Elizabeth Warren recently tore into the Fed Chair for punishing struggling Americans. And, more than one million Americans with diabetes have had to ration their insulin in the last year thanks to soaring costs. Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio:             Elizabeth Warren recently tore into the Fed chair for punishing struggling Americans. Thank you Elizabeth Warren. God bless. What does it take for her to get a position of leadership where, I mean, she’s obviously a vocal leader, but I’m talking about, why don’t, why can’t we think of her as somebody who could be the president of this country? I mean, what, what, what is that? This woman’s brilliant and she’s, she’s called it out hasn’t she? She said the Fed is outta control. The Fed keeps, you know, raising interest rates and putting people outta work.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah. And, and it’s, you know, slow walking us right to recession. I, I think the fears have subsided a little. We still could be looking at one, you know, middle of next year or early beginning. So the Fed is getting all these warnings and that’s what Elizabeth Warren is doing and she was also joined by Bernie Sanders and Katie Porter.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  They all signed onto this.

Mike Papantonio:             Love all of them.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah. Great real corporate fighters here.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  But Elizabeth Warren, again, most vocal on this, telling him, you’re putting Americans out of work. When you raise these interest rates, and the Feds admitted that’s the goal, we want more people outta work. And you’re punishing the struggling people instead of the corporations price gouging us every day.

Mike Papantonio:             Isn’t the math easy? I mean, isn’t it easy? You raise interest rates. A corporation says we need to cut back because we need a certain, we gotta keep, we gotta keep a profit margin.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             And whatever they have to do to keep the profit margin, they’re gonna do it. Whether it means laying people off, they’re going to take, they’re gonna take benefits away from workers. They’re going to pay ’em less money. They’re gonna make it very difficult for the American worker because they can. And that’s what the Fed says, that’s a good idea. That’s exactly what we want. And, and as we’re looking at this, you, you pointed out just now, there’s an easier way to do it, isn’t it?

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             Go after the price gougers. If you got an oil industry, what’d they, we, we did a show on this a couple weeks ago, $18 billion in one quarter for one company, $12 billion in one quarter for another company, $8 billion for another, the numbers are staggering.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             But the president and the Congress, I’ll be damned if they’ll say, you’re gonna stop your price gouging to, to, to the energy industry or to the pharmaceutical industry. It’s easy to do.

Farron Cousins:                  And, and we know exactly why. We, we have another story, once again from Common Dreams because they put together, they crunched the numbers. They found that all of these pieces of legislation that were gonna fight corporate price gouging on average more than 1000 corporate lobbyists per bill going to DC to make sure these things never happened.

Mike Papantonio:             2,600 lobbyists. Did you see that number?

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             2,600 lobbyists went to DC when they started, when we started talking about we can, we can have price controls, we can stop, we can have windfall taxes, we can stop all this. They sent 2,600 lobbyists to stop it. And these bonehead bottom feeder politicians, you know, Joe, just give me a little extra money on my campaign and, and we’ll, we’ll look the other way. That’s what they’re doing.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             They’re looking the other way. Even though there’s a lot of history here. Volcker made the same mistake. Put us into recession. Greenspan made the same mistake, put us into recession. We’re at right now, we’re at 8% inflation, 8%. The Fed says we have to get down to 2%. Can you imagine the suffering that’s gonna take?

Farron Cousins:                  No, we’re, we’re gonna end up having to get unemployment up to 10% if we want to hit that number. And of course, that means people suffer instead of addressing the real causes of these problems. And again, we’re at the point, the United Nations.

Mike Papantonio:             Oh yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  Has stepped in.

Mike Papantonio:             Isn’t that embarrassing?

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             Isn’t that embarrassing? The United Nations coming and saying

Farron Cousins:                  They’re, they’re, they’re telling him, they’re telling Powell, you are ruining the global economy.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                 You have to stop this. And Warren, Sanders, Katie Porter, they, they know the plan. They know what to do and that would work. But nobody wants to listen to these people because they make too much sense, I guess.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah, profiteering is fine as, but the other side of it, let’s let corporations profiteer, let’s let ’em price gouge. And oh, by the way, as we do that, we’re gonna take benefits away from workers. We’re gonna, gonna lower their wages. We’re gonna make it more difficult for them to get jobs. This idea of any flexibility where a worker has right now, it’s gonna disappear.

Mike Papantonio:             More than 1 million Americans with diabetes have had to ration their insulin in the last year, thanks to soaring costs. Well, here, this is a policy failure. I mean, this is a top of the line policy failure. The Congress, you know, there was all this celebration when Congress comes out and says, we’ve, we’ve done it. We’re controlling the pharmaceutical industry. Nonsense. That is the biggest bunch of bunk I’ve ever heard delivered. And the, what it came down to is they said, we have 12, we have 12 items that we’re gonna control prices on. And oh, by the way, if a product hasn’t been on the market more than 12 years, we can’t do anything about it. Right?

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             So pick, pick that up with, with insulin in mind.

Farron Cousins:                  Insulin, you know, obviously this is not a life saving drug. This is a life sustaining drug.

Mike Papantonio:             Yes, yes.

Farron Cousins:                  They, they will die without it. 1.3 million people in the last 12 months have said, I’ve had to ration it, I can’t afford it.

Mike Papantonio:             Mm.

Farron Cousins:                  And this is, as we have talked about so many times, a uniquely American problem. This doesn’t happen anywhere else on the planet, other than within our borders, because we choose as a country to let this happen. The politicians have made the choice, and they have said, we are gonna let the pharmaceutical companies do whatever they want, charge whatever they want, take as much money from us to subsidize their research as they want. And then there’s no control.

Mike Papantonio:             Well, let me talk about that just a second. Eli Lilly, now, you, you talk about R&D basics, subsidized research, but that, that’s a ridiculous, I mean, you know, that’s ridiculous. You’ve said, you’ve said you’ve done stories on the whole research and development. How stupid that argument is. Let me put it in terms of how stupid it is. Okay. The Eli Lilly has been, has had their insulin product on the market since 1996. All the research is done, all the development is done. But nevertheless, it’s, they have raised the price 680% as of today, 680%. There is no argument, there’s, there’s is no argument that it’s about research and development. It’s about advertising.

Farron Cousins:                  Yep.

Mike Papantonio:             Okay. Now, which brings me to the next point. You know, there’s only one other country on the entire globe that allows the pharmaceutical company to go on TV and say, hey, tell your doctor you want this new drug. It’s New Zealand and it’s the United States. And that has a big impact on the prices of these drugs because they’re spending a gazillion dollars with MSNBC and CNN and ABC, you know, to make that happen.

Farron Cousins:                  You know, and, and it’s interesting because we’ve been talking about the direct to consumer advertising since I, I think 2004 on Ring of Fire. And what happened is doctors were furious. And, and they still are, but I think most of ’em have almost been bought off at this point by the pharmaceutical industry. But doctors were mad at the time because instead of patients coming in and saying what was wrong and the doctor giving recommendations, patients came in like they were ordering from McDonald’s.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  Saying, listen, okay, I want, I want Celebrex, I want some Vioxx, I want all these things. The people on the commercial were so happy, I wanna feel happy too.

Mike Papantonio:             Right.

Farron Cousins:                  And doctors were furious when this first all started coming together. And like I said, now they get paid off by the pharmaceutical companies.

Mike Papantonio:             And it affects the price of insulin.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             Or anything because they build that into their pricing structure. Again, Eli Lilly, since 1996, has made this, put it on the market, no research and development since 1996. It’s raised 680% and zero poss, zero possibility of a reason.

Farron Cousins:                  And, and they can do it too, because they know this isn’t a drug, it’s not a boldness drug that people say, well, I guess I’m not gonna do it. This is a drug that people have to take or they die.

Mike Papantonio:             Saves their life. Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  Or they die.

Mike Papantonio:             And they’re splitting the, they’re rationing, do I eat, do I buy clothes or do I buy insulin to stay alive? It’s a pathetic story. Oh, good, good news here. California, you know, every now then they come up with a great idea. They said, hell with that, we’re gonna, we’re gonna produce our own insulin. I mean, I love that. You just gotta love that.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.