tv [untitled] May 17, 2012 9:30am-10:00am EDT
both the china commission and as chairman of the human rights committee of the house of representatives, we will never cease in our advocacy for you, your family, your extended family, your friends and the very important human rights cause that you espouse, defending women from the crime of forced abortion and forced sterilization, so thank you very much.
what have happened to my family members are just a total violation of china's own law, including china's relevant law about the family planning system. so what they have done is total in violation of the chinese own law so this should be held accountable by the chinese own law. this is what i want to emphasize. >> thank you, mr. chen. >> i think we're close to concluding this hearing. i want to thank our very distinguished witnesses and ask them if perhaps they might have some final comments they would like to make. i do and i say this with all due
respect to the president of the united states, i am concerned when the united states government, when president obama was a asked about chen guangcheng specifically on human rights he said no comments on chen and that human rights he said "it comes up." my hope is we're are in a change of our appraisal of human rights in china and perhaps elsewhere in the world but absolutely in china where wittingly or unwittingly we have enabled this terrible crime of forced abortion and forced sterilization to occur while we've looked askance and acted as if it wasn't happening. chen guangcheng stands with solidarity with the women of china, as do i and so many
members of congress, as does this panel. if you would like to make any concluding statements because i think we've heard it all with chen's own voice just a moment ago. bob fu, if anybody would like to make any final statement before we conclude the hearing. >> yeah, i would like to, you know, chairman smith, you such a hero and inspiration to all of us, too. there's no anyone else in this country have fault and stood together with the vick trims like mei shunping and chen guangcheng. thank you for your work and we encourage the leaders, including president obama and secretary of state hillary clinton to join us
and bring about an end to the this horrific and largest crime against humanity this year. thank you. >> i want to thank our distinguished witnesses. we will continue pursuing obviously chen's case until it is resolved successfully and the focus he's brought on the hidos one child policy and god willing it will end. hearing adjourned.
the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck japan in 2011 washed merely five tons of debris, including cars and boats into the pacific ocean. some of that debris has reached the u.s. and canadian shores with much more expected. today officials from the coast guard and noaa will testify about the u.s. response to this growing problem. live coverage from the senate commercial subcommittee will start at 10:30 eastern here on c-span3. now former president bill clinton sits down with tom brokaw of nbc news and talks about some of the political and
economic challenges facing the u.s. this is part of an economic forum hosted by the peter peterson foundation. it's 50 minutes. >> first of all, i'm very pleased to be here for what i think is one of the most compelling issues of my lifetime as a political journalist, and i think it's going to be a defining issue not just for the rest of this election cycle but for a long time to come. and i'm very pleased to have the opportunity to interview president clinton, who paused in his world travels to come down here because he cares so deeply about the subject that brings us here today. i've just spent, mr. president, the last three weeks as we were talking backstage going around america in a way. i was doing series of town hall, mid-atlantic, eastern sea board, the midwest, southwest, far west
and i detected a uniform reaction, a mass of people in the middle who are longing to be led, there is across political identification, republicans, democrats and independence alike. if i were to characterize the tone of those audiences and the country is there's a kind of weariness and wariness about the political system as it is now constituted, especially in this election year and given what we went through this spring. for the first time in my personal and professional life i have parents and grandparents coming up to me and saying i'm just worried that my children will not have the lives that we've had or my husband and i or my wife and i. hive never heard this before until this past year and i've been trying to get the answer to
that, recalibrate it in way, think about the the equality of life, more economic justice for example, more tolerance in our society and think about especially how we can raise the level. blackservice in america, get more people to accept into the arena at time when these hard decisions are going to have to be made. as a back drop for the issues that bring you all here obviously, it's fiscal responsibility. a year ago you said it would be a mistake to try to fix the economy when the deficit was so broken. do you still feel that way? >> yes. but i also said i think we should pass a budget reduction plan now and provide for it to trigger when the economy has reached like 3% growth for a few quarters because i think it
would -- there's this gnawing sense -- i remember in my last year as president we had a horrible tornado that hit downtown little rock and destroyed a lot of the oldest neighborhoods and so i went down to check it out and then afterward at the airport i had a little barbecue dinner with 20 people i went to high school with. i think two of them had four-year college degrees, only one of them had ever made more than $50,000 or $60,000 in his life and i just went around the table and i asked them what they were most worried about and even then they were most worried that the retirement of the baby boomers would undermine their children ability to raise their grandchildren. so that's on steroids now because we've had that long recession, the economy was anemic before the crash and terrible since and because of the debt. what i would look to see them do
is do what simpson-bowles did. they say pass our plan but trigger it when there is clearly growth because you won't have to convince anybody to do it then. as soon as there's real growth in this economy with all this public debt that has to be financed, interest rates will go through the roof, the cost of financing the deficit will be staggering and the private sector will be screaming for affordable credit. so -- but if we did it now people would see that we're a serious country and the american people would feel reassured about it and the europeans might have a way out of the box they have gotten themselves in. you see with both the eu and all these recent elections and u.k., if you impose astairity when
interest rates are zero then what will happen -- i was really impressed actually after these last elections that other greek citizens would say things like we know we have to cut these pension benefits fwheerk everybody's got to start paying taxes, but we'd like to see the benefits of it. so that's what i think. i think we should pass a plan as soon as possible but do what simpson bowles said, trigger it when certain interest rates -- >> but the chances are getting anything done before the election are slim and none? >> probably. but i think that, you know, i think that the two plans ought to be talked about more or however however many plans there are that are out there. the president i think should
talk more about the medicare savings he has proposed and the defense cuts me has proposed. and he prose poses -- i did i agree -- to take discretionary nondefense spending to its lowest percentage of gdp. i and really put poor and vulnerable people in a tough bind. he has least try to honor $ deal he mate. i they hud talk about it. the gentleman who just defeated senator lugar, said something that i found disturbing.
although i liked him personally, he's a very appealing sort of person. he said i am totally against any compromise, our world vees are irwreck sizable. we that the view, there never would have been a bill of rights, the federal government would not have assumed the but as soon as this election's over, i think the inives will be for both party to make more principle compromise than they've had in the past. >> this is a page from the current "economist," the lexington section from the united kingdom have a more clear-eyed view of what we're going through here. four recent surveys have found on average only 28% of americans are satisfied with the condition of the country. 70% are dissatisfied.
recent surveys -- anyone who prefers the glaf half full can find ground for optimism, the 7878 the im is predicting it is the world's largest produce are of natural gas and biggest food left starter. if we don't do something, we're going to end up with sequester at the end of the year in which the pending. >> i don't know.
my guess is -- i agree with what the economists said about the strengths of the american economy. they left out the fact it's a very diverse economy and a lot of this anti-immigration fur vor seems to be abating. i agree most people think we're still in a recession because nobody's gotten a pay rose for long. enflags adjusted median income in 2008 was $2,000 lower than the day i left office because we produced so many few jobs and small business, so i think thatets perception is real. people don't feel about their
prim cat feelier. >> in ohio, john casey came in, made some brilty big molds and certainly made around are the world. greece is in utter turmoil at this time. even great britain has had that. we seem to be moving to more deep and deeper into the extreme polls. how can you ak at this should there be some kind of political legislation that says we're linking arms, we want something that's done realist and -- >> well, it's great but the
argument is the republicans would be scared to do it. that you will though other situations like this. there are twoer three our primaries handed out now and th should be a big bipartisan coalition for this. we may just have to wait until the election is over. the american people are going to have to decide. one of the things is that you know, they go around telling everybody how sorry these politicians are and they voted for all of them. one of the problems is we listen to the rhetoric of politicians and we pay almost no attention to their specifics. i feel sort of sorry. what's the tea party congress down in the louse down to 18% approval or something like that. they must be bewildered. all they are doing is what they promised to do when they won. it's not like they didn't tell everybody what they were going to do. but we listened to the -- we talk about the body language and the likability and the strength
and all that and what's their slogan. actually, most people you vote for actually try to do what they say they are going to do when they are running. so, the american people have got to take some ownership here, too. meanwhile, i think the politicians ought to be talking more about the hard issues, i think that this budget issue ought to become front and center in the presidential election, and all of the debates, in very specific ways. >> the opening question of the first presidential debate should be which of the two of you will activate simpson-bowles if you're put in the white house? >> could be. obama will say i thought they were a little excessive on defense cuts, my do fence cuts are only slightly smaller but i cut more in the first five years in medicare spending than they recommended. and then you'll have to go back and say yeah, but you haven't
done anything about social security. simpson-bowles makes the social security system more progressive. that's one thing i love about it. i would have to pay more or give my up or whatever. but that would help if you ask the right follow-up. okay, here's what they said about x, what is your position on x. you got to get down to the basically the republicans compared to simpson-bowles want too much for tax cuts, not just making the bush tax cuts permanent but making more tax cuts, and the democrats are reluctant to commit to the longer term health care savings and don't want to touch social security which i think can be fixed with relatively little controversy in a way that would, if you look at the simpson-bowles plan it's clever, it is better for lower income seniors than the current system. >> let's talk political strategy
if we can for a moment. i know it's a subject that is near and dear to your heart. if you are mitt romney and you've emerged from this trial by fire in the republican primaries and which you've had to hue very closely to the very conservative wing of the party, how do you begin to transform yourself coming out of this convention so that you can play much more to the middle and deal with these issues that may include, in fact, simpson-bowles does, some tax increases. >> i don't know. it's really hard. i mean, a moderate republican friend of mine in new york, who is going to vote for romney by the way said gosh, he said that each i sketch guy they ought to give him a promotion, he told the truth. he said it's like romney said i'm running for the president of the student body of this extreme right wing group and the real argument was that i couldn't be their president because i wasn't right wing enough soy had to get
over and pretend i was. now let me tell you what i'm really going to do as president. it's tough. but i think he's going to have to fill it out. for example, the budget he put out in the primary according to a lot of independent sources would actually increase the debt over and above what's going to happen by a trillion dollars or more, whereas, the budget that president obama has put out according to the congressional budget office, would take about 3% of the gdp out of our annual deficit and take it down to 77% of the debt, held by the public, and stabilize it there. i think it's too much. i'd like to see them take it down more but i think you have to have some growth figures that can reasonably be figured in to get much lower than that. and but i think he has to start with specifics. and he could say look, i've got
to deal with republicans and democrats, we've got to do this together, and but -- you know, he's hung with the budget he came up with in the primary which said that the bush tax cuts weren't enough, he wanted to cut even more. on the job creators after 10 years when we had no jobs. i think he's -- it's a difficult thing. i don't know how he's going to do it. he had to renounce his own health care bill as a solution for the national average. interesting thing about that. massachusetts has expensive health care, seventh highest in the country. before romney signed the health care bill with the individual mandate, it was the second most expensive health care in the country. in other words, since it was signed, inflation and health care costs in massachusetts has been substantially lower than in the country as a whole because they took a lot of sand out of the gears, a lot of the cost shifting and paperwork associated with large numbers of uninsured people. it would be a good thing if he can embrace that again but i
don't know how he can. or at least you know, he ought to have incentives for -- this depends in part on what the supreme court does but it depends, this is from the point of view of the budget, i think the biggest item, that is, there's a recession component to this huge deficit. and our debt. where at worse case you had spending at 24% of gdp and revenues barely above 15. if you had 3% growth for a couple years it would probably correct to 21% and 17. when i was president we had the balanced budget, we had revenues at somewhere around 20 to a little over 19 and spending was always a little under 19 down to close to 18. so we had four surplus budgets in a row, two of them without any of the social security trust
fund. so, what you really need is a plan that closes the structural deficit. knowing that the rest of it will be closed or not if you have growth. and maybe romney can just come out with a new plan based on what i would say is the congressional budget office says these number don't add up, i don't agree with them because i think you always get more revenues when you cut taxes, notwithstanding 30 years of evidence to the contrary. and so here's my new plan. but it's a very big challenge for him. very big challenge. i feel a lot of sympathy for him because the whole primary was about trying to find somebody that was a true conservative and so -- but they are going to vote for him, those people, i think. because they think he's more conservative than president obama which he clearly is. so, if i were in his position, i
would, i think, use the congressional budget office numbers saying my deficit, my plan, increased the debt and say that you know, no responsible president can pretend that an independent analysis of these numbers don't matter. that i think is best avenue back into the real world. >> you think it's possible for him to enlist and activate the moderate republicans like your friend in new york who is going to vote for him and put together a group around the country that can make a big public statement about what is necessary, a, to get him elected and get the country back on the right track, or has the -- in both cases both parties been taken over by the more dogmatic sense on the left and the right. >> for one thing, you know, that's just not true. there have been two different independent analysis in the last couple of months about this. they said if you believe there was a center, let's say in my second term, that in the senate
the republicans moved three times as far away from that center as the democrats have. but in the house they moved 12 times as far away from that center as the democrats have. now, my party's not blameless. we've got to do something about health care and social security in our budget, whatever happens on taxes in order to free up some investment in the future. key to our growth. i think there ought to be corporate tax reform, for example, tied to funding this infrastructure for the public private partnership because you get a good return on investment and we're about the only major country in the world that doesn't use private capital with public capital to modernize infrastructure. but i think that you know, the republican position that tends to prevail in these hot primaries was expressed by the gentleman who beat senator lugar who said i'm against compromise, it's weak, it's foolish, our views are irreconcilable, we have to force the american people to choose which one