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tv   The Cycle  MSNBC  January 29, 2014 12:00pm-1:01pm PST

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thousand words. and the southern u.s. frozen in place. i'm abby huntsman. we are live in hotlanta, which right now, is anything but. president obama is on his way back to washington right now. we hit the ground running today after last night's state of the union address, which was watched by nearly 30 million americans. now, the first stop was right outside the beltway at a costco retailer in maryland. the president pushed to raise the minimum wage, something he just mandated through executive order for new federally contracted workers. and then it was on to a steel plant south of pittsburgh where he talked about boosting retirement security making sure the piggy bank is filled for americans who have worked their entire lives to fill it. in both speeches, the president continued to push the message he hammered last night. if you work hard, life shouldn't be this hard.
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>> what america should be about. nobody's looking for a free lunch. but give people a chance. if they're working hard, make sure they can support a family. we need to give every american access to an automatic i.r.a. on the job so they can save at work. it's a new type of savings bond we can set up without legislation that encourages americans to begin to build a nest egg. >> josh barrow was watching last night along with all of us. four ideas the president could've pushed last night but didn't. we're going to get to that in just a moment. but first, josh, you're a finance guy. let's talk about my-ra. what is it? when is it? and why is it? >> yeah, so basically -- >> and how do you pronounce it. >> that's the first area of dispute, is it myra or my-ra? it's a retirement account. and the idea is to reach people
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who don't have a 401(k) option through work now. they'll be able to save in this. you can save as little as $5 a pay period. and you don't get to pick stocks or bonds, you just put it in this special kind of government security they're creating. and it's a pretty good deal because it'll have all the features of a short-term treasury bond. it's completely safe. there's no risk that any change in the markets or interest rates will change your returns. but you get paid about 1% or 2% more than you'd be able to get in the market. the idea is to get people who aren't saving for retirement to save a little bit. you'll only be able to save $15,000 in this account before you have to convert it into a traditional i.r.a. it's not going to be the entire retirement solution for anybody, but the idea, i think, with it is more to change people's behavior and get them thinking about saving for retirement than actually to be a new overall system for retirement. >> good idea. the idea is what counts. another thing the president talked about was the earned tax income. essentially as you know, josh,
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is a tax credit for working -- low income working folks so they can be incentivized to work. let's listen to what the president had to say about expanding the eitc. >> there are other steps we can take, and few more effective at reducing inequality and helping families to pull themselves up through hard work than the earned income tax credit. right now, it helps about half of all parents at some point. think about that. it helps about half of all parents in america at some point in their lives. i agree with republicans like senator rubio, it doesn't do enough for single workers who don't have kids. so let's work together to strengthen the credit, reward work, help more americans get ahead. >> what would strengthening the earned income tax credit look like? and this is an idea that republicans could potentially get onboard with? >> well, back in the 1970s when this program was being started, it was one that conservatives were onboard with. and you see support for ideas like this in conservative think
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tanks. even on the extreme end, charles murray at the american enterprise institute that advocates a lot of ideas that liberals don't like at all supports a basic income, which is a much larger version of earned income tax credit, for everybody that goes up no matter how high your income is. but when republicans and democrats talk about this, they mean different things. they mean making it bigger, republicans worry that's just basically giving people more money not for working. the earned income tax credit, it has two slopes. there's a period where you're working poor and you get more earned income tax credit the more you work and encourages work. then it has to phase out on the other end. republicans, they both don't like spending money on it and they worry about incentives against work on the phaseout end of it. what i would like to see in terms of strengthening it is thinking more about the earned income tax credit in conjunction with the other means tested programs that we have in this country. things like food stamps and medicaid. all these benefits that fade out as people earn more income. you do get people in this income
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range, sort of in the 30th to 40th percentile. people who are poor but not middle class where they can face an effective tax rate close to 100% as all of these programs phase out as they earn more money. this does make it harder for people to improve their lives, work more hours, get better jobs. a reform that looked at those programs together, it would probably cost money but also grow the economy and encourage work. >> and the focus has been, correct me if i'm wrong, josh, on expanding the program so it's not just for families but it also helps single people and could potentially even help with the marriage rate if you have low-income men earning more men and marriage becomes more feasible. >> this is the idea in senator rubio's plan. personally i'm skeptical that a big driver of marriage rates in the united states is sort of tinkering at the margins with what people's incomes are. >> i did it for the tax benefits. >> right. yeah. maybe everybody's as cold and calculating as me and out there with their calculator and an
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extra $700 a year will make that change. i think the primary reasons to adjust the earned income tax credit have to do with inequality and poverty. >> for ari's sake, i hope his fiancee is not watching because that's not -- >> not watching. >> well, that tells us something about that relationship. >> she's working. >> listen, josh -- >> yeah. >> she should have a dvr, though, right? you live in brooklyn. all right. >> move on. >> one thing i heard last night was a partly confrontational speech where the president said, hey, if you guys aren't going to work with me, i'm going to go around you. i have this pen and i will use it. let's play a little part of that. >> and i'm eager to work with all of you. but america does not stand still and neither will i. so wherever and whenever i can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more american families, that's i'm going to do. >> called it the i guess i have to do everything by myself
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speech and john harris at politico saying it was intended -- the speech was intended to serve unmistakable notice that obama tends to be the dominant figure in american public life as long as he's in the job, he's not going to fade into irrelevancy and congress doesn't have the power to render him irrelevant. they've been trying via obstruction since day one or before day one. and we're inching toward lame duckness, and this guy's like, hey, i want to get something done and i'm going to do that. >> i think it's a recognition of the fact that the republicans in congress aren't going to work with him except when they have to. they have to raise the debt limit, they'll do that. other key areas, it's likely he's not going to get his way through congress. looking for these opportunities to act alone. we're seeing that with both events today. he went and talked about his desire for a minimum wage increase which he can't get from congress, but he can by executive action change the way that workers for federal contractors are paid. he'd probably like to do something more aggressive on
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retirement saving, maybe with automatic enrollment of workers in retirement accounts. that would require congressional action. this my-ra plan is something to do by executive order. and i think the biggest one of these and one people haven't talked about enough is what he said about climate change, that the epa is working to limit the amount of carbon emissions in the united states. this is a very important policy initiative of the administration. and it's likely going to be one of the biggest policy legacies of his presidency. >> yeah. interesting, though, did not mention the keystone pipeline. josh, i don't want to boost the ego, but you're a pretty darn good writer, even president obama has acknowledged your awesome reporting. and what i love about the way you think, it's often the less obvious. in this case, you zoned in on what you thought was missing from the speech last night, said the president could've broken new ground by talking about policies like marijuana, infrastructure, intellectual property reform and local
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regulation. and these are issues that if nothing else, josh, would've played with republicans. why not hit on them? >> yeah, i find it a little mysterio mysterious. the president said in this interview with the new yorker last week, he doesn't think marijuana is any more harmful than alcohol. it's hard to understand, then, what the moral rationale is for the government to involve itself in prohibiting it. and on the and on these other regulatory areas, the president specifically said we've had this fight over whether the government should be larger or smaller. i identified a few policy areas where we could make changes to grow the economy and grow standards of living without actually having to make any changes to the size of government. there might be more opportunities to work constructive with congress there. i was disappointing that the president didn't go in that direction. >> there's interesting points when you talk to obama administration officials. they say on marijuana they are already doing what the president outlined in new york and the enforcement priorities and not
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busting colorado or washington state, there's more to be done. >> thank you. up next, we have that famous gop response or responses, how much has it changed since the last democratic state of the union? that would be clinton. we'll get into that as "the cycle" rolls on for wednesday, january 29th. they lived. ♪ they lived. ♪ they lived. ♪ (dad) we lived... thanks to our subaru. ♪ (announcer) love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. i just served my mother-in-law your chicken noodle soup but she loved it so much... i told her it was homemade. everyone tells a little white lie now and then. but now she wants my recipe [ clears his throat ] [ softly ] she's right behind me isn't she? [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
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i believe we need to do what americans have always done. come together. protesting against dysfunctional government. >> i'd like to share a more hopeful republican vision, one that empowers you, not the government. >> we need real jobs created in the real world, not more empty
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government promises. [ speaking spanish ] >> as the great herman cain once said, i got all this stuff twirling around in my head. that is how i feel after last night's four republican responses to the state of the union at a time when the party needs a unified message, last night proved the gop is anything but. and with four competing messages, most people likely heard this. but let's be clear, the talk about messaging is not just about republicans. matt miller draws the eerily similar comparison between president obama's speech and president clinton 20 years ago. i want to play this split screen with bill clinton saying pretty much the same thing. >> when you work 40 hours a week and have a child in the
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household, you will not live in poverty. >> no one that works full-time should ever have to raise a family in poverty. >> as you put it, it made sense then, makes sense now. how long does a wealthy, sane nation need to fix this? and that is the question many people are asking today, matt, will last night's speech actually lead to a year of action? or as you put it, is it a formula for a kinder, gentler decline from office? >> yeah, i always get depressed watching these things because, you know, i share barack obama's vision but president clinton's as well 20 years ago. 20 years have passed, the economy has grown in real terms by something like 60%, 70%, but all of the problems that we talk about remain the same. child poverty remains high, we still haven't solved the problem of the working poor. we've got mediocre schools still struggling. we've got health costs and college costs soaring. and yet you've got democratic presidents rolling out more and more big rhetoric combined with
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very small ball initiatives. i understand the political constraints he faces, but i don't know why we're not trying to really change the conversation and go for something much bolder. >> let's read a little more from your sad op-ed. says here, these measures can surely do modest good at the margin, but it's unbearable to be peddling these as meaningful action. for the malaise i felt midway into the speech. even though the president looked strong, it felt like so much of the same old blah. given the emphasis on executive action, what more do you want the president to do? >> well, look, the executive -- i understand what they're trying to do, but i guess what they're going for, ari, is the illusion of action or pretense of action because so many of this is really tiny at the margin. a whole bunch of these initiatives are, let's mobilize
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the private sector to do more apprenticeships. let's pass the tin cup to see if we can't get private companies to kick in corporate philanthropy to connect schools to the internet, you know, in other advance nations, a government might do something like that. i'm not saying there's nothing worthwhile in this. as you know, i think the minimum wage stuff they're doing with the federal side is important even if it's smaller than it looks like in the headlines. i think some of the climate stuff could be important. but to pretend. the imperative of a white house is to overhype the impact of this small ball stuff will be. and that continues to fuel this kind of, you know, i think people look at this and say you're full of it because what you're promising or what you're saying is quote, unquote, action doesn't match up. i wish they would take these big issues and try and have a much bigger campaign to the country and say i know i can't get this done now. let's talk about how to change the climate of opinion for 2016 and beyond. but they don't want to give up the impression they can still get things done. >> well, and to your point,
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matt. the president seems to have this tic of negotiating with himself before he brings things to the table. i think a classic example is the earned income tax credit. expand that, it would be very good for a lot of low-income americans depending on what the details were. but, again, this is something republicans should be on board with. but because he's the first one to propose it from that centrist position, it makes it less likely to happen. whereas, i want to see if you agree with me on this, if he proposed something bigger and negotiated with them, they could actually come to the earned income tax credit idea he put out in the state of the union last night. >> see, i agree with a lot of that, krystal. if i were obama, i'd be saying, let's stop talking about 10.10 an hour for the minimum reward for work should be, but let's say the all-in reward minimally for work in america in the 21st century should be $15 an hour,
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now let's talk about what share of that should be on employers and what share should be done through wage subsidies like the earned income tax credit? josh was right when you were talking before. it was invented by milton friedman, initiated by ronald reagan, republicans in theory support it. the problem with all respect to abby and the republicans, at the margin, they'd rather not spend the money on people who don't vote republican so they'd rather be dragged kicking and screaming to the idea. but if obama aimed bigger as krystal says, i think he can start the conversation. >> amen to that and with all due respect to our good friend abby huntsman. >> abby does not sit in that particular regard. >> the idea of having 14 republicans respond to the state of the union. >> i think it was like 4 3/4 republican responses. >> you're right. it was four, only four. but, still, it's an absurd amount and suggests the whole group is fractured, leaderless, free for all.
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there's an official response and there's a factions response, and then there's a free agent response. and then there's what i find -- >> response yesterday. >> right there the krystal response and i find it somewhat patronizing there's the spanish language response because we can't speak to the whole group. we can't have one person who would speak to everybody, but we've got to sort of, you know, just have somebody who will tailor a message. i think maybe on friday we'll have the ebonics response. the whole idea there's all these -- >> where is this going? >> it's a bit absurd. >> i'll confess, i only took in the official response because i had a column to file last night and couldn't wait to filter in the other three. but it's -- it is weird. i mean, it's kind of testifies to politicians' ambition. if they create a new platform or have the chance to, anyone will seize it to get themselves in there. what depressed me is watching, you know, ms. rogers when she gave hers, i thought it was the most vacuous thing.
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and then i see republicans saying what a bold new face. and there wasn't a single idea. it was all a bunch of life stories and anecdotes and syrupy music. and i guess they think we're children and, you know, it's crazy. >> you know, there wasn't a whole lot of substance, i agree with that. but i give kudos to representative mcmorris. i think she handled it with grace. it's not an easy job. >> she didn't do anything. >> i appreciate your point, abby. she was definitely better on style than some of the previous republicans who have done it. she spoke about her family. i hope, matt, you'll come back again and give your measured yet sad response every year. >> matt, i actually thought it was a hard-hitting piece and a good piece, a lot of great points in there. thank you as always for being with us. >> thanks for having me. >> up next, all about the optics. the moments we will be talking about even after today. twitter sure liked this one. hey guys! sorry we're late.
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and our news cycle begins with a weather alert. the deep south has been paralyzed by winter storm some haven't seen in their lifetime in atlanta. the national guard is escorting school children from their classrooms back home. they have been stuck for a day because of the crippling storm. authorities are also bringing food, water, blankets and gas to drivers stranded on some of those icy highways. now, this system is affecting tens of millions of people from virginia and the carolinas all the way south to the florida panhandle and new orleans. the weather channel's kate parker is in savannah, georgia, for us. >> reporter: you know what, ari, you wouldn't typically expect to see someone from the weather channel for a winter storm to be in savannah, georgia. but here's the deal, this town, this city is not prepared for winter weather. and so we were monitoring the
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situation, we did see ice here, freezing precipitation here, but nothing like what we have just down the road. as you know, the weather channel headquarters are right down the road in atlanta. if we wanted to get there right now, we couldn't. folks that are in atlanta have significant delays. not talking just measly old delays on your evening commute, we're talking 14 hours to get home from the office, 20 hours to get home from the office, and that's if you don't abandon your car there on the roads. as you know, atlanta hartsfield/jackson airport was closed for quite a long time as far as arrivals and departures go. that is open, and they say the runways are ready to go. they've got flights that are leaving, but the problem is, they're so backed up because they missed out on so many flights while we had the ice on the ground. and the planes were having very difficult time, obviously, getting de-iced, getting out and getting people out safely. so that's the situation in atlanta. of course, this is a crippling storm. it is exiting the region. we have precipitation south of
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where i am here in savannah, georgia. here the city was prepared pretty well, kids out of school today, all federal agencies for the most part except for essential emergency personnel are out of the office today. ari, you know, it could have been a lot worse. in savannah, and we saw that down the road in atlanta. >> all right. so crazy, kait parker, thank you so much. and thousands of vacationers finally back on dry land this afternoon after a cruise from hell. hundreds of royal caribbean passengers got sick with a stomach bug. the cruise line has offered a partial refund on this trip and half off of future booking. >> that is my worst nightmare. vice president joe biden addressed possible presidential aspirations this morning speaking with savannah guthrie. he didn't close the door on a 2016 run. he didn't exactly open it either. >> in my heart, i'm confident that i could make a good president. it's a very different decision
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to decide whether or not to run for president. and there's plenty of time. i've not made a decision to run, or not to run. >> the v.p. was front and center on the tv today after sitting behind the president on the tv last night during the big address. in the house chamber, the president was the only one to speak this time. but the body language of everyone there spoke volumes. constantly standing to applause. punctuated by biden standing by almost anything while boehner sat for almost anything except for a nice mention of himself that got a loud cheer from the assembled. >> how the son of a bar keep is speaker of the house. >> that was a nice moment, but as usual, civility is barely in
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evidence. >> well played. >> in d.c. >> right. >> it was a nice moment. >> tortured about whether he can stand or not, gives a nice thumbs up, do i stand, look, i wish that the president could just come out and say, hey, this is what i want, the whole world is watching and then tomorrow we go back to bickering like it's not parents' day at school. but in the element of the permanent campaign, john boehner has to weigh, do i actually be seen cheering for something that this president is saying, or not? and he's watching so tortured. and then you have biden sort of pointing at folks. that's our facebook today. i wish the country were at a point where folks like boehner could say, i'm going to put the country first and party second. but that's why we get him with state of the union and that's why we get the congress we do. and even when they have the votes, he's like, this is what the party wants.
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>> we're not the ones that shut down the government. >> it used to be a letter, you know, the president would hand off. >> you're not into the state of the union at all? >> i don't know. i think there's symbolic about it, but -- >> you want to go back to the letter? >> i thought it was a well-delivered speech, but we'll see what comes from it. we saw last year, it was big on gun control and not much happened there. >> why did that happen? >> anyway. i personally like watching it, but i don't know. i don't know that it does that much to move the conversation or to add much to what we're trying to do. >> and someone who agrees partly with that analysis is the president, right? that is how he feels, abby. and that's why he gave this sort of speech. to me, it was a little bit of the old george carlin thing of jumbo shrimp. how big of a shrimp is it going to be? this will be unilateral
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tinkering, super inspired but we have to be realistic about the fact that congress does nothing. i'm going to talk more about the policy at the end of the show. i identify a lot with the goals this president set there on policy. still, as a viewer, like anyone else in the country watching, it is weird, a little frustrating, a little even seemingly inconsistent if you don't know why congress is so broken that he's out there saying we've got to do this and that and has this almost hopeful thing and when you hear the delivery each time to matt miller's point earlier, we've got to be hopeful and do this thing and i'm going to have a conversation at a summit and hope that someone else will do it because lord knows congress won't do anything. and that is one of the situations where congress' failures do box him in because this is a constitutional democracy. >> this is the first time that i at the end of the state of the union felt depressed. not because it's a bad speech or things i care deeply about. i think we shouldn't underestimate how much universal pre-k could be a game-changer for a lot of people.
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but it's not going to happen. there was an acknowledgment in this speech that nothing is going to happen with this congress so, yeah, i left at the end of it feel really, really depressed. >> as we conclude the show's coverage of the state of the union speech, we want to end with a moment that truly united left and right and everybody. we're used to this by now. the president no matter which party calling out someone from the gallery and saluting him or her for something amazing they've done. but with a gifted order, like barack obama, with words that match the callout with the action of the person in the gallery, it really works. it reminds us of how much some americans will sacrifice in service for our great country. we take you back to last night for a moment that all who saw will never forget. >> i first met cory remsberg, a proud army ranger at omaha beach on the 65th anniversary of
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d-day. along with some of his fellow rangers, he walked me through the program and ceremony. he was a strong, impressive young man, sharp as a tack. we joked around and took pictures and i told him to stay in touch. a few months later on his tenth deployment, cory was nearly killed by a massive roadside bomb in afghanistan. his comrades found him in a canal face down under water, shrapnel in his brain. for months, he lay in a coma. the next time i met him in the hospital, he couldn't speak. could barely move. over the years, he's endured dozens of surgeries and procedures, hours of grueling rehab every day.
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even now, still blind in one eye, struggles on his left side. but slowly, steadily, with support of care givers like his dad craig and the community around him, cory has grown stronger. day by day, he's learned to speak and stand again and walk again. he's working toward the day he can serve his country again. my recovery has not been easy, he says. nothing in life that's worth anything is easy. cory is here tonight, and like the army he loves, the america he serves, sergeant first class cory ramsberg never gives up and he does not quit.
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[ breath of relief ] thanks. [ male announcer ] you're welcome. ready? go. . here we are five years after the foreclosure crisis, the collective outrage has subsided, but the problem is far from over. consider 1 in 5 u.s. homes today remains under water, meaning the mortgage is more than the house is currently worth. in response, some local communities came up with an unusual plan. use the constitutional power to allow local governments to seize loans. the cities here would then lower the amount owed i should say on the loan so that the homeowners no longer under water avoiding foreclosure. advocates say it's a great way to give some of these homeowners another chance. the group's lobbying on behalf of wall street counter that the banks own these loans and analysts warn if banks lose too
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much here, they may not offer the loans we need in the future. well, let's let alexis goldstein pick up the story there. her reporting appears on this. domain it's usually to pick on the little guy. how does this plan work? why might it be a good thing? >> america currently has over 10 million people stuck in the underwater homes as you mentioned in the intro. and essentially a lot of people feel stuck and can't afford their monthly mortgage payments. the idea behind these plans is the cities would use their power to seize the mortgage loan and write down the value of the mortgage to the current market value of the house. maybe you had a mortgage for $200,000, it would be written down to the current market value which would be $100,000. and the basic idea it helps the homeowner but also helps the community because, you know, when foreclosures happen in a community property values go down, sometimes we have problems
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with abandoned homes are vandalized. and the basic idea, it helps everyone here. the banks take a small hit, but they have had the opportunity to help homeowners. they've been given incentives by the federal government to give loan modifications and they largely haven't. and so the cities are basically saying, look, we're going to take this problem into our own hands and do what we can do for our citizens. >> you highlight two cities in the piece that are trying to do it this way. one is richmond, california, which only has 100,000 people. and we're talking 624 loans. this seems obviously like a grass roots, very small scale local effort. my initial reaction was why would wall street care about something that seems pretty small. >> that's a really good question. one that a lot of community groups who are organizing in the area. they had the same question. but the basic -- the fear and what i wrote about in my earl articles.
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they're afraid that this idea will catch. one of the e-mails actually said where there's smoke will soon catch fire. and i think the basic idea is this big powerful wall street trade group is used to lobbying in one place and one place only, the federal government to get what they need. and this is now an idea that's going to potentially spread, it's being considered in newark, was being considered in massachusetts. and it changes the equation. they now have to fight at multiple different cities. they don't get to go to this one place which is just the federal government to ask for deregulation and watering down of rules. and they're really afraid this idea will spread and they'll have to spend their money playing defense for once instead of offense. >> we're going to put the statement and response on the screen. that's the banking trade group that's been working with the banks on behalf of the banks that you mentioned. but just to play devil's advocate here. what about their argument that these are their mortgages, they own them and if this does spread like wildfire, like, you know, like it could and like they're worried it would, it will result
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in them being more risk averse and less likely to give out loans in the first place. >> i think they're giving out loans in the first place to -- a lot of times were predatory, bait and switch rates. a lot of times -- they were never benevolent actors. weren't going into communities saying we're going to give you a loan and take a chance on you. a lot of the mortgages in lead up were aggressively sold, particularly in communities of color, the department of justice went after wells fargo for giving african-american and latino homeowners subprime mortgages even when they had the same incomes as white americans essentially. them doing less predatory lending may be a good thing. but, look, they stand to lose money, they have lots of resources, they're going to fight back against that. but they've had an opportunity to give loan modifications, they've been incentivized by the government to do that through a program. and there have been a lot of lawsuits in the last year where we saw former bank of america employees, for example, being told they were incentivized to
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push to foreclosure. they had their chance and kind of blew it. >> there was an interesting response to all of this by the former democratic congressman brad miller from north carolina in "american banker" magazine saying the real losers from this program would be the biggest banks. and even for the biggest banks, eminent domain would not cause losses but reveal losses. can you unpack that a little for us? and if the banks aren't actually going to lose money they haven't already lost, why don't we just do this? >> i think that brad miller was a great advocate on this issue, that's a good point. and i think that, you know, it's extend and pretend. if we can push our losses further into the future, that's better for the banks, better for their balance sheets, looks better when they have to report to their shareholders. but also, there's actually kind of a magic like middle ground where if they can extend a foreclosure a certain period of time, they can also rack up fees. it's not just about the amount they may lose on the mortgage if it's written down, it's about
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fee income they may lose. they make money in lots of different and varied ways and want to keep making it. >> that's well point. the saying is we all die some day, but that's not true for our friends, the corporations, the people. and sooner or later they could make that money. alexis, thanks for telling us about it. >> thanks for having me. >> absolutely. the president talked about bringing jobs back to america last night. but how long until the robots take over? we want to know and we'll look into that next. ♪ [ male announcer ] we all deserve a good night's sleep. thankfully, there's zzzquil. it's not for colds, it's not for pain, it's just for sleep. ♪ because sleep is a beautiful thing™. ♪ zzzquil. the non-habit forming sleep aid from the makers of nyquil®.
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fifteen minutes could save you... well, you know. i am not jealous, it is a human emotion. >> this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. >> come and get it. >> dead or alive, you are coming with me. >> where can i take you tonight? >> the idea of robots doing all the work for us is great until you wonder what we will do if the robots eventually make us obsolete. the private sector is adding jobs for the first time since the '90s, that's good news. but no matter what gains we make, some jobs lost to smart technology are never coming back. according to new research, half of american jobs today could be automated in the next few decades. in the latest article derek thompson asks, what jobs will the robots take next?
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and a real life flesh and blood, derek. >> i didn't know what would show up for this. >> let's talk about what jobs they are likely to take. some of the ones you list as being most likely to go away are, you know, the largely middle-income jobs. so this is actually playing a role in equality. >> right. robots and software. they've had sort of a hollowing out effect. at the low end, jobs have been safe. >> service jobs. >> people helping people. at the top, lawyers all this stuff. you p don't necessarily have robots doing that stuff. in the middle, what you do see are robots are placing people in routine based work. and manufacturing. and in rule-based work and like office administration. what it seems -- what seems to be the case for the last 30 years is that robots are better at routines and rules. people are better at diagnosing and directing. we're better at making decisions. >> you're absolutely right. this is a serious issue, automation and robotization has
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cost us thousands perhaps millions of jobs but may never come back. we used to see multiple secretaries in offices that we no longer need because where we are with information technology. but i'm most concerned with the future of of my job, right? all politics is local, right? what about people like max head room coming to make my job? >> i'm sorry. if they think i'm endorsing car accessories, they have another dipstick coming. they've tried this one before. i'm radial tired of it. if they expect me to change gear and start spark plugging their products, they must be out of their piston head. >> how long before they start putting people like that doing -- >> i would say i know of no computer algorithm that can
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output your charisma. we didn't think robots could play jeopardy. they are just fill out the answer type questions. they're puns. they're playing on words. things that we didn't necessarily think were possible for robots are suddenly possible. another quick example, driving cars. it is somewhat easy for a 15, 16-year-old person. think about all the human skills it requires. >> and they're better than us at it. you heard the thing he said. you remember that krystal. >> the truth is scarier because we really don't know.
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there have to be jobs we know are safe like a firefighter, a teacher, a doctor. >> you would think. at the same time, what if you develop a robot that understands how to find people and carry people and take them out? firefighters seem like they would be the first in line to be replaced because it's a dangerous job. robo cop is right there. the movie is coming out this summer. with teachers, maybe a robot doesn't replace a teacher. maybe you don't say, excuse me mr. robot. but what about a robot to amplefy technology? >> really fascinating stuff. >> we're going to have him back. up next, ari lasers in on
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three big takeaways from the president's big speech. [ male announcer ] this is george.
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here's one problem with the state of the union most people agree on. it is too long. today, let's focus in on just three parts. first, something fundamental and bipartisan, a right to vote. >> last year part of the voting rights act was weakened, but conservative republicans and liberal democrats are working together to strengthen it and the bipartisan commission appointed chaired by my campaign lawyer and governor romney's campaign lawyer came together and have offered reforms so that
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no one has to wait more than a half hour to vote. let's support these efforts. >> that may be the single most important goal obama advocated last night. let's give him some credit for working with republicans here. >> our deficits, cut by more than half. >> then, there is the biggest challenge facing the 99%. you saw the president mention it for a moment. the state of the economy is not strong, but the president has a story to tell here. >> the lowest unemployment rate in over five years, a rebounding housing market, a manufacturing sector that's adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s. our deficits cut by more than half. >> that deficit part is crucial because even as the deficit crashes, americans have no idea.
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only 6% realize this is happening according to a 2013 survey. if people get nothing else from this speech, they should get that. and while anyone can choose to worry more about the deficit than the spending we need for jobs today, survey data shows that republicans only started carrying about the deficit when obama took office. phony deficit outrage is often a political trick to box in the president's priorities. it's not about deficit reduction. it's about obama reduction. but that works less if people learn the facts that our deficit is crashing. let's play it again. >> our deficits cut by more than half. >> okay. just wanted to get that in there. finally, there was the president's push to link family values policies with stacking paper. >> women make up about half our work force, but they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. that is wrong. and in 2014, it's an
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embarrassment. >> absolutely. and the president returned to a value that's defined both of his terms. that our aspirations around race and gender must be backed up by law and policy. >> women deserve equal pay for equal work. she deserves to have a baby without sacrificing her job. a mother deserves a day off to care for a sick child or a sick parent without running into hardship. you know what? a father does too. it is time to do away with workplace policies that belong in a "madmen" episode. >> amen. most politicians talk a good game on these three issues. who runs against these issues? on each of these three issues, the president outlines specific policies to back it up.
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the republicans had at least four responses last night, and we're still waiting for a specific policy plan. i guess they're lucky they only got five minutes for each response. all righty. that does it for "the cycle" today. day one of president obama's solo act without congress and the party of no can't understand why he won't just work with them. it's wednesday, january 29th, and this is "now." >> the speech. >> you give the state of the union and then you take it on the road. >> tell congress to act. >> five years ago, i signed my first bill into law. i didn't have any gray hair. >> there was no standing up on the right side of the house. >> the president continues to divide the country. >> he wants to find places to divide us. >> the president wants to keep doing the same ole thing without

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