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STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN

Interview with Representative Jeb Hensarling; Lucas Proposes Affordable Housing Plan; Man Is Suspended from Job for Protecting Pregnant Woman; How Much Is Your Home Worth?; Capt. Sully's "Making a Difference"

Aired May 17, 2012 - 08:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: All this talk about IPO creating a thousand new millionaires. Perhaps you could be one. Perhaps. We're going to find out how much it will cost you to own a piece of the social network and whether you really want in or not.

Also, revenge of the Jedi. Is George Lucas is getting revenge on his wealthy neighbors who thumbed their noses at his plan to build mega movie studio?

And he piloted the miracle on the Hudson and instantly became a national hero. He's Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger. He's going to join us live here at the table with a message for Washington. Yes, he's talking politics. He says straighten up and fly right.

It is Thursday, May 17th. Good morning to you. STARTING POINT begins right now.

(MUSIC)

BALDWIN: You can always tell whose pick it is depending on who is doing this. Ding, ding, it's Margaret Hoover.

This is All American Rejects, "My Paper Heart."

Good morning. Yes, it is a good choice.

MARC LAMONT HILL: Can I say thank you? It's nice to have someone who plays music. How much banjo can you take in a given day?

BALDWIN: Oh, I love a good banjo. This is Marc Lamont Hill, folks. He's professor at Columbia University and host of "Our World with Black Enterprise".

Margaret Hoover, Bush White House, and is author of "American Individualism".

And Will Cain, columnist at TheBlaze.com.

And extra special sauce this morning. Mr. Velshi.

ALI VELSHI, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Chief man-scape correspondent.

BALDWIN: Chief man-scape correspondent: Had a whole conversation with Spurlock, we're not going to go there because it's too early, quite frankly.

But we will go and talk Facebook because there's this whole frenzy, should you get in, or should you not? Today, we're going to find out exactly how much it's going to will cost to get a piece of the social network when it goes public on the NASDAQ tomorrow.

So, it's expected to create all kinds of millionaires. They say maybe millionaires. I don't know if we're going to believe that. But the question is, should you buy in?

Ali Velshi, I know we were talking last hour. Christine says no. You say yes.

VELSHI: Right. I only say yes if Christine is there to say no.

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: You are such a married couple. You are so contrarian.

VELSHI: I say no because I'm not in the business of telling people to buy stocks.

BALDWIN: What do you say?

VELSHI: I'm going to say three things. Those billionaires and millionaires are people who own the stock. They got in early, early stage investors or company people with options.

If you don't get in on the IPO price, you're not getting in. About 38 bucks tomorrow. They'll price it later on today. You're not getting in on that.

The question is you can get in at 50 to 90 bucks probably. That's my guess. And then you have to decide. Is this thing going to be worth more than whatever you paid for it tomorrow? Is this going to worth more than that in a year or two or three? And that's the same decision you should make about any stock you buy.

Here's what you don't do. Don't back up the truck. You don't say I'm going to buy one stock and never bought stock before and make it all about Facebook.

But I do think this is momentous. This is a time in history.

BALDWIN: We keep saying historic.

VELSHI: Yes.

HILL: I don't see it.

WILL CAIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: How do you evaluate this company? You do that by revenue, earnings, can you do that with Facebook? Can you look at the balance sheet and cash flow statement like you would, say, Apple at this point and tell me what Facebook is worth?

VELSHI: Remember the '90s, it was about momentum and growth.

(CROSSTALK)

VELSHI: No, no, I'm saying. Sometimes this works. It would have been hard to make sense of Apple back in the early day. Why did I need something to carry music around? It would have been hard to make sense of that. It would have been hard to understand with AOL and Netscape. Why we needed Google? Yahoo! -- you can search for anything you wanted on Yahoo! Why did Google become that important?

Sometimes there's just a paradigm shift and that's the historic one.

BALDWIN: So, for the folks who don't really own stock, though, you're saying don't go all in.

VELSHI: I don't think you should ever buy stock if you're not prepared to buy, or buy one because someone told you to or because some guy on TV did. I think you buy a stock if you believe that stock is going to be sold for more than you paid for it. That's it. Buying the stock for sentimental reasons, it is a mugs' game.

HILL: I see how in short-term this makes sense, two, three years out.

But long-term, can this thing have legs? There are serious questions about ad revenue with Facebook and whether that model will work.

VELSHI: Particularly because mobile growth is working, right? This is what everybody does their stuff on and Facebook hasn't met the challenge of how you do successful advertising on mobile devices. They've got to come up with a solution for that.

I would say -- why would I bet against Mark Zuckerberg? This kid is eight years out of college created the biggest phenomenon ever.

BALDWIN: Can you believe that? He's 28 years old.

VELSHI: Yes, that's kind of impressive.

But t does not mean that you should buy the stock. It just means you should not follow the hype one way or another, never get involved in an IPO because you're going to lose or I've got to buy the IPO because everyone is buying it.

I will tell you this -- I do think it's historic. You can pay 40 bucks and buy a stock certificate and frame it in your room and not get involved with being a stock trader.

BALDWIN: Ali, thank you.

CAIN: Mementos.

VELSHI: Mementos, why not?

BALDWIN: Maybe you have one of those framed in your office. We don't know.

VELSHI: Another segment.

BALDWIN: So you say yes. Christine says no.

Christine, what else do you have? Good morning.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: I have a lot of stuff for you this morning, Brooke.

An autopsy is scheduled to begin on Mary Kennedy in about an hour. The estranged wife of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., was found dead in her home yesterday. The Westchester County medical examiner expects to announce a cause of death later today. Mary Kennedy struggled publicly after her husband announced he was filing for divorce in 2010. She was arrested twice for DUI that year. Her family released a statement saying, quote, "We deeply regret the death of our beloved sister, Mary, whose spirit will be missed by those who loved her. Our heart goes out to her children who she loved without reservation."

Mary Kennedy leaves behind four children. She was 52 years old.

The FBI says one man is responsible for mailing more than 380 letters laced with white powder. The mysterious letters have been sent to addresses in 48 states. Tests show the powder is not dangerous but officials believe the mystery mailer, who they think is from north Texas, is now targeting day care centers and schools. The FBI is offering up to $150,000 for information that leads to an arrest.

President Obama's re-election campaign raking in $43.6 million in donations last month that's down $10 million from March. The Obama camp picked up $15 million last week at a fund-raiser at actor George Clooney's house.

Mitt Romney nearly matching the president in April. The presumptive Republican nominee Taking in $40.1 million. He now has $61 million in the campaign coffers.

Endorsement number three from former presidential Herman Cain. The former Godfather's Pizza CEO is backing Mitt Romney. He says it's simple. Romney gets it right on big issues and President Obama gets it wrong on all of them. Previously, Cain endorsed people and then Newt Gingrich.

Scary moment on the diamond in Tampa last night. Ray's second baseman Will Rhymes was hit by a pitch in the right elbow. He went to first base and gestured he wanted to leave the game. Took a couple steps and collapsed.

Trainers look at him in the dugout. The team says he was OK. He didn't go to the hospital.

That's something. There you go.

BALDWIN: Yesterday the ref getting hit. Today him. It's scary business there out on the baseball field. Christine Romans, thank you.

Let's talk about the battle here -- the battle over raising the debt ceiling in America. It's in full swing again this morning. It comes a year after bitter showdown led the government to brink of government shutdown last summer and it cost the U.S. its first ever credit downgrade by Standard & Poor's no longer AAA still.

Yesterday, the White House President Obama met with Senate and House leaders and much of the meeting focused on this next debt ceiling increase and already, we're hearing the same points being made by both parties.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: When the time comes, I will again insist. My simple principle of cuts and reforms greater than the debt limit increase.

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It's simply not acceptable to hold the American and global economy hostage to one party's political ideology.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Joining me now is Republican Congressman Jeb Hensarling of Texas. He is chairman of the House Republican conference and vice chairman of the Financial Services Committee.

Congressman, good morning.

REP. JEB HENSARLING (R), TEXAS: Good morning. Thanks for having me.

BALDWIN: So kicking the can down the road, playing chicken, holding the American economy hostage, are we really going to go through this again?

HENSARLING: Well, here's what I know. I mean, the American people know at some point you got to quit spending money you don't have. We have a legitimate debt crisis. I mean, under the president, this nation has racked up more debt in three years than in previous 200 on a nominal basis.

We have serial trillion dollar deficits. Not only is it unsustainable, I think the American people think it's immoral to be borrowing roughly 40 cents on the dollar mostly from Chinese and sending the bill to our children and our grandchildren. It's a threat to our national security, our economic opportunity and clearly our children's future.

So, the speaker says we're not going to do business as usual in Washington. And we applauded his leadership for the first time when we said, you know what, the debt ceiling is not something to be reformed. It's an opportunity to put reforms in place to live within our means.

That's what American people expect. They don't want business as usual and that's what we're hearing out of the White House.

BALDWIN: It still sounds like both parties are standing their ground. One side says spending cuts. One side says, you know, no increase in revenues. And when you look at the temporary compromise reached last year, look at the approval here, sir. CNN/ORC poll taken last August, this is after the House passed the debt ceiling deal, found a majority 68 percent of people disapproved of how specifically Republican leaders in Congress handled that debacle.

That's a big number, sir, 68 percent. We're in an election year. How afraid are you that could hurt your party come November?

HENSARLING: Let me give you two other big numbers -- $5 trillion of debt that the president added to national debt, $11 trillion more of debt he plans to add on.

I mean, when people look at your network and other networks and see what's going on in Greece, I think they are waking up to the fact that if we don't get our fiscal House in order, what we're seeing overseas, we may see here. And so, again, regardless of what today's polling data or yesterday's polling data may show, again, the American people want us to live within our means.

And so, Republicans have put forward a budget that frankly will grow government each and every year but makes sure the family budget doesn't go broke, trying to pay for the federal budget, and that we don't cheat on our children and even the American people want to make sure our children have a better --

BALDWIN: I understand.

HENSARLING: We want small business people to be able to grow their businesses and they're not going to do it when the president is threatening the single largest tax increase in American history, much of it to small businesses.

BALDWIN: I want to bring in another voice.

CAIN: Congressman Hensarling, this is Will Cain. Listen, I think as many viewers know, I agree with a lot of what you have to say especially on the goals. We need to get spending cuts in order, that we can't have business as usual.

Where I must take you to task is on the tool -- this concept of holding the debt ceiling hostage. As you talk about the fragile debt market in Europe and around the world, how does it make sense for the United States to put our full faith and credit and our promise to pay our own debts that we've already committed to on the line to get what does amount to a good goal in the end cutting spending? I just don't understand how this is justifiable tool.

HENSARLING: Well, again, Will, number one, as you well know, if you look at the cash flow, there's more than enough cash flow to ensure that our sovereign debt is paid. That's not the issue.

What is the issue is are we going to do business as usual? Otherwise why do we have a debt ceiling? Why not ignore it.

Ultimately, our credit rating is threatened by the fact that we continue to borrowing roughly 40 cents on the dollar much of it from Chinese and we're sending the bill to our children and grandchildren. We should embrace this as an opportunity to do what every family and every other small business in America does and that is put our fiscal house in order.

CAIN: Because it threatens the debt market --

HENSARLING: That's a complete red herring. You know it. It's a red herring. The only way that our sovereign debt would be compromised is if the president and treasury chose not to pay it.

CAIN: Don't you think the debt market looked at what we did over the summer and said I'm not sure of the United States all of a sudden. Don't you think we sent jitters throughout the debt market?

HENSARLING: The real jitters come from the fact that again we have racked up more debt in three years than in the previous 200. It's unsustainable. We have to do something about it. We have to do something about it today.

You know, the threat in our credit rating doesn't come from a debate over a debt ceiling vote. It comes from the fact that we are spending money we don't have. We're doing it in an historic rate that by historic standards again shows that countries will be compromised.

If you look at the history of economies over the last 200 years when their debt exceeds 90 percent of GDP, they start to decline. That's where we are in America today.

BALDWIN: Let me jump in.

HENSARLING: We need to move and move today.

HILL: I think part of what will's concern is that it seems to me there is a commitment to compromising our economic well-being partly for political show.

BALDWIN: Theater.

HILL: It's all theater.

And what we saw yesterday was another example of that. Your Senate colleagues spent all day making fake budgets and voting them down strictly for the purpose of being able to attack the president. At what point do we stop with the political show and develop an actual budget?

HENSARLING: You talk about political showmanship. The president's budget got zero votes in the Senate. Now the Democrats control the Senate. You need to talk to them about political showmanship. We're trying to solve a problem here and Congress being able to compromise and compromise on policies as member of the super committee, even though it's against my principles and policies, I was willing to put tax increases on the table. Something Democrats demanded.

And we Republicans unified around the plan. The Democrats never put a plan on the table. They said nothing short of a trillion dollar tax increase and refused to engage in any kind of meaningful entitlement reform. That's well documented. I think you know it.

HILL: I think there's a fair critique of Democrats. First of all, Democrats shot down the plan not because they disagreed with the president's principles but technical reasons, like for example, the budget -- the numbers were wrong. I mean, it's disingenuous to suggest --

HENSARLING: You may believe that. I don't think the American people do.

HILL: It's the truth. Even Democrats themselves said that. I mean, there's a bigger question here which I'm not sure you answered respectfully, and that is at what point do we produce something tangible for us to vote on? That's a bipartisan question quite frankly.

HENSARLING: Well, again, I think the House Republican budget does it. We actually balanced the budget. We put America on a sustainable fiscal path and we continue to grow government by prioritizing and living within our means.

And so, I think we've done it. What we haven't seen, as you well know, Democrats in the Senate haven't even passed a budget in the last three years. I mean, apparently, they don't even want a speed bump on the road to national bankruptcy. We've done our part. We're looking for a partner.

BALDWIN: I think I would agree that no matter what side of the line you're on, Americans want solutions, and perhaps, it will need to happen this year. Congressman Jeb Hensarling, I appreciate it. Congressman, Republican of Texas. Appreciate it, sir.

Still ahead this morning -- good conversation. Still ahead this morning on STARTING POINT, a guy facing charges for shooting another man, but he says he was only being a good friend. The guy wanted to feel like what it would feel like to get shot. This is our "Get Real" this morning.

Plus, George Lucas strikes back. Why neighbors are angry over his plan to build low-income housing in Marin County.

And here's my playlist. Decemberists out of Portland, Oregon, "16 Military Wives." You are watching STARTING POINT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: I know you know that music. "The Empire Strikes Back." Legendary film director, George Lucas, striking back in his own way against his neighbors, and they're striking back as well. This epic battle has been raging over the "Star Wars" creator's plan to build this 260,000 square foot digital media studio right on his property in Marin County, California.

Neighbors, they have been speaking out, some of them, against the plan. Lucas' company said this, quote, "We love working and living in Marin, but the residents of Lucas Valley have fought for this project for 25 years, and enough is enough."

So, instead, George Lucas is planning to sell the property to a non-profit that funds affordable housings. Let's talk to both sides here. Carolyn Lenert is the chair of the north San Rafael Coalition of Residents and one of George Lucas' neighbors, and we also have Tom Forester joining us this morning, director of Community Relations for Lucas Film. Good morning to both of you.

CAROLYN LENERT, CHAIR, NORTH SAN RAFAEL COALITION OF RESIDENTS: Good morning.

TOM FORESTER, DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY RELATIONS FOR LUCASFILM: Good morning.

LENERT: Thank you for this opportunity.

BALDWIN: Sure thing. Carolyn, let me give you the floor first here. Specifically, what is your issue with this whole studio idea? Why don't you like it?

LENERT: Brooke, this is a great story, but it's not a story of David versus Goliath. And, in fact, I think it's more like the "Red Tails," the latest Lucas film with the story of Tuskegee Airmen who fought, bled, and died for our right to due process under the law.

And this neighborhood is only asking for that. They have never opposed the project. They've never been bitter. They've never been angry.

BALDWIN: So, are you telling me you oppose -- you said you oppose the process, but how is it you oppose the process versus oppose the project? Bottom line, you're in opposition to the studio, yes?

LENERT: No. On the contrary, we believe that a private property owner has every right to do whatever he can with the property under the law. And this project started in 1996 with the original entitlements, and they were scheduled to be a third office building.

And instead, in 2011, right before the entitlements expired, it became an industrial studio project operating 24/7. And this is not what was originally approved. And so, neighbors just have a lot of questions, a lot of questions that never got answered.

BALDWIN: Tom I see your grin from ear to ear. You hear Carolyn talking. You laugh. Why are you laughing? You all have said this is a lose-lose.

FORESTER: It's the same estrus (ph) we've heard for years on this. We actually started this project in the late 1980s and had an initial version that we submitted, withdrew in the early 1990s and resubmitted and finally got approval in 1996 to do our master plan.

We built over half of that master plan and put thousands of acres into agriculture preserve and open space, opened an 11-mile public hiking trail, put half a million towards traffic improvements, and it was always to be a digital production studio.

BALDWIN: How many jobs would the studio who created, Tom?

FORESTER: The studio was master planned for up to 340 regular employees. There is a trickle down effect with any business where you also have a multiplier out in the community with food providers and other services.

So, we did commission an economic study by the Marine Economic Forum, and they found that it would create over 600 good jobs out in the community over time.

BALDWIN: So, 600 good jobs --

FORESTER: -- beyond the initial construction.

BALDWIN: Let me go back to Carolyn. Has George Lucas been a good neighbor?

LENERT: Absolutely. Without question. However, this project is not another skywalk. It's not another big rock. It's zoned industrial, and it contains at least eight or nine elements that were never studied in the past. And they were newly proposed in October. The applicant took the risk of running parallel but separate processes with the state and federal regulators versus the county lead agency.

And this is the document from the state that was delivered on December 8th that said this is not a go. This is an experimental stream restoration that cannot be permitted as designed. And we were told on February 8th, if we cannot put 68,000 cubic yards of dirt into the creek, that's 15,000 approximately truck loads, the project can't go forward.

BALDWIN: I understand --

LENERT: We were also told at that time that this project was not for the Lucas affiliates. This is a project for a lease out according to the Lucas representative on February 8th.

BALDWIN: So, it sounds like the studio may not really be happening. And Tom, I just want to give you the last word, because, now you all are looking into putting these, what, 2,400 low-income housing apartments on this particular property.

And my final question really to you is, Tom, the question to you is, is this a matter of, OK, well, studio didn't work so we're going to throw low-income housing in or is this, hey, we're frustrated, so guess what medium house income of 700 grand beautiful Marin County, we're throwing low-income housing in. LENERT: We do not object to that.

BALDWIN: Tom.

LENERT: We do not object to that.

FORESTER: We have withdrawn our application and will no longer be proceeding with the studio. We do plan to sell the land, and we're currently talking with the Marin Community Foundation about affordable housing. We think that's a great outcome that could be salvaged from this because Marin is badly in need of affordable housing.

BALDWIN: OK.

FORESTER: About 60 percent of the workforce can't afford to live in the county. So, we would be very proud of that.

BALDWIN: OK. So, 25 years later --

LENERT: The neighborhood has no objections to this proposal.

BALDWIN: OK, well, maybe, there's the solution. And there we have it live on STARTING POINT -- 25 years and it's over. Carolyn Lenert and Tom Forester, we got to go. We got to go. I thank you both, and I hope you can come in to some sort of conclusion. It is beautiful. (INAUDIBLE).

Still ahead this morning on STARTING POINT, talk about friendly fire. A man asks his buddy to shoot him because he wants to see, you know, how does it feel to get shot. I'm not making this up. This is our "Get Real." It's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: A pretty picture outside. Marc Lamont Hill rocking Lauryn Hill, "Lose Myself." She is hot.

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: There was the Hudson.

CAIN: And we will be joined --

BALDWIN: Miracle on the Hudson's (INAUDIBLE). Good catch, Will Cain. Good catch. So, time to "Get Real" here. Police say this man in upstate New York asked his friend to shoot him, because he was curious. Don't you want to know what it fees like to get shot? Apparently, he did.

And, he's not even the dumbest guy in the story because his friend said, sure, no problem. That guy, 25-year-old Sean Moscow (ph) is now facing charges of reckless endangerment, but he claims he only gave in after several requests. He only shot him in the leg. His buddy is expected to make a full recovery. But, seriously?

CAIN: I expect to see this video on Tosh.0 and Comedy Central within the next month or so.

BALDWIN: You're calling it now. 8:29 eastern time. I mean, really?

HOOVER: Thank God he didn't hit a major artery.

HILL: Yes.

HOOVER: Unbelievable.

BALDWIN: Who is the dumber of the dumb? Is it the guy who wants to feel like what it's like to get shot or the guy who --

HILL: Definitely the guy going to jail for shooting someone who asked to be shot.

CAIN: Oh, I think definitely the guy that got shot.

HILL: Are you serious?

(CROSSTALK)

HILL: I've never been that curious, though.

BALDWIN: I'm not at all curious. Not at all. I don't need to feel that.

Still ahead on STARTING POINT, a hero punished. We'll talk to the clerk who has been suspended without pay after stepping in to stop a customer from beating his six-month pregnant wife.

And it's the latest episode of man versus gator. Don't miss it. You're watching STARTING POINT. No thank you. I don't need to feel that either.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Got some news into us at CNN. Weekly jobless numbers are out. Christine Romans, talk to me about them.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Weekly jobless claims, 370,000 unemployment claims were filed for the first time last week, 370,000. That's pretty much unchanged from the week before, Brooke. Any time this number comes in below 400,000, that means the labor market is improving. So there you go.

Closing arguments scheduled to get underway any minute now in the corruption trial of former North Carolina Senator John Edwards. The jury likely to begin deliberating by tomorrow. The defense rested yesterday, calling only seven of the 65 people on their witness list. Edwards and his daughter, Cate, were not called. Neither was Rielle Hunter. She's Edwards' former mistress. Edwards faces 30 years behind bars.

A second reported case of a woman being infected with a rare flesh eating bacteria. She was diagnosed just days after giving birth to twins earlier this month. Her case appears to be less severe than Aimee Copeland, who is still in the hospital. She's had her leg amputated and is expected to lose fingers due to her infection.

And the best video of the day, a scientist going toe to toe with a 300 pound alligator. The brave biologist gets chomped trying to remove the gator from a residential area in North Carolina. Another team did capture that gator several hours later. He was released back into the wild. Brooke?

BALDWIN: So you see his hand in that jaw for half a second.

ROMANS: Something I will never do, wrestle with an alligator.

(LAUGHTER)

BALDWIN: I'll pass. Christine, thank you so much.

Imagine this. Imagine you see a man assaulting a pregnant woman right in front of you. You fear obviously for the woman's safety and you ultimately decide to get in the middle of that. In return, though, you get suspended from work without pay. This is exactly what happened to Ryan Young. This is what he says happened to him last month. He saw a man pushing his pregnant girlfriend six months pregnant at the Delray Oaks Safeway store where Young works. He steps in and scuffles with the Tran. Police arrest Tran, later issuing a letter commending Ryan for his actions saying they looked into the matter and concluded that Ryan, quote, "prevented further jury to the victim, protected others, and led to the rest of the suspect in this case." So the police here standing by him. But Young was suspended from his job. Ryan Young good enough to join me now. Good morning.

RYAN YOUNG, BROKE UP DOMESTIC ASSAULT: Good morning. Thanks for having me.

BALDWIN: Take me back to last month. You're in the store. You're working at the meat counter. What do you see? What happened?

YOUNG: Well, I was basically doing my regular duties, and a commotion broke out between Mr. Tran and his pregnant girlfriend. Things started to escalate, started off just kind of yelling and loud and then it got physical. He kind of started roughing her up and pushing her around and stuff. And, you know, customers started to gather. People started to gather around, staff also, but nobody really intervened in this situation.

BALDWIN: Except for you.

YOUNG: Yes, except for me. So the situation was kind of going from bad to worse. So I just felt it was time to step in and try to diffuse the situation.

BALDWIN: So you diffused the situation. You end up getting suspended from your job there at the Safeway grocery store. Did your boss explain to you why?

YOUNG: Well, yes, she explained to me the labor board was conducting an investigation, and basically it's a liability thing I think from what she was saying, and that's basically all she said. I wasn't given a time when I would return or anything really specific other than that.

BALDWIN: Did you try to say, hey, I saved this woman, the police are standing by me, any of that or say policy is store policy and that's that?

YOUNG: Well, did I try to tell them that?

BALDWIN: Sure.

YOUNG: Yes, well definitely. When I came back off from my days off, I met with the loss prevention security officer who actually views footage and tapes, and he actually told me that he felt I did the right thing as well and that he feels that everything is going to actually be OK. But it didn't turn out that way.

BALDWIN: Right. Let me tell you, we reached out to Safeway. Here's what they told us. "The matter is being handled through the union grievance procedure provided in our labor agreement." So they're not saying too much. Again the police chief sort of commending you, saying now it's been almost a month. "We conducted an investigation. We filed the case with the district attorney's office. What are they investigating?" What's Safeway saying to you? How long are you out of work? When do you getting t to go back.

YOUNG: They're really not saying anything. I spoke to the store manager and she tells me she hasn't heard anything and that I may be receiving a letter in the mail. That's basically all I was told from Safeway.

BALDWIN: You seem pretty cool and collected about the whole thing, but are you angry? Do you want your job back?

YOUNG: I definitely want my job back. I'm more worried than angry, you know. This whole month has been pretty much like being stuck in a bad dream, you know. My wife and I are expecting our first child in October. Life doesn't stop because I'm suspended without pay. You know, bills still got to be paid. We still got to eat. I'm very worried about the outcome whether I'll be terminated or not.

BALDWIN: Wow.

HOOVER: Your heart goes out to this guy. You did absolutely the right thing, sir, and good for you. Our country, our society needs people like you that stop and do the right thing and don't think about the rules. And you shouldn't be punished for doing the right thing. And you really saved someone from getting hurt further. So, you know, somebody has to step up here. Our heart goes out to you. I want to help.

BALDWIN: Something tells me after this morning, someone is going to call you up, sir. Someone is going to call you.

CAIN: They better. BALDWIN: Your baby is going to be OK and your wife is going to be OK and you'll get an income once again. We appreciate it. Good luck.

YOUNG: Thank you. I mean, I really appreciate that. I would just, you know, if my wife or my sister was in the same situation, I would hope that someone would step in and come to their aid as well.

BALDWIN: Ryan, thank you. Ryan Young, thank you.

Still ahead on STARTING POINT, has the value of your home improved at all during president Obama's presidency? Christine Romans has those numbers and breakdown for us next.

And a live look inside our green room. Hero pilot Captain Sully Sullenberger. What's he doing? Throwing paper planes? Nice. You know his story. Pretty good planes. Sully Sullenberger's playlist, Lenny Kravitz, "Fly Away." We'll be right back. You're watching STARTING POINT.

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BALDWIN: Christine, you have got a little good news for us this morning.

ROMANS: That's right. Foreclosures down to the lowest level since 2007. And new numbers this week also show housing is more affordable than any time in the past 40 years. So I'm here to talk about if the housing market is bottoming out here. Home prices are down more than 25 percent from the peak in May, 2007. More than half of those losses since the president took office. Home prices are down on average 14 percent since 2009, and some metro areas here are way worse. Some have been improving a little bit.

These are all numbers from Zilo. Home prices in ten cities dropped at least 20 percent and the three hardest hit -- hardest hit are right here in battleground states -- Las Vegas, Orlando and Detroit. Battleground states have had some real tough housing markets but it's improving slowly.

Let's talk about how much money has been lost here. The median home price on Inauguration Day was $170,000. That's three years later, $145,000; $170,000; $193,000 was the height of the market overall.

I want you to look at this, this is Inauguration Day. January 2009. And look at all of these things that the President has tried to do to mitigate the problem. The crash obviously isn't the President's fault. So there's plenty of debate about how well his solutions have worked.

Here are some of the mile markers on the road. Remember that up to $8,000 tax credit. That -- you can see even when it was extended, these are home prices continuing to fall. Even as all of that money was coming from taxpayers, still the market continued to fizzle. This is the Robo signing scandal which was a real problem that showed that all of these people are being kicked out of their houses without even having the bank look at their foreclosure paperwork. This is Republicans taking control of the -- of the house.

I mean, all along the way mortgage rates, four percent, all along the way home prices have been falling.

Now here's why I want to point out the -- I guess the good news guys. Real estate tracker Zilo says the declines are slowing. Home prices will stop losing value by early next year. Now the President has tried to mitigate the foreclosures with all of these different plans.

Governor Romney says the foreclosure process should be allowed to run its course. In the end, you guys it all depends on jobs. If you don't have one, you are likely not to buy a house. A job recovery, the single biggest factor in the housing market; but Brooke, it's another spring selling season where everyone is saying we think it's going to get a little bit better. We'll see on the campaign trail how housing is going to play into all of those battleground states.

BALDWIN: Christine, thank you.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

Still ahead on STARTING POINT, we're so excited to have him here in our studio. Miracle on the Hudson pilot Captain Sully Sullenberger is here. What it's like being this national hero and how really anyone can make a difference. This is from his playlist. How appropriate. A little Sinatra, "Come Fly with Me."

CAPTAIN CHESLEY "SULLY" SULLENBERGER, PILOT OF "MIRACLE ON THE HUDSON": It's good to see you.

BALDWIN: Good morning.

HILL: Good morning. Nice to have you on.

BALDWIN: Thanks for coming on.

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BALDWIN: I know someone who knows that river pretty well now -- this guy, Captain Sully Sullenberger "Rolling in the Deep" Adele. Who could forget? Who could forget the miracle on the Hudson -- really it's what is now known by -- that Captain Sully Sullenberger successfully piloted in January of 2009. All 155 people onboard walked away unhurt.

He was just telling us in the commercial break that everyone now refers to themselves by where they were seated 25 S, 13 D onboard this plane -- still getting together after a couple years. He just got a new book, the second book since -- since this happened in 2009. It's called "Making a Difference". It focuses on other people's stories of inspiration and leadership. And Captain, good morning. SULLENBERGER: Great to be with you, all four of you. Thank you for having me.

BALDWIN: All four of us, you get all four of us. And before we talk about this book here, I do want to ask, I wanted your two cents. Because obviously what happened in 2009 with the Hudson was birds, right?

SULLENBERGER: Yes.

BALDWIN: So now have you heard about the FAA is now investigating this pilot up in the air a couple thousand feet up in Denver in Colorado and sees -- they don't even know for sure, it might have been some sort of remote controlled mechanical plane. You can hear the fear in the pilot's voice with the air traffic control. What do you make of that?

SULLENBERGER: Well it's hard to know what it was. In fact on occasion even Mylar balloons a big group of them can get up to several thousand feet and as you fly past them the rush is intense. So you normally don't see anything close to your airplane in flight and it would get your attention.

BALDWIN: Describe the nerves -- the nerves.

SULLENBERGER: Well, it would be a momentary startle, absolutely. But I'm glad nothing bad happened.

BALDWIN: Ok. To the book, to the book "Making a Difference: Stories of Vision and Courage from America's Leaders." There are a lot of leaders in here that you're inspired by, that you got this amazing chance to -- to talk to.

SULLENBERGER: Yes.

BALDWIN: Run through a couple of these.

SULLENBERGER: Well, they all are people inspired and that I admire. And I had a chance to do these incredible in-depth interviews, so I got a chance to ask the questions for a change and find out what makes them tick and what common themes there are.

BALDWIN: Michelle Rhee, Emma Abad Alan (ph).

SULLENBERGER: Jim Sinegal the CEO of Costco, you know, the former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm; Robert Reich, the former Labor Secretary. Just -- I chose people from intentionally diverse fields. Some well known and some not well known at all but all of whom shared certain common traits like they are willing to check their egos at the door to serve a cause rather than just their own needs and they -- they are able to touch people in a very personal way and make a difference in people's lives.

And so I just, I had to put these incredible sometimes funny but always inspiring stories in the pages and share them. BALDWIN: You know part of your story, I had no idea, six months before that you land this plane on the Hudson River, you have this conversation with your boss, right. And you have this conversation and I quote you. This is from the book because you really wanted to establish yourself as aviation safety expert. You know we we're thing maybe the cultural changes need to happen with your airline.

And you said the boss told you quote, "We don't do big initiatives here. I said to myself I'm 57 years old and I've implemented safety practices, taught team building, had a successful career. Maybe if I work hard and fortune smiles on me I can find another way to contribute."

SULLENBERGER: And I feel that way now. After Flight 1549 in the Hudson --

BALDWIN: I'm sure you do.

SULLENBERGER: After my crew and I and New York Waterway and all of the first responders saved lives. If I work very hard and I leverage what I have learned before, it's possible that in other ways I could make a difference. One of the things I'm working on right now along with many others is applying the patient safety, the medicine that things we've learned about safety and aviation.

You know in this country alone every year including hospital errors and hospital acquired conditions 200,000 lives are lost that are preventable deaths.

CAIN: You know, you have some criticisms and I've read some of the articles when you're talking about the book, for leaders in business and leaders in politics right now and you've now interviewed I would assume dozens of leaders that you've talked to, if you could say here is a Mt. Rushmore of current leadership to this country, it doesn't have to just to be political. But who exemplifies what you're looking for in a leader?

SULLENBERGER: You know I don't think we have to have a Mt. Rushmore of leaders. I think we have people around us all the time who in their daily lives.

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: Ordinary folks.

SULLENBERGER: -- ordinary folks, are making a difference. It's just that they haven't been as publicly tested. We don't know yet who they all are. We can identify them by their actions. They are the ones who have real values and then believe it or not, choose to actually live by them. And I think we have people around that.

CAIN: Your own personal story illustrates that.

SULLENBERGER: I think we need more people who can do two things. Who can look beyond their own needs and who can occasionally at least take a longer view. Now, people have asked me on occasion what my political affiliation is. And people ask me if I was a Republican or Democrat in this polarized environment. But my answer is always the same. That I'm an American first. I vote as an American first.

That's one of my messages too. We need to look to the long-term. We need to get away from this my way or the highway environment and do what's right for all of us.

HILL: Are you hopeful that American --

SULLENBERGER: I am hopeful.

BALDWIN: There is hope.

SULLENBERGER: And in fact, when you read these interviews, whether it's Admiral Thad Allen who has visited Bethesda and seen the courage of the people in this generation who have met these great challenges with grace, there's no doubt that we have people right now who have these qualities. We just need to get more of them involved in leadership in our major institutions.

BALDWIN: Just sitting here listening to him speak, if you were onboard that plane, wouldn't you be calmed?

HOOVER: I'm voting for Sully. I am.

BALDWIN: Sully.

HOOVER: Voting for Capt. Sullenberger.

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: Captain, nice to have you on.

SULLENBERGER: Good being with you. Thank you.

BALDWIN: Thank you so much. Again, the book "Making a Difference".

And our "End Point" with our panel is next.

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BALDWIN: And the "End Point", we're just about out of time. Marc Lamont Hill, you get all the time.

HILL: It's really a very serious issue that I think we have to deal with --

BALDWIN: Very serious.

HILL: -- and that's this anti-Golden Girl sentiment emanating from the Right as always.

(CROSSTALK) HILL: The "Golden Girls" were a pivotal point in television history. They were hilarious women. They sang. They danced. The episodes introduced us to HIV/AIDS, condoms, chronic fatigue syndrome --

BALDWIN: And he could go on ladies and gentlemen.

(CROSSTALK)

HILL: And they laid the groundwork for "Sex and the City" and changed the world. Shout out to Betty White, they changed the world.

BALDWIN: And now we know how he feels about Betty White and "Golden Girls". I was a big fan as well.

HILL: Thank you for being a friend.

BALDWIN: Carol Costello, just take it. Just take it. Good morning.