Thomas Roberts   |  October 07, 2013

Will gov't. shutdown become financial meltdown?

Government has been shuttered for a week now, and still, there's no true end in sight. As hundreds of thousands remain furloughed, Congress and the White House are looking ahead to the next crisis: Oct. 17th, the debt ceiling deadline. Jonathan Capehart and Sen. Bernie Sanders discuss.

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

>>> speaker john boehner didn't get his way on shutting down health care reform , so he shut down the government.

>> so that's a new ad calling the speaker of the house a cry baby . sticks and stones , you know the rest, everybody. but the government remains shuttered and no true end in sight. good morning, i'm thomas roberts . shutdown day seven, week two. this morning the white house and congressional democrats are playing a game of truth or dare with speaker john boehner , challenging him to put his money where his mouth is and prove this statement that he made sunday morning in an interview.

>> if there had been some reports --

>> we are not going to pass a clean debt limit increase. i told the president, there's no way we're going to pass one. the votes are not in the pass to pass a clean debt limit.

>> the white house press secretary , jay carney , tweeting the speaker says there are not enough votes to pass a clean cr. if he's right, why not prove it? with no signs of negotiations, the white house is looking ahead to the next crisis that's hanging on the horizon. we're talking about the date of october 17th . that's the debt ceiling deadline. treasury secretary jack lew ran the gauntlet of sunday morning political talk shows . his warning, it's looking a lot more likely the u.s. could default for the first time in its history.

>> we're on the verge of going into a place we've never been. failure of congress to act would for the first time put us in a place where we're defaulting on our obligations of government pauf congress ' failure to act.

>> here's what's making this looking more likely. the tea party republican saying in a sunday interview that he'd be willing to dance on the debt ceiling if it meant defunding obama care.

>> we should look for ways to mitigate the harms from obama care.

>> so you think that some facet of the president's health care plan should be attached to an increase in the debt ceiling?

>> the debt ceiling historically has been among the best renleverage congress has to rein in the executive --

>> so yes?

>> yes.

>> independent vermont senator bernie sanders serves on five committees, including veterans affairs , which he chairs. as we listen there to ted cruz , i know you can put this into a balance of a unique perspective that you have as the longest serving independent member of congress , you say republicans are trying to hijack the government until they get their way. we see ted cruz there and what his tactics are. this morning we have 300,000 pentagon employees returning to work. hundreds of thousands remain furloughed. if we take the nbc whip count seriously, there are enough votes to pass a clean cr but john boehner is not going to do it. so you heard the new ad out is calling john boehner a croy baby. is that fair or is that an overreach in trying to equate congress to children?

>> i think most people would think the republicans are acting kind of childish. but here's the important point. boehner has basically acknowledged and everybody has got to understand this, that harry reid reached an agreement with boehner on a conservative budget. $986 billion. that is sequestration. that is $70 billion less than the budget that i supported in the senate. a major concession was already reached, point one. point number two, what we believe is that some 21, 22 republicans in the house have said given the opportunity to vote on a clean cr, they would. so we think that boehner is not being accurate when he says there is not the votes. bring it to a vote, let's find out what's happening. third point, something i've been saying for a while and i think "the new york times" just confirmed it, confirmed it on its front page yesterday, let's not kid ourselves. this shutdown is not something that just came about a couple of weeks ago through ted cruz . this has been planned by the koch brothers and other very, very wealthy people from the day after obama was re-elected. and what they're feeling is let us go to the extreme. let us be prepared to shut down the government, not pay the national debt , let's use every ounce of leverage that we have, even if it means catastrophic pain for america and the world, so long as we get our way.

>> sir, let me interrupt just one second because i want to show that again just so we have it in context, the article that you referenced, a blueprint to defunding obama care, a take-no-prisoners legislative strategy basically to get obama care repealed. we know that the wheels were set in motion right after the president was re-elected. he ran on this. ran against somebody who was running against obama care, although mitt romney instituted basically obama care in massachusetts back in 2006 , but we'll digress on that point. but on your website, you go on to say there's a larger end game here. their agenda is to end social security and medicare, aballish the medical wage, destroy the epa and undo every other program enacted to protect working families in america. are the two sides so far apart, sir, on this issue that government is basically broken from the inside out?

>> no. the real issue is, if you look at what the koch brothers agenda is, look at what many of the extreme right wing people believe. obama care is just the tip of the iceberg . these people want to abolish the concept of the minimum wage . they want to privatize the veterans administration . they want to privatize social security . end medicare as we know it. massive cuts in medicaid. wipe out the epa. you don't have an environmental protection agency anymore. department of energy , gone. department of education , gone. that is their agenda and many people don't understand it. koch brothers have poured hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars into the tea party and all other kinds of ancillary organization to push this agenda. so what you are fighting now is a continuation of the class warfare that has been going on in this country for the last many years. the rich are getting richer. number of people in poverty all-time high. middle class disappearing. these guys using citizens united and other forms are now banging away and doing everything that they can. they have got more tax breaks for the people on top and devastating cuts for working families .

>> senator, meanwhile ted krooucruz is coming out on top of this as a tea party hero kind of guy. here's what he had to say on cnn about whether this has hurt the republican brand and we have the president seeming to take aim square low at cruz in his interview. i want to show everybody. take a look.

>> do you think you've hurt the republican party brand?

>> not remotely, but i also think far too many people are worried about politics.

>> i recognize that in today's media age being controversial, taking controversial positions, you know, rallying the most extreme parts of your base, whether it's left or right, is a lot of times the fastest way to get attention or raise money , but it's not good for government.

>> so, sir, when you have people like ted cruz who feel they have nothing to lose by driving the show here, how do you ascertain being that you are an independent that someone like you can get in between these two sides to help chart the right waters?

>> well, i think it's -- my job is to speak for the american people . and i think what the american people are saying, in overwhelming numbers is you don't shut down the government because you can't get your way. what the american people are really angry about is not only do they believe we shouldn't have a shutdown. do you know what they do believe? they believe we have to create millions of jobs. real unemployment is extraordinarily high. they believe we have to raise the minimum wage . they believe we have to make college affordable. they believe in many cases we have to make this country more energy efficient and deal with global warm. so the american people are sitting there going what is going on in washington? my family is hurting, my kid doesn't have a job, i'm worried about the future of social security , an these guys are talking about shutting down the government because they can't end obama care? let me say one thing about obama care. we are the one thing in the industrialized world that doesn't guarantee health care to all people. according to a harvard study, some 45,000 people every year die because they don't get to a doctor on time. obama care, as you indicated, similar to romney care in massachusetts, is a modest way forward to provide health insurance to 20, 25 million americans. you do away with that, you're going to see people dying, many people dying who otherwise would be alive.

>> senator bernie sanders , thanks for your time. we'll let you get back to work. i appreciate it. joining me now, jonathan capehart. jonathan , here we are. we're in the middle of this day seven of the shutdown, so we've got that on the calendar and are living through it but looking down the line at october 17th . that's when it comes to the debt ceiling, and the treasury secretary, jack lew, went around on all the sunday shows saying that congress is really playing with fire . as we look at the markets today and we see red arrows across the board, still near the psychological benchmark of 15,000 but down almost 100 points and we saw over the weekend speaker boehner vowing that his party, they won't vote to raise the debt ceiling without concessions and president obama says that that's not really up for negotiations. but your colleague, greg sergeant, points out that john boehner doesn't really want to negotiate with president obama . so is it possible that both sides are going to be getting burned here in the long run?

>> i think everyone will get burned in the long run if the full faith and credit of the united states is destroyed because congress hasn't lifted the debt ceiling. one thing people need to remember is that raising the debt ceiling is not new spending. raising the debt ceiling means that the government can borrow money to pay for bills that congress approved. so if the united states doesn't pay its bills, if the united states doesn't not only pay the interest on the debt, which a lot of republicans think that that's all the united states government needs to do and not be in default, but if you listen to other economists and folks on wall street , even if the united states were to pay the interest on a debt but then decide -- not decide, but can't pay social security benefits, medicare and medicaid benefits, federal pay and other things that are coming due, pickly on november 1st , that is -- would put the united states technically in default. and speaker of the house can't do it, president can't allow that to happen.

>> jonathan capehart. we have an abbreviated time schedule this morning, i apologize, but great to have you on. our question of the day for you, msnbc has been asking how the shutdown is actually impacting you, so share us your thoughts. use the #don'tshutmedown and you can always keep the conversation going with us on facebook and twitter.

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