tv Washington Journal CSPAN January 22, 2011 7:00am-10:00am EST
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] the government accountability office out with new figures about don't ask don't tell, it cost the government $193 million over a period of six years. we want to get your thoughts today on having a c.e.o. of a company like ge advising the president on jobs is a good idea. hireds how you can contribute this morning. the numbers are on the bottom of your screen. tell us if you think so. and tell us why, too.
again, if you want to give us your thoughts on the role of the g.e. c.e.o. as a jobs adviser, the numbers are on the bottom of your screen. send us an e-mail, or twitter. if you're on the hold for the phone, turn do you know your television so that no needback -- feedback happens. and we'll listen to a little from the president yesterday. >> it's a great thing that the economy is growing but it's not growing fast enough yet to make up for the damage that was done by the recession. the past two years were about pulling our economy back from the brink. the next two years, our job now is putting our economy into
overdrive. our job is to do everything we can to ensure that businesses can take root and folks can find good jobs and america is leading the global competition that will determine our success in the 21st century. and so now to help if you will. this new mission, i'm assembling a new group. and i am so proud and pleased that jeff has agreed to chair this panel. my counsel on jobs and competitiveness. because we think g.e. has something to teach businesses all across america. [applause] i hope you don't mind, i'm going to brag about your boss for a second here. jeff is somebody who brings a beltsdz of experience to the table. he is one of the nation's most respected and admired business leaders and that's a reputation that he earned at over ten years at the helm of this
company. we will be announcing the business leaders, labor leaders, economists and others who will join with jeff to help guide us into that overdrive mode. i know that counsel will be an important asset as we seek to do everything we can to spur hiring and ensure our nation can compete with anybody on the planet. host: this is a photo of jeff from yesterday from new york at the announcement. as you look at that we'll go to phones as we get your thoughts. west virginia on our democrat's line. daddy is how he is identifying himself. go ahead. caller: it's danny. host: i'm sorry. go ahead. caller: no problem. we're losing our country. the corporation's global corporations like general eleck trick are not loyal to the united states. they are interested in global market places. they're selling us out.
they want free trade. we cannot compete against workers that are earning $130 a month when an american worker earns $5400 a month. and these corporations have no loyalty to us. i was a big supporter of president obama. i am completely squsted. the last thing we need is a democrat that acts like a republican and supports corporations. he is having these meetings with the chinese. he hadn't got one labor leader, not one in any of these meetings. it's all corporate executives from global corporations. and when the next election comes room i am absolutely not going to support boom. -- obama. we need somebody who will act like a democrat. host: let's turn to jeff long island city. go ahead. caller: good morning. danny brings up a couple good points. but i think it's a wonderful
choice. yeah know, as you know, he studied under jack welch and so his training is unparalleled and three, 400,000 employees that they have globally. he knows how to run a company to say the least. but if we don't start concentrating on creating jobs, make that the most important topic in this country and the upcoming election, we can't solve all this debt that the states have. governments are out of money. c. and the only way out is to start making products in the united states. thank you very much. host: a related story that the caller brought up about the condition of states.
jane on democrat's line from madison, wisconsin. caller: hi. i just wish people would look at this movie where you could put the sunglasses on and you can see the devil in the newscaster, the journalists, you know, and we need to look at that. and you see every one of them in that movie. they live. host: what's the parallel to
what we're talking about? caller: well, that's what i feel. host: michigan, ron, independent line. go ahead. caller: the way i see this whole situation is it was demonstrated real well on your show yesterday when you had the insurance lady on there. a good intelligent man, a dentist called in and he challenged her salary, which was $1 million to $2 million. now, if you have someone like that trying to give us a solution making that kind of money is ridiculous. she is the problem. that is where we're running into these things. c.e.o.s want to make millions but yet they don't think the little guy should make a living wage. it's ridiculous. it is totally ridiculous. and until the american people get them high-class elites that think they know everything out
of the picture, it isn't going to work. the bottom line, it's greed and corruption. thank you for your time. host: off of twitter adds this. off the papers this morning, a couple of pieces of criticism about the decision. this is from the "washington post" this morning. ohio, mitchell on our republican line. caller: good morning, sir.
hello. host: go ahead. you're on. caller: thank you. you know, this is a particular time in american history where i think we're going to have to really make some hard decisions here. you know? we've got to cut back the middle class has to cut back. and the upper class has to cut do you know. host: so now the president is bringing on the c.e.o. of ge with creating ideas for job creation. what do you think about that? caller: i think that's a horrible idea. that's the last thing we need in this country. because a financial man who is going to stick money back into his own pocket. it's a ridiculous understanding. host: florida, mark, independent line.
caller: just three quick points. one, i saw maybe a couple years ago on news reports or something that g.e. was doing business with iran or a subsidiary of their company. two, democrats are always hollering about bring our jobs back. but they want to allow illegal aliens to take these jobs because that's what makes up a lot of the manufacturing base now. another thing -- host: what do you think about the choice of the c.e.o.? caller: i think it was just a payback. it was just a payback for his support through ms nbc and all the backing that they poured into his, barack obama's campaign. host: the caller mentions
msnbc. you've probably seen through many sources but keith olerman stepping do you know for that program. florida, once again, from karen on our democrat's line. caller: people have to understand that g.e. is one of the cutting-edge companies on the wipped mill front and -- wind mill front and wind power, and also do you know here in florida we're getting geared up here now to have high speed rail and i'm sure g.e. will have quite an input. and this real system eventually is to go nationwide. that's a 30-year program. so i know my labor friends are upset, but g.e. is one of the companies that will be giving us green jobs and getting us on the road again. so let's support them . host: how do you think the president can best use this
team that he is is go to assemble? >> well, we need so much innovation to start manufacturing things again in our country. so this team i know has been looking to the future, looking actually trying to -- china is way ahead of us on a lot of this stuff. so we need this team to bring us up out of the ground fast and i think that's what's going to be going on. host: a few stories about china this morning. the "new york times" reporting that, according to data released there is less buying of u.s. debt in the form of treasury bonds by china.
new york, on our republican line talking about the role of the c.e.o. as the jobs adviser. what do you think? caller: it's a really bad idea. the way that g.e. handled new york state upstate as far as -- and it's a global company on top of it. they're now acting as a bank. they've got so much money already. why would you take a global company and a c.e.o. of it to even consider jobs for the united states and help the people of the united states with jobs when their interest seems to be outside of the country. host: amton, wisconsin. good morning. kerry on our independent line. caller: i have to agree with the lady from california.
i don't see where a c.e.o. is going to help the people. they always talk about job creation. that's fine. but then they always talk about self-sustaining jobs or jobs that will give you a living wage, but i don't see what happened. look what happened to the auto industry. $14 ab hour. -- an hour. i couldn't imagine most of these people making these policies trying to live on that. it's ridiculous. where are the jobs that are going to pay us to at least have a $100,000 house? you can't do it. >> as far as the team he's trying to assemble, what is the bester way then than trying to get these kinds of captains of industry involved? wiveragetsdz well, i don't think it's wrong to have the captains of industry involved, except the problems that most
i've had experience with, i've worked in mills, larger corporations, again like most people say, they're worried about their pockets. can i have a b.m.w. and a mercedes in the garage and my $1.4 million place? and if the guy has to live in the apartment who is working for me, who cares. the majority of the c.e.o., that's what i feel. ey're not worried about the person. host: the state of the union next week. stories already about this effort to have people, democrats and republicans, sit by each other during the address there. some announcements of who is going to sit by whom. this is in the "wall street journal" this morning.
james pendle in man chester, their political director. why so early? >> well, we're just a year away from when we believe our new hampshire primary will be. of course our secretary of state sets the date but the tentative date is february 14. republicans are gathering today to elect a new state chairman. this includes 500 delegates around the state. these are the hard core of activists. while that's not the full picture, they are certainly a good chunk in a state as small as ours. so we decided to poll these folks as to where they're thinking in terms of the presidential race, which to be perfectly blunt is just beginning. so this is a good snap shot to see what kind of people they're looking at on our list in the straw poll. we have 20 names and of course we also put and underline we
can put someone else. it's very inclusive. not meant to be exclusive. just to get an early sense. we're also asking the 500 delegates what issue they they believe is the highest priority for the next president. we have conservatives and republicans who believe certain different tenants. they believe them all. whether about a strong national security, whether it be more of a social conservative agenda, about cutting taxes or deficit or debt. we just want them to rank a top one to see where this conversation may lead us in the next year. host: theths let's talk about some of the names that we've heard bandied about as far as this position and see how they might fit into the straw poll. let's start with mitt romney. >> mitt romney is somewhat of a front runner. say mike huckabee would need to win. the expectations game. the presidential primary
process as you know is all about the expectations game. did you exceed or meet or disappoint on them. mitt romney is expected to do very well. the last time john mccain was in the race and he was something of a favorite son in the state. he won so well in 2000, he won again in 2008. with mccain out of the way, mitt romney is something of a front runner. not only does he have large name recognition, new hampshire is in the boston television market. but he owns a house in new hampshire as a vacation house. he spends a lot of time here and polls have shown consistently that he is by far the front runner in our state. so he's going to have a pretty strong polling in the straw poll or she going to have answer a lot of question wls his strong or not.
host: is sara palin on this list? >> of course she is. in terms of the early primary states, if you include iowa and south carolina, i'm not sure how much we're going to include nevada this year although they will have an early caucus, but in terms of those three states, new hampshire seemed to be her weakest. this is a place that has not liked her all that much if you look at favorability ratings and she has not been to the state since october of 2008 whence she was a vice presidential candidate. but some have suggested she does have a problem here. but given that you have a multicandidate primary or multicandidate straw poll today, that kind of plays into her strength as being such a polarizing figure. she could do well but she hasn't spent any time to try to cultivate any of these activists. host: we see more and more of tim paul enty now as far as
this topic is concerned. how does he do in that part of the state? caller: that's a good point. this is going to be his first test. he's been to the state. he and rick santorum, the former senator have been here more than anyone else, probably eight times. and tim is coming back on monday and tuesday to the state. this is going to be a -- talking about a first test to see if any of these trips are translating into any support. these are small, house parties, coffees and lunches. but they're coffees and lunches and house parties with these members. so if you stop the person on the street, that may not be a fair indication. but for these 500 folks, these are the folks that they're calling. host: tell us about how the process will work today. caller: well, the straw poll begins around 9 or 10, depending on how the
registration is going. it will end around 2 as they begin to vote for their own state chairmen. they have some local races just for in terms of the republican state committee. at that point we will go into a room. we will add up the tally and then we will announce them. host: james, the political director of wmurtv of the website, plit difficult scoop. if you want to find out more. and then you will announce later this afternoon. can folks find information on the site? caller: they can. host: thanks for your time. we're continuing on in the discussion of g.e. leading a time, advising the president on jobs and getting your thoughts if it's a good idea. thanks for waiting, illinois. caller: hey. you know what, i really want to dove tail off of the lady that called from florida.
she really kind of hit it. is that this is needed. the companies, not just don't focus on the c.e.o., focus on the individual, but focus on the organization. look, high-speed rail, wind mills, these things create a lot of jobs. and it moves the u.s. forward. not backwards. states hike ohio and wisconsin, what they've done to cancel the high speed rail coming through area, they are going to suffer tremendously behind that. so i'm saying it's like this way. do you know one wind mill. i travel from chicago to st. louis and i'm always looking at the flat lands. and i see so many wind mills, but i also started studying upon wind mills and what it is
made of and what it does. and i went on to the eia, the energy international whatever. here's the thing. for every wind mill that is built, every one -- one wind mill, ten jobs, ten jobs are created from one wind mill. host: off of twitter. birmingham, good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for c-span. i think the president's move was just a great move. i've been watching this president since he took office and i'm just amazed at how much he's been able to accomplish against the party of no. i like what he is doing. host: why do you think it was a
good move? caller: i couldn't see appointing a hockey player to manage a basketball team. so you need business people to help you. and this man has an established record. the president is looking forward. he's working hard. and i look at his appointments from the supreme court to his cabinet appointments and to what he is doing now, and i think it's a great move. i don't think this president does anything in a haphazard way. i think he gives a lot of thought, education, experience. and i'm excited about what this president is doing. i just can't find any fault. i think he is doing a great job. and when you look at how much he's been able to accomplish against the party of no, how they just sit there and no, no, no, no, and this president just keeps pushing ahead. host: there's a related story
in the pages of the financial times this morning citing improving economy. maryland, victor on our republican line. caller: good morning. as far as i'm concerned the whole thing was a dog and pony show, payback to his liberal friends with their green energy programs. i had to laugh when i heard obama make the comment about being innovative like thomas edison. thomas edison inventeded the
light and liberals are banning it. thank godive got my stash in so i don't have to buy those light bulbs that break when you breathe on them and then you have to call in a has mat team just to clean it up. so as far as i'm concerned, the whole thing was a dog and pony show. host: in the page of the baltimore sun this morning. detroit michigan, good morning. tony on our democrat's line.
caller: good morning. i wanted to make a comment about jeff and barack obama's appointment. i'm glad he did it for one because he, the hand that he is dealt is so obsecured that he don't have a choice. he has to have somewhere to start from. and then also, all of these people like the guy just from maryland talking about the dog and pony show. what has john boehner actually done or said besides no, like the last guy from michigan just stated? that's the truth. they don't have a plan. the only thing they -- and most republicans are all about, is obstruction. they don't care. all they are for is the rich and obstruction. and i thank you for my call. host: there was an interview in the financial times this morning. you can see it on line as well.
i'm not only for the rich but you do have to support large companies so that we can have more jobs. ok? the problem that i have is i feel like the budget should be balanced, the treasury should be rebuilt, public debt should be reduced. and the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled. and the insistent to foreign land should be curtailed. lest we become bankrupt. people must begin -- they have to learn how to work instead of living off of public assistance. and that should be the concern. host: so those should be the top priorities over what the president should do or work hand in hand? caller: well, i think there's two much -- tooch -- i think they should work hand in hand. >> pennsylvania, you are next.
democrat's line. john. caller: i was watching that show yesterday and i thought to myself, what are they doing there? they're going to sell a lot of turbine to india? how many jobs is that going to create? how many can you sell? is enough going to build a factory in the midwest and start manufacturing television sets that he can sell to 1.2 chinese or 1 billion indians? is he going to create a clothing industry or a plumming supply, car, tires? what is he going to do to create jobs? building a turbine or something like that, that's good for the plant there. but how many can you sell? i mean, that's not going to create jobs. the idea that he is inviting captains of industry in to create jobs is a joke because it's the captains of industry who look at labor and the cost
of labor as something to get rid of. so until somebody says they're going to start building factories to manufacture consumer goods that they're going to sell to the 1.2 chinese and a 1 billion indians, then i don't believe any of that stuff. it's good public relations but the captains of industry aren't going to help you to create jobs. host: the state of the union next week. and the lead story in the "wall street journal" this morning talks about what's going to be some of the topics. the headline is obama to push new spending hh pennsylvania,
on our independent line. caller: yes, sir. thanks for having me on. i just have to agree with the people. i don't trust the c.e.o. of a global company saying they're going to create jobs here. i work for a global company, u.t.c., and supposedly we're going to sell a lot more helicopters to india. but they're going to do three quarters of the labor there in india. they're going to build factories and my company is going to help them build factories over there and they're going to take jobs away from us. when the aircraft comes back to the united states, we're just going to tack it together. and that's got toing to create high-paying jobs. that's just going to create assembly work that can be paid at like $14 an hour. and that's all i would like to say. host: the announcement there
yesterday, general electric, he serves as their chairman and c.e.o. other members to be announced in the near future, adding to the team. as you look at that, florida, good morning. dorothy, republican line. caller: yes. i'm referring to the lady that called from winter haven a little bit ago. we have a republican governor, rick scott, now. he says he is not going to do this high-speed rail until he gets to check it out. and i've also heard that if he doesn't make up his mind within a short time, that the extra money that other states have turned do you know will come to florida. but if he doesn't make up his mind, we're going to lose that and it's going to another state. but, and i also heard that if this thing comes to the state
of florida, it's going to be $30 one way from tampa to orlando. our unemployment is 12% in the state of florida. who can afford that? host: well, back to our topic as far as this new jobs council that was announced. what do you think about that effort by the president? caller: i think it was pay-back for the contributions that they made to his run for the president. i think that's all it is. it's a dog and pony show. host: the "new york times" this morning.
experienced people in is good. but my concern is that he doesn't have anybody from labor at the table to kind of push back or even question how any of these arrangements are being made. so that's my biggest concern is that it's not equal. i mean, he's bricking in corporations but where is the labor? where is the voices and advocates for people who are concerned about the labor here in the united states? and my second point is that i'm hearing a lot of republicans who are saying that they don't want to see a c.e.o. working with the president like that. and now i'm hearing them cry about a living wage. but during the campaign i never hear them push back against stuff like that. all they say is that obama is an anti-capitalist and they never push back against the supreme court giving corporations the ability to participate in the political
process. so i think it's hypocritical of a lot of republicans now saying we don't want corporations. we're caring about the little man when during the campaign they don't say nothing about living wage. they don't even make a point of that. host: north carolina. robert independent line. caller: thanks for taking my call. i have a general comment. first, i would like to congratulate president obama for taking some of our forward-thinking executives that work with our companies and our businesses here in the united states to assist him with creating jobs and helping our economy compete on the worldwide scale. i have a general comment about just comics. i watch a lot of media coverage and china has tens of millions of people that are coming out of poverty and -- in their rural areas and they're putting them in manufacturing and i just heard recently in the last
couple of weeks that they've increased their wages from like $150 a month to 300 a month. if you break that do you know, that's $80 a week. which if you work a 40-hour a week, that's 50 cents an hour. so because of the international trade that we have and our deficit with them in terms of what we sell to them and what we buy from them, they have our money. and they can take this money and because of their central planning can target and because of their educational system and because we are a free country and we let their sets sns come here and get degrees and there is good education, they can take this 50 cent an hour wage and target our industries and we have let our borders be open to all their products which wal-mart is a big seller of their products in the united states.
host: california, good morning. shannon, democrat's line. caller: good morning. i just wanted to say that we have to take notice and how obama is connecting with other countries. that's just not one form of jobs, that's just one connection. and we're going to have different connections of jobs. and i think he is doing a good job. people who have self-initiative. it's just not the welfare people taking up money. it's us not utilizing ours to make ends meet. we can't blame a company. if you have a job and it shuts do you know, you'd better have a skill you're thinking about if you know these things are coming about. and on the other hand we can't knock the c.e.o. for having a house. but i think it's the self-initiative in us, whether
obama connects with different countries or lets someone work there from a corporation, we need to dig do you know and get some self-initiative and get our own hands in the soil. host: one more call from nashville, illinois. independent line. caller: good morning. over here, 15 miles from nashville, we're building our power house, state of the art. all of the steel and all of the generators, turbines, et cetera, is coming from china. we need to build these plants but we need to manufacture the turbines, the generators, in this country. that's what creates jobs. that's how we grow jobs. we need to build a new player or coal-fired powerhouse and have a federal reserve district in this country. but all the pipes, the nuts, bolts, generators, turbines, needs to be generated or at least manufactured here. that's what i have to say.
host: coming up, in a program we're going to take a look at how the economic situation across the united states is affecting public safety workers such as police and firefighters. first we're going to continue on with the white house economic team decisions made as of yesterday as far as this job council is concerned and talking to us about that is aby if he will help of politico. she serves as their white house reporter. well take up that discussion right after this.
tuesday, president obama delivers the state of the union address to a joint session of congress. c-span's live coverage begins at 8 p.m. eastern. then the republican response from house budget committee paul ryan of wisconsin. plus your phone calls and reaction live on c-span, c-span radio and on line at c-span.org. you can also watch on c-span 2 followed by reaction from members of congress, from statry hall.
host: politico's abby philip joins us. you came back last night. we saw pictures from yesterday. we know what was the speech as far as the president gave. give us the behind the scenes. what was the message? >> i have to tell you that president obama was particularly i think excited about this announcement. it really signals a shift in his messaging, a shift in the focus of his administration on this economy. and i think he really believes in g.e. we were at a plant that
manufacturers wind and sea and gas generators and are huge pieces of machinery. and that same plant also mfers a lot of green energy products. these are the kinds of thing that is the president really is interested in fostering in our economy and other manufacture rg sense. certainly the, jeffery is the one who the president has named for at least two years and he is someone who shares that vision and the president called him a model for other c.e.o.s. he says that the rest of the country has a lot to learn from g.e. so there is definitely a sense of this that the president wants to go in. host: yob if it was said, but what's the mechanics from how we go forward? when will these folks meet? what will they be tasked to do? guest: we don't know at this point who the other members will be.
the president has said he is going to roll this out over the next couple of days. but based on what we know about the previous council, that group was comprised of economists, labor leaders, business leaders, so it's a fairlyly diverse group. i wouldn't be surprised if this group followed suit and they were in a similar vain. they also met around quarterly and have some public meetings to really go through a lot of the issues that the administration's economic advisers were dealing with as well. i think also privately the president and economic advisers , the head of national economic council, will be talking to these folks privately and in the context of these meetings to get a sense of where their constituent groups fall on a lot of these major issues as far as jobs and competitiveness are concerned. host: so as they'll talk to the
president, advise them. will they produce a report? do we know ultimately how these things boil do you know into legislative efforts? guest: i believe that what will end up happening is from what i've been told from the folks who know the goings on of this committee, they produce reports and they also just give information and advice generally over the course of the next two years. and one of the most important functions is really as all of these discussions are going on, these are ongoing discussions that don't have a clear beginning and don't have a clear ending. and this group of people are going to be responsible for kind of giving a little bit of input and really talking to the president and providing whatever the president wants them to provide on these issues. host: was this a political move?
guest: i think certainly the president really believes in what he stands for and what he is capable of. he is a business leader. he thinks she pretty competent and that's a view that a lot of people share. on the other hand, he is a c.e.o. and that is a clear signal to the business community that the president wants to hear what they have to say. it's also a signal and a political signal it may be to republicans and to some of his critics on the right that he is not afraid of hearing from business leaders or people who might not share 100% of his views. so it's certainly disarms a lit -- a little bit of the ritisms who for the last two years said this is a very antibusiness white house. and by doing that this week, it's really setting him up to lay out a plan for the economy
on tuesday and also to deflect a lot of this criticism that he has been receiving and a lot of people in the white house say unjustly so that they're not very business friendly over there. host: if you want to ask questions, here's how you can do so this morning. this week started with an op ed about business in the washington journal. tell us about that. guest: there's a lot going on this week. starting the week with this op ed basically saying that his administration was going do shift gears and start looking at the rules that are on the books, throwing away the ones
that are bad, replacing e them with ones that are better. all around simplifying the regulatory code. it's kind of a coup of sorts. it's an idea that the house majority leader, eric cantor, later went on to say that was my idea. i had this one first before you decided to do that, president obama. and so by deciding to kind of roll this out on his own terms, on his own timing he's doing a couple of things. the first thing is really getting a ahead of a lot of what we expect to be inquiries into the regulatory rules that are on the books of agencies like the environmental protection agency, the food and drug administration, getting ahead of that and saying we're going to do it first, we're going to do it before you require it of us. and on the second thing that it does is really just reinforce a commitment that the white house has been saying that they've had for two years. they're commited to common
sense rules and they're not all about deregulation but they're also not all about creating layers of rules as well. so they've been saying we've been doing this for a long time. host: so as far as critics are concerned, what have you heard as far as have there been critics of the decision especially from labor forces? guest: yeah, there have been a number of critics. not just labor. envirneyamt advocates as well have said we're concerned this is going to get ahead and completely deregulate the federal government and create loop holes that will allow really dangerous things to happen, especially when it comes to environmental regulation, you know, protections against chemical spills and that sort of thing and food regulations. they're really worried that the administration is going a little too far in the direction of deregulation and they're not
going to pay enough attention to the nature of regulations such as in part to protect consumers and protect their common good of the country. so a lot of groups on tuesday were really worried about that and heard some of that frustration. host: and this week, now the president is adopting the mindset of republicans. guest: there's a very strong concern underlying all of this that the economic crisis that we experienced two years ago was really caused by this cult of deregulation. and going back in that direction, a lot of people are saying it's a really bad idea. and so there's a lot of these
concerns reflect some of that lingering worry that the financial crisis was a result of really the federal government not paying attention to what was going on in wall street and a lot of areas. host: we start with georgia this morning. republican line. go ahead. caller: good morning. thanks for taking my call. i would like to say that the president has on many occasions, like last year with the jobs summit, also with the panel that's just getting ready to disband in a few weeks, he's tried to do things to create jobs in this country and he's failed on every attempt. i would like for him to at least take a look at the fair tax and just consider it and have this economy sky rocket from that perspective. host: will taxation issues be part of the state of the union next week? guest: i want to believe that
there will be. one that did happen late in the year last year in december was that the committee that the president put together to look at the deficit recommended comprehensive overhaul of the tax system. the white house has said that they're interested in that idea. but it's going to take a long time. but absolutely the tax code is a major problem. it's a little bit complicated by the fact that in december the president along with congressional republicans and some democrats passed a huge tax compromise bill that really change add lot of the tax code. so doing a comprehensive overhaul on the heels of that will be a little bit complicated. but there are a lot of people who say you can't adjust the deficit like the caller suggests until you deal with this tax issue. host: democrat's line, florida. good morning. caller: good morning. i have a few comments.
personally i think that it was a good idea to hire the gentleman from g.e. and i will say these things. in the state of florida, anyone would be glad to line up for $14 an hour. they would be glad to get that $14 an hour. as far as the expense of florida's state fles, we haven't received a raise in florida for four to six years, no state employee. and if they want to build that drug company that italy doesn't want, why don't they build it here in the united states so that they can put people to work here? host: and what would you like our guest to address? caller: i'm not particularly sure what i would like her to
address. let me if you don't mind perhaps when i get through there will be something here. host: brookville -- we'll go to hamplen, new hampshire. independent line. caller: good morning. afe brief comment and a couple of questions. my quent is that it appears to me that g.e. is one of america's big corporate welfare cases. now the questions i have is whether she knows how much bailout money was received by g.e., particularly through g.e. finance. in addition i would like to know whether she thinks that g.e. which owns nbc, extremely friendly to obama, whether that might have played into the conversation of his appointment. and also if she has any idea how much money g.e. spends on k street manipulating our government to gain its welfare. i'll take my answers off line.
thank you. guest: i don't know how much, if any money that g.e. received in a bailout or how much they are spending to lobby. they are a huge, huge, multinaltal firm and there are lots of components of it. i would say that the relationship between g.e.'s c.e.o. and president obama and this white house has on some level benefited the company. they've been very open to the steps that this white house has taken on the international stage, whether in india, when president obama visited in november or as it relates to china with the visit of the president this week, there were a number of business deals that came out of those two deals which were closely watched by the administration, and that is the equivelnt of billions of dollars in business for this particular company.
financial transactions going on there. host: you mentioned the concept of trade with the visit of president hu jintao this week. what and vents have been made in trade? guest: there is a big advance that the united states was able to secure, which is $45 billion in the purchase of exports by china which is a fairly significant step in the direction that the administration wants to take and to significantly increase exports to china. but right now, the administration is it engaged in what is called commercial diplomacy. part of that includes encouraging china to increase the value of its currency against the dollar, which we saw a little bit of movement on
midweek corresponding with hu jintao's visit to the united states. we also saw the securing of some private deals and a commitment by the chinese government to purchase $45 billion in exports. those were a couple of the things that the united states was able to secure from the chinese government. host: abby phillip joines us. chad in alabama, go ahead. caller: good morning. would it be a redundant of me to say that i am compressed -- i am impressed with your composure and demeanor? guest: thank you. caller: i have been hearing these reports that ge was a major recipient of tarp funds. guest: i have to say that i do not have very many details on
how much ge received from tarp, but it would be a number of large financial firms and companies in the united states who receive money from tarp. one of the things that is tricky about it is some of these companies have repaid a lot of the money they borrowed from the federal government. that repayment -- you can look at it as a reduction of how much taxpayers have contributed or you could look at it as the taxpayers recouping significantly more than they anticipated from that action. it is a slightly tricky 62 -- situation. what i will say is that there is a number of other companies particularly on wall street who received money from tarp and the administration is trying to
reach out to to amend those offenses because they felt following the financial crisis there was a little bit of scapegoating going on. now you see them reaching out to goldman sachs and jpmorgan saying, we bailed you out. you have paid some of your dues already so move on to job creation. host: in july 2009, there was a story on this topic. it said that the fdic would lower its available credit -- this is from july 2009. murphy, south carolina, democrat's line. caller: good morning. this is my first time calling.
i am glad to be able to get through to c-span. my question is i am an inventor. i invented a [unintelligible] that could create jobs. i was in justice taking advantage of a food company in this great united states of america. now, i see [unintelligible] could.ied everything i what can america do for me? i am a person -- they took this
from me. who is going to help me? guest: there is something to be said about this issue of what happens to small businesses, entrepreneurs, people who are trying to engage in this economy. i think there is certainly a lot of room for a lot of money on the sidelines to be available to people for credit lines to be able to operate their businesses. that remains a laboring problem in this economy that has to be dealt with in the next year or two, finding ways to get some of these financial firms to lend money to people who are trying to start small businesses and create jobs. host: a headline of the wall street journal this morning -- how do you think that is going
to fly in congress? guest: there is no way to know at this moment. it is pretty uncertain -- it is pretty certain that the president is going to talk about infrastructure spending. he believes that is an essential part of the economic recovery and believes he can tie this message to jobs pretty strongly, and it is something -- america's infrastructure has long been in need of a refresher. there are a lot of crumbling roads and bridges. but the president is likely to talk about an idea that he put forward last year, which is to reinvest in infrastructure. that is going to be a huge undertaking from congress, both legislatively and financially. infrastructure spending is an extremely expensive endeavor and the massive legislative
endeavor. host: can we do that with stimulus funds? guest: i think it is going to be a similar story. are republicans particularly in the house willing to address this issue of a large bill? are they going to want to deal with something like $400 billion to $600 billion just to reauthorize the transportation bill that needs to be reauthorize over a certain period of time? that bill has currently expired. it needs to get done. there is going to be a huge question of whether republicans are willing to do it on a massive scale that the administration may call for them to do. host: wilford is on our independent line. caller: good morning, c-span. i watch your show quite a bit. i have a question.
the bill was supposedly passed back in december. i have been laid off work for approximately two years now. i am getting to the age where no one wants to hire me i cannot find a decent job to pay the bills. my question is what did that bill that the past cover? according to obama, it was supposed to cover long-term unemployed. well, they caught me off in december. i am not earning anything at all now. they tell me that there is nothing to do for me. a couple days later, they told me to go on welfare. and i called my congressmean talked to a man there and he told me that the bill did not
help anybody. my question is what was that bill for if it is not helping anybody. guest: you raise a really good question, one that has been posed to this white house for a number of reasons. the extension of unemployment insurance that was included in that piece of legislation did not extend to the 99 yearninety. the best thing to be done is to create jobs for economic growth. on the other hand, for people who have been on unemployment insurance for a shorter period of time and their benefits would have expired in december, part
of the insurance was extended for them for the next 13 months, which is the longest extension of unemployment insurance that this congress has been able to pass. so, there are some details in certainly need to be worked out on individual cases, but the white house has said they were unable to do everything for everyone. however, for a lot of people, millions of people, they were able to extend unemployment insurance for the next 13 months. the bill was intended to prevent millions of people from losing sources of income while they are seeking work. host: new jersey, connie is on our republican online. caller: good morning.
abby, my head is spinning from all of your platitudes. you have people calling in who sound desperate especially the gentleman who just called from ohio. the president has taken about 80 golf trips. i would say that is compared to how many industries he visited was about three, which was the gm, which is it government motors, and ge who received a lot of tarp of funds. the other one was john deere. you are trumpeting this as a big success. the country has a 16% unemployment across the board. foreclosures are at their highest again. the price of houses up is going down. people are desperate for jobs.
this is not something we have to talk about at the kitchen table or on the sidelines. this is very serious stuff. people are asking for help. i can tell from the two colors that just called. where is the job outlook? guest: you make an absolutely good point. the on and on the situation is just about as bad as it has been for more than a year now. a lot of people are still out of work. i think what has worked is that a lot of people who are out of work have stopped looking for work. i think those are both really troubling signs to the economy going forward. certainly, this administration is looking for ways to adjust to those problems. i think on the other side of that after the election,
republicans and congress are also looking for ways to address this problem. there are a couple of different things on the table. one is some of the things that the administration can control or influence which are traded deals, their engagement with the business community, and the other is the impact of the deficit on the economy. there is something a lot to be said, and no real definitive answers about what has to be done, but there is a lot of debate going on in washington about what to do about the 9.4% unemployment which we actually know is probably closer to twice that amount given that so many people have stopped looking for work. some of the most optimistic forecasts say that it is going to take five years to 10 years
to recoup the millions of jobs -- the millions of jobs that this economy has lost. that is a major, major problem and one that i do not think this administration has all the answers for. but i think everyone in this town is looking for answers as well. host: , the rules committee chairman had a conversation with reporters and one of the efforts he is making is to roll back spending levels back to 2008. i want you to listen to what he has to say. >> is in this just setting a marker of where you want to be? does this give you flexibility to negotiate a little bit with the president? >> we know that the senate is enhanced -- we have made this commitment that we are going to
continue to drive towards spending reductions. i thank the that we are going to end up with a negotiating process on it. there is no doubt about that. for us to do what we said is to pursue a level of spending pre- stimulus, and that is the resolution that will pass on tuesday. we will -- we would have made it clear where we stand. host: how do you think this president responds to it? guest: i think this is a political battle that was really fought hard on november 2. coming out of that the next day, the president said yes we need to address the deficit. i think that republicans really have the upper hand on this issue. they are committed to cutting
spending, and they will try to do it. they will try to do it as aggressively as possible. the question is will the white house tried to do it on their own before republicans get there in order to control where the money is going to come from. i think there is reason to believe they are going to attempt to set the terms for the budget cutting that they know is going to happen anyway. over the last couple of months, the white house has been having meetings with various stakeholders about what this new congress means for the budget or the federal government and where in ferreous administration's they are going to have to make cuts. that is going to mean making some people, constituents of the
democrats, particularly very unhappy saw the white house is looking to get ahead of that a little bit. host: in dayton, ohio, mary is on our democrats' line. caller: i listened to the various and bailouts and everything, but looking at the ceo of ge coming in and advising the president i think it is a plus. if they are not able to employ people in this country making it possible for them to go overseas, maybe this is what we need to bring some of those overseas jobs back home. the other question i have with the reform they are trying to do with the things in place, would you not want to give business input to reform their regulations as well as to provide some additional help
with employees they are trying to get employed less because your wages have gone to less value? the only way to get the value back up is to find out some of the things that have been devalued in the first place. guest: i think you are making the argument that the president made yesterday. if you want to know what it takes for american businesses to reinvest in this country and to compete well on the global stage, you have to go to the source. you have to go to business leaders. on the other hand, there are a lot of people raising questions about how the ceo of a private company can affectively advocate for the interests of the united states of america. we have to remember that general electric does a lot of business elsewhere in the world. they are fundamentally a global
company. what we heard from jeffrey immelt yesterday is that he said i understand that 60% of my company's revenues come from outside this country, but i am committed to making america more competitive. that is going to be an open question, one that the white house is going to address again and is going to have to be revisited, just how much of an advocate a business leader can be for the broader interests of the country. there are going to be lots of people raising those questions despite what they say about a lot of respect for jeffrey immelt as a person and as a ceo. host: john is on our republican line. caller: good morning and thank you for taking my call. what do you think the impact not
necessarily on the economy but the decisions on global economic policy would be if the congressional budget office was allowed to free up the way that they estimate? they are handcuffed by law to look at a bill that is put in front of them using just the assumptions set forth in that bill. a recent example would be the huge discrepancies in the numbers that were, with when the health care reform bill was scored. congressman bryant went back and said we scored this bill but look at all factors involved. thank you. guest: you raise a good point about the politicization of the congressional budget office. they say they are non-partisan. the scoring mechanism for
scoring bills it is something that is fairly technical and i do not think is as open as people would like to be. at the same time, you have to recognize that every time a bill is sent to be scored, the party that opposes the bill is going to discount that scoring. it is something that is as common as anything in washington. but i think that people have to kind of a recognized this is something that happens with both parties. every party is going to discount the scoring if it is a on favorable to their position on a particular bill. i think what the cbo can do is give people a decent indication of the relative costs of a
certain piece of legislation. you have to take it as it is and can give you some clues as to what the legislation might do but it does not take into consideration a lot of different factors about the broader economy that can affect how a deficit and thects the economy at large. host: how does the team to address the current on a common situation and what has been said? guest: this week, they rolled out some of the changes that will happen as a result of the team in chicago. i think what they said and what the political operation messaging coming out of the white house for the last two years is going to happen out to chicago now. as far as having to address the economy, i want to believe that
there is really not much that the team in chicago can do unless the folks in washington, d.c., start to deal with jobs and joblessness. i think they are going to be taking some of the more cohesive messaging the white house is trying to roll out. they are trying to have a little bit more of a plan for what they -- for where they want the economy to grow. i think the political team will be able to take some of that and roll it out in a campaign style in terms of how they send out messages to constituents or to the old fashioned way via mail. when obama goes out late spring on the campaign trail, a cohesive message from washington is going to go a long way.
host: chattanooga, tenn., on our independent line. good morning. caller: good morning and thank you for taking my call. i love c-span and that love what you do. -- and i love what you do. i would first like to say that all politicians always like to quote president reagan but they always seem to forget one of his speeches, he stating the fact that the government does not collect money for [unintelligible] as far as general electric is concerned, ms. phillip, ge --
i'm sure they've had hard times like other companies, but everyone wants to blend the ordinary working person for buying foreign products. i think all of the outsourcing and taking the jobs out of this country is what has put of the american people out of work. i think it is time that the american people not only demand but have a right to demand that all the parties no matter which party -- i think it is time for us to demand that they signed a treaty to stop the war between themselves. guest: your point about reagan is a pretty good one, given that in december when the president was negotiating about
taxes, spending, and unemployment, reagan was the name that we heard pretty much every day. he wanted to go to the middle, and reagan is where people in washington tend to want to go when they are talking about common sense, middle of the road policies. that is definitely an interesting point. to your second point about outsourcing and general electric and american workers, i will say that that is one thing that you heard whispered in some corners yesterday with this announcement, was that ge has outsourced any number of jobs from the united states. when i was in schenectady yesterday talking to some folks, that was where the company was founded. at one time, they employ between 50,000 people and 60,000 people
in that one town alone. now their work force is about 5000. it is under 5000. there has been a significant shift in the company and in any other number of manufacturing companies in the united states. that is a problem that needs to be addressed whether or not, you know, appointing jeffrey immelt will be able to address that issue is an open question. host: one more call from minneapolis, minn., robert taft. caller: i just want to congratulate the young lady -- roberta. caller: i just want to congratulate the young lady. this seems like she has a lot of understanding in what she is doing and i just want to congratulate her.
she is an inspiration to young people, and for that fact, i now have a question. my question is based on the student loan issue. the president promised to the students giving the money so they can lower the interest rate. the interest rate is still very high. my question is what does she have to say about the president 's promised to student loans because the interest rate is still very high? guest: thank you, caller, for the comments. there is a lot to be said about the student loan issue. this is an ongoing situation that the white house is dealing with. earlier last year, they did some reforms of the student loan industry to kind of streamlined
the rules. one of the major parts of this was sort of limiting how much federal money could go to private student loan providers, which a lot of people have said has made student loans a business, putting a lot of students in debt. the cost of borrowing, your interest rate point, is not something i think the of ministration has dealt with. it is something that i think it would probably like to but i am not sure they would have the time to do that. but there have been some reforms to kind of gives students a little more time to repay some of these loans after a day graduate and tighten the rules for private student loan providers.
there is going to be -- the department of education is still grappling with this issue of dealing with institutions who are private institutions who are higher education institutions and trying to figure out better rules that govern which institutions are eligible for federal student loan funds. that is something that they have been wrestling with in the industry for a couple of months now. that is going to come to a head in the next couple of weeks. host: thank you for your time. later on in this program, we are going to take a look at the topic of military tribunals. up next, we are going to take a look at how the economy affects public safety programs such as fire and police. our guest is chris hoene with the national league of cities.
>> "washington journal" continues. host: our guest this morning, chris hoene from the national league of cities. what is the story and what is the lesson as far as we are seeing nationwide when it comes to the economy? guest: the story in the city of camden is that they are facing budget shortfalls, deep enough that they have to make cuts -- severe cuts because the negotiations between the mayor of this and unions have not gone
as well as either side would of hoped. they reached the point where they had to make some cuts. about half of the police force and in total a couple of hundred employees in the police and fire are we now. host: you said that is the most severe case but not an uncommon one. guest: across the country, revenues are down, down from 2010 and will be down for most of 2011 and 2012, so they will have to make some cuts. they have to go with the money is. a lot of the money is tied up in personnel-related costs, wages, etc. host: at what point do police and firefighters get considered? are they the very last? guest: usually.
local governments usually try to leave them untouched during recessions. we saw that in the early part of this last decade, but the reality is a lot of local governments are facing a revenue shortfall that are in the 10% range. when the revenues fall that far, you eventually have to go where a lot of the money is which is in personnel and public safety. host: i don't know if you can average in this or not, how much are they making as far as salaries and benefits and all of that? what to the looking at? guest: there are a lot of extreme examples that are about high wages and high benefits, but for the majority of local staff and police and firefighters, the wages are pretty much below market levels. a part of the reason there benefit structures -- they have
been able to make up for some of that. host: the police executive research forum put out some analysis on this. last year, they put this out as far as it figures are concerned. more cuts are expected in 2011. sworn police officers is what strikes out to me. guest: the numbers confirm our own numbers, which is about 25% of cities were cutting public safety last year. about 5 20,000 jobs in the local government sector would be lost in total between 2010 and 2012, and the majority are going to be lost in the public safety arena and public works.
that is the reality for 2009 and will be for 2010, and largely will be played out for the next couple of years. host: as far as the long term in tax, what happens to these forces as far as how they redshift things? guest: you usually see some response in terms of the number of stations that are being operated. there is usually a reduction in the number of stations being serviced. you usually see some actual cuts in the services provided. in the city of camden, they are talking about not responding to calls where there has not been some personal injury of some type. a lot of fire stations around the country are facing rolling brown outs where certain stations are operated during certain times and they try to
rotate those to cover services but every station is not operating at full service 100% of the time. host: is it that the taxes are so low that they cannot afford this? how does that factor into how they pay the departments? guest: the economy's impact is hitting. there is always a lag on how that affects revenue streams apple local level. revenues are falling pretty dramatically. in any given jurisdiction, there may be issues about whether the tax agencies are too high or too low to cover the services, but that is largely an individualized policy. host: chris hoene is our guest with the national league of cities. if you would like to ask him a question, here is how you can do
so. we have also set in line outside this morning if you work in the police or fire industry and you want to get some input as far as what is happening. we have set aside a lot for you this morning. also, if you want to send us an e-mail or if you want to send us a tweet. this is according to the police executive research forum. 47% said services have declined.
what can you add to that? guest: i think that goes to the fact that the money is not there so they are having to make some cuts in the service arenas where they can and hopefully try to minimize the impact. the city government tries to hold harmless and budget cuts on police and fire, but when they have to make them, you see those departments tried to respond in a way that minimizes the affecteeffect. everybody does their best to manage to the downturn. and hope that the money comes back essentially. host: as far as the public is concerned -- turn this around and say i am a person seeing police cuts. what is the reaction?
guest: i think the public is largely two minds. they understand what is happening with the economy and that there are cuts and the money is not there. there is some sympathy towards debt, but there are concerns are raised when you hear about rolling brownouts or the police might not respond to burglary alarms or certain types of calls. there are really some concerns with safety and in areas where there may be higher crime traditionally were some of those calls are more prevalent. host: how do city government react? guest: they are doing their best to balance the budget. all governments have to balance their budgets under state law, so sooner or later, you have to make the spending side match up with the revenue side. host: you mentioned in the city of camden it was in negotiations
between unions. is this a union issue when it comes to these negotiations? guest: overall, it is an employee issue. there are still negotiations between the employees and local government. there is more likely to be more tensions because of the relationship between unions and local government and the size of cuts that are in play. we are seeing groups come to the table and offering concessions to help the local governments get to the downturn. host: chris hoene is our guest. your calls. new york is on our republican line. go ahead. caller: good morning. these are tough times. state governments, local governments, city governments, they have to learn how to deal with less.
you know, -- host: can you describe what obscene means? caller: three or four years on the force, the salaries or six- figure incomes. the first time -- every time, when money slows down, when the economy slows down, the first thing you hear is that we have to cut vital services. they do that every time. the city government has so much of fat that they can trim out of their budgets. they go right to police and firefighters. they have to learn how to deal with less and trim the fat. i have to trim the fat here -- host: sorry to cut you off.
guest: i would argue they are making those cuts and trimming the fat. we surveyed officials are in the country for the last two years at the national league of cities and found that many officials have been making cut primarily in areas like their infrastructure projects, personnel, 79% said they makde personnel cuts last year. of the services are being cut. but the caller has a good point about the public's acceptance of certain levels of wages and pensions and health-care benefits. that is also in play here, where the public will accept. that is factoring in to some of these negotiations. host: we set aside a line for police and firefighters. good morning. caller: i was a new york city
firefighter from 1975. they laid off over 1500 fire fighters in 1975. more people died. more people got robbed. i carried a sign now -- i am living in scranton now. cops and firefighters are being laid off. new york goombas closed the fire fighters. they all think it is a good idea -- both of those nine years and the taliban believe the same thing. what about all the money for the stupid wars? my father always told me the rich never get enough. a starving dog will eat so much and then stop eating because he knows he will vomit everything
up if he keeps eating. host: how are they reacting specifically to the closing of firehouses and the like? caller: the mayor was at war with the fire department and denied them a pay raise for about six years. they took him to court and a one. instead of paying, he is going to pay it but he is going to close a firehouse, lay off firemen and cops, and that is happening in scranton which is a beautiful the litty city. guest: the caller point to the cuts of the fire fighters in york city -- in nyc from 1975. nobody wants to make cuts. i do not know any local officials around the country who likes to make cuts in public
safety. we have a recession that was very deep, deeper than what we have seen in four or five decades. local officials are facing deficits we have not seen in some time. at some level, you can try to keep things from affecting public safety, but sooner or later, if the cuts are deep enough, you have to go into public safety and look at personnel. i don't think anyone want to be in this situation, obviously. at the end of the day, the revenues and spending have to taper out in some way. host: what is the history that shows that when we go through an economic downturn, when are they brought back to what they were? guest: the numbers typically do come back, whether it is the same firefighters or the same police i do not know. it takes a number of years to
bring people back on line. one of the things that happens in the public safety arena, there is a lot of training involved to become a police officer or a firefighter. there is some delay in getting the training up to speed in bringing people back on. the economic recovery looks to be very gradual. we are looking at a couple of years before the revenues grow for cities. host: is there federal money that goes into local and state police and fire workers? guest: yes, there is money that go into certain programs in terms of the equipment cost and personnel issues. it is not a huge percentage of what they perceive but it is helpful. that is obviously that is something at risk as well.
host: wisconsin on our democrats' line. caller: calvin coolidge really started the last depression. we are in the same nest. the states are broke and people do not know what to do. they cannot find jobs or anything. it is like history repeats itself. it is the like -- it is the same story over and over. the scandinavian countries are the best to live in because they take care of their people. guest: i was 5 years old in 1975 when new york city police officers were laid off and i will certainly not around for calvin coolidge. there is a legitimate discussion that has to happen in this country about public services and what people are willing to pay for it. hopefully the situation that we are facing now where local governments are facing deficits
will provide a venue or a forum for those conversations to happen, and people will tell their governments what they are willing to pay for and what services they want. host: rhode island, thank you for waiting. nick is on the line for police and firefighters critic caller: good morning. i am a professional firefighter from rhode island. a like to give a little perspective on what we see on our end. i was hired in 1986, so that was 25 years ago. we have been through economic downturns. but also of boom times in the 1990's. during that time, the minimum staffing, which is to say the minimum number of firefighters that we can have on duty at any given time, has not increased,
so we are working with the same amount of manpower and resources now as we were 25 years ago in my city. it is a medium-sized city. the point is this. during that time, the population has increased close to 15,000. our call volume has increased almost two fold. we are doing much more with the same amount as we had back then. at the same time now, you want to come along and make cuts. there is only so much you can cut. when you get down to the bare bones, how much more can you cut? a wondered what his opinion might be on that -- i wonder what his opinion might be on that. right now, -- when i say a small, it is a small-sized city.
it started at 8, went to 9, and then went back to 8. when somebody retires, they get replaced. it is not a situation where our staff has grown. there is just nothing more to cut. when people say, the fire department -- when people say cut the fire department, where? thank you. host: thank you, caller. guest: pressures are around the country are huge in this regard. when you hear about stores like this, think about nine people in terms of minimum staffing, it is i opening in terms of to think about what a cut might mean it if you have a staff of nine
people. i would talk a little but about longer-term pressures on state and local government budget because what has been happening aside from the recession's we have had in the last decade is that over time the revenue sources have been being squeezed by changes in the economy which are undermining the basis of their tax revenues. they are being squeezed by state legislative choices cutting revenues to local government. they are being squeezed by many places that are trying to cap the rates on taxes. sooner or later, if you squeeze the revenue side, the spending side becomes a problem. we have been looking at structural issues. now, in terms of the point about where the cuts can come from, there is a lot of research coming out now about fire
departments showing that the overwhelming majority of calls are for health-related -- are for health care-related issues. there are a lot the mandatory requirements in the states and local governments around the country that require several, you know, downtown responses to those instances. the paramedics, firefighters, several trucks in some instances. nobody wants to cut fire fighters. nobody wants to cut the police, but there has to be some efficiency gains to bring these revenue issues and spending alignment issues back into alignment. host: illinois, you are next on our republican line. caller: thank you. police and firemen -- we all know that they are heroes.
i do work for a municipality. we deal mainly with infrastructure. firemen cannot put out a fire without a working fire hydrant. police cannot respond unless the roads are cleared and fixed. a lot of time, our union will get the crumbs left over at the table from the police and fire. we all need to give back across the board because of the way the economy is. a lot of time, police and fire unions tend to give back less to keep the city going and to keep the budget in the black where it should be. thank you. guest: it is a great point. the reality is, the world has changed a bit. some of the ways we have been conducting these negotiations on the public safety side are not going to get the job done this time. some of the tensions we are seeing light in the city of
camden are exposing the fact that some of the ways these negotiations are happening are at small tables with concessions when the revenue side is down as far as it is and will simply not be enough. host: raleigh, n.c., good morning. our independent line. caller: good morning. i worked in the field of emergency management and recovery at the state level. i know you represent the cities, but to look also at the conditions that the states are in -- the states are a backdrop for the local governments. here in north carolina, we have a billion dollars deficit that we have to make up. as a local government going through this, so is the state. i wonder if you could tie that
in as well guest: absolutely. the state is a big piece of the equation. they are facing a largely the same realities. the state have been going through several years of very significant shortfalls and deficit issues, it in at least a majority of states, facing billions and billions of dollars in deficits. they have a couple of years to go before they are out of the woods, and that is certainly true at the local level. what it means for the local levels is that the state governments are likely to make the situation more difficult because they are facing their own cuts and they are making reductions in the transfers of aid and programs they provide to local governments. this is adding pressure to the local government budget situation and adds to the fact that the revenues are going down in the economy and it means that the next couple of years will see more of these cuts like
we are seeing in the city of canton and in other places on the country. host: ann tweets in -- guest: that is one of the story lines with this downturn, that we are seeing a lot of communities cut down to four-day workweeks. we are seeing a lot more of the furlough activities at the state and local levels than we have the before. host: how much of a money saver is that? guest: it is going to depend on the jurisdiction. in terms of the number of days, you are not essentially paying staff will be significant. it is also essentially a pay reduction for the it employees -- for the employees involved.
we are seeing a reduction in the number of hours and try not to operate the stations that all of the same times. that is getting to some of the same issue, trying to reduce costs. host: how much as equipment play in late to cost? guest: >> it is a big piece. at the last caller talked about minimum staffing. when tension involved is that the equipment costs have gone and dramatically. the estimate about what it costs for the average firefighter is about $180,000. that is not just pay and compensation but $180,000 in related equipment costs in order to well-equipped that police officer or firefighter to do that job. those equipment costs are going up dramatically and are rising
and rates that revenues cannot keep up with. host: birmingham, alabama, on our republican line. caller: i will be the first to admit that i am no great political mind. our president seems to be taking a lot of a vacations. every time he takes a vacation it takes a lot of money to start up air force one. he went to chicago, came back, went to a barbecue, and his wife went to spain. can we take the money than he is living the high life on and move it to public services? i do not think he should be living such a good life while people are having their lives but in danger, in jeopardy because we are having to cut
fire and police. i detest do not think that is right. -- i just do not think that is right. host: off of twitter, one issue is a pension and not negotiations. guest: there are lots of complicated employee issues. one is the current employees and then pension benefits with the baby boomers about to retire and moving into the "the pension age." then there are health care benefits. all this is on the table right now. we are saying local governments restructuring pension plans. they are restructuring health benefits, layoffs, furloughs, and cutting public safety. host: houston, texas, on our democrats line. caller: good morning. my concern kind of a flip your topic.
i am more concerned with the cuts we're making in public services. is it not the case that, as a whole, these jobs -- these budget cuts are really major, major cuts and they will have the a major impact on the economy? is the impact, when it comes to whether or not we are creating job losses, so we are adding to an employment which we means that more demand for public services and less revenue coming in to the state and local government. i cannot understand how this is a solution. can you explain this better to the viewing audience? thank you. guest: that is a terrific point and one that gets lost often times in the debates about the
tensions involved in the negotiations. these cuts have real impact on the economy, on the quality of life in these communities. the reality is that local governments are major, major players in their local economies. the investments they make in people in the terms of jobs are huge. there the fourth largest employer in the united states having gone the investments they make in neighborhoods in the terms of infrastructure, housing, everything is important to the local economy. there is a real economic impact when state and local governments face the realities that they are facing. they're trying to balance their budget in the times when revenues are going down and there is not a lot happening in terms of a a door revenue in these regards. -- in terms of age or revenue. there will be an economic impact locally and there needs to be
set helping direct the federal government level or in terms of what local voters and people are willing to pay for in order to help make some investments to make this country be competitive. host: federal government help? is that getting in a play? guest: they have been good listeners to local governments, people in congress and in the white house. they are facing their own budget realities and there is attention emerging about where investments can be made, where carts will be made. pointack to the caller's that to grow economically, we need to make strategic choices and the federal government needs a transportation bill. they need to fund the community development grants to put money into the housing and neighborhood development. but they need to basically invest in local governments being competitive said the local economies can grow. host: our localities making his
decisions to change the tax structure? guest: not as much as you might think. the majority of local governments that have a property tax, it is capped. in the few places where the property tax rate could still be adjusted, you're seeing local governments make adjustments in order to balance their budgets. for the majority, it is off- limits. host: on our line for police and firefighter workers, from massachusetts. caller: since 1975, i can see that the trends in the construction can drastically cut down 9 serious fires -- down on serious fires and the large man par responses that we have had. one guy said he would sprinkle a telephone but if he could.
if emphasis was put in those areas that it would certainly help. host: what is the situation as far as police and fire in marlborough? caller: actually, it is a small department. there are 10 members on duty at a time. most construction, there was a large bone of construction after the 1970 proxy, most of it is construction. proper fire0's, code will really cut down on the number of and the extent of the fires requiring large amounts of manpower. most of the fire is now our 19th century construction, a lot of these intensive fires in. in boston, worcester, lorenz.
they have had massive amounts of that construction which will probably last longer into this century at least. i think if more was done in fire prevention, detection, and fire sprinklers, it cannot be advocated enough. guest: it sounds like exactly the kind of expertise that local governments need right now to make gains in terms of efficiency, productivity, and improve the service delivery mechanisms that they have. that is a major. they need to do work in over the next major -- over the next few years is to think over the delivery systems. that kind of expertise would be invaluable. that is one thing they're of looking for big, public safety workers to come forward and have ideas in have to produce
efficiency and innovation to help with the budget side. host: chris hoene, we go to hattiesburg, mississippi. good morning. caller: good morning. i'd like to add something in the mix that has not yet been addressed. in the fire department, what we ngs from -- are ratign the insurance agencies from 1- 10. when we have all of these cuts in manpower, stations, and so forth, that diminishes the overall amount of a fire protection coverage that a community has. if that protection is going to raise the rating on the persian that is insured, then the insurance company -- on the person that is insured, they
will have an increase on their fire insurance. it should be brought to the attention of the public that in some cases you will pay for fire protection and the losses because of your fire insurance rating going out of it. that should be presented to the public as something they have to deal with. $1 to protect themselves from fire and emergencies or $1 betting against the fact that you will not have a fire which is basically what it is. guest: i do not know much about the fire insurance side, but i want to pick up on the point the caller makes about putting the choices before the public. they think that is where a lot of the high-level, good work needs to happen over the next couple of years. they need to put these hard choices about how dollars are spent and what services are
provided in front of people and let them tell the government what their priorities are, where they want the money allocated, what services they want to protect. these are very difficult times. we needed to reset in terms of our expectations about what services are provided and how we pay for them. host: illinois on the independent line. caller: being for illinois, our state government has already -- we are already pretty bad. i heard there was one county in illinois where the burden of the fire department coming to your house, they are responsible for paying so much of the cost for the fire truck or the services to come and put out the fire. my problem is that we already
pay taxes, estate taxes, federal taxes, you know? how much more burden will keep it been placed on our backs when i am already contributing enough and now i have to worry about if i will be able to pay for the services to help save what i have already paid to keep. guest: i do think it is certainly the case they have jurisdictions around the country that are looking at whether the full cost of some of the calls that they make are covered in essence by the revenues provided. you are seeing some fees for ambulance services, and in many cases there are fees paid monthly to cover the costs of fire services in the event of a call over time. you are seeing that kind of behavior as local governments around the country tried to make sure that the revenue side, the spending side.
whether you think that is it too much or whether people think it is not enough is one that needs to be debated and it needs to be debated locally in terms of working with your public officials to choose services that you think are a priority and then decide how to pay for them. host: chris hoene, can i divert? there is a story today that discusses letting states declare bankruptcy. i know you work from the city level, but can you talk about how this may filter down to your level? guest: the legislation being considered would allow states to declare bankruptcy much the way that local governments around the country can. it is under chapter 9 bankruptcy law. what that essentially does, in the event that it passes, is that it says you can declare some contracts and no land avoid. you contract with vendors,
creditors -- you can declare some contracts null and void. that is not how it has worked at the local level. there has been some resending of employee contracts, defaulting on debts that would have harmed on investors. investors have been kept hold for the most part. i do not know where this would mean for the state government level. i expect the big issue for states, just like any other organization, is personnel related costs so a lot of this has to do with wanting to reset, re negotiate some employee contracts. i do not know whether or not this is likely to pass, but there would be some implications for local governments. and if a state declared bankruptcy, that would likely affect some of the flow of funds or the relationships in terms of contracts and local governments. host: and there is a discussion
going on at this level. does that surprise you? guest: not in the environment that we are in. there has been an inordinate amount of attention to bankruptcy in default issues. most of this is overblown and overreaching at the government level -- at the local level where they have chapter 9. she since 1937. we've only seen 600 bankruptcies declared in that 80 year time frame. i do not think you would see a lot of states moving to declare bankruptcy even if the legislation would pass. there is a lot of attention to a rare occurrence that come in many aspects of -- that, in many respects, has a lot of down sides. host: last call. caller: this is funny in response to the smaller government people and the "do
not raise my taxes or lower my be carefulcause do no about what you wish for because you just may get it. the lady who called the vet the scandinavian countries, these people like the republicans for smaller government, smaller government, put it in the hands of the state, and now you're talking about state bankruptcies? see, the proof is in the pudding. host: we will leave it there. you talked about how this will be many years in the making to get the to the point where we recover again. what is the bottom line for police and fire as far as their ability to do their jobs in the localities they serve under the economic conditions that we are in? guest: the reality is that they need to look for as many cost- cutting opportunities that they can in order to avoid the cuts at the personnel level that will
impact the number of people on the job and the number of -- and the potential for layoffs and other sorts of compensation cuts. they need to be able to come to the table and put something there that matches up with the reality that the local government is facing a 5% or 10% loss in revenue that there is a way to find that on the services side. host: chris hoene with the national league of cities. thank you for your time. our last discussion will be about military tribunals at guantanamo bay. our guest is david kenner of "foreign policy. we will be right back.
>> i have to half-dozen -- i have to practice his staying alive and preparing to die. >> alter "the vanity fair" columnist, and "the atlantic monthly," contributing columnist. >> it is difficult to have cancer. but there are treatments that are out of my reach which is discouraging. >> this weekend on american history tv on c-span3, discussing the first age of terror in the late 19th and early 20th centuries from the american historical association conference. the nuveen horse-drawn funeral case sondes. how former slaves escaped and started new lives. experience american history tv
on c-span3 all weekend, every weekend. you can see the entire schedule on line on c-span.org/history. this weekend on "books tv," bill kristol discusses his late father's essays on the history of the neo-conservative movement with david brooks. also, 52 women look back on their work of the civil rights movement. former. prime minister gordon -- british prime minister gordon brown discusses the economic downturn. you can get our schedule e-mail to your in box with the "book tv" alert. >> tuesday, president obama delivers the state of the union address. the c-span live coverage begins at 8:00 p.m. eastern with their preview program started with the president's speech at 9:00. then the republican response from paul ryan of wisconsin plus your phone calls and reaction live on c-span, c-span radio,
and online. you can watch the president's address on c-span2 followed by reactions from members of congress from statuary hall. >> "washington journal" continues. host: david kenner joins us. there has been an ongoing discussion about military tribunals. where is the discussion that today? guest: defense secretary robert gates is going to allow the military tribunal to go forward again. since obama is inauguration, they have been on pause while the administration decides whether people can be tried in civilian courts or the military commissions. the civilian courts are now paused because of congressional action. the administration will go forward with the military tribunal aspects of this. host: by the decision to change
the previous decision? guest: congress essentially tied the administration's hands and will not let them take the detainee's from guantanamo and send them to the united states for prosecution. their only option right now is a military commission held at guantanamo bay in cuba. host: for those who argue the pros and cons, what are they? guest: you do not have to go through the complex and sometimes strenuous. requirements of the civilian court. for example, the military commissions allow hearsay evidence which cannot do in a civilian court. host: as far as going forward, if the administration decides to do this, what happens? if i recall correctly, there are a couple of people, al-nashiri
is the name that comes to the top. guest: gates approved him to go in front of a military commission one year ago. he is one of the people who carried out the u.s. as coal attack that killed 17 american servicemen. -- the uss cole attack that killed servicemen. they feel they can build a strong case and get a conviction on them. there is an afghan man and another saudi arabian citizen accused of being an accomplice of bin laden in afghanistan. host: military tribunals in guantanamo bay is our final segment this morning. here is how you can join the conversation.
for those of you who want to e- mail, email@example.com and @cspanwj on twitter. these are courtesy of a "the new york times." 779 people detained, 559 transferred, 174 remain, and six have died while in custody. the military tribunal aspect will affect all of these 174 or a certain amount? guest: a significant but not even a majority of these detainees. some of these other ones, about 48, i think the obama administration has determined that they do not want to try but they just want to hold them indefinitely. the bulk of the detainees, they're looking for summer to release them.
not in the united states, but a third party country to find a home for them. host: as far as the decisions that come down in a tribunal, what happens if a person is found guilty? guest: that could happen in a tribunal and at that point, it looks like they would continue to be held at guantanamo. it does that appear that congress will let them transfer them to the united states. host: as far as the decision making, half mar until we find out the ban will be lifted? -- how long until we find out the ban will be lifted? guest: we have the story in "the new york times" and with the administration is saying. it will be a matter of weeks. host: guantanamo on a whole, as far as the president's promises and now the governor -- the president of the united states, talking a little bit about what that has been as far as policy making is concerned for this president and the topic of
guantanamo. guest: it has been a tough topic for him. during the campaign, he promised to close the prison. after he was inaugurated, he signed an executive order that ordered the prison closed in one year. that has proven harder said than done. he has released about 70 of them. this is a symbol for the administration, a really clear split from the bush should ministration and wait for them to distinguish themselves. in reality, it has not been that easy. that will loom over him as he comes close to the election time. host: what is that as far as representation in the tribunal? guest: in a lawyer appointed by the military. it is a military advocate. these tribunals have really improved since the bush administration in terms of protection for the detainees in terms of the process.
they have representation like a defendant would in the united states. host: so it is a civilian appointed by the military or a military lawyer? guest: either. host: oakland, calif., your the first caller for david kenner. caller: my comment is, first of all, we should be trying these people in regular courts so that we can see all of the evidence and not just go on hearsay. another thing is all the money we are paying halliburton to protect countries in afghanistan, r.i., and train their policeman, that money should be here to pay for our own protection and fire fighters. that is all i have to say. guest: that is one of the main
benefits of the civilian court, to see the evidence. and in civilian courts, there is the possibility of classified evidence. this is a situation where everything will be released even if in a civilian court. they are generally more transparent than civilian courts. host: one year ago in new york, trying to bring some of them in new york. why did that get stock? -- stopped? guest: congress had something to do with it. they passed a defense bill that provided billions for the war in iraq and afghanistan. there was a restriction that said the defense department is not allowed to use any of this money to transfer detainees back to the united states. that has really not tie the administration hands. host: new york, good morning. caller: before i ask my
question, i went to the dictionary. the dictionary tells mean that terrorism is anybody who uses force on another. if that is correct, there is a reality on the ground. the united states is the greatest terrorist country in the world. the question i am asking is the chinese president came here just recently. the news media and the government were talking about human rights. the prison in cuba, the numbers that the government are giving off has never been corrected. the u.s. has secret prisons all
over the world. host: and this relates to our topic as far as the case? caller: yes. this goes against human rights. they're holding them without even trying them. guest: the caller has a point that the continued presence of the prison in guantanamo bay is a problem for obama in this sense that he wants to win the hearts and minds internationally. he made it very clear during the debt -- during the campaign and a speech to the national archives that showed the same things that this prison is a blight on the united states boxing world record. -- u.s.'s moral record. this is a tension that the administration faces. host: trout what, ohio. -- troutwod, ohio.
caller: thank you for c-span. i pretty much agree with the previous caller on human rights. it is odd that we should be lecturing china when we have guantanamo bay and a torture at abu ghraib so we have no room to be talking about human rights. i have read a few articles about the situation and also plan -- glenn greenwald from "salon." can you address how many people have been tried in civilian courts? as justice prevailed in your opinion? you say "here say" with the
military tribunals. what does that mean? it sounds so weak. i encourage people to go to this website to get more educated information about the situation in iran. thank you. guest: quickly on here say, it is allowed in military commissions and not allowed in civilian court. it is the process of law when someone would say, "sarah told me that mr. nashiri was in yemen." that would be allowed in the military commissions, this second hand information. regarding the other questions, one of the reasons that the administration has had to back down on civilian courts is the recent case with galani.
he was tried on the embassy bombings in east africa. he was acquitted on a 284 out of 285 cases in new york. it was considered a near miss of the administration and would not have known what to do if he was acquitted. it seems that public opinion in the u.s. probably would not have allowed him. they missed having a real conundrum on their hands. host: richmond, virginia. you are on with david kenner, our guest from "foreign policy" magazine. caller: i have a couple of questions about the fact he said that we were relaxing in our rules about military justice. military justice is military
justice. it has always been a tough, you know? you sign up. you decide to be a soldier. you are a soldier. you deal by those rules. you do not negotiate. you do not do anything. you choose to pick up a weapon against americans. why do we relaxed the rules? why are they different in this administration versus the last? guest: when the bush administration first established the tribunals in november 2001, they did not have the same protection that they have now. it appeared possible that evidence could be used even if it was obtained through torture. there were no appeals process. verdicts could be issued even if they were not unanimous. these things have all been
changed. not only because of what the obama administration has done, but there were two seminal supreme court cases which required congress to have some input. that really, over time, has shaped how the process has gone. this goes to the bigger point that these military commissions are considered by most people to be sure fire convictions. united states can do whatever they want with these people at the guthrie military commission. -- if they go through military commission. there are different than civilian courts, but they are by no means assured conviction to try someone in the military conviction host:. -- conviction. host: fla., on our democratic life. go ahead. caller: how are you doing, mr.
kantor? i appreciate you being -- mr. kenner? i appreciate you being honest and providing facts about civilian courts and military tribunals. i was curious about how these detainees were going to have a fair trial. it is bad enough a poor person cannot even have a fair trial in a civilian court and they are not even citizens of our country. a lot of violence will creep in. i know a little bit about the ucmj. i never knew anything about the ranking in the military and how all this other information has come out, it would be better for them to have it in civilian courts to get a fair shake.
if they are guilty, that are guilty. if they are not, let them go. it is the human thing to do. guest: those are excellent and smart points. the civilian courts -- this raises a fundamental tension here. it seems that there are people who the reality is that the u.s. will never let them go. on the other hand, we want to give them a trial where there in a sense is presumed. those are two fundamentally contradictory things. it is not clear how the u.s. will resolve them. if the only bring people to trial whom you know you would get a conviction on, or if you do not get a conviction you will not release them, that is a very dangerous thing for the u.s. justice system and something the obama administration has been grappling with for the last two years. host: there was an op-ed in "the national review" who is the
chairman of the national security committee. certainty about how to deal with our enemies reinforces our standing in the world. this supports the conclusion that our adversaries and many of our allies have reached. guest: i would agree with the congressman on one point. it is absolutely true that we have not had a coherent, stable rules for holding people in military court since we started doing this and started sending people to guantanamo bay. stability and consistency in the role of what is the cornerstone to a proper justice system and have not had it for 10 years. whether that is entirely the obama administration's fault is not entirely accurate. during the bush administration, these rules were very haphazard and the supreme court overruled the bush did ministrations plan for a military commission during
one case. host: another point is that the president should confirm for now that the guantanamo bay is the the most secure complex for hearted terrorist until they can have a coherent policy for closing guantanamo and should remain open. guest: what is interesting about that argument is that there are are a lot more rights for the people in guantanamo, these alleging terrorists, then there are for the terrorists held in afghanistan or iraq. they have access to lawyers, can petition the supreme court in the d.c. court of appeals for habeas rights. the have a lot more rights than in other places. you can argue whether that is good or bad, but this is not a lawless is on that it has the reputation for being and that it earned immediately following 9/11. host: kansas, the morning on our independent line.
caller: yes, i was wondering if you could outline exactly what the make up is of the prisoners in guantanamo, what nationality, the charges are against them, and also the conditions under which they are capped. a lot of human-rights watchers have been very concerned about the conditions there. i would like you, if you could come to address the concern another caller brought up about the other secret prisons that we have all over the world where torture is allowed. as much as we do not covered here in the news media and in this country, the other countries, i believe, especially
the arab countries, they are talking about these matters and are greatly judge in the house -- judging us on our treatment of the citizens of other countries. we will never, i do not believe coming get a handle on it terrorism" or act of violence against the u.s. citizens unless we start opening of to what we are doing to other citizens. thank you. guest: very quickly on secret prisons, in january 2009, right after the obama inauguration, he signed two executive orders. one ordered the closing of guantanamo and the other ordered the cia to close their black sites abroad where they use torture. guantanamo did not close. everything we have heard so far
suggests that the cia did close their black sites. the greatest risk at this point is when we handover the detainees to third-party countries, for example, in afghanistan. if we hand them over in afghanistan, iraq, or abroad in the countries like egypt, that is one way that we may try to get information out of people through torture without actually doing it ourselves. host: our guest is an assistant editor for "foreign policy" and writes a blog for that publication. what is the passport blog? guest: it is the editor is blog and contains information from breaking news of the day, news and analysis from the past year and the american politics. i am also the editor of the middle eastern channel which covers everything from morocco, iran, everything that goes on in
the middle east. host: how often do you update? guest: passport is updated four or five times a day and the middle eastern channel has a two or three stories per day. ourer: saul's very, md., on republican line. the -- salsbury, md. caller: the administration has figured out that we cannot place with these people. we had the new york times square or bomber, the underwear bomber. the plain nice does not work. you do not let prisoners go during a time of war. we did not let not seize go during world war ii. -- did not let nazis go. guest: this raises an interesting question of who we are at war with and when it
started? nashiri, the person first in line to be tried when the military commissions resume, committed his crimes in 2000, before 9/11. his defense may argue that we are at war with them but the war started in 2001. we cannot try him under a military commission and he needs to go in front of a civilian court. the other question is how exactly we are at war with. are we at war wityh those who trained with bin laden or those who claim ties to al qaeda or with anyone who initiated a terrorist attack because of radical islam?
this definition can get very broad and will be a matter of great debate when the military commissions resume. host: 4 guantanamo, what are the questions the president and his team have to ask now about when they made be able to close it? guest: they want to close it as soon as they can. there are 173 people there that they do not know what to do with. this is not a problem that the military commissions can resolve. they want to release them to a third party country that is not the united states. yemen poses a huge problem. there are a large number of detainees from yemen that will -- they will not release them there because they cannot be assured that they will remain in prison. that is a huge problem for the administration. host: kentucky for our guest david kenner. mike, go ahead. caller: can you hear me?
i have been listening this morning which is a reason why this country is so great. the reason why this country is so great is that these people have a chance to have a free trial and find these people guilty of what they have done is to just take them out and kill them. host: you can wrap that up, if you want, or we can move on. guest: in some ways, the question of where they are tried, a commission or a civilian court, is in some way dodging a very big issue here. what happens to the other people held not at guantanamo bay? we stopped sending people there
a while ago. we did not stop capturing terrorists. they are now kept abroad. we have a presence in afghanistan and iraq where we can keep people have tried to do harm to americans. you did not ask the same questions about those people. in some ways, i feel that the civil liberties community has done great work to make sure that the people in guantanamo have that their rights, but they have made a great mistake by focusing on the on guantanamo and not detention policy more broad it because they did not include those held abroad. host: north carolina, good morning. graves on our independent line. -- rob on our independent line. caller: in the united states, whether it is a military tribunal or a civilian court, we have some of the highest judicial standards and rights
for evidence. whether they are tried in one or the other forum, they will get a fair trial. just to refresh in the media, some coverage lately, you have to juxtapose the position in afghanistan. you have an elected official recently to have a question about whether there should be the death penalty in blaspheming islam. his personal bodyguard shot him in the back 31 times and killed him in a public setting. thank god we live in america. i just have that to say as an observation. guest: i would agree. in some ways, this goes back to my previous point. we can hand people over to the afghan government, over to the iraqi government. these people are not afforded the same protections that we have the that are given to the
people at guantanamo bay. in much fewer people ask questions about what happens to them and the protections afforded to them than the people held at guantanamo bay. host: what are the differences between the length of time in the civilian court and dave military tribunal? guest: i do not have any specifics about that. host: houston, texas, on our democratic line. caller: i am talking about the human rights that america, with its of a critical self, is talking to china about. what happened in new york? a black man was shot 69 times. here in houston, texas, six policemen were fired for beating up a young black 16 year-old and they will not even show it. they say it is a case for the grand jury. it was so severe that the mayor of houston will not let anyone
see the video. what about the lynching that is taking place? it is going on currently in the court system. who is the number one in jail? the black man. america is a hypocritical country that should be ashamed of itself. and we started that war and detained as prisoners, but the concern to me is the black man in america. number one unemployed, number one in the present, can go to jail at the drop of the hat with no excuse, no rhyme or reason. guest: that raises an interesting point. president obama will get hit -- give his state of the union on tuesday. people will be more concerned about what is happening in the u.s. regarding our justice system, unemployment, the economy than what is going on in the guantanamo bay which probably will let even deserve a mention in the state of the
union. this is a symbol for obama foreign policy and how it has not been able to achieve their highly idealistic goals. on the other hand, this will not determine who wins the election. host: off of twitter, if you try people and found innocent but not released, how is that a fair trial?" guest: it is not. it is unclear how they would be released. ok, you find someone innocent in a military commission, will they be released in the united states? it appears that cannot happen. congress has prevented it. there is no right to be released in the u.s. when they are captured elsewhere. the administration will look to a third-party country to take them in. the wikileaks documents contained very interesting discussions between the united states and foreign leaders where the u.s. is trying to control
them to take these prisoners. -- cajole them to take the prisoners. most countries do not want to. this has been an indication of the obama as administration lack of persuasion with the u.s. allies abroad. host: new york on our republican line. good morning. caller: obama says that he wants to close down guantanamo. what other countries have said they would step up and take these prisoners? what are we doing? so we are shutting this down, what will become of these people? guest: the obama administration wants to close down the detention facility at guantanamo. there are two separate things. there is the guantanamo bay
base the u.s. has had on cuba for, i think, almost one century and there is a detention facility. they only want to close the facility. the base will not go anywhere. the other countries, some of them go through rehabilitation programs. saudi arabia has taken many of the detainees. they have a program that they say we engineers them to be proper citizens and no longer terrorists. that is only mildly successful, to put it nicely. some of these detainees have gone on to go back to terrorism. in fact, some of them form the core members of the al qaeda which is currently destabilizing yemen. host: n.y., go ahead. caller: yes, with the base closings, which the government
trying to save money and closing down bases, if they can close the bases down around the world, would it be possible for obama to say it is not economically feasible to have all of these bases and close down guantanamo as one of those bases? would it need an act of congress to close that base? guest: the obama administration can close guantanamo. again, they do not want to close the base. they want to close down the detention facility that has the prisoners. to close the detention facility, you need to figure out what to do with the prisoners. congress is we cannot send them to federal prisons in the u.s.
and they would not give them money to do that. question remains, where do you send them? the obama administration says they can close at guantanamo through an executive order, but there is still the question of what to do with the prisoners. host: it costs $116 million per year to operate guantanamo bay. dover, delaware, go ahead. caller: good morning. i have a question regarding if it is impossible to have an attorney involved with the guantanamo? i went to a very interesting seminar and when the guests was a former attorney. she had been to guantanamo several times. however, she resigned due to lack of evidence, due to proper government -- behavior on behalf of the government.
she and several colleagues resigned because of their behavior. has your guest spoken to any of the attorneys who have resigned due to the mishandling of the whole guantanamo facility? thank you. guest: i have not spoken to the attorneys to have resigned. i have spoken to attorneys at guantanamo bay and those interested in the detention issues. that does raise a very good point. guantanamo bay, there are lots of lawyers coming for every day. there is a lot of press. you cannot get the same amount of attorneys' and price you go through, for example, -- he did not do the same amount of attorneys' that go through bagram. that you can interview them is a testament to that guantanamo bay has fairly good protections for their detainees. host: last call from colorado
springs from our independent line. caller: i have a question. i understand you're going to ship them off to other countries, but what promises do we have that they will not come back and under were bomb us again? -- underwear bomb us again? guest: that is what the u.s. is concerned about. they want to make sure they are properly held and do not represent their risk. that has presented an enormous problem to the administration, especially for the yemeni detainee's. they have not found a solution to that yet. congress recently declared their intention to pass a law that secretary gates himself will have to ensure in writing that these prisoners do not represent a threat which will make it even harder for the administration to send these people abroad. host: david kenner, of a
"foreign policy" and writer of the passport blogged. on c-span3, american history tv. a channel devoted to looking at the wave we do things here at c- span as far as issues of history are concerned. every weekend, saturday at 8:00 a.m., 48 hours a people in the dense telling the american story. you can hear historic speakers, i witness accounts, you can visit museums, historical sites, college campuses, as well as a college professors. american history tv right now on c-span3. you can find out more on c- span.org. do not forget the state of the union address on tuesday. we have coverage starting at 8:00 here on c-span. the president's speech will be at 9:00 and our coverage starts at 8:00. you will hear the republican
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