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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  April 13, 2011 1:00pm-3:00pm EDT

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she's talked with what she calls more moderate voices of the talib taliban. she's very concerned about extremists regang control, but she sees a window for some taliban members in a future government. >> translator: some of the moderate ones, they have joined us and they are good. they realize that violence is not a solution to the problem, but, of course, it's very important that we have to be concerned about the talibans, the radicals, that there are extreme and dangerous talibans. >> if you're choice did not win i'll have links to them on my facebook page. cnn news room continues right now. with randi kaye who's in for alleil president obama is about to roll
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out his long-term deficit reduction plan or as republicans call his budget do-over. we begin in new york where we now know the skull and bones found in two separate locations on monday are human. how they got there, who put them there, who they belong to, all subjects of investigation. nine to ten sets of human remains have been found among remote sections of the highway in long island. the first four items found and identified were all young prostitutes who advertised their services online and so began the search for a suspected serial killer. cnn's allan chernoff is standing by at the site of a news conference. allan, while we wait for the conference to start, tell us about this on-again-off-again search effort. >> reporter: let me tell you the search all began with this woman
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when s went missing last may 1st. shannon had been visiting a client and that's where the search has been occurring. you mentioned all those other bodies that have been found. she has not been found. none of the body parts have been linked to her through dna. so here we are, a news conference. the search has been going on. but what happened in the months prior to all of this because the first body parts were found back in december. she went missing in may. well, i just went to the person she was fleeing to. she knocked on the door. bang, bang, bang. came in. and mr. gus colletti answered that door. he let her in. he called 911. as soon as she saw he was calling the police, she fled. mr. colletti told me just a few minutes ago that it was not
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until four months later that a detective actually came to question him about ms. shannon gilbert's disappearance. let's have a listen. >> well, they came in here, but as far as investigating it, no. >> reporter: that's a very short segment of that interview, but what he said was that the suffolk county detective came over to him in august, four months after this woman went missing, and he called the police that very morning. the police came, they looked around. they left, but nothing happened, he said, until then. he said the suffolk county police told him the new jersey police had dropped the ball. shannon gilbert was resident of jersey city. the jersey city police tell me we're not having any comment
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about an ongoing investigation. randy, we'll be asking about this very issue at the upcoming news conference. >> allan chernoff, thank you. as we wait for the news conference to get started. be sure to watch "cnn saturday morning" for the full story. that's saturday at 7:00 a.m. eastern. now to washington for the budget showdown, which was just a prelude for a showdown beginning about 30 minutes from now. that's when president obama will introduce his free work for shared fiscal spomt. let me translate that title for you. it's the president's response to republica republicans and a bipartisan group. all of them have taken on the mon men at the task of managing america's debt. the key words are balance, spending cuts, and tax hikes. saving and investment. and while we wait for the details, let's bring in our senior white house correspondent ed henry. there's a political balance
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being struck here as well, is there not? >> reporter: that right. we have new information coming in from a senior official telling us that for the first time the president is going to put a number on all this and he's going to announce in a speech from the george washington university that his plan will have $4 trillion in deficit reduction in 12 years or less, depend how quickly the economy comes back. they think may may be able to reach $4 trillion in deficit reduction sooner than 12 years. the key is going to be in the details, what's in it. that gets into the political balance, what you're asking about. the president has liberals in his party on capitol hill. quite frustrated that he's put any spending cuts on the table recently. in his negotiations with speaker boehner in the near shutdown late last friday. add then you have republicans like speaker boehner saying if the president puts tax hikes on the table, that's a nonstarter. the republicans are not going to
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go there. there is a challenge for the president to walk that balance but also an opportunity for him. he's faced a lot of criticism in recent days, and he's been late to this party. he's not put a real deficit reduction plan on the table like republican paul ryan for example. the president has a unique opportunity with this meg phone to use this speech to say you know what? some of my colleagues on the left, they don't want spending cuts and some of these on the right don't want that. neither side wants to say that right now. this president with the bully pulpit has the opportunity. we'll see if he rises to the occasion and has the political guts to say, you know what? we're going to have to do this and take some tough medicine whether either side wants to do it or not. this is going to be very, very closely watched. >> meanwhile, ed, house republicans are calling this a budget do-over. he said the president is now talking about a deficit reduction of $4 trillion.
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why didn't the president call for this debt reduction in his 2012 budget plan? >> reporter: it's a great question. the white house position is if the president had put some sort of real deficit reduction plan on the table say late january for a state -of-the-union address, you would have had republicans almost immediately saying this is dead on arrival and hardin their position. the democrats would hardin their position as well. some of the liberal democrats saying no more to these spending cuts and, frankly, the thing would have gone nowhere. they were hoping by waiting a bit now you've got the plan from paul ryan on the table with deep cuts, the budget plan that was cut late friday now. and now, frankly, you have a bit of a consensus emerge in the country that it's time for both parties to stop talking about the problem and actually do something about it. so i think the debate has shifted a bit, and they're thinking inside the white house. that's why you saw it on day
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time talk shows david plouffe talk about it, to weigh in here and keep this going. now the reverse of that is also the potential that all of this fall falls apart and becomes just another 2012 campaign issue. let's not forget tomorrow the president is heading to chicago to start doing fund-raising for 2012. there's a lot of politics just beneath the surface as well. >> ed henry, i know you'll be with us as we watch the president's speefrp in a short time. before we move on, a heads-up. we'll join the live coverage of the president's address at george washington university. that is at 1:35 p.m. eastern only on cnn. and during the president's speech, we want to know what you think about it. so go to and click on president obama. join the live chat and share your thoughts and we will share your comments later on in the show. now, a tragic story out of
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newburgh, new york. a mom and three of her kids drowned after police say she deliberately drove her minivan with her family inside into the hudson river last night. firefighters say her 10-year-old son barely escaped. they say the little boy managed to roll down the widndow at the last minute and swim to shore. someone saw him soaking wet and drove him to a nearby firehouse. >> if that boy had not escaped from the car and reported the incident this could still be a missing persons. >> the responders found the van in up to 10 feet of murky water 25 yards offshore. they found the bodies of the women, her 5-year-old and 2-year-old sons and 11-month-old baby girl inside. before it happened a relative called in a dispute. police say the family has a history of domestic problems.
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hosni mubarak and two of his sons are being held fehr questioning. the justice ministry says they were detained more than two weeks ago while egyptian authorities investigated muba k mubaraks for the killing of protesters. the ex-president was taken to a hospital yesterday. state tv reported he suffered a heart attack but the health minister later told the media that mubarak's condition was stable enough to allow prosecutors to resume questioning him at the hospital. on capitol hill the house is holding a hearing right now on scathing reports that the army's sloppy management of arlington's cemetery resulted in grave mix-ups. workers often came across unidentified remains in graves across the cemetery and just guessed their identities. congress is examining evidence that the army, which runs arlington, mismanaged burial
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records and mislabeled graves while the superintendent and his deputy did little to correct the problem. as we get ready to listen the president obama's speech on cutting the national debt, you may wonder about entitlement programs. we're breaking down the big three next. love those jeans. $175. ch-ching! excuse me? ever consider showing your customers what other stores charge for jeans? when it comes to car insurance, progressive direct does.
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>> female announcer: where everything is included, sometimes the greatest luxury of all is doing nothing at all. save up to 65%. call 1-800-sandals. in a few minutes we'll hear president obama's plan the for reducing the nation's debt and trimming the federal budget.
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the president will also talk about strengthening medicare, medicaid, along with social security. these three entitlements make up a big part of the budget but cutting them koult have to do with a big part of it. >> if you look over the next 11, 12 years, $40 trillion. it makes up a big part of the budget. they say 40% of the budget comes from entitlements like social security, medicare, medicaid. look at this. 24%. that comes straight from medicare. 12.8% from medicare, 7.28% from medicaid, 20.4% from social security. pardon me. that's a big, big chunk of the budget. these are places where changes can be made. but people in washington are reluctant to it, hesitant to do it because people paid into these and they want them, right? so these so-called entitlements. if you look at this, this is
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what happened in 2010. we're in 2011. you've got three workers to support every retiree. but by the time the baby boomers retire, you'll only have two to support one retiree and that's because all of them have left the work force. that's why it's running out of money. 1975, 24 million people were enrolled in medicare. last year, 47 million. it almost doubled. by 2040, look at that. 88 million. 2,800, that's what the government was paying. here in 2010, $12,000. it jumps here to $44,000 that the government is paying in per person if you're looking at that at $88 million. you do the math. that's a lot of money. >> so more and more people need the program and there isn't enough people contributing.
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>> not enough people contributing. it's something they can't cut that much from it because they need the money, but they're going to have to rejigger and change somehow and let's see if the president is going too talk about it. of course, the republicans will have their say. they'll say, hey, that paul ryan budget, that was all in there. and it will be back and forth. >> is that your prediction? oh, that there's going to be consternation in washington? >> i never would have expected that. >> who would have thought. ly predict that. >> thank you, don. thank you for this explainer as well. >> thank you, randi. >> we're a few minutes away from hearing the president's speech. wolf blitzer will be joining me. keep it right here. up next, is your bank pulling a fast one on you? a new study finds banks may be hiding fees from you. we'll tell you what the fees are and how to avoid them in your money.
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i want to take you right to the press conference in long island, new york, were police are investigating a possible serial killer. let's listen. >> it includes the use of
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sophisticated technology as well as good old-fashioned detective work. as many of you are all rigready aware, of police and dive team are searching the water west of the cedar beach marina today. five divers are searching and possibly later in the week, weather permitting, other dive teams will go into the water. they're looking for evidence, any evidence connected to any of the found remains. in support of the ocean parkway investigation, the suffolk county police department has requested the support of the fbi. this support will inclues the use of various aerial imaging technologies. use of this technology will involve flights over the beach area using both fixed wing and rotor wing aircraft, which will potentially involve short-term closures of ocean parkway. if the roadway will be closed, we'll put out a traffic
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advisory. weather permitting, this operation will commence later this week. the high resolution technology should be able to provide a detailied representation of the area and will extend through nassau county. we're hoping the technology will help identify skeletal remains that may still be out there. the fbi has been providing support to our department since the discovery of the four sets of human remains in december of 2010. on february 7th, the fbi provided an investigative team from the behavioral analysis unit located in quantico, virginia. this team spent two days with our homicide task force and included visits to the beach and gilgo beach areas. the case was reviewed and discussed. investigator strategies, recommendations, and opinions were shared.
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consultation with this fbi unit continues on a regular basis. fbi officials in varying capacities have continued to offer any and all assistance. we recognize and deeply appreciate the fbi's support and want to publicly acknowledge their assistance. the remaining found on march 29th and april 4th of this year have been sent to the new york city office of chief medical examiner, and our forensic team is working diligently, analyzing the remains. after we received reports from the medical examiner's office pertaining to identification of the victims, that information will be made available. at this time we will not speculate on age, gender, or condition of the victims or any of the evidence that may have been collected. we are being patient, awaiting the results, and ask that you do the same. the identities of the most
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recently discovered remains are very important in furthering our investigation. we've been working closely with nassau county and new york state police. on monday suffolk county police officer john maella and his canine blue accompanied an officer who found the remains in nassau county. it's our understanding that nassau county police will be continuing its search tomorrow and have requested our assistance. we will be sending our canine units and other personnel to assist. our homicide task force will be meeting with nassau police and state police this afternoon to discuss this investigation further. i would also like to -- you the media to get this information out to the public. no matter how minor they may believe an item is or a tip is, please call crime stoppers at
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1-800-220-tips. that's 1-800-220-8477. so far we have received more than 600 tips on this case. all tips are reviewed by the homicide task force. now i entertain a few questions. and, again, i caution everybody that i can't talk about the evidence, about the remains that we just found, or the investigative issues. >> sir, can you talk who you are interviewing in terms of zeroing in on a suspect? >> we're interviewing a lot of people, and i'm not going to get into names for a lot of reasons. the homicide task force has been engaged that process from the beginning. >> do you believe -- >> you've been listening to a prs conference there where reporters are trying to get some
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information on the last of a serial killing. dive teams, we're learning, have been searching the near by marina. more than 600 tips hrk e said, have been received. the fbi is involved. we koonlt to watch this story. meanwhile earlier this morning president obama talked budget with congressional leaders at the white house. ed henry has worked his sources and will tell us exactly what went on behind those closed doors. hi, ed. h just got more powerful. introducing precise from the makers of tylenol. precise pain relieving heat patch activates sensory receptors. it helps block pain signals for deep penetrating relief you can feel precisely where you need it most. precise. only from the makers of tylenol.
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the problem is simple. the politics, not so much. >> you know, this is vintage obama. >> the problem with the republican proposal is that it's not balanced. >> now comes president obama's approach to fixing america's finances, while our debt grows faster than we can count. [ auctioneer calling ] >> i have sold at $14 trillion. >> if you thought you heard it all on deficit spending and runaway government debt, well, you haven't. we're moments away on president obama's address on debt and government spending at george washington university. there's a live picture there. it will not be an easy sell. joining us for insights are the best political team on television. wolf blitzer and senior
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political analyst gloria borger, dana bash, senior white house correspondent ed henry and from new york anchor of "your bottom line," christine romans. we've got a framework. he's talking of cutting $12 trillion over -- cutting $4 trillion in the next 12 years. what will he go into? >> he'll go into the specifics. his aides are getting ready. they're going to be spelling it out in much greater detail in the coming hours. there will be a lot of specifics and a lot of contrast between what the republicans unveiled last week when republican congressman paul ryan, the dharman of the house budget committee released a debt proposal that would cut trillions. that will be a contrast right
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there. the other huge contrast will be that the republicans don't want to cut taxes -- don't want to increase taxes, excuse me. they don't want to increase taxes on the rich. the president will restate his longstanding position that those families making more than $250,000 a year should continue to go back to the tax rates during the clinton administration before the bush administration, in other words, have a tax hike, a tax increase. as far as the republicans are concerned, at least most republicans, tea party supporters and others, that's a nonstarter as far as they are concerned. let ee's bring in our white hou correspondent ed henry. i know we're getting more specifics. you'll hear from the president in a few moments but go ahead and tell us what we know. >> reporter: what you know is what we're saying about the big picture number. the president for the first time is going to attach a number -- there's a lot of construction here at the white house. i apologize for that.
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$4 trillion over the next 12 years. why is that number vague? because if the economy picks up and revenue starts coming in faster than expected they may not need 12 years. the bottom line is going to be the details. this president has pressure from the left, liberals saying, look, stop the spending cuts that he's already giving to speaker boehner, why are you piling on more? you have republicans saying tangs increases will be a nonstarter. this is a rare opportunity for the president who's largely been on the sidelines in term of a big picture deficit reduction plan to say, you know what, folks, the left may not like it, the right may not like it but there needs to be bold spending cuts. we'll see whether north he steps up to that challenge. >> quickly, what was that noise? are they building an addition to the west wing? what's going on there? >> reporter: they keep telling us it's a minor project. there's a conspiracy theory that
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maybe there's a bunker being built. it's a two-year project. >> stand by. we're going to be -- all of us will be listening to the president of the united states delivering this speech other at george washington university which is only a few blocks away from the white house. the president did not travel very far to deliver this speech up. on chilapitol hill, the reactio. dana bash standing by. the president outlining it earlier in the day. >> that's right. he outlined the vision to them. actually the republicans came out. they didn't wait for the president to speak before they came out and hat a press con o fren -- conference, underscoring it. any kind of debt reduction, tax increase is a nonstarter for
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republicans. that was certainly something they wanted to make clear. another point i think the president is not going to touch on -- i'm not sure but i don't think he's going to touch on in his speech was the next big fight at the capitol hill, and that is raising the debt ceiling, wolf. we're told by sources in the room republicans made it abundantly clear to the president that they would not allow the debt ceiling to be raised without something going with it to deal with what they call out-of-control spending. john boehner with the reporters, somebody asked him whether the president was okay with it. said, yes, the president sort of got it. we'll see if that's really the case. one other point as we hear this back and forth, particularly on tax cuts. with very to remember what was going on behind closed doors for months and months are meetings with six senators, three democrats, three republicans, trying to work on a debt
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reduction plan that the president is talking about. we don't know the details but they talked to several members. they are getting close and seeing something they could produce in a nonbipartisan way that they could see in the next month. >> so there would be a republican plan that paul ryan put out. this bipartisan group of six as they kaup it. there was the erskine bowles and a few other plans as well. there's going to be a smorg as borg as they say. let's bring in gloria. the president had a chance to unveil his concept in a state-of-the-union address in j january. he didn't do it then. he e had an opportunity when he released the proposed 2012 bu budget. now he's doing it. the accusation is he never
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initiates. he responds. he never punches. he counterpunches. how does the white house react to that criticism? >> the white house will say they have a budget on the table and it's that working document. i think as you say the president has been kind of dragged into this a little bit, and he realizes that he has to put some kind of mark on the table because he's got to lead. he's the president of the united states. and when you have the house republicans out there putting out a document and a bipartisan group of senators about ready to put out a document, the president can't be awol in these discussions. some criticized him. i criticized him on health care for hanging back too much. we never knew where the president was on the important components of health care. i think that point the white house sees an opportunity because there's a lot of controversial parts of the house
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republican document which calls for a total redo of the way the medicare system works. and perhaps an opportunity for the president once again to seem like the grown-up here. they kind of liked that during the shutdown argument. who seemed like the grown-up who can work with all groups and come out with a compromise, which is what the voters want in the end. want to get something done. there are lots of plans out there, but no progress. >> christine romans is watching it. dana bash pointed out something. yes, they've got to raise the debt ceiling otherwise u.s. creditworthiness could be questioned around the world, they could have enormous ramifications and he is willing to go along with some concessions, make a gesture, maybe more than a gesture, some substance in there to help the republicans, at least some of the republicans go ahead an vote to increase the debt ceiling. for those of our viewers,
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christine, who aren't familiar with what's at stake, if the congress refused to raise the debt ceiling from $14 trillion which it's approaching or already $14 trillion, what would happen? >> everything's at stake, quite frankly, wolf, because the u.s. credit rating is the gold standard of the world. the us pays its bills, the u.s. can issue debt. the u.s. is where people want to in vest because of that and if the u.s. bumps up against the debt ceiling and surpasses it, it could do a bit, it's incredibly important here. experts say you have interest rates that could spike, it could be harmful to the stock market. it could send a dangerous signal to the rest of the world that u the u.s. can't get its act together and you have people who think the u.s. is not going to fulfill its financial on allegations because of its political reasons in washington. it's incredible. the republicans have an awful lot of power in this but
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privately many people say they know that democrats in the white house see how serious they are about this and a lot of people are saying they expect that the debt ceiling will passed. but this time it's different. congress has again and again raised that debt ceiling. again and again. this time we know we're having a conversation we haven't had before. it appears all parties are concerned with this. >> yeah. they always raised it profor machlt they had no choice. there was never this kind of attention to adding conditions to the debt ceiling. >> never. >> there will be some conservatives, especially conservative republicans and maybe some democrats who will vote against raising the debt ceiling under any sense no matter what john boehner and mitch mcconnell and harry reid will agree to. i want everybody to stand by. all of our reporters and our analysts, the president of the united states, we're told, is getting ready to leave the white
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house to make the few-block trip by motorcade over to george washington university. we'll continue our coverage looking ahead to this very important speech from the president right after this. [ tires squeal ] an accident doesn't have to slow you down. introducing
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the stamg is knew set literally. take a look. that's george washington university. the nation's capitol only a few blocks away from the white house. very soon the president will go up to the white house there and deliver this long anticipated speech on how to deal with the
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country's national debt. it's simply skyrocketing. everybody, democrat, republican, everybody agrees something has to be done about the long term debt of the united states. how to deal with it is obviously an issue that's up for serious debate. we're going to hear about it in the upcoming hours and days but over the next several weeks. we've got members of the best political team on television. all of our reporters and analysts. let's bring in our white house correspondent ed henry. if you take a look at the latest cnn research opinion poll, it says which approach of the budget do you prefer? this poll was obviously done before the president released his which is about to be released. obama, 48%. republicans, 43%. you can see how divided the country is and how to deal with this issue of the national debt. it shouldn't come as any surprise that this whole debate comes on the heel -- the
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president formally announced he's running for re-election. so this is already a heavy-duty political atmosphere that this debate is part of. >> reporter: it is, wolf. in fact, we should note tomorrow right after the speech essentially, the president will be heading to chicago to officially launch the fund-raising effort for his 2012 re-election. so politics is certainly in the air, there's no doubt about that. but when you look at that poll number, the significance for the white house is they decided to move quickly. the president as you've been noting, gloria has been noting, the president has not put a serious debt reduction plan out there. also our poll shows the american people are hungry for that. they think something needs to be done in washington to finally deal with it. when the white house looks at the poll number saying they have a small advantage over the republicans in terms of handling this issue, even though he didn't put a plan on the table. they know from the bully pulpit, they can jump out here very quickly after the minor plan
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sealed on friday night. i say minor because it's only one sliver of the budget, that maybe now the president can seize this opportunity to lay out some details. and i think what dana has reported on is very critical. when she said the president in private this morning told the republicans maybe there's a shift here, that he's willing to embrace some sort of deficit reduction as part of lifting the nation's debt ceiling. as of yesterday the white house was still insisting the president want add clean vote, straight up or down vote on lifting the debt ceiling, not adding anything to it. if there really is that shift -- i've been e-mailing the white house aides. they're not responding yet. but if there's been this shift that the president realizes there's a shift toward the republican push for more spending cuts and he's not going to get that vote on lifting the debt ceiling without real specifics on the table, wolf. >> i want to bring dana bash
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back in. every eebs ma-- everybody is ma important point. they want to raise the debt ceiling. they know in the end the u.s. is going to have no choice but to do so, but they need the president and the democrats to give them something to show their base out there that it's not certainly just an automatic increase of that debt ceiling. and now the president apparently is getting ready to do exactly that. what he's going to offer them. will it be enough. that remains to be seen. let's talk a little bit, dana, about this gang of six, three democrats, three republicans in the senate. in the coming days they're going to be released their national debt reduction propose at which may be more important than what the president is proposing or what paul ryan, the gop budget chairman proposed last week. tell us who's on this gang of six and why this is significant. >> it's significant, wolf, because this is a group of six
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senators who really run the gamut in terms of the political spectrum. you have those on the conservative side. tom coburn of oklahoma and dick durbin, who's a number two democrat of the senate, not known as a moderate, someone who's had heck. they've been working for four months. last week for example i was told they met four times for two-hour sessions. and they have tried to come up with something broadly that is along the lines of the president's debt commission. three of the numbers, i believe or maybe four were on that commission. but generally their ultimate goal is to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over ten years. and unlike some republicans, the leadership that we've been hearing from, one of the six, he's made clear publicly that some tax increases are going to be necessary. from their perspective, that could be doing away with some of the things like the mort
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expenditure and things like that so it wouldn't be hard hit for people out there who have tax issues. but those are some of the things they're talking about in this gang of six. whether or not, wolf, they can come up with something, i think in large part depends on the public discourse. they're trying to stay in a bunker and trying to work amongst themselves. there was concern in the speech from the president that he would put pressure on them and even the republicans that might not be very helpful but it dounlt sound like what they're saying that's going to happen. congress is going to go into recess for two weeks. hope when they come back, they'll have something to put forward to the public. let me say one other thing very quickly, wolf. republicans want conditions but they haven't decided amongst themselves what conditions they want. there's discussion of balanced budget, spending caps, other things.
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they have to discuss amongst themselves what they want from the pt before any deal can be made there. >> that's going to be critical in the coming weeks. the president has now arrived on the campus of george washington university. you can see the vice president, joe biden there. he's obviously arrived as well. they're sitting down, getting ready for the president to be introduced. i believe we'll get a two-minute warning and then we'll know exactly when the president is walking in. he's on the campus of george washington university. he'll be speaking momentarily. gloria borger, after the bowle simpson recommendation, why didn't he come out and agree or say here are my improvements on them. >> hold on a second. the president has now just been introduced. they're giving him a standing
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ovation over there. we'll listen to the president. here's the president. >> please have a seat. please have a seat, everyone. it is wonderful to be back at g.w. i want you to know that one of the reasons that i worked so hard with democrats and republicans to keep the government open is so i could show up here today. i wanted to make sure all yof you had one more excuse to skip class. you're welcome. i want to give a special thanks to steven knapp, the president of g.w. i just saw him. where is he? there he is right there. [ applause ] >> i want to -- we've got a lot of distinguished guests here, a couple of people i want to acknowledge. first of all my outstanding vice president, joe biden is here. [ applause ] >> our secretary of the treasury, tim geithner, is in the house.
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[ applause ] >> jack wu, the director of office management and budget. [ applause ] >> gene sperling, chair of the economic national council is here. [ applause ] >> members of our bipartisan fiscal commission are here including director of the economic council. [ applause ] >> and members of our bi-part sal fiscal commission are here. i thank you all for taking the time to attend. >> what we are debating here in washington over the past few weeks will affect the lives of the students here and families all across america in potentially profound ways. this debate over budgets and deficits is about more than just numbers on a page.
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it's about more than just cutting and spending. it's about the kind of future that we want. it's about the kind of country that we believe in. that's what i want to spend some time talking about today. from our first days as a nation, we have put our faith in free markets and free enterprise as the engine of america's wealth and prosperity. the more than citizens than any other country, we are rugged individualists, a self-reliant people with a healthy skepticism of too much government. but there's always been another thread running through our history, a belief that we are all connected, and that there are some things that we can only do together as a nation. we believe in the words of the first republican president,
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abraham lincoln, that true government we should do together what we cannot do as well for ourselves. and so we built a strong military to keep us secure and public schools and universities to educate our citizens. we have laid down railroads and highways to facilitate travel and commerce. we have supported the work of scientists and researchers whose discoveries have saved lives and unleashed repeated revolutions and led to countless new jobs in countless industries. each of us has benefitted from the investments and we are a more prosperous country as a result of it. part of this belief that we are connected also expresses itself in a conviction that each one of us deserves some basic measure
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of security and dignity. we recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, hard times or bad luck, a crippling illness or a lay off may strike any one of us. there but for the grace of god go i, we say to ourselves. so we contribute to programs like medicare and social security which guarantee us health care and a measure of basic income after a lifetime of hard work. unemployment insurance which protects us against unexpected job loss and medicaid which provides care for millions of seniors in nursing homes, poor children, those with disabilities. we are a better country because of these commitments. i will go further. we would not be a great country without those commitments.
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for much of the last century, our nation found a way tof aed for these investments and priorities with the taxes paid by its citizens. as a country the value of fairness, wealthy individuals have borne a greater share of this than those less fortunate. everybody pays, but the wealthier borne a little more. this is not because we begrudge those who have done well. we rightly celebrate their success, but instead, it is a basic reflection of our belief that those who have benefited most from our way of life can afford to give back a little bit more. moreover, this belief has not hindered the success of those at the top of the income scale. they continue to do better and better with each passing year. now, at certain times, particularly during war or recession, our nation has had to
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borrow money to pay for some of our priorities, and as most families understand, a little credit card debt isn't going to hurt, if it is temporary. but, as far back as the the 1980s, america started amassing debt at more alarming levels, and our leaders began to realize that a larger challenge was on the horizon. they knew that eventually the baby boom generation would retire which meant a much bigger portion of our citizens would be relying on programs like medicare, social security and possibly medicaid. like parents with young children who know they have to start saving for the college year, america had to start borrowing more and saving less to prepare for the next generation. to meet this challenge, our leaders came together three times in the 1990s to reduce our nation's deficit. three times.
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they forged historic agreements that required tough decisions made by the first president bush, and then made by president clinton, by democratic congresses and by a republican congress. all three agreements asked for shared responsibility and shared sacrifice. but they largely protected the middle-class. they largely protected our commitment to seniors. they protected our key investments in our future. as a result of the bipartisan efforts, america's finances were in great shape by the year 2000. we went from deficit to surplus. america was actually on track to becoming completely debt-free. and we were prepared for the retirement of the baby boomers. but after democrats and republicans committed to fiscal
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discipline in the 1990s, we lost our way in the decade that followed. we increased spending dramatically for two wars and an expensive prescription drug program. but we didn't pay for any of the new spending. instead, we made the problem worse with trillions of dollars in unpaid tax cuts. tax cuts that went to every millionaire and billionaire in the country, and tax cuts that will force us to borrow an average of $500 billion of every year over the next decade. to give you an idea of how much damage this caused to the nation's checkbook, consider this. in the last decade if we had simply found a way to pay for the tax cults and t s -- cuts prescription benefit, our deficit would be at historical lows for the coming years, but that is not what happened. so by the time we took office we once again found ourselves
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deeply in debt, and unprepared for a baby boomer retirement that is now starting to take place. when i took office, our projected deficit, annually, was more than $1 trillion. on top of that, we faced a terrible financial crisis and a recession that like most recessions led us to temporarily borrow even more. in this case, we took a series of emergency steps that saved millions of jobs, kept credit flowing and provided working families extra money in their pocket. it was absolutely the right thing to do, but these steps were expensive, and added to the deficits in the short term. so, that's how our fiscal challenge was created. that is how we got here. and now that our economic recovery is gaining strength, democrats and republicans must come together and restore the fiscal responsibility that
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served us so well in the 1990s. we have to live within our means. we have to reduce our deficit. we have to get back on a path that will allow us to paydown our debt. we have to do it in a way that protects the recovery, protects the investments we need to grow and helps to protect the jobs that we need to win in the future. now, before i get into how we can achieve this goal, some of you, particularly the younger people here, you don't qualify, joe [ laughter ] some of you might be wondering, why is this so important? why does this matter to me? well, here is why. even after our economy recovers, our government will still be on track to spend more money than it takes in throughout this decade and beyond. that means that we'll have to keep borrowing from countries like china.
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that means more of your tax dollars each year will go towards paying off the interest on all of the loans that we keep taking out. by the end of this decade, the interest that we owe on our debt could rise to nearly $1 trillion and think about that. that's the interest. just the interest payments. then, as the baby boomers start to retire in greater numbers and health care costs continue to rise, the situation will get even worse. by 2025, the amount of taxes that we currently pay will only be enough to finance our health care programs, medicare and medicaid, social security and the interest we owe on our debt. that's it. every other national priority -- education, transportation, even our national security -- will have to be paid for with borrowed money.
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now, ultimately all of this rising debt will cost us jobs and damage our economy. it will prevent us from making the investmen mtments that we n win the future. we won't be able to afford new schools, new research or the repair of roads. all of the things that create new jobs and businesses here in america. businesses will be less likely to invest in an open shop of a country that seems unwilling or unable to balance its books. and if our creditors start worrying that we may be unable to pay back our debts, that could drive up interest rates for everybody who borrows money, making it harder for businesses to expand and hire or families to take out a mortgage. here is the good news, that doesn't have to be our future. that doesn't have to be the country that we leave our
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children. we can solve this problem. we came together as democrats and republicans to meet this challenge before. we can do it again. but that starts by being honest about what is causing our deficit. you see, most americans tend to dislike government spending in the abstract, but like the stuff that it buys. most of us, regardless of the party affiliation believe we should have a strong military and strong defense. most americans believe we should invest in education and medical research. most americans think we should protect commitments like social security and medicare, and without even looking at a poll, my finely honed political instincts tell me that almost nobody believes they should be paying higher taxes. so, because all of the spending is popular with both republicans
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and democrats alike, and because nobody wants to pay higher taxes, politicians are often eager to feed the impression that solving the problem is just a matter of eliminating waste and abuse, and you will hear that phrase a lot. we need to eliminate waste and abuse. the implication is that tackling the deficit issue won't require tough choices. or politicians suggest that we can somehow close our entire deficit by eliminating things like foreign aid, even though foreign aid makes up about 1% of the entire federal budget. so, here's the truth. around two-thirds of the budget, two-thirds is spent on medicare, medicaid, social security and national security. two-thirds. prom grass like unemployment insurance, student loans, veterans benefits and tax
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credits for working families take up another 20%. what's left after interest on the debt is just 12% for everything else. that is 12% for all of our national priorities, education, clean energy, medical research, transportation, our national parks, food safety, keeping our air and water clean -- you name it, all of that accounts for 12% of our budget. now, up till now the debate here in washington, the cuts proposed by a lot of folks here in washington have focused exclusively on that 12%. but cuts to the 12% alone won't solve the problem. so, any serious plan to tackle our deficit will require us to
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put everything on the table and take on excess spending wherever it exists in the budget. a serious plan doesn't require us to balance our budget overnight. in fact, economists think that with the economy just growing again, we need a phased-in approach, but it does require tough decisions and support from our leaders in both parties now. above all, it will require us to choose a vision of the america we want to see five years, ten years, 20 years down the road. now, to their credit, one vision has been presented and championed by republicans in the house of representatives and embraced by several of their party's presidential candidates which is a plan that aims to reduce the deficit by $4
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trillion over the next ten years and one that addresses the challenge of medicare and medicaid in the years after that. these are both worthy goals. they are worthy goals for us to achieve, but the way that the plan achieves the goals would lead to a fundamentally different america than the one we have known certainly in my lifetime. in fact, i think that it would be fundamentally different than what we have known throughout our history. a 70% cut in clean energy, a 25% cut in education, a 30% cut in transportation. cuts in college pell grants that will grow to more than $1,000 per year. that's the proposal. these aren't the kinds of cuts that you make when you are
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trying to get rid of some waste or try to find extra savings in the budget. these aren't the kinds of cuts that the fiscal commission proposed. these are the kinds of cuts that tell us that we can't afford the america that i believe in and i think that you believe in. i believe it paints a vision of the future that is deeply pessimistic. it's a vision that says if the roads crumble and the bridges collapse, we can't afford to fix them. if there are bright young americans who have the drive and the will, but not the money to go to college, we can't afford to send them. to go to china, you will see businesses opening up research labs and solar facilities and south korean children are outpacing our kids in math and science and scrambling to figure out how to put more money into education. brazil is investing billions in new infrastructure and can run
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half of their cars not on high-priced gasoline, but on biofuels and yet we are presented with a vision that says that the american people, the united states of america, the greatest nation on earth can't afford any of this. it is a vision that says that america can't keep the promise that weniorseniors. it says ten years from now, if you are a senior eligible for medicare, you would have to pay $6,400 more than you do today. it says instead of guaranteed health care, you will get a voucher. if that voucher isn't worth enough to buy the insurance that is available in the open marketplace, well, tough luck. you are on your own. put simply, it ends medicare as we know it. it's a vision that says up to 50
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million americans have to lose their health insurance in order for us to reduce the deficit. who are these 50 million americans? many are somebody's grandparents, and maybe one of yours who wouldn't be able to afford nursing home care without medicaid. many are poor children. some are middle-class families who have children with autism or down syndrome. some of these kids with disabilities are -- the disabilities are so severe that they require 24-hour care. these are the americans that we'd be telling to fend for themselves. and worst of all, this is a vision that says that even though americans can't afford to invest in education at current levels or clean energy and even though we can't afford to
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maintain our commitment on medicare and medicaid, we can somehow afford more than $1 trillion in new tax breaks for the wealthy. think about that. in the last decade, the average income of the bottom 90% of all working americans actually declined. meanwhile the top 1% saw their income rise by an average of more than a quarter of a million each. that's who needs to pay less taxes? they want to give people like me a $200,000 tax cut that is paid for by asking 33 seniors, each, to pay $6,000 more in health costs.
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that's not right. it is not going to happen as long as i'm president. [ applause ] this vision is less about reducing the deficit than it is about changing the basic social compact in america. ronald reagan's own budget director said there is nothing serious or courageous about this plan. there is nothing serious about a plan that claims to reduce the deficit by spending $1 trillion on tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, and i don't think that there is anything courageous to ask for sacrifice from those who can least afford it and don't have any clout on capitol hill. that is not a vision of the america i know. the america i know is generous and compassionate. it is a land of opportunity and
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optimism. yes, we take responsibility for ourself, but we also take responsibility for each other. for the country we want and the future that we share. we are a nation that built a railroad across continent and brought light to communities enshrouded in darkness. we sent millions of people to college on the g.i. bill and saved millions from poverty. we have led the world in research and technological breakthroughs that have transformed millions of lives. that is who we are. this is the america i know. we don't have to choose between a future of spiraling debt and one where we for fit our feit o. we will all need to make sacrifices, but we do not have to sacrifice the america we believe in, and as long as i'm president, we won't.
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so, today, i am proposing a more balanced approach to achieve $4 million in deficit reduction over 12 years. it is an approach that borrows from the recommendations of the bipartisan fiscal commission that i appointed last year, and it builds on the roughly $1 trillion in deficit reduction i already proposed in the 2012 budget. it's an approach that puts every kind of spending on the table, but one that protects the middle-class, our promise to seniors and our investments in the future. the first step in our approach is to keep annual domestic spending low by building on the savings that both parties agreed to last week. that step alone will save us about $750 billion over 12 years. we will make the tough cuts
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necessary to achieve these savings, including in programs that i care deeply about, but i will not sacrifice the core investmentt s that we need to grow jobs. we will invest in medical research. we will invest in clean technology. we will invest in airports and roads and broadband technology, and we will invest in job training and we will do what we need to compete and we will win the future. the second step in our approach is to find additional savings in our defense budget. now, as commander in chief, i have no greater responsibility than protecting the national security and i will never accept cuts that compromise the ability to defend the homeland or america's interests around the world. but, as the chairman of the joint chiefs, admiral mullen, has said, the greatest long term to america's national security
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is america's debt. and so just as we must find more savings in domestic programs, we must do the same in defense. we can do that while still keeping ourselves safe. over the last two years, secretary bob gates has courageously taken on wasteful spending. saving $400 billion in current and future spending. i believe that we can do it again. we need to not only eliminate waste and improve efficiency and effectiveness, but we have to conduct a fundamental review of america's missions and capabilities and role in a changing world. i intend to work with secretary gates and the joint chiefs on this review, and i will make specific decisions about spending after it is complete. the third step in our approach is to further reduce health care spending in our budget. now, here the difference with
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the house republican plan could not be clearer. their plan essentially lowers the government's health care bills by asking seniors and poor families to pay them instead. our approach lowers the government's health care bills by reducing the cost of health care, itself. already the reforms that we passed in the health care law will reduce our deficit by $1 trillion. my approach would build on these reforms. we will reduce wasteful subsidies and erroneous payments. we will cut spending on prescription drugs by using medicare's purchasing power to encourage efficiency and speed emerging brands on to the market. we will work with governors on both parties to demand more efficiency and accountability for medicaid. we will change the way we pay for health care, and not by the procedure or the number of days
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spent in a hospital, but with new incentives for doctors and ho hospitals to prevent injuries and improve results. and we will improve health care costs by strengthening doctors and nurses and medical consumers who will look at all of the evidence and recommend best ways to reduce necessary spending while protecting the access to the services that the seniors need. now we believe that the reforms we have proposed to strengthen medicare and medicaid will enable us to keep these commitments to our citizens while saving us $500 billion by 2023. an additional $1 trillion in the decade after that. but if we are wrong, and medicare costs rise faster than we expect, then this approach will give the independent commission the authority to make additional savings by further improving medicare. but let me be absolutely clear,
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i will preserve these health care programs as a promise we make to each other in this society. i will not allow medicare to become a voucher program that leaves seniors at the mercy of the system to pay for shrinking benefit at rising cost. i will not tell families who have children of disabilities that they have to fend for themselves. we will reform the programs, but we will not abandon the fundamental commitment that this country has kept for generations. that includes by the way our commitment to social security. while social security is not the cause of our deficit, it faces real long-term challenges in a country that is growing older. as i said in the state of the union, both par i tties should together now to strengthen social security for future generations, but we have to do it without putting at risk
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current retirees or the people most vulnerable or future retirees without slashing benefits and jeopardizing the program for americans at the whim of the stock market, and it can be done. the fourth step in the approach is to reduce spending in the tax code, so-called tax expenditures. in december, i agreed to extend the tax cults f s fcuts for wea americans, because it is the only way i could extend a tax cut for middle-class americans. but we can not afford to continue to give billions and millions tax cuts, and i refuse to renew them again. beyond that, the tax code is filled with things like itemized
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reductions and while i believe in homeownership and charitable giving we can't ignore the fact that they provide millions an average tax break of $75,000, but do knotting for the typical middle-class family who doesn't itemize, so my budget calls for limiting itemized deductions for wealthest americans, and a reform that would reduce the deficit by $320 billion over ten years. but to reduce the deficit, i believe that we should go further, and that is why i am calling on congress to reform our individual tax code so that it is fair and simple. so, that the amount of taxes that you pay isn't determined by what kind of accountant you can afford. i believe that reform should protect the middle-class, promote economic growth and build on the fiscal commission's model of reducing tax expenditures so that there is enough savings to lower rates and lower the deficit.
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as i called for in the state of the union, we should reform our corporate tax code as well to make our businesses and our economy more competitive. so, this is my approach to reduce the deficit for $4 trillion over the next 12 years. it is an approach that achieves about $2 trillion in spending cuts across the budget. it will lower our interest payments on the debt by $1 trillion. it calls for tax reform to cut about $1 trillion in tax expenditures, spending in the tax code. and it achieves these goals while protecting the middle-class, protecting our commitment to seniors and protecting our investments in the future. now, in the coming years, if the recovery speeds up, and our economy grows faster than the current projections, we can make
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even greater progress than i have pledged here. but just to hold washington and to hold me accountable, and make sure that the debt burden continues to decline, my plan includes a debt fail safe. if by 2014 our debt is not projected to fall as a share of the economy, and if we haven't hit the targets and if congress has failed to act, then my plan will require us to come together and make up the additional savings with more spending cuts and more spending reductions in the tax code. that should be an incentive for us to act boldly now instead of kicking our problems further down the road. so, this is our vision for america. this is my vision for america. a vision where we live within our means while still investing in our future.
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where everyone makes sacrifices, but no one bears all of the burden. where we provide a basic measure of security for our citizens, and we provide rising opportunity for our children. there will be those who vigorously disagree with my approa approach. i can guarantee that as well. some will argue we should not even consider, ever, ever raising taxes even if only on the wealthest americans. it is just an article of faith to them. i say that at a time when the tax burden on the wealthy is at its lowest level in half a century, the most fortunate among us can afford to pay a little more. i don't need another tax cut. warren buffett doesn't need
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another tax cut. not if the we have to pay for it by making seniors pay more for medicare or by cutting kids from head start or by taking away college scholarships that i wouldn't be here without, and some you would not be here without. and here is the things i believe that most wealthy americans would agree with me. they want to give back to their country. a country that has done so much for them. it is just washington has not asked them to. others will say that we shouldn't even talk about cutting spending until the economy is fully recovered, and these are mostly folks in my party. i am sympathetic to this view, which is one of the reasons i supported the payroll tax cuts we passed in december. it is also why we have to use a scalpel and not a machete to
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reduce the deficit so we can keep making the investments to create jobs. but doing nothing on the deficit is just not an option. our debt has grown so large that we could do real damage to the economy if we don't begin a process now to get our fiscal house in order. finally, there are those who believe we should not make any reforms to medicare, medicaid or social security out of fear that any talk of change to these programs will immediately usher in the sort of steps that the house republicans have proposed. i understand those fears, but i guarantee that if we don't make any changes at all, we won't be able to keep our commitment to a retiring generation that will live longer and will face higher health care costs than those who came before.
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indeed, to those in my own party, i say that if we truly believe in a progressive vision of our society, we have an obligation to prove that we can afford our commitments. if we believe that the government can make a difference in people's lives, we have the obligation to prove that it works by making government smarter an led leaner and more effective. of course, there are those who simply say, there is no way that we can come together at all and agree on a solution to this challenge. they will say that the politics of this city are just too broken, the choices are just too hard, the parties are just too far apart, and after a few years on this job, i have some sympathy for this view. but i also know that we have
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come together before and met big challenges. ronald reagan and tip o'neill came together to save social security for future generations. the first president bush and a democratic congress came together to reduce the deficit. president clinton and a republican congress battled each other ferociously and disagreed on just about everything, but found a way to balance the budget. and in the past few months both parties have come together to pass historic tax relief and spending cuts. i know that there are democrats and republicans in congress who want to see a balanced approach to deficit reduction. and even those republicans that i disagree with most strongly, i believe they are sincere about wanting to do right by their country. we may disagree on our visions,
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but i truly believe they want to do the right thing. so, i believe that we can and must come together again. this morning i met with democratic and republican leaders in congress to discuss the approach that i laid out today. and in early may, the vice president will begin regular meetings with leaders in both parties with the aim of reaching a final agreement on a plan to reduce the deficit and get it done by the end of june. i don't expect the details in any final agreement to look exactly like the approach i laid out today. this is a democracy and that is not how things work. i'm eager to hear other ideas from all ends of the political spectrum. and though i'm sure that the criticism of what i have said here today will be fierce in some quarters and my critique of the house republican approach has been strong, americans deserve and will demand that we
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all make an effort to bridge our differences and find common ground. this larger debate we are having, the larger debate on the size of the role of government has been with us since our founding days, and during moments of great challenge and change like the one we are living through now, the debate gets sharper, and it gets more vigorous. it is not a bad thing. in fact, it is a good thing. as a country that prizes both our individual freedom and our obligations to one another, this is one of the most important debates that we can have. but no matter what we argue, no matter where we stand, we've always held certain beliefs as americans.
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we believe that in order to preserve our own free doms adom pursue our own happiness we can't just think of ourselves. we have to think about the country that made these liberties possible. we have to think about our follow citizens with whom we share a community. and we have to think about what is required to preserve the american dreamer for future generations. this sense of responsibility to each other and to our country, this isn't a partisan feeling. this saisn't a democratic or republican idea. it is patriotism. the other day i received a letter from a man in florida who started out by telling me he didn't vote for me and he hasn't always agreed with me.
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but even though he is worried about our economy and the state of the politics, here is what he said. he said, i still believe, i believe in that great country that my grandfather told me about. i believe that somewhere lost in this quagmire of petty bickering on every news station, the american dream is still alive. we need to use our dollars here, rebuilding, refurbishing, restoring all that our ancestors struggled to create and maintain. we, as a people, must do this together. no matter the color of the state one comes from or the side of the aisle one might sit on. i still believe. i still believed as well. and i know that if we can come
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together and uphold our responsibilities to one another and to the larger enterprise that is america, we will keep the dream of our founding alive in our time, and we will pass it on to our children. we will pass on to our children a country that we believe in. thank you. god bless you, and may god bless the united states of america. thank you. it is a long speech by the president of the united states outlining his vision of how to reduce the long-term debt of the united states which is exploding every single year. he offered several specific plans, including raising taxes on the wealthiest americans making $250,000 a year, and would get higher taxes than they have right now going back to the clinton era tax rates as opposed to the bush era tax rates. and he tore into the gop's proposal in how to reduce the
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national debt saying it would end medicare effectively as we know it. let's bring in some of our reporters and analysts to digest what we have heard from the president. ed henry, you are over at the white house. it is a political season right now, and the president minced no words going after paul ryan's republican plan last week basically saying that this would change america as we know it, and strong words from the president. one specific point he said that ryan's plan would cut some $4 trillion in the nation's debt over the next 10 years, and ryan says it would cut more than $6 trillion, and is the white house explaining that discrepancy? >> no, they are not getting into the details yet. we will have a briefing in a couple of hours, so we will dig down deeper, but it is interesting that he did pull back on one line in the prepared text. he was going to call the ryan plan radical. that these were radical steps to cut the deficit.
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he took out that word radical, and interesting that paul ryan was near the front row there watching these remarks and maybe the president pulled back to be a gentleman, but also, he has to work with the republicans who run the house now, and i think that is the most critical point to underplline which is that th president for the first time set a framework and deadline to get a deal done. he said starting in early may, he is sending vice president essentially to capitol hill to work out a deal, and set a goal or deadline or whatever you want to call it for the end of june for a global budget deal. as we always say in the budget stories, the devil is in the details, because even as the the president said we need to act boldly and stop kicking the can down the road, he spoke about broad areas, but he did not give specifics about really where the cuts are going to come from, and how to get to the $4 trillion or the $6 trillion that the republicans talk about or whatever the bottom line number is, the president spoke about
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broad parameters, cut the defense spending, but where? and maybe tax charnnges, but where? and interesting he said, i won't hurt the middle class or the seniors, and if you don't hurt those people, where are the cuts coming out of, wolf? >> and dana bash, the president was very firm saying that he will never ever allow the bush era tax rates to continue in business. i refuse to renew them again for the wealthest americans, and those families making more than 250,000 a year, and that sets a stage for a huge battle as you know next year he renewed the tax cuts for the next two years, but it sets a stage for a huge battle in the coming years, because the republicans are making it firm they did today, the republican leadership, no new taxes. they will not increase tax rates on anyone including the wealthiest. >> oh, that is right. i think that the republicans would say that president obama, then senator obama campaigned on
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that and said that every single time he got in front of a microphone when he was running for president and then of course agreed to a compromise to do just that to extend the bush era tax cuts but just for two years, but regardless, this is going to be the political issue, the dividing line between democrats and republicans going into the next election, but the question is whether or not they can come up with a tax reform that will kind of put that aside, if you will, that will really just change the tax code that will make those kinds of rhetorical debates irrelevant. whether they can do that, wol, n in the next 18 months is unclear and if you gave most people truth serum they would say unlikely. >> and gloria, it is the campaign speech that you would expect to hear on the campaign trail, and many paragraphs of the speech very, very political going forward and the president obviously getting ready for the re-election campaign. >> well, it is interesting to me, because i believe it was a political speech, and the president laid down some ma
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markers. he took on the ryan budget frontally, and said it would end medicare as we know it. we know that the seniors in the midterm elections went for the republicans, because the republicans were saying that the democrats wanted to cut medicare, so it was clear that's where the president is going to stand on that issue, but the other interesting thing to me, wolf wolf, and this is the one area where we can find some compromise is yes, he wants to end the tax cuts for the wealthy, and as dana says, a point in the next election, by this whole notion of tax reform is going to be very important, i think, here. because if you can lower the tax rates on everyone, including the wealthy, and in exchange for getting rid of some of those
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sang ri sangt issues, and it may be a way to end the warfare of the middle-class as they call it, but say, wait a minute, what if we simply the tax code and end up lowering rates on everyone in exchange for certain things. so, that is a real arena is ripe for some compromise and some de dealmaking here. >> we did hear the president, christine romans, we heard the president say he is ready for tax reform, eliminating some of the deductions like homeownership and charitable contributions, but it was an important but. he said only for the wealthiest and those people who itemize those deductions except for the middle-class who don't necessarily itemize those deductions, and this is once again raising taxes on the rich, and the republicans are going to go, are going to strongly oppose it, but the president is laying out a clear difference between him and whoever the republican challenger is going to be for the presidency. >> and look, there's at lot of
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support for just an overhaul of the tax code and tax reform and in that way exactly as gloria and dana pointed out you get away from the debate of extending the bush era tax cuts, and the point of quote, unquote bush era cuts, and there are budget hawks who study them for a living and they call them bush-obama tax cuts and they say it is difficult to raise taxes, and the president is laying it down. he said he is going to raise taxes on the rich indeed, but just, just raising taxes on the ritual loc rich alone is not going to solve the problems. but one quick point, wolf, and we have not talked the about it, the debt fail safe, and the president is saying that if we don't meet the deficit reduction targets by 2014, automatically by law you would see spending cuts and tax code changes that would automatically kick in if
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the goals are not kicked in. and that would force congress to do it, to balance things. >> and that is one of the point, christine, because the president did not clearly make a lot of republicans happy with many of the proposals, but he also did not make some of the more liberal members of the democratic party happy with some of the proposals, and that i will hate some of this as well. he will be criticized from the liberal democratic party base as well as from the republicans, the conservatives and some conservative democrats who will be critical of him as well. they don't support raising taxes either. so there is a lot to digest here, and we will have complete analysis, coverage, and the republicans, we are told, they will be responding in detail at 4:00 p.m. eastern. we of course will have that for you and much more coming up here in "the situation room" at 5:00 p.m. eastern. randi, let me throw it back to randi kaye at the cnn center. randi a lot randi, a lot to digest from the
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president. and what i have to say, randi, what he said at the end, this is my opening bargaining positions. these are ideas that i have, and i know you won't accept it, accept it all and this what you would like to see and so let's talk, and talk about how to cut defense spending and talk about taxes and tax about other cutting spending measures, but he is basically saying at the end, you know, let's have a conversation bt thabout this an how the conversation goes. >> yes, it will be interesting to see how that conversation goes if it is the same as the shutdown showdown went. it will be interesting days ahead. you mentioned "the situation room" coming up at 5:00 p.m. eastern, and any guests we should know about? >> well, the chief adviser to the president gene spurling will be joining us, and we is a lot of specific questions. gene spurling is a smart guy and we will go into the details that the questions that the president did not answer, and we will go through point by point with gene
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spurling. and we will also speak to a leader in the house of representatives to pinpoint him on some of to areas as well. so we will get their reaction, and all of the analysts with a lot more coming up in "the situation room," randi. >> wolf, thank you for being with us, and we will see you then at 5:00 p.m. eastern. thank you. we would like to see what you think about the president's speech, press on clicker and join the conversation, and we will share your comments later on in the show. p.a.: it's a four-bedroom traditional home on an acre-and-a-half landscaped yard. the master suite has two walk-in closets and a completely updated master bath. there's a totally renovated chef's kitchen, with updated stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and a butler's pantry. it's got a screened-in back porch, plenty of storage and a large backyard.
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we have had our eyes on washington and the president's speech, but there is other news this hour, starting in new york. we have just heard from police who are trying to figure out who has been dumping human remains along a remote stretch of highway on the southern edge of long island. since december police have found nine and maybe ten apparent murder victims, but so far as we know, they have yet to find the young escort whose disappearance set off the entire search. allan chernoff is at that briefing and knocking on doors to hear amazing things. let's start with that. allan, what are you hearing? >> well, randi, this is the woman that the search is about, shannon gilbert who went missing back on may 1st of last year. she has not been found. all of those bodies that you have referred to, the human remains, none of them yet have been identified as her's, so the search goes on.
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even today, there were divers in the water looking for clues, looking for some evidence. now, i mentioned that date may 1st of last year. earlier today, i spoke with a man who shannon gilbert begged for help on that very morning at 5:00 a.m. she banged on his door in the community of oak beach, not far from where we are standing right now. he called the police immediately. she dashed out. a man was in an suv and he drove after her. this man, gus colletti told me that it took detectives four months to then question him. let's have a listen. >> missing person detective came here like in august and was asking about her, and i said, where have you been? and he said, well, it is a kind of thing of new jersey police department didn't take the -- and -- >> reporter: they didn't come,
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and she was missing may 1st, but the police did not come to visit you until august? >> that is correct. >> reporter: nothing? >> nothing. >> reporter: may, june, july and finally august, four months. >> yes, and it was missing persons. >> reporter: and you called the police immediately? >> well, they came in here, but as far as investigating it, no. >> reporter: and i just asked the suffolk county police commissioner about that, richard dormer, and he didn't have much to say. let's listen. >> i have no idea when the detective spoke to whomever he was talking about. >> reporter: coleti says that the detective told him that the police in new jersey dropped the ball. shannon gilbert was a resident of jersey city, and the jersey city police department tells me they will not comment about an ongoing investigation. randi? >> so, there is still no answers as to who might be doing this, who might have done this, and
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they are continuing to point fingers at each other it seems like as well. allan chernoff, thank you for the update. watch cnn saturday for a one-hour special, long island serial killer at 7:00 p.m. eastern. why would a mom drive her children into the ice cold hudson river and what police are saying about the apparent murder-suicide and how a 10-year-old saved himself. okay guys, what sounds good for dinner tonight? i don't know, something. [ mom ] something... ♪ mexican.
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now the tragic story of an apparent murder-suicide and the remarkable effort of a 10-year-old boy to save himself from the ice cold hudson river. police in newberg, new york, say a young mom put her children into a minivan and drove them into a river. only the 10-year-old survived. deb feyerick, what are officials saying there about this terrible tragedy? >> well, randi, something was definitely going on in the life of 25-year-old lashandra armstrong and her grief stricken aunt was here a few moments ago and put candles and teddy bears by the side of the water, and she said that nobody has the right to judge her niece, the mother of four, who apparently drove a minivan down into the hudson river. her 10-year-old son, la shawn,
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put down his window and scrambled out of the vehicle as it began to sank. this is what police say happened. >> investigation has revealed that all of the children were inside of the vehicle when it entered the water, but the 10-year-old child managed to escape. it appears from the investigation that he managed to hit the power windows and opened up one of the windows and climbed out of the vehicle before the vehicle sunk. >> now, apparently yesterday, ms. armstrong picked up the three kids from a nearby day care center earlier in the day than she normally did, and the director there tells us that in fact, the teachers noticed that the young mom looked kind of out of it and not exactly what, but she did not appear normal, and usually upbeat and polite and attentive to the three children, and the landlord that we also spoke to says he was called to the apartment twice in the last six months to change the locks on the door.
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now, the 10-year-old boy really, he was the lone survivor of this tragic accident. he was able to get out of the car, as you heard, and scramble on shore swimming up, we are told, and he was very polite and neighbors say that had he been able to save his two young brothers and his infant sister, that he would have. reporting from newberg, new york, i'm deborah feyerick, randi. >> thank you, deb feyerick. we'd like to know what you think of the president's speech that we showed you a short time ago on cnn. go to and join the live chat and share your thoughts. we'd love to know what you think about all of this, and we will share your comments later.
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here's what some of you thought about president obama's speech. flitter 54 says that our president is absolutely correct, his speech was great, tell the republicans to put away their machetes, they are not wanted. infama says that there are no specifics. what a loser. how can anybody take this guy seriously. and this one, raising taxes is a no-brainer. i just hope they are raised enough. it needs to go beyond e just letting the tax cuts for the
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wealthy expire. really, the tax cuts for everybody need to expire. and then raised by even more on the wealthiest americans and the corporations and the tax code must be simplified. and then catwill says, the president laid out there his suggestions and he did follow some of the debt commission's suggestions. and ragun says that didn't go far enough. our problems are spending and taxation in equal portions, but obama placed the majority of the effort on cuts because he doesn't want to cut, and i say just do it, back to clinton levels. we continue with brooke baldwin right after this quick break. what? yeah, it's on the label. really? here, there's nothing about juice on the zyrtec® label. what? labels are meant to be read. i'd be lost without you. i knew you weren't allergic to me. [ sneezes ] you know, you can't take allegra with orange juice. both: really? fyi. [ male announcer ] get zyrtec®'s proven allergy relief
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