tv Book Discussion on Dont Wait for the Next War CSPAN October 25, 2014 9:00pm-10:07pm EDT
>> >> end a policy adviser at of sarah palin mccain campaign but the reason i was asked to moderate is to distinguish a train international security studies. and west is a soldier in service of our country 34 years and graduated as a valedictorian from 1966 that was point and was awarded a rhodes scholarship
anecdotage is influential and important military mission culminating to be a supreme allied commander in europe in the 1990's. and retirement he has been an investment banker and big shot businessman and he does have one book here today's so join me to welcome wesley clark. [applause] it is a terrific book i do not have a copy with me thank you. here we go. it is "don't wait for the next war" a strategy for
american growth and global leadership" to prepare for this set of challenges we're facing. and then for died giving up 50 minute talk about his book to maximize his time for conversation. but inevitable questions to start that tell our audience the two were three sayings you most want them to understand? >> guest: the title of the book "don't wait for the next war" comes because that is what americans always do. we always wait for war. i think when george to be bush was running for office in 2000 he said the like the ceo president but the last one we had on this side of the mantic was george
tranthree and we fought against him. we don't like strong executive leadership over the constitution checks and balances but politics works best if you have those issues out to resolve them with formal institutions to show it all in public. that is the way the american system works. that we wait to be challenged. but the reason i say don't wait for the next word now is there is enormous problems coming our way. and it is not just flooded darr putin or isis the combination will threaten to lead the world the way we
have all become a custom since the end of the second world war. reset of the i.m.f. the world bank and fought wars with korea and i told us to come together there is so much evil out there we cannot cope with the challenge. it was a winning formula. democrats and republicans did not get along that well but let's get some more weapons than we have a nice agreement? [laughter] so there was always a disagreement but it worked for the administration for i can and kennedy and nixon and carter and reagan then we lost to the soviet union.
then we lost our adversary and also our strategy. in the 1990's when i first met kori in the first question i was asked was what is the strategy? it is like a test question and he said teeeighteen what is our strategy? he said i don't know. he said go find out. [laughter] so we ended up writing a strategy it took us would year than republished it was called the strategy of engagement and enlargement and we identified the nature of the challenges facing us in the post cold war environment. the title sounded like an advertisement honestly but
the real problem was if americans are not engaged in foreign policy the cold war was over there is no challenge so we went our own way. retreated 22 million jobs even the median wage went up across america and americans never had it so good. and i just thought what a wonderful thing it is to be american i could not wait to get to investment baking all the things i have been watching and reading about all my life i was 55 years old, just let me out there for south we were on top of the world we are in such wonderful shape.
and don't come back your troops are reckless their not disciplined and it was embarrassing but then 20 years later we were the top of the heap then an 11 happen to. and it was war. and we came together just like that 80 percent of the american public wanted to strike saddam hussain including the newspaper. some people said not so fast baby doesn't really have the weapons of mass destruction but it did not do any good so we pulled out recall on but there we were in iraq now is 2014 bareback in iraq. people are asking what is the strategy? that is the problem.
>> we have threats from terrorists all over the world not just the middle east. we have signed birthrights -- cyberthreats. we have not solidly fixed the crisis of 2008 and it is shakier out there and europe is ready to go back into recession because of austerity. china? it is an ascending power never before was there an ascending power that did not cause a war. could this be the first time? is four times larger than the united states in population with a totally different system of government and they're not about to say can we have
your congress in beijing to help us? they have their own system. and finally climate change. every day we pump out more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and every day we moved to that mark of 2 degrees centigrade end we have challenges in a short crisis. and then to give a frame have to think about it. >> host: one of the metaphors that you used that is one of the most important shots of calls? the next one. that is the metaphor to anticipate and like the
historical approaches we need a qualitatively different approach to manage this problem. what do you mean in that regard? pick one of the five problems that you identify in the book. to give the audience a look at what we need to do quantitatively differently. >> guest: in the case of china for 30 years they had double-digit rates per year it has a long-term strategy. they send young people to get an education and take technology back and ask for western investments they used cheap labor for foreign exchange and they buy the natural resources around the world they build the educational system and they
are building up their military. so their goal is to be then it china dream but what does it mean? nobody a understands that is the greatest enemy of democracy the you can have freedom of opinion and human rights this would destroy china so what has to be squashed fed every opportunity. if it is something about restoring china's historical role in the world wants to be the center of world civilization. so now we are reacting to every little thing that comes along. tied it declares an air defense identification zone but if you fly through this
aerospace we are the enemy of china. but it is still there. china says those islands over there those are our islands. okinawa? that is chinese territory. we see this happening and we talk about it, what is our long-term strategy? he says there has never been an american president who would not give a way a strategic industry to with a smile on the face of a foreign leader. we had president over president go to china with better relations to say we will help you with your high tech industry your aviation industry in 2011 ge said the
future of civil aviation is in china and ge will be there which is great for ge but where did they develop? to put its old money into those avionics? thaw know it put its money into buying back stock. but it is taxpayer money and dedicated to the u.s. military for those avionics their shared with china and a joint venture. that is in the best interest when i went to cornell 2005 i asked the president how was it going with your relations with china? he said excellent relations he said we have relations with five universities they send students here they do
research, and they learn from us and they take those lessons back to china. i said that's great. what does score now get out of this? he said these relations. see you can see china's trajectory to know where they're headed, what we're doing here so what happens? we will come to a collision on this what is the strategy? i was in china last year and one of my friends is well-connected and said we know everything in your company because 60 percent of your fortune 500 companies have research and development companies in china we know everything about them we have chinese scientist to work their. you think you put your base
is in the philippines? but we give them three and a half million dollars per month in remittances if we don't there will be no basis their free tell them. by 2019 we will have four aircraft carriers in the northern pacific. this does not sound friendly. what is the strategy? so that is the problem i am addressing. >> host: but i agree the american government very often does not have a strategic perspective but it does seem to me the one country at least the last five american presidents had a consistent strategy is to china and that has been to identify the head of the royal bank to have a
responsible stakeholder that we are in favor of a strong china provided it is on the rules of the united states than with that policy with that expectation that authoritarian capitalism is impossible to sustain that people begin to have their needs met. that freedom is inherent in human life. if i undressed and what you are saying here and in the book you think that is a mistake? so what kind of policies -- policy would you advocate? use saying we shouldn't do business in china? are you saying we should be more confrontational with the chinese even if our allies are unwilling?
help me see that policy agenda that goes with that strategy. >> saying we want china to be a stakeholder it is not the strategy it is that a more. it is the goal. but we started this strategy we always hoped china would devolve democratically but we never imagined you could have the effective moderate economy without freedom of information and allowing the trappings of democracy so we saw that evolution to the more open china. but as we watch this in this emerging the is now more open that door closed. the one hand we say we believe but also we've maintained that defense treaties now china's
neighbors, china is not always a nice neighbor. when i talk to these countries they tell me of the chinese ambassadors who are pretty pushy and a pretty tough. they look for help. does kori implied did not want a confrontation but another shoulder. we have to find a more strategic course with china that does not assume that they will automatically be your us - - mirror us. they will have their own system of government and we have to deal with a position of strength their delicate personalities. they are not charmed by the best looking president gore the most ridiculous speeches they looked at there long-term interests and how they advance them.
we have operated 40 years on the basis of hope. it is time to look beyond that we will have a country that may have a gdp larger than our own that is not a democracy but it will be after what it once how do we do with that country? number one reporter of the economy in order and make sure we talk to the chinese privately in advance they're very open about their intentions. we knew they would claim those islands talk to them in advance to let them get out in front and then we made the effort on multilateral forum and international law. and they said take it to the hague and invested the of military to go toe to toe with china and a crisis they have to understand if they have icbm in our direction
than real likely to come back to say that air defense system that will play in velazquez against north korea may be that should be strengthened maybe there is another power to protect against the chinese have to understand their actions have consequences and and we have the courage and the means to take those actions necessary in response. that is what i mean by a long-term strategy but that cannot be done by a quick visit to china with favorable headlines. you cannot expect to overturn the chinese government. there is a lot of sympathy for hong kong demonstrators pushing for democracy but really it is just china on the mainland is their choice it is not our choice we
don't have the communist party in the united states. but when we push for democracy to get the response to overturn a system of government we have to be respectful of their right to choose as a nation they have to be respectful of the world that we established at the end of world war ii. and then militarily. >> host: moving on to the economics it is about economic power and hard power but several specific suggestions for improvements to the american economy. and in particular how you balance for energy
exploration and production in this country with conservation and preservation values? >> are you with me the american economy is not creating jobs the way they should be? that is clear after the financial crisis. how do you do it? and accompanied that looks across the industry to raise money for companies. because it is pretty easy a couple of guys in their mid-20s the have this great idea. $250,000? done. coven with real projects that turn developed into building things. we realize we're not doing that not nearly as much as 50 years ago.
how to get this started again? warren buffett and says he must know something about investment but to invest in the company. and to push on the open doors what is growing is the energy sector hydrocarbon a biofuels sector over 40 years america is the oil importing country now we have the technology and the financial resources and mineral resources and by a resources. we're reporting between 200 and $300 billion per year.
is like a tax d.c. i want $1,000 from every man woman and child are you'll be invaded but the fight. and says that we have done to ourselves some of that is imported and some of that is a tax on the american economy. and in real terms the fastest way is to have full energy independence to go beyond that we could do it is we will be fracking and in the safeway. you can use coal you can use natural gas for propulsion into a better job on electric power.
but is in the near-term fuel has to under 50 million cars of the road. and we need to have environmental controls over the oil industry. after the depression we said at the sec the national association of securities that was the industry's self-regulatory organization you have the same thing with oil and gas better than the state's they couldn't -- could expect their own wells and the few did that no one to do a better job to extract hydrocarbons than america follows through on the renewable fuel standard of all that imported oil to
us biofuels. the fastest way to get this economy growing the advocate in addition to the tax on carbon and liquid fuels that would peg that nominally $25 a ton. $26 per gap -- per gallon and has gone down the last three months but what it would do is establish america as a global leader to deal with climate change to project the policy's going forward but it is here now in the soil. using it to strengthen america with the right environmental controls then takes the lead from hydrocarbons and a 30 year
time frame. imax this out in the book i can show you how to do it so i know if israel reaches have to come together with his vision i would say we're going the opposite way. right now. the oil industry is in trouble in america for the that is kind of sad. >> host: what to remind our video audience it is the commonwealth club of california we're talking to wesley clark about his new book "don't wait for the next war" a strategy for american growth and global leadership" i am your moderator and you can hear the commonwealth club programs on the radio and catch us on facebook and twitter and moving on to the great questions that have come in from this great audience and then the
critical review of the book with the opportunity. he says i am reading from his review closely linked will promote economic development at home to ensure national security abroad. and each maintains it should have strong forces for protection but avoid combat where possible. defended his interest that he has been closely connected. >> guest: but actually and i think they're proposing federal spending by proposing increase growth in the economy. and it will result in enough money and most impact on the
economy. we're in that fight because the economy is not growing if it were maybe 5.5% per year we would not have these issues could this economy grow this fast? yes. it can on the eve of world war to the economy grew 17% in 194116%. then another 11% it is 44% but it does not take a war now. and these are entrepreneurial folks not just oil and gas but all across the economy. we need to turn them loose and let them go.
with a greater rate of growth with a much lower deficit in not cutting social security or medicare building infrastructure to rebuild america that is where we want to be. >> host: however go to questions. one of the first that comes across is about vladimir putin and russia and the ukraine. you had some experience during the close of up sarah that looks to be pretty similar to the behavior of the russians. so how should we be handling this. >> guest: when i was helping richard holbrooke negotiate the settlement wednesday with deputy secretary of state
october 19851 of the general said rita with the americans are up to. your coming into our part of european jews see will be gone in one year three will not be. i said no no-no. he said we russians we understand you but don't worry we would do the same thing in your position. but to see the world as a chessboard bosnia coming up right away they did not like it so running that air campaign with the eight days of bombing to the ethnic cleansing into kosovo on the tenth of june we were going
to stop the bombing getting data forces in there with the albanian refugees and the next morning after 8:00 in the morning i got a call from a guy on the ground in bosnia who said the russian troops are falling out there on the highway going into serbia. with cnn watching down the audubon nato could not figure out what to do. there was a lot of confusion but the russians a riot at the airfield that was nato's objective in kosovo.
so we followed that with a long series of back-and-forth than the russians gave up and left. me one but behind this season's it was vladimir putin who was the intelligence chief helping to run the operation at the time with said cardinal general that was the start. for some apartment buildings were blown up in moscow they were blaming the chechens on this. but the third apartment building they found explosives it turned out they were all russian officials explosives and an agency had come to plan
those explosives so they said congratulations it is a test you succeeded you found explosives we planted many people believed it may have been fighting a we are putin looking for an excuse to restart the war in chechnya. he did then became prime minister and president so we have seen this plan before 2008 in georgia. and ukraine. dedicates does not need that but we did in large for stability in europe it was in russia's interest to stop the instability in europe but the russians never quite believed it and putin for a long time to read integrating the soviet space
and he took action today eastern european leaders are a little uncertain but they're not sure we have not given the military what they have passed for but they had a tough fight to regain control of their own territory even with a massive intervention into ukraine invasion 10, that task forces and heavy artillery and a big fire fight several hundred soldiers killed and a ceasefire and nobody knows what putin will do next but we're all watching ukraine is a problem we dunno if he will be satisfied with the last time we saw someone in
charge of the european country and they thought they were improperly treated by the rules committee that leader began cautiously to make sure no one took umbrage nobody raised objections then he took austria not be raised objections and we watch putin is moved. we don't know where he is headed. but we do know we don't need to go further. that is our concern. >> host: thanks i have several questions of opec want to help us transition
from the ukraine to the middle east. the question is you ran the most successful air war since world war ii. where it -- will air only be effective against isis? >> guest: no. the coastal can paste that 100 hours with the dictator there. can i knew how he thought and was afraid of nato and the lawyer and honestly he had big puppy soft hands. [laughter] i said was supported did you do when you were young? he said general clark guy did note sports my mother wanted me to study. i am sorry. [laughter] i went to west point. we could break so well. [laughter] but then to say boots on the
ground it is necessary but not sufficient. and then to be improved it is not the 51st date. [laughter] we cannot do it but they have to that is why going with their regional coalition is so vital because there has to be governance to put the boots on the ground. >> host: is turkey's refusal to engage isis on its border is irresponsible as a needle member? >> guest: a complicated situation. i think if isis takes it to
be used as a strategic and moral victory for isis but put yourself in turkey's position. if they go didn't they invade syria. they all want that unsupported war they also know that syria is linked with iran and cannot give aid to the kurds to start a rebellion inside turkey so asking for american support but what will we do to help them? before we say it is our problem remember so to engage with nato's standing back and the kurds aided by iran and turkey comes to
nato under article rollbacks i have been attacked by iran and syria, a nato i demand assistance then we are in it so there's a lot of tough issues simply beyond those tanks overlooking on the hill. what i would like to see us do is tell the syrian opposition you become the governor's. to first support you temporarily to put air cover over you with that limited space and then to talk about where we go from there to get that syrian opposition on the ground inside syria in the way they can control the armed troops. click at the map of syria and is like a kaleidoscope is the craziest thing you have ever seen somebody has
to put that together. it is not to us. but we have to make sure for our interest, and the impact of what happens in syria we have to protect those interests did we do not want isis to metastasize into a full-blown state is attacking us with terrorism. we know we don't want that so we have to work with the people and the region but this is primarily their problem, religious zealotry and you cannot put a judeo-christian army in as the occupying power in this region to be successful. we prove that settle repeat that mistake. >> host: there are a number of questions about the american military in particular and military related issues. the first is whether we should reinstitute draft and
the public would have a different attitude about our involvement with wars. >> the answer to both of those questions is yes fiscal will if they think we should serve but the grass hasn't then popular i am sure they did that when you ask people to give up two years of their life and they don't want to be there you degrade the quality of the armed forces day are coming into. it does need to be discussed the leadership does not want a draft it is great for the country everybody served and bonded together but people don't want to do this it is a tough political issue and
we close the door when we moved the voting age from 21 down at 809118 year-old to vote on whether they should be drafted or not? i hope to see a candidate in the next election he will run on this platform congressman charlie rangel told me in 2003 i should run on reinstituting the draft. [laughter] immelt think it is the right thing for the military but also it is that tough sell for america is unfortunate because we ask the armed forces to bear the unfair burden and we did it deliberately. when i was there is a captive and when nixon said a volunteer force we felt funny and it did not seem right even though was inequitable the radically everybody was off the hook.
president nixon do in the future we will have challenges we could not have another kent state with people dying and so forth. he thought he could avoid the volunteer force and i think he was right so we have to come to terms with that in the democracy my heart aches when i stayed these men and women in uniform some with multiple tumors they come home and it is though they don't feel connected anymore tusis society had to know what we can do so i hope we can navigate our way through this without boots on the
ground that is why i am urging the syrian opposition to do it. they never had as a better armed forces don't put them in the game right now and give them a break. >> host: another person asks that when americans were asked their most likely to support a presidential candidate, 43 percent responded military experience. why that might be? >> guest: military is one of the most successful institutions in america and normally accomplishes the mission as high integrity with high standards and if you look at the other institutions they typically don't. what is your approval rating of congress? [laughter]
but the military is apart from politics people respect the men and women because they'll fade their lives and space and they are successful behalf -- into the race it is a different matter. my but told me you think it will be like you are a general but if you are a member of a political party than 30% don't like you. and i have had a lot of questions about why i and a democrat as the former military guy and people don't understand that i became a democrat because i was against the war in iraq. that is a simple answer i knew was not justified but if you want a winning unit
is about the troops and not the colonel but the quality of the organization. they're skill and determination i think america is like that there is always going to be a bill gates or a hedge fund manager in changes says will take care of themselves but what about the ordinary people who work every day? pay their taxes, raise their kids and want a good life? we had a bargain in this country when the mayor ted did better, everybody did better than it worked 60 years. it is not working that way right now. we need to invest in energy to make sure they gains goes throughout the economy not
just the top 1 percent david favor of the troops that is my i am a democrat. [applause] >> host: is questioning comes from a member of the audience who is here to honor their mother who died at 99 that you were her favorite politician why are liberal voice is so rare in the military? how do you find yours? and i will add our liberal voice is that rare? day believe it is more conservative and politically the and society? >> guest: most of the military wasn't anything. i was in four administrations going back and forth i remember going in there one year after nixon had left. why are we doing this?
if you ask questions like that you cannot work here. [laughter] okay. but i worked around dick cheney occasionally and i was a strong believer in national security. i believe you cannot have a strong country without a strong national security program but i also learned the greatest lesson of my life when i was a captain. i was in a calculus class and high-school i had a national merit scholarship and the national honor society and here i was company commander with 116 guys and a two-thirds were not even high school graduates. from all over the country
and it was not my calculus class. [laughter] reroute patrolling -- we were out patrolling i am leading the bullets are coming it sells at the shootout and i am hollering back to get the machine gun. there is 15 guys in the jungle with me. they were teenage gang members. dopes brokers. draftees. maybe one had one year of college and when i called they came and they obeyed down a base of fire with that machine gun. after three minutes to realize there is no more incoming rounds and i said stand up and assault on the right and left.
shift fire. the guys on the right stood up and put the f-16s on the ground and marched into the jungle firing. that is america. [applause] i love it. i don't know if they were liberals or conservatives i did not care but i did learn that if you care about the people in your organization, they will come through for you. in america we have to care about every single american. i don't care if they don't have jobs are set in a house in bankruptcy. i don't care if their kids are in trouble, we need to do the best we can. if you look at the heart of the military and ask the people at the top they all say that.
the infantry division has a great model in 1945 thought the commander called on the germans in this fortress to surrender and they said i will not surrender until i see your credentials. the commanding general said my soldiers are my credentials. there is no stronger statement of what the army stands for and i believe that is america stands for i think if you went to the military leadership to ask in that way they would say the same thing. don't get into partisan politics and has no business. when you get out you can do whatever you want to adjust
it of'' your heart but don't get involved into partisan politics. >> host: so going to rue partisan politics. having to do with of practicality how to get those politicians to support the program that you advocate in the book gives your to a minute elevator pitch to senator boxer and why she should do the things on energy and other elements in your box. >> guest: i will actually do it. it is a good warmup. we need to get the american economy going we have finance and technology to be energy independence and we can do in a way that is environmentally sensitive to put this on the road to deal with global climate change. what we need is to bring america together but the question is senator, are you
willing to participate in that effort? we come together with the senator from oklahoma? will you sit down with them and say we can work together as americans to make this country great and strong? or is each of us so caught up in our particular interests that we cannot come together as a nation? then i would say barbara, don't wait for the next war. that is what this is about. [applause] >> host: to go further down to questions about specific individuals of the party of leadership the first is how with hillary clinton review your book and the second is about leon panetta.
but as far as cleon's book is concerned to have a right to say whatever you want for are probably would not have said it that way but i did see in the excerpts he said a lot of very nice things about obama. it is the inside of delay discussion. where is america headed? in poll after poll america says rigo in the wrong direction 70%. yes or no? they always say no but they never say what direction they are supposed to go. that is the leadership's responsibility. i wrote the book to stay out of partisan politics because i hope people look on
bull's-eyes there is a chance to work together to make the country better and set aside partisan politics. people are so tired of partisan politics and the name-calling and the commercials on television night after night after night. they just want us to go in the right direction for the country and work together in a collegial fashion. i hope we can do that i hope this book will provide a discussion to spark a little bit of that. >> host: the last question in some specific questions the first is modern conflict and it is a subject to redress at great length there seems to be a growing amount of attacks at the news media directly
identified however rarely share about any substantive response and then given that level of damage? >> the most vulnerable country of cyberattacks is the first thing but we don't have comprehensive legislation in place to defend against it because the congress or senate has blocked it. it will be introduced again this year. we have to charge businesses attacks so the cybercommand has the resources to protect them. so we can do more but having said that we also use the cyberor the net and i am
sorry to say we've admitted reid ditch to the net for the nuclear program and three digit so we sanitized of bunch of machines that were reprocessing or upgrading uranium. restarted it inside the council of government is full investigations what might happen is they may say mr. president you will stop us from doing the things that we need to do to protect america the requires sensitive information to be ready to respond if called on to do so. so it is right now the
policy is their last summer the iranians they shut down there online banking they did not cause any material damage but i did not do damage so we did not do anything but number two was it was private property so we did not do anything but number three was the did not know what they would come back with and it could have better real damage. . .
acceptable number of deaths by accidents on the roads? in arkansas where i live every day someone dies on the highway. most of them are in single car accident. every day. the governor hasn't been impeached. the legislature hasn't been fired. we haven't done anything about it. i guess it's okay so i would say for arkansas maybe 200 or 300 people a year. we have the funeral and we move on. what's the acceptable standard for let's say gun death? so is at one, 100? is a 37,000 deaths a year? is that okay? i guess it's okay because i mean gun shows are big business and we like them. i have a bunch of guns at my house too. while i don't here in san francisco but in arkansas.
you got to understand that. and so the standard is pretty loose but if you ask with a standard for people -- how many people can you afford to lose in a terrorist incident? the guy with a bomb in his. that practically caused the impeachment of the present of the united states on the contents of a standard must be zero. so if you say the standard is zero then you are going to have to give up some of your civil liberties. i don't know how to get the balance right but what we know right now is that it's going in the other direction because with isis, with the threat to the united states, is there anyone of you if you were in a position of authority who would say don't wake me up in the night, in the middle of the night with a critical piece of information. don't make the final effort to find out bomber a piece in the united states. don't search e-mails and phonecalls for people talking to
yemen or syria because we might catch ordinary americans in the process and it might be embarrassing. they might not even know it. but in principal lets those conversations happen and if we -- so what we are losing 60,000 a year to other causes. none of you would say that. everyone of you if you are in a a position of authority would say do everything you can to keep this country safe. that's the responsibility of the president of the united states that we have a huge security industrial complex and until we can work long-term against the challenge of terrorism abroad and here, it's probably going to get larger. you just have to face it. it's something we should be alert to and we are going to have to work it. eisenhower warned us about the military-industrial complex and we have worked it. better pay attention to this
one. >> that is a terrific note on which vendor conversation. my thanks to this wonderful audience who bombarded you with fantastic questions as they always do at the commonwealth club. my thanks to wesley clark for his service to our country and for sharing his thoughts openly and enthusiastically with us and for making a contribution to political tolerance and compromise in our country. >> thanks a lot. thank you. [applause] >> we have to come together as a nation. we have to stop dysfunctional politics in america and if we come together we can't put this country on the right direction. i have laid out a blueprint for it. we should hold our political leaders responsible for coming together. thank you.
>> and on that note this meeting of the commonwealth club is adjourned. [applause] up next on booktv "after words" with guest host tracey ross senior policy analyst on poverty for the center for american progress. this week, when this tirado and her first book "hand to mouth" living in bootstrap america. the self-described average american and mother of two describes how she went from middle class to lower class to
poor and argues that a the safety net is needed for those on what she calls the bottom rungs of society's letter. this program is about an hour. >> host: i am tracey ross senior policy analyst at the center for american progress and i'm joined by linda tirado whose recent book "hand to mouth" living in bootstrap america was just released last week. congratulations. >> guest: thank you. >> host: i know you have been on a whirlwind tour discussing this book but the book is really kind of a long time in the making and i think the reason why we are here is because of an essay you wrote last year. it was entitled -- can you tell us about that essay and it was actually response. >> guest: i actually am from the internet and i was having a conversation with m