tv The Journal Editorial Report FOX News April 14, 2013 12:00pm-12:30pm PDT
news sunday." >> this week on the journal editorial report. president obama releases his budget, pitching it as a peace offering to republicans. as closer look ago the details suggests there's plenty more conflict ahead. plus, the senate moves forward on gun control legislation, but is the bill they're looking at really what the president wanted? and could some red state democrats wind up paying with their political lives. and beyonce and jay-z's cuba trip sparked outrage. other celebrities have done it, so what's the big deal? >> for years, the debate in this town has raged between
reducing our deficits at all costs and making investments that start to grow our economy. this budget answers that argument because we can do both. >> welcome to "the journal editorial report," i'm stuart varney if this week for paul gigot. at long last, president obama released his budget for 2014 this week, calling it a fiscally responsible blueprint for middle class jobs and growth. and pitching it as a peace offering to republicans. but after looking at the details, shouldn't we be hoping for gridlock? dan henninger, james freeman and kim strassel. dan, hoping for gridlock? you don't like this? >> it sounds good for me based on what i heard president obama say, so, on the one hand he says, in the past we've been trying to reduce deficits at all costs. that means cutting spending, as opposed to making some of
the investments we need which means increasing spending and he says he felt solved it, he has, increased spending, and here is an interesting fact. before 2008 spending, federal spending was 2.7 trillion dollars. in this budget, it's 3.7 trillion dollars. obama has increased spending in four years by a trillion dollars. now, he's doing that because he wants it pay for infrastructure, high speed rail, electric cars, even as the industry is going bankrupt and to do that he's going to have to raise taxes. am i for gridlock? i say so. >> kim, there's talk that this budget is a compromise. is it? >> this is not a compromise. it was certainly the white house wanted that to be the argument, but think of it rather as an fig leaf or a diversion away from what dan was just talking about, a budget that's exactly the same that we've seen from this administration for the past
four years and that's why there will be gridlock. while you had this one little item in there, like an unchained cpi or the way that you calculate cost of living ajudgments, something that the republicans talked about and the president put that out, this is just a tiny item in the budgets and the problem the reason you're not likely to see this grand deal that the press has been excite abouted about this week. the white house wants vastly more spending and the republicans are focused on deficits and debt. >> part of the budget is a plan to cap how much you can have in ira's and keogh's. >> and we've got a terrible employment report and the administration decides that going after the incentive to work, save and invest, reducing that incentive is what's needed now. it's kind of amazing,
basically the administration, barack obama decided that a reasonable amount of retirement saving is roughly 2 to 3 million dollars, and beyond that, nobody needs any more tax advantages in these plans. >> the white house did use that word. we know how much you need. >> and reasonable, and it should be-- it bothers any american that the government decides how much you ought to be making, but beyond that, people who save, who fund america through their investments and who build up a large nest egg through hard work and thrift, ought to be rewarded and celebrated and unfortunately, it's kind of a commentary that nows' going after that. >> then there's a cigarette tax increase and 94 cents a pack used to pay for universal pre-school. kim, what do you make of that? >> i think that that this is going nowhere and it's also, interestingly, we also wonder what guides barack obama?
you can look at a lot of big liberal states like illinois where he came from, that instituted cigarette tax. what they quickly found out, placing higher burden on taxes on a diminishing group of taxpayers like smokers is not a way to fund. and the administration has to come up with the money somewhere and smokers tax sounds better than most things so that's what it threw out there for the initiative. >> the way that they hope to come up with the money can be summed up in two words, a grand bargain. the white house wants to pull the republicans into a negotiation over a grand bargain in which they commitment to some reduced spending, but the republicans have to raise some taxes. politically, that's a poison chalice for the republican party. if they do that, they're probably going to lose the house in 2014 and that's the only thing that barack obama has his eye on right now and the question is, will the republicans take the bait. >> is it really a reduction in spending?
that's only a very narrow area. >> the promised reduction in spending. >> it's minuscule. and i believe in this budget, president obama becomes the first president in history to spend 4 trillion dollars in one year. and we do that in the fiscal year 2015, spending goes up every single year. >> and trillions of more-- >> and my favorite moment though that from wednesday announcement is when he said there's not a lot of smoke and mirrors in his budget. in other words, yeah, i'm trying to get some gimmickry and pull stuff through in this package, but other parts of it are okay. >> kim, will it fly politically? >> no, this is nowhere. this is coming a month after both the house and the-- i mean, the house and the senate passed their own budgets and you almost have to wonder what the point of this was, the idea behind budgets the president puts out a plan, a blueprint to guide the rest of congress, to put forward his ambitions and then it's meant to sort of shape what comes after. this came a month later, the debate is short of largely
done and he has a little concession on calculating retirement benefits, but this is done nothing to move the ball toward a bigger discussion or a bigger debate or a grand bargain. >> all right, when we come back, the senate moves to debate gun control legislation, but is it a bill that president obama wanted? and could this decision to push forward on the issue cost some in his party their jobs in 2014?
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>> connecticut, this is not about me. this is not about politics. this is about doing the right thing for all the families who are here that have been torn apart by gun violence. >> stuart: president obama in connecticut monday ahead of what turned out to be a big week in the fight over gun control. despite a filibuster effort by some republicans, the senate voted thursday to move ahead with the debate on a bill.
that includes a bipartisan deal brokered by democrat joe manchin and republican pat toomey to expand background checks to purchases made at gun shows and over the internet. kim, the president just said it's not about politics, but is it? what are the politics here? >> i think what the way you need to look at this, stuart, is what this bill, what is on the floor of the senate now is answering whether politics of gun control has changed. the white house made an enormous bet that it had and it was their plan to put out an aggressive plan for gun control and lambaste them and use outrage against republicans if they stood in the way. what happened, most of the president's proposals things like the all the weapons ban, have been stripped out by the president's own party. and what many of the senate
democrats realized the politics haven't changed and these could be a career ending vote if ne gothey go along with, not just because the voters don't like it, but unconstitutional because of the recent supreme court ruling in heller. >> stuart: dan, where are we on the gun control issue? >> i think what i make of it, i think it's entirely possible that there's not going to be a gun control bill pretty much for the reasons sim was suggesting, that the white house has overplayed its hands. let me read some quotes. david pryor of arkansas, as a general rule, people in arkansas do not want any gun control. it's sort of a blanket statement. heidi of north dakota when she was running ran on schools tractors and guns, it's how we live. she met with the newtown families and she said to them directly to their face, i'm going to vote for the voters of north dakota. gun control in the states that
kim just mentioned is simply an issue, no matter what they pass, those voters are going to vote against their elected representatives. it's just that hard out there in the country, and the white house doesn't understand that. and that's why harry reid is having such a difficult time getting any sort of bill through the senate. >> stuart: did newtown not change the political equation? >> not out in the country, i don't think he it did. >> for a while it did, but you're already seeing, at least according to the most recent wall street journal/nbc poll, but that the demand for gun controls is being reduced, coming down dramatically over the last month and part of it is the public looking what's happening. the president says it's not about me, it's not about politics, but look at what the bills would do. all of these recent shootings were about mentally ill people shooting unarmed victims. there's nothing in either of the toomey amendment or the underlying bill that addresses this tough question of how do
you keep guns out of the hands of mentally ill people. there's also nothing about violence in the media. i'm not saying i want to control the media, but if you want to talk about why do these things happen, campbell brown had an interesting op-ed for us recently going through the factors that drive someone to do this. >> why is there nothing in the bill or proposals about mental health and accessibility. >> the politicians probably understand that anytime you're saying let's create more authority to look people up or to force them to take medication, you're going to get a big pushback, both from civil liberties groups on the left, and libertarians on the right. it's a very tough issue. it's not something that the president can solve by making a speech and getting people fired up to attack republicans. these are tough issues on when can the state force people to do things. but that is the issue that if they wanted to wrestle with a tough one, how do you see mentally ill people--
>> could this issue cost the democrats the senate in 2014 or am i going way too far on that? >> no, it certainly could cost them a number of seats and this is why you see them -- they are the ones, you know, you hear the white house and it that republicans are still in the way. the republicans have not touched this senate bill to the extent most of the president's proposals have been stripped out. from arkansas and montana and harry reid knows they will not vote for these provisions. as dan said, if they vote for any condition goal package, will there be a backlash among the vote, even as we vote against even having a debate on the bill, they didn't want to bring it to the floor. >> two republicans-- two democrats, i believe, actually joined the filibuster. did they not? and-- >> yeah. >> this puts harry reid in an impossible position, doesn't it? or difficult for sure. >> he's got to be extremely uncomfortable, he has other business to take care of.
for instance, the senator from montana is a max baucus, the finance chairman committee supposed to be taking care of tax reform and the biggest issue on the trouble and poor max baucus is saying, don't push this gun control debate at me. >> stuart: where does the president stand? does he win or lose out of the gun control, i'm going to call it a mess. >> he believes he can win and tag the republicans as the opponents of gun control and then he's going to try to convince the country to push them out of office in 2014. that's the theory. >> stuart: last word, kim, dots the president win or lose on the gun control issue. >> this is the problem that he wanted the headlines to be republicans are the problem and in fact, it's his own party that's standing in the way. >> stuart: all right. when we come visit to cuba by superstar couple beyonce and jay-z sparks outrage.
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>> well, outrage from many cuban-americans and some republican lawmakers after pop singer beyonce and her rapper husband jay-z paid a visit to cuba. they celebrated in havana last week part after trip sanctioned by the treasury department. under u.s. law american citizens can't visit as cu tourists, but as education a and, being taken off the list, that's this month, mary o'grady is here.
what's the big deal of the couple going to cuba, from a senator says beyonce and jay-z going to cuba, every american has the right to travel there, what's the big deal. >> frankly, stuart, i'm surprised that a u.s. senator is recommending that americans break the law. i am, this is a law that beyonce and jay-z don't like. i can tell you some other laws i don't like and i don't think he's recommending that i break the law. if he wants to change the law, i'm fine with that and i think there are reasons why, you know, you could make arguments that the law should be changed. but i don't think the outrage is about the law. i think it's a moral issue. >> stuart: well, the treasury sanctioned it. they said it's legal to go there. >> well, yeah and that's because if you're a privileged person, you can get in the academic groups that are
allowed to go to cuba. technically it's legal, but that's not what the outrage is abouten. >> give me the moral outrage. why should i be morally outraged? >> cuba is a police state, run by a bunch of old white guys, if you'll forgive me and many of the people who are in jail are young black people, okay? so that sort of makes you think about, for example, south africa. now, in the case of south africa, we didn't have an embargo, but there was a moral outrage about the idea that some people-- that the government was oppressing a major segment of the population and i would think that if jay-z and beyonce want to go to cuba, they would say to the cuban government, you know what? we would like to visit with, for example, sonia gato, a black woman in prison because she spoke out against the regime or one of the rappers who is now in prison right
now. there is a whole underground hip-hop rap groups disrespectful to the old dictator and put in jail. instead they go to cuba and parade in the streets with the police state and basically get on their side of the argument. i think that's really reprehensible. >> stuart: does cuba get something out of this? what do they get out of it? >> well, cuba wants to lift the embargo and taken off the list of state sponsored terrorists. now, this is kind of a glam tour for them. you know, to present to the world what a normal place they are, but we have to remember that cuba provides r and r and medical care to terrorists from colombia, whenever the terrorists want to break from the jungle in colombia they go to cuba and relax. >> stuart: what's your judgment? do you think that this police state is enhanced in its attempt to get off the list of terrorist sponsored nations,
does it improve its chances inviting these two to cuba? >> yeah, it's part of an image makeover they've been working on for a while. they want the embargo lifted because they want credit from the world bank and multi-laterals and from the banks, and do you know that cuba defaulted on billions of dollars of debt from all over the world in the last 50 years, no one will lend them money anymore, the only country that doesn't have defaulted debt with them is the u.s. and that's why they want to open the credit lines from the u.s. >> stuart: call it, will john kerry take them off the embargo? >> i don't think he will. >> stuart: no? he won't do that? >> i don't think he will. given their relationship with iran, their relationship with farq terrorists? i think it would send a bad signal from the administration and i don't think he'll do it. >> stuart: we'll get the decision this month, i believe, the end of the month. >> yes issue thank you, mary. we have to take one more break. when we come back our hits and with the spark miles card from capital one,
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>> it is time now for our hits and misses of the week and james, you're first. >> this is a miss to congressman, former congressman anthony weiner and the rumored new entering into the new york mayoral race. it's a letdown, stuart, because a lot of new yorkers, pardon the expression, a lot of new yorkers have been hoping state police commissioner ray kelly responsible for the reduction in crime would enter the race and we end up with anthony weiner and. >> stuart: easiest miss, mary, you're next. >> a bill in the california legislature that would require health insurance companies to offer infertility treatment to gay couples. this is asking the insurance companies to pay for treatments of a condition that the insured does not have. obviously, gay couples are not
going to conceive on their own, but that hardly makes them infer tile. of course, this is going to cost everyone who wants to be insured something, not a question of-- >> this was legislation, this is not a court interpretation of equality. >> it's a bill. >> it's we want this. >> yes. >> exactly. >> that's a miss on your part. dan. >> i'm giving a miss to the world's popular social media twitter, andy warhol said everyone would have a 15 minutes of fame. and job applicants are telling they want resume's by twitter, and that has to reduce your life, right now, ten seconds, you know i was asking to ask you to put your resume' into 140 characters or less. >> all right. everyone, thank you very much indeed. remember, if you have your