Alex Witt   |  April 07, 2013

Why Obama touched social security, Medicare in budget proposal

Alex Witt's "Strategy Talk" segment covers the President’s budget proposal with Fmr. Rep Martin Frost and Alice Stewart.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> the upcoming week on wall street , we'll be closely watching nasdaq and the s&p 500 . this week we'll see the start of earnings season. alcoa will start things off and it's earnings are expected to rise. we'll hear from some big banks, jp morgan chase 's --

>>> and march madness ends monday with the championship.

>>> a plan to strong criticism from both the left and the right.

>> what are the odds for a deal this year?

>> based on my bracket, i don't think i should be in the predictions business. but there's a good chance both sides will want to compromise, if the republicans particularly in the house take a my way or the highway approach, then we're not going to get a deal.

>> the budget includes cuts in medicare and social security which is why some democrats as well as tax hikes on the wealthy which has some republicans downing on --

>> a welcome to you both, thanks for joining me. representative frost, i'll begin with you t congressional caucus members already sent the president some scathing letters say this plan is unpopular, it's unwise, its unworkable. why did the president touch social security and medicaid.

>> he wants the republicans to agree to some tax increases. we did this in the 1980s when i was in congress. in 1983 , we increased the retirement age for social security from 65 to 67. that was very unpopular over time . it was phased in over a period of years, it's still being phased in. it's not completely there. so these are hard choices so if the republicans aren't willing to consider any of the these taxes, why should the democrats go along with these cuts. but at least considering something if republicans will put some tax revenue on the table.

>> sir, earlier we heart from lindsay graham who said there are some nuggets in the budget that he minds optimistic, so does that mean there are some things that democrat also take issue with?

>> it's going to be controversial for everybody, both democrats and republicans . the real hang up on this is that if you ever get to tax reform to increasing revenues, then you've got to cut mortgage interest rates, you've got to cut char charitable contributions, what people can give to 401(k)s and i iras.

>> does this put the president in a better position with republicans ? he's compromises on entitlements, republicans are not ready the budge on taxes for the wealthy.

>> we'll see how far he's compromising on entitlements and with all due respect to the congressmen, republicans did give in when it came to the fiscal cliff. when the rubber meets the roads we'll look at more serious spending cuts and reducing the size of government. the one thing the president is getting good response in regard to what we're hearing is that the change in the cpi which adjusts the leg s ths the level of inflati on, but it's a very, very small part of the debt and deficits we're looking at in this country and there's concern about what price do we pay for that? and are we going to look at much more toax hikes? we'll see how things play out when we actually see what's in the budget.

>> if you had to sell one side or the other to the public, doesn't the president's compromise option look good.

>> it looks good from a conversational standpoint right now, again, we don't know what ice's in it. it sounds good right now that we need to look at entitlement reform. but when you look at the overall cost of medicaid and social security over the next ten years, we're talking $18 trillion. so we need to look at much greater entitlement reform, reducing the size of government and we don't need to look at tax increases, specifically where the president and democrats like to put it is on the under income level of americans and those who create jobs.

>> alice?

>> yeah?

>> if i could just correct one piece of information, in the last year noand a half, democrats agreed to double the amount of taxes that are levied each year. for the republicans to cry wolf and say we have already raised taxes they haven't come close to the budget cuts that have already been made in the last 18 months.

>> could we also look at the unemployment picture with you? as of friday, there's only 88,000 jobs created in march? does this give republicans a talking point about 2 the sequestration as part of --

>> the issue of the payroll tax that has been put in effect for two years, the cut in the payroll tax , the 2%, that was reinstated. there are a lot of things that could contribute to this. but the key is the uncertainty and that's why people aren't investing. they don't know what the country is going to do. they don't know if congress is going to get around to solving this deficit problem or not and that's why the biggest reason we have a drop in job creation .

>> we have this thank you poll by usa today finds that 50% of voters at least trust the president to make the right decisions on the budget. only 41% sirepublicans are more trust worthy.

>> we're talking about insecurity within the job force. i think you hit on it in your last segment when you talked about the uncertainty surrounding sequester as a factor, but also the full effects of obama care, that forces companies not to hire because they're not certain about what this will mean. and also, you mentioned specifically large corporations, small businesses which are the backbone of this country, certainly the implementation of obama care is cutting back on their ability to create jobs, we need to look at that and also the fact that the labor participation rate is at the lowest point in many years, while 7.6 looks good on the front end as far as unemployment numbers, as we look down to the contributing factors to that, it's not looking good, what we need to do is invest in job creators in this country and the republicans are certainly doing that?

>> the republicans can't stand, they have to keep beating a dead horse . giver it all up folks on the republican side , quit beating that dead horse .

>> allison stuart and martin frost ,