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tv   Ali Velshi on Target  Al Jazeera  November 10, 2015 9:00pm-9:31pm EST

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"on target" is next. . >> i'm ali velshi in milwaukee, on target - substance over style. we'll cut through the campaign noise and clarify the issues even if presidential candidates debating here tonight don't. >> good evening, welcome to a special edition of "on target". i'm joining you from milwaukee, wisconsin. this rust belt city is where the leading candidates for president
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came for what fox business news promised would be a policy driven issue. the debate comes a week after learning the economy created an impressive 271,000, and the unemployment rate fell to 5%. we learnt that wages grew last month at the fastest year over year pace since 2009. tonight's debate comes two weeks after republicans gathered in colorado for a debate, which was an excuse to attack moderators from cnbs, with less than a year before the election, it's time to get serious. that is what i'll do in the next 30 minutes. even though the economic recovery is starting to look good. for many middle class americans, it doesn't feel real. mean feeling pain work for fast food outlets where they earn the
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minimum wage or above it. today, hundreds walked off the job, supporting protesters calls for, double the $7.25 an hour. organizers planned rallies, including the g.o.p. debate. the workers from demanding union representation. most republican candidates oppose the minimum federal wage. many say it will hurt low-wage workers, because businesses will be forced to cut jobs. as patricia sabga reports, the full implications are not cut. >> reporter: workers around the nation demanding a wage. the call falling on deaf ears on capitol hill. it's been 6 years since the federal minimum wage as risen to
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$6.25. a level that washington d.c. exceeds, since last year, 14 cities enacted pay rises for poor workers. along with a dozen major companies. is there, as many argue, a trade off? >> we don't know at what level raising the minimum wage significantly hurts jobs. we know it does at some level. >> the congressional budget office estimates raising the federal minimum raise would leave 9,000 workers out of poverty, but cost the economy 500,000 jobs. there's evidence that wage increases at the bottom can harm workers in other ways. retail giant wal-mart cut workers' hours after boosting the minimum wage to $9 per hour. >> wal-mart is an interesting case study in the balance that
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goes on. >> touted as a tool to tackle income inequality proponents concede raising the minimum wage will not close the gap between the rich and poor. >> it's part of a strategy. there may be other ways to think about how to deal with the wage crisis another way to address america's income inequality is to reform the tax system. don't expect republicans to recall on the wealthiest americans. many conservatives advocate cutting taxes on the rich. part of the reason, cutting taxes boots ethnic growth. there's no doubt that less tax revenue means the federal government has less to spend on everything from medicare to defense. libby casey has the story. >> reporter: it's not just presidential candidates that would like to lower taxes. >> i would like to see my taxes
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go down. >> reporter: paying less in taxes mean one thing to a family's offenses, but another to the nation's. >> it would be nice to pay less, but there's a trade off. >> reporter: less revenue for the government means cuts somewhere, whether to mandatory spending such as social security and medicare which combined take up half of the budget. or discretionary spending like defense or education. >> i hate the thought of cutting medicare, that's what i use. >> cutting the rates can increase the economy. there's more income to tax. does it work? >> republican governor sam brownback of kansas is trying it, slashing personal taxes assist part of his real-life experiment. the state's economy expanded but tax revenues plumeded and he faces a half a billion budget
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deficit. on the federal level, american income tax is a big source of revenue. >> we paid 1.5 trillion. compared to what americans pay in 1980 was a smaller percentage. the 2016 candidates say one way to funnel money, cut taxes on the wealthy. the top 1% carries an unfair tax burden. >> average americans may disagree. >> the 1% at the top make a fair amount of money. >> reporter: the top percent includes households making $397,000. they may a quarter of america's income taxes. the flipside of the coin is as the economy recovered from 2009 to 2012, the 1 per centers walked away with 91% of income gains. every tax proposal comes with a tradeoff. the question is what americans
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are willing to bargain. >> i'm happy to pay taxes as a citizens, it's part of your duty the obama administration said it will ask the supreme court to review its plan to let 5 million undocumented immigrants to avoid deportation. the issue popped up after donald trump's comments about mexico, sending criminals to america. the economic implications are important to examine because as paul beban reports, immigrants pay a critical role in america's 17 trillion economy. >> reporter: on immigration and the economy, virtually all main treatment economists agree that immigrants have an impact. let's look how many are in the country.
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as of 2012, there were 40 million immigrants in the u.s., 13% of the population of that, slightly less than half were naturalized u.s. citizens, as for unauthorized citizens, the focal point of the debate. they are less than 12 million. the tough questions, do immigrants, legal or otherwise undercut wages or take jobs away from american workers. most economists say no, instead they raise wages. at most they have a small impact on the earnings of shrinking numbers much americans with a high school degree. one reason is that immigrants don't compete for the same jobs. they tend to compliment the work of workers, and boost productivity. low-skilled labour allows construction companies to build homes, and farmers to grow foods.
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american-owned business expand to accommodate immigrants, opening new stores, restaurant and factories. certain sectors, agriculture, hospitality and others would collapse without that labour. half the workers in u.s. crop agriculture are undocumented. in 2009 the national milk producers federation said retail milk prices would soar by 61% if it couldn't use immigrant labour. on the argument they consume more government benefits, the budget office said in 2007 that over the past 20 years, revenues of all types generated by immigrants. legal and unauthorized exceed the cost of services. as for trumps line about mexico sending rapists and murderers,
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stats show that immigrants are less likely than native born americans to commit violent crimes. it's hard to imagine immigration as anything other than a win-win for americans and the economy. >> coming up, how corporate america could throw a mp monkey wrench into the stance on climate change.
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welcome back to milwaukee, the site of tonight's public presidential debate. hours before the debate in boulder, house republicans passed an agreement that raised the debt ceiling.
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the g.o.p. candidates have not been shy in saying they believe federal debt endangers the future. we asked mike viqueira to take a critical look. >> reporter: the first thing you need to know about the national debt is it's big. more than $8 trillion and counting. in other words u.s. natural debt is equal to the economic out put in the nation. the debt is growing since the regan years. it's higher than any time history, except world war ii. that's bad right, many pol tirnts think so. -- politicians thing so. president obama said this: that was when the debt was $8.5 trillion. now he's president, he's saying
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something different. >> another think to know. and alexander hamilton said: it seems odd. like a teenager with a credit card, having a debt and paying a debt can do wonderful things. governments like the united states which have a reputation for paying the debts and running responsible noninflationary policies can borrow a great deal. >> roads, education, r&d. investments are financed by debt. whether it's good or bad, large or small, it's likely to be a big issue for russians in the coming campaign. >> it's no surprise that the republicans share a certain amount of skepticism when it comes to climate change. here is where it's interesting.
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some of the corporate allies has been driven by fear. jake ward has a look. let's put the politics aside for the moment. here are the facts. more than 97% of working scientists agree that the climate is warming and it's humanity's fault. these are not guns for higher. they go through a brutal process, a system designed to root out violence. whatever the politicians say, consensus is so strong that they are moving on to the costs and dangers. it seems certain that climate change is going to cost a lot of money. a berkeley and stanford study found a relationship between rising numbers and economic output. as a worker slows down in the heat, so do whole countries, the study predicts unmitigated climate change makes 70% of
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countries poorer. economic output drops by 20%. we don't have to wait until 2100. it's predicted by 2060 climate change will cost $44 trillion. being rich will not help us. the study predicts u.s. and china with hotter countries will suffer disproportionate harm, russia will do bitter and northern europe may benefit. politicians complain about the short-term effects of regulatio regulations, companies recognise that climate change could wipe them out. 81 major companies signed on the white house. it's not just tech companies, companies directly tied to energy use. even a group of oil and gas companies admitted there's a problem. signing an open letter citing a need to address climate change
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through greenhouse gas. >> it doesn't mean they'll quit the business, but companies that signed the letter also actively fight regulation, they are not volunteering to pay for the release, they are admitting they have a role to play. change is now part of business. the securities and exchange commission requires companies to measure how climate change will affect profits. a group of investors asked the seven world's wealthiest countries to reduce emissions. and companies were asked to support a key power plan. the question in any debate should be the business world is preparing for climate change, will you? coming up, the candidates and the defense budget. it's not about what america spends, but what they spend
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welcome back to milwaukee, the site of the presidential debate. among the financial issues facing the area is a straight forward issue. the government is handing out more money to retirees than it is collecting from those of us that are working. the political solutions are over the map. fears about the fate have been around for decades. we ask libby casey to put the debate in question. >> movie reel: this social security measure gives protection to 50 million of our
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citizens. >> reporter: 80 years after its creation, social security is a hallmark programme. do americans believe social security will be around for them? >> i do, yes. there are too many for it not to. the >> reporter: do you expect to get social security when you retire? >> i'm not sure. i know that i'm saving for it. i don't know that i'll get it when the time comes, no. >> recently we serve said gen x, people more or less 50 and under. half of each of those generations does not expect social security to be there by the time they retire. >> politicians have been learning of a looming crisis, but it is hardly new. >> as a crisis, it's the best foreseen crisis history. we've been talking about the demographic and financial challenges. >> here is how the programme works. retirees get benefits from
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taxes. even though they spend years paying into the system, it doesn't go into a personalized account. >> we like to think there's a draw of money, social security building, with our name on it. it's not true, it doesn't work that way. >> the money taxed from workers funds the retirement of the generation. >> in the 1980s, baby booners were seen as a threat. congress changed the formula to collect more taxes. for 30 years more money game in than went out. it changed when boomers retired. >> reporter: now there's a negative cash out. the social security trust fund estimates its reserves will be depleted by 2034. >> given if that trust fund dwindles, social security will
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operate. >> people have not quite made the connection that after the pot of money is gone, you'll pay social security taxes, and money will flow into the system, like into every other part of the government. >> reporter: it's filling the gap that is it the challenge. politicians propose taxes, benefits and changing the image. there's another option. prioritizing social security over government functions. at the end of the day tax dollars fund social security, like everything else. >> social security and medicare combine to make up half of all federal government spending. defense takes 18%, making it the biggest chunk in discretionary spending. hours ago congress sent a newly passed 670 million bill. we asked jamie mcintyre to look at the military decisions that america's next president will
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have to make. >> former house speaker john boehner did a favour by brokering a bipartisan 2-year deal stabilizing pentagon spending at over $600 billion through september 2017. still, that buys the next administration barely nine months before the battle begins anew. as defense secretary ash carter tells a forum, that makes it hard to spend. >> budget turmoil, gridlock. herbingy, jerky year at a time is not good for us. >> reporter: the incoming president's meeting book will be full of priorities, with opportunities to spend more or make cut. including weapons purchases, such as the f-16 strike fighter. 100 long range strike bombers, a
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$60 million program and the ford class aircraft carriers running $12 billion a piece, a programme that is $6 billion over budget. the problem is while in theory military spending is discretionary. practically speaking it's not. congress will not kill big ticket its. they provide jobs. troops at war have to be funded. for wasteful spending look no further. it's been 10 years since congress allowed around the base closings. it saved about 4 billion. with the army shrinking by 40,000 soldiers, pentagon says it has between 18 and 30% more base capacity, a 5% reduction has billions. every base is in someone's district.
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congress says know. the problem is no one likes a change. the use of the choices is to ensure that the military will be ready to deter, and if necessary, fight and win future wars. >> old strategies di hard. take nuclear deterrence, a place the president could make a bold adjustment. the american bedrock, submarines, bombers and landbase still make sense? >> item 129... >> might not two legs of the triad be enough to deter an adversary to start war with the united states. along with what the pentagon doesn't want, it is things it does need. drones, money for cyber warfare, a few questions the candidates are not likely to address unless and until one becomes
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commander-in-chief one republican who will not debate is wisconsin governor scott walker. he suspended his campaign. he rose to prominence by taking on the public sector unions in 2011, and this year wisconsin made it illegal to force a worker to join a union or pay dews to keep a job. walker and others say right to work laws create jobs. as diane eastabrook explains, that's part of the story. >> reporter: wisconsin governor scott walker became a tea party darling by limiting collective bargaining for government employees, and making wisconsin a right to work state. >> it's about reform, making sure we put people to work, we can save jobs and balance the budget. >> 25 states have right to work laws that make it illegal to force private sector workers to pay union dues. >> the laws are intended to
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attract employers and jobs, and have been successful in some states. the labour department says 18 out of 25 states have a right to work laws. and not surprising they have had lower unemployment rates according to the most recent data. there's a downside. median hourly wages in right to work states are 16% lower than those in nonright to work states. >> not only do unions raise incomes for members, but they help to raise wages broadly in the labour market. and when there were fewer union workers working on a fewer union contracts you begin to compress wages downward. >> union membership has been declining over the last several decades. economist samuel rosenberg thinks there's a correlation
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between the drop and the decline. and says there are other reasons. the other reason of decline has to do with the elimination of well-paying jobs, not merely unionized, but non-union, in the middle of the pay structure. >> organized labour is a force in the united states. about 15 million americans belong to unions. in strongholds like illinois, they pay a pivotal role in getting the members out to vote. >> there's a smaller number, unquestionably, but vote at rates higher than the general public. when you concentrate the votes in tight places, that's enough to get you over the finish line. >> even robert bruno concedes jobs are not the only issue important to voters. if they were, scott walker may not have been appointed. he promised to add 150,000, and
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fell short by 100,000. that's the show for today, i'm very well in milwaukee. the news continues on al jazeera america on "america tonight", a special look at the force beneath the wave. >> i felt like i was in a washing machine. i mean, i was tossed and turned. >> reporter: what's the next thing you remember? >> i thought it was an ugly way to die. >> the el nino is larger than the godzilla el-nino in '97 and '98. 20 years ago we talked about el nino being destructive. california is asking for


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