Skip navigation

'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Friday, October 14, 2011

Read the transcript to the Friday show

  Most Popular
Most viewed

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST: Here comes trouble. Michael Moore is here
tonight.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS: Showdown between police and the "Occupy
Wall Street" protesters in New York was averted last minute today.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are postponing their cleaning.

(CHEERS)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The city asked them to move temporarily so that
the parks` owners could clean this park.

TAMRON HALL, MSNBC ANCHOR: The protesters are planning a weekend of
massive marches after celebrating the postponed cleaning of Zuccotti Park.
A march on Chase Bank and Times Square is scheduled for tomorrow. The
anti-Wall Street movement has spread now to at least 190 cities.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`re about consciousness-raising. That`s how
they perceive themselves.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`ve ever seen some people try to compare it with
the Tea Party movement, and the Tea Party thinks they do too much in
Washington and the protesters think that they don`t to enough.

CHRIS JANSING, NBC NEWS: A lot of Tea Party folks don`t like the
comparisons.

TIM BASHIR, MSNBC ANCHOR: A new "Time" magazine poll finds a majority
of Americans has a favorable view of the protesters, that`s twice as many
that say they support the Tea Party.

GOV. RICK PERRY (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don`t worry too
much about polls. I know a lot of people obsess with them. I`m more
worried about those people out there who don`t have a job in America.

BASHIR: And now, there`s this -- a 41 page jobs plan that Governor
Perry claims will create 1.2 million jobs but also deconstruct the
environmental protection agencies.

PERRY: I`ll stop the EPA`s draconian measures related to the
regulation of greenhouse gases.

MITCHELL: It does sound a lot like "drill, baby, drill."

SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Let`s drill, baby, drill.

HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Nine-nine-nine.

JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC ANCHOR: Nine-nine-nine.

DAVID GREGORY, NBC NEWS: Herman Cain has done a lot, but he`s really
in a moment now.

SCARBOROUGH: They`re just making it up.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

O`DONNELL: Disaster was averted at dawn this morning in New York City
when a police action to forcibly remove "Occupy Wall Street" protesters
from their encampment in Zuccotti Park was called off at 6:18 a.m.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Brookfield Properties said they are postponing
their cleaning.

(CHEERS)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Brookfield Properties, the owner of the park, issued this
statement. "At the request of a number of local political leaders,
Brookfield Properties has deferred the cleaning of Zuccotti Park for a
short period of time while an attempt is made to reach a resolution
regarding the manner in which Zuccotti Park is being used by the
protesters. Any such resolution will be respectful of the laws of the city
of New York and will ensure that the park is used in a way that maintains
the health, safety and viability of the surrounding residential and
business community.

Later on his radio show, Mayor Michael Bloomberg also indicated that
there was some behind-the-scenes political pressure on Brookfield to do the
right thing.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (I), NEW YORK CITY: My understanding is that
Brookfield got lots of calls from many elected officials, threatening them
and saying if you don`t stop this, we`ll make your life more difficult.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Once protesters learned they were free to stay in the
park, some decided to march to the New York Stock Exchange. Police made 14
arrests. Police avoided violence except in this case.

(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)

O`DONNELL: "Occupy Wall Street" is planning a mega march tomorrow as
part of a global day of action. Their Facebook page urges supporters to
"take Times Square, massive convergence of solidarity with the October 15th
World Day of Action, we are building a new world."

Joining me now is Michael Moore, Academy Award-winning filmmaker,
activist, and author of the new book, "Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My
Life."

Michael, thank you very much for joining me tonight.

MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER/ACTIVIST: Thanks for having me here.

Before we start, can I thank you for coming down there -- you were the
first live broadcast from this demonstration when you were going to have me
in the studio here, and I asked if you would come down there, because no
mainstream media had been down there, live, an the air, for their
broadcast. You came down and did the first live broadcast.

So, I just thank you -- from everyone down there and everyone across
the country.

O`DONNELL: Well, it`s you who got our cameras down there.

MOORE: But somebody here had to make the decision to do that.

O`DONNELL: Yes. I heard, I said, of course, we want to. That was
easy. Michael wants to do it down there, is that OK? Yes, that`s OK.

Michael, the New York media was ready for an explosion this morning.
We had the tabloids, the "New York Post" today, their morning headline,
Wall Street face-off, showdown at "The Daily News" -- accompanied by
editorials that were basically egging on Mayor Bloomberg and saying, you
got to get in there and clean this thing up. I really felt something very,
very ugly was going to occur this morning. I just think we`re very lucky
that this was averted.

MOORE: I did not think that was going to happen. Of course, I`ve
been down there for, you know, on and off half a dozen times in the last
couple of weeks. I honestly thought that Mayor Bloomberg and those in
charge would realize that they would be giving this protest the best
headlines of the month if they were to do anything like that. I think they
were afraid to go there.

I was down there, one cop down there actually asked, what -- why don`t
you think this happened? Why don`t you think the eviction happened? He
said because the mayor is afraid of YouTube.

I mean, when you stop and think about it, the power of the new media,
the media that`s in the hands of the people that those in charge are afraid
of what could possibly go on. So, I think -- I`m not surprised that they -
- they`re not dumb. They didn`t get to own most of the world`s wealth by
being stupid people.

O`DONNELL: Right.

MOORE: So, the upper 1 percent, though, they are shaking in their
boots right now because this has gone so beyond Zuccotti Park, Liberty
Plaza. They`re so beyond. It`s in so many hundreds of cities now that
it`s a movement that can`t be stopped.

O`DONNELL: But, you know, it is my impression of Mayor Bloomberg and
Ray Kelly, the police commissioner, that they don`t want -- they don`t --
it`s not a matter of, oh, we don`t want the YouTube video. They don`t want
the incident, they want the violence, they don`t want something get out of
control and turn violent.

And simply deciding not to go in there was the smartest thing they
could decide. And it seems that it`s possible that the mayor wanted some
political coverage. So, the statement comes from the owners of the park
which is so peculiar here because normally, these things are public areas.

MOORE: Right.

O`DONNELL: I mean, that`s what it was in Chicago in `68. They went
into a public park to get demonstrators up. It`s private property.

MOORE: Right.

O`DONNELL: So the real public controller of the decision turns out to
be this thing called Brookfield.

MOORE: Right. Which, by the way, the mayor`s girlfriend is on the
board of the directors of this -- the people that own the park. So, I
think -- no, they obviously did the right thing because they don`t have
another choice. They -- it`s not really their choice. The choice has been
made by the people who are occupying the park.

And they`re not going. We`re not going. We`re not going anywhere.
We are there until we have justice.

And for people that say, well, what does that mean, or what does
everybody want? What we want is a really a fundamental change.

This is no longer about trying to get some bill passed or let`s elect
this congressman or whatever. We`ve been down that road. Everyone`s been
down that road. Everyone`s depressed by the way the political system is
run.

So, until we get the money out of that system -- thank you, Dylan
Ratigan -- until we get the money out of the system, we`re going to have to
depend on grassroots people demanding this change and making this change
occur. And that`s what`s going to happen. And people are running for
office next year I`m sure are frightened by this and trying to figure out
how to handle it because unlike the Tea Party, this is not some clique,
this is not some ideological clique over here. This is a massive group of
people.

I mean, Brian Williams led the evening news tonight with just this
incredible report of even Wall Street -- people work on Wall Street are
going, you know, I kind of agree with the protesters, I don`t really know
what --

O`DONNELL: Right.

MOORE: But they can`t -- "CBS Evening News" had three stories on.
There was not one story that said, here`s the other side or here`s the
opposing side. It`s one of those stories who doesn`t have an opposing
side, except for the 1 percent who are on top. In other words, there`s
nobody who`s going to stand in front of the camera and justify the greed
that`s taken place, the assault on the middle class that`s taken place over
30 years.

That`s what you`re seeing. You`re seeing this uprising because for 30
years, working people have just been beaten and beaten and beaten to the
point of how much more do you want to suck out of us here? You know --

(CROSSTALK)

O`DONNELL: -- out 5 bucks a month if you use their ATM card. They
like that.

MOORE: Yes.

O`DONNELL: We can think of more things.

MOORE: And the machine will think of more things. That is how it`s
designed and built. So, that`s why it has to stop. It has to stop.

We live in a democracy where we the people are supposed to control
everything. Not just go and vote every two or four years. But we should
have a -- we should have a control over this economy and have a say of how
the pie is divided up.

And the people don`t anymore. The people are just told, I`m sorry
you`re losing your health benefits. I`m sorry, no vacation time this year.
I`m sorry, no sick day. I`m sorry, you know, your job has been moved to
Brazil.

I mean, that`s essentially what people have listened to for 30 years
and just freaking had it. And that`s the end of it. That`s it now. This
can`t be stopped.

Mayor Bloomberg saying we got to clean the park, it`s laughable down
there because the cleanup that has to take place is two blocks away on the
actual Wall Street. Corporate America and Wall Street have to be cleaned
up.

And people aren`t going to stop until this starts to happen.

O`DONNELL: Well, Tim Geithner has something to say about cleaning up
Wall Street. Let`s listen. He was on CNBC. And he was being asked about
--

MOORE: His favorite channel.

O`DONNELL: He was being asked about enforcement actions and the whole
question of who has gone to jail for the crimes against this economy.

MOORE: Let`s see, who has?

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Tim Geithner has to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of the things "Occupy Wall Street" people
point out is there`s been no criminal charges, anything related to what`s
happened.

TIM GEITHNER, TREASURY SECRETARY: That`s not true. And you`ve seen
very, very dramatic enforcement actions already by the enforcement
authorities across the U.S. government. And I`m sure you`re going to see
more to come. You should stay tuned for that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: I don`t know what he was talking about.

MOORE: Yes. Maybe he was talking about another country.

O`DONNELL: I think, I think at best he`s referring to things like
Madoff and this insider trade case -- yesterday a guy got 11 years. Those
kinds of things have always been going on. Those are individual speeding
tickets on the interstate highway of commerce. That`s all those are.

MOORE: No, no. What the people want to see is a perp walk. We want
to see the heads of Goldman Sachs, of Chase, of these banks, of these
firms, of the rating agencies that were part and parcel of this problem,
that caused the crash of `08.

I can`t believe that over 1,000 people have been arrested in the city
for nonviolently standing up against this and not a single perp walk, not a
single arrest of these bankers and -- but that`s only one -- this protest
isn`t just about arresting bankers. This is, again, it`s not just one fix.
It`s not just bringing back Glass-Steagall. It`s not just let`s increase
taxes on the rich. I mean, yes, everyone agrees with all this. But it`s -
- we`re going to have a new problem.

Like you said, with the Bank of America, with the debit card charges.
They`ll come up with something if we don`t change the fundamental
foundation of this economic system that`s unfair, it`s unjust, it`s not
Democratic, people have had it. And this isn`t going away.

O`DONNELL: And it`s human beings who are working on Wall Street. You
know, Mitt Romney is fond of calling corporations people. Well, if they
are people, they have a corporate, civic citizenship that needs to be
brought to their decision making.

I mean, one of the things I like about what you`re saying, this
demonstration is beyond politics. It`s beyond pass this bill or pass that
clause of this bill. It`s -- because you`re not going to be able to
anticipate what these companies will do next as long as they have
absolutely no sense of corporate citizenship.

MOORE: And as long as they can buy the politicians that run for
Congress. As long as they can control that, it`s a rigged game.

And the 99 percent who are not part of this, who didn`t cause this,
who have been the victims of this -- I`ll tell you what`s so great about
being down there. You have all kinds of people and nobody`s talking about,
should abortion be legal? Should I have a right to own a gun? You know,
do I care can those two gay guys are married over there?

All those social issues that those on top have had to divide working
people with over the years, that`s like kind of who cares about any of that
right now. We care about getting our country back in our hands and out of
the hands of the kleptomaniacs who have formed a kleptocracy. It used to
be our country and people want this back. And they`re not going to stop.
They`re not going to stop.

And I just want to encourage anybody who`s, you know, watching this
out there to get involved, don`t -- you know, there`s occupy things going
on in things all over the country, small towns. Niles, Michigan, where I
come from, had 11,000 population, had 100 people out there the other day --
100 people in 11,000 population town. It`s going on in places you don`t
even know about. It`s not in the news media.

Everybody out there, get out there, get involved. This is the time.
If you`ve sat on the couch a long time and said I`m sick and tired of this
-- these politicians, these fat cats, this is the time to quit complaining
and get up and get out the door and get involved. You`ll meet all kinds of
people, your neighbors. There`s all kinds of people there. Be part of
this.

And tomorrow is the big day. I mean, all around the world, October
15th, demonstrations -- not just in hundreds of cities around the country
but all over the world in support of what`s going on with "Occupy Wall
Street." So, this is a big day tomorrow, big day in New York, big day
across the country, big day to be an American.

O`DONNELL: "Occupy Wall Street" has cut its first commercial which,
of course, "Occupy Wall Street" cannot afford to get on this network so
we`re going to play it right now.

MOORE: Wow, this is very -- thank you.

O`DONNELL: Let`s give them a free 30 seconds right here. Let`s watch
it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to see more serious political conversations
starting to happen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want corporations out of the government. I want
people back in.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want peace rather than militarization.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want the top wealthiest Americans to be taxed
higher and that money to go to education.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want economic justice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want a greater regulation of the banks and the
markets.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want my kids to have a job and health care.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want true democracy for the 99 percent of us who
don`t have it anymore.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: The media`s been asking the question from the start, what
do they want? There`s the answer.

MOORE: There you go. Believe me, yes, all you have to is go down
there and get the answer quickly. You`ve been down there -- this show has
been down here. It`s clear what people want.

And you know what that spot cost really to make? Nothing. This is,
again, what you can do in your town.

If I can just -- can I just talk directly again to people?

You can make these little spots in your town. You can put it on the
Internet, send is to 10 friends and tell them to send it to 10 others.
Now, 100 have seen it. They`ll send it to 10. a thousand have seen it.

You`ve made a spot that`s been seen by 1,000 people. Everybody is
affected by this. Everybody has a story, whether they`ve lost their health
insurance, whether they`ve lost their job, whether they`ve got a student
loan that they`re paying off still after 20 years.

I mean, on and on and on, the boot has been on people`s necks for too
long. They want the boot off.

O`DONNELL: Guess who doesn`t get it? Herman Cain. Who had --

MOORE: Number nine, number nine, number nine.

O`DONNELL: Nice, calm newspaper, Wall Street -- had an op-ed piece
today in the "New York Post" where he says, "Capitalism -- from Wall Street
to Main Street -- is the economic engine that`s made the United States the
super power it is. I have a hard time imagining what these protesters
think will come of this -- that Wall Street execs will come running out of
their offices to write them a check. Rather than protest against Wall
Street, those camped out on the streets should examine their own failures
and take a hard look in the mirror."

This is a guy who says, if you`re poor, blame yourself.

MOORE: Right. Well, he`s running in the wrong century. That would
have sounded great maybe back in the 1800s. But that -- those days are
over.

And it`s -- you know, when you and I were growing up, there were rich
people, right?

O`DONNELL: Yes.

MOORE: And I seem to remember they lived pretty well, didn`t they?

O`DONNELL: They had millions of dollars. They didn`t have billions
of dollars.

MOORE: And you grew up where?

O`DONNELL: Grew up in Boston.

MOORE: OK. So they had summer homes out on Cape Cod.

O`DONNELL: That`s right.

MOORE: In Michigan, they lived in Bloomfield Hills or Gross Point.

O`DONNELL: And they drove to their summer homes. They didn`t get
there in private jets.

MOORE: Because they had to pay 50 percent, 60 percent, 70 percent in
taxes. They paid a lot in taxes yet lived a great life, didn`t they?

And my dad worked -- built spark plugs at General Motors. Other dads,
moms, nobody begrudged them too much because they built the factories, they
gave us jobs and they entered into an agreement with the working class.

And this was the agreement, Lawrence. If you, the working people, if
you work hard and we prosper, you prosper.

They changed it to -- you work hard, we prosper, now you lose your
job. And it -- they totally flushed the American Dream down the toilet and
patriotic people around the country are standing up against it saying they
want it back. They want -- and no one would begrudge, you know, you if you
built us a factory and create jobs and want to have your summer home on
Cape Cod, go do what you people do out there, right? Because at least when
we were growing up our dads could send the kids to college, had a roof over
everyone`s head.

My dad, spark plug worker, four weeks paid vacation. Full medical.
No deductibles. Full dental.

I mean, this is what built this country. These people have gone about
trying to destroy the country. For 30 years since Reagan fired the air
traffic controllers, it`s been a downward slide.

And this is the end. This is the end. I knew this would happen
sooner or later. I knew people would rise up.

And you`re going to see this now continue all over the country.

O`DONNELL: Michael Moore, author of "Here Comes Trouble" -- thank you
very much for joining me tonight, Michael.

MOORE: Thank you. Thank you very much for staying on this issue. We
love you for it.

O`DONNELL: We got to have you come back.

Today, Rick Perry released something he calls a jobs plan, saying it
will create more than a million jobs. What it really does is let big oil
do whatever it wants.

Reverend Al Sharpton, who`s leading a march for jobs tomorrow in
Washington, joins me next.

And Herman Cain says his 9-9-9 plan will cut taxes of the average
family of four. Ezra Klein is here to helps us calculate exactly --
Michael, how wrong do you think Herman Cain is wrong on this?

(LAUGHTER)

O`DONNELL: Ezra Klein is going to do the math for us. That`s coming
up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Is anyone surprised when a Republican governor from Texas
comes up with a plan to create jobs that it`s a long list of giveaways to
big oil? Al Sharpton joins me next on jobs.

And later, the late-night comedians get tonight`s last word.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today, the "Occupy Wall Street" protesters
gathered at Rupert Murdoch`s home in New York and they started chanting,
what do we want? And Murdoch interrupted and said, I already know, because
I hacked your phones.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: In Washington today, the "Occupy Wall Street" protesters
began voluntarily vacating Freedom Plaza in order to make way for the
crowds that will assemble for this weekend`s Martin Luther King Memorial
dedication. Tomorrow in Washington, the Reverend Al Sharpton will lead the
march for jobs and justice. The march will be held by thousands of members
of the civil rights community and all those who continue to push for jobs
and justice.

Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry today finally revealed
his up-to-now secret jobs plan, you know, the one he wasn`t prepared to
discuss in this week`s debate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PERRY: We`ve got to have a president who is willing to stand up and
to clearly pull back those regulations that are strangling the American
entrepreneurship that`s out there. A president particularly with the plan
that I`m going to be laying out over the next three days, and I`m not going
to lay it out all for you tonight. You know, Mitt`s had six years to be
working on a plan, I`ve been in this for about eight weeks.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Perry calls his jobs plan Energizing American Jobs and
Security. It puts Perry in a tight competition with Herman Cain for most
ridiculous jobs plan of the year. The Perry plan pretends that it would
create 1.2 million jobs simply by opening new and protected federal land
for oil and natural gas production. It is the Texans` way of trying to
cross dress "drill baby, drill" into a jobs plan.

Governor Perry and his wife are now double-teaming Herman Cain on the
9-9-9 plan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANITA PERRY, GOV. PERRY`S WIFE: When I hear 9-9-9, I want to call 911
because it will raise the taxes.

PERRY: I think that`s pretty close to hitting the spot.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining me now is the Reverend Al Sharpton, host of
MSNBC`s "POLITICS NATION." Thanks for joining me tonight, Al.

SHARPTON: Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: So you`re marching for jobs tomorrow. I don`t know, you
might want to -- you might want to just relax because Rick Perry just said
all we have to do is open up federal lands and drill some more and we`re
going to have, you know, more than a million jobs for all those people out
there who you know need jobs.

SHARPTON: Well, you know, if I wasn`t going to march tomorrow, after
hearing of Mr. Perry`s Texas oil plan and Mr. Cain`s 9-9-9, I`m ready to
march even further than we had planned. I mean, it is absolutely
incredible to me. He had originally planned, National Action Network and
the labor unions and Urban League, to do this march in August when the King
Memorial was going to be dedicated. We moved it to tomorrow, the day
before.

And it is a better and more appropriate time, Lawrence, now, because
we saw just this week the Senate stop the president`s job plan for $1.9
million and the Republicans have no job plan. So, if there ever was a time
for the civil rights community and labor community to come together in the
name of Martin Luther King, it is now. On a week that we`ve seen this,
when we`ve seen these demonstrations all over the country and now tomorrow
parts of the world with occupation Wall Street. People are tired of this.

And ironically, Martin Luther King preached about this. He died
fighting for labor rights, for jobs, and for economic equity. So, Martin
Luther King III will join us in leading this march tomorrow from Lincoln
Memorial to the King Monument.

O`DONNELL: Al, I have to get your reaction to what happened in New
York City this afternoon on the "Occupy Wall Street" demonstration. There
was the showdown that was coming. It seemed very threatening as of this
time last night that something really terrible could have happened this
morning. No one has more experience in street demonstrations in New York
City than you do.

Were you surprised by this thing being defused at the last minute?

O`DONNELL: I was but I was glad. One, because I think -- I was there
Monday down at the park. I spent most of the day there, did my syndicated
radio show from there. And these are very sincere and passionate people,
young and old. And I think that what they`re raising is important.

And I was afraid that if there was a confrontation, they having the
righteous indignation of a just cause, being confronted by if you just had
one policeman that would overreact, it could cause a problem.

I was glad to see for whatever reasons it not go to that. I hope it
will not go to that, because first of all, let`s be real clear. The real
object down at Wall Street is not cleaning up a park. It`s cleaning up
Wall Street. It`s cleaning up policies that have made 1 percent of this
country control 40 percent.

They`re trying to clean up the wrong thing. They need to, as Michael
Moore just said on your show, be perp walking the people that have polluted
and poisoned the economic order in this country. So, you`re talking about
picking up some cots and some papers in one park while you`re allowing
people to break this economy, think that the wrong sanitation is being
emphasized down there.

O`DONNELL: Al, I have to say, I think that the Republican campaign of
all of the candidates, their approach to jobs so far has been extremely
helpful to President Obama`s re-election campaign. You have Rick Perry
saying today that creating jobs is as simple as changing presidents. He
just, you know, he reduces it to just that.

When this president is the only one who`s come out with an actual jobs
bill, fully specified, fully paid for, trying to get it to a vote in the
United States Senate, being denied by Republicans getting it to a vote in
the Senate, being denied so far by Republicans being, getting it to a vote
-- even just to a vote in the House of Representatives -- it seems to me
that as the Republicans continue to do absolutely nothing, the president,
the only one out there in our politics pushing a real jobs plan, that is as
good a dynamic as the president could ask for many re-election terms.

Bad for the country. Bad for policy. But in re-election terms, the
president seems to have the real advantage here.

SHARPTON: No, there`s no question about it. It`s the old put a clean
glass next to a dirty glass. When you look at the fact that the
president`s bill would have produced 1.9 million jobs and he comes back and
says, well, let`s even vote for it in parts, the Republicans respond by an
abortion bill in the House.

I mean, how do we go from dealing with the fact that we have 9.1
percent unemployment, that we have a seven percent decrease over the last
decade in income, and we`re going to keep arguing about issues that don`t
deal with the economic problems that we`re facing? And then the Republican
candidates come with gimmicks, tricks, on how do we reward the rich,
including this 9-9-9, which would only put an additional tax burden on the
people that are already overburdened.

So in that political landscape, the president clearly is the one ahead
in terms of having a plan. Who are the losers? The American people.
Because in the name of partisan politics, they`re blocking the president
and they have no plan of their own.

There`s not competing plans. There`s a plan versus no plan. In that
light, the people must speak, which is why Occupy Wall Street is right,
which is why the march tomorrow is right. We`re going to be announcing 25
cities we`re moving in after tomorrow, simultaneously.

Tomorrow is the beginning, not the end of the civil rights and labor
community fighting back.

O`DONNELL: Reverend Al Sharpton, thanks for joining me tonight.
Thanks for previewing this important upcoming weekend in Washington.

SHARPTON: Well, I know how to have THE LAST WORD before march.

O`DONNELL: You just got it. Thank you very much, Al.

SHARPTON: Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, last night we showed how Herman Cain`s 9-9-9
Plan is the biggest job killing plan any presidential candidate has ever
proposed. Tonight, we`ll show you how Cain`s plan would raise taxes on
most taxpayers. >

And later, a moving video from North Carolina on the struggle for
marriage equality.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. RICK PERRY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think once this really
gets looked at, sounds pretty cool to say 9-9-9. But at the end of the
day, it is a big tax increase on some people out there that vote, that
care. And I think it`s going to be tough sledding for 9-9-9.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Finally, Rick Perry is right about something. In the
Spotlight tonight, the income tax increase in Herman Cain`s 9-9-9 Plan.
Last night, the current Republican front-runner ran the numbers on how much
a median income family will pay in federal taxes under his 9-9-9 plan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: A family making 50,000
dollars a year, which is around median income, under the current system,
they`re going to pay 10,200 dollars in taxes. Under the 9-9-9 plan,
they`re going to pay 4,500 dollars for the middle nine. That leaves them
5,200 -- 5,700 dollars to apply to sales taxes that they would pay on that
third nine, on food and shelter. Then if they buy goods, no taxes on used
goods.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: All of that sounds good, if you`ve never seen the tax
return of a family making 50,000 dollars a year. Joining me now to check
Herman Cain`s math, "Washington Post" columnist and MSNBC contributor Ezra
Klein.

Thanks for joining me tonight, Ezra.

EZRA KLEIN, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Good evening.

O`DONNELL: All right, Ezra, Turbotax this thing for us. The family
of four making 50,000 dollars a year, how did Herman Cain`s number sound to
you?

KLEIN: They don`t sound all that right, actually. Look, let`s just
sit back for one second before we get into the nitty-gritty. What Herman
Cain is doing -- he is saying he`s got a revenue neutral tax plan. So that
means it can`t be that everybody gets a tax cut, because we`re raising the
same amount of money.

He`s got a revenue neutral tax plan, and he`s just changing the
distribution. And the way he`s doing it is he`s replacing a series of
taxes that tax rich people at a higher rate than poor people, the income
tax, the corporate tax, things like that, with a set of consumption taxes,
what`s called a value added tax basically on businesses and then a sales
tax on everything else.

Now folks have to spend their incomes in a year, folks who actually
have to buy things, folks who make 50,000, they pay consumption taxes at a
greater rate in a single year. So he`s taxes that tax rich people more and
replacing it with taxes that tax poor people more. There`s no way that
folks on the bottom half of the income scale are getting a tax cut under
that. Just no way.

O`DONNELL: Let`s go through the numbers of how it would actually look
for a family of four with a 50,000 dollar tax return. What would they be
paying under current law?

KLEIN: Right. So for the 50,000 dollar family, under current law,
they pay on the -- on their own side of the payroll tax, about 3,000, 4,000
bucks. If you add in the employer side, which you should do -- remember,
the employer pays about a 7.5 percent payroll tax on your earnings, too.
You`re dealing with 7,000 some in payroll taxes.

O`DONNELL: Let`s hold it there. That`s an important question.
Herman Cain keeps saying that he`s using the total number on both, the 7.5
percent that you pay on your end. And he`s adding into that the 7.5
percent that employers pay. It is arguable -- he`s assuming -- he`s
assuming that if the employer did not have to pay that in Social Security
tax, the employer would immediately hand over 100 percent of that, without
even being asked by the employee.

That is a huge assumption. The employer might hand over none of it.
So the only thing we`re absolutely sure of is that the worker pays 7.5
percent.

KLEIN: Right. So there are those taxes. That`s the bulk of what a
worker ends up paying. But the other piece of it is that under the federal
income tax, that worker isn`t going to pay much at all. Imagine dealing
with a family of four.

You`ve got a standard deduction. That`s about 11,500 off. Then you
got four personal exemptions. That`s another 3,000 or so per of those.
Get two child tax credits. You add all that up, you have another 800 bucks
in federal income taxes. It`s not all that much.

If you add in the employer side of the payroll, the employee side of
the payroll and the federal income -- and I had Ed Kleinberd (ph), a tax
attorney or tax lawyer at USC help me out with this. The family of four
with 50,000 bucks is paying about 8,300 or 8,400 dollars a year in taxes.

Now you go over to Herman Cain`s plan, and Herman Cain`s plan, it`s
really -- it`s very vague and very complicated. In particular, the
business tax is not a corporate income tax. If it was, Herman Cain is
planning to raise about half as much as the current tax code, and we`d have
the largest deficits in American history.

But it isn`t. He says it`s revenue neutral. We take him at his word.
What he has got is essentially like a sales tax on businesses, something
they have in Europe a lot, a value added tax. That`s at nine percent.
Then you have one on the sales tax side. Those are essentially the same
taxes done twice. It`s like an 18 percent sales tax for people.

Then you have a nine percent personal income tax. Now it`s -- the way
you get to -- it`s a tax rate of about 26, 27 percent. The way you get to
that is not just adding them all up. It`s a more complicated calculation
that happens to come up at 27 percent -- or 26 percent due to some
revisions Kleinberd sent me today.

But when you put it all together, the way he put it, is it`s like a 26
percent payroll tax with no exceptions. So that same family is paying
around 12,000, 13,000. It`s a 5,000 dollar tax increase on them.

O`DONNELL: We`re not going hear that math from Herman Cain. Ezra
Klein of the "Washington Post." thanks very much for joining me tonight.

KLEIN: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: We`ll end tonight, as we do every Friday, with the week in
comedy.

But next in the Rewrite, the campaign for marriage equality is trying
a novel idea in North Carolina. We`ll show you an amazing video of people
trying to be married and being denied that right.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Time for tonight`s Rewrite. I`m going to hand over this
space tonight to the We Do Campaign, a marriage equality campaign in North
Carolina that has produced a deeply moving video that we all need to see.
Over the past two weeks, the Campaign for Southern Equality has recorded
the experiences of same-sex couples applying for marriage licenses in
Asheville, North Carolina.

They will expand the We Do Campaign to other North Carolina
communities and more states across the south, starting next year. The goal
is, of course, to Rewrite state laws and achieve marriage equality.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good morning. How are you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good morning.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want to request a marriage license.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We filled out the application online.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Marriage license.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Are you getting married in North Carolina?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re here to get our marriage license.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the application?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So we`ve come today to put on record that we are
married in Massachusetts.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you a teacher?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. I want you to know that this office
respects equality. However, I am not able to issue a marriage license to
you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When Carol -- according to North Carolina law, I`m
not allowed to issue you a marriage license.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Until that North Carolina state statute changes,
I`m unable to issue you a marriage license.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. All right. We know that you`re doing your
job and we just hope that one day you`ll be able to present this license to
us and our family.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hope so.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`ve been together for 25 years. We`re in our
mid-60s. Can you tell us what steps we might take to become full and equal
citizens under the law before we die? Can you help us with that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I commend you for being courageous to doing
this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`ve been together for almost 11 years. This
is our newborn baby. She`s two weeks old. We also have a six-year-old at
home. And we need equal rights in order to protect our family.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to reject your marriage application. And
I`m sorry.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`ve been together 15 years. We`ve outlasted
most of our friends, most of our heterosexual friends` marriages.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely. Glad you`re doing what you`re
doing. And I`m truly sorry to have to deny your application today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. All right. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you. Thanks, Ryan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you be able to write rejected on the form?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I sure would.

(SINGING)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- a lunch last week in Asheville. This
campaign is based on a very simple set of beliefs that LGBT people are
fully equal, that we have to resist laws that deny this and treat us as
second class citizens, and that we will continue to do this until these
laws change on the federal level, ensuring that LGBT people in all 50
states have full equality under the law.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So we`ll be back.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s why we`re here. It`s that simple. The
story is beginning right now. It`s an old story, but in some ways, it`s
just beginning right now.

(SINGING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Jimmy Fallon is now the front-runner among comedians doing
impressions of presidential candidates. Here`s the week in comedy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIMMY FALLON, "LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON": Some major election
news today. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced that he`s
endorsing Mitt Romney for president. Yeah. It`s good news for Romney. I
mean, you always want Chris Christie on your side, unless you`re in a
canoe. Then --

During the Republican debate last night, Michele Bachmann said that
she has 28 children, five of her own and 23 foster kids. It`s all part of
her new election strategy, adopting a majority of voters.

JAY LENO, "THE TONIGHT SHOW": I tell you something, Michele Bachmann
was trying a little too hard to show how smart she was. Every time Herman
Cain would go 9-9-9, she would go 27.

DAVID LETTERMAN, "THE LATE SHOW": I tell you who was the big hit at
the debate last night, Herman Cain. Herman Cain, from out of nowhere, this
guy is now like the front-runner, Herman Cain. He`s got this economic
plan. He calls it the 9-9-9 plan -- the 9-9-9 plan. You know who -- this
really got under Michelle Obama`s -- she didn`t care for this --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who?

LETTERMAN: Michele Bachmann, she didn`t care for this at all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Michele Bachmann?

LETTERMAN: Michelle O`Bachmann, yeah. So she took on Herman Cain`s
9-9-9 plan. Look at this.

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You`re never going
to get rid of it. One thing I would say is when you take the 9-9-9 plan
and you turn it upside down, I think the devil`s in the details.

CAIN: You got to let me respond.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ve given you several chances to respond. I`ll
come back.

CAIN: That`s right.

LETTERMAN: Isn`t that amazing? Wow. Actually happened.

FALLON: Last night, the Republican candidates held their eighth
debate in New Hampshire. Of course, after every debate, these guys get
criticized. Well, the front-runners have been putting out commercials.

Hello, I`m Mitt Romney.

No, I`m not.

And I`m ready to fight for America.

Nah-uh.

I have a job plan to help deal with our nation`s soaring unemployment
and this plan will bring jobs back to our country.

That jobs plan won`t work.

Hello. I`m Rick Perry. As a former front-runner, I have one question
for our great, great country. How did I screw this up? No, seriously, you
all used to love me. Now I`m polling behind Mitt and the pizza guy. What
-- what happened?

Hi, I`m Michele Bachmann, and I want to be your president. As a
member of the Congressional Intelligence Committee, I know a lot of scary
stuff most Americans don`t know. I know for a fact that China`s using
lasers to blind our satellites and melt the North Pole. I know that
thunder is the sound of God bowling with the Angels.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello, I`m Herman Cain, former CEO of Godfather`s
Pizza. Recently, I unveiled a bold now tax plan called the 9-9-9 plan 9-9-
9

(SINGING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: You can watch that video again on our website. If it`s
Friday, the late night comedians get THE LAST WORD. You can have THE LAST
WORD online at our blog, LastWord.MSNBC.com. That`s where you can watch
that video again.

You can follow my Tweets @Lawrence. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" is up
next. Good evening, Rachel.

END

<Copy: Content and programming copyright 2011 MSNBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Copyright 2011 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>




Watch The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell each weeknight at 10 p.m. ET


Sponsored links

Resource guide