The Daily Rundown | February 17, 2012
>>> the house is expected to vote on the payroll tax cut extension in just about two hours. what's remarkable is that congress was able to reach an agreement a full 11 days before the tax cut was set to expire. but not everyone thinks it's a remarkable deal. joining me now is one of those people, wisconsin republican congressman paul ryan who is chairman of the budget committee . mr. ryan, thanks so much for being on the program.
>> good morning, luke , how are you doing today?
>> good. back in june, you said, quote, the following about the payroll tax cut. you said, quote, i'm not keynesian but i don't think sugar high economics works. we've sort of proven this already a number of times. do you think temporary tax rebates don't work to create economic growth , permanent tax changes do.
>> this morning do you think the deal the house will pass later today is good for the united states ?
>> well, what frustrates me, luke , is we couldn't come up with $100 billion out of a $47 trillion budget in savings. so, is it good for the united states ? i don't think it's good that we crank up with holding right now in the middle of this economy, but i don't want to pretend that this is going to create economic growth and jobs because i really don't think it will. george bush tried these rebates, president obama has tried these rebates, we proven that tax rebates don't really work because they are so temporary. it's permanency that businesses are looking at when they want to hire. so i'm not going to pretend it's good economic policy because i don't really think it is. as far as consumers are concerned, you don't want to yank money out of people's paychecks especially in the middle of a withholding season, but what's frustrating about this deal, luke , is this what happens when you have divided government and you're in the minority party . we wanted to cut $100 billion to pay for this out of a ten-year budget that spend's $47 trillion. and so, you know, this is what is you get when you have divided government .
>> do you think it's good for the economy, the extension of the payroll tax cut?
>> i don't think it will do a lot for the economy. i don't think it will do a lot for the economy. i think if we actually had certainty for tax rates going forward, for businesses and entrepreneurs, that would do a lot for the economy. i think if we put a budget plan in place that showed we're getting our debt under control as ben bernanke told us we should do a week ago, that would be good for the economy. i don't think temporary stimulus is good for the economy. we've proven that already.
>> that's good. let's talk about the budget . last week at the house republican press conference you said the following that i would like to play --
>> a trillion dollar deficit added every year, you could get rid of all discretionary spending and we would still have a budget deficit .
>> as you know, your budget roughly cut discretionary spending not defense in half. we all know that medicare is obviously a driver of the debt. you've addressed that, but the bush tax cuts also add $4 trillion to the debt over the next ten years. you had basically admitted that you would cut discretionary spending and you'd still have a debt. why not examine new revenue and allow for new taxes to be raised?
>> so, even if you keep all the tax cuts in place today, revenue still grows according to the cbo even above our historic levels, so tax rates -- tax revenues still grow. our argument is that we should do fundamental tax reform , give businesses certainty. have a tax system that's really competitive so small businesses can thrive and you can get higher revenue that way, but just cranking up tax rates with this kind of tax code where washington's doing the business of picking winners and losers both hurts economic growth and jobs and doesn't give us the --
>> but you said last week if you cut all discretionary spending you would still have a deficit.
>> that's true. that's true.
>> how cannot new tax revenue be a part of the discussion?
>> we're not saying it shouldn't be part of the discussion. our negotiators put new revenues on the table a couple of times last year, but let's do it through tax reform so it doesn't sacrifice growth. there are ways you can raise tax revenues which kill jobs and growth. we don't want to do those ways, we think there's better ways of getting revenue to the government with tax reform , that's-the-pa the path we want to take. we have think we can get more revenues to the government but let's not sacrifice economic growth and job creation . but if we grow fast and have a good growing economy if you don't deal with entitlements you won't balance the budget . that's the big issue we need to get a handle on.
>> will your next budget cut discretionary spending in half like your last one did?
>> i don't know, we haven't written it yet. i don't know where you get the half.
>> you had a lot of discretionary spending cuts in your first budget , correct?
>> we cut about 10% of discretionary spending , i'm not sure where your half figures come from.
>> we'll have that debate at a press conference on capitol hill .
>> i'll go back and look at my numbers and i'll be ready for you.
>> you do that. let's talk about the rumor that we've sort of thrown around over the last year or so, back in may, i asked eric cantor whether or not you should run for president and he said, quote, the following, he said, sure, i think paul is about real leadership. i think that that's what the public so desperately wants to do right now. they want to see washington that will lead. they don't want to see individuals dismiss the current problems as something that we can sweep under the rug. now you see mitt romney is trailing in his home state. there's a lot of folks that this fight could go all the way to the convention leaving romney considerably weakened. have you been approached and would you participate in a brokered convention that would give paul ryan the republican nomination for the presidency in 2012 ?
>> look, i think this is silly talk. if i had a burning ambition to be president, luke , i would have run for president. i don't have the burning ambition , therefore, i didn't run. of n't -- look, it's february. working themselves out. look, if you remember when barack obama and hillary clinton were running against each other, you had all this talk about this thing's going to go on for a long time and eventually president obama who is now president won that primary. i think this will go like that as well. we haven't even gotten to super tuesday yet, so i think all the talk about a brokered convention is extremely premature.
>> under no circumstances will you be the gop nominee this year?
>> no, i really don't see that happening. no, i really don't see that happening.
>> paul ryan , thank you for joining us. we appreciate it.
>> you bet, luke .