tv Washington Journal CSPAN July 14, 2010 7:00am-10:00am EDT
"the washington times" leads with the headline both parties are talking about raising this bill -- retirement age of social security. let us take a look at "the financial times. house leaders get frank about social security costs. it takes a look at comments that were made recently by majority leader steady hoyer and minority leader john boehner, both in separate formats made comments about raising the age of social security. john boehner made those comments to the pittsburgh tribune review. if you want to see the whole interview, they take it, and you can go to their website. in that interview that he gave to them, he said, we need to look at the american people and explain to them that we are broke. the story goes on inside "the
washington times close " to say that besides raising the retirement age for full senate -- social security benefits to 74 people now 50 or younger, representative boehner suggested curbing benefit growth by tying cost of living increases to the consumer price index rather than growth in wages and providing benefits only to those who need them. he went on to say -- steny hoyer made similar comments in a speech he made last month. we covered the speech and we will show you a little bit about what he had to say in a bid. atlanta, georgia, and they come on the democratic line. caller: thank you so much for taking my phone call. but i think it is ridiculous -- hello?
i think it is ridiculous for them to -- talking about raising phone call, retirement age. a good example. i am a retired firefighter and i retired at 50 years old. at the time i retired, i went on, when i was much younger -- if you go and talk to people, they will tell you once you reach a certain age -- it is an age thing, so when you reach a certain age you cannot perform the job. whether it is a democrat or republican, those guys can work and stay there until very are 70 years old because they sit and talk. if you are a firefighter, policemen -- once you make 30 years on the job, -- i was a professional firefighter and i took pride in what i did.
have the energy. i am asking you, would you ask those people, what is a 55-year- old firefighter going to do? host: pennsylvania, stephanie, independent line. caller: i am against it because, first of all, any of the words of age limit i would say the people ought to demand social security off budgets and put in the locks balk -- lockbox, but really and a box where it collects interest. i think congress -- i heard shows on c-span, a lady from harvard, i forget her name, she says if you had taken all of that social security money and put it off budget and collect interest on it we would never have a problem with social security.
also, what is it decides older people that collected from this fund? i think it is given to people with disabilities. what else besides plain old giving it to people that are older that comes out of the fund? i would like to know all of that stuff. host: that is a good question. i am not sure of the answer but maybe the producer can try to find it for you. lawrence, south carolina, democratic line. robert, good morning. caller: i am not a mathematician but the problem of social security can be explained. if an employer is paying $1 into a man's social security, suppose to be matched dollar for dollar by worker and employer, that is $40 a week. if the has 10 employees, $400 a
week. you can calculated from there. the more employees he has the more he has to pay in. and that is the problem with it. social security, that age should not be raised, but lowered, because when you lower, people take advantage of that and retire early and make room for somebody else to go to work. host: let us look at what majority leader steady hoyer had to say recently. here are a bit of his comments also secured a. >> on the spending side we could and should consider a higher retirement age, more progress of social security and medicare benefits, and a stronger safety net for americans who need it most. host: we are talking about whether or not you would support raising the retirement age. pennsylvania, republican line. bill, you are next.
caller: raised the mud -- retirement age. i am happy to hear these guys finally say we are broke. they have to look at different places to try to even this thing out. we are not collecting enough revenue. we are paying too much money. i think the woman's comments about all of the other uses for social security, which would include people who have a parent who dies, social security pays the money, also you have all of these people who have social security disability. maybe they say they have a screw loose and they get social security disability for their whole life. i know a lot of people in the cities and i know people in the suburbs, they go for that option. they are on social security disability and it has nothing to do with retiring. but i always say this -- you pay into your 401k, get a big, fat,
retirement egg, and you know what will happen? you will not get your souls of security. we will be looking for all kinds of different places, raising the age and also putting a financial test on whether or not you get financial security. is it right? probably not. but is it going to happen? probably yes. host: a little bit more from "the washington times" article -- the democrat and republican leader in the house saying maybe we need to raise the retirement age. that is "the washington times" this morning. we will continue with your phone calls but first, andrew taylor from the associated press will join us to talk about jobless benefits, legislation that had been ongoing in the senate as senate democratic leaders try to find enough votes to pass unemployment benefits. andrew taylor, where do things
stand? caller: right now the majority leader harry reid is waiting on the 60th vote, which should be who was appointed from west virginia to replace robert byrd. once that happens, this month- long ordeal should finally wrapped up. host: what are they looking at as far as who would receive unemployment benefits and for how long? caller: what is at issue is not the first six months of benefits, financed by the state, but since the recession began, congress, both under president bush and under president obama, provided for extended benefits, more generous extended benefits. and those are the benefits that have been starting to be eliminated. host: past 26 weeks -- is that correct? most states provide up to 26
weeks? guest: every state provides up to 26 weeks. what is at issue is your eligibility for these additional tiers of benefits. there are several. the people who are losing their benefits are basically people who have exhausted one set of benefits, either the first 26 weeks, were there is a 20-week period that a lot of people get. people are losing them kind of gradually. one thing to note, however, is once the bill passes there will be a lump sum payment. it may take a while. but people who have been denied benefits since the beginning of june will get all of the money in one lump payment. host: for all of those who are currently unemployed, if this bill passes, will they be getting unemployment benefits? guest: oh, sure. and this bill will extend the
program through the end of november. that is after the election, and we will reassess from there. host: one thing people get confused about is not every state gets the same amount of unemployment benefits, or the formula is different for every state. can you explain a little bit? guest: basically if the state has a high jobless rate, like nevada and michigan, you could get up to 99 weeks of benefits. so many states have high unemployment rates, more than half of the states. however, a state like nebraska where unemployment is around 5%, if you lose your job, you would be eligible for some smaller portion of benefits. i don't know exactly. host: you wrote a piece yesterday that. in several papers, about how to
million people lost their jobs as benefits. looking at the politics of this issue. could you try to explain it? it is a lengthy strike. but can you explain about the back and forth? guest: it started back in february when democrats were trying to advance a jobs bill. this was wrapped together in a bipartisan bill by senator baucus and grassley in the finance committee and that bill had a bunch of tax breaks for businesses and it turned out it did not look very much like a jobs bill, but more like an inside washington deal. democratic leadership kind of blew that up, and the unemployment benefits still had to wait for later. and there were various fits and starts. you may recall, senator bunning held up a temporary extension and got a lot of bad press and republicans were sort of aghast at that.
then over the coming weeks and months, the terrain sort of shifted on the deficit. the republicans in the senate felt more and more comfortable making the argument that, sure, extend unemployment benefits, but they should be paid for by cuts to other programs. the federal government is very large, they made the argument that you should cut benefits. democrats argue, well, this money kind of goes directly into the economy, using deficit spending to juice the economy a bit, and they say extending unemployment has never been paid for before. in any event, we finally got to the point where the unrelated provisions that kind of fallen off, either passed separately or
abandoned, and down to the unemployment benefits bill, and that has been sufficient to attract two republicans -- the women from maine, olympia snowe and susan collins, and when senator byrd's replacement is named that will be the 60th vote. host: we are talking about whether or not the americans out there would support raising retirement age to help tackle the deficit. republicans are looking at and one event that's saying we can't keep doing this because it is adding to our deficit. they are talking about, let's make spending cuts and other areas so we can pay for this. is social security part of that discussion? what are some of the programs republicans are saying you could cut? guest: they kind of are taking the easy way out in some respects saying cut money out of the stimulus bill, which is not very popular with their people.
one of the things the democrats actually proposed was to cut food stamp benefits -- they were raised by the stimulus bill and they did not want to have them cut off abruptly at the end of the stimulus bill. so the kind of would continue on and on, the increases. what senate majority leader ried proposed is to actually bring them back to where they were -- senator reid proposal was to add to bring them back to where they were before the stimulus. what people will soon discover, when congress gets serious about the deficit, every program has an advocate and advocates for programs that are being cut tend to be a lot louder, and it gets very difficult. host: andrew taylor with the associated press. thanks for your time this morning. we are talking about whether or not you would support raising
the retirement age. a proposal by majority leader steady power -- steny hoyer in the house and republican minority leader john boehner. caller: good morning. i don't think we should raise the social security because we don't have any money because of all of the stimulus spending. it is ridiculous. a turtle crossing in the virgin islands? $2 billion in brazil drilling in petrov ross? they are going through the stimulus. and we can't even afford to pay the interest. host: north carolina, independent line. george, your thoughts. caller: i think we are a country of fools if we allow congress to do this. before they touch my social security, they need to start doing something about their pensions, how much that giving themselves. put them on social security, then they will fix the problem.
remove the cap so that you pay your full salary on social security. after $97,000 you do not pay anything more than that. if you are retired and you make more than 70,000 or $80,000, you don't get social security. host: i think that is at least what john boehner and steny hoyer are talking about, it would be means tested. if you do not need it, you don't get it. caller: you must live in this country 10 months out of the year. the social security money should circulate throughout this country. it should not go to other countries. look at the president and congress. george bush, he gets $440,000 a year in pension, plus his arkansas pension. a millionaire. same thing with clinton. the richest people in this country take the most for themselves and there is no money for you to get anything. but they keep giving and getting to themselves.
100 hours a year. they came back from a week's vacation. we get one day. it may need to start cutting what they give themselves. host: is members of congress, when they go back to their districts -- these members of congress, when they go back to the district they are not necessarily on vacation. they spend time meeting with their districts and town hall meetings. caller: they go -- they say that. there is no proof of it. host: have you gone to a town hall meeting? caller: i know one, but that is it. host: oklahoma city, charles, republican line. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. you want to raise the age on social security. how about raising the age on the politicians? they can serve one or two terms and house and senate and they can retire full pay.
why don't they wait until they are 70 until they take their retirement. it seems like that is where it is going. retired military did not -- they will not get one in 2010. yet, members of the house and senate that almost $1,000 a month, a cost of living increase. host: from "the washington times" this morning, it says --
oregon, andy, democratic line. caller: i am definitely a no on this. the reason why is what i see congress doing right now is in essentially scaring the american people. they are talking about the deficit -- deficit and leslie like it is the biggest problem. if you talk to business people the biggest problem is they don't have customers. they don't have customers because people are afraid to spend. when you talk about reducing social security benefits and support infrastructure and things like unemployment checks what essentially are saying to the american people, don't go shopping, don't support businesses, save your money, save it, save it, save it, and that is exactly the wrong in the country needs and i am extremely disturbed that our senators and representatives are talking incessantly about this problem when the real problem is the people who are out there running businesses need customers. host: all right. a previous caller asked about
how social security is used. the producer found on social security.gov -- it pays benefits for people who are already retired, disabled, survivors of workers who have died, and dependents of beneficiaries. the next call comes from -- on the republican line in michigan. caller: i just want to point out that common-sense wise, people are healthier these days. even if you are a healthy 70 year old, it cannot work for the 50 hours a week. you don't get paid for that. your company may pay you a bonus. but it is probably depended on what they think your work. you are really being paid for what you work. host: it helps that european countries from france, to britain, and greece are moving to raise their retirement age to address this series overspending problems.
orlando, florida. independent line. dave, good morning. caller: good morning. host: we are listening. caller: i just want to point out that those of us who started working at age 13 back before they had child labor laws -- i have been a union ironworker out of local 808 in orlando, florida, for almost 30 years and i am 50 years old now. there is no way in the world -- they did not call it hired work for nothing. there is no way in the world that a 70 or even a 60-year-old man can get out there in the blazing hot sun and do ironwork
at 70 years old. it is physically impossible. for someone who has paid in all of these years, to now congress, the greedy as ob's that are in there, to turn around and tell people my age that they will have to wait until 70 years old to collect my unemployment makes me want to puke. that is all lie -- go ahead. host: what about people who say, could you find another job? caller: you could find another job, then what happens? it pays half as much money? ironwork is all i have ever done. host: do you mind telling us how much you made? yama call well, right now i am making hardly nothing -- caller: right now, i am making hardly nothing because there is hardly any were going on in the country anywhere. when they start building nuclear power plants or build in something, then half the ironworkers -- half of
mineworkers are out of work because there is no big construction jobs going on. the kennedy space center is where i worked most of my life and there is no way in the world a 6470-year-old man can walk up 100 flights of stairs 15 or 20 times a day out in the hot sun. it is physically impossible. and congress can cut their own pay. host: are a lot of your colleagues out of work right now? caller: yes, they are. almost half of my own union hall. that is not just here, it is everywhere in the country. host: arctic collecting unemployment? yes -- caller: yes, some of them. some of them, the unemployment has run out. for some of them it is fixing to run out. there is no work. they stopped most of the work at kennedy space center. they stopped most of the building at disney and universal. there is no big construction
going on hartley anywhere in the whole country. believe me, i have been -- i would go anywhere in the country to go to work. host: what is the hot line? caller: is where you call where they need ironworkers, where they are hiring from other states. but right now if duty since almost every local in the country have workers that are not working out of their own halt, they are not calling to hire boomers from other states. host: we will leave it there. if you minutes ago we talked to andrew taylor from the associated press about an unemployment. he said it looks like senate majority leader harry reid is waiting to bring the bill on the floor until the as the 60th vote from west virginia. democratic gov. manchin said he would make a decision by 5:00 p.m. on friday, who would replace the late senator robert byrd. maine, republican line, edward,
good morning. caller: i am an 80-year-old retired person. i am on social security but it seems like every year our president keeps cutting our dam amount of money we are supposed to get. if he did promise us -- i am trying to make all seniors aware -- he promised us $250 the first of the year and we still have not gotten it. it is not even before congress. but yet we donate to haiti and everybody else. we don't have the money. i would just like to know what we can do. host: we are talking about whether or not you would support raising the retirement age, an idea floated recently by house majority leader steady hoyer and minority leader john boehner. in other news this morning, the front page "the washington post" as this headline, the fcc
decency policy tossed out of court. that is the front page of "the washington post" this morning. the front page of "the financial times," at the top, widening of u.s. trade gap. below that is a headline that struggling illinois will test investor appetite for 900 million bond sale. the illinois has nearly $5 billion in unpaid bills and the pension system is funded at about 50%, the worst ratio --
"the wall street journal" says the fed sees slower growth, there had line above the fold. alabama, democratic line. betty, good morning. what do you think? caller: people ought to read social security law, that most people already born after 1960, retirement age for so security is 70 years old now, anybody born before 1940, they can retire at full retirement at 55 -- all you have to do is ask for
a statement that social security and in that statement it will show you a chart that tells you the year you were born and what age it would be to be able to get full social security. i just think this is just a snow job, increasing the age to 70 when it is already 7490% of the people of the united states. host: winston-salem, north carolina, made on the republican line. caller: i think that they should not bother social security anywhere at all. if anything, it should be increased. all of the people on social security are poor people. no rich people are on social security. if they are, they don't need it. what bank president making $400 million a year need social security? if they want to reduce the deficit, how many troops do we have in germany and france? they don't give a heck about us. bring those troops and their
families home. let germany and france to defend themselves. i was there in 1951 and in 1952, and france still has signed up, americans, go home, g. i's, go home. they don't care anything about america. why are we spending money to put troops on their soil? host: if all those troops came home right now during the economic situation, trying to get jobs, where for every one job there are five people unemployed, what would happen? caller: what is happening to the european economy? they are supporting germany and france, and they don't give a hoot about us. bring those people home. host: moving on to columbia -- columbus, ohio. independent line. caller: i think one way to raise revenue is to tax the religious organizations and the turks --
churches. as far as i know, they are not taxed at all. thank you. host: washington, barbara, democratic line. caller: thank you for c-span. i say, no way on raising the social security 70. it does not work out for most people. for example, my husband is a carpenter and he has been one for 30 years. he is 52 years old now. he is falling apart now. he cannot work until he is 70. physically he would be not able to. my mother, on the other hand, is a university professor. she did retire at 70. she was using her brain. that makes a big difference, too. at 70, especially for ironworkers and construction workers and people who use their bodies and where their bodies out, cannot keep working until 70. host: ok. a little bit about energy
legislation. here is the headline on "usa today. come -- on "usa today." it is a shadow of itself. looking to bring a bill on to the floor as early as next week, or at least unveiled a bill and go from there. what will be included, according to "usa today," likely renewable energy standards and tax credits, tougher fuel efficiency requirements, incentives for industry vehicles -- it also notes president obama would like to see some sort of way to charge utilities only for emissions, but a quote from the chairman of the energy and natural resources committee says that he is not sure the votes
aren't there for utility-only type of legislation. philadelphia, republican line. john, good morning. caller: yes. more and more, it is harder and harder to get a job because of age. i know it is against the law, but it is being done. if you raise the retirement age and you run it out of unemployment, what do you do? you have no recourse but to go broke. host: president obama yesterday nominated jack lew to take over at all and the. he had been at the state department that it previously held the title of omb director during the clinton administration -- administration. you can see the picture of him with president obama. missouri, independent line, bob, good morning.
good morning, bob. caller: i think -- i agree with the gentleman who was talking about bringing the troops home from germany and france. we have troops all over the world. some 133 countries. we don't need to be there. we need to be home saving the money that could be spent in this country. as far as raising the age of social security, it was pointed out earlier that most of the people, then retire younger than i am -- and i am 64, i am not retired yet -- are going to be forced to retire at 70 anyway. i think another thing we need to do is get rid of this -- these treaties, as far as trade is concerned -- we are just giving
it away at this country. host: financial regulation legislation, a vote is expected thursday. here is the business day section of "the new york times." one time, out of business. it would close down the office of thrift supervision. it has been open since 1989. that is the business section of "the new york times" this morning. and had lined the low that that says the financial reform bill lens toward a vote. it says the republicans agreed to support the bill. that includes senator scott brown of massachusetts, olympia snowe of maine, as well as susan collins of maine. and inside the story this morning they had the headline showing -- excuse me, pictures of the three lawmakers, republican lawmakers that are expected to vote for this bill.
kentucky, dean of the democratic line. good morning. caller: ok, back in 1950, 1960, congress put in a little part, if you were born between 1917 and 1926, you got less money on your social security because that is when their baby boomers went into effect, and they knew that there would be a large drain on social security. they are doing the same thing now because this is one world war ii and the korean war baby boomers are starting to become eligible for social security. anybody between probably 1947 to 1955 is going to be hit with it because they don't want that much money going out of social security. host: before we go to leesburg,
florida, where dole is joining us of the republican line, one quick addition to the finance reform debate. the three republicans -- but their editorial called "the uncertainty principle." that is the lead editorial for "the wall street journal" this morning. leesburg, florida. joel, republican line. caller: three things right quick. americans have always worked hard and we carried the other countries. i agree with the caller who said bring the military people home. we don't need them in korea, we don't need them in japan, in europe. i was over in the 1960's. they don't want us anymore. i helped move us out of france when they told us to get out and when our trucks went over there
we picked out every piece of paper and everything and brought it back to germany. number two, obama administration has cost me $565 this year on my retirement from social security. we did not get a cost-of-living allowance, and since i am also retired military, he held that up and that cost me about $600. for the next two years, he will cost me about $2,000 in retirement benefits. also, raising the mill rate on us all local people here on property-tax is going to cost me $95 more. yet, he can find money for the unions, he can find money for the car companies, and find money for people who support sen. and the illegal bill, he once the 12 million-plus people to vote democrat. we need to book them all out of the white house. thank you for taking my call. host: we will talk about immigration reform coming up next with rep luis gutierrez in
about 10 minutes. fred is joining us on the independent line. caller: good morning. i am totally opposed to any raising of the retirement age. i think they already raised a few years back when time anyway. it is absolute insanity. it seems to me it is just kicking the can down the road. it is impractical because a lot of people of that age are not going to be able to find work. actually, i think they should reduce the retirement age. and the reason for that is, it would open up the job market for younger workers, and i do believe that the most practical solution would be to raise the social security withholding tax. host: all right. we will move on to britain 10, florida. republican line. joan, you are on the air -- bradenton. we are listening, joan. caller: the reason why i am
opposed to raising it to 70. my suggestion, instead of having a cut off period, after you earn so much money working, like, for your souls of security, fdr and so much, they don't deduct it, just keep deducting it while you work, the rest of the time you work that year, instead of having a cut off. you could earn money that way. host: a couple of more phone calls. i did we have one phone call this morning in support of raising the retirement. lansing, michigan. the democratic line. leon. caller: i have heard this, like other speakers who said over and over to raise the age. i think back to the 1960's, the early 1960's, the minimum vesting time in how much money you got was set at 10 years. and it would seem to me that people are living longer and longer and longer, that we should investigate raising the minimum amount of work that you
do it in a lifetime to invest in social security and medicare. host: some news out of iraq this morning. here is "the washington post." and similar headline in "the wall street journal," where general petraeus is also asking for the taliban to be on the tariff list -- terror list. and here it is -- afghan recruit kills three british troops. front-page of "usa today" says coalition eases up on afghan air strikes, despite widespread combat -- that is the from page of "usa today" this morning. one last phone call, orlando, florida, republican line. jim, go ahead.
caller: i would like to say this is a classic example of the government breaking a promise. the social security administration is set up to collect mandatory retirement. you don't have a choice. and you are supposed to receive benefits when you retire. for decades, fsa had more funds than they were setting out. instead of leaving the funds in the trust fund, the government raided all the money and spend it on their programs and now and they don't have it. the idea of also telling people, just because you are well off when you retired, you are not retired to your social security funds, is turning social security into a welfare program and a redistribution of wealth and i am shocked that john boehner, who claims to be a conservative republican, would be in favor of such an idea. my solution has been -- and i have been saying it for decades -- you can't trust the
government with that kind of money and we need to phase out social security. thank you. host: we will turn our attention to immigration reform coming up next, with representatives of luis gutierrez, a democrat from illinois representing the fourth district. we will be right back. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the >> with congress back to work, we added a new feature to the seas and video library. you can search for any congressional bill, learn its status and was video of debate from the house and senate floors. just click the congress have and you will see it right on the page.
make your search as general or specific as you like. it is online and free. the c-span video library, it is washington your way. >> learn more about the nation's highest court from those who have served on the bench. reid c-span's latest book -- "the supreme court." candid conversations with all justices, active and retired, providing unique insight. now available in hardcover and also as an e-book. >> c-span is now available and over 100 million homes, bringing you a direct link to public affairs, politics, history, and nonfiction books as a public service, created by america's cable companies. "washington journal" continues. host: rep luis gutierrez, democrat from eleanor, chairman of the immigration tax -- task -- democrat from illinois,
chairman of the immigration task force. what will you be talking about today? guest: what we will be talking about is the role of the faith based community and that role in developing a consensus around comprehensive immigration reform. we want to hear from them, hear their testimony and asking questions about how it is we collaborate. host: what are we hoping to get from these groups? guest: right after the swearing in of barack obama as president of the united states, we began a campaign across the country about families united. and pivotal to the success of the campaign was the faith based community. they afforded us venues in their churches and places of worship, and they brought their congregations. and they have a wide network of communications through radio,
tv, and obviously the pulpit each and every day they worship. so, we want to hear from them because they hear from our constituents in a different venue but in a very important one about day-to-day sacrifices and trials and tribulations. so we want to hear from them. host: we will be covering the hearing, it is alive today, -- it is alive today on c-span 3. let us get back to a bill, immigration reform bill. what have you heard from the president, what are you hearing about democratic leadership in the house about when a bill would come to the floor? guest: there are 102 democratic members who have sponsored the bill. i would like to say that kids spend a lot of time on border enforcement and new technology -- i would like to say that it spends a lot of time of war enforcement and technology, but i would like to say if you shut
down the border tomorrow, the people on tourist visas are not going back. there are students who are about to graduate who are not going back. people on temporary worker bees is. 40% of undocumented workers never crossed the border, they came here legally. so how do we track people who come here and make sure they leave. secondly, very strong employer sanctions. you hire someone, you go to jail. third, we have biometric -- not something you have to be afraid of in terms of government id. when my grandfather, who was the first one in our household to get a social security card back in the 1930's, that technology is the same technology that my grandson's -- grandson used, that the seven
years old. you think we should update the technology, the little piece of paper pulling out of the card? while we are saying is it is as simple as that, those who travel overseas a lot and have passports, we know it's simply swipes' when you leave and swipe when you come back in. very easy. it says you are off the wisest to return
then we get everybody into one system and find they have flaws. so it may take a few years to get it done. but i mean, what is the cost to america? and having 12 million people who we don't know who they are? >> all right. we're talking with congressman gutierrez. there's an immigration hearing today. live coverage. bridge port connecticut. democratic line, tom. good morning. >> thank you. i'm a little nervous. i'm a first-time caller. thank you for everything you do. i'm just a little bit surprised by representatives such as yourself that i don't see a genuine interest in border security. you're separating all this
money that goes to smuggle for people but much of it is going to people. i mean, ethese girls don't even know their parents. were they separated from them at a young snage and i hear about it. illegal young girls smugals. host: well, tom, let's talk about your initial point here about talking about border security. guest: yes. well, we care about that. the fact is there are 5 million people who entered this country since i came to congress that didn't cross that border. what do we do about them? i know we have a fix sation about the border. but even if we seal that border, millions of people would enter this country is illegally.
they could enter legally and then overstay their visa. so we would still have a problem unless you deal wit. we're for more high-tech technology and making sure. but if you want fewer people crossing that border, you have to allow them a way to legally come into the united states to provide our labor force with what it needs, and secondly, you're going to want to say to them, even if you successfully cross that border, there won't be any work here america, because we have a system of checks and balances that don't allow people to get hired unless they go through these checks and let me just say the caller brings up an important point. smuggling humans.
it's having a devastating, human right tragedy on that border. and the way they deal with it is by being able to attack them. bypassing laws that are stiffer like 1070 in arizona, what we've done is take the eyes and ears away from the public. now they are in to human smuggling. host: john, republican line, good morning. caller: i'd like to ask your guest a question then have a follow-up. >> host: ok. caller: you took a trip down memory lane in 1993. i recall you specifically talking about when you were a congressman on the democratic side you mentioned that if you don't play along, they won't go along with you, meaning you were going there.
you were going to be a little bit of a renegade. you specifically said that the leadership had said, listen, if you want an ear park or any money from the democrats, you better play along. now i'm going to test your voracity on that one and let you answer that after my next question. in light of the fact that the democratic congress rammed through things like health care, or -- against the will of the people, where you had no republicans voting for it, but you had every single democrat for it, do you think we should have any care about so called comprehensive immigration in and all comprehensive is amnesty, and i've heard you, i'm a political animal, you said 80%-90% of people want immigration reform comprehensive? no, they don't, sir. the people here illegally, we
want them out of the country. if you think we can't find americans? host: john, hold on. we want a response so you can follow up. guest: thank you. well, number one, i'm happy he remembers my days when i arrived and on 60 minutes trying to change the culture here in washington, d.c., i continue to attempt to carry out those efforts. he suggests there's a contradiction between that and carrying out health care. i can't help that republicans have taken an i'm not going to cooperate or do anything that might help democrats. legislate. i mean, they are basically into i'm not going to do anything that the democrats want. that's unfortunate. but you know what? the last time i checked, when i ran for congress, if i get one more vote than the other guy, i win. and guess what?
we had one more vote than the other guy in the other position. we went, that's america. that's democracy. the fact is the gentleman is almost attempting to suggest some how a minority of people, so that means it's not one republican doesn't mean the wishes of the majority aren't being carrying out? and the other thing is sometimes it does take political foresight and -- >> host: john, quick follow-up. caller: he said something interesting about how the republicans are doing everything that the democrats don't want. let me tell you something, sir, you are doing everything that the democrats want. and that is a little bit different than working for the people that you're allegedly representing. host: all right? congressman? guest: yes. i think, greta, he should google luis and obama. i've been "washington post," "new york times", on err major
publication. i was arrested in front of the white house on may 1 protesting and criticizing this president. my president, the leader of the united states democratic party for not having done enough on the immigration reform. i've protested for inaction. host: since then have you had a private conversation about what you've been saying publicly? guest: we did have a private conversation and will remain private and we will continue to speak and have a dialogue about these issues. my hope is that, he did give a speech. that was very important that he speak to the nation and that he outline a plan. two, his justice department did take action. this is after the peting we had with him. we had a meeting with him three weeks ago. the following week he gave a speech. the following week there was
action in terms of the justice department. host: filing suit? guest: not on a civil rights prerogative. but on the issue of the preeminence of the federal government of constitution of taking control. so i'm happy the president -- i hope he's listening. he certainly took actions. host: you say that you're hopeful from what he's doing and hopeful a bill comes up before the election. but what is the political reality? guest: i think the political reality is the following -- that the president of the united states has an opportunity. he went to federal court, and now he said the federal government is the preeminent authority on immigration. but that he knows that if you do not do comprehensive immigration reform, that federal lawsuit is simply going to bring out -- you're going to be in court all of the time. take control. it's what we said from the very
beginning. you have the opportunity to do it. i think the way you do it is by saying, let's not argue about border security. we get a call, -- he hasn't read my bill. the first 200 pages are on border security. i said early on i'm from bio metrics and making sure everybody in america gets checked out before they get a job. i'm for sending customers to jail. so we're for security, security, security. but we also understand one thing, there's a beautiful little 7-year-old girl and the first lady is out there hosting an activity with the children in maryland. the kid says hey, first lady, my mother says the president is trying to get people out of the country who don't have papers.
and but we're trying to get papers. and the first lady handled it softly and said we'll -- but there's 4 million kids like that in america. i say bring them forward, fingerprint them. register them with the government. make sure they are not involved in criminal activity and tax them and team them english. let that little 7 queerled-year-old girl have a mother. host: republican line, bonnie. good morning. caller: i have a question. please don't cut me off, because this here has really been -- haiti has the highest rate of child slavery. they have opened up the flood gates and there's these old men who bring three and four young women to new york and have
children by every one of them and their culture, they all go on welfare. my son does construction and he told me he would rather have a mexican come in and work. when they come in, they come in. they do their job. no mess. no fuss. they don't argue, and everybody has a right. why skit the haitians get a free ride, get welfare and these hard-working people. they can't help that there's no work in their country. they need to feed their family it is same as we need to feed our family. host: congressman, do you know anything about this situation? guest: i don't. i do know unfortunately there's a great degree of trafficking in human beings. think i it happens in many countries throughout world. and i think if we fix our immigration system, we can certainly cut back on a lot of it. and to that extent, i think we feed to work on it.
host: detroit. mark, you're on the air. caller: i would like to test the voracity of c-span, because previous caller that was testing voracity of gutierrez, he got a lot of time and i notice the right seems to get a lot of voice. anyway, i'm all for what representative gutierrez is talking about, a national card. and i am just curious as to why the right seems to think that they are the only ones that own this country? the mexicans and indians were here before any of the immigrants that were coming over from europe, and they have no more right to this country than anybody else. this country is a free land. always has been. and the political right is the one who is blocking everything
until congress, in the senate, and that's why all the bills have gotten through the house, around they are all sitting on reid's desk. host: mark? guest: well, on this particular issue, the right, the republican party. they say they want a new guest-worker program. we're ready to sit down and work that out with them. they say they want a card so we can cck people's employibility. we're ready to do that. they say they want more technology, we're trod do that. they say they want to go after -- we're ready for that. here's what they are not ready to do. >> they say if we do that 12 million will disappear. 4 million american children will disappear. so i want to describe to the caller, yes. because when you think about this community of undocumented workers this america. people think of them as maybe the guy in the gas station in the morning that gets picked up
when they are waiting a single male in the pickup truck. but that's not who they are. in this community of undocumented, 51% of them have children. so the stark difference between that and communities of people with children, they tend to be married and have wives, obviously. tend to be families. how do you divide them? the other thing is think about it. 2/3 of them have been here 10 years or more. couple million of them have been here for 20 years. when you think of how long they have been here. now you have to think they have deep roots in the community. so we'll say we'll do all the enforcement. we believe in it. we can be aggressive in that area, but if you're going to deal with it in a comprehensive way, how do you just leave 12
million out there in limbo land? host: there was a piece written about the legal issues underlieing the arizona law and they point to a 1975 case regarding border patrol's power to stop vehicles near the border and question the occupants about their citizenship and immigration status. if that case the high court rules the likelihood any given person of mexican ancestry is high enough to make mexican appearance a relevant factor. the arizona supreme court agreed saying enforcement of immigration often involve a sfans of ethnic factors. does this concern you given your opposition to arizona law? that there's precedent here for the courts to rule with arizona? >> yes. it certainly does. because here's what's going to happen, greta. if it's you and i and we're both driving in arizona, something tells me they are not
going to ask you to prove you're an american citizen, they are probably going to ask me to prove i'm an american citizen. that's just the wrong way for our police department. police should not be stopping people because of the color of their skin or the way they comb their hair. many of those who support it. they say certainly. they dress differently. they have different shudes. they have different clothing. tapped police can tell all of these things. really? that sounds surprising and astonishing to me. what the police should do is say it's 55 miles an hour and you're going 60. and therefore your behavior causes me to interact regardless of the color of your skin or where you're present or might be coming from. if you're stealing, all of those things have to do with behavior. and behavior should be the number one instance to get the police involved with you, not
the -- because, let me tell you. when i go out with my grandson to play baseball. i usually don't take my wallet, because i'll lose it and my telephone. i tend to leave those -- i am just going to the park. can you imagine a group of young mean going to play soccer and they are coming back and the police stop them and say do you have i.d.? a lot of times they won't. so they say officer can you come by my house? because i did a tour in iraq. another one in afghanistan and because i did those tours, they expedited my citizenship. is that ok? can you think of that? police officers interacting with those who have already been to afghanistan and iraq and questioning their validity to be in america? that's wrong! host: want to show a little bit of this to our viewers.
>> arizona is not encars rating people for being illegally in the country. they are offering them up to the federal government take their responsibility, and it's giving them, if you will, on a silver platter, the job already done. it's not sitting at the borer. arizona is not going down to the border and apprehending people as they run over the border. they are looking to enforce it at the work site and when they apprehend somebody of a crime. that is supportive of the federal laws. there are already a number of laws passed to support exactly that. the administration can't have it both ways. they cannot have e-verify and have programs where they are supposed to take criminals and pass them over to the federal government if they are illegally in the country but say if you do it wholesale so it actually works, we're going to come after you. it's misuse of the sprem as i clause and i'm convinced that the supreme court will rule that way that you can't stop a
cincinnati its rights to assert a federal law as long as there's a state necks exuss, which clearly there is. host: your reaction? guest: i really don't know a whole lot of what he said makes a whole lot of sense to me. look, you just can't -- imagine tomorrow, 50 states decided that they were going to have different environmental standards in illinois. there was one that you could dump this toxic waste in another state. we wouldn't have it. imagine a banking system said hmm, in one state here's the way we're going to regulate mortgages and here's how we're going to do it in another state? can't do that. because we all travel. we go from state-to-state. there are prerogatives and responsibilities of the federal got to the. the president has said through the justice department that they want to exercise that prerogative and take control. the president also said he
wants congress to act. he wants his cake and eat it, too. he wants to say we're going to do nothing to bring about comprehensive immigration reform but we're going to complain about the undocumented workers. by not cooperating and working with others ready to give 100% of all of what republicans want on comp helpsive immigration reform, what they do is maintain the status quo. the state should do that. really? guess what? let's do the math. unprecedented number of people are being deported, 1,000 per day, never before seen. 1,000 per day. >> the president will deport more today than at the height of president bush's administration. i'm going to let your viewers do the math. even at the expedited rate
we're doing, i'll grow old and they'll bury me, and there will still be un documented workers in this country. i have way to bing them forward and tend vicious cycle of un documented workers. we can end it. but we all have to work together to get that done. host: on states taking different action on the issue, front page of "the atlanta journal-constitution," state alerts 4200 voters that they will need to provide proof of citizenship before their vote can be counted in tuesday's primary. what do you think of that? >> we should make it easier for people to vote. and if you enact comprehensive immigration reform, and we have a verification system, you won't need to discourage people from coming out to vote. i mean, what is the cost of that? of checking all that? i have a feeling if you're poor and you have fewer resources,
the likelihood of having the i.d. is probably enhanced. host: reid on the republican line, you're on the air with the congressman. caller: good morning. looks like the lovely greta again. thank you for your show. i was going to comment on your guests something that's really homely about him and his voting record, looking in the freedom index, published annually in the new american.com, it shows mr. gutierrez having zero percent rating meaning he voted against the constitution every chance he got as of the last time that survey was taken. and mr. gutierrez needs to repent of being a traiter to his country. we need to enforce our borders. we're not a country if we don't have borders. instead of talking about amnesty about illegal aliens that are crls, you feed to talk about i mean peaching the
president who is a criminal for not enforcing our laws. guest: first of all, i have to say george bush, former president of the united states, republican, spent two years trying to get the congress of the united states to enact comprehensive immigration reform. so i guess the caller is saying we should have i mean peached george bush. but it's highly politicized today and partisan today but let's go back to 1984. there was a debate between mon del and reagan. reagan's running for re-election. mondale's view is we don't need to work with immigration. ronald reagan said we need to take the workers and legalize them. then it legalized 3 million undocumented workers under the leadership of ronald reagan. host: so what are the lessons
learned from that political battle then and what president bush tried to do with immigration reform? guest: that there are republicans. his brother, jeb bush, right? bloomberg. i mean, the owner of fox news station. they are for comprehensive immigration reform. if you look, there are many republicans, much of the business community and those on wall street and in industry and chambers of congress are for comprehensive immigration reform. so there are a lot of conservative, moderate and republicans, but i just think they want to play this out politically. if you notice each of the callers that call, it's almost like they didn't hear me. i said from the very beginning of this program, i'm for enforcing and putting more border patrol but i also said 40% of them never cross that border. so i want to deal with other
ports. they didn't hear that. they said you're for -- i didn't is a say that. the first thing is they have to go through a background check to make sure they don't have any criminal precedent and if they don't, we'll register them with the government and teach them english, because they are not leaving. but here's the word they love to use. amnesty. that seven-letter word, which is really a four-letter word for them it's almost like amnesty like halloween when the kids phone call on my door. it's like boo! they don't go boo. they go amnesty, because it's the boogie man for them. it's their scare and atomic weapon. whenever there's a pause or they are not thinking of what they can say, they say amnesty. awant to guarantee we have under security and that we make
sure of one thing -- you can't get a job in america unless you've gone through some check to make sure you're eligible for that job, and if somebody gives you that job, we're sending you to jail. we'll end illegal immigration if we do it that way. host: your bill can be read where? guest: it's on our website. host: we'll put your website up for our viewers right now. >> how many pages? guest: it's 800 pages. first 600 will be about internal security. external border. how many more border patrols. how it is we catch someone that's in this country illegally, and how it is we expedite their removal. you're going to find we're really tough on law and order but at the same time our laws and order indicates to us that the only way you're going to
take 12 million people which i suggested 2/3 have been here 10 years or more with children, is to weed out the criminal element among them. host: any republican co-responsers for the bill? guest: no. but i will say, we're ready. when i first introduced the legislation, i introduced it with two republicans from arizona. congressman blake. and kennedy and mccain introduced it in the senate. since then mccain is, like, i don't want to talk about it anymore. i'm kind of running for senator in arizona and j.d. is making a big deal of immigration. and i spent over two years in a little cubby hole over on the senate side with kennedy and mccain and congressman blake working out the legislation. we introduced it in the bipartisan. president obama, too frightened. he sent two different secretaries down to work the
united states congress. we failed. the senate failed. the legislators failed to enact comprehensive immigration reform. we got to get it done. host: is your bill the bill democratic leadership would bring to the floor? guest: i like to look at it as the starting point on any conversation and dialogue. but it doesn't have to be the bill. i don't care. it doesn't even have my name on it. we used a different way. congressman ortiz is the responser. because he's the longest-serving member of the congressional hispanic caucus and a mentor to many of us. so we asked him to be the lead responser. did i draft the bill? did my staff? yes. but hits the lead responser on the bill, and he's doing a great job of getting us co-responsers. we're going to continue to do that and expand -- but here's what's exciting.
there's no other alternative. so we're waiting -- i'm having conversations with republicans all the time. it's just -- what is it? tell us. what's it going to take? you said to us 10 years ago that we were not for any of these security issues. host: which republicans do you think you could get to sign on? guest: if i name them, they'll probably have a contest in their next election and lose. i don't want the cause them anymore trouble than they already have. but they are good people. i wouldn't want -- it's such an issue that i really don't want to speak to it. but there are, and commoonks blake has been a great congressman on this issue, and he did introduce it in the last congress again with me, and i think we need more people like congressman blake to move forward. host: we're out of time. thank you for being here. guest: thank you. host: coming up next, we're going to turn our attention to economy and unemployment
benefits with senator tomlinson, -- tom coburn. a republican. >> at 8:30 aerohere in washington, here are the headlines. the plan to start choking off oil gushing into the gulf of mexico was suddenly halted yesterday as government officials and bp said further analysis must be done today before critical tests could proceed. no explanation given for this decision and no date on when testing would begin on the new tighter-fitting cap. and four new orleans police officers coumed face the death penalty for allegedly shooting two unarmed people in the aftermath of hurricane katrina. the four officers were charged with two others in an indictment unsealed tuesday. >> the international frs in afghanistan says five more american troops have died in attacks making eight americans killed within 24 hours in the southern part of the country
where u.s. troops are makeing a push to secure taliban-dominated areas. tehran says the nuclear scientist it claims was abducted by the u.s. is on his way back to iran. the iran foreign ministry stays scientist who sought refuge in the pakistan any embassy is expected to arrive in tehran tomorrow. the u.s. is denying the abduction claim. and finally, the airlines have been carjacking extra fees for carry i don't know baggage and extra leg room. today the congress looks at such fees for which the airlines have collected $7.8 billion last year. the possible requirements frs better disclosure of all those costs and whether it's subject to federal tax on airline tickets. those are some of the headlines on c-span radio. >> for a snapshot of washington
and the 111 congress, the c-span congressional directory, a reference decide to the house and senate, president's cabinet and supreme court justices and state senators all at your fingertips. order online. with congress back to work, we've added a new feature to the c-span video library. bill search. you can search for any congressional bill, learn its status and watch debate from the house and senate floors. just click the congress tab and you'll see bill search. make it as general or specific as you like. it's all free. washington, your way. "washington journal" continues. host: senator tom coburn, republican from oklahoma. here to talk about the economy overall but specifically the job benefits that's been a debate for the last month, weeks.
looks like senator reid would like to bring legislation to the floor to extend the unemployment benefits. but he feeds to wait for the 609 vote from west virginia, because republicans have refused to support this. and extending them. >> well, i wouldn't characterize it that way. we're all for extending them. we're just not all for charging our grandchildren with the bill. and when we have the waste and duplication and fraud in the federal government that we have today, we just believe we ought to make hard choices and eliminate things that are of much lower priority and wasteful rather than to go further in debt. so it's not like we think we ought to help people that are unemployed. we ought to pay for that. americans know there's waste, and we ought not be borrowing
money for something like that when we have things that are not efficient, not effective, and highly fraudulent going on in the government. host: when benefits have been put forward in the past, they've never been offset. guest: well, that's how we've gotten to where we are. because we've decided to charge them to our children and grandchildren and not be responsible. now that we're running $1.4 trillion deficits every year. it's high time we start paying for them. i understand. that's the problem with washington. we're going to do it the way we've always done it. that's what's gotten us in severe financial difficulty and really mortgaged our future. host: if the democrats continue to put forward legislation that doesn't cut programs to pay for unemployment benefits, and the unemployed do not get this -- these money in their pockets,
some have said, ezra klein of the "washington post" said the unemployment numbers will continue to swefment and that the problem really right now is not that these people refuse to look for work or settle for lesser-paying jobs, but just that for every one job, there's five people unemployed. and that will continue to be the problem. and we're just going to lea them without incomes and job opportunities and money to end? their economies? that's making it harder for those economys to generate jobs? that's the -- -- guest: well, all that is, is a strong-man argument. we're not saying don't do that. we're just saying it's important now, if you look at the scheme of things, that if we're going to do that now, we pay for it. i was talking to congressman shoeman, he worked hard to get
every major company in his hometown. three people showed up. three people showed up for 500 jobs in an area that had unemployment above some. his explanation is they are not going to do it until the benefits lesson. so and that may not be an exact interpretation of what his words were. but testimony fact is there was a negative aspect to approaching unemployment. let's pay for the things we're going to do now, rather than charge it to our children. greta, if you go forward with what we're doing right now. in 25 years from now, everybody that's 25 and younger is going to be on the hook for over $1 million in debt for the federal government before they buy a home, before they feed their family and before they pay their taxes for runing the government .
, they are going to pay interest of $60,000-$70,000 per year. this is not a small problem, and we didn't get into it fast. but about time to make the hard choices families make. this things that don't have to happen or lower priority get eliminated so you can take care of the higher priorities. we ought to do it and pay for it. >> there's an editorial in "the washington post" that said what's another $608 billion, the g.o.p. sees no problem with extending the tax cuts president bush had for the rich. 3w they do not want to put forward these unemployment benefits for those that don't have jobs. that's a cost of $35 billion, but extending the tax cuts for the rich would be $678 billion. >> i'd ask you to reconsider who you consider rich.
the average family is going to have a lower income tax rate if those income taxes are are extended. if you look at economists and what they say, the worst time in the world to raise taxes on anybody is during a resession. if in fact,, you raise those taxes, that's money that's not going to go into capital formation and money that's not going into job formation. continueing the tax cut into cost. if you add d new tax cuts i would agree it's not a cost. that's the baseline. it doesn't score anything to continue them. it costs money if we increase, which i would be willing to do. i think we ought to cut corporate taxes. we have the second highest corporate tax in the world. what's happening? we have a basis under which we're causing and now forcing our corporations to invest overseas because of our tax rate.
>> we're going to say we want you to lower it, reinvest the money here. they are holding trillions right now. they are not investing it. so if we wanted to use tax policy to create jobs, we ought to lower the taxes on corporations and so they'll bring the profits here and tax them if they don't spend the money or invest it in the country. but i refite the idea continuing the bush tax cuts that somebody making $35,000 a year and up. what they are saying is above $250,000? well, if you live in $250,000 and families living in places in the northeast that's different than somebody making $100,000 in oklahoma. the net disposable income is about the same because of the difference in cost of living. so i think we have to be careful of those labels. there are a lot of people who make $250,000 gross that after you take the taxes and where
they live on the east coast or california, their disposable income is far less than what a lot of people making half that are in the midwest. >> i want to show your viewers what harry reid said about extending the unemployment benefits and talked a little bit about financial regulation bill as well. we'll come back and talk the politics of it. >> like cleaning up wall street we want to make sure big business can't gamble away our fumpe and make sure there's not a next time. and we have to help those who are still hurting from the last time. that's what unemployment assistance does. we have to help families help our economy recover. >> it works simply. ifer err delar we spend in unemployment benefits, we get back in the economy $1.61. we could think of it this way. wall street reform is preventive care. unemployment is emergency care. our economy needs both. so these are the two sides of
the same kobe. but for too long wall street reform and unemployment benefits have had something else in common. a minority of senators standing in the way. host: senator tom coburn, what about the politics of this? the number one issue for voters according to polls is not the health care bill but the tarp bill that those who voted for the tarp bill have angered the voters out there. and they are saying you bailed tout banks. where's my bailout? and senate majority leader reid is making that samal argument. guest: well, first of all, this is my feeling. i'm not sure -- i think a lot of exists would agree with it. had we not done something when we did the tarp, we'd probably see unemployment at 25% now, and we would be in a true depression. there's no question. our banks were collapsing. and not just the big banks, the
small banks. so i ended up voting for the tarp vote not because it was something i wanted to vote for. it's that that was the only option put on testimony table for which we could have action that would keep us from playing 21 minutes. usually we prefund it. there's a tax. you can have two years of unemployment right now in our country. and we've charged the vast majority of that. we charged it to our children or grandchildren. that's going to come back to us. i would dispute. i think the financial regular bill doesn't accomplish what the majority leader said it would accomplish. make it to where if a bank fails, it's not going to impact our whole economy. we didn't fix phan phan and frederic adjiwanou. we didn't ajustice
>> we didn't fix fannie mae or freddie mac. the large banks were the ones that got us in trouble. because they had bet on -- we need to have stronger banks so you're not dependant on nine tpwhangse control 60% of the deposit. i think we failed with that bill. to me, it's not partner. -- it's not partisan. ask the big banks in new york whether or not they like this bill. they do. if they like it, i don't. and the average american shouldn't like it if the banks like it. host: a republican in round rock, texas. you're on the air. caller: sir, i'm a republican for the first time. before bush. i voted for barack obama. the thing i don't understand is president reagan raised taxes
36 times. he also did the immigration reform immigration. and now you are trying to tell me that raising taxes is not going to help. it's going to hurt. i am self-employed. i made $30,000 last year , and i pay taxes. i've been in my own business for 14 years, and i pay taxes every year. but -- who makes billions didn't pay a single stacks. that's equal? you need to start taxing these big countries run out of our country to go to another country to make money so that they don't have to pay the same taxes i have to pay. host: that was in round rock, texas. guest: i think he has appoint in forms of our corporate
taxes. we incentive vise them to work overseas where if they don't bring the money back here, they don't pay taxes on them. we've incentivized them to keep their money overseas. where are they going to invest that money? not here. over there. and that's, you know, what we need to do is we really need a thorough change of our tax cut. we either need a flat tax or -- everybody ought gget to pay. and i don't have any problem with a graduated tax as well. for those that make more could pay more. but we have such a convoluted thing and so many taxed ear marks where we've had special deals or special industries -- i think what you hear in his frustration is it seems
innately unfair. and it is. and if he's several employed, he's paying both sides of the medicare tax, both sides of the social security tax. he's really getting hit. host: would you support a value-added tax? guest: no. host: some say it's like a flat tax. guest: if you have a value-added tax, you have son-in-law advantages 06 a national sales tax in that that doesn't go out of the country. so it does help exports. but the only way you can have a value-added or flat tax is to -- they are talking about the additional taxes americans pay already. if you stop and think about it. we have a $1.4 trillion deficit. $1 trillion is atributed to the infant slowdown and 39 % increase if spenting in two
years. discretionary spending. not counting the stimulus. that's a big. and we have therefore 350 billion a year documented of weast, -- of waste, fraud, duplication. it seems most americans would wanttous get rid of the fraud, the $350 billion before we start raising their taxes. host: fred, democratic line. caller: pleasure talking to you, senator. guest: good morning. caller: good morning. i was wondering about the position a few years ago where then senator obama did towards whirlpool issue and new mexico move. the transparency behind that and so anened so on. i've never heard of and i've seen the constant bowing and
ducking by the powers that be. guest: would you describe again to me the subject matter that you mentioned? whirlpool? caller: i believe it was one of the largest manufacturing manufacture hears the moved their entire manufacturing to mexico, i believe. but i could be wrong on that. i appreciate it. guest: well. you know, when we incentiveize people to take their jobs. there's no way we're ever going to compete on an hour-per-hour wage rate of the poorer countries of the world. but what we can do is make it more beneficial for the companies to stay here. lessonning the cost of government. it's interesting that he's talking about a big business. whirlpool. and i don't know the details of it so i don't want to speak in ignorance on it. but we have created incentives
for people to move their will ever manufacturing out here. but it is not all wage-related. for an average business of 50 or smaller employees, the current federal government is over $7800 per employee per year. i'm not saying the regulations are bad. could we be administering the things that we think are important through the law at a very much lower cost to the customers so that it makes them more zphev and so we need to think about what we're doing at the federal level that inhibits our ability to be competitive worldwide. and what are the east? cause the company like whirlpool to pick up and move out of this country. what's happening right now, i can tell you with health care bill all the pharmaceuticals are moving out. we have pushed them out of this
country. and that's what they are doing. they are going to be closing plants and manufacturing outside of this country. host: ohio, daniel, republican line, you're next. caller: good morning, senator. guest: good morning. caller: two things. first off, why don't you broadcast enough that the republicans in the last six months have tried numerous times to get mr. reid, the liar that he is, to use the unspent stimulus money to extend the benefits for the unemployed? mr. reid stands there. lies through his teeth and says that the republicans are the party of no. but then doesn't say anything about using the unspent stimulus money. this is easy documentible for anybody to do. all they have to do is check the congressional archives and see it's right there. host: congressman? guest: well, i think they give a lot of excuses.
when this first happened, jim bunning did it. we worked out something. the next time i objected to it. we actually haddage agreement with the -- with majority reid, myself. senator mccoonled senator legislativeen -- senator mcconnell, that we would pay for it. the answer was we are not going to set the precedent that we are going to start paying for things around here, which is exactly the mindset americans are upset about. if we hadn't had the surplus and both sides of the administration and whoever panged congress, if we weren't in the financial shape we were in, maybe it wouldn't be important. but today, what is at risk, greta, is us becoming similar to greece. our gross debt right now is at 92% of our g.d.p. the best economistses in our
world say that's suppressing our growth. that's 1.5 million jobs a year we are not getting because of this. so we ought to be makeing the hard choices. eliminating things. like we've 105 different federal programs that incentive vise young people to go into math, science, engineering. not one of them has a metric on it. we're bay i pga for the bureaucracy and run programs that do exactly the same thing. ho: how much money is that? guest: hundreds of millions of dollars. we have 6r40 different things just like attachment we have 70 programs to help feed hungry. host: people say they agree with you. but long-term, you need to adjust the entitlement spending. guest: but the fact is there's $350 billion that's easy to
pick right now. and every time we put an amendment up, it gets voted down. people follow nancy pelosi's leadership. it's ok to kick down the road. the greatest immoral act of congress is to steal opportunity from our children. that's what this congress has done. that's what the congress did under republican leadership. if you think about the medicare part d. benefit, most people who are benefitting from that understand you're taking that from your grandchildren. because it's never been paid for. $13 trillion. and we're doing that. and we did that without being honest with the american people. we have to have a change in attitude if we're going to get back to a time where we have prosperity. and we can reget or re-establish an economic growth
pattern that's based on a bright future for america. we have to have a change in the way we lead in this country in how we spend money and was good and right today that doesn't mortgage the future for our children. host: independent line. thank you for waiting. caller: senator, you know, you talked about a job fair somewhere down south. i'm not sure where. but we had a job favor in cleveland. a couple hundred jobs and 10,000 people. it took two days to get them all registered. not all the people in this country that are unemployed are wanting to just sit and collect unemployment. guest: i agree. caller: no, you don't agree. because you just said it before you don't agree. the other thing is you talk about immoral? the greatest immoral act that was done was starting two wars, not paying for them.
cash breaks for the rich. not paying for them. and giving corporate snevings to take our jobs overseas and you sat still in your seat and said nothing. guest: actually, i wasn't in congress during those wars or medicare part d. i wasn't in congress during the bush tax cuts. so ien actually didn't sit still. i was in opposition of those things. and i understand your anger. host: the president has nominated jack lieu, who was the former o & b director during the clinton blgs when there was surpluses. he needs to be confirmed by the senate. will you support it -- will you support him? >> well, i don't know him. i was -- i will sit down and look. i want to defer to the president. he obviously has the experience. i most likely will support him.
but listen, this morning and you just quoted a surplus. there was one year that we had a surplus. they say it's $270 billion. but if you take the excess money from social security, which was counted in that, the surplus was less than $35 billion for one year. and why was it? in 1996, the first year since world war ii, we actually spent less on discretionary programs than the year before. we had the first resix in 1995 than in 50 years. we had not had a recircus in other words, cut back the amount we're spending since ten. the size of the federal government is double what it was in 1999 right now. host: so would you support raiseing the age for social security? guest: well, i think there's multiple ways we can fix social security. if you take young people and
say we're going to raise yours but raise the age -- it was raised on me. i'm not eligible for social security until 7 or 66. that happened in the 1980's. i'm not unsettled about that. i knew that was coming. i think that's one of the things we have to do. one of the problems we have with social security is the tremendous amount of fraud in the s.s.i. and s.s.d.i. it's $10 billion to $20 billion a year. if you added $20 billion back to social security. you'd buy some time. so we have not done our job as pebs of congress to do what's necessary in oversight. nobody has looked at s.s.i. and ssdi. we have 3,000 federal workers collecting a federal paycheck that are on social security and disability and not paying the taxes on it. host: doug, you're next. caller: good morning.
i have some questions about what i think is irresponsible spending. we give a $1 trillion tax cut to the rich. the trillion-dollar, part d. medicare cuts or spending. and of course, george didn't pay for those. george starts two wars and doesn't pay for those. i mean, there's trillions of dollars we're spending. if you want to be fistically responsible, you have to stop spending all the money on these wars. guest: well, we have a obligation to finish what we started. and we also have an obligation to protect our country. but his point is we should be paying for the wars rather than charging those. and i have not voted for supplementals for the war. i voted against them, because they are not paid for. we are in those wars. i want here when we got in those wars. i think the history will have some real questions about what we've done.
especially in iraq. not so much in afghanistan, because that's the eastern afghanistan and northwestern pakistan is where the source of the people who really want to harm this nation are coming from. but they are not an emergency. we know they are going on. there's no reason why we shouldn't make it a priority to pay for those. and in the long run, we have not -- we have enough waste to pay for the war 3 1/2 times over every year just in discretionary waste just in the federal government. we could help pay for some of the things that the american people think are a priority. . .
president obama has been in? and i really feel for the american people, i pray to god republicans take over everything accept for obama because i do feel the democrats will take the house, senate, -- and democrats will be in for decades. guest: i have a great relationship with the president and i talk to him often. i think if you're prediction is
accurate, then people should not be voting for republicans this year. the partisanship in our country is really hurting us right now. and in washington -- washington, it is about who gets into power. i go back to the days after 9/11. when things that i saw that i have not seen since i was a young man, is america really came together. it was really pretty neat. what we need right now is leadership that is not partisan. but we also need to be loyal to what the constitution says. and our constitution -- one of the reasons why we have $13 trillion of debt, and it will triple in the next 10 years, is we abandoned what the constitution says is the real role for the federal government. i would much rather let the states decide, where people have much more control, and really embrace article one, section 8,
which is limited powers. that is where some of the angst is coming from. people think the federal government is out of control -- that a change it where we have the government closer to the people. i think partisanship hurts us. but i think there are real -- real partisan -- policy differences in the direction of the country. our last caller, i think her vision is that the central government has more power rather than less, and the people where i come from, we would like the federal government to have much less power and us to have more power in our state. host: the next call, independent line. caller: how are you guys doing today? i would like to say -- we look at the government and we say the government has all this power and all of this control. it is quite obviously that government does not have a lot of control over what the states
do. states do what they are going to do. there are certain things, yes, that the federal laws do have over the state. i get that. but at this point in time, with things the way they are, i think we need to pull back and really take a look at what is going on. i understand, you talk about the money and we need to pay for things. and i am not going to bring up the past because we can sit here and talk about what has happened over the last 10 or 12 years with the money. but my thing is, i believe that there are so many people unemployed. this whole thing about, if you keep giving people on unemployment, they will not go out and look for a job. i think that is a total myth and a total lie. i am unemployed. i am unemployed for over a year and i look for jobs every single
day. that is my job, to look for work. for every job here in indiana, every person looking for a job, there are 15 people for one job that people are looking for. host: the senators said he and other republicans are not opposed to extending unemployment benefits but they want to pay for it by cutting other programs. what are some of the other programs you put on the chopping block to help pay for this? guest: i think there are a lot we can list. i turned into the deficit commission over 150 recommendations. there is $200 billion we could say tomorrow by going through things like not printing every day congressional record, where 99% is on line. if you did that, that is $4.5 billion over 10 years. just stupid things like that.
if in fact we would truly limit travel of the federal government to that which is necessary, when you could use a video conferencing, we could save another $70 million over the next 10 years. if we eliminated the waste in the justice department, just the pure waste we outlined, $1.5 billion a year. we just looked at that. that is just a cursory review. if you look at waste in terms of lost time across the federal government, that is about $10 billion a year. remember, these discretionary programs have grown significantly. the size of the federal government is twice what it was 11 years ago. to say we can't go in and get 5% -- the president has asked all the agencies, he wants you to find out how to run 5% less and still accomplish your job. it is a wonderful goal. it is not hard to do because we are twice where we were 11 years
ago. every other organization, including families, have been doing that, except it federal government. host: here is the associated press this morning in "the philadelphia inquirer." backing a plan to shave another $20 billion of the president's budget. it amounts to about 2% schramm of what obama requested -- 2% trim. guest: there is still going to be $200 billion higher than three years ago on discretionary programs. they are saying cut 10% -- or less than 7% increase from three years ago. i bet most american families would love to have that kind of increase from three years ago in their personal income. host: but they note it is coming from senate republican appropriators who in the past -- guest: it is about time.
host: in the past it not when to cut programs -- guest: that is the problem in congress. there are three parties. republicans, democrats, and appropriators. appropriators like to spend. and then like to earmark -- they like to earmarked and direct money because it incurs power to them. we ought to be making every tough choice we can right now so we can pay for unemployment and not charges -- charge it. it is a moral question. do we really want to live off of the backs of the future of our kids? host: we tried to get a couple more phone calls in here. tampa, florida. guest: i watched you all the time on c-span. i try my best to respect the offices of the politicians. i lost my job in may of 2008. in florida right now there is
over 1,200,000 people unemployed. there are not a million jobs coming up here in the state of florida. there are two things holding back. i called and called and tried to get the story in doubt with my senators. number one, i have a bad credit report because my home was in foreclosure. i was offered a job in may but i was denied because my credit report. number two, hurricane katrina affected my chances of getting a job because the big box retell stores down here -- retail stores down here, they accept hurricane katrina victims in tampa florida, over me, who i supported them. i could also give you ideas to cut trillion's from the government. let's just take, for example, the colonel who killed all of the army officers down and for
good. he was making $100,000 a year. he was seeing one patient a week. shouldn't we bring consultants and and take a look at how much waste is going on? i could tell you how to really cut government. why do we need 50 states and the united states? why can't we cut it down and have six big superstates and really cut the cost of government? host: senator? guest: i think she, like many americans, has seen a lot of the waste. i would be real uncomfortable decreasing the number of states. i think the problem today is we have way too much federal power and not enough state's rights. but you heard the frustration in her voice. and it is real and it is all across america. they see in action or wrong action in washington. -- inaction or wrong action.
we are not configured to solve the problem because we have too many people whose whole career is about politics and not real world experience. it is not allied -- odd that sometimes we make poor message -- decisions, because there is no frame of reference or real life common-sense that gets applied. the financial regulation bill, i think it is goofy in terms of really attacking the real problems that are out there. but volcker role was not applied. -- though will rule was not applied. we saw all of these banks betting against their customers. that is going to continue to have been paired they are your customer, then you are going to bet against them? you are betting against your customer even though you are winking and nodding that we are with you. host: paul on the democratic
line in chicago. caller: good morning, senator. guest: good morning. caller: i just wanted to say i do respect your position. i just don't know if you are picking your battles right. you have fellow americans who are in bad shape. i have some friends who are unemployed out looking for jobs. there are just not enough jobs to go around. if there were enough jobs, nobody would be complaining. but then again, we would probably have other problems. i think when you say that you don't have a problem extending unemployment benefits, the problems you are having is how it is being done. we are going to be shifting the debt to our children and grandchildren. i suppose you are thinking responsibly, but you say this is how things have been done for so long and you want to make a stand. why make a stand now? guest: let me interrupt you. i have been accused of tilting at windmills ever since i became
a senator. this is nothing new. i have been doing this for five and a half years. i have been given the same police. when i ran for u.s. senate, i ran on the idea that we are running on empty. that we have a short period of time with which to correct. if not now, when are we ever going to? at a time when we have $350 billion of document waste and fraud, just a discretionary side, is not now, when? -- if not now, when? will we ever go after the fraud, waste, and abuse when we can't do it at a time when we need to help people that are struggling and the unemployed? the bridge to nowhere, which everybody in america knows about, i offered the amendment to eliminate that. that is a symptom of what is wrong in congress, we are clueless in terms of priorities. we are making decisions not like
you would make a decision in your business or family or at your university or any other place. we are making decisions like there are no consequences. i pick every battle every time on the basis of what is in the best, right thing, of us in the country in the long term. i don't care what the consequences are to me personally or politically. i don't care about the negative things that are said. our kids, our future, and our heritage are worth having the battles. i am willing to take the heat. i have all the editorials written against me all the time. the fact is that our kids -- and, if in fact, we are going to beat history on what the history is on republics, they all go under based on fiscal problems. if we are going to beat the history we have to start now, and there has to be somebody willing to take the heat and say, we really ought to be doing it the way our parents taught
us, grandparents taught us, and not the easy way out by putting the credit card into the machine. host: one last phone call. massachusetts, dan, republican line. caller: how are you? guest: good morning, i'm fine. how are you? caller: doing good. i have been unemployed for a year-and-a-half. i have been watching the news, and this governor is receiving $5,000 a month and he has done an incredible crime against his state. if they want to cut money, why don't they stop paying this man? and i am sure there are other people out there that are like him doing the same thing that the taxpayer -- host: we are running out of time. guest: i did not hear the
germans name they are paying. that theylemen's name are paying. the stimulus than $70 million on a tunnel that is an absolute waste in pittsburgh. even the governor of pennsylvania said it was a waste. how do we get this out of control, $70 million here, $100 million here? that is why we need a limited federal government and bring the decisions back to the local level, state level, and county level, as our founders intended. my recommendation to your viewers is read the federalist papers about what our founders thought about the role of the federal government, and you see it is very different from what we morphed into today. host: senator tom coburn, thanks for being here. when we come back, we will turn our attention to the claims
process down in the gulf coast for those who are seeking to get economic reimbursement from bp. first, a news update. >> here in washington d.c., here are the headlines. a top iraqi official says the u.s. has turned over 55 members of saddam hussein's former regime. among them, tariq aziz, you might remember he was the international face of the regime for years. tomorrow u.s. authorities believe the last american-run detention facility in iraq. california democratic senator dianne feinstein and weeks of the late tuesday and set a confirmation hearing for president obama's nomination of retired air force general to be the next director of national intelligence. that hearing is scheduled for july 20. by doing so she backed off from a threat to wait until a key piece of intelligence legislation passed the house
before putting the confirmation process in motion. state agencies in utah are investigating whether any of their employees leaked social security numbers and other personal information, after a list of 1300 people who an anonymous group claims are illegal immigrants, was circulated around utah. the anonymous group mailed a the lists several media outlets, law enforcement agencies and others with a letter demanding those on it be deported immediately. tea party activists are calling on the naacp to withdraw their resolution condemning what it calls racism within the tea party movement. the resolution was adopted during the annual convention of the civil rights group in kansas city, missouri. finally, bristol palin and levi johnston says they packed things up and are going to get married. sarah palin and her husband said in a statement on "the today show" that they want what is
best for their children and that bristow believes and "redemption and forgiveness." that young couple already has an 18-month-old son. those are just some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> c-span is now available and over 100 million homes, bringing you washington your way. a public service created by america's cable companies. >> learn more about the nation's highest court from those who have served on the bench. reid c-span's latest book "the supreme court." candid conversations with all the justices, active and retired. now available in hardcover and also as an e-book. >> "washington journal" continues. host: walter leger joins us from new orleans, senior partner at leger & shaw, to talk about the claims process. let us begin right from the
first step. if you want to file a claim with bp, what do you do first? guest: actually at the present it is a little bit confusing because they are in a transition between bp handling the claims and the new gulf coast claims facility headed by ken feinberg. right now there is a 1-800 number you can call to get an contact with bp. if you have a business loss claim or claim that you believe is related to the oil spill, you can call this number can go to one of the claims centers set up across the gulf coast and you make an application. host: what happens next? guest: then it bp, you meet with bp officials and the officials asked for proper documentation, if you are lucky. if you provided the documentation they were asking for, they have been paying some amounts of interim payments at this time.
of course, the big complaint is when the shrimp fishermen and other business people that have been severely impacted -- the documentation is sometimes not available, sometimes in bp's mind is insufficient, and bp is not making the payments. in some cases they are making payments. but the fact of the matter is, this time of year for the seafood industry is the time of year. in many aspects of the industry, it is not a 12-month season, it is a four-month or six-month year. so the income people in the industry, particularly in but fishing aspect or oyster harvesting occurs at various periods of time so the amount of money is not amortized over 12 months. host: we have statistics to put up. this is from bp's web site. they say as of july 13, $177
million has been paid, 56,000 checks written, 125,800 calls received, 18,100 claims submitted on-line, 36 field offices, 108,000 total claims, 14--- 1400-member claims team. average time from claims to payments -- eight-day average time from claims to pay commercial. let me just ask you first about a 177 million paid. who is it going to? guest: we don't know exactly. that is all by 5's information. those of us representing claimants and involved in the community don't know exactly. i did not get to see the figures but i was listening to them. if they paid out 107
$70,000,000.105000 claimants, i want to public school and the arithmetic the pay on average a little more than a thousand dollars per claimant -- when hundred and 70 million claimants -- 11970 million dollars claimed, -- it does not seem like the claims process is moving as quickly and efficiently as it should be. of course in the testimony yesterday before the president's commission, investigating the deep water rise and bp oil spill, you heard government leaders, members of the seafood industry talk about the fact that the checks are not coming quick enough and they are not sufficient to assist people in meeting their needs. the needs are simple -- mortgages, living expenses. host: let me tell the viewers will have a special line for gulf coast viewers as well. the numbers will be on your screen --
host: what is the highest payment put out of what is the lowest guest: which are members of the public. as lawyers many of us have individual business claimants. i know of some businesses to have been paid as much as excess of $50,000. but their losses are hundreds of thousands of dollars in this period of time. i know of other businesses who sustained multimillion dollar losses and they have not been compensated anything near that. but the masses people who've been affected, thousands of dead hands or shrimp boat fishermen, people in the actual fishing industry who are having difficulty just meeting their immediate needs. it is good at bp started this but it does not seem like the process is moving quick enough
to help. host: are people getting paid for wages that they have already lost or what they will lose four, as you say, shrimping season? guest: basically bye-bye seems to be operating under what is called the oil pollution -- bp seems to be operating under what is called the oil pollution act of 1990. it passed the act in response to the fact that maritime law and the laws of the state really was insufficient to adequately and realistically, but some people who sustained real losses related to the oil spill. what is happening under the oil pollution act, there is a provision for what is called interim pavements -- payments or settlements. in make a claim or a presentation to bp and bp can offer you an act to repay you on an interim basis, on what basis they wanted. i think what people are asking for is and what can feinberg is talk about doing is beginning to
calculate what a six-month loss would be for people that are working, paying over six-month period. but the question is, what is being compensated now. we did not know exactly. it is a very close -- a closed process. clients are telling us and lawyers involved are telling us what they are obtaining and attempting to obtain is, for example, what would a shrimp fishermen have burned in the month of june if he were actually allowed to shrimp. presenting evidence about past earnings history and try to project this year, it is believed in five years after katrina, finally this summer, this spring or summer, the industry was coming back and this was going to be a real banner year. prices at the dock or higher and quantity is higher. host: we are having a little trouble with the phone calls. we will get to them as soon as we can get them up on the screen
here. who are you representing in this process? guest: my firm -- we are representing shorebirds, oysterman, seafood processors, a charter boat captains. remember, the charter boat industry. land-based companies, including restaurants and others. and we are also represented a couple of the local governments and governmental units here in south louisiana. host: what our government claiming in terms of lost tourism? guest: that is part of what they are entitled to. but the government, the coastal governments in south louisiana are already strained as a result of hurricane katrina nearly five years ago, in august of 2005, three weeks later, hurricane rita, which hit the southwest part, and an interim, 2008, gustav and ike, all the coastal parishes and subways and have been strained and battered both economically and emotionally.
but also in the context of response. the other side of it, though, is the government have been kind of hardened and toughened by these natural disasters and they developed the ability to respond. however, all of that -- this response and activities you have seen on the national media, the parish president and the local presidents, local government leaders trying to fight the oil coming into the marshes and into the estuaries on their own. this is an added expense, added payroll, added expense, cost of booms, and that kind of thing. they are entitled to recover the removal costs. and as you pointed out, they are entitled alternately to recover lost tax revenues and actual loss of other revenues and damaged to property owned by those governments. it so we are talking to walter leger, lawyers representing claimants, those who lost their salaries, etc., from the bp oil spill. mr. leger was appointed by
governor kathleen blanco after hurricane katrina and has experience with this whole process. charlotte, north carolina. debra, you are first. caller: yes, good morning. i really feel sorry for people over there. i know we had a lot happened to them. but i am sure -- the economy is so bad, and between unemployment and everything going on, i am sure-handed and people like that the work on the ships, probably making them show w-2's or something for the year before to prove what they made the year before trying to figure out what they need to know they are not over or under paying them. i would imagine some of those backhands don't have some of the documentations. maybe they get paid cash. it is going to be hard for them to get paid if they cannot prove what their income was. host: is that the case? and our people who want the money expecting cash and not a check?
guest: that is mobile questions. first, deborah, thank you for your concern. but we will be ok. don't feel sorry for us. we have been battling disaster for a long time, particularly the last five years. to this shameful thing about it and reboot -- horrible thing about the situation, we felt like we were watching katrina in our rearview mirror and we were moving home. our local economy in south louisiana had pretty much weathered the harder times of the national economy. we were surviving. we were rebuilding and we were the recipient of the generosity of the american people and helping us to rebuild with federal dollars to help us rebuild and we were recovering. in the seafood industry, on the other hand, you make an interesting point. many of the shrimp fishermen and the people that are at the basis and foundation of the seafood industry were just recovering getting new boats, rebuilding boats, going back out there.
in the last few years, if you look at the earnings history since katrina, it is not really a good predictor of what our experts believe, of what they would have been earning this year. this was going to be the bumper year. on the other hand, you are correct, as lawyers tried to prove loss of earnings capacity or loss of in come, one of the things we looked is historically what a particular wage owner or business profits were previous year. but that is not the way to prove. in-cans and other fishing industries, their records are not as good as some other businesses. what the law basically provides is damages can be proved. tax returns and w-2's and not the only way to prove that they can be done in other ways. the question is what kind of
evidence -- in the short term, what kind of evidence does bp require and what kind of evidence will can feinberg be requiring. we believe it is the type of evidence that would be acceptable in court without regard to what tax returns show or w to shows otherwise. that is an issue to be resolved. host: mr. leger return -- referred to testimony yesterday by the president's commission looking at the spill. the two co-chairs say they will urge the president to lift the moratorium on oil drilling and resume exploration. the testimony yesterday that they heard convinced them to go ahead and pressed the administration for quicker redemption of safe offshore oil exploration.
you can go to our website c- span.org. denver, colorado. republican line. shawn, go ahead. caller: it is disturbing when i see it -- i don't see enough people getting down to the gulf. i just don't see the corporations getting involved in creating like an agenda like, let us take a couple of days off of work and go down to the gulf, all paid for. we are going to pay for it, get you down there and shoveled up some stuff a couple of days and get back to work on monday. but what i do see is companies allow people to get off work to go get and iphone. really disturbing, from 12:00 until 12:00 the next morning people are waiting for an iphone. host: we will leave it there. moving to yorktown, virginia. independent line. caller: i just wanted to say that i am hoping that somebody is doing do diligence to make sure the illegal aliens cannot
get any of these benefits because the democrats and obama are failing miserably and allowing 7 million of our jobs to be stolen from illegals and doing absolutely nothing about it. host: mary, we will take the first part. what about undocumented workers and whether or not they should be allowed to get compensation? guest: well, i am not going to come and politically but i will comment legally. that is, even undocumented aliens and people illegally in the united states, if they are injured by someone else they are entitled to be compensated. we cannot freely injured people, even criminals are entitled to be compensated if they have been injured. host: but what about documentation that bp is required requested these people would not have a w-2 form, etc., there are probably paid in cash. guest: you have to ask bp what they are asking for.
we did not represent any undocumented aliens, to my knowledge. but once again, what the law provides, if you sustained damage and you can prove it, you are entitled to recover. remember, we are not talking about taxpayer dollars but dollars from a company that broke the civil law and reaped -- rick the devastation of the coastline -- wreaked devastation on the coastline. host: talk about your experience with katrina. you served on the louisiana recovery board of the claims process work then and what of the lessons learned this time around? guest: we have been working with mr. feinberg and mr. rosenthal. we learned a lot of lessons. we did some things really well and did some things really poorly. one thing we did well is a corrected our mistakes or tried to correct mistakes while we were in action. in katrina, september 11 had eight or 9000 claimants, the
september 11 fund, katrina, over 230,000 people have filed claims, 150,000 were found eligible, 130,000 or paid out with an average of about 67,000 in one program alone. the payments to individuals, not to mention fema payment of assistance and otherwise to the local government. it was a complicated process. what was more difficult with the process -- there was a program designed and actually the design was changed at public times 5 hud, and the criteria had been met for every dollar paid to an individual. and the context of this process, this would be a settlement and it would be largely up to be. and up to a feinberg and his group on how to pay claims. the government will not restrict with its own red tape and regulation, things like duplication and benefits, how
benefits get paid. it would be a more difficult process here because there will be a lot more claims, to some degree, but it would be an easier process to ultimately handled, i hope, and we believe, because it is simple settlement. the judicial system obsolete can handle these kinds of mass issues -- usually can handle these kinds of mass issues than the regulatory system and system of government. but we had a massive number of claims in katrina. this is entirely different. host: and there were fraudulent claims made as well. we have a tweet from one of our viewers of are fraudulent claims and how to read them out. guest: let me tell you, the context of the louisiana program, there was virtually no fraud. maybe one or two indictments and a number of investigations, but
virtually we did everything we could from the beginning to eliminate fraud. some people criticize us for it. but we wanted to prove it could be done. in the context of the federal government's fema program, the reported a loss of about $1.6 billion to fraudulent claims. in that context all we determined it was not going to happen in louisiana, and it did not. in terms of fraudulent claims in this aspect, once again, it is a matter of proof. the fraudulent claims would be treated and i think dealt with harshly. but it would be dealt with by bp. and/or by the feinberg wrote. host: baldwin county, on the gulf coast. will, go ahead. caller: i was calling about the oil spill. i live in baldwin county 79 years, and in the county and all around the beach of mississippi and louisiana, we will survive. we survived katrina.
and about the mexicans coming in. of all the mexicans in the world -- katrina, mexicans and their navy and cents a tent and the only nation in the world that offered to help so bring them on. i like to say to you does not matter what happens. we will survive. in five years you come back and we will see you were -- in five years, you come back and we will be in better shape. caller: i am calling because i recently started seeing ads on the news from bp trying to say how much they are trying to help the people. whitten their money be better spent by helping the people than spending the money on ads on tv? host: de and of how much -- but not mean to put you on the spot -- but have you seen any figures how much bp is spending on their pr campaign? guest: nothing other them what i read in newspaper, something like $50 million. it seems like a lot. really a drop in the bucket
related -- in comparison to the damage. do whatthey've got to they've got to do. they've got to survive. what is almost as important is a lot of the local governments have been asking the city of new orleans, mississippi, alabama, have been asking be paid as part of their program of compensation to advance funds to the state and the city of new orleans to help us protect our brand because come to some degree, while louisiana's coast is a work in post, oil production, marshland and estuary, mississippi and alabama and florida and the city of the orleans -- new orleans are tourist destinations. we are being heard to a large degree by damage to our brand. some things that are true and some things that are exaggerated by the impact.
we would rather see them, instead of improving their image, sending money to local and state governments to help them get the message out to potential visitors to our region, that while our seafood industry is being impacted, the beaches are getting oil on them, we are still ok and a good place to do business. host: "the new york times" reports the administration sent another bill to bp. three earlier bills told $122.3 million. washington state, democratic line, thomas, you are on the air. caller: good morning, c-span. good morning, mr. walter. you think in the future we should stop drilling for oil so deep in our waters? i would like to comment on that, please. guest: there has been a lot of discussion about this around here. we have had a schizophrenic
relationship with the oil industry in louisiana. it has been a part of our economy and our lives since the 1950's. it has raised our children, build our schools and highways. it has done damage to our wetlands. but many of our people continue to work in the oil industry. as i mentioned in the but ago, our coast is a little different than our adjoining states. we are the working coast. we produce a tremendous amount of the natural gas and petroleum products that the rest of the nation uses. we produce the heat -- when you are one in your bed up north during the winter, the heating oil has been explored and produce probably off the coast of louisiana. so, it is important, what we did. our reliance on will maybe something that we wish we did not have, and addiction as many national leaders have said, but it is an addiction. it is of thing that is important. petroleum products -- a good friend i do a radio show with
occasionally -- talks about every product that will look around the that is a petroleum product. what are we willing to give up to stop drilling? here in louisiana, it is not only important for us to continue to drilling for oil off the coast to a system rest of the nature of it -- nation but it is a vital part of our economy. standing like telling people in the 1960's in pittsburgh to stop making steel. well, steele stopped being made there and look at the devastation to the economy. host: let us go back to phone calls. arkansas, democratic line. lloyd, go ahead. caller: thank you for taking my call. you know what happens in haiti is just devastating. but, you know, what has happened to the united states and you people down there is, to me, just as devastating to what happened in haiti. we give millions and billions of dollars to haiti, other
nations give millions and billions of dollars and i would liked to know why these nations and the government has not helped you people like they do other countries. and i also would like to know what you'll think about -- what you think about how obama and our administration has handled this catastrophe that you have. host: let me ask you to put your lawyer had on for what the caller just said. is there a legal argument for the residents of the gulf coast to thought -- filed suit against the federal government for what happened in the gulf coast with the oil spill? guest: some people have filed suit. some lawyers have filed suit against mineral management service for its failure to enforce its own regulations. some people think that is a difficult way to go. there are others who are considering right now filing suit against the federal government for the damage we will sustain as a result of the moratorium. that is difficult, also.
with respect to the caller, i have to tell you again -- and also answer your question, gregg said -- we think the people of the united states, with the help we have gotten as a consequence of hurricanes katrina, reed said, gustave, and ike -- but this disaster is not one that the people of the united states ought to be footing the bill on. bp and other companies and bald were responsible. did you of -- other companies involved were responsible. and hopefully the legal system will take care of that. host: jenny from cincinnati, ohio. caller: good morning, how are you. the reason for my call is, i feel so -- i know people don't like -- i do love louisiana. what hurts is, it is going to hurt other states. i feel bad because i feel like they have been cheated in every way when they had katrina and
now this disaster. my prayer is are with them. that is all i have to say. host: mobile, alabama. carol on the democrats' line. we are talking about the claims process. caller: yes, mr. leger. i was concerned about the moratorium in regards to the blowout preventer and the technology we are seeing. it does not -- and does not seem to have any big strides in that makes the blowout preventer better. the moratorium is to try to keep of the blowout preventers working in the same fashion from turning out the same way. obviously in the gulf we can't take anything -- especially right now. i was just wondering, if it is
going to have to be a legal issue, are they going to have to be forced in court to pay for some of these people who work on the rig, technology jobs. paying for the advertisements -- host: you are breaking up a little bit. i think we got your point. guest: the moratorium is having a devastating impact on our economy. the longer it continues, it will have that much more of an impact. we are hoping, and a number of business groups have proposed compromises in terms of stricter enforcement of inspectors and the allowance meant -- allowing of drilling but the restricting to a point in this of service before it gets to the petroleum zones. there are a number of compromises, a number of things that can be done. and eventually we know that we
need to be transitioning to a non-petroleum energy economy. those things are happening. our governor, administration, city of new orleans and economic development groups are trying to move in that direction. for now, oil and gas is an essential part of our economy. host: richard from philadelphia on the republican line. you are next. caller: good morning. i would like to make a statement and ask a question. host: richard, we had a little problem getting to phone calls so we will ask you to get right to the question. guest: how long is this process going to take before everybody is paid off? i know what exxon valdez, it took 21 years. and only six to 5000 over that period of time and people worked in the boat's only attend thousand. guest: hopefully the passage of
the oil pollution act in 1990 will assist us in moving this process a lot quicker we are all anxious, and a lot of us are meeting with mr. feinberg and mr. rosenthal to help assist to move the process faster. host: can you talk about that? your meeting is, when will they take place? why are you and others meeting with them? guest: i was asked by senator leandro to me -- landrieu to meet with them, to transfer some of our experience in handling 150,000 claims post-katrina, but we also wanted to engage. fortunately mr. feinberg has been going around speaking publicly in louisiana and the gulf coast. his partner has been meeting not only with lawyers from bp but claimants, trying to get an idea of what can be done to move the process more quickly and the efficiently and to do it right and fairly.
so, that is an ongoing process. we are anxious for mr. feinberg to get engaged so that we will move forward. it has been a good, open, and dynamic process. and we are hoping it will be quite successful. in answer to the gentleman's question, move this whole process much quicker. host: donna from ohio. independent line. caller: i've wanted to say, my prayers go out to those people, and my question is, british petroleum had such an interest in this country. i know up north, all the bp stations change their name because we boycotted them because of their inactivity of closing this. do you think they will ever get this thing close? and what well but -- the result be on the ecosystem in louisiana and surrounding area? guest: thank you for your
concern. we obviously hope we will get it shut down. when no one of the relief wells is very near to entering -- those with experience in the oil and gas industry believe there is a high chance of success there. the current closure attempt is being investigated now. hopefully it will impact us. that is kind of part of our problem here in south louisiana, in particular. almost like a hurricane was sitting over us instead of moving on. the damage being occurred, it continues and grows and we did not know what the end is going to be and we can begin a recovery. certainly, there is a great deal of hope. we don't know what the impact will be. the oil hitting our shores now may have leaked months ago. the oil that is an our marshes now obviously did not leak yesterday. so, how many more months will we
continue to be battered even after the leak is close, we don't know. host: michigan, republican line. caller: that is mississippi. i have a comment and a question. it's got i asked the last caller to get right to the question because we are running out of time -- host: i asked the last caller to get right to the question because we are running out of time. caller: petroleum-based products. and he said we need to get away from a bad parent -- from that. how do you propose getting away from the petroleum products and not be dependent on oil? as far as i know, we will always to be depended on oil to a certain way. guest: i did not say we needed to get away from them. i said petroleum -- yes, sure,
we need to eliminate our dependence on foreign oil. we need to eliminate our addiction to oil. but we will always need those petrochemical products and hydrocarbons unless we can develop some other composites that makes so much. just look around in the office. looking at the camera that has a tremendous amount of petroleum products in its. petroleum is going to be a part of our lives for a long, long, long time, for most of our lives. but hopefully what we can do is control the demand for it and utilize what we have. host: lancaster, pennsylvania. caller: my friend near charlottesville, far away from the gulf, for the last 30 years has been spending between $50,000, to $75,000, a year on oysters, clams, and trim from the gulf because of quality. a restaurant. does he have a legitimate claim?
guest: i think mr. feinberg might disagree with me, but i believe what the oil pollution act provides on section 27 02, is if you sustained actual damage in fact has a business related to the damage to the natural resources, you have a potential claim. now, some people will say -- and it will be argued by bp, that restaurant from charlottesville can get its seafood from somewhere else. we in louisiana no they might be able to get it from somewhere else but it is not as good as ours, and may not be as good for his sales. i believe if he sustains a real, provable losses, i believe it is the type of thing that could be paid. my guess is mr. feinberg and his group and bp will argue it is too remote, too far away. i am not sure that distance should be a test. in my mind, the question should be, is it true? is it really true and provable as a matter of fact and is it perceivable that nazi good
restaurant would sustain damage? but that is an intellectual argument and a real argument among lawyers at some point. host: that would open up claimants all the way to this area as well? a lot of oyster shoppers who had jobs -- shoppers who had jobs in the eastern shore area are losing their jobs because a lot of the oysters came from the east coast. guest: a lot of the oysters that can be as good as ours. caller: let us say you were in florida representing people. what about suing louisiana for allowing bp and trans ocean and all of them -- you are a working state. you're working states are carrying your dirty extension cord all over your state. guest: that is an interesting point. i really wish you would go talk to congress for us, because unlike many other oil-producing
states, we have not been getting the share of the federal oil revenues for the border drilling. we have been caring. we louisiana taxpayers have been carrying it to ride oil for you over there in florida and other hydrocarbons and petroleum- related products. we have been paying for it already. we have just provided the oil and gas to you -- because you decided -- and i am not criticizing -- to keep your beaches pristine and white and to use it for condos and vacationers. good thing, i go there myself. but we, for better or ill, decided we would help the rest of the nation produce this oil that all the rest of the nation requires. we have been underpaid and under compensated by federal revenue- sharing. host: democratic line. cleveland, ohio. good morning. caller: i have one question. what is the percentage of african-americans that our fishermen in the louisiana area? i know the media always shows the mostly white americans in
that area, they are suffering. host: do you have a demographic breakdown? guest: i did not have any idea of the demographic breakdown. i guess is, since most of the shrimpers, particularly the shrimping industry and commercial fishermen are historic and generational -- i know a guy who is five generations of family that has been producing oysters, and that historic industry has been cajuns and actually even croatians and hispanic and canary island immigrants. in recent years, there is a significant fishing population that is vietnamese. as far as african-americans, i just don't know. but i can tell you this, the african-american population plays a significant part in other aspects of the seafood industry. host: and there is a story in "the washington post" on sunday about the oil spill, the anxiety
of the oil spill spreading to the vietnamese fishermen in that area who cannot speak english and who are required to provide documentation and call bp. guest: no question about it. there is a significant vietnamese fishing population. they are a very close-knit community. vietnamese lawyers are working with them. we have been working with bp to assure their translators of the claim centers. we know mr. feinberg is working to make sure there are translators also. the vietnamese community is a significant part of the seafood, in a. host: leesburg, virginia. democratic line. caller: first of all, who owns bp -- the disaster, who owns that plants? guest: public shareholders. a significant interest from the united kingdom itself. caller: is president clinton one
of them? guest: i have no idea. there are probably a lot of people across the united states that either through mutual funds or otherwise own stock in bp and in other companies. other companies do bad things occasionally. i did not know if mr. or misses clinton owns stock in bp. host: independent line. good morning. caller: the associated press has two videos i have seen on youtube. one of them is entitled about as victims, gulf coast have a long road, and the other is exxon valdez 20 years later. it took them some 20 years to get through all of this. but the fishing never came back and there is still oil on the beaches. i just have to say that i did vote for president obama, however, when he said that he was appointing a man over the oil spill in the louisiana area