MSNBC’s Schultz Slams Ryan’s Anti-Poverty Plan; ‘Out There Selling The Turd in the Punch Bowl’

Ed Schultz spent a portion of his opening monologue on his MSNBC show Thursday attacking Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and his latest policy proposal to reform government welfare programs, declaring that Ryan is “more radical than ever” and he’s “out there selling turd in the punch bowl.”

After trumpeting the long-standing liberal policy of increasing the minimum wage (which never works), Schultz moved to attack Ryan and a speech he made Thursday in which he offered, among many topics, plans to consolidate government welfare programs and reform federal education spending. [MP3 audio here; Video below]

Instead of looking at where the two could agree, Schultz resorted to his usual, fearmongering rhetoric. He told his viewers that Ryan’s plan “takes power away from the federal government and gives it to private companies” and has led him to state that he’s “noticed that Ryan is far more radical today than he was back in 2012.” After that, his diatribe against Ryan began to take shape: 

Ryan's plan is bad news for a lot of different reasons. First, block grants are flat-out dangerous. Turning programs like food stamps into grants takes power away from the federal government and the insurance and the safety net. Certain states can't be trusted to distribute aid as needed. The federal government needs to have the oversight. We're – we’re not talking about some huge intrusion here. We're talking about helping people. Some states could even opt out like they did with Medicaid expansion. Of course, that's really what Ryan wants. He wants the total federal government out of everything. This would result, if we went down this road, in large portions of the population without a safety net. 

He further informed his audience that they have a choice to make in November in voting for either “the party of immoral budgets” in the Republicans or “the party that wants to give every American an available, living wage with a safety net.” 

Once he finished ranting about Republicans wanting to reject all sorts of policies he enjoys from Obamacare to “voices in the workplace,” he delivered his final punch: 

They won't quit, will they? And now, Ryan is out there selling the turd in the punch bowl trying to tell us that ‘oh, if we give all of this power to the states, Americans are going to be just a lot better off.’ Really? Backed up? Local elections with Citizens United? You're going turn these kinds of decisions over to the locals? Ain't going to happen and it should not happen.


The relevant transcript from MSNBC’s The Ed Show on July 24 is transcribed below.

MSNBC 

The Ed Show

July 24, 2014

5:06 p.m. Eastern 

ED SCHULTZ: America is currently at a crossroads when it comes to income and equality. The differences between Democrats and Republicans on this issue, like minimum wage and the safety net, they are simply huge. There is a big difference. This was on full display in Washington, D.C., just today. Failed vice presidential candidate Congressman Paul Ryan laid out his plan to combat poverty. You're going to love this. Ryan's new plan takes power away from the federal government and gives it to private companies. 

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN (R-WIS.): The public and private sector work together we can offer a more personalized, customized form of aid, one that recognizes both a person's needs and their strengths, both the problem and the potential. So I would start a pilot program called an Opportunity Grant. It would consolidate up to 11 federal programs into one stream of funding to participating states. The idea would be, let states try different ways at provide aid and to test the results. In short, more flexibility in exchange for more accountability. 

SCHULTZ: Throw it back to the states? That’s not what the American people voted for. That is a radical plan and I’ve noticed that Ryan is far more radical today than he was back in 2012. Ryan's plan is bad news for a lot of different reasons. First, block grants are flat-out dangerous. Turning programs like food stamps into grants takes power away from the federal government and the insurance and the safety net. Certain states can't be trusted to distribute aid as needed. The federal government needs to have the oversight. We're – we’re not talking about some huge intrusion here. We're talking about helping people. Some states could even opt out like they did with Medicaid expansion. Of course, that's really what Ryan wants. He wants the total federal government out of everything. This would result, if we went down this road, in large portions of the population without a safety net. Who voted for that? Nobody. It's important to remember Paul Ryan has been attacking poor Americans for a long time. In 2012, Catholic bishops called Ryan's budget immoral. Ryan's 2015 budget is even worse. Nearly two-thirds of his proposed cuts come from low income programs. Americans have a big choice to make this November. You can vote for the party of immoral budgets or you can vote for the party that wants to give every American an available, living wage with a safety net. They want to reject Obamacare. They want to reject Medicaid/Medicare. They want to reject Social Security and privatize it. They want to go after voices in the workplace. They want to destroy the Postal Service. They won't quit, will they? And now, Ryan is out there selling the turd in the punch bowl trying to tell us that ‘oh, if we give all of this power to the states, Americans are going to be just a lot better off.’ Really? Backed up? Local elections with Citizens United? You're going turn these kinds of decisions over to the locals? Ain't going to happen and it should not happen. Ryan is as radical now as he has ever been, and they are so radical, they're not even going to bring minimum wage the to the floor for a vote. So when Ted Kennedy was talking in 2007 and we hear them speak today, the Democrats in 2014 nothing has changed one bit, and the president is out there citing statistics that are absolutely correct. The states that have raised the minimum wage are the states that are doing better.

Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck is a news analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division