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From Washington to the World; Fixing Obamacare; Drinking the Fed's Bubbly; The Business of Being Lady Gaga

Aired November 16, 2013 - 09:00   ET


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN HOST: America in decline. Or is it? That is the very question I'll pose to Christiane Amanpour and Candy Crowley in just a moment.

Welcome to YOUR MONEY. I'm Christine Romans.

Just this week we saw this president's legacy achievement, Obamacare, in shambles. It's part of a government so poorly run it finally threw up its hands and shut down. And all this while Americans struggled to find jobs that pay livable wages.

But wait, is it really as bad as it seems? Let's not forget. This is a country that can peacefully transfer power from this man, whose father was also president, to this man, whose father was born in Kenya.

So what does this look like to Candy Crowley who's spent a career right here in Washington, all the way to Christiane Amanpour who's been a witness to history throughout the world?


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, the rest of the world has started to wonder whether this is business as usual now, or the new normal for the United States. The number of officials who I talked to, whether they are foreign world leaders or indeed American ambassadors abroad, are very concerned about the perception of America abroad.

In other words, a government that can come to a shutdown. People were stunned by it. On the other hand, you didn't see it tanking in the market.

ROMANS: Right.

AMANPOUR: Because people are beginning to get used to it and thinking that by the very end, at the very last minute, something will happen to right the ship.

ROMANS: Is it -- is this as bad as it seems from the inside or is this just loud and political -- I don't know, sharp elbows?

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I think there are sharper elbows than there used to be. But the political debate has always -- has ever been us. And I think one of the problems here has been that with the rise of the Tea Party, and let's remember, that it used to be Democrats who had trouble with their liberal wing. ROMANS: Right.

CROWLEY: And out of that was born the Democratic Leadership Council, which is moderate.

ROMANS: Right.

CROWLEY: And that brought you President Bill Clinton. So there's a -- you know, there's an evolution of how these things work. And I think -- and Christiane is right that at this point the understanding of Congress is there -- you know, it's like homework. They work to the deadline every single time. Maybe a little over the deadline, but they get it done.

AMANPOUR: Just one thing to that point. Candy is absolutely right. It's ever been thus, political confrontation is usual.

ROMANS: Right.

AMANPOUR: But the way the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party is being viewed abroad is in terms such as the Taliban wing of the Republican Party. That's what the economists has called it. The economist is not something pinko rag. It's a centrist, conservative, you know, financially, fiscally conservative body that is very concerned about the so-called extremist wing.

And in Europe and other places, even conservative parties are nowhere as near conservative as the Republican Party here.

ROMANS: In the meantime at home, we have this income inequality issue. We have an issue where under the Barack Obama economy, many would argue the biggest recipients of progress have been already rich people. A man who came to power, I'm speaking for everyone. How difficult is that? The income inequality story in America right now and this president in the next two years being able to do something or can he not do something about it?

CROWLEY: I think he is very limited because the next two years are his last two years. And the more we move forward, the more of a lame duck he is. So I think it's difficult for him to do something major on this. Income inequality I think is this century's, if you will, real problem here.

ROMANS: I agree.

CROWLEY: Not just in the -- I mean, because it's so insane. It is ridiculous. And I think -- I think that you are beginning to hear from voices with platforms about income inequality.

ROMANS: Right. If you talk about raising the minimum wage or a livable wage in this country, can he do that? Can he get anything done with the kind of rancor you see in Washington right now to do anything about it?

CROWLEY: No, but -- and I think because partially Republicans and some Republicans and some Democrats don't see an increase in the minimum wage as the way to address income diversity. I have to tell you, mostly when you talk to people about income inequity, they talk education. And that is such a long road there. That means we're looking 20 years out from any real change.


ROMANS: The president's agenda derailed by the nightmare rollout of the Affordable Care Act Web site.

Coming up next, the bosses of Obamacare are frustrated and apologetic.



KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, HHS SECRETARY: Hold me accountable for the debacle. I'm responsible.

OBAMA: I think everybody understands that I'm not happy.


ROMANS: So how does a man who wanted to shut down the government over this law feel about it?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was it worth it?

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: I intend to speak in support of defunding Obamacare until I am no longer able to stand.



ROMANS: I'll take you inside and outside Washington for answers next.


ROMANS: Another weekend and a bigger mess for Obamacare. The president has a one-year fix for those -- those with cancelled policies. But there are at least a dozen questions about how it will work. It's unclear how many of these policies will be reinstated. It's unclear how many cancelled policyholders have already acquired other policies. You know, and one health care economist tells me reinstated policies could cost more. They could cost 10 to 20 percent more.

You know, the president tried to level with the American people.


OBAMA: It has now been six weeks since the Affordable Care Act's new marketplaces opened for business. I think it's fair to say that the rollout has been rough so far. ROMANS: Understatement of the year. The president says this latest move is a fix, but is it just fuelling more criticism of a law that already has fierce opponents. Remember, remember Sen. Ted Cruz's 21- hour pseudo-filibuster?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was it worth it?

CRUZ: I intend to speak in support of defunding Obamacare until I am no longer able to stand.



ROMANS: But Senator John McCain disagrees.