Mitchell Reports | November 19, 2012
>>> poverty is a national epidemic affecting nearly 15 million people across our country, 16 million children. a report released today from the half in ten campaign outlines where we're falling short in fixing the problem and how to make big steps, take steps toward a solution. joining me in washington, is a real player on this, los angeles mayor antonio vil ra go sa, keynote speaker this morning. thanks for joining us. what do we do first? the country is at a crossroads facing the fiscal cliff, negotiations over taxes, spending cuts, spending cuts in the domestic area that will affect people living in poverty most.
>> a year and a half ago we were at aspen and i talked about simpson-bowles being a template, you don't have to agree with everything in it, but we need a balanced approach to resolving this fiscal cliff. we have to -- we need more revenue but we also need to cut spending. we need to do it in a smart way. we need to cut red tape bureaucracy but make investments in programs like child nutrition, like the earned income tax credit , extending unemployment insurance . we these to make sure that we're making investments that will pay dividends down the line. just the cost of child poverty is a half a trillion dollars for the u.s. economy . when you make these investments , they pay dividends down the line. the cost of investing some of our poverty programs like child nutrition, about $90 billion a year. but pay dividends down the line. the center for american progress today talked about programs that work, that are effective, that have metric behind that success, and programs that we need to support. you know, the republican budget cut in their plan to cut the defic deficit, cut about 75%, 75% of the cuts were focused on these programs. and that's not the right way to go.
>> well, how important is it for you and others who believe in this particular fight to pressure the white house not to give in to some of the demands or pressure republicans to moderate some of their budget cuts.
>> now that the campaign is over, i get to do what mayors do all around the country and that is, say to our folks in the beltway, we need to get away from orthodoxy and focus on what works. we need to make investments in people, in education, in health care , in infrastructure, we need to make sure that both parties are working together to get away from the notion that there are certain things off the table, the sacred cows . we have to get rid of them. everything needs to be on the table, whether it's entitlements, social security , medicare, whether it's erasing the taxes back to where they were during the clinton years. when we created 23 million jobs and we went from deficit to surpluses. we've got to make investments in people again and our report focuses on some of those investments .
>> and finally, in terms of some of the tax credits , what about tapping some of these deductions? are you concerned the middle class will get squeezed and end up having more people in poverty?
>> we need to attack some of those credits, but we need to do it in a smart way, fair way, in a way that shoulders the responsibility and the burden all across the board. i should pay a little more in taxes than the people who work for me who make a lot less. that's not a radical notion. that's a notion we've accepted for a long time. we can focus on more revenues, make the cuts we need, make the investments in health care , in child nutrition and the earned income tax, and infrastructure and r and d and work force training that put america forward, that builds our economy from the inside out.
>> mr. mayor, thank you very much. thanks for joining us.