Hoyer on MSNBC Discussing the President's Debt Speech

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joining us now, an exclusive interview is house minority whip steny hire, emerged as the voice of the democrats in the house on these issues and representative Hoyer it is a delight to have you. your thoughts on the president this afternoon?

good to be with you. well, i thought the president's speech was an excellent speech and what he essentially outlined was the vision that he sees going forward. first of all, he recognized that the deficit is a critical problem we must confront but we must confront it according to the president, and i agree with him, within the framework of the values that we hold dear in this country. and that is, as your previous discussion indicated, making sure that we make care of one another. he did contrast his vision with that of the republican budget offered by mr. ryan, the budget chairman in the house, a vision which get the same objective of cutting $4 trillion in spending and getting toward balanced budgets but also indicate it had should not be in the context of doing away with medicare as we know it substantially putting those on medicaid at great risk by eliminating its guarantees, by cutting such programs as head start and other early education and investment in the education of our children so we will be competitive internationally and at the same time, giving $1 trillion worth of tax cuts to the wealthiest in america. i heard my colleagues that you just had on the tv say that here we go we are not going to raise taxes. well what that means is, frankly, we are not going to pay for what we buy. the reason we are in such a deep hole is because republican policy has been for a very long period of time to buy but not pay for. that's what they did in the last decade and that's why we are in such a deep hole. we have to get out of it. what the president also said i think is very important. we have shown in the past what we could come together in a bipartisan way and get the job done. reagan and o'neill on social security, bush and he didn't mention but gephardt on balancing the budget in 1990 and getting us on a path toward balanced budget. didn't mention gingrich, and gingrich's party was angry about, they thought it was a sellout. they have done it in the past, need to do it going forward, we need to consider all of the items on the plate, not just 12% of discretionary spending, we need to consider defense, consider enmentes and yes the tax expenditures the joint commission, the boles simpson commission pointed out were $1.1 trillion which equals all discretionary spending that we are making. so that they are a very, very big item. i think he was right have to look across the whole gamut, we owe it to our country. the citizens expect us to work together in a responsible, adult fashion to get us back to where we need to be and that is to balance fiscal responsibility while at the same time making sure that we take care of those who need our help. our country will be strong fer we do it.

we are told and relentlessly through the media, through political voices, all sorts of places, representative, that the deficit is the problem. i would argue that that entire framing is wrong, that the deficit is merely a simple some of the problem and that the actual problem is way that we make decisions in this country which allows legislative manipulation through any litany, create really expensive health care systems, create energy systems inefficient, create education systems that don't teach the kids, really expensive twhars really don't keep us safe, then the deficit is the result of these really expensive things that really don't work. instead of reforming defense, health care, trade policy, inefficiency in energy and banking, we then go to cut whatever we want to debate the cutting is and depend the deficit is the problem when the deficit is a symptom of the control that special interests and incentives created for politicians to keep their jobs.

well, dylan, could you frame it that way certainly, and i agree with some of what you said. but the deficit is a problem. it maybe the result of the policies that you just described. but ultimately, it becomes a problem. it's not sustainable. we cannot continue to --

i get that.

what politicians have done, it's easy to buy. it's easy to give people what they want, whether it's any of the things that you mentioned or anything else. what is difficult to do what takes courage to do what is the responsible thing to do is say, look, if we're gonna buy x, y or z, we are gonna pay for it.

why should the american taxpayer or the american individual be asked sacrifice, whether it is a poor person seeing reduced funding because of a need to cut the budget or a taxpayer asked to pay more in taxes to fund the system when the actual systems of health care, energy, defense, are the things that are costing us so much and are so profitable for the special interests that fund the politicians?

dylan, as you know, the house of representatives in the last congress passed legislation on many of those subjects. the health care bill, the affordable health care act, which is scheduled to save very substantial billions of dollars in this decade and $ 1 trillion in the next kick decade, some are trying to repeal that we don't think they will succeed on that we moved in that direction. we moved to make sure that the financial community works within the rules that are set. we also work to make ourselves more energy independent and efficient. clearly, we need to move in those directions, but's been tough to get there as you well know. and mainly because, frankly, the republicans in the united states senate would not allow harry reid to get things to the floor and when he did he had had to have all democrats to pass them and some instances, hey, he didn't have enough, or b, he didn't have all the democrats, but you're correct, that we need to move on poll sir issues to make our economy more efficient i, by the way, am working on an agenda, which is the make it in america agenda, which says that we got to focus on making in america being successful but also in making it, manufacturing it, growing it, in america and selling it here and around the world. we are not going to be a successful competitor in the international global markets if we are not manufacturing things here in this had country and creating the kind of good jobs that they create.

last section -- last question i should say, very quickly, are you the next tip o'neill on this drama?

look, i tell you, we all need to work together. i don't know what that there's a tip o'neill. avenues giant, of course, as the speaker of the house of representatives. but i am certainly going to be working with all of my democratic colleagues and yes, my republican colleagues to say we need to be responsible. our kids, our grandchildren, our fellow citizens are relying on us, let's put politics aside, let's do the right thing, let's be responsible. i'm hopeful that we can do that. one of the discussions we had earlier today in the white house was i said, look, we all agree, everybody around that table, every republican, every democrat agreed that allowing the debt limit to expire without extending it and having america in the positioning where it couldn't pay its bills was a totally, absolutely, unacceptable alternative. i said let it come together, let's do that in a bipartisan fashion that will give confidence to the economy, not only here in this country but around the world as well. i didn't get as positive a responsize would have liked.

well, you can always try another day.

we will keep trying to.

representative Hoyer, thank you for the time this afternoon. i appreciate it.

thank you very much.

steny Hoyer, minority whip for the democrats.

coming back here with our wednesday megapanel, is the president a bad negotiator or a political mastermind who will reveal his grand plan? we will tackle the debate about spending and taxes through the lens of the 2012 presidential election, oh, yes.

and also ahead, a foreign concept, why aren't we acting on policies that would not only lower gas prices but also erase half of our trade deficit, step in can we please deal with energy, please? we will talk to the men behind a brand-new documentary titled "gas hole."

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