>>> florida’s new tea party governor has put out the new budget, unveiled in a megachur packed with hooping and hollering tea party activists, oh, well so much for being governor of everyone. the headline is he wants to cut corporate taxes. i mean, really cut them.
>> we’ll reduce the business taxes, completely — and we’ll completely phase it out by 2018.
>> now, it’s worth pointing out when corporations get tax breaks, someone has to pick up the slack, so it’s the regular taxpayers who pick up the tab. honestly, the republicans have put together a bit of a brilliant strategy. they push to cut corporate taxes, and then the citizens get mad about taxes, who then cut corporate taxes, and around and around we go. this is the republican 101 strategy. you say one thing, but mean the exact opposite. for example, rick scott is calling his budget, quote, a jobs budget, except that his budget actually cuts 13,000 jobs over two years. but it’s cool, because scott’s promising 700,000 jobs, and a pony for everyone. sometime in the future, at those wonderful no corporate taxes trickle down to all of you. rick scott says the florida legislature needs to pag a radical budget, quote, for the kids, except hi budget cuts 10% from per-student spending. it cuts $82 billion from the prison sim. but the real people who are paying are the very poor. scott wants to take $3 billion from medicate over the next two years. and reduce the, quote, medically needy program serving the catastrophic sick as the miami herald put it. but take it from the catastrophic sick isn’t the worst. they want to gut the state’s homelessness assistance office, and with the december 21st observance of the memorial day. that’s just gratuitous, man. there can’t be any clearer example of the hatred of the poor that the tea party people feel. they pretend to be pop you list? they hate the poor so much, not only do they want to cut help from the homeless, they don’t even want to recognize they exist. i have this very simple set of questions. what do you think happens when you shut down the homelessness assistance office? do they pick up and move to another country? what happens if you cut back jails? what happens when someone is butted from the rolls. do they get better? no, all these problems come back to haunt you in much worse ways. so do the criminals, so do the sick. is this the rpg version? ironically they’re the ones obsessed with redistricting of wealth. take a look at this. this is florida’s tax rate, one of the most regressive. the poorest people pay the most, almost 14%. the richest people pay the least, about 2%. this lord of the flies type of barbarism has to have a limit, and if it does, we’re apparently going to find that limit in florida. joining me now is former pennsylvania governor ed rendell, now an nbc news political analyst. so is there a limit? i mean, if he does this, do the voters in florida at some point say my god, what have we done?
>> sure. interesting thing about cutting the budget as the answer to all problems, the interesting thing is when you poll it, people are all in favor of reducing government spending, but then when you get specific, all of a sudden, it isn’t so hot anymore. you know, people are specifically against cuts to this, cuts to that. we had a demonstration for ed days when i was governor, trying to increase education spending in the midst of the recession, and a woman had a poster, and it said, i didn’t know cutting the budget meant firing my child’s teacher. when it gets personal, when it’s an older person you know, when it’s a criminal who’s committed a crime against your family that gets released from prison, those things stir people up. when the income gap– the people of this country have been very, very passive about the widening of the gap in income, but eventually we’re going to reach the breaking point. i think it’s not just florida and other states when we’re trying to balance budgets on the backs of people who really have legitimate needs — and by the way, it’s not just the poor anymore. cenk, i’ll just asking a rhetorical question. how many pennsylvanians out of the 12.5 million get food stamps?
>> that’s an excellent question. i think i might have once known the answer, but go ahead.
>> 1.2 million. 1 out of 12 pennsylvanians get food stamps. ten years ago people would have said food stamps are just for the very, very poor. these programs affect and help everybody. cut programs for autism, and you’re cutting into the heart of middle-class families trying desperately to pay for the services their kids need. this is not just an assault against the poor. it’s really going to be an assault against virtually everyone in society. there has to come a point about it breaks the tolerance of the public. look, understand that governors, both republican and democrats alike, you know, in ’08, ’09 and 2010, we all made different cuts. i cut $3.5 billion out of the pennsylvania budget. i closed down 16 on out of 780 budget lines, meaning those programs were closed down. so a lot of the cuts have already been made. if there are more cuts, and there having to more cuts, but if they’re wreckless, it will create an incredible social imbalance, and i think it will create unrest.
>> not just in florida. scott walker is another republican governor, this is what he said when we were talking about public employees. let’s watch.
>> we can no longer live in a society where the public employees are the haves and taxpayers who foot the bills are the have-23409s.
>> this is another line of attacks. they sea federal employees, unions, you see it in new jersey, all across, not that we cut the corporate taxes or the taxes for the rich. it’s the unions laborerers and workers that’s the problem.
>> demon icing government workers is silly. by and large they don’t get rich salary. they get average salaries. the benefits package is a bit better, and there have to be changes to make them more realistic. i came in and made our employees contribute to their health care costs for the first time, but that’s because every citizen does. changes have to be made and should be made, but this idea there are government employees living off the fat of the land making super salaries? that’s crazy. you can cut government employees left and right, and it’s not going to solve the depth of the budget problems we have. beshd stop scapegoating teachers. you can be mad at unions, i’m not sure that’s fair, but don’t be mad at the individuals. they’re hard- working people, just like people who work in the private sector. they have families and children to support, and they take care of their parents, just like people in the private sector.
>> governor ed rendell, thank you to your time tonight.
>>> thanks, cenk.