Martin Bashir | November 27, 2012
>>> goldman sachs chief executive lloyd blank fifein will meet with john boehner to offer his it uppance worth on how to resolve the budget deficit . you will recall just a few years back, mr. blankfein went begging for billions to bail out his bank. now he's heading back to capitol hill to repay his debt to the american people , and he's doing it by calling for drastic cuts to medicare, medicaid, and social security . we're back with our panel, ari melber, karen finney, and professor michael eric dyson . professor, can you help me with this because i'm a simple soldier. four years ago wall street nearly destroys the economy. this led to big budget deficits . now one of wall street 's biggest figures, mr. blankfein, is going to washington to help lawmakers reduce the budget deficit and his solution so to cut perhaps for the poor and middle class . have i got that right?
>> you got it right. we ought to blank him out on his blank behind. the reality is this, that this man is representative of the inability of the upper strata of america to understand what goes on with the rest of the world . you are a recipient of corporate welfare . you are a recipient of government largess. you are a recipient of the will of the people to right its financial institutions to such a degree that you were deemed too big to fail, too large to fail, and yet you turn around and boomerang justice and throw back at us the willful disregard and oblivion to the plight and predick pt of everyday normal people, medicare and medicaid . you are going to congress to make an argument in behalf of protecting the billionaires in this country and the rich people against the masses of people who bailed you out. i think this is the height of unpatriotic fervor and we ought to call it for what it is. this is un-american.
>> karen , it's not just mr. blankfein and his ilk wish to cut social security , the group he's working with, a consortium of budget cutting ceos, are also looking for cuts to corporate income tax . this is brilliant, isn't it?
>> apparently all the shell games they are already engaging in is not enough. they need a little more, martin. i think we should hear them out. you know, it's been a tough time sitting on all these millions and billions --
>> blankfein only got $15 billion for his bank. that's not very much.
>> you know, one of the things i think is so important in this conversation, i think the president is very focused on it, whatever we do, and i think he's very clear in terms of not -- looking at rates and revenue and sort of what is on the table and what's not on the table, social security is not on the table, i think one of the president's chief concerns is we have to take a wholistic approach. mr. blankfein does not have the burden of having to do that. a lot of the kinds of changes he's talking about are the kinds of things that would only deepen the economic inequality that we're trying to dig ourselves out of at this point in time.
>> but that doesn't matter to him. it's all about the deficit. he's not interested in people's suffering. he's interested in the deficit. that's where his focus is.
>> that's exactly right. and he's not interested in the argument that perhaps for a stronger economy we need to care about the middle class and if we keep chopping them off at the knees, there's not going to be anybody to buy the products from the companies they're investing in.
>> ari, we know the president when he was in the midst of that negotiation of a grand bargain with speaker boehner, he contemplated the prospect of raising the age at which it would trigger entitlements, particularly for social security . do you think this time around he'll do the same or do you think progressives will hold him to account on that and say no, no way?
>> i'm concerned about it, and i think the problem is the red lines on the left side of this debate are not as clear as the ones on the right. you know, everyone spent a lot of time worrying about whether grover norquist is happy. but the fact of the political ecology in washington is there is not a prominent singular liberal grover holding up the same priorities that you and the guests have rightfully just outlined. and if we take a step back and look at where our country is at, if we look at this as a policy making process, the median income is at the lowest rate since 19 69. the upper 1% and upper upper brackets have more concentrated wealth than at any other point in our history. so i don't think the starting point should be the bush tax cuts , okay? i don't think the starting point should be what worked in the '70s. i think the starting point is that when you look at whether people have the ability, the raw ability after paying their basic monthly expenses to save for the end of life , to save for a time after they work, it's a bigger challenge now than it's been before. so that is where we have to start. not with what bush worked out during a period when, by the way, bush grew the deficit more than other administrations.
>> indeed. ari melber, karen finney, professor michael eric dyson , two segments not enough.