Economist Steve Bell: Deficit Supercommittee Will Coalesce

Budget expert says deep divides exist over revenues and medicare reform.
7:19 | 11/17/11

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Transcript for Economist Steve Bell: Deficit Supercommittee Will Coalesce
Aren't well we're gonna continue talking about this and all things economy we're joined now by Steve -- who's a senior director -- the bipartisan policy center. Former hill staffer for for many years on the Republican side. All right Steve -- you lit you heard the congressman right there he he sings like skeptical -- with a hint of optimism. What is you are thinking right now on what the super committee is going to be able to do between now in the twenties and. Most settlements occur on the courthouse steps I've seen this since I started working in in the senate back in 1974. I think they will get a program -- reasonable. It may not be whole one point two trillion. It may be with some gimmicks what will be called gimmicks but I do think the pressure -- on to produce something. And I I think you'll probably see things coalesce over this weekend. And you have any sense of what the structure can look like he DE -- Republicans have to give more on taxes specifically they've gone out and said maybe 300. Billion -- -- gonna have to go further ordered -- recent out of the deal with the democratic colleagues. I think a little further you know you have 250 to 300 billion dollars out there and they represented in department congressman to -- offer. There's a lot I have to tell you there's a lot of discussion of the Republican caucus -- in the house and the senate. I'm not all of it good about the fact that both he and -- canceling the -- co chair. Have come out with tax increases so there are some Republicans that are split over this question. On the other hand in the democratic caucuses. This whole question of fundamental reform of Medicare as deeply divided. The Democrats. Certainly we get a lot of good talking from mr. Reid whose majority leader in the senate he says -- I want to deal. McConnell says he wants -- the senate Republican leader. What we don't hear is very much of that from the democratic house side. Where something like fundamental reform and Medicare really causes heartburn for a majority of that caucus that is a big sticking point. It switch -- woman talk about the presidential candidates out on the trail there's been a lot of talk about flat a flat tax on -- -- fat and discuss this as well. And that the difference between a flat tax and what some candidates are talking about which is to flatten the tax code. What's the difference between these things and will either of them make their way to -- -- if one of these if a Republican is is elected president. Think of a flat tax this way I'm going to charge you 15% of your income no matter what. And that really is a true flat tax. A flattened tax code would be something like this going to reduce the rates for both higher income and medium and lower income people. I'm going to get rid of all these loopholes that are designed to help special interests. And I'm going to and be able to still make the code progressive. That is a flattened broaden tax code and that's what most people think about when they think about true tax reform. A flat tax has a real problem. With with communities and states increasing taxes. A flat federal tax would probably hurt working people more than it would hurt any other segment of the population. Do you feel like the Republican candidates are really engaged on that point I feel like there's a race to to just say flat tax flat tax flat tax but there really isn't an acknowledgment of that vigor new ones that you point out. There isn't and I think most these nuances are lost on the campaign trail. -- involved and lead partner -- at eleven federal campaigns and it when you get those nuances most people go to sleep frankly. But the difference is very important and if you say something like. 999. It's a nice thing to say and I I'm not arguing with mister -- about whether he should say -- -- not. But as a matter of fact of the matter figures. It won't work it will not do the things that people think it -- do. The tax code is much more new ones that you won't have some progress entity. And I think everyone does whether they're Republicans or Democrats. -- you going to have to be a little more nuanced and you're gonna have to -- him -- hard work and remember that. To actually form is probably going to be the number one agenda item. Right after the 2012 elections. Thailand will be looking forward to talking about that once weekly will want to get to the super committee frankly that. Then -- then we'll talk tax reform Steve Bell and a bipartisan policy committee thanks for being here on top I'd really appreciate it. Thanks for having. All right so -- -- word. From McCain campaign that they decided not to participate in an editorial board that the that the the New Hampshire union leader was putting together. If you -- -- make the union leader angry they tend to run let their views be known they tend to notice this not so -- -- seeing these guys all -- -- was really anti Romney blunt about it but you have to get the decided desperation when you're doing it to Rick Perry debating debating Nancy Pelosi she did take the -- -- And and now we have Herman Cain who wants to talk to folks but it's not on camera from. Send him not with anybody watching if you -- all right we're not happy perfect life and that -- Walters they had -- -- --

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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