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tv   American Politics  CSPAN  March 7, 2011 12:30am-2:00am EST

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as we have said, we will look at the fact that extra revenue comes to the treasury when there is a higher oil price, and see if we can share some of the benefit of that with the motorist. that is something that labour never did in all its time in government, and it ought to be reminded of the fact that it announced four increases in fuel duty last year, three of which were due to come in after the election. >> the £90 million of cuts to the budget of leeds city council means that bramley baths in my constituency will have its hours cut so that school children will not be able to swim there any more. how does that fit with the government's ambition for school sports and for the olympic legacy for leeds? >> we do want to see a proper legacy come out of the olympics. that is why we are funding the olympics properly and why we have made it very clear that the extra money will be made available for school sport. but, if we look at education funding, we can see that funding per pupil is not being reduced. because of difficult decisions being made elsewhere, which labour has never supported, we are maintaining per-pupil
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funding for students throughout our country. that is the right decision, and it is one that the hon. lady should get behind. >> when colonel gaddafi is finally removed, is the prime minister confident -- that an interim government can be found to prevent the country from falling into anarchy? >> i would advise my hon. friend to ignore the voices from the opposition. they are just furious at the fact that he liberated a long- held labour seat. he makes a very good point. one of the things that we are doing, currently and in the coming days, is making contact with the opposition in benghazi to ensure that we have good contacts with them so that we can help to bring about a peaceful transition in libya. >> order. >> at c-span up or -- at 6c-
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span.org, you can find copies of the prime minister's questions. >> next, a conversation with frank luntz. then an oversight hearing on federal spending. after that, treasury secretary timothy geithner on the future of fannie mae and freddie mac. >> democratic congressman henry waxman talks about his opposition to the pending house bill that would strip the the epa plaza 42 regulate greenhouse gases. he will also talk about our dependence on oil and improving competitiveness through technology. live coverage is on monday here on c-span. >> now a conversation with republican pollster and author frank luntz from "washington
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journal" this is just over 45 minutes. continues. host: we want to welcome back frank luntz, who we have seen on the fox news channel. he is the author of "win -- the principles that take your business from ordinary to extraordinary." welcome back to be at c-span -- to c-span. guest: it is great to be a c- span. i am glad you are the one here. host: we have the third week of demonstrations going on. the issue is collective bargaining. how is the governor performing? guest: when you call a collective bargaining rights, the public wants to protect it. when you speak about the right of individuals to reject or join a union, then he is winning and the union is losing. this is one of those where how you frame it, the context, determines who wins and loses in
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the court of public opinion, and why words matter so much. when we get a phone calls, whatever you take, you will hear their context, their framing. in the end, the person who frames it wins the debate. host: let me ask you about governor chris christie. sarah palin took a swipe at him. i do not know if you heard what she said, but how is he doing? host: i do not know of anyone who has had the kind of success gov. christie has had in five years. he does not sound like a politician. he is a big guy. his language is big and powerful. it is real and down to earth. you may really dislike him, but you love to listen to it in. he is compelling because he is so direct in the words that he uses to communicate. it is both the style and
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substance. he may say that he is not running for office, but if you put them in the presidential debates, -- him in the presidential debates, wow. host: let me share with you some of these comments that were focusing on some of the missteps of newt gingrich and mike huckabee. mike huckabee was going after obama, saying he grew up in kenya. of course, he grew up in indonesia. then there was the non- announcement from the gingrich -- newt gingrich. every single candidate will make a mistake from time to time, no matter how good you are. i have looked at iowa voters and new hampshire voters, who are
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very different. language plays differently in those two. they're looking for someone who says what they mean and means what they say. i am using these words and a very measured way. i want to provide you with the exact language that the american people want to hear. the democratic line will not like the republican words. the republican line will not let the democratic words. "mean what you say" is the most important phrase for any presidential candidate. host: he says there are, at most --
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guest: that is a very -- george will has always been the most brilliant political writer. we both went to oxford. i have that in common with him. i pay attention to what he says, because he has a very keen understanding and the way that he expresses himself as a powerful. i am not sure that i agree with his conclusion, but i always pay attention to him. host: your book "win -- the principles that take your business from ordinary to extraordinary." we will show some of the excerpts in a moment. what is the message? guest: your success in life is only limited by your ability to communicate your boss, family, friends and colleagues. it is only limited by the drive -- there is nothing you cannot
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accomplish if you know the right words to use and you have the right attributes, the right character traits of some of the most successful winners. i interviewed almost three dozen people on the forbes' 400 richest american list. i interviewed ceo's. i interviewed people like larry bird, david stern -- all winners in their various fields. i tried to encapsulate the language that works, the attributes that work, the intent that works. i am not doing another book. this is everything i have done put into one text. host: winners don't preach, they persuade.
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in terms of political candidates, who would you put in this category? guest: what matters is not what you say. it is what people here. there are too many people in washington and who call into this show who want to be heard, but they are not thinking about the impact to their words have on others. chris christie best epitomizes this of all politicians today, he is the one who says he is not running. he encapsulates the most attributes of winning and the best language of winning. host: you also write that americans have had their patience stretched to the breaking point. guest: i am not convinced that they are doing that. this is where i give credit to paul ryan on the pop -- paul ryan on the republican side for being responsive to what voters
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ask them to do -- asked them to do. politicians to look you straight in the eye and tell you, this is what you told me to do, this is what i am doing -- they are the ones who are most effective. those who come to washington and ignore what the public is asking of them do so to their own detriment. barack obama's did of the union speech, -- state of the union speech -- i would tell you, from a linguistic standpoint, was very effective. he used words and phrases that came from the public. if you look at the details, that started to break down. host: he is not talking about spending, he is talking about investment. guest: when he says investment, everybody else hears "spending." when i hear the word
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"comprehensive," what do you think of? host: health care. guest: there is another one -- immigration. part of the reason i wrote "win" is to update the public on what works best in 2011. people watching this show engage in public -- political debate every day. i am sure when you're out in public people ask you what you think. would you like to win those debates? would you like to influence the way people think? that is what this book is all about -- not just to influence the debate, but to win the debate. host: mitt romney spoke in new hampshire yesterday, beginning to ramp up his candidacy.
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guest: and glad that it was a strip mall. i was waiting for the word that came after strip. what is interesting about romney, his communication, that when you ask people about the substance, he won the debate. when you ask about the style, he did not. what he is trying to do now is become more familiar, trying to use is more casual attributes, which you really is in private life, but you do not see it in public. he is trying to demonstrate it is not the brain that he has, but also the heart. in 2012, you do not win unless you demonstrate your
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intellectual capability as well as year end that the -- empathy. host: some say this. guest: the first is ridiculous at this point. the people who vote on religion is so small that it is measurable and the survey. even the republican primary. and the latter point. it is more of a challenge. what this health care portend in massachusetts, and we will not know that until the end of the year. obama was not doing that to give him a shout out, he was giving him a smack down. host: you can see the telephone numbers. you can also send us a tweaket. what is your handle?
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guest: my office does it for me. i have an issue with so few characters. when i want to communicate, and i have done it here, i have tried to offer viewers very specific recommendations. nobody cares what i have to say. no one cares that i am taking a train from washington, d.c. upton york. -- up to new york. i would rather focus on substantial communication in a hundred words. host: that was the title of the book. welcome to the conversation, john. caller: the title of the book says it all. randi weingarten -- "win," it does not matter if you tell the truth, or your the ventriloquist for a lot of republican politicians staying on message.
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this guy is the modern-day joseph burbles. -- goebbels. guest: i hate that. i am jewish, and to be referred to as a nazi, that is the type of uncivil discourse that americans reject. some people do it in the blog pose, but 99% of americans not only would reject that, but they stop listening. that gentleman could have made a very strong point, but by referring me today nazi, that kills everything. and if i may, there may be a camera that can get this, i do want to follow up on this, number nine. these are the nine necessities of winning, and the most important is the last one, number nine, principles. if you have no principles, it does not matter what language you use. if you have no principles, the
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words will fall on deaf ears. people want to know who you are, not just what you say. if you are inconsistent, if you are hypocritical, if you are bigoted, if you use of offensive language like that phone caller just did, all the other language goes out the vote window. no. 9 is essential. persuasion -- you cannot persuade people by insulting them. or by yelling at them. to persuade by bringing them to you, not the type of language that cable television and radio programs too often promote. it invites people to come to you. and the second one there, perfection -- always trying to improve. it is not good enough to have language that is effective. every month, i am testing myself, challenging myself, are there better words to use, of
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better visual. you've got an american capital behind you in the shot. host: and it is a live shot. guest: i could jump out his window and it would really hurt. it is a real window. host: you would have to jump through three windows. guest: the number one source of pride -- the most powerful visual is the statue of liberty at daybreak. that shows pride, patriotism, and opportunity. a new day, a new beginning, a new dawn. if you want to communicate and win, you have to understand people's aspirations and hopes, not just their peers. you have to appeal to them and help them, and keep your right
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of center, help them help themselves. host: from twitter -- guest: i have a wonderful home with the varied jewish mother and father, and i realize that in early age i had to use the right words to get what i wanted. i have learned, and one of the key attributes of winners, i keep throwing charted you, because if you do not want to buy the book, you can get it for free but you have to write this down. knowing the right question to ask is most important of successful people. i will look to my mom and say, how far as the earth from the sun? the response would be, how far do you think it is? such a jewish response. c'mon, i just ask you a question. she said, though look it up.
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she would say, go look it up. that is the power of words and phrases. ross perot in 1992, newt gingrich in the contract with america in 1994 the company focused on the words and the power of language. oxford university, for my ph.d. in philosophy, which i hate it. and focus groups on msnbc and in thoughts of for the last quarter years. host: another from twitter, and his potential bid for the white house. guest: you have to have a legitimate bid. might blumberg could make a bid for the white house because he has had a greater impact than anyone else than probably bill gates. donald trump is a television personality. mike bloomberg is a statement.
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i would assess bloomberg to be credible. host: from iowa. caller: i have one question, and now it is too. i am from iowa. i live in steve king's district. so i walk among a lot of misinform the republicans in my daily life. had you find that many -- they were surprised to find out that the president of united states was not a muslim. do you believe that you should of said something? guest: the voters that colin from iowa and new hampshire, you are gold. and particularly at this point
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in the election cycle. i will be in iowa tomorrow for a stake in freedom and then. temple in the an newt gingrich tomorrow night live on c-span. watch it on c-span. guest: i would like to be there live. is not my job to correct. if i correct -- it is my job to challenge and illustrate public opinion. it is not my job in that role to shape it. you should in knowledge that sean and if he was the host when that focus group was pulled. hannity did inform them that they were misinformed. you get a chance to hear from the american people in an unfettered way, to hear the back-and-forth. that is why this show is so important, and c-span, because people have the chance to interact in a very powerful way.
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we have a lot of misinformed people there. that is the way that things were. it appeared on "meet the press," and more people saw my focus group there than anyone i have done. host: from colorado. what this shared sacrifice, take to you? guest: what they want to hear is a fact-based conversation. they want the details and the know -- and they want to know how things stand. common sense -- you do not want to hear that word? the rest of americans do. it is one of the most powerful words in the english language right now. they are tired of partisan solutions. what they want our common sense results. and in terms of shared
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sacrifice, it means that we are all in this together and you cannot just planned for today. you have to plan for the next generation. i have seen some of the budget numbers. i have gone to the whole budget process when i do what i do. it is frightening. i am glad i am as old as i am. for someone watching this program right now in their 20's, they are not going to see medicare. they will not see social security. these numbers are absolutely dreadful. and that is just on the national level. if you live in california, nevada, illinois, new jersey, wisconsin, and a half-dozen other states, those states are in danger of bankruptcy. and the federal government does not have the money to bail you out. shared sacrifice, we are going to have to do it. host: our next caller is on the republican line. good morning, james. caller: glad to get through.
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my idea is relatively simple, but difficult to make this a saint. the economic and social security -- concerns, i do not see those as two groups myself. i am basically a social security -- social says -- social conservative. how can you have a social policy like we have been united states -- in the united states, spend money like crazy, and it basically rewards people for doing the wrong thing? if you look at the statistics for children, the children to grow up from broken homes, four times is likely to drop out of school, five times as likely to do drugs, eight times as likely to go to prison -- all of these things that to social costs, and we have a social policy that pays people to break up their families. host: can you stay on the line?
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i want to put on some the table some information and he wants to deal with your point. first of all, americans rank 15 at 37 in math literacy. less than two thirds of high- school graduates are accepted to college every year. one half of all african-american high school students will not graduate. today, only 70% of low-income fourth graders are proficient in reading, 50% below the basic level. in each year, more than 1 million high school seniors fail to graduate. guest: it is a tragedy. it is worse than a tragedy, it is a disgrace. and i was listening before i came on, and i was frustrated with the comments as i am sure people are frustrated with me. but we can agree that the schools are failing our kids. i was concerned about this, suburban, a couple -- upper-
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middle class schools that are not encouraging children to reach their highest potential. i'm concerned about the school's not more than 2 miles from this building, where the class sizes are ridiculous, little accountability, you had a,rhea, trying to make that change in washington, d.c. and she gets tossed out. i do not understand parents and grandparents, because you have got the time and capability, you can make a difference. why they are not fighting in demanding that your kids learn more and do more and are fully prepared for the 21st century -- will tell you something. i get 200 reza may -- resumes for every one person that i can hire. they cannot write or speak. how many kids are 18 years old and they look around when they talk to you?
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and we accept that? we battle with the politics about what takes place from here. and yet we let all whole generation of kids essentially brought on the vine. host: and from the "detroit free press," when the test scores do not add up. the pressure is so intense, schools are tempted to cheat on standardized tests. guest: you get class sizes up to 60 people. when you're trying to teach a 60-person class on a middle school level, it is impossible. it is a tragedy. host: did you want to follow up, sir? caller: no, he is going along the same lines that i am.
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allowed only add that we really have this crazy place in the best thing that some men can do for their families is to abandon their families so that they can qualify for state aid. guest: i like to borrow that charge. this is a perfect example for that. these in the attributes of winners. put it on the screen. james and people listening, values education as an example of how to apply these attributes. the human dimension is the impact on these children. the likelihood of being on welfare, and being unemployed, having children out of wedlock, ending up in prison if we do not educate them effectively. knowing what questions to s, and not making statements but asking rhetorical questions, how can our children captured the american dream when they are being left behind at school? asked the rhetorical question rather than making a statement.
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and to see what could exist -- that is where the word imagine comes into play. imagine how much stronger and healthier and more successful our country would be if we give our children the information in the skills they need to learn so that they could be happy, healthy, successful adults. imagine what that would do to our economy. number four, it is not just the statistics but the solutions that truly matter. if we only focus on the statistics, we will not focus on the results. number five, to do more and do it better, that is the essence of rejecting the status quo. it is simply not good enough, and is one of those uniquely american attributes, to appeal to something that is better. and the one that is actually a willingness to try, fail, and do it again, that is about making a commitment to innovate so that
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every year, the schools are better than what they were before, and the final one, the ability to connect and communicate. when that gentleman said he was not sure that he could say it succinctly, i cringed. but there should be one sentence or two sentences of the demonstration of the principal, and then the facts, which he did very effectively. you can apply this to any potential predict any political situation or business situation, and now it enables those who do not agree want me to understand the rules of communication. i would argue that there will be less arguments as a result. there's a lot more common ground between me -- us. you know i have relationships with a lot of people that would surprise to viewers back home. in reality, we actually agree on a lot more than we disagree. withost: the main go
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presidents. jimmy carter, the only president to see the party switch in the 20th-century and to lose one term after being elected. guest: his communication was very well-received in the beginning. but he was perceived to blame the american people for the failures of america. and the public does not want to be blamed. we expect our leaders to inspire us and to help us aspire to something greater. jimmy carter was, it is our fault, it is our responsibility, and that is the issue of sacrifice that i frankly want people of both political parties -- if you talk about sacrifice, the public is not going to say no. if you talk about shared sacrifice, the public says yes. host: george w. bush in a compassionate conservative campaign. guest: no one believes that conservatives are compassionate.
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they are tough and smart on the issues, but compassion? liberals are compassionate. some republicans will complain on me, but it is not believable. do not tell people something that they will not believe. host: with regard to president obama, you say -- the american people believe that he is forcing a partisan divide wider. guest: the labeling is not helpful for you talk about what a person has done. but when you claim your centrist, you have to look to policy not just your language. and there is a greater spread right now between what obama says he is doing and what he is actually doing. host: ronald reagan was a great storyteller. you say in the book that stories are the way that we understand the world.
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guest: it is setting the context. for the callers calling in, when you set the context effectively, everything else follows. it comes as a matter of principle, one of the most powerful ways to start your phrase. and the most powerful way -- and i will put in the last chart if i can, the most powerful way to in the statement is -- let's get to work. that is the call to action. you have told me what you're about and what you can do and what i can do. you need the call to action. and that is the best one we have analyzed. host: in texas. caller: i really appreciate the book. the attributes of winning. i really wonder about the
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commitment to candor. how important his veracity and the political strategy for republicans as well as democrats? one specific point. in your conversation earlier this morning, when you talked about ronnie, the american people will dismiss the fact that he is up mormon. and then splitters someone brought up your focus group about president obama, and the misconception that he is a muslim, and then you said, it is not my job to correct what the american people think. i'm just curious about strategy. is that more important, to win? is it about veracity or just winning? guest: it is about being
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accurate. . reference to candor is brilliant. watch this, steve. you will hear that phrase within the next seven days. someone will say. but my responsibility is to provide you with accurate information that you can use in your day-to-day life, that you can use with your employer or employee, in political debates, that you can use and social interactions. that can provide something accurate. my responsibility in my business and professional life is to be accurate in what i did. when i am on television as a focus group moderator, i am not there to have an argument with them over whether we are increasing or decreasing spending, over whether it is a tax cut or a tax increase, or what someone's religion behavior is. my job is to illustrate what the american people think, right or wrong. and then it is the
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responsibility of the host or others in the group to challenge that information. i assure you, ma'am, if i were to put my own beliefs or i were to start correcting people for being wrong, that would change the entire dynamic of those groups and less people would be watching. i am very careful about this. there is a time and a place to engaged in the debate and then a time to step back. host: ellis joins us from odessa, georgia caller: that is of augusta, georgia. i must and men, i love this the to have. when i say something, i mean in. and i expect people to understand that. they are very good, i must admit. one question i want to rescue.
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where did fox news get their i mbalance from? when i listen to sean hannity and bill o'reilly, is about as balanced as elephants and a mouse on opposite ends of a seesaw. can you please tell me, and then, they are very careful about the phrase that you use, because you're told, i cannot do this, i cannot say that. guest: first, you could see it. you could visualize it. that is part of effective communication, not just the right words. they are giving me great ideas.
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i will sing you a $5 for royalties. that came from roger ailes. it was something he wanted to contrast between fox and the other news networks. what sounds imbalance to one person is different to another. there are people that have lots at the top of all news networks for being the most accurate and being the least bayh's. obviously that gentleman does not agree. the republicans would say that fox is the only fair and balanced. fox from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. is not meant to be fair and balanced. below reilly does let you hear both sides. the same with hannity and gre ta, but they're not trying to put forward a straightforward,
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non-biased view in that time period. the news to buy it -- the news side is very precise in what it does. there is such a huge difference between a bill o'reilly and keith olbermann. i used to watch keith because this important know what the other side is thinking as well. he never had republicans on, ever. he trashes their points and never gives them a chance to be heard. host: and he is off the air now. guest: on fox news, on every show you hear an opposing point of view. that is what i expect not just from a news network, but from a news and opinion network. host: and exchange on sarah palin and bill o'reilly.
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the story here is this morning, sarah palin to bill o'reilly, do not interrupt. >> we do not change patient benefit. >> i agree. >> and i apologize that up. alaska we have this four-second delay. try to get my point across to you if you interrupt. i'm going to continue to talk on the reform and entitlement programs. guest: i had the chance to do focus groups for the today showed that -- back in the beginning of the 2003 iraqi war. there was a six-second delay, and it was very hard at that time to communicate. i understand. bill o'reilly, it is his approach to the direct and challenge. i do not think that she was been -- i think her comment was
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legitimate. i don't think he was trying to give her a hard time. we are so immediate. and i will go to another one of my words -- host: you do all of our work for us. guest: i always wanted a producer. i want the job of the guy behind the camera. no. rate, real time. we expect full information without delay, that anyone who offers is us real-time information, we will respect them because then they allow us to decide. host: and your comment about the opinion block of fox news. : he is part of something that comes before. the show that comes after it, bret baier, is news.
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caller: good morning, frank. my name is randy o'neal and i own a small business in virginia. it is a simple concept. it is a mobile facility that travels from school to school with stationary bikes and side that its children as young as three. we use video and music to whip them up about health and education and growing neurons. i have been over to -- have been to over 1000 schools, when i go to new schools, many are put into a basketball court. i show up with 300 square feet, and i can handle 400 children in a six hour school day. recently have went to williamsburg and had 350 kids, and everyone had a fantastic
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time, and it was a field trip on the school grounds. it reduce costs. i would like to say that i am a fitness field trip coming you do not leave the campus. we're very wealthy in the state of virginia. but i am stupefied by how many of these administrators are afraid of a little box of bikes that you handle 400 kids. and i am greeted by the children and hired mostly by the parents. guest: what he should have done their -- can you hear me? this to sound like a commercial. frankly, it sounds like a pitch. if you had begun your communication by saying, as a matter principle, the physical well-being of our children is this is important is their intellectual well-being, and how they grow up physically, their happiness and their health, it is as important as their
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intellectual capability. that is how you began this, it would been more effective than just going into this is what i do. it is all about the context and saying something that transcends politics and age and society. based on "win," i would change your opening the way. host: this is from "politico." tempo linty said that he would make his announcement within the next 45 days. -- tim pawlenty will make his announcement within the next 45 days. guest: you cannot call him a dark horse because he may burial will succeed. he is a conservative governor in a very liberal state. he was able to cut the budget. and he is also very midwestern in his values. he does not raise his voice,
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does not lose his temper, and has the temperament, the perfect temperament of a presidential candidate. voters need to hear a lot more of him. they do not know him yet. i think he will play well. host: we will be live with him tomorrow evening. yonkers, new york with frank luntz. his new book, "win-- the principles that take your business from ordinary to extraordinary." guest: you mentioned the shared sacrifice of americans and also i had a question about the november election, the mandate to cut the deficit. the first thing the republicans did when they got into office was extend the bush tax cuts. that added $900 billion over the next 10 years to the deficit.
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where is the shared sacrifice from the top 2%, and how come we do not talk about the bank's and wall street causing the economic crisis that we had in 2008? guest: do not go yet. will jobs be created if you raise taxes on individuals and businesses who up to this point, are the ones hiring people? will jobs be created or lost? i do not believer: that there are a lot of jobs created and 2001 and 2003. guest: the job rate fell to 4% and now what is up around 9%. there were a lot of jobs created. would you in knowledge that statistically those are the
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numbers? will you? caller: if we are in such bad shape, where is the sacrifice on the top end? guest: this is my point, going back to "win," kisses i knowledge if there was at 5:00 p.m. show that did not fallen to the news blog, i just told the caller that he needs to in knowledge of the fact that it's -- that shows he is not correct. there is one thing that matters to me in this book, if i may. the most powerful poem, and it is such a great way to begin a sunday morning. just one stands up of that. if you can talk to a crowd and keep your virtue, or talk to teens and not lose the common touch, if neither friends or foes can hurt you, if you can fill the unforgiving minute with 60 seconds of the distance run,
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yours is the earth and everything that is in it, and which is more, you will be a man, my son. that is from yet -- but for the kiplinger. -- kipling. these are not empty words are empty recommendation. i will never do another book and so i wanted this to be a statement that language alone does not succeed. it has to be based in character. it has to be based in reality. but even the best character and the most accurate information will fail without effective communication. and i have tried "win to "" a book of effective communication. host: 4 obama, what is the message for the president and for the republicans? guest: for the president, it has
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to be, i will still try to inspire you, but i have heard what you said about where we win, and maybe we tried to go too far, the united, we will achieve much more than we will divided. and united, there are no limits to achievement. those of the words of recommend for him. for the republicans if you want change, you have to vote for it. if you want to restore the american dream, you have to vote for those who believe in those principles, who would advocate is policies, and if freedom is still a value that matters to you as it does to most americans, and you have to vote for those people who are promototing freedom, >> tomorrow, topline executive
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talks about how republican governors are challenging the white house on health care, federal money for high-speed rail, and unions. bally gallagher from the national or is it -- organization for marriage and brian multan from the human rights campaign discuss efforts by house republicans to defend the law that forbids federal recognition of same-sex marriage known as the defense of marriage act. and pat galston, chief operating officer of the government accountability office discusses the gao report on the overlapping federal programs. "washington journal" live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> next, the congressional oversight hearing on federal spending. then the treasury secretary, timothy geithner, on the future of fannie mae and freddie mac. after that, "q&a" with sports columnist sally jenkins. [captioning performed by
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national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> discussions on the environment, and a tree and oil and security at the jewish council for public affairs. our live coverage begins at 1:30 p.m. eastern on c-span 3. >> a government accountability office report shows that $100 billion in wasteful government spending. former chairman of the government reform committee told lawmakers thursday that the blame rests with congress. he testified before the house oversight and government reform committee with jean de burgh -- with jean dedaro. this is two hours and 10 minutes. gentleman from florida for his comments. >> thank you mr. chairman.
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i appreciate hearing today and i look forward to hearing from our witnesses. something strikes me as odd, and that is we've heard the president say over and over again, and let me just quote he's going to conduct an exhaustive line by line review of the federal budget and seek to eliminate government programs that are not performing. well, that's something we can all agree with and we seemed o action on the president's words. we have a hearing today where we invite the director of omb, which is a presidential appointee and he refuseso show of. sois the president serious about doing a line by line review? is the director of the omb is he trying to hide the questions? it's outrageous that we find ourselves at a hearing we have the opportunity to do something good for the american people,
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and that is cut spending and cut this budget and get rid of waste. mr. chairman, you talked up the duplication and the $100 billion the director of omb won't show up to give us an opportunity to ask questions and find out what we can do to cu this $100 billion to find another hundred billion dollars to cut to try to bring this budget in line? i think it's outrageous that the director doesn't show up. i think issues in this regard to the legislative branch and the separation of powers. it says to me that the administration and the director of omb is more interested in talking a good game now in the public but doesn't really want to get to e hard work. so, mr. chairman, look forward to this panel. i look forward to your
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leadership but i am extremely disappointed the director didn't show up and by not sure this administration is serious about cutting spending if they can't even send the director. i thank the director and reclaiming my time. >> our invitation to the office of management but will remain open. i now recognize the distinguished ranking member for his opening. >> thank you mr. chairman and for calling this hearing today. i just want to go immediately to what the congressman just sid. i don't think the president is hiding or the omb is hiding anything. the fact is the president in his state of the union made it clear he is about the business of addressing these issues and omb is carrying in th process of conducting his ow analysis of effective ways of streamlining the government services and to cut unnecessary cost. this is critical to ensure federal programs are working as effectively as possible and that is why i signed a letter with
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the chairman requesting from going updates as a when the tax on this monumental task as my understanding the water will be going out and as soon as we get the signatures up to senator collins and lieberman might think it is, but i want to make it clear, and i do believe that again, one of the things about this chairman i know he likes to do things effectively and efficiently, so i would think that omb there will come a time they will appear before us and we will be in the best position to provide some testimony would be helpful. now, . chairman, it is certainly good to see all of our witnesses here today. to truman davis it is a pleasure to see you again. your name has been evoked quite favorably around here and so it's good to see you. and mr. de alexander it's good to see you again.
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today we will hear the results of a report issued by the government accountability office on duplicative programs and major opportunities to enhance federal revenues. first, the gao report demonstrates there ae real opportunities to streamline federal programs come save taxpayers' dollars and deliver services more effectively and efficiently. flexibl gao identified at least 31 entities within the defense department is supposed to adess the urgent needs of war fighters. the gao reported there are challenges with the department's fragmented guidance and raised concern about the numbers and the rules of the various entities involved. solving these problems will take a vacation, by partisanship but it will help both american troops and taxpayers. the gao report also describes numerous area where we can recover hundreds of billions of dollars of federal revenues. for example, ga0 highlights the
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united states is essentially giving away up t $53 billion to all companies that are not paying royalties on ertain leases to extract oil and gas from federal lands. that is our money. a lot has been said about the tax payers said during the last election. one of the things these it is they don't want to be cheated of their own money. congress passed legislation in 95 to give oil companies so-called relief. the goalof the legislation is to encourage production by exempting the companies by paying royalties to the federal government. the legislation was supposed to require governments to start paying royalties when they recoup their investment and began making a profit. but the legislation was poorly drafted and when the companies to alleged in court the successfully avoided paying any royalties at all. in its report the gao reported it could result in $21 billion in lost revenue to the federal government.
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this is going to an industry that is making staggering process despite the worst economic downturn since the great depression. mr. chairman, you need significant work, we need to do sycophant work on this, and you have to be you've been a leader in this area and as a matter of fact in 2009 you issued a report about what would happen if these companies on their lawsuit. any company that entered a similar lease between 1996 and 2000 could be skipped paying royalties. that is when you said. you also said the fifth circuit decision may force the federal government to reimburse companies who have already attended royalty payments. depending upon the market price of oil and natural gas the total cost of the for all royalties totaled nearly $80 billion, and of quote. mr. chairman, you warned about this problem and i commend you, i really do. but now we need to fix it. and it's coming to take a partisan effort. we just had a vote in the house
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where we had an opportunity to fix it, and we were not able to. and so, i think as mr. davis has said many times, this is one where we can come together as democrats and republicans. it is a win-win situation, but it's not a win just for republicans, not just for democrat, but most importantly it is a win for the american people and i don't just want to be sitting here ten years from now saying the same things having lost even more money so i look forward to the hearing mr. chairman and i think you. with that, i yield back. >> i thank the ranking member and all members will have seven legislative days to submit their opening statements for the record. i now go to the distinguished panel. the honorable thomas davis iii. former chairman of this committee as the ranking member said he looks down on us every day. now the director of the federal government affairs and the man
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who iued the subpoena to the oil companies on my behalf in order to begin the process of doing the oversight on the flawed contracts that would cost the american people tens of billions of dollars and i want to thank u forhat today publicly. the honorable gene dodaro as the comptroller of the united states appearing for writing the second time as the confirmed comptroller versus the many times that you appear before us graciously as the acting. your work as a legislative bran employees spanning both the executive and the legislative branch providing more than 3,000 people who give us the nonpartisan reports and fact-finding that we absolutely rely on. and mr. ryan alexander, president of the taxpayers for comm sse and often contributor. welcome back. pursuant to the committee's rules all witnesses are asked to be sworn in before they testify before this committee.
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if you please raise your right hands. do you solemnly swear or affirm the the testimony you are about to give before this committee will bethe truth, the whole truth and nothing but truth? let the record reflect all witnesses have answered in the affirmative. thank you. please, be seated. in order to allow time for discuson, and as my predecessor would say a longstanding tradition is that you will have five minutes, there will be a green light for as long as you may talk freely, there will be a yellow light to warn you your time is elapsing, and i will be understanding for you to complete your sentence, but not much more once it turns red, and that will allow a healthy dialogue afterwards. the chair recognizes mr. davis for his opening statement. >> thank you chairman issa and
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colleagues. thanks for the opportunity to testify for you today and i'm doing so in my capacity as the former member of the house and specifically chairman of the committee and i want to thank gene dodaro for putting together an outstanding report on the basis of today's hearing. i'm hoping we can engage a wendi before the system because we ar in this, democrats, republicans, the house, senate, exit to this branch. we all cause the problem, and i think we need to bthere to solve it as we look fward to this and at this point they are not here today in the future we need make sure they are engaged and doing some things we need to hear about. >> during my tenure i examine how the government could operate more efficiently, focusing on the government isss, procurement, i.t. policies possible service, government organizations. in this process of one said the weaker to extract savings from the federal government is to simply cut off fingers and toes rather than the one after the fact that smolder throughout the body politics.
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as we see in the gao report issued earlier this week sometimes uncle sam does indeed have too many digits in some surgery may well be in order. so where does the blame on? as i noted there's plenty of blame to go around. a lot of places to point the finger and let me start with congress. duplicative and overlapping programs frequently exist because the way that we in congress legislate. indeed one of the earliest enduring lessons i learned, the election of the house was the jurisdiction trumps ll. while different members believe there may be need for a given federal service it will surely right the authorizing legislation for their individual committees in mind. for example if a member of the education work force committee wants to enact a job-training program they will write the legislation to ensure it falls under an agency that committee's purview. this thing would be true of a member of the veterans administration. the financial services might like job training to low-income people in such a program to cut.
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john transnet of three dferent agencies. under this arrangement there off a bit differently, measured differently and administered differently. common sense suggests they should be combined to get the economies of scale or to make it easier for the citizens to know where the programs exist. we can blame the bureaucracy in many ways congress created the monster we bemoan and attempt to protect the larger risk products. another plant that should be examined in the quest to cra duplicative or overlapping programs or to implement broad personnel reforms we need to implement government wide solutions as often discussed. but while the executive branch has the ability to affect such efforts to a certain degree the compartmentalization approach that congress takes often prevents the type of all listed action required. this is especially true of the appropriations process in which all the subcommittees would have to every for an initiative a task we can't ask to take a
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back. finally on necessary ramifications of the state and local levels congress should examine the marion reporting requirements of the federal programs, human service programs, educational progrs and transportation programs to see where we can make better use of consolidated systems. with existing technology it seems unnecessary to have every stateme in its own reporting system for if a given program essentially the same information is required from everybody. government-wide and the executive branch culture exists. too many agencies have pipes for the delivery services, personal rules and internal protocols. the result is the seamless counicatns and information sharing our rear between the government departments. information gets lost, analysis becomes disjointed and offered ability becomes and it is an effective catalyst for establishing cooperation and communication between agencies which could in turn lead to an exponental increase in efficiency.
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had the authority of the mandate to do so. unfortunately the ministrations of both parties the office of management and budget said the becomes the office of budget. the concentration calls on the budgetary aspects of the agency's and a management review to deal with much more long term savings. the key to success is focusing how the services are delivered and how the services are procuring and how the information is gathered and analyzed the zearing is the executive branch seems to be deficient. the a solutions of the redundant programs are not government skill sets. it often tends to reorganize afforded by inadequate time constraints, unwilling employee participants in the federal managers to know that a slow roll or weighted approach will trump the most ambitious change efforts. what did congress do and omb to avoid the situation? from the congressional standpoint it completely structures the committee syst is unlikely. a first step to avoiding the program duplication and efficiency might be a cbo review of newly proposed programs for
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consideration. in closing there are good dedicated people working in government but upon examination of how the employees ome of them are doing tasks they don't need to be doing under the regulations that didn't need to be written. today's hearing marks the start of an effort and a sustained effort to address these issues. again, i appreciate the opportunity to share my thoughts and look for to questions and ask that my statement put in the record. >> members of the committee, i am very pleased to be here today to talk about the gao report which outlines opportunities to tale overlap and duplication, reduce cost and enhanced revenue collections. the report discusses 34 different areas of overlap and duplication and fragmentation and it out lines a number of specific acivities that need to
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be reviewed. i will highlight a couple categories this morning. one, there are multiple programs and specific aeas that have developed over the years and that need to be tackled pittard for example there are over 40 programs and employment and training areas. there are over 80 programs trying at least in part to improve teacher quality. there are 80 programs intended to improve economic development. surface transportation has a multiple program as well. these programs have developed over the years and in some cases decades and in many cases there is really not a lot of empirical evidence to show the tcomes of the programs or that they are operating effectively. this is a perfect opportunity for the congress and the administration to look at these portfolio programs that we outlined in our reports ad to begin to rationalize the
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programs, prioritize what the role of the federal government should be, and to give clear directions as to what is to be accomplished thrugh the programsn how to measure the results and how to streamline the delive systems and also reduce administrative costs. i think there's a lot of opportunities here. we also outlined in the defense area opportunities there and medical commands comer urgent needs as was mentioned in the opening comments ad there are other areas where the dod can leverage the purchasing power for example and purchasing of drugs and also pursuing a parallel paths and developing electronic medical records and there are opportunities to conserve and resources and get better results for less cost we believe. in addition to the over less fragmentation of the duplication we also outlined a number of
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opportunities for cost savings and enhance revenues 47 areas are outlined in the reaper. many of the opportunities go to the nuts and bolts of the government and how it operates. germany was outlined as the need to make sure there's more competition in contracting the there are fewer contract in people's to reduce the cost and we are paying to maintain an needed federal property and we are paying through improper payments for services that either aren't rendered or are not well documented, that we have onfidence that they are being saved or appropriately paid. and in the revenue area there is a gap at the tax level between texas at the collective $290 billion there are areas the we believe through prudent use of increasing the electronic
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filing using third-prty data to identify potential non-followers and other activities that need to be looked at. now, one of the things we are going to continue to do since this report is the first report that meets our statutory requirement to annually produce these reports we will be looking at other opportunities going forward. tax xpenditures, flexible, and how they might duplicate other things for the simple in this report we mentioned the tax credit in the at the mall area, duplication, the renewable fuel standards that are in place and that congress should take a look at the need to continue this ethanol tax credit which is billions of dollars a year a foregone revenue. there is overlap between the tax credits, loan programs and other federal spending so we will be looking at these areas in the future, and we already have work underway for the next year's
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report and welook forward to working with the congress to help streamline the federal government activities to make sure that its operating more effectively, more efficiently, and then tax payers best interest. so mr. chairman, that concludes my opening statement. i would be happy to answer questions at the appropriate time. >> thank you. the gentleman yields back 14 seconds. [laughter] >> ms. alexander, please. >> good morning, trice, a ranking member cummings and members of the committee, think you for inviting me to testify today. our mission for common sense is to achieve a government that spends taxpayer dollars responsibly and operates within its means. all oour work reflects the belief that no one, no matter where they fall on the political spectrum wts to see their money wasted. to that end we have worked with the left and right to achieve the victories on stopping the bridge to nowhere, getting the car-mart moratorium enacted, cutting funding for an alternate engine for the joint strike fighter and creating an inspector general for the iraq war. we testified before the committee several times with
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proven results for american taxpayers. we test for the cost overrun proble the of 22 rafters and the program was stopped when mr. davis was on that night would testify on crop insurance, based printing the agricultural committee to take action and working with you, churn and i said, we testified on the army corps of engineers issues and the committee regarding lost royalty revenues from offshore oil and g both of which are in the gao report we are discussing today. in addition to might as the money i would like to enter the record the detailed recommende budget cuts. in the more than 15 year history, we've worked on many of the programs and issues highlighted in the gao report. we hope to increased scrutiny generated by te report, the current political will to tame the deficit and good work the committee will need to meaningful elimination of many of these programs. obviously there is much too much to tackle in this report in five minutes or even 50, i will just highlight a few issues. across the government gao found samples duplication. reference to the acquisition process the from and why it could yield significant savings.
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this is particularly true in the pentagon for the rest of duplication across the surface as our high. evers requirement weapons like the eagles should be coordinated across the services, encouraging competition in the interagency contracting to help drive down cost by as much as 500 billion by the gao estimate and has mr. dodaro mentioned courtenay and from the dod and electronic of record systems for the purchasing. they also have enormous possible savings but from disposing of billions of dollars worth of unnecessary federal property, but perfect vehicle management and better cost analysis of purchasing and leasing decisions. in addition to opportunities to reduce spending the gao report highlighted ways to enhance revenue, another critical element of reducing the deficit. give away the state oil and gas industry to the royalty management and collection systems have been highlighted by the report, gao numerous times and added to the high risk list this year. chairman as you know all too well from your work on these problems, the result of the
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royalty relief in the mid-1990s to oil and gas companies operating in the gulf of mexico problems stemming from the relief act including a portfolio of these holders to pay no royalties for oil and gas from the federal waters will cost taxpayers three and a 50 billion in the next five years. the gao report notes almost 1 trillion federal revenues forgone in fiscal year 2009 due to the tax expenditures but the commission called tax earmarks. t 173 tax expenditures are similar to spending programs that can be the same magnitude or larger than related federal spending exit without the oversight. we believe this is an area this committee could play a critical role on increasing accountability, examining effectiveness and saving taxpayers' dollars. in the recent report the gao says reductions of revenue losses from eliminating in effect and text could be substantial. tax expenditure performance is in every it would benefit from the congressional scrutiny as the congress considers ways to address the long-term fiscal the balance. last year forcible e gao
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recommended congress modify the research tax credit to reduce wind falls for the taxpayers research spending they would have done any way and this report suggests changes to the tax credit as well as reviewing the toxics and status of bonds. these text extenders for effectiveness and fallujah and eliminating the largest corporate tax loopholes would pave the way for the corporate tax structure learning over all breeds and establishing an important level of different business communities. other tax expenditures such as the mortgage interest deduction or deductions fo the sales tax shall also be considered. reforming federal law activities related to the corn ethanol would be a double whammy eliminating redundant programs and enhancing revenue. the use of ethanol is mandated, protected from foreign competition and subsidized. any one of these redundant market distorting policy options might be proposed to help emerging industry that is indefensible but the mature co ethanol industry continues to benefit from the decades of responsible x credit to blend ethanol at a cost f the taxpayers more than 5 billion per year. clearly the gao has given th congress ought to think about
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coming eliminating duplication and waste of government and revenue are the critical first step to addressing the $1.65 trillion budget deficit. >> i thank the gentlelady. you feel it back 18 seconds. this is probably a record for any committee. i now yield myself five minutes. mr. davis, the work you did when you wee here continues on that as you can see, there is more to do. when we start looking at duplicative programs, from your experience on this side of the desk, do you recommend if the committee offers legislation that we use a carrot or stick or both? for example we could look at these programs and simply say through appropriations we are only going to fund x amount now you have to figured out how to combine these rather than
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eliminating them when you run out of money, period or do we create legislative auhority for pools of savings being combined and thus create an opportunity in which there's a carrot for agencies that come together such as the electronic medical records if in fact the dod and our previously serving members often known as veterans can simply come together and realize they're dealing with the same people and get stovepiped with different systems. how do you view those two options? >> i like the kid better simply because when you try to start a budget they look within their budget, they don't look how they can share savings wit another agency. it's just not in the natu of the beast. if you can then synthesize groups that work together in those kind of shared savings environment you could do much better. organizations or -- you have to look healthy or incentivized.
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they're hesitant to give up the control because they don't know what authority they may lose over the long haul so when it comes to the shared savings we are not getting the sustainability that we need. i would do something like mandating agencies to look at two or three lines of usinesses with the nea each one they could share some of these instead of putting them into stovepipes but it doesn't intend buys them to work with other agencies. it's not the nature. >> i appreciate that, mr. dodaro. >> i think the and said -- >> he's not chairman any more. you don't have to agree. [laughter] >> in this case, i mean it. [laughter] i think there are disincentives in t budget process, for a imple, and the way that the money is there. it's difficult to collaborate across agencies and i think there could be more flexibility that way. also, the idea is you positive
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there i think are also true at the state and local level in dealing with federal agencies on grants like for example we recommended that the federal agencies look at incentives for states to combine and the in plymouth in the training area. a lot of these programs are delivered to state and local lead ministry destructors and a lot of times to have to set up separate structures in order to deliver multiple programs. so i think there's a lot of opportunities for incentives and flexibility. >> a quick follow-up on that. >> since so mch of what is delivered in programs like that is in fact presidential earmarks often called grants and competitive grants and so on, should we require that the executive branch do that consolidation, recognize that if you're going to get five pots of money to do substantially the same thing for the executive branch and all many of them on a formula that in fact they become blind.
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do you think that is a wise piece of legislative or should we try to work if you will combined with the administration d their own best interest or last, should we give the states authority to easily come by grants so that no matter where they come from the can merge them which is something governor barbara talked about where he gets different pools of money with different strings. how do you view those options to try to get the efficiencies? >> - all the options are very valid ideas. at the federal level i think there are opportunities to consolidate the various programs. for civil we understand in the administration's proposal for three of the rising and the education area, actually 38 programs we have identified our proposed and consolidated into five. there are thoughts on the surface transportation, clerly that. i do think that the state's should have some flexibility to show, and they can do it in a way to help reduce some of their
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own cost as you know they're struggling with their own fiscal stress and give them some flexibility as long as there is a proper accountability in place. one of the things we've said i there's not enough tracking of the and obligated balance and grant programs. so i think that all of those could work. >> i appreciate that. mr. alexander, just a quick one. you're opening statement, when you took on one of the hardest pillars to take on, the ethanol subsidy, and i appreciate tha, how do you propose we begin the process of dealing -- doing away with one of the obvious not a fossil fuel waste in government? do you suggest that we in fact take that 5 billion simply force it to be put into renewable fuels more broadly so that they can be competition from what most would call the more promising fossil fuels or do you have an alternate suggestion?
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>> our preference would be to have the savings the go to deficit reductions and not just in terms of the elimination for several years. i think in many ways, you know, it just can expire. it's done at the end of this year. we don't see anything replacing it. there are lots of efforts to look at new and more promising fuels' but i don't think they need to be tight. that is a failed policy. >> thank you. i recognize the ranking member for his questions. >> thank you. mr dodaro, one of the things i found interesting about the report is in the report it said dod made major revisions to the acquisition policies and he went on to say more emphasis is placed on the knowledge about the requirements, the technology and the designs.
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as the chairman of the coast guard subcommittee what we discovered when we were dealing with the deep water project by the $25 billion worth of hardware over 25 years and boats that didn't flow, part of the problem, literally, literally, part of the problem of acquisitions process. in other words, they didn't have people who knew what they were doing with regard to specifications, putting together contracts, but the determining, you know, when something, performance was done. they even had the contractors determining when bonuses would be given. and so i'm just trying to dig deep with this dod because we see a lot of money going out the or there. how far have they gotten with that aquisitions that they've made some movements? what do you, i mean, what do you see that -- how much progress have they made and do you see
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other things that can be done in that regard? >> i think basically, for example the weapons system acquisition they put in place as a result of the congressional laws of the weapons systems acquisition reform act as 2,009 e put good policies and practices in their regulations and manuals but the need to implement them more consistently across the department. >> how can we get them to do that? that's the question. >> there's no substitute for regular congressional oversight. >> and chairman davis, you said you talked earlier to me privately about it has to be a sustained effort. how do we sustain? i know if the coast guard we kept bringing them back over and over and over again and we got things done and we saved a few billion dollars in a very few years. but i'm trying to figure out how did we keep that sustained effort, chairman davis?
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>> wo things. one is the difficuy in sustaining this in government is you have people who are replaced a free period of time. they have a lot of other priorities. i liken it to mergers and acquisitions. in the private sector cost. you have to take those out and stay competitive. you have a strict time lines, management oversight from of. many times in government you have costs that look good at the front and on paper but by the time they are translated two or three years it sometimes and said costing you because you have this atmosphere. one other thing on the procurement, we don't have enough procurement officers. there's a policy of broken up officers of the pentagon and the need to hire and train more people in these areas. it saves money in the long tm to have good people behind them. >> mr. dodaro, i only have a few minutes left, two minutes left, your report says the united states is giving the oil companies at $53 billi because back in 1995, congress exempted them from paying royalties on
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the leases in the government of mexico. there are some oil companies today that pay no royalties to the american taxpayers on certain leases. as part of the so-called royalty relief primm these companies are removing the oil and gas which belongs to the american people, selling it and making a record profits. and so, i'm just trying to figure this is our money is and it? >> there hasn't been a comprehensive look in 25 years of what the federal government is charging for these leases, and when they are ranked, u.s. government's ranked against other countries and even some states we rank below what we are asking for the regular sis fo the return of the release for the land. interiors finally agreed to the comprehensive assessment. it's supposed to be completed this year. i would encourage the congress to review that study and make
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sure that there are proper incentives. we've also said, mr. cummings, that there's not enough verification of production that is occurrin on the land is in order to make sure the government is getting its fair return. as bernanke put this on your hi list risk is that right? why was that? >> we believe there wasn't reasonable assurance that the federal government was getting the revenue that they were due as a result of the leases for two of the reasons i mentioned before. >> in other words they were bng cheated? >> i think that it's not clear we have reasonable assurance. we are getting everything we should -- >> but the fact is it's money that is due to the american people on our land and we are not getting it will let me tell you something, if that happened anywhere people were being cheated, folks would be going to jail in my district. as a matter of fact someone
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steals a $300 bike they go to jail. so, here we have billions drifting away into the same time we are trying to find money to make sure that kids can go to school and have teachers and all that kind of thing, but this has to be a priority. and i know the chairman has made -- th is a big issue for the chairman and i looking for to working with you as we tackle this problem. thank you, mr. chairman. we now recognize the gentleman from florida. >> thank you mr. chairman. a quick note on the ethanol, count me in on finding the savings and on a personal issue at all has been screwing up my boat motor. so count me in the. a minute ago the ranking member said that the omb was sent here partly because the planning and doing, you

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