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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  February 7, 2011 7:00am-10:00am EST

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geographic" about his article on afghanistan's opium war. "washington journal" is next. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] host: good morning, and welcome to "washington journal" on this monday, february 7, 2011. president obama will -- the chamber of commerce today for the first time as commander in chief. we will carry that live this morning on c-span at 11:30 a.m. our question to start "washington journal" -- should president obama court of the business community? the numbers to call --
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let's take a look at a peace in "usa today" talking about the president's address at the chamber of commerce. obama faces business leaders.
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host: should the president of the business community? matt, caller from manhattan. what do you think the president should do here? caller: i think he ought to stand up to the business community once and for all. big business, corporations, don't pay taxes. corporations write their own regulations. the regulation is there should be no regulation. they are masters at obtaining what they once a through the
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government'. and if president obama had any hutzpah backbone, he would be in their face and represent the individual taxpayer. again, thank you for c-span. host: caller from illinois. welcome. caller: i think the previous gentlemen stole my thunder. president obama, against the promises he made, has a lead corporations right of the health care bill. financial regulatory -- everything that he says he would do, he got done the opposite. i don't know the difference between having him in office or bush in office. two of the same birds. war and corporations.
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he thinks he is moving from the center -- to the center to get reelected but the working class people are -- host: looking at "u.s. today" -- some of the elements that please businesses -- elevated business leaders to posts, richard daley as chief of staff, and general
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electric ceo jeffrey immelt. good morning. caller: how are you doing? host: good, thanks. do you think the best -- president should court but business committee? caller: heat should courted business but he should court small business, not big business -- he should court business but small business. the new governor of iowa has taken over. he has a $1 billion surplus but instead of saying, wow, the democrats left us in good shape, i will continue to do what they are doing, he decided it is not good to have a billion dollar surplus. he is going to cut poor people another $400 billion. what i did not like even worse is the fact that he is going to cut corporate taxes, which means the $4 billion -- the billion
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dollars, the $400 million that he is looking to cut and do away with will go to some corporation to come in here and provide $9, $12-an-hour job. the unemployment weight -- rate will grow and we will have deficits in the iowa, just like the united states experience. the same recipe. when bush came in he had a $400 billion surplus when he took over and by the time he was done wave have been having deficits ever since. i really believe the whole country should be looking toward small business. they are the ones that generate the jobs and they will generate good jobs. they are not expecting a big tax cuts. they just what an opportunity to compete. -- want an opportunity to compete but they had money in the iowa for small business.
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the first thing he cut. how crazy can you get? lousy jobs, taking money from our country -- i mean, our state. almost reminds me of the music man where this guy, i believe, as you remember, he was -- he came into iowa and he tricked a little town into buying a whole bunch of the instruments they did not need. host: because you are from iowa, we will go to this story. iowa caucuses are 364 days away.
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he each -- attributes this to monday, history -- history showing the record of early starters in modern politics is not encouraging. also the internet and social media change things. and the sarah palin factor -- she has been in korea about her political plans. -- coy about her political plans. the public and expect the campaign to emerge and open soon. a little bit of iowa news. but the question is, should the president be courting the business community? he makes his first address as commander in chief to the u.s. chamber of commerce. >> if we make america the best place to do business, businesses should make their mark here in
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america. they should show set up shop here and hire all workers and pay decent wages and invest in the future of this nation. that is their obligation debt that is the message i will be bringing to american business leaders at the chamber of commerce on monday. that government and businesses have mutual responsibilities. and if we build these obligations together, it benefits us all. our workers will succeed, our nation will prosper, and america will win the feature in this century, it's just like we did in the last. host: president obama possibly weekly address. should the president be courting the business community? so far callers have not been enthusiastic. let us hear from dana, a republican from baltimore. caller: i think we have to remember the president is not just commander in chief but executive in chief and we can't just take a completely negative
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view of business but have to make america a favorable climate for business if we also want jobs. we can't be critical of the one hand, saying the president hasn't done enough to create jobs and then on the other hand say that he should not engage business partners. i think that americans are concerned about what sacrifices will be made, so there is a bit -- good business climate. having said that, there's got to be a dialogue and understanding of what business is truly need to be competitive in the united states. for anybody thinking the president should not engage business leaders, just look around and find how many products you can buy that are based in america -- made in america outside of your car. go to yourselves, clothing stores, and see what is produced here and realize there is a more favorable climate for business outside the united states. until it changes, all the
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corporate wealth being held right now is not going to dave -- be in the american business sector. there are two sides of this and it is the president's job as the executive to bridge that divide between the, the worker and corporate executives who need to figure out how to move forward. host: mike wrtites on twitter -- a baltimore caller -- john, democrats' line. good morning. caller: thanks for c-span. good morning. it aids could tell us what you think. caller: yes, i feel that what the president is doing, he has to do to a certain extent. big business helps fuel this country. and it fuels labor. what i don't appreciate to a certain extent is he is -- on
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them too heavily. we here in baltimore and throughout the united states, we are the citizens. and i feel that the jobs should be here first as an american. we should concentrate on the citizens and not too heavily on business, big business, especially. when we give that money to export local jobs overseas and they are making money off of us. host: joe brought up the gap between big business and a small business. let us look at the "usa today" article that says the reaction is likely to vary depending on the size and type of business.
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that is the executive vice president making those comments. lancaster, south carolina. ken on the independent line.
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caller: it does not make any difference whether they court business because they will do what they do anyway. deregulate down to 1% -- we can't compete with jobs in china at 50 cents an hour. it doesn't make a difference. the loopholes for corporate taxes is crazy. ludicrous. general electric did not pay corporate taxes last year. even exxonmobil. i am kind of skeptical. like the lady who called before -- he did not even write the healthcare bill. i voted for the guy but i am beginning to doubt the guy. and the war in iraq -- i mean, it is going down. but when we leave it is going to be civil unrest because he can't go outside the green zone.
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afghanistan -- the russians tried it, alexander agreed. the taliban is not going anywhere. host: we will be talking about afghanistan later on in the show at around 9:15 a.m. eastern time, looking at a "national geographic" article about opium production. on twitter -- let's look at the caucus from "the new york times" national page. the president of the u.s. chamber was one of the first people gene sperling called after president obama named him last month. among his goal is to be an honest broker to make sure more people are included in policy.
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let's go to meridian, mississippi. sarah, democrats' line but caller: thank you for c-span. i don't think president obama should be courting businesses anymore. i believe you should demand the services to create jobs and we need to fix our perimeter such as china and everybody else that we do trade with. until that is fixed, you are not going to have decent paying jobs
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and decent benefits in this country because we are almost creating a two-class society, one for the wealthy and one for the poor. sold out the worker all the way down the line. thank you. host: asheville, north carolina, john of the republican-led caller: honestly, i think the best thing obama could do to help the business community is get out of the way. i heard several people call it here talk about how exxonmobil and g bobby don't pay taxes. that is absolutely ignorant. fact of the matter is, most of these large corporations pay more in taxes to various government agencies then they make in profits. that is a fact. look it up. in fact, i was thinking about this the other day, at a time when gm was going bankrupt, they
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were producing and selling as many cars as toyota but their overhead costs were so high that they could not compete because they had to comply with regulations and pay taxes. so, the best thing the government can do is get out of the way of all businesses. i have a friend of mine who owns a small business. he can't find a supplier for what he sells in the united states because of costs so much money to make the products that he wants to sell in the united states and that he has to go overseas. host: let's just say it less regulation, let's leave it there. there is a story in "the washington post" that picks up where you left off.
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it continues by reporting -- it gets into the weeds more and more obscure areas, like the makers of cleaning products that remove mold and mildew asked the committee to reconsider rules that require their products to be registered as pesticides.
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let's take another look at that article as it breaks down some of the regulations that are under fire. but first, tommy in tennessee. good morning. caller: good morning. good to be watching your show today. i think mr. obama needs to make motherhood the highest-paid salaried jobs in the country. american women drive 81% of the economy. it makes more sense more money in the hands of women because women mean business. thank you and have a glorious day. host: san jose, california. rick, republican. caller: hi. my question is -- you know, it is a simple question. what do we expect this country to make and what do we expected to sell? host: what do you think the answer should be?
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caller: i guess the answer should be, more products, bringing more jobs back to the country. host: how you think that to play out as the president talks to the chamber of commerce? he will be there later this morning. what message do you want to hear and deliver? caller: i don't expect him to deliver anything that has any worth. i did not vote for him -- i would be honest. but i don't see -- another round tables. as the business people, the men and women in this country, who have delivered themselves of prosperity of prior years into the country, to come back and say, you know what, we can make something and sell something. jobs that come back are fine. i am unemployed.
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i was in the oil business for 26 years. making see we are progress in the manufacturing. we could drill for oil. that is one thing we have in our reserves that we could sell. host: president obama will deliver remarks at the u.s. chamber of commerce this morning at 11:30 a.m. eastern time. we will carry it live here on c- span. on twitter, one of our viewers write -- our question is, how far should the president go to the business community? should he be courting members? we also have been talking about regulations that have been targeted. let us look at the "washington
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post" breakdown of some of the industry groups who responded to a request by representative darrell issa. asking him how regulations can be pared down. in the financial category -- requiring companies to disclose how much the chief executive is paid compared to how much the typical worker is paid. some say it goes too far. also giving shareholders nonbinding say on executive pay, including golden should parachutes. requiring companies to claw back bonuses and other incentive pay from executives if it turns out the company inflated earnings. that has come under fire. making it easier for shareholders to nominate candidates for corporate boards to run against the incumbents, directors nominees. also under scrutiny -- labor laws, transportation, environment and energy loss, including regulating greenhouse gases and limiting hazardous air pollutants.
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all the things chairman darrell issa's committee will be looking at, certainly on thursday. it in ohio, shirley on our democrats' line. caller: hello? hi, dear. first of all, the last caller who said he did not vote for obama, thank god he did not vote for obama. i did because we don't need anybody like him because he is ridiculous. first of all, business was outed -- we don't have business, big or little. it don't take a genius. common sense is so uncommon. it just aggravates me. host: what do you think should be done? what do you think the solution is? caller: the solution, dear, would be for more than us to get -- women. it to make a long story short. i know you have bigger and better things to do, dear, but i am in this community. we need small business is for
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sure. without regulations, we will have vigilante's out here doing everything. it is scary. baby, i'm done. thank you. thanks for your time. host: kevin, democratic caller. battle creek. caller: i love the way you correspond, the back and forth with the callers. of course, a corporate business and big businesses, people that employ thousands and even millions of people, are great. we had those four years. but what have they done for the poor community? that is my point. i think we need to have a bigger emphasis on smaller business. even the businesses in my community -- and i do not want to call the names -- here in battle creek, they hire through temp agencies and might understand, they will pay the
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time the agency to hire you. a year -- so you have to pay the agency portion of your hourly wage in order to be hired at that company. and being discriminated against, non-violent offenders. we need more regulation towards that and that would stimulate the actual economy quicker. put a bigger emphasis on small business and even change some of the corporate policies that discriminate against people and make it hard for them to earn a buck. if we could do that, that would be great. host: "the washington post" reported on the president's speech before the chamber of commerce -- obama pauses with the move toward business open the door that may have otherwise been shot. lauded the appointment of chief
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of staff william daley -- phoenix, arizona. cindy on to the independent line. a dj president should be courting business is? caller: i think people should stop taking it in their own hands -- start take it in their own heads. we complain about china taking over, selling their junk -- that is all it is. yet, the people that the blade of the same ones that go to wal- mart and buy it -- the people that come play in the are the same ones. they need to stop buying at wal- mart. you have to completely boycott it to get these small businesses going.
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that is just -- a lot of people might lose their jobs but if walmart starts doing the right thing they will come back. host: there is a piece in the "christian science monitor" looking at china. a staff writer reports the president emphasized optimism in the state of the union -- betsy on our democrats' line. go ahead and turn down your tv and we are all years.
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caller: i think he should cord the job community. -- court. we do have a lot of temporary agencies where you are not necessarily getting the money that you worked for. also, i have a situation, as far as the president, there are so the people on television, the callers who call in who absolutely refuse the president by calling him mr. president or mr. obama or president obama. you even have people will refuse to even say his name. the disrespect. how is any other countries supposed to respect us when we will not even respect for president? america is a great country but some things are just the way it is, i guess. i thank you, c-span.
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host:buddy writes -- geno, a republican, from newport, long island. caller: mr. obama promised many things -- like taking the troops out of afghanistan. our problem is, of we have weak trade agreements. korea can send a million cars and we can't send them a thousand. same thing with china and japan. these are unfair trade agreements. on top of that, how can we compete with some country that pays 50 cents an hour when we have to pay our workers $10 an hour? it is impossible.
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i was involved in trading with japan -- we were going to send them some rice. they said, yes, send us our rice, but when i got there, they refuse to accept it, saying it was brown -- it was white rice and they like brown rice or something like that. they rejected it and i've lost $3 million. that is how i feel about the matter. host: chicago, illinois. james, independent caller. earlier get a caller who said it was ignored for anybody to believe exxonmobil didn't pay income taxes on their profits. host: right. caller: they paid income taxes on the profits but not to the united states. we buy their products where they are. i've got two more points.
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no, president obama should not be courting business because we have been courting businesses. just like exxonmobil -- we give them money to build wells and then they take the oil and whenever they are doing and send it overseas to profits and they did not pay taxes to us. the third thing is, we should fix it to where -- if you have a kid and you give the kid $200 to buy food for themselves for the month and you tell them, okay, i really want them to buy food that is good for you but i am not going to make you do any of that. you can't be surprised if the kid buys nothing but junk food and you are disappointed and upset and wants to know why and then you say, maybe i should give them $400 this time. if i give them $400, with more money, they will buy some drugs
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food, yes, but also good food as well. that's all i have to say about that. host: harrisburg, pennsylvania. ryan of the democrats' line. caller: how are you doing? host: good, thanks. do you think the president should be courting the business community? caller: he has been courting of the large business community well and reached out to the small business but he did only do what the congress lets him do. right now are only options is basically looking at green jobs but that still does not have much popularity, especially in the house, the actual flood of jobs going on the market. and that would involve small and large businesses. what little answers we do have -- the unemployment solution, not ever following through with. host: sue writes from new jersey --
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in harrisburg, which is heard from ryan -- now let's hear from republican in charlotte, north carolina. did i pronounce your name ok? caller: yes, that's fine. host: do you think the president should be courting small businesses? caller: it is not necessarily courting small businesses. i think the major problem isn't that the battle government should have no say so when it comes to the conduct of businesses except when it comes to doing people all for individuals. believe it or not, the federal government cannot produce one sense of wealth or revenue. it is up to the private sector. how you are going to tell the person who is treating it -- how to act.
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we should let the businesses alone and deregulate. host: should there be a different approach to the administration should take board small businesses versus large businesses? caller: there should be no one preference over at the other. that is the point. let's business to do what they did. the free-market and the cut -- competition will determine this. contrary to popular opinion, it was the free market or private sector that got us out of the great depression. if you look at the numbers of the new deal -- when it was implemented in 1933, in 1937 unemployment was still just as high. what has federal regulation ever done to produce work? host: we will get back to that. first, as possible what is happening in egypt. in "the washington post" du
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letson it looks comments that former secretary -- let's take a look at comments from former secretary of state albright. >> i think there is never an indispensable leader. i think there is a time with the dignity that one needs to leave. but they have to make the decision there. i think the mubarak era, my personal opinion is the mubarak era is over and the question is how to have a process that
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really works properly that allows these various voices to come together and not disagree on some of the tactical aspects. host: madeleine albright speaking on cnn's "state of the union" yesterday on what is happening in egypt. in "the washington post" u.s. races to keep up with the pace of diplomatic whirlwind.
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looking at some of the other news stories about egypt. taking a look at some of the other images coming to us from "the washington post." obama administration official described a diplomatic blitz. we have an image of protests continuing for the 13th day in sunday -- on sunday in cairo. our question this morning is shall the president obama cord the business community. it will go to jerry in west virginia, and independent caller. caller: i think president obama and the federal government should step aside. if you look over the last 65
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years since the end of world war ii, the united states government, especially under the marshall plan, has encouraged business to move out of the country. if you look at how they would to rebuild europe and japan after world war ii, they uncovered businesses to invest in europe and japan. then, as time has gone by, they have done nothing except harm american industries with regulations and taxes. host: let us take a look at a comments from twitter -- let's hear from a caller in omaha, nebraska. trent, good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for cs bid.
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host: should the president be courting the business community? i caller: i think the president has already courted the business community many times. i think the president needs to start cortines something for the middle class. i think the president needs to fight for more fair deals and the trade policies we have. most -- remember, he is a democrat and we elected him and he needs to stick with democratic and liberal policies. i did not think he ever was with the middle-class after he got elected and now it seems like he is going further away. i hope that some of the he will remember who got into office. we are still waiting to hear what he will do for -- host: ken and middle-class benefit from a dialogue with the business community -- can the
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middle-class benefit? caller: at this point, i don't think they can because i think the businesses have been showing -- putting us into recession. businesses have shown that they are not for middle-class but they are for profit. until we make laws and regulations for them, i don't think they will ever before that. it will be nothing but a slap to his face. so far, he keeps on making these policies that are helping the businesses get their money. have a great day. thank you. host: let us look at a few other stores related to egypt in international news. a couple of profiles of aljazeera. "televising the revolution of." in the business section of "the new york times," looking at how aljazeera's reports from egypt open the doors.
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a couple of other stories. the egyptian banks have reopened but they are short of cash. in "the wall street journal" -- life and traffic start moving again. looking at what viewers are able to watch coming out of cairo. this piece in "the wall street journal" -- state td's other critical coverage draws fire in cairo -- state tv's critical
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coverage -- uncritical coverage draws fire. what the viewers are seen in the egypt. our question for you, should president obama do more to court the business community, should he do less? patrick on the republican line. caller: hi, c-span. it just a couple of quick point is for those who like to engage in class warfare. we've got to remember who employs the middle-class and poor. that is small business or large business for that matter. the regulation bill probably has to be re-looked at.
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80% of all jobs come from small businesses and they are being stifled by those like obamacare and the regulatory bill. the problem that america has is actually probably threefold. 1, unions' drive up costs. two, you have a free trade agreements. now we are working on one with korea. when you have unions driving up costs of employment and you have a free trade agreement, it dries it up. 3, you know, relative to that, you need a reflective of trade agreement and you need to lower cost of employment here. the last point -- we have an appalachia -- a reserve that will supply america with 100 years worth of energy.
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we have to start tapping into this market. that is all i have. thank you very much. host: steve -- from "usa today." many factors emphatically the five friday's lackluster and when it reports, adding 49,000 jobs last month in what economists say should be the signal of the start of a search for the beleaguered industry. , writer, timothy, independent caller. caller: good morning. good morning. i was just calling to say -- good morning. host: do you have a comment about the president? that is all we got from timothy. as we mentioned earlier, president obama will be speaking to the chamber of commerce today. the first-time going to the chamber and addressing them since he took office. c-span will be bringing that to you live at 11:30 a.m. this
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morning. coming up later, we will hear from grace-marie turner talking about the healthcare lawsuit. but coming up right now, derek thompson from "the atlantic." we will be right back. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> every weekend, experience american history on c-span 3 starting saturdays at 8:00
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eastern. people and events telling the american story. here first-person accounts about -- from people who shaped modern america. history bookshelf features the best known history writers of the past decades. travel to important battlefields to learn about key figures and events that shaped the arab during the one budget of 50 the anniversary of the civil war. every weekend visit college classrooms as professors built across america's past. joined curators, collectors, and historians behind-the-scenes of museum exhibits and historic sites. and the presidency -- focusing on the american president's policies told through speeches and personal insights from administration officials and experts. american history tv, on c-span 3, all weekend, every weekend. get a complete schedule online or sign up to get them by e-mail using our c-span alert. >> i will not make age an issue in this campaign. i am not going to exploit for
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political purposes my opponent's youth and inexperience. [laughter] on the 100th anniversary of his birth, look at the life and presidency of ronald reagan on line at the c-span video library. >> "washington journal" continues. host: derek thompson, blogger and staff writer ed "the atlantic" this morning, thank you. you have a piece and you call yourself a progressive deficit hawk. there is a good reason to be lonely and depressed. because some progressives think the term deficit hawk is pejorative and deficit hawks believe progressives aren't serious. because i have twice the cause to feel exacerbated by washington's budget policy. what is a progressive deficit hawk? guest: is to say i want higher deficits now and lower deficits
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later. i would like to see more willingness and washington to be more creative about creating a sort of high impact spending proposals, tax deals like the payroll tax cut, that really help americans build back the amount of money they lost and help states to repair their budgets as well. but in the future, the next 10 or 20 years, we need to give very serious about changing the way we tax and spend. i think these things need to be thought on and considered. in the short term, the most important thing we need to do is add the deficit we need to get the economy back on track and when the economy is back on track we need to think about balancing the way we bring the money and spending. host: why progressive? why not just call yourself a deficit hawk? guest: a lot of progressives think deficit hawks want to cut social security, spending that she intends to help lower income and middle income families and
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that is not at all what i want to do. in the short term what i would like to see is a more progressive tax code that probably returns more money to lower income and middle income families. but when you look over the next 10, 20, 30 years, you see that the way we spend money, especially on entitlements like social security and medicare, it is not practical and it is not sustainable. so, it is likely that as the economy gets back on track we may have to tax the middle income people and a bit more, change social security so upper income families get a little bit less in terms of pension and also change in medicare so that we are not spending on fee-for- service. that we are changing the way we help people get care. host: when you tell people you are a progressive deficit hawk, do you say that is something i have heard before, do they sort of marble about the two things? how is it received? guest: it is interesting. i think one of the frustrating
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things is often there are a lot of liberals who i think are very smart, but when they hear arguments about cutting social security or arguments about our 30-year deficit projections, they immediately think that is an argument to cut spending now. i just wanted to be very clear, when i call myself a progressive deficit hawk, i don't want to cut spending now. i see these of two totally different time horizons. the first-time verizon, we need to get the economy back on track. that requires really high deficits now because the private sector is very weak. in the long term i do think we need to be very aggressive. say many liberal economist talk about the best places to cut the fest -- domestic spending -- maybe they should be big cost -- for the selfless -- so the reason that it may clear the way for their spending ideas.
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where could cuts be made, in your opinion? guest: it is tough right now because washington has limited his ability to cut spending. most people are looking at non- should purity defense spending. leading the entitlements of the cutting board. no social security, medicare cuts. what they are looking at is 20% of the budget, most of which does not have to do with defense. there are cut you could make especially over a five or 10- year timeframe if you simply freeze spending. there are more surgical cut you can make to agricultural subsidies. there are certainly within the $700 billion, there are surgical cut you can make to programs that are duplicates to programs but a wistful or just are not high impact. there are things -- ways, like infrastructure bank or spending on community colleges -- that is high in back spending. if you are a liberal saying what is a serious way that we can
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shift money from a low impact to high impact, you need to be willing to say, look, we need to make deals with republicans, meaning it has to be deficit neutral, and it means we have to accept cuts to programs that may be somewhat popular. host: ricardo, independent caller from silver spring, maryland. caller: how are you doing? host: you are on with derek thompson. caller: my comment is, i believe we are trying to hold onto a system that is just not working. the monetary-based economy -- the problems we have been in over the years. i am an advocate of resource- based economy. as i look through the news and i see what is going on with the debt crisis all over the world and the war, all of the issues, because of the monetary system. what we are working with now. that is what i want to say. i got that from a video
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gotyoutube called "zeitgeist: moving forward" and it explains the monetary system. it gives us a better option than i think the republicans and democrats and politicians can give us right now. guest: when people talk about their resource-based economy, they are often talking about the export-based. making things and the u.s. and selling them abroad for money and it brings in financing. if we want to be an export- focused economy i think there are some really cheap ways that don't even involve much additional spending. for instance, export control laws, by some estimates, keep up to $60 billion out of the export economy because we are essentially saying certain things meet in the u.s. cannot be sold abroad because they
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violate some defense roles. we can change that. weaken liberalize of those laws. if we do and we make other pragmatic changes to export system, we can help people make things in the u.s. and sell abroad. host: john, democratic caller from virginia. caller: my comment is that, you know, since lbj, this country -- of food stamps for people who cannot make enough money to be their family but they will work a minimum wage job. that is a subsidization right there -- small businesses. pllus -- plus, if the republicans could, they would cut the programs that would hurt small businesses. that is my comment. bye. guest: it is actually true that the government spends a lot of money on helping low income families and food stamps is one way, unemployment benefits is another. it is not entirely fair to say
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republicans want to cut the programs. they want to see additional spending on these low income support and entitlement programs to be offset by other spending. i don't agree with that. again, i am more liberal. but i also think if we are going to work with republicans -- and it is important to think about new spending initiatives through how we can actually pass it through congress, and the way to do that is to make than deficit neutral and the way to make and deficit neutral is to find places to cut. host: our guest, derek thompson, is a blogber and staff writer ed "the atlantic." he calls himself a progressive deficit hawk. i want to ask you what house republicans to do it, proposing a $32 billion cut in the budget. have you been able to look at this and grapple with what it could actually mean? guest: right -- look, once again, what we are looking to cut spending is a small sliver called non-security
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discretionary spending. if you look at 20 or 30 year projections -- as a portion of the entire budget, it is actually expected to fall. what is expected to grow is social security, and more than anything, medicare and medicaid bed long-term crisis is the health-care crisis. if we don't get control of health-care spending there is really nothing we can do in the long term just by cutting non- security discretionary. i do, however, think that over the next five years it is important to slow the growth of the programs where we can actually slow the growth. i think steps like this are probably useful. but i prefer not to see deficit reduction for the purpose of deficit reduction this year. i think it is more important to have actually hired deficits of this year. in that case i don't think the house of going in the right direction. but i also think -- to work with republicans to say, we will meet
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you halfway, we will allow some of the cuts to go forward, but in exchange we also want some of our initiatives to go forward. additional funding for community colleges or the establishment of an infrastructure bank that starts to make a downpayment on now what is a $2 trillion deficit in terms of infrastructure capability. host: a piece in "the washington post" about the proposed cuts. domestic agencies, however, would absorb a steep hit. a house appropriations committee chairman harold rogers, republican of kentucky in charge of drafting the spending measure, said thursday the cuts would most heavily fall on transportation and housing programs, agriculture and the food and drug administration, commerce, science programs, and financial-services. labor, health, and education programs would face much
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smaller reductions, as would state and foreign operations. how do you think this jibes with the president's agenda he laid out in the state of the union trying to foster innovation and work toward education goals? guest: when house republicans want to make more defense -- more cuts to defense, not like to ask, why? there is waste in non-defense spending. it seems to take possible there is -- it seems there is waste in both. we need to think about what the innovation is. it seems to me like we're near consensus. more education results in more employment and higher wages.
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how did you get more people to go to college when student loan has eclipsed credit card debt? we know that the benefits of a college education are growing. the cost of a college education are growing even faster. the president thinks -- needs to think about the reason kids go to college. host: john in pennsylvania, good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for c-span. i would like to make some comments. i do think what your guest says is essential to cut spending. the lack of revenue and the job situation is a disaster. if you count the people who have
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given up as well as people that are working part-time, as we are at 22% unemployment or so. there are a few easy ways to cut unemployment. it seems the elite refused to discuss sit. we're given 1 million green cards a year. 1 million foreigners, immigrants work which they will take advantage of. they are not entitled to benefits. and most of these people -- these are not high-skilled people. 85% of these people are family reunification is. the average immigrant has a lower level of education. we're talking about people that are probably high school
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dropouts. they are not contributing significantly. they are not generating revenue. 22% unemployment. many long-term unemployed people who were in the workforce are now out of the work force. 8 million illegal immigrants are working. a simple thing like -- it requires the employer to give a security card to a number to the fed's and they see if it is legitimate or not. we do not need the kgb going around with vans to pick these people up. guest: i disagree with the caller. i don't think immigration has to do with 9% or 10% unemployment.
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you referred to the broader unemployment rate. rainout it is closer to 16%. -- it is closer to 16%. trying to maintain a high- skilled immigrants who go to school at brown and the university of michigan. they come up for the visas and it is a race, a small pool of those that can stay here. if you say we will spend this money and these resources and educated the smartest people of the world, we should try to keep them here so we're not sending our resources back to the far corners of the earth. i think more people should stay here so they can start of the companies that will contribute to innovation. i spoke to someone in solar cell
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technology, which started by an immigrant who started this lab at georgia tech. he was educated and drawn to the united states. he is not a part of the u.s. energy sector. these are the kinds of stories we want to hear more of. people starting companies here. then you consult the ideas they have with americans to other parts of the world. host: derek thompson is an associate editor with "the atlantic." we have been talking about a piece he had in "the washington post" recently. we have an e-mail.
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guest: well, technically, that is completely true. all we have to do is raise taxes significantly on the rich and then cut defense. it is easy when you put it in that one, two, three. the problem is getting it through the house. raising taxes on the rich is a no-no in one part of the united states. cutting defense is popular with permit no one on the right. it is true that talking about producing the budget deficit is easy. doing it is tough. we might be able to say it is 81 best two, three strategy.
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-- we might be able to say it three twthreea one, two, strategy. that is what the president said the commission tried to do, to cut every single part of spending a little and raise taxes across the board. host: a library response to the president's commission -- elaborate your response. do you think they have realistic goals? guest: right. i think the deficit commission did a great job. what they came up with is a center and center-right plan. progresses work frustrated with it. i would like to see it the
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margin closer to one to one. they raised taxes significantly on the top 1%. they made some responsible changes the way in they spend on discretionary spending and social security. i think it was a fair deal. one of the indications was that a liberal, dick durbin and a conservative, both voted on this bill. it bridged a damper that we thought was unbridgeable predict bridged a gap ga-- it that we thought was unbridgeable. we hope something like this will eventually get past. host: the president declined to endorse any of the fiscal commission's proposals court if
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he does not sign onto this, do you think an alternative will surface, or is this a dead in the water? about let's talk politics. this is one of those jam tomorrow issues. the deficit to more is always the right day. -- the deficit tomorrow is always the right day. it is going to pay less money and tax people more of their money and make spending changes. i would like to see them get be highness. main parts of the program, parts of the deficit plan, but i'm not optimistic. in houston,ld
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texas. caller: we are celebrating the eisenhower anniversary. there should be -- cuts should be in the budget. is an hour talk about that. lockheed martin and all those people in big lobbies. he cut the military budget. if democrats would be strong enough to do that, you would be able to take care of this budget. the e-check should be a thing we're trying to push in our state legislation. we have unemployed people going to prison. if you had e-verified, the jobs would be plentiful. bottom lineion's
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is strong when the use illegal immigrants. that is my comment for this morning. guest: we have to cut defense. i think the caller is right. i think one thing that is often overlooked is that defense spending has fallen dramatically as a percentage. we are even in the war of terror. we're seeing a share of spending going to defense that is lower than a wasn't 1980. i think it is important to realize this is a place that has to be caught. it is not so essential to our deficit concerns. what is growing is spending on education, health, and not social security. it is helping where we see the
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unsustainable trend. it is important to cut defense and to put everything on the table. health care is the real drive. host: boston, welcome. caller: i wanted to remind everybody that social security is a pay-as-you-go program. it does not affect the deficit went is run properly. full benefits will be paid out until 2037. if no fix is done before that, even after 2037, it is going to pay out 76% of benefits if nothing is done. why are we talking about cutting this social security insurance program that ever went has been paying into? i am not sure. it seemed like bernie sanders is on the money 20 says let's
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increase the social security tax for the progressive way for turner's above the limit to three that would solve the problem. i believe him. guest: i do not know extending the capp will solve the problem. first, you are taxing wages up to $100,000. and then a situation where you are taxing significantly everybody's wages up to a $1 million. this is a remarkable change to the social security system. it will charge the wealthy quite significantly. most changes talk about try to balance both ways. the caller is right. in 2037, you will see the trust
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fund run out and social security 3/4 ofe able to pay out threefor benefits. these people are relying on the system to work and nearly 100% capacity. if we start now and make small changes -- raise the cap and maybe raise the tax rate a little, make the where we pay benefits more progressive -- we can phase these changes in slowly. make most of the cuts in the top 50%. their solution is more palatable to the middle class of the future then i think the strategy of sit back and wait. host: as numbers are crunched,
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there's been quite a bit of attention on the new york. put it this piece from -- look at this piece from "the new york daily news." is beingmomo liberal. he was called the liberals liberal. what does this mean? guest: the tough thing is cities and states do not have the option. the option is to cut the deficit. the united states, we are
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borrowing near historically low rates. money is surprisingly easy. international investors are willing to lend it to us. they believe we will pay them back and the country will continue to grow for the next five years. so what stories like to say is that states don't have an option not to raise taxes or cut spending. the federal government should be saying, this is the time to run a deficit so that we can give families and states the kind of money they need so they are not drawing back so much. hort to put such an ancor on growth. host: this is from "the daily
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beast." he did not announce a massive tax increase to close a daunting budget hole. andrew cuomo all but announced his presidency candidacy. this is a move to a centrist platform. guest: i am not going to make a prediction about cuomo running for president. 016.: we're talking 2 guest: we can leave that to the side. i think a lot of these states -- there is probably a lot of spending across the board that is always full, that could be cut and probably should be cut.
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it does not seem obvious that the solution in every state will be 100% spending cuts. cuts have to be made. need to beoles plugged. we need to pay for our infrastructure so these cuts do not devastate the downpayment on the future. host: will, an independent caller in tennessee. caller: good morning to you. i appreciate what c-span is doing for transparency. i appreciate your guest being on this morning. the young man seems very bright. he seems to be understanding what is going on outside. unfortunately, for our
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government, we have all three branches of our government along with president obama promising accountability in transparency. the promises are not being made and they are not being kept. you have three great civilizations of better coming up from the past that are telling the future of this generation. we are in for some serious tribulations. the greeks 3000 years ago was one of the most powerful nations on earth. then you had greeks today needing a bailout. the egyptians were one of the most powerful nations in the past. they are also crying out today. you have the mayas.
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they have predicted some terrible times ahead -- you have the mike penayans. it goes back to the scriptures. "you will have to get your house in order." they are telling this generation, we better start getting ourselves in order. guest: right. i did not take most of my politics from the scriptures. on the issue of greece and egypt, i don't think their problems today have anything to do with problems of the past. 3000 years is a lot of time. we need to be fiscally conservative and fiscally responsible. what is happening in greece
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shows when the government runs a high deficit, that is not transparent, the international bond community can come at you. i don't think we're close to greek. it does offer a broader lesson about financing responsibility. host: governor cuomo is cutting spending for education in new york city. the president has a goal of strong education priorities and getting innovation technology as a priority. how does that stacked together to the states will have to be balancing their budget and making the tough cuts. guest: the education reform the president talked about often has nothing to do with spending. often they have to do with the
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way we evaluate teachers. this is controversial. there is a lot of people in the obama administration who think teachers need to be evaluated more harshly or release more specifically. that is a slight change that states already looked at how teachers are performing and how schools are performing. it wouldn't cost very much to say we will have this re- evaluate to have system and not allow teachers to stay on -- to have this evaluative system. those are the kinds of programs we will see the president tried to push. they are in little more moderate, conservative, according to some people. they do not involve spending. host: theresa, pa., a republican.
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caller: i do not agree with taking money like the social security. they should give more to the public because the people that get social security depend on that and food stamps. i feel that the house needs to have more -- i am sorry -- help more people. instead of taking to the port and giving to the rich. -- instead of taking from the poor and giving to the rich. i know a famine that has three children. they are losing out -- i know a family that has three children. they are losing out. host: thank you for your call,
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theresa. guest: income support is a huge part. it has grown over time. as we have become richer, we have spent a greater share of that money on helping the poor. child tax credits, this is a new program now has come up in the last 10, 20 years, and i would like to see them stay. i would like to see spending stay where it is. the minimum benefit in social security has been raised so the bottom 10%, up 15% should see higher benefits. because you want to cut overall spending means you want to cut spending for the most disadvantaged. i think the opposite is true. we want to make more progress of
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social security and medicare to force people in the top 10%, 5%, to spend more money on these programs. i agree with the caller. making changes to our overall budget is necessary. making these changes with an eye to the most disadvantaged is more necessary. the we are the most wealthy country in the world. we should be able to support the lower percentage of people more than other countries. host: we have a twitter. guest: the financial crisis and the budget crisis have little to do with each other in that respect. we have bailed out through tarp,
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we bail out these banks because we thought cutting off credit to businesses would essentially stop the economy dry. that precipitated the crisis. that crisis put a lot of people out of work. the unemployment rate really hurt state budgets. they were getting less money and they have to spend more money on a disadvantage. the problem was not tarp. were created the state deficits -- tarp was a response to the deficit. states received hundreds of million dollars to help pay for support programs. that helped the state and to help close the deficits. i think these issues are separate. i think government response to the recession did not exacerbate
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that. host: we have a twitter. pall has a piece today. it has been greeted skeptically in washington. it is a modest proposal. guest: well, i do not agree with this. i am glad that rand paul is writing things like this. people come to washington and lose their ideals.
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i almost completely disagree with this approach. we have conservatives who have seen that times and they are standing by their campaign promises, and that is a rare thing. i like to see a reason to cut significant parts of the budgets that don't have to do with because i desk religious belief -- with a quasi-religion belief. we can make education more competitive and more transparent if we don't have $70 billion to report every year. i would like to see rand paul, he should be serious about cutting social security and medicare so that our deficit in
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those programs is smaller. i think he is on the wrong track. i disagree almost 100% with this approach. i think he has shown a lot of interest on this issue. caller: i would like to have a question answered. i am 75 years old and collecting social security and some ssi to make me among the poor. i would like to find out if one the government borrowed the money from social security and wrote an iou, have they ever paid it back? guest: you are talking about social security financing. are part of the government debt just as money we
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borrow from china is part of the government debt. lenders are willing to give us money. people trust us to pay back our money. i don't think we should worry about the ability of the government to pay back its debt. i do think after 2030, we will see projected significant cuts. that is a reason to make small changes right now. host: 8 republican caller from georgia. caller: i am surprised this economist does not appear to to social security are not and as asset. when you say it is until 23, that is disingenuous.
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i don't know how the government will pay them back without raising taxes. host: throw that in there. go ahead. caller: he is speaking about a community college. that is great. i wonder if he knows what the drop out rate is. i would guess it is over 50%. guest: it is about 50%, the dropout rate in community colleges is a huge issue. it is important to note the associate degrees after two years of community college tend to give people a 66% wage benefit. you're spending money on a degree that is not and
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appreciating asset. people make more money based on their college degree 10 years after they graduate. even more after 20 years. just like a house is an appreciating asset. education does seem to be an appreciating asset. that degree becomes more valuable over time. actuaries have said that social security will be able to pay benefits until the 2030's. there are certain we will be able to pay out 100% until 2030. host: derek thompson has a recent piece in "the washington
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post." he is a writer and staffer at "the atlantic." you can find his pieces at we will speak with robert draper about this recent piece in "national geographic." but first we will speak abowith grace-marie turner.
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great honor to speak on the floor. >> follow their appearances on line with c-span's congressional chronicled. find a full video archive for every member. congressional chronicle, and c- >> you are watching c-span. every morning, it is "washington journal," connect the with policymakers and journalists. weekday, watched live coverage of the u.s. house. on the weekend, you can see our signature interview programs. "the communicators," on saturdays.
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you can also watch our programming any time at c- it is all searchable at our c- span video library. >> "washington journal" continues. host: grace-marie turner is president of the galen institute. talk to us about the work you have been doing. guest: i am not a lawyer. i am a policy expert. i run the galen institute. we have been concerned from the beginning from early health policy debates about whether or not an individual mandates is constitutional. from all i have read and experts i've talked to, it really is
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not. the decisions recently that i have read carefully seemed to validate them. the individual mandate is so structured and this is something we are concerned about. host: we have a blurb from your web site. the institute was founded in 1995. talk to us about the ruling in florida last week. you have maintained the individual mandate is unconstitutional. you were pleased with the ruling. do you think it will step perfect -- do you think it will stick? guest: this decision is carefully argued. the judge is basing his decision on existing supreme court decisions. he is saying if the court were
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to decide that we need to move the cause even further to require people to purchase a product rather than the existing interpretations of the commerce clause, the fat really can be decided by the supreme court. it is a tightly, well-reasoned, logical decision that concludes that not only is the individual mandate unconstitutional, but the obama administration's own lawyers have said 14 times that in the court proceedings that the individual mandate is structural to the law itself. he said, i cannot sever it. you're telling me it is impossible to take this apart. therefore i have to declared unconstitutional. he said, i reluctantly will do that. i know -- we have been working
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for a long time to fix this the right way. we now have to look at that particular piece of this health reform legislation and say the whole thing has to come down because this is so structural and unconstitutional. host: tell us about galen institute the. -- tell us about the grace-marie turner. -- tell us about the galen institute. guest: a lot of a philanthropic organizations need to be able to meet irs tests. host: let's get to the phones. we have people online wedding to speak with grace-marie turner. good morning, randy. caller: i think it is
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unconstitutional. host: are you still with us? caller: it is unconstitutional that they want us to buy that. what happened to america? what happened to unions? our country is so divided. everybody hates us. don'tt understand -- why they cut some foreign aid spending? we are the most giving country in the world. nobody gives back to us. because ag down the house divided will not stand. thank you. guest: there was a lot in that call. oklahoma is one of the states that is going to be challenging
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the statute, the health overhaul statute. a constitutional amendment was passed saying the citizens of oklahoma won not be required to purchase health insurance. oklahoma and virginia are the states that are individually and challenging the statute along with the 26 states that have joined the florida statute. oklahoma, we will be hearing more about those arguments and those decisions moving forward. i do agree with you about the deficit this of the health overall law. it is unfortunate that we did not do more to -- bipartisan consensus early on. it would have been possible. i think it would have meant it would not have been as nearly as divisive as it now is. it tried to help solve the very
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real problems that exist in our health section. host: it was reported that the obama administration won a victory surrounding the signature health care law. the suit was thrown out the challenges the constitutionality. this cannot make quite the headlines of the florida decision. when there are these moments, ruling this is not worth taking up, how does that affect your case? guest: the judge basically said the plaintiffs did not have standing because they cannot show immediate harm. that was a different decision than saying this is unconstitutional. basically he is saying you cannot show because individual mandate will take place in 2014 that you have been harmed and
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then, he is not going to hear the case. there have been two of the decisions where the judges have ruled on the merits of the case. a judge in michigan and judge on in virginia said it was constitutional. that is why we have the attention that will lead to a supreme court decision. the two -- the virginia and michigan judges said they believe that health reform is needed. in order for this a lot to work, they need the individual mandate and it is necessary and proper. judge benson decided in florida that it may be necessary, but it has to be proper. if it idoes not meet the constitutional test, then there are important legal arguments.
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there is controversy which is what we think it will reach the constitutional -- the supreme court. caller: this issue is divisive because the health care lobbyists want to divide and conquer. i was going to say that i think -- as far as the mandate is concerned, i think it should go hand in hand with the possibility of a medicare buy-in program. 80% of americans do not use their health care. 20% of americans use their health care. i spent $6,000 a year. it goes unused except for maybe $100, to wonder dollars a year. if i could buy into medicare with that money -- it goes
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unused except for maybe $100, $200 a year. it would take in more money than the 20% of the people that use their health insurance plan. that is a way to shore up medicare. i do not know why we do not hear more about the medicare by an public option --buy-in. guest: medicare is $30 trillion in debt. adding americans to this program will not solve this structural program. we need to improve medicare in order for it to be a sustainable progress over the longer term. but the medicare buy-in was considered by congress. the democratic president has said he believed the single- payer system is where he would
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like us to go. politically, that cannot get through congress. the majority of the american people have said they do not want government in charge of decisions involving their health care. medicare is a government-run health care program. there is a political disconnect. many people want more choices. they do not want the federal government from the health-care system. medicare would be basically a single-payer program. there is a political disconnect that does not mean you should not have other choices of health care. in new york state, the health sector is so highly regulated that you have many fewer choices than you would if you lived in another state that had a more competitive market. health concerns the cost five adults a month could be less expensive, especially -- health coverage that costs $500 a
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month could be less expensive. it could be less expensive. that would mean more options for private coverage. host: louis on our independent line. caller: good morning. i am wondering. i see a lot of people talking about the constitutionality on constitutionality of the law. the main problem with the lot is that if you feel that medical care is a -- the main problem with the law -- you have to have some kind of a plan that will be deemed constitutional. i am wondering iffy galen institute has any idea of a plan that would cover risks
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across the board can be able to insure all citizens -- we will leave the illegal aliens out of the question period and be successful. so much time is spent discussing the constitutionality with blinders on basically. i await your answer. guest: yes, we have been working for years with a number of colleagues to offer ideas that would provide the assets to have insurance for everyone. we do it through in centers and through restructuring much of the financing of the current system that leaves so many people out. the current system which is based upon large subsidies which are invisible to most people. for a number of people, that is
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not working for 30 million people, 40 million people, and 50 million people. we need a system of becky's people more control, more portability, and incentives. refundable tax credits that they can be delivered for a number of different vehicles. a health credit gives people the money towards purchasing a health policy. in much more competitive market to give them many more choices of the kind of coverage that works for them. we have so many different markets in 50 states and so many different health system that it is difficult to have one federal program that is going to work for everyone. governor mitch daniels is talking about the imperative to give states much more flexibility so that they can solve this problem. if you connected new federal
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subsidies targeted to individuals to purchase the kind of coverage good for them, policies that would be portable, you would solve many of the problems in our health sector including the issue of pre- existing conditions. we have problems with people not being able to buy health insurance when the have health problems is because they are losing it in artificial times. they lose it when they lose their jobs or when they cannot afford health insurance that they have had in the past. giving people the option of owning that policy means they are not going to have to lose it and they can keep it over the long term. that.let's take a look at he's the governor, republican governor of indiana. "the health care reform law is a
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massive mistake. it is free. reimbursements." guest: yes. and he is arguing and has a number of steps that he believes need to be taken in order to give states more control and more flexibility to implement. he said it is not going to work in indiana. they will have to give states more money. i think that is what the states are arguing in the court cases, as well. this is not going to work from a number of perspectives, including the expansion of medicaid. host: this is a piece there ran an "the washington post."
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order from governor daniels. the colorado governor is quoted in this piece. host: he is saying this has found success in colorado. guest: there are a number of provisions that have gone into effect with obamacare. there is there reason that congress and replacing health reform couldn't work to help solve those problems. to say we need $500 billion in new taxes or five wonder billion dollars in cuts to medicare, this -- 500 billion dollars in cuts to medicare, this is
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something that is not yet happened. a mandate that employers provide coverage -- all of those things, i think, are going to be not popular. there are what is coming in 2014. i think we can solve some of these earlier promise. but this anger coming down the mountain is what is going to crush many states and many businesses. businesses are saying we cannot possibly meet this test. it is going to cause us to drop coverage or go out of business. host: our guest grace-marie turner is -- our guest is grace- marie turner, president of galen institute. caller: thank you for c-span. simple question.
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is obamacare -- if obamacare is repealed, couldn't a hospital say, if you cannot mandate that people pay our bills, you cannot also mandate that we provide coverage and i paid for it. that is the part of it. people get health care. they get treated. you're not requiring the people pay for it. where is the money coming from? comes from everybody else that has insurance. when you talk about choice, you can have a lot of chores. if your choices or mcdonald's or burger king, it doesn't mean they will be healthy choices. guest: we have to go back to our earlier discussion. there are other ways to get health coverage to everyone. you can do it through incentives rather than through the penalties of these affordable
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care act. instead of having penalties for people not participating in health insurance, let's provide incentives to make it attractive for people to purchase debt incentive and make it affordable so they can afford to purchase debt coverage. people do want health insurance that they can afford and that meets their particular needs. trying to find one government cookie cutter that will tell us will have to have this particular health insurance is going to perhaps lead the majority of americans. there will be a significant minority that says this does not work for me. a lot more generous coverage or in more bare bones policies that just protect meat in the affect of a health emergency. giving people more choices, giving them incentives to purchase incentives, i believe it will get us there any much more effective way.
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host: we have a twitter from censsasha. guest: it is technical the patient protection and affordable care act. obamacare is a shorthand that tells people that this is a plan that was strong supported by the president and that the president put his political capital out there to get it enacted. that is a shorthand and maybe i should caught by the acronym. it does not roll off the tongue. host: terry. you're on with grace-marie turner. caller: everybody is talking that the governor does not have
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the right to mandate that you buy insurance. there is not a state in the united states the doesn't mandate that you buy automobile insurance and that is the same thing as far as i'm concerned. if it was a fact that they had complete transportation for disabled people, then that would be fine, but they do not. most communities, you cannot get to where you want to go. or you pay somebody an outrageous amount, like a taxicab, that rips you off. that it isaying unconstitutional. it should be unconstitutional for one thing than it should be unconstitutional for the other. guest: the differences between
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state of florida and federal authority -- state mandates to purchase automobile insurance. states have a lot more power than the federal government. states do have the authority to tell you to purchase automobile insurance. in massachusetts, people must purchase health insurance. there is a penalty if you do not. nobody is challenging that authority. does the federal government under the taxing authority or under the commerce clause how the authority to tell you to purchase health insurance? that will be decided by the supreme court. in the latest ruling, judge benson said that moves the state commerce clause further that it has ever gone before to force people to use their private money to purchase a private product and to penalize them if they do not do it. that is not anything the federal
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government has required. that is why this is such a fundamental issue. it will be an issue strong but that will be determined by the court, the supreme court. host: bill nelson is calling for the supreme court to take up this issue soon. a decisive ruling from the supreme court would seem to be just what the doctor ordered. that is what nelson argued on the floor last week. host: do you want to see it fast-tracked? guest: i do not know. ken cuccinelli from virginia, he
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has argued that this is such a pure constitutional question, that this can skip the appeal court process and go directly to the supreme court. i do not know what the proceedings are and the time schedule of the court to allow this to be an expedited ruling. most people i talked with say they believe the most likely time schedule that the supreme court would take this court would be 2011, 2012, which for me a decision by june of 2012. i do not know if that is possible or what the court schedules are. most likely, that is what people would do. host: it has been reported that the goal is a decisive high court decision. it may be elusive.
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host: there is speculation that clarence thomas might be in doubt on this issue. his wife lent her name briefly to a position paper declaring the act unconstitutional. just to give our listeners and viewers some context about the legal ramifications. guest: there are so many nuances in the court
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proceedings. it is a very good poem about the necessity of an appeals-court decision. host: pat, from the high desert in california. caller: thank you for taking my call. i have a question regarding illegals. i remember president obama said they were not want to be included in this program if, in fact, it did pass. going into the er rooms, you see that it is the illegal people that are using the er. they said that -- i heard some of the congressmen say that is a big issue because we are the ones that are paying for their health care to our -- through our premiums because they do not have insurance. even if this mandate passes and they are not included, they are still going to use this er, right?
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i want some clarity on that. another thing i want ask your wantis, on these -- ask your guest is, on these pre-existing conditions that are in effect right now, isn't it -- is there a cap on what the insurance can charge? if i owned an insurance company and i had to ensure somebody with a pre-existing condition -- insure somebody with a pre- existing condition, i would have to give them a higher rate. they are going to use the insurance more. i will hang up and listen to the answer. guest: a couple of important issues. even though the patient protection and affordable care act is presenting $1 trillion to provide access to coverage for 32 million more people, at least 23 million people, by the time
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the act is fully in effect, will not have insurance. a significant number of them are illegal immigrants. yes, they will continue to use hospital emergency rooms. hospital emergency rooms are required to treat them and to save lives under their care. it is a mixture of immigration and health policy. this is the apex of the two issues. i really think we need to separate them as much as possible and deal with immigration as an issue, deal with health care as an issue, but this is really a place where they come together. hospital emergency rooms to take the brunt of that, especially in california. one of the ways that we try to help the hospitals is through a disproportionate share payments from the federal government to those hospitals that have a disproportionate share of people who are uninsured and who cannot pay. many of those payments are going to be cut back as a result of
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this legislation. a number of hospitals are very concerned about what is going to mean to their bottom line -- what is going to mean to their bottom line. we do need a solution to that. concerning your question about pre-existing conditions -- the legislation contains $5 billion in new spending to provide a temporary high-risk pool option that was designed to provide health insurance for as many as 375,000 people, according to medicare actuaries. only 8000 people have signed up as of the end of the year. one of the reasons is because the insurance is still too expensive for many people in the states because of the way the rules were set up. i believe that people that have pre-existing conditions, that have high health care costs --
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we need to have subsidies to help them purchase health insurance, but it should have been done in a different way to give states more authority to structure those policies in a way that would meet the needs of their citizens, make the insurance more affordable. when you have a program that was designed to reach the inner 75,000 people and it only reaches 8000, you have to say, maybe we need to go back to the drawing board. >host: linda on twitter talks about this. our guest is 112th congress, presidnet -- guest is grace- marie turner, president of the galen institute. these are comments from dick durbin. >> this is not a first major law that has been challenged in the
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courts, even challenge successfully in the lower courts, as to its constitutionality. let me mention two or three others. the social security act, the civil rights act of 1964, and at federal minimum wage law -- all of those successfully challenged in lower courts, but unanimously -- ultimately upheld by the supreme court. getting the same thing is going to happen with the -- i think the same thing is going to happen with the affordable care act. host: what you make of senator dick durbin's comments? guest: that is why we need a supreme court decision. there is a really important line decision.udson's he says, "in closing, i will simply conclude that my concern is based upon application of the commerce clause as it exists, pursuant to the supreme court's current interpretation and definition."
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only this record or a constitutional amendment can expand that. -- only the supreme court or constitutional amendment can expand that. he has concluded that the supreme court has never extended the constitution -- the commerce clause to say that someone must buy a private product, to regulate in activity -- inactivity. that is the crux of this and why an hink it is such n important constitutional issue. host: democratic caller, hi there. caller: to your guess i say, nonsense. not said anything useful or convincing -- you haven't said anything useful or convincing. we have a plan in massachusetts and it is working wonderfully. people are all on insurance,
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some people who let not seen the doctor in 20 years now go regularly and get preventive care. if someone has high blood pressure and it goes years without being treated, next thing you know, they have a stroke and so forth. it is much more expensive if you do not treat people. all of this corporate propaganda -- and i think your guest is an exquisite example of corporate propagandists, well-paid -- it is twofold. they are trying to discredit president obama for this incredible, landmark achievement, and, at the same time, you're paying your corporate masses, the insurance companies, who do not like the fact that they are being reined in and they cannot pay 19% towards premiums and the rest profit. we need this system. it is a great advancements for country -- advancement for our
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country. i think president obama should have given not addressed and been wearing a superman suit, when you consider what he has accomplished, given the mess that he was dumped. they want to destroy health care so they can go afte obama. guest: -- so that they can go after obama. host: we will leave it there so we can get a response from our guest. guest: massachusetts has developed a system that works as well as it can for massachusetts. i will tell you i have received a number of reports, and i do try to track this, that some people have 100 days of wait to see a primary-care physician, because we are putting so many more people into the system without increasing the capacity. the head of john hopkins wrote an op-ed in the wall street
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journal "" saying that the system just cannot -- "the wall street journal" sang at the system just cannot handle the capacity. insurance companies are required to sell insurance. people say, i was a stupid penalty. it is cheaper than purchasing the insurance -- i will just pay the penalty. it is cheaper than purchasing insurance. there are growing number of people who know they are going to need medical care and the payout for the insurance is five times more than the premiums they are collecting. over time, insurance companies cannot sustain that. what are the incentives we are setting up? how can we set up incentives to encourage people to purchase health insurance that works for them, let the states decide their own programs, and do it in a way that is sustainable? i am very concerned about the real fiscal impact, also, of
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this national health reform all and whether or not we're going to be able to respond -- and national health reform in doebele and whether or not we are going to be able to sustain -- and national health reform in -- reform law and whether or not we're going to be able to sustain this year there are a lot of issues to look at besides constitutionality. host: there is an example.
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host: do you have any concerns about the money that is pouring into washington right now and trying to influence what happens next? guest: probably not anything that -- like what went to washington the last couple of years all throughout the health sector. dr. roe is a wonderful physician
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and member of congress to -- i think many see him and -- i think there are about 19 other physicians elected to congress. they are representing the medical profession, which is very concerned about this disconnect between putting some more many people into the system before we have the chance to increase capacity so that we can, in fact, handle the additional patient load. that is what dr. miller is concerned about. there is concern about putting so many people into the system making it even harder for people on medicaid to get care. if the cuts in health law go into effect, the medicare actuary has said that as many as one in five medicare providers are going to go out of business because the payment rates are so low. physicians are very concerned about the additional regulations
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and paperwork they will be required to fill out in order to treat any patient on these new programs. regulation, payment -- it is something that physicians are legitimately concerned about. host: this study was conducted by the washington post by the nonpartisan center for responsive politics. host: let's go to a caller from manhattan. loren, a republican. good morning. go ahead. you are on with grace-marie turner. caller: i have a question
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about the portability of health care or health insurance. my understanding is that if i am working here in new york can i have purchased health insurance that i could then take it with me if i change jobs. is that correct? guest: there are many nuances. most of this law assumes that if you have coverage through your employer and that is going to continue to be the way that you get your coverage. if you were to purchase health insurance through an exchange, and that exchange -- the money would very likely be portable, but you may very well have to change to a different policy if he moved to a new location. a lot of that is going to be worked out by the state's. we do not know the rules that they are going to -- either at the federal or state level -- that they will be abiding by. portability is a very important
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issue. if we had more portability, i think we would have more stability, which is what we really all want. host: grace-returner, president of the galen institute -- grace- marie turner, president of the galen institute. coming up next, we will talk to robert draper about his article in national geographic on a fghanistan and opium.
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>> on "the communicators," karen evans and timothy karr, and deborah wheeler. 2.night on c-span >> every weekend, experience american history on c-span3 starting at 8:00 a.m. eastern. hear first-person accounts from people who have shaped modern america. "history bookshelf" features some of the best writers in the past decade. visit college classrooms across
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the nation as professors delve into america's past during lectures. join characters behind-the- scenes at the museum exhibits on -- curators behind-the-scenes at museum exhibits. american history tv on c-span3 -- all weekend, every weekend. get our complete schedule online and sign up to have an e- mail to you using our c-span alerts. >> "washington journal" continues. host: robert draper has a piece in the "national geographic" in their recalled -- in february, called "opium wars." how big is this issue -- a much of our focus is on the war effort and the taliban and the
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insurgency. how big is opium to the future of afghanistan? guest: it is fundamental. the are two means by which afghanistan gets money. their are two revenue streams and they are competing. one of them is aid from the west. the other revenue stream is from poppy cultivation, which creates opium, which is used to fund the taliban'sd's -- activities. this comes from subsistence farmers. nobody is getting rich in the farming community. they have on women -- they have unwittingly become the hinge on which national security swings. host: how did you even find these fields?
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tell us about your trip. guest: i am a photographer. -- i and a photographer went there last year. we decided to focus on three provinces outside of kabul. these have been the major poppy cultivation provinces. one is to the north, a very rural province, gorgeous. it looks like nepal, but no one can hear you scream, so it is pretty dangerous. spend time with the provincial chief of police watching poppy's been -- poppies being eradicated. to find poppies, you have to go deep into the creases of the country, well off the road, and do a lot of wandering about.
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because of the poppy-eradication program, those who still grow are very crafty about where they plant their crop. if you do not know where to look and you do not want deeply enough, you will miss them because they are no longer vast stretches of acres. it is an acre here and there. helmand province was the second area that we visited. their poppy cultivation has been in full bloom. it is taliban country. where are we traveled in h elmand, we traveled in the company of the marines. in the north, we had no security at all. we went east of kabul where poppies have been completely eradicated. >host: the eradication efforts -- there is a history of those
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areoppose it and there those who profit. you have written that this is the hinge on which america's national securities -- security interest swing. on the ground level among farmers, what is their notion of why they are growing poppies and why people want them to be destroyed? guest: for the last couple of decades, it was the only way they could make money. there is a history in afghanistan. these problems did not crop up overnight. copies have been cultivated for centuries, maybe even to the fourth century bc when alexander the great was there. he left behind the crop that may have conquered the country.
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it was only grown sparingly, for medicinal uses throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. in the 20th century, you began to seem more poppy -- opium production in the neighboring hunters like india and pakistan. still, afghanistan was not a major supplier. "national geographic" did a story on afghanistan and poppies in 1986. at that time, afghanistan supplied 18% or 19%. i remember looking at the story and thinking, how could it be in 1986 that afghanistan was a minor player, and it is now a major player, providing more than 90%? when the soviets invaded afghanistan, that closed off a
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lot of their other opportunities for agriculture. they had been growing pistachios, almonds, melons, grapes. neighboring countries began to shut down -- began to eradicate their cultivation of copies -- poppies. the afghanistan farmers realize they had no market for other crops. drug smugglers realized they had no place to grow opium, so they came to afghanistan. the taliban is more responsible for making it a cash crop than any other factor. host: we are looking at some images courtesy of "national geographic" by his partner in the project, the photographer. this is an image of the region you are in and reporting from.
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you write that the greatest factor in poppy production was the taliban. guest: of course, this is ironic because the taliban being a fundamentalist islamic regime would profess to say that the opium -- use of opium is forbidden. that has been debated by some loss -- mullahs. some say it is ok eat or use what is forbidden when starving. the taliban, frankly, was not
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interested in enforcing islamic law when it came to poppies. was interested in making money. they recognize omar mullah acknowledging that this was money by which the finance their operations. the story mentions that they would levy a 10% tax. they would work with drugs are dollars. farmers came to learn that doing business with the taliban was not that bad. you knew that it in your crops to market would not be hazardous. there would not be bad cops along the roadway as there had been in the past. in fact, oftentimes the market would come to the farmers tetons on the by the taliban will come to the farmer, -- would come to the farmers.
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agents funded by the taliban would come to the farmer. it was a fairly free enterprise. host: dennis, an independent mind, texas. the morning. -- good morning. caller: i have a question. los >> we are all ears. caller: there was prior -- no opium in the country prior to that. you have shown that the taliban has taken a bat and tax. after it they were inundated, you have the marines in helmand province actually guarding the opium crops. isn't that counterproductive in the drug war? on the one hand, we have some doing all they can to stop drugs from coming into the united
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states. on the other, you have the marines actively engaged in the protection of the opium crops in afghanistan. guest: and you have made two points and i do not think either of them is accurate. by 1999 or so, afghanistan was supplying about 90% of the opium that was produced throughout the world. the other public that he made, that the marines have been guarding the opium, could not be more untrue. they have engaged in a program that may or not be effected. that program is inducing farmers down in the south and helmand province and kandahar province to eradicate their own products, paying them $300 per acre, basically, to destroy
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their crops and then giving them alternatives seeds. it is true that they are not taking them to jail or burning their crops, but it is absolutely untrue to suggest that they are encouraging for protecting the opium farmers -- encouraging or protecting the opium farmers. there are a lot of flaws with the program, but it would not be correct to say the three marines are cobbling the opium farmers -- to say that the marines are coddling the opium farmers. host: we're looking at pictures from this piece on opium farmers in afghanistan. caller: i have a couple of questions for your guest. number one, he, lik e most other
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commentators -- like most other commentators, refers to the taliban as taking profits from the opium crop and using it for the -- supporting -- [stammers] -- supporting terrorism. how does he rationalize the fact that, like mexico, has legitimized the use of heroin and other illegal drugs and other rest of the world is engaged in seeing heroine as some kind of bogeyman --
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boogeyman? guest: i am not sure of the connection you are making. the analogy breaks down. it is true that if we were to legalize marijuana, that would effectively shut down the power of one drug family south of the border. i suppose if we were to legalize heroin, the same thing would happen, except it would perhaps reduce the power of the taliban, but i do not think it would eliminate it altogether. there are still plenty of other countries where heroin is not legal. i am not sure i quite understand the relationship in any event, i do not rationalize or view it as a bookigeyman. heroine, like it or not, for better or worse, heroin is illegal, so it is a black-market
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economy that afghanistan's farmers work in. 84% of afghans are farmers. it is a very agrarian economy. fundamentally, afghanistan exists due to a black-market economy which is not legitimate. i interviewed one poppy former and ask -- former -- former -- and farmer. i do not encourage my son to go to vocational school. we have no engineers or doctors. we have sons who will end up in poppy forms like us -- farms like us. that lack of diversity is not good for the country. host: we are looking at images
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of a woman, a widow who says her husband was killed by insurance -- insurgents. this is a picture of her as police fought and her fields during a -- flatten her fields during a raid. guest: we went into this area where there are still a lot of poppy fields, albeit hidden. we went with a group that had been attacked by roadside bombs just the day before. a number of them had been killed. it was nerve wracking to go in this convoy. we set out and it was probably an hour before we began to see various poppy fields. the farmers had vanished, leaving behind wives and children who would be screaming
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and crying, saying, please, do not do this. this is the only way we know how to make money. it was clear that a lot of the erratic peters, who were young policeman, felt a lot of sympathy. they did not feel like they were doing the lord's work. one of them told me he was engaged in cultivation himself because it was the only way they knew how to make money. they knew they were going to be providing -- that a lot of this would end up in the pockets of afghan officials and would not reach the people. it was very moving to see children crying. you mentioned that woman whose husband had been this big old soldier -- face all -- faithful
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soldier. in the off-season, he was growing poppies, because it was the only way he could make money. host: you describe that team going through a field and a woman coming out of the house to start screaming. these children have no father, how will i provide for them now. the chief looks stricken, you write. if the men trying to enforce the law is so and conflicted -- if the men trying to enforce the law are so conflicted -- how much incentive is there to enforce this poppy-year dedication policy -- pop e- eradication policy?
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guest: asked one poppy former -- i asked one popppy farm -- poppy farmer how they transported it and they said police cars. the fundamental problem is the doctrine of clearing, olding -- holding, building and transferring. after the marines and is building, they will hand things over to the afghan government and police. they're not trying to hold these areas. host: ryan, independent caller ornia.ta barbara, calif caller: i was wondering how you came to reach the 90% number.
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also, maybe if you could speak a little bit about maybe the surrounding afghanistan, russia and iran, i believe both seem to be using opium. could you speak to both of those four little bit? i would appreciate that. guest: that number is presented by the united nations. in 2010, the marines have had this program in helmand province where the majority of the opium comes from to pay farmers to self-erratic 8 -- self-eradicate. it was a minuscule growing season. there's a plague of insects. there was a lot of frost.
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the marines were there, providing money to people to not grow. it remains to be seen whether that program will continue to be successful. raff 33 q: number is 90%. the other question had to do it -- roughly speaking, the number is 90%. the other question had to do with surrounding countries. these are not necessarily countries where most of the afghanistan opium is consumed, but they are with the supply lines are. along the borders, you see a lot of statehouses where the opium -- safe houses where the opium is stored before it is transported to other destinations. one thing that makes opium such an attractive crop is that you can sort of hang onto it forever.
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unlike grapes or something like that, you can wrap up the opium, which is essentially this paste in cellophane and store it indefinitely. they will do this when the prices too low main demand is not high -- meaning demand is not high. it will hang onto it until conditions are more favorable. host: is this the -- this is from twitter. guest: afghan farmers will not give it up unless they can find another way to make money. you see in the province to the east of kabul that they have given up for the moment on poppy cultivation because we have flooded the zone with aid from
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the west through ngos and a variety of other things. it seems like a button can village -- a situation -- farmers are only making about 60% of what they made with poppies. the question is whether we will stay long enough and in need to throw enough money and continue -- and continue to throw enough money into afghanistan. on their own, they will continue to grow poppies. host: good morning. caller: i went on of a trip that studied this at.
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and the latter days, they were controlled by drug lords or tribal chiefs. 10 years ago, my niece was teaching in kazakhstan. the border was very well guarded. she says the places: addictive people -- place is full of addictived people. you have to give these people an extra livelihood. this is just the simic -- this is a systemic, cultural problem for the people. you could have a subsidized program.
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it is an entire social problem. host: let's get a response from robert draper and look at this image from "national geographic." it shows a recovery center for opium addicts celebrating after a t--- two-month recovery program. guest: addiction is a problem in afghanistan, but not so much between the farmers, because they are subsistence farmers who have to sell all they have. we went to a town -- there are some really striking photographs of the village where we found a village of attic -- addicts, including children and
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animals. we were noticing and commenting on how the children were drifting toward this guy while he was lighting up opium. they say everything is addictive. the rafts -- rats are addicted. you can see a strange menagerie of all stripes. host: good morning, matt. caller: i have two-quick questions -- two quick questions. i'm a veteran of the wars in iraq and afghanistan. we have a vested interest as to the outcome. my first question is what sort
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of discussion, if at all is going on -- if at all, it is going on regarding possible trade, industry, either privately or a government- regulated, that might be able to help generate revenue to help pay for the war and to help pay for the government there? second question, what sort of liberties are being extended to the afghan people to play a role in what happens to the opium industry? guest: eyes to the first, i do not think it is ever want to happen that we're going develops some kind of economy and in afghanistan that will allow the afghan people and government to help pay for our presence there. it is not likely to happen. we're putting a lot of money into a afghanistan right now. i think your energies should probably be focused on making afghanistan -- a our energies -- i think our energies should be
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focused on making afghanistan self-sufficient. they will not be paying us back money. as for liberty is being extended, there are plenty of them -- liberties being extended, there are plenty of them. problem is -- i have not yet seen a program that looks like it has the kind of staying power that is required to develop about an alternative -- to develop an alternative. there is a blueprint that was put together for president karzai for how they attack the opium problem and how they move on work, including a lot of programs related to, for an immigrant off-season crops -- growing off-season crops. there are good ideas that have not been implemented. there is another question we could get addressed. when i was with the marines in
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the province which produces 54% of the opium in afghanistan, just this one district -- the colonel was talking to me about this he is a smart guy. he is full of energy and very proactive. he said, why don't we developed vocational training for afghan farmers? why don't we build a chicken coops? he rattled off all these programs. they sounded really good, but it gave rise to the question, "aren't you talking about things that liberals propose for what should be done in rural america ?" we're talking about spending billions of dollars to create what some conservatives might derive as a state by waning them
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off of poppy. it is iornic. host: looking at images from the peace -- piece you elaborated on. it shows melon growers. we talked about the idea of growing other crops. good morning, north carolina. i don't think we have our caller. caller: hello/ hello? i'm from kentukcy. -- kentucky. i was going to agree with the caller that said marines were guarding the opium fields.
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i would have to disagree with mr. draper. eight months ago, i watched an hour-long special by geraldo rivera who was interviewing the marines in one of these provinces. i cannot remember which one wou. he was interviewing a commanding officer. i have been saved on my youtube account where he did say that they were guarding the opium fields in that province and they were stopping farmers from growing anything else. guest: let me see if we can find an area of agreement. if you're talking about careens, that would be helmand province or kandahar province -- about marines, that would be helmand province or kandahar province. it is true that they are
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guarding the opium fields. it is not true that they are overseeing with the kind of indifference the cultivation of poppies. what they have done is paid the opium growers not to grow and instead to self-eradicate. this may be what your role gemara -- geraldo rivera was talking about. they gave the farmers a deadline to eradicate. let's say march or april. the deadline passed. a lot of them hadn't done so. they may have extended the deadline. this does allows farmers the opportunity to very quickly cultivate -- disallows farmers to very quickly cultivate the opium, then get profit, then do
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the eradication. maybe we are in agreement that it has become little bit of a shell game, but it is not like the marines are saying, we want them to grow poppies and we will protect them from people who do not want them to. in this last growing season, the marines were a bit permissive. they're trying to win hearts and minds, but they do not want to become too heavy-handed. we have a deadline. we will begin pulling out this summer. the afghan farmers know. the question is, are we want to set a predicate of making it look like this surly, heavy handed force of malevolence in southern afghanistan and give
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these people -- the farmers -- reason to be swayed by the taliban? host: robert draper, "national geographic," and also writer of "rolling stone magazine, the uncensored history." you quote a farmer named rehmatou.
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guest: i think there are a lot of callers who would agree. i know there are people who say, look, why don't we just do the eradication are self? -- ourself. british troops did that, but it cause a hue and cry and we backed off. the taliban has not put a gun to their heads. essentially, economic conditions have. until they find another means to survive, this is what they will continue to do. host: john, democratic caller, new jersey. good morning. caller: i am tired of the constant revision of history as written by journalists across the country. mr. draper is a good example of this. the fact that the taliban did
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outlaw the growth of the poppy under their governance -- it's not up to the time we were attacked on 9/11 and we, as a result of that, attacked. the taliban had come up to that time, limited the growth of the poppy in afghanistan. when another caller had questioned mr. draper in his statement that, under the taliban, the growth of the poppy in afghanistan was actually why didn't -- that is incorrect. the only reason the growth of the poppy is reestablished in afghanistan is because the united states invaded and taliban uses the funding from the growth of the poppy to fund
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their war against the occupation of their country. guest: i am glad you brought that up. that is true. the taliban did forbid poppy cultivation in 2000. they did not from 1996 to 2000. this is telling. why 2000? what we learn is that the price of opium was weighed down. essentially, they sat on the product and allowed the demand and price to drive itself up. before the american invasion in 2001, they were already starting to sell poppy's again. this is intelligence we have received over the years. it is incontrovertible. a drive to the fact that taliban from 1996 to 2000 was allowing this to flourish. i spoke to one member of the
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taliban and ask if this was forbidden or not. he says, you can have an interesting debate. it was anything but unequivocal on the subject. he said, yes, we did ban it for a series of years. he himself did mended it was only for one year. i think it is false to draw a causal relationship between the invasion -- the u.s. invasion of afghanistan and the sudden partnership of the taliban with opium. it does not bear out factually. host: to quote from your piece -- as one former farmer told me, there was a resulting reduction following the invasion.
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after that, war lords cranked up production. let's hear from michael on our independent line caller line. caller: i was wondering how many of our tax dollars are being pumped in on this war on opium. guest: it is a good question and, unfortunately, i do not have the figures in front of me. it is billion dollars, not just government dollars. a lot of money is going in. i think part of the concern is that there is not all whole lot of progress. you see there are areas where one can point to highways being built near schools and clinics, new police stations that are the fruits of this revenue, but it isn't as if the mentality of the afghan farmer has been turned
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irrevocably away from poppies and toward american largess. anything but. they do not find an attitude of boyk, are we sick poppies. we have not discussed the afghan government, which has been a huge problem. the government, on all levels, is incredibly corrupt. there have been a number of allegations and none yet conclusively proven, but circumstantially with pretty overwhelming evidence. the idea that hamid karzai's brother is involved in the opium trade. there are a lot of players. when money comes in from the west, a large part of it ends up in the pocket of the government. this only makes the afghan
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farmers more cynical, more of a belief that this is just for show. host: david in houston, welcome. caller: yes, i was wanting to ask mr. draper how much of what occurred in 1967-1968, th roughout the vietnam era, is occuring in afghanistan, including the surrounding countries. afghanistan is but a route -into turkey. it used to come out of vietnam, cambodia, laos, and burma.
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i had the opportunity to work in south vietnam in 67 and 68 and has been quite a bit of time in regard operations in the northern half of cambodia, laos, burma, and north vietnam. i am very much aware of the cia, air america, deals made with some of the lords. guest: alex, it's -- it is interesting that you spent time in vietnam during that time and got a sense of it on the ground. what happened in afghanistan is a function of their other


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