Is Medicare Mandatory At 65?
a the end of the day to me i feel like it's the ultimate social contract, i'm not going to go into details about why it's a social contract, but it is a social contract, and the government should have a right to collect taxes and provide services to its citizens as a way to repay that social contract, and as you get older, you're going to need more medical care, you're going to need -- you know, you're going to need a lot of services.
it feels like, you know, this is the only responsible way to run a country.
you know, i think what they should do is, you know, offer you a choice, but i don't mind paying extra taxes in the end, i don't mind, you know, paying high taxes in the end because i feel like that's a good thing that the government doesn't have to borrow money and run up the deficit.
>> the government running up the deficit has been a big issue in this country.
how do you feel about the government granting itself the ability to borrow more money if it's not tied to other things like the social security trust fund?
>> well, a couple of things.
first of all, you know, i'm opposed to raising the debt ceiling.
i think that's irresponsible.
i don't think the government should be doing that.
it's done a lot of damage to our credit-rating.
number two, the government should have a balanced budget amendment to the constitution, that's the one thing that the constitution does not have.
but raising the debt ceiling, greece has done so much damage to their country by doing so, and so the republicans have to be firm about not raising the debt ceiling.
the real problem is we have to get rid of the tax code.
the tax code is what is costing the treasury so much money.
in other words, what we need is a tax -- a simple flat tax, one that's fair, one that's easy to -- easy to pay, and one that is going to raise a lot of money.
and that's what we need.
>> keith, it's great to have you with us.
thank you for joining us this morning.
>>> let's get back to the debate with our panel.
a lot of discussion about the deficit and about the debt ceiling.
where do you really stand on the whole issue of raising the ceiling?
>> i think it's a bad idea.
look, i think you have to change the way the government spends money.
we've got a lot of social security going out, a lot of people over the age of 65 that are collecting social security.
i think that's going to have to change.
i think the retirement age has to change.
i think it has to be tied to life expectancy.
i think that's what's going to have to happen.
at the same time, you have to look at what's going to happen for medicare and medicaid.
it's going to have to change.
you've got a lot of people that are collecting those things.
i think those have to be tied to inflation.
especially medicare has to change.
it's not working.
medicaid has to change.
i think a lot of -- in other words, i think some of these things have to be tied to inflation, and i think you have to make sure that we're not adding to the deficit.
we cannot borrow money.
that's what's causing the deficit to be so high.
>> gloria, would you agree with that?
where do you stand on the whole issue of the debt ceiling?
>> i think the debt ceiling is much more serious than raising it.
i think we should raise it, but i think it should be tied to spending cuts.
i don't think it should be tied to tax increases.
i think that's why they haven't raised it.
i think it's tied to spending cuts.
i think we need to cut spending here in washington.
>> bob, where do you stand on this issue?
>> well, i think the question is the level of the debt.
that's the issue.
it's not that we shouldn't have a debt, we don't have to have a debt.
the problem is the level of the debt.
i mean, the u.
government debt to gdp as a percent is about the lowest of any developed country in the world.
we are not in a situation like greece.
we're not in a situation like japan.
we're not in a situation like ireland.
we're not in a situation like portugal.
we have not that much debt.
what we have is a situation where the level of debt is too high for our economy.
if you raise the debt ceiling, you're not going to change that.
it's not the ceiling that's the problem.
it's the amount of debt.
>> you know, i would argue, gloria, that you could make a pretty good argument that with the amount of debt that we've had for the past few years, we've actually been able to recover from the recession and we've actually been able to create some jobs.
>> well, look, bob, i'm not going to argue with you because i agree with you.
but the point is, we are in a very precarious situation when it comes to the federal budget and federal spending.
spending is out of control.
i think we're going to have to cut.
i think we're going to have to cut spending.
i think we have to look at social security, medicare, medicaid.
i think we have to look at reducing the cost of government, and that's what we need to do.
>> let's talk about that a little bit.
you know, bob, there's a lot of discussion about the fact that the president is proposing an increase in taxes for the wealthiest americans.
it's been out there since he first came into office, and it's been taken off the table and put on the table again.
i believe it was monday, bob, that you said the president is really proposing to raise taxes for 99% of american families.