The Cycle | March 14, 2013
>>> to politics, president obama has s just wrapping up a meeting with house democrats on capitol hill . earlier today he tried to make progress with a much tougher crowd. senate republicans. with the charm offensive in full if he can, this is turning into a game of good cop bad cop . today let's just say that house minority leader nancy pelosi assumed the bad cop role.
>> it is a hoax. we've moved into the category of hoax. an exercise in contradictions, repealing the affordable care act while using the law of savings and revenues to balance their budget .
>> i bet we'll see more fire work in the guest spot. the independent senator bernie sanders is his cycle debut. we played the clip from the leader pelosi. she also though made a little news today saying that she would be open to this idea of a benefits reduction in social security . chain cpi is what it is called. part of a grand bargain. president obama has been pursuing this grand bargain. the idea of replacing the sequester. fair or not, it seems like the leaders of your party are sort of putting all these discussions on a binary track. where the decision will be either we stick with the sequester or we have the grand bargain. i guess i'm curious from your perspective, if those are your two choices, which would you prefer?
>> they're not my two choices and i just came from the committee meeting. i will be returning to the budget committee meeting. we are working on a may know budget which will protect the american people which we'll do away with a lot of the loopholes which will be a real contrast to congressman ryan's disastrous budget which will make devastating cuts for working families , low-income families, while lowering taxes for the wealthiest people at a time which wl the rich are doing phenomenally well. one out of four major corporations is paying nothing in taxes. my hope is that we can in fact develop a strong budget which is based on revenue and judicious cut cuts.
>> when i see her saying she is open to chain cpi , if she, obama, republican leaders get to a deal, it will include chain cpi or something along those lines. would you as a senator, if that becomes the deal that they all work out, would you use the power of filibuster, do you feel strongly enough to stop anything that touches entitlements?
>> i don't want to speculate on a line athletic cal. the so called chain cpi would mean if you're 65 years of old, by the time you're 75, you'll get $650 less than you would have gotten. by the time you're 85, $1,000 a year less. if you're a senior citizen in the state of vermont trying to live on $15,000 a year, that's a devastating cut. let me say as chairman of the senate veteran committee, this will mean devastating cuts for disabled veterans fork widows who lost their husbands in iraq and afghanistan. it is not my view that the american people want to balance the budget on the backs of disabled vets. i'm going to fight this. we have on our side, we have every veterans organization in this circus every senior organization in this country, the national organization for women and disability groups as well. people want to do deficit reduction but you have to do it in a way that's fair. not on the backs of the vulnerable.
>> i agree with that. it is an honor to have you on the show. this is not just about an economic conversation. it is about a values conversation. it is about who we are as a society. if we have a civilized society that doesn't require collective commitment. that doesn't have a safety net for those who are the least fortune, we're not a society. we're just a collective of several million people who just river here together. don't we have to live together and have a collective commit many to have a true civilization?
>> that's right. the question is whether or not we are a nation. as cheryl of the veterans committee , i talk to people who went to iraq and afghanistan who came back without any legs. that's a sacrifice. and then when i hear that you have some of the largest financial institutions in this country, bank of america and others who have hundreds in subsidiaries in the islands. well, you have to cut social security and nutrition even though 22% of our kids are living in poverty. are we a nation or are we moving in fact to an old garky form of society where a handful of people of it all. middle class and poverty stays at a very high level .
>> with a do you say to those who call both the paul ryan house republican budget and the democratic budget political documents that have no chance of passing? that they're not serious? is that a fair comparison to make between these two budgets?
>> i wouldn't phrase it that way. i mean, what we are seeing right now is a major ideological. what ryan is about is saying, that we are not going to raise a nickel more in revenue. in fact, we're going to lower tax breaks for the wealthiest people in the country and we are going to make devastating cuts for working families already suffering in the midst of a recession. what we are trying to do, and i would go farther than patty murray . to say we have 14% of our people who are unemployed. if you look at unemployment in a real way. we've got to create jobs. we're putting $100 billion into rebuilding our infrastructure. create jobs. deal with youth unemployment. and second of all, it is insane to simply talk about cut, cut, cut, when you got the wealthiest people and large corporations doing phenomenally well and paying lower effective tax rates than they should. the point that you made earlier about whether we are a nation. we send kids off to iraq , lose their legs, they defend our country, and you've got large corporations not paying a nickel in taxes. that's not a nation. that's not what shared sack, sacrifice is about.
>> president obama took a real hit during the sequester. he only has a 4-point lead over the republicans. compared to the 18-point lead in december. now he is letting congress, you folks duke out the budget . we don't know when he'll present his own budget . you have white house advisers saying these meetings have a joke and a waste of time. would you have liked to have seen more leadership from the president on these budgetary issues?
>> who knows why somebody's poll ratings go down. i don't. what the american people want is not just leadership in an abstract way. what they want is leadership that will fight for working families in the middle class who are being really devastated as a result of this recession. we don't talk about it enough. but median family income has plummeted. real unemployment, over 14%. millions of people are working for lower wages than they used to. my feeling is that the president will do very well politically when he begins to stand up and say, you know what? i am going to take on wall street . and i am going to take on corporate america and all those institutions that think they don't have to pay any taxes. and we are going to raise the preliminary wage to a living wage . and we are going to rebuild our infrastructure and put millions of people back to work.
>> so are you satisfied with the job that he's done on those issues so far?
>> no. obviously, he is much, much preferable to a mitt romney and i strongly supported him. he ran a campaign for the middle class . you tell me. and this is where i think the american people get confused and lose confidence in him. how do you tell me you're running for the middle class , i'm defending the middle class , the theme of the campaign. by the way, i'm going on cut social security and disabled veterans' benefits. people don't think that makes a whole lot of sense.
>> all right. senator bernie sanders . thank you for joining us. coming up, there's fascinating research to tell you about on how our bodies physically react to racial differences. if just the mention of it gives