PoliticsNation | March 05, 2013
>>> you for tuning in. tonight's lead. race to the top . big news today from wall street as the stock market hit an all-time tie. it's big news for business. but the middle class and poor are getting hammered. we'll talk about that in a moment. first, the market's big jump today.
>> moments ago on the floor of the new york stock exchange , the dow jones industrial average closed at an all-time high.
>> the dow ballooned past its previous record high hit before october of '07.
>> march of 2009 , maria, 6,547 on the dow jones industrial average . and from there it's been almost straight up.
>> as you can see, these past few years have been great for wall street . on the left, you see the financial crash under president bush in late 2008 . since then it's pretty much been up, up, up since early 2009 when president obama came into office. but too many republicans refuse to accept that success. to them the president remains anti-business or anti-american. some sort of socialist. they buy socialist obama t-shirts, socialist obama hats, socialist obama tote bags. but worst of all, their so-called political needers just can't get enough of calling him, calling the president a socialist.
>> barack obama is a socialist. he believes in socialism in redistributing wealth in confiscating hard-earned dollars.
>> we have a president who wants to turn america into another european style social welfare state .
>> this might be the last election to turn the nation around before we go down the road to socialism. president obama and his socialist policies must be stopped.
>> obama 's socialist policies are bankrupting america.
>> socialism. does that really ring true to you? i have a news flash for republicans . we don't need to worry about wall street . they're doing just fine. we care about main street . we care about jobs. we care about the safety net . and we definitely care when republicans try to roll back the clock. today we're learning that congressman paul ryan may be doubling down on his plan to end medicare as we know it. politico reports ryan is about to introduce a new budget that might allow privatizing medicare for people older than 55. breaking a promise he made with mitt romney when he was mitt romney 's running mate. one top republican already saying ryan is heading in the wrong direction. telling the washington post quote, i know a number of people who have real concerns about where this is going. this is crazy. at a time when business is doing well, record profits with a record stock market , republicans want more sacrifices from regular people ? they want more budget cuts on top of the ones they already got? not a chance. we settled this during the debate and during the presidential campaign. paul ryan should know he lost. joining me now is krystal ball and james peterson . thank you both for coming on the show.
>> thanks for having us, reverend.
>> krystal , wall street is booming while republicans target the safety net . isn't this why republicans are the party of the rich?
>> it is. because they have no message what they're for. the only thing we see is them fighting with all their being to protect tax cuts for people who really don't need tax cuts . so when you have no other message, when that's all that you see and then you see new budget plans coming out that are going to be felt the hardest by the people who need the most help who were already suffering in this economy, that just underscores the message that they really have nothing to offer anyone but the most privileged members of our society.
>> now, james , paul ryan when you think of him now apparently changing his commitment on medicare , let me show you first what he said last year about the safety net . this is paul ryan .
>> we don't want to turn this safety net into a hammock that allows able-bodied people on complacency. we need to have that dynamic economy returned. you do that by growing the economy, getting people a hand up not a hand out. teach a man to fish, he can feed himself for a life. don't simply feed fish.
>> don't simply feed fish. the quote, paul, is teach a man how to fish -- don't give a man a fish, teach a man to fish and he eats forever. but this is a guy that they're going to make the point man on medicare and the safety net ?
>> well, listen. first of all, we need to teach corporate america how to fish, right? because what we have is kind of a corporate socialism that through tax loopholes and tax breaks allows wall street to excel. president obama has been great for business in both terms thus far considering the global market forces at work here. the stock market does well, main street not so well. the interesting thing about ryan 's proposed new budget , number one it relies on the cuts that the president proposed in order to make medicare more efficient and solvent. not to privatize it but make it more efficient. and also, this budget they have, this ten-year sort of balancing the budget plan doesn't even work without the $600 billion in revenue that the president fought for to get from that tax increase that we just recently had. so at the end of the day , it seems clear that if republicans will work with the president, we could approach things in a balanced way. these draconian measures where wall street can reach all-time highs and middle class people have to worry about what they need, this is absurd.
>> well, all-time high, crystal. look at the fact. $1.75 trillion, this is an all-time high. up 18.6% from a prior quarter. look at the fact that ceos versus workers' pay, ceos' pay has gone up 725% increase in ceo pay. average worker pay has only gone up 5.7%. so why are republicans worried about wall street and corporate america when we have 12 million-plus people out of work? they're worried about wall street having this kind of increase in ceo salaries?
>> that's exactly right. and why are we having a conversation about what to cut right now when we need to focus on getting people back to work first and foremost and look at the long-term trajectory of how we change these programs to make them sustainable for the long-term. but republicans ' first interest, they're not happy with the cuts to defense. but they're perfectly happy with the cuts hitting the least among us who need the most help. and this, i think this problem with wall street at all-time highs while the middle class and working class people and certainly the poor suffer, i think it underscores exactly why the republican party is becoming increasingly irrelevant. because they have nothing, nothing, nothing to say about that problem. no solution to offer. they don't even know where to start. the only thing that they know how to say right now is cut taxes and cut spending. that's it.
>> this is something else they say, james , and i'm throwing it to you. let me put this on. the other thing they're saying instead of cut is they're protecting the loopholes for these guys. the loopholes on their private jets , yachts. whether or not they end the loopholes whether you make over $1 million a year. in this booming wall street , booming corporate salaries, they're protecting the people that need the protection the least, cutting the people that can afford the least of being the victims or the results of cuts.
>> that's right. we need no review all corporate subsidies. review all the corporate loopholes for the wealthiest among us. to close those loopholes would get us closer to a balanced budget . the wall street numbers kaed for us the sort of wealth and growth of the job creators. those tell us they reflect the job creators. if they're at an all-time high, where are the jobs?
>> and why haven't we seen the unemployment numbers go down? because they're booming and we're getting banged.
>> that's right.
>> krystal , i want to show you something that amazes me. 89% of republicans are concerned president obama will move the country toward socialism. this is a fox news poll. 89% of republicans are concerned the president will move the country towards socialism. corporate america record highs. he's the most failed socialist if he was one.
>> he's a terrible socialist.
>> this is incredible.
>> it is incredible. it's really a disservice that's been done to republicans by conservative media outlets. they're living in another world. it's part of why mitt romney lost the election. i mean, we saw the interview with mitt romney and ann romney over the weekend where ann romney was quick to blame the media. well, i think blame the conservative media . they fed this perception among the republicans that a toaster oven could beat the president. that he was hated in the country. they created this caricature of him that doesn't have a resemblance to the pragmatic person he is. and you can't run against a caricature and win. you have to run against the real person and engage with the real person most of the country knows.
>> when you talk about the practical side, krystal , let me show you, james , senator lindsey graham . what he said today about president obama and how the president is still reaching out and we know all of the things graham has said. listen to this.
>> he just called me.
>> he did?
>> yeah. i'm very encouraged about what i see from the president in terms of substance and tone. he's calling people. this is how you solve hard problems. maybe because of sequestration and frustration with the public, the time is right to act. he wants to do the big deal .
>> so the president wants to do the big deal . he's doing the right thing according to lindsey graham . i mean, does this mean that there's a possibility that the president can work out a big bargain here or something? some kind of adjustment of compromise, james ?
>> well, listen. the president is always -- and he's shown himself to be willing and able to compromise. in fact, those of us on the left have been disturbed by some of the compromises that he has made. so he's always moving towards consensus. i think he's always demonstrated he's willing to work with folk in congress. this ryan budget is not a compromise. this is not the kind of compromise that the president will be able to buy into. essentially it changes the terms of the contract for medicare . but at the end of the day of course he's ready to compromise. he's already shown that. we just haven't seen that from the other side, rev.
>> well, you say those of us on the left. the question is what's left after they meet? krystal ball and james peterson , thanks for your time this evening.
>> thank you.
>> don't forget to catch krystal week days on "the cycle" here on msnbc.
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>>> and an unbelievable story. republicans want to defund something that doesn't even exist. look out, bigfoot. you might be next. big show coming. stay with