tv The Journal Editorial Report FOX News January 16, 2010 11:00pm-11:30pm EST
>> this week on "the journal editorial report" a showdown in massachusetts that could have implications for the democratic agenda. big term elections ahead. the president tries to get out ahead of renewed anger over big bonuses. will the move end up costing you? the nfl takes its game to the supreme court. owners and players square off in a case thaktd reshape professional football. >> welcome to "the journal he had coreial repo editorial repo" the footba political season kic. massachusetts the late senator ted kennedy has been replaced it is a sure thing for martha
coakley it turned into a toss up. a brown win would be a crushing defeat for president obama and democrats who would lose their 60 seat majority in the senate as well as a crucial healthcare vote. joining the panel this week wall street columnist and deputy editor dan henning ger and dorothy robinowitz and jason riot. some of the handicappers are moving this from sure thing to tossup in a state that barack obama carried by 26 points. what's behind the scott brown surge? >> well, i think what's mainly behind it, paul, is the fact that as we know the american people at the moment are not happy campers and the last time i looked massachusetts was part of america, blue though it may be. there is a lot to point to what's going on here. let's start. in some ways it remind me of what happened in new jersey, a
very blue state just elected a republican governor. those people were really diseffected. duvall patrick the democratic governor of massachusetts has approval ratings in the low 20s. the national journal issued a poll late this week which said 50 percent of the respondents said they would definitely or probably vote again barack obama if he were returni -- running again. obama has lost the independent vote that elected him president. let's look at the numbers in massachusetts, yes it's a blue state. 43 percent is democratic. 44 percent of the people in the massachusetts exit poll in 2008 the presidential election self identified as independent. those people are trending strongly for cot brown. i think that is what is behind the surge. >> nationalizing this race. >> that is what brown has done a good job at. it's not about massachusetts it's about president owe barometer ma and democrats
controlling all of the levers of power. this very liberal agenda the democrats are pursuing. brown is saying, yes, i can be a check on this. >> very liberal agenda. specific issues helping or hurting brown? >> it's hurting martha coakley. number one having yourself anointed as the sure thing is not a very good way of winning the approval of the people of the state. number one. number two, her res citation of every one of the stake rid writ pieces of the current administration, civil liberties for guantanamo prisoners, every one of them. there's a colorlessness about martha coakley that does not help. >> what about healthcare, jason? massachusetts passed a bill that was much like obama care mitt romney the republican was in favor. it covers 98 percent of massachusetts. residents are covered helping or hurting brown? >> it is helping brown and hurting coakley.
she is for it. everyone, coakley is not the only candidate or incumbent facing this problem. she is being -- she is saying or she is being told that she should not vote for this bill unless massachusetts gets the nelson deal. that's what everyone -- >> for medicaid. >> special deal for februa nebr medicaid. they are talking about spreading it to other states. massachusetts which already covers people would have to be a net payor for all of these other states. >> brown seems to be in tune with this. a recent poll showed 51 percent oppose the healthcare. >> the other factor is intensity. who wants to come out and vote? you have a lot of republicans, not too many of them are massachusetts. 125 percent conservatives are fired up. they are going to come out on a winter day. the public employee unions, will they come out now that they have
been mobilized to know they are in trouble? >> they will. they have to. they have i think the organizational ability to produce votes next tuesday. the unions give their people a day off, they will be out there putting them in vans taking polls. they know they have to do that>> let's run a martha coakley ad that shows how they are attempting to fire back at scott brown. >> brown, really a republican in step with washington republicans. he will block tougher over site of wall street, give more tax breaks to the wealthiest, apro prescription coverage for even joers and he denies emergency contraception to rape victims. he lacks understanding and seriousness. in times like these we can't afford a republican like scott brown. >> there's an uplifting message. >> i love the limbaugh touch. is this effective? >> no.
there's this huge independent vote in massachusetts. the point is this is also familiar you would have to be more magnetic than martha coakley to get away with this assault and invocation. this has been a nonstop attack of trying to associate scott brown with republicans. >> national republicans. >> doesn't help to be marning out with with the widow of ted kennedy which is another one of those things you better be good at. it goes down the krau of independent voters. >> mobilizing core democratic voters. >> republicans can win just by making it close because it will put a scare into democrats nationally. massachusetts is a very, very blue state. all ten congressman both senators, the governor all democrat. last time they sent a republican to washington was 1972.
just by making it close they will send a message to democratic candidates. >> i think there is an indication brown could be peaking too soon here. a weekend in politics is eternity. >> there seems to be something similar to new jersey going on here. a deeper kind of disaffection among independent voters. i think it will be very close. jason is right, the message has already been sent to the national democratic party. >> when we come back just in time for bonus season on wall street. the president plans to slap big banks with billions in new taxes. it might make you feel better, but who winds up paying in the end? i have asthma.
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if they are in good enough shape to pay massive bonuses they are in good enough shape to pay back every penny to tax bayers. president obama announcing plans to slap a tax on big banks as away to recoup some of the 20 billion the government expects to lose because of the financial bailout. it comes as wall street prepares to give top employees with record bonuses sure to infuriate voters reeling from a shattered economy and double dig get unemployment. congressman mary grady and page editor james freeman joins the panel. the president has been saying congress has been saying banks lend more, lend more. explain to me how a new tax on banks helps lending? >> it's going to be tough to figure out. some people are saying it's going to cut profits by as much as 5 percent. it's a .2 percent tax on
uninsured liabilities. >> nondeposit, not you and me. >> if you are an insurance company not the insured premiums people pay for policies. the banks have to come up with this money. where they get it is the question. who will end up with this. >> who pays a tax like this. there's literature that haze corporate tax isn't paid by corporations anyway. who do they pass it on to? >> they pass it on to customers. >> shareholders? >> a few. >> it's like me running a bill up and saying you have a lot of debt here, i think you should pay me to fix it the same people end up paying. what is disturbing is it doesn't go to the source of the problem. fanny, freddie and government regulations is what encouraged the use of subprime and those
alta portages that were off loaded to the government and the rating agencies which were assigned by the government. >> none of that is addressed here. it is demagoguing the banks because the big bonuses are coming this week. >> here is something i can't explain. fanny and freddie are exempt from the tax. how do you justify it? >> you mentioned the government is saying they are going to lose money on tarp. the losses of fanny and freddie could go over 700 billion. we are not going to talk about fanny and freddie. >> these banks aren't the banks that lost money. >> they are not even the ones that borrowed the money. you are running a billion door lar institution never took any tarp still paying. for what? >> let's face it the whole point of this tax and populus the president has been engaging in
is to scapegoat the private sector and deflect attention away from washington. washington contributed nothing to this problem apparently. the one person cassandra, at the mission hearings was sheila bearer of the fdic who said washington did contribute. she was asked whether regulators had looked the other way during periods of high profitability. she said that may be true. congress did the same thing. congress is putting pressure on the fdic before bear the closure of banks across the country right now. >> this money is not going to be kept into some fund somewhere if i dare use the word lock box and there for spent if we have a future bailout. it's bei going right into the treasury and congress can do what they want to do with it. >> the unspoken premise is this is insurance for the next too
big to fail bank. they will be spending on whatever the obama agenda requires. >> here's the question i want to ask you about. this is where the popular anger comes in. the banks are making record profits. do they deserve the bonuses having been bailed out and let's face it having what assumes is a too big to fail guarantee. >> it feels good but it would be better if the federal government would come up with an agreement which would allow in the future when an institution gets in trouble it could go through a bankruptcy process and fail. that's not what happened here. too big to fail still exists. on christmas eve the treasury decided to remove the $400 billion cap on keeping fanny and freddie solvent. you still have the fanny freddie problem. you still have too big to fail an you have this tax which is supposed to make us feel better. >> that's a better solution.
is it right bankers are making the bonuses because the taxpayers came to the rescue. should they keep the bonuses? any takers? >> it doesn't particularly -- there are bonuses and there are bonuses. should the top five guys be getting 20-50 million dollars. that's what the focus is on. most of the banks have employees of several hundred if not thousands of people who once again like the aig had nothing to do with the problem. should they be deprived of the bonuses? >> these huge bonuses all go away if you let them fail. they don't have the advantage no benefit of capitals too big to fail. you can solve the problem if you are willing to let them fail. >> and maybe put limits on leverage of the amount they take on. >> you can on friday an egg and they are trying to give the political cover here. >> it would be so much more important to try to picks the system if it doesn't happen again. especially with the fed having
its foot on the accelerator. >> creates subsidy for credit. >> when we come back, the nfl takes its game to the supreme court. wheth will the justices allow the league to be hay like a normal business. hi, may i help you? we're shopping for car insurance, and our friends said we should start here. good friends -- we compare our progressive direct rates, apples to apples, against other top companies, to help you get the best price. how do you do that?
>> the national football league took it's game to the supreme court this week where they heard oral arguments owners against players. they are challenging the league's decision to give reebok exclusive rights to manufacturer hats, t-shirts and other gear bearing team logos. the bigger question is whether the nfl should be considered a single entity rather than a collection of 32 independently
owned teams. thus exempt from antitrust laws. labor unions including the one representing nfl players contend a ruling in the league's favor will give it too much power at the expense of the athletes and fans. senior editorial page writer column levy joins the panel. colin, you followed this closely. who do you think gets the better argument? >> well, i think the nfl definitely has the better argument. when you look at this question of whether or not the nfl is acting what it's talking about a normal business, what you are saying is this 32 businesses or one group that has -- they all have sort of a common interest? it's very clear when you look at it none of these teams can offer a product on their own. in effect they need each other to create the broader entertainment product that competes with baseball and hockey and any number of other things in the entertainment space. when it comes to the question of
the trademarks which is the issue of the reebok deal, that, too, is part of the same issue. because they are essentially, when you think about what you do with a logo on a t-shirt or a hat you are essentially advertising the league. >> jason, do the unions have any kind of a case here? there's no question like if the league has this power to negotiate itself as one entity the players might lose some of their bargaining. >> legal have too much leverage when it comes to free agency when it comes to negotiating broadcast rights and so forth. that's their concern here. but i agree with colin that for the purposes of selling apparel you are talking about a single entity here that has to compete in the entertainment space with a bunch of other groups. so, no, i don't think the union has much of a case to make sheer. >> what they do share, the nfl shares revenues across the board. they divide that up among the
player's agreement to the players they get depending how you calculated 51 percent, 61 percent of share revenues. >> that's right, paul. this is about sports economics which is something of an oximoron. i read through the oral arguments. it was very clear the justices were having a very difficult time squeezing what they know about antitrust law into that case. we run into that every time we get into that subject. several weeks ago on this program we talked about whether the sports playoff, college playoff bowls are unfair to will smaller colleges. we can talk about whether college basketball players should be paid because of all of the revenue they produce. justice stevens came close to getting to the nut of it when he said to the lawyer, don't you think it is true that the nfl the way it is currently constituted does in fact increase athletic competition on the field? doesn don't you agree that's what all of the people in the stands are there to see.
if that's true, you are saying what's crucially important here is the happiness of the fans. >> consumer benefit. >> that's what all sports is about, keeping the fans happy. >> that's what antitrust law is supposed to be about. where is the harm to consumers here. i don't see it. but it's interesting, dan, it doesn't look like most of the justtises are going to side with the nfl on this. >> let me ask you about one union argument. they say if the nfl wins here they will have the ability to fix prices across the board and not just in terms of player salaries but perhaps how much you can sell a team for and coaches and so on and so forth. that would be an extraordinary power, would it not? >> yes, but that's also a very unlikely outcome. i think having read and listened to the oral argument if you listen to where most of the hostility came from it was from fairly predictable areas briar
and sotomayor were anticipated to be hostile to the nfl argument and they were. what you can also see here is this is a situation where they could also choose to do a very narrow ruling and not make this a broad ruling where the nfl is a single entity for all purposes but is a single entity to merchandise diesing and trademarks. >> what they are looking for is antitrust that pays. >> last word. we have to take one more break. when we come back hits and misses of the week.
>> time now for the hits and misses for the week. >> this is a hit for christofilakos tee of new jersey and bob mcdonalds of virginia both of whom named strong choice school advocates. shawn layer was picked by the -- he was chosen by chris christie. mcdonald choose a gentlemen named gerald robinson who runs black alliance forred -- for educational options. it is good news for low income kids stuck in bad schools where they need someone willing to take it on. >> i think google deserves some
credit this week for telling china it is no longer going to be an enabler of censorship by limiting search results on its engines. it came as a result of a hacking attempt. it is important because google really if there is any company with enough political clout with enough to pay it's groups of young educated and digitally empowered. china may wonder what it got itself into here. >> this is a hit to legal immigrants and very much haitian immigrants in the city of new york, new study shows the legal immigrant population generates a third of our economy their incomes are rising they are chasing the american dream and let's hope that this time the new york city will welcome more folks from haiti who can continue to thrive. >> it's such a shame haiti has lost so much of the human capital over the years because the people don't have opportunity in haiti. that's part of the problem.
when you come to new york they leave their home country there isn't enough human capital and talened people to really make that place pros ter -- prosper. >> it is a shame. it shows the way forward for haiti. you have this haitian community in new york thriving under the rule of law contributing so much to our econ pee. haiti have not enjoyed that thanks in part to policies by the clinton administratiadminis. let's hoping coming out of this strag b tragedy we see reform. >> we can't stop national disasters from happening but we can control how countries respond. prosperous countries respond better. we need to put policies in place that allow for a more profitable haiti. >> thank heaven for the u.s. military coming to rescue again with the extraordinary resources and compassion. >> that's it for "the journal editorial