NewsNation | December 06, 2012
>>> welcome back. with just 25 days left to avert the fiscal cliff and after yesterday's hot rhetoric on the campaign trail, our first read team says there's a light at the end of the tunnel . they write perhaps some of our media brethren should stop with the sky he is falling headlines. they say a deal is in sight. the only question is how big. today the washington post reports republican centrists and they're calling on speaker boehner. joining me to talk about it, mark murray . so the something in return, what would it be specifically, mark?
>> there are two options on the table if republicans do budge on taxes. that seems to be where everything is moving. the one option is they kind of resolve the tax issue and kick the can down the road on entitlements and the debt ceiling. we have a big fight over those in the spring our summer of 2013 . option 2 is the big deal , and you have everything on the table or at least the framework to do all the things. so taxes, entitlements, debt ceiling, maybe a little stimulus here or there where all sides give-and-take a little bit. that's the big deal . tamron , getting the big deal is more complicated. it is always harder to do these types of deals, but there would be legacy components for president obama and house speaker john boehner if they can get one done in the next couple of weeks.
>> we know things change day to day , comparing the ton yesterday. we started the show with any and everyone saying whether they would budge or not from members of the house, the senate, and, of course, the president included, and then today you have this moment right now where the president is in northern virginia with an american family who wrote saying that they would be greatly impacted. in fact, their small business they want to start they feel would be impacted by this. there was a phone conversation last night between the president and speaker boehner. to your point about those in the media believing that the sky is falling, that maybe we should stop being chicken little that said the sky is falling? i don't know. can't keep up.
>> when you bet on washington getting things done, there's always a heavy does of skepticism. we saw during the debt ceiling fight just a painful ordeal there. it is very hard to get things do done on capitol hill . it's always been that case, but there are things that are kind of moving where you look at the fact if republicans are under the understanding that somehow they have to budge on taxes, they might start asking, what can we get in return? if they actually put things like entitlement reform on the table and say, this is what we want in return, it's very possible that the obama white house ends up meeting them more than halfway on some things, and that's how you get a deal.
>> mark murray , thank you very much. let me bring in new jersey congressman bill paskrell. thank you for your time. i want to get your reaction to what mark murray just reported, moving down the line it's possible the president will make a move regarding entitlement reform that might not set well with some progressives. what is your take on that being a possible development if, in fact, the deal is reached on, first of all, the bush era tax cuts ?
>> i think mark is on target. i think we have a short-term solution here. that is to provide the sustained tax cuts for the 98% of americans who are in the middle class , and 97% of small businesses . then make a framework, provide a framework so we can have a long-term settlement finally on tax reform . that's going to come. it's similar to what senator bradley, remember him, in new jersey did in 1986 when we reframed and reformed the tax code . i think that's necessary. that's just as important as the tax cuts for the middle class , i believe. now, if we can settle on a framework at least to get to that within this first three or four months of the next congress, i think, tamron , we have a deal going here. it's possible that we can get this done before christmas.
>> but one of your concerns and you sent an open letter regarding the fact in this deal you do not want the alternative minimal tax to be forgotten here.
>> absolutely. we have that problem every year. it affects more people, more middle class people. nobody even knew what the alternative minimum tax was 8, 9 years ago. now more and more americans, millions are susceptible to it. if you have to patch it for another year, i would hope to get a final solution to that situation very, very shortly because we cannot have that anxiety hanging over folks as they go to pay their taxes in february and march of next year.
>> absolutely. another issue, i guess, that is seen as a complication but one that must be addressed the president says, the debt ceiling. i want to play what senator mcconnell has said regarding the president and the portion of his proposal that included the debt ceiling. let's play it.
>> the last person who should have limitless borrowing power. look, the only way we cut spending around here is by using the debate over the debt limit to do it.
>> i bet you don't agree with that?
>> i don't agree with that. we've seen what happens. we've been brought to the brink and don't want to go back to 1995 when the folks walked out and government was shut down. what did we accomplish? i think even mr. gingrich would want that one back of a few years ago. look, there's no question in my mind we have to look at the entitlements in order to finish this deal next year. the fact is that social security doesn't add one penny to the deficit or the debt. let's get the facts straight on this. we've been looking at these entitlements, scrutinizing them. we've had bipartisan changes to social security to make it sustainable. we can do that again. don't blame social security and medicare for our problems. i would say a major part of the problem is health care expenses, and i think the affordable health care bill attacked that issue particularly. if we don't lower health care costs, we are not going to get the budget in balance regardless of what we do.
>> we have below you daishg you can't see it. a new poll was taken. a majority didn't want to see cuts in medicaid and didn't want the eligibility age increase for medicare.
>> you're absolutely right. you put more burden on the states. right now the states are struggling to keep their head above water as it is. if you put that burden on the states, then they are going to move accordingly to the towns and their taxpayers in that particular state. in my state of new jersey , we pay an exorbitant amount of federal taxes. we're a donor state and we provide the necessary dollars so we spread it out according to the wealth. this is important. this is a critical concept in our capitalistic economy. the more you make, the more you pay in your share. tax reform is a real drag-out battle next year, because we deal with a subject laid on the side for all years while we go through these budget emergencies as you would say. we need to attack that, attack it head on. we need to, i believe, move into the era of taxing wealth more than income. i think that's very important for the american people so we come up with a fair tax code. don't forget, most of the tax code is written by folks that are millionaires and billionaires who have lawyers. you don't have a lawyer and i don't have a lawyer. to do these things to make it fair. we are behind the box every time we start to have this debate and discussion. we want fairness in this system. we want everybody to pay what they're supposed to pay. there's no question about that. i don't think that's been happening, tamron . when you talk about tax reform , put it all on the table.
>> it sounds like you're telling us to strap in because it's quite a battle now and in the new year. thank you for your time.
>> nice talking to you.
>> thank you. coming up a