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MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript - Fiscal Policy and Filibuster


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SCHULTZ: So, the Republicans aren`t going to budge at all in the
House, and they, of course, can stop everything. It`s just what we`ve been
talking about here for a long time.

So, no new revenue. They`ve said that all along and now, Van Hollen,
his analysis is that well, no budging at all.

Now, this brings us back to President Obama`s bargaining position,
don`t you think. The president reportedly wants a grand bargain by the end
of July, according to an official, President Obama`s message to Republicans
will be, "We can compromise without you folding on the values, fundamental
to your policy perspective."

And his message to Democrats is going to be similar: "We`ll be able to
compromise without giving up on everything we believe in"? You mean we
have to get up on something, Mr. President? Just because we went to war
and then pay for it?

Another senior administration official said that President Obama will
be very pragmatic and that scares me. He says President Obama is willing
to change the formula for how benefits under Social Security, Medicare and
other programs are calculated, chained CPI in exchange for higher taxes?
Keep in mind the senator, this senator made a big slash filibustering
13 hours over an issue answered with one sentence.

If the big three are threatened by a grand bargain, it might be time
for a filibuster over something that really matters.

Get your cell phones out, I want to know what you think.

Tonight`s question: do you want Bernie Sanders, the senator,
independent from Vermont, to filibuster to protect the big three? Text A
for yes, text B for you to 67622. You can go to our blog at,
and, of course, we`ll bring you the results later in the show.

I`m almost starting to get the feeling I`ve got a very unpopular
position here that we should protect the big three at all costs because
that`s what this election was all about. It`s about making the wealthiest
Americans pay more, but to get them to pay more, we have to cut into the
middle class and elderly who didn`t cause these financial problems. I
don`t buy it.

Joining me now is Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Senator, good to have you with us tonight.

The question of the hour -- are you prepared to filibuster if it goes
to the big three?

SANDERS: Well, I am prepared to work with other progressives to do
everything we can to make sure that the budget is not balanced on a
collapsing middle class and on 46 million people who are living poverty and
on many elderly people who are barely keeping their heads above water

Look, Ed, the position that you and I have talked about forever is the
position that the vast majority of the American people support. They
understand large corporations are seeing record breaking profits and yet,
one out of four profitable corporations pays zero in taxes, losing $100
billion a year from these corporations and wealthy individuals offshoring
their profits in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.

Do you think there`s any state where people would want to cut Social
Security, Medicare, Medicaid, or close those loopholes?

SCHULTZ: Well, don`t you think the president knows that? I mean,
what you`re saying is basic stuff to the point. It`s been verified by the
American people. Where`s the president? Why would he consider this?

SANDERS: Well, we chatted about that a little this afternoon.

And on top of that, you got every senior organization, you got AFL-
CIO, you got every veteran`s organization, you got the National
Organization of Women, saying do not go for a chained CPI, which will make
devastating cuts, not just on seniors who are on Social Security, Ed, let`s
not forget and I speak as chairman of the Veterans Committee disabled vets.

Do you want a cut benefits for disabled vets, men and women who have lost
their legs in Iraq and Afghanistan or their widows? I don`t think we do.

SCHULTZ: Do you think Democrats will mount the charge and send a
strong message and generate support across the country to stop this?
SANDERS: Well, I am going to do everything I can. We now have a new
petition up on our Web site, I`m prepared to go around
the country to raise the issue that the vast majority of the people


What about Medicare means-testing?

SANDERS: I don`t agree with that and I`ll tell you why, because once
you start saying, you know, it`s very easy to say, you know, Warren Buffett
doesn`t really need Medicare. Warren Buffett should pay more.

Once you`re into that, your right wing Republicans will do away with
the universality of Medicare and what they will do is over a period of
time, make it into a welfare program or voucherizing.

I think we do best when we progressively pay for these programs rather
than have cuts in there for wealthier people.

SCHULTZ: All right. Senator Bernie Sanders, you feel like a lot of
people in this country are counting on you. This election was not about
going after the big three. This election was not about that anywhere in
any Democratic circles.

It pains me to say it, but President Obama really could be the
president to start the undoing of the New Deal? Wow.

SANDERS: We`ve all got to work together to make sure that does not


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