The Daily Rundown | November 13, 2012
>>> the worst thing that could happen is for them simply to kick the can down the road. if they kick the can down the road, it will just continue to represent a cloud over the defense department and that's the last damn thing i need right now.
>>> congress returns to work today and with the upcoming holidays there are just weeks to negotiate a budget deal to avoid this proverbial fiscal cliff. it remains to be seen if congress will kick the can down the road as secretary panetta warns with a short-term deal or will they reach a true grand bargain given how far they were to reform programs like social security and medicare. we shall see. joining me now wyoming senator john barrasso . he joins me now. senator, let me ask you this straight-up question. who is in charge of negotiations on behalf of the republican party with the white house ? is it john boehner ?
>> i think the president is the only with one that can sign the agreement. john boehner needs to have an agreement that the house of representatives will pass, and i think whatever the two of them agree on will pass the senate. but expect it will be john boehner working along with the president. i'm sure mitch mcconnell will be very closely involved in the discussions with leader boehner.
>> you don't believe a deal should come out of the senate and then be introduced in the house?
>> well, i think the elections are over. we need to find solutions to help our country move forward in a positive direction and as the chairman of the joint chiefs of staffs says the biggest threat to our national security is actually our debt. we need to get this spending under control and get people back to work.
>> i want to talk about this issue of taxes and tax rates and get you to respond to something from not exactly someone who is known as a liberal thinker here. take a listen.
>> it won't kill the country if we raise tax as little bit on millionaires. it really won't, i don't think. i don't know why republicans don't take obama's offer to freeze taxes for everyone below $250,000. make it 500,000, make it a million. the republican party is going to defend a bunch of millionaires, half of whom voted democratic and half of whom live in hollywood ?
>> so, i ask you the question that bill kristol put there, are you going to fall on your sword not to raise taxes on people that make over $250,000 a year?
>> i think there's a difference between raising tax rates and raising tax revenue and i want to get overall tax reform . no matter who you talk to, they will tell you that raising taxes on that group is just a small drop in the bucket of what our deficit is. it's less than one-tenth of the deficit so it doesn't solve our problem. i don't think we should do things that will hurt the economy. we need to get people back to work.
>> well, his point was, though, that tax rates were much higher in the reagan years, were higher in the clinton years and both those decades had pretty good economic growth.
>> but it's such a small percent percentage of what you need to do in terms of getting the spending under control.
>> a trillion dollars over ten years is a small number ?
>> it's $100 billion where this president has had deficits of over a trillion dollars every year so $1 out of $10, chuck. our problems are the spending on social security , on medicare, and the president's upcoming health care law expenses that are coming every year adding much more than what could be gained by raising taxes . i don't think it's a good idea to raise taxes on anyone at a time like this.
>> but can you really talk about tax rates right now if you don't have an agreed upon number, revenue number, that both sides agree to on what should come out of the tax code changes? so if it's a trillion bucks over ten years, which seems to be halfway between the $800 billion that boehner put on the table and $1 trillion over ten years, don't you have to agree to that number first before you decide what the rate is?
>> i'm not going to negotiate this on television with you, chuck, and i don't think anyone would. we have to come up with a solution to help get our kcountry back into a financially stable condition. we have a $16 trillion debt. it is unsustainable. it's irresponsible. we need to work together. the elections are over. we need to solve these problems and i believe we will do that before the first of the year.
>> and just to go back to the senate, you don't want a dael to come out of the senate before it comes out of john boehner ?
>> we're going to have to get something that the president will sign and that the house will pass. and i think you get that, it will then ultimately have enough votes to pass in the senate.
>> all right, senator john barrasso , republican from wyoming, thank you for coming on this morning.
>> thank you, chuck.
>>> market rundown is next. democrats pick up another house seat and they're leading in five more. undecided races is coming up. first today's trivia question. which senator's name will now be first on the roll call of the h congress o n the senate side? tweet me the answer @chucktodd and @dailyrundown. [ lane ]