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tv   MSNBC News Live  MSNBC  October 26, 2011 12:00pm-1:00pm EDT

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n exponential rate. nearly two outf thre americans believes that wealth is unfairly distributed, and some are taking to the streets. it came to a violent head in oakland, california, and atlanta, georgia, overnight. >> if you refuse to move, you will be arrested. despite the warnings, protesters refused to budge in oakland. >> we ain't moving! >> and then -- police made good on their threat, firing tear gas into the crowd. >> like we have a few minutes. and then even before the minutes passed, they just start shooting off. >> it looked like anti-government rallies we have seen overseas blast after blast filling the air with a chemical haze. >> we felt that the deployment of gas was necessary in order to protect our officers and protect property around the area. >> occupy atlanta! >> overnight in downtown atlanta, protesters were told that they would pay to park. when they refused, police moved
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in and arrested about 50 protesters. new government figures reaffirm the rallying cry of wall street's 99%ers. the richest americans, that top 1%, saw a 275% increase in their incomes over the past 30 years. >> the system does not serve me. the system was never set up to serve me. the system was set up to keep the rich in power, oppress the middle class. >> while 50% of middle income earners saw rises of only 40%. >> you know enough people are standing up and saying they're tired of the way that things have been, and they want things to be different. >> joining me now from the "wall street journal" is robert frank. he is also the author of the high beta rich. robert, thanks for being with us. looking at some of the poll numbers no doubt as we have been watching the race for 2012. let's show of that right here. the poll found 43% of americans agree with occupy wall street at the moment. and it seems to be growing.
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compared to the 27% who disagree. as you can see on the screen right now. the movement has shown no political bent at the moment. does it help, though, democrats? >> well i think whatever side you take in the class war, and we do have a class war right now, the facts are the facts. and the facts are these. the incomes for the top 1% have nearly tripled over the past 30 years. the top 1% of earners now own more than 20% of the income. they also control more than 1/3 of this country's wealth. whatever party you belong to, it is clear this is an economy that benefits those at the top, and is largely left behind the other 99%. you can't argue with that. >> also part of this, robert to follow along this new cbs/"new york times" poll, it also says that 69% of respondents think that republicans in congress favor the rich. so that's a perception problem when you look at the republican side. >> absolutely. i mean i think the wealthy are really going to be the fault
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line for this upcoming election. we can talk about spending cuts. we can talk about all of these other political issues. but i believe that the attitudes toward the wealthy, whether it attacks them or not, whether this economy is serving the rest, that will be the fundamental issue. you look at rick perry calling mitt romney a fat gat. within the gop you see this sort of uncomfortable, how to figure out this whole nationwide -- >> how do they fix that perception? >> well, you know i think it -- most republicans still believe that you shouldn't tax the wealthy. so, you know in a sense, they are still playing to their political base. but we have this clash now between both parties. >> ok. on one side you have occupy wall street. we're seeing it all around the world, especially in the united states. also the tea party groups, absolutely proliferate within the last couple of years. do they cancel each other out when it comes to 2012? some might be asking that. >> here's what's really interesting. and i have been covering the wealthy for more than seven years. when i first started, people said americans will never
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support taxes on the wealthy because they all hope to be wealthy some day. number two, you'll never see social unrest because of inequality or violence. now we are seeing that the majority of republicans and democrats believe in taxing the wealthy. and we are seeing social unrest and even the beginnings of violence. so these long-held notions that we all aspire to be wealthy, we like the wealthy, we won't tax them, are getting overturned by these numbers. we don't know where this is going, but it's clear that this is going to be the defining political debate in the next year. >> we'll see who will cross that line on the right when it comes to that issue. robert frank, thank you so much. >> thank you. just this week, president obama rolled out a new plan to bail out u.s. homeowners facing foreclosure. in about 45 minutes, he'll be at denver university announcing another executive order to help out students drowning in loans. and the help couldn't come at a better time. this morning the college board announcing tuition costs are up 8% just from last year. after mortgages, the biggest source of household debt in this country is outstanding student
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loans. credit card debt comes in third. nbc's kristin welker is live in denver following the president. give us some details about this plan. >> hey richard. there are basically two components to the plan that the president will lay out today. first, he's going to announce basically accelerating a measure that was passed by congress that will allow graduates to cap the payments of their student loans at 10% of their salary. so that's the first part. the second part allows graduates to consolidate certain federal loans, basically so they can pay them off at lower interest rates. the idea is that they'll have more cash, they'll have more security. now, of course president obama has been hammering congress for the past several weeks for not doing anything on his jobs bill. so we will likely hear him talk a little bit about that as well today. he made an appearance on "the tonight show" with jay leno in which he talked about the
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gridlock in washington. here's a little bit of what he had to say. take a listen. >> i think the thing that folks across the country are most fed up with whether you're a democrat, republican, independent, is putting party ahead of country or putting the next election ahead of the next generation. >> now, of course republicans have said that democrats and the president are just as responsible for this gridlock. but we should point out richard, that this trip is not all about policy. there's also some politics thrown in on this three-day west coast tour. the president has attended about six different fund raisers. he's also visited areas in nevada and of course here in colorado. both of those are key swing states and could be crucial to his re-election prospects in 2012. and we are waiting for the president. expected to arrive here in about half an hour, richard. >> and you will be there. kristen welker live with the president in denver, colorado. thank you so much. stand by. we'll be with you in a little bit. and a reminder president obama will be speaking live. we'll go straight to that right here on msnbc.
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so stay right here with us. we'll have it live. two new polls this week tell the same story about the current state of the gop field. a cbs/"new york times" poll showing cain in front with 25%, followed by romney with perry commanding just 6%. and another one, cain up front. romney right behind. and perry way behind. joining us msnbc campaign embed andrew rafferty who is with the cain campaign. what's the reaction like right now given all this positive poll news? >> well, the reaction is that they know they are a front-runner, and they are expecting the shots to keep coming. last night, mr. cain was in lamar, texas, for a clearwater tea party rally, and he said that the pain never felt so good talking about all of the attacks he's gotten in recent weeks. but we also have seen a shift in how his campaign is run. i mean this was a guy who was polling low, and doing things
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that candidates who aren't polling high need to do. being very accessible to media, taking questions. now we are seeing a bit more of a closed off cain. he is not as accessible. and his rallies and events are starting to look more like those of perry and romney than the herman cain events we saw over the summer and into the early fall. >> all right. a look inside the campaign there. the herman cain campaign. andrew rafferty our msnbc news embed. thank you for that. now to our political analyst, good friend karen finny, and senior contributor matt lewis. good day to you both. karen, let's start with you. and the question is are you surprised by these numbers? these poll numbers? a week ago, two weeks ago, we were probably talking about, oh this is just a little bit of a bump. we'll see what happens next week or the week after. >> well no because look, i think it shows that within the republican field something we have seen all along, there is a reluctance to just embrace romney.
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romney is at 21%. he's been at about 21%, 23%, for about a year if i'm not mistaken. so he's not been able to kind of move out of that. and the meantime, we have seen others kind of come and go. and it's not surprising that someone like cain who kind of says what people want to hear and he's kind of fun to listen to. i don't agree with a lot of what he says. but, you know that, he would rise to the top. again, i think it shows just how unsettled the republican primary voters really are with their field. >> and some saying in disarray. matt, rick perry has got to be saying, my word, how is cain doing this? how is he maintaining this bump? he makes gaffs. he is derided in the media. yet the polls are strong for him. what's your thought? >> well, i think you're absolutely right. rick perry has to be kind of scratching his head. perry is the longest serving governor in america. the jobs record in texas is amazing. the best in the country. and here you have a guy who's never been elected to anything
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herman cain, trouncing him right now in the polls. i do have to say this, though. i do not count rick perry out. $15 million is a lot of money to spend in the next little bit over two months between now and iowa. i think that cain probably lacks the organization, the foreign policy knowledge, and the message discipline to sustain this. and by the way perry has started this sort of co-op that he has his own flat tax plan that he put out yesterday. so i think it's interesting right now. it's odd. i am surprised. but i think it's going to tighten up as time goes by. >> we shall see. karen, putting on your communications strategist hat here, andrew rafferty was just telling all three of us he is starting to shift here maybe closing down some of the opportunities that he had opened up because he was not a front-runner. what do you think? >> well, because i think they realize that some of those gaffs while charming, when you are at the back of the pack will not keep you as a front-runner. look, at some point herman
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cain, if he wants to be serious people have to be able to look at him and see him as the president. they have to say, is this the guy who could sit across the table from some of the worst dictators in the world and negotiate on our behalf? mr. 9-9-9, i'm not so sure. so it makes sense that they are trying to -- and he also talked about the nature of the event. he is trying to appear more presidential. but i agree with matt that perry has enough money to make a comeback. part of perry's problem is he is always on the attack. even when he was supposedly putting out the flat tax plan what does he do? he talks about the birther issue all over again. so he's got to be able to talk more positively about what he would do, and all three of them have to start talking a bit more about the middle class, i think as all of the data we're looking at today shows. the 9-9-9 plan and flat tax is not going to help the middle class. >> matt when we do hear perry as well as romney, it seems like it's really the fight between the two of them, and the
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front-runners we have been talking about for so long. as they look at cain, what do they need to do to take away some of that shine get some of the energy away from cain? >> well i think that mitt romney is ok with cain being right where he is. it's rick perry who has to worry about herman cain. because i think there's romney as the front-runner, and then there's the anti-romney coalition. and i think that herman cain in my estimation sort of is like the mike huckaby of 2012. the debates propelled him into the top tear status. he's charismatic. a great communicator. and i don't think that herman cain is going to win the nomination. but he could keep rick perry from doing so if the conservative vote is split. so i think that it's really rick perry who has to worry about it. and i think that if i'm advising rick perry, which of course i'm not in the business of doing, but if i were him i think i would tell him, you've got to make rick perry more popular. herman cain is probably going to stumble on his own problems as things go by. but there has to be a reason to
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like rick perry, and that's where they failed so far. >> that's what i like about both of you. free strategy quality strategy advice for all of the candidates right here on msnbc. karen and matt, thank you so much. >> thank you. a reality fan favorite is jumping into politics. does he have the survivor skills, though to go from the wilderness to the governor's office? rupert will join me live coming up. and remember joe the plumber from the 2008 presidential campaign? why he thinks ohio voters should elect him to congress. he joins us live right here on set. good to see you. and hurricane rina on course for some hot vacation spots. but first, a look at the markets at this hour. right now, they look a little bit up. we will check that, 48 and change.
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during the 2008 campaign an ohio man who worked as a plumber asked then-candidate obama some pointed questions about tax policy. and so was born joe the plumber. joe wurzelbacher is now running for congressman in ohio, and we are pleased to have him here with us. and i couldn't say joe the plumber there for some reason. i think it was the samuel joseph wurzelbacher that we're not used to. >> it's a mouthful. >> it is. some of your comments about politicians have been negative for the most part. >> absolutely. >> you're throwing your hat in here. why do that if you don't think it's a good place to be there? >> i'm a plumber not a politician. i'm going to go to washington to fix it. that's what people in the trades do, we fix things. politicians like i have said seems synonymous with liars crooks, and thieves. and their actions have proven that. in the last 40 years, look what the republicans and democrats have brought us to. that's more hate and division in this country than you can shake a stick at and it's done through the media and through our politicians pitting us americans against each other.
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you know, i thought we continued that finished -- finished that in the civil war. >> what have you done in the last four years to make me feel comfortable about you as a candidate as a voter, since you were a plumber back then? >> ultimately i didn't cash in on the notoriety that came with this. i went and did something good with it. i started a veterans group. me and some friends started a veterans group called alaskans we take veterans up in alaska, and help them transition with recreational therapy. we don't make money off of that. no one is paid on the director's board. so my actions there, i didn't take advantage of what a lot of people have when they have gotten famous overnight. i tried to do something good with it. so those are actions. those aren't words. one thing that ben franklin said is well done is better than well said. you'll never hear a politician say that. i'll say that because you can
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look back at what i've done. for a living, i fix things i make things whole. politicians for the most part seem to get into the game to live off the american people's backs. and it's just not right. and we're not going to talk about fair because we live in the real world. it's all about right and wrong. >> let's talk about fair, because you often bring up that word, a fair shake. income inequality right now. occupy wall street. it's certainly the 99 percenters versus the 1%. what's your thought on that? >> well, let's decide who we are talking about. are we talking about the communist movement the socialist movement the anarchists, or the real men and women that are truly concerned? which one do you want to address first? >> let's talk about the group as a whole. >> that would be unfair. to the men and women that truly are upset. and i have reasons to be upset. you know they want jobs. they want security. and so i agree with that group of people. the anarchists and the communists, no. >> you don't support? >> no. we're americans. we don't support that kind of
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ideology in this country. we're about freedom and liberty. that's what our founding fathers created for us. that's what the great men and women in our military protect for us. so no that's un-american. let's talk about the men and women that have a real beef with the government and what they've been doing. unfortunately, they are protesting at the wrong place. they need to line up in front of the white house, and not because it's barack obama but just because it's -- >> you're saying the government? >> bottom line. they need to line up in front of their senators and congressman. they have created the problem because big business and big government have gotten together. >> joe, if you look at the redistricting in the ninth, you could face a couple of very interesting opponents here. who would you prefer here? there is first of all marcy kaptur, who currently represents the ninth. and then i think you have dennis sukin itch -- dennis kucinich. who would you rather face? >> i'm really more concerned with gaining the trust of the people in the ninth district.
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check out my website and then i'll meet you and come talk to you face-to-face. honestly, you lead by serving. most people don't -- you know they think that congressmen don't think that they are supposed to be serving the people. it doesn't happen anymore. and that's what i want to do. >> joe, two-word answer here. who you dikelike in the field right now? >> herman. >> you say werejoe the plumber, appreciate your time. >> thank you. joe is not the only media celebrity running for office. rupert boneham is also in the 2012 mix. he is trying to pull a jesse ventura here running as a third party gubernatorial candidate, this time in indiana. and he is joining us live from indianapolis with a big smile. good day to you. how are you doing? >> i'm doing good. >> as always. so let me ask you the first question here. anyone who would want experience -- what kind of
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experience can you bring here to the indiana state house, based on your past? and your experience, if any, in politics? >> you know, for the last 20 years, i have been running a nonprofit here in indianapolis with no city, state federal funding. no government dollar gifted. no grant dollars. no stimulus dollars. i have been an employer for years. i've been a small business owner. i have been showing in the correctional facilities a viable and working reentry program. i've got a lot of very simple, easy answers. they're not going to be easy to implement. they are going to be strong in building our community back to an empowerment base and a strength-based community like i have been doing here in indianapolis for years. >> rupert, is that enough to become the governor of an important state like that? jesse ventura is the example we brought up, but he ran a large city. you haven't done that yet.
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shouldn't you start there? >> you know, i love being able to show. i have been working in indianapolis for 20 years. i know the problems that are costing us money. i have been saving hundreds of thousands of dollars by creating that reentry program. i know what's going on in the schools. and having the schools teaching to a test instead of teaching to a student. i know what's going on on the economic side, running that small business and having the government seem like they are putting road blocks up. i think i've got the experience to run a state. >> and, you know, you also brought up -- >> i know i do. >> you won $1 million, because you were the fan favorite. do you think that's enough to win the election, to take you through what could be pretty tough voting process? >> you know, right now, i know that i'm going to go up against some big money. i want to be able to show that just by showing who i am what i've done for the last 20 years
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like you say the million dollars, when i gave a quarter of that back to our community. i am not going to be money driven. i am not tied to big business. i'm tied to indiana. >> how much you got right now? >> well, right now, we're -- we have just started generating our campaign money. it's not just out of my pocket anymore. >> is it less than a million? >> oh, we're in the thousands. we're in the thousands. you've got to get on rupert's kids -- i'm sorry, see what we're doing what our platform is. and there's also that donation button. i'm going to need help from across the state and around the country. >> i've got to ask you this, though. because you were a fan favorite. so many of us watched you compete. you were very much known for your beard. fear the beard. is that what the opponents should be thinking right now? are you going to keep it because it's part of why people know who you are?
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>> you know, as you see, i'm dressed a little nicer. i don't have a tank top on. >> you look good my friend. >> well, thank you very much. >> so you're going to keep it, right? >> yes. i'm keeping the beard. if people want to look at my exterior looks and not look at who i am, so be it. >> you're a great guy. rupert boneham, thank you for your time. >> thank you. we're also watching this breaking story here on msnbc. we understand there is a low or slow speed pursuit right now in los angeles. here from our chopper cam, we are watching the details here. stay with us here on msnbc. we'll come back and give you more information on what's happening there. ok. president obama to speak right now in denver, colorado. he is early. speaking we expect on the jobs bill that he has been pushing over the recent weeks, as well as the issue of loans, student loans. let's take a listen. >> hello. it's great to be back in colorado.
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[ cheers and applause ] >> and it's -- it is great to be here at cu denver. [ cheers and applause ] >> i tend to have some pretty good memories about denver. [ cheers and applause ] >> we had a little gathering here a few years ago at mile high. and so coming here gets me fired up even when it's snowing outside, i'm fired up. i don't know where else you can go sledding at halloween. [ laughter ] >> it's like, what's up with the snow this soon? i mean is this actually late? it is late for denver, huh? i want to start by thanking you for the wonderful introduction and for sharing her story which i know resonates with a lot of
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young people here. i want to thank you your outstanding governors here, john hicken hickenlooper who is in the house. the mayor of denver, michael hancock is in the house. the lieutenant governor, joe garcia, is in the house. [ cheers and applause ] >> and one of the finest public servants, somebody you were wise enough to elect and then re-elect as united states senator, michael bennett is in the house. [ cheers and applause ] >> you guys do a good job when it comes to elected officials in colorado. i just want you to know. you know, you have a good eye for talent. i love you back. i do.
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now, i've been doing a lot of traveling lately. and the reason i have been hitting the road so much is because the folks that i'm talking to in cities and small towns and communities all across america, they're -- let a face it, they're making a little more sense than the folks back in washington. you know here in colorado, you've got folks who are spending months, some years, looking for work. you've got families who are making tough sacrifices just to pay the bills. or the mortgage. or college tuition. and americans know we need to do something about it. and i know this is especially hard for a lot of young people. you know you guys came of age at a time of profound change.
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globalization and technology have all made the world much more competitive. although this offers unmatched opportunity -- i mean, the way that the world is now linked up and synced up means that you can start a business that's global from your laptop. but it also means that we are going to have to adapt to these changes. and for decades, too many of our institutions from washington to wall street failed to adapt. or they adapted in ways that didn't work for ordinary folk. for middle class families. for those aspiring to get into the middle class. we had an economy that was based more on consuming things and piling up debt than making things. and creating value.
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we had a philosophy that said if we cut taxes for the very wealthiest and we got environmental regulations, and we don't enforce labor regulations, and somehow, you know, if we let wall street just write the rules, that somehow that was going to lead to prosperity. and instead, what it did was culminate in the worst financial crisis and the deepest recession since the great depression. for the last three years we have worked to stabilize the economy and we have made some progress. an economy that was shrinking is now growing but too slowly. we've had private sector job growth but it's been hauf setoffset by layoffs of teachers
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firefighters, and others in the public sector. and now as you young people are getting ready to head out into the world, i know you're hearing stories from friends and classmates and siblings who are struggling to find work, and you're wondering, what's in store for your future? and i know that can be scary. so the work -- all right. thank you, guys. we're looking at it right now, all right? no decision has been made. and i know your deep concern about it. so we will address it. now, the -- so here's what i also know. and i know that's true for folks who are concerned about the environment, folks who are
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concerned about foreign policy, but also folks who are concerned about the economy. when i look out at all of you, i feel confident. because i know that as long as there are young people like you who still have hope and are still inspired by the possibilities of america, then there are going to be better days for this country. [ cheers and applause ] >> i know that we are going to come through this stronger than before. and when i wake up every single morning, what i'm thinking about is how do we create an america in which you have opportunity, in which anybody can make it if they try, no matter what they look like, no matter where they come from no matter what race, what creed, what faith, and the very fact -- the very fact that
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you are here investing in your education, the fact that you're going to college, the fact that you're making an investment in your future tells me that you share my faith in america's future. [ cheers and applause ] you inspire me. your hopes and your dreams and your opportunities. and so the truth is the economic problems we face today didn't happen overnight and they won't be solved overnight. the challenges we face on the environment or on getting comprehensive immigration reform done on all of these issues, we are going to keep on pushing. and it's going to take time to restore a sense of security for middle class americans. it's going to take time to rebuild an economy that works for everybody, not just those at the top. [ applause ] >> but there are steps we can
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take right now to put americans back to work and give our economy a boost. i know it. you know it. the american people know it. you've got leaders like michael bennett and mark udall that are looking out for you. but the problem is there are some in washington -- there are some in washington who don't seem to share the same sense of urgency. you know, last week for the second time this month, republicans in the senate blocked a jobs bill from moving forward. >> boo! >> now this is a jobs bill that would have meant nearly 400,000 teachers and firefighters and first responders back on the job. [ applause ] >> it was the kind of proposal that in the past has gotten democratic and republican support. it was paid for.
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by asking those who had done the best in our society, those who have made the most, to just do a little bit more. and it was supported by an overwhelming majority of the american people. but they still said no. and it doesn't make sense. how can you say no to creating jobs at a time when so many people are looking for work? it doesn't make any sense. so the truth is the only way we can attack our economic challenges on the scale that's necessary, the only way that we can put hundreds of thousands of people, millions of people back to work, is if congress is willing to cooperate with the executive branch and we are able to do some bold action. like passing the jobs bill. [ applause ] >> that's what we need. and that's why i'm going to keep
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forcing these senators to vote on common sense paid for jobs proposals, and i'm going to need you to help send them the message. you don't need to tell michael bennett. he's already on the page. but i'm going to need you guys to be out there, calling and tweeting and all -- all of the stuff you do. but listen, we're not going to wait, though. we're not waiting for congress. last month when i addressed a joint session of congress about our jobs crisis, i said i intend to do everything in my power right now to act on behalf of the american people with or without congress. [ applause ] >> we can't wait for congress to do its job. so where they won't act, i will.
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[ applause ] >> and that's why in recent weeks we've been taking a series of executive actions. we decided we couldn't stop -- we couldn't just wait for congress to fix no child left behind. we went ahead and decided let's give states the flexibility they need to meet higher standards for our kids and improve our schools. [ applause ] >> we said we can't wait for congress to help small businesses. we're going to go ahead and say to the federal government, pay small businesses faster if they're contractors so they've got more money and they can start hiring more people. [ applause ] >> we say we're not going to wait for congress to fix what's going on in our health care system. we eliminated regulations that will save hospitals and patients billions of dollars. and yesterday, we announced a new initiative to make it easier for veterans to get jobs, putting their skills to work in hospitals and community centers.
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[ applause ] >> on monday we announced a new policy that will help families whose home values have fallen to refinance their mortgages and to save up to thousands of dollars a year. all these steps aren't going to take the place of the needed action that congress has to get going on. they're still going to have to pass this jobs bill. they've got to create jobs and grow the economy. but these executive actions we're taking can make a difference. and i've told my administration, we're going to look every single day to figure out what we can do without congress. what can we do without them? [ applause ] >> steps that can save you money, and make government more efficient and responsive, and help heal this economy. so we're going to be announcing these steps on a regular basis. and that's why i came to denver today, to do something that will be especially important to all of you here at cu denver and
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millions of students and former students all across america. now, i mentioned that we live in a global economy, where businesses can set up shop anywhere where there's an internet connection. so we live in a time where over the next decade, 60% of new jobs will require more than a high school diploma. and other countries are hustling to outeducate us today. so they can outcompete us tomorrow. they want the jobs of the future. i want you to have those jobs. [ cheers and applause ] >> i want america to have those jobs. i want america -- i want america to have the most highly skilled workers doing the most advanced work. i want us to win the future. so that means we should be doing everything we can to put a college education within reach for every american.
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[ applause ] >> that has never been more important. it's never been more important. but let's face it, it's also never been more expensive. there was a new report today, tuition gone up again. on average. much faster than inflation. certainly much faster than wages. and incomes. over the past three decades, the cost of college has nearly tripled. and that is forcing you, forcing students, to take out more loans and rack up more debt. last year, graduates who took out loans left college owing an average of $24,000. student loan debt has now surpassed credit card debt for the first time ever. now living with that kind of debt means making some pretty tough choices. when you're first starting out.
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it might mean putting off buying a house. it might mean you can't start a business idea that you've got. it may mean that you've got to wait longer to start a family. or certainly it means you're putting off saving for retirement because you're still paying off your student loans. and when a big chunk of every paycheck goes towards student loans instead of being spent on other things, that's not just tough for middle class families. that's painful for the economy, and it's harmful to our recovery, because that money is not going to help businesses grow. and let me say this. this is something michelle and i know about first hand. i have been in your shoes. we did not come from a wealthy family. i know -- [ cheers and applause ] >> you know, i was raised mostly by a single mom and my grand parents. and michelle you know she had
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sort of a leave it to beaver perfect family. but, you know, but -- she did. they're wonderful. but, you know, her dad was a blue collar worker. and her mom stayed at home. then when she did go to work, she worked as a secretary. so our folks didn't have a lot of money. we didn't even own our own home. we rent the most of the time that we were growing up. so by the time we both graduated from law school, we had between us about $120,000 worth of debt. you know, we combined and got poor together. so we combined our liabilities, not our assets. so we were paying more for our
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student loans than we paid on our mortgage each month. and, look obviously we were lucky to have gotten a great education. we were able to land good jobs with a steady income. but it still took us almost 10 years to finally pay off all our student debt. and that wasn't easy. especially once we had mallia and sasha, because now we're supposed to be saving for their college, but we're still paying for ours. so the idea is how do we make college more affordable and how do we make sure you are burdened with less debt. keep in mind college isn't just one of the best investments you can make in your future. it's one of the best investments america can make in our future. so we want you in school. [ applause ] >> we want you in school.
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but we shouldn't saddle you with debt when you're starting off. so that's why since taking office, we have made it a priority to make college near affordable reduce your student loan debt. last year we fought to eliminate these taxpayer subsidies that were going to big banks. they were serving as middlemen in the student loan program. some of you may have heard about this. so even though the loans were guaranteed by the federal government we were still paying banks billions of dollars to be pass-throughs for the student loan program. and we said, well, that's not a good idea. now, of course, there were some in washington who opposed me on this. that's surprising. i know, it's shocking. so you had some republicans in congress who fought us tooth and nail to protect the status quo. and to keep these tax dollars flowing to the big banks instead
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of going to middle class families. one of them said changing it would be an outrage. the real outrage was letting banks keep these subsidies while students were working three jobs just to try to get by. that was the outrage. [ applause ] and that's why we ended the practice once and for all, to put a college education within reach of more americans. then in the last year's state of the union address, i asked congress to pass a law that tells 1 million students they won't have to pay more than 10% of their income towards student loans. and we won that fight too. and that law will take effect by the time -- that law is scheduled to take effect by the time freshmen graduate. but we decided, let's see if we can do a little bit more. so today, i am here to announce that we're going to speed things up. [ cheers and applause ]
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>> we're going to make these changes work for students who are in college right now. we're going to put them into effect not three years from now, not two years from now, we're going to put them into effect next year. [ applause ] >> because our economy needs it right now, and your future could use a boost right now. so here's what this is going to mean. because of this change, about 1.6 million americans could see their payments go down by hundreds of dollars a month. and that includes some of the students who are here today. [ applause ] >> what we're also going to do is we're going to take steps to consolidate student loans because of instead of paying multiple lenders every month -- and i remember this. i remember writing like five different checks to five
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different loan agencies, and if you lost one that month, you couldn't get all the bills together, and you missed a payment, and then suddenly you were paying a penalty. we're going to make it easier for you to have one payment a month. at a better interest rate. and this won't cost taxpayers a dime, but it will save you money and it will save you time. [ applause ] >> and we want to start giving students a simple fact sheet. we're going to call it know before you owe. know before you owe. so you have all the information you need to make your own decisions about how to pay for college. and i promise you, i wish michelle and i had had that when we were in your shoes. so these changes will make a difference for millions of americans. it will save you money. it will help more young people figure out how to afford college. it can put more money in your pocket once you graduate.
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and because you'll have some certainty, knowing that it's only a certain percentage of your income that is going to pay off your student loans, we -- that means you will be more confident and comfortable to buy a house or save for retirement, and that will give our economy a boost at a time when it desperately needs it. [ applause ] >> so this is not just important to our country right now. it's important to our country's future. when michelle and i tuck our girls in at night, we think about how we are only where we are because somewhere down the line, somebody decided we're going to give everybody a chance. it doesn't matter if you're not born wealthy it doesn't matter if your dad's disabled or doesn't own his own home.
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it doesn't matter if you're a single mom, had to take food stamps. you know, you're still going to get a shot. you're still going to get an education. this country gave us a chance. and because of our parents and their generation worked and sacrificed, they passed on opportunity to us. and they didn't do it alone. it was something that we as a country did together. and now it is our turn. because the dream of opportunity is what i want for you, and i want for my daughters and i want them for your children, i want them for all young people, because no matter how tough times are, no matter how many obstacles stand in our way, we are going to make the dream that all americans share real once again. and that starts right now. [ applause ] >> it starts with you. it starts with you. i am going to keep doing everything in my power to make a difference for the american
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people. but, denver, i need your help. some of these folks in washington still aren't getting the message. i need your voices heard. i especially need your young -- young people i need you guys involved. i need you active. i need you communicating to congress. i need you to get the word out. like i said, tweet them. tweet them. they're all tweeting all over the place. you tweet them back. whatever works for you. tell them, do your job. tell them, the president has ideas that in the past have been supported by democrats and republicans. there's no reason not to support them just to play politics. [ cheers and applause ] >> it's time to put country ahead of party. it's time to put the next generation ahead of the next election. it's time for all of us in washington to do our job. it's time for them to do their job.
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too many people out there are hurting. too many people are out there hurting for us to sit around and doing nothing. and we are not a people who just sit around and wait for things to happen. we're americans. we make things happen. [ cheers and applause ] >> we fix problems. we meet our challenges. we don't hold back. and we don't quit. and that's the 30spirit we need right now. denver, let's go out and meet the moment. let's do the right thing. and let's go once again show the world just why it is the united states of america is the greatest nation on earth. god bless you. god bless the united states of america. thank you. [ cheers and applause ] all right. president obama just finishing up about 20 minutes of remarks there. at the university of colorado in denver underlining two major issues for him, that was the jobs bill and trying to get that passed through congress as well as touching on the reduction of loan costs for students.
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the plan that he has termed pay as you earn that has three major parts to it. one of course as he mentioned right there is to reduce the loan payments to 10% of discretionary income. but really much more than that was the tone he was taking, as well as the swagger, if you will. the campaign swagger that we saw so often in 2008, really identifying with those in the audience there at the university of colorado in denver. we'll get more perspective on what he said just moments ago when we come back from the break. stay with us right here on msnbc. ♪ ♪ with the lowest national plan premium... ♪ ♪ ...and copays as low as one dollar... ♪ ♪ ...saving on medicare prescriptions is easy. ♪ ♪ so you're free to focus on the things that really matter. call humana at 1-800-808-4003. or go to for details.
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we're out of time this hour. thanks for watching. up next "andrea mitchell supports." savannah in for andrea today. coming up next on "andrea mitchell reports," is the president's student debt plan too good to be true? we'll talk with policy adviser melody barns about who will benefit the most and when. plus, how democrats plan to
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and help pay for what medicare doesn't. call this toll-free number now... to get your free information kit and guide to understanding medicare. right now on "andrea mitchell reports," crisis on campus. with student debt now eclipsing credit cards, the white house rolls out a plan to ease the burden on cash-strapped students. how much will it really help? occupy crackdown. police use tear gas to clear protesters out of downtown oakland, california, as a new poll shows public support for the movement steadily growing. and a big day potentially for john edwards. the former presidential candidate makes a last-ditch effort to have the criminal case against him thrown out. good day everyone. i'm savannah guthrie in for andrea mitchell. the president announcing his effort to bypass a deadlocked congress and get help to the american public in. this case the


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