I'm not sure what world Harold Ford Jr. (D-Wall Street) is living in, but apparently it's not one based on reality after listening to him on this Sunday's Meet the Press. When asked about the President's upcoming jobs proposal after he returns from vacation, Ford rattled off enough Republican talking points to make one's head spin. Apparently Ford thinks it's perfectly acceptable for corporations to continue to be rewarded for their offshore tax havens after hearing this statement:
FORD: And there's no doubt, I think a repatriation tax, lowering this tax so many can come back in the country, can go to the federal government, the tax dollars, and a lot of that money people worry it will be spent on dividends or it'll be spent on stock buyback. Who cares? If the money comes back to the U.S., and--U.S. investments benefit, the economy benefits because the stock market goes up.
Yeah, who cares if they just put the money back into their stock portfolios instead of hiring American workers. Maybe someone can ask Ford to read Matt Taibbi's piece at Rolling Stone -- that he discussed with Keith Olbermann earlier this month -- on why it's wrong to reward this behavior, because no one on the Meet the Press panel bothered.
Ford followed up by saying that "Wall Street and Main Street are the same." I hate to break it to him but I think the huge number of unemployed or just average citizens out there who aren't raking in billions a year after being bailed out by the taxpayers with none of them going to jail for wrecking our economy would disagree with him.
Full transcript below the fold.
GUTHRIE: And what about this jobs plan. A cartoonist, Bill Bramhall, in the Daily News, put a fine point on it. "What's the plan?" someone asks. Obama says, "Tell you when I get back from vacation."
I mean, Harold, was that somewhat ham-handed for the White House to announce "Oh, we've got a jobs plan, and we'll tell you in a few weeks" when people are suffering now?
FORD: I would have to think if you are--we're fortunate around this table to be dutifully employed, some people with more than one job. The reality is, if you have a jobs plan, put it out. The same as I would say for Michele Bachmann.If she has a plan to get gas prices down to $2, she ought to give it to President Obama and let him implement it now so Americans can be spared the agony. Two, I hope the president does what E.J. said. I hope he's bold. E.J. and I may define bold differently, but he's got to come out, I think, with a plan to create certainty around regulations.
I would all--I'd ask and encourage a moratorium on new regulations even with some parts of the healthcare bill because, if you listen to big business people in the country, they're concerned about their costs going forward. You look at industries that are growing, the oil and gas industry, how do you get people back to work in industries where they're ready to hire?
There are things that you can do right away. And there's no doubt, I think a repatriation tax, lowering this tax so many can come back in the country, can go to the federal government, the tax dollars, and a lot of that money people worry it will be spent on dividends or it'll be spent on stock buyback. Who cares? If the money comes back to the U.S., and--U.S. investments benefit, the economy benefits because the stock market goes up.
GUTHRIE: Real quick, Maria.
BARTIROMO: That's the issue. I mean, the president needs a short-term and a long-term plan. On the short-term, a plan that the markets can believe. The markets are built on confidence. People need to have confidence that we actually see a plan that will encourage businesses to create jobs. Right now all we're ever hearing about is, "Oh, taxes will go higher, the millionaires, the billionaires. Corporations should carry the brunt." That's why they're sitting on--the corporate sector is the strongest that we've seen in a long time. They've got $2 1/2 trillion in cash. But they're not putting the money to work because they're anticipating costs going higher later. And on the point on regulation, Dodd-Frank is the law of the land. So why are the rules being written now? Businesses do not know what they're business is going to look like in six months, so they're not going to add heads to the payroll.
FORD: They need to be stopping so critical of Wall Street as well. I mean, Wall Street and Main Street are the same.
FORD: When Wall Street does well...
DIONNE: Can I speak for Main Street, please?
MS. GUTHRIE: Yes.