On yesterday’s Your World, Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) and Neil Cavuto debated the sequester. Cavuto began by saying, “Rep. Rangel blamed Republicans for the sequester. ...Congressman, you know I love you dearly, but that sounds idiotic. But I’m not saying you’re idiotic… just blaming Republicans is idiotic.”
RANGEL: I don’t think the people that are suffering in the United States today are Republicans and Democrats, they’re Americans, they’re out of work. And a lot of them have no hope except to hope that the people in Washington get their act together.
CAVUTO: They never do though.
RANGEL: …Right now, the stock market is booming. You can’t just save money by cutting off people and firing people during the middle of a recession.
CAVUTO …You just zoomed them. You just hiked their taxes, limited their deductions, they’re coming back looking at you and saying enough, no mas.
RANGEL: We’re not talking about raising taxes. There’s no one I know of that can’t honestly say that our tax system is riddled with loopholes that should be closed.
CAVUTO: …It’s always so much easier to hike taxes than it ever is to cut spending, and so the rap against your party - and maybe you can disavow me of the notion - is that you would sooner hike than cut: anytime, everytime, the last deal, the budget-break deal, the this deal where you changed the rules going into it and after the fact.
RANGEL: Nobody’s going to tell you that just cutting and laying off people is good for the economy. …You sound so much like a small group of people who believe that closing loopholes, reforming is "raises revenue.”
Cavuto interrupted and showed a Fox News poll showing 57% want only automatic cuts to get the deficit under control, 29% believe lawmakers can do it, 14% unsure. A balanced approach wasn’t a part of the poll.
RANGEL: Nobody says that you shouldn’t have revenue and tax cuts, both of them. And you shouldn’t just have tax cut, you should have something to get people back to work.
CAVUTO (interrupting): Your Republican, Congressman, colleagues say, "All right, Charlie, we gave you our pound of flesh, we didn’t like it, we swallowed it, and accepted tax hikes." …When the follow-up deal comes, you’re saying we‘re going to need more tax hikes, why do you blame them for not feeling a little bit put aside?
RANGEL: Republicans… in Congress haven’t given anything. …We are talking about closing loopholes. …That’s raising revenue… It’s not taxes!
CAVUTO: What’s wrong with then saying alright, you’re going to close loopholes, we are going to do this?
RANGEL: That’s just not so. …We are talking about putting people back to work and you’re talking about some cockamamie economic formula.
CAVUTO: No I’m not. …I just say a pox on both your houses.
RANGEL: Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security I don’t think should be on the table if this is not going to help raise revenue. If it’s not going to raise revenue, don’t cut it.
CAVUTO: You seem angry.
RANGEL: I’m just trying to make it a little fair and balanced.
And so he did. Charles Rangel is a Top Dog again for giving as good as he got.