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The Ed Show for Saturday, May 18th, 2013

Read the transcript to the Saturday show

May 18, 2013

Guests: Mike Rogers; Wilson Cruz; Kyle Seco; David Cay Johnston; Zerlina Maxwell; Mike Papantonio


thinking, that kind of riding that is sorely needed right now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They play for power, not the people.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I want to repeal the law
of the land. Is that clear?

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: And force the president of the
United States to repudiate his signature piece of legislation.

wealthiest nation on earth. No illness or accidents should lead to any
family`s financial rule.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I rise with the course of others in this whole notion
of repealing Obama care.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s a pretty damn good deal. OK?

BOEHNER: The issue is Obama care. We`re going to keep the focus on Obama

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Insurance is real important.

BACHMANN: We are here to make the turn from a train wreck. So why not
repeal that bill today?


ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good to have you with us tonight, folks.

Scandal, scandal, scandal. It was the so-called scandal week, filled with
scandal everywhere. It is the Obama administration, the big time trouble.
It`s Benghazi. It is the IRS. It is the Associated Press.

No, it`s BS and I`ll tell you why.

All these stories with, you know what is this? This is all red meat for
Republicans. And righties, they are just drooling everywhere. You know,
how you throw on a case of merlot and a carton of Campbell camel to John
Boehner, he thinks he would be having a best week of his life. Isn`t it?
Don`t you think?


BOEHNER: Nothing dissolves the bonds of people and their government like
the arrogance of power here in Washington. And that`s what the American
people are seeing today from the Obama administration, remarkable


SCHULTZ: Arrogance. Let`s play a word game. Arrogance, it heck of a
word, isn`t it? Republicans are going to be talking about these scandals
for month to come maybe even years because they really want to tarnish

Well, let me tell you what the real scandal that`s going on in Washington
right now. Republicans in Congress voted to repeal Obama care for the 38th
time. They did that on Thursday as advertised and the vote didn`t go down
without a big show.


BACHMANN: We see this coming just like the titanic. We see the iceberg
only it`s not just in a midst, shortly in front of our eyes. We have time
to turn. So why not reveal that bill today.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wanted to bring that tower of red tape here to the
floor. It is seven feet tall and growing. It was too big to be allowed on
the house floor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Truly the devil is in the details.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is my shocked face.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Increases costs, less access, lower quality, less
innovation, limiting your choices. Madam speaker, that`s a life
threatening and terminal diagnosis.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is a malignant tumor metastasizing on American
liberty. It must be ripped out by the roots and completely repealed and I
yield back the balance of my time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Governor, time expired.


SCHULTZ: You know the word we don`t use enough? Lie. Lie, lie, lie, lie.
The Republican majority in the house is taking this whole do nothing label,
this phrase to an entirely new level.

Let`s go to the numbers. Out of the first 138 days so far this year,
Boehner`s house has been in session for only 51 days. And one of these
precious days was wasted trying to take away your health care, which of
course will kick in January 1st, 2014. They want to stop Obama care. They
voted 38 times.

Now, it`s estimated since Republicans took control of the house in 2011,
they have spent basically 15 percent of their time attempting to repeal
significant legislation that affects millions of Americans. But, if you
listen to John Boehner, he is still trying to convince the American people
that he really cares about jobs.


BOEHNER: These are the thousands and thousands of pages of Obama care
regulations. And if we want jobs, we need to get rid of this because this
is getting in the way of employers hiring workers around the country.

Job is our primary focus.


SCHULTZ: No it`s not. So far this year there has not been one vote in the
house on a jobs bill. The Republican master plan for job creation
basically is taking away health care from 30 million Americans.

Meanwhile there`s another major health care story that grabbed the
headlines this week. Heart-felt as it is. After undergoing genetic
testing actress Angelina Jolie learned he has an 87 percent chance of
developing breast cancer and a 54 percent chance of developing ovarian

Now, with those odds the star actress opted to have a double mastectomy in
February and at this time it`s still unclear whether Angelina Jolie will
have her ovaries removed. She`s a brave woman, but I have to profoundly
point out tonight, she is also very lucky.

She had the means to undergo testing and take care of the problem before it
came just too serious and life threatening. But you know not every
American has that kind of luck. Under Obama care they would. Many
Americans are in desperate need of health insurance. It`s literally a
matter of life and death. Let me say that again. It is literally a matter
of life and death.

Now, last week on our first "Ed show" in this time slot, I asked for a
volunteer with cancer and no health insurance to come forward and share
your experience with the audience. Let`s hear the other side of the story.

Well, the next story I think is a perfect example of why Republicans should
leave Obama care alone.

Dan Seco a 26-year-old freelance sports writer. Now, this young man has
played by the rules his entire life. He worked hard, study hard, went to
graduate school and is pursuing a career as a freelance sports journalist.
And as soon Dan turned 26-years-old, he lost his health care. And as a
freelance writer, let me tell you folks, you just can`t go around the
corner and buy any kind of private health insurance plan you want. You
just don`t make that kind of money.

Then after losing his health care at the age of 26, just a few months after
that through no fault of his own, Dab was diagnosed with non-Hutchins (ph)
lymphoma back in February. So now, where is Dan? Well, he is facing the
monumental task of figuring out how in the world he is going to pay for his
cancer treatment so he can have a chance at long life.

Dan wanted to be here tonight, but at this very hour, he is in a medical
center over in New Jersey undergoing chemo therapy. We offered to go to
his hospital room and do a tape and interview with him but the doctors, of
course, were concerned for his health and the chance of infection, so that
didn`t happen. Dan really felt so compelled and thought it was so
important to tell his story he called my radio show by design on Friday.


SCHULTZ: What is your situation?

in the hospital right now. I`m undergoing chemo therapy treatments. I`m
about halfway through with my current regime and I don`t have any health

SCHULTZ: And when you say you don`t have any health insurance is this the
way it`s been, you know, your whole life or recently or what?

SECO: No. I grew up middle class. I had health insurance up until my
26th birthday which was last August. I was working for a travel company
and I wanted to pursue my writing career full time. And I, you know, took
a little bit of a risk by, you know, not having health insurance. But I
didn`t have any options really as a writer. And right now, I`m currently
applying for Medicaid and relying on charities here and the good-natured
spirit of other people to help me out. But, I really don`t have many


SCHULTZ: He`s not alone. Dan`s story is like millions of other Americans.
Thirty million people are waiting for Obama care.


SCHULTZ: Would Obama care help you?

SECO: Yes, absolutely. I think I`m pretty much the model case for why
Obama care needs to pass, and you know what it can do to help people in my
situation through, you know pursuing what they want to do with their life.
And, you know, they need the care that they can`t afford to pay out of
pocket. Now, something like a pet scans that shows how much cancer you
have in your body, $14,000. Who has the money to pay for that?


SCHULTZ: I went on to ask Dan about Republicans repealing Obama care for
the 38th time.


SCHULTZ: How do you feel when you see Congress trying to repeal Obama

SECO: You know, it`s very difficult to try to comprehend. I understand
lawmakers have their own agendas, but, you know, if you don`t know someone
who is in this type of situation that I`m in and there`s millions of other
people like me, I mean it`s just, I can`t comprehend it. I can`t
understand why one would work you know against this type of policy which is
really going to make the lives of so many people so much easier.


SCHULTZ: Yes. Why? Why would Republicans do this? What kind of a person
would vote to deny, vote to take away an opportunity of another American to
save his or her life? You see, it`s all about the preexisting condition
because Dan is not going to be able to get health care insurance if they
were to repeal Obama care. Do the Republicans care? Republicans don`t
care if Obama care saves lives. For them it`s all about power.


SCHULTZ: What would you like the lawmakers to know?

SECO: You know, I had health care my entire life. I was fortunate. But,
I mean, I went to graduate school to be a journalist, that`s what I want to
pursue and health insurance isn`t always available for freelance writers.
I just -- I want a chance to be healthy and not in millions of dollars of
debt. I think for the long term health of the country this needs to go
and, you know, like you asked me before but, you know, when the charity
fare is going to run out, well, I don`t know. And I can`t rely on that. I
need a solution for the long term because even if I find out a better by
August, who knows, you know, what happens a year later, two years later
further down the road. Now, bottom line is I need health insurance.


SCHULTZ: He needs health insurance and for 38 times in Congress, in the
house the Republicans have said, no, you, we don`t want you to have it. We
think there is, just too many thousands of pages and too much red tape out
there for you to have a chance, Dan, to save your life.

I can`t thank this gentleman enough for coming forward and talking to us.
We asked for an example of someone who wanted to be brave enough to share
their story because all we hear about is how bad Obama care is.

This is one of the reasons why the Republicans have voted so many times is
they want a negative story out there. And every time they bring up
something that`s negative about Obama care, I want all of you viewers to
know that I will do something on this program that talks about what the
real Obama care is going to do for Americans. It`s going to save lives.

Do we care about that? Since when did we quit caring about our fellow
American? Well when the Republicans got in power. What`s the difference
between leaving a warrior out on the battlefield or someone in a hospital
room not knowing what the future is because they can`t pay for the health
care bill that they`re going to be getting? What are the medical
institutions supposed to do?

The politics of this is very, very cruel and it`s wrong. And there is a
moral component to this. You know what`s interesting? All week long we`ve
been hearing about how the tea party has ju been screwed by the IRS and we
just can`t believe that the tea party has been targeted. You know, I wish
the Republicans would care about sick Americans as much as they do about
the damn tea party and what they are doing with their money where they
don`t identify where the donors are coming from.

You see, we`re better than this as a country and Barack Obama, the
president of the United States is making a very big mistake by not talking
about this and telling Dan`s story himself day in and day out. Democratyou
cannot run from this.

This is good for America. It is a great step forward to fete us to
universal health care some day and have the same kind of plan those in
Congress who are voting against it, other Americans can have as well. The
politics of this are very ugly and very cruel, but it`s the moral component
-- I think when you look at Michele Bachmann how she has done this, it`s so
unlike Minnesota, it`s so unlike the middle of the country, it`s so unlike
turning to your next door neighbor and saying I`m going to vote to deny you
to opportunity to have health insurance.

Why are the progressives in this country the liberals afraid to talk about
this every single day as if it`s some kind of cancer legislation out there
that`s going to destroy the Democratic Party. This is who we are. This is
the fabric of America. We care about one another. And we had a president
come forward who staked his whole presidency on this, we got something

What do the Republicans want to do? They want to get rid of it. Have they
offered another plan? No, they haven`t.

You know, when there`s an illness in your family it changes how you view
things. Dan Seco`s family was really never the same after their father
died at the age of 45 because of cancer. And for more on Dan`s story, I
want to bring in his brother Kyle Seco who is here tonight in studio in New

God bless you.


SCHULTZ: How hard has this been to see your brother go through this?

KYLE SECO: It`s been tough. When we first found out, just complete shock
as you just said. We lost my father at the young age. I was only 14-
years-old. Dan is 26. You don`t expect 26-year-old`s to get diagnosed
with cancer. His back was hurting him for a while. He didn`t have
insurance. He didn`t want to pay to see what was going on with his back.
And it finally got to the point where my mom said Dan, I don`t care how
much it cost we are taking you to the doctor now and we are going to

SCHULTZ: So he had all of the pains, he didn`t have insurance, he didn`t
go to doctor, he finally goes and he find out he has lymphoma?

KYLE SECO: Correct.

SCHULTZ: Just 26-year-old healthy guy, didn`t have insurance, just the bad
luck of the draw?

KYLE SECO: Exactly.

SCHULTZ: You have set up a fund to try to help pay for this. Tell us
about it because the politics of this are very cruel, folks. You see, this
is the Republican plan, get charity. Tell us about it.

KYLE SECO: I got the idea from a friend who was running a half marathon to
raise money for one of his friends who had cancer. I saw his overwhelming
response. So, I was at the hospital a few days after Dan got diagnosed and
I created a Web site on Best way to tell Dan`s story and I
sent it out to everyone who I know. And from there, people kept sending it
out to people they knew and as of today we have raised almost $40,000 which
is shocking has that so many people care to help my brother out like this.

SCHULTZ: That`s really a drop in the bucket on what you really know.

KYLE SECO: I mean, it is $40,000 which sound like a lot of money but as
Dan said on the radio show, $14,000 is one PET scan. I think we figured
out out. One night in the hospital costs $8,000.

SCHULTZ: So, they`re not going to repeal Obama care. So, on January 1st
your brother is not going to be denied the opportunity to get insurance
which is a total game changer in his care isn`t it.

KYLE SECO: Definitely. Right now, he still has no insurance. My mom is
doing her best to get him covered under Medicaid, but that takes forever.
So, we have no idea how much this is actually going to cost in the long

SCHULTZ: Kyle, thanks for doing what you`re doing, keep up the fight. God
bless you. And we will have Dan on this program. He is going through some
pretty brutal chemo therapy right now.

So, it`s hard for me in a short 15 minutes segment to tell the story folks,
but let me ask you a question. Whose side are you on? Are you with the
Republicans or are you with the family that got unlucky? And ask yourself
the question, is this the America you want to live in. The fact of the
matter is we can do better than this and the Republicans don`t want us to.

We will be back with more on "the Ed Show" after this.


SCHULTZ: Here at "the Ed Show" we want to know what you think. And every
week before you tune into this program we check out facebook, twitter and
our blog. So now, you decided and we are reporting. Here are the week`s
top trenders voted on by you.


OBAMA: We can stop the political circus and actually do something to help
the economy.

SCHULTZ: Our number three trender, selling the jobs bill to the GOP

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One hundred and thirteen congress, 133 days, and we
haven`t had a single Joet on a jobs bill.

SCHULTZ: This week the president takes his plan to Baltimore on the second
leg of his middle class jobs tour.

OBAMA: That`s the truth. Th`s worth applause, sure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here comes America`s favorite jackpot game. This is

SCHULTZ: Come in as trender two, the numbers game and Wednesday`s
powerball could have made you Mitt Romney rich.

think that becoming rich and famous would make me happy. Boy, was I right?

SCHULTZ: But now, if you win this ever swelling jackpot, you could out
spend even the richest members of Congress. Darrell Issa, a man who once
said I`m going to die with more money than good to live with my son.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Predicted by viper, stand back.

SCHULTZ: Yes, Mr. Issa, the voice of viper car alarms.

And topping the trenders chart this week.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: First they tell us the earth is not flat. Now they`re
telling us it`s not straight either.

SCHULTZ: Bridging the divide. Minnesota moves forward on the civil right
issue of our time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our country`s most important progress has been to
extend those equal rights and protection to everyone. The state becomes
the 12th in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It has always been the next step ahead of full fulg
this country`s promise to every American.


Joining me now is actor and national spokesperson for GLAAD, Wilson Cruz
and gay rights activist, Mike Rogers, managing director for Raw Story.

Gentleman, great to have you with us tonight.

Mike, you first. Nobody has fought the Minnesota gay marriage more than
Michele Bachmann. But this week, she only responded with a lame tweet.
She says I`m proud to have introduced the original traditional marriage
amendment. And I think all Minnesotans who have worked so hard on this
issue, which brings me to the question, Mike, do the Republicans know they
have been defeated on this issue.

forward looking, Ed, certainly, Republicans who are under the age of 40,
get it. The anti-marriage equality camp is really the old vestiges of a
dying party who are trying to use this to rile their base, but
unfortunately, are turning off the rest of America with this hateful

SCHULTZ: Wilson, the Supreme Court is going to decide this issue probably
next month. What do you expect?

it`s the role of the courts to protect people`s rights and to decide what`s
just and fair. And you know, we hope that at the end of June the Supreme
Court will side on -- will rule on the side of fairness and equality and
rule in favor of freedom to marry. But, can I just jump -- just answer the
question, the last question.

SCHULTZ: Sure. Go ahead.

CRUZ: I don`t want to really papt the Republican Party in blood strokes,
you know. People like Ken Melman (ph) and Paul Singer have really done a
great job of having conversations with our Republican friends and have
really moved the conversation in a way that we have never expected it to,
even a few years ago.

So you know, we have got leaders like senator Rob Portman and Mark Kirk,
you know Congress Ed Sullivan who actually support the freedom to marry
they`re being very helpful and they are leading that conversation within
their very own party.

SCHULTZ: Do you tell me you trust the Republican movement, the
conservative movement in this country to do equal and fair rights for gay

CRUZ: I trust the Republican Party to see where the American people are
moving. And I think we see that 58 percent of American people are on the
side of the freedom to marry.

SCHULTZ: Mike, what do you think about that?

ROGERS: Well, I think it`s twofold. I think that Wilson and of course, I
mean, GLAAD does an amazing work around this, all right. We have folks
like Ken Melman (ph) and Rob Portman who are on the right side.

But you will notice, Ed, that whenever one of these guys seems to come and
do the right thing, it`s always because they have a personal reason. Rob
Portman has a kid who is gay. Ken Melman himself comes out and then is for
equal rights.

Well, these people before they knew LGBT person, were willing to throw us
under the bus. I agree with Wilson that`s important for our community to
work those angles. But, I also think it`s important to recognize that 98
percent or so of this hate is coming from the GOP.

SCHULTZ: It is hate, too. Let`s be very clear abo that.

And Mike, do you think that John Roberts, Supreme Court, justice gives a
damn about equal rights for gay Americans?

ROGERS: I think John Roberts is a corporatist. I think he is there to
rule on a whole lot of tax and corporate issues. I think that`s why he was
put in. I think that - I think maybe he does care, he doesn`t care. I
don`t think he wants to have gone down in history as anybody who has taken
away rights that have been earned from people. He`s not that na‹ve that he
would not want that to be his legacy. I can pretty much guarantee that.

SCHULTZ: Wilson, what does it say about mid western states like Iowa and
Minnesota are really have led on this issue? Will the rest of the country
and other states catch on?

CRUZ: Well, you know we`re already seeing that. You know, America is
evolving on the issue just like our president has, like so many people
along the political spectrum has evolve. But, you know, just in the last
couple of weeks we saw Rhode Island and Delaware join the ranks of states
that have the freedom to Mary. We are seeing movement in states like
Illinois and Oregon, and Nevada. And this week, we saw poles that pointed
towards a majority of people in the states of Michigan and Virginia and

So, the country is really having these conversations. And let`s not
minimize the fact that it`s really personal experience and personal stories
and the fact that people are talking about these issues. That is really
leading to the change that we are seeing. And that`s what happened in

SCHULTZ: That`s a key point when it comes to Republicans in the
conservative movement. It`s not coming from the heart and it`s not coming
from how they, you know, feel other Americans should be treated. It`s
coming from the politics of it all, that they stand to lose and they stand
to lose power if they don`t move forward on this issue --Mike?

ROGERS: Well, yes, and I think really if you look at the course of thinks
history to think that a few years ago how the country has swung so
incredibly glit`s been amazing.

SCHULTZ: It`s been amazing.

ROGERS: It is really amazing. And I think you`re right. I think that,
you know, they are so desperate for power but --

SCHULTZ: Who all they care about.

Got to run, gentlemen. Great to have you on, Wilson Cruz, Mike Rogers,
always, thank you for being on "the Ed Show" tonight.

ROGERS: Thank you.

CRUZ: Thank you for having me.

SCHULTZ: Up next, we will dig in to the politics of destruction. Find out
why Republicans are suddenly afraid, they`re afraid of talking about the
deficit. Come on. The numbers are better. We are right back.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to "the Ed Show."

Well, we love hearing from your viewers. So, tonight we decided two of
your questions will make it to "the Ed Show," ask Ed live.

The first question from a viewer is Paul George. He wants to know does
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann know the difference between the truth and a
blatant lie.

Absolutely, she does. She`s a very educated woman. She is very smart.
And you should know that most of these right wingers in the Congress are
accomplished before they get to Congress. Many of them have had successful
careers. But they are so jaded by their belief system and how they think
America should be run, they are willing to lie about it and he`s the leader
of the PAC.

Let`s see next question. Our next question comes from Larry Belliger (ph).
When are progressives going to stop letting ourselves get played by the
right wing media?

That`s a great question because right now, I think we are living in a very
interesting time politically because it`s easy to get disfocused and end up
in a whirlwind conversation about the Benghazi, about the IRS, about the AP
story. There`s a lot of misinformation out there about all three of these
stories. And in the reciprocal pick up of audio, it gets repeated and
repeat and repeated, people start believing this stuff.

Look. I have my opinions but I also have a correct set of facts. And I
think it`s very interesting just in the AP story which was talked about on
this network previously we should understand that that was the oversight of
a grand jury and a judge who oversaw the subpoenas, just kind of a little
fact in there. And it`s interesting that the Republicans were still
clammering for making sure we continued with the patriot act, but now all
of the sudden they are so concerned when it comes to protecting the
country. Because you see, the wrong guy is leading the country in their
opinion and that would be Barack Obama.

Don`t get defocused. The issue is the economy and healthcare. It drives
everything we do in the down country and it`s the most important thing for
middle class families who are fighting for their life.

Lots more coming up. Stick around. Rapid response panel is next.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to "the Ed Show."

The reason Republicans want us to pay attention to the series of so-called
scandals lately is because they don`t want to pay any attention to this
story. The deficit is shrinking on President Obama`s watch. In fact, the
deficit is expected to be 24 percent smaller than anyone predicted. The
Republicans should be celebrating this news since they have been so
obsessed with cutting the deficit.


RYAN: The president and haze party leads the Senate are refusing to do
anything to address the debt crisis.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The important thing is we have action. We reduce these

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What I know is spending is out of control.

BOEHNER: The tremendous deficits.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Debts out of control.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is not start paying down the deficit. It is kicking
the can down the road and frankly we`re out of road.


SCHULTZ: Really? The best part of this story is how progressive policies
took the air out of the deficit. That`s been going since George W. Bush
took office. Now, Republican cuts from sequestration and the fiscal cliff
deal did not reduce the deficit. They weren`t even part of the
calculations. Here`s what did help slink the deficits. Tax heights on the
wealthiest Americans and Obama care which reduce healthcare spending.

Joining me with our rapid response panel tonight, Mike Papantonio, David
Cay Johnston, and also Zerlina Maxwell.

Great to have you all with us.

Mike, why aren`t the Republicans talking about the deficit anymore?

this is terrible news, Ed. The only way to analyze the deficit is to look
at the ratio. It is called the GDP to debt ratio. Here are the numbers.
Here is what scares the Republicans. Obama came in with the 10 percent to
debt to gdp ratio. He now has it down to four percent. And the
congressional budget office, well, they say it is going to down to two
percent. So, those are not great talking points for Republicans. Instead,
it is a lot easier to talk about Benghazi.

SCHULTZ: David, does the massive deficit debt reduction hurt job growth?

DAVID CAY JOHNSTON, AUTHOR, THE FINE PRINT: We would be much better off if
we would be spending money. We have all of the infrastructu needs. We can
borrow money very inexpensively right now and we have used up this
infrastructure. We have to replace things like bridges, roads and dams, so
why are we delaying doing that?

SCHULTZ: Zerlina, what is the biggest political component that the Obama
team could capitalize on? This is fantastic news.

ZERLINA MAXWELL CONTRIBUTOR, GRIO.COM: It`s fantastic news. And I think,
you know, after all of the brouhaha over the deficit, we learned that the
emperor has no clothes, right? I think, you know, we learned throughout
this process that Republicans do not care about the deficit to quote
"powerful grant." You know, they talk a big game, but when it comes down to
it they weren`t really concerned and that`s why they didn`t talk about it
this week when it turned out that the deficit was shrinking.

SCHULTZ: David, did going back to the old Clinton rates, would that really
make a difference?

JOHNSTON: Yes. And in fact, that`s how we got to the only -- we`ve only
had four balances budgets. Clinton would argue six since 1961. And they
were under, who, LBJ and Bill Clinton.

SCHULTZ: All right, if you looked at Minnesota and what California have
done. They have raised taxes on the wealthiest residents. They have also
increased some sales taxes. They have reduced property taxes. I mean,
there is a formula out there as oppose to austerity that takes us into
green territory.

Johnson Well, it`s also how you spend the money. If we spend the money in
a way that creates jobs in a way that encourages investment, then you`re
going to have a stronger economy and that`s an important element of this.
but, if your whole goal is Barack Obama is a bad man who doesn`t belong in
the White House then you`re not going to get the focus on a better economy.

SCHULTZ: Rapid response topic number two tonight, college loans are
driving up big profits for the government. The government is expected to
make about $50 billion on student loans this year. It`s actually more
profitable than most fortune 500 businesses. The student loan program will
make more than Apple and Exxon made last year.

Mike Papantonio, this is staggering, this templates that has been set up.
We are going after young kids strapping them with debt and high interest
rates to pay for running the country right now.

PAPANTONIO: Well, it`s the new frontier for Wall Street in so many ways.
Look. Anytime, you have that much money at stake you`re going to find Wall
Street involved through their lobbyists and both direct through
legislation. Just about every month we are seeing some new element of
legislaon passing through Washington that`s enabling this to get to be a
bigger and bigger problem because it is profitable anyway that it in. And
what it`s setting itself up for really is one of those another bubble.
That`s the real problem.

SCHULTZ: And Zerlina, what`s wrong with this picture?

MAXWELL: It is really a big problem. And just to talk about myself
personally, I will graduate from law school next week. And so, you know,
the student loan problem is something that hits very close to home. I know
that, you know, I graduated. Wait, I have all of this debt. I`m going to
have to pay to that.

SCHULTZ: But at a high percentage rate, too. Don`t you?

MAXWELL: Exactly. And like he said, it`s a bubble that`s going to burst
down the road. We probably should be focusing on it right now but we won`t
be because this is Washington.

SCHULTZ: Elizabeth Warren wants to reduce student loan interest rate.
Would that make a big difference? Do you think any Republicans would go on
board with that?

JOHNSTON: Yes. Why are we loaning big banks money at three-quarters of
one percent and charging nine times that to students? This makes no sense
whatsoever. We should go back when you and I went to college, Ed, and
college was basically free at a public school. We need to be investing in
the most valuable assets that we have, and that`s young brains.

SCHULTZ: Morehead State University, Morehead Minnesota, in the mid `70s
was $500 for tuition.

MAXWELL: Oh, my goodness.

SCHULTZ: I`m not kidding.

JOHNSTON: California was free.

SCHULTZ: Rapid response topic number three, Senator Harry Reid is teasing
us again with filibuster reform. Gregg Sergeant (ph) of "Washington Post"
reports the senate majority leader could wait until July to deploy the so
called nuclear option.

Mike, why wait until July? What about this?

PAPANTONIO: There`s no reason to wait. Harry Reid has shown he doesn`t
are the backbone to accomplish this. It`s critical for the Democrats to be
able to flourish and the rest of this administration, they have to do
something. Harry Reid is not the guy to push this. The media has to push

SCHULTZ: What about getting the house though, David? I mean, if you do
the nuclear option in the Senate, but you can`t get anything done in the
house, what use good does it do?

JOHNSTON: Well, I`m not sure you have solved the problem there. And
remember, in the last election for the house, the Democrats got a million
more votes than the Republicans, but because of gerrymandering, the
Republicans are in charge.

SCHULTZ: And Zerlina, what about it? Should Harry Reid go the nuclear

MAXWELL: I do think there is value in going this route because it
energizes the base. And we are going to have midterm elections very soon.

SCHULTZ: Can you trust Harry to get the job done?

MAXWELL: You know, he doesn`t have a good track record. So, I`m not going
to put all of my money in that basket.

SCHULTZ: Mike, I know you don`t believe he can get it done.

PAPANTONIO: I don`t. I mean, just look at the history. We judge people
by their history. This man has a very, very poor history when it comes to
getting things down.

SCHULTZ: But Mike, if the Republicans retake the Senate in 2014, I mean,
the narrative would be, is set up for them to have a good campaign
conversation before 2014 because isn`t filibuster reform dangerous?

PAPANTONIO: Well, filibuster reform is dangerous unless the Democrats have
a plan. And the plan is to go back into the states and win the states
again like Howard Dean has been telling them to do for about five years
now. So, they can have both. They have to get aggressive.

SCHULTZ: The fifty states strategy was very successful under Howard Dean,
no doubt.

Mike Papantonio, Zerlina Maxwell, David Cay Johnston, great to have you all
with us. Thanks so much.

And tonight in our survey I asked, will Republicans ever stop trying to
repeal Obama care, five percent of you say yes, 95 p percent of you say no.

Coming up, Republicans sink to a new law. This time, they are taking food
from children who need it the most. We will uncover the snap scandal
straight ahead which nobody is talking about. It is hurting people.


SCHULTZ: And in your pretenders segment, we examine Mr. Out of touch
himself, Sean Hannity. Hannity`s crusade or should I say charade as a news
man reached a new milestone earning the attention of senator Marco Rubio`s
thirsty to applause Hannity`s truth optional television show. The senator
tweeted out congratulations on the thousandth episode and expressed his
hope for thousands more. That`s a scary thought. Hannity`s grip on
reality can`t get looser. Yes. Just look at the scoreboard.


SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I know the president will say, well, we got
bin Laden. But, it wouldn`t have happened if he had his way and that think
that can be proven as well on line as well.

All right, I don`t like he kicked one player there. But on the other hand,
you know what, I kind of like old fashion discipline.

I define peace as the ability to defend yourself and blow your enemies into
smothery. This is a lawless administration that does not respect the

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re telling me that the United States was better off
after George Bush or before him?



SCHULTZ: I think Americans could survive without any more episodes of
Hannity. That is of course unless they look like this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Quite frankly you are the worst excuse for a journalist
I`ve ever seen.

HANNITY: I am the what? I can`t hear you.


HANNITY: I didn`t. No. Say it again. I didn`t hear you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean what you just displayed was not journalism. It
was yellow journalism. It wasn`t anything close to try to tell the
American people what`s really going on. Every journalistic ethic I have
ever heard of was just violated by you.


SCHULTZ: Sean Hannity can keep shoveling it out but if he thinks people
will keep buying his great American propaganda, he can just keep on


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to "the Ed Show."

Well, House Democrats took to the floor Wednesday to address the real
scandal going on in Washington.


REP. BARBARA LEE (D), CALIFORNIA: These cuts within food assistance were
nearly two million low income people, mostly working families and children
and seniors already hit by the sequester. Cutting SNAP is morally wrong
and an economic disaster.

REP. MARC VEASEY (D), TEXAS: We cannot allow the budget to be balanced on
the backs of the poor and most vulnerable in our country.

REP. BETTY MCCOLLIN (D), MINNESOTA: To reduce the budget deficit by
inflicting hunger on children, seniors and people with disabilities is
simply immoral.


SCHULTZ: That`s right. On Wednesday, the house ag committee passed its
2013 farm bill and congressional Republicans proposed the biggest cuts, the
biggest cuts in food stamps for the poor since the 1996 welfare reform law.

Now, the bill cuts the supplemental assistance nutrition program by $20
billion over the next ten years, eliminating food assistance to nearly two
million low-income Americans.

Here are the two million American Republicans are willing to throw under
the bus. Close to two-thirds of SNAP recipients are children, elderly or
the disabled. Two-fifths of SNAP households earned less than $9,750 a year
for a family of three.

Now, if these Republican cuts are allowed to stand, it`s estimated 210,000
children in low-income households will lose free school meals when their
families lose SNAP benefits. But according to Republicans, not a big deal.


REP. STEVE KING (D), IOWA: The bottom line is a $20 billion cut is a $2.5
billion cut in the increase. $20 Billions spread out over ten years is not
something that is going to be noticeable.


SCHULTZ: One in 52 people in this country rely on food stamps alone. No
other income.

Joining me now, Joel Berg, executive director for the New York City
coalition against hunger.

Mr. Berg, nice to meet you. Good to have you on the program.

Thank you, Ed.

SCHULTZ: How does this story hit you?

is incredibly hypocritical that the very conservatives that lit the match
that burn down our economy are now complaining that we he to spend more
money on firefighting. Our economy is in a mess. I prefer more Americans
to be able to have a living wage jobs so able-bodied parents could pay for
their own food. But as you know, you focused on this for years and years
and year, the middle class has been dismantled. More people in the lower
middle class are falling into poverty and food stamps, SNAP, are the only
life preserver they have.

SCHULTZ: People don`t realize that. I don`t know. I think there is a
little disconnect that they think well, that is just a number they are
throwing out. It is really not real. Do you see it?

BERG: I see it every day at the soup kitchens and the food pans we
represent. I would love to hear that Republican congressman at a soup
kitchen or food pantry, the response he gets when he tells low-income
hungry Americans that a few billion dollars cut out of their grocery budget
is not a real budget.

SCHULTZ: We spend a lot of time talking about income and equality. I
think it is one of the biggest overriding stories and issues that need to
be addressed over the long haul in this country. And I really do believe
income inequality could bring down America as we know it. I believe that.

I mean, people, they do tough things when they`re hungry. And people are
going to go hungry after this. It`s unnecessary. It is part of the farm
bill which has been controversial over the years because of big ag subsid
subsidies. And it`s hard to navigate through what`s right and wrong
through this. How do you feel about that?

I mean, we always had support the family farmer, have price supports,
counter cyclical payments, disaster relief, we need to be able to feed our
own country, and that means everybody. We have had a cheap food policy in
this country, no matter what your income level is, you are going to be able
to go to the grocery store and you are going to be able to feed yourself,
even on minimum wage because of a cheap food policy. We are not
subsidizing farmers. We are subsidizing the consumers. But now, these
cuts come in and hurt the very people who it is intended to help.

BERG: I agree with you. First and foremost, it`s about inequality. The
fortune 400 top wealthiest Americans have a net worth of $1.7 billion,
which is nearly double the national deficit in its whole. And these cuts
in the farm bill, they are not reducing the deficit. If they were really
reducing the deficit, I maybe think about supporting some o them. They are
not. They are just enabling more corporate welfare. Here in Manhattan, a
few thousand wealthy people get farm subsidies. They never even seen the
land no less worked it.


All right, Democrats have their hands dirty in this, too.

BERG: Absolutely. The Senate version of the farm bill will cut more than
$4 billion out of the SNAP program. That`s more than President George W.
Bush ever proposed cutting. Well, there are excuses well, the other sizes
are far worse.

SCHULTZ: Where is Obama? Where is President Obama? I thought he was up
for the middle class? I mean, that this is, it means raising people up out
of poverty is not an issue. This is the Democrats and the Progressive
movement has always tackled it.

BERG: He`s the first president in U.S. history to have grown up in a
family that received food stamps benefits. His mother got critical help.
And in his first term, he did a lot. He insisted that the stimulus package
include a lot of money for SNAP benefits. But, he walked away from that.
He did not respond to a single one of Romney`s attacks in any of the three
debates. And while his U.S. department of agriculture is doing great work
under his direction to increase access to eligible families, the president
really has acted like he is an innocent bystander in these budget
negotiations. He`s a bystander, but I don`t think he`s innocent.

SCHULTZ: All right. Joel Berg, executive director of the New York City
Coalition against Hunger. Good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so
much for joining us on "the Ed Show."

BERG: Thank you.

SCHULTZ: And that is "the Ed Show." And remember, if you want to donate
to Dan Seco, you can find his Web site linked at

That`s "The Ed Show." I`m Ed Schultz. We will see you tomorrow night
right here at 5:00 on MSNBC Eastern Time.


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