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LOU DOBBS TONIGHT
Disaster for the Middle Class; Wall Street Bonuses; Your Government at Work; Name Game; Killing E-Verify; Economic Stimulus Package Forgets Small Business; Global Warming Controversy
Aired January 30, 2009 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight President Obama and Vice President Biden launching a task force to help middle class Americans. We'll have that report coming up.
And tonight, outrage over the huge amount of stimulus money that will be spent on creating government jobs but not private sector jobs. Our special coverage in tonight's "Lou's Line-Item Veto".
Also tonight big business and ethnocentric special interests combining trying to destroy the most effective government program against illegal immigration, E-Verify. Will the Obama administration surrender to special interests? We'll have that special report, all the day's news and much more, straight ahead here tonight.
ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS TONIGHT: news, debate, and opinion for Friday, January 30th. Live from New York, Lou Dobbs.
DOBBS: Good evening, everybody. President Obama and Vice President Biden today promising what they call bold and swift action to help our middle class. The vice president saying the goal is to raise the living standards of people who are the backbone of this country. But there are concerns that it may be too late to help millions of our middle class.
The economy shrinking at the fastest rate in more than a quarter century. Down four percent in the final three months of 2008. Ed Henry has our report now from the White House. Ed?
ED HENRY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Lou, once again, the president today banging the drum for his economic stimulus plan. But he said that passing that plan would just be the beginning, not the end, suggesting that there will be a lot more actions that need to be taken to attack this recession head-on.
Senior officials saying that's a clear reference to the fact that the Obama administration right now is trying to put together a broader financial reform package, could include trying to stave off some home foreclosures, could include increasing regulations on Wall Street, including trying to crack down on some of those bonuses on Wall Street that have created so much outrage. And the president declaring today that the middle class in particular has been hard hit by this faltering economy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is a continuing disaster for America's working families. As worrying as these numbers are, it's what they mean for the American people that really matters and that's so alarming. Families making fewer purchases, businesses making fewer investments, employers sustaining fewer jobs. The recession is deepening and the urgency of our economic crisis is growing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HENRY: And as that crisis grows, so does the effort by the president to try to ramp up the sales job for that economic stimulus plan, which did not draw any Republican votes in the House. He's obviously hoping to bring more onboard when it starts being put together into more detail in the Senate next week. In fact, we're learning that over the weekend, the president here at the White House will be hosting Democratic and Republican members of the House and Senate for a little Super Bowl party to try to start that lobbying effort. Lou?
DOBBS: Well, it would take some minds away from some awfully negative talk emanating from the White House and this economy. Ed, if you will, just stand by for a moment. First, I want to, if I may, support the White House in its efforts to help our middle class. In fact what the president calls bold and swift action will be even swifter if his folks on that task force would like to read a "New York Times" best-seller that a particularly brilliant author wrote some three years ago.
It's called interestingly "War on the Middle Class." I'm sure all members of the task force led by Vice President Biden will find a number of answers to a number of problems, and it won't cost them a dime. We're going to be sending you all a copy absolutely free.
Well joining us now, another member of the best political team on television, our national political correspondent, Jessica Yellin. Jessica, the president is saying some things that make sense, blasting Wall Street for billions of dollars in bonuses while shareholders are losing tens of billions of dollars. There was a pretty strong backlash, however, to those comments today.
JESSICA YELLIN, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Very strong, especially from Rudy Giuliani, a guy who knows Wall Street and the backlash -- and the bonus situation very well. Wall Streeters saying look, Mr. President, you just don't understand the situation. He argues that bonuses are drivers of the economy.
You take them away, you lose support for any number of services. You lose support for local community tax base. And it also is demonizing Wall Street, he argues. They're just looking for a scapegoat. He said this is pure politics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI (R), FORMER NEW YORK MAYOR: It does have a reverse effect on the economy if you somehow take that bonus out of the economy. It really will create unemployment. It means less spending in restaurants, less spending in department stores. So everything has an impact.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
YELLIN: Now, you do have to point out, and remember that Wall Street executives get base pay, that is three to four times what most Americans get, even without the bonus.
DOBBS: Well, there is no question as well that Rudy Giuliani may have forgotten there's supposed to be a reason, a bonus is what you get for doing a great job in succeeding for your shareholders. There's this idea apparently on the part of some, including Rudy Giuliani, that bonus money should flow even when you're not performing, in fact, you're costing your shareholders tens upon tens of billions of dollars, and one could argue, Ed Henry, if I may say, one could argue that these Wall Street executives, the management of these firms, which by the way are no longer truly Wall Street firms, that they cost the American people trillions of dollars with their greed, their excess and their outright arrogance.
HENRY: Well, absolutely. And that was the point the president was trying to make yesterday, which is the fact that a lot of these same people on Wall Street who are collecting the bonuses, they were laying people off in their companies, they were coming to Washington, hat in hand, demanding government bailouts. That may have been turned around.
Taxpayer money to then be used to shell out these bonuses. But let's face it, people in Washington also have to be held to account. Back in September when the original TARP legislation was passed, we heard the same sort of outrage. We can't have these CEO bonuses. We got to do something about it. There's goings to be tough language in that...
DOBBS: Well let me ask you...
HENRY: ... TARP legislation and they didn't have it. There were loopholes.
DOBBS: Let me ask both you and Jessica something because se saw Congress really go after the CEOs of those big three carmakers, because they came to town in private jets, big jets. We saw Citigroup, I mean, Secretary of Treasury got on the phone and talked pretty big to Citigroup, said, you've got to put away that $50 million jet.
Meanwhile, what is the Senate majority leader flying in? What is the House speaker flying in, and what's it costing the taxpayers for those big jets? Because frankly, they're down about $12 trillion in national debt, looking at over two trillion in a deficit. I mean, they're losing a lot of money for the taxpayers. Why are they in big old jets? Ed, you want to take the first run at that?
HENRY: Sure. I mean obviously the president takes Air Force One I think people would realize for security reasons. DOBBS: Yes. That's why I didn't bring that up, Ed.
HENRY: And you didn't mention him, I notice. Speaker Nancy Pelosi the last time I checked was using an Air Force jet.
DOBBS: There you go.
HENRY: I haven't seen her fly around lately and so that question undoubtedly will be asked and needs to be asked, Lou.
YELLIN: And there's no doubt, Lou that they're happier to regulate other people than to regulate themselves, Washington is expert at that.
DOBBS: Just curious about where this example is going to start, isn't it. Thank you very much, Jessica. Jessica Yellin, Ed Henry, thank you both.
Well as elected officials talk about borrowing and spending another $1 trillion, the recession is worsening. And more Americans are losing their jobs. American companies this week, in fact, announcing more than 100,000 job cuts. Among the biggest job cuts, the drug maker Pfizer, the equipment maker Caterpillar both announcing more than 20,000 of their employees will be laid off. Home Depot cutting 7,000 folks from their payroll. And Boeing said it would kill another 5,500 jobs.
President Obama tonight says he's considering selecting a Republican senator, Senator Judd Gregg, to be secretary of commerce, one of the most important economic positions in his administration. Senator Gregg of New Hampshire is one of several candidates being considered for the post we're told. After Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico had to drop out of consideration because of a federal investigation.
Meanwhile, the Republican National Committee today elected the first African-American ever to be chairman. Michael Steele, the former Maryland lieutenant governor, defeating South Carolina GOP Chairman Katon Dawson (ph) in the final round of voting.
The Senate expected to take up the economic stimulus legislation next week, in "Lou's Line-Item Veto" tonight we'll be examining the small business funding in this $800 billion-plus plan. At least the House's plan. Small business, of course, creates the vast majority of new jobs in this country, so why isn't small business a major priority in this so-called job creation economic stimulus plan? We'll show you how few dollars are actually being spent on the biggest job machine in our "Line-Item Veto" tonight.
Still ahead, rising concerns that the huge borrowing and spending legislation will benefit illegal aliens. We'll have complete coverage. Also, the federal government launching a criminal investigation into a deadly salmonella outbreak linked to peanut butter products. We'll have the latest.
And parts of this country are paralyzed by a deadly winter storm that killed dozens of people. That story is next here. We'll be right back.
DOBBS: A deadly winter ice storm that swept all across the country has paralyzed broad portions of Arkansas and Kentucky. At least 35 people were killed by that storm this week. More than a million people in Arkansas and Kentucky tonight remain without power. Kentucky officials say it could take until mid-February -- can you imagine -- until mid-February to restore power to all of the affected areas. Truckloads of emergency supplies, meals, water, and generators, all expected to arrive in the region today or tomorrow.
The Justice Department today launching a criminal investigation into the current nationwide salmonella outbreak connected with peanut butter products. At least eight people have died in cases linked to this outbreak. Incredibly, government inspectors may have known about this contamination weeks and weeks before the spread of the outbreak.
According to a published report, Canadian officials rejected a shipment of peanuts from the United States back in September. The Food and Drug Administration then refused to allow that shipment of peanut butter products back into the United States because the peanuts inside were quote, "filthy, putrid or decomposed or otherwise unfit for food." But in spite of that judgment not to allow those products back into the United States, and that scathing report, the FDA did not investigate further.
The peanuts were shipped by the Peanut Corporation of America. That is the company at the center of this current outbreak. Hundreds of peanut products have been recalled all across the country. More than 500 people in 43 states have been sickened by the outbreak.
Well a rising number of government workers in this country are joining unions. Overall, union membership grew last year, in fact at the highest rate since 1983. But the vast majority of that growth in union membership is in government. Government workers are unionizing at a break-neck pace, and at taxpayer expense. Bill Tucker has our report.
BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Twelve and a half percent of the workers in America now belong to a union. Overwhelmingly, those workers are most likely to be teachers, cops, firefighters, local government workers. Thirty-seven percent of public sector workers, government workers, are members of a union. Fewer than eight percent of private sector workers are union members.
Union officials say that's because employees who push for union representation in the private sector were often harassed. But in the public sector, unions are often welcomed. It's a relationship that alarms people who oppose unions.
RICK BERMAN, CENTER FOR UNION FACTS: There is no other analogous situation, because in the private sector, the employees don't get to elect the boss and then get to negotiate with the boss. In the public sector that's exactly what happens.
TUCKER: And unions are important in politics. In addition to providing people who knock on doors or make calls, they are some of the biggest money donors to campaigns. More than half of the top 20 biggest donors of the last 20 years are unions, according to the Center for Responsive Politics and number two on the list, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. They've donated more than $40 million. Union representatives say workers have a right to be heard.
STEWART ACUFF, AFL-CIO: You don't expect to get everything you want. You do expect to have a say. You do expect that your voice will be taken seriously. And you do expect fairness towards workers.
TUCKER: It is traditional politics; to the victors go the spoils.
TUCKER: Now further evidence of perhaps a too cozy relationship between politicians and unions can be found in the stimulus bill. A recent analysis of the bill by CATO (ph) found that most of the spending in the stimulus bill at least that passed by the House, Lou, I know you're going to be shocked by this, is aimed at the public sector, not the private sector. And the unemployment rate in the public sector is just over two percent.
DOBBS: It's -- I think that bears repeating. Just so everybody can hear again. Aimed at that two percent unemployment rate...
DOBBS: ... that is in the public sector, what is the percentage of money and...
TUCKER: Over half of the money that's in the stimulus bill is aimed at that public sector, Lou.
DOBBS: Amazing. And it's -- by the way, you've talked about that cozy relationship with unions and politicians. Let me add another cozy relationship, of course, and that's between big business and Congress, and up until January 20th, the White House.
DOBBS: So there's some cozy relationships from both the left and the right in the political spectrum that, frankly, we would all be better served if it weren't such a cozy relationship. Thank you very much. Bill Tucker. But it isn't over there. There are some other issues and some very big issues. In fact, last year, while millions of private sector employees were losing their jobs, government payrolls at the federal state and local level were rising by almost 200,000. That's right. While millions of private sector workers were losing their jobs, public sector workers, well, they were watching 200,000 more folks join them.
The evidence of public sector union clout is best seen in worker paychecks. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, union workers in the government sector earned an average of $923 a week, that's about 20 percent more than nonunion government workers. Let me try that again -- about 10 percent more than private sector union workers and about 37 percent more than non-unionized private sector workers.
So let me put that in some context. That means that the private sector worker, unionized, is supporting public sector workers who are making 10 percent more than they are with better health care and better benefits, better pensions. A pretty amazing profile. We'll have much more on that on our Web site if you want to examine this in detail because no one else is reporting on this but LOU DOBBS TONIGHT.
Well hundreds of thousands of California state workers will have to take days off without pay. A California judge ruled that Governor Schwarzenegger can force those state employees to take furloughs, 238,000 California state workers are affected. The two-day-a-month furlough begins February 6th. The state of California will also be issuing IOUs instead of tax refunds and other payments beginning February 1st. That in an effort trying to deal with its $42 billion budget deficit, which will only worsen. Among those affected, taxpayers who file early, state programs for the poor and disabled, college students who received state grants.
Well why has the Democratic leadership in Congress and President Obama forgotten that small business is the biggest deal in job creation? We'll have all of the details in "Lou's Line-Item Veto" coming up next.
Also ahead, will the Obama administration bow to special interests again and put an end to one of the most effective programs in federal government history, the most effective program against illegal immigration, E-Verify.
And big banks begging for more bailout. Now, spending hundreds of millions of dollars on sports sponsorships, luxury suites and more and by the way, they think they're entitled to do so. We'll have that story next. Stay with us. We'll be right back.
DOBBS: New evidence tonight that some of the biggest banks in the country have absolutely no intention of stopping their big spending despite multibillion dollar taxpayer bailouts. Bank of America, for example, confirming it's in talks with the New York Yankees about renewing their multimillion dollar sponsorship with the team. Citigroup sticking with its $20 million a year deal with the New York Mets, even though Citigroup was on the verge of bankruptcy without federal funds. Ines Ferre has our report.
INES FERRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A $400 million deal to name the newly constructed New York Mets stadium Citi Field for the next two decades has some lawmakers outraged. Citigroup received $45 billion in federal emergency funds under the so-called TARP program, and has announced more than 50,000 job cuts. Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich and Republican Ted Poe sent a letter to the Treasury secretary this week asking him to intervene and demand that Citigroup dissolve the agreement they have with the New York Mets.
DENNIS KUCINICH (D), OHIO: The banks are failing. Why is that? Is it because they haven't put their name on enough ballparks? I don't think so. It's because they invested in sub-prime mortgages. It's because they speculated with their money.
FERRE: Citi told CNN it's committed to the 2006 agreement and said quote, "no TARP capital will be used for Citi Field or marketing purposes". Bank of America which so far has received $45 billion in bailout funds is in sponsorship discussions with the Mets cross-town rivals, the New York Yankees. The Yankees have a new stadium set to open this upcoming season.
Bank of America told CNN that it partners with profitable franchises like the MLB, the NFL and NASCAR, because it yields significant revenue streams for Bank of America and delivers shareholder value. Tax reduction activists say this isn't the time for these kinds of deals.
PETE SEPP, NATIONAL TAXPAYERS UNION: American families are hurting. Some of them can't even afford to go to these ballparks. And yet hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent on these things. In essence, taxpayers are indirectly underwriting these expenditures.
FERRE: Bank of America which has been a sponsor for the Yankees since 1994 won't comment on details of the ongoing negotiations.
FERRE: And these banks aren't alone. PNC Bank already sponsors the Pittsburgh Pirates and the MNT (ph) Bank has its name on the Baltimore Ravens' football stadium, both of these banks received bailout money. And even this Sunday's Super Bowl is being played at Tampa's Raymond James Stadium and that's named after the financial services company, which has applied for TARP money. Lou?
DOBBS: Well at least they haven't gotten it yet. I love -- you know, I just love the rather cute response, though. I'm a little disappointed frankly in Bank of America and Citigroup for suggesting that the TARP money will not be used. I mean that's sort of an asinine remark. It insults the intelligence of the viewers of this broadcast, for example, because that money is the difference between them being in business at all and being nothing more than failed institutions. Pretty arrogant. FERRE: And I really couldn't get a straight answer as far as the TARP money, well, if it's not TARP money, then what money is being used to sponsor this.
DOBBS: Well of course. The TARP money is keeping these institutions alive. And without it they would be failed institutions. And the executives taking all of the bonuses that they did at the various institutions, they just took bonuses for being -- having their necks saved by the American taxpayer. Extraordinary. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.
Time now for some of your thoughts. Jimmy in Alabama said, "Thank you for upholding the Constitution and our individual rights. Please continue to guard our freedom of speech and our right to bear arms." We'll sure do our best here.
And Terry in New York said, "Lou, the American public does not need a stimulus package. They need jobs, and the ability to buy American made products." By the way, it appears that Vice President Joe Biden is going to be very supportive of the "Buy American" provisions in the stimulus package. If the Obama administration is behind that, that is a very positive development.
Harold in Hawaii said, "Lou, keep up the work on finding out where the stimulus pork money is going."
We love hearing from you and we will keep looking. Don't you worry and we'll keep digging. Send us your thoughts to loudobbs.com.
A small plane in Columbia today made a dramatic landing that we wanted to show you and here it is. The Cessna looking a bit like a toy plane when a gust of wind, as you see, caught that tail and flipped the plane over. The rescue workers arrived very quickly to help the three passengers aboard. Only one of them, by the way, suffered any injuries and we are pleased to tell you those were minor injuries.
Coming up next, President Obama taking the issue of climate change to the top of his agenda. But is the environmental lobby utterly exaggerating the threat of global warming? And are the anti- global warming folks utterly exaggerating the degree to which we should all be relaxed about a hot planet? We'll be talking with the two leading authorities on climate here next.
Also the huge spending and borrowing bill that will create hundreds of thousands of new workers, most of them in government. Our special coverage, "Lou's Line-Item Veto" continues tonight.
Corporate America and the pro amnesty open borders lobby, they're working hard to kill the most effective measure against illegal immigration, E-Verify. We'll have that story and we'll tell you what you can do about it, next.
DOBBS: Tonight big business, socio ethnocentric special interest groups, combining, trying to destroy the most effective government program against illegal immigration. The program is E-Verify. E- Verify allows federal contractors and employers to verify the legal status of their employees. And as we've reported extensively, the program is more than 99 percent accurate. So why are they trying to kill it? Because it's 99 percent accurate. Casey Wian has our report.
CASEY WIAN, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): E-Verify, and electronic system enabling employers to determine if their workers are legally authorized was supposed to become mandatory for all major federal contractors January 15. But in one of the Bush administration's final acts, the rule was delayed until February because of a U.S. Chamber of Commerce lawsuit. Now, one of the Obama administration's first acts is to delay E-Verify even further, until late May, to review the program. The Homeland Security Department called it a proven tool seven months ago.
SEC JANET NAPOLITANO, HOMELAND SECURITY: I think the only reason for the delay is to make sure that everything is properly implemented. This is a big system to implement across the country.
WIAN: About 100,000 companies nationwide have voluntarily enrolled in E-Verify. In Napolitano's home state of Arizona, it's mandatory for all business. Napolitano's own department calls E- Verify, "The best means available for determing employment eligibility of new hires and the validity of their social security numbers."
DHS says E-Verify accurately verifies eligible workers 99.6 percent of the time. Expansion of the program seemingly would help accomplish an Obama campaign goal.
BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: We have to crack down on employers who are abusing undocumented immigrants instead of hiring citizens.
WIAN: After learning of the E-Verify delay, Republican Congressman Peter Rosscom and Democrat, Heath Shuler, wrote the president, urging him "to consider immediate implementation of mandatory employment verification requirements for federal contractors."
They say because of the economic crisis, "it is now more important than ever to ensure that the federal contracting work is performed by a verified legal workforce."
But the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says E-Verify would add billions of dollars in compliance costs and bureaucracy at a time when many businesses are struggling. Still, a DHS survey found 96 percent of businesses participating in E-Verify said it does not overburden their staffs.
The Pro-Enforcement Federation for American Immigration Reform issued a statement saying the Obama administration appears to be caving in to business and ethnic interest pressure groups to delay or perhaps eliminate this vital protection for U.S. workers. DHS, Lou, says it remains committed to E-Verify, but it will expire in March unless Congress extends the program -- Lou.
DOBBS: And the Department of Homeland Security, we should point out, under its former secretary, you know, went along with the effort to kill this program. I think that's worth noting and we haven't heard anything from this administration about their support for it, have we?
WIAN: It certainly seems that the previous administration and this administration, both publicly express support for E-Verify. They say they want to implement it, but they've done just about everything they can to make sure it doesn't become mandatory and the groups that are pressuring them are those groups that you mentioned, the ethnic special interest groups and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce -- Lou.
DOBBS: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is become just about as un- American, if I may say, as any group that could possibly can be that says it's representing small business as well as the multinational corporations that it follows, like a dog. Thank you very much, we appreciate it, Casey Wian.
Well, there is a bipartisan effort underway tonight trying to make certain that taxpayer money in the stimulus package will go only to hire American citizens. Senator Jeff Sessions and Senator Ben Nelson both want companies that receive money from the stimulus package to use E-Verify to make sure their employees are here legally. Senator Sessions and Senator Nelson join me now.
It is great to have you both with us. Thank you. Let me turn to this E-Verify program. What is your sense, gentlemen, what is happening, first, with this, with this program, because it does work, it's been certified to work. Is that the reason people are trying to kill it, particularly the Democratic leadership of Congress and the Obama administration with the aid of ethnocentric special interest groups and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce?
SEN JEFF SESSIONS (R), ALABAMA: Well, I would just say I think fundamentally, you're correct. It is a working program, 2,000 businesses a week, each week, more are signing up to use it. It helps protect them from hiring illegal aliens. It's not a burden, maybe two minutes and as you indicated, it's accurate time and time and time again.
The House members did put in special amendments that requires E- Verify to be a part of the stimulus bill. It's not yet in the Senate version, so Senator Nelson and I are working together to try to make sure it is in the Senate bill that will mandate it.
DOBBS: Senator Nelson, will you, in your judgment, be successful with the leadership in the Senate to make that happen, and if indeed it's passed by the Senate and moved to Congress?
SEN BEN NELSON (D), NEBRASKA: Well, I certainly hope so. We've written this letter to both the majority and the minority leaders to try to approach this on a bipartisan basis. I think it's too easy to say that it's been held up through partisan means. I think there are an awful lot of people for a variety of different reasons who don't want to see it applied. But, when it comes to the stimulus package, it's just essential, we want to create these jobs with the stimulus package, not just spend money, and when you create the jobs and you protect the jobs, you want them to go to legal residents, American citizens and legal residents, not illegal immigrants.
DOBBS: Absolutely. And this should be a straightforward proposition. If I may, I'd like to ask you both this question. Why is it in your best view that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, on this stimulus package, is fighting the "Made in America" provision that would require products, including principally steel, used in infrastructure projects, to be made in America? Why would the Chamber of Commerce be fighting that provision, and also fighting a provision that, as you, Senator Nelson, put it, would require the employment of citizens and legal residents here, rather than illegal aliens? Why would a group that has U.S. in front of its name be conducting itself, if I may, Senator Sessions, you first.
SESSIONS: Well, I'm baffled. And other than -- I'm just baffled about why the Chamber of Commerce would be so persistent in opposing things like E-Verify that are so little problem for businesses and such a big benefit to making sure that jobs go to legal workers. I'm not happy and I'm really disappointed in that.
The question on the steel issue is one I guess we can debate. We're not for putting up walls around the country to stop all imports, but I do think this stimulus package should be focused on helping United States businesses, and American workers.
NELSON: I agree.
DOBBS: Your view, Senator Nelson? Senator Sessions just used the expression "putting up walls". Why is there sor of a reflective response from both parties, frankly, when one says support American manufacturing, support American workers, why does -- and Senator Sessions, as he knows, has my greatest respect, but why would people want to quickly equate that for a wall rather than support an innocent of the people that we treasure most, that is the American worker, the middle class family in this country, and the absolute necessity for having the power to manufacture in this country, the goods that we require?
NELSON: Well, I might take a stab at that. What we have is we have an interest in some groups for open and free and fair trade, open and free trade as opposed to fair and balanced trade. And so I'm sure there are many who are worried that this will get into the way of trade between nations. But quite honestly, we need to make sure that this trade relationship that we have across the world is not only free and open, but is far and balanced, as well. And in this particular program for stimulus, we want to create jobs here in America, and we want to support American causes.
DOBBS: Senator Nelson, Senator Sessions, gentlemen, thank you so much and we wish you all the best in your efforts. It is, without question, a noble cause in support of the American people and this country. Thank you.
NELSON: Thank you, Lou.
DOBBS: We invite you to call your elected representatives, tell them, and to e-mail them to save the E-Verify program, the most important, as we said, and effective government program against illegal immigration. E-Verify should be a requirement, according to Senator Sessions, and Senator Nelson, of any federal program and contracting with the federal government.
To contact your Congressman and senators, we invite you to call the capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 or go to loudobbs.com where you'll find more information about how to call or to e-mail your representatives and senators.
We would like to hear what you think, as well. Here is the poll question, tonight: Are you outraged that big business and ethnocentric are trying to destroy the most effective government program to fight illegal immigration? Yes or no, cast your vote at loudobbs.com, we'll have the results here, later.
Also tonight, new fights in the battle over global warming, this week. Will there be a change in U.S. policy? Should there be? We'll have a debate on the matter and apparently to this administration, small business is small change and not the kind you can believe in. We'll have all the details in "Lou's Line-Item Veto," here, next.
DOBBS: The Senate will be taking up in earnest the economic stimulus package next week. At this point, the Senate version may cost about $90 billion more, as much as $900 billion, than the House version. We'll be examining, tonight, the details of that legislation in "Lou's Line-Item Veto." Tonight, we're focus ong the element of the economic stimulus package that should be logically a priority for the creation of jobs, but small business is way back in the line for federal money. As Lisa Sylvester now reports, small business appears all but forgotten by the Democratic Congressional leadership and President Obama.
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Cummins- Allison is the last American old manufacturer in the United States producing sorters that authenticate currency and coins. The company's CEO, Bill Jones, says to reinvigorate the U.S. economy, U.S. workers need to return to building things in this country.
BILL JONES, CEO, CUMMINS-ALLISON: We need to think about policies that don't just help Wall Street, but help main street. And help the factory worker, Because they matter and you know, not everyone's going to be a rocket scientist or software genius like Bill Gates. SYLVESTER: Jones is among the manufacturers who believes the current stimulus package in front of Congress will do little to create new jobs because it doesn't focus on manufacturing. Most of the money is going to other sectors of the economy, like education, $142 billion; health care, $111 billion; infrastructure, $90 billion and $54 billion for energy. There is a "Buy America" provision that requires construction projects use U.S. steel, but not much more.
KEVIN KEARNS, U.S. BUSINESS & INDUSTRY COUNCIL: If you are a domestic manufacturer, and you take a look at this package, you're not about to open a new plant, you're not about to order a whole bunch of new machinery to put people back to work, you're not about to order a new fleet of repair trucks or service trucks. There's just nothing there that's going to -- in the stimulus package that's going to encourage you to expand your business.
SYLVESTER: Small businesses also feel they were left out of the stimulus package. The House Appropriations Committee says less than $1 billion out of the $800 billion package is specifically for creating small business opportunities.
The National Federation of Independent Businesses is asking Congress to give a six-month payroll tax holiday in lieu of the individual tax credit.
BILL RYS, NATL FED OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESSES: This would put immediate cash back into the employee's paycheck. It would also put immediate cash back into the employer. It would reduce the cost of labor, it would reduce the cost of business. Giving business owners the incentive to keep people on the payroll, keep the doors open and get business going again.
SYLVESTER: Something to consider, 60 percent to 80 percent of the jobs generated in the last decade were created by small businesses.
And the unemployment rate for manufacturing workers is 8.3 percent. The unemployment rate for health services and education is less than half of that, 3.8 percent. But guess which industries are taking away a lot more in the stimulus package. And I can tell you, it's not the manufacturing industry -- Lou.
DOBBS: All right. Lisa, thank you. A lot of imbalance in this legislation to this point, as we've been illustrating throughout this week. Lisa Sylvester, thank you.
We hope you'll consider calling and e-mailing your congressman and senators to let them know what you think about this spending legislation, or borrowing legislation, if you prefer. Please go to our Web site loudobbs.com, we have the contact information, phone numbers, e-mail addresses that you would need.
And please join us here Monday. In "Lou's Line-Item Veto," Monday, we're examining the $2 billion provided for the National Park Service. That $2 billion is for certainly a good cause, but it's also equal to almost the entire annual budget for the National Park Service. And will all of that money actually stimulate the economy or create jobs? If so, just how many? We'll have all of the answers for you, Monday in "Lou's Line-Item Veto."
A follow up now on a story we brought you last night, we told you about Andrea Guiss (ph), a Toledo, Ohio woman who's house is being foreclosed upon. Guiss put $40,000 down on a $147,000 home. She didn't realize that she'd have a sub-prime mortgage, her monthly payments have almost doubled. Wells Fargo that holds the mortgage told us, "this is a private matter." We've invited representatives from Wells Fargo here to join us to explain this private matter. They declined, of course.
And Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, speaking out on the issue of unfair foreclosures, today. She said that she's received more than 100 calls from homeowners in her district and others applauding her efforts and seeking her assistance. In Drew Griffin's report, last night, we covered that, and she joined us here, as well, telling her district constituents if they're being foreclosed upon, to exercise their squatter rights until these institutions come to their senses.
Still ahead here, "Heroes." Tonight, the story of a father and son fighting in two wars four decades apart, who share a ceremony to hono, their bravery and heroism.
In the fight over global warming, what's going on? Two of the world's leading authorities with different views on climate change join me here, next. We'll be right back, stay here with us.
DOBBS: Well, a renewed battle this week over global warming, whether it even exists at issue. Joining me now, two of the best experts on climate change. John Coleman, he's one of the founders of the Weather Channel. He says global warming is nothing more than a conspiracy. Good to have you with us.
JOHN COLEMAN, KUSI FORECASTER: Thank you.
Henry Pollack, he says there are many examples of global warming and it's for real. Good to have you with us.
HENRY POLLACK, UNIV OF MICHIGAN: Thank you.
DOBBS: Let me turn first, if I may, to the issue of what Ban Ki- moon, the secretary-general of the U.N. said this week. He said, "To be sure, the economic crisis reduces our resources. It threatens to deflect attention from other global problems. Climate change, issues of water and environment and economic development." So, let me ask you, if I may, John Coleman, what are we talking about here when we're talking about deflection from other problems?
COLEMAN: We're talking about the greatest hoax in history. Let's understand this, there is no man-made global warming, or climate change of any significance and so the whole thing is a -- a phony call for quick action. And why they want quick action, of course, is because their support is collapsing amid a turn to much colder weather worldwide and as we turn to a cooler climate, people are losing faith and half of the people in the United States are now saying "global warming, you've got to be kidding me?"
DOBBS: Professor Pollack, what I've seen from NASA and from NOA shows that last year was eight, or NASA, perhaps NOA says about ninth warmest year on record. Are we indeed, as John says, seeing a cooling in, in this, on our global environment?
POLLACK: Climatologists don't pay a lot of attention to year-by- year variability, whether a warm year or a cold year. They look at the long-term trends over decades and centuries and there's no question the trend is towards warming.
DOBBS: And it being toward warming, how do we determine that it's manmade?
POLLACK: We look at the various causes of what has caused climate change, both in the past and in the present, they're not always the same, of course, and we try and measure the strength of it every factor. Whether it be volcanic eruptions or greenhouse gasses, we make an attempt to measure their effects and in the last half of the 20th century when -- when the temperature has been going up and ice has been melting, we find that only the greenhouse gasses are moving in the right direction.
DOBBS: John Coleman, your response?
COLEMAN: He misses the mark, totally. What was happening in the 1980s and 1990s was the sun was hitting the peak of a 25 or 27-year solar cycle. And so for a couple decades the warming of earth seemed to coincide with the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the global warming alarmists, who are preaching all this catastrophic climate change, sheer silliness, got -- thought they had proved their point. Well, they hadn't at all.
In 1998, the warming stopped, in 1999, the cooling began, by 2000 it was dramatic and now we have a dramatic cooling trend and the sun has gone very quiet. The ice has frozen up on the North Pole, again. We've had snowfall that set records in many places around the world, not just in the United States. And any, any -- any link between CO2 and their perceived warming has totally been unproven.
DOBBS: Professor Pollack, how do you respond to that? And particularly the issue of solar cycles, its influence on the magnetosphere and all the atmosphere of the planet?
POLLACK: If the sun was causing the warming then we would find that the entire atmosphere, the upper atmosphere and the lower atmosphere, would warm. But, in fact, the only, only the lower atmosphere is warming and the upper atmosphere is cooling and that's the signature of the way the greenhouse gas warming would affect the atmosphere. If it were the sun it would be the other way around.
DOBBS: Let me ask you -- and that is -- a persuasive point, let me ask you both this. Let's assume, for right now, that there is such a thing as climate change, let's assume it's manmade. What indication -- what evidence do we have, what reason do we have to believe that mankind can do anything significantly to reverse it because a number of people, as you know in the last two weeks, are reported that, that, this is a 1,000-year trend irrespective of what we do. Professor Pollack, first.
POLLACK: I think that we -- just as we have been the principal causes of the climate change, we can also be the principal remediation. But, it will take time to undo what has been put into the atmosphere inadvertently over the period of time since the industrial revolution. The long-term consequences -- simply reflect the fact that CO2 stays in the atmosphere for more than a century...
DOBBS: What I'm asking is what can be done to -- in time -- to really have -- to reverse everything that, you know, that you claim has been done to the atmosphere by man over the last 150 years?
POLLACK: We to totally rethink our energy policy. President Obama has pointed out that our national security issues associated with dependence on foreign oil with the national economic turmoil in the country and the globe and...
POLLACK: And the warming of the climate are all the same problem. It's our need for a new energy policy would address all three.
DOBBS: Terrific. All right, thank you, Professor Pollack. John Coleman, thank you for being with us. We appreciate it, gentlemen.
Up at the top of the hour, CAMPBELL BROWN: NO BIAS, NO BULL.
Campbell, what are you working on?
CAMPBELL BROWN, CAMPBELL BROWN: NO BIAS, NO BULL: Hey there, Lou. Breaking news, tonight. Another Obama cabinet nominee may be in trouble once again, tax troubles. We're going to bring you the late- breaking details.
Plus, radio giant, Rush Limbaugh, coming after us with big complaints, not to mention little name calling about our reporting on the economic stimulus package last night. We're going to play his complaints and, as we always do, we'll be cutting through the bull -- Lou.
DOBBS: All right, thank you very much. Still ahead here, the left taking on Rush Limbaugh? We'll tell you how Rush Limbaugh is responding. Stay with us.
DOBBS: The Democratic Party, moveon.org and liberal special interest groups apparently have launched an all-out coordinated assault against conservative radio talk show host, Rush Limbaugh. This after President Obama told Republicans to stop listening to Limbaugh. The liberals accusing Limbaugh of giving a preview of what they call outrageous Republican attacks against President Obama. A view shared by Democratic strategist, James Carville.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES CARVILLE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Rush Limbaugh is the de facto head of the Republican Party, right now. You see his congressmen just graveling. And he and Rush, himself, has admitted that he's more powerful than say Mitch McConnell or John Boehner.
And so it's not the Democrats or the president that are elevating Rush Limbaugh, it is the Republican office holders who have deemed him his daddy. He is the daddy of this Republican Congress, right now. And so, we ought to acknowledge that. We should acknowledges Rush's position.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOBBS: Well, Carville obviously, a Democratic strategist, tied into the Obama White House, and he is following the party line, including that of the White House and of course moveon.org. It appears to at least to me to be a very, very blatant effort on the part of the Democratic partisans to put a wedge between Rush Limbaugh and the -- the Republican Party.
Limbaugh will be, of course, able to defend himself, that is isn't necessary on my part. But we do want to keep the record straight, if we may.
Our poll results, 96 percent of you outraged the big business and ethnocentric special interest groups are trying to kill the most effective program in the fight against illegal immigration.
We thank you for being with us, tonight. We hope you will have a great weekend. We're bringing you "Heroes" next Monday, the remarkable story of a father and son decorated for valor at the same time.
Thanks for watching. Goodnight from New York.