tv American Politics CSPAN June 27, 2010 9:30pm-11:00pm EDT
if you are going to win the counterinsurgency and succeed in what is called "war amongst the people", you have to be among them, protecting them from the insurgents. that is how we are going to create a more stable and peaceful afghanistan, from which we will be able to return, leaving the afghan forces in control. >> dr. julian lewis. >> does the prime minister accept that there are other ways of fighting counterinsurgencies that do not involve sending out uniformed personnel along predictable routes, day after day, to be sniped at and blown up? will he request his military advisers to focus on long-term strategies that could achieve our strategic aims without having to pay such an unnecessarily high price? >> i know that my honorable friend takes a close interest in these matters, and i have arranged for him to meet senior officials and military adviserss so that he can explore his ideas with them. all that i would say is that
the team that president obama has put in place, and the team that we have in terms of both military and civilian leaders, have brought great impetus too the campaign. it is difficult to see, if we are trying to fight a counterinsurgency, how we can do so without having a number of active patrols to protect the people from the insurgents. >> order. i gently remind the house that this is a closed question on afghanistan. does anybody wish to come in on it? no? mr. jonathan evans. >> bearing in mind the opposition's claim that in europe, britain is now isolated, will my right honorable friend please indicate how on earth he managed to secure both french and german agreement to the announcement in relation to the bank levy in the budget yesterday? >> my honorable friend makes an excellent point.
in the budget yesterday, my right honorable friend the chancellor announced unity between the french, the germans, and the british on introducing a bank levy. the one group of people who are isolated, and who say that we have to wait for the rest of the world before we can ask our banks to make a proper contribution, is the party opposite. once again, they have no proposals to fill the enormous black hole that the government are getting to grips with. >> anne mcguire. >> the o.n.s. reported that while the richest 10% spent 1 pound in every 25 pounds of their income on vat, the poorest 10% spent 1 pound in every 7 pounds of their income on vat. how, then, can the prime minister justify his oft- repeated refrain that we are all in this together? >> what i would say to the honorable lady -- it is an important point and the red book sets it out -- is that the richest 10% will pay in cash terms 15 times as much in vat as the poorest 10%.
the important point to take into account and look at is the budget as a whole. in the budget as a whole, we can see that the richest pay the most both in cash terms and as a percentage of their income. what we have done, by massively increasing child tax credits, is to ensure that there is no increase in child poverty. what a contrast that is with the figures since 2004. the labour party put up child poverty by 100,000. that is the difference. >> order. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> each week the house of commons is in session, we air prime minister's question. you can find an archive and links to the house of commons
and prime ministers website on our website. the g-20 summit concluded today and canada. president obama fielded questions on international cooperation on the economy at this closing news conference. this is 45 minutes. >> of one of think our wonderful hosts and the people of toronto for their extraordinary hospitality. the success of these summits, the g-8 and the g-20, is a
tribute to canadian leadership. i also want to thank my fellow leaders for the sense of purpose that brought to the summit. the g-20 is not the premier forum for international economic cooperation. -- is now the premier forum for international economic cooperation. the challenges are diverse as our nation, but we represent 80% of the global economy, and we have forged a global response to the worst economic crisis in our time. in london last year, which our action to prevent an even larger economic catastrophe to put our economy is on the path to recovery, and preserving our systems so that the crisis that we were emerging from never happens again. this year we went further,
moving beyond the old economic cycle of boom and bust, by committing our nations to a new framework that is balanced and sustained as well specific financial reforms. our bold action has succeeded. in the united states, we are committed of all two leading by example. because of the steps we have taken, we are growing again and this growth is translating into job creation. we're poised to pass the toughest financial reform since the aftermath of the great depressson. globally there's economic growth. trade that, did it is rebounding. we have pulled ourselves back from the brink and begun to move forward with economic recovery. but as we all know, that is not good enough. too many people are still out of work.
to many economists -- too many -- the demand for goods and services is still too weak. history teaches us that growth and prosperity is never guaranteed. it requires constant effort and continued leadership. so we came to toronto with three specific goals -- to make sure the global recovery is strong and durable, duquesne -- to continue reform and the financial system, and address a range of global issues that affect our prosperity and security. we've made progress in each area. first, to ensure that economy -- recovery is strong, we are creating jobs. the highest economic priority as president -- and this is what we're focused on increasing global demand. every country will charge its
own unique course, but make no mistake -- we are moving in the same direction. as i reiterated to my colleagues, after years of taking on too much debt, americans cannot and will not borrow and buy the world's way to a lasting prosperity. no nation should assume that its path to prosperity is paved with exports to the united states. united states will compete for the jobs and industries and markets of the future. that is why i am set on telling our exports and iicrease jobs in the united states. that is why have launched an initiative to meet this goal. we have focused earlier this week on deepening economic cooperation with russia, which will restart -- and accelerate our efforts to enter russia into
the g to -- debbie to. -- wto. this will create new jobs and opportunities for people in both our countries, and enhance america's competitiveness in the 21st century. a strong and durable recovery also requires countries not having undue advantage. we also discussed currencies that are market-driven. as i told president hu yesterday, the united states welcomes china's decision to let its currency appreciate in terms of market forces, and we will be watching that closely. because a durable recovery must also include fiscal responsibility, we balance the need for the short term into sustainability in the medium term. in the united states, have set a goal of cutting our deficit in half by 2013.
a number of our european partners are making difficult decisions, but we must recognize that our fiscal health tomorrow will help our ability to create jobs today. the second area we focused on was advancing the goal of financial reform. just as we are on the verge of passing financial reform in the united states, our european partners have committed to the process we went through in the united states. a new level of transparency and a stress test for banks to rebuild confidence. here in toronto, we reaffirmed our commitment to the highest global standard, and we directed our teams to finalize a global framework to ensure that banks hold enough capital to withstand the stresses of government intervention. rules must be clear. oversight must be strong. complex traits like derivatives must be brought into the light of day. excessive risk-taking and
abusive practices must be prevented. consumers must be protected. in short, we have to do everything in our power to or avoid a repeat of the recent financial crisis. finally we made progress on a range of global challenges that are critical to shared prosperity. we're moving forward with the security initiative announced last year, including launching a special fund at the world bank which was written productivity in the poorest countries. we made progress to a new coroneted approach to invest more than $20 billion to promote agricultural development. the g-20 leaders renewed our commitment to phase out fossil fuel subsidies. united states has laid out our plan for achieving this goal and we are urging our partners to do so as well. this is one of the most important steps we can take to create clean energy jobs, increase our energy security, and address the threat of climate change. i am pleased we endorse my proposal to broaden the agenda
to include the five accounts corruption. the culture of the bride impinges on prosperity. it destroys public trust and undermines the rule of law, stifling economic growth. with the new commitment to strengthening and enforcing rules against corruption, prosperity will be more broadly shared. the me just conclude by saying that much of the focus on these meetings is whether our nations would be divided by different approaches. as we have proven repeatedly over the past 18 months, our nations can and have come together through the g-20 to build on the foundation of our shared interests. indeed, that is the purpose of these meetings. we can bridge of our differences. we can coordinate our approaches. we can continue our relentless focus on how in durable growth that puts our people to work and
build prosperity for the world. with that, let me take a few questions. how have a handy list here. and when to start with the ap. >> thank you, mr. president. you think the decision by your jeep-20 counterparts to endorse deficit reduction goals is a repudiation of your view that cutting the deficit too quickly and too fast will hurt the global economic recovery? and then on north korea, and you said yesterday that ford korea must be held to account for the sinking of the south korean war ship and there must be consequences for such irresponsible behavior. what specifically would you like to see imposed on north korea, short of some sort of condemnation from the security council? >> darlene, since your first, i'm going to give you two
question. everyone else, please stick to one. with respect to the first question -- we helped to draft the communique which reflects our politics. leading up to the conference, there was some sense -- sense of the divide. the policies that we have been promoting are reflected in that communique and are entirely consistent with what the g-20 leaders came up with. keep in mind that we have already proposed a long time ago that we were going to cut our deficit in half by 2013. the time frame and the measures that have been adopted are consistent with our view is that it is important for us to make sure that in the medium and long term we are paying attention to the big deficits and debts that we have out there. what we did say coming to this conference is that we cannot all
rushed to the exits at the same time. countries that have surpluses should think about spurring growth and demand. not all those -- some might involve store for changes in their economy and passing the financial regulatory reforms so that their banks are lending again. but in each country, we have to recognize that the recovery is still fragile, we still have more work to do to make this recovery durable, and we have to recognize that if markets are skittish and do not have confidence that we can tackle the tough problems of our medium and long-term debt and deficits, then that also will undermine our recovery. there are going to be some countries -- greece being the most obvious example -- that
have to act immediately because they are facing a sovereign debt crisis. there could be other countries where the issue has to do with putting in place some plans that are credible for deficit reduction, even though they do not kick and significantly in this first year. for example, germany, which cares deeply about the fiscal consolidation. if you look at their plan, they are no more front loaded than ours are. some of the steps that i've already taken -- freezing domestic discretionary spending for the next three years in my budget, passing paygo, setting up the fiscal commission to tackle issues like entitlements long term -- many of those decisions are comparable to some of the decisions that have been made by those promoting fiscal consolidation. i think this is an issue where
there is violent agreement between the parties. we have to make sure that we're not rushing to the exits to quickly and all at the same time, but we have to keep in mind that debt and deficit levels that many advanced countries have right now our unsustainable and have to be dealt with in a serious way. with respect to north korea, our main focus right now is the u.s. security council making sure -- the un security council making it crystal clear acknowledgement that north korea engaged in belligerent behavior that is unacceptable to the international community. the united states participated in the investigation that was conducted around the south korean ship. our experts concluded that north korea had carried out an attack consistent with south korea's assessment and others who were
observers in the process. i think president l i has shown extraordinary restraint, given the circumstances, and it is absolutely critical that the international community rally behind them and send a clear message to north korea that this kind of behavior is unacceptable, and that the international community will continue to step up pressure until it makes a decision to follow a path that is consistent with international norms. and my expectation is that those twwho were here at the g-0 and saw the evidence came to the same conclusion. we do not need to shy away from facts with respect to north korea's behavior under the
illusion that that will somehow help maintain the peace. all right. tom. >> that you, but to present. you said it was too early to tell if china's valuation would lead to real valuation. you've just said a couple of months. >> did i say a year in the press coverage? >> you did. you said "by your to monitor the r&b -- a year to monitor the rmb. >> i would have to look to the transcript but let me be absolutely clear. number one, china has determined that it is in its own interest -- its own sovereign interests -- to move back toward a path of flexible exchange rates.
we think that is a very positive thing. in part, is a positive thing because it undervalued rmb has given china a significant trade advantage and we are very clear with them that we do not consider that acceptable or consistent with the principles of balanced and sustainable growth that were discussed in per spurred and that all g-20 countries signed onto. we're pleased that they have made his first that. but a number of other trading partners with china, the proof of the pudding will be in the beating. we did not expect a 21st -- a 20% revaluation in a week. that would be disruptive to the chinese economy and to the world economy. we do expect that as more market
forces come to bear, that given the enormous surpluses that china has accumulated, that the rmb will go up and go up significantly. we will be paying attention over the next several months to make that determination. i do not have a perfect formula. will i have a clear idea after three months as to whether it is moving fast enough or not? i will leave that up to treasure segment -- treasury secretary g. h. who makes these determinations. >> how wall -- how long do expect american manufacturers to wait? >> hans, we're not want have a colloquy here. are going to be serious aboutey the policy that they themselves have announced.
i am going to work with people like senator schumer and manufacturers, workers affected by these trade imbalances, and i think we all have the same interest. united states can compete with anybody. as long as we've got an even playing field. as i indicated in my opening remarks. we're prepared to enter into trade agreements with our real our -- korea. we talked about reinvigorating the doha round. trade can be a source of prosperity for everybody, but it has got to be a fair deal. and it is not just currency, by the way. we've had discussions with our chinese partners about what they are doing on non-tariff barriers and respect to
intellectual property rights, and with respect to state-owned enterprises or state-owned banks that are subsidizing industries. there are a whole host of issues. that does not mean that they do not have issues with us. i think we can manage these, but it is important for china to take seriously not just what we're saying but what a number of countries, including countries like canada, are saying. jackie. where you that? >> i am back here. thank you, mr. president. one of the non-economic issues you've covered here was afghanistan. i was curious whether you believe that the talk that pakistan is reportedly brokering between president karzai and the taliban concern you. and do you agree with the new
prime minister of great britain, david cameron, that we can be totally out of afghanistan by 2015 and turn the lights all? >> i am not sure that that is a quote from david, but i will take second question first. we've been in afghanistan now for nine years. next year we will have been there for a decade. this is no america's longest war. what that means is that all of us have an interest not an occupying afghanistan, but making sure that afghanistan is stable, can stand on its own 2 feet when it comes to security issues, and is not a base for terrorist activities launched against the united states of america. now what think we're going to need to provide assistance to
afghanistan for a long time to come. they are still building up a national government. they are in a tough neighborhood. they are a very poor country. on a whole range of issues, from economic development, setting up courts, setting up effective police forces, a political system that is transparent and fair, as well as with respect to security, we intend to be a partner with afghanistan over the long term. but that is different from us having troops on the ground. i have been clearer about the policy that we are pursuing. we announced last november and we're several months into it. the policy involved us sending an additional troops -- we already had approximately 16,000
and we put in an additional 30,000 -- with the intent of providing the afghan government the space and the time to build up its security forces, for us3 momentum of the taliban and clear some of the area where they had gotten the fears foot hole, to start moving afghan security forces anin even as we improve the credibility of the civilian government. that is the policy that general mcchrystal was pursuing. that is the policy that general petreaus is pursuing. that is what all of our allies have fully endorse, as has president karzai. now it is tough. it is a tough challenge. for reasons that have been amply reported.
as i said, this is the third poorest country in the world. it has an extraordinarily high illiteracy rate. it has suffered through 30 years of war. this is going to be tough. but what i expect is that by the end of this year, we will have seen progress on the strategies that we have laid out, we will conduct a full review -- those things that are not working, we will fix. those things that are working, we will build on, on the civilian side and military side, as well as on the diplomatic side. ultimately it is true -- as was true in iraq, so will be true in afghanistan, we will have to have a political solution, not simply a myth -- a military simpler -- a military solution.
it is too early to tell. i think that we have to view these efforts with scepticism, but also openness. the taliban is a blend of hard core ideologues, tribal leaders , kids that sign up because it is the best job available to them. not all are going to be thinking the same way about the afghan government, about the future of afghanistan, and so we will have to sort through how these talks take place, but i think president karzai's peace jurga was a useful step. i think the conversations between the afghan government and the pakistani government, building trust between those
governments, is a useful step. to the extent that we can get all the regional players to recognize that it is in everybody's interest that this region between pakistan and afghanistan are not used to launch terrorist attacks, that will be a useful step and that is what we're moving towards. peter. >> thank you, sir. looking ahead to the supreme court confirmation hearing for your choice, elena kagan, tomorrow, what do you say to the critics betraying her as a politically motivated a liberal? and given your own support when you're on the senate for a filibuster of a supreme court nominee, what is your guidance to republicans threatening that at this point? >> i think that they should pay attention to delana rigid elena
-- eleana kagan's testimony. the senate is entrusted with advice and consent. i am absolutely confident if we give a fair reading of elena kagan's performance in every job she has had, she is someone with extraordinarily powerful intellect, someone with good judgment, somebody who understands the impact that loss -- laws have on ordinary americans, have been broker understanding between people of different ideological bent, someone who is extremely hard- working, extremely diligent, extremely personable, knows how to build consensus, has been an outstanding lawyer, an
outstanding team of one of our top law schools -- and it is just one of. . >> i expect that my republican colleagues and my democratic colleagues should ask for tough questions and listen to her testimony, go through the record, go through all the documents that have been provided and then vote their conscience.
>> [unintelligible] don't -- >> both their conscience. >> i have a question with two parts, if i may. >> but they are related. [laughter] >> the incident showed the importance of the treaty. you have been meeting with the prime minister. on this occasion, would you please talk about your long-term vision on the security treaty? is the current structure sustainable for the current decade, especially with the chinese military expansion?
would there be more responsible to required on the japanese side? the related question is, in your meeting yesterday, you called for the corporation from the chinese side to send a message to north korea as a consequence. how do you see the response so far? is it strong enough to send a clear message to north korea? >> let me answer the second question first. i have the conversation with the president and i was very blunt. this is not an issue where you have two party is of moral equivalence who are having an argument. this is a situation in which to have a belligerent nation that engaged in provocative and deadly acts against the other.
i think it is very important that we are clear about that. i am sympathetic to the fact that north korea is on china's border. the have a security interest in not having complete chaos or a collapse that could have a significant impact on them. i think the united states and the international community should be mindful of this is in china's backyard. when they adopt a policy of restraint, i understand their thinking. i think there is a difference between restrained and willful blindness to consistent problems. my hope is that the president
will recognize that this is an example of going over the line that has to be spoken about seriously. otherwise, we will not be able to have serious negotiations with the north koreans. i think every participant in the talks would love nothing more than to see how these issues resolved diplomatically. in that, china and the united states and japan and south korea and russia all share a common interest. we would like to see a denuclearized a region. it would be good for the people of north korea. but, that is only going to happen if we are honest about what is taking place right now and if we are honest about our
basic expectations of help nations behave in an international order. with respect to the alliance between the united states and japan, we mark 50 years, and i expect that alliance to last another 50 years. i think that the condition of the alliance is very strong. i have already have the opportunity to meet with and discuss issues with the new prime minister. i think he is as committed as i am to making sure that the u.s. /japan alliance remains strong and vibrant. it is good for security. by the way, i think it helps to serve china's interest and south korea's interest. i think that rather than set it up as a rivalry, rather than
view it as a sphere of influence, which is an old way of thinking, what we want to do is say that we are always want to be there for japan and we will always be there for south korea. we are going to be a presence in the south pacific because we are a pacific nation as well as an atlantic mission. -- a nation. we want all countries to create an varmint with an exchange of cultures and ideas that is thriving. asia is obviously on the move. china is on the move. that is a positive thing. that should not be a threat to anybody. we want to make sure that through dialogue and through
forums like the g-20, that all countries are meeting their responsibilities even as their rights are being recognized. i think that if we appear to that basic principle, then a strong alliance is something that can continue to be a cornerstone of a peaceful and prosperous asia that can benefit all people. then, -- dan? >> thank you, mr. president. to follow on jackie's question, you talked about providing assistance in afghanistan for some time to come. given the challenges and the history in afghanistan, what makes you think that after
declaring victory in afghanistan that it will not slide back into becoming a haven for terrorists? >> well, i do not have a crystal ball. i think that -- right now, the debate surrounding afghanistan is presented as either we get up and leave immediately because there is no chance of a positive welcome or we stay indefinitely and do whatever it takes for as long as it takes. what i said last year, i will repeat. we have a vital national interest in making sure that afghanistan is not used as a base to launch terrorist attacks. it is true that al qaeda is in
pakistan. you ask why we are in afghanistan if the terrorists are in pakistan. they have been weakened because they do not have the run of the territory. we would be less secure if you return to a situation that existed prior to 9/11, in which they had a government that was friendly to them and willing to house their operations. i do not think anybody would dispute that. we have a vital interest in the region. we do not expect, because of our involvement in afghanistan, that the country is formed to completely transform itself in a year or two years or five years did president cars i does not expect that. the afghan people to not expect that. afghanistan has its own culture
and it is a proud culture in has a lot of work to do with respect to development and it is for to have to find its own path. -- it is going to have to find its own path. i reject the notion that the afghan people to not want some of the basic things that everybody wants, basic role of law, a voice in governments, economic opportunity, electricity, roads and the ability to get a harvest to market and get a fair price for it. i think that we can make a difference in the coalition can make a difference by meeting those aspirations even as we are meeting our security interest.
those two things are tied together. there has been a lot of obsession or around this whole issue of when we leave. my focus is that we need to make sure that will we do is successful, given the incredible sacrifices that are young men and women are putting in. we are setting up a mechanism where we will do a review and i have signaled very clearly that we are not going to just keep doing things if they are not working. by next year, we will begin a process of transition. that does not mean that we will suddenly turn off the lights and left the door closed behind us. if you look at what is happening in iraq right now, we have met every deadline. by the way, there was a timetable in place and we are --
by the end of august, we will have removed all combat troops from iraq. we will maintain military presence of there. we will maintain military cooperation and we're providing them assistance, but we are meeting this deadline-is worth the extraordinary sacrifices that we are making. when i say we, not just the united states, but all coalition members to try and see a positive outcome in afghanistan as well. last question. scott? >> mr. president, there are steps that the administration can take to meet the deficit reduction targets in the medium and long-term. >> repeat the question?
>> >are there steps that the administration can take to meet the deficit reduction goals in the medium and long term. >> there are several steps we have already begun to take. the budget that we are presenting, three years of discretionary domestic spending freeze. i have spent -- i have sent a clear signal that even if we do not get the entire budget package passed through congress, that top line #needs to stay firm. i am serious about that. we have initiated a host of measures to cut programs that are not working, including the defense area. bob gates has been as successful as any secretary of defense in recent memory in actually killing programs, which anyone
who follows washington knows it is very difficult. we have instituted pay-go, even though there were baseline's built in where some of the stuff was not want to be solved overnight, it is starting to have budget discipline. we have set up in this fiscal commission that will provide reports starting in november. there was resistance on the part of some of the republicans that have been co-sponsors of the legislation that created the fiscal commission. they ended up voting against it. what has been encouraging, based on what i am hearing from democrats and republicans is that there has been a serious conversation. people are looking at a whole
spectrum of issues to get at what is basically a structural deficit that preceded this financial crisis. the financial crisis made it much worse. if we had not gone through the financial crisis, we would still be dealing with these long term deficit problems. they have to do with medicaid, medicare and social security.+ they have to do with a series of structural problems are not unique to america. some of that has to do with an aging population to read -- population. it is unfair and a whole range of ways. they're looking at steps that will be taken. one of the interesting things that has happened over the past 18 months as president is that people keep on being surprised when i do what i said i was going to do.
i say that i am going to reform our health-care system and people that that is not smart politics and that maybe we should hold off. if i say that we are going to move forward on don't ask don't tell, somehow people ask why we are doing that. i am doing it because i said i was going to do it and i think it is the right thing to do. people should learn that lesson about me, because next year, when i start presenting some very difficult choices to the country, i hope some of these folks that are hollering about deficits and debt step up because i am calling their bluff. we will see how much of that political argument they are making right now is real and how much of it was just politics.
thank you very much, everybody. [applause] >> canadian prime minister steven harper announced that the most industrialized nations agreed to cut deficits and half by 2013 in an effort to stabilize the global economy. his remarks are 20 minutes. >> good afternoon, everybody. we came to toronto at a time --
>> concerned with growing debt. this was the challenge we had to face. during the summit we designed a clear goal for the developed economies in terms of reducing debt, stabilizing, and reducing the debt to gdp ratio. they want to cut by 50% by 2013 and for the debt to gdp ratio needing to be reduced or stabilize by 2016. having said that, fiscal consolidation is not an end unto itself. stimulus will have a long-term effect in order to guarantee durable and balanced economic growth. this is part of what we promised in pittsburgh. we congratulate various
countries that have managed to adopt measures in terms of budget and deficit reduction such as what has happened in the u.k., the reduction of unemployment in china, and a new regulation in the u.s. we are also going to work to have a balance and durable economic growth. the g-21 some assessment for each country -- the 20 once an assessment for each country. we have come to an agreement for important reform of the financial sector. improve regulation, capitalization, and a prudent approach. we managed to complete this
important work earlier than forecasted. each country will be able to determine and apply a bank tax if necessary. we have also discussed other measures such as anti- protectionism and the cancellation of the debt of haiti. the g-20 has a lot more to do to ensure good recovery, but we have strived towards goals that canada has worked for. as we strive to build sustainable economies, that is the issue we have to tackle head-on.
we have a firm targets on debt reduction and reducing its debt to gdp ratio is. the targets are a 50% deficit- reduction by 2013 in a debt to gdp ratio that should be stabilized or on a downward trend by 2016. all leaders recognize that fiscal consolidation is not an end in itself. there will be a continued role for ongoing stimulus in the short term as redevelop the frame work for strong sustainable and balanced growth. in terms of the framework, we want to applaud a number of recent actions that are important. down payments, if i can use that term, the budget of the united kingdom which strongly tackled the british deficit, chinese flexibility on exchange rates, and the new u.s. law on financial regulatory reform. the g-20 summit declaration that puts some of the meat on the bones for strong, sustainable, and balanced growth will lead us to assessments as
we approach the next meeting in seoul. it is important to note ongoing and important financial sector reforms to increase the quality and quantity of capital standards, to enhance spurred in regulatory oversight, and a commitment to a accelerate this work and completed by the summit in south korea. i should notice that the issue of bank levees has been left to individual companies -- individual countries. continued progress on anti- protectionism, we have agreed to keep the standstill for another three years. also debt relief for the country of haiti, which as you know, is an important priority for canada.
being completed on reform of international institutions. that work will continue as we move forward. the g-20 still has a lot to do to fully entrenched recovery. the g-20 still has a lot to do to fully entrenched. recovery, but these are importance steps forward -- fully entrenched the global recovery, but these are important steps forward. >> thank you very much. we will now take questions. when i call your name, please stand up and we will bring you the microphone. limit to one question and no follow-ups. a mandolin. -- amanda ling. >> there is an indication from president sarkozy that these targets may be a goal but not a firm commitment. we wonder about the ability to meet debt reduction targets.
can you comment on how confident you are? >> in terms of european countries, they have agreed to similar agreements within the european union. i am confident that all countries that make these commitments will fill them. there will the pressure from the markets. there will the market pressure to fill this. in the case of japan, the declaration gives greater latitude to the japanese case. eight japanese debt levels are much, much higher than the rest of us and are entirely financed domestically. there's been some recognition that japan's targets may be different. i am firmly convinced that as we move forward these will be targets that are pursued and in most cases pursued s minimal
objectives. in the case of canada, we will most likely meet these targets by next year and in both cases, the deficit and the debt target. others will take a closer to the deadline. >> good afternoon, mr. harper. everyone has their own story to tell. there's probably not enough margin, flexibility, and in the end everyone may do what they wish and this would damage this agreement. president sarkozy has said the targets are involuntary commitment. everything is voluntary that we do here -- >> everything we do here is voluntary. we have taken such commitments. the world is looking at us and waits for our performance. in terms of the fiscal target,
this is more than just an agreement between heads of state. it is an agreement for the markets. when we have seen what has happened to the markets over the last few months, i think it is clear that the markets will wait for our deeds and therefore it is essential. i have a lot of trust and i have already said earlier that european countries have adopted similar measures within the european union. we have offered greater flexibility to japan because they have a slightly different situation. but for the others is a central -- is essential to respect the commitment in order to ensure a recovery. >> if i could add a further comment. some of the countries here have different positions. all of the heads understand that each country has differences that are recognized by different measures. however, it is clear that the cohesion that we'd see during the meeting of the g-20 is
-- it we have seen that many of the important decisions are made within the g-20. do we still need the g-eight? >> it is qualitatively different than the g-20. and is a smaller crop of countries, that we all recognize, less able to take decisive action on the global economy than it once was. obviously, not economic growth and development is so much more broadly spread around the world. that is why the g-20 has displaced the g-8 for economic cooperation. the g-8 does certain positives. these countries are quite similar in their economic structure.
they tend to be like-minded across a broader range of issues. that allows us to have important consultations on economic matters but also allows the g-8 to make decisions on peace and security that are still well inside the ambit of the discussions of the g-20. >> prime minister, as you and the other leaders have been meeting in side, the world has been watching the violence in the streets of toronto. i would like to comment on a couple of things, one from the violence, and two, most with the canadians have heard have been very international. they might be wondering that other than a big bill for the cleanup and the police, what do they get out of this? how is this talk of fiscal consolidation and financial regulatory reform really affect their lives? >> first of all, in terms of the violence, we ought -- we obviously deplore the actions of a few thugs, but the reality is nfortunately that the summits a track this element. that has been a problem around
the world. with that being said, that goes along to explain why we have the security costs that we do. the most important issue we have today in canada that we have had for the last few years without a shadow of a doubt is the economy. as a constantly remind canadians, there is not really a canadian economy any more. it is a global economy. the canadian economy, so to speak, is doing better than many other countries. the general trajectory of the canadian economy whether we are on the downhill or the rebound as we are this year, it is fundamentally determined by the state of the global economy. that is what these meetings are
about and why they are so critical. it is critically participate and play a major role because canadian jobs and the future of canada are intimately linked to what goes on here. quite frankly, everything we do in our country to improve our position is ultimately to improve the position within the context of a global economy. we cannot be of effective in major economic matters unless we work with our other economic partners closely and intimately. that is essential. i know some people do not like it. it is the law of national sovereignty, but it is the simple reality. we are in a global economy. the global economy is determining where we are headed and will determine our future. we have to play our part in these forums to make sure our interests are protected and advanced. >> radio canada. good afternoon, mr. harper. there are clear commitments by industrialized countries.
what are your expectations for the emerging countries? >> personally, i think emerging countries understand the reality of the situation. we have, in most industrialized countries, and canada is an exception, but in the majority there will be very slow recoveries and slow growth in the years to come. this is due to the fiscal situation and the banking situation. in canada, we have a different situation in terms of our situation. the fact of the matter is, this will damage growth in a number of countries. therefore we need to stimulate economic demand in the emerging
countries because this will contribute to the world recovery. some emerging countries are ready to face this despite their situation. these countries -- in the case of china, countries that have committed themselves to give more flexibility to their foreign exchange rate. we want to develop the framework for a strong and balanced economic growth. the emerging countries have certain limitations but they are absolutely ready to play their parts. everyone here understands that this is a global economy and therefore we need to have global policies can be applied by everyone. >> afternoon, prime minister.
on china, notwithstanding your words of introduction, we know the g-21 to formally recognize the currency move. -- the 20 wants to formally recognize the currency move. there seems to be a contradiction. the g-20 is supposed to be the premier forum for global economic governments. >> and is quite frequent in declarations that countries do
not one to be singled out. the declaration has an important commitment to have a greater flexibility in exchange rates going forward. they have made that commitment to the world coming into and at the summit. i am confident that the chinese will fulfil that commitment. when you make commitments like this on the world stage, you will be held accountable for them. >> thank you very much, everyone. >> senate majority leader harry reid was in nevada on saturday. he is running against sharon angle. his remarks at the democratic party cannot -- convention are 25 minutes.
>> nv, for more than two decades was a place to come. you wanted a good job and a good salary and you wanted to invest in real estate and start a businees, it was the place to come. we were the mecca of economic opportunity. and the greed of wall street took that away from us. [applause] came to the realization that the insurance industry was involved in the monopoly was hard to comprehend. [applause]
what about the responsibility of oil companies? -- the irresponsibility of oil companies. they resist new economies. we cannot talk about the whole we are in animals with talk about what george bush did in addition to what i have already talked about. [applause] some of the policies tax -- tax cuts are great. we have believed that tax cuts should be paid for. but not george bush. all of the tax cuts were not paid for. the wars were not paid for.
iraq cost more than one trillion dollars will we have done together, and that is what we need to keep doing. i have never forgotten that my number one responsibility are the people of the state of nevada. that is why, with your help, we are creating thousands of jobs with an economic recovery plan that puts jobs back on main street that were wrecked by wall street. what -- but we have so far to go that is why we fought wall
that is why we are making bp paid for every cent of this disaster. because why should we bail out the richest company in the world? i will tell you one thing. i am not want to apologize for anything that i do or say about bp. [applause] we must meet our self -- wean ourselves off of fossil fuel. [applause] let me talk about the so-called stimulus. it has a lot of names. let's talk about that a little bit. we saw that this country's
economy was on the brink of collapse. i saw it very closely. december 2008, i met with five economists, two from prior republican administrations and two from prior democratic demonstrations. they all told us that the only money left in the world in washington better be spent. we had to do that. that is little solace to people who have lost their jobs, are afraid they're going to lose their jobs, their house is upside down and they have lost their home. we did it and we stopped the worldwide depression. [applause] the problem was not created in a
day and it will not be solved overnight, but let's talk about some of the good that the stimulus has done in a short period of time in nevada, we have saved tens of thousands of jobs. 4000 jobs in the last month alone. is this enough? of course it is not enough. we are creating jobs in solar, geothermal and win over the state. -- and wind all over the state. we have this be a hospital that is out here. when you drive by it, it may not seem like much, but mccann field is a billion dollar project that we have going. we have new air-traffic control towers.
we have problems with education. it is really too bad that we have not been able to do more, but we have done $300 million that directly into education. that bill also reduced taxes for 95% of the people in america. [applause] small businesses were helped. we have done some things for home buyers. i heard our attorney-general talking about mortgage fraud. the reason that the u.s. attorney indicted almost 200
people was because they were cheating people here in nevada regarding their homes and that is because of a federal law that we passed. when i was called about the problems at city center, i thought that i should do something i called the emir of kuwait when i was contacted by owners of nevada properties, they told me of an issue that was unfair in the tax code that would prevent them from recharging their businesses. it stopped many of those companies from filing for bankruptcy.
for those of you who are in rural nevada, taxes are a big deal, but from the time that passed, the state of nevada is 86% owned by the federal government. and we are fully funded for five years. it is a big shot in the arm for rural nevada. i have pushed for a law that is the law of the country wishes for travel promotion. we will have people coming to america.
asked one of our auto dealers if "cash for clunkers" helped. you bet it did. all of these people who bought a home and got a tax credit for it, we were able to sell millions of homes in america, thousands of homes in nevada because of that tax credit. it will expire at the end of this month because the republicans turned down an extension. anyone that talks about the stimulus not working, remind them that it was extremely helpful. when my republican friends criticize me for doing programs like the stimulus bill and then
after it passes, criticizes me for not getting more, that as a little strange. i have learned the weather is in athletics or in government, no one routes for someone who wants failure, and that is what they want. they won barack obama and us to fail. we are not going to fail. -- a they want barack obama and us to fail. we are not going to fail. [applause] why did we have to do something about wall street? we have to do something about wall street because if you draw a straight line from the unchecked greed on wall street to the layoffs and foreclosures on main street, it is a pretty easy line to see. i remember i had to go to mr.
calenture who taught geometry and beg for a passing grade. i did not learn much about geometry. i learned that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line and it is a straight line between wall street and main street. . i spend four years of my life in the nevada gaming commission. it was an interesting time of my life. the one thing that we worked hard to do was to make sure that games of chance in nevada were fair. if someone lost their money, the lost it fair and square. if they want, they won by playing in a fair game. wall street had a fair deal.
they used our money. ii they were one of the captive of the lost the came to us for help. at that game is over, everybody. we are cracking down on those who gamble with our money. we are making sure that the promises that we have made will be reformed on wall street. we will approve the reform of castoff from a very early we are bringing accountability to wall street because we are all accountable to the people of this country. we need to see what these people on wall street are doing. we will be able to see from now on. just a brief word on health care. anyone that says -- of that
asks how you could afford help curb -- health care, we could not afford to walk away from it. we did not change this quickly. for people who complain about not being able to afford this, remember that during the first 20 years of our health care reform bill, we will reduce the debt by 1.5 trillion dollars. -- by $1.50 trillion. well as programs and preventive care, it is wonderful. we extend -- we are going to insure 600,000 new batons --
nevadans. if i have a kid that is sick, the cannot deny mind child because of a pre-existing condition. health reform is important because it saves lives and it saves money and it saved medicare. there is one of the frame. it is for me to create lots of jobs. ask any economist. as i said, we have a lot more to do, and i do not mean this to boast, even though i pat myself on the back just a little bit. a number of pundits have said
that the most productive congress in the history of the country is the one that we have now. [applause] but we have a lot more to do. one of the things that we have to do is energy. today, in america, we will use 21 million barrels of oil. we import 70% of that. we cannot continue doing that. we have to wean ourselves off of fossil fuels. in the next few weeks, i intend to come forward with an energy bill. [applause] we will have a clean energy pevolution, and much of that has
already started here. trthis will allow our stay to te energy independent within three years. transmission is the name of the game. we are going to make easier. right now, the average time to build a power line is 19 years. we will shorten not by analysts. the large reserves of energy that we have, we can sell it to hungry california. that is what is all about. our energy policy is broken and
we need to fix it. we're going to do it in a way that respects our mission andd values. one thing that troubles me is the people like the two senators from arizona. they complain the most, but when we try to do something on the senate floor, they say no. that is illogical and unfair, but in spite of all that, we will move forward because we need to. finally, let me say this. i have already said how much i appreciate your help, and i really do. the election is an issue. we know who my opponent is. this is known to be a campaign that focuses on issues.
if we cannot focus on issues in this campaign, we are all in trouble. i want to remind everyone as i remind myself, america is a great country. i want to do everything i can to make sure that it continues to be a great country. where i came from i know where i came from. i know that in america, anything is possible if i can make it, anybody can. my parents were uneducated.
we had no inside torula and no hot water. trone teacher taught all eight grades. we had no religion. in america, you can make it on your arm. we are a land of opportunity. remember my obligation to each of you. the state of nevada is a wonderful place. i will not give up and you will not give up and we are not going to stop until the economy turns around and until every man and woman fell wants to go to work and have a job. [applause] -- man and woman that wants to work can have a job. we want to work together. we will work together to make nevada whole again. thank you very much.