tax, estate tax and other deductions, $480 billion a year, $5 trillion over ten years, that's the number. then he says, you know, every day for the last 18 months, i've been talking about repealing every aspect of obama care, but actually i didn't mean it. well it's too late for that. if you repeal obama care across the board, that means that kids can no longer stay on their parents' coverage through age 26, it means that we can go back to a system of denying coverage for preexisting conditions, it means that seniors again are back on to co-pays larger co-pays as it relates to prescription drugs, and on dodd /frank, he's been saying he wants to repeal dodd /frank, andrea, every day for the last 18 months, repeal every aspect of it. dodd /frank of course is the bill that reregulated the financial system after the credit market collapsed, the catastrophic collapse of 2008 . so does anybody really want to say let's get rid of all the regulation we put in place following that disastrous collapse? romney is saying i don't mean all of that. it doesn't work. it's too late.
>> going back to your point on taxes, though, he is now saying that he would eliminate enough deductions to make up for the tax cuts that it would be revenue neutral.
>> two points on that --
>> he's not been specific. you know, i've made that point as well in my reporting. but if he really means that he would make it revenue neutral, then he's not talking about blowing a hole in the deficit.
>> womell, it just is impossible. apparently his campaign has floated this idea of a $17,000 cap on deductions per individual. first of all it's too late to do that. he's been talking about this 20% marginal tax cut, $5 trillion cut, be every single day of his whole campaign. but even if you took that $17,000 cap on deductions, it's not enough to avoid raising the burds on the middle class . if you do some math on for just mortgages and how big a mortgage you might have to have, especially if you haven't been able to refinance it to get up to $17,000 of deductions just on the mortgage interest, let alone other things like state and local taxes, that doesn't avoid raising the tax burden on the middle class . even this latest adjustment to his plan, and i think the main point is it's too late, wouldn't avoid raising taxes on the middle class . fundamentally, we know what romney has -- we know what romney stands for. he's been talking about it for 18 straight months every single day. he's been very clear on what he wants on taxes, on obama care, on dodd /frank and by the way what he wants on medicare. you know, the voucher plan. that's what it is. it also capped the voucher amount. there's no question that that would increase --
>> in all fairness that was the initial ryan plan and has been revised since. i want to ask you about simpson - bowles , speaking of things too late, the president suggested one of the big differences between him and mitt romney was simpson - bowles , yet if you talk to any of the principles involved they were extremely disappointed as are many of your colleagues on wall street and big business that the president did not affirmatively embrace the outlines of simpsstrojly. let them leave that rose garden with a pat on the back and did not fully endorse it and stopped it cold on the hill.
>> andrea, you know, i have great admiration for alan simpson and ear skin bowles , they've done fantastic work for this country on this issue in raising public consciousness about it, but i know there's a great affection in many parts of the country like the business community for simpson - bowles but if you study simpson - bowles , it requires quite sweeping tax reform in the area of deductions, for example, in order to achieve its own decreases in marginal rates which, of course, is a hallmark of simpson - bowles . i think it's quite unlikely if we think about how we're going to solve the fiscal cliff, that we're going to have either the appetite or the time to do the type of sweeping tax reform which historically has take an year or two or three, think about the '86 tax act, which simpson - bowles calls for. i don't think that's going to be the solution to the fiscal cliff and i don't think it's there for what we're going to do.
>> well, we've got to go, but thank you very much. always good to see you, roger.
>> same here. thanks a lot.