This is a rush transcript from "Your World," December 12, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": The president's saying that he is prepared to do some tough things on spending if Republicans cave on tax hikes. So, what tough things and what cuts?
To Democratic Congressman of South Carolina James Clyburn.
Congressman, what are you open to cutting?
REP. JAMES CLYBURN, D-S.C.: Thank you. Well, thank you so much, first of all, for having me, Neil.
Well, we have laid out these cuts. We've seen these cuts. And the president voted -- I mean, the proposed and we voted for $1.5 trillion in cuts during the Budget Control Act last year. We have done that.
CAVUTO: Well, but you want to count them twice.
CLYBURN: We don't want to count them twice. We are just saying to say that we are not for cutting anything is not quite true. We've already demonstrated that.
CAVUTO: I know, but you have to do more than that, right?
CLYBURN: Yes. And when are you going to demonstrate what it is that you want to put on the table in terms of revenue?
No revenue went into the last time and we did $1.5 trillion in cuts. Now you're asking us to do another $1.5 trillion or whatever it is, and with no revenue. That's not going to get it.
What we have got to do this time is put your revenue on the table. And we will take a look at what we will do. Now, let me say something about spending. I think we're spending too much on these two wars. That's what contributed to the deficit. We spent too much on that big prescription drug program. That's what has contributed to the deficit.
To say we've got a spending problem that may be. Let's just look where we're doing to spending and that is what got us into this mess.
CAVUTO: Well, there's a lot spending going around in all areas, sir. You're right about that.
But I guess what I'm getting from you, Congressman, is that if the Republicans spell out how they are going to get that $800 million in revenues -- you guys want more, doubt that -- let's say they do agree to go back to the Clinton era tax rates. What then would you offer in return?
CLYBURN: Well, we have made it very clear that we are willing to address the growth that's taking place in Medicare.
CAVUTO: Well, saying it and promising it and doing it are another thing, right?
CAVUTO: I mean, what would you specifically do? Would you cap the growth let's say in Medicare at no more than 2 percent a year, as some Republicans advise? What?
CLYBURN: Well, I'm not ever going to be for increasing the retirement age. And that's what they have been putting on the table from 65 to 67.
CAVUTO: Yes, but they're talking about that many years out.
CLYBURN: Yes, I know how long they're talking about it, but people will still be working in coal mines many years from new. There'll be more people working in more coal mines.
CAVUTO: So that is a nonstarter? A lot of nonstarters.
CLYBURN: That's exactly right.
CAVUTO: That's what worries me, congressman, a lot of nonstarters.
CLYBURN: Well, yes, but I think you can take a look at whether or not we will further modify this whole issue we have been dealing with, with the growth by looking at whether or not we are going to start classifying jobs that people have in order to determine whether or not we will...
CAVUTO: Sounds like you guys are still far apart, but hope springs eternal.
Congressman, thank you.
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