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Public Statements

MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript

Interview

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SCHULTZ: Notice the congressman didn"t ask all of the companies that were there to give that government money back. This is a classic example of republicans making stuff up and getting away with it. A new poll shows that 74 percent of people think the stimulus bill had no impact on the economy or made it worse. But a White House report out today shows that the stimulus bill has saved or created up to 3.6 million jobs.

Joining me now is Congressman Alan Grayson of Florida. Congressman, great to have you on tonight.

REP. ALAN GRAYSON (D), FLORIDA: Thank you, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Who do you believe? Do you believe Eric Cantor or is the White House accurate with their numbers? Has the stimulus package done good things for our economy?

GRAYSON: Of course, it has. What do they think they did with that $1.6 trillion, burying in somebody"s backyard? They spent it. It"s created jobs. If not for that, unemployment would be 20 percent instead of ten percent. Isn"t that obvious? It"s just simple economics.

SCHULTZ: What do you make of Cantor having a job fair and yet, he"s got a host of companies who actually got stimulus money? I mean, either the guy is completely clueless or he"s a total fraud. What do you think?

GRAYSON: Well, I think of all the republicans who complained about socialized medicine who are on Medicare. In fact, think of every member of the House who actually gets Medicare or medical care from the government because they"re on government plans. How many of the republicans complained about socialized medicine when they were benefiting from it?

SCHULTZ: Last night, Laura Ingraham and Bill O"Reilly had an exchange about the economy and of course, this is the running narrative right now in the conservative circles that no jobs are being created and stimulus package hasn"t work. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAURA INGRAHAM, "THE OBAMA DIARIES" AUTHOR: We are seeing America slowly but surely dismantled. Our free market system is under attack.

BILL O"REILLY, "THE O"REILLY FACTOR" HOST: So, you"re in the Glenn Beck zone.

INGRAHAM: I think what"s happening is that Americans across the board, maybe they"re not fully in the spin or no spin zone but they"re seeing, wait a second, the fiction is that stimulus was going to create jobs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: What"s your response to that, Congressman?

GRAYSON: I think it"s ridiculous. You know, whatever is bad, they blame the democrats for that. Whatever is good, they try to take credit for it. I think that if I win the lottery tomorrow, Eric Cantor is going to say, because he got me a good number.

(LAUGHTER)

SCHULTZ: What is the plan in your opinion, to create jobs beyond this stimulus package? Now, the stimulus package has stopped the bleeding and created some jobs in certain areas. But we"re not seeing the growth. In fact, China"s imports to this country up in the last year 44 percent, 12 percent in the last month. The outsourcing continues. The trade deficit continues to mount on this country. What"s the plan in the long-term in your opinion? What should we be doing?

GRAYSON: We"re at the bottom of the economic cycle. And we"ve known since John Maynard Keynes point the Dow in the 30s after the great depression started, that it"s the fundamental responsibility of government to match national supply with national demand. We have a $14 trillion economy, $14 trillion of goods and services get created in this country and because of the mismanagement under the Bush administration, we had only $13 trillion of demand last year. Only $13 trillion demand this year. So at the bottom of the economic cycle which is where we"re at now, the government has to borrow money to step in and sustain demand.

Otherwise, the economy collapses and you have a second great depression. Now, at the other end of the cycle which is where were in 2005, 2006, we should have been saving money. That"s what Clinton did. We have four straight years of surplus, government surplus under Clinton. We were seven years away from paying off the entire national debt through proper economic management. Now, we"re in a much weaker position. We have to borrow. But when the economy gets better we have to save. And that means government surplus is not government deficits.

SCHULTZ: From a buy guy who has been very successful in private business, Congressman, thanks so much for your time tonight. I appreciate it.

GRAYSON: Thank you, Ed.

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