Does President Obama want to cut Social Security by 3%?

Nancy Altman, Social Security Works, joins Thom Hartmann. Beyond the economy, this presidential election will also be a debate over the social safety net - in particular Medicare and Social Security. That became obvious when Mitt Romney picked Paul Ryan as his Vice Presidential nominee - the guy who wrote the Republican budget that ends Medicare as we know it. Ryan has repeatedly defended his plans for voucher-izing Medicare on the campaign trail - assuring Republicans that this is a debate they want to have - and a debate they will ultimately win. But Ryan has been a little less vocal about his plans to privatize Social Security - which was a major initiative by George W. Bush...even though he ultimately failed. Back in 2010 - Paul Ryan wrote the Republicans' "Roadmap for America's Future" calling for Social Security to be handed off to Wall Street in the form of private retirement accounts. While President Obama has been more than willing to hammer Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan over Medicare - he's been quieter about Social Security. And that may be because he has his own skeletons in the closet when it comes to Social Security. After all - the President has thrown support behind the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction plan which calls for cuts to Social Security. So can progressives who are trying to defend Social Security at all costs trust the President to not take a knife to it?

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The Good, The Bad and the Very Very Unasinously Ugly!

The Good! *Medical Marijuana* Californian Jason David had tried everything to help his son Jayden - who suffered from a severe - debilitating and even fatal form of epilepsy. Jayden was unresponsive to numerous prescription medications. Then his dad heard about medical marijuana - and it's ability to control seizures and other neurological medical conditions. After using CBD - a chemical extract from marijuana - Jayden went seizure free for the first time in his life - and continues to be improving. However - the medical marijuana dispensary where he gets his marijuana is now the target of a DOJ investigation - and could be shut down. Jayden is proof that medical marijuana is beneficial in treating health conditions. Rather then condemning it - we should be the creating sensible drug policies that America desperately needs ---------------- The Bad! *Eric Bolling* On yesterday's episode of Fox So-Called News' The Five - talking head Eric Bolling said that President Obama and his administration answer to the Quran first and the Constitution second. Not surprisingly - that gem of a statement came after Bolling continued to push the newest lie from the right - arguing that the Obama Administration has repeatedly apologized to the Muslim world. After Bolling's outrageous remarks - Fox token liberal Bob Beckel slammed his fist in anger - saying that Bolling's remarks were "the most outrageouse statement" he had ever heard. Couldn't agree with you more Bob ...

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What does labor need to do to make a comeback?

Bill Fletcher, AFGE/activist, joins Thom Hartmann. Ronald Reagan may be a Republican hero - but he's played the role of the villain to American workers for over three decades. How has the American worker suffered over the last 30 plus years - and how can we stop the war on unions thats been plaguing America?

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Romney sees 1/2 of Americans as victims - in a way, he's right...

Vince Coglianese, Daily Caller, joins Thom Hartmann. That half of the nation is referred to by Mitt Romney as victims...and, in a way, he's right. They are victims. They're victims of a thiry-two-year war waged against working people by the corporate elite. They're victims of a financial catastrophe in 2007 brought on by that very same corporate elite - brought on by the 1%. That financial crash sucked $7 trillion of wealth out of the hands of working people - victimizing them. In 2009 - working Americans lost 25% of the value of their 401k's. But the working people didn't get any help. Instead the banksters and the top 1% - those very same people in the room with Mitt Romney - got help. The 1% and the banksters got a $14 trillion bailout - and today they're doing just fine. And lucky for them they don't have rely on food stamps to put dinner on the table for their family. They don't have to rely on unemployment insurance because their jobs were shipped overseas. They don't have to use Medicaid so that their sick kid can see a doctor. But those 47% of Americans who Mitt Romney says he doesn't have to worry about - those who got sold out while corporate America got bailed out - they DO still need help. And for a man running for President of all of the United States of America - to demean those Americans - to say they can't take responsibility for themselves - is outrageous.

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Full Show 9/18/12: Romney Writes Off Half the Nation

Thom discusses Romney's leaked fundraiser comments with "The Daily Caller's" Vince Coglianese. Also discussed: whether Obama will cut social security, the death of 8 Afghan women by a NATO airstrike and in tonight's "Daily Take" Thom details the dark history behind Mitt Romney's so-called gaffe.

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You're right, Rick - the smart people will never be on your side...

To understand the plight of the American middle class today - you have to understand that a crime has taken place. The Middle Class isn't dying today because of a random financial crisis in 2007 triggering a deep, and long-lasting recession. The Middle Class is dying today because of a decades-long - arguably criminal - effort to rig the American economy in favor of the corporate elite - and transfer massive amounts of wealth from the vast majority of Americans up to the top 1%. We're now in the final stages of this effort - and more and more Americans are waking up to what's really happening. In a recent article published for AlterNet - David Degraw - highlights each incident of theft against the middle class by the corporate elite. There're the Reagan tax cuts and destruction of labor unions beginning in the 1980's that fueled an enormous pay gap between CEOs and workers - so that 30 years ago, CEOs made 25 times more than their average worker - and yet today make as much as 500 times more than their average worker. Those same policies have resulted in the top 1% seeing their share of national income triple over the last three decades, while the bottom 90% have seen their share drop by 20%. Years of lobbying and outright bribery have rigged the tax code against working Americans - forcing them to pay a higher tax rate than members of the corporate elite like Mitt Romney and Warren Buffett.

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Should Strip Tease be Considered Art & be Tax Free?

Sheila Hageman, former strip teaseer & author "Stripped Down" joins Thom Hartmann. When you think of strip clubs and lapdances - do you think of pieces of fine art too? Well some people think a lapdance is as artful as a Monet painting or a Bach concerto. But let's be honest - is it really?

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The Good, The Bad and the Very Very Inexpugnableously Ugly!

The Good! *People of the World* On Friday - UN officials told a conference in Geneva, Switzerland that the ozone hole over the Antarctic will be smaller this year than it was last year. The officials also said that this goes to show how a ban on harmful substances - like CFC's - has helped to stop Ozone depletion. The ban on chemicals like CFC's was initiated with the signing of the Montreal Protocol 25 years ago. UN weather expert Geir Braathen told reporters at the Geneva conferecnes that the ban "has prevented a major environmental disaster and globablly ozone depletion has leveled off." So what's the bottom line here? Despite what Republicans in Washington will tell you - climate change is very real - and it can also be curbed directly through human action. We have a lot of work to do to save our environment - and it's time we got started. The Bad! *Congressman. Peter King (R-NY)* On NBC's Meet The Press yesterday - King told David Gregory that President Obama's orders to withdraw troops from Iraq - and end the war there - brought on last week's embassy attacks in the Middle East. and the Very Very Ugly! *Newsweek* Moving on from Congressman King's outrageous comments to an outrageous magazine cover. This week's edition of Newsweek - released today - features a picture of Muslims - with a big, bold title of "Muslim Rage" After the attacks in Benghazi last week - we saw numerous images of Libyans holding up signs in support of the US - and in support of what Ambassador ...

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Teachers Strike: Chicago is just the beginning

Josh Eidelson, Salon.com, joins Thom Hartmann. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is fed up with his city's teacher's strike - and wants to use legal action to force teachers and school workers to go back to work. Will Emanuel get his wish from the courts - or will the fight for better wages and better public schools march on in the Windy City?

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Hartmann Vs. Selig - Trickle-down economics only creates a nation of peons

David Selig, Conservative Commentator, joins Thom Hartmann. The message of economic equality that we hear coming from the Occupy movement hinges a lot on tax policy. One of the main gripes that Occupy has articulated over the last year was that the 1% no longer pays their fair share in taxes. Conservatives don't disagee - but they argue that low taxes on the 1%, will actually benefit all of us in the long run. They say it's all about helping the so-called job creators - making sure they keep more of their money to...well...create jobs. It's the basis of Reaganomics - or trickle-down economics. But as we know today - it doesn't work. Trickle-down economics works only to create a nation of peons. Since this trickle-down economic philosophy has been adopted - job creation has slowed - economic activity has been stagnant - and only the very very rich, the top 1% have seen any economic gains - while the rest of has have seen losses. And now there's this: a new report by the Congressional Research Service that delivers the death blow to trickle-down economics. The report examines tax policy since 1945 to determine whether or not low taxes on the rich actually benefits the economy. The report's conclusion: they don't. As the report says: "The results of the analysis suggest that changes over the past 65 years in the top marginal tax rate and the top capital gains tax rate do not appear correlated with economic growth...However, the top tax rate reductions appear to be associated ...

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Screwed - Citizens United

David Cobb, Move To Amend / Lawyer / Democracy Unlimited joins Thom Hartmann. One of the most contentious Senate races this year is in Massachusetts - between Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Scott Brown. How has Warren become the Occupy movement's biggest champion - and isn't her anti corporate personhood message at the center of Occupy's cause?

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One Year later...Can OWS have an impact without physical encampments?

Jesse LaGreca, Journalist/OWS participant & Ravi Ahmad, activist/ participant-OWS NY join Thom Hartmann. One year ago - Occupy Wall Street hit the streets of New York City - marking the beginning of one of the largest grassroots social change movements in American history. We'll take a look at what Occupy has accomplished over the last year - and talk about the work that still needs to be done to create lasting change.

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Happy Birthday OWS...The Game is Rigged - Keep it Up!

Happy Birthday Occupy Wall Street. One year ago today...Americans started occupying Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan - and over the next several weeks - hundreds of similar occupations popped up all around the nation. The movement went mainstream - and average middle class Americans were drawn to it because it targeted the two fundamental crises facing not just working people in America - but working people around the world. The first being the corporate coup de tat of our democracy. And the second being the subsequent corporate takeover of the economy - and the emergence of a globalized corporate financial economy that is today collapsing under its own weight. And since one year later - these two crises are still threatening us all - the Occupy Movement is just as important than ever. On the first front - there's a new report, written by an international commission chaired by Kofi Annan, which sends a warning to the world's democracies, specifically the United States, about the corrupting influence of corporations and money in the democratic process. As the report - titled "Deepening Democracy: a Strategy for Improving the Integrity of Elections Worldwide" - states, quote: "Across the world, uncontrolled political finance threatens to hollow out democracy and rob it of its unique strengths."

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Full Show 9/17/12: Occupy Turns One

Thom talks the one year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement with three OWS participants. Also discussed: Elizabeth Warren's surge in the polls following her DNC speech, a new study released that takes down trickle-down economics and the latest from the Chicago teachers strike. In tonight's "Daily Take" Thom discusses how the system's been rigged in favor of the 1% for decades.

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The Arab Spring "J Curve"

So, what the heck is going on in the Middle East right now? I submit for your consideration that what we're seeing is actually the logical continuation of revolutions against poverty and dictatorship that we've been calling the "Arab Spring." And it's going to continue - and get worse - until one very specific thing happens. Here's why and how. In a brilliant paper that explains revolutions far better than Marx & Engles, back in 1962 James C. Davies wrote for the American Sociological Review an article titled, "Toward a Theory of Revolution." In it, he proposed that revolutions don't happen because life is intolerable for people, which was basically Marx's theory. He points out correctly that there are countries all over the world and all through history where life was and is terrible, but people don't revolt. Keep in mind that of the 7 billion people on earth right now, about 5 and a half billion of them live on less than $5 a day, and about 3 billion of them live on less than $2 a day. Over a billion of them don't even have access to sanitation or safe drinking water. But they're not revolting. Why is that? Davies proposed that it's not life being terrible that provokes revolutions. Instead, it's all about the gap between what people expect life to be like and what it's actually like. When that gap is small - people live in squalor, but just figure that's the hand life has dealt them - then you don't have revolution. But when that gap is large, when people expect that ...

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Currently Chatting

Corporations outspend taxpayers in Congress...

You may be surprised to learn that we spend about $2 billion dollars a year on our dysfunctional Congress. However, it's even more surprising to learn that corporate lobbyists spend even more to buy off our federal lawmakers.

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