Van Jones Warns America: ‘Hold on to Your Seats’ Because the ‘Progressive Fight Back’ Is Coming in October
Transcript via MSNBC:
>>> i will buy everyone in here a drink if by the end of this year there is not action on the jobs end. members of congress have explaining to do when they go home for the end of the year recess, if they’ve done nothing, nothing, to address the urgent need to help our economy and create jobs.
>> that was white house press secretary jay carney placing a friendly bet that congress will take action to improve the jobs action. it improved modestly when the labor department announced new claims for jobless benefits fell sharply to a seasonally adjusted level of 391,000. that was a 37,000 drop from the previous week and the lowest figure in nearly six months. the mayor of new york, a former job creator himself and a former republican, who now operates politically as an independent and happens to be a billionaire, warned recently that there could be riots in the streets if washington doesn’t get serious about generating jobs. we have a lot of kids graduating college, can’t find jobs, mayor blook befl said on his weekly radio show. that’s what happened in cairo. that’s what happened in madrid. you don’t want those kids — those kinds of riots here. mayor bloomberg added, the damage to a generation that can’t find jobs will go on for many, many years. joining me now, former green jobs adviser to president obama and current co-founder and president of progressive organization rebuild the dream, van jones. thank you for joining me tonight.
>> glad to be here.
>> tell us what you’re doing next week in washington and tell us how you can somehow drive washington to take the action on jobs that jay carney was talking about.
>> well, first of all, i think everybody should hold onto your seats. october is going to be the turning point when it comes to the progressive fight back. you can see it coming. when warren buffett comes out and says, look, we’ve got to do something to raise taxes and do better by america, and you’ve got these young kids who are going out there on wall street, you called it, you said, you got young people, they’re good kids, graduated from college. some of them have gone over there and fought wars and come back and can’t find a job. there’s a generation of americans looking around saying, what is the american dream going to look like for me? they’re going to be standing up. we are a part of something called the american dream movement. we’re having a huge summit on monday, tuesday and wednesday come — you can go to rebuildthedream.com and find out more about it. we are going to build a progressive counterbalance to the tea party. 80% of americans agree with everything you say on this show but we have no voice. we know that jobs are more important, phoney made up deficit stuff they talk about. we know that people who have done well in america should do well by america and start paying america back in the form of more fair taxes. people who benefitted from the bailouts and from the tax breaks should start paying america back. they’re doing great. everybody else is suffering. that’s 80% of the majority. we’re going to now have a voice. you’re going to see an american fall, an american autumn, just like we saw the arab spring. you can see it right now with these young people on wall street. hold onto your hats. we’ll have an october offensive to take back the american dream and to rescue america’s middle class.
>> van, i want you to listen to what chris christie said at the reagan library in california. this was a much praised speech across the board. all the analysts are saying how great it was. i thought it was filled with pernicious laws, particularly about president obama who he most insultingly called a bystander in the oval office, which is an outright lie. we know that. you work there and you know that.
>> here’s the section of the speech where chris christie was talking about the people at the upper end of our income class, the people who actually do have more that they can contribute both to this society and to the revenue stream of the federal government. let’s listen about how chris christie characterized the president’s view of these people. let’s listen.
>> outrageous. i’ve seen it.
>> president obama, prepares to divide our nation to achieve re-election. this is not a leadership style. this is a re-election strategy. telling those who are scared and struggling that the only way their lives can get better is to diminish the success of others. trying to cynically convince those who are suffering that the american economic pie is no longer a growing one, that can provide more prosperity for all who work hard, insisting that we must tax and take and demonize those who have already achieved the american dream.
>> van, your reaction.
>> well, you know, it’s horribly insulting what he’s saying. first of all, we know that the american pie is growing. in fact, the american pie is bigger this year than it was last year. the gnp is growing. it’s not that the pie isn’t growing. the pie is growing. the middle class slice of the pie is growing. the working class slice of the pie is getting smaller as we have excessive hoarding at the top. now we have super banks and super corporations sitting on the cash. they won’t recirculate it to get the economy moving. so, have you to have action to get the economy moving forward. now, here’s the deal. people are acting like going back to the clinton era tax rates on the wealthy is some horrible sin, some crime against humanity. how do we go back to the clinton era when that was one of our most successful eras? we have to be able to deal with the upkeep of the country. we got bridges falling down, roads falling down, schools falling down. we got kids coming home from wars with fwho jobs. we got good americans, 50-year-old white males who if they lose their job, may never work again. that’s wrong. they should be teaching the young workers how to do a trade. well, if we were to pass the president’s jobs bill and start fixing the bridges, fixing the roads, those men could get up off the coach, they could begin to feed their families and teach the next generation. that is not un-american. the middle class was built in this country. it wasn’t a gift from the corporations. it didn’t fall out of the sky, built brick by brick because we had tax fairness. look, our businesses do well in america. because we set them up to succeed. we should. you can’t become a billionaire in bangladesh very easily. you can become a billionaire here because we give you the roads, the work force, we give you all those thing. when you do badly, you shouldn’t pay us back. when you do well, pay us back and pay fair taxes. that’s not un-american, that’s fair.
>> you would never know listening to the republicans that all the president’s talking about is a four percentage point increase in the top tax bracket. thank you for joining me and good luck next week in washington.
>> thank you very much.
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