Video and Transcript of Ed Rendell--"The President Can't Sell This (Grand Bargain) Twice To His Base." [Revised]
CNBC, Squawk Box
With Joe Kernen, Becky Quick and Andrew Ross Sorkin
[Hat Tip to Mr. Alexa for tipping me off to this interview.]
This entire video is rather interesting, if you want to know what the PtB are planning regarding the implementation of Simpson-Bowles.
[The first 2:06 minutes of this video is interesting, in that Ed Rendell's remarks regarding members of the Democratic Party base, are rather insulting, IMO.]
The transcript immediately below, pertains to that portion of this video.
BTW, this is the real face of the Democratic Party. To think that this "big time" neoliberal and fiscal hawk, Ed Rendell, recently served two terms as a Democratic Party governor is truly mind-boggling.
I was also not impressed with Rendell's "snickering" at host Joe Kernen's derisive remarks "about the 47% who voted for raising taxes on the wealthy." No different than Romney's comments, IMO.
Joe Kernen: For more on the politics on a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff, we're joined by Judd Gregg and Ed Rendell, co-chairman of the fix the debt campaign.
Joe Kernen: Ed, are you as impressed with me that you can actually get 47% of the people to agree to raise taxes on somebody else? Pretty easy task. Steve really likes that number but that is amazing. 47% will agree to raise taxes on 2%. [Laughter.]
Joe Kernen: No, what do you think will finally happen, Governor Rendell? Do you think at this point are both sides--I can tell you both houses feet are in concrete on letting the tax cuts expire for the 250 and above. Is the President going to be set in stone on that as well? Ed?
Ed Rendell: Well, see, I think the president's got to, people say let's do a short term thing to get past the fiscal cliff and then do the negotiations. I believe you got to do the negotiations first on a big deal, because it's the only way. The president can't sell this twice to his base. He's got to go to his base and say, "Look, we needed x amount of new revenue. we got it. Don't you worry about where we got it from. And by tax reform, the rich are going to pay more. So don't worry.
Joe Kernen: So is there anything to the notion that it's not as important for him to sell something to his base at this point, because he's not going to need them again in four years?
Ed Rendell: Also his base in the senate. There are a lot of senators who wanted at least a Millionaire's Tax. The base wants something, their pound of flesh and -- that's interesting.
Ed Rendell. My message to them, Joe, would be, "Look, let's do what's right for the country, and if we do tax reform, there's going to be additional revenue and that additional revenue will come from people who are well off. So, don't worry about raising the rates.
Apparently Mr. Rendell considers "the base" to be the Democratic Party senators.
He also very breezily dismisses the notion that the Democratic Party should attempt to raise the marginal tax rates on the wealthy.
Never mind that President Obama has spent well over a year, promising to do so.
REVISION: Additional transcript of Joe Kernen and Judd Gregg interview.
Joe Kernen: Judd Gregg, do you think that the President and his base would agree to that higher effective tax rates, but not getting back to that 39.6%, the holy grail. Once they did health care the holy grail was getting back to the Clinton tax rates for rich people.
Judd Gregg: Ed is right. You have to do a comprehensive deal that addresses the larger debt issue, in order to get past the fiscal cliff. And part of that deal has to be a tax reform package which reduces rates, keeps the code progressive, keeps the distributional situation progressive, but gets your rates down by eliminating deductions and exemptions.
And in the process, you generate more revenue through more economic activity, plus you maintain the burden of the tax burden on the higher income individuals, by eliminating deductions and exemptions. And that's the way you sell it to Republicans, and I think it's the way you sell it to Democrats
But it also has to be coupled with major "entitlement reform," it has to be structured off of basically the outline of the original Simpson-Bowles, which had significant savings on the spending side, revenues driven by tax reform agreement that basically reduced rates by eliminating deductions and exemptions, and reduced the debt by $4 trillion.
Actually we need more than $4 trillion. But that has to be the goal.
Once you put that agreement in place, or the pathway to that agreement, that's what you're looking at here, then you can move on to moving the fiscal cliff off the agenda.
Notice that Gregg says: "You generate more revenue through more economic activity, plus you maintain the burden of the tax burden on the higher income individuals, by eliminating deductions and exemptions."
Gregg drops the reference to "the wealthy." And higher income in Bowles-Simpson's proposal means anyone who's eligible for tax deductions and exemptions. Period.
IOW, if you're a school teacher or a school custodian, and eligible for a mortgage interest deduction, "you're higher income."
This video puts to rest any doubt in my mind, that the Democratic Party base has been sold out by the Democratic Party Establishment.
[I apologize that the transcript is a little "rough." I corrected it a couple of times, but keep losing the corrections, before I can post it.]