The Ed Show | November 21, 2012
>>> good evening, americans, and welcome to t"the ed show" from minneapolis. the republican leader in the house is showing either stupidity or arrogance or both. this is "the ed show." let's get to work.
>> without backroom deals struck behind closed doors , hidden from the people, hell, no, you can't!
>> house speaker john boehner is flipping his lid over obama care again. he has no leverage, but now he wants the affordable care act on the table in fiscal cliff negotiations. congressman elijah cummings will respond. papa john 's plays politics with pizza and the people fight back.
>> no, no, no, no.
>> we'll tell you about the pizza maker's face-saving move. and republicans never rest. ohio senator turner on the effort to block the vote in 2016 .
>>> and political comedian, baratunde thurston on how to talk to this guy at thanksgiving. i want my country back, country back, country back .
>>> good evening, folks. thanks for watching. someone needs to sit down with the republicans and explain to them how negotiations work. when you have no leverage, you don't get to make outlandish statements and demands. house speaker john boehner recently called himself the most reasonable man in washington , but in an editorial for the cincinnati enquirer today, boehner took the very unreasonable position of including obama care in debt negotiations. "the president's health care law adds a massive, expensive, unworkable government program at a time when our national debt already exceeds the size of our country's entire economy. we can't afford pinpoint and we can't afford to leave it intact. that's why i've been clear that the law has to stay on the table, as both parties discuss ways to solve our nation's massive debt challenge." mr. boehner , this is not what the election was all about. john boehner , if he is serious, will have to find out, but he certainly isn't very smart. the congressional budget office estimates, they show that the affordable care act will actually reduce the deficit. it doesn't make a lot of sense to get rid of a deficit reduction program, as part of a deficit reduction deal. the white house already rejected boehner 's idea. obama care will not be part of debt negotiations. boehner is up to something here, don't you think? something else, that is. if you watch john boehner closely over the last two weeks, you can see him laying the ground work for the latest ploy. he call eed obama care the law of the land , but also tried to link it to obama care and the budget.
>> you had said, next year, that you would repeal the health care vote. that's still your mission?
>> well, i think the election changes that. it's pretty clear that the president was re-elected. obama care is the law of the land . i think there are parts of the health care law that are going to be very difficult to implement. and very expensive. and at a time where we're trying to find a way to create a path toward a balanced budget , everything has to be on the table.
>> but you won't be spending the time next year, trying to repeal obama care?
>> there are certainly may be parts of it that we believe need to be changed. we may do that. no decisions at this point.
>> boehner backed up this quote with a tweet to the tea party fanatics in his caucus. obama care is the law of the land . but it is rising costs and threatening our goals. our goal has been and will remain full repeal. it looks like john boehner is trying to do two things here. he's keeping tea partyers on the side by taking a hard line on obama care. he's also trying to muddy the negotiations by putting obama care on the table. none of this is likely to help both sides reach a deal. here comes senator lamar alexander , who once said obama care would be the end of the democratic party .
>> i think it's a political kamikaze mission for the democrats to insist on this.
>> obama care passed and it did not kill off the democratic party . there's no reason to listen to these guys. so it's hard to understand why democratic senator michael bennet of colorado is teaming up with lamar alexander to do anything. they've introduced a plan to put off the fiscal cliff deadline. according to senator alexander, the plan simply pushes the pause button on all elements of the fiscal cliff, extends everything for a year, and then gives us six months in which to reform entitlements and reform taxes and reduce the debt. are you kidding me?! push the pause button? we already pushed the pause button in 2011 . these representatives were sent back to washington to get something done now. in fact, pushing the pause button could destroy america's credit rating and further harm the economy. mark zandi , chief economist at moody's analytics says, "if we can kick the can, at some point moody's is going to downgrade. you're going to create more instability in the financial markets ." zandi said it would be better to do nothing than to create an extension. republicans and some centrist democrats are definitely not getting the message. when the president won re-election, he said his number one priority is to reach an economic deal by reaching across both sides of the aisle.
>> i want to be clear. i'm not wedding to every detail of my plan. i'm open to compromise. i'm open to new ideas. i'm committed to solving our fiscal challenges. but i refuse to accept any approach that isn't balanced.
>> republicans and some democrats stop listening right there. if you let the president just continue, you're going to hear the key point of these negotiations.
>> i refuse to accept any approach that isn't balanced. i am not going to ask students and seniors and middle class families to pay down the entire deficit while people like me making over $250,000 aren't asked to pay a dime more in taxes. i'm not going to do that.
>> bottom line, taxes are going up on the top 2% of americans. the rest of the country is not going to bear the full burden of this deal. the president said it, nancy pelosi said it, the voters voted for it. they said it. what part of this does john boehner simply not understand? the president is willing to reach a compromise with you, mr. boehner , but not on taxes for the wealthy. the republicans already lost this fight pip hope speaker boehner takes this message to heart over this thanksgiving dinner . he grandstand by talking about obama care, or he can get down to the brass his party fanatic that they are going to have to budge on tax hikes. think about it over your turkey and stuffing, speaker boehner . and by the way, you can put some gravy on that, and you know the rest of the sentence. let's bring in congressman elijah cummings of maryland. he's with us tonight here on "the ed show." congressman, glad to have you with us.
>> good to be with you, ed.
>> we have gotten so many mixed messages about john boehner and what he's doing. where do you think he's coming from? all of a sudden he wants obama care on the table.
>> i think that he's trying to muddy the waters with regard to these fiscal negotiations. clearly, the tea party lost in this election. no doubt about it. the people have spoken, and with regard to the affordable care act , ed, the supreme court , and a conservative court, at that, has already put their stamp of approval on it. we need to move on. and boehner just does not want to, apparently, accept that. and i think he is trying to send a message to the tea party that, you know, he's going to -- he's got something here that he wants to continue to fight over. but we need to let this go. keep in mind, ed, we voted on this repealing of the act some 30-some times already. and the american people clearly want it in tact. and you know what, we got to go back to why the affordable care act was put in place. i mean, it is a system -- our present system is not working. and now the american people , my constituents, simply want us to get stuff done. and you cannot get it done, ed, by constantly going back and trying to do away with laws that have already been enacted.
>> are the republicans just testing the resolve of the democrats ?
>> i think so. i think so. i think so. and we've got to stand up. and i'm hoping that the president, as he moves around, will go to the various districts and remind people and inform them of how important these negotiations are and how important it is that we have a fair and a very balanced kind of approach here. and that there must be revenues. that tax rates must go up. and i think we have to be very careful with regard to entitlements. because, ed, you know, a lot of people don't realize it, but, we're in a situation where a lot of people don't have jobs. a lot of younger people are not getting jobs for a while. and so what is going to happen with regards to something like, for example, social security , is that that's going to affect them at the point that they do retire. in other words, the benefits will be less. so with regard to medicare, there are easy ways to address that. and we need to deal with those two matters. and i know we will. but, again, putting this on the table, no. can't do it.
>> well, this is going to call out the democrats , no question about it.
>> no doubt about it.
>> and it's going to test the resolve --
>> and we've got to stand up --
>> and it's going to test the resolve of the democrats .
>> and we've got to stand up and be democrats . the people have said to us, please, stop the bickering, go out there and stand up for the middle class . that's what all the polling shows. that's what the election showed. and i'm hoping that mr. boehner , speaker boehner will join us and say to the tea partyers, look, you know, we've got to move on. the country cannot be stagnant, standing in one place. can't do it.
>> well, congressman, what about moving on with the likelihood of a kick the can down the road type of deal, where there would be some kind of temporary extension. do you think democrats would fall prey to that?
>> i hope not. i want us to get a deal done. but i can tell you that a bad deal is -- i'd rather have no deal than a bad deal. and so, i don't know exactly how -- i mean, if the republicans keep playing these games, we may very well go into 2013 . but i'm hoping that we'll be able to resolve it. because zandi is absolutely right. the more we show that we can't get things done in washington , that means borrowing becomes even more expensive, ed. and that means that our fiscal problems get even worse . and you said it a moment ago, going back to the affordable care act . the affordable care act reduces the deficit. so the question is, what games are being played? and, basically, what i'm saying to the speaker is, please don't play games. exercise the leadership that i know you're capable of. and stand up and let folks know that we've got to move forward.
>> okay. congressman elijah cummings , great to have you with us tonight.
>> good to be with you, ed.
>> appreciate your time here on "the ed show." we have an update on our report on debt negotiations from last night. we told you about a bloomberg news report on seven democratic senators from solidly red states who were up for re-election in 2014 . the report identified these senators as possible defectors from the party's position on taxes. "the ed show" was contacted by senator jay rockefeller of west virginia today and his office issued this statement. they are saying, "as deficit reduction talks continue, i'm squarely focused on making sure the middle class and the most vulnerable aren't left to shoulder the burden, and that the very wealthy pay their fair share ."
>>> coming up, papa john 's ceo changes his tune on obama care after a public backlash. stay with us. you're watching the ed show on msnbc.