tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN June 8, 2015 11:00am-1:01pm EDT
been in your neighborhood. i said you have seen this store or that store? no, we haven't seen these stores. things have been real tough for us, because we didn't have a food market in the beginning. then it was compounded by the riots. then -- >> what food store was here that closed? >> stop, shop and save closed. it was one of eight stores. stop, shop and save we have is on monroe and pressman. as f we get an opportunity to walk today you won't know that a store was even there. the owner, which is pete flan i began and sons, which has been a good community partner for us acquired the property. we could not find any food market to come in and replace stop, shop and save. that's just a vacant land right now. >> where is the closest supermarket? >> mont dom ant. it's a little more than a mile. we are if a food desert. what makes it challenging is just the bare necessities.
a few small stores we have run out so fast because there's so many people trying to get to them. one of the biggest challenges is -- it's $7.50 one way. $15 two ways whether you use a cab or whether you use a hack. we have a significant number of hacks. in some cases, that's the only way our neighbors get anywhere. >> is to hire someone. >> what the neighbors are sitting $15 may be a night's meal for their family. we basically have been challenged to make certain neighbor goes with each other to the food market be careful not to ride with someone you don't know. but the rides and the ss ss -- additional problems because where he in the western police district. our homicide rate in march of this year put us back in number one. for being the most violent district in the city of
baltimore. that got compounded -- we are now in i think day 24. we're close to day 24 where we have seven blocks within our neighborhood, within walking distance, that have not had street lights. we have actually had one shooting in one of the blocks during this 24-day period of time. what we have had is -- i won't say excuses, but that's probably the best word i could use. the city blaming exlon, exlon blaming bg and e. we don't care who is responsible, even today 24 days later, we have had police lights -- portable police lights sitting in the blocks never been on. >> that's not good. >> never been on. we even to this day don't have all of those lights on. compounded that two days ago we had four row houses totally burned up. neighbors living in all four. it's like one tragedy after
another. what we were able to discern -- we have scheduled sand town, winchester and harlem park, these are the three communities that the baltimore city health department has written two significant reports, one in 2008 and one in 2011. what they did was a health profile of these three communities. we have, in fact, set up a meeting for august 1 to bring all of these communities together. but the data is really really scary. 57% of the homes in our community make less than $25,000. >> say that again. >> 55.7% median house income, less than $25,000. compared to baltimore city, 33%. unemployment, 21% of 16 years of age or older compared to 11% in the city. as i go through some of these
statistics, we're almost double sand town winchester and harlem park, to what the negatives are in the rest of the city. 30% of the families here live in poverty. compared to 15% in baltimore city. 36.9% of our households are headed up by single parents where 26% are in the rest of the city. 43% of our residents 16 years of age or 64 -- between 16 and 64 are not in the labor force at all. 43%. that's almost half of our neighborhoods. education, 75% of our residents 25 years or older, have a high school degree or less. high school degree or less compared to 52% of education in baltimore city. we look at just about every issue, alcohol density, 8.1 compared to 4.6 in the city. this is the report done by johns
hopkins and the city of baltimore health department. as a result of the data that we have and the list goes on and on. it talks about the death rate. our death rate compared to the rest of the city, 64.3% is your life expen tansy in this neighborhood where in baltimore city, it's 71.8. avertible death, 50% of the death in our neighborhood are avertible, 36 in baltimore city. where he dieing of things that could be handled. i don't want to bore you with all the data. >> this is important. >> if the data substantiate how devastating health and life expectancy is in this community. and then when you add on things like no food markets, increases in liquor stores, we have had a significant increase in stores selling lucys. you can't go to too many stores
where you can't buy them. of course, who is buying them are our young people. we want to hit on a couple issues we feel matthew henson neighborhood association -- we are one of the larger associations. we have a little more than 3,000 residents. we cover a little more than 52 blocks. most of our blocks are row houses, which means you have anywhere between 40 to 50 houses in a block. the most important thing to matthew henson neighborhood association is matthew henson elementary school. >> amen. >> and our children. that is our most important priority. we're so happy to have our illustrious vice principal here and on your right side the lady who handles the food pantry and we have had five tractor-trailers full of food. we had just about every member of the ravens here and had they not been here, we may still be try togs unload those tractor-trailers. within two hours each day that
we did it -- we got to say to the principal to the vice principal to the great staff that's here, within two hours the food was gone. every day. every day. they are still doing this. because our neighbors have nowhere to go. even little things like a diaper. they have no stores to go to. we have stores -- i shouldn't say too much being done illegally. they are selling pampers individually. they are breaking open the packs and actually selling it because that's how desperate the neighbors are. >> is there any pharmacists? >> no pharmacy. we have no health center. no senior center. we have a recreation center that has three rooms and one room is a computer room. there's a list -- we will share -- >> the wreckrec is run by the city? >> by omega. they do an excellent job. what they have is the equivalent to three rooms. excellent center, but there's so many things that we don't have.
we don't have a high quality food market. we're asking that there be a reduction in the class sizes. our class sizes here are large. these teachers are -- >> i was talking to some of the teachers. they were telling me class size. it's too high. >> no community center. when we have issues like this, if we can't get to matthew henson we don't have a state federal or city agency anywhere in here. whenever we have to have meetings, we either got to beg the school to let us have it or we have them in the street. we have no place to go. we are hearing that more money is coming in for summer jobs. our unemployment rate, including our children, doubles anything else in baltimore city. we're saying -- we're glad to hear a million point something is coming. look at the communities first that are unemployed. it's great our kids get some summer jobs. but we're saying we're almost
double the negatives of any other community. three communities, i got to give that. we have no mental health clinic. in 21217 and 21216, we have the highest returning rate of former felons. we have one of the highest returning rates of folks that have been addicted that come into our community. they're our neighbors, friends family. we welcome them but we're inundated with everything that's negative and not enough that's positive. i know i've been going -- >> this is very helpful. i was going to share with you -- i was going to share with you a study that was done in baltimore about two years -- a year and a half ago that did a study of life expectancy by zip code. i don't know the life expen tansy of the zip codes u.s. mentioned. but it varies by as much as 30
years, depending where you live. 30 years. that's a pretty dramatic difference. there's not one cause for that. some of of it is violence. some of it is not having healthy food. some of it is not having recreational facilities. some of it is not having healthcare facilities. a lot of that are reasons why we have serious issues. we have to deal with that. nick, can we give you a -- are we in your area? >> yes. this is my district. >> nick represents the council. it's nice to have him here. >> thank you, senator and mr. president. we understand and know the structural issues that plague this community. the one thing that i keep leaning on is one time ron emmanuel said the worst thing you can do is waistste a crisis. there has been a lot of attention, a lot of focus and it's important that we kind of lean on our federal, state and
local folks to try to end some of these decade-old issues. at the end of the day, the things that we're talking about weren't created overnight. but we have to ensure that we're putting the right plans in place to try to eradicate and forever change the trajectory. i just -- my hat is off to this community. at the end of the day, they continue to fight. they don't allow anything to go unanswered. they try to hold everyone accountable to deliver services. and they are the type of community that we need throughout the city of baltimore. in this area, too, i mean we know that the statistics are significant ly significantly damning, especially around health and employment and around all the critical things of having a healthy community. but i think there's also a lot of positive that we can try to build off of, like the metro.
not many communities have an opportunity to have a metro directly in the community which talks about transit-oriented development. like center for urban families which is known for some of the things it does. like anchor institutions. i think what we have to do is understand and know all of the wrong and all of the issues from failed policies and things that have been caused on this community for decades but then develop an action plan around some of the things that we know are anchors in the community. quickly, we know that the hebrew is going to be well under way. that's an exciting project. we have the science and technology building as well as the health and human services building from compton state. we're working with neighborhood design center to do a street scape plan for north avenue from charles street to hilton street. certain things like that that we need to continue to build upon. identify the low hanging fruit
and develop a true action plan. in an urban study to figure out how we can forever change the trajectory of the communities. >> that's great. i thank you for that. i really do think you have to build on your strengths. you point that out. there's a lot of strong anchor facilities in this community we need to build on and improve that and use that as leverage to deal in the areas where we have weaknesses. not having a food store is unacceptable. that's unacceptable. to have to spend $15 for a round trip in order to fill your grocery bill is ridiculous. >> senator we're -- we talk about food desert. we're in a recreational desert. you look at the fields and rec centers in this area this is something we have known, that folks have continued to fight for and we will continue to fight for. but there needs to be a quality recreational facility in central west baltimore. you look at the statistics as it relates to number of children in this area, the number of
adolescent violence and all directly ties to the ability of having opportunities of doing other things. a premiere quality recreational facility is sorely needed in central west baltimore. >> i think we have people here that are involved in recreational end. where do you -- where do your people play? what do you use? >> so -- >> tell me what do you. >> it's an honor to be here. i'm the head baseball coach at carver vocational technical high school. and we don't have a baseball field. so we have practiced at nearby easterwood park across the street from carver. as part of the baseball program, we have one of our alumni here, he played for the 2012 carver baseball team. and the way we set the program up is to empower the students to
address some of the challenges. applying skills they are learning to address these challenges. for the park for example, we went through the process of engaging the community to see if that is a potential solution to build a baseball field. through that process, we realize that it wasn't the right size. but we still were able to address the fact that the junior varsity girls team at carver doesn't have a field and so we were able to collaborate with the community and build a softball field and also the -- there's a diamond area we made that i little league field to serve the historic little league in the neighborhood. we have -- we have learned from that experience. we're still trying to ultimately build a baseball field. so we are continuing to engage the community and try to find green space or space that's been
vacated to pursue this as something that we can address not only for carver but it would also help james mosur for example, they have two beautiful little league fields. when the kids turn 13, they run out of places to play. so we talked about not having adequate places. west baltimore doesn't have a baseball field. you have cotman state unitversity here. they have a division i team and they don't have a field. they travel to play baseball. i think baseball is -- we talk about food and health. i think it's a metaphor for the inequalitity we have. >> i want to try to hit and tie in with education, but you need to know, the oldest continuous predominantly african-american baseball team for children is james mosur. we literally have 16 baseball
fields in west baltimore, not baltimore city just in west baltimore. but you can't play on them because the grass is two feet, three feet high. the reason we know they are baseball fields, because they have what's called back stops, the metal facilities behind. it's not that we necessarily don't have certain facilities. >> you have the space. >> it's not maintained. i didn't want us to get away from what matthew henson neighborhood considers the most important, and that is our children and their education. we have our vice principal here. they have some things that we feel are imperative to help them continue teaching our scholars that we have here. when you look at the fact that our classes are so large, it's a wonder that they are doing the miracles they are doing. that's what they are doing. they are creating miracles. i want to turn it over if i could and let her at least share what the school feels they need
that they are not getting. >> good evening. he is correct. when we think about technology, we are starving for state-of-the-art computer center. we are now in the age of taking a park assessment and doing everything on the computer. we have to strategically plan how we're going to find the time to assess all of our students, because for most part, we have computers that are outdated. we have to go in each morning before each session to see how many are actually going to be working on a given day, because they're so old. we're staggering classes where it's taken us probably longer probably two weeks longer than it should to give assessments because there aren't computers in each classroom. some days they are all working. there are probably 30 computers under the room. some days we're lucky if we have 20 of them working. not to mention we don't have
central air in the building. so that's another problem. >> 20 computers for the whole school? >> well we have maybe one or two in each of the classrooms, not all working. so realistically we depend on that computer lab as far as technology. >> the number of students here? >> we have about 387 students total. >> and tell me about the class size. >> extremely large. we have two teachers on each level. we have 30-plus in most of our classes. i think with the exception of grade five. it's about 25, 26 there. out pre-k and k -- we can't afford to pay for teachers because most of our money does go to staffing. we don't have money for other supplies. what we have done to sport of supplement that is to hire temps opposed to hiring an extra teacher. it comes down to where do you put the extra teacher because all of the classes are so large.
we figured we with start pre-k and kindergarten. we have temps there. another issue that we're finding -- >> these are assistants? >> well yes. you can call them assistants for lack of a better word. also, we have no after school programs. we don't have money for that. again, we're spending most of our money on staffing. >> if had you money for after school programs tell me what that would mean. what would you do? >> we need intervention. we have a lot of students that aren't reading on grade level. that trickles over to math. math is not just numbers. they have to read. they have to solve problems, written problems. therefore, we need interventions after school. we don't have money to hire the intervention teachers during the day as we once did. so we're strapped for that. we have a good staff that does contribute and give of their time after school for free. so they are tutoring students
after school. we're using materials that for the most part are probably outdated teachers are relying on free items on computer. so we are in need of after school programs. and then our students don't have anywhere to go. >> i was going to ask you that. i take it they come from families where the parent or parents might be working? >> some. some. that's the instance with some of our students. luckily, we do have easterwood up the street where some of our students go. needless to say, what that's a three-room facility. so when i leave here in the evening, sometimes it's late. and we have 6 and 7-year-olds out riding bikes up and down the street because they were nowhere to go. where he in dire need of after school programs. funding for after school programs. >> that's money well invested. there's some efforts being made nationally to increase the after
school funding issues. i know the city is strapped for funds. of course, a lot of the money comes through the state. we know the problems of this year's again ageneral assembly in getting the money for the city. there's no question this is challenging. i thank your teachers for being willing to stay later and to help. >> i really feel that the technology would play a really important part considering the class size. because those teachers aren't able to intervene with every child like they need to in small groups. i felt if we had the computers, at least that would be an area in the classroom for small groups to practice or for that reteaching or just something -- give them the extra half an hour to intervene on the skills where they are lacking. so where he in dire need. >> a degree with the priority. if i had to take my top priority, it's education. dealing with our young people.
after school programs and having -- recreation centers and all those issues that to keep them busy and out of trouble and gives them the opportunity to get the skills they need to advance. that to me has to be our highest priority. but for a neighborhood to grow and be strong you have to have the local businesses. alana is here from the small business administration. we talked before. they have been here from day one since the problems. i really do want to thank maria the administrator of the small business administration. she has been to the neighborhood. she has walked the streets here. she is committed to finding creative ways to help businesses, most of their tools are loans. a lot of businesses can't afford loans. i understand that. you certainly don't have the time to figure out how to do this. they brought the center to you. the center is right up now on
pennsylvania north at the library where you can get the information you need fill out the work. people will help you. so we have come to the neighborhood. there were i think 14 businesses that were damaged by the unrest. that's horrible. and i know it affects a lot of people in the community. i know we have at least one businessowner here. >> we're happy to have the owner of oxfoot liquors. he is trying to get things put back in. we would love for our friend to introduce himself and share with us -- you are seated next to the late did i lady from sba. his store wasn't open but last evening for those stores that weren't open, we were taking the materials that we got from sba
that's at the library and for those stores that weren't open, i was physically stapling them on the door. fortunately, he had taken down the wood from his store. i was putting on his door handle. of course, he saw my face and came out. we're honored. share with our senator any of your concerns, any of your thoughts. >> yeah. first of all i'm honored to have you here. i just took over the business less than a year before the instance. so i'm so sad about this incident. we are all growup. we have to overcome. right now, i face a little bit of financial support. that's not a big deal.
but why i'm here, my neighborhood is around matthew henson elementary center, the elementary school. so i'm asking to focus on the elementary school first. not the -- you have to -- you have a lot of things to do. but first you told us priority is the elementary school. so please focus on the elementary school first. and then we have to deal with it. >> thank you for saying that. i really do believe that the children have to be our top priority. i agree with the neighborhood leaders. but we want businesses to be
able to do well in our community. and we really need to reach out. we have talked to some of our federal partners and other agencies as to how we can get food stores located in underserved areas, health clinic clinics, how we can get rec centers, all those we think are important. if we had that it's a better way for businesses in the community, too. you will do better if you have that type of positive opportunities. you don't have to go elsewhere in order to get those positive -- all the businesses benefit from the community. that's how a community gets stronger. by the way, boarded up housing doesn't help. so we also have to deal with the housing issue. we talked to secretary castro about what we can do in that regard. he has been helpful to us. a lot of these issues i think we
could tell you, these are local. the city has to take care of the schools. they're state. the state has to take care of housing. we're all in this together. we're not trying to bounce from one area -- one level of government. we all have to figure this out. nick has the hardest job at city level. he can't turn to anyone else. the federal government can push things on the state. state can push things on the county. the county can push things on the municipality. when you are in the city you are the back stop. you are the last level that can be done. we want to be in this together. what you are telling me here is very very helpful in your priorities. i have made a list. one of the things we're going to try to do -- i'm going to try to explain this. it was came out at one of our meetings. that is, we don't want to miss -- i love ron emmanuel comment, you don't want to miss a crisis. you don't want to miss an opportunity. we have opportunities now we didn't have before.
let's take advantage of those opportunities. let's make sure we listen to the community and have made the right priorities as you point out. then we need to have the metrics to evaluate whether we have done things right. you can't just -- we have to have some way to judge. one way we judge is how many of our children are actively engaged in constructive activities after school? that's a good metric to figure out. let's look at the student body. see where they are after school hours. see whether they are in enrichment programs, athletic programs, helping the community, safe environment to do their work. that's something we can try to figure out. other metrics of course do we have the diversity in our business establishments that a community needs? you like to have a cleaner. you like to have a pharmacist. you like to have a food store. you like to have fresh produce.
>> none of them. >> that's what you want to have in a community. that's a metric. >> it is. >> when it's all said and done, have we accomplished those goals? quite frankly, the schools are always a challenge. but it has to be our highest priority. it looks like from looking at what you have in your pre-k, you are going to have a more difficult program on class size if you don't get attention here. because as i understand your pre-k class is at maximum. >> yeah. >> i want to hit on a couple more things. housing, 39% of our houses have lead in them compared to 11% in baltimore city. major health issue. we look at households that get their energy cut off. 86.9% number of energy cutoffs per 10,000 households in our community compared to 39% in
baltimore city. almost triple the numbers. the housing issue is another issue. vacant houses. in our neighborhood we average somewhere between eight to 11 vacant or boarded up houses in every block. there's not a week that goes by that the drug dealers are not confiscating the houses. we had one just two days ago they went in the back of the house and they go in they sell drugs. in the winter they live in these houses. you can't find too many houses -- blocks that don't have boarded up houses. i don't want to get off on another education issue. my family has dealt with libraries since the lawsuit of kerr versus inaprat. my aunt sued because they weren't allowing african-americans to be in management positions. thurgood marshall represented her. i am so committed to libraries
that what we have upstairs is a collection of books. it's not a library. our children for them to be as educated as we need them to be they not only have to have access to computers, which we don't have, but they need to be able to have books in libraries that are updated that are so many in so many different areas that they should be able to pick up something to help them. we need a state-of-the-art library here. i'm a little prejudice about the liebrary library. this event that we're having on august 1 attempts to address all of the negatives that have been reported for two major reports, 2008 and 2011 report from hopkins and the health department. it's not like we have to make up the dad ta. the data is there. it's coming up with the communities coming together and finding solutions to these
problems. i want to have one our of our residents speak about the challenges they have been having. we are now in day 24. we're getting all kinds of excuses why there's not lighting. if we go today, we will see police lights sitting that have never been on. why even bring them? >> you mentioned the lighting. that's been the failure of the utility company? >> utility and city. city is blaming utility. utility is blaming city. mr. booker is a resident. the lights on and off. lights are on and off. >> public lights on and off, not res residences? >> the first light went out on may 9. i called. the next morning it went black. we called. they told us it would be 21
days. that would have been yesterday. >> did he tell you what the problem was? >> first they didn't know. then they said it's a broken wire. what they have done they hard wire four lights in the neighborhood that stays on all day. otherwise, we had no lights. we had the city police lights. there's one on baker one on presbu presb presbury and smallwood. they put them there and walked away. they are never lit. >> it's not only dangerous the way they did it, it's wasteful. it makes no sense. we will check that out. we will see -- we will have our staff work with the councilman and see whether -- >> we got the lights placed. i had no idea they were not on. >> we will work -- that seems like something we can get solved. >> the issue of losing four
houses in the 1700 block of smallwood. it points to a couple of issues? >> you lost them? >> within two days ago, they were burned, deliberately. >> during the unrest? >> no. this was just two days ago. 1700 block of smallwood, individual who illegally works -- i got to be honest. has an illegal car wash he was working. we know the name. we know the individual. we are hoping that the police have him by now. we have neighbors ready to indicate that at least one saw him pouring the gasoline on the porch and then four houses actually burned. it not only points out to problems that we have with individuals, but we have a serious mental health issue in this community. often times we try to look the other way. we're talking about our mothers fathers, sons daughters. it's not like we're pointing
fingers at somebody not us. it's us. we have to admit we have a serious health problem. we have far too many former sex owe fenders in this neighborhood. we have the pictures of them. we have the addresses that they live. all of us have to share in the good, bad, not so good with our neighbors. we have to have the addicts because we are some of the addicts. but certain communities like ours are over burdened with what should be shared with all of us. the sex registry numbers are enormous. we had through communities come and meet at easterwood where we would share what we had so we would be on the lookout. one in the block here, they are all around the elementary school. >> can i ask a question? tell me about your relationship with the district on the police. >> we just met last evening with a private meeting that they attempted to have. one neighborhood decided two or
three or four of them were going to meet privately with the new head of the western district. western district is from our van tan point looking at the data, the toughest district in the city of baltimore. we have had maybe seven to nine heads of the western district in the last eight to nine years. it's almost like one every other year. we have not had a representative of the western district on the civilian review board, person and name have not been to a meeting in five years. right now we are in month nine i think since september of last year -- >> that's what we have to correct. i think there's a lot to be said about knowing the problems of your community and then working with law enforcement, police state's attorney local officials to deal with safety in the community as a team. you first have to understand the challenges you have. we know we have drugs. we understand that.
there's not a neighborhood anywhere in maryland or this country that doesn't have a drug problem. that's not unique. but we know we have a drug problem. and we know we have to deal with a drug problem. if we have other areas of major concern, we need to know about it. there has to be a common understanding between the community and the police. and then we work with law enforcement, the state's attorney's office. we work with the council. we work with the state to try to develop a strategy to keep communities safe working with the community. that's not been done it looks like. >> this community is anxious has a great history of working with the police. when you fill out -- what's the form? crime watch form. there's a crime watch form that neighbors can fill out so that when they call the police, they don't have to give their address or their phone number. they give the crime watch number. our neighbors have been filling this form out since september of last year.
we have not gotten one processed. the police is blaming the computer system with the city. we have done this month after month after month. we were in a meeting last evening. even the head of our police community relations is trying to make an excuse. to us, it's unexcusable. what computer problem that you have that you can't resolve from september? we have had i would say maybe 60 or 70 residents filling out the form and the forms have not been processed. they are reluctant, which we understand to call. presidents like myself, arlene fisher we were in a meeting. we get the call 3:00, 4:00 in the morning that the neighbors call us and we have to use our number to get to the police. because the police department and the city of baltimore has some kind of computer problem that they can't process the forms. this is western. >> it's across the entur sitire city.
they are the ones that handle 911 but the block watch number. they have not been able to get this system up. >> we are working with the u.s. department of justice in cooperation with baltimore city to identify ways to correct some of these fundamental issues we have. and by the way, they're doing it in a manner not in a confrontational manner with baltimore. we're trying to -- we don't want this to be confrontational. they're doing it in a way for results. so that we can improve the policing in baltimore. particularly with the community. and then use that as a national model that can be used in other communities around the country. because, again, what's happening here manyin west baltimore is not unique to west baltimore. we have to change this. we're hopeful that the process -- i know that there will be -- i know they have started to make contact, representatives from the department of justice will be in
the community to talk to the neighborhoods. in a very frank way. there's some fundamental problems. we have to figure them out. i will absolutely make sure that they are aware of the concerns that you have raised. who has not had a chance? yes, sir. >> hello, senator. thank you for coming. thank you for listening. we believe that you are not only going to listen but you are going to take our concerns and try to help us solve them. the violence affected all of us very deeply. i'm a life long baltimore resident. there was destruction in front of my home. it was crazy. bottom line i feel that the biggest issue -- one of the biggest issues in this community is jobs. we have a very high unemployment. those who are employed are under employed, very low wages. if we can get some more jobs and
more job training, that will solve a lot of the other problems. we need jobs and we need job training. we have a lot of projects that come in the community, construction. and we have other people coming in from long distances to do this work when we have people here who could do the work. they are watching other people go in and doing the work. we're blocked out of that. it's illegal number one. and it's unfair. it's immoral that we have hundreds and thousands of young people, men and women who can do these jobs and they are not given the chance. we need more minority jobs more minority job training, more minority contracts. they need thoo be enforced. that's going to solve a lot of problems. jobs, jobs jobs. >> thank you. as i said education is my number one priority. it's very much related to my number two priority, which is jobs.
i agree with you. jobs present opportunities for people's future. it gives them dignity, income. it gives them a reason to try to do better and to get more education and more training to advance in their employment. but they have to have a job in order to do that. also, when this reworking, they are less likely to get no trouble. for young people to have jobs, particularly in the summer, having experience to maybe -- maybe it doesn't pay a lot but it gives them training that they need. it's what we need to do. so jobs, jobs, jobs, you are correct. we have lots of programs. we're going to try to focus those programs on communities such as west baltimore. we have hub zones which are aimed at economic tools to -- for businesses to locate in a high unemployment area such as this community. we have tax credits under the new markets which is being used widely in baltimore to create
job opportunities. we need a transportation bill. that gets lots of construction jobs. that's good jobs. let's get those jobs moving and let's hire the people in the area that have the highest level of unemployment. i mentioned earlier on the reentry, let's put a special -- let's stop check the box. let's let everybody have opportunities for jobs. not one of us hasn't had a second chance. let's stop denying people economic opportunities just because they happen to have made a mistake once in their life. we have to change the whole metrics. but we have to have more jobs here in this community. you are absolutely correct about that. we have strategies to do it. let's get the metrics to see whether we deliver. >> senator, back in september i believe of last year the matthew henson neighborhood association had a press conference. we called for a u.s. congressional hearing on heroin.
i would say seven of us community presidents around this area all agreed that heroin had spiked up again. we can go right now three blocks down the street. i can take five minutes and come back and buy you some of the purest heroin that the state of maryland has. we were asked -- i did testify on behalf of matthew henson to the governor's task force dealing with haureroin. county after county said one thing that is a little bit different that baltimore is different from the other counties, the overwhelming majority of those individuals who basically indicated they started on heroin indicated they bought it here in baltimore. there's no reason why there can't be a task force to stop what is actually in broad daylight. we can go right now to either baker and appleton baker and monroe or baker and mckeen and
you can buy heroin, anything that you think you want as a drug. you don't even have to ask for it. they will tell you out loud what they are selling. this is every day. we're saying that it should not take the governor to have his relative lose his or her life as a result of heroin and some other type of drug for had to become again an epidemic. we have been saying since september that this thing is out of hand. it's our seniors. our seniors are buying the drugs. the 17 18-year-olds are selling it on bikes. we have a place right here, monroe and baker. one plus one, we were happy thanks to one of our leaders he suggested to the owner you got to put a camera inside and outside. they actually -- it look like a car wash. they drive up. they sell the drugs in broad daylight. we don't know whether or not
it's a slow down or -- how did they say in the meeting we were in? they were giving the police -- the police were giving us a breather. that's what was said from one of their representatives, the police told them that they were giving our communities a breather. that's why we are not seeing police. we don't want to ask for another state of emergency. but it's clear we need more than what where he getting. the neighbors are fearful. the neighbors are seeing drugs being sold every day in front of their eyes. the police department is within walking distance. >> let me agree completely with you on the heroin drug issue. there are 24 political jurisdictions in maryland. i have been to all 24. heroin is mentioned to me in every one of our political jurisdictions as a problem. the number of deaths related to heroin overdose have increased
dramatically in all parts of our state. it is a crisis. it's a crisis in baltimore city. but it's also a crisis in baltimore county. it's also a crisis in harford howard county and every county in our state. we need to have a comprehensive way of dealing with it. we have said this before. we have not done it. i must tell you it's not just a maryland problem. it's a national problem. so it really does mean much tougher on the supplies, but also dealing with the demand. you have to deal with both sides of this. our demand strategies have never worked. so you need to take new approaches on the demand side. and that requires that we don't need to lock people up who are users. we need to make -- we need to help them with treatment. i just want to bring to your attention not too far from here -- you mentioned mental health services. not too far from here there's a place called mosaic which opened
just a couple weeks ago. it survived the riots by the way. there was no danielmage done to it. it's located -- help me. charles near 22nd, around there. it's a mental health addiction center. it gets many of its referrals through the criminal justice system. but it's doing incredibly effective work. we need five more of those mosaic centers. i invite you to go by and talk a look and talk to the people who are behind it. because i think they have done in -- they are touching people's lives. they are turning people around. you got to start some place. it's a big problem. so let's see whether we can't get a mosaic-type program here in this community. so that we have a place where we can help those who have
addiction problems so that they know there's people on their side. at the same time let's work to make sure the people selling on streets can't do it the way they're doing t. let's sure make sure they know we're going to be really tough to stop the demand side of the equation. i think we can make progress here, i really do. we can't give in on this. it's got to start neighborhood by neighborhood, so i'll work with you on that. >> senator a little issue, but it's a big issue. we last year adopted a lot one block below us payson and pressman. the lot normally, before the grass got cut, the question was would it be six feet tall or seven feet tall before they cut it. the question was how many pieces of furniture would we find in that lot once we found the grass was cut down. we acquired that lot and some senior sittens, and ironically, mr. bay, who just left mr. pack
and myself are the three senior citizens that actually cut the grass. we see no more furniture. we do see maybe a potato chip bag or something that blows on it, but the mere fact that we cut that lot every week, the neighbors respect it, they love it, i can actually tell they're picking up the trash and we don't. we would like to -- and he's older than we are. he looks good, but he's older. we would like to acquire at least two if not three lots because we see the positive impact it has on the neighbors. the neighbors are proud of it. we got a little over $2,000 to build big signs that say welcome. the neighbors are proud of it. >> we want you to get these lots but we also want you to clear them and put ball fields on them. >> we've already got them but here's what we need. we need a sitdown mower. we old guys can't be cutting all of this grass.
the one that we have at payson and pressman is one that we have two lawn mowers. we were able to get one lawn mower from a liquor store when they wanted to transfer. the deal was they have got to give us a lawn mower. but there's no way physically we guys will be able to keep living -- >> we have to try to find you one. i'm sure there's a lot of people who bought a seat mower and has given up mowing their lawn. who has not had -- can we share with anybody who wants to. >> i live here in the matthew hanson community. i heard about the elementary school. but i'd like to put a plug in for carver high school. i graduated from. there are students down there that are into, you know, the vocational part and they need -- they need help in certain areas. i know that they have taken
away, i guess auto mechanics and some other areas. and it need to be looked at to upgrade that school concerning the technology as well as the elementary school because we get students from carver from all over the city. so please don't forget that high school. >> no, no, i agree with you. i am a strong proponent of our technical education. but what we're trying to do and i visited many of the high schools that have programs from college preparatory to the trades all in this -- under the same roof and doing it very effectively, very effectively. so we want children to do -- reach their maximum potential, what they want to do. we need people that are trained in the trades. we desperately do. and we want them to be part of
our high school opportunities. so yes, we agree completely with that. there are good jobs out there and we're working with some of the trade unions on some of these areas. the city has some programs that are dealing with it and i agree with you, this needs to be a continued priority. it looks like in west baltimore we could be doing a better job so i'll absolutely take that back. yes. how are you? >> reverend willie ray. thank you, doc, for conducting this. i was on around the corner, i got lost twice trying to get in here. >> oh, well, i'm sorry about that. >> maybe if i can get you to come more to our meetings. >> willie -- people should know that no one ever accused reverend willie ray of not being active in our community. i see him at every meeting. >> 45 years. but i am glad that -- first of all, i want to compliment you
for the racial profiling bill because i'm working closely with mothers against violence and brutality. of course we're working with greenmount, rosemount, all this area. and i'm happy at this new approach to drug addiction because you know that's where my heart is at and of course the gang bangin'. what about the extra recreation, because when you move the kids from one corner, they go to the next corner. i'm working hard on the issue of one church, one corner. the city is on their way to help and i'm trying to get each church to adopt a corner with drug activities are festering where youth hang out at and find a vacant piece of property, which the city is trying to give
away, as i have already done as you know renovate that vacant property and turn it into a safe haven because if the city is not going to provide recreation, then the church or community organization ought to because they're the most active and established institution in the neighborhood. so what are your feelings about this, because i want to end on this. i was with an emergency meeting at empowerment temple tuesday calling all clergy to come out and see what they can do as a community. i was glad to know that jamal is finally getting off the freddie gray issue and dealing with the 43 homicides that we just had last month and the five homicides and the 115 homicides that we've had this year. and i know your heart is on it. >> well that's a good point.
let me summarize. let me tell you what i'm going to take back to mike cryer and take back to our federal team and to the mayor from this discussion. and that is we've got to make progress, and for this community, for the matthew henson neighborhood community, what i would like to see us do is deal with the issue you raised, willie. there's vacant lots here. it seems to me that there are ways of converting those vacant lots into a plus for the community, whether it's a ballfield or what doc is talking about. so let's see whether we can't make some specific progress in that area. we want to have a food store here, and we've got to work for a strategy on how we get a food store in this community. we want to deal with a much better relationship between the police and the community so that
they understand your concerns. you've expressed them today. and they can respond to that and develop a strategy so that the community and the police are working together not against each other. that when you see a police officer in the community you're happy, not scared. we've got to make that happen. we have to make that real. and that's important. and part of that is the deal with what i think is the number one problem, and you've sort of reinforced that, and that's heroin drugs and therefore, how can we deal with the heroin drugs and let's see if we can't get some help through the community to deal with those that are using drugs and to get those who are selling drugs let them know they're not welcome here and that we'll work -- make sure that doesn't happen. and by all means our number one priority, and perhaps the most difficult, because there are so many schools and so many
communities that want more resources, we have got to put more priority on our schools. we need smaller class size, we need better equipment we need computers. children are just sponges. they'll absorb things, but you've got to be able to give them things to do so so let's remember that our children are our priority they're our future, and let's work on that. you mentioned many other issues. i don't mean to say i won't take all of it back including a mower with a seat. i've got all the issues that you talked about. and so we will take all that back. let me see if the councilman wants to make some final comments and i'll turn it over to doc to sort of bring us to an end. >> i just want to make a comment on the churches. >> churches are a critical part of our partnership there's no question about that. >> they're not active in this neighborhood. >> we will work with the faith leaders. >> they need a boost.
>> jerome stevens is my key contact. >> he's my man. >> can i say something real quick. >> sure go ahead. >> i'm with the koppen heights community development corporation and the clergy caucus. we'll be having a resource fair in matthew henson on june 13th to bring job training expungement and other services that are needed in this community. we have a job center but a lot of people are overwhelmed to go up there and use those services, so we need to bring those services directly to the residents in the community so that they can be a part of what's going on. >> i'll just say real quick, first and foremost thank you, senator, for coming out. we know that you're not just here to listen, but you're here to listen take notes and help with action. that's the type of leadership
you've always had while you've been a u.s. senator of ours and we truly appreciate it. you know to the community, i thank you for your tireless effort of fighting for this community. unfortunately, your community issues aren't unique to this particular community. these issues fester through all different cornices and different places throughout the city of baltimore. however, you haven't allowed to let it become normalize. you've decided to speak up with a strong voice and continuously speak up so i thank you for that. many other things are great but i'll get back to my point earlier that i think we have a tremendous amount of assets resources, history and culture in this area that we can build upon. i think if we're able to come up with a realistic plan to identify the low-hanging fruit and the things that we can kind of hit off and identify some long pulling intent type items that we can develop plans to get towards, we can see that growth and see that development of improvement with, again with
your leadership, with this community and all that the community currently has. so again, thank you for coming out and, doc, thank you for all that you do on a regular basis. >> i learned something in the senate, that you share some of your time so i want to share some of our time with the sba. we thank you so much for being here. >> you are very welcome. i just want to make one comment that i have found baltimore to be a beautiful city. it's amazingly has a lot of positive things. we'd like to encourage the remainder of the businesses that had damages to come to the pennsylvania library and apply for an sba loan. i know it seems like a loan may not be able to help you but i've been in many disasters and found that those disaster loans do work. you can recover. you can rebuild with a disaster loan. so please come in, sit down with our people and we will help you through the process and help people who have had businesses damaged to recover.
you will recover with the disaster loans if you're a business that qualifies for them. also, one other positive note. while we were there at the library taking application we had 17 and 19-year-olds come in and ask about entrepreneurship amazing. i found that amazing. we directed them to the other side of sba who can help them with establishing loans. i'm not quite sure about the 17-year-old, but the 19-year-old is an adult. but it's good that you have people that young interested in entrepreneurship. so i would like to encourage you to encourage everyone to come to the table and see if sba can help them on the side where we have capital assets or on the side where we have disaster loans. we have many people interested in starting businesses right in the community so we are directing them to some of the items that our administrator mentioned. >> the administrator has made funds available to our region
for counseling and mentoring and helping businesses get started helping young people with entrepreneurship, and she's made those funds available to our region, so we do have opportunities. we talked about opportunities for young people. there's opportunities out there. go into the library get the information and we will absolutely follow up on it. >> senator i'll be real brief. on behalf of matthew henson neighborhood association, on behalf of matthew henson elementary school, we can't thank you enough. you know, you can see the squeaky wheel, but the question is did anybody hear it. it's clear you heard us and we just can't thank you enough. initially we were going to think about trying to do a walk, but i think this discussion has been so steps i'veextensive, i don't really see the great need. it's clear that your staff seemingly has a handle on what problems we have. matthew henson is just trying to do as much as we can to not only address our problems but we try
almost every month to do something with the other communities. we had a kwanzaa event. all of the neighbors in the area and the surrounding areas were invited and we gave the food free. we've taken kids from all the neighborhoods around we invited them, we take kids to the baseball games. matthew henson does this. so we try to be as inclusive as we can. we don't mind saying we're going to be the organization that's going to speak out when others are afraid. we're going to say that we put our children and our community first and we'll take on anybody to do what we think is in our best interests. we need services here that many communities have that we don't. when you name something, it's not here, you know. pharmacy don't have it. senior center, don't have it. we have no state federal or city office anywhere in here. so we need services. we document things. we do real well in documenting, but we -- and i cannot thank you
enough but please put our school and our children first. we want to be somewhere close right behind them. but we can't thank you enough senator. thank you so much. >> thank you all. thank you. >> and thank you, c-span. tonight on the communicators, at this years consumer electronic show we met up with author andrew keen and asked him why he feels the internet is not the answer. >> the internet is not the answer at the moment. it's not the answer in the sense that it's not working currently. it's lending itself to undermining jobs it's compounding the inequality of our economic life it's creating new, massive monopolies that were unimaginable in the 20th or 19th century and it's created
this economy in which we've all been -- all internet been turned into products. you and i, we've been packaged up when we use google or facebook, we become the products. it's like a big hitchcock movie. >> tonight on "the communicators" on c pif-span 2. with live coverage of the u.s. house on c-span and the senate on c-span 2, here on c-span 3 we complement that coverage by showing you the most relevant congressional hearings and public affairs events. then on weekends, c-span 3 is the home of american history tv, including six unique series. the civil war's 150th anniversary visiting battlefields and key events. american artifacts touring museums and historic sites. history bookshelf with the best-known history writers. the presidency looking at the policies and legacies of our nations commander in chief. lectures in history with top
college professors delving into our history's past and films from the 1930s to the 1970s. c-span 3 funded by your local cable or satellite provider. watch us in hd, like us on facebook and follow us on twitter. next a house hearing on the budget request for the congressional budget office with cbo director keith hall. it was his second appearance on capitol hill last week to answer questions about the cbo's budget request for next year. the chair of the committee georgia republican david price and the ranking price is chris van hollen. the hearing ran about two hours.
>> this hearing will come to order. i want to welcome everybody and wish everybody a good morning, and thank you all for being here today for this cbo oversight hearing of the house budget committee. last month congress passed the first balanced budget conference agreement of its kind in over a decade. working together, the house and the senate put forth a plan that would get the nation's fiscal house in order, that would grow our economy, would strengthen our national security and make government more efficient, effective, and accountable. last week we were reminded why this effort is so incredibly important. on friday the commerce department announced that the economy shrank in the first quarter of this year by 0.7%, that means decreased in size.
there have been three such quarterly economic contractions since this so-called recovery began. after more than six years of president obama's higher taxes and out-of-control regulatory schemes we have an economy that remains weak and plagued with uncertainty and we all hear from the administration their plans are to spend more money that we don't have, to tax more money out of the pockets of hard-working american families, and to build more regulatory barriers to jobs and to growth. this new normal is simply unacceptable. that's why we've focused on putting forward a balanced budget with pro-growth policies that will help create more opportunities for american families and american businesses. today we begin taking the next steps forward by examining how congress can have a better and broader understanding of how the policies we put forward will affect our budget, our economy, important programs like medicare and medicaid, our national security and other critical areas of interest and concern. today's hearing will allow this committee to hear firsthand from
the very agency that assists congress in that effort, the congressional budget office. i want to welcome cbo director dr. keith hall. director hall, this is your first time testifying here before the house budget committee since becoming director on april 1, and we welcome you. you bring a tremendous amount of experience and expertise to the job, and i want to thank you again for agreeing to serve as director. we look forward to your testimony and the insights you can share about how cbo works with congress, how it arrives at its conclusions, and how we might improve transparency, the functions and analytical tools available to the agency. and then more broadly what that all means for the larger fiscal and economic challenges facing our nation. as we're all well aware, the reports that cbo has provided to congress over the past several years have shown a steady and troubling decline in economic growth projections. cbo has consistently raised the alarm about the unsustainable fiscal imbalance here in washington and the economic opportunity that is lost due to
an out-of-control increase in debt. something must be done, and i appreciate the critical role that cbo has played and will continue to play in our efforts to ensure that the money that taxpayers send to washington is used responsibly and that there is transparency and oversight of all government programs. the information that cbo provides our committee and our colleagues here in congress is vital to that goal and to the legislative process. having sound analysis in a timely manner that is responsive to the needs of members of congress will help us advance real solutions. at the same time it's obvious that congress needs a more complete and realistic understanding of the fiscal and economic impact of legislation that we consider. the work we do on behalf of our communities would be well served by knowing how certain policies might affect the broader economy, job creation, investment decisions and more. and while it's impossible to perfectly predict the outcome of everything, we can and we must do a better job of getting more
accurate projections. this doesn't mean throwing out tried and tested practices, but what it does mean is adding more tools to the toolbox. you can rarely go wrong with more information. and i encourage the congressional budget office to remain committed to developing and refining its modeling and analysis, whether on the macroeconomic side of the ledger or on specific issues of interest like health care. cbo has done tremendous work over the past 40 years thanks to its incredibly talented and dedicated staff. i want to thank you again, dr. hall, for testifying today and for your leadership of this important agency. i look forward to the work ahead to improve our efforts here in congress so that hard-earned taxpayer dollars are spent more wisely in a more efficient and effective and accountable manner, and so that the policies we pursue have a positive impact on our economy and on the lives and the livelihoods of the american people. and i'm pleased now to yield to the ranking member from maryland mr. van hollen, for the purposes
of his opening statement. >> thank you, mr. chairman. let me start by welcoming you, director hall, to your first house budget committee hearing. welcome, dr. hall. and as you well know, the agency that you had the congressional budget office has a well-earned reputation as a non-biased source of information for the congress and the public. its credibility has been based on the fact that members of congress see it as an independent professional non-partisan arbitrator analysis of important questions. and i would like to just put in the record, mr. chairman, a letter that the first director of the congressional budget office, alice riflin, wrote describing the importance of maintaining that non-partisan tradition. >> without objection.
>> and director hall, i know you know you're the caretaker now of that independent non-partisan tradition, and we look forward to working with you. i think it's going to be particularly important given the fact that congress has now directed the congressional budget office to engage in what is commonly referred to as dynamic scoring, and there are lots of concerns about how games can be played with dynamic scoring. we saw in an analysis that was released of the former chairman of the ways and means committee mr. camp's tax proposal how those games can be played, the joint tax committee did a whole number of analyses of the potential dynamic effect of that proposal, and not surprisingly in all his public presentation the chairman of the committee used the one that showed the most aggressive benefits in
terms of economic growth and revenues but in fact that was not a conclusion that had been reached by the joint tax committee. so as you embark in this area i just understand and i know you do that it's happening in a political context of a lot of suspicion about abuse of that particular approach. the chairman opened with some comments about the state of the economy. and i would point out that according to the non-partisan congressional budget office's analysis of the republican budget at least over the next couple years it would actually create a contraction in the economy. it would generally reduce total demand for goods and services. and so i believe, as i think all of us do, we need to keep the economy on the right track and that means not taking actions through the budget process and through congress that would
actually slow down economic output at this particular time, which is what the congressional budget office has concluded the republican budget would do. we're also gathered at a time when we're looking at a lot of appropriations bills coming to the floor of the house, and i think it's important to remind members that each of these bills is based on a huge accounting gimmick which this committee on a bipartisan basis has rejected in the past. and i just do think it's worth reminding my colleagues of what the republican budget report from fiscal year 2015 said about using the so-called oco funds, the overseas contingency operations fund, the war savings fund, as a slush fund to try to get around the budget caps. and here's what the republican budget committee wrote a year
ago about using oco in that way. "abuse of the oco cap adjustment is a back door loophole that undermines the integrity of the budget process. the budget committee will exercise its oversight responsibilities with respect to the use of the oco designation in the fiscal year 2015 budget process and it will oppose increases above the levels the administration and our military commanders say are needed to carry out the operations." so that was the republican budget committee report from a year ago. apparently, they've torn it up, thrown it out the window, and using oco for precisely the purposes that they said a year ago would undermine the integrity of the budget process. and i do want to read a letter that was written just the other day to the chairman and ranking member of the appropriations
committee from the director of omb where he points out, and i quote, as the secretary, and he's referring here to the secretary of defense ashton carter, "as the secretary and the chairman of the joint chiefs have repeatedly stated, funding enduring operations through oco is harmful both to military planning and to service member morale. secretary ash carter has called this approach managerially unsound and also unfairly dispiriting to our force." i hope in the coming weeks we will put an end to this budget gamesmanship and approach the budget in a serious way. the president has approached in a serious way, mr. chairman. he said that we need to invest both in additional defense and national security but we also need to invest in scientific research and education. and he proposed to address this issue in a straightforward manner, increasing each by about
$38 billion. unfortunately, the congress chose to take a back-door path, back door by the testimony of our republican colleagues. and that has put us in the situation where we're now kind of paddling down this river serenely when we all know there's this huge waterfall ahead. and if our republican colleagues want to keep quietly paddling towards a government shutdown, that's their choice. we hope they will join with us in preventing that from happening. thank you, mr. chairman. i think we all know that is what is happening in this appropriations process, it's kind of a meaningless exercise. the president has been very clear he's not going to support any budget bills, appropriations bills based on this oco gamesmanship. and so we hope we can get beyond that in the near future and get on with the business of the country. thank you. >> thank you. mr. hall, i want to thank you again for your time today. the committee has received your
written statement and it will be made part of the formal hearing record. you have five minutes for your opening statement and we welcome you. >> thank you. chairman price, ranking member van hollen and members of the committee, i appreciate the opportunity to come before you today to discuss the work of the congressional budget office. we are pleased to discuss our accomplishments which we believe are substantial but we also welcome feedback that you can provide about ways in which we can do our jobs better. in my short time at cbo it's become clear to me that the agency is blessed with a staff that is knowledgeable, highly skilled, very hard-working, and dedicated to providing the best possible objective and impartial analysis to the congress. cbo has consistently been rated one of the best places to work in the federal government. the congressional budget act of 1974 created this committee, the senate budget committee and the congressional budget office together. cbo's work follows processes specified in that law or
developed by the agency in concert with the budget committees and the congressional litership. the agency's chief responsibility is to help the budget committees with the matters under their jurisdiction. also under this law, cbo supports other congressional committees, particularly the appropriations, ways and means and finance committees. at cbo we are committed to providing information that is objective, insightful, timely and clearly presented and explained. also, we make no policy recommendations. instead, we strive to present fully and fairly the likely consequences of alternative proposals being considered by the congress. in response to your interest for the upcoming year, we've requested the funding for three new positions. these new positions would be devoted to conducting dynamic analysis of certain legislation as specified in the recent budget resolution and in analyzing the economic effects of health care proposals. focusing for a moment on these two topics, over several years now we have been devoting significant effort to developing analytical tools that enable us
to assess the macroeconomic effects of fiscal policies. we've produced a number of reports that have included these effects and we expect to devote considerable attention to further developing our capacity to conduct dynamic analysis in the upcoming year. interest in legislative proposals related to health care on the part of the budget committees committees of jurisdiction and the congressional leadership remain very high. for example, we continue to analyze proposals to modify the affordable care act and could lead the forthcoming supreme court decision regarding that act could require significant changes to baseline projections that could lead to significant legislative activity. we're in the process of analyzing various aspects of the health care system and enhancing our capacity to assess the effects of future legislation on that system and on the federal budget. on a broader scale, in carrying out our mission of serving the congress during 2015 and 2016, we'll focus on meeting three goals. the first is to provide the -- to continue to provide congress
with budget and economic information that is objective insightful and timely. in the upcoming year, we expect to provide a wide variety of estimates and other analysis to congress. they include about 20 reports presenting an assessment of budgetary developments during the current fiscal year, the outlook for the budget and the economy, analysis of the president's budget, long-term budget projections and options for reducing budget deficits. we'll also produce more than 500 formal cost estimates, mostly for bills reported by committees with about ten times as many preliminary and formal cost estimates, mostly to aid committees in the drafting of legislation. we also produced about 120 score keeping tabulations for appropriation acts and produce roughly 85 analytical reports and other publications. all of our estimates and reports are reviewed internally for objectivity, analytical soundness and clarity. that rigorous process involves multiple people at different levels in the organization.
in addition, we consult with numerous outside experts who represent a variety of perspectives. a continuing challenge is how to respond in a balanced way to requests from both the majority and minority of multiple committees in both the senate and the house. we regularly consult with this committee, other committees, and the congressional leadership to ensure that we are focused on the work that is of the highest priority to congress. our second goal is to continue to present and explain the methodology and results of our analysis clearly. we'll make our work widely available to congress and the public by releasing publicly all formal cost estimates and analytical reports. input from outside experts and extensive external review will remain an important component of our transparency. also we will continue to have our documents and related information provide explanations that go well beyond just presentations of results. in addition, cbo analysts will regularly explain details underlying the agency's estimates and other analysis to interested staff, hill staff and present their work at professional conferences. the transparency of our work is very important and enhancing it
is one of my prime objectives. our third goal is to continue to improve our internal management. at cbo we continue to face considerable competitive pressure in attracting and retaining the highly educated and skilled employees that we need. more than 2/3 of the staff consist of economists and budget analysts. talented people of those backgrounds are sought by government agencies private organization universities and private companies. in closing i would like to emphasize how much we at cbo have relied on the oversight of this committee and your help in explaining and communicating to others in congress about our role in the complex federal budget process. we rely on your constructive feedback and guidance on important legislative developments and congressional priorities. we are grateful for the support and guidance you've provided throughout the 40 years of cbo's existence and look forward to continuing that constructive relationship for many years to come. thank you. >> thank you, dr. hall. i think regardless of our political perspective or
ideological perspective we all want to get this economy rolling again and decrease our liability and our debt because it's that trajectory that helps growing jobs and opportunity. there are three ways basically to get more balance into our fiscal policy. one is to raise taxes which our friends on the other side of the aisle want to do with great frequency. decrease spending, which we think is important, getting spending under control. but the real secret is growth. and i want to concentrate on growth and how we get an expanding economy, and i'd like to focus on that in my time for questions. as i mentioned in my opening statement, last week we received some really disappointing news about the economy. in the first quarter of this year, january through march, the economy actually shrank by 0.7%. it's the third time since the end of the great recession that the economy actually contracted. and i'm not aware of any other recovery, dr. hall, that had
this kind of contraction within the recovery itself. are you aware of any recent recovery that has this kind of contraction? >> no, i'm not. and i think overall this has been a frustratingly slow recovery with respect to economic output. >> every time that the economy contracts or underperforms economists find an explanation for why they didn't see it coming. in the most recent instance it was because we had a winter, which comes around every year. would you comment on why you think that the economy seems to have this fragility to it? what are the things that have related -- that have caused this fragile nature of our current economy? >> well, you know, i do think that's a tough question because it has been frustratingly slow. and as you'll see from prior -- our prior projections and everybody's prior projections, we all expected much stronger growth than we've seen. and i say it is rather frustrating. and i think part of it really
seems to be kind of slow productivity growth, seems to be a big part of this. in fact, productivity normally has sort of a business cycle element to it. where you get maybe a little slow productivity growth at the start of a recession and then once the recovery kicks in you can get fairly strong productivity growth. we just haven't seen that yet. we haven't had at all strong productivity growth. one of the ways to sort of see that is we've had this very modest output growth while we've had reasonably strong employment growth. and really we've been lucky to get as much job growth as we've had but that's been a reflection of this low productivity growth. >> what i'd like to have folks take a peek at is this slide that's projected here. these are the projections of real gdp growth for fiscal year 2015. we're now through two complete quarters of fy15. the projections, as you see in blue there, and then the actual,
2.2 for the first quarter and a contraction of minus 0.7% for the second quarter. if you normalize those for the year, we would end up with a growth rate of 1.5%. clearly not what can get this economy rolling again. do you think we're missing some underlying weaknesses in our economy through the customary modeling that cbo has? are we missing something that makes it so the forecasts are not as accurate as we'd like them to be? >> i think economic forecasting is difficult. and it's always full of errors. it always has errors in it. and there are times where it's very hard to forecast the economy. and it's not just cbo. it's everybody. i would feel like cbo was missing something if somebody else was forecasting any differently than we are. but they're not. these results are genuinely disappointing, but i can't tell you why. >> let me probe a little deeper
on that and see. do your models -- is an increase in taxes, increased tax rates, does that have a drag effect on the economy? >> yes, it does. >> and do your models account for that? >> yes, they do. >> so your models that are included in the projections for fy15 include the increases in taxes we've seen through obamacare and the other tax that have been increased through this administration? >> that's right. >> do your models -- does an increase in the amount of regulation at the federal level, does that have a drag on the economy? >> it can. it's sort of the idea that if you have an overall level of regulation and it gets too high it can slow things. there's also one thing that may be a little underrated with respect to some of the economic data, is the evidence on job loss, how long people are out of work, shows that when people lose a job during a bad economy they stay unemployed for a much longer time period. one of the things i get
concerned about is if we do things that slow job growth during bad times it delays recovery in the labor market. >> and increasing regulation can slow job growth. >> it can. >> what about uncertainty, something that's hard to model, something that's hard to measure, but uncertainty in the market? does that have a drag on the economy? does that decrease growth? >> it seems like it probably can. there's been fairly recent research that sort of suggests that economic uncertainty has been playing a role in this. i have to say, though, that it's still not widely accepted. it's still an interesting idea. it's not sort of the conventional view quite yet but i think it's quite interesting and that could be that it's having an impact. are you able to incorporate uncertainty in the marketplace into youruryour modeling? >> no, we're not. >> so there may be things that we are not capturing with our conventional modeling? >> that's right. >> may we have the second slide, please? this is the one that concerns me and ought to concern us all.
we are now in the worst recovery, worst recovery since world war ii coming out of an economic downturn. and the projections that you see here the projections given for the growth over the next ten years, average growth over the next ten 15 years given. and every time you have a decrease in growth, then what that does is increase deficit. so what are the factors that you believe that the cbo believes is contributing to this continuing downward trend of growth projections? >> well, certainly we've had some growth in consumer spending. that's actually held up pretty
well, which is the really important part of this. but i think i swing back to the idea of the productivity. that productivity really hasn't rebounded, and shown the usual sort of recovery that it has in the past. that's the most notable thing to me about this. >> and if we were to try to -- this is obviously a rate. the average rate over the last 40 years is 3.3% growth annualized. so we're a full point below, a percentage point. people say that doesn't make a difference. a percentage point adds -- we if we were at 3.3% growth, we would decrease the deficit over the next ten years by over $3 trillion. that's the incredible importance of growth. so what are the kinds of things that we ought to be looking at as a congress to assist and get the economy growing again?
>> well, i certainly -- i certainly believe in getting at least a plan, a credible plan on solving the federal debt problem because that is looming. that's going to continue to be a problem and that's going to continue to cause problems. at some point that's going to start having a really significant effect on economic growth. and as you pointed out, i think in addition to the spending and revenues, economic growth is important. we maybe don't talk enough about that. economic growth is extremely important and it can solve a lot of issues. if you look at our long-term budget projection, actually it's coming out soon, one of the things we talk about is how much a difference in productivity growth over the next 25 years makes for the budget outlook. and that's a really good indicator of the importance of economic growth. >> let me just, in my final minute here, try to put a face on all of this.
if we truly have 2.3% growth or even less over the next ten years, as opposed to our 40-year average of 3.3% growth, what does that look like or feel like to the average american out there? what do they sense either is happening or isn't happening because of that decrease in growth? >> certainly one of the effects it's having is we are getting a very slow wage growth, very slow income growth. to get good, solid wage growth, you need a much tighter labor market than we've had. again, that sort of shows up and even though we're having pretty strong or pretty reasonable job growth, because of the weak economy, it's still a tight labor market. so wages and income will suffer from this. with respect to the budget that does a lot of things like slows revenue and things like that. >> dr. hall, thank you. i think it's important for folks to appreciate that these are
real consequential decisions that we make and it can be an adverse effect if we can't get this economy rolling again. i'm pleased to recognize mr. van hollen for his opening questions. >> thank you, mr. chairman. there's no doubt about the fact that increased economic growth would be a very good thing. we've obviously seen i think, 62 straight months of positive private sector job growth which is, i believe the longest sustained increase in private sector job growth since the end of the 1990s. but obviously the more we can do to increase economic growth, the better. you're new director hall but i'm assuming that cbo has not changed its analysis that the republican budget that's been proposed would actually slow down economic growth in the next couple of years. is that the case?
>> anything that slows aggregate demand in the near term could slow economic growth. >> yes. i understand that. and so -- and the republican budget slows aggregate demand, according to the congressional budget office. correct? >> that's right. >> so i do think it's worth emphasizing, since i thought we were all concerned about the last quarter's figures, although there are powerful arguments that these have to do with some seasonal adjustments, but nevertheless we should be concerned about anything that slows down economic growth in the short term and the congressional budget office has concluded that the republican budget would slow down economic growth in the next couple of years. i understand there are other arguments with respect to long term but let's just focus on that for a moment. because it's also the case, is it not, director hall, that when you're looking at growth rates in the future compared to historical growth rates that cbo
anticipates that output will grow much more slowly than it did during the 1980s and 1990s, primarily because the labor force is expected to grow more slowly than it did then. i'm reading from a cbo document from january of this year. i'm assuming the cbo has not changed that analysis. is that right? >> that's correct. >> so one of the ways we can address the issue of an aging workforce in a way that actually boosts overall economic growth would be by implementing comprehensive immigration reform. in fact, the congressional budget office concluded, before you became director, that the bipartisan senate immigration reform proposal would be something that would help mitigate this aging workforce issue and boost economic growth. and has cbo changed that analysis since you became director?
>> i'm not familiar enough with that analysis to actually comment on it but i don't know that we've looked at that lately. >> well, i think it's true, we probably do all share the view that more economic growth is better, so i think it's important to stick to the facts and the congressional budget office has been our referee for the facts and they have concluded that the republican budget will slow down economic growth in the next couple years and that the major reason long-term economic growth is not as high as the historical average is because of an aging workforce. as people retire, they are obviously not part of the workforce. and one way to address that is through immigration reform which allows more people to come into the workforce and that would boost economic growth and reduce our long-term deficits. and again that is a conclusion that has been reached by the nonpart shan congressional budget office.
so i hope when we're really actually looking at policies, that can impact economic growth, we will focus on what the nonpartisan professionals tell us is the reality of the case. now, just a couple questions related to the so-called dynamic analysis and dynamic scoring. you referred in your remarks to dynamic analysis. as you well know, even under the previous rules, the joint tax committee and cbo engaged in dynamic analysis. the difference now is the congressional budget office has been directed to come up with one score, which is different than analysis, right? >> right. >> and so that is where there's potential -- i think many people believe -- for mischief and concluding that there's more certainty in some of the cbo estimates going forward than there is in reality. what i want to ask you about is cbo's capacity to apply that
kind of analysis to the investment side of the equation because there's been a lot of focus on the tax side. and as i understand right now, with respect to the categories of the budget that relate to federal investments, for example, investment in education, the cbo appear bchltb a -- cbo appear sumz that additional investment in that -- in those areas yields half of the return of the average private sector investment with a delay of five years. is that correct? >> that is. >> and so there is no assessment currently of different kinds of investment, like investment in education versus investment in infrastructure versus investment in places like the national institutes of health. is that right? >> that's right. obviously we could do that sort of work. >> that's really what i'm asking. because if we're going to be going down this road, which i think has a lot of potential
pitfalls with respect to the tax side of the equation, are you, as an organization, going to be spending the time and effort to better refine your capacity to do this kind of analysis with respect to the investment side of the budget? >> we plan on improving our ability to do it on everything. >> there also are parts of the budget that are not categorized currently as investment but still could have a positive economic effect. do you agree with that? >> i imagine so. i'm not sure what you're -- >> well, i mean, there was a study done just within the last 18 months, i believe, regarding medicaid spending. and that's not part of the budget currently that's categorized as investment so
when cbo does its analysis, even the crude analysis of the impact of investments on economic growth medicaid spending is not counted adds an investment. and yet there was a study that indicated that medicaid spending for children has significant feedback effects on federal revenue. it found that children eligible for past medicaid expansion earned higher wages and paid more taxes as adults, enough for the federal government to recover 14 cents on every dollar by age 28 and 56 cents by age 60. so if that's accurate, that's a pretty respectable return on that federal investment. now, i know it's a new study. i know cbo has not had time to evaluate it. but my question to you is, is cbo now going to take a very broad view of those kind of programs as well in terms of the impact they might have on positive economic growth as this
particular study found with respect to medicaid spending? >> actually, the goal is to look at the evidence and to apply the macroeconomic effect analysis -- the macroeconomic effect analysis on things where there is evidence of dynamic effect. so we will do that. >> i mean, this is a whole new world because while there's been a lot of analysis done, what you're being asked to do now is pinpoint a score. and i think, as you go through this exercise, you're going to need to spend a lot more time evaluating the investment side. a lot of work has already been done on the tax side. a joint tax provides a dynamic analysis on all of the big tax bills that are introduced, right? they did that. they already do that. we've not seen that kind of in-depth macroeconomic analysis
with respect to cbo with respect to these investments. i indicated you have this sort of crude measure right now for what you consider the investment side of the budget. first of all, it's crude. second of all, it leaves out all of the spending like the medicaid spending that is not categorized as investment. so i'm just letting you know because you're now charged with this important agency and you're charged with it at a time that you've been asked to undertake this whole new enterprise. everyone is going to be watching very carefully to make sure it's put in place and implemented in a fair, balanced and mostly in an accurate way so we have an understanding of the impact on the economy. so mr. chairman, thank you for this hearing. let me just close where i started, though, which is we're in the middle of these appropriations bills and we are headed right now on a trajectory that seems like we're going down toward that water fall, toward a government shut down. the president has put on the table a plan to address this
issue in a straightforward way and we hope our colleagues will join us in finding a way to avoid the government shutdown that seems to be looming on the horizon with the coming fiscal year starting october 1st. thank you, mr. chairman. >> >> thank you. mr. rokita. >> i thank the chair. good morning dr. hall, thanks for being with us today. the plan i see from the president only increases our deficits and debts and over the near and even longer term and so therefore i don't think it's a viable solution. let's focus on the debt for a minute. it's my understanding that the debt, as much as we're working and have evidence to show that are deficits are decreasing because of the leadership on this committee and, more recently, throughout congress, including for the first time since 2001 that we've had a budget resolution, that the debt itself is still expected to
expand, the 77% by the budget window, and thereafter it's the red menace that some have described is becoming a tidal wave because 10,000 baby boomers a day are retiring into unreformed programs. there's a debt clock in my office. it's over $18 trillion. quite frankly, as much as i put that out there for my constituents to see, it's hard to understand and visualize what $18 trillion is so my first question to you is, can you talk to us in terms of what this means to the individual family, what an increased debt load does to our standard of living, for example? >> first of all, let me just say that the debt level is at right now 74% of gdp. that is really high. it's only been that high once and it was after world war ii. the extraordinary circumstances after world war ii.
it is a very high level. and what is going to happen is we may have a few years where that's relatively stable at a very high level if the economy continues to recover. at some point, the effects of the aging population and rising health care costs are going to make that start to grow again and it's eventually going to get to an unsustainable level. and by unsustainable level we mean literally the ability of the u.s. government to borrow money is -- it can disappear at some point. that would make it a really serious meltdown. there we're talking about a really significant drag on the economy and economic growth. we're talking about slower income growth for folks. and all of those things are sear i didn't say -- serious and they're there. and one of the things that i think i need to point out is the
sooner you start to address this the less you have to do to fix it. because if you wait what you need to do to fix it gets more difficult and more difficult. difficult. and the only thing is one more thing that's directly to what you're seeing the debt almost doubled since 2007 so our ability to deal with another economic crisis going forward is going to be hampered with the debt level of where it is now and our ability is going to be -- it's going to be very difficult to deal with. that's a really important part of this going forward and we don't want to have another great recession. let's talk about the fix. what fix is this as you mentioned? do slightly reforming the programs that are driving our debt medicaid, medicare, social security, the interest for ourselves and other countries that make up 67% or so that are
spent? will that do it moving around the edges or do we need total restructuring of these programs if they're going to be available for my children, for example? >> we certainly, we need something pretty substantial and, you know without talking about particular things we spent some time and produce something for deficit reduction where we give you options to look at and you get an idea for just how big a change we need in things to stop this growth in debt, and one of the things that actually isn't in here that you should keep in mind is -- and when you look at the long-term budget outlook and when it gets to very very high levels two thing, one is that you're at a high level and that it's getting worse and the trajectory part of it. so when it gets to be -- if it gets to be 100% of gdp in 25 years, it is 100% of gdp and
getting worse which is why i say something significant needs to be done. >> you mentioned trajectory so some count for debt in terms of what acceptable levelses are. you talk in terms of trajectories, there is a difference there. >> the notion is that one, you don't know where the tipping point is. you don't know how big the debt needs to get before there are really serious problems and one of the things that factors into it is not just the level, but how believable it is for people that it's going to get under control and that it's going to be fixed and that's what i mean about the trajectory. >> mr. pascal has five minutes. thank you, mr. chairman. i've been listening very tentatively and what seemed to me that what we want to do in the opening salvo of questions is go back in the decade and
when clinton was the president when there was an $11 trillion turnaround, do you remember what the surplus was in 2000 and how we got to this dech sit and how we got to this deficit? and then, on top of that, since you brought the subject of tax cuts up we had huge tax cuts in 2001 and 2003. you want to know what the predictions were in when quote, unquote, dynamic analysis was of then what this was going to mean to the economy -- not only what was it going to mean to the economy, but to the job picture and to the job picture. we all know what the numbers are. you saw the graphs. we've thrown more graphs at you than exist i think, and you know what those graphs are, but take those numbers away and take
those graphs away and even take what i've just said away. the fact of the matter is what is dynamic analysis, huh? and dynamic scoring. i'm very concerned about your decision, mr. chairman and your party's decision to use dynamic scoring and that's what much of the discussion is about here or micro, or macro economic analysis and official cost estimates for major legislation. this type of analysis is highly uncertain and prone to manipulation. you have the low number and then you have the high number and you can make whatever you wish at whatever time you wish to make it. different models and assumptions produce widely different cost estimates just right down our alley. we can fudge the numbers easier.
for example, jct analysis of the reform proposal use two different models, if you remember. they came up with eight different estimates in a range of revenue estimates from $50 billion. listen to this range 50 billion to 700 billion over ten years. i mean, that's, you can drive 5500 mack trucks for that. he used the most optimistic estimate to tout the plan of reform reform. some models depend on actions that future congresses will take my take to reduce the deficit. so i've been here long enough to know that there's been no guarantee what congress will or will not do in the future. a ten-year budget is a fake. you know it and i know it. i believe that including dynamic scoring will diminish the
credibility of the budget process. so my question for you, i want to start off with an easy one on the affordable care act in terms of what you said and i quickly read over your testimony here. so the deficit is projected to hold steady as a percentage of gdp through 2018. it's currently at its closed points as president obama took office. nonetheless, the republican budget requires each of the five health-related committees to find $1 billion in savings to reduce the deficit. by repealing the hca would add 200 billion to the deficit. let's do a little dynamic analysis ourselves here. so i'm not a math maematician by any stretch of the imagination, as you are, but in your opinion,
if we replace the hca and save $1 billion which i just referred to what would the budgetary impact be, dr. hall? >> well, obviously the ac analysis that we did before was valid and i can tell you one of the things that will happen when we also look at the dynamic effect of this, the dynamic effect will actually probably help reduce the deficit and work a little bit against that, at least and with respect to dynamic analysis -- >> are you saying that if we repeal the aca we would reduce the deficit? >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> i yield back my time. >> the gentleman's time has expired and the gentleman from oklahoma is recognized. >> i appreciate the extra time my friend yielded me. if i can, let me start with the discussion about the historical record of the 1990s and then i
want to get specific and pick up where mr. akita left off on the whole issue of debt. >> if you're on the democratic side of the aisle you'd like to give credit to president clinton and if you're on our side you'd like to remind the democrats that hey you had a republican congress for six years and you never could have gotten the thing balanced with a democratic congress, that's for sure but he had three things going for him that we don't have today. the first one is he had peace. he didn't have much to do with that, but the soviet union was gone and we did get a real peace dividend and that lasted throughout the 90s and the second thing was he had baby boomers working and not retiring and probably in their peak earning years and finally he had an internet boom that nobody in washington d.c. could take credit for that and that poured revenue into the treasury at unpredicted and unprecedented levels in terms of capital gains. we don't have any of those three things today. we're in a state of war and we're likely to stay in a state
of war and we can debate that and we'll be militarily spending more money than we were in the 90s as a percentage of the budget and the percentage of the gdp. baby boomers will be retiring and they'll be living a lot longer than any previous generation so they'll be drawing social security using medicare longer and finally economic booms are not predictable, but we certainly don't see a growth rate that's anything like what we've seen in the past. so we've got some really unique challenges that transcend frankly, what our fredder issors in the 1990s have and we don't have the favorable conditions that they've worked with and we've been able to bring down the deficit in a bipartisan way. i don't think we give either side enough credit for this in the last few years. we've had obviously, a little bit of real deficit reduction and we're spending less in discretionary side of the budget than we have before.
we've had economic growth and not anything that we'd like, but that generates money and we've had a fiscal cliff deal that did raise revenue of $700 billion over the decade and that's a tax increase effectively and those things have brought that deficit down from $1.4 trillion to a little under $500 billion and 460 or 80, somewhere in that range. are those measures, director hall, sufficient to continue to lower the deficit as we look forward? >> they're not and what's going to happen is the effects of the aging population and the rising healthcare costs are going to become much more apparent going forward and we're going have a much harder time keeping the debt anywhere near its current level. it will be difficult to do that. and your test on this, and i don't want to belabor it with mr. akita, but what will b