"Face the Nation" transcripts January 6, 2013: Pelosi, McConnell, New Congressmen

CBS News

(CBS News) Below is a transcript of "Face the Nation" on January 6, 2013, hosted by CBS News' Bob Schieffer. Guests include: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Az., and Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn.; plus, a panel with David Sanger, Chief Washington Correspondent for The New York Times, and Time Magazine's Rana Foroohar.

SCHIEFFER: Good morning again. Well, we sat down with California Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi Friday, and it didn't take her long to make some news. We started with that quote on "no more taxes" from Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.

SCHIEFFER: Do you then agree with the Republican leader in the Senate, Mr. McConnell, who says we're done now with the taxing side of it; now we have to concentrate on spending? Is that done now?


SCHIEFFER: Is the revenue side of it taken care of yet?

PELOSI: No, no, it is not. I mean, the president had said originally he wanted $1.6 trillion in revenue. He took it down to $1.2 as a compromise. In this legislation we had $620 billion, very significant, high-end tax -- changing the high-end tax rate to 39.6 percent. But that is not enough on the revenue side. We've already agreed to $1 trillion in spending cuts, over $1 trillion in spending cuts.

SCHIEFFER: So what are you talking about there? Are you talking about more taxes?

PELOSI: We're talking about looking at the tax code, putting everything on the table from the standpoint of closing loopholes -- and we know that we can do that -- special subsidies for big oil, for example, $38 billion right there. But again, not to take things in isolation, just to say, OK, well, how much more revenue can we get as we go forward?

SCHIEFFER: Does your idea of tax reform mean eliminating more deductions now?

PELOSI: My idea of tax reform is to have a comprehensive view. We've talked about tax simplification and fairness as something that we should be engaged in all long, long before these fights came along. And now we have a chance to do that with I'd say a heightened awareness by the public on why we need to do certain things. So let's, you know, put on the table what it is that we can, in order to increase revenue. We've changed the rate, the high-end tax rate, 39.6 percent, a very important step. And again, there's much more that we can do by just subjecting it to the scrutiny of what is bringing in revenue, what is creating growth. And we don't want to hurt that if there's some tax provisions that create growth. We want to support that. So, again, taking it one step at a time but not in isolation say "Would do you this? Would do you that?" Well, no, let's look at the...

SCHIEFFER: Well, people who are listening to you this morning are going to say she's talking about more taxes; she's talking about bringing in more, in one way or another, by increasing taxes.

PELOSI: One thing I'm not talking about is bringing in more at the expense of the middle class -- at the expense of the middle class. That is not something -- and that was what we were fighting all along in this because, to the extent that you diminished the tax cut, the tax change at the high end, you would have to claw down into the middle class to get more revenue.

SCHIEFFER: Are you then saying to the upper classes, get ready; you're going to have to pay some more; this is not the end of it?

PELOSI: Well, I'm saying that's not off the table.

SCHIEFFER: That's not off the table?

PELOSI: That's not off the table. But not in terms of tax rates but in terms of other considerations.

SCHIEFFER: You're talking about deductions and other things.

PELOSI: And the rest

SCHIEFFER: What would be some of the things that you think -- on the upper-income people, what kind of deductions are you talking about?

PELOSI: As I said, I'm not going into particulars.

SCHIEFFER: You're not going into...

PELOSI: Put it all -- put it all on the table and see what is working. You know, I'm fairly -- frankly, I'm fairly agnostic about what it could be, now that we have injected some fairness into the process. But, you know, if it works for us, if it grows our economy, if it's something that justifies its existence, it should be there. If it's something -- I mean, we've talked about carried interest. How do we do that correctly? We've talked about subsidies for big oil. What is the justification to give an incentive to drill when oil companies are making $1 trillion over that same period of time? So again, it's justify your existence if you are a special tax break, and again, all of it not to reach down to the middle class.

SCHIEFFER: Let's talk about cutting spending. Are Democrats ready to make significant reforms in entitlements?

PELOSI: We already have.

SCHIEFFER: Well, I know that.


SCHIEFFER: And that's what every Democrat that I ask this question always says that.

PELOSI: We already have.

SCHIEFFER: But so that's it?

PELOSI: No, that isn't it, but I say it's a sign of our intentions. We already have an Affordable Care Act. We saved -- found savings of over $700 billion by slowing the increase and the rate of reimbursement to certain providers. We used that $700 billion to increase benefits to seniors and the Republicans used it -- took the same money and used it for a tax cut at the high end and said that we were cutting benefits, which we weren't. But again, as a first step, that was really important. And secondly, I've said to my Republican colleagues over and over, we want to find savings so that we can prolong Social Security, so we can prolong Medicare, but if you're there to just destroy them, then that's not saving.

SCHIEFFER: Well, let me just ask you some specifics and you just answer yes or no. Would you support raising the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 67?


SCHIEFFER: No. What about means testing?

PELOSI: Do you want to know why?