Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Romney-Ryan and the future of the tax code - NBCNews.com

>>> republicans looking to slash spending and taxes got their dream in governor romney 's pick of congressman paul ryan . in an interview last week, tax pledge master grover norquist said ryan could be romney 's version of dick cheney and take the reins in reshaping domestic policy.

>> i think that he would certainly have a large footprint. i was actually a public advocate of not having ryan be the vice presidential nominee , not because i don't think ryan 's key or important but because i think he's so key.

>> you were so pleased with the pick.

>> i wanted him to stay in the house and run the romney / ryan plan through the house and the senate because i thought that was so important.

>> romney has said he has his own budget plan. will ryan 's blueprint see sizeable modifications if romney wins the white house ? joining us is americans for tax reform president and arguably one of the most influential people in washington, grover norquist . 238 representatives and 41 senators have signed his pledge never to raise taxes. grover, always good to have you on the program.

>> good to be with you.

>> i guess grover, you made that sort of i'll call it notorious comment to "new york" magazine saying we need a president with ten functioning digit tos to sign the ryan budget plan into law. does mitt romney have those ten digits? i ask you not in a literal sense, but he has his own budget plan. how confident are you it's going to be close to the paul ryan budget plan?

>> the reason i said that, i was contrasting this presidential campaign and the republican primary with nixon/rockefeller, ford/ reagan , reagan /bush, where picking a republican president meant a very different direction for the republican party . this time around, you had ten people running, romney was one of them, who were all running as reagan republicans and we had a republican agenda from the house and the senate which is embodied in the ryan budget reforms, just as when reagan ran in '80, what was he running on? kemp / roth , on the republican congressionally supported across the board tax cuts . now, when reagan got in, kemp / roth became the reagan tax cut . it was largely kemp / roth with some additions, faster depreciation schedules and president romney will sign a bill that is somewhere between what romney 's campaigned on and the ryan plan, and the ryan / romney tax reform plan. so yeah, he'll sign a bill that will be somewhere between what ryan had put together and what he's talked about in the campaign.

>> then why is there this sort of maybe it's political kabuki theater , this sort of veiled references to the ryan budget plan thus far. in the last appearance that we saw paul ryan , i will play the sound, he was on fox last week being asked about specifics and sort of stumbled. let's hear that sound.

>> only president obama raids $716 billion from the medicare program. he cut $716 from the medicare program to pay for obama care. we don't do that.

>> you say how much?

>> the point -- i joined the romney ticket and what mitt romney is proposing to do is repeal all of obama care.

>> thus far, paul ryan has been very forthright in his plans and this was one of the first times we had seen him sort of stepping on his own words and trying to not get specific.

>> well, the ryan plan, unlike when obama ran for president, we talked about hope and change. he didn't write down an obama health care proposal that the american people could read and look at, nor did he have a stimulus package written out, nor did we have a banking reform bill written out or even outlined or talked about. so hope and change turning into a 3,000 word, 20 tax increase obama care is rather dramatic. what the ryan plan has put forward has been passd in the house, got the votes of most republicans in the senate, outlines taking what clinton did on welfare reform to all means-tested welfare programs, medicaid, food stamps and so on, as well as reforming medicare , protecting anybody over 55 so nothing changes if you're over 55. if you're under 55, reforming medicare so it's still there. ryan 's point was the only thing we know about obama 's interest in medicare is that he takes $700 billion and hands it to obama care.

>> glenn thrush from politico has a question for you.

>> sure.

>> you know, these guys when they introduced paul ryan , they did it in front of a navy vessel near a military base . you've got george allen in virginia running all these ads against the sequester and the defense cuts. you have come out more or less in favor of cutting the defense budget to deal with the deficit. how do you think ryan and romney are on defense and do you think they've got to be more realistic?

>> i would interject there, what do you make of the fact that mitt romney sets a floor of 4% gdp for defense spending ?

>> i think what romney 's trying to say is i'm going to be tough on defense. i would not take the approach that any particular government program deserves a certain percentage of gdp . at america's enemies and whether we can more effectively spend money. the case i tried to make is we -- conservatives need to look at the defense budget the way we look at every other part of the government. it can be done more effectively and efficiently. to say you can't save money in any part of the government is foolish and not true. advocates of a strong military and i would argue that all my life, i was a cold warrior before i was a free market economist. we should have a strong defense. the can nadians need to be kept an eye on. but we ought never say we should spend x number of dollars.

>> so do you think that mitt romney 's prescription to increase defense spending and set it at 4% of gdp is foolish?

>> well, it's not what i would organize. i think when we move forward, he needs to be careful to make sure that america's defense needs are adequately and fully funded, but that doesn't mean you waste a dollar. wasting a dollar on defense is not an improvement over wasting a dollar in welfare. the taxpayers, the american people are out a dollar.

>> that might have been a yes. we have to let it go there. thank you, grover norquist , as always, for shedding light on tax concerns and tax issues within the republican party and beyond.

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