MSNBC’s Alter: No Jobs from Bush’s ‘Massive Tax Cuts,’ Tea Partiers Would Support Obama Budget

 On Wednesday’s The Ed Show, MSNBC analyst and Bloomberg View columnist Jonathan Alter claimed that the "massive tax cuts" of the Bush administration did not create jobs, and went on to credit former President Clinton for the low unemployment rate that existed during the Bush years. He ended up lecturing fellow panel member Judson Phillips of Tea Party Nation that Tea Party activists would support President Obama’s budget plan if polled and that they are "not as obsessed with tax cuts as you are."

As panel members Phillips and Leo Gerard of the United Steelworkers of America argued over whether jobs were created by the Bush tax cuts, Alter injected: "First of all, the massive tax cuts at the beginning of the Bush administration did not create jobs in this economy. There were very few jobs created during his eight years in the White House."

After Phillips pointed out the low unemployment that had existed around the middle of the decade, Alter responded: "Because we had 20 million jobs created in the Clinton administration."

He continued: "Another point, just, this is really essential because I think that Mr. Phillips is out of touch with his own voters. If you go and talk to Tea Party supporters around the country... And you ask them a choice: Would you like to cut $4 trillion from the debt? Or would you like to protect loopholes for wealthy corporations? Would you accept a deal that closed those loopholes and cut $4 trillion from the deficit?"

Alter concluded: "They all would take the deal. It’s only their leadership - people like you and some of the folks on Capitol Hill - who don’t realize where the real mainstream Republicans are on this issue. They’re not as obsessed with tax cuts as you are."

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Wednesday, July 13, The Ed Show on MSNBC:

JONATHAN ALTER, BLOOMBERG VIEW COLUMNIST: I just wanted to make a couple of points to Mr. Phillips. First of all, the massive tax cuts at the beginning of the Bush administration did not create jobs in this economy. There were very few jobs created during his eight years in the White House.

ED SCHULTZ: Would you agree with that, Mr. Phillips?

JUDSON PHILLIPS, TEA PARTY NATION: Oh, yeah, right, tax cuts didn’t create jobs? And please tell me why in 2004 and 2005 we had full employment. We were down below five percent unemployment.

ALTER: Because we had 20 million jobs created in the Clinton administration. Another point, just, this is really essential because I think that Mr. Phillips is out of touch with his own voters. If you go and talk to Tea Party supporters around the country and you ask them, and let me give you a choice-

PHILLIPS: Funny, I actually talk to them probably more than you do.

ALTER: Excuse me, let me finish my sentence. And you ask them a choice: Would you like to cut $4 trillion from the debt? Or would you like to protect loopholes for wealthy corporations?

Would you accept a deal that closed those loopholes and cut $4 trillion from the deficit, they all would take the deal. It’s only their leadership - people like you and some of the folks on Capitol Hill - who don’t realize where the real mainstream Republicans are on this issue. They’re not as obsessed with tax cuts as you are.