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For Richer and Poorer - Teachers & Wall Street March 3, 2011

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Comedian Jon Stewart takes aim at the hypocrisy seen in conservative TV show host's stated views on the sacrifices required of Wall Street and America's teachers when faced with financial crisis.


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These folks just want teachers to give back, because they believe that $50,000 a year in salary, plus medical and dental...benefits...are incredibly generous, bordering on avarice! And I imagine these same people will feel the same way about couples earning more than $250,000 a year being asked to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire so that they would have to pay a slightly higher Federal Income tax rate.

TV SEGMENT: 'Is the $250,000 income level really rich in America?'

'How can anybody claim if you make $250,000 that you're a millionaire?'

'$250,000 is not rich, for a family of four sending kids to college it actually is close to poverty.'

'People want to think that these are millionaires in leather chairs lighting cigars with hundred dollar bills; that's not what we're talking about.'

JON: No that is not. Not when it comes to the Bush tax cuts; they're not big shot teachers with their...desks. And seemingly endless supply of multi-colored construction papers. Oh and their #2 pencils. I guess #3 pencils aren't good enough for your majesty. And don't even try - don't even try - to compare teachers to Wall Street - no contest!

TV SEGMENT: 'Teachers just don't get paid nearly as much as people on Wall Street do -'

'Nor with all due respect to teachers do they work as much - they have the summers off.'

'The Hedge Fund manager isn't paid by the State, isn't paid by the tax payers, but the teachers are!'

JON: See the difference!? Regardless of the greed based, almost slightly-sociopathic, job bankers did wrecking our economy, those people were there every single day, twelve months a year. Not that nine month bull****. (cheers) And, we the taxpayers have a right to cut teacher's salaries and benefits - they work for us. Bankers are not suckling from the taxpayers' teet! Except of course for the billions of gallons of taxpayer bailout teet-milk they sucked on so voraciously.

Hey - I wonder how those same people, who would have the government limit teacher pay and benefits, would feel about the government limiting CEO pay at bailed-out-with-taxpayer-money firms.

TV SEGMENT: 'You don't want to discourage everyone. If you cap everybody's salary - especially on Wall Street - you'll look at a huge talent exodus.'

'I just don't like the whole concept Elizabeth of the government putting a salary you know marker on anything.'

'If the shareholders - maybe the taxpayers - want to get their money's worth, they better pay damn well pay the CEOs what a good CEO demands.'

'It's not a good way of attracting talent in the future, and they're gonna need all the talent they can get.'

JON: Absolutely! We have got to pay those bailed-out firm's CEOs top dollar! Otherwise those companies could wind up being run by a couple of jacka$$es who f*c*ed things up so royally that it torpedoes the entire global economy! Would you want that to happen? I don't think you would.

Now to be fair - let's be fair! We are nothing if not fair. To be fair, we could not have cut those Wall Street CEO's pay even if we wanted to - they had contracts.

TV SEGMENT: 'There are bonuses that were promised to people when these guys came in.'

'These are contractual obligations...'

'The contracts are legal contracts, and it wasn't as if these bonuses were unknown or sprung at the last minute.'

'Let's face it - anybody that gets a bonus - that money is spent long before that check comes in the mail. These poor people, paying off mortgages, paying off debt. The odds that these people have these bonuses are slim to none right now.'

JON: Absolutely, you know. Our financial system is built on faith. 'Our word is our bond.' And even if we could get the Wall Street bonus money back, what do you want the Wall Street workers to do? Un-take those two weeks on a yacht in St. Barts? Un-re-renovate your kitchen? By the way, what about rescinding contractual obligations to teachers? Yes you! Exact same person that says you can't get it back from Wall Street.

TV SEGMENT: 'You knew this was happening. They all knew this was coming to a head. And I think this is showing a poor example to our kids that these people are out there fighting - fighting for things that they quite frankly don't deserve - they too need to make concessions.'

JON: She's absolutely right! And I say this: when will America's teachers follow the lead of Wall Street and start making some sacrifices for the children?

Courtesy of The Daily Show

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For Richer and Poorer - Teachers & Wall Street- March 3, 2011

- Jon Stewart
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