tv Washington Journal CSPAN June 5, 2010 7:00am-10:00am EDT
>> in light of the announcement of 41,000 jobs being created, we want to talk about your job circumstance. tell us what you have been experiencing and we want to talk to you about what you think the government should do regarding those that are out of work. we are interested in hearing from the unemployed only. you have a chance to call in on a couple of lines this morning. they are at the bottom of your screen. for the first 45 minutes, we want to talk about your experiences and shares stories. if you follow us on twitter, to the address is here. you can also send us an e-mail
that number talking about the creation of jobs but also how it is impacting the stock market. maryland, talked to us about your job search. what has it been like? caller: i stopped searching. host: what do you mean by that? caller: i do not look anymore. nobody needs a job. those are for people that have families. i do not have a family. i support myself with volunteer work. host: have the bills get paid? caller: i do not have any bills. host: california. caller: i am disabled. from time to time, i have work.
they did that if it from my disability, and i get to keep part of it. i do not know the answer. it seems like the big shot -- i should not put it that way. the bankers, politicians, they are all taken care of. it seems like they get money. i am not talking -- i do not know if they are talking about nonprofits or wall street, but the little guy takes the brunt of it. host: what type of work for you doing before you were disabled? caller: security guard. i was in a serious car accident. it left me with a nervous breakdown. host: how long have you been
unemployed? caller: i do gardening. not very often. i have been unemployed for 10 years from the security job. host: san diego, california is next. talk to us about your job search. caller: it is controlled by the local union for it i am an electrician. i was 319 that is how many journeymen were ahead of me. it is a pretty scary outlook for a guy like me. i got five months of work this year. then i was back to unemployment.
when i came back to the unemployment, i lost $110 a week. i might have to leave my trade. i have been in it for 16 years. the future is bleak. i do not know what to do. >> most of your work dealt with home construction or was it all types of wiring? caller: all types of wiring. the only people doing business these days are the government. host: tell us a little bit how that works as far as your job search is concerned being 319th? caller: you call in and if there
are jobs available, you go down and there will be so many guys there. most of them will have a number that is before me. 319 will say there are eight jobs a day. if number one is there, he will get the job. and so on. you do not have a chance unless nobody hows up. host: there is no way of the working outside of that system? caller: exactly. i am not allowed to get any kind of the electrical work hos. host: what do you think the government in my house should be doing as far as assisting with
job creation and your thoughts on that? caller: i think the union is getting some work. i do not know what the reasons are there was a lot of stimulus money that supposedly was supposed to go towards into structure. i have not seen ny of that happen in san diego. i do not know about anywhere else really. you sit and wait for your turn to come up. host: do you have to pay union dues? caller: yes, every month. host: thanks for your call.
carson city nevada. tell us about your current situation as far as your job is concerned. caller: i am a non-union german painter for residential commercial. i have been unemployed for several weeks. i have gone after a local casinos board to be a dishwasher or quarter so that i am paying into my employment began. i am in a horrible situation. host: were you a private contractor or do you work for a firm? what kind of painting do you do? caller: and general in the
carson city area the best job i had, i made $18 an hour. i was doing well on unemployment. the problem with me is that i am 54 years old. they like to hire a -- helpers in train them to be a painter rather than hire somebody my age. host: if you're getting $18 an hour, how much would a painter's helper probably get paid? caller: minimum-wage. the fact that i have to go into the casinos in get minimum-wage jobs -- i am willing to travel
to go to work. but nothing is panning out. the unemployment rate over 13%. this is horrible. host: if you follow politics, have you spoken to your legislators about this? caller: i will let them know how i feel come election time. if they keep dragging their feet and of giving their people unemployed benefits, the public pays their salaries. . they should be able to turn around and give us the benefit
promising to bring business back to the state, promising to cut taxes. keep everybody employed, all of the trades within the business. the motion picture business is in a state of emergency. we have films that are going to canada, out of state within the united states when the capital of the motion picture business is in california. california is in an economic crisis. host: what is your trade? caller: sound and video. host: are you part of a union? and how does that affect your ability to find work? caller: to tell you the truth,
i cannot vouch for the union. as far as the union getting as work in promoting work within the state to bring work back to the state of california, los angeles, -- we have a lot of trades, families, businesses that are going under do to these high taxes in california. host: is it because of tax incentives from other states? caller: absolutely. new mexico, and canada, australia. work back tobring the state that is in dire
crises of economic resolution? host: heavy petitioned the governor's office on these issues specifically? caller: i think it is pointless. i think he has failed us. host: columbia, south carolina. caller: i have been looking for a year. there are small jobs here and there that i have found. i am an engineer. host: how did you lose your job? caller: and did have a project worked at places like airports. it came to a screeching halt.
all of the project stopped and we new taxes are coming with obama's nomination. investors pulled the plug on everything. that was even if they have the cash. my company had the cash. they decided to stop everything and they went back to europe. i do not collect unemployment. i make too much money. unemployment would be less than one day's pay. i cannot collected. host: how you support yourself? caller: small just here and there.
i may work a few weeks to make enough money to live for a month or so. when you are a certain age, you have a problem. there is a problem with the government doing everything wrong. temporary government jobs and not putting money into the road building and things like that they said they were going to do. states are not spending their money on that. they want to keep other jobs in place.
they should government back to that could have suspended income-tax this. that would have been less money than the tar and stimulus money. they are operating on a 1930's model instead. the more government people they hire, the fewer taxpayers they have. they are on a destructive course. they continue to hire these census workers and take money out of the private company. there is too much uncertainty in.
every day there is a new tax. another bill is filed. businesses cannot function in that and serbs -- uncertainty. host: montana. caller: morning, i called in several months ago and explain my situation. i had a temporary job for a while working on an initiative going on the ballot here for november. i am finished with that. i would like to talk about a solution to some of this. 2010, the population is foreign
to double. our electricity and water needs, public transportation, these things will double in the next 50 or 60 years. there are water shortages now. these are jobs that we need to make, infrastructure jobs that we have to do that they cannot ship overseas. subways, roads, bridges, roads, sewer systems, they are jobs that cannot go anywhere else. they have to be done. it just takes the leadership to say we will stop spending money on a lot of this garbage on this empire overseas and we will start spending it here on jobs
for people in our country. i just want to talk about some solutions we will get leadership in this country. i have a poster of my wall of the president's that i show my daughter all the time. we had seven or eight really good people. as time goes on, maybe half of them are good people. lately, none of them are good. they have failed policies and failed character. our country is crying out for leadership. i hope that somebody steps up. i do not see that person now. i hope he is out there.
it can't get much worse. host: we will get back to this topic of discussing the job search. i want to let you know about other newsmakers from them. tom vilsack is our guest to talk with reporters. he is speaking about a farm policy. >> the id ministration has attempted to curtail these payments to the wealthiest farm. i think the chairman has indicated the need for us to look at the way in which these are structured so we can determine have to provide a
broader safety net and make sure it is fair and reasonable and one that does not break the bank. i am anxious to work with him. the president is interested to work with him to see what a concept he has. risk-management has become an important tool in terms of reducing and spreading the risk. i cannot want to prejudge the process until i have an opportunity to see what the chairman put on the table. host: you can see the full discussion on our program tomorrow. as far as twitter is concerned, there is this as he describes himself michigan is next.
caller: i have been self employed master plumber and have had no work in several years. i cannot blame the obama administration at all. work dried up. new construction was in february of 2007. i have had to restructure my business but not being established in that field is difficult. i mailed out reza mayes, 137 of them, with a couple of phone calls. there are no jobs. i do not know what we can do to turn this around.
i do not believe it is the problem of obama. i think this was coming, but nobody wanted to admit it. host: los angeles. caller: i have a different perspective. that is from a recent college graduate. i am still in school and i will be out soon. i am pretty confident there are going to be jobs. i think i will be employed pretty soon. but we can get jobs.
host: what are you studying? caller: i am pursuing a degree in the social sciences and liberal arts. with all of the jobs being outsourced, i am not sure of the direction we should be, because there are humanity's and there are budget threats. it is not to save these jobs are not. to make money but science and
technology, in may be coming from a technical type of field. host: let me ask you this question from twitter. caller: that says the only premise in college is to get a job. i do not think that is the purpose. there are different factors. they tended to be more cynically engaged. you cannot under estimates the value. in terms of the whole job
you consider rest of that story in the "washington journal request this morning. our next caller. caller: i have been out of work for one year. i worked the auto industry and worth about eight years. they made us work 80 hours a week sometimes. and it was mandatory. i was making $10 an hour. i got application for loans all of the time in e-mail.
when the overtime went to where -- went away, i cannot afford my house. i lost my job. i spent eight months looking for a job. i have never in my life gone as long as i have without finding work. i listen to people argue back- and-forth saying you need to wake up and smell the coffee. they are in washington and they get their benefits from listening to all of these lobbyists. they start cutting at these companies, many senators have several houses. they make millions.
in my second job, i'll was a vacuum cleaning and lost the job. now i am competing with kids that are 20 years old and they are looking at these kids willing to work in kill themselves for $7 an hour. and they blow us people with experience by most of the time. host: the next call is in phoenix. caller: we have a leg here. i have a different person -- lag here on the tv.
i have a different perspective. i had an illness and i have not been able to get back on, because they string people along and give you hope of getting hired. they have a rapid turnover and as we are seeing in the gulf, they engage in a lot of dangerous and potentially catastrophic activities. the bush administration says you are a walking dead man and you will lose your job. i was a republican, but i have seen -- i thought it started under ronald reagan using phony accounting.
only in the last couple of days have they covered real unemployment novels -- numbers around 18%. instead of having these corporate people making billions of dollars and providing little service to their country or people, instead of one man making $2 billion the trickle's them, that should be 200,000 $100,000 jobs. we need one person who teaches at the university of texas to come in near and stop putting up these numbers. they need to stop storing it
felt the people in louisiana like they did with the last thing people with the exxon fell dead. they gave exxon money after the oil spill, but after a while, those people were dead. host: and this is the "washington post." a ceremony will take place at the rose garden today. you can see that on c-span. there is already some reaction on that and congress. here is a ". -- quotation.
i cannot find a job that will sustain me. i agree with those that called in today. there are a lot of people -- there are so many politicians that do not get what people are feeling. it is sad. my son is also going through it. he graduated from college and has been looking for two years for a job. you listen to these people, the experts, i do not think anybody gets it.
it really discourages me. i would never believe that i would see america the way i see it now. i am very disturbed by it. i am disturbed by what is going on in louisiana. i am disturbed by these experts that say we do not know what this is. it makes us look like fools where we cannot estimate how much oil is coming out of the ground. i get sick when i see these ad campaigns. they really do not give a damn. we have all of these groups, the best scientists, but nobody can figure out what is going on with
the oil situation. we have submersibles that can get down to 5,000 feet to see what is going on under their. here it is 47 days later, and no one can tell you what is down there. host: we will leave it there. at 8:30, we will hear from a former president of shell oil company. he wrote a book about why we hate the oil company. we will get his perspective on what is going down in louisiana and the steps that has been taken by bp. is another article.
second job. they came to me and asked me to go full time in hopes that i would become a licensed funeral director. i returned to school i got injured on the job when i was training. while recovering, there was a buyout within the company. then i was told in a locker had a need for an apprentice. if there is a blessing here, i was under workmen's compensation. i was able to get retrained. i spent a year and a half at the community college. i have re-entered the job field and sent out a requirements about 150 applications and have
not heard one reply back. i think it is due to my age. mar rassa may looks great, and i have decided to spend more months getting an associate's degree hoping it will make my breasts may look better. at 54 years old, people are not looking at me in great demand. host: here is a photo of sonia sotomayor in the news today. here is the reaction she had from those that attended the school currently. we will go to our next call as we look at this picture. texas. caller: i grew up in el paso texas and moved to california with my wife.
i can agree with the situation in arizona. many jobs in my field has been outsourced. i am a hard worker and went to school. many from the south, immigrants, are taking work and need the work. people say many americans do not want to do the work they do, but we do. we need to work. we need to make a living. my wife has something to say as well. she grew up in texas.
>> most of my friends, i applied to a restaurant as a last resort. one of my friends has a master's in business. we work really hard. no one really cares. we went tt school. we are trying to pay off student loans. host: what was your masters' background in? caller: i have a bachelor's in web design. my friend has a master's in business. many other good friend masters in a different area. she is a bartender. we work hard.
people come in on welfare and they give us a lot of crap about what we are doing. we are trying to make a living and doing the best we can. host: what is your message for the government's? caller: we have gotten our education. why cannot we have a decent wage? host: both from el paso, texas this morning. here is another call. it is from illinois. james. one more time. caller: thank you. i am calling on behalf of myself, my ex-wife, and my brother. there seems to be a policy of firing people so they do not
have to pay unemployment. local employees, employers do not hire people directly. they go through temporary services. and they require people to be bilingual. they have to be americans black- and-white are at a disadvantage because they may not speak spanish. it took my wife over one year to get a job. they seem to discriminate against americans. what do you have to say about that? host: that is the last call we will take. one more story to show you. this is from afghanistan. they decided friday that a peace
conference to back a plan to broker a truce for the teeevision. it fell short of delivering a clear strategy. that is the last call we will take on the issue of jobs. our next guest is going to be steven cook who studies this situation and will look at the role of turkey in this. we will have that discussion in just a moment. ♪
>> everybody has an agenda. as long as we know what it is, that is a story we can write about. >> this investigative reporter has written a series on lawmakers' overseas trips funded by taxpayers. he is our guest on sunday "q&a." >> david cameron fields questions from members of parliament in his first prime minister's questions as head of the coalition government, sunday night 7:00 p.m. on c-span. >> this weekend on "in depth" a feminist law professor has -pcontributed to more than 20
books a liberal education, ethics, and other topics. this is, a book tv program. it is on c-span2. >> we have three new ec's ban books for you. each has a unique contemporary perspective. it has something about lincoln, the highest court, and the lives of the president's. you can order this on our web site. this may be a great gift idea for father's day. >> "washington journal" continues. >> we are joined regarding reports of a second ship that reaching as far as the gaza, but forces are taking over. what is the latest?
caller: it has been intercepted without incident. they have worked at an agreement with the israeli former minister it saying that it would go directly. this may have been intercepted with the israelis say they will offload all of the material after a thorough inspection. host: what is the message as far as repeated ships going there? what does it mean if it keeps on going there? caller: it is clear there are people, activist who are intent on breaking it in providing humanitarian relief for those palestinians that are in the
gaza strip. israelis have made it clear that they will not deal with this kind of activity. these ships can be carrying things prohibited by the israelis. there are a long list of things that they do not allow. some of them do not make a lot of sense. everything is banned until something is allowed to go in. there have been calls for changes in this policy where everything is allowed until something is banned. things can be used to harden bunkers. host: one of the discussions this week has been the role of turkey. why is that? caller: it is playing a more influential role in the middle east these days. a turkish flag vessel was raided by israeli commanders, nine
people were killed, several were citizens. they were outraged by this. the turkey israel relations had been very good over the last few years. but in the last couple of years, it has been sliding. it has basically collapsed now. there have been uneasy relationships between the israelis and the turkish government's, the justice and the element party that is. it did not warmly embrace the strategic relationship that was struck with israelis. that necessitated a cooling off of israel and turkish ties. the real cause of this was the invasion of gaza in 2008 in 2009, coming shortly after the israeli prime minister met with
a turkish prime minister and it was embarrassing. that prime minister take this personally into heart. and saw a humanitarian disaster. tough rhetoric and has but downgraded relations. the relationship has deteriorated. it has led to a war of words with the government. there is a headline this morning about why turkey is outraged at israel. take a look at this. the region is striving hard to protect its own citizens. caller: turkey and israel have sought good relations with non- arab countries.
those relations have started to decline. the current leadership of turkey has upheld the second of system, but both the turks and the israelis have viewed each other with increasing distressed. host: he wrote a piece looking at the role of turkey. why did you phrase this headline this way? caller: to be provocative. i wanted to put a little bit of pop culture into my analysis. i had numerous calls asking how to translate that into turkish. i had to claim ignorance on that. it means that in some areas, the
united states and turkey remains somewhat cooperative. but we find ourselves on severed ends of important issues. there are serious questions come up with regard to syria. tensions are rising. in washington, before this flotilla incident, the discussion was when there would be issues between israel and syria. it is not that turkey is fed but in at the end, there are changes in the international system. we are feeling the effect of the end of the cold war. it looks like turkey is not going to get into the european union. it is more democratic than it ever was before. all of those changes are driving a divergence in foreign
policy. it has translated into a very different approach to the nuclear challenge and a different view on a whole host of issues. in many ways, the turks are beating washington. the prime minister is very host: if that is true, what does it mean for president obama: ford? caller: it puts the united states in an awkward position. he came into office hoping to restore and reestablished and build on relations with turkey and it had a variety of assets that could be used in the pursuit of u.s. interests in the middle east. it has not quite worked out that way. my sense is that we need to
understand that the turks are not going to cooperate with us on a number of issues. we have to work around them or work against them. but they have done this already. they struck a deal with the iranians in resilience to transport uranium to turkey. this was an agreement that the united states rejected. they said they will lobby members of the u.s. security council around the sanctions, something that the obama administration and say certain things about. host: he will join us until 8:30. if you want to ask him questions, you can call us on three different lines. here are the numbers below.
if you want to reach us via twitter, you can do that. you can also send us an e-mail. here is our first call from boca raton, florida. caller: good morning. in 1970, 10,000 civilians ganns plo's were killed in jordan and transported to lebanon. syria killed 25,000 brotherhood members in one day. we had the iraq and iran war where these things took place. the shiites and sunnis were
fighting. no one wanted to believe that hitler was allied with one person of jerusalem that they waited in bosnia and he was intending to put the world that did not have dues. i cannot believe that the western world that is familiar with these terrorists and what have you -- i cannot understand if this is myopic or blinders on their part. israel and egypt had blockaded
gossip. -- gaza. guest: he makes it a interesting point about this. it is not as if the international norm mineta, it is certainly true that thh western world had been generally quiet on the role, but in fact, it was under enormous pressure domestically as a result of the israelis on the blockade. he is under enormous pressure from around the arab and muslim world about the policy. he has been forced by public opinion to open the border on the egyptian and gaza frontier.
hamas says, we beat him at the ballot box and then we beat him on the battlefield. they're not going to transform themselves. the administration has tried to place an emphasis on our peace initiative as a way of bringing hamas -- and this is implicit coming into the political process. the egyptians have been working this ankle. it just has not happened. what has been lost in this discussion is there is agreement that there could be a problem in the gaza strip for some time. hamas is a terrorist organization responsible for a lot of is really bloodshed.
on an issue that is important to israeli security, the administration is not going to ignore it. host: independent line. caller: it is getting to the point [unintelligible] guest: the uss liberty incident is an emotional incident. the israelis say they miss took it for an egyptian naval vessel. it is hotly contested.
an american born and trainer says that the case is persuasive. you cannot deny the evidence presented by investigators and historians and eyewitnesses. it is a very real possibility that the israelis attacked an american flag, and an armed intelligence gathering vessel and that is something that to the survivors of the liberty have been seeking to shed light on. we do not yet know the full story. we have several accounts, but nobody has come up with an agreement. this is the problem dealing with the conflict. everybody has a second narrative that they are certain of.
it is very difficult to deal with this issue in an objective manner. host: "the new york times" wrote this in their editorial this morning. guest: that is what the turkish prime minister would say they are doing. they have good relations with countries like syria where turkey can play this role of constructive, a productive goal of bringing stability to the region. the tough letter coming since the gods that invasion, and certainly after this unfortunate incident that happened the last monday, it has undermined what
ever trust the israeli government had. turkish rhetoric, it calls on them to ratchet back their rhetoric. and has been very tough. it has been borderline anti- semitic. when the turkish prime minister had a tremendous amount of respect because the incidents -- it refers to 9/11. they have every right to be outraged due to the raid on the turkish flag vessel. at the same time, this is not 9/11. there was a horrible bombing in an sellable -- instanbul.
host: republican line, philadelphia. caller: i think your insights into the narrative is very accurate. it makes it very difficult regarding different set of agendas. it was dealing with values in trying to prescribe them. i want to look at the considerations with enormous financial capital. they are putting their weight behind this as a setup. people that went on the boats, did not make a statement saying
they did not want to be martyrs or that sort of thing. they had cells of violent responses. regarding this islamist party, i was wondering how much of this is going to play to the islamic political sentiments in the broader islamic world? guest: turkey is mostly muslim and more democratic than it has ever been before. in this piece that i wrote for foreign policy, i do not describe the changes to an islamist political agenda. i think it passed to do more with structural changes. it has to do it raises, and it
is important to explore. they felt that the solidarity -- when i lived in turkey in 2000, i was on one street minute of my turkish friends expressed a solidarity. it was pretty clear that the relationships were not necessarily possible. when the justice the bellmen party came to power, in order to conform -- justice development party came to power, in order to confirm -- conform, it became a domestic political issue due to the solidarity peri. there is some political benefit by writing this issue as far as
it is going to go. they were outraged in 2008 and 2009. this was taken to heart. the improvement of the relations with israel -- a lot of this is due to the own inclinations of the prime minister. at the same time, there is the voice of turkish opinion in this policy. as far as the turkish role, you mentioned the foundation for freedom and human rights. this is ngo is a nasty organization. it has been banned from doing earthquake relief when turkey suffered a terrible earthquake.
the u.s. treasury department was designated for having financial ties to hamas. there is some evidence to suggest that it had been involved in the funding of the insurgency in iraq. what i think happened is that israel and turkey were looking for some sort of confrontation. they were looking for a certain type of situation. i think israel and washington ahead treaties that were to either delay or stop or work out some sort of an arrangement that would ensure the flotilla and is
really navy -- it fell on deaf ears. i think that it was involved financially in this. the turkish government has been -pput in an environment that mas this possible. the israelis have a tremendous responsibility. the situation in gaza is dire. many americans say there is no humanitarian efforts there. that is not true many of -- poverty has tripled their. madison has not been allowed to be transferred there. it is in every sense a serious humanitarian crisis there.
the united states and all concerned parties need to work constructively to figure out how gaza while e into das being sensitive to their concerns. turkey is our friend. it is a founding member of nato. they fought alongside troops in korea. they were side-by-side with united states in the cold war. since the end of the cold war, and a variety of other changes in the system -- it remains a candidate to become a part of the union, it has led to innovations in policy that has led to us being at opposite ends on several issues. it does not mean that we are
fated to be enemies. i did not want to create the impression that turkey and the united states would agree on everything. there are some areas where our policies will diverge and we will have to work around them. host: he adds this. guest: 14% of the turkish population is of british descent. the blade of those people are in southeastern turkey near iraq, syria, and iran, but they have hard concentrations of kurds in that area.
one group has been violent since the mid-1980s and recently called off a cease-fire. turkish forces had been engaged in a battle for some time including a very strong american presence. i would point out that the turkish armed forces is seizing a tremendous amounts of c- span.o [unintelligible] host: iowa, democrats line. caller: thanks for having me. i want to focus back on america. i think part of the problem we are seeing is a lack of trust with our government. and also with other news media.
i have listened very intently to what you have been saying. it is suggested that the council on foreign relations route -- i read the people singing to have a certain type of influence. my question is -- i hear you talking about the u.s. liberty and nothing the facts straight and different stories. it's a question about the investigation that is going to happen with the american deaths and there are questions that there may be more deaths to
follow. cushion the united states knows the most about investigations with israeli? vice-president biden says let it be an israeli-led investigation. but some parents have worked with the united states government for several years to get an investigation, a garland and transparent investigation. united states government said israelis had not accomplish that. host: we have to leave it there. guest: let me talk about the organization and the work. the council is a nonpartisan, nonprofit membership organization and think tank.
we publish these magazines as well. it is an influential foreign policy magazine. we have offices in new york and 4300 members in york, washington -- new york and washington. my colleagues and i take positions. we have a neal conservatives, liberals. i saw the same post on the website that the caller is talking about. he was questioning what political perspective they are working with in the middle east. think the person that posted that did not do any reading of any of the work of any of those people to suggest that it is an across the board neo- conservative a statement does
not go to the facts as i know them. i think washington is in a very difficult position. over the years, international bodies have been an able to conduct these things when it comes to israel. there is all kinds of outrage expressed condemning them of war crimes in policy on the high seas and violating international law. they have come to these conclusions and asked for an independent investigation. the israelis have a history and have done rather well in investigating their own issues and problems. an example is after the war in lebanon. we have a deeply emotional
where this woman, rachel, that challenged the gaza strip. she was run over by an israeli bulldozer bulldozing palestinian homes. it was a tragic situation. i agree with the caller. there has never been a full investigation of that incident. there needs to be one. i agree. host: boston, mass., and the pan . caller: -- independent line. caller: [unintelligible]
guest: i think the caller for the question. i am not a lawyer. there are many people that are not lawyers that have been pronounced in an international law. i cannot tell you regarding the deportation regarding citizens -- it is best that they reported. the caller said that they looked at this in international waters. this has become this was a violation of international law. i do not believe, based on the conversation that the location
is the issue. it is whether israel is at war with hamas. the israelis believe that they are and they are well within national law to interject this flotilla. others believe that the gaza strip, despite the israeli withdrawal remains under occupatioo. this flotilla, as a result, was there illegally in the blockade. the problem is that everybody has a point. it depends on which international lawyer and you are talking to where you will get one opinion or another. host: the here is what our twitter comment is. guest: i think the israelis
could have shifted their policy from a blockade see if they search ships. then maybe they can be brought to gaza safely. this flotilla was offered that option. that is too awful -- offload at a port. they refused to do that. as long as they will refuse these kinds of things -- i understand they are concerned. as long as they are looking at these kinds of of flexibility, the israeli government worked out these agreements -- there
will be however complex at sea. host: michael, detroit. caller: they often accuse the other, but most people are not aware that from the detroit in jewish news, i read about [unintelligible] the week are likely to take personal bowel'sv personalows, -- vows, we render them null and void. how can we trust the jewish
people in the state of israel when they believe in this kind of a prayer? guest: i am not quite sure exactly what he is getting at in referring to this. i think that in an effort to delegitimize the state of israel and engage in these questions about how we can trust jews in the state of israel is very harmful. it is harmful to the jewish community in the united states. it is harmful to israel. let me bring you back to this question regarding the flotilla and the incident that happened. israel is increasingly isolated in the international system. it as a certain paranoia within the israeli political and security establishment of a lens to the kinds of decisions that we saw -- that we saw on monday.
there has been a lot of monday morning discussions about what they should have done and what they should not have done. as this continues, it backs the israelis into a corner. they say they have no friends in the world. and the policies to them make perfect sense. the blockades of the gaza strip makes perfect sense. they neither got international credit as they were promised, nor did they get peace. as a result, peace and isolation, and the things thhy were promised as a result that they were told was the right thing to do, leads to a certain amount of paranoia and pursuit of policies that do not lead to
good outcomes. host: louisiana, democrats line. caller: the morning, i have been listening for a while. why does not hamas lookout for the sincere interest of people? if they do not, who will? egypt, jordan, in nations like that for composite with israel and sold all their brothers. guest: think the caller is echoing a narrative that hamas has put out there itself. the negotiations between israel and palestinian authority have allowed israelis to appropriate palestinian land and build setup
-- settlements. the only thing left for them to do is to engage in violent and armed resistance. that is certainly one of view. i think the israelis have a very legitimate security concerns when it comes to hamas. i direct the college to go and read the hamas charter which is dedicated to the construction of israel. this is obviously an issue of the highest priority for the israeli people. they are confronted with a group of people dedicated to their construction. and there are not sincere the interest-rate it reached interested in leveraging all of the palestinians. there have been numerous errors made in negotiations. .
performance of british petroleum to date? >> if you look at the blow out itself, that is unacceptable, just unacceptable in the operations of the gulf of mexico or anywhere in the world. we have to find out what actually happened. with respect to addressing the flow itself at the bottom of the sea, they are doing as well as anyone can do. it is frustrating. it is slow. it does not work all the time. guest: the best minds in the world are working on addressing the flow. the relief well that is being drilled at 13,000 feet on its way to 18,000 feet is making progress. it is slow. with respect to the cleanup above the surface, i'd rate it
and f. we are using traditional booming and skimming and burning and it doesn't work. there is a lot of oil out there. why we are not something that oil out of the sea using barges with big paunch, using supertankers with very large pumps going back and forth across the ocean -- get the oil off the service and it does not come into the marshes and onto the beaches. we could put a whole lot of capital and equipment to work that we are not doing. that needs to change. >> when you were president with shell oil, -- host: when you were president of shell oil, is that how you would do it? guest: you have to make decisions relative to what the situation requires. from the beginning, this was going to be a big flow of oil for a very long time. the fact that we did not change the paradigm from the traditional method of cleaning
up oil in retrospect is a mistake and every day we do not address sucking the oil out of the sea, we compound the mistake. host: how you gauge the political reaction to what happened and the post-leak and how it is being cleaned up? guest: the political reaction has gone in different phases. the administration wanted to distance itself from the events initially. this is not a pleasant thing to be associated with. as it got worse and worse, the administration realized it had to get involved. congress was pushing it. members of the public were pushing it. various environmental groups are pushing it so it had to get hands-on and operate is not a nice thing to be involved in. that is the way it is. i think is a different kind of distancing of of the paper it -- of dp. bp is the bone in the doberman's
mouth. bp is in a bad patch. it is a good company but they are in a bad patch. i am still curious why this blowout in the first place. after four years of successful gulf of mexico drilling, after more than 2200 deep water wells successfully drilled with that issue, 35,000 wells in total in the gulf of mexico, why this? what happened there? something happened on that rig involving people. host: john hofweimeister is our guest. the president was in louisiana yesterday and talked about the role of british petroleum to date. listen to his statements. >> i don't have a problem with
bp fulfilling its legal obligations. i want the key to be clear that they have a moral and legal obligations. what i don't want to hear is spending money on shareholders' and not -- and spend money on tv advertising but not on the cleanup. we have assigned several folks to look over the shoulders of bp and work with state and local officials nd make sure that claims are being processed quickly and bp is not a lawyering up, essentially. they say they want to make it right. we want them to make it right. host: i want to add that we have
a line for those in the gulf coast of you want to get your perspective. guest: you have to look at the different pieces he is talking about for the dividend to shareholders is a commitment the company has made. bp is fully aware of their social responsibility share. -- responsibility here. the president is right to be the moral compass for the american people. i don't think there is any doubt, but he is reminding that there will be no doubt. i think that as a pierre statement. with respect to the cash that bp has on hand, they can pay dividends and pay the bills associated with this debacle it will be expensive this year and over several years. bp is a company that has many good assets and the production of around the world.
i am not worried about their ability to pay, frankly. with respect to the pr campaign, i am not a fan of multimillion-dollar campaign because you are just window dressing. from a corporate communications standpoint, i believe in face- to-face real people with other real people. when i was president of shell, i took 250 schultze managers to 50 cities across the nation to talk about gas prices and explain the high gas prices and what was going on for the kind of vacation matters. you put a human face on it and several people talking to real people, you can see the images on tv and they dilute themselves. with respect to taking care of claims, that is a serious issue. bp is setting up an infrastructure to do that as effectively as they can. the president mentioned a lawyering up.
if eric holder is visiting the gulf of mexico to talk about criminal investigations, you can be sure that they are a lawyering up. i think that stifles the communications when you are prosecuting a camper -- criminal case. people will not say anything. there is this matter of responsibility that bp has. i am not in any way letting them off the hook. i think the lawyering up is inevitable in our society. host: our guest wrote this book. bethesda, maryland, you are on our democrats line, good morning. caller: good morning to both. i am just really angry and frustrated.
this is really over the daggone top. it is all over the internet and in the newspapers and magazines. the bush administration, yes, the bush administration, dick cheney was handling everything and he was president and bush did not even get it wrong. i am here to say that i feel deeply -- i have people down there and i feel deeply. this is more than a travesty. there were meetings going on back in 2004-2005 and maybe beyond and since then that the bush administration asked for a cut up about. it would cost $500,000. other countries have it. this stupid administration, this ignorant administration did not
want to spend $500,000. i will tell you something else and this is my personal opinion and i don't care who likes it or who don't -- i believe it was done on purpose to hurt obama. i think they want this to be obama's katrina. this is the most demonic administration. the republican party -- there should never be another republican party. guest: the caller is expressing her frustration as are millions of other americans right now. this is a horrible, horrible situation. with respect to the key point of what kind of redundancy can be built into sub-sea stems, the more redundancy we have, the better off we are. with respect to the particular acoustics which she is referring to, there are different parts of
the world that do use that switch. there is no evidence that it has been a foundation in any particular blowout. blowouts' don't happen often. that is no excuse for having all the redundancy you can. that is an enormous debt. the acoustics which is on the top of the ocean sending signals down 5,000 feet. you have to wonder how effective it is the question is whether it will work the problem with this blowout is it would appear that no matter what happened, no matter how much redundancy, it looks like a blowout protector was compromised by either engineering changes or an accident that occurred before the blowout when the rubber seal was found in the drilling. that should have prompted someone to shut this project down.
you do not take chances with your blowout protector. if we find out that this was compromised, all the redundant switch is in the world will not make a difference. host: you talk about wondering how this happened in the first place. could this go back to the relationship that oil companies have with the mineral management service? guest: there have been many labels pace of between the mineral management service and the oil industry. they have been cozy and buying gifts and sending people to sporting events and so forth. i can only speak from my personal experience. i never saw that and never experienced that. throughout my company, this would have been the wrong thing to do because throughout the company, there is a compliance mindset where the government has its job to do and its regulations and procedures. shell, a former company, had its
job to do. the government is not your friend. i have been teaching that for every part the government has a job to do. they are your regulator. i had a cover -- conversation with governor palin when she first became governor of alaska and i talked to her about future oil development in alaska and to look in the eye and said," do you know who runs the oil industry in this state?" i said i think you do. she said, "you are right, we will get along just fine." you need a permit granted. is not incumbent on the company to force the government to meet its terms. that is dead wrong. i did not see the cozy relationship. if it;/ú existed, it was wrong. not be that way. host: savannah, ga., on our independent line. caller: is only a matter of time
before this is off the shores of savannah. we are watching and the oil is coming our way it has hit pensacola and it will get to savannah and go up the east coast. can to call the president and give him some great ideas on what to do? why can't somebody that has great ideas show up and get the federal government to do the right thing. bp does not know what to do. bp, shell, chevron, exxon, but then come together and do what is right. work together for the good of the people. you only need to get together for this one time. you all have the money. we don't have the money so we are watching. there should be some skimming done some work. there should be boats out there. why haven't other companies showed up with their boats?
eventually, this will affect all of us, not just the gulf coast, not just the cost of savannah. it will go up and eventually it will have ever won financially. guest: the point is very clear. there is skimming taking place but it is with small shrimp boats. they are not designed to do is pretend with that they are missing a lot of the oil. my view is that we have to have a major operation. it is sucking it out of the water. you put barges, lines of barges that protect the shoreline or the marshes. the need to suck that oil out and put it in the barge and separate the water and clean water and put it back in the city. the need to cart the oil off to a refinery where it can be incinerated. that is called second salvage.
using supertankers' is the same thing. i had conversations with bp a few weeks ago and i have been in communication with the coast guard. the coast guard is looking at it seriously. i am hoping that will make them come to a decision quickly. i am keeping the pressure on from where i said. i am a retired president. i have only so much standing. i could use my own voice and influence and i think it's a measure of success but maker at whatever level of government. whether it is the president or congress or the peak, someone has to say do it. host: does the u.s. have a legal obligation to honor permits for offshore drilling? guest: the government is the grandeur of the permit and a taker of the permit. if the government deems that the permit should no longer be valid. does the government controlling
the operation from the beginning to the de-commissioning of a platform. it fits within the procedures under the mineral management service or bureau of land management within the department of interior. host: the next call is from the republican line. caller: i think the operation is awfully slow cleaning up. everybody is saying what a disaster it is. if you think about all the disasters that came with thousands of people getting killed on our highways and airplanes crashing, it's just an accident that happened and we have to figure out how not to let it happen again and keep going forward. that is my comment, thank you. guest: that is a good point and keep in mind that we are, whether we like it or not and we
will continue to be whether we like it or not, a hydrocarbon- based economy. hydrocarbon's carry risks whether it is a coal mine or oil well or gas well. there are risks associated. as a society, we have for 100 years committed our economy and economic lifestyle choices to a high corbet haysbert we can move away from it for the president is trying to move away from it. we should remind people that this is not a fast journey to a different energy system. it is a 50-year process at best. it extends longer than that, actually. we have coal plants in this country that have been operating for 75 years. bain de be nearing the end of their lives. -- baby nearing the end of their lives -- they may be nearing the
end of their lives. most comers in the united states depends on the diesel engine and a turban and in person the clothes we wear, the food we eat, the materials that build our house, these are all carried by diesel trucks or by marine turbans or air turbines. they only run on oil. we cannot shut down 94% of the american economy because we have this aversion to oil. we have to learn how to do it safely. host: someone asked if the oil spill proves that deep sea drilling should be banned? guest: is risky. we have to ask why are the oil companies in the deep water to begin with. how come we are asking those companies to take that risk for are the companies inviting themselves to take that risk? the oil companies are in the deep water because it is where they are allowed to go because
they are not allowed to go in shallow water except in the gulf of mexico on the western side. they are not allowed in the shallow water on the eastern side of the gulf of mexico. they are not allowed in shallow water off the west coast or the east coast or off the coast of alaska. that is prohibited. because there is this incredible demand for oil, 20 million barrels per day which is 10,000 gallons per second, the need for oil unless you want to import all of it which changes the risk to another part of the world, if we want to import all of it, we could accept we're completely dependent upon other resources. all the jobs would go way and hundreds of thousands of high- paying jobs go away and we are saying we don't have the courage to develop the safety to develop our own resources. i think that is a mistake. host: please contrast safety practices in the gulf with around the world. guest: you would have to look at
each individual company and their standard. you have to look at the government requirements. in my experience, the major oil companies, the ones that have global reputations, follow the same standards all over the world. they will target the tightest standards, the most extensive standards because they have a reputation to uphold. whether it is west africa or brazil or russia or the united states, one standard is applied by the major oil companies. host: what about dealing with the different governments, doesn't that change it? guest: you have to follow the laws of that country, but within the safety and health environmental considerations, governments generally, if you want to go > the standard, they will not stop you. for some local companies, local oil companies within those
various parts of the world, they may adhere to a lower standard. host: deer park, washington, on our independent line. caller: what we have here is delusion. this federal government has spent trillions of dollars building agencies to give us the illusion that they can handle anything instantly. they cannot. the second point is that we have a vacuum of leadership. this administration can blame bush all they want. i am a leader of men. i leaped and every day. day two of this crisis, i called every oil expert into my office to say we have a crisis and what do we do. why do have a malfunction calling british petroleum british petroleum? it is not be paid.
it is british petroleum. they are not a bogeyman. we have a federal agencies to clearly cannot do anything. we have a president who wants to sell used cars and have lawsuit white wheat -- while we are still leaking oil and we have a system that will must -- not tell us who pp is. they are british petroleum. thank you guest: with respect to british petroleum -- shell is a royal dutch shell the generally goes by shell. exxon is exxonmobil. it is more of a convenience of speech. british petroleum is the name of the company. nobody should be unclear about that. with respect to the government's ability to operate, this is a very serious issue for this government. this is regardless of who is president. government is designed basically
to govern, rule, regulation. when the bureaucracy gets built and they checked the requirements of the bureaucracy, it is anything but efficient or effective. operational management and execution do not seem to be high requirements of the manner in which government operates. the customer service, the customer focus of government -- i lived through katrina. it wasn't on medicated government debacle. it was because of the inability or unwillingness of people to make decisions in real time affecting real people's lives here and now. it was horrific. i lived through hurricane ike which came into galveston four years after katrina. it was the same debacle. there is an inability to make
decisions. the american people have a right to expect more. their tax money is being paid and holding elected officials accountable to do something about getting performance management built into government practices is an absolute necessity if we are going to have this large a government that we now have and continue to pay for it, the thought that there is not a performance management standard which results in better performance by government officials and the conduct of their work, i think the american people are otherwise being taken for a ride. host: is there a role for congressional legislation offering more regulation to make sure things like this do not happen in the first place? guest: yes, government has the responsibility to govern in the interest of the whole society, not in the interest of an industry or in the interest of an environmental group, not in the interest of a certain interest group of other types.
they have to look at the entirety of society. they have to find the most effective, best safety and regulatory regime for the oil industry to continue operating is an imperative. for 40 years, the gulf of mexico did not have an incident like this. the regulation seemed to be working. was this somebody who made a collective series of bad decisions? maybe the regulation would not have changed it anyway. when you are doing operational things that need to be done, a person making bad calls like an umpire who ruins a pitcher's perfect game may bed call, those things happen. we have to understand the human factors involved. we could get into a case of
over-regulating where over- regulation means no one wants to do any drilling. they would go elsewhere around the world. we are not -- we were not be producing our own -- we would not be producing our own oil. the president said we have to find the right methodology and we have to find the right formula to make this work because we have to keep drilling in this country. host: fla., republican line, go ahead. caller: finally, please don't cut me off. i have a rift with the cspan people there. we out here know this. i watch c-span all the time. we have a discussion with the republicans are on top. instead of calling a republican first, you always calling a democrat and an independent and
another democrat and finally, you get down to a republican column. you always start with democrats. "2w[and independence and then fl republicans. give us a chance out here. i don't know why this is. that is my thing with you all. i have been holding on for the longest current. oil is a natural resource. please, mr. hoñ&fmeister, commet on the environmentalists' role in this spirit we have been stifled from making progress in this nation because of the so- called environmentalist was trying to protect what god has given us, natural resources. we should be drilling. we should address for oil and we should grow closer to the shore.
there is lots and lots of oil for us to have. we need oil. please speak to what the environmentalists has done to mess up this country guest: it is a controversial point. in my judgment, some of the best environmentalists we have in this country actually work for oil companies. they advise and counsel oil companies on the risks that they are taking relative to the biosphere in which they operate. they are professionals. they are scientists. they are committed. where we get into difficult challenges -- host: they are committed to the company first? guest: they could go anywhere -pbut they believe they are beig honored and respected. when environmentalism moves from protecting the by a spear into ideology and we get a political ideology driving behavior of certain environmental groups,
that kind of ideology is phallenging many different aspects of the way america operates. is it truly science or is it just an attempt to be a barrier to what they don't like? the image of polar bears -- the question of should there be arctic drilling and the notion of the polar bears being threatened. the polar bear population is the largest it has been in this country since polar bears began making a comeback in the 1950's. polar bears are very dangerous beast and the eskimos, the inuit people of the arctic region are worried about that population because people died when polar bears attack them. i am not suggesting for a moment that we should not protect polar )qbears and their habitat. they have a right to exist as well to shut down all arctic drilling and deny the american
people in natural resource that could come from the arctic because of allegations that threaten the polar bear population. i think that is an extreme ideological practice rather than what is in the interest of the american economy. host: this is off of twitter -- is bp incompetent? could a different oil company perform better? are there other oil companies interested in this oil to fix it? guest: all the companies are involved in advising and providing human-resources to bp in their crisis center. the best minds of the industry are there. bp is not an incumbent, but agreed whether they have an individual or two or more that are not up to the task, that probably exists in all companies. whether this happened in this instance happened -- they
produce over 3 billion oils -- barrels of oil per day as to exxon and shell and chevron and comical philips are behind them. -- and, "phillips are behind -- andconoco-phillips are right behind them bac. caller: mr. hofmeister, that is the first time i mention i -- i heard anybody mention the $500,000 valve that works around the world. why are they not vacuuming that stuff up?
they have these big suction pipe that vacuum the sand away and you can use the same thing for suctioning the oil. that is the first time i've heard that mentioned why aren't they doing this? why aren't they doing intelligent things to suck up the oil rather than spreading disbursement which is creating another hazard. they should have shut that thing down immediately and this would not have happened. a lot of things have been done wrong in this country since president reagan began his massive deregulation. he had alzheimer's disease. nobody in the u.s. knew about that.
he was tied to the oil industry. guest: the sock and salvage method is a better step forward. that is a paradigm change for this country that has not been used. getting people out of their comfort zone in ways they look at this and think about this, you have to push them. the president or a cabinet officer or commander or ceo of bp has to make it happen. host: from twitter -- what percentage of the u.s. oil use it come from domestic drilling and is it worth the risk? guest: we use about 1/3 of our oil from domestic resources. when president nixon was president in 1973, he uttered two words, "energy
independence." before that, we were importing 1/3 of our oil. eight presidents later and 18 congresses later, all of poem have run for elected office on energy independence, we are now importing 2/3 of our oil. 80% of the continental shelf is off-limits for drilling. shallow water drilling is so much less risky than deepwater drilling that i think if we want energy security and to protect our national security and produce our own domestic resources and create hundreds -- millions of more jobs, frankly, exploiting our own natural resources and developing our own economy, we can do that, but it means you would see oil rigs from the beach. you can still swim because oil rigs, all the texas beaches, alabama and florida beaches,
were open for business as we were drilling. until this horrible accident took place host: as far as the energy bill, how much do think this incident will affect of this? guest: i guess -- i think this will affect a lot for there's a strong aversion to more drilling. there is a desire to put so much additional regulation and so much additional burden on the companies to never let this happen again that it may make it difficult to even consider drilling. we have to get to the right balance of risk vs. reward. the reward is all the energy we produce. the risk is a tragic accident like this. i think we can find the right formula to both -- to do both managing the risk and seeking to reward but it will take a lot of discussion between the people in power and the people wwo do the work to figure out what the path looks like.
host: lafayette, indiana, thank you for waiting on our independent line. caller: i was wondering what happened to the fellow on mike williams. ? > why can't they lower explosives into that hole and that made it to? guest: i don't know what has happened to mr. williams. i don't know him. the notion of imploding the burwell is a last gasp ditch effort. that is if all else fails. that is a very serious undertaking we are talking about it theology that is brittle. the drilling has gone through salt domes and that is a
brittle geology's. in order to complement an implosion which is possible, we have to have an evaluation of what are the consequences for the geological structures all the way down to the reservoir. done poorly or don wrong, it could make it all that -- all that much worse. the implosion may look like it works in the first instance, but if the geology is damaged and the structures of the sub-sea are fussired, we could create the world's largest oil seep where the oil would keep leaking and that reservoir. we would actually make a serious problem that much worse. we would have no ability to control it other than to mop up until the reservoir is exhausted. it is an option. i have no doubt that it is on
the table within the be the crisis. between the government oversight and responsibility bp, i am sure this is being looked at very, very carefully. only as a last extreme resort, if the relief well fails, what something like that get to the table. host: are you a believer that with what is going on, we could see this go into december? guest: i am optimistic that the relief wells will work. i would rather keep my focus on that. if it fails, we will have to deal with the implosion question. host: long island, you are next on our republican line. caller: i know there are flex fuel vehicles and enough natural gas in this country to power cars will also burn off a lot of gas like math and which comes from garbage dumps.
we can power cars with ethanol, methanol we can make ample supplies if we turned every car into a flex fuel vehicles. there was a scientist on c-span a few years ago that wrote a book about this. his ideas have been rejected. i am not sure why. i would like your comment on this as to why flex fuel vehicles cannot be mandated the same way air bags were. thank you very much. guest: the caller has a very interesting point. this has gotten a lot of attention and a lot of evaluation the question of how large a role biofuels can play in our liquid fuel system is a continuing and ongoing discussion at the agriculture department as well as the whole biofuels association and companies making biofuels. the issue would biofuels is scale ability. how can we get to the volumes that it would take everyone was
mandated to use by appeals in a flex fuel vehicle? there is not enough land in the united states and not enough water resources to grow the number of biofuels that would be necessary to replace oil. 10,000 gallons per second as a big number. nobody can envision that by appeals would completely replace oil because we cannot grow enough. the other countries took the same approach, they cannot grow enough either. biofuels as an additive to the fuel system v$x option. we are progressing toward 36 billion gallons per year a biofuels. that only gets us to about 20%. 36 billion is not due until 2017. if the industry cannot make that number, the government will give
them a few more years. why do we stick with the internal combustion engine in the first place? whether it is natural gas or biofuels or liquid fuel such as oil, why don't we move to a different technology altogether? for transparency purposes, i am a member of the department of energy's hydrogen advisory board. the german and japanese are going like gangbusters to put hydrogen fuel cell vehicles on the roads of germany and japan to eliminate the demand for oil. the u.s. started down that path but it has been an on-again, off-again efforts without the determination to actually make it to the marketplace and a reasonable timeframe with sufficient vehicles that consumers can't actually use a major way. there are resisting such as --
there are resistances pretty clear away obstacles, we can get rid of internal combustion altogether. the internal combustion engine is a 100-year-old mechanical device. it is not efficient enough. 80 cents on the dollar that people are paying for gasoline is wasted as he coming off the engine. whereas 20% of the dollar is giving them mobility through the engine and drive train. that is not a very good investment of disposable income to be wasting 80% of the dollars you are spending on gasoline host: one more call, atlanta, on our independent line. caller: i have one comment about the polar bears. degrees in the polar bears are endangered is not because of the oil drilling activities
themselves, but because of the warming of the polar ice cap. my second point is about hydrogen fuel. it is not a carbon-resolution because it takes hydrocarbons to create the hydrogen to use in the fuel cells. those are my comments, thanks. guest: in the first instance, the hydrogen would come from hydrocarbons like natural gas or coal or even biofuels. over a period of time, there is every reason to expect that you could take hydrogen out of water. if you are using carbon-free electricity like nuclear electricity or renewable electricity and you are electrolyzing water to make hydrogen, that could create carbon-free hydrogen for the purpose of personal mobility.
with respect to the global fan of cash and trade for aa bi- number of years. i think that as an incentive program to bring down carbon a waste into the atmosphere. i read about that extensively in my book. host: the former president of shell oil co., thank you for your time. we will take a look at the state and federal laws that deal with retirement plans, 401k's, and pension funds. we will be joined by our guest from boston in a few minutes. >> everyone has an agenda and as long you know what their agenda
is and the pact are right, that is what you write about. >> wall street journal investigative reporter has written a series on lawmakers overseas trips funded by taxpayers. he is our guest sunday. new british prime minister and conservative party leader david cameron field questions from members of parliament in his first prime minister questions at the head of the coalition government sunday night at 9:00 on c-span. this weekend, noted feminist author and legal scholar has written or contributed to more than 20 books of liberal education, catholics, sexism, and legal justice. join our discussion with your phone calls live sunday at noon eastern on c-span 2. >> we have three new cspan books for you.
they each have a unique contemporary perspective and something may be new to you about abraham lincoln, the nation's highest court, and the grave sites and the lives of american presidents. to order, go to c-span.org /books. they are great gift ideas for father's day. "washington journal" continues. host: we're joined by the managing director of the wagner law grouper were talking about retirement security for the final segment let's start with an acronym for it what is the acronym arisa spam for and what that means for the public? guest: it stands for the employee retirement income retirement act. it is the statutory and increasingly regulatory framework that governs pension plans, and executive
compensation. it touches each and every american in a very substantive way. host: as far as the law is concerned, why should people pay attention to it? how does it affect people directly? guest: if anyone has a 401 k plan or a people receive health insurance, fringe benefits, if they are lucky to be in the executive compensation arrangement, practically anything as a rule of thumb that deals with the employment arrangement regarding benefits and pensions will be regulated by erisa. host: as far as states are concerned, that means that as a state, i have to fall under certain laws about how my state pension funds are being funded? guest: there are certain aspects
of erisa that regulate state instruments. there are large portions of erisa that exempt states from their governments including the funding provisions. that is one of the reasons that it directly result in what will likely be pension crisis for pension plans. host: what do you mean by that? guest: the state pension plans are frankly underfunded to the extant that within the next 10- 15 years, we could have several mini-greeces at the state level pare. host: as a state, i am not obligated by the law to fully fund might pension plan? guest: every state is different with respect to its funding obligations. there are funding standards but
there is great flexibility. reason we are about to be in a pension funding crisis -- the reason we are about to be in a pension funding crisis is it is really multifaceted. the stock market crash in a 2008 really affected pension plans in a significant way both public and private. secondly, pension plans when times are good in the public sector really added and made benefits richer. sometimes it was retroactively. people fought the good times would last forever. they had surplus assets. they provided ancillary benefit per is.
states have been implicated in certain pay to play arrangements which are costly. finally, there seems to be the ability and the public pension system of individuals spiking their benefits. in other words, the benefit one receives is determined very much on his final year or year of pay. there is incentive to work overtime in the final years of employment. what ever need to be done so the pension benefit is greater than it otherwise would be. host: our guest will be with us until 10:00. if you have questions the numbers are on your screen.
if i may state employee and looking at retirement in 15 years, what questions should be asking as far as how protected my retirement fund is? guest: you should ask how funded the benefit this, how underfunded the plan is. many states have a so-called vested right doctrine which means that when you were employed at day one, whatever formula has been placed for benefit is the formula that will be with you the rest of your career. regardless of the politics of that and whether that is correct, state employees have more protection than those not under that doctrine. host: east brunswick, new
jersey, independent line, go ahead. caller: good morning and thank you for taking my call. what benefits do the larger companies have by reducing the pension plan? guest: there are essentially two kinds of pension plans in this world. there are defined benefit and defined contribution. defined benefit plans is the old-fashioned pension plan. it provides an annuity for life. once you hit normal retirement age, you get a percentage of pay based on years of service for the rest of your life and on your death, half of that goes to your spouse. that is an obligation of the employer.
if the fund assets go down, the employer is obligated to continue funding. alternatively, if the asset increases in value, the funding obligation goes down but the risk and reward are squarely on the employer for these types of arrangements are guaranteed to a certain degree by the pension benefit guaranty corporation. it is like the fdic for pension plans. the burden is on employers in a defined benefit world. , e 401 k plan, the risks and rewards are on the employees themselves. they often find their own peasants with our own pre-tax dollars which may not be matched by the employer. if their accounts do well, they do well. if they do not do well, then they do not collect. host: republican line, good
morning. caller: i have a question about the airlines. i retired at age 58 from an airline. for the 20 years i was there i heard that they were doing me a favor by contributing to the pension. i thought i earned that pension over the course of 20 years. is it true that a non-bankrupt airline must fund the pension? my second question is that while i invest conservatively, isn't it true that pension funds like the one i am talking about invest in high-risk the emerging-market stack? guest: with respect to funding by non-bankrupt employers, the
answer is complicated. there are rules on what it takes to be adequately funded. there is great flexibility in such rules. the funding that is done on an ongoing basis can't leave a plan underfunded but in a healthy sort of way. benefits would likely be paid overtime. most of the companies or even companies that are struggling will almost almost always be able to meet the minimum funding requirements. that is a broad range of funding requirements as a poss is monite internal revenue service. however, there can be shocks to the system such as a significant downfall in business such as the crash in 2008, etc.
in cases like that, even help the companies cannot frankly meet the minimum funding requirements. they sometimes applied for a waiver from the irs. that can be granted. companies that do not want to go but can no longer afford their obligations can ask the pbgc to take over those pension plans in a distressed determination. in those cases, sometimes benefits are cut back for the most highly compensated. in answer to the airline employee question, was the airline doing him a favor? it depends on what the collective bargaining stated. it also depends frankly on how adequately funded the plan was pri.
with respect to investments, the plan sponsor, usually the investment committee, are fiduciaries with respect to the investment. they must be paid as a prudent expert would with a large pension plan. it might be prudent to be in what e normal people would not be in. derivatives are involved in pension plans, hedge funds. as long as it is prudent and not overly concentrated in that area, it would be well within reason. host: you talk about the pb gc being a backdrop, but aren't they having problems of their own? guest: yes, they are. they are facing some significant
monetary constraints right now. the way they will deal with that is by increasing premiums. and of the plans must pay premiums to the pbgc each year or they can ask for a bailout from the federal government. host: didn't states make bad investments with wall street with workers' pension money? why should workers be punished for that? guest: there is no arguing with that logic. however, we live in the real world and when the pie is shrinking, sometimes there have to be compromises that will be forced upon the market might come back. new employees might not get
about its that older employees get. people might be asked to contribute more. the public pension employees might face the same choices that many private-sector employees have been dealing with over the past decade. host: fairfield, calif., democrats line, go ahead. caller: when arnold schwarzenegger first became governor he fired the head of caplpers because he took on disney. as the biggest shareholder of disney stock, it seems like he was exercising the republican ideal of the investors holding the managers of these stocks accountable. why was that never looked into?
that was an ugly thing. calpers has not recovered since he fired the manager. guest: we are all human. it strikes me that we have difficult choices and the future. the age-old issue of how does one best incentiv 5ize exec is to perform well? shareholders can -- employees can determine whether something is right and leave. time tells and performance based compensation is something that is on shareholders' minds. whether they make corrector incorrect decisions -- the proof is in the pudding.
as a function of how the funds recover over time. host: it is time to start buying out public pensions. the few hundred thousand now will be weighed cheaper than the payout. will there be any takers? guest: what i think he might be saying is that in order to reduce the pension obllgations, some states are trying to incentivize people not to receive their stream of payments but take a lump sum. oftentimes, the lump sum can look enticing to the potential recipients. when you do the present bout you calculation, it may well be not a good economic deal. host: why so? guest: because money now -- it depends on two factors. the first factor is the persons
likely mortality. if a person will live a long time, yet their genetics are in their favor, an annuity will almost always be better. the second factor that is extremely relevant is the interest rate, the discount rate. if the stream of payments is discounted at a high rate of 8%, that reduces the present value of the accrued benefit if taken in a lump sum. a lower interest rate like 5% is used, that will increase the lump sum value. those are the two factors. the third factor that people do not talk about is what is the state's ability to pay? can they pay for a lifetime or will they just defaults? that is the big question mark. host: we're talking about economic and retirement security.
kings mountain, north carolina, thank you for waiting, on our independent line. caller: thank you for taking my call. stock options are my main thing. employees invest in common shares. a ceo gets stock options. is he not devaluing the employees'' stock? he is making millions and we don't get that money. guest: stock options are an age- old technique. it is like a phantom stock. the interests are aligned and
the ceo's try to perform to the best of their ability. whether that works that way or not, it is a case by case factor. host: tampa, fla. next on our republican line. caller: i have a couple of questions. this new financial reform act -- i have read where they will wind up funding all these union pension funds and it will cost $165 billion. december 31, when the capital gains tax doubles, how much impact will that have on the economy? guest:wow, i am so happy this topic is generating this type of interest. if the capital gains tax doubles, i would think of that would have an ill effect on the economy. you don't have to be a great
economists to predict that. this is a matter of some debate as to how much leeway should be given to union plans with respect to funding, with respect to the interest rate calculation. this is a matter of great debate. i am not sure if these deals will come down. i think it is extraordinarily healthy that we are discussing the status of these multi- employer plans. many of these plants are significantly underfunded. the people that fund them, usually the great potential exposure, the question is how do we deal with that? i don't know where these bills were and up but the debate is good.
what is going on on capitol hill which will likely pass are two things that will be good for plan sponsors and employers and plan participants. there are two huge initiatives. one regards the transparency on 41 k accounts for the second one is holding more people to the fiduciary standards of erisa both of which i think are very positive host: as far as these are concerned, how much do they eat up a person's retirement? guest: it can be from 20 basis points, a small amount, to up to 200 basis points. per annum. this can affect someone's pension up to 30%. these are very substantive
debate going on. i think the american public should be extraordinarily engaged in this. host: san diego, calif., democrats line. caller: nice to talk to you this morning. when my husband called as company and said we were married, i did not pay attention to everything that went on curren. he was diagnosed with alzheimer's two years after we were married and i took care of him. when i went to file for benefits, they told me i was not entitled to his retirement. he had chosen his first wife passed away years before.
they gave me a choice if i wanted to settle for $20,000, they would give me that and i could go way and not get anything. he passed away and i had to decide within two weeks. that is what they told me. guest: let me tell you what is legal. i am not sure that is legal. there are red flags there. were you married to this man when he was working for this employer? host: i have to apologize because she is gone but you can continue. guest: assuming that she was not married while he was growing his pension, by right of the spouse would be his first wife.
this is under the[sw> retirement equity act of 1984. on divorce, oftentimes people will enter into a qualified domestic relations order which can divvy up a person's pension annuity between spouses. i am not sure that happened here. if, however, she was married to this person when he was accruing his benefit, she would have a right to a portion, absolutely, of his annuity. having stated that, when the time came for distribution, he would have had a choice to make. he would of had a choice of split distribution or one or more annuities. two of those annuities would have been a lifetime annuity or
a joint survivor annuity which would have meant that he received a lesser amount for less than half of that would go to his spouse. the question is when they were married, was there qualified domestic relations order in place, and what type of benefit the election did he make with spousal consent on his termination of employment. host: arlington, va., you are on. caller: how do pensions relates to interest earned on them? what about the federal or state law that requires taxpayers to receive benefits of -- on interest earned on even pension accounts like a comprehensive
financial report of the united states or individual states? they have the interest earned but they do not reported. it. you have this corruption within the legislative body and the whole government structure as to whether they are making money, private money with public funds and not really using the interest and taxing taxpayers beyond law apparethe law. what is going on there. guest: i don't know which state you are talking about. these laws don't apply at the
state level. the states are under what ever constitution in their state general law requires. however, there is a movement with respect to pension governance reform. the first component of this reform is the duty of loyalty, that the trustees and managers of these funds should have a duty of loyalty first and foremost to the trust. the second is the duty of care and making sure that the fund is adequately capitalized and can pay its benefit obligations when they come due. third is a proven experts standard person -- prudent expert standard.
it depends on what type of plan of the state you're talking about. with a defined benefit plan, the interest would accrue to the fund itself, not to an individual person. with a defined contribution arrangement, it would go to the individual person. anything that happens to reduce the rate of return and reduce the interest accrued to the pension will ultimately go to planned participants -- plan participants. caller: i want to clear up some statements that were made about the trustee on the pension plan. most of the public pension plans, the employees contribute a percentage of their salary into the plan from 2% up to 5%.
you made a statement about the assumption rid of 8%. trustees that do that, they are living in a never never land. when we would use rates, we would be more conservative because we know we would fall on hard times. the money that these people get from their retirements is money they have paid ain. you take what ever interest-rate you're getting an/72 and it will tell you how long. there is no magical thing about any pension plan. you take the money, the trustees take the money because they are the fiduciary. they invest the money on behalf of the recipients of the plan
and that determmnes the pension. guest: i am impressed clearly, there are many people doing this correctly. nonetheless, the numbers prove we are underfunding. the private and public sector is affected. the fiduciaries take their responsibility seriously. this is a wonderful thing. i applaud the gentleman. host: 4 lauderdale, fla., on our democrats line. are you there? let's try to missouri, on our independent line. caller: i am a federal employee retired. i have money in the gsp program
and when the government runs out of money usually towards the end of the year, they take our money. is it my money at this point or does it belong to the federal government? if it is my money, do i have the right to tell them they cannot do that? guest: i have heard only good things about that particular program. the rates are reasonable. the fees are extraordinarily low. i have not heard that pension checks are withheld or held up for late. if that is happening, clearly you should speak to your representative or hr department. i have not heard that being an issue. host: we will try fort lauderdale, fla. again. caller: i was wondering, in the
1980's, there was a change in pension regulation. 35% of pension overage was determined an asset of the corporation. i was wondering if that percentage has gone up and what type of role does it have in current pensions? being from florida and our state legislature keeps trying to change our employees from a defined benefit plan to a mandatory defined contribution. luckily, we have staved that off. what affect would that have if they do change that? what effect does that have on each individual employee to know how to get education in how to
manage the stock market for themselves? guest: excellent questions. the first question is on defined benefits access. when it was stated that the laws change in the 1980's, i had to laugh to myself. this area above lot is constantly changing. it changed in the 1980's many, many times but it changed in the 1990's and is changing practically as we speak. the public sector is different. this is a function of constitutionality of a particular state or commonwealth. in the private sector, plant assets, even over it is, our plant assets until all benefits are paid.
there is the potentiality for reversion of surplus assets. that reversion is subject to a very significant excise tax. on law us the money goes into another type of plan. once the actuary determined that a plan is overfunded any significant way, there is the ability to access excess funds benefit assets sprea. with your second question -- the movement from the pond benefit to defined contribution is something you will see a lot more of in the state arena, whether you like it or not.
in general, they are locked all lot less expensive. employees to find more of their pensions in a defined contribution plan on average than a defined benefit plan. there are such things as contributory defined benefit plans but usually, they are capped at 3% of contribution. in a defined contribution plan it could be much more. having stated that, the caller makes an extraordinarily good point. the risk of investment in defined contribution plans ships to the plan participants. do they have a wreck so it knowledge to make appropriate investment decisions. the jury is out for there has been a movement in the industry and on capitol hill as to how to best educate and advise in a
non-conflictive manner so they can't make the appropriate choices. rollover recipients. these are excellent questions. we as a community must deal with these questions now before we have serious issues and real discontent on our hands. host: silver spring, maryland on a republican line, go ahead caller: i have a question bailing out the unions that has become a discussion recently. i look at the process of appeasing unions to be somewhat broken, especially when you look at some of the defined benefits they have been receiving. first of all, i don't believe
they contributed premiums as of other private plans. i think some of them need to take a hair cut to put them more in line with either government pensions or other private company pensions. i would like your thoughts on that, thank you. guest: one thing i can say for sure is the liability on the employers that participate in these so-called multi-employer plans, these union plants, are very significant. the obligations in many cases are so excess oive that we will talk about this in the future. either bail out or haircuts or cutbacks in benefits or less in benefits for new employees -- these are debates that have to commence in a very, almost scientific way so we can determine the appropriate options.
i think it is very healthy and a good bet the debate is starting now. i am surprised it is taking so long for people to realize that we are on the principles of a pension crisis. this is not just with the unions but with state governments and with many private pension plans as well hos/ host: independent line, connecticut, go ahead. caller: i am a pharmacist. this is a convoluted question. guest: i can handle it. caller: in 1989, bluecross sent out a letter to pharmacies in connecticut stating that they would take away our customers and forced them to go mellor. they stated that even though they were taking all our patients away from us, they
expected us to be there to dispense a limited quantity of medication in case of an emergency. the letter stated they could not guarantee they would reimburse us for our services. to this day, i recall that letter. the pharmacists unified and the got through to the state legislature a freedom of choice bill which stated that insurance companies could not force patients to give up their local pharmacist and go mail order. it is my understanding that because it is a federal law that negates state law like the freedom of choice act so that in companies who are self-insured and provide their employees with
prescrip(qr coverage are exempt from the state law. as a result, the trend in connecticut has been a significant shift toward mail order pharmacies to the dissatisfaction of many people. is it not wise to questioned the wisdom of this provision of erisa when the population is getting older? host: we will have to leave it there, thank you. guest:erisa is a very strong statutes. it is a robust statute. it pre-empts state laws to the extent that they affect pension plans for. anything that relates to state law that relates to an employee
benefit plan, it as police attempted by erisa. self insured plans have an exemption. erisa says that self insured plans can be recorded by the states but the pre-emption is not what has brought. ad. self insured plans will stay with their local pharmacies or wherever they want to gothe erisa pre-emption in the case is not as broad. when erisa was enacted, the concern was at