Bloomberg said the poor in the U.S. need better education. By the end of his life, he said he's going to write a book about why the poor remain poor. "It's always the poor that get screwed," said the founder of Bloomberg L.P.
A: No, we're not; we're not telling them at all. We're telling them what science says is in their interest or isn't in their interest. We allow you to smoke. We just don't let you smoke where other people have to breathe the smoke that you're exhaling or comes from your cigarette. And if you remember, when we put a smoking ban in, nobody thought that was going to work. Today, all of Latin America, all of Western Europe, and almost every big city in America and most of the states are smoke-free. This is another thing: Obesity is going to kill more people this year in the world than starvation. We have to do something about it.
Q: But where is the line?
A: I do not think we should ban most things. I do think there are certain times we should infringe on your freedom. If you want to smoke, I think you have a right to do so and I would protect that. But our job as government is to inform the public.
[Video] BLOOMBERG: The NRA's power is so vastly overrated. The public want to stop this carnage. And if 20 kids isn't enough to convince them, I don't know what would.[End]
Q: Do you fear that the moment that was created by Newtown has been lost?
BLOOMBERG: It would be a great tragedy if it is lost. I am cautiously optimistic. You have an issue where 90% of the public, 80% of NRA members even, say that they think we should have reasonable checks before people are allowed to buy guns--they all support the 2nd Amendment, as do I. But we have to stop the carnage.
Do you think the assault weapons ban is going to pass?
BLOOMBERG: We've been fighting since 2007 to get a vote. And if we were to [pass] background checks only, it wouldn't be as good as if we got both, but we're going to get the vote for sure on assault weapons.
BLOOMBERG: We're certainly appealing. We think the judge was just clearly wrong on this. Our department of health has the legal ability to do this. And we're not banning anything. All we're saying is, we want to show you just how big the cup is. If you want 32 ounces, take two cups to your seat. If you want 64, carry four. But our hope is, if you only take one, you won't go back.
Q: So haven't you even won in losing, though? Wasn't this really about public awareness?
BLOOMBERG: Obesity this year is going to kill more people in New York City than smoking.
BLOOMBERG: The truth of the matter is only about 400 people a year get killed with assault weapons or high-capacity magazines. That is 400 too many, but you compare that to handguns, pistols, this year, are going to kill 12,000 Americans. There are 14 states that have background checks required for all sales. 14 states have closed the federal loophole, and in those 14 states the suicide rate is half the national average and the number of women that get killed in domestic violence is 40% less than in other states. So background checks do work.
Q: Why is it so hard to get the Congress to do it?
BLOOMBERG: Because, up until now, it has only been the NRA that has been talking about guns to the public & to Congress. And I'm trying to level the playing field and bring out the facts. The truth of the matter is the NRA itself, a few years ago, was in favor of background checks.
BLOOMBERG: That's ridiculous. Starbucks knows how to package things. They can change instantly when it's in their interest to do so. This is in the country's interest. This year, for the first time in the history of the world, more people will die from too much food than from too little food. More people will die from the effects of obesity than from starvation. And we've got to do something about this. This is going to bankrupt the country. Our medical system cannot handle it. Being overweight has gone from a rich person's disease to a poor person's disease. We've just got to do something. And all we're doing in NYC is reminding you that it's not in your interest to have too many empty calories. You can have some. If you want to have 32 ounces, just buy two 16-ounce cups. We're not banning anything. it's called portion control.
BLOOMBERG: Winston Churchill once said, "You can always depend on America to do the right thing after exhausting all other possibilities." We've had a democracy for 235-odd years and it works in the end, and that's what's in important. Sequestering is here. It will go on for a while. It's not going to be the end of the world as we know it. And everybody was saying, "Oh, the worst-case scenario is exactly what we're going to implement." And now they're into the real world and they'll try to find ways to do more with less, and then hopefully Congress will come together and modify sequestering to cut things back where we can afford it and not where we can't. And keep in mind, no program to reduce the deficit makes any sense whatsoever unless you address the issue of entitlements, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, interest payment on the debt, which you can't touch, and defense spending. Everything else is tiny compared to that.
The above quotations are from Sunday Political Talk Show interviews during 2013-2015, interviewing presidential hopefuls for 2016.
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