Guests: Jared Bernstein, Rep. John Garamendi, Leo Gerard, Ron Christie, Lena Taylor, Ben
Jealous, Veda Shook
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good morning, Americans. And welcome to THE ED SHOW tonight from New York.
Last night, John Boehner got on TV and tried to sell his radical vision for America. Tonight, Boehner‘s bill is going back to the drawing board, because, you see, his party doesn‘t think the bill is quite radical enough.
Now, the vote on the Boehner bill is being moved from tomorrow to Thursday. Republicans still can‘t get their act together, and they‘re holding your economic future hostage.
I‘ll show you what a blank check is.
This is THE ED SHOW. Let‘s get to work.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: The president wanted a blank check six months ago and he wants a blank check today.
SCHULTZ (voice-over): The speaker of the House is lying to the American public. Tonight, I‘m going to set him straight.
Congressman John Garamendi of California says the president needs to use the 14th Amendment to raise the debt ceiling. The congressman is here.
Scott Walker‘s assault on democracy continues in Wisconsin. Tonight, Senator Lena Taylor and Ben Jealous of the NAACP on the latest Republican efforts to block the vote.
The FAA shutdown—just how much does that cost and how many jobs does it kill?
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight, folks.
Have you digested what we witnessed last night on American television?
Well, John Boehner clearly is not a leader. The speaker of the House is desperately trying to get enough members of his party to sign on to his plan to hold President Obama accountable?
Boehner held a House Republican caucus meeting 12 hours after he lied about President Obama in front of a national audience.
Last night Boehner said something that really caught my attention and the attention of THE ED SHOW audience.
Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOEHNER: The sad truth is that the president wanted a blank check six months ago and he wants a blank check today. This is just not going to happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Boehner took the same garbage to the real leader of the Republican Party today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: What happens when we get to next April when this new trillion-dollar line of credit that‘s being added expires and we‘re right back where we are today?
BOEHNER: Well, that‘s—that‘s—that‘s the point the president‘s making. That‘s why he wants a $2.4 trillion blank check today that lets him continue his spending spree.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Boehner using the Drugster to corral the radical Tea Party element of his caucus? Well, it‘s not working.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN ®, MINNESOTA: This Republican will not vote to raise the debt ceiling.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Amen to that.
And this hour, the tan man doesn‘t have the votes to get the bill through the House and the president has threatened to veto Boehner‘s plan, if it ever reaches his desk.
Tonight, Boehner‘s plan is on the cutting room floor, after the CBO scored it and showed it cut just $50 billion less than advertised. Once again, they can‘t add and subtract. The debate is showing Americans just who John Boehner really is.
You see, dude, he ain‘t real deep. In fact, he‘s got a short fuse, he doesn‘t like working very hard, and the tan man is a heck of a lot more comfortable on a bar stool or with a five iron in his hand. He‘s lazy.
And he‘s not even using his own talking points. The “giving Obama a blank check” line comes from the mind of Turd Blossom himself, Karl Rove. Rove‘s Crossroads GPS group is using the line in a commercial in some key swing states.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NARRATOR: Obama‘s $830 billion stimulus failed.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Shovel-ready was not as shovel ready as we expected.
NARRATOR: Fourteen million out of work, America drowning in debt.
It‘s time to take away Obama‘s blank check.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Crossroads is also targeting Democratic Senator Bill Nelson. I might help him with that one. Bill Nelson from Florida. Also Claire McCaskill—there‘s another one that‘s not really a lefty. Jon Tester‘s OK and Sherrod Brown is great.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NARRATOR: Sorry, Senator Nelson, no more reckless spending, no new taxes, and no more blank checks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tell Senator Bill Nelson, no more blank checks.
NARRATOR: Sorry, Senator McCaskill. No more reckless spending, no new taxes, and no more blank checks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tell Senator Sherrod Brown --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We‘ve got to take away President Obama‘s blank checks.
NARRATOR: Sorry, Senator Tester. No more reckless spending, no new taxes, and no more blank checks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, who did write Congressman Boehner and Speaker Boehner‘s speech last night?
Take a look at what a blank check looks like. President Obama.
That‘s right, he isn‘t asking for a blank check to spend more money. He‘s
proposed $4.7 trillion in cuts and Boehner basically told him to go to hell
Shared sacrifice is what the president of the United States has been talking about. And you know what would have been in that $4.7 trillion? Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security.
But you know, that deal was gone. That was the deal that Boehner didn‘t take. But $4.7 trillion! How many zeros is that? One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11!
What is the price of President Obama‘s failure to the Republicans?
Hell, it is a blank check. I mean, it ain‘t $4.7 trillion.
You know how big this is? This is bigger than the health care bill and the stimulus package two times over. This is the largest can cut that‘s ever been proposed by any president in the history of the United States. And Boehner turned it down.
Now, you tell me, do you think they really want to do a deal? Now, this ship has left the harbor. But at a time, this is where the president was ready to go. And to visualize that and what it means to the American people is amazing. And what does Boehner do? He comes back on national television and says that it‘s President Obama who is creating the crisis atmosphere.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOEHNER: Obviously, I expect that bill can and will pass the Senate and be sent to the president for a signature. And if the president signs it, the crisis atmosphere that he has created will simply disappear.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHUTZ: Let‘s see. I‘ve never written one of these before. Four—how do you do that? Do you just put a point there or do you do that? I‘ve never written one this big. Four-point-seven trillion and zero dollars, right?
They turned that down.
Nancy Pelosi has been on fire throughout this entire ordeal. And she cuts right to the chase and she is willing to tell the American people straight up exactly what the Republicans really want to destroy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: This isn‘t just about they‘re saying we should reduce the deficit. The budget deficit is an excuse for the Republicans to undermine government, plain and simple. They don‘t just want to make cuts, they want to destroy. They want to destroy food safety, clean air, clean water, the Department of Education. They want to destroy your rights.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Four-one-seven trillion dollars. That‘s what Boehner turned down. And he turns to the American people and says, what? He says that the president is hard to deal with?
Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think.
Tonight‘s question: Is John Boehner being honest with the American people? Text A for yes, and text B for no to 622639. And, of course, you can always go to our new blog at Ed.MSNBC.com and my radio Web site WeGotEd.com for all kinds of commentary. I‘ll bring you the results later on in the program.
Congressman John Garamendi from California joins us tonight.
John, great to have you with us.
At this hour, Mr. Boehner is crafting yet another bill with deeper cuts. Where does this stand for the Republicans? And one other point that I find very interesting is that they are making the rounds to conservative media, trying to gin up support to get enough of these Tea Partiers on board. They‘re going to Hannity, they‘re going to Limbaugh, they‘re going to some conservative magazines and whatnot.
What does this say about where they are right now?
REP. JOHN GARAMENDI (D), CALIFORNIA: I think they‘re in tremendous disarray. You just saw Michele Bachmann saying no way would she ever vote for a change in the debt limit. And I think that‘s where most of the Tea Party, the new Republicans stand—in which case Boehner will not be able to get this done.
And that brings us to, well, what do we do now? If we can‘t get a bill through the House that has any chance of actually solving this problem. And I must say the president has put forth a very balanced plan. Some of that $4 trillion is actually what we‘ve been demanding, which is, let‘s raise some taxes, get our money back from the oil companies, and make those Wall Street barons pas pay their fair share. So, that‘s part of the $4.7 billion.
But I don‘t think the Republicans are going to go for anything. That takes us to the penultimate fail-safe plan, and it‘s actually been in the Constitution, that we read verbatim the very first day of this legislative year.
SCHULTZ: And that is the 14th amendment.
Now, you have been an advocate of that. You‘re saying that the president should go down this road. Again, today, the White House said that‘s not going to be in play.
But are there enough members in Congress that might be able to convince the White House and the president that this is the road to take at this 11th hour that we keep hearing about?
GARAMENDI: Well, I think I just said so. Those are the Republicans that are refusing to do anything that‘s rational to solve this --
SCHULTZ: But what‘s it going to take to change the president‘s mind?
He says he‘s not going to use his constitutional powers here?
GARAMENDI: Well, I think a careful reading by him and a careful counting of the numbers in the House of Representatives will cause him to change his mind. He has the power.
I think if you take a look at the 14th amendment, he has the power there to actually pay the bills. It says America‘s got to honor its debts, period. And he can do that.
It will cause a ruckus, but after all, he‘s the leader, and he has the power, in my view, and he ought to take that as the fail-safe point, and it‘s coming down very, very quickly. The Republicans are clearly—they made a major misstep here. They thought they could use this debt ceiling crisis as a way of leveraging into the American public policy, just a disaster for health care, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and wiping out a lot of other programs. It‘s not working.
SCHULTZ: And what Mr. Boehner said last night is he‘s being less than honest with the American people, from what you saw?
GARAMENDI: Oh, clearly. Clearly. The president‘s never had a blank check. The president doesn‘t have the checkbook. The House of Representatives has the checkbook., and the Senate. That‘s who controls the checkbook.
The president gets to sign it, yes or no.
GARAMENDI: But he doesn‘t control it, and that‘s up to us to do that. And, in fact, we have made—together with the president—very, very substantial offers to reduce and to attack the deficit.
SCHULTZ: So they‘re lying?
GARAMENDI: And it was done.
SCHULTZ: They‘re lying.
Congressman Garamendi, thanks for joining us tonight. Appreciate your time.
GARAMENDI: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Now, let‘s turn to United Steelworkers International president, Leo Gerard.
Mr. Gerard, god to have you with us. You have said all along that there is a jobs crisis, that‘s what we should be focusing on right now. What would $2.7 -- $2.7, this is the new Harry Reid number, what would $2.7 trillion do to the job market in this country in your opinion?
LEO GERARD, PRES., UNITED STEELWORKERS: Well, look it. I think I want to say first off, Ed, that I agree with you and Congressman Garamendi that John Boehner‘s been less than honest with the American public. And the kinds of cuts that we‘re talking about are the wrong discussion to be having in this country right now. And if we make the kinds of cuts that Harry Reid is talking about and we do those in a fashion where we‘re eliminating waste and fraud, pulling our people out of these unnecessary wars, spending less on the defense that we don‘t need, including buying submarines to attack Russians that don‘t make submarine base anymore and that kind of stuff, we can maybe see our way out of it.
But the reality, Ed, is this—we have a jobs crisis in America. We have a real unemployment rate that was brought on by Bush policies.
The problem with these debates is we‘re forgetting what really occurred. The deficit was brought to us by Bush. The joblessness came from the Wall Street collapse that happened under Bush‘s agenda.
And now we‘re talking about having kids‘ college tuition go up, old people‘s retirement getting reduced, Medicare being restructured while we‘re still having hedge fund managers who made out like bandits during this collapse pay 15 percent on their taxes while people like I and you and the people I‘m privileged to represent pay 30 percent.
SCHULTZ: If you had that blank check that Boehner‘s talking about, what would you want the president to do with it?
GERARD: I‘d want the president to start looking at rebuilding America‘s infrastructure. I‘d want us to get a transportation bill. I‘d want us to start looking at renewable energy. I‘d want the FAA workers to go back to work.
Imagine that we‘ve got 4,000 FAA workers that unemployed. That‘s going to ripple into 16,000, because these right-wing extremists wouldn‘t approve the FAA bill. And what they‘re doing is they‘re causing the jobs crisis to expand.
SCHULTZ: And Mr. Gerard, you‘ve been in many negotiations during your career. Where the president started and where he is right now? I mean, we‘re talking about a lower number, we‘re talking about no tax increases, we‘re talking about possibly a commission that would decide the entitlements later on.
I mean, this is—I mean, he has gone as far as he can go. Or am I wrong on that?
GERARD: Look, I think the president‘s bent over backwards. He‘s tried every which way to compromise.
And, look, this isn‘t his first rodeo. He‘s been trying to compromise with these guys since they got elected. They tried to screw him up on health care. They screwed him up on immigration reform. Every chance they‘ve got to trip him up, they‘ve done it.
And if I have a concern about this president, I think he‘s far too conciliatory. He should have just laid the marker down early on and he should have been bargaining from his piece of paper. If he would have said, the best way to reduce this deficit is to get this unemployment rate down from 14 percent down to 6 percent or 7 percent or 5 percent or 4 percent, when Clinton left off when Bush gave us this deficit.
Let me make one final point, Ed, that in Paul O‘Neill‘s book “The Price of Loyalty,” he walked in while Bush and Cheney were talking about these tax cuts, and Paul O‘Neill said these tax cuts would bankrupt the country. Cheney said, we won the election, this is our due, and Ronald Reagan proved deficits don‘t matter.
These guys caused this problem. Now they want the people I‘m privileged to represent in the middle class to pay for it again and that‘s wrong and we night to fight them and we need to expose them.
SCHULTZ: And Boehner‘s talking about blank checks and the aftermath of all that.
GERARD: Boehner‘s a liar.
SCHULTZ: He‘s lying to the American people, no doubt.
GERARD: He is a liar.
SCHULTZ: Leo Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers International—great to have y you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
GERARD: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Remember to answer tonight‘s question there at the bottom of the screen. I want to know what you think.
Nothing will ever get past if Republicans won‘t compromise. We‘ll ask Republican strategist Ron Christie and former Vice President Biden‘s economic adviser Jared Bernstein, if that will ever happen.
And voter suppression happens in Wisconsin. Now, Governor Scott Walker is making it harder for many voters to participate in election.
Stay with us. We‘re right back.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.\
House Speaker John Boehner gets so worked up about so-called big government last night, he said this --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOEHNER: You know, I‘ve always believed the bigger the government, the smaller the people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Really? “The bigger the government, the smaller the people”?
Well, hold it right there. Not true. It turns out, the bigger the government, the bigger people.
The chart plots 60 countries and compares average male height to the amount of taxes as a percentage of the economy. Basically, the more robust governments coincide with taller people. The theories explaining this are pretty consistent.
More developed countries with broader, better social safety nets and universal health care produce healthier, taller people over generations. We just want to get that right.
Now, Boehner really didn‘t mean that statement literally, but it‘s funny how it worked out. He wasn‘t talking tall people versus short people.
He said big government saps the drive out of our people, but what he doesn‘t get is this—when government is too small, it saps the life out of our people, because they‘re struggling to cover the kind of human necessities other countries take for granted. Like basic health care.
So, John Boehner, your statement about big government is wrong, no matter how you slice it.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.
Last night, President Obama said the American people were fed up and he‘s right.
But Republicans are still trying to sell their plan through the right-wing media. We already told you about the Boehner trying to get clearance from the Drugster, Rush Limbaugh. But now, “Politico” reports a bigger P.R. campaign by Boehner and his top lieutenants. They are privately reaching out to Sean Hannity, Brit Hume, and “The Wall Street Journal,” and conservative commentators of the “National Review,” “The Weekly Standard,” and other publications.
No wonder they‘re so desperate, because the numbers are showing they are in trouble.
In a new poll, 46 percent trust President Obama more to make the right decisions on how to reduce the federal deficit. Thirty-four percent—that‘s (INAUDIBLE) by the way—trust Republicans more. Thirty-nine percent were more concerned about an agreement that cuts too much from government programs. Only 19 percent were concerned about an agreement that authorizes too much federal spending.
Let‘s bring in senior fellow at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, Jared Bernstein, who used to work with Vice President Biden. And also Republican strategist Ron Christie.
Gentlemen, where are we?
Ron Christie, let me ask you. I pointed out $4.7 trillion, the president put it on the table, the Republicans didn‘t take it. If they‘re not—let‘s go back to square one. If they‘re not going to take that first offer at that big number, what are they going to take?
RON CHRISTIE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, good evening, Ed, and good evening, Jared.
I think what the Republicans are going to take is something that‘s in the best interest of the American people. And what‘s in the best interest of the American people is a responsible plan, a plan that is going to get us, trying to finally get our fiscal house in order while curbing entitlements, reducing the runaway discretionary spending, but at the same time ending --
SCHULTZ: Well, $4.7 trillion does that, doesn‘t it, Ron? That‘s the biggest cut ever offered by any president in the history of this country, and Boehner turned it down.
CHRISTIE: Well, Ed, you‘ve known me for a while and I‘m a lawyer. And I‘m lawyer and lawyers like to see the details. President Obama has failed to put anything in writing, he‘s failed to put anything in paper, he‘s failed to present a plan to the American people.
When I had the honor and the privilege to work for President Bush, when he offered a plan to modernize Social Security, he set up a series of principles and he put it in writing. When he had an idea to modernize Medicare, put it in writing.
CHRISTIE: What has the president done?
SCHULTZ: Jared Bernstein --
CHRISTIE: Wait, let me finish my last point. My last point to this is that the Congressional Budget Office, the head of the Congressional Budget Office, Douglas Elmendorf, said, we cannot score and we cannot honestly say how much the president‘s plan would be worth, because we can‘t score his speech.
CHRISTIE: The American people want details.
SCHULTZ: OK. Well, it works both ways. The CBO tonight said that Boehner‘s math wasn‘t correct either. And so, that‘s why they move a vote back as well.
JARED BERNSTEIN, CTR. ON BUDGET AND POLICY PRIORITIES: I actually, look, I like where Ron started. I think he‘s right. I think that in the medium-term, we have to get our fiscal budget on a sustainable path.
And what‘s really blocking that, and I suspect Ron wouldn‘t disagree with this—what‘s blocking that are a group of house Republicans who simply will not get to yes no matter what. I mean, this president has gone so far out of his comfort zone, I should say, out of Democrats‘ comfort zone, by offering significant cuts. And, Ron, he had numbers on the table, $250 billion over ten years in Medicare, over $100 million in Medicaid, over $100 billion through the CPI in Social Security. These are -- $1.2 trillion in discretionary.
How do you get to $4.7? You add up all of those numbers.
This president bent over backwards, and I just don‘t see how anyone on any side of this debate can look at the Republicans, particularly in the House, particularly John Boehner and Eric Cantor and say they have been fair negotiators, they‘ve been willing to take a deal.
CHRISTIE: Let me answer that question, Jared, because I think that‘s a very valid point. First of all, the House Republicans, when they came into office, they campaigned and they said that the runaway spending in Washington, D.C., is for too much. The American people have to balance their checkbook, why can‘t Washington?
They offered a budget plan. It passed the House of Representatives. It went to the Senate. Nothing‘s happened. In fact, the Senate hasn‘t passed a budget in over 800 days.
They came back with cap, cut, and balance, of course. What happened with that? It went to the Senate and it died.
My only problem with the president of the United States, and having had for worked for one, the same as you have, is that you have to level with the American people. And you have to put it in writing and you have to say to folks, here‘s where I stand, here are my priorities. This is what I stand for.
SCHULTZ: Jared --
CHRISTIE: This president has only come up with a lot of platitudes, a lot of speeches, but he won‘t put it in writing.
BERNSTEIN: So this seems to be the latest line of attack. The president hasn‘t written down the various steps to the offer that he‘s made. I just took you through them -- $1.2 trillion in discretionary spending based on 10-year caps, $250 billion in Medicare, and I can take you through what the president has articulated on that; between $110 billion and $115 billion on Medicaid. I can keep going.
The president has been specific. Now, you mention that a number of plans have gotten through the House and not the Senate. You are absolutely right.
But guess what? We‘re dealing with divided government and we are a week out from a cataclysmic default self-inflicted on an economy that you know as well as I, Ron, can‘t take it.
So, this is not the time to say, hey, we tried, the House—this is the time to get around the table and negotiate. And tell me, Ron, and tell me, Ron—has your team fairly negotiated? I‘m talking about the House, not the Senate.
CHRISTIE: Of course we have!
BERNSTEIN: Oh, my goodness!
CHRISTIE: Here‘s the difference between negotiations. President Obama, actually, the proceeding weekend, John Boehner, the speaker of the House, had an agreement with Majority Leader Reid. He had an agreement with Nancy Pelosi. Of course, the majority leader went off the president and the president said no.
The Republicans have, quite frankly, been the party of yes. They said, yes, we‘re going to put our specifics in writing. Yes, we‘re going to actually have a vote on it. Yes, we‘re going to lay out our vision to the American people.
CHRISTIE: Here‘s the difference, Ed, and Jared knows this very well.
It‘s very easy to take shots at people and say --
SCHULTZ: But nobody‘s taking shots here -- --
CHRISTIE: But it‘s much harder --
SCHULTZ: I‘m going to finish this now.
Gentleman, great to have you with us. But I do want to say one thing. This is what Speaker Boehner should have done. He should have said, you know what, in the big world of business, sometimes deals are done on napkins before we get down to the devil in the detail.
I want to show the American people what President Obama just handed me, $4.7 trillion.
Ron, he should have taken that napkin after cocktail hour and gone out and said, look, what I got from the president! Holy smokes!
CHRISTIE: If we‘d had that napkin and if we‘d had that deal in writing, John Boehner would have been a lot happier with it --
BERNSTEIN: We‘ve got divided government and you‘ve got to compromise and your people walked.
SCHULTZ: We do.
Gentlemen, we‘ve got to run. Great to have you with us. Jared Bernstein and Ron Christie. Ron, take that deal on a napkin for $4.7 trillion, buddy.
The wealth gap in this country is the wide nest in a quarter century. But a new report shows when it comes to having more money, it sure helps to be white.
And one of FOX‘s straight news anchors thinks we should stop paying grandma her Social Security checks so we can go to war. Martha McCallum is going into the zone.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. You know, from time to time on this program, I talk about the income disparity and also the concentration of wealth in this country.
Well, here‘s another side effect of a lousy economy. The financial gains made by minority communities in this country over the past several decades have been erased. It‘s not good news.
According to a Pew Study of the new census data, the wealth gap between whites and minorities is at the widest level in a quarter century. The net worth of an average white household is 18 times greater than that of a Hispanic households and also 20 times greater than black households.
Here‘s the net worth of white, Hispanic, and black households in 2005. Those numbers are found by adding up assets like homes, cars, and bank accounts. After the housing crisis and the recession, this is what those wealth numbers looked like in 2005.
It‘s the biggest disparity since the government started tracking these figures three years ago. That‘s a modest 16 percent decrease for whites, a whopping 66 percent decrease for Hispanics, and a 53 percent drop for blacks in this country.
Yes, you heard that number correctly. Black and Hispanic households in America lost more than half their net worth in four years. And in case you forgot, last year the Census Bureau also said the number of Americans living in poverty was at a 15-year high.
Other stories tonight, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker already signed a bill that affects the voting rights of the poor. Now he‘s making it harder for them to vote at all.
And House Republicans have shut down the FAA because the Democrats won‘t let them destroy union rights. Thousands have already lost their jobs. The president of the world‘s largest flight attendant union joins me coming up. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Good to have you back with us tonight on THE ED SHOW. You know, one of the biggest political stories of this year has been what has unfolded in the state of Wisconsin. And I tell you, it just keeps coming at us.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is making it harder for thousands of people in that state to vote. Wisconsinites, where they love America and love to engage—Walker signed a voter I.D. bill into law last May, which means people without a photo I.D., well, they can‘t vote.
The law directly affects students, minorities, low-income voters, the elderly, and others that are traditionally less likely to have a photo I.D. or who traditionally vote Democratic. How about that?
Now the Walker administration is planning to close—planning to close as many as ten state Division of Motor Vehicle offices where people can obtain a photo I.D. Now, according to “Bloomberg Businessweek,” one Democratic lawmaker said Friday it appeared the decisions were based on politics, with the department targeting offices for closure in Democratic areas and expanding hours for those in Republican districts.
Leave the light on for you, huh? This is yet another move to stack the deck against Wisconsin voter who is want Scott Walker out of office. And they can start that process early next year.
This is one of the reasons THE ED SHOW will be broadcasting in Madison, Wisconsin, at the state senate recall elections next month. We‘re going to be broadcasting from outside the capitol building, on the corner of East Washington and Pinkney, August 8th and August 9th.
Care to join me?
Joining me tonight is Democratic State Senator Lena Taylor, and also the president and CEO of the NAACP, Ben Jealous, to give us a national view of all of this.
Because, my friends, this is exactly what‘s happening in numerous states across the country. These radical governors are presenting legislation that is strictly targeting minorities, the elderly and students.
Senator Taylor, you think the targeting of these DMV offices is politically motivated? Great to have you with us tonight.
LENA TAYLOR, WISCONSIN STATE SENATOR: It‘s great to be with you. And let me first answer your question. Yes, I‘m going to join you when you come to Wisconsin.
And I do believe that there is some political desires to stop individuals from voting by some of the measures that have been done. Because it‘s unnecessary—unnecessary challenges that we‘re creating for voters. Everything from making people get I.D.s to, you know, not giving them the opportunity to easily get the free voter I.D.s at the DMVs—and now you‘re closing the DMVs.
I mean, our governor has really gone too far. I think it‘s going to be unconstitutional, frankly.
SCHULTZ: Ben Jealous, I know this has been a big issue for the NAACP.
Where is this happening? How intense is it?
BEN JEALOUS, PRESIDENT, NAACP: You know, we have seen attempts to pass voter I.D. bills in 47 states. We have beaten them back in 17. They have passed in 30.
When you add this up with the registration I.D., which is even more nefarious, because it means that your voter registration form will not be processed if your state has one of these laws, if it does not have a copy of your I.D. attached to it. Now, Ed, when you do a voter registration drive, try to think about doing door-to-door processing while pushing a copy machine down the street. It just doesn‘t work.
Right now, it‘s a place in Georgia, it‘s a place Phoenix, of course, the great state of Arizona, which is sort of second to Wisconsin in exporting everything bad to our democracy. Forty thousand voters have already been disqualified in that state.
These two, plus the ex-felon disenfranchisement laws, which they just expanded in Florida, knocking 500,000 voters off the rolls, including a quarter million blacks—you add it all up and this is the biggest attack on voting rights in our country since 1896. It has the same sort of mean-spirited intentions that they did back then.
You know, when they put the ex-felon voter disenfranchisement in laws for the first time back then, they were much more plain spoken. The 1906 Virginia constitutional convention, one of the delegates put it plainly. He said, this plan in five years will ensure that the darkie is not a factor in our politics.
SCHULTZ: Lena, what do you say to this? This is some pretty radical stuff. This is America. What do you say to this, Senator Taylor?
TAYLOR: It is radical. And I‘m going to tell you, for Wisconsin, it‘s difficult for us to even fathom that we‘re going through this. Because in 1849 in Wisconsin, there was a referendum that said that suffrage for colored people—what happened, it was in 1865 that Ezekial Gillespie sued the city of Milwaukee to exercise that right to vote.
And in 1886, our supreme court provided it to him. So to have a governor in 2011 that is trying to do everything that he can to deny to deny African-Americans, Hispanics, and seniors and poor individuals access to their right to vote is disgraceful, frankly, to the legacy of Wisconsin, but to this nation. And I think that the president of the NAACP said it best.
SCHULTZ: I think that this is the most under covered story in politics in this country. What you have just said to us, the both of you tonight—where the hell is the media on this? I mean, this is really some unbelievable stuff.
Voter suppression at a rate like we have never seen for decades in this country. Well, you‘ve got a recall election coming up on August 9th, Lena Taylor. And I know that this—these laws into effect—don‘t take effect for this recall election. But what has this done to the motivation of the folks out there? What are you hearing across Wisconsin?
TAYLOR: Let me say first that they‘re the gift that keeps giving. Because of their continued attack on democracy and their willingness to just overreach, they‘ve continued to fuel people‘s desire to take back Wisconsin, take back their government.
So that‘s thing number one. The turnout has been pretty decent. But this is not going to stop us. This is going to motivate us even more.
We‘re working with the NAACP and some other organizations to make sure that
people get their driver‘s license, they get their I.D.s, so that people can
come out to vote. Because these recalls are very important. And July 3rd
June 3rd—I mean, January 3rd, we‘re coming for Governor Walker.
SCHULTZ: And how much is this going to affect the Obama campaign, in your opinion, Ben?
JEALOUS: Well, look, in Wisconsin, this voter I.D. bill will knock fully one-half of blacks and one-half of Latinos from the ballot box, if it was held right now. And people have to go out and get their driver‘s license.
This—look, this is being done now ostensibly for the same reason it was being done back then. They know which demographic they‘re going to impact. In Florida, our state conference president went right up to the secretary of state and said, why are you doing this? And they said, it‘s very important. That‘s all we can say. It‘s very important.
Look, they know that there‘s no good reason. There‘s certainly no reason that the founders of this country, you know, Dr. King or anybody that really believed in advancing democracy at that point in society would be able to endorse.
SCHULTZ: Well, we‘re going to do this story—well, we‘re going to do this story when we get to Wisconsin, because the people need to speak up on this. And this is huge. And in 47 states—you‘ve beaten in back in what you say, 17. So, I mean, they‘re making some headway in a very radical fashion.
Wisconsin State Senator Lena Taylor and Ben Jealous of the NAACP, thanks for joining us tonight. We‘ll do more on this story.
And a reminder, as I said, THE ED SHOW is going to be in Madison, Wisconsin, on the 8th and the 9th of August, broadcasting live from the corner of East Washington and Pinkney, in front of the state capital.
Come out and have your voices heard. Thank you.
Next in Psycho Talk, a Fox straight news anchor says we should spend less on grandma and more on war.
And a former ED SHOW guest says that Bush did a great job with the budget? It‘s a double header excitement of Psycho Talk.
SCHULTZ: And with our country heading towards default, it‘s time for some real leadership and real solutions. Fortunately, the Trumpster has a few ideas hiding under his hair piece. I mean, he‘s had a few scrapes with bankruptcy, hasn‘t he? And I‘m sure he has some wisdom to share with us.
Earlier, Trump forced one of his employees, I guess, to vacate his desk and he heckled at a camera for two minutes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, “THE APPRENTICE”: Unless the Republicans can make a phenomenal deal, including getting rid of Obamacare, they should just tap it along, because if this is going on prior to the election, there‘s no way that Obama can be re-elected.
And that would be a great thing for the country. So don‘t fold, Republicans. Don‘t give up. The pressure‘s on him. I know you think it‘s on you. The pressure is on Obama and the Democrats.
Do not fold. Do not give up. You can tap it along. You can make it go longer. That‘s OK.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: And that‘s free advice! No wonder I endorsed this guy. The man loves the country, doesn‘t he? It‘s really astounding.
Coming up, a Gretchen Carlson wannabe enters the zone. Psycho Talk is next.
SCHULTZ: And in Psycho Talk tonight, Fox straight News anchor and Gretchen Carlson wannabe, Martha McCallum. Today, Martha got on board with a brand-new right-wing talking point, criticizing the 80 million checks Tim Geithner says the government sends out every month.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARTHA MCCALLUM, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: If we weren‘t in such a precarious situation and hadn‘t overextended ourselves to such an incredible extent, where we sending out 80 million checks a month, the U.S. government, wouldn‘t we have been able to handle those things, like the two wars, in a much better, stronger fiscal position?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Oh, yeah. You know, this is just another example of how dumb some of those Fox anchors really are. A huge chunk of those 80 million checks go to veterans, civil service retirees and Social Security recipients. But Martha would rather use that money on war.
Then former ED SHOW guest Peter Morici kicked the fiscal Psycho Talk up a notch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETER MORICI, ECONOMIST: In 2007, the year before the crisis, with the two wars raging, the Bush tax cuts in place, the prescription drug benefit operative, the deficit was only 161 billion dollars.
At that point, we got a Democratic Congress. They started writing legislation and extending Medicaid benefits and so for. Now the deficit is ten times as large.
This is an Obama/Pelosi created headache. George Bush did not create this with his policies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: And that might be the dumbest thing Morici has ever said.
Check your career degree on that one, Peter.
Bush came into office with a 128 billion dollars surplus. So ending up with a 161 billion dollar deficit isn‘t something to really brag about.
And the reason the 2007 deficit wasn‘t any higher is because Bush didn‘t count war spending in his budget. I guess it‘s that Republican true accounting. It was off budget.
Take a look at this chart from the “New York Times.” Bush‘s policies, including his massive tax cuts and his wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, cost more than—count it—five trillion dollars.
President Obama‘s projected costs over eight years is less than 1.5 trillion dollars. So for Morici to say that the Bush administration did not create the deficit is hogwash.
And for Martha McCallum to suggest that we short change veterans—I thought they loved the veterans—and the elderly so that we can fight in more wars is outrageous Psycho Talk.
House Republicans shut down the FAA while they fight to destroy workers‘ rights. You know what the number is? Almost 100,000 jobs are at risk. But airlines are raking in the profits.
Stay with us. We‘ll tell you about it.
SCHULTZ: And finally tonight, the debt ceiling isn‘t the only thing Republicans are holding hostage. They‘re screwing around with the FAA, the Federal Aviation Administration as well. The FAA was forced into a partial shutdown on Friday because House Republicans are blocking a bill to extend the agency‘s funding.
As a result, 4,000 workers have been laid off, furloughed, and another 90,000 airport construction jobs are at risk. The shutdown is costing taxpayers 30 million dollars a day. And it‘s all because House Republicans want to chip away at workers‘ rights.
They‘re holding up funding because Democrats won‘t agree to a union-busting plan that makes a non-vote count as a “no” vote in union elections.
But the airline industry, well, they are loving this shutdown. They really no longer have to pay the 7.5 percent federal tax for every ticket they sell, which pays for the cost of the upgrades at the airports.
And instead of passing their savings along to their customers, most airlines, well, they are pocketing the difference. How do you feel about that, Mr. Consumer?
Which, of course, completely destroys the Republican theory about trickle-down economics.
Joining me now is Veda Shook. She‘s the president of the Association of Flight Attendants, the world‘s largest flight attendant union. Veda, great to have you with us tonight.
The airlines, they‘re not your friend on this. How are they handling this?
VEDA SHOOK, ASSOCIATION OF FLIGHT ATTENDANTS: Well, they‘re being rather silent on this issue. So, you know, this is—it‘s unfortunate. These ticket taxes that you‘re talking about, those are actually every consumer sees those when they purchase air travel.
So we‘re talking about 200 million dollars a week in lost revenue, when you‘ve spent a good portion of the hour talking about, you know, what we‘re going to do about this debt crisis in America. So what they‘re doing right now—what these Republicans are doing is having a revenue killer, a job killer—as you mentioned, almost 100,000 jobs—just to keep workers from having a voice on the job.
As you mentioned, they want every vote to count as a “no” vote. And let‘s be clear that not one member of Congress would be elected under a similar standard. So it‘s just outrageous that they‘re willing to play this catastrophic game of chicken, instead of passing a meaningful FAA reauthorization bill.
There‘s a lot of good things in this bill, like next generation air travel, or basic sanitation standards for flight attendants and for passengers. It‘s not too much to ask.
We‘re first responders, we‘re professionals every day. And we show up to work on time and we don‘t walk off the job. And to see, you know, these Republicans play this game is just really unfortunate.
SCHULTZ: What about our infrastructure that this is going to affect, these 90,000 to 100,000 construction jobs. What does that mean?
SHOOK: Well, there‘s—stop-work orders are happening all across the country. This is an impact with 35 states and the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. And we‘re talking about tens of thousands of jobs and 4,000 FAA professionals as well.
So what we‘re talking about is, you know, airport towers being built, runway lights being put in, new runways being put in, all these things that are existing projects coming to a dead stop.
Furthermore, there is 1.5 billion dollars that is set aside for other airport improvements. But talk about who would really want to bid on a project with this kind of an operation, where they just keep extending and in this case, fail to extend the basic funding.
So they do this partial shutdown. And let‘s be clear, safety‘s fine. Air traffic controllers are showing up to work every day, doing a great job. But, you know, they‘re having an unfunded mandate for this work right now. And they‘re doing all of this just because they want to make sure that workers at the airlines or in rail could have a fair chance in a union election.
And it‘s just absurd.
SCHULTZ: Veda Shook, common sense has left the building in dealing with these Republicans when it comes to what they‘re really doing to the American economy. Great to have you with us tonight. Thank you so much.
SHOOK: Ed, you do a great job. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to chat tonight.
SCHULTZ: You bet. Anything for the working folk of America. You‘re a middle classer and you‘re being attacked again by Republicans. Keep up the fight.
SHOOK: We‘ll keep working on it together. Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Thank you. Tonight in our survey win, I asked you, is John Boehner being honest with the American people? Five percent of you said yes; 95 percent of you said no.
I‘d like to visit with a five percenter. That‘s THE ED SHOW. I‘m Ed Schultz. And, of course, you can listen to me on Sirius XM Radio, channel 127, Monday through Friday.
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