Mitchell Reports | October 09, 2012
>>> the first presidential debate made it clear that taxes are at the center the biggest issue probably between the two candidates senator schumer laid out how democrats plan to tackle the issue no matter who wins the white house and senator schumer joins me now. thank you very much. great to see you. we are at a priv votsal moment in this election not only for the presidency but the senate as well. let me ask you about the latest polls because the pew poll now shows mitt romney ahead for the first time. these things could bounce around a little bit but certainly shows he has gained some advantage after that debate.
>> well, i thought there was an interesting column by a fellow named nate silver 538 in "the new york times" plot s out how the elections have gone in the past. almost always when an incumbent president in the debate and a challenger does well which almost always happens the challenger goes up for a while in the polls but then goes back down. he think it would have much effect on the election and i tend to agree with him.
>> that is if the candidate, if the president of the united states , comes back with a different game plan . what do you think he needs to do in the next debate he didn't do in the first debate?
>> well, the bottom line is, i think that he is a fighter. i think he will come to the conclusion that he let romney get away with a little too much trying to be very presidential, and i don't think you'll see the same thing in the next debate.
>> let's talk about your tax proposals. because you are obviously -- going to have a lot to say about what happens in the senate assuming the senate stays democratic which is not necessarily a safe assumption depending on how the top of the ticket does as well. how do you lay this out? what tax approach do you think could be negotiated in the lame duck?
>> you know, we've had deadlock for two years and it's been on the revenue side, not on the cutting side. we always seem to agree on various cuts to make, whether on the domestic discretionary programs like education or highways or on the entitlement programs , but we never seem to agree on revenues. i think one of the major stumbling blocks which i've pointed out people have bought on to the theory as part of deficit reduction we ought to lower the top rate on the highest income people. you lose a ton of revenue there and you can't make it up unless you class. so if you're going to start out by saying the first thing we do is lower the rate from say 35 to 28 as simpson-bowles does or 25 as ryan does it's virtually impossible do deficit reduction without hurting the middle class . my suggestion intended to break this deadlock, this gridlock we've had on getting a budget deal for the last year and a half, let's get off this thing that the first thing we do is say we're going to lower the top rate. in the presidential campaign , the president's campaigning on letting the rate on the highest income people go back to where it was in the clinton years, that makes sense. now some republicans are saying yeah, we may have to do that. that's the way to get a deal done. instead of the kind of gridlock we've had so far.
>> now, one of the other issues is the fiscal cliff and the gang of eight meeting at mount vernon today. i know you're not one of the eight, you're very plugged in, obviously, to what they're doing. do you think they're going to be able to reach an agreement after the election and avoid this fiscal cliff?
>> we have lots of people who will work real hard on this, senator baucus on the finance committee done a lot of work on tax reform and other members are, but our best hope to get something done is the group of eight, all people well intentioned. and if they can overcome the deadlock we've had on revenues so far, i think we can get a deal. the suggestion i made today is aimed at them as well as everybody else, saying hey, if we want to get a real deal , the way to do it on revenues is take all -- certainly close all those loop holes that don't belong, but instead of using that money to reduce taxes on the wealthiest amongst us, use the money to reduce the deficit and we can get a deal.
>> you know joe biden better than almost anyone, worked alongside him so many years in the senate. what is your advice to him going into this debate in kentucky this week?
>> be yourself, joe. joe biden is, you know, a genuine person, down to earth person, known him 30 years, he has great political instincts and i think one of the things that happens in these debates is if you overthink it, get overhandled and not yourself the public can see that. i would tell joseph biden be yourself. you're very good at this.
>> thank you very much. chuck schumer , thanks for being with us.
>> nice to be on your