Skip to main content

tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  August 20, 2011 7:00am-10:00am EDT

7:00 am
syrian president assad. later, new york times education correspondent sam dillon talks about the obama administration's decision to allow waivers on math and reading provisions. w.j." is next. ♪ host: the obama administration has of proved new leases in the gulf of mexico. these a first since the deepwater horizon. there are concerns within the federal government looking at a shortage of drugs to treat life- threatening illnesses. the "new york times" article also talks about the stockpiling of cancer medicine. the new -- the marine corps has a new commander.
7:01 am
she has the distinction of being the first female ever to head the marine corps training ground. looking at our first 45 minutes, the topic is going to be campaign 2012, but we are interested in only hearing in this 45 minutes from those of use who identify as an independent. we're interested in not only positive obama's chances for reelection or the gop field as it currently stands. independents only for our first 45 minutes. this is how you can call in and get your opinion. the telephone numbers are on your screen. if you want to identify yourself as an independent by e-mailed, journal@c-span.org is there --
7:02 am
added to that. you can also come to us at twitter. gopory taylor's this to the field at hand. here is what he said about the independent voters. it is hard argued the proposition that president obama's extremely weak. the presidential job approvals do not take predictive value until the year before the actual election -- allport's of 90% of democrats will likely vote for the obama test is more than 90% of republicans will end up opposing compared it is the independent group that makes up the
7:03 am
difference. americans are known to vote their pocketbooks and the economy is almost inevitably the dominant issue. the august 11-14th gallup poll that got all the attention, showing only 26% approved of the job he was doing to handle the,, indicated that his approval rating among independents was just 23%. on creating jobs, 24%. those are ugly poll numbers consistent with the president losing reelection. prisoner reagan had lower in the first half of 1983, but by this point they had already turned up where obama is today and did not drop to this level for the duration of his reelection campaign. for first 45 minutes, it is the independents that we want to hear from.
7:04 am
the 2012 campaign so far, give us your thoughts on it. but only on president obama's reelection, but the current gop field. the telephone numbers are on the screen. again, we only ask a couple of things grid if you have called in the last 30 days, hold off. if your and independent, call into that. massachusetts, norman, you are up first. what does that term independent mean to you? caller: i am part of the green independent party. i was a democrat until 2010, but i have become quite disgusted with the democratic party. i became a green at the election of 2010. host: what made you leave the democratic party?
7:05 am
caller: the democratic party has drifted so far to the right, they do not care about discrimination anymore, about poor people anymore. they have been terrible on pollution, on the environment, on global warming. the democrats had backslid completely. there is almost no light between democrats and republicans. you hear that the independents are in between, but they are not. there is no room between democrats and republicans. host: what does that mean for campaign 2012 as far as a candidate you are looking at? caller: the only republican acceptable to me at all would be ron paul r. gary johnson, but i could not vote for president obama. and i probably could not vote for any of the republicans.
7:06 am
i'll have to find someone further left. maybe just kind who ran for governor hand -- joe stein, or sending shaheen. some candidate will emerge. only 20% of people approved of democrats and 20% approve of republicans. host: thank you for calling in. charles from gulf breeze, florida, you're up as far as campaign 2012. are you there? one more time for charles. as good a somerville, south carolina, max, good morning. caller: i used to be republican. i am an independent now. one of the reasons for that is because joe wilson hollered at
7:07 am
the president during the state of the union. i'm going to vote democrat this time and give president obama another shot. this was at this respectful way that they have treated his presidency. host: berkeley springs, west virginia, bobbie. caller: i voted for reagan, the last republican i ever voted for. it is never amounted to anything. i will bow for obama. -- i will vote for obama. i expect him to turn around and do it right. i think his speech will be great. i think he is a great president. host: but to identify yourself as an independent. caller: that is right. i registered independent after reagan and i have been an independent ever seen. -- ever since.
7:08 am
people say that my new code does not count and now it is barely important. host: it is your perspective on both not only the president's reelection campaign as you see it, in the months ahead, as far as a potential gop can challenger as well. caller: there is not one i would vote for. host: who is the strongest? caller: i suppose the one from massachusetts. host: mitt romney. caller: yes, if i had a vote for him, it would be wrong. but i would vote for anybody before i would vote for republican. i am 76 years old and they scare me today. i am afraid it will take away my social security in my medicare. host: pittsburgh, pennsylvania. caller: i am an independent. i was republican for quite a
7:09 am
long time. a friend of me let me a book "america -- freedom to fascism." something is going on quit this party. -- with this country. both parties are bought by the banks and the corporatocracy. the federal reserve lands are country money at interest and that is largely why we have a debt. the graves commission under ronald reagan found out that everything we paid in our income tax goes to service this debt. the constitution does not provide for a central bank. host: as far as the campaign ahead, who you vote for? caller: i am going to vote for ron paul. a corporate news media keeps the
7:10 am
people largely ignorant of his platform and what he is trying to do. host: aside from the federal reserve platform, what other aspects of his platform do you find attractive? caller: get us out of this war. the military-industrial complex is a role in this country. or is the biggest single thing -- war is one of the biggest single things that is a country in the unsustainable debt. host: who did you vote for last time. caller: unfortunately i voted for john mccain. i wanted to vote for ron paul but he was not on the ticket. host: houston, texas, michael, go ahead. caller: basically this holding is a farce. even though i consider myself independent, i cannot get excited about any of them, including obama. i voted for obama last go
7:11 am
around. host: as an independent, what led you to vote for obama? caller: i thought it was a refreshing change of perception about what he intended to do with the federal government, change and hope, change and the attitude in washington. but he got there and unfortunately he found out the same thing that he never runs the show. the corporatocracy, like the gentleman said, with the international monetary fund, it is all based on the perception of resources. this whole thing is good for the media, but it is really a nonstarter for progress for the people. you have to make your own progress. host: as far as candidates, are you interested in anyone?
7:12 am
caller: not at this point, unless obama can change the way he is going about things, not really. host: would you have to see change specifically? caller: i like to see him stand his ground a little more, and if i were a later, -- a leader threatened by the tea party, i would of taken it to the 14th amendment of the constitution, no dead shall be challenged by the federal government and not allow them of all the debt ceiling hostage. the debt ceiling is not in the constitution. host: the gallup poll taking a look at president obama and how he is handling his job, registered republicans, independents, and democrats. when it comes to terrorism, independents register his performance of 40%, foreign
7:13 am
affairs 39% -- independence only for our first 45 minutes talking about the 2012 campaign. maria for national tennessee -- for nashville, tennessee. what you think about the campaign so far? caller: it is all quite unsettling to the american public. most of us watch mainstream media as well as our internet, and so we get multiple views of what is going on. all we are seeing on mainstream media is a bet burgeoned from what we are reading on the internet -- is so divergent from what we're reading on the internet. i am a card-carrying libertarian
7:14 am
but i will be voting for ron paul. i voted for bob barr last year. when you watch the television and it does not matter what age you are, john r. role, you can tell that very professional person who has been office for over 25 years, as a republican, who has run very successful campaigns in his congressional district and one every one of them. he is absolutely being denied to the american public. host: when you talk to your friends about who you would like to vote for, what is their reaction for ron paul or bob barr? host: on paul is a republican. i would have to vote on the republican ticket or just take an independent ballot. but i would say that most
7:15 am
people have warmed up to ron paul. they have found that, yes, they agree he is a very substantial candidate and why is he being denied to the american public? it then poses that very uncomfortable, this feels weird, that the media is blocking him. host: can ask why you identify as an independent? and on the second part, what this independent mean to you? caller: i am a card-carrying libertarian. but i will be changing over for the first time since 1980 and voting for a republican. i have voted libertarian since 1980. host: this is joe off of twitter.
7:16 am
poppa no beach, florida, don, good morning. caller: my main issue about being independent is that, look, if you hold both parties to the fire. i am at the point with president obama, he could be more out there to hold his ground. i know is a president he can do the whole job. we know that congress is playing games, ok? sometimes you get independent and democrats, they are going to give him a little bit of leeway. but you need to hold them to the fire. and what the republicans, it tears me up with the republicans, the tea party, i am sorry, but they are nothing but a bunch of dixiecrats. every time they'd do something,
7:17 am
they try to hold him back. host: so you are an independent. caller: i am an independent, i am a true christian. i am born, saved, and sanctified. host: who did you vote for last time? caller: president obama, i was not going to vote for him but i wasn't going to vote -- vote for john mccain, either. host: what about next time? caller: they had somebody else running from another party, i would be looking at that person. but you talking about preparing -- rick perry, michele bachmann and them? i have trouble with them. why what i'd vote for someone talking like that? i'm on disability. i was hit between two cars. i need my knees replaced.
7:18 am
i have hand surgery. i am doing, what you call it? still it yet they want to take my disability away. i don't get a $896 a month. host: that will determine who you vote for? caller: ago, yes. host: thank you. in the political section of the "new york times," their right -- rick perry is aware of being seen as a bush redo.
7:19 am
when kay bailey hutchison ran against rick perry for governor in 2010, many in the bush camp -- whether read be anyone on the republican side, rick perry or the president himself, independents are who we are looking to hear from. get a sense of the 2012 campaign. if you want to weigh in, the telephone numbers are on the screen. next up, saratoga springs, new
7:20 am
york, john, go ahead. caller: good morning, c-span. the problem of here in new york with being independent is this primary system, we do not even get the vote, for one thing. if you're not registered democrat or republican, you do not even vote in the primary. new york is a big state. that's a lot of people that get stuck with whoever these guys pick. and on the corporate aspect of what it for one is saying in the media, these guys are bought and paid for. host: who interest you so far? caller: i admit i voted for obama last time because i could not hold my nose and vote for john mccain. like everyone else, i would maybe wrote for ron paul, but they are not cornell led him in. is going to be mitt romney
7:21 am
against obama. this thing is package, delivered, and as an independent, we are a people with no party, with no one to represent us. we need our own party with our own people, with our own mechanism. we get stuck with these people we cannot vote for. host: next up hamilton, montana, carmen, go ahead. caller: i am an independent. sometimes i vote republican. not very often. i do not like what the republican party is doing. they bought into the council on foreign relations and the trilateral commission. i think we should do a program, c-span, please do a program on who the council on relation is. who formed them, why they were formed, and their primary mission. host: we will take that advice.
7:22 am
as far as the 2012 campaign, what do you think? caller: would you please do that for the whole country? we need to know what is going on, pedro. host: i know that. what do we think about the 2012 campaign so far? caller: the republicans have no one intellectual except ron paul. ron paul his head and shoulders above everybody. that is why they are blocking him. host: so who would you vote for in november if ron paul is not a part of that field? caller: i wished ralph nader were part of that field. most of our politicians, 90% of them are paid off by the corporations. they make all laws for the corporations and they do the corporations bidding. we are suffering in montana and all over the united states.
7:23 am
they continually take us to wars that they make up reasons for, and me being a combat veteran, i offered two years and killed people for nothing in service of the corporations. host: we will keep up with this question in a little bit. and other stories in the papers, one in the last few days in libya. the "new york times" has this story. giving us perspective it is missy ryan of reuters. she is their correspondence. as far as got out these hold on the country, where does that stand today? -- gaddafi's hold on the country, where does that stand in today? guest: he is still ensconced in
7:24 am
power today. last week the rebels captured a city just west of tripoli. they've also captured eight towns south of tripoli. the capital is surrounded on three sides. -- it islinked to the only link to the outside world by highways to this motion. tenace is no longer an option. host: give us a sense of where nato is in the conflict. caller: it has allowed the rebels to advance. we're five months into the nato air campaign and has not worked out as the leaders of the west had hoped. host: as far as the condition within those areas surrounded by troops, what is happening with the people there as far as their safety, their ability to get
7:25 am
amenities, and those kinds of things? guest: tripoli is very much a city under siege at this 0.3 surrounded on three sides, and in naval blockade to the north of the mediterranean. that will certainly get worse if the encirclement of tripoli continues. host: talk about colonel gaddafi's reaction to this. caller: he has not been seen in public and. he promises that he will not back down. the government says that his fate is not up to negotiation. in talks to the rebels and the west. and he promises to fight to the very last moment. host: as far as their rivals
7:26 am
resources, how far can they sustain what they're doing? guest: it is how long the west is willing to support this campaign. i don't think there is the kind of support now for an expensive bombing campaign that there might have been in march when it began. the rebels are certainly getting better in terms of their military capabilities, but they still lack the heavily weaponry that gaddafi has. host: their stories about an oil terminal there. caller: it is changed hands several times in this conflict. the rebels are claiming that they control the right now. but they have not been able to hold on to that and key areas when gaddafi tries to repel them. host: are you suggesting that the western support is waning?
7:27 am
caller: that is certainly my impression. in march, gaddafi could shut down in yield to the western pressure almost immediately, like that occurred in other countries in the region during the arab spring. but it certainly has not been the case here. i think it reflects the mindset of a leader who is an almost absolute power for 41 years. host: missy ryan, tell us things that our audience may not be seeing. buguest: it is tightly controlld here in the city. people are really deprived of information that citizens and ordinary countries would have. people are informed by state
7:28 am
television which do not tell them about the rebel advances. i think you're seeing the kind of a scenario where the outcome of a totalitarian regime for 41 years. host: missy ryan, how free are you to report this information to your public news's and getting information out, how much leeway the you have? have you felt safe in doing so? guest: not very free at all. we are essentially confined to a hotel. when we do go out and report, we are accompanied by governor -- government minders. so we only see a small part of that situation here in tripoli. it is a very uncertain scenario if the government were to fall,
7:29 am
if the rebels were to advance into the city. no one knows what is going happen. host: missy ryan reports for reuters in tripoli. thank you. back to our question as far as independentss and how you see the 2012 campaign so far. caller: i discovered that i was an independent when i realize that with the exception of richard nixon, who i never voted for, i have voted least once for every person who has been president, since i cast my first vote for john f. kennedy. looking back on that and wondering why that is so, i realized that finding yourself labeled as a democrat or republican or a liberal, it sometimes causes you to get yourself into a box. i like to be able to assess each
7:30 am
ticket, the individuals on it, the issues, to try to take that into account in terms of what we can no at the time. i did vote for barack obama. i recall seeing colin powell saying he would cast his vote that way. i had approximately the same reasons. i really thought that he was the right person at that time. i was impressed with his thoughtfulness. my primary disappointment has been that i think was too optimistic, that the system and the politics and the favors owed and the peoples in charge have resulted in him not being able to follow through with some of the things which he so thoughtfully spoke of during the
7:31 am
campaign. host: benton, maine, alan, go ahead. caller: i was in new hampshire. ayman main right now, and i was an independent for 30 years probably. iraq -- i supported ron paul in the last election. i contributed to his campaign and voted for him in the primary in new hampshire. i am pretty disappointed with what is going on. i think the government has been hijacked by wall street and the military-industrial complex. it is unfortunate. but obama has turned out to be a rockefeller-wall street republican, and he has done nothing about cleaning up the mess in the banking system. we have not really cleaned up the problems with the military spending. host: one of the things they administration touts as it works
7:32 am
-- its work on the dodd-frank. caller: that is pretty much a sham. he we doubt when it came to what less warrants. it is a tough call. many hold your nose and vote for somebody, but the reality is that we need someone like roosevelt and says we need to clean this mess up. right now you have libya, that is pretty much in sync with big business and big money, and you have all the politicians, it does not matter which one, except for fuchs outli -- except for a few outliers. bernie sanders and others, but they were to wipe them out. host: chicago, go ahead. caller: i am 30 years old. i am just calling to say that i avoid labels all together.
7:33 am
that is worrying and independent means to me. it means to have an open mind. i look for the same thing that the lady from rockford called about. hi take the best thing for me system. i think in america, we have to stop this dichotomy of either you are on the rider on the left. i just think that we take what is best for me system and reform and make it into our own. host: what you think about the president's chances for reelection? caller: it will be a tight race. i do not think he will be reelected. i voted for obama in the last election, not sure if i will vote for him again. but there's no real competition on the right. i like ron paul as a person but would never vote for him. i think it will be a tight race. host: who would you like to see in the race? caller: however prefer a third- party candidate, someone who
7:34 am
supports a green party like ralph nader, someone on the extreme -- not on the extreme but on the left. host: a couple of e-mails. pat from new hampshire. cranston, wisconsin, you're next. independents only for this phone segment per we're looking at the 2012 campaign from your perspective. caller: i am surprised that no one has mentioned buddy roemer. is a breath of fresh air to me. he knows that our country has been sold to the special interests. how badly we need election reform. the media and special interest
7:35 am
are controlling everything for their own benefit. and they are reaping the harvest. host: that see you are supporting so far. caller: yes, i saw him on c-span and i thought he really wants to do something. i just saw and again but no one seems to know who he is. host: you can seem more on our c-span site, c-span.org. the video library has a bunch of the information as far as the candidates are concerned. we have campaign 2012 coverage. go to c-span.org, and on the right hand part of your screen, hit the video library. you can see all the candidates, what they say, and it is constantly refresh. new information on that. on the front page, campaign 2012, the video library at c- span.org.
7:36 am
oklahoma, john, go ahead. caller: heidi the political situation -- i view the political situation like that combination of a kabuki dance in a greek tragedy. it is all theater. the republicans and democrats, it is the same people, same suits. they do not represent people like myself. i think i am going have to write in some one this year. host: what you mean that they do not represent someone like yourself? caller: i do not have any power. i smoke cigarettes and they're raising the taxes on me. i don't have any representation.
7:37 am
no one thanks me for smoking. i still believe in america. i still have the american dream and my heart, but my mind is telling me, i am a little despondent. host: from dennis lane on twitter. before good tucson, ariz., and op-ed. the commission on debates could still determine how many debates there would be. each candidate chair and a glass of water.
7:38 am
the purpose is to create an environment where two highly candidates talk to each other. tucson, ariz., we're looking at
7:39 am
the 2012 campaign from an independent point of view. caller: it is time for independents this year to go for their heart and heart, whatever the candidate is, and be willing and campaign for the person, go to the primaries, write them in, take that time said that you can vote in the primary. i am leaning toward ron paul and gave him support last year. the idea that we do not have control over this because the media tells us is a fallacy. we did. john stewart has a great bit he did last week on youtube about how the major networks left ron paul out. host: what about ron pollack tracks you? caller: right now our country
7:40 am
cannot support all these wars, and all the special interest. he could not control congress but at least it would set a tone that maybe would start something. host: florida, john, go ahead. caller: i am a registered independent here in florida. i would have to say that after looking at obama, he has accomplished a lot of first. is the first president that has presided over the downgraded of the credit union. that is taken over private industry. the biggest thing is, yes, i am a registered independent but i would vote for my dog before i voted for obama. host: n.c., jerry. caller: what makes me
7:41 am
independent, i believe in the jeffersonian principle of government. and for another thing, anybody who believes in that is automatically ideologically independent from washington. no one believes in the constitution at all there, except possibly ron paul. who won the iowa straw poll? michele bachmann bought 4000 tickets for people to come beaufort, and she only got 4823 votes. in other words, she lost horribly and ron paul is way out ahead. obama is obviously unelectable at this point. on paul 2012. host: but the parallels between ron paul and jefferson? caller: off the top of my head, i do not have an answer. host: dayton, ohio, good morning. caller: i am leaning toward
7:42 am
either michele bachmann or mitt romney. host: why so? caller: i do not like the way the economy is going at this point in time. host: and so when it comes to what representative bachmann proposes and what governor romney proposes, would you like about those strategies? host: michele, runs the majority of households in this country? women. she might be able to do that. host: and governor romney. caller: i am leaning more toward michele bachmann. he is just more popular at this time. host: to you think the michele bachmann is electable? caller: it is still up in the air. i am not sure. she is not that well known.
7:43 am
host: we will leave it there. new york, susan, good morning. caller: good morning, pedro. i am an independent. i became one in 2008. i was brought up strict democrat. my parents would roll over in their graves at the democratic party and now. host: what does that mean for 2012 for you? caller: i am looking. host: looking for whom? caller: whoever the republicans present. host: who is the strongest in the field currently? caller: i do not know. i guess i am hoping for someone interesting. host: subcurrent phil does not interest you. caller: not really. host: donna, texas, you are the
7:44 am
last call on this texas -- on this topic. caller: i an independent. i like to look at the individuals. i am leaning towards in mexico's jerry johnson. host: why is that? caller: i think that he is very strong on the ideas that are really hitting the country right now. we of overstressed ourselves in the military. we're trying to police the entire world. i think we're wasting away too much money on the drug problems, the marijuana thing, we have not made any progress. host: what about mr. johnson's policies that attracted you?
7:45 am
caller: i think that we should pull back whole lot of our military, almost immediately, and i know we have to put a lot into iraq and afghanistan, but i tend to believe like he does that we're going to be in the same situation 10 years from now or 25 years from now. we do not need to be involved in all of these places, in the middle east. i think they are fighting hard about our, but as you see right now, there will eventually come to the point where they will take the fight themselves. they have seen something that they want. and they will continue to fight for it. host: and that is gary from donna, texas.
7:46 am
independents about campaign 2012. thank you very much. later on we will take a look at what is going on in syria. you may have seen secretary of state clinton representing the obama administration about removing the leaders there. we will have a discussion about that letter on. next up, though, robert rector from the heritage foundation for the topic is social programs, and discussions about which ones work and a possible government oversight of initiatives when it comes to social programs. you will lead the discussion when we come right back. -- we will have that discussion when we come right back. ♪ >> it is a country fraught with corruption, natural disaster,
7:47 am
and islamic extremists. >> what was really shocking to me in to many people in pakistan was that these assassinations were welcome, were congratulated by many pakistanis. these are not terrorists, not al qaeda, not taliban, but ordinary pakistanis who feel that their religion is threatened, that the country is becoming too secular, that the islamic values are under attack, and that blasphemy, anything that insults the profit for islam, is something to be defended with their life. host: pamela constable on c- span's "q&a." [church bell tolling]
7:48 am
>> notice the color of the bourbon. that pretty amber color is all coming from the jar on the thebridge -- char on inside of the barrel. the char is where the birding gets all of its color and a lot of its letter. there are over 200 chemical flavors just in the coke and hcar from the barrel. the char of the barrel. >> we highlight frankfurt, kentucky on book tv. urban renewal.
7:49 am
crawfish bottom. and the like of the calgary soldier. tv, a visit of public traced distillery, one of only four distilleries in operation during prohibition, for medicinal purposes of course. the old state capital. book tv and american history tv and frankfurt, kentucky next weekend on c-span3 in c-span2. >> watch more video of the candidates and track the latest campaign contributions with c- span website for campaign 2012. easy to use, it helps you navigate the political landscape with twitter feed and facebook updates from the campaigns, canada bair raese, an allegis polling day. plus links to campaign media partners in the early primary and caucus states.
7:50 am
>> "washington journal" continues. host: our guest for this first segment is robert rector, from the heritage foundation. he serves as a senior reach her fellow. -- research fellow. you write a lot about social programs. tell us how you define that. guest: i write about anti- poverty programs, in particular, those focused on assisting poor people, not the elderly. programs that provide cash, clothing, housing, targeted to low-income people. the surprising thing is that conservatives call those welfare. it's how many of those programs that we have feared that federal government run 70 of those programs for cash, food,
7:51 am
housing, and medical care for low-income. we're spending $900 billion this year. if you take all of state and federal spending, the largest category of spending is also security and medicare. the second are these anti- poverty programs. followed by public education and then followed by defense. most people have no idea of this, in part because the seven programs are never added together. you look at them one at a time, it is like you never had a defense budget. you had marine logistics or air force personnel. it is really a lot of money. it is over 20,000 people for each poor person in the united states. it goes to people who are in near poverty as well. it is still far more spending the most people imagined. it is also the fastest growing component of spending for we know the social security in
7:52 am
medicare have grown rapidly. but this type of anti-poverty spending has grown more rapidly. host: 1 the the specific programs? guest: the biggest as medicaid, and then their food stands which are now call snap. tipperary assistance for needy families, supplemental security income -- there are a lot of them. none of them are huge except for medicare. but when you add them all up, is a lot of assistance. about half of this goes to disabled people or to elderly people who are poor. the other half goes to families with kids. host: and you talk about anti- poverty programs, how was poverty did find? guest: the federal government defines poverty as a family of four that has an income below $22,000 a year. the trick is, however, all those
7:53 am
anti-poverty spending is not counted as income. yes, isn't that amazing? so you spend close to $1 trillion a year taking away from the rich and providing it to the poor. and it does raise their standard of living. but when we go to measure poverty, that money disappears. also in a quality, when you the numbers rich versus poor, that trillion dollars taken away from the ridge and given to the poor is not counted by census bureau. it is a large flimflam that distorts our national in course -- discourse. host: open code air- conditioning, cable-tv, and thena xbox. guest: they're going to tell us about the number of poor people.
7:54 am
when the average person hears the word poverty, they are thinking clearly about someone that may be homeless, it does not have enough to defeat, and if they have a home it is falling apart. they clearly have an image of deprivation. when you look at the mainstream media, when they run the story on 43 million poor people, they invariably poor out -- pullout homeless family with a kid sleeping in the back of an. but the reality is that only 2% of poor people are homeless, and if you look at this population of 40 million people that are ostensibly for, what you find from other government services that have air-conditioning, cable-tv, they have a computer. they have kids with a video game. they have up to three color televisions. many have a plasmid tv. if you ask them, did you have enough to do eat at all times
7:55 am
during the year, 90% would say absolutely. we had just enough food, no problems with that. if you look at their housing, they are in good housing, it is in good condition, they are not overcrowded. the average poor person has more housing space than the average european -- not a poor european, but a european. we have an image of them living in a dilapidated trailer. 90% of poor people live in a perfectly good house or apartment, not crowded, and if you are able to obtain medical care during the last year, whenever anyone needed it, the overwhelming majority of them say they were. if you make that description and say to the average voter, is this person for? they were overwhelmingly say no they are not poor. there is a disconnect between what the government says when
7:56 am
measures poverty and the actual living conditions of the people. host: and that could change how much money the government hands out? guest: we need to take that into consideration when we hear that we can never role these programs back or that we need to spend more because there are these conditions of deprivation which you always here. when we are trying to expand the welfare state here in washington, you always rollout these images. it does occur. perhaps 5% of poor people are hungry at some point during the year. some of them are homeless. but it is the minority of the grid. there's like our range of living standards within this 40 million. i am describing the average family. it is far higher than people think and they give you latitude to think about how we might change these programs are released.
7:57 am
-- or at least, we need a much cart -- a much larger government to deal with that. host: robert rector is our guest. the telephone numbers are on the screen. for those of you who want to @.ach out on e-mail, journal you can also reach out on twitter. as you were talking, in that reconsideration, what would you recommend to change? guest: we are really going bankrupt as a nation. what has happened in these 70 programs that assist poor people is that had expanded by 40% in the last three years. if people might say, though, will of course they have. we are in a deep recession, we
7:58 am
have huge amounts of unemployment, and i am sympathetic to that viewpoint. most people would think that they will go back down when the recession ends. no, they continue to grow. within a few years, we will spend over $1 trillion a year assisting poor people. we cannot afford to do that as a nation. i would like to be able to do that but we cannot afford that as a nation. what i proposed is that we take this aggregate spending and when the recession ends in a few years, roll it back to the pre- recession levels, adjusted for inflation. we were already at record highs before the recession began. and they need to reform the nature of these programs because they encourage work and marriage and self-sufficiency rather than dependency. we need strength, not cutting or slashing, just go back to where we were before the recession began. and then let's build a capacity
7:59 am
-- which was lyndon johnson's original goal, not generating more and more dependence. host: under that framework, some would get less and someone not get it all. guest: the most important thing of setting a budget is to say how much we can spend. once we have to determine that, we can begin to allocate the spending more efficiently. the problem with most of these programs is that they continue to give able-bodied adults cash, food, housing, medical care without requiring any work effort on their part. that breeds dependency and it is not something you want to do in the long term. in the short term, it might make sense. in the long term, you need to help the poor but also encourage them to help themselves. host: you may have seen the figures when it comes to food
8:00 am
stamps, from the agricultural department. the 2012 request was $73 billion. housing and urban development, $16 billion. first call is ohio. democrats line. good morning. caller: i am so tired of people being so heartless to the poor. our poor is different from other countries. when person said the other night about how inequality as far as income compared to other countries -- we are down there with the philippines and rwanda
8:01 am
otherll of these countries. they have air-conditioning, refrigerators. how heartless can you people be? next time -- the heritage foundation, i do not know why you would have him on there. this white -- right wing think tank. talk about the rich and what they contributed to society. guest: one of the points that i am making here is it is very important for you to understand that when john stewart or anyone else uses these figures about how much the rich have versus how much the lower half of the population has, the fact that we take $1 trillion away from the rich and give it to the poor and welfare programs is not counted. we do not count the taxes paid by the rich.
8:02 am
those inequality figures are meaningless. the entire welfare state is across the book. the taxpayers are in a bizarre set to ration. you say we have all of this party, and take $900 billion away and give it to low income people. when you count party the next year, you do not count any of that $900 billion. it does not make any sense. the average poor american is very upper-middle-class by global standards. they have air-conditioning, a cable-tv, a computer, microwave, up 40% of them have a plasma tv. if they have kids at home, and x box or play station. 98% of poor children were not hungry in the year. 95% of poor adults were never hungry at any point during the year. this is according to the usda.
8:03 am
the average diet or consumption of nutrients is comparable to that of upper-class children. for people in the united states have larger houses and apartments than the average person in france or germany, not pork french or pork and germans, but average. it does not mean that no one is living in a dilapidated house or went hungry. most people we identify as poor are not living in poverty conditions in the way that the audience ordinarily understand that term. host: shelton, conn., republican line. host: i am glad you took my call. when did all of this start? when obama took office? when democrats passed new laws
8:04 am
to remove the welfare program that was posted in by clinton way back in 1996, if i remember right? is that what happened? we created a whole entitlement program that we took care of 20 years ago? guest: i had a large role in constructing the welfare reform legislation back in 1996. the problem with that reform is that there are 70 different programs, over six different cash programs alone. close to 10 food programs and many housing per graham's. we reform -- housing programs. we did not touch food stamps or public housing or medicaid.
8:05 am
within five years and that that reform was -- that reform was effective in reducing poverty and dependence, but the left wing in the senate refused for many years to read authorize that legislation. it lost look of its teeth and is in -- in operative. the fundamental idea of the legislation was able-bodied parents should be required to work. we've found that increased employment, reduced welfare received and a drop party substantially. the main problem is that it was one out of 70 programs. the others were not touched. they have been the biggest budget secret in washington for a very long time. they have been growing very rapidly.
8:06 am
since obama took office, he has expanded the spending by about 40% on virtually all of these programs. he is not the only person responsible for this. even with the reform that occurred in the 1990's, the overall spending was never particularly restrained and continued to grow rapidly. host: are not blaming the current administration for the social stemming? guest: i would not be alarmed if this increase in spending was a result of the recession. when you look at the budget documents of obama and look at the out years spending, which is something i do, is never goes back down. a lot of people like it spinning like it is a rollercoaster. it goes up during recession and back down after. if you look historically, that is not what happens.
8:07 am
host: expansions took place during the bush administration as well? guest: absolutely. the spending growth in these programs has almost never gone down in the last 50 years, even after adjustments were put in place. this is almost completely unreported. this type of spending is growing more rapidly than a social security and medicare over the last few years. no one knows this. we pretend that we have this tiny welfare state, when we have a very large one. it has gone up in part because of the recession. when you look at obama spending plans in the future, it should come back down. with our deficit looming on the horizon, we cannot afford this continued rapid growth and expansion. host: are these programs part of
8:08 am
how we handle debt and deficit reductions? guest: absolutely. most people when they think about the budget, they think we have entitlements, social security and medicare, defense spending, and non-defense discretionary spending, and other interests. the reality is that there is this other category with over $900 billion worth of spending, which is basically welfare or anti-party entitlements that are huge and people don't really know about them. you really cannot get the deficits under control until you do not have to slash the spending or do away with it -- we need to bring it back to where it was before the recession began, and let it grow at a rate of inflation. it would save as of for today
8:09 am
the region $2 trillion in the decade ahead and still leave us with a very large welfare system. host: independent line, washington, d.c. caller: you are basically a numbers cruncher, if i'm not mistaken. where did you spend 24 hours or a weekend in a poor area where people are very poor. i would like to explain to the people, what type of dollars to as the united states government where they do not need any subsidization subsidized by the american public. if you can let people know that, that would be helpful. let's include defense spending and all the money through the tax breaks that the big
8:10 am
companies do get. guest: many companies get subsidies that are not necessary. we should not spend money on those. we tax investment in the united states higher than almost any other country, which hurts the economy and everyone including the workers and their wages. as to -- i am very familiar with poor communities on the ground level as well. what i would say to you -- you are right. i am looking at numbers. that is kind of importune. you have to have a ground level picture as well. i think that is important. think about it this way. let's say 1% of all of the household in the united states are living in dilapidated houses. that is a lot of households. that would be over 1 million
8:11 am
different houses. you could spend your whole life walking around looking at those houses and saying, look at all of this poverty. this is what i call street level view. the question is, is it 1 million households where 10 million? what i am saying is, yes, you can see at the street level and bought a dilapidated housing. you can see people that maybe do not have enough food to eat. out of the 40 million people that are ostensibly poor, most of them do not live anything like that at all. you can still have a lot of people with deprivations. in my writings, i make that very clear. the point of having these large government surveys, which is what i am using, is to try to make an assessment. this is 1% of people that live in dilapidated housing, or is
8:12 am
it 15% or 17%? and is a big difference in terms of making decisions about with the government is going to do. about the 40 million people that the government says people are poor, most of them have air- conditioning, cable-tv, computers, half of them have a computer now. 75% of them have automobiles. they are not living in the lap of luxury. they are struggling to make ends meet. they are struggling while paying the cable tv bill, air- conditioning bill, and possibly plan for a plasma tv. i am glad they have those things. but beneath to have an honest assessment of how people are living when we decide what the government is going to do. host: twitter makes this argument.
8:13 am
guest: most taxes in the united states are paid by the rich and the middle class. the way to understand this in our economy is that we pay over $1 trillion to provide goods and services to low income people, who do not pay for those things. i think that is good. that is one of the things government should do. we need an honest assessment of how much of this we are doing. we should not spend all of this money and say, poor people do not have any income. you just gave them 1 trillion dollars in housing and income. you cannot ignore that. we have to have an honest assessment. we have to be careful that if we overtax the -- overtax the investment class, that can hurt everybody in our society, and the economy.
8:14 am
host: when it comes to actual programs, are they tested for effectiveness? guest: know, they are not. a good response to this would be to say, you say they have all of these things. does that mean the welfare state has succeeded? i would say yes,. that in a certain sense is true. if you are providing this, you are propping up the living standards of people and raising them up. even the government cannot stand close to $1 trillion a year without having some effect on people's living standards. the problem is that with respect to the able-bodied people, which is half of the spending, we do not require anything. we do not require the recipient to do anything other than just
8:15 am
received aid. that generates a need for aid in the future. one of the key things we should do for all 70 of these programs is to say if you're an able- bodied adult, you are expected to work or prepare for work as a condition of receiving this aid. it would not save us a ton of money and some, but we could rebuild the culture of work and the self-sufficiency over the long term, which was the original goal of johnson. when he launched the war on party, he did not want to put more people on welfare and assistance. he wanted to make them assist -- prosperous. take account of their own ability. when you judge it on that platform, it is a huge failure. host: wisconsin, republican line.
8:16 am
caller: can you comment on two facets of this. the demographic problem, from the region of the country and if there is any you raise a related demographics that to these groups show up? and if any longitudinal studies have been done over time to show if there is a hard-core group of people or is it people coming on and off. if there is a hard core, where do they exist and how can they be reached? host: i have some quick facts from a foundation. they were looking specifically at children living below the poverty line between 2000 and 2009.
8:17 am
guest: it depends on what necessities are. the average poor child that lives in a home with air- conditioning, cable tv, computer, has an x box in the home, and was not hungry not even one day -- 99% of children in the united states did not miss a single meal because there was not enough food in the family. that is a testimony to the strength of our society, as well as the strength of the programs that we give to people to help them during hard times. demographically, about 70% of poor households for children are
8:18 am
single-parent households. there is a collapse of marriage, a major factor in all of this. there is more of it in black communities. it is occurring in white and hispanics as well. when johnson launched the war on poverty back in the early 1960's, only 7% of children were born outside of children. today that number is 42%. almost all the nonperishable burst occurred to women with a high school degree or less. society is splitting into two groups. upper-middle-class with children being raised by married parents that have a college degree or more and the lower income are raised by single mothers with a high school degree or less. she will deal with poverty for most of her life. it does not mean they do not
8:19 am
have any food. one of the strongest things we can do is try to put the family back together again as the family is our best anti-party weapon. host: democrats line from brooklyn, are you there? one more time for mike. caller: good morning. i am here. i would like to say -- i cannot hear you. host: you are listening to your television instead of the phone. it turned it down. go ahead. caller: he keeps bringing up air-conditioning.
8:20 am
to beat poverty, -- are there two different kinds of poverty or just one kind? guest: look at any time on the tv news when they run the story about poverty, you are not going to see families with plasma televisions, a cable-tv, living in a perfectly clear apartment with plenty of food to eat, that is the typical poor family. you will see families that are homeless. the reality is that over the course of the year, about the 3% will become homeless. that is a concern to us. what i am saying is the way to think about party is a range of living standards. if we say there are 40 million people that are poor, the people in the average or above average
8:21 am
are not pork in any sense that we would ordinarily understand the term. if you go to the bottom of the group, there are families with recurring food shortages, where the adults do not eat for an entire day. they live in housing where the roof is collapsing and not very many of them, but they are there. perhaps we need to focus in on those individuals more closely and look at how they got into those conditions. just talking around -- tossing around huge numbers saying there are 40 million poor people without any description of how they actually lived really does not help us understand and make informed decisions about where we want to go as a nation. host: what metric would you set up? guest: to go out and actually describe how many cars the you have?
8:22 am
do you have air conditioning? a plasma tv? the government does this. there are seven different government surveys that look at these physical living conditions. we go out and take blood samples from people looking for protein deficiencies, vitamin deficiencies. we meticulously measure the diets of poor children and rich children. the u.s. department of agriculture says there is no difference in the quality of diets between the rich and the poor. very surprising. we have to let people know that information and give them a picture of how people are living. it is not like i want to take away the x box. i do not want to cut the air conditioning off. it is a testimony to the success of s as a society that even people that we identify as poor are living very well by international standards. we need to be honest about it so
8:23 am
that the next time we hear 40 million people, let's not run about -- run a story about a family sleeping in the back of a minivan. that family is a real, but they are not the average poor family. there is a gap between that homeless family and the average poor family. let's be honest. host: does your research included the numbers the government provides? guest: we do not have the resources to do that. the energy and agricultural department, we have these various extensive surveys. no one knows about them. in one survey with the computers and plasmid tvs, it is done by our energy department. i think i am the only person in the world that studies the survey.
8:24 am
we look at them in great detail. that is why we have these surveys, so that we do not judge by anecdotes. let's look and let's measure who has the plasma tv and who does not. let's see how people actually eat. the usda has a question that asks all poor people, were you hungry at any point last year? 95% of poor adults say no, i was not. 98% this say, our children were never hungry during the year. that is a testament of our success as a society. we do not need to exaggerate and pretend there are hardships there that are not there. we do not want to whip all of that aid away and made them hungry. we have to have an honest basis for getting into a discussion about how to move forward with the future. host: but about the argument
8:25 am
that you take numbers and interpret them the way you want to see them? guest: i do not. if you have a question that says where you hundred, it is a pretty direct question. a poor person says no, there is another question that asked. did you have enough food? 9% would say yes. maybe not the best food we would like. we may want better quality food. i am not surprised. sometimes they worry about running out of money for food. they do struggle to make ends meet. they are struggling to make ends meet while paying a cable tv bill or air-conditioning bill. some people have air conditioning but do not turn it on, because they cannot afford it. let's be honest and look at the
8:26 am
reasons those people -- those families have lower income. those poor families with children -- there are a couple of reasons for that. there's not enough work to go around. if you were to raise it to full time full year work, 65% of those families would be raised out of poverty. the other is due to the absence of fathers in the home. if you tick mother's not married at the time the child is born and were married to the actual father of the child, about two- thirds of them would immediately be raised above poverty. we need to look at those behavioral reasons why the family has less income than what we would like them to have.
8:27 am
host: here is a common from twitter. guest: that is a great way to have discourse. -- we are beginning to have an honest discourse. i think that is great. what we are seeing is that poor americans have a living standard. upper-middle-class if not wealthy by national standards -- the question is how do we go about improving this? i would go back to the original goal of lyndon johnson when he launched the war on poverty. he said he did not want to increase the number of people dependent on government aid. he did not want to increase the number of people receiving help. he wanted to teach people how to
8:28 am
fish rather than giving them a free fish. in that respect, the war on poverty has failed in particular the collapse of marriage along with the erosion of the amount of work performed even in the economic times, means lower income americans are less capable of self sufficiency and prosperity than they were back when we started this. that is a huge problem. it is a problem for the taxpayers, the poor themselves, it because it tends to marginalize them in our society and makes it difficult for them to rise up out of the existence they have, which is not deprivation, but it makes it harder for them to rise up into the middle class. host: rachel, independent line. caller: i represent the
8:29 am
demographic. i am 57, disabled, my sole income is as as i. i raised two children by myself. i was working poor. now i am disabled poor. i have gone hungry. i do live in a dilapidated house. the ceiling is crumbling. i cannot afford air conditioning. i do not have a plasma tv. the television i found in the dumpster. i do not know who this survey represents and where i'd disappear? i am not an anomaly in this case but typical. guest: i sympathize with your circumstances. these are seven different surveys run by the federal government, which i rely on, that are conducted every year. they always show the same thing. families do exist in the
8:30 am
conditions you're describing. 80% of poor families to have air-conditioning, 20% do not. 90% are in housing with no problems, 10% are. there is a pull at the bottom of the 40 million people that are poor that does have a lot of hardship. if someone looks at my research when i describe these surveys, we try to make that very clear. the question is whether that is typical or not. its answer is it is not typical. it is population at the bottom of the poverty pull. one of the things we can do by having a more accurate assessment of how the average poor person lives is to channel more of our scarce resources down to someone like yourself, who really does have depravation
8:31 am
and hardships by having a more honest and accurate assessment of how people are actually living. host: vanessa, a republican line, new hampshire. caller: i have been homeless, hungry, and those government programs never did anything for me. the only thing that finally helped me was getting a job that could support me. i think it is ridiculous that you think your programs are untouchable as far as the budget goes. our irresponsible fiscal policy is going to destroy as one day. everything needs to be on the table, including these programs. one thing about the air conditioner. eiger up in arizona. air-conditioning of with there is not a bonus but a necessity.
8:32 am
you will die without it. these are things that need to be kept in mind. it is important to look at these things. we need to cut spending. guest: that is a very good example of the fact that what was a luxury at one time came to be seen as a necessity. ichor up in the south without air-conditioning. there was none in any of our schools or communities. those that had it were the local neurosurgeon and heart surgeon. it was a luxury. most of the stores did not have it. our high school did not have it. now it is a necessity. our society is prosperous enough
8:33 am
that will allow us to move in a profession where something that -- in 1970, only about 30% of americans in the whole population had air conditioning. now virtually all poor people have it. they also have cable-tv and so forth. i think that is a testimony to the prosperity of our society. it is important to be honest about that and say, most poor people are not homeless. the living standards of the poor have increased rather dramatically over the last 30 or 40 years. they are not the images of stark deprivation that you see. a lot of the claims that as a one in four four children go to bed hungry are not true. we need to have a better picture of how people are living so we
8:34 am
can make better decisions in terms of helping those people and also in terms of allocating our spending. maybe we need to spend more on people that really do have deprivation and a little bit less on the people that have the cable-tv and plasma tv and plenty of food to eat. host: a quick question from tor. guest: if you look on our site under my name and poverty, if you google that, you get my reports, which will lead you to all of the government survey data and the questions asked about what does the average american thinks property is. when you describe poverty in the way i have today, you find a% of them say people that live that
8:35 am
way are really not pour. host: thanks for your time. later on in the program, we will take a look at waivers being offered to states to get out of no towel left behind and respond to the education administration's announcement this week. next, our attention will turn to syria, as many government are calling for the removal of its leader. we will have that discussion with a person from johns hopkins. we will be right back. ♪ ♪
8:36 am
>> it is a country with many corruption and natural disasters. >> these assassinations were welcomed and congratulated by many pakistanis. they are not terrorists, not al qaeda or taliban. ordinary pakistanis that feel their religion is threatened, the country is becoming too secular, the islamic values are under attack, and blasphemy something to be defended with their lives. >> washington post correspondent sunday night on "q&a." august 16 marked the anniversary
8:37 am
of elvis presley's death. on american history tv on c- span3 gary shilling talks about the king and events that led to his meeting to the white house. we will visit mount vernon or archaeological discoveries shed new light on the one figure. get the complete we can schedule on c-span.org/history. a search, watch, and a share all of our programs anytime with the c-span video library. we are on the road with our c-
8:38 am
span digital bus and local content of vehicles. we are showing events from around the country. washington your way, the c-span network. created by cable, presented as a public service. "washington journal with iraq continues. host: our focus on this segment is what is occurring in syria. we are joined by one person from the "washington post." thanks for joining us. that could reaction from syria when it comes to the announcement earlier this week by our government and the european union as well. guest: no reaction at all. business as usual. they are not going to let up on this crackdown. host: on the ground, what does
8:39 am
the latest in terms of calls for removal of the president and his response? guest: we saw people going out to prague -- protest as they always do on fridays. they're calling for overthrow of the regime. we heard -- the government is struggling. all they want to do is crash of this revolt completely. host: are they using the argument that protesters are shills for other forces trying to overthrow the government? -- shields for other forces trying to overthrow the government? guest: -- in some parts of the country on some occasions,
8:40 am
people have used weapons to defend themselves in some way. the overwhelming majority want a peaceful end. host: when it comes to potential resources not going out of the country because of embargo trade and otherwise, can the government a sustain themselves with that happening? guest: we have indications that the eu is going to stop purchases of gas and other items, which would be a huge blow. it would have an effect on people's behavior. upper-middle-class this that have turned against the regime -- once they see their life styles have been affected, to change their attitude towards
8:41 am
the regime. if they are worthless, they will tough it out somehow. host: what has been the role of turkey? guest: today of played an interesting role. there were hoping to persuade the turks to join him to make it a multi-national effort. they have made it clear that they do not want to join him. they sit in geographically above the middle east. they want to broker solutions and to solve problems not create them. they see themselves as a power that does not want to sabotage
8:42 am
or have a confrontation, but continue to deal with them while changing their behavior. host: does he have a firm hand on his country? guest: -- it is impossible to say that he is as strong or as in much control as he was a few months ago. people have been hoping that the regime would crumble and there would be the factions, the army would be split. there has been nothing so far. host: is the real impact from announcements made earlier today? guest: there is going to be an impact of course. a lot of people believe that
8:43 am
they have been a bounded by the outside world. -- abandoned by the outside world. now they feel they are not alone, they tell me. it will encourage them. it does not change anything on the ground. you still cannot see how you will get from aysha to ration of people protester should be getting shot every week, to the government being over flom. -- overthrown. host: thank you. guest: thank you. host: the joining the conversation is a scholar at the middle eastern institute and day professor. guest: what president obama did
8:44 am
this week is an important step. it really inspired some people in syria to join the protest. richard we do not see our way out of this yet. the regime is being compelled to a terrific violence against the protesters and u.n. fact-finding report shows very clearly that there is more provocation on the protesters that justifies what the syrian merriment is doing. host: did the president wait too long? guest: the coordination of the effort is important to. he that the europeans to come a long way. the turks have come a long way as well. they said publicly that he is going too far and the needs to
8:45 am
stop. i think you have a feeling now of coordinated international pressure growing there will be a u.n. fact-finding group to go to syria this weekend. there is a meeting in turkey and the national council is what they're calling it now. they are organizing the government in exile. these are the things. host: if you want to ask questions of our guest for the next half-hour or so, here are the numbers. earlier this week it was secretary state hillary clinton and made a verbal addressed by the united states. here is part of it.
8:46 am
>> the transition to democracy in syria has begun and it is time for the president to get out of the way. as president obama said this morning, no outside power can or should impose on this transition. it is up to the syrian people to choose their own leaders in a democratic system based on the rule of law and dedicated to protecting the rights of all citizens, regardless of ethnicity, religion, sex, or gender. host: she said the transition has begun. do you agree with that assessment? guest: there is some transition that has begun. -- we have to wait and see.
8:47 am
host: does it matter that she made the announcement instead of the president? guest: it matters, but it may not matter that much. it is the middle of august, and the president is on vacation. her saying these things is important. host: of talk about other nations going through turmoil of sick -- similar nature. guest: it could be a wise decision but has not worked out particularly well in libya. it was much more problematic in syria not only for political reasons. there is arab support for it. the geography of syria is quite different. there is no call for it among syrian protesters.
8:48 am
we see civilian instruments of power being used. i am an enthusiast for the civilian instruments of power. it seems to be a good idea to go in this direction. the platform is a lot better than the violent clash. host: will the economic embargoes work? guest: i do not know. this is the big elephant in the room. iran is reportedly giving syria a great deal of money. it is not clear if the gas exports is going to have the full effect, because of the efforts to soften the blow. host: the first call is from port richey, florida.
8:49 am
democrats line. caller: hi my name is andy. i was a rescue worker at the world trade center. we are helping all of these countries out. how about them giving us a cell -- some of their oil? host: illinois, republican line. caller: my name is a jaime. i think president obama's foreign policy is void. i was wondering about the comment as to whether he would be willing to start a war. normally wartime presidents when the election. richardw-- win the election.
8:50 am
guest: i do not think president obama wants to have a military action in syria. we are already full of military action. host: from torture, we have a viewer who asks this. -- from twitter, we have a viewer who asks this. guest: i do not think the military has the popular support in syria as it does elsewhere. as such in egypt. i do not think you could completely rule it out. there are elements within the regime, which may want to take over and manage a transition process, so it does not impact of them too much. we will see if they are successful or not.
8:51 am
host: who is waiting in the rwings. guest: we do not really know. it is kind of a one-family state. it is important and has signed been noted much in the press, but all of the appeals this week was for the president there to step aside. they did not say step down, but stepped aside. i think what they are saying is you have to get out of the way somehow. you do not necessarily have to do what mubarak did. host: would it be someone in the family, someone that he choose. guest: it depends on who he is
8:52 am
and how wide the -- wise they are in managing the transition in committed they are to managing the transition to a real democracy. there is a real, triangular ballot -- a battle going on. the management in transition is much harder than the management in an effort to get them to step down. you have clarity of purpose and it becomes easier. winners, losers, and politics starts to break out. host: indiana, democrats line. caller: where do you see this moving forward?
8:53 am
obviously the president will be gone. he has no reason to be in this environment. there will be continuations of crackdowns. i think syria is our threshold for something here. what is your honest assessment of where you see syria going? guest: it is difficult to predict. i would like to see the syrians organizing themselves for the transition. a meeting going on in turkey on monday, where they are trying to form a syrian national council to be a kind of government waiting or the legislature is waiting. it seems to me with the syrians taking on that responsibility of managing on transition is a way of getting it in the best possible way. the regime -- i do not know if i
8:54 am
would be comfortable having my name listed in the issue of council today. i would think many people would be hesitant. we would have to seeing how this will work itself out. there are a lot of people that survived a long time having lost legitimacy. host: how is the government set up? guest: a one-party state. only one political party has been allowed in syria for decades. it is a government that is largely in the hands of a single family. various relatives took on key positions, particularly the commander of the most important
8:55 am
of the military forces for islamic tradition into the republicans. family members and other security traditions are kept as well. it is not a regime like gaddafi, which was spelling -- the money in york. they realize the need to cut what the business community, to make sure the largest city was on a warm weather regime. you see whites protest, but nowhere near the intensity that we have seen in other voices. >> wie host: we have about 20 minutes
8:56 am
left with our guest. you can contact us at the numbers below. you can also e-mail or send us a tweet. our next call is from washington, d.c. on our independent line. caller: it seems that we as the american people seem to be on the two sides of the same coin. we will be held responsible if we do something or do not do something. i would like your opinion on to what degree should we as american citizens engage ourselves in these kinds of internal conflicts that are happening all over the world? guest: we have to pay attention to the rest of the world. it is pathetic of those that see
8:57 am
democratic solutions. we cannot take on the whole responsibility. it seems to me what we have to do is support those trying to democratize the country, syria, without removing responsibility from their end. hopefully, the outcome in syria is up to the syrians as the president made very clear. engagement with the rest of the road is very important. citizen engagement is very important. we should understand what is going on and we should support those whose aspirations are for democracy and freedom. host: birmingham, alabama, a republican line, steve. caller: i have a question.
8:58 am
why does the united states think they are the peacemakers of the world, when the real problem is that we spend millions and millions of dollars to invade in other countries where we have no business being there. guest: there are responsibilities that come with being the united states. those, because we are powerful, we are economically under normal contortions usually fairly strong. responsibilities in the rest of the world have been with the united states for a long time. i am completely sympathetic to the caller at the same time in the previous ones, concerned about the amount of money spent.
8:59 am
we have to think about what we do abroad, not only in terms of spending money, but in terms of the engagement, which is somewhat costly. we have to seek aid but also in terms of diplomatic engagement, governmental and a citizen engagement that is relatively cheap. host: two questions from twitter. guest: the first answer is we simply do not know. there is no way to tell. serious elections have never been held. the answer to the second question is they are aligned with hezbollah. they are joined at the hips. one of the reasons the syrian regime has to be more
9:00 am
forthcoming to the demonstrators is they know full well more democratic syria would not necessarily support hezbollah. the alliance between syria and iran depend on that support to hezbollah. host: of the protesters generally younger? what are the living conditions like? guest: we are not certain, but they look to be younger rather than older. there are indications the demonstrators come more from the poorer areas. some of the demonstrations are clearly all or virtually all male, the women have participated. we do not know a lot about the
9:01 am
ethnic makeup of the demonstrators. the protesters will tell you that it crosses sectarian and ethnic lines and they have mobilized people from all of the communities in syria. what the precise percentages are, nobody knows. host: victoria, texas, is next. john is on the independents' line. caller: there is a book called "the pentagon's blank check." he stated that weapons built on solid gold would be cheaper than what it costs of the federal government. it seems the military industrial complex has already broken the backs of the american taxpayers. they talk about air conditioning at triple digit temperatures. that is a necessity. they go round and stir up all of
9:02 am
these ant piles and then have to give the taxpayers to pay for the ant poison to exterminate them. host: what is your question? caller: why are we having our soldiers dying for somebody that does not even care about us? they do not live like we do. they have their own society. guest: i do not think anybody can accuse the military industrial complex of stirring up the trouble in syria. the trouble in syria was stirred up by the syrian citizens who objected to an oppressive, autocratic regime. i am sympathetic with the caller's concern about the military cost. that is one reason why i emphasize the civilian instruments of power.
9:03 am
the military is very powerful. it is necessary. i have admiration for them. we need to learn to use diplomacy, sanctions, a citizen diplomacy. we need to use the civilian instruments of engagement with the rest of the world. host: are countries with tribalism less likely to move towards successful democracy? guest: tribalism exists in many countries. in some respects, even we act tribally from time to time. personal and family relationships can be very important to americans. i do not think there is anything about the existence of tribes in society that renders the possibility of democracy impossible. it may be a different kind of democracy.
9:04 am
host: our guest is daniel serwer. what do you think about the current conditions in libya as far as gaddafi is concerned? guest: gaddafi looks like he is approaching the end of his days. the rebels have clearly taken territory and have been able to hold it. tripoli will be virtually isolated. the problem is taking tripoli by military force is really problematic. it is problematic because it is a large city. there will be a lot of supporters of gaddafi there. it is problematic because the regime still has deep roots, weapons hidden, the possibility of resistance movements even after gaddafi falls.
9:05 am
it seems important that some arrangements be made. we can only gather from the press reporting that they're talks about getting gaddafi out of there. the key is that gaddafi and his whole family have to depart. it is hard to picture a transition that in any way involved that family at this point. the rebels are winning on the battlefield. if they hesitate before taking tripoli, we should understand there are good reasons for such hesitation. i think a large part of it is due to the nato action. it is much better coordinated with the rebel military forces than initially. is having a big impact on the libyan army.
9:06 am
there is the real possibility that taking tripoli militarily can be done. i do not think it is necessarily the best way to handle it. i will leave it to the libyans to decide that. host: any clear picture on who assumes power? guest: yes, anyway. there is a transitional council that has been formed. it has been enlarged to include other parts of the country. whether the transitional national council will manage the transition or establish a new institution is not clear. it will be managed by an institution that is institutional. that seems to be a big commitment. host: go ahead.
9:07 am
caller: the united states should leave libya alone. libya needs to take care of libya's business. the united states needs to take care of its business. the united states has its own problems. guest: i have sympathy with people who feel this way. we do have our own problems. but we are engaged in libya through nato. the international support for the transition process should not be done by the united states. it should be done by the united nations and european union whose interests are more directly engaged in libya than american interests. host: dean is on the independent line from ohio. caller: i heard a professor from a college the other day.
9:08 am
he was a transplanted syrian. i believe he was the united states citizen. he said the problem was we were moving too quickly on this. the administration in syria as stated they were moving towards the objectives of the protesters but that it was going to take time. we run the risk of setting -- upsetting the apple cart by moving too quickly. i wonder what your response would be to that. guest: i think there is concern about a transition in syria that looks more like the collapse then a transition perio that ist of the reason you hear the phrase "step aside" instead of
9:09 am
"step down." there should be some stability maintained through the transition. they are afraid of the ethnic and sectarian conflict in syria. i do not think the administration moved to quickly to call for president bashar al- assad to step aside. if anything, i think they moved too slowly. we have to be careful about causing collapse. collapse could be calamitous. host: the united nations report shows most of the victims will wounds were located in the head, chest, and upper body area. guest: the u.n. report is
9:10 am
magnificent. unfortunately, it is not based on being in syria. they interviewed people in lebanon and elsewhere. they have some telephone interviews with people in syria. the evidence is of an unjustifiable military crackdown on peaceful demonstrators. that is what is destroying the legitimacy of president bashar al-assad. it is a peaceful rebellion that the regime is trying to turn into an armed rebellion so they can use its military forces. host: we have provided a link to that report on our website. you can read it for yourself. maryland is next. leo is on the democrats' line. caller: i have a question.
9:11 am
saudi arabia is recalling the ambassador from syria. those countries' credibility has to do with syria. the united states should not base its decision on theirs. guest: i do think saudi arabia and some other countries have been unwilling to tolerate protests in their own country and lack of democratic legitimacy that the caller refers to. nevertheless, saudi influence in the sunni majority population of syria is important. taking a stand against the
9:12 am
regime hopes to push things in the right direction. host: are there still refugees pouring over the border into turkey? guest: there are still refugees. i am not sure they are poring over the border in nonsense. -- i am not sure that they are pouring over the border in that sense. i do not think people are starving yet, but we have to be cautious and prepared to be helpful. large numbers of people are being displaced. lebanon and turkey have been welcoming to them. you can provide services to them once they're in those countries. we do not know that much about the situation inside syria itself.
9:13 am
i have not seen widespread reports of humanitarian issues of this point. host: warren is up next on the republican line from new hampshire. caller: i am concerned about american foreign policy in the middle east. it seems the administration targets in the arab regimes -- targets. regimes that are [unintelligible] of christianity. i am dumbfounded why they want the president of syria to resign when he is one of the very few that allow catholics to have the freedom of religion. our religious people over there are totally afraid of what will happen to them with the jihad
9:14 am
muslims, much like the people were in iraq. there flooding out of their ancient homeland by the droves. guest: i think the caller has an important concern. the syrian regime did not allow political freedoms, but it did tolerate religious diversity to a large degree. i spent the summer in damascus studying arabic. i saw for myself that catholic and protestant churches were quite strong. i do not think the united states has targeted regimes that are tolerant. to call saddam hussein tolerant is mindboggling. bashar al-assad has allowed a limited degree of religious
9:15 am
practice. concern about what redeems may do is quite legitimate. i think the united states should express concerns about those issues. caller: i am worried about muslim brotherhood rising up and getting more control over the militaries of those countries. guest: the muslim brotherhood is many different things in many different countries. the notion in the united states has been that this is a massive islamic conspiracy that will take over in country after country. i think that is a myth. some of them will be islamists in orientation. i do not think in any of these
9:16 am
countries do you see a predominance of islamist views. the muslim brotherhood will have trouble competing for votes in a democratic system. it does exist. is there. i do not see how you can support democracy and not allow it to compete for votes in the coming regimes. host: daniel asks about who trades most with syria currently and what their position is on assad. guest: oil and gas are the biggest exports. it is your. europe is moving towards blocking the oil and gas exports from syria. the volumes are not large, but it will hurt the regime because of the money it gets from the trade which is significant. iran is another important economic partner in trade and
9:17 am
investment with syria. there is little we can do to cut off the relationship. we can expect the iranians to ante up for whatever money is lacking. russia is more of a political supporter of the syrian regime and then an economic supporter. we have not seen the security council action or resolution on syria because of the russians principally but not exclusively. i wonder if that will change in the next week or two. i think even the russians are reaching the end of their rope with the syrian regime. host: carl from new york is the last call. caller: president assad and his
9:18 am
father before him had a target on their chest for many years in terms of american foreign policy because of their refusal to sign a peace treaty with israel and the fact that they were concerned for the plight of the palestinians. now is the first opportunity that i can see for our state department to stick their noses in and say to resign. guest: i think the administration actually hesitated for a long time to try to push bashar al-assad aside. if anything, it can be accused of being too hopeful that he would make peace with israel and that removing him would make the syrian-israeli peace more difficult. they have now come to the other conclusion, that getting rid of
9:19 am
him is a necessity. i do not think it has much to do with the israel-syria issues. it has to do with the crackdown and the fact that bashar al- assad has delegitimized himself. host: daniel serwer is a scholar at the middle east institute. guest: i blog online. people are welcome to visit that any day. i tweet as well. host: our last segment takes a look at the announcement by the education department of vouchers for those who want to opt out of no child left behind. we will be right back.
9:20 am
[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> it is a country fraught with corruption, natural disasters, and extremists. >> what was shocking to me and many people in pakistan is the fact that they were welcomed by many pakistanis. these were not terrorists or taliban. they were ordinary pakistani to feel that their position is
9:21 am
threatened and that the country is becoming too secular. they feel the islamic values are under attack and that blasphemy is something to be defended with their lives. >> that is sunday night on "q&a ." [bells ringing] >> notice the. the amber color -- the pretty amber color. it is coming from the inside of
9:22 am
the barrel. the char is where the bourbon gets its color and flavor. they have discovered over 200 chemical flavors just in the oak and char from the barrel. >> next weekend, we highlight frankfurt, kentucky. on the tv, douglas boyd. will discuss the life of a cavalry soldier. we will visit one of the lee four distilleries in operation during prohibition, for medicinal purposes of course. stop by the old state capital.
9:23 am
we will be in frankfurt next span3.d on c-span2 ad c- >> track the latest contributions with the c-span website for 2012. it helps you to navigate the political landscape with updates and the latest polling data. we have links to media partners in the early primary and caucus states. >> "washington journal" continues. host: sam dillon from the "new york times" is our guest. what is the announcement about the child left behind? guest: they announced they would be responding with a program to
9:24 am
be announced with great waivers -- waivers. the vast majority of states are now identifying the majority of the schools in each state as failing. that is a big problem educationally. they felt they had to respond. host: are the failing overall or in specific subjects? guest: the law requires testing every year in reading and math. it provides for a pass/fail school report card system. it requires all states and schools bring 100% of their students to proficiency by the 2014 deadline.
9:25 am
the law worked in the early phases as a prod to get everybody in education focused on that goal. the goal was to bring up the reading and math scores. now what is happening is is identifying thousands of schools with you and i would not think our feeling -- are failing. they look good and the teachers are committed. they are described as failing. state officials have no way to identify to that many schools -- respond to that many schools identified as failing. when you have 90% of the schools in the state failing, there's nothing anybody can do about
9:26 am
that. that is not a healthy situation. that is what they are responding to. host: by their own system, they do well. but when compared to the national system, they're not doing well. guest: it varies by state. many states are doing poorly. florida has 90% of its schools failing under the law. under its own report card system, they have letter grades. at least half get a's or b's. they have reasonably high standards in florida for reading and math. there are states that chose to handle the law by setting their standards low. wisconsin's at very low standards. they have a very small proportion of schools failing. that is not a good situation
9:27 am
either. there is no comparability across the states. host: arne duncan talked about the vouchers this week. >> you are hearing that teachers and administrators want accountability. they want room to move. i have talked to probably 46 governors. not one has said the status quo is ok or not to do this. many governors have said they are glad someone in washington is listening and paying attention. we feel good about moving this through in this direction. >> why now? guest: the hope in the administration and many states
9:28 am
was that congress would be right -- rewrite the law this year. this log dates --law dates to 1965. it has been rewritten. every president since nixon and ford did achieve a rewrite of the law in their first time. president obama has not been able to do that. everybody has been waiting for the rewrite in the early months of this year. congress is deadlocked on education, as it is on many other issues. they did not get it rewritten. the school year is beginning. my impression is the administration felt like they have to give us some of the states relief.
9:29 am
host: we have telephone lines for republicans, democrats, and independents. our topic is the states applying for "new java 5" waivers -- "no child left behind" waivers. guest: the date has not been set yet. that is when arne duncan will be announcing the details and fine print that the states will need to comply with to fill out an application and get a waiver. they have outlined the general principles of the criteria they will be using in judging the validity of publications for the
9:30 am
waivers. those have roughly corresponded to the administration's school improvement priorities and other documents put out by the administration. these are things like a commitment to raising teacher quality, a commitment to raising the standards in the state, three or four other things that they want. host: the states have to tell the government their ideas for standards and then they will get a waiver? guest: kind of. they have to make a case that the are not going to slash budget. they have to make a credible
9:31 am
case that they will keep raising the achievement of schools. one key point is that there has been general agreement about one of the positive features of the law has been a dissertation -- disaggregation of scores. schools have to take care of every group within the schools. you do not get a packet for a group of kids who are not doing well. the law requires schools pay attention to the test scores and make them public. that has been a positive feature of the law. the secretary has said in pushing out the waivers, that will be one of the requirements of the state will have to show. they will continue to make the score is available to the
9:32 am
public. they will have to pay attention to all groups of students. host: we have adeline for teachers and administrators -- added a line for teachers and administrators. frank is up first on the republican line from virginia. caller: i want to remind everybody why no child left behind came into being. it was because teachers and school systems were handing out diplomas like they came off of a perforated roll. my home state of north carolina has been a dumping ground from elementary school to university system for the democratic party. what is wrong with defederalizing education and
9:33 am
leaving it in the hands of the state and new religious school systems the worked well for so many years? guest: the history of federal involvement in education goes back to about the mid-1960s and to aa degree the late 1950's. the president felt american schools were not producing experts we needed to compete in the cold war. there were federal initiatives to help the states produce more scientists and mathematicians. in the 1960's, the issue of equity in education became a big issue. president johnson fought and achieved a degree of federal involvement in schools.
9:34 am
federal funding was used to help disadvantaged students in the schools. throughout the years, there have been people who thought this law was terrible. most of the states seemed to welcome the federal aid. host: diane is on the line from las vegas. caller: i am a school teacher and have comments about the new child left behind criterium. what is proficiency? i have been advised it goes up every year. the goal is 100%. it does not appear to be a reasonable expectation. guest: that is an interesting question. this is an arcane topic. i appreciate your question. a lot of people misunderstand that. i often have difficulty myself. the proficiency is basically a
9:35 am
score on a test that every state sets for itself. it does not change regularly. some states change it occasionally. the law requires every state to set up standards that they choose themselves. usually it is the state board of education. it may be that proficiency means 65% of the students will pass the math test. it's confusing. what does go up every year under the law is the percentage of students required to pass the other bar. you have two percentages. you have a cut bar of the proficiency level set by the state. then you have the percentage of students that have to pass it.
9:36 am
that goes up every year. it is a confusing setup. it is a formula and most people do not understand it. caller: i never thought we needed a federal the department of education -- a federal department of education. i think parents and local officials can decide what the children in their communities need in schools. my grandchildren have learned nothing in their schools. all the teachers worry about is the testing may have to do. they cannot really teach. the schools have their own way to grave. -- the schools have their own way to grade. why is my tax money going to the federal government and then being distributed to all of the schools in the nation?
9:37 am
i think it is wrong. i think the government needs to reconsider the department of education. guest: i appreciate your opinion. some people would agree with you. most of the states except the federal aid for education that they get. it comes in for specific purposes. mainly it has been to make sure the schools pay attention to the most disadvantaged students. traditionally, they did not do that. that is where the federal involvement came in. one thing with federal involvement is that you get a lot of posturing and demagoguery. this happens in republican and democratic administrations. it is not just from the white house. you have a lot of members of congress who posture on educational issues. you will end up with a congressman or senator acting
9:38 am
like the national superintendent of schools. then the child left behind law has had some contributions. a lot of educators complained about it. there are positive and negative features. most people do not agree with you about their local schools. a solid majority of people have a favorable opinion of the public schools and think they do a good job. host: jan asked you to speak about the common corporatio. what is it? >> the common core was a movement begun by the national governors' association and the
9:39 am
state school officers. it was the 50 state school superintendents. they were reacting to the fact that our country has a hodgepodge of academic proficiency standards. if your child is growing up in oregon and learning english and math there and then moved to florida, they may be at a completely different level. they may not have been studying the same thing. the business community found this to be intolerable. they could never predict what the school systems would be as they moved around. the country's highly mobile. these were some incentives that brought together the governors and school officers to try to come up with a system of
9:40 am
standards that are comparable across states. last year, about 40 states and governors agreed to the process of accepting these common standards. they were written by experts and academics in secondary and post- secondary education. many states are in the process of adopting those standards. texas and alaska refused. governor. -- governor perry postured and said they were federal standards and that texas knew best for their kids. he turned down the money for race to the top and said they did not want to get involved in the common core standards.
9:41 am
massachusetts has among the highest standards in the country. they had a different kind of debate over the standards there. there's are very high. -- they have very high standards. massachusetts citizens had reticence to give up their own state standards for the common standards. eventually, they did adopt. but they have quite a debate there. host: chicago, and gerald is an administrator. caller: this is a wonderful topic. sam, thank you for answering the questions in a clear way. the idea of the law was excellent. the devil is in the details. the subgroup piece, those groups
9:42 am
must continue to meet a certain level of success. that is where it is getting very difficult for school districts to keep the. the special and population is very broad. -- the special ed population is very broad. they have to continue to progress with the regular population. that presents a significant challenge for districts. that is one subgroup that does not progress of a certain level. if it does not progress a certain level, the whole school is looked at as a failure. you cannot level entire schools as a failure because of one small group that may be growing but not needing a particular cut off designed by that particular state.
9:43 am
the question is at what point to supplant nclb. there will perhaps be near. that will probably reach a political impasse. republicans will probably push towards marriage and democrats may not be cool with that. guest: i have heard your complaint about the requirement to have every group of students in the school meet the proficiency standards and continue to get larger numbers of students passing the bar. i am ambiguous about that. on the one hand, along made a tremendous contribution by requiring schools pay attention to every group. it is not fair to have a school
9:44 am
with 80% of its kids middle- class and affluent doing fine, so the administration says they have a great school because 80% of the kids are doing great. then there is another group of kids forgotten at the school. that was the impulse to say you have to publicize the academic achievement of every group to keep track of them. setting up a great card system for the school -- a greeting cards schools is -- setting up a rating system for the school, a lot of people disagree with that. i am sympathetic to that argument. this will eventually be fixed when congress rewrites the law. a lot of people are pressing for
9:45 am
a system where the way a school will be judged is by how much they move their students along each year. it will not be whether they pass an absolute bar but whether they move their students along on a continuing of achievement. i hope when they do get around to writing the law, there will be common sense to come up with a system that works. host: when is the likelihood of that being rewritten? it did not happen this year. next year is an election year. we're probably looking at 2013 or 2014. host: rick is on the republican online -- line. caller: we could go to our next president, ron paul, and ask
9:46 am
what he thinks about the department of education. we do not need it. today is ron paul's birthday. i am going to his website. i appreciate it. have a good day. guest: people who live in states with the school systems can have pride in their school systems. on the other hand, there are a lot of countries that have a centralized system of schools. a lot of them do better than we do. there are a lot of problems associated with having 50 state systems. why should arithmetic the different in montana than in kansas? the current way is you have a committee of educators in montana writing the standards for arithmetic in montana. in georgia, some other committee of educators does it.
9:47 am
that does not make sense to me either. we need to find a good mix of local control. there has to be some kind of consensus that is broader about what students need to learn and with the emphasis should be. who live only people in vermont cortexes -- or texas. we are americans with a common history. host: will there be a response to this since it was unilateral? guest: was secretary duncan is proposing would last only until the lot is written -- rewritten.
9:48 am
the states would begin to operate under the new law when it is implemented. host: some states considering the waiver include louisiana and kentucky. you can see them as we go to the next call. you are on. go ahead. caller: in ohio, our state supreme court has determined three times that the distribution is done contribution -- unconstitutional. one child can have $8,000 spent on them. in the rich suburbs, those kids have $13,000 spent on them. when it comes to basic issues like education, health care, and a living wage, if you start with a solid foundation for any
9:49 am
individual with education and the rest is up to the kid. could you address the ohio constitution and the supreme court decision in ohio as to the way the funds are distributed in ohio? in the earlier segment, mr. serwer said the situation in syria has nothing to do with israel. that is a myth. guest: the issue of funding and funding equity has been addressed by many states, not just ohio. funding equity is a problem in many states. there are districts in which we
9:50 am
spend $25,000 on each student. there are other states where a lot weskits spent. even within states because the schools are financed through a mixture of local property taxes and state allocations as well as a little bit of federal aid, you get huge differences between some districts in four areas -- poor areas and the affluent districts. that is not healthy for the country either. there are countries doing better tos usedre on the test's measure progress in education. there is no reason why a kid growing up in a poor area of
9:51 am
appalachian it should get a less effective education or why they should only earn 1/3 as much as those in wealthier areas. i agree there should be an effort to equalize the funding, the formulas by which we finance the schools. there have been endless legal battles over this for half of the century. probably this will never be solved in the courts. it is going to be a question of political will. i do not see it out there. we have a lot of problems in our country. that is not one that i see as high on the radar.
9:52 am
host: phoenix is up next on the independent line. caller: my question is about the ethnic makeup of the committee's ranking the curriculum. i am in arizona. i met a couple of young men who came out of school a couple of years ago. the startling thing to me was that they could not answer mathematical formulas. i asked if they knew who marcus garvey was. they were only 19. they had no idea who he was. what is the ethnic makeup of the people on the committees writing the curriculum? if children have no concept of their history, there is a problem. our kids, particularly african- american kids, are not being
9:53 am
taught their history. what is the ethnic makeup of the people on the committees writing the curriculums for the children? we need to teach our own history because it is not being taught in the schools of this country. guest: my impression is that -- we have been talking about the variations across the states and with the curriculum works. my impression is that american history is taught in a more equitable fashion than it has been in the past. the multicultural movement of the last 30 years has had a big impact. i am surprised the kids did not know who marcus garvey was. i do not think -- you are
9:54 am
describing a problem with history curriculum. i do not think it is an all- white committee or anything like that. the standards i have seen has been that there has been good representation on the committees. i think they're doing a good job. our country is a rainbow of people. we have a rich history. every group has contributed. african-americans have contributed a huge amount. they have not gone as much credit as they should. -- they have not gotten as much credit as they should. the common core standards do not have history standards. they focus on reading and math. the reading material for the reading standards include martin luther king's speeches, frederick douglass.
9:55 am
it is a concern. i am sorry to hear the student in arizona did not know who marcus garvey was. i do not think that is generally a problem where we are neglecting vast areas of our history. host: we hear from a teacher next from chattanooga, tenn.. ken? caller: the first time i heard george bush say a " no child left behind," i understood the weakness behind that idea. it would be impossible to achieve 100%. we understand that in almost any other area. we have the factory line education model. we do not expect that in the factories either. it may be a good call, but cannot be achieved. my question is, is there any
9:56 am
discussion of the problem in dealing with the huge variety of students? 18 is a better class size than 35. in our state, 35 is the class limit. the formula for hiring teachers is the number of students/35. that guarantees everybody maximum class load. special education students are included with different demands. modifications are made for those students. many have to teach parallel curricula. is there any discussion of solutions that involve reducing
9:57 am
class size substantially? guest: the class size debate is 20 or 30 years old. there have been passionate advocates on both sides. talking to teachers, i know it gets a lot harder if you have 25 students in your class and then they raise it to 35. nobody can convince me is not a lot harder to teach effectively in those circumstances. there was a powerful lobby for reducing class sizes. the goal was to reduce all class sizes to 15 students per teacher. that turned out to be tremendously expensive. some states tried it and spend billions of dollars trying to get there.
9:58 am
a lot of economists have looked at its and said we were not getting the bang for the bulck trying to get to that goal. the debate has been overwhelmed by the fact that most states have budget deficits. they are laying off teachers. the class sizes are rising. let's wish our teachers will. there are a lot of teachers out there taking 35 or 40 students in a class. it is a tough job. my heart goes out to them. host: paul is on the democrats' line from illinois. caller: each subgroup will have to grow towards the growth model. to some degree, that will address the issue. the call about marcus garvey, those kids probably have some
9:59 am
knowledge about him. so much is taught that they probably could not recall if. our kids must study more. we are typically of the bottom. we have to put more focus on studying and not blame the system as to why we are not doing well. host: the states that want to get a waiver, what will they hear in september? guest: they will get a big document issued by the secretary of education that describes the case they need to make about the current quality of their school system, their commitment to improving their schools, holding schools accountable for achievement, raising the quality of teachers. of teachers. then they

111 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on