January 16, 2005: Meet the Press
Russert forces Congressman Rahm Emanuel, who opposed a Republican proposal to privatize social security, to waffle on a politician's statement that there was a "looming financial crisis in Social Security" that would require a huge tax increase or a 25 percent cut in benefits. The speaker? Emanuel's former boss, President Bill Clinton.
Excerpt from the full transcript:
Russert: Let me turn to Social Security and put a quote up on the board.
"...the looming fiscal crisis in Social Security. ...If nothing is done by 2029, there will be a deficit in the Social Security trust fund, which will either require...a huge tax increase in the payroll tax, or just about a 25 percent cut in Social Security benefits."
Do you agree with that?
Emanuel: ...Democrats believe in individual retirement plans as a supplement to Social Security. Republicans believe in individual retirement plans as a way to supplant Social Security. Fundamental difference.
Russert: But do you believe there is a looming fiscal crisis in Social Security?
Emanuel: Looming I think the crisis if you want to use the word "crisis" that we have today, it applies to the fact that people do not have retirement plans on top of Social Security. What crisis implies, Tim, is immediacy. OK?
Russert:...But I'm going to bring you back to that quote. Do you agree that if we do nothing, we'll have to either raise taxes or cut benefits?
Emanuel: ...Who's that quote the quote is from?
Russert: Let me show you.
Emanuel: No. Who's it from, I asked.
Russert:Let me show you.
Russert: William Jefferson Clinton.
Russert: "There's a looming fiscal crisis. We either have to cut benefits or raise taxes."
Do you agree with your former employer?
Emanuel: ... I'm not going to negotiate and talk about the points here.