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MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript


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SCHULTZ: Social Security is not the problem. Let`s make sure it
stays off the table in these talks.
Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think.
Tonight`s question: will Republican lies about Social Security work on
the American - people? Text A for yes, text B for no, to 622639. You can
always go to our blog at, and leave a comment. We`ll bring
you results later on in the program.
Now, joining me tonight is a senator who has been on the front lines
when it comes to protecting the big three, Senator Bernie Sanders of
Senator, great to have you with us on this Friday evening. Thank you.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: Good to be with you, Ed.

SCHULTZ: How can we keep Social Security from being offered up in
these financial negotiations when you have a president who is on record
saying that he is open to change? How do you interpret that? How do you
keep him out of the mix?

SANDERS: Well, we`ve got to make the president and Republicans and
any Democrats that want to cut Social Security an offer they can`t refuse,
and that is tens of millions of people have got to make it very clear to
Congress -- Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit. What
deficit reduction needs right now is to ask the largest corporations in
this country who are profitable to a record-breaking degree, one quarter of
whom pay no taxes at all. Their effective corporate tax rate is the lowest
in many, many years.
So, what we have got to say is, no, Mr. President, you`re not going to
cut Social Security. You`re not going to cut Medicaid. You`re not going
to cut Medicare.
By the way, Ed, as chairman of the Veterans Committee, let me also
point out that the so-called chained CPI will make devastating cuts for
disabled veterans, for widows who lost their husbands in Iraq and
No, that is not the way we are going to do deficit reduction.

SCHULTZ: Are you confident that the president will protect Social

SANDERS: No, I am not confident that the president will protect
Social Security. What I am confident in is that every senior organization
in this country, including the AARP, the National Committee to Defend
Social Security and Medicare, they`re going to be there fighting with us to
protect Social Security.
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The American Legion, the Disabled American Veterans, all the veterans
organizations are going to be there.
The AFL-CIO and all the unions will be there.
And I think the vast majority of the American people are going to be
What we are talking about, Ed, and you made this point, we`re not
talking about financial issues. We`re talking about ideology. What the
Republicans want to do is destroy the social safety net that has existed in
this country since the 1930s. They just -- they want to give more tax
breaks to people who don`t need it and decimate the programs that working
families and the middle class desperately depend upon. This is a fight for
the soul of America. It is a fight for the soul of the Democratic Party.

SCHULTZ: The conservative editorial page of "The Wall Street Journal"
thinks the debt ceiling threat is a bluff. They wrote today, "You can`t
take a hostage you aren`t prepared to shoot."
Do you think Republicans are willing to shoot the hostage in this

SANDERS: Well, what I think is that the employers of many of our
Republican colleagues, Wall Street, and the big money interests know
absolutely that if the United States, for the first time in its history
defaults, does not pay its debt, it could lead to an international
financial crisis, which will be bad for Wall Street, which will be bad for
big business. And I think they are telling the Republicans not to go down
that path.

SCHULTZ: Speaking of Wall Street, are you willing? I keep hearing
that you`re going to offer up a transaction tax that will generate several
billion to shore up this Social Security fund.
Do you think you would get support on that?

SANDERS: I think we get support from the American people. And I
think more and more folks are looking at that as an option. It would do
two things. It would bring in many hundreds of millions of dollars over a
10-year period. It would put a damper on speculation on Wall Street.
The other thing that we have got to do, Ed, is that right now we are
losing $100 billion a year because of big money interests and wealthy
individuals stashing their money in tax havens like the Cayman Islands --


SANDERS: -- and Bermuda.
One-fourth of profitable corporations don`t pay a nickel in taxes.
There is a lot that we can do to raise substantial revenue, which will not
only protect the social safety net, it will allow us to invest in America
and start creating the jobs.

SCHULTZ: And that transaction tax, what are you talking about? A
half cent sales tax on every transaction that`s made on Wall Street, or a
quarter cent, or what?

SANDERS: Exactly. It depends. We can do --

SCHULTZ: All right. Sure.

SANDERS: It is a good step forward.

SCHULTZ: All right. Senator Bernie Sanders, great to have with us on

THE ED SHOW tonight. Thanks so much.

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