THE FIVE

For Super Committee, Failure Is an Option

Why the super committee failed

 

This is a rush transcript from "The Five," November 21, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: Yes, the pointless panel somehow couldn't figure out how to cut 1 trillion bucks over the next decade. But like Demi and Ashton, it seemed doomed from the start.

Now, on the list of the most interesting things on the world, the super committee falls between the paperclip museum in Milpitas, California, and Tony Shalhoub's back hair. But the fact is, just because it's boring doesn't make it trivial. It's the boring things that kill you.

In fact, statistics showed that more people die during an hour of "Charlie Rose" than any other program. Statistics I made up.

Anyway, do you want to know why the super committee is super over? Because the panel is just a boiled down version of our government. We had two sides equally divided over raising taxes. So, the outcome is the same if the panel had 10 people or 10,000.

More important, it was reverse-engineer for failure, by creating the automatic triggers that are supposed to cut spending, the panel could have just gone shopping for Hummel's instead. And I like Hummel's.

So, it comes down to this -- the Democrats wanted to raise taxes, the Republicans didn't, which means we're back to where we started, hoping that Demi and Ashton could somehow work it all out.

So, Eric, it's really not super, is it? What just happened?

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: I'm trying to figure out. I think we've been played for the fool. I honestly do.

Let me bring it down, exactly here's what it is. It's a spending problem. They want to know, is it a revenue problem or spending problem? It's a spending problem.

Take a look at what they're looking for -- $1.2 trillion over 10 years, Greg, $120 billion per year. Our budget this year, $3.6 trillion, just for this year alone. That amounts to a 3 percent cut in spending.

GUTFELD: Yes.

BOLLING: A 3 percent cut in spending.

Meanwhile, we spent over $460 billion since the day the super committee was formed. So, this is a spending problem, not a revenue problem. Also, by the way, revenues continue to go up. Maybe not as a percentage of income, but revenues are going up. This is a spending problem.

GUTFELD: Bob, I know you agree 100 percent with Eric. So, I don't go to you.

BOB BECKEL, CO-HOST: I know you won't. First of all, on a serious note, unlike those unserious statistics, this was an opportunity -- this was an opportunity that is so rare for Congress. And both sides are to blame on this.

To get this kind of power, to be able to bypass the committees of the Congress and to go straight to the floor of the House and the Senate, with no amendments, an up-or-down vote, will not happen again. They had an opportunity to do something heroic and they did not do it.

And the fact of the matter is, I will blame Democrats some because it was -- they were late coming with entitlements, which they did finally do last week. The Republicans have been doctrinaire, impossible, ridiculous in their support of millionaires.

And I say to them, this why I wore this suspender, the piggy, piggy, piggies, once again done well -- the millionaires.

GUTFELD: You wear those suspenders because they were only the clean ones you have, Bob.

BECKEL: It's just -- it's outrageous. It's just outrageous that they won't taxes on these people

GUTFELD: Whoa, whoa, whoa! Here is the thing. You knew this was going to happen. That's why the automatic triggers were there.

So, this was just a kabuki theater. You knew that. It's happened before.

BECKEL: Well, look, I'd like to see how the Republicans are going to do when this thing takes $600 billion out of defense and all the lovely defense programs. Let's see the piggies whine then.

GUTFELD: Dana? Let me got to Dana.

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: I am super annoyed --

GUTFELD: Yes.

PERINO: -- not at the committee, but about some of the spin that's coming from some.

Let's see. The Republicans two weeks ago put on the table revenue increases that flew in the face of what a lot of conservatives thought they should do. This was a closing of a lot of tax loopholes and the lowering of the rates. I think before they even thought things through, the Democrats dismissed it out of hand because they want so much to get -- to be able to say, we raised the taxes on millionaires.

GUTFELD: Right.

PERINO: That's all they cared about.

Remember, also, that this deal only came about because President Obama needed so much to get the debt ceiling thing done in August. This was the sweetener that got it there, and then to kick the can down the road. So, I agree that maybe all sides can be blamed, but this money is going to get cut.

My last point on this is that Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, he is the one who is most concerned about the defense cut.

GUTFELD: Yes.

PERINO: And I think that the go-between the White House and just across the river, at the Pentagon, is so wide. And the media has just ignored that. That is a big deal.

GUTFELD: Well, you got some interesting point, Kimberly. We haven't heard anything really from President Obama about this at all. It's like he just hasn't shown up to play.

But Boehner had something to say, right?

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, CO-HOST: Yes, Boehner did. He issued the following statement on the announcement by the joint select committee on deficit reduction from the co-chairs, Hensarling and Murray.

While he's disappointed, the House will forge ahead with commitments that we have made, basing an emphasis on reducing the government spending and removing barrier standing in the way of private sector job creation. He said, doing otherwise is not an option.

But this is the same kind of rhetoric we've been hearing from the beginning. And let's be honest, did anyone really expect a different outcome?

BECKEL: I did.

BOLLING: No.

GUILFOYLE: Yes, you did.

PERINO: Honestly?

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: I did. I thought for once they would show some courage. These people, none of them had tough reelections. They had an opportunity to do something here.

And when you talk about 3 percent across -- what you need to do is come up with the entitlement cuts that will be required to do that, one. That requires cutting entitlements.

Now, that's fine.

BOLLING: Can I just point something out? When George Bush's, his first budget, was $1.7 trillion or $ 1.8 trillion. So, spending has doubled in 10 or 11 years -- doubled.

BECKEL: And part of the reason to that is the doubling of the defense spending.

And let me make one point about the Republicans coming up with this tax increase. They said, aren't we brave? We came up with taxes -- Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania, however you pronounce his name.

GUTFELD: Pat Toomey.

BECKEL: The fact is the only reason -- the only thing -- well, that's maybe something going to his favor -- the fact is that the only thing that they said that would all be contingent on keeping the Bush tax cuts for rich people. And if you take out the bush tax cuts for rich people --

BOLLING: Where is Obama? Where is Obama during this whole thing? He's out in Asia. He's in Hawaii playing golf. Shouldn't he be involved in this process?

BECKEL: No.

PERINO: No. Wait Bob.

(CROSSTALK)

PERINO: Remember, although he wasn't anywhere. He literally phoned it in from Hawaii.

GUILFOYLE: Right.

PERINO: He wants failure because that's what he's going to run against.

BOLLING: Bingo. Agreed.

PERINO: Last week, they said, yes, we're hands off because this is a congressional issue. But this is the deal that they cut in order to get the debt ceiling deal. And now, today, the spokesperson said, of course, the president has been very involved. And, of course, we are urging Congress to get a deal done.

You know, this is leading from behind domestically. And I think the White House takes a lot of blame.

(CROSSTALK)

GUILFOYLE: You associate it with failure again.

BECKEL: He didn't want to touch it because he knows the Republicans will never buckle from this doctrinaire, Neanderthal position.

(CROSSTALK)

GUILFOYLE: He knew the outcome.

GUTFELD: He is calling from Hawaii, which isn't even part of America.

(LAUGHTER)

BECKEL: Thank you very much, Greg.

GUTFELD: Who do you think, Kimberly, benefits politically from this? Is anybody -- is everybody tarred with the same brush?

GUILFOYLE: I think both sides have a lot to lose from it. However, the Republicans say they held their ground and they didn't want to increase taxes and they wanted more cuts and spending, entitlements, the whole deal. Plus, President Obama is doing the whole class warfare part and also saying that he's running against a do-nothing Congress. And because of them, it's intractable to

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: At the end of the day at the end of the day -- you guys, you tell me if I'm wrong -- this is Obama's legacy right here, right?

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: No. It's a congressional legacy. Let me tell you something, the reality is, the bottom line, you cannot --

BOLLING: They're not going to say who is leading Congress at that time?

BECKEL: Eric, it is impossible to come up with these numbers without revenue.

GUILFOYLE: Right.

BOLLING: Three percent?

BECKEL: Yes.

BOLLING: You're out of your mind. It's doubled in 10 years. How can you not touch --

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: If you take $1.2 trillion out of just domestic spending.

BOLLING: It's $120 billion in $3.8 trillion budget.

BECKEL: Take it out of domestic spending and everything gets cut.

GUTFELD: I want to -- Kimberly, do you have comment?

GUILFOYLE: Well, Harry Reid -- I mean, he agrees with Bob. Of course, the American people are tired of their elected leaders listening to the extreme voices in their party --

BECKEL: Exactly.

GUILFOYLE: -- instead of voices of reason. I'm disappointed that the Republicans never found the courage to ignore the Tea Party extremists and millionaire lobbyists like Grover Norquist and listen instead to --

BECKEL: Exactly.

(CROSSTALK)

PERINO: OK. This is my point. The Democrats poll tested this Grover Norquist line to death. What Toomey, Kyl and Portman put on the table was an exact defiance of what Grover Norquist.

BECKEL: Oh!

PERINO: Bob, that's true.

BECKEL: I mean, defied Norquist, it's true.

PERINO: So, what is harry Reid saying? It doesn't make any sense.

BECKEL: Can I get that -- can I get that poll pulled up here for a second and show what the American people think about this? Do we have that?

I like to show what -- how American people think of millionaires and tax increases.

PERINO: Oh, please.

BECKEL: Oh, please. You guys say oh please. You sit around here as if you are somehow --

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: Wait a second. Would you pay attention this?

BOLLING: Sure.

BECKEL: You guys sit here as if you have something to pontificate here when two-thirds of the American people want the position the Democrats are making.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: What number do you think millionaires and billionaires should be taxed at? Just give me. Throw out a number.

BECKEL: Sixty percent.

BOLLING: If you raise tax rate of millionaires and billionaires to 60 percent, you wouldn't touch the problem.

BECKEL: No, you'd get a big start. But the other thing, you keep saying to me all the time is these millionaires create jobs. They don't create jobs. The vast majority of jobs in this country are created by small and middle income businesses.

GUTFELD: We get it. You hate rich people.

All right. This is important for all of us. Because the super committee is so complicated and so depressing, I asked for the spirit of macaroni, Steve Doocy, to guide us through these difficult times. So, when you find yourself unhappy after this news, just think of macaroni Steve Doocy. Yes, this is made out of macaroni.

GUILFOYLE: Let me ask you -- that looks like spaghetti on his head.

GUTFELD: It's beautiful spaghetti. How dare you insult macaroni? You know what? Get out of here. Get out of here.

All right. We got to take a break. Can you believe that?

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