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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  December 5, 2012 11:00pm-12:00am PST

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scaring the republicans. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this, with hope. i think we're getting somewhere with this fisc cliff problem. now say the republicans would face hell if they let this country go over the fiscal
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just to protect the top 2%. better to take the hit now, they argued, than in january with the world economy in turmoil and second recession coming. number two, john boehner, the speaker is claiming he's met obama's demand for higher taxes for the rich. that's good. he agreed in principle the rich must pay more. number three, there's talk for the republican leaders that they could vote to continue the tax cuts for the 98% now and therefore avoid the fiscal cliff and put off for now the top 2%. and the question then, let the debt ceiling not take effect. a tax cut delayed i argue is a tax cut avoided. joining me with the republican defense highly tauted fan of the eagles, ed rendell and alex wagner of msnbc's "now." governor, i want you to read what's going on here. first speaker boehner defended the gop's tax proposal saying it does take a bite out of the rich but president obama held firm to tax rate hike on the wealthiest.
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let's listen to the back and forth. >> revenues we're putting on the table are going to come from, guess who? the rich. there are ways to limit deductions, close loopholes and have the same people pay more of their money to the federal government without raising tax rates, which we believe will harm our economy. >> let's allow higher rates to go up for the top 2%, that includes all of you, yes. but not in any way that's going to affect your spending, your lifestyles, or the economy in any significant way. let's make sure that 98% of americans don't see it -- a single dime in tax increases next year. >> so, john boehner, the speaker for the republican party in this partisan fight is saying, he's already socking it to the rich. he's willing to raise their taxes in various forms but just not the rate. isn't he agreeing in principle to the president's argument of
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fairness? isn't he in a weaker position to deny a rate change? governor? >> sure he is, chris. number one, he hasn't specified what deductions so we don't have a clue. number two, as bill clinton and president obama point out, the math doesn't add up when you're trying to do this just on deductions. you need to do both deductions and loopholes and, of course, raise the rate. that's the only way the math works. and as far as hurt the economy, let me say for the 10,000th time, bill clinton raised tax rates on the top 2% in 1993 and we then proceeded to grow the economy by 23 million jobs. so, that's a bunch of bull, speaker boehner. >> let's go back to alex with the same question. i will argue that even though he hasn't specified the deductions or the loopholes he's going to close, the governor is right, there isn't enough at the top to close to make up for this advantage they have now but it seems he's accepting the moral argument. he's saying, the rich should get
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socked, too. that was an amazing admission for him to say to that. your thoughts. >> i agree with you. the fact that john boehner is out there saying we are asking the rich to pay more in taxes is not something they ever would have done in 2011. if you remember, math by details in the sitdown between boehner and obama last year. boehner's office wouldn't write the number 800 billion in its initial offer to the white house because they didn't want other house republicans to see that. the fact that that figure is on the table and boehner is taking to the air waives to say, you know who's going to get soaked here? the rich. is a shocking reversal of where the republican party was i agree ago. >> look at this. these are some smart conservatives. byron york in "the weekly standard," and john padora, bill kristol are all saying the republicans have to do something.
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they're playing a losing hand. fedoris writes, every way you look at it, the gop is trapped. republican politicians will cave and give the president most of what he wants. the only real question is, when? the answer is, probably at the worst possible time when they've done even more damage to the party's brand. governor, if you were a republican today, would you sitting down say, you know we have to eat this, deal with this top 2%, we can't be seen as hanging out for the rich guys, rich women of this country and we don't want to be doing it during a thunderstorm economic hell in january. let's do it now. what do you think their thinking is in this fight? >> it's got to be clearly that. they're going to lose this eventually. no question about it, even if we go over the cliff. the president will make sure there's no legislation restoring the top 2%. everyone will restore it for the other 89 98%. they shouldn't let the democrats shop for republican votes.
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speaker boehner should say, i'm bringing the bill to the floor for a vote. and i am urging republicans to do it. these are people who deserve to have their tax cut continued. in this economic time we can't raise taxes on them, period. get the issue off the table. >> would you -- let me talk about how this fight may occur in the next couple of weeks. if you were speaking would you agree to separate vote, everyone behind $250,000 to get their tax cut -- >> separate vote, separate vote now. >> your thoughts, alex, is that a point of letting the regular people off the hook here? >> yeah, i guess i would probably do a separate vote. i think at the end of the day -- the republicans want to make the biggest -- they need to make the biggest deal possible. we know this is a messages war, right? it's telling boehner went out with this message. not to the white house. he and president obama are
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battling the air war right now. this is all about rejoiner to what i call the president's tour of 2012. the president making an announcement at business round table, meeting with ceos who voted for romney, showing he's bipartisan. john boehner now making the fairness argument? it's a shocking turn of events but a testament to the fact that the republicans know optics are not in their favor. >> here's where it looks like it's heading. republicans float i think a face-saver in the new york times. quote, if no deal can be struck to avert the bush era tax cuts and onset of deep across the board spending cuts gop leadership could foresee taking up and passing legislation this month to extend the tax cuts for the middle class and then resume the bitter fight over spending and taxes as the nation approaches the next hard deadline and statutory barring. that's the debt ceiling coming up later this year, early part of next year.
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here's the question right now, governor. it seems that's a face saver because they say taxes deferred or delayed are taxes avoided. if they say we'll get to defending the rich later. we'll let their taxes go up in january. it seems that's a face-saver even if they say we'll get to it later. >> well, i think what happens, chris, though is think about the issue of leverage -- by the way, no one is thinking about what's right for the country. let's think about the issue of political leverage. >> oh, you and i are. >> that's right. and alex, too. >> what about me? >> and alex. >> i said you too, alex. president obama has all the leverage because he knows if it goes over the fiscal cliff, tax cuts expires and he'll never let the top 2% get that tax cut reinstated. if they do what you suggested, vote the tax cut, continue it for the 98%, then the leverage switches to them come the time of the debt limit. they might be able to make a deal where they save some of it so it doesn't go up to 39%. maybe goes up to 37.5%. maybe they do the buffett rule
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and only raise rates on people making $500,000. they have a little room to leverage but right now they have zero leverage, zero. >> do you agree with that? i don't know if i agree with that. it's hard once the rates go back to 39.6 or whatever they go to, to go back and say, now we to want cut taxes for the rich. what's the reason to do it? the republican party says we have to stop the government, stop paying our debts, don't pay our bills anymore because we have to help out the rich now. that would be the worst situation to be in. >> as the conversation shifts really to the bottom line in the deficit. at the end of the day the whole thing is about -- it's optical illusions and face saving for republicans. whether it's the notion they may not vote yes but just present, which is complete smoke and mirrors or the fundamental argument which is closing loopholes is not a tax increase. of course it is. at the core this is about asking americans to pay more americans to the federal government.
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this is just -- it's -- bill clinton called it kabuki theater. it's a way for republicans not to be ashamed and walk back the ideological core they've run on for the past few years. >> if president obama is able to come out and say i'm going to support getting rid of tax ducks for charitable organizations, hospitals, universities, religious organizations, i want to get rid of that tax deduction f he puts his finger -- his hand anywhere near that decision, he's going to be a loony toon every hospital, church, philanthropic in the united states, from the rockefeller down to the littlest catholic charity will fight that. they need those tax cuts to survive. it's a loony toon idea. i'm sorry. a little joke there. let me ask you this.
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let's take a look at president's last comment of the day. this is his response to gop's what i consider a face-saving proposal. here's the president. >> if congress in any way suggests they're going to tie votes to debt ceiling votes and take us to the brink of default once again as part of a budget negotiation, which by the way we have never done in our history until we did it last year, i will not play that game. >> what does that mean to you, governor, quickly? what does it mean to say, i will not play that game? does he need a signature approval by congress of debt ceiling increase? >> he needs a debt ceiling increase for sure. he needs to get this done. we need to stop playing games and get the big deal done. the big deal is more than just tax rates. it's more than a lot of important things and the president has to lead on that, chris. >> thank you, governor ed
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rendell of pennsylvania, and alex wagner from the show "now," which is a great show -- >> 9 a.m. pacific, chris. >> what a calculation that was. want to know what a real fiscal crisis looks like? check out greece. that's what happens when a country avoids making tough fiscal decisions for too long. a top republican pollster about what went wrong on their side. a lot of information coming here and why if republicans don't change the way they do business they may be on the losing end of elections for years to come. plus, the black helicopter crowd is at it again. republicans in the senate reject a united nations treaty to ban discrimination against the disabled. they say it would allow u.n. officials to come into this country and force home-schooled children into government-run, that is public schools. senator john kerry joins us to cut through the nonsense. also tonight, the simpson's mr. burns gives us a rich man's look at the fiscal cliff.
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>> think of the economy as a car and the rich man is the driver. if you don't give the driver, he'll drive you over a cliff. >> that's an aside show and this is "hardball," the place for politics.
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never too early for pollsters to start head to 2016. guess who's looking very strong? hillary clinton. a new abc news/washington post poll say they would back hillary clinton. it's helpful no one has run a campaign against clinton for the past four years and also helping her numbers is 68% approve of the job she's done as secretary of state for this country.
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welcome back to "hardball." we know now that mitt romney blames his loss on obama's
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gifts. i should put the quote marks around that. the much maligned 47% came out in force. last night paul ryan distanced himself from his running mate's remarks. take a look. >> both parties tend to divide americans into our voters and their voters. let's be really clear. republicans must steer far clear of that trap. we must speak to aspirations and anxieties of every american. >> you know, it's hardly a month and he's gone already. what a running mate. he ran away from his mate. the problem for republicans in 2012 is that romney failed to speak to those aspirations and anxieties just mentioned. in a much read analysis david winstin argues romney lashed him to george w. bush. the bottom line is romney could not counter the obama narrative that he wanted to go back to the policies that got the country in trouble in the first place.
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this was largely due to his campaign's strategic decision to try to make the election solely a referendum on obama. as a result, there was little clear rationale for a romney presidency, other than he would not be obama. david winstin joins us, adviser to john boehner, unpaid, advised newt beginning rich. david, thanks for joining us. i was trying to read your thinking here and post election analysis. i think it's so interesting. if you get people angry about the way things are economic alley you think they'll blame the incumbent but it seems like a lot of people said, yeah, things aren't that great, especially poor working people, bush. >> governor romney thought this would be a referendum of barack obama. case closed. when you take a look at group of voters who said the economy was not so good, so you would think that would be an opportunity for
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governor romney, actually the president carried them by 13 points. 55-42. obviously, the economic argument on the refer side was not made. it was just a referendum. it was just a contradiction to what the president was saying instead of -- >> i want to ask you quickly on this. i thought when obama went in the first debates, i went nuts, i thought the president dropped the ball but romney was strong in the first debate because he kept saying, i'm a business guy, i can create jobs. business equals jobs. the one strong punch he had, he kept at it. then after he got out of that one he starts talking about benghazi and all this other stuff and lost that one argument. could he have won if he said, i'm the guy you need for this job. >> part, you need to go back and show why the policies were going to work. for example, if you take a look at 2003 bush tax cuts, by 2007, $800 billion more revenue had come in and the deficit was cut from $370 billion to $260 billion. did you hear him say that? that's what he needed to do,
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full-throated defense of republican policies that bush implemented but also he could have used to show why his policies would work. ultimately when you make it a referendum, you take the arguments off the table. >> do you buy that he should have defended all the republican policies of bush and his own? >> no, because those policies got us in trouble in 2008 in a great many ways. bush inherited a surplus and left with a massive deficit. didn't monitor the financial system and so on. the most important point is david's right about, which is there's no such thing as a presidential referendum election. i've covered ten of these and they've all been choices. why? because these two candidates live in everybody's living rooms. people make a judgment about their character -- >> reagan was partially positive, just anti -- >> oh that became a choice election after reagan appeared in that one debate against carter and people said, hey, he isn't so bad.
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i have a choice. >> one of the other players, besides the two candidates was bill clinton, the former president, don't think anybody made a better case of making the case for obama than bill clinton. at the convention a critical moment when he explained the arithmetic of what obama inherited. >> in tampa the republican argument against the president's re-election was pretty simple, pretty snappy. it went something like this. we left him a total mess. he hadn't cleaned it up fast enough. so fire him and put us back in. when president barack obama took office, the economy was in free fall. it had just shrunk nine full percent of gdp. we were losing 750,000 jobs a month. are we doing better than that today? the answer to that is yes. >> david, i don't know you at all but i have to tell you, who would you rather have make your case to st. peter than this guy,
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bill clinton? this guy can sell. what did you think of the impact of his convention address. >> part of that was set up by the fact -- i thought it was an unfortunate statement by republicans, were you better off than you were four years ago? you couldn't have picked a more unfortunate contrast. ultimately by setting it up as a contrast to four years ago created an opportunity for clinton to deliver that speech. again, i want to go back for the opportunity here that romney had. in the exit poll 63% of americans said they don't want to cut taxes in order to increase the deficit. governor romney made it a referendum and didn't take advantage of the country still being a center right company. >> 47% of plurality said raise taxes for people over $250,000. >> you frame it as bush and you make it all that dynamic, which obama had set up, or do you make it about the broader economic policy of what do you do with
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taxes -- >> in all fairness, didn't the president do a pretty good job of focusing on that differential between the top and the middle -- >> i'm not arguing didn't lay out the case well. by default, unfortunately for republicans -- you see speaker boehner dealing with it right now, not only trying to deal with difficult negotiation but he has to reargue what should have occurred this fall in terms of the campaign and the economic policies. >> what i was impressed by in this campaign after it was over and looking at everything, is the liberal message. we have new numbers that show there was a slight movement, about 4% or 5% from center to left f you use those terms. what happened in north dakota with heidi and jon tester, everywhere, the widest outposts of democratic potential were reached, and voted for marijuana, same-sex, it was like the west village got to vote in the whole country.
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i want to go to joe on this because he's -- how did the get country get so liberal in this one moment? >> i think the demographics are changes -- >> north dakota they ain't changing. >> well, what's happening in north dakota is you have like negative unemployment because they have an oil boom going on -- >> and a population that's smaller than it was in the '30s. >> i saw a poll today out of south carolina where the president's approval rating is 48%. >> that's good. >> yeah that's very good. the fact is the republicans have been very much with out of touch with a lot of issues. right now that figure, 61%, don't want to raise taxes to close the deficit. that's because deficit closing is only an issue here and on the upper east side of new york. >> i know. david, last thought, what did you holistically look at the election, the anecdotal, cultural statements?
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>> looking back in 2010, we won women in 2010, house republicans. back in 2010 we got 38% of the hispanic vote, 28% this time. what was it we were not saying and engaging economic issues and trying to win the economic issue. we just did not do that. as a result it wasn't the specific group slipping. it was collectively we did not make the economic argument like we should have. >> it worked in the first debate. stay on the line you're winning on. thank you, david, please come back. joe, as always, great columnist. up next, mr. burns from the simpsons effects the fiscal cliff as it affects rich people. ♪
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back to "hardball." first, jon stewart on the status of the talks between democrats and republicans and how to avoid that cliff. >> so is there a deal? >> there's of course no deal -- >> of course! is there a prospect for a deal? >> there's not a prospect for a deal. there aren't even very many talks going on. >> you're killing us. give us something. >> for the first time there are numbers on a piece of paper from both sides. >> numbers on paper! highway are negotiations being conducted before they decided to put numbers on paper? were the two sides just spray painting a side of a camel hoping it wandered by the other's office? >> there's that. here's one on the stakes of
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going over the fiscal cliff from mr. simpson's mr. burns, very unpopular and rich ceo. >> any word from karl rove. >> despite what he's been telling you, it's over. romney lost. >> damn it. i guess it's time i explained to these good people the upcoming fiscal cliff. think of the economy as a car and the rich man is the driver. if you don't give the driver money, he'll drive you over a cliff. it's just common sense. furthermore, rich people feel things more deeply than the common man. >> well, the rich are hardly the only ones to suffer from a fiscal cliff. did you see the book? nate silver "can't add" and some binders full of women. alan simpson has joined forces with can kicks back, trying to get young people to
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recruit their friends and use social media to encourage congress to come to a deficit reduction deal. there's alan simpson doing his part with a homage to internet sensation gangnam style. >> stop instagraming your breakfast and tweeting your first world problems and getting on youtube so you can get gangnam style. ♪ gangnam style >> and start using those social media skills to go out and sign people up on this baby, take part or get taken apart, boy these old coots will clean out the treasury before you get there. >> we need more senators like alan simpson. also from simpson/bowles to panetta/burns? i told you about the new ppp poll showing most republicans think a.c.o.r.n., which no
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longer exists, was to blame for obama's re-election. what percentage of those polled said they supported the deficit reduction plan they were told was being offered by leon panetta and former montana senator conrad burns? well, there is, of course, no such plan. but here goes. 8% of the people polled said panetta/burns should be a go. 17% say they disapproved of the plan. so, that's 25% of those polled with a firm opinion on a totally made-up, fabricated plan that doesn't even exist. does that tell you something about what people say to pollsterses? up next, if you're concerned a u.n. treaty to protect the disabled could cost america its sovereignty, fear not. 38 republicans have protected you from those black helicopters. you're watching "hardball."
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welcome back to "hardball." it was an iconic sight yesterday
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in the capitol when former senator bob dole was wheeled on the senate floor to rally support for the u.n. convention for rights of persons with disabilities. more than 125 countries have ratified this treaty already. here at home it was supported by a bipartisan group, including john kerry and john mccain. but the vote fell short of the 66 required votes, two-thirds required. an issue is belief by some republicans, many of them, that by signing the treaty the united states would somehow surrender some sovereignty to united nations. with me now are two advocates of this treaty, senator john kerry of massachusetts, chairman of the senate foreign relations committee and ted kennedy jr., a long-time champion of disability rights and president of the mal marwood group. it's hard for me to understand the ideological.
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of notion of something it taken over in our world that we have to fight even though we can't put our finger on it. >> they argued they were afraid we were giving up sovereignty of nation and somehow the united nations would be able to tell us what to do. neither are true. there is no requirement in this treaty whatsoever that any law in the united states would be changed, no new right would be created that doesn't exist already in the united states and most importantly because of the terminology of the treaty, the treaty language, that it's not self-executing, that means nobody has recourse in any court in the united states of america to enforce the treaty. you might ask, why sign up to the treaty, then? the reason is this treaty is based on the gold standard of how america treats people with disabilities. it's based on americans with
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disabilities act and raises other countries to our standard. it's really exporting american sovereignty to other nations. it's exporting our values. and most importantly, it makes a real difference in the lives of people with disabilities, you know, born with a disability or something happens to them in life and they have one or veterans, for instance, who want to travel abroad, work abroad, study abroad, you know, just visit. this would have raised their quality of life and these senators turned their back on that out of completely fictitious, totally made up, entirely fear marketing rationale. we want to change that and we will. >> here's mike lee of utah, who beat conservative bob bennett by running to his right. he was the floor manager opposed of the treaty. here's some of what he argued yesterday on the floor.
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>> i and many of my constituents, including those who home school their children or send their children to private or religious schools have justifiable doubts that a foreign u.n. body, a committee, operating out of geneva switzerland, should decide what is in the best interest of the child at home with his or her parents in utah or in any other state in our great union. >> oh, my god. let me go to ted kennedy on that. ted, have you a disability. you lost a leg to cancer years ago. i've always admired how you've handled it. what does it mean to someone disabled, this bill, to an american? >> well, for disabled americans we feel the republican party have really turned their backs, because what this treaty does, by the way senator kerry has been our champion on this and so many other issues, so i commend senator kerry and senator lugar and the other senators who bucked the trend of the pressure
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in the right wing of this party to somehow mischaracterize this treaty. the treaty is simple. it simply says a disabled american, including disabled american veterans, are afforded the same rights overseas as they are here at home. which is why 21 leading veterans organizations, including the vfw, american legion, wounded warrior project, hardly left-wing organizations, have been strong backers of this treaty. in addition, as senator kerry knows, and has eloquently described so well, this treaty was also endorsed by the u.s. chamber of commerce. why? because it expands opportunity, business opportunities. many of the -- there's a billion people with disabilities living around the world. many of whom need wheelchairs and medical products designed and fabricated by companies here in the united states. so we just feel that our rights
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have been neglected. and that is why we want to support those senators who stuck their necks out -- >> senator, have you to read the votes and count them. of the senators you lost on this vote, you fell five short. can you get them back early next year? how soon do you think you can get them back? >> first of all, we had two senators who voted yes on the floor and then they changed their votes because of what was happening. in addition to that, there are several senators who have said to me, when we're out of the lame duck session and beyond the fiscal cliff, they'll be prepared to vote for it. in addition to that, i believe we can satisfy with additional language to resolution of ratification, i believe we can satisfy even these sort of out of the blue sky, fictitious concerns. we'll address them.
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i think we can come back within the first three months of next year and i want to say to bob dole and to every person with disabilities who cares about what happened yesterday, this is not going to go away. we're going to come back. we can address the concerns of people and hopefully we'll pass it because it makes a difference to the quality of life of americans traveling abroad and to all those people whose standards will be raised because of what we've done. this is as pro-america as pro-american values and as noninvolved with the united nations as you can be. the only thing the united nations has is its name on the treaty. it has no rights, no ability whatsoever to change one thing that we do in the united states. >> i like the phrase united nations. thank you. i know the politics on the hard right. ted kennedy, thank you for coming on. thank you, senator kerry. coming up, what a country looks like when its leaders
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ignore financial problems for too long. greece is the word. we got somebody just back from greece, a greek-american will tell us what it's like over there. it is horrific. this is "hardball," the place for politics.
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what's a few million years between friends? anyway, last month republican senator marco rubio punted on the question of how old the earth is, calling it a great mystery. it's not a mystery it's what the
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potential presidential candidate for 2016 was playing to the large number of evangelicals who believe in the literal truth of the bible. fast forward to today where rubio was given a retake on that pop question by politico's michael len. >> there is no scientific debate on the age of the earth. it's established pretty definitively. at least 4.5 billion years old. i was referring to a theological debate, which is a pretty healthy debate. >> rubio went on to say americans should teach children science but they also have the right to teach them religion. that's interesting. senator, you can't teach religion in public schools. by the way, think about it, what religion would you teach in public schools? we'll be right back.
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welcome back to "hardball." what is the washington gridlock on fiscal negotiations look like to the rest of the world, particularly europe where eurozone are taking drastic budget cuts and austerity measures that make our situation look tame. chris just returned from a trip to europe's capitals, including athens, and shares his experience of the complete devastation in greece currently dealing with. jared bernstein, storm former economic adviser. we don't know what the risks are of what might happen january 1st. there's a risk it could be horrible. that's all i'm saying. tell me what you saw in athens n greece when you were just there. >> i've traveled to greece quite a bit over the last few years for political work i've done there in the past. i don't know how to express it any more clearly than it was
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unbelievably sad and depressing. i mean, the country is in a great depression. unemployment is about 25%. unemployment among youths is about 55%. the economy contracted by 7.2% in the last quarter. those are numbers. i'll tell what you i saw which i think is more powerful. you go through different parts of greece, the greek stores closed everywhere. you go down near the acropolis, where there's a shopping area, called the palatka, and stores closed everywhere. the most powerful story was i was in a cab going back to my hotel and i said, how are things going, and he said, terrible. after expenses, i live on $10 day. the protests are not as frequent as sometimes you see. but there were protests when i was there. but it has to do with a general despair that is now pervasive -- >> so, quickly, the country went too far with fiscal chaos and
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not taking seriously the difference between spending too much and too much bureaucracy and raising not enough money to deal with it, and then they had the medicine from the international community or the european community, which was the real terror, that you had to pay to fix the problem. >> the medicine is killing the patient right now. you have severe austerity, where you have having cuts among those who are the most vulnerable. tax increases in a country -- >> who do the middle class people blame? >> you have two parties that are basically the republicans and democrats, senator left, the leadership parties. when they won in 2009, they were 44%, one of the largest victories in greek history. i worked on that campaign. they're at 7% now. >> so the world, jared, this is my question. we look at greece and wonder, why can't they get their act together? we look at spain and portugal and ireland even, get your act together. you know the problem. shake out of it. what's the world thinking when they look at us? setting up the fiscal cliff, a man-made challenge, what do they
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think of us? >> actually, they look at us and think we're going to work it out. >> to put it differently, they can't believe we will screw up. >> they're kind of thinking about the debt ceiling debate. they're not following this like we are. and they remember the last time we were in a situation. >> last time we got downgraded. >> it didn't seem to have much economic impact. people are just looking at us figure, oh, you know those crazy americans, they'll work it out at the last minute. >> what will they say if they get up january 2nd or 3rd after the new year and see we didn't work it out. >> it's my hope, towards later december, we'll actually have -- i want to convince people on the right, i think it's the president's job to convince the slower learners on the republican side that this is serious business. and we have a deal now, as if you know what's going to happen in january.
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there's going to be a january. we know that. there's a december, there will be a january. do you want to be in january when we haven't done this thing and jr. a republican and you're hanging on to the rich people and looking out for them do you want to be that guy or woman? i don't. your thoughts. you would blame the republicans then, mostly. >> of course, i think you have to blame the republicans in this. because their position on tax rates is untenable. i mean, we're not talking about raising taxes like france to 75%, to the top rate. we're talking about 39.6, and let's be honest, with other loopholes and other deductions, it's going to be a lot lower. at the end of the day, you cannot deal with the fiscal situation this country faces without raising taxes, raising revenues. it's that simple. >> because we're only bringing in 17% of the gdp and sending 23 or 24. >> 15 1/2. >> i've got a new number. you sure that's the recent one? >> that's the most recent one -- >> there's a big differential. >> we're not bringing enough for everybody. but the ironic thing, and what makes us different from greece in this regard, i think a lot of the functionality is alarmingly familiar.
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but if we go over the cliff, what we actually do is resolve too much of our debt situation all at once. i mean, unlike greece, whose fiscal profglasy has them where they are today. >> except that if we go over the cliff and given how tenuous this economic environment is right now, i mean, the message that sends to business leaders, employers, let alone the american people, is this place is not only ungovernable, it is dysfunction beyond dysfunction. >> a friend of mine, a wealthy california guy, a liberal, said, if you think they're going to trust you after you miss the january 1st deadline, they'll be no trust. they'll say, if you can't meet your own deadline, why would you meet anybody else's. >> and the markets, whether it's europe or american, are pricing in a solution. you see it really quite clearly. >> somebody was on -- mcmahon yesterday was wrong, they're not pricing a failure, they're pricing in a solution.
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thank you, chris kofinis, for that report from greece. jared bernstein, as always, thank you. when we return, let me finish with the ghost of fiscal cliff yet to come. wait until you see this story. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. [ woman ] ring. ring. progresso. in what world do potatoes, bacon and cheese add up to 100 calories? your world. ♪ [ whispers ] real bacon... creamy cheese... 100 calories... [ chef ] ma'am [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
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let me finish tonight with this. remember the ghost of christmas yet to come in "a christmas carol"? he's the scary one, the ghost who comes last. he shows ebenezer scrooge the end he's heading the for, that cold, lonely, miserable future to which his greed and selfish view of the world is taking him. in the next weeks, president obama has to be the ghost of christmas yet to come. he has to show the republicans how horrible it will be to be them if they don't change their path. he has to show them how disrupted and frightened the world will be, how bad they will look in that world beyond this december 31st if they hold true to a tight and jealous protection of wealth. the reason the president must be the ghost of christmas yet to come is stark. unless he shows them the future now, we will be in that future, we will be together, this country of ours, over the precipice. we'll be holding on to our economic life by the most precarious of lifelines. the fast diminishing faith of the world money markets. we will be a still-great country
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