Skip to main content

tv   NOW With Alex Wagner  MSNBC  April 3, 2012 9:00am-10:00am PDT

9:00 am
in this hour, president obama will be speaking about trojan horses, social darwinism, and a republican party that's trying to impose a radical vision on the country. what will remain unspoken, hey, mitt romney, game on. it's tuesday, april 3rd, and this is "now." joining me today"the new york times" frank bruney, former governor ed rendell and steve kornacky. also joining us rachel maddow host of msnbc "rachel maddow show" and host of "drift."
9:01 am
we'll be talking about that shortly. the last time paul ryan released a budget proposal, this was receipt action -- >> we have to low of spending but if it's -- there's nothing wrong with tacking the top. >> we do tax the top. the future comes from entitlement programs. >> hey. >> what is this entitlement program? i paid into it for 50 years, my unemployment, my social security and medicare. >> ryan's latest budget blueprint provoked the sharpest attack from the president to date. we're awaiting a live speech from president obama. rachel, you have talked, and we have talked, and many people on the channel talked about social security being a ponzi scheme, which is an accusation lobbed around by the gop and the more
9:02 am
further-right elements of the republican party. what strikes me about the prereleased remarks we have from the president is the sharpness of his tone and the fact that we've seen sort of a wind-up to this in the last few months, he's taken a fight stance. what do you make of the social darwinism and the attack of the paul ryan budge. i think he's a centrist democrat. on the issues of entitlement reform if there was a big, adult conversation about that in washington, i think that the president would be right there for that conversation. i'm much, for example, i personally, at much further to the left on issue of entitlements than the white house is. the paul ryan budget isn't just an attack if you will, on what we have thought of as the guaranteed benefits that come with entitlements, it is a whole budget. and the overall idea, the way it moves money in the country in massive amounts is that it gives a lot more money to rich people
9:03 am
and it takes all of the pain away from people who are expecting benefits that they paid into, as that gentleman was saying, and programs for the poor. >> they say, you know, governor, we talk about -- i mean in some corners budgets are emotional documents in a lot of ways. if you look at breakdown of paul ryan's plan, it's undeniable that the wealthy are the beneficiaries of this. making less than $10,000 you get .2% tax cut. over $1 million you get 12.5% tax cut. it's 5.3 trillion of cuts in total, $3.3 of the $5.3 trillion is from programs focuses on low and middle income americans. >> it's unfair and it doesn't do the job of balancing the budget and it's unrealestic. it's not a document that's going move the discussion in an intelligent way. we have to have intelligent thinking in washington, was may an oxymoron. we have to raise revenue, we
9:04 am
understand we have to do something about entitlement programs, maybe the long run, the president was attacked by the republicans when he took half a trillion over ten years out of the medicaid. but he did it in a way that didn't hurt beneficiaries. the good thing about cutting the budget and i've had experience, often you can cut the budget and not hurt the people who are getting the been fits. and i think we can do that. there's got to be intelligent discussions. this is a radical documenting doesn't advance the ball. they should be ashamed of themselves. >> steve, you shouldn't forget today is a primary day and this is a criticism of paul ryan as one of the men running for president supporting it, mitt romney. what does mitt romney do in mitt romney has studiously avoided saying what he would cut, how he would cut. i believe he said one of the things i found in a short campaign against ted kennedy was
9:05 am
that when i said i wanted to eliminate the department of education that was used to suggest i don't care about education. >> this shows that the basic imperative for any candidate in mitt romney's shoes, his negative ratings sort of exploded over the last few months and he, you know, needed to turn that around, reposition himself for the general election. conventionally you do that moving to the middle. the problem with mitt romney there is more doubt in the republican party about his credentials as a conservative than really there has been about any nominee the republican party's put forward to in the modern era. it's happening when the base of the republican party is moss hostile to, more resistant toward, more willing to rise up against people whose credibility it doubts. mitt romney looks like he's going to be the republican presidential nominee now, he still might lose ten primaries between now and june, he may as the presumptive nominee lose ten
9:06 am
primaries. he has to deal with put together a platform. if you fast forward, if this guy gets elects the idea he can run as a moderate and govern as a moderate this is the pressure he's under. >> you can't etch a sketch. he's on the record 100% supporting the ryan budget. he's not able to move away from that in the fall. he's on record for a budget that would destroy the fabric of the country, the economic fabric. >> john mccain, also there were doubts about him on the republican said that he was conservative enough. the way mccain dealt with that, he said i'm an honorable person. you know me. i am predictable. i stand for something. believe in my character. mitt romney has responded to the same kind of doubts by being like i'll say whatever you want me to say. >> exactly. >> it's a very different candidacy. >> a new york op-ed, romney and anti-romney. but you don't have -- i mean,
9:07 am
regardless of whether you're a democrat or a republican, pls a real question mark. the ryan plan is interesting because the republican caucus is so decided. how does romney administration govern congress? how do you negotiate the thicket of cuts that are being proposed in the paul ryan budget? frank, we talked about the weak ochbs mitt romney but this stuff highlights it. you can understand why president obama's choosing today, perhaps a day that mitt romney's finally crowned the romneyee -- >> oh. >> i say this, only catches fire -- >> rachel, last week when she coined the phrase linjured. >> a couple things, one, we're all paying a lot closer attention than voters are. one of mitt romney's great hopes is that no one's paying quite as much attention to what he's saying now at this moment in time. >> except david axelrod is. >> one of the reasons it's wise of president obama to get out and talk about this, is it's a way of saying, people, at this
9:08 am
moment pay attention when he shakes the etch a etch and saysisay something new you'll have this in your mind. >> people are talking about the gender gap has exploded over the last six weeks. >> he's leading in a general election matchup, obama is 20 points ahead of romney and swing states among women. >> the defense that the romney campaign put forward, and i believe them on this, that doesn't have anything to do with mitt romney. it has to do with the broader republican party and what's happened over the last section weeks. think that they're right it isn't about mitt romney. but that's the problem. the republican party's image now, the same poll i think showed that nationally, there's a 35% favorable rating for the republican party pap that is as low as the republican number has been since the height of the clinton impeachment. if you're the nominee you can't escape that. >> absolutely right. mitt romney has blown opportunity after opportunity to speak out independently and say, look, my party's wrong about this, we shouldn't boo that gay soldier, he's serving the
9:09 am
country honorably. he's missed opportunities to look look a lead. >> what would have happened in the primaries if he had done that? >> he would continue to win. >> i don't think romney loses votes if he said some of what ri rush imlimbaugh is spewing -- >> it seems like an easy thing to stand up for. he's faced incredible skepticism from the right it's been hard for him to figure out the exact path that doesn't arouse that skepticism, intensify. >> we analysts assume people think about their own little boxes. if i see mitt romney say, folks, that gay soldier's out there giving his life for this country, stop it, i don't care how conservative i am, i say, right on, right on. >> talk about a degree of eloquence we haven't seen. if you're eloquent candidate and know how to thread the needles you can get out of the jams. it's not something we've seen from him.
9:10 am
>> a sports term brought to my attention today called yipping. is it the yip? >> yips. >> yips, which is when you play ball long enough, then you get nervous and spooked and you can no longer catch the grounders, this is -- i think this is what. happening with mitt romney. he's gotten more scared and apprehensive saying something offmessage or something that will get him critiqued in the media, he doesn't want to talk about anything at all. >> mitt romney needs ann romney what karen santorum did, have fun. >> when is the last time mitt romney had fun? really. think about, what does he do for fun if he goes home and counts his car elevators? he's not a guy who you think -- >> doesn't play with his dog. >> no. i don't want to see him let his hair down. there's an intangible thing, particularly for general elections, right? an an inc. table thing, it gets overanalyzed but it's do you want to have a beer with me thing? >> true.
9:11 am
>> it doesn't matter if you drink beer. >> or not. >> george w. bush didn't drink beer. >> right. >> it doesn't matter if you fit the way that we talk about it. but there is something about whether or not people want to see this person on their television 15 times a day for the next 4 to 8 years, whether or not they want to think of this person as embodying our nation and values on the world stage. it's intangible thing. there's no way to make a candidate more appealing than a beer department. >> is this person who can understand me? do i want to have a beer with this person? do i want to see them on the tv every night, that's a way of saying he this someone who can relate to me? that's a big mitt romney has had. >> mitt romney, someone needs to go back and change the algorithm. here's live look at the associated press. that's not -- that's mitt romney standing next to paul ryan. they are serving -- >> they're shaking hands. >> that there -- no custard
9:12 am
there. that is a live look at associated preassociate ed breslin. in washington. first as the u.s. become a nation comfortable with perpetual war? that is one of the many questions posed in rachels new book "drift." we'll discuss it next on "now." [ male announcer ] this is lawn ranger -- eden prairie, minnesota. in here, the landscaping business grows with snow. to keep big winter jobs on track, at&t provided a mobile solution that lets everyone from field workers to accounting, initiate, bill, and track work in real time. you can't live under a dome in minnesota, that's why there's guys like me. [ male announcer ] it's a network of possibilities -- helping you do what you do... even better.
9:13 am
♪ i'm michael bazinet, president of creative digital imaging of bangor, maine. we have customers all over the united states. we rely on the postal service for everything that we do. the eastern maine processing facility is vital to our operation and our success. if we lose this processing facility we could lose clientele because of increased mailing times. we would have to consider layoffs as a result of that. closure of this plant will affect all of us.
9:14 am
9:15 am
nearly 11 years after war in afghanistan began the costs have been enormous. more than 1800 u.s. soldiers have died and taxpayers have spent more than $400 billion on
9:16 am
that battle alone. and yet where is the national conversation about war and why fundamentally we are? that is -- those are some of the questions raised in rachel maddow's new book, "drift," the unwarring of american military power. rachel, great book. >> thank you. >> we'll hold it up, on sale now. we were talking during the break, you said this is the subtitle could be vegetables, things that are good for you to talk about. it's an incredibly important conversation to have why we are at war, we we are increasingly perpetually at war. i know that one of the reasons you think we are at war is because the executive branch has gotten stronger and stronger, and specifically you talk about reagan. focus a lot of the book on his presidency. i want to pull a quote, reagan talking about, during run for office against ford he believed in peace, but peace does not come from weakness or retreat. it comes from the restoration of
9:17 am
american military superiority about. >> reagan was a genius at taking elements of patriotism and turning them toward partisan gain. one of the things we've forgot been reagan's initial run for the president, which he challenged gerald ford, and when he eventually won what a big deal he made about the panama canal. >> we built it. >> we're going to keep it. he has a slogan thing. panama was an american state and the canal in panama was an american canal and there was a massive challenge to american sovereignty represented by the canal might go back to panamanian control. actually panama's fine and this ended up being a technocratic issue and it's resolved and it's good we signed the treaty. people to reagan's right, like john wayne, william f. buckley told reagan he was nuts for doing this. >> wayne told him he needed to
9:18 am
shut his pie hole. >> he's engaging with this sort of fellow travelers in terms of his ideological peer but was sticking to his guns on make there's a combative issue. they knew that was good politics, marshall strength, particularly aggression, could be used in a political way, a way he never gave up on. it's key to understanding why we saw such a huge military buildup under reagan, why he was so eager to accept sort of estimates of soviet military strength that turned out to be completely off, we found out later, but we paid for at the time as a country. >> the other thing reagan did, taken the remarkable posture public debate on issues of war and peace was detrimental to our national security. you know we talk about the lack of american discourse, debate and lie dye lialogue we should o war, left is tarred you're not
9:19 am
patriots, questioning whether we should be there, the hawk people, the patriot. i wonder, you know, when we examine the gulf between what's happening overseas and here, you mentioned lyndon johnson did not call upon the national reserve and the guard and in doing so i believe you said took -- tore the country from the heart of the military and the military from the heart of the country. governor, we've talked about this before, the gulf between those fighting the war and those at home. >> it's interesting. one of the interesting part of the book, talked about the abrams doctrine, after lbj, b a abrams recommended we never go to war without using the national reserves because we wanted neighborhood kids to be in in pennsylvania, many guardsmen had been on four tours and yet that doesn't seem to sense in the general population
9:20 am
of pennsylvania there's a war going on. >> yeah. >> the abrams doctrine isn't working. >> it worked to a point. the idea was that if you use the guard if reserves -- an idea that goes back to the founding of the country -- use mostly citizens, occasionally have to become soldiers you involve the population in a war we can't tolerate war for very long. we don't want to fight unnecessary wars, we want them to under once they have started. once we got to the point where because of other political decisions war became essentially easy to wage in an indefinite way, after we started having wars six, seven, eight, nine, ten, 11 years long, guardsmen and service stopped feeling like citizens. we think of them as the way we did aas active civilian troops. >> you make a point of the fact we're getting tax cuts in car time. talk about the lack of understanding is what -- the sense of shared sacrifice, i
9:21 am
think, is in large part just gone. you talk about -- people don't talk about the war in the news media. >> even more dangerous, i don't think the american people have a clue about the real cost of the war because we do so much off-budget, it's incredible the cost of the war. >> the emergency supplements, as if it was a constant shock every six months we're at a war we have no plans to get out of. the obama administration has changed that. current administration is cognizant of the ideas that i write about in the book, about being ways that we've drifted off of our constitutional course. they haven't corrected many of them. i think it's very hard for any executive, any president, to give back power that has accrued to his office. everybody thinks they want to do what's right for the country. to give up the powers that somebody else in government who you don't trust as much can do it instead of you, it's against human nature. congress is going to have to take that power back, nobody can expect the president to give it. >> do you think, you know, we look at what happened -- what's
9:22 am
happening in the middle east, right? mccain calling for media action in syria. that's gotten pushback from the white house, we need to understand what the objectives are. i wouldn't say quagmire but the situations in iraq and afghanistan have given many americans pause, we are beginning to have this conversation, should we be at war? do you think we may see a pivot point in terms of america and our attitudes towards war? >> i'm trying to not engage too much with the merits of any individual war but i do think that there is -- that we feel something as a country now. having fought and still fighting the longest war in our history with a second simultaneous 8 1/2 war in iraq happening at the sam time with only 1% of the population fighting those wars with, you know, i mean there's a reason people put magnetic yellow ribbons on their suvs and there's a reason people get annoyed. i feel for both sides. we are separate from this wars and we are not connected to the people who are doing this in our name in a way that we ought to
9:23 am
be. there is unsettled feeling about that. you can call it war weariness if you make a decision to use force, we have a robust, big, deliberate, out loud debate it and the best arguments win. and the sort of cavalier promises, we'll bomb iran, i'll stop iran, i'll bomb iran it won't be you doing it. it's a lot of american families who have been through a lot already doing it and you to be cavalier as if it's going to have no cost is something starting to be blixly felt. >> we should have a big, robust, out loud debate about a lot of things we are entering into, budgets and so forth. rachel maddow, thank you. >> nice of you to have me here. >> author of "drift," a fabulous book, on sale now. "rachel maddow show" 9:00 p.m. eastern on msnbc. after the break, it is deja vu tuesday. mitt romney looks to be poised to a successful primary night. the latest stop in the slog and it is a slog indeed on the way
9:24 am
to 1144. coffee doesn't have vitamins... unless you want it to. splenda® essentials™ no calorie sweetener with b vitamins, the first and only one to help support a healthy metabolism. three smart ways to sweeten. same great taste. splenda® essentials™. but when she got asthma, all i could do was worry ! specialists, lots of doctors, lots of advice... and my hands were full. i couldn't sort through it all. with unitedhealthcare, it's different. we have access to great specialists, and our pediatrician gets all the information. everyone works as a team. and i only need to talk to one person about her care. we're more than 78,000 people looking out for 70 million americans. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare.
9:25 am
♪ pop goes the world ♪ it goes something like this ♪ everybody here is a friend of mine ♪ ♪ everybody, tell me, have you heard? ♪ ♪ pop goes the world ♪ pop goes the world [ female announcer ] pop in a whole new kind of clean with new tide pods... a powerful three-in-one detergent that cleans, brightens, and fights stains. pop in. stand out.
9:26 am
they have names like idle time with free enterprise punsfee like hugh and crye, and smash records. and one saturday a year small businesses remind a nation of the benefits of shopping small. like the way david kaplan at shell lumber shows you how to use a chop saw. then invites you back when the warehouse becomes the community theater. or the way camille russler of ever after travels the journey from despair to bliss with every bride to be. on small business saturday 100 million of us joined a movement... and main street found its might again. and main street found its fight again. and we, the locals, found delight again. that's the power of all of us. that's the power of all of us. that's the power of all of us.
9:27 am
that's the membership effect of american express. into inching, struggling, edging towards the magic number, those are a few of the verbs used in newspapers describe what mitt romney is doing to lock down the nomination tonight. joining the panel now, michelle goldburg, senior contributing writer at "newsweek" and the daily beast. a pleasure to have you, steve kornacky, we know, i mean, we know, we've been selling the american public on this idea that this thing may be coming to a close, but is it maybe really actually factually seriously for real coming to a close? wisconsin has 39 delegates tonight, maryland has 37, washington has 16. mitt romney could do pretty handily. >> and he probably will. what the race has lacked, and
9:28 am
will still lack after tonight, a real logical psychological or emotional end point because what we've seen is a race that's been defined by built-in and by this point hardened demographic realities. if a state had more than 50% of its electorate made of evangelical christenians mitt romney is not able to win it. if that continues, he's going 3 for 3, but it remains there are ten primaries and ten caucuses on the map between now and june where it's over 50%. i'm not sure how to solve it, because if you look at it logically, yeah, he's going to get to 1144 by the end of june, party's coalescing around him, starting to share resources with the rnc, traditional things are starting to happen. but when a presumptive nominee reaches this stage, the other states fall like dominos. he might lose ten between now and june. >> except, and steve's analysis is fairly correct historically
9:29 am
except barack obama. hillary cleaned his clock in april and may. >> i would put her -- she's a big difference than a rick santorum. >> a difference from losing to hillary clinton and santorum. >> the point we made, the clinton people made, how can you nominate a guy who in april and may once the public's got tonight know the candidates, can't win a primary? it didn't seem to matter. hillary didn't win by three points. hillary won west virginia by 42 won kentucky by 39. >> you get to the idea of the candidates being better candidates for the general and mitt romney is not there. he seems to get worse -- i will read this excerpt from politico's new ebook, aides debate whether to seize tighter control of the former massachusetts governor or yield to the push to let romney be romney. one romney adviser lament the in the absence of a candidate who has any poetry, who has any ability to connect on an emotional level, how do you
9:30 am
create a bond? >> you were mentioning hillary's victories in places like west virginia, i think the difference here that is mitt romney losing in the conservative heartland whereas the reaction against barack obama was not among the liberal base. it was primarily in states that were either swing states -- >> ohio. >> but he was mostly being repudiated by constituencies that were unlikely to vote democratic in the general anyway. whereas you have basically mitt romney it's republicans, it's the people who are most fired up about the republican party that are being -- >> they are going to vote for him in the general. >> and write the republican party platform. >> the fact is that i think the analogy to somebody like mitt romney is more as if the democratic party had been forced to nominate, say joe lieberman, who one an at that ma. >> the most impassioned of the base. we'll continue the conversation after the break. live at the associated press luncheon in washington where
9:31 am
president obama is set to speak in a few minutes. expected to draw sharp contrasts between his and house budget chair paul ryan's budget plans. we'll bring the president's remarks live next on "now." so uh this is my friend frank and his, uh, retirement plan. one golden crown. come on frank how long have we known each other? go to e-trade. they got killer tools man. they'll help you nail a retirement plan that's fierce. two golden crowns. you realize the odds of winning are the same as being mauled by a polar bear and a regular bear in the same day? frank! oh wow, you didn't win? i wanna show you something... it's my shocked face. [ gasps ] ♪ [ male announcer ] get a retirement plan that works at e-trade. that's good morning, veggie style. hmmm. for half the calories plus veggie nutrition. could've had a v8.
9:32 am
9:33 am
9:34 am
it seems he is the nominee, are you happen q. with that. >> there can be a shakeup. anybody but obamaing i believe that f fbi running would be better than today. >> frank bruney, anybody but obama. does that qualify ace full throated endorsement? >> that's a rhetorical statement. >> those are words i don't use, genius and sarah palin. her ability to say things and keep story as live that keep her
9:35 am
quotes and name in the news, that's the thing that she is best at. the "today" show is brilliant, katie couric at "good morning america," sarah palin signed on with the "today" show, her co-anchors, matt and meredith seem skeptical about her appearance. >> live to president obama. he will address the house gop budget plan crafted by paul ryan. let's take a listen. >> the associated press for inviting me here today. a pleasure to speak to all of you and have a microphone that i can see. feel free to transmit any of this to vladimir if you see him. now clearly we're already in the beginning months of another long, lively election year. there will be gaffes and minor
9:36 am
controversies, there will be hot mikes and etch a sketch moments. you will cover every word that we say and we will complain vociferously about the unflattering words that you write, unless of course you're writing about the other guy, in which case, good job. but there are also big fundamental issues at stake right now. earns that deserve serious debate among every candidate and serious coverage among every reporter. whoever he may be, the next president will inherit an economy that is recovering but not yet recovered from the worse economic calamity since the great depression. too many americans will still be looking for a job that pays enough to cover their bills or
9:37 am
their mortgage. too many citizens will still lack the sort of financial security that started slipping away years before this recession hit. a debt that has grown over the last decade, primarily as a result of two wars, two massive tax cuts and unprecedented financial crisis will have to be paid down. in the face of all of these challenges, we're going to have to answer a central question as a nation -- what, if anything, can we do to restore a sense of security for the people who are willing to work hard and act responsibly in this country? can we succeed as a country where a shrinking nu ining numb people do exceedingly well while a growing number struggle to get by, or are we better off when everyone gets a fair shot and everyone does their fair share?
9:38 am
and everyone plays by the same rules. this is not just another run of the mill political debate. i've said it's the defining issue of our time and i believe it. that's why i ran in 2008 what my presidency has been about, it's why i'm running again. the choice between competing visions of our future has been so unam bbiguously clear, keep mind i have never been somebody who believes that government can or should try to solve every problem. some of you know my first job in chicago was working with a group of catholic churches that often did more good for the people in their communities than any
9:39 am
government program could. in those same communities i saw that no education policy, however well crafted, can take the place of a parent's love and attention. as president, i've eliminated dozens of programs that weren't working and announced over 50 regulatory reforms that will save billions and taxpayers billions and put annual domestic spending on a path to become the smallest share of the economy since dwight eisenhower held the office, since before i was born. i know that the true engine of job creation in this country is the private sector, not washington. which is why i've cut taxes for small business owners 17 times over the last three years. so i believe deeply that the free market is the greatest force for economic progress in human history.
9:40 am
my mother and the grandparents who raise immediate instilled the values of self-reliance and personal responsibility that remain the cornerstone of the american idea. but i also share the belief of our first republican president, abraham lincoln, a belief that through government we should do together what we cannot do as well for ourselves. that belief is the reason this country's been able to build a strong military to keep us safe and public schools to educate our children. that belief is why we have been able to lay down railroads and highways to facilitate travel and commerce. that belief is why we have been able to support the work of scientists and researchers whose discoveries have saved lives and unleashed repeated technological revolutions and led to countless new jobs and entire industries.
9:41 am
that belief is also why we have sought to ensure that every citizen can count on some basic measure of security. we do this because we recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, any one of us, at any moment, might face hard times, might face bad luck, might face a crippling illness or a layoff. we contribute to programs like medicare, social security which guarantee health care and a source of income after a lifetime of hard work. we provide unemployment insurance which protects us against unexpected job loss and facilitates the labor mobility that makes our economy dynamic. we provide for medicaid which makes sure that millions of seniors in nursing homes, children with disabilities are getting the care they need.
9:42 am
for generations, nearly all of these investments, from transportation to education to retirement programs, have been supported by people in both parties. as much as we might associate g.i. bill with rose vilt or medicare with johnson, a republican, lincoln, launched the transcontinental railroad, land grant colleges. it was eisenhower who launched the interstate highway system and knew investment and scientific research. it was richard nixon who created the environmental protection agency. ronald reagan who worked with democrats to save social security. it was george w. bush who added prescription drug coverage to medicare. what leaders in both parties have traditionally understood is that these investments aren't
9:43 am
part of some scheme to redistribute wealth from one group to another. they are expressions of the fact that we are one nation. these investments benefit us all. they contribute to genuine, durable, economic growth. show me a business leader who wouldn't profit if more americans could afford to get the skills and education that today's jobs require. ask any company where they'd rather locate and hire workers a
9:44 am
country with crumbling roads and bridges or one that's committed to high-speed internet and high-speed railroads and high-tech research and development. it doesn't make us weaker when we guarantee basic security for the elderly or the sick or those actively looking for work. what makes us weaker when fewer people can afford to buy goods and services our businesses sell. or when entrepreneurs don't have
9:45 am
the financial security to take a chance and start a new business. there's an every widening chasm between the ultrarich and everybody else. this country broad-based prosperity has never trickled down from the success of a wealthy few. it's always come from the success of a strong and growing middle class. that's how a generation who went to college on the g.i. bill, including my grandfather helped build the most prosperous economy the world has ever knownceo like ford made it his mission to pay his workers enough to buy the cars that they made. that's why wresearch has shown countries with less inequality tend to have stronger and steadier economic growth over the long run. yet for much of the last country we have been having the same argument with folks who keep pedalling some version of trickle down economics. they keep telling us that if we convert more of our investments in education and research and health care in the tax cuts, especially for the wealthy, our economy will grow stronger. they keep telling that is if we just strip away more regulations and let businesses pollute more and treat workers and consumers with impunity, that somehow we'd all be better off.
9:46 am
we're told that when the wealthy become even wealthier, and corporations are allowed to maximize their profits by whatever means necessary, it's good for america and their success will automatically translate into more jobs and prosperity for everybody else. that's the theory. now the problem for advocates of this theory is that we've tried their approach. on a massive scale. the results of their experiment are there for all to see. and the beginning of the last decade, the wealthiest americans received a huge tax cut in 2001, and another huge tax cut in 2003. we were promised these tax cuts would lead to faster job growth. they did not. the wealthy got wall streewealt
9:47 am
that. the income of the top percent has grown by 275% over the last few decades to an average of 1.3 million a year. but prosperity sure didn't trickle down. instead during last decade we had the slowest job growth in half a century. the typical american family actually saw their incomes fall by about 6% even as the economy was growing. it was a period when insurance companies and mortgage lenders and financial institutions didn't have to abide by strong enough regulations, or they found their ways around them. what was the result? profits for many of these companies soared but so did people's health insurance premiums, patients routinely denied care, often when they needed it most, families were
9:48 am
enticed and sometimes just plain tricked into buying homes they doesn't afford. huge reckless bets made with other people's money on the line and our entire financial system was nearly destroyed. so we have tried this theory out. and you would think that after the results of this experiment in trickle down economics, after the results were made painfully clear, that the proponents of this theory might show some humility. might moderate their views a bit. you would think they'd say, you know what? maybe some rules and regulations are necessary to protect the economy and prevent people from being taken advantage of. my insurance companies or credit card companies or mortgage lenders. maybe, just maybe, at a time of growing debt and widening inequality we should hold off on giving the wealthiest americans
9:49 am
another round of big tax cuts. maybe when we know that most of today's middle class jobs require more than a high school degree we shouldn't gut education or lay off thousands of teachers or raise interest rates on college loans or take away people's financial aid. but that's exactly the opposite of what they've done. instead of moderating their views even slightly, the republicans running congress right now have doubled down and proposed a budget so far to the right it makes the contract with america look like the new deal. in fact, that renowned liberal, newt gingrich, first called the original version of the budget radical and said it would
9:50 am
contribute to right wing social engineering. this is coming from newt gingrich. and yet this isn't a budget supported by some small group in the republican party. this is now the party's governing platform. this is what they're running on. one of my potential opponents, governor romney, has said that he hoped a similar version of this plan from last year would be introduced as a bill on day one of his presidency. he said that he's very supportive of this new budget. and he even called it marvelous, which is a word you don't often hear when it comes to describing a budget. the a word you don't often hear generally.
9:51 am
so here's -- here's what this marvelous budget does. back in the summer i came to an agreement with the republicans in congress to cut roughly $1 trillion in annual spending. some of these cuts were about getting rid of waste. others were about programs that we support but we just can't afford given our deficits and our debt. and part of the agreement was a guarantee of another trillion in savings for a total of about $2 trillion in deficit reduction. this new house republican budget, however, breaks our bipartisan agreement, and proposes massive new cuts in annual domestic spending. exactly the area where we've already cut the most. now i want to actually go through what it would mean for our country if these cuts were to be spread out evenly.
9:52 am
so bear with me. i want to go through this because i don't think people fully appreciate the nature of this budget. the year after next, nearly 10 million college students would see their financial aid cut by an average of more than $1,000 each. there would be 1600 fewer medical grants, research grants for things like alzheimer's, cancer and aids. there would be 4,000 fewer scientific research grants eliminating support for 48,000 researchers, students and teachers. investments in clean energy technologies that are helping us reduce our dependence on foreign oil would be cut by nearly a fifth. if this budget becomes law, and the cuts were applied evenly, starting in 2014, over 200,000
9:53 am
children would lose their chance to get an early education in the head start program. 2 million mothers and young children would be cut from a program that gives them access to healthy food. there would be 4500 fewer federal grants at department of justice and the fbi to combat violent crime, financial crime and help secure our borders. hundreds of national parks would be forced to close for part or all of the year. we wouldn't have the capacity to enforce the laws that protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, or the food that we eat. cuts to the faa would likely result in more flight cancellations, delays, and the complete elimination of air traffic control services in parts of the country. over time, our weather forecasts would become less accurate
9:54 am
because we wouldn't be able to afford to launch new satellites and that means governors and mayors would have to wait longer to order evacuations in the event of a hurricane. that's just a partial sampling of the consequences of this budget. now you can anticipate, republicans may say, well, we'll oid a. void some of the cuts since they don't specify the cuts that they would make. but they can only avoid some of these cuts if they cut even deeper in other areas. this is math. if they want to make smaller cuts to medical research, that means they've got to cut even deeper in funding for things like teaching and law enforcement, the converse is true as well. if they want to protect early childhood education, it will mean further reduce things like
9:55 am
financial aid for young people trying to afford college. perhaps they will never tell us where the knife will fall. but you can be sure that with cuts this deep, there is no secret plan or formula that will be able to protect the investments we need to help our economy grow. this is not conjecture. i am the exaggerating. these are facts. and these are just the cuts that would happen the year after next. if this budget became law by the middle of the century, funding for the keens of things i just mentioned would have to be cut by about 95%. let me repeat that. those categories i just mentioned, we would have to cut by 95%. as a practical matter, the federal budget would basically
9:56 am
amount to whatever's left of entitlements, defense spending and interest on the national debt. period. money for these investments that have traditionally be supported on a bipartisan basis would be practically eliminated. and the same is true for other priorities like transportation and homeland security and veterans' programs for the men and women who have risked their lives for this country. this is not an exaggeration. check it out yourself. and this is to say nothing about what the budget does to health care. we're told that medicaid would simply be handed over to the states. that's the pitch. let's get it out of the central bureaucracy, the states can experiment, they'll be able to run the programs a lot better. but here's the deal the states
9:57 am
would be getting. they'd have to be running these programs in the face of the largest cut to medicaid that has ever been proposed. a cut that according to one nonpartisan group would take away health care for about 19 million americans. 19 million. who are these americans? many are someone's grandparents who without medicaid won't be able to afford nursing home care without medicaid. many are poor children. some are middle class childr children -- middle class families who have children with autism or down syndrome or disabilities so severe they require 24-hour care. these are the people who count on medicaid. then there's medicare.
9:58 am
because health care costs keep rising and the baby boom generation is retiring, medicare, we all know, is one of the biggest drivers of our long-term deficit. that's a challenge we have to meet by bringing down the cost of health care overall so that seen krors aniors and taxpayers in the savings. here's the solution proposed by the republicans in washington and embraced by republicans for president. instead of being enrolled in medicare when they turn 75, seniors who retire a decade would get a voucher that equals the cost of the second cheapest health care care plan in their area. if medicare is more expensive than that private plan, they'll have to pay more if they want to enroll in traditional medicare. if health care costs rise faster than the amount of the voucher, as by the way they've been doing for decades, that's too bad.
9:59 am
seniors, bear the risk. if the voucher isn't enough to buy a private plan with the specific doctors and care that you need, that's too bad. so most experts will tell you the way this voucher plan encourages savings is not through better care at cheaper costs. the way the private insurance companies save money is designing and marketing plans to attract the youngest and healthiest seniors, cherry picking, leaving the older and sicker seniors in traditional medicare where they have access to a wide range of doctors and guaranteed care, but that of course, makes the traditional medicare program even more expensive and raise premiums even further. that result is that our country will end up spending more on health care and the only reason the government will save any money, it won't be on our books, because we have shifted it to seniors. they'll bear more of the


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on