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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  November 24, 2009 7:00am-10:00am EST

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for international peace discusses u.s. relations with in the upper it "washington journal"begins now. . host: all this following a two- hour meeting last night in the situation room. the associated press said that it could have been the final meeting before the president announces his decision. it is tuesday morning, november
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24. we will begin with this situation in afghanistan and this question, how to pay for it. congress is calling for a war tax. now a potential tax to fund the wars in afghanistan and iraq. how much is too much? for democrats, 202-737-0002. for republicans, 202-737-0001. for independents, 202-628-0205. a number of news web sites, including cbs, reports on the congressman and his comments about funding the war in iraq and afghanistan. in the peace the white house budget director suggested that it could cost the government $40 billion per year to send the troops sought by commander mcchrystal.
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he told cbs news that the cost of the war could destroy the other things that we are trying to do in our country. also there are interviews with cbs and abc news, they did favor a war tax in which lower earners would pay a very small percentage. we want to get your comments on all of this, the number is on the screen, you can send us an e-mail or a tutor, and that twitter.com/c-spanwj -- e-mail or twitter comment thaat twitter.com/c-spanwj. with finances already stretched, "the obama administration is expected to recommit soon at the cost of $1 million per soldier. where will the money come from? take a guess.
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they want an additional tax on the upper bracket. they can afford it, he explained, they have done incredibly well. the top end of the u.s. middle- class my question that assessment." we have a related editorial from "the wall street journal." we want to check in with mike allen this morning. you are amongst those reporting about the speech next tuesday night. what are you hearing? of caller: that the president is not only ready to announce, but explain his decision to the american people. that will be tough, he will be pushed from the left and the raft -- left and the right about what he comes up with. the speech will probably be in prime time, one week from
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today, we will see the president's defense secretary and other key officials on capitol hill, elaborating on this strategy. the question that you raised about money is a big one. those figures that you gave it from the budget director, that works out with the president taking the full recommendation from his generals. half of a trillion dollars per year, half of the cost of health care. host: the white house press corps indicated that the white house is or will be asking for prime time network space next week and there are indications that the speech could come from the oval office. caller: the oval office is traditionally used to make speeches the concern during -- that our concern for grave
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matters. during the bush administration it was specifically reserved for matters of war. using that setting allows the president to command attention in a way where there is no other distraction. there is no stage setting, no applause. host: when the president was outlining more details, he had an eastern news conference. what is the pro and con of taking that venue. caller: as the president discovered, you could never be sure what is one of being perceived. if you are simply giving an address to viewers, then you have total control over the message.
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as we saw with the president's health care address on capitol hill and the outburst there, you never know how you can command attention. you have maximum control when you do an oval office address. host: as you pointed out in your bulletin, the president is expected to address the nation next tuesday and that the follow-up is that members of the cabinet and the national security team on capitol hill, there has been a lot of sense -- speculation on what general mcchrystal will say, specifically. caller: we do not know what the president has decided. every external indication is that the president is going to be going more towards what general mcchrystal has recommended rather than away from it. that is that his median
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recommendation was 40,000 troops. most people i have spoken to believe that the announcement will be between somewhere between 20,040 thousand. -- 20,000 and 40,000. no matter how you slice it it has to be taken as an endorsement of his strategy. general mcchrystal has said that if this war is properly resources, it will be possible to succeed. there is not a lot of other evidence of that. people on the right are going to wish that he was doing more, people on the left are going to wonder if he should not ante up even more in a place where it
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does not look like there is arguably what anyone would call a total in clear victory. host: from the reporting from the associated press, the white house is considering this a tough sell. how do they sell this to the american people? what do you think that the president will say or needs to say to the american people? caller: he has to explain why afghanistan is worth investing new american lives. general mcchrystal will help him with this by arguing that there's a chance for success that stops short of victory, which is a tough place for the commander in chief to be if you have to explain why it is important to do more even though the results are probably not
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going to be what we hope, certainly not in the timeframe that we had hoped for. the president has known for some time that he has a big explanation job to do. there has been a lull while he has made this decision. as viewers have seen, he has fallen in polls. host: mike, thank you for joining us this morning appreciate your time, as always. from "the washington post's" this morning, "a top u.s. general and a u.s. ambassador in afghanistan have been told to be prepared to testify before congress as early as next week, giving an indication of the president's war strategy. of course, we will be covering
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those hearings as they gather on capitol hill. have to pay for all of this, that is an hour -- how to pay for all of this, that is our question this morning. greendale, independent line. caller: good morning. i get to be the first caller today. host: you sure do. before all of these tea party people, the only way to fix this government was to contact your local representative and work your way up. that is the only way to fix this government. the constitutional convention was designed so that the people have a voice. not the polls.
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the constitutional convention is where we tell the government we had enough. and we are already bankrupt. they are not following the constitution. healthcare is unconstitutional. they started with a mandate that everyone get insurance. host: thank you. good morning. caller: i am wondering why it took them so long to attach a war tax. we have had a war tax on every war since the civil war. as soon as it was over with the tax was taken away. but we are in debt to china and other countries because we are borrowing from them to pay for the war in afghanistan and the war of choice, iraq. i do not know why the bush administration did not impose a tax on everyone across the board and we would have the revenue to
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finance these wars. the of the unjust war in iraq -- bea it be an unjust war in iraq for the war of necessity in afghanistan. host: from "the financial times" they are looking at health care and financial issues. nancy, good morning. caller: i hope that my voice does not shake too much. i am kind of nervous. for the lady that just called there has never been a tax that has been repealed. never. i am going to make a comment about our congressman here in wisconsin, david tax monster obey. he lives and breathes for more taxes. when you tax the rich, it
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trickles all the way down to the bottom. steve, i do not want to get critical, you do a wonderful job, but there was a man they called up who said he was on the republican line, this was yesterday or the day before, i forget, i was so angry, all he did was-the conservative party. he went on and the hon. and you let him go on and on. these people that do that, they are so ignorant. first of all, they lie. host: it is hard to prove -- caller: they never know enough to turn down their television, you know? but david obie needs to go, just like our two senators. he never appears. we do not even know if he
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exists. he is just there to occupy a seat. anyways, we will try to fix it so that some of these people that have been in office for so long, they do not know anything but taxing. just like the present administration right now. host: thank-you, appreciate the call. richard, florida. on the issue of taxes and whether or not we are soaking america's rich. good morning. richard bellow one more time. richard? u.s.? caller: -- richard? one more time. richard? you with us? caller: good morning. if there was not one drop of oil in the middle east and the
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united states did not arm israel in their wars, we never would have suffered 9/11. i do nothing anyone would have heard the name osama bin laden. we are going to be there for years and years. they talk about raising taxes on the ridge to pay for this war. they will be paying for it forever. thank you. host: the first official state dinner will be taking place in washington, "obama was big tent leaves out gop big wigs -- obama's big tent believes that gop big wigs. chief among for those not coming, john maynard -- john boehner and eric cantor.
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the president did not invite john mccain, even though mr. obama pledged a post-partisan presidency. -- presidency." we will have live coverage of the dinner giving way under -- getting way tonight at 9:00. there is also a press conference that will happen at 11:30 eastern time. the arrival ceremony was originally scheduled for the south lawn, it will be moving to the east room. lester, good morning from detroit. caller: good morning. listen, i do not have any problem with the rich being taxed for this war. over the years, you know, the people that prospered by the
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people that have had money. poor people do not have any say so. all they do is fight the war as. they do it in the guise of patriotism. but if you are going to war, you should pay for it. i do not recall anyone wanting to go to afghanistan. if you are spending money on the war, you do not have money for health care. what bothered me on sunday is senator lieberman, he will put the money up for a war in afghanistan but not for health care. that disturbs me. . host: from "usa today" this story -- "bombings killed 12
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people across afghanistan, including four american service members and three children. president obama met again on friday to decide whether or not to commit more troops. general mcchrystal crafted a plan to defeat the taliban and he recommended in august that the u.s. would need 40,000 additional service members to roust the militants out of kabul. monday's session was the 10th to be held in the situation room. the next call is from charlotte, north carolina. rich, republican line. is washington soaking america's rich? caller: good morning, how are you? yes, and unfortunately it is going to get worse. i swear that every time i look
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at the administration of their conducting our foreign policy and domestic policy, i would think it is jimmy carter. that will come back to haunt him in 2010 wheand 2012. in some other folks have been furious -- i and th some other folks have been curious. why did our administration not do like they did in world war ii? they sold war bonds, keeping it within the capitalistic investment system. i would rather prefer to see as helping out through the capitalist model instead of moving towards a socialist model, where we take it under
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the guise of assistance, purchasing it by the government. instituting taxes to generate revenue to pump into other government systems, those are questions i have myself. i do think that we are soaking the rich. i would prefer to see them off for some kind of a war bond through these banks. if we are going to finance this war, give us a 2% return on our money or something like that. god bless our troops. host: another editorial this morning, the afghan war surtax. "domestic politicians beg to differ. this is a quote from david obi4ee, "there ain't going to be no money for nothing if we pour
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it all into afghanistan." if president obama does not grant the request for more troops -- "that is what happened in the vietnam war, which wiped out race society, that is what happened with the the korean war, that is what happened when we went into world war i and the cost of these wars shut off our ability to pay for anything else." another way of putting it, this is a real liberal objection to the war on terror is what it takes away from the domestic spending priorities. for democrats is about victory on capitol hill." clyde, good morning. caller: good morning. the left never seems to get
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enough taxes. in his health-care plan there are 12 new taxes. one of the callers earlier talked about more taxes. there was a 5 cent tax put on 1% of the population during the spanish-american war. it stayed on until the clinton administration and al gore came up with an internet tax. there is in contacts and the federal reserve. there was an income-tax during the civil war. the central government tried to implement that income-tax all the way through 1961. the left and never gets tired of spending other people's money. if you are not paying taxes, what you need is jobs and we need to cut taxes. fifth we need to form of small
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business as much as weekend -- we need to promote small business as much as weekend. host: the pentagon says that the review of the personnel, health, and other policies coming in light of the shooting that took place this last month will take place by the end of january. gates met with officials on monday and 18 is expected to visit this week. -- a team is expected to visit this week. caller: good morning. i do not think that they are taxing the rich too much, per se. the one who is obviously making money because the war is going on because of their stock purchases, it is just sickening. they do not want us to pay for any of our own infrastructure. if you do not wind up getting it
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going, you have hyperinflation. you have got to keep money in everyone's pockets. or else you wind up with chaos. other than that i do not see any reason to worry about it. let's not worry about the poor people, health care, any of that. host: the twitter and comment - they want this war to continue. "south florida home sales continued to recover. home sales surge in chicago. the best since 2006. sales rise in the land area for existing homes."
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this headline from "the wall street journal." "one out of for u.s. holders are over their heads, underwater. these so-called underwater mortgages pose a road block, these properties are likely to get dumped into a saturated market. nearly 24 million owner occupied homes have no mortgage at all. negative equity is an outstanding risk factor." charles from arkansas, the question we are asking this morning is whether or not the taxes are soaking america's rich. should there be a so-called war tax? what is your take on this? caller: mr. obie says that there will be no money if we do not
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tax the rich, but right now there is no money. i want to tell you that the rich pay about 40% of the taxes. 40% of you gimmie gimmie people pay absolutely nothing. mr. obama, this is not going to work. it has been proven in the past. if you gimmie gimmie people want money, go not on your rich neighbor's door. -- knock on your rich neighbor's door. do not ask the federal government to give it to you. show some initiative yourself and beg for it yourself, instead of having your government give
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it to you. in the past it does not work and it will not work now. social security, medicare, everything the federal government has ever touched it does not work. that is why we are trillions in debt. if you let the business people do it -- if you look at it, there are more crooks in the government's then there are in business. figure that one out. good morning. host: this can also be seen online at the web site for the "la times." "the war in afghanistan will bankrupt domestic programs and a surtax is necessary if they want to send more troops. david obie came to congress in 1969, opposing the vietnam war, mindful of the funding that
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drained from the great society program. 30 years later he is adamant that afghanistan is a similar quagmire that the bankrupt president obama's domestic agenda. -- agenda." dave, good morning. caller: i agree with what the previous caller had to say. people are not taking responsibility for their own actions and they want a handout. educating people, doing the right thing, there are a lot of opportunities out there for people to play the blame game. you have to take responsibility for yourself and do the right thing. the people in charge are not managing our money right, they
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are not educated right. host: thank you for the call. a couple of related stories that we want to share with you from "the new york times." "iraq's january election faces a near certain delay. the torturous efforts to hold parliamentary elections in iraq collapsed on monday, leading to a pet -- potential political crisis next year after days of talks the parliament disregarded a veto by one of the country's vice presidents. the mood deepened a crisis that had seemed to have been resolved after months of wrangling. -- wrangling." also from "the new york times" report published yesterday
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showing friction between britain and the u.s. over iraq. controversial interviews with british officers "emblazoned across the front page of "the daily telegraph." the views suggested that the strain between the british and u.s. allies, known to some degree at the time, were more severe." you can read more in "the new york times." democratic line, good morning. soaking america's rich? caller: so your callers have made statements that these taxes need to be reduced. what they need to spend time with is the historical time of the highest income tax rate paid by the richest of the ridge. there are a couple of things
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that are very interesting about it. 35% is the highest marginal rate. looking at world war ii one, it goes from single digits, where they were looking for a 70%, it dropped down into the 1920's. then they find themselves in world war ii with a top marginal rate for most of the war years. basically it has settled into the 1990's and 1970's for ronald reagan, where it was 60% higher for those terms. to talk about raising taxes to under the 39% that they were during the clinton time, which was a huge boom, i do not think that that is unreasonable. people have to look at these numbers instead of fantasizing
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about how unfair that taxes are. they will get some perspective. host: thank you for the call. from twitter -- the rich pay the taxes because they have the most money, duh." "a story from last friday, lou dobbs hinting at a run for president." "he stunned his france -- his fans, reaching out to see if he can mend fences for a potential 2012 white house run." speaking of the president, a white house dinner today will take place this evening on the south lawn, an official dinner. the president and the prime minister of india will live at the white house this morning for an east room welcoming
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ceremony, live coverage will be on c-span. george, florida, good morning. caller: steve, you look very business like today. i wanted to say that i own a small corporation and i have had some good years and i have always done pretty well, but in the good years i remember i wrote a check to the irs for $124,000. host: how much did you make? caller: what i did with it that, if you figure that these people are getting 1200 per month, living within the same vicinity as me, i probably took care of about nine people. than $124,000 that should have gone to my son, i gave it to nine retirees that went to
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another casino or another racetrack or another bingo parlor, a baseball game. i am tired of just giving money. i understand that you pay for civil main missions. roads and everything that benefits us all. this paying tribute to a few and title leaves who will, in return vote democratic and take the money that i send them through taxes and give it to campaign donations to the democrats, because i am a republican that is reverse robbery. the system is so twisted that i have to say that if i could find a way of opting out, and by the way i have laid off. business has all of the power. they can boycott charity, invest
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overseas, bank offshore. business signs your paycheck, you come to us asking for a job. believe me, i am not hiring anyone else until this socialism is over. in not giving another dime to charity or anyone until this is over. host: appreciate the call. a similar point of view from this twitter comment -- and obama voters seem to be the most upset over this situation. feeling regrets already? as far as the so-called war tax being proposed and a new tax to fund democratic health care, the editorial from "the financial times." "time for democrats to recognize the limits to this approach, the
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government cannot balance the books on the backs of this system. the parties fiscal strategy has reached a point of rapidly diminishing returns. it already demands no credibility to the democrats knee-jerk response. there is a story this morning from inside of "the new york times." writing about the so-called conservative checklist, here is the essence of the story. "reporters -- it was not clear whether the test would be adapted when put up for consideration next year before the republican national committee, but it is drafting a striking example from month
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republicans about how best to handle pressure from conservatives about how to move the party to the right." michael, new york city. good morning. caller: one of those things that was most important in that article, you are talking about billions of dollars per year for a soldier. the cost of accounting for the military is out of control. you have got a $10 trillion deficit, this country may not be able to pay it. you have got a military with $700 billion per year, another $300 billion for intelligence agencies. you are talking about $1 trillion for year. who is the enemy? russia cannot afford their own military. the situation is that this path -- donald trump, he said on
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television to larry king. these people have been fighting for 5000 years. as soon as you pullout, they will continue to fight. it is a waste of money. what do we need this military intelligence for? can you imagine saying that each bank employee should get $1 million per year? obama is going to wind up like [unintelligible] for staying in afghanistan. host: more on the republican party and its platform, looking at the gubernatorial candidates, "the platform for prosperity in
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the 2010 midterm elections. we cannot afford lawyers to find tax loopholes for us." writing about what is next in terms of the health-care debate -- "it would appear that one word is testing well, arrogance, which is how they repeatedly described the democratic approach. mitch mcconnell was at it again on sunday, the first day of the debate on the sweeping legislation passing by a squeaker that was needed to launch an intense series of what they have called surgical strikes on key parts of the bill. -- bill."
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john o'connor is joining us, he writes for the state newspaper in south carolina. thank you for being with us. in essence this is the first step of a possible impeachment against gov. sanford. what are you looking for today? caller: today you have a special subcommittee that is going to prepare an impeachment resolution against the governor. it looks to charge the governor with misconduct in office before going away and not telling any of his staff, going to argentina. we also have an ongoing ethics committee investigation, most of these related to the abuse of power and use of campaign funds. we are waiting on whether or not
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the commission finds him guilty and what the punishment is. host: the headline in your newspaper this morning, "family vacation is questioned, as is a hunting trip to ireland." the key to this is the attorney general in south carolina. what role will he ultimately play in deciding whether or not to proceed? caller: his name is henry mcmaster, he is a republican, like most folks in the state, and also a candidate for governor. early on there were talks that they did not like the idea of the impending governor and having a shot at the office early. he has received a copy of the ethics commission report and it was up to him to decide whether or not there would be criminal charges.
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if there are it could be a key step towards impeachment. there has been reluctant from lawmakers, especially house leadership for the enforcement of the evidence that we know now. most of what we know was contained in the ethics report yesterday. we have the speaker of the house saying last week that he did not see any reason for the governor to be removed from a caucus. host: spending campaign contributions on himself are amongst the accusations, including purchasing seat upgrades with taxpayer money and potentially a total fine of $74,000. caller: yes. host: will he resign? headlines this morning said that
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pressure is intensifying for him to leave office. is that at all likely? caller: i do not think so. from the beginning he has said that he will not resign. these particular accusations, i would not think that he is going to resign. host: where will the case go? caller: the house judiciary is likely to meet soon, sending the bill to the full judiciary committee. we will have the full committee deciding whether or not this is something for the full house to vote on before christmas, when lawmakers come back in january. they can either decide to charge the governor, impeach him, sending the resolution to the senate to decide whether or not
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they want to remove him and be done with it. host: while all this is happening, has the governor been visible, talking to the press? caller: he has made a show of going to work over the last couple of months, sending out e- mails showing of all the things he has done this week. he has been very visible about getting back to work and not being a distraction. host: his wife is writing a book? caller: she has an interview with barbara walters coming up in december. host: thank you for updating us on the situation down there.
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caller: thank you for having me. host: earlier this year joe biden traveled to pennsylvania to talk about issues in rural america, including internet connectivity. we want to talk about that with clea benson, who wrote about that in "cq weekly." we will continue in just a moment. ♪ >> thanks giving day, at 10:00 eastern bill clinton will be on hand to present steven spielberg with this year's liberty medal. we will also have a panel addressing the obama presidency.
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at 5:00, hip-hop artist and actor, ludicrous, on youth mentoring. that is a thanksgiving day on c- span. >> the studentcam road contest this year. top prize is $5,000. just create a short video on a challenge the the country is facing. winning entries will be shown on c-span. that a camera and get started. don't to our website for more information. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we want to welcome clea benson. her piece last month was about the myth of rural america. you began about writing -- he began with writing about joe biden traveling to rural pennsylvania.
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host: the administration this summer went out to rural -- caller: -- guest: the administration this summer went out to rural america. joe biden said to the crowd that used to be very excited, we are going to fund a rule broadband for you. -- royal broadband. all of you farmers will be able to log on to check the prices. the surprising thing is that most people out there are not farmers. might look like farmland. there are rolling fields and crops in cows, but the economy, like a lot of rural america, is no longer agricultural. host: you have two last year. the first is the mix on the funding of counties from 1950 all of the way to 2000.
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fascinating. guest: all around america there were counties that have agriculture as their economic base. back in those days it was about 40% of people in rural america, working on farms and earning their living from agriculture. today it is like 5%. what you see in the second map is the tiny strip in the middle of the country that is still dependent on agriculture. that is not to say that there are rural counties that have disappeared. what is interesting is that the rest of rural america, these vast underpopulated places, earning their living doing something else. host: rural population trends tend to be far more complex according to your riding. how so? caller: there is a stereotype
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about rural america, that people have b from it and in two cities for a century. well, the truth is that there was a big movement out of farms and in two cities from the 1930's to the 1970's. but after that rural areas started gaining population. what we are seeing now is that some rural areas are losing population, but other are gaining population. it kind of depends on where they are located and what their economic base is. host: you write that they might be sparsely populated out there, surrounded by farm fields with a population of just 100,000 residents next door. guest: the reality is that a lot of people drive to work every
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day. in the city of eureka. that is the way that many people are living in the united states, living in a sparsely populated place but working someplace else. host: this is not norman rockwell? guest: exactly. the myth of america as a place where there are these family farmers goes back to the days of thomas jefferson, it has always been held up as the ideal, the bedrock of american values. less and less does that actual situation exist. host: what does that mean about how congress funds the forms? who operates and pays for it? guest: there are still family farmers, just fewer. the problem is that congress is operating in many ways, according to the stereotypes and
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myths, allocating billions of dollars in funds to help these areas of the country, many times they're putting up the money in ways that are not helping the people that they are intending to help. broadband is one example. they think that they are sending the money to help family farmers, but the truth is that those people are few and far between. host: our guest is clea benson, who wrote last month about "the myth of rural america." our phone lines are always open. for republicans, 202-737-0001. for democrats, 202-737-0002. for independents, 202-628-0205. we are especially interested in hearing from you if you own or operate a farm. you can e-mail us at journal@c- span.org.
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is the funding from the department of agriculture changing and will it change more in the future? guest: people are starting to be aware that the myth and reality does not match. they need to have an official definition of the rural area that matches the reality. in the last farm bill, congress directed the department of agriculture to look out for new ways to define where the money goes. i should say that this is not just a matter of farm subsidies. the question is not necessarily whether there should be support for agriculture. the question is whether rural areas means other kinds of community development and support. host: angela, good morning. caller: that is exactly what i wanted to talk about, i lived in what is considered a rural area and there are less and less
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farms. even the local community colleges, which taught horticulture forces that have nothing lated to farming -- i have a bachelor of science in legal studies and i am very against the business that has been a source of a lot of our problems. i would like to get into an honest living by farming, but there are no courses on even how to start a farm anymore or break into that kind of industry. guest: a perfect example of the situation. even the people living in those areas are much more likely to find employment in manufacturing, for example. which has historically actually been a very big role in history. people working in the service industry and government. we were starting to talk about this earlier -- agriculture is becoming dominated by larger and larger businesses.
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it is not the kind of situation anymore where someone can go out and get some land and make their living, although i think of that is what thomas jefferson envisioned back in the day. host: how many years to the government paid farmers not to grow crops -- a comment from twitter. guest: a good question. it depends on the kind of crop and the year. the average subsidy is $15 billion per year. there has been a refinement on that. certainly it is not the case that anyone is on the verge of stopping those programs. host: in terms of how congress deals with it, how will they settle the schism -- unemployment is 35% for african american men living predominantly in the cities.
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in the more rural areas? guest: biting a one of the more important point here is that there is not always as much difference as you might think between an urban area and a rural area. there are actually a lot of people that are unemployed that might live in an area that is suburban. it is often not helpful for policymakers, but they want policy makers to provide aid for people that are unemployed, not necessarily based on a specific kind of geographic area, but based on the needs that people have. host: his comment -- i live in rural north carolina, farmers are few, they are big business, and they rely on illegal immigrants for their labour. guest: actually that is one of the issues that many rural areas
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are dealing with, demographic change where you have an influx of people from different backgrounds changing the culture. you have a lot of integration issues, housing issues, cultural issues, also something that policymakers have to think about. host: i.t., joining us from georgia. -- arvie, joining us from georgia. caller: on that map that you showed, this was a rural, farm based economy in the 1950's, not listed that way in it -- that way anymore. we are 100 miles away from atlanta, people like to spend their summers here, as well as people from florida. the summer home industry is a major thing for us. most of the people of originally from the scouting still farm, but they have to work a full-
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time job to a for their farm. host: what do they produce, primarily? caller: there is a huge variety of people trying to raise cattle, a predominantly beef. but they still raise corn, beans, what ever. there is a very small number of people trying to get back into the raising of crops so they can sell them at roadside stands, trying to get them into the farmers' markets in atlanta. it seems that the laws have been written through agricultural committees in previous years and they are actually for increasing the size of farms and not for farms that are under 50 acres. host: thank you for calling. guest: that is really interesting. i have a figure in the peace
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that talks about how in households that lavan farms, 80% of household income comes from farm sources. even the folks that are still forming, it might be a smaller enterprise, but those people still have maybe one member of the household working over in the next town because you cannot make a living with the crops that you can grow and sell at a roadside stand. there has been in this fundamental transformation. the other thing noticed by the collar, a very important trend, the idea that rural areas are becoming vacation destinations and summer homes. those are the rural counties that are increasing in population. along with that comes a host of other issues, like sprawl and environmental concerns. this happens to be in areas
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that have a natural resources amenity in the first place to attract people. raising a bunch of policy questions for folks in those areas. host: we have a twitter comment -- a few dollars for the farmers themselves, and it is working, advertising through op-eds. farmers' markets. guest out that it -- guest: that is the model that you see. folks doing smaller enterprise things. it is not, as the caller before mentioned, overall it is not necessarily the kind of thing that people are finding they can support themselves on. host: our guest is clea benson. jeff is joining us from upper washington. caller: good morning.
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i am a wildlife biologist and i live on a small agricultural property. we break even at best. we do not make much money. host: what do you do? caller: we have horses. our biggest problem on the coastal states is competing with development. .
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guest: what i think is interesting about the chart is yes, we have the same number of people living in rural areas as we always have. more and more, we are becoming an urban society. that gets into the whole issue of how you define what is urban and what is rural.
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more and more you have people living in the outskirts of cities. it's a tough decision to decide at what porpoint those are urba. host: clea benson is now senior writer at cq weekly. arthur is joining us. good morning. caller: good morning. in the rural areas, in the 1960's, there was a great change in most of the urban buying out rural areas where there was farms and things of that nature. since then, i have not seen a
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change in the trend. i'm wondering how much does our city government and how much does our state get involved in matters like this to help change things back over. what is your response to that? guest: that's a perfect example of how there is a colony in all of these areas for -- there is a call for better planning. there needs to be a process to control development. and make sure that it is going in positive directions. yes, it is a perfect example. host: eric is joining us from cambridge, ill. good morning. caller: good morning. in my life, the trend has been for these high-end corporate farms that have had a dramatic
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effect in driving out the traditional family farms out of business. this has been facilitated a little bit by local politicians. a few miles north, we have had some local politicians, along with some corporate interests. they are pushing factory cho g processing plants and the local area. that was very controversial due to the smell, the pollution, and the quality of life issues surrounding these hog processing plants. i think that the conservative republicans and blue dog rural democrats have helped facilitate this trend in their policies of farming subsidies. also, watching the dynamics of the health-care debate, i see some of these will populated
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rural states have an inordinate amount of congressional power. guest: that is a good point. rural experts will tell you that there's no question that over time the federal government has played a role -- federal policy has played a role in encouraging the mechanization of agriculture, encouraging the large factory type farms that make it harder for the small individual farmer to compete. that has been the upshot. as the caller noted, agriculture and farming in rural america is not a partisan issue. democrats and republicans fall on the kind of areas they represent. host: we are following this twitter conversation. a lot of people living in rural
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areas live 75 miles away from the metropolitan area. guest: folks who are advocates for rural areas say the internet is a of fantastic thing for rural areas. you could use it to log on and check your crop prices. that is why the recovery and reinvestment act has $2.5 million to expand broadband in rural areas for that very reason. the problem is they are having a little trouble trying to figure out how to get the money to where really needs that. as the twitter correspondent mentioned, a lot of federal policy direct aid based on how far the area is outside of the near city.
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in some rural areas, people are not that far outside of the city, but they might still be kind of cut off and revoked. that has created a lot of challenges. host: is the grand canyon rural or urban? guest: according to one definition, the grand canyon in is in a metropolitan area. the reason is considered to be a metropolitan area is because it is close to flagstaff, ariz., which is a city, of course. i do not think anybody who has been to the grand canyon would say it is urban. host: our guest, clea benson. when that is to win us from --
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linda is joining us from wisconsin. caller: in a small farmer. we're also organic. the report from up here is that -- we do have broad band. we used. we're not close to in the urban area. we do use the internet for buying a lot of supplies. we're not competitive in the price of broadbent. i can see it advertised. i can see that broadbeand would be cheaper if i was closer to an urban area. some of the reason that a lot of people are working is health insurance. it is hard to get into an industry where you know from the get go that you will have no health insurance.
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host: do you employ anyone on your farm? caller: no, with this decals that we are milking -- cows that we are milking, no, we would not be large enough to employ anyone. host: how do you do it financially? caller: it is really tough. we started 20 years ago. we were both not from farms. we lived in a suburban area. during our farming career in 1997, we had to move from washington state to wisconsin. at one time, it was a big change. it was really tough. most of our farming income goes to pay for farming bills. i worke 84 a part-time job so we can afford things. it takes people that are dedicated.
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it is not very easy to make it financially. and the milk prices -- the way they have yo-yoed this year. you just budget. we would be in worse shape if we had someone to pay. you cannot decrease someone's salary. we are in our 50s. host: can you see yourself doing it for another 20 years? caller: yes, we have made changes on our friend. we have said that we hope to work until 70. we do not have any retirement. host: thank you. we will let you get to work. clea benson? guest: it is interesting what she said about broadband.
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people on farms do not have it. the problem may be that is not affordable. they want to engender a enough competition that the price will be down everywhere. that is a perfect illustration. host: what surprised you the most? guest: just how hard it is to define what is rural america. my editors tried to assign me a story on federal resources. i discovered that it is impossible to define that. it all depends on how you decide who lives in a remote place.
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in this day and age, it is impossible. host: clea benson, writer for cq weekly, thank you. coming up, lewis morris, department of health and human services deputy inspector general, to talk more about some of the fraud in america's health-care system. the senate debate will begin next monday. coverage on c-span2. the other story that is happening in washington today, the state dinner for india's prime minister. because of the rain, the ceremony has moved inside from the south lawn. live coverage is underway in about one hour. and tonight, the state dinner will get underway at 9:00 p.m. eastern time. it is actually called an official dinner because he is the prime minister. full coverage, including a news
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conference at 11:30 p.m. first, a news update as we check in with nancy of c-span radio. >> president obama hosting the indian prime minister at the white house. the two leaders will hold a joint news conference in two hours. later, the president meets with house leader nancy pelosi, followed a meeting with secretary gates. a u.s. serviceman was killed in an insurgent attacks in afghanistan. this brings the death toll to 16 this month in afghanistan. 80 militants have been killed in pakistan -- 18 militants have been killed in pakistan today. an update on the h1n1 virus from
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glaxosmithkline. the company says it has advised medical staff in canada to not use one batch of its swine clue vaccine because it may trigger a life-threatening allergies. the pharmaceutical company says the affected patch contains over 1000 doses, but did not say how many have already been administered. >> coming this thanksgiving, "american icons" on the icon a colmes of the three branches of the government. beginning thursday night, the supreme court, home to america's highest court, reveals the building in this was a detailed. friday, the white house, inside america's most famous home. our visit shows the grand public places as well as the rarely seen spaces. saturday, the capitol, the
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history, art, and architecture. thursday, friday, and saturday on c-span. get your own copy. it is $24.95 plus shipping and handling. >> "washington journal" continues. host: lewis morris, department of health and human services deputy inspector general. one of his responsibilities is investigating fraud in the medicare and medicaid programs. what kind of fraud are we talking about? guest: it ranges from organized criminals setting up sham medical equipment companies to regrettably some of the large fortune 500 companies in this country. every place we look we're finding evidence of fraud. host: how pervasive?
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guest: it is hard to say. fraud is a crime of deception. the most effective frauds are those that go undetected. the the news is that we're using high-tech screening devices. we're using tebaldi to get a jump on these crimes faster and faster -- we are using technology to get a jump on these crimes faster and faster. host: could you go back to what you said. what kind of tools are using to investigate fraud? guest: some of it is using cutting edge technology, computer systems that are able to detect trends in billings much earlier than we used to. we also rely on good old- fashioned investigative work. we get a lot of tips from consumers. medicare patients will call us and tell us something looks wrong. we have whistle-blowers inside the criminal schemes themselves
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who decide to come forward and tell us about the fraud. the government has set up a program that gives financial incentives to whistle-blowers to come forward. a lot of the big corporate schemes that we learn about our a result of insiders telling us how the crimes took place. host: do you ever do audits like the irs? guest: we do a lot of audits. about 1600 men and women across the country. we all did everything from hospital system billions. we all that the medical programs systems themselves, and then make recommendations to the administration. host: we're having a conversation about medicare and medicaid fraud with lewis morris, department of health and human services deputy inspector general. you can see the
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numbers/political affiliation. please allow 30 days between recalls. mr. morris, you mention medical equipment suppliers. guest: we have discovered that medical equipment suppliers are a hot spot for fraud. it's easier for a supplier to get into our program. medicare has got to make it more difficult for the scam artist to get in. in south florida, we have seen thousands of sham companies set up. they are just storefronts. they provide no services. they build the medicare program billions in bogus claims. we have sent our auditors out. in one instance, we looked at 1600 and about a quarter of them were bogus.
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we close to those down and cut down substantially on the fraud in south florida. unfortunately, the equipment suppliers are very sophisticated. they set up a new operation almost instantaneously. host: you make it sound like it is almost easy to defraud medicare and medicaid. guest: i'm afraid we make it easy. the program set up based on trust. unfortunately, the criminal element has taken advantage of the tremendous amount of money in the medicare program. one of the things we believe needs to be done is that we need to move from trusting to having people establish their credible suppliers. we have got to make it more difficult for the bad guys to get into the program and the first place. was there in, we need to do a better job of monitoring their behavior.
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it is still pretty easy for those to be exploited. host: your office provided this map to us. you have some hot spot locations. why california? why houston? why detroit? guest: they were each based on data analysis. we determined to these were places where medical equipment suppliers were exploiting our program. what we have done in order to respond to these hot spots is organized strike forces of prosecutors and investigators, who are moving much quicker to identify the fraud. and then close them down. it has been very successful. we have almost 700 convictions as a result of this. we have brought back $225 million already as a result of these efforts overall.
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, our strategy is working. for every dollar that is spent on fraud prevention and protection, we bring back $8 to the medicare trust fund. host: there have been some big settlements with some large drug companies. guest: you have read about these in the paper. the most recent was against pfizer. pfizer was alleged to have deceptively marketed drugs for purposes which were not approved by the fda. those actions put patients at risk, cause heart attacks, and death. in addition, allegations of kickbacks to doctors. the subsidiaries pled guilty. we found multiple year schemes to advance the marketing of drugs for purposes which had not been approved by the fda.
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host: a company like pfizer or eli lilly, do they set out in their board rooms to commit fraud? guest: i do not thing we have ever had someone be as explicit as say it is a crime and i'm looking forward to committee it, but they clearly understand the parameters of the law. in the case of pfizer, they understand that the fda says you cannot market this drug for acute pain, and they went ahead and did it anyway because it increase market share in profits. i would say that executives at pfizer knew what they were doing was illegal. host: before we go to the colors, are the loaws too vagues? guest: the criminal element those very quickly parade organized criminals have come into this arena. it's a lot safer than dealing crack cocaine.
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we need to have more resources devoted to focusing on this fraud problem. the laws are there. host: you have been at hhs for 25 years. the first call comes from long beach island, new jersey. caller: good morning. guest: good morning. caller: my question relates to waste, fraud, and abuse. i see a myriad of commercials on cable television and network television every day for hours and hours for such things as mobility scooters from the scooter store. the commercial says, "we will
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give you a scooter absolutely free." we end of course, we all know that the charges to the taxpayers have paid into medicare, medicaid, and disability insurance. these organizations are parasites in my mind. guest: it is a fair point. i would point out that the scooter store has entered into a settlement with the federal government to resolve allegations of false claims. first, nothing in this world is free. the medicare supplier offers to give you something at no charge to you, you should be suspicious. there are some circumstances where that is appropriate. generally speaking, beneficiaries are obligated to pay 20% copiague. you are right. when something is offered for
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free, you should put up the warnings. there's a distinction between fraud, waste, and abuse. waste is being prescribed a brand-name drug with a generic name would do just fine. what is abuse? prescribing tests that are medically unnecessary but help the doctor profit. we'll have a good idea of what fraud is. there are those that are committing fraud. there are also those that are taking advantage of the system on the margins. we need to address all three. the inspector general's office is doing just that. a lot of the audits identify program vulnerabilities. host: could you give us the details of the scooters for settlement? guest: it was based on
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allegations that physicians were prescribing power wheelchair's for medicare patients that did not need them. in some instances, the certificates of necessity were in no relationship to the needs of the patient. los of them were mobile. they have these jurors to be in a client -- they had these chairs sitting in a closet. host: is there a way that's doctors contribute to this fraud? guest: regrettably, yes, doctors contribute in a number of waste. perhaps the most obvious is there sunni prescriptions at the request of the patient when the doctor knows that the patient does not need it. -- perhaps the most obvious is the doctor prescribing things too impatient with the doctor knows that the patient does not
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needed. and we also find that the doctors are on the payroll of these scam companies. they are getting kickbacks. we think physicians are a critical part of addressing the fraud problem in this country. the vast majority of doctors in this country are honest and care about their patients. regrettably, there are some that put their personal profit before the patient. caller: good morning. i think between mr. morris in the last caller, everything i had to say has been sent. i started getting medicaid years ago. the doctors have been a major part of this corruption. you go to one doctor and they
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say we will have to see an ear doctor. i bought a piece of medical equipment that costs medicaid $635. if i have my own cash money, i could buy the same piece of equipment for $167. it is things like these are running up the cost of health care in america. you were right, mr. morris. we are too slow in getting laws against what is happening here. if we could be more diligent about the rules and regulations without loopholes, then we would do a good job. thank you very much. guest: medicare pays way too much for services. our audit teams and the value leaders have demonstrated this time and time again. you can buy an oxygen concentrator for $700. medicare pays $1,700 in rentals.
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not only is that coming out of the trust fund, but because beneficiaries are paying a copiague, that means they're paying for two hundred dollars that he does not need to. we need to be much more responsive. there are bills right now that would allow the medicare program to stop pena as quickly as it does in fraud hot spots. under the law, medicare has to pay a claim within 30 days. they have billions of claims coming through every year. less than 3% are reviewed before payment. we need to change the system to a prevent and detect. host: tweet here. is there anything in the house health care legislation proposal
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that addresses the issue of fraud? guest: there are a number of provisions in both bills that would help. they would tighten up on eligibility, make it easier to close out scams quickly, suspend payments when we believe there is evidence of fraud. at the bottom of every one of those medicare bills that they get is a number that they can call if they think there's a problem with the claim. in the same way you look at your visa or mastercard charge at the end of the month, people should be looking at those bills and making sure they got the services. if they have a problem, they should first call the provider.
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the second thing they should do is call medicare. finally, if they think there is fraud, they should call the office of inspector general outline. host: ohio, you are on. we need to move on to miami. joe, republican, hi. caller: good morning. unlikely were talking about -- i like what you're talking about. i do not see any proposals. the consumers do not know how much things cost. they do not ask questions. you are talking about the generic version for the brand name drug. they do not hold the provider accountable. i do not seek a lot of stuff happening. guest: a lot of people who
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have looked at the health care system observed that the person receiving the benefits are not the person paying for the benefit. the co-payments are part of that. it to pay 20% of the costs, it is more likely you will ask the doctor if there's a less expensive drug. you are right. we trust our doctors to do what is best for us. they have advanced training and expertise. it's not likely that a senior citizen will challenge her physician's decision about a drug for a therapy. the good news is that as we increase awareness, i think we will have much more of a dialogue between the patience and the physicians to ensure they are getting only the necessary services.
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drakessanders tweets in. we have for this again and again on this program. is this something that is addressed in the health-care system? is this something that's the oig would like to see addressed? guest: the oig has addressed this. we will do an audit and provide specific recommendations to close down the problem. part of the problem is that there are vested interest that the white the system just the way it is. if you are a wheelchair owner, you are going to do you can to keep the status quo. congress is exploring ways to make it easier for us to change the rules in risk areas. there's a demonstration project about to get under way that would allow more competitive bidding around medical equipment. we think that will reduce
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excessive charges. there are some vested interest that like things just the way they are. host: sue in naples, new york. caller: good morning. the billing -- when people get bills from health care, they cannot tell what they were building for exactly. if they could, i do not know of any other situation where you do not get an itemized bill. if people got that, they would see what they were charged for, how much it cost, and you would probably get a lot of calls on a hotline. guest: it is a good point. what we call an explanation of benefits is the way that the medicare program tells its beneficiaries what services it has paid for. they're very difficult to read. i have helped my parents read
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through their medical explanations. sometimes a legitimate service looks questionable because you do not recognize the provider. you did not realize that the radiology company billed separately. you are right. we need to make sure that those bills are intelligible. we need to keep reminding people that they need to help us by looking at those bills and calling us when they think there's a problem. host: according to the centers for medicare and medicaid services, a total health expenditures in the u.s. in 2007 -- $2.2 trillion. of the total costs, medicare spending was $431 billion, 19% of that total. medicaid and schip spending, at $329 billion, to 15% of that total. there are several estimates that say perhaps $60 billion per year
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is lost because of fraud. san jose, calif. caller: good morning. i have had social security disability since 2004. the first thing i noticed -- this has to do with the health care reform and medicare. in a lot of faults have had to do with medicare itself. i've seen changes with private doctors dropping all insurance companies because medicare would try to change certain prescriptions. there are -- finally found a doctor that will prescribe my medication, but through medicare, i thought i would be getting things to help aid me get back into the community.
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instead, -- i am very thankful for medicare. i had an agent on the phone misinform me to tell of the animal forand will form that ken the program. people at the office here in california -- they should assign one person per person or a group of people. there's a lot of jobs stimulus that could be added. host: thank you for sharing your experience and your ideas. guest: these are great suggestions. one of the challenges you recognize is that while these might create more jobs, there's funding required to support those jobs. one of the challenges that medicare faces is trying to keep
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a lean administrative machine so the money goes out in benefits and not running a bloated bureaucracy. medicare does a tremendous job at that. administrative overhead is a fraction of what private companies charge. it does mean that we do not have the luxury of caseworkers 40%. a lot of your ideas make sense. host: boca raton, chase, republican. caller: thank you. i've reported in 2000 i was working for a nursing service and they were double billing. under the reagan administration, they had a wonderful program where they would hire retired judges from
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all over the country and give them a very small salary, and then hired lawyers that would come right out of college, and they would get people to come in. they knew they could walk and talk. they said we will give you 30 days to get a job, and if not, we will not be receiving any more medicaid from loss. i know people with disabilities who are working at our companions for people who are sick, and yes, they're collecting disability because i had a car accident. it really angers me. guest: you have absolutely every right to be angry. when people abuse the system in this way, is simply wrong. if you have information about people taking advantage of the system, let one go.
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what appears to be the lack of a disability -- it is worse been well informed -- it is worth being well-informed. host:, the calls a day to get at your hhs tips number? guest: we get hundreds of thousands of calls. sometimes their concerns that do not relate to our medicare program. we for those to the appropriate agency. most get forwarded to medicare. we also find good tips that turn into a cramped buscriminal inve. we have operators that take the calls. every complete is assigned a
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tracking number. the information will likely be sent to the medicare program. their job is to forward to that to be cognizant agency contractor. and then the information is meant to be forwarded back up. we often cannot get to all the cases we would like to. we refer to other law enforcement agencies. but things we believe our fraud, but we do not have the resources. the medicaid programs have fraud control units. we send a lot of this work to the states. host: boston, linda, democrat, good morning. caller: good morning.
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in my situation, i had to go on medical disability. i had worked all my life. i ended up having to get a lawyer because i was miss used three times, which i could not afford. and they took money for the lawyer. it took two years to get it done. i was only awarded one year back. a husband was in and out of work. he is not being paid what used to be paid. we are on one income family. the economy has risen. i have a plan d prescription plan. i'm a diabetic title oype one. i want to know -- when you have
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these conversations, which are related, how do i get through to a real person? who can help me? guest: i am probably not able to answer your question. i do not have enough information about your particular circumstance. it sounds like you're doing the right thing. you have worked through the system. i would suggest you talk to one of the lawyers that is working with you. host: james tweets in -- guest: there are a number of proposals out there. it's hard to talk about a specific bill. and number of the issues that we believe would be helpful would be things like making it more difficult for scam artists to get into the program by changing enrollment standards.
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instead of it being a right, it would be a privilege. you would have to prove you have integrity. we think more resources will allow us to put agents on the ground to talk to witnesses to find out if there are criminal elements of whaafoot. the vast majority of them were honest. they need help. they need to set in place internal control mechanisms, of its common traits. -- control mechanisms and
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training. guest: a do not know of that is true. if you go through parts of dade county, you will see office building after office building with hundreds of durable medical equipment companies listed. if you knock on the door, you may find there's nothing on the other side of the door. host: could they have a warehouse? is it possible? guest: it may be possible, but it is not legal. there are specific requirements for what you have to do to be a supplier. you have to have an office treated has to have posted hours. you have to be running a business. our agency found that these are just shelves. sometimes they are storage bins or empty pizza huts.
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these are not businesses. host: why is south florida so attractive? guest: part of it is that there is a significant senior population there. health-care fraud is byviral. people learn how easy this and their brothers, cousins, and friends get in on it. south to florida has become the nation's hot spot for health care fraud. for certain parts of the committee, everyone is doing at. host: do people go to jail? guest: more and more people are going to jail. one of the successes of the strike force model is to get people off the streets and into jail. we have put over four hundred people into prison in the last year as a result of the strike force model could we also throw
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out a lot of people from the medicare and medicaid program based on misconduct. be excluded them -- we exclude them. host: west virginia, you were on witare on with lewis morris. good morning. caller: good morning. i was reading an interview with malcolm sparrow. guest: i have a signed copy of it. caller: in this interview, he said that you folks estimate 3% is fraud, which is $60 billion. he thinks it could be as high as 30%, or 20%, which could be $600 billion in fraud.
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he said we do not know how much is being lost. we should know. the government knows how to measure it, but it is avoiding doing it. the news would be too bad. he goes into detail exactly how you are refusing to measure the exact profit. i am sure you know this argument. guest: i am familiar with the argument. i think there are some assumptions teammate which we do not share. first, it has got to be recognized that successful frauds, by the very nature, are undetected. i'm not sure we will ever know the full extent of fraud. i do agree it is possible that the fraud is far more extensive than we think. one of his point is that a very clever fraud scheme has the appearance that everything is regular, so it is harder to
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detect. i do not think we know what the fraud rate is and we are hiding it from the american people. this administration has made a real point of promoted transparency. we would benefit from having a more precise number. we are finding ways to identify the fraud quicker. we are finding ways to identify it through systems that are a lot faster than we have in the past. host: barbara in lexington, indiana, please go ahead with your question. caller: good morning. host: please go ahead. caller: thank you for having me. i think we need reform, incremental reform. i was born with agwith a
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degenerative disk. there's nothing that can be done but to keep me on pain medication. i asked my doctor why do i have to come every month? it is a waste of money for me to be there and spread disease. it's a hardship for me to come down there every month. i was told that it is because of the bureaucrats in washington insist that we come down there and go to the doctor every month. i have called in reported medicate fraud. all i get is, "ok, thanks for calling." i never get a response. guest: i'm sorry that you have been inconvenienced. unfortunately, it is on an individual case when someone such as yourself has to go through the extra hassle. one of the reasons a role like
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that is put in place is because our experience has been, and in some instances, people continue to draw benefits when they no longer need them. like any rule, sometimes it can be over applied, or not tailored to the needs of an individual. as to your concerns about making a referral or complain about health care fraud, that is most unfortunate. it should not happen that way. we do hear complaints from seniors and those who have gotten health care benefits that they have filed complaints with the medicare and medicaid program and have not been satisfied. peirce, thank you for doing that. know that we are trying to do better. we've been in conversations with the medicare program to try to improve the way they respond to allegations of fraud. we are conscious of our duty to be responsive. we're trying to do a better job.
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host: lewis morris, department of health and human services deputy inspector general. the annual budget in his office, about $300 million. a staff of 1500. 80% of their work is dedicated to medicare and medicaid. riviera beach, fla., grace, good morning. caller: good morning and thank you for taking my call. i am a diabetic and i receive my diabetic supplies through the advertised company. one thing i do dnot understand -- when i get the copy of the bill, it always seems to have more test strips then i get.
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when i asked for batteries, i never get the right of countries. when i called back and i tell them that you sent the wrong batteries, they never send me any batteries. i'd tell them i need alcohol wipes. i may or may not get them, but the paperwork always goes into medicare that i received all this stuff. host: is that fraud? guest: i do not know. it sounds like the first thing you ought to do is contact the company, which you have been doing tree may be said to them a letter or in the mill -- maybe send them a letter or an e-mail. bring the medicare program into the discussion with the supplier. this may be a billiong error.
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that is the first thing to do, to try to pursue this with the company and the medicare program. if having done so you conclude that they are charging us for services that were not provided, called the medicare program hot line, 1-800-hhs-tips. host: teresa, you are on with lewis morris. caller: good morning. i am amazed that there has ever been anything done. i did get a company shut down way back when because there was so much fraud. they operated in all these counties. they threatened me when i talked to them about it. they gave me an explanation of benefits on everything.
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this did not happen until the medicare and medicaid bill went through and was pretty much forced on everybody. it took years to get any help. even when i would call to tell about frauds in my hospital bills, and how poorly we were treated in emergency rooms, they just leave you there on the table. it is wasting the tax dollars when you were rushed there in an ambulance. when we lost a certain doctors -- this is columbus, indiana. we fear telling anything because i think they put it on your medical health records.
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host: thank you very much for sharing your story with us. mr. morris, we only have a few minutes left. we have not talked much about the pharmaceutical companies and the fraud that has been uncovered. according to your office, $3.5 billion in fraud settlements was paid out so far in 2009. where does that money go? guest: the good news is that money goes back to the medicare trust fund to provide services to senior citizens. there are two vehicles by which we get the money. there are criminal fines imposed by courts, and there are false claims act settlements. they pay both criminal fines and civil settlements. as we talked about, those civil settlements are brought together in part by whistle-blowers who bring information to the government, give us the documents we need to build the case. those whistle-blowers get paid millions of dollars as a result
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of their contribution to the fight against fraud. it's a very effective way of us identifying crime that we would not otherwise be able to find because it is still insulated within a corporate structure. the whistleblower benefits, the taxpayer benefits, and the money goes back to the trust fund. host: health-care fraud recovery, such as medical equipment companies, you can see $1.6 billion has been recovered so far in 2009. besides medical equipment, what is another avenue for people to use when they want to commit fraud? medical equipment, buiilling, infusion therapies. we have discovered that in south florida, they are not getting the drugs they need. they are getting b12 injections. home health is a hot spot for
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fraud. people are supposed to be getting services in their homes. they are not getting those services. those are two other examples of the type offs. host: middletown, new jersey, bob. caller: i am happy to see mr. morris on, especially after the "60 minutes" interview. where are the indictments and the prosecution's? listen to him, he explained that there are many prosecuted, which i'm happy to see. i am happy to see and hear today. guest: you will be pleased to know we brought 700 convictions this year alone. by the end of this year, we will have brought back $4 billion as a result of the efforts of law enforcement officers and
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prosecutors. we are on the job and we appreciate your support. host: if you could change one olaw, what would it be? guest: to make it easier for the medicare program to scrutinize to the lead in the program and to stop payment faster. .
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>> the white house has passed the tv network's corporate and time availability next tuesday night. -- asked of the tv networks for prime-time availability next tuesday night. the first deputy attorney general in remarks to the associated press earlier said his office is probing allegations against three current members of president karzai's cabinet and 12 former members. earlier this week, karzai pledged to arrest those who spread corruption. the economy grew 2.8% in the third quarter, but we don't slower than initially reported -- the regard slower than initially reported. the new reading a bit weaker than the 2.9% growth rate economists expected. mark sanford, the focus of impeachment hearings this morning. this following ethics charges
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about his travel and campaign finances. the dish. committee will focus solely on his five-day absence in june and failure to put someone in charge of the state while he was gone. finally, s. tannenbaum, speaking earlier on television said the finance -- the safety commission has not been acting as quickly as it should concerning crib recalls. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> coming up on c-span, american icons, three nights of seaton original documentaries on the tree branches of american government. beginning thursday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern, the supreme court, and to america's highest court reveals the building in the exquisite detail to the eyes
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of supreme court justices. then friday at 8:00 p.m., the white house, inside america's famous home. beyond the velvet ropes and tores, our visit shows the grand public places as both those rarely seen places. and saturday, the history, art and architecture of one of america's most symbolic structures. three memorable bites, thursday, friday, and saturday at 8:00 p.m. eastern. get your own copy for $24.95 plus shipping and handling. order online at c-span.org /store. host: we want to welcome ashleigh -- ashley tellis, thanks for being with us. let me begin with the obvious, the timing of this state visit
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coming on the heels of president obama's-is it to asia -- president obama's visit to asia since being elected last year. >> i think it is evident that the obama had been stricken wants to continue what the bush administration began, which is to continue the momentum in india. the pact that he is doing this as an asian-wide effort speaks for itself. >> how would you assess the temperature between the two countries. >> i think the relationship is very good. i'd think they're still uncertainties about whether president obama will continue the policies that president bush began. >> following the meeting in china, with the president, a statement about china's role and trying to secure peace in southeast asia caused a lot of concern in india. why? >> because it seem to legitimize
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a chinese role in the south asia. the indians to see china as a potential problem. the statement looked as if u.s. was endorsing to china and southeast asian dispute. that did not go over well in delhi. >> the historical relationship has been called close, get tense. can you give historical context interrelationships in the last 50 to seven years? >> it has been a roller-coaster in many ways. -- in the last 50 to 70 years? >> it has been a roller-coaster in many ways. the united states supported britain. things began to go sour during the cold war because india wanted to opt out of the competition. the u.s. wanted to india as an ally. the of things got really bad in
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the 1970's. but since the reagan administration relations have been on the upswing. they have not been great, but definitely better than they were at the height of the cold war. certainly, during the bush administration they changed dramatically for the better. >> and relations between india and china, what have they been like historically? >> in the 1950's use of two giants -- use of two giants against each other. in the 1970's they went to war against each other. things have been slowly improving since the 1980's. but there are disputes over the border that have not been resolved yet. >> before the president refused to meet with the dalai lama, why was that significant in our played out in india? >> i think they saw the
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president's decision not to meet the dalai lama as an effort to to some of the tibetans. -- ignore the tibetans. i think that caused some degree of discomfort in delhi. but i think the president did not want to punish the visit to beijing, which had been planned for a long time -- blemish of the visit to beijing, which had been planned for a long time. i think they're our efforts on both sides to assist in the transformation that has occurred in the past decade. there will be a variety of announcement in areas like education, climate change, things that reflect the desire of both sides to cooperate in practical terms. i'd think it will be a very good visit overall. >> we want to focus in this hour on our relations with india. our phone lines are open. we will get your calls in just a moment. as we have been talking a lot in
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the course of the morning, the rain has stopped because of the down toward -- the downpour we have had in the last 24 hours things have been moved to the east room. mario french joins us on the phone from dallas. thanks for being with us. but now ask you first of all, this week is as much ceremony as it is policy. what goes into planning for this type of ceremony? >> there is a great deal of planning, as you might know. it begins very early. and exactly about the time that the national security council and the president decided upon a visit. the chief of protocol calls a meeting at blair house and invites the white house manager, state department, the embassy from the country that will be visiting, national security council, secret service, a diplomatic security, almost
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anyone that would have a part in this visit. from there, a senior broker -- senior protocol visit officer is appointed to take the schedule from the white house and the state department on a minute by minute schedule for both the president and the prime minister from the time they touched down in the united states at andrews air force base until they depart. >> who determines that india will have the first state visit? and why india? >> bad decision is made by the president and his advisers -- of that decision is made by the president and his advisers and security council. i'm sure it comes about because of our relationship with various countries and to we want to -- who we want to order for a state visit. everyone is very happy that this year is india. >> president bush -- host: president bush favored having a
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state dining room, which would see typically 140 or 150 guests. you are no stranger to the south lawn tense during the clinton administration and they are back now. total guests are around 400. what led to that decision? guest: i'm not sure what led to it, but usually it is that the first lady would like to be able to accommodate more people for the state dinner. india is a very large country. we have a lot of people in the united states from india. we would like to be able to cut -- to showcase our country and the white house and what we do here for other countries. a tent is just like room when you actually go into it. it is very, very beautiful. you would probably not know that you are not inside the white house.
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it is not advertise that it is a tent. most administrations and enjoy doing this. more people can get to know each other, visit, and it does promote relationships between the two countries. host: the other closely watched by respect to this is the guest list we have a preview of some of the big jewels invited. -- of the some of the individuals indicted. we have mayor bloomberg, steven spielberg, david geffen of dreamworks, the republican governor of louisiana. also, a pro winfrey is on the list, but bill clinton is not on the list. guest: i think that probably former closet -- president clinton is giving secretary of state hillary clinton the
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advantage of being able to portray her office and the things that she does without his presence. he is, at this point, a very famous individual and the emphasis tonight is on president and mrs. obama and the secretary of state, the vice president, and the prime minister and his delegation from india. host: your of the white house, the weather forecast showed rain continuing overnight. what led to the decision to move this event inside? guest: i'm sure the obvious is why it has been moved inside. and my goodness, what an undertaking that is. the military district of washington who directs the ceremony with the military outside on lawn -- bolon always has a plan to -- outside on the golathe lawn i'm sure went intoa
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very fast kiron was working into the wee hours of the morning to make this change. they're doing beautifully and if it will work out fine. but it is such a gorgeous are one and so impressive -- ceremony and so impressive when it is done on the south lawn. it is a shame it had to be changed this morning. host: she served during the clinton administration as the chief of protocol. one question of planning is the dinner menu because the prime minister is a vegetarian. guest: yes, the white house social office does plan a dinner menu. i wouldx++!s that maybe lamb ( served, and of course, fresh vegetables, knowingco that he ia vegetarian.
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the protocol office puts all of this together with the embassy with -- to get the likes, dislikes, food preferences for the prime minister and send all of that to the social office. it is worked on until it is protected by the embassy and they come up with a fabulous dinner menu. i am sure it will be quite acceptable to the prime minister. host: i will put you on the spot for does a moment, if i may. have you ever been in a situation during your years of the white house where things did not go as scripted? and if so, what were the circumstances and how did you respond? guest: [laughter] occasionally we did have things that did not go esker did. what you do is you improvise. -- did not go as scripted. what you do is you improvise.
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i learned from very professional people there what you do when something does not go right. you do it with a smile and use dave barry colman -- and you stay there, and hopefully no one will rely something is amiss. host: mary nell french, she served during the clinton administration. thank you. guest: you're welcome and thank you. host: will watch as the protocol ceremony is brewed from the south lawn. we are here with ashley tellis, who served as the ambassador to india for several years. how many companies have traded in india? and what is the overall trade picture? guest: the overall trade picture is very good. trade has almost doubled in the last four years. there are literally over 100
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american companies headquartered, doing business in india. they are very large operations. the difficulty is that the indian economy is still relatively closed. as india performs and gathers pace, the economy will open up. that will be an important item on the agenda today. >> it is also a number two behind china in terms of population, over a billion people? >> that is correct. host: geographically, how big is india? guest: it is probably two-thirds the size of china. it is a very large land mass, obviously. i think it is the fifth or sixth largest company in -- country in the world. host: the numbers are on the screen. you can send us an e-mail, at as well.
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the prime minister of india has been very busy in the last few days. what has he been saying? guest: i think he has made two or three important points that we need to make -- pay attention to. first, the indian government release values the relationship with the united states. the u.s. is important to india as strategic and economic interests. the second point that he made in his speech yesterday at its cfr is that the united states has tremendous resilience and a great capacity to bounce back, so we ought not to take the current problems that we are facing as in any way can-of america's future -- in any way indicative of america's future. . host: you are a graduate of the university of bombay and, of course, india is no stranger to terrorism. how it did responding?
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guest: -- how is it responding? guest: in bits and pieces, but i do not think they are where they are to be with respect to being able to protect themselves against future attacks. host: house so? guest: it is a large country. it is very fragmented. it is a federal system. the states have the responsibility primarily for border. that is problems with coordination between the central government and the state. it is much the same situation that we experienced after 9/11 and they do not have the equivalent of the department of homeland security yet. they have some capacity to respond, but not where they should be. host: what is the level of trust between the in indian government and the pakistani government? guest: at this point i think it is low, and part of that i think it's because of the attacks last year.
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the indians hope that the pakistani government would see the need to crack down on these groups in its own self-interest. unfortunately, i do not think that has happened to the level that meet indian expectations. host: the president is expected to announce as early as next week his plans in terms of afghanistan. how does that fit into the geopolitical picture of that part of the world? guest: it is extremely important to india because one of the things that the prime minister is likely to emphasize both publicly and privately is that the u.s. must succeed in afghanistan. an american family would have very serious consequences for u.s. security and indian security. we're watching his decision next week with great interest. host: i want to assure you a little bit of what is happening as we listen to some of your phone calls. anthony is on the phone from texas as some of the dignitaries
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arrived for today's opening ceremony. good morning, anthony. please, go ahead. caller: i was wondering, what is the position between afghanistan and pakistan and america's involvement in the war and possibly india being allied with america? guest: i think india's position is that the united states must succeed in afghanistan. they will hopefully connected to us that they are aiding us in every way. india has intentions about afghanistan itself and that is one of the reasons we have tried to walk a very fine line in accepting indian attacks -- indian assistance, but not wrecking the pakistanis more than we already are. host: secretary of state clinton
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made a visit earlier this year. how was she received? guest: she was received very well. and she made a great impression on the indian people. and she announced -- made some announcements that she will announce during this visit. host: how is this is a plane in india, your home country? guest: i think this is playing very well. people will see this as a very important moment in the relationship between the two countries. a successful summit is in the interest of both the u.s. and india. host: the president and the prime minister are in the blue room of the white house. they will make their way down to the red carpet. reagan is joining us from southfield, michigan. caller: i would like to know what is the average middle income of the indian people? guest: i do not know the precise figures off hand, but when you
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talk of an indian middle class, it is roughly estimated to be anywhere between $90,000,000.200000002 dollars. and of course, the indian middle class -- between $90 million and $200 million. and of course, the the middle class does not look anything like the u.s. middle class. host: how old is the indian prime minister? guest: he is 77 years old. he is the only prime minister since the 1970's to be reelected to a second term of office. this is a success to him politically. but he came up through the ranks and served as a bureaucrat in the indian government in various capacities. he became prime minister of india several years ago during the bush administration. he will have a new term for another four years.
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host: the doors of the state dining room have open and you can see the president and indian prime minister as they make their way down the red carpet to be greeted by mrs. s and areingh also first lady michelle obama -- by mrs. singh first lady michelle obama. >> ladies and gentlemen, the national anthem of india followed by the united states -- the anthem of the united states of america.
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♪ ["indian national athem"] ♪ [indian national athem] -- anthem] ♪ ♪
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♪ [american national anthem] ♪
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host: as we continue to watch the ceremonies from the east room of the white house, is also live on a companion network c- span2. ashley tellis is joining us from the national open -- a term from the carnegie endowment of peace. we'll continue with more of your phone calls. david is joining us from rollins, wyoming. good morning. caller: hi, steve. i have so many questions it is just fascinating. i heard a program recently about the water supply for india. and how it could be possibly threatened in the future if we
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do not preserve the ice in the himalayas. my understanding is that india was once a colony of england, and i think we all know that from our history books, but i recently heard that india was a fairly rich country prior to the english invasion. and of course, growing up in the 1950's, i seem to recall the great famine in india and the news. my question is, is the indian government trying to get together the new technologies in agriculture, etc., in order to ensure the well-being of its people? host: thanks for the call, david. ashley tellis you have been in the u.s. since 1985, born and raised in india. guest: that is correct.
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the good news is that indian -- india has sufficient food production. the bad news is that the border supply -- the water supply that we take for granted is something that we will have to do much better to maintain the performance of the agriculture production over the long term. part of it is that there is climate change. the water table in india is dropping quite precipitously and the use of water in indian agriculture has not been very efficient. one of the things that will come out of this visit is a very big program between the u.s. and india with respect to a joint research and agriculture and development -- in agriculture and development, particularly with high-yield seeds. we will see much more cooperation in the future. host: richard is joining us in silver spring, md., good morning. caller: good morning, my name is richard.
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welcome to our guest. i was brought up in bombay. i worked there as a physician. one important aspect of my observation in india is that every time i go there i am so proud to see all the modernization that is taking place in india, of which we are very proud of. but what is happening that is embarrassing is the cleanliness. is there any way that resources could be poured into improving the road the sanitation -- the road sanitation and things like a good drainage system, the way that people dispose of trash?
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a lot of resources could be poured into educating people about these things. and you know, even america can be a source of know how as to how they can implement this kind of system that we have in the united states. cutting guest: that is right, i think one of the areas -- guest: i think that is right. i think one of the areas that india has lagged behind is infrastructure, improving public health, creating systems of sanitation that essentially meet modern standards. this has not had access to as many resources as it probably should have. the good news is that the indian government recognizes that this is an area that they have to do better. it is not simply a matter of esthetics. it is fundamentally a matter of creating a population that is healthy. this is also an area where the
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u.s. and india can cooperate. you will see announced during this visit some very important initiatives with respect to public health. i think this will be an element. host: in terms of what we were talking about earlier and was to the president and prime minister in their statements, there has been a lot of attention to the statements made in china between the two countries. what will be made as the statements between the two countries on the south lawn? guest: i think there will be two important things. the first is that india values the u.s. as an important partner. the second thing is that the united states sees india as an important element in the success of our nation at large. and the third will be our partnership is not simply a partnership of abstractions. there is a range of concrete programs that we will cooperate
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on and they are everything from agriculture to public health. i think you will see these things emphasized over and over again, both in the private and public discussions. host: if you could put the partnership in terms of u.s. companies that conduct operations and have staff in india. guest: yes, there has been an extensive u.s. presidents in -- u.s. presence, corporate presence in india since the 1950's. if you take a company like general electric, they have been there for a very long time. in fact, india remains one of their most profitable operations. microsoft has been doing a lot of research and development in india. major aerospace companies like boeing look to india as a very big market. as u.s. and indian defense cooperation expands, which is almost inevitable in the next decade, you will see companies that historically did not have a presence, like lockheed -- lockheed martin, that will begin
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to have operations in india. the future, i see the sky is the limit. the indian market will gravitate to the u.s. for two things, capital and technology. u.s. companies have leading edge technology in a variety of areas. they will leave welcome in india. -- will be welcome in india. host: there have been a lot of stories in the past 8 to 10 years about corruption in the indian government. guest:, in many ways india is a developing country where you are likely to see the persistence of corruption in public life. it will not disappear anytime soon. but where it has done better than most is that where it has reduced official corruption at the highest levels, which you often see in other third-world countries, that has been something that has been very impressive. prime minister singh himself as
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a personal probity. the people around him who hold high position pretty much an effect same style of doing business. host: what is his background? guest: is trained as a professional economist. he studied at the university of punjabi and finally got a doctorate at cambridge. he taught at oxford. he came back to india, taught for a while. his return academia. then he joined the civil services -- his roots are in academia. then he joined the civil service and/or the finance industry -- and the finance industry and oversaw india's economic the moment. his moment of glory was really in 1991 when as india's minister of finance he began the movement to liberalize the indian economy and move it away from its government dominated ito's
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to something that would create a free market. -- domenick e. sosa to something the fourth grade a free market. -- from its government dominated ethos to something that would create a free market. host: we're speaking with ashley tellis, the associate director for the carnegie endowment. good morning, caller. caller: i hope you do not consider this question insensitive, but i have been fascinated with india since i was a child. is mr. singh, a sikh indian? guest: yes, he is. caller: and if i recall, mrs. gandhi was fascinated by a siege indian. guest: that is correct. caller: have those relations heeled over in india?
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i would imagine, possibly so, as he was elected. could you comment on that, please? guest: sure, i believe that has changed considerably. the relationships between the government of india and the sikh community were very delicate in the 1980's, particularly after the assassination of mrs. gandhi. but both sides have made tremendous efforts in the years following to revisit and realize the integration of all of india's communities into a unified nation. the kinds of problems that we saw in the late '70s and early '80s, for all practical purposes, disappeared. host: the remarks have concluded. let me tell you what will happen over the next several hours at the white house. there will be one or two questions from reporters, both u.s. and indian reporters. they will have coverage of that getting under way at about 1135 eastern time -- 11:35 a.m.
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eastern time. then we will show you the toes that will happen later on in the evening. also, some of the -- show you the toast that will happen later on in the evening. some of the guests as well that will arrive. a tent has been erected to accommodate all of the guests and the entertainment that will follow. mary is joining us from north carolina, good morning. good morning, mary? caller: good morning. i was wondering, with all of the terrorist pockets in afghanistan, what are we really trying to accomplish? that is all i really wanted to know. i do not understand. what is it that we want? guest: i think what the u.s. is trying to accomplish is to
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defeat al qaeda, to manage the taliban insurgency, and to strengthen the karzai government in afghanistan. i think those are objectives that india shares as well. it is an objective that the indians see as being in their own self interest and in the interest of the stability of the region. host: our next call is richard from colby, kan., good morning. caller: good morning, have the opportunity to spend half the year in the country -- in your country in the 1960's and i understand that things have trained -- changed dramatically there. one of the things that has changed on the world scene is the infusion of a lot of internationalism and we now have companies that have headquarters in so many different countries, i do not know how any country's laws can be enforced against these people. if they are doing something that
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is legal in the united states but illegal in india, we cannot control them because they will move their operations from india to the united states, and vice versa. many of the international companies that i have dealt with have headquarters in seven or eight different countries. if they do not like the laws in one place, they simply move their headquarters to another place and ignore the law. guest: that is not a problem that is easy to solve, i agree with you. our opera -- there are opportunities for what is called legal arbitrage, where people move from countries that more restrictive regimes for operations to more liberal regimes for operations. but that is essentially how the basis for international trade takes place, so this is not susceptible to any defects. the important thing to keep in mind is that there must -- susceptible to an easy fix. the board in is that there must be commonness into law.
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host: our next caller to "washington journal," good morning. caller: india is one of the largest countries in the world, but the treatment of minorities need a lot of improvement. can you help this situation by making suggestions? they're being treated as hostages and espy'as s [pies ane being deprived of sources of livelihood. every now and then there company that account has been slaughtered in timbuktu.
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there being hated no jobs are given. -- they are being heated and no jobs are given. host: did you want to respond? guest: i am not sure of the facts of that proposition, but the general sentiment that india has to do a better job with respect to managing its minorities, particularly its large moslem minority, is a point that india's well understand. this government under prime minister singh has probably done more in most recent memory to address that issue. host: can you address the behind decedents back and forth negotiations? this is the headline in the daily news. does the indian government push for this? clearly, there had to be some discussions with india's ambassador here, and others, to try to make this happen. guest: the decision was made by the obama administration fairly early on that they wanted in the
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eyes the first recipient of a state visit in the united states. that was an american decision that was never made in consultation with india at all. it was based on their judgment of india is important -- of india's importance to the u.s. with the decision is made, and the collaboration machine immediately moved into motion. both sides have to agree on what form the visit will take. it is everything from the details of the agenda to the cuisine and what is going to be served at the white house dinner. there's a lot of room for " -- for practical collaboration. but the fundamental decision to invite the indian prime minister is the president's role. host: when they print out the guest list tomorrow morning, what will you be looking at? guest: i will be looking into is invited, certainly, because i think it is a very good indicator of where the
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administration believes is important as they move forward with this relationship. it is also a good indicator of who they think is politically relevant to their interests because these events are often opportunities to thank supporters on both sides for taking the relationship forward. host: our next call is gone from cedar rapids, iowa, good morning. please, go ahead. caller: i was wondering if you could give me a comparison of the working standards and the wages in india compared to what we have here in the u.s. after the remark that he made about all of the company's, the international companies and companies in the u.s. moving to this region. guest: wages in india are much lower than wages in the u.s. in fact, in the as competitive in that -- advantage in the international trading system is that it is dela -- it is still a
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relatively low wage country. that is why it is so easy for indians to export services because it is simply cheaper to produce programs like the software and component and could then afford -- and other goods than in the u.s. host: why are they not helping in the war? guest: which war? host: in afghanistan. guest: they are helping in afghanistan. they are the fifth or sixth largest contributor to the reconstruction. they have invested somewhere in the region of about $1.3 billion in helping the afghans did rebuild itself. there is very close coordination between the u.s. and india. host: i want to give our audience some geo-political
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perspective because obviously india borders china and afghanistan. -- china and pakistan. it is very close to afghanistan. guest: yes, it predates the afghan nation as an independent country. they're very close. that will not change. host: we appreciate your time. guest: thank you. host: the president has reportedly reached a decision on afghanistan. we will get to your phone calls and your reaction. we could hear a speech by the president next tuesday evening that would be followed by the president's national security team testifying on capitol hill next wednesday and thursday. "washington journal" continues in just a moment. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> coming this thanksgiving on c-span, american icons, three nights of c-span original documentaries on the iconic
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homes of the three branches of american government. beginning thursday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern, the supreme court, home to america's highest court, reveals the building in an exquisite detail through the eyes of the supreme court justices. then friday at 8:00 p.m., the white house, inside america's first home. it shows the grand public places as well as those where the scene spaces. and saturday at 8:00 p.m. eastern, the capital, the history, art and architecture of one america's -- one of america's most symbolic structures. three memorable nights a -- three memorable night, thursday, friday, and saturday at 8:00 p.m. eastern. and get your own copy for $24.95 plus shipping and handling. order online at c-span.org /store. >> "washington journal" continues. host: our numbers are on the screen.
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the story we are focusing on for the next 15 minutes is what we are hearing from the white house. the president has reached a decision, we are told, after his 10th meeting that began last night at 8:15 p.m. last night. in the room, secretary of state clinton, also defense secretary gates and general mcchrystal from afghanistan. the president will address the nation in some form next tuesday, probably in the evening, to outline the president's decision. there is a this story from michael schear and scott wilson in the "washington post." the headline is that mr. -- general mcchrystal testified on the afghan war.
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the story says that on monday night, the president will be meeting in the situation room to talk about how to deal with the policy of afghanistan. several democrats are dealing with the possibility of a surtax on the wealthiest americans to help pay for our way forward. in this story, michael schear and scott wilson are pointing out the time line of when an announcement could come if it were moved to be on december 7, the anniversary of the attack on pearl harbor. they ride an announcement that they would require another political calculation. also later that week, the president will be traveling to oslo in order to accept the nobel peace prize. with that, let's get to phone calls. good morning, where are you phoning from? caller: from the san francisco area. a a host: go ahead, please. caller: i would like to say that with respect [unintelligible]
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i would hate to see in addition to people who are already wealthy. i'd be interested in seeing a $1 surcharge on everybody who travels by plane. i think that would be a reminder that it was through the airline history that we led up to these wars and it would be borne by anyone traveling, you know, visitors, ago, children. it's millions of people travel every day. host: thanks, scott sharon -- michael schear and scott wilson pointed out that the secretary clinton will be traveling.
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zsa zsa he is joining us from albany, new york. caller: good morning, i was told to mention the comment about the afghanistan policy. my comment is that i think the year that -- the novice states should stay involved in afghanistan because of the -- the united states should stay involved in afghanistan because next door in pakistan, they are the source of terrorism throughout the world. and a cesspool of islamic fundamentalism and terrorism, and the united states has to stay in afghanistan to maintain security in the region. host: let me read you what mike allen, who talked to earlier this morning, is riding on his website. the president plans to stress in his speech not just the true number, but also other elements of a comprehensive strategy, including the development assistance, a more aggressive set of demands on the afghan
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government, and new steps that the u.s. hopes of pakistani will take. the white house also making it increasingly clear that they want to provide an a -- an exit strategy to be a year-long war. mike is joining us from oklahoma, good morning. caller: good morning, i'm a first-time caller. host: we are glad to hear from you. caller: i have been washington -- watching you for years and i just have 1 different question. when they say on the floor of the house, debate and debate only for 30 minutes or so, how come this -- how come it is speeches? that is just something to think about. but anyway -- host: what about afghanistan? caller: being a democrat, we do have to stay there. we do not really have a choice. and i know the president is just thinking about vietnam -- you
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know, might be thinking about vietnam -- but we have to stay there. it is something we have to take care of now and not put it off until later. host: thanks for the call. two other recordings, back in march president bush -- the president announcing 20,000 more troops. also, reaching a new number of u.s. soldiers killed in the last eight years. caller: i have a stepbrother in afghanistan and i'm wondering, why can't he do more of the rebuilding effort? as americorps alumni, i would love to go and help rebuild, but i am not a military tide. i understand it is not safe. i would like to see more of an effort towards rebuilding their.
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host: and you would go yourself? caller: oh, yeah. but i'm not good at being in the military. that is not me. but there are more people like me. by this and the military has to be there to be saved, but why can't we ask every day americans to actually help rebuild? host: ok, let's go to dixon in cleveland, ohio. caller: i have two points. first, this is on obama's watch even though he did not get us in this situation. he needs to clean house for us over there. if he does not clean house, then he will be put in a situation like the democrats got put in a situation with jimmy carter back in the '70s with a weak president your -- president.
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host: the stohr online is that the afghan announcement may be soon. in the body of the announcement it could have at least three options. one would entail the 40,000 troop increase the general mcchrystal had requested. a middle option by senior defense officials would send somewhere between 20,000 to 35,000 troops. and a third option would send only about 10,000 more troops likely to serve as trainers with the afghan security forces. you can read more at the l.a. times.com. general mcchrystal, who was in london, flew to the danish capital to meet with the president. general mcchrystal was teleconferencing last night for a two hour situation room meeting that began at 8:15 p.m.
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and ended troy after 10:00 p.m. last night. -- ended shortly after 10:00 p.m. last night. carroll in new york city, your reaction to all of this? caller: i think that obama is not doing a good job. when he first was elected i had a lot of problems with him, but aside from that, he said a lot of things and we see him doing opposite on so many different things. he says bringing troops backed. when he announces what he is going to do, he is going to be sending more relevant in them back. how or -- our americans going to believe what comes out of your mouth if you do the opposite of what you say you are going to do? host: final paragraph of a story inside the "usa today" on the president huddling with his advisers and on this point.
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donald from tallahassee, florida, good morning. -- donald from tallahassee, florida, good morning. caller: i would like to hear the president stepped up and make this one comment, we are bringing back the press. once these republicans, who love to say -- once they hear the draft, you will end this war in two minutes. what we have are just a few boys
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just going over there and dying while they sit in their health arspot and going into these juie bars and getting juiced up and feeling so good about this war. but if you bring back the draft tomorrow this war will stop. host: if you are just joining us, we're talking about the president a intuits -- to announce early next week his decision on sending more troops to afghanistan. there will be various groups testifying before congress. we will likely hear from secretary of defense for gates as well as secretary of state have agreed clinton. -- secretary of defense robert gates as well as secretary of state hillary clinton. peter, bruce become arizona, good morning. caller: i would like to make maybe one or two comments.
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president obama is making a decision about adding more troops. we have not really earned -- learned from past history when the british and the russians were in afghanistan. i do not know why we have not looked at what they have done. anyhow, with this new troop buildup, they are saying it will cost a billion dollars per 1000 troops. with president obama trying to pass domestic policy, i do not know where he is going to get the money for this. a a there are a lot of family -- and there are a lot of families worried because i have a son who is in a couple of years going to be college-age. it seems like kids who are graduating from college, the only option they have for any potential job is to join the military and get their education paid for by the government.
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a lot of these job fears are being done in each state and you have these kids who are getting -- these job fairs are being done in each state and of these kids who are getting out of college and they cannot get jobs. i am mixed about president obama if he does decide to add 30,000 or 40,000 more troops. host: by all indications he is going to have more troops. the question is, how many? what do you say to that? caller: that is hard because how long has the u.s. been fighting the war on drugs? these long wars in afghanistan are getting the majority of their funding from the poppy growing in afghanistan. i do not think our country can do anything about it because we cannot even do anything about it within our own borders. host: thanks for the call. the cables have been coming back and forth between investor eikenberry and the white house.

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