Morning Joe | January 28, 2013
>>> on rocky & bullwinkle , and now for something completely different.
>> yeah. look at this shot of washington . what an ugly day it is. time to wake up and get to work. you're going to get stuck in traffic. joining us now, republican representative from tennessee , congresswoman marsha blackburn . great to have you here.
>> if you're waking up in the northeast, it is going to be a bad day . rain, snow, sleet coming in about lunchtime around here.
>> anyway, you might want to change your flight to the early morning.
>> if you're flying. yep.
>> if you're flying. paul krugman , are you going to have him come to tennessee and campaign for you?
>> i don't think so. i'm having richard .
>> richard . richard will come down. so congresswoman, i'm just curious, you're a republican. you're a conservative. you would understand, would you not, even though paul krugman would say congress doesn't understand this, that maybe we could spend a little bit more in the short term if we took care of the long-term problems in medicare , medicaid , social security , defense spending , et cetera , et cetera , et cetera , if we take care of the 20-year, 30-year debt bomb.
>> the $99 trillion in debt.
>> the outstanding liabilities that we have.
>> unfunded liabilities.
>> absolutely. i think it's important to remember, medicare and social security are trust funds. and governments have first right of refusal on the paycheck of workers. and this is an issue where you want to see stabilization. you want to see certainty. and right now it's not existing, and that's what is causing people to get antsy because now the social security trust fund is dipping into the general fund to meet their obligations. and so we've got to have that stabilization.
>> when we talk about entitlements, we know social security 's fine. actually, last year the social security trust fund was minus $47 billion.
>> see, that's right.
>> last year alone.
>> that's right.
>> $47 billion.
>> that's right, joe. and that's why, if you read the report from the trustees, you know, you've got to get in here and say, let's look at stabilization. now with the entitlements, medicare is the largest of those entitlements. of course, we're beginning to hear good ideas coming out of the states. and governor, you've probably heard this from so many people. a lot of governors are saying block grant it back to us. we can do a better job. federal government , get your hands off it. we can do a better job than you can.
>> congresswoman, the problem with block granting, it's always been sort of a code for less money. if you block grant with the same amount of money, we'll do a better job. we won't ask for increases. but don't block --
>> even jerry brown is saying when it comes to medicaid , he wants a little more power. what you as governor want to have a block grant back to you, and you take control of it instead of washington on medicaid .
>> no question.
>> that's the question.
>> waivers over and over again to do new and creative things slows down the process, there's no question. we were one of the first states to put in a way of handling long-term care for asthmatics, diabetes, et cetera . we had to wait to get a waiver from washington . we should have been able to hit the ground running.
>> cms waiver program in tennessee . look what it does. it blocks your legislature from being creative in finding solutions. and what our states, what our governors, are saying is, look, we have the ability to do a better job of finding solutions, in solving these problems on a long-term basis.
>> don't you need some sort of baseline or foundation, national standard? so you have to guarantee that the states at least deliver a certain amount --
>> we can still do that.
>> and a certain degree of improvisation.
>> you could do that.
>> of course, senator alexander from tennessee is saying give all of medicaid to the federal government and give all of education back to the states. and so i think our states are looking for innovative ways to solve some of these funding solutions.
>> marsha, is your governor taking the additional medicaid funds?
>> he's not. boy, that's a huge mistake.
>> i disagree.
>> let me ask you about something paul krugman said. he said people have been saying for years that the crash is coming, the crash is coming. i've been saying it since 1994 , i've been talking about the need to balance the budget. we balanced the budget four years in a row in the 1990s . i know you've been talking about it as well. but, you know, last night i was having a discussion with a friend via e-mail. he said, joe, nobody cares about the debt. and you know, you get outside the policymakers, sometimes, unfortunately, that seems to be the case. how do we make americans care about the debt --
>> as recently as three years ago. i would have agreed with that. today the debt is kitchen table conversation.
>> i agree.
>> so you think americans are starting to focus on it.
>> that's great.
>> it is so interesting, when i will meet somebody and they will say, have you seen that debt clock? and moms. businesswomen, women who are -- i think they're more concerned about the debt than anybody else because they look at this as being a way to cap and trade their children's future to the people that own that debt. they're very uncertain about it.
>> what we're seeing is, this generation and even part of the last generation of women , they're now handling the checkbooks and the households. they're handling all the money. they're handling the finances, and they're tuned into obviously these types of things and worry about the country now on a holistic level.
>> they're running companies.
>> that's right.
>> and the companies where they work, they are dealing with federal bureaucrats that drive them nultts.
>> they're saying, wait a minute. you have got to do some things. government needs to run in a more businesslike manner. we need to get this debt under control.
>> i think more women will help with that because they have that sensibility. so while we're on the topic of women in power, there's been a lot of discussion lately about not enough doors still being opened, certain doors and one of the final frontiers last week happened with women in the military .
>> here's what nick christoph writes about sheryl sandberg who is really taking a different point of view as to why this is happening.
>> number two on facebook, right?
>> exactly. i'd love to get your take on this. she mights -- he writes about her. "in america, only 17% of american fortune 500 board seats are held by women , a mere 3% of board chairs are women , and women are barely represented in president obama 's cabinet. indeed, i'm guessing that the average boardroom doesn't have much better gender equality than a team of cave hunters attacking a woolly mammoth . so what gives? a provocative answer comes from sheryl sandberg the chief operating officer of facebook, the gender gap in chauvinism to corporate obstacles but also in part to pem who don't aggressively pursue opportunities. is sandberg blaming the victim? i don't think so. but i also don't want to relax the pressure on employers to do a much better job of recruiting and promoting women ." i talked with her from my book, "knowing your value," which addresses this, and you know, she says women don't raise their hand. they don't ask questions in great groups. there's tons of different ways that we don't step up and lean in, which i believe is the title of her book and get in there and stay in there. is that a fair argument, do you think?
>> i think that there is a certain point in that there's a valid point. part of it is yes, women will lean in, they will push in, but then they don't like being excluded because maybe a male-dominated environment thinks that they're too pushy.
>> and that they're trying to force their way into a situation, so they will back up. and in my career, i've seen that happen. you know, where i would push forward and then i would move back a little bit. but bear in mind, i was working, knocking on doors selling books door to door when i was 19 years old working my way through college, and i was the only female.
>> right. right.
>> and then i started a women 's division for that company. and i've worked in the political environment. i was a county party chairman , the only female, in 1989 . so what you have to have, and whether it's the military or whether it's corporate america , you've got to have a critical mass of women who are helping to raise up other women and to open those doors kind of to gently push up and to challenge.
>> xerox, ibm, the new head of yahoo!. it's changing.
>> and they're successful in their ventures, and they'll pave the way.
>> and these are women that lean in and are not afraid of what it looks like.
>> they're not afraid of getting it done.
>> exactly. congresswoman marsha blackburn , thank you so much.
>> good to be with you.
>> thank you, marsha.
>>> still ahead, putting the new in "new republic," the magazine that's been around since 1914 gets a face-lift. the magazine's publisher, chris hughes , and editor tfank, frank foer, join us.