CBS News' Face The Nation, 12/3

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Sunday, December 3rd

From plea deals to tax deals -- it has been quite an interesting week in Washington. An analysis of these stories and more on this week's "Face the Nation."

00:46:15

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Today on face the nation senate Republicans cut last minute deals to get their tax bill passed. Giant step towards granting the president's wish for a tax bill by Christmas. But a plea deal for former national security advisor Michael Flynn might make her not so happy new year for the trump administration. The tax cuts and jobs act as amended. This past. It was at 3 AM call the president said he was happy to get this is called me you can call. It's the largest tax decrease in the history of our country by far. Not even. As for the news that leans cooperating in the Russia investigation is the president worried. What has been down. OK. Okay we'll talk about the two big stories in Washington this weekend more with senate majority leader Mitch McConnell. Two senators investigating Russian influence in the elections south Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham. And main independent Angus King will also be here. Budget director Mick Maldini will set the stage for the next round of tax bill negotiations. And handicap the chances of the government shutting down at the end of the week. When it runs out of funding. Plus new poll numbers on the Alabama senate race how is Roy Moore faring after allegations of sexual misconduct with minors. All that plus plenty of political analysis coming up on things and. Good morning and welcome to face the nation I'm John Dickerson. We knew it would be busy week when congress and the White House returned to Washington Monday that we had no idea just how busy. More stories of sexual misconduct on the part of the longest serving house Democrat John Conyers and now others. Prompted more calls for congress to do a better job of policing its own. North Korea fired another missile one that in theory could reach Washington. It is a situation that we will handle. President. Progress on the tax bill continued at a brisk pace after a senate Republicans cut a number of deals to gain its passage. Which thrilled the president. That's guys. Fact is that remains to be seen unsurprisingly Democrats were not happy. Montana's Jon Tester tweeted a show in hell of a massive bill. Usually your government work. Here's the bill is written. Here's the modifications. That I can read one word it's called this language can you tell you what that word. Friday arrived with a big development in special counsel Robert Muller's investigation into possible trump campaign collusion with the Russians. And obstruction of justice as Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and said he's cooperating with mark. The president further might need an already complicated story with us Saturday tweet that seemed to suggest he was aware of Flynn lying to the FBI. At the time when he was calling the investigation. A witch hunt. I had to fire general Flynn because he lied to the vice president and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies. The day after the president fired flan for lying former FBI director James called me. Says the president asked him to go easy on his investigation of flan. Sources tell CBS news that the tweet was drafted by one of mr. Trump's attorneys. We wanna take a closer look at what the senate passed their bill would repeal the obamacare individual mandate. The corporate tax rate would be cut from 35% to 20%. It will nearly double the standard tax deduction eliminates state and local tax deductions but would allow an up to 101000 dollar exception for property taxes. The bill would also double the estate tax exemption limit and raise the Alternative Minimum Tax threshold. An analysis of the middle by the nonpartisan joint committee on taxation indicated that even accounting for economic growth and tax plan would add a trillion dollars to the deficit. We begin this morning with senate majority leader Mitch McConnell he joins us from little. Welcome mr. majority leader I wanna start with the balance of this tax cut that passed through the senate. The corporate tax rate is at 20%. It's been sold as a middle class tax cut but those middle class taxes will expire analysis shows that while the majority of the middle class. Will get a tax cut there are some whose taxes will increase why not in putting this bill together. Make it make it so that you can say everybody in the middle class will get a tax cut that's permanent. And. Well that and it impossible to do that you can grab any bill. That it would guarantee that no one. Wasn't a special category that might get a tax increase what I can tell is that every. Segment of taxpayers every. Category of taxpayers. On average get through May have been related to average traveler for twenty 200 dollars a year. You mentioned a standard deduction doubling the child care credit inquiries. Is clearly. Most people. Millen gone Cox voters' overwhelming majority I'll go get tax relief and because of the business tax changes is much less likely that. The jobs they currently. Is gonna end up in another country. Because we are clearly on competitive in the global economy with the current Cotchery but. John I think this coupled with so too with the regulatory relief the administration's been providing. But the reasons the economy is beginning to pick up consumer province is all about a war to read too much and a quarterly growth rates but we've had. Do quarterly growth rate in a row of 3% growth I think is gonna get the country grow and again. But on the question middle class there there there would you edit crafted so that the number of people who might get a tax increase would be pretty small and there were Republican efforts. To expand the earned income tax credit. To make of that child tax credit more robust to lower the rates for people at the lower and those are all Republican efforts to didn't get much energy. Whereas the energy on the corporate tax write kitten rate was always it's gonna be 20%. And nobody's tinkering with that suggest in terms of where the absences was on the work there's much more work that could have been none in the middle class. And lowering come question was really Dunning crafting this bill. What the question is whether or getting. Tax relief and of course people on the Lauren don't provide a huge percentage of the revenue that we raised through taxation. But that what people want is am I gonna get some relate myself answer. Overwhelmingly likely to have and is my job likely to continue to be in the United States. And we're gonna have a growing economies so much children. Will be able to realize this time. Goals and aspirations. That I want them to I think that and this is designed. This is designed to get the economy grow wit and have a certain earlier 3% growth dirt all the Obama years and we were clearly under performing yup that's the question why now. Combination more regulation and allows the tax code I think that. That the president is about really who is the winners and losers but let's move onto the question of process because the Democrats of course and made a lot of complaints about process he said on Friday night. You complain about process when you're losing. And and the senate process might seem like something that's not important of people what you wrote a book called the long game in which you talk a lot about the process you say in fact it's what's at the heart of the senate and why it's a different institutions. So is this looks like because situation when your in the minority like the process the when you're in the majority you move on. Not true we fought we follow the regular order they were multiple hearings and Democrat drew error. Days of hearings days of amendments from Democrats all over amendments in committee ought nausea and to do the process on the floor the reconciliation process is regular order about how they passed obamacare. It is they who didn't do any thing. And it you could call a foul. All process. Today it didn't didn't well let me just let it didn't let him. Like the fact there were repealed the unpopular. Individual mandate from obamacare but detonated an offer single amendment to take it out and I had the opportunity to do it. Led 25 days of debate on obamacare and you said the process that the time was arrogant and that they were pushing an unpopular bill through this bill is unpopular wise and that's the same thing. Both they are popular and is when people start noticing their pain less than taxes. The economy is growing there more jobs and opportunity. Look we have a very different bit of a pretty clear during this debate we have a very different. View of what America ought to look like and our democratic friends apparently are quite content up. Was slow growth. And little opportunity for me to improve your condition. When we think we needed jumpstart the economy and provide more jobs and opportunity for the American people will know who what how this is gonna be proven wrong here over a period. Let me ask you about Roy Moore we have a poll out and says mr. Moore is up six points over his democratic opponent Doug Jones and in that poll for. It says that among mr. Moore supporters 56% say they were more likely to vote for him after. You said he should quit the race what do you make of that. Well look they've people Alabama got beside a week from Tuesday to launch under the senate. It's really up to them there's been a pretty robust campaign well a lot of people weighing in the president and our core supporters somebody that a different. Earlier in the process but the NAM the voters of Alabama make their choice. And should that be the final word the White House when asked about the president's accuser said the voters heard about the presence accusers they voted form anyway. And of subjects or should not be the case with Roy Moore. Well look I'm concerned about the senate and if we have to ethics investigations of a sudden going all right now senator Franken. And Letterman and a and there might well to be another one depending upon. People who are in the senate and it'll be of the people of Alabama to make that decision and will four and who are elected. And they were aware are at that particular point in the past you've supported ethics committee determinations of the case the senator banner that said basically behavior before he got to the senate. Was not germane in terms of the pound punishing him his as a senator that would seem to cover rowing more in in which case. What's the Senate's commitment ethics committee got to look into it. Yeah I don't remember it out I'm not only ethics committee our number exactly how to better conditions panel that the ethics committee makes those decisions about whether. Behavior prior to the senate is relevant or not. They'll decide that it is the the parameters if you will of their jurisdiction. And Don Luce. Decision will be made based upon the facts of a particular case I can imagine there probably will be a case whether they outcome is there I don't know. But look. The ethics committee is 33 neither side can take advantage of the other it has to be a pretty credible case. To go forward. In other words at least one member of the other party would have to decide. That the case was worth pursuing all of that will be considered by the committee if they have a member of the senate that they thanked have a page of ought to come before them. I'm majority leader Mitch McConnell thanks so much for being with us. Joining us now South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham. Congratulations senator Clinton's big win at the entire night. I'm glad on the let me pick up on something we are just talking about with the majority leader which is on Roy more than rat majority leader said voters Alabama gonna decide who that seems like there's a new standard basically if it happened before he got to the senate the voters will decide that means something he's going to be a senator. I think the body can regulate itself and now I think ended today. When he comes to the senate if he does I think an investigation. And ethics investigation would be a Smart thing to do. And we'll see what the ethics committee decides as to whether they look at behavior before it came in in the senate. Does that matter if they do what they five Wilson's. Could you have him be a senator. By your lights I mean would you would you be able to based on what you've heard you be OK with him being senator but. We can't stop him from being seated if there was an investigation in all six members of the committee said they believe he was a child molester that be a problem. We move on to the president set tweet this morning about the FBI here on the judiciary threat you oversee FBI the president says. That that after year the in the Tweety says after years of Komi with the phony and dishonest and investigations and more running the FBI peacetime economy there. Its reputation is in tatters worst in history. But fear not he says will bring it back to greatness FBI worst in history in tatters you very. No I think coming needs to answer questions as this time is director I think you made some decisions that they were really very very wrong. I would just say this is present there's an ongoing criminal investigation coming may be part of it. He tweeting comment. Regarding ongoing criminal investigations is your own parallel I'd be terrible for you Mr. President armed forces. Lou that you were a former prosecutor. Along those lines. The president has said he knew that Flinn lied to the FBI. And yet he has called the investigation into whether slim line the FBI wit China and because it was a witch hunt he fired James Conley how can you know that you lied to the FBI and then fire the FBI director. For investigating Hank. Number one what Flinn lied about cyber crime I don't think is wrong for transition person to talk to reform government. About change in policy are running the Logan act is worth the papers written on. So I'm not really worried about what happened after the election in terms of trying to communicate with the Russians. About the the the Israeli resolutions are about sanctions. It comes down to the follower and to me was there any effort by the trump campaign. To coordinate with the Russian intelligence services or any entity controlled by the Russians to receive benefit during the election and they found the one that. That would know that. Let me ask you go on the question of obstruction because that's the other thing that's a part of this issue and if you know legally he lied the FBI how can you say an investigation if that into whether he lied the FBI is a witch hunt that -- we should be fired for carrying out apparently this statement is that. About the president's lawyer you know he says I didn't know where he wasn't in on the interviewed he didn't know that he lied to the vice president vice president was very upset he took action. To me that's not the issue here's the issue if it in fact you know from my point. If there was coordination between the trump campaign in the Russians. I can't think of person who would know more about that and plan let me ask you on the national security front though. You are very critical of the Russians for interfering in the Atlanta they did it out and end of former Obama administration official says he interference was did cyber equivalent or espionage for the 9/11. So if after that kind of an event give me your foreign policy judgment about an incoming administration that an assistant perpetrators and event it's that serious. Hey let's work out a deal on these sanctions that are gonna punish you for that behavior. Don't overreact because will will be on your side later when we're in the administration give your national security judgment. Okay we're number one the Obama administration sure that at like it was an. There were late to the game ended this this the least amount possible what they did in the interim. Before trump took office was a slap on the wrist I don't buy that whole marry him I don't have a problem. With the top administration reaching out to the Russians we're gonna take a different view about sanctions. And we're gonna seek your help in the UN Security Council even giving your rough opinion of the Russians and what they do it. So can't play footsie yeah well ears and I'm sent. That behavior after the election is reaching out to foreign government that we have a different view about things I'm not here to condemn the president about that here's what I'm sat. That collusion between a campaign in a foreign government is unacceptable there is no evidence of collusion nobody's been charged with it. But she found the one person who would know if it did exist. So it won't be long before we understand one way or the other what that child people colluded with the Russian Cossack can't imagine. It happening and Flinn not know about it. Let's take a quick break we'll be right back on the other side of that we'll be right back. And we're back with senator Lindsey Graham senator before we get to North Korea one more question on this investigation. New York Times reported this week the president and made some calls up to the hill about these investigations in the Russian interference. Was that appropriate for him make those phone calls I don't know what the contents laws but he's never asked me to stop an investigation yet it would be inappropriate for the president say. Stop the investigation is not an appropriate to have a discussion in general. Again I just hope people understand. My plan would know if there was collusion in my view between the trop campaign and the Russians. There's no evidence collusion yet nobody's been charged were collusion. They did metaphor warrior said there was no collusion but if there was Flynn would know and we're gonna know pretty similar idea of Manila larger question you're not saying it's only that collusion because there's this is the obstruction of justice question which is quite important and how likely FBI completely different but that's not my focus trust your accent but I'm saying in general that's absolutely not announced that. North North Korea. Where are we with North Korea are and how we're getting close to military conflict because. North Korea's marching toward marrying up the technology of an ICBM with a nuclear weapon on top that can not only get to America to deliver the weapon. We're running out of time McMaster said that yesterday. I'm gonna urged that pentagon not to send any more. Dependents to South Korea South Korea should be an unaccompanied tour is crazy descend. Spouses and children to South Korea given the provocation of North Korea. So I want them to stop sending dependence and I think it's now time to start moving American dependence out of South Korea. How close he say he who we're gonna close to military confrontation what's what what are we talking about here the intelligence community contain that better than I can but I had an extensive discussion with. The administration about this topic. The policy the truck administration is to deny North Korea the capability to hit America with a nuclear tipped missile not to contain it. It now means preemptive war as a last resort. That preemption is becoming more likely insert technology matures every missile test every underground test of nuclear weapon. These the marriage is more likely I think we really running out of time the Chinese are trying but in effectively if there's an underground nuclear test. Then you need to get ready for a very serious response. By the United States wishes decision that the congress be having a big open conversation about preemptive war and that they so I think the president as the inherent authority as commander in chief has the ability. To strike North Korea to take the American homeland that. This discussion these things happen among ourselves. Let me ask you about the president's team there were a lot of back and forth this week about whether a secretary of state Tillerson. I understand John do you eat the net net after all the reports and so forth is over do you have confidence in the president's team around him to manage this. Tricky question he's got the best national security team of anybody out saying. It since I've been in Washington the president himself early on made the right decision I'm not gonna allow North Korea to hit America with a nuclear weapon. We're not gonna live under that threat if I have to go to war and I don't want to to stop that I will. Everybody the foreperson trot screwed it up including Republicans now we need to get it right and I think he's got the right approach he's got the right team. I hope China will help us were running out of time all right and we have run out of time senator kind of solution being with us and will be back him. Joining us now is independent Maine senator Angus King welcomes senator Mitchell com majority leader says. Regular order was followed on this tax. What's your response to that was regular order and agency something else this is the bill I brought it. This is the bill that we got in about 6 o'clock at night that we were gonna vote on that night. There were no hearings there were some general hearings about tax reform there were zero hearings on the bill. And and even the bill it was reported out by the finance committee it was different than what we were handed. That we had to vote on a few hours later and what worries me about this type I commandeered a staffers desk right off the floor and Friday night and read it. All the way through. Now I can't say I understand all of it but you could do the things that we are talking about reducing corporate tax rates doubling the standard deduction. In May be fifty pages. This is 477. Pages John there's a lot of stuff in here. I don't think anybody knows what it's all about I just have to pick up I marked in the margin on page. 409. Domestic oil and gas extraction and com. What's at all. There's a later provision about income on oil and gas from foreign countries what's at all about the point is. Nobody knew what was going on here and there was a moment when we could've fixed it Chuck Schumer move to to recess Friday night about 9 o'clock to Monday. Give people a chance to go through this and dig through it. Party line vote denied wind up voting at 3 am. Sen McConnell said Friday night he said you know when your complaining about the process it means you're losing. Well I I think there is I mean there's a point there. Because I heard him complain about the process a lot when I first arrived but. It's at some point process matters I mean at that 86 tax bill 33 hearings ten months. The vote in the senate by the way was in ninety detail. This one barely was dragged across the finish line on the party line vote so what happens now. Well I'm you know there's a lot of talk about what the conference will be I I give a 5050 they'll be no conference I think there's a chance. Because I don't think that either side wants to take that either house of the senate wants to bring this back to the floor. They they have just may take the senate bill and send it to the president so. What happens now is we've now made a thirty year decision. This is this may be the most important vote any of us take an error in her career because this isn't the reauthorization the FAA. Or even the farm bill. This is some is gonna affect every American every business the whole economy for dot decades. And what happens now is. We're gonna see well I can be three prediction. I got three protection and why at least one is you're gonna see people put on their long serious face as Orrin hatch did this morning and say. The deficits really a problem we can do. Snap or Social Security or Medicare we got to restructure that's number one nest first prediction. Too we're gonna find some really stinky stuff in here that we didn't know. And three anything good that happens in America in the next year including good weather at the Super Bowl this can be attributed to this bill those are my protection aren't we're gonna come. Kentucky senator on the other side a commercial will be back with senator Angus King just after this break stay with us. Welcome back to face the nation back at independent means senator Angus King before I wanna ask you about the intelligence committee. But first on the question of spending government spending at the end of the year democratic leaders didn't meet with the president this week what's your sense of what happens on the government. Is running out of money. Well they're already talking about another short term what they call CR continuing resolution that would get us into January and escape this deadline of this week. I think it's really unfortunate all most generally all the work of the appropriations committees have been done for a budget we could pass a budget we could have passed a budget two months ago. And I I don't sense that nobody wants to shut down I don't sense that that's gonna come. Unless it's through mutual misunderstanding. Between the two sides. Let me ask you about Michael Flynn given when you know as a member of the intelligence committee how do you read this plea deal that he made. Well I think you can read it one of two ways one you could say he pled to a fairly minor offense and that's the end of it it's not a big deal the other you could say. He pled to a fairly minor offense and that means he has a lot to deliver to the prosecutors. I think one of the most significant developments though it's been in the last 24 hours. Where the president tweeted yesterday that he fired him because. He had lied to the FBI. That's the first time the president has said that. And it was the next day after he was fired that the president allegedly said to Jim Cohn may go easy on flan. If he said the Komi go easy on flan knowing that he had lied to the FBI that ups the ante on that particular part of this whole. Situation and I think that maybe one of the things. Mr. Morris focusing and Ziad does that change the shape of your investigation and intelligence committee are you looking into obstruction of justice in the work you do know and I think that's important distinction to make Mueller is is a criminal investigation he's a prosecutor he's looking for criminal violations we're looking for the facts. And our focus is on. What are the Russians do well they do it again what do they do in the states and was their collusion between the trump campaign my concern about all of us John is that the though the latter issue but the hot political issue of trump for and the Russians in the campaign is obscuring. The larger issue which is the Russians. Attacked our democracy and they're going to do it again and that's where the focus of our investigation has. And on the pollution ash. Let me quickly get your thoughts here on the Senate Armed Services Committee mr. Lindsey Graham talk about Americans preparing for preemptive action North Korea what's your take. Well part of diplomacy has to be the threat of military force in the background and other it can make sure negotiation credible but. We've really got to lean on the Chinese they have to be the solution to this. This is not a case one of the worst terms Everett and our our lexicon is surgical strike. There's no such thing as a surgical strike in the idea that we can go in and take out their nuclear capability. Just isn't so most of its deep underground. So we would be talking about a major war on the Korean Peninsula. Plus hole. Is only 35 miles from the North Korean border. Anything happens in North Korea Seoul is history that's 26 million people including on a couple of 100000 Americans so. That's I wouldn't say it's unthinkable it's got to be credible but. We can't go there is any time so write some thank you so much for being with us and we'll be right back with white house budget director homeless. Then we're back. If white house budget director nick will Laney. Mr. director this is not in your Bailiwick but I've got to ask you as an administration official yesterday the president said. That he knew Michael Clinton lied to the FBI and that's why he fired him but then consistently said this investigation is a witch hunt. But you'll ID FBI that's not a witch. And at John you're probably asking the exact wrong person about that's been kind of a busy week for me and working two jobs in fact I'm leaving here to go back over the CF PB on a Sunday so. I'm probably not the right person ask what the investigation. We will. Will lead that. You there let me ask about taxes. The president said that he might be okay with a 22% corporate rate instead of a 20% incorporated is that right and why the change. I don't think it's a change of the when he heard the president say is look we're we're very close the finish line you know he's one to 15% rate from the very beginning. I moved to a 20% rate is part of the discussion my understanding is that the senate has a 20% rate now the house has a 20% right now. Were were were happy with both of those numbers if something. Small happens in conference that gets us across the finish line we'll look at our case by case basis but I don't think. I don't think you see any significant change in our position on the corporate taxes one of the goals through this tax cut plan was is gonna make taxes less complicated. Texas and actually less complicated tasks they will be they will before marry people for ordinary Americans they will be for small businesses they're still going to be fairly complex but they always worry you know when you sign up to be a pass threat to T that your life is going to be fairly complicated. Protection but for ordinary folks will be. But first served as you want to shrink the IRS the IRS is gonna have to get bigger to watch all these new tax regulations is you don't you're not gonna squeeze revenue out. Thank you need to I didn't more in balance. And it would give him does not a lot of new regulations yet even as changed the way we treat again passed through entities but a lot of the deductions are gone a lot of into the loop holes again one persons who pulls another person's seduction those are gone so. There is still some. Some civil vacations I don't think you know you you're not gonna see dramatic increase in the size of the IRS or to administer this law. Let me ask you about carried interest you and I've talked about this the president said the loophole that exists allows people to get away with murder hedge fund managers and so forth they're being tweaks in that. But not material changes why was that something they couldn't get through given what the president said which is that these people who benefit from that loophole are getting away with rumors. That go back to the very beginning you know I've talked about this before the we laid out some principles. At the white house of prince was ordinary families would pay less and it would be simpler for them to pay and the corporate rate would come down. Within those guard rails to sort of left up to the house and the senate and the house and the senate apparently I think in both settled on the same plan which is that. If you hold an asset longer than three years you're gonna get that carried interest treatment the same in both bills I think that does discourage some of the abuse to short term churning and so where there's not much short terms. Earning and then carried it and think about who only carried interest that I think the average holding on the assets as well over three years so. It's not something it's gonna get at what the president made a big deal about both his protest candidate then as president. The treatment that benefits those people he said is getting away with murder as if that's an. Kitty and go back to what we at what our priorities for ordinary families lower corporate tax rate we got that you know what the house and senate sort of filled in the details and that was up to them. We status before but that priority sticking with the priorities that the middle class families are still. There's going to be about a quarter of them might see their taxes go up and in the senate bill late those so those that tax cuts expire. And and just watching this go through there's been such focus on keeping that corporate rate steady at 20%. But there's been that flexibility on really being able to say what you started it's being able to say at the beginning of this which is that everybody in the. A class yeah I'm not sure where the quarter number comes from Willis told only admiration who deduct you don't take the standard deduction who itemize those are the ones who might see their taxes go running to the mine also we're doubling the size of the standard deductions on the number of people who will or otherwise itemize will go down dramatically but it would come to this this issue of these expiration. That that's it is that we will call what it is it's gaming the system the senate rules are so bizarre and so arcane that you have to sort of horseshoe a bill into that senate reconciliation process which is why. They supposedly these these rates are going to expire after five years the bush tax cuts for the same way and most of them didn't expire. We've said before say again if it's good policy it'll be permanent and it's bad policy to be temper. Gaming the system seems like a dangerous place to be when your passing legislation needed for healthcare they did at any time you wanna get something to the senate on fifty votes you have to sort of nobody would want to look as penal the mistakes of the Prius and the other team that you did were so unhappy about you wanna repeat those mistakes yourself when your chart what I'd rather do is change the rules so that ordinary legislation can be considered on an ordinary basis and not sitting there. Forcing policy into procedure you shouldn't let procedure dictate what your policy is which is exactly. What you have to do because of these rules and yet by the people it's his procedures help keep the deficit problem going down but let me ask you got to shut down which might be coming governments around that money Democrats would meet with the president what's the status thing well you know it's funny to see now that the Republicans are in charge and I I think there's some a group of right wingers in the house to say they wanna shut the government down. There's a good Democrats who want to show to shut the government down over docket and as a group of lawmakers from some of the hurricane states who want a shipment I shut the government down until they get what they want. This just sheds light on the fact of the appropriation the spending system is broken. I want any little group can sort of hold government hostage we need to get beyond that I think that we will I don't think you'll see government shut people used to say that about you you're in one of those little groups when you wanted did to you shut the government down for reasons you've changed your stride talent all the more reason the system should be fixed we don't spend money properly in Washington DC we we jump these massive bill to massive bills. The government shut down I think. John seventeen times in forty years betweens eighty and 94 something like that but it was what happened somebody would say willing to back the tax bill where people basically gave up their fiscal conservatism in order to get a tax bill that admit that this is always well known and fix the system well instincts are to basically in my reputation is as a fiscal hawk at least I hope that it is and that's why I'm so interested in seeing that tax bill passed because as that. Deficits. Are a function of two things the amount of money in and the amount of money out spending is one of those tax revenues is the other. We have to get the tax revenues up that means we have to get back to help the American economy. Grow the economy so that you make more money I make more money ordinary Americans make more money and so does the government that helps lessen the deficit obviously there's a big debate among other tad deficit talks about whether this bill and meets that pressure on conversations mr. core Prius and I know this is getting deep down we used thirteen different twelve different appropriations bills. They don't pass any. And we have these massive bills at the end of the year and either they that passes all one timer fails all the time and that's. That's sort of managing by crisis to crisis and it's not a good way to run the country are crisis as we're out of time mr. stricker thanks so it's always a list. And we'll be back at a moment when our panel. For some analysis on this very busy week we turn to our political panel. Julie pace is the Washington bureau chief for the Associated Press for America Ramesh primarily as a senior editor at the national review were also joined by. Ron Brownstein any senior editors the Atlantic and a CNN senior political analyst and Ezra Klein. Is the founder and editor at large of vox dot com Hummer initially start with you. The tax cut this this looks like it's going to passage and signed by the president so big win for the president what's your take on. It's not just a big win for the president's is only major legislative week so far. And I think that is the thing that led to it's happening because Republicans were just desperate to get something across the finish line and be able to tell. People that they've accomplished something while in office I think it is a big cost and it does achieve several were longstanding Republican goals particularly. Bringing down that corporate tax rate which is what this entire bill is designed around how does that shake out. Terms of the effects of this don't you think you know normally passing a tax cut is like playing tennis without a net in terms of the public reaction people. Like getting this tax cut is facing two to one opposition. In polling 60% of Americans and quinnipiac said it would benefit the rich at the expense of the middle class which is pretty tough language and their reasons for that I mean. It will increase the deficit by at least a trillion in the most optimistic after estimates after growth. But it puts most of its benefits 62% by some estimates into the top. 1% at all of the studies have shown we'll have relatively limited impact on accelerating but with that I don't think is the reason why it is at risk it's at risk because it departs. From earlier tax bills in raising taxes on certain target people who live in big cities people have been. People who live in Blue States it cuts taxes for alternative energy while preserving them. For oil and gas in many ways it is as much an enemy's list as a tax bill I mean it is a clear. Expression of this is these are the people on our side this and other people on the other side and I think exposes too much more political wrist and usually seen attacks. Is are picking up on Ron's point I was Turkmen leader McConnell so well we'll see how popular is gets once in passes. Chuck Schumer in 2010 actually Affordable Care Act passes past said when people learn what's actually in the bill. As this goes a long it's going to become more and more popular so they've really just. The good teams whether you're actually using things about that because two things happen here one is it recently obamacare has couple more popular it's become a majority popular bill for the first time. Since it would its passage some chump got elected. But the other thing this tax bill does is on the way to passage it casually destabilize the entire individual insurance market in America. So the Republicans had skinny repeal the into the obamacare repeal effort the main provision scan your appeal was that they're gonna repeal the individual mandate. Not really replace him with anything. They knew that was a bad idea and so the idea was it could only pass if Republicans promise it would it make a law that would change the conference. Right now they've passed a tax bill that on the way to passage it gets rid of the individual mandate according to Congressional Budget Office. Thirteen million people whose health insurance some insurance crimson called by 10%. Individual markets will be much more destabilize and they don't have an answer for us an additional attacks but that is incredibly regressive has all feature along just mentioned. It's also going to upend American health insurance markets and not really thought hard about this or what to do about it how to handle at all it's on the need to get a little bit of revenue and didn't really think there on win passage which you tend to run well. Politically big win for the president and Republicans that they can get through the conference process they have every political incentive to try to move through that process pretty quickly. I think of the big things that we have to look at over the next year or two as the president heads toward 20/20 is what is the impact of this legislation on his voters he has made. And sweeping promises to his voters. Working class voters that they are going to get big tax cuts. He there's going to be a lot of tape for Democrats to go back to if you look at a lot of the analysis that's come through. Yes many middle class Americans will get some kind of tax cut some may not end and for some it may be fairly minimal so. He's putting a lot of his own political capital into a piece of legislation that. May not bring the kind of success for his voters that he. Promising what do I do market in this if you go back and you look 25 democratic senators voted for the Reagan tax cuts in 1981. Twelve democratic senators at 8081 and in the original the original 81 out in the sixth everybody voted regulatory does ninety's united ninety plus votes. 45 democratic senators and anyone. In 200112. Democratic senators voted for the bush tax that's when this started there was a lot of expectation that because there are ten Democrats running in twenty ET. In states senators and states that president John Kerry that he would have a lot of leverage now to get them to a port. This bill is so tilted toward Republican constituencies relatively narrowly at the top that no Democrat felt compelled. Even in states that trump won by double the original port in stark contrast to a one. And it iris that politics has changed since the eighties and even his own one but this is not something they were afraid of opposing. Both because of the politics and because of the substance. Senator trump is less popular than most presidents are either on that North Dakota out West Virginia got their red hair but it reddish -- you wrote this week about an effort by senator rubio and senator Lee two try to. Build up that he admitted that families at the lower end of this why was there resistance to what they were trying to do there's also other things that Paul Ryan has been a fan of increasing the ITC for childless life there are political lowered the rates at the bottom wind where those which would have been direct you know injections into the middle class and Marc Klaas why were those hard to get through. Right so they wore the priority for Republican senator Mike Lee and Marco Rubio tried to make payroll tax relief possible for families. By extending the child credit to them and pay for that. By just increasing the corporate rate less than 1%. Republicans were just dead set against it 32 of them saying that we had to keep this 20% rate that that somehow witnessed a and the Democrats by and large decided they did not want to participate in this bill they couldn't carry that across the finish line if it wanted to. As a let me go back on the health care question and Susan Collins as have as a trade for her vote said that that to Mitch McConnell promised her that Alexander marine to build being used to kind of try to stabilize the Affordable Care Act. Of course before the interview right and it was taken away to give me your sense on on that in any McConnell has committed to that to bringing that up. Alexander Murray was bill was designed to deal with some problems that are in obamacare now and also be trump administration's continuing sub eligible obamacare practically the expectation they're gonna stop paying the caution reductions. You cannot pass Alex and Murray after blowing a giant new hole in it Alexandra doesn't fix that it's not built to fix that it's not powerful enough to fix that so I mean you can even these are. The percentage is pulled out of nowhere but can imagine dogs and Emory stabilizes the individual market by 15%. The individual markets DC blesses them by 40% -- networks individual market. This was not out of trade that ever made any sense it's a fig leaf it's a way of saying that you're doing something without having any idea what you're actually doing. Did you come back to Joe's point for you back at a real quick about about the economic impact of the tax bill. I mean essentially you have a Republican coalition now that depends largely on the votes of blue collar lower middle income. Whites. And who trump is speaking to very powerfully on a cultural basis so Bob you have you have a tax bill that tilts even more toward the top 1% in the bush tax and give about a quarter of its benefits. This is about three steps. And the question is you know can they hold those who called or the one way they're doing it is by ramping up even relative to bush or Reagan. The cultural antagonisms and even the kind of over kind of racial element in the in the message the problem they're getting is that that's pushing away more people. At the top and if you had to predict for 28 T what's a bigger risk blue collar people thinking they violated their interests. Or white collar people thinking they're violating their values I'm betting on the latter that's what was on Virginia that's a receipt Alabama and the blue collar side is holding so far for the Republicans. But the tax bill does reduce taxes on average including for blue collar people. The question is are they gonna be upset that other people get a bigger tax cut that made you. Oh my god don't let my argument that is humane dramatic fire you're right you don't tell a lot of our government will expire in all of the people recoil from trump on cultural grounds we also will also face higher taxes. In Blue States and there are still a lot of Republicans in Southern California. New York New Jersey Northern Virginia suburbs of Minneapolis and Chicago who will be at risk in this bill from voters who were really pulling away from them on the cultural racial. It's all right let's switch chaired two times. Julie let's switch to Michael plan. What do we make of this I mean I was a big deal. Tom what's your take them. It's huge deal and the White House and we need heart of this idea that in the actual court documents that came about the at the end of the week there is no. Evidence of collusion between the trump campaign in Russia that is true based on what is in the court documents but I think senator Graham made a good point. If that is Muller's aim to see effect collusion exists that he now has the witness that he cooperating witness that he needs Michael Flynn it was. By Trump's side throughout the campaign was fly not on Trump's played with him. He was with him behind the scenes he was a major player in terms of there at their formation of policies such as it as it was. And I think the other thing that is significant about the court documents is that. It undermines the entire White House argument about why Flynn was fired they said Flynn was fired essentially because he was freelancing in. In his conversations with the Russian ambassador he lied to Mike Pence about it and he did this on his own. Those court documents say that he was actually in direct conversations with Jared Kushner with KT McFarland. Was part of a larger group talking about conversations they were gonna have with the Russians we haven't had heard good explanation from the White House. About that right now but it's very clear that Flynn was not the only person during the transition who was aware that there are going to be talking policy right. Russian officials to transition now has to pick. They've won just big point about this if you just step back from Flynn net from a man a toast and everything we're hearing from the meetings and sessions for god all the times cushion relied on the security clearances. There's a lot being for god and about lied about misrepresented. For all the the innocent I mean there's some but we don't know the whole story yet Miller is burning wood has been very expansive and very aggressive investigation. But it is getting to be what we are being asked to believe as innocent. It's gonna be almost ridiculous you go back to Don trump junior emails with the Russian lawyers and above to get some dirt on on Hillary Clinton there's and overall picture coming together here. And for a group that says they have nothing to hide. They're short sloppy appear to be trying extremely hard at a great legal risk right to hide. Diminish so. You know we all wanna know what this means for the future of similar investigation so obviously because this the plea agreement that means that smaller spot that he couldn't charge. Flynn with more than that and that he wants Flint cooperation to with course who are wanna know what the future. Hold here. But one thing that we can easily skip over is. This just shows terrible judgment on the part of somebody with the national security advisor. And therefore also shows terrible judgment on the part of the person who hired him. The administration's tip sending out these press releases when they say. I'll just was an Obama guy he Flynn an enforcement did work in the Obama administration to do well on the nutrition Warners in the trunk people not to hire him. They went ahead anyway and it really just shows again abysmal judgment from a president who always said. He was gonna surround yourself with the best people. When you know up as a special counsel is he does not give out hall passes easily. There was a lot he could have charged Michael from with that he did not charging and the assumption has to be there's a reason why. They've made that call the other thing we know about the special counsel has a lot we know there's a lot we don't know they have they they know a lot more than we do they may know a lot more than the people there interviewing. Do and I think that limits our ability to truly understand where this is going to every indication is that this is a very serious aggressive and comprehensive investigation. All right we're gonna happen there thanks to all of you and we'll be right back them. Today is yes we're senate leader Mitch McConnell. South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham and independent means senator Angus king and Office of Management and Budget director make money. Executive producer of Kingston Heath is Mary baker continues producers are Jill Jackson and as for an exit. Broadcasters directed by Brian Nelson destination originates from serious news Washington. For more face the nation where on line of face the nation dot com. The problem face the nation John Dickerson and CBS radio news on Twitter instead Graham and FaceBook. Face the nation also rebroadcast on our digital network. CBS N 11 AM and 6 PM this. Sunday.
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