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The Ed Show for Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

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Guests: Ed Rendell, June Kilgren, Rev. Al Sharpton, Michael Greenberger, Amy Holmes

ED SCHULTZ, HOST:  Good evening, Americans.  And welcome to THE ED SHOW tonight.

It‘s one thing for the Republicans to pass a plan to cut taxes for the rich and destroy Medicare.  Now, they have to go out and sell it.  If today‘s numbers are any indication, it‘s going to be a hard sell.

This is THE ED SHOW.  Let‘s get to work.




SCHULTZ (voice-over):  We‘ve reported for weeks that Wall Street has a high hand in high gas prices.  Today, the president finally got onboard.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  The problem is oil is sold on these world markets, and speculators and people make various bets.


SCHULTZ:  But is he right when he says there is no short-term solution?

Killing Medicare—it‘s not just Paul Ryan‘s fault.  I‘ll tell you which other Republicans are responsible and what we need to do about it.

And last night, I endorsed the Donald.  Don‘t like my pick?  Well, look at who else is hopping on the Trumpster‘s bandwagon.  Gary Busey.


GARY BUSEY, ACTOR:  T-R-U-M-P stands for “taking redirection understanding massive power.”


SCHULTZ:  Am I in good company or what?


SCHULTZ:  And this is the story that has me fired up first tonight:

Once again, the American people, I guess you could say, are way ahead of the Congress when it comes to an issue.  When it comes to shared sacrifice, there is no doubt that the American people are way ahead of the Congress.

Republicans have been lying about tax cuts for years, but the new breed of conservatives—well, they have taken it to another level.


REP. ERIC CANTOR (R-VA), MAJORITY LEADER:  Congress doesn‘t have a revenue problem.  It has a spending problem.

REP. PAUL RYAN ®, WISCONSIN:  We don‘t have a revenue or a tax problem in Washington.  They‘re already high enough.  We have a spending problem.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE:  We don‘t have a revenue problem.  We have a spending problem.


SCHULTZ:  OK.  You hear the Republican leadership there: Boehner, Cantor, and Ryan.

You know what?  They are completely wrong.  Let‘s go to Big Eddie‘s chart.  We have charts every night.

You know, what I have to do is I‘ve got to get a Republican to come up here and tell me these charts are wrong.

Bill Clinton‘s first budget was the fiscal year ‘93-‘94.  Now pay attention here, folks.  It‘s an easy one.  Even I can follow it.

The green line—well, that‘s federal revenue.  And the red line, of course, is spending.

So, when Clinton got in office, holy smokes look at that.  We were just spending way too much money.

And so, what do they do in ‘94?  They raise taxes.  Why?  Because they didn‘t have enough revenue and they wanted to balance the budget.

So, they raised taxes right here and here comes the revenue.  Here comes the revenue.  There‘s the spending held in check by those tax-and-spend Democrats.

So, look what happened.  We have a cross right here in about ‘97-‘98.  All of a sudden, the revenue goes above the spending and the spending stays below.

Well, here comes President Bush.  President Bush comes in here in the year 2000 and look at this.  He says, you know what?  We got too much money going into the treasury.  It‘s your money.

Remember, they used to go on the campaign trail, it‘s your money.  We want to give it back to you.

So, they get this right here.  In 2000, here come the tax cuts.  Here come the tax cuts right here.  And what do we have right after 9/11 and right after the tax cuts?  We have a dip in revenue—but look at this.  The spending keeps going up because you know we had to fight them over there instead of over here and, of course, this stuff, the wars, that was off budget.

In fact, we were told by the vice president, the deficits don‘t matter.  Remember that?  Deficits didn‘t matter.  That‘s what we were told by the last guys in charge.

While the revenue went down, the spending continued to go up.  And then, of course, here is the re-election and, of course, we were told right here—well, if we don‘t re-elect this crowd we‘re going to get hit again.  Hmm.

So, then, we keep on going through the Bush years and the revenue starts to come back a little bit but the spending just keeps going.

Where was Cantor?  Where was Boehner?  Where was Ryan when this spending was going through the roof?  Well, the guys that they were genuflecting to said the deficits didn‘t matter.

So, here comes President Obama.  President Obama comes in in 2008.  Here is the housing bubble.  This is the housing bubble right here.  Oh, man.  We‘re selling homes like crazy, aren‘t we?  We‘re doing all these quick mortgages and whatnot and here comes the revenue and then—boom, there‘s the housing bust.

And, of course, here we sit, President Obama, he comes in and the revenue is dipping down because of what he inherited.  And what‘s he do?  He spends money to get out of it because every economist on both sides of the aisle says you got to spend money to get out of this problem.

So, now, if you look at this, we have the largest gap between money spent and revenue being brought into the Treasury.  The largest gap we‘ve had—well, actually my board‘s not big enough.  Can you believe that?  I actually could take you back another 20 years.  This is the largest gap.

But remember, the Republicans are telling us that we don‘t have a revenue problem.  This is where the American people are way ahead of the Congress.  The American people see this graph and they know exactly how to fix it.  And that‘s raise taxes.

President Obama‘s right in line.  He has a plan to solve our revenue problem.  It‘s called “taxing the wealthy.”

This is how the president put it during a town hall meeting in Virginia earlier today.


OBAMA:  We‘ve got to tackle this challenge.  And I believe the right way to do it is to live up to an old fashioned principle of shared responsibility.  That means everybody has to do their part.  We‘ve also got to end tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

We are going to have to ask everybody to sacrifice.  And if we‘re asking community colleges to sacrifice, if we‘re asking people who are going to see potentially fewer services in their neighborhoods to make a little sacrifice, then we can ask millionaires and billionaires to make a little sacrifice.


SCHULTZ:  Oh, yes, we can.  And guess what?  The president of the United States has the American people on his side when it comes to the top 2 percent sharing in the sacrifice.

A new McClatchy-Marist poll shows—this is the number you need to consume folks -- 64 percent of Americans support taxing people who make over $250,000 a year.  And when you break it down, by party -- 83 percent of Democrats would like to see that happen because, you see, they go back to my chart and they see what happened when we raised taxes on the wealthy.  We got things in order, you know?

And, then, of course, independents.  Independents—you know, all those people that turned on the Democrats in the last election?  Look at that -- 63 percent of the independents even want to raise the taxes.

But look at this number.  This is surprising.  Forty-three percent of Republicans want to raise taxes on the top 2 percent in this country?  Think about that -- 43 percent.

The last administration—when was the last time President Bush had an approval rating of 43 percent?  Look at this.  That‘s a high number.

Americans are even more united when it comes to protecting Medicare and Medicaid, the big three.  The same poll—is that right?  Eighty percent?  Son of a gun.

The same poll shows that 80 percent of Americans are opposed to cutting Medicare and Medicaid.  This, I don‘t know how much of a better number you can get.

And look at this -- 73 percent of Republicans.  That‘s right, 73 percent of Republicans want their elected officials to leave Medicare and Medicaid alone.  That means don‘t change anything.

If you were to tell somebody that they won by 73 percent of the vote, would you call that a landslide?  Even members of the Tea Party agree that 70 percent -- 70 percent of the Tea Partiers say, you know, we had fun the last election and we thought we were going to get our country back the way we were, you know, jargoning around the country.  But, you know, when it comes to it, we better—we better hang on to Medicare and Medicaid.

Now, these numbers that I showed you, are from April 10th to the 14th

Not long ago, just a few days ago.  These are staggering numbers.

But what are we hearing out of Washington?  We‘re hearing out of Washington that we‘ve got huge problems and we‘ve got to fix this and these elected officials are just so much smarter than the American people.  I say that‘s hog wash.  In this term “the American people”—this is what the Republicans love to tell the folks on the tube.  Here it is.


BOEHNER:  Let‘s listen to the American people.

CANTOR:  For too long, Mr. Speaker, the majority in this body and the president of the United States have refused to listen to the American people.

BOEHNER:  We‘re humbled by the trust that the American people have placed in us and we recognize that with this trust comes the responsibility to listen, and listen we will.


SCHULTZ:  Mr. Speaker—Mr. Speaker, do you listen to 80 percent?  Do you view the numbers here?  Do you go back home and say you‘re a hell of a lot smarter than the Ohioans who don‘t want to touch Medicare and Medicaid?

And, then, of course, there is Mr. Ryan who says that the way they‘re going to change it is turn it into a system.  Check it out.


RYAN:  We just don‘t think government rationing on Medicare is the answer.  We think we should keep the promise to current seniors and people 10 years from retiring, but then reform the system for the next generation so that it‘s safe and solvent for current seniors and future generations, because Medicare is going bankrupt.


SCHULTZ:  Oh, son of a gun.  He is slick, isn‘t he?  He‘s doing the reverse sell job on you.  I think the American people have it figured out.

Ryan is out there telling the American people that they‘re going to reform—you know what reform is?  Reform is a cut.  Reform is cut.

Reform is code word for attack, and that‘s exactly what they want to do.  They want to attack the programs that have been successful for Americans for decades since 1965.   Took the Democrats and the progressives and the liberals 22 years to get it passed but they finally got it passed.  It was a heavy lift and it has saved lives and it has saved money over years.

Saved lives—notice how I put lives before money?  The Republicans now want to put money before lives.  That‘s what they want to do.

And a voucher program?  A voucher is a cut.  A voucher is cheaper care.

But to the American people with numbers like this, these are the only two numbers you need to consume tonight, folks.  Raising taxes on those who make over $250,000 a year?  Sixty-four percent of Americans are there.  Protecting Medicare and Medicaid -- 80 percent of the American people are there.

You just heard the sound bites from the Republican leadership.  They want to listen to the people.  The hell they do!

It‘s about the money.  It‘s about them.  It‘s about blowing up the federal budget deficit to the point so they can cut these very programs back, so they can give more tax cuts to the rich.

And I‘ll show you later on in this broadcast exactly what is in the Ryan plan.  And it‘s all for the wealthy.  But Ryan sits there saying that, well you know what?  We‘re going to reform it.  We‘re going to save it.  Baloney!

President Obama is not falling for it.  Here he is.


OBAMA:  The House Republicans just passed a proposal and their main plan to reduce our long-term deficits and debts is to turn Medicare into a voucher program.

What would happen under this proposal is you‘d get a set amount of money.  You could then go out on a private market place and buy insurance.  But if the voucher you were getting was for $6,000 or $7,000 and the insurance company said it‘s going to cost you $12,000 -- well, you‘re going to have to make up that difference.

Now, I think that is the wrong way to go.  That would fundamentally change Medicare as we know it.  And I‘m not—I‘m not going to sign up for that.


SCHULTZ:  Well, Mr. President, as I endorsed Donald Trump last night, I endorse you tonight.  I mean, come on.  You‘ve got it.  You‘re spot on.  You‘re speaking like a good lefty right now—but you‘re also speaking for the popular thinking in America.

Now, there‘s one other facet to this story that I find very interesting.  We have these six senators who think that they have the answers.  And three of them are Democrats and the other three Republicans.

So, it‘s not all Republicans.  There are some Democrats who are wavering on this, too.  These three Democrats are members of the “gang of six” and now they‘re starting to buy into this—well, maybe we can chip away at the big three Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid.

Well, this is what the numbers are right here.  Why would they do that?  Why would they cave into that?

You know what they ought to do?  The Democrats ought to leave the “gang of six” and let them be the gang of three and say we‘re sticking with the American people and we‘re not backing down.

But you see—that might take some Democratic guts!

Get your cell phones out.  I want to know what you think.  Tonight‘s text question: will tax cuts for the rich help the poor?  Text “A” for yes, text “B” for no to 622639.  And, of course, you can go to our new blog at  We‘re bringing results later on in the show.

Joining me now is former Pennsylvania governor and current NBC News political analyst, Mr. Ed Rendell.

Governor, good to have you with us tonight.

I got one question for you.  Do you in your heart think the Republicans will ever sign on to a tax increase?

ED RENDELL, NBC NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST:  Yes.  I think they will eventually, Ed.  I think there are Republicans like Senator Coburn who understand the realities and are really serious about finding a balanced way to deal with America‘s deficit.

SCHULTZ:  What‘s the balanced way, Ed?  What‘s the balanced way?

RENDELL:  Well, a balanced way is, look, there have to be spending cuts and we understand that.  The spending cuts can‘t go to things that are essential to the safety net.  But there are ways to cut money.  When I was governor in my last two years because of the recession, Ed, we cut over $2 billion out of the Pennsylvania budget.

And I‘ll give you an idea on Medicare and Medicaid: why don‘t we use the federal government‘s leveraged buying power to drive down the cost of pharmaceuticals, to make the companies make less profit off of us?

SCHULTZ:  But the pharmaceutical companies are in the back pockets of

the Republicans.  And, of course, they like the deregulation.  They also

like the corporate tax breaks that they get.  There would be no reason for

or incentive for the Republicans to do that.


RENDELL:  Right.  Except for the fact that the key here is we‘ve got to drive down the cost of Medicare and Medicaid without taking away the benefits to the people, and we can do that by controlling health care costs.  And what‘s the number one way to control health care costs today?  Drive down the costs of pharmaceuticals.

So, I think that‘s an important facet.  There are ways to drive down the costs of these programs without taking away benefits from people.

SCHULTZ:  But raising taxes on the top 2 percent.

RENDELL:  Of course, that‘s a slam dunk.

SCHULTZ:  You believe that the Republicans will sign on to that?

RENDELL:  I think, in the end—because the poll numbers that you‘re citing, I think in the end, there will be people signing on to that.

SCHULTZ:  Well, that would be a heavy lift for the Democrats to convince the Republicans that if they raise taxes, that they‘ll still be able to create jobs.  That would go against everything they‘ve been talking about.

RENDELL:  Except look what happened after Bill Clinton raised taxes on the top 2 percent of Americans -- 22.5 million jobs.

SCHULTZ:  They have forgotten that.

RENDELL:  I know.  It‘s unbelievable.

When you look at the path to prosperity of Ryan‘s bill, he wants us to go back to what President Bush did—cut taxes, and we had almost no job creation, and he forgets about what Bill Clinton did, raising taxes, getting rid of the deficit, and boom—jobs took off, the greatest in our lifetime.

SCHULTZ:  No doubt.

RENDELL:  But there‘s one other thing.  I think we‘re going to come around to doing and even some Republicans, and that‘s ending a lot of these loop holes.  We give away, Ed—and you know this -- $400 billion in basically corporate loop holes every year.


RENDELL:  Every year.  Corporations in 1950 used to pay 30 percent of the overall revenue of the country.  They now pay 6.6 percent.

SCHULTZ:  Ed Rendell, NBC political analyst, you are a heck of a lot more optimistic in dealing with the Republicans than I am.

RENDELL:  We‘re not going to convince them, Ed.  You‘re not going to convince them.  I‘m not going to convince them.  Democrats aren‘t going to convince them.

You know what‘s going to convince them?  Those polls.  The American people.

SCHULTZ:  I hope so.

RENDELL:  The American people are going to convince them.

SCHULTZ:  Ed, thanks for joining us tonight.  Appreciate your time.

RENDELL:  Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ:  Remember to answer tonight‘s text question at the bottom of the screen.  I want to know what you think.

Paul Ryan‘s plan to end Medicare made him famous, but there are 234 other Republicans in the House who voted for this plan.  Tonight, I‘m going to make them famous.  We‘ll show you the names.

And next, somehow, Ryan has to sell this plan.  He‘s trying.  We‘ll talk to a Wisconsin resident who‘s been to one of his town halls who simply isn‘t buying it.


SCHULTZ:  And there is breaking news out of Wisconsin tonight.  Today, recall petitions against a fourth Republican state senator were filed.  Senator Sheila Harsdorf joins Dan Kapanke, Randy Hopper, and Luther Olsen.  Word is a fifth state Senate Republican, Anita Darling, could be next as the historic recall drive continues in Wisconsin.

Meanwhile, today, Congressman Paul Ryan was back in the state trying to sell his plan to kill Medicare.  We‘ll go inside the Ryan listening session, next.

Stay with us.



UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER:  Congressman Ryan is back home listening to voters in Mukwonago.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Got to get the people back to work.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER:  And talking up his budget plan.

RYAN:  So, there are two things we‘re trying to get done here: cut the controlled spending and get this economy growing.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER:  But down the road at Jay‘s Lanes, Ryan‘s plan to overhaul Medicare worries Pat Kolakowski (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  It scares me because of both my husband are both on Medicare.


SCHULTZ:  Now, in case you missed that, she said that she and her husband are on a fixed income.  Paul Ryan is back in his home state trying to sell his budget to his constituents.  If you‘ve seen him talking to the press lately, Ryan doesn‘t like to boast that he‘s cutting tax rates for the wealthy.


RYAN:  So, first of all, we‘re not talking about cutting taxes.  We‘re just not agreeing with the president‘s tax increases.  I guess that‘s the new definition of tax cuts.


SCHULTZ:  Well, that‘s when he‘s facing the nation.  When he‘s facing the people of Elk Horn, Wisconsin—Ryan changes his tune.


RYAN:  So, what I‘m saying is get rid of all the junk in the tax code which, by the way, are mostly enjoyed by upper income individuals so you can lower tax rates in exchange.


SCHULTZ:  You see, folks, your taxes will go down if you happen to earn $373,000 a year.  You know what the average income is for someone living in Ryan‘s congressional district?  Well, it‘s about $58,000 a year.  You‘ll see how far that takes him under Ryan‘s Medicare plan.

“The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel” reports June Kilgren of Waukesha, Wisconsin, said her own experience with insurance companies makes her concerned about how the next generation will deal with it under Ryan‘s Medicare plan.  She worries about denial of coverage and costs.  Kilgren, who attended a Ryan town hall meeting yesterday and said, quote, “I don‘t quite trust Ryan‘s plan, no matter what you say.”

Well, joining me now tonight is going to be June Kilgren from Waukesha, Wisconsin.

June, thank you.

You were at that town hall.  What did you make of Ryan‘s plan?

JUNE KILGREN, WISCONSIN RESIDENT:  I have some big concerns about it.  It didn‘t explain everything thoroughly and I don‘t think it took into account that this won‘t go into effect for 10 years for the people who are 55 and under, or 54 and other, actually.  And at that point, we have no idea of what the health care costs are going to be.

He gave us some numbers as to what the government would pay for these programs, but it‘s so big.  You‘re talking like 10 years away.  I just don‘t understand how they can project that would be properly covered.

It‘s kind of like you‘re asking these insurance companies to insure

people and supposedly would have a choice of selection just like Congress

or the Senate.  But with Congress and the Senate, you‘re talking about a

lot of rather healthy people.  When you get a lot of people who are over 65

which is what the group would be that would be in his alternative plan -

they could have a lot of health problems.


And so, are the insurance companies going to have enough money that they are going to consistently upgrade to cover these people?  I have my doubts.  Then they would either have to increase deductibles or they would have to increase co-pays or possibly would have to drop these people.

SCHULTZ:  Well, he mentioned -- 

KILGREN:  Who would want them?

SCHULTZ:  He mentioned a voucher.


SCHULTZ:  And did he put a number on that voucher?

KILGREN:  Well, I think he said it was either $12,000 or $15,000 that the average person would get but then the people who are more wealthy would get means tested.  Well, that‘s not going to fly too well with people who have been paying into this program all their lives.

SCHULTZ:  No doubt.

KILGREN:  I‘m not sure they would be so happy.

SCHULTZ:  June Kilgren of Waukesha, Wisconsin—thank you for joining us tonight.

For more analysis, let‘s turn to the president of the National Action Network, Reverend Al Sharpton.

Reverend, great to have you with us tonight.

Who‘s going to be affected negatively?  I mean, who can make it on a voucher of $15,000 versus the Medicare system we have right now?

REV. AL SHARPTON, NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK:  It‘s incredible.  I mean, what are you going to do with $15,000 to give a voucher to someone of $15,000 without even bringing into consideration the cost?  I mean, I think Governor Rendell was correct.

Just the pharmaceutical companies, all of these people, they‘re not in the charity business.  They‘re going to continue to try and make as much as they can and it will escalate over these 10 years.  I think it‘s an insult to the intelligence of the American people.

SCHULTZ:  But one of the reasons why LBJ pushed so hard for Medicare is because it helped poor people.

SHARPTON:  That‘s right.

SCHULTZ:  Does this plan help poor people?

SHARPTON:  It will make poor people be even in a worse situation than they are now.  It‘s bad enough to be poor.  It‘s even worse to be insulted, because you don‘t have the means of others that are wealthy.

SCHULTZ:  Does the president get this?

SHARPTON:  I think the president does.  I think his plan and how aggressively he has come out in the last few days is a direct answer, specific answer to an—a nonspecific plan 10 years down the road that can only get worse in the Ryan plan.

SCHULTZ:  So, you‘re confident that there will be no budging by this president when it comes to Medicare and Medicaid?

SHARPTON:  I think that this president will not budge.  I think he said that.  I think that so far, we‘ve been able to hold him to his word.

SCHULTZ:  Your people in your organization, the National Action Network, what kind of pushback is going to be planned against this Ryan budget if it hits the poor people as hard as you say it does?

SHARPTON:  As much pushback as we can muster and my group and many other groups because you‘re talking about the health of people in this country would be based on their income and the economic strata they‘re in not based upon a country that believes in equal fairness for everyone.  Health care should not be based on income.  And I think that‘s what LBJ saw and that‘s what we need to see today.

SCHULTZ:  And Reverend Sharpton, I want to go back to our last segment.  Do you hold out the same confidence that Ed Rendell does, that maybe the Republicans will sign on to some tax increases for the wealthy to help the budgeting of this country?

SHARPTON:  Well, I think Ed has a lot of hope.  I have faith in the American people.  I don‘t know how much hope I have in the Republicans.

SCHULTZ:  All right.  Reverend Al Sharpton, great to have you with us tonight.

SHARPTON:  Thank you.

SCHULTZ:  Appreciate it.

He‘s got my endorsement and wait until you see who else is endorsing Donald Trump.  President Obama.  Might want to think about—think twice about running for re-election.  Do you think?

Ohio Governor John Kasich talks tough about financial responsibility.  So, why are his airplane costs costing taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars?  “The Takedown” is next.  Stay with us.


SCHULTZ:  It‘s time for the Takedown.  Ohio Governor John Kasich is part of the new breed of Republican bully governors.  This budget is chock full of cuts to essential programs like, you know, education—nobody cares about that—Health care—righties, they don‘t like that—public libraries?  Who wants to read? 

I mean, they‘re going after everything.  Like Scott Walker in Wisconsin, Kasich passed a union busting bill that cuts public employee pensions.  He says the state‘s budget gap is forcing just everybody to make sacrifices, except for him of course. 

The “Dayton Daily News” reports that Kasich has owned state owned planes, like this one here—let‘s see, what is there?  Hold it.  That‘s a twin engine.  That‘s a turbo.  That‘s a jet prop, baby.  That son of a gun is expensive to run.  Like the one -- 20 trips in the first three months on that son of a gun?  That‘s spendy. 

Cost to the taxpayers in Ohio; 31,400 dollars in 81 days.  Former Democratic Governor Ted Strickland only spent that much after 13 months in office.  So who‘s the big spender?  Kasich‘s spokesman, Rob Nichols, is defending his boss.  He says “keeping and growing jobs and companies in Ohio requires a governor with the initiative to get out of the state house.” 

That would be fly out of the state house.  Nichols sure sounds a heck of a lot different today than he did back in 2010, when then candidate Kasich was criticizing Governor Strickland for using state aircraft.  Quoting Nichols back then, “frankly, there needs to be a closer review of whether the plane‘s cost can even still be justified at all.” 

I guess they didn‘t want to create jobs back then.  Had the wrong guy in the office, right? 

Hypocrisy like that is fitting for someone who works for Governor Kasich.  Listen to what the governor said to the cities and towns in Ohio that will take on the burden of his state budget cuts. 


GOV. JOHN KASICH ®, OHIO:  The message to local government is get into the 21st century, control your costs. 


SCHULTZ:  Get into the 21st century, fly private.  And while you‘re controlling those costs, Governor Kasich will be flying high above you, you Ohioan resident, at the rate of 387 dollars a day, that‘s right.  And that is the Takedown. 

You know how Paul Ryan voted on his plan?  Do you know if your congressman—how your Congress people voted to cut taxes for the rich and destroy Medicare?  I‘ll tell you coming up. 

And President Obama finally called out Wall Street speculators for the role in driving up gas prices.  The question is will he—what will he do to stop them from going up?  That‘s next.


SCHULTZ:  Welcome back.  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW and thanks for watching tonight.  If you‘ve been watching the show for the past couple of months, you know the cost of gasoline is sky high because Wall Street speculators are driving up the price. 


SCHULTZ:  Wall Street picks your pocket every time you go to the grocery store, fill up at the gas station, or turn up your thermostat. 

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT:  The supply of gasoline in the united states today is at an 18-year high—an 18-year high.  And yet I think what Wall Street is doing is using the guise of the Middle East crisis to raise prices and force prices up through market speculation. 

SCHULTZ:  Testimony in the House last week shed light on the fact that the Wall Street manipulation is causing high gas prices. 


SCHULTZ:  Well, we hoped President Obama would acknowledge the problem and appoint someone to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission who would vote for limits on speculations to solve this problem.  He came close a couple weeks ago in Pennsylvania. 


OBAMA:  You add on top of that what is happening in the Middle East and it makes folks nervous.  And so these folks start saying you know what?  I‘m going to bid a higher price on a barrel of oil now because I‘m thinking it‘s going to go up a little further in case something happens on the world oil markets.  And that pushes prices up just a little bit more. 


SCHULTZ:  All right.  We‘re getting close.  And today the president finally said loud and clear who was responsible for rising gas prices in this country? 


OBAMA:  I wish I could tell you that there was some easy, simple solution to this.  It is true that a lot of what‘s driving oil prices up right now is not the lack of supply.  There is enough supply. 

The problem is that oil is sold on these world markets and speculators and people make various bets. 


SCHULTZ:  There you go.  The president said what we‘ve been saying for weeks.  It‘s not supply and demand.  We‘ve got plenty of supply.  It‘s Wall Street manipulation.  Got that, America?  That‘s a good first step. 

Now what is going to be done about it?  What‘s the president going to do about it? 

Joining me tonight is Michael Greenberger, a former director at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the CFTC.  Michael, thanks for being here tonight. 

This is quite an admission by the president and the administration.  But now the key is they got to do something about it.  Do you hold hope for that? 

MICHAEL GREENBERGER, FORMER CFTC COMMISSIONER:  I do hold hope for it.  I think the American public have put the feet to the fire not only of the president but members of Congress to get them moving on this.  But there are remedies available.  This is not something we have to tolerate. 

The president has finally acknowledged what airlines, truckers, chocolate manufacturers, heating oil dealers, gas station owners have been saying for weeks now.  This is not a problem with supply. 

As you said, the Wall Streeters are saying oh, Libya, all the unrest in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia may collapse.  But now everybody recognizes we‘re awash in supply.  But the problem is we‘re also awash in gambling on the price.

And that gambling is inspired by the same Wall Street banks we had to rescue from their gambling problems over subprime mortgages in the fall of 2008. 

SCHULTZ:  Now that is a heck of a sound bite you just gave us there.  I mean, if the American people can‘t grab that and the severity of this, I don‘t know what it‘s going to take.  Now do you think that gas prices would fall as soon as position limits are put into place? 

GREENBERGER:  I think gas prices would fall if position limits were put into place.  But frankly, the president has the power of the bully pulpit here.  If he calls out these big banks, who have already taken so much from the American people in the bailouts, in the great interest rates, the low interest rates they have to pay in their gambling and stock markets, and all across, if he calls them out—Jamie Dimon just got a 23 million dollar bonus.  He‘s the CEO of JP Morgan Chase. 

The president ought to say these bankers, who are awash in money, awash in gambling, have to stop.  They have to think about the public and stop the gambling. 

In 2008, Speaker Pelosi introduced legislation that would have ordered the CFTC to declare emergencies in these markets, stop the gambling, and that bill passed on June 26th, 2008, 402 to 19. 

We need this kind of leadership now.  This just can‘t be a sides mate at various campaign stops.  This has got to be a full thwarted measure.  Even Goldman Sachs last week, one of the foremost casinos in this kind of gambling, admitted that the price of gasoline is inflated by excessive speculation. 

SCHULTZ:  And of course, the Republicans are going to come out with gas prices so high, saying that we‘re not drilling enough.  You hear people in high ranking places say that it‘s a supply and demand issue.  And now the president has gone on record saying that it is not. 

I think it‘s a big first step.  And of course, position limits would certainly help the cause. 

Michael Greenberger, great to have you with us.  We‘re going to come back to you again on this story.  And it‘s a story we‘re not going to let go. 

I endorsed him last night.  And it looks like I guess I started a trend.  See who‘s backing Donald Trump now.


SCHULTZ:  Thanks for watching tonight.  There‘s been a lot of talk on the blogs about my shouting lately.  We don‘t want to offend any Republicans.  It all started with my appearance with Michael Steele on Bill Maher‘s show “Realtime” on HBO on Friday night. 

My position is that what the Republicans passed in the House last Friday will hurt America like it‘s never hurt this country before.  They call it a Path to Prosperity.  I call it a Road to Ruin. 

Here‘s what‘s in it: defunding Medicare as we know it by giving 15,000 dollar vouchers to the elderly folks in this country, and sending them to negotiate with the private insurance companies. 

Now, just think about that.  You know what you can do if you go to any of these town hall meetings?  You can ask your representative or your senator, how far does 15,000 dollars go when it comes to elderly care in this country for somebody over 65?  How far does 15 grand do? 

It will gets you in the door and get you a couple aspirin.  That‘s about it. 

Medicare block grants for states so that they can do whatever they want to do with it—so think about that; Medicaid is now going to go to governors like Kasich and other right wingers out there who won election.  Can you imagine what Governor Walker would do with a block grant?  I mean, he isn‘t going to put it where it‘s supposed to be. 

Let‘s go after the kids now.  Cutting Pell Grants, making it harder for poor students to go to college.  Think about that.  What kind of political voice do they have?  Nada, zero, nothing.  So they‘ll go after the kids. 

Gutting taxes for the rich from 35 to 25 percent.  Oh, yeah, because, see, this will create alt jobs in the world.  You saw the graph earlier tonight.  No, it does not. 

Increasing the Pentagon budget by five billion.  That‘s just for next year alone.  War, baby, war.  Increase the military spending.  You know, the truth of the matter is a lot of this increase is going to be because the Pentagon has got this thing called—what is it called?  I forget.  Oh, health care, health care for medical families. 

Their costs are going through the roof.  Nobody is paying attention to it. 

This is the map of the United States of America.  And the areas in red are the districts that the 235 Republicans who voted for this represent.  This is where they are.  All this red area is where the Republicans are. 

And they wanted to get rid of Medicare and Medicaid. 

Look at this, old folks in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa.  How do you feel about Medicare being gutted by this Ryan plan? 

Well, look, your representatives voted for it.  Look at all this red.  So the next time you—look at Texas.  Well, of course Texas.  They want to secede from the union.  You don‘t need any health care down there.  They got Rick Perry. 

This is amazing to me when you put a color to it.  This is where all of the Republicans voted to get rid of the New Deal.  That is exactly what it is.  And maybe I should change the terminology on this program and just say it‘s going after the New Deal all the time. 

Whoever represents you, I think they deserve to have their names put out there.  Don‘t you?  Let‘s take a look a them.  Do we have their names?  I think we do. 

Look at that.  Look at all of these people in the Congress that don‘t like FDR, don‘t like JFK, don‘t like LBJ.  They think Obama is a socialist.  Medicare and Medicaid has saved lives.  It‘s given people dignity in their later years.  They paid into it. 

But these folks right here—they‘re all Republicans.  They want to cut it.  They want to cut it big time. 

If you would like to find out how your representative voted on the Republican plan for this budget, you can find a link at and feel free to let them know how you feel. 

The GOP elites are sounding the alarms.  Looks like the Republicans may have created their own Trump problem.  That‘s next.  Stay with us.


SCHULTZ:  Finally tonight, I know it‘s still early, but Republicans don‘t seem to be really too thrilled about the GOP field for 2012, do they?  They really don‘t like Romney that much.  Sarah has kind of lost her sparkle.

So last night, I just had to step out and I gave a possible contender the Ed Schultz seal of approval. 


SCHULTZ:  For the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, I am endorsing—sorry, dude, you only get one balloon. 


SCHULTZ:  Well, it looks like I opened up the floodgates.  Today, Trump picked up the crucial professional train wreck vote. 


GARY BUSEY, FORMER “CELEBRITY APPRENTICE”:  I created a few uses for his first and last name.  T-R-U-M-P stands for Taking Redirection Understanding Massive Power. 


SCHULTZ:  Holy smokes.  How can he lose?  Time now to call in host of “America‘s Morning News,” Amy Holmes.  Amy, good to have you with us tonight. 

AMY HOLMES, HOST, “AMERICA‘S MORNING NEWS”:  Great to be with you. 

SCHULTZ:  You know, Donald Trump is out there in the polls.  He‘s polling well early on.  And he‘s made the Birther story, of course, his benchmark, his I guess leap frog type thing.  You know what I mean? 

HOLMES:  It certainly has catapulted him from the headlines to the front of the pack. 

SCHULTZ:  Thank you.  And 48 percent of GOP voters in Iowa, they‘re not sure if President Obama was born in the United States.  How is Iowa going to go?  And what kind of effect does Trump have? 

HOLMES:  Well, he certainly has had an effect on his own name and his own headlines.  I had a chance to interview him this morning.  And let me tell you, he‘s a great interview.  He‘s a great talker.  He gives good quotes. 

And, Ed, I have to congratulate you.  This was a stroke of genius on your part to endorse Donald Trump last night.  Not only do you discredit him to other Republicans, but you also keep the Birther story alive, which is actually really good for Democrats.  Because, as I say, it alienates all of those people who think it‘s hogwash. 

SCHULTZ:  He is the perfect candidate for the Democrats.  There is no question about it.  And then his interview with Savannah Guthrie earlier today obviously shows that the guy is not equipped.  He‘s not schooled up on the issues.  He doesn‘t even know where he stands. 

What about that?  He used to be pro-life—not pro-life and now he is.  He‘s not sure about the privacy issue in relationship to Roe v. Wade.  How does that stand up? 

HOLMES:  Well, we have a commander chief who has also flip flopped on a number of core positions he campaigned on, if I may point out.  So I think the American public can be forgiving of these things if he flops in the right direction or flips in the right direction, and if they like the guy. 

And that‘s the problem actually{ with Donald Trump is he has very high negative numbers with the public.  So they know him.  They watch him.  They like “The Apprentice.”  They like Gary Busey and they like that whole shouting match with Meatloaf, whatever that was about.

But in terms of whether they want to see him on 1600 Pennsylvania, that is another matter. 

SCHULTZ:  Is Trump a bully, in your opinion? 

HOLMES:  A bully?  Well, I really didn‘t like the whole exchange he had with Rosie O‘Donnell.  Some of the words that came out of his mouth about her I found at the time to be really ungentlemanly, ugly, certainly not anything we would want our commander in chief, president of the United States to be saying about anybody.

But, you know, Donald Trump speaks his mind.  And I‘ll tell you in the interview this morning, you asked a question and he runs with it.  And it‘s hard to get a word in edgewise. 

SCHULTZ:  The cameras love the guy, no doubt about it.  Everybody wants to interview him to see if they can do a better job than the last person. 

HOLMES:  It‘s not easy.  Let me tell you. 

SCHULTZ:  That‘s right.  What does this mean for the other candidates, like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann?  I don‘t know if Palin‘s going to get in or not.  But what about Bachmann?  He‘s stealing the camera time? 

HOLMES:  He‘s stealing it for now.  But this is a star that could burn out very quickly.  It‘s burning bright now, but it could trail off.  And remember, all these candidates, they have been holding back anyway, before Donald Trump even came into this scene. 

They‘re testing their pollsters, their fund raising capabilities.  You saw Rick Santorum on your rival network with Greta saying that he—it takes a lot of money to run for the president of the United States.  And a lot of these people are trying to figure out if they have what it takes. 

SCHULTZ:  Amy Holmes, thanks for your time tonight.  Looking forward to having you on again.  Thanks so much. 

HOLMES:  Thank you. 

SCHULTZ:  Tonight in our survey, I asked will the tax cuts for the rich help the poor?  Twenty six percent of you said yes; 74 percent of you watching said no. 

That‘s THE ED SHOW.  I‘m Ed Schultz.  We‘ll see you back here tomorrow night.  For more information on THE ED SHOW, we‘d like to take you to our new blog at, and my radio website at 

“THE LAST WORD” with Lawrence O‘Donnell starts right now. 



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