NewsNation | December 13, 2012
>> con his, chris kofinis and cheryl taupe let's from roll call . chris irk let me start off with an interesting thing i have noticed today. you have both sides now you not just saying but implying the other wants to go off the cliff for some kind of gain.
>> not sure what gape they have. they have to budge on tax rates , that doesn't mean speaker boehner 's party and caucus has come to terms with that. that is the crux of the political problems here for the speaker in terms of how does he make a deal with the president and the basically have enough support in his caucus? i think the president has been very clear he is following make a deal. he has come down from 1.6 to 1.4. the speaker came back with the same number. the president can't negotiate with himself. i don't think the president wants to go over the cliff. i hope speaker boehner doesn't want to go over the cliff. but at some points, you cannot accept a deal that doesn't make any fiscal or let alone policy or political sense.
>> let me play something about the conservative media and senator tom harkin .
>> they have really manufactured this. reminds me of -- remember the y2k crisis where we went to the millennium? people were all scared and hyped up and everything? nothing happened. and this crisis has been manufactured by the conservatives to scare people so that we will do something in a hurry.
>> chris , your thoughts on that comment?
>> well, there is i think some real valuable concern that people should have about going over the cliff. what is the long-term economic impact? it's tough to say because my guess is the way that washington works and i have seen it work first-happened is they literally get right to the deadline and miraculously, there's a deal. so i'm still somewhat optimistic that they will get something done. but if we go over the cliff, it just sends a terrible message to the american people that our government can't work. that is not the right thing we should be sending, not the right message we should be sending.
>> the polling that we have shows that people overwhelmingly, both sides you want to see some kind of compromise here. we just spoke with congresswoman moore. we have talked with a number of people on both sides of this. it seems each side has their line in the sand , albeit, not always clear. i just want to play something from this morning. congresswoman jackie speer talking about the possibility, or the lack thereof, of raising the medicare age.
>> will you exchange a tax hike for the rich for raising the age on medicare , as you just alluded to, that issue of medicare ?
>> that's the one area that doesn't make any sense. why should we do something that's stupid?
>> and we have heard republicans are holding on, if you will, as chris pointed out, there's no reality in the storyline that they will not raise tax rates for the wealthiest. so, what does that then mean for democrats who have to somehow -- reply can't be, well that's soup foirksd raise the eligibility age, there has to be another counter to it.
>> right, i think it mean he is that the final package, if we get a final package to vote on in the next week on capitol hill is going to be a really unique coalition of some republicans and some democrats assuming entitlements are part of the package, which republicans don't seem to have without. i think democrats will be willing to work for a framework of entitlement cuts and some republicans able to do it but all part of the final melting pot of voters this going to need to pass this if they get a deal.
>> michael, let look at some of the nbc news/ wall street numbers as we point out, 61% of americans ,american america americans , the newest poll, to be added into a laundry list of polls that all scream that same message, tax rates must go up on the wealthiest. why not get that portion of the deal done here when i don't know who does not agree with it at this point.
>> as a political matter, republicanness don't embrace that publicly, instead of making a part of their negotiated package. if they were to do so speaker boehner embrace raising taxes for the wealthiest of americans , i think there would be a momentum shift and the white house would come under increasing pressure to put forth more cuts. your polling data also suggests that you know, the vast majority of both republicans and democrats, they want compromise. so why the rs don't take that step and i think have it to their benefit, i don't understand.
>> i get all your thoughts on, this the poll shows 38% trust president obama in hand alling fiscal cliff talks. 19%, just 19, trust speaker boehner . 28% say they don't trust neither -- either of the men at this point. if you combine speaker boehner and president obama , do you thank you is a gut reaction who has their back, if you will?
>> all of the above, also a reflection of the election. i hear this from callers. people do believe the president is entitled to have an upper hand, given that he just won the election. one other data that jumped off the page at me is that 56% will hold everybody accountable and blame them equally if they don't cut the deal, tamron.
>> shira that is a great point that michael makes, women talk about it part of our gut check that folks in the end, they will blame someone if they look up beginning of the year and there is plenty, it seems, to go around when looking at the members of congress.
>> right. absolutely. and i think one of the reasons that more people -- the people of a lower opinion of john boehner in a lot of these talks is people already have a very low opinion of congress, no wonder. they have been really incompetent when it comes to passing key legislation. this will be the biggest of it all if they cannot pass a deal at all by the end of the year.
>> chris , i know you're a democratic strategist, loyal to your party, one of the reasons we enjoy having you on, you have been a fair voice as well, you have been critical when necessary. of your party, not saying put democrats in a box here, but the overall picture of congress and this inability to compromise when we saw this situation coming, it was interesting to watch the beginning of the talks, people were like, there's no way, they have got to reach a deal here, we are not going to have this 11th hour vote, as we have seen way too many times. and here again, it seems, we are headed in that direction, at least that's the storyline today.
>> well, you know, party's nice but i think the one thing that's great about this country, we all kind of put our country first. the problem i think i have and that a lot of americans have the word compromise seems to be a four-letter word in washington .
>> why is that? is that to hold onto power? the cliche of being, you know, i want -- it's my way or the highway and that keeps me being the sfwhos why is a dirty word when in anything else that you negotiate, if you are buying a house, heck, if you are getting married, you guys sit down and you talk about where you want to live, what you want to do. why does that seem to escape and evaporate from brains upon entering washington , d.c.?
>> it is a short-sightedness. i think the consequences aren't there even in the last congress, overwhelming majority of congress got re-elected, one of the conflicts voters have can want compromise and let people in that don't want compromises in many case. what has to happen here, the republicans have to come to terms with some reality and the reality is, not only lost the election, they lost a policy argument. and the policy argument has to be solved with understanding the fact you cannot simply do this with spending cuts it is mathematically impossible. so, if they want to sit there --
>> spending cuts without being specific, what you are hearing lot --
>> from people at home is the focus seems to be again on those who have the least. you look at medicare or social security , look at where the cuts are to take place, you look at the data, those are not significant problems facing us. there's no conversation about defense. and there's no -- there's no specific plan coming from republicans and i think people become really offended in many cases when you start talking about medicare and social security because logic tells you you social security , that that's not the overwhelming problem in our budget.
>> i think you hit it right on the head the amazing thing, you talk about entitle reforms, we are going to have sear joyce about it but not serious about tonight backs to of the people that need it to survive and live n terms of defense cut, i, for the life of me, and i remember this on the hill, i don't understand why there's not a more serious discussion about scaling back defense cuts. war savings is not a defense country. spending an enormous amount of money on defense, the largest chunk of our budget. if we continue down this road of pretending, democrats and republican does it pretend we are not going to reduce the defense budget , i don't know how we are going to achieve this miraculous spending restraint and balance we need.
>> chris , thank you vet. shira, a great pleasure having you on, my first time with you on news nation. a