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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  December 8, 2012 3:00am-4:00am PST

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when you lost the thing you can't believe you lost.. when what you just bought, just broke. or when you have a little trouble a long way from home... as an american express cardmember you can expect some help. but what you might not expect, is you can get all this with a prepaid card. spends like cash. feels like membership. maddow show."to be full of news including big news out of the supreme court. things out of the middle east. one of the coolest pictures ever having a big revival. but we begin with important news out of washington. for all the squabbling politicians and the whining pundits, we can announce to you tonight, right here, right now, there's a budget deal that's
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becoming clear. our long national nightmare might almost, and i repeat, it's washington, almost be over. this is kind of like one of those kids games where you have to look at a picture that looks like nonsense until your eyes filter out the garbage and you can finally see the sailboat. that's what's going on in washington. you have to filter out the garbage. take yesterday for example. i don't tune into c-span2 for comedy, just because it's good television. but the senate was being hilarious about the debt ceiling, which is hard to be hilarious about. here's what happened. the white house has been pushing a plan to take control of the debt ceiling away from congress. that way congress couldn't blow up the world economy for no good reason. it's like taking the really sharp knives covered with explosives away from the kid whose been having a lot of temper tantrums. it seems like a good thing to do. the white house calls it the
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mcconnell plan because it's based on an idea that mitch mcconnell proposed back in july 2011. but even though it is mitch mcconnell's idea, even though he came up with it, mitch mcconnell is not for it. mitch mcconnell at this point does not support the mcconnell plan at all. he didn't think democrats did either. and yesterday he wanted to call their bluff. now that is when c-span2 suddenly became amazing television. yesterday afternoon mitch mcconnell asked the senate to move to an immediate vote on the mcconnell plan. vote on it now. he figured majority leader harry reid would back down and prove that even democrats don't like this idea. but reid did not back down. he doubled down. he said, yeah, let's vote on the plan. but let's move to an immediate up or down vote. no filibuster, no 60-vote requirement, let's see if it gets 51. if so, it's passed. at which point mcconnell, seemingly kind of taken aback,
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kind of filibustered his own bill. he said, no, if we're not going to have a 60-vote threshold, there would be no vote at all. so in the space of a few minutes, mitch mcconnell moved to vote on the plan, had gotten his wish, and then he launched a filibuster or a 60-vote challenge against a vote he asked for. democratic senator claire mccaskill was senate president at the time. here was her reaction. >> is their objection to the original request? >> yeah, i object. >> objection is heard. i got whiplash. >> i got whiplash. that, ladies and gentlemen, that is the world's greatest deliberative body in action. that is also the kind of thing people who don't know how to see the sailboat are in washington. it's all games the two parties are playing to prove they are really committed to beating the other side to a bloody pulp. that's what they have to do. it's part of the whole dance. their base won't trust them. they won't buy the final deal if they don't think their party has
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fought as hard as they possibly can. if you watch these games closely, it's easy to get depressed. the parties are angry, disappointed. they are petty and sorrowful and vengeful. but behind all that, if you filter it out, if you look at the offers on the table and the counteroffers and in particular if you look at the red lines that are being proposed by john boehner and president obama, if you look at these very closely, a deal is beginning to take shape. watch this. you remember during the presidential campaign what president obama used to say over and over again about tax rates? about what his plan was for tax rates? president obama was crystal clear about what he wanted. >> i have said that for incomes over $250,000 a year that we should go back to the rates that we had when bill clinton was president. i want to reform the tax codes so that it's simple, fair, and asks the wealthiest households
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to pay taxes on incomes over $250,000. the same rate we had when bill clinton was president. we have to ask you and me and the wealthiest among us to go back to the clinton rates for income above $250,000. >> the clinton tax rates, we need to go back to the clinton tax rates. that's not a generic policy idea. that's really specific. the clinton tax rate for high income earners was 39.6%. that's what president obama was calling for during the campaign. that's still what president obama is calling for now. but now when you ask him if that's the red line, if you ask if he will accept anything else, he doesn't really answer. >> tax rates. are you -- is there no deal at the end of the year if tax rates for the top 2% aren't the clinton tax rates, period. no ifs, ands or buts, any room to negotiate, on that specific aspect of the fiscal cliff. >> with respect to the tax rates, i want to emphasize, i am
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open to new ideas. i'm not going to slam the door in their face. i want to hear -- i want to hear ideas from everybody. >> that's not a no. here is the treasury secretary timothy geithner. the top negotiator for barack obama. >> there's no agreement that doesn't involve the rates going up on the top 2%. only the top 2%. >> not necessarily going up to the clinton era rates. just going up. today at a press conference at the capital, house speaker john boehner got a question about this. listen carefully to how he responded or didn't respond. >> you did speak with the president earlier this week. can you characterize that call? if he called, did he have any kind of counter-offer? and also we understand that he just is making clear that it's got to be increasing rates for the wealthy or no deal. are you willing to give a little bit? maybe just not all the way to 39.6? >> the phone call was pleasant, but just more of the same.
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the conversations that the staff had yesterday, just more of the same. it's time for the president, if he's serious, to come back to us with a counteroffer. >> again, not a no on the rates going up thing. john boehner didn't answer the tax part of the question at all. he talked about the phone call. it was pleasant. he did not say we republicans will not allow tax rays to go up at all. you see the deal that's taking place. the one that's taking shape even though boehner say there's no progress and democrats talking doomsday. a lot of the players i talked to think something like this is going to happen. the final rates raise a bit giving democrats a win. not back to 39%, giving republicans a win. maybe they will be 37%. maybe 38%. that won't raise enough revenue so it will be combined with some policy to cap tax deductions for the rich, perhaps at $25,000 or $50,000, more along the lines republicans have been talking about. that won't take effect right
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away. it will be phased in. it will probably include an exemption for charitable contributions. the harder question is what republicans get on the spending side of that deal. but even that doesn't seem to be such a mystery these days. there will be a lot of nips and tucks to medicare in particular. a lot of cost sharing. there will be a unified deductible and increases in provider payments. and the headline democratic concession is likely to be the medicare eligibility age rises from 65 to 67. medicare eligibility age rises. democrats do not like that idea as house minority leader nancy pelosi explained yesterday. >> first of all, show me the money. i don't even know why that is something that people think is going to produce money. what are we going to do with people between 65 and 67? show me the money there. but it's not even the right thing to do, first and foremost. but is it a trophy that the republicans want?
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is that the trophy they want in order to do what is right to raise the rates for the wealthiest people in our country? >> let me say for the record i think pelosi is right. i don't think raising medicare eligibility age is a good idea. i'm going to show you the money later on. i'll show you exactly how it works. but what she did not do is not rule it out. if republicans end up getting it, and remember, it is something the obama administration told john boehner they were willing to trade away back in the 2011 negotiations. if republicans end up getting it, that will feel like a big win for them. enough to unlock the tax deal. i'm not saying the final negotiation here will be easy. one thing that's a tough sticking point in negotiations is the debt ceiling. we begin with that tonight, which the white house wants to get rid of that forever. there's not been a lot of
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republican movement on the forever deal. i'm not saying they are not going to get to a deal before the deadline, but don't be fooled by the posturing. there is a sailboat. it's coming clearer. joining us is the former budget director for the obama administration. vice chairman of global bang banking at citigroup, a veteran of these negotiations. thank you for being here on a friday night. >> good to be with you. >> peter, you have been in a lot of these negotiations. you've been in there, seen how they go. what is your take right now? >> i think as you pointed out, it's still early. it's december 7th. both sides would be complaining if there were actually an agreement in place right now. but you can see the pieces coming together, as you laid out, on the fiscal cliff. some increase in marginal tax rates coupled with some kind of cutting back on tax expenditures. the real concern is shifting or will shift from the fiscal cliff to the debt limit. it's not at all clear that the republicans will agree to including a debt limit increase
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in that kind of package. if they don't, we may get past december 31st only to find ourselves with a big problem in february or march. >> the obama administration, the white house has been very clear, they will not sign anything, even to get past december 31st. that doesn't include a debt ceiling of some sort. so do you think they can hold firm on that if republicans offer them a package that doesn't include the debt ceiling? >> this is where i think the tension is now arising, which is even if you have some agreement over the tax rates which will jam the republicans a bit, can you jam them on the debt limit also. i think the concern will be an administration overstepping or overreaching and trying to jam a debt limit increase, especially the kinds that are being discussed now. i'm all in favor of getting rid of the debt limit. it makes no sense from a technical perspective. from a policy perspective. but it's probably a bridge too far to attempt that right now. so the question i think really
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will become, without any more significant entitlement reform, at the very least the kind of medicare eligibility age increase you were discussing is a debt limit increase going to be part of this end of the year package. if not, will the administration appear at victory on marginal tax rates only to find themselves in a harder position in february with the debt limit still out there. >> the other side of this is the question of whether or not speaker boehner can deliver votes. the thing that a lot of people worry about in private is him and obama will cut a deal in late december negotiations. but boehner has been making tough moves with conservatives in his own caucus, kicking them off committees. when it comes down to it he's going to agree to something with the president and it is not going to be able to pass his own conference. do you have any sense of what you think he's able to do and not do at this point? >> we come back again to the entitlement question. it's going to be easier for the
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house republican caucus to swallow some marginal tax rate increase and a debt limit increase especially if they have got something to show for it. and the irony here, on a whole variety of issue, the democrats should actually be in favor of certain kinds of progressive entitlement reforms. it's not actually that big of a give. on social security, as an example, democrats have won for the time being on privatization being completely off the table. there's a strong argument for trying to lock that in now as opposed to waiting and having that potentially come back. in addition, one of the big concerns here is doing too much fiscal austerity too soon. in 2013. the more you did in the form of social security which can be phased in gradually over time, the lighter the load imposed in 2013. that's a good thing despite the good news this morning from the employment release. we still face a labor market
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that's too weak. >> let me ask you, do you think they get this done with at least two years by christmas. >> i think that's less than a 50% at this point. >> peter, former director of the office and management and budget for citigroup. budget, thank you for your time. i wish your probability had been higher. >> so do i. just when we were starting to think it might be a slow news day, bam. the supreme court is going to take up same-sex marriage. history is on the docket twice, coming up. ople have doubts about taking aspirin for pain. but they haven't experienced extra strength bayer advanced aspirin. in fact, in a recent survey, 95% of people who tried it agreed that it relieved their headache fast. visit today for a special trial offer. how much is your current phone bill? four sixteen seventy six a month! okay, come with me -- we're gonna save you money. with straight talk at walmart, you get unlimited talk, text and data for only $45 a month per phone. would we get the same coverage? same coverage on america's best networks. you saved $146.76 by switching to straight talk.
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in 1967 supreme court ruled unanimously that race cannot be used as a basis to restrict marriage in the united states. this was a famous case. you learned about it in high school. loving versus virginia. the amazingly named lovings were richard and mildred.
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in 1958 they left virginia and traveled to washington, d.c. so they could get married. when they returned to virginia where interracial marriage was against the law, they were sentenced to a year in prison for getting married. when the judge in virginia sentenced them to prison, he said "god created the races and placed them on separate continents. the fact he separated the races, he did not intend for the races to mix." the lovings appealed that decision and eventually won at the supreme court, there by changing the country. but why did it take until 1967 for the supreme court to weigh in on interracial marriage? by 1954, the court had already ruled in cases involving race and segregation and discrimination. the most famous in brown v. board of education, which the court held unanimously separate was unconstitutional. so why wait until 1967 to hear the case about interracial marriage. here are all of the states that
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had laws on the books in 1947 banning interracial marriage. by 1967 only 16 states still had those laws on the books. in the two decades between 1947 and 1967, the years the supreme court was staying mum on the issue, most states decided on their own it was unconstitutional to ban interracial marriage, or at least was. the court was following on their heels, following the heels of public opinion. this is a big debate in the legal world. is the supreme court influenced by american public opinion? these are nine people who could completely ignore the will of the people. they are appointed for life. no election. no culpability. they can totally ignore us if they choose. many legal experts say that's not how it works. supreme court justices are, in fact, swayed by what people in this country think about issues. today the supreme court announced it would hear two cases involving same-sex marriage next year. that's huge. they would hear the prop 8 case out of california. prop 8 is the california ballot proposition which amended the california constitution to define marriage between a man and a woman.
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the court will some time this year, probably in june, decide whether that amendment is unconstitutional. but the court also said it would hear a challenge to the defense of marriage act, a 1996 law passed under president clinton that defined marriage between a man and a woman for the purposes of federal law. the question is why now? why did the supreme court choose this moment? nine states and washington, d.c. all recognize same-sex marriage now. that doesn't seem like very many but it's happening quickly. three of those states people voted to legal marriage in november. maryland, maine, washington. first time ever done so. there's a big public opinion trend here. since '04, "the washington post" abc news polls have been asking people should it be legal or illegal for gay and lesbian couples to get married? in 2004, 59% of people said they thought it should be against the law. in 2012 it was almost the opposite. 53% favor making it legal.
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pew has been asking the question since 1996. when 65% of people were against same-sex marriage. by october of this year, 49% were for marriage equality while 40% opposed it. one more set of numbers. gallup released its own polling on same-sex marriage this week. 53% of people polled support legalizing same-sex marriage. which ties a previous record high. but look inside the poll. among young people 18 to 29-year-olds, 73% say they think same-sex marriage should be recognized. 73%. here's the question. the court is choosing to rule now. are the justices looking at the trends and saying we need to use our power, our installation from public opinion to put a stop to this or are they looking at the trends and seeing a chance to join history, to become the court that says gay marriage is protected under the
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constitution. joining us is the chief justice professor at constitutional law at nyu law school. thank you for being here. that's a great title. >> thanks, ezra. >> my question is simple, why now? >> in part, the court is a passive institution. it can't reach out and grab cases. but i think there's an additional layer to your question. why didn't the court say we're not going to review this case? even if it's being petitioned to us. one of the cases that we didn't look at in your excellent introduction is a 1956 case called maine versus maine, this is right after brown versus board of education when they are handing out these orders extending the principle at public accommodations. but it has a marriage case and gets rid of it and says this is too soon. and so it sits 11 years later to take it up. many of us thought this is exactly what's going to happen with the prop 8 case. the doma case is slightly
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different for reasons we can go into. but many of us thought the prop 8 case it's going to go back. it's going to be legal in california but nowhere else and the court is going to wait another ten years. then wash out the outliers like intraracial marriage did. >> so what are the implications -- the differing implications of how they could rule? what different parts of the gay marriage question could they resolve? >> the doma case is a much more easy case. it's a much more challenge. all it does is to return congress to its original position of following whatever states' definition of marriage are. in some ways it was crafted, it's a movement. they tend to be pro-state's rights and the liberals are pro gay, so essentially toward the middle, these are justice kennedy's favorite things. that's clearly a fifth vote for this case. we assume.
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so i think everyone imagined everyone since appellate court struck down the congressional statute that invariably leads the supreme court to review the case. everyone thought they would take the case. i think they are going to do the right thing and strike it down. the other case is much more complicated. the doma case doesn't affect any state decisions. where the perry case, the outcome -- >> that's the prop 8 case in california. >> exactly. thank you for helping me out there. the perry case says there's this definition passed by a ballot initiative in 2008 that says that marriage is between one man and one woman. if the the supreme court goes broad on that and says there's a fundamental right for same-sex couples to marry, that could flip the remaining 41 states that don't have same-sex marriage to require them to have same-sex marriage. i don't think that's going to happen.
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i think there's many weigh stations between 0 and 50. for example, the court could look at this and say there are a bunch of states, eight states that say we're going to give you the rights and benefits of marriage but we're going to withhold the word marriage. the court can look and say you're worried about is brand. all you're saying is if you let gays into marriage that's going to diminish the brand. we're going to strike that down. we're going to add those states to the ledger of the nine states that allow the marriage bring the total to 17. somewhere down the line, we'll do the loving vs. virginia move. washing out the outliers, which you said in 1967. right now, it would be washing out 41 states. a much bigger proposition. >> so very quickly before we go, today is a good day for supporters of gay marriage. that's the bottom line? >> i think it's a great day. i think it's a great day because in the perry case, there's no question it's a great day in respect to dom, a. a great day if you're on the pro side.
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for the perry case, it's a great day even though there might be skeptics because in that case there's a beautiful record, there's a trial in this case. whenever there's a trial, the pro-gay side wins. it's almost a per se rule. in very red states like arkansas and relatively red states like florida, gay rights activists have won and blue states without a trial, we have lost in states like new york or maryland. so because there was a trial and a 3,000 page record the supreme court will look at, i think the perry case is a sleeper winner. >> thank you so much for being here tonight. >> thank you so much for having me. if you are former bill clinton, you have a global initiative named after you. if you're edwin hubble, there's a telescope named after you. if you're george foreman, five sons named after you and grills. i'm ezra klein, and the only thing named after me is the challenge we invented here when i explain wongy stuff quickly. i'm okay with that. phony's ezra klein challenge is next.
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something so geeky that i'm pushing the limits that even the "the rachel maddow show" staff of geeks will tolerate, the producers here get me to do it in two minutes or less. tonight's challenge comes in something i mentioned earlier. the medicare eligibility age. sexy topic, right? try to control yourself, rachel maddow's audience. despite the fact it's unpopular, republicans really want to make cuts in medicare and
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specifically they want to raise the eligibility age by two years, from 65 to 67. that's also super unpopular. but the white house is open to it. they are open to it in 2011 in the boehner/obama talks. they are open to it now. what's weird about this policy is it's always presented as the height of fiscal responsibility, even though it's kind of fiscally irresponsible, which brings us to the challenge. why raising the age does not save you very much money and is probably a bad policy idea in under two minutes. do we have the clock? let's do it. the argument for cutting 65 and 67 years old out of medicare in a deficit talk is simple. it saves money. the keizer family foundation estimates that when it's all said and done, the government could save $5.7 billion in the first year of that plan. but those 65 and 66-year-olds they don't disappear. they are still going to be here and they are even going to get sick sometimes, which means the savings we'd see by
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kicking them off medicare rolls will pop back up in the economy. it's not pure savings, it's a cost shift. first and foremost, you're going to see increased costs for seniors who will have to find another health insurer since medicare is huge and uses its bargaining power to pay less by quite a bit. the seniors turning to private insurance will have to pay more for the same coverage. 3.7 billion more in the first year of the policy. for those 65 and 66 years old who are eligible for medicaid, states will have to pick up some of that tab. so three-quarters of a billion dollars will pick up that tab, we think. then there are the employers. many of the ineligible will turn to their employers. that will increase the health care costs of companies by $4.5 billion. some of the seniors will turn to the affordable care act raising premiums for young people in the insurance exchanges. those left in medicare will pay a higher premium because the younger, healthier premiums have
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left, which means average premiums go up for those that are older and sicker. that will cost $2.5 billion. in order to save the federal government $5.7 billion, this plan to raise medicare eligibility would cost twice that much across the economy. done. stop the clock. so that is the explanation in under two minutes as promised. you might wonder, though, given all that, why are democrats even considering a policy so fiscally pointless. the reason this plan doesn't save much money is the same reason they are considering it. it won't hurt people all that much compared to the alternatives on the table. this point was made at new york magazine. calling the medicare eligibility proposal a sensible bone to throw to the right because it has weirdly symbolic power and fiscal skolds. meager and inefficient though the savings may be, they pack a lot of punch. that's what nancy pelosi meant when she called it a trophy.
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republicans see this as a big win for them. big. and that's kind of the white house's quiet argument. it's a terrible policy, but because obama care and employers and others are there to catch a lot of these people, it might get more republican votes while doing less harm to seniors than the alternatives. with the spark cash card from capital one, olaf gets great rewards for his small business! pizza! [ garth ] olaf's small business earns 2% cash back on every purchase, every day! helium delivery. put it on my spark card! [ pop! ] [ garth ] why settle for less? great businesses deserve great rewards! awesome!!! [ male announcer ] the spark business card from capital one. choose unlimited rewards with 2% cash back
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there is in life reality. reality is real. that's kind of its key feature. it doesn't care whether or not you like it and if you go against it, you tend to lose. for instance, when your political party decides to ignore warnings about the changing demographics in the country and you decide to go against the reality latino voters are the fastest growing bloc, women are voting in big numbers, african-americans are voting in big numbers and instead you focus on policies that latinos and african-americans find cruel because you hope they won't show up to the polls in big numbers, you end up with barack obama, two-term president. republicans tried to cross reality and reality won. the demographics of the country are changing. we're facing another set of realities about our changing nation. since 1960, realities.
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the federal government has taken in taxes that equals 18% of the overall economy. it's 17.8% to be exact. that's become something of a magic number in politics. on both sides of the aisle. you tell us orrin hatch loves the 18%. if we keep all the bush tax cuts, we stick at that magic according to orrin hatch, that means, quote, taxes would still be high enough compared to recent history." just because that's how high they were in the past. across the political spectrum, consider warren buffett and higher taxes for the rich. he wrote "our government's goal should be to bring in 18.5% revenue of gdp and spend about 21% of gdp. why? he doesn't say. those are levels attained over extended periods in the past. okay. well then. permit me a descent from the oracle of omaha. the average of our past revenue is not sufficient to sustain our future. in fact, it wasn't even enough to support our past. only three times in the past 50
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years has the 18% been enough to balance the budget. all those times were in the '60s. the only recent balancing came during the clinton era when growth was strong. revenue ranged from 19.5% of the overall economy to 20.6%. by bumping along with the magic average of 18%, we have built the national debt that dominates the political discussion and it's going to get worse if we stay there. the future debt we're talking and worrying about is driven by two things. health care and old people. the coming years are going to have more of both. today the elderly make up 13% of the u.s. population. by 2050, they are expected to be 20%. 20%. that means you'll need to spend a lot more on social security and medicare. meanwhile the development of new miracle treatments we hope will keep happening and that will push the cost even higher. the future turns out to be expensive. that's simply the reality of it. and opposing tax increases doesn't change that reality. there's nothing in grover norquist's pledge that stops the
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aging process. if there was, i would take it. so there's no way the tax receipts of the 1960s will support the demographics of america in the 2020s or the 2030s. anyone who says otherwise is not taking the reality seriously. joining us is a man who always takes reality seriously. chris hayes. >> religiously. >> religiously. so one thing i always think is true in our political discussions is we don't like to face up to big changes. we like to use them as evidence for why whatever policies we support need to happen. but particularly the aging of this society, i don't think we've come anywhere close to thinking about what that will mean for the economy or the government or any of it it. >> the only discussion we have is we're getting older so the entitlement programs will go bankruptcy. we have to make cuts. when you think about it, what does a mature society value and how does it want to spend its marginal dollar. think as an individual, how do you want to spend it at 25 and how do you want to spend it at 75? at 25 maybe you want to buy an
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extra shot or get a video game system. >> i feel like you're making the 25-year-olds look a little trivial. >> or maybe another look let's say. at 75 if someone says you can spend another marginal dollar to get another three months of life, people are going to buy that. and as we mature as a society, as we get older, those choices are on a social level, we're just going to make more and it's going to be more expensive and we'll have to pay more. there's no way around that. >> what are the ironies of this conversation. the fundamental challenge of an aging society, you have more old people and fewer young working people. rates change slowly and lately they have been dropping. we do have a way to change it if we wanted to. we have immigration. a lot of people would like to come here but it's the same coalition that doesn't like increasing taxes to pay for your aging society that doesn't like to let anybody in to work for and pay for your aging society. something is going to have to give in a very big way.
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>> and the tension on the immigration side is going to give first. for exactly that. >> i do. the hydraulics of this work out that the pressure is the least there. the bizarre thing about the modern republican party and you have written about this and i talked about this is the fact that it is essentially this kind of rear guard action to defend at all costs the social democratic state that older americans that vote for republicans live in and worries ant any incursions from people outside there. if ultimately the fact is they are choosing between a more liberal immigration policy and cutting into those social democratic benefits that older americans get, i think you can see people actually choose the immigration pathway. >> the other thing i worry about on the tax side of it is the interaction of the pledging republicans and what will happen here. one thing that is true is that taxes will have to go up probably by significantly more than president obama is talking about now. it isn't a good idea to do all
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that on the income tax code. when you hit at a certain level, it gets inefficient. but grover norquist is smart on this. even if it's more efficient, that makes it easier to raise taxes. i worry the compromise here is a tax code that gets high enough it's hurting the country because republicans one allow creation of real tax reform that would support it. >> the other problem. i totally agree. the other problem, you end up in a situation where we on the books have a progressive system. even compared to other countries. we pay much less in taxes overall, and we have much stingier-defined public goods. that we provision through the state. the point is that the most successful social welfare states are one where there's this universal pay-in and universal benefit. the way we're going with this inequality is talking about means testing and redistribution, which is away from a model of universal pay-in
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and universal benefit, that is the thing that is long-term sustainable. >> chris hayes, thank you for being here. host of "up with chris hayes." one of the coolest things human beings has ever seen celebrates a big birthday. it also happens to be one of the coolest mysteries never sold. it's sort of a best new moment of geek and it's coming up. [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus presents the cold truth. i have a cold... i took dayquil, but i still have a runny nose. [ male announcer ] truth is, dayquil doesn't work on runny noses. what? [ male announcer ] it doesn't have an antihistamine. really? [ male announcer ] really. alka-seltzer plus cold and cough fights your worst cold symptoms, plus has a fast acting antihistamine to relieve your runny nose. [ sighs ] thank you! [ male announcer ] you're welcome. that's the cold truth! [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus. ♪ oh what a relief it is! ♪ [ male announcer ] to learn more about the cold truth and save $1 visit alka-seltzer on facebook. it's healthier, and the only one clinically proven. with aloe, vitamins, and no ammonia. my hair looks healthier than before i colored. i switched.
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en1997, the jordanian bureau chief of hamas, palestinian group elected governingentity in gaza strip and considered by many, including the united states, to be a terrorist organization. at the khalid was living in exile in jordan, from there he allegedly orchestrated a number of attacks on israel. israel's prime minister was benjamin netanyahu and that year in 1997, mr. netanyahu green lit a plan for israel's intelligence agency to kill mr. mashal. it did not go well. >> as he arrived at work, two suspicious men approached him. >> translator: i was just entering my office when i heard a sound. then i felt an electric shock throughout my body. >> his body guard chased the two men up the street in jordan's
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capital ahman, caught them and beat them. the two insisted they were canadian tourists out shopping. within hours, the leader of the terrorist group hamas was in the hospital vomiting, dizzy and on a respirator to help him breathe. the two men were hitman from israel's legendary secret service. the mission was to poison the hamas leader in retaliation for suicide bombings inside the country. a humiliating blunder for israel >> it was a disaster. it was as if it was part of a bad hollywood movie. >> jordan's king hussain was outraged. the hit was in his capital and his israel's strongest ally. hussain made two deals. he would return the two captured agents if first israel would provide an antidote for the poison. and second, israel had to free this man from jail. shaikh, the sick but still
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powerful spiritual leader of hamas. today he got a hero's welcome in gaza. also free 22 hamas fighters. the incident has proved a disaster. >> the failed assassination was a disaster for israel. the guy they were trying to kill did not die. israeli agents were captured. they provided an antidote for the guy they were going to kill and had to release two dozen men from jail to get their guy back from jordan. this pressured him to resign. again he's the prime minister and mashal is the red of hamas. he's lived in exile the entire time. he was born on the west bank and left as a kid but never been to gaza where hamas is based until today. today he visited gaza for the first time in his life. he was there to celebrate the 25th anniversary. there will be a huge rally tomorrow. also on the agenda, a visit to the family of one of the men released from an israeli prison 15 years ago in the wake of that failed assassination attempt.
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that one released from prison by israel. he was successfully assassinated by israel in 2004. khaled meshaal visited his family home today. but the most important thing to know here is how the head of hamas got into gaza. he was allowed to enter the territory through egypt. egypt's former president hosni mubarak on the left never would have allowed it. he hated hamas. egypt's current president mohamed morsi does not. he is a member of the muslim brotherhood, a cousin of hamas. so the head of hamas was allowed to travel to the gaza strip. that's one example of the tectonic shift going on in politics in that part of the world right now. here is another. this is cairo. not during the revolution that brought morsi to power, but now, this is cairo right now. tens of thousands of protesters have been out there for about two weeks in the famed tahrir square and near the presidential palace. they're very upset that their newly elected democratically
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elected president morsi is doing things that are not so democratic. he is trying to make it so his decisions are not subject to judicial review. at least six civilians have been killed and hundreds injured in the violence. president obama called his egyptian counterpart yesterday to express concern about the situation that seems to be spinning out of control. he urged president morsi to meet with and negotiate with the opposition. and then there is syria, where nbc news reports the assad regime is preparing chemical weapons that can be loaded onto missiles. and human rights groups say more than 40,000 people have been killed in the last 21 months. we here in america are really intent right now on how we will rewrite our tax code. but if matters in egypt and syria or israel and the palestinian territories which are already getting pretty deadly and tragic and chaotic, if they get worse, the crisis about high end marginal tax cuts and budget deficits will begin to look a lot less like a crisis in comparison.
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cool image. a nighttime view of the earth from space. nasa was able to show us this image, thanks to a new satellite equipped with something called visible infrared imaging radiometer suite. but this image of the globe from space is not what you might think it is. we do not have a camera far enough away from earth to get a great picture of the whole thing. it's a composite knitted together from data taken by the satellite as it made several passes around the earth. lots of the cool pictures you see like of hurricanes from space are actually composites. anything close enough to the earth to be held by its gravitational pull is also too close to get a whole earth picture. for perspective, this is what the earth looks like from the international space station. you can't really see the whole thing at once. only a couple dozen earthlings have ever been far enough from the earth to see the whole thing. like the crew of apollo 8, who took this picture commonly known
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as "earth rise" from the window of the craft as they orbited the moon in 1968. unfortunately, nearly half the earth was in shadow. an unmanned soviet spacecraft called zond 7 got this shot during a lunar fly-by. palin 1969. i guess you would call that a gibbous earth. not quite full but close. but 40 years ago today three people were able to get this amazing view of the earth, fully lit by the sun. it is probably a shot you have seen so often you don't think how amazing it really is. it was nicknamed the blue marble and it was taken by one of the astronauts on board, apollo 17. apollo 17 launched 40 years ago today, december 7, 1972. it was a night launch, aiming for the littoral valley. gene cernan, harrison jack schmitt and ron evans aboard. apollo 17 launched at night, and when they landed three days later, the sun was behind them. and so that particular launch
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trajectory put a fully formed beautifully lit earth in the window of the command module at a time when the astronauts really should have been too busy to look at it. here is how al reinert, who co-wrote the movie "apollo 13" describes what happened. quote, at five hours and a few minutes into the flight of apollo 17, one of the crewmen looked out the window. what he saw inspired him to grab the only camera that wasn't stowed and snap a picture. but whoever did it said nothing on the radio or to their crewmates about it. it is possible they did it instinctively hardly even thinking about it because none of them thought to mention it for weeks. reinert doesn't say which of the three took the picture, partly because nasa gives all three credit for it, and partly because none of them were reportedly supposed to be taking pictures right now. today nbc veteran space correspondent jay barbree got gene cernan on the phone. gene told him the astronauts don't even know who took the photo because there


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