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tv   The Ed Show  MSNBC  July 18, 2012 12:00am-1:00am PDT

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he needs to sell the auto rescue plan, the jobs act, the health care act as if he were talking to a 2-year-old, and he can do it. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "the ed show" with ed schultz start right now. >> good evening, americans. welcome to "the ed show" from new york. there are 112 days until the election and breaking news on mitt romney's taxes. one of his former primary opponents is finally saying enough is enough. release the taxes. this is "the ed show." let's get to work. >> he has no idea how the american system functions because he spent his early years in hawaii smoking something. >> the romney campaign goes into the sewer to distract from mitt romney's tax problem. but new polling proves the american people aren't buying it. >> makes you wonder if some years he paid any taxes at all. >> michael steele and katrina on the unfolding disaster for the romney campaign.
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john mccain goes rogue and says sarah palin was a better candidate than mitt romney. how long until the republicans reach full revolt? i'll ask howard fineman. and bain capital is about to outsource 170 jobs from a company in freepert, illinois. but the town and the workers are fighting back. they're asking mitt romney to help save their jobs. >> if i had anything to say to mitt romney, i would ask him to please save my job. >> tonight, the woman who started the grassroots appeal makes her case live on "the ed show." >> when i found out that it was owned by bain capital and mitt romney helped start bain capital and still profits heavily from bain capital, i got really upset with this. >> good to have you with us. thanks for watching. the romney campaign was in search of a narrative yet again today. but they were stopped at every turn by mitt romney's mysterious finances.
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the day began with a brand new ad from the obama campaign. >> romney admits that over the last two years he's paid less than 15% in taxes on $43 million in income. makes you wonder if some years he paid any taxes at all. we don't know because he has released just one full year of his tax returns and won't release anything before 2010. >> i put out as much as we're going to put out. >> what is mitt romney hiding? >> since mitt romney still has no answer about his finances, his campaign took a dart board mentality to attack president obama. he tried the latest line of attack during a stop in pennsylvania. >> he said and i quote, and he's speaking by the way of businesses like this one, small businesses, big businesses, middle sized businesses, mining businesses, manufacturing businesses, of all kinds, he said this, if you got a business, you didn't build that. somebody else made that happen. president obama attacks success
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and therefore under president obama we have less success and i will change that. >> of course, president obama never said people are not responsible for building their own businesses. he said no individual is responsible for the american system. but we already know where romney got his talking points for all of this. >> that man is a statist. he believes the only reason america is where we are is because of government, and he is flat out wrong. >> romney camp also put attack dog john sununu in front of the cameras to make more outlanding attacks. >> he has no idea how the american system functions and wetient be surprised about that. because he spent his early years in hawaii smoking something, spent the next set of years in indonesia. >> he went further during a conference call with reporters. he questioned whether the president of the united states
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and said the president behaves like an american, asking the question. >> the president in making that statement doesn't understand how america works, doesn't understand how business works, and i wish this president would learn how to be an american. >> and of course, we all know where his attack came from. >> i think it can now be said without equivocation, without equivocation, this man hates this country. >> so, the romney campaign decided to chase a new narrative based on strategy from fox news and rush limbaugh. how did that make out? >> i made a mistake. i couldn't have used those words and i apologize for using those words, but i don't apologize for the idea that this president has demonstrated that he does not understand how jobs are created in america. >> john sununu and the romney campaign just couldn't gain any traction with their new attacks because there's only one thing dominating the campaign trail. it's all about romney's taxes. a new poll suggests americans want to know what is in his
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taxes. 56% of voters said he should release the last 12 years. and it doesn't stop with voters. tea party icon ron paul told politico in the scheme of things politically, you know, it looks like releasing tax returns is what the people want. texas governor and alleged romney supporter rick perry had this to say. >> no matter who you are or what office you're running for, you should be as transparent as you can be. with your tax returns and other aspects of your life. >> and the editors of the conservative national review wrote, romney as a politician running for the highest office in the land, and his current posture is probably unsustainable. this guy has really boxed himself in. he told the country two years of tax returns, that's all you're going to get. there's an arrogance to that, don't you think?
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just like romney told andrea mitchell last year he wasn't considering releasing any returns. >> and with regards to my tax returns, why, time will tell. that's not something i'm planning today, but never say never. >> but if you were president, it's not that hard to make a commitment, if you're elected president of the united states, you would release the tax returns. every president does. >> if i become president, then i'll consider that. it's a little premature for me to be talking about that at this stage. >> is there some secret? people know you're wealthy? >> i understand. >> there's nothing to hide. >> i agree, nothing to hide. >> will romney give into the pressure again? it took boos from a republican debate crowd to change his mind before. >> in 1967, your father set what was then a ground breaking standard in american politics. he released his tax returns, not for one year but for 12 years. he said one year could be a fluke. perhaps done for show.
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when you release yours will you follow your father's example? >> maybe. you know, i don't know how many years i'll release. i'll take a look at what our documents are. >> the republican party should have listened to those boos. they should have also listened to the guy with the big tiffany's bill. >> if there's anything in there that is going to help us lose the election, we should know it before the nomination. and if there's nothing in there, if there's nothing in there, why not release it? it's a very simple model. >> mitt romney cannot survive on the losing end of this argument for much longer. you know, this is all about, in my opinion, 2009. think about it. the market went south in late '08 and early 2009. romney probably on paper took a big loss. he may not have paid any tax in 2009, and yet still been worth millions and millions of dollars. if he would have released that to the american people, we got a big discussion in this country right now about tax fairness.
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with the american people render judgment? he's worth millions and not paying any tax? basically, his return would be making the case against the wealthy in this country, saying that yes they do need to pay more taxes. i think he's hiding something. and he would also be making the case against tax reform because the fact is people want the wealthy to pay more. every poll shows it in this country. romney would really be presenting a self-inflicted political wound if he allows the 2009 taxes to go out if he never paid a dime. get your cell phones out. i want to know what you think. tonight's question, will mitt romney make it to the convention without releasing his tax returns? text a for yes, b for now to 622639 and go to our blog and leave a comment at >> i'm joined by katrina vandenheuvel and michael steele. i'll go to you first. >> sure.
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>> how does mitt romney navigate through all of this and come out with a successful conclusion? how does he fix the mess? >> that's releasing the returns at this point. the obama team has been masterful in boxing mitt romney into this corner. but let me tell you straight up, this was so avoidable. i can't even begin to put it in words how avoidable this was. remember, i was talking to a reporter recently who said i mn governor. this was an issue then, bain and the tax returns were an issue then. you would think by now they would have an answer to deal with these two questions. to allow this to become the central focus of this campaign at this stage is just mind boggling to me. we should be talking about the economy, the president's record on jobs. i have to give it to the obama team. the jobs numbers come out for june, their suck, bad news and what do they do? roll out this card and play it and have been playing it well with no adequate response in return.
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going forward, the question is this, when you announce your vice presidential nominee, do you want the first question asked, hey, should mitt romney release his tax returns? what's your position on bain? or do you want it to be about the nation's economy and you know, romney fill in the blank ticket will do? >> romney's lost control of the debate and the dialogue. i mean, you have to ask, people say that a man or a woman campaigns as they would govern. if this is how he campaigns, you're looking at secrecy, nondiscloser, dishonesty, and your point, ed, was really important about tex fairness. this country is sick of a system rigged against the working poor, the middle class. what if he paid nothing, what if he paid 8%, what if he paid 15% when working people are paying 33%, 35%, and they don't have an answer. to michael steele's point, sure, this campaign should be about jobs. it should be about how we rebuild the middle class, the infrastructure of the country,
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but mitt romney doesn't have answers on that, either. when you ask him which loopholes he would close to defund programs they rely on, he won't answer that. he won't answer a lot. is that how he would serve the country as president? >> we're learning a lot about mitt romney transparency. you say the obama campaign is doing a good job. they're getting walked right into this. romney is his own worst enemy in all of this. what if he didn't pay taxes in 20 2009? how will that fly with the american people? >> i put that all in the appropriate context. unless there was criminal behavior, ill gotten gains or lead to some ill gotten gains, he did it by the books. he played by the rules in place. so i think that's the narrative that is puzzling to me. get out in front of that, to you know, the point that was made. >> if he didn't pay any taxes
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and he so-called gets out in front of it, the american people are going to be seeing a tax return, this guy is still worth millions and millions of dollars and he pays nothing. he would be making the case the democrats have been trying to make for a long time. >> making the case for tax fairness. >> that's the argument he could make and say, look, i benefitted from this system. the system is imbalanced, it's not fair, and as president of the united states, i want to make sure it's fair for everyone. >> but michael, he doesn't do that. the plan he has -- >> i'm just saying that's what he should do. >> it wants to gut the right kind of taxation. you need a jobs program. mitt romney doesn't have one. you need a plan to change the trade policy of the party. you need to rebuild labor in this country. bain was not about job creation. it was about wealth creation, and you see it in the arrogance of mitt romney. >> there's nothing wrong with that. everybody is criminalizing offshoring and the tax system
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unless again, there was something that was done that was wrong or illegal, he played by the books. >> then why doesn't he release the tax returns? you called for those, too. >> there you go. that's the question. >> so i have katrina, editor, part owner of the nation magazine and the former rnc chairman on "the ed show" agreeing that mitt romney should come clean on his taxes? there's a bipartisan effort, is there not? >> because the political narrative in the optics aren't good for the romney campaign right now. we're talking about this when we could talk about something else. >> could he go to the convention with this hanging over his head? >> i don't think so. maybe there are people who are better and smarter at the game, but i have been in it a long time and i don't see how you hang that over your head and that not be a part of the conversation for five days. >> he campaigned for so many years. how is it that he has just failed to deal with this? this came up in the primaries.
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it may be that his opponents were weak. it may be the hubris of thinking the money would get him through or vote suppression, but now the narrative is such and deeper than just releasing. it's about the system. >> when does newt gingrich engage? his spokes guy was on the program last night, but when does he get in the game and say this is something i brought up a long time ago. we have to revisit the issue. it's about transparency. there could be problems here. how could the republicans turn to the american people and say we have been calling for leadership in washington, but we don't have it in our own convention? when do they start getting into this? >> i think you have begun to see a little bit of this this past sunday with the likes of a george will and others, and you know, who are beginning to frame this thing in the right way and say, look, get it done. >> great to have you with us. remember to answer tonight's question there at the bottom of the screen. share your thoughts on twitter at ed show and on facebook. we want to know what you think.
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this lady has worked at the same plant for 43 years. now, her job is being shipped overseas to communist china by bain capital. you won't want to miss her story next. [ female announcer ] so how long have you been living flake-free with head & shoulders? since before jeans were this skinny... since us three got a haircut. since my first twenty-ninth birthday. [ female announcer ] live flake-free with head & shoulders. it starts working from your first wash. with seven benefits, there's no worries from flakes, itch or breakage. i haven't worried about flakes since my grunge days. remember them? trying not to. [ female announcer ] head & shoulders. live flake free.
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coming up, bain capital is about to sent 170 jobs from freeport, illinois, to communist china. they're asking mitt romney to step up and do something about it. two of them will join me next. >> republicans, you can't say raise taxes on the job creators, so why are they blocking a bill that would lower taxes for businesses that bring jobs back to the united states? i'll ask michigan senator debbie stabenow. and will mitt romney make to the convention without releasing more tax returns. we have more on the republican revolt. share your thoughts on twitter, on facebook, and on twitter using the hash tag ed show. we're coming right back.
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my name is joann. i'm 35 years old. and i'm a single mother of two girls. i work six years at the company and i recently found my job was going overseas. i'm worried that i won't be able to feed or clothe or pay for schooling for my daughters. >> the company mitt romney built is still outsourcing jobs. bain capital's latest target is a plant of 170 workers in freeport, illinois. it's a car sensor manufacturing company. at the end of this year, the
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company, which is owned by bain capital, will close its freeport plant and send those jobs to communist china. people who have devoted their life to this company and community are devastated. >> for a second time, i will lose my job to china. >> finding a job at 57 is going to be difficult, let alone something you can live on. >> i face the real possibility of bankruptcy and losing my home. >> when i found out it was owned by bain capital and mitt romney helped start bain capital, and still profits heavily from bain capital, i got really upset with this. >> so last night, freeport city counsel unanimously approved a resolution organized by the workers saying mitt romney, asking mitt romney to save their jobs. the resolution called on romney to come to freeport, illinois, to meet the people directly affected by bain capital's outsourcing and step in and stop the outsourcing of these jobs from freeport to china.
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romney spokesperson told the huffington post romney left bain in 1999 and has no knowledge of the situation in freeport. his surrogates appear to be just as clueless as the former govern. when asked if mitt romney should intervene, allen kinzinger, a romney supporter, ignored the question. >> when you talk about bain capital, it's an attempt by this administration to not talk about their record. which is really what the american voters are going to vote on. >> i'm not talking about the administration. i'm talking ability real people who are losing their jobs. >> the reality is when you talk about bain capital and mitt romney, it's an attempt to take the focus off what's going on and where the economy is at for november. >> those folks are in your district, buddy. what is happening in freeport, illinois, that is the economy. joining me tonight is shelly griswold, the director of community development for the city of freeport, illinois, and dot turner, a worker at the
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plant for 43 years. i want to thank both of you for joining us tonight and telling the american people what it's like on the verge of being outsourced. dot, i want to ask you first, if you lose your job, what are you going do? >> well, i'm going to have to try to retrain myself at my age and do something different. >> what kind of impact will that -- this loss have on you and your family? >> well, i'll be losing a real good income, and i'll be going on unemployment. and it's going to really, really be really difficult for me to try to think about going back to school at my age and being retrained. >> i can imagine this is a tremendous shock to a lot of the employees there at sensata. your colleagues are training chinese workers taking your jobs.
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that's got to be tough. shelly, what do you expect mitt romney to do? what would you want mitt romney to do? >> well, we certainly know his history with bain capital, and we understand, well, we don't understand fully what his relationship with bain capital is now, but we certainly believe he has some influence and the workers here really would love for mitt romney to come to our community and talk to the people who are losing their jobs. actually, what we would really love to see is the mayor, and i talked this afternoon, would be for governor romney and president obama to hold a debate in the city of freeport to talk about how to make america more competitive. companies lie like bain capital are in the business of creating wealth. we're in the business of creating jobs. they don't have to be mutually exclusive, but it's difficult to handle those on a local level because it's federal policies that make the difference. we would love to see a debate held in freeport, which is home of one of the famous lincoln-douglas debates and we
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would like to see how we could keep our jobs here at home. >> how are you going to follow up on that? are you going to ask the obama team and romney team to do just that or is this community talk right now? you're on a national show saying you want this to happen. i think it's a heck of an idea. >> well, the mayor is on the case, and he is determined to make it happen. >> okay, shelly, why is the plant being shut down? are the workers not as good as the chinese workers? what was the reason given from bain capital for this action? >> well, the reason that i understand is because it's a business decision based on revenues and profits. however, we would stake our northern illinois workers, our productive workers, our well-trained workers, werers with a great midwestern work ethic against any worker, and we find it hard to believe they'll find people of the same caliber that our folks in freeport do right now. >> dot, who do you blame for
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this situation? >> i blame the politicians. and the government for allowing these big corporations to take our jobs and send them overseas. i call it corporate greed. >> shelly, what would you like to say to mitt romney? >> well, i guess i would like to tell governor romney that it's really easy to stand on the stage and talk in abstract, but it's not abstract on a local level. we have 170 families in freeport that are going to be impacted. they're going to lose their jobs. some like dot have worked there their whole careers and now they're faced in middle age, they're going to have a very difficult time in this economy finding jobs. but it's not just them because there's a ripple effect. it's not just the people who work at sensata. it's the mechanics who fix their cars, the barbers who cut their hair. it's a ripple effect through our
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economy. we already had a not strong housing economy in freeport before the recession. and it's even worse now. if we have families leaving freeport, we can't afford to have more empty houses in the community. it has a huge impact on the community and i would like governor romney to realize that. >> coming up, the common sense answer to bring jobs back to the united states, but the republicans, where are they? they're not going to let it happen. find out why they want to reward companies like bain capital for laying off american workers and shipping jobs overseas, and mitt romney said the rich are doing just fine and the middle class needs help. our panel will weigh in why job creators aren't creating jobs. stay tuned, we're right back on "the ed show." with 24/7 customer support to help move them to the pool daddy promised! look at me, i'm swimming! somebody, get her a pony!
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i want to end tax breaks for companies that are shipping jobs overseas. let's give tax breaks to companies that are investing right here in texas, right here in the united states of america. let's put american workers back to work. >> welcome back to "the ed
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show." that was president obama this afternoon talking about getting americans back to work. this week, senate democrats are offering a plan to do just that. right now, companies get rewarded for sending jobs over seas. the cost of moving your company overseas is considered a business expense. it's tax deductible. if you lay off americans, hell, you get a tax break. to bring jobs home act would change all of that. it would end the tax break for moving jobs overseas. instead, you get a 20% tax credit for bringing them back to america. right now, we're actually paying companies to lay off americans and leave the united states. and look at what it costs this country. over the past decade, the biggest companies have cut their work forces by almost three billion workers, but they have hired 2.4 million overseas. laid off americans are rallying to change the tax law. workers from washington to georgia to maine are asking their senators to bring the jobs home.
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>> all of our jobs are going overseas and we need to bring them back to the united states so that our grandchildren and their children will have jobs in the future instead of sending them overseas. >> those doing well in america ought to do right by america. >> walking out of here when we didn't need to was a crime. >> our government is allowing them to go away. they're paying them to go away. >> those workers simply want congress to reward companies that hire americans. republicans keep claiming they want to improve the economy, but tonight, they're getting ready to kill this jobs bill. let's turn to the sponsor of the bill, bring jobs home act, michigan senator debbie stabenow. senator, good to have you with us here tonight. thanks for joining us. and thanks for doing this. i think this is really what is infuriating a lot of americans as you saw in the last segment. this seems like a pretty reasonable proposal to create jobs in this country.
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will any of your republican colleagues in the senate support this? >> well, ed, first of all, it's always great to be with you. we don't know what they are going to do, but i know what they should do. they should tell the 170 families you were talking about in the freeport, illinois, not only would they lose their jobs but as taxpayers they won't pay for it. to add insult to injury, they lose their job, then they get the privilege of helping to pay for the move overseas. and so people in michigan, i can tell you, look at this and say, are you kidding me? or they say other things. you know, unbelievable. and so this simply says we're not going to pay for that anymore. >> why won't republicans support it? why won't they support it. >> i don't know. i honestly don't know. they talk about, well, we need comprehensive tax reform. fine. let's start with closing this loophole first. you want to bring your jobs back, happy to let you write it
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off as a business expense. we'll even give you an additional 20% credit, but we're not paying to ship jobs overseas. >> it seems like the republicans are on the side of foreign countries right now. they won't amend something. they talk about creating jobs. they have blocked everything. is this political theater or do you think this will really work? >> we're going to put everybody on record and there's not one republican who should be voting against this. they should be joining every democrat in voting for this, and frankly, governor romney should be standing up and urging them to do that right now. it's very simple. i don't know any other country that would stand for this kind of tax policy. you know, in china, they say come on over. we'll build a plant for you. then they steal your patents, but the reality is that they are aggressively trying to take our jobs. every other country is. they know that to have a middle class, you have to make things. and so the first step in making sure that we're making things in
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america is to make sure we're not paying for shipping the jobs overseas. so everybody ought to be on the sage wavelength on this one. >> did i hear you call out the romney campaign, that they should take a stand on this bill? >> i would sure like to know, wouldn't you? they could help me as a sponsor of the bill. i would love governor romney to step up and reach out to his republican colleagues, and the senate will be voting on thursday. >> do you think the majority of people from your state of mix michigan would support this? >> no question. >> mitt romney from michigan, won't support it now. what does that say? >> i don't know, but i can tell you this. doesn't matter if you're a democrat or a republican in michigan, we want jobs in michigan and we don't want to have the insult of helping to pay for jobs that are packed up and sent overseas.
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so this is very simple. >> great to have you with us. makes sense to me and a lot of americans. we'll see where it goes. we'll score this to see what republicans side with workers in this country. there's a lot more coming up in the next half hour of "the ed show." >> he's speaking, by the way, of this business, like this one. if you have a business, you didn't build that. somebody else made that happen. >> middle class mitt romney takes another swipe at trying to help workers and totally misses. we'll explain with the big panel next. how long can mitt romney's tax disaster go until the republicans start thinking about going to the bench? howard fineman weighs in. and the labor leaders begin a new fight to raise the federal minimum wage. we'll tell you why a living wage needs to become a reality. idide? you're not my dad ahh!! hey honey, back feels better, little dancing tonight, you and me? dr. scholl's pro inserts relieve different types of lower body pain
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has a facebook page these days. but where's the relationship status? well, esurance is now in a relationship...with allstate. and it looks pretty serious. esurance. click or call. this campaign is about the middle class. and about the poor, it's not
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about the rich. the rich are going to do fine whoever is elected. >> welcome back to "the ed show." that was mitt romney telling the audience poor and middle class americans need help while the wealthy will do fine. he seems to be arguing against his own policies. he said it last night again. the quote was this, i know that people in this room are probably doing relatively well, relative to folks across this country, but not everyone in america is doing so well right now. it's tough being middle class in america right now. the waiters and waitresses that come in and out of this room and offer us refreshments, they're not having a good year. the people of the middle class of america are really struggling. now, if mitt romney believes that the job creators are doing well, why aren't the job creators creating the jobs? so what mitt's prescription is for all of this, what is it? >> what i would like to see in
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tax code is to bring down the top rates, all of the rates, and get rid of a lot of deductions and exempts. >> and he wants to tax the low income people. his tax plan also increases taxes on people making less than $40,000 a year. half of middle class families with children. the top 2% of taxpayers have really gotten the lion's share of the bush tax cuts for the last 11 years and made good of it. romney or other republicans can't make the case that these tax cuts have created jobs. look at the numbers. let's bring in our ari melber of the nation magazine. alex wagner, and michael medved. great panel coming up. stay with us. especially you, michael, because you have to tell me off the bat, how does romney's tax plan hurt waiters and waitresses? go figure. >> it doesn't hurt waiters and waitresses. >> he wants to raise the taxes on them. >> it helps -- it does not.
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that's simply not true, ed. mitt romney's tax plan calls for a 20% across the board cut in all tax rates. and that's accomplished without reducing revenue by getting rid of exemptions and deductions particularly for the wealthy. he has acknowledged many times there are many wealthy americans who would end up paying more because you get fewer deductions and exemptions. >> you're telling me i'm wrong when i hear and read in the tax plan that mitt romney wants to raise the taxes on people making under $30,000 a year? >> you are absolutely wrong. >> i am not wrong. ari? >> i'm not wrong. >> it's a smear. >> it's no smear, it's the truth. >> take a look at the tax plan as it's laid out in mitt romney's website or anyplace where it's laid out in a fair and open way. >> i'll do that, but i tell you what, you're wrong. >> michael is speaking only about the marginal rates when is a piece of this, not the whole piece.
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the romney plan also knocks down the corporate tax rate from 35% to 25%, a huge cut only for corporations, not for working people, and the tax policy center's analysis shows the majority of people, because as mitt romney said, people are corporations, the majority of people who benefit from that kind of cut by that big 10% are people in the top 1%. it also goes after -- hold on, michael. you spoke for a while. i'm just responding to some of the things you said. number two, it goes after the 3.8% taxes on capital gains in the health care plan. most people in the bottom rungs that mitt was talking about, the waitresses don't have the capital gains so they don't get that. that's a cut for only people in the top bracket. number three, i want to run through a couple things. number three, $900 billion overall -- number three, $900 billion overall cut in the government revenue. that's one out of four government dollars. that's one out of four cops. one out of four soldiers.
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a big cut -- >> that's not part of the romney tax plan. that's part of what democrats charge against it. we may disagree on where to go with taxes. let's be honest. when you talk about a corporate tax deduction, president obama favors lowering the top corporate tax rate. we have to be competitive with other countries. we have the highest taxes in the world. one of the reasons companies are moving their operations abroad is because they pay less taxes. when canada has half the tax rate, corporate tax rate we do in the united states, it's an invitation for companies to move across the border. >> we can talk a lot about the smoke and mirrors of mitt romney's quote/unquote tax plan, the reality is that we don't have the answers that we need. we know that he's called the paul ryan plan marvelous that will uninsure 57 million americans. some of those will be waiters and waitresses. the rest of the sentence is mitt romney's party knows about the
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poor and wants americans to help become less poor. nothing he has said will benefit the poor or take into consideration the struggles of the poor or working class in this country. >> if i can suggest, i think the best way to help the poor and we would all agree on this is for the private sector to create more jobs. >> why haven't they done it? a new poll shows 44% of people think raises taxes on incomes above $250,000 a year would help the economy. and 44% say raising taxes on income about $250,000 would make the system more fair. michael, you're presenting a losing argument here. the people aren't with you. >> ed, i am not because there was a mcclatchy-maris poll taken at the same time that showed that people by a substantial mae tax rates we have now and not raising them on anybody. look, the president of the united states had the ability to
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raise these tax rates anytime in this first two years when he had 60 votes in the senate and he had big majorities in the house -- >> he didn't have them for two years and you know that. about a year, but that's okay. ari, alex, and michael, thanks for joining us. coming up, the current federal minimum wage is $7.27. people who work hard deserve a livable wage. taking their case to you right now. right after this. as a home, there are things i'm supposed to do.
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what is the price that you want from these working men and women!? what cost!? how much more do we have to give to the private sector and to business!? how many billion dollars more are you asking, are you requiring!?
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when does the greed stop? >> well, the greed hasn't stopped yet. that was the late, great senator ted kennedy fighting for an increase in the minimum wage five years ago. the battle was won in 2009. it was increased from $5.25 an hour to $7.25 an hour. now there's a new fight. $7.25 an hour can't support our families. do the math. for a year in the minimum wage amounts to only $15,000 a year. that's almost $8,000 below the federal poverty line for a family of four. workers in america desperately need a raise in the struggling economy. people who work hard should be able to live off their wages and support their families. republicans are generally opposed to raising the minimum wage. take a look at what mitt romney said recently. >> certainly, the level of inflation is something you should look at and you should identify what's the right way to keep americans --
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>> minimal inflation so far. >> right now, there's probably not a need to raise the minimum wage. >> there you have it, a tremendous difference between the way the republicans and the democrats look at fairness. the republican unwillingness to help working men and women rains through our society. there's legislation currently being discussed in congress and the service employees legislation union sent out an e-mail to rally support. you can petition congress to raise the minimum wage at because everyone who works for a living deserves a livable wage. tonight in our survey, i asked you, will mitt romney make it to the convention without releasing his tax returns? 39% of you said yes. 61% of you said no. coming up, what will republicans do if mitt romney can't take control of his tax return problems? and would they possibly consider getting behind somebody else?
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howard fineman joins me for the discussion. those surprising little things she does still make you take notice. there are a million reasons why. but your erectile dysfunction that could be a question of blood flow. cialis for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment's right. you can be more confident in your ability to be ready. and the same cialis is the only daily ed tablet approved to treat ed and symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently or urgently. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medications,
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and to the big finish tonight, you know, you have to answer whether the u.n. thinkable could happen. republicans, they have to be asking themselves, is mitt romney too damaged to be the republican nominee? no matter what, he may have provided a moment that will dog him in his campaign forever. you know it has happened before. we will never forget democratic presidential nominee michael
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dukakis riding in a tank in 1988. same year republican presidential candidate george h.w. bush won the election, and he also said something at his convention that would come back to haunt him. >> read my lips, no new taxes. >> oops, this time around, we have mitt romney in a fix over his tax returns. and this is what he had to say about it. >> you know what, i put out as much as we're going to put out. once i have added the year, this year, and that's the information that gives people more information than is required by law. >> it's already been packages into an obama ad. >> you know what, i put out as much as we're going to put out. >> i'm joined tonight by howard fineman, nbc political news analyst, and editorial director of the huffington post media group. howard, great to have you with us. what are you hearing from republicans because the dam seems to have already broken
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with conservatives calling on him to release more returns. this is just a continual drip. >> i was laughing when you introduced me because i was talking to your producer, and you and i and he all had the same idea at the same time earlier today. which is, is there any conceivable way that the republicans looking at this situation would say, you know what, we don't really want mitt romney anyway. why not put him out on the ice floe. i talked to some key people in the party, including a campaign manager from one of the other campaigns in this race in the republican side earlier this year. and i said, is there any way that the republicans would just say, you know what, let's get rid of this guy? the reason i said that and asked that is because you have had an amazing murderer's row of conservatives and republicans demanding or suggesting that mitt romney release many years of his tax returns. which is obviously something mitt romney doesn't want to do for whatever reason.
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you've had bill kristol, who is a king maker in the party, michael steele, the former chairman of the party, rick perry, one of the candidates sort of saying it obliquely today. and rick santorum said it during the campaign. and then the national review, which is a very important organization on the conservative side and republican side, said release your tax returns. the wall street journal is sort of saying, and rupert murdoch has done nothing but criticize the romney campaign for what he sees as their ineptitude. i asked this guy who was a manager of one of the campaigns, could they get rid of romney? he said, no, that's crazy, but nobody likes mitt romney. he said in 2008, the other republican candidates, the one they didn't like, was mitt romney. in 2012, the one they didn't like was mitt romney. now, mitt romney used his money and his muscle to get the nomination. against essentially inferior competition.
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now, he's up against president obama, who's got probably equal money, laults of clout, and a research department, and mitt romney is looking like a deer in the headlights right now on the tax issue. >> could he go to the convention, in your opinion, could he go to the convention with this still lingering out there? >> michael steele, the former chairman, who is no fan of mitt romney's, said no. he said no, i think, on our air, or if he didn't say -- >> he said it earlier tonight on this program, first guest. >> there you go. >> what do you think? do you think he could navigate through this and go to the convention with these tax returns minimal information to the american people? >> no -- first, i don't think the president can win the election just based on this. let's say that. as james carville was telling me, he has to make the case to middle class independents. but on mitt romney's side, there's no way he can go from here to late august without answering more about his business record, and of course,