The Ed Show for Thursday, August 11, 2011
Read the transcript to the Thursday show
Guests: Joan Walsh, Robert Reich, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Cliff Guffey, Lizz
Winstead, Bill Press
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans. And welcome to THE ED
SHOW tonight from New York.
President Obama is pushing the jobs plan in Michigan. And I`ll help
A presidential candidate is using my name to prop up his failing
campaign? I`ll have to set him straight.
And Republicans are waging a war on the Postal Service like nothing
you`ve ever seen before.
This is THE ED SHOW -- let`s get to work!
RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have to remind
Americans what we`re about and not be ashamed of it. I`m not ashamed of
it. I say it in front of NBC every day.
SCHULTZ (voice-over): Rick Santorum needs a refresher course on what
makes this country great. I went out and spoke to some hardworking
Americans today. They`re going to set them straight.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The right to bargain, it`s an American right.
No one should lose it.
SCHULTZ: Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is here with reaction.
The pink slip Rick Scott movement is growing in Florida. Today, a
report says the governor is basically robbing the state for its health care
And Rick Perry is jumping into the Republican presidential race.
"Daily Show" co-creator Lizz Winstead is jumping on Rick Perry.
GOV. RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: This is what I`m supposed to be doing.
SCHULTZ: Good evening, everybody. Thanks for joining us tonight.
The number one issue on the minds of Americans is jobs. And
President Obama hit the road and went to Michigan today to talk about just
that. The president went on the offense against the obstructionists who
are trying to sink our economy and make him a one-term president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There are things we
can do right now that will put more money in your pockets, will help
businesses sell more products around the world, will put people to work in
Michigan and across the country. And to get these things done, we do need
Congress. They are common sense ideas that have been support in the past
by Democrats and the Republicans, things that are supported by Carl Levin.
The only thing keeping us back is our politics. The only thing
preventing the bills from being passed is the refusal of some folks in
Congress to put country ahead of party. There are some in Congress right
now who would rather see their opponents lose than see America win.
And that has to stop. It`s got to stop. We`re supposed to all be on
the same team, especially when we`re going through tough times.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: So the president says there are things we can do now. And
we need Congress. If you`re a fair-minded American watching tonight, you
ask yourself a question: what has this Congress done to help the president
move our jobs economy forward?
Republicans -- they have never wanted to be on the same team with
President Obama. Senator Jim DeMint openly admitted that he wanted to
break the president and make health care reform his Waterloo. That was
July 9th, 2009.
The South Carolina senator, well, he`s back at it. He spit more of
that garbage out against today.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
SEN. JIM DEMINT (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: We saw within a few days that
the president was going to be heavy-handed. He was going to implement his
agenda and pay back his political allies. And it went on from there, from
Obamacare and then to Dodd-Frank. It has been the most anti-business, and
I consider anti-American administration in my lifetime of things that are
just so anathema to the principles of freedom. And everything he has come
up with has centralized more power in Washington creates more socialist-
style collectivist policies.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: And we should point out that that was on a Christian radio
A sitting United States senator just called the president of the
United States anti-American. He also said that President Obama was heavy-
handed. What`s more heavy-handed than a record number of filibusters?
DeMint is in lockstep with every other right wing attack artist who
are running for president this time around today.
Look at what Rick Santorum said in Iowa today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANTORUM: We have to remind Americans what we`re about that and not
be ashamed of it. I`m not ashamed of it.
And I say in front of NBC every day and if you can say it in front of
MSNBC every day. And Rachel Maddow and to Ed Schultz and all these folks
up who are getting tapes and saying, oh, this guy`s nuts! You know? This
guy understands what made this country great.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: What made this country great? Well, you know what, former
Senator Santorum. I try to do my part. My company`s met payroll every two
weeks and we haven`t missed one in four years and we haven`t fired anybody
and we haven`t reduced anybody`s wages. OK. I`m patting myself on the
back. It can be done.
Even in the arena of negativity that you throw out there, Senator
Santorum. But we should be ashamed because we really don`t know what this
economy is all about. What I know about is that this president has put so
much opportunity on the table for small business. And you guys have stood
on the sideline and you`ve heckled from the crowd.
And now, you`re trying to say that, hey, you`re not ashamed? Senator
Santorum, I`ll give you the respect of calling you senator, even though you
got booted out of Pennsylvania. You should be ashamed. You should be
really ashamed, because he stands, by friends, with the bankers in Wall
I`m not ashamed to stand with the people who are under attack by the
conservatives in this country, like Santorum, and his policies.
So, when I saw that piece of tape come into the shop today, I
thought, well, you know, maybe I better go down the street because I saw
these folks on the street this morning, when I got back to New York from
Orlando, after talking to some union workers. I came back and I said, you
know, I think I`m going to take a camera and go down the street and stand
with these great Americans and ask them, if they deserve to have their
voice heard and if they know what makes America great.
SCHULTZ: So, Rick Santorum says that he`s not ashamed to say what
he`s for in America. That he`s not ashamed to talk about what he thinks
makes America great. Although, he aligns himself with a political party
that thinks it`s great to go after workers and the middle class, to take
away their health care and their pensions and to go after people on fixed
Rick Santorum is part of a party that thinks that it`s good to go
after people who want a voice in the workplace, to collectively bargain.
He`s not ashamed of that.
I`m not ashamed to stand with the workers and ask them today here on
the streets of New York and across America, if they`re ashamed to ask for
fair wage in the workplace. Let`s ask them.
Brothers and sisters, good to see you.
CROWD: Good to see you.
SCHULTZ: Are you ashamed to be here and ask for a living wage and
THOMAS JENKINS, VERIZON SERVICE TECHNICIAN: I feel it is necessary
that I stand here. They are at the top. And if you look at the salary
that these people are making, that`s the shame. I am here with pride, to
be able to maintain what we had. Not only to maintain, but to add to what
we have because when you look at the rate that things -- that these are
escalated around, we are not making enough to live on today.
I can tell you that for sure. When we get through paying for rent,
mortgage, subway tokens and all that stuff, we have nothing left.
SCHULTZ: Rick Santorum, you know what`s great about America? This
is what`s great about America, Rick Santorum, is people speaking up. This
is what`s great about America -- people that have the courage to stand up
and say, value my career. Value my family.
How important is it to be here? How important is it? Are you
ashamed to stand up and talk for American workers?
RICK CEBULSKI, VERIZON SERVICE TECHNICIAN: Not at all. Not at all.
We have to take a stand. Now is the time to take a stand for everybody,
for working people. Not just here, b but for all working people.
Right now, we can`t back down. Give us a fair wage, fair benefits,
fair health packages. We want to maintain more of what we have. Give us a
little bit --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And to add more add to what we have.
SCHULTZ: And, gentlemen, is it important to be able to speak your
peace in the workplace in America? Is that something great for America?
Is that something that you`re proud of?
Do you think that`s what makes America great? What makes America
great? What are you not ashamed of?
VICKY SUSTMANN, VERIZON OFICE TECHNICIAN: I`m not ashamed to be
here. I`m not ashamed to be a blue-collar worker. And I`m not ashamed to
be middle class. I`m proud of it.
SCHULTZ: Do you think there`s an attack on the middle class in this
SUSTMANN: There`s definitely an attack on the middle class in this
country. We pay the taxes. We keep all these programs going. Nobody
SCHULTZ: And what do you think about this party in Washington, this
political bickering and this focus with some of these radical governors who
are putting out legislation to attack collective bargaining?
SUSTMANN: It`s ridiculous. It`s an insult.
SCHULTZ: Does it hurt America?
SUSTMANN: Of course, it hurts America. The right to bargain is an
American right. No one should lose it.
SCHULTZ: So, what we learn here on the streets of New York, and I`m
four blocks away from my office, whether I`m in Minnesota or Wisconsin, in
the middle of the country, or on the streets in New York, it`s amazing how
I find, Rick Santorum, Americans who are not ashamed -- Americans who might
love the country just as much as you do, and are willing to stand up on the
street corner against those who are profiteering on the backs of the hard
Yet, your party wants to take away collective bargaining. Your
party. You are the man who stands in caucus with Jim DeMint and calls
Obama a socialist. That`s your program.
The program for these workers is just to keep their voice alive and
well in the American work place. That`s what`s great about America.
SCHULTZ: Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think.
Tonight`s question: what do the Republicans care more about -- the
country or politics? Text A for country, text B politics to 622639. And
you can always go to our blog at Ed.MSNBC.com. I`ll bring you the results
later on in the show.
Joining me now is Joan Walsh, editor at large at salon.com. And
also, former secretary of labor, Robert Reich. He was a professor of the
University of California, Berkeley. He is also author of the book,
"Aftershock," which is now available in paperback.
Joan, do you think any Republican understand what makes a country
great? What name -- what really makes this country great? And -- or do
you think that the Republicans have an exclusive on that?
JASON WALSH, SALON. COM: I think that they are very deluded about
what makes this country great, Ed. And, you know, we`ve talked about this
We made decisions as a country after World War II, and even during
the depression, when things were very dark, that we were going to use
government to help people get ahead. That when there was a recession, a
depression, we were going to use government to come in, put people back to
work. Put demand back in the economy. And create after -- after the post-
war period, create the American Dream, with public education, with
highways, with mortgage insurance.
There`s a picture that we all got here -- those of us who made it,
middle class after middle class, that we did it alone. We devoted
resources to building the American dream and to building the middle class.
And some people took it for granted like they didn`t have help. But
they had help. And now, they`re dismantling those systems and those
terrific programs that created the middle class.
SCHULTZ: I totally agree. And Robert Reich, you know, the
Republicans -- and I think we caught Rick Santorum on an ad-lib, off the
cuff moment. But I think it speaks volumes of their philosophy and how
they view politics, I guess you have to say, us versus them, that they have
this exclusive feeling about what they`re proud of, as opposed to liberals,
as opposed to Democrats.
And they`re the only ones who can step forward and be proud about
America, and know how to create jobs in this country.
And, of course, President Obama wants Congress to pass a road
construction bill and trade agreements. The trade agreements are a heavy
But he says we can do things now. So, where is this Congress? He
says we need Congress. Your thoughts on that?
ROBERT REICH, FORMER LABOR SECRETARY: Well, look, the House of
Representatives, Ed, is clearly just say no. With regard to Republicans,
they`ve stopped everything. In the Senate, they`ve stopped everything.
I mean, look, the problem here, and a fundamental problem, is if the
middle class America and the working class America, if they don`t have the
wages, if they don`t have the jobs, they can`t turn around and buy things
and keep the economy going.
We cannot as an economy, as a society, maintain ourselves with a
little slice, the top 1 percent, getting 20 percent of total national
income -- 40 percent of total national wealth. I mean, we haven`t seen
this since the 1920s. And you know something?
When we reached a peak in the 1920s, with regard to the top 1 percent
and their portion of the national income and wealth. What happened then?
We had a Great Depression because the middle class and the lower middle
class couldn`t keep going. They just couldn`t keep spending. They
couldn`t keep buying. The government was not able to provide the kind of
boost to them and to the economy that was necessary.
We`re seeing history repeated itself right now -- trickle-down
economics does not work. Everything the Republicans are saying about we
have to got to have tax cuts for the rich. We cannot increase taxes on the
rich. We got to have a small government, privatization, deregulation. All
of that has hurt American middle class, the working class and the poor.
SCHULTZ: And, tonight, the Republican debate, on another network,
what you just said, Mr. Reich, is exactly what they regurgitated for the
first hour. That`s all they know, cut taxes, help the corporations.
They`ve got nothing on the table for the workers.
And, Joan, I want to ask you. How is the president supposed to
navigate and bring people together to move the country forward when he has
to deal with the Jim DeMints of the world who is now still hung up on
calling the president a socialist and setting up a socialist-type
government? When is this going to stop? The president says it needs to
WALSH: The president can`t stop it, Ed. We know that. These people
have treated him this way from day one, from January 2009.
I think what has to stop is the president tolerating it and not
talking directly about it. You know, I think he`s talking about certain
jobs programs. Many things will not pass the House. Maybe nothing will
pass the House.
But I think it`s important that he get out there and he bring
Democrats together -- if only Democrats, that`s fine with me, if that`s all
we can get -- around an agenda to putting people back to work.
You know the black youth unemployment rate is almost 50 percent right
now? We`re having a generation that`s cut off. Not just cut off from
money, but cut off from the world of work.
There are things we can do.
Now, if he puts out this great agenda and the House votes it down,
I`d be very happy to see the American people know this is who voted it
down. This is what Democrats stand for. And this is what Republicans
voted it down. I don`t see why he doesn`t do more of that.
SCHULTZ: I want both of you to look at what Mitt Romney said today
in Iowa. Listen to what he said about corporations. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have to make sure that
the promises we make in Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare are promises
we can keep. And there are various ways of doing that. One is we can
raise taxes on people.
ROMNEY: Corporations are people, my friend. We can raise taxes --
of course, they are. Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to
Where do you think it goes?
CROWD: It goes down to their pockets.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: I wish Mr. Romney would come on this program and explain
the graph I put up quite often about where middle class wages have been
over the last 30 years and where profits of the corporation have gone, have
gone all the way to the top and hasn`t gone to the working folks.
Mr. Reich, you want to respond to his comment.
REICH: Well, corporations are not people. I mean, the Supreme Court
in that absolutely grotesque case, Citizens United against the Federal
Election Commission, a Supreme Court dominated by Republican appointees
says corporations are people. Well, their First Amendment rights are
wiping out the First Amendment rights of average people, who can`t keep up
with all the money the corporations are plowing into the political system.
Mitt Romney is a corporate -- well, I won`t say stooge. That`s not
fair. That`s not nice so say. But he is certainly, someone who represents
Wall Street and big corporations against the interests of average, working
people. There`s no question about it, Ed.
SCHULTZ: No doubt.
REICH: You know, the Republicans, and I want to talk about not only
Jim DeMint, but Mitch McConnell. Over and over again, they said their
number one objective is not to get the economy going. It`s to get Obama --
President Obama out of office. And they`re doing it.
They don`t care if the economy is bad.
REICH: In fact, they want a bad economy because that helps get Obama
out of office in 2012.
SCHULTZ: Joan Walsh and Robert Reich, great to have you with us on
THE ED SHOW tonight. Thank you so much for joining us.
WALSH: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom
of the screen. We want to know what you think.
John Boehner took a break from the golf course to hammer President
Obama`s speech today. And John McCain is getting an earful in his home
And Republicans in Congress are trying to strip union workers of
their rights and eliminate their jobs. I`ll tell you how the postal
workers are coming under attack in Washington.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.
Governor Rick Scott of Florida -- here`s another dandy for you,
another Republican who hates big government, unless, of course, it benefits
him. You see? He pays just $30 a month for health care coverage for his
family. Pretty good deal, huh? In fact, there are 32,000 high level
employees in Florida`s state government eligible for that kind of coverage,
according to "Mother Jones."
Thirty dollars a month to cover your entire family? But for other
state employees in Florida, the same coverage costs $180 a month. And for
retired state employees, like a retired firefighter, it costs up to $1,243
a month -- 41-times what Governor Rick Scott pays. Is that fair?
But Rick Scott`s idea of getting real with the common man is to spend
a day in someone else`s shoes by working, for example, at a donut shop for
a day. Customers handed him pink slips to represent the need for jobs, not
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You should be ashamed that I have to go out and
buy things for my daughter`s classroom. I`m just fine.
GOV. RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA: Thanks for coming.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: This is a guy who laid off thousands of state employees and
cut benefits and turned down federal funds for health care from the
Affordable Care Act.
Listen, folks, the fight over health care are not over because of
people like Rick Scott. They`re standing in the way.
And because of all of the bickering going on in Washington, we
haven`t talked much about the 99ers. We haven`t talked much about the
unemployed. We haven`t talked much about those millions of Americans who
still do not have health care.
We`re trying. We`re trying to do our little bit, here on THE ED SHOW
to give an additional way to show that you care about all of this. You can
help us with this issue.
THE ED SHOW, the National Association of Free Clinics are joining
forces and hosting a health clinic on August 29th in New Orleans,
Louisiana. MSNBC viewers have funded seven previous clinics around the
And your donations will bring vital health services to uninsured
patients in the city of New Orleans. We`ll go to other places, as well.
And I ask you to make a donation.
Or learn more about volunteering, I want to go to their Web site,
Now, the Republicans love to talk about what`s good in America? You
know what`s good in America? What little bit you and I can do. And If we
can help another American out, see a doctor, save a life, some of the
things that I`ve seen at these free health care clinics are absolutely
This is about one of the most American things you can do in your own
way, is to help someone out, your neighbor. Someone in New Orleans, in
this country -- not in Afghanistan, not in Baghdad, not in Iraq, but
finally here at home.
I ask you to do your part. I will. I`ll be there broadcasting on
the 29th. And my wife and I will donate. Please go their Web site,
We`re right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: There`s been a lot of talk in Washington right now that I
should call Congress back early. The last thing we need is Congress
spending more time arguing in D.C. What I figure is, they need to spend
more time out here listening to you. And hearing how fed up you are.
That`s why I`m here. That`s why I`ll be traveling to a lot of
communities like this one over the next week.
That`s what Congress should be doing. Go back home. Listen to
people`s frustrations with all the gridlock. Listen to how frustrated
folks are with the constant bickering, and the unwillingness to compromise,
and the desire to score points, even if it`s at the expense of our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: President Obama in Michigan today. And members of Congress
are getting an earful back in their home districts. Look at how a Tucson,
Arizona, crowd turned on John McCain when he started talking about
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Corporate rates are 35 percent --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Fed up is the term the president used. McCain and other
Republicans don`t care what their constituents are screaming about. They
only answer to the people who line their pockets.
That`s why the tan man is spending his summer vacation out on the
links. On Tuesday, Boehner shot an 81, at a golf fund-raiser on the
exclusive Inverness Golf Club in Toledo, Ohio.
I think we ought to do a town hall in Toledo, don`t you?
Boehner took a break from happy hour to go over to the clubhouse to
take a cheap shot at the president today. "American families and small
businesses are hurting in this economy. And they are still asking, where
are the jobs? President Obama likes to talk about being the adult in the
room -- but there`s nothing adult about political grandstanding."
So, now, get ahold of this. It`s political grandstanding if the
president goes out and asks Congress to work in their home districts. It`s
political grandstanding if the president asks the Congress to do something
on jobs and he says there are things they can do right now.
Boehner and the Republicans have done nothing to create jobs. But
everybody is pressing the president to come up with this plan.
What plan do you want him to come up with? Hell, he`s put more
incentives on the table than any president in the last 30 years when it
comes to small business. And they fought him every step of the way.
Unless John Boehner spends less time working on his handicap and more time
doing his job, the economy, we`ll be in the bunker for a long time.
Joining me now is Vermont independent Senator Bernie Sanders is on
the line with us tonight.
Senator, good to have you with us. I apologize for our satellite
technical problem tonight. But you are in remote areas working with the
folks. I appreciate you being with us tonight.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT (via telephone): Good to be with
SCHULTZ: Do you think that we will do anything on jobs between now
and the end of this year?
SANDERS: Well, we`ve got to do. That is the issue that everybody in
America feels most strongly about. People are working part-time when they
want to work full-time is over 16 percent. You got young people who
graduated high school two or three years ago have never had a job and are
worried whether or not they ever will have a job.
So, we have a real crisis in terms of unemployment. And yet, we have
enormous needs in this country that have got to be addressed.
So, we need an aggressive jobs program, to put American people back
to work. And that means dealing with infrastructure and addressing the
fact that our roads, our bridges, our water systems, our tunnels, our
public transportation systems are in desperate need of work.
SCHULTZ: And, Senator, do you agree with the president there are
things that Congress can do immediately that will enhance the job market,
SANDERS: Well, of course there are.
SCHULTZ: OK. So -- but the Republicans aren`t going to work with
him on this.
SANDERS: No, they`re not. And, you know, frankly, I don`t quite
agree with the president`s sentiment that all of us in Congress, the
problem was bickering. I don`t think so.
I think the problem was that you have Republicans who said from the
very beginning that they want to protect the wealthiest people in this
country, millionaires and billionaires from paying another nickel in taxes.
Large corporations and in some case, pay nothing in taxes. You know? And
some of us change that.
But I think really what we have to do now is make the case to the
American people that a nation so divided, when you have 400 people at the
top earn more wealth than the bottom half, that`s an unstable situation.
If we`re going to create the jobs, rebuild our infrastructure, transform
our energy system, change your trade policies, Ed -- and this is a huge
issue. I don`t agree with the president on this one.
We cannot continue these disastrous trade policies by which companies
are shutting down in America and moving to China; 50,000 factories have
been lost in the last 10 years. This trade policy is not working. These
corporations are going to have to start investing in a country called the
United States of America, rather than China and every other country around
SCHULTZ: Senator Bernie Sanders, thanks for joining us tonight. I
appreciate it so much. Independent from Vermont.
Coming up, Mitt Romney says President Obama is in over his head. But
Sean Hannity has a different view about the president`s policies. That`s
landing him in the Zone.
SCHULTZ: Now, tell me if this doesn`t sound familiar. It`s not just
the Republicans on this one. Congress passes legislation that causes major
financial problems for a government agency. OK? Then they use that
manufactured crisis to strip workers of their rights.
Now, it`s not Scott Walker in Wisconsin we`re talking about. And it`s
not John Kasich in Ohio we`re talking about on this issue. It`s the
Republicans and some of the Democrats in the House of Representatives. And
they are doing a job on the Postal Workers of America.
Do you know the details of this story? You`re going to want to know
And more bad news from my friend, Mr. two percent, Tim Pawlenty. The
competition just got a little tougher. Rick Perry, Texas, he`s in.
And Liz Winstead and Bill Press, they are in, too, to talk all about
it. you`re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.
SCHULTZ: How much do you know about the United States Postal Service?
You hear a lot of negative comments about their finances, don`t you? Well,
earlier today, I spoke to the postal workers in Orlando, Florida. These
are men and women who are in the same boat as public employees in states
like Wisconsin and Verizon workers throughout the country who are on strike
They`re fighting for their jobs, their rights and their futures. The
United States Postal Service announcing today that it wants to reduce its
work force by 20 percent. But layoffs of that nature are prohibited by
That`s where the Republicans step right on in. GOP Congressman Darryl
Issa, who has got a lot of power, from California, is drawing from a
familiar playbook. He introduced a Tea Party friendly bill that would
allow an oversight committee to cut Postal Worker wages, slash benefits and
end protections against layoffs.
But the financial problems facing the Postal Service -- and I want you
to hear this -- were created largely not by you and me, but by the
Congress. You see, in 2006, a law passed was forcing the Postal Service to
provide 75 years worth of pension funding within a 10-year window. Who the
hell else has to do that?
Independent firms estimate that the United States Postal Service
already overpaid the fund by 50 to 80 billion dollars. So even though the
Post Office made 226 million dollars in the first quarter profits for this
year, 2011, all of that money went to the Congressional mandated fund.
You know what they`re trying to do, folks? They are trying to shut
down the United States Postal Service. They want to privatize this, as
well. And I want to make it very clear tonight that not one tax dollar
goes to running the United States Postal Service. It is all operated and
funded through the stamps that you and I purchase.
Joining me tonight is Cliff Guffey. He is the president of the
American Postal Workers Union. Mr. Guffey, great to have you with us
CLIFF GUFFEY, AMERICAN POSTAL WORKERS UNION: Good to be with you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Did I say anything wrong? Or what I said, was that
accurate? Can you add to it?
GUFFEY: That`s very accurate, Ed. The Postal Service has overpaid
into their civil service retirement fund billions of dollars. You`ve got
to remember, that`s money that`s withheld from the workers and was matched
by postage revenue that we, through our productivity, have earned for the
And that was given to Congress to prepay our retirement funds. Well,
these actuaries, these independent actuaries have actually said -- one said
there is at least 50 billion overpaid in this one fund. And there`s 75
billion paid into it by the other actuary.
This is done by the Office of the Inspector General and by the Postal
SCHULTZ: So what does -- what could they do to reverse this, to
balance your books a heck of a lot better, because you are a profitable
organization. The United States Postal Service has been profitable this
year. What has to happen?
GUFFEY: Even with that money drained off into our retirement system,
the Postal Service was required to prefund our health insurance into
retirement by five point something billion dollars a year for the last five
or six years. Without the 20 or 30 billion dollars going into that fund,
the Post Office has been profitable.
Now what the Congress wants us to continue doing is continue to put
money into these retirement funds and to keep prefunding. But if they
would credit the Postal Service with that money, that`s actually the
GUFFEY: The Postal Service could pay off its debt. It could pay all
the future deposits that are necessary and have some operating cash to get
through this very trying time.
SCHULTZ: So, your mandate --
GUFFEY: -- this recession that`s been created by -- the Congress is
trying to blame the workers. That`s what irritates me. They`re blaming
the workers for the problems of the country, which is there`s not enough
commerce in this country because they allow the system to set up to move
all the work overseas.
SCHULTZ: Why is the Congress coming forward, saying they want to --
the Postal Service wants to cut the workforce 20 percent. And they`re
talking about five-day delivery service. Why do they want to do that?
GUFFEY: Because they have no -- they`ve gone to the Congress and
asked the Congress to release these funds. They say, oh no, we can`t
release these funds, because if they release the funds back to the Postal
Service, it would show how underfunded the rest of the government is. And
it would be another deficit just to show how badly and poorly the rest of
the government is run.
They put tax dollars into it. It`s run poorly. Where postage dollars
have come in, it`s been run properly. They want to take my retirement
funds, that I put in and the Postal Service put in, to pay the retirements
for the other federal agencies that they haven`t funded.
GUFFEY: That`s just totally improper.
SCHULTZ: It is improper. You guys don`t use any tax dollars. It`s
all from stamps and all from services that you sell, correct?
GUFFEY: That`s correct. They`re taking our money and using it for
other things in the federal government.
SCHULTZ: Do you think they want to privatize? Do you think there are
some in Congress that want to get rid of the Postal Service and all go
GUFFEY: I believe there are some people. You got remember, the
Postal Service still makes 70 billion dollars a year. Seventy billion
dollars worth of business comes into the Postal Service.
And it supports a trillion-dollar industry out there, paper
manufacturing, envelopes, cards, various companies that the Postal Service
SCHULTZ: And reducing it to a five-day delivery service would hurt
our certainly economy. There`s a lot of studies out there that show that.
GUFFEY: Medicines and what have you. We would find a way to get the
medicines to the individuals. But we want to serve the American people.
The Postal Service is respected by 80 percent of the public. Congress, 20
percent. I`ll be -- I hope the public stays on our side in this, to know
that we want to provide a service and we want to be there to help the
SCHULTZ: I`m going to do more on this. I use your service every day.
Cliff Guffey, thanks so much.
GUFFEY: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: President of the American Postal Workers Union.
Sean Hannity talks about President Obama`s black liberation theology.
And it gets Hannity into the Zone. That`s next.
SCHULTZ: And in Psycho Talk tonight, Fox News host Sean Hannity. He
asks a major presidential candidate if President Obama`s problem is his
black liberation theology.
It came up in Hannity`s interview with the Mittster, Mitt Romney.
Romney said something he often says, that President Obama is in way over
his head. But Hannity wanted to pose another theory.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Is it just that he`s in over his head?
Or is it more complicated than that? In other words, is it that he holds
to that rigid ideology, black liberation theology, which is -- which is
rooted in social justice and entitlement society?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: First of all, why does Hannity treat social justice like
it`s a dirty word, instead of something America should strive for and be
proud of? Same thing goes for entitlements. The big three are the bedrock
of America`s social safety net.
But Hannity ties that to what he calls President Obama`s, quote,
"rigid ideology, black liberation theology."
President Bill Clinton was a pretty big defender of entitlements. He
cared about social justice. Do you think Hannity would characterize his
beliefs as black liberation theology?
No. But with the country`s first African-American president, Hannity
is more than willing to go there. For playing the race card, Hannity has
dipped once again into Psycho Talk.
Rick Perry is in. The Palin bus tour rolls on. And I`ll ask Lizz
Winstead and Bill Press about those stories and a whole lot more fun coming
up. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: I`m kind of getting to the all-in point
and the idea that this is what I`m supposed to be doing. I mean, this is
starting to get to that comfort level. I`ve got the calmness in my heart.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, I guess it`s official. Texas Governor Rick Perry is
running for president. Perry will make his formal announcement on Saturday
in South Carolina, the same day some of Perry`s Republican rivals will be
competing in the famous Iowa Straw Poll.
Well, that`s got to tick off good old two percent Tim Pawlenty. Don`t
you think? Pawlenty has invested heavily in the straw poll in that state.
He needs the publicity. And it looks like Perry won`t be the only one
trying to upstage Pawlenty and some of these other bottom of the barrel
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She says she`s not a candidate for the GOP
presidential election yet. But Sarah Palin`s tour bus the heading for
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, joining me now is comedian and co-creator of "the
Daily Show," Lizz Winstead, and nationally syndicated radio talk show host
Bill Press. He`s also the author of "Toxic Talk, How The Radical Right Has
Poisoned America`s Air Waves."
Great to have both of you with us tonight. Lizz, tell us, what does
the bus mean? Is the bus the signal from the heavens that here comes
LIZZ WINSTEAD, COMEDIAN: You know, I`m surprised she`s not in London
at the riots because there`s cameras. She`ll go anywhere. Like, you know,
Casey Anthony trial. She just will go anywhere. She`s completely
unavoidable for comment.
And it`s just again -- and Rick Perry apparently goes to the page book
of stealing thunder, as well. So it should be a very interesting time in
SCHULTZ: Bill Press, what about Palin? Does this mean she is getting
in? Or she just happens to show up in Iowa because everybody else is
BILL PRESS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: You know what? I think she`s just
a big tease, Ed. She might, but you know, we`ve all dated girls like this.
You know what I mean? In the past, I might have, Ed.
But look, remember, she just happened to be in New Hampshire when Mitt
Romney announced, right? As Lizz said, she just happened to be at the
Casey Anthony verdict and she just happens to be in Iowa this weekend.
But I think the Rick Perry thing is really interesting because if you
watch that debate tonight, Ed, they are desperate for ABM, Anybody But
Mitt. They`re so desperate that they would take another Texas governor.
You know, all that Texas swagger all over again. I think Perry is like
Bush without a brain.
WINSTEAD: He is. I call him the Dollar Store Bush.
PRESS: Right. I like that.
SCHULTZ: Lizz, Rick Perry says that he has got calmness in his heart
about running. What does that mean?
WINSTEAD: Calmness in his heart? Did you watch him at all on the
pulpit last weekend? He`s not a calm man. The way the GOP was talking
about him, I thought maybe he was born in Bethlehem and we might have to
look at his birth certificate, too.
PRESS: He did say, Lizz, if you remember, that he loves his country,
but he loves the Baby Jesus even more. People don`t realize, Rick Perry,
you talk about an extremist, right? This is the guy who wants to repeal
the 16th Amendment, get rid of the income tax. He wants to get repeal the
17th Amendment, so that senators are no longer directly elected by the
people. They`re elected by state legislatures.
This guy is pretty dangerous. He is way out there.
WINSTEAD: I really think that he is the perfect spokesperson to show
that, you know, Texas is 49th in like SAT scores. He`s the perfect person
to bring all that out.
SCHULTZ: Let`s look at it this way. Perry is going to get in this
thing. Who is going to vote for him? Is the Republican base going to go
his direction? Obviously, the hard Christian right would have to make a
decision whether they`re going to go with him or Bachmann. Bill, where
does it go?
PRESS: You know what I think, Ed? Look, there`s a Tea Party base I
think that is going to dominate certainly the Iowa caucuses and may even
determine the nomination. One person is going to get it, right? It is
either going to be Michele Bachmann or Rick Perry or Sarah Palin.
I don`t think she gets in. And if it`s between Rick Perry and Michele
Bachmann, I think Rick Perry takes it away from her. And he`s the only one
that`s got any shot of knocking Mitt Romney out of the nomination.
WINSTEAD: I think that`s right. I think that he`s been fooling
people with his Texas record. And I think he`s really, really been
courting the Tea Party and getting a lot of money from him behind the
scenes, even longer than Bachmann has.
SCHULTZ: Lizz, what about our friend, two percent, Tim Pawlenty? Is
this going to be the end of the road this weekend or what?
WINSTEAD: Here`s what I never understood. When looking at the
landscape of people you`re going to vote for, when -- and we`re talking
about the economy and how smart people are about the economy. When you`re
pouring in millions of dollars and you`re at one percent, that`s a bad
So Tim Pawlenty, by virtue of how much money he`s pouring into
himself, versus how much he`s getting out of it, he has rendered himself a
PRESS: I have to say tonight, I thought Tim Pawlenty handled himself
pretty well. He went after Mitt Romney tonight. He went after Michele
Bachmann. I just think it`s too little, too late.
I think people don`t believe the Minnesota story. And he has about as
much charisma or excitement about -- Ron Paul has more.
WINSTEAD: -- food on a stick they`re serving at the state fair.
SCHULTZ: The best part about that tonight was that Bachmann put the
hammer on Pawlenty. She did not back down. And I will say, as someone who
pays taxes in Minnesota, and Liz, you know this, she was correct tonight.
What she stated about Tim Pawlenty, about his record was factually correct.
And he was reeling.
WINSTEAD: That`s right.
SCHULTZ: We`ll talk more about the big debate tonight with Lawrence
here coming up in just a little bit. But the fact of the matter is I
thought tonight that Newt Gingrich looked pretty strong. What do you
PRESS: I did, too. Let me tell you something. I found myself
nodding in agreement. When Newt Gingrich said that this super committee is
the dumbest idea that Congress ever came up with, man, that`s where --
WINSTEAD: Hear, hear.
PRESS: That`s where Newt is good. Newt is a lousy candidate. He`s a
good idea man. He just has too many ideas. And maybe one-tenth of them
SCHULTZ: Lizz Winstead, Bill Press, always a pleasure. Great to have
you with us tonight.
Tonight in our survey, I asked you, what do Republicans care more
about, the country or politics? Six percent of you say country; 94 percent
of you say politics.
That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz. You can listen to my radio show
at Sirius XM Radio, channel 127, Monday through Friday, noon to 3:00 pm.
Follow me on Twitter @EdShow and @WeGotEd.
"THE LAST WORD" with Lawrence O`Donnell starts right now.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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