>>> shawdown tonight on capitol hill.
>> i love that music. and how much do you love those hats? the hats are awesome. a phrasen threat to shut down the government if the gop doesn’t get what it wants. of course, that’s what they always do. a day after john boehner said he didn’t want a shutdown, he seemed to have changed his tune and of course, drew a line in the sand. again, that’s twha they always do. he said he wouldn’t support a short-term funding bill if he didn’t get his cuts and that the budget battle takes longer than two weeks.
>> i am not going to move any kind of short-term c.r. at current levels. when we with say we’re going to cut spending, read my lips. we’re going to cut spending.
>> you’re going to do a read my lips pledge? do you know anything about american politics? all right, have it it. see how it turns out for you. you know what happened? then harry reid fired back.
>> we’re terribly disappointed that speaker boehner can control the votes in his caucus to prevent a shutdown of government and now he’s reshorting to threats to do just that without any negotiations. that is not permissible and we will not stand for that. he’s wrong. even when he’s angry, he’s like that is not permissible. who says not permissible? that’s awesome. terribly, terribly disappointed. okay, but look, he’s fighting back. that’s a great thing. what happens in the showdown goes all the way. why is boehner all of a sudden talking about government shutdowns? what happened for him to to all of a sudden go that way?
>> i heard more than wiggle room in that “at current levels.” what’s current levels? we could eliminate the selective service that i tried food the other night. it costs $28 million a year. then we wouldn’t be in current levels. i don’t think he was saying we’ve got to have all our cuts or we’ll shut down the government but it could come to that ultimately. he’s being driven by the extremes in his caucus.
>> harry reid seems to have taken those threats very, very seriously, striking back like this. so what happens if they go at lagger heads here. sf there a government shutdown? is that what could happen here?
>> we could get to that point. i didn’t think we would get to government shutdown until we got to the debt limit. if we wanted to balance a budget in one year, which is what you would have to do if you’re not going to increase the debt limit, we would have to eliminate the entire government three times over, or, you know, medicare and social security and the government, or a few other miscellaneous things this year. you can’t get there in one year. you can only cut things. well, cutting everything wouldn’t get us to balance. i thought it wouldn’t come until the debt limit, but maybe it will come sooner.
>> boehner says i want all the cut ps and reid says we’re not giving you all the cuts. and who cares. it would never come close to balancing the budget. what they need to do is stop the bush tax cuts, but neither side is talking about that. how do you make a deal here?
>> i think the president through his spokesman opened up the door today to doing cuts in this fiscal year and i think there’s some things that could be done. you look at $20 billion, $30 billion, that would be half. but we’ve really got to break down some of the firewalls. why can’t we go after agriculture subsidies? why are we paying $20 billion this year to not grow things at a time when we’re borrowing the $20 billion. that’s kind of absurd? why can’t we look at subsidizing the oil and gas industry. if the republicans would just give on those things, we could easily exceed their targets.
>> one last question, why don’t the democrats bring back the tax issue. i know they just settled it, right, but at the very least, rhetoric, say hey, you can not balance the budget this way. if you’re going to make the middle class and poor pay, why don’t we have shared pain that includes the upper class and the rich?
>> well, unfortunately, my leadership, including the president are kind of compromised on that issue having pushed through those giant tax cuts. i voted no. in that one day, we increased the federal debt by $800 billion with one vote and brought us to what are now record deficits that they’re reacting against to cut all these programs. that would have been a progressive way — we could have just walked away from all the extension of the tax cuts and we would have progressively raised taxes in america and cut the deficit in half over the next ten years. and the rates would have been the rates of the clinton era when the economy boomed. hey, that would have been pretty fair.
>> thank you, congressman, we appreciate