FIREWORKS: Byron Donalds SCHOOLS Joy Reid on Social Security & CRT

News & Politics

Sparks flew on Tuesday night’s edition of The ReidOut on MSNBC when Joy Reid had an unexpected guest: Florida Republican Congressman Byron Donalds. As you can imagine the interview got quite heated at various points mostly caused by Reid’s hostility and ignorance on a wide range of issues from the insolvency of Social Security to Critical Race Theory. 

After Reid listed off many of the priorities of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, Donalds pointed out how his fellow Congressman Jody Arrington “wants to look into the budget and also look into entitlements.” 

Donalds then brought up the irrefutable fact that “Social Security is going to be insolvent in 2035.” This caused Reid to lose it and she began lashing out simply repeating “that’s not true” without making any attempt to refute what the Congressman said. 

“Joy, I’m a finance professional. I do more than just Congress. I worked in the financial community. I’m telling you. Social Security will go insolvent,” Donalds explained to the delusional Reid. 

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“That’s actually not true. That’s not true,” Reid cried. “Those are the facts,” Donalds shot back. 

“What the Republican Party and what the Tea Party have proposed is privatizing Social Security. Which would actually subject Social Security to the whims of the market,” Reid claimed. 

Donalds explained that, “If you look at the S&P 500, from 2006 until today, the growth rate in the S&P 500 would have more than taken care of Social Security. Way more than the federal government has.” 

REID: You’re in favor of privatizing Social Security?

DONALDS: No. I’m not in favor—

REID: But you just argued for it. 

DONALDS: You brought it up and I brought you the facts. 

[crosstalk]

REID: So if a bill came forward to privatize social security, you’d be for it? 

DONALDS: No, because what we should be doing – 

REID: Then it’s a moot point. 

DONALDS: It’s not a moot point. You’re trying to put words in my mouth.  

REID: You just explained that the S&P 500 would be a better return than social security. So then you’re for privatizing it. 

[crosstalk]

DONALDS: That’s a fact. Don’t cheapen privatization when the data is crystal clear that the returns would have been better. 

REID: You’re for it. 

DONALDS: That means it would have been a better situation. 

Later on in the segment, Reid attempted to pick a fight with Donalds on voting laws and Critical Race Theory which the left has injected into public school curriculums while denying its existence. 

Reid started back up her accusatory antics: “On voting laws, you voted — you defend voting laws that said getting rid of ballot harvesting is a good thing, so you defended the Florida voting laws.” 

“They have the best election laws in the country. Florida laws are the best election laws in the country. Go ask Arizona, go ask California, go ask New York. We do it the best,” Donalds shot back. 

She then served up another false narrative which Donalds skillfully smacked down like a game of whack-a-mole: 

Donalds explained one of the issues with the left’s Critical Race Theory indoctrination: 

Reid jumped back in to ask if Donalds believe[s] “students should be learning about the racial history of the country” and then repeated the false claim that “Critical Race Theory is not taught in a single K-12 school.” 

After Reid claimed “we’re actually literally out of time” in the segment, Donalds was a gentleman and responded, “It’s your show, I’m going to give you the last word, but we’re gonna do this again.” 

This segment of MSNBC’s The ReidOut was made possible by ADT Security Services. Their information is linked. 

MSNBC’s The ReidOut
1/10/2023
7:18:44 p.m. Eastern

JOY REID: I want to start by just talking about, in the previous segment with congressman Swalwell, we were just talking about the changes that are happening in the house under this new leadership. Three people including Congressman Swalwell, Ilhan Omar, and Adam Schiff are being taken off their committees. Those who are being added, Congressman Santos is the one who made up his whole resume, allegedly in New York, Paul Gosar, whose family have said he’s a white supremacist, he attended sort of meetings of white supremacy and got kicked off his committees because he tweeted out an anime depicting him killing AOC, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. And Marjorie Green. They’re getting back on committees. I just wonder what you think of that? Do you think that that is a good look for the Republican Party? 

REP. BYRON DONALDS: No, I think going back on committees is what should happen. Look, what we told Democrat leadership when they went down this pathway of removing members from committee is basically saying, you should not do that because if it’s good for the goose, it’s good for the gander. Let’s be very clear, Ilhan Omar has said things that are reprehensible. 

REID: Can you name one? 

DONALDS: Hold on, let me finish. She has said terrible things about the Jewish community, so much so that resolutions had to go to the House floor about them, and they were watered down. With respect to Eric Swalwell and to the other gentleman, that’s something for Speaker McCarthy to speak to in more detail because he’s going to make those decisions. But we were very clear in the 117th congress. We should not be going down this pathway of saying oh, that member said this, they gotta be kicked off committees. 

REID: But that’s happening though.  

DONALDS: No, no. What we’re doing is, you did it, so now this is what happens. This is the response. Let’s get back to what the status quo of you pick your committee people, we’ll pick ours and we’ll go from there. 

REID: But let me ask you this because that isn’t — you’re not getting back to that status quo, if you’re kicking people off committees and you’re saying it’s literally for vengeance, you’re now admitting it’s just for revenge, that doesn’t sound like getting back to the status quo, it sounds like using committee leadership for vengeance. That’s what you said. 

DONALDS: If you want to change the rules, we’ll live by your rules. I don’t think we should do that–

REID: But they’re doing it.

DONALDS: If you want to change the rules, that the House of Representatives has lived under, since the beginning of the republic, and now you’re going to change them because you didn’t like what somebody said. 

REID: I don’t think that’s a change in the rules. That’s happened before. People have been removed from committees. 

[crosstalk]

DONALDS: I will say, though, people being on and off committees has nothing to do with the work of the 118th Congress. We’re actually going to get to border security, we’re going to get to energy policy. We have to go through debt ceiling we’re gonna figure out a way to cut our spending, curtail our spending because we’re living well beyond our means. That is the work of the Republican conference in the next Congress. This other stuff is kind of a sideshow. 

REID: It’s not a sideshow because unfortunately, it’s kind of the show. So let’s talk about some of the things that Republicans have said that they would actually like to do when they’re talking about the agenda of the Republican Party. And this is what the chairs of the committees are saying that they’re going to do. Representative Mike Rogers of Alabama says they’re going to investigate woke social advocacy at the Department of Defense. That has nothing to do with the border or the budget.   

You’ve got Jody Arrington of Texas saying they’re gonna restructure entitlement programs, and slow spending which is what you just talked about. But that means they would like to in some cases cut, slash social programs, social security, things that a lot of Americans depend on and paid into. Michael McCaul of Texas, investigate the withdrawal from Afghanistan. I think that seems fair. Calling on Mayorkas to resign. That is what Mark Green of the Homeland Security said is his priority. Calling on Secretary Mayorkas to resign. You’ve got Jim Jordan who is leading Judiciary, leading a subcommittee to probe the, quote, weaponization of the federal government. 

You’ve also got those who want to investigate President Biden. But this one about weaponization of the federal government, that is about the FBI having a court-sanctioned raid on the former President, Donald Trump’s home because he had lots and lots of classified documents. Hundreds of classified documents that he was not entitled to, and when he was asked to return them, he didn’t. And also, it seems possible that it might be about going after the Justice Department for investigating the insurrection that Jim Jordan supported. 

DONALDS: Well, a couple of things. First and foremost, let’s speak to the weaponization committee of the federal government. We see what’s happening at Twitter. Twitter now is releasing documentation, ream after ream after ream, that elements of our government was actually in contact with Twitter about delisting comments, taking people off Twitter, off of Twitter overall. 

If that is not the federal government actually suppressing free speech in the United States, which is the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, Congress has a responsibility to investigate that. Number two, I’m going to jump around to a couple of the members you just discussed. Mike Rogers on Armed Services. One of the reasons we have to get into some woke policies at the Department of Defense is because recruitment is down at the Department of Defense. If our military is not prepared to deal with battles in the future, because recruitment is down, shouldn’t we go and investigate all of the things – 

REID: Hold on a second. Hold on. What are woke policies at the Department of Defense? 

DONALDS: Here’s what I’m telling you. If there are issues at the Department of Defense that are decreasing recruitment because the numbers are crystal clear at this point, and we have many members of our military who have complained about some of the programs that are going on at DOD, we have a responsibility to get to the bottom of that. My friend Jody Arrington, who’s going to chair Budget, he wants to look into the budget and also look into entitlements. Do you know that Social Security is going to be insolvent in 2035? 

REID: That’s not true. It’s actually not true. 

[crosstalk]

DONALDS: Joy, I’m a finance professional. I do more than just congress. I worked in the financial community. I’m telling you. Social Security will go insolvent. 

[crosstalk]

REID: That’s actually not true. That’s not true. 

DONALDS: Those are the facts

REID: What the Republican Party and what the Tea Party have proposed is privatizing Social Security. Which would actually subject Social Security to the whims of the market, which I don’t think that people — that’s not what they paid into—

[crosstalk]

REID: That’s not true. 

DONALDS: In 2006, the returns of the S&P 500 since 2006—

[crosstalk]

REID: So you support privatizing Social Security? 

DONALDS: No, I want to explain to you, I’m a financial professional. I’m securities licensed, actually, I just lost my license because not allowed to trade anymore because I’m a member of Congress, but let me assure you. If you look at the S&P 500, from 2006 until today, the growth rate in the S&P 500 would have more than taken care of Social Security. Way more than the federal government has. 

REID: And each time that you had a crash, it would subject people’s Social Security funds to a—hold on a second. We’re not going to have a whole thing on Social Security. Let me just be clear. You’re in favor of privatizing Social Security? 

DONALDS: No. I’m not in favor—

REID: But you just argued for it. 

DONALDS: You brought it up and I brought you the facts. 

[crosstalk]

REID: So if a bill came forward to privatize social security, you’d be for it? 

DONALDS: No, because what we should be doing – 

REID: Then it’s a moot point. 

DONALDS: It’s not a moot point. You’re trying to put words in my mouth.  

REID: You just explained that the S&P 500 would be a better return than social security. So then you’re for privatizing it. 

[crosstalk]

DONALDS: That’s a fact. Don’t cheapen privatization when the data is crystal clear that the returns would have been better. 

REID: You’re for it. 

DONALDS: That means it would have been a better situation. 

REID: Let’s go into some of the other things. You were nominated for Speaker. You have been in Congress one term. 

DONALDS: Yes. 

REID: What were your qualifications to be Speaker of the House? 

DONALDS: Well, look I think my colleagues recognize my leadership and they’ve seen it in leaps and bounds. 

REID: Can you give specifics? 

DONALDS: Secondarily, I have served before at the state level, now here at the federal level.  

REID: What were your specific qualifications to be Speaker? 

DONALDS: I actually understand budgets, I understand what the long-term ramifications – 

REID: What is the job of the Speaker. Hold on a second. We have to have a conversation. What is the—

DONALDS: You’re cutting me off. 

REID: What is the job of Speaker? Can you explain what the job of Speaker is because it doesn’t have to do every single member of congress has served—

DONALDS: Of course, I know! 

REID: Okay, what is the job? 

DONALDS: The job of the Speaker of the House, number one, is to actually make sure that the Congress is operating on time. It largely sets the agenda for the conference. For the entire House of Representatives. It actually engages in negotiations with the Senate and the White House on major issues, key issues. The Speaker of the House has security clearances that most members don’t have. You’re number three obviously in line to the presidency and there’s much much more. The job is critical, oh and by the way, the Speaker of the House is also responsible for security. 

REID: And fundraising. 

DONALDS: Of course. 

REID: So you’ve been there one term. And you’re saying that you would be prepared after one term to do the job that Speaker Pelosi and others who were in leadership, you ran for leadership, and you lost that leadership race to the congresswoman who ended up being in leadership. You were not elected to leadership, but you believe that though you have never served in leadership ever and you’ve only served one term, that you believe you were qualified because you got into it back and forth with a fellow congresswoman who was critical of the nomination because it definitely looked like they were looking for a response to Hakeem Jeffries in you. 

DONALDS: No. That was not it. 

REID: Because you have literally been there for one term. So you do not — you have never been in leadership. I’m asking you the question—

DONALDS: I’m answering. Am I allowed to answer? 

REID: The reason I’m asking it, I’m going to ask this question. Is one of the things that, I don’t know that you said it, but members have said is they wanted to highlight the diversity of the conference. There are four African American members in the House caucus. The Republican caucus. There are 56 members in the Democratic caucus. So just it’s more diverse. There are more African American members just that are house committee ranking members at the same number that are actually members of the entire Republican House caucus. So do you not believe that the idea was to make a diversity statement by nominating you? 

DONALDS: Well actually first, that was not the idea. Because I was in the room when the decision was made by people who chose to nominate me. 

[crosstalk]

REID: You still not have explained how — you have never been in leadership. 

DONALDS: Are you going to let me answer your question? Number two, now let’s go back. The reality is that a lot of members actually do believe in my ability to lead. They do. Am I to be despised for my youth because I served one term? My members know I have the ability to engage other members through the conference. But it’s even bigger than that. Listen, we were at an impasse last week in our speakership elections. 

We got that done. Kevin McCarthy is now Speaker of the House. At the same time, I was working with members on both sides of our conference to make sure that we can get the job done, and we did. That’s the only thing that matters. 

REID: Last question, we’re out of time. I’m going to go through a few of your voting record items because you’ve made some statements about me, about what I have said, and saying that I have tried to accuse you of being less black than other folks which I think is an unfair statement, but that’s fine. I’m going to go through some of your voting record. You voted to reject the Arizona and Pennsylvania electors on January 6. Donald Trump himself has implied that the reason that Pennsylvania was illegitimate is because of Philadelphia. That’s a statement about African American voters. 

DONALDS: That’s not a statement about African American voters!  

REID: You don’t believe Donald Trump’s rhetoric led to the storming of the capitol, even though we just had the January 6 commission that said that it did. You said that in — okay, you questioned the election itself. You voted against impeachment. You voted against creating an independent commission for the January 6 account. On voting laws, you voted — you defend voting laws that said getting rid of ballot harvesting is a good thing, so you defended the Florida voting laws. 

DONALDS: They have the best election laws in the country. Florida laws are the best election laws in the country. Go ask Arizona, go ask California, go ask New York. We do it the best. 

REID: All right, and you have defended and actually have cosponsored two pieces of legislation opposing Critical Race Theory. What is Critical Race Theory in your view? 

DONALDS: Critical Race Theory actually comes from critical theory. And essentially what it does at the graduate level, it talks about the implications of racial policies in the past, in American history their impact on society today. 

REID: Their impact on laws—

DONALDS: Hold on, the issue with Critical Race Theory if you distill it down to K-12 education is you do not have the ability to have the detailed conversation of Critical Race Theory at the graduate level. And so here’s my question. If it seeps down into K-12 education, is it stuff students shouldn’t be prepared to be dealing with? Shouldn’t students just be learning about reading writing and arithmetic? 

REID: And so you don’t believe students should be learning about the racial history of the country? Because Critical Race Theory is not taught in a single K-12 school. 

[crosstalk] 

DONALDS: That’s not true. 

[crosstalk]

REID: It’s a legal theory that’s taught in law schools.  

[crosstalk]

REID: You’ll have to come back and continue to conversation. We’re actually literally out of time. They’re telling me we have to go. Critical Race Theory is not taught in our schools and learning about racial history would actually be good for— 

DONALDS: It’s your show, I’m going to give you the last word, but we’re gonna do this again. 

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