We want to get to the challenge of president obama's second term. We want to bring jon karl back. Democrats in control of the senate. Republicans in control of the house. President obama, in control... See More
We want to get to the challenge of president obama's second term. We want to bring jon karl back. Democrats in control of the senate. Republicans in control of the house. President obama, in control of the white house. The question this time around, will they be able to work together? That is exactly the question. And, george, if you look at it right now, there's absolutely no time for a period for a second term honeymoon. In fact, if you look at it, he faces a deeply divided congress, perhaps even more divided than before. And a series of problems that have been put off for the election, that demand immediate attention. President obama has his second term. I return to the white house more determined and more inspired than ever, about the work there is to do and the future of the lives ahead. Reporter: As talk of the election fades, there's growing rumors of a looming crisis, taxmageddon. Taxmageddon. Reporter: To steer clear of the so-called fiscal cliff, president obama, house speaker john boehner, and senate majority leader, harry reid, will have to strike an agreement on tax and spending cuts, where virtually every american household will see a bigger chunk of their income go to the IRS, STARTING ON JANUARY 1st. Aspiring tax cuts will hit the middle class hard. A $3,500 tax hike for the average family making $70,000 a year. And president obama will have to find replacements for two of his most important cabinet secretaries. I think after 20 years, it would probably be a good idea to find out how tired I am. Reporter: Secretary of state hillary clinton and treasury secretary, time geithner, have both said they are leaving shortly after the first of the year. He also faces challenges, none bigger than iran. And, george, my thoughts -- it's me. Elizabeth, excellent. The big issue is going to be the economy. It is. And those tax cuts. That happens immediately. Let's pick up where you left off, jon. Those tax cuts, taxmageddon, as people called it in your piece, are going to be a big issue. 90% of american families facing one of the biggest tax cuts they ever faced at the end of the year. Let's bring in matthew dowd, martha raddatz, and liz ann sonders. What are the chances, president obama, with this divided congress, and divided country, really. We talked about 48% in the red column, and 48% in the blue column. What are the ces a deal will be reached? That's the situation that followed. There's an even bigger issue that divides the division and you say in the country. It's not only politically. But it's demographically divides in this country. We can't solve those problems until the divisions are bridged. The president has to work on the means of governing first. How does he fix the means of governing? It's broken now and dysfunctional. We have to fix the divisions first. Liz ann, when we talk about tax cuts of this size all expiring in less than two months, what kind of impact can this have, regardless of the -- president obama wants to keep tax cuts on lower-earning americans. But no matter what, we're looking at a major change in income taxes. Both sides have put markers out before the election. And speaker boehner yesterday say that he was not going to give, I think, senate democrats are not going to give. I think on the major piece of it, which are the bush tax cuts, we're going to fight this to the bitter end. I think there is low-hanging fruit. That would be the patch to the alternative minimum tax. That's on the nearer term to get fixed. The spending cuts on the table, we'll have solutions there. Maybe the hit overall of this fiscal cliff,as it's called, may not be as big as the total. It will be a portion. The problem is, we don't have a lot of cushion in the economy. While president obama did win a bigger victory than a lot of people had anticipated, a lot of voters expressing a lot of unhappiness with the state of the economy. Again, no question. We don't have much of a cushion. And ultimately what might happen, we may go into the beginning of the year withe expiration happening and the next congress will go making it ret retroactive. I want to ask you about secretary of state. Hillary clinton saying she will be leaving. The whole issue with iran. The biggest issue. Ramifications everywhere. Who are the two top contenders to replace her? I would say right now, it's senator john kerry from massachusetts. But there are some issues there. Do the democrats want to give up that senate seat? So, we'll have to stay tuned for john kerry. And also, u.N. Ambassador susan rice, who got into some trouble over libya and with what happened with libya. That's also in question. Those are the two, top candidates. But we have to wait and see how the issues play out. In the meantime, the libya issue has been overhanging this election. Allegations of a, quote, massive cover-up, by senator john McCAIN, ABOUT THIS Administration's real refusal to put to rest this issue, before voting day. They didn't want to talk about it. Everybody tried to pin them down on that. They did not want to talk about it. I think a lot of those questions will probably get cleared up with an investigation that's now going on. And there will probably be hearings, as well. And iran's huge. What we're going to do to that country and how we're going to handle that ongoing threat. Iran is huge. You heard the israelis say there's only a small amount of time, maybe several months, before they could strike iran. I think president obama, what you see now, is president obama doing everything he can to avoid war there. Boy. That's goi be a big issue. Lots on esident obama's plate for the next four years. Liz, matt, martha, always good to have you here. Let's check in with sam with
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