Melissa Harris-Perry | November 03, 2012
>>> i also want to thank the president who granted a request we made which will increase people's food stamp allocation by 50%. let's give the president a round of applause for that.
>>> that was new york governor, andrew cuomo , speaking earlier this morning at the national guard food distribution site for victims of hurricane sandy. it is the most recent reminder that the greatest economic closing arguments that candidates can make is how they are going to prepare for the future. lakshman, you have been saying earlier, here is a moment in disaster relief . as much as republicans have hammered on food stamps . here it is, this is going to feed hungry people.
>> to the broader point. can government step in and make a difference to the shape of the business cycle , absolutely. so during the great recession, you saw the former president obama -- bush. he had a bailout. the business cycle overwhelmed it. you had rate cuts going on out of the federal reserve . obama continued that kind of intervention and specifically here with autos we were just talking about. that's a strategic issue for the nation. lots of countries want to build cars. it is important for us to be able to do it too. these were all really critical interventions that probably it is hard to prove it counter-factual but probably kept the great recession from being something worse.
>> this point of it being hard to count it counter fak u, yes, i know things are bad but, boy, they could have been terrible. sandy is sort of a reminder. this is how bad things can be. in this case, here you have a governor saying, thank you, mr. president for increasing access to food stamps . now, he is in war. people have more food stamps . the difference is this is a national tragedy.
>> the presidential power of the purse . he is able to give money away. whether it is right, wrong, or indifferent, i am not going to eliminate that pain. i don't think you will see that as an issue they increased it. it is an issue we have 314 million americans and 46 million are using food stamps to help supplement. this is just math. the dignity that's involved in trying to get a job. we are talking about, is this election going to be about jobs or about camouflage?
>> let's push on that. you say, this is a national tragedy. in this case, the extension of food subsidy benefits is not something that is likely to become a partisan political issue. the very fact that we are coming out of a part of the business cycle where we had this deep recession where people were hungry feels to me like from the very beginning, how do we define disaster. that was a disaster. the president needed to make available greater access to food.
>> what was going on isn't over.
>> this election is going to solve it. we are going to elect somebody and we will move forward, move backward, lean forward or get crossed.
>> this is something that's been going on for a quarter century. a lot of us are framed by what we remember the economy was in the last couple of decades. i think that is history. we are not there. we have left that. we are not in kansas anymore.
>> the '90s are done.
>> we are in a different world. a global world, a competitive world. you need to figure out how policywise from both side, how are you going to change that growth pattern? on one hand, something with taxes. on the other hand, something with spending. if you don't figure that out. if we don't figure that out, we have a long time of unemployment cycling around at high levels.
>> i want my government to intervene in those.
>> i have to say, these arguments that food stamps have gone up and we have unemployment, you are absolutely right. we are still dealing with the aftermath of the great recession. what was the great recession. it was a decision. it was affected by decisions by the government to deregulate and let things go in a way that many people around wall street now would recognize was wrong.
>> a couple of big bubbles. you had a tech bubble followed by housing.
>> the housing publ wbubble was if you listen to republicans part as well.
>> this whole conversation about the food stamps increasing and unemployment increasing and things aren't good enough, republicans got us into this mess. they did. george bush wasn't doing what he needed to do and the accusation against president obama is that he hasn't fixed it fast enough.
>> does the voter have the tolerance to keep waiting? does this voter --
>> we are not going to have much longer. this tuesday is election day .
>>> thank you to lakshman achuthan. when we come back, the myths and lies we teach