tv Velshi Ruhle MSNBC June 10, 2017 9:30am-10:01am PDT
president trump's trillion-dollar bid to fix u.s. roads and bridges still doesn't make the grade. why even more needs to be done to make america's infrastructure great again. and prescription drug prices are through the roof. who is to blame and what will it take to finally bring them down? ♪ welcome to "velshi & ruhle" i'm ali velshi. >> and i'm stephanie ruhle. well, everyone's attention this week was focussed on on-going russia investigation, there was a ton of other news affecting your job and your money. >> well, to some people it was jim comey week, but to president
trump, it was actually infrastructure week, or at least that's what he wanted it to be. >> that's what he said. >> so let's start there. >> why don't we. president trump chose to focus this week on rebuilding our nation's public infrastructure. now, republicans and democrats agree our roads, airports and railways are in desperate need of repair and upgrades. if you think about it, the old and overused systems we use everyday slow the movement of people, goods and services and that, that is the very life-engine our country is built upon. and the president couldn't agree more. >> we have structurally deficient bridges, clogged roads, crumbling dams and locks. our rivers are in trouble. our railways are ageing and chronic traffic that slows commerce and diminishes our citizen's quality of life. >> he is not wrong. building out a modern infrastructure will grow our economy and, in fact, create
jobs. >> and as you said, it's bipartisan. >> for sure. that is why the president wanted to spend much of this week focussing on infrastructure. he was stumping this trillion dollar plan to fix it, but for fact sake, here is why his plan might not be enough. president trump is pushing a trillion-dollar plan to improve america's roads, bridges, airports and waterways. and boy, do we need it. the american society of civil engineering, an industry group in washington, gives u.s. infrastructure a d-plus grade. meaning it's mostly below standard with elements approaching the end of their service life. the group says deteriorating infrastructure will cost the u.s. economy trillions in lost output and 2.5 million american jobs by 2025. but the president's plan is less than meets the eye. the actual amount of federal money he's proposing to spend over the next ten years $200 billion. those funds would leverage another 800 billion in financing from private sector sources.
but with no guarantee of returns, private investors might think twice about partnering with the government to fix roads and bridges. what's more, trump's own budget proposal undercuts infrastructure spending and shifts costs down to the states by including things like a 13% budget cut at the department of transportation, a 16% budget cut at the army corp. of engineers and elimination of grants that go directly to repairing roads and expanding transit. but let's assume the way the white house does the more targeted spending and help from private sector raises a cool trillion dollars, it's still not enough to get america's infrastructure up to speed. the american society of civil engineers is calling for $4.6 trillion worth of new builds, fixes and upgrades over the next decade. all told, it will be very difficult for trump's plan to improve that failing infrastructure grade. d, a d-plus, that's what the united states gets. what am i missing?
>> you're not missing anything. i want to remind people the stimulus bill got a lot of criticism of the republicans was in large part a stimulus bill. you'll still see signs that say that was funded by the recovery act. so, the left really does have to figure out that we do need to build infrastructure. president obama really wanted to. hillary clinton had it in her platform as well, but that it doesn't all have to be government money. right? it can actually be some private sector money. there are tradeoffs from letting the private sector profit from it, but unlike health care and prisons in sometimes we say shouldn't be privatized. in the case of roads and bridges you want more people to use them. >> ali, public/private partnerships, there's many cases when they worked so well. what the president needs to do is explain them. whether it's president speaking about this on the stump, he continues to say, look at these plans. they're not as good as ours. we're going to make it better, bo bolder, greater, show us. >> the messaging is wrong. the president did on friday when
talking about this is instead of talking about how it is you'll take $200 billion in taxpayer money and make it into a trillion, he decided to once again complain about overregulation in america. take a look. >> there's the president. he's not wrong. he's not wrong, though. the thousands of pages it takes to get a job. >> he was talking about highways here. that these are all the things that have to be done to get a highway bill. we need rules when you build highways and ports and things like that, but yeah, if you think it's too much -- >> so president trump, we don't want to be wrong. tell us what's right. the answer to most can't be let's simply privatize it and give a contract to a corporation. >> right. >> the answer is what are the details? that's where the devil is. >> we're keep on top of this. we, like you, need better infrastructure. now, the house did pass a bill this week that guts the dodd-frank banking regulations that were enacted after the financial crisis. the bill takes aims at rules that prevent banks from taking risks with customers deposits and rules that protect customers
from predatory lenders. rules president trump calls a disaster. now, the bill would also kill the obama era fiduciary rule which forces -- this is an interesting one. financial oadvisers to do thing in the customer's best interest. you think that would be obvious. >> obvious. >> president trump is trying to do away with this one since february and was able to delay it for months, but it finally went into effect on friday. i don't know if you -- there are a lots of people think there's too much regulation. i don't know if this is. >> remember, regulation is put in place to help the small guy, especially as we look at dodd-frank. >> yeah. >> it was put in place because of all of the people who were taken advantage of. simply to say we're going to rip it out. this is very similar to the health care argument. obamacare was not, is not perfect, so tweak it, improve it. so simply say we're less than a decade since the financial crisis, let's rip it up and start over, it's not the key --
>> i want to remind your viewers, we are financial journalists. we're pro business people. and there have been a lot of our contacts who have complained this is onerous, it's too much. it makes it hard to do business. >> both jamie diamond ceo of jp morgan, the same from morgan stanley, citi bank said we're better, safer since dodd-frank. there are the mid-size banks that want changes. so changes. not necessarily tear up the script. >> yeah. and let's just tell you a little bit about one of the things this new build does. it -- by the way, we're not sure this bill is likely to get through the senate at all, it gets the consumer protection bureau. it was started by elizabeth warren. she was supposed to be the head but she became a senator. it was set up by dodd-frank. supervisors the consumer lending industry and designed to protect consumers. >> literally the consumers. this is the agency that then punished wells fargo from their marketing scam, though, it was
journalists, it was financial journalists from the l.a. times that were the first to notice it. yes, these agencies need to be better, smarter, more streamlined. so the question is what's the actual plan? it cannot be let's do away with it. when you do away with it, you know what the financial industry does, pushes and pushes and pushes. we have to move on, besides infrastructure and deregulation, president still wasn't busy saying he can jump start america's economy with big tax cuts. well, we have known this. that is the republican orthodoxy. one of the major test cases for this specific thing it exploded. >> kansas governor sam brom beck, the man you're looking at right there. he slashed state income taxes in 2012. what he called a real live experiment. this week his own gop dominated state assembly decided the experiment had failed and they finally raised taxes. >> failed. >> lot of people made it about me, but it's not about me.
it's about kansas. it's about the future of this state. it's about which way we want to go. do we want to be a high taxed, low growth or no growth state? or pro-growth state? >> please, listen to this. the tax cuts simply did not deliver the economic growth brownback promised. instead, it caused a massive hole in the state's budget and really unpopular spending cuts to things like schools, schools. this is an exact test case. that's the beautiful thing about test cases and experiments when they don't work, you change course. instead, the country is looking to double down. >> yeah. this is trickle down economics, as we know it. the idea of being if people pay fewer taxes they will take the money that they save and spend it elsewhere. and to some degree that makes sense, right? if your entire tax bill were reduced, you might invest it somewhere. here there are a couple op problems particularly in comparison to the nation.
states can't run deficits. they have to use ways of financing that the federal government doesn't have. here is what happened since 2012, that's where the dots are. look at what happened. kansas was doing better than the nation and then since then it has done -- it has had lower economic growth than america has as a result some say of these tax cuts. so there's your test case and there's the proof that it didn't work. now, there are a lot of people who won't agree with us on this, but just showed you the chart. >> cut, clean, make it bigger, sounds great on the campaign trail. when you actually dig into the details. >> a little harder. >> it's a lot harder. i wouldn't say a little. >> i would like to pay lower taxes. i'm not arguing. >> i would love to pay lower taxes which would put me in a position to buy more stuff. coming up, the trump family inspired inspiration on the campaign trail and opens a new chain of hotels so-called red state hotels. good business opportunity or conflict of interest? maybe both. maybe both. >> it could be both. by the way, prescription
drug prices. they keep going up. an entire industry was invented to price the meds that you take. what needs to be done to bring prices down after this break. ♪ ♪ ♪ isaac hou has mastered gravity defying moves to amaze his audience. great show. here you go. now he's added a new routine. making depositing a check seem so effortless.
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if you've got a life, you gotta swiffer we have to get your drug industry coming back. our drug industry has been disastrous. they're getting away with murder. pharma has a lot of lobbyists, a lot of power. >> that was back in january during president-elect trumps first press conference after election day. but now that he's president, getting that done is a lot more complicated than anyone realizes. >> so as you can imagine, there are a lot of vested interests to contend with. there are drug companies. there are insurers. there are pharmacies and others. so what would it actually take to bring drug prices down? we decided to go in search of an answer. it's the one topic that both
presidential candidates could agree on, prescription drug prices have gotten too high. >> you know, the costs of drugs in this country. we're about the largest purchaser of pharmaceuticals in where in the world. and yet we can't negotiate the price. i wonder why? >> it's a problem hitting americans of all backgrounds. in a recent national survey, 28 million people experienced a spike in the cost of their meds in the past 12 months. for 4 million of them, the price was so high they walked away without their prescription. so why is it so hard to lower prescription prices? we asked consumer reports deputy editor on prescription drug medication lisa gill to break it down for us. >> the reason prescription drug prices are so high is because there's nothing that puts a stop to it. a company can charge whatever amount of money they want. >> so, what companies are we talking about? the obvious one is the drug company that manufactures the
drug. also obvious, the insurance company that pays for you to have the drug. what you may not know is there's a middleman called a pharmacy benefit manager or pbm. that's who negotiates prices with the drug companies and the pharmacies on behalf of the insurance companies. >> it's truly an all back door negotiations. like, it's not anything that you or i get to see, but that happens with pharmacy benefit managers. >> here is how it works. drug companies set the list prices, but they set them high because they know no one is actually going to pay the list price. think of it like buying a car. you don't pay the sticker price, you barter with the salesman and make your best offer. when it comes to drugs, the drug maker, the insurance company and the pharmacies all barter with the pbm. and the pbm decides who pays what based on the best offer. that's why one drug for high cholesterol may be covered at 80% while another drug that does the exact same thing is only covered at 20%.
or why the very same drug at one pharmacy chain costs twice as much as it does at another pharmacy chain. in both cases, it all depends on the deal the pbm has made. >> so consumers are actually in the center of a battle between insurance companies and drug companies. and the way that they do business. >> and everyone blames the other for high prices. the drug companies blame the pbms saying they force them to drive prices up because of all those deals. the pbms blame the drug company saying they wouldn't have to make the deals in the first place if the prices were lower. and the insurance companies blame both of them, saying for whatever reason prices are just too high. so is there any way to solve this problem? >> so, for the actual retail price of a drug to go down would take either government intervention or for the marketplace to actually respond and lower the price. we are nearing a crisis point with what americans can afford for medications, and it is
scary. as far as we can tell, there's no brakes on it at this point. congress may have a few things up its sleeve, but we're still waiting. >> now, president trump says he wants med -- you heard his speech. he wants medicare to negotiate pricing directly with the drug companies and his thinking is that if drugs cost less for medicare, it will generally push the prices of drugs down for everyone. but there is this little thing called medicare part d. some of you may know about this. back in 2003, congress passed this landmark deal to help senior citizens buy prescription drugs, to subsidizing their coverage, the catch was -- >> what was the catch? >> the federal government -- i can't say it. i can't say it. the federal government is barred from negotiating drug prices with the drug makers. >> you want to talk about un-american, barred from negotiating pricings. >> i'm from canada. we hardly do that. that is crazy. so the law -- and it's because there's a lot of lobbying. >> i need you to pay attention to this. there is one thing you take away in this half an hour, it's this.
it's the lobbyists. we're going to pull the screen up for you and blow your mind. in the first quarter of 2017, that is three months, the biggest spenders of lobbying, total lobbying by industry, look at this, pharmaceuticals and health products have spent 78 million dollars in the last three months lobbying to our government. number two -- >> that's unbelievable. >> unbelievable. >> double as much as the insurance company. >> the insurance industry 40 million. >> three months, one quarter. >> the lobbying efforts of these companies who want to keep these prices high, who are not working for you and me, 78 million bucks. not to make a product, to protect their turf. >> just so you know the pbms, cvs, care market, scripts, companies like that you get the benefit card if you're insured through express scripts, these are the pbms. this industry doesn't exist anywhere else in the world.
the idea there's a middle industry between the insurer, the drug maker, you, your doctor, it's an entirely new and different industry that pays that much to members of congress or to lobby their cause. >> to the point you know what industry doesn't exist anymore in mom and pop pharmacies, because those pbms are so massive. during the commercial break, think about it, $78 million in the last three months. >> the good news, now that you know this information, you know this problem can actually be solved. it's a complicated story. >> you know that it can be solved, but given that kind of money thrown around, hard to solve. >> hard to solve. stef moyer on velshi and ruhle, we know the president is all about sxrobs and all about coal, but if you push fake numbers about coal jobs, you're going to get caught. >> would you have guessed there's a trump hotel in mississippi?
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so this week the trump oarization announced plans for a new budget hotel chain, starting with locations in ohio and mississippi, states that the president won by comfortable margins. so these hotels will not bear the trump name, marking the company's higher end reports, and they'll support a more patriotic franchise name, american idea. the president's sons say inspiration for the chain came from traveling through america during the presidential campaign. >> they're not wrong. clearly they looked at the electoral at the map. >> it's brilliant. the question is, put them there in and out or when he's out of office. it's this ethics, business tie that continues to plague them. >> and that's not going away.
that said, it's an something idea. >> that said, their sons said their dad had no conflict of interest. you know him, scott pruitt, he rolled out a novel talking point while making the round discussing the u.s. exit from the paris climb deal. look at this. from the fourth quarter the last year added almost 50,000 jobs. in the month of may alone almost 7,000 jobs. we've had almost 50,000 jobs created in the mining and coal sector alone. in the month of may, almost 7,000 jobs. >> 50,000 jobs since last quarter, coal jobs, mining jobs created in this country. almost 7,000 mining and coal jobs in the month of may alone. >> no erchlts i don't think so. pruitt's job claim to adding 50,000 job in the coal industry, it happens to be dead wrong. there's only about 50,000 jobs in coal total. >> that's -- i mean, that's
miners and everybody else involved. >> correctamundo. none of those mining jobs has anything to do with coal. most of them are support rolls. >> fracking, fracking jobs are counted as mining jobs behalf way it works. >> your number is wrong. >> he has to be caringful about that. last week we brought you the story of dow chemical and corning, two companies that praised the acod, but according to the intercept they funded a lobbying group that peated the white house to withdraw from the agreement. >> there you have it, hedging strategy there. >> the industrial energy consumers of america, a trade group lobbying on behalf of the industry, praised the president's decision, says the u.s. should never be a party to a global or bilateral agreement that does not provide a 4re68 playing field for manufacturing.
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there's some napkins in the glovebox. okay, but why would i need a napkin? you could have just told me a bump was coming. we know the future. because we're building it. hello, everyone.jacob. two u.s. troops were shot and killed and two others injured in afghanistan after being fired on by an afghan soldier. pentagon producer courtney cuby has details from washington. >> reporter: we know at least four americans were shot, two of them have died of their wounds. we don't know about the medical status of the other two american soldiers. we know they were shot by someone in