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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  October 17, 2011 7:00am-10:00am EDT

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senate races and energy reporter for the hill looks at energy industry loans offered by the government. "washington journal" ♪ ♪ host: the president it's the road today, leaving the white house at about 9:00, and headed to north carolina. he will deliver remarks at the asheville regional airport. later this afternoon, he will deliver remarks at a high school and millers creek, north carolina. the house is off this week. the members are back in the district. senate members are still here in washington, d.c.
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welcome to this edition of the "washington journal." today is monday, october 17. for the first 45 minutes, we will be talking about -- where are the jobs? we will be looking at an op-ed by harold ford, jr. in this morning's "the wall street journal." we will take a look at that and then we will talk to you about -- where are the jobs? that's the question. if you want to get involved in the conversation, the numbers are -- if you want to get in touch with us electronically this morning, the address on e-mail is
7:02 am if you want to follow the conversation on facebook, our address is here is the op-ed in this morning's "the wall street journal" by harold ford, jr., who writes --
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host: the op-ed piece by harold ford, jr. goes on to say --
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host: we want to find out from you -- where are the job? are they in your neighborhood, in your town, in your state? our first call comes from gastonia, n.c. on the line for independents. you are on the "washington journal." caller: the jobs have left america -- occupy wall street should be talking about free trade. when congress gets together and passes these last three trade bills -- watch the jobs had to panama, south korea, and colombia.
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it's a shame when congress gets together. i would rather they keep fighting. host: let's move on to georgia on the line for democrats. george, you are on the "washington journal." go ahead. caller: i know there are jobs out there. i know there are jobs out there. host: where do you suppose they are? caller: there are jobs in south carolina. it is very hard for anyone to get hired on those jobs. i do not know why they're holding back the jobs. host: are you working right now? caller: no, i am 70 years old. i am retired. host: where are you -- were you working before you retired? caller: at a factory.
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host: is that factories still open? caller: no, it is closed. host: where are the people who were working in that factory? caller: different places. i'm going to tell you. president obama is doing a good job. he is doing a good job. he does not have anybody to work with him. host: in georgia, where our people primarily finding w ork? caller: there are jobs coming into south carolina. we have the boeing company. host: let's move on to ray in new mexico. you are on the "washington journal." go ahead. caller: it is actually new hampshire. recently over the past two or three months, i have seen news w companiesying ho
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cannot find enough qualified or skilled workers. caterpillar in michigan had over 50 openings. they could not find steelworkers. you would think that with the unemployment in michigan, it would not be a problem. they have 30 openings and they cannot find them. they were saying that even if they did not have any positions, if they could find a qualified worker, they would hire him even if they did not need him. the emphasis by the owner of the company was there's just not enough people going into vo- tech training from high school. the big push is college, college, college. manufacturing has become so
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high-tech that you need to the tech training. it's just not assembly line training anymore. a company in allentown, pennsylvania has 300 openings. they need wielders. they cannot find them in this country. i think the emphasis should not just be go to college and get a degree, but there should be more emphasis on vo-tech training. ,ost: let's move on to florida who lives in wichita, kan. on the line for democrats. good morning. caller: good morning. i just want to say, i think if the politicians would stop putting -- stop taking the money
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and put it right here. my husband -- he got sick in retired and passed away. the company never paid nothing. he worked all those years. they pay the guys maybe $5 per hour. i never seen things get so crazy. host: are there still jobs in wichita? caller: thse tea party -- these tea party people. they take the mall. my son is a very good contractor. he cannot get a job. they take them and give them to whoever.
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host: we will leave the there. more to the harold ford, jr. of bed in this morning's "the wall street journal" -- harold ford, jr.'s op-ed in this morning's "the wall street journal." he writes --
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host: we are asking this morning -- where are the jobs? miami, florida, go ahead. caller: good morning. my name is michael. i have been unemployed since the midpoint of 2007. i went from job to job to job. i am in the housing development. new houses and new schools and stuff like that. the money is just not there. if the money is not there, nobody can hire. if nobody can hire, and nobody can build. that means double digit unemployment all through south florida. at one point, there were 150,000 families living in south florida. now it is not happening. everybody is stuck with a double
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mortgage. it went down the hill with the bailout. now the banks do not want to loan. you have investors who cannot invest, who cannot hire more people to do more work. it's a vicious circle. right now, the economy is in a depression, whether anybody wants to admit it or not. that's what's going on. we are along the bottom. it will take new, inventive ideas. i am not saying solar panels or windmills or nothing like that, but something better. rebuilding our infrastructure. topeka,t's move on to kan. on the line for democrats. alfred, you are on the "washington journal." caller: the few jobs that we have left in topeka, kan., what
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i was -- what are the soldiers going to do for work when they come home? it's really sad. everyone is seeking help from the local communities. it's bad when america has to hire hispanic people. host: we will leave it there. we have a tweet from pamela oliver, who writes -- back to the phones. north carolina on the line for independents. you are on the "washington journal." go ahead. north carolina? is this middle? go ahead. caller: i have a lot of ideas
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and concepts that would produce millions of jobs. the senior attorney has all the information on his desk, if someone would seek a note that information from the federal reserve, the fifth district. a whole list of project would put millions and millions of people to work. we train them until all the positions we create. host: are you actively employed? caller: i am employed, but my employment does not pay anything. my employment is thinking of ideas for the future. ideas and concepts that would put millions of people to w ork. host: what would help you get a better job? caller: it's not just me that needs a job.
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there's 1.5 million who need a job in the district. host: in "the charlotte observer" their lead story talks about the president's trip to north carolina. "obama in north carolina to press for jobs plan."
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host: our next call comes from raleigh, n.c. on the line for republicans. you are on the "washington journal." go ahead. caller: good morning. first of all, i do not understand why we do not have a clear cut tax rule that allows a businessman to get credit, a tax credit, for hiring. i've looked very hard at this issue. we need to tie together our taxes with results. for example, we have two basic tax forms. one allows businesses to get money. the second form of taxation is -- can get a higher tax if they do not spend the money. we need a tax that combines
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both. we need to tie our taxes to results. businessmen sit on their money, as many are doing, they have higher taxes. if they hired people, all of them would be eligible for a lower tax rate. we have got to make them eligible. host: we will leave it there. we move on to new work, new jersey on the line for democrats. wayne, you are on the "washington journal." caller: why do the politicians all we say we do not have enough skilled workers? you have people on unemployment. you have people graduating from college. why do they keep saying that? all we have to do is pass obama's jobs bill. a lot of construction workers will go to work and they will build buildings for people to go work in the offices. i would like a politician to answer that question. thank you. host: thank you. we want to take a look at
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majority leader eric cantor, who was on fox news sunday yesterday. this is what he had to say. >> here we go again. this is the type of money and the types of programs the president advocated in the stimulus program. i think the country understands washington does not create jobs. we believe in private enterprise. we believe the way you get the economy going again is to focus on the businesses of this country, every one of which we need that kind of activity right now. we saw what happened with the stimulus money. much of that went to the states. it sustained jobs for about a year and then the states were faced with billions of dollars in debt. host: today we are talking about
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-- where are the jobs? the conversation on our c-span facebook page -- otis says -- host: that is the discussion on our facebook page. back to our phones. on the line for independents,
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james in st. charles, missouri. go ahead. caller: good morning. i wish everyone in the country could watch "washington journal" every morning. in regard to harold ford, jr.'s op-ed piece over his disagreement with obama about the oil and gas drilling, i am for it, but in a little different sense. apparently, we pumped back into the ground, under pressure, a lot of natural gas that would otherwise be burned off and wasted, which we have been doing for years and years on every gas and oil project -- every oil project, anyway. that should all be compressed. we should build another pipeline for natural gas.
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it's already there. it would be lost. bring it down to the lower 48 for an energy source. it is a cleaner form of energy. it is abundant. we could do the same thing with all the natural gas from oil wells and the gulf. host: james, let me get your response to part of harold ford, jr.'s op-ed. he writes -- your thoughts? caller: my thought is -- we do not have to do anything extra. all we have to do is use that
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natural gas that is there. perhaps build a new pipeline, a natural gas pipeline, and we have natural gas everywhere. host: we move on to tommy on the line for republicans from kensington, maryland. caller: i am from washington, d.c., and that's where all the jobs are. the government is hiring like crazy. business is booming. the only public money is willing to be something like a grant from obama. until we get an administration
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that's pro-business, and get some tax structures that are permanent, then i think we will do better around the country. any of the counties surrounding washington, d.c., fairfax, montgomery -- plenty of jobs. host: what type of small business do you have? caller: an advertising agency. host: how big is your firm? caller: i just started two years ago. right now, i'm using freelance rs. host: let's move on to washington, d.c. cynthis on the line for democrats, you are on the "washington journal." good morning. caller: good morning. i appreciate what james had to
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say on oil and natural gas production. after traveling internationally in france, i was struck. every place we went on a bus trip, there were people maintaining the trees along the roadsides and even in the urban centers. tree maintenance, is seems to me, would address many of the needs we have, would put people back to work, as president obama's jobs bill is targeting people at all different training levels, this would be an area where we could employ people who are not highly educated, but could be directly train. my guess is the training would not take a long time. in maintaining the trees, we could address many of the green needs throughout the country. we could also address many of
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the circumstances in washington, d.c. many of my neighbors boost power every wind or rain storm because of the tree limbs fall on the l ine and cause interruptions. host: we have a tweet. hampton, connecticut, on the line for independents. you are on the "washington journal." caller: good morning, c-span. glad you took my call this morning. the jobs are in connecticut, but they're not hiring american people. i have been on 10 different job interviews. i look hispanic, but i do not speak spanish. i look hispanic every time i go on a job interview, they turn me down. the men i open my mouth and i do not have an accident, -- the
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minute i open my mouth and i do not have an accent, i am of the board. spanish people locked in and they get the job. how did you get the job? i speak spanish. what about the american people? i'm a graduate of college. i have an associate's degree. i cannot find a job because i'm not hispanic. host: are these jobs where speaking spanish is a requirement? caller: no, one of them is -- they make american helicopters. you would think they would hire american people. all i have seen is mainly spanish. everyone else, hispanic. host: we will leave it there. to finish up harold ford, jr.'s op-ed in this morning's "the wall street journal" -- he writes --
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host: back to the phones. biloxi, mississippi, on the line for republicans. david, you are on the "washington journal." david, where are the jobs? caller: one thing i know washington is good for, and that's making laws to put over people's heads. there will be plenty of jobs in the biochip industry. they can insert a biochips in all the anti-christ people out
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there. that's a fact of life. it will be mandatory. everybody else they're complaining about jobs, if you do not believe in jesus christ, you will have a job. host: lisa in new jersey, go ahead. caller: i was just enlightened by that last caller. the jobs are anywhere where -- someone willing to work for slave wages. it's in this country, too. as far as drill here and now -- fossil fuel industries are just as dead as the creatures that produced the process. in the book "wealth of nations," it was made very clear. the wealth of a nation is to take a resource of very little
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value and create something of value. we no longer do that. we do not manufacture in this nation, but we can. green industry jobs the world is gobbling up and we are denying science. we talk about invasion but we eliminate science? we have to get the money out of the equation. host: we will leave it there. presidential adviser david axelrod was on "this week" on sunday discussing the president's jobs plan. >> now we are going to take it apart and go piece by piece. the american people support every part of that bill. we will vote on every single one of them. >> just last month you said
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that this is not an al a carte menu. >> we hope to assemble the entire plan. we will take votes on each one of them. host: coming back, we will take another call from tulsa, oklahoma on the line for independents. gilbert, you are on the "washington journal." caller: i have two things. cantor said the government does not create jobs. if it was not for the federal government, virginia would be lower than mississippi. i lived in washington, d.c. before i moved back to oklahoma. there's the pentagon. you have the naval base. they create jobs because people are spending money in the community. let me say this.
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on the urban census, where many of the blacks and browns live, there's almost an invasion, just like in washington, d.c., seeing people come in, such as police, firemen, even people who live in the city of tulsa, they take their money to the outer suburban communities and the inner cities are falling apart. if people are spending their money within the city, it creates natural jobs. why are we buying everything that china can produce, but then, just like at walmart, it's just like walking into the wall of china? host: we will leave it there. in "the washington post" this morning, some other stories we are looking at. "obama insider hired to head
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vice postal -- hired to advise postal union." host: that is in "the washington post" this morning. in pennsylvania, bob on the line for democrats. bob, you are on the "washington journal." go ahead. caller: hi. this is my idea. it's not an original one. was first proposed by herbert
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hoover and also franklin roosevelt during the depression and was rejected by congress. the more things change, the more they stay the same. my idea, put in a 30-hour workweek would double time for overtime and raise the minimum wage to $10 from $7.25. this will force all employers who use minimum wage labor to hire more people, because they will not want to pay double time. this will bring in a lot more jobs immediately by spreading the pain around a little bit. it's not known widely in the -- in the united states, but in most european countries, the average workweek ranges from 27 to 30 hours per week. we are still working 40 and we have our wives employed, as well. host: william on the line for republicans, you are on the
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"washington journal." caller: yes, i was talking melt the jobs -- i was calling about the jobs. they just need to pay more money. host: you think the jobs are in the health-care field? caller: yes, they need to pay more money for the health care workers. that's where the jobs are. if they paid more money, they could hire more people. host: are you and the health- care industry? caller: yes. host: what do you do? caller: i take care of disabled and handicapped people. i could use a little bit more money. host: the lead story in this morning's "washington times "solyndra won't talk about its contracts."
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host: newport, new york on the line for independents. john, you are on the "washington journal." caller: good morning. person would like to speak on what the gentleman talked about
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earlier. years ago, regulation was passed that a lot of these companies had to offer insurance for people. if they hired more than 120 employees, they had to offer benefits. a lot of companies went to part- time and temporary help. that way they skirted that law. in our area, a lot of jobs have been -- you know, lost wages. the unions were broke. jobs that used to pay $16 or $18 per hour are now down to $8 to $10 per hour and a higher a lot of foreigners. i know a lot of the bosnians came to town. they are good workers. they work for a lot less than the american standard.
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host: where is a newport, new york and what is the main industry there? caller: there's not a lot that i see going on in this area right now. newport is central new york state. a lot of factory work is gone in the area. you have companies like walmart who come in and they hire outside contractors, normally. their jobs are not even local. host: we are talking about -- where are the jobs? in "the financial times" this morning, this headline.
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host: we want to show you this tweet from joseph ward, iii. back to the phones. new york, new york. christina, on the line for democrats, go ahead. how are things in new york? caller: terrible. what they're doing is outsourcing the jobs. when you outsource the jobs, you outsource the jobs to foreigners. i am a telecommunications
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engineer and apparently disabled. for a while, i was working with the private sector. when you work for the city of new york, you have a job -- you have protection. they hired people. the outsourced the jobs to foreigners and they paid them twice as much money as a civil servant worker. i am currently disabled. i have been disabled for the last 10 years. i think it is a shame, the way they treat people that are mentally disabled, emotionally disabled. they do not try to help you. they want to give you a bunch of medications and stuff. the jobs are in the medical industry. the medical industry goes to the pharmacy and the pharmacy goes to the hospitals. host: in seattle, washington,
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this e-mail from d.w. in winchester, virginia, mike is our next caller on the line for republicans. go ahead. mike? we will move on to fort worth, texas, another mike on the line for independents. i am sorry. dale in fort worth. caller: if anybody would watch c-span continually -- i'm talking about an average of an hour per day. they would seek congress in
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meetings. they would see the problems are politicians face and the inability they have to get an honest answer. they will complain. they will say, "we had the cbo look at this." they are fine accountants. believe me. they can give you a good answer. look at this and please do not look at that. we cannot afford for you to examine this. and then use them for reference. the accountants never got a chance to tell you the truth. even when they say, "we have the accountants to tell you the truth." looked at the regulations for the banks -- look at the regulations for the banks after the big bank crash. the bill little boys in a wall
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street got a bunch of regulations. if you want to raise money for a business, you have to go offshore if the investment is less than $10,000. host: would there be more jobs if it was easier to make investments in the united states? caller: if they can lend money to small businesses, not big ones. not general motors or ford motor company. although, ford did not have to borrow any money. look into how they did business. there's nothing wrong with gm. those people build fine cars, but we are in competition with people who build fine cars. toyota is a fine car. host: in "the washington times" this morning, they write --
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host: back to the phones. anderson, south carolina on the line for republicans. go ahead. caller: hi. thanks for taking my call. host: go ahead. caller: i'd like to level the playing field and ask this. if there were no government-
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sponsored -- if there were no jobs available in the country that are not government- sponsored, not government contracts, etc., basically all of the private sector -- if there were no private sector jobs, would there be any government-sponsored jobs? i'm just trying to level the playing field in the topic area of where are the jobs? you cannot push all of the job making on the government. does not make any sense. those jobs only exist because of the private sector. if there was no private sector, there would be no government jobs or government contracts. host: tommy in anderson, south carolina. in about 45 minutes, we will be talking about top senate races
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across the united states. coming up after this break, a discussion on the cost of long- term unemployment in the u.s. we will be right back. ♪ ♪ >> middle school and high-school students, it's time to get those cameras rolling for this year's c-span studentcam competition. you could win the grand prize of $5,000. for complete details, go to >> because i am a businessman, of which i am very proud, and formally connected with large companies, the opposition have attempted to picture me as an
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opponent of liberalism. i was a liberal before many of those heard the word. fought for the reforms of theodore roosevelt and woodrow wilson before another roosevelt adopted and distorted the word liberal. >> he was a member of the democratic party for over 20 years, switching in 1940. he saw and won the republican nomination for president. although he lost to the election, he left his mark in political history, speaking out for civil rights and becoming the foreign investor for his former opponent, franklin roosevelt. one of the 14 men featured in "the contenders." >> watch more video of the candidates. see what political reporters are saying and track the latest campaign contributions. easy to use.
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it helps you navigate the political landscape. plus, links to c-span media partners. all at >> "washington journal" continues. host: james cooper is a columnist and contributor to "the fiscal *" and joins us this morning from new york city to talk about the cost of long-term unemployment. welcome to the show. guest: thank you. nice to be here. host: i want to start with some numbers provided to us from the labor department to help us get started. among the numbers we have, the average time out of work, as of september, was 40.5 weeks.
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45% have been jobless for six months or more. 70% of those have not worked in a year or more. of those unemployed 12 months or more, only one in 10 will ever return to work. those are some pretty grim numbers, james cooper. what seems to be causing all of that? guest: this is just an unprecedented performance in the economy and the labor markets. as far as the monthly data ago, at least back to 1948, it's easy to see why a couple weeks ago fed chairman ben bernanke called this a national crisis. we have never seen anything like this. obviously, there's the human cost. there's a tremendous economic cost of long-term unemployment, both in the short run and the long run. the short run costs, i think,
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are pretty obvious. the longer people are out of work, the more pressure there is on consumer spending, the more credit quality gets eroded and the banks are less willing to lend in that situation. also, government finance comes under pressure, both at the federal level and especially at the state and local level from both sides of the ledger in terms of lost tax revenues and in terms of extra money for unemployment programs and so forth. i think what is basically not fully understood is the potential long run costs of long-term unemployment. the longer people are out of work, the more they lose their skills. this has a tendency to weigh on productivity growth in the long run. basic erosion of human capital is, shall we say.
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also, people are just not participating in the labour market. they are becoming unattached from the labour market. basically, dropping out. i mention these two things for the long run reason. the long run reason -- the long run rate is determined by the productivity and the labor force. if the economy is not growing up to its potential, we run the standardsower living cos in the future. we are facing a serious problem that needs to be addressed, i believe. host: you have an article. if folks want to read it, they can go to define the difference in those two terms 4for us. guest: the difference between
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unemployed and unemployable. official unemployment, those people out of work who are actively seeking work. unemployable is basically people who have lost their skills, who have become unattached from the labour market -- from the labor market and have basically dropped out. this goes back to one of the numbers you mention that the beginning. a labor department study shows that people employed for more than a year, only one out of 10 return to being employed. the other 90% either remain unemployed or they basically have dropped out of the labor force. this is one of the basic problems of long-term unemployment. we are developing a group of
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disenfranchised workers -- mainly youth, the less educated, and workers in the industries that were hit very hard by the recession, especially construction workers, where the unemployment rate is more than 13% right now. if you look at youth unemployment, the teenage unemployment, age 16 to 19, is 25%. 20 to 24, it is 15% in september. when you get above age 25, you begin to see a sharp divide with regard to education. those without a college degree face an unemployment rate of almost 10%. with a college degree, the
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unemployment rate is about 4.2%. this is growing evidence that there's very likely a skills- mismatch that has arisen because of the recession. it means that businesses are not really able to find the workers that they need. one illustration of that is that there is a very tight historical relationship between job openings and the unemployment rate. what we see right now is that the job openings are about 35% higher at a 9% unemployment rate then what the 9% unemployment rate might have implied in the past. that shows us that something
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structurally has changed in the labor force that will require something other than just a strong economy, efforts to stimulate the economy. host: james cooper is joining us from new york's. we are talking about the cost of long-term unemployment. we have divided the numbers a little bit differently. pay attention and see where you fit in. give us a call and become part of the conversation. for those who have been unemployed over a year, 202-737- 0001. for those who have been unemployed between six months and 12 months, 202-737-0002. if you have been unemployed for
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under six months, the number is 202-628-0205. --you are still employed, 202-628-0184. james cooper, wanted to talk to you a little bit about congress and what they're doing. we have a story from "the hill."
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"deadline looms for congress to cut a deal on unemployment benefits."vivki needham writes -- is this providing the help that the long-term unemployed need to keep treading water while they're trying to find jobs? guest: i think it is part of the answer. there is no one answered to long-term unemployment. any economist will tell you it will be neither quick nor easy. i think extending unemployment benefits again is an interesting point. i think one of obama's -- of the
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provisions in obama's jobs bill was to increase the flexibility of the unemployment program, which would allow long-term unemployed to continue to receive unemployment benefits as a part of a re-training or apprenticeships program with an employer. this has seen some success in a couple of states. i think georgia has a program called georgia works. i think there is a similar program in new hampshire. this is one of the suggestions within the obama program. i think, in terms of fed policy stimulating the economy, they have done basically about all they can. however, fed chairman ben bernanke has said that any short
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run policy that congress could come up with that would minimize the duration of unemployment would help to reduce these long run costs associated with the loss of skills and loss of attachment to the labor force. host: our first call for james cooper, a columnist and caltributor to "this wille fis times." joe, you have been unemployed for six months to a year. go ahead. caller: about unemployment, obama put out a plan. obamrepublicans pride themselves on listening to the people.
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85% of the people spoke to them about passing obama's jobs bill. they would not. they lied. why would they do that? it would have created possibly 1.9 million, maybe 2 million jobs, to help our country. they pride themselves in listening to the people. 82% of the people spoke to them a week or so ago and they did not pass it. would you answer that? host: james cooper, go ahead. guest: i think this is fundamental to the issue at hand in attacking the problem of long-term unemployment. i think there is plenty of room for debate over the appropriate size and authority of the government in determining our budget process.
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the problem, i think the biggest challenge with policies geared toward long-term employment, is trying to get congress to decide how best to address the problem. i think that is the biggest challenge. philosophical issues interfere with basic economic common- sense. that's making it very difficult to do what is right at a certain time. i would add, also, much more broadly, and i think much more important, that what the congress is thinking about right now in terms of long term fiscal stability has to be viewed also in the context of what the all lot of people in congress get this, a lot do not.
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short-term economic stimulus and long-term at the school stability -- fiscal stability in the same long-term budget package are not mutually exclusive. i think one of the things we're facing right now, especially as we begin 2012, the current wall continues right now and into 2012, we will see expiration of a number of programs, the extension of unemployment, the payroll tax, other programs that were part of the 2009 stimulus, those will expire at the end of this year, and as a result are dragging on gdp growth of 1% to two percentage points beginning on june reversed.
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a lot of the provisions that are in -- that are being discussed right now are part of the provisions that will expire at the end of the year. i think there is a question about long-term unemployment and what to do about it, but also the broader question of how to shape long-term fiscal stability without harming the economy in the near-term while the economy is very fragile over the next year or two. host: our next call comes from florida on the line for those folks that are employed. i have a company. this conversation is very remiss in the sense that no one has ever spoke to the under class and economy. -- under class economy.
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they remained working for reduce cash or salary or they take small contracts on their own for cash or barter. degrees warmed up with everyone in the country on sun's type of government subsidy. you have less revenue and more pay out socially with the social programs. and that is happening in this country, and we do not even know to what extent. i have been listening to this conversation for years, and no one has ever mentioned it. decode james cooper -- host: james cooper, your response. guest: there is a couple of things going on. the effect -- all economists
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agree there is a disincentive effect that comes from unemployment insurance benefits. thestudy shows that's extension of unemployment insurance in this recovery has added as many as six weeks to the average duration of unemployment. that is basically a disincentive affect from unemployment insurance that people would rather receive their benefits than seek employment. however, if you look -- go back to the same point at which the benefit program was extended, the average duration of unemployment has increased by 18 weeks.
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and that is evidence that there is much more going on here than the distance and affect to seek employment from the extension of the unemployment insurance program. this speaks to the structural change in the economy. the man on the line in florida for those that have been unemployed for more than two years. caller: i have been unemployed for about five years. i got caught off in january.
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host: we cannot really hear you. could you pick up the handle and got into the headset? caller: can you hear me better now? host: we are going to move on to canton, ohio on our line for those that have been unemployed from six to 12 months. isller: my name christina. i have been unemployed since october of 2007. i am working on my second degree now. i looked for a job putting in applications at the employer and online daily. monday-friday as if it were my job. in there is supposed to be at 10 to one role.
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-- 10 to 1 rule. i have had 10 interviews all year. it is already october again. the problem is companies are not wanting to collier people who are educated. i know people personally he were uneducated and willing to work for minimum wage, and they will get a job much quicker. we recently had a company who got all this praise for moving into ohio and opening a company here, and unfortunately the only people willing to hire our people better low-educated. peopleyou said only the thurlow educated have been hired, yet you went back to school. is that because it is more economically feasible for you to be in school or are you trying
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to retrain yourself into something you think you can get hired doing? caller: my original decree was in business, and i decided to become a manager because of my skills. i wanted to do something where i could be more assertive, and i thought getting a degree in business that i would be able to use my personal skills on the job. however, that has not panned out. guest: i think this highlights the question of just how much the long-term unemployment, how much the high level of unemployment is due to cyclical factors and how much is due to cruck rigid structural factors. in -- is due to structural factures.
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4% to 5% economic growth will generate a lot of jobs. host: what will it take to spur the economic growth? guest: that is the real key right now in terms of the type of recession that we have had, in terms of coming off a financial crisis. studies have shown it takes a long time to recover from that reticular type of event. we still have banks that are very picky about loans. we have a housing problem, still have a housing problem. although we have almost below 4 percent signed mortgage rates, people cannot refinance because their homes are under water. i think one of the most important things to recognize is
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that this economy, it is going to continue to grow at about 2% or so, that that is just not nasty enough to generate jobs at a pace that will significantly reduce the unemployment rate. to the extent that this is really a cyclical problem that can be addressed by additional policy stimulus, then i think we need to look at additional stimulus. like i said, the fed has done basically all it can do at this point, and that leaves the stimulus to come from congress at a time when there is deep division over spending to stimulate the economy, which is coming at a time when there is now stimulus beginning to come out of the economy while it is
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still fragile. i think this part of the problem that the calller is facing. we have a sour economy, and it will take a while to get it moving again. host: we're talking with james cooper of "the fiscal times." ron is of the line for those that have been unemployed for over a year. caller: i am a 99er. i have been out of work for 20 months. i want to ask why barack obama ? isneglected the 99er's there any way they might include a package in the unemployment extension if it ever gets brought up in the congress, and i want to ask you what ever happened to properly?
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i will get off the phone. i appreciate your time very much. guest: the extended -- the extended unemployment benefits program is part of the overall obama plan. that bill -- it is pretty evident that bill will not go anywhere as a whole, but the extension of unemployment benefits is one of the pieces that is up for discussion right now. the question i think someone mentioned a while ago is how congress wants to pay for it. it is coming at a time when the expiration of benefits, i think it is by february, it will be 2 million people coming off of the
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unemployment benefit rolls, and that will be less money coming into the economy, less money to be spent, and part of the fiscal drag that i was talking about. i think the question is just how congress or will congress decide how to pay for it? >> one of the numbers we have from the labor department said that of those that had been unemployed for a year or more, only one in 10 will return to work, and the calller we just talked to falls into that category. what happens to the other nine? if they cannot find work, where do they go? guest: basically there is only two things that happened. they either remained officially end -- unemployed or become marginally attached to the labor force in terms of wanting a job,
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but not really actively seeking, or they basically dropped out of the labor force. we had seen some staggering numbers on the labor force participation rate over the past three years. that rate is calculated as the number employed, plus the number officially seeking work, divided by the population. this labor force participation rate has fallen over the past three or four years at the fastest pace that we have seen going back to the 1948 starting point of the data, and the labor force participation rate in september is around the levels that we have not seen since early 1980's. to some extent people are just becoming so detached from the
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labor force, because of erosion of skills because they become unemployable, because they do not have the skills that employers want and dropping out of the labor force. host: back to the phones. austin, texas. caller: i would like to say a couple of things. host: how long have you been unemployed? caller: between six to 12 months. really eight months. this is probably part of the discussion about jobs bills that just passed. a lot of the the things people wore declining was you raised taxes on people that raised -- that made certain dollar amount. -- a lot of the things people were talking about was to raise taxes on people that made a
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certain dollar amount. i worked for one of those small businesses. itheir life style was very lavish. . there were daily deliveries that the wife would make from different places. they just finished building a new house. it would treat -- take lavish trips to europe and what not. i do not begrudge people of that, but would you say we're struggling, small businesses are struggling, that is not very true. when times got hard, they did not change their lifestyle of all. do you have a question? caller: this follows into the memorial of martin luther king,
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and with barack obama being in the black community. i would like for someone to start talking or doing investigation into the department of labor, because i have a bachelor's degrees in business administration, and i have not got hired, have not even got an interview. i wonder if this has anything to do with my race. host: is this something to do with race, or in some of these cases it sounds like people might be over qualified for the positions they are applying fo? guest: that is a difficult conclusion to reach. and i think it is really more a function of the problems of the general economy and the problems with long-term unemployment. one of the things that i worry
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about with long-term unemployment is there is not only the social cost we have been talking about, but there is also a social cost involved. if you look at the average age of the occupier wall st. group, i think one of the things, one of the many things that they appear to be protesting is basically their own employment future i believe. these are people that are freshly out of school. they are in those high unemployment groups that i was mentioning a while ago. i agree that there is a potential social cost in addition to the economic costs of long-term unemployment. takeov host: veterans returning to
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jobless. difficult to translate to civilian employment. the soldiers, as failures -- sailors, marines, air force people that are coming back from iraq and afghanistan -- how much are they added to the problem of being able to find jobs for long-term short-term unemployed? guest: i have no data to back up anything i would say on that, but i do know that this is a high-tech modern army. a lot of the guys and women that are coming back understand the use of technology, software and development and also health care is a growing area here. there are some skills of the soldiers coming back that are in demand right now. i think you will probably seek a
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mix of skills coming back, but they are not all just adding to the problem. i think some of the folks will be helping the problem, helping companies. to the phones, cleveland, ohio. what kind of work to you do? caller: i am a machine repairman. it has recently been announced that my job is going to canada and holland and tennessee. that is the problem with our economy today, our jobs are leaving the country. buddy roemer, a republican running for president, he gave a
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speech, and the speech basically boils down to our tariffs is the only answer to bring jobs back. guest: i think i would be careful in that direction. if you go back to the 1930's, there was this infamous program called the holly tariff act, which a lot of people say basically made the great depression great. i do not think we want to get into those policies at a time when the u.s. needs to export more, it needs to develop more manufacturing geared towards exports. this is a growth area for the economy. people look at how much we are importing from china, but we are exporting rapidly to china, to
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other emerging markets. emerging-market make up half of our total exports right now, so i do not think i would want to go in that direction. i know the senate recently is taking up the schumer bill about essentially tariffs on chinese imports, but i do not believe that is going to go anywhere, although it is maybe a symbolic victory for people that are concerned in this area. but i do not think we want to restrict trade right now. in fact, i think we want to do more of the things that we just accomplished with the trade and others with corrkorea nations that will boost exports. that said, there is no question
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that the u.s. is losing jobs abroad. there is no question about it. manufacturing in the u.s. over the past 10 years -- output has increased dramatically. the u.s. payrolls of manufacturing had shrunk dramatically, but what that means is u.s. manufacturers are becoming much more productive, but they are using foreign of labor. this is one of the key structural changes we're looking at in the economy right now. a lot of people that have been working in manufacturing jobs are looking at the economy we differently right now. it is those kinds of areas that will lead education, and need training in order to contribute to today's economy. host: forms for just a sense as sends us this --
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let's move on to the phones. we are raleigh, north carolina. caller: good morning, gentlemen. i have been out of work since january 2009. host: what are your prospects for getting a new job? caller: i have applied in about have only hadcs, and two interviews. perhaps i am a little bit of an unusual can get it. i am a foreign physician with no license to practice in the united states, so i think people ume forg my reservati esonat
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having issues with some of these things here that on top of that i work in the health-care industry most of my life. i am not sure, but what i see of jobs. a's are out host: james cooper, your thoughts about the prospect for him. how much does his age heard him, the fact that he is 52? guest: i think there is an interesting statistic from the labor department. i mentioned labor force participation rate has fallen dramatically, but the only area hit it has not fallen and has
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actually remained high is in the 55 and above age bracket. arele in that age couhort staying in the market longer. i do not think it is a coincidence that these are the most highly skilled and experienced, and also people who have maybe seen their 401k's diminish over the past years, and there for putting those skills to work and remaining in the labor force. and in terms of the calller situation, i believe a strong economy lifts all boats, and one of the situations we need is a
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stronger economy. i think people like the calller and raleigh would easily find work in a stronger economy. host: rochelle in brooklyn, new york. you are on james cooper. caller: good morning. i have call c-span several times in the past few years. i have called to offer ideas i heard a couple of callers earlier referred to how this program would be paid for, the jobs program that includes the extension of unemployment benefits. there is lots of work to be done in this country. bridges, roads, teachers, firefighters need to stay on the job, and there is a lot of expertise out there that can
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come into communities and start apprenticeship programs, make it easier to teach the so meeting degrees, because people have expertise and skills where they can come into communities and start to train young people. i am over 50 age and have been unemployed for more than 99 weeks. we're sitting out here how tryio figure out how to put food on the table. i think it be included in president obama's bill to incentivize people without degrees and make it easier for them to teach with in the community especially in the cities where we are hurting the most. guest: i believe -- i agree with
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the calller. there are many things that congress could do in terms of providing stimulus for the economy. boosting demand for goods and services. she mentioned infrastructure spending. that was part of the of 447 billion obama a jobs bill. there were other stimulus provisions in that bill. i think the only potential problem with infrastructure spending is that it takes all long time to get those types of programs going, so the impact on income growth and spending is not immediate. i agree. there are many things that congress can do. the question is simply coming down to economics triumphing over philosophy.
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host: our last call for james cooper comes from colorado city, colorado. caller: my concern is the center that was on earlier in the statement -- and the statement [inaudible] he went right back on and talking about the stimulus plan that was last year. the president had told him that this is paid for, so why are they fighting this. it is paid for. he keeps telling them this. i am a concern grandmother for the future kids. guest: there is a proposed method to pay for the programs.
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it really is not paid for get, and that is what the ballot -- battle is about. let me just conclude by making the point here that we can argue of -- and argue in a healthy debate about the size and influence of government, but in terms of what is needed in the economy right now, and what is needed for fiscal stability in the future, i think we have to look at both situations. we need stimulus now to boost the economy and boost demand, and we need fiscal stability in the future. like i said, these are not mutually exclusive in the same budget package. host: we have been talking with james cooper, a columnist and contributor to "the fiscal times."
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think you for being with us. -- thank you. host: coming up, a look at top u.s. senate races for 2012, but first a news update from c-span radio. brief lawmakers are scheduled to vote later this week on a new round of austerity measures that international lenders are demanding in exchange for bailout loans. -- greek lawmakers. ferries are idle and trash is piling up on the streets of athens and greek unions are planning a general strike starting wednesday. the situation having an effect on wall street ahead of the bell. dow futures are down 25 points. president obama kicks off a three-day bus tour today.
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first traveling to asheville, n.c., and later speaking at a high school. you could hear him speaking at 10:50 a.m. on c-span radio. hillary clinton speaking earlier insisting she is committed to returning to private life after president obama's first term, saying i think it is time for others to step up. same once more she will not run for president again, the "no, no."laring ay fromhould not shy awa or somehow be afraid of cloud computing. it is part of the advanced development of the computer world. >> the problem we face today is there are no standards to quickly moved from data cloud to data cloud. >> tonight, the future of clout
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computing for the u.s. government with the chairman of homeland security subcommittee on cyber security, and the american bridges report internet members head, john curran. >> because i am a businessman, of incidently it which i am very proud, the opposition have attempted to picture me as an opponent, but i was a liberal before they heard the word. i fought for the reforms of woodrow wilson before another roosevelt adopted and distorted the word liberal. >> a member of the dumber -- democratic party for over 20 years. although he lost the election, he left his mark in political
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history, speaking out for civil- rights he is one of the 14 men featured in the c stands weekly series "the contenders." >> "washington journal" continues. host: jennifer dufty is with the "cook political report." she's here to talk about the top senate races. let's talk about the current balance of power right now, and how you think that may change after the 2012 election. to go after the 2010 election, republicans picked up 10 seats. -- >> after the 2010 election, republicans picked up 10 seats.
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what was really working against democrats are just the numbers. the races are up. democrats have to defend 23 of those seats. they are really playing defense. they are out to protect the majority, and it will be tough. host: we're going to go to a number of the tossup races throughout the second and try to get a feel for what is happening in those particular states, who the players are and what the chances are for a victory on either side. we want to start with the far west. we're cord to look at hawaii, massachusetts, missouri, montana, and nebraska. let's start with hawaii. what is the situation there? guest: hawaii is the newest entrants that we think are too
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close to call. there is one republican that could win. she got in the race last week. we think this is going to be a good race. we think it is going to be a competitive race, despite what a heavily democratic state hawaii is. host: it is not a state that people think about what often, except during winter when they are trying to get out of the northeast. this could be an important race for the democrats and senate. guest: it could be in a porn race. if they could not hold hawaii, that does not bode well for the majority. this is a symbolic race.
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this is the president's home state in many ways. he is very popular still. he is leading the ballot. that makes it harder for republicans, but this is an area the democrats did not plan on having. host: let's go to the next date on the list, massachusetts. we of scott brown, the incumbents. his likely opponent will be elizabeth warner. guest: this is going to be a collection of epic battles, and this is one of them. we have scott brown who was elected in the special election in 2010, but was the leading edge of what became this republican wave. now he has to run in a general election on the ballot that president obama will lead. it is not quite as popular in
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massachusetts as you would think. democrats have come up with a pretty strong opponent in the elizabeth warren, who spent the past two years in washington on financial services reform, but really most of her career as a professor at harvard. i think this will be a battle between the ivy league and state schools. scott brown with his pickup truck vs. cambridge. that is the race republicans would like. democrats are trying very hard to highlight elizabeth warrants upbringing and working-class family in oklahoma. that she has been a working mother. things that will take her out of the ivy halls of harvard and get her going, but she has released birth the imagination of progressives, not just in
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massachusetts but across the country for the way that she talks about a lot of very aggressive ideas. it will be a wonderful race. it will come down to the wire, no question. host: one more thing about that race. that was the seat that was for a long time held by senator kennedy. is this the state looking at we in, and republican now we're ready to give the seat back to democrats. guest: democrats will have to work for this. i do not think scott brown ever thought he was a caretaker for the seat. he has been various -- very bipartisan. there are lots of instances of where he has voted with them, and voters seem to appreciate
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the bipartisan approach, especially given the gridlock they have been watching certainly over the past few months. host: in missouri senator clear casco is up for reelection and is facing some opposition from or jamie -- senator claire mccaskill. guest: misery is a real swing states. it has really started to move more towards republicans. -- missouri is a real swing state. she was elected in a very good year for democrats. i think this is going to be
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another race about where voters go there. and i am not sure you will see a lot of tickets there. she has her work cut out for. she has made it harder and that she had a problem with an airplane she owned it did not pay taxes on for quite awhile. at the end of the day costar for under thousand dollars. that is working in her favor right now, the republican primary. the former state treasurer and newcomer to the race, john brunner, who ran a company that made germ x. republicans seem to be looking for serious candidates to put money into if you have to, but there is something about not
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being part of washington and being a political outsider that seems very appealing to voters this cycle. host: in montana we have john tester, a democrat whose main opposition looks like it will come from danny reapeber. hberg. guest: tester defeated an incumbent that was hobbled in the race by some ethics questions, and he promised to be a different kind of democrat. republicans contend he has been a standard issue democrats, although he does vote against the party when he wants to, when he needs to. montana only has one congressional district.
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it really will be a fight. host: one more state we had on that page, nebraska. senator bennett nelson looks like he has some competition enberg, rom don stanfor currently the state treasurer. guest: he trails the potential republican opponents. it is hard to be a democrat in nebraska. it will be even harder in 2012. republicans have a three-way primary. the attorney general and the treasury, who is actually run for the seat twice before and lost to ben nelson once, and deborah fischer. he is the guy to beat in this primary. he will certainly give nelson
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our race. i'd think it is very telling that democrats have already aired about $600,000 worth of ads on ben nelson's behalf, which is a sign of how much work he needs to do in this race. they are all in. they will fight for this and fight hard. host: so far in the five states we have talked about -- four states rather. on the map we have gotten from the cook political report, those states are all in green indicating that they are tossups. it would it surprise you that any of these incumbents were to lose in 2012? guest: not at all. the one thing we know about tossup races is they do not split between the parties. one party tends to win more.
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you have incumbents in this category where it would not surprise us to see a few of them fall. the: we're talking to senate editor at the political report talking about the senate races. if you like to get involved in the conversation, give us a call. you can also get in touch with us via twitter, email, and facebook. othertake a look at the half of the list regarding tossup races, and that includes nevada, new mexico, va., and wisconsin. these are spread all over the map, and we're going to take a
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look at some of the individual races in just a second, but first we want to go to the phones and take our first call. it comes on the line for independents out of richmond, virginia. caller: i would like to talk about the senate race with george allen. i hear the polls there are very close. i know there is no way george allen should win, and the reason why is there going by usual statistics. but with barack obama being on the ticket, there is no way for george alex to win, because virginia is 18% black. i figured this out. george allen would have to win 55% of the white vote to win.
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that is an impossibility. even reagan did not do that. host: tell us about the race in virginia, which is green, which indicates it is a tossup. guest: right. here you have two candidates, democrats, former head of the democratic national committee, and the likely nominee for republicans is former gov. george allen, a former member of the senate who lost his reelection bid in 2006. the calller has a good point in that this is a presidential year. virginia will be at the very top of democrats target list for the president. he carried it in 2018. i will take issue with the fact that -- will the african-
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american be as tight as it was in 2008? this is a race where every single poll has shown these candidates sadistically tide. i think it will be that way all the way until next november. host: our next call comes from burlington, massachusetts. bob on the line for republicans. years: every couple of when the senate ethics up for reelection, but my specific question is in 2012, what is the breakdown? i think it is something like 20 democrats, only 13 republicans
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or something like that. guest: 23 democrats. 12 -- 23 and 10. caller: 23 democrats and attend republicans? thank you very much. host: are you still with us? are you going to be voting for senator brown or might you be looking at elizabeth warren? caller: senator brown with out a doubt. i'm a solid republican. host: ray on the line for independents. caller: my comment is about the elections themselves, and in the 2010 election we saw a large group of seeds of change, and republicans were brought in. then you have the whole thing about nothing gets done and washington and everyone that is
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heated. and i think the sentiment in the country is that people let people to govern, and they expect things to get done right now, because their problems are immediate, and this does not seem to happen, so all of the other collateral are fine to look at, but people actually really want something done, and i am not sure the people who run actually conveyed that they can and will do something. guest: i think this is true, i think the voter has the point that americans are getting increasingly frustrated with washington's inability to get something done. congress's approval rating is 13 percent signed. more than two-thirds do not think the country is headed in the right direction. i think you do see a lot of
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challenger's right now out there talking about the need to put some of this aside and get something done. i think you will see a lot more -- i have even heard some normally die-hard democrats and republicans talking about that. what they really need to do is get leadership of both parties to understand it is time to put the bottle aside and get something done. host: next call is from bowie, maryland. caller: i am a senior, and i talked to seniors all across the united states, and most of them are born to be voting for obama and democrats, because they are worried about their medicare and social security, and they know democrats will help protect it.
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i do not think it is fair to the democrats because cooks do not recall -- do not hold black people or anybody of color. i think this time the democrats will get back in in be in the majority, and obama will be reelected. host: how you know about who the cook political people talk to in who they do not? caller: someone called in and ask mr. cook on your show last year, and he said they did not hold blacks and hispanic people. guest: i am going to answer that, because we do not hold anybody. we do not do our own polling. we spend a lot of time going through just about every
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national poll taken with any credibility, and that includes pulling just of african- american summit just of hispanics, just of seniors so we can incorporate the data into what we're doing. while he was right we do not all african-americans, you should of added we do not pull anybody. -- do not poll anybody. host: let's talk about the race in nevada. another tossup. guest: i think that is becoming more and more of a swing state. -- nevada is becoming more and more of a swing state. in 2010 it elected republican governor, get elected harry reid to the senate. you have a battle between an appointed senator.
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he has got to run in his own right. his opponent is councilman shelley berkeley. she represents las vegas. again, just another terrific battle that will be close all the way through. they both have a lot to bring to the table. and berkeley's fund raising has been stellar. she works tirelessly on the campaign trail. host: there is an indication he is pulled in 670,000 for a three-month time and i believe in the same amount of time represented a berkeley has raised over $1 million. is there something we should see
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from that? host: she represents las vegas. -- guest: she represents las vegas. we pay a lot of attention to what candidates raise, and how much they spend and on what, but these outside groups that have popped up, people like american crossroads, they are putting so much money into these races that can get it fund raising is becoming secondary. that berkeley has more money does not concern republicans, because there will be and of outside money in the race to make up the difference. host: back to the phones. mississippi. steve. steve, are you there?
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i am sorry, i think that is drawn and panama city, florida. -- john in panama city, florida. caller: i really wished just once there were be an independent candidate for president that could work with both sides of the ideal. we just never have that choice. host: we're talking about senate races. anything you wanted to talk to us regarding the senate race? guest: my second point was to try to give the majority wants. but then have a chance wants to have a true majority, see what they could do. the democrats did when obama first came in, and instead of jobs, it was held care. it should have been jobs. i think he would have been reelected with no problem if he would have just focused on jobs.
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host: how much will jobs play in the senate races? guest: it is huge. it is the one thing that raises to the top of every voter's list of concerns. that is something that you are producing every canada talk about, and for some democrats it will defend what the president has done, but at democrats like john tester voted against the jobs bill last week. there is a senate race in florida that has the potential to get competitive. it is not there now. bill nelson. republicans have a primary. none of the candidates are very well known yet. that does have potential to join the list of tossups states. host: in the list we should just
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a couple of seconds ago, on the list was mexico. we have a democrat who is running, and we could also seek representative, former rep heather wilson who represented the state for about 11 years as a republican getting back into politics and running for the senate. talk to us about the new mexico rates. guest: this is an open seat. senator bingaman is retiring. it is also one of the few open seats for both sides will have competitive primaries. martin heinrich said that is where his face is and is being challenged by hector belvedere valderez. it is going to be a very good
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race. this is a place where president obama did very well in 2008, but his fortunes have released some here, and i think this will be a state they have to make a play for. let's see who comes out of the primary to see whether any party gets a leg up, but gets a bit o. >> right now, it looks pretty close. host: back to the phones. you're on the phone with jennifer duffy of the "cook political report." caller: i have one quick question for miss duffy. the she believe there are any third-party candidates -- and does she believe there are any third-party candidates that could split the vote for either party? guest: it has happened in the past. it is hard to run as a third-
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party candidate without significant financial resources. i have not seen as serious, independent emerge in any race get -- yet, but it is still early. some of them get in the game out of sheer disgust for what they see from other parties. host: our next call bang comes from -- call comes from ohio. you are on the "washington journal." caller: good morning. nice to speak with miss duffy of the "cook report." what are your thoughts on the ohio senate race with mr. brown? also, i want to know your opinion on claire mccaskill's race. i think her term is up this
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year. one comment i have -- i do not think the new mexico race will be as competitive as you think with other wilson. i do not think she will even come out of the primary. there lieutenant governor is a pretty strong fund-raiser. i want to hear your comments on that. caller: -- guest: we will start with ohio. i expect it will be on the list eventually. sherrod brown, elected in 2006, it is going to face probably the -- to me, the likely republican nominee is the state treasurer. he is about 33 or 34 years old, a tireless campaigner, and is absolutely blowing people away with his ability to raise money. he has raised something like -- close to $4 million since he has gotten in this race, which is pretty impressive. i think this is going to be a race a real contrasts --
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ideological contrasts. i think it is going to be one of biography. somebody like sherrod brown, who has been in public service most of his life, josh mandell, at his young age, has done two tours in iraq and has been at the state legislature and was elected treasurer in 2010. this has the makings of a good race. not quite there yet. but it is possible. we talked about missouri a little bit. i do think mccaskill does have the and state won as of the nature -- the state won because of the nature of the state. new mexico -- what seems to come out of both of these primaries -- sanchez has been able to raise some money. one of the things he brings to the table is he can also put some of his own money in, which
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he has done in the past. host: we talked a little bit about the nebraska race. we want to show our audience and had put our of the ben nelson campaign, promoting nelson -- our audience an ad put out by the ben nelson and campaign. >> this is an excuse. >> they do not get it. they put politics ahead of what is best for the country. we need to balance the budget. but not on the backs of senior citizens. bring our troops on with pride and dignity. invest in american jobs and america's future. i am ben nelson. i approved this message because we need to stop playing politics and find common sense solutions. host: this is labeled as an issues ad by the nebraska
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democratic state central committee, but it looks like a straight up vote-for-me ad. guest: doesn't it? that is why it is creating a lot of controversy, at least inside political circles. the ad is being paid for by the state democratic party in nebraska. they got the money to pay for it from the democratic senate campaign committee in washington. the law says that political parties can spend what is called a coordinated amount of money on behalf of their candidate on any given state. it is done by population, so every state is different. what democrats are saying is this is not a campaign ad. this is an issues ad. despite the fact that the candidate is speaking directly to the camera. this has some potentially big implications for campaign finance and away parties spend money.
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if there view holds, it means there is no such thing as limits anymore -- their view holds, it means there's no such thing as limits anymore and it is a free- for-all. this has audit implications in every state and for every party -- has a lot of implications in the every state and for every party. host: our next caller is from highlands. caller: thank you for taking my call. i am commenting on a few calls before, because she was talking about how seniors will vote for obama because we do not want to lose our social security. if we do change social security, it will certainly not be b the notatch. -- not be the current batch. it will be the younger people. the idea of president obama spending $1 billion on his campaign -- to me, that just
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smack some buying any election. he cannot stand on his record. it is abysmal. i am so disappointed in the everything that has been happening to my country. -- in everything that has been happening to my country. i wish politicians would not do everything for their own self aggrandizement. guest: i'm going to agree with your on social security and medicare. it is true that whatever changes -- with her on social security and medicare. it is true that whatever changes will be made will not spend it -- will not impact current and a fisheries. it probably means raising the retirement age -- it is true that whatever changes will be made will not impact current beneficiaries. it probably means raising the retirement age. the average couple that retires
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this year will have put about $100,000 into medicare, but they $300,000.out 300 -- that is not sustainable program. as far as obama getting reelected, we shall see. it will be an interesting race. for: william on our line independents. caller: first of all, and would like to say hi -- i would like to say hi. jennifer, believe this coming election will be a referendum on the sun at -- senate. one of the senators stood on national tv and said that his job is to make sure the president will be a one-term president. i do not think that is the job of senators.
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we send them to washington for the interests of the american people, not to make the president a one-term president. the president is trying his best. he is putting everything on the table. what is the senate doing? what are they doing to help the american people? my question is -- i believe i would give the president a second chance, because everybody deserves a second chance. host: william in johnson city, tennessee, we will leave it there. guest: he referred to a comment made by the republican leader, mitch mcconnell, about what he thought the president's prospects were. he said he would like to see him be a one-term president. of course he believes that. it does speak to how politicized the senate has become. both parties do it. democrats worked very hard to diminish president bush while he was president as much as
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possible. that is part of the issue we are dealing with. the world's greatest deliberative body has got an unbelievably political. it is sort of a constant war of 1 upmanship -- one-upmanship. it is a constant war of getting legislation through. this legislation does not reflect our views. guess what? the best legislation that ever comes out of the senate is one both parties do not like. host: the democrats that are trying to hold onto their seats -- and the republicans were trying to unseat them -- how much of their campaigns will be based around the president? will the democrats be sticking with the president and riding his coattails? or will some of them trying to be separate themselves from the president? guest: it depends where you live.
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it really does. somebody like jon tester will separate himself from the president, who was not all that popular in his area. claire mccaskill, when the president was in missouri last, she had a previous appointment and did not join him on stage. somebody like elizabeth warren is likely to embrace the president. i think that shelley berkley in nevada or bill nelson in florida are probably going to be more likely to stick with him. it really depends on where you live and how the president is doing. host: next up, a caller from new jersey. you are on the "washington journal." go ahead. caller: hello? i m a democrat of -- i am a democrat all of my life. every single time these programs are going on -- i tell you,
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there will be democrats who will have to get off their duffs and get out there and vote. they talk about these been that we need. they talk about the president is not doing enough -- these they use that we need. they talk about president is not doing enough. that is why we are in this situation. in the last partial election, people dropped the ball, sat on their hands, and your behalf of the spot in -- and the republicans brought in. -- got in. host: is there one site that will have an advantage if there is a larger -- side that will have an advantage if there is a larger-than-usual turnout in 2012? guest: we do not know that.
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there were a number of voters who turned out who did not normally. part of his election as making sure those people come out again. he has a little bit of work to do with these groups because of unemployment. you lose your right to complain if you do not vote. host: mike, you are on the "washington journal." caller: good morning. how are you? i have a comment first. my comment deals with the occupiers and occupy wall street. there is a book called "the starfish and a spider," which talks about -- organizations. i think the occupiers are kind of following that path. mike type -- what type of democrats to you believe the occupiers would -- to you
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believe that the occupiers, if they continue to grow momentum -- do you believe that the occupiers, if they continue to grow momentum, could have an impact on congress? guest: the group is lacking in leadership, but it is also lacking a cohesive agenda. i got a press release that they will be occupying a golf course in california later today. they did not say whether they were bringing their own clubs. they are going to play nine. i think they are giving voice to a lot of voters' frustrations. but unless they do get organized and start backing candidates against democratic incumbents in primaries, i do not think their impact is going to be felt in the election at all. and i think that the democratic- elected officials are sort of
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interest by their vocal demonstration, but i do not -- short of anchorage by their vocal demonstration -- sort of encouraged by their local demonstration, but i do not see it having much of an impact. host: jennifer duffy, thank you. another update now from c-span radio. >> a researcher with the national resources defense council says the gulf of mexico seafood is still unsafe for children and pregnant women following the bp oil spill. the findings say that the fda accepts more contamination in seafood them the nrdc deems -- than the nrdc deems safe for the vulnerable populations. meanwhile, bp says it has reached a $4 billion out-of- court settlement with anadarko
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petroleum corp. to settle claims related to the explosion and will spill at the deepwater horizon oil rig that killed 11 people. anadarko also agreed to drop its gross negligence claims against bt and transfer to bp the 25% interest it still holds in the macondo well, the site of the oil spill. canadian company research in motion says it is giving customers some free premium apps and a month of technical support following a major outage of the e-mails last week. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> watch more video of the candidates. see what political reporters are saying. trapped in this campaign contributions. c-span's once the bank for campaign 2012. easy-to-use, it helps you navigate -- c-span's website for campaign 2012. easy-to-use, it helps you navigate and has links to media partners in the early and
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primary -- early-primary caucus states. >> because i am a businessman, of which, incidentally, i am proud, the opposition have attempted to picture me as an opponent of liberalism, but i was a liberal before many of those men heard the word and i fought for the reforms of the -- and theodore roosevelt and woodrow wilson before another roosevelt adopted and distorted the word "liberal." >> he was a member of the democratic party for over 20 years, switching in 1940. wendell willkie sought and won the rubber denomination. although he lost the election, he made his mark on history . wendell willkie is one of the 14 men featured in c-span's new
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weekly series, "the contenders." live from indiana, friday at 8:00 p.m. eastern. >> "washington journal" continues. host: every monday morning at this time, we have a segment on the "washington journal" called "your money." it is a chance for you to find out and not only about what selected federal programs cost -- find out not only about what federal program's cost, but what they do. joining us is ben geman, an energy reporter with "the hill" newspaper. give us a history of the energy department granting loans for energy projects. guest: there had been controversy over the loans to solyndra. the loan guarantee program has interesting origins. it was contained in a 2005 piece
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of energy legislation signed into law by president bush, passed under republican control, in fact. what is authorized the energy department to do was to provide guaranteed the loans for a range of clean-energy technologies. the idea would be that they would reduce or avoid emissions of greenhouse gases. that is a less-discussed aspect of the program now. that was one of the original ideas. it is also aimed at technologies that companies are going to have a difficult time getting funding for on their own because of wall street skittishness. the program was initialized in that 2005 bill. fast forward a couple of years to the stimulus legislation when the current administration took office. the program was expanded or at least amended a little bit through the stimulus program to provide a much more short-term distribution of these loan
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guarantees, specifically for renewal energy and transmission technology. they also opened it up a little bit. it did not necessarily have to be first-of-its-kind projects. they needed guarantees they would be out the door by the end of september of 2011. what these loan guarantees are -- it is not a direct check. if there is a lender -- company that wants to do a certain type of project, be it a power- generation project or solar- panel manufacturing project -- whether they have gotten money from a private lender or, as has been the case are many of these projects, they have gotten their loan from the federal department -- if the company goes belly up, the taxpayers on the hook. this will provide a federal shovel or nudge to help -- shove
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or nudge to help companies that would not find it easy to get money in the private market. several of the stimulus programs around energy because the economy was so sour. host: we have put these programs into three categories. we want to show our viewers those three categories, totaling $35.9 billion. we got these numbers from the energy department. the first is 17 03 loans for -- 1703 loans for $10.6 billion. 1705 loans come in at $16.2 billion. the last is atvm loans at $9.1 billion. 1703 -- projects must be located in the u.s. projects must avoid, reduce, or
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sequestered air pollutants or man-made emissions. they must meet the davis-bacon requirements. tell us more about this. guest: that was greeted in the original legislation in 2005 -- created in the original legislation in 2005. none of those loans have been finalized. there have been several conditional commitment. they are still going through the final stages. that can be for a broader sweep the technologies -- suite of technologies. 1703 loans -- the biggest commitment was announced by president obama in 2010. it is an $8.3 billion loan to a very large utility. that is to build two new nuclear reactors at an existing nuclear reactor in georgia. that has not been finalized yet. that is part of this effort to
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help spur nuclear renaissance, if you will. i am not sure how far that renaissance is going to get. your idea -- the idea is that there has not been a new nuclear reactor built in years. they are very expensive technologies. host: this mentions reactors in georgia. our first call for ben geman comes from georgia, on our line for republicans. caller: thank you. related to the solyndra loan, since they are going bankrupt and all of their debts are settled after the bankruptcy and all this, does the government still guarantee them a loan? guest: the loan was already
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provided. this was the first one that was never announced to actually move forward enemies -- under this loan-guarantee program. there has been quite a bit of criticism. there are questions and allegations about whether or not the administration did not investigate properly. that loan has already been provided to solyndra by the federal financing bank. now that the company has filed for bankruptcy, the short answer is the taxpayer is still on the book. they will be dependent -- on the hook. it will be dependent on the bankruptcy proceedings. host: this is the section 1705 loans. this talks about a temporary program created by stimulus.
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tell us about these 1705 loans. are there any projects that are in construction right now? guest: the approved a flurry of these at the tail end of the program -- they approved a flurry of these at the tail end of the program. approximately $4.5 billion or $4.7 billion. the program has become the most controversial, the program that solyndra was provided financing under. it was eventually put into the 1705 pot of availability. what happened in the stimulus bill that did not happen with 1703 was that the federal government paid what is called the credit-subsidy costs. what that basically means is,
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like with any sort of venture capital, because a certain number -- you do not want to see any of these companies fail. there is perhaps an expectation that because they are funding technologies that are newer and riskier, some level of failure may be baked into the program. consequently, what the credit- subsidy costs, it is put into an insurance pool, if you will. if there is a failure of one of these companies, there is some money that can account for that. the stimulus provided $6 billion in credit-subsidy costs. that was bitten into a little bit by congress. they took some of it out for the cash for clunkers program a couple of years back. i think they have also used some of the money for other reasons. that is the 1705 program. a lot of those projects have been sold at power-generation projects, but -- solar-powered generation projects. solyndra was the minority in the
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sense that it was a manufacturing project. you have more power-generation projects. i went through some of the jobs from will -- jobs, both anticipated and projected. there are higher number of jobs in the power-generation projects. last let's go to the category, advanced technology vehicle loans, project dealing with making vehicles more environmentally safe. these are direct loans or advanced-technology vehicles, to be used for real equipment, expanding, or establishing u.s. facilities -- re-to clean -- re- equipping, expanding, or establishing u.s. facilities. >> those are -- guest: those are
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direct loans to auto companies. those were authorized in a 2007 bill. i think the biggest of them thus far has gone to ford. i think it was on the order of roughly $6 billion. nissan has been provided one, as well as some smaller auto companies as well. host: we're talking about your money with ben geman, an energy reporter for "the hill." if you want to get involved in the conversation, call -- falls church, va., john, you are on the "washington journal." go ahead. caller: good morning. how are you? thank you for taking my call. i have a question that is not so much energy-related as the
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government-backed loans. i run a small business. i was talking to a customer of mine the other day. he was on his way to the middle east, specifically egypt. they were making a couple of stops in another country. he works for the government. he said he was on his way over there to work -- the government was on their way over there to work with small and medium- businesses about providing the u.s. government-backed loans. as a business owner, i am scrambling, trying to get funds from anywhere -- the bank, it does not matter -- the small business administration -- to keep my business going. it really caught me off-guard when he said that i do not know if this is really directed at your guest -- when he said that.
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i do not know if this is really directed at your guest. maybe you could look at u.s.- government-backed loans to small businesses. host: we will leave it there. we want to add this e-mail. "is a working infrastructure required before loan is reproved -- before a loan is approved, or would a project plan be sufficient?" guest: with solyndra, for example, that was an existing company that was using a loan guarantee to finance an expansion to build a new factory. with some of these other types of projects, what the energy department is looking for is to make sure they have a sort of viable model. these things go through months and months, if not longer, of reviews and vetting. other agencies involved, as well. there has been a fascinating push and pull.
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for the first years of this loan guarantee program, as created under the 2005 law, the big criticism from capitol hill was that this was moving way too slowly. no guarantees were issued -- solyndra was the first one in 2009. now folks are saying, wait a minute, is there an inappropriate vetting process? that is one of the central issues, particularly with the stimulus. it passed quickly, given the economic problems. they need to make sure these things are vetted to the extent they can be. host: our next call comes from michigan, our line for independents. caller: good morning, gentlemen. c-span from british on earth -- c-span, greatest show on earth. c-span, this solyndra thing stinks to high heaven to me.
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no government ever backed my business. i never asked for any loans. i never contributed to a campaign. and this is why in that stinks to high heaven -- why that stinks to high heaven. the ceo's probably made off with millions of dollars. now the taxpayers are on the hook for it. we live today in a situation where is robin hood in reverse. the rich -- i mean large companies and the government -- the rich borrow from the poor and the rich -- host: sorry, we have lost you. ben geman. guest: he mentioned he did not have a federally-backed loan. it is one of the questions and provide by solyndra.
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what is the appropriate role for the government? should be in the business of trying to a dance these energy- technology companies -- to advance these energy-technology companies? one of the comments you have been hearing recently from republicans, even though this was passed under republicans, with the republican president, you have heard criticism that, perhaps the federal government should not be picking "winners and losers." to the flip side of that is the idea that there really should be a federal government push to bolster technologies that have a broader good. there is a real thought that one of the good reasons to have the federal government behind clean or green energy is because -- one of the reasons the financing is needed is because some of the cost.
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some of the benefits -- reduce greenhouse gas emissions -- the idea is that the benefits of these technologies are not going to be based into the business model. conversely, there is the idea that the costs of other types of technologies, fossil fuel energy, coal, -- they are no going bang by those companies -- they are not borne by these companies either. you want to reduce planetary consequences. host: ben geman is a reporter for "the hill." he also blogs for an energy and environment blog. you are on the "washington journal." caller: good morning. i have been reading this story
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regarding renewable energies and their ties to the of ministration -- ties to the obama administration. my question is, how much of this discussion is really about a clash between the billionaire titans of energy, oil, and gas, versus the renewable clean- energy billionaires? can you answer that for me? guest: if it was a straight-up clash, the oil companies would win handily. there's a question about to what extent should the government be in the business of trying to equal the odds a little bit in that clash, i suppose. certainly with solyndra and these other companies, there is a real thought that, as opposed to oil and coal, which are very mature and long-standing technologies, one of the big issues around clean-energy
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finance -- and this is not true with just the -- energy -- -- guarantee program. there is an attempt to bridge what is called the value of death. once you have a program that looks more reliable, getting it into commercialization and into the marketplace -- that is where this big gap exists. it becomes much more important. at different energy mense, one phrase i have heard commonly is that everybody wants to be the first person to finance the fifth plan for the tens plant -- tend to -- 10th plant. they did a panel discussion recently. he made a couple that even though we do not have the popular image of wall street as cowboys -- he actually said that
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when it comes to clean-energy finance, wall street tends to be more conservative. he used the phrase that they tend to be more like lemmings. not only in the london -- loan- guarantees. this is a way to value that that. host: good morning. caller: crosses for taking my call. we have lost a lot of jobs -- thank you for taking my call. we have lost a lot of jobs in the kentucky. i was wondering what your opinion was on -- the state legislature and mitch mcconnell have always promoted fossil fuels. host: i've been we're moving off the rails on that one. we're going to sam calling from spartanburg, south carolina.
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>caller: please do not cut me off. i think i have a couple of good questions but i wanted to clarify. the guy from "the hill" there. host: ben geman. caller: first of all, about solyndra, i went to all of the house hearings last week and i questioned -- i think it was the department of treasury. they were questioning them. a lot of good things come now. -- out. correct me if i'm wrong, but i cannot remember the word, solyndra wanted to restructure the loan. but the corporate heads ahead of the taxpayer, which was supposedly -- they put the corporate heads ahead of the
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taxpayer. the epa did something illegal there, they claimed. i do not know how they structure all this stuff. i do not know all of the fine print like you would. the other company -- another big point of my min -- of mine is this, people, as informed as she thinks she might be, the news agencies in this country -- i'm talking about tv -- they don not cover this stuff. how could you not be covering the solyndra scandal, the fast and furious scandal? all of the channels owned by
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disney, if you will -- host: sam, we are going to leave it there. ben geman. guest: 1 aspect of the solyndra -- one aspect of the solyndra loan is that their technology was based on competing technology. when the company was floundering or worse, in early this year, the energy department restructured its loan guarantee. what happened was, in order to get an infusion of tax from the company, some private investors agreed to kick in an additional $75 million. one of the conditions of that restructuring is that, if the company were to be liquidated, these private investors would have the first dibs on repayment come to the extent
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that any repayment is available. they would, head of line -- they would come in ahead of line of the taxpayers. the energy department maintains that this is not illegal, because they are given a broader ability to do this. i cannot remember the exact term from the legislation. that has been one of the central collusions here. the energy department says it acted within the scope of the law for the purpose of restructuring. the treasure department witnesses at this most recent -- and no one was there from the treasury department, which led to charges of unfairness. there has been some information revealed that treasury officials
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had concerns that maybe the restructuring was not within the balance of the law. they also suggested that the energy department's should have consulted the department of justice. the energy department did not consult the department of justice. this would all half muster -- this was all have mustered -- half muster. host: how far up the ladder do these approvals for these energy-department loans have to go? does the secretary sign off on them? guest: energy secretary chu and was very involved with the solyndra loan. when he came into office -- and into secretary -- energy secretary chu was very involved
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with the solyndra loan. they tried to speed up the program. they say this is normal procedure. the secretary signed off on both of these solyndra loans. he also signed off on the early- 2011 restructuring of the loan. host: we have but wheat from joseph ramirez -- a tweet from joseph ramirez. the phones. patricia, on our line for democrats, with ben geman of "the hill." patricia? let's move on to kenneth. you are n the -- on the
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"washington journal." caller: i do not understand how we can keep throwing money away when we are broke. we have people in the country who are starving to death. we have old ladies on social security, $500 per month, and it cannot get no help -- they cannot get no help from nobody, but we can give all these people moneya nd we -- money and we can't help our own people? host: how is it determined how the money is going to be spent? we had calls from what sounded like small business people. would they qualify for these loan programs, or are they just huge projects? guest: one is that it costs a lot of money to shepherd the
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process through. a lot of these companies are raising sources of other investment. i cannot pretend to be an expert on the smallest program granted through the long guarantee -- granted a loan-guarantee. they're not mom-and-pop operations. as far as the smallest company or smallest loan-guarantee available -- i'm not sure. i would have to double check. host: next up is dave on airline for independents -- our line for independents. caller: thank you for taking my
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call. i had a business that worked on energy. it took your alternating current in your home and kept it in your home and did not let it go past your meter. your meter only spends one wing -- spins one way. being a small business, i could not get any help from the garment, even though this was considered a green energy, renault -- could not get any help from the government, even though this was considered clean energy. they did not like the idea of people being able to keep the money in their house. all i got from the government was a bunch of regulations about being an electrician. of course, i have been an air conditioning contractor for years. all i got was a bunch of regulations and a bunch of stuff i was supposed to do. yet nobody would help me out because i was taking from all larger company that actually
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could give money to congressmen and stuff like that. it just kind of buried me. host: ben geman. guest: i cannot pretend to be aware of the particulars of the gentleman's case. it sounds like his frustrations were -- i am not sure whether there is an example of the loan program being applicable to some of the smaller-scale energy projects or not. host: we have another tweet. does the energy-department loan program provide money for projects like high-speed rail? caller: the program -- guest: the program we're talking about today does not. this is for clean energy. in another bill, there was funding for high-speed rail. there is not a nexus with this program.
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does this program compare -- host: does this compare with any programs that other governments provide funds to other foreign entities, and foreign energy companies? is there a parallel? guest: the export-import bank is also a loan entity that provides for projects. it is interesting. at the energy department -- as the energy department has come under attack during the process, part of their defense has been to say, look, we've added these loans. we looked at the viability. we look at the necessary restructuring. they are not necessarily making it up on the fly. host: next up is julia calling from palm beach, florida, on our line for democrats. caller: i am calling about the energy loan for the company that went out of business to the
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republicans were having a big payday about it -- went out of business. the republicans were having a big paydaheyday about it. this happened years ago back in 2009, won a lot of jobs were allocated -- when a lot of jobs were allocated to help the country itself. those are congressmen sitting up there and denying everything that comes through from obama. there is money that comes to them from the government itself. why are they talking about little government? i am a taxpayer and i am paying taxes through the nose. they got me paying taxes on money that was already taxed before i spend it. i am against all of this republican stuff. host: we are going to leave it there. the loan programs, the back of
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it goes into a particular company and program, it does not necessarily make that company part of the government, does it? guest: no, it doesn't. it is federal financing, but these are private companies. nots not an qassam,-- it is uncle sam, inc. to the caller's question -- she is getting to the heart of the controversy. should the federal government -- the allocation is that the federal government is somehow picking "winners or losers" when it decides which companies or which broad suite of technologies or power sources are corporate to be funded. republicans have been fairly unified in their criticism of the administration over solyndra and the handling of that guarantee.
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there is a breakdown politically in the sense that you have some republicans saying this is not some uncle sam should be doing it all. even though, as an aside, as the white house and others have pointed out, a lot of republicans have sought these loans for their districts. some republicans, such as senator lisa murkowski, the top republican on the senate energy committee -- her view is we do need to look at what happened with solyndra. she is concerned about subordination. she says, let's make sure they are running effectively and correct the problems that we saw with solyndra. you have two competing views. host: what is the interest rate on these loans? how long do the companies have to pay them back?
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guest: i do not know what the typical interest rate is. as far as the farperiod -- as the payback period, it is often times longer than you would see on the private market. it enables a type of financing that, for some of these emerging technologies, it is sort of difficult to get. the exact amount, i am not sure. host: do they have to put up any collateral? guest: there is a credit subsidy cost that they would have to put up under the 1703 program. as far as 1705, that was where the government was paying the credit-subsidy costs to get these out of the door. one of the criticisms is that the companies will have "less skinin the game -- "sless in the game." host: back to the phones.
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dave calling from michigan. go ahead. caller: quite a few years back, we had a vision and fusion, the government spewing gazillions of dollars into this very tell called fusion -- an unending nuclear reaction which creates energy forever -- foreer. i suppose it has died out. we talk about green energy, a mythi in my mind. i don't understand trying to end fossil fuel energy, which is a bird in the hands. we're always going after the two in the bush.
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i applied for a loan to put energy-efficient windows into my home. when the appraiser appraised my home, he insisted that it down all of my religious articles, my crucifixes, as a result of the dog-franc act, which poured -- dodd-frank act, which demands that i take down my religioiuus symbols. host: ben geman? guest: i cannot address the second part about the religious symbols. one of the questions as how quickly the united states cantors and it -- can transition to using less fossil fuel. i do not think you'll find anybody who says that we will stop using oil tomorrow or even 10 years from now. the question is how quickly can we sort of reduce our reliance
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on these fuels. some of the renewable power- generation efforts, the manufacturing you are seeing, it is enough for it to move away from coal. that is the dominant source of our power. some of these five tools -- biofuels -- host: we got this tweet from redacted no longer. ben geman, your thoughts? guest: does it say that the government should not be mauldin the any of these things? even though solyndra has put the microscope on these federal levels of assistance to different types of brain
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technologies, one thing that is happening in parallel with that -- of green technologies, one thing that is happening in parallel with that, you are seeing an effort by democrats to sort of keep pushing this idea that the super-committee should also repeal the subsidy of tax breaks and subsidies for the oil and gas industry. that has been the teller of the obama administration's plan. -- tiller of the obama administration's plan. the idea is that it would make it costlier to do the projects. host: we talked about other programs that have similar loan guarantees. you talked about the usda and some american-government programs. are there similar programs that foreign governments provide to their companies that make them a little bit more competitive than, say, our companies here in
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the united states? guest: oh, yeah. one of the big issues is that china is pouring astonishing amounts of money into their green-energy businesses. the amount is almost unimaginable here. there are folks who want to see the u.s. be very active players in green energy. you're seeing a decreasing in these programs in the u.s. this is at a time when other countries, notably china, are pouring a lot of money into them. there is a group led by bill gates and some other folks in the private sector, who are really swimming upstream a little bit. they recently came out with a report that made the point that the u.s. government investment in green energy is actually much smaller than the investment than the u.s. the federal investment in i.t. or health-related
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technologies. one big question going forward is, to what extent is the controversy around solyndra going to make it all that much more difficult to sort of win funding for these federal green energy programs, appropriation bills and other legislation. host: ben geman is an energy reporter with "the hill." thank you very much for being on the "washington journal." thank you to all of those who participated in today's program. see you tomorrow morning on "washington journal" at 7:00 a.m. eastern. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] ♪
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>> in just under one hour, we will have remarks from president obama at the first stop of his three-day bus tour of north carolina and virginia and he will speak about jobs and the economy at a high school in asheville, north carolina. that will be live starting at 10:50 eastern on c-span. at 4:00, former senator john sununu text listening for examining the influence of congress on foreign policy. that is taking place of the woodrow wilson international center in washington. we will bring that to you live starting a 4:00 p.m. eastern. while we wait to give the president this morning, will bring a discussion on jobs from today's "washington journal."


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