msnbc | November 19, 2012
>>> welcome back. watching wall street this monday. the dow up more than 150 points. up by 158. will a deal be reached avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff. with the president out of the country and the congress in recess, they are holding talks through this week and will present proposals present their proposals after the thanksgiving holiday. all this follows friday's meeting at the white house between president obama and tom congressional leaders. all sides expressed optimism a deal can be reached before the january 1 deadline when $650 billion worth tax hikes and federal budget cuts would kick in. joining me is the president of the nonpartisan committee for a responsible federal budget . maya, great to have you here. i know you wrote a piece in "the washington post " reminding everyone the fiscal cliff involves more than the expiration of the bush-era tax cuts and defense spending cuts. remind everybody what's in there.
>> the fiscal cliff is huge and one of the reasons we're so concerned about it. because if it were to hit and we were to go over it, so many parts of the budget would be affected and so many citizens would. not only is it the expiration of the upper income tax cuts, all the tax be cuts would expire, many of us would be hit by the alternative minimum tax. the sequester affects both defense and discretionary parts of the budget that would have affects from housing to, you know, different parts that affect citizens that you want to generally protect. we would have something called the dock fix, this plan where we're supposed to cut physician payments and congress passes it. basically this is filled with policies that were not intended to hit and as a result, if congress can't come to some decisions people will be affected throughout the budget and importantly we in all likelihood would go into a recession and shouldn't be acceptab acceptable.
>> mitch mcconnell after his meeting with the president and congressional leaders said revenue is on the table. does that mean we are going to see something big and bold or is it more likely that it's just going to be an interim kick the can down the road six-month extension kind of thing?
>> i think the likely outcome there will be some kind of compromise. we're hearing talk about a two-step process. first off, what's good the leaders are talking and clearly trying to come to some agreement. this fiscal cliff is such a real threat and it's a huge way of focusing our attention on getting something done. they may come up with sort of a partial plan in order to extend some of these policies while they work out the rest of an overall debt deal. keep in mind what they need to get done. they need a big deal 4 or $5 trillion, big enough to stabilize the debt and it needs to focus on structural entitlement reform or reforming entitlements, reigning in spending and new revenues through tax reform . those are the three big pieces. we're starting to hear more discussion, more of a coming together on that. they may not get the whole deal done before the lame duck is over, but they these to put in place serious first credible steps. otherwise, markets could rebel and really i think we all know this is a test of can washington govern. and we want to see them come together and come up with a solution that's bipartisan.
>> lame duck congress will be called jane duck congress. thanks so much. i appreciate it.