Morning Joe | March 05, 2013
>> sachs -- or mike.
>> jeffrey, i just heard paul krugman say in that clip we played that the debt will remain stable for the next ten years. but interest rates right now are at historic lows. what happens to the debt even if it remains stable over the next ten years if interest rates creep back up to normal percentages?
>> what's so odd about what paul said is he cites the congressional budget office and the document by the cbo, this one, shows exactly what's going to happen in terms of if they go back to normal. right now we're spending 1.4% of national income to service the debt. ten years from now, paul said, what could possibly go wrong? well, the cbo shows it will be 3.3% of national income , two percentage points, squeezing out the rest of government. that's the problem. and the document shows it. what's also odd is he says the debt is flat, but that's because as a share of national income , that's because they're not doing his policy. there's another part of this document that says, well, what if we did essentially what paul says? the debt would soar. 87% of national income by 2023 . what he doesn't say is if you do what he wants, take off these spending caps and so farther, the debt absolutely starts soaring again.
>> all right. joining us now from washington, republican representative and chair of the house republican conference , congresswoman cathy mcmorris rodgers .
>> great to have you here. obviously, we're talking about sequester. it seems like a bad idea, whose time should have never come.
>> and a weird name.
>> tell us what's happening on the hill right now. i heard that committee chairman and chair women are starting to work to try to fix some of the bluntness of those cuts.
>> well, we didn't have to get to this place. we knew for a year and a half that sequester was going to hit the president's across the board cuts that unfortunately disproportionately impact the military. that's why the republicans why the republicans, nearly 300 days ago had passed a replacement bill. and so today we find ourselves continuing to need the senate to take action. i'm hopeful that we will start getting those serious discussions to cut spending. americans recognize that we need to cut spending, that washington is -- spending is out of control, that this is not sustainable, and that now is the time to act because it does impact our economy.
>> when do we start focusing though on the real issue at hand, and that's long-term entitlements and not discretionary domestic spending which only takes up 9, 10, 11% of the budget ?
>> over the next couple of weeks the republicans from the house will be introducing our budget . again, we need the senate to pass a budget . this is the fourth year now that the senate has not even proposed a budget , not introduced a budget . the president hasn't introduced a budget . it's pretty fundamental to governoring that you need a budget in place especially during difficult times. families recognize that, businesses recognize that. and yet the federal government is operating without a budget .
>> actually, the president did actually send budgets to the hill. up may not have noticed it.
>> not this year.
>> not this year, right.
>> that's true.
>> congresswoman, i want to ask you on budgeting, would you like to see medicare change, become like a voucher program or stay the way it is with just some cuts on some funding levels?
>> i would like to see us take action to save medicare . we need to be honest that the current path is on a path to bankruptcy, and we have 10,000 seniors signing up for medicare every day.
>> i'm sorry to interrupt, but to save it, do you need to fundamentally change the nature of the program or not?
>> well, we need to have a conversation about how we save medicare , and recognize that the current path is not going to work. so that is -- so the republicans have been putting different proposals on the table. i hope that the democrats will join us in this effort so that our seniors have the confidence moving forward that medicare 's going to be available to them.
>> what are some of the fundamental changes that have to be made in order to save it?
>> right now, what has been happening is that we have been cutting medicare in the president's healthcare plan, we cut, or i didn't, but medicare was cut $600 billion in order to fund the president's healthcare plan. so what we're seeing is that providers, doctors, hospitals, home healthcare agencies, medical device companies, they're seeing their reimbursements from medicare cut, and it's getting harder and harder to find a provider who will take medicare . so our seniors are out there unable to find providers who will take medicare , so that means there's going to be longer lines, and that's where we need to start making sure that we have medicare and that it is -- that we are taking steps now to make sure that it is available to our seniors, that promise that we've made to our seniors, that we can keep it.
>> congresswoman kathy mcmorris rogers, thank you.
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