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tv   The Dylan Ratigan Show  MSNBC  January 13, 2011 4:00pm-5:00pm EST

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ficking this nation's problems? plus, lots to discuss as we get ready to launch the second leg of our steel on wheels tour, seeking to start a jobs movement in this country. we'll talk to steve forbes about the road ahead and how go about doing that. also, pwhat a little girl ad a stadium full of hockey fans can tell us about real unity in this country. show starts right now. well, america today in mourning. five days after a mass shooting that took the lives of a federal judge, a 9-year-old girl and four other patriotic americans who simply wanted to be involved in the political process. the city of tucson begins to bury its dead today. the first of those six funerals wrapping up as we speak. thousands remember that little
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girl, christina green. both her birth on 9/11 and her death last saturday coming on two very dark days in our nation's history. the largest american flag to survive the september 11th attacks rose once again today outside the church where christina is being remembered. today's somber ceremony coming on the heels of president obama's tribute during last night's memorial remembering the victims, honoring the heroes. i had a chance earlier this afternoon to speak with the tucson mayor and he described the feeling inside that hall last night. >> i have never in my life been to an event like that, ever before. full of emotion, but full of things that were unexpected. president was magnificent helping us in the healing process, but it was the citizens of tucson that wanted to express themselves and they sure did last night.
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it is something we will always remember. >> i want to play everybody a couple of excerpts from the speech. the first, the president referring to gabby giffords opening her eyes. take a listen. >> a few minutes after we left her room and some of her colleagues from congress were in the room, gabby opened her eyes for the first time. gabby opened her eyes for the first time. >> can you describe the feeling in the room at that moment? >> it was deafening. 12,000 people, when they heard gabby had opened her eyes and not be two days earlier she was critical and we weren't sure if she was going to make it and the president said, she almost opened her eyes for me, but -- it's something that we will always remember. the sound was deafening and they wanted to cheer. they wanted to cheer the
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president. they wanted to cheer the city. they wanted to cheer gabby. but they're very mindful of the six people that have lost their lives for sure. >> i want to play another exert regarding daniel hernandez, who represents some of our better angels in the young men alive and well in this country. >> we are grateful to daniel hernandez. a volunteer in gabby's office. and daniel, i'm sorry, you may deny it, but we decided you are a hero because you ran through the chaos to minister to your boss and tended to her wounds and helped keep her alive. >> what does something like the actions that he took mean to you as a reflection on the young men of tucson and of this country? >> well, earlier, daniel had said, i'm not a hero. and the president said it exactly right.
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said, daniel, you are a hero and again, 12,000 people said, you are a hero to us and we will always remember your bravery. that's what that was all about. >> and then obviously all of this unfortunately still with tragedy, with loss, not everybody lived through this. we all know that. a number of people lost their lives including christina green, who was 9 years old, who had her own aspirations and dreams in american politics. one more excerpt here from the president. >> if there are rain puddles in heaven, christina's jumping in them today. and here on this earth, here on this earth, we place our hands over our hearts and we commit
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ourselves as americans to forging a country that is forever worthy of her gentle, happy spirit. >> and how will the people of tucson not only remember christina green, but all of those who died in this tragedy? >> well, and in tucson, it starts today. the first funeral is for christina. that's the emotion of the day. we've moved from the memorial service of yesterday, where we were honoring heroes, but today, we're back to grieving those that have lost their lives and this young 9-year-old had a great life in front of her and we are certainly grieving her loss. >> and my last question for you. how have your feelings about all of this changed from the moment that you found out about the tragedy on saturday to today?
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>> sorrow, sadness, the value of prayer. i get that. but i also understand the process of recovery. and grieving must eventually recover. and move back to their lives. the president helped us in that process. i sent him a message of how much he has done to help this community get back to normal. move from grieving to understanding to a compassion for those that lost their lives. i am a different person. i think everybody in tu ston is, but it's a great city. all have been a great city and it's always going to be a great city and we are burying our dead starting today. >> and we thank mayor walkup for his time. we'll have much more on that memorial coming up here starting with the president's calls for
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unity and civil discourse. will anything in washington actually get done? we'll mix it up. also, grim new estimates about foreclosures in the year ahead. how many people have to lose their homes before our leaders provide real serious help to an incredible injustice that has and continues to fund america's banks who collect report profits and record bonuses at the expense of the american homeowner? we're back after this. ♪ [ chuckles ] ♪ [ ding ] [ in korean ] how may i help you? do you have something for pain? oh, bayer aspirin? oh, no, no, no... i'm not having a heart attack. it's my back. trust me. it works great for pain. [ male announcer ] nothing's proven to relieve pain better than extra strength bayer aspirin.
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and if as has been discussed in recent days, their death
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helps usher in more civility in our public discourse, let us remember it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy. it did not. but rather because only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to the challenges of our nation. >> well, president obama at the memorial to honor victims of the arizona shootings, enkourning a more civil tone. but will this call stop the endless political food fight in washington? >> it's important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we're talking with each other in a way that heals. not in a way that wounds. >> well perhaps the first real test will come next week as house republicans have rescheduled their repeal vote on
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the health care law. joining us now, jonathan capehart and amy holmes. welcome you both. jonathan, i'll start with you. how will you know whether your politicians are -- and the way we treat the political process? access to health care, education. this country is exquisitely unfair and i think all of us are frustrated with the absence to repair it. >> it's a mighty tall order, dylan. let's get through the state of the union and see how members of congress behaved during that speech. but i think we'll know if we're in a new era and a lot of the sloganeering we've heard up through the election, through the tragic events of saturday,
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will morph into substance. the leadership postponed the law to tuesday, but what i haven't heard yet is repeal the law and replace it with what? if we're going to have a substantive debate about repealing the health care law, i do think american people are owed and idea or two from the relationship leadership about what would replace some of the provisions that would prove popular such as keeping your kid on your health insurance until their 26th. >> amy, your thought. >> will politicians here treat each other with more civility? dare to dream. it's a wish upon the american people and i have to commend president obama last night for giving an excellent, beautiful and very thoughtful speech.
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all the talk show hosts that leapt all over the story, will they back down? will members of the democratic party and the president's own administration walk this back? i think only because the story will have moved on and it will be in the health care debate. i would like to see that debate be more substantive, but there is real differences between the republican and democratic approach. in fact, there are some democrats who have already signalled they would like to vote for repeal of obama care. they didn't agree with it either. we're setting it up as incivil if we say the republican position is unfair and a way to punish people, when republicans have their own approach to improve the system. >> the way that i defined the health care problem is fairly simple. it costs twice as much, nearly 17% of our gdp, to provide
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health care to a lot of people in this country, almost every other in fact every other western country is able to provide health care to all its people for half of what we spend in this country. i ask myself why? and as i look under the hood, i see, oh, we have health insurance monopolies that pay off politicians to perpetuate the monopoly. we've tied health care to the employer system, which is insane in a 21st century economy. >> republicans do actually agree with you. >> doesn't a serious conversation go back to asking why americans pay twice as much? >> actually, tieing health care to employment does create these problems, but democrats say republicans are trying to wreck the health care system when they made that suggestion. but again, we can get into
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health care in detail, but in order to have that debate, there has to be good feeling and good will on both sides. >> am i wrong to think that the serious debate would -- >> it would try to address it, but i think that the bigger issue is something that i don't think you mentioned, but has been a theme of your show from the time it was on in the morning until know, and that is the entrenched interests that care more about maintaining their hold and power than doing anything that would legitimately help people. the insurance lobby, the health care lobby. however it's defined, they're more interested in keeping their hold on power. >> and dylan, if i could add one more wrinkle to this in terms of the polarization of our political discourse. a lot of it has to do with the facts these districts are
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gerrymandered, so congress people went in with 70% of the vote and they don't have to appeal to the other side. so you have a more polarized congress. particularly on the house side. as we know, it's the cooling saucer. the fact senators represent the whole state, and create bipartisan teams in order to get legislation passed, but unfortunately, there are a lot of structural problems that create more polar language here. >> another indication of seriousness. the major electoral reform if we actually wanted to f a serious conversation in this country. speaking of serious conversations and it has nothing to do with civil discourse as nice as that may be, but really polite to somebody while they don't have a job and a home. that ties to incredible
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unfairnesses that plague this country. new numbers shows that banks repossessed over a million homes last year while bonusing themselves in the millions. foreclosures of course for 2011, expected to be even higher than that. so when lawmakers get back to business next week, will they focus on issue number one, jobs for america and the end of the unfair treatment of certain businesses that get incredible benefits from our government while others are put under incredible burden? do you have any sense, amy, that this congress, right or left, is serious about those issues? >> i think it is serious about the home foreclosure crisis. the administration had the home mortgage. i think a lot of effort should be put into educating the public that this is out there. banks don't want to be real estate agents and foreclosures are damaging to the home market.
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they drive down home values even lower, but then the other side is how do we transition people if they have to be foreclosed, how do we transition them successfully. one of the upsides of foreclosur foreclosures, it frees people up to go find those jobs in a community that might be next door or next state and they don't have the burden of this house. >> most people just want -- understand that the financial markets are controlled by banks on the value of all the houses that collapsed in our face in 2008. the pension money of america was really the collateral for that. great leverage to get the bailouts that were and still continue to be enjoyed and at the end of the day, we still have rising joblessness and rising foreclosure. what would you consider be an indication of seriousness from any politician in d.c. on this issue? >> well, again, it's a tall
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order and i think amy was right to mention the efforts of the administration the trying to make, but i think we need to certificated effort on the part of congress to really address this issue, the foreclosure issue, with the fanfare and heat with which they're going at say health care law repeal. that they're going to try next week. if we could see that same kind of energy, that same kind of passion about trying to keep people in their homes or trying to help people from losing their homes, that's when i would understand or know that they're serious about helping the american people where they're most vulnerable. that's in their homes, but also their jobs. >> jonathan, always a pleasure to see you and amy, a delight to welcome you to the program. amy holmes, america's morning news. jonathan at "the washington post." up next, regardless of your
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politics, i guarantee you over the next few minutes, i can show you an illustration of true unity in this country and why we could all learn a thing or two from an 8-year-old singer and a stadium full of minor league hockey fans, after this. ♪ she felt lost... until the combination of three good probiotics in phillips' colon health defended against the bad gas, diarrhea and constipation. ...and? it helped balance her colon. oh, now that's the best part. i love your work. [ female announcer ] phillips' colon health. [ record scratches ] ...and over [ record scratches ] probably isn't giving results you want. discover neosporin® lip health™. shown to restore visibly healthier lips in just 3 days. neosporin® lip health™. rethink your lip care.
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we're back with the story of 8-year-old elizabeth hughes singing "the national anthem" at a hockey game. she was doing a great job until the mike cut out. watch what happened next. ♪ ♪
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>> now we've heard a will the of talk in resent days about unity. the norfolk crowd did just that for elizabeth hughes and it's not often that a hockey games brings tears to the eye without a fight. still ahead, taxes, trade and tough talk. we'll talk to one of the world's forefront financial minds and the threat that is posed by china's trade practices and our future prosperity.
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[ indistinct shouting ] ♪ another day ♪ another dollar ♪ daylight comes [ dogs barking ] ♪ i'm on my way ♪ another day ♪ another dollar ♪ working my whole life away ♪ another day ♪ another dollar
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we're a couple of weeks away from our steel on wheels tour and just days into 2011, already plenty to talk about when it comes to the economy. a story out of illinois, where taxpayers got a rude awakening this morning. big time tax hikes. the state passing a bill that would raise the personal income tax rate 67%. governor pat quinn voeing to sign the bill to cover the state's budget shortfall. tim geithner still choosing his words carefully when addressing the threat of china. talking about the undervalued of the currency. >> this is not a tentable policy
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for china or the world economy. we believe it's in china's interest to allow the currency to appreciate more rapidly. >> still, ben bernanke with whatever the variables may be, offering a very optimistic outlook for the year ahead. >> we see the economy strengthening. it's looked better in the past few months and we think that the growth number for 2011 seems reasonable. >> joining us now to talk about the issues that will drive this economy and job creation in this country, steve forbes, chairman of forbes and editor in chief for forbes media. how are you? happy new year to you. let's start with china. dan also runs the largest steel company in north america, aggressive in saying listen, china is deliberately manipulating its currency to grow its economy at our expense. beyond that, they don't
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illustrate trade practices and there's things like intellectual property theft. whatever your view of the issues, it's clear that some level of engagement with china is inevitable. >> absolutely. and i hope we don't focus on the currency so much, over time, that's not a bad thing. it's stable. what the real issue should be is trade barriers. there are real trade barriers in china. a lot of things they don't allow us to do and theft of intellectual property. i think it's good for liberalizing china's economy. >> at the same time, china doesn't share those views. they've told us that they think and they think they're doing just fine, thank you very much. if nothing else, why is it in your view that the american political leadership doesn't play a more aggressive game in negotiating with china and defending american interests?
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>> part of the problem is the chinese don't take us as seriously as they deed a few years ago. weak dollar means weak recovery. that's why we're not creating as many jobs as we should. that's why capital's left this country and gone to asia. if mr. ben bernanke got off his d duff and said strong dollar again. i believe we're making progress in terms of putting our fiscal house in order. >> what confuses me is i can talk to conservatives, liberals, young people, kindergarten classes -- they'll agree to this, but at the same time, when it comes to the political leadership in this country, republican or democrat, we do not see serious engagement when it comes to abusive trade practices with china. why is that? >> part of the problem is it's not just trade.
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we have a bunch of strategic issues. china, iran, korea and other things. but that shouldn't preclude us. they get sidetracked in currency. today, the dollar's worth 25% of what it was in the 1990s. we still have a mar chan diaz trade deficit. in terms of monetary policy, because it's so bloody boring and intimidated people, they don't pay attention to it. >> speaking of the whitewash or monetary policy, whether it's ben bernanke or the tribe that does that and his predecessor, one of the results of that is an american economy that appears tepid in its rate of economic growth and incredibly unequal and fair in its treatment of business, period. not just through monetary
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policy, but through subsidies tax loopholes. one of the biggest reasons people complain about the american government and system is while the ideal of fairness is promoted, the idea is not represented in the way business relates to our government. >> this gets to something, one of my hobby horses, that is the flat tax. take out all this junk in the tax code. have a simplified thing. you make it, you may it. no more anything. have a low rate. that way, you'd end up having a stronger economy. you'd end up collecting more revenue and wouldn't have one of the biggest sources of revenue in this country. the tax code. this code has been amended 14,000 times since 1880. this deficit commission which reported in december, both democrats and republicans, many went along with the idea of simplifying the code. at least they're getting the
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idea. >> our emphasis with the steel on wheels tour and going into this country, the next tour going to minnesota, nebraska and colorado, to try to capitalize a jobs movement. what sort of thing should we be advocating and listening for? >> one, that boring suggest. the american people understood weakness is not good. it hurts cap and investment. another thing in terms of taxes, let's make a move towards a simplified tax code. another thing, the uncertainty about health care. massive new rules coming in. i support the idea of put in sensible things such as allowing nationwide gekko is peddling nurns. equalized tax treatment. why shouldn't the individual get
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deductions. let's focus on real safety net. we do it for food stamps. we don't have farmers run by the government, but in terms of people can't get it, we have everything from food banks to food stamps. >> and if you look at the absurdity of our health care system being tied to employment, being tied to a culture that lacks competition and then you look and say, why do we pay twice as much as any other western world? you don't have to look that hard when you're perpetuating monopolies. >> we don't have real free markets in health care. we have pockets of it, which is why we produce more medicines than the rest of the world together. but let's have a real free market and true safety nets. if you can do it in food, you can do it in health care. >> just to sort of tie a ribbon
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on this, it addresses some of the unfairness there. whether it's the unfairness in the business relationships, small and big with the government, had lawrence leslie on the program and the way he structured it was this. he said, listen, you can talk about taxes, health care, all these things, but until you do with the fact that money and infui influence is what drives is decision making process in washington, you won't get the proper result from those other things. he equated it to an alcoholic, my wife doesn't like me, i'm not doing that well in a job, my kidneys hurt. if you don't quit drinking, chances are, all those other problems aren't going to go away. is this money that pours through our political system, or the way it pours there, the drinking that is resulting all these other things? >> the way you do it is go
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exactexact ly around it. reagan was right on this. he said, if you want to change minds on capitol hill, you don't do it through sweet reason. you do it through public opinion. with the internet, why did you think we had ha election results in november? that's what happened. you get public opinion focusing on these things, it will make it an issue in 2012. there will be a mandate after 2012, so i think the process is beginning. starting to see the stirrings in this country. >> and that couldn't be more of an imperative. it is more about reform than the liberal or conservative, is it not? >> fundamental reform. tax code, i hope the president's state of the union will start to get on this thing, but it should be a partisan issue. jerry brown is a favorite of the flat tax. i think cleaning up the code would attract widespread support.
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>> and probably resurrect some of the credibility of those looking for our government. >> puts the lobbiests out of work. >> last question in the short-term, your view on the overall strength and this economy economy's ability to create jobs in the reality of the streets of america. >> in the next year, we will create about 2.5 to 3 million new jobs. still not enough at this stage, so yes, better than 2010, but we could be doing a lot better. >> always a pleasure. up next, putting wealth to better use. how the rich can help america and perhaps in the process help themselves. should we be incentivising those who have success to take their capital and invest it to solve this country's problems? back in the 80's, it was really tough for me and my family.
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i was living on welfare and supporting a family of four. after i got the job at walmart, things started changing immediately. then i wrote a letter to the food stamp office. "thank you very much, i don't need your help any more." you know now, i can actually say i bought my home. i knew that the more i dedicated... the harder i worked, the more it was going to benefit my family. this my son, mario and he now works at walmart. i believe mario is following in my footsteps. my name is noemi, and i work at walmart.
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we are back on the dr show getting your feedback on the old twitter there. here's one just came across the wires as we were spoking to steve forbes and money and influence --
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no question if you watch the show, you know that if it was good enough for teddy roosevelt a hundred years ago, it's certainly good enough for us, that the concentration in wealth and power in any one quarter, let i loan a quarter that controls our government is a recipe for great unfairness and suffering in this county tr. i believe we are seeing that in the absence of jobs and in the disruption of housing and the unequal opportunities for people on things like education and health care. tweet us your thoughts. find me on the twitter at dylan ratig ratigan. we've talked quite a bit on this show about fair capitalism,
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investment, income inequality and what to do about it. it's an issue our next guest has been thinking about as well. tony schwartz, author of "be excellent at anything," which is out in paperback. it makes me want to buy it. let's cut to the quick here. there's incredible unfairness in the systems of this country. that is apparent to anybody that has looked at them. one of the results is incredible income inequality from those who have benefitted from those unfairnesses in many cases. >> i was on vacation and ended up in a harbor looking at boats that were 300 feet long. i found myself sickened because i thought to myself when i learned the owner of the boat was spending nine days a year on this boat. this cost 200 million to build and 5 million to upkeep.
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full of gas that's polluting that ocean. how does that make sense when we've got a billion people in the world living on a dollar a day. millions of people around the world don't have safe drinking water, they're starving. we need to reintroduce into the language is words morally indefensible. >> having watched so much of this crisis and having made personal decisions, to change my career and to reallocate the way i use my own personal capital relative to my journalism, to really try to highlight and fight a lot of the things that we are exploited and still are by the financial community that i once worked inside of, the question i would ask myself is
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how can these people take this money, knowing that they know that i know, they didn't make it, they aren't making it, they're doing it by virtue of manipulation of the government and extraction of a subsidy from the american future. what is your insight as to the psychological state of somebody that they are able to have that information. >> but don't make the decision. >> denial and numbness. around people who live the same life you do, it's like looking at a tobacco company. you notice those folks keep a very narrow world. you know all you have to do is walk into one of these communities where people are living in the way, at the enl of survival and now that it's something that if you are not moved by it, then you should be send to some kind of educational process -- we've gotten to the
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point where we allow a person to earn $4 billion, pay half the tax on that as a hedge fund manager. an average does and keep all that money not being used while people are dying. >> and by the way, the $4 billion was made on a taxpayerer subsidized reinflation by the federal reserve. >> absolutely. and when you look at the inclination of folks at the top of the income scale to give away their money on average, half of their money. the rest of the -- on average, for example, let me take not even the rich, but the reasonably well off. the person under $25,000 a year, that's poverty level in this country. on average giving 4.2% of his income to charitiable causes.
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the person making over $100,000 a year is giving just over 2%. what is wrong with us? >> but that begs the question of the flawed psychology that oh, if i get more money, i will be happy. and how much of this is driven by that sort of flat construct that by accumulating money, that you somehow will achieve happyness and if you don't, go from 100,000 to a million, still not happy. a million to ten million. then i'll be happy. then you have to engage, it's like we have the wrong wires connected in our brains. >> when you set up a false idol like more money and the initial
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impulse is that it's quite cool to have more money the first time, deminnishing returns and thinks that it is sane to go from enhanced focus on earning a billion dollars to now earning another billion. something happening in their brain that's disconnected. what's disconnected is more is
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better as opposed to something else is better. go back to buffett and gates. to some extent, they figured this out. which is what they've committed to do, this isn't what they say they're thinking, but i have $25 million left, which is enough for me to buy pretty much anything i want. but in vision, i will have done something that makes me feel better. i would ask the very rich in this country to take one year where they invest at least 10%, the average in america is 2%. invest and the well being in others is very strong. scientifically. >> absolutely. the people who make -- people who do that discover that they get a reward much greater than all the things they've spent their lives trying to get. >> tony schwartz, "be excellent at anything." coming up on "hardball," chris matthews talking to nancy
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pelosi about what it was like to be in the hospital with gabby giffords when she opened her eyes. did president obama's speech make a difference? karen finney with the "daily rant." whoa! that achy cold needs alka-seltzer plus! it rushes multiple cold fighters, plus a powerful pain reliever, wherever you need it! [ both ] ♪ oh what a relief it is! on my refinance loan, or pay me $1,000? that would be nice, not getting swindled. um...where are we? don't just think about it. put lendingtree to the test. get the best deal, or $1,000.
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president obama addressing a grieving nation last night trying to convey a sense of hope, of unity at a time it's been in short supply. karen finney has some thoughts on that. >> last night, obama lifted our conversation beyond the facts of
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the case or the simple answers and pointed to the real significance ant opportunity of this moment as only a true leader can. >> so, the truth is, none of us can know exactly what triggered this vicious effect. none of us can no with any certainty what might have shopped these shots from being fired or what thoughts lurked in the inner recesses of the violent man's mind. >> on some levels, it really doesn't matter who did what to whom or why because what matters most is what happens next and that's only thing that any of us can have an impact on. so do we choose to let this be a moment where we check ourselves, challenge our previous way of thinking and acting like we did for a time after 9/11 or do we lazily slump back into business
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as usual? >> this tragedy prompts reflection and debate as it should, let's make sure it's worthy of those we have lost. let's make sure it's not on the usual plane of politics, point scoring and pettyness that drifts away in the next news cycle. >> so what if next week when we go back to the dugs of repealing health care -- all sides can and should continue to present their points of view, but if we engage in an honest discourse as the president suggests, we need to admit that repeal could decrease access of mental health services and while deficit hog may be an effective bit of rhetoric, budget cuts mean fewer police on our streets and fewer first responders when we need them. we can both protect our second
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amendment right to bear arms and effectively prevent guns from getting into the hands of people who can't responsibly handle them. and if the president suggests we have a willingness to challenge our old asultss, heroes like daniel hernandez make our country much stronger. either way, what happens next is up to us. >> if you were to look at some of these issues, the debt ceiling, the health care debate, we can just stop with those two. for sake of the two minutes left in this program, don't we have to be honest about the true causes for instance of that deficit? and not cherry pick and say, well, the deficit is just because of the tax cuts for the rich or the deficit is just because of the war or the deficit is just because of social security and instead of be honest about the fact that
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there is an aggregate structure here that is in place. >> that's right. the other thing, when we talk about the debt ceiling, already, the language we're hearing, what is this side going to get from that side? i keep thinking, who cares, it's what's going to happen to america. you can't really engage in a good policy discussion if everything isn't on the table and if we aren't honest about all of the reasons why we got to where we are, but also, if we don't go into it with this sort of i'm going to get this attitude. >> then on health care, the debate, the original debate was we have to cover the uninsured. and i -- tremendous compliment to this president for raising the bar to where it should have been for a long time. with that said, it didn't answer the question as to why our health care is twice as expe

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