Morning Joe | January 31, 2013
>>> there's more work to do, and our economy is facing a major headwind which goes to your point, and that's republicans in congress. talk about letting the sequester kick in as though that were an acceptable thing belies where republicans were on this issue not that long ago, and it makes clear, again, that this is sort of political brinksmanship of the kind that results in one primary victim, and that's american taxpayers, the american middle class .
>> okay. so, joe, tyler was reading " cosmo " last night.
>> that's kind of disturbing.
>> it's the first thing he says when he walks in the door. i was reading " cosmo " last night. here with us now, cnbc 's tyler mathisen .
>> it said "mad sex," i just wanted to read it.
>> so mika 's in there talking about it.
>> mika has a column in there.
>> just for the record, i signed up for the column because i thought we could reach young people .
>> and you're doing it.
>> then i look at the magazine, and you're right.
>> it was life tips. and the one that i followed was if you're going to get up early in the morning , you can't stay out and go drinking the night before. so i followed that advice this morning.
>> looking good.
>> i'm feeling better than normal.
>> looking much better than the economy. looking better than the economy.
>> i find it -- you should check it out.
>> apparently you did. okay.
>> what's going on with the economy? i mean, three years, four years later after spending trillions of dollars and running up $6 trillion more in debt, one stimulus program after another, we actually have a downturn.
>> you know, i woke up yesterday morning, i turned on news radio here in new york city , and i heard that the economy was down a tenth of a percent. and i thought immediately that that meant that the economy had fallen from a 3.1% rate to a 3% rate in the fourth quarter. but no, the economy actually slipped as that headline says into reverse. it's down a tenth of a percent. i don't think anybody suspected that. no, nobody expected that. i think they expected maybe it was going to slow down a little bit with hurricane sandy, with some of the other things that were going on. but that was really a shocker. and it shows how fragile the economy is. and while i might take exception with jay carney , i don't think the headwind that the economy faces is republicans in congress.
>> no. that's ridiculous.
>> the headwind the economy faces is finding a path to sustainable growth . that's the problem in america .
>> and the problem --
>> -- the problem is -- and i understand some of the keynesians are going to be offended by this, but we have heard for four years now that if you just keep throwing more money at the problem from the top down, i call it trickle-down, you know, federalism, just throw as much money from the federal government down, that's somehow going to get the economy growing instead of growing it from the bottom up, and we keep hearing that there's trillions of dollars on the sidelines. they're just waiting for washington to get their act straight before they reinvest in the economy.
>> well, they do want some consistency and some certainty, i think the people in the private sector who want to invest money, but make no mistake. we've been throwing money at the economy for a long time. and just yesterday the federal reserve said that they're going to continue buying $85 billion worth of securities every month, and that just puts cash into the economy. the problem, i think, with the economy is that we've tried to substitute debt for real growth. we've tried to borrow our way to prosperity. and the fact of the matter is we haven't had real income growth. we haven't had real wealth growth. what we've done -- and real wealth is wealth you don't have to repay. and so the fact of the matter is i think we've borrowed way too much, and that has to stop.
>> just on income --
>> and we're still borrowing. we just keep borrowing, mika . wait, mika , go ahead.
>> thank you. incomes are going down, part-time jobs.
>> it's just -- it's not a living.
>> there has been very little income growth as folks at this table and around the country know, particularly for american male workers since the 1970s , frankly. there has been --
>> the average wage --
>> is lower.
>> -- for males in america has been going down since 1973 . you look over the past four years, since we've sunk $6 trillion more into debt, you have household income going down in real dollars going down, poverty going up. again, i hate to keep saying this, and dan, we'll let you jump in here, but you're not going to get the economy going in a sustainable way by just continuing to pile up debt and doing it from the top down. you always have liberals talking about trickle-down economics. this is the ultimate trickle-down economics where they think they can spend trillions of dollars in washington, d.c., and the good results will trickle down.
>> to the rest of americans. it doesn't work that way.
>> i heard this very amusing formulation about presidents' second terms throughout history. and they basically summed it up this way. in the first year of a second term, they try and do something big on the economy. typically doesn't work. in the second year, they're already in midterms, third year, try to do middle east peace, doesn't work. and fourth year they're pardoning their friends. so we're in year one right now. it doesn't look very promising that we're going to get a deal which means we could be going through the next four years without any serious reduction in the deficit and the debt. so we could be looking at the picture we're at, and we'll be staring at it in 2015 and 2016 . and it will only be worse.
>> i think there's a relatively stronger argument for putting money, federal money, into the economy. when the economy is really in crisis. but i don't think we're any longer really in an economic crisis . we're in a period of slow growth . we have a major challenge in trying to find sensible ways to spark economic growth and get us going into the 21st century economy. i think that's the real issue.
>> in fairness to jay carney , we were growing at 31.% in the third quarter. we dropped negative, 0.1%. congress certainly can play a role. the fact that we've had this shrinkage in federal spending has impacted the economy. i'd agree, we've substituteded debt for wealth creation. but at the same time government has to play a role. my point has been echoed on this show many times, real tax reform , real entitlement reform, predictability, consistency, certainty will create, i think, more opportunity for business skprechlt frankly may allow the energy sector, the health sector to really grow.
>> and declined as much as it drks which wasn't a huge decline but it fell off, was the drying up of federal spending. that was one of the major contributors in that fourth quarter to why the economy went from a 3.1 growth rate to a negative 0.1% growth rate . when you think austerity doesn't affect gdp, it does. it collides with it.
>> here's a clip, we want to talk about your documentary from tyler 's new cnbc documentary about the death care industry.
it's entitled death: it's a living.
>> what is the most expensive of the places to be buried here at maple grove ? right there.
>> in this --
>> -- monument here.
>> this monument here. you're paying for the monument.
>> so $150,000 to be on this side.
>> $150,000 to be on the other side?
>> on the other side.
>> and on each of the flanks?
>> and how many bodies would go here?
>> right here, six. six bodies would go here.
>> a condo, then.
>> that's a condo. yes.
>> but you haven't sold any?
>> no, i conveniehaven't sold no.
>> they're not dying to get in.
>> no. not $150,000, no.
>> my goodness.
you can catch "death: it's a living" tonight at 9:00 p.m .
>> talk about it, tyler .
>> it is a living.
>> we went to a large cemetery in queens , new york . we went along with a woman who was buying a funeral plot for herself. i thought it was kind of funny because she said i want a place with a view. think about that. i want to be able to see the water. i'm sorry? think about that.
>> you're going to be -- yeah.
>> you're not going to be there. we found lots of very interesting things in the documentary that will air tonight on cnbc including coffins, caskets that have the ability to play your itunes in case you want to go to sleep.
>> and coffins, by the way, that are one-third -- if you live in a double wide , you can get a double-wide coffin because we're getting bigger in america . in case you haven't noticed. all kinds of fascinating facts.
>> that's insane. tyler mathisen , thank you so much.
>> good to be with you.
>> and reading " cosmo ," the stuff you learn between those covers, my man.
>> i love " cosmo ." read my column in " cosmo ."
>> i do.
>>> still ahead, a look at the technology that transformed the way wars are fought. we're going to go inside the new issue of "time" straight ahead on " morning joe ." mika , we've got to talk about