The Ed Show | December 07, 2012
>>> good evening, americans , welcome to "the ed show" from new york. john boehner 's back is against the wall and president obama is holding all the cards. this is "the ed show." let's get to work.
>>> the clock is ticking. christmas is coming. the goose is getting fat. why are you not bringing this to the floor?
>> an urgent message from nancy pelosi . but it's casual friday for speaker boehner .
>> this isn't a progress report bauds there's no progress to report.
>> today's news, speaker boehner and president obama will be the only two at the table to make a deal. i'll ask emanuel cleaver if boehner can get it done.
>>> 33 months of private sector job growth . now is the time to start spending on jobs. david cay johnston is here.
>>> the filibuster is more than an embarrassing blunder. bernie sanders explains why.
>>> the right to work in michigan has ignited a fire storm with workers. we'll have the latest on rick snider's race to the bottom .
>>> and breaking news from the supreme court . there will be a decision on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage. law professor jonathan terly has all the details.
>> thanks for watching. john boehner isn't having a lot of fun this holiday season . president obama continues his pressure campaign to pass the tax cuts . the president is also taking time to be fesive. john boehner doesn't sound so merry.
>> no progress report because there's no progress to report. when it comes to the fis e call cliff that's threatening our economy and threatening jobs, the white house has wasted another week.
>> the phone call was pleasant, but was just more of the same. the conversations that the staff had yesterday, just more of the same. it's time for the president if he's serious to come back to us with a counteroffer.
>> even though the president apparently designed the negotiating sessions at boehner 's request. according to "the new york times," boehner insisted the talks include only himself and the president of the united states . boehner wanted senate democrats and nancy pelosi out of the discussions. democratic senator dick durbin told the times this is now the speaker and the president working this through. democratic leaders say they are satisfied with the briefings that they continue to receive. nancy pelosi seems perfectly happy putting pressure on the republicans .
>> why are we not here to pass the middle income tax cut ? why are we not here to even debate the middle income tax cut ? could it be because the republicans have holding the middle income tax cuts as they have all along hostage to tax cuts for the wealthy.
>> the effort continued today. joe biden had lunch with middle class americans who will see their taxes go up if republicans refuse to extend 19% of the tax cuts before the end of the year.
>> folks, this is not hard. this ain't rocket science . it would take 15 minutes from the time the decision is made by the speaker of the house to pass and make permanent the middle class tax cut . the president would probably have me spin up to the hill to bring the bill down for him to sign. it can be done like that. it is not complicated.
>> vice president joe biden did not waiver on the white house 's position. it's all about the top tax rates .
>> every serious economist i have spoken to, left, right, and center, knows you have to do something about revenue and rates. you can't get there from here without affecting people at this table. or fooling around with the mortgage deductions. you can't get there without the rates being affected.
>> the white house is not backing down on rates. the president sent his legislative affairs director to meet with the republicans on the hill. he told him the white house is not moving on rates. a source close to the negotiations said once republicans move on rates they can get a deal very quickly. that sounds like the president is ready to move. the only person who has shown any movement on taxes is john boehner . the speaker angered conservative when is he said that the republican offer of new revenue would come from the wealthiest americans . conservatives don't even want boehner to say the word "revenue." justin am ish that was booted.
>> conservative pressure on boehner was mounting. the red state is drumming up a campaign to depose boehner . they even created a sample letter for people to send to their congressional members. it urges lawmakers to get rid of the speaker. there are no good outcomes for this man named john boehner in these negotiations at this hour. if he holds out against a deal, he will be blamed for tax going up on all americans . if he strikes a deal with the president on tax rates , he could lose his job. the last time john boehner had a one-on-one negotiation with president obama the rank and file republicans rejected boehner 's deal. it's hard to see how boehner will get a different outcome this time around. eric cantor looking right over his shoulder. you could make the argument that cantor is the big player who is not in the room. because if boehner does a deal with the president and goes back and tries to get the republicans to vote for it in the house and cantor says no, where are we? the president, calm, cool and collected and remembering what this election is all about. get your cell phones out. tonight's question. will republicans punish e speaker boehner for trying to work with the president? text a for yes, b to no to 622639. we'll bring the results later on in the show. joining me tonight is congressman emanuel cleaver from missouri. great to have you with us.
>> good to be with you.
>> i'd like to talk about the congressional black caucus if i could. they have been very, very strong about do not touch the entitlements, we're not going to move on this. so you have the president not moving on rates. you have your caucus moving on entitlements. although you said the democratic leadership -- you said you could support means testing for medicare . what does that mean and how far are you willing to go.
>> first of all, social security is off the table. there are not only 42 members in the congressional black caucus who would not vote for a deal that included social security , but the majority of our democratic caucus . social security has not distributed to the deficit. it's just irresponsible to even put social security in a discussion as we are trying to get a deal. medicare can, i think, be massaged in terms of means testing . with the upper income individuals paying more or sometimes all of their medical expenses, it makes no sense for the government to pay medicare costs for someone earning $700,000 a year. so i think we can do some means testing . but by no means am i saying it should be low enough so our elderly and poorist americans are going to pay for the deficit. but we want a deal. and keep in mind, i think this is very important. if the bush tax cuts are expired, as they will be, just as sure as today is friday, they are gone, that generates $950 billion toward the deficit over a ten-year period. we'd set aside $1.2 trillion. we're almost there. and if you do means testing on medicare , we make it.
>> well, the republicans would never go along with that kind of means testing because that would hit the wealthier americans . that's who they are going to protect. how would that work out?
>> what i would hope is if republicans fight a deal like that because they want to protect the wealthiest, i think the american public is going to see through that and they are going to become vocal. the mail we're getting from all over the country suggests that the american public says that the upper end tax rates must go up and that's going to happen. it's going to happen. everybody needs to just get ready for it.
>> boehner says he won't go down that road. we're still at the stalemate. i feel like i'm doing monday night's newscast on a friday night. there's been no movement.
>> there hasn't been a lot of movement. and in some ways i feel sorry for the speaker. he's in a really bad situation.
>> is he really? is he really looking over his shoulder? is he in a no-win situation?
>> it's very, very difficult, i think. and if he strikes a deal with the president, i think he's going to need democratic support to get legislation through. i don't think that they are going to have enough republicans to pull him through. and so they are going to need us. we are not going to go there if they are including entitlements.
>> are you okay with leadership being shut out of these talks and it's just down to a one-on-one with boehner and the president?
>> i'm okay with it. the president has been clear. we're all proud of the fact that he's standing tough. i am a little concerned, though, just because i think we're going to be needed for the vote. and it's easier to get us if nancy pelosi has been involved and she knows, i think, even more intimately than the president how we feel, particularly about the so-called entitlements.
>> that's what's interesting here. there's a lot of controversy in washington about how the white house , the president himself, is somewhat disconnected from people on the hill. and it would seem to me that nancy pelosi knows her caucus as good as anybody in american history . she's very strong and very on point about where her caucus is and can bring her caucus with her when the time comes.
>> i can assure you she does.
>> let's get back to rates for a moment. vice president biden suggested there's wiggle room over rates. here it is.
>> americtheoretically we can negotiate how far up, but we think the top rate should go to 39.6%.
>> but that's not inconcrete. what rate would be acceptable to you and house democrats?
>> that sounds pretty good to e me. however, i think if we fall to the clinton era tax rates , i'm okay with that. i think that e we ought to have some wiggle room on the tax rates because i think the country wants us to compromise. so there's compromise space there, but make no mistake, we're not going to compromise away the upper end tax rates . that's on the table. it will stay on the table. that's what the american people are asking for.
>> congressman, great to have you with us tonight on "the ed show." appreciate your time. remember to answer tonight's question. share your thoughts on twitter and on facebook. we always encourage you and want to know what you think.
>>> coming up, mitch mcconnell filibusters his own bill in the senate. bernie sanders joins us to talk about what that means for the future.
>>> and fiscal cliff talks. stay with us. you're watching "the ed show" on msnbc. 0-345-2550