Mitchell Reports | December 07, 2012
>> all sides on the fiscal cliff and heading up a coalition of business and economic leaders in the fix the debt campaign, where do you sense the players are right now in terms of whether they'll go interest a small deal, band-aid approach or grand bargain.
>> the good news is while it's a nail biter, that's for sure, we all wish we could solve some of these problems without going to the brink like we do in politics, i think they're going to get this resolved and be able to put in place a plan not just to avert the fiscal cliff, but importantly to really tackle the deficit and debt problems in this country. i am concerned that deal won't be big enough. is it going to be small or medium or big. we need a plan big enough to fix the deficit problems and make sure the debt is no longer growing faster than the economy. we're not going to be able to balance the budget in the near future because the fiscal hole is so big. you want to make sure the debt is not growing faster than the economy. that's going to take $4 trillion in savings. you need all parts on the table and constructed in a thoughtful way so that revenues are raised in ways that are good for the economy as possible, and that when we're looking at the spending in the budget, we reform our entitlement programs and reduce spending in way that's thoughtful and good for the economy. it's going to take a lot to get there, but i actually think most of the policy ideas are well known and we're now in this political negotiation where i think there's a lot of support for having them, if they're going to go through all this, have a deal big enough to fix the problem.
>> what do you say, two things, first of all, it to those who say that the economy is still sputtering along, weakness in the manufacturing sector , for instance, that this isn't the right time for dramatic cuts and secondly, that the debt ceiling deal will not be averted because the republicans have said that is a nonstarter. this could be a negotiating point, but we may be facing another showdown in january.
>> well, on the first point it's absolutely true that the economy is not strong enough, it's not as strong as it should be. jobs numbers being what they are. still not on track for nearly as strong a recovery as we would want. i would make two major points. one of the big threats to the economy remains the lack of stability that we currently have. because we know big changes are going to have to happen in the budget. but we don't know what they are. if you talk to a small business owner there is investments they want to make, expansions they might want to do that they can't move ahead on until they know what to expect. i actually think publgts putting in place a big deal that adds stability would be tremendously good for the economy. at the same time i think it's important you don't put all those changes in too quickly. you don't want those spending cuts to hit really abruptly. that's part of the reason we want to avoid the fiscal cliff. it's actually too much deficit reduck sln too quickly in the wrong parts of the budget. you want a more thoughtful, thought out plan. on your point about the debt ceiling, we what we need is to have certainty, know where we're headed. not have multiple showdowns but the debt ceiling is only going to be increased significantly if it goes hand in hand with a big enough deal which has real changes in the budget. so the best thing we could do is put in place a balanced plan deals with all parts of the budget and really provides the kind of sense of security that households, small businesses , everybody needs to know so we can start planning for the economy and hopefully getting things growing back again. one of the things you see is that when your debt levels are as high as they are, in this country right now, that's a tamp on economic growth and can harm growth. that's the point we're at. we know that part of a growth strategy will have to be getting control of these deficits and debt and fix the debt as basically saying, we have to work this out and do it in a bipartisan way that's good for the economy and helps adds certainty we haven't had in quite some time.
>> thank you very much.