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-Now, to a former speaker who says it is unspeakable the president is not speaking to Republicans.
Dennis Hastert says, "If the president is indeed serious about doing something big, keeping Republicans out of the loop tends to make him looks small.
Dennis, it is weird timing, you know.
I mean, yesterday was this big supposedly game changing announcement, and now, we're back to the same old games.
-Well, first of all, I came up the Hill and did kind of a cheerleading thing.
As my sources told me, he actually told the Democrats to defend Obamacare and get people revved up for the rollout where that happens, but you ask a pertinent question.
You ask, "You know, what is there for small business guys?" Well, there's nothing in small business guys.
As a matter of fact, the small business guys just got hit in January on a huge tax increase.
So, these are the guys that are making $150,000, $200,000 a year.
They have a shop or a small business, some type of franchise, and you know, they're eking out a living and they're turning their money back into their corporations, but those are the guys who are getting hit.
And you know, it's something that the president said yesterday that not many picked up on.
He said, "Well, you know, we're gonna adjust individual income levels to take up some of this cost and pay for some of the programs, so this is not gonna cost us to do the corporate stuff." Well, I tell you, if you're an individual taxpayer, you better button up your back pocket.
-Well, you know, too, another thing that was lost to a lot of the when they studied this proposal, vague as it was, was that it would be, I think the term was deficit-neutral, in other words, that it-- by cutting the corporate tax rates to the degree the president was proposing, it wasn't going to really be saving that much money that obviously he was looking at closing loopholes and, you know, charging them for earnings overseas, etc., that they really wouldn't be coming out ahead.
I think that it was loss to a lot of people that it looked tantalizing until you realize, wait a minute, right? -Well, oh, first of all, you know, his other side of that equation is he's creating a lot more government entities and he's talking about doing what government training, bringing more money-- government programs which cost a lot of money.
It doesn't mean a dollar in, a dollar out.
So, we use money there.
Second thing is when you talk about cutting taxes for the corporate side, you know, one of the big things that we do today, we have $26 trillion sum of estimated stock overseas because we can't-- corporate can't bring their money home.
He's not talking about doing that.
He's talking about business and advising corporations to bring their capital back.
-You know what I wonder about and you know the political bucket for the Capitol Hill better than I ever will, speaker, but I really thought that this was a golden opportunity for the president to have like a Ronald Reagan moment or to say I'm gonna stop playing the same old game.
In other words, if I'm not making much headway with the opposition and he has to win the House, I'm gonna start offering that something that is substantial that we can move the ball forward and part of moving the ball forward is to keep moving it.
And when you meet the next day with only your party, it's as if you're trying to say, and I don't know what went on behind closed doors, well, I've got the press behind me because they're thinking the ball is in the Republicans' court, and now, they're on defense and it was all a charade, it was all a game, it was all a head thing.
-Well, it is a game, and you know, he has a golden opportunity because he got Baucus and Camp talking about tax reform really-- really tax-- real tax changes, talking the small businesses, but you know, if you don't go back and talk about to the leadership where actually the people will figure about this, there is no traction there.
Nobody is meeting minds, and to do this, to really-- real-- make real change, it takes months of tinkering through this process.
You have to have people at a table.
You have to be talking, you have to working-- be working on ideas, and you can't be just spouting to the press and trying to make brownie points.
You know what worries me too, speaker, and maybe I'm just too alarmist here is this president's second-term agenda is-- and many Republicans would probably like this-- is off to a sloppy start and he's imploding faster than most second-term presidents, dare I say faster than even Richard Nixon was at this stage and he was reelected in landslide.
Now, that was one scandal.
The press seems to be doing its best to minimize all these other scandals cropping up around and-- but it seems like he's in a slow burn here.
-Well, the problem is he's slow burn, a very slow burn, but we have three and a half more years -Right, right.
-of this presidency, and you know, I'm not sure if we can survive that.
-But you know, what's interesting is, you know, a lot of Republicans say, "Well, we're glad he's in the slow burn.
We're glad he's stymied, but as you pointed out before, we've got a number of big issues to address -- the debt that keeps getting bigger, these entitlement programs that keep getting bigger, our healthcare law that's just on life-support itself.
We don't have time to just sort of sit this one out and wait 'till the 2016 elections or whatever, you know.
-We have to do-- We have to do things now in his next three years to drive our economy for the next 30 years.
We have to do energy reform.
We have to really look at the healthcare and have something that's gonna work for people.
We need to make sure-- We got $16 trillion of debt, and you know, maybe, we get by with that as long as the interest rates are 1% or 2%, but I remember, when interest rates were 17% and 18%-- -Absolutely.
-and we can't survive with that.
So, we have to start solving those problems now and it takes both sides to do it.
Well, I think you've got to settle up again, and Dennis, that's all I can say, but it's always good seeing you, my friend.
-My pleasure, thank you.
-Dennis Hastert, the former speaker of the House--
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