Up | November 17, 2012
>>> joy, the president had a meeting yesterday with congressional leadership. what smoke signals do you think are coming from the white house about all of this?
>> it's interesting, because functionally barack obama has been probably the most progressive president we've had in my lifetime certainly. but i do think that he, to a certain extent, believes in this idea of deficit reduction.
>> and i believe that confounds a lot of people on the left. because he does seem to genuinely believe he needs to tackle deficits, partly because of the bill clinton example, that that's a legacy thing. i think he generally believes it. i think the concern for people on the left has to be that he's coming from a place of he does want to go at the deficit now. he would do a grand bargain. i think part of the grand bargain last time was a bit of saying if i give you this, everything you should want and you still say no, because i know you'll say no --
>> then it shows you're --
>> shows that you're unreasonable. so i think we need to take that with a grain of salt. but he does subscribe --
>> this point is important. i'm not huge for psychoanalyzing about public figures, but all the reporting, people that have been in meeting with the press, this is not some fabricated thing, it's not out of convenience or political pressure, he believes that we need to get our fiscal house in order, we need to reduce the projections, stabilize debt to gdp, that's a genuine priority of the president of the united states .
>> here's what i would love for him to add to the conversation. let's do it with a trigger of our own which is let's say put all this -- bake this all in the cake and say it doesn't come into play until we get down to 6% unemployment. then you're actually teasing out what we know by the fiscal cliff which is if you go to austerity, it will cost jobs.
>> because boehner is now floating -- his thing yesterday was we have an architecture for a deal here, we come up with some other time device in the future. i keep thinking it gets worse and worse. six months if we don't have a deal, we'll have to stab ourselves in the eye and then run around for a month naked in january. keep doing the thing --
>> but don't do the thing. the thing is austerity.
>> but everybody believes that ultimately we have to get our fiscal house in order and deal with the deficit. the divide is how do you deal with it? you don't do it with austerity, by cutting spending, driving your economy worse into a recession or depression, throwing more people out of work and having a bigger deficit which is what's happening in europe. you do it by spending the money to invest in people, in infrastructure, by putting people to work, and by reducing the deficit, by having more tax revenues as a result.
>> i think the sequencing point here is key, what you said when you opened the show this struck me. we talk a lot, we want to put people back to work. we have a big gap between people who want to go to work and work that needs to be done, and people want to put money in the bank and pay for the costs. but this gap between people wanting to contribute and not being able to contribute in this country, that's a moral crisis. that's got to be dealt with first.
>> that's a deficit. it's a miss match .
>> there's a trillion dollar demand deficit and also a generational deficit. we're talking about young people , if they're lucky enough to graduate from college have graduated into a economy that says we don't want your labor.
>> but we do want your debt paid.
>> exactly. we want your checks to the bank, but we don't want your labor, we don't want your ideas or contribution. and there is another way to go. we crunched some numbers and put out a proposal that jan took up which is that we could do the most economically efficient thing by getting people back to work by putting people back to work. we could have a million public service jobs, people from all over the country, young people flying to arizona, to nevada, working side by side to build this country back up. not just hard infrastructure, but working in day care centers, child care centers. this could be a generation-defining thing that would be more economically efficient than putting people back to work.
>> just to take all the toy out of the idea of us think being a progressive future. the reality is the last time that we did an attack on the economic problem , the economic crisis , governors were given money, right, in the stimulus. but what did most of them do? they reduced their public sector work force . most of the job decline has been because governors, states directly --
>> so did the federal government .
>> but wait, wait. that was after the stimulus money wore out. the stimulus money that was given to states and local governments , about $240 billion kept local -- public servants at work, kept governments from laying off people, kept governments fixing the potholes. and that wore out, we didn't replace it.
>> but at the federal level , we had also reductions in the federal work force . we're going after the post office at the federal level because guys in congress want to get rid of the post office and privatize it.
>> we've been basically throwing the car in reverse.
>> george, heather, thanks for joining us. when you're arrested outside congressman nadler's office, we'll have you back. woel s we'll see you tomorrow, right?
>>> occupy wall street going after debt destroying lives as we speak. that's up next. if