John Kerry Appears on 'This Week' in 1984

Senators-elect John Kerry and Phil Gramm on "This Week."
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Transcript for John Kerry Appears on 'This Week' in 1984
Representative Graham lieutenant governor Kerry both elected the US -- -- welcome to our program. Lets people on on taxes are we gonna have a tax bill next year and will we have one without a tax increase. Now that you. Well it will have a move by the administration to come fold with a simpler flatter tax program whether it'll be adopted -- -- -- things through and bill. I'm opposed -- rising taxes next year of -- problems spending problem not a -- problem. And -- -- we needed creative your program to bring spending under control that's what I'm committed to and I think no matter what we do own taxes. We've got to have a concrete program to control spending or else would not have been incidents here. Well I think there's clearly innovative -- The number of people to get some kind of a tax bill. Not to raise revenue but simplified tax of some form whether it's probably get -- -- cast and whenever I'm not sure that there will be that push. I will certainly support they push for a simplified tax of some kind. I will not support a tax to deal the deficit because I think there are set of priorities. From reduction of military budget to. Better collection of existing revenues two. For the revenue base that'll be expanded by the creation of the simplified tax and other things which can. Greatly reduce the deficit and hopefully ultimately reduce interest rates and deal with our -- -- -- problem and other things I think those the first priorities. And I will not vote for a tax bill to reduce the deficit. -- -- has -- grammar and you're campaigning across that nation that is taxes. If you specify the social spending that you plan to cut to avoid a tax increase. Now Georgia talked about a three to five year program try to set at a target and that's the way I'd like congress to to approach problem. Is to first commit to a process. Commit to a target for the nominal growth of federal spending maybe -- before one half percent a year for the three year period. And then let congress -- out priorities within that overall constraints. So I've talked about basically approachable with front -- is controlling spending. Not to go through and talk about everything from defense -- wings say thirty billion dollars over years. Without eliminating a single weapon system that simply being more efficient competitive bidding owned and -- And that everybody's proficiency Americans from lean efficient military but most people agree that the big ticket items on the entitlement programs. -- 535. Congressman 33 senators were elected last week without talking about cutting entitlements you didn't talk. Not that it. -- on the contrary -- talked about how I think. -- certainly can't reduce mostly entitlements anymore -- 42 cents of the dollar is currently going entitlements. But in the last three years we've increased the burden on people thanks so secure either of you talk about any pain that you're going to be administered two year. -- -- I don't think I think George that pain. In in the sense yes but not -- with respect to those who -- covered by the entitlement programs and and I think that. And if you look at Medicare you look at Social Security a look at Medicaid you -- -- food stamps each and every one of those programs and cut back seriously over the last three years. I think that -- we have to look his pain in those programs that haven't felt any over a period of time. Clearly one has the military and -- can make at the whipping boy of this discussion but. You know even the grace commission which was no favorite of a lot of Democrats suggest some. Ninety billion dollars worth of savings without touching a military weapons system. But that happens to include pensions which I wouldn't touch in the process but there many savings that can be made any Pena promised in Texas well up promise that. We were going to have to go through an adjustment period but also noted that if we do that we could bring interest rates down with -- stimulate the economy would stimulate home building. So there's an advantage to be gotten by controlling the deficit I think it's -- number one problem in the country in the congress. And -- talking to one guy who's been incredible long. Reducing entitlements and -- like we're going to have to go back and look at entitlements again and I made it clear in the election. Congressman Graham as a former Democrat. The Democratic Party now is perceived as being a party. Black voters. And decreasing majority of Jewish voters. Hispanics who will be leaving the party as they move up in the middle class. And labor leaders whose followers will not follow as a former Democrat objectively what advice would you give -- your former party. I think they've got a break away from the fundamental power -- of authority and -- going to be very difficult. Those groups -- at least the political representatives of those groups now dominate the democratic forty -- going to be very difficult. For them to broaden their base. -- their situation -- -- in Massachusetts state 14% racial enemy almost gave you for it. Well he almost did but for other reasons not because of the idea is that he was proposing so much as the possibility of Reagan's coattails. But I disagree with -- with -- I think our party as the party. While I've been hearing this morning and others has peoples -- from while we're in trouble but I think there are warning -- very very clear warnings. Think what we have to do is a much better job of what a lot of governors around this country have been doing -- governor I work with governor Dukakis has been a prime example. Of how you can Foster a public private partnership. That. Gives you a party that doesn't lose its conscience and its soul but at the same time. Produces a climate for economic growth and development and jobs we have the lowest unemployment in the country but those governors are elected as Democrats and -- govern like Republicans so that all right well I think that's. That's bad definition they don't -- like Republicans because we're taking care of the homeless not cutting food for them we're taking care of education would put more money and -- Massachusetts higher education in his state -- country say they're there were governing I think with a sense of responsibility towards people's problems at the same time as we understand. How to make the economy. Work it's a whole new economic world out there and that the Democratic Party. Understands that and moves into the international market place with greater strength which we can do deals with the deficit. Cares about abuse fraud inefficiency and waste and issues like that I think we will broaden our base and I think we'll keep the one that we have. You say they're warning signs for the Democratic Party -- your last four candidates have been buried beneath landslide that's a heck of a warning Friday look at what's the problem. Well the problem I think is partially in the nominating process I think. But if it's two different 172. Is very unlike the nominating process and 84 that's correct and each one has reacted to the other I think you're gonna see yet another reaction to a degree but it's interesting. I think that the reaction to President Carter in the defeat was more I think the reaction to OPEC oil prices to the Iranian hostage situation in the perception of the lack leadership. Well I think you're gonna see a difference. John let me injected the reason that governors -- two different approach is that many of the things that doing the doing with the federal government money. Under the grant program that was part of our deficit. Less lavender -- -- well less but still more discretionary power I think they don't -- the problem we do. And where the real decision is -- -- -- in the congress is how do we deal with the deficit. We do it do we sustain the recovery. How do we set priorities how do we -- -- choices and I think that's where you get through all this idea that somehow there's a simple solution. That preserves all these constituencies and at the same time -- with -- -- -- -- president and as a. President helped put all of that. It doesn't have a working majority in the house who have lost two senate seat does he go on television. And by force of his personality. But the pressure on congress well first of all that the Republican senate has got to deliver. We've got to come up with a comprehensive workable program. And then the president's got to go where -- -- mandate is his mandate is not in the congress. His mandate is when the American people. And I think -- the Republican majority in the senate can come up within acceptable program. That the president can take it above the head of the house to the people and that he can -- -- adoption if we don't deliver it won't be a program. What does the president do here. Apply I think he's got to reach out first of all he's he's gonna have to backtrack from having painted the Democratic Party is part anyone who wants to raise taxes I think that's a major problem for. And I think he's gonna have to present some kind of package or the Republican senate. And the congress itself was gonna present some kind of package for him. That deals with the question of the deficit. I think it's vital and if he doesn't do that. First of all without raising taxes -- -- dispensers from thank you gentlemen -- Graham and -- thank you being with us today.

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

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