Morning Joe | December 13, 2012
>>> all right. a live look at capitol hill in washington , d.c. dark still at 36 past the hour this morning. with us now, chief white house correspondent for "politico," mike allen here with the "morning playbook." we begin with where in the world is joe biden ? mike.
>> well, good morning, mika. in the last fiscal disaster negotiations, vice president biden was front and center, having those meetings at blair house up on the hill, working his connections. this year he's taking a much lower-key role partly because the senate is a little bit of a bystander this time. this is very much an obama/speaker boehner/house negotiation but also because the president has a lot more political capital this time. last time the democrats were coming off the 2010 midterms. this time the president is made of political capital . they say that vice president biden will be a part of selling whatever deal comes together, but he's been less visible in crafting it.
>> let me ask, mike, are you surprised by the latest nbc news/" wall street journal " poll that shows the american public splitting blame on this debt deal possibly going down?
>> i can tell you republicans have felt this for a while. i've felt the spine of republicans stiffen over the last couple weeks. had they started this -- and you and i talked about this -- they were ready to cave. the leaders knew that it was just a matter of when and how. and as time went by, partly because of what they saw as overreach by white house negotiations, republicans started to say, you know, maybe there is some up side for us in this. and so that's why i think this has been such a slow process. and that's partly because people just see washington not working. and the president is in charge. poll after poll, we see people don't know who boehner is. so when washington is seen as not working by the country, that's not good for the president.
>> all right. mike allen , thank you so much.
>> thank you, mike.
>> we appreciate it. we talked about ben bernanke beforehand in a news article. explain something to me, because you know i'm a simple man, got simple tastes. i just love running through the fields barefooted, you know.
>> eating doughnuts.
>> eating doughnuts. eating munchkins after a cool spring rain. but anyway, i don't understand -- you like that, harold? i don't know where this comes from. i think it's a sugar rush from the munchkins. but anyway. i don't understand how the entire chattering class , the elites, all the economists, the entire world decided they were going to beat the hell out of alan greenspan for providing cheap money over a decade. how could he do that? how could he do that after the long-term capital collapse? how could he do that after the collapse in asia? how could you do that after the dotcom bust ? but alan greenspan never did what this fed chairman is doing. i mean, he's taken greenspan's belief that cheap money will help americans through tough times to an absurd new level.
>> well, he's certainly taken it to a new level. we can discuss whether it's absurd or not. alan greenspan never had to face 8% unemployment and 2% economic growth for such a long period of time. and no sign of inflation.
>> but if what alan greenspan did was so disastrous, as we heard in 2009 , why is it that the subsequent fed chairman does more of the same and he's getting praised in financial circles?
>> first of all, alan greenspan provided cheap money on other occasions, and he's gotten praise for it. after the 1987 stock market crash , for example, he put liquidity in the system and kept the economy moving. i think it's a question what are the facts and circumstances? and right now you have an economy with very little inflation and high unemployment. and i believe the fed's job to do what it can to make it grow. the criticism of alan greenspan over monetary policy -- i don't want to get back into old history -- i think is not exactly on point. i think the problem the fed had during that period was aregulation, not a failure of monetary policy , in other words, it wasn't watching what was going on in subprime and all these banks were doing as much of a question of how much money it was putting into the system.
>> anybody here worried about cheap money?
>> anybody worried about the economy turning around quickly and us being slammed by inflation?
>> no, i'm much more worried about us not getting our fiscal house in order being slammed by the bond market .
>> i share richard's position.
>> mika, what are you highlighting?
>> i can't even believe what i'm reading.
>> please, i hope it has zbulgts nothing to do with