Meet the Press   |  July 28, 2013

3: The US economy: What lies ahead

A Meet the Press roundtable predicts what lies ahead for the American economy and how the debt ceiling showdown will unfold.

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

>>> and we're back. let's talk about the economy. maria bartiromo , you heard second stair of treasury jack lew. they're getting ready for a fight here in washington again over funding the government this fall, then there's another battle over the debt ceiling, cutting government versus helping the economy. how do you see it?

>> well, i think there will be a fight. i think the president has been very clear that he is not going to negotiate on the debt ceiling. and john boehner has been e equally as clear that it's not going to come from more revenue in terms of taxes and we need to stop spending. so i do expect another fight. having said that, i think jack lew does have a positive story in terms of the recovery to talk about. things are clearly getting better. housing has improved. the corporate sector probably in the best shape it's been "in depth" years with trillions of dollars of cash on balance sheets, but there is still a very deep frustration i think within the administration in terms of we are in an anemic recovery. you were right, this is an anemic pace, not even 2% growth. we need to get beyond this 2% growth. it's not happening in gdp. and of course the unemployment situation remains persistent. i think there are things to do to, particularly when it relates to business. business needs to create jobs, but they need to believe it's a landscape that is favor to believe do so.

>> mike murphy , the republican case against this president is what?

>> well, the debt's too big, unemployment's out of control, the middle class has been more squeezed under this president than anybody in recent history. people want to change this. that's not just republicans talking. the problem is washington is stuck. i think people on both sides would agree with that. the president's in a box because his numbers are dropping, yet he's a good liberal democrat and it's very hard for him to make the ideological compromises that would get republican support. republicans are locked in conservatives, particularly in the house . they don't want to lose unless the president move mrs. than he can. the hidden actors in all this are the house democrats are who are every bit as fierce ideologically as the house republicans will, but they don't get quite the attention because the president is the star of the democratic show. we'll have all if the fiscal showdown madness banana republic stuff we have at the end of the year. if the president would move more to the center weed have some hope. with this campaign tour, he's locking in the other way.

>> i think mike's analysis about the president would be more persuasive if you were born in like 2012 . but if you have any sense of history and understand where we were when he took office and the impact of the decisions that he made, you mentioned, maria, the auto industry which has come roaring back. it would have collapsed had he not intervened. recovery act.

>> and yet when bankrupt.

>> stand up the financial industry which was not popular with his base. all of those decisions have contributed to where we are. what's held us back are the antics in washington . you know, you had speaker boehner say last week that he will be judged not by the bills that he passes but by the laws that he repeals. well, if squeal and repeal is the essence of your philosophy, then we're in deep trouble and that's what's happened. you had 12 republicans in the senate saying they would shut down the government unless they defunded obama care, and you've had republicans , tom coburn said last week, that's a suicidal impulse.

>> i agree. we're shutting down the republicans we e want to shut down, at least those of us who think it's madness.

>> but they're in control of the house caucus, mike.

>> right.

>> you don't have a speaker who's willing to stand up to them.

>> you also know the pelosi side would not move either nap's the problem. the house is polarized between your guys and ours, so it's very hard to see in an election, which is why the president is off on a campaign trail.

>> he was criticized for his speech because people said it's what he's been saying for the last eight years. actually, he's been saying these things for 20 years. we need a strategy to push back on the economic forces that have marginalized the middle class .

>> how do you get that done?

>> there are things that can be done outside of what congress has to do. for one, i'm a firm believer, approve keystone pipeline . create jobs and tax revenue for the state who is will be touched by the construction of this.

>> that's a game changer.

>> higher paying job, more tax revenue . two, the president has to come forward with a great infrastructure plan for the country. we talk about it but there's nothing concrete. treat it like the health care plan the president passed a few years back and make that the signature piece of legislation between now and the end. why? you build for the country, invest in the future, from broadband to the pipeline, bridge, et cetera , you create jobs. this has not cost a great deal of money. i think country would rally around it. finally, give the republicans something. if they want something on taxes or debt, you've seen detroit declare bankruptcy, other american cities have their credit rating downgraded, the country's long-term problems are much greater than the short-term problems. give the republicans a little something on the long-term stuff and get big deals going forward. if the president says no, mike, then we have something concrete, i'm a democrat, to campaign on between now and november.

>> he's repeatedly proposed the kind of infrastructure program you're talking about and hasn't gotten takers.

>> i'm on your team. i'm only saying give me something concrete so when i'm out and others are out saying this is what we want, we've laid out --

>> it seems to me that's exactly what he's done. he's said here are the pilars hee we need to get this economy moving. i don't agree with either of you on the keystone pipeline as a job creator. but what i'm saying is that when you have a republican caucus in the house whose fundamental rationale is anything that they can oppose they will oppose, that they want to grind the government to a halt, it hurts the economy, and it makes it impossible to make this kind of progress. the only thing the president can do is make the case for the american people .

>> look at congress' approval and disapproval. it's striking in our recent poll. 83% disapproval. is the federal government stuck, mike? is this a role more for the states to deal with poverty and infrastructure spending?

>> some states get stuck, too. we have highly incentivized to get stuck politics. republicans are afraid of primaries and democrats are afraid of their interests groups, the employee unions and the like, so it's hard to move. i'm sympathetic to the president's frustration. he's between a rock and a hard place . he want s to be a liberal president with a liberal policy. he doesn't control the house . he has districts that don't care for him or obama care or his agenda.

>> and politically --

>> in the short term. there's got to be a superhero, and that's the president. then it's painful ideological move. then he ood have an issue.

>> -- national papers, the president is talk about income equality and republicans are in a parallel article saying they're going to make abortion a big issue in the next several months. i don't necessarily disagree with what they're trying to do, but is that the number-one issue to be dealing with in light of all these things?

>> let me just point out, when the president stepped out in the spring and said, yes, i will do some things on social security , the cpi and so on, and i will talk about entitlement reform, the republicans were like the kid -- the dog who caught the car, you know? they didn't want to engage in that discussion.

>> well, yes. but the president --

>> let me --

>> he has no partner.

>> maria on this and also business still hanging back here despite record profits?

>> yeah. look, i think at the end of the day people are so tired of these fights. it's your fault, your fault, your fault. we need to come together. i think what harold said is critical here. there are some things that are low-hanging fruit that we can actually agree on and get things done over the short term. one is tax reform . everybody agrees that tax reform is necessary. and we need to make this simpler. and i think a lot of people agree that it does include or should include lower corporate taxes so that business is incentivized to actually create jobs here. another thing low-hanging fruit is energy. we are rich in this country in natural gas . whether it's keystone or fracking,