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tv   Politics Public Policy Today  CSPAN  September 19, 2011 10:00am-12:00pm EDT

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on the emotional side of his argument. military service members be like comparing their job to a civilian corporate job is just absurd to them. it strikes a deep emotional chord. you would think a service member with five or 10 years' experience would be supportive of this, because they would potentially be getting a benefit where they were not in the current system. that has not been the case. a lot of service members i have talked to who are young and do not intend to stay have a deep belief the current system is fair and should not be changed. it gets to the fact that this is such an integral part of military culture. to change this would be a profound change. host: it will be a couple of interesting months of discussion on this. andrew tilghman is with the
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"military times." we appreciate your time. thank you for your calls. we will be back tomorrow morning at 7:00 eastern time for more "washington journal." see you then. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> president obama will propose new taxes on the wealthy as part of a plan to identify more than $3 trillion in long term deficit reduction. we will have live coverage as he announces his plan in about half
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an hour from the white house rose garden. the canadian parliament opens its fall session today. this afternoon, the prime minister will take questions from parliament members. we will have live coverage starting at 2:15 eastern. tonight, the impact of the proposed merger of at&t and t- mobile on the wireless industry, jobs, and prices. that is tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span2. >> william jennings bryant was one of the best known speakers of his time. he was one of the first to campaign from the backs of railroad cars and automobiles. he ran three times and lost, but he changed political history. he is featured on "the contenders" on friday at 8:00 eastern. learn more about the series and upcoming programs online.
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we will go live shortly to the white house for coverage of president obama announcing his debt and deficit reduction plan. it comes just days after house speaker john boehner ruled out tax increases to lower the deficit. he said the house will not pass tax increases. this morning, "washington journal" talked to analysts about the proposals. we will show you a portion of this while we wait for the president. we are joined by dean baker and james sher.
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how would you describe what republicans are trying to put forth on jobs? guest: it is a do nothing position. the housing bubble collapsed. we lost $1.2 trillion in annual demand. you have to find some way to counter that. republicans are saying let's do nothing. let's say we will have no regulation or taxes and hope we will see businesses grow and create jobs. businesses do not work that way. herbert hoover tried it. it does not work. you have to create demand. guest: i think it is quite different. it is a belief that the demand stimulus policies have not worked. you have to be reducing the barriers to success. you are removing the barriers so you have a better business climate.
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guest: we had those barriers in place in the 1990's when we were creating 3 million jobs a year. those barriers do not prevent the economy from growing and creating jobs. the stimulus is a matter of proportions. it was about $300 billion a year. we were trying to counter dollars and 1.2 trillion in lost demand. -- we were trying to counter a $1.2 trillion in lost demand. guest: the administration was projecting we would be at 7% unemployment. that is not the case. we have tried this for decades with stimulus packages that did not have any effect on the economy. -- europe has tried this for decades with stimulus packages that do not have any effect on the economy. when the economy has taken a body blow like it did with the
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housing bubble collapse, you want to make sure you are not doing anything to slow down growth. that is what the house proposals are aimed at. host: here are the numbers to call if you have comments or questions for our guests. we are joined by james sherk and dean james. here is a clip from speaker boehner. >> let's be honest with ourselves. the president's proposals are a poor substitute for the pro- growth policies needed to remove barriers to job creation in america.
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host: any defense of the president's approach? guest: the stimulus package work. it was not big enough. the problem was his projection. you go back to the projections on the table. they thought if we did nothing, the employer rate would not get above 9%. we know it got above 10%. it likely would have gone to 11% absent the stimulus. what happened was not the fault of the stimulus. guest: this is the slowest recovery we have seen since the great depression. economists are going back and taking a look. there was government spending and intervention.
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roosevelt was building a lot on hoover's policies. the government intervention actually lengthened and extended the great depression. we would have recovered sooner if not for these intervention policies. why are we having the slowest recovery in living memory? this is the recession with the most government intervention. i think the government is applying the brakes to the economy. guest: most post-war recessions were brought on by raising interest rates to slow the economy. you then had a huge pent-up demand for housing. we do not have that. we have a collapsed bubble. it is a different kind of recession. it is not surprising in will be harder to get out of it. the economy grew at over 10% from 1933 until 1937.
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we have rapid unemployed -- -- we had a rapid economic growth. there was a sharp fall in unemployment in a short time. guest: the government made jobs for the unemployed. the unemployment rate was never below 18% in the 1930's. in 1937, the supreme court upheld the labor relations act. it is well-established that unions are job cartels. their position is to restrict jobs and labor and industry. they have a negative effect on the companies they organize. there are also benefits, the
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researchers say this was harmful to recovery. host: let's hear from the house speaker as he talks about the recent action. >> boeing recently completed a plant that will create thousands of new time -- full-time jobs for american workers only to be sued by a federal agency that wants to shut it down. let me make sure i have got this right. american companies are free to go create jobs in china, but they are not free to create jobs in south carolina. host: your response? guest: the question is whether boeing deliberately used the threat of moving as an anti- union tactic. that is what the national labor relations board is saying, that we should investigate that and look at whether this was an anti-union threat. it is inappropriate and illegal to say if you do this is a
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union, we will move the shop elsewhere. it is a violation of the national labor relations law. that is what they're trying to determine. countries with high unionization rates of 80% like sweden, germany, norway have very low unemployment rates of around 5%. the research shows there's no correlation between unionization and unemployment. host: we go to brookfield, mass. go ahead. caller: i have a call for the fellow from the heritage foundation. we keep hearing we need to remove impediments for investment. it seems there is a lot of cash around waiting to be invested in
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corporations right now. i know you will tell me they're not investing because there is an environment of uncertainty, but there is always uncertainty in business. that is not an excuse to sit on your hands and not make investments when you have assets to invest. maybe the problem is they do not see any productive use for the assets in this country. that is a scary thought. guest: i would largely agree with that. businesses do not see business investment opportunities. that is why they are not investing. if they thought they would make a profit on these investments, they would do it. they try to make a profit. you cannot centrally planned the recovery by investing in companies. we saw this with solyndra. making investments from washington has proven to be a debacle.
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we can remove the barriers to encourage companies to take the risk themselves. we should not be raising needless barriers to business success. caller: i would like people to keep in mind that everything comes from the earth. the scholars can shuffle money around and do all of these things, but everything comes from the earth. we have to create wealth and jobs. everything has to come from mining, farming, drilling. it has to come from the earth. you cannot rob peter to pay paul. you have to take the wealth from the earth. that is the only way we will be able to do it. you just keep shoveling money
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around. i am sorry. host: i want to dig into some detail about what republicans are putting forth. this from the house republican conference. some ideas they suggest to create jobs is to create a 25% top tax rate for people and businesses. they want a congressional review of regulations. the house will continue that this fall. they would like to see the trade deals enacted and put into law. they also want to expand domestic oil and gas drilling. that goes to the point of the last caller. any reaction to what the caller was saying? guest: there are very few jobs at stake with domestic drilling. we're not going to have energy independence. the idea is a surge. if you drill the oil out of the ground today, it is not there tomorrow. if we're worried about the bad
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guys putting aside, the most foolish thing to do is to drill is out today. why would you rush to drill it out? i do not understand that. there are great environmental risks. that is not a good job creator. the top tax rates, we have done this before. how many times do we have to keep doing the same thing? president bush lower tax rates and we had a horrible recovery. president clinton raised tax rates and recreated tons of jobs. it did not keep us from having good job growth. we had a top tax rate before with a good job growth. the idea that this is the key to job growth does not make sense. host: republicans would like to seek a delay in emissions standards for things like cement production, coal ash, and
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greenhouse gases. how would those create jobs? guest: these regulations will raise costs on regulated industries. we've had three decades of improving quality. at a time when we have made great progress but the economy is very weak, you do not want to be raising additional barriers to businesses. companies do not want to make investments that do not help them grow and expand. in texas, an energy company announced they would have to shutter two power plants to comply with regulations. national cement was planning on investing $350 million it would have created 1500 construction jobs at a new plant in alabama. they announced they had to shut it down because of these regulations.
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we do not want to be putting barriers up to businesses that want to expand. because these regulations will raise energy prices, that affects everyone. consumers have less money in their pockets. raising energy prices at a time like this is not a sensible strategy. host: david is an independent. you are on the air. caller: i am an executive and engineer. i have been doing in about 20 years. the conversation does not seem to deal with the causes. it is focused on the symptoms. we put together a different paradigm shift that we call the redistribution of work. if you look at america today, what we do for a living, the forces acting on our economy, there are not enough jobs for
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the uneducated people anymore. the redistribution of work, we put up a video that explains the paradox of productivity. it is a fact. what we can do in the short-term and long-term to deal with the specter -- this factor, i encourage your viewers to go to a host: what does that mean to you? guest: one thing that is striking about the downturn is the difference in the experience of other countries. germany has an unemployment rate today below what it was at the start of the downturn. it is not that they had better growth. it has been roughly the same. the main reason we have to increase -- an increase when
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they have had a decrease, they have reduced work hours. we have work share programs attached to the unemployment systems in 20 states. to take a break is fairly low. -- the tape upgrade is fairly low. -- the take up rate is fairly low. this is part of president obama's proposal. there is no public interest in encouraging people to be unemployed rather than having the work shorter hours. guest: most of the studies published on the work sharing programs show their relatively ineffective and reducing unemployment. unless the evidence were stronger for their success, but from what i have seen that is not the case.
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in 2007 before the downturn, we were producing more manufactured goods in the u.s. before -- than ever before. because of automation, we needed fewer low-skilled workers to do the jobs. the move from the farm to the fact is was good for the economy. thequestion is what workers do. 1/3 of the economy is off limits. you need a government license or education to apply for the jobs. studies even by liberal economists show this is harmful for job growth. we should be focused on creating opportunities for workers displaced by new technology rather than on shuffling the jobs around to share them. host: james sherk research as ways to promote competition and
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mobility in the work force. bakeralso joined by dean who has worked for the economic policy institute'. he is a consultant to the world bank. he was educated at swarthmore, university of denver, and the university of michigan. he has a long list of books. the next call is from mary ann, a democrat from virginia. caller: i keep hearing over and over again from the republicans that the rich pay 35% in taxes. i would like to know from the man from heritage the name of just one company that actually pays 35% in taxes after deductions and loopholes.
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if you cannot give me the name of one company, everything you say is disingenuous. guest: she has a good point. the statutory rate is 35%. it is about 4% more than local rates. with the company, you have lobbyists and different directions. the effective rate is closer to 18%. if you are a new company, you have not had the time to lobby the codes for ethanol tax credits or whatever it is. you are paying the full rate as a new company starting up. that is a disincentive for job growth. speaker boehner and president obama have said they would like to lower the tax rate. it is now the highest in the industrialized world. they would like to eliminate a lot of the deductions and credits so there is more incentive for these companies.
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host: we will put more details regarding health care to get your reactions. guest: this is kind of making a joke of the plan. there was ample time to amend the plan. 70 republican amendments were accepted. you want an insurer to spend more than 20% of what you are paying them on administrative fees and profits, that hardly seems a harsh conditions to say they have to spend 80% on providing care for customers. guest: obamacare has been a disaster. small-business owners were asked about obstacles to hiring. 1/3 were picking the health care
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law as the greatest obstacles. you do not know what your costs will be. how do you plan for the future when you have this enormous risk hanging over your head? host: chris is a republican. thank you for waiting. caller: i would like to start off by saying, please explain why the government must be a business partner with everybody that goes into business. how is it that the government is so smart that they can pick wonderful winners and losers in the marketplace all the time? ronald reagan said the serious words someone can say is, "i am from the government and i am here to help." winded millionaires and billionaires start at $200,000
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-- when did millionaires and billionaires start at $200,000? my main point is this. the government is not a business partner with us. it should not be if we're going to be successful. guest: i am not sure what chris means about the government being everyone's business partner. i do not know anyone who holds that position. president obama and others have said they want to create a supportive business environment. you have the small business administration that has been around that enjoys bipartisan support. i have mixed feelings about that. in any case, is out there to support business. i am not sure about is what the caller is attacking. i do not think the government is great at picking winners and losers. sometimes they have a useful role. we have a lot of good technology like the internet that came from the government. i think the government can play
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a useful role in promoting technology. the government spends roughly $30 billion each year on biomedical research through the national institutes of health. those in the industry think this is money well spent. the government can do good things in creating good economic groundwork. i do not know anyone suggesting the government is picking all of the winners and losers. guest: you may want to talk to the president about his green jobs proposal. we spent money on these green companies. if they were viable, the public would have happily invested. the reason they were not attractive to private sector investment is because investors were saying there was no way the companies could succeed. the administration came in and gave these companies billions of dollars. we just saw it this past week with solyndra. this company has gone belly up. it was not a good use of taxpayer dollars. the caller is right.
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the government should not be picking which companies get help. step back and let investors make that risk. i think the small business administration does more than it should. host: we go back to health care question from twitter. do government -- to foreign companies have an advantage because the government's and all their health care? guest: canada has much higher taxes than the u.s. so you are paying for it one way or another. there is no such thing as a free lunch. host: the president is coming out today to talk about his debt reduction plan. here's one of the headlines from the "wall street journal."
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nearly half of the money for the proposal will come from taxes. this next clip from speaker boehner one minute. he clearly says the tax increases are off of the table. from the president's standpoint, they're very much on the table. >> tax increases are off the table. i do not think they are a viable option for the joint committee. it is a simple equation. tax increases destroy jobs. the joint committee is a jobs committee. its mission is to reduce the deficit threatening job creation in our country. we should not make its task harder by making it do things that make the job creation environment even worse. i hope the president will meet this standard when he puts forth his recommendations to the joint committee next week. when it comes to reaching the target, the joint saw it committee has only one option.
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-- the joint select committee has only one option. they can achieve real reduction by reforming entitlements and taking action to preserve social security, medicare, and medicaid. host: connect all of the spec to job creation. guest: the idea that any tax increase will kill jobs defies volumes of economic evidence. we have had higher tax rates in 1960's,'s, 1950's, 1970's, and had hired job growth. we can point to other countries with strong growth and lower unemployment. the idea that you can never raise taxes is silly. guest: theory says if you raise taxes, you reduce demand. america has had the strongest economy in the world for a long time.
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part of that has been because of our lower taxes be more attractive for investment and risk-taking. america has more entrepreneurial start-ups than other countries. research shows that when you raise taxes faced by our jurors, you get there is less incentive to take risk. often, the company goes under. caller: good morning. i just wanted to say that i wanted these channel and to tell me when we would have some honesty about the dragon in the room. what we're getting is window dressing. president obama has the silver bullet.
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he can state with a six months' notice that he is going to aggravate all the trade agreements that are not favorable to our country. he would have immediate results. the second thing is that he could agree that the federal reserve, which has been gambling with our money should be investigated and if necessary abolished. the third thing is he could call back all of our troops from these wars of adventure and put them on our borders. it is common sense. we have to be self-sufficient. globalism and the idea of international fastest is ruining our country. even ron paul have had pieces of this that address it. until everyone agrees that this is managed, we will not get anywhere. host: we will hear from our guests.
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caller: for such as want to jump back quickly. the tax rates were raised on small businesses, and they did not help all that much. in terms of what the caller is commenting on, i think it is a mixed story. we have had gains and losses -- my biggest concern is the trade deficit. this is just an accounting identity. there is no way around it. if you have a large trade deficit, which we do, that means you either have to have negative public savings, or - private savings. there is no alternative. that is logically true. i am very concerned to get the trade deficit down. the way to do that in my book is to lower the value of the doubt. the domestically produced goods.
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if we got our trade deficit down, that would add 4 million manufacturing jobs. i would love to see president obama embrace that policy. >> herbert hoover tried this. it was their destructive for the economy to shut down trade with the world. shutting down the international trade word terrible for our economy. free trade is one of those areas where economists all agree. both nations are better off. i think shutting down trade were trying to restrict trade would not work any better now than it did in the 1930's. host: we have doris on the line for democrats.
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guest: thank you for washington journal. i have a comment. first, i want to say every week you have the heritage foundation on and some weeks you have the heritage foundation and the cato institute. are these your new best friends here? one-third of businesses said it was health care? two-thirds a sad lack of demand. the rich do not invest in america -- they invest and "emerging markets." those are in china and india. and yet they want to say they're not committing class warfare, but they refused to take away what they used for corporate jets that would bring in $3 billion. they cut the nutrition program for infants and children by $830
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million. who is committing the class warfare? host: thank you for calling. caller: i think there's a lot of room in the tax code to improve it and eliminate some of these deductions that are less efficient. that is something both the speaker and the president have said. i think that could be quite helpful. in terms of the broader point, who invest and create jobs? it is offering commuters and business investors. you can have a policy of saying the governor wants to redistribute wealth and take money away from our entrepreneurs and investors. that is not going to encourage more people to invest. you can do one or the other. but if you all once, you are pushing and pulling at the same time. host: to our caller, all of our
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guests are friends. we try to get a balanced opinion on the air as we are doing this morning. if you watch over time, you'll find that out for yourself. i want to dig in and we have these last couple minutes. i did your response to what the washington post is reporting -- the reins act. regulations from the executive. in need of scrutiny act. they require congressional vote on major regulations with economic impact over $100 million. 50 to 100 regulations are enacted annually. let's hear speaker boehner's plan. >> we will pass the dream act which requires a congressional view for any regulation.
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jobe'll be dozens of crushing regulations that are keeping our company from producing jobs. a holding rule, which serves as an effective tax increase for those who do business with our government. we will stop excessive federal regulations that inhibit jobs in areas that very such as cement to farmers. host: job crushing regulation, he calls it. caller: there is a long history of blowing up the negative impact of various regulations, most of which ensure things. the clean air act before the 1980's said it would cost hundreds of thousands, sunset over 1 million jobs. someone did a study of that and the industries that would be most affected, but they actually had more job growth than the industries that were not affected. the gains from that bill were in the trillions of dollars in
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terms of better health. more people are healthier and alive today because of the clean air act. it did not clear -- it did not give a lot of jobs, but kept a lot of people alive. host: quiet -- that is indeed tell on the screen about this. the 3% withholding role requires federal and state and local governments to withhold 3% of payments to contractors. this would be effective as of the start of 2013. as we read, the president wants to delay this. why is this so important? caller: the problem is that it is forcing small businesses to given to the government -- guest: the government only gives you 97% of what it said it would pay you.
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in effect, you have to borrow money and giving a no interest loan to the government. we should not be turning to small businesses to give that kind of forced financing. >> in not one of the higher taxes because small businesses are trying to pay off the government. we know they have to pay their bill. we're not asking a small business to do anything that most workers are not already doing. good morning. we need an industrial policy. just ask yourself a couple of questions. apple computer and had to pay money in health care when they had jobs in china? i remember when g.e. employed
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people in this country -- i worked for them. healthcare would put them out of business today. we do need an industrial policy. i am old enough to know. we did not have a 30 trillion dollar deficit after world war two. warren buffett and dick cheney and a couple other guys, the country is too important. we should have national interest. it is not about making money. i pay taxes. i just spent 15 grand. guest: the reason we have a
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large deficit is because the economy collapsed. we did not have the back in 2007 or 2008. that is really clear. it amazes me how much distortion there has been on both parties. president obama says he inherited a trillion dollar deficit -- he inherited that because the economy was collapsing. our health care costs are more than twice the average wealthy countries. we're paying more than twice as much per person. it is not any different if money is out of the door to pay health care. businesses, it is money out of their pocket. >> there's really nothing the government can do to bring back the manufacturing jobs because of what happened. because we have these new robotic computers, we can bruce -- we can produce the same number or more. if you're one of the guys are on
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the assembly line, that is not so good for you. there's not much the government can do to interfere that -- look to china. they clearly have industrial policies and yet they have fewer manufacturing workers today than they did in the mid-1990's. the goal should be and how do we open up additional jobs for the workers were being displaced by technology. one place to look at that would be on the occupational licensing. there really is not much the government can do to roll back the process of automation. >> with the trade deficit, we do not want to roll back automation. we could make 4 million manufacturing jobs because most of our deficit is in mfg.-goods. in 100% agreement catalog is occupational agreements. kingston,s go to
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georgia. axa, we have time for several more. -- actually, we have time for several more. guest: good morning. my question is to mr. james. i'm a veteran of 26.5 years. i want to know how clinton created 22 million jobs during his time and he raised taxes. bush reduces taxes and he lost 8 million jobs. did you answer that question? you're talking out of both sides of your mouth. guest: first of all, thank you for your service. president clinton took office when the economy was recovering. president bush takes office at the peak of the tech bubble
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collapsing. at the same time, you have a slowing down of the labor force growth. not as many people entered the workforce. in 2007 it was very low. the issue was recently did not have as many workers entered the workforce. that is laid to the sea as many jobs being created heated under president clinton. host: speaker boehner talking about tax credit. >> government has two other components. one is the tax code which and destroys investments and reward special interests. it strikes me as odd at a time when the tax code needs to be fundamentally reformed to, the first instinct to come out of washington is to come up with a new post of tax credits that
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make the tax code more complex. host: let's hear from you for some the idea of tax credits. guest: the tax code is a mess. the vast majority of the benefits go to hiring individuals. it seems to mean you want to cap it at a much lower amount. if you are in the 36% bracket, you are paying $20,000 interest, you get 36% of that picked up by the government. how about making a credit? capet at 400,000. it would be much fairer and cheaper. >> the tax code is a mess. we ought to be lowering the
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overall rates. in terms of the broader point of the tax credits, europe has described all these things. france has 9% unemployment every day. i think we should learn from their experience. if you offer a tax credit for helping the long-term unemployed, it does not affect a number of jobs that get created. the one guy has the tax credit. >> they might pick you for you. for example, germany ashley has 6% unemployment. other countries have had less than 5% unemployment. there that some countries that had good productivity growth and
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unemployment rates that were the same or even better than the united states. host: 1 message from someone in canada on twitter. how is national health care doing? guest: canada has the fortune of being a very resource based economy. most people do not know this, but the number one for a donation is not saudi arabia, it is canada. the canadian economy is doing quite well. they did not have the same housing bubble that we did. i think some credit a that is due to the good fortune that canada has had and where their economy is.
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host: john, democrat. guest: i the question. i wonder if part of what he is struggling to explain is that you are fighting against the american public's lack of understanding of our basic economic issues. just an example, talking about the way our currency functions. i imagine a lot of people on the conservative side still think we live on some kind of gold standard. they do not understand how it works. then they have political discourse or they talk about we're just printing more money like it is the end of the world -- will that is what the government always does. it prints money. i wonder if you are struggling against the lack of understanding of economic issues. guest: i think that is a very big issue.
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i think he has really fallen down on the job of explaining to the american people. we had all this demand generated by the housing bubble -- has disappeared. the government needs to fill that hole. they started about balancing the budget. the government's market corp. than a family. next year there will probably about forever. their chairman is going to come to the board. they're going to see their profits are up higher than last year. the government is not like a family. it has a responsibility for creating demand and the economy -- which certainly no family does. someone send me a speech from president roosevelt. i was president obama would pick
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up the ball. host: republican line. welcome to the program. caller: i just had a comment. last tuesday there was excellent testimony given before the house committee on job creation. schiff gave great testimony. he predicted many years ago much of what is going on in our economy today. the man is brilliant and he started a radio show on the internet theat if you tune into his show is free. host: thank you for weighing in. caller: yes, good morning.
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president obama's policies have been poisonous for our economy. there are tax policies -- they will not work. the economy is taxed away too much. it was voted down 97 to zero. every democrat and republican voted against it. this health care bill needs to be repealed. there are over 3000 companies right now that can not do business with this health care bill. president obama said that his policies would make energy costs and go through the ceiling and they have.
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gaslit the pump was a $80 per gallon at the pump. -- gasoline at the pump was $1.80 in. anything -- guest: gas was $4 a gallon when president bush was in office. you could play games and blaming the president in office for the ups and downs of the world market. i think it is a little silly to blame president obama for that. the national federation of businesses asked what their major obstacle to expanding was. overwhelmingly, they say demand. one of the choices is regulation. most of the same number say regulation is the same as
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president bush. all this idea about business is being scared to death of regulation, they do not say that when being given the choice. that is for political purposes. guest: the second greatest choices regulation. that is 19%. collectively, 37% of businesses are complaining about the government is doing to them. is there single greatest obstacle. 25% say pour sales. in this economy, you have people saying that government is a problem. that tells you it is time to roll back some of this red tape. host: let me get one more piece of tape out there from speaker boehner. he links it to domestic energy production. >> i'm not opposed irresponsible
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spending to improve our infrastructure, but i want to do it in a way that fully supports long-term economic growth and job creation. it an expansion of american made energy production. removing unnecessary government barriers that prevent our country from utilizing the vast energy resources that we have and also creating millions of american jobs along the way. from let's hear from james heritage first. guest: i certainly want to increase domestic energy production. 800 billion barrels of oil are in colorado that we simply are not using because of bureaucratic obstacles. i think that makes a lot of sense. in terms of the infrastructure, look. if you have businesses that are falling apart -- bridges that are falling apart, you're taking
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one part of the economy and moving it to the other. with the stimulus was i love these infrastructure projects were hiring skilled workers from other companies, not from the unemployed. it really has not been that much. >> see washington journal every morning on c-span. live pictures from the white house this morning. president obama is proposing $1.50 trillion to cut the deficit. over 10 years.
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>> and good morning, everybody. please have a seat. one week ago today. i sent congress the american jobs act. it would lead to new jobs for teachers, construction workers, veterans and the unemployed. it will cut taxes for every
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small-business owner and virtually every working man and woman in america. the proposals in this job bill are the kinds that have been supported by democrats and republicans in the past. so, there should not be any reason for congress to drag its feet. they should pass it right away. i'm ready to sign the bill -- i have japan's already. e pen's all ready. the american jobs that will not add to our nation's debt. today in releasing the plans of the details for how to pay for the jobs bill while also paying down our debt over time. this is important. the health of our economy depends in part on what we do right now to create the conditions where businesses can hire and middle-class families can feel a basic measure of economic security.
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in the long run, our prosperity also depends on our ability to pay down the massive debt we have accumulated over the past decade in a way that allows us to meet our responsibilities to each other and of the future. during the past decade, spending in washington, tax cuts for multimillionaire's and billionaires', the cost of two wars, and a recession turned a record surplus into a yawning deficit. that left us with a big pile of i.o.u.'s. if we do not act, that burden will fall on our children's shoulders. the growing debt will eventually crowd out everything else preventing us from investing in education or sustaining programs like medicare. washington must live within its means. the government has to do with families have been doing for years -- we have to cut we cannot afford to pay for what
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really matters. we need it to invest in what will promote hiring and economic growth now while still providing the confidence that will come with a plan that reduces our deficit over the long term. these principles were at the heart of the deficit framework i put forward in april. the approach to shrink the deficit as a share of the economy but not to do it so abruptly that would hamper growth or prevent us from helping small businesses and middle-class families get back on their feet. it was an approach that was said we need to go through the budget line by line looking for ways to without shortchanging education. for basic scientific research or road construction. those things are essential to our future. it was an approach that said we should not balance the budget on the backs of the port and the middle class. -- the poor and middle class.
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everybody, including the wealthiest, have to pay their fair share. i had hoped to during this debate to negotiate a compromise with the speaker of the house that filled these principles and achieved the 4 trillion dollars in deficit reduction that both parties have agreed we need. it would have strengthened our economy instead of weakened it. fortunately, the speaker walked away. what we agreed to instead was not all of that brand. it was a start -- roughly $1.50 trillion to cuts in defense spending. everyone knows that we must do more. a special committee of congress is designed it to find a reduction. today in laying out specific proposals to finish what we started this summer. these proposals live up to the
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principles i talked about from the beginning. it is a plan that reduces our debt by more than $4 trillion and achieves a savings and a way that is fair. it asks everybody to do their part. in addition to the $1 trillion in spending that we have already cut from the budget, our plan makes additional spending cuts that need to happen if we are to solve this problem. we will form agricultural subsidies. we make a modest adjustments to federal retirement programs. we reduced by tens of billions of dollars the ghosts of fannie mae and freddie mac. companies that were saved by tax
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dollars during the financial crisis need to repay the american people for every dime that we spent. we save an additional $1 trillion as we and the war's end i iraq and afghanistan. the savings are not only counted as part of our plan, but a budget plan that nearly every republican on the house of voted for. finally, this plan includes a structural forms to reduce the cost of health care programs like medicare and medicaid. keep in mind, we already included a number of reforms in the health-care law which will go a long way to controlling these costs, but we have to do a little more. this plan reduces waste subsidies and erroneous payments. it makes prescriptions more affordable. we will work with governors to make medicaid more efficient. we will change the way we pay
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for health care -- instead of just paying for procedures, providers will be paid more when they improved results. such steps will save money and improve care. these changes are phased in slowly to strengthen medicare and medicaid over time. while we do need to reduce health-care costs, i will not allow that to be an excuse to turn medicare into a voucher program. i will not stand for denying the budget -- balancing the budget by denying those with disabilities or children. we will reform medicare or medicaid but we will not abandon the commitments we have kept for generations. by the way, that includes our commitment to social security. i have said before that social security is not the primary cause of our deficit, but it does face long-term challenges as our country grows older. both parties need to work together on a separate track to
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strengthen it for our children and grandchildren. this is how we can reduce spending -- by scouring the budget for every dime in waste and efficiency. by reforming government spending. by making modest adjustments to medicare and medicaid. but all of these reductions in spending by themselves will not solve our fiscal problems. we cannot just cut our way out of this whole, it will take a balanced approach. if we're going to make spending cuts many of which we would not make a viewer not facing such budget deficits, then it is only right that we ask everyone to pay their fair share. in the last week, the speaker of the house john boehner gave a speech about the economy. to his credit, he made the point that we cannot afford the kind of politics that says it is my way or the highway. i was encouraged by that. here's the problem -- in the same speech, he also came out
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against any plan to cut the deficit that includes any additional revenues whatsoever. he says, and i'm quoting him. ande's only one option, that option and only option relies entirely on cuts. that means a surrendering to research necessary to keep america ahead of the technological edge and allowing our critical public assets like bridges and airports and highways to get worse. it will cripple our competitiveness and our ability to win at the jobs of the future. it also means asking the sacrifice of seniors, the middle class and the port while asking nothing of the wealthiest americans and biggest corporations. the speaker says we cannot have it my way or the highway, but then basically says "my way or the highway."
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[laughter] that is not smart. it is not right. if we're going to meet our responsibilities, we have to do it together. i am proposing real serious cuts in spending. when you include the $1 trillion in cuts have already signed into law, these would be among the biggest cuts in spending in our history, but they must be part of a larger plan that is balanced. a plan that asks the most fortunate among us to pay their fair share just like everyone else. that is why this plan eliminates tax loopholes to the wealthiest taxpayers and corporations -- taxpaid -- tax breaks that small businesses and middle-class families do not get. if tax reform does not get done, this plan asks of the wealthiest americans to go back to paying the same rates they
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paid in the 1990's before the bush tax cuts. i promise it is not because anybody looks forward to raising taxes. i do not look forward to it. in fact, i have cut taxes for the middle-class and small businesses. through the american jobs? we cut taxes again to put more money in the pockets of people, but we cannot afford the special lower rates for the wealthy. rates by the way that were meant to be temporary. back to 2001 and 2003 when they were being talked about, there were talked about as temporary measures. we cannot afford them what we are running these big deficits. i am also ready to work with democrats and republicans to reform our entire tax code, to get rid of the decades of accumulated loopholes.
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our tax code is more than 10,000 pages long. if you stack up all the bombings, there almost 5 feet tall. -- all the volumes, they are almost 5 feet tall. what to make depends more on how well you can gain the system and that is especially true of the corporate tax code. we of one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world, but it is riddled with exceptions and loopholes. some companies pay lot of taxes while the rest of them end up having to put -- foot the bill. our country becomes less competitive and a less desirable place to do business -- that has to change. our tester should not give advantage to people with the best lobbyists, it should be given to the people who create jobs in america. we can do that if we get rid of all the special deals.
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i am ready and i'm eager to work with democrats and republicans to reform the tax code to make it simpler, making it more fair, and make america more competitive. any reform plan will have to raise revenue to help close our deficit. that has to be part of the formula. any reform should follow another simple principle. middle-class families should not pay higher taxes than millionaires and billionaires. that is pretty straightforward. it is hard to argue against that. secretary should not pay a higher tax rate than warren buffet. there is no justification for it. it is wrong bed in the united states of america that teachers and nurses who earn $50,000 should pay higher tax rates than
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somebody pulling in $50 million. anybody who says we cannot change the tax code to correct that, anyone who assigns a some pledge to protect every taxpayer as long as they live, they should be called out. they should have to defend that in fairness. -- that unfairness. explain why somebody paying $50 million a year in the financial markets should pay 50% when a teacher is paying a higher rate. they should have to answer for that. if there pledged to keep that kind of unfairness in place, they should remember that the last time i checked that the only pledge several matters is the one we take to uphold the constitution.
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we are already hearing the usual defenders of these loopholes saying that this is just class warfare. i reject the idea that asking a hedge fund manager to pay the same rate as a teacher is class warfare -- i think it is just the right thing to do. i believe the american middle class who have been pressured relentlessly for decades believe that it is time that they are fought for as hard as lobbyists have fought to protect special interests for billionaires' and big corporations. nobody wants to punish success in america. what is great about this country is our belief that anyone can make it and everyone should be able to try. anyone was to open a business, have an idea, and end up millionaires or billionaires' -- this is the land of opportunity and that is great. all i am saying is that those
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who have done well, including me, should pay our fair share in taxes and contribute to the nation that made our success possible. we should not get a better deal than ordinary families get. i think most wealthy americans would agree. if they knew this would help us grow the economy. it comes down to this. we have to prioritize. both parties agree that we need to reduce the deficit by the same amount -- by $4 trillion. what choices are we going to make to reach that goal? either we ask the wealthiest americans to pay their fair share of taxes, are we asking seniors to pay more for medicare. we cannot afford to do both. either we get education and medical research or we have to reform the tax code so that the
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most profitable corporations have to give up the tax loopholes that other companies do not get -- we cannot afford to do both. this is not class warfare -- it is a math. [laughter] the money is going to have to come from someplace. if we are not willing to ask those who have done extraordinarily well to help americans close the deficit, and we're trying to reach that same target, $4 trillion -- the logic, the map says that everybody else has to do a whole lot more. we have to put a entire burden on the middle-class. we have to scale back the investments that helped our economy. we need to settle for second- rate bridges, airports, roads, and schools that are crumbling. that is unacceptable to me.
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that is unacceptable to the american people and it will not happen on my watch. i will not support, i will not support any plan that puts all of the burden for closing our deficit on ordinary americans. i will veto any bill that changes benefits for those that rely on medicare but does not raise serious revenues by asking the wealthiest americans and corporations to pay their fair share. we are not going to have a one- sided deal that hurts the folks who are most vulnerable. none of the changes i am proposing are easy or politically convenient. it is always more popular to leave the bill still after the next election or the election
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after that. that has been true since our founding. george washington grapples with this problem. he said towards the payment of debts there must be revenue. that to have revenue, there must be taxes. no taxes can be devised which are not more or less inconvenient and unpleasant. he understood that dealing with the debt, these are his words, always a choice of difficulty. but he also knew that public servants were not elected to do what was easy. they were not elected to do what was politically advantageous. it is our responsibility to put country before party. it is our responsibility to do what is right for the future. that is what this debate is about. it is not about numbers on a ledger or figures on a
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spreadsheet. it is about the economic future of this country. we will do what it takes to create jobs, growth and opportunity. it is also about fairness. it is about whether we are in this together. we are looking out for one another. we know what is right. it is time to do what is right. thank you very much. [applause] thank you.
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>> from the white house rose garden, president obama describing what he calls a balanced approach to the deficit this morning. a combination of tax increases and spending cuts adding up to about $3 trillion over the next 10 years. we have opened our phone lines to get your thoughts on the president's proposals this morning. the number for republicans, 202- 585-3886. independence, your number to call is 202-585-3887. our first call is carmen on the democrat's line. caller: good morning. i enjoyed the president's speech, but however, with this particular congress it will not
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go anywhere. i would also like to say that for the last 13 years it has been the republicans' way or no way. even when we had a democratic controlled house and senate, they vetoed and filibustered. even when bush was in office. he got out that veto pen and vetoed everything that the democratic house and senate sent to him. it has always been their way or no way. it is unfortunate, because we're in this situation because of their way. thank you. host: on to the republican line. caller: that is just a typical call from the democratic policy -- party. they keep saying what have the republicans done? how many bills of this and over, 12 on jobs?
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harry reid not touch them. as a small-business owner when he says he will give us $4,000 to hire a new employee, we are trying to keep the employees we have now. we have to worry about state tax, federal tax, county tax, we worry about it every day. you think that $4,000 with his ridiculous health care -- you should have people, where do democrats want to go to work? give us this, give us that, we want everything. you want to pay a fairer tax? this is a president and vice president who never hardly gave anything out of their pockets to social things. i think the president and michelle obama gave $100 donation and they're making $300,000. this is the problem with the democrats. they want us to give the money,
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the people who were working -- the republicans. a job like this, but the 51% better not working to find a job. host: thank you. lynn debt calling on the independent line. caller: thank you for taking my call this morning. i appreciated the speech. i agreed with what he said that most americans should pay their fair share, but i do not believe this is a good time to give tax cuts to anybody. everybody should pay their fair share. i think what it would take to get the country moving again, for one thing, is to stops during the baby boomers to get that we will not be able to get our retirements a we have paid into 45 years. the united states should keep their promises. they promised us when they took
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that money out of our paychecks that we would be able to get our money in our old age. i do not think it is fair that they are scaring us to get saying that we will not get it. we need that money for our children, our grandchildren, vacations. if we got our social security we would spend money instead of holding onto it and the country might get moving again. host: the proposal includes $1.50 trillion in new revenue, and repealing the bush tax cuts. it would eliminate tax cuts for their wealthy. it would amount to $3 trillion over 10 years in the president's plan. this week house speaker john boehner ruled out using tax increases as a way to increase revenue. we have a call from los angeles. caller: good morning.
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president obama on the debt and deficit reduction plan, the president said he does not want to raise taxes. actually, nobody. he wants to eliminate loopholes for the wealthy. there are loopholes for people who made as much as $150,000 in revenue and stock. a one loophole the president wants to keep. another -- he wants to fix social security. and a cut in medicare. it is outrageous. for instance, the president says, you know, we should not balance our budgets on the backs
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of the working poor. the democratic governor of brown of california at just did. he cut social security. president obama does not want to raise taxes, which sounds outrageous. he pays more attention to creating jobs -- 9.2% unemployment during his presidency. host: next, to richard in chicago, the independent line. caller: i think is about time that the president has proposed this plan and i hope he stands by its. i think the worst possible situation that could occur is that he is going to compromise as he does. i hope it does not forfeit and sacrifice parts of the medicare plan for this. then the republicans completely filibuster or block the tax
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plan. this tax plan worked in the 1990's for clinton. it was different then, but it did work. it is a complete lie and illusion that there is not a revenue problem in this country. that is just nonsense and propaganda that is spread by the republican line machine and conservatives all together. i'm really glad he finally proposes. it is not class warfare. to have this kind of tax plan in europe and it does work. people do not understand it will craig $3 trillion in revenue that has been lost over the last 10 years due to this unfair tax plan. i'm glad the president has finally proposed this. he should have proposed this three years ago instead of half of the stimulus plan being republican tax cuts which were unnecessary. the same planet they said did not work even though was for their b.s. nonsense.
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it was a very elegant speech and he is an elegant speaker. i hope we see results this time. host: thank you for calling. to the democrat's line from sacramento. caller: i was appalled by the president, actually. when i say that, i am saying that i am so happy that people who have spoken before me our agreement that he has finally came out and said that we have to have reform with our country. when we looked at everything overall, as far as us living here and having the citizenship rights, and to be able to fundamentally bring our country back to where we were in a time where we were at a level of prestige and their dedication to our foundation was created.
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i am happy that he is at least going to that point the republicans because it is time for them to really open up their eyes to what is being said. thank you again. host: president obama and his remarks from the white house rose garden. he was joined by secretary timothy geithner and jack lew. they will be at this morning's white house briefing. it was originally set for 11:00 this morning but it was pushed back due to the president's remarks. we will have to live on c-span when it does get under way. our next call is sean from massachusetts on the republican line. caller: good morning. i'm from massachusetts, one of the most tax states in the union. everything the president is for, taxing the rich and corporations sounds good. but, we have a saying here in
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massachusetts -- the more you make, the more they take. i'm for a much more balanced tax code where everybody pays a fair share. even if you have a part-time job. what this president does not understand that these democrats do not understand is that you get more revenue by putting people back to work. when someone is back to work, you have taxes right there on their paycheck. we can go back and forth all day for years and years and years and did not fix the problem. this president is out in 2012 and we can get someone in there who knows and understands taxes. that is the real solution to our problems. host: next to new haven, conn. on the independent line.
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i'm going to ask you to turn down your tv. that we can hear your comments. go-ahead. caller: i think the issue divides americans. people through the government institution is an upset. more and of the rich should make the sacrifices -- that is the spirit. that way everyone will do what he or she can do. this is not an isolated american issue.
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this is a time when politics should give away to a nationality. >> thanks, the raven. stephen calling from nicholasville, ky. caller: i am talking about the way obama is doing the world now. it is better the way it is coming out here republicans kept taking money, doing this, doing that. to be honest with you, when clinton was in office, we never did have -- the deficit was taken care of, was no problem. but all at once, when the republicans took over, the whole
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world got into debt. that is the reason why some people are starving, are hungry, and have no money to put into their house or do anything. the democrats need to be in there and they need to put the blame where it belongs. it belongs with the republicans. the republicans -- bush was in office, mixing all of them down to the -- nixon, all of them down to the watergate. you did not hear anything about republicans until now, when they have a black man in office. host: we appreciate your phone calls. a reminder that you can continue the discussion on our facebook page. you can offer thoughts, comments, concerns. we have over 300 comments so far about the president's deficit plan from today's "washington journal." our next call is on the republican line from michael in
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west palm beach, florida. caller: good morning. i have several points i would like to make. one, first and foremost, the revenues from taxes are specifically designed to run the government, not for social engineering, which the president apparently thinks they are. two, he mentions infrastructure. i am shocked that he does. when you go over the bridges in new york city as an example, you pay tolls each way. huge tolls on highways throughout the country, and yet, we have a highway system crumbling. where do those revenues go. when does the money that comes out of the gas tax that was specifically designed to keep the federal bridges and roads open -- where did that money go, if we have, as the president said, a $2.50 trillion
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infrastructure problem? he talks as if the government -- the president talks as if the government is able to run anything. by their own admission, medicare has something around $60 billion worth of fraud. if this were a private company, the ceo would be out, the board would be out, and all of the officers would be out and many of them would be in jail. we have the situation with the solar panel company just come up two weeks ago. they get $500 million worth of revenue. $500 million worth of revenue of guaranteed loans. here we are now they are bankrupt. how does that happen? i just do not understand how that happens. fannie mae and freddie mac -- redline loans from banks they know are fraudulently written. just to have housing. how does this happen?
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>> thanks for your call. in the white house briefing room, we expect spokesman to appear to answer questions. we expect they will talk about the president's proposal that was offered earlier did it. live coverage coming up here on c-span. next, -- do we have janney in rockford, illinois? go ahead. caller: i just want to say that i totally agree with obama's plan. i think it is a great plan. i do wish that it would have been done a few years ago, but it is being done now. i just wanted to say that it does not matter what plan. he has given the republicans every single thing that they could possibly want on a silver platter. it got some of the democrats
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upset because this problem is the fact that he is a people pleaser. he is a great president and a very genuine, honest, good person, but he needs to take more of the approach of, you know, "this is the way it is going to be." kind of the way bush did. e -- nobody else had a say so. he was kind of a bully. he got what he wanted. i think obama should have done the same thing and did this all a few years ago, but like i said, he is a nice guy and wants everybody happy. in the end, none of the republicans -- it does not matter what he gives, what he does. he bends over backwards to try to meet in the middle, and it all comes down to his race. every time you have a conversation with republicans, it always leads back to the same thing. i have not yet that one republican that is honest to god not racist, and that is the
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truth. that is all i have to say. host: jenny on the democrats' line this morning. next to tim in atlanta on the independent line. caller: yes, how're you? good morning. the call of that just called a few minutes ago from brooklyn talking about the bridges and the infrastructure -- i am an independent truck driver. i drive 48 states. let me tell you -- the highways are falling apart. they are just -- especially i- 65. i just came out of brooklyn two weeks ago. he is right. a problem with obama's plan is when you read the states -- when you give the states the money and they distribute it, that is when you are going to have the problems. that is why the first stimulus did not work that well to begin with. in georgia, atlanta's example,
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they used stimulus money, $2 million of it to build a dog park. how many people did that put to work and for how long? that is one of the major problems. also, what i have to say is that with the other caller, about the republicans -- let's face it -- republicans rolled south. there is a reason why they ruled south and the democrats cannot get a strong hold back. lyndon johnson said that he just gave the south to the republicans when he passed that legislation. that is what he did. why do you think he said that? everybody could see why -- when that south carolina senator stood up and said, " " in a chamber when the president was making his speech that has never been done before -- that says it all.
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-- said "you lie" in the chamber when the president was making his speech. host: republican line in duluth, minnesota. caller: i listened to one call who said she had never met a republican who was not racist. i find that hard to believe. i think she needs to get off the couch and meet some people. as far as the president, all i saw was a bunch of numbers. they look decent. i do not see anything else, though. i would like to see a little more math and science behind that. i would also like to see a little more compromise on political parties. all ic is people bickering back and forth with each other. just need to examine your policies and make decisions. it is not that hard.
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got to figure it out. host: white house briefing a couple of minutes away. we just got the two-minute warning. we will have live coverage when it starts. next from sherry on the independent line. caller: i would like to say that we are in trouble, the united states is. the president right now -- i would have to agree with him. we all need help, and we should stick together. if we do not stick together, we are going to fall, and that is the bottom line. thank you. have a good day. host: the president will offer his jobs proposal to the dollar deficit reduction committee, which is task in finding $1.20 trillion in deficit reductions. the committee has met already appeared the next meeting is later this week. focus will be on revenue options and reforming the tax code. that committee has to report by november 23. if it does not strike a deal or congress does not endorse the
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plan, $1.20 trillion in mandatory cuts to programs like social security and defense will be triggered in 2013. next, los angeles on the democrats' line. caller: yes, good morning. host: can i get you to turn your tv down so we can hear you without problems? caller: ok, good morning. i believe republicans and independents were worried that when president clinton left office, we have surplus in billions. when george de b. bush campaign, he signed a bill giving tax credit. it has gone to china, india. and they blame president obama for the failure. the jobs should be brought back here. this is social security that republicans do not understand.
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they did not contribute to it -- we need social security. i hope and pray that they will understand. thank you and god bless america. host: we go to our republican line, john calling from california. caller: here is my situation -- you know, i just do not trust anybody anymore. i do not trust anybody. it has all been smoke and mirrors for the last 20 years. special interests and lobbyists on both parties eating up the revenue. it is not about jobs anymore. we keep hearing about jobs, jobs, jobs, the next election. it is not. that is the next effect. it is about we the people not trusting our government any more
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at the federal level, the state level. sometimes even at the local level. we are sick and tired of not being able to trust our elected officials. somehow when they go to the statehouse or the federal government, they lose their brains. they lose their moral compass. there is a corruption in our country. if we are not careful, we will become a third world country. the other day, about a month ago, greenspan was on a panel, and he said we would never go into depression -- and this is what the point was. he said we would never not pay our debt because we would just print money. and the logical, clear thinking person knows you can only print so much paper before it is not worth anything anymore. host: what do you think about the president's proposal? caller: smoke and mirrors. he has not ever put anything on paper and actually sent it. he is about ideas, and ideas do
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not get the job done. smoke and mirrors. dog and pony show. host: bobby in west haven, connecticut. caller: i know how we can fix all our problems. part of our problem is we need jobs. that i do agree with. we will put money back and in the community. we need to come up with another program where so much tax is going into the program will help take care of the deficits. and these people, like, on deaf row and life in prison -- take them out of prison, send them out there, bring our troops home, let them fight for our country. that meant -- host: next, to gloria. caller: i would like to make a comment that i 100% support president obama's agenda and i
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will vote for him in 2012, and that is because i cannot trust the republicans. they are greedy, and everything is for the rich, and i think it should be shared -- the pain and the wealth. therefore, i totally -- one thing i love about the speech i just heard was the word veto. he has always been threatened by the republicans. i would like him to exercise some of his power and that word veto helped me a lot to believe that i do believe he is a good president and has good intentions and i know that no one has my intentions personally more than him. i am on social security. i used to get glasses for free. now, it is $40. i know everybody in america hears me. >> the president will be leaving washington this afternoon for new york and will be attending events at the united nations this week to speak at a fund- raiser later this evening. on wednesday, the president will make remarks to the united
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nations general assembly. it was announced last week that the palestinian president would seek unanimous vote -- recognition from the state -- for the state of palestine -- seek united nations recognition for the state of palestine, something in that bid states is opposed to. caller: thank you for taking my call, and i do respect the commander in chief. i have been in the service. i was in the air force during the vietnam era. i am retired now at my age. i like some of the things the president said, as far as getting more backbone. i think the president as the commander-in-chief, has to be decisive in his decision. however, i have seen this country over the last 40-plus years slowly deteriorated because of all the things that have been happening in our government. the government is here to serve the people, not the other way around. i would like to see the government actually take a less
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active role in telling the people how they should live their lives, ok? what i would like to see happen from the commander-in-chief is that he does give more empowerment to the people and the people can -- we are great people. we can make decisions. and we are america. we are not china. we are not europe. i would like to see him govern based on what we the people stand for. i am a patriot also. i like some of the things he said, but he needs to do more. thank you for taking my call. host: thank you for calling in. democrats line, michigan. caller: this is the first time in a long time that i could agree with a republican color, but i have to agree with the last caller there. i am is a patriot and an ex- military guy, but we do have to get back to -- an easy thing -- the constitution. get back to the constitution and
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let's get back to -- people fear sacrifices to the country. that is the rich, the corps, everybody trying to make this country run -- the rich, the poor, everybody trying to make this country run. host: next, came in fredericksburg, virginia. caller: thank you for taking my call. once again, it was obama doing what he always does. it is a campaign speech, not a serious proposal. i think he is the most divisive president that we have had in recent history. i am very offended by most of the african-american callers that have been calling in and the democrats that say that the republicans are racist. how are we racist when we disagree with him on policy? it is not about race. if he was purple, it would be
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the same way. it is ignorant for democrats or blacks to even say that about republicans. how is that going to bridge any divide to where we can work together when the president comes out like that in a very combative tone? he is not trying to set the stage to work out any compromise with republicans. let's face it. let's be real. it is what it is. it is not going to work. i would not want to work with somebody like that. would you? host: on to the independent line, david in corpus christi, texas. caller: thank you. i just wanted to comment -- i voted for the president, and i think he is a good president. i think he is intelligent, and i think that he is not yet, you
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know, used what he is able to bust out here pretty soon and be able to use. i think that, you know, he -- he did not want to become president to just serve one term. i think we have had so much trouble going on. as soon as he got into office, we had the gulf oil spill. we have had disasters everywhere. you know, overseas, giving too much. i believe he is having to take care of a lot of that, but the main thing i want to say is that, whether it be republican or democrat, this country is going to hell in a handbasket. if we do not altogether and start working again there --
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host: we are going to leave it there. now, to today's white house briefing. >> give people a minute to get up here. good morning, ladies and gentlemen. thanks for coming to the white house for your daily briefing. as you were told in advance, i have with me today the secretary of the treasury, tim geithner, on my left, and on my right, the director of the office of management and budget. they are together going to answer your questions about the president's plan for economic growth and deficit reduction. i know you just heard the president speak on this. jack and tim are here to take your specific questions. after they are done, if you could just keep on topic with them, i will remain to take your questions on other issues. we are going to go right to questions. >> what someone explain why the president knowingly put forward a plan that includes the tax
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increases that republicans rejected before the president stepped into the road got it? >> the president and republicans agree that we have a long-term deficit problem and we have to bring that down to earth. we agree on the basic magnitude of the cuts and changes we need over time -- roughly $4 trillion over 10 years. that is what you need to bring the deficit down to a level we can sustain over time, where the debt as a share of the economy is no longer growing, stabilizes, starts to come down. the debate we're having is how best to do that. what the president laid out is a balanced package of reforms on all parts of government, combined with some modest reforms to our tax system, designed to make our country more competitive and make sure that the most fortunate americans are paying a greater share of their income and taxes. but this is about a choice, how to make the economy stronger in the future, how to make sure we are living within our means but
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still preserve room to strengthen the economy in the short term but also make us more competitive, preserve room for investments in the long term. to do that, you have to figure out ways to reform our tax system, make it more competitive and more fair. that is why we are proposing these changes. we need good policy, good economic policy, and we think they are better than the alternatives. >> could you explain more about how the buffet rule would work? the president made reference to it in the rose garden, and none of the materials spell out how much revenue it would raise or any of the details about it, and it seems like an important part of the plan he is trying to emphasize. >> the president proposed congress shape comprehensive reform of the individual and corporate tax system so that again, we are not just making our country more competitive, but we do so in a way that helps deficit reduction and asks the most fortunate americans to pay a larger share
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of their income taxes. the basic principle is that if you are among those fortunate few in the united states, we should make sure you pay, as a share of income and taxes, more than what a lower income family pays. how your it depends on what you do with the broader tax system as a whole. we're not going to give congress a detailed proposal for how to read that now because there's lots of different ways to do that, but we think it should be a basic foundation of tax reform, and we are going to fight to make sure that as part of what congress considers and ultimately delivers. >> what about a specific recommendation on that? you spelled out how much revenue want to raise over all. >> in some ways, you could say we are having a debate about whether you should try to reform the overall system to meet the basic principles laid out in the president's proposal or try to get more revenue out of the
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current system. the president did lay out very detailed sets of changes. specific changes for individuals and corporate, if we are trying to get more revenue out of the current tax system, but i think the best strategy is to try to reform the overall system so we are bringing rates down where we can, eliminating the wasteful subsidies and preferences where we can, helping contribute deficit reduction by making the economy -- the economy more competitive in the long run and to make the system more fair than it is today, and we think that is the best way to go, and again, we think it is better than the alternatives. then i can i ask you about the european crisis? is there the political will and how worried are you that this will spill over to the u.s. economy when the economy is already very fragile? >> the european economy is under a lot of pressure, and it is affecting confidence here and around the world, not just in
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europe, and we had a huge stake as a country in helping them deal with those challenges. huge economic stake, financial stake, and it is not in the interest of the united states for europe to be weakened by a protracted economic and financial crisis. we're working very closely with them and being very supportive here as they try to craft a more effective strategy, you have to ask if the political will is there. i believe it is. it is not a question of the economic resources of that great continent. this is within their capacity to solve, and i think you will see the leaders of europe doing what they have been doing, and we just tried to reassure the world that they have the political will, not just the economic capacity, to manage these challenges, and again, it is in the interests of the united states for them to do that. >> the expiring bush tax cuts for the wealthy -- as that seen as a gain -- what about the cost
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of not letting the rest of the tax cuts expire? >> the way we constructed our approach was to start from what would be the consequence of having all of it be extended, and we said that the top rates should not be extended. we have now projected what the impact on the deficit and the debt is of having the middle class tax cuts continue. a balanced approach will give you the ability to let the middle class tax cuts continue, and if you enact the entire program we have proposed, bring our deficit down, keep the debt as a percentage of gdp in the low 70's, and that of climbing up into a very dangerous rage. we have encompassed it by putting in the baseline the assumption that that would be extended. it is factored in. >> couple questions -- are you maintaining that $1.50 trillion
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in tax increases will have no adverse impact whatsoever on job creation? >> again, our proposal is through comprehensive tax reform, individual and corporate, to make the current tax system of the united states better for investment, better for growth, and more fair to average americans. if congress were to meet those basic principles, i am very confident that the modest changes we are suggesting in terms of revenues would make the economy stronger in the long term, not weaker. obviously, you want to do it carefully, and that is why the president laid out those specific vessels. it is important we find a way to get congress to make this tax system better for growth in the united states. lots of ways to do that, but we want to make sure we meet that. remember -- we are a very large economy, talking about estimates over 10 years.
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$1.50 trillion in revenue, relative to what would happen if you just extent of the bush tax cuts, is roughly 1% of the entire output of the american economy over that time. it is a modest change in revenues. eat you do it sensibly through tax reform, you will make growth in the united states stronger and make people more confident in the future, more likely to invest here, and that is something we should be working towards. >> i wanted to give you an opportunity to make a big splash. i know you are going to take issue with your portrayal. there is -- >> there is a memo by the white house senior adviser who talks about the economic plan and talks about a
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number of efforts by in his view, the economic team in the white house. it does say once the decision is made, a limitation by the department of the treasury has at times been slow and uneven. that, along with other factors, adversely affect execution of the policy process. >> i do disagree with that characterization. i have not read this book, but to borrow a phrase, i lived the reality. the reports i've read about the book bear no resemblance to the reality we live together. no resemblance. >> specifically, though, mr. secretary, on the president's effort -- >> absolutely not, and i would never do that. i have spent my life in public service. it is my great privilege to serve this president, and i


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