tv Washington Journal Dan Kildee CSPAN October 27, 2021 6:59pm-7:31pm EDT
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c-span now. join us with your facebook comments, texts, tweets. on jour" continues. host: joining ups this morning is dan kildee, a democrat from michigan and part of the leadership team in the house. congressman, let me show you "the hill"'s front page headline this morning. dems hit wall with progressives. your reaction. guest: well this is a tough negotiation. the fact that it's only taking place with democrats is a unique aspect of these. these are hard issues we're trying to tackle. we have a lot of diversity of opinion within the democratic caucus. that's ok. i think one of the things that i take from this, that i fry to talk about when i go back home is that this isn't dysfunction. this isn't failure this is basically how the democratic process works. we argue with one another. we do it in public.
sometimes it's not pretty. but it's not like people storming the capitol or denying basic facts of science or denying the outcome of an election. this is the democratic process in full display. and i think maybe people have sort of gotten used to not seeing that and i think it's ok. we'll get to the resolution, but sometimes, it's a difficult process to get there. host: will you get to it by the end of this week? guest: it's hard to say. i hope so. we've got some issues regarding transportation funding that we have to deal. we have the bipartisan infrastructure deal which i support and could address that. the real question is whether enough members in the house with these really thin margins that we have and on the democratic side, no republican negotiating partner, are we able to look at one another in the eye and say look, we trust that the agreement that we have around the other part of this, the
build back better agenda is a strong enough agreement that makes us feel like we with move forward? host: we're cannot there yet. host: so congressman the leader of the progressive caucus according to the report said she wants all 50 democrats in the senate to glee to a full bill text for build back better package before voting on the bipartisan infrastructure bill. so the ball was last week, a framework before voting on the infrastructure. was the ball moved? guest: yeah, i think the challenge here, and understand where congressman jayapal was. the bill text is very technical. our senate partners have come up
with full ideas that are not fully drafted. we went through the process, what we call a mark-up, where we take the legislation through each of the committees that have jurisdiction and write every word of the legislation. so the house bill is ready whatever elements of that house bill would be included in the final package has full legislative language drafted. where we would have some difficulty in meeting the standards of congresswoman jayapal lays down is what the senate lays down with is part of this deal. but to vet some of these ideas that have been floated. some which have merit, i'm sure but they haven't gone through the process that we went through in the house to determine
whether or not we can actually translate these ideas to legislation that not only works, functionally, operationally but that we think actually makes sense from a policy standpoint. so, i obviously argue that the best way to move forward is to move forward with the elements of the house legislation which pays for the spending that we have on the table and determine how far we want to go with that and for how long we want to go with that. to me, that's a better way to go at it. host: here is the headline in politico this morning. the finance committee chair in the senate takes shots at billionaires but he argues this that? new idea. he presented it two years ago in a white paper. he's had it thoroughly vetted, he argues. this is on the so-called billionaire tax. so what's your reaction to moving forward? guest: we can't move forward on a white paper or an idea. we have to have legislative
text. what senator wyden may propose may very well fit into a broader tax strategy. there are some questions about how consistently reliable the revenues-degree from that billionaire tax would be year-over-year. and as long as the gains are being realized, it would be a robust tax. i'm for that. i could see myself supporting it. but i don't think it fully replaces what we're trying to do, and that is make sure that every high wealth individual, corporations that do well pay their fair share. and if there are additional obligations that come from the 700 or so that fall upon, the 700 or so billionaires who have
worked the system to their advantage, i can see myself accepting that. but i don't think a tax that might be more volatile is one that we can consistently rely on when it comes to the year-over-year budging -- budgeting decisions we have to make. this is where the details actually do matter at the end of the day. host: let's invite callers to join in. republicans, 202-748-8001. democrats, 202-748-8000. and independent, 202-748-8002. text us with your first name, city, and state at text message -- 202-748-8003. i want to get your reaction to senator john boone talking about what he says are budget gimmicks by the democrats to hide the cost of your social spending proposal.
>> it is important to note that the short-term programs and program extension will be paid for by 10 years of taxes. that's right. it will take 10 years of taxes and other revenue raising measures to pay for programs that are scheduled to last as little as one year. so what happens? what happens when democrats want to extend that child lockdowns again this -- allow dance next year or for long term? are democrats going to trot out more tax hikes to extend the child care subsidies permanent? while they -- or are they going to just suggest we add hundreds of billions and eventually trillions to our already dangerously large national debt?
and if they are for tax hikes, who is going to be facing those tax hikes? democrats are going to run out of money from millionaires and billionaires. and then they're going to start coming after the wallets of the middle class. host: congressman, that is a fear when we talked about this billionaire tax. many of them destructing lawmakers that they think it's a slippery slope. guest: well, i understand what the senator is saying. i don't agree with his assumptions, number one the way we crafted our legislation is to pay for the spending that we're putting on the table. and i know they may not like the fact that our target are the corporations. and people who make more than $400,000 a year. so if in the senator's view is people who make more than $400,000 a year are middle income earners, he can describe
it that way. but that is the way we've gone at this. what's really troubling to me though is this seems somewhat maybe even more than somewhat duplicitous. because it was only a few years ago in 2017 when the republicans pushed through on a reconciliation package a bill that we saw less than 24 hours before we voted upon it that cut taxes for the wealthiest americans and the largest corporations on a permanent basis, but temporarily cut taxes. in a really cynical use of the tax coated, temporarily cut taxes on middle income earners and set a five-year time bomb where taxes on corporations would not go back to the perforates, but for individuals who work for a living, their taxes would go up. we're not doing that. they don't like the fact that we're forcing to the table the
notion that we're going to pay for what we spend. to tax people that are extremely wealthy that we might increase taxes on middle or lower income individuals it's just an assertion that's being made but there's no reality based upon that because if we were going to do that, we'd do it. this is our approach. this is what we're going to do. this is our plan. and all i ask is people compare it to what the republicans did when they combed through every inch of the tax code in 2017 and decided that when it came to restructuring our economy, restructuring the distribution of wealth in our society that 83% of the benefits of that legislation would go to the top 1%. that's not what we're doing. we're taking a different approach. and i'm happy to have people compare the two and make their
own judgments. host: let's get to calls. cliff in texas, a republican. you're up first for the congressman. go ahead. caller: yes, thank you, greta. i just want to make a little statement and then a couple of questions, if you don't mind. host: if you can make it quick. caller: sure. the laws for the billionaires were made by who? [laughter] now, we're coming back and we're punishing the very -- the people who have worked under the laws that this gentleman and someone else put into effect. but i think that's kind of ironic. i also would like for him to tell me and really tell me, give me a figure. what is fair share? being a professional athlete back in the 1970's, i paid over 50% for the government and i couldn't appreciate my body. i was number one world player in
tennis. and that's not fair. i didn't care who you are. not even be equal partners with the government. it's not fair. but here's the main question i really want to ask him, which is a philosophical question, really. we can talk figures all day long. do you as one of the moderates and the other moderates, when you get into a room, do you really debate what you want? vis-a-vis socialism versus capitalism? because that's what this got is -- debate is about. and the capitals -- ballists can't lose the argument because socialists has never worked and i just can't believe that intelligent people would even discuss all this other stuff without deciding first what kind of system we want and the rest
of the gang wants has never worked. do you ever debate that? guest: if you watch the debate, you would say yes. down to voices, race, and real passionate views. f this is a capitalist economy and it will be for as long as i have anything to say about it but that does not mean that there are not aspects in our economy that we can make sure like for example, when someone is sick, they have the ability to leave their job and take care of a sick parent or a sick child or when they bring a new member to the family that they can take paid family leave that we make sure that families raising children received tax benefits. this is what we're talking about
in this package one of the biggest pieces of it is a significant tax benefit that accrues to families with children, especially children under the age of 6. that has the effect of equalizing the economy and making sure that we don't put parents in a tough position of having to make cuts to their future in investing in education, all the things they want to do in order to take care of their kids. but the question is, is this a capitalist society? yes. that's how our economy is structured. we don't want to do anything to stifle that. but the other point that i want to address that the caller made. i don't blame the billionaires for the tax code directly. i blame policymakers who intentionally decided to let those billionaires off the hook by granting them additional tax benefits that allow many of them to pay almost nothing. so what's the fair share? look at the legislative
proposals that we're putting on the table. a corporation, for example, may have to pay a minimum tax. this is one of the ideas that senator cinema floated that had pretty significant merit that a corporation has to pay a 15% tax. if they have enormous earnings and have lots of costs that they want to offset, there has to be at least a minimum tax. some of the biggest corporations base the end of united states of america made billions and billions of dollars in profit and paid exactly zero federal taxes. now, we can argue about what the minimum ought to be but we all should be able to agree that that's not right. and that's what the tax code delivers right now. and it's a tax code that was written in 2017 by the republican majority. i disagree with that notion.
and what we're trying to do is address that. what's interesting is that the legislation that we produce doesn't dramatically overhaul the tax code. we increase, for example, the top tax rate, the very top tax rate for the highest wealth individuals on the tax. we increase it by 2.6%. and that is not exactly the march towards socialism. we increase corporate tax rates by a few percentage points to a number that is just slightly above what the former republican chairman of the tax writing committee then ways and means committee suggested back in 2014. 26.5% as opposed to 25%. it's being characterized as this big confiscation of wealth. and what it really is is an effort to try to find some
logical fairness to the -- in the tax code in order to make sure when people have family members that are sick, they can take care of them. when people have children, they have a tax code that grants the biggest benefits to them as opposed to a tax code that lets billionaires off the hook and allows them to pay little or no taxes. that's what we're arguing over. host: let's get to jamie, democratic caller, indiana. jamie, you got to go ahead. you're on the air with congressman. all right, jamie, one last call for you. all right. let me go to don in washington state. republican. don, you're on the air with congressman dan kildee. go ahead. caller: good morning, congressman. good morning, greta. i just have one or two questions real quick and then a comment at the end. i'm curious if this congressman because i tried, has actually read the bill because it seems
quite large, quite a bit of pages and some of the stuff in there, i don't even understand how it could even be for a social program when it's for certain parts and butterfly experiments and whatnot. but my other comment would be obviously, i want to know if he's read the bill and then i remember within the last year or two, a big talk, even on the democratic side about getting decriminalizing and maybe taxing the us of marijuana. and i'm wondering why there's no talk on that now. because i'm in the state and i believe, sir, you're in a state that has medical and recreational. and i know they make hanover fist on taxes over that. host: all right, don, i'm going to have the congressman respond to you. guest: first on the question of whether i read the bill, i help write the bill. we sort of read it when wearying
it. writing it. we spent 40 days now, not only -- up to 40 days ago, months and months putting together the legislation. i'm on the ways and means committee about 2/3 of the legislation comes directly through the committee that i serve. and i'm also on the budget committee and 100% of the legislation then goes through the budget committee. yeah, this is a big difference. we had a meeting right before a vote, we finally got this three-foot high stack of paper and it was the 2017 tax bill that the republicans had written and there were scribbles, literally, ink pen scribbles in the margins two include languages that were written too quickly to even put it through a
word prosser and then we -- processer and we voted it on that day. we have allowed this to have the light of day and let people, organizations, individuals, go through it line-by-line and offer their suggestions before we bring it to a vote. so, in the answer to that, yes. on the issue of marijuana, we have tried. the piece that really is the critical part of the federal government role with marijuana is the issue of whether it's a scheduled one narcotic. and if that which continues to be the case, continues to stand, then it puts state laws where states have legalized the us of marijuana for recreational purposes in conflict with the federal law. and i do support the so-called descheduling.
as the caller pointed out, different states have different laws when it come those use of medical or recreational marijuana. if we can deal with the descheduling issues, that opens the doors for states do what they do best. and those resources into the priorities that state governments think are the highest priority to them. host: i want to go to your home state, victoria is in michigan. what city are you in? caller: i am in norton shores. host: ok. go ahead. caller: perhaps it is my immature way of thinking, but i am at a loss as to how we came up with the fact that big business should pay their fair share of taxes that is
socialism. i get it that politics rules. this is the time that we're in and that you're either a republican, democrat, and nothing is fair if it's the other side. i get where we are. but how in god's name in america, have we arrived at a place where if we say big business, big corporations should pay their fair share of taxes, that is wrong, that is socialism, that is us going after people's money. i don't understand it. the middle class and the poor has been paying off. we have been faking paying our taxes from the beginning of time. i don't understand it. and yet, people are comfortable with corporations not paying any taxes. host: all right, victoria. congressman, your reaction to
hearing victoria. guest: that's one of the reasons i love the state of michigan. i agree. one of the frustrations, you know, being in the federal government is the characterizations of the policies that we are pursuing. socialism. it's become the buzzword. you know, the interesting thing is people who are making these assertions don't know anything what a real socialist country engageses in. this is not socialism. this is a question of whether or not we have a robust economy built on a capitalist notion of investment and returns on those investments and we don't want to interfere with. and at the same time, billed into that economy, a floor of decency, below which no person should ever fall in the richest country in the world, at the richest moment in our history,
the idea that we can't say to ourselves that you can go as high as your ideas and your risk will take you. but we're not going to let you fall below a level where you don't have a roof over your head, clean water to drink, and enough food to keep you from starving. that's pretty fundamental. i mean, that's basically what we're trying to achieve here. and that's why the way we've structured this is so important. to build that floor of decency but not try to eliminate the ability for people to pursue their dreams, invest in their dreams, and benefit from the success of their dreams. we can do both of those things. and i don't think there's anything that prevents us from doing it. and the idea that everyone should have 20 to pay for it except the largest corporations is something that it's not socialism. that's just cheating. and we need to address that. host: jamie from north carolina. democratic caller.
caller: hi, greta. i hope you guys can hear me ok. i just had dental surgery here so it's a little hard for me to talk. but i can't believe this guy is a democrat and he doesn't understand we are already a socialist country. this is mind-boggling. does he have a computer? has he ever looked up anything? host: jamie, give us specifics. why? caller: we're capitalist/socialist society. we have been forever. we have social security, medicare, public schools, highways, national parks. they're all socialists. host: all right. respond, congressman. guest: this is a theoretical question. it depends on what you mean by socialism. we know what the attacks mean. the attack means that we are not
a capitalist society when with people talk about particularly the republican messaging machine attacks democrats, saying we're socialist, they do so by saying we try to take away the capitalist incentive built into our economy. but i will say the caller makes an important point because in the rosevelt administration when he -- rosevelt administration, when he pushed forward social security, it was attacked as being a march towards socialism. when in the 1960's when lyndon johnson launched medicare, it was called a march toward socialism. so let's be clear. this is not some sort of an academic debate when these terms are being tossed around over how we describe investing in basic floor of decency.
you can call it what you want to call it. the term has been weaponized by republicans to scare people. and all i'm trying to point out is that it's that same argument that was used when social security was being put on the table. maybe that's the point that the caller's making the same argument that was used when medicare was being advanced. poll americans right now and ask them if they think in order to udo what then was called socialism, we should eliminate social security and medicare and i think we'll know what the answer would be. host: congressman, what happens today on negotiations? what should people be looking out for? guest: right now, a lot of the focus is on the revenue side of this question. so i think what we should be trying to focus on its what aspects of what is being proposed on the senate side, particularly like right now this notion of minimum corporate taxes. is that something that we can
fit into the sort of constellation of ideas that we have put together called the build back better act? the revenue side of this question has turned out to be the really sticky part of this and it's largely because the senator particularly has subjected to raising that top rate from, you know, up to 39.6 from 37 or the corporate rate. i disagree with her thinking on that, but that's essentially where we sit right now and that's where a lot of the argument is going to have to be focused. host: congressman dan kildee, before we go, i want to get your thoughts on your uncle, dale kildee passed away this summer. what should our viewers remember about him? guest: first of all, thanks for asking. he was my uncle. he was my mentor. i think the biggest legacy that dale kildee leaves behind was that he was a very strong advocate for the positions that he believed in. he was a true roosevelt democrat
but he treated everybody he met, democrats, republicans, left, far right, he treated everyone with respect and with dignity and with kindness. and if there's any one less son that dale kildee leaves behind that we ought to take more stock of right now especially, it's that particular lesson. he was a beautiful man. and i will miss him forever. host: congressman kildee, we appreciate your time and t >> c-span's "washington journal." every morning we take your calls live on air about the news of the day. coming up thursday morning we discuss the latest on president biden's build back better agenda with texas republican congressman august fleuger and illinois congresswoman january schakowsky. watch live thursday morning on c-span or on c-span now, our new
mobile app. join the discussion with phone calls, facebook comments and tweets. >> thursday morning, the c.e.o.'s of exxon, shell and others testify. watch live at 9:00 a.m. eastern on c-span3, c-span.org or on c-span now, our new mobile app. earlier today, prime minister boris johnson took questions in the house of commons. topics including violence against women and the upcoming summit the question to the prime minister-- [inaudible] >> i had meetings with colleagues and others during which my honorable