tv Stephanie Ruhle Reports MSNBC July 14, 2021 6:00am-7:00am PDT
i'm stephanie ruhle. it's wednesday, july 14th, and we start this morning with breaking news. overnight a group of senate democrats struck a deal in theory to spend $3.5 trillion on new help for americans. things like expanded medicare, free pre-k and clean energy. that is the human infrastructure bill we've been talking about and it comes on top of a nearly $600 billion deal to fix hard infrastructure, things like roads and bridges. getting both of those proposals passed would be a massive win for president biden. we'll meet with fellow democrats on capitol hill today, but we are still a very long way away from those bills getting signed into law. i have a great group to break all of this down. let's bring in co-founder of punch bowl news, chief white house correspondent for "the new york times" and author of "the man who ran washington". also nbc news national political reporter. john, this sounds great, but
$3.5 trillion and they're saying we've struck a deal. what does struck a deal mean? two weeks ago the white house was saying to me they made history with a bipartisan deal with republicans. that deal hasn't been signed. >> no, they struck a deal amongst themselves on $3.5 trillion and even amongst themselves it's only 11 democrats on the senate budget committee led by senator bernie sanders of vermont. you've got the whole entire caucus that needs to sign off on this. that's going to be a much tougher lift. but this was the first step. as we mentioned this morning, this is a first step. they had to have this agreement, schumer has to find a way to get sanders and progressives to agree with moderates. but this was the first step. as you said, there's still a trillion dollar package out there on a bipartisan infrastructure deal. that's still got to happen and that's part of this whole
complex game that is going on inside the senate right now. >> do we know where moderate senators are like joe manchin, kyrsten sinema, or moderates in the house? >> for the budget resolution i would expect them to be on board because none of them have drawn any lines in the sand against the limited details we have heard. joe manchin and john tester have said a price tag of $6 trillion, as proposed by bernie sanders and progressives originally was too much for them. this is obviously significantly down from that. neither of them have expressed opposition to investments in dealing with climate change and clean energy and health care, including the expansion of medicare, which according to senators is likely to be in this. now, joe manchin has said he wants this to be paid for. yesterday senator mark warner of virginia said it would be paid for. as for kyrsten sinema, i'm told by sources familiar with her thinking that she is less likely to make her demands on the basis of process or price tag and that she is more likely to try to shape the policy of it.
so that's the thing to keep an eye on. getting these senators on board the final piece of legislation that is actually drafted, that is actual policy, that's going to be the big challenge. if you think of this entire project as an airplane that needs to travel around the world, right now democrats have just agreed on the concept. they have to build the airplane, test it out and travel around the world with it, stephanie. >> and that is sort of the big thing, peter, because you and i can go house hunting and find our dream home. but until we know how to pay for it, it's meaningless. with mark warner not providing those details, how does anybody back this thing? when you go back to your constituents, their number one question is, am i going to pay? >> the spending part is the easy part. everyone likes to spend money, especially other people's money, it's how you pay for it. you're absolutely right and that's going to be the nub for a lot of members of congress, can you find enough taxes, only on the wealthy, on corporations, the kind of things that president biden has talked about, that will fund this
amount of money in a reasonable way, in other words, not in a magical accounting kind of way. you already hear talk on capitol hill about using some of the accounting tricks that have been used in the past that didn't fully fund past spending projects, assuming economic growth that you don't know is going to happen, that kind of thing. and there's been a lot of assumptions in the hard infrastructure bill about what can be used to fund that, whether or not the beefed-up irs can bring in enough taxes without actually raising taxes by having better enforcement. these are a lot of assumptions and there are a lot of games to be played on capitol hill about that. i think that's a key issue as we go forward to look at those pay-fors. >> if you actually fund the irs, you don't have to change the rules, they just have to enforce the rules and collect all those taxes owed. i want to stay on the hard infrastructure bill, john, because doesn't this
administration risk losing republicans if they keep pushing the human infrastructure bill? for all those republicans who did sign onto it, there's no way they're going to give joe biden the double win of, yes, he gets a big bipartisan bill done and then on the side he also gets a go at it alone. they're not going to let him have that. >> that's a great point, and it's an issue and it was an issue even talking to senators about this week. i think the way republicans look at it is the ones at least involved in the infrastructure negotiations, the hard infrastructure negotiations, say, look, we know we can pass this bill, we think this bill is important, we're not going to gauge on the other issue until we get to the other issue. one step at a time. they're building an airplane, right now they've just decided to build an airplane. now, on the infrastructure, the
bipartisan infrastructure bill, they're starting to draft a bill. they hope to have something together by the end of this week, and then they have to go get it scored, which means the budget analysts have to look at it and say, yes, it's going to do what it says it does. that brings up peter's point. there may be some games on how they assess the revenue impact of this legislation. so, you know, republicans who want a bipartisan deal can focus on that and say when it comes to this other package, when it comes to the soft human infrastructure, that we're not going to be with you, but when it comes to roads, bridges, broadband, we can be with you, i think they can try and make that distinction, and then they bet that maybe democrats can't do it on their own. this $3.5 trillion package, it's only going to be democrats. we're not going to see one republican in congress vote for this in either the house or senate. >> peter, a few weeks ago it looked like we were in a
standoff between president biden and nancy pelosi over these two bills. where does that stand now? >> well, look, i think they've tried to finesse that. i think the point that president biden was making is he wasn't going to be settling just for the hard infrastructure, he was going to keep pushing for the other social spending priorities that he has and that are reflected in this proposal that was made overnight by the senate democrats. the mistake he made was making the link too explicit so that republicans were forced to eat something that they didn't want to eat and then they can make hay out of it if they wanted to, which they did. as john says, in some ways the fact that both of these go forward is not a bad thing for republicans. they can say, look, they're for spending on bridges and roads and go into the election and say we were against the big spending biden agenda and we were more fiscally conservative than he is and they can have it both ways in that sense. you can go home and say this road is better because of me,
but, boy, i didn't want to go along with all the excess stuff. so, yeah, they're going to complain about the infrastructure, the human infrastructure bill, to use that term, if we want to use it. but it's not necessarily a bad thing for them in biden either, a, tries to pass it and can't, or, b, does pass it, it gives them an issue going into the midterms. >> summer vacation not on the agenda. peter, john, thank you. sahil stay with me. we have to talk about the standoff over voting rights in texas. state democrats holed up in dc for a second straight day as lawmakers down in austin are preparing to meet again without those democrats. priscilla thompson is in austin, texas. we have president and ceo of the group vote latino still with us. texas house lawmakers do not have enough for a quorum. that is the whole point of the democrats being in dc. what are they doing in austin?
>> reporter: right, steph. lawmakers showed up here yesterday, at least the house members, quickly realized they did not have the quorum and moved ahead with that vote, which fell along party lines, giving the sergeant at arms permission to go after those missing legislators. now, of course the sergeant of arms or anyone that he appoints has no jurisdiction outside of texas, so it is very unlikely that anything is going to come of this, given that democrats have said they do plan to remain in washington, d.c. until the special session has ended. but there are still some things going on. republicans say that they are holding meetings, they are working on legislation in the house. as for the senate here in texas, they actually did move forward with passing their version of this voting bill yesterday, but of course that will die after the special session if the house is not able to regain that quorum. and so i asked several republican house members yesterday, look, clearly this is a big enough deal that democrats have fled the state. this has not happened in 18
years. is there anything in this bill that you all are willing to compromise on in order to regain that quorum? and i want to play a little bit of what one lawmaker said to me in response to that question. >> i don't think the democrats are upset. they fly on private jets, they've got beer and alcohol. i think they're on vacation, having a great time on the taxpayers' dime. >> reporter: and the republican house speaker here has said they've already compromised on this bill. it doesn't sound like there's much more the republicans are going to be willing -- any concessions they're going to be willing to give. instead, he says they're prepared to wait this out. if that means that it goes until 2023, so be it. >> maria, obviously this is a huge priority for democrats nationally. you can tell, listen to joe biden just yesterday. watch this. >> i'll be asking my republican friends in congress in states and cities and counties to stand
up, for god's sake, and help prevent this concerted effort to undermine our election and the sacred right to vote. have you no shame? >> maria, you were at that speech yesterday. here's the issue. these views don't necessarily match up with how people feel in texas, and those are the voters that matter. last month the texas tribune found that 35% of registered voters in texas wanted to make voting rules more strict, while only 26% said they should be loosened. can you make the argument that the texas legislature and these restrictive voting laws, while you might not like them, i might not like them, are a representation of what texas voters want? >> let's level with each other right now, stephanie. if you look at the most -- >> let's. >> the most restrictive state in the country for access to the voting booth, it is texas.
it is dead last. and for the very first time in the last two elections, you've seen young people coming out in record numbers, african-american, white, latino and asian, voting. and if you saw the first piece of legislation that they passed that was restrictive in this session, it was basically against young voters. so you have a challenge. you're right now expecting, just when you look at the latino front, you're expecting a quarter of a million more young latinos waiting in the wings about to turn 18 years old in time for the midterm election next year and the republicans simply don't like it. what we are seeing right now is that democrats aren't fleeing texas. they're basically sounding the alarm that the restrictive laws you see in texas are happening in georgia, they're happening in arizona, they're happening in north carolina, all places where there are young people of color. texas passed a certified fair
election this past presidential election. there was no shenanigans. they agreed with it. part of this legislation that concerns me is that if we recall, in april, they passed a constitutional carry, meaning that anybody can strap on a piece of -- a gun to themselves, and in this new bill they're trying to pass, they have partisan poll watchers. that cooks up a perfect storm during really high tense elections. the purpose of voting should be to access the voting booths to everybody. what the for the people acts allow is saying the federal government is going to make sure that every single state applies and plays by the exact same rules when it comes to federal elections. that doesn't seem bananas. that seems standardized and modernized. >> but then at the end of the day, maria, is the answer going to be you're not going to be able to change this, republicans have control, all of those young people simply need to get out there and vote in the next
election? we could say that texas is dead last, but, remember, this is a state that re-elected ted cruz, one of the least popular political figures on a national stage, and he beat beto o'rourke. is the answer all of those rising young people simply need to vote and actually change texas? >> i will share with you, they're changing texas. that's what you're seeing right now in these different pockets, whether you're talking about san antonio or austin or el paso. but it gets to a moment that they create such difficulty in accessing the voting booth and it doesn't matter how many people you register. if you're purging them and making sure you're not accessible, for the very first time -- and i think this is why they're sounding the alarm, in the 2018 election for the very first time text went from dead last in voting participation to 41st. that's unusual, but it's because you're seeing people more engaged and they're not liking who their politicians are.
but these young people are rising for the most part. and i'm in the business of voter registration. i love voter registration. i love engagement. but since the gutting of the voting rights act, i have to tell you the shenanigans out there we've seen in making it more difficult to vote is against the -- it's not against the democratic party, but the democratic institutions and that is where we need to make sure we're laser focused on how do we modernize our election system so that every american plays by the exact same rules when it comes to federal elections. >> and i love that you love voter registration. i celebrate your nerdiness. sahil, as long as we're talking raising the alarm. i want to ask you about jim clyburn. he is hugely important and he is the reason joe biden was the nominee. this is not someone you hear talk about getting rid of the filibuster lightly. he doesn't want to get rid of it completely. but now he's saying we should get rid of it just for voting
rights. this isn't about politics. it's about democracy. is that going to push biden? he's got a lot of influence. >> it doesn't appear to be moving president biden so far, stephanie. and clyburn and the texas democratic legislators and a number of progressives have called on president biden to make a case for, if not fully abolishing the filibuster, then creating a carveout so the senate can pass voting rights, the same way they have a carveout to address budget issues. but president biden did not make that case in his speech yesterday. instead, he gave an impassioned kind of plea for the importance of federal voting rights. he said it's about democracy. he said new legislation at the federal level is necessary to prevent these republican-led states like texas and georgia from passing restrictive laws. let's have a listen to what the white house spokesperson said about the filibuster. >> when it comes to the
filibuster, the votes aren't there yet. what the president is pushing for is a talking filibuster to go back to a time when the filibuster actually worked. >> now, that may help get some piece of the legislation passed, but it's unlikely to get something that republicans are so emphatically against, which is the for the people act, that they would happily take turns on the senate floor to make their case. and to bring it back home, in the last 24 hours we've seen the rise of one of president biden's priorities, economic issues, infrastructure and the safety net. and we've seen the other legislative priority, voting rights, fade off the map given the enormous difficulty of getting over the 60 vote hump. >> we'll see. republicans are influenced by big fat corporate money and corporations around the country are now urging lawmakers to get a lot more serious about the john lewis act. we'll leave it there. thank you. coming up next, extreme heat and drought conditions continue to plague the western u.s. we're going to go live to the
lake that provides water and power to the entire region as it hits its lowest level in decades. and with covid numbers spiking in dozens of states, new pressure on businesses to actually enforce vaccine and mask rules, but will it make a difference? also, britney spears back in court today in what could be the biggest day in her fight for freedom. the journey is why they ride. when the road is all you need, there is no destination. uh, i-i'm actually just going to get an iced coffee. well, she may have a destination this one time, but usually -- no, i-i usually have a destination. yeah, but most of the time, her destination is freedom. nope, just the coffee shop. announcer: no matter why you ride, progressive has you covered with protection starting at $79 a year. voiceover: 'cause she's a biker... please don't follow me in. i was drowning in student loan debt. then i discovered sofi. lower interest rate. my principal is going down. sofi is a place where you can start to tackle
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west is drying up right before our eyes. the situation is growing more dire by the hour, with extreme heat, wildfires and drought conditions absolutely punishing the entire region. this morning, california, nevada and arizona are all facing major threats to their water and power supply. cal perry is live at the arizona/nevada state line at the nation's largest reservoir. this reservoir provides water and power to the entire region. you're at lake meade. it is at the lowest levels since the 1930s. >> reporter: this is a climate change story that i can visually show you, put it to you another way, about 20 years ago i would be 100 feet under water. they call it the bathtub rings and i'll show you what we've lost in 20 years. 140 feet. that is 5 trillion gallons of water that would be headed to arizona, into nevada, into california. we're talking about ranchers, we're talking about the way that we live. it is obviously a climate change
story, but it's an allocation story. this lake is, quote, over-allocated. take a look at what the state's climate coordinator had to say. >> climate change has upset the supply and demand balance that otherwise would keep the lake full. the way this is happening is when the atmosphere warms, it holds more water. so you're essentially sucking the -- the air is essentially sucking the landscape dry, it's drying out our plants, forests, as well as our crops. >> reporter: this is a water story, this is a power story, this is an infrastructure story, this is the story that is going to be the rest of our lives. the hoover dam which supplies power to 8 million people is operating at a 25% reduced capacity. if we lose another 100 feet of water, they will not be able to pump power from there, which is tragic when you think about that is clean energy. so with this mega drought lasting 21 years, we're heading in the wrong direction. >> cal perry, thank you so much. covid cases are back on the
rise in 48 states, and this morning there's growing questions about the role businesses should be playing in enforcing rules about mask mandates and vaccinations. remember, the u.s. government spent trillions of dollars in the last year supporting businesses, supporting individuals in our time of need. the question now is, where are these businesses now that the government needs their help? npr points out, with mask mandates disappearing, business owners across the country are making and enforcing their own rules, and for many, that means enforcing absolutely no rules at all. i've got the best team here to break this down. andrew russ sorkin, co-anchor of squawk box and former white house senior adviser for the covid response. andy, one of the things that was supposed to motivate people to get vaccinated is that you weren't going to be able to participate in the reopening unless you were vaccinated. you couldn't go to bars or restaurants or the movies. let me tell you, the last time i
went into a store where i saw people masked up, six weeks ago. why aren't businesses enforcing this? >> good morning, stephanie. businesses have a real opportunity here to lead in their communities. it's very clear we've got a diverse country with a diverse set of interests and a diverse set of approaches, but businesses who are, as you said, big beneficiaries of the taxpayer funds to get this country back open again, have an opportunity to send messages not just to customers, but their own employees who are in situations where they need time off work, the government has passed a paid time off provision to allow them to do that. and i think we'll see a very split decision. we're going to see places like universities and maybe theatres enforcing kind of vaccine mandates for people who come to their locations, but we're going to see many other businesses that just simply aren't going to do it. >> but, andy, doesn't it feel a
bit pollyanna-ish to say businesses have a great opportunity? when we look at the universities or businesses that are doing the mask mandates, they get plagued with being called woke and people don't want to go there. where are all of the businesses that the government helped that said we're going to enforce a mask mandate for anybody not vaccinated? we were talking about vaccine passports. i ask you, when was the last time you walked into a store or movie theatre where anybody asked your vaccination status? >> well, this weekend i went to an outdoor concert and they asked for our vaccination status. everybody there was my age or older, so it wasn't a concert where you had a lot of younger people there and people there really cared. but it was also in california. as you know, we've got a very divided country in how they're approaching the vaccine. cpac, they're applauding people not taking vaccines. we have to understand that the rest of the vaccination process
is going to work the same way the whole process of covid worked. we'll have a number of people who think we need to be safer and a number of people who want to forget about it and you'll see the fights break out and i think you're going to see them break out into the election season as well. >> that's a head-scratcher for cpac enthusiasts. we should remind them the entire trump family has been vaccinated. andrew, what do you think? >> i think that business is the last line of defense, unfortunately, in this situation. and we can talk about politics and a country being red and blue, but businesses look at green. and ultimately the end of the story should be that businesses step in and say we have to get people vaccinated, because there is going to be a green issue here. and i'm not talking about climate. it's a green issue in terms of the economy, in terms of their own businesses. the more people that are sick, the more people that can't work, the more people that have to
take time off, all of it creates an economic problem. the conundrum is that it may create a larger, broader economic problem, and unfortunately businesses don't want to take on whatever the true cost to them is going to be. but, you know, it's one thing -- you know, when the pandemic was at its height, everybody said we were in this together because we had to give out a lot of money to a lot of businesses. now it's privatize the gains and socialize the losses all over again. we've seen this movie. and it troubles me, because so many business leaders have talked about -- especially over the last year or two, about trying to have a social good, a social purpose, a social mission. you've heard that from so many big name companies, and yet here we are in this moment being tested. and the result, i would argue to you, is utter failure. >> this green that you're talking about, though, andrew, it could cost them down the
line. aren't they just thinking about the green of the moment? consumer demand is through the roof and businesses big and small are raking in the dollars. so why slow down the business and be the mask police? isn't that what they're saying right now when it's not what they said months ago when they were all about doing the right thing together? >> 100%. now we're in a situation where you can't find enough employees, where we're seeing signs of inflation. we are seeing an economy that has been juiced. the question, of course, is on the other side of that, you know, the music will stop at some point and then the question is, are businesses going to turn around and say, oh, now, government, please, come help us all over again. >> andy, the businesses have cashed their checks, they've got their government support and now business is booming. and the government doesn't really have any levers to force them to do more. covid isn't over. do you think the white house ended your job too early?
there's still work to be done. >> well, i ended my job. there's a ton of work to be done but we've gone from taking the country from 2% vaccinated up to close to 70%. there's more to do. right now, unfortunately, that work -- the hard work of conversations with people, who have said they're not sure they want to get vaccinated. and we have parts of this country where we have lots of people vaccinated. but unfortunately, as we know, there are parts of the country where it's not the case, and just in time for delta. so people under 25, people who may not be getting vaccinated for political reasons or people who are falling for misinformation that they get online, go talk to your doctors, look at the data. getting vaccinated is important. and i think andrew is right, employers should be having seminars and conversations with other employees, many of whom, about half are not vaccinated and saying this is why it's
important. we've got to make our workplace safe and our customers safe. >> i want to add to the point -- >> you can talk to -- yes. >> the only way to change the dynamic, especially in places where there is a hesitancy, is to have a requirement. if you can't walk into a walmart or work at a walmart without a vaccination, especially in states where there is a hesitancy, that's going to actually change the dynamic. if you can't get on an airplane without a vaccination, that is going to change the dynamic. the airlines took an enormous amount of taxpayer money, we have all supported them. >> enormous. >> and there has been very little support on the other side. i'm sorry to say. >> united airlines wanted to do that, andrew, and they faced a ton of opposition and they were alone and they had to ultimately back off. so they are dealing with the same forces that everyone else is dealing with, customers,
employers, et cetera. we've got to get everybody in the country, we've got to continue to make the case because employers are running into the same wall, too. >> we have to leave it there. they have to deal with customers, they have to deal with employees. they wouldn't have either one if the government hadn't given them billions and billions of dollars last year. so maybe they could pay the government back and say, yes, we're going to help try to get people vaccinated. for those who are vaccine hesitant, don't just talk to your doctor. call donald trump's doctor. you don't need to watch the news organizations. the doctors will tell you those men got vaccinated. coming up, the man in this newly released video from january 6th, chasing capitol police officer was just released on house arrest. we've got the latest developments in the investigation and i'll be speaking to a lawmaker who is part of the house committee looking into the january 6th attack. who can come to a stop with barely a bobble.
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a shocking new look at the january 6th insurrection on our capitol. you'll remember hero officer eugene goodman. authorities just released video of the guy who chased him up the capitol stairs. prosecutors say the man, douglas jensen, led the angry mob you just saw chasing goodman as he steered them away from the senate chambers, saving lawmakers' lives. meanwhile, a trump state department aide who stormed the
capitol was charged with beating a cop with a riot shield and his court date was just set for september 2022. it is one of the hundreds of cases that prosecutors are struggling to keep up with, and all of this comes a week before the first hearing with the house committee investigating the riot. joining us now, one of the members of that committee, congresswoman stephanie murphy. congresswoman, the first hearing is going to include capitol police officers and support staff. what can we expect? >> i think what you will see is the law enforcement officers having an opportunity to talk about their experiences that day, as well as the preparedness or lack of preparedness and shortage of equipment and things like that that they experienced on that day. and i think it will be a really telling hearing to hear firsthand from the folks that were on the front line, doing the best they could to try to keep the republican vice president, as well as lawmakers of both parties safe during that
terrifying, violent domestic extremist attack. >> but then what can or will come out of it? all of this happened -- january 6th happened because former president trump's and the gop's lies about the election. a way that we would get around this is actually having stronger, better voter protection laws, but we know that you've got all sorts of colleagues that were unwilling to even certify the election. they're the root of this. >> absolutely, stephanie. misinformation led to january 6th and you're seeing those very same people use misinformation to try to re-write what happened on january 6th. that's why it's so critical that the select committee in a sober and apolitical way lay out the facts and follow the evidence wherever they lead. in addition to trying to identify the people whose names might be more prominent, we need
to also find the folks who were involved in this, whether it was from a fundraising perspective to get the resources for the equipment and the travel, whether it was from an organizational perspective, bringing these people together on that day, or whether it was from the radicalization of creating these domestic extremists. there were a lot of people involved in order for there to have been thousands of people who showed up on january 6th in a coordinated effort to try to stop our democratic processes from moving forward, and we have to follow the evidence to every single one of those people. >> and we will be watching those hearings next week. congresswoman, thank you for joining us this morning. coming up, a look at the loophole, the great big loophole that allows billionaire nba team owners to pay a lot fewer taxes than the food workers at the centers where their games are held. we'll be speaking to the reporter who broke the story
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let's turn to the sports world. with game four of the nba finals tipping off tonight in milwaukee, after the bucks beat the suns on sunday, and while we wait we are learning more about the money behind-the-scenes, off the record, after a bombshell report from propublica detailed how mega rich sports team owners use their teams to avoid paying taxes. take steve ballmer, the billionaire owner of the la clippers. according to this report, he only paid 12% in federal income tax in 2018. that is a lower rate than players, like lebron james, who plays at the staples center, and more shockingly, a lower rate than the typical food worker at the staples center. here is the real scandal. don't get bad at ballmer. look to your lawmakers. all of this is totally legal. let's bring in one of the reporters who broke the story,
propublica investigative reporter. our tax code allows sports team owners to take deductions on team assets, like their cars that depreciate in value. you don't get to deduct your car. walk me through how this works. >> so the original idea, right, is if you have a widget factory, you purchase a widget-making business, you know, over time the assets that make up that business, the widget conveyor belt, the widget maker, are going to break down and you're going to have to replace them. they lose their value. so for sports teams, though, the assets are media deals and player contracts and franchise rights. these are assets that sort of automatically regenerate and not only do they not lose value, they typically rise in value. but nonetheless, owners are able
to write them off and they're able to write off almost the entire purchase price of the team. >> they rise in value a lot. so how much money is the government losing by allowing these write-offs to exist? why on earth are they letting this happen? >> so take steve ballmer, for example. we found that during a recent five-year span he reported $700 million in losses from the clippers. what that means is that he was able to pay about $140 million less in taxes. that number is inevitably only going to grow and probably grow dramatically. what this tax treatment does for owners, essentially it allows them, if they're profitable, it allows them to tell the irs they're actually losing money. if they happen to actually be losing money, they can tell the irs they're losing vastly more money. and those losses cancel out
profits from other ventures and they don't have to pay taxes on them. >> okay, this is completely insane, because we're sitting here looking at an infrastructure deal and how we're going to pay for it and talking about taxing rich americans, families whose household makes $400 grand or more. these team owners blow their nose with 400 grand and they are not paying taxes legally. are there any lawmakers pushing to close these loopholes? if so, how do we do it? >> so one type of response we got from owners was, look, if you take away the amortization benefit, the entire american economy is going to break down. but in reality, not too long ago sports teams were not able to take these kinds of write-offs. the irs would insist that the assets that they were writing off actually had real life spans and were actually losing value.
it wasn't until 2004 that congress completely threw their hands up and allowed all types of assets to be written off in this way. so, you know, it didn't always work this way, and like you said, it's in the hands of congress and the president to change it. >> you heard it here first, the entire american economy will not collapse if this is changed. people who defend this say that owners do have to repay the taxes if and when they sell the team, but that's like getting a massive interest-free loan from the government, and this is how super rich people operate. i'm just going to borrow and borrow and borrow, when regular people out there would never be able to get a loan like that from the government. >> sure, and not just that, i mean a lot of owners will die while holding their team. and if that happens and you pass your stake on to an heir, the heir never has to repay the taxes that you saved. that's just a loss for the american government.
>> that's just a loss, and a gain for generational super wealth. robert, absolutely fantastic reporting. i really appreciate you joining me today. pay attention to this kind of stuff. it matters. coming up, the latest in britney spears' fight for control of her own life. the biggest decision today that could be the biggest step in her fight for personal freedom. that causes covid-19 from treated air. so you can breathe easier, knowing that you and your family have added protection. ♪ ♪
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story, in just hours britany spears will appear in a california courtroom via live video escalating the battle for control of her life and her $60 million fortune. the pop star was in court three weeks ago pleading for an end to her father's conservatorship over her which the court officially denied. erin mclaughlin has more on today's hearing. >> reporter: this morning, britany spears possibly taking the biggest legal step yet to win back control of her life, in just hours the embattled pop star expected to petition the judge to let her choose her own attorney, a request she made last month during her explosive testimony in court, where she pleaded for her 13-year conservatorship to end calling it abusive, alleging she's been forced to perform, take lithium and was prevented from removing an iud meant to stop pregnancy. since then her court-appointed attorney has requested to resign as has the trust hired to be
coconserver to of her $60 estate. britney's father, jamie is also in charge of her finances, she wants him out telling her judge in june "he loved the control to hurt his own daughter, 100,000% he loved it." the court previously denied her request to remove him. jamie spears insists he has nothing to do with his daughter's alleged bad treatment and demanding the court investigate her claims and hold a hearing to see if they're true. as brittany spins on social media, her remaining conservators are sparring in a heated war of words. >> britney couldn't have planned it better. she has now pitted her two conservators against each other. >> reporter: jody montgomery lashing out at jamie spears in court filings saying she wants to give britney a path to ending her conservatorship something jamie opposes alleging he spent more than $2 million of his daughter's money on attorney and pr fees. jamie had no comment.
jodi telling the court she received death threats and wants the conservatorship to pay for 24/7 security an expense will cost over $50,000 a month and is unnecessary, pointing to the enumerable and ongoing threats he, too, received as britney's conser conservator. with all this legal drama is any of this helping britney end the conservatorship? >> absolutely. as everybody else is fighting amongst themselves, britney is sitting there watching all of this, and the court is taking note that really these conservators may not be the appropriate people to be taking care of britney's money, estate and medical decisions. >> erin mclaughlin joins us now. i have a two-parter. britany spears has a $60 million fortune. why does she still have a court-appointed lawyer? she couldn't choose her own lawyer here? >> reporter: well that will be the focus or a focus rather of the hearing later today. she's had that court-appointed
lawyer for some 13 years, now she wants to have her own lawyer. her mother is in back of her filing her own petition to that effect with the courts, that will be a focus of today's hearing. >> a little too late, lynn spears. will we hear from britney herself today? >> reporter: legal experts say it's likely. she's expected to appear remotely. it's possible she will want to have her chance to speak out again, worth noting she has yet to formally petition the court to end the conservatorship. if she's allowed permission to appoint her own attorney, she could file to end the conservatorship within the week. stephanie? >> all right, erin, thank you so much. thank you at home for watching. that wraps up this busy hour. i'm stephanie ruehl. hallie jackson picks up breaking news coverage on the other side of the break with exclusive new
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