All In   |  October 09, 2013

The GOP's entitlement reform bait and switch

Chris Hayes discusses the GOP's next steps with Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., and Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Oh.

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

>>> good evening from new york, i'm chris hayes , day nine of the government shutdown , and today, president obama met with congressional democrats at the white house , once again urging republican leaders to hold a vote on a bill that would fund and reopen the government. the republicans seem to have moved on to a new phase of their hostage strategy. and this time, they might actually get what they want.

>> grid lock in washington continues to rattle the markets as the government shutdown continues for nine days.

>> so on day nine.

>> the shutdown continues.

>> nine days into the government shutdown , and house speaker john boehner insists there will be no unconditional surrender by republicans.

>>> today, with negotiations in washington , d.c. stalled and with republicans and no exit strategy , the gop is changing the ransom. they are no longer demanding the president and democrats delay obama care, their new demands are actually their old demands. and to deliver them from this hopeless situation, the gop is turning to a familiar face with a familiar refrain.

>> the next president of the united states , paul ryan .

>> i accept the calling of my generation to give the generation of my children to us.

>> you have to pull it from my generation.

>> i had a feeling there would be mixed reaction so let me get into it.

>> yes, paul ryan , the buy whose budget helped to cause the gop an election, today, in an op-ed piece, ryan revealed the strategy of the republicans.

>> there are strategies to get the debt under control.

>> yes, he iss looking at the entitlement reform, being beltway speak for cutting medicare and social security .

>> what he is doing deserves applause.

>> i am beginning to be a little hopeful. paul ryan wrote it. i'm going to read it.

>> washington insiders may like ryan's op-ed, which did not once mention the word " obama care." but the tea party is not.

>> it seems like paul ryan has successfully, well, we'll say angered the right.

>> with the tea party rebelling against paul ryan 's plan, republican leadership is now poised to go to their old, white conservative base, the people showing up to rallies in tri-cornered hats, saying remember when we told you we would go against obama care? we decided to cut social security benefits instead.

>> and you were at the meeting today at the white house with the president. what came of that meeting?

>> well, he emphasized the fact that we cannot reward the republicans for shutting down the government. otherwise, they will do it again and again and again. we're talking about a six-week continuing resolution, keep the government open for six week. they're getting to extract the concessions on obama care, or as a condition of reopening it, what will they want in six weeks or two weeks? whatever they get now they will want more in the debt ceiling.

>> you just said the magic words , cut social security and medicare . all of a sudden in the last 24 hours , i heard what was driving a lot of the conversation today. did that come up in the meeting? what was yours and the caucus' position as the thing to talk about in these negotiations?

>> well, we choices to make, i mean, when we talk about cutting social security and medicare , as an example, raise the medicare age to 67, saving about $120 billion. the cost of going from 250 to 240, that cost about $200 billion, more than you save. so let's just make the choices. are we going to cut medicare ? raise the age of medicare to 67 in order to provide tax cuts to people making more than $250,000? put the choices on the table. maybe those people want the tax cuts so bad they're willing to raise the age of medicare , let's be honest and put those on the table. but the last thing we need to do is reward them for shutting down the government by cutting social security , and shutting down the government. they need to get the crystal clear idea there is no reward for shutting down the government. otherwise, they will get fuzzy ideas on the debt ceiling, we have to make sure they're getting no rewards on the debt ceiling.

>> what i'm hearing right now, the latest, a plan being bandied about, from the republican side of the aisle. one is a combined extension, raise the debt ceiling enough to get you through a month, reopen the government for a month, have negotiations in that context. i have also heard the possibility of just passing a clean debt ceiling and keeping the government shut. and either the possibilities in the house of representatives given the tea party caucus will depend on democratic votes. so my question to you, are you interested in either of those proposals?

>> well, we'll be interested in a clean debt ceiling to get that off the table so we can continue the negotiations. but with this on the table, there is nothing to negotiate at this point. the senate, for the short-term basis came in with one spending level, the republicans came in with another spending level. when we say we didn't negotiate, well, technically that is true, we didn't come to the half way, we came all the way -- total, not half way, total capitulation, now they talk about the clinton years when they shut down the government because they couldn't agree on revenues and spending levels. at this point we may not be able to -- it is going to be tough to come to an agreement on the budget. the last thing we need to do is also when we come to the agreement on the number we also want obama care and social security and medicare cuts, they published the list to include offshore drilling and tort reform , they published a list of things they expect to get on the debt ceiling. and that is why it is important on shutting down the government that they know, no benefit for shutting down the government or threatening the debt ceiling. nothing, and so when we get to the debt ceiling, enough of them will know that they can play with the debt ceiling if they want but they will get no reward for doing it. and i think enough of them will bolt the party and extend the debt ceiling without much confusion.

>> sounding confident about the clean and temporary debt ceiling increase, thank you.

>>> joining me now is senator sherrod brown , democratic senator from ohio, and senator, you have been a strong advocate for the social programs that have been so important to the middle class people of this country, and important to the tea party caucus and john boehner and your republican colleagues. what is your reaction to the injection of entitlement reform on the conversation of the pending debt reform and debt ceiling?

>> they're willing to do almost anything to privatize social security , to privatize medicare , cut social security , privatize medicare . i just heard about the demand to raise the retirement age . i was in youngstown not long ago, one woman said i'm 63 years old, i work two jobs, i don't have health insurance , my goal is just to stay alive until i'm 65. your goal is just to stay alive until you can get health insurance . for these people, i said to you before, chris, abraham lincoln said i have to go out to get the public opinion polls , listen to people. people like paul ryan , the number of senators that are advocating raising the retirement age , the eligibility age for medicare , they want to cut the living adjustment for social security , these are people that depend on social security to pull them out of poverty that finally will mean they will have health care . that is why they don't like obama care. they have tried to scale back social security and medicare through our entire lives. and for them to see another social insurance program, obama care, and the affordable care act , just makes them frazzled. i mean, they just can't stand that.

>> here is my pet theory about this, and i would like to get your response. the reason that john boehner walked away from the deal that was on the table in 2011 , the last time we were having the entitlement reform grand bargain conversation, the reason that john boehner walked away from that conversation, which would have been changes, and the cuts to social security , is because john boehner understands that his base will hate it. that whatever they say about wanting to get rid of the -- you know, entitlements in the abstract, the base of the republican party are people that depend on these benefits and don't want a social security cut, thank you very much.

>> there is a reason why when they tried to cut social security and tried to privatize in the past, and the newt gingrich congress when they took over in '95 and they tried to go after medicare , there is a reason they backed off. they backed off because the country, their base opposed it. the country as a whole opposed it. i mean, there are some of these corporate types that fixed the debt coalition and some of them that sit around and ponder them, they don't know low income people except the people that serve them at the country club , and if they even bother to learn their names, clearly they're not getting their public opinion back. neither are many of my senate colleagues and house colleagues that really need to listen to people and how important these social insurance programs are. social security and medicare have meant so much to middle class existence, just survival for many, many americans since the '30s and '40s, really, and we know what they mean to people. when they fall back on that this year as they do with so many of the negotiations, as congressman scott said you don't reward them for doing the right thing by raising the debt ceiling.

>> senator, i want to get your thoughts on another big story , the big nonshutdown story today, which is the nomination of janet yellen , take a listen to the president introducing her today in washington .

>> and given the urgent economic challenges facing our nation, i urge the senate to confirm janet without delay. i am absolutely confident that she will be an exceptional chair of the federal reserve . i should add she will be the first woman to lead the fed in its 100-year history.

>> you wrote a letter with a bunch of other senators praising her. how are you feeling today with the president making the announcement?

>> feeling good, i think the president did the right thing. for a couple of things i circulated the letter. a third of the senate, 20 of the 30 senate democrats . she talks about the real economy . she is not sort of in an ivory tower , she thinks about a job for an unemployed worker, and minimum wage, what makes the difference for the children, old age, all of that. and she understands there is a balance between fighting inflation and jobs, and they have almost written off or ignored the job creation part of that. she wants to restore the balance. because the most important thing you can do in this country is create jobs. she understands that so very well.

>> and when yellen spoke today at the white house she talked about the jobs, the power of the fed, and the job creations and the economy. i thought jobs? what are those? i thought the big crisis was the closing of parks at the national mall . amazing how that gets knocked off the shoulders.

>>> a lot of people called me up, said there are all of these conspiracies and so forth, you probably heard them. dooms day events, civil unrest , you're preparing for that. do you have any operation all plans in the event there is a major -- or civil unrest that you're going to arrest innocent civilians and put them in fema camps, do you have plans like that?

>> no.

>> our specially-in feature, these are the people who run the country continues tonight, you definitely want to see this one. stay with us. g. hey,