"Face the Nation" transcripts, December 2, 2012: Geithner, Sens. Graham, Feinstein, Rep. Rogers
DICKERSON: I feel like a two-part deal that does include Republicans agreeing to some kind of a rate increase that basically allows them a back door to explain how they're going to, kind of, get out of that in the future, which gives them a way to vote for tax rate increases, which is going to be very hard for them to do.
SCHIEFFER: But you think, in the end, they will do that?
DICKERSON: I think they'll do some kind of two-part deal, and they'll say, in the future, with tax reform, we'll be able to get rates down, so we're not really voting for a tax rate increase here. There's going to be a lot of trips to the euphemism factory here...
... where they're going to find some -- they're going to find some language here. The problem is, with the time here, is to do a big deal -- we're running out of time, and no member is going to vote for a big deal because they're going to feel like there's a lot of trickery in here, which goes back to Maya's point: let it go through the committees in the future so that people can know what they're voting for. People are getting very nervous now that, if it's a big deal, they're going to be voting for stuff that's going to explode on them later.
ZANDI: Yeah, my view is that we're going to scale back this cliff so that it's manageable economically as we move into 2013. So we'll have tax increases and some spending cuts but they'll be manageable. We're going to raise the debt ceiling. We're going to do it so that it's on the other side of the next election in 2014. And this is what I mean by a big deal. I think we're going to lay a framework for the deficit reduction we're going to do in the future. We're not going to cross the t's and dot the i's on Medicare reform and tax reform, but we're going to lay out how much we're going to -- we're going to reduce the deficit in the future by doing these things, then throw it into the Congress for the year and they will figure it out. And we'll have a budget mechanism at the end of that process to try to enforce that. So if we do those things, then I think we're going to solve the uncertainty issue to a significant enough degree and our economy will start to gain traction. SCHIEFFER: Maya, I'll let you be the last word here.
MACGUINEAS: Well, I don't think we're going to go off the cliff. I wish I were more confident of that, but I don't. Because I think politicians of both sides understand that it's just not worth it to bet the country on this. I do worry, though, that, as they spend the next year or six months working out the details, there is going to be such extreme pressures on both sides not to make the hard choices that, frankly, we all know have to be part of a real deal. And so I think it's important that there's pressures that keep on so that, if they don't come up with solutions through the committees, there are ways to make sure that we start to get those savings.
Because the U.S. has the benefit of being the safe haven. We have more time than other countries. But we will lose that confidence if we don't start to show that our political system can function and really solve these problems together.
SCHIEFFER: Well, thank you, all. I actually learned something here.
...Of course, I always do because I don't know much. We'll be back in a minute with Mike Rogers, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Yes, we have reestablished contact, so we'll get his thoughts on Benghazi and all the other things we were going to talk about. Thank you all very much.
SCHIEFFER: And we're back now with Congressman Mike Rogers, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. We lost our satellite feed, and we are not going to blame this on any kind of either government or enemy operatives, Congressman. It just happens every once in a while.
...I'm glad we could get reconnected with you. Let's go back and talk about this Benghazi business. You heard both Dianne Feinstein and Lindsey Graham say that stuff happened that shouldn't have happened here, and -- and the security was not what it ought to be. What do you think went wrong?
ROGERS: Well, it's very clear to me, Bob, that the intelligence was right about the threats in Benghazi. Now, they didn't know the specific day and the specific event, but all of the threat streams were right. So what went wrong was that the policy and decision-makers at Department of State did not make the right security call, and I argue it's gross negligence. There were discussions, Bob, prior to, to try to consolidate space in Benghazi. We had, you know, different consulates -- or not consulates but other operations around town there. They thought about bringing everything in one place, and they thought that that place was so insecure, they shouldn't do it. Now, that decision was made prior to the 9/11 event. That means that somebody was absolutely negligent in not providing the right security for the ambassador and the employees that lost their lives that day. And somebody should be held accountable for that, and we shouldn't -- we shouldn't walk away from that.
SCHIEFFER: Go ahead.
ROGERS: Secondly, though, we're -- we're three months -- nearly three months after, and we have not aggressively pursued the individuals who have killed four Americans and, by the way, four Tunisians who helped us guard our embassy on the 13th that was under attack just two days after the 9/11 attack in Benghazi. That is the other -- these are the two biggest problems I think that you'll find moving forward we have to get some answers to.
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