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tv   After Words  CSPAN  May 26, 2014 6:00pm-7:04pm EDT

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biography of lee and grant that is very famous and so he had been telling me what a great book this was on eisenhower and i happened to catch a lecture on c-span. i thought while my buddy has been inviting me to read this book and one other experience i had it was 20 years ago but it was great stuff so i'm going to read this book. when you're my age you remember eisenhower said h so he has this historical figure that lincoln as a real person so i find i feel like just because my life experience i have some connection with either having lived through the presidency or
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on occasion metadata and it's a fascinating thing. it's typically sometimes recommended to them and put together. i think that we are going to do lincoln this month and we are going to have three or four that are particularly good. but i wish i could take credit for that idea. i said nobody is going to be interested in what i'm reading and surprisingly it's become a question i get in my district quite a bit. they like to know what you're thinking about and they hope it's not just politics all the time. it's kind of refreshing. it actually has little connection between you and some
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of your constituents. >> representative, thank you. >> up next "after words" with guest host juan williams: missed for the hill. this week syndicated columnist cal thomas and his latest book what works commonsense solutions for a stronger america. he argues that solving the country's problems start with looking at what worked in the past and discarding politics. this program is about an hour. >> we are joined by couch on this in his new book solutions for a stronger america. the total was about the book.
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harpercollins is publishing the book and thought that he would be a very good person to have. i was happy he did so. nancy pelosi was not available so i was glad. >> this is intended for a conservative audience. >> guest: i think solving the problems are not liberal or conservative republican or democrat. we have challenges facing is that affect everybody regardless of their political background persuasion. >> host: sean hannity is a popular figure. >> guest: but we try to reach out and this book and naturally i believe the conservative ideas provide the best solutions to the problems facing americ amert if a liberal comes up with an idea that proves itself and was uinto theto its objectives im fl
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security and medicare and all these programs that were created mostlmostly in liberal democrat administration that i want to take a look at him t them to sef they need to be updated for the modern eh and if we need to revise them or get rid of them. >> host: the thesis for this book and i will come back to that idea because it's when you play within the buck but the idea is what actually works and what do we know has worked in the past commonsense solutions that come from the past and in some sense not only from the political realm that for you in your deep faith. >> guest: everything you think has been fought before and everything you do has been done before. i'm not talking about living in the past i'm talking about looking to the past to see what has worked and updating it as necessary and moving forward. if you go to another country for the first time you get a
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guidebook to find out where the best hotels are in restaurants and places to be avoided. these are people that recommend the best places for us and understood human nature at least as well as the preachers of their day and they created a constitution that establishes boundaries for the government but unlimited life, liberty for its citizens to defy belie did t has gotten out of whack and we have exceeded those boundaries and that's why we have so many of the problems and challenges we have today. >> host: in the previous books you have to remind them you were not saying this engaged the people right to ge get that pern given your emphasis on focusing on the individual capacity and responsibility and look away from government look to the individual.
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>> i think that is where it begins and they certainly saw the power delegated from the people to the government and not overpowering us and that's why the government has grown so big and dysfunctional. i don't think there's anybody including the biggest liberal who thought everything is working well and we ought to keep pouring more money into it. the great writer and friend i have this card like the tenth amendment in his pocket he says bush did much of the social history over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good. now our good friend i cowrote a book and get a column acknowledges many of the social programs or begin in good faith and the lyndon johnson administration, the so-called great society but he
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acknowledges now we didn't take into consideration human nature that providing women with checks when they have babies out of wedlock was it good for them but it wasn't good for the country. we moved a long way from john kennedy's admiral admonition ask not what you can do for your -- what your country can do for you but if you can do for your country. >> host: people should be disengaged in the politics. >> guest: absolutely or i wouldn't be writing my column the last 30 years you shouldn't expect more out of the government to ban it can deliver and bless out of your self. things like character and virtue and integrity cannot be installed by the government. those are mortal and spiritual issues like table manners you have to be taught not to interrupt adults at the table. when i was growing up onto mix your peace with your mashed potatoes. you to be taught certain things. these matters are all things
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that have to be taught. and i think personal responsibility and integrity looking out for your self into the government as a last resort and did not a first resources fs without improving the life and improve our country. >> and somehow i get the impression that you think that liberals are people who interact with the overly reliant on government and don't have some of the virtues that you just described, personal responsibility, wanting to work and to succeed in america, wanting to contribute come is that right? >> i know many liberals like yourself if you have these character qualities. they look to the government to repair what is wrong with people that don't have th those characr qualities. we know what the problems are. it is the best guarantee of a stable home and people being able to take care of themselves.
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we know this. judith who i quote wright quotek did a study of the effects of divorce on children. she studied them for 25 years and we know it harms children. if it's a liberal idea and it works in the general welfare ofe than i am for it. i don't think we have to say because it is a liberal or conservative idea we should pay attention. >> host: president obama who you would describe as a liberal you see that he took advantage of the human instinct or the envy and greed to become elect elected. >> guest: i think that we see that in the constant statements about income inequality into the running down of large corporations and businesses that employee and lot of people that
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pay an awful lot of taxes instead of building people up. they said you don't improve the week by tearing down the straw. i want more people to be rich and independent. i want more families to be stable. all of these things. who could be against that. the president and democrats are out there and constantly bashing success, penalizing success, subsidizing failure and you get less and what you subsidize you get more of. >> host: in this book you talk about josh about that was at the white house as the president but also the head of the office of the faith into public service i am i to be misquoting the exact title. he has written a book and he talks about how the president reads daily meditations in scripture and talks about other people in the city in
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washington, d.c. and the federal government who would do the same. but you see that he's off when he comes to his message because when he talks about the idea that the government should care for people who are in need as opposed to individuals. and you make it seem as though he's saying god wants us to have compassion, therefore obama and other liberals think that means the government should be compassionate. >> guest: you come to rely on it like yourself. in the daily mail a few months ago on the family three generation for people that have never worked and that have been on their version of the welfare assistance of the way have they never worked.
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that is the kind of addiction and everybody but into many people the government brings. there ought to be a connection if you read the scriptures every day about human life without marriage. you can disagree on the taxes and the defense budget and still not be in danger of going to hell, but i think that there are certain basic things that if you are a serious believer of an orthodox jew and serious christian come it teaches it ought to carry over into your public policy. i accepted and teaching when it comes to the death penalty.
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i find that to be an incredible inconsistency. they oppose abortion and they are caught in the trap. >> guest: usb taking the life of another person that is different from an unborn child that has never had a chance to take a breath of life which was to do anything. >> host: this conversation could go wrong because i'm sure that the planned parenthood people if they were president would talk about the life of the living woman. but let me just ask you coming back to president obama as let's say that quintessentia the quine prototype of the liberal in your book your point is that while the government can't be compassionate but you don't want it to be compassionate you want to focus on what works and therefore you're talking about individuals having the responsibility or there are christian jewish, whatever their
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beliefs. having the sense that they should be compassionate but it's up to the individual, not the government to take care of the poor. hispanic >> guest: they handed out to everybody in congress and was called the tragedy of american compassion and it was written by marvin. he went back in history and looked at th the major prepurche institutions, the jewish, the christian groups who cared for the poor in the first responsibility. but in caring for the poor are they required some kind of response in other words if you are poor because you were a drug addict or alcoholic you have to enter a program to get rid of your addiction and that we are going to help you but we are not going to sustain you in your bad lifestyle choices if you were having babies out of wedlock with no husband or father in the home they aren't going to send you a check to continue to do that. we will help you because it wasn't their faul fault but we t going to allow you to continue to have kids out of wedlock and
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to send you a check. the whole point of the jewish and christian institutions at the time was to reform these people so they would lead a better life would be better in the end for themselves. they have been replaced and retreated to the sidelines by the government and it's become what i call a perversion of the 23rd psalm the government is my keeper i shall not want nor do i walk through the shadow of poverty accompanying me with new cards. as to make you talk about the expansion of the entitlement society as something that is a republican refrain. but then i think to myself as i'm reading there is no reference to the fact we went through a horrible recession as people call it now the great recession in reference to the great depression, and as a consequence to that not only has there been more reliance on the public safety net including entitlement, but we have done things like bail out the rich.
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>> guest: nancy pelosi said if you give the power back again we are going to train the swamp. they got the power back and instead she got a hot tub. i don't think the government is the best resource. look at the recession what was the primary lease to be the reason. the government was spending too much into them ou and it allower companies like gm and others because of the union pressure to ratchet up the entitlements they had no hope in paying because of the union pressure and the threats of the strikes and so when you got to the point of gm lets take one example that no longer afforded the based on how many cars they were selling to pay off the crisis ensued. the same with the treasury department. print more money. never come to the point you tell people you know, we can't do this anymore. it's like a college student that goes off to college and he or she is on a budget and they blow
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it in a wide old livin wider lie first weekend at fraternity parties. if you do you are a fool because you are indulging the behavior that isn't in their best interest and that is what our federal government has been for two years. they were engaging in the high-risk maneuvers in the investment instrument that proved to be faulty and collapsing cost wall street to include. >> guest: i agree with that but let's tak take freddie and fannie as an example since you brought that up. why did the housing bubble will occur and explode quite >> guest: it's because over several administrations in both parties they wanted to be able to sa see under my administratin more people own their own homes than ever before and that is a worthy goal but if you are handing out money to people with
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bad credit and who have income levels that cannot sustain a bat after the mortgages after seven years they are not going to reset and they can't afford it and that's the problem and too many people came to expect they should be able to live in a nice big house comes the part of it as a political problem and a moral problem and part of it is an economic problem. if anybody saw that failed i can't remember the name o of its now that's portrayed all of this, everybody was living beyond their means and everybody was greedy. everybody wanted to make more money and was willing to cut whatever corners to do so so this isn't a left and right democrat and republican thing. we are all in this together and have a certain amount of culpability for what happened. >> the temerity of that you presented was all about the government overspending and individuals making bad decisions
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and what you see if you look at the housing market industry and what happened and you look at what w we know happened on wall street seems to me that you have a lot of very wealthy people and people who were acting as global individuals. i am out for myself. i'm going to make a lot of money. a lot of that hurts the country. >> it hurt the country because they bailed out a ig. i would let them collapse. this is one of the problems it isn't just indulging in some surprising in the poor it is in the doing and subsidizing the rich. i sei said it;in my column and e failure and the bush administration in the last interview, one of the last interviews george w. bush did with me before he left office he said at least i stuck to my principles and i said what about
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bailing out, how is that sticking to your principles? with what you have done? i would have stuck with my principles. failure is a great teacher. i've learned a lot. i've been fired and one time i had to go down to the unemployment office for a couple of weeks to get together but failure is a great teacher for those that will learn from it and the best things to happen to balwall street and that could he been a gm is for them to have failed and restructure under the bankruptcy law to establish themselves. >> host: but you are impacting the pensions and the entire financial structure of america. you understand people in the congress and the bush administration, republican as well as the obama administration were told we are all in a financial calamity.
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>> guest: here's one of the problems why things don't work. you've go got the trial lawyersd the others that saves money into the democratic politicians. on the right, republicans cut you've got wall street, big corporations who spend a lot of money to politicians. and when the objective is to only get reelected as it so often is with something like a 90 something percentage rejection rate when that is the objection instead of doing the business of the people, you're going to have a nonworking government so i've become a political environmentalist tree i believe in recycling trash and politicians for the same reason. there is a disease in this town you come here with the highest motives and ethics and it doesn't take very long to get a corrupted. >> host: most americans agree and indicated that there was a poll recently 54% of americans say throw all of them out but
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that's not the reality. but you do speak about term limits in this book works commonsense solutions for a stronger america. and when it comes to the kind of basis of the financial structure and the government taxes, what you say is what has worked is always low taxes because according to cal thomas, what happens is that if you lower taxes, it results in more receipts for the government in fact the government gets more money. but what about the contrary point that would be taxes are pretty low right now under the obama administration and they were low under the clinton administration and the bush administration. it's a combination. even when the republicans are in
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office and they hold all three branches of the government spending is used to increase may be a little less than when the democrats are. right after world war i the taxes were finally cut into the head of the roaring 20s. okay there were other problems that led to the great depressi depression. it's the detroit economic speech about cutting taxes. they were taking it out of safe havens and bringing it back into the marketplace. we have trul truly and of dollas sitting on the sidelines now. yes the stock market is at an all-time high. but unemployment especially for the hard-core unemployed and those working for jobs for many months continue to be without work. we saw the slight uptick on the unemployment rate because more people are starting to look for
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work again and have a slightly increased level of optimism. but again, calvin coolidge, i want people to be taxed less so if i have more to spend them to invest and that is what creates the jobs. well, so do i.. there is a case of having it both ways. now you know what is interested in listening to this though obviously you remember that under clinton we actually had not only the same tax rates now but in fact they were a little higher but we have a surplus because the democrats led by the president were cutting the defense and cutting their spending on what most people would agree particularly the age of terror for some and the rise
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of china and the nuclear progr program. much with the wherewithal clinton cut the defense budget and when you cut spending and maintain a certain level of revenue are going to get a balanced budget surplus and that's what's happening in the states. i have a whole chapter on what's happening in the states. we have indiana, louisiana doing fantastic jobs in balancing budgets. i wish we could have that in the federal level. the federal government of course the word goes out at the end of the fiscal year if we haven't spent it all spend it all the
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budget might be cut at last to be covered in indiana they send a check with the remarkable thing. you wrote in the federalist papers and all the rest, but then you have to somehow explain to me well then how is it that you can say that the social security and medicare into these things that are around that that is a good thing and clearly you are a big fan of the defense spending and now guess what if the founding fathers were not about the international use of the military overseas. >> thomas jefferson would find that difficult. the whole strain of that in the country today let's talk about the events that may surprise y
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you. yet because those are built in the district of the congressmen so and so because it makes him or her look good creates more jobs and this is the kind of wasteful spending i'm talking about. i think what we need is something i tend to the grace commission during the reagan administration or the commission on the realignment closing commission during the clinton administration. but outside groups with integrity and former members of congress and no elected politicians to come in and do a complete audit of the government from top to the bottom and free agency and the government has a piece of legislation or a charter that created it. it has a purpose and if it isn't fulfilling that purpose or isn't doing it within a reasonable
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budget it should be cut or eliminated. let's take head start. there are now three head start. there is an enhanced and there's regular. why do we have the other two? because the first one wasn't working. because the second one wasn't working. but in the heritage foundation they've done a tremendous book on this on the social programs that don't work and he has found that by the time a child who goes through one of these programs is in the fifth grade all of the benefits that might have accrued in the first few years of his or her life are gone. usa today had a recent lead editorial that said at best it is mediocre. so what i'm saying is if it doesn't work or it's like social security that is never intended to be the kind of program it is today is intended to be a safety net of insurance programs that we've had all these bells and
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whistles on to it that's why it is going broke into the initial idea was a good one and the politicians at the stuff that becomes dysfunctional. >> host:. >> host: they are talking about these people that know too little and rely on the religion, evangelicals do nothing, no nothing voters and the like and tell thomas comes out and what works is why do you send kids off to these schools like harvard, yale, princeton, stanford and the like use a smart parents even if they are called to do nothing shouldn't be sending their kids to those schools the governor in new york and the new york city mayor.
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they have a major rivalry with this woman named moskowitz who is a big proponent of it. now, andrew into speech it was a remarkable speech if he would show me the words and you did and taught me who said if i would say that it would be delivered by a conservative republican. we spend more money in new york state than anywhere else on public education and yet he said that we are number 32 in the nation in terms of achievement and math and reading and other essentials that everybody would agree are required to make anything out of your life so he's saying we have to have a school choice in this area. what i'm saying in the universities is some of my liberal that are for choice or against choice when it comes to public schools and especially for the poor and minority children we have a reversal of george wallace in the schoolhouse door to keep african-americans out more than 50 years ago.
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we now have people standing in the schoolhouse door to keep children in and when we all know a good education is to check ticket whether its package delivery or restaurants improves every one and so all i'm saying is let's have a choice in education and let the parents decide which school private, public religious is best for their kid and let's also tell parents if you don't want your kids to have their faith and history of the country undermined, don't send them to colleges and universities that do that. >> host: that's why you say don't send your kids to the best colleges in america. the best colleges in terms of the competitive marketplace where you see people with money and send their children to stanford and harvard about your saying don't send them because you believe and i think you can do it at the end of what you said, those schools challenge
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some of the presets of religious faith and of the history of our own country. i heard on one of the talk radio stations this woman called in getting some kind of indoctrination of the programs in the early columnists that somehow these native americans are at peace with themselves and each other and these horrible europeans invaded and gave them syphilis and gonorrhea and stole and killed them off and all of this other stuff and this is the kind of stuff that is being taught increasingly in a government school system. we are living in a model created in the 19th century. i'm all for diversity and this is supposed to be the melting pot. and coming to the central unit to be taught something. i'm not opposed to that.
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.. you have to get them to the point where they can make critical decisions. you have to have a certain foundation of belief and purpose
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for living. am i just here to get an education and make a living and buy stuff, or do i need a spiritual and moral dimension? >> host: harvard is not a government school speech of the we are talking about two different things. and you were -- [inaudible conversations] >> guest: harvard, dartmouth, yale, princeton were all found it on biblical principles. you go there now that is all gone. i remember it being said, nathan qc when he was president of harvard more than a century ago said the lease the should be expected of a harvard graduate is that he learns to pronounced the name of god without embarrassment. >> host: we will take up short break and come right back with cal thomas and his new work, "what works: common sense solutions for a stronger america". >> on the go, "after words" is available via pot cast or itunes
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. visit booktv.org and click pot cast on the upper left-hand side of the page, select which would like and listen to -- while you travel. >> host: we are back with cal thomas, the author of a new book called, "what works: common sense solutions for a stronger america" the end of your book you right, let's have -- i am quoting here -- the equivalent of testimony time in church where we can start showcasing people who once lived in poverty and now are self-sufficient because they have embraced historically held principles of kansas. kansas? inspiration ball by motivation. first, kan.? >> guest: i made a speech reproduced in the book and hit kansas chamber of commerce 18 months or so ago. former united states senator from kansas and now governor of the state has created some
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tremendous business-friendly programs there which are increasing employment and lowering taxes. kansas is even talking about eliminating state income-tax is. member states are doing that. i forget the age act number. seven or eight states now do not have a state income tax when years ago it was only to. many are realizing that this becomes an inhibitor to prosperity. i do say -- and firmly believe and have applied it in my own life -- inspiration followed by motivation followed by perspiration improves and the life. it's meant to convey the attitude it, i once was blind but now i see. i grew up poor, but now i am a ceo. take been carson. the former chief of pediatric neurosurgery at johns hopkins, a
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perfect these sample of top people can overcome dire circumstances. rabin inner-city detroit, or will time, a single mother, except for a. most people though the story. we don't tell those kinds of stories in america. >> host: in the book what you do is have an entire section of people who would give this testimony. and you tell the story. rather than have me pick one or two, why don't you, as the author, pick one or two until the story. >> host: johnny erickson, a quadriplegic who had an accident when he was 17 years old swimming and stroll along with despair, meaning of life, taught herself to paint by sticking a paint brush and her teeth and has created a lot of wonderful things. worked with handicapped people. she was behind bush strongly, the americans with disabilities act, and has been an inspiration to millions. there are a couple of african
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people in there who rub in horrible circumstances that you could not even imagine if you're writing a work of fiction and yet managed to overcome and come to america where they sought opportunity and are now independent and prospering again, ben carson is a great story -- but the point of these stories, you would say, okay. if you think you have of our life and difficulty, let me tell you about someone else on how they overcame. we will not just in the song, but we will tell you. i go back and tell the story 60 minutes did some years ago. a harlem housing project in new york all minorities, led by minority, hard-core unemployed people who live there never had a job or were only hamburger flippers working for minimum wage. the top people of the dress for a job interview, look at perspective the employer and the
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guy, shake their hand. stuff that you and i take for granted. follow this woman in for a job interview. she would ten, a pile of things she had learned and was in tears, not because she was rejected because she got the job for the first time in her life she felt she had value. well, you are black, female, live in the ghetto. your life will be lousy. vote for democrat. that is the message and so many get. if we can have more inspiration and more people telling how they overcame i think we will inspire an awful lot of people. >> host: do you think the growing inequality, in come and turning to all you look at the reality, the harsh realities of what you see is, the top 1% have taken in a disproportionate
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share of increases in well over the last ten years. the consequence has been a declining middle-class. when you hold up exceptional people, that really runs counter to what we see as the larger structural issue in society. >> guest: president obama and some of the democrats have been talking a lot about income inequality. i wrote a column in which i stated i had a deep, dark secret that i have hidden from public view for many years and it was a bear -- embarrassing to go public with. i felt it was necessary for me to do so. i suffer from income inequality. there have always been people who make more money than i. you know something, it does not affect me. the fact they you make $2 i make $1 does not mean you loamy $0.50. it should mean i come to you the
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find out how you made that. it if there is only one bowl of food at the dinner table, and i take more than you, it might be unfair because it might not be satisfying your honor, but if i give you a recipe or ask the cook to bring in more food or recipe so you can make your own food, that is fair. the fact that donald trump makes more than i do has nothing to do with my income level. i use so interview wealthy young people. would you give the school, where did you study, what is your philosophy? know the attitude is, if you make more than me it is not fair . where are the poor people better off? are they getting a direct check? they are not improving lives. there are not saying, for three years i have a government welfare check and now i am ceo company. you never hear that.
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>> host: you have a situation where the question is maximizing upper edge of the for all. when you look at the reality of and come distribution charts in the country now, they are swinging wildly out of proportion in terms of who is gaining well and opportunity, even in terms of schools that use foreign. and the children that get to go there tends to be the children of the rich who are getting more and more of our money. big returns on wall street. so if it is as if you are being indifferent to people who are struggling to get themselves out of poverty and on to a ladder of upward mobility. >> guest: i used to be poor. and i was in the army i made $909 per month living in new york city. no car, unmarried, took the subway. it was $0.10. when it went to $0.15 people screamed about how poor people be able to afford this. i never and the people. i said, i can improve my life.
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i was 37 years old making $25,000 a year and still struggling, taking public transportation to work, one car. >> host: the way you were talking sounds like you're celebrating individual virtue. >> guest: that is what america is all about. >> host: even when someone is ripping off -- [inaudible] >> guest: no, rewind the tape. you will see that i said that i did not think aig and some of these others should have been bailed out. they should have been allowed to fail. the people responsible for the recession should have a -- paid the biggest price. if they did not go to jail, and a lot of them should have that did not, they should have been forced to pay back some of the people were injured. >> host: but if they have no money and we're going to collapse the entire economic system.
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>> guest: again, i come back to the idea that you do not focus on the idea of what we as an american people can do to try to correct some of the flaws of the way that we live. instead the position is correcting human mistakes is the rubes game. you're not going to do it. government cannot force me this stay married to my wife, be an example to my children, have honesty and integrity and my professional life. those are moral and spiritual issues that come from of a place government can impose penalties of five break laws, but it cannot force me to be moral and virtuous what i am saying -- there is issued years ago who stood up at the 1979 national prayer breakfast in washington amassed a question, how do we define a football field?
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by its boundaries, he said. boundaries in every area, morally, sexually, economically, and we wonder why we have these problems. huge numbers of incurable as cds, babies born out of wedlock, and enormous the abortion rate including and especially among minority populations. jesse jackson used to say this is a white man's answer to the welfare problems be one that is not true, what a way speech to what? >> host: 80% of the abortions in new york city are among minority, black, hispanic, asians, but you should also know 70 percent of the population is minority. so it is not as wildly disproportionate speech to the point is we are cheapening life at all levels. when you have something like hillary clara, not obamacare, sarah palin talked about death panels and was widely ridiculed.
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this is what is happening in prison. >> host: obamacare. >> guest: but i am about to make a point. they're is a chapter called q or verses care. this may surprise you. i am all for government spending more money to find a cure. we did find a cure for alzheimer's disease you will save a whole lot of money from having to treat people with alzheimer's and so many other diseases. i am for investing as much money as possible in finding cures. as i started to say about vhs in great britain -- you are now starting to see people on panels -- you can call them whenever you like -- to nine people care or surgery because it costs too much or they are too old or not contributing enough to the government coffers. that, i believe, is what is coming here. the reason is the life has been cheapened and now the channel to
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the challenge will be at the other level. it is coming. >> host: one of the heroes you cite in your book is john calvin thomas. so your story is, for you, an example of this virtue. explain. >> guest: i was very fortunate to parents who stayed more rate -- married, a brother died year-and-a-half ago of down syndrome at the time he was born in 1950. children like that were either -- institutionalized and not expected to live beyond their twenties. my parents said, we are not going to do that. he lived to be 60. that was an example of compassion that i carry with me to this day. my compassion is not just about giving hand out but a handout. i will not tell you all the people i work with the things i have done for them because it
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would sound self-serving, but you would be surprised at the things i do for people monetarily, relational, and others, but the goal is always to help them improve their lives and become independent and functioning individuals, not just say, you know, there is guy with a sign of a side of the road. i will give him a few bucks so ready to go do something. year-old on the window and say, will work for food -- it does not say that anymore. to many people offer them a job. no, it is easier to get the money than do the work, but i think we redefine compassion. my story, i was very fortunate, i worked very hard. when i fought the college my first year my father called me and then said, i'm happy to support you all these years, but if you come back your going to pay your own way.
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some of that is what i am saying . that topped the great lesson. i think failure is a wonderful they did you learn from it. if you accept the idea of victim but, he said, if you think of yourself as a victim you always will be. if you think of yourself as a success eventually you will be. >> host: in your story you talk about having been turned down by many newspapers, as you desire to write a column. but then here comes one editor at the l.a. times to said, what me give him a chance he to my first met him when he was a white house fellow at the lyndon b. johnson administration.
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years later i wrote a column. and i wrote a column about the printed. i wrote another letter on a subject that interested me in the "washington post" and the l.a. times, "usa today". my background was broadcasting. i remember publisher of the l.a. times. i call them up and said, i think there is dearth of good conservative commentary, particularly on issues that get people's attention. he said, you may be right. i will set you up. miraculously they offer me a
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chance to do two columns a week. in april it will be 30 years. it was among, if not the top syndicated column in america, but i never took no for an answer, never took rejection as the final will -- word. there is an old song, it is not where you start. it is where you finish. >> host: you mentioned that johnson is a liberal. >> guest: he is a liberal democrat committed to diversity and pluralism. i dedicated the book to him because he opened the door for me. my life changed because of him. i had dinner recently in atlanta with he and his wife. they had just great people. this is what has happened. no one knows anyone anymore, in washington especially. we are all liberal, conservative . we are all parts of groups, african-american, latino, man,
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gay, straight, whenever it is. no one gets to know each other. become very close, personal friends. i know about his family life, kids, desires, frustrations, and he knows about mind because we look beyond the levels. they're is a lot of money and political power and keeping house divided. solutions to problems hurt fund-raising. i asked a fund-raiser years ago, how come you never send out a positive letter? he says, you can't raise money on a positive. how cynical and divisive is that we are no longer the united states of america. we of the divided states of groups, and that is what is really harming us on many levels. >> host: this book is, in fact, directed at one of those majorities which is the hard right. >> guest: i hope not. i have many, many friends who are officers and columnists.
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i pay attention to what they are saying. if it is a liberal idea living up to its established reason for being, its charter, its authorized legislation, i am for it. if it is doing people get to miami for it. again, government is not evil. government is good if it functions within its boundaries. but we have exceeded those boundaries, and that is why our government is dysfunctional. >> guest: but the book, the fragmenting argument, you have a foreword by sean hand of the. they've paid talk radio. there are no liberal ideas including social security or medicare in here. >> guest: this is a counterargument to much of the problem we are facing. if i thought that government was working well of functioning well and promoting general welfare,
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the tenth amendment was being lived under all rights reserved for the state and the people, if i believe all that i would not have written the book. this is a counter argument to what the left is saying about government being the solution. you tune in to john stossel on fox on saturday night. he is a libertarian who is a little farther than i would call but he deconstructs these government programs and basically the attitude that people turned to government first. it is like a little cold. no matter the physical proof of the belief is incorrect people continue to believe in it. government has replaced god. we used to turn to god, and now we turn to government. >> host: and yousef liberals of the ones who turned to government. [inaudible conversations] >> host: and you hear obama's saying, we have to do more in
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terms of building a family. >> guest: i am all for that, but talk is cheap. the one the niche audience is the conservative hard right as you head evangelical lies. >> guest: at all see myself as hard break. we are using labels. one of my favorite writers of all time was frank rich. and i agree with everything? of course not. that does not demean his skill or ability. he is still one of my favorite columnists of all time. i like to read to things every day, the bible and the new york times. i have friends on all sides. this is a counter argument, like madison a does not taste good. you might not like it, but it is good for you. read the book a modest and the arguments, pick it apart, but tell me why it's wrong.
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tommy why they're over 40 different of literacy programs the federal government that overlap or counter one another. what we have that? why is there some much duplication of federal government programs, especially when none of them seem to be working or producing the desired results? that is what i want a commission to go through top to bottom. i mention this in the book and on the lecture circuit. abstinence education was big for the evangelical right. we will teach kids that they ought to be virgins until marriage which is a noble goal, however the program is not working. if it is not working, get rid of it. >> host: that is not in the buck. >> guest: i did not put everything in there. >> host: the finger is pointed out the liberals. >> guest: they are the party of government and have been added a lot longer. conservatives want government back within its boundaries. it is like a river.
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within boundaries it is wonderful for sailing, swimming, fishing, whenever. when there is a flood it destroys property and sometimes lives. >> host: when we think about solutions and looking back to solutions and traditional america and got them the evangelicals sense of god as directing us all and have rory moment, almost predestination, if you will, the question then becomes, how did cal thomas think about the rising number of minorities in america or now we see more and more muslims in america. in the book does not seem like you have a very welcoming attitude toward the muslim community. >> guest: this is a nation that began on the issue of religious freedom. those who came from england to not want a state church of and i certainly don't want one. i am all for that, but i do think that if you are going to
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be part of america and come from another country, even have did -- different religious background you have to be part of that pluralism. you can make your case or belief system, but do not think that you can impose all of a through government which includes my point of view and world view, the christian worldview on everyone it does not agree with the. these things are worn out in the marketplace. i went to the i have a dream speech. it changed my thinking on all lot of things, including race, because i did not know any african-american people other than the maids my parents employed until i started playing basketball. no, i knew about them, but i did not know anyone as a fellow human being. so i think i am all for moslems in this country, jews, christians, unbelievers, and the rest. they're is a great fear,
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particularly among radical as long that there are certain people who want to handle trade us and on their minds. we saw that. 9/11, these guys came in and took training in florida and other places on how to fly airplanes. there were not discriminated against. we have to be careful. caylee radical islamists come from a background taught by their imam that they're god who wants people who do not believe that as they do did. i am all for complete religious freedom, but i have found increasingly that a lot of the extremists within religions do not. they have a responsibility to speak up and desolate people feel that way. >> host: what comes through in the book is this kind of discouraged you about what is law, especially muslims of america, are up to. the question is, how would you deal with it? >> guest: the government has a
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primary possibility, and from what we know they are dealing with some of it, monitoring some of the more radical mosques. tony blair when he was prime minister of england tried to deport so it -- some of those who were preaching hate and insurrection and wanted to bring down the british government and felt that their god commanded them to do so. he tried to deport those especially those connected with some of the rich famous who went out and kill people. , the subway bombing in britain. but he was constrained by their version of the aclu. it came to the point where he was unable to deport any of them. ..
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>> if you look where legal segregation was the law you say that is wrong, but change was needed. but in other areas you don't embrace change or the idea of us working as a community to improve the quality of our lives in our nation.
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>> host: like mr. lincoln said almost a hundred years later, if it required preserving slavery to save the union, we was in favor of preserving. if emancipation preserved the union he would be found of that. and this wasn't the only issue. there was the power of the state but look, dr. king referred and so did lincoln referred back to that document particularly the phrase all men are created equal and they understand rights had to be put outside the reach of government and doctor king appealed to that and lincoln. >> guest: you are right. but in this book, in terms of
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saying there are common sense solutions that pre-date all of these arguments. so does slavery and oppression of women. >> slavery and denial of civil rights are moral issues primarily. yes, johnson through voting right and open housing helped force that particular part of the country, and not just the south. you had south boston with race riots, too. so it wasn't just the southern attitude. i was working for nbc during that period and i was with reporters include charles quin who went down with the freedom writer that helped sear the conscious of the american people that this doesn't just wrong legally this
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