Mitchell Reports | November 08, 2012
>>> one of the clear voices has been olympia snowe . retiring because in part she says it is dysfunctional. joining me now, senator snowe . talk about the fiscal cliff, combination of deadlines created to avoid economic crisis and now it may have the opposite effect. what do you think needs to be done? you're going to be a key vote on this.
>> well, most certainly the president and the congress and the leadership need to be working together immediately to determine the framework and the specifics to avoid the fiscal cliff of both the expiration of the tax cuts as well as the major automatic cuts. in other words we have to come up with options and al turn tibs how we approach both issues so we do not trigger another recession. i mean that's a pair ament given the continuous nature with the economy. nobody should be satisfied where we stand with economic growth that has been subpar for far too long, given the amount of money that has been expended, you know, in the budget, to address some of the economic issues. but yet has failed to ignite the kind of economic growth that this country deserves.
>> is it good enough to kick the problem, the can, down the road?
>> well it isn't. the temporary nature of doing that means that it creates another state of uncertainty. there are certain issues that obviously cannot be completely addressed in a lame duck session , which is of course tax reform . that's something i've called for beginning the president obama 's administration in 2009 . that's going to be an essential issue as we go forward. how we address the expiring tax rates and the automatic cuts in terms of the balance that's contained within the cuts, i think really does have to be addressed in some way now to give some certainty as we move forward. nevertheless based on what we have to dress in the lame duck session on the tax issues and spending cuts it will create a level of uncertainty going forward until everything is finally determined in the new congress. that's regrettable because obviously we could have avoided all of that and certainly could and avoided a fiscal cliff condrived by the congress, a manufactured crisis. we didn't have to be in this position that we have placed the country in today.
>> do you have any sense, now that you're back, that lessons have been learned and anything will be different in the next congress?
>> probably a better sense next week, andrea, when we reconvene and having discussions among our colleagues about how to proceed. i think that no one should under estimate the severity of the situation that this country faces, not only are we facing this problem economically but we're part of a globally integrated economy. and we know what's transpiring in europe and i had an opportunity to visit some of the countries on the front lines of the eurozone crisis in august. anything could serve as a trip wire to igniting another financial crisis . how we handle this lame duck session is going to be absolutely pivotal and crucial. i hope people have learned a lesson in the last election what people are thirsting for, con constructive problem solving and bipartisan. i believe this is a tipping point in this country.
>> senator olympia snowe , thank you. thanks very much.
>> thank you, andrea.