Exclusive - Alan Simpson Extended Interview Pt. 1

  • Aired:  12/05/12
  •  | Views: 129,376

In this exclusive, unedited interview, Alan Simpson explains the bipartisan thinking behind the Simpson-Bowles budget proposal. (6:35)

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ).

>> Jon: WELCOME BACK.

MY GUEST TONIGHT, FORMER SENATOR FROM WYOMING, ALSO THE COCHAIR OF THE NATIONAL COMMISSION ON

FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY AND REFORM, ALSO KNOWN AS THE SIMPSON/BOWLES PLAN, PLEASE

WELCOME, SENATOR ALLAN SIMPSON.

SIR.

>> YUCK MAN.

YOUNG MAN.

>> HOW ARE YOU?

>> Jon: NICE TO SEE YOU, SENATOR, HOW ARE YOU?

>> GOOD, I SAW THAT LAST SEGMENT.

I THOUGHT MAYBE THAT WOULD LIVEN EVERYTHING UP FOR ME.

( LAUGHTER ).

I DON'T WANT TO GET INTO THAT.

THAT WOULDN'T BE A THING TO DO.

>> Jon: NEXT TIME I'LL MAKE SURE IT'S IN THE GIFT BAG FOR EVERYBODY.

( LAUGHTER ).

>> MAYBE JUST THE COOKIES.

>> Jon: JUST THE COOKIES.

( LAUGHTER ).

SO LET ME-- LET ME START WITH YOU.

TWO YEARS AGO, TWO AND A HALF YEARS AGO, YOU ARE APROASMED TO AIR A COMMIT WEERSKINE BOWLSROACHED TOCH

TO SET UP A DEFICIT REDUCTION PLAN FOR THE COUNTRY.

YOU STUDY IT.

YOU'RE VERY DILIGENT.

EVERYBODY HATES IT WITHIN 24 HOURS.

THE DEMOCRATS SAY IT'S TOO AUSTERE.

THE REPUBLICANS SAY YOU'RE RAISING TAX TOO MUCH.

TWO YEARS LATER AS WE STAND ON THE PRECIPICEAVE CLIFF, SUDDENLY THIS PLAN AS SEEN AS THE

MOSTERABLY THING IN TOWN AND PEOPLE ARE COMING TO YOU TO FIND OUT YOUR SAGE ADVICE.

WHAT HAPPENED IN THOSE TWO YEARS?

>> WELL, THE PEOPLE WOKE UP.

I THINK YOUNG PEOPLE ARE WAKING UP.

YOU CAN'T DO THIS.

YOU CAN'T TAX YOUR WAY OUT OF THIS HOLE.

YOU CAN'T GROW YOUR WAY OUT OF THIS HOLE.

WE HAD EVERY ECONOMIST SAY YOU COULD HAVE DOUBLE-DIGIT GROWTH FOR 20 YEARS AND CAN'T GET OUT

OF THE HOLE.

YOU CAN'T CUT SPENDING OUT OF YOUR HOLE.

WE GOT FIVE DEMOCRATS, FIVE REPUBLICANS, RANGING FROM DICK DURBIN TO ILLINOIS-- GREAT

PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRAT-- AND COBURN FROM OKLAHOMA, AND FIVE DEMS, FIVE REPUBLICANS, ONE

INDEPENDENT, THAT'S A SUPER MAJORITY.

AND FOR GOD'S SAKE THE REASON WE WERE SO SUCCESSFUL IS THAT WE EFFECTIVELY PISSED OFF EVERYBODY

IN AMERICA.

( LAUGHTER ).

>> Jon: CONGRATULATIONS, SIR.

KUDOS.

KUDOS TO YOU.

( APPLAUSE ) SO NOW, AS YOU WATCH THESE COMPETING PLANS, YOU WATCH THE PRESIDENT HAS SUBMITTED HIS

OPENING OFFER, WHICH HAS BEEN DERIDED BY THE HOUSE REPUBLICANS AS AN ODE TO LENNON.

THE REPUBLICANS HAVE PRESENTED THEIR PLAN, WHICH IS TO MY EYES, STEEPER THAN THE FISCAL CLIFF

WE'RE ABOUT TO FALL OFF OF.

WHERE DOES THE SIMPSON/BOWLES RECOMMENDATION STAND, AND ARE THEY COMING TO YOU NOW AND

SAYING, "OH, WE FORGOT.

YOU GUYS STUDIED THIS.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

>> WELL, WE STUDIED IT FOR EIGHT MONTHS.

AND IT WAS TOUGH.

WE DIDN'T-- WE HAD-- IT TOOK US THREE MONTHS TO ESTABLISH TRUST.

THESE GUYS DON'T TRUST EACH OTHER.

THEY DON'T EVEN TRUST EACH OTHER IN THEIR OWN PARTY.

YOU'VE GOT LEADERS WHO ARE PEOPLE BEHIND THEM WITH A SHIVE HOPING THEY CAN GET THEIR JOB

NEXT GO-AROUND.

POOR OLD DURBIN HAS SOMEONE LOOKING OVER HIS BACK BECAUSE HE VOTED FOR THE PACKAGE.

EVERY TIME THEY DEAL AND OVER IN THE REPUBLICANS, BOEHNER HAS TO GO TO WORK AND COME BACK AND

THERE'S-- NOW THERE ARE 70 OF THEM LEFT, THE TEA PARTY GUYS.

THESE ARE GUYS WHO WENT TO CONGRESS NOT TO LIMIT GOVERNMENT BUT TO STOP IT.

SO WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?

AND SO HERE WE HAVE THIS PLAN.

EVERYBODY SAYS "I LOVE THE FRAMEWORK.

I JUST LOVE--"

>> Jon: EVERYBODY LOVES A GOOD FRAMEWORK.

>> AND THEN THAT WILL SAY WHAT DID YOU DO WITH HOME MORTGAGE INTEREST DEDUCTIONS.

IT WILL BE THE END OF HOME OWNERSHIP.

WE SAID YOU DON'T NEED A MILLION BUCKS OF HOME HOARNLG INTEREST DEDUCTION.

WE'LL TAKE IT DOWN TO 500,000, AND A 12% NONREFUNDABLE TAX CREDIT AND THAT HELPS THE LITTLE GUY.

IF EVERYBODY WOULD DO SOMETHING FOR THE LITTLE GUY INSTEAD OF TALKING ABOUT THE LITTLE GUY, WE

MIGHT MAKE IT.

>> Jon: THE LITTLE GUY MIGHT GET BIGGER.

>> MIGHT GET BIGGER ( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ).

>> Jon: THERE'S SO MUCH TALK-- AND EVEN IN SIMPSON/BOWLES, THERE'S A LOT OF

TALK ABOUT CORPORATE TAX RATES AND LOWERING THEM AND MAKING THEM MORE COMPETITIVE.

IN MY EYE, CORPORATIONS HAVE HAD, OVER THESE LAST 20 YEARS, THE RUN OF THE PLACE.

THEY HAVE-- IF YOU LOOK AT IT FACTUALLY, CORPORATE PROFITS ARE AT AN ALL-TIME HO-- ALL-TIME HIGH.

THAT WAS-- THAT WAS A FREUDIAN SLIP OF PROPORTIONS.

CORPORATIONS ARE ALL-TIME HO'S.

NO, BUT THEIR PROFITS ARE AT AN ALL-TIME HIGH.

WORKER WAGES HAVE STAGNATED EVEN AS PRODUCTIVITY HAS GONE UP.

SO I GUESS I'M CONFUSED AS TO WHY WE ARE CHASING THEIR FAVOR WHEN THEY SEEM TO HAVE HAD SUCH

A GOOD RUN OVER THESE PAST 20 OR 30 YEARS.

>> YEAH, WELL, OUR CORPORATE TAX RATE IS THE HIGHEST IN THE WORLD --

>> BUT NOT ACTUALLY.

>> WELL, 36% IS WHERE WE'RE AT.

WHAT WE DID, WE TOOK AWAY ALL OF THESE TAX EXPENDITURES, ALL OF THESE DEDUCTIONS, ALL OF THIS STUFF.

THIS IS JUST EARMARKS BY ANY OTHER NAME, AND IT'S SPENDING BY ANY OTHER NAME, AND IT'S $1.1

TRILLION A YEAR.

AND ONLY 20% OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE USE 80% OF THE STUFF IN THAT TAX CODE.

DOES THAT GIVE YOU THE WAKE-UP CALL WHO IS GIMMING THE SYSTEM?

WE GOT RID OF ALL THAT AND GIVE PEOPLE FROM 0-70 GRAND, 8%.

70,000 TO 210,000, THEY PAY 14, EVERYTHING OVER THAT, 23.

TAKE THE CORPORATE RATE FROM 26 TO 36 AND NOT TAX THEM TWICE WHEN THEY BRING IT BACK.

AND WHEN THEY BRING IT BACK, WHEN THE DEMOCRATS-- AS ERR SKIN SAYS A DEMOCRAT-- THEY'LL JUST

USE IT FOR DIVIDENDS TO BUY STOCKS AND HE SAID AT LEAST THEY'LL BE USING IT IN THE

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA INSTEAD OF STICKING OVER THERE.

>> Jon: OR THAIDGED OF THEY COULD USE IT FOR BONUSES.

>> THEY'LL DO ALL THAT.

>> Jon: BETWEEN AND YOU I, AND YOU'RE A REPUBLICAN, BETWEEN AND YOU ME, THEY REALLY ARE THE

CRAZY PEOPLE IN THIS ONE.

ARE THEY NOT?

>> NO, THE AARP SPSS ARE THE CRAZY PEOPLE.

>> Jon: DON'T SAY THAT BECAUSE I JUST JOINED.

YOU CAN STICK AROUND A LITTLE BIT.

WE'RE GOING TO TALK MORE WITH SENATOR CAPITOL HILL KENNEDYICISM.

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

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