Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) destroyed Republican talking points regarding the debt ceiling on Face the Nation, and then upped the ante for more revenue.
Asked on Face the Nation if Democrats are willing to make cuts to “entitlements” to address the deficit, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) pointed out, “We already have.” She then referenced ObamaCare’s $716 billion cuts to Medicare providers, and was after she mentioned the over one trillion in cuts Democrats already put on the table.
When she was asked about Speaker John Boehner’s plan to require a dollar for dollar match in cuts to amount the debt ceiling is raised, the former Speaker clarified that the debt ceiling is about money already spent, and is not the place to argue about budgets, “I don’t think these two things should be related.”
Watch part of her interview here via CBS News:
After brushing aside suggestions that we should make cuts to Social Security or raise the Medicare eligibility age, Pelosi continued hammering away at Republican talking points, “I think that we should subject what we spend — every taxpayer dollar — whether it be defense or domestic, to the harshest scrutiny.” But, that has nothing to do with “whether the full faith and credit of the United States of America should be placed in jeopardy… The debt ceiling is about spending that has already occurred. Right now, we have to pay the bills that have been incurred. And if you want to say ‘cut spending for what we do next’ fine, but don’t tie it to the debt ceiling.”
Pelosi said she’s open to means testing to reduce Medicare payments to the wealthy.
Republicans have been trying to confuse the public by suggesting that the debt ceiling is about future debt, when in fact it is raising the credit limit to cover money that Congress already spent. How ironic is it that Republicans, who claim to be the party of fiscal conservatism, want to default on money they spent?
Pelosi then got in a rather understated but accurate dig about the extremism of the modern day Republican Party. She said, “I keep saying to my Republican friends, ‘Take back your party.’ This isn’t the Grand Old Party that did so many things for America, that commanded so much respect. This is really an over-the-edge crowd; that’s the way I see it. The fact is that it is dominated by an element that are anti-government ideologues, and are committed to not co-operating with this president, and it’s hard to understand.”
Yes, it is hard to understand. But what is not hard to understand is that Nancy Pelosi just succinctly debunked GOP talking points.
Nancy Pelosi explained in sound bites that a) Democrats have already made cuts b) The debt ceiling is past debt and Congress has a duty to raise the debt ceiling to pay its bills c) The Debt ceiling is unrelated to the budget and d) The place for discussions about cuts is in what Congress does next, not in what Congress has already passed.
Oh, and e) Republicans are extremists.
Also, Pelosi confirmed that we are not done collecting revenue to pay off our debt, but not from the middle class. “The President had originally said he wanted $1.6 trillion in revenue. He took it down to $1.2 as a compromise in this legislation. We get $620 billion dollars, very significant, high-end tax — changing the high-end tax rate to 39.6 percent, but that is not enough on the revenue side.”
Pelosi wouldn’t get specific, but she has her eye on carried interest loophole and oil subsidies.
The Democrats are going to get back to a balanced budget that doesn’t force the poor, elderly, and disabled to bear the brunt of the trickle down failures.
It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a Democrat unabashedly stake out pro revenue territory, but it’s not unexpected after the President’s recent victory and successful campaigning on a balanced approach to taxes. Republicans don’t seem to have the message yet that the American public support the Democrats’ approach, perhaps because Republicans are still falling for their own spin.
Mitch McConnell tried the tired meme of painting Democrats as “taxers” today, saying Democrats have a “voracious appetite” for taxes. But this is going nowhere fast, because the public has realized that we need revenue and that Republicans are just shilling for the rich and corporations when they pretend to be anti-taxers. It was Republicans who had to be forced into extending a tax cut to the middle class, after all.
Pelosi successfully knocked down all of the Republican talking points that used to so easily define an upcoming battle, and then, not satisfied with simply debunking, she upped the ante and put more revenue on the table.