Morning Joe | February 12, 2013
>> nation. and joining us now from the white house , director of the national economic council , gene sperling . columnist and senior national corresponde correspondent, josh green and michael steele .
>> what is the president going to say tonight that will get people back and back to work.
>> we are not setting him up.
>> not for failure at all. especially on the issue getting america back to work.
>> the president is going to talk about the things we need to do to make united states the magnet for job creation that we need to be in the global economy . that is going to mean calling for bipartisan effort to go further on reducing the deficit and he will say that's not all we have to do. we have to have innovation and manufacturing and the energy future. these are all part of the ingredients with skills to the type of higher wage growth and he will make clear we have made progress. the deficit has come down, but not far enough. he will also make clear we have a lot further to go. we will work and be willing to compromise to make that progress for little class americans .
>> while we were talking, we showed a poll about the most important issues facing america . 55% of americans say the economy and 55% if you had the economy say those are the most pressing social issues well below that. reducing the deficit is important to all americans . how specifically will he get tonight to talk to what cuts need to be made?
>> i think he will make at least three points. we have as ugly as it has been, we have cut the deficit and the majority of that has been through spending cuts. there have been rev you ins on the top 1%. he will make clear we need to go further to get the deficit reduction that we need to do and he will make a call for bipartisanship and compromise. he will be clear we need to do smart entitlement reform and having sensible savings. he will stress it has to be done in a balanced way that means you could raise some revenues through closing loopholes as part of tax reform and try to suggest that this type of bipartisan compromise where you focus on both spending cuts and revenues together. if we follow that path we can avoid the harsh impacts on the economy and shut down and threats of default that we think will only happen if people take an ideological position and say we can't have a single penny and all deficit reduction can only come from training and that's not the balanced approach the president supports. i don't think it's the type of approach the public sports. they want us to compromise and they want cuts and want tax reform that lowers the deficit.
>> in closing, do you think america has or washington has a spending problem? the question was asked to nancy pelosi and she said no. most americans would disagree. what's your position and the president's position?
>> i think we made a lot of progress. it has come down significantly. we think it has further to go and smart entitlement reform has to be part of that. a lot of that is due to the baby boom retirement. that doesn't mean we should slash it and take away the fundamental guarantee. we should do more harm to seniors than we need to be because they are taking a position that you can't have a penny of revenue. we believe that you have to bring down future spending and we need to do it in a balanced way. that means revenues on loopholes and expenditures and making sure it's part of an overall plan that gives this recovery momentum and creates jobs and invest in the future in research and skills and in the things that made us productive.
>> gene, thank you. you have a lot in this morning and i am a priest of the balanced approach thaw are talking about. i think if the president follows that, it is a balanced approach. talking about closing loopholes and most americans would support that.
>> the question is how to get it done. even gene said bringing down spending. you have to believe we are spending too much and that we have a problem. we have this great conversation. did you guys see the conversation we had? it was fantastic. it was great tv.
>> that's what this is.
>> very diplomatic.
>> no, i loved having him on because it's always fascinating talking to paul. i really, really love it.
>> when he gets to his laptop, like super man. outcomes the suit. here's the problem. you have paul writing about jonathan who is writing about you. three or four people think we don't have a spending problem and they are writing in circles. republicans don't believe in science and liberals don't believe in math. both ways not good. we have a deficit for four years, we have a spending problem.
>> it doesn't need to be confronted now. you have the forecast that came out who said it's falling. we should have a party if it passes.
>> that's still something that has tow get packled. and republicans would like a combination of factors. it's not an immediate government spending problem.
>> that's what i say on this show every day. we don't want to adopt it, but the president sounds like that and we don't want to plan ahead.
>> people like steve ratner and not a right winger.
>> i think mika finds it sexy.
>> i think you said that. that's right. i remember the opening to the show.
>> she out training on that.
>> and the consensus around that.
>> if i were a democrat, i would acknowledge a spending problem just for the politics. it seems crazy not to. $845 billion sounds better than 1.3 trillion. you get a b in there. billion. anything if the billions sounds better than the trillions. it has to be recognized. the three degrees of separation. i guess he has cut outs there.
>> he's got two or three people on his side. he claims to have more, but other people he claims to have agree that deficits are not the problem. the long-term debt is the problem.
>> jobs are the problem. the point that crosses the line.
>> two problems.
>> we don't know how much longer we carry this type of debt. most of the governments have it. we are hit by a crisis at the same time we are hit by that.
>> the u.s. can borrow at low interest rates , but that becomes a problem. you have tomorrow. probably not.
>> hold on. here in is the difference. josh touched on it. we will worry and the people that agree with him in the world say we will worry about this debt when medicare collapses. we can borrow it. i wouldn't allow my child to borrow. you will get interest rates and we can borrow money. joey, does it go up to 3%. this is no way to plan the future or plan for the future in america .
>> that mind set that all of a sudden the ceo makes a forecast in january that the deficit will be 140 something billion necessary the year in january. we have no budget on the table and any clear path for the president. let's see what that is. then we can talk about the deficit.
>> it can grow the economy. we can grow our way out of the deficits.
>> you cannot have a conversation and what's playing here.
>> it's an amazing thing. most mammals can do two things at one time. bears worry about eating and packing up for the winter. we will grow the tax cuts and the spending and take care of everything down the road. we saw with jack kemp , it didn't happen.
>> politicians can do two things at once.
>> stay with us.