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tv   Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer  Current  September 13, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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ouraged voter, there are ten angry ones taking action. trickle down does not work. in romney's world, cars get the elevator and the workers get the shaft. that is a whole bunch of bunk. the powerful may steal an election, but they can't steal democracy. >> eliot: at least one person is trying to do something about the job crisis. and that's our number of the day. 1. ben bernanke, chairman of the federal reserve today announced a third round of quantitative even, the fed will spend tens of billions of dollars a month purchasing bonds initially aerate of $40 billion a month and they'll just keep doing it
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with no time limit until unemployment finally drops substantially. the idea is to drive interest rates down and stimulate borrowing for investment. will it work? that's up for debate with interest rates already close to zero, some economists aren't sure how well qe3 will work but the fed says the first two rounds of easing created two million jobs without triggering an uptick in inflation. each of those rounds ended after a limited time period. with qe3 the money will just keep coming month after month with no end in sight. that's certainly impressed the stock market which closed today with the dow up by 206 points. we'll wait and see what that buys us. barney frank coming up next.
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leep yesterday i was in washington, d.c. and i had the opportunity to talk with one of my favorite congressmen representative barney frank of massachusetts. i began our conversation with something near and dear to the congressman's heart. financial regulation and what the results of this november's election may mean for the bill
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that bears his name. >> eliot: congressman, it is a joy to have you here, question i have, if mitt romney is elected president, many doubt that could happen but if he is, the republicans control the house and take the senate, what would happen to financial regulations? >> we don't have to guess. we can look back. remember george bush was president from 2000 to 2006. republicans controlled the congress for five and a half of those six years. by the way they tried disclaim responsibility, that's the longest period of single party control of all three branches since lyndon johnson. what it means is no rules. it means mortgages being sold. that people can't pay back and then being securitized and then derivatives to cover them. it means exactly what we have and mitt romney has said he's opposed to the -- by the way even the house republicans, not the most rational group think that goes too far. what he's talking about doing is
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going back to where we were. and by the way, i don't know if he speaks for mr. romney but edward, of bain has just written a book. he's very critical to prevent bailout of large banks. he says if a big bank gets in trouble because of general economic you certainly should go in and use taxpayer money to keep it going. so if mitt romney is president you appoint the kind of q3 isent regulators who will use the authority. you underfund entities like the commodity futures trade and the s.e.c. we don't have to guess. we'll have what we had before which is no regulation, financial interest being irresponsible with no check. >> eliot: kinard's book was one of the most self-interested of improper behavior i've ever read. it was a markable diatribe about government doing anything to ensure integrity in the market. >> he is very explicitly for and i heard him say this just last
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friday, if a bank is in trouble not because it made bad loans in particular but if there was the kind of economic problems that led -- we should bail them out. critical about -- i said to them boy, if i was running again, i would want you to come to my district and campaign on that. >> eliot: trumping the logic. switching gears for a moment, you have got ton do a little bit of a back and forth a log cabin republicans who are allegedly on their face. you called them uncle toms. you wrote a defense which i thought was incredibly persuasive. explain what this is all about. >> yes. i am all in favor of republicans who are otherwise conservative on economic issues and environmental issues, want more military spending to try to bring other republicans along on lgbt rights. what i object to is people pretending they were successful when they were not. now this year in particular, we have an extraordinary gap
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between the two parties. you have this completely anti-lgbt republican party with mike huckabee and rick santorum. they were opposed to everything. constitutional amendment that doesn't just say you can't have any new same-sex marriages, it would resolve those. on the other hand, you have a democratic -- better than people thought it would. the democratic convention made it clear we are for full equality of lgbt people. the log cabin club -- there should you should vote for romney is crazy. but the reason i said uncle tom was there, the reason is, they said well, paul ryan is willing to engage with us and they've toned down the anti-gay rhetoric. they still want to enslave us but they're nicer to us. that's uncle tom. someone said you called them uncle tom. they're nice. uncle tom was nice, too. they're all just nice to the wrong people. >> eliot: your logic in attacking them speaks to the
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larger hypocrisy which is that they pretend they're in fact appealing to the interest of middle class folks or those who believe in expansive view of civil rights but when you scrape away the top surface there's nothing there. >> refer the right wing to geo -- they're rich, white guys, mostly. and frankly they're pretty well. they're gay but they can afford their own healthcare. they don't worry about this. i think they forgot what it was like to be 15 and bullied. if someone want to say to me i'm worried about the taxes i would say and i don't believe in global warming and i want to spend more on the military and there, i'm -- therefore, i'm going to vote republican, i accept that but when they tell me they're voting for mitt romney with this anti-gay platform as a way to advance gay rights, that's misleading. that will deceive people. my rights as a person, my dignity, not that important to me. i'm more worried about my pocketbook. >> eliot: that's exactly right. you pierce and puncture the
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balloon of the false logic they try to use of use to persuade themselves. >> to say they're not calling us names. they're adding less insult to even more injury. >> eliot: right. >> that's why -- that's self-demeaning. that's degrading. that's a sense of oh boy i must be such a bad person, if they're not yelling at me, lucky me. >> eliot: hit me harder. last issue we have time for. the fiscal cliff which could lead to sequestration could lead to budget cuts that could affect the military. finally, the republicans are saying wait a minute, this is not good. they protect the military in such an insane way even though the pentagon is saying we don't need all of this money. >> absolutely. by the way, we should be out of afghanistan sooner. we spend tens of billions of dollars. people should be reassured if an all-out nuclear war breaks out with the soviet union, we're it will ready to fight it the way we were 25 years ago. despite the fact it is a very different situation. romney says spends 4% of the
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gross domestic product on the military. that's a couple of trillion more than we're planning to spend. and it is money we don't need. we would be wasting. but if you're going to spend forth the extra $2 trillion on military and not stay neutral on taxes and reduce the deficit then every program we have for the -- at home gets devastated. >> eliot: 3.75% of gdp is for everything including military, military is 4%, it means we have nothing left for everything else... education, justice. >> 4% for the military, that does not include all of the money we spend on homeland security. so in addition to all of the -- it is an extraordinary waste of money. we're still protecting western europe against stalin. we waste enormous amounts. whoa, you have to be careful. the chinese are gaining. chinese got their first aircraft carrier. it is a reconditioned ship they brought from ukraine and they have model airplanes on it
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because they've got to learn how to use it. i don't think that means we have to spend another $2 trillion. >> eliot: your logic impeccable. i hope the folks listen and vote as you recommended. congressman, thank you. >> eliot: healthcare reform is working. we've got the numbers to back it up. i'll talk, with congressman raul grijalva coming up.
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>> eliot: cogman raul grijalva is next on "viewpoint."
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>> eliot: more americans are better off now than they were four years ago at least when it comes to health insurance. and the census bureau has the data to prove it. for the first time in four years, the percent of the population lacking coverage dropped from 16.3% in 2010 to
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15.7% in 2011. while the purchase of private insurance remained flat for a fifth consecutive year, government programs like medicare medicaid and affordable care act provisions, the type the republicans want to privatize or repeal allowed more americans to gain health coverage. yesterday, i had a chance to talk medicaid and more with democratic representative raul grijalva of arizona. thank you so much for joining us. you are cochair of the progressive caucus in the house. an issue that's not getting enough view is the role of medicaid and its critical piece and central purpose. why is it under assault? >> it is seen as expendable. unfortunately, the whole discussion about what to do with the budget, the budget control act have all relied on what are we going to cut? what part of medicaid. that's expendable. medicare, a little tougher because the seniors are not going to like that. security, a little tougher. medicaid is seen as a program for the poor.
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seen as a program that has a very -- a constituency that doesn't have any power. and -- what people don't realize is about 60% of that is for home care for the elderly taking care of persons with disability. it is our final safety net in this country on healthcare but it is seen as expendable because the constituency is seen as not mattering that much. >> eliot: to seems to me that the republican willingness and paul ryan's almost intensity in his belief you have to repeal president obama's healthcare reform which would add 30 million people to the healthcare rolls then he wants to cut medicaid which would cut 25 million people off the rolls. what more direct contrast can you see? >> there is no logic. and anything in the ryan budget that's been adopted by the republican party as part of their platform and in particular, this area. as you squeeze out medicaid and get rid of it as we know it, you're also talking about changing medicare as it is. repeal obama care and in the
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process, create 30 more million people without insurance. there will be no safety net and it will get to what i think ryan's dream is. survival of the fittest. darwin social darwinism for this country which nobody wants. >> eliot: social darwinism that is both cruel and anti thetical to our core values. beyond that, it doesn't answer the question how will those folks get healthcare and who will pay for it? because at the end of the day we are going to pay for it but in irrational, expensive way. >> we'll pay for it in the emergency rooms. we're going to pay for it when the issue is critical. and people have to go somewhere. we're going to pay for it in uncompensated and in increased healthcare costs across this country. that's how we're going to pay for it. the economic logic is not there. these cuts that ryan is proposing is going to deepen the recession that we're in. >> eliot: you mentioned obviously, deepening the recession which brings us to the issue of the fiscal cliff which
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is now looming as we approach year end. how should we confront this issue. there is a reality that if tax cuts and sequestration all come together in a negative way could push us into a double-dip recession, what's the best outcome here? >> the best outcome is to quit talking about this subject in a very very narrow way. it is to open all of the options and the options that we're talking about is we have to deal with revenue generation. we have to deal with wall street reform in a real way, creates revenue. we have to deal with the issue of medicare and social security. in a very positive way by protecting them. and we can do that and still deal with the crisis. >> eliot: i want to pick up on something you just said. an idea that i think is a brilliant idea that has not been discussed often enough. using wall street as a source of renew in a way you tax every transaction either a tenth of a penny or a penny. that idea had massive support on capitol hill at one point. what happened? >> i think wall street continues to be powerful. and continues to wield the
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influence, especially with the republican party. that transition, fee tax whatever you want to call it, would have more than made up for any of the proposed cuts in medicaid medicare or social security. more than made up. and ston afraid -- and to be afraid not to take that and dump more of this on the middle class and the poor is cynical at best. >> eliot: the other virtue to that tax is it would stop some of the high-speed -- that serves no market purpose and if anything, exacerbates the volatility of the market. >> i think -- exactly. it would be a reform mechanism as much as the revenue generator. >> eliot: let's talk politics for a minute. can the democrats hit the magic 25 and take back control of the house? >> i hope so and i think so. i think that gap is narrowing and i think as we get these kinds of budget discussions that we're having now as we see and understand the ryan budget more and more as we see the nonleadership in romney. all of that translates in
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support for candidates and democratic candidates in the house and i think we have a very good opportunity. >> eliot: i envision an election outcome where president obama is re-elected. senate is in equilibrium. if the house remains in republican hands what role will paul ryan play? >> i think he comes in wounded. there's just been a referendum on his budget. and if we don't capture the majority, we're sure going to narrow the gap. and in doing so, i think it gives us proportionally more strength than we have now. i think he comes in wounded. he being the or cal of the budget for the republicans just having had the american people vote that budget down, i don't think he has a lot of strength. >> i hope that's the case. he has been created by the "wall street journalistic" community as this thinking, thoughtful individual yet his numbers don't add up. simple arithmetic as bill clinton proved to us simply doesn't support his basic claims.
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>> he's been touted as courageous because he'll take on entitlement. there is nothing courageous about kicking poor people off of healthcare there. is nothing courageous about using social security and medicare and avoiding the real choices in front of with us wall street and the rich. there is nothing courageous about that. >> eliot: courageous is standing up to powerful folks not stomping on weak folks and paul ryan and the republican party do that which is easy. >> the american people caught up with it. that's why they're having a difficult time finding a voice because everything they say lacks specificity and everything they say hurts a huge segment of the american people. >> eliot: not only lacks specificity, lacks coherence and any logic. >> and truth. >> eliot: last question. the latino vote seems to be squarely behind president obama. what he has done with his action on the dream act. so important is. there any way that mitt romney can krebbly argue he should get support in the latino community? >> no. that time has passed. when he wraps himself -- when
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they have joe arpaio at their convention. they have jan brewer at their convention from my state who are symbolicically seen in the latino community as their opposition and embraces them, their platform embraces that, no, there is no way you can get back. for us the challenge is motivation and turnout. if we can get that, huge victory for obama. >> eliot: this is a campaign about not persuasion but passion. >> thank you. >> eliot: let's hope it works. congressman, thank you for joining us. >> thank you. as always. >> eliot: voter discrimination, an old story made new again. i talk about it with a civil rights icon, congressman john lewis, coming up next.
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>> eliot: let's check in with jennifer granholm, she who made herself even more famous than she was before with her blockbuster speech at the democratic national convention. "the war room" will be coming up. good evening governor. what have you got for us tonight? >> jennifer: thanks, eliot. actually, there are some amazing polls out today. you know, if the election were held tonight the president would be re-elected by a really big margin and we're going to document that. but a reason for that is that mitt romney's campaign is in total panic mode so we're going to unravel what's going on in the romney war room with campaign veteran and then we'll have the latest on the wave of
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demonstrations as you have been doing in the middle east with analysis from janine zack ria of stanford university. all of that and the mayor of baltimore right here in "the war room." >> eliot: i think the romney campaign is both deaf and dumb on what's going on in the middle east. they are tripping all over themselves. it is almost like the moment when john mccain froze up when lehman went bankrupt four years ago. they're showing themselves to be inept. >> jennifer: total panic. i said at the top of the hour. that means at 10:00 because they've moved our time. >> eliot: everybody watch. "the war room" at 10:00 more "viewpoint" coming up. it's called "the end of men". the big bugs in the bedroom? only on current tv.
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>> eliot: congressman john lewis is one of the great champions of civil rights in our country. we saw a small sample of this last week in his impassioned
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speech at the democratic national convention. >> we must not be silent. we must stand up, speak up and speak out! [ cheers & applause ] we must march to the polls like never, ever before. we must come together and exercise our sacred right and together on november 6th we will re-elect the man who will lead america forward president barack obama! >> eliot: i had the opportunity to speak with the iconic civil rights leader in washington yesterday. >> eliot: it is great to be joined by congressman lewis who not only gave one of the powerhouse speeches at the democratic convention last week but also was iconic for your role in the civil rights movement. so many things you have done over the course of your career. thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me. >> eliot: it is a joy.
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i'm watching this campaign season unfold and there's something in me that is -- revoalings of what i see is the rejection of race by the republican party. through voter suppression to a budget that is anti fet cal to our core values. am i seeing this properly? >> i think you're seeing it very much the way it is. it is frightening. i want to be led to believe that maybe, just maybe we move beyond this. let it represent part of our dark paths. we come too far. we made too much progress for us to be at this state again. >> eliot: you were there at so many of the critical moments in the civil rights movement. you know what it took to get the right to vote. to get a civil rights act, to get a voting rights act. now we see it being dismembered at the state level through concerted republican efforts under the guise of a voter fraud. why has there not been a more
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articulate objection to this from within the republican party? >> it is sad. it is very, very sad. it is really -- it is crazy that the leadership of the republican party is not standing up and saying you must not go down that road. that in another period, another time, you had republican leadership in the united states house of representatives in the united states senate who fought for civil rights. who fought for voting rights. who stood with us. who met with us on the day we marched on washington almost 50 years ago. you had people like one of the great leaders of the united states senate and now these leaders are not -- even the nominee who said one word -- not one word about what they're trying to do. >> eliot: it is fascinating because you're right. i remember even in new york, not even in new york, rockefeller republicans who were more
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liberal probably than democratic party today. >> you could have rockefeller you had so many other republicans. some had federal judges that were appointed by eisenhower that were much more progressive. >> eliot: right. and yet now, the drive to win a misguided drive to win and i think their math is wrong. their legal thinking is clearly wrong. underlying ideology is wrong. they're willing to pass legislation through the states that will prohibit people from voting even though they acknowledge there's not a single shred of evidence of any fraud in the voting system in terms of people claiming to be who they're not. >> what is so frightening, it is not just a regional thing, it is not just the ole south but it is all over america. they want to take us back to another period when people stood in -- it is not the literacy test, it is not the poll types it is not people being beaten
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and trampled but it reminds people of a bygone period. >> eliot: am i being overly optimistic when i see i see them doing this. it is revolting, it is heinous. but it will not succeed. and there simply aren't enough votes there so that the next election cycle necessarily they will have to abandon this approach. >> we must not allow this to succeed. i think the good forces and the determination of a people, whether they're black or white or democrats or republican, they must come out and vote. let no one keep them from voting or participating. >> eliot: let's switch gears for a moment. talk about the budget that palm ryan has put forth. it became the basis for the republican platform. it is a budget that takes away from those who need. how do we square this with the core value of american society that we extend a hand to those who need help? >> this budget is immoral. it is immoral. it is not -- it is mean.
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it is mean-spirited. it is saying to children it is saying to poor, saying to the disabled saying to the elderly -- we're going to balance this budget on your backs and that's not fair. it is not right. and it's not just. >> eliot: and it gives more to those who have benefitted so much from eating out of the trough of federal benefit ef sense. bain capital with the guarantee oil companies beneficiaries of so many tax loopholes yet they refuse to admit the hypocrisy in their own ideology. >> balance the budget or cut the budget but they're cutting it on the most wonderful people in our saturday. history would not be kind to us if we had allowed that to happen. there should be a sense of righteous indignation. people should stand up, speak up and speak out and say this will not happen on my watch. >> eliot: i know nobody who summons that righteous
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