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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  January 21, 2011 1:00pm-6:30pm EST

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x i was joking with your president got off the can door of your conversation with our nation's president. and just the tough times that we are in. i very much i felt tom -- i very much i go to tom's sentiments about the extraordinary work and leadership the mayors have had to listen to hold our cities and our country together. it is a sad reality of our business. i was never smarter than when my city had money. [laughter] >> i was a pretty damn good mayor. all of a sudden, the public thinks we have lost our minds when times get tough, but you know and i know it is this partnership between those of us at the federal level and you that can help keep america growing and strong. that is what this president has
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been trying to do. we understood from the very beginning that having a strong partnership and investment with its cities and states would be critical to overcome this economic tsunami, from the recent tax cut package to our early investments in the recovery act -- the obama administration has dealt with the economy on the path to greater prosperity, and we have done that by focusing on the lower level off. if we give tax cuts to working families. we passed a health care law that lowers costs, cuts the deficit, then helps to support job growth. we supported improvement to city's infrastructure through many of your transportation programs and your education systems. we provided billions of dollars toward the budget assistance to many of our cash-strapped states when they needed it.
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we think it is the wise thing to do to continue these critical investments in infrastructure, energy, education, and inflation so that america cannot stay competitive and well-positioned to attract and create the best jobs here, in the united states. to be sure, there will be a very robust debate, not only in washington, but around the country in the coming months about the best way to do that. one area in which i think many of us have come to believe we could find potential for common ground and cooperation happens to be in the portfolio i am privileged to serve, and that is trade. many americans have come to begin to except that we can grow our economy through having a robust and thoughtful trade policy, especially by focusing
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on increasing exports around the world. president obama has said we simply have to do what america has always known for, and that is building, innovating, educating, and making things. we want to create and sell products all around the world with three simple words maybe in america. that is our goal. -- maybe in america. that is our goal. we are moving yet -- we are moving ahead. we are doing that purposefully with the knowledge that if we can reach that goal we can create an additional two million jobs have a time when you know you're citizens are looking for those jobs. as the part of the national export initiative, i am privileged to serve on the export promotion cabinet along
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with other senior officials i have portfolios that defect trade. we are beginning to implement measures ranging from the largest to the smallest firms to increase trade finance and assertive trade policy that opens up more opportunities around the world for america's exporters. we think all of these measures will help businesses in your cities at your community's begins to export and expand exports into new markets. why are we focusing on exports? i will leave you with one simple number. 95% of the world's consumers live outside of the united states, and a great way to grow our businesses is by having access to those consumers. for that reason, the department of commerce runs export assistance centers all across the country. many of you probably have one in
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your city or not that far from it. we would urge you to make sure to contact them and find out ways to partner with them to help businesses in your community understand the power of exporting. if to learn more, i would invite you to visit our website. we want to build on some positive trends. over the past five quarters of measure the economic recovery, exports are contributing more to our total economic output than consumer spending. that is extraordinary. if consumer spending is almost two-thirds of our economy. exports are only 30%. right now our growth in exports is injured in as much as consumer spending. through the end of 2010, u.s. exports were off 17% over the previous year, which is putting us on track of meeting the
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president's goal of doubling our exports within five years. in order to sustain the solid pace of expansion, we know that we have to do more, particularly as it relates to opening up new markets around the world, and fighting for all levels the playing field for american exporters. when i agreed to serve as u.s. trade representative, and made a conscious decision to put a priority on doing as much a domestic travel as i do around the world. many people think one of the benefits of my jobs -- job is the amount of travel involved. i have done that. and the end of one of my trips, it struck me that i was not going to change some of america's fears about our trade policy in geneva, frank --
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paris, and frankly, the car. i was going to have citgo to places like pittsburgh. -- go to places like pittsburgh. i have been to 25 states. i have been in almost 45 cities, large and small. i have been on the west coast and places that look to me and what needs to cut the break because they are the most export-dependent communities in the world. i have also been to places like detroit and maine have that feel like they have come out on the short end of our trade policy. those talks, particularly when i have had the opportunity to engage with mayors who have introduced me to businesses that have benefited from trade, and those that have been frustrated, have helped to inform the creation of a more thoughtful process. in particular, just about every
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business owner, farmer, or rancher or worker, told me they understand the importance of our ability to access customers around the world, particularly in the rapidly growing asia- pacific region. they have also been done this in sharing concerns and fears that they believe the united states has held the power end of the bargain. we are the most open economy in the world and have some of the lowest tariffs in the world. i have heard from business that they are not so much against trade as they are not convinced we will have a trade policy that makes sure our partners cheetahs as fairly as we have treated them. our focus has been on guaranteeing america's businesses that we will fight for them and their workers, and insist that our partners do one simple thing -- play by the rules. we have opened our markets to youth. you have to open your markets to
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us. we also began the hyper-focus on opening up new markets and where the opportunities are. i want to talk about three of them into the secular trend a lot of our work is focusing on the south east asia region. and being from texas, i know many of you have heard the story about the prolific and bank robber. he was a prolific at robbing banks, but he was also a prolific at getting caught at the judge asked him why he keeps robbing banks, and he said that is where the money is. the reason we are focusing on southeast asia is because that is a lot of where the opportunity as it did almost 60% of global growth and gdp will be in an area broadly defined as southeast asia. it is important that our farmers
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-- farmers, ranchers, exporters, have an opportunity to compete and win in those markets. we are focusing on a number of a initiatives that will get us into that market. i will tell you all three of them. one is the recent free trade agreement we successfully concluded negotiating with korea. thank you. you are probably from washington. [laughter] trust me, this can help everyone of your communities. secondly, we have a broader partnership, and finally it is work we do with the other 25 light-minded countries. let me start with korea. it is one of the largest and most dynamic markets in this rapidly growing region. it is our fifth largest trading
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partner right now. let me tell you the bad news. four years ago we were korea's number one exporter. today, we are number four and falling fast. that is simply unacceptable, and it does not have ziggy that weight. we inherited a -- does not have to be that way. we inherited a free-trade agreement. president obama as instructed me to fix that. we focused on real disparity is in access to their automotive market, and their market to hours. i do not have to tell many of you how many cars on our children by with nameplates other than those that are made in detroit. that is okay. what'll we find unacceptable is what other countries do not give
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their families the same choice we have. we were to remedy that. when we were able to do that in no way where we have a balanced trade at -- in a way but where we have a balanced trade agreement that is being applauded by the american farm and south -- and ranching industry, and for the first time the united autoworkers, and the united food and commercial workers and ford. we have great bipartisan support because we all realize this can help us by selling more to the 3m market, create jobs here. if this is a great -- to dr. rhea market, create jobs here. if this is a great opportunity. manufactured goods represent almost 85 -- 87% of what we sell to korea. their tariffs will come down dramatically. most will be done away with. whether you are a big manufacturing state, or small,
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which think this will have great value to businesses in your community. secondly, korea is one of our strongest agricultural markets. we are pleased our exports reached their highest level in history. in agriculture, we went because we are the most prolific agriculture society and the world, and we cannot consume all we produce. agriculture is more dependent on trade than any other industry in america because we have to have markets for them. agriculture will be the big when. finally, we address the growing reality that more and more americans working in the service sector. his 80% of americans now working in the -- hit 80% of americans now working in the service sector. let me move on and talk of a bad about what we are doing in the
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trans-pacific partnership. -- talk a little bit about what we are doing in the trans- pacific partnerships. this is an opportunity to draft lead architecture for what we think can be the most broad based regional trade agreement of the 21st century and a model for america's trade going forward. we are working with a group of eight other countries including australia, chile, malaysia, peru, vietnam's, and the goal is to begin to craft what we hope will be the most broadly legalizing trade agreement which the strongest as intellectual property right provisions of any trade agreement that has ever been negotiated, and hopefully that becomes the architecture for trade in this dynamic region. we have had five rounds already. we are moving at an extraordinarily fast pace because our goal is to see his weekend not be substantially
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complete by the time president obama holds a meeting of those 21 members of the apec community and honolulu, hawaii, this fall. we are beginning to focus especially on the needs of how we can better incorporate small- to-medium-sized businesses in our trade policy. finally, i want to talk about our hosting of the asia-pacific economic cooperative forum. this is a broad framework of the 21 economies that i spoke of them reside in the southeast asia region. the united states will host that forum in honolulu this year. since it will give us an opportunity to take practical and concrete steps to take other barriers to trade, many of which prevent the is it fairly some of
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our smaller and medium-sized businesses from getting involved. specifically we are going to looking ways to improve supply chain performance, so that goods and services can flow more freely. what we are trying to do is simply bedews the cost of doing business across the region for businesses large and small. if to learn more about any of these initiatives, if i would invite you to visit our web site, we are looking at every venue, every configuration that you can a imagine to support the number one objective of the president to get the economy going by using our trade policy to help create jobs. the biggest opportunity we have is a stalled 10-year agreement in the world trade organization. it would be the most ambitious,
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a globally-liberalizing trade agreement out there, but the united states is almost single- handedly insisting that if we are going to do this, we are going to do this right, and it has to have had an ambitious and market.en we think those three economies have benefited more from trade liberalization than china, india, and brazil, and we think that is a good thing, but with blessing comes responsibility. now it is time to invite china, india, and brazil to the local trade table and say you have to make sure we create a more balanced opportunity in the future. similarly, we are working within our hemisphere to bring in the same discipline and focus to crafting and finishing the trade agreements we inherited with panama and colombia. if they might not have the same
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economic past, but they are critically important for many interests in this room, and we are committed to working with our partners to successfully addressed the issues remaining in those seven we can move them forward as well. i want to spend a few minutes talking about things other than trade policy. as strongly as i believe in the proper role of law smart trade policy to help get america's the economy growing and job creation spurred, if we know trade alone cannot do that. our administration is also looking at ways that our administration -- our small businesses can compete. that is why we focus on business tax incentives to help those firms grow. you know as there is the majority of our citizens still work for businesses that employ fewer than two hundred people. we think investing in our small businesses and helping them to grow is a great way to help put america back to work.
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the president has also put in place a weather% deduction for large capital investments the a 100% deduction -- 8100% deduction for large capital investment. our citizens want to know one thing -- where are the jobs? we are trying to do very thing we can to get businesses to make a critical investments now, so hopefully they will buy the equipment that allows them to add workers and put them back to work now. we think accelerated depreciation can tell more businesses move plans from the drawing board and put people to work. we also think -- thank you. [applause] >> we also think the same thing is true of the two-year extension of the research and development credit which will help cover the cost of employees
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involved in research. our innovative businesses thriving on this, and our the administration is committed to this success. as you travel around the united states, as many of you mayors have the opportunity to travel across the country, we just want you to know that the obama administration is here to go with you, has and what to support you every step of the way. he said you conference challenges in your community, and you draw the strength, and inspiration that we learn from one another, and notice that i said "we." not only do i feel like i am a former mayor, i also feel that you all our fellow ambassadors as well. every day there youth advocate for jobs-creating opportunities on behalf of your citizens, neighbors, workers, and
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businesses, you are an ambassador. every day you were to build relationships with your governors, congress people, and on the international level, you are an ambassador. every day you move one step closer to closing that deal to bring that new job to your community, to open the factory, to bring in that new investment, you, in fact are had an ambassador. whether it is through helping to facilitate the investments in an elevation, through stronger trade policy we hope to build a stronger partnership with you, our nation's mayors, to rebuild our cities and help put america back to work. he is an honor and privilege to serve u.s. the u.s. trade representative. is an even better as a privilege to the able to call you friends. -- it is an even better privilege to be able to call
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your friends. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. no mere's ambassador. thank you very much. would you take any questions, sir? i think it would be very helpful. we always want to make sure we have a dynamic dialogue. on a microphone is coming. >> thank you. thank you, representative ron kirk. i think you are doing a fantastic job terrorist i would ask you if you would not mind working with the treasury the part -- fantastic job. i would ask you if you would not mind working with the treasury department. if they are coming hard -- coming down hard on banks scared every time i talk to a banker,
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they tell me they have to go back -- banks. every time i talk to a banker, they tell me they have to go back early from a break. he is stifling banks. in turn, they cannot lead to businesses. could you somehow let the president knows to have the treasury kind of -- >> i will share your comments. i will tell you, and i will use one of my lessons i learned as a mayor pivot to what i think as one of the bigger success stories. the first challenge was to stabilize the banking system. the asset recovery program has worked spectacularly well. the money has been paid back. police say the banking industry. we kept america from -- we save
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the banking industry. white america from bankruptcy. -- we kept america from bankruptcy. i know secretary geiger and others are critically focused on ways through both the sba and others to get capital flowing. that is one of the reasons i outlined the things we were doing specifically to give small businesses access to credit. i hear your concerns. i would be happy to share it with the secretary. >> good afternoon. my name is linda thompson. i and a first-time mayor here. your presentation was brilliant. i just wanted to give the president of great complement done his ability to try to move the ball forward with getting other countries too lax in their care of -- terrace.
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-- tariffs. how quickly do you see this turn around? a lot of those countries are dictatorships. they have been indoctrinated to other people. how quickly do you see this turn around? the goal of all of this is to help our economy, and mayors are impacted by the way the national economy is. whatever happens on the international level would ultimately help us, is that correct? >> that is the idea. you asked a number of complex questions. i do not know that i will speak to the dictatorship element. when our administration came in, and i'll always as to what was it in my background -- i am always ask what it was in my
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background that made the president looked at me as a trade ambassador. -- look at me as a trade ambassador. when you are in there, you are the leading advocate for economic development in your community. many of you are used to travel around the world doing trade promotion. most importantly, mayors do not talk about macro economic policy. mayors talk about jobs. we are at ground level where we cannot engage in washington speak or diplomatic speak. americans want to know what we can do to create jobs. we try to bring that practical sense of urgency to job creation. secondly, i thought the hidden asset i brought to this job was my wife. i grew up in texas. i was blessed to be elected the mayor of dallas in 1995, the year nafta went into affect.
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not everyone looks at the same, but for some cities, it was an economic boom for us. but, i married a girl in -- from cleveland, ohio, and not some, but every one of three top -- relatives are working for ford, gm, or chrysler. why i am telling you this is because from what the barry -- very beginning was -- we were informed by the fact we cannot be dismissive of those effected our trade policy. we have focused on enforcement and adjusting trade assistance paid the reason i told you about my travels was because it was important to me to speak with mayors that are pro-trade, and those that are concerned, and
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let that be reflected in our policy. i think we are beginning to make great progress. u.s. the when we can see a difference. -- you asked when we will see a difference. i sit with members of congress to tell me with private they have a program implemented that they worked on for 20 years. has a mayor, i would like to get two weeks sometimes. knowing how critical it is for businesses on the ground to solve problems, and solve them quicker, and i set down with my legal team, and said what is every legal dispute with the wto? we had a dispute with the european union that had been going on for 15 years. they have lost our beef out of that market. i said how many ranchers are still in business if they are waiting on us to solve something. we did not do that in every case. in three months, we got the
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trade dispute resolved, and our imports into europe have gone up exponentially, and we have done the same thing in many cases where both were tried to solve problems by smart enforcement and open up the markets. he even with the visited -- with the visit of president hu jintao, which were able to facilitate sign up with the purchase commitment -- facilitate china's purchase commitment. we are concerned to making sure we get to selling things right away, but we need your help to build a compelling case to your citizens that are frankly skeptical on whether trade means everything -- anything but cheaper t-shirts and electronics, and are not as convinced we could create the jobs part >> -- jobs.
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>> ambassador, i know you have to go. let's get one more question. >> i am the mayor of oakland. oakland exports almost as much as we import from china, and there are our largest trading partner. we find that a lot of the chinese delegation's visit our city first. what struck me at this conference is that several colleagues are asking me for help in the midwest with investments they are getting from chinese capital. i thought maybe the white house could help us by providing some regional conferences with mayors, to help give them the technical assistance. the sun just the requests i have gotten, i have given advice -- chest and the request i have gotten, i have given advice that i have found that the chinese are going into the central
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valley, and apparently the midwest. i did not know that. i traveled to china and the trade delegation both times. i think if we could advertise or publicize investments, including the imp -- in the midwest, there are very public- relations sensitive. i would bet you that is that an accident that they're investing in areas that are having problems. >> first of all, we're very proud of you and thank you for stepping up. just in case you did not see it, have your staff review -- google the china-u.s. state picture there is a fabulous picture of you and your fellow mayor coming in. yours was not as much a question as it was an answer to we very much want to partner with mayors. -- answer.
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we very much want to partner with mayors. i do not want to get too far ahead of us, but i think we are looking to do a similar forum. will be in minneapolis in february. if any of you want to learn more common or invite us, you can either go on export .gov. i can assure you we are working collaborative lead to the export of an initiative to try to make this as simple as we can. nothing helps do that better than a partnership with you. thank you for your time and your attention, and thank you for your great leadership of the nation from those cities. third -- nation put those cities. [applause]
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>> thank you, mr. ambassador. we really appreciate it. let me now call on the new chair of our community development and housing committee. i think some of you also have the opportunity to speak personally one-on-one to the secretary. so, mayor warren. >> thank you. is a real pleasure to be here with all of you and introduce the secretary. before i do, i just want to mention a couple of things. first of all, thank you president and tom corcoran for leading the effort of protecting the funding that we know is home for him to us as miles. -- as mayors. i was pleased this morning with
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the president's steadfast support. his support has been critical of the past few years, and obviously, the secretary's. it is really going to be up to us as mayors to take the lead on telling the story of how important the funding is, and how critical it is. it reaches across the aisle. if it is a bipartisan program that benefits republicans and democrats on the ground, and it is a real engine for economic recovery, which is very important at this time, and it really touches the most vulnerable in our cities and communities. if we will be engaging members of congress, senators, over the next several weeks. i will be asking for your help in an effort to tell their story as we go into the next budget around. i also want to mention i am very pleased in working with the secretary staff. they have offered technical
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assistance so, we will be working with the secretary and others. we must take the lead on this. i am really pleased to introduce shaun donovan, secretary of the u.s. department of housing and urban development this afternoon. since becoming the head of the nation's housing department, secretary shaun donovan has attended several conference of mayors event, including our seattle leadership meeting, and most recently the press conference releasing the 2010 hunger and homelessness survey. under his leadership, we have seen the strengthening of many housing and community development programs, including the community development block program, the home program, and homelessness programs. we look for to continuing our work with secretary shaun donovan.
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please welcome secretary shaun donovan. [applause] >> thank you. setti warren, so great to be with you. thank you so much for the fantastic work you are doing. he has been great to get to know you and work with you so closely, and for your leadership, second on the role you have, will be so important. as always been important, but it will be particularly important in the years ahead of us. president, elisabeth, it is wonderful to be with you. thank you for your leadership. it has been such a wonderful, wonderful partnership we have formed to work so closely with you, and i just want to say personally on behalf of myself, the president, thank you for your leadership. really has been remarkable. see why. [applause]
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-- thank you. [applause] >> it is such a great honor to be back with all of you. as almost two years to the day that i came in the midst of the transition about to have the inauguration literally the day before to join you at the national building museum. one of the things i said later is i had been working for one of the nation's great mayors for the past five years, for mayor bower board in new york city. i was looking forward to -- mayor bloomberg in your city and i was looking for to taken them nine new role of working for all the mayors across this country. it is such my pleasure to join the men and women who understand the importance of putting aside our differences to solve real problems on the ground that make a difference in people's lives.
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he quoted a number of mayors. i would also like to quote the mayor of our city who said "there is no republican or democratic way to take out the trash." maybe he should have said clean up the snow, given the respect -- experiences in your city. i will tell you that my commitment to what you do in local government stands true. in fact, i am wearing today my cufflinks that are in new york city man hold covers from the sewer system that remind me that what i do every day it is served at all of you, work with you, and help you deliver the desperately-needed services that make your city work -- city's work each and every day. wonderful to be with you. i want to talk today about the partnership and tools we have been developing to make sure you can do exactly that.
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the me say a few words before i start on that about where we are in this moment in the economy. the president said this morning that we have seen a difficult two years. we have seen it around the country,, but again, you are the closest. you are the people of your constituents will find, not me, not the governors, not the president himself, but you. you are the ones said they will find. when we have experienced these last two years has been nothing short of the consequences of the greatest financial meltdown that this country has experienced since the great depression. just two years ago, and we too often forget how far we have come, 753,000 jobs were lost, each month in the first quarter that the president came to office.
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22 straight months of job declines. 30 straight months of home price declines. we took the dramatic and urgently needed steps that we needed to at that time to keep families in their homes, our housing market afloat, and to provide the critical assistance they you long did it through the recovery act. to date, nearly 4 million american families have had their mortgage as modified to be able to stay in their homes, more than twice as many foreclosures as we have seen in that time. we have stopped the slide in home prices, and most important of all, we have stopped the slide in job losses. in fact, every single month of last year we saw a private- sector job growth. in total, over 1 million jobs in 2010. but, i also do not need to tell you that we still have a ways to
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go on this recovery, just as the president said this morning. whinnies to exonerated job recovery. that is our job number one. that is why this bipartisan tax package that was signed into law just a few weeks ago is still a critically important. in 159 million americans will get a tax cut worth $1,000 to the typical family making $50,000 a year. 12 million families will benefit from a $1,000 tax credit. 8 million students and their families will benefit from a yearly $2,500 tuition tax credits to make college more affordable. 6.5 million families, which include 15 million children will benefit from an expanded earned income tax credit. now, the council of economic
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advisers estimates that just the full year of the extension emergency unemployment benefits will create 600,000 jobs this year. what anyone expected with a relatively weak hand to play and an enormously large amount of pressure, we were able to deliver a package that was focused on high-and talked, jobs-creating tax cuts will have read repercussion -- real repercussions for our economic recovery, but also particularly for our housing markets, which has traditionally been an important piece of recovery. because of this package, businesses in your community now have new tax incentives to buy. the expensing provisions alone
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could generate $50 billion in additional investment in 2011. helping our construction industry by the new equipment it needs to create good-paying jobs in your communities. there is also a tax credit for up to $2,000 for builders of residential homes that are more efficient. it extends the tax credits that will ensure more than 6000 affordable housing units are able to be completed in support of some 16,000 construction- related jobs in a community still recovering from hurricane to train and read up. most importantly, -- country not, and reach out. most importantly, they will not add to the long-term deficit at all. because of them, and independent experts now expect another 1.5 million jobs will be created in
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2012, -- in 2011, listing our communities and our economy alike. on the day it pass, i was walking to the white house and ran into gene sperling. he said you know, there are not many days you can say you got something done that day that will raise the growth of the entire american economy by a full percentage point. think about that. when million 0.5 jobs is what is expected by economic experts across the political spectrum because of that tax cut package. it is remarkably important for all of us in the work we are doing to create jobs in our communities. of course, you have been hard at work helping our economy and our communities recover throughout these entire two years, and many of the tools you have been using
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were provided through the recovery act, and i want to particularly thank all of you for the remarkable work you have done in getting that recovery act funding to working in your communities. indeed, one of the reasons we provided almost three-quarters of our $13.6 billion of recovery funds directly to localities is because we believe you best understood the needs of your communities, and you knew how to inshore that these dollars quickly -- in short that these dollars quickly got to the people and the neighborhoods that needed the most, and you have delivered beyond even our high expectations. with your leadership, think about this. recovery programs have already completed renovation of 358000 homes are around this
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country. give yourselves a round of applause for that work. [applause] >> and, these homes, the renovations, the additional homes you have helped to build our to green standards and with energy efficiency improvements that save money for residents, her owners, and save money for taxpayers, because they typically pay back our investment, whether it is in public housing or other affordable housing in three two five years typically through lower utility costs. with funds from the program, you have helped us prevent or end homelessness -- homelessness for 750,000 people. they might have otherwise been homeless if it had not been for the homeless prevention and
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rapid rehousing program. once more, as you reported last year, it is fundamentally changing the way communities respond to homelessness. we had a chance to do the release this year of the hunger and homelessness report. that progress is not only occurring in central cities, but also suburban and rural places, which is so critical because we have seen an increase of -- of family homelessness of over 30% in those areas in recent years. most importantly, our recovery at programs have been creating hundreds of thousands of jobs. in the third quarter of last year alone, when most people thought the fact of the recovery act would be declining, you created 27,000 jobs with
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programs from the recovery act. none of this would have been possible without your leadership care if i want to congratulate each and every one of you ought -- leadership. i want to congratulate each and every one of you for putting that money to work, creating jobs, more quickly than anyone had expected. you also met behind our recovery act funds for our neighborhood stabilization program, off $4 billion critical to help renovate homes in your communities. despite a tight deadline, a 99% of that money was put to work on time, and that the 18-month deadline that was set by congress. our wonderful assistant secretary for community planning and development joins me with her team began sinking
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you for the work you have done. we know it has become an essential tool in your toolbox, helping you to rebuild, not only homes, but entire communities that have been devastated by this crisis. that is why we were so closely with congress to provide an additional $1 billion of neighborhood stabilization funding in the dodd-frank wall street reform bill, and dad built on an additional $2 billion in the recovery act. we know that the extraordinary challenges your community is facing using these funds, from staff shortages during this time of enormous budget cutbacks, if you having to establish individual relationships with financial institutions, to having to negotiate the best price on homes one house at that time. that is why it was not just enough to provide you with 700
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-- $7 million in funding, is why we went out with private sector and nonprofit partners to create the first look partnership, to give you and your grantees exclusive access to foreclosed homes in your communities for two weeks before anyone else could bid on them, and to allow you to get discounted prices that would allow you to stretch those dollars even further. because of this, in total, we expect neighborhood stabilization to be able to reach more than 100,000 homes around this country. if you look at the areas that we have targeted, it is a huge impact. we estimate that about 20% of all of the foreclosures in the neighborhoods targeted can be purchased or renovated with the funding we have provided, and, because we have been able to set up this first look partnership,
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188 communities around the country have been able to save over $26 million, an average discount of about 13% over the market price of those properties coming to foreclosure. this has been a tremendous partnership. with the project continuing to get under way, with neighborhood stabilization $3 a hitting in the mark -- 3 dollars hitting the mark in march, and with the sample -- the fragility in the housing market, we expect a big jump in the number of homes you can acquire in 2011. of course, at the same time these tools are helping to repair our economy, we face and on the gin and certain the budget situation for the foreseeable future. -- we face an uncertain budget
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situation for the foreseeable future. we need to work together to be closer partners that we have even become over the past two years as we face the difficult budget ahead of us. i mentioned earlier that you have done a remarkable job with our recovery funds. you are creating jobs, homes, and opportunities in your communities, and one of the things as the most important is the funding that was provided during the recovery act. [applause] >> in fact, 300 bearers are around this country, -- neighbors around this country, have a ready drawn down and spent every single dollar that they have in funds that were received to the recovery act, and dozens more of you are about to reach that threshold. i want to say very personally,
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having led the housing department in new york city, i know how critical the funds are to you and the work they you do on the ground, and i know that this has then the primary focus. you are the president's talk about it this morning. i also want you to know that i was the largest user of a whole program in the country in the new york city, and that we will be reaching a remarkable milestone in the history of the whole program -- its 20th anniversary, and we will reach right about that time it having built or renovated its 1 millionth home in this country. is a remarkable record of ho --ement forethought for the home program.
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we have the third largest programs in the country. you do not have to tell us the importance that the funding has to york communities. how those dollars can with leverage the critical resources you need to build economic infrastructure, and to help your community strife. still, while president obama has not even released his 2012 budget proposal, some are suggesting we cut $100 billion from domestic programs this year, in 2011. let me be clear. this administration is serious about reining in our budget deficits, and you will see that in the president's budget. he told you there will be tough decisions that need to be made, but we are absolutely committed to making the strategic investments we need to insure the economic future of this
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country, and cdbg is one of those critical and vestments. it is a critical catalyst. -- investments. it is a critical catalyst. [applause] >> it is a critical catalyst for economic growth, helping you everywhere across this country big retail businesses across your -- bring retail businesses to your community, and to rebuild your economies in so many different ways. our data from the recovery act shows that cdbg has created the most jobs per dollar of any program that was funded at hud by the recovery act. [applause] >> in fact, is about twice the average of our programs overall. let me be perfectly clear. when it comes to cdbg funding, i
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hear you, and president obama here's you loud and clear, and we need your help to get us the jobs that i just talked about. get us the story. get out the real story of cdbg, and how it creates jobs in your communities. that will be critical to winning the battle to ensure next cdbg remains a proud and strong investment in every community across the country. you have rightly focused on how important cdbg is, but it is not the only area where you need to make your voice is heard. hud programs to provide safe houses and in which just funding the same number of people each year costs more money as rental
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costs, utilities, and operating costs rise. just to serve those 4.5 million people, and because they make up such a large share of hud's budget, that is a growing cost that is critical to meet. insuring that we continue to support those residents will be a priority, and that is why you and i have a big case to make another innovative initiatives that we have put in place together to follow the innovative things that you have been doing in your communities, and to support the work you are already doing to prepare your communities and your economies for the future. the first of these is the sustainability and green jobs. i do not have to tell this audience how important this is to our economy. green construction spending already supports more than two
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million jobs, and generates more than $100 billion in gdp and wages, and over the next four years it will support nearly 8 million jobs, generate nearly half of when dollar trillion in economic activity. on tuesday, i joined the mayor of milwaukee to promote green cities and green jobs during the emerald city conference. when i heard was crystal clear. sustainability is not just about green roofs and energy- efficient buildings. if it is also about where those buildings are located with respect to transportation and the rest of how we build our communities. in short, america must find a way to connect housing to jobs think about this. today, for every dollar the average american family earns, they now spend 52 cents on housing and transportation
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combined. they have become american families to the will biggest expenses by far. if that is why this past october i was so proud to announce $140 billion in hud funding in over 100 of your communities around the country. demand for our two new sustainable community grant program was remarkable and exceeded expectations. 78 million americans live in the 45 regions that one goes -- that competition. still, we were only able to fund up one-quarter of the applications that we received. for our community challenge grant program, the funds will leverage over 50 million in additional state and local private funding. these grants represent the most significant planning in
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generations. planning our communities smarter means parents will spend less time driving, and more time with their children. more families will live in safe, stable communities near good schools and jobs. more kids in your communities will be healthy and fit, and indeed, one of the things that is so critical about these investments is that regions who embrace sustainable communities will have a built-in competitive edge in attracting jobs and private investment. of course, the grants we provide were not just about central cities. more than half of the applicants came from small towns and rural regions. winners included rural counties in central florida, at election communities in western north carolina, and native american tribes in washington state and south dakota. this commitment extends to rural america with the $25 million rural innovation fund which
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supports large-scale innovative approaches to addressing the unique -- to addressing you make rural issues including poverty and concentrating housing distress and bolstering our capacity to really change the game rural america. one thing that is so important is that we don't take the old federal one size fits all approach pretty you know better than anyone that the needs in your communities vary dramatically. it is so important as we think about the threats that we may have to this sustainable communities agenda going forward is that this is not about the federal government telling you or creating an unfunded mandate for you. this is about us supporting the vision you have for your community. rural, urban, or suburban. this is a critical tool. i was so pleased this morning as i spent time with many of you at the white house to hear how excited you are from macon,
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georgia to salt lake city, utah and so many other places so excited about this sustainable communities agenda. it is long past time that the federal government understood that we need to speak with one voice on housing and transportation policy and finally, we're beginning to. help us continue that momentum that we have built. another area where we have to make our case is transforming our public housing. i talked with many of you earlier this morning about the enormous challenges you feel in creating mixed use, mixed income communities and in being innovative with public housing. despite the enormous desire and need in your communities, our rules a half century old prevent you from doing what you need to do in your communities. it stops anyone but the federal
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government from being able to finance the improvements that you need in public housing. these rules have not just stood in the way of building better housing. my own experience in new york trying to bring groceries course to public housing and trying to bring schools and services was like banging my head against the wall far too often. because of the barriers we put in place. are transforming rental assistance a proposal would change that by providing you the power and the tools to bring in private financing, to bring in home and cdbg financing and to create the kind of vitality and market to supplant we have seen elsewhere in the affordable housing sector. you know this is not just the theory because you have seen it. i talked to mayor anthony potts
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from charlotte this morning who lives in may hope 6 3 development. you have seen a remarkable transtransformation that hope 6 has provided. we will not transform public housing with a half-dozen grants per year. we have to change the system more broadly. otherwise, with the status quo, we will keep losing public housing, 10,000 units of public housing each year. during the time that i am talking to you today, we will lose another unit of public housing because there is a need for 20-$30 billion of capital in public housing around this country. we think our transforming rental assistance initiative could bring over $25 billion of private capital into public housing. most importantly, it would create 300,000 construction
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jobs around this country. , renovating public housing, building the communities that you know your cities need. i want to say that this is one of the most important bipartisan issues we could have. hud secretary jack kemp who created hope 6 knew that. we now have legislation that was introduced by keith ellison from minnesota, the rental housing and revitalization act that would bring this kind of transformation to all public housing. we need your support. you know the results it can have on the ground. we need you to make your voice is heard. lastly, let me say that there is no greater opportunity for bipartisanship and forgetting real results than the issue of home was necessary when i was housing commissioner in new york city, mayor bloomberg and i work with the republican governor.
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i also like to joke that i know bipartisanship because i work for all three parties and that was just under one mayor in new york. [laughter] we worked closely with george pataki to enter into what we called new york, new york iii, a $1 billion investment to create housing for the homeless. how could we get a $1 billion investment? that was because mayor bloomberg, as a businessman, george pataki, as a fiscally conservative governor knew that this was not only the right thing to do for the homeless themselves, it was the right thing to do for the taxpayer. they knew that the real cost to the taxpayer was not just the cost of housing and services that support housing provided. the real cost was the revolving
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door of emergency rooms, shelters, jails, that would result if we did not do anything. we have learned that it is actually more expensive to put a band-aid on homelessness than it is to solve it. the bush administration realized that as well. thanks to its leadership, that key members of congress like senator jack reed and congresswoman judy bakers who has just taken over as chairman of our authorizing subcommittee and countless local leaders, and the last few years, the support of housing model has help communities around the country reduce chronic homeless and as an people in our streets that we thought would always be homeless by 1/3 and five years. a 1/3 reduction in chronic homeless ness. in fact, that progress, your workout the local level open the door to a federal plan that president obama announced last year that will finish the job of
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ending homelessness. it is the culmination of a decade of work and it commits the federal government working with you to ending chronic and veterans homelessness in five years and family and children's homelessness in a decade. let's be clear, despite was not started in washington very it was started by you and your partners in communities around the country. you were the ones who said and showed that we could end homelessness. you set out to prove it. with this plan, we will not only take on this fight, with the federal government supporting your work, we will wind this fight. [laughter] [applause] next wednesday i will join thousands of volunteers in 4000 cities to conduct a national one night count of homeless persons and families. this account is essential to have in the clearest possible understanding of the scope and
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breadth of homelessness and of measuring our progress toward ending it. york residents can find out more about how to volunteer at account. we urge every community to participate because this is important to measure what works and what we need to do better. you heard the president this morning say that the key to -- the key guiding principle in these budget fights ahead of us is we need to demonstrate what works and stop doing what doesn't. we need the data in cdbg and homelessness to show what works. we are urging everyone of you to join this count. i will personally be on the street in washington. i would urge all of you to get your communities out to help us. some wonder whether we can make progress in the country this divided. whether the issue is tax cuts in programs like cdbg that create jobs, putting people to work to
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rebuild our housing, proven strategies that end homelessness or new tools that help communities that share problems finally starts airing solutions, i am confident and we cannot only make progress but history. insuring we do starts with the men and women on the front lines of our communities. it starts with the leaders here today in this room. it starts with you. thank you for the opportunity to be your partner in that fight. thank you for everything that you do across this nation every day. i look forward to continuing our work together in the months and years to come. thank you. [applause] >> mr. secretary, we thank you for being here. one of the things that the mayors would like is if you could take one or two questions. there's a very pressing question
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on the mind of all the mayors. if you could address that and we will go to the floor for questions from them because we have other members who will be speaking. the document that i hold here and will be up there, the republican study committee issued their spending reduction act. can you tell us what is the process and what does this mean? we see reductions in the community development block grant which says it is -- it is an elimination. can you talk to us about that please, mr. secretary? it is right up there now. this was out yesterday and everybody has gotten a copy and everybody is greatly concerned. >> thank you. i'm glad you raised this question. we have been talking a lot about what the president's
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budget proposal will look like for 2012. the president spoke to you about this morning. i particularly want to thank you, mayor warren, congressman frank, so many of you who stood up just yesterday to say cdbg is a critical resource. your voices continue to be heard. it is not only a question about 2012. this is an immediate question about the 2011 budget. because of the short-term continuing resolution that we got in decembe then ends in march. we will have a debate even about whether cdbg continues to be funded for the remaining six months of the fiscal year this year in 2011. this will be a critical discussion. this document does not surprise me. i was running the largest cbdg program in the country in new york city when it was proposed
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during the last administration that cbdg be eliminated completely. after that, there were proposed cuts of up to 2/3 of the budget. this is a real immediate question that we all need to work on. the process here in is that the current year's budget needs to be passed in march. it may be a continuing resolution. it could be something that cuts substantially. you have heard a proposal of $100 billion reduction this year in domestic discretionary spending, not in 2012 but in 2011. that is what we need to make sure of. as we look at 2012, we need to focus on protecting cdbg this year. we also need to protect the other critical resources that we provided. >> mr. secretary, can you take
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one more question? we appreciate you being here. >> i can take one question. >> mr. secretary, i am the mayor of beverly hills. you would think that beverly hills would not have many problems. that is not always the case. we have the same problem like any other city. we have developed something that may be a challenge to what you can do for the rest of the cities. we have small city of initiatives. it goes way beyond. we have been able to create 175 initiatives which has helped us be a small government. we have water-solving problems and home-selling problems and all that. i want to challenge you to create that and move up into
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small cities, small communities because it would really make the government small and pay back in the long term. the paradigm has changed to small cities. >> thank you. i want to go back to something that i said earlier. one of the misperceptions, i think, about a lot of the work we are doing on sustainability, on linking housing to transportation, but in some of the other way is trying to make our communities more sustainable is that this is a big city issue. the york, chicago, and l.a. are dealing with this. that is what is interesting is that i've traveled around the country with the president and vice president and others and there is incredible support for this agenda of sustainability in every community. urban, rural, suburban, every
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geography, and we need to make sure that that is heard and what is heard is that we are supporting your vision because we learned with our urban renewal and many of the historical programs that hud and other and this is created is that you cannot have a one-size- fits-all policy. what was a different about this process we put in place for sustainable communities is we are asking you to tell us what your communities should look like. if it is a small cities initiative, we want to fund that. it is focused on art space community development and that the best way to the general economic activity, we want to fund that. we are here not to dictate to you what your community should look like but as a real partner. i think that is something that mayor becker and die from salt
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lake were talking about this morning. there are many in congress who think of federal planning support as modeled on the urban renewal approach. this is a very devin approach based on your vision whether it is a small city's approach or anything else. we need to make sure particularly the newest members of congress that they hear that and understand that this is reaching every region, every size community and it is about your vision, not about the federal government dictating it. it is a partnership approach. thank you all so much. [applause] i look forward to seeing you very soon. >> thank you so much, mayor warren. thank you so much, secretary donovan. we will get you the data you need and will continue to work in partnership.
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mayors and business partners, mayor anise parker will introduce our next speaker. [applause] >> it has been a long program and i appreciate everyone's patients out there. i also know how important it is cupp's to receive grant funding and how the program has made our cities safer. it is my pleasure to introduce you now very good friend of our cities, the director of the office of community oriented policing services at the justice department, bonnie malekian. --barney malekian. i will tell you about the conference of mayors is committed to seeing the cops
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program adequately funded so all the season-ticket venice of the vital help it provides. director malekian was the police chief for the city of pasadena for more than 13 years before assuming leadership of the cops program and serve with distinction in the santa monica police department for 23 years. he has also served as the acting fire chief an interim city manager for the city of pasadena. i am -- i met the director shortly after taking office last year. to discuss the fact that the city of houston was skipped over in the first round of cops funding. we had a great meeting. he asked me how things are going and i said i had some challenges. i had to get rid of my police chief. he had a funny look on his face. he knew my police chief. he was a very good friend of his.
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we want to have a good and productive conversation and i am pleased to say that the city of houston received cops funding in the second round. we appreciate director of malekian's professionalism and its practical experience as a park police chief. he has a genuine concern for all our cities. please welcome director barney malekian. [applause] >> thank you, mayor parker, for that kind introduction. it has been a pleasure to watch your leadership of the city and of the department and to watch the changes that are occurring there. i would also like to thank the president for her leadership and the opportunity to be here today. you heard two significant speakers talk about national and international trade and the
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importance of that. and the importance of housing and its impact on america's cities. joel codkin said that to be viable a city needs to be three things. the to be sacred, say, and it needed to be busy. by that he needed -- he meant not sacred in the religious sense but that it conjured up the sense of place, a sense of belonging, a desire to commit. it needed to be a safe in the sense that its citizens would be safe to go about their daily lives not only physically safe but say it really for the necessity to think about whether their safety might be at rest. lastly, the city needed to be busy. it needed to be economically viable. it needed to serve as an engine for the people who live there and for the region surrounding it. one of the things i have come to
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appreciate in my time in a cops office and my time as police chief and city manager is the fact that law enforcement touches each of these aspects of city. law enforcement and your policing services which consumed a significant part of every city's general fund budget needs to be more greatly involved in urban planning, in issues of housing, in issues of economic viability and we at a cops office are committed to making that happen. the notion of community policing sometimes engenders a discussion about what it is and what it means. i would suggest that it is really nothing more than the act of your police department building relationships with the people they serve and ensuring that we can solve their problems. to that end, the cops office remains committed to that. from the time of its inception,
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the office was intended to advance public safety through community policing. most of you i suspect are very well aware of the hiring grants. most of you, i suspect at one time or another, have been the recipients of those buried in the 1990's when this program started, and we were able to fund 95% of the cities that applied, that was one reality. the reality today is that in spite of over $1 billion being in fused into the 2009 budget as part of the recovery act, an additional $298 million in hiring funds in 2010, the demand because of the economic impact that has landed on america's cities, we funded 14% of the agencies that applied in 2009 and 8% of the agencies that
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applied in 2010. the reality going forward is that the office in partnership with few needs to help redefine what it is that the office will do and how the office will serve your cities. the fact of the matter is, as we go forward and the chiefs and sheriffs of this country who have walked in and told me stories about what is going on in their cities, cities with high of violent crime rates are laying off 40-50% of their force, cities of substantial size closing their doors or contracting with the local sheriff, a city's emerging resources or personnel in an effort to control costs. the list goes on and on and the reality is that the federal to bement' is not going able to fix that. what we can do and what we are committed to do and what i want
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to talk to you about briefly today is to approach this issue of where policing is going to go and how we can support that and support your efforts to gain greater cost efficiencies in your cities and with your police departments. i have been in this business a long time. professionals who have studied this business for a long time believe that over the next several years, the delivery of policing services in this country will fundamentally change. in ways that are not clearly defined yet. i believe, for example, that there are areas that may provide opportunities and may provide things for you and the police chiefs and sheriffs to work with you to consider. there is no question that the sharing of regional resources is going to become the norm as we go forward.
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that does not necessarily mean a merger of agencies. certainly, it could be a sharing of commonly held administrative needs. for example, internal affairs sections or other administrative actions, detectives section could very easily be blended to share resources. the issue of the delivery of non-emergency patrol calls for services, greater use of technology to get information from citizens in a way that does not necessarily a demand that one are two highly paid professionals respond at random intervals to a citizens' request for service. the issue of scheduling, of appointments, the issue of making greater use of civilian employees and the issue of greater involvement of citizen volunteers. i spent some time earlier this year talking with members of the
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denver, colorado police department about what they have done in terms of expanding their base of volunteers including using those volunteers and a number of non-technical issues. a -- i'm sorry, a number of technical areas of expertise that they bring with them from the private sector. the challenge, really, of policing and what it means, particularly as it gets redefined, is that very often the truth or falsity of the constitution, the truth or viability of each of your individual governments is often determined by the actions of your police department and how they interact with citizens. very often, they are the only arm outside of snow removal perhaps. they are the only arm of city government that many citizens ever see. very often, they are the ambassadors of your city in a way that you may not fully
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appreciate. at the cops office, we are committed to this idea that part of our responsibility besides the availability of hiring grants is the issue of training and technical assistance that we provide to law enforcement agencies across the country. as we go forward into 2011, we will make some significant changes in terms of our grant process and about how that will work. there will be much more comprehensive application. there'll be an emphasis on regional or multi-agency partnerships. like every other federal agency in this new environment, it is not enough to say that the cops off as the x number of departments or the cops office made available to the ability of cities to the x number of officers. we have to be able to point to
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what did those officers accomplish. it is not enough to say that since january 1, 2009, almost 3 million publications have been distributed to police departments across the country what savings did city realized? what value for those publications came from those agencies? part of our application process beginning this year will be to measure community policing at the beginning of the grants and at the end of the grant. and to begin to collect data that says community policing and the building of relationships and the sultan of problems is doing what we wanted to do which is to advance public safety. there will be a greater emphasis on the ability of departments to hire civilian and police. where those civilian employees can be shown where they are freeing up an officer to work a patrol or where detectives or engage in and forced activities.
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as we measure what it is probably more than anything else, we will be asking your chiefs and your sheriff's and your cities to articulate what problem you like us to solve. we're not going to would be able to address a long term economic issues that are occurring. the recovery aspect described here by previous speakers i am very confident will do that. over the next several years. in the meantime, we will be asking the people who fill out the application to describe for us what it is that the officers you are going to hire are going to do. what problem in your community, problems that you should identify, is not up to the federal government to decide what is important in your community. it is up to you and the people live there to say that this is what we want our police department to do.
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our application process beginning in 2011 will begin to attempt to make that fact a reality. one of the examples of non- traditional approaches to policing that we have engaged in at the cops office is working with john jay college in new york and the national network for say communities. it is a group of about 50 cities that have identified best policing practices. one of the projects that can out of there that was funded by the cops office and this material is available through our web site or by calling our office, it is called building your way to public safety. it was a partnership of law enforcement, private developers, and urban planners in designing public housing in a way that the design itself lent to a reduction in crime and an increase of citizens perception of their own safety.
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it was done so in a way that did not result in a significant increase of the police budget but did result in a decline in both calls for service and an actual crimes committed. -- and in actual crimes committed. there is a long list that i promise you in the interest of time not to regale you with today of what the cops of us can provide and how we want to be involved and the changes and american policing that i believe are inevitable as we go forward over the next few years. i believe that law enforcement must be itself in the context of solving community problems and not just criminal problems. it is the logical next step where we can go. it was mentioned that i had served as the interim city manager for some period of time. . i was assured by the mayor that i would be the interim city manager for two months while
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they found a new city manager. that ended up being nearly one year. it was probably one of the best experiences professional that i ever had. i was struck more than anything else by the realization that in spite of nearly 35 years in municipal government how little i knew about housing or about public works or about water and power distribution or about all the other things that contribute to the idea of a city being sacred safe and busy. part of the training program of limited was to take middle managers from the police department and give them an internship and other city departments in an effort to broaden that vision. those are the kind of things at the cops off as we want to help happen and help you help that happen in your communities. i am very committed to that and the incredibly capable staff that i have found since i came to washington.
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the people in the cops of us who are truly committed to making america's cities safer and more economically viable has really been quite impressive. i say without attempting any rhetorical flores that i truly regard it as a privilege to be here and to be part of this effort. on behalf of the attorney general eric holder and everyone at the justice department, want to thank you for your time and to assure you that you should reach out to wear off thisvia the web or of bomb buried we will be there to help you. thank you very much a [applause] . >> thank you. our environmental committee chair, ashley sweringen had to catch a flight back on so she
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has asked me to announce our cash winners and introduce our next speaker. the conference is proud to partno withvalis and keep america beautiful by aluminum can recycling. this year, the cities that participated in the challenge collected more than 3 million pounds of aluminum during the month of october. as i announced the winners, i would ask those mayors to come to the left. i believe it is my left to this side. stage to collect their award and for a photo opportunity. the $5,000 winners and the most cans collected are the mayor and the city offontana, california. also wisconsin and the city of university city missouri.
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for the most innovative idea, the winner in this category also worth $5,000 are the city of canfield, ohio and the city of bowling green, ky, the city of hollywood, fla., and the city of irvine, california. in a third category, the city's partnered with their local keep america beautiful up -- you fulfill yet. the $5,000 winners are the city of sydney, neb., the city of mobile, alabama, and the city of brownwood, texas. congratulations to all the winners and the thank-youn novalis thank you so much. i would like to introduce to you the deputy administrator of the
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environmental protection agency, bob perciasepe. he served under the clinton administration previously. unfunded mandates is one of the top priorities in our metro agenda. i am pleased that you, mr. administrator, with you and administered jackson are willing to engage with us and have as meaningful dialogue about this issue. welcome. >> thank you. [applause] thank you all. thank you so much for your leadership with the conference of mayors and for your time now serving on the local government advisory committee for the epa. it means a lot for us to have the conference leadership on our advisory committee. i hope that will continue to
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bear a lot of fruit on many issues you just were alluding to. i want to thank all of you for all the work that you do in the cities that you are elected mayors of. despite all the different experiences and backgrounds that we all have both between yourselves and between the epa and you, we have done quite a bit of work on the environment together. we're also very excited as the secretary mentioned earlier, secretary donovan, about the epa, hud and dot partnership of the federal level. we are working together as three agencies as we never had before and it is a very exciting time. i have personally participated in some of the training sessions and workshops that have been set up with that partnership and would some of the regional planning grants that the secretary mentioned. every community wants to breathe fresh air and drink clean water.
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every committee wants to have a healthy environment and every community wants to also have an opportunity for growth and prosperity. americans are entitled to these things but they are not always easy to obtain. many of you know the challenges involved. that is why it is important for us to work together. it is vital that the cities of america and the protection agencies at the federal level and that the state level and in your own local agencies work so closely together. in the last 40 years, there has been a tremendous amount of work done by this partnership. i have spent the bulk of my career at the federal level, but i also spent 11 years of my career working for the city of baltimore. i may be the first deputy administrator of the epa who has
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that kind of local government experience. i know that many local governments are in the midst of budget difficulties and crisis and are laying off workers. we have to learn to work smarter together. you hear that theme throughout some of the presentations today. i know the cities have some of the most difficult and most important day to day responsibilities for environmental protection in america. you are the ones who have been implementing these protections for the last four years. that is how long the epa has been in existence and that's how long our partnership has existed. you have seen first hand the effects these have had on your friends, family, and your constituents. today, there is ample evidence of the fruits of that partnership and that labor. today, almost all americans have access to water that meets the national health standards. we and our kids breathe air with half as much dangerous pollution
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in it as there was four decades ago. less pollution has made us health care, cleaner air alone has prevented more than 200,000 premature deaths in the united states. i want to point out that every child in america today has le lessad in their blood -- has lesslead in their blood than 40 years ago. [applause] it is almost incalculable benefits that is a crew into our communities. environmental regulations on the other side have also led to the creation of a world debt leading environmental protection industry in the united states that supports 1.6 million american jobs. this is an important fact that jobs are also related to whether it is clean water or clean air. we have many jobs in america
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that are directly related to the work that is going on to provide those benefits in the local communities. we are healthier and cleaner and stronger because these protections that you have helped implement and that the epa has helped develop, in the last two years we have let pure science and the rule of law guide us at the epa. we have improved protections. we have reached out in that process to people across america and we have heard ideas and we have made common sense, cost- effective decisions providing flexibility where appropriate and more time to comply when necessary. we want to work with you, the mayors of america, so that we can continue to look for ways to innovate in how we get this work done. we are hoping battle local government advisory committee is one of the many but not the only way that we continue to do that. president obama has gone one step further. i am glad you're able to spend
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time with him this morning. he is directing all federal agencies to have regulatory responsibilities to make sure and review their regulations and make sure that they are a efficient, flexible, and transparent. people need to know the requirements are and they know how to implement them. his executive order formalizes a lot of the work we have been doing at epa and will continue to do in the months and years ahead. last year, administrator jackson outlined several priorities. i want to talk about them briefly and the progress. for meetings like this one and others with a local government advisory group, meetings in your communities to regional offices, we are building a strong partnership local governments, state governments, and tribal governments and bring in new voices into a conversation on how we get this work done. that conversation on environmentalism is being expanded to communities that are
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sometimes hurt the most by a collision yet have had the least voice and helping solve the problems. this is a very important priority of epa, to build a larger base of involvement in our work. we're also taking action on climate change. mayors have often led the way in this work with the efficiency programs and local recycling programs, all of which have reduced anergy and reduced emissions of greenhouse gases. we are taking some action at the federal level with the endangerment finding that was done last december. the first requirement for greenhouse gas emissions, marc train and the first division standard for the largest of the emitter's of greenhouse gases. these are we are taking common- sense approaches and looking at this and say as a primary tool in the early as of this program. we are also improving the quality. the first national limits on march 3 from cement plants and the clean cars program.
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when a talked-about lead earlier, part of that solution has not only been painted in the homes and in our house and also the lead that was in gasoline that left a legacy for many developed parts of the country. we continue to work for the automobile industry on cleaner cars and we are not only setting the first greenhouse gas emissions standards for automobiles but that is also reducing greenhouse gases but also reducing the use of gasoline and fuel the efficiency saving consumers money and reducing harmful conventional pollutants as well. more of the automobile is clear, the cleaner the cities are going to be in the united states. we want to ensure the safety of chemicals. we have proposed that the toxic substances control act be reformed and enhanced to deal with today's modern production of chemicals.
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we are now waiting for that. we are developing our own internal process to test chemicals and look at the existing law and how we can improve utilization of that existing law to further protect against chemicals used that may provide -- that may create contamination. we are looking at cleaning up communities more swiftly. and recovery act, as has been mentioned several times today, brownfield's and superfund cleanups were provided. many cities were involved with getting that were done. along with this can invest and water infrastructure and historic efforts to protect places like the chesapeake bay, the great lakes, and the gulf of mexico. i don't need to tell those odds about the importance of the epa brownfield's program in looking at underutilized and abandoned property in urban areas and making sure they can be brought back to productive use in a clean and healthy way.
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cleaning the water is an important part of your work. just as it is important work of epa work. the water challenges today highlight concerns throughout our society, growing populations, urbanization, new chemicals in our products and environment and in our bodies and adaptation to climate change. our waters face on conventional pollutants. we have only recently had designed to measure some of these pollutants. they are also affected by what is not commonly thought of in terms of sources of pollution like storm water runoff. we have looked at storm water when rains in the past. as waste water. had we get this water out of the way? -- how do we get this water out of the way? back in the costly proposition. many of your cities are struggling to maintain their current infrastructure.
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in an effort that cost upwards of $30 billion per year in capital investments nationwide. when you include the operating funds, cities spend up to $100 billion per year on water and wastewater services and infrastructure. despite this price tag, we still love problems. we still end up losing almost 7 billion gallons of treated water, water that we have spent money to treat. we also have leaky sewers and water that is yet to be treated leaking. we know the infrastructure is causing some were overflows and contamination of local streams. we have significant investment that we need to continue to make in our infrastructure. we are trying to confront the challenges with you in some of the same way as we confront all our environmental programs through innovation and through
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innovation in the technologies that we use and employ to solve the problems. last year, administrator jackson outlined a comprehensive drinking water strategy that lays a plan to address water contaminants in groups as opposed to when the time. it uses available stories that the epa has in other statutes like toxca that i mentioned or pesticide laws to try to get ahead of contamination and protect the water become -- before it becomes a problem. this can capitalize on both technology advancement and treatment efficiency. we have begun to make progress on these goals and we are exploring the uses of those statutes to help prevent pollution before it gets into the drinking water. in the coming months, we will begin the process of selecting some groups of chemicals and contaminants' that we can look at all at once as opposed to one of the time to find a mostly efficient way to deal with those contaminants in our drinking water systems.
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the minister has made it clear that we would engage more with you and with other stakeholders like state and local governments for it we are connecting with the private sector. this is an important parts as they are the innovators and entrepreneurs in our system. we also connected earlier this week with the administrator of the small business administration announcing a water technology innovation cluster. i will talk about that and a second in cincinnati, ohio. the cluster concept does what i was mentioning -- harnessing be on the proportion than the innovation of the private sector. it brings together the utilities, the city, the research partners, and the business community all in that community. we have had a lot of experience in drinking water and water technologies. this has a great opportunity to
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create jobs in small businesses. the cluster helps us look at the future and sustainable ways we can work smarter to protect america's water, we are also already at work in some of your communities today. i can use northern kentucky, for example, or expensive storm water projects were being looked out but when faced with these expensive projects, the community's came to the epa to look for ways to address some of these overflows, particularly storm water overthrows and sewage overflows and to help sustain a growing economy at the same time. instead of investing in some of the traditional treatment approaches, they have used some of that same money and we're spending the same amount of money on new green infrastructure techniques that addressed a whole host of concerns in the community, not just reducing the overflows or treating the storm water. it created a network of green
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street who manage their strong water in a way before it became pollution. ca alsolmed traffic -- a falsecalmed traffic -- and that also calmed traffic and make communities more livable. while green may not be the answer to every problem, it certainly is the answer to finding more cost-effective ways to deal with some of our wet weather-oriented pollution from rainfall but also a way to combine other community assets and community amenities like green spaces and more treelined streets. and green areas along our highways and green roofs and other enhancing from a static as well as a local climate
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perspective. this is a process we will learn more from you as the golan and we are excited to push forward on this initiative in ways that will help be more cost-effective and efficient in our work. many of you here today have stories you could add to the ones i just mentioned about how you are making your communities healthier. we are eager to work with you to find those best approaches and meet your community's needs a cost-effective and efficient way. we want to build the foundation for lasting prosperity and all the communities. as the act as your partner, we hope you will be a driver to help us toward innovation. i look forward to our continued work together. i can't tell you how happy we are to be here speaking with you today. i want to point out also that a small contingent of all of you were able to get over to epa yesterday and made with the administrator and i am very
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happy that happened. thank you for the invitation and good luck for the rest of the conference. thank you, mayor. [applause] >> thank you very much. and now, we need to move forward. our next baker will be introduced by our vice-chair of metro economies committee, mayor johnvickers of racine. >> good afternoon, everyone. i am the mayor of racine, wisconsin and vice chair of united states conference of mayors metro economics committee. i want to introduce our next speaker who is the advisor to the treasury secretary on matters relating to a quiet, currency, and other instruments. she has served as foreign -- senior adviser of the treasury department in areas of community development and public engagement. before joining the administration, our speaker distinguished herself at mcfarland partners working on
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real estate in california. she has an outstanding track record working with city government and financial planning and community development. we truly consider her one of us. she has also served as the director of economic development for a number of cities including oakland, fremont, and san leandro. she is the recipient of numerous awards. to put it bluntly, she gets it. she is here to speak to us today about federal efforts that have created hundreds of thousands of jobs in local communities across our nation. build america bonds, recover his own bonds, credit programs, i want to thank the administration for their efforts to help the u.s. conference of mayors. we saved the best for last. please join me in extending a warm welcome to our true friend, the united states treasurer, rosy griels. [applause] >> thank you very much.
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thank you very much for your leadership and your support and our own economic development efforts. i had a chance to attend a dinner the other night and i told the mayor that he inspired me to focus my points and economic development and that is where my passion is. it is a very, very small world and local government. it is the same people, just different name tags. i was able to see some of my old friends. i saw lisa goldman who i used to work with. she is now the interim city manager for the city of alameda. ic mayorgene quan from the city of oakland. i cannot tell you how ratifying it is to see all my world collide and my interests converge of this moment. this is the third time that have
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been able to address u.s. conference of mayors during my time in the administration. i was confirmed by the senate about 80 months ago. in my opinion, there is no other constituency that gets a more than local governments. in my career path i have a chance to work in many cities. at least half a dozen cities, i work on the ground with mayors and council members and the community in order to address what is now what we all know a big priority in this economic recovery which is job creation. i cannot tell you how rewarding it is to come back full circle knowing that my past has started in local government to comment serve on the federal level with hopefully more tools for the tool box on your behalf. many of you met secretary tim geithner, my boss, at the white house and you were met by the president but we have a number
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of initiatives and programs in treasury that i believe can be helpful. as a senior adviser to the secretary, every time there is a new program or new discussion on how to move forward in this economic recovery, i always put on that hat of how i can use this if i or in the economic development field a the local government level. i come to you with that have on today. i apologize but i have an abbreviated presentation. i want to focus on three specific areas that i think are very meaningful. i had a chance last friday to be in the state of michigan with governor snyder and senator stabenow and congressman peters to launch hours that the state's small-business credit initiative. i came armed with an award letter of $80 million for the state of michigan and i wish i could come armed as well with
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more resources. i could tell you more about what this program is. this program was initiated as part of the small business jobs act that the president signed last september. it provided $1.5 billion available to all 50 states and the territories with the commitment by the states to demonstrate new private lending, $10 for every dollar invested in federal funding. this will create $15 billion in additional private lending. i remember back in the 1990's when the state of michigan had such an aggressive marketing campaign to bring businesses over to michigan. it was very interesting to actually made the michigan economic development corp. after so many years.
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this programthis enables you tor the funding. all states have to apply by june of this year. there was an intent to apply round the past this last fall. 48 states have applied with their intent to move forward. that deadline comes next june. that allows you to partner with our other stakeholders including the state to find new lending sources to expand jobs in your area. i do not have time to run through all the details. your welcome to find more information on our treasury website. please feel free to look up. that is the state's small- business credit initiative. that was launched last friday.
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one of my other responsibilities, in addition to being a senior advisor to the secretary on community development, as i am the secretaries representative on the fund advisory board. that includes new market tax credits. when i was an economic development professionals and when i was in the private sector in real estate, we accessed newmarket tax credits to bring jobs to underserved areas. if you are not familiar with how newmarket tax credits work, please learn more information about it. it has been a priority in this administration in the economic recovery. it reduces the risk investors take in putting capital into what could be considered high- risk communities by helping to attract capital. the data shows that for every $1
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in new market tax credit, $12 a private investment is leveraged in distressed communities. over $18 billion of investments have been made into a community development entities. over 75% of investments have been made in communities with high rates of poverty and unemployment. that includes significant investment in areas with large minority populations. another $3.5 billion for the 2011 round is available. the application will be released in may. please keep an eye out for that. more information is available on our website. that has been a powerful tool for urban revitalization. this is one of those tools that will be most helpful to you at the federal level. how many people have used
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newmarket tax credits in your communities? there is a lot of opportunity there. please find out more information to our website. the other program that has been near and dear to my heart that i see as an opportunity moving forward is to build america bond program. as the redevelopment professional, i think we note the importance of infrastructure investment in our communities. there is the importance of the multiplier effect with jobs created through transportation efforts and other infrastructure initiatives that lead to property-tax increases, stimulating development around specific areas, hopefully leading to additional sales tax, in addition to the jobs provided by the infrastructure projects. the build america bonds is one of our great success stories. it is something i am very proud to work on as part of the
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recovery act. i want to give you a flavor of what has been accomplished. by the end of 2010, there were over 2000 build america bond issuances for a total of $181 billion. that represents 23% of municipal bond issuances since april of 2009. there are a lot of great success stories. i was able to visit a lot of areas around the country. they are working in promoting the use of these bonds. i know many of you have said you would like to see them continue. the build american bond program was not approved as part of the tax discussion in the last round, but i am here to tell you that in the fiscal year 2011 budget proposal there is a
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program in place in the proposal to make the federal subsidy permanent the 28% rate versus the 35% subsidy that was part of the initial program. it is your responsibility and hopefully your interest in working with your members of congress to get this budget proposal passed and hopefully initiate the build america bonds program once again. it has been such a successful case study for all of us. i would like to see that continue. i enter stand you like to do that as well. i want to give you my commitment moving forward that i will continue to represent your interests. i will continue to wear my local we hadent has not every time discussions about how to move
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forward in economic recovery. it is the work i did at the local level that has been the most fulfilling. i commend you as public servants and frontline representatives of main street. you are definitely what this country needs to move forward. thank you for the invitation. thank you for all of the work you do. i look forward to the next one with even more tools for the tool box. thank you very much. [applause] >> we are so happy that you are
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one of us and will always be looking out for what will help us to continue to ensure that we build strong economies in our city. thank you for the tools that you provide with us. we will work with you. thank you. mayor, for all of your help. for all of you who sat through and waited and stayed engaged, i cannot thank you enough. thank you for being at our winter meeting. our winter meeting is now adjourned. travel safely. we will see you at our annual meeting, if not before. thank you so much. ♪ [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
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>> i have to practice staying alive and preparing to die at the same time. >> on sunday, our guest is christopher hitchens. >> it is a tantalizing time to have cancer at my age. there are treatments that are just out of my reach. it is both encouraging and annoying. >> madam speaker, the president of the united states. >> by congressional invitation, the president outlined his agenda for the next year and reflects on the previous in the annual state of the union. watch every address since 1984 online. it is searchable on your computer any time. the c-span network provide coverage of politics, public affairs, nonfiction books, and
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american history. it is all available to you on television, radio, online, and social media networking site. find our content any time through the c-span video library. we take c-span on our road with our local content vehicle, bringing our resources to your community. it is washington your way, the c-span networks. now available in more than 100 million homes. provided as a public-service and provided by cable. >> gabrielle giffords has arrived at the houston hospital where she will receive physical therapy after being wounded nelywo ago. the associated press reports she will be evaluated first in the icu of the texas medical center and then be taken to the rehabilitation hospital in the same complex. we will get an update on that in about an hour and 20 minutes. we will have live coverage of the update for you here on c- span.
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president obama just past the midway point of his first term. this morning, we discuss his first two years in office. this is about 45 minutes. now is bill adair, the editor of an organization called politifact. bill adair, what is the obameter? host: it is the measure -- guest: it is the measure of how we read the accuracy of political stements and we rate the progress of president obama's 506 campaign promises. host: where did you get the #506? guest: we actually hoped there would be fewer. what we did is went through his position papers, speeches, his campaign webte and looked for things that he said that were
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clearly a promise. it ended up being 506. everything from very specific promises on western wildfires or children with autism to big goals on foreign policy and health care. host: ok, let's look at the obameter scorecard at the midway point in his term. promises kept 134 -- what were some of the promises that president obama kept? guest: a couple of them were foreign promisee -- foreign policy promises. he has made promises and get
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them regarding troops. and this one, we call it is the promise. it is not one that gets a lot of headlines. but he has made considerable progress in afghanistan. and he has made progress on some small ones, too. host: "top obama promises" --
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one of the big promise brokens there, repeal of the bush tax cuts. you call that a broken promise because? guest: in the lame-duck session when president obama and republicans made a deal about extending a tax cut for everyone, in doing so, he had to go back on a promise of for the wealthiest americans. we rated that when a promise broken. and this is very interesting. many of the promises broken that we ha involved calculations by the white house that they are going to sacrifice something to achieve something else. for instance, we had a promise broken on the promise to allow imported prescription drugs, which had been a big promise during the campaign a it was
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wondering the health-care negotiations that president obama gave up to win support of the pharmaceutical industry. many of the promises broken, it is not that the white house has failed to achieve it. in many cases, the white house has made a political calculation to give up that to get something else. host: have you looked at this historic plea and how this compares to otr presiden? guest: we have not and i often get asked that by our readers if we have done this with george w. bush and president clinton. we do not have the staff to do that. we are a for-profit company. it is a project of the "st. petersburg times." but we focus on fact checking and checking the promises, but we have to focus on the now rather than the past. host: and what is the"st.
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petersburg times?" guest: i think of it as a journalism think tank. it is really a remarkable newspaper in that it is truly independent and truly committed to good journalism. host: by the way, the numbers are on the screen. we are talking about president obama halfway through his term with bill adair, editor of thank you politifact and also the editor of the open court st. petersburg times." if you were asked to write an article about midway through the obama administration, what would be the headline? guest: he has made considerable progress. if i were to give him one obameter rating, it would be in the works. if you get big things that got passed in the first two years,
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the economic stimulus -- included in the economic stimulus f many individual promises he made during the campaign, many important projects to the democratic majority in congress. they were sort of talked to in there. every time we look at the bill we find another one that was a promise kept. in pasng the health care bill, that has to rank as one of the major accomplishments by a president in modern history. however, it is very controversial and as we have seen in the continuing debate and vote on wednesday, there is still a substantial chunk of the americans nor opposed to the law. -- a chunk of the american public opposed to the law. i think we are ready for the second act. and with republicans in charge of the house, even with the full repeal that passed the house on wednesday unlikely to go anywhere, there are still many
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ways that the republicans can achieve what they want, which is repealing various aspects of the law. host: before we go to calls, polls show president obama on the uptake. rreny in the "wall street journal" and nbc news poll, 53% approval rating. guest: i think we see this a lot in the comments that we get. a lot of people have been frustrated by the stagnation here in washington, the lack of progress, a lack of talking. i often say that the parties hurl these talking pointat each other, but never actually talk. what we saw in the last two months was they actually talked and got things done. in some ways, the republican majority in the house may be the best thing to ever happen to the obama presidency because it has broken this logjam that allows the parties to come together to achieve common goals on some of
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these issues. host: and our first call comes from lawrenceville, ga., eddie on the republican line. usual: i'm not like the americans the call in here. i am from that 1 percent on that has eight credit ratg of 850. i know a little bit about money. what i've seen with obama is that the government rolls have gone up, regulations have gone up, unemployment has gone up, food stamps have gone up, entitlement programs have gone up, unfunded liabilities has gone up, and spending has gone up. i do not think he has done such a great job. guest: what we do read politifact is not rat whether he has done a good job. we try to give you the tools to do an assessment of thhim. we tried to raid the accuracy of what president obama and others say.
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we're going to read the progress of his promises. you can decide for yourself whether that is good or bad. some look at the achievement of his health-care promises as a great success. others may look at it as a failure because of his approach to health care. we are not saying he is a success. we are saying that it is truly remarkable, the magnitude of the legislation that he has passed. but ai have noted, there's a lot of opposition to what he has done. host: north carolina, william, a democrat. caller: i would like to know, how long have you been doing president tracking, or is president your first president to track? guest: president obama is the first that we tracked. politifact started in 2007 as a unique news organization that would fact check the presidential campaign. we raided more than 750 claims
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in the presidential campaign in 2008. after that we decided we could supplement our work by traing promises and doing it in this distinctive way on the web. we are primarily a web publication. that is when we added the obameter. we do not have historical perspective to go back and see how president obama's progress compares to president bush or previous presidents. host: will you track the next two years? guest: absolutely. and we introduced a new feature, gop pledge-o-meter. host: the 2010 cycle, house republicans? guest: the republicans ran on the pledge to america. went through the pledge to
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america and throughhe speeches of congressman boehner and congressman cantor and look for things that will promises, similar to what president obama had done. similar in a sense they were promises. host: you found 57. what are some of those promises? guest: they range from repealing the health care law, which is probably their most significant promise, two things that they said they would do and house rules, such as required that every bill have a citation from the u.s. constitution that shows why the bill is authorized. there is one about the amount of time bills have to be made public before they can be voted on in the house. we are following those in the same way that we do the obameter, and therhas been promises there. 7 weave rated in the works and one kept -- host: repeal of the health care? guest: actually it was the house
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republicans promised to cut congress' budget and this is what they did in their initial vote when they came into office on the first week of january. that was a promise kept. on the health care repeal, we yesterday raided that "in the works." they promised to repeal health care. they did not just promised to pass it through the house. if i had to look ahead, i would say the promise is not likely to be filled given the democratic senate and democratic president. there are other things the republicans said they would do to go sort of piece by piece a the health care law. so, we will be tracking those, too. host: bill adair has worked in washington since 1997 and has won an award for distinguished coverage of congress. st. paul, minnesota. mark, republican line. caller: thank you for taking my call.
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you brought up "the washington post" and "the wall street journal" and the poll. if you take a look at the methodology looked in the poll, you ultimately discovered that of the people who are asked questions, 42% voted for president obama, 26% of them voted for senator mccain. the point being, i tnk the sample was a little skewed so i am skeptical of the approval rating. with regards to politifact, i was poking around on the web site. it struck me that there seems to be a real left-leaning bias in regards to what promises are examined or what statements are examined with regard to whether or not they are true or not. host: can you give an example? guest: for example, if you look at david axelrod, everything he has -- e worst trading, apparently true, and bobby
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jindal, he has liar, liar, pants on fire. the reason why he is not a liar, liar, pants on fire it is because he predicted the new orleans saints would go undefeed the year they won the super bowl. i do not know how you can say he was a liar, liar for that. if it is just a stupid sports prediction, i do not know how you can say it is a liar, lr on that. guest: let me address that. first of all, you happen to have chosen one of a handful of items that we do that are light hearted. we tried to keep politifact from being too serious. we do not want it to be like in your vegetables every day. we like to have a little fun. as for the overall rating, we get criticism from both sides. i'd like to introduce you to the many people i have heard from this week who think that we leaned over to far in favor of
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the republicans. we are accustomed to the criticism. we welcome it. we like to focus on the individual claims. and we don't strive for partisan balance and a sense that we never say, well, we just gave the democrats a false so we will give the republicans a false. we call them as we see them. we fact check things we think people are curious about. obviously the is a sampling decision. i am not sure i would rd a lot into comparing david axelrod and bobby jindal. i think if you look at our work over all you will find it is very accurate, very fair, and i think it presents a really helpful tool to assess the political discourse. host: is the website. pauline is in cleveland. she is a democrat. guest: good morning. i want you to take into
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consideration that when a president obama walked into the house, the house was on fire, impending depression, and then when he used the water to put out the fire everybody complained about the water bill. you can fact czech president obama as much as you would like, -- fact check president obama as much as you would like, but how many presidents we have to go back to find the environment, the situation president obama stepped into. guest: it is an interting metaphor. your point about the economy is an important one, and i think as you look at what so much of what president obama has done in the first two years, he really has had to focus, maybe a majority of his time, on the economy. what is interesting to us at politifact is how he used the
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economic stimulus as a tool to the bill so many of his campaign promises. as i was saying earlier, as we were looking at our obameter at how he has done on promises we discovered things -- and how he has, promises, we conclude that things from the stimulus. the house was on fire but he used it as an opportunity to shape a government the way he wants to. host: bill adair, of want to get your reaction to the story -- white house begins shipping staff to campaign. it is january, 2011. is this an early start? guest: i do not know if it is an
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early start as much as it is an interesting decision to locate in chicago. i think the peace in "the new york times" -- piece in "the new york times" noted the tradition for president is to keep the election headquarters here in the washington area. in 2004 the bush-change campaign was headquartered across the river in arlington -- bush-ch eney. it was a step -- important step for the obama administration to say we will not be in the beltway but be in the heartland of america. host: al gor in 2000 started in nashville. you think there is a chance he could pull back here to d.c.? guest: i think the notion of a campaign headquarters is less important these days given how
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connected everybody is. at politifact, we have staffers all over the country, some who work from home. one of our interest is at the university of chicago. -- one of our interns is at the university of chicago. the office is less important as it used to be. host: dave, independent line. caller: i would like to make a statement about president obama. i think he has done a fantastic job considering what he inherited when he came into the white house. but my one disappointment is his campaign promise to reopen those trade agreements that were so unfair to the labor force in this country. host: trade agreements. guest: i am trying to remember exactly what trade promises we have on the obameter.
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i do not recall specifically. this is an issue many may remember from the campaign because it was alleged that even though obama was speaking out against nafta, that supposedly there were back channel communications from his campaign to canada saying, wink, wink, he is just saying that stuff, it was never proven. particularly in the industrial states, we have a politifact site in ohio, and when i was there became very aware of the importance of these trade agreements to states like ohio where there is still a fair amount of manufacturing. a lot has been lost and there are a lot of concerns about tre and jobs going overseas. host: joe public tweets in -- guest: joe, no, we don't have
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plans to do the fed. with a limited sta -- three staffers and a couple of interns, we just don't have of the staff to do this sort of big enterprise projects like this that we would like to. we tend to focus on three areas. we focus on fact checking members of congress with the truth-o-meter, members of congress and the white house, we also fact check pundits and talk-show host -- bill o'reilly, rachel maddow, keep older men, ed schultz, two fact check some of the claims they make -- keith olbermann. we also have the promise of feature. in our 8 state sites we track the promises of the new governors. host: steve in illinois e-mails in.
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las vegas, roy, republic line. caller: thank you for taking my call. i hope c-span stays on the air forever. this topic seems like not only politically divisive but racially. i am a republican, conservative, but i do want to extend to president obama his ability to bring up these tough issues that have been the third rail of politics for so long. history, i think, will show b showlacks -- will show that blacks can be proud of him, even though i disagree. i want smaller government so i
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am opposed to much of what president obama is doing. but i do think blacks should feel proud. host: what does a racial issue have to do with anything we are talking about? guest: i listened to the caller: iowa visit to c-span a lot and a lot of blacks call in -- i watch c-span a lot and a lot of blacks call in and vehemently against the statements that a lot of people calling and saying. host: paladino they are black? caller: probly a steepen assumpti on my part but sometimes i can't tell -- probably a stupid assumption on my part, but sometimes i can tell. host: we will move on to dixon, illinois. lee on our independent line. please, go ahead with your comments. caller: i think president obama
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has done a fairly good job. the only problem i have is he ran on the promise of change, and the changes that i voted for was not to keep a bunch of leftovers from the bush administration might ben bernanke -- like ben bernanke and hiring people from wall street like this guy he just appointed to his administration. i think those people from wall street, i think they are all special interest and i think he is involved in that and i don't like it. that is not the change i voted for. guest: that is an interesting point. one of his promises we have on the meter -- obameter is he would end the revolving door. heromised to prohibit people
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who served as lobbyists from working on any of the same issues if they joined his administration. so, initially we rated that as a promise kept because on his first day of office he signed a it -- an executive role that put that in effect. but we quickly found there were loopholes that would give recusals whenever the administration basically wanted too so. we move that promised a promise kept on ultimately to promise broken because now there were several lobbyists serving in his administration, where they are working on issues they had dealt with. my sense of that is backed -- that i think the obama white house discover the reality of washington, which is lobbyists have a lot of expertise on things and wanted expertise the way previous administrations did. although they talk a good game
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about lobbyists before hand, when encouered with the reality they decided they wanted them into the administration. host: bill adair, as you take the next call, think of other promises that were kept or broken on the obameter that we have not talked about yet. florida, tony, republican my. caller: can you hear me clearly? host: go ahead, tony. caller: i want to challenge the politifact assertion they are non-partisan. number one, the founders, the most left-leaning papers in florida. and i question how they rate some of the promises kept and broken. for instance, president obama's promised kept of taking troops out of iraq. saying he got credit for making the sunrise. the troops were already coming out, it was signed under
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president bush. to have as a promise kept. he promised to do what? watch president bush's plan come into place? and th nobody would see any taxes raised. is that pants on fire? guest: you are mixing and matching ratings. pants on fire is what we use on our truth-o-meter. let me address the politics of "the st. petersburg times." that editorial-page does in fact have a reputation for writing editorials that are often liberal. it is separate from politifact. we don't have a dog in this hunt. we don't lean one way or another. we are truly independent journalists and i think our work shows that. you need to separate the reputation from editorial page from politifact. as for the iraq promise, i
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would urge y to go to and look at a specific promise. i think the promise was to remove, back -- combat troops from iraq. as i recall, president obama sped up the timetable president bush had in place. indeed, you are right, he inherited you could say a positive situation there, on the other hand you could say he inherited a lousy situation in terms of the economy. you get what you get when you become president. you look -- we look at each promise individually and we rate it based upon what he said he would do, specific words, and what progress is made. to a large extent he may inherit a good circumstances that allows him to pass things, on the other hand, he has to deal with a republican house. that make it difficult for him to fulfil some of his promises. we rate them individually and we
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truly do it independently. we don't expect the raiders to agree with everything we say. like i said, we have a lot of democrat readers to get unhappy with us and similarly republican ones, but over l, readers love politifact because we provide them tools to assess what is going on in washington. host: the next call for bill adair comes from amherst, massachusetts. benn the democrats' line. caller: i appreciate your tracking of president obama, and i really appreciate being able to see where we see disparities between promises and action. that transparency itself is very important, i believe. being a 21-year-old student, i would like to say in my generation, where we see the disparity between prophy and action, it is hurtful to us.
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i think the bit that continues to be hurtful is we have so many people overseas in the military causing harm and so many people contained in our own nation being caused harm, and i believe those are things that tend to matter. thank you so much for keepg track. host: again, back to the oba meter -- 506 promises made during the 2008 campaign. guest: correct, an awful lot of promises. host: promises kept in the two years, 134. mpromises, 41. promes bron, 34. stald, 74. in the works, 221. not decorated,wo. give us one more example from each -- promises kept. guest: a light-hearted one comes
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to mind. he promised -- we included as for variety. that he would by his daughter a puppy. that was a promise kept. guest: speaking of unimportant promises, where does bcs fall? guest: he promised to push for a college football playoff system. we have as stalled. host: what about compromises? guest: good compromise example was he had promised during the campaign to provide a tax cut to 95% of americans. he succeeded at that, calling it a making work pay tax cut, buhad to settle for, i believe,400 per family instead of $500. host: promises broken. guest: the previous caller mentioned transparency, and that has been a challenging issue for
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president obama, i think, in the same way as with a lobbyist promise. he had promised that they knew what had a centralized database for lobbying and ethics -- that they would have a centralized database. host: stalled? guest: guantanamo bay is a good example. he promised he would close the detention center at guantanamo bay. came out of the block on the first day in office saying, not just that he would close it but close it within a year. of course, that didn't happen and it has run into a fair amount of opposition in congress. host: two more categories. in the works guest: there were many in the works, particularly on taxes, he has a lot of promises in the works. in the case of some of the
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nuclear disarmament issues, one of those big ones there is to secure nuclear materials within four years. he made a fair amount of progress on that, but still has not fulfilled it. we have that one rated in the works. host: you have two, not yet rated. guest: those both involve situations that have not existed yet. they both involve major hurricane hitting the united states and how the u.s. government would rebuild. we have not felt we could berate those until there was such a situation. host: if people go to, would they see them all listed? guest: and taken by subjects, rating -- rated. a lot like to go to the promises broken. you come look at them by subjects. you can see our gop pledge-o- meter. host: 57 promises made in the 2010 campaign by the
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republicans. richard on the independent line. we have a few minutes left. caller: one of the biggest promises by either party was job creation and we have not seen at mentioned. obama is criticized for not tackling that but the biggest point republicans make in job creation is cuing taxes, and obama gave them that, big tax cuts to help create jobs. guest: a great question. one of our challenges in developing the obameter and the gop meter is how to define a promise -- we define it as a guarantee of prospective action that is verifiable. i do not think in the 506 we have any promises specific to the number of jobs. i did not think president obama said it would create a number -- a certain number.
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individual promises that are about the economy and jobs. you would have to look individually at those. interestingly, when we started similar features in the last few weeks in o politifact state site, particularly ohio and flora, the governors during the campaign to make specific promises. in florida, rick scott promised he would create 750,000 jobs. in wisconsin, gov. scott walker promised to hundred and 50,000. -- 250,000. we will be tracking those in those politifact sites but i do not think we have a specific one for president obama. host: women'sworkusa tweets in --
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guest: they are correct we rated that as a promise broken. this is one that was said during the campaign, we found in some of the campaign materials, but did not really catch on. it wasn't a big point that president obama made in his campaign speeches. once he got an office he did not pursue it. i don't believe it was even actually introduced in the house or senate. so that quickly became a promise broken. i think i wld count that one with some of the others, sort of part of the calculation of washington. barack obama came into washington, working to the white hoe and realized he could not do everything. he had to pick his shots. another one along those lines is immigration. he promised he would provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. and he has failed to pass anything like that so far. we have it rated stalled.
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that is likely to be a promise broken. host: spooney tweets in -- guest: world peace is not one of the -- maybe a playoff system and football might be realistic. we have not looked at it that way. my sense of going through all of the 506 is because the campaign was very careful with its words. promises to specific constituencies, there was a whole page of promises about western wildfires, promises for parents with autistic children. this was a campaign that targeted promises to very precise constituent groups. i think probably there are few like world peace.
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host: bill adair, the state of the union is coming up next week. president obama will probably make present -- pledges or promises. will they be included? guest: no. you have to draw the line when you create a feature like this. the obameter rates campaign promises. if you allow theresident or republicans to keep making omises, you allow them to move the goalposts. the goalpost on closing guantanamo bay would be, i will close it within one year. at the end of the year it would be, i will close it. you have to draw the line. what we said with these features, both on politifact national and also the state site is they are campaign promises. what we will be doing during the state of the union is fact checking. the white house will put out his speech the night that he gives
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it, t transcript, the repaired remarks -- prepared remarks, and we will be fact checking them and rating them on our tth-o- meter. host: last call for bill adair atlanta, jonathan, republican. caller: two comments related to health care promises. i believe president obama and many of the democrats promised that health insurance costs would go down since the passage of this bill. if i am not mistaken, they have gone up quite significantly, for the most part. the other one, durg president obama's campaign i heard a clip of him speaking to a group of suorters talking about his support of a single payer system. this is about a yeaago. and he talked about employer
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coverage for employees -- we will not be able to eliminate employer coverage immediately. it will be phased out over time. and now that we see this bill incentivizes many employers to actually drop coverage and just pay a fine, especially in this economy we are under, it seems like that is a promise kept. guest: i an not sure that i agree with your interpretation of the bill. i think the way the bill is set up is indeed, as you noted, to require employers to provide health-care coverage. i think the economics of the do not expect employers will drop it and pay the fine -- economics of its doot expect employers will drop it. a law that actually relies on the private health
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care system to provide health care. this is why we have often found the claims that it is a government takeover of health care to be inaccurate. as to your claim about a big inease in health-care costs becae of the law, i have heard some of the same charges and i am curious about them. i don't know how much is truly caused by the health care long verse is justhe market forces in health care. the challenge in health care is it is a relatively inefficient system. a small portion of your dollar goes to health care so the price increases are a function of the inefficient system and competing forces at work. but we will look for portunities to fact check claims about the increases and health care costs because i am curious about them, and i expect many viewers are.
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host: at what point does it end, the obameter end? guest: the conclusion of his presidency. just like the gop pledge-o-meter we anticipate to be a two-year project. it is important to note, this is a work in progress. we created something entirely new. this is a whole different form of journalism. we take good, solid journalism and put it behind our judgments. we are doing research, talking to independent analysts and then reaching conclusions. but as we did this, we are inventing something so we sort of find our way. i would think we will be back in 2012 with a new meter, whether it is a continuation of
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the obameter or a >> on tuesday, president obama delivers the state of the union address to a joint session of congress. we have our preview program followed by the president's speech at 9:00. then, the republican speech from s paul ryan. you can also watch the president's address on c-span 2 followed by a reaction from members of congress. >> on television, radio, and on- line, c-span, bringing public affairs to you. created by cable, it is washington your way.
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>> "houston chronicle" reports that represented giffords has arrived in houston. a spokesman for the hospital said she arrived safely this afternoon. we welcome an update on her condition and the plan forward coming up at 4:30 live from houston. we will have it live here on c- span. in the meantime, a discussion on health care, including the debate this week on repealing the health care law. host: karen ignagni is chief executive officer of america's health insurance plans. could you give us your thoughts on what the house did this week repealing the healthcare bill signed into law? guest: i think this is part of the discussion that began two years ago about what is the right thing to do with respect to health care reform, how we proceed, what do we expect, what
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needs to be accomplished, what was accomplished and what still needs to be done. one of the points we made last year and we talked about when we were last together on this program, is the issue of cost containment. that was left on the cutting room floor in the debate last year. we have to go back to the issue. we have to look at what are the issues surrounding individuals who are purchasing on their own, the issues surrounding small business, the issues surrounding large businesses, state and local governments. i think this is a continuation of many of the themes and discussions that were begun a couple of years ago. i think there is far more that needs to be done. host: do you support repeal? guest: we have been focusing very specifically on the issues we were talking about last year, and even the year before, and we will continue to talk about which is, how do we make sure there is affordability in the system, how do we improve quality. there are specific elements of the legislation that we believe
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need to be an approved unchanged. host: such as? guest: there is an unprecedented sales tax on small businesses and individuals. it is a health care sales tax that was put in the legislation and it is going to be funded largely by individuals purchasing on their own and small businesses, because it is on insured plans, and it will increase the cost of coverage. people haven't focused on. it will be a significant hit and we need to address that. that move is in the wrong direction. the whole idea of health reform was to get everybody in, make sure we are reducing cost and improving quality. it was a three-legged stool, if you will. we have to make sure we are reducing costs. the bill has not done that. this is an example of something in the legislation that moves and the wrong direction. we have been talking about that for a while and will continue to talk about it and now more people are beginning to focus on it.
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there will be democrats and republicans focusing on that, and i think it is a good example of something that could see bipartisan attention. host: implementation of the bill, how is it going in your view? guest: our present -- prism is through the eyes of our members, insurance plans working at ground level to make sure two things are accomplished -- that we do this as an affordability -- affordably as possible and we have been focusing on each of the provisions that have been implemented so far. we have been focusing from that perspective to make sure that we are making recommendations on how to minimize disruption, making recommendations on how to reduce costs. we have had very productive discussions about both of those issues. and there are some important -- there have been some important steps forward. at the same time, there are some
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issues that really significantly need to be addressed. well, i think one example of something that needs to be addressed is that there are caps now on what health insurers stand with respect to administrative costs. -- spend with respect to administrative costs. here are the consequences. if you are limited on what you can spend on administrative costs, it means programs that we need to an investment to create more accountable health care systems, to partner with doctors and hospitals, to get transparent information to consumers, those other kinds of investments that need to be made. what we said as part of this discussion, let's think about where the implications on those innovations as a result of these provisions. it is just beginning. people don't have a line of sight. we have a line of sight because from our plans' perspective they
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see how this is put together. it two, how you make the transition of where we are today -- the states regulate health plans in a different way than the federal level. how do you make that transition? how do we deal with brokers? they are a good example. they provide a kitchen table test for individuals purchasing on their own or small businesses, they provide a valuable services. right now many health plans have longstanding contracts with brokers. they are small businesses. they depend on those contracts. we have now seen as a result of the legislation significant amount of shock therapy for brokers for home people significantly rely. we made recommendations to the administration, to the state insurance commissioners, about transitions that could be made that could move from tier to 2014 so they don't have the
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shock therapy. the investments they need to be made to fulfil the expectations of more accountable and lower cost health care services, they can and fact be made and they are not discouraged. host: karen ignagni is chief executive officer of america's health insurance plans. you saw a lot in the health-care debate in the last two years. jonathan is a republican from washington, d.c. police, go ahead with your comments. caller: thank you, c-span2 and i watch it every day. i appreciate the ability to get news from you guys without having to watch commercials. first of all, i am just really frustrated with the insurance companies and your ability -- you exacts so many abuses on the american people. health reform unfortunately was a further entrenchment --
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infringement on the system. i went and we go further to repeal your monopolist control over the system. why are you exempt from antitrust laws and what is your position on that? guest: thanks, jonathan, for it your question. first of all, our plans are subject to all of the antitrust review is that every other type of industry subject to end the federal as will as state agreements. that is a discussion that has very little substance to it. we are happy to talk about that. we have a long track record of having any kind of activity reviewed by the justice department from antitrust perspective what the federal trade commission, and we are comfortable with that. we think that is the way things should proceed. also, there is a tremendous amount of competition out there.
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one of the things that has happened as a result of some of the changes in health reform,, is a website where consumers now can go and see a wide range of products that are being offered. you can put in your zip code and you can see the very wide range of alternatives that are offered now to people in the individual market and small group market. it is important because it really gives perfect representation to the points we have been making about competition across the country. but now consumers can get up close and personal, get transparent information and see for themselves. host: karen ignagni, do you agree preconditions -- pre- existing condition should not be a precondition to health coverage? guest: we have a chance to talk about that a couple of years ago. our members felt very strongly that one of the things we were hearing from individuals,
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regular people, they were concerned about being able to get into the system. we worked two years prior to the development of any of the health plan proposals that aren't capitol hill, from either democrats or republicans, we worked in our industry to come to the legislative environment with specific recommendations on how to do away with those proposals. and number of state had previously moved to do away with those kinds of provisions. remember, in a market where people are buying on their own, the way that you can get everybody in and not have a pre- existing condition limitations is to make sure everyone participates. so, that is one of the lessons learned from a state experience in the past and we have worked very, very closely with people on both sides of the aisle on capitol hill, first to present the state information and then talk about what we can do. we are strongly supportive of the market reform.
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at the same time, to make sure that everything works, and a promise that was made to the american people about health reform, we are going to have to do more in the area of containing costs. that is an issue that is very much akin to crying fire in a crowded room. it clears the room immediately on capitol hill. very controversial to talk about cost containment. we need to talk about cost containment because we can't get deliver on promises without containing the cost. our members, peter, had a early- warning of trends. we see it before legislators do, government regulators do, and before businesses do. we see what the charges are from hospitals, what is going on with respect to cost. and we need to do far more because they have gone up quite significantly. host: what are some of the trends? guest: they are disturbing. i will give you a couple. one, a very significant uptick
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in what is called unit costs. there are two components of health care expenditures -- price times utilization. that is health care expenditures. it is very simple formula. everybody can get their hands on that. from a utilization perspective, there has been a great deal of progress made in terms of looking at on necessary tests and procedures. physicians have taken a major leadership role, working with health plans and hospitals, and we have made progress in that area. there are some areas that still need to be attended to. unit costs, what are the prices themselves? that is the area where we have seen significant uptick in expenditures. a couple of different areas. one, in areas that have been highly consolidated in the hospital arena, we are seeing costs that are far higher because i have a market position where they can increase cost, which is a very important issue to take account of for policy leaders and members of congress,
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as we think about creating new structures in terms of an accountable health care organizations. we have a problem of their in markets that have been highly consolidated. -- we have a problem there in markets that have been highly consolidated. host: which one of those markets? guest: northern california -- so your viewers can get a tangible sense of what is going on. if you look at how much health plans are being charged by hospitals that are highly consolidated in that market relative to medicare, it is running about 200%. that is not the only market. ballston is another market. illinois as another market -- boston is another market. research showing the amount of consolidation, the implications on pricing. basic pricing related to consolidation is number one. number two, just basic pricing and outpace route -- outpatient
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hospital side, pharmaceuticals side. the range of issues that need to be attended to but it is very controversial. no member of congress is reelected by going back home by saying it is detaining -- i am containing costs because it has implications on a range of stakeholders but we need to work through that in an organized way so in the end, the american people will know that costs will be brought under control. because health care costs, in fact, are crushing our economy. whether you are a small business, large business, state or local government, business competing internationally. we can't afford to continue -- to continue to ignore it. host: carl from los angeles. caller: i would like to ask -- this is a reform law, not obamacare. 89% would have to go back and to medical care instead of the cost of insurance. why did you spend so much time
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of the reform law instead of the banking system? i don't understand c-span anymore. guest: i think that one was to you. host: that one. anything you want to address? guest: i think carl makes a point about how does it all work. one of the points i was making earlier, that we have a number of changes, and now the question is how you access this -- these changes and exactly what is happening. caps on expenditures, as carl just indicated, has some potential unintended consequences. if it limits investment in the kinds of tools and techniques we need to improve care coordination, to help hospitals and physicians provide more accountable health care, to get information to consumers, to simplify the administrative processes for doctors and hospitals, that would move us in
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the wrong direction. what we are trying to do is take account of what are the consequences, what are the issues that need further attention, and clearly one issue that i am sure we will hear about from callers is the implications for that with respect to brokers. the costs are higher because plants rely on brokers to offer products to consumers in their homes. it is more costly to do that. they don't have human resource managers. they don't work for large companies, individuals, so they rely on the brokers. to have a law that changes everything for brokers overnight, that is something that i think members in our community, as well as the broker community and the consumer community, and at the state level, are taking account of. host: we had a twwet about
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brokers. is mike leavitt -- guest: he is former secretary of hhs doing a range of things around the country, but a very thoughtful commentator on health-care issues and a number of domestic policy issues. host: not a broker. guest: he is not a broker. host: when you hear the term government takeover of health care, you agree the bill passed last year is a government takeover? guest: i think the whole question is balance, where you put the fulcrum between public and private. we have been talking about this for decades. the american people clearly have a division of opinion. the idea is how we create a uniquely american system and balance the public and private sector and get the best from both. we think there could be more
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attention to provisions that need to be improved to get the best of both basically. but there are strong views on either side. i think it is a balancing act and creating this uniquely american solution. one of the things that is very interesting, our members now are being called upon by european governments -- that clearly have a very different health care system than we do -- governments in asia as well -- to bring disease management, to bring care coordination, to bring new reimbursement system that encouraged accountability and quality. we are doing very innovative things with physicians and hospitals all across the country. and we are being asked to export those services, which is very, very exciting. that is another example -- even and the european system that most watch and say they are a very different structure than ours, they are asking for these services and our members are helping them improve their
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systems. it is a balance between public versus private. host: spokane, washington. please, go ahead. caller: i wanted to talk about health care that ties into the global economy. i am against the employer-based health-care system. it is an extra cost for them, extra overhead for as competing with other countries. i think we need to do away with that and maybe go to a single payer system. what do you think about that? guest: i think you are asking an important question about international competition. this is where i think it is very smartly put on your part, i in a sense that to be aware of the impact of health-care costs on international competition. through the lens of health care costs, we need to look at what are the burdens on individuals, what are the burdens on small
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business, domestically focused, what are the burgeoned -- burris on large businesses that compete internationally. you just made one of the best cases of attending to the issue of health care costs, bending the trend. if we can just take a point off projected rates of growth, there are trillions of dollars of savings possible. that is quite significant, that we otherwise would not spend. that is worth investing some significant time in the national debate to talk about how to do that. but politically, it has proven to be very, very tough. but we can't afford not to do it because we won't be able to afford the promises that have been made. host: do you think we should move away from employer-based insurance? guest: i think employers should be allowed to make decisions they believe are appropriate. employers have long viewed offering health care coverage as an important part of the
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compensation package for individuals for whom they are competing, workers. i think in our society we should make sure that that whole system, which covers a very significant number of individuals, is not disrupted. because when you begin to disrupt things that work well, you create other problems. we have a runoff by way of problems and a system that need to be attended to, rather than up ending everything -- up and everything. host: why can't we buy health insurance on the open market like auto insurance? guest: one of the things that is definitely coming -- we are seeing leadership at the state level but also now significantly the national level encouraging states to have entities -- whether they are called exchanges or something else -- that transparent -- transparently lists product so
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individuals can in fact look on a web site, the way we can shop for airline fees or anything else. we are very supportive of that. we don't think that entities should become -- duplicate existing government operations. i think they should be an opportunity for individuals to be a part of the market, have a transparent choices, and, in fact, it should support choice and competition. now, there are some who believe we should basically duplicate all of the provisions in state and law for those types of entities. we don't agree with that because we are already doing that in certain places. host: orlando, joe, democrat. you are on with karen ignagni. caller: good morning, thank you. thomas friedman of "the new york times". a term recently, -- coined a
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term recently, sub-optimal solutions. this health care bill, although i think hopefully it is a good beginning, it is kind of sub- optimal. the main reason why in my mind it comes out like this is because of the republicans' control of the situation via the filibuster. recently they read the constitution. if you notice, the word filibuster is not in the constitution. a quick aside, we should pay more attention to changing the filibuster rules and the senate. host: we are going to leave your comment and moves to jack and minnesota. caller: my comments would probably disappoint ms. karen
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ignagni, which frees me because she is a very pretty young lady. at this health-care system in the united states is not tenable because it is going toward the for-profit health system. the cost of this system is so huge that it boggles the mind. it is not only the brokers and the advertisements, etc., but the cost of the ceo's and their spokesman. dr. william mcguire was paid $142 million per year running united health, or a lease for one year. he got -- or at least for one year. dr. rick scott, recently elected governor of florida, he was paid off after he got in trouble with the fed. you, i checked your salary on google and a couple of years ago it was $1 million.
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i think it is heading for $2 million. i wonder -- my question to you is, i wonder if you would be so kind as to lower your salary to that which is the salary of the president of the free world, maybe 400,000 year host: what do you do? caller: it is not only the patience that debt -- i hate to use the word, egypt. the providers take a big hair cut, guaranteed. it is all going to things -- i think it is really hard that they benefit the beneficiaries of these insurance policies. guest: i think he is asking a fundamental question about how we look at administrative costs in the system across the board and what has begun, clearly, is
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a discussion about administrative costs and costs in general, but if the debate and discussion stop, it is only focused on health insurance. a process in the health insurance industry is only one penny per health care dollar. we have to deal with the other 99 cents. we are happy to participate in a discussion about costs, about administrative costs, broad costs, broadly speaking, but for individuals, and particularly retirees who are cost sensitive, we are going to have to do a much better job in our country to join this health-care debate about the minister of costs not only for our sector but for each and every other sector in the health-care arena. you cannot have a health care reform discussion and focus it
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exclusively on health plans and think we are accomplishing much of anything other than at reform. this year, we can see the limits of that discussion. costs are continuing to escalate. health-care premiums follow underlying costs. they have not been brought under control. we need to do more. what we are excited about all the efforts around the country among health plans, terrific health plans up in minnesota, collaborating in very innovative ways where the physicians and hospitals have agreed to share risks for a certain amount of money, managed care for patients. they are showing very exciting results. this is what hospitals and physicians can do together. we need to encourage it. clearly, we have to have a broader discussion about costs
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that is separate from the health care discussion. >host: who sit on your board? guest: the leaders of our industry. large companies, middle sized companies, for-profit, not-for- profit. host: one author is very critical of the health insurance industry. the next call comes from a fairfax, va. caller: i have a few questions. [unintelligible] there has been a back-and-forth between public and private, trying to strike a balance.
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is it true that [unintelligible] host: could you get your question very quickly? caller: will provisions of the new law could be changed -- what provisions of the new law could be changed? host: we are going to go with your second question. guest: i could not really hear it. number one, this is going to sound very wonky. this will be illustrative. in the legislation, there is a provision that talks about how
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the individuals who are older relative to people who are younger actually are charged. in the market today, 85% of the market, that ratio is anywhere from 5 to 7 to 1. individuals pay according to their [unintelligible] in the legislation overnight, that ratio goes to 3:1. for older people, that is good news because they will pay less. for anyone under the age of 40, that will be an increase in cost. obviously, the highest increase will be for people between the ages of 20 years and 30 years. nonetheless, anybody under 40 years old will see an increase. there is a good example of something that really needs to
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be looked at in terms of this happening overnight and the economic consequences. two, the issue of the health care sales tax. that is a big issue and will be a very big issue for small businesses because when folks see it -- it does not happen until 2014, when they see it, they will be wondering why i am paying a sales tax on the health insurance. it does not make sense because we are supposed to reduce costs, not increase costs. in terms of the essential benefits package, there has been a lot of talk this week about what it should be. there are individuals and small groups who have an essential benefit package that they have tried to reduce their premiums by relying on copays and deductibles to reduce their premiums. if the package is so broadly structured that these individuals and small
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businesses, are going to find that their current proposals are on affordable, they will be a third leg of the school in terms of cost increases. and, if we see that with medicare costs being reduced, if hospitals in particular do what was done after the balanced budget act of 1997 with the medicare costs were reduced, there will be a step back as well. i have not gotten even to the overall trajectory of health- care costs. if you put all that together, we need to look at the cost issue. we need to look at the side of the scale that is potentially increasing costs and have a discussion on how to get our hands around that. host: silver spring, md., you are on with karen ignagni.
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caller: thank you. my question is this. is it true that health care and -- in other advanced countries cost about half of what it does in the u.s.? and yet, people there live longer. is this true? why is it? guest: there was an interesting study done several months ago, where they look at total health- care costs, the united states versus all the other countries. your points are quite right. we are ascending far more, and we need to begin at a good place to start thinking about this and looking at it. we really need to look at this issue of how costs are increasing. one example of what can be done immediately that would have very
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significant and positive consequences for physicians who are practicing today who are worried about the damocles hanging over their head, if we had all this discussion about best practices in this country, the best and brightest in that decision -- and the physician community, how do we get best practices encouraged? if the physicians practicing best practices could be protected, that would have two results. physicians would no longer be afraid to practice best practices and would not be afraid to do the tests they feel are absolutely necessary. two, it could help us shrink variations and improve quality. that is a very sensible area that we think could be attacked and could have a bipartisan support and discussion now.
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that is a tangible way to proceed. there are other ways, but we have to begin to chip at this in very strategic ways to bring the cost differential down. you are right about the differential. the most comprehensive one i have seen, and you should take a look at it. host: several tweets about non- profits and profits. are there cost differentials between the two? guest: i think it is very similar and easier for people to see this in the area of physician groups. we have for-profit and not for profit. in pharmaceuticals, we have for profit. in our arena, we have not-for- profit and for-profit.
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we have outside review, quality review and quality performance reviews, that looks at outcomes. how we are doing on patient care. there has been a strong effort to move into other sectors. i think that'll happen over time, but our for-profit plans and not-for-profit plans are reviewed. consumers can look at them and the most important thing is to look at what you might need, where you want to go, what facilities are in various networks. that is how you begin to think about the health care plan appropriate for you. i think we have a very exciting track record across the board in our industry in terms of the value been provided. guest: good morning. you are on with karen ignagni. we are going to put you on hold, carl.
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i punched the wrong number. carl, i am so sorry. go ahead. caller: i think it is disingenuous to say that you have been trying to rectify the problem. i think you are going to continue to fight against any kind of reformation. host: could you go back to the first part of your comment? caller: these people are already profiting. you guys are already profiting so well off of the current system. when you say that you have been trying to rectify the problem in the system as far as cost containment, you guys are already doing very well. i can understand why you are against reformation of the system. host: we got the point.
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guest: we spent three years prior to 2009 and the discussion that occurred nationally on health care reform, talking and working within our industry to come to 2009 with specific proposals. the market reform that everyone is talking about was talked about and believed in according to all the polls. no pre-existing conditions, getting everybody in, etc. those are the reforms that we proposed. which came to a discussion in 2009 with a very specific set of proposals on market reform in our industry. on cost containment in our industry as well as all the other stakeholders. quality improvement across the board. no other stakeholder, no other community came to two dozen nine with those proposals. this was leadership that was executed by our board.
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they worked very, very hard. what we talked about it during the discussion of health care reform were two basic things. one, we were very concerned that in the summer of 2009, health reform was a trunk. the discussion got shrunk to insurance reform. we thought dropping the issue of cost containment and the kinds of things that needed to be done aggressively was the wrong direction, and we talked about that. we never wavered in our support for market reform. two, which were very focused on the issues that peter and i talked about earlier. it does not make a lot of sense to have an unprecedented health care sales tax on small businesses and individuals. that moves in the wrong direction. we offer remedies. we thought there was a number of other issues that could be improved, and now a number of
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people are beginning to look very specifically at a certain provision. we think we can be productive participants in those discussions. host: karen ignagni, shortly after or right around the health insurance reform passed, the state of california bluecross blueshield came out with these large increases in premiums. it was that a political mistake on their part -- was that a political mistake on their part? guest: i think what you have, people forget basic rules that health care premiums and follow underlying health care costs. there are several various aspects of increases. one, what is happening to overall health-care costs. we are seeing a major increase, and that is the point we made
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last year. we are seeing real increases, and that is a strong concern not only to our members but anyone who pays the bills. two, with the economy suffering and under the kind of stress that it has been under for the last couple of years, people are dropping health care coverage. as a result, those costs are going up. if you put all this together, the various factors, you have a real problem. the question is how do you talk to the american people from a health plan perspective. how do you talk to your prescribed years? how do you communicate that these issues need to be taken into consideration? that is a discussion that did not end with health-care reform. it will not end until we actually begin to address the factors that are causing costs to increase.
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again, politically, i cannot say this enough. it is difficult to confront those factors. that is what we are focusing on a way to improve quality improvement but at the same time protecting patients. we think that is a great place for bipartisan activity that could be done very quickly. we think looking at additional taxes that are causing the costs of health insurance to go up at a time when people are very worried about costs, again, should have another look. those are the issues we are going to be talking about. " is the state-based exchanges a positive thing? guest: i think we need to have entities that are close to the ground where people live. so i think this concept of state-based insurance exchanges make a great deal of sense. what i think does not make sense
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is if we change those exchanges into something that is yet another version or duplication of what states are already doing with respect to their insurance functions. i think it should be every market that offers a choice and >> in just a moment, we will take you live from -- to hermanns memorial hospital. representative gabrielle giffords has arrived at the hospital. her family hopes she will make a full recovery from the gunshot wound to the head. her husband, mark kelly, traveled with her to use done along with her -- traveled
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with 30 houston along with her mother. u.s. capitol police arrived this morning to set up extra security measures at the hospital. this nearly two weeks since congresswoman gabrielle giffords was seriously injured in the shooting in houston that killed or wounded 18 other people. survivors have been released from the hospital in tucson. the briefing in houston should get underway momentarily live here on c-span.
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[no audio] >> we are going to take you live now over to memorial hermann in houston where the briefing should get underway momentarily. >> i am happy all of you are here today. we have enjoyed working with you these past few days. they have been a whirlwind of activity. this is our first news
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conference. we anticipate holding additional briefings as the medical team has additional information to report. with that, i know you are anxious to hear from the doctors. it is my pleasure to introduce the president and ceo of the memorial hermann health care system. dan? >> thank you. welcome to memorial hermann. good afternoon. thank you for being here. shortly before 2:00 p.m. today, congresswoman giffords and her husband captain mark kelly, her family and her staff are right here at memorial hermann. we completed a successful transfer of care. i had the privilege of reaching them. i can tell you they have look forward to this day as gabby
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takes the next step on the road to recovery. we are honored that memorial hermann was asked to play such an important role in this next step. before i introduce the physicians, i would like to recognize the ceo of our memorial hermann texas medical center operations. stand and be recognized. thank you. i would also like to introduce the ceo of the tirr memorial hermann hospital. also here, seated next to them is my colleague and good friend, dr. larry kaiser, who is the president of the university of texas health science center at houston, or as we call it, ut-
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health. he is instrumental in the care. all of the people i have introduced are faculty members at the university of texas. with that, our first speaker -- i am sorry. i missed one. t.j. is a member of the congresswoman's staff. we just met. -- i am sorry. we just met. c.j. is a member of the media and will be working with you all. we are pleased to have him with us today. our first speaker accompanied gabby hear from arizona. he is an associate professor of surgery and the associate medical director at the umc
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trauma center. doctor, i will turn it over to you. >> good afternoon. i am pleased to bring the news that the transfer of gabby from the university medical center in tucson to memorial hermann here in houston went flawlessly. the trip was well planned. i asked mark if i could share with you. when we were traveling through the streets of tucson, there were several times we could hear applause in the ambulance with daddy. she read -- in the ambulance with gabby. and she responded. the plane trip went well. absolutely no difficulties. getting her here to this facility was streamlined and
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well-planned. i am please with the process. i am happen to turn her care over to the doctors here. >> thank you, doctor. the rest of the team is coming into the room from the memorial hermann side. i will introduce them in a second. before we get to the positions and the question and answer, let me call up the trauma surgeon here at memorial hermann. he is also the chief of the division of acute care surgery. he is the principal position leading the transition team here today. >> good afternoon, everybody.
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i would just reiterate what randy said. transfers are always a little shaky. this transfer went flawlessly. the team prepare her well. the aircraft landed here in houston. they did great. we were concerned about that. we are happy it went as well as it did. it is a real testament to the team from tucson and the crew that accompanied her and got her safely into the eyes see you -- into the icu. we got a good handoff from the doctors and nursers. -- from the doctors and nurses. she is doing well. she is going to start her rehabilitation at 4:30 p.m. this afternoon with a physical therapist and rehab specialist.
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that is one of the main goals that everybody has. again, i am impressed. i am came out of the military and i have seen a lot of movement and logistics' from patients all over the world. we have a great team. we have an expert in brain surgery. we have a new world trauma surgeon. -- neurotrauma surgeon, one of the best in the world. at this point, i think we can open it up to questions. [unintelligible]
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>> we discussed that upstairs. we were looking at capped scans -- cat scans. no one really knows the trajectory of a bullet. she could have been a lot worse. she is doing well. this was a tangential gunshot wound. it could have been a whole lot worse. clearly, it did not damage to large portions of her brain. it did damage some portions. >> hughes said the only thing you did in addition to surgery was hold the -- you said the only thing you did in addition to surgery was hold the congresswoman's hand. how did you feel to hear that applause. ? >> it was so wonderful to see the support that the people in
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tucson half or the congresswoman -- have for the congress wants. >> talk about the flight with her husband and everyone aboard. >> it could not have gone more smoothly. from the minute we took off until we landed, she was napping. she was interacting with her mother and her husband as she did every day in the hospital in tucson. her monitors ready -- firm monitors registered no have not -- no abnormalities whatsoever. [unintelligible] >> we have had a great assessment. i will go down the line and let some other people comment. the care in tucson was outstanding.
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we had several conferences sharing information and looking at scans and x-rays. everything that we discussed was confirmed today. there was a little more than a handover being done. there was air weight control and she was operated on within minutes in tucson. that is exemplary and an important part of her staff is that we saw today. >> i would like to say first of all that she looks spectacular. from a neurological point of view, she came into the icu and she was alert, a week, compaq -- awake, calm and comfortable. she has good movement on the left side of her body. it is very purposeful.
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we were testing her vision. she did not like us shining the light in her eye and she wanted to keep them close. she also had a good tone in her legs. that is a precursor to much more functional recovery. as i said, she look spectacular. >> what about the right side of her body? >> there are varying stages of paralysis or weakness. right now, she has may be some movement in her legs. there is what we call tone. she might be able to support herself. she might not be able to move it when she wants. on her arm, we are not seeing much town and we are not seeing any movement. that is only over 30 minutes.
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some of her nurses have reported that she has had some movement in tucson. [unintelligible] >> first, let me say she has great rehabilitation potential. she is a rehabilitation -- a great rehabilitation candidate. she will keep us busy and we will keep her busy. we will visit her and my team will start the process. we will look at positioning. we will attempt to get her up. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> on the assessment today, she
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is ready to start rehabilitation in icu. after discussing back and forth on tuesday, the doctors put a drained around her brain. that trend is still in place. with that trend in place, she cannot leave the icu. it has been discussed in various places -- stopping for a day or two. she is going to stay in rehab for a few days. we are worried about infection. she will continue her rehabilitation in the icu. [unintelligible] >> what do you think? >> it is a little early to tell. we need to make sure she has no evidence of infection. we will start to get together as a team and say at what point do we have all of the things she
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has. that is what we need to consider. it is too early to tell when we will actually do that. >> have the portions of her skull been replaced? >> portions of her skull are still not present. we need to wait weeks if not months before acranioplasty is considered -- before a cranioplasty is considered. >> when a ball is taken out, it is put in a sterile -- bone is taken out, it is put in a sterile back and frozen.
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[unintelligible] >> whenever someone has had a cranny at stemming -- a craniectomy, we put something on their head so that there skull is not exposed. we immediately got one the next day. [unintelligible] >> we have started that process. or somebody with a gunshot wound, it is excellent. in the top five% of what we would expect. -- in the top 5% of what we would expect. she is interacting with her family. we are talking about specifically language. there are many ways that we interact.
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that is already happening. we be viewed the ct scans. or the type of injury she had, she had minimal injury from what it could have been. we look at that and say that over the next few months, she will do remarkably well. >> when she squeezed my hand that first day, the most encouraging thing -- that was the most encouraging thing i could have seen. when i saw her reaction to the cheering in the street, it confirms to me that she knows what is going on. [unintelligible] >> her husband told me that there are times when she is rubbing his shoulder and neck to calm him down.
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that is a clear interaction. today, when we were trying to do parts of the exam, there were things she did not like. she shooed us away and directed us to do something different. there is no question she knows what is happening. that can be difficult to say. she is clearly moving her lips. whether she will try to mouth words or not, that is something we will have to see. [unintelligible] i think she is trying to form words. if i had to guess. [unintelligible] >> in the icu, we try to anticipate problems and keep people from having those problems. that is our job. if you react to the problems, you keep them from happening.
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the drain issue is a big deal. we want to make sure that does not get infected. we are very happy with our assessment of gabby right now. the nurses who took care of her did an outstanding job. [unintelligible] >> those are right on. we will put you to work. the things that happen to people who are in the icu for 2-4 weeks. [unintelligible] >> currie have potential is outstanding. we will see. >> i have seen amazing things from brain injury patients. [unintelligible]
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>> it was amazing to see. it was also emotional. she smiled and she began to cheer a little bit. i think she understood the immense support our city has for her. >> if i could add a story from when she was initially here along the lines you were referring to. in our initial assessment, the nurse from arizona was interacting with her. she had some familiarity. she had rings in her fingers. i went to take them off and she said that is my ring. [unintelligible] >> it was actually tracy's ring
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on gabby's finger. >> tracy is the nurse who traveled with her from arizona. >> i asked her if she wanted to see it. i gave it to her and she was looking at it. she was taking it off of my hand. it was fitting tightly. she took it into her hand and she was looking at it and turning it to see all sides of the ring. she put it on her finger to hold onto it. [unintelligible] >> do you want me to cry?
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it is emotional. i will miss her a lot. she is a gentle person. her personality comes out. with her touches and when she touches us. i am glad to know her and her family. tracy culvert. with a y. [unintelligible] >> we are leaving today to go back to tucson. . .
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>> he was very optimistic. one of the things that has helped this is optimism. [no audi[inaudible] >> there are multiple different arrangements right now. he has lots of different options there is an area where a family member can stay overnight. [inaudible] >> they are with him right now.
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[inaudible] >> once again, it all depends on how things go with managing the drain and any other potential complications. hopefully not many complications will arrive. we will plan for whatever comes down the road. >> two weeks but it is difficult to say. [inaudible] >> we will be reassessing next week and then we will take it from there. [inaudible] >> it all depends on how much she is willing to tolerate a but we are willing to give for three hours of therapy. as her condition improves, we
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will upgrade not just the hours of therapy but the type of exercises and there is that we are going to provide. [inaudible] >> i cannot tell you what the specific exercises are yet because it will be tailored to what her needs are. >> are there any last minute questions? [inaudible] >> she will continue to make dramatic progress. we are talking about a four-six month process regardless of how quickly someone recovers because this is a lot to do.
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there are still issues over the next week or two that we will be addressing. overall, we are looking at months. [inaudible] >> it might not be that long in hospital but at some point some patients can continue their rehab >> thank you very much. we really appreciate you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> doctors in houston on the transfer of congresswoman giffords going to the hospital was flawless. on her rehabilitation will begin today. a live look at the u.s. capitol.
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at 6:45 this evening, we will take you to the eulogy for the late sgt shriver. congressman steny hoyer will be among the people attending and possibly speaking this evening at the eulogy for sargent shriver coming up this evening. coming next, and conversation on the rapid rise in food prices around the world. host: this is a recent financial times' front-page article -- this is a of toronto, canada. -- this is out of toronto, canada. joining us now from iowa is , an
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assistant professor of economics at iowa state university. our food prices going up? if so, why? guest: food prices are going up. we are seeing global pressure, and it is a combination of factors. when you look at agricultural supplies, we have had natural disasters hit those supplies. droughts in argentina, flooding in australia. that is hampering food production, so that is limiting the supplies that we have. at the same time, we are seeing stronger demand as the global economy continues to recover. host: so between some natural disasters or natural weather changes, and rising demand, what kind of pressure is that bringing to bear on which foodstuffs?
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guest: we are seeing it here in the u.s. with corn, wheat, soybeans, and especially in the meat sector. we are seeing it meet demand increase -- meat demand increase. host: given that, and especially with demand, let's go to the demand side of this. where is the demand rising? is it all over the world? guest: it is all of the world. china has been a big factor in the dand rise over the last two years given its growing populations and incomes. we have seen more demand for meat coming out of asia. they have been pulling in tremendous amounts of soybeans over the last few years.
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this year was the first time we have seen them import corn from the u.s. in the last 15 years. host: are america's farmers benefiting from the higher food prices that people are experienci? guest: they are benefing in the fact that it is creating some additional demand for their products. they are seeing higher prices but at the same time when i am talking to farmers, they are concerned about rising prices as well because not only are they food producers, they are food to consumers as well. host: we are talking about food prices and with an assistant professor of enomics at iowa d hart.nersity , chard you can also send us a tweet or an e-mail as well.
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in the washiton post recently, there was an article that cited some of these figures. grain prices accrue to the highest prices in th last 2.5 years. corn production dropped 5%. -- do those factors -- especially with the cotton production going up, is that taking land away from cropland? guest: it is not necessarily taking it away from cropland. what we are seeing is each year when acker " for producers are making that production decision, they have to mak it on the expectation where prices are, and then they have to plant crops and wait for them to develop and then harvest. what we have seen over the last few years is when you look at corn production, soybean
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production, over the last decade, we havseen those farmers increase the plantings of those crops, trying to meet the growing demand that they have had. we have also seen that for cotton. they are looking at agriculture prices to look to see where they can obtain the best value for their land, because farming is like any other small business. they are looking to capture whatever values they can from their production. host: how much of the corn production is going into fuel production? is that creating and the shortages? i know there is a corn oil shortage around the world. what about the fuel consumption of corn? guest: the fuel consumption of corn has gone up. the ethanol industry has been growing fairly rapidly in the u.s. it has been growing at about the
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same pace that corn production has grown over the last several years. looking back to 2005, 2006, the u.s. ethanol industry us about 3 million bushels of corn during the year. this year, we are looking at approaching 5 billion -- 5 million bushels of corn this year. the increase on the fuel side has, for the most part, been matched by an increase on the production side. host: according to reject the world population is expected to grow by 50% by the year 2015. food production will need to rise by 50% by 20 to seek to meet gwing demand. and --
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do we have enough capacity and technology to grow enough food for the world? guest: we are attempting to. it is an open question about whether we can keep pace. if you look back at production in the past century, production has been able to for the most part keep up th the consumption that we have. in the last decade, we have begun to fall behind on the production side as that consumption continues to increase. it is an issue that agriculture is facing right now. can we ramp production up in order to meet the demand? in agriculture, we are seeing the investment in the technology into the production practices to try to keep supplies that meet
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those demands that are building up. do you see hart, an end to the rising food costs that we are seeing right now? guest: there is an old standard joke that thcure for high prices is high prices because those high prices create incentives for producers to produce as much as they can. typically, what happens, what we have seen is that producers will over-produce. we see -- that tends to cause over-production and then we tend to recycle back-and-forth. host: go ahead, caller. caller: i understand what you
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are saying about the natural disasters for wheat, corn, etc. if you walk down the supermarket aisle, everything is going up. it is ridiculous. i want to know about what you think. my opinion is these food corporations are taking advantage of the economy. i would like to know your opinion on that. thanks. guest: i think we are looking at several factors. if you look at a grocery store prices, there are a lot of other costs that get built into the cost of our food especially here in the u.s. the usda did a study about five years ago about the individual costs that went into a box of cornflakes. 95% of the cost had been added to that box of cornflakes beyond
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the farm gate. a lot of that is in the advertising, the safety features that we build into our food system. every little piece of the food system adds a little bit of cost. the other thing that it shows especially if you look at our packaging and transportation, food costs are definitely related with what is going on with energy costs. over the past couple of years, which have sn what has happened to energy costs. we are looking at $3 or $4 and gasoline. host: chad hart, next call. on our republican line. hi. caller: good morning. and i have two questions for you. peter, i have a question to you. i understand the national -- the
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natural disasters othe food supply, but i used to work for a fortune 500 company as a contractor. i have ended a bit of reality- based information for you. when mr. ben bernanke lowered interest rates, and he flooded the whole economy with money, that was very predictable about what was going to happen to food and energy prices. i think you failed to mention that. another thing that you left out -- you are talking about this recovering economy. are we not just recovering by virtue of money printing and inflation? and, for pete, the number one trend according to the n.y. times last year was do-it- yourself macroeconomics, and that is because classical
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economists have failed so miserably. i would suggest that you get on some folks that have had real success in predicting all these failures and everything, because like in the 1970's, when you forced the cost of interest rates down to nothing, say predictably go to food energy. host: what about his economic theory? guest: in this case, i would agree with al. it is a contributing factor, what has gone on with the money supply. as you look at the u.s. dollar, over the past decade as it is weekend, what is it tends to do is make agricultural commodities less expensive to the rest of the world to come up creating more demand pull for our products. that increases u.s. prices for our commodities. i am going to slightly disagree
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with him on the recovery side mainly because when i am looking at the statistics we see in the demand for meat, which are seeing more demand for meat moving through the system. that is indicati a growing demand building back in. it might not be indicative that the national econo as a whole is growing as rapidly as we are seeing with the demand of meat, but at least it is a signal that we are seeing some gross out there. when you are looking at our agricultural markets, there are a lot of factors trying to drive prices up and down. almost all the factors that have been moving the markets have been pushing the market higher when we are looking at those natural disasters, the building demand, the i'm not the money that is coursing through many of our global economies.
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all of that contributes to the higher prices which are sing. host:ames tweets in -- guest: it is hard to necessarily of a tribute how much one sector ofemand adds to that price. when you are looking at corn demand in the u.s., the largest source is through livestock feed. at takes up around 55% to 60%. then you have ethanol growing 40% to 50%. we ship about another 15%o 20% outside the country. trying to attribute a price level to that iseally hard to tear it apart. if you took away ethanol, you would see the some of those others are rise up to take away that demand as well.
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host: san francisco, and victoria, democrat. guest: please be patient with me. i have been trying to get in for eight years. mr. hart, you speak about the prices not going up. i am on social security and we have not gotten a raise in two years. they say the prices have not gone u. you do not address the issue of an lot of companies are taking [unintelligible] away from all kinds of produs even up to a pound. for instance, on sugar, yet they are charging the same amount for the item. could you address that for me because, like i said, no one has addressed this issue? i am a very good shopper and i notice when they take away ounces from food but they do not
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lower the price. please address this, please. guest: certainly. when food companies are looking at how the package their products, they are cognizant of these price increases as well. they have a couple of ways to deal with that. they can maintain their products at the same quantity and raise the price so they can maintain the price level at the same level. again, what they are facing in terms of their costs of producing that food product is no only the body of the agricultural products but how much does it cost them to package the product, how much does it cost them to transport the product to the growth restores, and how much is it costing them to advertise. in the case of almost all those costs, those costs have been increasing. so it is not only what is going on within the agricultural sector, it is also what is going
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on with energy and other sectors of the economy. in the case of sugar, ecifically, what they have done in many casess they have kept the package the same size but they have reduced the quantities and kept that price physically at the same level or increase it a little bit but not as much as they would have had they kept that package the same quantity size. host: our guest has a bachelor's in economics, mathematics, and astronomy. chad hart, did you grow upon a farm? guest: we had cattle. there is a relatively marginal crop ground the.
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we would raise the cattle on the farm up to about 600 pounds, take them to a feed sailed where they would be sold to a feed lot. we were in the feer cattle business. host: this tweet comes from jeff -- guest: we have had more, if you will, investment opportunities in agricultural commodities. most of our agricultural commodities have future markets, markets that allow producers and users of the produ to price it for future points in time. if they see opportunities for
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price increases or decreases, they can invest to take it vintage of those. there is a great debate going on now within the trading commission and within congress and little bit, talking about how those speculators are impactg our agricultural markets. economic theory would suggest that those speculators do have an influence on pricing, but it is more in terms of price volatility as opposed to price levels. host: next call comes from oklahoma, nick is on our republican line. caller: thank-you for c-span. i would like for you relate to the consumer how many cents of corn are in a box of corn flakes. if the price of corn it was to
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double, how much of the raw product would add to the consumer's price? in the970's, my family has farmed for 104 years in this area. in the 1970's when i first started farming, the price of corn and the price of crude oil were virtually the same. .3 a bushel for corn i would like for you to explain to the consumer how disparity has come about and just how much of the food price increases is not due to theaw farm product. i appreciate you and c-span. guest: thank you, nick. the idea is when you look at overall food costs -- i will take you back to the usda study thatas done. they looked at the average
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dollar spent on food here within the u.s., and what they found is when you look at that dollar, 2 cents on the dollar went back to pay for the products off of the farm to create that food. 80 cents out of every dollar that you spend on average in the growth restor is being captured beyond the farm gate, not by the former but by the processor, the warehouse moving the food to the growth restorer, by the grocery store. it is also paying for the advertising around that product, the packaging, the plastic, the cardboard boxes that make our products so convenient. there is a lot of convenience costs built into our food. when you are looking at this food costs, it varies tremendously. as far as looking at individual products, as i mentioned earlier, the idea is if you look
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at the box of cornflakes, it is a relatively small amount, 5% of the cost is paying for the corn that is going into that box of cornflakes. now as you look at other types of products, for example, where you will spend the most amount of your food dollars back towards the former is more at the meat counter. roughly 30% to 50% of every dollar that you spend their ends up going back to pay the producer or farmer for greeting that product. host: how big our americas i corps corporal exports? do you have some numbers for us? disco they are fairly sizable. -- guest: they are fairly sizable. when you look at our exports to china, this is one area where we
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actually have a trade surplus with china and agricultura products. with china alone, over the year of 2010, we exported $11 billion worth of agricultural products just to china. they are the third largest market. we export even more to mexico and canada. exports represent a sizable economic activity for the u.s. host: gary is on our independent line. caller: thank y for taking my call. am i on? host: we are listening. caller: the biggest concern i have is the fact about the volatility of our commodities and markets. one of the biggest problems we have as a producer is the volatility of the costs. even though you were mentioning wall street and some of the
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speculators, they may be up and down one day and so forth, but the problem with that is that hits us at the wrong time when we are trying to put on fertilizer. that increases the cost of fertilizer at a bad time. we are taking a bigger chance during harvest time. so you can see the dilemma of the volatility. host: what kind of form to you have? caller: wheat farm. dry land. one of the problems with that is we have to be able to control our energy prices. we built this country on the cheap energy. now we have some of the highest priced energy. i cannot see that we can bring our economy back overall until we can control our energy prices. host: chad hart. guest: what we are seeing not only with technical crop prices
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-- as gary mentioned, the cost to the producer of creating that corn or soybeans or the wheat is increasing because ty are facing these higher energy costs. gary mentioned fertilizer, which is a great point. as we look to create more crops to try to meet that demand, that causes us to increase those input prices as well. the nitrogen market -- nitrogen is a key component when you are looking at crop productivity. the nitrogen market has basically exploded over the last three years because we have watched the agricultural demand growth. not only the building for u.s. producers, but you have the rest of the world trying to grow crops and develop them, and they need supplies like fertilizers. that has had an increasing
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pressure on those markets as well. we have seen it input costs such as a fertilizer increase dramatically. we have seen land values increased dramatically. those land values of to get translated back into the food prices because when you are looking at production especially here in the u.s., most producers rent a sizable portion of the land that they use. as of land values go up, the rents that they pay for that land increase. host: with regard to world food prices, there have been some riots. the tunisia riots were all about food prices. is it because what is happening here in the states? is it because of some other
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natural disasters? guest: it is a combination. with algeria and tunisia, their main food grain is weak. when you are looking at wheat production worldwide, wehaheat s been impacted by this natural disasters. when you look at the droht that has happened in russia, that drop was mainly with their wheat-producing area. when you are looking downt australia, which has been in basically a decade-long drought, that has hit their wheat production you are looking at two very large wheat-producing countries suffering through a maj natural disasters which has pulled down the production, leaving world supplies in short supply, causing higher
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prices. especially in countries in north africa where wheat is the major food grain, that is a big impact for them host: erin, please go ahead with your question. caller: i want to make a quick comment. i want to know -- prices are going up on gasoline and food. the dollar is turning into a toilet paper. i like to know your take on it. guest: definitely, the dollar has been gettingeaker. en you look at the stimulus package put together by the federal government by the federal reserve, you are looking at a flow of dollars in, but that dollar had been weakening even before we saw that stimulus package. if you go back to 2001-2002 and look at the trend, the dollar has been getting weaker since
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that time. it has good and bad points about that dollar weakening. for agricultural exports, a weakening dollar has been a benefit to them because it has meant their products look like suspensive and they see more demand because of it. at the same time, a weakening dollar tends to mean that the imports we bring in to the u.s. look more expensive to us because of the weakness in the dollar. it depends upon which side of the market you are on as to whether a weak dollar is a good or bad thing. host: have you figured o how much, if any, food is subsidized because of of of the agricultural subsidies the government around the world give to their farmers? guest: there are definitely a lot of agricultural subsidies. for example, one of the issues we had the last time we were concerned about food prices
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back in 2008 was that you could see a lot of countries that had consumer subsidies that tried to maintain low food prices. they had an issue arose stockpiling food in some areas where we were finding shortages of food in other areas of the world. those policies within an individual country can boomerang back to other countries in the world. here in the u.s., we have a system of support structures which tend to promote the production of the product by creating a economic safety net underneath the product revenues or prices that you are looking at. those are contained within the u. farm bill that we pass about every five years. that is something the -- that is something the u.s. congress is going to be taking up again. host: dale, you are on with chad hart.
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caller " good morning, fellas. i have a cousin in tennessee and he farms about 3,000 acres of land down there. the government pays him not to grow a certain amount of money per year. it is a substantial amount of money. i do not know the exact figure. i think instead of paying them not to grow food, let them grow food, and more product th is out there, that will lower the price of our food. the way our system is set up, if we are paying farmers to only form half of 3,000 acres so prices stay up so somebody in corporate america can get richer and richer, i see that as a very big problem in our country. i appreciate your time.
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guest: i do have a question for the caller. host: i have already hung up. sorry about that. guest: my guess is in the form we are talking about here, the payments to not farm are probably due to environmental programs that we have in this country. if you are looking at agricultural land as far as what the farm bill supports, if we are talking about support for commodities, those are all about producing the crops instead of not producing the crops. when we look at r conversation -- our conservation programs, we do have some programs that satisfy agricultural lands because they are environmentally fragile. we do have the support structures in place. it could be used for other sources, but we find that it has
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a severe erosion problems or production could impact water quality for downstream users. then there is a program that does pay producers to set aside certain parts of their land, but is not in order to keep prices higher to influence if you will, that supply of production. it is to protect the and pharmacology of the land and water in that area. when you look at how big that program is, we set aside roughly 30 million acres through these environmental programs, but we produce crops on over 300 million acres. it is a sizable component, but the vast majority of the land in the u.s. available for crop production is activel engaged in crop production. host: ohio, gary, hi. caller: hi. i know that the warehousing
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distributors of food get a kickback on what -- they will not sell your food on the state get a kick back. -- unless they get a kick back. money makes them carry your product. host: how do you notice? caller: well, when i was young, i worked in a grocery store. i would ask aut certain products. then, a guy that was -- his brother who was it within the grocery business was explaining to me that they would not carry certain products because they did not pay him any money to carry his products. it is almost like they will not allow some people to play ball.
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ohio try to pass a lot about farmers could not raise and kill their own beef. i am sure that when mr. hart was on the farm, they took their own cattle to the butcher. host: any response to that caller? guest: when you are looking at the third production and supply system,ach a grocery store and warehouse are, they are making individual contractors among themselves. they are looking for the best economic opportunities. whether there are kickbacks or not, that i cannot address. they are negotiating product -- they are negotiating prices between themselves. you are going to see a give-and- take between the two. when you look at the supply system, it does flow fairly well when you think about moving the
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amount of products we are talking about through the system in order to feed these 300 million folks that we have in this country and the 7 billion people that we have throughout the world. food does move fairly rapidly and fairly quickly to the places that need it. host: we are talking to chad hart from iowa state university. go ahead, terry. caller: thank you. i want to also thank you for c- span. also, there has been much debate. could you explain to the american people once and for all, withiofuels, ethanol is just corn whiskey.
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when you take out the ethanol, you have feed left. i take my corn up, take the mash back home, and then feed it to my hogs. the ethanol that is distracted, it does not make an impact on the food supply. the same with the soybeans. the oil is extracted. by extracting the oil, the soybean meal goes back to feed my hogs. when senators made a plan for sustaining and renewing the tax credits for biofuels, people jumped all over it. this way, we simply get to increase the energy supply of fuel without hurting the food
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supply at all. also, when the man called about shippers, when we ship our products overseas to foreign markets, the shippers are making more profit per bushel than the farmer. also, you did a very good job explaining food for security and also going on marginal lands. host: terry, when it comes to the rising food prices the last couple of years, have you benefited as a farmer from these prices? caller: yes, i have. we have had to pay income tax every year. i have -- it seems to be cyclical, about once every 20 years, farmers make a good profit.
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for others, it is starvation or banks foreclose on terms. 80% of my neighbors have gone out of farming, forced out, and the average age of farmers -- i am one of the young ones, and i am 56 years old. most of them are older and there are no children or grandchildren. there used to be 20 school buses picking up kids to go to our local school. now there is less than four because there is nobody living out on the farms anymore. host: who is taking care of that land? caller: there used to be 200- acre farms. now it is consolidated into 5000- or 10,000-acre farms. now only six people are living off of those farms. we have satellite-guided
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trackers that make us more efficient to make sure we cover all of our land. they can plant 300 acres a day now. this year, my farm was planted in one day, where its use to take three weeks. host: we are running out of time. really interesting. thank you for calling in. he started with the ethanol food point. guest: when that bushel of corn goes into an ethanol plant, when you look at that bushel of corn, it is about 56 pounds. about 17 pounds of it becomes the fuel. another 17 pounds is actually carbon dioxide. the last 17 pounds is that mash that terry was talking about. it is a livestock feed. aztec corn goes into the plant,
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it is not lost all to the creation of the ethanol. it is also going back into the feed supplyust like the corn rmally did before ethanol can about. you are still seeing dual usage for the crop even though we have that fuel usage up front. so, having a bushel in corn with ethanol demand is not necessarily mean you lost that all bushel of corn for other sources as well. as i mentioned earlier, as we look at the demand for corn and thus far, it is pretty much been matched by the production increases that we have seen. you have fuel and feed occurring from the same bushel of corn. host: here are comments about the economics of farm management.
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guest: farming is a comtitive industry, which means in the long run profits are basically zero. if you look over the past 50 years, farming operations tend to have a few good years of returns, followed by longer periods of time with little to no return. it is balancing all those good times with what is happening during every other time. as terry mentioned, the idea that we are seeing fewer farmers out there, in some ways, that is due to the productivity of today's farmers and due to the technological advances we have made in our agricultural production. the idea of planting takes a lot lessime today than it did a decade ago. that consolidation, we are able to create thisis production, whi
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>> i have to practice banalized -- staying alive. >> our guest next week is contributing editor to the atlantic monthly, christopher hichens. >> there are treatments that i can see that are just out of my reach which is both a encouraging and annoying. >> sunday, on c-span. >> madam speaker, the president of the united states. >> by congressional invitation, the president outlines his legislative agenda for the next year and reflects on the previous in the state of the union. watch every address since 1984 online at
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>> this new law is a fiscal house of cards and it is health care house of cards. >> has any family in america, any single mother, any spouse, any child, any grandparent met a more bureaucratic system then at the american health insurance systems? >> watch this week's health care debate anytime on lined with our congressional chronicle. see what your representative said, tracked time lines, and you can look at all of the session. >> coming up in about an hour, we will have live coverage of the eulogy service for sargent shriver, former head of the peace corps. that comes up at about 6:45 eastern. until then, mickey kantor, author --, thomas friedman and
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others in 2004 at an event honoring mr. shriver. this is about an hour and we will show you as much as we can until the eulogy services under way. you all for being here . we're going to celebrate a life's work and a legacy this afternoon to honor sargent. of course, scott stossel also for his magnificent work. i pe you all had a chance to look at it. but also welcome the shriver family for all they have done, particularly units. thank you for being here, of course. we're all in for a treatith terrific observations about the life and times of sarge shriver, led by tim russ
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either, with a panel that none of us could afford to put together if we had to pay for . sarge, you shouldnow they've done it for free. this is the first time tom friedman has spoken for free in about 16, 17 years. sarge shriver has touched mo than one generation with his creativity, his energy, hs learship, and his irresistible enthusiasm. i don't know of anyone who has created as many institutions which empower the powerless, lift the dispossessed, and speak to the highest ideals of our democracy. just think about it. peace corps, just corps, hed start, legal services for the poor, and a partnership with units, the special olympics. they reached out to tie america together, and they bound us together as a world, as well.
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and they continue to transform lives of those who served and those who serve, as well. sarge has always moved us to give back. he cajoles us with logic, maybe even a bit ofuilt. he entices us with his inexhaustible optimism and his undless joy, he always seems to close the sale. sarge never meets an idea he doesn't like, particularly if it's his own. not every idea is perfect. but each comes from faith and belief in our highest ideals. and while so many profess change, sarge is a doer, an activist. he engages us all, every one of us in e real work of democracy, ensuring that each person is empowered to participate, to pursue all the
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opportunities which come their way. in the same way, sarge and eunice raised a family of strong men and women, each of whom contributes mightily to the lives of so many people. and i want sarge to know today, like all those otherhousands who've been inspired by him and led by him, he affected this life, as well. 34 years ago, the legal services program was in trouble . a few of us got together and decided we'd have to make it into a government corporation somewhat protected from the vagaries of politics. i was a very young lawyer, and i was called upon to call sarge shriver to ask for is help. i was so nervous. i never met sarge shriver. hardly ever met anyone at that point in my life. i'd been in th wilds f florida representing farm workers.
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so i called. he pecked up the phone. that astonished me enough. and when i asked for his help, he said, come on over, and i said, you mean right now? he said of course. i went over to his office. sarge shriver sat down and began to go through his rolodex. nd within 48 hours, jim, i had a board of directors. and the rest is histy. no one loves this country more or has served us it such passion and caring as sarge shriver. naval officer, ambassador, businessman, publ servant, and for all of that and more, sargent shriver received the highest honor a civilian can receive from the president in 199 from president clinton, the medal of freedom. it's not enough to dream big
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dreams or hold off the ideals in sarge shriver's world. you acted -- against poverty, against intolerance, for cial justice, and for the dignity o each and every person. that's why we're here, to honor sarge and rededicate ourselves to his ideals and goals in the same we we did when he first inspired each of s. ladies and gentlemen, robert sargent shriver. >> oh, my gosh.
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whoa! well, first of all, thank you for the introduction. secondly, get yourself rested there in your chairs. this is a very long speech. my wife wrote it for me. there she is. she's got her finger like this, see? but no matter how good or bad everything is, in detail with children,ith grandchildren, with a very brilliant man over there in the old days, very old days, he'sow a young guy, i'm very, very happy to be here, but truthfully, i'm happy to be here because most of you --
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i'll go further. i think every one of you is a representative, courageous, idealistic, competent woman or man. i think our country, regardless of race, color, creed, or vocation, i think our country would be honored to know every one of you, not just superficially,but closely. i say that because, as i look around here,i see at least half a dozen people that is senior to me. >> want to make them stand? >> no. and i see about 2/3 of people here richer than i am. you know what he's helping me to do? he's telling me, read your
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book. you guys see that. i decided to be bossed around by somebod handing me the letters -- they're not letters. these are cards. he told me these are cards. all i can do now is to read you what he wrote. then he said, that's not true. somebodylse wrote it for him. well, let's get into it so that we can get into it and then it's time to have some liquor. first of all, i say that because it's the first sentence . i thank you all for coming today. almost every one of you has heard me say that i am the
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luckiest man alive. that statement has never been more true than at this very moment. i spoke to a galaxy of wonderful people, many of whom are here today to challenge situations involving worldwide problems. sometimes they're weaknesses, sometimes they're strengths. and we have made an effort during that time to find out what was true and what was needed by way of improvement. the book entitled "sarge: the life and times of sar why not shriver" -- excuse me, takes me a little while to get that through -- was written because of the persuasive encouragement of my wife. there she is right there. my wife, eunice. and at the urging of my children who thought i had lived a rather interesting life
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. instead of hearing about it, as they had in bits and pieces, my children urge me to gather up my scattered memories and compile them into a comprehensive book covering my life. they believe such a book would be important for them children and perhaps even for their children's children. i am not one to blow my own horn to justify myself, nor do i try to even old scores. that is why i thank god for bringing scott stossel into my life. scott is a gifted young wrier who wrote this book and has overwhelmed and impressed me with his abilities, although it's daunting to have one's life and work discussed by distinguished panel, which might subject me to critical reactions to think that i've said or done. i promise not to turn off my
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hearing aid. right? thank you. i'm being approved by the super deluxe leading political figure of our life. there he is with his hand on his cheek like this. he's holding his head up like that. now he's taking it down. i promise not to turn off my hearing aid. i hope i shall never convey to anyone that i look upon my thoughts and actions as being perfect or being improved by god. i only pray that what i say or do is honest ad worthy of respect for its honesty and for its hopes. so for the experience of my 60 years in public life -- i'm almost exhausted already.
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60 years in public life? i know it's vital to do as much listening as talking, as much questioning as answering. the american people are the greatest teachers of all. what we and they both need is a rallying together, a commitment of all citizens each to one another. that is true, i believe, because w, more than ever, we depend on one another for our very existence. we are not just americans or jews or muslims or catholics or rich or poor famous or obscure. yes, some of us still wear those labels today. during our short existence on earth, but united we all are by our own humanity. we are more alike than we are different. with that if mind, we must make a choice of what kind of a world we shawl bequeath to our children and grandchildren.
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so in a world of stark choices between peace or death, i choose peace. for me, for my wife, my children and my grandchildren, and for my friends. the call to war can only take us so far. therefore, i say now what our country needs is a call to peace and to service. peace and service are on a scale we have scarcely begun to imagine. so i recommend now that we should unleash the power of young people in all nation to see the world for what it is now and inspire them to join us in changing that world for the better. let's join in a common cause with all countries to eradicate poverty and materialism. it is of course that the war against terrorism has required a
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military response. it is equally of course that a military response alone cannot achieve peace. if we deploy the idealism of american citizens against the fanatical haters of america, we will see our nation become the most effective, anti-terrorism program and the creator of a world capable of achieving the universal cherished dream of peace. for our goal is not just the survival of america, it is a survival of the whole planet. when our deeds match our ideals, we will be living life as it ought to be lived. this is not just an american dream. it is a truthfully a universal need to bind all human beings together in a common cause to assure peace and survival for all. that is the challenge we all
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face. that is the mission worthy of america and worthy of all humankind. and i hope, therefore, that all of us will start now and continue to increase the contacts that i just read to you and express my hope that all of us will continue to do what i've just said everywhere, every day, for e rest of your life for the life of your children. god bless you all.
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>> we are here to celebrate the life of a true american patriot. how often is it that there is a man of substance, a man of style combined in an extraordinary human being? in sarge, we are here to talk about all aspects of your life. when you get a phone call from maria shriver, you say yes particularly whe maria's mother said, you know, i saw maria on your cnbc show. i said, thank yo eunice. and eunice said, shs never been better. yes. about a month later, i saw teddy
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on your "meet the press." yes, eunice. teddy has never been better. one common denominator left out of this entire package, but th that -- but the last time i did a symposium with the great philosopher yogi berra up in new jersey. this is yogi who went into the pizzeria and asked if he wanted the pizza cut into six or eight slice, he said, six, i can't eat eight. i was supposed to interview yogi. i saiden -- i said, yogi, i'm go ask you something and respond. word association. he said ok. are you ready? he said, yes. mickey mantle. he said what about him? so whitey ford. i said, this is hopeless. did yogi say all the things he id? we were playing the chicago white sox one night and i did not have control. nellie smith went to the right field, two pitches, runners on first and second.
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then the third pitch, i hit menny me know is a. four pitches, 4-0, white sox over yankees. casey stengel ran to the mound and yogi berra took his mask off. yogi, i haven't cght a ball yet. today, we are talking about someone who understands his life, his grounding, his family, his faith and his country. and we have asked renowned experts in all these fields, and dbiming to go in alphabetical order. it's the only fair way. i'd like michael beschloss, a renowned author to tk about sarge shriver and his extraordinary role on war on poverty, his successes under presidt johnson and what the united states would have been without sarge shriver holding up the flag for those who needed us most.
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>> thanks. we have been all asked to keep this brief, so i'll try to do that. i guess maybe the best place to start is there's a story that's told about lyndon johnson in retirement, and this is one of if stories that as they say in texas may have the added advantage of being true. i can't vouch for it. but johnson was calling -- alwaysiked to go to the top first. he was calling the head of a tractorompany or a pump company, and said i need a track or the or a pump and i need it tomorrow. he was telling them, can't be done. johnson said, are you going to say no to the leader who brought 12 million americans out of povert and apparently the guy did it. and the point is that that is something that sargent shriver, a much more modest man could have said about himself in the 1960's. the war on poverty did not begin inauspiciously. he was back from a trip at the
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end of january i think it was 1964. and l.b.j. mentioned something about the war on poverty which he had talked about a few months -- a few weeks earlier. the next day was a saturday and shriver was at home playing with bobby and maria and got a call from l.b.j. which has been preserved by the secret taping system that johnson said. he said i'm going to announce your appointment at the press conference. shriver said, what press conference? johnson intended to have a press conference within the hour, announcing that shrooifr would be the head of the war on poverty a program that johnson had announced with a large budget, but there was no staff, there was no shape, he expected shriver to do this. sargent shriver talked to him, tried to say i need 48 hours. no, no, i have to do it right now. he stopped and talk to mrs. shrooifr and said, if you don't want to do this, tell it
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to him. johnson kept on saying, i'm going to make you mr. poverty. finally, conceding the inevitable, shriver said yes and at least i have no staff, could i at least get bill employers who was on the johnson staff at that time? and johnson said no, don't go raidinthe white house, get your own talent. which he did. and this began -- jonsson in a few weeks eaier said that this administration here and now declares unconditional war on poverty in america, an as scott says in his wonderful book says when shriver heard this, he said to himself, i pity the poor soul who's got to run this program. he did not know that he would be it. yet, famously, he got the bill through congress, hired a staff, getting it through congress was not easy. congressman howard smith was one the great obstacs. he said he had two objections. one was that war on poverty as he understood it would violate
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state's rights and would fund nudist colonies, which apparently did not happen. that was not the kind of community action that the staff had in nd. but after that was done, shriver went on to hire a word-class staff, and one thing i have always noticed he did something that was very difficult and that was he helped lyndon johnson to be his best self, to keep him focused on what was important. this unbelievable commitment hadn't happened before in human history to eradicate poverty among its people. you can see all sorts of things in scott's book. one is a memo from employers to shriver saying the president wants a report from you every night on the congressman you talk to each day. in a memo such as this, i dare not repeat the language that the president usedn making this request. i n guess the language that was used. this is what he was dealing with. but the point is that it was almost an biblical commitment, and in the course of that,
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shriver helped to launch programs that are landmarks to this day, e job corps, 1964 shriver said my god, 50% of all these poor people are children. this many years later head start is sti the most comprehensive program ever waged to help poor children and their families. about 20 million since 1965. legal services, there was a tiny number of lawyers, full-time in 1964, to help poor people and poor families. at the same time, there was about one lawyer to 560 for everyone else. sargent shriver vowed that would never happen again, so it was. in the end, as critics have inted out, poverty was not eradicated in america, some of these other things that l.b.j. promised did not come to pass. what happened? one was that l.b.j. oversold it, to begin by saying we're going to eradicate povey in america, it was a wonderful aim, but it's something that almost inevitably
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we're going to fall short on. number two, johnson in his arder never understood really i think what this would involve and sargent shriver kept his eye on the ball. you've got to take the power, put it at the local level, let poor people decide how this money will be spent. maybe one of the signal moments scott stated in the book was when johnson was dealing with mayor daly in chicago. i kn exactly the way it worked because i grew up there. johnson did not quite understand that the money would not necessarily go to the regular democratic organization. and daly was incensed, called up johnson and said what is this war on poverty? this is going to subversives against me. why don't you send it to me and i'll make sure it gets spent on poor people. johnson increasingly realized that was a problem for him. the thing that finally did it of course was the war vietnam. and one of the most impressive things in this book was the way that sargent shriver kept on
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going to johnson to say what you really care about is poverty. this is going to be ur legacy, not this war in vietnam. johnson didn't see it that way. one of the most poignant moments is when johnson said to him in 1965, said to sarge shriver, don't worry, as soon as we're out of vietnam next year, i'll give you all the money that you need. how our lives have been different had that actually happened, instead of, of course, the program despite shriver was allowed to wither on the vine. but in retrospect, you know, what wasargent shdriver's accomplishment? the number of poor americans was cut in half with the economic boom, just as johnson said to that pump dealer in his retirement. since that moment, most americans have assumed that eradicating poverty in some way is a basic responsibility of our president and our government and if you look back to the record of the 1960's, it's in scott's book, that would not
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have happened without the wonderful leadership and values of sargent shriver. >> sargent shriver was a globalist before i could spell it. he is a pulitzer prize-winning columnist of "the new york times", here is tom friedman. >> thank you, tim. it's an honor to be here today. and to be part of this panel. and as i thought -- tim and i had breakfast earlier in the week. and we went over what i should talk about, and as i reflected on sargent shriver's life and book, i decided that i didn't want to look backward. i wanted to look forward because i think thisook contains some real lessons of his -- his life
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contains real lessons for the here and now. when i say here and now, i'm talking about the immediate predicament that our country is in right now. so, sarge, if you'll pardon me, i would like to offer my five sargent shriver lessons for dealing with the here and now. if you'll pardon me also first by beginning, mixing my metaphors, as i think of one major lesson of your lifeit reminds me of a story of a very old religious jew who went to win the lottery. he used to pray to god that he would win the lottery. and the lottery would come in gold -- and goldberg wouldn't win. this will go on week after week and month after month, sarge. finally, one sabbath, goldberg was in the synagogue, he said, god, i have lived such a pious and righteous life what do i have to do to win the lottery? and the voice of d boomd down,
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he said, give me a chance,uy a ticket. and so i think in some ways the story starts there. because if there's one lesson i take away from your life, it's not enough to rail against poverty. it's not enough to rail against anti-americanism. you have to buy a ticket. you have to step up as an individual. and we have to step up as a country. you've got to buy a ticket. that is lessson number one. the second lesson that i really take away from your book and your life and things like the peace corps is it's such an insight into america and america's relation to the world today. which we have really lost sight of. and it is how important american optimism is.
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naive optimism. the crazy idea that we have that every problem has a solution. how important that optimism is for keeping the world spinning on its axis. oh, you know, the europeans often, they love to make fun of our naive optimism. and a lot of peoplearound the world may on the surface respond to it cynically. but deep down, deep down, you understood something, sarge, that deep down, they really envy that optimism. they really envy that optimism and the world needs american optimism. and right now, and for the last few years,e have on out of the optimism business. we have been exporting our fea fears, not our hopes. and when you export your fears, what you end up doing is importing everyone else's fears as well. so that's the -- that's the
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second lesson i take from your life and inspiration. now, the third thing i think you taught very importantly through the peace corps was that for much of your life, for much of my life, we were involved in a war of ideas with totalitarianism. we were involved in a war of ideas with soviet communism. but it was a war of ideas. and to beat that war of ideas, we needed a force and we needed power. let's have no illusions about that, but we also needed our ideas t there. i really believe tim quoted casey stengel and i really believe in the casey stengel rule of diplomacy. casey stengel was once asked what's the secret of being a good baseball manager? and his answer was, it's to keep
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the eight guys who hate your g guts away from the eight guys who haven't made up their minds yet. and, you know, right now in the middle east and in iraq, that's really our challenge. our challenge to win this war of ideas is, you know, to keep the eight guys who i'm afraid are gone and lost and really hate our lost away from the eight or the 80 million or the 6 billion who haven't made up their mind yet. that's about a war of ideas. that's about getting our good ideas and ideals out there. third thg i really take from your book and your life, sarge, for me the most important lesson of journalism. really the secret of journalism. it is also the secret i suspect of diplomacy. and this is to be a good listener. oh, that's really the beginning. all the stories i missed as a
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journalist was because i was talking when i should have been listening. but more importantly, listening is a sign of respect. you know, and it's amazing what people will listen to from you by way of criticism, even harsh criticism, if you just bother to listen to them first. and boy, if there's one thing we have gotten away from in recent years, it's being good sargent shriver-like listeners. fourth -- if 're going to lead a global crusade -- i don't mean here in the religious sense, but first the war against communism and now a global war against terrorism, boy, i think there's something you really knew which is that we have to be the best global citizens we can be first. there is no way to go to the world and say, friends, we're in
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a global war against communism or we're in a global war against terrorism, but by the way, by the way, we're going do consume as much energy as we like. we're go going wherever we like. we're going to run up whatever kyoto treaty that we please. that's no way to win a war on terrorism. that's no way to win the cold war. to win both, we had to and we must be the best global citizens we can be. you know, i'm struck that right now the degree to which americ americanss are upset over the finale of the sitcom "friends." i think there's a reason for that, because they're the only friends we have left and now they're leaving. and that is simply no way to win a global war on terrorism. lastly, sarge, what i take away
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from your life in your book, is again, something we have so gotten away from. and that's imagination. you know, there's a real struggle in the world today. in a way this war of ideas, it's a struggle between two forms of imagination. one is the imagination of the boys of 9/11, on the people who support them. and the other is the imagination of america bng the best it can be. that's the real struggle out there. somewhere along the way you must have been sitting around and said imagine, imagine if we had like a peace corps, you know, that went out in the world and brought america and young people their best ideas to countries all over the world. imagine what impact that might make. we've really gotten away from imagination, and because of that
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all the creative imagination today in the world is with the bad guys. so, sarge, i know the book is called "the life and times sargent shriver" and it's a look back, but i tell you it's a look forward. i hope somebody drops off a copy at 1600 pennsylvania avenue. thank you. >> as we continue our bipartisan celebration ofsargent shriver -- you will know our next speaker as the award-winning writer "vanity fair" magazine, author of the importance of being famous,
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published just yesterday. but i know her for her passion and so -- for so many things in life, but particularly the peace corps. she s a volunteer in columbia, in the '60's when i first asked her about sarge shriver, her answer was he is my george washington. ladies and gentlemen, maureen "don't call me mrs. russert" orth. >> thank you. i am overwhelmed to see all the people who've created the peace corps here today. you're the most wonderful dience we could all possibly have. and to see so many of you who are really responsible for the peace corps here, it's very exciting. yes, i always did think that sarge was my george washington, until we ran into sarge one night at the white house. it was one of those parties for
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saint patrick's day to try to get the warring factions of ireland to both come ov and break bread under a common roof. and sarge ran into us and i said, tim, this is sargent shriver, you know, he's the george washington of the peace corps. and sarge sa, no, he said in the peace rps, george washington is here. i'm here. and he was absolutely right, because it was sarnl's daring, his glamour, his ability to inspire that brought so many people to create an agency that was just a few sentences almost as an afterthought in a campaign speech in 1961, and after president kennedy was inaugurated, sarge had an agency up and running and 5,000 pele had taken the test to become peace corps volunteers within i think three months.
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it was an extraordinary movement that so many of you here today were part of. and apropos what tom just said, there was a verb called to shriverize something, to speed things up, but it was imagined much more creatively. i think scott has done a beautiful job with a wonderful, wonderful book, and one of the things he said which i would so much like to echo is that it was sarge's energy that was the fuel that drove the peace corps and the fuel of the peace corps ran on and his optimism was the oxygen that it breathed. i know that today there have been 180,000 americans who have served in 137,000 countries. we have learned over 100 languages. peace corps volunteers have written 700 books and have become leaders in all parts of life and i take particular pleasure in reading that the
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