The GOP’s War on Medicare. Path to Prosperity is a Campaign of Deceit!

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ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans. And welcome to THE ED SHOW tonight from New York.

Well, Republicans are waging a campaign of deceit to kill Medicare—so unlike them. If you don‘t believe me, just keep it right here. I‘ll tell you how they‘re doing it.

This is THE ED SHOW. Let‘s get to work.




REP. PAT MEEHAN ®, PENNSYLVANIA: You asked if I voted to abolish Medicare.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, you did vote to abolish Medicare.


SCHULTZ (voice-over): The vocal majority continues to fight Republicans all over the nation. We‘ll show you the tape.

As you get pinched at the pump—word today that big oil is expecting record profits this year. Good thing the Republican pals voted to extend their taxpayer funded subsidies.

Tonight‘s “Takedown”: A new low for Scott Walker. He‘s taking credit for jobs he didn‘t create. A new low for red headed Americans? My special commentary.

And tonight, Stephanie Miller attempts the impossible. She‘ll try and make me care about the royal wedding.


SCHULTZ: And it‘s good to have you with us tonight.

This is the story that has me fired up first. How about this?

Campaign of deceit—so unlike the Republicans.

Once again they are trying to run and hide from the vote that they took on the Ryan budget last week. But last Thursday, the key question here, folks, I asked former RNC chair, Michael Steele, this question.


SCHULTZ: Do you think the Republicans can win on what they voted on in the House and the Ryan budget?

MICHAEL STEELE, FORMER RNC CHAIRMAN: I do. I think—I think Republicans will have a very good case to take to the American people and ultimately, as you and I know, they will decide where they want this thing to come out.



SCHULTZ: Oh, yes they will decide. Mr. Steele, good sport coming on the program, but he is completely wrong.

House Republicans are claiming a conference call for tomorrow to start the old damage control on the Ryan budget. A Republican source with knowledge of the call told “The National Journal” the call is intended to help swing district members who have been getting the crap kicked out of them.

Now, the source is telling us this that this is what they‘re going to be talking about.


FEMALE CONSTITUENT: You did not run on any—you said nothing in the campaign about I‘m going to change Medicare. Now, you voted for a plan that will destroy Medicare.

REP. LOU BARLETTA ®, PENNSYLVANIA: Well, I won‘t destroy Medicare.

Medicare would be destroyed by itself.

FEMALE CONSTITUENT: I have a great way for you to pay for it.

FEMALE CONSTITUENT: If you vote today abolish Medicare, how will you explain that to people who are in their 50s, who are out of work, that they will have not the Medicare that I have?

MEEHAN: You asked me if I vote today abolish Medicare, but I did not vote to—

FEMALE CONSTITUENT: But you did vote to abolish Medicare.

MEEHAN: No, ma‘am. I did not vote to abolish Medicare.

FEMALE CONSTITUENT: That‘s what this vote is.

MALE CONSTITUENT: Show me how the Ryan budget that you just vote ford brings down the deficit.

REP. SEAN DUFFY ®, WISCONSIN: I don‘t have the chart.

MALE CONSTITUENT: You don‘t have the chart here?

DUFFY: Well, do you want me to send to your e-mail? Give me your email address.

MALE CONSTITUENT: I know what chart you used, it came from the Heritage Foundation.


SCHULTZ: Is this the crowd they voted for last November? Callers to my radio show tell me that Paul Ryan is going to get the same kind of treatment and questions at four separate listening sessions in Wisconsin tomorrow around the state.

Now, Ryan and other members of his caucus—basically what they need is a different strategy to convince 80 percent. I love this number. I told I was going to show it to you a lot. Egypt percent of Americans who want Republicans to keep their mitts off Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the big three.

Republicans don‘t care if they win on the issue. See? Right now, the strategy is just to muddy the waters. Republican Party officials told “The Washington Post,” Republicans don‘t want to be talking about Medicare everyday for the next year and a half. Well, guess what? But if they keep the conversation on boarder issues of spending and taxes, they can win.

The official went on to say the Republicans, quote, “can fight the Medicare issue to a tie by muddying the waters.”

In other words, Republicans are openly admitting they are going to flat out lie about Medicare. They just took the vote.

House Democrats, they ought to be and are finally jumping all over Republicans for lying about this issue. The DCCC put out this commercial today. I‘m happy.


REP. DAN BENISHEK ®, MICHIGAN: Social Security and Medicare are a promise we have made to our seniors. And I will keep that promise.

REP. SCOTT TIPTON ®, COLORADO: I‘ll never put our seniors‘ future at risk. No cuts. No privatization. And no scaring our seniors.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Turning Medicare into a voucher program, privatizing social security. The agenda that he hopes to put into power.

MEEHAN: That‘s the agenda I‘m not voting for.


SCHULTZ: Now, let‘s not forget the Republicans lied about Medicare before the election and now, their constituents basically are making them look foolish at their own town hall meetings. Watch how a great Wisconsin voter made freshman Congressman Sean Duffy squirm. Here it is.


MALE CONSTITUENT: The Ryan budget proposes to turn Medicare into a voucher program.

DUFFY: No, it doesn‘t. No, it doesn‘t.


DUFFY: No, it doesn‘t. There‘s no voucher.

MALE CONSTITUENT: That‘s what my understanding is. The Congressional Budget Office thinks that‘s the case because they calculated the extra cost to seniors if it goes into a voucher program and it‘s going to be trillions of dollars for those young men like this fellow up here in front who will have to pay more.

DUFFY: First of all, it‘s a premium support. It‘s not a voucher. The bottom line is, if we do nothing, if we do nothing, you can all say listen I may come and tell you this is all fine and dandy, it‘s all going to work and you know you can get it and I know, any young people here? You all can get this program.


Advertise | AdChoicesAdvertise | AdChoicesAdvertise | AdChoices.SCHULTZ: You can get it, Congressman. You can get it. You can get it, but the voters can‘t get it. Premium support? No, Congressman. That‘s what you have.

See? The constituents don‘t have premium support. That‘s what they‘re calling it now. Premium support.

Now, come on, folks. You mean to tell me that the Ryan budget has in it that it is going to be a $6,000 cut on average to seniors across this country and they‘re out there on the campaign trail trying to sell this 80 percent crowd that there is something premium about that? That‘s how dumb the Republicans are right now. That‘s how dis-focused they are right now.

Can we go back to that picture of those folks in that crowd? The guys that are sitting out there talking to this congressman—I mean, I just thought this is a typical Wisconsin crowd.

Look at this. There is not a lot of diversity there. These are rural Americans who pay attention to what‘s going on in the news and they‘re being told by this congressman that their cut is premium coverage and the Republicans think that they can jargon their way around this? These good old boys in the heartland, they‘re not going to be buying that stuff. That‘s kind of comical, isn‘t it?

Well, let‘s get back to the budget because Congressman Pat Meehan, Republican from Pennsylvania, gets questioned on his vote and what does he do? He calls it a blueprint.


MEEHAN: You made a comment that I vote today abolish Medicare and that‘s factually wrong.

FEMALE CONSTITUENT: How is that wrong?

MEEHAN: Wait a second, ma‘am. Let me answer the question.


MEEHAN: Thank you. I voted for the Ryan plan. Let‘s be clear right from the outset. If you talk about what was in the proposal. Now this is a blueprint. What Paul Ryan has put out is a blueprint, a sense of what we would like to do, a direction that we‘d like to go in looking at a variety of issues.


SCHULTZ: It‘s just a blueprint. That‘s all it is. It‘s a blueprint.

We got a blueprint of this house we want to build. Here it is.

No, no, no. You decided what kind of house you want to build, Congressman, and you have voted on it.

So, here‘s the best play for the Democrats right now. Harry Reid, Senate majority leader, put this baby on the table in the Senate and let‘s have a vote. Let‘s go to the Republicans in the Senate and ask them if they‘re onboard with this radical budget.

That‘s what the president called it. He said it was radical. We asked the Republican National Committee and House Republican conference committee members to come on this show and defend why 235 members of the House voted for Paul Ryan‘s plan even though it was just a blueprint and, of course, they declined. Hopefully, they‘ll change their mind after their conference call tomorrow because they‘re reeling.

They didn‘t expect to get this earful in the heartland. They didn‘t think that those folks followed the news, but they do.

Get your cell phones out, I want to know what you think. Tonight‘s question: Will Republican lies about Medicare work? Text “A” for yes, text “B” for no to 622639, you can always go to our new blog at We‘ll bring you the results later in the show.

Joining me now, my favorite senator, independent, from Vermont, Bernie Sanders.

I‘ve never said you were my favorite senator before, or when I was doing the 6:00. But you are—and I want to announce that tonight. You are my favorite senate because you stand up to what is wrong with this country and you always have a solution on what we need to do to make things better for the middle class and I respect that, Senator. Great to have you with us.

Now, I want to know—should Harry Reid bring this to a vote to get all of these Republican senators on record in the Senate? What do you think?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: Absolutely. This is the most right wing extremist piece of legislation I have ever seen in my life. It is a massive transfer of wealth from the middle class and working families to the very wealthiest people in this country.

Ed, what we have to understand, this is not about deficit reduction. These guys want to give $1 trillion of tax breaks to the wealthiest people in this country when they convert Medicare into a voucher program and make savage cuts in Medicaid and they also want to move toward the privatization of Social Security.

So, what you‘re talking about now is the Robin Hood proposal in reverse. We‘re taking from the poor and working families and give to the very wealthy. If the Republicans like this idea, let‘s have that vote on the Senate floor and let them vote for it.

SCHULTZ: I agree. I mean, this is really some great theater to see these Republican senators out there after what the House members got out on the road the last few days. Make them come back and pony up to it or distance themselves from it.

Here‘s the other thing—what does muddy the waters mean in your opinion? What do you think their strategy is right now?

SANDERS: Well, to deflect attention from what they are doing in going on the counter attack. That‘s really what it means. What is most interesting, Ed, is every poll that I have seen suggests that the Republicans now are doing exactly the opposite of what the American people want.


SANDERS: Poll after poll says you know what? When the rich are getting richer and the middle class is disappearing ask the wealthy to pay a little more in taxes so we can move to deficit reduction in a fair way. What do the Republicans say? No way. More tax breaks for the very rich.

You just indicated there are polls that say, hey, don‘t cut Medicare.

Don‘t cut Medicaid. That‘s exactly what the Republicans are doing.

We now have the opportunity believe, if we‘re tough, if we‘re strong, if we‘re focused, of putting these guys on the defensive and making everybody in America understand what their agenda is.

SCHULTZ: Now, Senator Coburn yesterday on record saying that he would go along with the tax increase if it was revenue neutral or the net effect of the taxes. Look, you‘re either going to raise revenue on rich people or you‘re not. Do you think the Republicans will ever do that in what they are calling a budget crisis?

SANDERS: Well, this is a lot of hocus pocus. What they are saying is, well, we‘re willing to do away with some of these loop holes and we just announced a couple weeks ago a list of 10 major corporations who made billions and billions in profits, why they paid nothing in taxes were actually got a rebate from the IRS.

Advertise | AdChoicesAdvertise | AdChoicesAdvertise | AdChoices.So, what the Republicans are saying is, we‘re willing to take a look at some of those outrageous loop holes, maybe the tax havens in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda. But, on the other hand what we want to do is lower the corporate tax rates. So, it‘s revenue neutral.

I think we want to do away with these loop holes, raise revenue, use it for deficit reduction, instead of slashing Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security.

SCHULTZ: Senator, great to have you with us tonight. I‘m sure it‘s going to change your career now that I said you‘re my favorite senator.


SCHULTZ: You are.

SANDERS: Thank you very much.

SCHULTZ: You know, look, you‘re a guy that has been consistent. You are a senator who has always put the people first and put the concerns of the middle class first. And if we had more Bernie Sanders in the Senate, we wouldn‘t have these little gangs of six out there that I have no clue what the heck they‘re trying to do, because I think the three Democrats that are on the gang of six, they‘re just buying into the Republican talking points and they are caving.

The big three should be off the table, nonnegotiable. Let‘s go down the road for a couple years of taxing the rich then come back and visit again and see where our treasury is. That‘s what I think.

Senator, great to have you with us tonight. I appreciate your time.

About William Brighenti

William Brighenti is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, and Certified Business Valuation Analyst. Bill began his career in public accounting in 1979. Since then he has worked at various public accounting firms throughout Connecticut. Bill received a Master of Science in Professional Accounting degree from the University of Hartford, after attending the University of Connecticut and Central Connecticut State University for his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees. He subsequently attended Purdue University for doctoral studies in Accounting and Quantitative Methods in Business. Bill has instructed graduate and undergraduate courses in Accounting, Auditing, and other subjects at the University of Hartford, Central Connecticut State University, Hartford State Technical College, and Purdue University. He also taught GMAT and CPA Exam Review Classes at the Stanley H. Kaplan Educational Center and at Person-Wolinsky, and is certified to teach trade-related subjects at Connecticut Vocational Technical Schools. His articles on tax and accounting have been published in several professional journals throughout the country as well as on several accounting websites. William was born and raised in New Britain, Connecticut, and served on the City's Board of Finance and Taxation as well as its City Plan Commission. In addition to the blog, Accounting and Taxes Simplified, Bill writes a blog, "The Barefoot Accountant", for the Accounting Web, a Sift Media publication.
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