Reid: "Everybody Else, Including Rich People, Are Willing To Pay More" Taxes

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HOST, KNPR: Would you make concessions on things like Medicare and Social Security if it helped lead to a long term deal?

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV): Listen, we're willing -- the president has stuck his neck way out. He's willing to do a lot of stuff with spending, but there has to be some reciprocity here. Once Republicans decide that they're going to let -- keep in mind, also, that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. The rich know that. The rich are willing to pay more. They're not the ones out here saying, 'please don't tax me.' The only people who feel there shouldn't be more coming in to the federal government from rich people are the Republicans in the Congress. Everybody else, including rich people, are willing to pay more. They want to pay more. So, yeah, but we're going to have to have mainstream Republicans step up again.

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HOST: So in terms of finding a solution to all of this, Senator Reid, if you did consider something like perhaps trims to Medicare and Social Security, what would you want --

REID: I'm happy to do that on some ground bargain. But we don't have to be trimming. We're talking about a very easy way to take care of problems that are facing the country today on that sequestration.

HOST: But, Senator, if I may ask, what would you want Republicans to concede on in order to come to some kind of agreement if you were willing to look at Medicare and Society Security? What do you want from the other side?

REID: You keep talking about Medicare and Social Security. Get something else in your brain. Stop talking about that. That is not going to happen this time. There is not going to be a grand bargain. What we need to do is have Murray and her counterpart in the House, Ryan, work together to come up with something to get out of this senseless sequestration and start the budgeting process so that we can do normal appropriation bills. And, hopefully, in the next year or so, do something on a grand bargain, but the Republicans are going to have to retake their party or it will never happen. They have their mindset on doing nothing more on revenue and until they get off that kick, there is not going to be a grand bargain -- there's not going to be a small bargain. We're going to have to do something to work our way through sequestration.

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