NewsNation | December 04, 2012
>> much. governors who met with the president today warn there will be serious consequences in every state and in the nation if a deal on the so-called fiscal cliff is not reached.
>> tho r you have to come together and get it done. this exacts the economy. the uncertainty is creating havoc with our economy and our states .
>> well, the bipartisan delegation of governors wrapped up their meetings at the white house a few hourgz ago a. they plan to meet with republican leaders this afternoon and have made one thing clear. they're not taking sides in this one.
>> our focus today was not to endorse a specific plan nor to dismiss a specific plan but rather to point out as gary mentioned as governors we think it's important we have a seat at the table.
>> joining us now is two governors that attended that meeting, chairman of the national governors association jack merkel as well as oklahoma's republican governor the group's vice chair. thaw for joining us. governor fallon, i'll start off with you. we heard scott walker in there. why not take a side here?
>> well, we have 50 different states . we have governors that have different political philosophies. what we're trying to find is common ground , some collaboration between the national governors association , the governors that we represent to say this is a very serious issue, the fiscal cliff, the end of the year, the tax cuts that will expire, the budget cuts we're talking about, the federal deficit, the amount of the deficit itself. as governors we try to find common ground issues that we can bring to the president to speaker boehner, to leader reid to talk about and say, we want to grow our economy. we want to create jobs. we understand these are tough decisions that have to be made. we understand there whim be cuts on the federal side. the states will have a shared responsibility with those cuts. we have some specific things that we have suggested to the president. we'll suggest later on today to congress to give them some ideas of ways we think governors can help and also we think it's important that the governors have a seat at the table because ultimately it's the states that will also feel the effect of what happens in washington, d.c.
>> you made that point, governor. i'm curious about the line in the sand for the president, and i'm sure he expressed his thoughts on the tax rate for those who make over $250,000. that revenue is needed. without, i guess, endorsing one plan over the other, where do you stand on that line in the sand ?
>> well, that's going to be for congress and the president to hash out. these are very tough decisions. as a former member of congress , i remember this last month of december, the last month of the year, and how tough negotiations are. what we're doing is coming together as governors saying, look. here's some things that we think are important principles that you know from the governors . first of all, whatever decisions are made are going to impact the state budgets. we're working our state budgets? january. our sessions start from january to february this upcoming year. it's hard as governors to make decisions about our states and our policies if congress doesn't know what they're going to do. we're concerned about jobs, our economy, our revenue. we're concerned about the nation's future. here's some things. like we'd like to have more flexibility when it comes to the monies that are sent back down to the states . knowing that there will be federal cuts, give us some flexibility on our state programs. we believe that the states can be laboratories for democracy and for government reform. there's great practices out of states that we believe we can suggest to the president and congress that can be helpful in making tough decisions.
>> governor, let me get you in on this. you met with the president and members of congress . is the overall message can you all get along? that sounds great on paper. great when someone says it, but you've watched the clock tick on this important issue facing as we point out american families and your individual states .
>> that's certainly part of the message. the fact is if middle class tax rates go up across the country, it's not good for taxpayers and not good for the economies of any of our states . if cuts are made that impact the states , the president made the point today and he's absolutely right. just because you move money off the federal books, that's not saving anything if the cost is being shifted to the states . so these are the kinds of things that we want to talk about both with the president and with congress really grateful for the opportunity to do both. really, it's important to have a continued seat at the table.
>> when you hear people say let's go off the cliff and that may ultimately give the democrats a better position in that you have a different congress , what's your reaction to that?
>> two things. first of all, going off the cliff means that middle class taxes are going up, that's not good for anybody. it means that some of the doctors may not get the payments. if it means folks in the defense industry are not getting their paychecks, that's not good for anybody. the other issue critically important has to do with the lack of certainty on the part of the business community . one of the things that we over and over again from people in the business world, let us know what the ground rules are so we can plan to invest, we can plan to hire. as long as it's uncertain, it's less likely they're doing those critically important things.