tv After Words Rep. John Delaney The Right Answer CSPAN July 1, 2018 10:50am-12:01pm EDT
society? >> "after words" errors every saturday on 10 p.m. eastern and sunday at 9 p.m. eastern and pacific time. all previous "after words" programs are available on our website booktv.org. next on booktv's "after words," maryland congressman john delaney the first democrat to declare a run for president in 2020 offers his vision for america picks interviewed by donna brazile for much of the democratic national committee. this this is a weekly program wh with relevant guest hosts interviewing top nonfiction authors about their latest work. >> host: congressman john delaney, the author of the new book "the right answer." congressman, you wrote this book at a time when our country is very divided. what motivated you to spell out not just the challenges but also some of the solutions? >> guest: personal it's great to be here with you donna.
i think the central question facing this country more than any particular piece of policy and i'm sure we'll get into different policy ideas and solutions but more than policy is how to take this terribly fractured nation and bring it back together. that's important for two reasons. reasons. number one is consistent with the we are as a people, it were more unified we can take on opportunities and overcome challenges more easily but the thing i think that's happened across the last several decades is the stop doing things. why we stop doing things, we never talk with of the things we agree with each other on. was talk with things we disagree on. the problem if you don't constantly update institutions in society for the world based on how it is change, then you increase i start leaving people behind. i think it's incredibly important that we try to come together on some of the things we agree with each other once a we can agree getting things done. it's important for our character and our resilience as the people in terms of our ability to deal with the crisis that could rise
or a huge opportunity but it's important for our day-to-day operations of government just of a concert getting something sent. >> host: in writing the story you do about your background as a grandson of an immigrant. tell us a little bit about albert. >> guest: my grandfather is in many ways the start of the book, as i said in the acknowledgments when i was thinking anyone. he came as a boy and it was 1924 and he came on a ship that had a couple thousand people. he came into new york harbor like a lot of immigrants, he came from england. he came into new york harbor and there were 15 ships that steamed into new york harbor that day. delivering it to thousands immigrant. if you think about that it's the scale of kind of, 15,000 people come in one day. he came with seven brothers and sisters, and back in the usage of physical on all new immigrants. they called it the six-second
physical to see if you're okay because we had a merit-based system effectively where we wanted able-bodied men and women. his six brothers, seven brothers and sisters get let in and he gets detained. the reason is he at one arm he lost his arm as a little boy in england when he was playing with the world war i shelf that had not exploded and it exploded when he played with it. that's how he lost his arm. he was detained and they got an appeal for him and the appeal was held in the great hall of ellis island where there was a judge, people speaking multiple language and my grandfather used to tell the story around the thanksgiving table that when the judge walked in he is putting on his robe and my grandfather could see that the judge only had one arm. and he used to say that's when he knew he would be an american. and so i kind of frame a lot of the book around his story across his life because in many ways myself and some other americans,
we really are the sort of the american dream. this grandfather of mine who came as a disabled person and he barely got into the country can he only got into the country out of good fortune that this judge had one arm. he ended up working in a pencil factory, jersey city new jersey is a a life but is a good citi. he got involved in his town council and he raised his son, took care about is american values. my dad was a union electrician and had these amazing opportunities i've had with my life. these are the stories of america. i wanted to use the framing of al's life as we talk but what we need to do as a country to make sure everyone has an opportunity to live the american dream and what you talk a lot about your family. your father of course was electrician and the summers used it with him and also your mom, who also provided so much in first -- inspiration. i was struck by this decision
you made initially to go into the medical field and then you turn direct and decided to a lawyer. can you tell us a little about that? >> guest: my parents who didn't go to college and in the town i grew up in was a very blue-collar town. back then what you wanted for your kids, you one thing to live a better life is being a doctor was a very kind of successful, prestigious profession as it is today today but particularly for that striving immigrant culture, if my child can get a good education can be a doctor, wouldn't that be amazing? i was a pretty good student so they pushed me to do that. i thought that was fine. fun. i had an uncle who was a very successful -- uncle jack it was my mentor in many ways because again, my parents didn't go to college. they were not take a well-educated but i would talk to uncle jack about these things so that seemed like a good track to meet that all changed when i got to columbia university where he went to college and i was studying to be a doctor. when you're studying you do two
things. you are involved in hospital and you try to do some biomedical research. so during my sophomore year i was doing those two things, i was volunteering, working in the lab and is pretty clear that this was not for me. >> host: so we decided to take on another major and apply to law school. >> guest: right. i was living with some people, some guys were going to law school, and i had never thought about going to law school that i said to myself, if i tell my parents under going to medical school but at the same time i say but i'm going to go to law school, i thought that would be a much better conversation. that was really hate to say it one of the driving reasons. i felt like if i'm not going to pursue this profession that i focus on my parents had sacrificed so much to give me this opportunity to go to this great school, i did tell them what i was doing and that seemed like as good as anything. >> host: most first-year law students, i knew you would to georgetown university law school and that was amazing, but most
crucial law students focus on their studies but you at another goal in mind. tell us all a bit about that, that first summer when you went back to jersey and decided to try had it being a businessman. >> guest: right. so between -- i was working in the construction this because my dad was an electrician and he would normally get a job in the summer working in construction. i was working with a friend of mine, dominic, we're working on a construction site in the meadowlands in north jersey, and i was a laborer and is operating a bulldozer, and the company was building the building that we are working on was a development company that was owned by a lawyer and some who had a lot of background in construction. so dominic and i sitting there sweating in the meadowlands in the middle of the summer said that's what we should do. we should go into business and i'm going to law school so i'll be the lawyer and dominic,
you'll stay in the construction business so you can be that end of the business, and let's do that. i went to law school and i was doing my work and i was working at a law firm because i had -- the law firm get a lot of real estate stuff. dominic and i came up with this plan to do a development of the north jersey. even though i was in law school i traveled up there. we convinced a bunch of homeowners to sell us their homes and we had this plan to build an apartment building and the got themselves their homes conditional upon us getting approvals to build this building so i got five people still as their homes on a contingent contract. he put together this plan to get approval for an apartment building. we really did know what we're doing. i was a law school. dominic was to working in construction but we figured if we can get approval to build this 24 unit apartment building then we figure out how to make it work. and so we kind of came up with this idea. we got peace like people to sell us homes. we had an architecture draw up
the sketch and a file an application. needless to say the hearing in the little small-town didn't go take a look. >> host: so you had to talk to the politicians. >> guest: i thought i knew everything i think of it lies within five minutes of the that this is not going so well, and it boldly got rejected. that was the end of our development career. >> host: but you didn't give up on your journey. you continue to pursue, becoming an entrepreneur. but before you left law school, and i want to get to you becoming a politician of course but before you left law school, you met an amazing person who you later married. tell us about her. >> guest: april who is now my wife of 29 years, best thing that ever happening was meeting her, so it was my third year of law school. cite had just come back from a summer working in new york at a law firm. it was a false second you. she was a year behind. it was the first week back in
school. we all remember what first week back in school is like. a win is running around going out, nothing too serious yet. just get to your classes. april and i met at a bar in d.c. i was with about a half-dozen of my friends. she was with a half-dozen of her friends. we chatted and we danced a bit and nothing really happened. we just kind of met each other in next day i'm in the law school and she's sitting in her, picking out her classes. ..
but i drop pretty much all my classes and i reregistered for classes i saw her pick out so that i would be in a bunch of her classes >> host: you're a man on a mission. >> guest: sometimes in life, you just kind of know. >> host: so you leave law school and you go and work at a firm and then you decide to i guess get back into being a businessperson.
so that was a veryimportant transition, tell us about that . >> law school, even though i went to law school not thinking i wanted to be a lawyer, while i was in law school i did figure out what i wanted to do which was be an entrepreneur. and it was that start when i started thinking about being a real estate developer back when i was working for dominic and it got reinforced in law school. i started reading about entrepreneurs, started reading about business and by the time i graduated law school i knew that what i wanted to do but i didn't have any money and i wasn't able to get a bunch of money from my parents to buy a business so i do what most people do, go to work at a law firm. it was an amazing experience
but myself and a lost school colleague of mine had become good friends in law school and he had the same entrepreneurial bug that i did but i was in a law firm in dc and we were always talking. every day we would talk about business ideas. one day we saw an ad in the washington post for a business that was for sale and what attracted us to this business was the price, $15,000. didn't matter what it was, we just had to come up with the $15,000. turned out it was a whole health company, a company that would send nurses to people's homes in dc, and it was part of a large company that was having problems and they were selling off their local operation so keith and i scrounged together the $15,000 and bought the business. unfortunately april at this point had graduated from high school and she had a job and i was able to take that risk.
in part because april at a job and we were partners from the beginning in all respects because i would never have been evil to do that but for the fact that wecould take a risk . >> but the business wasn't initially successful because you had problems. >> it was the worst home care company in washington dc by far and we didn't know what we were doing. we got in there and home care is a very important part of the healthcare system now. then it was kind of english and our home care company was the worst in the city. there were more successful ones so we had to figure it out and it took about a year but we did something at the time that was progressive, we went to a beach hmo: pfizer and we told them we would take care of all their patients for a fixed fee and they gave us was called a cath which is getting quite prominent now in healthcare
though that really turned our business around . and we sold it but from that experience i learned something else which was it was hard for us to get bank to lend us money.once we got the contract, we needed money to finance ourbusiness and we couldn't get bank to lend us any money . we weren't going to have any net worth, they just turned around, it was growing really quickly. healthcare was scary at the time because then first lady hillary clinton was thinking of making big changes to the health care system and a lot of banks were like, we don't know how this is going to play out so we had to work with a specialty lender and that's how we financed our business so after we sold the company we said this is a good opportunity to create a company to lend money to small healthcare companies
like ours becausewe knew the healthcare business, we knew it was a big opportunity , and there were no lenders focused onlending to the small healthcare companies . we built a business to lend to those companies and that company took off. >> host: how did it feel to be on wall street and to open the bill, so to speak? once that next company took off? >> our first company, we sold it, we made a little bit of money and we learned a lot. the second company took off. our timing was good. the theory we had for business, that there was a need in the market, we were right on about that so that company took off and in three years it was a good-sized business. we needed to raise more capital to grow the business so we decided to take it public. we took it public in 1996.i remember when i rang the bell for the new york stock exchange i was the youngest
ceo in the history of the new york stock exchange. >> host: how young? >> we write about and 97 though i was 34 years old. >> 10 years later, the country is now embarked on one of the major financial crisis since the great depression and you survived that. tell me what skills you drew on to survive that normal to us period in our history. >> guest: i'm inherently somewhat conservative as it relates to taking risk . i can't afford to take risk as an entrepreneur what you should never get the farm . so i always ran my businesses and by the time my second company which was also in the financial services businesses . >> host: was this capital source? >> the first one, we took it public and we sold it and i still had kind of the entrepreneurial bug so i started the second company
and that was a bigger business and by the time the financial crisis it we had 15 billion in assets, well over 1000 employees . the, they were dependent on us, we were there lender and they were small to midsize businesses and i had over 1000 employees and one boat that has a good saying which is you should always keep a margin of safety for business and i really that the heart and i ran our business with a margin of safety. in other words, i didn't try to leverage the business up as much as possible which would have increased on returns but given us no cushion should something unexpected happened. >> we basically had a lot more capital. we had double the amountof capital of all of our competitors . >> you didn't have to take the government bailout. >> we didn't take the money. we needed every nickel in the
financial crisis hit but the only reason we got group is because we ran the business more conservatively.we left a little money on the table because i was just, i felt like i had an enormous responsibility to my employees and i always wanted to sleep at night knowing that nomatter what happened , wecould survive it . >> so an entrepreneur, ceo turns the politics and you walk into the political world and you find out there are lots of divisions, hyper- partisan divisions. you wrote about george washington concerned about our political party, was he right? >> guest: he was definitely right. it's interesting about washington, he wrote these amazing addresses, the first one when he stepped down as general of the us military and the second one when he stepped down as president and what was remarkable about washington is he could have stayed on and then president for the rest of his life.
there's never been a president nor will there ever be as popular as george washington was at the time he was viewed as the founder of the country in many ways , we had many founding fathers but washington was almost granitelike in his greatness. he decided we shouldn'thave kings . and he stepped down. and he wrote in his farewell address, first of all that tells you a lot about washington as a character and it tells us what he thought about this new random experiment of a country that he was so important creating but what he said in his farewell address is he talked about partisan politics and it was amazingly prissy and when you think about his words. he talked about the need for political parties. we need a way oforganizing ourselves which i agree with . and what he didn't talk about what i that he was thinking was political parties for the purpose around having a debate. because debate should unify us in many ways as opposed to dividing us but what you warned about was political
parties who will put their own interests and of the country.so he was probably the first person to criticize people for putting their party ahead of their country and he said it could lead to treasonous activities because back then at the beginning of this amazing country people were very worried about this new government kind of committing treason with foreign powers who may want to influence how we unfold, particularly with things going on in theworld . he can foresee some country getting involved. so yes, he warned about hyper- partisan politics getting to the point where people prepare a political party ahead of their country to the point of committing treason and he warned the country in the sternest language he could muster about it. and when you think about it today, i kind of agree with washington because we do need political parties.
we need a way of organizing a debate because debates are healthy and they should be civil, respectful and based on the facts and it should be a battle of ideas and it should unify us even if it sometimes difficult, it should ultimately unify us. >> host: you talk about answers and solutions and they shouldn't be republican answers or republican solutions . how did you come to that conclusion? that the problems that face the country should not come from one side or the other but they could possibly be forged together? >> i don't think half the country is wrong about everything they believe and if you listen to our political parties, that's what they say which is democratic party, i'm a democrat member of and i know you're a proud member of and you've been fighting for the democratic party longer than i have but when you listen to what comes out of their mouth it's like everything a republican believes is wrong and the republican party obviously does the same thing
. most americans know that's not who the country is. most americans have friends, neighbors and they respect them, they like them, they think they have good values and occasionally have good ideas so that the private sector and one of the things i tried to do was always think about best practices and the best ideas. you should always be thinking what the best idea, what's the best solution, what's the best practice for this opportunity or challenge? >> i was struck how little of that there is in politics. elected officials getting in there and saying my job is to find the best idea, i don't care where it comes from. what makes you a democrat or republican is an orientation versus how you see the role of government that leads you toward one set of ideas as opposed to theother but that
doesn't mean you entirely focus on one side . >> you've been a member of congress since 2013, you had an opportunity to introduce legislation, work with democrats and republicans but you also in the book talk of an end to partisanship, especially partisanship that rewards divisions, what do you mean by that? >> i think the president or any other elected leader should effectively represent everyone. whether they voted for them or not. they should almost take a pledge never to divide us. that doesn't mean they don't go out there and say why they should vote for me over the other person or by my ideas are better than the other person or why the future i'm envisioning is better than the other person but taking it to the staff where you're actually kind of cultivating a spirit of division is i think one of the things that's gone on in this country right now which is really insidious and i think
if you have the privilege of serving which i feel like i do, in addition to defending and protecting the constitution, we should pledge to the american people we are not going to say things to divide us, that we are going to go out of our way to unify the country because the country is inherently stronger when we are unified. that doesn't mean we agree on everything. there's a difference between a respectful disagreement and engaging in divisive rhetoric and politics. >> but you also identify because what i found very cogent is that you took on big issues from universal pre-k to healthcare to infrastructure and you wrote in the book that we can solve some of these problems. >> guest: we can solve all these problems. >> host: but the solutions you propose are still fallout in some ways because it involves raising money . and coming up with a dedicated revenue stream.
you really came up with great ideas. do you think some of these ideas can pass through to the next congress? >> some of them are easier than others and right now congress is in the top spot. one of the things i talked about in the book is i think as someone who's running for president it would be amazing if a president said in their inauguration speech they represent every american and to prove it they are only going to do bipartisan legislation in the first 100 days. you know donna, there's a tremendous amount of bipartisan legislation. there's things congress have worked on for years with democrats and republicans, there's support for these things. the problem is we haven't seen in a long time a president want to promote some of these as a focus of their early agenda. what we've seen ispeople advancing artisan things . >> host: you spoke about ronald reagan and immigration reform.
>> guest: we have to start walking before we run. some of the ideas i lay out our big ideas but there's other things that i view as more low hanging fruit infrastructure. the overwhelming majority believe federal government has a role in telling our infrastructure, even if you pull conservative republicans think of government in a very narrowly defined way, they will say the first thing the federal government should do is contact us, and our military but after that, second priority should be to invest. so the fact that neither president obama or president trump made infrastructure a first 100 day priority was a huge missed opportunity because that's the kind of thing you can go in front of the american people and say this is something we agree on . >> . >> host: but didn't president obama tried to do that not just with the trump program but some of his tax credits
and tax? >> guest: president obama was dealt a particularly difficult hand. the economy was cratering, the effects of the great potential crisis were devastating. the people losing their jobs every month, that was a stunning number so it's way beyond what any economist could happen i think he had a tough hand. i do think however the stimulus plan which i fully support would have been much better if it was all infrastructure.only about 10 to 15 percent of the stimulus dollars were in fact , and i think the president could have done a $2 trillion stimulus program if it was all infrastructure as opposed to a $900 billion stimulus program which was only 10 to 15 percent because i think the american people want to have our country rebuilt. they know our infrastructure is terrible, they see it in their day-to-day lives when
they have road conditions or lanes on bridges are getting close have been repaired or they go to our reports or if they're in flint michigan and their water is poisoned or rural america and they don't have access to internet. they know we have an infrastructure issue and it could have been somethingthat could have been done on a much bigger scale . >> host: you think about trump in his approach to tax reform and without much democratic support but you argue in the book that it would have perhaps used some of the money that is offshore and brought it back into the country to help rebuild our infrastructure. >> this is an example of something we can agree with each other on.i don't a bipartisan coalition around the concept of fixing our international tax system and our tax system is broken or
was broken and we effectively had a system that encourage companies to keep their money overseas. that was bad for the companies because they want their money back. it was bad for the economy because we be better off having that money in the united states no matter what they do with it. obviously i prefer to invest in their employees and hire more people and open up plants but if they give it to their short shareholders, it's better than having it in some back in london. the us wasn't getting tax revenues. it was a terrible system and i proposed a way of fixing the system that would have created a way for that money to come back and generate hundreds of millions of dollars of new revenues for the federal government and what i said is we should take that money and invest it because by pairing these things together to solve two problems. we fixed the international tax system and create up to $1 trillion of new infrastructure money and there was bipartisan support
what the republicans did is they took my proposal literally almost exactly, they got rid of the infrastructure part so they fixed the international tax system, they put it in the bill and they took the several hundred billion dollars of money and didn't invested in infrastructure but used it to help pay for tax cuts and that took a bipartisan idea and made it a partisan idea and it was a huge missed opportunity. if they have taken the tax bill, they could have done a lot of what they wanted but could you imagine if the tax package at $1 trillion of infrastructure spending in it? imagine if they send our tax reform is going to fix international tax and do things to the corporate tax to make it more competitive. where not going to be able to cut the rate of the top wealthiest americans but we are having $1 trillion of infrastructure. that would have been a whole different discussion. whether you could have gotten there or not remains to be seen but you can see how that
would have been the start because a lot of democrats who had been pushing for infrastructure or a long time and have been right about that, trade unions been supportive of the democratic party, they would have said we've got to pay attention to this because this is giving us an infrastructure program and it would be the basis of a bipartisan deal but you have to be willing to do things on a bipartisan basis. >> host: i want to come back to some of the other solutions but to the democratic party now because some people believe the party is divided and split between say progresses and the so-called moderates. how do you fit into this equation and what will you do as democratic candidate to unify the party? >> i don't think we're that divided. i think that's something that noticed disrespect to the media, i'm a huge supporter of the media, my daughter is a journalist but i think they
tend to emphasize certain things because it makes it more intriguing to people and one of the things the media has been emphasizing is that the democratic party is very divided and there's no question there are somepeople in the democratic party in for their own self interest who want to continue to cultivate image that you are not true democrat but i served with about 190 democrats . every one of us every american should have healthcare. we have different ways of getting there . people have different ideas. every member of congress believes climate change is a problem and human behavior is contributing. we have different ways of solving it.people want and trade every member of congress leaves every child should have pre-k. they looked at the data and they know it's the best investment. then when i look at the other side of the aisle, my republican friends voted to
take healthcare away. few few of them believe climate change is a problem and human behavior is contributing. i helped fund the climate solutions caucus and we got the republican representation but when i say good, a couple dozen out of 30 members. relative to where the republican members of congress are at this point, not necessarily republican voters because if people republican voters, a majority believe climate change happened but if you look at congress, you don't see that. so there'san example . we're only divided if we allow ourselves to be divided. on the big issues of the day, the kind of things in 20 or 30 years in the fullness of time when people look back and askwhere the democratic party was in 2018 , i don't think they're going to see a divided party, they're going to see a party that was trying to do universal healthcare, things around the issues of the day, trying to get invested in communities that had been left behind, doing things for people for the next century i think and
i'm spending a lot of time in iowa and new hampshire and i don't hear people, they want to know how we're going to start winning again, they want to hear more about that than they do about these divisions presumably exist in the democratic party. >> in your book you talk about the, when you went to congress you wanted to invite to the democratic caucus republicans, republican strategists, republican political operatives. why did you want to bring republicans into the democratic party? >> i had this concept in business that you should think about people who disagree with you and you should understand why they disagree with you because maybe they are right about something. you maybe you have something to learn and if youtalk to people who agree with you, you're never going to learn anything . i've been to a bunch of these meetings with the democratic party, you have to area the
all get together in a room and bring a bunch of democratic strategists who basically say the same things any of the democratic consultants i need to will say. and it's kind of like okay, we just spent a lot of time convincing ourselves we are right about everything. why don't we bring in republican, republican strategists. not everyone would do it. what we bring in someone from the think tank or opinion writer from the washington post were one of the more conservative white we listen to how their thinking about the world, >> maybe we were something i've seen other individuals who run for president and they call it , having a listening tour. you have perhaps for the last couple months on a criticism tour, what? >> you're running in and you said this iowa and new hampshire, south carolina and
you're listening to people, trying to learn from them and i read wanted to hear what they have to say so i call it a criticism tour. >> one of the things i'm hearing is democrats want to know how we are going to win. across the white house, house and senate, we lost donors and about 1000 members of the state legislature across the last 10 years so they are concerned about that and i think democrats that i talked to are not that dissimilar to republicans or independents. and you go to these early states in new hampshire where half the state is independent you're talking to people who may not be democrat . >> host: they can vote in democratic primaries. >> guest: they want to know how we are going to come together so that we prioritize daycare. i'll tell you a story i was about in iowa outside of england, wintersetiowa .
it's john wayne's birthplace. i was meeting with the winterset democrat club which is about 15 people and i sit down at the table and i'm talking to the head of the club whose a union electrician which is what my dad was so we were getting along pretty well and the meeting started and he said listen, we are all sanders people here and he looked down the table and his 14 colleagues and one woman put on a pan and said i was with hillary and i said i was to read and he says i said you like bernie, he says i love bernie but i didn't agree with all hispolicies . >> what did you agree with on? >> okay. i'm in a union and i have good healthcare. the single-payer system, i'm going to have to get rid of healthcare and i said you're right, that would happen. what else do you agree on? he said i didn't agree with free college. he said why did the democratic party have to be a party where everything is
going to be free . he pointed to his son who's 10 years old and he said maybe should go to college, maybe he should do what i did which is a union, just go and get a job. i said okay, let's understand this: you like senator sanders, he says i love senator sanders. >> i said but that was bernie's platform. usual word association game you winterset people would say single-payer precollege he said yeah, that's true. but he said first of all, that never would've happened. he's right about that, we now congress and secondly i felt like it was prioritizing, things that really matter to my family. the message there and then he invited me up the next time in winterset to a house party which you know complement in iowa and i'm a self-described moderate democrat he was this
very strong earnings and supporter supporting senator sanders for all the right reasons. he felt like senator sanders was talking to gary. >> he talked about his family and so i can criticize any reason he's supporting senator sanders, that is good reason but herehe is inviting the all honor to come talk . he just wants solutions. our focused on what they care about. what we care about. it's what the voters care about but the voters mostly care about things that will affect their job, pay and opportunities. and we should never forget, no matter what you are or you are in class some people believe the democratic party needs to be reformed and in the book you talk about one of the bills i believe about democracy. i was intrigued with this idea and you came up with three potential steps to begin to democracy, and utah. >> the easiest one to make
election day holiday. the right to vote is such a secret right that people have made enormous sacrifices to have and unfortunately right now a lot of people are trying to do that. >> you support same-day registration? >> guest: i support anything that makes it easier. everyone should get registered to vote and if they get a drivers license the minute they're born, it may not be able to kick in until they're 18, everyone should have the right . it's a bedrock of our country and our democracy and we weren't always care about it as we know. peopleengaged in amazing bows to get the right to vote and weshould be continuing to support so at a minimum we ought to make it a holiday . we got a lot of holidays in this country . nothing is more important holiday celebrating our democracy. which strikes me is as much election day as it is any other holiday and to me that should be on unassailable putting masi, second thing i would do is have an
independent commissions growing congressional districts. gerrymandering is a hideous force in our democracy and what we've done is create always one-sided districts. the problem with one-sided districts, they estimate about 85 percent of congressional districts ours split, meaning either a democrat or republican has no chance. they can only lose to someone in the primary. >> host: i call them reserve seats. >> guest: i like that term. in the reserved seat, people have an incentive to only talk to their people and their party. not all of them but if you believe incentives matter, that's what the incentive is and unfortunately not enough people in primaries and it tends to be the loudest voice so that's an indicator to those people. arthur brooks who did run and
just step down, he did something the other day where he said the american people are tired of the extremes in the parties holding the country hostage and that's whatgerrymandering and able . it enables the extremes in theparties , the very loud voices in these primaries 85 percent of the members of congress. so i would do what places like iowa and california have which is how independent commissions so it's not a political process. the other thing i would do and to me these are kind of either or, if you have independent commissions drawing the districts, you don't need what i'm about to say . open primaries. meaning that everyone runs and the top 2 vote getters participate. >> host: washington state and california. >> guest: is great but if you have independent commissions drawing the districts you don't need open primaries and
having the two of them together is great but you don't even need both. >> host: i guess you mentioned that the democratic national committee did move out of washington dc. do you have a suggestion in mind where the party should move? >> guest: to me it's more symbolic than anything else because i think the democratic party should work for the democratic voters and not for the members of congress and i think it would be a symbolic gesture for the democratic party to do something like that. to say listen, we're going to locate somewhere other than washington. we could do our own amazon hq office around the country. the state submit bids for the democratic party. it's a half serious suggestion, if i had to do 100 things i'm not sure it would be on my list but
sometimes symbolic gestures actually do matter and theoretically it shouldn't matter where thedemocratic party is located, i have nothing against the people working in the headquarters here but itmight be a nice realism . >> i read that underline there and i said maybe new orleans will have a shot . you, it would send a big message, trust me. immigration, the deficit, tax reform, health care, with so many great solutions in this book but as the cochairof the congressional caucus , tell us a little bit about that. you recently wrote an op-ed calling for a national strategy on artificial intelligence. please explain why we need it? >> the world is changing rapidly and i think one of the fiscal responsibilities of is to think about where the world is going and make the institutions in society which doesn't mean make government, just means constantly adjust healthcare, retirement, whatever it might be on how world changing.
>> some people are afraid? in part they're afraidbecause they don't have any more meeting room . if you think about what's happened, we became part of the global economy which was incredibly positive. when i was born 55 years ago, 20 percent of the world was interconnected globally global poverty rate was 60 percent. the was worth it, most people live in poverty and today about 85 to 90 percent of the world is interconnected, the global poverty has fallen from 60 percent to 10 percent, billions of human beings. how can any way anyone say globalization is bad?? we let it happen. the cost things happened asit always does and the government , cared more about fighting did about doing so we allowed a huge number of our people to be left behind. 90 percent of the kids in the united states within a county where there's no evidence of
affordable economic ability at the same time last year, 80 percent of the professionally managed venture capitalists, smart money invested in 60 counties, there 3000 counties in the country 1.6 percent of the counties, 80 percent of the startup money gets 70 percent market live in counties where there's no economic growth. and that happened because we let it happen. why do we let it happen? the world changed and we didn't do anything about it. so let's think about the future, what's going to change the world in the future is not globalization anymore becausethat's done . technical innovation, lots of nations, no artificial intelligence. outside of government and business and academia, people are obsessed with it because they understand that exchanging everything. exchanging our demographics, living much longer, changing the future of our what jobs are going to be like in the future are different, some jobs that exist today will be
displaced, a whole bunch of new jobs will be created. people won't have one job, they will have five or six or seven jobs the united states argued comparative military advantage , a conventional basis . it's a rogue state or a foreign power, we are able to get a technological advantage overus . bring down our conventional advantage very quickly. you can have all the weapons in the world and someone could happen to your systems and take them down. and climate changes the other thing all these things are happening and no one in washington is focused. noone's thinking about what dowe do to prepare for the worst? most glaring example , think about the last election . if i put one of my ad on television, have to say the end it's been paid for by john delaney. by putting on the radio i have to do this but if i put that same ad on social media,
i don't have to disclose the paperwork so there's a reason the russians started advertising on social media and not television. not because they thought so media on it was that much better, they say paid for it. that's an example of failing to update the institutions of society so i found something called the artificial intelligence caucus as a way of creating a convening face in the congress and member to basically start getting up to speed to what all this stuff is which is very hard so when facebook testified to the senate, get the sense the senators really could evenask questions . and so you know, i want to change that and we need a government that's much more pissed on where the world is going. and honest conversation with the american people about it. if you were given the state of union you say the american people, let me tell you what's happening. then you say this is how
asking lay it all out. this is what we should talk about doing. i think the conversation about the future is a lot less partisan conversation about the area it hasn't happened yet you also talk about i guess about the nostalgic lee using great britain in a sense of talking to lawmakers, opening yourself up and forced to listening to them and having an exchange of ideas. >> the truth is becoming elusive in our political life. you turn on one station and hear another set of facts and that makes it very hard for the american people to think about their political system. makes it hard for them to think about their democracy and they're dealing with different sets of facts but to me the only way to solve that is to have the president have an open debate with congress about the issues of the day. it would be three hours, nationally television and should happen once every three months and an hour and half should be whatever issue
, healthcare, immigration, any issue and the other hour and a half is open questions. the president want to be able to do it. you the walk to the floor and stand there every member of congress and basically stand in front of the american people and to say we are going to have a debate. >> host: the press secretary's worst nightmare. >> guest: you want and probably prepped for presidential debates for people for a long time and they are in perfect . but they are by far the best part of it, by far. youactually see them, they do . >> the other issue, trade. you talk about trade agreements, your free-trade. and you're going to run in the democratic primary, also income inequality and you touch upon that issue, can
you explain more about your views on trade? >> i think that if you look back across like i said, becoming part of a global economy has improved the lives of citizens around the world. i don't think it's been positive for everyone but in general it's been positive for the economy of the united states i think the united states has a real role in the world both economically and dramatically to build alliances based on where the world is going. it makes us more prosperous. the problem is it's not paired with domestic policy to address places that are going to get hurt, that's when you get bad outcomes because everyone knows the free-trade agreement, you give enough and if you sign the agreement, you should be thinking i'm getting more than i'm getting area that's why we do these things. but you shouldn't kind of out blinders on and act like there's going to be no pain associated with. >> became. we got the different
economies . so we have to do is pay her trade policy with domestic economic policy, what you should have done is do these trade agreements are doing an infrastructure plan. we're investing in communities at the same time we had this shifting dynamics called by trade. so i supported president obama and his efforts to do the transpacific partnership. i thought it was good for the us and i thought it was very good for the united states from a geopolitical standpoint. as you know, the transpacific partnership is an elimination trade lot, united states would have been basically the chair and its improvised 40 percent of the asian economy, the fastest growing region in the world, china is totally dominating asia and entering a bilateral agreement with all these, where their locking down rights of the infrastructure and doing all these things, and if we want to actually have a say in what goes on in asia we need economic i and it's a lot
easier to put pressure on china as it relates to north korea. you're competing with them in their own backyard as opposed to turning asia over i'm a strong believer in trade and i also think you have to be clear i trade does and make sure your economic policy that will be heard by trade. >> 'sonly people who live on the outskirts of the are trying to find their way back to the circle of opportunity and in the book you address some of those issues. you talk about the rise of income inequality. what is your plan to reduce poverty and to provide more opportunity to those being left behind in this global economy. >> first we need a strong safety net as a poverty fighting tool. there's always going to be people and in a capitalistic society which is what we have i support because i think it is the only way to have innovation, innovation is what drives progress you have
to acknowledge that capitalism is created and destructive and you have an obligation while you're enjoying the creativity part of it to also do stuff with people who are left behind and that includes preparing the world based on exchanging knowledge and not everyone will actually for whatever circumstances be able to succeed in that world and you have to have a safety net that it succeeds by having a strong safety net which i think the earned income tax when it is a safe program because it encourages people to work but gives them the ability to have a boost in their wages. we should have expanded that massively. we need to make changes to social security because people are letting a lot longer and that program wasn't designed for people living as long as they do now. the second thing we need to do is make sure we are investing in people so they can succeed in this world. what's happened right now is it's become a country of christ, not one of opportunity where you have to
be born in the right city, be part of the right school and the right family. the percent of the kids from the county where the jobs are being created are worse than the jobs they are replacing and for those kids it's hard to live the american dream and we have tosupport them more. they need a better educational experience . they need a whole bunch of things to make them more successful.one way is by investing in people and the way you dealwith people who inevitably will be left behind is by having a strong safety net . you have to pay for that which is why i believe in a progressive tax system. >> host: you spell it out in the book, i have to say that was great. in the time we have left, you wrote about so many great challenges we face and the solutions i believe will provide the kind of partisanship and support but there are a couple topics that did not touch upon.
mass incarceration, criminal justice reform for example. where do you stand on legalizing marijuana, the #metoo movement and race and equality in america. >> guest: the #metoo movement, i'm a strong supporter for a lot of reasons but mostly i have four daughters. what women had to endure in the workplace and in society is intolerable and if we're going to be a just and equal society women have to be treated and they should feel safe so i think the #metoo movement is fabulous and it shows we can have a lot of movements that don't come from political parties. >> host: it's grassroots. >> guest: its grassroots alignment huge supporter. the black lives matter movement and criminal justice reform are interrelated. if you look at what we've done in terms of mass incarceration you have 25 percent of the world kind of people who are incarcerated,
five percent of the population. stunning. one of three african-american males are incarcerated in this country. it's completely an immoral system area devastating to families.we need to do two things, reform the system. there should be bipartisan support. everyone talks about a bipartisan basis, we voted on a bill in congress which was very minor, i supported it but i think there's another dimension which is we've all acknowledged that the system for decades have been flawed, the maximum sentence for nonviolent crimes approach to criminal justice has ruined the lives of huge percentage of our population area we owed them something but it's not good enough tofix the system. you also have to think about okay, we fix the system and acknowledge what we did was wrong . now what about the people who
had their lives, what do we do for them? how we make sure they get all their rights restored? how do we support them in ways that allow them to overcome the missed opportunities theyhad? but if you're getting your first shot to have a job when you're 50 , because you've wasted your whole private years in prison, you're just not going to get the same job . >> you can start your life. we basically need a whole strategy around lifting these people who deserve something from us. because we allow there to be a criminal justice system and a lot of bad stuff going on with private prisons and state elected officials. it's just immoral. everyone agreed it was wrong, we exit but also do something for those people who basically lost their lives and it's more than just restoring their voting rights. that's basic . so in race relations, we still obviously have too much
discrimination in this country. slavery was the most immoral thing in the country and we are still living with the residual effects of it because we still haven't completely recovered. >> and i mean, requires leadership and people talking about these issues in a way where they show some empathy and show a real commitment form wanting to make a difference. >> i enjoyed reading your book. it was good, insightful and i also thought it was very intriguing in terms of your policies, even i would agree with you on much of what you said but i have to close, as a former, my father inspired me. what i read in the book what you have to tell your own daughter summer after she competed in a, you have to tell her some i guess bad news about her so-called second-place finish and you
also tied it to the principal that you started your book with. can you tell us about that story? i know you'd already given permission . >> he was about eight years old, she was on a ski racing at one of these local novices in virginia and we love it or i love it because i was the one who would typically go with her to these races. we had this routine where we go to a different mountain every weekend and she would race on the team and she's a good skier, she stopped the racing in high school but this was the ease in championships away was in the winter and she was skiing in the slalom course. and the work is there were two, so you see once, they put up their times and then you would ski again and it they figure out who one. for summer, it was second-place after first heat. and in the 70s he was skiing second from last and what the
parents would do with these races is we would volunteer and help set up these things and we would also be assigned to be gatekeepers meaning we would stand there and look at the gate to make sure the skiers made it through the gates so i was watching the last date on the course. and it summer was the second last year and she comes down the course and she's eating really well but she misses my gate. and then the next skier comes down and the race is over so i put on my skis and i state down to the bottom of the race course and she's there, big smile on her face with her helmet on and her goggles and she's looking up at the scoreboard and she sees that she's still in second place because people turned in the disqualifications yet . all the judges, all of us were down so she's jumping up and down and she said says daddy, look, i the silver
metal and i said i think you missed a gate, summer. i was trying to like it wasn't my gate. she says no i didn't, i made all thegates . i said you did miss one and it was mine. she just skied off, she was crying and everything. but my wife april and i always say when you are raising kids or anything in life, you always have this moment where you can take the hard path or the easy path and it's always better to take the hard path even though it's really hard so this was one of those moments and there's a friend of mine who read the book and said i hope you got it right. >> host: i said the same thing. i want to say thankyou for writing this book . i know you're about to get on the road again and you're
getting ready for a big long political seasonin 2018 and 2020. best of luck . i love the book and congratulations. thank you so much congressman john delaney for joining us today.>> c-span: where history unfolds daily. in 1979 c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and today we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court andpublic policy events in washington dc and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider . >> this practice is called kings, hearts and policy and it's all about the ways that movements not just start
filing lawsuits, pushing for reform and all that hard edge advocacy techniques but it's how they do the softer stuff. how do you change minds, attitudes? it takes just as much energy and thought maintaining social norms as it does to do these other things and to give you a flavor of why some of the wedding movements have been so good this and i want to share a couple of social media how they think about changing hearts and minds and i can think of no one that's better than tobacco control group. they are against the powerful industry but up against also some powerful social norms so they have to be equally powerful. we're going to view this slide called the truth initiative which is an anti-teenagesmoking initiative .
we know adults are telling you smoking is bad for you but when i first saw this ad, i came across it not because of any serious research but i was driving with my kids on the way to in the summer of 2016 and telling them about this book i was starting to work on and they said what's it about? it's all about movements and they said smoking, everybody usedto slow but now nobody does .and my 11-year-old quinn in oh yes, smoking is reallybad . what about video? i said what video? like i'm only person on earth who's never seen that video so we got home and we searched it on youtube and it had millions of views and it worked. my son will never smoke, not necessarily because i told him not to but kids care about their.
what's the punchline? if you smoke, the cat can get cancer too. and more importantly no stupid videos. it sounds silly but there was billions of dollars of research and lots of evidence buying this campaign because they got into the psychological profile of behavioral economics. how kids think and make decisions and they hired a big ad agency out of madison avenue to come up with something that would be a and the reason why works is it appealing. it makes smoking uncool and sells it the same way the tobacco companies were selling you tomorrow and . >> you can watch this and other programs online at cspan.org/. >> this is a very hectic lifestyle and i'm on a plane
a lot with other members of congress so i'm always in the process of in the middle of the book so i'm still reading a book by a good friend of mine in san antonio. >> .. absolutely loved it but haven't looked at it in a long time. tom wolf, early 1980s a collection of some of his best works and that a book by, an apology came out in 2005 called we tell ourselves stories. that was some of her best work also. >> booktv wants to know what you are reading. invest your summer reading list via twitter or instagram or post
it to our facebook page. booktv on c-span2, television for serious leaders. >> and now live on booktv, our year-long fiction edition of in-depth continues with novelist brad thor here his books include "the lions of lucern," the last patriot, and most recently "spy master" ." >> host: brad thor over the course of 18 books, how many people have scott killed? >> guest: i think i lost count after book in one picky skill a lot. a lot of them. >> host: why? pgh guest: my children's godfather is a former special forces group person picky works for the state department and he had a line