msnbc | January 05, 2013
>>> as i said earlier this week, one thing i will not compromise over is whether or not congress should pay the tab for a bill they've already racked up. if congress infusees to give the united states the ability to pay its bills on time the consequences could be cat strofk strofk. our families and our businesses cannot afford that dangerous game again.
>> very dangerous game , but one the republicans look like they willing to play. president obama saying that he does not want to negotiate over the debt ceiling and says he will not negotiate over the debt ceiling and from the looks of things it could be the next big fight in washington. a man who has never backed away from the fight congressman allen grayson. always good to see you.
>> back in congress after losing your seat in 2010 . how does it feel being back?
>> oh, it's great. it's great to be back in the saddle again and the greatest comeback in the history of the house of representatives . we won by 25 points.
>> we talked about the debt ceiling and i want to read you something that jon corn inwrote. this is an op-ed from senator john cornyn , quote, it may be necessary to partially shut down the government in order to secure the long-term fiscal well-being of our country rather than mrod along the path of greece, italy and spain. pat said the same thing on " morning joe ." are we headed for a government shutdown in the next few months?
>> if the republicans are crazy enough they'll want to do that it's possible they'll pull that off and it's a very divided party and divided between the far right wing and the, treatment right wing and the extreme right wing wants to shut down the government because they just don't like the government at all. they'd rather have no government than even good government.
>> does the extreme right wing of the gop still yield that much power?
>> well, sure. from what i can see, their caucus is divided almost equally between the corporate shales and the tea party . that's what passes for diversity on the other side of the aisle and the tea party represents a good hundred votes on the other side. republicans argue that we just passed this fiscal cliff deal and the national debt now more than $16 trillion and the democrats, a lot of them aren't wild about the idea of making cuts to entitlements. how does that work?
>> listen, if they were serious about reducing the debt and serious about taxing people who have money. it seems the only people that the right wing are willing to tax are the people without mono pep the people with money are those they regard as untouchable and if they do that they'll reduce the deficit just as we did during the clinton administration . the clinton administration ran three or four different surpluses one after another because the income tax rate was high enough to pay for the needs of the government and the needs of the people, but look what they want to do instead. they want to cut social security benefit and they want to cut medicare benefits and the social security administration has run a profit every single year since it was created. medicare also runs a profit each year. it doesn't make any sense. they're basically trying to cut because of some sadistic attitude toward folks.
>> the president has indicated he might be willing to cut medicare and also willing to make an adjustment to calculations used with social security .
>> well, no. i think you have to be very specific about this when talking about this. what the president has generally indicated is to make these programs more efficient. i don't think the president has come out in favor of actual benefit cuts and they're two fundamentally different things. we're all interested in making the program more, efficient. we're not interested in cutting the benefits.
>> there are so many issues still outstanding from the 112th congress that you guys have to deal with. the sequester, of course, that's coming up march 1st , the farm bill and the act and even more aid for victims of hurricane sandy. make a prediction for us, if you can. what, if anything, is going to get done with the 113th congress at the helm.
>> the congress will deal with the crises as they in up, but remember the crises are artificial crises and some of them are created specifically that could never get done by the people in the regular order. my only client has written about this in the book the shock doctrine and what's seen as a series of artificial crises when stealing from the middle class .
>> again, going back to a prediction for what's going to be the first or even the second order of business. are we talking about immigration? are we talking about gun control ? what might we be looking at here for the next six months?
>> oh, i think we'll have to deal first with the sequester and a completely artificial contrivance completed by the republicans to cut medicare benefits and right after that, possibly right before that with tim geithner's private calculations.
>> how real is the concern among congressional democrats that as you crawl from crisis to crisis that it prevents the administration from advancing with long-range policies with regard to imgramigration or gun control .
>> i don't think it should. the administration has enormous powers under existing law. for instance, they could institute large parts of the cap and trade bill which passed the house through regulation, through rule making and the president actually did institute a large part of what would have been our bill on immigration, the dream act through administrative action. the president has a lot of power and he should use it to solve the country's problems.
>> how would you characterize your last stint in congress . how would you characterize that compared to this upcoming stint?
>> well, we did a lot of good for a lot of people, particularly in our district and i think they'll be able to do it again. a lot of the best things that we did in the district had nothing to do with votes on the floor and the job creates opportunities to do good things and we'll do our best.
>> we certainly hope. we certainly hope that you will do your best and that your colleagues will fall in line and do yours as well.
>> do come back and i always enjoy our conversations and congrats to you.