The Ed Show for Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Read the transcript to the Tuesday show
Guests: Tony Perkins, Mike Papantonio, Cliff Guffey, Randi Weingarten, Ezra
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans. Welcome to THE ED SHOW
from New York.
This just in: Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey was messing with
Republicans in California tonight. In a speech just wrapped up, he went on
for 40 minutes about leadership, and then he said he didn`t want to lead.
This is THE ED SHOW -- let`s get to work.
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: We watch a president who once
talked about the courage of his convictions, but still has yet found the
courage to lead.
SCHULTZ (voice-over): The bully from New Jersey has weighed in. How
will the rest of the presidential field react?
Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and Ring of Fire radio
host Mike Papantonio are here.
Republicans want to privatize the post office and kill a half million
government jobs. Today, the letter carriers took to the streets to fight
back. The head of the Postal Carriers Union is here to talk to me tonight.
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight, folks.
I guess you could say the jokester, the showboat of Republican
establishment -- well, just decided not to run in 2012. Moments ago, after
a speech at the Reagan Library, Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey,
told reporters that he will not jump into this dysfunctional presidential
Here`s how he put it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Governor Christie, you`re known as a straight shooter, one
not guilty to playing games. Can you tell us what`s going on here? Are
you reconsidering, or are you standing firm?
CHRISTIE: Listen, I`m really succinct about this. I saw something
great today on the political Web site, I don`t mean to be an advertiser for
"Politico," but they put a minute and 53 seconds of my answer strung back
to back to back together on the question of running for the presidency.
Everyone go to politico.com. It`s right on the front page. I`m not
going to bore you with it now. Click on it. Those are the answers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)\
SCHULTZ: I guess the question was too deep. Big money Republicans
have been begging Christie to jump in because they think the current field
is weak. And you know what? They`re right.
Over the last three years, Republican Party has devolved into a party
of extremists, bent on destroying the middle class in America and President
Obama. Base Republicans will never nominate a flip-flopper like Mitt
Romney or a former Obama administration official like Jon Huntsman.
Michele Bachmann`s campaign has been sinking like a rock. But she
said something, and I want you to pay to attention to this very interesting
on the stump in Iowa recently.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We can`t settle
on a candidate, because every four years, conservatives are told we have to
stand next to the wall, sit in the back of the room and we have to get
around a candidate that we`re told is electable, right? We`re told the
conservative is the candidate who is not electable. We`re told only the
moderate candidate in the race is the one that`s electable.
But that isn`t true because we know that the American people are
looking for their champion. They`re looking for a fighter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Bachmann is right on this. America is looking for a
fighter, and I`m putting my money on this guy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You know what? If
asking a billionaire to pay the same tax rate as a plumber makes me a
warrior for the middle class, I`ll wear that charge. I`ll wear that as a
badge of honor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The battle lines for the ideological war in America could
not be any clearer. President Obama is fighting for the middle class and
laying out specific legislation to get America back to work. Republicans,
well, they`ve got other priorities.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
BACHMANN: I will not rest as the president of the United States until
we repeal Obamacare.
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I can get you a gallon
of gasoline for a dime.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Time.
PAUL: A silver dime is worth $3.50. It`s all about inflation and too
HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My 999 plan is a bold
solution. It starts with throw out the current tax code and pass the 9
percent business flat tax, the 9 percent personal income tax, and the 9
percent national sales tax.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
SCHULTZ: You see, folks, the leader of the pack is just as extreme as
you could say the also-runs.
Rick Perry had a horrible week, but he still has a comfortable lead in
the polls. Perry is more of a lock after Christie`s decision tonight. The
Koch brothers and other deep pockets in the Republican Party, they`re going
to bankroll Perry and the Christian conservative base will back him I think
If you`re a liberal, you want this battle. Americans have to decide
if they want a president who has 18 months of private sector job growth and
a plan to save America`s social safety net or this guy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. RICK PERRY (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It is a Ponzi scheme
to tell our kids that are 25 or 30 years old today, you`re paying into a
program that`s going to be there. Anybody that`s for the status quo with
Social Security today is involved with a monstrous lie to our kids.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: No matter how radical he is, he can win the South I think
better than any other candidate in the Republican field.
So, if Sarah Palin doesn`t jump in, Paul Ryan`s not going to run,
folks, this is the field, and I think it`s going to be Perry. OK, he
doesn`t debate very well and he stumbled the other night trying to tell
everybody that Mitt Romney is a flip-flopper. Hell, we`ve known that for a
The fact is they are at the perfect time in history to get exactly
what Michele Bachmann is talking about, a conservative that will not back
down, someone that will not negotiate, someone that will appease the 19
percenters out there that some think are absolutely nuts.
The fact is the Southern strategy sits with the governor of Texas.
That`s going to be very important. North Carolina, you just got really
important. So did you, Virginia.
So, how is this all going to break down?
Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question: should Republicans settle for Mitt Romney as their candidate?
Text A for yes and text B for no, to 622639. And you can always tweet me
your answer @EdShow on Twitter. We`ll have the results later in the show.
I want to bring in this gentleman because he met with Governor Perry
some weeks ago down in Texas, along with other conservative groups. The
report was that they came away very impressed. Tony Perkins is the
president of the Family Research Council. He is a staunch conservative.
Tony, good to have you with us tonight. I have always respected you
because you don`t mince your words and I won`t either.
Now, on the heels of Christie`s announcement again tonight that he`s
not running, who`s your guy?
TONY PERKINS, PRES., FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL: You know, there`s
actually several in the field that I think social conservatives could
support. You`ve got, as you mentioned, Rick Perry. You`ve got Rick
Santorum. I think Michele Bachmann still has support out there, a lot of
And, you know, actually, I think what`s going to happen, Ed, and we`re
going to disagree on this, but I think whoever ultimately becomes the
Republican nominee is going to have strong support among conservatives
because of opposition to the policies of the current president.
SCHULTZ: OK. But a Southern strategy is crucial, is it not?
PERKINS: Well, I think that the South has voted more and more
Republican and more and more conservative. So, yes, I think you have -- I
mean, when you look at Republican primaries, 44 percent of -- over 44
percent of Republican primary voters are social conservatives. So, if you
look at the field of candidates, every one of them pro-life, every one of
them supports traditional marriage.
PERKINS: There are some that are marginal on the issues. But they
all embrace social conservative positions to one degree or another. It`s
important for the Republican primary.
SCHULTZ: OK. There seems to be a narrative out there that, you know,
there are some traditional Republicans that just aren`t happy with this
field. Do you share that concern?
PERKINS: No. I mean, we heard the same thing last time. As you were
laying out the opening for the program, there was talk four years ago that
Mike Huckabee was unelectable. That he simply could not be elected, and
so, the party went with a more moderate candidate who lost.
It`s interesting now that in polls that if Mike Huckabee were in the
race, he would be leading President Obama. So, that idea that someone`s
unelectable because they`re conservative just does not -- is not held up by
SCHULTZ: Is your organization going to support one of these
candidates in the near future?
PERKINS: Not in the near future. Our role here is --
SCHULTZ: But will you pick one?
PERKINS: Not necessarily. Now, we have our Values Voters Summit
coming up next week, and we will have a straw poll there where value voters
are able to cast their vote for their preference. We work with all of the
candidates in understanding our issues and articulating those issues.
PERKINS: And at some point, we may weigh in. But it will be on down
the road aways.
SCHULTZ: And many on the left think Christian conservatives in the
South will not vote for a Mormon being Mitt Romney. Do you agree with
that? Is his faith a problem?
PERKINS: I think they`re looking at his policies. I do not think
that evangelicals see Mormonism as another brand of Christianity. They do
see it as a distinct faith. Those who are focused on the theological will
have problems with that.
But, again, I go back -- if Mitt Romney were to have the nomination,
to gain the nomination, I think that you would see strong support for him
based upon the policies that he has embraced, compared to the policies that
this current president has advanced.
SCHULTZ: But the whisper campaign would not to support Mitt Romney?
Is that fair to say?
PERKINS: No, I don`t think so. I don`t think so. Not in the general
election. If he is the nominee, I don`t think that would be the case at
PERKINS: I think there is going to be a strong, strong support base
for the Republican nominee.
Now, will it be stronger if it were somebody that they had a common
understanding with both from a faith standpoint and a policy standpoint?
Absolutely. And I think Mitt Romney`s positions that he`s held in the past
has been more of a concern to some than his Mormon faith.
OK. Who is the most conservative in the field right now? I mean, if
you`re not going to announce who you`re going to --
PERKINS: I could support -- I like all the candidates. I mean, when
you consider -- Herman Cain has done a great job. I like Herman. He`s a
friend. Michele Bachmann is a friend.
Rick Santorum is a very good friend. And I think would make --
SCHULTZ: What about Huntsman?
PERKINS: Well, Huntsman is a one, lone wolf that has staked out
positions that are not completely embraced by social conservatives, and I
think it`s reflective in the lack of support he`s gotten.
Rick Perry is good. I like Mitt Romney.
SCHULTZ: And let me ask you, finally, how disappointed are you that
Governor Christie didn`t get in this?
PERKINS: I`m not.
SCHULTZ: You`re not? No big deal?
PERKINS: No. When you mentioned the big dollar supporters that he`s
had from New York, many of them have supported social policies that are in
direction contradiction to the social conservative part of the party.
PERKINS: And so, I don`t see that as a loss at all.
SCHULTZ: Tony, you don`t have to announce it tonight. But I know
that Rick Perry is your guy. He`s just too good. He`s going to win that
values voter thing coming up that you`ve got.
PERKINS: I like the fact that he wears cowboy boots.
SCHULTZ: All right. Tony, good to have you with us. Thanks so much,
from the Family Research Council.
PERKINS: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Now, let`s turn to Mike Papantonio, host of "Ring of Fire"
radio show. Why is Christie stepping out, Mike? What do you make of this?
MIKE PAPANTONIO, HOST, "RING OF FIRE" RADIO SHOW: Well, Christie, you
know, if you really look at it right now, conservatives love --
conservatives love Christie because he has the style of a governor where he
chooses to victimize his opponents and beat them over the head until they
submit. You know, he`s the perfect -- he`s the perfect candidate.
You know, I think it`s still -- the question in my mind is: do the
Republicans have such little faith. I believe this is it is. They have
such little faith that they can beat Obama that they don`t want to use him
up right now.
They see him as a 2016 kind of candidate. I really believe that
they`re trying to groom him for down the road. They know this is going to
be a disaster for any Republican that runs, no matter what the Republicans
would like to say, things are not so bad for Obama he can`t come up. He`s
afraid to run. They want to keep him out of the race.
SCHULTZ: You heard Tony Perkins say that he`s OK with the field.
It`s no big deal that Christie didn`t get in. Do you believe that?
PAPANTONIO: I don`t believe a word of what Perkins just said. As a
matter of fact conservatives liked Christie, for example, because, well, he
had an I.Q. above room temperature. And if you take a look at this field
right now, there aren`t many of them that do.
I got to tell you this -- he did have a chance in the South. You`ve
got a problem with the Mormon card where it comes to, you know, with that
SCHULTZ: He wouldn`t confirm that. He wouldn`t confirm that. He`s
PAPANTONIO: All you have to do is read the material from his
organization. Read what he has to say.
Look, in the South, the Southern Baptist believes that Mormonism is an
odd ball cult. And then, so, what you`re left with? You`re left with
Michele Bachmann, who is even a goofier version of Sarah Palin than Sarah
Palin. You have Perry, a Texas aggie with a 2.0 GPA incoherent most of the
time when he tries to discuss anything. You have Herman Cain who`s like a
bad -- .
SCHULTZ: But they`re happy with the field.
PAPANTONIO: Well, they have to. Herman Cain, look, this is a guy --
he`s like a bad caricature of a crazy old Mr. Brown in a Tyler Perry movie.
You have Huntsman that has too much intelligence, has too much
sophistication for the new Tea Party Republicans.
SCHULTZ: All right.
PAPANTONIO: So, there`s no way Tony Perkins is happy with this field,
SCHULTZ: Mike Papantonio, always a pressure. Good to have you with us
tonight. Thanks so much.
We want you to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom of the
screen. We want to know what you think.
The Republican war -- this is my hot story tonight. We didn`t lead
with it, but this is a hot story in my heart. The Republican war on the
Postal Service will hurt more people than you can ever imagine. I`ll
dismantle the smear campaign that is really going after and trying to kill
a great American institution.
Postal workers are back fighting the fight. And they are protesting
today. The head of the postal workers union will join me next.
And we all know George Bush had -- well, he was bad for the country,
but he was pretty doggone good comedy, wasn`t he? That`s why we need Rick
Perry to hang in there for at least a little while. Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m bored by famine. I cannot wait for a medieval
cookie, a cinnabun, hot, yellow Kool-Aid, and save a pretzel for the gas
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: We`ll play you the whole thing later on in the show. Stay
with us. We`re right back.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.
If you take one fact away from this program tonight, this is what I
want it to be. Let it be this -- the United States Postal Service gets
zero tax dollars. Got that? Zero.
But, Republicans, they`re going to go after it anyway, because it`s
got some union thing connected to it, right?
The United States Postal Service is the second biggest civilian
employer in the United States of America. The number: 574,000 workers.
Only Wal-Mart has more employees than the United States Postal Service.
Did you know that the Postal Service operates more than 215,000
vehicles? The largest civilian fleet in the world? There are almost
32,000 post offices around the country. You know, small town America got
those little post offices. More than the number of domestic Wal-Mart,
Starbucks and McDonald`s stores combined. I mine, the Postal Service is
The Postal Service, you know what they do? They handle 40 percent of
the world`s card and letter mail. Pretty big.
Last year, did they bring in any bucks? You better believe they did.
They brought in $67 billion in 2010.
And, remember, I want you to know this, zero. They received zero -- I
repeat, zero tax dollars.
But Republicans have been on a mission to get rid of it since the year
2006 when they passed an unbelievable lame duck session law. Today, Postal
workers and their allies, they are fighting back. We`ll talk to the
president of the American Postal Workers Union, and I`ll tell you how it
will hurt America if it survives.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Good to have you back with us tonight.
This is, I think, a very important story, and I want every American to
understand how this will affect you. This is our infrastructure crumbling.
This is our infrastructure being attacked by conservatives who think that
privatizing everything is the best thing to do.
Well, today, postal workers across the country took to the streets in
an attempt to save the United States Postal Service. They are rallying,
you see, in support of a House resolution bill 1351, which would help solve
the postal service`s budget problems, which was created by Congress.
Right now, 120,000 jobs are on the line because of a manufactured
budget crisis. I`ll explain. It all stems from a piece of legislation
Republicans passed in 2006 in the lame duck session.
Now, hold it right there. What happened in 2006? Nancy Pelosi, and
here come the Democrats, right?
Well, before she got the gavel, they just, you know, wanted to just
get after it. Before they lost control of the Congress, the GOP -- well,
they wanted to stick it to the workers one last time with the Postal
Accountability and Enhancement Act.
The law forced the Postal Service to prefund -- get this now --
prefund for years to come, decades to come, 75 years of pension and health
care benefits in a 10-year window. That`s a hell of a lot of money. It`s
an enormous, an enormous, unnecessary financial strain on the Post Office
with more than $5.5 billion in payments per year.
Now, hold it right there. Grab this. You`re running a business, and
somebody in Congress just passed a law saying, well, you have got to fork
out another $5.5 billion to stay afloat because we`re telling you that you
have to fund your retirement and your pension for the next 75 years just to
make sure that you guys know what the hell you`re doing.
What business in America gets nailed like this by the Congress?
Now, keep in mind -- what was happening in 2006? Well, we had the
wars going on, and they were off-budget, weren`t they?
You see? The Republicans, they didn`t want to pay for the wars, but
they wanted to stick it to the Postal Service positive make sure their
funded 75 years out when it comes to retirement and health care. Hell,
they were funding employees before they went to work for the Post Office.
But Americans are fighting back. This is a TV commercial in support
of the Postal Service. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NARRATOR: The Postal Service is critical to the economy, delivering
mail, medicine and packages, yet, they`re closing thousands of offices
slashing service and want to lay off over 100,000 workers. The Postal
Service is recording financial losses but not for reasons you might think.
The problem? A burden no other agency or company bears.
A 2006 law that drains $5 billion a year from Post Office revenue
while the Postal Service is force to overpay billions more into federal
Congress created this problem and Congress can fix it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Oh, yes, they can.
Because of the 2006 legislation, the Postal Service may be forced
right now to cut more than 100,000 jobs. Now, get this: the president is
out on the road trying to create jobs and pass an American jobs bill, but,
heck, we`ve got legislation on the table right now that`s going to gut
120,000 jobs with an agency that makes money if you don`t put a legislative
harness on them.
Let`s also note that they`re going to cancel Saturday service.
They`re going to be closing offices in rural America and destroying a great
American tradition that started 235 years ago.
You see, the United States Postal Service was created on July 26th,
1775 by the original Tea Partiers. But today`s Tea Party wants to
eliminate it and turn the business over to the private sector because they
can do it just heck of a lot better.
I don`t think they can. And I don`t think they understand exactly
what`s at stake here.
Joining me is Cliff Guffey, he`s the president of the American Postal
Mr. Guffey, good to have you with us tonight.
CLIFF GUFFEY, APWU PRESIDENT: Good to be with you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: I need you to correct me on this if I`m wrong. Don`t be
afraid to correct me if I`m wrong. UPS and Federal Express has the Postal
Service delivering 25 percent of their volume because the Postal Service
will go places they won`t go. Is that true?
GUFFEY: That`s correct. We by mandate have to go to every door in
the United States six days a week.
SCHULTZ: And what happens if you`re not in those small towns? What`s
UPS and the private sector and Federal Express going to do then?
GUFFEY: I don`t think they`ll pick up the additional costs. I think
if anything happens to the Postal Service, the more profitable areas of the
country will be stripped away where someone can make billions of dollars
and pay their workers very few dollars, with low benefits, and make a lot
of money. They`re not going to do that in a rural area. So, the federal
government will be stuck with delivering the mail in these areas where
there`s no money to be made. It`s just really total cost.
SCHULTZ: It`s -- you got 574,000 employees, 120,000 could be gone
because of this legislation. You want Americans to understand that this
legislation needs to be reversed. Is that what the House bill is all
GUFFEY: The House bill frees up money, the overages that the Post
Office has paid into the federal government. It recognizes the fact we`ve
overfunded our pension plans by $50 billion to $75 billion, one of the
pension plans. It recognizes another one is overfunded by $6.9 billion.
There`s a lot of overages there, and all the Postal Service -- we want
the Postal Service to be able to do is to move that money around to other
accounts instead of sitting there in retirement accounts.
SCHULTZ: Well, it`s a government take-over. I mean, the Republicans
are out there talking about regulation and they`ve laid one on the Postal
Service that is harnessing you big-time.
And now, it`s going to costs jobs. It`s going to close facilities.
It`s going to hurt small businesses. It`s going to hurt the disabled.
It`s going to hurt poor. It`s going to hurt the middle class.
GUFFEY: I assume they just want to use that money for other purposes.
If they gave that money back -- one of the main reasons they don`t want to
give that money back to the Post Office, and we`re not saying give it back
in whole sums, but allow the credits for other areas, is because if they
took the money credited it to other areas, it would show how underfunded
the rest of the federal government is. In other words, all the government
agencies who were funded by tax dollars --
GUFFEY: -- they get them and spend them and they`re not putting money
SCHULTZ: And no tax dollars fund the Postal Service?
GUFFEY: That`s correct.
SCHULTZ: Zero tax dollars. You what this is going to do? This is
going to hurt small town newspapers. This is going to hurt local
journalism. This is going to hurt direct mailers. This is going to hurt
small businesses big-time -- the poor, the disabled.
We don`t care about anybody any more in country. Hell, it`s all about
making a dollar is what it is.
And the Republicans, while they were having the wars off budget in the
lame duck session of the Congress in 2006, this is what the Republicans
stuck this country with -- the beginning of the end.
Would you call it the beginning of the end of the Postal Service?
GUFFEY: If it`s passed -- if it goes through as some of the
congressmen want it to happen and the not the way we`d like for it to
happen, it will dismantle the Postal Service and have severe ramifications
throughout the rest of the country.
SCHULTZ: It pretty much says it all.
GUFFEY: Let me tell you one of the things, Ed. We had rallies in 500
locations today. Some of the areas, we had 1,500 people, some areas 60 --
500 congressional districts. And we estimate at a minimum, we had a
minimum showing of 100 people average in these 500. That`s 50,000 people.
SCHULTZ: You had a great turnout, and I hope you do it again. And if
the Democrats are listening tonight, just all of you get on board and tell
the president to get on board with 1351. I mean, if you`re out there
talking about creating jobs and you`re going to let them gut 120,000, come
on, what are we doing here?
Cliff Guffey, great -- I got to return.
GUFFEY: Twenty-five thousand of those would be veterans. You can`t
let that happen.
SCHULTZ: OK. Cliff Guffey, thanks for joining us tonight. I think I
might do this story again.
GUFFEY: I appreciate it.
SCHULTZ: Michele Bachmann is flashing back to the 1960s. She says
terrorists are setting up shop in Cuba and pointing missiles at the United
States. You know where that puts her, right in the zone.
This man wants President Obama to raise his taxes. The vast majority
of Americans, they think he`s correct. Ezra Klein explains why this
message is a winner for the president.
SCHULTZ: And in Psycho Talk tonight, we already know that House
Intelligence Committee member Michele Bachmann, well, she isn`t very good
at history or foreign policy. Bachmann said the first shots of the
Revolutionary War were fired in New Hampshire. And she said people are
worried about the rise of the Soviet Union.
But Bachmann doesn`t let her ignorance stop her from wild speculation
about international affairs. Yesterday, she was fear mongering about a
second Cuban Missile Crisis.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There`s reports
that have come out that Cuba has been working with another terrorist
organization called Hezbollah. And Hezbollah is potentially looking at
wanting to be a part of missile sites in Iran. And of course, when you`re
90 miles offshore from Florida, you don`t want to entertain the prospect of
hosting bases or sites where Hezbollah could have training camps or perhaps
missile sites or weapon sites in Cuba. This would be foolish.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: No fear mongering there. Of course, Bachmann is way off the
mark. Hold it right there. If this was the case, do you think that
President Obama would be mentioning this in the media at all? She was
apparently referring to an unsourced report in an Italian newspaper picked
up by conservative blogs. But the report didn`t mention anything about
That part was a Bachmann special. This tactic is nothing new for the
congresswoman from Minnesota. It`s just like when she said the HPV Vaccine
causes mental retardation. She hears something she thinks can be helping
her politically, and she just runs with it, whether it`s true or not.
And in Bachmann`s case, it`s usually not true. Her fear mongering
about Hezbollah missiles in Cuba is reckless Psycho Talk.
Tonight, Governor Chris Christie says he wants to apply free market
reform to education. We`ll see what he really means next.
Tuna, eggs, Doritos, cheesecake, e-mails, see you. I`ll help
translate that and other pearls of wisdom from Texas Governor Rick Perry.
We have the video you won`t want to miss.
SCHULTZ: All this week, NBC News is hosting Education Nation to focus
on this vital issue. Here on THE ED SHOW, we want to have a frank
discussion about it, as we always do. This is Governor Scott Walker of
Wisconsin bragging about his record on education.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: Our budget, our state was unique in
that we made those cuts as well, but we gave our schools and our local
governments the tools to more than offset them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: I don`t know what you`d do without those tools. But over a
two-year period, cuts to public education in Wisconsin total 1.6 billion
dollars. When cuts are calculated per student, Wisconsin is the worst,
according to a nonpartisan study.
It`s followed by New York, California, Ohio, and Texas. Now, in the
state of New Jersey, the state Supreme Court overruled cuts that Governor
Chris Christie wanted to make in the poorest districts. But Christie has
more ideas where that came from.
Here`s what he said in tonight`s speech at the Reagan Library.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: And we would reform our K to 12
education system by applying free market reform principles to education,
rewarding outstanding teachers -- rewarding outstanding teachers, demanding
accountability from everyone in the system, increasing competition through
choice and charters.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Let`s bring in the president of the American Federation of
Teachers, Randi Weingarten. Randy, good to have you with us tonight.
RANDI WEINGARTEN, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS: It`s always great
to be with you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: What`s free market? What`s he talking about? Is that code
language for what?
WEINGARTEN: Look, all these folks that don`t actually want to spend
money on education, like the countries that out compete us, like take South
Korea, where they`re actually hiring teachers, while we have actually laid
off about 300,000 educators since 2008.
The countries that out compete us invest in education. When you hear
somebody talking about the free market and competition and choice, it is
their way of saying that they`re not going to invest in education. And
we`ve had actually free market theology in education for the last 20 years.
Choice is important. Parents should have a choice to ensure that
their kids have a great neighborhood school to go to. Charters we`ve had
for 20 years. Some do well. About 17 percent of the charters in the
country do well. The rest of them do either worse or the same as other
So let`s get serious about actually investing in education, like
Singapore and Finland, who actually out compete us.
SCHULTZ: I think charter schools, what they started out to be and
what they were defined as are totally different today. There is a real
disconnect in this country. We talk about doing right by public education,
yet we see cuts to the tune of 1.6 billion dollars, and then the governor
of Wisconsin comes out and says, well, actually, we`re as good or better.
How does that make sense?
WEINGARTEN: I was sitting there during the presentation at Education
Nation. And when Governor Walker said that, I was just -- I couldn`t
believe it. Because Wisconsin has the highest cut per student this year in
the United States of America, the highest cut.
And this is a -- this is a state that was basically number one in
graduation rates throughout the United States. Highest cut.
Now does that mean? It means that art and music programs are going.
It means that there will be increased class size. But the -- look, I`m
from New York, so we have a term in New York called Chutzpah. Ultimately,
the biggest Chutzpah line that Governor Walker said was that he gave these
This is what he did: he wiped out voice. He wiped out collective
bargaining. He basically shifted costs so that, for example, the Wisconsin
janitor, custodian that we represent who makes 24,000 dollars is now paying
16 percent more in terms of benefits.
SCHULTZ: All of these politicians, of course they want to reward the
prolific performers in the classroom, the teachers. No question about
that. But it`s the money. They don`t want to pay anybody. They don`t
want them to be able to organize. They don`t want them to collectively
bargain. They want to cut their health care, their pension.
They want to run people out of the profession after ten years of being
in, because teachers get so damn sick of the whole thing. Now the school
voucher legislation was signed into law in the state of Indiana by Governor
Mitch Daniels. Explain the downside, in your opinion, of these voucher
WEINGARTEN: Look, parents have a right to send their kids to the
schools that they want to send their kids to. And I don`t begrudge any
parent who wants to send a child to a religious school to have that right
to do so.
SCHULTZ: The downside of the voucher program is?
WEINGARTEN: But the downside is in a period of time when you have --
when poverty is up, when school cuts are up, we can`t take one more cent
out of the public school system and divert it somewhere else.
SCHULTZ: Here`s what America -- here`s what I think we -- myself as
well, doing reading on this. First of all, the federal funds aren`t coming
in. The state budgets are being cut. So where do locals go to? They go
to property taxes.
Now you have economically challenged areas in the inner city. They
can`t go to poor people for property faxes. This is the big screw job in
America. There was a time in this country in public education when the
door was open and everybody was welcome. Now they want to make it so the
wealthy can come through and get a fair shake.
Randi Weingarten, thank you for being part of it. We`ll talk more
about it as the days going on.
Bill O`Reilly wants you to think he`s looking out for you. But his
recent whining about his taxes getting raised proves he`s only looking out
for himself. Almost 75 percent of the country wants his taxes to go up.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: In my Playbook tonight, I think the Democrats and President
Obama have a winning message on taxes. It was handed to the president at a
Silicon Valley town hall yesterday by a retired gentleman who made his
millions as an executive at Google.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DOUG EDWARDS, FMR. GOOGLE EMPLOYEE: My question is, would you please
raise my taxes. I would like very much to have the country to continue to
invest in things like Pell Grants and infrastructure and job training
programs that made it possible for me to get to where I am.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: How can you not notice the applause from the crowd, the
audience, when Doug Edwards says, quote, raise my taxes? Well, you know
what, new polling showing Americans overwhelming support increasing capital
gains taxes on millionaires. But Republicans still don`t get it.
Eric Cantor`s communication director went on Twitter and asked "if
he`s unemployed, what taxes?"
You can tell that guy never made a dollar. This guy is either
ignorant or he`s deliberately misleading. Although Doug Edwards doesn`t
pay income tax, he pays capital gains tax on income from investments. As
recently as 2009, the average income tax cut on investments was worth
32,000 dollars to people who make more than a million dollars a year.
For middle income families, that tax cut was worth 20 dollars.
Joining me tonight is MSNBC contributor and "Washington Post" columnist
Ezra Klein. Ezra, good to have you with us.
The new poll shows the public overwhelmingly supporting these taxes
when they`re explained to them. People were asked if they support taxing
those who make over a million dollars a year, the same percentage of taxes
or more on their total income as those who make less than a million dollars
a year; 73 percent said yes; 16 percent said no.
How can Republicans deny this support? Your thoughts.
EZRA KLEIN, "THE WASHINGTON POST": I don`t think it really can be
denied. In fact, I don`t think anybody should be surprised by that poll.
We have seen poll after poll after poll show the American people support
raising taxes on the wealthy.
In fact, if you actually look in the internals of a lot of these
polls, when you just break it down by Republicans, you often see a majority
of Republicans support raising taxes on the wealthy. Now I think sometimes
Democrats can take that too far. There are more things we need to do to
close the budget deficit.
But nevertheless, if Republicans sort of stand up and say, if you
raise taxes on the wealthy, we`re just going to stand in the way of that,
obstruct it, filibuster it, it ain`t a winning message.
Paul Begala, who used to advice President Clinton, had a nice line on
this. He says whenever I hear Republicans say class warfare, I know
Democrats are winning. I think you`ve been seeing a little bit of that in
SCHULTZ: Didn`t Ronald Reagan tax capital gains at the same time --
at the same rate as taxable income?
KLEIN: In 1986, Ronald Reagan signed the Fax Reform Bill. And as you
say, it brought the capital gains tax rate up to meet the income tax rate.
Now it`s also worth noting that it is Clinton who brought it back down, who
lowered taxes on capital gains.
There are policy reasons people make for this. You sometimes want to
taxes on investment in order to encourage more of it. There`s a lot that
we try to do with the tax code. I think there`s an argument to make it
flatter. But there are reasons for everything.
That said, there`s a lot we do with that capital gain tax cut that
isn`t a good idea at all. Hedge fund managers, for instance, they report
their income, which is simply -- essentially, it`s a lot like wage income -
- as capital gains. So they pay this 15 percent tax rate, whereas someone
who is a CEO of say a company that makes tires pays a much higher tax rate.
This is something that people call the carried interest tax cut. It`s
part of this capital gains issue. And it`s really, really quite
frustrating to a lot of us.
SCHULTZ: And the top one percent income earners next year will pocket
another 140,000 dollars. So, I mean, to average Americans out there
figuring this thing out, how can the president and the Democrats translate
this to the American people as a winning message? How much should they
KLEIN: I don`t actually think they`ve had too much of a problem with
it. As you say, the polls massively support them on that. The only thing
they haven`t been able to do is use it as leverage. Republicans have
figured out that, at the end of the day, if they simply say we`re going to
let bad things happen if you try to raise taxes -- we`ll let the government
shut down, let the debt ceiling collapse, we`ll let all the Bush tax cuts
for the middle class and the lower -- and working class Americans expire in
the middle of a deep recession, then Democrats ultimately tend to fold on
the tax issue.
That`s been their strategy. It has not been to make it more popular
or win the public argument.
SCHULTZ: All right, not to throw a curve ball here, but I want your
take, Chris Christie not in the race. That`s the news tonight. What do
WEINGARTEN: From Twitter, it seemed ambivalent whether or not he was
in. I don`t know if he`s made a further statement, but people keep calling
this the Rashomon speech. Half the people thought he was coming in, half
thought he was coming out.
It would be interesting if entered. My take on Christie, though, is
he may find running for president a little bit difficult. Whenever I watch
his Youtubes of him berating folks in the audience, I always think that
that`s going to wear well until it doesn`t. He only needs to go after the
wrong person one time for that to become a viral video and cause him
He`s never been under the scrutiny of a presidential campaign before.
And it`s an open question how well he will do under it.
SCHULTZ: Interesting point. "Washington Post" Ezra Klein, always
great. Thank you so much.
Rick Perry will let you borrow his Kwanzaa CDs. What am I talking
about? Stay tuned for the translation.
SCHULTZ: And finally tonight, so you think Rick Perry is wrong on
Social Security, wrong on education, wrong on the environment, and pretty
much everything else? After watching this latest video from the folks at
BadLipReading.com -- that`s BadLipReading.com, you might actually agree
with Rick Perry on something. This nation really needs to save a pretzel
for the gas jets.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ice cream, that is cheap, fact. And then I
suspended Marcia off this bridge and took a virgin heifer night riding for
a while. We never got a dead spirit. We hated it, though. It`s
Someone had a grade A lung fish decorate their home for a merry fool`s
Tuna, eggs, Doritos, cheesecake, tamale. See you.
Wash that smile off.
I`m going to tell you something, now sit down. What`s good is to get
these goats for our computer industry. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Now, what I want you to do is build me a small doghouse. I`m bored by
famine. I cannot wait for a medieval cookie, a Cinnabun, hot, yellow Kool-
Aid, and save a pretzel for the gas jets.
Thank you. I wrote that.
Some do the Olympics, and some defy the Titans. Ice cream. I had
this girl who is too ugly to ride, and we were bitter. This princess in
the mustache, one size fits all, everybody hook up babe.
You can borrow my CDs. Not one every day. You can try my Kwanzaa
CDs. They`re not yours, and you don`t have to take any of them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: What is it about Texas? Can`t get fooled again. How can
that guy not be the nominee? That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz. You can
listen to my radio show on Sirius XM Radio, channel 127, Monday through
Friday, noon to 3:00 pm.
Follow me at Twitter @EdShow and @WeGotEd.
"THE LAST WORD" with Lawrence O`Donnell starts right now. We`ll see
you back here tomorrow night. Have a great one.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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