tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN December 30, 2014 7:30am-9:31am EST
much as they sometimes should. >> well, to be on people who are here, let me say two things to you. first of all there's a part of this book that deals with how people react to failure. when i first ran for office in 1970 i lost. iran again in 1978 and i lost. i ran again in 1986 and i lost. and at the end of the campaign, a friend of mine said to me, well, what are you going to do now? you have just lost for the third time, and you know what they say. three strikes and you're out. i said to my friend, that's a baseball rule. and nobody should live their
life by baseball rules. i.c.e. agent every young person, special in south carolina, that young people should live by our state motto. our state motto, we have two, but the one i like best is the one that is on the seal. while a brief i hope. and so every commencement address i give, every graduation i give it can be from elementary school, it can be from high school, college, even law school. i was a speaker for tony, i think i saw tony here, as a speaker for his law school graduation, and i give them the same message. while i breathe, i hope.
you should never give up on your dreams and your aspirations. so i said young people as my mother said to me stay in school study hard. and that she said and there's a part in this book that deals with that, when i thought i was going to get kicked out of high school for violating a rule she said to me she said son let me tell you something. you only have three months to graduate. silent treatment is nothing. i believe i could live in hell for three months if i knew i was going to get out. now, that's in this book. so i said young people if you can't do the problems all the first time, try and try again.
your grandparents your parents nobody ever said try one more time or two more times or three more times. there is no numerical limit on how many times you try your we are here enjoying this life and we give -- this light come and we give thomas edison credit for. i want to me to tell me how many times thomas edison failed before getting it right. nobody knows. and nobody goes around talking about how many times thomas edison failed. people celebrate thomas edison for his success. and so i say to young people, education is the great equalizer to our society. and i don't care how tough it is, you've got to put the value on education.
and if you fail then try again. you will see in this book that i failed physics at south carolina state. not because i couldn't do it. i guess i could if i had attempted to, but it's kind of hard to get to 7:30 a.m. a physics class when you stay up all my planning. so i neglected going to class. mr. austin rewarded me appropriately. so failing means that you've got something to overcome. so if i had quit after losing the third time, i never would've become the number three guy in the united states house of representatives.
[applause] >> mr. clyburn, you probably don't remember me but going back to high school and all that, a couple years ago i just want to say one thing, what it is today because people like you. forget political parties or anything else. we work for all and all for one. what you're telling these kids, set your goals high don't let anyone or anything keep you from being the best you can be. god bless you, sir. i am so glad -- [applause] >> thank you. >> there's a saying in the book i think the opening scene where president clinton gives you a call and want to give you hard
time. how difficult was that? how much did they catch you off guard. have you all repair to those relationships since? >> a phone call did catch me offguard. it was a round, a little after two, around 2:15 2:30 a.m. in the morning. there's nothing unusual for me to stay up late like that on an election night because i was not only looking at the results coming in from south carolina i'm looking at the trends from all across the country. so i'm going from c-span to msnbc, going all over trying to see exactly what's happening. so i was up. but when the phone bring emily had already gone to bed and there was a conversation with another person before the president came on the line and he was pretty upset.
because his wife had just been defeated pretty decisively in the south carolina primary. and, of course he thought that i put my thumb on the scales a little bit in favor of the president obama. i say in the book, there was no way in the world for me because my daughter, angela, was my youngest, she was leaving her job at 5:00 every day and she was down at the obama headquarters until midnight almost every night. jennifer, who is older there was no question in my mind who she favored though she was not actively involved in the campaign. there's no way in the world. i've got to now three back then to gradually. yes, i voted for obama but it
did not publicly get involved in the campaign. so i asked him to tell me why he thought that i've not kept the promise i made to stay publicly stay out of the campaign because south carolina had been given the opportunity to be the first state in the south to have a primary. and i was asked during the process whether or not i could stay neutral in the campaign because if i could not they would not reward, would not award that primary to the state. and so i had. and i opened a part of the book with emily, that particular chapter, where she asked me how did you vote in the primary? she never knew exactly who i favored. until she asked the question. and quite frankly she asked me the question the morning after the primary. she didn't ask me how are you going to vote.
she asked me how did you vote in this primary. first time she had ever asked me that before. so i think i kept my promise but i can understand. it was a pretty emotional campaign, and certainly bill clinton and i have had many conversations since that one. and i talked about in the book where we happened to be sitting next to each other at the funeral. we chatted that day, have chatted many times since. emily and i had breakfast with hillary clinton while she was secretary state. so i don't think there are any lingering animosity there. but certainly it was a tough time at the time, and i can understand. >> we will take two more questions.
>> there someone on the wall back here. >> that afternoon congressman clyburn, the emily your family, to doctrine reverend slaughter whose leadership i follow your spiritual in south kona. congressman clyburn, either washingtonian. my roots failure on the cusp of the county. but however, i was on my way to a leadership position when you were in the black caucus while the chairperson for the black caucus, and i attended that. and to my amazement for many many years i thought you were a congressman of all people. i want to congratulate you on the achievement that you have brought not only to our nation but internationally. i am being from washington you have brought together so many
people of all races, and we thank you. god bless you and your family. [applause] >> thank you very much. >> congressman clyburn, i wanted to first of all thank you and your lovely bride for being here today. it is truly an honor to witness history in the making, and i thank you and your family for coming here today. i don't know if this is possible but my asking a question is for your bride. i don't know if she would mind. but -- [laughter] and the reason why i want to say what i want to say and ask the question is, in addition to my relationship with clyde, the most important relationship to
me is my marriage between my husband and me, and i think that is on earth one of the greatest compliments i have. and i know that with you, and you mentioned that your relationship in your book with you having been married for 53 years, and now in society we have people ready to give up on love and marriage at the drop of a dime how were you able to hold it all together in the midst of him, you know, doing all the things he does you maintaining your identity and being that support there? because i think that is also a message in and of itself. [applause] >> it's been a challenge off [laughter] i have tried to be realistic about marriage and holding a family together.
you have to share and you have to give up a lot now. in any case, i'm giving up more than he's giving up. in some cases it's the reverse. but we tend to battle politically but when it comes to family, we are together. we tried to raise our children and not, you know husband and father fight against each other so we are pretty calm about that, and we just tried to respect each other's belief and we just move along. and it's just too much trouble to pack and go someplace. [laughter] [applause]
>> what a nice ending. before we get into the book signing, we've got a number of people to thank, and if you will give me about 50 seconds, these people cannot go unrecognized, if you don't mind. it took a lot to pull this together because as you all know this is under construction. the first person i want to acknowledge is joanne saunders. joanne saunders, raise your hand. [applause] a key person in pulling this together. our sponsors we have bill clyburn has a new baby.
so courtney i burn price and jason price, our sponsors but in addition to chandler. when you go to the sometimes, there is no notes. they all always ready to support you. we have electricians that have participated in pulling the electrical wiring together to make this happen. the culture center board. mcdonald is the architecture of this building. [applause] and they adopted the room. bill and beverly have been bringing in things over the last few days. sam walker, ernest butler, curtis man, the second baptist church family the wesley church family the caterer and you'll
get to enjoy some of her great things later on. michael hall. where is todd? he has volunteered. the first baptist church has allowed us to use all their parking space. cassandra, a lot of the invitations went out because cassandra help to do that, a volunteer. tony price, and extra price. the public safety department. i'll be finished in just a minute. moving forward with the boys and girls club and not last but least c-span. just want to thank you for being here and what you're doing to help you publicize not only for the congressman is doing but what we feel we're sharing and those benefits as much so thank you so much.
[applause] doctrinewe heard michael jordan was coming. michael, stand up. [laughter] [applause] >> thank all of you for your support and what you have done. spent if you walk through there's a reception there. there will be people if you're interested in going on a tour gothough be people there to show to the rest of the building. thank you so much congressman, for being here. thank you for what you do. thank all of you for your time. not bless you. >> by the book. >> thank you. appreciate it. [inaudible conversations]
>> representative clyburn will be one of 45 african-americans serving in the house when the new congress begins. of that number, 43 will be democrat anti-republican. in the senate, there will be two african-americans, tim scott of south carolina and cory booker of new jersey. the new congress meets for the first time january 6. you can watch the house live on c-span and the senate live on c-span2. >> new year's day on the c-span networks. era some of our future programs. -- here are some of our future
it's great to be here. it's not what we wish we were, but -- [laughter] but it's great to be and it's wonderful to be with paul again. we had quite an experience, and i know a lot of you think it must just be awful run for president because you've got to go every night into a different hotel and you get debate after debate in the primaries and then in the general as well and give the adoring press always at your heel. [laughter] and yet the truth is it is a magnificent experience because you get to see the country person by person state-by-state. the people who make the news are by and large doing something strange or unusual or simply not good but the people we got to see where wonderful people. we learned about their life stories and it was very, very touching and may be more optimistic about our future. so if you get the chance to run for president, do it. it's a great thing.
[laughter] >> the third time is the charm applause but -- [applause] >> i made a couple of good decisions in my life. one was who i married and the other was if i chose to be my running mate. it was no better person to be vice president than paul ryan. [applause] >> thank you. >> and if you're going to take a shot at me you wouldn't be a bad shot on 10 -- you wouldn't be a bad president yourself. [applause] >> don't have some questions about the book that you've written it this year, paul. and i would note that i have read and hope some of you have as well. so your questions to reflect that. but also i know paul pretty welcome and as i read it i recognize he actually wrote it.
[laughter] most of the books you read that are written by politicians were not actually written by politicians. they were written for politicians by professional writers. but paul wrote this book i ca te becau is his voict it is writteli he speas. and thatak i e e toucngnderna but i nt to begin by jst asking paul, e merica idea the subtitle and maybe the main tlof theook is the ameran idea. llou bri dn force, w do i mean f ou te amic idea? >> is waof lifendts wayf lithathas een brghtto lif byome critica ideas and principleth found this country. in autell it's ts ea that theonti of you bth do n deterne theutme of your life in is cout. ato matter who you a or whe u omerom or how you t arted, youan mak in
this couny but it's e nd of opportuty. at itsaountries ibut an idewhe l righs r porsatural. d at ur govnm i signed to prott osrits so we cali ifreedom,an fi potunity and proerity. no oter ss isquite le this one. no other couryas creed on andea like this on. an theeaso for wrng the book in a nutshell, iecaus a ot pee do't see it. they d't think it isherefore them. they a wordhat is not goi to be the forhe kid or grandkids. and so if you do't li the directn e country going which we oubt or the pics at are in place, ohe gorning pilosoies andwe ink is countg itoutthen leders we shoud off a fferenwaforward and th's at i decido do th. becae ewhole potof ths is the erandeand matainthlegacy of h neration surg f t nextenatn like our parts di for us
[alae] a at is what theueio is somhi wsubscribe to, at the sametime therear a l of pele who would say tht amic idea s t work f them or for tirfe. he a a lot of ple in thcuntry hoarpoor, aot of peple wern te middle class who e sayi is harder anhaer to makendsmeet, and a lok around tem and tch tv a ty see the rich and famo do extraoinaryhings th can't affd dask why iso people areoi so chetr d i'm t doing as well ai co? w y deal wi his grinincome iquality, weth inquit andiue a povey? u ensome time really loing at povertyn a v wa ur book describes that but ve us her thoughts on ealing with h if you wiltheco p, the wealth ga and t te of povty in this untry. >> this something tk a great deal abo a theook.
my friend b ittingith us tonight becausfothla cole o yes weve been uring around amea meeng th pop hoare iumphin over the dfilt rcumstance w are fighting poverty, i i person-tpersonnd ding it very scefully. thers credib stories i lln e ok about that. w to your bigger qution, the are a coup of wa o lki at th. you can look at the stas quo ich is asu just descbed itana t of ppledo't thk tht oprtunity is the for them they are trapped in gnation poverty or they'ren situatn pove, they are a middle co peron runng rdn msr wheel d st not getting ahead. so what kind of agea and what kd of principles doou need to reigte ths oporni of uprd mobility, econicrowth, healt ony? i goo l tt t at the enofhe day uld say wh spt to poverty in paicar we ar at he 50thnniversary
of thear onpoverty. we snd trlis on it. ju fm e del government and wi the highest vey tein genraio. i thi y cou eaiy argue that sce ithis war on porty has been msud sed inputow much money are we spending? homany programs are creating? not on rests. not on ouom. ho ma peopleare geinut of porty? how may people are fiding that amic dream? ho maypeo egettg fr wherth a twhat they want toen life? th requires a systeti reviewndverhaul of our approa tfiti perty and itgovernnteeds to be sptf ofociety of o commits,f those ho ar ing a goodob of fghting poverty. the feragovernmentee to ay more signfit ole in mining the supply line, not the frtline. thferal governntilas l ose gre higs that ae
ppenininur cittees tht can bringpeop together, stop isatg pop and g tem ouofoverty. thinadvertencasualesn the war on pover i is old thecommn pak- tax ther this is government'sob. we will togeth. that's not tu everybody nee get invve peleitfaith,eoe tht fah, withmey, wh mewithlove, whhatever it bringinpeleack toth. there's whe seri forms tt i calld for. it's not i' not one of th op who tnki have all fired out. is is a very humbnghi t do t lok ito andesrch this. i w get cnversaon started. ifllwe do is measud me int and talkabttatus quo then we will neverav the conversioand, trefore, th reformto break t clef poverty. anit also an a real strong heahy grong economy e policies in pceod bad onhehisoy
governing andis trmphing in governmentod is holding pele bac it'surtingcomic growth but lks at the enomic fe of so fing it is a goveme job orredistributed. what aic oht o beo move the baieo people can ossom andflourish and real he a stng, growing economy. [alae] so won't go througthwhe bookttonit, butasilly what tried to dos rtcula corerincipl polies that flow from that o reigne this arican ea. beusi feel it's dereed i el like we're gngn the wrg thhat thgod newsin thisto nd i ell hese stieof these aazing for rogue amicns from l parts ofthis cunryhae done incrediblehis, the seeds are the. e mecks ther. we cana this meck in
troit suffered. and youescribe in someeil wh's happene to detroit. an you ctrtot chica a troit, butjanesvle wre you ewp, whi ao went through sometoh mbs and continues to g roh tough tis. but you mpeth. what hapneto droit? why h it gone through wha it'son toundhow does at contstith neil o icor otheplaces in measuring thate throh ug tesut found a w out >> sitcolited sry d 's one tha the mpisons en't easy but i thk it's a cautionary tale for the country. y gacand d a fiscal autopsy dro a seehe ilesha he occre it'secausef orearsp, and borrowingnd pa the buck on to the poi wherehe actulyent bankrupt, they coul'tffd or t lice force, theirepartment, where eids in the shos
ar getti the rs scoresn e count so it's a ction flare tale of at i would ll a philosophy of governing th if pl that outhrought our couny or our feder government we'll have a simir eing. anthe otr sidefhe deoisty is theomack th weope is coming a the seeds thaha bn pntg of e crnstescol of what da gilbt t of doing there, of wh poll hmes are doi the, citizenin civsociety are takingatrs into thr own han to regeneratth community and the rerms they're having. it a tle ofwh amica cod come if wdo go e wrg direction b alsowh detroit can be if apply t right princles. an gwing u janeil as you knowiome fm a big exteed fami - tre'slws rn in the room. [laughter] tsere thenlythe illino ryans i'm reled t [laughte
heers and applse] sh i w relad pat ryut, you know [laughter] don't welight? janesvil w on those communities where hnnd gr uthat is there f people when thefa do the rtaan e lnslu thcatholic chures e than all t socialroups an t cil society, y know, had a prettya kck in our famil and my m andmy andma and ienthroughome diffict alngesnd times, and t for jesll our mmit--ndotuour frnd and relativesut ople widt even know who came together and really helped make a difference, and then getting involved in that community and seeing what it does to support people. when we lost our general motors plant -- we only lived two hours outside the loop here. when we ross our general motors
plant -- when we lost our general motors plant, it was a huge punch to the stomach. a lot of my buddies from high school, a lot of the people that john graduated with worked there. made a good living gone. and to see the kind of economic havoc that it wreaked on our town but to see the city come together be and pull people up and we still have a ways to go. but to see the healing and the civil society and to see how people help each other, it gives me a perfect story of that middle space between ourselves and our government which is where we live our lives what we commonly call civil society which is what alexis de tocqueville wrote so brilliantly about, this great american fabric that we need to sustain and revitalize if we're going to get this country back on track. people ask me why i believe what i believe it's because of where i come from my family my community. >> you call that social capital,
as i recall. >> right. >> what's the state of america's social capital in your view and what does it take to, if you will, regenerate the social capital that de tocqueville thought was so unique about this country? >> that's where i do discuss the downside of liberal progressivism which i believe is a principle of governing with no limit. and what it does is it seeks to fix every problem with a large, centralized government solution which ends up displacing and crowding out the civil society social capital. i quote people who have been reading and tracking social dam for a long time -- social capital for a long time. bowling alone is a fantastic book that bob putnam wrote, a harvard economist. the quick story is it's shrinking. we are not spinning our lives together as much anymore we're bowling alone and this is something that has to be revitalized with economic growth, it has to be revitalized with bottom-up economic growth,
but it also has to be revital used with a new at toured toward our culture and our communities where people have to understand they themselves have to get involved, and government has to respect its limits so that can occur. don't get in the way, encourage it don't crowd it out, don't discourage it, don't overpower or overwhelm people in power. and that, to me, is the critical secret sauce of american life of the more than idea that has to be revitalized by each and every one of us in our community, and the government has to respect its limits and focus on what it's supposed to do and do it well so we can maximize economic growth and increase our social capital. [applause] >> now let me turn to a topic that i know is not one that you spend a lot of time thinking about, and that is the national balance sheet and income statement. [laughter] you know, a lot of people looked
at bowles-simpson and the work that was done by this commission as they laid out a plan, and you were part of that effort. they laid out a plan to try and rein in the excess in washington. and i don't know that anybody agreed with 100% of what came out of the commission, and you agreed with parts and not with others. but -- and, of course, it didn't deal with entitlements that was an important part that should have in my view been part of that discussion but nonetheless, i think it was in the view of a lot of people a wonderful starting point for the president to say, look, this is a bipartisan commission, it has taken apart the federal budget, it's looked forward and forecast what's going to happen given demographic and financial trends in this country, and it laid out a pathway to get back to, if you will, stability such that we don't have to worry about a future where we might not be able to count on social security and medicare and medicaid, might not be able to count on a military that was second to none
in the world. >> right. >> and yet the president didn't pick it up didn't touch it. i mean, you were there. what happened? why did nothing come from that extraordinary effort which got so much, you know fanfare and enthusiasm as it was begun and as it was released and then just nothing? what happened? >> so as we put it together, alice rivlin and i teamed up to have an amendment to bowles-simpson to do medicare and medicaid reform because that's the biggest driver of our debt the health care entitlements. alice rivlin is a democrat who was president clinton's budget director, and we put this together as an amendment which had that occurred i would have been very -- i would have thought this is a pretty complete package. it was rejected by the elected democrats on the commission. i was also worried about the deep cuts in defense that was in it. so the way i looked at
bowles-simpson was there's a lot of good work hoar. i'm going to take the goose work and i'm going -- good work, and i'm going to introduce the rivlin-ryan and i'm going to pass it through the house. we've actually passed four year in a row a plan to balance the budget and pay down the debt. [applause] >> before you go on -- >> yes. >> before you go on i just want to underscore something that paul just said and that is that the house passes important legislation: the republicans are not the party of no. the house has been passing legislation. your road map has been passed. and it deals with entitlement reforms and getting our country on a stable fiscal footing, and yet it doesn't get picked up by the senate and it's, of course not picked up by the white house. so the idea that ours is the party of no is simply wrong. ours is the party which is passing legislation putting that legislation forward to the senate. harry reid doesn't pick it up.
and if people want to actually see action in this country and dealing with problems from health care to education to our fiscal needs tax reform if people want to see those things happen, they're going to have to vote for republican senators and, ultimately, a republican president as well. [cheers and applause] >> i'll finish the answer. >> yeah, great. >> so i have enormous respect for bowles and simpson, they're great guys, and the thinking at the time was here are the numerical benchmarks that you have to pass any budget plan to stabilize our fiscal situation. i didn't like some parts of what they did and i thought it was missing a lot so we put our own together and exceed those benchmarks. we had assumed the president would do the same, that if he didn't like bowles-simpson, he would put his own plan out there meeting these benchmarks to stabilize our fiscal situation, and he chose not to do that either.
bowles-simpson was set up by his executive order, and so we really did expect him -- once we decided not to support it, the house republicans and go do our thing, we thought that he would have triangulated like bill clinton did for the sake of 2012 and surround it and support it. instead he jettisoned it demagogued what we were doing and dud not offer a cred call -- did not offer a credible fiscal alternative. and meanwhile, we still have this same fiscal problem looming over us. why is that? look, you'll have to ask him -- [laughter] but my personal theory is ideology. and i write about this in the book at the particular moment where it was clear what decision was being made, and i just think it was more of an ideological enter that was -- interest that was front and center of his mind versus something that was more moderate or moderate-seeming. and i just believe at that moment when he decided not to do
bowles-simpson and motto offer a credible -- not not to offer a credible alternative, that's what this administration was really about. that's when i concluded we're going to need a new president to fix this mess. >> you might describe -- i agree. [laughter] [applause] you might describe what, how it was unveiled to you. your experience -- >> yeah. i had a front row seat. >> a personal story, which was interesting, and you had to make a decision of whether or not to remain. >> yeah. chairman of ways and means, myself the budget guy, who were on bowles-simpson, and the white house invited us to a budget speech that the president was going to give. and all the media was coming up to us a day or two beforehand thinking i hear he's going to do the olive branch to you guys, he's going to do something to reach out to you guys. so we were sort of conditioning maybe on the fiscal issues he's
going the move to the middle and triangulate, and we thought for sure when we got there, we saw bowles and simpson and everybody else that he was going to embrace bowles-simpson, and we kind of figured that was going to happen. we had that front seat and he was sitting between -- closer to that beam, that column and myself, 20 feet away giving a speech basically calling for another round of $400 billion in defense cuts on top of what they had already done which was a budget-driven strategy not a strategy-driven can budget more defense which i thought was rather odd, but then he just pursued to demagogue the work we had been doing. nothing about bowles-zinn szob. and it became very clear to me that the demagoguery was aimed at doubling down and going hard left, hit the fence, raise taxes, go after republicans. and that's when i realized this is not a compromiser. this is not something who's going to move to the middle. and we got a text from one of
our colleagues watching it on tv saying you guys should get up and leave right now. we decided out of respect for the office of the presidency that we wouldn't do that even though it was really over the pail. and so we got up and properly left afterwards. and then did a press conference. [laughter] >> i see i'm -- we're almost out of time with me asking questions. let me ask one more here and then let you ask one or two if you'd like and i happen to think the president hasn't been successful. [laughter] [applause] that is apparently the understatement of the evening. [laughter] and i'll put aside foreign policy for a moment where -- [laughter] where his failures have been most glaring recently. but domestically. there was an article just this week in "the wall street journal" by phil graham former united states senator, as you know, who calculated what
america would be like if the recovery were like the other postwar recoveries. and he calculates that there'd be approximately 14 million more americans working, and the per capita income in this country would be $6,000 higher. a pretty dramatic difference between the president's record and that which he campaigned on. the president said he'd bring america today. we'd be unified. we'd be in a postpartisan presidency with reaching out across the aisle and so forth and these things have not succeeded, again. and i wonder whyment from your per spect -- why. from your perspective, i have my own view, of course but why has the president failed to unite us failed to work across the aisle, falled to get this economy going on the kind of time frame? the private sector will fight its way through almost anything and find a way. that's what our innovators and people do. but it's taken a long time.
and i wonder from your per spect be i why -- perspective why has it been so unsuccessful, why has it taken so long for people to get jobs to get higher incomes and for there to be the kind of unity that the president campaigned on? >> this is the worst postwar recovery, and if it were just at the average of the prior ten recessions from world war ii, it would have had hose metrics. there's one point that i think is very important to make and i try to make it in the book, it's not just this president. as if we get another person, whoever it is, it's all going to be better it's the philosophy of governing, and it's the policies pursued by this administration. so but for government, i believe we would have had those kind of recoveries. and so if you take a look at just the enormous amount of uncertainty that is plaguing businesses with the hyperregulatory state that's occurring, you know, one of our great cheeses up in wisconsin has been canceled for production this year because of fear of
these new fda regulations, and that hits us pretty personally at home in wisconsin. [laughter] >> you cheeseheads are really concerned. [laughter] >> tax uncertainty higher taxes, the federal reserve is out there priming the pump which has produced which has savaged savers in this country. and the money's not getting to small businesses. dodd-frank makes big banks bigger and small banks fewer. >> yeah. >> you have obamacare that is putting an incredible amount of uncertainty with that looming employer mandate out there so people aren't getting hired. even cbo tells us the equivalent of two and a half million people won't work because of the disincentives to work because of obamacare. so you have taxes, regulations, the fact that the debt is $17 trillion and growing and no reduction in sight coming, and i think you have a political modus operandi which doesn't seek to bridge differences, but seeks to
sort of, basically polarize and intimidate and divide people based upon what divides them and prey on the emotions of fear envy and anxiety versus an aspirational political system that speaks to people with ideas, that unifies people based on aspirations based on hope based on opportunity. ronald reagan did it very well in 1980. this can be done again. but i do believe it's the philosophy of governing that's employed, and a third obama term would keep these things going. and it's this philosophy and the policies that now from it which basically believes that we need to delegate our money, power and decision making to unelected bureaucracies to run our lives effectively, to micromanage society, to micromanage the economy. it doesn't work. the whole idea this country is self-government under the rule of law, and we're not seeing
self-government, and we're not seeing an equal application of the rule of law, and the private sector is slunking as a result of it -- shrinking as a result of it or isn't meeting its potential as a result of it. [applause] >> you and i have had fantastic questions over the last few years on a lot of issues bu onessue tt we didn't scuss herehat we have discussed ita t is forgn licy s things very silly in thewod more our dense ogm and st e at o ings nso i hav t qutions i wa tas you. rs ge u aessment o noust t obama foig li t ofamics ren li. lls atou tin wherwe e and wat we out be dogifrely. ig ticnd inow you have questions om the audiceso m notoi t ke mucti o tis buwee d a foreign poli as ti fany since tran, who aftheecd rlwasao w'v
gotten agdntowf things as a worldndas ti. d forha t n pp i the fute aain and again a again, we haveto adopt seri pics. andean aeson h cretary of sat otbo cle rentt the creation," the creationf renolicy ichabeen the basis america's foig policev nc at book bacally says a few in we fndenl. e that wwod benvve in the word. thatdon'ju mean with nsthat mns wh diplomac thou econy. would promoteur vues d our ideals,has the sco point th arinprcies ofreedom and free enterpse thathe things would b omed aou eorld. an t combination of ing involv ith wod, proting ouvaes and eninng our ar with ourlls, bng rong a hving astng litary the three thgs beingnvved, pomin r lues a bngtrng a ingso wth our aie that's
be the funtion ofur foreignolicy. e esentaaiednd has opd verydiffert fren pocy hiarclinto sd setng testing e otherayas y know. shwaser critical of t esens reign poli d basilly said doesn't have one. and i used to sh din the caaiut thetrh is, heoeshave a forenoly. [lghter] 's ve dfentha that at tman and eery psident nce tman has folled. his ren policy is one bad on t ew tt everydy has e me itest andll was the sa thing ani don't believ that i blie me peoleant t dona and ore he op a want tak o othernation i believe erreso people th a fdantlyvil,nd wee s some of tm on t is wee sone thatroamas wrg,y view hat eme was on myiew. nuerwo he looket rgiayrrh putin an-- vlim putin and sd, o let'ha a ret t wy,ilry clion tries t dtance heel from
hi polies. th wldwo bte ere sh nois srery of state r four ar [ceranapplau] t,ndhe washenewith th ptuwith hse andhe ruianoreign miste with g d butnes, g sle caou imaginsu a thing? did thenotndstd tat ople have very diffent obctives vlimirutin's objti may well ageorge shul said the her daoebld t ssn eire. this- thoseistake combined wh se oer ctal mistakes. ya,or itance, to draw r le andhenay, gosh i guess can't, i can't react wiou gtioness' apov. oh, butigohe's willing to actin iraqitut cngss proval. buonhess cldt i enndhe sps bacfr thred ne aogethe the a ss uia d othe in the worldhat's been extrrdar unfortuna r america. so we' seean plio of very badhis throughoutth world cae e re tof t wod s ccuted at haeng. one relentf ourorgn
licy, d at is adramatic rection r litary pality. tt's rit. andt a- there's ath adnnl revi ttas recentlyometednd then rert ony cmiio includinprident cnt's dertnt of defensesecretary, stak gandat that d e wt' happengourav and ouraifoe anou amy anwhat's ppin to ou nuea cpabili. dthat sid t these he naons,he ari'sotere d we' dow there, era's going boi tre we cancompet ina's ilding a--nsting enormously i t militar cling dep wate navy. ruias iestingn their military capabilities. and s a tre are other naonasell that a pain thei mity ght d ambitio. i hapn to tnk that th pridt' polici tis going t with a rsalchm ofnse d beeving at peop all wt the same thing we c all get alon and by t way there may be
muiparorld military i thwato g llwho else bid us? if it's a mltolar milita world, arerehe oer russia and cna th what atoee i bie i hingan americ economan amecan diplomacy, an amican militao stro th noone in torld wld ev thinkf tti und at - [cheeranapau] so a aoo puican, i'm oud t s'dlike t rurn tohe prcies ofar tran. >>e. [appus >>'dikeo o againaywe lle voedn e world. it's impta to be invold thwodto epad things fr hapni we hd teigenceelngus atisis was beingormed, tt itig come into iraq and atck aity tr wh d we d at did the psidento wahe asit spre across iraq no 's ver diict pull
o it's iornt to put out. thki o group hina base the levant would be teib cclion foth worlanfo us. so retn the ia bng inlv ithwod a n llg backndayg, o we pe ba tingson hpe to . that's le yihe canniba e y last,ashuhi said [lghr] >> yeah. i mean, we have tobe inlv andelpha things wee the adreorf e fr wld and then nb o,e'og bnvolved ithe wld omote r vuere enterpsehuman right hum dignity, and enfinally were gog be stron we're intoav a mitary that's stron aee going to linkr wit olls. 're goi tt wh ra, 're no in to ff autho's our fie andho n. tt's righ ppus >> inthk u hve to e tt. rmeca secutyorour saty for ourconfidence that ou children wl livein freedoand hveprperitywe
veo ve tt ouroreign licy. ren lind desc policyre inexorablyind. u n'tav o effective tht ty have to wor together and ihi thrident' been effective i bhre a y ghge. i' bn -- i wasn'texctg th iould l h son rmbu i'vee ev mre scuss appoteth i expectedan m hofuth welesuesul in eecng reood cleagues likeo pa, more people wil read your bo ae' e up beingable to pass legislio g it to the psident dk d, ultite h take a n dictn. ericaee rl ldehi ve mhissing. [applause] and o vis goal t bud calion that c w marity of theouryo do st at i havene last questn fo we go to tuence. 'sn importantne ptt easytonsr ommy pepective. beouhad t decide -- if y
had to decide, wouldou choose juuspeer or jaredllen? [laute >>h,th'sa. lius ppers, crs [laute >> toughro here. aute >>eporte h there's a packer. thereou go. i'm a bckwks and cubs guy. >> okay. now wre rdyor t audience queson i reidards fm4,00 people. don't owow thatapned, there e only 4 ihero buwe scrn ared em quicy. at is ttas of miation reform in the house? heth possibity fo compromiseeten t hsend the senat ion think tre isig now. i thinkarof t pobm the admintrion ha did to goutside t purew the law in soanifrentre. yolearly have a cris o the boer. the weeks ag theo passe legislation dl wth that gislatn to deal wh the trfiing law that nded to
be amendeglaono dal wi pblsnecuri the boer we havhed thing fromhe senate yt. wleehave aoer crisis right now,umitaria crisis th needso bettded to, that's rll firsthing first. ifhepresident go itle agn with hisphe a p routine d ieto ilerly wriawby anng immigrationawwhh bon the purview of the ecutive bncs por,that's th legislive bnch's power to wte la b ife des do at, i thine'll poison t we a makeit f far more diffulfor uso come toth. aan of immigrationeform, as aern who writes aboutt ecically in theoo iho dsn g it one, a i pehat he sck wiin t confes of e w,onde buildi fixhe brd cris rit now andth ybwe can ar talkg. thas e're aon ways om tha right w. >> thank u. the ne questiono now we
ohetha? aughter] >> well, ho mh te y have i'll b brief. [lghr] we want a systemwhe erydy n ve aes ffdae health care incdivy rs wth pre-estg condio ande can have tt stem without costly gornnt takeover. weanha at syemwhich a patient-cented stem, where each of us as paents, e the nucls thatystem d all te al ca providers he,he doors, the hspitals, the nursing hes the insurce companies are competinggainst ea otherorur bsiss it's cald market-bed st. e as i c eou wl is had liksurger 14 years o. oft s electian nohat suerisalf as mch i cost 14 yars agoanthree timeasood. so it's not asf these great inciples ofchoice and mpetition, qualiar immune to the al ce system. it that ty haven'tee fuy apply to t healt ca system.
do appli to the health care syst. i put in the bookngreat deilhaki o a system we ought go tnd thiisfor all of the programs,edar diid weee an individual-based, patit-nted mkebad systemwhe weacoabat andee eacotr a the providershaan ientive to inva, crte. th's thein o st w ed to replace obamacar which will collae under its own weight, in m oni. pplause] >>hank y i'm sryouanee meo eay, i aloze. [lauter] how did the two of y maneo maintaino sany withll of theerbl thin tt were idbo yu ring t campgn >> mitt,ou wt to g fs [lghr] >> more triblehis re said about me th him i actually got some od advice when iwas rnng fovno msachusts. th political sttegistthat i hired said h h aoulef
rus. e ofhe was isth was no allod tore theapers relatedy campaign. i, ofoue,ould rd aut oh tin to -- oer thgs, but no articles abt e campgn all. he said youca wtch tv he id because we'llin on t tv. i sai lliato rad esrcl. said no. becae you'reoing tha some 22-year-old person wri some articlend you'll fi yose sub conscisly rereing it or refungt in ur commentsll day lg, a yoreoi to be off msage so i d't want you to rad the aics. was eadve. i did notseal e awf stf thatasai aut m inhe presidenti campai, we we worng. >> ah >> it wasar in theorng evtafr entft event and late nht a lot fndraising, a lot of llies. it's exharatin i should telloyou mht thk he ed of theda you stus fl into be you cato tolp the ed of t day, yo he u
emgey. -- erg you'lla a cow of20,000 peopleheering an cheering, y, this is important it's great. and at the end of the day thank heavens for the gideons and the bibles, i could read that for a while, i was ready to go to sleep. [laughter] it's a marvelous experience particularly if you don't spend a lot of time worrying about the attacks that come your way. i think it's harder on your family. >> yeah. >> frankly, you're in it because you care about this country desperately care about america and if you're worried about what people say why, you shouldn't get in the race. paul? >> same thing. you have to have thick skin but don't let it change who you are. stay the same person you are, just don't relate it get to you. and if you believe in what your doing, go do it. >> how about your families? how do they handle it? >> they adjust to it. well, our kids were pretty young, and everyone treated them well. the media treated them well the obama campaign, they were off limits and that was mr. presidented. and my wife -- that was
respected. and my wife also learned how to grow thick skin as well. both of our wives, you know, they're strong women. they're very smart intelligent strong women who understood the stakes for the country so they were able to see it through as well. >> this is interesting, do you think that a four-year college is necessary to get out of poverty, and is the debt worth the payoff? >> no, and it depends. it's not necessary. job training reform skills training is essential. i go through great detail on how that ought to happen to bridge the skills gap. we don't have to emphasize it as much as we have. we have to make it cool again that it's okay to get a welding degree, that it's okay to go two years and get some high value skills that can get you a good livelihood. and on college tuition inflation if we just keep feeding the beast with more and more federal spending in one pocket out the
other, you will just feed tuition inflation. we need to flatten this. we need to go to the root cause of tuition inflation. i would say accreditation reform is necessary so we have real competition against the brick and ivies. we all went to one of those but let's look at the fact that we're in a new, innovative society, and let's have more competition so that a person who may be able to not go to a college but can do it online and then get their math course from mit, their theology from notre notre dame their engineering from the university of wisconsin, allow them to bundle and put them together, allow these new, innovative things to happen and take down these barriers to entry that are already erected to allow people to excel at education and to flatten the costs. we need more competition, we need less barriers and that to me is one of the ways we get at the root cause of college tuition along with transparency.
just like health care. does this degree get me where i want to go? what is the success rate? just like health care. give me the data on quality on outcome so that i know before going in what i can expect, and i want these people these health care workers and these educators competing against each other for my business based on outcomes value. do i get a good job, do i get a good salary? am i educated in this? -- educated in this? make them compete, and right now they're not. [applause] >> anyway one more question because, um, after this probably the most important thing that these two fine gentlemen are going to do is participate in a cold water plunge. [laughter] so i can't wait to see that. that'll be -- >> i am the plungee, and he is the plunger. [laughter] >> but you've already been
plunged. >> yeah, i did. my daughter dumped a bucket of ice water on my head. >> on a regular basis, right in. >> that's right. >> okay. last question. do you think that the children in illinois -- and i would expand that to mean most states where this applies -- who are raised by gay and lesbian parents are better protected more likely to lead happier lives now that the sexual marriage act is legal in illinois? >> well, i don't know the illinois act, but if there's a child that is an orphan, that is adopted, that is, that finds a home of loving parents, then that's a child that is no longer an orphan, that is no longer homeless. [applause] >> well, i can't thank you enough. good questions. actually, not a bad question coming from you to him. >> the julius peppers part. [laughter] >>, so again, many thanks to all
of you for coming today. just one request, and that is that you kind of clear this aisle, because actually the two of them have to get to a press conference and rather quickly. so we have a -- [inaudible] [laughter] and if you could help clear the aisle and let them get through, that'd be much appreciated. [applause] >> thank you. [applause] >> booktv of in prime time continues tonight at eight eastern with books on president richard nixon beginning with "washington journal: reporting watergate and richard nixon's
downfall." at nine pat buchanan in "the greatest comeback: how richard nixon rose from defeat to create the new majority." and at 10:20, john dean looks at watergate in his book "the nixon defense: what he knew and when he knew it." >> the c-span cities tour takes booktv and american history tv on the road traveling to u.s. cities to learn about their history and literary or life. this weekend we partnered with me warner cable for a visit to austin texas. >> we are in the private suite of lyndon and ladybird johnson. this was private quarters for the president and first lady. when i say private, i do mean that. this is not part of a tour that is offered to the public. this has never been opened to the public, and you're seeing it because of c-span's special access. vip come into this space just as they did in lyndon johnson's
day, but it's not open to our visitors on a daily basis. and the remarkable thing about this space is it's really a living breathing, artifact. it hasn't changed at all since president johnson died in january of 1973, and there's a document in the corner of this room signed by, among others, the then-archivist of the united states and ladybird johnson telling my predecessors, myself and my successors that nothing in this room can change. >> so we're here at the 100 block of congress avenue this many austin. the my left just down the block the river, the colorado river x this is an important historic site in the city's history because this is where waterloo, austin's predecessor was. a cruster of cabins that were occupied by four or five families including the family of jake harrell x. this is where la
mar was saying -- staying when he and the rest of the men got wind of this big buffalo herd in the vicinity. so they jumped on their horses. congress avenue in those days was just a muddy ravine that led north, and the men galloped on their horses. they had stuffed their belts full of pistols and rode into the midst of this herd of buffalo, and at what became eighth and congress lamar shot this enormous buffalo, and from there he went to the top of the hill and that's where he told this should be the seat of the future empire. >> watch all of our events saturday at noon eastern on c-span2's booktv and sunday afternoon at two on american history tv on c-span3. >> booktv continues. next on c-span2 massachusetts senator elizabeth warren talking about her them woirk "a fighting chance."
then arizona senator john mccain talks about the lives of those who served in conflicts ranging from the revolutionary war to the wars in iraq and afghanistan. in his book "13 soldiers: a personal history of americans at war." >> senator elizabeth warren talks about her life, her interactions in washington over the years and her experiences as a u.s. senator next on booktv. this is about 45 minutes. [applause] >> thank you so much, esther and thanks to all of you for coming out for what is an event that i know we all have been looking forward to, and i can't think of a better place to have senator warren speak about her book than sixth and u. as esther said, we're all enjoying celebrating your tenth anniversary. what a run. it's amazing this has become such a cultural landmark in
washington. we're proud to have been partners for the last six or seven years, and we hope for many many more and we really enjoy putting on these events to together. we really do share a mission of providing a forum for discourse a marketplace for ideas and a place where people can gather and join each other in talking about the seminal issues of the day. and just for those of you, i think most of you -- how many of you just to follow in esther's tracks here have been to our store up on connecticut avenue? most of you have. so you know -- and those of you who haven't those of you who have know we have about 475 author events in the store each year, so check out our calendar. and you can surely find something that you're interested in and we hope we'll see you up on upper connecticut avenue. it is such an honor and such a pleasure to host senator elizabeth warren. she's here tonight as you know, to discuss her new book "a fighting chance." i just have to mention that we learned just a hitting while
ago, actually -- a little while ago, actually, that the book is already going to make the new york times bestseller list on may 11th. [applause] congratulations. i should point out the proximity of that date to mothers in the world, and if you're looking for that perfect mother's day gift, it just might be a nice thing to be able to say and it's on new york times bestseller list so think about it. if you haven't bought it already, i'm sure there are mothers out there who still will need it. i just want to start but saying as we all know every so often a new face emerges in the political arena and instantly captures the public's imagination. usually the person has a compelling life story, a parent or parents who worked hard to overcome hardship and provide for their children. the opportunity to gain an education, maybe go on to law school. a personal identification with the struggles of working people, a commitment to public advocacy
maybe a career as a law professor and then an improbable and hard-fought election to the united states senate. [cheers and applause] and perhaps perhaps even, perhaps even a prime time speech at the democratic party convention. [laughter] but tonight, tonight we're not here to talk about barack obama. [laughter] although there are some obvious similarities. but senator warren's election in 2012 as the first woman u.s. senator from massachusetts, she quickly became recognized as an exciting fresh face on the political scene. she's captivated the public with a clear voice, a powerful message and a track record of taking on an entrenched system that she believes is rigged against hard working people like her own family those, in her words, who live on the ragged edge of the middle class. it has been her life's work, as the title of her book suggests, to give hard working more thans a fighting chance.
what you may not know about senator warren is that in addition to her championing of bankruptcy reform as a lawyer and consumer advocate and taking on the big banks and her teaching at most recently harvard law school she's also a prolific writer. i just found out this is her tenth book. she's written quite a few scholarly books, written several books with her daughter, and this book by way she wrote by herself with an assist from her daughter, but really she wrote it by herself which is quite an accomplishmentment as you know if you've read it already it's part memory part political problem la nation, and -- proclamation and the most important thing i can tell you about it is it is really, really good. it is a really, really good book. she's a great storyteller, fearless, she has opinions she's not afraid to name names. i was talking to a friend of mine who has advised senator warren at various points, and she said to me she's better
informed on the issues that matter to her hike the power of big -- like the power of big banks than bankers themselves. she just doesn't buy their mumbo jumbo. [laughter] i find all of that as i'm sure all of you do, indeed refreshing and rare in a politician, so it is truly a pleasure. keep up the good fight, thank you for being here and we can't wait to hear what you have to say about your book. please join me in welcoming -- [cheers and applause] >> thank you. thank you. [cheers and applause] oh, thank you. oh, thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you, thank you very much. oh, i appreciate the nice introduction lissa esther. wonderful to be here at sixth and i. you can always tell a teacher, i will be calling on people in the back row. [laughter] pay attention, there may be a
quiz at any point during this reading. but i love being back. i've got to say this, with a live audience. i miss it, you know? senate is fine but not like this. [laughter] it's nice to have human beings on the other side, okay, who are doing -- [laughter] so i -- [laughter] [applause] so okay, i've got to behave myself here. well, not too much, but a little bit. okay. so i thought what i'd do tonight is i would tell a little story about the book, kind of read from the book, tell you a little bit about it and then save as much time as we can just for questions and answers so i can talk about whatever you all want to talk about. i start book with my own -- i start this book with my own story. i was the late-in-life baby. my mother always called me a prize. [laughter] a surprise. i was about 30 before i figure
out what that meant. [laughter] i have three much older brothers. by the time this story starts in the early 1960s, all three of my brothers are off in the military. my daddy was selling carpeting and i was about 12 years old when he had a heart attack. and, you know, like a lot of families, a pretty tough time for us. there was a long period when he wasn't working. the bills piled up, we lost the family station wagon, ask we had our -- and we had our toes right on the edge of about to lose our house. my mother was a today-at-home mom who was 50 years old the day she pulled her best dress out of the closet, put it on and put on her high heels and her lipstick and walked over to the sears to apply for a minimum wage job. that minimum wage job was enough
to save our home and our family, because in the 1960s a minimum wage job was enough to keep a family out of poverty and i will never forget that. um my daddy ended up as a maintenance man. my mom kept working the minimum wage job. we saved our home, but there was no money more -- no money for college. so i was one of those i married at 19, i had babies early. i graduated from a commuter college that cost $50 a semester. because i grew up in an america that was investing in its kids, that was investing in education. and when amelia was a toddler i had the idea of heading off to law school. i went to a public law school and starting when she was 2.
and every morning we would get up, and we would put our backpacks on -- we were buds amelia and i -- and we would head out to conquer the world. and the book has lots of stories about this time. you know, this is the time when i would pick her up every day from daycare, and we would tell the funny stories from our lives. she would tell the part about the little boy who smeared chocolate butted anything -- pudding in his hair, and i would talk about my professor. so we were buds. so that's where i want to pick the story up. so one morning when amilya was little -- amelia was little, she was sitting at the kitchen table eating cereal. i popped a few pieces of bread into our toaster oven, got busy doing six other things and quickly forgot about the toast. when i saw smoke pouring out of the toaster oven, i grabbed the handle pulled out the tray, exposing four slices of bread that were on fire as in flaming
up. always a quick thinker i screamed. [laughter] a -- and i threw the tray at the kitchen sink. three pieces of toast hit the target, the fourth went high setting the cute little yellow curtains on fire. [laughter] i screamed again. [laughter] then grabbed amelia's cereal bowl and threw it at the burning curtains. [laughter] the milk doused most of the fire, and i calmed down enough to realize that throwing things was probably not my most effective strategy. [laughter] so then i noticed that the toaster itself was shooting sparks and seemed to be on fire. how long had that thing been on? so i got a glass filled it with water -- [laughter] and calmed down just enough to pour the water on what remained
of the flaming curtains. i then grabbed a towel and beat on the toaster until everything seemed quiet. it finally cooled down and i could unplug it. now, that may have been the year that i started so many kitchen fires that daddy gave me a fire extinguisher for christmas. [laughter] back then our toaster oven had an on/off switch and that was on. on was on, which meant it was possible to leave toast under the little broiler all day all night until the food burned, the wiring melted, and the whole thing burst into flames. at some point someone had the idea of adding a timer and an automatic shutoff. this simple change made it a whole lot harder for distracted mothers or anyone else to leave the broiler running and set the kitchen on fire. thirty years later, while working on an article about how
the government could protect consumers from predatory financial companies -- you like the segway? [laughter] i thought about those old toaster ovens. by then it was all but impossible to buy a toaster that had a one in five chance of bursting into flames and burning down your house. but by the 2000s, it was possible to refinance a home with a mortgage that had a one in five chance of costing a family their home and putting them out on the street. in fact, it wasn't just possible. those mortgages were bursting into flames all over the country. so why the difference? the united states government was the difference. by 2007 the year i was writing my article a government agency actually monitored toasters for basic safety and if anyone
tried to sell a toaster that had a tendency to burst into flames the agency would put a stop to it. in fact, government agencies insured the basic safety of pretty much every product offered more sale. the agencies work to keep us safe. no lead paint in children's toys no medicines laced with rat poison, no cars without functioning brakes and no exploding toasters. but in 2007 there was no government agency that would stop the sale of exploding mortgages. so i picked this story up, and it goes through a lot of other pieces. but, basically throughout this book i tell the story of growing up being a young mother starting a career. but the basic thread of my story is the thread of america's story. i'm the daughter of a maintenance man who made it to the united states senate. i worked hard but i made it
because america invested in kids like me. coming out of the great depression america made two fundamental decisions that changed the course of history. first, it decided to out in tough -- to put in tough rules to help level the playing field. it was all about having a cop on the beat with. no one should steal your purse on main street or your pension on wall street. other basic safe i rules safe drinking water safe medicine and eventually safe toasters. markets would work better if we had basic safety regulations in them. second, america built a future for its kids. it invested in education so that kids like me would be able to get better jobs produce more and make more money make more of themselves and their
families. invested in roads and bridges so that anybody could start a small business, and the basic pieces would already be in place for how you could get your goods to market, how you could get electricity. all the pieces were there. and the other investment america invested in a huge pipeline of ideas. it invested in medical research in scientific research in engineering research. because we fundamentally believed that the we made those investments -- that if we made those investments, our kids could build a future that their parents could barely dream of. we made those investments, and here's the key: it worked. for half a century as our families got richer our country got richer and as our country got rusher our families -- got
richer our families got richer. that was what it meant to be an america that was building for the future. and then about 30 years ago republicans started pushing for a different approach. first move? take some of those cops off the beat. leave the cops on main street but not on wall street. let the big banks load up on risks, let them paint a bull's eye on the backsides of american families. make the word "deregulation" the mantra of the day. and the second idea, cut taxes for those at the top. open up huge tax loopholes for big corporations. and how would we pay for those tax consistents? well by cut -- those tax cuts? well, by cutting investments in education, investments in infrastructure investments in basic research.
the result? well, banks and other corporations made huge profits, billionaires kept more of their money. in other words the rich got richer, and the powerful got more powerful. meanwhile, the middle class began to crumble. the economy crashed, and our kids may be the first kids in american history to do worse than their parents. by 2009 i was in washington with two immediate goals; fighting the big banks over the t.a.r.p. ballout and foughting hard -- bailout and fighting hard to try to get a new consumer agency passed into law. still thinking about that toaster and determined to stop the big banks that cheated families by putting tricks and traps in credit cards and mortgages. i wanted a level playing field. i wanted a new consumer agency that would be part of the
dodd-frank financial reforms. now, you'll be surprised by this next part, but the big banks hated the idea. [laughter] no, i don't mean they like just didn't like it i mean they hated the idea. by 2009 they were spending more than a million dollars a day to block financial reform here in washington. more than a million dollars a day lobbying congress to say, no no, no to financial reform. and number one on their list, go back and look at their quotes of the time was to kill the consumer agency. that was the deal. so i'm going to pick this story up again at this moment. we had a democratic majority in the house for 2009 and the house got the financial reforms through, and it had a consumer agency in it. good, strong consumer agency. but now it was over in the
senate, and it was in thebacking committee, and -- in the banking committee, and the question was what would happen next. so that's where i want to pick up in the book again. it was friday morning january 15 2010 and the calls started coming in early. i was at home up early to work out on the treadmill in the basement and i was still huffing and puffing when the phone rang for the first time. had i seen this morning's "wall street journal"? the rumors were flying on capitol hill. the consumer agency wasn't going to make it. in an effort to move larger financial reform bill forward, senator dodd would trade it off. there might be some face-saving attempt to set up the new consumer protection department somewhere else in government but there would be no strong, independent agency with the authority to get much done. ..
single democrat or a single republican would ever have to vote against the agency. instead it would just be suffocated quietly in its crib. no one would ever know exactly who had killed it or why. so i asked my last question. when? how long before the locked-in version of the bill would be introduced in the senate banking committee, with or without the consumer agency? best estimate? best estimate three weeks. the deal wasn't finalized and there were still a lot of moving pieces that needed to be worked out. i called dan. dan is my former student and was my wing man down here in washington and i said to dan we've got three weeks. the way i saw it, we had nothing to lose. i didn't want a job on capitol
hill hill. what did i care if i ticked off a lot of people in washington? this was our last chance to get the agency into law. if we lost now we lost forever. we have very little issue what led to the latest assault on the agency. we did know one thing. the senate did not want a tough vote on this issue. dan explained to me what that meant. the consumer agency was popular. to a lot of senator as vote on the new agency would mean having to choose between angering families or angering the banks. they don't want to anger either one. they preferred the consumer agency died a quiet and mysterious death. so i figured too bad. too damn bad. if it a bunch of senators were going to pick the banks over
families then the american public had a right to know. if we didn't win at least we could raids one hell of a stink. that is where the story goes from there. now here is what i see. washington works for those who can hire armies of lobbyists and lawyers. it just doesn't work so well for families. i saw it with the big banks. they cheated american families. they crashed the economy. they got bailed out. and now the big five financial institutions are 38% bigger than they were during the crash in 2008. they still swagger through washington. they block reforms and push around agencies. a kid gets caught with a few ounces of pot and goes to jail but a big bank breaks the law and no one even gets arrested. the game is rigged and it isn't right. that's how i see it.
[applause] let me be clear about this. it isn't just the big banks. look at the choices the federal government makes right now. our college kids are getting crushed by student loan debt. we need to rebuild our roads and our bridges and upgrade our power grid. we need more investment in medical research and scientific research. but instead of building a future, this country is bleeding billions of dollars in tax loopholes and subsidies that go to rich and profitable corporations. many fortune 500 companies profitable companies pay zero in taxes. billionaire get so many tax
loopholes that they payee effective tax rates that are lower than those of their secretaries but all of them have slob i about its. they have lobbyists and they have republican friend who make sure that they protect every loophole and every privilege for those who already have money and power. the game is rigged. the game is rigged so that the rich and the powerful get plenty of friend in washington but not so much for american families. now we can whine about this. we can whimmer about this or we wan fight backs. me, i'm fighting back. that is the best i know to do. [applause] and for me that is exactly what
this book is about. it is about fighting back. the game is rigged and the way i see it, it is up to us to fix it. now before anyone says to you but change is hard, be realistic about, i want to tell you one more little story and it is that little consumer agency, the one the banks hated the ones they were spending more than a million dollars a day in order to make sure it didn't become law, well we got that little agency passed into law. we got it and we got it in a good strong, form. and better yet that little agency has just been around for a couple of years now. it has already returned more than $3 billion to american families who got cheated by big financial institutions. [applause]
so what i learned from that, is that yeah, it is hard to win. you bet it is hard to win. but we can win. we can win when we fight back. i look at this as this is our moment in history. this may not have been how we planned it or where we thought we would be in 2014. but it's where we are. the game is rigged. the playing field is tilted, and washington is working really well for those who have already made it. they have got concentrated money. they have got concentrated power. the question is, what have the rest of us got? the answer is, we got our voices and we got our votes. if we use them, we can make real change. i wrote this book out of gratitude. gratitude to my mother and
father. they worked hard all their lives and ended up with very little but they died knowing their children had done better than they did and to my mom and dad that was success. i wrote this book out of gratitude, to an america that once invested in a future for its kids. and i wrote this book out of determination that we will, once again, make sure that all of our kids get a fighting chance. [applause] that's it. thank you.
>> thank you so much and we do have time for some questions which we have collected ahead of time. the first one is, politics is the heart of art of compromise. what have you or are you willing to compromise on your job? >> okay. that is a place to start after this. you know i would be willing to compromise on lots of ways to try to build a future for our kids if we could just head in that direction. look, i get there are things we have to come together on. i believe that banking should be boring and that means i believe that we need to go back to the rule from the 1930s from glass-steagall and separate ordinarying banking, your checking account and your savings account from investment banking. [applause] now you might ask yourself, how is that responsive to the
question and the answer is my cosponsor on that piece of legislation is john mccain. we have reached across and we have a good tough, 21st century glass-steagall bill out there. angus king, an independent is part of that senator cantwell from washington. we can reach across to find the pieces. i'm very willing to do that you about the bottom line is, we have got to fight for what we believe in. it has to be about the principles we fight for. so there we are. >> all right. second question. would you support a constitutional amendment to overturn the citizens united supreme court decision to help get money out of politics? [applause] >> you know, we just got to understand, i'm a law professor and for a very long time the idea of anybody talking about constitutional amendment kind of makes your eyelashes start to get frizzy.
because it's, look, it is kind of a scary place to go. you say to a lot of people, hey, okay to get out there to amend the constitution, you are never sure how this movie will end but citizens united is just killing us. with the supreme court we've got right now saying that those who have got money can pour more and more money into the electoral process, into everything that happens here in washington has a fundamentally corrupting effect on what we're trying to do. it makes it harder and harder to do the people's business. it keeps tilting the playing field. and so, let me put it this way. my first choice, the first thing we should do is what we can do under citizens united, which is effective and instantaneous disclosure of where the money is coming from because that the supreme court said we could do. we should do it but i don't kid
myself. that is not going to be you in to go as far as we need to go. i think that will mean constitutional amendment. i think that is where we'll end up. [applause] >> what does feminism mean to you and how has it affected your life ps, you rock. [laughter] >> that's feminism. i like that. i like that. you know, i'll tell you a story from the campaign. one of the things i started i never ran for office and this would be perfectly clear when you read the book. oh man, talk about all the beginners mistakes, every part of this. but, one of the things that happened very early on was i noticed there were little girls that came to, they would be on the street corners where we would be out shaking hands or where i would go into a cafe and
i made a point from very early on when i would see a little girl, is always get down, remember i started out teaching public school to special needs kids. get down where they are. and i get down and i would say my name is elizabeth and i'm running for the united states senate because that's what girls do. [laughter] [applause] i got to tell you. it was always one more part. we do pinkky promises that we'll remember. so there are a about a million pictures up in massachusetts of pinky promises with little girls all the way up to tall little girls. >> changing subjects just a
little bit -- >> taking family economics for 200. >> getting there. that's where we're going. >> we need to have everyone save more. how can the average person safely save and invest in a perceived market weighted to the wealthy? >> gosh, can i give a lecture? no but this is what i worked on forever. i just have to do a little bit. so i we do. because this is so important to watch what has happened to the median family in america. back in the early 1970s the median family in america put one person into the workforce and had, bought a house, did a car did all those things and had enough money left over to put about 11% of their take-home pay away in savings. think about what that meant. think about what that meant for families. they were already in defined
benefit plans, right? retirement plans. had a lot steadier employment and could put money away month after month after month. you rolled that forward to the early 2,000s and what had happened to the median earning family in america? let's go through it. the median family in america was now putting two people into the workforce. their total family income had gone up and this had fooled a lot of people by saying the household income was still rising because the trick was so had the core expenses for running that family. so housing health care, sending a kid to college doing child care had gone up so much faster that after they paid the big fixed expenses, not flat-screen tvs and going to the mall and buying clothes. after they paid the big fixed expenses, the two-income family
of the early 2000s had less income to spend on everything else, on clothing and food and savings than the one-income family had had just a generation ago. you can guess what happened. three things happened. families actually cut back. i know it always shocks people. families actually spend less today on those basic things. food including eating out. clothing carpeting, can kind of go through. spend more on alcohol than they used to but that's another story we could, maybe these things are related. but that was one. they cut back on flexible spending. that was the first part. second part savings rate dropped to basically zero. the third part of it they started going into debt. what had been a little bit of credit card debt and mortgage manageable for one income family
a generation ago became mortgages that were unmanageable, credit card debt that was loaded on that was unbelievable. car loans on top of that, short-term loans debt, debt, debt. that has made almost impossible for families to go forward. you can play out from that one. that is the two-income family with two people to put into the workforce. lord protect the family trying to get by with one earner, single mom trying to do this on their own. family trying to keep somebody at home and somebody in the workforce. all of that was to say what that question presumed and that is, the ground has shifted dramatically under america's middle class. it has shifted powerfully against families and so people who look to their moms and dads and moms and dads who say we were putting away money when we were your age. we were saving. the reality is, the whole economic peck ture has shifted.
and so, i'm going to put this both ways. there are some things families can do. i actually when you're talking about i have written 10 books i wrote some real barn burners like. david: credit, a systems approach. [laughter] book party was not big but there they're were a lot of law students that worked their way through every story in it. [laughter]. but i wrote the two income trap, it has been over 10 years now. thank you. somebody read it out there. good. i wrote the two income trap that basically tells the story. one of the things that happened when i wrote this book, this is the first time that actually people would ask me to come be on television or to do a talk radio show and what would happen is i would kind of go through
this story the interviewer would say good, so what should families be doing about it? i look at this oh, god we're all screwed. so my answer was i wrote a book called, all your worth. i'm not here to try to sell another book but i'm here to make a different point. there are things families can do to cut back, to ratchet back. i am, debt is very dangerous to the extent you can get rid of debt it is always a good thing. if you have a choice buying something new pay down your credit card, pay down your credit card. that is the safest possible thing to do. it is a form of savings. paying off your debt is a form of savings. talk about different things you can do. the second part, do what you're doing tonight. what i mean by that, be part of the public conversation that we have got to have about how to make the changes in washington.
that shot between the early '70s and the early 2000s didn't happen by some law of nature like gravity where you wake up and say dang, we still have gravity today. it is always there. it was because of the deliberate policies all the way through. policies about turning the banks loose on families. policies about driving up the cost of education. policies that drove up the cost of housing for families. everyone of these. for that i say you've got to have a little long arc on this but we've all got to get engaged in this and start fighting back to level the playing field. so it as two-part answer, two-part answer. >> thank you so much. great. [applause] we have time for just a couple of more questions and this one actually you somewhat answered so i might modify it? >> okay. >> person who wrote it what was
the genesis of your idea for the cfpb. how and why did you believe such a game changing agency needed to be created which you talked about a little bit. maybe you can forecast how it will survive into the future or if. >> that is a good question about this the idea behind the consumer agency but here's the key that i want everybody to understand about this consumer agency and everything else that i talk about in markets. i believe in markets. i believe in capitalism. i just think it is a fabulous, fabulous way to build wealth, to move goods and services, but, it only works whether you've got level playing fields. it does not work when one side, take the case of a credit card, hires all the lawyers, is the repeat player and puts a bunch of tricks back in the fine print so that you think you're buying
something at this price oh, not really, you're buying it at this price. you think you've got something that is manageable at this monthly payment and it turns out that not really because they have the power to change it. for me, markets only work when people get it. and what we want is, we want companies to compete but we want them to compete on doing things like offering a better product right? or better customer service or cooler slicker-looking cards. i don't care. your dog on your card, oh, i approve of. that that is all fine because people can see it. as long as they can price it they can decide what they want. that is how markets should work. they should not be competing by, we figured out another way to
trick people and, so 5% are going to pay a little more than they planned. we're just going to skim a little off the top here. we're just going to take a few people who tumble into trouble and really crush them and squeeze them for everything we've got. that's not how markets work. they work when we get basic rules in place. what is the consumer agency basically supposed to do? this is what it is doing. it is the cop on the beat and it is the cop on the beat who says you got to make sure that people kind of get the price, and not get the price if they hire 45 lawyers who will sift and go through the fine print, to buy a toaster nobody has to hire an engineer to go over the wiring diagram. the same thing should be true for a credit card and for a mortgage and that's what the consumer agency is there to do
and this is what i love about this agency. it is basically out there talking to the biggest financial institutions when they trick people and i love this part, it is not letting them at the end say, i don't know who those people were or, i'm going to send them a coupon for $25 off the next time they take out a credit card with me. they say no, you had enough information to cheat them. you've got enough information to write a check and send it back to them. and that is what the consumer agency is making them do. and i love it. [applause] i love it. i love it. one more. last question. >> make it good. >> you need to know, this one is from melissa from massachusetts. >> melissa from massachusetts. whoo. okay melissa. >> she asks -- >> melissa, i know where you're
sitting. >> we're ready. what a great coincidence. senator warren if you could one piece of advice to one person hoping to break through political gridlock, making meaningful change, what would it be? >> you want to come to work? all right melissa and i are ready. that's a great question, medical policesa look, in a sense let's all be clear about this. it is not follow the path i followed to get here, all right? getting married at 19, having children divorcing, that is not the way. but it is about following a different part of the path about how i got here. i really have been blessed. i work on things i truly care about, all the way down to my toes. and that means i'm thinking about those things before i wake up in the morning and i'm still thinking about them when i go to bed at night.
and the consequence of that for me and you will see this in a lot of places, is that odd doors open that were never planned. but when the door opened and i figured out what you could do or even a glimpse of what you might be able to do if you ran full tilt through that door then that was how i built the pieces as i went along. and each time i would take one second to glance back to i sachs boy, this is improbable, i just keep on running. so all i can say to you if you really care, find your issue work like crazy on it. you will do this. you will, melissa. thank you all very much. [applause] thank you.
along charles schumer minority whip dick durbin and democratic leader harry reid. >> new year's day on the c-span networks, here are some of our featured programs. 10:00 a.m. eastern, the washington ideas forum. energy conservation with david crain, business magnate t. boone pickens, cake love owner warren brown and inventor dean kamen. at 4:00 p.m. eastern the brooklyn historical society holds a conversation on race. at 8:00 p.m. eastern from the explorers club, apollo vii astronaut, walt cunningham on the first manned spaceflight. new year's day on consider c-span2, before noon eastern hector tobar on 33 men buried in chilean mine. richard smith on life of nell shown rockefeller. 8:00 p.m. eastern former investigative correspondent for cbs news sharyl attkisson on her experiences reporting on the
obama administration. new year's day american history tv on c-span3 juanita abernathy on the role of women in the civil rights movement. benjamin carp on the link between alcohol and politics in prerevolutionary new york city. at 8:00 p.m. cartoonist, patrick oliphant draws 10 presidential caricatures as and they discuss some of the most memorable qualities. new year's day on c-span networks. for our complete schedule go to c-span.org. next on booktv, senator john mccain recounts america's armed conflicts through the use of "13 soldiers quod. joseph plum martin, revolutionary in war. michael mansoor a navy seal in