Meet the Press | January 06, 2013
>> senator simpson, tactics and strategy are part of this. to achieve goals, you heard leader mcconnell, he is not ruling out a government shutdown. he wouldn't do that in the view. he also wouldn't back away from a comment he made in 2011 , which is using the debt ceiling, holding it ransom, even though our credit rating suffered as a result, to force spending cuts. what do you think of those strategies or tactics?
>> i've been on a lot of commissions, and a lot of them worked. i was on the iraq study group . i did other things. the issue is, what happened in the past, that doesn't matter a whip, or who said what. it's what the hell do you do now? and right now, i can't imagine a worse place for mitch mcconnell . he apparently can't deal with reid, and that's a sad thing. i know them both. but let me tell you, when i was in the u.s. senate , the work was done between howard baker and robert bird , and bob dole , and george mitchell , and tom daschle , and now apparently poor mitch is caught in a situation where he has to go to the vice president, who is a good egg. i've known joe for 40 years. think of that. you can't do the work of the senate because the leaders won't work together. they don't like each other. that's the saddest thing of all. forget who said what.
>> so what blareaks this impasse? the next two years, the president is talking about immigration and gun control and energy and all the rest. but he's locked in trench warfare with the republicans over the budget.
>> look, that's going to happen. it is happening. but if the american people can't understand -- i love that they say with well, the polls showed you should tax the rich. well, great, i'm ready for that. but they also said that 7 5% of them said cut spending. if anybody can't get that, and if you can't cut, forget the word "cut." you stabilize, do something with health care . stabilize social security . for god's sake, there are 16 people paying into that, and one taking out when i was a freshman at the university of wyoming . now there are three people paying into that baby and one taking out, and the life expectancy is ??78.1 instead of 60. what the hell? who's kidding who?
>> all right. senator alan simpson , and erskine bowles . thank you both very much this morning.