tv Road to the White House CSPAN August 1, 2011 12:30am-2:00am EDT
i look at the strategic interests of the united states and our allies and how this nation can either mutually cooperate or mutually conflict. >> finish the sentence -- "the state of the country today is what?" >> an opportunity waiting to be seized. >> why has it not been seized? because a lot of institutions such as the government and big banks have failed us, and i think the crushing weight of the government and the crushing weight of the failure of the financial markets have had -- have helped to inhibit the american people to move forward. it is not the american people. that is not what we are in a stagnating economy. it is the failure of governments to affect larger institutions. again, for a time, when you hear that something is too big to fail, they already have, and they continue to fail the people of the united states and continue to drag down the ability of the american people to move forward. as we have learned in other times in the country where we have had other such situations, if a change to actual leadership, a change to make difficult decisions, a change to bring government and the 21st century, a realization of what has happened on wall street has failed that allows the american people to fix those problems and move forward. as a conservative, as a republican, it is a tremendous time from this perspective. everything in the world is moving toward in powering you to make more and more of your
own decisions. it is known as self-government. it is the basis of the free republic. the basis of solidary organizations. these are the things that are happening again, and i think the only concern people have is how long it will take for the changes in large institutions that have failed to allow the real strength of the american people, namely them, to move us forward. >> if you go through this process, did you learn anything about yourself? as you begin this month for president? >> i think you can do that after your down one way or the other. more time you spend worrying about yourself as the problem in this town. a lot of people are worried about themselves. >> not worried. did you learn anything about yourself, the country, the process? them as you learn about other people, you learn about the country. you learn about everybody you run into. you learn about what is happening and touching it affecting real people. that is part of the beauty of the american experience, interacting with other people.
>> yet, you still have to raise money to run for president? >> yes, you still have to do that, but as we have seen, money without message gets you nowhere. a message and small amount of money may get you somewhere. >> representative thaddeus mccotter from michigan, thank you very much for being with us. >> thank you for having me. >> rick perry is a potential candidate in 2012. on friday he criticized president obama for the current debt problems and discussed the issue of gay marriage. he made these remarks in denver. this runs about 25 minutes.
>> thank you. thank you very much for your service to our country. thank you. [applause] what a nice introduction. as governor, my highest responsibility was to serve as commander-in-chief for the colorado guard, so, lieutenant, i appreciate your service and that of your colleagues, men and women who protect our freedom every day. thank you. [applause] friends, i appreciate the chance to be here today and particularly the chance to introduce a very good friend and an outstanding governor, rick perry of texas. when you serve as governor, and his and my terms overlapped for seven years, you get to know who the doers are, you get to know with the talkers are. rick perry is a doer. we were close friends and allies, and that is not something that you always say about all of your colleagues. given that rick and i serve with, for example, rod
blagojevich and howard dean. [laughter] had my colleagues know that 1 m's first running, i would not have been elected, and i, too, as the lieutenant mentioned, am a native of texas. born and raised in fort worth, which is a little larger than rick perry's home town. not a lot of people know this. there were a number of years were three native texans were serving at one time as governors of three different states. rick perry, myself, and a gentleman named jeb bush of of florida. this means texas truly is an expansive state. one difference -- i was accepted into the university of
texas. he had to go to texas a&m. [laughter] rick perry has built a strong and consistent record as a conservative during his 11 years as governor of texas. he is a leader in emphasizing the role of states in our federal system. rick has frequently taken on the federal government cozy over reaching into our areas of state primacy. strong fiscal conservative. used his line-item veto to veto more than $3 billion of budgeted items. [applause] while cutting taxes tax rates for everybody. whether it is taking on the trial lawyers over tort reform or the teachers union over accountability, rick perry has shown himself time after time as being not afraid to use his political capital for the good of the people.
texas today leads the country in terms of job growth, economic growth, and i in no small part due to rick perry's 11 years as governor of the great state of texas. so is my pleasure to introduce the governor of the second greatest day in the union, rick perry. give him a warm, colorado welcome. [applause] >> bill, thank you. he was fun to work with. i do not know where you're sitting, but waved at me. do not know where he went, but anyway. well done, sir. proud of you. you make all of us very proud of you. go with god and be safe. do your duty. thank you. god bless you. [applause]
as bill said, one of the most magnificent things we do as governors is have the opportunity to have young men and women like him, who selflessly serve. james, i cannot tell you what a feeling of pride it is as we go across afghanistan and iraq to visit those young guardsmen. truly, they are magnificent in how they serve, what they do. let me tell you, it is good to be in the mile high city. always good to get up on the high ground so you can survey what is going on around you. particularly when you are headed into a conflict. [laughter] conservatives already hold the high ground of ideas, but this conference provides a vantage point with a view of the
challenges that lay ahead for us as we go forward in this country. you know, over the next 17 months, i believe america will undergo some tough times as we begin the process of crawling and domesticating a beast known as the federal government. [applause] my concern is not only that washington has intruded upon the rights of the state's and individuals to make decisions about our own health care, our small businesses, our money, but that it is also advocating one of its most -- advocating one of its most basic duties, which is defending our borders. [applause] i always thought that government was supposed to do three things really well, which was deliver the mail, enforce our borders, and have a very
bolsters military. two out of three, i guess, eight bad for that bureaucracy, but they miss it that bad on two of those three. they get that one right. the finest young men and women in the world that are serving in our military. [applause] like any organism, though, government has got to be fed. it just thinks it must be fed. unfortunately, it develops a bigger and bigger appetite for our tax dollars and our freedoms, and over time, the people that government was created to protect become its subjects. the state it was devised to serve just becomes an name on another license plate. that is not what our founding fathers had in mind.
they created a system of government that was clearly defined. they clearly defined their responsibilities and the limits of its powers. it is best reflected in the 10th amendment of the united states constitution -- power is not delegated to the united states by the constitution, nor prohibited by it to the state or reserve for the states respectively or to the people. it is simple and elegant -- eloquent. it is to the point. the framers of our constitution had seen what happens when some distant, powerful government holds sway over our nation. unfortunately, there carefully designed limits have been obliterated over time by bureaucrats who want more power, more resources, more say over the essential details of our individual lives. our federal government has go well beyond its intended size and purpose so that now
threatens the liberties it was created to protect. we are now experiencing what happens when a country founded on the tenets of individual liberty is governed with no regard for that liberty. you see business owners who are hesitant to risk expansion because they do not know when the next regulatory issue is going to drop. when there is something that is going to come and of our resources. you see agencies running roughshod over states', and acting the restrictions that month counter to scientific proof and detrimental to entire industries. you see government owning a huge percentage of land out here in the western united states. them telling the folks next door on privately-held land what
they can do with their own private property. you see a federal government that writes 80 million checks per month, all the while piling up debts that will eventually crushed our country. folks, they are so handcuffed in washington, d.c., by the special interests, so addicted to the spending, they spend their time arguing about raising the debt ceiling instead of making cuts. then the president has the nerve to go on national television, look us in the face, and he says most of us do not know what the debt ceiling is. mr. president, we know what the debt ceiling is. [applause] i, for one, think it ought to be called the escalator ceiling because it just keeps going up
all the time. trust me, budget cutters are pretty popular during campaigns, but not so much when it gets time to do the hard work. the reason is because people's pet causes get cut. conservative leaders need to grow some real sick realthick -- real thick skin. in 2012, we need to redouble our efforts and send even more liberals into the private sector. [applause] including the president, who would be a whole lot better commentator on sunday morning talk shows then he is the nation's chief executive officer. [applause] fact of the matter is if we do not do that, we will get four
years of and a administration that clearly believes government is not only the answer to every need, but the most qualified to make essential decisions for every american and seemingly every area. the mix of arrogance and audacity that guides the obama administration is an affront to every freedom-loving american and a threat to just about every private sector job that is out there. [applause] whether they are seeking to publish a company like bowling for moving their operations into a right to work state or pressuring companies to change the leadership like they have with pharmaceutical companies, whether they oppose epa mandates that kill jobs, it is clear that they think they know best. let me tell you something -- i disagree strongly and vehemently. our nation was built on the
shoulders of working people who reached our shores in search of religious and economic freedom. as they and the generations that followed increase the risks and rewards of freedom, they killed the land, pursued innovation, helped create a nation like this earth has never seen before. we must do what we can to continue our nations for progress by electing genuine conservatives up and down the ballot with a singular focus on essential disciplines. texas is a tremendous example of what happens when you consistently applied those essential disciplines, which, i will tell you, they can be summed up in four very simple phrases. one, don't spend all the money. [laughter]
two is keep your taxes low, under control. three is to keep those regulations fair and predictable so business owners know what to expect from one quarter to the next. for your, reform the legal system so frivolous lawsuits do not paralyze lawyers trying to escalate their job and create jobs. [applause] over the last decade, that is the formula we have used in the state of texas, and it has produced in arguably the most powerful economy in the united states. at the same time, we have stood strong on our conservative social values as well, defending the unborn with parental notification laws, of holding the traditional definition of marriage with an amendment to our state constitution. i said the other day that the
10th amendment frees new york state to define marriage as they please, but the traditional definition suits taxes and this governor just fine -- since taxes and this government just fine. another tradition we raise in taxes is job creation. we have added jobs while other states have lost them left and right. those jobs fleet other states because factors like excessive taxation and punitive regulation and frivolous litigation drive them away. across the nation last month, total payrolls decrease in 24 states. the national unemployment rate rose to 9.2%. in texas, our unemployment rate is a full point lower than that, and again, we added more jobs than any other states in the nation.
this happens as our legislators were putting the finishing touches on a balanced state budget. not only did they balance the budget, they maintain essential services without raising taxes, and we left more than $6 billion in our rainy day fund. [applause] in the same session we just finished, texas legislators hast loser pays tort reform so that we send another clear shot across the bout that frivolous lawsuits have even less chance of strangling job creation in the state of texas. to make sure that legal voters are never canceled out by illegal ones, we instituted a photo id requirement for every voter in the state of texas. [applause]
voting is one of those precious rights, and the fact of the matter is it is one of the most powerful freedoms we have in this country. i think it is just there to apply at least the same standard required to get a library card or to get on an airplane. our legislators also approved membership in the multi-state health care compaq to bring vital decisions closer to the people instead of something called the obamacare that this administration is going to try to foist upon america. i believe texas is still an example of what our founding fathers had in mind when our nation was taking shape. i think that may be why we are in the cross hairs of this administration so much. i think it causes some great consternation that we are being
as successful as we are. i tell my folks in texas -- i said, "what is it going to be? are we going to roll over? are we going to fold?" i think i can say that all across america. are we going to roll over? are we going to fold? or are we going to do what we have been doing what we have been doing for today was interest, and that is elect leaders who will restore the necessary boundaries. think about the 2012 elections and what is at stake. i happen to think the 2012 elections are going to be determined by the vision of the people of this country. it is up to us, up to us to arrest our nation's downward spiral brought on by too much spending, to which interfering, too much difference to special interests. it is time for us to stage another sagebrush rebellion, a
band together, push back on washington's endless overreach. fortunately, that effort is already under way, shown by the 2010 election results. the voters said conservatives to office in record numbers. since then, conservative leaders at the local, state, and federal level have been working overtime. they have been working to tide the unchecked spending and affairs. we all know that washington will never leave willingly give up an ounce of power if the american people do not force them to adopt reform. washington needs a refresher course on the 10th amendment. [applause] that happens to be the reason i wrote the book "fed up." when states lead the way and create jobs, free market
principles are allowed to act. great things happen. the states are proof that the best leadership is closest to the people, not hold up in washington d.c. issuing some one-size-fits-all mandate. if you agree -- matter of fact, get your phone out just a second. i'm going to give you the opportunity -- is okay. young man, you can take your phone out. i know your mother told you to put it up and make sure it was off, but you can take it out. i want you to put in the word "forward" and text it 295613. go ahead. i will give you time to do that. because when you do that, you send it to me. -- text it to 95613. i'm going to keep you informed of what we're doing, the efforts to restore the crucial balance of power between the states and washington d.c. get america moving forward to its rightful place and role of
leadership in the world. i know i'm preaching to the choir here when i talk about this, but america's greatness is not found in the size of its government. america's greatness resides in the hearts and minds of our people. their innovative approaches to solving problems, their ability to endure the toughest times. if we want to stimulate the economy, we don't need more government spending. we need to unleash the private sector in america, the individual citizens who put their hours in at the job and pay their taxes while doing the best to take care of their families. the coalition necessary to correct our course as a nation consists of those who understand the importance of faith and family and freedom. [applause] that is what inspires a healthy
free market, and the importance of assuming personal responsibility. without each of these groups, appreciating one another's importance, positive progress is going to be severely limited. together, we must keep america moving back to pre-eminence. our values and conservative ideas are the world's greatest hope. like you, i still believe this country is special. the america i know was built on a solid foundation of spiritual but strength, individual liberty, self-determination. we must recapture that vision and begin the hard work of lighting the way for millions of americans adrift in the economic scene of misery. let's leave them to the safe
harbor of american renewal and the shores of american exceptional as imperialists anchor them in the future of good jobs and a country founded on good ideas, and that notion of government of the people, by the people, for the people. because if we do not, who will? if not now, when? there is no greater goal, no more crucial time than right now to make our stand, to restore our economy, our families, and our country, and i know that we can. god bless you, and thank you all for letting me come and participate. [applause] >> governor rick perry.
governor, thank you so much. >> next, a discussion on the role of the tea party on the deficit and debt debate. from today's "washington journal," this is 45 minutes. my kremer, that chair and co- founder of tea party express. welcome back to c-span. guest: thank you for having me. host: i want to pick up where you just left off on fox. you said you do not want a deal, you want a solution. what solution to you think needs to happen in order to raise the debt limit and cut spending? guest: as i said on that interview, that debt ceiling issue is a symptom of a bigger problem. the problem is the enormous amount of debt that we have. that is why these credit rating agencies are threatening to downgrade our credit ratings.
we need to do something so we do not find yourself in this situation down the road. this out of control spending has to stop. i think a balanced budget amendment that would force washington to live within their means would help. host: how would deal with a situation like 9/11 or the war in iraq or afghanistan are terrorism? what if there is unforeseen event that would force government to spend more money than it takes an? guest: the legislation would have to be written to be including situations when we get like that. i am no expert on the u.s. economy so i want to put that disclaimer out there right now. but we are spending more than we're taking in and it is not sustainable. we cannot continue down this path. when you have the medicare board of trustees coming out in the month of may and releasing a report that says, if medicare is not reformed in 2024, it will be
bankrupt, it is irresponsible for washington not to do anything about their when you know you are facing this problem. we need to deal with that. we need to do some entitlement reform across the board. we cannot balance the u.s. budget by cutting discretionary spending. host: i realize that this is still coming together so the information continues to evolve. but based on what we hear this morning, it is a $1.4 trillion increase in the debt limit immediately. based on misinformation, what is your reaction? guest: why are we in this situation?
because congress has failed to do their job. they continue to kick the can down the road. i do not want to be a democrat versus republican thing. this is an american thing. it was only eight months ago that the democrats control both chambers of congress and the white house, and make punted the ball. that is completely irresponsible. the american people want this problem fixed. they do not care how with this fix. they want it fixed. they want these people to do their jobs. we want these mechanisms in place so we do not find ourselves in this situation quite sure years down the road. even 20 years down the road. we need to do something about it now. we did not get here overnight and we cannot change it overnight. it this is the plan that comes out, there again, congress should be willing to deal with the problem in front of it and they should not punt the ball.
host: it was president bush that inherited a surplus from president clinton. this coming from one of our viewers. everyone guest: says where was the tea party movement when president bush was in office? it is not someone click their heels together like dorothy and the tea party was formed. there were people upset and talking about maybe it is time for another american revolution or a boston tea party during the bush administration. that is when the out of control spending started. president bush and president obama have one common thread -- congress. and not do what they do without congress. you cannot blame it all on the president. host: you rather see the government default or pass some sort of debt limit? guest: first of all, i think that is all day. we were told it was coming in
may and then we were told august 2nd, and thursday or friday, maybe there is some room for august 9 or 10th. we have enough revenue to service our debt and pay some of these entitlement programs and still have a little bit of money coming over. that comes from a bipartisan commission report released last month. i do not think that august 2nd we're going to default. it's not the threat of default but the enormous size of our debt. no, i do not think we will default under debt -- to fall on our debt and i do not want us to. the freshman standing firm, it is not that they want to see the fall. they want to see -- deal with this massive problem. host: the me go back to the balanced budget amendment. when someone buys a home for to $1,000 a year and they cannot pay up front, they take out a 30-year long. under the balanced budget
amendment, can congress take out loans to invest and understructure or can it only spend what it takes an? guest: we have to look at the overall big picture. there are going to be times -- you can only spend more than you make for so long and it catches up to you and that is what is happening right now the bank there going to be situations, i imagine, with the federal government has to take out loans and borrow money. but this has been going on for years and years and years. and you cannot continue to do this. if we do not get our fiscal house in order, get our credit -- that our creditors will take control and do it for us. i am not sure that we want that. host: we of gone from a trillion dollar debt to $14 trillion, but is there good debt for the government? someone argues that student loans and mortgages are good
debt, and bad debt would be loans for vacations or fancy cars. guest: i do not think any debt is good. it is probably a more acceptable form of debt. but again, i say that there are probably going to be instances, but the problem is when it becomes everything that you -- when you have so much debt that it is overwhelming to everything else, when you have more debt if you can pay. and that is where we find ourselves now. host: the republican line with amy kremer, the co-founder of tea party express. caller: i think both sides to come to a compromise because if they do not, they will put this country into a big chaos. right now i amend new york, rallying my state senators and my state assemblyman to try to
put letters or call up the people in the parties and try to tell them, because this country as big. i am disabled combat veteran. i am on the entitlement programs. we have put our lives out for our country and now our country has to put their cells up for us and to get this house in order. not only on the republican side and the democratic side, but the independents sometimes are holding the country hostage and they should not be. what they should do is compromise. remember, the election is around the corner. if they make this country default, the people will be aggravated and will definitely show it at the polls. host: that is the headline from
the "boston globe." guest: people are already frustrated, absolutely frustrated. this is a huge problem and as i say, is a problem that has to be dealt with. but this is the thing, americans do not want a deal, they want a solution. this is the problem. we do not want to be greece. who would of thought that the united states of america would be on the process of bankruptcy? that is upsurge. -- that is absurd. they are more concerned with staying on the d.c. cocktail circuit in their own power and control than they are taking the right steps and making tough decisions. no one wants to make the tough decisions. it is time to man up and do the right thing for this country. host: a comment from one of our
viewers. wired t party supporters so adamant against any kind of tax increase even from wealthy americans? guest: i can i give you the specific figure, but wealthy americans pay the majority of taxes already in this country. we cannot bring them, we cannot tax enough to solve this problem. you have got to cut spending. and the bottom line is, by asking for tax increases, it is asking to spend more. it is not cutting spending. host: what if you let the bush tax cuts expired, reverting to the tax cut of the clinton era? guest: i do not believe that we need to raise taxes. he only taxes i would say they should look at our closing corporate tax loopholes, that enabled ge and other big corporations not to pay any
taxes in this country. host: but even brought -- but for her norquist says that as a tax increase. guest: i do not speak for it grover norquist. but i do not believe that we should raise taxes. we do not have a revenue problem. we have a spending problem. host: devi joins us from the democrats' line. you are on the air. caller: the first thing they got in there, put that bush tax cuts in there, and that was money was borrowed, and we are paying the interest on it. and yet they want to reduce the budget. why would they want to do that? guest: the bush tax cuts were extended during the last congress, with president obama and the democratic-controlled
house and senate. it was not the tea party movement or the tea party freshman that pushed for that. but i do not think that we can bring in enough revenue by doing a tax increase. that is not our problem. the problem is spending. host: from the "atlanta journal- constitution." let me ask you about that tea party in all of this. speaker boehner, does he have control of his caucus and what role does the tea party have on the series of votes and the laying of votes that we saw last weekend the house -- last week in the house? guest: it is the tea party movement that is driving this debate. if it were not for this movement, that would have already handed president obama a blank check and raise the debt ceiling and gone on to the next thing. it to party is forcing this debate.
i feel for speaker boehner. he is in a difficult situation. he is absolutely in a difficult situation, but we have not put him there. it is prior congresses that have put in there. as i said, the people that have not been willing to make the tough decisions are the ones that have put this in the situation. i do not think you can blame this on the tea party movement. host: kathleen parker in the "washington post." fragging is intentionally killing or wounding a superior officer. she mentions a number of people including some of your colleagues from the two-party patriots and elected officials like michele bachmann, jim jordan, and the south carolina senator jim demint.
guest: they are holding the line for fiscal responsibility. they are saying that we cannot as -- continue to spend more than we make. that is the bottom line. many people are saying that. they're people across this country, when states are facing the same issues, and the same obstacles, so i do not have a problem with what they are doing. i think senator demint and michele bachmann and jim jordan are doing the right thing. they are holding the line and saying we have to rein in spending. host: from cleveland, ohio on the independent line. caller: i have a couple of quick questions. are they planning to put a cap on raising the payments to the congressman and senators? they should be it -- they should put a cap on that so they do
not get raises. the last two years they got raises, cost of living, and the social security people were denied cost-of-living raises. maybe you can answer that if you are aware of it. second of all, all of these senators and congressmen, they read the constitution when they were elected, and hopefully they took them words to heart for the american people and they will do what is right. those are my questions and i will take your answers. host: amy kremer. guest: i don't know what cost- of-living increases are salary increases they have given themselves. i know that they have given themselves some kind of raise over the past couple of years. i realize that our seniors have not received a cost of living increase in a while. i think it is unfortunate and it
absolutely should not be that way. host: from the "l.a. times." these headlines courtesy of the newsuem. drawing this back into individual households, one of our viewers -- it goes back to the issue of taxes or additional revenue. guest: they also cut their spending. not everyone takes on a second job. the main thing is to cut the spending. host: how did you personally get involved in all of this? guest: i am a former flight attendant and i was concerned about the direction of the country. the other control spending. so i started lobbying and through twitter became acquainted with other conservatives. of the 22 of us, after rent -- rex and tele -- rick
santelli at his ranch, we formed the tea party express. we are partnered with cnn to host the first presidential debate in september. we have not remain completely neutral and by project on bayh's for the purposes of the debate. -- we have remained completely neutral and unbiased for the purposes of the debate. we're waiting after the debate and we want to see the cream rise to the top. it was at constitutional conservatives that had the ideas and solutions to fix this crisis we are and in turn this country back around from this economic collapse that we're headed towards? that is what we are waiting to decide. i think that we will see somebody, and honestly, i do not think all the players around the
field yet. i do not think so. do you think so? host: from cape canaveral, florida. the republican line. caller: i want to shift the focus away from our representative government to our people. i think we have some real challenges for the electorate. i think every american should be willing to pay taxes, and we have roughly 50% that are not. and people should be prepared to bear arms and serve their country. and every american needs to be educated about the issues that face the country and we have roughly 40% dropout rate and our high schools. if that is our electorate, you would get the problems that you have today. people vote for government that they are not willing to pay for. whether it is medicare, where senior citizens are in my family, they take out $2.50 for
every dollar that they put in, when that occurs in every generation across the electorate, the problem is almost a tractable. the issues are with our own people. if we corrected are made progress on those issues, we will have better representatives and what have people willing to make sacrifices. it is easy to slam the president and speaker boehner, the majority leader, but at the end of the day, we have americans that go to the ballot boxes that do not pay taxes, are not willing to, and have never serve their country. and we get what we ultimately vote for. host: thank you. guest: i have to say, the electorate is uneducated. there is a small percentage of people they really pay attention to what is going on. but this the first time in american history that people have been so engaged in the political process. this movement is all about
education, educating people on these issues to empower them. so many times people go to the polls and vote by name recognition or the letter next to somebody's name, and that is what we need to stop. we need to get away from politics and let people vote on the issues. when someone walks into a ballot box, they should know where they stand on the issues. you should have two columns there with the issues and no candidates. that is what we need to move towards and get away from party politics. host: a number of analysis pieces from the associated press available on-line at ap.org. people are disgusted, confidence is tanking, nothing is getting done in washington, the markets are spooked, the global reputation of the united states has lived, and this raging effort to shrink the debt may increase the debt. in the emergency deal that not
-- that might not prevent the major credit -- credit agencies from downgrading the debt, that could increase the cost of borrowing for everyone. guest: i have read the same thing. we are in a pickle. there is no doubt about it. what are we going to do to get out of it? host: tampa, florida, the democrats' line, with amy kremer. caller: i heart you. i have a very heavy right hand. i have six sentences. of leslie obama was voted in and then he disrespected the people and our loss. the progressive party is about to die. everything they have done the last 100 years will be altered. that is all that i have to say.
host: did you want to respond? guest: we need to get away from party politics. we need to look at this big issue of controlling this debt. it is not about the social issues but the fiscal issues. that is what all americans are focused on right now. host: we have seen a series of change elections, 2010, the republicans win back control of the house of representatives. are we in a series of change elections because of the economy, because of the country, or the mood of the electorate? guest: i hope so. our objective is to take back the white house and senate. i believe in most of the people involved in this movement believed that the democrats' plan is to tax and spend. that is what they want to do, tax-and-spend. we cannot go down the road. we need to rein in our spending
and not raise taxes. the only way to stop that is to select a conservative congress. that is the purpose of the tea party movement, not to bring republicans to washington but to bring conservatives to washington. host: melissa says -- and at the front page of the "washington post" has the president as a player. does blame fall among all of them or is it just the president? guest: all of them. i said at the top of the show that you cannot blame the president. and you cannot blame, obviously, this congress. you have to go back to last congress and the congress before. we did not get here overnight and we will not change it overnight. it is our federal government, that is the problem. host: from north carolina, the head. -- go ahead.
caller: you need to take this all the way back to bill clinton when he signs nafta. i see thousands and thousands of jobs leaving this country and going to other countries. and then also watch the illegal immigrants, and and taking the construction jobs. people said that they were taking jobs that people would not do. and you know, it has been at downhill battle ever since. and i am in the construction industry, and i've been on all of these jobs around here, nbc crew after crew of the illegals and they are taking our jobs and not paying taxes and not buying houses. they live in them but they are not buying them. when you raise the ceiling, 60
or 70 times they have done in, they need to see what it is going to do. guest: illegal immigration is definitely a problem that we have in this country. i do not know the answer to it. i think the first thing we have to do to deal with that issue is to shut down our borders. secure our borders. they are obviously not secured right now. that is probably another issue that congress is going to have to deal with. but it is on the back burner now until the debt ceiling and the size of our debt is addressed. host: joseph says this -- how do you respond to that? guest: i absolutely disagree
with that. medicare effectively ended as we know it with the passage of obamacare. they took money from medicare, reallocated to medicaid, with the passage of obamacare in order to grow that welfare class, the middle-class americans that will be on medicaid. in addition, we had a baby boomers entering the medicare rolls on the average of 10,000 a day. those numbers do not add up. and of the medicare board of trustees saying we have to do something about it. the commercial with granny going over the cliff. that is absolutely not true. we need to fix this so that social security and medicare will be there for our seniors, absolutely will be there. we need to take care of our seniors. they have counted on was their whole life. they have paid into these programs and it is irresponsible for us not to do anything about it.
host: another view from our twitter page. you can join the conversation there. guest: we do need jobs. i do not even know the numbers of americans that are out of jobs right now. but again, jobs seem to be the secondary issue. this is what is driving washington right now, this debt ceiling. the size of our debt, that is all that washington is talking about. this city is abuzz this weekend. it is really hot but everyone is in town because this is the issue they want to deal with. then they will be a going home and on recess and come back and it is not too long before we go in the campaign mode. i would like to know the answer. what are they going to do about it? i think that we need to be dealing with jobs.
host: 14 million out of work and the official unemployment rate is 9.2%. from the republican line. caller: i am a radio talk-show host. an african-american. host: what radio station in cincinnati? caller: wzbv. we are streaming online. i often hear a lot of my callers saying, the tea party as racist. nonsense, i say, they are not. the reason i say this is because first of all, it is true. secondly, it is a way to demonize it. i remember the tea party as a response to the obamacare . we had democratic-run congress under nancy pelosi. after congress, if you recall,
they were very impolite. that is how part of the tea party got started. in the other part is, where the tea party members before president obama came on the scene? well, when we had our deficits, it was bad enough. now we have large deficits in trillions. when you hear people saying that we need to raise taxes on the rich, if you raise an extra $70 billion but you're spending a rate of $1.2 trillion, that is the same ratio of spending $70 to pay down $1,200. it will not go very far. this concept of taxing the rich and the oil companies and getting rid of loopholes, if you tax everyone, if you will not raise enough money to pay for this wild spending that we are on. host: thank you for the call and thank you for the plug. we will check you out in
cincinnati. guest: he is absolutely right. health care galvanize this movement and it did so because health care is personal. there's nothing more personal than health care. they call us everything in the book. they have called a racist, and now they're calling us terrorist. why? because they want to marginalizes. we are a threat to the left agenda, to the tax-and-spend agenda. we are standing in the way of them spending more and so they want to marginalize us. if not, they would not be attacking us. host: from our twitter line. guest: you know, you're taking money from medicare and reallocating it to other programs. as i said, you had a baby boomers entering medicare on
average of 10,000 a day. the numbers do not add up. host: let me share with you a story from "national journal." this story was posted yesterday, and he writes that there was something striking about the 22 house republicans who voted against their own speaker pauses deficit reduction plan. five of them were firm south carolina. does this have anything to do with senator jim demint, a tea party favored? guest: senator demint is a great hero. he is a true fiscal conservative. it is a very red state. that is what their people want. i am not surprised and a discreet to say that south carolina dentist -- that south carolina delegation stand up for fiscal responsibility. host: from illinois, are
democrats line. caller: the people that are going to be hurt by this are the poor. and the elderly. let's take a step back for a moment. we have had two wars, and that is part of the discussion. there is no debate that we have to control some spending. but we have also have to look at what has caused a great deal of the spending, the two wars, amy. the entitlement programs, those things can be worked out. we can increase the age and go over a litmus test, and income- based test for social security. but the war? iraq had nothing to do it. that is what caused a great deal barack had -- nothing to do with it. that is what caused a great deal of spending. you look at spending, it is not the tax-and-spend thing that republicans capitulates so easy. but when you talk about
education, we feel like that we are empowered to talk about it is more than looking at the news and listening to the sound bites. it is understanding how economics works. it is very complex, but if you do not have a balanced approach in terms of raising revenue, and i like what the caller said from ohio, you can increase the tax base by adding more people pay taxes, i agree with that. but the argument that you do not need more revenue is this ingenious. the project is disingenuous. you need a balanced program. do not put people out of jobs. people are now working, they are not going to pay taxes to increase the amount of money coming in. this notion that it can be one- sided will hurt all lot of old people. we have to enlighten ourselves, amy. but i like some of the issues that the tea party is talking about. but it is more complex than you articulate it. please be more knowledgeable about it.
guest: he has a good point. if we put people back to work, they will be paying taxes. that is more revenue for our federal government. i cannot deny that the wars have cost this country an enormous amount of money. but we do not get into a foreign-policy and go into those issues. we do not. that is when we all -- we are never going to all agree on that. i cannot deny it has cost us an enormous amount of money. it is an issue. host: a lot of opinions on our twitter page, including this. we will go to mary from goshen, indiana. welcome to the program. caller: thank you for taking my call. i am 64 years old, now retired yet. one comment i like to make, i
thought social security was in its own fund, that it would be a solid fund. my father was on welfare many years ago. way back in the depression. they call the wpa back then. there is something to be said about working to get a paycheck. there are too many people that are third, fourth generation on welfare, and not really because of their own fault, but now they do not know how to get a job. they do not know how to work. and there is a satisfaction of getting a paycheck. way back in the 1960's when a president retired, he did not get the kind of money that he is. our congressmen did not get the paychecks and benefits that they get. would we have as many running for congress if they did not get the benefits, lifetime benefits? no one gets lifetime benefits anymore. host: we had an earlier caller
that suggested we might do a program to determine just what members of congress receive in terms of salary, benefits. the gym, travel expenses, and the like. guest: they are very well taken care of, no denying it. we heard back when we were having the debate over obamacare, why don't they pass through the same type of health care for us that they get? it is obamacare so good, why don't they go on it themselves? there is no denying that there are very well set up. but going back to the people that are less fortunate, lower income americans, i am all for helping people when they fall down on their luck and they need that safety net. i absolutely think that we should do that. the problem is when it becomes a handout and it becomes their
career. and they have no incentive to go out and get a job and contribute to their community. that is the problem. i am all for people getting the help that they need when they fall down on their luck, but not being on welfare as a career. we cannot sustain that. host: everything that we read about the tea party, a disparate group, a broad coalition members. how many tea party organizations are there nationally? do you have any idea how many members there are? guest: i have no idea how many members there are. many people have a label, but it is truly a grass-roots movement. there groups that do not include the tea party name and there are probably 10 national organizations, medium to large size, and how many individual groups across the country? i have no idea. host: to land on the republican
line. -- joann. caller: thank you for having me. i live in a local county, and our government has to consolidate, give up jobs, eliminate positions, to get our budget under control. i think all counties across america are doing the same thing. i do not hear that going on in washington. when we were told we were having this, why do we need them? we need to be a little more basic in government and cut back. i want my roads fixed, i want my park to look nice, i want the things that keep our community going, and i think washington needs to do the same thing.
there are many things in different situations, but the answer is we need to consolidate departments or branches of government, to cutbacks, jobs that are unnecessary, things that are unnecessary. maybe that would help. guest: i agree with her. i think we need to get rid of the department of education and send it back to the states. no reason that the federal government should be involved in decisions between states and parents and their children's education. what works and alaska may not work in georgia. that is a big department that we could get rid of. we could get rid of a lot of bureaucracy in the money allocated to the states. it would directly benefit our children. host: amy kremer, chairman
>> we also heard from the executive director of moveon.org. this is 40 minutes. "wasngton journal" continues. host: joining us from new york is the executive director of groupon.org. appreciate your time this sunday morning. >> thank you for having me. host: let's begin with the story we have been focusing on all morning, the possible agreement between the white house and congressional democrats and republicans on raising the debt limit before tuesday. major garrett has been following the story online at nationaljournal.com. no new tax revenue would be part of these negotiations. your reaction? guest: our 5 million members have been clear on this. a huge reason we have the deficit we have is because of
tax cuts that were never paid for. the notion that we can deal with the deficit without asking the wealthiest -- millionaires, corporations, ceo's who made out like bandits in this recovery -- to pay 1 cent more to help us get through the crisis -- just does not hold water. it is incredibly disturbing to hear that that is where the deal is heading. >> -- host: many republicans say those tax increases will cost jobs, and that is the main concern of the u.s. economy, creating jobs will create more tax revenue across the board. guest: i think if you look at the historical record, that argument is always made, and it just does not hold water. there were actually tax increases used to balance the budget during the 1990's, the greatest time of growth we have seen in recent years. the last decade has been the case in point for the failed experiment of trickle-down
economics. we have these massive tax cuts, the first decade in half a century where we saw no net job growth. i just think it does not make sense. the bottom line is we have -- the richest 400 people in this country make an average of $395 million every year, and their effective tax rate is about 16%. they pay less in taxes than the great majority of americans. it does not make sense. we're going to cut medicare, the people's health care, and we are laying off teachers, but we will not ask people who make $400 million a year to pay 1 cent more? it just does not hold water. host: this morning's, "the washington examiner" --
are democrats to blame for where we are they? guest: i do not think that is the case. the fundamental dynamic of what is happening now is that in order to please the tea party base of the republican party, they are literally holding our whole economy hostage and threatening to basically put a knife in our economy in order to protect tax cuts for millionaires and corporations and to win big cuts in vital services. that is almost without precedent in our history. it is an unbelievable outcome. the one thing that i think we need to fall democrats for is not calling them out more forcefully, accepting the premise that in order to raise the debt ceiling, which was done seven times under president bush, 18 times under president reagan, that we are going to accept the notion that we need to mak cuts that cannot make
any sense in the middle of an economic downturn. that is how we got into this mess, i think. host: look at the preside's 50th birthday, which takes place this week. i mention that because a lot of stories this morning about how the president handled the situation, including this one, also in the "washington post." can you answer that? guest: where the president will draw the line? host: yes. guest: i certainly do not know. we have tried to be really clear with the white house and members of congress. the thing that i hear when i talk to moveon members -- will have about 5 million members scattered in every corner of the country, anything i hear is that what we really need right now is jobs, not cuts.
there is this bizarre -- washington is like this is our parallel world right now where the only thing that matters is cutting the long-term deficit. meanwhile, the rest of the country, jobs is overwhelmingly the top concern. people are trying to figure t if they are going to lose their jobs how to find work here young folks are graduating off a cliff into an economy that has no jobs for them. in the long run, that is how you al with the deficit, get the economy moving. a big part of the reason we have these huge short-term deficits right now is because of the economic downturn. i think that our members look at the debate in washington right now and think it is completely bizarre and out of touch with the rest -- is where the rest of america is at. that is what we tried to communicate to the white house and the president. iope democrats will not allow the economy to be held hostage, but the news this morning does not look great. it is disturbing to see where this looks like it is heading. >> did you support the
president in his efforts in 2008? >> yes, our members were hugely supportive of the president. we had about 1 million members who hit the streets for the president, and i think we are among the millions of people who've were really an unusual social movement that came together to elect the president. >> whe are you and your supporters moving into 2012? >> i think our mbers are right now -- the election is over a year and a half away. over two years away, rather. sorry, the election is far enough away that our members are focused on the debt ceiling, the crisis we are in now. our members still suprt the president. they are disappointed in many respects with some of the decisions he has made, but i think right now -- what i hear
from talking to our members is that this crisis is really an acid test. we need to see what happens and whether the president ultimately will stick up for the values that folks -- that he articulated in his race and that i think really inspire people to support him. i do not hear members talking about supporting someone else. again, the election is a long way away, but the question i have is whether people will be motivated to come out in the heat in august and arizona and to knock on doors in the cold in minnesota in november. those are the things that actually helped elect the president and in the first place. people who were just incredibly passionate. i think that is going to take that fashion for him to get reelected. people do not feel like he is fighting every day for their interest, that is what concerns me. >> -- host: we will get to your cas and, just a minute.
your reaction to that. guest: i think there is a hug amount of truth to that. as i said, our members think there is this strange disconnect between the debate happening in washington and the real concerns that they and folks in their communities are facing all around the country. part of what i see democrats and the president doing right now is they are not willing to talk out anything on the economy that they do not think there is some way the republicans are going to agree to. when we have a situation where the republican party has because of their tea party base moved so far to the right that they are dramatically out of step with the american people, they are pushing for cuts that would have a terrible impact, probably push us right back into recession. they are completely unwilling to
embrace the measures that would be necessary to get the economy moving again. what do you do in that siation? democrats need to be willing to articulate what actually is necessary to get the economy moving, to create jobs, to deal with the problems people are facing, rescue the state's fro the fiscal crisis they are in, and make the case to the american people and let the voters choose, but that is not what we have seen the president doing. i think -- there's no question that our members feel like either party in washington right now is speaking to the debt of the economic crisis that our communities face. host: on our twitter page, one of our viewers saying -- all cuts or all revenue? we cannot do both? from the "washington post" this morning --
a vote is expected at 1:00 eastern time. live coverage on the c-span networks. good morning, caller. caller: thank you. you have to give me a few minutes because i called earlier to talk to the tea party lady, and i got disconnected. i am a democrat, a moveon member. i am looking at my paycheck. my paycheck was $3,200 this week. it is0%, excluding my health care, that came out. with the rich people -- these folks, they do not have statistics. they just come up with numbers. they calculate which folks based on your geograph location. these tea party folks, based on an avege income of $40,000 and more, right?
they contributed half, back to the deficit. i am paper said some of my paycheck in taxes. my health care is not included. how can we get these guys that do not like government to pay their fair share? average folks that make $54,000 -- he was calling folks from the democratic party to pay $75,000.10 to give all the tea party folks and get these guys to contribute thr paycheck. i will contribute, but i'm not contributing nothing to obama because he does not stand for me and he does not stand for nothing i stand for.
i'm not doing it. and i am black. host: thanks for the call. thanks for checking in the second time. starr referred disconnecting the first time. your response. guest: thank you. if you are a moveon member, that means i work for you. america is not broke. we hear that all the time that the country is broke. but america is not broke. our government is broke right now because of two wars and a tax cut that we never paid for and it prescription drug benefit sweetheart deal for the pharmaceutical companies that we never paid for. the question is how to get everyone to pay their fair share. everyone paid their fair share, we could afford to invest in job growth, in our communities. right now, we have -- households making $1 million a year or more pay on average about 23% in
taxes -- 40 years ago, they were paying 43% in taxes. they were paying -- they are paying less than you and less than me and not nearly enough to actually make the country work, and yet, they are turning around saying that we are broke, so we have to cut medicare and social security and education and lay off teachers and cops and first responders. it jt makes absolutely no sense. it is a crime. host: john in north carolina saying how about another trillion-dollar stimulus, to borrow more money from ourselves and give it to speal interests. how do you respond to that sentiment? do you think the stimulus program put forward by the president was effective? guest: i definitely do not want to borrow $1 trillion and give it to special interests. i agree with that. we need smart investments in ou economy to get it moving again. we need to invest in infrastructure.
our infrastructure has been neglected over the past 20 years. we have bridge is falling down, tumbling rds. we need investments in the internet and the high-speed infrastructure that can help businesses grow. i think that is absolutely right, and we can do this in ways that can boost the economy in the short term. the basic problem right now is we have corporations sitting on more money than ever. record profits. they are not investing it because there's no demand because folks do not have money in their pockets to buy stuff. that is a trap that we need to get out of. i think the stimulus was not big enough. too much of it was not in tax cuts that are not an efficient way to get the economy to grow, and one of the things that was under appreciated about a was a big part of what was doing was helping prevent local vernments from laying people off. the stimulus gets far less credit than it deserves.
actually did help create and protect jobs, but we need more and more targeted efforts right now to actually create jobs. the ideas you hear being talked about right now -- people are talking about, "what about a corporate tax holiday?" all of these corporations are off shoring hundreds of billions of dollars because they have to pay taxes to bring it back to the u.s. we will let them bringt back at 5 cents on the dollar, and maybe they'll use it to create jobs. they are already sitting on literally billions of dollars in profits that they are not spending. or another payroll tax cut. again, same problem. i do not see how that will create jobs in corporaons are already making record profits and not investing. we have to loo at -- this is the reality. we have to look at real measures to stimulate the economy, and this is a crucial point -- part of the reason that we have the deficits we have is because the economy has slowed so much and
istill not going anywhere close to what is needed to even keep up with the growth of the population. if we want to deal with the deficit, you have to get the economy moving again. if you cut spending right now, then what that does is at a time when businesses are shrinking back, if the government does the same thing, it is a vicious negative cycle, and it will actually extend this economic downturn, and it makes the deficits bigger because we do not have the tax revenues to keep up with government obligations. host: a debt deal rises, but the crisis is unresolved. next call is joe from sacramento. republican line. good morning. caller: hi, yeah, this is a useful conversation we are having. you just mentioned all the government employees that the stimulus money saved. never a liberal says the word
infrastructure, make no mistake about it, they are talking about unsustainable uon jobs for the most part. let me tell you where i'm coming from this morning. i just -- i want to know if we the people are still in control of our government. i'm comparing this to if the military leade when they decided, "you know what, mr. obama? you do not know what you're doing. we're going to maintain the current troop levels because we disagree with you and we are not going to do what you say." that is what the politicians and government bureaucracy are saying to we the people. if we had a little more balance press in this country, we would have more people -- who knows? maybe some journalists -- screaming from the mountaintops, this is like a coup. we're losing control of our government. if we could just get off of our
backs, this economy could recover. thank you very much. host: thank you, joe. justin? guest: i'm sure we disagree on many issues, but on that score point, we really agree. i do think our government is not listening to the people right now. if you look at the debates happening in washingto the vast majorityf american people think jobs are more important than the deficit, that we need to deal with the deficit absolutely in the long run, but we have to create jobs. second, the way to deal with the ficit, that most people agree , is we ne to make corporatio and the rich to have been making out like bandits actually pay their fair share. everybody needs to pay their fair share, and also, we need to cut defense spending and wind down the wars in order to be able to afford our priorities here at home. those are the things that are most popular among the american people, and neither of those is on the table in washington.
the combination of the incredible job the tea party actually did do in having an impact in the last elections and within the republican party and the fact that we have this flood of unlimited large donor money now dominating our political system are two of the reasons that washington is kind of dramatically out of touch -- with where most of us are at. host: one of our viewers saying, "everybodyaying their fair share, but does that include those pay no federal income tax and that amounts to about 47% of americans not paying federal income tax." guest: the crucial thing is you need to look at all the taxes. everybody does need to pay their fair share in this country absolutely.
but if you look at sales taxes, you look at payroll taxes, everybody in this country is paying taxes, and the thing that is crucial is the taxes on the rich and taxes on millionaires, taxes on ceo's have come down dramatically. you have hedge fund managers who make most of their income, who are making hundreds of millions of dollars, and most of that income is coming in capital gains, and they're payg a lower tax rate on their capital gains in their administrative assistant is making the -- is paying on the $30,000 or $40,000 a year that they are making. that does not resemble anything that i was taught is there. guest: this is an e-mail from bill in california, and it is rather long, so let me try to paraphrase.
your response to bill's comment in california. guest: i think there is a tremendous amount of truth to that. thank you, bill. just to talk about social security for a second, social security did not cause our deficit, and we do need to work to make social security solvent over the long term, but the reason iis being dragged into these debates about our short and medium-term deficit is because there's a contingent of folks who wanted to cut social security sin it basically came into being during the new dl and have always looked to get a -- to gut it. it is absolutely true that
people paid payroll taxes on all their income, then we would be able to solve the problem. i have folks in my family who are living off social security, anit is not much. it is really difficult to live off. within this washington bubble, the's this idea that benefits are somehow unsustainable. benefits are too low. if the goal is to allow the bill to retire with dignity in a system where they pay in through their worked and then can retire at the end of a long life of work with dignitythen we need to raise those benefits, particularly with folks at the lowest end of the spectrum. certainly we cannot cut them. but we could actually do that everybody pays payroll taxes on all their income. >> next -- host: next is rose up from shelby, north carolina. caller: good morning. this is my first time calling in. i have tried, but the lines are always busy. i want to bring up something