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Public Statements

MSNBC "The Rachel Maddow Show" - Transcript

Interview

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SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D-OH): You"re having too much fun, Rachel.

MADDOW: I am having too much fun. Whenever things fail visibly on television, I enjoy myself.

BROWN: You do. And we do!

MADDOW: Well, thank you. Let me ask, though, if there is something that I"m missing aside from good double-stick tape. Are republicans essentially campaigning on adding all this tax cut stuff to the deficit?

BROWN: Yeah, in some sense, what you"re missing is you"re only telling half the story, in this way that not only what they"re doing provably increases the deficit, and did increase the deficit in the first several years of this decade, this century, we know that. You proved that and we knew that.

What else it did is it doesn"t create jobs. Just contrast the last two eight-year administrations. During the eight Bush years, 3 million jobs, net jobs created. During the eight Clinton years, 22 million net jobs created. So I care about deficits, absolutely. But what I care even more about is job creation that people have a chance to join the middle class.

We saw jobs created, 22 million in the Clinton years. Because they were responsible about cutting taxes selectively and increasing taxes selectively and they were responsible about what government programs they formed and they dismantled. 22 million jobs created and incomes went up in those eight years for the average American. And in the next eight years, the eight Bush years, only 3 million jobs created and that wasn"t even enough to keep up with population growth.

So in that sense, there was a relative decline in job creation. And wages were flat or worse for the average American. So--and coupled with that, what the republicans did in eight years is they cut taxes for the richest Americans and they deregulated Wall Street and deregulated worker safety. Look what happened to the mine disaster. And deregulated in terms of safety and environment.

Look what happened in the Gulf of Mexico. And it"s the same story. When I look at who they"re running for office this year, in my state, the republicans are trotting out Mike DeWine, formerly a U.S. senator. Rob Portman, former U.S. budget director and trade rep under Bush. John Kasich, former republican chairman of the budget committee in the "90s.

They"re trotting them out, and they"re saying the same things. They want to do the same things as Marco Rubio wants to do. Cut taxes, cut regulation, and that"s going to create jobs. No, it cost us jobs and drives up the deficit.
The economics are so clear in this, as you pointed out, that it"s terrible for the budget in all the big things they did. Tax cuts, the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, and the drug company and the insurance company bailout in the name of Medicare privatization. All those hundreds of billions of dollars were not paid for and charged to our grandchildren. And they have the hypocrisy and the nerve to say democrats are irresponsible with the budget? Give me a break.

MADDOW: One of the things that was proven not only to be the right thing to do with people that are down on their luck but also a big economic stimulus is extending unemployment benefits. That is something you and the Senate have been dealing with over and over and over again as republicans continue to block it. Do you think the Senate will be able to get an extension next week?

BROWN: I think we are, because Senator Byrd"s replacement will be appointed by Governor Mansion of West Virginia. We need one more vote, but that is the hypocrisy. They insist we--they give tax cuts to the rich, they start wars, they do a drug and insurance company bailout giveaway. Charge that to our grandchildren.

All of a sudden now, we have to pay for unemployment benefits for working people who have been in the job market for 20 or 30 years, working. They lose their jobs. They"ve paid into this. Republicans seem to think, republican senators, 41 of them vote no on unemployment time after time after time. They seem to think that unemployment is welfare. It"s insurance. You pay in when you"re working, you get help when you"re not.

And for them to say, we don"t pay for tax cuts for the richest Americans, just add that to our grandchildren"s balance sheet. Let them pay that, put that on their credit card, yet say you can"t do unemployment compensation unless you pay for it.

I saw a guy tonight who used to work for Bob Dole and he was incredulous that republicans today won"t bipartisanly extend unemployment benefits. We"ve always done it. It"s countercyclical, meaning when the economy is bad, you want to the prime the pump, as you point out on the show, Rachel, that that"s good economics.

Every dollar you put into unemployment benefits creates a $1.60 in economic activity. So forget the humanitarian cost, the humanitarian issue. It"s good economics to provide unemployment extension to people who are working hard and lost their jobs.

MADDOW: Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, thank for your time tonight. I feel like I wasn"t very clear in explaining this and you were crystal clear.

BROWN: No, you were very clear. You just didn"t mention the fact that they ruined the economy in addition to the budget deficits. But you did really well, as always. Thank you, Rachel.

MADDOW: Thank you, Sherrod. Nice to see you.

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