The Cycle | March 12, 2013
>>> to come together to fix these problems.
>> that is house budget chair paul ryan this morning unveiling his plan, calling on senate democrats to pass their first budget in four years. just moments ago, the president finished the first of his three-day voing to capitol hill where he met with senate democrats . over the next two days he'll meet with republicans as well covering a much broader agenda from the sequester to gun control. will he find any friends out there along the beltway? from what we've seen already, three months after this election, still business as usual in washington which of course means not much is getting done. back in the guest spot today is howard fineman , the editor director for the " huffington post " media group . we'll callett " huffington post ."
>> talk about shortening things.
>> we were trying to come one a nickname for you howard fineman .
>> then how fine.
>> actually, al franken gave me that one but it hasn't stuck.
>> we'll make it stick.
>> that's because al franken was allowed to be funny.
>> i'm curious about this paul ryan budget . the republican plan leading up to the election would be that the economy would cost obama his job, we'll get the senate and we'll be in place to implement the paul ryan budget . we'll have the votes and the momentum them lost the election, they lost ground in the senate and the house. and yet they are basically, they are proposing radical reduction in income taxes, voucherization of medicare , getting rid of obama care, although keeping the medicare cuts to help bring this to balance. i kind of wonder, what is the point of this thing if it has no chance of passing?
>> you're right it has no chance of passing. you're right it is a carbon copy of what paul ryan was talking about in the campaign. i think you have to view it at best as a negotiating document. as the opening bid of republicans and what could be negotiations over a grand compromise. i think if they start way they did with paul ryan , i question whether there will be any negotiations at all. the president can go every day of the week. he wasn't talking to the members. he is trying to do that now. if when he gets back, the sum total of it is paul ryan , i don't see anything happening at all.
>> and how five, the last two questions. the last two times paul ryan put on a budget he was really greeted with a lot of deference among the sort of beltway media. he was the serious guy. he was sort of the golden boy . and it seems like this one has been greeted with more skept civil. you had chris wallace saying, really? you are still trying to repeal obama care. you've had a lot of talk about the fact that you mentioned it is the same blueprint as what he and romney ran on and lost on. so is the balloon sort of off the rose, is the bloom off the rose?
>> well, first of all he lost. second they didn't win any of the states that some people thought paul ryan would help them win in the midwest like ohio and so forth. so nothing affects your clout in washington like being seen as a loser. so there is that on the laurel electoral side and there is nothing new that attracts people's attention. and because he is not doing even one drop on the revenue side, because he is basically dismantling medicaid which is a key element here that is maybe somewhat under appreciated, he is completely dismantling medicaid , it is seen as ezra klein wrote, a if i wiphilosophical statement. the mood in 2/12 is let's get something done. let's get something done practically. that's what the spirit of the members retreats were in the winter. they want to get something done and this is seen as more of a political document after they lost the political campaign .
>> how fi, i want to talk about the democrats and i want you to help me out. i feel like we're about to get screwed. believing in safety nets is a key part of the liberal ideology. democratic voters are not as punitive as republican voters are and i feel like the president and the dems are about to give in on entitlements and we'll feel screwed even though we won the election. what do you think?
>> i think the, in terms of the architecture of entitlements, toure, in terms of social security , medicare , medicaid . let's talk about those three. medicaid really not being an entitlement but sort of viewed that way. i think actually, paradoxally, the biggest threat may to be social security . i think the president already put on the table this notion of altering the formula for cost of living increases for social security recipients. is so-called chain cpi. i think that is on the table. over the long term it does get you a bunch of money. i think he will give on that if he can get some revenues. on medicaid , i don't see how he can do it. because obama care, the core of obama care in terms of extending coverage to a lot of new people is 16, 17 new people on medicaid . i don't see how he can give in on that. especially after a lot of republicans are coming to accept obama care because they want the pled indicated money. so i would say number one threat is social security . number two threat is some monkeying around with medicare but i think medicaid will survive pretty much intact.
>> all right, how fi.
>> it's already getting old.
>> there's a hash tag happening right now.
>> it is now trending. we can talk about how horrible and terrible and really bad the republican budget is. but for their part, at least, they've been producing one with some consistency and democrats will come to the table with various democrats from the senate side. but let's talk about president obama . for the first time in 92 years, congress and not the president is kick starting this budget process . president obama hasn't even set a date for the release of his budget and it looks like he is waiting for the house and the senate to sort of hash it out together and fight this out. and then he'll present his own. is that sort of a leading from behind strategy? is that leadership on the budget ?
>> no, it's not. i agree with you. i'm frantically trying to do the arithmetic. are we talking about harding?
>> 92 years ago?
>> he is not leading from the front on this. they have been cautious. the president in fairness to the president, s.e., he has said he wants more revenues. he has laid that mark he down. that's sort of key difference between where he and the democrats are and where the republicans are. but no, he hasn't been specific. this is the way he's played the game all along. he plays his cards very close. he waits until the last minute. he lets other people make the commitments. this is what he did on health care . this is the way we ended up with obama care. this is how he operates. even though he is going to the hill, it is a funny passive aggressive thing where he is going up to the hill. he is meeting with all these people but he is not laying down exactly what he wants. he is not selling them his proposal. he is waiting to hear what they say. that's not going to change. that's just the way he is. we'll see if it results in anything. i'm not convinced based on the opening bid that we're going to have a deal. i know everybody is saying now is the time. we've got march 27th . another debt ceiling. i'll believe it when i see it. i don't see a grand deal here. i just don't.
>> 92 years ago takes to us 1921 . so it was wilson for the first few months and then -- who said harding? who said wilson?
>> the quick question, we are low on time. you are all over th kentucky . you used to cover kentucky . i think the story at this point is national democrats have decided, she is unelectable. they do not want her to run. do you think they're going to get their way and keep her out of that race?
>> they have to get somebody else. i was in kentucky last week at the big democratic dinner of the establishment. they don't have a candidate to stop her. if they want to stop her from getting in or from winning the democratic nomination in the kentucky senate primary a year from this may, they need to coalesce around an alternative. they don't have one now. most likely as the secretary of state, allison grimes. if they can get her in, fine. if she gets in, if she clears the field, we'll see. i know the obama people don't want judd. the kentucky establishment don't want judd but nobody else wants to run. all the establishment democrats want to wait for the governor's race in 2015 .
>> kentucky has become such a red state . it is so hard to unseat.
>> but democrats still win the governorship. they have a shot, a long shot.
>> howard fineman , i won't use the nickname again.
>> let's kill it.
>> you are what you like. that would make me a fedora. you'll find out in a minute, i think. the intriguing new facebook favorite. when