tv Velshi Ruhle MSNBC November 11, 2017 9:30am-10:00am PST
the clock is ticking on president trump's promise to cut taxes for all americans by christmas, only now it's a tale of two tax plans, one in the house, one in the senate and neither actually delivers on the promise. >> hello. plus the nra claims to have five million card-carrying members. but the biggest gun rights group in the country really answers to someone else. hi there, i'm ali velshi. >> and i'm stephanie ruhle. one year since donald trump's election, republicans are getting a taste of what may be
coming with stinging election day defeats and disturbing news out of alabama's senate race not helping their agenda. >> that's why the gop needs to deliver on tax cuts, any tax cuts if for no other reason than to notch a win ahead of elections next year, which is where we start. senate republicans have come out with their own tax plan, it's one that diverges on many points from the house gop tax plan that came out last week. but the same basic formula stays in place. huge tax cuts for businesses and the wealthy, plus much smaller cuts for people in the middle class, minus many of the most important credits and deductions that the middle class relies on, and that is supposed to yield benefits that trickle down to all americans, or at least that's the hope. >> the hope. the senate plan keeps corporate tax cuts from 35% to 20% but phases them in over two years. after much lobbying, it does away with the 20% excise tax
that the house plan put on multi national corporations. now, on the personal income side, the senate plan keeps seven tax brackets like we have now, but generally lowers rates and it does away with state and local tax deductions altogether. that's a big issue. the house bill included some relief for property tax, but ali, it is the ideology behind these bills that we've got to focus on. >> right. and the issue here is that either you can do things, which we'll talk about later, that really directly give middle class taxpayers a bigger break, like the earned income tax credit. what you're getting here is a small break. republicans tell us it's about $1200 on average per middle class taxpayer. some say it's $800. small break for them. big breaks for businesses and the wealthy. and the argument that by giving those breaks to the wealthy and corporations, it's going to trickle down and increase wages for the average household. we just have lots and lots of examples over the years where
that sounds really good but trickle-down economics doesn't seem to work. >> by 2027, 31% of those in the middle class who file will see an average tax hike of $1,150. now, the top 1% is seeing half of the benefits. what is this plan? if you were at the top, for the people who are the richest and for companies, it is a clear-cut cut. anything beneath that, it is all built on hope and aspiration. >> right. and that's the issue. so if you're a high earner, you're a company, you can actually do the math right now and know what it's going to do for you. if you're a middle earner, you have to hope that those people who get those cuts, do something that causes your wage to increase. gary cohn, the economic advisor to the president, made this comment to john harwood from cnbc earlier this week. >> we create wage inflation, which means the workers get paid more, the workers have more disposable income, the workers spend more and we see the whole
trickle-down through the economy and that's good for the economy. >> so here's the thing. reagan tax cuts did this, took the tax rates down from in the 40s to in the 30s for corporate america. it doesn't actually end up increasing wages. >> gary cohn also knows better. he was the president of the goldman sachs. welcome to the global economy. america made a decision, we decided to make amazon one of the most powerful companies in the world. we want cheap goods and we want them quickly. those cheap goods are not manufactured in the united states. we should also point out when we talk about the deductions. oh, we're going to get rid of state and local. what they're not getting rid of are things that benefit president trump. still have deductions on golf courses, llcs, which he has over 500 of and specific llcs. you're going to get the cut if you're in real estate. if you own a small store but not if you're a doctor or a lawyer. if you dig into this thing, this thing is written for president trump. >> we talk about the state tax elimination last week and the elimination of the amt.
these are all things that affect president trump and the rich. >> gary cohn, steve mnuchin and president trump all said carried interest, it's a giveaway to the rich, giveaway to hedge funds, private equity, real estate. guess what, that giveaway, still in the bill. >> the president is not around to -- has not been around to be pitching this. >> we know why, because he's continuing his 11-day trip throughout asia. on friday he attended the asia pacific economic summit and he warned leaders over their chronic trade abuses with the u.s. but the news was dominated by his stop in china and the praise he heaped on america's biggest economic rival in the world. >> i don't blame china. after all, who can blame a country for being able to take advantage of another country for the benefit of its citizens. i give china great credit.
>> he can blame china and he did on the campaign trail. >> lots. >> candidate trump talked all about china when he was campaigning. i want you to hear what he said. >> why are you doing state dinners for them? they're ripping us left and right. just take them to mcdonald's and go back to the negotiating table. >> we can't continue to allow china to rape our country. and that's what they're doing. it's the greatest theft in the history of the world. i will direct my secretary of the treasury to label china a currency manipulator. they are, they know it. >> mcdonald's? didn't he host xi jinping at mar-a-lago and charge the u.s. government for it? >> so here's the thing, i will give president trump some credit because there are some issues that we have to deal with with china. for instance, investigating theft of intellectual property. this is a major concern for american companies where you go to china and see these american branded companies, software and they have nothing to do -- microsoft used to talk about the
fact that everybody in china uses microsoft office but there are like four licenses sold in all of china. cyber security, big issues with cyber security in china. congress is looking into that. and then there is the chinese investment in u.s. companies. they're buying lots and lots of parts of u.s. companies and there are some valid security -- national security concerns with that. so those are areas that the president can do some good. the other thing he's got to do is try to get more help on north korea. >> the president could also offer some consistency. again, he's praising china while he was in china and there he is in vietnam back to the and we'll go after those currency manipulators. like them or hate them, they're not currency manipulators. >> they work on five-year plans, they're all about stability. when they're dealing with president trump who's up and down and loves me, loves me not, it's just not a great way to get things done. >> when he's with you face to face, he loves you. when he walks out the door -- >> yeah. this week began sadly with
the news of a lone gunman opening fire on the congregation of the first baptist church in sutherland springs, texas, killing 26 people. we have become accustomed to the outcry that follows such mass shooting events, and we've become equally accustomed to congress doing absolutely nothing in the wake of those outcries. that's in large part to the testament -- well, it's a testament to the power of the national rifle association and its ceo, wayne la pierre. >> now, our commitment to freedom is unwavering and our growth is unprecedented. today the nra is a record 5 million strong. >> note that number, 5 million. the nra likes to credit its strength to its members, but for facts sake, that's only half the story. the national rifle association is above all else a trade group representing gun manufacturers. in fact, it's the most powerful advocate for the industry in the
united states, and it spends a great deal of money to promote its agenda. sure, the nra claims to be an organization made up of 5 million dues-paying members but at least half of its $300 million in revenues comes from contributions, grants, royalties and advertising. and most of that is directly or indirectly linked to gun makers. the nra's donors include midway usa, springfield armary, baretta usa, ruger, smith & wesson and others in the industry. their money is well spent. no one out there does a better job than the nra does at deflecting criticism of gun makers, especially after every mass shooting event. the amount the nra has spent to lobby federal lawmakers already exceeds $4 million in 2017 and its political action committee spent a combined total of $53 million on elections nationwide in 2016. membership dues alone aren't behind that kind of spending. besides, the number of members
in the group is a matter for dispute. one estimate suggests the nra's total membership is less than advertised, closer to 3.7 million gun owners but the group doesn't release any official data or figures and the numbers surely fluctuate from year to year. either way, 5 million members would still only be a fraction of the approximately 74 million gun owners in the u.s. today. so with such a small slice of the country on its membership rolls, how is the nra one of the most feared groups in washington. with the financial support of the gun industry, it's paying off. the nra has succeeded in blocking every major gun control bill before congress since 1994. and thanks in part to its efforts, while americans only make up 4.4% of the world's population, they own 42% of the world's civilian firearms. >> but here's the thing, $4 million in lobbying. >> sounds like nothing, right? >> sounds like nothing. big pharma, $200 million so far this year. >> so the issue is, the nra
decides you're their candidate and get an a plus rating. if i want to run against you, even if i have the same rating, they support the incumbent. the minute you say, hey, i think we should not have bump stocks, they lower your grade and find a guy like me and their effort shifts to me. unlike pharma, the nra has people on the inside. all of these members of congress are people with a plus ratings. the nra threatens guys like me from running against you because they say i don't have a chance. >> so you're saying the guys with the guns doing an inside job. >> pretty much. coming up, a colossal conflict of interest at the trump commerce department. is it okay for a cabinet secretary in charge of implementing trade sanctions on russia to have business ties with russia? and tax reform alone even when it targets low income americans with real financial benefits, it cannot do enough to
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welcome back to "velshi & ruhle." republicans in congress are spearheading tax plans that overwhelmingly benefit businesses and america's wealthy. meanwhile, an estimated 35% of earners at the bottom of the income ladder would see no benefit from the proposed tax cuts. >> are you listening? but tax reform alone even if it were to target low income americans with real financial benefits would do almost nothing to narrow the widening income gap in this country. for example, one of the most beneficial tax credits lower income people get is the earned income tax credit. are you ready for this? one out of every five americans who qualify for it don't even know how to claim it. i want to bring in our next guest. john hope bryant. he sees this foremost as a
fundamental problem of financial literacy. john heads up operation hope, a nonprofit organization with an ambitious goal, to raise a community's average credit score as a whole and improve its chances as raising its standard of living. john, welcome. >> i'm honored to be here. boy the way, you've never seen a rise in the 700 credit history. >> tell us, the tax plan, the gop like to say it is for the middle class. >> i mean it's for somebody. it's not for the middle class. it's literally a structure that supports passive owners of assets and equities who have resources. it's nothing bad, just say what it is. >> well, that's the point. the passive owners of assets. again, nothing bad with that either. but we do have a mantra that says we're supposed to be supporting work, we're supposed to be encouraging work. >> we're arranging deck chairs
on the titanic. the ship is sinking and we're picking drapes. 70% of the economy is consumer spending. that's the average joe and mary. this bill doesn't do it, with all due respect. they're punishing you if you have a student loan. they're punishing you if you have a mortgage. they're punishing you if you have a disaster. they're punishing you if you have medical -- a medical disaster in your life. these are things that affect average people who are living from paycheck to paycheck who are driving the economy. if you want to have a jobs-driven tax plan, then signal that by giving incentives for internships to corporations. i'll give you a great tax benefit. i'll give you a tax deduction. bring some internships at scale. bring me apprenticeships at scale. i'll give you a massive tax benefit for that. if you want to say this ties to worker income, this is not a socialist comment, then fine, tie it to raises in income. i'll give you a tax --
>> if i know it's getting passed on. >> by the way, i'm not proposing that. i'm just saying if that's the logic, then walk it through. don't tell me it's pinky dust and it will happen sometime. as we're seeing, the wealth is increasing and middle class are taking it in the shorts. >> then walk us through, the real financial hurdles blocking whether it's inner city or rural america, what's hurting america the most, where are they blocked? >> it's blocked with the invisible class because they never got the book on money. it's what you don't know. 44% of all african-americans in this country have a credit score below 620. just stop there. >> which means you're not going to get -- >> small business loan. >> you're not going to get the best rates on loans. >> you're not going to get a small business loan. >> you're locked out. >> you're locked out of the capital markets. andrew young said to live in a system of enterprise and not understand the rules of free enterprise must be the definition of slavery.
>> so who's that on? >> these are our policy makers who don't understand capitalism and free enterprise themselves. we don't understand wealth comes from poor people. goldman sachs was a guy named goldman and a guy named sachs going door to door selling stuff. walmart was sam walton with a pickup truck, store front and high school education. so all of our big businesses were once small ones. we need to reward small business owner. i'll give you a tax increase -- decrease if you have a fund that funds small businesses and startups in emerging markets. but if you have half of black america, i don't care how brilliant they are, how smart they are, how clean they keep their nose, who have a credit score below 620 by no fault of their own, you cannot get a home loan, you cannot get a small business loan. >> and financial literacy, that can crack this? >> this is the civil rights issue of our generation. it's not in the streets, it's in the suites. >> martin luther king toward his death was talking about economic empowerment and financial
literacy. >> he was doing more than talking about it. he pivoted toward it. what's called the poor people's campaign. so people don't think this is a black issue, abraham lincoln created a bank in 1865, march 3rd, after the civil war to teach free slaves about money because he knew that he had to bring everybody into the free enterprise system. he was killed the next month. it's not that we got the memo and screwed it up. we never got the memo. i'm talking about the 15% of white america who have credit score of 620. those are my brothers and sisters who are struggling because the industrial revolution walked away from them. they're frustrated, upset, depressed, and they're voting their fear. >> guess what, america, it's time to get the memo and look who's delivering it. john hope bryant. >> the new color is green. >> there you go. the new color is green. >> john, thanks a million, good to see you. coming up, you know all those scam e-mails that we get about stranded people needing money or princes who want to give you money? well, one company has come up
with a really interesting way to fight back. there are 195 millicountrie the world and guess who isn't part of the paris climate agreement. we'll tell you on the other side. this is the j.d. power award for dependability. now i want you to give it to the friend that you think is most dependable. ohhhh. ughh. wow. that's just not fair. does she have to? she doesn't have to! oh, i don't? no, but it's a tough choice, isn't it? yes. well luckily, chevy makes it a little easier. cause it's the only brand to earn j.d. power dependability awards for cars, trucks and suvs - two years in a row. that's amazing. chevy's a name you can trust!
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welcome back. earlier this week the release of the paradise papers exposed how america's elite park their money in offshore accounts or shell companies registered in overseas tax havens. that is nothing new, but it is embarrassing for those who have been exposed. more serious, though, is that blatant conflict of interest the papers exposed for commerce secretary wilbur ross. as president trump's lead cabinet member on trade policy, ross is one of the most senior officials in the administration charged with implementing trade sanctions against russia. but the paradise paper shows that ross continues to have a significant business tie to a russian oligarch subject to u.s.
sanctions, and that certain someone happens to be the son-in-law of russian president vladimir putin. >> just think about the inherent contradiction in this. that this is a guy who's actually responsible for imposing sanctions or making sure they happen, and he's got dealings with people who are in the family of vladimir putin. who are under sanction. i understand that there may not even be laws about this kind of thing, but isn't it just contradictory and unethical for a government official? >> you tell me. that business tie, country first. in environmental news, the united states will soon be the only country, the only country not taking part in the paris climate agreement. earlier this week, even syria announced plans to join the accord. by doing so, the syrians will join 194 other countries that have already signed on. back in june president trump, as you remember, decided to pull out of the agreement fulfilling a campaign promise. at the time syria and nicaragua were the only countries that hadn't signed on to the
agreement but now nicaraguans have signed on and the syrians have signed on. there has been some talk about the fact that maybe there's a way to get back into it because this is just an embarrassing place to be. >> how about just symbolism. symbolically, the united states, do you really want to be left out of that? all right, have you ever been offered, and the answer is yes, an enticing lump sum of money from a nigerian prince? most of us have been the target of some kind of scam e-mail at some point and they keep clogging our inboxes with these scams because a lucrative few do get suckered in by them. >> i'm not sure it's a scam. >> for most of us who just press the delete button, there is now another option. >> net safe, a new zealand internet safety group, has created an a.i. chat bot designed to delay and distract scammers by engaging them in endless conversations. the longer a scammer gets engaged in conversation with a bot the less time they have to target new victims.
>> ali likes to engage like that. now you can do it with an app. all right, that does it for us. this has been a lovely edition of "velshi & ruhle." >> you can catch us every day at 11:00 a.m. and me every day at 3:00 p.m. >> and me at 9:00. for now we're signing off. have a great weekend. ♪ there's nothing more important than your health. so if you're on medicare or will be soon, you may want more than parts a and b here's why. medicare only covers about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. you might want to consider an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company.
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hey there, everyone, i'm alex witt here in new york at msnbc world headquarters where it's 1:00 in the east, 10:00 a.m. out west and here's what's happening right now. southern discomfort. defiance and denial. senate candidate roy moore speaks publicly for the first time since salacious allegations that have rocked his campaign and the republican party. >> i do not expect "the washington post" to stop. i think they have a political agenda. >> coming up, judge moore makes his case against accusations, but will republicans and voters buy it? also ahead, a handshake and a chat. presidents trump and putin