The President is speaking right now.
He still wants a "Bid Deal"
He reiterates what happens in a default:
"Interest rates will go up which is a tax increase for everybody"
What he wants in a deal? Willingness to cut domestic spending to Ike levels.
Hundreds of billions of dollars in defense
NO mention of Social Security
On Medicare: "Look at health care spending, 'stabilize' Medicare so it remains solvent in the future"
On revenues, he goes there and starts quoting poll after poll of REPUBLICANS wanting to raise taxes on the rich.
Jake Tapper's question on specifics of entitlement spending.
President is "looking at all options", not getting specific, talking about means testing for Medicare--higher premiums for richer people.
"Social Security and Medicare are the MOST important programs. Modest modifications--including the provider side--can save trillions while maintaining core integrity. Everything you've mentioned has been discussed"
"If someone who's 40 or a current beneficiary has to pay a little more (like a couple hundred) then those who can afford it (millionaires) can pay more"
Most of his remarks are about Medicare.
Question on Republican "plan":
"I haven't seen it, could be a stunt. Freezing spending without counting for inflation can lead to disaster.
"Cuts without revenues isn't balanced and hurts the middle class."
Balanced budget amendments--disaster. Would require significant cuts in Social Security and Medicare. If a family gets overextended, they work around it--they don't stop sending kids to college, the pay bills, etc.
Follow up, will a bill need stimulative measures for a signature like payroll tax cut and other things like unemployment?
"All these things are good and I'd like to see them".
Leave it to Chuck Todd to talk about "things getting ugly"
"The American people aren't interested in reality show theatrics and whose feelings got hurt". Nice.
Still on Bowles-Simpson.
8:23 AM PT: Nice slam of Chuck Todd on cuts vs revenue.
8:23 AM PT: We don't NEED a balanced budged amendment and everybody knows it.
8:25 AM PT: Reform tax code so billionaires don't have outrageous tax breaks, end unnecessary programs, and they don't gut Social Security and Medicare
8:27 AM PT: McConnell helps with one part, he wants to do the other part
8:27 AM PT: "I always have hope. Didn't you follow my campaign?"
8:28 AM PT: Here's a telling remark: What he was working on with Boehner falls into what MOST REPUBLICANS want. Meaning the sane ones
8:30 AM PT: He doesn't listen to what people say about him on cable or in print. He thinks that's all theater for the masses. Still insisting everyone can work together
8:31 AM PT: YES. "While we've been obsessing about deficits and debt, people don't care. They want a JOB.
8:34 AM PT: He hopes this debate points out to Americans about the rigidness of Republicans, that people will remember
8:34 AM PT: "They're not paying attention to the details, they're paying attention to who's trying to get things done".
8:35 AM PT: Boehner was trying in good faith. He had problems in his caucus.
8:38 AM PT: If you are progressive, you should be just as concerned about debt and deficit.