The Ed Show for Monday, April 23, 2012
Read the transcript to the Monday show
Guests: Van Jones, Ben LaBolt, Robert Reich, Robert Greenwald, Ruth Conniff
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans. And welcome to THE ED
SHOW tonight from New York.
Mitt Romney says he supports education. I thought he supported Ryan
plan that cuts Pell grants by $170 billion. We`ll sort it out right now.
This is THE ED SHOW -- let`s get to work.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDEN OF THE UNITED STATES: Congress needs to keep
interest rates on student loans from doubling and they need to do it now.
SCHULTZ (voice-over): The president is leading and Mitt Romney is
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I fully support the effort
to extend the low interest rate on student loans.
SCHULTZ: Van Jones of Rebuild the Dream on the progressive movement
to end the war on the poor. And Ben LaBolt of the Obama campaign on the
economic victims of the Romney budget.
Another big brand dumps ALEC, and now, they may have a big problem
with the IRS. Robert Greenwald is here to explain.
Bill O`Reilly joins Allen West red scare.
BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS: Do you know Robert Reich?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do --
O`REILLY: He`s a communist. The guy is secretly adores Karl Marx.
SCHULTZ: Tonight, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich is here to
And the player formerly known as Ron Artest is in trouble for this
assault. But should he be tossed from the league forever?
METTA WORLD PEACE, NBA PLAYER: I got really emotional and excited, if
was unfortunate that James got hit with an unintentional elbow.
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight, folks. Thanks for
The next big political battle between President Obama and Mitt Romney
is under way. The focus is on young voters.
This weekend, President Obama picked a fight with Republicans who want
to let student loan interests double.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Now, in America, higher education cannot be a luxury. It`s an
economic imperative that every family must be able to afford. You see, if
Congress doesn`t act, on July 1st, interest rates on some student loans
will double. Nearly 7.5 million students will end up owing more on their
loan payments. That would be a tremendous blow, and it`s completely
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: President Obama is on the side of young people on this
issue, and it shows in the polls. In the latest NBC News/"Wall Street
Journal" poll, voters between the age of 18 and 34 favor President Obama
over Mitt Romney, by 60 percent to 34 percent. But Romney still has an
opening to win over the youth vote. President Obama is facing an
enthusiasm gap among young people.
In 2008, it was a different story, 63 percent of 18 to 34-year-olds
had high interest in the presidential election. This year, the number is
only at 45 percent.
Romney needs to convince young people that he is the guy for them, and
he`s on their side.
And Republicans know it. Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels told the
"Indianapolis Star," "You have to campaign to govern not just win." Look
at everything through the lens of folks that have yet to achieve. Romney
doesn`t talk that way."
No kidding, Mitch.
Daniels was asked what he really meant by those words on "FOX News
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. MITCH DANIELS (R), INDIANA: As things go along, I just want to
encourage him to express these very same principles more often from the
standpoint of the young, the poor, those who have yet to start up the
ladder of life. It`s the very same principles but aimed in a slightly
different way, and I know he`ll do that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Today, Romney took Mitch Daniels words to heart. Romney
says young voters have no choice but to support him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: I think young voters in this country have to vote for me if
they`re thinking about what`s in the best interest of the country and
what`s in their personal best interest, because the president`s policies
have led to extraordinary statistics. And when you look at 50 percent of
the kids coming out of college today can`t find a job or can`t find a job
which is consistent with their skills.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: In fact, Romney is so fired up to win over young voters,
he`s willing to breakaway with his own party and side with President Obama
when it comes to student loans. Watch Romney remember his new left-leaning
philosophy after he starts to walk away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: OK. Thank you. One thing I want to mention, I just -- by
the way, there`s one thing I wanted to mention that I forgot to mention at
the very beginning that was with -- particularly the number of college
graduates that can`t find work or that can only find work well beneath
their skill level, I fully support the effort to extend the low interest
rate on student loans.
There was some concern that that would expire halfway through the
year. I support extending the temporary relief on interest rates.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Of course, Romney`s pro-education position is not just at
odds with Republican Party. It`s at odds with Mitt Romney. Romney
supports Paul Ryan`s budget, which could cut Pell grants for poor students
by $170 billion. It would also double student loan interest rates.
So, Mitt, which one is it?
Mitt Romney was also overheard saying to high level donors, "The
Department of Education, I will either consolidate with another agency or
perhaps make it a heck of a lot smaller."
Will the real Mitt Romney stand up on education?
Romney`s proposed budget would lead to massive cuts for poor and
disabled Americans. It`s ugly. We`ll have more on that later in this
As President Obama points out, Republicans like Mitt Romney are
pushing policies to benefit the super wealthy at the expense of people like
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Republicans in Congress have voted against new ways to make
college more affordable for middle class families while voting for huge new
tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, tax cuts that would have to be
paid for by cutting things like education and job training programs that
give students new opportunities to work and succeed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The president knows what he`s talking about here. He`s a
product of benefiting from opportunities provided by government education
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Somebody gave me an education. I wasn`t born with a silver
spoon in my mouth. Michelle wasn`t. But somebody gave us a chance. Just
like these folks up here are looking for a chance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: President Obama has always had a strong commitment to
education. He wants people to be able to reach their full potential. And
the government can help Americans do just that, especially in this
Now, Mitt Romney on the other hand is a total phony when it comes to
standing up for public education. But Romney also knows this is his only
chance to get the young voters away from President Obama is to say that the
president has failed them.
But the story here tonight is this: Mitt Romney out on the campaign
trail today is saying that he`s in favor of extending the low interest
loans, he sides with the president.
Mitt, call up Republican leadership in the House and the Senate
tonight and tell them to side with President Obama when it comes to student
loans because you don`t want to see their rates doubled come July 1st. You
know you`re not going to do it.
Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think.
Tonight`s question: Is Mitt Romney trying to fool young voters by
siding with the president on student loans?
Text A for yes, text B for no, to 622639. You can always go to our
blog and leave a comment there at Ed.MSNBC.com. We`ll bring you the
results later on in the show.
I`m joined tonight by Van Jones, president of Rebuild the Dream, and
the author the new book by the same name, "Rebuild the Dream."
Van, good to have you with us tonight.
I find this -- this really should be breaking news: Mitt Romney is
with President Obama on student loans. What do you make of this move?
VAN JONES, REBUILD THE DREAM: Well, this is a big deal. First of
all, you had every kid in America that`s said to graduate from high school
staring down the barrel of 6.8 percent interest rates on the most important
student loans, Stafford loans, and nobody doing anything about it. Young
people started screaming about it. The U.S. peer (ph) groups, young people
from Rebuild the Dream and other groups, the president listened and said
this has got to stop.
We are not going to double -- banks are getting their money for next
to nothing. Why should kids go from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, an extra
$10,000 out of their pockets, $20 billion total out of the pockets of the
next 8 million kids that gets these loans. It`s wrong.
He stands up. And then here comes -- surprise, surprise, another big
flip-flop, Mr. Marvelous, Mr. Mitt Romney saying, oh, the Ryan budget is
marvelous, even though it destroys the Pell grant, flip-flops in a
heartbeat and chases Obama toward the young people saying, me too, me too.
Phony, phony, phony.
And the reality is that he`s got a problem with his party now because
the most important Republican on this issue, Virginia Foxx, just last week
said she doesn`t care about these young people. The quote is -- she`s
tired of hearing kids with $80,000 worth of loans complaining about it.
There`s no excuse for it. She just said it last week.
So, now, he`s running away from his party, toward this president. The
question is, can he drag his party now? Thank you for following the
leadership of the president. Can you drag your party now back to reality?
Will you distance yourself from Virginia Foxx? Will you stand with the
hundreds of thousands of young people that signed the petition saying
Virginia Foxx should apologize?
Where are you now Mr. Mitt Romney? Are you going to flop back when
you hear your party is not with you?
SCHULTZ: Well, this is obviously a political stunt by Romney. If he
adheres and really supports the Ryan budget because it does cut $170
billion in Pell grants.
You can`t have it both ways. So, is this just a cheap political trick
on Romney`s part to try to hoodwink young people who don`t know the full
JONES: Well, I mean, it has to be. You can`t -- you`re Mr.
Marvelous. You hugged this Ryan budget. You hugged that loved, that you
kissed it, that you said it was marvelous.
Well, that Ryan budget dropped a marvelous bomb on the Pell grants,
which is the other important student loan. You can`t have it both ways.
Here`s the big takeaway here. When the young people in America stand
up for themselves, when they begin to speak out, it moves the whole
country. The porg (ph) started moving on this, Rebuild the Dream, other
groups started moving on this. The president listened to them. Ands the
president is now listening to the young people.
Romney is now listening to the president. Thank you, Romney, for
following the president`s leadership. Now, get your party in line.
SCHULTZ: This may be another etch a sketch moment for Mitt Romney,
but there is an enthusiasm gap that`s out there. What do you make of the
20 percent difference from 2008 to where it is right now and, of course,
Romney is playing to their fears and saying you got to vote for him. What
about that enthusiasm gap?
JONES: Well, I think the young people in America learned the hard
way, you can`t get everything you want just by voting. They can learn that
if they vote wrong, they can lose everything that they have got.
That`s the problem. You can`t get everything you want just by voting,
you`ve got to keep marching, protesting, being involved. We did see a
little bit of an activism gap for a couple of years, which then translated
into an enthusiasm gap. The president has got to take some responsibility
But I will tell you this -- you can`t get everything you want just by
voting one time. If you vote for the wrong person, you can lose everything
you got. This guy wants to destroy the Pell grants. That`s his real
JONES: This is now just repositioning --
SCHULTZ: So, you think he wants to eliminate Pell grants?
JONES: No, no, but you all but eliminate it when you take that kind
of a bite out of it. We`re the only country making it harder for our kids
to get educated. You only have two ways to have a middle class. You
either have good manufacturing jobs that you`ve been fighting for, or you
send a bunch of kids to college.
JONES: We`ve already lost the manufacturing jobs. You got to make it
easier for kids to go to college. This guy just a couple of weeks ago was
saying how marvelous it was that we were going to be destroying the Pell
grants or taking a big chunk out of Pell grants. I don`t know how he can
pull this flip-flop off.
SCHULTZ: But, Van, you`re convinced that President Obama is going to
dominate in this demographic?
JONES: Well, there`s no doubt about that. I hope, though, the
president and the D.C. Democrats understand that taking young people`s vote
for granted and not doing all we can -- we should have had a jobs program
for young people all across the country.
You got -- you got young people that are desperate to work. They are
coming home from wars and graduating from college with a ton of debt. We
should have done more for these young people. We have to do more for them
But on this issue, you got to applaud this White House and you also
have to recognize that when Obama is chasing Obama down the street saying,
"me too, me too," his leadership test is, can you bring your party along?
SCHULTZ: Van Jones, great to have you with us on THE ED SHOW, thanks
JONES: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: You bet.
Remember to answer tonight`s question in the bottom of the screen.
Share your thoughts on Twitter @EdShow. We want to know what you think.
Mitt Romney said he`s not concerned about the very poor and as his
proposed budget reveals, the guy is not lying. Ben LaBolt of the Obama
campaign will weigh in.
Also, another major company ditches the organization behind shoot
first laws. There`s a major ALEC news coming ahead on THE ED SHOW. Stay
SCHULTZ: Coming up: Mitt Romney`s war on the poor continues. Just
look at his budget. The details and my commentary coming up.
Bill O`Reilly catches a case of Allen West`s red scare. He`s calling
former Labor Secretary Robert Reich a communist. Tonight, the former
secretary is here to respond.
And Scott Walker`s big mouth is getting him into trouble yet again.
New jobs data from Wisconsin is out. It isn`t good looking. I can tell
you that. A report is ahead.
Share your thoughts on Twitter using the #EdShow.
We`re right back.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.
The war on the poor is real, and I will continue to cover this and
just show you night after night where their budget priorities are. Just
take a look at Mitt Romney`s proposed budget if he becomes president of the
Romney believes the working poor in this country -- well, you know,
you`re just not doing enough. The candidate himself admitted giving
opportunities to the poor are not a priority for him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: I`m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net
there, if it needs repair, I`ll fix it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: We have a safety net there. But Mitt Romney doesn`t want to
repair the safety net, he intends to destroy it. The Romney plan is light
on specifics but promises to bring federal spending below 20 percent of the
GDP by the end of his first term.
Romney outlines on his Web site that he will cut the federal workforce
by 10 percent, privatize Amtrak, cut foreign aid and eliminate federal
money for family planning. Those cuts alone won`t get Romney to his
spending goal. But Romney says he will protect current Social Security and
Medicare recipients from cuts.
Romney also wants to increase the budget for the Defense Department.
What for? I thought we were scaling down.
So, how exactly will reduce spending without increasing revenue if
he`s president? What would be on the chopping block? What`s left to cut?
Well, as an analysis from the "Associated Press" reveals, plenty.
Let`s see. There`s education. There`s transportation. There`s food
inspection. That`s going to get cut.
The FBI will see a smaller budget. Homeland security, we used to be
concerned about that. Grants to local governments, national parks, crop
subsidies -- get ready farmer farmers -- health research, just right
direction we want to go, right? And, of course, NASA is always in the way.
And Romney is just getting warmed up. He would save the really big
wrecking ball for the disabled and very poor in this country. Medicaid,
Romney wants to kill it by taking it over to the states in the form of a
block grant program. Do you trust your Republican state legislature to
take care of Medicaid?
He also is going after housing and heating subsidies for the poor.
Food stamps and school lunches, they`ve always been a big problem.
Supplemental security income for the poor seniors in our society and, of
course, disabled people.
Unemployment insurance. Oh, let`s not forget veteran`s pensions. I
thought they loved the vets? And refundable tax credit to the working
I tweeted about this over the weekend and said, "Asking more of the
poor is like asking a wounded vet to do more." And I meant it.
Do you know what it`s like to be poor? Do you know what it`s like to
be financially destitute and not have a whole lot of avenues and this is
what Mitt Romney wants to do. He wants to take out the safety net? He
wants to change people`s lives?
You know, if you tax a millionaire just a little bit more, you`re not
going to change their lifestyle. But the kind of cuts he`s talking about
is going to change the lifestyle even more of people who depend on these
safety nets and need them every day.
Let`s turn to Ben LaBolt, national press secretary for Obama 2012
Ben, good to have you with us tonight.
BEN LABOLT, OBAMA 2012 CAMPAIGN: Nice to be with you.
SCHULTZ: This is really, I think, a big political opening for the
Democrats. All you have to do is look at their budget and see how many
millions of people this will affect. Your thoughts.
LABOLT: Well, you know, budgets are about choices, but there are also
about values, and they are about who we are as a nation. And you outline
many of the devastating cuts not just for the poor but the middle class if
we pass the Romney-Ryan budget.
But let`s think about who he is protecting. He`s giving special
breaks to the wealthiest Americans. An additional $5 trillion in tax cuts
to millionaires and billionaires, $4 billion in subsidies to oil and gas
companies, and special tax breaks to hedge fund managers. And the poor,
the middle class, seniors, veterans, the rest of us here in America are
being saddled with the cost of this.
SCHULTZ: Well, he wants to cut -- and it`s the only way I can read
it, he wants to cut veterans benefits. He wants to hurt seniors when it
comes to Medicaid because you know when you turn it over to the states and
there`s no federal protection that`s going to be coming from the Congress,
you`re going to have 50 different programs out there and it`s going to hurt
a bunch of seniors in a bunch of states.
How else do you read it?
LABOLT: To make his math work we`re talking about 20 percent across
the board, to things like veterans health care. You know, on Veterans Day,
Romney actually suggested that we should privatize veterans health care
benefits. It looks like he`s making good on that promise.
We already know he wants to turn Medicare into a voucher program and
charge seniors an average of $6,000 more a year out of pocket for their
health care costs.
Education and housing -- you know, last week, when he was behind
closed doors at a high dollar fundraiser, Romney disclosed to donors what
programs he plans to cut. To pay for those tax cuts, which he hasn`t, by
the way, disclosed to the American people. And it turned out it was
SCHULTZ: So, if you take a look at what he`s doing, it`s Bush on
LABOLT: That`s exactly right. I mean, these tax cuts for the wealthy
is above and beyond what Bush ever did. I mean, he`s talking about cuts to
education and housing.
You know, this president doubled funding for college scholarships.
He`s out there fighting to ensure that the Republicans in Congress don`t
increase the rate on student loans. Romney said he supported that today.
But he supports a budget that could cut funding for college scholarships.
SCHULTZ: Well, I want to ask you --
LABOLT: And is he going to call -- is he going to call Speaker
Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor and encourage Republicans to ensure that
the student loan rate doesn`t go up? You know, we haven`t seen that type
of leadership from him.
SCHULTZ: GOP lobbyists tell the "A.P." that this kind of budget is
not sustainable. So, what does this tell you about how serious he`s going
to be about cuts? And what is the Obama campaign going to do to make it
that connection, to make people understand that if the Republicans get the
power and they`re all about power, that this is what`s coming?
LABOLT: The fact is that Romney`s budget math never added up in the
first place. So, he`s got these $5 trillion tax cuts. He says he isn`t
going to increase the deficit, but he hasn`t said how he`s going to pay for
And then he increases defense spending to an arbitrary level beyond
what the Department of Defense has asked for. And he also said that he`s
going to preserve Medicare in this process.
And so, none of these things add up. The budget math doesn`t add up.
And the truth is this hasn`t gotten a lot of scrutiny.
I don`t know of you saw the Pew study that came out today, Ed.
LABOLT: But the fact is that it looks like Governor Romney and the
Republicans got fawning coverage during the primary process as there were
ups and downs in the horse race and their policies really weren`t
SCHULTZ: Now, so, let`s narrow it right down, Ben. Mitt Romney wants
the poor to pay more. That`s it. I mean, how -- I mean, it`s as simple as
LABOLT: But it`s even a little broader than that, Ed, because it`s
seniors, it`s the middle class, it`s veterans. It`s the vast majority of
Americans who are paying more for the same tax cuts for millionaires and
billionaires that didn`t create the growth they were supposed to under the
Bush administration. They didn`t create the job creation that they did
under the Bush administration.
During the recovery period under the Bush administration, job creation
was at a lot slower pace than it is right now. We`ve heard the same
promises before. And they turned out not to be true.
SCHULTZ: Ben LaBolt, great to have you with us. Thanks so much.
LABOLT: Thanks for having me.
SCHULTZ: Bill O`Reilly calls former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert
Reich a communist. O`Reilly seems to think a lot of effective progressive
ideas are communists. Robert Reich joins me next.
And Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker likes to fearmonger about how bad
it is down there in Illinois. But with Walker`s jobs record, well, you
know what? The grass looks a whole lot greener down south of the border.
Stay with us. Lots coming up.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.
Conservatives are so far off the rails they now call progressive ideas
communists. Congressman Allen West has now been joined by Bill O`Reilly.
Congressman West was going to be the keynote speaker at the local chapter
of the NAACP annual fund-raiser in Martin County, Florida, but they
withdrew the invitation after West said the Congressional Progressive
Caucus were members of the communist party.
The NAACP local president said, "There`s a certain statement he made
about communists. We do not represent that type of atmosphere."
Of course, West is not the only one calling people communists. Here`s
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPs)
O`REILLY: Robert Reich, do you know Robert Reich?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do, indeed.
O`REILLY: He`s a communist. Do you know that, right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Communist/socialist.
O`REILLY: OK. He`s a guy who secretly adores Karl Marx and is up
there in Cambridge. OK, now, he says that because the U.S. companies are
multinational, that the government now has to step in to make sure that our
economy is good. Roll the tape.
ROBERT REICH, FORMER LABOR SECRETARY: Now, they are global. So, if
we don`t have a government that is investing in our people and education
and job skills, in infrastructure, public transportation, basic research
and development, all the things we need government to do, we can`t expect
the big corporations are going to do it.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
SCHULTZ: And I`m joined tonight by Robert Reich, former labor
secretary under the Clinton administration, now a professor at U.C.
Berkeley and author of the book, "Afterschock."
Let`s see, I think the comment was "secretly adores Karl Marx." Mr.
Reich, good to have you with us tonight. Have you ever been a member of
the Communist Party? Let`s get to that first.
ROBERT REICH, FORMER LABOR SECRETARY: No. It`s like being back in
the 1950s. I mean, this Communist witch hunt that suddenly has been
launched -- I mean, the irony is Ed, there are not even many Communists
left in the world today. It would be one thing if we were back in the
But there`s not a Communist threat. What are these -- these
conservatives, these right wingers like Bill O`Reilly, they have nothing
else to say. They have nothing else to do.
They don`t have arguments. They don`t have logic. They don`t have
any analysis. What do they have? They don`t have facts? What do they
have? They just simply have the same old epithets and slurs they`ve been
using for the last 60 years.
SCHULTZ: Well, they`re calling basic ideas of what government does
Communist and socialist. I think there was a comment made about the
private sector taking care of our infrastructure. I didn`t know the
private sector did schools and bridges and roads and such stuff as that.
REICH: No, the private sector doesn`t. And for Bill O`Reilly to say
that simply because I am suggesting that it is a role for government to
invest in schools and infrastructure and basic R&D, that makes me a
Communist. Bill O`Reilly, you don`t know what you are talking about. You
have absolutely no sense of history. You have no understanding of
government. You have no understanding of our society.
Debate me head to head, person to person, like a man.
SCHULTZ: You would debate Bill O`Reilly face-to-face?
REICH: I`ll debate him any time, any place, anywhere. I have let him
know this. But he doesn`t have the guts to debate. He doesn`t want to
debate. All he wants to do is issue his epithets like, oh, Reich is a
Communist, as if that`s actually advancing any argument.
SCHULTZ: I think my friend Reverend Sharpton ought to ask an official
invitation of the National Action Network to have both you and Bill
O`Reilly come to their next meeting and let`s see this debate. I`d love to
You see, what the Republicans and the conservatives are saying right
now is that we have to totally change our thinking as a country the way we
used to invest in job training, the way we used to invest in infrastructure
to create jobs in our economy. They don`t believe in that anymore. It`s
all about the profit and not the people.
REICH: You know, to call them conservatives is a misnomer, because
somebody who is a conservative wants to preserve what we have. These guys
don`t want to preserve what we have. They want to go back to before the
New Deal, before Social Security, before Medicare in 1965, before
unemployment insurance in the 1930s.
They want to go before we had any things that actually solidified our
society, make it possible for people to have any -- even a modicum of
economic security. They want to go back to the -- what we consider to be
the Dark Ages in America, not that long ago.
SCHULTZ: And Mr. Reich, you have written extensively, numerous times
about tax fairness. It`s very clear where the Republicans are right now.
They are going to do everything they possibly can to protect the wealthiest
Americans and actually give them more with a philosophy that they don`t get
enough. In the meantime, make the downtrodden, the poorest, the working
poor in this country serve up more, seniors, the elderly, also, should we
say, students going to school and what not, but also veterans.
Have you ever seen an attack? This is a class warfare attack, in my
opinion. They are favoring one group and making everybody else pay the
bill. How do you see it?
REICH: What they are saying -- that Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan Budget is -
- makes trickle down economics look like a torrent. I mean, they are --
it`s reverse Robin Hood. It`s Social Darwinism.
We haven`t seen anything like this in this country in modern times.
Under Dwight Eisenhower, Ed, the top marginal income tax rate on the super
rich in this country, in the 1950s, was 91 percent. The effective rate
after all deductions and tax credits was up about 56, 58 percent.
That was a Republican president. That was a Republican in the White
House. Where are these people now? Mitt Romney is paying what; 13.9
percent taxes on 21 million dollars. And he offers up more tax breaks for
the very, very rich, with the rest of us, what? What`s going to happen to
the rest of us? Not only Medicare and Social Security and all of the
programs that we come to rely on being sacrificed on the alter of tax cuts
to the rich, but also he wants to restore all of the military cuts.
I mean, what in the world is going on here? Why aren`t people more
enraged? I think we need to get beyond outraged and actually make sure
that not only is Barack Obama the next president again, but also the
Democrats take back Congress and take back this country.
SCHULTZ: Robert Reich, author of the brand new book "Beyond Outrage."
thank you for joining us tonight.
REICH: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: There`s a lot more coming up. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: The more we compare ourselves to
Illinois and they see the failed policies down there don`t work, the better
off we are.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Awful news for the Badgers means another major embarrassment
for Scott Walker. Now he is telling Wisconsin voters to wait until after
the recall for the jobs to show up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Artest drives --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Should the basketball player Metta World Peace get banned
from the NBA after this elbow assault? We`ll let you decide.
And ALEC`s tax exempt status is now being challenged, as another big
name dumps the group. The controversy keeps getting bigger. Robert
Greenwald is next.
SCHULTZ: The right wing group behind Stand Your Ground and voter I.D.
laws is losing another corporate member. Procter & Gamble, the
manufacturer of goods ranging from Crest toothpaste to Duracell batteries,
has announced that it cutting ties with the American Legislative Exchange
The company stated, "Procter & Gamble made the determination that ALEC
does not help P&G compute for consumers` loyalty and support."
This is the 13th corporation to drop ALEC. But a mass exodus of
members isn`t the organization`s only problem. The open government
advocacy group Common Cause has filed an IRS complaint against ALEC`s tax
exempt status. The president of Common Cause explained in a statement,
"ALEC tells the IRS in its returns that it does no lobbying. Yes it exists
to pass profit driven legislation in state houses all over the country that
benefits the corporate members. ALEC is not entitled to abuse its
charitable tax status to lobby for private corporate interests and stick
the bill to the American taxpayer."
ALEC still has a few supporters though, like Iowa Senator Chuck
Grassley. He recently sent out a Tweet encouraging people to boycott Coca-
Cola because it decided to leave ALEC. So the senator from Iowa wants to
boycott Coke. Really?
I just happen to have a bottle of Coke right here. Now let`s make the
connection here. The second ingredient is High Fructose Corn Syrup, which,
of course, is made from corn. You know where you find a heck of a lot of
Chuck, you might want to rethink your boycott on this one.
Let`s bring in Robert Greenwald, president of Brave New Films. Great
to have you with us, Robert, always.
ROBERT GREENWALD, BRAVE NEW FILMS: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: How good a case does Common Cause have against ALEC?
GREENWALD: They have a great case, Ed. And it`s a very exciting day,
which we all should be celebrating with Bob Edgar and Common Cause. You
know, all of the progressive groups who have been working so long and hard
on this to expose ALEC, People for the American Way and "The Nation"
magazine and Color of Change and Lisa Graves and Credo, you know, the list
goes on and on.
This is what we do when we get together and we say this is wrong.
ALEC is lobbying and they are spending our tax dollars, Ed, because they
are a nonprofit. How dare they use our tax dollars by passing and
organizing and planning these awful bills, the ones you mentioned, the ones
It goes on and on and on. But they are really on the run now. And
that`s very exciting.
SCHULTZ: Do you think these major corporations were paying close
attention to the voter I.D. suppression laws that ALEC was passing? Do
they know what they were doing? How could they have not known what they
GREENWALD: I think that many of them do know what they`re doing.
Look, large corporations have conservative interests. They are interested
in preserving their power, their authority. And what`s a damn good way to
preserve it? Making sure people can`t vote in their own self-interest, and
not allowing them to vote, period.
You put that together with the immigration laws, you have got a horror
show here that ALEC has been literally writing those bills, Ed, sitting
with legislatures, writing them together, and then saying oh, wait a
minute, we`re not lobbyists.
SCHULTZ: Yes. What does it tell you about the major companies that
are still leaving? There`s 13 corporations, big ones, that, of course,
don`t want any part of this now. They don`t want the bad P.R. They don`t
want the pressure.
ALEC, of course, has tried to do the damage control by saying we`re
just going to stick with the economic issues and away from the social
issues. What do you make of it?
GREENWALD: Well, they are in retreat, which is good. But, of course,
Wal-Mart is still there. And our friends the Koch Brothers are still
there, who have give ALEC about -- given ALEC about a million dollars.
They gave them a 500,000 dollar loan. So those corporations that are not
leaving, we have a justifiable right to say, we`re not spending our money
on your product if you`re taking our money and using it to support this
horrific legislation and to support this kind of right -- extreme right
SCHULTZ: Robert, your last documentary on the Koch Brothers, they`re
very connected to ALEC, one of their main supporters?
GREENWALD: Yes, they`re a huge supporter. They gave them a 500,000
dollar loan. They believe in what ALEC does. They support the
organization and the bills that they are advocating for.
SCHULTZ: What do you make of Grassley`s Coke boycott? That going to
GREENWALD: Well, you know, desperation brings out strange things in
people. But, no I don`t think -- it`s for sure not going to go anywhere.
But again, Ed, it`s a time to really celebrate and say, we have them on the
run, when they are calling out all their supporters, the right ring
blogoshpere, the politicians who owe them, and saying we need help. And
they need help because progressives have come together and said, damn it,
we`re mad and we`re not going to take this anymore. And we`re going to
SCHULTZ: Well, we all know how they`re going to get sneaky on the
right wing and figure out some other way to template legislation and pass
it around. the question is how are they going to fund it and how is it
going to work?
It might not be ALEC. It might be somebody else, but they will be
Robert Greenwald, great to have you with us. Thanks so much.
GREENWALD: Sure, Ed.
SCHULTZ: It`s been called one of the biggest cheap shots ever. Or
was it just an accident? We`ll show you the controversial video and you
make the call.
SCHULTZ: Well, it`s the talk of the sporting world and the latest
chapter in the life of professional basketball player Metta World Peace.
Here you see Metta World Peace of the L.A. Lakers swinging his arms wildly
after a dunk. You see, the dunk is not good enough. Got to do something
His elbow connected with the head of Oklahoma City Thunder player
James Harden. Harden left the game with a concussion. Mr. World Peace
called the incident unfortunate and unintentional. He says he was just
celebrating too hard after the big dunk.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
METTA WORLD PEACE, NBA BASKETBALL PLAYER: I got really emotional and
real excited. And it was unfortunate that James had to get hit with an
unintentional elbow. I hope he`s OK.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Intentional or accidental, question mark? You be the judge.
This is not the first time that Metta World Peace has courted controversy.
You may recognize him by his former name Ron Artest. Before he changed his
name to Metta World Peace, Ron Artest was best known for this, an insane
brawl at the Detroit Palace during a Pacers/Pistons game back in 2004.
Artest was suspended for 86 games as the instigators of one of the
most embarrassing moments in NBA history. Since the brawl in Detroit,
Artest changed his behavior as well as his name. Teammates and opponents
have remarked on his new attitude and outlook on life.
The question is whether Metta World Peace will face the same
punishment as he did during his Ron Artest days. The NBA has not announced
a punishment yet. But for an incident this ugly, a suspension, fine, big
time, a month, maybe more. We`ll see what the NBA does.
Next time -- time is running out for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker
to convince his state that they should just keep him in the governor`s
chair. And bad economic news just keeps piling up. Ruth Conniff of "The
Progressive Magazine" joins me with the new numbers.
SCHULTZ: ED SHOW survey tonight I asked, is Mitt Romney trying to
fool young voters by siding with President Obama on student loans? Ninety
eight percent of you said yes; two percent of you said no.
Coming up, Scott Walker is bashing Illinois Governor Pat Quinn`s
economic policy. But new stats show those policies are actually working.
Ruth Conniff of "the Progressive Magazine" joins me next.
Don`t forget to listen to me on Sirius XM Channel 127, Monday through
Friday, noon to 3:00 PM on the radio. And of course, follow me on Twitter,
please, @EdShow and like THE ED SHOW on Facebook. We are right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALKER: The more we compare ourselves to Illinois and they see the
failed policies down there don`t work, the better off we are.
If people want to know what would you get out of a recall if it was
successful, I say just look to the south of Springfield, because those are
the same policies that failed in the past in Wisconsin. They would fail
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Really? That was March 19th. Wisconsin Governor Scott
Walker has developed a habit of picking on Illinois. He routinely slams
Democratic Governor Pat Quinn for raising taxes, and says Wisconsin doesn`t
want to be like their neighbors to the south.
Actually, Scotty, you really do. Over the past year, Illinois has
picked up 32,00 jobs. Meanwhile, your state, Wisconsin, has lost under
your direction almost 24,000 jobs.
Walker`s economic problems, they don`t end there. Wisconsin is at
number 42 on the Bloomberg Economic Evaluation of States Index, which rank
states based on tax revenue, personal income and employment. Illinois is
at number three.
Now, in the face of disastrous economic numbers, Scott Walker ran to
the safe haven of the right wing "Newsmax" with an excuse ready to go.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALKER: I firmly believe you`re going to see a dramatic takeoff after
June 5th, because businesses feel like we`re heading in the right
direction. I think the big thing that people are working for is to have
the certainty of knowing that this sort of positive outlook for job
creators is going to continue. And that`s why I think after June 5th,
after these primaries are done, and when I, the lieutenant governor and
these senators prevail, I think it means it will be a clear message to the
job creators, the small business owners of our state, that now is the time
to add jobs. And I think they will.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Can you believe that garbage? People in Wisconsin, the
small businesses in Wisconsin are sitting there saying, we better not do
any business until after we find out if Scotty boy is going to stay on as
our governor. The number one spin meister can`t deny the job numbers.
They are the worst in the country.
So he is saying small businesses are sitting on their hands waiting to
see if he`s going to survive the recall? I think not. I`m joined tonight
by Ruth Conniff, political editor for "The Progressive Magazine." You got
to hand it to him, Ruth. That`s pretty innovative spinning, don`t you
RUTH CONNIFF, "THE PROGRESSIVE MAGAZINE": It`s really getting harder
and harder to connect his rhetoric to reality here in Wisconsin. It is
true, he came into office promising us 250,000 new jobs. And we are now
ranking worse than the nation for job loss. So it`s -- I just don`t see
who could possibly be buying this stuff.
SCHULTZ: All right, vilifying Illinois obviously, by the numbers, has
backfired. This is a big opening for the Democrats, because in Illinois,
they did raise taxes on the wealthiest residents there, and they created
the jobs. What`s the best move for the Democrats here?
CONNIFF: Well, we`re seeing ads now this week for the very first time
attacking Scott Walker, the very first ad attacking Scott Walker on his
record of job loss. We have seen a lot of ads with Walker promoting
himself. But as this recall race continues, I think we will start to hear
the other side.
There`s just so much material to work with. Of course, the first
thing the Democrats tried to do is attach a rider to his millions of
dollars of tax breaks for out of state corporations, saying they should
have to create one job in Wisconsin if they`re going to get this tax break.
He said no to that. So we`re handing out these tax breaks and meanwhile,
we`re not seeing and jobs.
SCHULTZ: Walker is saying that President Obama`s re-election team is
spending tens of millions of dollars to defeat him. He`s using the
president to raise money. He`s afraid of defeat, I would think. What do
CONNIFF: Sure. And I think running against Obama is the reason that
he got into office in the first place. The truth is we haven`t seen a lot
of Barack Obama in the state of Wisconsin. This is clearly a grassroots
effort to recall Scott Walker. It`s led by the people of Wisconsin.
We have our own grievances and our own issues that we`re working on:
the massive cuts, the collective bargaining issue, and really the fact that
not only are things bad in terms of jobs, but things are trending in the
wrong direction in terms of jobs. There`s a recent report from the
University of Wisconsin showing that. And it`s because Walker is salting
He cut 30 percent out of our model vocational and technical training
program. He cut job training all across the state. He`s really setting us
up to do very poorly in the future. We feel urgently we have to stop that.
SCHULTZ: Are Wisconsinites on the numbers that you -- and the issues
that you just mentioned, and are the Democrats conveying exactly how
damaging he has been? In the meantime, he`s going around the country
telling everybody that these are the reforms that they put in place and the
people are with him and businesses are feeling a lot better.
He goes to a survey about some 94 percent of businesses think
everything is headed in the right direction.
CONNIFF: I think it`s so strange because, you know, the nonprofit
corporation that promotes Wisconsin to corporations says come here, your
employees will love it. It`s a great place to live. The number one thing
on their website that they promote is our great educational system in
Wisconsin. This is where Walker has made the deepest cuts in history, to
our public schools, our university system and our vocational schools.
So he`s attacking the very things that make this a climate where
people want to do business, want to live and people can have decent jobs.
Wisconsinites know this. We are living the Republican dream. If you think
Mitt Romney is going to bring back the economy in the nation, look at
what`s happening in Wisconsin because this is what we`re doing, huge tax
breaks for corporations, deep cuts to education, health care and social
services. Look at the result, massive job loss.
SCHULTZ: So you that think there`s a real parallel between what
Romney wants to do and what Walker is doing, and connect that, of course,
to the Ryan Budget plan? This is what America is going to look like and
this is how the suffering is going to be?
CONNIFF: That`s right. That`s the lesson here.
SCHULTZ: I can`t disagree with you. Ruth Conniff, great to have you
with us tonight. Thanks to much. We`ll follow the story. The numbers
going south in Wisconsin.
That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts
right now. Good evening. Great to see you.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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