Howard Dean: Any politician who tells the American people there aren’t going to be any sacrifices for everybody is a liar and I do not want the sacrifices to be on the backs of the middle class.
Here is what we have to do. The fiscal cliff everybody complains about - and there will be some pain associated with it, is a 1.3% recessionary economy for two quarters. What you can't do is fix the deficit by cutting taxes for millionaires and then taking money away from people on social security and Medicare. That's what the Republicans want to do.
The reason I like the idea of going over the fiscal cliff is this is an incredibly partisan Congress, which has accomplished essentially nothing in the last two years since the republicans have taken over. And they're not going to come up with a better solution and here is what is good about the fiscal cliff. First of all, we go back to the tax rate when Clinton was president. We had a much better economy. We had a—the last balanced budget we had was under Clinton. Republicans do not balance budgets. I have no idea. I think Eisenhower was the last budget that was balanced under a Republican. You can't trust them with your money.
So what you need to do is increase the taxes to where they were when Bill Clinton was President of the United States and you need to cut defense. It has never been cut because every defense although the defense establishment has plants in 420 out of the 435 Congressional districts. That won't be done unless we drive over the fiscal cliff. I as a Democrat am willing to sacrifice the cuts that we're going to have to make in the programs we care about in order to get those two things done, otherwise, they will not be done. And it is so craven of the Congress to be scrambling around trying to figure out how to get out the agreement that they made because they're feathering in their own nest. I'm tired of having politicians that won't do the tough stuff. Yes, it's going to be unpleasant. We spent a lot of money that we didn't have. Now we're going to have to pay the bill. If we don't pay it now we really are going to end up like Greece. I don't want that to happen and I do not trust the Republicans because they're terribly fiscally irresponsible and frankly, I don't trust the Democrats a lot either, even though they have a much better record on fiscal matters because it was Clinton and Gore that balanced the last budget.
So I think we ought to go over the cliff. We ought to bite the bullet. It will take 7 ½ trillion dollars out of our deficit. That's a big number and there will be sacrifices, but any politician who tells the American people there aren't going to be any sacrifices for everybody is a liar and I do not want the sacrifices to be on the backs of the middle class. I think it's time the people who made all that money screwing up the banking system paid their fair share.
Directed / Produced by Jonathan Fowler and Elizabeth Rodd