Plan B, Muslims & Taxes (The Point)

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Plan B, Muslims, & Taxes Cenk: Welcome to the first episode of The
Point, ever. I'm your host Cenk Uygur and we have got a great show ahead for you guys.
First of all, let me tell you who's sending points this week. Former governor of Michigan
Jennifer Granholm, she's also gonna have a show on Current television at 9 PM eastern
starting in January. Amanda Marcotte is a great blogger at and she sent
in a point where she was very disappointed with the Obama administration on a very important
issue we'll get to that in a little bit, and Russell Simmons is the co-founder of Def Jam
records and we want to talk about one of his tweets that made a big impact in the news
this week. Now joining us on our panel Michael Shure, the host of the legendary show TwenTYTwelve
on the TYT network. You can find it at God bless, welcome.
Michael: Thanks, good to be here. Cenk: Dileep Rao is the highest grossing actor
ever per film. Did you follow that? Delee: Yea
Cenk: OK, yea. Here's a couple of movies that he's starred in, it's not a big deal: Avatar,
and Inception. Not a big deal. So seriously, more than one movie, no one has ever grossed
more on average in a movie. Dileep: That's true, but I think if you just
took the two pictures that's the reason why, and I also haven't been in that many.
Cenk: But nonetheless, it's still an awesome record. And Jimmy Dore, also has many records,
but I don't know them. Jimmy Dore of of course and the Jimmy Dore show on KPFK.
Thanks for being on our first show. Let's get started. Our first point ever by governor
Jennifer Granholm from Michigan. Let's watch Jennifer: Hi, I'm Jennifer Granholm and my
point is that the Republican candidates who constantly say that trickle-down economics
will get our economy moving again. Cutting corporate taxes or cutting the capital gains
tax is going to cause businesses to come to the United States. It drives me crazy. We're
in a global economy, when you cut those taxes, the investors are going to invest where they
can have their returns maximized, and where is that in the global economy? It's usually
in a developing country. Over the past decade, we in this country through multinational corporations
who are based in the United States, we have lost 2.5 million jobs. Now those companies
are hiring people, they've hired about 3 million people, but they just haven't hired them in
the United States. So my point is that tax policy in the United States has to be tied
to job creation here otherwise all you're doing is cutting taxes, giving more money
to entities who may very well invest it and hire people somewhere else.
Cenk: All right, Michael, interesting point by the governor. Go
Michael: Well, first of all. The governor, former governor of Michigan, much better looking
than Jerry Brown, I'm just gonna say that right here. I think she makes an excellent
point, when you tie job creation to taxation. The problem with that, of course, is mandating.
You cannot mandate once you cut taxes or raise taxes what companies do, with jobs. What you
can mandate is you can say you're not gonna get these tax breaks if you relocate workers,
or if you lay off here and hire elsewhere, and that's what you can do.
Cenk: Well let me challenge that, because there's a bill now for a tax holiday, and
it's actually unfortunately bipartisan it's John McCain and Kay Hagan from North Carolina
who's a Democrat of course saying hey if you bring back money from abroad, that'll be taxed
at around 8%. I'm sorry, 8%, but if you create any jobs with it, then I will tax it at 5%,
right. So obviously they can do it, and it's also funny you mentioned because of course
the corporate tax rate is supposed to be 35% that we think most of you will not create
a damn job with it. Michael: I mean that's a problem with that,
is that it doesn't say anything about creating jobs, it's just a way of seeing government
revenue generated from the jobs that are going elsewhere. And that is not, you know, gonna
help at all the existing economy in this country. Cenk: So what do you think Dileep, can we
tie the taxation to the jobs? Dileep: I don't think it'll ever be constitutional
to say you have to hire XYZ then you qualify and we may lower taxes that way. I don't think
that'll ever stand. I think the thing that the governor really mentions right is that
what we're doing when we cut taxes in this altruistic hope that they'll start hiring
is that somehow they're suddenly going to do something that's not in their best interest.
They never do that. What we're basically doing when we cut taxes and hope that they'll hire
is subsidizing outsourcing, and I think tax policy has to be tax policy for expenditures
in state and in federal government resources, and expenditures. It can't be this jiggling
the tax code to do every little thing, because then what happens when you do the first tax
cut. The next corporation says "you know what, we're also gonna lose in this state, we'll
leave this state if you don't give us a tax cut" and all you do is erode the entire base,
which subscribes to this theory that taxes are somehow inherently evil, which they aren't.
They inherently pay for everything we take for granted all day, and all they do is get
a bad rap. Of course, no one wants to pay them personally, but if we keep doing this,
we undermine everything we try to pay for, which we actually need.
Cenk: Right, and Jimmy, isn't the problem overall that the whole idea's wrong. That
if we lower taxes we're gonna somehow create jobs. I mean, look at the Clinton era, 23
million jobs created when we increased taxes, right, and then look at what happened over
the last ten years, when we cut taxes, disaster. Jimmy: Well, two points, you know when people
say "well if you raise taxes, it'll hurt investment" well, so we didn't have any investment in
this country in the 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's, and 70's, when the marginal tax rates were
up between 50 and 90 percent. Of course we did, so that's bogus right there, I mean you
can blow that argument out of the water right there. The other point about they want to
lower the tax rate for repatriated money, because that's gonna help create jobs here
if we bring that money back here. Actually, it doesn't, it does the opposite. When you
lower the tax rates on repatriated money, what that says is "I can take this money,
reinvest it overseas, make more money, and then bring it back for no tax" so that means
they're gonna take the money and reinvest it in other countries and not here. That's
why lowering the repatriation tax is a bad idea.
Michael: It's totally mis-incentivizing the companies and corporate America, and that
is a huge mistake. Dileep: And also they're in business to make
a product to sell or a service. They're not there to maximize policy codes and jiggering
the system so they could get an extra 2% or 3%. All they do is they seek out profit at
the lowest level, always. So we can't make our tax code riddled with holes to pray they're
not gonna leave us, it's just not realistic Cenk: And you look, first of all, unfortunately
we have done that as we all know, right, and look at what companies like GE have done,
they've spent so much money in their accounting department, and it pays off. They get billions
of dollars back Michael: They're a perfect example of why
this is a flawed philosophy Cenk: Look, Jimmy I thought your point was
excellent because in 2004 we did another tax holiday. We let them repatriate the money,
and two things happen. One, they cut jobs, top ten companies that got money back and
they got billions back, right, from lower taxes actually cut tens of thousands of jobs,
they didn't do what they said they were gonna do at all, and at the time they said "Oh,
we promise, we promise we're gonna bring jobs in" but they never managed it, so it didn't
happen at all. And second of all immediately they took all the rest of the money and moved
it offshore waiting for the new tax holiday that's now about to come
Jimmy: That's exactly what's happening, you know and it's that old it's another just like
they say well corporations need to feel confidence. They're sitting on 2 trillion dollars, but
they don't have any confidence, that's why they're not hiring. If 2 trillion dollars
doesn't give you confidence, maybe you should try dance lessons
Michael: You know, I think another point that people aren't making enough here is that the
Republicans, the people that want to lower the tax rates constantly and tie job creation
to tax policy are only talking whenever they talk they're talking about manufacturing jobs,
well those jobs are never gonna come back. That's not the approach to go into job policy
with, those jobs are never going to come back Dileep: It defies fact, they have come back.
Manufacturing has led whatever meager recovery we have right now. Manufacturing has actually
led that Cenk: Right, and I love that they say both
things at the same time "Ah, those jobs are never gonna come back, so give me huge tax
cuts so I can create manufacturing jobs" that doesn't make any kind of sense, and look the
final point on this is that no matter what you believe no whether it could be tied to
jobs or not those tax incentives, one thing's for sure, these tax cuts over the last ten
years have not created jobs, in fact, we've lost about a million jobs, so that idea that
more tax cuts equals more jobs is just simply not true.
Our next point comes from Amanda Marcotte, who is a blogger at, and she
is worked up about what the Obama administration has done with Plan B. Let's watch
Amanda: Thanks for having me on The Point. I wanna say this to the Obama administration:
Barack Obama campaigned on women's rights and restoring scientific integrity to the
decision making process at the white house. He issued a memorandum requiring all executive
agencies and departments to respect the scientific process, and then his administration threw
it all out by having Cathleen Sibelius overrule the FDA's decision to make emergency contraception
available to all women over the counter without age restrictions. The science is in, plan
b is safe, it works by preventing ovulation, and has nothing to do with abortion. The Obama
administration sold out women's rights and women's health care to score a few political
points. They insinuated we have some epidemic of sexually active eleven year olds who need
simply to be deprived on contraception access to act right. It's an insinuation that has
no basis in fact. They need to reverse this decision immediately and allow plan b to be
sold over the counter. I'm Amanda Marcotte, and that's my point. If you wanna learn more
about it check out my podcast at Cenk: All right, so Jimmy, she's understandably
aggrieved by Obama's actions, what do you think?
Jimmy: Well I think it's a brilliant move by Barack Obama. What he's done here, sure
he's sacrificed the health of the most vulnerable in society, but what he gets out of it is
he doesn't upset people who already hate his guts
Cenk: Brilliant move by Obama. It's a classic, Obama 101. Look at what Jimmy's saying, it's
such a great point. You think any conservative goes into the voting booth and goes "Yea,
you know I hate that socialist son of a gun, but on the other hand he really screwed over
those teenagers that were in real trouble and denied plan b, I'm voting for him" It's
inconceivable Michael: It's inconceivable, literally.
Cenk: That's good, that's good Michael: What they're good at is: abortion
pill, death panel, death tax. Labeling things what they are not. And if you listen to Amanda
Marcotte here you hear her saying this is not an abortion pill, this is not about abortion,
this is about the cessation of ovulation, and the prevention of ovulation. So it is
not abortion yet that's how it's being marketed that's why if there's any political currency
to be gained here by Obama of which we, I think, unanimously agree that there's none,
it would certainly not be with, it has nothing to do with the abortion, the pro-life or the
pro-choice. Dileep: In fact, I think the point could have
made as it was presented. The panel was unanimous in recommending it be allowed to be sold over
the counter. If he had made the point that this is simply contraception that prevents
ovulation. For people that, you know, for a variety of reasons, they've said "condom
breaks" "you forget to take a birth control pill" a variety of other contraception may
go wrong, and this is a last line of defense. To have to get a prescription and all that,
it's a burden that's being imposed on people who are vulnerable to pregnancy and to unwanted
pregnancy. More important, those unwanted pregnancies then end up being abortions more
often than not, and this pill can prevent that from happening ,then I think this was
a great argument he could have made about the necessity about giving these types of
tools to the people who need them the most Cenk: But Jimmy, that's the problem. Obama
never makes an argument. If Obama wanted to make an argument, that's a great one. Another
one is what we were saying in the beginning, how much can we get through your thick skull
that this prevents abortions, it is not a pregnancy. It's, but, and so if you allow
it to be won, a lot more of these girls who are in desperate straits, they hear out of
all teen pregnancies, 82% are unintended, right. So they're in a bad spot, it's gonna
lead to abortions, you knuckle-head, I'm trying to stop abortions, but he can't ever make
a case he just goes "OK, what do you need, what do you need?"
Jimmy: He actually said that even the FDA recommended this pill be made available. What
he said was "You know, sometimes as a parent of two daughters you have to use common sense"
and so you know common sense, by ignoring doctor's orders, and dismissing scientific
studies, that's the kind of common sense that Barack Obama, you know what common sense when
a thirteen year old girl gets raped by her step dad. So all she has to do is convince
him to take her to the doctor admit to the doctor that he raped her, and get her a prescription,
and then she can prevent her pregnancy. That's the kind of common sense Barack Obama's talking
about. Michael: Jimmy brings something up that I
think is an argument that is not being made by the people who are supporting the Sibelius
decision, which is that if there is one aspect of the Plan B pill not making it available
to children, or to girls of eleven to thirteen as they're saying, eleven to fourteen, it's
the idea that this will prevent the reporting of some sexual assaults, and that to me is
the one argument I haven't heard that argument anywhere by the way. It does resonate, I mean,
if you can just go to the store and get a pill and be quiet about it, you don't have
to say, and you don't have to tell on that step father or that gym teacher or that assistant
football coach. Dileep: Can I also say that this decision,
it also speaks volumes about or endemic discomfort with talking about these issues of reproductive
health, young people's sex drives, young people's sexual health and their need for information.
We're so afraid of talking about this big that some people require us to abstain from
talking about it. That even people on the side of informing our children feel sticky
and strange about talking about this in front of people and I think we have to get to a
place as a society where people who are vulnerable to these situations, young people, who don't
have the information or the wherewithal to argue for their best interest. They have no
consequences that help them, the consequences are all negative. We need to come to a place
in society where we can have this discussion honesty with science and the great feeling
we have about young people saying "we embrace your future, you shouldn't be a prisoner to
our fears" Cenk: Yea, the other thing we should talk
about is not just the politics of it, but, you know, I'm gonna take it over the top here.
Look, when you try to impose your, and by politics I don't mean the news show "did Obama
do right? Did he do wrong in this particular decision" but on the overall issue of, you
know, why do I care what you think about abortion? You know, so, you know, if I've got a niece
or a daughter or whatever, someone I care about who's in a bad situation and they need,
whether it's being raped by their step dad, or you know what they made a mistake, they're
kids, they made a mistake, and they need to get some help, but some guy comes in and tells
me "Oh, but my sky god tells me that you are, that you're not allowed to make that decision.
My sky god has made that decision for you" I mean, would we accept it if it was Thor?
Like Thor has told us that you cannot get Plan B, and Obama goes "well, OK, you know"
Dileep: But, it's even worse than that because remember when Herman Cain was still in the
race? He faced this very question where he said something that totally betrayed how cynical
his endorsement of the pro-life absolute 100% position was. He said "Well, I think it's
about people's family's decisions with their doctors" Which is exactly what pro-choice
is, you can choose based on the circumstances that befall you, not on some exterior motive.
I'm not off-the-cuff to call it a sky god, but someone else's belief system invading
your home and your decision making. Cenk: Our final point is taken from the world
wide web. We actually loved Russell Simmons' tweet on the Lowe's controversy with the show
All American Muslim. I wanna show you his twee first then we'll talk about it. Here's
what Russell Simmons said: "Just purchased remaining spot for All American Muslim for
next week. The show is now sold out, keep your money Lowe's and we'll keep ours" Look,
Russell Simmons has been absolutely fantastic on so many different issues. I remember in
Zucotti park when he went down there the first time they were gonna raid it and stood it.
He said "look, if New York City needs money for cleanup or something, I'll volunteer the
money." In this case ,if you guys haven't heard of this, Lowes pulled their ad from
the show All American Muslim on TLC. It's because a hate group Florida Family Association,
these days unfortunately family means hate, in any title of a. They hate gay people, they
hate Muslims, etc. They put out this ridiculous propaganda that somehow the show was gonna
lead to jihad, and Lowes ridiculously pulled their ads from it, and that's why there's
been so much controversy around it, and here comes Russell Simmons, says "I'll buy the
ads" which I thought was a great move, what do you think Dileep
Dileep: I think it's a great move, but just to clarify, it's worse than that. It's not
that the show will lead to jihad, it's that the show is somehow white-washing the image
of the dark muslims of the world who really are aiming to kill us, so how dare you focus
on the tiny minority you found who are all-America, and not make your show about the cells and
cells and cells of terrorists in America today who are trying to kill us. Which is a screed,
this is also on just a political, just the outrage at it, let's just look at it like
a political thing for Lowes. The minute you start pulling your ads you want to have one
review process. A, who has complained? And what is their complaint? If they're complaint
is "your show does not include enough example of terrorist that equate with these good people
on this show" that might be a complaint you crumple up and throw in the trash. This is
not something you pull your ads over, you pull your ads over someone on that show says
something so bigoted and so awful that it's incompatible with the values of the customers
who come in your store. Now the values of the people who go to Lowes by and large are
the people who want to buy hardware, they're not really interested in whether you endorse
or don't endorse religions, but when you take a group of people and say "These people, who
are good people, I'm gonna go ahead and agree with this argument they're not representative
of the evil that most of the people like them represent" You've waded way out in the weeds
and your advisors are idiots who are from the stupid association.
Cenk: Right, and you have to understand, Florida Family Association gave absolutely no reasoning
as to why the show Dileep: It's indefensible
Cenk: I know, they didn't even try, they weren't like "Oh, on the show they do something bad"
No, they just are Michael: They just are, they're Muslims
Cenk: Right Jimmy: Well, I will defend them a little.
The people who are complaining about it, they're upset that shows like this they create the
false impression that Muslims are actually human beings, and that's dangerous, and if
there's more shows like this on the air it's gonna make it so much harder to round you
guys up after. You know, when the time comes Michael: Well, if you leave the show on, you
keep the advertisers, you can go get them all at a Lowes.
Dileep: Exactly, you can find them all in one place
Cenk: You know, look, let's keep it real again. Michael, if they took out the word, Florida
Family Association, if they took out the word Muslim and put in the word Jew, an dthey said
"This shows Jews in a good light, when obviously Jews have a Jewish agenda" same exact words
that they used. Jimmy: Mel Gibson would donate.
Cenk: Mel Gibson buys out the rest of the spots
Michael: And that's the point, what Simmons has done is he has called out everybody, the
NAACP, the Congress on Racial Equality, the Anti-Defamation league, and said "Listen,
if this were the case with" he's not even saying what you just asked, he's not saying
"If this were the case and they were Jewish, imagine the uproar" which is of course a valid
point, and there are reasons why the uproar would be larger, because the infrastructure
already exists there in a very well financed way in America, but what he is saying, he's
saying "these are your brothers, these are people just like you, these are groups, this
is another group similar to you, you should be doing more" It's not that, it's not the
what if it were you? This is a call to arms, this is you, it is you.
Jimmy: You don't think it's misleading? They show Muslims getting on airplanes, and the
plane lands safely. Cenk: Listen, you know, it's a great point
that Michael made because Peter King was having the hearings in Congress about how dangerous
are Muslims? And this is part of the phenomenon, and they fearmonger, etc. Now there's more
right-wing terrorist attacks inside the United States than there are Muslim terrorist attacks
inside the United States. Shockingly he's not doing a hearing about that. He's also
not doing a hearing about the IRA which he used to raise money for, which is also a terrorist
organization. But if I was go to Peter King's hearing, and I was Muslim, I used to be, I'm
agnostic now, right. But I would say "Hey listen, you know, I am 100% American. You
don't get to question me, you don't get to say 'hey, how American are you?' I'm just
as American as anyone else." I would argue Peter King and the Florida Family association
are less American than us because they fundamentally miss the point of America which is that we're
all citizens here that are absolutely. Jimmy: It's hard not to play their game right?
They're not American Cenk: I'd go right back at them people say
"hey, you shouldn't do that" No, they are, they're un-American.
Dileep: I think the most offensive part of this whole thing is the swiftness of their
reaction, and how fast they pull their ads without even bothering to process what these
people were saying and what they were suggesting. What they really were suggesting is that this
show needs to be leaven with another half hour that just focuses on the terrorists that
live in your neighborhood. It is the most preposterous suggestion for a activist group
to make towards a network. They're entertainment, right? Most of the time how a boycott starts
is something airs that is so grandiosely offensive to the people who are going to watch that
network, we're talking about people who are going around in a minivan picking up their
kids. How is this in any way what's offending Americans today?
Michael: This is enriching America. This is an opportunity, that's one of the great things
about cable television is that there's so much on you can see the sort of the normalcy
of a family doing that. Cenk: You know that's true, but the first
time I saw the ads, before all the controversy, I saw the ads for the show and I thought "This
is gonna be the most boring show ever" Look at that Muslim, he went to pick of a sandwich.
Whoooah. On the other hand, look at the rest of television, all the reality shows. I once
saw one where it was Indiana teenagers, it was like...
Dileep: This language of Muslims and Islamophobia, it's coded language. Because we're talking
about Muhammad Ali, they're not talking about you know, a Faracon coming in a blowing up
my house. It's Arab, it's you're Arab, you're Muslim, you're in this hybrid of people I
don't know, because maybe I don't live in Michigan where a lot of Arabs live. You dress
a certain way, you do something to identify yourself as Muslim
Cenk: Although that is kind of funny how they dress.
Dileep: Aesthetically you can say whatever you want. Sure, lots of people dress lots
of ways Michael: They should go to Lowes and buy a
mirror Dileep: What about the guy who's pants are
falling down, they dress that way. That's as offensive as anything to me.
Cenk: I have no interest in their boxers. One last thing about thing. I should say one
last point about this is American Muslims spent 33 billion dollars a year on housing
and housing services, which I'm blown away by. Didn't mean blown away, but. But that's
a tremendous amount of money, that compared to a rinky-dink Florida association, which,
by the way is a bunch of liars. Because they claim 65 out of the 67 sponsors dropped out,
we actually did research on The Young Turks on Current, it's not true at all. We called
McDonalds who said "We didn't pull out, what are they talking about" So that tiny group
versus 33 billion dollars in shopping and housing areas. It's such a bad business decision.
Dileep: They're also tearing at the fiber of America. You're saying these people, actually
you know you're really great people, but you're not representative of your people. We need
to find someone not like you, someone who's a horror.
Cenk: Yea, that's the worst part of it. So we'll leave it on that point. And you know
what I actually want to do one more thing. I want to tweet out to Russell Simmons, we
wrote this out ahead of time. I just think that it was such a great thing to do on his
part that we should return it so we're tweeting back at him. Watch this, I'm sending. Sent
Michael: Wow, technology Cenk: Russell Simmons, you've been tweeted
by the point. OK, so, now I have one final point, and it's about the Defense Authorization
act, that is going through Congress this week, and it is just abhorrent, and I don't know
if you've heard about it but what it does is it allows the military to act inside the
United States of America before of course FBI, local police would take police action
now the military can. And they can detain just about anybody, including United States
Citizens and they can hold them indefinitely. It is a clear violation of the fifth amendment,
the fourteenth amendment, Posse Comitatus is out the door, that's been around since
the Civil War, now the military can act inside the United States. If this thing passes, for
a brief period of time we thought that President Obama might veto it, and we thought he might
veto it because he thought that civil liberties were abused too much in the bill. It turns
out that he will not be vetoing it, and it turns out he's been arguing all along if you
believe Senator Carl Levin, who I do believe said that "no, President Obama wanted to expand
the rights of the executive branch, and wanted to maek sure he could also detain US citizens
without a trial". It is hideous, it's hideous on the part of the Republicans who pushed
for it, the Democrats who agreed to it, President Obama, who apparently wanted to expand the
powers that take away from our constitutional rights. It just isn't right, and nothing is
more unfortunately, more un-American than that, because this country's supposed to stand
for the rights of everyone to get a fair trial. I mean this is the basis of western democracy,
Habeus Corpus, if you're arrested they need to bring you and give you a fair hearing,
and they're taking that away from US citizens, and it's unacceptable. So that's my final
point for the week, and I want to thank everyone who's been here, Michael Shure, of course
you can catch him on 2012 on TYT network. Dileep Rao, a great actor Avatar and Inception.
Jimmy Dore, of course on the Jimmy Dore show on KPFK. You guys have been great, thank you
guys. We'll see you next time on The Point.