tv MSNBC Live With Velshi and Ruhle MSNBC September 27, 2017 8:00am-9:00am PDT
indonesia. it's a striking photo. a man standing outside a temple in ba lee. what's he looking at? a volcano. it's been rumbling for days and might actually erupt for the first time in 50 years which has the people on ba lee li on edge. people have been evacuated from the area just in case. the photographer here from the ap. as always love to hear your thoughts. facebook, twitter, snapchat, and instagram. in the meantime, ali velshi and stephanie rhule want to talk about taxes, taxes, and more taxes. >> that's what you might think. except right after the director says your microphones are open, stephanie rhule said that's where i went to my honeymoon in ba lee. >> the big picture sparking conversation. >> what i really wanted to get into would not be appropriate for tv, so let's get into it this morning. >> i'm ali velshi.
>> and i'm stephanie rhule. let's get started. >> tax reform day. >> president trump heads to talk about the tax reform plan. >> the massive tax cuts that our country desperately needs to thrive, to grow, to prosper. >> this is going to be a huge haul because they want to sell this as for the middle class. >> the president is looking for a much-needed political victory. >> a tough day. >> it was a tough day. >> if you're mitch mcconnell. >> if you're mitch mcconnell. >> or a member of the washington republican establishment overall. >> big political defeat. the candidate that the president backed in alabama's heated senate primary race was soundly defeated. >> raising new questions about president trump's political influence and emboldening antiestablishment republicans. >> we're going to see in state after state after state people that follow the model of judge moore. >> that's exactly what he wanted to have happen. he was trying to send a message to e the president. >> pulled the plug on the latest attempt to repeal and replace
obamacare. >> a party licking fresh wounds this morning after failing once again to deliver on the core campaign pledge. >> senator bob corker of tennessee will not be seeking a third term next year. >> this morning in puerto rico, lines for necessities like food, water, cash, and gas are sometimes stretching for blocks. >> search and rescue missions are still taking place. >> we need diesel, we need gas, we need running water, we need some sort of way for people to find their way around. >> it's amazing, tremendous reviews. our team has been incredible. >> all right. we begin with breaking news right now. president trump getting ready to head to indiana in the next hour where he's going to unveil details of his highly anticipated sweeping plan to cut taxes for individuals and corporations. >> listen, i'll eat my hat if he actually unveils details. we've watched president trump go on the road for a year and a half and i've never actually heard him give a detail and they've said tax reform is
something he's passionate about. but from those i've spoken to in the white house, he's done no work himself on it. >> you're not wearing a hat. >> i'm not wearing a hat. you know what? fine. here's what's apg expected here. to eliminate popular tax breaks with the president leaving the hard choices to congress. in the last hour we get a look inside the house republican tax retreat which is under way at ft. mcnair army base in washington. the goal is to get it all done by the end of the year as the president seeks his first big legislative win. >> i look forward working with the members of congress here today to pass the reform and the massive tax cuts that our country desperately needs to thrive, to grow, to prosper. if we do this, we will create millions of new jobs for our people and bring many, many businesses back to our shores.
>> so that's really the goal. to create prosperity. new details were released by the white house. officials are stressing that the president wants congress to work out the specifics but the president is going to propose cutting the current tax brackets from seven to three. 12% then 25% and 35%. they're leaving space for an optional top tax bracket because they may need to do that in negotiations. let me just tell you right now this is a little smoke and mirrors. it's kind of neat to go from seven to three but it doesn't have any meaningful effect on prosperity. focus on the current high tax rate. it's 39.6%. the 12% the white house says part of the problem is they're doing something else to raise the minimum level at which you have to pay tax.
fewer people will actually pay tax at that rate. now, let me tell you what else they want to do. they want to nearly double the standard deduction. $12,000 for individuals. $24,000 for married couples. that's the justification for raising the lowest tax rate from 10% to 12% that a whole lot of people aren't actually going to pay for. the plan also calls for the elimination of the so-called marriage penalty. raising the tax credit for a child under 17 by a yet to be specified amount. and look for a new $500 tax credit for non-child dependents. that replaces the idea that you can actually otherwise claim non-child dependents. in addition, the plan calls for repealing the estate tax. what a lot of republicans call the death tax. this benefits generally speaking the wealthy. it also repeals the alternative minimum tax. at lot of you might say i pay the alternative minimum tax. here's the problem. it was actually meant to be something for the wealthy. wasn't indexed to inflation so a
number of people in the middle class have been caught paying it. make no mistake. repealing the alternative minimum tax opposed to indexing it to inflation is a boom for the wealthy generally speaking. there are exceptions to this. and i bet you you're going to tweet me about them any second now. on the business side, the plan calls for slashing the corporate rate to 20% from 35%. donald trump had talked about 15%. hard to get there. they've been trying to do that. but here's the interesting part. it also calls for a so-called pass through rate of 25%. those of you with small businesses, you'll know what this is. you can deduct expenses and pay the remainder of your personal income as -- >> i have to interrupt you. >> go ahead. >> you need to walk through what constitutes a small business. because when you see that you go great, this is for a mom and pop store. a mom and pop store, president trump has over 500 llcs. that's law firms and hedge funds.
>> right. so the average income for one of these pass through businesses in america is over $750,000. >> say that again. >> $750,000 for most pass through businesses. right? the average household, the median household income in the united states is $59,000. yes, while there are some legitimate businesses that use this pass through system that will benefit from being able to write off your expenses and then pay 25% opposed to the 35% that the personal tax rate will be or 39.6% today. don't be fooled into thinking this is about all small businesses. this still overwhelmingly supports those who are higher earners in this country. those are the details we've got right now. some of it has been reported by "the washington post" this morning. the plan aims to cut taxes by more than $5 trillion over ten years. and here's the interesting part. it's going to recoup participant of that. you'll keep the mortgage tax breaks and charitable tax
breaks. but a lot of the tax breaks you have are going to disappear. might be a good thing. might be a bad thing. we've got a lot of tax breaks in this code. >> we don't see a border adjustment tax we heard about. we don't know about capital gains. there's still a lot remains to be seen. and in defense of the plan, remember, this is their first swipe at it. >> it's not the worst plan in the world. the characterization of it as being all about the middle class is a little bit disingenuous. >> i'm going to say it's a lot disingenuous. this plan is a win for the rich. joining us now is john harwood. what's your take on this? >> i'm going to side with you over ali. >> yes! >> you always do. >> this is a lot disingenuous. in fact, it is not geared toward the middle class. you outlined many of the liabilities of this plan. i should say it's also not exactly a plan.
because if you outline a set of races and say we might have another one, we're going to pay for tax cuts but aren't going to say how, you don't have a plan yet. they're beginning a process. this is more detailed than they laid out a couple of months ago, but it's still not the entire plan. among the lieabilities, you mentioned the pass through businesses. secondly the top rate. they're also trimming back on the personal exemptions that families can claim for their dependents. so if you have a large family, if you've got four kids, you might lose more from the loss of those exceptions than you gained from the standard deduction. so they're going to be tax increases at the bottom level of this plan. >> can we also point out, i mean, look at history. you can look at the numbers. when the wealthiest people out
there get more money in their pockets, there is not a direct correlation to them going out and spending more. there's a greater chance that they go out and put more money in the stock market. when people who are living closer to the vest, living paycheck to paycheck actually have more money, they in turn go out and buy a washing machine, go out to dinner, buy clothes. they're the ones that change their lifestyle potentially and add -- inject money into the economy. >> stephanie, we've run some recent experiments on this question. bill clinton raised taxes on the highest earners. the economy boomed after that. even more than under president reagan. president obama raised taxes on the top earners in the country. not as much as he wanted to, but some. he grew jobs continuously and the economy improved after that happened.
those aren't the only things that happened, but there's not very good evidence to suggest that this is some sort of a magic potion to spur economic growth as the administration's been claiming. >> and it needs to be. josh earnest is here as well. josh, let me ask you. it needs to be because if you cut taxes and you don't get the corresponding economic growth, then you have what by the way a whole lot of republicans don't like. >> and that is the point i was going to pick up that john was making. i think it's important. we have tested these propositions before. under bill clinton and barack obama, we cut taxes for the middle class and raised taxes on the highest earners. what was the result? accelerating in the economy and reduction of deficits. we tested this both ways. when bush tried the opposite thing, we saw the opposite. we know how this plays out. i think the other thing that is really important here, the biggest political story of the day is the political earthquake
in alabama. i don't think anybody was showing up at rallies chanting cut corporate taxes. >> and that is two things. "a," they weren't looking for that. this just doesn't -- it has more legitimative appeal than it has appeal to regular people. and evidence indicates that if corporate america wanted to expand and make more factories right now, they've got either the cash on hand to do it or the available credit to do it. the idea we repatriate the money -- >> no question about that. and to josh's point, if you look at the polling, a majority of people in the country say that taxes should go up on business and should go up on the wealthy. so the republicans are fighting uphill on this question and on that roy moore victory last night despite the endorsement of president obama for his opponent, steve bannon -- >> president trump -- john b i think you meant president trump. >> i did mean president trump.
did i say obama? >> you did. >> yeah, i don't think obama endorsed luther strange. at that rally last night they warned republicans saying we're coming after the fat cats and wall street. we're coming after silicon valley. and so all those republican senators now who are contemplating not only their general election but primary elections have to worry about backing a plan that would cut the top rate. steve bannon inside the white house talked about raising the rate. >> john, let's remind the attendees at the rally who put steve bannon on that stage. the mercer family. cofounder of renaissance, one of the biggest, most complex hedge funds that specializes in structure derivatives on the planet. so spare me that nonsense line. >> and a lot of tax avoidance. >> correct. >> hold on a second. let's bring in michael strain. there are a lot of people, fiscal conservatives who have
been working to try and develop a plan that they believe will spur economic growth. michael strain, good to see you. is your fingerprints on this? and do you believe it achieves the people like you many american enterprise believe spurs economic growth? >> well, thank you for having me on. it sounds like you guys are having a lively discussion about this. you know, look. i think this plan reflects ideas that have been around for quite some time. lower the corporate rate is something that has traditionally had support among both conservatives and liberals, among democrats and republicans. simplifying the personal side of the code is something that has traditionally had bipartisan support as well. i think, you know, when i look at this plan, the big question for me is how do we pay for this? >> that's right. >> i imagine that will be -- >> that's the question.
>> asked this week as we move forward. >> so do you believe it pays for itself in the way the president -- we're going to wait for him to say it in indiana. he says it every time. i bet he's going to say it nap this is going to pour such fuel on the economic fire that we're going to get 3% -- >> he thinks -- he thinks 6%. >> is that true in your opinion? >> well, i'll take the easy one and say no. this would not increase the economic growth rate to 6%. you know -- >> let's try 4% or 5%. >> it will not raise it to 5% either. look, i mean, i think that you will see economic growth effects from increased incentives to work and save and invest. the question again is how does this get paid for. and if we increase the deficit, does that crowd out private investment that restrains growth even if it lower statutory rates
are encouraging growth? we'll see what the details of this looks like. from what i've seen so far, i don't think the plan will come close to paying for itself through increases and economic growth. >> but michael -- >> i think it will mitigate some of the costs. but you'll have to pay in other ways. >> pick your industry. whether it's gaming the tax system or regulatory capture. the largest corporations out there always know how to figure out how to game the system. and it's smaller business and mid-size ones that get squeezed out. there's nothing here that shows that it's tipping the scales for the small guy and not advancing the big guy. >> well, i don't know about that. we see a lower corporate rate. we also see a lower rate for pass through businesses. >> great. pass through businesses. including hedge funds, law firms, the 500 llcs that president trump has.
>> you are correct that there are some pass through businesses that make a lot of money. there are also pass through businesses that are very new businesses, that are start-ups, or have been around for some time that don't have huge profit margins. but that are family businesses or small shops or businesses that have been around for many, many years. pointing to the fact that they are often organized as pass through businesses doesn't negate the fact that most businesses are organized as pass throughs and that this plan will -- >> can i ask quick before we go? we mentioned hedge funds dpop they take carried interest out? i didn't see that in there. >> has anybody seen that? >> no. but ali, could i just ad one thing to what michael was saying? michael identified that there had been a bipartisan desire to cut the corporate tax rate. that is true. president obama, in fact, opened the door to that in his treasury
department talking about a framework for doing that. but they had the condition that it pay for itself. why? because the government needs more money, not less. we've got a huge number -- tens of millions of baby boomers who are coming onto the social security and medicare rolls. we need more government revenue, at least not to lose it. what's happened with the republican plan so far is they have failed to make the tradeoffs necessary in order to make a corporate tax rate paid for by taking away loopholes. if you don't do that, you're just going a cut and expanding the deficit. >> if i was a corporation, shouldn't i pick the bernie sanders single payer option? because that would be the best for me. that would cost me the least. >> you know, i don't know about that. look, there are some pay fors in here. a paid for, for example, of eliminating the deduction for state and local taxes which is a significant deduction.
and you get a lot of revenue that way. but i do think the question is, you know, how big is the deficit impact going to be. as this plan goes through the process, you know, we're not -- what we're getting today is not a detailed plan. we're getting a framework and the question is as that framework gets written into legislative language through the process, are we going to see additional pay fors on the table? i expect we will. but there again, you know, the question is what's the deficit of that going to be? >> that is the question we all have. we need more detail. it is september 27. we were supposed to have a tax deal passed by the august recess. now we're talking about the end of the year. this is about the most complicated thing people can get their hands around. so i appreciate that you guys are -- >> listen. last point? >> last point is just that it wasn't that long ago that donald
trump said i don't think that rich people need a tax cut. hopefully there'll be through the legislative process. >> that was such an important point, we gave you music. michael, thanks for joining us at the last minute. and john harwood, thank you. josh, thank you as well. next, new details from this morning from the closed door testimony of long-time trump ally roger stone. we're going to speak with the house intel lawmaker that some called congresswoman smear. oh, roger, you're so clever. >> also in d.c., "the washington post" reports the epa spending $25,000 to install a secure soundproof phone booth for administrator scott pruitt. that's taxpayer money. >> he's got to get in there to call tom on the private plane. >> "velshi & rhule" continues in a minute. for your heart...
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trump campaign or anyone associated with donald trump. >> okay. that was long-time trump confidant -- >> karz gnattic fellow, right? >> that's a nice way to put it. after his grilling by the house intelligence committee yesterday. the typically bombastic operative was relatively subdued after answering questions at the hearing. but he did manage to work in a few trumplike digs on democrats including when he decried the fact that the session was closed citing previous trump advisers' experience. >> in the case of michael caputo, he attended the session, answered all questions truthfully and then congresswoman smear -- i mean spear came back and maligned him. said he had perjured himself. >> i'm going to let ali take it here because i mispronounced the word decreed.
>> jackie spear of california, thank you for being with us. >> great to be with you. >> okay. let's just talk about that swipe at you. was that some sense of how roger stone acted behind closed doors in the committee? >> well, first of all roger stone is the premier showman. he put on his serious blue suit, showed up at the committee and was subject to the interview and did a very good job, was very serious. no pomp and circumstance. no unfurling of invective. and of course he went out afterwards and went back to the roger stone we know and some love and some boent. but let me just say this. he's writing a book on how a gentleman should dress. he might want to read a book on how a gentleman should act. >> hear hear. >> well, there you have it. besides fashion and manners, what'd you get down to in there? >> what was most interesting to me was the fact he just comes out, flat out says he doesn't
believe russia was interfering in our election. he doesn't believe the russia military intelligence. if you take that position even though you have the entire intelligence community, all 17 agencies saying very specifically with high confidence that that was the case and certainly the intelligence that is classified completely supports that, so if he says that no that's not the case, then he can arguably say, no, i wasn't engaged with the russians. he's not admitting it was a russian interface. so it's convenient for him to make those statements. the question for us, though, is was there involvement with the trump campaign and russia? and just as importantly and probably more importantly is how deep do the russians go in terms of impacting our elections?
and we're finding day by day it's more and more. we're finding facebook was one of the weapons and i'm using the terms weapons intelligencely. one of the weapons they used to try and influence the election and probably much more than that. >> let me ask about roger stone talking about why these hearings should have been open. should they be held in the open and why weren't they? >> so all of the interviews have been closed. we have asked the committee to have a number of open hearings. but since we're not in the majority, we don't get to make that final call. literally all of the interviews have been held privately and will continue to be held privately. >> well, congresswoman, thank you for joining us. jackie spear which is really her name not smear, thank you for joining us as always. >> ridiculous. all right. stand by, everyone. this morning an antiestablishment republican is the winner of a hotly contested senate runoff. what this means for republicans
nationwide. roy moore, the guy who said september 11th was god punishing perverseness. he also showed up yesterday to vote on horseback. think about what that day was. this guy arrived on horseback while in saudi arabia -- >> i'm not saying that offsets the 9/11 comments, but i do kind of think that's neat. >> ali thinks that neat. he arrives in horseback and in saudi arabia women won the right to drive. king salman signed the right. hoping it will includes the participation in the workforce. >> it will. it will allow you to get a job. >> stay with us. you're watching "velshi & rhule" live on msnbc. cold turkey. i tried to quit with the patch; that didn't work. along with support, chantix (varenicline) is proven to help people quit smoking. for me, chantix worked. it reduced my urge to smoke. compared to the nicotine patch, chantix helped significantly more people quit smoking.
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welcome back to "velshi & rhule." here are the top stories we're watching right now. moments ago i said ali you start. then i took it. all right. breaking news from the white house. we just received the framework of president trump's tax proposal. that's why we're so giddy. we love talking this. the plan includes three tax brackets for individuals and a lower corporate tax rate. the president will make an announcement on it this afternoon in the state of indiana. >> and not in indiana, at least six rockets struck at an airport hours after james mattis landed. the taliban has taken responsibility for the strike. no injuries reported. mattis is in afghanistan meeting
the afghan president and government officials for the first time since president trump announced a new war strategy for that country. and in alabama, a political upset for senate majority leader mitch mcconnell and the gop establishment. former alabama chief justice and conservative roy moore seen here riding on horseback, that's how he showed up to vote yet. stunning. beat luther strange who was backed by president trump and senator mcconnell and millions of campaign dollars. >> i don't think the president knew me and i think that when he gets to know me that he'll understand that i do support a very conservative agenda for this country. and i think that he will back me. i've received a call from him and that's what he said he would do. >> some would call it a conservative agenda. some would call it unusual. president tweeted, spoke to roy moore of alabama last night for the first time.
sounds like a really great guy. notably, after deleting past tweets supporting now-failed candidate luther strange. more bad news for the gop establishment. republican senator bob corker of tennessee says he's not seeking a third term opening up another seat in 2018. former white house chief strategist steve bannon talked about that news at moore's victory rally last night. >> well, senator corker stepped down today. mistake after mistake. people will follow judge roy moore. do not need to get money from the elites, the capitalists, the fat cats in washington, d.c. >> i just want to make the point steve bannon saying we will not be controlled by the elites. i remind you again, the main financial backers from ban non's movements have been the mersers.
that comes from the new york hedge fund. he said roy moore is a great guy. you can have differing political views, but to put this in perspective, i want to share things that moore has done in the past. he believes homosexual conduct should be illegal. that september 11 was got punishing perverseness. and he said president obama was not born in the united states. and muslims should not sit in congress. so people can believe whatever they want to believe, but let's just point out things this individual has said and president trump just characterized him as a great guy. joining me now vaughn hilliard just down the road from the victory celebration last night. and steve kornacki. vaughn i want to start with you because i believe you were at that victory speech. what to do out to me when he spoke, it seemed like his central theme was making the point we should not separate church from state. that's a wow.
>> reporter: exactly, stephanie and ali. i think that's what we're looking at here. the ascension of roy moore is twofold for the republican party. really two challenges to the gop establishment. to mitch mcconnell. to the infrastructure of the republican party. one of them is on the very much of the legislative level. i talked with roy moore after the event last night. are you going to be able to work with mitch mcconnell. if he's willing to work with the constitution that i'd be happy to work with him. and i bring that up because on graham/cassidy health care bill specifically, roy moore stated he would not support. pretty much you're looking at another senator potentially to join the likes of ted cruz, rand paul in being a fixture of opposition to the republican party. then the second one that you're asking about there, stephanie, is on his christianity and his faith-based beliefs. and you just listed off several of those more provocative issues and stances that he has. and i was interested because really this race could have
implications looking beyond for other primary challengers. the likes of against jeff flake in arizona. heller in nevada. and i want to play you a bit of sound here based off of the reaction trying to get a gist from some of these voters. >> he's a good christian man. he believes in the bible and what's biblically true. >> i have voted democrat about 40 years ago. so i might vote democrat this time. >> i don't quite trust him. but i trust him more than i do that democrat. >> been in the news over the last couple of years with same-sex marriages. most of the people in alabama believe that traditional marriage is the right thing to do. >> reporter: except for that one gentleman, most across the board said we're going republican
despite those controversial remarks. >> except for the one who said he might vote democrat. thanks for your great coverage on this. let's bring in steve kornacki. put this in perspective for us. what -- there's the alabama side of this and the roy moore being an unusual character for alabama. but we've seen unusual characters catch the public imagination. what does this mean for the situation for republicans in washington right now? >> this means a story that goes back a number of years now. it is still a big story. maybe bigger than it's been. that is that the republican base is furious with the republican establishment. the name mitch mcconnell. the idea of washington, d.c., of capitol hill. one of the things roy moore ran against was the idea of mitch mcconnell holding sway in the republican party. >> then indulge me. allow me to be a twisted sister here. could a true conspiracy theorist not make the argument this is all the grand plan. president trump has been kicking
mitch mcconnell for months now. a huge failure for this administration is they've got no legislative wins. all republican-controlled situation. and trump wants to distance himself from that. so here, yes, in theory in name he was supporting luther strange. could trump not change his tune on that in a heart beat? at the end of the day, trump is far more closely tied to steve bannon than mcconnell or ryan. >> the message of the moore campaign was donald trump's already winking at us. he was at the rally with luther strange saying -- >> i may have the wrong guy. >> in fact, that became an ad for roy moore at the end of this campaign. the theme here on the republican side, i think back to when ronald reagan was president and there were conservatives who were angry. they weren't angry at reagan. they were angry with the republicans around him. their mantra was let reagan be reagan. >> people say let trump be trump.
>> and a guy like strange is going to get in his way. >> what about bob corker stepping out? he wants to primary trump? >> i look at it this way. >> steve's always far more responsible. his answer always starts with hold your horses. >> i mean, look at what the mood of the republican base right now. if you're bob corker. if you're an establishment republican in washington, you've got to worry about two things when you look at this. could this be me? i'm up in 2018. i've got conservative challenges. they don't seem to have traction now. but maybe it wouldn't take much. but also, what is the value for a republican sort of establishment figure for bob corker to go through another campaign, to come back to washington, and be in the republican party where there's more roy moores serving with him and fewer luther stranges? >> isn't the question who is the republican base? i'm pretty sure my mom and dad have voting republican their entire lives. and they don't think homosexuality should be illegal. >> look, you heard vaughn
mention this a second ago. flake in arizona, heller in nevada. they've got to worry right now. i'll give you another name. roger w.i.icker mississippi. >> i knew he was going to say that. look at her face. >> steve kornacki -- you know, stephanie. oh, of course. right at the tip of my tongue. >> he's got to worry though. thad cochran almost got knocked off a few years ago. the guy that ran against him looked the result last night saying i'm looking at 2018. >> riding in on a horse was brilliant. >> steve kornacki is like encyclopedia brown. >> we should always have him on our show. >> he knows things i haven't even thought of. >> i think the viewers would think we're smarter because he's so smart. >> i know one area and i'm an idiot outside of that. >> thank you, steve kornacki. >> i would like to point out he's never seen the movie "grease" and i can sing every song. stand by, everybody.
we're going to have a live report from puerto rico. maria is now still, you know, its damage is still there and it's becoming very hard to get the necessary repairs there. >> we're going to dig into the jones act when we come back. a 97-year-old congressional act preventing relief right now. wonder who controls it? those strong lobbies. kevin, meet your father. kevin kevin kevin kevin kevin kevin kevin kevin kevin kevin trusted advice for life. kevin, how's your mom? life well planned. see what a raymond james financial advisor can do for you. we were in a german dance group. i wore lederhosen. so i just started poking around on ancestry. then, i decided to have my dna tested through
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welcome back. you're watching "velshi & rhule." this is important. please pay attention. this morning the need for help is critical in puerto rico where 97% of the island is without power. and an old law is a key part of why there are shortages on the island. it's the so-called jones act. its full title, the merchant marine act of 1920. as the name suggests, it's a 97-year-old law enacted to help the u.s. shipping industry. you remember, controlled by the rock fe rockefellers back then. the act requires ships going from u.s. port to another must be american flagged meaning it's registered and licensed in the united states. build in american shipyards owned by american citizens.
and manned mostly by american crews. but even maritime groups admit that the u.s. merchant marine industry is shrinking. so what about foreign ships? they've got two options. first, dock at a puerto rican port and pay tariffs, fees, and taxes. or stop at a mainland port like jacksonville, florida, and transfer to an american flagged ship. costs of goods passed on to the puerto rican customer. it cost the puerto rico economy $537 million in 2010. university of puerto rico economists found that over the proceeding 20 years, the island lost over $17 billion from its economy as a result. in case you're wondering about the areas of texas and florida affected by harvey and irma, the jones act was waived in those situations. like for new orleans after katrina. the department of homeland security has not received a formal waiver request and has not decided if it will give puerto rico the waiver. the reasoning, the island's
ports are too damaged to handle the offloading of cargo. tammy lightner is live in san juan. tammy, the acting head of the dhs described the electrical grid as virtually gone but said there is food, water, and gasoline. when we talk to people on the ground, we spoke to a doctor earlier that said there are doctors who can't even get to the hospital because they don't have gas for their cars. >> reporter: yeah. getting around here is really, really tough. hurricane maria might landfall here a week ago. we are still seeing dramatic rescues from communities that are completely isolated. in puerto rico, an incredible rescue mission under way. this team of new york city firefighters and police officers searching for a family of six. gabriel had not heard from his family since hurricane maria chewed up the main bridge trapping his loved ones and their entire community.
his town, one of 11 on the island, these rescue workers have still not been able to reach. >> this is going to take over an hour just to get up this hill. >> reporter: we've been walking for about 15 minutes. it's slow going because it's desperation. then finally after almost two weeks apart -- an emotional reunion. everyone together once again. his family surviving the cat 5 with enough supplies to last a few more weeks. but gabriel's parents staying behind. for now. >> it's sad because we're going
to be separating. >> we should still be together. >> reporter: the goodbyes cut short making it even harder to get across the mountain. relief, grateful, but facing an unknown future. we've seen rescue crews from all over the united states, nevada, indiana, california, all over, working with puerto rican rescue crews trying to save some of these people that are trapped. steph? >> thanks so much, tammy leitner in puerto rico. i want to point out a tweet we saw earlier from the white house regarding the jones act. i'm glad you explained this as well as you do. they say the homeland security is reviewing a waiver for the jones act to help puerto rico, but it's unlikely it will be done today. >> we must remember, it's the u.s. rail lobby that has kept
this act in place for so long. not even the oil industry. because the oil industry for years had tried to get this thing dunawone away with, becau for years they wanted to use cheaper and more efficient barges and have been unable to. buffett controls a lot of the u.s. railway bridges. it would be great if at a time like this we could get as many goods to puerto rico as possible. >> just get rid of these rules that may have value elsewhere, may not, but for now we have to understand puerto rico being as serious and potentially more serious than the issues in texas and florida. >> but even in good times, places like hawaii, alaska and puerto rico suffer because of this rule, and at a time like this, come on now. put it aside. let's take you back, though, to d.c. where nbc's kasie hunt caught up with senator bock corker of tennessee who explains why he's not running for reelection. >> i'm in a position where with
phone calls i can make things happen and influence outcomes. so i have, like, zero frustration, and i want to talk more fully about this over the next couple weeks. it simply was, really, i came up here to be a citizen legislator. i provided entertainment for all of you because i'm willing to say things that, you know, our own people's minds. i'm frank. i've been that way because i never, ever thought about a future election, it's always been about trying to make something happen. >> as we discussed, this is just the latest obstacle for some republicans in their attempts to sort of try and create an agenda of things that can pass that will actually appeal to a broad group of voters and a broad group of republicans. what you are seeing now is the republican, the far right of the republican party, gaining a lot of traction, a lot of steam, including with the election now
or with the success last night of roy moore. >> one of the problems, though, that president trump continues to face, he's just not a detail guy. he's a sales guy. and like him or not, trump is a great sales guy. he's got great sound bites, great slogans and he can sell things. but once it comes time to deliver, and that's when you have to hash out every detail, we're not seeing it happen. the one thing we've seen is the appointment of neil gorsuch and he outsourced that. that was mitch mcconnell. the company is pushing equifax ceo richard smith for his resignation the other day. >> but he won't get severance pay but a pension worth $18 million on top of his $1.5 million salary, health benefits,
and that's not all. he could be granted about $30 million in stock options if the company -- >> that can't be true. you can't make more money -- median household average income, median income for the american household is $59,000. you can't tell me, stephanie -- this must be fake news -- that when you do something really wrong at the head of an american corporation, you'll get more just in health care benefits, almost double in health care benefits. never mind your stock options, never mind your pension. you'll get more in health care benefits than the average family gets in total income. that can't be true. >> i can tell you that's true and then you can find a dotted line to that forgotten american who is so angry with corporate america and elites and washington right there. stories like this are what get people so angry. >> there is a guy who is working on this, a number of people working on this. this guy swis one of them. i spend half my time is pennsylvania, so this is
attorney general shapiro. attorney general, good to see you again. thank you. the outrage -- you and i talked so many times about this. it never gets better. there is not a day in which i think, ah, equifax is doing the right thing. >> well, first off, ali, it's good to be back with you and stephanie. i'm glad i'm a whole alternate general. i'm also an attorney general who is just so offended, offended by the conduct of equifax since the breach. i'm offended by this golden parachute that this ceo gets to walk away with after he literally, on his watch, lost the data of 143 million americans, including 5.5 million pennsylvanians. >> here's the question. it's offensive, but is it illegal? i take you back to the financial crisis, the thousands of americans who were so angry with the banking industry, and you
saw executive after executive leave with all their dough. >> retiring. >> well, here's the thing. we have 47 state attorneys general investigating this data breach, investigating the delay in public notification and holding equifax accountable for their conduct since the breach. i'm proud here in pennsylvania that we're leading that coalition, and look, steph and ali, you guys talk a lot about the partnership that exists in washington. our corps of attorneys general are working together in a bipartisan way. we will get to the bottom of this and we will hold these guys accountable, and we will be unrelenting in our pursuit. we will follow the facts and evidence wherever it leads. we will hold people accountable. >> attorney general, tell me really quickly, i know there are a lot of you, 47 of you who are doing various different things. i know massachusetts has filed suit. do you coordinate on these things? will some of it become joint lawsuits or will you have independent lawsuits? >> we are absolutely coordinating in this
investigation. as i said, pennsylvania is leading that investigation. we talked to our colleagues across the country each and every day. our demands for information, stuff we've subpoenaed, has come as a result of an organized effort amongst the attorney generals. we are focused like a laser beam on getting to the bottom of this, holding equifax accountable, and most importantly, changing corporate behavior. i don't have a lot of confidence in the other two credit reporting agencies. i don't have a whole lot of confidence in the whole regulatory scheme. this is a situation where -- >> ali and i can't believe that people have to pay to get their credit scores. >> they lost our stuff. we never chose to be part of any of them. they make money on our information and we have to pay. >> we have told equifax to stop waiving rights. but it's true the other two agencies are still requiring you to pay. the one thing we'll be asking for from equifax is to reimburse
pennsylvanians who were chose to pay 5, 10, 20 bucks to get their credit frozen. they need to up their behavior, strengthen their protection and look out for the american people. >> you might be a half attorney general, but you are a whole attorney general, josh shapiro. thank you for staying on top of this with your colleagues across the country. josh shapiro. >> you may be a half of this show, but you are a whole lot of fun, ali velshi. as we reported, the secretary of health and human services tom price has used private jets -- yep. this is not a corporate story. this is a u.s. government employee story. we're talking about your tax dollars dollars. during his time in the cabinet, he has taken those planes and they have cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars since may. now politico says those trips
include meetings with friends and family, even lunch with his son. >> we'll let you chew on that. thanks for watching this hour of "velshi & ruhle." i'm ali velshi. >> i'm stephanie ruhle. i can't believe what that ceo will walk away with. it blows my mind. now on "andrea mitchell reports," warning shot. he gets trounsced by an insurgent. >> i will be supportive as long as it's constitutional. but we have to return the knowledge of god and the constitution of the united stat states, the united states congress. zul s >> you'll see in state after state after state people that follow the model of judge moore. >> the alabama