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MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript: Insurance and Entitlements

Interview

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JOHN LARSON (D) CONNECTICUT: Good to be with you Ed. Great intro, by the way.

SCHULTZ: Well, thank you sir. You add to it. You`re now taking over the Ed show and talk, right?

LARSON: Well, I`m going to talk and let me say something.

SCHULTZ: What do you think about it? Tell me whether I`m right or I`m wrong? What`s going on here?

LARSON: Well, you know, here -- you know, and the other thing is -- well, this is all the underpinnings for the true message. And when they talked about entitlement reform, this is what really cuts I think to the core and Democrats, especially, but people all around the country whether you`re Democrat, Republican, Independent, Green, Tea Party, it doesn`t matter. Entitlements. Let`s be clear about one thing. Social Security and Medicare are not entitled.

SCHULTZ: They`re earned benefit programs. Yes.

LARSON: This is the insurance that you have paid for. And as you see, what they`re setting up here is you -- as we head into the New Year, is to go after this and the hostages they want to take are presidential appointments, the debt ceiling debate again. And then, what they would call entitlements which are actually the insurance that people have paid for and have earned. It`s called the Federal Insurance Contribution Act. And we have got in the public needs to be.

SCHULTZ: Yeah.

LARSON: . educated about this. They`re already there. I believe that to be the case and to listen to the litany of things that you just went through. It`s hard to decide whether it`s a Scrooge or the Grinch or the -- oh, maybe the Gingrinch that stole Christmas here from the .

SCHULTZ: It`s all free. I mean, I think they`re all under the tree John.

LARSON: But it`s about, you know, you have to laugh at it because you know, that clearly Gingrich is intelligent enough to understand that that`s not the case. Jack Kingston is a better person than that. To blame things on the janitors and the children that`s where .

SCHULTZ: But, that`s the reason. You know, I`ve been.

LARSON: . the problem is. That`s the problem that exists, you know.

SCHULTZ: Congressman, I`ve been asking this question on this program. What is the plan that the Republicans have? Why would they pass a bill that would hurt people? Why would Congress do that? I mean, OK, so there`s the political reality of it, I understand that. But, you`re still passing a bill where Americans are going to hurt in this economy. And then they say "Well, they`re going to back and work with you on something." Yeah, if you stop the nominations. Yeah, if we can pick a hostage. This is the why Americans hate Washington.

LARSON: They do and.

SCHULTZ: They can`t stand. This is the whole thing because those 1.3 million people have paid their taxes, they`re trying to get back into the economy, there`s checks and balances to the unemployment insurance that`s out there, yet they`re called takers by one party in this country. And if we don`t call them out on it consistently, it is not going to change the thinking of the American people to not stop putting pressure on these people. And so.

LARSON: And who are they holding hostages? They`re holding the American people hostage.

SCHULTZ: The most vulnerable.

LARSON: And the most vulnerable amongst us. But -- and you made another salient (ph) pointing at the -- in you`re opening dialogue. And that`s this whole issue of people you said between the age of 50 and 65, those people in near retirement age. Those people who are wondering, am I going to get late off? Am I going to have a job? Will I be able to matriculate and find another job? And at a time, when here`s -- the Republican is talking about teaching a work ethic, how about working yourselves? How about staying in congress and getting the job done?

SCHULTZ: Yeah.

LARSON: How about a jobs bill that if it was put on the floor and be passed tomorrow? How about an infrastructure bill that would get about -- rebuilding the country, putting people back to work, roads, bridges.

SCHULTZ: Yeah.

LARSON: . school systems, et cetera. These are things that are neither Democrat or Republican, they are very much American. And this is why, as you point out, the Americans are so angry, because they see congress down here twiddling (ph) and diddling and not getting much. We take great pride, and listen, let`s be fair about this and say this was at least a compromise that got us moving in the right direction.

SCHULTZ: Yeah.

LARSON: From what we need to be.

SCHULTZ: That`s.

LARSON: And they mean to do this, but.

SCHULTZ: Like a short-term memory loss is what they got.

LARSON: Exactly.

SCHULTZ: That`s what they got. Congressman John Larson, you have a great holiday. It`s great to have you on the Ed Show. Thanks for speaking up. I appreciate it.

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