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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  September 26, 2016 8:32am-10:33am EDT

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him >> once more, we will have a government of, by and for the people did >> we are stronger together. no matter what, remember this. love trumps hate.
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>> to need them most important issue in the election are all of the higher education and other issues that affect millennial. as the youngest elected official in ohio, are federal officials need to make sure that we are creating higher education that is affordable for student and also making sure we don't leave my generation was $17 trillion in debt and the social security medicare system that won't be there for us when we need it.
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hi, i'm jeremy at otterbein, university. education advocates love level in a public university level. i believe k-12 education is to be more equitable good i believe it needs to benefit all stephen and i also think we need to find a way to make college more affordable. >> my name is jake and i'm a medical laboratory science major. for me in this election, the most important issue where this direction will be seen that do not concern you >> on josh come a junior in otterbein university and one of the most important issues in this year's candidacy is education. fostering from a young age is really between the two candidates. we really need to expound upon the importance to offer here.
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>> in his speech last week, the vice president of afghanistan outlined progress made by his government has stressed that democracy was key in him in problems that exist today are in this is 30 minutes. >> i have great pleasure in welcoming the president of the islamic republic of dan. his excellency sarwar danish and invite him to address the general assembly. [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: your
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excellency, mr. president, it is my pleasure to attend the 71st session of the u.n. general assembly. i would like to sincerely congratulate ambassador peter thompson from the republic of ct in assuming the president the this year's general assembly mission. and i want to thank his excellency the u.n. secretary-general for decades of his persistent effort and leadership and arenas have support with freedom, the rule of law, justice for all and wish him every success in his future endeavors. mr. president, the 21st
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century has brought with it and ever complex international arena moral conflicts have lingered with new threats and challenges in the form of terrorism, and the climate change and other challenges have emerged, threatening all of humanity. we have realized their cooperation provides the most vital avenue to promote peace and security. and to ensure conflict. we believe that the u.n. still remains the single most important international body for the promotion of mobile peace, security and trustworthy and achieving a more stronger
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organization remains a priority for all of us as we move forward. the united nations role in helping afghanistan transition into a democratic society is a clear example of a profound impact in helping to create real change around the world. allow me to update the assembly on the current state of affairs in my country. while the government has passed two years in this establishment, i would like to briefly present under the leadership of his excellency mohamed of afghan aid the republic of afghanistan.
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mr. president, we seem to string politicians and cooperation and implementation our wishes and will of the afghan citizens. based on national consensus, and inside and outside the government for strengthening the political system and the government of national unity and for implementation of birth or in within the war of national interest. the afghan nation has inherited a legacy of oppression and discrimination and inequality. we believe democracy is the best solution to these problems and provides the only foundation to ensure justice and inequality and enable social groups to be
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adequately represented. to this end, we have a modern constitution that provides for this and only its full implementation will ensure stability in our society. our government has made considerable achievements in different areas over the past two years, including reducing maternal and child mortality come increasing access to education, improving basic freedom, strengthening the telecommunications information sectors, improving the rule of law and preserving justice and human rights. internationally, our government
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has gained a proper status for proving to be the trustworthy partner to the many countries that are engaging in afghanistan and the stability of the country. they are sparing no effort in implementing our permission towards reform. ask them on efforts are ongoing, eliminate corruption, strengthen good governance and promote women's empowerment to ensure affect his delivery service for her to send, in short accountability standards at a level of the government and institutionalized marriage based ointments of senior officials to secure transparency in government contract with the establishment of the national procurement community.
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in order to strengthen transparent to you, our future parliamentary presidential election with the process of consultation on the electoral body's son-in-law has concluded and issues steps towards electoral reform. combating the threat is another priority of the national unity government and in this regard we are cooperating closely with other international partners and will continue our joint effort within the national action plan
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framework. at the worst time nato summit last july, nato members and their allies provide 1 million u.s. dollars is the port on the basis for the afghan national defense and security forces until the end of 2020. also, the results of a mission which offers support in areas of training, advisory and assistance to the afghan security is this also extended the odd 2016. we extend a particular debt of gratitude to the united states of america for providing the largest share of support. in less than two weeks time, afghanistan and our international partners will come
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together at the conference to review and reach important decisions on the fall or scope of the church partnership and the way forward. the national unity government will pre-untended presenting the trajectory of fire report could not become the basis of the alliance. through mutual accountability framework, we look forward to our international peace and development framework. mr. president, despite these achievements, continuation of the undeclared war, the need for security to remain a serious challenge for the government of national unity as our people are still set to that terrorist groups. currently, more were sent from outside afghanistan with the
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goal of creating obstacles for our state building offers and preventing the establishment of peace and stability are fighting against us in afghanistan. one of the main objectives is to suppress it, freedom of speech and free and independent media. that is where journalists are sub check to the battlefield and also the attacks. afghanistan united nations for journalists of the protecting all journalists serving in afghanistan. the terrorists in putting talent in a danish and the
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enlightenment movement in kabul. they also it back the american university of afghanistan and other civilian facilities killing hundreds of innocent civilians. based on existing evidence how many attacks were planned and organized from the other side of the line inside pakistani territory. this year, the taliban and try to take control of more areas of the country, especially helmand province confronted by our national defense security forces. as a result, hundreds of taliban , many of whom were
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foreign fighters were killed or captured. we call on the international community to the nation of terrorists outside of the country and we honestly implement their international fight against terrorism and to avoid a dual policy of making a distinction between good and bad terrorists, which undermines the international order. we ask all of you, where were the previous leaders of the taliban and al qaeda resigning and wherever they killed? and this very moment, where are the leaders of the taliban and haqqani network located. from where and how our tears being trained, equipped and
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financed during a full-scale war? we have repeatedly asked our neighboring country, pakistan to destroy the known terrorist but we unfortunately i've yet to set a change in the situation. afghanistan always desired peaceful relations with all countries of the region. however, the government of national unity reserves the right to do whatever is necessary for the defense and protection of our whole. we have also kept open the doors of peace and negotiation for those taliban elements and other groups who are willing to give up violence, return to peaceful life and adhere to a constitution. in this connection, the peace agreement is about to be signed
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between our government and his islamic party. that will be an important step for progress in our peace process. we believe that the quadrilateral coordination group composed of afghan and come in the people's republic of china, pakistan and the united states and remained a useful platform the government of pakistan act in good faith to meet that commitment within the parameters of the roadmap. mr. president, despite the security challenges, afghanistan has always maintained a positive approach in regards to relations with all regional countries and islamic warrior. we consider islamic countries to be our best partner and to
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strengthen our cultural covers social and economic ties into user experience to promote peace and coexistence in this regard, we welcome the express resident of the organization of the islamic corporation and any islamic country who has promoted peace agenda in afghanistan. i want to add that as long as the religion has a clear thought, culture, civilization and history that on the one hand respects human dignity and drives national sovereignty from the will of people and on the other hand is against any kind of in just days exclusive is
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done, radicalism. those individuals and groups that resort to violence, terror and killing under any name i not appointed with this humane religion and in factories in islam only as a tool to achieve their able law. how can islam possibly give permission for it attacks to take the lives of thousands of innocent people when it's clearly considered human and a sense of dignity he then went the holy words of koran also considers killing of an innocent human equal to killing all of humanity. the prominent islamic scholars who take part in an important conference in the city of mecca and might in true image of islam and clear their condemnation on
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behalf of our great religion. mr. president, in order to achieve regional cooperation, we need to have a stable region. afghanistan's foreign policy is on the creation of an economy based secure society. it is an active member and an observer member of the shanghai organization and aims to actively take part in the revitalization of the cooperation that -- afghanistan and all the regional countries of common interest. we should come together and cooperate to fight against tourism, radicalism, organized
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crime, illegal immigration. also, the establishment of the regional railroad, energy trends that come the trade and transit and why is an important economic cooperation for us. afghanistan has import trade, transmit and economic activity and the central asia middle east to the east and south nation. afghanistan has 30 made significant progress through projects, the highway, the corridor between china and iran, afghanistan and the part of
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iran. but implementations of these projects, afghanistan and the regional country with respect to the principle of non-interference in other countries avoiding use of force and resolution of conflicts respected for integrity and national poverty, exchange of knowledge, science and technology and most important of all peace and national security and stability. we can prepare for economic rest of all countries of our region. number four, request our neighboring country is to cooperate with us in the region. mr. president, in november 1946, afghanistan was the first country to become a mom or.
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since then ,-com,-com ma seriously adhere to the international commitment. over the last 16 years you have served as a point of emergence or by the international community has come together in this connection on behalf of the afghan nation i wish to also highlight the centrality of the law and facilitate port royal for afghanistan stability and prosperity. during recent years, we have signed document of long-term future cooperation with many of our allies, including the u.s., e.u. and nato. and an important conference to go, not in or so, there have been no their support for the
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afghan government policies and decisions. and the international community is serious and decisive against radicalism and will continue the strong ties against this ominous phenomenon. it has been years that our nation is at the forefront of the fight against terrorism and has made tremendous sacrifices in order to defend humanity. we have lost many a bird great national figures -- marder and hunger and death mps, officers, journalists and members of our political elite. we believe that terrorism and
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radicalism. this is true when the witness defines radicalism in different forms in america and incidents of terrorist attacks in many countries of the world. in this regard and considering measures that the international community and the fight against terrorism radical is the lever be announced successful almost effective holistic measures and contrasting political economic and even military considered as a universal strategic need. the u.n. should hold an international aim of introducing a new set of two combat terrorism. he believes that serious efforts
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in the fight against terrorism, radicalism are in need of exact and thorough planning for at least 20 years and afghanistan should receive special attention as we are at the forefront of this site. one of the ominous outcomes of violence and radicalism is the new wave of immigration in the last year that has made it an important international challenge. they expressed gratitude to the countries that offer support, especially germany and other european countries that both of them with open minds. we also request the u.n. and the member states to oppose towards this international challenge and help the country where immigrants are coming from to deal with the causes of
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immigration and the phenomenon more and later a seed. mr. president, that clips to the conditions showed that injustices, threat of violence and conflicts are still endangering human life throughout the world. we have in our full support to a comprehensive solution to the syrian conflict that will reflect the will of all syrians. we also wish for a live and peaceful solution to the con looked in yemen. support for and to provide legitimate right of brave and noble palestinian including the right to have an independent government and invite offsides
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to start direct talks in order to achieve the sustainable solutions based on the principle of peace and peaceful coexistence. afghanistan support our historic agreements between five +-plus-sign countries in the islamic republic. >> can see this in our c-span -- author, former independent presidential candidate and consumer advocate ralph nader at the podium here in the bread this morning hoping the breakthrough power conference. the full-day speakers talking about energy issues, politics, journalism, social change and education. >> good morning, everybody. i am ralph nader. welcome to the fifth day of our events which we can't retain through
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on the occasion of the 50th anniversary gear, by both that there's so many forces without of the media and led to the creation of many citizen groups who led the struggle successfully reviewed the incidents in that. an environmental consumer worker safety freedom of information and other achievements. breaking through power means challenging concentration of power that abuses its authority or exceeds its authority and challenging it to the very place it with more democratic initiatives or to create new forms of democratic power. this is done in our history with the challenging power structure
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of slavery, the exclusion of women and the rights of the outcome of the populist progressive movement that regulated banks, red rose, provided safeguards for workers, farmers and electoral reforms through the century. this complication is that it is a daze. borges in maine in four days and september commemorating the 50th anniversary of one dave bidding speed. it has been live streamed by c-span and of course there's been live streamed by real news network of also more, maryland. [applause] the gathering represents together with the other days the largest gathering of accomplish
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civic leaders and more weak and reforms over to our knowledge in american history. the purpose is to demonstrate that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. people specialized in civic advocacy. they often get into silos. there are struggles day after day. we would like to see a larger framework of democracy. we live in a time when commercializing corporatized election have managed to put democracy itself off limits, has managed to put the civil society off-limits. this is an extremely serious deficiency in our political economy and democratic pretensions. when the civil society as off-limits with the cooperation of the media making it so, on
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the accomplishment, the experience, and the broad-based introductions into the electoral process are excluded whether there should be new issues, new direction, campaigns of the existing candidates, whether there should be verification or challenges of erroneous behavior for physical societies not asked for opinion. one only has to look at the sunday news programs to illustrate that point. the point of showing up is extremely important. half the democracy is showing up to though, sure enough to city council meetings, rallies, neighborhood gathering, courts, showing up is half of democracy.
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at the spirit in our history with virtual reality at irving so many hours of citizenry, showing up has become one of the great perils of democracy because it is not exercised by so many people. we are very pleased to have students from good colleges president on the perspective of having the students exposed themselves to the full day of civic accomplishments and civic initiatives unlike other colleges, universities and secondary schools in the area who receive similar invitations that did not respond. i think it is important to know and note again and again that showing a is what started our country. this is a $2 bill. this is the gathering of the men
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who signed the declaration of independence. but every say about them, some of them were slave owners called native american savages and the hooded women. in that time in history, it is a courageous act. they thought you were signing their death warrant at the hands of king george the third ahead of the most powerful military in the world at that time. we are glad that these citizens showed up and we had to show up in our different manners in this time in american his area. we have a wonderful lineup of speakers. oliver hall who will introduce any moment to be a moderator. we have wrestled the guys are talking about crime in this week, crime in the street and corporate personhood.
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we have david freeman, the leading expert on energy in the united states for rent for public utilities including the tennessee valley authority. talk about power for the people, what are energy policy should be. we have john fox has pioneered the teaching of tax law and tax practice to undergraduates and is now testing it successfully with high schools due to. a former corporate tax lawyer. we have showed claybrook on how to work the congress. she's an accomplished civic lobbyist but the whole string of successes. we have jeanne jackson, a citizens guide to frame the press. she comes as program director affair. oliver hall talking about the use of small claims court. as an illustration we have armor rights and remedies in this country although we need more than we even use. we don't use what we have.
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we have neil seidman has talking about the business as revolutionary. we have mike jacobsen, the legendary advocate of arbitration, safety and good and the public interest. the consumer section of the federal trade commission among his many experiences talking about empowering to diverse. we have robert weissman talking about stopping corporate power and money in politics. we have after lunch the world's expert on whistleblowing for the american university and college of law. peter dreier on public sentiment is social change and what it takes that abraham lincoln once said with public sentiment you can do anything. we have jordan, senior strategist national people's action on training for change
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training for other skills that mike. i'm tackling the most important issue of fallen fortunately overcoming civic apathy as if anybody has an answer to that one. we have teaching civics, a view from the classroom. we have building a movement by high director of common cause. we have civic engagement with business leaders by mitch rasky who started the federal club soda environmental aaa version and we have a discussion with the former president of council for the social studies and a proposal for a new citizen library. and of course, the key issue in terms of civic motivation but it rarely takes more than 1% of the people reflect public sentiment in congressional districts to
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turn around the congress and we'll have some audience feedback and questions. now it is my pleasure to introduce they have been working up on strenuously so the voters have more he's the director of the center for competitive democracy and he's going to be the moderator today. oliver hall, thank you. [applause] >> thank you, ralph. good morning to everyone here today and good morning to our audience on c-span and joining us on line. everybody ready to start? let's get on with it. our first speaker of the morning is the added her of the washington d.c.-based weekly newsletter corporate crime reporter.
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he has been on the crime beat for 30 years and nobody covers crime in the streets as opposed to crime in the streets better than our next speaker. corporate crime reporter is available online at corporate crime and without further ado. [applause] >> good morning. ralph spoke about putting civil society up with it then i came across an able this weekend. i went down to the library of congress national book festival. spectacular. i don't know if anybody went to bed on saturday. 100,000 people, maybe more. maybe 150,000 people. it was a great day where people go. figure the authors read votes. you get to ask questions and
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stand in line to get your book signed. i have been covering -- i have been interviewing authors to write books about corporate power, corporate crime and there's some great ones. lucifer's banker, to divide american injustice in the wealth gap. these are all within the last year. why do they do it? why they do it by harvard business professor teaching solstice talking about white criminals commit crime. today to jail by brandon carrots. capital offenses. the list goes on. there's maybe 50 of them just this year. i go through this list of 150 books at the national book festival and there's not one book on any of these subjects corporate crime. there are great books there and people are having a great time
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including a great kid book called ghost in the landless and must landless and most. maybe 500 parents and their kids standing in line to get their books signed. so i'm asking myself, why is this the case? i have a sense to why this is the case but in looking for evidence of it. i go into the basement of the convention center which is maybe three-foot reels filled long. i look off into the distance and various children's book area and there's maybe 150 kids sitting with stuffed horses in front of a replica of the wells fargo bank. right next to it is the stagecoach for the kids are allowed to get in and have a writing staff and the authors of these children's books, like froggy plays soccer and knowledge-based today into many
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tamales. they are reading these books to the kids. my first thought was really should wells fargo be allowed to be next to kids? [laughter] because if a corporation is a person, maybe we should treat them like people. if you engage in serious criminal activity, we should treat them the way we treat human criminals. or you know, senator elizabeth warren probably heard last week when the cpl to testify. they would be looking at criminal charges for theft. if the justice department follows the pattern on hsbc, the big wall street banks, general motors, no high-ranking wells fargo executive will seek jail.
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the record is clear and obvious cases. when it comes to corporations, corporate crime and crime is about the facts. it's not about that generally for big corporations. it is about raw power politics. it is about, can i find there the congress and as a result could civil society off the table as ralph put it. it is unclear whether wells fargo said we are not going to have any of these books. the result is of all of these great books on corporate power and corporate crime, not one books on everything but not that it so that is the main thing to know about corporate crime. it is often about raw power politics. since i have been given 20 minutes either, here is corporate crime in a nutshell.
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20 things you should know. number one, number 20. corporate crime inflicts far more damage on society than all street crime combined. whether embodies for dollars last he wins by a landslide. from the pier just a whole bunch this last year. credit squeeze play guilty to helping thousands of americans filed false tax returns. guilty to violating trade sanctions and $89 billion. just goes to corporate clients, the cost of those are the yearly out-of-pocket in the united states. health care fraud alone cuts anywhere from 100 billion to 400 billion. there is no question the kinds of crimes committed by wells
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fargo is another corporations just weren't what is happening on the street. i have heard experts on corporate time tell me about this. it's not violent crime, but of course it is vitally crime. the fbi estimates for 10,000 americans are murdered every here. the 4000 americans who die every year on the job or not he showed such as black laws and asbestos. for the tens of thousands of americans think the hazardous products and help mobile is just this year, johns hopkins studied 250,000 americans die every year
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from what they call medical errors, making it the third leading cause of kids that are. in west virginia the place i call home, april 2010 and the americans do. the labor study from the unlawful practices and policies with the root cause of the disaster. what happened to the company? nonprosecution agreement. in a fluke because there is a u.s. attorney who's going after them, the ceo don blankenship was conveyed to the crime and sent to one year in jail. 29 deaths, one year jail. it is unusual because blankenship was the first executive ever to be sentenced for conspiracy to standard.
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corporate criminals idea of the criminal class in the united states that have the power to define the laws under which they live. so street thugs now, mafia now, corporate criminals to estimate all around us in washington doing it. despite the fact that they are added, defining the laws, they still violate their own rules with impunity. of course exhibited a is the automobile industry which for the past 30 years has worked well in congress to block legislation that would impose criminal sanctions by knowing and willful violations and auto safety laws. when ralph wrote this book, which is up there 50 years ago, they were passing the first federal law, the lobbyist for the automobile industry was sitting down and there is a
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demand for criminal sanctions if that was one thing that got cut out. number 17. corporation commits to crime, you do the time. this was a hard one for me to get my head around. let's say you are behind the deal of a defect that general motors car and the engine shut down while you are driving and you end up killing someone as a result. who goes to jail? you do. take the case of lakisha were green. she was driving a gm car, one with a faulty ignition switch which evolve read about. the car shuts down. she crashes into a school bus. her boyfriend in the passenger seat was killed. she was convicted of involuntary
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men but are. last year, a judge overturned a conviction that discovered lakisha was not at fault, the car was. a similar case a judge that candice andersen and the death of her boyfriend. in 2000 with the negligent homicide turned out that the gm ignition switch was involved in a deadly crash. in 20 for teen her conviction was overturned. a third one in 2007, qualifying when he was convicted of vehicular homicide and sentenced to eight years in prison for 2006 crash. it is a 1996 camera, suddenly accelerated and we couldn't stop it. number 16, corporate crime is under prosecution.
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big companies that are criminally prosecuted represent the tip of a very large iceberg of corporate wrongdoing. for every company convicted of bribery, of giving money directly to the public official in violation of federal law, derek doesn't give him legally to political action committees to candidate and political parties. for every company convicted of polluting waterways, and many others who are not prosecuted because of corporate defense lawyers are able to offer a low-level employee degree job in exchange to not touch the company or higher-level executives. for every company can make it of reckless homicide in the death of a worker, very rare. there are hundreds of others that don't even get investigated for reckless homicide when a worker is killed on the job. this is from the corporate find
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defense lawyers tell me this. if you increase a lot of these cases are left on the table for lack of resource is if you increase the amount of the police, prosecutorial budgets, you will see a rapid increase in criminal prosecution of corporations. number 15, this has grown in the last few years is the number of consumer, other public interest groups who make nice with big corporations. there are more fake public-interest groups now than actual ones in america today. with names like you can probably recognize the american council on science and how. the center for consumer freedom, the global climate coalition consumer alert in the list goes on and on.
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there's also public-interest public-interest groups that started out where they're taking a lot of corporate money. you have to be weary of groups calling themselves consumer groups. which consumer groups? there was one called the child labor coalition if any. it started out as child labor and now it has morphed into her consumer group with a lot of corporate money. number 14, used to be when a corporation committed a crime they pled guilty to a crime. that is when i started the publication 30 years ago. it was still believed in print and we have a lot of subscribers. send me an e-mail. we had so many corporations plead guilty 90s that the 100 top corporate criminals in the 90s just listed them with the
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amount of the fine and ranks them. these are the top 100. now you rarely see a corporation pleading guilty. why? they came up with these devices to get them out if they don't want to shave the corporations. they are caught nonprosecution agreements, which is deferred prosecution agreement to a defunct sub entity of the corporation. number 12, is the prosecutions. so in the 90s there was evidence of it i would ring the criminal charge corp. against the individual, executives at companies that end of pleading guilty. then the thing is called a deferred prosecution where you can charge the company and then say if you are a good boy for two years and don't engage in wrongdoing we will drop the
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charges and enter into this deferred prosecution agreement. the prosecution deferred for two years. they pay a fine and get off the wells fargo doesn't want to be known as a corporate criminal. it's an open question. there's nothing criminal investigation of the company in an open question whether they or their executives of the criminal prosecuted. "the new york times" article recently voted the test test case. though the justice department actually bring criminal charges against high-ranking negatives because it's so egregious that women and open up accounts without the knowledge of their customers. so it is something people could get their head around. it used to be when they did these congressional hearings like we saw last week, they followed it up with real reforms and ralph and showed in the
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early public-interest fighters were part of that. now it's like grandstanding. you're with the corporation, you get the public scene and go home. and number 11 is corporations love not prosecution agreement even more because nonprosecution agreements you don't get charged with a crime. they just say we are not going to prosecute you. just pay the fine. number 10, the deferred prosecution agreement and nonprosecution at remained for number 10 in health care fraud cases if a company admits that he criminally ripped off medicare, that is like a death sentence. they find that a unit of the company that doesn't have any
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asset and they have that company plead guilty so that company can't do business. they are. corporate criminals don't like to be put on probation. you and i commit a crime, were put on probation after we get out or they hate it because it actually works. the judge put an officer into corporation to make sure they're not doing anything wrong. that happened about 20 years ago. i was the last one for a big company. they don't like to be charged with homicide. there used to be a pa in los angeles. there used to be a da in los angeles who would investigate every worker death as a homicide and bring some cases. they hate that. it's all about public perception. number seven, the very few career prosecutors. the reason is the revolving door. they love spinning between the
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defense law firm with the pluses and minuses to that, but the minus is the justice system. number six, corporate criminals often turn themselves over the authorities. most crime cases are driven by this big law firms to come up with the facts come to know that there's criminal activity, go to the justice department, present the facts and cut a deal, a deferred nonprosecution agreement. number five, the market doesn't take most corporate crime prosecutions seriously and when they cut these deals, when they cut these deals, the stock of the company's goes up. because there is no real ramification to it. number four, the justice department puts the crime in the united states report doesn't include corporate crime. botha and others have been calling every year for a
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corporate crime in the united states report. i've got one more minute so this'll be really fast given corporate criminal sanctions are the most potent weapon in a prosecutors arsenal, look for the whistleblowers. for those of you listening to this out there and you know about corporate criminal wrongdoing, you can get a share of the bounty. 30% under the false claims act in the program being set up will be shared at the fcc has a similar program. you say here is a crime. if you successfully prosecuted, will get a third of it. number two, we need 9-1-1 for corporate crimes. that goes along with the whistleblowers. the one thing we should know finally about corporate crime is that this city is in the pocket of the corporate criminals and the corporate criminal lobby. it's a coalition of players including the added safety taxpayer fraud and better
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markets pushing back anticorporate crime lobby. you can join with them if you want to sign up. thanks very much. can't mac >> thank you. ralph nader often talks about the corporate crime wave siege in the country. there's your evidence. maybe we'll see it on c-span or cnn or fox sometime soon. our next speaker is a senior adviser with friends of the earth's nuclear campaign, which works to reduce the risk of nuclear power to the public. ..
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[applause] >> energy is the ultimate good news-bad news story in the world. when the lights go out, everything stops. i mean, it's the magic that keeps our cell phones charged. it's just an invisible everything about our life that we enjoy. but it's also the two most
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awesome threats to mankind that exist. if we don't control atomic energy and stop it from blowing us up, the burning of fossil fuels is creating such a greenhouse effect to read this birth up to make it uninhabitable. so what we enjoy the most is the greatest threat to mankind, so listen fairly carefully to what i have to say because with all due respect, all the other issues that are going to be discussed today and tomorrow and the day after are really not going to make much difference if we don't stop the awesome threat of the atom bomb, of the adam. and if we don't get off of his poisonous diet that we are on, i
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mean, coal, natural gas and oil. if we keep on making these speeches about the threat of climate change but don't fight for the kind of actions that will really reduce it and eliminate it, we are hypocrites, plain and simple. [applause] let me be blunt about it. i hope the people who make the speech is about climate change so eloquently and offer nothing much that mother nature can notice, i hold them in high disregard than the dumb folks that just don't believe in the climate science at all. if you understand the problem and then don't take or even advocate the actions to cure it,
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you've got a lot more explaining to do then the dumb folks that just don't know what's going on. now, most of the younger people in this country have forgotten about the nuclear threat, but that doesn't mean it went away. in the age of terror, we ought to be doubly afraid of radioactive and trojan horses in our midst, which is what the nuclear power plants are. and we've almost forgotten that the nuclear power plan is the path to the bomb. how in the name of heaven do you think north korea ended up with nuclear bombs? we promised in a nuclear power plant. there is no peaceful atom. and wants a country, you know, enriches uranium and enriched it a little more, they make bombs.
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so we've got to go back to recognizing a comic energy is an awesome threat -- atomic energy. the good news is come and have the pleasure of discussing this with president carter the other day. i'm 91, and we said we never thought we would have the joy of living long enough to see solar power cheaper than nuclear power, but that's what we have today but we are out of our cotton picking mind if we continue with nuclear power, with the awesome danger that poses and the lesson, how can we tell the thing is not to make a bomb if we continue advocating nuclear power plants? we just don't have a decent mayor. and then there is not only the danger of the danger power plants themselves melting down, but they generate waste that after 50 years we haven't figured out what to do with it
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or where to put it, and it stays radioactive for centuries and centuries and centuries. there's a moral issue about continuing to make waste that we don't know how to handle. there's only one answer. it's called birth control. we need to stop making it, and we need to bring the nuclear issue up to the forefront on par with climate change, is something that we need to get under control. and the great news is that modern-day addison's have learned how to harness the sun and harness the wind to where we can do that, and actually cheaper than nuclear power or the fossil fuel plants. it's kind breaking my heart to see on the technical side, and we've invented the answer and we don't have the intestinal fortitude or the common sense to override the power of the entrenched industry to require
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that it be used. and that gets me to my basic point about energy policy. if the threats are even as half as awesome as i described them, and they are, we have to believe the scientists and we to understand the nuclear problem. we face these threats to eliminate the one home we have, mother earth. frankly, we don't have the money to send anyone to mars at a don't think we all went up there him a that our resources on mars that enable us to live. we don't have any other option. our only home is not yet burning up but it is heating up and it's about to catch on fire to the point where it will be uninhabitable, if we don't get blown up first. all this is going on and we are relying on the marketplace to solve us. now, give me a break. we could pass all the carbon tax
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in the world which would been trying for 40 years that successfully to pass, and would not electrified the railroads. it would not require detroit to start making all greenhouse gas free motor vehicles, and it wouldn't require the homebuilders to have greenhouse gas free home. we may problem is really tough like, say, getting rid of ddt, we just frickin' outlawed it. if we had led in toys, we didn't have led tax. we just outlawed it. why in the name of common sense is not any of the so-called liberals or our president even advocating something as straightforward and simple as a one since law wrecks everything new must be greenhouse gas free.
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[applause] why are we going to all these indirect measures kind of hoping that maybe it will happen when the threat is described as the most awesome thing to ever happen? if your family doctor called you and told you that your kids with eating a poisonous diet, and prescribed a different diet, and really didn't even cost anymore. i think 99 out of 100 people would switch diets. that's what we have on our hands. we have got 30 years left, according to the scientist, or they could be wrong one way or the other, 30 years to go down to zero in the use of fossil fuels. now, you don't need to be an energy expert to figure out that if we reduced fossil fuels 3% a year every year, it would not be that awesome a task.
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we have the technology to substitute, solar, wind, storage, and if we mandate it and it happened, could happen. my suggestion is, and we passed a law requiring the 3% a year reduction in fossil fuels, and to the extent that someone doesn't comply, then they are taxed a large amount of money per unit of carbon by the internal revenue service, and it is a non-by passable tax that the company has to absorb that they can't pass on. the problem with the so-called carbon tax is that people pay. they just pass it on and it doesn't necessarily require the right behavior. my idea would be to require the right behavior and then to the stent that a company doesn't
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open, then they have to pay a tax out of the corporate profits. and that, i know what you're thinking. all of the ideas, they simply couldn't but they won't pass the congress. well hell, i know that. nothing will pass the congress right now. if that's the test of what we are for, we are doomed. i mean, there's one sure way of failing, and that's not trying. and harry truman didn't think health care would pass when he first proposed it. i mean, if we don't give the young people an energy policy worth fighting for, what good are we wrecks it might take a while to get it passed. it might be that we can get past any number of states first, and then it will be shown to be enforceable without hurting anybody. in fact, prices will end up being lower. but unless we give, if i might
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put it this way, the bernie sanders folks, and energy policy worth fighting for, then it's never going to happen. we need to stop having a test of what existing congress or the existing president will pass. because this democracy can't function unless we that something worth fighting for, fight for it and get people within congress and in the white house in the years to come that will enact it. but i think there are enough green states in this country right now that if we got together on a program of saying no, we're not going to rely on atom smith to get the most awesome problems on earth. we're going to accept the fact that we must start now. the politicians will tell you
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and announce, we have a great goal, in 2050 we are going to such and such. and 2040 we are going to reduce pollution 40%. ask them what are they doing in 2016 come in 2017 come in 2018. because the scientists are telling us that we've got to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases on a steady path downward between now and 30 years. and right now it's still going up. it's an applause line to secure for one of% renewable, but then the question is what are we doing to get there? and i say that when something is really important, why do we have a government for? it's to do the things that you can do individually. if there was ever an issue that required a governmental action, it is the climate issue and the nuclear issue. it's really not that hard. i mean, i think we have the
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luxury of being able to make a transition. so we could pass laws that in effect said by 2025, every car made, sold in america has to be greenhouse gas free. we could see in a few years every new building has to be greenhouse gas free. and the technology is there to make it happen. we know how to make electric cars. we even can make hydrogen fuel cell cars. we know how to put heat pumps in buildings and use that renewable electricity to heat our homes. we sure the lord no how to electrified the railroad. there in like a fight in every civilized country in the world but america. the railroads don't have the capital. we need a green bank to finance office. money is cheap now. this is the time we did it. we electrified rural america with 2% loans back in the '30s, a program of green bank
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and 2% loans would electrified the road, would give people the loans to retrofit their homes to become all electric and all that renewable. this could create not thousand of jobs but millions of jobs. and it could be the greatest adventure that this country undertook in a long, long time. but incidentally it might save our homes from getting burned up. and that is what is under way now. i know i'm probably speaking to the converted here, and we spent too much of our time talking to each other. my request to this audience and the people that see this dog is to find somebody that is not concerned and get a hold of them and make them concerned. and every time you see a member of congress or anyone in public life, tell them our house is on fire, by gosh, and we need to
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put it out. and the nuclear threat always takes, all it takes is some terrorists stealing a tiny bit of plutonium out of someplace of the world employ a new york city. the indian point nuclear plant 20 miles from new york city as a far greater threat to that city than i this is. and yet nobody hardly even knows it exists. we've got to start making this the very highest priority we have, because if we don't all of our other priorities are really not going to matter. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you, david freeman, or the 200 -- for the humorous yet
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sobering account of the dangers facing us in climate policy. our next speaker is a former textile or from washington, d.c. and a visiting professor at mount holyoke college where he taught winners and losers, a summit on youth tax policy as well as a seminar on poverty. he's in the process of preparing material that will be free online which will be for high school teachers to teach students about the federal income tax him the federal corporate income tax and one on social security and medicare. he is the author of if americans really understood the income tax, as well as tampax questioned the candidates don't want you to ask. john fox, welcome. [applause]
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well, thank you very much. first of all it's a privilege to be here to these marvelous speakers. so i'm delighted this conference is going on. i want to talk to you this morning about a topic dear to my heart that strikes fear in the hearts of most americans, taxation. i want to tell you about talks i've been getting over the last two years which makes you think, john, are you really serious? but again. for the last two years i've been giving talks to high school juniors and seniors in u.s. government and economic classes about how to think about a fair and sensible individual income tax. now you can smile. but the fact is that the teachers find it is very useful. they tell me they wouldn't have any idea what to teach, and yet they learned that so much of my dog is relevant to what they do
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teach. best of all, they tell me that most of the students, not all of course, but most of the students get it. and the other thing is it's really fun to do. i have been giving these talks because i'm convinced that the dreadfully low level of political discourse and debate about tax issues is attributable in good part to the failure of our education system to address it. and this has left the public uninformed. and so affordable to almost anything a politician say about it. i believe this is more than just a major failure in our civics education. i believe it's dangerous. so in a few minutes i have with you, here's what i tell students in the course of an hour. taxes fund the agencies and operations of the federal government, but they do much
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more. federal tax policies help shape who we are as a nation and what we will become your that touch upon nearly every aspect of our lives, to think about all those provisions in the tax laws. health care, housing, education, jobs and businesses in every kind, marriage, divorce, death, children, childcare, charities, charitable giving, the environment, on and on and on. in my view, except for the u.s. constitution, federal tax policies collectively represent the most comprehensive expression of american values. yes, i tell the students your personal well being and that of our nation depends upon sound and sensible tax policies. and i tell them if you pay attention for this one our, you will know more about tax policies and 99.7% of all
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americans. may be 99.4% actually. so why focus on individual income tax? for two reasons. first of all, it by far produce the greatest relief fund older programs other than social security and medicare. what about the corporate income tax? the individual income tax produces more than four times the amount of the corporate income tax for all sorts of reasons that you can imagine. secondly the individual income tax has become something of a monster. an ideal income tax would be recently fared, reasonably simple and economically sound. but our income tax is to quit unfair, unimaginably complicated as you know, and an excessive drag on the economy. americans need to understand why and the imperative to fix it. why is this such a monster? because it attempts poorly in most cases to do much more than
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collect taxes on our income. while it imposes progressive tax rates that run from 10% up to 39.6%, those tax rates apply only to taxable income. and the fact is, and you don't do this generally, only about half of all individual income is subject to tax your more than, well more than 100 tax breaks shelter the other half of all individual income. and that means last year close to $71 of individual income wind untaxed. i did say trillion. in general those tax breaks don't make social or economic sense. wind i prefer to income i'm referring to any form of economic gain whether direct such as ours or fringe benefits at work which i will be talking about any moment. when i refer to the tax break i'm not talking about the
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ordinary and necessary expenses that businesses are entitled to in order that they be taxed appropriately on the profits. i'm talking about specially involving a personalized unrelated to any trade or business. a fair tenet, a basic tenet of a fair tax is one that taxes people in accordance with their ability to pay. that would mean people in households of equal size with equal income would pay roughly the same. but far too often our tax burdens depend on our ability to avoid taxes, not on our ability to pay them. under our tax system your actual tax liability, whether you are a winner or loser depends in part on the number of tax breaks and the size of those tax breaks that you're entitled to. here are three principal examples. we will have winners and losers. they are somewhat simple find
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but winners work for employers who pay all sorts of fringe benefits for them. health insurance premiums, life insurance premiums, disability insurance premiums, contribution for childcare, and handsome contribution to retirement plans for the thousands and thousands of dollars never appear on your tax return, even though you know they have real economic value. the loser works for an employer who pays perhaps the same total compensation but i'll give sovereignty to all that appears on her tax return. second, own their own home, and perhaps a vacation home. there's interest of both homes. for example, the winner might own a principal residence that he bought for 650,000 are barred six and $50,000, borrowed $350,000 for the ski condominium. the ducks the interest on the. also deducts all the property
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taxes on any number of homes, even five or six vacation homes. the loser rants, raves their house or apartment in the loser doesn't even get a deduction for any part of that went. third, a winner receives a good deal often of his income from investment. from investments in stocks and mutual funds which received a favored tax rate. the loser, she works. her income is on salary, and all of that is subject to progressive tax rates. just goes into tax break doesn't mean it's bad. but it does mean that we ought to ask why is it there ask who benefits from it? who doesn't? who are the winners were the losers. what are the social and economic costs? one of the outcomes? most of these tax programs, most of these tax breaks are the equivalent of government programs. they are simply channeled
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through the tax laws. here's a major difference. if a government program exists, it has a budget and it must be reviewed annually by the federal government, by the particular congressional committee. tax breaks have no budget. they never have to be revealed unless some committee requires it. notice the relationship between tax breaks and tax rates. the more income that escapes taxation, the higher tax rates have to be for everyone. simple example, if the government needs to raise $20 of revenue for every $100 of income, a flat 20% rate would suffice if all $100 were eligible for the tax get back if one half of our income, $50, is subject to tax, you need a rate of 40%.
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so this is so important because the vast majority of tax breaks provide the greatest tax savings for people with the highest income. let me demonstrate this with two major examples. these are things that we take for granted and we all tend to believe in them. health insurance premiums paid at work. as so many of you know, those premiums, no matter how high the most likable policies are not subject to income tax or cell cell security tax. even though they're clearly a form of income. you know if the employer paid to that amount of money and you pay the insurance company, it would be the economic result, but they are off the chart. no matter how large, they never appear on your tax returns. solution to this. over the next five years, estimates are something like $740 billion of tax savings will
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result from the exclusion just of health insurance premiums at work. that's a big program, and i think we should be asking who benefits the most from it, who doesn't benefit, and what are the other costs? the math is simple and this is something the students get right away. for every $1000 of premiums that are not going to be taxed, if you would've been tax anything that tax rates run from 10% to 39.6% today, if you would been tax at the 39.6% on that thousand dollars, you save $396. if you would been tax at the 10% rate, you save only $100. it that premium had been added to income, if your income is so modest you would have been taxed anyway. you save nothing. so that's the dollars and sense. but employers typically provide additional much larger policy for the executives, for top
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management are i wrote an op-ed some years ago about golden sachs are provided premiums of $40,000 a year. i think if they felt their going to sneeze they recovered. warty thousand dollars a year for the top 400 managers. these are the top income farmers in the world, among the top. the each of state at the time roughly $14,000 a year in taxes, which was the cost of the basic policy. essential is the government giving them a basic policy through this exclusion. this also produces a concept that i think is really important of double losers. who are the double losers? these are employees who work for companies, and millions of americans do, they don't provide any health insurance at work. they make a little too much money to get medicaid, and they had to go out in the marketplace and by the health insurance. but because the huge exclusion for health insurance drives up
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the price of health insurance and the cause of all health care, they have to pay more for all of that because others get the benefit of this enormous exclusion. the affordable care act has held. it's only tempered this outcome. there's a couple policy equations i leave with you but why should the government provide the greatest tax savings for health insurance premiums for the people with the highest income who could afford to buy those policies without any government assistance? secondly why should the government ever subsidize a health insurance policy other than a basic one? so now let me turn to the second, the most sacred deduction, and you know that it's in the constitution. it must be, the home mortgage interest deduction. some say the second amendment, it must be there. the home mortgage interest deduction allows people to deduct the interest on up to $1 million of loans to buy a principle of the principal
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residence and/or vacation home. so you could borrow $650,000 to buy your principal residence, 350,000 to buy a vacation home and deduct all the interest on that. the public is encouraged to believe that home mortgage interest deduction is canceled essential to increase the number of homeowners, and it strengthens the economy. but as in the "wizard of oz," let's peek behind the rhetorical curtain and look at this decision which is what the third in congress -- the third rail in congress. they won't touch it. certain taxpayers over the next five years, $400 billion. it's a big program. let's imagine, i know you all have imagination. that's why you're here. that congress the limited the mortgage interest deduction -- you get your? that's all. imagine i'm over there.
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[laughter] it eliminated the deduction budget authorized housing and urban development to issue $400 billion of checks, tax-free, to all the people that would've gotten the deduction in exactly the same amount of the tax savings to they end up in same position. the government is out 400 billion. imagined in monday morning, and i'm the chair of the house ways and means committee, something i always wanted to be. and i'm going to tell you how proud we are for the dissolution of that $400 billion. and down the middle their will be the bottom half of all taxpayers. i apologize, but you on the right, you on the top half of all taxpayers, and the five of you including mr. freeman, you included, you are in the top 5%. and students in the top 5% always mother you can see in the people here always look at green.
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in any event here's how the 400 billion is allocated, and i'm happy detailee. 2% goes to the bottom half of all taxpayers. you get $8 billion. the other 392 billion goes to the top half of all taxpayers. and to you by, he's putting up his thumb, the top 5%, you get 40% or $160 billion over the next five years, so you can buy or build a house of your pleasure. that's 20 times what the bottom half of all taxpayers get. if this on television you think maybe it's "saturday night live," but it isn't. that's exactly how, approximately how that 400 billion will be distributed over the next five years. and it has real precautions. first of all there is and if it creates more homeowners. in fact, england, canada and
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australia have no home mortgage interest deduction, nothing like it, and they have roughly the same ownership of homes as we do. in fact, some have a higher percentage. secondly, a mini helps people people buy and build the drones than it would otherwise. not a basic home. it drives up prices of homes. this is no free be. if you lost your home mortgage interest induction, the price of you would go down. you are paying for it. it isn't free money. and most interesting both liberal and conservative economists say that our economy would be stronger, not weaker, if less of our capital were allocated to homeownership, particularly expensive homes, so the more capital would be a failed at lower interest rates to new businesses come to existing businesses to expand, add jobs, et cetera. who might be the double losers? how about renters?
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there is not a lot of research on this, but just think of the common sense. so much capital is allocated to homeownership, and less capital presumably is allocated to apartments, to places that you can rent. renters absolutely have much less income than homeowners, on average. so they effective have to pay higher rent than they would otherwise be because of these huge subsidies for homeowners who have much more income to begin with to pay for their housing costs. as mr. freeman says, what should congress do? although the leading tax commission of the bush administration and under the obama administration has concluded we should reduce many of them, eliminate the really inflation once, the unfair once, and expose more income to tax and make more sense out of all this. you know what happened. congress ignored it. but as mr. freeman said, a fair and sensible income tax is worth fighting for.
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special reform should be done over time so not just to disrupt the economy but if congress moves in that direction more people would pay in accordance with their ability to pay. and it would save in work and invest in ways to produce the greatest economic return rather than focusing on the tax savings. and assuming the government, and there are some things that should be in the tax law, the earned income tax credit is a wonderful example, so assuming some social and economic provisions ought to be in the tax laws, let's think about tax credits. every dollar of tax credit saves you 1 dollar. it doesn't matter what your marginal tax bracket is. so if you all $1000 in cheap 1000 our tax credit, you don't own anything if you own -- if you all a million dollars you owe a million minus $1000. tax credits also should be refundable in many cases where there are social programs.
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because a refundable tax credit like the earned income tax credit which says to people who are working but don't earn a living wage are going to get extra money to help them have a living wage. and so if you make a refundable, if you don't of the income tax you will get a direct grant. both commission said that about home mortgage interest. it should be replaced by a creditor congress ignored that. finally, you might have the largest credit for people who need help most, and alisa credits for people who need the help least. so this is how i ended my talk with the students, and ended with you. i say to them, i hope that some of you are brave enough if you're at a political rally, and i hope you go to the political rallies, and you're a politician say i'm going to propose a new deduction to help ordinary workers, you hard-working workers, that you will raise your hand and you will say, what are you proposing a tax break to
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save the most money for people with the highest income who need the assistance least, and the least tax savings for people with low and moderate incomes who need the assistance most? thank you very much. [applause] >> all right. to introduce our next big i believe mr. nader will be returning. is that right? -- next speaker. >> thank you, john foster in fact we have copies of the 10 questions that politicians don't want to answer. we can give them out, especially
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to college students who have arrived. [applause] >> and are going to demonstrate they have the highest attention span of all college students in the country today. [applause] no smart phones. it's a great pleasure to introduce joan claybrook who has worked on the congress for almost 50 years. the congress is the most powerful instrument of our democracy to transform our country. just look at the power it has in the constitution, that power to tax, the power to spend, the power of oversight and investigation, the power to confirm nominations for the courts and high executive branch officials, and many other powers. they also have the eye of the media, and that's why we ought to be attention to the congress. it has been about 22% of her
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income. and what it does and doesn't do can neither and noble the country or get the country in a lot of trouble, like the criminal invasion of iraq which the congress punted to the white house in 2003. the people are supposed to be sovereign. the constitution starts with we the people, not we the congress or we the corporation. and yet 1500 or so corporations, give or take, pretty much control and majority of the congress on many issues that affect everybody, health, safety, economic well being, environment. and so there's this gap between the constant pressure by thousands of lobbyists on capitol hill every day, and the withdrawal of most of the people in this country, holding their members of congress accountable. are only 335 of them. who put their shoes on every day
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like you and i, and does warren buffett once said we are 309 people, how come we can't control 535 elected politicians? what joe has done, she's going to demonstrate this, is show how a citizen lobbyist can go up on capitol hill and get things done. what does the citizen lobbyists, environmental consumer, labor, whatever, what did they bring to senators and representatives? they bring a set of facts documenting barrels for corruption or what have you. they bring their own determination and creativity and strategy. they bring a reflection of public opinion, majority of public opinion like safeguards. they like clean air. they like clean water. sort of a left-right long issue and so forth.
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and they bring the ability to selectively pick your allies where they are in congress in strategic committee locations and so forth to get a foothold. so what are the citizen groups up against? they are up against corporations who have far more lobbyists outnumbering the citizen lobbyists. the drug companies the one time when you're pushing the drug benefit bill had 450 full-time lobbyists and up on capitol hill, 450. that's only the drug industry. they have a lot of money they pour into packs pick they have a lot of persistence that the job depends on their success in congress. they have the own specialized media like the chamber of congress, and they are able to offer jobs to congressional staff or members of congress
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after they leave the congress, which is very little appreciated tool that they have. you are going to hear how one citizen lobbyist actually dealt with this mountain of oppositi opposition. and on more than a few occasions prevail. she was the longtime president of the public citizen. before that she ran public citizens congress watch. she did work on capitol hill but when she goes up on capitol hill equipped with those items that i just mentioned, senators from both sides have a hard time ignoring her. son want to introduce what the auto companies once called the dragon lady, joan claybrook. [applause]
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>> well, i think we've heard his talk, we can go home now, can't we? so it's a pleasure to be here today. this is a great conference. it an extremely important -- it's extremely important to organize leaders to talk about what they do, what they learned and to convey it as broad as possible. so i'm going to talk about the congress, which everyone is quite odd by. i'm going to give you a list of 10 principles for getting bills enacted, 10 principles and, indeed, a few examples of how we use them. of course giving billions of dollars in campaign that are hiring of high-priced lobbyists is not a strategy option for the public interest groups.
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indeed business entities spend billions on lobbying congress and to you. it's amazing often citizen groups knocked down legislative battles. ralph mentioned one of the strategies is hiring congressional staff or members of congress when they leave their post, when there were willing to do something to the. sometimes they hire the former chief of staff of a particular member who's the chairman of the committee, let's say the ways and means committee, a very important committee, so they can just, they spend $20,000 a month hiring a person so they can influence that member on one particular bill. that's how much money they spend. when i came to washington from baltimore a number of years ago on a fellowship in congress, i was scared to death. a member of congress had me awestruck. had a friend suggested that when i met the first member of congress that i envision and most of them were meant at the
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time, in long red underwear with a top still count. well, that was very helpful more than you can imagine. my first interview was with mark udall, he was success but back and look like abraham lincoln. the red outfit popped into my mind when i met him and i thought all my god, and they giggled and it relaxed me and then i was on my way. never again was i awestruck by a member of congress. it's a great technique the citizen should not be intimidated by high level officials ever. remember, they work for us. in fact, members of a sensitive to pressure, particularly members of congress. they always want to be like. never forget that. because if you get angry with and the next thing you know is to come back and want to make friends with you again. so don't worry about it. and don't forget the u.s. constitution gives us explicit authority in the first amendment to petition the government to
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redress grievances. we are, in fact, carry out the constitution. so 10 principles. first is to divide talk or and organize, organize, organize. don't be overwhelmed by 435,100 the thousand 100 anderson. ralph is put into perspective with 300 million americans, why can't we control the? it's also important which is doing the work remember that congress has many subparts. if committees and subcommittees, leadership groups. estate in asia caucasus. that's where the real work occurs. rather than having to worry about 135 minutes of congress, you have to worry about 40 or 50. those are the ones they're going to make a decision on your bill. and that's very doable. second of all, second principle, find the leader. you need a leader, a member of congress, in each house is a skilled legislator answers on the committee of jurisdiction
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over the proposed bill. probably want a bipartisan group, leaders. a strong leader makes the difference between winning and losing. work which led to draft a bill with help from congressional council that he or she will arrange. help the leaders achieve their goals and yours and that always includes getting media. so leaders are really critical. third, know the rules governing of legislation to congress in the world just like the courts have their own rules. you and your leader must know the pertinent rules that will decide the outcome of the the. i won't go into the details but there are lots of rules. work closely with congressional staff will always connecting with a member. the staff are critical because they can facilitate your work by tell you what's going on inside congress. they often difference was happening on your legislation. they hear from merging opposition, he envoy to pay attention to your opposition.
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they will hear about possible hearings or key roles. they cannot build in support of the congressional staff officers. so the staff is with the gatekeepers of the numbers. you need their support. and when i say you, i mean you as a group, not u.s. individual. i think ralph it is silly person who by himself got a built in mid-into law. that was 50 years ago. so you need to have a group. you need to have the unit to organize. five, you need to prepare voters to support a bill. you need to argue why you want this piece of legislation. you've got to make sure when it% i could, precise, interesting and decide to persuade. different documents must be prepared for congressional offices so the media and for coalition groups. because you want to build a coalition. that is i get legislation through on the consumer perspective. they must include data and research and sources listed at
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least one or two documents. you can get information from internet, from library, from the congressional record, from freedom of information act request to government agencies, from free government publications, university professors, other experts, the gao and so when. so there are lots of source of you to get your information. about what also from industry that's relevant to what you're talking about. but the bottom line is a one page summary. and went late summer is dynamite. because i first started working as a lobbyist, general motors would come in with no books. ralph was so cheap they wouldn't let us have a xerox machine. [laughter] so it is a mimeograph machine which is a pain in the neck, maybe some of you have never heard of a mimeograph machine come it's all the. psycho to type them if you make a mistake unit to erase it with some liquid and wait until it dried and we typed in so well. we did want the summers. it was too much trouble to do more than that.
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what i learned, you hit them when she the paper, they take the piece of paper, they folded like this, they followed by this and they put in their pocket. where would you want to be what you want to be on his inside pocket. to always remember, give them a very concise material. six, develop as broad a coalition as possible. join with consumer groups and victim groups, labor entities contain special such as individual businesses or business groups that sometimes break off from the rest of them. prominent individual other nonprofits can groups concerned with the substance of your bill. citizens from the congressional district with maximum organizing and minimum procedure for participating. seven, finding victims of arm that are trying to remedy them focusing take on victims from your latest district and from
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those of members who opposed the legislation. if you bring in a victim and other% is somebody who supports legislation, they try to melt and that's what you want to do. you want to melt your opposition. eight, media coverage if you issues critical to your legislative success. we want to get image of people about it. the broader circulation, a better, i.e. the new times for the "washington post" or "wall street journal," ap, television networks but these are hard to achieve. there are also thousands of other outlets from regional dailies to politico the 24 hour television and revenues, social media on the internet and saw. to get the media to pay attention you need to tell a sympathetic story. why you're doing this to you need to explain this story. need to engage in a major fight. the media loves fights. they love battles.
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get prominent people involved, hollywood, sports et cetera. put on a show like crash testing a car. be very, very, very, very persistent. competition for media coverage is very fierce and so you want to really entice them into it. nine coming to the executive branch deposit to support a builder this could be critical to success. success. it has vast resources, can provide essential information. they can express an opinion which helps they can release a report or paper that turns the tide that it can threaten to veto or expressed support to the office manager and budget, getting the right people early in the recession is very important that it doesn't always work but it's important. and the educational by a congressional hearings on your bill is unquestioned members will engage and educate other members who support or oppose
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reporting bill out of committee to get to the floor, which is what you want. getting committee members to support is essential to get it debated on the house floor or the senate floor. to be successful you meet a variety of the best witnesses to argue for the bill including some victims if possible. always victims. technical experts, representatives from the coalition, high-level official some sort. a report will be prepared for consideration on the floor of each house can read the report and draft it possible to make sure it is coverage of issues effectively. that's where the staff coming. they might let you do that. this is not an easy set of principles to achieve but it is how you actually have to work to get the enacted into law. and that's a wonderful publication called how a bill becomes a law that you can get from a member of congress which goes into more detail.
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with a little less emphasis on victims. which is what i've added to this. so now i'd like to give some real-life examples of some experiences i've had in trying to get bills enacted into law. amendments to the freedom of information act come into semis were highly technical legal provisions but a house leader was not an attorney anyone to compromise the way remedies to as i said you want strong leaders. he was not. likely senator ted kennedy secured these provisions without insulting or angering the house leader. alida can cause extra work and can -- the hard work that's been put into your legislative effort. to always try to get strong leaders. bipartisan sponsorship of controversial proposals achieves miracles. it really is amazing. as well point out in his excellent book unstoppable. if you want to read a fun book about how you really get action
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on not only congress but other issues, read unstoppable by ralph nader. we want window stickers on the windows of new cars showing up each vehicle performed in crash test the highly controversial idea. the our industry was vehemently opposed to it but we persuaded republican senator mike dewine to propose this as an elected democratic bill, and just sailed through. the of and she melted. they did know how to oppose somebody who's sort of their guy. another example is we stopped fedex in their huge push for longer trailers. they want to go from 20 to 33 feet. the length of an eight story high building on the highway. i mean, it's like a train on the highway. its multimillionaire ceo fred smith personally lobbied many senators to he gives big campaign contributions. but senator dianne feinstein agreed to oppose this provision come and we need the republicans
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so we had to sort of do a little search, and we found that transportation leader in of all places mississippi. who oppose these larger trucks tenacity highways could handle them. he got senator roger wicker in the senate to work with dianne feinstein, and it was a winning combination. along with our fullbore lobbying to educate and inform members of the deadly consequences of the bigger truck. we have pictures of the truck. with victims of the truck. with pictures of fedex trucks having crashed with these extricate trailers because they were not in a few states. our coalition simply outsmarted them with all the bucks. so it's a matter of strategizing, creativity, telling the truth and having some visual ability to communicate it. the importance of staff is one of my favorite ones was a good when senator lott, had offered up to a lot?
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you who he is, right? he and i had a huge battle over campaign finance reforms we did not like me. so we took over the highway safety subcommittee and he would not let me testify on a built-in with rollovers. so what do the top staffer of the committee chair he was not the chair. we went to the chair, ted stevens of alaska who didn't have a dog in this fight, as the sake of the reins for small private meeting with us, senator stevens, senator lott and ranking senator dan inouye of hawaii. lot was irritated. he walked into the meeting really mad when he came to us as chair of told us yet to. we present our case in about 10 minutes, very concise, about the dangers of rollover and buy something to be done in congress. he really got interested in the safety issues the one of the things he said was you know, i get it. my son makes me strap those
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babies inside front waste and backwards and upside down and inside out. those are his grandchildren. and so begin to imagine and understand what we're talking about. he then heard a brief presentation by our industry, by then his mind was made up to the individual, he became our advocate. he got a bill requiring rollover safety standards and accidental law in six months, and all we needed was the opportunity to present our case. ..
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the safety standards at motorcoach for years. and so when some students were killed in a crash going to a sports event or the senators ohio where the school was located from georgia where the crash occurred and that included john miller, kay bailey hutchison in texas were a lot of these crashes on the train station safety board and understood by the things we needed this seatbelt in the exit capacity. so we got the bill introduced and then the motorcoach industry said it's going to cost tens of millions of dollars to put this into effect.
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once again, we question that. we looked it up in their 700 million people who've arrived every year. and so, we figured out the cost was about 10 cents per person per ride. when we revealed that, the opposition couldn't make their case. once again, one not. i'll tell you a story who didn't want to have placards on their trucks carrying agricultural chemicals which were extremely dangerous. they said it costs too much so we went on the internet was on the placards cost 53 said each. you've always got to question what the arguments of the other side are geared 505 lakh or if we delivered one to each member of congress


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