Did Ed Schultz's Construction Company Get Stimulus Money?

While defending the Obama administration as a champion for small business owners, MSNBC host Ed Schultz revealed that his construction company more than doubled its number of employees in the past year – thanks to the stimulus bill.

"We've gone from eight employees to 20 employees in the past year, because of the stimulus package," he said of his construction company. "We've put some people back to work. There is some growth."

[UPDATE, June 26: Schultz lashes out at NewsBusters's Hadro on his June 24 radio show]

Schultz made that revelation as a guest on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" Wednesday morning. In a segment of the show where he was discussing corporations shipping jobs overseas and skimping on benefits to regular workers and labor union members, Schultz stepped up and defended President Obama.

"This President, and this administration, has done more for small business than any other President has in the last thirty years," he claimed. "There's more tax incentives on the table right now, there's more incentives for small businesses to go out and do things, to hire – we never saw this under any other President."

Schultz whined that tax incentives for big corporations hurt the American middle class by providing opportunities for them to send jobs overseas. He credited President Obama with providing opportunities for small businesses to thrive in the United States.

However, Schultz also lamented that certain Obama administration policies, such as increasing taxes on foreign earnings, ending secret ballots in union elections, EPA regulation of greenhouse gasses and restrictions on oil are "pro-corporate and anti-worker."

With corporations attacking labor, cutting wages, and going after pensions, Schultz claimed that age discrimination is taking place in the business world, and that "we've now developed this culture that it's not good to pay anybody."        

The transcript of the segment, which aired on June 23 at 9:30 a.m. EDT, is as follows:

ED SCHULTZ: Now we're at a crossroads in this country. We have to make a determination if we believe that having 10 percent unemployment for a long period of time is the direction that we want to go. Do we understand that the social pressure and the economic pressure that that's going to put on the country? I don't think that's where Americans want to go. And I think that we're going to see a real surge of buy American, a loyalty to American products, because I think the middle class folks in this country have seen exactly what has happened, this attack on labor that has taken place, that all of a sudden it's okay to reduce wages, or attack people's pensions. And we're also seeing in this country right now age discrimination. Because there's a race to the bottom line.

We've now developed this culture that it's not good to pay anybody. And we have to have somewhat of a push for economic patriotism, in reinvestment in people. We have to understand that people make the difference. And if we don't value that at every level, we're not going to be the country that we can be. We're not going to be the country that we were at one time. We still can achieve greatness, but we gotta get the big money out of politics, we've gotta get what is destroying the middle class in this country, and reinvigorate this country with breaks for the middle class, and a real focus on job creation. And I think the President's trying to do that, but -- of course the way the Congress is right now, all the bickering that's going on, and there's really no bipartisanship to speak of that addresses any of this -- I think we're in for a long struggle here, a real long struggle.

(...)

HOST: Mr. Schultz, the Wall Street Journal echoes that caller's sentiment. They have a headline that echoes the caller's sentiment that business groups say the Obama administration is hostile toward jobs. And they have a list of grievances: Increased taxes on foreign earnings, stalled free trade agreements, shareholder rights to nominate directors, end to secret ballots in union elections, expanded damages for pay discrimination, EPA regulation of greenhouse gasses, and restrictions on oil.

ED SCHULTZ: Those were all pro-corporate, and anti-worker. This President, and this administration, has done more for small business than any other President has in the last thirty years. There's more tax incentives on the table right now, there's more incentives for small businesses to go out and do things, to hire – we never saw this under any other President. He's doing anything he possibly can. But the money is tight. The money is very tight. And until we loosen up the lending practices in this country, we're not going to have – and until small businesses have access to capital, we're not going to see this turn around. The President is doing everything he possibly can. In fact, the Republicans aren't even matching him on any of this stuff. They think it's all about the corporations and all about the top two percent.

In the book, I document – and I want this lady to read this book, and come back and tell me if I'm wrong. The number of foreign countries that are operating in this country that don't pay tax – does she think that's a good thing? Is it a good thing for corporations not to pay their fair share? Now I'm not here to say that all corporations are bad. They do hire people. But they've also shipped a lot of jobs overseas, because we have set the table for them to do that with tax incentives that have come back to hurt the great American middle class which built this country.

So when does the little guy get a break? Now I'm a small businessman. I have my own broadcast company, and I also have a construction company. I can tell you about all the things that you have to put together to make a construction company work. We've gone from eight employees to twenty employees in the past year, because of the stimulus package. We've put some people back to work. There is some growth. There's incentives on the table for my employees. And so, you know, I don't have to do this. I could just go fishing at the lake. But we've got to have some type of leadership at every level of the economy, and those who have lived the good life, and those who have had the fortune of making a few dollars to put it back into the kids, to put it back into the youth of the country, to care about the infrastructure again. And I don't see corporations doing that. I see them caring about the foreign countries and getting cheap labor. Well you know what cheap labor's going to do? Cheap labor's going to take this country down. And the disposable income is starting to rot away for Americans.   

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014