The Ed Show | January 28, 2013
>>> and welcome back to "the ed show." in center left america tonight, former vice presidential candidate paul ryan is back on the job in congress, trying to repackage the same old republican ideas. here is budget chairman ryan talking about the huge cuts coming down the pike.
>> i think the sequester is going to happen because that $1.2 trillion in spending cuts, we can't lose those spending cuts. that was to pay for the last debt ceiling increase, let aloney future increases. we're not interested in shutting government down. what happens on march 1, spending goes down automatically. march 27th is when the moment you're talking about, the continuing resolution expires. we are more than happy to keep spending at those levels going on into the future while we debate how to balance the budget, how to grow the economy, how to create economic opportunity.
>> all right. now let's put this in context and think about what congressman ryan from wisconsin is really saying. republicans backed off their debt limit threat because they knew it was a political loser. and now they seem to be backing off their threat to shut down the government. sequester? well, that's another matter. if congress does nothing, the cuts take effect. republicans don't want defense cuts, but they might be willing to stomach those cuts because domestic programs would also get slashed, including medicare. and that's what republicans really want. let's turn to barney frank , former massachusetts congressman, with us tonight here on "the ed show." congressman, good to have you with us.
>> thank you, ed.
>> you bet. republicans are trying to change their image here. is it going to work? your thoughts on what you just heard.
>> no, because they're not going to be allowed simply to do the thing paul ryan did. he talked about entitlement. people should understand when he talks about cutting entitlements, entitlements is republican for social security and medicare. the two most successful anti-poverty programs in american history , two great accomplishments which substantially reduce poverty among older people and created the possibility for most americans of a comfortable, not a wealthy, not an affluent, but a reasonably comfortable retirement. the other flaw is when ryan says, well, these cuts are to pay for the debt limit. he acts as if he is doing me a favor, or president obama a favor by raising the debt limit. i voted against the war in iraq . so did president obama . if we had not gone to war in iraq , if we had not followed that foolish mistaken and unfortunately damaging policy, we'd have a trillion dollars less. we would be that much under the debt limit. plus, the debt ceiling simply says we're not going to pay our bills. it just is illogical to say that's to pay for that. that's like going out and incurring costs which all of us did, republicans and democrats together, and then saying oh, and by the way, i'm not going to pay my bill unless you do me this enormous favor. but the other point i would make is this. we talks about we need tax reform . the biggest single abuse in the tax code today, and it's a tough contest, is the one that says the richest people in america who run hedge funds can treat their earned income as if it were a capital gain . they call it carried interest .
>> it means the rest of us are carrying them. and we voted to reduce that. and paul ryan boxed it. he is against that. and if you remember from that interview, he did not give a single specific about a tax break he wants to end, and he talked about cutting entitlements.
>> he is up front saying no more revenue. i mean, that's their position on that. now, they've backed off the debt limit. now they're backing off a government shutdown . can problem get them to back off sequester as well? or do you believe what he says they really want that? i think he could. here is the i think important point. the business community in america , particularly the financial community, to my great disappointment, they were many of them supportive of president obama in 2008 . he was rationale and helped get the country out of the terrible crisis they engendered. we had a bipartisan cooperation with the bush administration to do that, weight- 2009 . then because we passed a consumer reform bill , they overwhelmingly supported the republicans. i've said to some of them you are supporting people who are following policies you know are illogical. so what happened, and i think this happened on the debt limit, i think the financial backers said to them, guys, you're going too far . and they're under great pressure from the people who have overwhelmingly financed them.
>> to be a little bit more logical. so i do think, yes, there is a chance to avoid the sequester. by the way, i believe that the level of cuts we're talking about in the military are sustainable. they need to be phased in, and they need to be sensible. you don't cut across the board you. cut american military bases in western europe which we no longer need. you cut a nuclear stockpile since i don't think we're going to fight an all-out war with the soviet union .
>> do you think the democrats are going to try try to go deeply in defense cuts? quickly on that one. i have one more question.
>> i think the logic is overwhelming we will do that because you can find ways to cut that don't hurt our economy and save us money that we need to use elsewhere.
>> and congressman frank, deval patrick expected today, a temporary successor to john kerry 's, his senate seat. where are you on that? it's no question that he is going to get confirmed. and have you had any further contact or conversation --
>> no, i want to respect the governor's prerogative on this. i had not previously been interested to it. i was frankly ready to make some money here doing things, making speeches and writing a book. and then i saw the important decision coming up. so i expressed my interest in doing it. i was a little surprised some people told me it was considered inappropriate to ask this. i wasn't asking to be invited to dinner. but it's the governor's decision. he has tough decisions to make. i have a great deal of confidence in him. and i have said to people this is not a matter in which he should be pressured. i made myself clear. i think in defense of the governor and in support of him, he should not have been doing anything as he hasn't until the senate confirms john kerry . john is entitled to the full sore of those who admire him. and the governor appropriate lip has not done anything or sent any signal that would have had the senator say oh, you're taking us for granted.
>> barney frank , great to have you with us on "the ed show" tonight. thanks for being with us there. is a lot more up in next half hour.
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>> s an interesting idea.
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