Melissa Harris-Perry | February 16, 2013
>>> we have got multiple heem peer and anybody want to tell me the last time you took a wall street bank to trial? i want to note on this, that there are district attorneys and u.s. attorneys who are out there ev everyday squeezing ordinary citizens on sometimes very thin grounds and taking them to trial in order to make an exampleple as they put it. i'm really concerned that too big to fail has become too big for trial.
>> senator elizabeth warren came out swinging at her first major senate banking committee thursday asking hard questions of regulators of the financial industry and it was vintage warren who first gained national attention because of the criticism of the deregulation that led to financial collapse, and boy, we need her, because wall street is growing again. the front pages of both "the new york times" and the " wall street journal " yesterday touted the spending spree unleash iing the big businesses pent-up desire to burn some of the cash. thursday, $40 billion of deals struck to bring the value of mergers and acquisitions deals since january to $160 billion. and they are following in the footsteps of an aggressive market left up on the s&p 500 . and we got into the good times here at universal. look at the comcast nbc universal . so while mom and dad are wringing the hands, corporate america is grabbing the dollars and throwing them out of the window on the bigger and the bet better and the growing stuff. so i feel like i look at this and i think that o okay, if we are meant to be behaving like corporate america , corporate america is done with the austerity thing, and into the big acquisitions.
>> well what is really wrong is that we have the highest share of corporate profits in decades. that is a sign of an economy that is greatly distorted to have companies do so well when people are doing so poorly. we should be having an economy where they work together. the reason why companies are buying each other and buying their own stocks, all that sort of stuff is that they are not investing in production or hiring people, because there is a shortage of demand and they need to be producing more, but they are not producing anymore, because people are not buying stuff. we need people to buy more stuff, and then government can buy more stuff, and that is the reference you were making earlier about lord keynes.
>> and when we look at the unemployment rate , it is at this point being driven by public sector jobs. so kate, this is a thing that the republicans are not always honest when we look at the recovery and private sector jobs are up, and we have been adding to them, but the public sector jobs are down. down by 627,000 since june of 2009 . so we keep hearing that the government does not create jobs, but at the fact, it does, and in the moment, it is the government shedding the jobs to create the crisis.
>> let's go down to the municipal areas and the counties where the job losses have been massive because of the loss of revenues whether it is income taxes or revenue taxes. they either have so much debt they can't afford anymore, so i blame it on a large loom iing recession, and larry, you agree, a lot of the complex issues.
>> well, by the banks and the deregulation, and by, i think that the fundamentalist economics that got us here. and now they are asking the american people to pay the price , and pay down the debt quickly and get it down to a low level in ten years from now, and what they are saying is that we have to sacrifice public services to pay off the consequence of what the banks did to us, and without actually making the banks pay for much. we could get the revenues that we need in part through a wall street tax and financial tax to close the gap between the taxes on wages and the taxes on income going to property owners and capital income, and that would help a lot, and you know, you are right, the states are obligated to balance the budgets and what the stimulus package did and what we could do is to find a way for the federal government to take on some debt to help ensure that we have firefighters and the teachers that we need.
>> yes, but the other problem for the republicans is that they don't like any answers that would help the economy. it sounds sad rhetoric, and i wish it whether or not true, but the fact is when you talk about the unemployment insurance to give people a leg up, gaiagainst that. when you talk about people being paid to work in these public sector group, they don't want to do that and especially it gets real in the military context.
>> and a pay freeze on federal employees.
>> and that is ordinary folks spending the money on the consumer goods if they had the income.
>> you don't want to spend on people who have a leg up or people who actually spend on jobs, and they don't want to spend on anything because of the deficit, but you realize there is not an economic plan on the other side. that is what is so strong about the inaugural address , because the president outlined the vision that we are in it together and we have to be there together, and that is a central tenet, and why social insurance is so important on this, and what he is faced with is a political party that feels no obligation to be h involved in the recovery and does not claim to be. that is what is so ridiculous about the deficit. because even if you think it is a problem and i don't think it is as big of a short-term problem as you do, but even if you do, even if you do, the solution is not to start firing people anymore you have a debt problem, you say, one of sus going to stop working.
>> well, there is a moment that you brought up about the president's speech and a moment on tuesday that no one saw coming. we will talk more about that when we come back. my doctor