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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  February 19, 2011 7:00am-10:00am EST

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grants to states to help them modify their medical malpractice laws. later, amy goodman of "democracy now" about the movement toward democracy in the middle east. "washington journal" is next. >> on this vote, the yeas are 235, the bill is passed. without objection, motion to reconsider is laid on the table appeared ♪ ♪ >> the house of representatives passed the spending bill that would fund the government through september. this bill comes at $100 billion less than president obama wanted for fiscal year 2011 and the final passage wound up with 67 amendments which was down from 583 amendments brady bill passed her to a 35-189.
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past 235-189. for our first 45 months, we want to get your thoughts on the passage of the spending bill -- for our first 45 minutes, we want to get your thoughts on the passage of the spending bill and its future as it goes to the senate. this is in low of having the government shut down on march 4 reco4. host: these are the numbers if you want to contribute. send us an e-mail at and you can also use a twister. "
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the washington post"has a breakdown of the amendment. just to give you a flavor of things that were considered, here is a breakdown.
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lots of amendments on health care and lots of amendments on environmental issues, as well. one thing that was written about this morning in "the new york times," is the personal nature of the cuts.
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with some of that in mind, we will also take go look at some of the debate last night between legislators. your thoughts on the passage of the spending bill and what you think of the future is for it. we will talk about some of the cuts that were proposed this is how you can do that. cspan wj for twitter. indiana is up first, republican , what do you think about the bill's passage? caller: happy the republicans passed a bill. i want to make sure the senate understands that the government
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will shut down if they don't pass it which will cost $5 million per day. if the government shuts down for 20 days, they could save that amount of money. the reason we are in this position in the first place is because the 111th congress did not do its constitutional job and pass the budget. the democrats constantly complain that republicans cannot talk about jobs and policies that would help with jobs but if the democrats had done their job in the 111, pass their budget, we would not have spent the last two weeks doing this. host: do you think of the nature of the overall cuts? caller: i don't think they were deep enough. if the country's budget represented $50,000, we would be spending $87,000 per year and
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then we would be having to borrow $33,000 and we already have a debt of $325,000. that is what they are asking us to do. these cuts were deep enough. host: harrisburg, pa., democrats line, good morning. caller: i would not put the blame on the 111th congress. i would put it on the last half- dozen contra says. gresses. it is nice to see john boehner leaving an open process. ultimately, i think john boehner is setting himself up for trouble with the shutting down
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of planned parenthood and the epa. there is no way this thing will get resolved by march. it will be another shut down, it is inevitable. host: what you think of the long-term effects if the government shuts down? caller: is more money on the debt and will make the gop looks bad. it could be newt gingrich all over again. it is nice he is offering this process. too many amendments will get tied up in the senate and i would say there will be shut down. host: next call comes from mechanics per, pa. on our republican line. good morning caller: . i agree with the previous caller that the cuts are not deep enough particularly my parents are both retired.
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they have not been getting any raises as far as the retirement from the government. what bothers me is that congress continues to give themselves raises. they need an amendment that they cannot get a raise. it has to be a voter referendum. the seniors need raises. a lot of the problem with the deficit could be solved if we would cut back on what we give away to foreign countries. that needs to be reduced. it should be reduced by 10%-15% and that is something a republican congress needs to look at. the american people need to start asking our government for
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more and more. they need to ask less of the government to make a government less expensive host: this is from twitter. the debate was four days which ended early this morning. we will show you bits and pieces of some of the dialogue that took place. the majority leader eric cantor goes back and forth with senate brigitte steny hoyer. >> as i understand it, we will probably have the next series of votes approximately at midnight. would the gentleman have in mind of when the next series of votes would be after that? >> i would say to the gentleman again, it depends on how members
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feel on the other side of the aisle as well as ours has to have expeditious the they want their remarks to be. we have been at this for 90 hours. we intend to have the votes again probably within a couple of hours after midnight and we will proceed along those lines. host: west virginia from our democrats line, caller: go: people need to look at the larger picture. this is the culmination of 30 deaths a year plan by the republicans to destroy the entitlement system of the united states recorded they know the only way they will get rid of social security and medicare is by starting the beast. they have been cutting taxes on the ridge, cutting taxes on corporations, they have been spending money on wars, anything they can do to deplete the government's ability to pay its obligations. they are delusional because if
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they cut entitlements, there will be blood in the streets. i am not kidding. i am here in west virginia and there are many people dependent on social security or disability or one form or another -- or another or they are talking about burning government buildings. i am not kidding. this is serious stuff. the gentleman from pennsylvania, with respect, with one breath, you are saying the government wants more cuts and you say your parents are not getting increases. which is it? do you want the government to collect more or less? this is serious stuff that people need to think about. we could have riots in the streets. host: this is from a twitter -- host: this is amendment 126
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which prohibit the funds to use on saudi arabia. there was also another one to de-fund the association for peace. it would prohibit funds for harvesting fish for any fishery of the jurisdiction in the mid atlantic or the gulf of mexico. there is a complete listing of the amendments in "the washington post." you can access this information on our front page about the passage of the bill, you can see it on the video library, type in things you are interested in and you could watch the video and lots of it concerning this. that is our video library, part of what you can find at c-
7:13 am naples, fla., independent line. caller: i want to point out to everyone that this is not a democratic or republican issue. this is an issue with $14 trillion worth of debt going to $20 trillion going to mr. obama possible next 10-year program. it is a matter of economic survival of the united states. you cannot put this debt on the people. there is either increased taxes or increased inflation. everyone should wake up and not be economic dunces and look at the condition of the federal government, the state governments, and the city governments. host: if things don't get results, do you support a
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government shutdown? caller: if you cut the budget 10%, does that mean you don't cut down the government? that is ludicrous. host: next caller. caller: every time i see an airplane takeoff,, why don't we extend campaign woul. why don't we stop? why don't we shorten the campaign funding, period? and use this money toward the people. i am with the republican and democrat and everybody, just take care of our country. we also ted -- have to take care
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of the illegal immigrants. noun -- down near fort worth, it is terrible. and the way they use the system, they know how to get the food stamps, how to get housing. they are illegals. why should we be funding them with our tax payer money? we're middle class citizens. >host: of twitter -- from last night, representative john campbell of california, the topic is defense funding, also looking at the topic of civilian employees. >> this is 98% of last year's funding. any department ought to be able to complete their mission and serve their constituency for 98% of last year's funds. second, there are 755,000
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civilian employees in the department of defense. that is one civilian employee for every two uniformed personnel. do we really need that many civilian employees in the defense department? there are many weapons systems funded which the defense department does not want. they are there because of the influential members of congress. it has already been the most earmarked section of the budget. there are items in defense unrelated to defense. the big spenders have realized that they put in far more spending, medical research, it into the department of defense, that will be shielded from being reduced. host: the next call is from oklahoma city. jacob. caller: i am a registered democrat but i consider myself a democratic republican. i want to point out a couple of
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things, the way the republicans were backtracking like crazy and was almost comical when they simply wanted to reveal their money sources. there are rumors that these people are accepting money outside of our country. that has nothing that has been proven. another thing is, the bailouts. they keep calling it obama bailouts. these were put forward when bush was still in. by the republicans originally. the housing bailout. host: with all that said, the passage of the bill yesterday, what do you think? caller: i understand that we need some cuts, that is for sure. and we're not going to shut down the government, and even if so, our military will control it. there is no reason to panic
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here, but my main thing is, people need to get straight -- it is not obama bailouts. host: we're going to move on. this is the "financial times," writing about the proposals for spending. while funds were cut for homeland security u.s. capitol police would sear where funding boost of $12.5 million. this is in the wake of the shooting of the congresswoman from tucson. independent line, mike. caller: 94 hearing me out. i am at two-time iraq veteran. i have been hearing the story that there is a government shooting and that benefits could be halted. and that is troubling to me in a
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bad economy where i am a veteran having a hard time finding work. it is even more than my situation. but other 65. he is on social security -- my pa there is 65. he is on social security as well as hundreds of thousands of veterans across the country. he has served his country. these of the things that are going to hit hard. it is so discouraging, year after year, to hear these arguments back-and-forth, back- and-forth. and just a lack of respect for mankind. we are supposed to be a country, one nation under god, we seem to have lost that. i think it is important that human rights even for the unborn are protected and that people take care of people. people always say women have the
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choice of abortion. but they do not talk about the bike for the baby. -- the rights for the baby. those of the things that trouble me. i am discouraged to hear these things. what are you going to do? i continue to go to church. i am a practicing catholic. i put my faith in christ. these things to worry me because i in human and i will worry even though i believe in god. host: our republican line is next. are you there? [unintelligible] one more time. we're going to move on. radcliff, texas. caller: thank you for taking my call. i agree with the previous caller saying that it is not about
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black-and-white, it is about the united states of america. we need to get together. wait that, come together. you know what i'm saying? i am proud to say that i m american. i think obama is doing a great job. host: as far as the amendments are concerned, 583 proposed according to the "washington post" and others. 153 of those were considered on the house of the floor and at the end of the day 67 ended up being adopted by house of representatives. one of the amendment by representative broun, 246 as it was none. it would fund the army corps by responding. a democrat from washington state.
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>> there is the school of thought that we should let nature take its way. i believe so strongly on the west coast of washington state, we have from time to time have to come out and put in projects to save cities, safe housing -- major housing project. and we have done this with the corps of engineers very effectively using the best science. they have their -- in mississippi they have a big center where they study how to do these things. and yes, it does cost money, but we are saving assets, billions and billions of dollars. i think that this is a very unfortunate amendments and we should on a bipartisan basis defeated and let the court to what it has to do to save cities and coastal areas across america. host: couple of amendments to highlight. these are similar. steve king of thailand, the
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republican, 268 would prohibit paying any federal employee to implement the national health- care law. similar to that from missouri, providing funds being used to implement the individual mandate and penalties and reporting requirements of the health-care law. next call is from maryland, independent line, mark. are you there? he is no longer there with us. the next call, raleigh, north carolina. democratic line. caller: thank you for taking my call. i am a vietnam veteran. , we cannoto realize work our way out of this budget crunch. there has to be some revenue. there has to be some money coming in. when we give away all the money we give away to the so-called rich in this country, and all
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these great tax cuts, ronald reagan did a tax cut. we're going to tax cut out of what we did? it is not born to work. we left bush with a great surplus. with his tax cuts, we are back into the same situation again. it seem like democrats get as affable we get into. republicans have a great way of promising the country in the world, upgrade everything in the sky. we just cuts cat -- we cut taxes but we give the rich a great deal and they will spend their way out of all the financial problems that we have. and it does not work. remember, we as a country -- winner we as a country going to wake up and get down to the nitty gritty and do something? we have got to cut and the get everything.
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i am eligible for social security and i realize there are. to be some social security down the line for me, there has got to be something helping social security in this country. the same thing with medicare. something has to be done with the medicare budget. host: san antonio, texas, the republican line. caller: this is off a record of that, and i do not care for the whole the budget thing, i'm from san antonio and there is a lot of unemployment. so security, disability people that are not even disability. they are not even retard it and they are getting so security checks. like nothing. >> loss cruses, new mexico.
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the democratic line. caller: i wanted to mention tw of things briefly. when congress began the session, the entire constitution of the united states was read. i believe in the preamble of the constitution, it talks about domestic tranquillity -- not the exact words, but the general welfare of the population. i was wondering if the government shuts down, how does this help the welfare of the nation and the domestic tranquility? and my last point -- in november of last year, the "new york times" headed interactive part of their page where one could go wind and tinker with the budget and figure out what would have to be cut in order to take care
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of the deficits. it is still available on their page. the interesting thing is, until actual cuts are made in the defense budget, all of this other stuff really does not do a whole lot of good. host: would you think about the passage of the bill last night? that is what we are talking about. caller: i am not surprised that it did not pass. -- that it did pass. republicans will vote for it and i hope there will be people in congress, they are going to have a nice pension to go back to, they can go on speaking tours, go back to practicing law, but the rest of this will not have that option. if it does not affect them directly, i think they're going to vote for. host: paul on the republican line. caller: the saddest thing is that congress has the power right now to solve the problems
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we're facing in one than the framework of the existing legislation. i can give you some examples. on energy, congress could put a hold on the environmental protection agency mandate that the oil companies must refine the different grades of gasoline by jiffy -- geographic area by seasons. according to the american petroleum institute, if we put a hold on that, it would reduce gas by 15 cents a gallon and free up refineries. congress could put a temporary two-year moratorium on the national environmental protection act, the clean water act, and the rare and endangered in species act, to allow oil companies to build new refinery capacity without having to file
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an environmental impact statement that could take up to 10 years to get funding and approval. there's a mandate that every component must be -- get people back to work. you could amend the legislation that the -- that allowed the northern part of alaska, to mandate all the crude must be used domestically and not sent overseas. as i and distended, most if not all is now shifted to japan. . host: this is from e-mail.
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benton, ark., you are next on the democratic line. caller: i am disabled, home down person. i depend on medicaid. i am really concerned about not getting an increase in the past couple of years. i'm also a veteran. but i was not hurt in the army. my parents are in their 70's. they held me whenever they can. they are also on social security. i have a nurse that comes in a couple of hours a day to help me with my showers. i am wondering if congress will ever turn around to help the people they work hard for america like the military.
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caller: when you hear about the cuts, are you concerned about how your care will be maintained? caller: my parents live in texas and they have already cut several programs there. dental is being approved for people with serious problems. things like that. now we're cutting that. where i am, the medicaid program is pretty good. i get the supplies that need. the and that about is states and i hope they get it turned around. host: john maynard, the speaker of the house, response about the passage of the bill. he says that the people's house was allowed to work its will,
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and the result was one of the largest spending cuts in american history. he calls upon harry reid to allow it to come to a vote for -- immediately. we will not stop and our efforts to spend it -- cut spending, not -- we will not stop here in our efforts, not when we are broke and washington's spending binge is making it harder to create jobs. maria,k, you're next, independent line. caller: thank you for taking my call. i am very proud of the young in the -- hello? host: you were there. caller: i am proud of the young men, the freshmen that we have sent it congress. we've had transparency, we have had open debate, and we had the opportunity of listening to
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them, going to the primary sources and sticking to the fact of what was going on. as far as the cuts, i believe that if we do not make these cuts, we will have no jobs to go to, we will have no country left, and we will have chaos so that we have to make the sacrifices to bring our country back onto its feet. it is important. we are americans. we are proud to be americans. and we need to stick together and work together to bring our country back on its feet. host: rate in florida. caller: i am 100% disabled, a veteran, gulf war, 1979. you have to balance your budget. you cannot spend any more than you take can. all the republicans are doing is
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trying to get that fiscal responsibility through. in my household budget, we cannot spend any more than we make. the same with everyone else in america. i do not understand what the big deal is with the democrats. caller: as it does to the senate, what you think the likely resolution will be between the house and the senate? and what it means as far as the government? caller: i hope that common sense will prevail. i do not expect everything to pass in the senate that passes and a house. but i hope the spirit of what passes in the house will prevail in the senate. the senate needs to remember that we are american first and not democrats and republicans. we are americans first. and also about the illegal aliens, that does cost us a lot
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of money. it is underfunded. that has got to stop. the president does not seem to realize that. host: one more piece of tape to show you. a republican from new jersey on health care. >> this is the first time in the history of the country that the price of freedom, that the price of being an american is that you have to buy a particular product from some unknown, faceless bureaucrat here in washington are games that you have to buy. liberty is being taken away from us. the strong hand of big brother is reaching out and telling us, you have to do this and that as the price of liberty and freedom. yes, yes, we will legislate. yes we will address health care. host: independent line next. north carolina.
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caller: thank you very much. i am optimistic about the congress and the budget. but a lot of these programs are like weeds. you need to rip them up by the roots or they would just grow back again. i guess i'm disappointed that they are not considering eliminating entire programs and departments. for example, the department of education we have had for 30 years. public education has just gotten worse. i think instead of messing around the edges with cutting and reducing pell grants and means-testing social security, we need to eliminate things like the department of education, and if we ever get health care costs under control, we need to eliminate things like medicaid, medicare, privatize social security, and maybe people will tend to take personal responsibility for their around health care and education. host: health care was one of the areas that got a lot of cuts.
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environmental issues and other area. what you think about the cuts that eventually made the final bill, what does this say about the interest of republicans in reducing spending? caller: we need to cut across the board, including defense spending, but especially all the middle-class welfare entitlements like medicare and medicaid in social security. it would be important to slash government at every level. as far as the government shutdown, if it would have shut down for a few weeks, we would realize how useless it is and how much of it we really do not need. host: columbus, ohio, before then. -- gordon. theer: i'm glad to be of talk publicly. hello? i would like to make another couple of quick points.
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that tax cuts and stuff, all republicans are focusing on his money is used. i understand that we have a fiscal problem in our country. but it does not involve from the money that was created. someone has obviously profited from our downfall. the companies that are holding on the trillions and trillions and dollars and still climbing our economy is a bus, who is really busting the economy? the people that are profiting from it in industry or the people who were getting their racks broken when they talk about cutting entitlements. using welfare and other programs and entitlements, i do not believe they are entitlements. or we can go the other way and say, some of the tax rates or corporate welfare. and we start cutting the corporate welfare entitlements and get the country restored from being on the greedy path. right now, there are companies
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who are going for greed, profits, and they embrace tax cuts. host: alabama adding this morning. ohio, mike on the republican line. caller: if people would listen, if you have the entitlement [unintelligible] something that should have been done on the last congress. they spent two years not even worried about the economy. they just wanted to ram their bills through. host: los angeles california. go ahead and are democratic line, david. caller: it seems like an air of unreality here.
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this is a continuing resolution, not about the 2012 budget. this is about keeping the government operating. it has been conflate it is that. the other thing is, why don't people look at their day-to-day lives and see how they are affected one way or the other by government programs? and the third thing, why don't we do this? ask the states to keep -- keep funding this dates that are net takers from the federal government and poehl begala suggested it, it california did take 80 cents for every dollar that we give, why doesn't which is why does kentucky give a $50? what we find it that way.
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host: from, about nancy pelosi, democrats had a different message. show us the jobs. congressional republicans have spent the last six weeks ignoring jobs and refusing to fund the plan -- offer a plan to grow our economy. today they have made matters worse by passing a spending bill that destroys jobs, weakens the middle class, hurt schools, eliminating assistance to homeless veterans, and the american people the birth mother. she was hopeful that republican leaders would agree to a short- term extension of the freeze on current spending levels as we were to pass a bill the president can sign into law for the remainder of 2011. missouri on our independent line, leo. caller: 94 taking my call. if we continue to beat around the bush and talk about cutting spending and raising taxes, and
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fail to look at the real problems, we are just kidding ourselves. we are using foreign oil to the point where we send billions of dollars outside of this country every day. until we take that into grips and deal with it, our economy is going to be sucking all the time. thank you very much for taking my call. host: carl, the republican line. caller: i agree with a man from north carolina. we ought to do away with the department of education, take that $77 billion and send it back to the states and france, and let the states take care of their education. -- back to the states in grants, and let the states take care of the education. when i think of nancy pelosi, i
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think about her using military air lines. she had to take the jet back to san francisco. it might not amount to a heckuva lot of money, but it was just the perception that the people out here see when they treat themselves like royalty. host: if you look at the front pages of the "washington post" and the "new york times," they leave with talking about the unrest in the middle east. also dealing with wisconsin. you have seen video about what is going on -- the debate over budget and what is going on with public employees unions. both of those topics we will attack it -- tackle in the course of our program. the last 45 minutes, we will talk about wisconsin and other ohios, interviews with those involving themselves in those states. and then coming up, we will have
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amy goodman of democracy now! come up focusing over the last several weeks on her program talking about the middle east. one more call right now. sherry on our independent line. caller: thank you for this forum. i do not understand why the american people have not gotten it into their head that the reason that social security and medicare are entitlement programs is because that is our money. it is a trust account. it should not be included with the general fund. take it out of the general fund, pay back the money that they have taken from it to fund all these other programs, which i do not understand how they can get away with it, since it is a trust. let the american people educate themselves on trust loss. it is not general fund taxes.
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pull that out and then deal with the money in income taxes. you want to cut spending? why are we building $500 million car plants in mexico? why are we not putting that into the united states? host: that is the last call for this segment. the segment that follows, we would deal with the medical malpractice law. the president proposed to under $50 billion for reforming medical malpractice laws. our guest will talk about. philip howard of the group common good, he is the founder. we will take up that topic when we come right back. ♪ >> for young americans, to keep our promise to americans, we
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have to change. >> republican jim jordan on spending issues, the tea party, and presented the bomb was proposed budget, sunday: "newsmakers. >> if you have proximity to a president, you automatically have an obligation to tell him the truth in what you really believe. people that do not have had that, they simply do not want to do it. >> he will discuss his philosophy of staff leadership, the process of writing his memoirs, and address some of the critical and positive reviews on q&a. >> visit the public and private spaces of america's most recognizable home, the white house. the original document neri provides an unseen look at the
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use the promotional code lincoln at checkout. >> "washington journal" continues. >> >> philip howard, could you tell us about your organization and what it does in the area of medical malpractice? guest: for much of the time, one of our main produce has been to bring order to the medical malpractice system, so we have this joint venture with the harvard school of helped the look of what the problems, to try to design a new system of justice that would be both fair and also avoid some of the unfortunate side effects of the current system.
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host: among the side effects, of what would you list as chief among them? guest: the worst is where doctors order tests that they do not think there medically indicated to protect themselves in case the sick person gets sicker and decides to sue. as far as the cost of the lot -- defensive medicine, it can be 20 billion to $50 billion per year. a study released in pennsylvania last week for the orthopedic surgeons there estimated that 20% of the procedures they ordered are unnecessary. only to provide a defense in loft coups -- in case of law suits. the second is the impact on patient safety. the institute of medicine has done us that that shows a universal distrust of
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professional interaction among doctors and nurses, they are afraid to speak up and say, are you fisher -- shirt is the right dosage? their tragedy is occurring because people are clammed up, scared of legal liability. host: what is the cost to a doctor for insurance for medical malpractice? guest: the total cost is about $35 billion a year, a drop in the bucket in the $2 trillion health care budget. but it is important to the doctors. especially high risk professions like neurosurgery. some doctors could pay hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in malpractice premiums. but as i indicated, that this tiny compared to the cost of defensive medicine. host: when the president made his state of the union address a
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few weeks ago, one of the lines that came out of that was i am willing to look at other ideas to bring down costs including ones the republicans suggested last year. medical malpractice reforms to rein in physicists predict frivolous lawsuits. with their release of the president's budget, there was money set aside for medical malpractice. what is the president proposing? guest: the budget includes $250 million to the states to set up alternative systems of medical records. the first example would create a health court, which is our proposal. others being a safe harbor provision for doctors to be protected if they practice within accepted guidelines. it is a significant shift.
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the traditional democratic groups, the trial lawyers, do not like the ideas of health courts. almost 50 cents on the dollar goes to administrative fees. traditionally democrats have been opposed to any malpractice reform. for the president to come out with a $250 million item that was probably paying for 10 states to set up separate courts and pay for the entire cost of that for high years. that is a very significant policy, one we think is long overdue. if they have enormously beneficial effects to everyone in society, not only reducing health-care costs, but beginning to change the culture of health care delivery so you do not have a doctor's going to the day with a little lawyer on their shoulder whispering in their year. host: phillip howard talking about medical malpractice proposals.
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you can call us at the telephone numbers. send this e-mail at or tweets at @cspanwj. mr. howard, one of the things that we have heard is that according to -- instead of relying on tours, there would be a judge with special training. can you did -- to expand on that? guest: it would be like the bankruptcy court. maybe a worker's comp system. you have an administrative system for you had judges but not juries, the judges would have funding to hire neutral experts, so that you would not have hired guns. at the end of the case, we think most cases would give results of a lot sooner.
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but at the end of the trial, there would be written rulings on standards of care. the idea would be to achieve consistent guidelines on what is good care and what is not, so that doctors can count on consistency. the current system, doctors, on the same setbacks, one doctor would be liable with a different jury, and the next day, another would not. that is what leads that the year in doctors. they realize that the current system -- feeds the fear in doctors. they realize the current system does not even aspire to consistency. it takes an average of five years to get a settlement. one and half the money goes to lawyers fees and administrative costs. and there is an error rate in
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the current system of four than 25% in both directions. one of four patients it's nothing in the current system. and one out of four doctors who did nothing wrong in sub being liable. it is not a good system. host: when it comes to witnesses, and you mentioned -- would they still be allowed or would they be chosen by the courts to come in and give input? guest: the parties could hire their own experts if they wanted, but the court would be advised by a witness who did not have a vested interest in the outcome of the case. it would be a which is picked from neutral panel of reputable experts to look get the facts of the case and give their honest opinion. host: the scud to some calls. corpus christi, texas, an independent line.
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we're talking about medical malpractice reforms, the proposals by the president. your first with philip howard of common good. caller: i think this is a neat trick by the insurance companies to get our eyes off the real problem, the cost of insurance. the doctors are not afraid of being told you made a mistake. they are afraid of the cost of insurance. that is keeping them from being able to make a living at it. the doctors are not afraid of being told there is a better way to do what you are doing. host: mr. howard? guest: the doctors are certainly concerned about their insurance. but while this would -- our proposal would certainly help the doctors in the high-risk strategies when they did nothing wrong. obstetricians often end up paying huge amounts of money when babies are born with a
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tragic condition of survival policy, when nothing the doctor had done could have caused it. it would reduce the premiums but our estimate is that overall, the system will probably cost about the same. the benefit will be to the public at large and to the peace of mind of doctors. if they are acting reasonably, they will be held liable. that is what justice is supposed to do. study after study has shown that doctors -- many doctors are retiring early because they cannot stand the uncertainty. they cannot stand the idea that almost randomly, if a sick person gets sicker, they might be liable. they might be dragged through five years of litigation and not be held liable, which is almost as bad. host: someone on twitter as for cases of frivolous lawsuits that people should not be compensated
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for. guest: it implies this something that did not happen to someone. someone got up on the wrong side of bed and decided to sue. the problem is not so much frivolous lawsuits as there are baseless lawsuits. a child born with sir rebuttal policy, we need an insurance program to take care of those children to cost $10 million or more for a lifetime of care. but it is not the fault of the hospital with a doctor. that is what the science tells us. 19 out of 20 cases, is caused by a virus in the womb, not how the baby was delivered. but because of the fear of lawsuits, our country has 50% more cesarean sections that are medically indicated to be bad for the mother and baby, because people are scared by the possibility of these lawsuits. it is not a frivolous lawsuit about survival palsy, but it is
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not valid. that is what we're trying to sort through here. host: washington, d.c., the republican line. ralph, go ahead. caller: i like your effort to curtail medical spending. look at the other side of the coin. let set doctor goes out and gets a share of an mri facility. and then the number of mri's the doctor performs those up 70%. they are lining their pockets. and then the drug companies say if you sell this much of our super due for drug, we will sponsor you on a ski trip or attend a seminar and get a kick back. it's in the interest of the doctors instead of the patient. on the other side of the corn, get rid of that. it read of the advertising,
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where they spend billions of dollars for floating butterflies across the field, and some guy saying, i'll like to be the butterfly floating across the field, has no idea what it is about, and it is costing the country -- if this is the cguest: these are all excellent points. i have a column on the atlantic website,, where i did a chart of where the waste in medical costs come from. i estimate it that in% or 50% of the waste in health care -- that 10% or 15% of the wage and health care comes from the profit motive. there are these mixed motives.
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but we don't have a reimbursement system that makes people accountable for wasting health care dollars like doctors property even though it is not necessary, then we will not curtailed apart. you have identified a correct problem but it is a different problem than the one we are discussing. reforms are needed in both areas. host: the president mentioned medical malpractice, there was a response from gibson vance, from the american association of justice. one thing he said in response to that was that as many as 98,000 people die every year from a preventable medical error with countless more -- countless more injured. he said president obama should tackle this figure. i was interested in your thoughts. guest: first of all, we want to
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create better legal rights for patients. you will get complicated -- compensated in our system without paying 40% of the two lawyers. -- of it to lawyers. they are interested in their legal fees. there are many medical errors and we need to improve patient'' safety but the same institute of medicine report says there are 98,000 deaths from errors, they attribute part of the cost of those mistakes to the atmosphere of distrust caused by the unreliable legal system. it is unreliable law that is causing some of these errors. that is what we are trying to fix. most of the leading patient safety experts have joined their coalition.
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most of the leading consumer groups have joined our coalition. this is not being led by medical association saving their costs. it is virtually everybody responsible in health care. host: this is from twitter -- guest: i hope that is not the case. i don't think this is traditional tort reform. 38 states have tort reform in the sense of putting caps on non-economic damages like pain and suffering in those states, the doctors practice medicine because they can still be liable for lifetime care for the baby when they did nothing wrong we are doing something much more fundamental which is creating a reliable system of justice for
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whoever is right. secondly, if we don't start changing this and other things in our system, we will drive off a cliff. we cannot afford health care costs the way they are. we can't afford to run a society where everyone goes through the day distrustful of everyone they deal with. this is what has happened because of are unreliable system of justice. host: do you think that caps will become part of this discussion from the administration's point of view? guest: the administration has opposed traditional cabs because -- caps because it does not solve the underlying social problem of distrust. our proposal actually included with other countries have which are a schedule of limits on non- economic damages.
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in england, for example, if you lose a toe because of malpractice, you get about 3,000 pounds. that is your non-economic damages. if you are paralyzed, you get a few hundred thousand pounds. there is a schedule. everyone gets the same period it is not because anyone would take that amount of money to be paralyzed, it is just that it is necessarily an arbitrary amount of money. you are getting that on top of whatever your loss of wages are. that brings a consistency to the system and reduces the level of fear. the people in our coalition including the consumer groups think achieving that kind of horizontal equity is actually quite useful. it is a form of cabs that could be incorporated in our system but it is not just the $250,000 cap which toward reform usually encompasses. host: georgia, you are next.
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caller: i had a problem starting two years ago. i was unconscious and taken to the emergency room. instead of waiting until i was awake, the doctor did an exploratory incision to my navel all the way to the left of my ovaries. he did not wait to get my signature. two years later, i have to go for a biopsy because blood had built up. i am 74 years old and in a wheelchair and it should never have happened. i did not sue the doctors. . it gave me nothing but a health problem. my x-rays and cat scan was in
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order. i would like to possibly you will give me an explanation to that. what he did to me, i was not pregnant. host: in the larger case, is it that kind of scope as far as the tests and costs involved -- are those the similar when it comes to cases like medical malpractice and general? guest: doctors make mistakes. if they enter somebody, the person should be compensated. it is usually not a moral problem. it is the reality of human activity. i don't know what the circumstances were in that case and whether the doctor acted outside the boundaries of what was prudent. if he thought was an emergency that was going to need to be
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looked at in that situation and she was unconscious, he might have acted reasonably. i don't know. if that had caused significant injuries and it turned out it was outside the scope of reasonable reaction to the condition, in our system, there would be experts evaluating that and saying the patient should be compensated for her losses and costs as a result of the malpractice. people have to decide in situations. we don't know the facts of that case but our system would permit an expedited review of that and not required to go through a five-year process. the pace and the system today could not even find a lawyer -- the patient in the system today could not even find a lawyer in
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many cases. host: , a health courts are there in the u.s. today? guest: there are no health courts for medical malpractice. it is similar to systems of justice they have in other countries like sweden and new zealand or they haven't minister of compensation system. each of them are somewhat different. there are lots of expert courts in this country including mental health which work very well. they take people who have mental problems and evaluate them and it is very useful to have a court that can take complex problems and make consistent judgments. health care has become extraordinarily complex. even doctors don't understand health care in some area that is not their specialty. that is why we think we need an expert court. host: what does what the
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president is proposing in the $250,000, what will that do and what happens when that is exhausted? guest: we think that if some states set up special health courts or there is a group of parliament --, and hospitals indicated they would be interested in forming a consortium for special help courts that could be overseen by the the part of health, people will say they work better and enable hospitals to work a lot better as well. that is because doctors will not be as defensive. we think the proof is in the pudding. as soon as these things start to work, people realize we're saving money and be more fair and it will become universal the same way that uniform commercial code is universal and bankruptcy courts are universal. there are other innovations in the system of justice like mental hold courts that work better -- mental health courts
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that work better. this system will work better and we're pretty confident that you could not design a system that works any worse than the current system. host: new jersey, we are talking about medical malpractice laws, republican line, good morning. caller: good morning, we all agree the vast majority of these medical professionals are trying to do the right thing by their patients. are there any states currently looking to do this as a pilot program? i recently posted this question to a bunch of friends on facebook. has there ever been a correlation between allowing advertising at big farm law and trial attorneys as far as the rising health-care costs? what percentage of defensive medicine -- how much money would be saved in regards to unnecessary testing for testing
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that is deemed appropriate in order to form a defense for with a doctor? they may get susa they order certain tests. -- they make it suited so the order certain tests. guest: a few state leaders have indicated an interest and mares. mayor bloomberg recently gave a talk calling for special health courts. the city of new york runs a whole hospital system or hundreds of millions of dollars are spent every year often in the malpractice system and for claims that often are not a valid and a mix of hard for them to mallet -- manage those municipal hospitals. the indiana governor has said favorable things about health courts. we have been working with
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leaders of the legislatures in massachusetts and maryland and a few other states. we think this proposal by president obama is fantastic. the prospect of being able to set up one of these health courts for free because the federal government will pay for it, we hope that will induce some states to do this. host: do you think trial lawyers will lobby against this? guest: the unreliability of the current system is where most of them make their money. they go to hospital and say if you don't settle this, you might be liable for $20 million. it is exactly the kind of extortive argument and pretty soon everybody ends of satellite uncases that even are not valid.
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if you have a system designed to give a ruling for whoever is actually right and to give an amount of damages that is reasonable, not emotional, all the sudden, that argument goes away and you are arguing over right and wrong, not a version of extortion. they hate it. host: kentucky, democrats line caller:, good: thank you for taking my call. i have a unique perspective on this. five years ago, i went to my doctor that i have myopathy and narrow but they which has left me paralyzed on one side. i am 50 years old. my doctors told me that i needed to take [inaudible] it left me in so much pain that
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i have not been able to go back to work. i have a stimulator in my back that i have to deal with along with numerous medications. doctors are human beings the same as any of the rest of us out here. if you do your shopping and you are comfortable with your doctor, unless there is a grievous error that constitutes a lawsuit, what is wrong with america today that we cannot understand that human beings makes mistakes. it seems like everybody is out to make a dollar, it doesn't matter how it hurts the other individual. it doesn't matter how it hurts the profession or what it does to help out care in this country guest: i think that is an
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incredibly awful and generous statement by someone who sounds like perhaps they were injured by a doctor's error. maybe that reflects the good values of people live in kentucky since i grew up there. our system is designed to compensate people for their losses when they are injured by mistake. we think the system can afford to do that. we think the system can't afford this kind of lottery mentality where people think that any time there is a tragedy, it is an excuse to get rich. that is not what justice is supposed to date. it is part of the unraveling of the character of america and it has led to a culture in health
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care and all around like teachers ordered not to put an arm around a crying child. what kind of culture is that? we need to bring order to our system of justice so we can go back to being a free country where people can feel proud of their good values, not go around trying to pick each other's pockets. >host: what is the difference of time in a medical malpractice case and how is that different in a health court? guest: huge. the average settlement in a case is five years. during that five years, the patient is living under a cloud of proving this and they get more upset. even if the doctor knows he has done something wrong goes to bed every night under a cloud that he might be ruined as a result
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of this verdict. a rider for"the new yorker" did an essay on a doctor who was unfairly suit and the litigation when on for years and at the end, the doctor one. it ruined his life. he wanted to leave the practice of medicine because he could not stand the idea of having to justify his actions when he knew he was right the other side called in witnesses that asked how many experts articles this doctor had written. expert articles does not make a good doctor. very few doctors or write expert articles. you make of these phony arguments in litigation and the drives everybody into depression. our system would take less than one year. it would take away much of the motion and it would be based on the sides. science.
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they would have to be open with all the facts. we think it gets results much quicker and that would be better for everybody. it would be more efficient. host: if a decision comes down and held court, can re-litigate? guest: we would have an appeals court, in medical appeals court that that would be it. you can't -- you could not go out of the system into the regular court system except for constitutional issues. that is the way most good systems of justice were carried you have a trial court and appellate level court. beyond that, except in rare cases like the supreme court, throughout our system of justice, there are generally two levels. host: virginia, independent line, good morning. caller: first of all, i want to thank the state and federal
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governments -- is a privilege to have insurance like medicare and medicaid. it is just wonderful but then you have some people who go out and one sue and they should not do that and they should pass a law on that. they say they will sue somebody for medicare and medicaid. they just get rich. that is wrong. president obama is doing his best. [inaudible] america would be better off with a king instead of a president. idea: i won't address the of monarchy, but i do think
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medicare and medicaid has been -- have been wonderful programs. they need to have some more personal incentives built into them because they are not affordable at the moment. we have survey did the public and other people about the acceptability of creating a special health court. the public overwhelmingly agreed it would be better than the current system. everyone intuitively knows that the caller suggested that people game the system through lawsuits for the use it to try to get rich. they use it to try to get back at things they are upset about. that may not have been caused by the doctor. the public favors british order to this system because they know
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how important -- the public favors of bringing order to the system because they know how important health care is that we need a system that is reliable, not this kind of lottery mentality host: we have about 10 more minutes with our guest. caller: 10 you explain time limits on how long a person would have to file a claim? guest: we think the statute of limitations would be similar to current state statutes of limitations. you don't know if there has been a mistake right away. most state statutes for malpractice are on the order of three years. i assume our system would be exactly the same perio. host: can you explain more about safe harbor? guest: another idea is that you could set up a system where
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there would be a safe harbor for physicians where they comply with established practice guidelines, that there could not be a lawsuit against them. that has appeal because there is a whole group in the medical profession that likes the idea of evidence-based medicine. making doctors keep up to date with the latest innovations and the latest learning to provide better care. there is another group in health care that does not like the idea of evidence. they think it will be cookbook medicine. you will have doctors that comply with guidelines whether or not they thinks it makes sense. there is a tension within the medical profession. even if they put in a provision like this and you can do this with health courts. you could have both at the same
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time. you still need a decision maker to decide whether or not the fact comply with accepted evidence-based guidelines. the patient does not come in with a sign that says here are more symptoms -- here are my symptoms. every person is different and every person is complex. everyone has different symptoms. this range of symptoms is what a doctor has to evaluate. it is always complex and it will read read -- require an expert decisionmaker even if you have the safe harbor rule in effect. host: yucca valley, calif., democrats line, go ahead caller: i want to make a couple of quick comments about the imaging system.
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i would like to see protocol's set up, mechanisms on cat scan machines that would indicate if there is an overdose of radiation. i would also like a system where the doctors are not afraid to review each other and not cover up for each other when there are egregious mistakes. thank you for taking my call. guest: i am not a medical professional so i don't know about overdoses. i know about overuse of cat scans and mri's. the reason pennsylvania study, the doctor said that 38% of the mri's they ordered, they did not considered medically necessary.
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on the second point, doctors covered up for each other is a serious problem. that is in part because of the defense of culture of malpractice. they are afraid that somebody will report on them. in our health court system, one goal is to create a culture of transparency where everything is out in the open. this is where we acknowledge that humans make mistakes and there is not a moral judgment required and somebody makes a mistake. in sweden, where they have an administrative compensation system, the doctors who made mistakes helped the patients get compensation. they don't consider it immoral law that they made a mistake. you do so many procedures of make -- a day, you will flub a few. that is the culture we want to build where doctors are much more open about their mistakes and they don't get treated like
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they are criminals which the current system does. we would rather have a system that fairly compensate people. host: is litigation in medicine malpractice more prevalent than other areas? guest: the fear of litigation in health care is probably more corrosive than in any other areas. there are a lot of lawsuits in medical malpractice and probably more than other areas. this is a general problem in america. you talk to any teacher and teachers are scared of getting sued for sending a kid home because he is misbehaving.
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we have a problem in our culture where we need to understand that justice is supposed to draw the norms of right or wrong, not be a free- for-all which is what it has become in america. host: what type of medical malpractice suits generally get tossed out? which ones get big rewards? guest: very few medical malpractice suits get tossed out because judges don't have the idea that they are supposed to draw an arms between good care and that care. the claims that get dropped get dropped because the lawyer concludes he does not have a chance of winning. the lawsuits that are the most troublesome are the ones where you have a tragic result, a baby born with cerebral palsy, the nor surgery where -- the nor
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surgery where the patient is paralyzed for life. -- the neuro-surgery where the patient is paralyzed for life. those are not frivolous cases. the cases where the doctor did not do anything wrong and the condition was caused -- the patient came in with this problem. our system would try to sort for the ones where the doctors -- the through the ones where doctor could not cure the problem. host: the group is known as the common good. where can we direct them to? guest: is the website. we are looking to build right- minded citizens to bring
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stability back to our society this is so doctors can do their jobs and focus on patients and said of protecting themselves and teachers can run classrooms and that sort of thing. host: thank you for your time. later on this program, we will take a look at protests going on in wisconsin and ohio and potentially other states. amy goodman is coming up on democracy efforts and she will join us in a few minutes. we will first take a look at the world of news through the art of political cartoons.
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>> donald rumsfeld was the youngest and oldest person to
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serve as u.s. defense secretary. >> if you have proximity to a president, you automatically have an obligation to tell him the truth and what you really believe. people who don't have proximity and only go in and see him occasionally simply do not want to do it. >> he will discuss his philosophy sunday of staff leadership, the process of writing his memoirs, and address some of his book's critical reviews on "q &a." >> i recognize there will be plenty of arguments in the months to come. but will have to give a little bit but when it comes to difficult choices about our budget and priorities, we have to -- we have found common ground before president obama sent congress a $3.70 trillion budget. what reaction from house and senate members online at the cspan video library.
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it is washington your way. >> "washington journal" continues. host: joining us from new york is amy goodman, the host of " democracy now." there is a picture stemming from the protests going on in bahrain. could you give your sense when it comes to these protests, what is the larger picture tha the ? guest: there is this role in rebellion that is taking place throughout the middle east right now. you look at what happened in tunisia which was sparked by two major developments. one was a young man who graduated from university and could not find a job and represented so many in tunisia and he went into the fruit and
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vegetable market to sell fruits and vegetables and he was harassed by police and he could not take it. he burns himself to death. that is the spark that ignites the tunisian uprising. wikileaks was something else for it was documents that were released that confirmed what people into needed new and that was the intense corruption of the ben alli regime. the despot was forced out and he resigned quickly taken refuge in saudi arabia. that ignited egypt. what happened over 18 days in egypt is truly remarkable. there was this protest democracy uprising that was organized by used and by labor. -- by youth and by labor. there was this young woman who posted a youtube video that said
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we must all go to tahrir and you have the google marketing executive who has a facebook page that he organized. he was talking about a young man who in june of 2010, was in alexandria. he was posting video of corrupt police officers. when he came out of the internet cafe, they beat him to death. pictures of the savage death went on line. this was fuelling unrest in egypt. labor was organizing throughout egypt. it all culminated in this 18-day massive popular uprising. the final day was the union's going out all over egypt, labor, and suez and alexandria and finally, mubarak, the u.s.-
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backed despot who had been there for 30 years was forced to resign. now we have throughout the middle east and north africa, one country after another. in yemen, thousands of people took to the streets. when i bought my newspaper this morning, the man who sold it to me is from yemen and he was shaking his head and said he bombed us. they just opened fire on us. we are talking about many cities in yemen. it is not stopping people. that is in yemen, also calling for democratic reform there. it is interesting to point out this combination of the protests caused by intense repression as is demonstrated by the number of people who are being killed and also wikileaks. we cannot really minimize the effect of all these u.s. cables
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coming out. in the case of yemen, it showed the u.s. government was meeting with the yemeni leadership and work a deal that the u.s. would bomb the yemeni population. yemen would say that it was the yemeni government because it would look bad if it was a foreign government. you have bahrain were terrible repression -- where terrible repression and violence are happening because the government there who has been in power for an extremely long time is opening fire on the protesters. it is frightening what is happening there. you had women and children just like in tahrir square in egypt where they had camped out overnight and they were sleeping bear and the military opened fire. host: what does that mean?
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what does this mean for politics especially for this administration? guest: that is the key. unfortunately, we have been connected to these populations, these countries in the middle east and north africa through the barrel of a gun. we have been shoring up these despots and there has to be a great deal of soul-searching and policy changing in washington as to who the u.s. government represents. how is it that mubarak remained in egypt for more than 30 years? he had a coat of armor, you could say. , made in the usa. he got tens of billions of dollars over that 30 years, pocketed a good deal of it, but a lot of it did not go to egypt
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and certainly not to the poor. it went to u.s. weapons manufacturers at home whether we are talking bolling or general dynamics or lockheed martin, it is a kind of corporate welfare at home. at-'60s are in the pipeline to egypt right now. are in the pipeline to egypt right now. the u.s. was uncomfortable saying they would not support a crowbar. when they saw it was inevitable what was taking place, they shifted. actually, they never talked publicly about cutting off the weapons flow and that is what we have to examine in this country whether we are supporting the yemeni government or bahrain. when you look at what has happened in manama, the pride of
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a doctor in the major hospital saying a hospital is filled with casualties and we don't know how many dead there are in the streets. he said the ambulances are not being allowed to get to them. bahrain is significant because the u.s. navy fleet is there. the u.s. is very closely tied at 2 bahrain pettit. host: the phone numbers are on your screen. this is from twitter --
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guest: i think it is very important that we support profess democracy activism everywhere whether we are talking about manama in bahrain or what madison, wisconsin. it is a role in rebellion that is taking place. there is nothing that will guarantee our national security more than if we side with freedom. we need to side with those who believe in democracy and are trying to throw off the yoke of these despot's. it is very clear and u.s. governments, especially when you look of the documents released by wikileaks, the incredible trove of u.s. government cables, are fully aware of level of repression and corruption of these regimes. it is not in our interest to side with dictators. host: the first call is from texas, our independent line, go ahead caller: good morning, may,
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nice to see you on this program. i am one of the many millions of people who are disgusted by both parties. predominately after experiencing the nightmare of abuses of the bush years. it has moved everything in a new realm. the major factor that the republicans used to get into the war over there is to destabilize the ongoing battle between the sunni and the shiite moslem spiruslims.
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guest: it is essential that we go back to the beginnings of the war in iraq. it is not just history or going back to before 2003. it is what we are experiencing today in iraq and afghanistan. , especially because we have servicemen and women in both of these countries and in pakistan as well. it is critical that we understand why we are there. you raise a very important point, curveball, the man whose lives we went to war based on his words. this intelligence was not reliable. yet, that is the excuse that was used, that saddam hussein had weapons of mass destruction, not
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that he was a tyrant. they had done a polling of the american people saying there were plenty of tyrants but there had to be an imminent threat and this one was manufactured, weapons of mass destruction. you think about what has happened as a result, the thousands of young men and women and not so young men and women from the united states that were sent to kill or be killed. we don't even know the number of iraqis who have died. there are hundreds of thousands of iraqis and now iraq is demanding $1 billion from the u.s. government just to repair baghdad because it is a ravaged war zone now. we have to never forget, especially with president obama releasing his budget, where the bulk of the money goes in this country. when we need to build up our own
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country, it is going to destroy other countries. we have to seriously examine the military budget. i don't think we can afford it economically. i don't think we can afford it morally. host: next call is boston, massachusetts, democrats aligned. obama cameter day under pressure and veto the palestinian resolution. do you have an opinion? guest: the israeli/palestinian conflict must be resolved. it is not good for the israelis. it is not good for the palestinians. it is not good for peace in the middle east. it is not good for the united states. it must be resolved. the palestinians, like the israelis, deserve a state. we cannot go on supporting the
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repression of palestinians in gaza or the west bank. there are many israelis in a peace movement who feel exactly the same way. israel cannot depend on arab despot's around them like mubarak in egypt to continue the policy that they have been foisting on the palestinians. it is absolutely critical for peace for all of us. host: amy goodman is our guest. caller: i apologize -- host: go ahead. caller: i will make a couple of points. i have travelled that region recently.
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they could be empowering iran by what has happened in iraq. bahrain could go in that direction and that would be a disaster. my point is about the libyan issue. the massacre is not being covered by the media. they cannot get in or out. khaddafi as secret service in civilian clothes pretending to .e pro-kahddafi there is a massacre that happens two days ago. the media is not reportedly accurate numbers about libya. i don't know why the european union and the u.s. is not putting pressure on that dictator.
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guest: you're absolutely right. when you watch television, you will see what the caller is saying. often the only video we have is people who are sending out cell phone video. we don't know the extent of the killings taking place. as of this broadcast, it is something like 84 but that may well be an underestimation. as internees and egypt and bahrain, thousands of people are marching in a number of libyan cities. moammar khaddafi has been in power for 41 years. he is brutally repressing these protests. we need to know what is taking place. the world has to respond as they have to respond and all these other cases. when iran brutally repressed the protesters a few days ago, president obama spoke out,
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secretary of state hillary clinton spoke out. she gave a speech on the importance of internet freedom, a non-violent protests are not being attacked, yet at the same time -- all that should be said but it should apply to everyone, not just enemies of the united states but allies as well. bahrain has been brutal and it took a number of more days for the obama administration to speak out forcefully about what was happening in bahrain. we have to have a uniform standard of justice. what is happening in libya is terrifying. we've got to find out more. host: talk about the role of independent media organizations like yours. guest: "democracy now," today is the 50th anniversary of "
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democracy now." we started in 1996 as the only daily election show in public broadcasting and a week of september 11, 2001, we started on television. we moved on to grow to 900 public radio and television stations around the country and around the world. we broadcast throughout the world and our had lines are available in spanish and over 300 stations take those. you can go to ademocracyno we are not brought to you by the weapons manufacturers that profit from war or the health industry, insurance industry, we are not brought to by drug manufacturers. we are independent media and that is really critical. it is essential to just be able to get to the heart of the story, not brought to you by
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anyone's agenda but independent, grass-roots global news hour. you asked the question about aljazeera. for so many hundreds of millions of people around the world, aljazeera has been the major source of getting information in this rolling rebellion in the middle east. aljazeera-english is hardly able to be seen in the united states. on a cable network in toledo, ohio, and burlington, vt. but they don't have their own channel. it is on random channels. i think it is absolutely essential for us to be able to get information to pull from many different resources and
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many different sources. we need to have that in the united states and be able to get different perspectives breed it is absolutely critical. i think we have a problem in our national media in the united states, what i would call the corporate media. i won't even call of the mainstream media. i don't think it is mainstream. those who are opposed to war and those who are opposed to torture are not a french minority. they are not even a silent majority but the silenced majority, silenced by the corporate majority. host: this is from 20 -- twitter -- guest: we have been covering egypt intensively over the 18 days of the rebellion and even now. yesterday, friday, was the first
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week anniversary after the mubarak resignation. i believe something like 1 million people came into tahrir square in cairo. time remains liberation in arabic. t --ahrir means liberation in arabic. it helped pave the way for the resignation of mubarak. democracy means all different points of view flourishing. the people decide how they want to be represented. in egypt, the moslem brotherhood long ago renounced violence. they are one part of the nra of opinions in egypt. right now, what has to happen is a constitution being rewritten and parties being allowed to form and develop so that people can be represented according to the party that they
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believe host: new york, republican line, go ahead caller: thank you for taking my call. i guess i have a question and a response. you made a comment about" democracy now" not being backed by corporate sponsors. "democracy in"now b --ehin -- behind "democracy now" and mainstream media, they still are sponsored. you take donations. it could be ideological or could be corporate. guest: is interesting you should
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raise the issue of the military- industrial complex. it is very relevant today. let's go back to where that term was coined. it goes back to the general turned president, a republican president, dwight d. eisenhower. i read a column every week that appears to newspapers around the country. in the last few weeks, i have quoted president eisenhower several times because this warning about the power of the military-industrial complex, that it came from a general term president, from a republican, is one of the most important warnings about the threats to our democracy. he also warned that every rocket that is launched, every bomb that is dropped and i am paraphrasing, is food taken from a person who is hundred, c
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islothes taken from a person that is cold. when president obama laid out his budget, i did a column that week called "obama paused budget, freezing the pour." or." the budget takes -- cuts in half the program for heating for low income americans. this is one of the coldest winters we have ever experienced it brought me back. seeing obama invoke president eisenhower twice in the budget and how he established the national highway transportation in this country but if only he would take to heart beat eisenhower warning in the case of the military-industrial complex and what it means every
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time we put money into a bomb or rocket and not into a short of americans in this country. california, in the end of line, go ahead. caller: it was stated that saddam hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction. bush said he wanted to get him because he tried to kill his daddy. he blamed the weapons of mass destruction that he knew they did not have. that is what i am upset about. i am also upset because the united states is broke, crying broke, however, they can find billions of dollars to send to these foreign lands and dictators and do it on an annual basis.
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if they bothered to mind their own business here in the states and took care of the citizens in the united states, this would be much better country than what it is. guest: you are raising a number of important points. i am not one who believes we should never support people abroad in other countries. i do think it is absolutely critical that we do not suredespots and dictators that brutalize their own people. the reasons we went to war in iraq is on excusabinexcusable. intelligence felt as when it came to the invasion of iraq at a time when about half of the population was opposed to war -- i think it was the two weeks around colin powell giving his push for war at the united
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nations, a speech he would call a stain on his career, that speech was february 5, 2003. the media watch group fare did a polling of the four newscasts. they look to the abc news, the nbc nightly news, the cbs world news, and the pbs news hour with jim lehrer. in that two-week period, there were 393 interviews done around war. only three were with anti-war leaders. three of almost 400 when about half the population was not for this war. that is no longer a mainstream media. that is a media that is beating the drums for war. we have to demand that our media which uses the public airwaves which are a national treasure
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bring out the full diversity of opinion especially when it comes to issues of war and peace, life and death. people on military bases around this country cannot have these debates about whether we should go to war. they rely on us in civilian society to have the discussions that will determine whether they are sent to war and whether they live or die. that is why it is absolutely critical that we have all the information and that the media bring out those opinions. host: next call from charlotte, north carolina. caller: the morning, aimee. what is going on is the web of deceit that has been weaved by the neo-con republicans to have
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years democracy as a way to implement their money laundering scheme which robs the taxpayer pot and transfers the money to companies like northrop grumman, boeing. the money never leaves this but the weapons go to these other countries and they use democracy as a assaad of -- as a facade for this money laundering scheme. this is why the country is broke and i do not see what anyone can do about it. guest: people across the political spectrum agree with you and they are deeply concerned about this transfer of wealth of boards. looked at what is happening in
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madison, wisconsin. there are mass protests taking place, tens of thousands of people coming after day of boards of 40,000 people in the state capital and in madison. when the republican governor, scott walker, who was interviewed -- who was elected by the people. for i was speaking to reporters on here here is a multi generational wisconsinite. if the people voted for when he is putting forth and he said that they did not. he never raised this issue when he was running for governor, that he was going to end the collective bargaining rights. people are willing to sacrifice. it is amazing what americans are willing to sacrifice. when it comes to taking collective bargaining off of the table, in one fell swoop people
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say that when governor walker came into office, what was one of his first acts was to give tax breaks to corporations. then when it comes to the people of wisconsin, the police officers, firefighters, teachers, it is amazing to watch even though gov. walker said the firefighters and police to be exempted from this terrible that he would lose their support that they have come out in support of all of the other workers who are standing together, the teachers, students, the cross-section of wisconsin society and are saying that he will not do it. we are suffering in this country. people who are republican, democrat, independent, we are seeing a level of joblessness especially in the minority communities, young male african- americans, offered to 50%.
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the number of foreclosures, this is all very serious. the burden must be shared equally. host: naples, fla., on the republican line. go ahead. caller: good morning and thank you for a c-span. what about this uranium thing that has bothered me, the only thing that has really been kept secret or not spoken about a whole lot was in 2008, cnn reported that 500 tons of yellow cake uranium were shipped out of iraq and fled to canada. we know saddam hussein had
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other weapons of mass destruction. when the kurdish people had their uprising, this long before the uprisings in iran coming into, and everywhere else. -- iran, egypt, and everythonthg else. he would just gas them. he was horrible. guest: the key point is that the u.s. president, bush at the time, didn't say that we were going to attack iraq because saddam hussein was a tyrant. they had done polling of the united states and they felt americans would not buy it. there are a number of tyrants and we do not invade the country's and kill the victims. the example that was used is that it had to be in imminent danger to us in the united
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states, that is how americans would can see that innovating, to protect americans. they use this false reason, weapons of mass destruction. as for the gassing of kurds, it is really distressing. it has been shot in the media, the picture of donald rumsfeld as an envoy for president reagan after the gassing of the kurds to normalize business relations with saddam hussein. it was all out in the open them. at that time, the u.s. chose to support saddam hussein as they supported mubarak, yemen, and tunisia. it is really important to understand what the role of the
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u.s. has been. the reason given for the invasion of iraq was not weapons of mass destruction and it simply was not true. asked former secretary of state: powell. he now knows it was not true. -- ask former sec. of state col in powell. host: who will be at the leadership of the democratic organization? who has been involved in the process of negotiation? guest: we have been relying on the reports of our senior producer and has done a stunning works in egypt. he flew in and the protests were happening. we did not know if he could get ugly airport bay. he went right into cairo and tahrir square. -- we did not know if he could even get out of the airport in
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cairo. but when the internet was down, when people could not use his bonds, he worked out a way to be able to -- use their phones, he could tweet. he was one of the top followed on twitter because he could get out observations and his observations as a son of egypt was so important. we talked about this yesterday on "democracy now!" about young people trying to give up the voice of the grass roots. there was the image of him broadcasting from cairo talking to us yesterday. his observations ofhe many different sectors of egyptian society that rose up to gather,
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the day that the mubarak's the -- thusgs came out and were beating people, it was terrifying. he had just came from our studio and was interviewing an egyptian american professor who had come back to be among the voices. when they left the "democracy now!" show, she was set upon by a group of thugs and was beaten almost to death. she was sewn up and was right out in tahrir again the next day. this has to be a turning point
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for egypt. let me give another example. i talked about mubarak supported by the united states for all of his 30 years, tens of billions of dollars. at the end when the house. barack -- when he saw the writing on the wall, his v.p., as it came out in the wikileaks, to the choice for isreaael replace mubarak two years ago. he is the cia parks demand. he is someone very close with -- he is the cia's man. they take a person and sent him
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off to a third country, in a number of cases it would be egypt, and they could be denied the iraqi on the part of the u.s. government. some quotes him as being the torturer in chief. we have to be very straightforward. the u.s. government has to be pro-democracy, not shoring up despots for "stability." host: we have time for one more call. hartford, conn., on our independent line. if you could make your statements are question concise. caller: you cover everything. where is the role of the press media in the third parties come independent parties?
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what is available for young people, workers, for people to be able to organize a that stocks guest: on the issue of third parties, it is really important that parties and candidates in every level of government be allowed to fully participate in debates. i think the purpose of that was new york in the gubernatorial debate where governor cuomo was elected. there were 7 people in the debate where you had the "rent is too damn high" party. that became one of the most famous slogans in the united states.
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if the bringing in of many different opinions, not just democrats and republicans, which unfortunately are often so close to cannot tell the difference was an example of why many have many different voices, you end up with simply a better debate. that has to happen all over this country. we have to have points of view represented, and what it often comes down to in the belt way and on television is a very narrow spectrum. also on television, the corporate networks need to have a wider debate and not simply the small circle abundance -- of pundits who know so little about so much. host: amy goodman is the host of "democracy now!" and is the authoer or of "breaking the soud
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barrier." we will take a look at what is going on in the wisconsin, ohio, and other states as well with the debate about state budgets. we'll have a series of guests joining us on the faunus and has become back. -- us on the phone when we come back. >> it is a three-day presidential weekend on c-span3 live from the german little white house in key west. what it is like to be related to an american president. we hear candid discussion from the sentence of four presidents. on kennedy, his place in history, the lessons he learned, their application today. we will visit the smithsonian national gallery. experience american history tv
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on c-span3 all weekend, every weekend. for the complete schedule, log onto you can have the schedule e-mail to you. you are watching c-span. bringing a politics and public affairs every morning. it is "washington journal" connecting with elected officials, policymakers, and journalists. watch live coverage of the u.s. house and congressional hearings and policy forums. also, supreme court oral arguments. you can see our signature interview programs. on saturday, "the communicators. on sunday, "newsmakers," "q&a," and "prime minister's questions. the can search on our c-span video library. c-span -- washington your way. a public service greeted by america's cable companies.
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>> what we face today is that the american dream is under attack and because america is on the wrong track. we are fighting back and we will get it back. >> sunday on c-span's road to the white house, herman cain, former chairman and ceo of godfather's's p said -- pizza. watch his performance from a lincoln day dinner. the state will host the first in the nation primary. "road to the white house." host: for the next 45 men's, we will take a look at what is going on around the united states particularly like to have seen in wisconsin, ohio, and other states when it comes to protesting over concerns about curtailing the bargaining rights communions, and things along
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that nature. we will have a series of guests joining us on the phone and you can contribute your thoughts as well. let me tell you how you can do so. if you to call in and talk about this topic whether it is wisconsin, ohio, what have you -- or @cspanwj on twitter. "state house stalemate." the pictures you see, videos you see as well as concerning this issue going on in the ohio. dennis tashard has been writing about the larger implications -- dennis cauchon has been talking about this. talk about the political undertones of this event. we know the specifics in the
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debate involved, but water the politics overall and what does this mean in the larger sense for those out here in washington perhaps? caller: politics is driving the whole thing. public employee unions are the largest outside founder of democratic candidates. going after their power as -- has political implications to weaken the entire democratic party and this has escalated to a national competition. host: we have statements by the president, nancy pelosi on this issue, how does it contribute to what is going on at the state level? caller: the political -- guest: the political class has the ability to support larger democratic candidates and it has a larger berber region beyond pension benefits. the implications have environmental issues, abortion
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issues, because it is about the ability of one political side to compete especially after the citizens united ruling which allows corporate donations and other donations to increase. the plain field has shifted. host: as far as the playing field is concerned and driving people out to protest at the state capital, how much would you say and that this is a pure grass-roots effort? adding to what we have been hearing about the organization, organizing for america? guest: msnbc and fox news are escalating this to a battle of good versus evil, go out and do your part. grass roots as blurred into the top down control so it is hard to categorize. guest: you wrote about wisconsin. what is happening in ohio? there are protests there as well.
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guest: the new republican governor is pitching new bills than they have republican control of both houses, so theoretically they could pass this. the reason things are focused on wisconsin is they had the honor of going first. that is now the battle is set. what is on board about wisconsin is that in the politics, you tend to follow the winner. wisconsin matters for iowa and a whole series of states that may consider various changes. host: people look at wisconsin and they decide the influence on other states and we have a new series about a grant states to consider and the political front? guest: a lot of these are battleground or swing states the republicans stuck in november 2010 -- republicans took in 2010 so this is adding to the conflict. host: what is the likelihood,
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especially in the wisconsin, as far as this continuing on for a series of weeks as the democratic legislature lets this way? guest: politics is unpredictable. if you look at the dispute, two people could get in the room and settle this in five minutes. there are other outside implications that have huge unintended consequences the nra difficult to settle. it comes down to a who lost, who won in these various things. it is very important in the next two days that polling will start coming out and we will start to get a sense of how the public is perceiving this. that could be decisive. host: as far as the public is concerned, do you have advice on how the public is taking this in? guest: especially with wisconsin
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politics, every state has a unique personality. there are dynamics going in different directions. ibis curious to see with the act -- with the public is actually thinking. host: dennis cauchon of "usa today." pam from new york. we're talking about state budgets and the protests by employee unions. what would you like to add? caller: i support the people in wisconsin and i think this will definitely coming to new york state. of the problem is that we do not have investigative reporters anyone the report, these people are doing. here in my area we do have one. i would to give you a quick example of the largess that is going on. we just found out that for six months last year, the tab for
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bottled water for our legislators was $200,000. we recently discovered that six new beautiful suvs were purchased for supervisors of prisons to ride around in. eight huge budget deficit, one old building in downtown albany was rehabed it to the tune of $23 million, seven apartments treated, marble floors, everything else for circuit court judges who spent 66 days in albany. the citizenry has just had enough. the board of directors of our local school once a month as a catered dinner. we keep being asked to sacrifice but we never hear a word about what they are right to sacrifice. host: hard as governor cuomo respond? caller: he is not talking yet. he was surprised about the new
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vehicles for the prison superintendents. where that goes remains to be seen. we have to apply constant pressure. teachers who are making a chromium 40,000 or $50,000 per year are asked to stand aside while our legislators ride around like kings. host: do you think you will see the same kind of protests whether it will be in the national news or youtube or something like that? caller: i do and i will be in support of that. host: richmond, calif., on our republican line. caller: i feel for the people in wisconsin. hopefully they keep the unions together. i really, really wish that they would cut their own pay and that the working middle class and the working for have a -- working
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poor have a fair chance of eating at night. host: dennis, what do they have to do to come out on top for this? guest: they have to get a handful of republican legislators to soften the bill. the underlying thing that people do not pick up on is a lot of these republican legislators are in the pension system themselves because they made a career in politics, as legislators, district attorneys, or teachers, so there is personal interest. in the bigger picture, more than half of what the state and local government spends is on labor costs. people talk about entitlements that the federal level, but at the state and local level, if you do not control or to -- to draw your labor costs, you cannot control your overall
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costs are the tax rates which is what makes it tough. host: for those who say that public employees have been seen protesting, what is the scale of what they receive in cash and benefits? how does it compare to the average private industry workers out there? guest: it is a very controversial issue. for a comparable job, state workers earn a little less and school workers earn a little more in cash pay. effectively, they earned the same as the private sector. the differences in the benefits, pension, health benefits or the average state and local government employee gets about $16,000 in benefits which is about $7,000 more than the private sector. if you look at the governor is really going after, he is going
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after benefits. host: is this similar to other states we would be seeing like in ohio, possibly new jersey, and other areas? is that is where the action is as far as benefits? guest: yes. it is the same in ohio. the florida governor wants them to pay 5% of their pension where they pay nothing now. the iowa gov. wants them to pay up to 30% of their health-care costs. ohio wants 20%. it is relatively low in wisconsin. he is asking for cough 0.6%. host: new jersey. we're talking about state unions and the employee union budgets. on caller: this country is a union. if you're going to ruin a union, the first need to do is as a country to do with they did in the egypt, march on washington,
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sure the idiot republicans that we are tired of them taking over the country and giving the money to the rich. any time the republicans run anything in its take from the poor, give to the rich. now they're taking from social security, medicaid, medicare, the working poor. unions? where is it going to stop? they should work for minimum wage. they do not do anything. they never helped this country. we end up getting something else stupid in another country. host: ohio on our republican line. caller: i just wanted to say that i dislike very much that our president, who was supposed to be the president of all people, is stepping in on different issues that he should not be stepping into as far as saying and keeping his political issues. to me, i think he is trying to
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reaffirm his army for his political views. host: dennis cauchon, any read on the president's willingness to step on -- step in on this issue? guest: he talked about it in a very gentle fashion. it seems like it may have been an assault on unions. speaker of the house has stepped in. he is from ohio. this is engaged in at the national level because of the political overtones we spoke about earlier. host: to get a quorum, you only need one democrat to be willing to take a vote on this thing. guest: that is right. host: any indication that will happen? guest: it is a standoff at the moment. the legislatures of expected back until tuesday. host: dennis caucon writes for
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"usa today" and is based in ohio. we will continue with our calls as we hear more from the state level on these issues. california on the independent line. go ahead. caller: thank you for c-span. this is our union. all i can say is, thank you for being there. host: gilbert, ariz., on the republican line. caller: yes, if you look at the in the country as a whole, audio, a teacher unions, etc., a lot of them have almost broken their industries. take the automobile industry as
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an example. they have crippled the industry so bad that they cannot make a competitive product in this country. the unions in general have a great concept to help the employees, but it has gotten so out of hand that it takes an act of congress to get rid of someone not doing their job, okay? that is what i have to say about unions. the other part of this, and i do not think anyone is saying anything about this, but if you look back in history, the obama administration has spent so much money, more than its predecessors of combined. this is just the beginning because the money has to come from somewhere. what you're seeing is the ramifications of people having to come up with the body -- with the money to get states back in
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the black. that is really what i have to say about that. host: the "usa today" talks about the statistics about four private industries and as to get hourly wages. these are for full-time workers. as far as wages are concerned, the private industry makes $19.68 an hour. the retirement benefits, but cover 74% of workers for private. almost 90% for the public. 99% of workers in state and local governors -- governments get medical benefits. 20% is paid by the employees and 11% only paid for state and local government workers. 90 percent signs of workers get the paid sick leave.
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four paid holidays come eight days compared to 11 days. for paid holidays, 8 days versus 11. dan simmons is a reporter for "washington state journal." we should be the headline before. "the state house stalemate. mr. simmons, where are we as of today on this issue? guest: about where we have been. the senate democrats are still on the lam, out of state. there cannot be a vote until they return and the him threaten to set out as long as it takes, even weeks. it is still in limbo. host: the republicans in the legislature have no recourse on these actions and the votes to have to take until democrats come back? guest: exactly.
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host: we read about the influence of jesse jackson. guest: he was here. he led a rally last night. a couple of national labor leaders came in as well. the basic movement has been since monday and now the national leaders are coming in, but it is still pretty local. host: your paper reports that they're willing to make some concessions. can you expand on that? guest: the governor asked for three things. to end the union's right to collectively bargain and to increase contributions to health-care and pension. the unions, yesterday and said that they would agree to the second and third of those demands, and to contribute more to their pensions and health care, but they will not give up the right to collectively
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bargain. the governor responded by saying he is not a budget of the collective and it -- collective bargaining issue. host: talk about the long-term issues. we see teachers at these. is school expected to be out of session after the holidays? guest: madison schools have been closed the longest of any district in the state. teachers have a plan to be back in the skull by tuesday. -- back in school by tuesday. things may cool down on the protest fraud. host: talk about were the unions are and where meetings there have been amongst each other, meetings with republican government, and talk about the interactions that have been going on. have they been cordial? guest: they have been. these protests have been
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entirely peaceful. there have not been any real flareups of violence and there is allowed a goal of -- there is not a lot of dialogue. they are issuing statements and counter statements without any face to face dialogue. host: hang on the line and we will get a few more callers. no carolina on our independent line. go ahead. caller: yes. thank you for c-span. i think they should speak out. most people do have jobs as it is. the government needs to do the budget and the only have five on each side. they should not give the 5% the
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people's money. we have worked all of our lives in dangerous jobs but we did it to feed our families. all of those jobs are gone and they talk about when to pull rights to have been done the table and stuff? yes, i do not work for a union, but i think they should speak up for themselves because-- host: tucson, ariz., on our democrat line. caller: we just went for all of this with gabby giffords. one bill she was offering before she got shot was to introduce a bill for all politicians to take a 10% pay cut to show the
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people they were willing to take a cut as well. i have been asking and asking our republican governor and several leaders here if they would be willing to take pay cuts. i have made numerous phone calls to our republican governor and have never gotten a reply until i flooded the line. i got a call back yesterday and what their response was that the governor does not and has not taken a pay cut, however personally she donates 2.75% to a charity each year. the employees take demanded furlough day off each year. i truly think that maybe if they
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had to take a pay cut when we you are having our services taken away, maybe they would use a little different understanding of where they have to cut. i am on social security disability. i do not have a lot of money. i am terminally ill. do these people not realize that if i collapse and i have to call 911 and go to a hospital that i cannot pay that bill? the american people pay that bill anyways. host: mr. simmons, we have a comment on twitter that the governor has gone to court already and filed the put the teachers go back to work or be fired. any truth to that? guest: not that i have heard of. host: one of the headlines says,
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"does wisconsin will have a budget crisis?" in give is a sense of the real crisis where the budget is concerned? guest: is a little fuzzy in the details. the two-year budget, clearly they are running a deficit of $3.60 billion. for the current year budget, which the governor said is the reason for these cuts, it is unclear. it is a projected $121 million surplus for the budget year that ends june 30th of this year. the state has something like to order $58 million in outstanding bills to pay which are not necessarily do this fiscal year but are there for us. that is how the governor is getting this figure of $136 million deficit. is just how you enter the numbers. host: what should we expect the
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next couple of days from governor scott walker? guest: the story of a counter protests. the same tens of thousands of protesters who have been here all week will continue. today, for the first time, one group standing in support of gov. walker is staging their own rally at noon. there will be these dueling rallies. on the political front, not much movement is expected. the senate is still in a stalemate and the assembly has adjourned until tuesday. that looks like the focus will shift to the protests. host: is the counterpurchase a true grass-roots effort or are there other efforts at work organizing that? guest: it is being organized by a national conservative groups
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called americans for prosperity and they are being joined by local tea party groups and other conservative supporters from wisconsin and beyond. host: dan simmons with "the wisconsin state journal." is the website. thank you for your time. robert bonner republican line from new york. go ahead. caller: i thought this was supposed to be a separation of church and state. then how come the c.c. church of brooklyn is talking down the unions. i thought this was supposed to be a separation.
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they choose because the governor and the mayor must have their own way with the people. host: illinois. on our democratic line. go ahead. caller: i belong to uaw. our company is doing really good. we attend a record profit of $500 million for this quarter. mr. walker came in and cut taxes. that is the real crux of this. we have nothing but a bunch of corporate loans-- loyalists. my father is in hospice. the 16 ounce laxative, the company wants to charge us so much money. if we do not stop these
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loyalists, they have been systematically chipped in at the union since 1980. our readers have stagnated the last 30 years -- our wages have stagnated while corporate raiders have gone up almost 500%. we need to rally and take up our country back from the corporate loyalists, republicans, and the sarah palin death panels. how many senior citizens are going to die when they do not get their blood thinning medicine? host: chapel hill, tennessee. caller: good morning, pedro, and thank you for c-span. i watch "democracy now!" every day.
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what i wanted to say about the union's is that the mismanagement of the companies making promises to the union that they cannot keep and on top of that the democrats -- the republicans, i am sorry, actually change the law to read did not have to have on hand a certain amount of your retirement investment so something did happen you would have that to cover percentage. i think he used to be around 30%. that means that our government is going to destroy something that we absolutely needed years ago when they were abusing children and murderers. wal-mart is forcing the people work off of the clock and nothing is being done. they're trying to organize, but they just threaten them with their job. we have such a bad economy like we do, of course they will not try to unionize.
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americans, wake up. do not be foolish like some of these people i have heard on here. host: nashville, tennessee. go ahead. caller: morning. my comment is i was in the private sector and it worked for a non-profit hospital. i do not have a pension. i am now on social security. i have not worked for the last year. host: just keep going. caller: with the teachers do not realize is how well off and have had it in terms of -- they say they only make $40,000 per year or whenever, but they chose a degree where they have summers off, after holidays, etc.
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i do not begrudge them their benefits, but it is time to step back. the people in the private sector are being ravaged to support these benefits and the states are too broke to provide them anymore. from a person who is in the private sector with than a pension -- without a pension and living on social security for the last 12 years i did not even have a job that had a pension plan or even an option. host: we have jim siegel from the "columbus dispatch." what has been the latest on negotiations in collective bargaining? guest: we are not as far along yet as wisconsin is, but we are
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quickly getting there. right now, the bill is in the ohio senate. there are holding hearings on a weekly basis. this bill goes further than with the wisconsin bill would do. it eliminates collective bargaining but would affect all public workers including police, fire, highway patrol, troopers, and others. there is some negotiating going on between some of the police and fire unions and some of the republican leaders who are pushing this. we're still in a stage where there is a lot of protests and there are growing with each bill hearing. we're not quite to the 25,000 level you saw in wisconsin, but the numbers are doubling without ever hearing. we had 3500 at the state passed this week and it is only expected to get more intense as this continues to move and there is the expectation that the
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senate will move on this within the next two or three weeks. host: as far as protesting, do you expect anything today? guest: there was some talk about maybe a rally on monday, presidents day. i do not think there is anything happening today and there will be another hearing scheduled next week. when that happens, the unions say they will be out in force again. the first hearing, there is 800 people. the second hearing, over a thousand. -- over 1000. this past week, 3500. host: why are you seeing some progress from the two sides that we have not made be seen in other states like wisconsin? guest: i'm not sure how much progress is being made. there are talks going on. the teachers have not yet been
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engaged. i'm not sure, but i will say there has been some signs from a number of erpublican -- republican senators. they have problems getting rid of binding arbitration. there are pieces that would affect the teacher's ability to strike. they have a majority. we counted 7 or 8 sentaors who -- senators who have varying degrees of concern. host: the influence of ted strickland making statem
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ents. has that influenced anyone at all." guest: i do not think of as much effect on the process. i do not think the governor puts a lot of stock in the statements made by the man he defeated in november. gov. strickland had a hard time getting sway with republican senate when he was governor. host: for people not falling close enough, what is the fiscal condition of ohio and gov. kasich's reasoning? guest: our budget ends june 30th. we are fine. we are running a bit of a surplus. the problem is the next two-year
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budget. there is an estimated $800 million deficit. we will see how the governor deals with that two-year budget, but the governor and senate leaders reporting this bill have made it clear that collective bargaining is not an issue that they are trying to use to deal with the two-year budget problem. they admit that it would have little effect on the short term. there pushing this as more of a long-term issue to stop the ramp up of salaries, benefits that we have seen that there are you are unsustainable. the unions argue that they have made a lot of concessions in the last few years that the economy turned down and that they show this is not necessary. host: ohio. republican line. caller: one thing jim siegel has not mentioned is the backdrop the governor has done.
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when he was sworn in, he wanted to have a private swearing in as his house. that sounds bizarre, but he did. it was only the outcry and the press and public that stopped it. when he announced his cabinet, 17 members, there was not one african-american in the group. an outcry came from that and then he pointed the child and family protection services program. he spoke before the environmental protection agency group and called the policeman who stopped him for a traffic ticket "an idiot." he had been state comptroller come in and apologize. host: when is the relevance to what is going on currently? caller: it puts a bad taste in the working class's mouth to see him disrespecting working people. he is paying is chief of staff more than the president of the united states, more than the
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chief of staff in washington. host: a lot of claims there, mr. siegel. how would you respond? guest: gov. kasich has had some self inflicted wounds it has added fuel to the raging debate. i would argue that the extent they are trying to go to probably did not need much fuel. this is an epic battle. there is no doubt. the gov. has said regardless of what the senate does, that he may end up putting it into his budget next month which will not
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make democrats here in the state happy. host: jim siegel from "the columbus dispatch." thank you for your time. a few more callers. georgia on our democratic line. caller: these people in wisconsin are hard-working people. i am a senior citizen. i worked all my life. i have no teachers in my family, but i think it is terrible that he is trying to take their rights of these hard-working people. they have college educations. what did they expect them to work for? i did not know, but i do not think walker even has a college education. host: next call from ohio. caller: i know when a formation
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the guy from cleveland and the guy from the "columbus dispatch" was coming from but he does not pay his chief of staff ordered thousand dollars per year. that is a lie. we have teacher -- does not pay his chief of staff $400,000 per year. we have teacher union to make 40% of their pay after they retire. that came directly from the state department of education. we have a small town here that has maybe 16,000 people. if the unions were to have their way about the upcoming this town would have been almost $300 million in debt. we cannot afford this. we had state workers that make $25-$35 per air our -- per hour. from let's get the input
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one more person on the ground. during renshaw, reporter for "the state ledger." mr. renshaw, can you paint the picture of what is going on in your state economically and the topics of collective bargaining in have the two merged together? guest: new jersey has seen at weak revenues. the have seen a lot of controversy over public pensions, health benefits, and christie has made reform the top of his agenda. you have seen him pushing real hard on pension reform, health benefit reform. you have a democratic legislature here who does not agree with his pension reform, but there has been common ground on the health benefit reform, particularly in the areas of having public employees taking
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more and to cover their benefits. there is momentum to do something on that end, less on the pension side, and a budget deficit that he has to close. host: what is the governor seen being done in terms of the pension side? caller: he would like to change the way they are calculated to broaden, for instance, you'd like to see the three-year move go to five-year and he thinks it would reduce the annual pension employees will receive and he wants to increase the retirement age. he believes those things will decrease their unfunded liability which stands among the highest in the country.
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host: what has been the response from the unions? guest: as you can imagine, they are not happy. other questions about whether to be done at the bargaining table or at trenton through legislation. christie is prepared to go either way. he is currently negotiating with all state workers. he has the a vintage -- he has the advantage of perhaps getting in at the bargaining table. he has a second avenue rather could be some legislation or he could do the reforms. unions here think that these types of issues are best left to collective bargaining. host: as far as the influence of other states, do the state's stake in was going on in other states as far as this is concerned? does it make any sway in the decision that has to remain by your governor? your governor? guest:


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