Morning Joe | January 28, 2013
>>> time now for our "must-read opinion pages" at 47 past the hour. joe writes in "politico" this. "the president's missed chance. obama dismissed concerns about the national debt during his inaugural address in a few throw-away lines, and instead used the speech to address social issues that harry reid 's democratic senate won't touch. this political negligence suggests that obama has chosen to ignore negative budget projections, credit downgrades, falling revenues and perpetual increases in mandatory spending . instead, the president is teeing up partisan legislative battles with republicans in hopes of -- but as a measurement of the president's seriousness, his second inaugural address can only be seen as a grand failure that missed yet another historic opportunity to call americans together in the name of shared sacrifice. and richard haass , there is another opportunity, which would be the state of the union which i'm sort of banking on.
>> traditionally inaugurals are the poetry, and then the state of the union becomes the prose. and the president did not prepare for educate the american people about some of the tough decisions to come, particularly on medicare and medicaid . so the real question going forward for the state of the union is whether he essentially addresses that. and whether he -- because we've still got more than, i think, more than $2 trillion in serious cuts to be made to entitlements over the next decade. and we've done a lot of the tax. we really can't get there through further tax increases or through discretionary spending . it's got to be through entitlements which means the health care sector. if we don't get serious about it, we are going to make ourselves extraordinarily vulnerable, and the president didn't do it so far. one hopes he does it in the state of the union .
>> ed, republicans have had a terrible record over the past decade when it comes to spending, when it comes to deficits, when it comes to debt. george w. bush added $6 trillion in debt, the president, $6 trillion over one term. but democrats are going to have to look at medicare and medicaid . this just can't -- you can't tax your way to solvency, can you, with these programs?
>> you can't. i mean, we have made over $1 trillion in cuts at the last continuing resolution. that was a good thing. we've raised revenues, $600 billion in revenue, that was a positive step. we've got, joe, at least $2.5 trillion to go. and i think richard's right. i'd say it's close to $1.5 trillion that we need to do in cuts. i think we do need to do another $500 trillion in revenue. you can't do it out of domestic spending any did more. we've cut domestic spending almost to the bone. it has to come from entitlements. no ifs, ands or buts.
>> i say easy, not for the people who get cut, it's discretionary domestic spending. where not only republicans but now democrats are saying you know, we don't want to touch medicare and medicaid , middle-class entitlements over the next generation, so we're going to cut in the short term which, of course, will harm the economy.
>> but they won't take care of the long-term debt. so they go to the 10%, 11%, 12% of the budget.
>> but it's hard to have a conversation with those that deny problem with entitlements. there are very smart people in the public space --
>> what about martin o'malley?
>> governor o'malley.
>> talking about the super bowl but not medicare.
>> they say that's not a problem. there are other ways to cut, waste, fraud and abuse. there's way to dance around it.
>> where's that line?
>> they sound like republicans, andrea, waste, fraud abuse and we would always walk around the floor and somebody would cynically say, let's just sell the spectrum again. we'll sell it to somebody else.
>> that's just fiction. you know, the president -- i'm told that the president is still open to what he put out there initially about raising the retirement age, the other things that were completely rejected by his base. we'll see what happens, but that he is willing to negotiate -- knows he has to negotiate and hasn't taken any of that back, and i think he said that in his interview with "the new republic."
>> you're right, but i think the republicans have to show courage, too. when the president floated change cpi, senate republicans ran away from that like it was poison. instead of --
>> did they run away from that?
>> they ran away from it. you didn't hear a word -- in fact, mcconnell said change cpi is off the table before the fiscal cliff. so it's going to take courage on both sides.
>> i thought harry reid did. but it doesn't matter.
>> mcconnell also.
>> they've all been cowards, no doubt about it.
>> you know what's really frustrating? whenever you talk about our long-term debt problems and medicare, medicaid, the things that simpson-bowles have been warning us about, people go you know what? you can't slash and burn and you can't make those cuts right now. we're not talking about right now.
>> we're not talking about austerity. we're not talking about doing what great britain's doing. we're talking about taking care of a generational problem that's going to kill us in 10, 15, 20 years. we've got to start planning now, mika. as you say, even when on 'roids or off 'roids. do you feel like you could lift this table? do you feel like paul krugman , if the bat breaks, there are going to be problems?
>> i can pick you both up. yeah. by the way, i can pick you up.
>> congratulations on the tour de france .
>> you were amazinamazing.
>> you were. seriously, the way you went up those mountains, i had no judged.
>> the yellow jersey is really attractive.
>> how does she do it? i don't know. you know, you can find our most-read op-eds on mojomsnbc.com. we also have all of mika's prescriptions.
>> i have a blog, my first post is part of a new series called "women of value," profiling women in the white house . also check out nick christoph's piece in "the new york times." it's really, really good. andrea, thank you so much.
>> thank you.
>>> still ahead, paul krugman and congresswoman marsha blackburn . we're back