Guests: P.J. Crowley, Maxine Waters; Ron Busroe, Dennis Kucinich, Gary
Peters, Virg Bernero, Karen Hanretty, Bill Press, A.B. Stoddard, Nan Buzard
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW from New York tonight.
The devastation in Haiti is absolutely staggering. NBC‘s Michelle Kosinski is en route to Port-au-Prince tonight, and she will join us later on in this broadcast.
Bodies are being lined up on the streets. People, both dead and alive, are buried under the rubble.
Haiti‘s president says as many as 50,000 people have been killed. Most of the capital town has been leveled. Every hospital has been seriously damaged or destroyed. A prison has collapsed. Dangerous criminals are now on the loose.
There is no power. Supplies of clean water are running out.
This is the definition of a crisis happening just 700 miles off our shore.
Today, President Obama pledged to help.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have directed my administration to respond with a swift, coordinated and aggressive effort to save lives. The people of Haiti will have the full support of the United States in the urgent effort to rescue those trapped beneath the rubble and to deliver the humanitarian relief—the food, water and medicine—that Haitians will need in the coming days. In that effort, our government, especially USAID and the Departments of State and Defense, are working closely together, and with our partners are Haiti, the region and around the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: This is the worst earthquake to hit Haiti in 200 years.
Joining me now for the latest from the State Department is spokesman P.J. Crowley.
Mr. Crowley, I‘m sure Americans are wondering if there‘s going to be international help here. What kind of communication has taken place between the State Department and other countries in this massive relief effort?
P.J. CROWLEY, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: Well, support for Haiti is already an international effort led by the United Nations there with forces and assets from a number of countries. Obviously, the United States and others will be continuing to flow systems to Haiti as rapidly as we can get it there.
For the United States, we have put on the ground this afternoon an assessment team that will begin to now line up, you know, what are the priorities as we move through the next couple of days? As the president has said, as Rajiv Shah, our USAID administrator said, our immediate focus is saving as many lives as possible.
We‘ve put on the ground in the last couple of hours an urban search and rescue team. Two other teams from the United States, as well as teams from the United Kingdom, France and others will be flowing into Haiti. And, you know, sifting through the rubble, trying to make sure that we can save as many lives as we can in the comings, 24, 48 72 hours.
SCHULTZ: And we understand that Secretary Clinton is cutting her trip short and coming back to the United States. Can you tell us that?
CROWLEY: Well, Secretary Clinton is in Hawaii as we speak, and she‘s been on the phone with her foreign minister, colleagues, the foreign ministers of Brazil, France, the president of the Dominican Republican, the prime minister of Canada—or the foreign minister of Canada—to try to make sure that we remain coordinated.
Haiti is the poorest country in the hemisphere. Its needs are going to be significant. Much of that will be provided by the United States, but also much of that will be provided by the rest of the world.
SCHULTZ: And Mr. Crowley, I‘ve got to ask you tonight, is there any discussion at all within our government to have some type of military presence there because of the possible lack of security as people become desperate in the midst of this disaster?
CROWLEY: Well, first and foremost, the secretary of state, the secretary of defense and others are integrated in our approach. Obviously, the military is going to be significant—have a significant role in this because this is going to be a logistical challenge, to bring in as much material, people as we can, because Haiti will have profound needs in the coming days—water, food...
SCHULTZ: Can you tell us when the military—I know that USS Carl Vinson is on its way to Haiti out of Virginia, but what about troops? Is there a possibility that U.S. troops will be on the ground soon?
CROWLEY: Well, certainly, as the Pentagon has made clear today, you‘ll have the Vinson, you‘ll have other ships. The Coast Guard is already nearby. They will have assets on board. Those assets will be prepared to come ashore in a humanitarian role, but we‘ll clearly monitor the security situation as we go forward.
SCHULTZ: P.J. Crowley at the State Department.
Appreciate your time tonight. Thank you so much.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters, of California, who has traveled to Haiti several times and has done a lot of work with the Haitian people on behalf of the Congress, is with us tonight.
Congresswoman, thank you for your time.
I know you know the Haitian people. Speak to us tonight, Congresswoman, about their resiliency. And what kind of folks are they?
REP. MAXINE WATERS (D), CALIFORNIA: Well, thank you so much for the attention that you‘ve given to this, Ed.
Yes, I do know the hate Haitian people. I‘ve spent a great part of my career working on behalf of Haiti.
I love Haiti. I love the Haitian people. And I feel as if we have just not done enough over the years to be of support to the poorest nation in this Western Hemisphere.
However, having said that, the Haitian people are going through one of the most destructive natural disasters in the history of that country. And it‘s terrible. And people are dying in huge numbers. The numbers are huge, anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000.
SCHULTZ: Are we doing the right things early on, Congresswoman?
WATERS: I think we are. I think we are.
You know, they‘ve had the collapse of the presidential palace there, the Montana Hotel, where many of us live when we‘re in Haiti. But we have been quick in our response.
I want you to know the president has been profound in his commitment of support. Secretary Clinton spoke up right away. They are all focused on Haiti.
We‘re sending in all kinds of support from the USAID, from the United Nations, the Red Cross. And so I think that our response is quick, it‘s good, and we can be of help.
The Haitian people, no matter how bad it is, they are going to work their way through this. These are a hardworking nation of people who have overcome and continue to overcome.
I‘ve worked on debt relief for them. Just got $1 billion in debt relief last year. And I thought this would give them one step forward so that they wouldn‘t have to pay out their money paying debt, they could put it in health and education, et cetera.
But, you know, one step forward, two steps backwards. But we‘ve got to work with them. Other nations are coming forward, France, Canada. I think there will be an international response that will be extremely helpful to the people of Haiti, but this is devastating.
SCHULTZ: It certainly is. Congresswoman, thank you for your time tonight. I appreciate it so much. And thank you for all the work you‘ve done.
WATERS: I appreciate it. And you‘re welcome. And I‘ll continue to work. My heart goes out to the Haitians. And my prayers, also.
SCHULTZ: No doubt.
For more on the relief efforts, let me bring in tonight Salvation Army spokesman Major Ron Busroe, a former divisional commander in Haiti.
Mr. Busroe, appreciate your time tonight.
MAJ. RON BUSROE, SALVATION ARMY SPOKESMAN: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: You bet.
What is happening with the Salvation Army? Tell the American people what‘s happening on the ground right now in the early stages of this relief effort. It just happened just 25 hours ago.
BUSROE: Yes. Well, I was in contact with the Salvation Army almost immediately after the disaster took place. They had set up an emergency operations there in Port-au-Prince, even though our buildings had been severely damaged. All the children in the children‘s homes had to be moved out.
They were in contact with me. We were able to get the first team in there today. As a matter of fact, they should be on the ground just any minute to begin an assessment, to help them put together a plan. This is going to be a major, major relief effort.
SCHULTZ: What about the human devastation? And how do you manage people who right now are living hour to hour, minute to minute, personal survival at this point?
BUSROE: Well, and that‘s the tragedy. And where the Salvation Army is located in Port-au-Prince is one of the worst slums of the city. And the report that I got last night and again this morning was that all the homes in that area have been destroyed.
And so, the Salvation Army is working with other organizations to try to make sure that in that particular area where the Salvation Army has been located for over 60 years, that we‘ve got some resources for the people. As you‘ve mentioned, water, food.
They are sleeping outside at this point. We pray that it doesn‘t start raining. But, you know, trying to get food and water to these folks.
But this is going to be a long-term effort. There‘s going to be a rebuilding that needs to take place. There‘s so many things, it just boggles the mind.
SCHULTZ: Major, is there any medical care at all functioning? Is the government functioning, to your knowledge?
BUSROE: You know, I have no idea. The Salvation Army has a clinic in Port-au-Prince. Now, we also operate a hospital that is about 75 miles from Port-au-Prince.
I received word last night that the hospital outside of the city was not damaged. My best guess is that there are people from Port-au-Prince who making their way to the hospital from 75 miles away.
We have doctors, we have supplies there. We have a clinic in Port-au-Prince. It was damaged, but we have supplies there. We have a doctor there to provide some short-term assistance, first aid assistance to those who have been affected.
SCHULTZ: Major Busroe, appreciate your time tonight. We‘ll stay in touch. Thank you so much for what you do.
BUSROE: Thank you very much. God bless you.
SCHULTZ: Now, viewers of MSNBC, this is how you and I can now get into play here.
We can help the millions of people in need by making a donation to one of the charitable organizations that are on the ground in Haiti. Just go to Ed.MSNBC.com and you can be connected to the aid group of your choice.
And instead of doing an Ed show text survey tonight, we have a charitable text opportunity. We‘ve never done this, and we hope you respond.
If you text the word “Haiti” to 90999, a donation of $10 will be given automatically to the Red Cross. It will be charged to your cell phone bill, and we certainly hope you pick one of the charities out and help these folks out tonight. It is absolutely devastating.
Coming up, we will continue to bring you the latest on the story as it unfolds in Haiti.
And only Rush Limbaugh would find a way to turn this grief of the Haitian people into an opportunity to attack the president of the United States over race. That‘s “Psycho Talk.”
Plus, the president is finally showing his cards on health care.
Congressman Dennis Kucinich will join me in just a moment.
It‘s all coming up on THE ED SHOW. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And welcome back to THE ED SHOW.
There was other news tonight. It‘s about health care.
The negotiations are in trouble. It‘s not good.
Today, the president took the lead. He‘s finally showing his cards. He spent four hours in negotiations with Democratic leaders, from both sides of the Congress as well.
This administration has asked House progressives to accept a lot of compromises. The public option out, the excise tax still being negotiated, all, of course, to keep the Senate happy.
Now the tables are turned. The president wants a national health insurance exchange not run by the states, which, of course, could open the door down the road to that of a public option. That is the House idea, but the Senate doesn‘t like it. They want every state to run their own exchange.
Joining me now is Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, and former presidential candidate.
Dennis, good to have you on tonight.
REP. DENNIS KUCINICH (D), OHIO: Good to be you.
SCHULTZ: I know you‘re a single payer guy. I know you‘re an advocate for the people. But at this point it appears that there are still some major roadblocks as we head into the final moments of all of this.
How do you see it at this hour?
KUCINICH: Well, actually, the principal roadblock right now is this excise tax of 40 percent. Let me run through the numbers very quickly, Ed.
If you get $1,000 a month in health care benefits, that‘s $12,000 a year. They‘ll let you have the first $8,500 free. They will tax the remaining $3,500 at 40 percent.
That‘s $1,440 in taxes you‘ll pay a year. Now, if you‘re a worker, and you‘re working 2,000 hours a year—that‘s 40 hours a week times 50 -- you‘re going to be giving 70 cents an hour back in taxes for this because you have a decent health care plan.
This excise tax is a nonstarter. And I think that you‘re finding great resistance inside the Democratic Caucus. And no matter what the Senate wants to do, I can tell you, in the House of Representatives, this bill is in trouble if they think they can keep the excise tax in it.
SCHULTZ: OK. So, Congressman, do you think that there are enough liberals in the Congress over on the House side that would vote against it if the Senate version of the excise tax is in there? That would be dead on arrival, in your opinion?
KUCINICH: I think it would have great difficulty passing. I mean, the bill‘s tough enough to vote for the way it is. I mean, I‘m certainly very concerned about the fact that the right of states to have their own single payer system is basically stripped out.
But we need to continue to fight to make sure that we can provide for states, even in this last hour. But we also have to look at this excise tax. It‘s causing workers to give up hard-earned wages.
SCHULTZ: It‘s a bad deal. No doubt about it.
KUCINICH: It is a nightmare. And I think that‘s not going to fly.
SCHULTZ: Now, what do you make—the president meets with union leadership a couple of days ago. Thirty-six hours later, he comes out. It‘s reported last night that he wants the state—he wants the national exchange and not the state exchange. He‘s siding with the House on this.
How much is this going to help?
KUCINICH: Well, certainly any kind of concessions that the House can get back from the White House are a positive direction. But I just want to say, Ed, this excise tax, that‘s where the real battle is.
Keep your eye on that, because labor already gave up wage gains to get decent health care benefits. If you‘re telling people now because you have them you‘re going to pay a tax that could take 70 cents an hour out of your paycheck, that is not going to fly.
SCHULTZ: No, it‘s not going to fly. And the White House is going to have to change its position on this.
I was also told by one of your colleagues today that the abortion issue is heating up and everybody from all sides who‘s concerned, or has a dog in that fight, is up on Capitol Hill and we‘ve got a lot more to iron out on that.
These are some of the poll numbers that are out there as far as the American people are concerned.
A Gallup poll: “What should your lawmaker do on reform?” There is a slight advantage that the American people want their representative to vote for it.
As for the president‘s job approval rating, there it is. Most people think the president is doing the right thing.
And I know polls at this late hour may or may not mean or sway anybody either way. But what is the number one issue? Is it the excise tax? What would be the number one issue that would actually have liberals in the House turn to the president and say, we can‘t vote on this, we‘re going to help the Republicans stop your agenda?
KUCINICH: Well, I think that people are making a decision without regard to what the Republicans are doing. And with respect to the excise tax, that, as I see it right now, from what I‘ve been hearing from my colleagues, liberal and moderate, and even some conservatives, this excise deal is a deal-breaker because it causes people to have to give back money right out of their paychecks. It‘s going to cost people a lot of money and it‘s losing a lot of support for the bill, so we‘ll see what happens.
But I would keep your eye on that. That is the key issue at this point in the negotiations.
SCHULTZ: Congressman Kucinich, good to have you with us tonight.
Thanks so much.
KUCINICH: Thank you very much, Ed. Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, just when you think “The Drugster” has gone as low as anybody can go, he finds a way to just sink a little bit lower. His twisted logic on Haiti, if you can believe it or not, is in “Psycho Talk.”
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, “The Drugster” proves once again that he has no sense of decency.
Even President Obama‘s response to the earthquake in Haiti isn‘t safe from Rush‘s twisted political games.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: This will play right into Obama‘s hands—humanitarian, compassionate. They will use this to burnish their, shall we say, credibility with the black community in the both light-skinned and dark-skinned black community in this country.
I want you to remember, it took him three days—three days to respond to the Christmas Day fruit of kaboom bomber. He comes out here in less than 24 hours to speak about Haiti.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Oh, Drugster, you better break out those pain pills, because you‘re bound to be getting a back from stooping that low.
Let‘s put this all in perspective.
In Haiti, it‘s possible that 100,000 have already died. Immediate recovery aid is crucial.
The Christmas Day terror attack was unsettled. And, of course, no one was seriously hurt. But let‘s not forget the fact that Rush and his righty buddies keep conveniently forgetting that it took President Bush six days to respond to the shoe bomber.
Rush implying that the president is just looking for political gain by sending aid where there is death and destruction to a nation is “Psycho Talk.”
Coming up, the White House says the stimulus package saved or created two million American jobs. The greatest mayor ever, in my opinion, well, in his state, they‘ve got 15 percent unemployment. He will join us to talk about it.
And the fight over Ted Kennedy‘s Senate seat is really heating up.
President Obama, where are you? On the sidelines?
All that, plus I‘ll bring you the latest from Haiti and tell you how you can make a difference.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. And thanks for watching tonight.
More news out of Washington tonight. The panel in charge of investigating the causes of the recession held their first hearing today in the nation‘s capital. And to no surprise, their first witnesses were a handful of Wall Street bank CEOs, all of whom admitted at least some responsibility for the financial crisis.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES DIMON, CEO, JPMORGAN: As I‘ve said before, we did make mistakes and there are a number of things we could have done better.
LLOYD BLANKFEIN, CEO, GOLDMAN SACHS: Some of the activities we undertook contributed to the prevailing mood at the time. We lent money out too cheaply and, in certain loans, without the traditional safeguards.
JOHN MACK, CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD, MORGAN STANLEY: Some of the product and the mortgages, we did eat our own cookie and we choked on it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Tomorrow, President Obama is expected to announce a plan to recoup some of the taxpayers‘ TARP funds by imposing a tax on more than 20 of Wall Street‘s too-big-to-fail banks. My next guest is a long-time supporter of this kind of fee. Democratic Congressman Gary Peters of Michigan joins us tonight here on THE ED SHOW.
Congressman, did you hear what you wanted to hear today from these bank CEOs?
REP. GARY PETERS (D), MICHIGAN: Well, I think it is pretty clear, these very large financial institutions, not only the large banks, but other large institutions, hedge funds that contributed—all of them played a part in contributing to this financial mess that has impacted the whole country and, particularly, my home state of Michigan, that has been devastated as a result of greed run wild on Wall Street.
SCHULTZ: The chairman of this commission, Phil Angelides, out of California, they had this exchange with one of the CEOs today. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PHIL ANGELIDES (D), CALIFORNIA: What I‘m trying to drive to is whether there‘s a clear recognition that, despite all of the risk models, on a fundamental basis, excessive risk was being taken.
LLOYD BLANKFEIN, GOLDMAN SACHS CEO: How would you look at the risk of a hurricane? The season after we had four hurricanes on the East Coast, which is absolutely extraordinary, versus the year before, rates got very low for risk premium.
ANGELIDES: Having sat on the board of the California Earthquake Authority, acts of god will exempt. These were acts of men and women.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Congressman, it almost looked as if Mr. Blankfein was looking for any kind of excuse he could find to justify their activities on Capitol Hill and on Wall Street. So—and they have lobbied the Congress big time. So what‘s the next step? We know what these guys did. We know how they did it. We don‘t want to blame the employees. But they are still operating by giving out record bonuses with taxpayer dollars. What‘s the remedy, congressman?
PETERS: Well, we do know that these large institutions just took enormous risk. They had these computer models that they thought were fail safe. We certainly found out exactly that they were not.
And they also just took incredible leverage, leverage that was simply not prudent. When you saw their models start to shake a little bit, the house of cards started to tumble.
So we need to be very aggressive in regulating those financial institutions. As you know, we passed a very comprehensive package to do that. In the short run, one thing that I‘ve been advocating, and the president is going to talk about tomorrow, is making sure that these Tarp funds, the money that went in to bail out these banks, to make sure the banks and those financial institutions are the ones that pay it back. It should not be the taxpayers. It needs to be those institutions that brought this incredible risk to us, and are responsible for the financial troubles that we are in and the whole country is in right now.
SCHULTZ: What kind of tax would you go along with? At what rate, how much, and what would be the level?
PETERS: Well, in fact, I had an amendment that passed part of the regulatory reform bill, that put an assessment on the largest 120 institutions in this country. And the assessment would be based on the amount of systemic risk that those institutions had. For example, if you had a bank taking very high leverage, that was putting the whole economy at risk, they would put a much higher fee than somebody who is not taking that kind of risk.
SCHULTZ: Gary, what about a transaction tax? I know that there -- labor out there has suggested that every transaction that takes place at a certain level into the thousands—and most Americans don‘t deal at that level of activity, but many of these houses do, dealing in high volume. What about a tax, a transaction tax?
PETERS: Well, transaction tax is something to take a look at. And certainly it is something that is being discussed, not just here in the United States, but broadly around the world. And for that to be effective, we certainly have got to be in conversations with the other major trading markets around the world, so that it is taken care of on a global basis, so you don‘t have people leaving from one jurisdiction to another.
SCHULTZ: And the only thing that Congress can do about these bonuses without governing risk taking is to go in there, get in their back pocket, and tax those bonuses, because right now the government can‘t go in and say, this is how you‘re going to run your business.
PETERS: Well, and that‘s why I think a good step is the approach that I‘ve taken with this assessment on these companies, to make sure that they are paying back the Tarp money. I believe that the president is going to be outlining a similar proposal tomorrow, which I think is a very important first step, is to make sure that we‘re recovering those Tarp funds. And it‘s coming from those institutions. That certainly has an impact on bonuses being paid to executives as well, if we‘re collecting that money back, to make sure that the taxpayers are made whole.
We can‘t turn the page on Tarp and say, let‘s forget about that; let‘s move forward. We have got to make sure that those institutions responsible for this mess are the ones that are going to pay it back, so we can put it back in the Treasury and reduce the deficit, and make sure it‘s not the taxpayers that are paying. That‘s certainly going to impact those bonuses being paid to these individuals as well.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, good to have you with us tonight. Appreciate it you so much.
While Wall Street big wigs is explaining themselves in Washington, the after affects of their failures are still reverberating on Main Street, with double digit unemployment. But the White House is insisting that we would be in a heck of a lot worst shape if we didn‘t have the stimulus package. The chairman of the president‘s Council of Economic Adviser, Christina Romer, said today that the stimulus has created or saved between 1.7 and two million jobs. She also implied that there‘s more to come, saying only a third of the stimulus has taken affect and been dished out.
Let me bring in Virg Bernero. He‘s the mayor of Lansing, Michigan. Unemployment in the state of Michigan is at 15 percent. Verge, OK, not all of the stimulus money has been put out. And whatever formula you want to go with, as far as whether you believe the numbers 1.7 or two million jobs saved—what has to happen, in your opinion, from this point on? What do the cities need to see as the next phase of money being paid out for it to take place?
VIRG BERNERO, MAYOR OF LANSING, MICHIGAN: Ed, we‘re grateful for what has happened. This president—when you look at what is on his plate—I know I‘m not here just to defend the president. But, by God, when you look at what is on his plate, saving the auto industry, saving the economy, he‘s done a tremendous job, in my opinion.
SCHULTZ: I agree.
BERNERO: So we‘re grateful for that. And look it, the auto show is happening in Detroit right now. We‘re seeing—people have written the epithet on GM and the other domestic automotive companies, ready to say goodbye to them. That—it employs millions of people across the country and they‘re looking great. Our models are competing. They can compete against any in the world. We have great productive people, as you know.
We need to still put people to work. There is still work to do. The president can‘t do it all. It‘s not going to be all in one fell swoop. It‘s going to take a lot of time. And we need some commitment from some of those Wall Street types that you and Gary were talking about. And I commend the efforts that he‘s undertaking.
But it‘s not just what they didn‘t talk about, those Wall Street guys, is how they have bet against Americans, how they have really decided to attack and erode our middle class, and build the middle class in India and China. And no offense to those populations, those folks, but we need Americans working.
How about those Wall Streeters talk about how they‘ve killed Main Street, how they‘re betting against Main Street every day, stealing our jobs, and moving production overseas. Until we get the P back in GDP, gross domestic product, any stimulus is going to be temporary.
Now, I‘m excited about the things that have happened, Ed. We have new battery plants going in here. We have new electric vehicles. We are building the cleaner, greener cars. There is hope that we will be building the cleaner, greener cars, thanks to help from the Obama administration and the innovation of our domestic car companies. But there‘s also the fear that too many of those jobs may end up overseas.
This green technology, like any other technology, can be stolen and transferred overseas. And too many of our jobs have gone that way. Not only do we need patriotic purchasing, we need a little patriotism in these big countries. Invest in Americans. Give us a chance again to be productive. We have the most productive workers in the world. It‘s not just about getting the cheapest all the time. Go for quality and employ some Americans. That‘s the commitment we need out of Wall Street.
SCHULTZ: Virg, there‘s a big effort on the Internet, the “Huffington Post,” Arianna Huffington, and a lot of talk about moving money to community banks, because these guys, these big banks aren‘t lending at the rates that we‘ve got to have if we‘re going to turn the economy around and create jobs and get things moving again. What can you tell us about the middle of the country, Lansing, Michigan? How are people responding? What is happening?
BERNERO: Look, people are hurting. We‘re trying to make sure that there is still hope out there. We‘ve got great innovative people. People are going back to school, Ed. Folks that are unemployed, under-employed—our community colleges, enrolment is up, and that is wonderful.
But a lot of our young entrepreneurs, they can‘t get the capital. They can‘t get a loan, if they have a great idea, if they have a great product. You know, entrepreneurship can be stifled too. Even in the midst of the doom and gloom, we‘ve got people with great ideas, with ingenuity. And that needs to be nurtured. Well, when they‘ve got a great idea, a great product, we have cases where they‘ve ended up going to China because they couldn‘t get the capital here. They couldn‘t get a loan, even when you‘ve got a great idea and a proven track record.
So, look, I‘m open to the notion of helping the community banks. We love our community banks. But if all we‘re going to do is give money, and hope that it trickles into the community, I‘m not for that program. We‘ve got to make sure that the money actually hits the streets, hits the community.
We‘ve got a disconnect, as you know, Ed, between Wall Street and Main Street. Even with the community banks, they are under a tremendous pressure from the FDIC. There‘s a good chance that if you give them money, it won‘t make it out in the form of loans. We‘ve got to make sure that that money is actually destined to spur the economy, to actually stimulate some jobs. The best stimulus is a stimulating job. And if you‘re going to do that, then you‘ve got to make sure that that money gets out to the small business, which is where most jobs are created. We‘ve got to help those small businesses.
I just want to get in one pitch, Ed. What we ought to be looking at is a second Clash for Clunkers. I‘ll call it the Japanese style. We‘ve talked about this before. We needed to limit Cash for Clunkers to American cars. They are doing it in Japan. We couldn‘t do it in America. By gosh, the Japanese, they‘re doing it the right way. They are going to stimulate their own economy.
SCHULTZ: Virg Bernero, the mayor of Lansing, Michigan, I want to thank you for filling up my email box tonight, because now I‘m going to get thousands of e-mails: “you know that guy from Lansing, we need more people like him in this country.” It happens every time you‘re on, my friend. Way to charge. I appreciate your time.
BERNERO: Thank you so much.
SCHULTZ: Tell us like it is. You bet.
Former communications director for the Republican Congressional Committee, Karen Hanretty, is with us tonight. Karen, the White House says 1.7 to two million jobs have been saved or created with the stimulus package. Do you believe the numbers?
KAREN HANRETTY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: No. They have no way of demonstrating the numbers. And, oh, by the way, they put out a memo in December saying that they are no longer going to count jobs saved or created. They‘re going to count jobs funded. If stimulus money goes to your business, you‘ve already had a job, they are going to count you. Well, that‘s not a new job creation.
I think the real problem—you know, there‘s this sense that it‘s not all hands on deck in this administration to really get this economy jump started. If we were going to go back to full employment, which is about five percent, which I understand is not reasonable at this point—but five percent employment, we‘d have to be creating 250,000 jobs over the next five years.
SCHULTZ: What else should we do, Karen. I‘ll tell you about all hands on deck. I found it very interesting last night that Chuck Todd, White House correspondent and our political director, said on this show that he thinks that the White House is politically exhausted. If they need a pep talk, give me a call. I think that the economy is moving in the right direction. I think we‘re seeing some positive numbers. Whether it‘s 1.7 or two million, I mean, we‘re better off now than we were a year ago. Would you agree to that?
HANRETTY: Well, yeah. That‘s not saying much.
SCHULTZ: It‘s saying an awful lot, isn‘t it?
HANRETTY: No, because we can do so much better.
SCHULTZ: OK. I‘m going to give you a chance. What should we be doing that we‘re not doing?
HANRETTY: OK, I‘ll tell you. First of all, we need to stop picking winners and losers in this economy. The administration keeps going out that and saying, we‘re going to spend billions of dollars on these so-called green jobs. No, we should not be limiting new employment to green jobs. We need to spread the net far and wide.
We have an example. California probably has the strictest environmental regulations on the book. They have their own version of the Kyoto protocol that they passed a couple years ago. Do you know that green jobs in California account for one percent of that economy? That—green jobs are not going to save this economy.
SCHULTZ: But they are not totally energy independent either. It‘s the fastest track to turning it around and it also has --
HANRETTY: No, it‘s not the fastest track. We need to give—
SCHULTZ: Energy independence, Karen, is a big issue.
HANRETTY: That is—that is one issue. It is a big issue. That is one issue. Job creation—
SCHULTZ: You want the approach to be more broad base, is what I‘m hearing?
HANRETTY: Absolute, more broad based. We need to cut regulations. We need to give company a sense of stability, predictability, what can I count on going down into the future.
SCHULTZ: How about a loan?
HANRETTY: They should give loans. And here‘s an idea, Ed, that you might, and I might even agree on—you know, the banks aren‘t lending to small businesses.
SCHULTZ: No, they are not.
HANRETTY: Small business—in 2007, two-thirds of the 12 million new jobs created came from businesses that were one to five years old. We know how important that is.
SCHULTZ: Karen, got to run.
HANRETTY: All right.
SCHULTZ: Always good to visit with you.
HANRETTY: All right. Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, the senior director of the International Response for American Red Cross will join me in just a moment with the very latest from the tragedy down in Haiti.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Thousands of relief workers are on the ground in Haiti, where roughly 50,000 people are believed dead after a massive earthquake. NBC‘s Michelle Kosinski is on her way to Haiti. She joins me now on the phone from the Dominican Republic. Her plane was not allowed to land in Haiti today.
Michelle, I understand you flew over. Tell us what you saw today.
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, as far as we were able to get above Port-Au-Prince at this point, couldn‘t see much because of the cloud color. Also, there‘s some rain in the Dominican Republic. But a little bit of chaotic scene here. Not us just trying to get out, but planes of doctors. We‘re told by one pilot, who was very frustrated, he had embassy officials on board. Not sure if those were US embassy.
But a lot of frustration, and trying to deal with the airport employees, who themselves are frustrated, because we‘ve been given a flight plan to leave the Dominican Republic, land in Port-Au-Prince. But around 5:00, 6:00 this evening, air traffic control in Port-Au-Prince decided they were not going to let anyone else land. We were told by our pilots that congestion was an issue and also the lack of daylight at that point.
We‘re told that the airport is only day operational and they were worried about not having enough light at night to let all of these planes even attempt to land. So everybody who was trying to get out of here, including some of those doctors, the planes were just turned right back around and had to land in the Dominican Republic.
A lot of people, too, are going to try to get out of here tomorrow morning, trying to see what they can, and help as they can in Port-Au-Prince and the surrounding area. But it‘s tough to do, with a day of waiting and different mode to get into that country. We share an island at this point. We can‘t cross the border. We can‘t land there. It‘s a difficult situation.
It‘s definitely a shame for the people there, because some of this aid is trying to get in. Earlier in the day, we were told that the airport was only letting aide workers in. So, obviously, it‘s getting there and it was getting there today. It‘s just, as the afternoon wore on, there was more and more traffic just making that attempt and the airport couldn‘t handle it.
We know that there‘s some damage there. The tower is damaged. We also know that the US was going to send some assets in there, some Air Force personnel to try to help out with the air traffic control. We don‘t know the status of that at that point. But it‘s definitely—there‘s a lot of frustration at the airport and people trying to do what they can.
SCHULTZ: Totally chaotic. Michelle, thanks for your time tonight, NBC correspondent Michelle Kosinski with us, from the Dominican Republic. You can imagine just how chaotic all of this is.
We now want to go to Nan Buzard, who is the senior director of international response for the American Red Cross. Nan, thanks for your time tonight and your work. Tell me, are the American people responding? Have they responded in the last 24 hours?
NAN BUZARD, AMERICAN RED CROSS: The American people have—are enormously generous. We‘ve received significant funds coming in. Obviously very small compared to the extraordinary scale of this disaster. I can‘t even imagine the price tag that is going to be put on both the response and the recovery. You can see the scenes of an entire city. It‘s going to be huge.
We‘re very fortunate. We had staff on the ground. Those staff are OK. They are working on relief efforts already. And we had staff that left the US this morning and have arrived in Port-Au-Prince, via car, from the Dominican Republic already.
Our frustration, like everyone else, is getting relief supplies in.
SCHULTZ: I was going to ask you that, Nan. What is the plan for getting supplies in? If you get the resources of the American people behind you, what‘s the plan for getting the resource in at this hour?
BUZARD: It‘s not going to happen tonight, obviously. I‘m not surprised to hear that the airport is only going to be a daylight only operation, because the tower has collapsed. We keep—the Red Cross keeps stock in Panama. So we have a warehouse full of emergency shelter, relief supplies, cooking sets, hygiene kits, et cetera, that can be passed out to people. We‘ll get those in, along with probably water bladder trucks for clean water.
I‘m not sure about the food situation. But we can‘t get it in without having a functional airport. So our plane is ready. It‘s loaded. It‘s got its stock on. It‘s in Panama. It‘s not even a two-hour flight, less than that, to get to Haiti, but not until that airport is opened.
There‘s also the port. There‘s going to be quite a bit of stuff coming in, bigger stuff in containers, into the port, which I know has been crippled, but I don‘t think it‘s out of total commission.
SCHULTZ: Nan, I appreciate your time tonight. Thanks so much. Again, you can text—all of viewers tonight, you can text Haiti to 90999 to make a 10 dollar donation. It goes to the Red Cross.
Coming up, a—Massachusetts has become a very political battle ground. Ted Kennedy‘s senate seat might end up in the hands of a tea party favorite. Can you believe it? We‘ll talk about that when we come back on THE ED SHOW. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Massachusetts, one the bluest states in the nation; a Democrat is in a dogfight to win the seat that was held by Senator Ted Kennedy for nearly 50 years. President Obama got 62 percent of the vote in the Bay State just a year ago. But he has no plans to travel north to help Martha Coakley before next Tuesday‘s special election.
For more, let‘s go to our panel tonight. Nationally syndicated radio talk show host Bill Press is with us, and A.B. Stoddard, associate editor and columnist for “The Hill.”
I have to say, I find it very curious, A.B., that the president is not going to campaign for candidate Coakley when 60 votes are so important. What do you make of this?
A.B. STODDARD, “THE HILL”: I really think it‘s really interesting that the administration has decided to keep him back from this race. She says that she hasn‘t asked him. But in this situation, they need every Democrat to get into the car on Tuesday, a special election in the middle of January, after a long weekend. Republicans are extremely motivated. They are going to show up for Scott Brown. And every Democrat—even though they are three to one out-registering Republicans in that state. They are apathetic. They are not hot on health care. I think the president could be making a big mistake not to go there to try to help her.
SCHULTZ: Candidate Scott Brown for the Republicans has been endorsed by the Tea Partiers. Bill Press, your take on this? Would this slow up health care? Would it stop health care if the vote goes the wrong way for the Democrats?
BILL PRESS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: If they go back to 59 votes, it definitely will.
But, first, Ed, one quick point, I don‘t think we need to panic on this necessarily. I went back today and remembered about the Democratic primary and checked it out. The polls in the primary of Massachusetts and the democrats were all over the place. It looked—everybody was saying that it looked like Joe Capuano was going to beat the favorite, Martha Coakley. She won by 23 points. This may be another situation like that.
I also heard today Rudy Giuliani is going in Friday campaign for Scott Brown. I would consider that the kiss of death, maybe, for Scott Brown. But you‘re right. There is so much riding on this, Ed. It‘s that 60th vote. This is Massachusetts. This is Ted Kennedy‘s seat. Barack Obama should be in Massachusetts, the same way he was in New Jersey and Virginia.
SCHULTZ: Well, Bill Clinton is going to campaign for Coakley. But A.B., the Democrats never thought they would have to fight so hard for Ted Kennedy‘s seat. This could have some big ramifications on a lot of legislative things that are on the Obama agenda. I can‘t believe the president‘s not engaged in this and doesn‘t have time to go up there, and spend some political capital, where he is most popular, in the northeastern portion of the United States.
STODDARD: Ed, you‘re right. Massachusetts, of course, is a Democratic stronghold, Ted Kennedy‘s home, and health care reform is not popular there. Scott Brown is running against reform, promising to be the vote that holds it back. If he comes close—even if he loses, but if he comes close, Ed, every Democrat should know, in swing states, in marginal districts, they are in deep trouble, and so is health care reform. The battle to try to sell it, going into their defensive position, heading into these midterm elections, will be a very tough one for them.
PRESS: Ed, real quickly, here‘s a problem. You and I have been talking about this health care. Right now, what do the Democrats need up there? They need the unions to get out and work and get out the vote. The unions are not so excited because everything they wanted in the health care bill they‘re not getting.
SCHULTZ: You know, I get a feeling, Bill and A.B., that when it comes to excitement, the wage earners in this country are fresh out.
PRESS: I mean, it‘s—it‘s turn out. If turn out is low, this Republican, with the backing of the Tea Partiers, he‘s going to win this thing. I hope not. But it could happen. Appreciate both of you being with us tonight.
That‘s THE ED SHOW. I‘m Ed Schultz. Chris Matthews has the latest on the disaster in Haiti starting right now on the place for politics, MSNBC.
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Transcription Copyright 2010 CQ Transcriptions, LLC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
No license is granted to the user of this material other than for research.
User may not reproduce or redistribute the material except for user‘s
personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed,
nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion
that may infringe upon NBC and CQ Transcriptions, LLC‘s copyright or other
proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal
transcript for purposes of litigation.>