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November 20th, 2012
02:59 PM ET

Clips From Last Night: George Mitchell on Israel's peace treaties; Bob Woodward on the fiscal cliff

Alongside CNN's continuing coverage of the Israel-Gaza conflict, on Monday "Piers Morgan Tonight" invited George Mitchell to share his perspective on the recent developments of unrest in the region, and how it might eventually impact Israel's future international relations:

"Israel wants to stop the rocketing," said Mitchell, former U.S. special envoy to the Middle East. "And they want to make it to try to deter future action by making this punishment severe but what they don't want to do is lose Egypt. A high strategic value to Israel is its peace treaties with Israel and Jordan and the circumstances in Egypt."

Also commenting on the adverse affect the violence has on Egypt, Mitchell noted that "every leader in this conflict and in this region faces competing pressures."

Meanwhile, Monday marked a return to the program for "Washington Post" associate editor Bob Woodward, who shared his expertise on the looming "fiscal cliff" as it edges towards deadline.

Referencing current negotiations on Capitol Hill which aim to avoid large spending cuts and tax increases that would kick in on January 1st, the author of "The Price of Politics" relayed a feeling of optimism:

"The mood is better, but there's some real serious disagreements on taxes and entitlement reform," he told Piers Morgan. "I think of the things going on, it is one of the most worrisome because it has an absolute deadline...the first of the year, they have to decide what they're going to do. If they don't change the laws, it's not a matter of policy, but the law on taxes and spending cuts."

Watch the clips, and listen to the interviews, as Woodward tells Piers Morgan how the fiscal cliff could lead to a "government recession" that would be "a political disaster for Obama and the Republicans."
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Filed under: Clips From Last Night • The Big Story
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Rachel

    What CNN does not want you to see or blog

    "No Place is Safe": After Assault’s Worst Day, Gaza Doctor Says Israel Terrorizing Civilian children .

    November 20, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. James Mayfield

    News organizations provide a disservice to their audiences by using the pejorative term "fiscal cliff". Mr. Morgan, you are one of the worst! So, I provide you with a little history lesson and sanity check.

    The fiscal cliff is a phrase used to describe the combination of provisions in two pieces of bi-partisan passed legislation–expiration of the Bush tax cuts and spending cuts under the Budget Control Act of 2011. These legislative acts were intended to provide a reasonable time for the US government to get its fiscal house in order but with the recognition that a trip wire was necessary if a better bi-partisan solution was not enacted by 2013.

    The advantages of the fiscal trip wire legislation (I like this term much better) are that
    1. the deficit for 2013 would be reduced by roughly half,
    2. US public debt would be lowered by as about $7.1 trillion (about 70%) over the next 10 years,
    3. the solution would only raise taxes back to the historical low levels during the Clinton prosperity era and apply to all tax payers, and
    4. Spending cuts would be across the board, including to a bloated defense budget not even supported by the uniform services.

    The "grave risks" associated with the trip wire are a projected lowering of the rate of growth and a possible rise in the unemployment rate in 2013. Both of these risks would be gone by 2014 and the stage set for a a stronger long-term economy for the next 10 years.

    No painless solution will solve our long-term government fiscal problem. Kicking the can farther down the road increase the risk of a far more negative impact of US growth and employment rates in the future. Therefore, why would anyone believe that a lame duck Congress could improve on the trip wire solution?

    I understand why Europe, Washington lobbyists, Wall Street traders, and members of Congress (in both parties) are terrified. But, why are you acting like their pet parrot and buying into their fears and failing to inform the American people of the reality of our situation and the advantages of letting the trip wire do its job? The effects of the trip wire will not be all-in all at once, and the new Congress, seated in January 2013, can consider in a less time constrained environment bi-partisan adjustments to the trip wire, such as adjusting the AMT.

    November 22, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse | Reply

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