THE ED SHOW
October 24, 2013
Guest: Jan Schakowsky, Richard Wolffe, EJ Dionne, John McDonough, Jonathan
Gruber, Robert Greenwald
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R) MINNESOTA: Anyone will not work neither
should we eat.
BACHMANN: And so, it rhymes, we have the Shakespeare line, "Thou
protest us too much."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Teach a man how to fish, he can feed himself for
life, don`t simply feed this.
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: What is our heart and what is our soul as a
country is what the next generation is going to have to answer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, is America going to figure this whole thing out when
it comes to jobs, the economy, health care, paying the bills, interesting
questions from the folks at Oxford is. One Brit said to me, it appears
that the gentleman from Texas seems to be causing quite a bit of difficulty
as of late. I couldn`t disagree with that at all. Just got back from
across the pond. First time I have ever been to London and I was given a
fourth of the opportunity to speak at Oxford University at the Oxford
Debating Society. And I got a real insight that the way they -- world
actually views America in troubled times at least in London.
I had a lot of conversation with folks on the street. And of course I
was a tourist. You know how it is. My wife and I toured around London.
We visited Big Ben had to do that. I saw the queen`s boat, wasn`t up for
rental, I would have taken that out. Visited the Thames River and saw the
tower bridge. And I also, with a very serious attitude, went to see the
World War II Airfield Museum at Duxford, now being an aviation baffle have
always been enamored with the sacrifice of World War II and just what we
did as a country. This of course was the home of the eight air force that
lost 6,346 American air craft, most of them were B-17s, and of course, it
was the home of the Memphis Belle which the movie was produced there in
Duxford back in 1992.
This is just outside the Duxford Air Memorial and the numbers of
Americans that -- the lump number of lives that were lost and the sacrifice
it was given. I mean, when you go around London, you see monument after
monument of sacrifice of people that just were called on to save the world.
And I coupled the sacrifice of that generation in my talk at Oxford as to
what is our sacrifice today as not only a country but as a world. Is it
going to be a world war like we saw back then, probably not.
But the sacrifice changes, but the heart and emotion and the soul of
what we have to do as a people pretty much stays the same and you can`t go
over there to see this huge machinery that we developed as a country at a
time that reminded me of a time in America when we actually built things
where we were going from automobiles and we were going from refrigerators
and we were actually manufacturing things now into a war machine to save
the world. Because of that, we kept that extremist from ruling the world.
And back then, the world had a very positive view of America. We could do
whatever was put in front of us.
And today in the news of course, for all I`ve said about a web page
it`s not working and there`s no way its going to get fixed. It just
frustrates me. Today`s America`s international reputation I believe has
been damaged because of our politics. Are we reliable? Will we pay our
bills? Are we ever going to stop bickering and realize the absolutes of
what the American people want?
It`s because of guys right here. The selfish politicians that only
think of themselves. They took us to the verge of a global economy falling
apart. We were the hostage in an attempt to deny 30 million people in this
country health care. They have lost I believe a great deal of global
credibility, the conversation is so much different today. You know, talk
from Republicans like this I believe had the entire world on the edge.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R) TEXAS: I would do anything and I will continue to
do anything I can to stop the train wreck that is ObamaCare.
SEN. JOHN BOEHNER, (R-OH) HOUSESPEAKER OF REPRESENTATIVES: Unless we
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you saying that if he continues refuse to
negotiate, the country is going to default?
BOEHNER: It`s in the path we`re on.
SEN. TOM COBURN (R) OKLAHOMA: There is no such thing as a debt
ceiling in this country because it`s never been not increased.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you don`t raise the debt ceiling, what that
means is you don`t have a balance budget. It doesn`t mean you wouldn`t pay
REP. STEVE KING (R) IOWA: I think that all this talk about the
default has been a lot of demagoguery, a lot of false demagoguery.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Should we be proud of the fact that we are the only
industrialized country in the world that has a conversation like that?
Republicans brought the global economy to the brink of financial unknown
and the world for that matter took notice. I spoke about this with the
students at Oxford University.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The fact that we don`t realize it was our selfishness that
we can bring the entire world financial system to the verge of clash,
because we have decided that we don`t want to pay our bills. What the
legislative body has decided to and commit to all of a sudden because of
not being able to get their political way, that`s even the entering of the
discussion that when we burden your country or others who have thought
America was a good investment and we`ve had the steps here.
Well, maybe we will pay this bill because number one we don`t like the
President, we`re denying the last election, we do not believe in this
agenda for health care in America, and so, we will obstruct him and stop
him at all cost.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: That is simply not the America that the Brits new of
yesteryear. One Brit told me in London, "As America`s economy goes so does
Great Britain`s." Republicans need to realize that when they play games
with default, their actions affect the entire world. The people I spoke to
in London also called Republicans extremists. They couldn`t believe a
small group of radical Republicans could have that much power. And
possibly inflict that much damage on the world.
And I want to point out; there is nothing extreme about Social
Security. There`s nothing extreme about Medicare and Medicaid. And
there`s nothing extreme about providing every American with health care.
We are way behind the curve. I believe this and so do the folks across the
pond. It`s universal. I tweeted out as I spoke to a number of folks on
the street, "Men on the street conversation in the U.K. why does your media
want health care to fail?" Now, this was several days ago in London when I
tweeted this out.
They don`t have these conversations. They`ve gone beyond that. And
their media doesn`t attack universal health care the way we do. Is their
view of humanism different? Or we -- Are we that far behind the curve? Do
we really believe that we must have political gain and put people`s lives
aside? You know, you go overseas and you talk to folks and you get a
different view about what America is all about. We`re having fights over
things that have been decided years ago in other countries.
And the sacrifice, what is our next sacrifice going to be? And I tell
you, it`s going to be financial. We have income inequality in this country
that is unbelievable. We have the vulture chart as it continues to
separate. We have the middle class being charged a hell of a lot more and
not being able to move forward. We`ve got the top 2 percent who are
controlling it all and the corporate interest running our elections. And
these folks are OK with it.
How are we going to overcome that? The challenge for the progressive
movement is to talk about sacrifice. The wealthiest Americans to keep our
financial House in order are going to have to pay more. And I believe,
progressives and liberals in this country are going to have to not be timid
about saying that during budget negotiations. We have corporations that
don`t pay any tax. We have money parked offshore dodging the tax code. Or
should we say should we change the tax code to make sure that there`s more
fairness in this system? That`s the sacrifice. That`s the next sacrifice.
And if we think that we could play with disaster every 60 days in this
country and have it not affect our reputation in the world, we`re mistaken
in a big, big way.
Are we reliable? I hope so. The people speak in every poll out there
in every election so far. We don`t want Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social
Security butchered the way the Republicans want to do it. And we want more
of fairness when it comes to taxation with wealthiest Americans. And that
is the sacrifice, the next sacrifice.
Get your cellphones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question, Have Republican policies ruined our standing in the world? Text
A for Yes, text B for No to 67622. You can always go to our blog at
ed.msnbc.com. We`ll bring you the results later on the show.
For more, on this, let me bring in Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky of
Illinois. Congresswoman, great to have you with us tonight.
REP. JAN SCHAKOWSKY, (D) ILLINOIS: So good to be with you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Are Republicans aware that their actions are being viewed
globally? I mean have we learned any lessons as Washington learned
lessons. Had the Republicans finally got mad at this deep dark cave and
realize that people are kind of watching what we`re doing.
SCHAKOWSKY: Well, it`s not just the rest of the world, but I think
most of Americans as you pointed out, Ed. And in the polls, most people
want to have health care, they want ObamaCare, they don`t want it to be
repealed, they want it to be fixed.
Most people are against cuts in Medicare and Social Security, and the
SNAP Program for included the old food stamp program. And so, I think that
Republicans really -- I hope learned at least in part a lesson in the final
vote that opened the government and made us -- and allowed us to pay our
That -- They -- This was a losing battle. They lost big on that but
more importantly, I think that it come the next election, if we do just
what you said, make sure that people are really looking at the major
problem in our country which is income inequality. That`s what`s really
hurting our economy, depriving us have really taking off, and creating new
jobs, and building a middle class, then I think that the Democrats are
going to prevail in the House and keep the Senate, and will be able to
really move forward.
SCHULTZ: You know, looking at the history of England and the
coordination between the Americans and the Brits. There was an attitude,
it is very clear and reading all the history that there was never any
question about whether we were going to be able to succeed.
And today`s media right now, we`re having a big discussion about
whether a website can work, so people can get health care and that`s are
big problem. It`s almost as if we blow up problems to the point like we
can achieve much in this country anymore at all. It`s almost depressing
and I hate to use that word on television but we as Americans follow this
political fight that is going on in Washington, is it damaging the country
to the point were we don`t believe we can get anything done anymore
including fixing a website?
SCHAKOWSKY: Well, of course, it`s so ridiculous because the real
issue is that we`re going to finally provide health care or make it
available to all Americans. Millions of people who have preexisting
conditions or have never had health insurance at all. So as the President
said this is far more than a website, and of course that it`s going to be
In fact, in 2006, when we Medicare part D was rolling out, the
Secretary of Health and Human Services love it and the 53rd day after the
rollout was saying, "Well, you know, when you rollout something, the speed
of course is going to be problems but we`re making progress." So we`ve
been there before but the Republicans act as if this is a new thing that we
should repeal it because it does .
SCHAKOWSKY: . the website doesn`t work. It`s crazy.
SCHULTZ: They will take anymore soul of information to be negative .
SCHAKOWSKY: Of course.
SCHULTZ: . on this, because they want to change the law. No question
about it. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky. Thanks for joining us tonight.
SCHAKOWSKY: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Now, let`s bring in the Executive Director of MSNBC.Com,
Richard Wolffe. Richard, great to have you with us tonight.
RICHARD WOLFFE, EXECUTIVE EDITOR MSNBC.COM: Same to you with Ed.
SCHULTZ: Interesting country. I thoroughly enjoyed it, you know,
what I noticed about, people in London cafes is that they are consumed with
SCHULTZ: I mean in America, we`re all on our machine. We`re all on
our iPhone, BlackBerry, everything else. But it is a huge newspaper town
which tells me that they go beyond the headline. They actually want the
devil in the detail. How do you think we`re viewed based on what we have
just going through as a country, the shutdown, almost didn`t pay our bills,
and here we go again in 60 days.
WOLFFE: Right. A couple of things. First of all, in The U.K. they
look at Europe and they look at countries like Greece, and the say, "Here`s
a bunch of countries that are on the brink of default because they cannot
afford to pay their bills. How come America, the world`s richest country,
the biggest economy in the world is willingly, intentionally putting itself
in the same position like a Greece, or Portugal, or Spain, or in Italy? It
makes no sense at all."
And what it does is it reinforces some really ugly cliches as well
that America doesn`t know how to run itself like what it is going on? I
think there`s still a lot of great good wealth to the President, still very
popular overseas especially in Europe, but they do not understand, whenever
there`s a conservative prime minister in the U.K.
They`re all about, we are for fiscal responsibility, they would never
flirt with default just by the conservatives here.
SCHULTZ: So this is taking America in the new territory in the eyes
of the world, I mean almost in the point we`re unpredictable.
WOLFFE: You got to say that, the conservatives here especially,
obviously, the Tea Party had weakened America`s standing in the world, no
question about it. You know, when it was Democrats who were questioning
whether there should be a war in Terra, they were told though unpatriotic,
I don`t see that same language going at Republicans. There is the
injustice much damage to the world and maybe much more damage to America`s
standing in the world by saying, "We`re ready to default" compared to
Democrats saying, "Should we invade Iraq" for instance.
SCHULTZ: They`re having the same conservations in the U.K. as we are
having here when it comes to pensions, when it comes to workers rights,
when it comes to unions, when it comes to health care and the expenses and
how to control it.
There`s a huge austerity push there as well. What we do in our
Congress doesn`t affect their mindset over there? I mean, this is an
interesting thing because, you know, the world economic counsels when they
get together, International Monetary Fund, and they all meet globally, they
all talk, "Oh gosh, we can`t pay these bills."
WOLFFE: So we got a Democratic President here, the growth here
without they`re kind of extreme austerity. They`re been spending cuts here
that it`s nothing like when it`s been over there. Great here, they can
only dream about over there.
WOLFFE: Austerity is not work for them but interesting thing. Talk
about the Second World War about health care. The National Health Service,
that single pair, socialize, medicine that they have over there came out of
the Second World War. It came out of a shared sense of sacrifice because
they said, "You know, rich and poor, it`s immoral to think that someone who
is wealthy deserves or should have the right to a better health system than
someone who`s poor, you face the same bombs, you face the same bullets, and
you should have the same health care."
They did that after the Second World War when the country was on its
knees, they could barely afford it. It remains popular, it remains popular
with a conservative prime minister.
So they look at this debate, and they say, "OK, you are people to not
go bankrupt but what about getting the same kind of level of health care,
the same kind of care and attention."
SCHULTZ: Richard Wolffe, great to have you with us. Thanks so much.
Remember to answers tonight`s question there at the bottom of the
screen. Share you thoughts with us on Twitter at Ed Show and on Facebook.
We always want to know what you think.
Coming up, talk about inflation, John Stossel has some inflated ideas
about the Federal Reserve. Plus Ted Cruz may lead the crusade against
ObamaCare, but wait until you here were he gets his health care apparently.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Time now with the Trenders in the social media, this is
where you can find us right here on Facebook, Twitter, and on ed.msnbc.com,
and on the radio Monday through Friday noon to 3:00 Sirius Channel 127.
All right. Now, you have decided and we are reporting. Here are
today`s top Trenders voted on by you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Seventh pen and then (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What does that mean?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The number three trender, Fox in Fed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, some Americans don`t know what the fed is.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s so darn confusing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It has the power to destroy your savings.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It can wreck your life.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With John Stossel, wheels out some inflated
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They basically just print in $4 trillion. And
miraculously so far, we happen to have rampant inflation. After World War
I in Germany, people had to go to the grocery store with a wheelbarrow full
of cash to buy groceries and that helped bring on Hitler .
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You might have to take that to a Dunkin Donuts.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Someday if they continue to print so much money to
buy a latte.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The number two Trender, UB 45.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hillary Clinton received a resounding standing
ovation as she walked on stage to speak at UB`s Alumni Arena.
SCHULTZ: Hillary Clinton avoids talking about 2016.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Perhaps you could describe for us what the ideal
candidate for the presidency would look like.
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: I`m not as interested in
what the candidates look like as what the candidates stand for.
SCHULTZ: But didn`t take any bull at the University of Buffalo.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At one point a man got up and began shouting
"Benghazi, you let them die."
CLINTON: We have to be willing to come together as citizens to focus
on the kind of future we want which doesn`t include yelling. It includes
sitting down and talking with one another.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And today`s top Trender, dose of hypocrisy.
CRUZ: Could you, would you with a goat?
I would do anything and I would continue to do anything I can to stop
the train wreck that is ObamaCare.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: While he fights against ObamaCare, Ted Cruz is on
his wife`s health insurance.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now will the senator answer my question.
CRUZ: That .
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: . whether his family is protected by the
government administered federal employees health benefit program .
CRUZ: I`m eligible for it and I`m not currently covered under it.
Most things can be fixed with duck tape, extension cords.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: See America, you don`t need health care, if you
have a medical emergency, just go to Home Depot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining me now is E.J. Dionne, columnist Washington Post and
MSNBC contributor. I mean that`s quite an example. E.J., great to have
you with us tonight.
E.J. DIONNE, COLUMNIST WASHINGTON POST: Great to be with you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: What kind of reaction should America have to a man such as
Ted Cruz having a cadillac insurance policy while he works to take
insurance away from millions of Americans who need it?
DIONNE: Well, I think they should be upset. You know, when I heard
what we were talking about, I went back and looked up one of my favorite
quotations which is from Anatole France who said, "The law, in its majestic
equality, forbids the rich and the poor alike to sleep under bridges, to
beg in the streets, and to steal bread." And the rich and the poor like
are equally free to buy health insurance except the whole lot of people
among the working poor can`t afford health insurance. And too many people
in the Senate, in the House of Representatives, and in a lot of other parts
of our society including those of us who work in the media have never had
the experience of putting off doctor`s visits over and over again for our
They`ve never had the experience of having to say, "Oh, gee, I need
that prescription but I don`t have the money for it, so I won`t buy it", or
if had to get all our health care through hospital emergency rooms. And
the notion that it`s somehow an outrage that the government which all ready
and rightly provides health insurance for the elderly can`t help out the
rest of America. They can`t afford health insurance to get everybody
covered. The notion that that`s an awful and evil thing that threatened
socialism, that`s a terrible idea.
SCHULTZ: Cruz`s spokesman says that being on his wife`s plan means
it`s no cost to tax payers between the government subsidies for employer-
sponsored insurance and Goldman Sachs getting $10 billion in the tart (ph)
money. Aren`t we still paying for Cruz`s insurance at around about way?
DIONNE: Well -- Or anybody who has employer-provided insurance does
benefit from a big tax break. And, you know, it`s true in our society that
there are a lot of things that the government lose its revenue on which is
essentially like spending that gives benefits to we should acknowledge it
middle class people but also very rich people and gives no benefit at all
to working poor people.
And so, yeah, this raises a point that we currently have a health care
policy that keeps 40 million people off insurance and that`s what we want
to change, and that`s why I really hope that for all this terrible problems
that they`re having on the computers, on the websites they need to fix
them. But the whole idea for ObamaCare is right you`ve got to get
insurance to people who don`t have it.
SCHULTZ: Well, there`s 20 million people that have hit this website
in a short period of time. And the true story behind all this and we`ll
touch on a little bit later in this broadcast which Tom Harkin told me
today on the radio. They never really have the proper funding and
infrastructure to get this thing done from the start because the
conservatives where have been made this their mantle to knock down
President Obama across the board, but the big picture in all of this about
where it`s working, where it`s not working is those states that have gone
into the Medicaid expansion. I mean this is a big part of it as well. The
states that have obstructed that`s where the problems are coming, your
DIONNE: Exactly right. I mean, first of all the states had been
running their own exchanges where the governors mostly Republicans didn`t
take a powder (ph) and walk away like Kentucky, those exchanges are working
very well. And so, that`s part of the obstruction, all these states that
wouldn`t do it.
But the Medicaid expansion is working well, I believe that Oregon has
already signed up 60,000 people and there were 5 million Americans mostly
in the south, a lot of them by no means all of them members of racial
minorities who are just being cut off from the possibility of getting
health insurance because of decisions by their states enabled by a
conservative Supreme Court decision to say, "We`re not going to give our
people health care, there should be a lot more outrage about this."
SCHULTZ: All of this human interest stories are going to be
outweighing and really out muscling in winning the argument at the end of
the day with all the antis that are out there are trying to destroy to the
law, not the bill, the law, it`s here.
DIONNE: As long as we cover them, Ed and you`re absolutely right.
SCHULTZ: No, I mean I have to say you can`t turn anywhere without
getting negative talk about ObamaCare, I mean it is all over the place,
it`s a, you know, we have had generations of the past in this country that
would take on any challenge, accept the challenge, America was great we can
get it done, but we have -- we are just -- there are air waves are
permeating with negative talk and a hope for failure. We`re talking about
people`s lives here. I just -- I`m amazed by it. E.J. Dionne it`s always
great to have you on the Ed Show, I appreciate your time tonight. Thank
DIONNE: Great to be with you. Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Coming up Republicans seem to think that they`re rolling out
experts especially when it comes to the ObamaCare launch.
Plus a Utah senator has daddy issues. And Hannity is there with open
But next, I`m taking your question live on Ask Ed Live. Stay with us,
we`ll right back to the Ed Show on MSNBC.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show Ask Ed Live, my favorite
segment. We love hearing from all of you out there. Tonight in our Ask Ed
Live segment, our first question from Debbie Roy. What did you like most
about London? Well, I`m roaming over there for three days, but I enjoyed a
lot of things in London, it was fun. One thing that I was impressed with
was the level of awareness of the citizens when it came to current events.
I didn`t run into any people that were seen totally disconnected and I
think you can do that sometimes in America at least out in London. I was
impressed by it.
Our next question is from Louis Rares (ph), should the GOP be afraid
if the Tea Partiers force them to choose Ted Cruz as their candidate in
2016? Please, please pick Ted Cruz, Republicans. Well, you will do that
for Ed, will you? Look, he`s an extremist, there`s no way an extremist
would be elected President of the United States. I hope not. It would --
I think bring forward a serious divide within the party. I don`t think
he`ll get the nomination, but we never know.
Would they be afraid? Yeah, there`d be a lot of GOPiers afraid, a lot
Americans would be afraid too.
We`ll have a lot more coming up on the Ed Show, stay tuned.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. Let`s cut to the chase.
ObamaCare`s rollout. OK, a set of few set backs. It probably had
something to do with 20 million people in the website.
And wouldn`t you know suddenly everyone is an expert on rollouts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOEHNER: When you look at the problems with ObamaCare, all the focus
here lately has been on the website. Clearly there`s problems with the
website, but I would argue that the problems go much further than that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just like Katrina, when the big problem President
Bush had was diminishing the significance of what was happening, saying
"Hey, way to go, Brownie" you heard the President yesterday talking about
glitches and kinks. This is bigger than glitches and kinks.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah, I mean on the one difference is Katrina
was a storm, the health care law was of Obama`s creation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe the Iraq War is a better analogy.
LYNN JENKINS, REPRESENTATIVE FOR KANSAS: Conan said, the other night,
"Obama is now urging Americans having trouble with the website to call 1-
800". A 1-800 number, the 1-800 number is 1-800. We don`t think -- We
didn`t think this is true.
REP. ERIC CANTOR, (R) VIRGINIA: The rollout of ObamaCare is nothing
short of a debacle. We all know the website doesn`t work.
KEVIN MCCARTHY, UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: You know,
it`s another day and a new glitch for the ObamaCare rollout.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Nothing works. Nothing at all. We have no solutions,
that`s all. It`s just terrible. The world`s terrible.
How many of these critics do you think have first hand experience when
it comes to rolling out a business? This is coming from the party that did
everything in their power to sabotage this law from the get go.
Republicans refuse to authorize request from the Obama Administration
for additional funding to do what the right way and set us on the cheap.
Republican governors across the country have chosen to opt out of
Medicaid expansion which will leave millions of poor Americans uninsured.
Republican shut the government down and of course they brought us to the
brink of default in an attempt to defund the law that they hate.
And we`re suppose to believe all of a sudden they`re the experts on
rollout. They are the ones and suddenly they really care about 48 million
Americans who are uninsured in 2012 which might explain the traffic the
website is experiencing. You think?
Instead of criticizing this rollout we should be focusing on the signs
of high demand. But Republicans are doing their very best to prevent
Americans from seeing the benefits of this law because they know.
Once Americans experience the benefits they won`t care about website
malfunctions. Some of the Republicans theatre here is working, even
Democrats like the Congressman Rick Nolan who`s a friend of mine but I take
issue here and calling for the President to get some swift action.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
REP. RICK NOLAN, (D) MINNESOTA: I really believe he needs to, you
know, man up, step up. And I feel that the people responsible for this did
a terrible disservice to the Affordable Care Act and to the President, by
allowing this thing to go forward when they knew it wasn`t ready.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The disservice has been the lack of cooperation by
Republicans who have fought this President and denied elections.
No one is denying that the obvious issues are there with the
Affordable Health Care Act`s website is, you know, it is not the law, it`s
All of this is going to get fixed. All the sabotaging, self-
anointing, rollout experts need to take a back step for just a moment and
say, "You know, what we`ve got smart people if we fund this and resource it
properly, we will get this fixed." But fixing is not what`s the Republican
Party is all about.
Joining me now are the two men that help create both RomneyCare and
the Affordable Health Care Act. John McDonough, professor at Harvard
School of Public Health and also Jonathan Gruber who is a professor of
Economics at MIT.
Gentlemen great to have you with us tonight.
Mr. McDonough what was it like rolling out the health care plan in
Massachusetts and your thoughts on what we are seeing right now as this
JOHN MCDONOUGH, ROMNEYCARE ARCHITECT: It was very controversial. It
had lots of people throwing political rocks on it from all directions. It
didn`t go quickly out of the gate it took time to build up. People had to
become familiar with it. People needed time to shop, to look, to
understand their choices. And five to six years later the law is working
We`re actually feeling a little lonely up here in Massachusetts these
days, seen it for the five years after it passed it seemed like the Wall
Street Journal and the conservative media had to have at least one big
article a week telling everybody how bad it was and since the election a
year ago, we feel a little bit like the may tag (ph) repairmen now, because
it`s very clear in Massachusetts the law is working well and I think that`s
what the country can look forward to with the Affordable Care Act once we
get over this very difficult and complicated implementation process.
SCHULTZ: Professor Gruber your thoughts on where we are right now.
JONATHAN GRUBER, PROFESSOR MIT: I think John has it exactly right.
The first month that individuals who pay premiums could sign up for health
insurance in Massachusetts 123 people signed up. By the end of the year it
was 40,000. It takes time to set these things up. This is a difficult
issue. We -- Individuals are trying to sign up for something they want to
be get till January 1st. So, there`s no need to panic.
You know, as John McDonough and my colleague wrote in one article,
this is something where we don`t devalue with it, minute by minute and week
by week. We should take a slow look every month to see how its doing and
we`ll be up and rolling by January 1.
SCHULTZ: All right. Senator Tom Harkin explained it this way on my
radio show today, take the radio today. Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
SEN. TOM HARKIN, (D) IOWA: For the last three years, on my
Appropriations Committee I`ve tried to get the money in there that they
needed to get these private contractors to set this system up. I`ve been
denied that money. So, they had to scrimp and try to figure it out.
So, what happened is that HHS and I believe CMS, the Center for
Medicaid Services, decided, well, since they didn`t have the money they
thought they were going to have to go out and hire Oracle and all these big
places to do it and set it up and test it.
Well, they`re going to have to do it in house. Well, they didn`t
quite have all the expertise, but they didn`t have the money that they
should have had to go out and get the private sector to come in and set it
up, so -- and that`s because of the Republicans. They would not let us
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Professor McDonough your comment to that. I mean this is an
absolute. It takes money to buy whisky. If you`re going to do it on the
cheapest it`s going to be more problems, fair enough?
MCDONOUGH: Oh, absolutely. I think Senator Harkin is very on target.
I worked on the Senate Health Committee that he chaired. And, you know,
during the process the conservative way is said, we have to allow the
states to set up their own exchanges. It has to be done that way. And
that`s how the law was written to give the states the right to step up and
We thought all the conservatives states would jump up and do it and
then, all the conservative states decided to hold back and say no we`re
just going to let the federal government do it, and then we`re not going to
give the federal government the resources to do the job as well as it could
So, there`s a lot of irony and more than a little bit of hypocrisy in
some of their complaints right now.
SCHULTZ: So, Professor Gruber this was never framed or organized or
put together with the mindset that there would be such rejection that we`ve
GRUBER: You know, it`s ironic here is the Republicans are rejecting
the part of this law which is using private health insurance market to
expand health insurance coverage. This is a Republican idea promoted
originally by the Heritage Foundation to use these exchanges to promote the
organized purchase of private health insurance.
So, Republicans by denying the funding to make exchanges work well, or
denying the functioning of the private health insurance market, we need to
let this work with states need to expand their Medicaid programs imagine
this earlier. And we need to -- state needs to do it as possible to make
the law work.
SCHULTZ: Both of you confident that this will -- this too shall pass,
do you Professor Gruber?
GRUBER: Yeah, absolutely. Remember the key date is not January 1st,
it`s March 31st that`s when the mandate really kicks in by that date it`s
going to be fine.
SCHULTZ: Mr. McDonough your thoughts.
MCDONOUGH: I would just add one thing. January 1st is a key date.
After January 1st no American can be denied coverage for a preexisting
condition, the subsidies kick in, the Medicaid expansion going to effect in
the states that are doing it. It`s a fundamental change and it`s a very
important date coming forward. And we`re going to get there and get beyond
SCHULTZ: In the mean time, political opposition has all the
ammunition in the world to make the case to the American people that this
will not be successful but you being the experts or RomneyCare and also the
Affordable Care Act bring us to a level of wisdom that their political
father just doesn`t work that the good stories and what this is going to
bring to America is what we need to focus on.
Gentlemen, great to have you with us tonight.
MCDONOUGH: Thank you, Ed.
GRUBER: Thanks so much.
SCHULTZ: John McDonough and also Jonathan Gruber, you bet.
Coming up, the war for fair wages from Walmart. Well, it kicks in the
high gear. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And the Pretenders tonight, Mr. America, Sean Hannity.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRUZ: Mike Lee, I am your father.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Move over, Ted Cruz. Senator Mike Lee has a new daddy in
town. Lee was Cruz`s disciple during the government shutdown, but it`s no
longer just Cruz who wants to take Utah`s Junior Senator under his wing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Senator, if they continue to attack to
you because you are very brave and you`re going to -- history is going to
prove you right on this. I promise I`ll do everything I can do. We`ll go
out to Utah. We`ll bring out, well, a big Tea Party out there, we`ll
remind them why you`re elected. How is that?
SEN. MIKE LEE, (R) UTAH: Wonderful. Thank you, Sean.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Yes. Hannity`s loving arms might be the only place Mike Lee
has left to go. Mike Lee`s approval ratings is lower and lower than whale
manure in the bottom of the ocean and its efforts to defund ObamaCare put
In fact, Utah Republicans are amounting an effort to push him out of
reelection. Hannity whose side are you on? It`s no wonder Mike Lee`s
effort to implore (ph) the government cost $24 billion. Sean Hannity wants
to do everything he can to make sure he hurts America again.
If Sean Hannity thinks he`s being a great American, he can keep on
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Welcome to the Ed Show. This is the story for the folks who
take a shower after work. Low-paying Walmart workers well apparently
they`ve had enough. Congressional Democrats are blasting the nation`s
largest profit employer calling its executives welfare kings.
Earlier this week, the President and CEO of US Walmart Stores gave a
presentation at the Goldman Sachs Retail Conference. One of the slides in
this presentation said that over 475,000 of Walmart`s US employees earned
more than $25,000 last year. Meaning the majority of Walmart 1.2.3 million
member workforce is paid less than $25,000 a year. Now that statistics was
listed under the heading great job opportunities. I`d say it`s hardly
something to brag about.
The 2013 Poverty Guideline for family of four is $23,550 a year which
means working fulltime at Walmart gets a family of four barely above the
poverty line. Now there`s an organization for United Respect at Walmart
called OUR Walmart.
It says it`s rare for workers to be scheduled for a fulltime 40-hour
week. Dozens of Walmart workers in Florida walked off the job Friday
morning in protest of management demanding they be given fulltime work.
Let`s bring in Robert Greenwald of Brave New Films who directed the
2005 documentary "Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price". Mr. Greenwald,
good to have you with us tonight.
ROBERT GREENWALD, PRODUCER: Thanks.
SCHULTZ: I find it interesting that the head of Walmart of the
American stores would come forward and say "Make the case the $25,000 a
year is a really good living and people ought to be really excited about
GREENWALD: Yes. Well, that`s from a company Ed that made $17
billion, biz and billion last year in profit and pays the average worker
$8.81 an hour.
SCHULTZ: So, Walmart`s argument is that everyone has the opportunity
to build the kind of career they want. And many associates advanced to
salaries much higher than $25,000. So why do organizations like OUR
Walmart even exist?
GREENWALD: Well, the reason that the organizations exist and making
change and Wal-mart exist is because they`re fundamentally not paying
people for their work. You know, one of the biggest subsidies that you and
every taxpayer is paying for is for the number of things that Walmart
workers need because the company won`t pay them, food stamps and the home
savings and all kinds of things.
So the notion that we are paying so that the family worth over $144
billion can have more profit is really an obscenity, Ed.
SCHULTZ: What do you say when they come back to say "Well, it`s the
free market. People are willing to work for these wages."
GREENWALD: Well, they`re willing to work for these wages because
Walmart is the single biggest force in driving down wages and not paying
people what their worth and taking advantage of an economy which is in
deep, deep trouble. And the job of all us in those great organizations and
the people at Walmart is to insist," Pay me a fair wage. I`m willing to
work hard. Give me what is my due."
SCHULTZ: What impact is this video around the country and these kinds
of demonstrations? What is your anticipation or what kind of impact this
is going to have on Walmart?
GREENWALD: Well, as we saw when we made the film about Walmart, you
know, remember they`re not a political party. They are selling you goods.
So they`re concerned about the brand. They`re concerned about the
tarnishing the brand and they`re concerned about the fact that Walmart has
one of the most negative associations of every brand across the country.
That turn shoppers off and that begins to hurt them bottom line.
SCHULTZ: All right. Do you think they`ll change?
GREENWALD: I hope so. I`m an optimistic guy, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Well, $17 billion in profit they have to able afford
something decent after workers in fact it`d be a great PR move and I`m not
so sure that that wouldn`t help sales.
SCHULTZ: Robert Greenwald, thank you so much. Robert`s newest film
"Unmanned: America`s Drone Wars" can be streamed online starting on October
That`s the Ed Show. I`m Ed Schultz. Politics Nation with Rev. Al
Sharpton starts right now. Good evening, Rev.
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