tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC February 13, 2012 9:00pm-10:00pm PST
rachel maddow tonight. ra ezra, good to see you. >> rachel is on assignment, but we begin with a very big day on the annual political calendar. today is budget day. president obama introduced his budget at a speech in northern virginia. >> we're releasing the details of that blueprint in the form of next year's budget. don't worry, i will not read it to you. it's long and a lot of numbers. but the main idea in the budget is this, at a time when our economy is growing and creating jobs at a faster clip we have to do everything in our power to keep this recovery on track. >> i will also not read you the budget, even though i would kind
of like to. because i'm super excited. i love budget day, i love budget day because i love budgets, love them. not just because i have an unusual and what some may say is an unhealthy fixation on charts and tables and graphs, but to be clear, i sort of do. i love budgetses because they force us to run the numbers, to make trade-offs to decide what is important, to be honest with what we are willing to sacrifice to get it. the budget is as honest as the government ever is with itself and the people. ask the most basic question. what is a a federal government, what does it do? ask a politician, get rambling answers about freedom and personal responsibility and ronald reagan and world war ii and flags. but ask the budget and you'll get the right answer. look what we spent in 2011. what the government is buying, we're not looking at interest on the debt here. 43% of our spending went to medicare, medicaid and social security. another 25% went to the military, defense. 68%, almost three-quarters went to insurance or defense. that is what the federal
government is now. it is an insurance conglomerate with a large standing military. the budget can cut through the rhetoric, tell us what politicians are doing or trying to do. that is what this budget will do, may not pass the house or senate but will tell us what president obama plans to do in the country, his vision. then we can compare it with mitt romney's budget to see what he wants to do. in fact we can particularly do that on taxes because at cpac on friday, romney said this. >> i will finally balance the american budget. >> yay! that sounds like rhetoric, right? that is another line. that is an important line from romney, that is like a rosetta stone to his platform. we know how much money he will raise, we can see what will have to happen to the rest of the budget to make it balance. here is a hint, not pretty. before we get in that and i do apologize for this, we'll have to dive in the numbers more. taxes are usually measured as a
percentage of gross domestic product, a percentage of the size of the economy. if your economy produces ten bucks worth of stuff and tax five dollars, taxes are 50% of gdp. in 2011, tax revenues were 15.4% of gdp. to give you an idea how low it is before the financial crisis you had to go back to 1950 to find a year when taxes were that low. in 1950, there was no medicare, there was no medicaid, there wasn't a hawaii as one of the 50 states of the united states. for comparison sake, taxes under reagan were 18.2% of gdp. think about that next time obama is taxing the economy to death. taxes under obama are lower, at least they have been so far, than they were under reagan. it's not even close. taxes are so low right now because the bush tax cuts
brought them there and because of the recession. but as the economy recovers, takes will come back, too. budget experts say get back to 17.9% of gdp if we keep the bush tax cuts and let the economy come back. if that happens our deficits will be huge. huge. so we have to do something. but mitt romney and president obama have very, very, very different ideas as to what to do and who should pay for it. obama's budget wants to raise taxes on the rich by $1.5 trillion. taxes rise to 19.2% of gdp. romney wants to cut taxes furth further. his plan would extend the bush tax cuts and reduce taxes on the rich. taxes would fall to about 17% of gdp. but what is interesting in these two plans is who would pay. the tax policy center is a great group of non-partisan budget people that look at it in more detail than i can stand. they emerge from their caves and blink because they haven't seen the sunlight forever, and give us great estimates how much different groups of people would pay under the plans. they looked at obama and romney's plans.
turns out very different groups of people would pay. if you are in the bottom 20% of the income distribution, in obama's plan you pay federal tax rate of 1.8%. under romney's plan, double that, 3.4%. that is the poorest group. in the middle, a lot closer, 15.2% under obama's plan, 15.6% under romney's plan. if you're in the top 1% as both romney and obama are, the difference becomes huge. under obama's plan, 36.3%. under romney's plan, 25.9. to get that out of percents and in dollars, your taxes will be $160,000 lower than under obama. $160,000. tax cuts of that size cost a lot of money. trillions of dollars. romney is promised he won't pay for that by cutting defense. he's promised he won't pay for it by raising taxes elsewhere. and he's promised to balance the
budget. to make the numbers work to make the taxes and spending balance out he will have to cut almost twice as deep in spending as paul ryan's budget does. he will have to cut every single domestic program including social security, medicare and medicaid, all of them by 36%. 36%. you know who relies on domestic programs like those? senior citizens and the poor. think all the seniors voting republican want a 36% cut to social security and medicare in order to pay for romney's tax cuts for the wealthy? i sort of doubt it. the budget doesn't show us where the two parties disagree, shows us where they do agree. taxes are lower under both obama and romney than if we let the bush tax cuts expire and turned to clinton era rates. taxes would be near 20.4% of gdp. you wouldn't know that from the admiration democrats use when they talk about clinton's poll or the horror about obama's tax ideas, both par is the are closer to bush than clinton. taxes are also lower in both
plans than the simpson-bowles proposal and lower in the senate gang of six proposal, which envisioned revenues of 19.9% gdp. taxes in both these plans are, frankly, historically pretty low. but then that is why budgets are useful. they help us keep the two parties honest. joining us is peter orszag, currently vice chairman of global banking at citigroup. >> great to be here. >> you've done this work, you've sat in the oval office. there are pictures as photographic evidence. if you sat down there and the president said, we need to get spending to 17% of gdp, how would do it? could you do it? >> virtually impossible. in 2020 or so spending is projected to be 25% of the kmi. -- economy. to get it down to 17% of the economy, it is beyond -- you can make the numbers work, but it
would require such massive reductions, especially if you're leaving defense untouched, it becomes i mplausible. >> you've called for all the bush tax cuts to expire in a bloomberg column, the obama administration has not gone that far. under their proposal where the revenue numbers are higher, do you think in the long run you can fund the government at that level, that is a plausible revenue base? >> i think unfortunately not. i think both sides are locking in revenue bases that are inadequate for what the government needs to run on. at least though the administration's budget is proposing a revenue increase of about a percent of gdp, romney, as you mentioned going in another direction. i don't see how the numbers work under the romney budget. >> we have still one of the interesting things about the budget it's a first budget after the debt ceiling deal. one of the big things they're doing is figuring out how to make discretionary spending work with the big new discretionary spending caps that got passed in
august. now, you were looking here telling me about a table that made you worried. you thought we might hit the debt ceiling before the election. you want to explain that? >> by the time next year we will be backing in a dramatic period. table 62 in the analytical perspective, for anyone who maybes it through that volume, shows at the end of september, even assuming relatively good growth under the administration's projections, the debt that would be subject to that limit would stand at $16.3 trillion, which is only relative to 16.4 trillion for the limited self. by january, we would be bumping up against the constraint. by january, back in the soup at exactly the same time that the tax cuts are expiring and the large sequestered cuts are
coming online. this is going to be drama, much larger than what happened last summer. >> the largest budget drama. >> if you were excited by the budget, wait until january you'll have a great time. >> one of the things i worry about you called for the bush tax cuts to expire, we have the other things hitting, the president in the comments said the key element of the budget is protecting the recovery, not doing anything that could be contractionary, if the bush tax cuts expire, if we have a debt ceiling problem, that would be a really big drag on the economy in 2013. enough, possibly, to derail the recovery. how do you play those against each other? that seems to me to be the other side of the republican leverage against the democrats. >> first i agree it would be far too large, we don't want that kind of fiscal austerity too soon. we want more stimulus now coupled with deficit reduction takes effect over time. but what i think would make a lot of sense is to be tying that upfront stimulus like a much-expanded payroll tax holiday to unemployment rate or share of the population working so it's in effect as long as the economy is weak you don't have to worry about things going away when the economy is still weak.
>> what happens if romney gets elected or frankly any other republicans? one of the things that is sort of odd about the moment all these are expiring is they all expire in the lame duck. you could actually imagine everything happening when the senate is going to change hands in three weeks, when the house is going to change hands and when the white house is going to change hands. so every single branch of sort of government that has to deal with this could be in turmoil at that exact moment. i almost don't know how you hand tell in those terms. you just sort of kick the can down the road? >> in that scenario, it's likely you don't legislate during the lame duck, that it gets kicked into early next year, and the circumstances that you were suggesting, that new administration is going to have a huge mess on its hands right during that honeymoon period when you're trying -- right at the beginning of the administration when you want to be proactive along whatever you're trying to get done. you're going to have to clean up this mess of those three things that are being left behind. it's not going to be pleasant. >> so if obama is reelected the
second time, the beginning of the term probably is the biggest mess of the entire term, right? >> yeah. whoever is president at this time next year is going to face a very intricate dance to navigate those three things happening at the same time. >> thank you very much. >> good to be with you. president obama's budget is extremely interesting, and if you're me, extremely fun to be. but it also seems romney is going to be the republican presidential nominee, right? what if he's not? the likelihood of that possibility, plus the conflicts of birth control and the stealth i ninja policy of tax cuts. all of it making news, all of it coming up.
laces? really? slip-on's the way to go. more people do that, security would be like -- there's no charge for the bag. thanks. i know a quiet little place where we can get some work done. there's a three-prong plug. i have club passes. [ male announcer ] now there's a mileage card that offers special perks on united, like a free checked bag, united club passes, and priority boarding. thanks. ♪ okay. what's your secret? ♪ [ male announcer ] the new united mileageplus explorer card. get it and you're in.
should we be letting him p-l-a-y with our t-a-b-l-e-t? [ mom ] i think it's fine. it's the new element from at&t so it's w-a-t-e-r proof. cool. what else does it d-o? it's fast. it's 4g lte. what's l-t-e spell? nothing. w-h-y? hey, can we stop spell talking now? ok. a-y. [ male announcer ] buy a waterproof pantech element for $249.99 and get a 4g burst smartphone free. only from at&t. [ male announcer ] for our families... our neighbors... and our communities... america's beverage companies have created a wide range of new choices. developing smaller portion sizes and more low- & no-calorie beverages... adding clear calorie labels
so you know exactly what you're choosing... and in schools, replacing full-calorie soft drinks with lower-calorie options. with more choices and fewer calories, america's beverage companies are delivering. >> okay, this right here is a county by county map of the state of michigan. michigan is made up of 83 counties in total, which is a lot of counties. this one is oakland county. home to troy, michigan, home to the chrysler museum. known as automation alley because of the growing technology sector there. when it comes to presidential politics, oakland county is doing what republicans across the state of michigan were expected to be doing right now. oakland county is supporting mitt romney for president. mitt romney is from michigan. his dad was the governor there.
oakland county is for him. that should be good news for mitt romney, right? the bad news? oakland county appears to be the only county in the entire state of michigan that is for romney. the polling from public policy polling released their latest poll out of michigan today finds not only is mitt romney now losing his home state to rick santorum by 15 points, 15 points, but "rick santorum is ahead of mitt romney every where in michigan except oakland county" that's it. oakland county, home of the chrysler museum. the place where mitt romney was raised as a child. they are the only ones behind him in michigan. the rest of mr. romney's home state is going for rick santorum. i am on record over and over and over and over and over again saying mitt romney has this race locked down, saying no way anybody but romney had the slightest chance and i have been steadfast. i ignored it, newt gingrich laughed, i dismissed rick santorum when he won iowa. now for the first time you can
tell, i can tell a plausible story in which rick santorum might actually be the republican nominee for president in 2012. rick santorum has now grabbed the lead over mitt romney in two new polls out of romney's home state of michigan. also leap frogged mitt romney in a pair of national polls that were released today. if you look at the states that va voted so far, santorum has won just as many states as mitt romney has and santorum's rise in the polls perfectly coincides with the central argument of mitt romney's candidacy beginning to fall apart. mitt romney is supposed to be the guy who can beat president obama. the uber-electable republican, that's what makes up for his shortcomings in the eyes of conservatives. you don't have to love the guy, he can win if you support him. look how he's doing among
independen independents. a month ago, mitt romney was beating president obama in independents by 10 points. now he's losing that group to president obama by 9 point margin. mitt romney is hemorrhaging support among independents. today, the influential magazine "the national review" publish an editorial calling for newt gingrich to drop out of the race. writing "the proper course for newt gingrich now is to endorse santorum and exit" when you look at the republican race right now, there are all sorts of preconceived notions that we all bring to it. deep in our hearts i thought i knew in my heart mitt romney was inevitable. thought i knew the republican party would never in a million years nominate rick santorum, a guy who lost his senate race in pennsylvania by 7000%. those are things i thought were clearly true, there was no chance they would be proven wrong. and yet, if you come at this with fresh eyes, forget everything you think you know about this campaign, what you see is that rick santorum looks like the guy right now with the best chance of winning. am i willing to say he is the guy with the bers chance of
winni winning? not yet. but the numbers show what the numbers show. not yet. but the numbers show what the numbers show. can't deny them. joining us now is e.j. dionne, a good friend, thank you for being here. >> happy budget day, ezra, good to see you so cheerful. >> it's not been as happy a budget day for mitt romney. so here's my question for you is what we're seeing here, is it rick santorum doing something right or is it mitt romney doing something wrong or both? >> both, i think, is the answer. i think the worst number to come out today for mitt romney was in that pew poll. mitt romney's argument, as you said in the intro, is that electable and a lot of conservatives weren't sure what mitt romney believes. many of them would be willing to take a flyer on him if they thought he was the only guy who
could beat president obama in the pew poll. obama has an 8-point lead over romney and 10-point lead over santorum. not even the margin of error, when you compare to gingrich and he was the main competitor, romney could make a strong case he was stronger than gingrich. i think what happened is on each side, the romney side, santorum side, romney has been very awkward to the point where when he uses a phrase like he governed in a severely conservative way, that is a story for days, we're talking about the word "severely" and he just does not seem comfortable. rick santorum knows what he believes and looks comfortable saying it. and i think it's that contrast that is helping rick santorum right now. >> what i thought amazing about severely conservative, it was mitt romney's only deviation from the script. he went off his script for one comment and it was a gaffe. there was a joke in a new york times magazine profile of mitt romney's campaign or mitt romney i guess, when they said some of his campaign staffers from 2008 used to say that we want to fire our speech writer, a guy on the
fourth floor, his name is mitt. there is a bit of that in this campaign. romney has not been -- he's been a disciplined campaigner but he's not been a mistake-free one. he's actually made a fair number of mistakes. that wasn't expected, as i remember. i thought the only thing with romney was he would never stray from the message and run the campaign like a corporate campaign. has that been a surprise to you? >> it hasn't been a complete surprise to me that in the spontaneous moments when you really can't script the candidate, he has been off. he was really off in the period when bain capital was under discussion, and he just really hates talking about money and it's in those times when he has shown himself out of touch with ordinary people, just can't understand or give the impression he can't understand the way average people live. and again, i think that is key to those numbers among
independents, and it's striking, obama in the pew poll is beating him in every region of the country except the south. he has a big lead in the midwest, the president does, if the republicans who made a lot of gains in the midwest in 2010 can't dent obama in the midwest it's hard to see how they can win and romney does not seem to be making it there at all. >> real quick, because there was a sort of hilarious national review editorial calling for gingrich to drop out. they were tweaking a bit because gingrich said to santorum, it does pit the two against each other. is he to run on take revenge for mitt romney for the negative ads. does gingrich drop and does he endorse santorum? >> i think gingrich is like the old song when you were a kid "this is the song that never ends, it just goes on and on -- >> my friend. >> -- my friend, yes.
newt doesn't want to drop out. i think he will wait until the next debate on the 22nd and try to do debate magic that left him during florida. but beyond that, i don't know what he will do but i don't see him ever dropping out. >> he will be in there come november, 2012. washington post columnist e.j. dionne, thank you for joining me tonight. >> good to see you, ezra. there are certain combinations that get tossed around in the news media with a lot of certainty but not much understanding. like digital platform or good sushi. one such combo is brokered convention. all the rage to talk about but few folks seem clear what it is. we'll clear up the meaning and actual chances for it, next. you get at some places. ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 they say you have to do this, have that, invest here ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 you know what? ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 you can't create a retirement plan based on ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 a predetermined script. ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 to understand you and your goals... ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 ...so together we can find real-life answers for your ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 real-life retirement. ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 talk to chuck
ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 and let's write a script based on your life story. ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 our machines help identify early stages of cancer and it's something that we're extremely proud of. you see someone who is saved because of this technology, you know that the things that you do in your life, matter. if i did have an opportunity to meet a cancer survivor, i'm sure i could take something positive away from that. [ jocelyn ] my name is jocelyn, and i'm a cancer survivor. [ mimi ] i had cancer. i have no evidence of disease now. [ erica ] i would love to meet the people that made the machines. i had such an amazing group of doctors and nurses, it would just make such a complete picture of why i'm sitting here today. ♪ [ herb ] from the moment we walked in the front door, just to see me -- not as a cancer patient, but as a person that had been helped by their work. i was just blown away. life's been good to me.
i don't think that it would be a negative for the party, a brokered convention and people who start screaming that a brokered convention is the worst thing that could happen to the gop, they have an agenda. they have their own personal or political reasons, their own candidate who they would like to see protected away from a brokered convention so anybody who starts saying they can't allow that to happen, that is part of the competition, that is part of the process, and it may happen. >> the words "brokered convention" strike joy in the hearts of the beltway pundits of which i guess i'm one. it happens when no nominee gathered enough delegates to secure the nomination. delegates are free to vote how
they want at the convention. often multiple times on multiple ballots before arriving at a nominee. if you were among us geeks and you think brokered convention, you probably imagined 1948, or republicans in 1952, when adlai stevenson had to be convinced to join the race at the convention to win the nomination. party power brokers met in secrecy, chewing on big cigars, speaking in languages to pick the nominee. in 1968 all the chaos, when hubert humphrey was the nominee after a series of speeches at the convention by fellow democrats. they emerged battered and bruised, and hubert lost to richard nixon. people's votes at the primary process had to be the way their
nominees were selected. they weren't going to wheel and deal behind closed doors. republican followed suit a few years later. since then, no cigar smoke, no wise guys in back rooms. the 1976 race came close with ronald reagan taking the fight against gerald ford all the way to the convention. but then ford squeaked by, and chinlinch ld the nomination before lose to go jimmy carter. a brokered convention is a much more elusive animal. the various candidates have to fail to attract enough delegates outright because, quote, many are bound by state rules to vote for a specific candidate based on showing in a primary caucus or convention. that has to fail first. if it did fail, if the ballot dead locked, these delegates could be released from those rules if the contest drags on and on at the convention. but it gets more complicated. plus states have their own rules. alabama can unbind their
delegates from the candidate who won the popular vote if two-thirds of them agree to do that. mississippi delegates don't have to vote for the winner of the popular vote if the candy day releases them to vote for someone else. a committee member said the truth is our rules are set up so the delegates are all independent. brokered convention not impossible but improbable republicans could stage one. then you have to ask, what would it actually accomplish? when people think about a brokered convention, they imagine a white knight scenario. chris christie jumps in or sarah palin or jeb bush. think what that would mean for any of those -- think what they would be taking on. existing candidates, mitt romney, rick santorum, gingrich, ron paul would fight like the devil. the party would be fractured. american people would see the
gop in an apparent state of collapse. if a new entrant won the nomination the convention is at the end of august. this new candidate would have two months to raise money, get organized on the ground, run ads, hire staff, learn the issues, introduce themselves to voters, get on the ground in swing states, come up with a policy platform and unite a fractured party. two months to do all that while taking on the obama campaign. that's not a coronation, that's a suicide mission. everyone respects adlai steven son, but not many politicians, especially republicans, want to actually be him. ♪ oh!
with less chronic osteoarthritis pain. imagine living your life with less chronic low back pain. imagine you, with less pain. cymbalta can help. cymbalta is fda-approved to manage chronic musculoskeletal pain. one non-narcotic pill a day, every day, can help reduce this pain. tell your doctor right away if your mood worsens, you have unusual changes in mood or behavior or thoughts of suicide. antidepressants can increase these in children, teens, and young adults. cymbalta is not approved for children under 18. people taking maois or thioridazine or with uncontrolled glaucoma should not take cymbalta. taking it with nsaids, aspirin, or blood thinners may increase bleeding risk. severe liver problems, some fatal, were reported. signs include abdominal pain and yellowing skin or eyes. tell your doctor about all your medicines, including those for migraine and while on cymbalta, call right away if you have high fever, confusion and stiff muscles
or serious allergic skin reactions like blisters, peeling rash, hives, or mouth sores to address possible life-threatening conditions. talk about your alcohol use, liver disease and before you reduce or stop cymbalta. dizziness or fainting may occur upon standing. ask your doctor about cymbalta. imagine you with less pain. cymbalta can help. go to cymbalta.com to learn about a free trial offer. the obama administration crossed a dangerous line. >> this action by the obama administration is an attack. >> outrageous assault. >> this is the kind of coercion we can expect. >> in imposing the requirement the federal government has drifted dangerously beyond its constitutional boundaries. >> once upon a time, meaning last week, republicans were doing battle with the obama administration over birth control. the scale of the fight was enormous. perhaps you noticed all over the tv every night, every day.
but the policy that was being fought over was sort of small. last week the birth control fight was about a new rule that would have required employers, including religiously affiliated employers, to include coverage for contraception in health plans for their employees. the republicans' argument was about access to birth control for a small group of women. they were arguing some employers like hospitals and universities associated with the catholic church should not be required to provide health insurance that covers birth control. it was a narrow call for a special exception for a small group of employers and it largely succeeded. the president came out friday and said okay, fine, if you're a religious organization and you don't want to provide contraception, you don't have to pay for it, but all your employers get access through their health insurance, but if they work for religious organizations that don't want to pay for it, the insurance company gets stuck with the
bill. republicans say catholic groups should not be faced for birth control. instead of declaring victory, they broadened the fight. turns out they don't want religiously affiliated employers to deny access to birth control. they want all employers to be able to deny women access to birth control. >> i think this will continue to be part of the debate unless the president totally changes his position. >> this issue will not go away until the administration simply backs down. >> he did the classic obama retreat. all right. and what i mean by that it wasn't a retreat at all. >> there is no compromise. >> it's not a compromise, he doubled down. >> if we have to try to overcome the president's opposition by legislation, of course i would support it and intend to support it. >> wherever republicans thought their position last week in their argument about the catholic church and affiliated organizations, the widening of the battle pits them against women who want contraception
covered by health insurance. that will be received as very good news at the white house. last week a poll from the public religion research institute found that 55% of all americans think all employers should have to provide employees to cover contraception at no cost. only 40% of respondents disagreed. better yet for the obama administration the idea polled 60% among young women voters. first, the obama administration is trying to see to it that their health plans cover contraception. second, the republicans are trying to make it possible for their boss, someone they may not like or ever even met, to decide whether they get access to birth control at all. joining us now, jan schakowski, democrat from illinois. congresswoman, thank you for talking with us tonight. >> thank you so much, ezra. >> were you surprised at after
the president changed the rules the catholic universities and hospitals didn't have to pay for the coverage, republicans said all employers should get the exemption? >> i think it's a colossal miscalculation on their part. 57% of catholic voters think this was a really good idea, and only 29% of catholic voters opposed that. and this is birth control we're talking about, and i think if these republicans, namely republican men because now even some of the republican women senators are changing their mind or coming out in favor of this policy, if they want to bring that on as a political issue, i say do. bring it on. because virtually 100% of americans not only embrace the idea of birth control but actually use birth control, and i think this is such an incredible mistake. >> your point about the
republicans, and we should say senator susan collins and olivia snow broke into the republican line, is interesting, because the politics of this, the way it's playing in the different coalitions, seem to have completely reversed in the last week. you were seeing splits in the democratic and now you're seeing it in the republicans. in the house, are you seeing any movement of similar frictions? >> first of all, let me tell you even before the compromise, the majority of americans were in favor of organizations. you call them religious organizations, but we're not talking about churches, houses of worship, we're talking about hospitals, charities, universities that are catholic affiliated or religious affiliated, but their employers that employ janitors and orderlies and nurses, that those
individuals ought to have access to contraception was always the majority view. i have to tell you, quite frankly, what we saw were some of the men talking about how this was about religious freedom when, in fact, it's not about religious freedom. this is about access to contraception. i think the white house, the president, came up with an absolutely brilliant compromise, and it is accepted by the catholic hospital association, by catholic charities, and now there's just the republicans and the bishops who are saying no to it. >> so how do the politics play outgoing forward? there was a group called third way, and they said those who voted for the president in 2008 were young, female and secular. this has been the third main event this year that has put birth control and services at risk. there was the funding taken from
planned parenthood, and now this. with the democrats in general willing to reenact those voters in 2012, it seems the movement that's so skeptical of birth control has done it for them. >> i think you're right. and, in fact, i was looking at the number on catholic independent voters against 56%. so that's men and women believe that this is the right policy. i think they are treading into very politically dangerous waters if they want to take on these issues that are so important to women, and as you say, young people. the issue of contraception, any controversy about birth control is done. this is the year 2012, and i think a lot of particularly young voters are absolutely astonished that this would be controversial. and so i think that they have actually helped us if they want to double down on this issue and
say this is immoral in some way. the debate in the united states of america is over. people want access to birth control. >> congresswoman january schakowsky, thank you so much for joining us tonight. >> thank you, ezra. lawrence mcdonald looks at the lasting legacy of whitney houston with the reverend al sharpton. you don't want to miss that. here, newt gingrich on facebook. his current status, as always, he's awesome. stick around. wouldn't it be cool if your car could handle the kids... ♪ ...and the nurburgring? or what if you built a car in tennessee that could change the world? yeah, that would be cool. nissan. innovation for today. innovation for tomorrow. innovation for all. ♪
♪ you and me and the big old tree ♪ ♪ side by side, one, two, three ♪ ♪ count the birds in the big old tree ♪ ♪ la la la [ male announcer ] the inspiring story of how a shipping giant can befriend a forest may seem like the stuff of fairy tales. ♪ ♪ you and me and the big old tree side by side ♪ but if you take away the faces on the trees... take away the pixie dust. take away the singing animals, and the charming outfits. take away the sprites, and the storybook narrator... [ man ] you're left with more electric trucks. more recycled shipping materials... and a growing number of lower emissions planes... which still makes for a pretty enchanted tale. ♪ la la la whoops, forgot one... [ male announcer ] sustainable solutions. fedex. solutions that matter.
how about both? with covergirl lashblast fusion. our biggest brush meets our fiberstretch formula for a blast of volume and length. lashblast fusion. from easy, breezy, beautiful covergirl. flavor, meet food. introducing swanson flavor boost. concentrated broth in easy to use packets. mix it into skillet dishes, for an instant dose of... hell-o! [ female announcer ] new swanson flavor boost. what seems like a big win for the democrats may actually be a tricky smart maneuver by the republicans to box them in before the elections. i will explain, next.
the strangest thing happened in washington today. republicans in congress gave democrats something they wanted. house republicans said they would get out of the way on extending the payroll tax cut for the many millions of americans who work for a living. it has been set to expire at the end of the month. leaders of the house majority say they will no longer insist that the money for the payroll tax cut come out of someone's hide. if the two sides can't come to a deal, they will drop the demand for cuts at all and allow the spending to go forward and allow the tax cut without being offset by spending in the budget. you can see this two ways.
the first is republicans are caving. yay, democrats. that is interpretation a. republicans caving. interpretation b. democrats, look out! it's a trap. so which is it? a victory for democrats or a plot by republicans? the argument for interpretation b goes like this. payroll tax cut negotiations are not just about the payroll tax cut. they're also about extending unemployment insurance benefits and preventing a massive cut to medicare, that for reasons frankly too inane and complex. the unemployment insurance benefits are hugely important to both the economy and unemployed. economic forecasters say we could lose as half a point of growth if they are allowed to expire. medicare fix is important for seniors. both were tied to the payroll tax cut negotiations. neither is in the clean payroll tax bill republicans are now offering democrats. so that is interpretation b. republicans are not caving.
they took the wrong hostage, so they are taking the eu and medicare hostage instead. if democrats come back to the table, they no longer have the leverage of the payroll tax cut because republicans are on record saying they want to extend it. i asked brad, the communication director whether the answer was a or b. he wouldn't say. the republican position, he said, is that, quote, unless there is a deal, we'll move forward to ensure no worker faces a tax hike. make of that what you will. so on the one hand, maybe republicans caved on the payroll tax cut. on the other hand maybe republicans have an awesome plan or both hands. maybe democrats have a counter strategy. joining us is brian beutler for talking points memo. we enjoined your coverage, thank you for coming on the show. >> thanks for having me on, ezra. >> you reported on the democrats counter plan, they say this might be republicans might have negotiating strategy but they have a way to combat that,
explain that a little bit. >> sure. so the way this is going to have to work legislatively if they can't reach a deal, i think democrats are perfectly happy to take the tax cut. the house will have to pass it. they will have to get a majority or super majority of house members to pass it, and send it off to the senate. senate democrats think what we can do is take those other two items you were talking about and tack those on, and those two items cost about $60 million over ten years. they think they have other cuts they can find elsewhere in the budget that republicans will agree to and then present it on the senate floor as, you know, just a single legislative package that extends all three but only pays for those latter two smaller items. then they can send that right back over to the house, and if john boehner and eric cantor want to pick the fight all over again and pass until the senate
passes, they can do that, but they're asking for trouble that way. >> if the republicans do that, they send the tax deal forward and democrats put the unemployed insurance benefits and they put the medicare patch on, they can basically have the fight they were going to have, anyway, and say, look, are you guys going to lelt a tax cut for all middle class americans expire simply to stop unemployment benefits and so stop a doctor from being driven out of medicare. >> it puts republicans in the position of saying, do we want to risk this whole thing by quibbling over how to pay for those other two items and unemployment insurance? if they do, i suppose they could, and democrats could just pass the payroll tax cut. that's $100 billion, get it off their plate. if republicans want to say to democrats, we'll pass this if you agree to partisan budget cuts, they're going to get an earful from doctors and from seniors who really want to make sure that those position
reimbursement rates don't go down. and no legislator with 8.5% unemployment wants to see -- you know, wants to be held accountable for letting benefits lapse. the democrats did sort of score a big victory today. >> if you take the other interpretation, right, the republicans really sort of took a look at this and said, it's an election year, we can't be held responsible. it's better we compromise is get something done. there is a dream people in the white house have that they call the '96 scenario in which mitt romney isn't doing that well and rick santorum and ron paboehner say, look, we'll make a deal, then we are continuing this strategy of relentless constructionism. do you see the germ of that
here? do you think this is extendible to other issues, or do you think this is the unique payroll tax or doing what the republicans did, framing their decision back in december? >> i guess it remains to be seen. we'll see how things look if march, april. this is the last really big issue where there is a deadline where something is about to expire, and if they don't act now, something bad will happen tie lot of voters. that's not going to happen again. if anything, this 9-6 scenario that the white house envisions that you're talking about would require the republicans to volunteer to come to the table to basically reverse the last year of their lejs lagislating say, all right, we'll find and pay for tax increases the democrats want in order to pass these goals president obama has, does it make it more likely he will win? i don't see them embracing that dynamic. i much more imagine them finding much more modest areas of the agreement that don't require them to compromise any of the
principles they laid out when they came to power. nothing near the scale of $100 billion payroll tax cut is really going to happen. and all the big stuff that really is on the horizon is going to be determined by the outcome at the convention. republicans aren't going to make that election margin bigger for barack obama. senior congressional member. good to see you. >> thanks, ezra. next up, newt gingrich's upcoming career now on facebook. we're not sending a friend request. laces? really? slip-on's the way to go. more people do that, security would be like -- there's no charge for the bag. thanks. i know a quiet little place where we can get some work done. there's a three-prong plug. i have club passes. [ male announcer ] now there's a mileage card that offers special perks on united, like a free checked bag, united club passes, and priority boarding. thanks. ♪ okay. what's your secret? ♪
[ male announcer ] the new united mileageplus explorer card. get it and you're in. nyquil tylenol: we are?ylenol. you know we're kinda like twins. nyquil (stuffy): yeah, we both relieve coughs, sneezing, aches, fevers. tylenol: and i relieve nasal congestion. nyquil (stuffy): overachiever. anncr vo: tylenol cold multi-symptom nighttime relieves nasal congestion... nyquil cold & flu doesn't. without the stuff that we make here, you wouldn't be able to walk in your house and flip on your lights. [ brad ] at ge we build turbines that power the world. they go into power plants which take some form of energy, harness it, and turn it into more efficient electricity. [ ron ] when i was a kid i wanted to work with my hands, that was my thing. i really enjoy building turbines. it's nice to know that what you're building is gonna do something for the world. when people think of ge, they typically don't think about beer. a lot of people may not realize that the power needed to keep their budweiser cold and even to make their beer comes from turbines made right here. wait, so you guys make the beer? no, we make the power that makes the beer. so without you there'd be no bud? that's right.
♪ [ male announcer ] this is zales, the diamond store. i want to fix up old houses. ♪ [ woman ] when i grow up, i want to take him on his first flight. i want to run a marathon. i'm going to own my own restaurant. when i grow up, i'm going to start a band. [ female announcer ] at aarp we believe you're never done growing. thanks, mom. i just want to get my car back. [ female announcer ] discover what's next in your life. get this free travel bag when you join at aarp.org/jointoday. this afternoon, newt gingrich posted an astounding status update on his facebook page, because he's super digital and down with the kids. it said, quote, i'm proud to become the first ever facebook candidate to show the important
events in my life and a history of promoting the conservative cause. that's a really good idea. start ng 2012, here's his cpac speech last week. today he won the south carolina primary. there's more endorsements. he'll be back in 2011. newt's daughters are talking about their dad, lots of clips. there's an announcement last may he's running for president. he got married to calista in 1999, left the house of representatives, left his job as speaker of the house. okay. i've seen enough of this. you know, it's funny, he seems to have left some stuff out. he's such a busy gauy. let me see if i can help. let's go back to 2009. newt gingrich at a health conference talking up the original mandate. we actually have a clip, i
think. >> we believe that there should be must carry, that is, everyone should either have health insurance, or if you're an absolute libertarian, we would allow you to post a bond, but we would not allow people to be free riders failing to ensure themselves and then showing up at the emergency room with no means of payment. >> all right. let's get that in. okay. another thing to stick in 2009, gingrich's political action committee revokes its political campaign of the year awards. let's go to '08. let's add gingrich sitting on a couch with nancy pelosi to demand action on climate change. that should definitely be in there. why is that not in there? back in 2000, he got married, but something is missing. let's go back to the divorce from wife number 2 in 2000 and the beginning of his affair with his current wife all the way back to