tv Face the Nation CBS November 21, 2016 1:35am-2:05am PST
>> dickerson: welcome back the "face the nation." i'm john dickerson. while republicans are busy preparing for a trump administration, democrats are doing some soul-searching. >> when you lose the white house to the least-popular candidate in the history of america, when you lose the senate, when you lose the house, and when two-thirds of governors inhi country are republicans, it is time for a new direction for the democratic party. >> dickerson: one of those auditioning for the job as the new head of the democratic party is minnesota congressman keith ellison. he joins us from minneapolis. congressman, what should the new direction for the democratic party be? >> well, we've got to strengthen the grassroots. you know, we got 3,141 counties in many, many cities across this country where democrats are thriving and working every day.
hands. we need the make sure the resources are with them and everything else. we need the prioritize voter turnout. that doesn't mean get out the vote at the end of the election. that means 365 day a year engagement relationship building with voters around what their priorities are. we got to make sure that the democratic party is not just democratic but seen to be democratic. that means we got to have systems in place that make sure that everybody who participates in a primary is perceived to have an else. and we have to make sure that... yes? >> dickerson: continue your list. >> well, i mean, we've got to also create more collaboration. we have democrats who hold office with secretaries of state. those folks run the levels we need the stand up for them. city officials, college dems, organized labor needs to have a whole lot more say so and a lot more respect in the democratic party. we've got to make sure our
strengthened and feel like they are fully included. we have got to just make sure that the democratic rank and file really owns the party and feels that it is theirs, that it is fair, and that's what we've got to do. >> dickerson: the reason i wanted you to finish your list is i noticed donald trump wasn't in it. there are a lot of democrats organizing, planning, and setting themselves up as an opposition party to donald trump and using that as an organizing principle. that wasn't in your list. donald trump? 100% opposed, work with him? >> well, donald trump is already proven where he's going with the thing. there was a political article entitled "why wall street is suddenly in love with donald trump" he's not derange the swamp. he's filling it up more. and there's going to be more swamp creatures than ever before. i mean, he is... lobbyists and big-time investment bankers, he's not doing what he said he
we have to be there to work with all those folks who may have not voted or even voted for him. they are our natural constituents. but we have to show them that we really care about them, that we respected their voice, and that we are going to be fighting for them tooth and nail. but i would say the democrats, we should not make donald trump the pick to l point of all of our energy. we need to make the people, the average work-a-day american who we are fighting for and make that crystal clear every single day. the reason we did >> dickerson: let me ask you, congressman. one argument some democrats say is democrats should not normalize, a buzz word you hear constantly, donald trump, not treat him as a normal president. what's your advice to democrats about that? >> well, we should be authentic, and he's clearly not normal. he ran on... he talked about jobs, and yet he has hurt workers all over this country; in las vegas, atlantic city, even in florida. he has undermined workers. he's hurt small business people
his level of abuse of working people is extraordinary. and not to mention his racism, misogany extraordinary, as well. it's hard to normalize that. we can never do it. but i would just say that it's not about donald trump. we're going to fight him because he stands against our value system. but if we make the average american's needs, our priority, people who want to retire, people who want to see their kids go to college, people who want to earn a decent living, people anxious about closing down, moving to another country and selling them back the products they used to make. if we make those people the priority, we will win and donald trump will be relegated to be a footnote in the dustbin of history. that is what we have to cork focus on our people. >> dickerson: congressmen, thanks so much for being with us. we'll be right back. we'll be right back. >> any time. thank you.
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keep it? >> yeah, keep it. all of it. no change. >> okay. let's just hold that for later. all right. >> dickerson: "saturday night live" made light of the policy changes ahead for the new administration, but in all seriousness, whether the president-elect will stick with his campaign promises and can they be enacted? we have assembled a panel of experts, most with conservative leanings. lanhee chen is a cnn political commentator and fellow at the hoover institution at stanford youth. grover norquist is president of the conservative group americans for tax reform. maya macguineas is president of the non-partisan committee for responsible federal budget. and david frum is a senior editor atlantic and a former speechwriter for george w. bush.
potential conflicts and trump business, what do you make about initial responses how that will be handled? >> not good. i think the very first order of businesses for publics who want to ensure a successful administration is to corruption >> proof the administration. that's going to be a big problem. the surest way to do is that is to passes a law formalizing a law that the president must publish his tax returns: it may or may not be possible. the president may or may not be willing to divest himself, but the way for the public to be protected is for people to know what the president h he receives any benefit, because of the particular nature of donald trump's businesses, everything that happens at the trump organization flows into his tax return. so if we can see the tax return, we can know, is anyone trying to bribe him? has anyone succeeded? >> dickerson: grover, donald trump campaigned on draining the swamp. he campaigned on getting rid of self-dealing in washington. it was not a small issue some when mike pence was kind of vague, he said, trust me, it will all get worked out, would be you expect brighter lines
much time talking about changing washington? >> yeah. look, you want to change all of washington. the focus on trump is interesting, but there's a house, there's a senate, there are governors, an entire bureaucracy. we need to reduce the amount of money the federal government spends if you don't want people stealing it, the best way to do that is to have less of it spent. very important that the republicans maintain their ban on earmarks. earmarks have been the currency of corruption in washington, d.c., for years and years and years. the republicans ended that. some people want to bringt we should make sure, one, we stop that, and, two, instead of having money for roads come to washington, dc, where we then send it back out with a series of regulations and strings on it, including the davis-bacon act, a racist act passed in the 1930s to keep african americans competing in those jobs, it should be repealed because it's racist, and it also raises the cost of anything the federal government touches by 25% to 33%.
act. west virginia just got rid of their version. wisconsin did. a number of states have abolished that. we should at the federal level, and we should let states raise their own money and build their own roads and bring trillions into washington, dc, to spend. real corrupting. >> dickerson: lanhee, grover had a nice list of things to be done, but back to the president, who is no small actor in politics in washington. what could he do, other than publishing those tax returns, what else might you expect from a president who ran so forcefully on the idea of changing the way washington works in terms of his own relationships? >> i think certainly he should hold himself to a higher standard. if there are concerns particularly about what's happening within the dealings in his family business, he should think about ways to put up more vigorous fire walls frankly between what his family is doing with the business and what he might be doing with the people's business as president.
i think this issue of lobbyists is important. i think the administration or the president-elect's administration kind of turning around and saying, we are going to make a serious effort to ensure that there is not the kind of revolving door we may have seen in previous administrations by putting in place, for example, this five-year ban. i think that's a great idea. the essence of the trump candidacy is as the outsider. it's crucially important for his credibility but also the credibility of republicans who were elected with him for him to behave in a way that's completely above reproach. >> now, switching and going back to grover's point, the budget. so we have promises that were made on the campaign trail, and then we have the reality of the budget. where should peopleing to figure out where the rubber meets the road, what should they look to? >> for starters, president-elect trump is going to be inheriting the worst fiscal situation of any president as judged by the debt relative to the economy. other than president truman when he's walking into office. so he's got a tough starting
portion of getting that $20 trillion debt back down. and yet we looked at the proposal, but he put forth during the campaign. they would, in fact, add over $5 thril to national debt, and that's on top of borrowing $9 trillion that we are poised to do if we this nothing. so he has a huge challenge ahead of him. he's also going to be working with the republican congress that for years has said it's very important to balance the budget over a ten-year period. the question is:now that they have the house, the senate suddenly going to pull back from those fiscal goals because he has these unpaid-for-tax cuts, infrastructure spending, increases in defense, lots of things that are going to balloon the debt, or are they going to hold those fiscal goals which are very important for helping to grow the economy. >> the flip side is donald trump during the campaign did not say much about medicare or social security. remember, the three biggest drivers of federal deficit and
and net interest on the debt. so unless we do something about those quickly, this is a problem like compounding interest is a good thing when you invest, this is the opposite of that. so it's crucially important. i'm glad to see that republicans have begun to focus on medicare reform. that's the more intractable of the two problems between medicare and social security. i think it's important for him to revisit what he said during the campaign, which is he didn't want to touch social security. >> that's right. >> i think it's important that we look at things like the retireme benefits. >> there is something surreal. we're in a city that's had a two-party system. there's a republican party, the democratic party and the trump party. the republican party has priorities, and lanhee is the expert on what those are and should be. they're right and important. but the president has his own priorities, and they are summed up with that photograph of him with those dubious inyen businessmen giving the thumbs-up sign that was tweeted out. what is going to be very important is for the republican
from accomplishing its goals, which are of a very different and much dirtier order. >> you can start where there's tremendous agreement. the tax proposal that trump has put forward is very similar to the one that's been put forward by the house republicans, brady and the ways and means committee. and ryan, paul ryan. taking the corporate rate from 35% to 20% or 15%, i prefer trump's 15, but 20 is progress that. would be tremendous. going to full expensing, which both plans have would shoot up growth. you'd look at growth from 2% to 4%. the most important thing the president and the house and senate can do is get economic growth back on path. we've had anemic growth and recovery. we've been in recovery for seven and a half years, but it's been the losest recover i in a long time. we need to be growing at 4%. you grow for a decade at 4% instead of 2%, the federal government nets 5 plus trillion
>> dickerson: have we ever had that? >> under reagan. until bush decided to raise taxes. >> as a big proponent of tax reform, there are some important difference, which is a donald trump tax plan would lose trillions where the members of the republican party are saying, tax reform should be revenue neutral. i think that's a really important objective. >> dynamic scoring. >> because to add up with spending proposals, taking entitlements off the table, which i think is a very unwise idea and rea s way of getting this done, and dealing with the debt, you can't have a big loss from your tax reform. in terms of growing the economy, there's a big difference now than when we saw growth before. right now our economy is projected to grow at about 2%. and donald trump talked about growth rates of twice or three times that much. but we have a big challenge, which is changing demographics. as the baby boomers move into retirement, in order to get those higher growth rates, you have to have productivity levels we've never seen in this
important here is let's aspire to grow the economy, you do that through tax reform, through public investment, but you also do that for paying for your proposals and controlling the debt, but let's not wish for it and assume sort of magical numbers that are unlikely to materialize. >> if you want to do those things grover is talking about, if you want to do them, you have to prevent this administration from being devoured and consumed by scandal. donald trump has made it clear his plan so the run the least-transparent and probably if least ethical administration in a long, long time. is to happen, this administration must be trump-proof. the president is up to no good. he's made that very clear. he's got... he's indicating to the japanese, this is... if you have business with me, this is the person to talk. to he's indicating to the indians, if you have business, these are the people to talk. to if he does, that i guarantee 18 months from now when you convene the show, you will not be talking about taxes or debt, you will be talking about the latest trump scandal, act now to
from the things this president seems to have in mind. >> dickerson: let me ask you another question, lanhee, about other ways capital can be spent, which is we've talked about budget and tax reform, but there are other things trump has on the priority list,immigration is one of them. how hard do you think that will be and do you think that will expend some capital that then can't be used on these very hard other things, tax reform, medicare and so forth? >> i think it's a very dangerous thing that distort it's important to the president-elect. we recognize that that's going to be a priority for this administration. but you think about all of the other important issues. we've talked about them. certainly tax reform. what's going to happen with obamacare? this is something that's been a signature issue for republicans since the last six year since the law was passed and signed into law. what's going to be done in terms of the repeal, and more importantly is the question about what you're going to replace it with. i'm a little alarmed that we seem to be thinking we can kick the can down the road on the replacement of the affordable care act.
policy goals that republicans have been working to accomplish for some time, for example, parity in the tax treatment of health care between those who get it from employers and those who why it on their own. that should be a focus of the discussion. we need to focus on that first rather than some of these other issues, which frankly i don't think have as much potential to grow the economy, certainly not in a way that mr. trump has talked about. >> dickerson: grover? >> i think on health care, and trump has spoken to this, allowing people from new jersey to buy their insurance from companies in iowa, to cross borders, even the government said that would drop the cost about 15%. that's an important reform that makes all the other reforms easier. we need to get spending down, as well as regulations. we've been talking about taxes, but the reduce act of ken calvert has put forward to reduce the number of civilian employees at the pentagon by 15%. they've grown 15% in the bush-obama years. >> dickerson: but they're going to grow more under donald trump who is talking about a big
>> he wants to talk about more troops. i'm talking about sismian employees. troops have gone down 4%. the civilian population has gone up 15%. what reduce act does is takes it back down 15%, back to where it had been, compared to the number of troops you have. that saves $80 billion in five years. that's an important reform and if we're going to do more on the military in some areas, we need to get rid of the wasteful spending that we don't need to do. calvert's got a very important bill. >> dickerson: let me ask add to whatever your answer was going to be in the last 40 seconds. donald trump trillion dollar infrastructure bill. how does that fit in the coming budget? >> right. so infrastructure is one of the few areas where both democrats and republicans tend to agree that we need to do more spending there. but if you look at what the congressional budget office found, we know that infrastructure can be a very important component of an economic growth strategy. but they also found that if you were row to do that, it will actually shrink the economy. the same way that wharton found
cut, it could shrink the economy. i think the problem we have, the big challenge, gofer is focusing on the spending that's the smaller part of the budget. we need the look at the big parts of the budget back the entitlements. that's 50% of the budget. 75% of the growth. and two, if you want to grow the economy, you can't were row your way the growth. we have to get control of the national debt. so they're going to have to make choices. that's what budgets. are it's about choices. we are moving from campaigning to governing. now we have to look at real choices. >> drew: we have to stop. >> there we l coming back and talking about the choices later. thanks to all of you. just stay with us.
not just on the planet, but in history. you have a four trillion dollar organization, four million people when you count the military, you have 4,000 political appointees, and i might add, that's a vestige of the spoil system, so talk about drain the swamp, another conversation. it's an 1,100 of those 4,000 have to go through the senate confirmation process. you have to put together a budget. you have to deal with not only all the things that are coming at you, but things you cannot expect, the asteroids that inevitably take place in a world >> dickerson: so that's why both campaigns, although now it only matters that the trump campaign started their transition work a while ago, but if they started months ago, how much of this work can be done ahead of time in >> well, you're exactly right. if you only focus on the period between the election and inauguration, there is no possible way you can be ready. you have to start earlier. both campaigns did. clinton and trump did very, very strong work. the hard part comes now, because you're right, there's only so
then you have to merge your campaign and your transition apparatus, but you have to move over real fast. most folks are looking through the wrong end of the telescope. they're examining one or two appointments. the reality is what are the goals that the transition teams are actually taking on? they ought to be taking on the proposition that they need to make sure that they have a team on the field, a quick team from day one, from the second they actually run the government. transitions are also the point in a post-9/11 world. we have to make sure that the new president has the team in place, that they have a game plan and they're ready to go from second one after they swear on that bible. >> dickerson: how possible is that realistically, though, or if not, give us some number of months that it might take to get a team fully in place? >> i think it is more than anybody can ever fully get done, but they have to move the ball fur -- further down the field.
rear-view mirror and say, how much did obama do, how much did bush do? you have to make sure your white house is fully staffed by right after the inauguration, and you have 100 of your top senate confirmed people in place. that means you have to move with dispatch and you have to be thinking about this as teams, not as single individuals, because you'll never get there if you add one, one, one. you have to do it in bigger groups. >> drew: where is the trump team on your got to move fast time i think more important point is not how many have they named but have they embraced the objective of being ready to go on day one, they'll have a team in place, a game plan designed and they've built relationships they need with critical steak holders, congress, the federal workforce and others? >> dickerson: last 30 second, we talked about quantity. talk about quality. some people you will be picked. you will never hear about them but they have real power.
we've been producing job descriptions of those 4,000 jobs. they don't exist otherwise. we need people who are not just outsiders or people with with the policy alignment that the president-elect wants but people who can actually manage real large organizations. you look in the past, whether it was hurricane katrina, healthcare.gov, these are manage. problems. the government has to be top at the very top leadership positions with the very best experienced people we can possibly get. >> dickerson: mx you for that description. we appreciate it. >> thank you. >> dickerson: we'll be back in
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well for monday starting off with wind and snow in the northeas corners, area of low pressure will bring rain and wintry mix perhaps snow in the northern plain states. high pressure and control to the southeast and also to the west until the system moves in from the pacific northwest. and affecting friend in seattle. oregon and california. perhaps some snow in the mountains. then area of low pressure. tracks into the new england states, for thursday. bringing some, light flurries, but not as potent as we once thought. high pressure and control to the