The Cycle | November 02, 2012
to you live coming up. [ crowd cheering ]
>>> it has been quite the week for last minute endorsements. yesterday as we reported first on "the cycle," new york city mayor michael bloomberg threw his support behind president obama . he also endorsed obama 's re-election effort. today mitt romney received the backing of charles krout krauthammer. our next guest has worked for both republican and democratic administration during his time leading the government accountability office . this year he decides to endorse mitt romney . here's the ceo and president of the come back america initiative david walker . you have made the debt your big issue this year. you're endorsing mitt romney . tell us why?
>> i came back from a 9,500-mile tour and met with thousands of vote voters around the country. 97% believe it should be the top priority . only 8% have confidence in the current line-up getting the job done. i endorsed him not because of his plan, because neither candidate has a plan that i think is details enough for the american people , but because his proven leadership ability and track record of transforming organizations and working on a bipartisan basis and i think it's critically important that we have inspired leadership today. this country faces key challenges that are getting worse with the passage of time, and we're not making progress.
>> i'm having a little time understanding this, because the debt is such an important issue to you. if you look at the framework for what mitt romney is proposing, it's something we've seen before. there's a 20% across the board tax cut and use talking about ends the alternative minimum tax and tacking on $2 trillion more in defense spending . he says he will close unspecified -- end unspecified tax deductions , which he refuses to spell out because they're politically poisonous. this is the basic recipe of trickle-down economics in the reagan and bush years, both of which resulted in exploding defici deficits. what am i missing here?
>> i have the benefit of meeting one on one with mitt romney and paul ryan and probing what are their thoughts with regard to taxes and defense. you're talking about the things being thrown out, but when you look at a 20% rate reduction and when you look at what rate are now, that will take the top rate to 28%. we lose 1.1 trillion a year in revenue through the deductions and exemptions and credits and exclusions. over ten years that's probably 15 trillion, when you count inflation. so all you have to do is is eliminate about a third to 40% of the deductions, exemptions and credits and exclusions, and you can be revenue neutral. with regard to defense, we're spending 4.6% of gdp on defense. he's committed to spend 4. 4 is less hanthan 4.6. my personal view is we shouldn't commit to 4 or more than 3 and it should be facts and circumstances and see what happens.
>> the economists that look at this say he has promised that he will not hit the middle class at all, only affect upper income earners. if you eliminate all of the deductions only for upper income earners, it leaves you short for a tax cut .
>> massively short.
>> has he spelled on you for you specifically what he will cut in term was deductions for the middle class ? did he spell something out for you? these numbers do not add up.
>> i understand your frustration. first, who defines what the middle class is? that's a problem. secondly in all candor neither governor romney nor president obama has laid out a comprehensive plan with enough specificity that meets the criteria that i laid out as part of come back america initiative. neither one has. therefore, not being able to effectively analyze a plan like every other american, i have to go on leadership ability. i have to go on proven experience and track record.
>> can i put it to you this day? we have a tax plan that doesn't add up. it sydromes major deficits unless you tell the middle class all the deductions are gone. you look at obama . one fundamental difference is he says you know what we're going food? we'll end the bush tax cuts for upper income earners. that is a step towards the clowing the deficit. i see more about addressing it from that alone from obama than anything from romney, which screams exploding deficit.
>> you i go forred the fact that he's committed he will not allow the deficit to increase. in fact, he's willing to hold himself accountable for significant reduction in debt as a percentage to the economy. here's one thing about this. you can't play games with the numbers. ultimately one of the things that you really can hold a president responsible and accountable for is how do the numbers actually turn out? what does the deficit look like? what does the debt look like? what does economic growth look like? what does employment and inflation look like? these are objective numbers to hold people accountable for, and he will be hold accountable. he has proven leadership abilities in all sectors of the economy. he has change and experience in all three sectors of the economy. he's proven he can work on a bipartisan basis, and he has experience that i think demonstrates that he is willing to do the right tling thihing even if he's a one-term president. our country is in serious trouble right now.
>> this is s.e. here. i don't know if you can convince steve that mitt romney is the guy for the job. tell me why maybe president obama is not the right guy for another four years.
>> first, i truly believe that both president obama and mitt romney want to do a grand bargain, but i don't think they have the same leadership ability to get it done. i think president obama 's biggest problem is he's not led. and when he had the senate, the house and the white house , he spent too much time on the affordable care act . that poisoned washington, because even though a majority of the american people doesn't want the affordable care act , nonetheless the effort was taken to pass it on a straight party line vote. that poisoned the well. i think the worst of all scenarios is the house stays in republican hands which it's going to. the senate stays in democratic hands and president obama stays in the white house . we haven't gotten any progress on that in the last two years. why do you think it's different in the next two years? by the way, it's likely that the reps take the senate in 2014 . so i think you have to be recognizing reality. it's not just who the president is, although that's by far the most important. it's also who controls the house, who controls the senate, and who can get a deal done.
>> sounds to me like your plan to reward the mcconnell and boehner strategy of obstructing everything the president wants to do.
>> absolutely not. look at the house changes. that's a change. if the senate changes and that's a change and if the white house changes that's a change. i think at least one of them needs to change if you want to get different results in washington, d.c.
>> the house would be the best one.
>> republican obstruction is another subject of conversation. we'll get to that another time. david walker , thanks for joining us. we're still waiting on the president to speak in ohio, and we'll have it for you ahead. up next, a break from politics answering the age old question, does heaven actually exist? the first time there may be scientific proof turning skeptics into believers. new trident