tv Washington Journal CSPAN July 22, 2010 7:00am-10:00am EDT
thornberry national security. and the president of the committee to preserve social security and medicare takes questions on the future of so security and medicare. this is "washington journal." [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> -- host: good morning, it is thursday, july 22. the house of representatives is expected to vote on the extension of unemployment benefits to day after senate action on it yesterday. two republicans across the aisle to vote with democrats -- olympia snowe and susan collins. fed chief bender 90 heads back up to capitol hill today. -- fed chief ben bernanke heads back to the hill yesterday. his remarks to the senate
yesterday as strong reaction from the market. >> even as the federal reserve continues prudent planning, the ultimate withdrawal of extraordinary monetary policy accommodation, the outlook remains unusually uncertain. we will continue to carefully assess on going developments and we remain prepared to take further policy actions as needed to foster a return to full utilization of our nation's productive potential in the context of price stability. host: the fed chief says the economic outlook is unusually uncertain. that is what we want to talk about with you this morning. he also said the unemployment rate will likely stay high, and double digits, for the foreseeable future. we would like to talk to you about his assessment of the state of the economy this morning, and here are the phone numbers --
we would like to talk to you about the economy especially in light of the fed chief assessment. really interesting looking at the newspapers and the various headlines. the top of "the baltimore sun." "the washington times" picked up on this. "usa today" put this on the lead of their money section. "the new york times" -- they were really alone among the big pay -- papers choosing "no fed plans." "the wall street journal" with this headline -- we would like to talk to you about the state of the economy and let us start with a call from bill, independent line, philadelphia. caller: burning he should be in
jail. the bankers should be in jail -- bernanke should be in jail. the bankers should be in jail. we should dissolve the fed. they are not federal, they are private bankers. they caused the collapse. if people would watch the movie "freedom to fascism" you would get a good idea of what has been going on. we have been getting robbed since 1913, sense of the fed was put into action. the only saving grace we might have is if we started throwing these bums in jail because we have just done the opposite, we have handed them over more power and we are heading for a road warrior-type collapse and it is these guys that are indeed orchestrating it for their ultimate goal of forming a one world government. host: the first caller this morning.
are you feeling the affects of that and would he think of the prospects of the near-term future? caller: yes, i am feeling the effects. i am extremely concerned about it. one thing i think of in relation to this is the impact on the stock market. i don't know if people know or not, but the stock market as of today is down 12% from where we started the decade. we have always been told that the market was supposed to keep you ahead of inflation. but with the economic uncertainty we are having and what we are going through right now, the market is not a place to be. i hope that people understand, this is the kind of thing brokers to not talk about what we are down 12% now in over 10.5 years with no prospect at all of the market straightening out. that is where i am concerned.
and i really wonder how long we can go with the stock market just wheeling and what the impact is on on the financial institutions, people's savings. sometimes i think we should be opening up a new branch of gamblers anonymous for people who cannot get out of the market, who just sit there and watch the money go down, down, down, and cannot get out of it. host: republican line. glendale, california. caller: good morning, how are you? host: it is early for you. caller: it is early but not quite as warm as in the northeast apparently. host: it is quite toasty. caller: so i hear. in terms of the economic outlook, certainly on economic issues i am a very marked the libertarian minded republican. and i blame the democrats in
congress, i blame obama's stimulus, i blame the fact that bush's the original tax cuts will apparently not be going forward as they were, and there will be uncertainty. but if you look at the 1980's and what congress and the president during that period of time bid to have a more stable, secure economy not just the u.s. but in a global sense, that -- the policies of tax cuts that worked. when you say big governments, as someone very political myself, i see very bad news in 2010 and 2012 but the president -- and i don't want the economy to be bad just so democrats don't do well. but, you know, it is not looking good. i don't see obama with any solutions. host: some of the stories of the
newspapers have a connection mike "the new york times" does with politics. he predicted the unemployment rate would be well above 7% through 2012. a discouraging factor for incumbents facing reelection. this is a tweet -- the next telephone call is from sarah, democrats line. caller: i just want to say, we don't want to be a country of human race where we blame everybody for financial difficulties. i have been in circumstances where i have had an abundance and i have been in circumstances where i have had very little. i know the government -- that is why i vote. i vote because the government can make a big difference as to
how much money is out in the world, the amount of money corporations have. but we don't want to get into where we blame other people because we don't have enough money to support our families. we want to look at how do we get more jobs into our neighborhoods, how do we make it so that we can sustain families. we are all human beings, we are all connected. if you play the blame game, that is the negative part of politics where people don't want anything to do with politics. in order to get more people involved, more people wanting to be a part of politics, we want to make it more -- this is your community, where you live, how can we make a better place. it could you talk about trading more jobs, d have a sense of what it could take to stimulate jobs growth? caller: jobs where people feel good about where they work, and you can say, i feel good today, i work for a clean energy job, i
work for a job where i did not use sales tactics where i was just trying to make money, i did not care if the roof fell and around the family that i sold a house to. host: those are the kinds of jobs, but how we get them created in the economy? caller: the government does play a part because it cannot just be privatized. it has to be the government saying, this is what we will accept from you. we need more people stepping up and saying i will have the kind of business that will sustain the community and i have something that is going to have a solution. just everybody working together. host: thank you for your call this morning. i will play a couple more clips from yesterday's report to the senate on the state of the economy from fed chief ben bernanke. democrats and republicans reflecting the differing views on stimulus versus deficit reduction.
let us listen to the chairman, senator dodd from connecticut. real fixed investment declined and the first quarter of this year. in this less than robust environment is not surprising that price inflation is hardly an issue. for the past year the cpi increase by only 1.1% and core cpi increased by only 0.9%. in short, it looks like our economy is in need of additional help. host: next is a telephone call from houston. this is deborah, democrats like caller: good morning. it does look uncertain. i agree with that. i think we are in a place where jobs are gone and i believe there is a low probability they will come back.
the employers are not hiring. they are doing well how they are. more money for them. so why should they hire? gave them at's stimulus to hire people and they are not even taking that. so, that is pretty sad to me. >> have you personally been affected by the economic downturn? are you still employed? members of your family? caller: yes, i am unemployed since 2008. host: what field where you been? caller: pharmacy technician. host: it would seem like the health-care area has growth. a d.c. prospects in your field still being taught in the months ahead -- do you see prospects in your field? caller: you would think that. i have been putting in resumes
-- i have had a few interviews but not very many. like you said, the health field. but i believe that employers are looking for entry level. i am 61, so they are looking at entry-level, people that come in and pay less. host: what are your plans going forward? how are you going to manage? caller: i am in school. i have a certification for occupational health and safety. every time i look, the requirements are bidding higher and higher, bs and that. and nobody is not hiring. it is it -- it is getting really bad. i don't know the outlook. all i can do is try to hang in there and people need to try to still go to school while they have opportunity -- while they are not working, the need to take advantage. host: were you collecting unemployment? caller: yes, it stopped in april but i got a chance to file a new claim for the end of july, so we
will see with that. host: thank you for calling in and sharing your own situation with our national audience this morning. speaking of unemployment benefits, jonathan allen is on the phone from politico. yesterday three members of the senate crossed from the majority party position. a two main -- two maine senators. tell us a little bit about the politics? guest: democrats have been working for quite a long time to find some republicans that would come over and vote with the democrats in the senate, so whatever they wanted to get done, they needed two republicans. the republican party had been holding in line for quite a while now that basically said they would have to offset the unemployment benefits with cost savings or revenue raises it --
razors, tax increases somewhere else. ultimately the two maine senators' help block a filibuster so it was not surprised that they voted for the bill. ben nelson from nebraska is probably the most conservative democrat in the senate and he went back on the other side, standing with most of the republicans on this. at the end of the day i think there was a lot of pressure from the two maine republicans back home to go ahead and vote for the extension without trying to find offsets. host: looking ahead to november, mr. allen, the unborn independent vote, a wide swath of voters, and understand -- but can you tell us how the candidates will be using this vote to appeal to independents? guest: democrats in congress and
on the campaign trail trying to paint republican candidates and insensitive to the unemployed and they are standing with the majority of republicans in congress. you see some waffling. carli fear arena -- carly fiorina bids which herb position on this -- switched her position on this. you see the pressure already on the campaign trail. you will see some republicans and conservative areas -- don't know will use this as a key part of their argument or may be part of the argument that democrats are spending without finding ways to offset it. host: that moves to the house floor today. is the passage certain? guest: it should be a foregone conclusion.
the president should be able to sign this quickly. each state has its own rules, the federal-state unemployment insurance program, so it will vary a little bit state-by-state how fast the benefits get out the door. they are retroactive, so people who have been waiting for seven or eight weeks will get payment for that. host: one other item that a specific -- the front page of the hartford courant, the talk about the legislation and what they say is a little known development. it fixes a "glitch" which strikes penalty for temporary and part-time workers. for people who took temporary or part-time positions while unemployed. you know about that? guest: that is accurate. there is a provision that sort
of coordinate's the federal unemployment benefits by giving states a lot of different ways of allowing people to remain eligible for their benefits even if they are working at the time part time. my understanding is that it would basically keep them eligible if switching reduces their and and when the check. there is a provision. they are right. host: jonathan allen from politico who has been covering the unemployment extension debate in congress and billing as in all the politics and a particular spirit thanks so much. we are taking your telephone call on the fed chief's report to congress on the state of the economy. he used the phrase unusually uncertain. he says the fed has an
additional tools it is debating if the economy should take a turn for the worst. on top of it all, he had a rather specific outlook for the job situation which suggests the job numbers will stay in this difficult zone for the foreseeable future. the a administration has been calling this recovery summer and sending key members across the country to talk about the effects of the stimulus. "the wall street journal" has an article on this today. in the article she tells us the white house enacted a total of 172 trips outside of washington in which officials have discussed the stimulus package and its economic impact.
and many of the trips particularly are in states with closely contested midterm elections in the fall. the next will call is arizona. dorothy, democrats line. caller: good morning. i just want to say that's -- that i am a grandmother and i take care of all six of them. i have not been at work since january 17 of last year. when might unemployment ran out, i have been looking -- ever since i have been out of work i have been -- host: dorothy, are you there? dorothy, apologies. your phone is cutting in and out. we have to lose you. sorry about that. claire, republican line.
caller: good morning. it is nice to speak with you. i did not understand how we can keep spending and spending and spending and think there is a way we can create jobs by spending more. there are so many issues that the government has had to deal with, that i did not know how they can straighten it out and have a clear head. it seems like they have their fingers in everybody's pie and as a republican i am against the power of the federal government being in every single thing. i am for states' rights. and i have been watching in the last -- not just this administration -- where they are taking more and more and more away from the states. i am concerned. host: ashley, independence. calling from illinois.
caller: good morning, good morning. i don't know where to begin. i have so many ideas. as we continue to live in america we all feel unusually uncertain. with the cost of living going up, layoffs, constant demand to have to pay a bill. people in areas outside of the cities, we are all facing these problems. debt to china -- i am 21 years old and i see it as an list right now. our economy is going to be facing other problems other than not just having jobs and not having money. at the american needs to make sure we focus on having everything we need to get by with in life such as water. we are going to run out of potable water eventually in time. who knows what time will reveal to us. but as of right now it is a revealing to us that because we cannot pay our bills, we cannot have jobs and we cannot pay our bills and put food on the table.
i and going back to my roots as a southern girl and i am going to learn how to plant my garden and vegetables. host: i have heard the economy has been a particularly tough on young people. you are 21 there are you employed? caller: i am 21 years old and i go to college. host: what is your major? caller: nursing. unfortunately, very crowded classes. host: what are your job prospects when you have your degree? caller: to go as far as i can and not stop. like abraham lincoln said in the past, it is a good thing to learn something new every darn day. host: thank you very much. good luck in your nursing career. jonathan city, illinois. "the new york times" as a photograph of the president's signing the overhaul of the financial system legislation. you can see the hog with the former fed chief paul volcker. that is elizabeth warren standing behind the president. the story today --
larry bird and from the business roundtable -- table said the work that the president to sustain economic growth and job creation. the article tells us the first visible results of the new law may come in about two years, the deadline for the consumer regulator to create a simplified disclosure form for mortgage loans. that is from the president yesterday. on fannie and freddie reform, this is from "the financial times" today.
pittsburgh, good morning to you. howard on our democrats line. caller: two things. the first thing is, can you do a "washington journal" evening edition? your program is so popular. i wonder if you could go out at 7:00 a.m. at not -- at night and do a "washington journal" evening program. host: our problem with being consistent about it is that we guarantee live coverage of the house and senate. it would get interrupted many nights in the middle of the week. that is why we started and stopped that idea a few times over the years. caller: listened. i voted for obama.
and i am very disappointed. he has his priorities in the wrong place. it is very obvious that the united states of america has given china everything but the kitchen sink. jobs. y've got our i went to the store the other day to buy chicken wire and the stakes to protect my wife's flowers. i looked on the name tag, made in china. everything, made in china. you want to know where our jobs are out? you don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure that out. host: thanks for that call. looking to europe from "the wall street journal." read below this, in germany, the politics of austerity. angela merkel defends austerity as her poll numbers fall.
phoenix, kathy, republican line. caller: good morning. host: talking about the state of the economy. what are your thoughts? caller: i am from arizona. my senators are republican and i feel that they voted me out of my house once again. in 2008 my husband had lost his job. i was still working. we ended up losing our house to foreclosure. we were lucky enough to find somebody who understood the situation and let us get into bed house because of bad credit -- good luck. at the end of 2008 i was employed by a company that went out of business, and never really gave us our last checks. it has been going in court. still waiting for that. the hours that we worked, hours
that were accumulated for vacation time were not paid. a few more months and my husband lost his job again that he had found, so that only thing we are keeping alive is unemployment. we have been sending out applications like crazy. over 300 this year alone and have yet to get an interview. i can't believe that they would think of not helping us when you have the stimulus package is, helping out all these things, aig and those people, and we cannot get the check that we turned and nothing is being done about that. held up and held up. i just feel my senators are really let me down.
it is hard right there. losing our place again. then when where it -- where are we going? host: thanks. hard to find anything to say when people share stories like that. good luck to you. thank you for calling. omaha, nebraska, dave calling on the democrats' line looking at the unusually uncertain economic outlook. you are on the air. caller: hello? good morning. i want to tell you. i started working in the 1970's. if you could get a job, and it will ask ken starr now, i will start tomorrow. in the 1980's we started exporting jobs. giving tax breaks for countries -- companies to leave the country. now we are in a situation right now. the other day i called one of these guys -- bush did not get
his agenda done because we got attack on 9/11, i go, he got the agenda down, gave away 6.5 million jobs and import 30 million mexicans. that is why we're in the jam. i want people to think about it. host: that is dave from nebraska. this tweet -- back to phone calls. vermont, anne is on our republican line. caller: we are spending a lot, but if we look at what we are spending, $1 trillion a year to the military budget. we are giving the most wealthy corporations the biggest billions of dollars in subsidies.
we have the biggest prison system on the planet, the tax payers are paying for this -- that does not have any oversight or accountability. we are spending trillions and trillions of dollars. we did give money to wall street, but they also paid a lot of it back. and johnson have been outsourced. so, there -- and the jobs have been outsourced. there is money out there. it seems like it is taboo to give money to the average person. we could write a blank check to the military or other special interests, about 300 private corporations we pay for in iraq and afghanistan. so there are trillions of dollars out of their. and i am very disappointed that
the republican party isn't just a more supportive of people who are out of work. we seem to be more of in a depression in many parts of the country. i luckily have a business going ok. i cannot one of the people struggling to put food on the table. i am very sad about america, what is happening to it. paying for these awards is the most incredibly expensive. now i understand they want to cut security -- cut social security even though it is solvent. host: we will be talking about the solvency of social security with our final guest, a long time congressperson who is president and ceo of an organization called the national
committee to preserve social security and medicare. also in a few minutes, 7:45 a.m. eastern time, barbara lee, chair of the congressional black caucus will be here. also of course we will be talking to her about the shirley sherrod incident, but the political world is talking about and get her views of the apology from the agriculture will secretary -- agricultural secretary. helen tweets this -- >> is a call from maryland. sheila, independent line. caller: yes, my name is sheila. and all i wanted to do is share with your listeners our situation so they can see just how challenging this government
is going to be, and whether you are democrat or republican or independent, we absolutely have to start holding our representatives accountable to us. it is not us and then -- us and them, it is us. we send people to washington and they are executing plans and are not held accountable. we on a farm. i family had this farm since 1771. it has been passed down seven generations. and i am in severn closing out the property we inherited from a family member who recently passed away. so, we now have two properties. the property in winslow, because these home values were run up and the phantom equity that we supposedly have by bank
appraisers sent out working for banks, we now are taxed on our farm back almost a million dollars. because the taxes and property values are so high on this farm, our insurance home was put for half a million dollars for home replacement. we have this form on the market now because we no longer -- we of the first generation that cannot keep our family farm. we can't sell this farm. for three years we had it on the market, since the beginning of when these taxes were run all the way up to never never land. and in every configuration we have tried, we are under a half a million dollars, 50 cents on the dollar on this farm, we have been not able to sell this property. and yet it is taxed at nearly a million dollars. fair market value is less than half.
the insurance to replace the house, that the house alone has been called out by two different realtors as now worth barely $100,000. in short at $500,000. host: sheila, i have to interrupt because we understand the big picture of your story. we've got a lot of people on the line. what is your message to government based on your own situation? caller: i message to the government is, we've got to get a real grip on what it is going to take for all of these americans who are losing their homes -- and it is because of this crazy taxing system that we have that we are being taxed right off of our properties. we cannot cover our expenses. so, as a community, we are going to have to get our government ought to quit spending money they don't have building other nations and getting back to building our own country before we wind up with nothing to
share with the world. host: sheila, good luck to you in maryland as well. you heard the news that governor blagojevich will not be testifying and the defense rests. here is "the chicago sun-times" a photograph. and "the chicago tribune." "the washington post" has a big lobbying story on its front page. most oil and gas lobbyist work for government. they write after their reporting --
today there are two hearings on capitol hill about the oil disaster in the gulf and how to repair and allay such situations in the future. also in "the new york times" this morning, democrats plan to aid small businesses hit to gop resistance. reporting that what republicans in the senate signaled that they would block a bill to expand government lending programs and grant an array of tax breaks to small businesses. the main point of disagreement is the centerpiece, a proposed $30 billion lending program that would make credit available to small businesses through local banks. some republicans decried it as any bailout. olympia snowe of maine and the senior republican on the committee said she firmly opposed the $30 billion program because it echoes the huge bailout of wall street, the tarp program, which has become a political liability for
lawmakers to support that. edgewood, maryland. debbie is on the democrats' line. caller: how are you? host: good, to buy. how is the economy today? caller: it stings. i voted for obama, and i don't feel a lot of what is going on is his fault. the republicans, in my opinion, are just completely messing with the middle man. i lost my job in november. my unemployment ran out when they decided not to extend unemployment. so, i am waiting. and the problem that the republicans don't understand is that those of us -- i sat at my computer seven hours a day going through different website, in mailing result -- resumes,
faxing, mailing them. what i don't understand is they are saying there are five people for every job. well, one of the jobs a family member told me about who work for the company that i sent a resume to, she heard yesterday that, yes, they will interview me. she has over 100 resin -- resumes for this job. so it is not five people for every job. they are talking 100 or better. and anyone that i speak to, they say, we've got hundreds of resumes, over 100 paper -- over 100 people. i do not know why they figured people are not worked -- looking for work. i always worked to pay my bills. that is my fear. i have a house payment. i have bills to pay. i have food that i need to put on the table. and, yes, i am lucky one that my husband is working, but how long
is that going to be? right now in middle america, the people who are working are scared to death. they don't know. i went into work on friday and found out that i did not have a job two hours later. host: what business are you in? caller: i work in an office environment, accounting, administrative assistant. host: what is the reason? what has happened to the business they are laying people off? caller: the company that i've worked for, that is just what they do. i was given no reason. it is just, i'm sorry, but we don't need you any longer, and that is it. host: is it something you had been expecting? had you been expecting it? caller: no. caller: what are your prospects? caller: right now, very grim. like ives said, one day i 28
cents resumes in one day -- like i said -- like i said. now, some i were overqualified for and people do not realize, i will take the receptionist job. i don't care. that does not bother me to go down. i just want to go back to work. host: thank you for your call. talking about the state of the economy, listening to your calls and your own experiences. the fed chief called the outlook unusually uncertain. on capitol hill, formation of a tea party caucus this week. here is the headline from "the washington times." michele bock men will be the head of the caucus -- michelle bachman will head the caucus. anderic cant -- and eric cantor said he would not join the caucus because the tea party movement is best left with the
people. anita, democrats line. you are on. your comments, please? caller: i can hear you. host: we can hear you, go ahead. caller: i am calling related to unemployment benefits. i have been unemployed since may of last year. i was laid off my job. i was told they did not have anything available for me. i have been out on sick leave and when the doctor released may i went back to work. i was told to go back to work and when i went back they said they did not have anything available for me. i am almost 60 years old. i have been looking and looking. i have one interview and i never heard from the people again.
so, i am just waiting on them to pass this bill because, like i say, nobody is calling me and i think it is because of my age. it is -- has been very hard. host: how do you get yourself pass this situation, and need to? caller: well, i have been able to have family members who have been aiding the with food and gas for my car and stuff like that. that is the only way that i have been able to survive. host: thank you for your call. again, to all the callers calling in on their personal situations. i think the rest of us listening to extend our sympathies this morning. gop's lugar says he will back kagan. and our last call on this discussion with you about the
state of the economy this morning, this is cleveland, jeremiah, independent line. caller: good morning, susan. i am a 50-year-owned -- 50-year- old, i had back surgery, and i own a business and since 2007 the economy just basically kept going down. we were a very successful company in this region -- i dealt with churches, schools, corporations. and i have seen so many businesses go out of business, they have been in business 50, 60, 70 years in this region. i work every day. some days my phone will not win at all. i will make 50 phone calls to try to find new business. you are aggravating people when you do that. but i have been at this a long time. this month i had
one job where i used to do 20 jobs in one month. i used to employ seven people full time and now i don't employ anybody. i just hire people for a job. i did not see in washington, d.c., congressman, senators that -- senators and president, basically said their jobs overseas. the local people here -- democrats, republicans, independents -- are very dissatisfied. and i have been in business 30 years and there is no -- i did not see any bright lights. i am not seeing people wanting to spend money. and i think the government has wasted our money and i think it is time to kick government out and people take over. host: we will let you go on that point, at going the fed chief and the outlook for the economy
being unusually uncertain. two last comments -- from our twitter audience. and from "the hill" newspaper. the big debate in the fall will be about the bush tax cuts which are set to expire in 2011. you can see this headline -- alexander bolton says the democrats considering a plan to delay the tax hikes for the wealthy for two years. it could mean a big reprieve for families earning $250,000 and above annually. we will be continuing our discussion of the economy. congresswoman barbara lee is our guest in just a few minutes. we will be right back.
administration might >> as the senate prepares to debate the energy bill, find out about previous bills with c- span's video library. look up a bill with our new search feature and watched congressional hearings in previous debate on the house and senate floor. it is all on line and free -- the c-span video library. it is washington your way. >> this weekend on "book tv," saturday vets discussion with congressmen, senators, authors, an activist with libertarian and conservative ideas beginning at 1:00 p.m. eastern. then offer of the best-selling book on " infidel, what about the life she left behind. then sunday starting at 1:00, the roosevelt reading festival.
books about fdr and his policy and legacy. a weekend filled with nonfiction books on c-span2. for the complete schedule go to booktv.org. >> this weekend, former "the new york times" public editor of the changing world of the newspaper industry. >> i worry about some of the standards and maintaining journalistic integrity as we move from one media world to another. >> sunday night on c-span's "q&a." >> "washington journal" continues. host: on your screen is congresswoman barbara lee from california, chair of the congressional black caucus. guest: glad to be here. host: a photograph of you with the agricultural secretary, about what seems to be the political story of the week, surely sherrod being fired and
then it offered to bring her back to the department of agriculture. what is your thinking about what happens and what it means? guest: it is an example of what happens when one runs with sound bites, distortions in some media and how it can really nearly destroyed a good person's life and service to our country. in this instance, the congressional black caucus communicated to the secretary of agriculture that we thought he made a hasty decision, that he should reconsider this and he should reinstate her. we met with the secretary last night. it was a candid meeting. he apologized, of course, first of all to ms. sherrod and to the congressional black caucus and the country -- basically sound bite and a clip of a film that was really unfortunate, it was outrageous what happened because when you look at what she has
done with her life and the experiences that she had had in her life and what she had gone through, she is a wonderful woman who turned at the very horrible experiences which many african-americans have experienced in to an effort to try to make this country better. she is a woman who is a hero. she deserves a lot of credit for handling it the way she has. it was just a disaster and it was really very sad how she was treated. we were pleased with the apology because when one makes a mistake, one owes it up -- an apology to the affected party and others affected by it. host: as you well know often when public officials have accusations made against them, it's a book called response would be administrative leave until an investigation and then -- a typical response would be administrative leave until an investigation. , question to you on agriculture secretary in particular, do you
still comfortable with him continuing in a litter submission having a demonstration of his leadership style? guest: the secretary of agriculture understands the mistake he made, that it was a horrible mistake. his ecology -- his apology, if you saw that yesterday, was a real. i think he has really taken on this this -- the system issues and the department. for example, the black farmers deserve justice. they have been waiting for their settlement. we have historically black colleges and universities which really have not achieved parity within the usda. there is a lot of discrimination that has taken place since the berkeley. and the secretary is moving forward to try to rectify all of that and this is a difficult job. so, while he did the wrong thing initially, it is outrageous how it was handled, he looked at it, we communicated with them, i talked with them, many members of the congressional black caucus talk with him and he apologized and we accepted his apology but we also told him in
no uncertain terms that we want him to continue to work with us to try to meet the department of agriculture department it should be and to make sure the african- american community, the black farmers, land grant colleges, historically black colleges and universities achieve the justice and parity that they deserve. host: my other question is really on the larger state of race relations and a dialogue about race. naacp was involved with this and made a quick condemnation and then a retraction, as you know. there is always -- also the fact is between the naacp and the tea party and the black panthers a tradition going on with philadelphia and the justice department, and "the boston globe" lead story is on the professor gates case. authorities abruptly dropped criminal charges against noted scholar henry louis gates, but it appears to be too little, too
late. what do you think about this dialogue in our country and the actuality of the state of race relations here right now? guest: we have to have a real dialogue on race and it must be held within the context of civility. i think what has taken place in terms of the noise that is out there really present -- prevents us from having a healthy, honest, and clear debate. we can no longer sweep race under the rug. this is not a post-racial era. we have come a long way but because of our history and the legacies that we still have to deal with, we have to look at how we move forward. and, in fact, we have to have a decent, civil conversation. the congressional black caucus started this last year. i think this provides us another opening to reduce the noise and to begin to talk about the tough issues. and these are very tough. about race. but if you look, for example, how race plays into everything.
if you look at health care disparities, the injustices' the black farmers had to deal with over so many years, if you look at the fact that in minority communities we see environmental degradation, pollution, instances of lung cancer, prostrate cancer, and all kinds of diseases are disproportionately affected african-americans and latinos, when you look at the fact that our young people are unemployed and we have been working on a bill, the congressional black caucus, to hire young people for the summer, you are looking at an unemployment rate of over 40% for african-american and latino young people whereas the national average is probably 25% to 29%. so, race a factor in all of our lives. it is systemic and institutional and one has to understand that while individual relations and interactions -- some people may be fine, we still have to have major
discourse about these huge economic inequalities that exist disproportionately in the african-american community. host: moving on to the economy and how it affects particularly african-americans. we just finished a 45-minute discussion with our audience about the state of the economy. yesterday then burning key told the senators -- and he will repeat the message on the house side -- the economic outlook is unusually uncertain. here are some statistics. the june unemployment rate is somewhere in the vicinity of 9% nationally -- actually 10% nationally. when you break it down racially, whites are affected 8.6% and blacks double that. you also mentioned how it particularly affects young people. let us look at the unemployment figures for african-american youth in this country. black men aged 20 + -- 17.4
percent, black women 20 +, 11%, but both sexes in 16-19 pages, 39.9% unemployment. what really can be done in this tough economy for a young people with low or skill levels looking for jobs? guest: in this economy, weakened the quite a bit. young people need jobs now, not only to help develop their resume and skills for their future work experience, but they need jobs now to help pay the rent and mortgage and put food on the table. that is why the congressional black caucus has been working day and night to try to get a jobs bill, not only for the entire country but also for young people because they are such a critical part of this economy. we have worked with the president and the president supports this effort. our speaker, senator reid, has been phenomenal hoping as advocate. but the senate for some reason will not pass the bill that these young people need. we started with $3 billion or $4
billion that just begins to address the unemployment rate. we were able to pare this down -- unfortunately they would not declare this an emergency, which it is -- so we had to pare it down to $1 billion that would create 350,000 up to 400,000 jobs. these would create both public sector and private sector jobs. if you look at the local jurisdictions, they are ready to hire young people. and we have growth industries where young people need to get the experience down. the green industry, infrastructure -- sectors where we are trying to create jobs for the future but the senate just held of all of our jobs bill and a congressional backed -- black caucus -- last week we communicated with the senators, especially those who have large numbers of minorities in their states with off the scale unemployment rates. we are asking the senators to
please understand that their constituents, too, are hurting, they are desperate, they need jobs. jobs help create consumer spending, which helps reduce the deficit. so it is very mean spirited, if he asked me, and quite frankly immoral and unethical to not create opportunities for people so that they can work. that is what we -- we have to put america back to work. that is how we reduce the deficit and move forward. host: the phone lines are on the screen -- you can also send us an e-mail or twitter. the house of representatives takes up the unemployment benefits extension, and you know the parameters of the debate well. i would like to read to you from
safety net and sustenance to help them weather the storm? our values as a country and a people are not what you just read. there are millions of people out there who have nowhere to go, they have nowhere to turn to, they have lost their homes, they have lost everything, and so for us as a country to saying that we can invest this money not with people who need this kind of safety net but to make those horrible false choices i think speaks really to the worst in who we are. but i think we are better than that. and i think we care about people. and i think we should move forward, and hopefully that they will pass unemployment extension in the house. the economic policy institute indicated that for every dollar we spent on unemployment
compensation, we receive $1.50 in economic output. just look at the type of economic benefits the country receives in general by investing and just helping people manage through this very difficult time. i think we've got to be more sensitive and we have to be more concerned about the common good. host: we put two big issues on the table. let us get to our viewers phone calls. we have wayne on the democrats' line. good morning, wayne. caller: i would like to know, what percentage of the private sector hire minorities? because i believe that you need the government to help. and i would like to know what is the holdup about passing the jobs bill?
guest: the hold up right now unfortunately is the senate. if you could get enough votes to pass this jobs bill, there are several looming somewhere in the senate, we would be able to move forward with our small businesses, our minority-owned businesses, women-owned businesses, to help them begin to reemployed and employ people. small businesses, minority- owned, women-owned, create a lot of jobs in our country so the bills that are pending that will provide assistance, loan assistance, access to opportunities for our businesses, our private sector, should be passed, so i am encouraging everyone to please, let the senate know, let your members know that we want to work with the private sector so they can create jobs and we have bills and legislation that would do just that. but they are being held up right now. it is outrageous and i thank you
for that question. but i hope that we will be able to report back as soon, that the senate has i am a republican, but unemployment, there are a lot of people who are really coming across hard times. mitch mcconnell and republican senators are deliberately holding of the johns bill. it is obvious what is going on here. it is being upheld by fox news. a lot of people are waking up to the fact that the republicans and fox news are doing what of
the can to take down the president. it is hurting the country in the long run and they do not see the damage they are doing. i just hope we can work together to get a jobs bill passed. the reason it is not is politics. republicans want to take down the president, even if it her to america. quick protecting fox news, thank you. guest: you told us you were a republican. this economic crisis does not discriminate. it has affected all parties, though without party affiliations. we are asking the public to communicate to the senate this is not a partisan issue, this is an issue of justice, fairness,
she had received a phone call that said that it would be on glenn beck if she did not resign. i am wondering about the discussion and whether or not you think it is fair. guest: when you look at, not only cox news, but other media outlets, although we know how this has evolved with fox. sometimes, at the government is held hostage by the fact that the media run wild with snippets, misinformation, and create a media frenzy based on half-truths.
i think it is incumbent upon the public to ask for fair, objective reporting, and to not try to use scare tactics to create an outcome that furthers some right wing, political agenda. we have the responsibility to say that. that is not what the first amendment is about. people deserve to be educated, people deserve to be told the truth. the public has seen what happens when the media creates this misinformation about this wonderful woman, and it was just the opposite, about her life. achievement through a transformation in her life. she is an example of reconciliation, healing, a way
to help the country, provide help to the people who have been discriminated against. her whole life is about that. this video clip tried to show she is the opposite. it is a disgrace. we have to demand that the objectivity, and the public needs to do that. i hope the public is outraged. host: janice on the democrat's line. caller: i am so disappointed, angry, mostly with african- americans. every time it comes down to race, we have to dress it up, it
is somebody else's ignorance. when are we going to get angry? they do not do anything. we never get outraged. i am upset with obama, the senators, the naacp. we need to take a stand. this stuff has been going on and on, even though we knew it was on the line. they are blatant racist. no one in the senate will stand up for them. my question for you it is when are you going to get angry enough to conform? guest: the congressional black caucus has, for 40 years, then
confronting them, and we will continue. we have to remember there is an election in november, and we have to vote our anger. i hope you are looking at some of their records. an f or d, when it comes to the economic initiatives, inclusive policies that would create jobs for everyone, not just corporate giveaways, the bailout-kinds of efforts. we need to develop in movement. members of the congressional black caucus are working with other organizations to try to the together marches and rallies, registering people to vote.
we need to make sure that we vote our anger and make sure we select individuals who reflect the thoughts of americans and individuals, rather than those who have the money. host: your reaction to the announcement that the republican party has formed a tea party caucus? guest: everyone has the right to form their own caucus. this is another one. these caucuses represent the interest of that variety of constituents. their caucus, i assume, will address the narrow interests of this tea party movement, which many are beginning to see as a movement that does not reflect the views of the majority of the
latinos, pacific islanders, african-americans, progressive white, so we try to work on an agenda and that is reflective of the conclusion. when it comes to the congressional black caucus, we have been in existence for 40 years. we have historically been known as the conscience of the congress. we take on issues that most people will not touch because there is no real political constituency and up there. we are proud to be americans. no way would we say that we want our country separated by race. each caucus has a specific purpose and constituency who
they represent, which is part of america. we want to make sure communities of color, low income communities, so goes the country. we want to make sure everyone is included in every policy and that aspect in society. host: birmingham, alabama. dana. caller: i think the problems we have today go back to what we learned in grade school. when you have a debate, do need to listen to both sides. we, as the viewing public, have to know that if ever news organizations do not provide us with the accurate depiction of then we should ben we shoul doing something like i do.
i go around to every media outlet to see but is happening. we should be questioned in the sources and do some research as we vote on these issues. host: thank you. winston, north carolina. sylvia, good morning. caller: i wanted to go back to the woman that is angry. i am also angry. i am angry that nobody wants to see the actual picture. there are statistics between whites, blacks, asians, latinos, understand that, but the big picture this, let's see why young african-american males are employed -- are unemployed. maybe it is a bigger picture than race. maybe it is more than they are
not getting hired. maybe the whole society -- they are looking up to people like lil wayne. maybe the media has too much pull on young americans. the media has a bigger toll on them. they are not looking at the bigger picture. i am angry at people who want to claim racist front of them to society -- rather than society. they would rather blame someone who does not really know what they are actually doing. host: we will stop you there. guest: i understand the anger. we all do. we are a country that probably
reflects the diversity of the world in a great way, more so than any other country. diversity is an issue we need to address and the price of -- product of. sometimes, those issues need to be worked through. that is why the congressional black caucus wants to make sure all of the issues that have created the anger and frustration out there -- and when you look at it, it is basically economic. they do not have jobs, there are no job training programs. they want to achieve the american dream. economic resources are tight, so people are naturally frustrated. we have to take this moment, and as we have said over and over again, we need to have this discussion. anger is a healthy a motion, but
we need to channel that anger and make sure that we move forward to create a country that provides for all. that creates a lot of work. when you look at the sacrifices that have been made up to this part, it is enormous. we need to fight hard to make sure that everyone can be a part of the american dream. host: earlier, we showed you a "wall street journal" article showing all of the trips from washington officials to tell the effects of the stimulus package. are you happy with the investment made by the government in the stimulus package? guest: yes, i m. initially, i wanted the package to be at least $1 trillion.
it was short of what i thought we should be investing in their career effort. while the economy has not completely turned around, 400,000-some jobs were created. we have to recognize this economic recovery is working. members of congress are working to create another jobs program so that we can have direct investment in jobs, such as in the infrastructure. there are shovel-ready jobs that can get people working tomorrow. health care is a growing industry. we need to create more training programs to help these people so they can be prepared for the jobs of tomorrow whe. when you look at the green
industry, trillions of dollars will be generated in that industry. we need to create more jobs. that is why many of us are creating the miller bill which will provide for an infusion of federal resources to create tubbs and the private and public sector, -- jumped in the private jobs inic sector -- the private and public sector. but i think we need to do more. we need to come up with a comprehensive comes packaged and women employed people in the high-growth industries. host: your state of california was particularly hard hit. you not yet had a budget? guest: we do not. there is a two-thirds
requirement to pass the budget. we need a majority rules budget. hopefully, it will be settled soon. the safety net is being totally eroded. seniors, young people, people who need support. it is a very sad time. host: california has particular challenges that makes it more difficult than other states. guest: we have over 30 million people. california is a state of innovation. we have a high-tech, biotech, industries of the future, but we also have a lot of people who need more education. we need more work force training, on the job training.
unfortunately, we have a huge prison budget. as a result of the three strikes law we are incarcerating individuals for drug offenses unfortunately when we really need more efforts on the front end to keep young people away from a life of crime. we have many of the issues that the rest of the country has, but because the population is so great, those problems are magnified. host: floyd from louisiana. you have to turn down the volume on your tv. go ahead. caller: i just wanted to
complement ms. lee for the tough stand that you have taken over the years. i have been watching you, and you have been doing great. i want to make a statement here this morning. i am 75 years old, retired air force. i have stayed with c-span and msnbc. i will not mention fox news because they are another issue. i look at the amount of coverage. most of those people are retired, millionaires. why would they not want social security? this money needs to be replaced into the system for people who
really need it. maybe this is something the president may want to talk about going around the country. the great statement that kennedy made. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. guest: first of all, thank you for your service. my father was a lieutenant colonel in the military. i really know the sacrifices you have made. thank you for calling in. i think we need to preserve social security for everyone. people worked all their lives, military included. but you'll also deserve social security. it is a safety net for many who do not have other resources. it is also an issue of the quality of life, for those who
have paid their dues for so many years. we do not need to privatize it. now there is more discussion about raising the age, other republican pos -- proposals that i do not think will work. when you look at wall street, the debacles that occurred with people losing their savings, i think social security needs to be preserved. everyone who has paid into social security needs to receive their checks. our job is to protect social security. host: where do you call on the question of the $13 trillion debt the country has currently? guest: debt reduction is
extremely important to the congressional black caucus. when bill clinton left, you must remember, we had a surplus we also know under the bush administration, the deficit increased at a scary rate. we have to dig ourselves out of this hole. to do that, we need consumer spending. when you look at the healthcare bill, health care reform, that will help to reduce the deficit. when you look at ways we can address the military budget, $700 billion, you some of that money to create economic opportunities. when you look at the huge tax cut under the bush had been
attrition for the very wealthy, we have to stop that -- administration for the very wealthy, we have to stop that. i will tell you one thing. in an economy such as ours, where people are suffering, do not have jobs, many of us voted for this pay-go. i did not like it, but i voted for it because there was an emergency designation that said we could provide for job creation efforts and not have to address the pay-fors, until the economy turns around. many of the initiatives we are working on, tamper resistant for
needy families, should be emergency designated. i think we have to work on the deficit, but we have to remember consumer spending and job creation is a major strategy to reduce the deficit. quite frankly, we do not see the republicans embracing a comprehensive approach to debt reduction. host: next phone call. good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call. there are many issues here. back to the woman that was fired. i know you touched on it. media was able to take this small snippet from her whole statement and use it for their own outcome.
it could have been used either way, good or bad. she is not the only one. it is unfortunate and i hope she is compensated. the whole system, really -- with racism, too -- racism is part of our lives, no matter who you are. it is an issue that will always be there. the only thing we can do is try to work through the differences. i do not think it will ever be completely satisfied but i think
we can work together and get through these divisions we have, but that issue will always be there. i wish it was not, but it is. host: closing comments? guest: well, i hope it will not always be there. i think we have come in long way to address it. what we have to do as a country is continue to fight against discrimination and racism, wherever it disixexists. it exists. i hope we do not accept any of the difficulties and challenges. ms. shiraz demonstrated the fact
that she was not going to accept racism. look at what she experienced in her family. look at how her father was unfortunately killed. when you look at what has happened to her, how she has used her life experience to help others, i think that gives us hope. we cannot be cynical about these things. the american dream, for me and for many, still lives. we need to get rid of these institutional inequalities that have really been created over the past 100 years. yes, we need to talk about these issues with our family, friends, people at work, but we need to have a national dialogue. we need to do this without all of the noise, a political
agenda, hateful rhetoric. we need to move on and have these discussions and fight for what is right for everybody and do not accept the fact that the baggage of the past will be with us forever. host: barbara lee will be joining the asian american caucus, hispanic american caucus, on capitol hill calling for senate republicans to stop job blocking legislation. our next guest will be congressman mac thornberry. we will be talking about the intelligence apparatus in this country in the wake of the big
series in "new york times" as well as his thoughts on afghanistan. >> the gulf oil spill is reverberating in campaign 2010. we want to show you two ads in florida and wisconsin. >> when i look at lake michigan, i see in the stores that we need to protect. that is why i stood at two big oil in washington. i said no to drilling in our great lakes. ron johnson is willing to hand over power likes to these big companies. we but not let that happen. >> career politician kendrick meeks. he took thousand from special interests, such as tobacco, big
oil, even bp. now he has been tied to a corruption case. isn't there a better choice? jeff greene is a true outsider who will not take $1 of interest money. >> david catanese is with us to talk about these races. we begin in wisconsin. russ feingold is running ads against the potentially leading republican candidate, ron johnson. why is running ads? >> i think he knows he is a threat. the initial polls show that this will be a dead heat.
he spoke at a tea party rally way back in the fall and said that he wanted to get involved because of the passage of the health care bill. it is ironic, a traditionally blue state, the relatively unknown republican can come and make a difference here. the fact that feingold is pushing back is also telling. >> how are the two doing with money? russ feingold did about $2 million. mr. johnson had about $500,000. he has promised he will be able to self-financed his campaign, which means he will have the resources to go up against the senator. that is why he was able to immediately respond to the and
you just played. >> in florida, another wealthy democratic candidate, jeff greene going after kendrick meeks. at the end he said he would not receive special interest money. how are both doing with money? >> that is right. here you have another candidate that came late into the process but is striking. in florida, all the attention was on the republican side. now it is completely switched. jeff greene has already put up $4 million in television ads going after congressman meeks. his campaign points out that they have not spent one dime on radio or tv. they will have to go on the air soon, but they have not yet.
they contend they will begin to see movement in the polling once they go on the air, but for right now, this is another close race. >> when you look at the potential general matchup between crist, rubio an, and meeks, meeks leads in most scenarios. >> that is right. everyone thought that his career was over but he has shown that he has stayed consistently ahead of his opponent. former speaker mark rubio is better to handle that, but now they are both trailing considerably. democrats are worried, can jeff
greene basically buy a primary? is that the advantage that he does not need to take the money because of his personal wealth. >> if neither of these candidates could be charlie crist, what does that mean for support for the democratic candidate from washington? >> it is interesting. the strategy of charlie crist is in being able to pull from democrats. he was a popular governor, and got support from both sides, and it shows you how scrambled this race has become. democrats will argue, once they get into a general election fight, they will be able to show
some momentum with the white house behind them. then there is the question of what is happening behind the scenes. are the democrats according charlie crist because they believe he will be -- courting charlie crist because they believe he will be the eventual winner? >> there were talks that harry reid had contacted charlie crist. >> i had heard about that. he was asked about that yesterday. he made clear there were no promises made. he did not say that he would caucus with the democrats. he said he would caucus with the people of florida. so there is this game to find out who he is going to line up with.
the speculation is he will likely go with the democrats, but nobody can say yet. >> thank you, david. for more information on campaign 2010, go to our website, c- span.org. host: our next guest is mac thornberry of texas. he is a part of the armed services committee. we are going to talk about the afghanistan strategy and intelligence. it has been a week where we have seen this extensive series in the "washington post" talking about the massive increases in resources and afghanistan. you have been digesting all of this. what do you take away about how much safer we are, if we are
getting the bang for our buck? guest: we are much safer than 9/11. if you remember, we were flat footed on 9/11. we have been doing a lot of things that we did not before. we have been putting on a lot of money and people into that effort, doing everything we can to stop the next attack. we cannot lose sight of the fact that other than fort hood there has not been a successful terrorist attack since 9/11. but no doubt we have grown a lot of money and people at the problem, it is difficult to manage, as others have admitted, and as you evaluate things, it is time to cut away some of the
fat. that is part of the challenge for the new dni. host: of course, confirmation hearings this week. in a follow-up to that, and editorial page in "the washington post." guest: there are a lot of issues here. it is absolutely true we want to have several sets of eyes looking at intelligence so that we can be sure that nothing is mixed. there is a built-in redundancies
we want for certain kinds of intelligence, but not too much. determining what is appropriate is the challenge we have. we hired a lot of contractors after 9/11 because the government could not do things. we have continued to do so because it is so hard to hire and fire and manage to federal employees. no doubt it has grown beyond what it should. so that needs to be cut back. but again, it needs to be a management challenge for him, but also an oversight challenge for congress. i do not think either side has done their job well enough over the past several years. host: that was part of the story, how much oversight
congress is providing. let's listen to dana priest from earlier this week. >> the nature of secrecy makes it more difficult to probe into this area. that is why the oversight of congress is important, and it needs to be robust. we can only do so much, you can only see some much, and it is very limited. those eight people you talked about, that is not very wild. people in intelligence committees, in the senate, there have only been a handful of members who really dig into these issues. i have always been amazed -- you have probably never heard of the national reconnaissance office which spends tens of millions of dollars to create satellites to snoop on other countries. there are just a handful of staff members who know about
that organization, who know where to look, what budgetary doors to look into. guest: well, i think she is right, the intelligence committee has, in a way, an awesome responsibility. it is the only oversight that the intelligence community gets. of all the recommendations from the 9/11 commission, the one not yet implemented is to approve congress's oversight and to straighten out the kind of leverage that they enjoy. our job in the intelligence committee is to provide nonpartisan, professional oversight of the intelligence
community. she is right, it is a lot of work. you spend lots of hours walked away in small rooms without windows, but with some reform in congress, we can do a better job and help the dni manage the country. host: in the "washington times" -- officials suggest general mcchrystal put too much focus on hunting down taliban leaders. suggests that general petraeus will be focusing on placing a wedge between the taliban and the afghanistan people.
a big story, news analysis in the "new york times" today. most officials that he spoke to would not speak on the record. he said when offered anonymity, some senior white house officials said that this year kandahar.the year of the = david gordon, a former top official said that politically, the support for the word is crumbling. -- war is crumbling. guest: i think these political observers should not underestimate the contents of the american people. they know you cannot repeat --
achieve results overnight. they know it will take some time to build up the afghan army and military so they can provide the security that that country needs. i think that is far too pessimistic. maybe for those looking at just a political timetable, perhaps. but looking from a national security standpoint, what will put afghanistan on a path for long-term to cheer before us, for them, it will take a long time. general petraeus has had success there. we ought to give him the support and resources to do the same here. host: you are a lawyer, cattleman, and he worked in the
reagan administration before working on capitol hill yourself. we begin with a phone call in orlando, florida. allie. caller: i have a hard time trying to relate to a man that is supposed to be on the intelligence committee, who is learned, who has a staff. i am a layman, and i can find out things that he does not seem to know. host: for example? caller: we are talking about the intelligence community and we are turning into a police state. eventually, we are all going to become either the victims or
the pressureers. let me give you an example. the bombing in oklahoma city. there were four other buildings in the area. we can look at the anomalies of 9/11. anyone that does any cursory investigation on this can easily find out we have been lied to about 9/11. i could bring up a thousand different questions they use the system as an excuse to keep on building up the military industrial complex, the intelligence apparatus. guest: to try to put things in
context little bit, -- a little bit, intelligence is one place where we do not have much room for airport. if you look at the christmas day bombing case, there were random pieces of information that did not go where they needed to go, so a young man was able to board an airplane and tried to blow it up. it was really our own luck, his incompetence, that that did not have been. small pieces of information out there related to hundreds of lives. my point is, part of the reason we have seen such growth is
because most americans expect their government to stop the next terrorist attack. a lot of hard work, and to some measure, luck has prevented another attack, but we need to do a better job of management. we cannot continue to grow on the scale that we have been. host: next phone call from maryland. judy on the republican line. caller: i truly have to laugh when i hear congress people say that we are secure. the first place you are to secure the nation was at our borders. our borders are not to care. you have no idea who has come across but we are spending billions, if not trillions, on security. hamid karzai is laughing on us
-- at us. we just gave $500 million to pakistan when our own people's homes are being foreclosed on. when are you going to close the border? what part of the constitution says i have to give my tax dollars to pakistan? davy crockett left congress because they were going to appropriate money for charity. we have no security. the american people are not stupid we know as long as the borders are open, you have no idea who is here and why. guest: i think you miss heard me. i said that we are more secure than we were in 9/11 from terrorist attack. i happen to agree with you. any country must be able to control who and what comes
across its border. part of the reason is economic, part is cultural, but a big part of the reason is security. there is a danger terrorists could infiltrate from the southern or northern border. it is a basic responsibility of government to control who or what comes across. there is an enormous frustration among some of us in congress, and around the country, that the federal government has not put greater effort into controlling the border. i think it is an element of national security. i hope the obama administration will do more, as we asked the bush administration to do more in the area as well. host: comments on how the christmas day bombing proceeded.
guest: it is a measure of luck that have prevented the christmas day and times square bombing, that is true. there are other instances that i cannot mention in public forum where it was not locked. it was the hard work of professionals doing their job everyday, and preventing attacks that could have been as bad or worse. there are no 100% guarantees of safety but the american people expect their government to stop terrorist attacks. that is not easy when one or two individuals determined to blow themselves up can strap bombs to their bodies, get in a crowded place, put something in a vehicle, and detonate.
host: next phone call from alberta, massachusetts. sandra. caller: i would like to see our soldiers filled the positions in the country that are needed by the federal government right now, brought back to the states, the men and women, and i would also like to see different bases overseas that are no longer useful -- and all our money is going to them -- stop and brought back. we do not need them open. we are turning out to be russia and china. we are eating our military. all we think about is picking up the gun and rolling the ammunition. wakeup. we are spending dollars that can be spent in our country. thank you.
guest: if you look back to what has happened since the end of the cold war, a number of overseas bases have been closed, consolidated. there have been changes in how many bases, how many troops we have stationed overseas in a peace time basis. the first job of the government is to defend the country. that is the primary responsibility for the government. that is where the first dollar to go. it ought to be spent effectively. part of congress's job is to oversee those dollars to see that it is being spent effectively, and but that is the first job of the government. that is where i put my first priority before all of the other issues that people are rightfully concerned about.
host: people writing about problems at home. what is it like in texas? what is the economy like? guest: we have been more fortunate than the rest of the country but the recession has played an impact. most folks in my neck of the woods are concerned about the things that washington has done to make it harder for businesses to hire. when you add up the cost of the healthcare bill, regulatory, stimulus that add to the deatbt- all of that has discouraged private business from expanding. i think most folks in every area would like the government to quit making it harder for them to do what they want to do, which is higher and growth and improve the standard of living
for everybody. host: pete from new jersey. good morning. caller: back when george bush was president, there was a story about government agencies forcing telephone companies to cooperate with them to spy on the phone call that of ordinary citizens. then there were some follow-up stories against the telephone companies for caving in to the government and cooperating. then the whole situation dropped away from the media. i never heard any resolution. basically, my question is, does the government, with all of these spy agencies, help with
telephone companies, spy on the telephone calls of ordinary citizens? guest: there has been a fair amount of debate, a lot of misinformation over the years on this topic. the short answer to your question is what ever the government does must be approved by a court. so, whether it is the fbi investigating a drug case here at home or the fbi investigating a potential terrorism case here at home, a judge must agreed to what ever sort of eavesdropping or search methods the fbi wants to use. now, we ask that the intelligence organizations to listen and find information about foreigners overseas but anytime there is an american involved here at home for
overseas, you have to get court permission in order to do anything. so i think the bottom line is as an american, if you are not in contact with terrorists, you do not have anything to worry about as far as the government listening to your conversation unless there is another criminal offense the government may be investigating. host: back to afghanistan. showed during the break an opinion piece in "the financial times" this morning written by robert blackwell who was u.s. ambassador to india and deputy national security adviser under george w. bush who was arguing about partitioning afghanistan. he writes that it would make a profoundly disappointing outcome but it is now the best that could be achieved. guest: i don't agree with that. but it is a little like deja of you -- they show, the member in
iraq it was argued that participant -- partitioning was the best answer. you have to divide the country up. that is not the case. and we are going to have many of our troops leaving iraq this summer, and even as they continue to struggle to form the next government, they are able in iraq to largely -- with some american assistance, provide for their own security. and that is the goal for afghanistan, too. we are not going to tell them how to run their country. it is always going to be a different place than iraq. it is going to be very different from the united states. but we want to have a police force, and military that can prevent the taliban from coming back and setting up terrorist bases to attack us and our allies. what we also want to be sure is that afghanistan does not destabilize neighboring pakistan with nuclear weapons. so we have to remember what our
goals are. i don't think partition help us achieve either of the two goals and, matter-of-fact, it could make it more dangerous. host: just a point of information. in great britain, the partner in the war in afghanistan and iraq, they have a coalition government. the prime minister mr. cameron was here in washington. nick clegg, leader of the liberal democrat party and a coalition partner would the prime minister said on the floor of parliament that the war of iraq was illegal, a statement said in the "wall street journal" contradicts conservative party partners and mr. cameron. causing quite a stir. let me show you "the guardian." legal warning after clegg's iraq war gas -- gaffe. so, lots of turmoil there above follow up to his remarks this
week in the great britain. what talking with congressman mac thornberry, a member of the intelligence committee and armed services in congress and we are told about the intelligence community, spending and our national security and also the iraq and afghanistan wars. next call is from florida. loretta on the republican line. caller: hello, mr. thornberry. i am just very concerned -- #one, this situation in mexico. they really need to tighten it up and start doing their job. i am talking about the federal government that has refused to do that. i feel that this suit that they are instituting in arizona is just another -- inexcusable
action by this administration with his socialist policies. i understand there are approximately 850,000 people in national security, which is totally unacceptable. not be --ere aren't the leaks must be incredible. also it is becoming uncontrollable. and where is the pecking order? fbi, cia, homeland security? we do have a national guard. it seems to me that it is just a really gone -- it is just not -- way out of whack. guest: and lot of people share that concern about the border, as we talked earlier.
and i tended to agree with you. if the federal government is not going to do its job on the border, then it is perfectly understandable that arizona and other states will want to enforce the federal law, which is largely what the arizona law tries to do. and the federal government should do its job, and not try to prevent arizona from protecting its citizens. on the 850,000 -- if my understanding from the article is that it is their estimate of how many total people have top- secret security clearances. i think it is a question that should be looked at. is that appropriate? is it too many people with access to highly classified material? but it does not mean that all of those people are doing terrorism work. for example, i looked at the map that was in "the washington post" in my district. i've got an air force base that largely does training. i've got a couple of other defense facilities.
they were all back on the map. of course they have security clearances. so i think some of the definitions in the "post p postiece are rather broad and loose when you get down to it. the other point that is important and has not been talked about, and that is leagues. they say in the "post" series that everything they received was from open sources but there have been a number of authorized and unauthorized leaks in recent weeks, months, years, that have damaged national security. i strongly believe that the obama administration needs to prosecute those leaks fully to put a stop to it. because you've got great people putting their lives on line to keep us safe who are undermined by people often with a political agenda here in washington leaking out what they are doing or what they are trying to do.
it cannot be tolerated. host: she also wondered who is in charge of the intelligence agencies. you talked about the job of the director of national intelligence being created to address that. "the new york times" editorial talks about the director's job which they describe as the brainchild of independent september 11 commission, supposed to contain the rivalries between 16 different agencies. yeah congress deprive the director authority to set budget or to hire and fire leaders and other intelligence power centers have blocked the director from doing his job. guest: i think it is appropriate for congress to go back and look at the law and see if there are not areas where it needs to be tightened, where the dni needs to be given greater authority so that they can do the job that congress asks. but the other point that is very important here is that the
president has got to back up to whoever is in that position. even if you were the secretary of defense for treasury, if you do not have the confidence of the president he will not get the job done, and other agencies are not going to listen to you. what we saw with the last dni, in many respects, i think, is the president's staffers in the white house under canada's ability to do his job. in part out of the frustration is the reason he laughed. so, the president needs to fully stand behind him, not just during confirmation hearings but win the dni comes to make a decision, the president needs to stand with him and make sure his staff does not undercut him and try to micromanage. that is what happened before and that dni will never be effective as long as that occurs. host: california is next. barbara on the democratic line. go ahead, barbara. caller: it is so hard to listen to these people. i am telling you.
everything is bad. and if president obama fails, we are all going to fail. and if you want to keep up of the same old -- keep the republicans. who started all of this? bush and cheney. and halliburton. all of these contractors have done the killing. no wonder everyone hates us. we go in and we start wars and it is -- i don't know. it is so sad. now some malia. -- somalian. pakistan. has anybody listened about oil and how corrupt. and how about halliburton? and all of these companies? everybody should be happy. united care? in a how much money they made? host: let me stop you right
there. you're getting into a lot of different areas. guest: i think a basic fact that most americans recognize is that there are people in the world who wished to hurt us, to kill as many americans as possible because we have had some success in the afghanistan- pakistan area, the terrorists are squirting out to other parts of the world. so malia is one of those places -- somalia one of those places where there is increasing danger at least to us. we do not want to be in a position where we have to send troops to all of these different places. what we do want to do is where we can, at least, try to help a local governments or regional governments to take care of the problem themselves. and so, we are trying to work with me yemenis, for example, so they can deal with the terrorists that moved there.
somalia is a very difficult problem but the regional governments at least trying to keep a lid on it. i think they deserve our support where we can. but again, the bottom line is 3000 americans died on 911, terrorists would love to get their hands on an even more dangerous weapon than the airplanes that were used in that attack, and i believe the first job of the federal government is to defend the country, try to keep americans safe. we will never be absolutely say but we do have a responsibility in government to try to stop terrorists. host: bill is in south bend. republican line. caller: a pleasure to talk to you guys. i absolutely wanted thank you for what you guys are doing. i understand the difficulties of trying to keep a country safe while -- he can't go out with a
scoreboard and let everyone know everything that has been stopped and people seem to only hear the bad things. i am a first-generation american. my dad came here in 1947 legally. when you were talking about the borders -- people talking about closing the borders don't understand that that is what makes this country what it is. it is an opportunity for people to come here. and not necessarily to get a job but to be whatever they wanted to. i just want to thank you guys for what you are doing in a very difficult situation. i think instead of throwing money -- maybe we start -- need to educate people on how to have their own business, go back to an entrepreneur ship, because that is what made america great, people who would stand up and pull themselves up by their bootstraps. i have my own business. every time i finish a job, i
have to find another one. sometimes it is real rough and sometimes not so rough. but people need to take responsibility for themselves instead of sitting around -- i hear people winding -- i am sorry -- about sitting in front of their computer, hundreds and hundreds of resumes, get off off your but and look for something, you can do something to make some money. host: thanks, bill. guest: a friend of mine running for congress in st. louis, missouri, said what we need is hot benches and wide gates on immigration policy. i think he is right about that. the other thing a lot of people don't know is that roughly half of the people who are in this country illegally came here legally under a student visa, a tourist visa and something and just disappeared kind of into the country. so, border security is important. it is not the whole answer. on the last part, i think there are more people asking those
questions -- what is the government's responsibility and what is our responsibility? what must i take charge of for my own life and what is the government's role as a safety net or more? the things that have happened particularly in the last 18 months have led people more people all run the country to ask those questions, and that is why porter the reason why i think you see more political involvement. i think that is a good, positive thing for the country. host: ohio, robert, independent line. guest: hello, mr. thornberry. i am really impressed -- caller: hello, mr. thornberry and i'm really impressed. when i was waiting on the line, the paranoia of some callers really bothers me. i have nothing but kudos for
people like you, who work in the 16 agencies, intelligence community. you mentioned about five minutes ago where you never hear about their successes because it is clandestine operations. it must be frustrating. anyhow. a quick question -- what is your thought about great britain's mi-5 mastic program? i know a lot of people in america of course are pretty paranoid about the big government and big brother, but my gosh, great britain has been domestic representative government for years and here they have a domestic spying agency, that during the ira years, they terminated the ira and pretty much saved thousands of people from being bombed.
i am just wondering what your thought is, maybe having the cia kind of running the program where there is domestic spying. thank you. guest: a great question. there are proposals that people made that we needed domestic intelligence organization in the united states like they have in great britain. what has happened is the fbi has created a separate branch called the national security branch, which is different than investigating people to prosecute for crimes. their job is to just gather information prevent terrorist attack. that is really the key difference, to separate the domestic intelligence gathering from the law enforcement part of the job. scotland yard and police folks in britain do the criminal investigation, mi-5 gathers
information in order to prevent terrorist attack. and people here think it is hard for the fbi to change that law enforcement culture, and that one of the things we ought to look at is dividing it more the way the british have. i don't know. i am interested in the idea. i think the burden is on the fbi to prove that they can be an intelligence-gathering organization that will get the information to stop the next attack, not first and foremost to read miranda rights and worried about the prosecution. so there is a different culture, a different mind set there. the other thing -- just emphasize the point you made at the beginning that i think is really important -- there are intelligent professionals all of around the world putting themselves in as much danger as our military folks do, day in and day out, to help keep us safe. very few people will ever know what they do, will cover
appreciates the long hours, the danger that they put themselves in, and yet we are incredibly lucky to have them. so, all of the stories about management and growth of contractors, all of those are real problems but nothing should take away from the folks in the field will work every day to keep us safe, whose identities they cannot -- jobs they cannot even reveal to their families. we are incredibly lucky to have them, and i appreciate you mentioning that. host: we appreciate you taking your calls. we will be right back. we will get an update from news from c-span rating and a final guest, the president and ceo of the national committee to preserve social security and medicare. we will get a look at the current state of social security. >> the labor department said new claims for unemployment insurance jumped by 37,000 last week to over 460,000.
that is the biggest jump since february. just two weeks ago, claims fell to their lowest level since august of 2008. an update on the gulf oil spill. "the new york times" says workers on the deep water rise and were concerned about safety and the condition of some of the equipment before it exploded. the story citing a controversial survey done before the april 20 blast. in immigration issue goes to court. a federal judge in phoenix heard -- will hear our views -- arguments from arizona government, civil rights group on whether the new immigration law ought to take effect july 29. the judge will consider a request by the justice department to block enforcement of the law. a virginia man known for threatening the creators of " south park" for mocking prophet mohammed will be in court today, charged with offering himself as a fighter.
the say he tried twice to travel to somalia to join al-shaba. he was stopped once by his mother-in-law and the second time he was told was on the no- fly list. violence continues and afghanistan. the middle forces say helicopter crashed in southern afghanistan, killing two u.s. service members on board. a spokeswoman says the crash is being investigated an hostile fire has not been ruled out. those are some of the headlines on c-span reappeared them as the senate prepares to debate the energy bill, find out about previous bills with c-span's video library. look up a bill with our new search feature and what congressional hearings and previous debate on the house and senate floor. it is all on line and free. c-span video library. its washington, your way. >> "washington journal" continues. host: of what to introduce you
to our final guests -- i want you to introduce you to our final guest, barbara kinelli, those of you to watch c-span might remember her from her eight terms. since 2008 she has been president of a group called national since the association to protect social security and medicare. guest: it is a nonpartisan- nonprofit organization that represents people from all over the united states. 4 million members and supporters who truly believe in social security and medicare. they cannot come to washington, they cannot lobby. what they do is they spend $12 a year to tell us to go up to the hill and tell congress people how important social security and medicare are to them. host: we are going to spend time learning more about the state of social security. in march "the new york times" gave us the news that for the
first time, this year, the government expects to pay out more in benefits than it took in through payroll taxes, partly due to the economy and other reasons. a threshold that had not been expected to cross for several years. this is what the chart looks like. it was expected to be 2017. what is the correct status? guest: what you are looking at is one year. and we have had a recession. and because of the recession, we have people will lose their jobs and have to go and apply for social security and 62. situation that at the moment with this recession, the one-year fullback is there. but you are looking at social security for 75 years, it has always been looked at for 75 years, and we have a huge surplus. and one year -- we wish we did not have the recession, we all
wish we did not -- but we have to live with it. host: i've got a chart from the social security policy options from congressional budget office. a look at the u.s. population ages 65 and over as a percentage. look as it goes up as the baby boomers retire over the next decade and a half or so. do we have enough money for this many people who are eligible to collect social security? guest: you are looking at a woman who served in congress for a number of years. i was there in 1983 when we really had a terrible problem. two problems. one problem was the social security was running out of money. a true crisis. not like today. but a true crisis. the other thing was the baby boomers were coming. when people say we did not know the baby boomers were coming, in 1983, they were in late 20's and early 30's so we knew exactly what was happening so we raise the payroll tax, raise the age
from 65 to 67, and because of that we have incredible surpluses and that is why we don't have to worry about it. what is happening now is we've got a terrible deficit. we all know that. we are looking at the deficit and looking at this -- not looking at the solvency of social security. host: there are, because the overall state of the economy, the size of the debt and deficit, there are beginning to be conversations in washington about cutbacks the way the program is structured. one of those is minority leader of house of representatives of mr. boehner who recently did an interview. let's listen to his prescription for social security. >> i think instead of using the wage in fleet were -- and later, increases based on consumer price index. i think that is a more accurate reflection. over time it will have a significant impact on the actuarial soundness of the
program. and certainly i think we have to look at the american people and explain to them that we're broke. host: to look at the american people and explain to them that we're broke. he actually had a three-part prescription. talking about targeting the increases to the wage price increase, and also talking about changing the eligibility age to 70, and also finally means testing. three prescriptions. guest: thank you, mr. boehner. what we are mixing up as apples and oranges. right now we have a deficit. we have a commission appointed by the president who says we should look at the deficit. we are not saying look at the solvency of the social security program but for some reason people were saying we are just did health care reform, we have a number of things, so let's look at social security because that is where they think the money is and that is totally
unfair. you and i, every time we get a paycheck, out of our paycheck comes payroll taxes that is supposed to pay for our retirement and for people who say now we should look at that and look at the surplus that i voted for in 1983 and increase the ages and did a lot of things at that time -- to look at that and not look at the deficit itself, we've had a recession, we've had two wars that were off budget completely, we had a number of things happened. look at the bailout bills. host: you say thank you, mr. boehner, but "the washington times" says both parties -- leaders of both parties looking at least to raising the retirement age. guest: it disturbs me because they blithely say raise the retirement age. right now it is 67. right now the retirement age is
going to be 67. no other industrial country is anywhere near that. france is having a huge upset because the ongoing from 60 to 62, and it certainly be higher than 62. 65 is fine. we are going up to 67, that is quite a bit. but there are a couple of things going on. we have a very savvy young generation with technical knowledge. we are in a capitalistic society. and i don't blame people wanted to get the best thing they can get. and if you can get a young worker with technical savvy, are you going to hire an older worker? where are the jobs right now? so to say, ok, you can work until 70. i hate to think about -- look, i am more than willing. i am adjustable. and i know things are going to happen. but to say, ok, 67 to 70, let us
make sure we know what we are doing. the ramifications. host: let's take the calls for you. this is beverly on the democrats' line. caller: i appreciate c-span. my question is -- i am a baby boomer and i just turned 60. i am receiving my husband social security because he died a few years ago. here's my question. i -- 34 years, i am entitled, also. they explain to me i would either only be booked to collect either mine or his. my question is -- i did not purposely try to pay into social security. they took it out of my check whether i wanted it or not. and medicare. i need to know, what happens to my social security if i opted to just keep his? because i'd not have money to just give to the government for them to do whatever they want to do -- they only about $140,000,
they all my husband wanted to avoid a thousand dollars, not including medicare and now they will steal one of our social security. that is wrong. guest: i think you are talking about that because you are a teacher, you have a pension as a result of being a teacher. what they do is subtract the amount of the pension from your sole security you would get normally. i got to tell you, you have a perfect right to be upset about that because most pension programs, you can have your pension and social security. there is a very definite the 10th and congress to type -- try to change that. for some reason a few years ago they got carried away the way they wrote the bill. i go talking around the country all the time. i talked to people in exactly your situation, and you are frustrated. but that is the way the law is right now. host: tampa, florida. vincent, a republican line. caller: good morning.
i could talk about this subject for hours but i just want to say that i of well familiar with the situation. i am 45 years old. i was in college when you do this tax thing with the speaker of the house, bob dole, and ronald reagan, they made this deal. i just have to say that you people sold us out. i am a generation xer, and you sold out my generation -- what you should have done and that time is implement means testing because somebody the house paid for, but money in the bank and that is rich -- you should have means tested the program from the beginning. guest: i totally disagree. absolutely disagree. social security is 75 years old. it will have its birthday on august 15. what it was, was everybody went into the system. everybody paid their fair share and everybody got a benefit. it is universal.
no, we did not sell you out at all. what we tried to do -- in fact, what we did, was keep the system healthy. host:, ahold of falls, ohio. sam on independent line. caller: good morning, ms. kennelly, how are you? guest: i'm good. caller: i am severely disabled and thank god for ssdi program, it is the only thing keeping me barely alive financially. the thing is i tried to find some little bit of work that i could do part-time, minimum wage, something where i am allowed to earn a little bit of money and not lose the major part of my disability payments. but the economy is so bad and i feel so ill lately and so unable to even do anything at this
point, it is hard just to get around for me, that when they talk about statistics regarding retirees, baby boomers, and social security, are they including the people that are on disability that are below retirement age, the people on ssi, which is not really based on your work history? i worked for many years and i became disabled a few years ago severely in an accident. i feel terrible that here i am been no retirement age collecting from a system, i feel as if almost i am on welfare but i feel like i have absolutely no choice. and even if i were miraculously unable to work full time at a career, the economy is so bad and i have been out of work for so long, i feel like this is all i can have for the rest of my life and i fear -- feel terrible that i am not a retiree, not in
my 60's, and here i am collecting something i have no choice. host: thank you, sam. guest: you should not feel badly about that. absolutely you should not feel badly. the whole point of social security is for retirees and for those disabled and people who died young and lead dependents. -- leave dependents. of course we should social security for people on disability. is it very modest? yes, it is. and i don't want you to feel badly about it. what i want to do is protect the whole system. what we were doing when president bush wanted to do privatization, nobody even talk about privatization. now they are talking about putting the age of 270, nobody is talking about disability. it is very important. most of us are healthy but if you get disabled, it is a
horrible, horrible thing but, you know what? a country like this. i just tell you. don't feel badly. of course, we should help you. and you went to work. there is nothing wrong. enjoy the day. host: eric, republican line. caller: yes, i don't understand why we just don't eliminate the income tax on the fica tax. i would much rather pay 1% of my income and preserve my retirement without some socialistic means testing? i don't understand why that is not being done? guest: i could not agree with you more. i absolutely couldn't. there is a cap. $1,600 -- $1,680. we just took a poll, that organization just took a poll. it was just interesting.
a lot of people -- they did not think about earning $100,000. and they see no reason for the cap. but we found it interesting that even those who earn over $100,000 said, get rid of the cap, because they understood the importance of the program. so, no, i think he got to look at it. you have to be very careful how you do it because social security has always been based on equity and adequacy. the people get enough, but people who pay more get an adequate payment, too. let me tell you, most americans think we should lift the cap. host: georgia, democrats line. caller: i am 68 years old. my husband passed away about six years ago, at 64. we raised 10 children without hardly any help from the government.
and when we started our married life, he was making $1.75 an hour. and when he died he was making $10 an hour. host: you -- we are getting a little feedback from your tv. get to your question for us, please. georgia, i apologize, i've got to move on because we are getting the feedback loop. next is a call from los angeles, stephen, republican line. you are on the with barbara kennelly. are you there? all right, we will try our luck with this call -- sean. you are on the air. caller: how are you doing? i am pushing middle-age. and i kind of share the sentiment from the caller from tampa bay few minutes ago.
my generation is coming into our political crime, and we have watched the older generations spend money off the chain in government and there will be a day of reckoning because as my generation comes in to political power, we know what the numbers are. we know there has been a population explosion in the world in general since the 19th century. we know what it takes to sustain -- i am going to call that a ponzi scheme because the government stole our money, all these big government programs. and we are not happy about it. we are victims of big government, my generation is, and older generation has been posted on it and we are extremely unhappy about it. i think older generation's need to reconcile this.
the older generations are pushing this off on our generation and generations behind me. as the generations go out the door of political power, it is my generation that's got to be making decisions. guest: i hear you clearly. i am one that has four children. i have 10 grandchildren. look, i m going to be all right. but i worry about the future and i am shocked we have a deficit to the extent we have the deficit. but one of the reasons i worry so is that this deficit commission is looking at social security. and the deficit commission is supposed to be reducing the deficit. let us look at places to reduce the deficit and not look at people -- i don't think the american people understand that the average social security benefit is $14,000 a year.
for women it is $11,000 a year. that is minimum. try living on it? a lot of people are living on it, living on it with dignity and independence. but to look to solve the deficit problem on social security which has paid for itself just seems wrong to me. and i will not back off on that. host: to prove the point, erskine bowles, co-chair of the commission speaking to the governors about social security. >> we are going to run through this "trust fund" by 2039, and the trust fund will be gone, all the interest on the trust fund will be gone and by law the payments to its social security recipients have to drop that day by 20% in order for the revenues to match outlays. and pretty soon they will have to drop by 24%. and so, what you are going to get from social security is
going to go down if we did nothing. so what we have to do is figure out a way we can fix it -- which we believe we can -- so the payments drop in a much more gradual manner or we get additional revenues to maintain that level of benefits. guest: i know erskine bowles, and he is a very successful man, but he does not know what he is talking about right there. yes, 2035 or 2037 -- that is three decades away. social security will pay its own way up to three decades away. i think we can solve the problem. let us solve the solvency problem. let us not look to solve the deficit problem with social security. everyone of us has paid into that fund. everyone of us deserves to have a retirement. he is mixing apples and oranges. host: the members of congress pay into social security? caller: of course. host: have the always?
guest: since 1994. host: what happened? guest: there was a change in the system. i was there -- he made the decision you go into social security and after that everyone had to. i always hear that members of congress don't pay in. yes, they did. host: next call to former congressman barbara kennelly, now for the organization to preserve social security and medicare. dave on the republican line. caller: how are you? dimensions that we have the money -- you mention that we have the money ready for three decades away, i believe, but the thing that is in the trust fund and lock box our government bonds. this and the money. it is not there. that is not an asset. you cannot write a check to yourself and call it an asset. the money is spent. here you have the money -- it is going into the red -- it went to the red this year.
it is already broke. it is a ponzi scheme. we don't have the money for its? i don't know how people think it is going in the red in three decades when it is in the red because we already spent the money, the government spending on welfare checks, bridges, all this other stuff. and we don't have it now but how you reconcile that -- it is already bankrupt. $10 trillion in the red. host: we will get a response. guest: i am so glad you asked that question because it is something i really like to respond to. when we did the change in 1983 we put the payroll tax up, we put the page up and we did -- age up and all of these things and as a result we have a surplus in social security, i think in 2006 we had $160 billion surplus. what that surplus did was buy
government bonds. financial and judgments of the united states government. -- financial instruments of the united states government. what some people are saying is we will not honor those bonds. that is the whole debate. the people trying to not do this will not say it, but they are saying to call on those bonds. those bonds are no different than the bonds for well-off people will buy bonds, for our four neighbors who buy bonds. i can't even imagine -- and i think, but i have to check this -- i think the congress would have to vote to be fought on the bonds. but we paid into the bonds. they are government securities and we certainly should honor those bonds. to just say they don't exist, i think that is a very bad thing for our government to do. host: good morning, democrats line. caller: good morning -- how are
you? host: what is your question about social security? caller: i am so happy, this is my first time calling. theon't know why you guys -- people who work very hard and when they get retired so they can enjoy their money they have been working for. my message for you, i want you to talk to people in washington, d.c., let them know -- host: people work hard and they should be the to read -- enjoy their money for retirement. that is his message. you agree? guest: i couldn't agree more. host: i cannot find it here but we get messages by twitter at one person was asking about the underground economy. so many people who are cash workers who don't pay into the system. can you comment about the effect it has? guest: item short and has an effect.
-- i am sure it has an effect. fortunately we did not have an underground system like many of the european countries. we have an oversight system where most people don't want to get in trouble with their taxes. but there is an underground system, no doubt about it. what you do about it, i don't know. the oversight has to be better, i guess. but that is not the worry right now. host: corpus christi, texas. sandy on the republican line. caller: how are you doing? my main problem that i am having is that they are talking about cutting social security but yet they are having someone who has not contributed at all, very overweight, and put them on disability and welfare and yet they are willing to cut social security for someone who has
worked their whole life. it is annow -- epidemic. they give someone -- then they go and sell their prescription to weather, which is no cause for them and they go out and make money and yet they are on disability. it is an epidemic that is going on. host: thank you, sandy. is there an epidemic in fraud and the disability portion for social security? guest: i worked for social security almost my whole adult life. we all know there are some people who collect and should not collect. but on the whole, percentage wise, most people on disability deserve a disability. let me tell you something. it is not easy to get on disability. one of the problems we have with social security is if you are truly disabled and you want to get on disability you have to wait two years, and even when you wait two years, it is very hard to get on it.
i spent a lot of time trying to improve the system. and most people don't want to be on disability. host:, retirement benefits, "the new york times" suggest that one area of problem is that so security is losing $50 million a year on benefit overpayments. where people who collect state pensions but not, -- declared that as income look like low income earners and a qualified for more benefits. guest: what was the figure? host: $50 million. guest: [laughter] this is a 700 billion -- it is not that i don't worry about. but i mean, that is a very small problem when you look at the whole picture. host: we are talking to barbara kennelly about social security and its solvency. our next call is from hampton, new hampshire.
this is richard of the democrats' line. caller: good morning. it just a couple of comments. this whole package -- social security, medicare, and medicare. the whole system is going broke. the other argument is we are solvent and it will last for years and years. there was an article recently in "the boston globe" about the medicare fraud scams that going on, and there was one thing that really disturbed me. it says that there are between $60,000,000,000.-194160629 dollars of medicare fraud every year. -- between $60,000,000,000.- 194160629 dollars of medicare fraud every year. guest: that has been a problem for many years, medicare fraud. i think if you put more assets into trying to figure out what is happening. i look at figures in florida, and they are absolutely
unbelievable. so, we have to address better medicare fraud. but let me just talk a minute about medicare. in no, we just had the health care bill. i told my members that we have to do medicare reform because if we do not do medicare reform medicare will not exist because medicare uses the same doctors, hospitals -- we still have to cut the cost of health care in this country. we are not efficient. we are not doing it the best way. could i tell you, this bill was good, it began a platform to build on, but we have a lot to do. its coat is a viewer is not convinced by your argument. they send us a message -- guest: social security is not -- susan, it is not bankrupt. absolutely not bankrupt. my heavens, we have people all
over the country working and paying into the system. the baby boomers, they paid for the system. they put their hard earned dollars deducted from their paychecks into the system. and what they did was, they said, look, we all trust our government -- or some of us trust our government, but they put that money into bonds. and those bonds should be honored. that is the whole fight. host: south bend, indiana. mike on the republican line. caller: good morning, how are you today? i would just like to make a couple of responses real quick. i heard a young person call and they acted as if it is all on the backs of the young people, that no young people at all are in this system taken the money. i think that needs to be corrected. that way that there is a voice for other people other than just this delusion that only old
people come to this money. i know young people who are 19, 20 years old who claim to be disabled by some mental disorder and receive money. so, i don't want to hear that. i need to also address the issue where i feel that, you know, people who put into the system who are, i feel, being shortchanged when the retirement age is able to be changed and you did not receive that money later, i think with them talking about moving back to another five years, to 70 years old for retirement of order for people to get on that and receive their social security, i think that is a crime. i think they should consider leaving it where it is. i think in the long run, to correct the solvency problem -- i know this is almost like a giant bank account, the government takes the money out of that collective amount of money everyone pays into and we
respected all to be recovered as the people work and keep paying into its of the money is always going through the door, but people here -- i hear people say it is broke or not like yourself. i think the government is gonna take with their personal responsibility and treat them in a nanny-state form like this you cannot be response book for yourself so we will take this money from you through taxes or whatever, we will give it back to you later, we will take it from you now and take responsibility for you -- i think they should give the responsibility back to the people by allowing them personal accounts that they cannot touch until retirement. guest: well, i think we have that debate in 2005. i think our president bush very much wanted personal accounts. and i traveled all over the country saying i did not think it was a particularly good idea, and there were transition costs and all sorts of things that complicated it. but you know, i meet people
every day now that say, barbara, is and it could we did not have personal accounts when you see what happened the last couple of years? that is the stability of social security. it is not the market going up and down. host: when social security is debated, some people are suggesting that it could be made better by either voluntary contributions to bolster social security, so people would have the opportunity to pay more if they wanted, and won nobel laureate at the university of chicago is suggested -- suggesting a mandatory savings programs so people can actually retire earlier. guest: you know, susan, social security was never meant to be the only part of retirement part of our lives. we were expected not only to have social security but expected to save some money, and luckily, if some people could
invest and make money. so security was the basis -- if people want to pay more in, that is not the direction we are going in right now. host: the next question is from ohio. this is jack on the independent line pretty caller: good morning. i understand what the other gentleman was talking about. i have been working all my life. i will be 52 this year. i have had a grand seizures since i was a child. i was told don't tell anybody or they will not hire you. it comes down to it, i finally had one driving. i told my car. my doctor has taken my driver's license. he told me he cannot work anymore. from what i understand, it is going to be two years until social security will give me disability. host: thank you. we will use that as a way to
understand how social security disability works. guest: you have to wait two years. i wish you didn't. if you are disabled like this gentleman is, it would be nice that you could get it right away but the way the law is, it is two years. we are trying even to protect that. host: you admit there will be a debate in washington -- guest: there is a debate going on right now. the problem is that this commission is not very well known. the president appointed the commission and there are people in the house and in the senate and other people on the commission. but people don't know much about it. and they are meeting behind closed doors, which drives me crazy. this is a commission that is a commission of the people and we should know what they are discussing. and when we know what they are discussing we should be at least be able to talk about it. host: when are they expected to report? guest: they are expected to report december 1. that is a difficult time.
as we know we are going into an election system, and it will report december 1, but the realize it is being asked to vote on the commission in a lame duck session and you and i know about lame duck sessions, and some of his people will never come back and they will not have to be responsible. host: so it is to root to predict the outcome. guest: i hope it is not as bad as i think. host: how bad the you think it will be? guest: and scared to death they will mix it up completely. there is a huge fiscal problem but social security is not the problem data let us look at -- social security is not the problem. let us look at the fiscal budget. i have a 1-800 number, 966-1935, and my website is ncpssm.org.
host: and all that will be on c- span.org. guest: i would love to hear from people. host: to close out this morning i want to tell you about a new step in c-span growth and development. c-span is transmitting all of its programming in hd. we are welcoming our very first high-definition affiliate's this morning in frankfurt, ky. we want to introduce you to the gentleman who runs the cable system, john higginbothom, who joins us from on board the digital bus. nice to see you again. guest: good morning, susan. host: we figured state capitals are full of political junkies like those in washington there why did you make the decision to launch c-span hd there? guest: that is exactly why. a lot of things that happen in washington, back to frankfurt, kentucky, and the people in this community pushed out to the
state and implement all of the programs. we have 17,000 subscribers. not every single one is a political junkie but a lot are. host: tell us a little bit about the frankfort system because it is municipally run. how does it work? guest: we are an actor, water, cable, telecom be visible utility. the cable system started in 1952. we offered the exact same services the big guys do, time warner and cox. voice, video, data, a lot of high-definition over the next couple of months. host: is the legislature on television in kentucky? guest: they are. kentucky educational television, our state-one pbs the house and senate. and we have had a longstanding relationship with them. relationship with them.