WWL>Topics>>12-4 12:10pm Garland speaks to Patrick Louis Knudsen about fiscal debt

12-4 12:10pm Garland speaks to Patrick Louis Knudsen about fiscal debt

Dec 4, 2012|

Garland speaks to Patrick Louis Knudsen, Grover M. Hermann Senior Fellow in Federal Bugetary Affairs at the Heritage Foundation about fiscal debt.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

-- go we'll continue. With the lives up -- you know bill. Dramatic debate on the -- -- -- and in the Washington nears his second national poll. We're suppose -- it's more Americans. Would blame congressional Republicans and president brought Obama into the -- issues and keep the country from bawling about the fiscal live clip -- -- Washington Post -- -- survey released yeah this morning indicated sporting 9% of Americans. Predict the president and Republicans in congress will not reach an agreement preventing you spending cuts and tax increases. To give the other side of the court and we're talking to Patrick -- smoking and Grover -- Herrmann senior fellow. Federal budgetary affairs at The Heritage Foundation. Patrick welcome back to the show anyway Garland or any of these cold directorate in number one do you think have their -- to rid of pay our -- that put Republicans an area. Weaker negotiating position. Well the polls that suggest Republicans would have most likely be blamed are probably accurate. Olive and the reason for that and I hit my view is that. Republicans have not been sufficiently successful. And making their case which is which is worth making that is. To put it simply. The way to deal with a -- fiscal cliff said a long term fiscal problem is to go after spending not raise taxes. And if they could make that argument and substantiated they'd be in much better shape regrettably they have they usually do that's so far. Let me ask you about them because. Born -- this year libertarian. And when I talk to their of their presidential candidate and vice president. I said to them. I'm gonna vote for you been reviewed actually get in the power are you gonna do it tells me just say I'm for smaller government. Of one to cut spending upsetting to true you know between BP and I've come down on the side of small government -- I'm heading to Medicare and Medicaid then social security. And -- more. In almost every call -- failure. Over the last seven years and I'm very broad statement -- an audience. What I bring up domestic routes of Social Security your cuts in Medicare. Spending. Totally against. I really get past that. You know that's been a struggle first for some time and we on the conservative side to. Who have -- we can make the argument about how these programs are unsustainable but still. When we're talking to people who may be receiving benefits at this point. It gets harder to make the case I think what I might do is following first. I'm not sure that people are saying they want to Medicare what what they're really saying is when -- retired they want to security of knowing. That there health care will be financed and take care of one way or another. What does that through private insurance or the government or whatever they just want to make sure they're going to have health coverage and you can't blame anyone for feeling that way. -- And then second to explain. He if you are receiving Medicare now or -- -- going to be on Medicare soon and you're worried about getting some your benefits taken away. Didn't just. Leave the program alone and I'll guarantee your benefits will be taken away because that the way the program spending money the way it's growing it's gonna collapse under its own weight. The only way. To ensure. That the current retirees and retirees in the future. We'll have. Decent medical coverage. -- is to restructure Medicare fundamentally change it from this government run HMO in to a program in which. People received received assistance from the government to quoted by the insurance in the market. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Social Security Medicare and on entitlements. Do you correct me if I'm wrong. I think Medicare is an entitlement to reason that the roots food security in there. Is we say he. We or in -- -- because who put the money and I hope we're living for perhaps those payments. On a regular basis I get people Alabama doctor called me -- the things send us. Just want to call and thank you a maybe two years old love collector -- were 500000 more than a put into it. So that's the problem that may not be listed as a entitlement program or even part of the debt. But we can't afford it right. And that's that's precisely right and I had a rather than argue with people about whether it's an entitlement or not. We did. We get. Make an agreement with a ourselves. -- 1935 and 1965. That there were no we are going to find some way to ensure that people had a decent income when they retired and decent medical coverage. That mission is perfectly reasonable you know at five people are close to retirement right now. And someone said to me we're about we're gonna make sure that you can have your medical coverage one way or another. I would be grateful for that and London at a bad bulb would also be willing to pay some four -- to take my responsibility but. What we really are looking for is to security if people are part. I'm afraid of of what's going to happen under reform do what they should really be afraid of is what will happen if we don't reform these programs than -- -- will collapse. And I -- group with -- you're not submit to you -- wanna hear it how does this effect says. We as conservatives are concerned about we want coats and food stamps unemployment -- phones. What looked at those were the Congressional Budget Office their money correction. -- try to sixteen trillion or. If you wanted to root in the early 86 point eight trillion yeah it did that and I think. My general -- Just doesn't warning here in -- tell me if I'm wrong one or another we're gonna sacrifice. I think there's a way. To do this though so that we can. We can make that transition work multiplicity propose. Old let's talk about them as soon we come back broke an adult I definitely -- -- that would give -- all -- -- OK don't have a right back we have veteran blue smoke and whether she's with The Heritage Foundation. We're talking about beyond. The deadline sorry doctor -- who is the if she anymore. Coming right back up the bill begins serving one -- 53. But it quickly -- in the Big Ten. I look for win. I immoral. I've tried to illuminate the -- preliminary belonging to a club. Every tell mom proven wrong I think and a little bit beverage can it will make better decisions. A just I missed a statement that I have made many many times. I don't see anything in this debt Devlin. Conversation. That doesn't interior old -- replies for a lot of the but veteran go Lewis militant -- with the -- to foundation I think understood you to say well. Not necessarily. Let me take it as an example of Medicare because that would be one of the more sensitive areas. There are probably two -- two things to focus on if you can get people first understand that the current Medicare. System. Is unsustainable. Financially -- behavior of the two argument I would make first. The kind of restructuring we could do to Medicare. Heart could actually make it not only financially sustainable but could make it a better program. For example. What would you rather have. The it would you rather be an agent mold where somebody else makes all the decisions about what benefits you could have more. Would you have rather have a payment but it could help you choose your health insurance. From the private market and with the insurance. But all the policies available to you. Would be reviewed by the government to make sure they were sound that they -- provided benefits so in other words you would have the choice and you get some financial support. To make -- purchased would you rather have that or would you rather be tied to a government run HMO. That did that too dangerous thing good Butte and and I think you'll agree your our early founding fathers. Didn't even mourners bowed because they didn't think the collectibles brighten up too good to make good decision. Many of the questions is it we have to make our own decisions about health care. What happens when we waste the money. Don't put it where we should put it in them would turn around and just go through during the our show were students -- trillion dollar worth the definite thing I can't even go bankrupt helped me. What happens when that occurred and -- -- the collective good that brighter -- Well actually I I give the American people more credit than that I think they actually are pretty Smart and I I do think that looked. There's there's some some retirees. Who need help from their families or for some advises -- some -- some kind -- In general. I believe. America's retirees are some of the smartest consumers on the planet when it comes to their own health care because they spend the time. To look at what they're trying to buy if if they're a position to make the purchase of self signed a lot of confidence -- retirees they're very. Unscrupulous. In examining what things are going to buy so by and large. I'd be more confident that they would they would make -- -- reasonable and responsible choices again there might be some who needs some help with that but for the -- in this for the majority I think they'd done. I think they'd have a pretty good handle on what you're trying to do. I can truly say -- -- hope -- right all right Wall Street Journal -- Republicans make general Peru in fiscal talks fail and this surprised me a little bit here's what the is there content of the letter. They're reportedly sent to prison Obama. Quote mindful of the sent to score -- -- And pass the changes on those questions. We recognize it would be counterproductive. To publicly or privately proposed entitlement reform. -- you and the leaders your reporting your pure and willing to support. In the near term. Sounds like kicking the can down the road. Well I suppose that's that's 11 -- you might say at the other is called. If Republicans a bit -- I think this may be part of the implications of the letter. Republicans did offer. Specific proposals on retirement reforms. Chances are they would get demagogue for doing it because that's what happened during a campaign and that's what happens all the time. And therefore I think what they're looking for is a way to trust the other side. They have a rational conversation. Before anybody runs out and end the lights a fire to it. So. I think is speaking to what is very sensitive situation but frankly. Republicans have been accused all along -- not being flexible enough to raise taxes but. All right now it's beginning to look at fifty inflexibility is on the other side they. They insist on raising taxes in a very specific play that is raising tax rates. Com. And they refused to look at any serious spending reductions and spending in you know I've talked about this Garland. Standing is the -- we have to get spending under control we're not gonna get them the budget in a deficit under control. And until the president is willing to two offers some. Real opening for that we're not getting anywhere these talks. I'm still live from wrong I think -- remember the figures about 500 doing in the trench coats. The -- over two and a half trillion -- in tax increases if they don't you know agreement in my in the ballpark. Yes that's about right you could look at and also -- N a one year scale. Odd about 55 billion in defense cuts in 2013 alone and that's about 10% of the defense budget. So you could accurately say they would get that go to make that budget. And it's about 500 billion in tax increases. Next year as well no Catholics would hit everybody. -- to your turn to their -- Pro Obama refuses into storage to proposed more spending cuts until Republicans except higher tax rates on the wealthy. Republican refused to accept higher tax rates from the well think while asking for more spending cuts. All we -- gridlock that we've been out for years and will continue. Yes we we are and I there's one -- -- in in that New York Times. Statement that I wanna point out. It says that the president refuses to offer more spending cuts he hasn't offered any spending cuts. If you look at the bottom line numbers in his budget. All the deficit reduction. -- he proposes is the result of higher taxes not the result of less spending in fact. Is budgets spent more over ten years -- if we just let everything and at the status quo. So to say that the president. Refuses to offer more spending cuts he'd he had offers some spending cuts first before you can actually make that statement. You know what jumped out for good drama have beyond -- challenge while we're thinking alike cut I don't shoot the time very much good talking to -- Same here and end up we talk again -- absolutely you can break holiday eating that. They'll -- filled bigot so heavily area more room plus three years that the.