"Face the Nation" transcripts, September 9, 2012: Obama, Ryan, Plouffe
O'DONNELL: Now there will be more of Scott's interview with President Obama all this week on the CBS Evening News and Scoot will be back later in the broadcast for a preview of tonight's 60 Minutes.
But for reaction to President Obama, we talked to Congressman Paul Ryan from a campaign stop in Fresno, California.
Congressman, thanks for joining us.
RYAN: Good to be with you, Norah.
O'DONNELL: You heard the president say it, he said he is more than happy to work with Republicans. Are you more than happy to work with him?
RYAN: Well, I have been more happy to work with him, but he hasn't been acting like that.
You know, what we've learned in this presidency, he says one thing and does another.
He gave us four budget, Norah, each of which had trillion dollar deficits, none of which ever, ever proposed to actually balance the budget.
His allies in the Senate haven't even given us a budget for three years. So we've passed budgets, we've led.
Mitt Romney and I have offered a specific plan to prevent a debt crisis, to save Medicare and Social Security, to create jobs, to get us growing again.
It's a five point plan for a stronger middle class which is aimed to get us out of this weak recovery we have and get us back to growing our economy like we ought to.
We got a troubling jobs report on Friday, Norah, that said for everybody who got a job, nearly four people stopped looking for a job. This isn't working.
O'DONNELL: Let me...
RYAN: President Obama's rhetoric to the side, it's just not working and that's why we're offering the country a better choice.
O'DONNELL: Well, let me ask you about that better choice, that specific plan that you mentioned. You and Mitt Romney are proposing $5 trillion in tax cuts, you're proposing to increase defense spending by $2 trillion. Explain to me how that adds up and you can cut the deficit?
RYAN: Neither of those are accurate, number one.
Number two, we're talking about revenue neutral tax reform, meaning not losing revenue but changing the way we raise revenue by plugging loopholes and tax shelters that are uniquely enjoyed by higher income earners so that more of their income is subject to taxation so that we can lower tax rates for everybody, family, small businesses, get the economic growth creation.
You know, there's some Democrats who agree with us on this kind of approach to tax reform, unfortunately, it's not President Obama. He's been on the outside looking in on this for a long time.
He's proposing to put a new high tax rate on successful small businesses on top of the current tax code and add even more complexity to the tax code...
O'DONNELL: You're saying that tax (inaudible) Obama Care?
O'DONNELL: That's what you mean by the tax on (inaudible).
RYAN: Well, no, I was talking about the tax he mentioned in his -- that clip that you just played for me, that particular tax increase that he's talking about pays for about 8 percent of his proposed deficit spending.
If you had all of his tax increases, like the Obama Care tax you're talking about, in everyone, they don't even pay for a fifth of his proposed deficit spending.
O'DONNELL: The Tax Policy Center has done an analysis and they say there is no way to pay for the cuts that you've proposed without either increasing the deficit or raising taxes on the middle class because you would have to get rid of deductions and loopholes that benefit the middle class in order to pay for those tax cuts that you're proposing and that increase in defense spending.
RYAN: So the good news for us, Norah, is they didn't actually analyze the Romney Plan. There are five other studies that have. What...
O'DONNELL: There isn't a Romney Plan that's been specific about which deductions and loopholes he's -- will close.
RYAN: Right, so let -- let me -- let me address that.
So one study from Princeton just said that we can accomplish exactly what we're saying to accomplish which is broaden the base, lower rates.
What -- what I mean when I say that is, it's not what loopholes are out there, but who gets them. And we're saying by not having higher income earners utilize these tax shelters, we can lower tax rates on everybody because they pay more of their income to taxation.
Here's the other issue, Norah. We don't want to do this in a backroom deal kind of a way like Obama Care was done.
We want to have a debate out in front, work with Congress, work with the public to find out what are the priorities we want to have in the tax system. And what the numbers do who and what studies back us up is that we can lower tax rates by plugging loopholes and still maintain special preferences from middle class taxpayers, not for higher incomes taxpayers, though.
That's what we want to do, but we don't want to say our way or the highway. What we learned from our experience, my working with Democrats and Congress, Mitt Romney as governor of a Democratic state is that you don't say, here's my plan, take it or leave it, you say here are the outlines of my plan for job creation and economy growth.
O'DONNELL: Let's talk about some of the cuts that have been agreed to. Mitt Romney said in an interview on NBC that Republicans were wrong to agree to a deal last summer that included automatic cuts to defense spending in exchange for this agreement to raise the debt ceiling. He said it was big mistake by Republicans.
He's talking about you because you voted for those cuts, correct?
RYAN: I did, you know why I voted for it? Because I was working to find common ground with Democrats to get a down payment on deficit reduction.
I worked with President Obama to find common ground to get a down payment on deficit reduction. It wasn't a big down payment but it was a step in the right direction.
Here's the issue, Bob Woodward just wrote this in his book, the devastating defense cuts that are now coming due were insisted upon by the Obama Administration so that they would not have to face another debt ceiling increase before the election.
O'DONNELL: But Congressman, that's...
RYAN: That's putting -- that's putting -- that's putting politics out of national security.
More to the point, Norah, I authored the bill, brought it to the floor, and passed it to prevent the president's irresponsible, devastating defense cuts from occurring by cutting wasteful Washington spending in other areas of government to replace these defense cuts.
O'DONNELL: Congressman, these defense cuts are part of the Budget Control Act. You voted for the Budget Control Act. In fact I went and looked, you put on the a statement at the time it was passed and you called it a victory, and you called it a positive step forward.
So, you voted for defense cuts. And now you're criticizing the president for those same defense cuts that you voted for and called a victory.
RYAN: No, no, I have to correct you on this, Norah. I voted for a mechanism that says a sequester will occur if we don't cut $1.2 trillion spending in government. We offered $1.2 trillion in various -- the super committee offered it. We passed in the House a bill to prevent those devastating defense cuts by cutting spending elsewhere. The senate's done nothing. President Obama's done nothing.
I wrote another bill, passed it, got signed into law, Democrats supported us, President Obama If he is not going to help us with a plan to prevent those defense cuts by substituting them from elsewhere, what's his plan for the sequester? He's ignoring the law. He was supposed to give these to us yesterday.
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