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MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript: Medicare

Interview

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SCHULTZ: Is Paul Ryan serious? Is he seriously going to introduce a
plan to cut Medicare benefits for people over 55?

ELLISON: Yes, he is. He is very serious. And really, at the end of
the day, a budget is an expression of values. Paul Ryan and the Republican
caucus is telling you what they believe in. They don`t believe in
protecting seniors. They don`t believe in making sure that there is a
social safety net for people who face hard times.

SCHULTZ: What do they believe in?

ELLISON: Well, they believe in that the rich people don`t have enough
and that the poor have too much. They believe that if you don`t have
enough money, you`re not worthy, and spending government resources on you
is a waste. And that`s pretty much what they believe.

SCHULTZ: And elections don`t matter. They have denied what happened
in November, and they are back to the same old stuff, aren`t they?

ELLISON: You`re absolutely right. As a matter of fact, if anything,
this election was a mandate for Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid.

Both parties took their respective positions on these issues. The
president won. They lost. But they`re undaunted. They are unrepentant
and absolutely committed to undermining this important program that serves
so many people.

SCHULTZ: And the progressive caucus released a budget with a complete
balance of spending cuts to new revenue. Why are lawmakers not taking up
the charge for this budget? Why aren`t -- why with are we not seeing any
mojo on this?

ELLISON: You know what, Ed? We call it the back to work budget.
It`s a budget that invests in infrastructure, helps local and state
governments put teachers and firefighters back to work, invests in basic
medical research, and asks everybody, particularly the most fortunate, to
invest in America and pay their fair share.

We close loopholes for the oil companies and for the jets and the
yachts crew, and we do what`s right by America.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

ELLISON: So why aren`t we getting the attention? You asked. That`s
a good question.

Well, the fact is that the American people when they hear about our
budget, they always like it. As a matter of fact, there was a business
journal that took the labels off all of the plans to replace sequester, and
it was a Progressive Caucus` plan that won the day.

SCHULTZ: Sure.

ELLISON: So the fact is what we`re doing is popular with the American
people. We just got to get the information to the American people. So I
appreciate you giving me the chance to talk about it.

SCHULTZ: All right. We`re having you back talking about this. And
we`re going to detail this out, no doubt.

But disagree with me if I`m wrong, Boehner has made the calculation
that he can run this, the four corner stall, whatever you want to call it,
do the basketball analogy and take a last shot at the midterms.

They`re not going to give Obama anything. There`s not going to be any
more revenue. This is the way it`s going to be. They`re going to keep
passing their radical stuff and then run to the media and say hey, we
passed it in the House. How come they`re not passing it in the Senate?

And that`s where we`re going to be for the next, until the midterms.

ELLISON: I think that`s absolutely true. In fact, he has been very
honest. When Boehner tells you what he is going to do, I think you should
take his word on it. He doesn`t plan on cooperating with the president,
and I think that`s been well-established.

SCHULTZ: At all. At all.

Congressman Keith Ellison, good to have you with us tonight. Let`s
turn now to Sam Stein --

ELLISON: Anytime. Thanks.


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