tv The Cycle MSNBC October 8, 2013 3:00pm-4:00pm EDT
zero sum game. there are areas where the chinese and us agree. on trade in particular though, here's an area part of what we're trying to do is raise standards, for example, international -- intellectual property protection which sometimes is a big problem in china. if we can get a trade deal with all of the other countries in asia that says you've got to protect people's intellectual property, that will help us in our negotiations with china. richard. >> up here. [ indiscernible ] >> what is the legal advice, creditors must be paid first particularly as a sovereign credit issue? >> i'm going to let jack lew, the secretary of the treasury make a formation presentation on thursday before the senate committee. this is obviously sensitive
enough that i think people will be paying close enough attention that details count. and i think prepared remarks from secretary lew on that topic would probably be more appropriate. as i indicated before, we plan for every contingency. so obviously, worst case scenario, there are things that we will try to do. but i will repeat, i don't think any option is good. steven dennis. >> could you talk about project process. in the past you negotiated along with the debt ceiling with the blue dogs in 2009, 2010 along with an increase then. pay as you go reform. the republicans today are talking about let's have maybe another committee that would work out our differences over the next few weeks.
is that something that you could talk about on the side, something that wouldn't necessarily be a concession but something that would be a format for getting a deal done? >> here's the thing steven. i know that speaker boehner has talked about setting up some new processor some new super committee or what have you. the leaders up in congress can work through whatever processes they want. but the bottom line is eermg you're having good faith negotiations in which there's give and take or you're not. there is already a process in place called the budget committees that could come together right now, democrats have been asking for 19 months to bring them together, make a determinati
determination, how much the government would be spending next year, the appropriations committees could go through the list and here's how much we're going to be spending for defense and here's how much we're going to be spending for education. that's a process that worked reasonably well for last 50 years. i don't know we need a new committee for a process like that to move forward. what has changed or what seems to be motivating the idea that we have to have a new process, is speaker boehner or at least some faction of the republicans in the house and maybe some in the senate, are holding out for a negotiation in theory but in fact basically democrats give to republicans and republicans don't give anything and that's dubbed as compromise. the reason they have to give is they are worried the government will stay shut down or the u.s. government is going to default.
and again, that -- you can dress it up any way you want. if that's the theory that the republicans are going forward with, then it's not going to work. let me just give you one specific example. i heard at least and i can't confirm this, that one of the ideas of the new committee, you could talk about reductions in discretionary spending. you could talk about entitlement reform and reductions in mandatory spending. you could talk about how long you would extend the debt ceiling but couldn't talk about closing corporate loopholes that aren't benefitting ordinary folks economically and potentially if you close them would allow us to pay for things like better education for kids. well, you know, i don't know why democrats right now would agree to a format that takes off the table all of the things they
care about. and it's confined to the things that the republicans care about. so again, i don't know that that's exactly what's being proposed. my simple point is this, i think democrats in the senate and the house are prepared to talk about anything. i'm prepared to talk about anything. they can design whatever formats they want. what is not fair and will not result in an actual deal is ransom taking or hostage taking an the expectation the democrats are paying a ransom or providing concessions for the moore act of reopening the government or paying our bills. those are not things that you do for me and they are not things that you do for the democrats. >> is there a point where it's not necessarily a concession, it is you would negotiate what the
negotiations are going to look like, you don't have to agree to overturn obama care, but you could actually negotiate what the talks are going to look like so everybody is comfortable. and you mentioned yourself. this is a tough vote for the house republicans. you're asking them to take a tough vote for the debt ceiling. usually people in both parties want to have some cover, something they can point to and say -- >> which is fine. >> i want some budget process reform or another trillion dollars in debt. >> which is fine. if they want to do that, reopen the government, extend the debt ceiling. if they can't do it for a long time, do it for the period of time in which these negotiations are taking place. why is it that we've got hundreds and thousands of people who aren't working right now in order for what you just described to occur? it doesn't make any sense. the small business administration gives out a billion dollars worth of loans every month to small businesses all across the country. that is not happening right now.
so there are small businesses in every state that are counting on a loan to get their business going and you've got the party of small business saying small business administration can't do it. that's what they call themselves. and yet, they are suffering. you've got farmers who are waiting for loans right now and they cannot be processed. the republican party says that the party looks out for farmers, i happen to disagree, i think farmers have done good under my administration. but having said that, why would you keep the government shut down and those farmers not getting loans while we're having the discussions you just talked about? you know, the republicans say they are very concerned about drilling. they say obama has been restricting oil production despite the fact that oil production is the highest level it's been in years and is continuing to zoom up. they say the democrats are
holding back oil production in this country. well, you know, one of the things that happens when the government shuts down, new drilling permits aren't process. why would the republicans say to the folks interested in drilling for oil, sorry, we can't let those things be processed until we have some negotiations and we have some cover to do what we're supposed to be doing anyway. that doesn't make sense. it -- if there's a way to solve this, it has to include reopening government and saying america is not going to default and pay its bills. they can attach some process to that that gives them some certainty that in fact the things that they are concerned about will be topics of negotiation. if my word is not good enough and i've told them i'm happy to talk about it. if they want to specify all of
the items they think need to be a topic of conversation, happy to do it. i want to say, part of that process is we're going to go through line by line all of the aspects of the president's health care plan that we don't like and we want the president to answer for those things. i'm happy to sit down with them as many hours as they want. i want to let them gut a law is goi -- i won't let them gut a law but i'm happy to talk about it. >> steven -- i'm going through my list, guys. [ indiscernible ] >> in the campaign against terrorism and if we see u.s. military operations, how does that square with your contingent that america cannot be at war forever? >> if you look at the speech i
gave at the national defense college several months ago, i outline the how i saw the shift in terrorism around the world and what we have to do to respond to it. part of what i said is that we had decimated core al qaeda, that been operating between afghanistan and pakistan. but you now have these regional groups, some of which are explicitly tied to al qaeda or that idealogy and some of which more localized. a few of them have the ability to project beyond their borders but they can do a lot of damage inside their borders. and africa is one of the places where because in some cases lack of capacity on the part of the governments and in some cases because it is easier for folks
to hide out in vast terrains that are sparsely populated, that you're seeing some of these groups gather. we're going to have to continue to go after them. there's a difference between us going after terrorists who are plotting dwrekt directly to the united states and us being involved in wars. the risks of terrorism and terrorist networks will continue for some time to come. we've got to have a long-term plan that is not just military based. we've got to engage in ideas in the region and engage with muslim countries and try to isolate radical elements that are doing more damage to muslims than they are doing to anybody else. we've got to think about economic development because although there's not a direct correlation between terrorism and the economy, there's no doubt if you got a lot of unemployed, uneducated young men
in societies there's a greater likelihood that terrorist activities are available. where you have active plots and active networks, we're going to go after them. we prefer partnering with countries where this is taking place wherever we can and build up their capacity. but we're not going to farm out our defense and -- i have to say by the way, the operations that toopgs both in libya and somalia, were examples of extraordinary skill and dedication and talent of our men and women in the armed forces. they do their jobs extremely well, with great precision and great risk to themselves and i think they are pretty good examples for those of us in washington should operate as well. >> comply with international
law? >> we know that mr. al libi planned and helped to execute plots that killed hundreds of people, a whole lot of americans. we have strong evidence of that. and he will be brought to justice. mark. >> mr. president, while you're waiting for the shutdown to end, why is it that you can't go along with any of the bills the house is passing, funding the fda and fema, where you were yesterday and veterans benefits and head start, you've got to be tempted to sign the bills and get funding to those programs that you support. >> of course i'm tempted because you'd like to think you can solve at least some of the problems if you kopt solve all of them. here's the problem. what you've seen are bills that come up where wherever
republicans are feeling political pressure, they put a bill forward. and if there's no political heat, if there's no television story on it, then nothing happens. and if we do some sort of shotgun approach like that, then you'll have some programs that are highly visible get funded and reopened like national monuments, but things that don't get a lot of attention, like the sba loans, not being funded. you know, we don't get to select which programs we implement or not. there are a whole bunch of things the republicans have said are law that we have to do and i don't get a chance to go back and say, you now what, this coke cockamamy idea that congress came up with, i don't like so let's not implement that.
once you have a budget and government with a set of functions, we make sure that it's all operating. we don't get to pick and choose based on which party likes what. that's where the budget discussions take place. they should argue for eliminating those programs in the budget and come to an agreement with the democrats, maybe the democrats will agree and those things won't be funded but you don't do a piecemeal approach when you're dealing with the government shutdown. i'm going to take one more question. and right here. >> mr. president -- >> persistence has worked. >> mr. president, you talked about the political dynamics that leave house republicans feeling they don't want to negotiate or come together. i would ask you two things about that. looking back at the 2011 default
discussions with the budget drama, is there anything that you would wish you had done differently in 2011? after this what you call this nonsense has ended, what do you expect the political dynamics might -- how will they have changed to move forward? >> i think it's an interesting question. in 2011, i entered into good faith negotiations with john boehner. he had just won the speakership. it was at a time because we were still responding to the recession, deficits were high and people were concerned about it and i thought it was my obligation to meet him halfway. and so we had a whole series of talks and at that point at least, nobody had any belief that people would come close to
potential default. i don't regret having those negotiations and we came fairly close. and whenever i see john boehner to this day, i still say should have taken the deal i offered you back then, which would have dealt with our long-term deficit problems and would not have impeded growth as much and really boosted confidence. but at that time, i think house republicans had just taken over and they were feeling their oats and thinking we don't have to compromise. and we came pretty close to default. and we saw the impact of that. i would have thought that they would have learned the lesson from that as i did, which is we can't put in the american people and our economy through that ringer again. so that's the reason why i've been very clear, we're not going to negotiate around the debt ceiling. that has to be dealt with in a
reasonable fashion. by the way, i often hear people say well in the past it's within dealt with all the time. the truth of the matter is, if you look at the history, people postu rcht e about the debt ceiling frequently but the way it often got passed, you would stick the debt ceiling on to a budget negotiation once it was completed because people figured i don't want to take a bunch of cut votes to cut programs or raise taxes and also have to take a debt ceiling vote. let me do it all at with us. it wasn't a situation, what if i don't get what i want, i'm going to let us default, that's what has changechanged. i said we're not going to do that again, not just for me because future presidents, republican or democrat, should not be in a position where they have to choose between making sure the economy stays afloat and we avoid worldwide
catastrophe or provide concessions to one faction of one party in one house. and but let me tell you a lesson i did not learn. a did not learn a lesson we shouldn't compromise. i still think we should. i think there are all kinds of issues we should be talking about and don't expect to get 100% of my way. i'm still very open to having conversations with not just the speaker but any republican over there. so -- go ahead. >> if you enter into a series of short term bills or debt ceiling bill, you'll be back in the same place presumably with these same members of congress. what has changed in the political dynamic if you do short term? >> what has changed they are aware of the fact that i'm not budging when it comes to the full faith and credit of the united states, that that has to be dealt with that you don't pay
a ransom or provide concessions for congress doing its job and america paying its bills. and i think most people understand that. i mean, i -- i was at a small business the other day and talking to a bunch of workers and said, when you're at the plant and you're in the middle of your job, do you ever say to your boss, unless i get a raise right now and more vacation pay, i'm going to just shut down -- i'm not going to walk off the job shs but break the equipment. how do you think that would go? they all thought they would be fired and most of us think that. there's nothing wrong with asking for a raise or asking for more time off, but you can't burn down the plant or your office if you don't get your way.
well, the same thing is true here and most americans understand that. all right. thank you very much, everybody. >> we just heard there from the president as the government shutdown drags into week two and the debt ceiling limit looms large "the cycle" has you covered. let's start at the white house with peter alexander. peter, what was the thinking behind having this press conference on this day? >> krystal, it's a good question. this is part of a continued effort by the white house to be out in front of this to continue to put pressure on house republicans to put a vote on the floor, specifically, about a clean cr, continuing resolution as well as the debt ceiling to try to lift these issues away from the crises they presently face and create a president says he would be willing to negotiate. he walked down the street to go get lunch and went to fema yesterday and this today, wait and see, he'll probably do
anything tomorrow. he didn't mins words with the use of words like ransom, extortion, dead beat in the course of his conversations. he did float a couple of ideas where the potential out may be, simply acknowledging that he pledged to sign a short-term clean cr, something like six to eight weeks that would remove that issue and allow for negotiations, also floated the idea of increasing the debt limit for whatever the length of time is that negotiations take. he said he would negotiate on things like the health care law as well as the long-term deficit. here's some what the president said in his own words. >> let's stop the excuses. let's take a vote in the house. let's end the shutdown right now and put people back to work. there are enough reasonable republicans and democrats in the house willing to vote yes on a budget that the senate already passed. that vote could take place today and the shutdown would be over.
serious negotiations could proceed around every item in the budget. last time that the tea party republicans flirted with the idea of default two years ago, markets plunged, business and consumer confidence plunged. america's credit rating was downgraded for the first time. a decision to actually go through with it to actually permit default according to many ceos and i'm quoting here, insane, catastrophic, chaos, these are some of the more polite words. warren buffett likened default to a nuclear bomb, a weapon too horrible to use. it would disrupt markets and undermine the world's confidence in america as the bedrock of the global economy. and it might permanently increase our borrowing costs, which of course ironic cle would mean that it would be more
expensive for us to service what debt we do have and add to the deficits and our debt, not decrease them. there's nothing fiscally responsible about that. >> it sounds like there's a little wiggle room, a potential way out for this president and house republicans maybe some short term agreement. a lot of people will be struck in the course of the hour conversation, no questions about the health care law and criticisms of how it has been implemented in its first week or so. also, no questions about the revocation and suspension of death benefits for the u.s. service members, 17 of them since the shutdown began. >> peter, let's go up to the hill with nbc's luke russert. earlier today we heard from john boehner and republican leadership but didn't hear anything new, did we? >> reporter: not particularly. they would like to sort of put forward some committee to deal
with the long-term drivers of debt and deficit and work out of this so-called government shutdown, this debt limit crises, listen to what boehner and cantor said today. >> americans expect us to work out our differences. there's never been a president in our history that did not negotiate over the debt limit, never, not once. >> in 1995, both sides sat down together under the same type of circumstances and they ended up balancing the budget. >> there's no bound tris here. there's nothing on the table or off the table. i'm trying to do everything i can to bring people together and have a conversation. >> if you're having a hard time using obama care's broken website, you shouldn't be penalized for not signing up this year. very simple. >> the central argument is this, are we going to sit down and have a conversation or weren't we? >> the president seems to have opened the door to the conversation with the prerequisite that the debt limit
is extended temporarily, that is something that senate democrats are weary of hearing about. they believe the longer they old out and the big fear president aobama giving away too much, ala 2011. as peter was mentioned, there now seems to be a sort of light at the end of the tunnel. if there's a temporary extension of government funding and its clean and temporary extension to the debt limit and congress comes to some sort of compromise on what the standards are for negotiation, i.e. if some sort of df sit reduction is not agreed to, there's a trigger in which both sides feel some pain, the sequester, perhaps you could see something like that be away out of this. republicans will be able to say we're going to work on deficit reduction and democrats would say it's a clean extension of government funding. we didn't give much away but
does seem to be providing an outlet. one thing i'll touch on. no questions about the affordable care act. you're seeing this narrative go on in the gop media, watch that turned up to -- after no questions presented about the computer glitches and enrollment, something that would detract from the real pain of folks feeling the government shutdown and pain that could come, the economic catastrophe of the debt limit not being extended. >> they kind of did it to themselves. i think they would be happy to focus on obama care if there wasn't a shutdown and looming default. >> chuck todd in the briefing room. what were the main takeaways? >> the most important thing what the president said about that he would sign a short-term deal. that is clean. it is what they telegraphed and hinted at yesterday. he himself said it.
when talking about debt limit he is not wanted to deal with the short term. fact he's open to that, that's your road map. the question is whether boehner takes it. and then the president even said, you can write in anything you want in whatever negotiation that you believe you have to legs late the negotiating portion of this. so this was i think an attempt by the president to try to take away this republican talking point that he refuses to talk and his demand is simply reopen the government short-term and it could be as short reasonably short as you want. i talked to folks out here and don't put a time limit, a week or ten days is too short but six to eight-week window, he didn't even stamer on that when he was asked about about the 6 to 8 week window. sure, let's do it, fine. he went through this thing. that's the path. the question is, is the president coming out endorsing that compromise? does that doom if for failure as far as boehner is concerned
because he deals with a part of the conversation that if the president is for it, they are against it? ? chuck you pointed out on air and on twitter, the only thing on the table was short term to begin with. >> it's been staring them in the face. it's obvious this is the way out. the question is whether boehner wants to take this. we're just getting this stuff piling up. the lack of death pbenefits for military service people killed in the line of duty, that's not happening to military families, there's story after story on this, just flip the switch six weeks. you know, this is one of those things that it's staring everybody in the face, just sometimes take the win and get out. >> as you mentioned for a lot of people around the country, it's an issue of con shens, it may not be an essential security service, which is what we see when the government shuts down, there's a lot of important things the government does for its people, including its heroes and veterans.
the question i want to ask you sitting there today, it seemed we had heard multiple questions and some discussion of what a default event is managed like. that seems something that five or ten years ago would be like asking about an alien invasion? >> it's funny you said that. this is something that they care a lot about and i thought it was interesting that the president doesn't want to get into some of those details, the legal issues, is the country legally bound to prit orrize if we don't lift the debt ceiling. i'm wait wading into there, wait until you hear from the treasury secretary in two days. he did send a couple of messages there on that front, which is a stop talking about and even brought up the magic coin idea, 14th amendment and said you can't do it and not willing to pursue those avenues. talking about the various priorities, it's clear that they've -- a treasury has had to
come up with a contingency plan of essentially what if. and it sounds like on thursday we're going to find out the details of that plan. >> there was a reason we had the questions, we've never been in this situation before as president obama was saying, we wouldn't meet our financial obligations for first time in 225 years. no one wants to see what that would potentially look like which is why the white house signaled they are open to a short-term deal. that means bringing the negotiation, bringing folks to the negotiating table and talking again. however republicans have said they are not open to this. chuck, are there any other options? any other way out if republicans refuse to be the first to blink? >> i don't think there is. i think that is one thing that the president and i don't think democrats will blink on this. if folks want to understand what is the impact of a default, okay, two countries south of our borders, mexico and argentina, in relatively recent history, you ask american businesses how confident they are in investing
money in mexico, even right now, even though the economy is booming or argentina, even though south america economy overall is booming, thanks to brazil, there's a hesitancy to invest in those countries. if folks wants to understand examples we've had reeld world examples not far from our borders. i can tell you naem do business for instance in mexico, a lot of times insist on doing it in u.s. dollars because of concern's about mexico's recent past and how they dealt with economic problems. >> chuck todd, thank you very much for that. david graham is senior associate editor at "the atlantic" latest article, republicans still have no idea what they want. they want respect. important comment about where we're going on all of this from gene spur ling, the national economic council director. if you sanction through negotiation the legitimacy of somebody threatening default, then that's going to happen over and over again.
so sanctioning negotiations with someone threatening default isn't the end of the risk of default. it's likely to increase the chances of default and the president spoke to that today. we can't make extortion a part of democracy and talked about this before, that future presidents will have to deal with the same thing, one small part saying we don't want this and hold up the whole process. so the president and white house is not simply looking at this as a moment in 2013, but a future moment where republicans are trying to change the way government functions. >> sure, i mean, people were saying why is obama saying the same thing in the press conference he's been saying all along. he does believe that this is the difference between a sort of continuing train wreck collapse or functioning government. it makes sense for him to keep reiterated, i won't negotiate. >> david, i've got to tell you, when luke and peter and chuck were reporting on how the way
outlooks like a short term 6 to 8 week thing and maybe we could have another sequester type trigger. i want to scream and put my hair out. we've seen this before. what gives us any confidence that six weeks down the road we're not going to be faced with another totally unnecessary crisis? >> sure, you can see politically that why obama has to say he would agree to 6 to 8 week clean cr. he said he doesn't want cuts. he won't agree to cuts. now looking at a way to avoid default without cuts even for short term he has to say yes. by the same token, still refusing to agree to any actual conditions on either reopening the government or the debt ceiling. so he manages to maintain his negotiating position. >> david, it sounds like october 17th is a date we can't borrow anymore, the real date we're looking at is november 1st when money actually runs out. it's really this unknown that is the scariest. jim cramer spoke to this on the "today" show this morning.
let's take a listen. >> we will get through this, if you try to get out now and get back in, i think you'll fail. this is not a crisis involving our country being bankrupt. we have the money to pay, it's just political. >> that's obviously debatable. but help us make sense of what this might mean -- obviously we don't know for sure you about how serious do you think it will be november 1st if we're still at a stalemate? >> as people said it's hard to predict because we haven't seen an exactly similar situation. chuck pointed to mexico and argentina, they are not the reserved currency for the world like u.s. is. the problem is not that our economy is collapsed and we can't do anything, we have a congress refusing to let the country pay its bills. >> thank you for putting it properly. where this latest crisis is really hitting. here's a hint, not in d.c. [ female announcer ] can it get any cleaner?
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president obama warning against another recession if the us defaults on its debt. stocks continued to fall over the conference. no doubt each crisis has shifted the american landscape. some areas are thriving and others are worse off. one of the most obvious shifts have been in job developments urban areas have seen the largest boom because tech companies have moved from the ub bu suburbs into the cities. some areas are soaring back and some sinking further. richard is here to map it out for us. he is not only senior editor of the atlantic and director of the martin prosperity institute. you say the economic landscape is being reshaped around two
kinds of hubs and centers of knowledge and ideas and clucstes of energy production. tell us about the trebds. >> a lot of people, including tom freedman have seen a conflict between the knowledge economy and energy economy. they argue, well, if you have a lot of energy and natural resources, you have a natural resource curse and don't develop. that might be true of places in the middle east which are living off natural riches. but in the united states our centers of knowledge are growing, great metropolitan areas in cities like new york or san francisco bay area, but also these college towns but what's really interesting to see our energy economy take off. as i point out in the piece, a place like houston is not just an energy economy but rounds it off with software and i argue in the piece that america has latched on to a new growth model which is knowledge and energy. i think that growth model is potentially much more powerful than the old housing and auto and suburban growth model we had
before. >> in the article you document how some of these urban areas where there were developments built to recruit people, including young creatives or whatever, they don't want to live there, they want to live in other places. you contrast that to venture capital deals soaring in these urban areas just last year. unpack that link. >> it's interesting. we've been meeting with mike bloomberg and 30 mayors from big cities all around the country. one of the things people are talking about, this incredible movement of people from the suburbs back into the cities for opportunities for jobs. we know we've seen retail come back to the cities. what most people have any neglected. they thought the high tech companies the sur bur ban firms where they like to drive the porsche or beamer, a massive move from silicon valley, the googles and yahoo!s still have
headquarters in the valley but the young companies are going to downtown san francisco. $2.5 billion in venture investment, hundreds of start hups in manhattan. it's something that few people were prepared for. it's not only people moving back to cities but high tech jobs coming back in a massive way. >> i want to underline a quote, brooklyn is a major trend setter for everything from film and tv to indy rock to artisanal food and brooklyn is indeed awesome. >> that's a brooklyn bump right there. >> as you're saying, we have the entrepreneurial activity moving into cities, brooklyn, san francisco, et cetera. you talk about some of that happening. why is that happening? >> i think when you think about people, there are people who like the outside and like nature and those people are going to live in colorado, or portland,
oregon or the bay area. then there are people who just want to be an urban vibe. i think as we -- as cities have become safer, cities have become greener and waterfronts opened in chicago to new york and brooklyn with the spectacular housing stock. you see companies going in are the old warehouses and old 3wi8dings reconfigurable. you see a boom and particularly people -- they don't necessarily want to take a job but make a job. you see this boom in entrepreneurship. like you said in everything from chefs and food people to rock musicians and bands and also now in tech. >> it is in large part a product of high tech and innovation as we talked about a big boom over last few years and how they made the transition from silicon valley to san francisco. i'm surprised it's taken this long for the move to happen. why is it taking this long? >> so am i.
innovation happens in cities, i think it was a product of the big industry age. the big industry and car and suburbanization kind of fooled people, they thought you could make a suburb feel like a city and you couldn't. now in the age when cities have become better and less dangerous and you mention productivity. it's interesting we see high productivity in midland texas and energy centers and high productivity in the bay area in san jose. one of the big things that has come out a place like detroit has been a huge productivity leader. yes it's taken an economic hit but it's the fourth or fifth highest level of productivity in the country. it has the underlying basis to start an economic turnaround. >> you're talking about knowledge jobs, energy jobs. do you think those two sectors will be enough to make up for the manufacturing jobs that we've lost? >> no. i think a third of us are doing well. people talk about the 1% and
99%. i phrase it differently. a third of us who are in knowledge in energy, in high tech, in professional work, we're doing fine. making 75 grand on average, a lot of us making over 100 grand. the 66 million americans low wage service jobs making 20, 25 grand, 30 top. one of the things we talked about with the mayors, we've got to make those jobs better. they are the new manufacturing jobs and engage the workers and get them involved in innovation. if not our income and equality -- we haven't seen in 100 years and it's going to get worse. we have to upgrade the service jobs to be the good jobs like manufacturing jobs were. >> do you see a reemergence of labor of organized labor as a potential solution to making those service jobs pay? >> i've written about this at the atlantic and atlantic city, look at the movement of fast food workers, enough is enough.
my dad told me, in the 30s it took nine family members to make a living wage and came back from world war ii and there was collective bargaining, had a good job to put me and my brother through high school and get through college. being with these mayors, you see the dysfunction, you just talked about the dysfunction in washington. mayor mitch lander of new orleans said we're going to make it in new orleans. all across the country may aors are understanding, they have both, they have a great come back, high tech jobs and media jobs but also have tremendous poverty. these mayors right and left will help lift the jobs up and that's where i'll put my efforts on. >> thanks for that somewhat uplifting note on a depressing day. >> president obama also had a message for the high court, as
so i can reach ally bank 24/7, but there ar24/7.branches? i'm sorry, i'm just really reluctant to try new things. really? what's wrong with trying new things? look! mommy's new vacuum! (cat screech) you feel that in your muscles? i do... drink water. it's a long story. well, not having branches let's us give you great rates and service. i'd like that. a new way to bank. a better way to save. ally bank. your money needs an ally. the latest case would go even further than citizens united. there is nobody who operates in politics that has perfectly clean hands on this issue. but what is also true is that all of us should bind ourselves to some rules that say the people who vote for us should be more important than somebody who
is spending $1 million, $10 million or $100 million to help us get elected. because we don't know what their agendas are. >> that was president obama earlier this hour in reaction to oral arguments today in the supreme court case, mccutchen versus the fec. some are calling it citizens united, the sequel. the original case, about spending in elections. this one is about election contributions and it's the first big case of the fall term. nbc news justice correspondent, pete williams, is outside the court to break it down for us. what did you hear today, pete? >> reporter: i don't think the version that president obama feared is going to happen. certainly some republicans were hoping that the supreme court would do what he was talking about, which is to strike down all limits on contributions, allow people to give unlimited amounts of funds to candidates directly. but that's not going to happen today, it seemed pretty clear. the issue today is not the individual limit on how much you can give to a candidate, but a limit that perhaps isn't as well-known. there is a federal limit on how
much you can give to all candidates put together in any given election. it turns out to be $48,600. and there's a similar limit on how much money you can give to all political parties and pacs put together. an alabama businessman is challenging what they call those aggregate limits. he says he should have a free speech right to give as much money to as many candidates as he wanted. and it did seem from the argument today that his view is going to prevail. at the very least, there seemed to be five votes for the proposition that you ought to be able to give as much money as you want to as many candidates as you want. but the chief justice who may be the key vote here today, john roberts, said he doesn't understand why you could say, well, you can give as much as you want to nine candidates, but not to ten candidates. he said he didn't understand the logic of that. that did seem to be a violation of expression. and the court may have to go the additional way of if it's going to do that, and say you can give as much as you want to all
political parties and pacs put together, but certainly not to strike down all contribution limits. >> well, and is pete, it does strike me there is an important distinction here. and i actually, when i was running for congress, i found these overall caps to be troubling, because what happened is large donors, they would give out their money to sort of the establishment-backed candidates. they would hit their limit, and then even if they might want to invest in your candidacy, they wouldn't have the ability to, because they had already given out their money to sort of the establishment preordained candidates. is that part of the case that's being made here? >> it is. in fact, a question that justice roberts asked, chief justice roberts asked today. he said if you support candidates who both favor gun control and environmental regulation, you have to sort of choose which ones are you going to support and that doesn't seem fair. i should say, the point you make that contributions tend to favor incumbents has been made before by other challengers who say that the contributions tend to
go where the political party money goes, as well. and that independent candidates or people who challenge incumbents have a harder time raising money. that is an additional argument that's made here. >> that's something i remember experiencing when my dad ran in 2012, as well. this doesn't touch on campaign finance reform that i think we can all agree is an embarrassment to our democracy. at least that's how i feel. i think there are a lot of changes that need to be made. but toure, this i don't see a problem with. if you're capping the amount that individuals can spend, they can spend -- they can donate to whoever they want. but if you cap it, it's the idea that if it doesn't corrupt 20 candidates, it's not going to corrupt 400 candidates. we're talking about two different things. >> i find this concept that you're outlining very dangerous. certainly, money is speech. but we have limits on speech. people talk about the first amendment as it means. i can say anything i want. no, it doesn't mean that. you can't yell "fire" in a crowded theater. we have limits on speech.
and when we allow people to donate as much as they want, what you're talking about, you're allowing a very small group of folks, the cobs kochs addlesons in the world, they have a different process than everybody else. >> that's different than a cap. >> and first talked about today, outside groups like the kochs have a larger impact on what's happening in washington than the gop itself. >> and pete, briefly, did that concern come up? go ahead. >> reporter: i can tell you what the government's argument is on why these should be maintained. they say we understand you're going to keep the limit on money to individual candidates. but if you take off the limit on how many you can give to, then they can give to lots of different candidates who can then take some of that money from their own campaigns and funnel it back. and people who are -- who get that money will know where it comes from, and that is where you get the corrupting influence, or you can do the same thing by giving to a whole bunch of pacs. that was justice breyer's point,
that people solicit money and with a wink and nod know where it's going. so that's the government's argument on why these individual limits should be maintained but it didn't seem to be a winning argument today. >> pete williams following the money and court. i'm sure we'll have you back to talk about this again. thanks for your time. >> you bet. >> that wraps it up for "the cycle" this hour. joy reid is in for martin next. and i'm going to talk to her about this case and some other things. so keep it locked on msnbc. ♪ 'take me home...' ♪ 'i'll be gone...' ♪ 'in a day or...' man: twooooooooooooooooo! is that me, was i singing? vo: not paying for scheduled maintenance feels pretty good. no-charge scheduled maintenance now on every new volkswagen. that's the power of german engineering