Meet the Press   |  February 09, 2014

Debt Ceiling, Immigration Fights Loom Steer Political Dialogue

A Meet the Press roundtable examines the critical role the economy and immigration currently play in the American political landscape.

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

>> office issues an report this week. all of a sudden you get the debate right back whether obamacare is a job killer. here are some of the headlines after that report from the hill. obamacare will cost 2.5 million workers by 2024 . "the wall street journal " health law to cut into labor force , "new york times" health care law projected to cut the labor force that's not exactly what the cbo said. but strike the word cbo . these were congressional researchers who issued this report, e.j. you wrote about it strongly this week.

>> this did not say obamacare is a job killer. on the contrary, when doug elmendorf of the cbo testified he said this probably net create jobs. just think about the money put in people's pockets saving on their insurance from subsidies. what it said is some people might temporarily or leave the labor force . we're supposed to be for family values . you have a couple where somebody wants to leave the labor force for a couple years to take care of their kids. under the old system if that person carried the health insurance , they didn't have the option to leave. now they can. what you're doing is expanding people's choices. but you are also in the end going to create jobs out of it.

>> this is a lot to explains and for a lot of republicans.

>> i think people get the choice part.

>> but there are still a lot of republicans who will say look, we told you it was going to have a huge impact on the labor force , some of which we truly don't understand. if you don't like obamacare, you may have a new reason.

>> there are going to be a lot fewer people in the labor force . 2 million people who have a stronger incentive to get out of the labor force . the marginal tax rates go super high as you go up the income scale. we want people at home helping kids and people in the labor force to be a growing country. this is not good for that.

>> what you can do about the labor force , the most dramatic thing is do something about immigration. that is what is now stymied. we don't know yet wlts john boehner means it or is just trying to calm down his republican caucus . mike and heritage have been very, very powerful this past week in scaring the peeker of the house.

>> moneyna, make a point about health care .

>> let's put the people in context. 145 million people in the workforce. we're talking about in this country, and i've worked with a lot of silicon valley companies, in america today a lot of what you see, who are starting businesses? people who he already have means and people young and don't have families. one of the reasons is people are tied down because of health care . so the idea that some people may ultimately fall out of the workforce but you have a whole group of people who may decide i'm going to start that new business and that in turn will create.

>> hold on. a comment from mike here.

>> the cbo debate has been one of those great moments that illustrates how washington, d.c. confuses the debate. here you have some of the same people who look at paul ryan 's plan to strengthen medicare by providing premium support so that medicare exists for future generations and current generation and call that pushing granny off the cliff. people who look at mitt romney 's career that created jobs and opportunities and say he's a guy who murdered some woman who had cancer that now say because you look at a cbo report that does say it's going to cost 2.5 million jobs, you're being unfair because you're not saying the implicit tax margins under the subsidies in obamacare are going to cause the labor demand to dry up.

>> quick comment, e.j.ing

>> this point about small businesses so important, a scholar at harvard has shown in countries that guarantee everyone health insurance , there's a faster rate of small business creation than there is in the united states .

>> it says workers. there is a very big distinction.