tv Washington Journal CSPAN October 22, 2011 7:00am-10:00am EDT
>> as promised, the rest of our troops in iraq will come home by the end of the year. after nearly nine years, of america's war in iraq, it will be over. over the next two months, our troops in iraq, tens of thousands of them, will pack up their gear and board convoys for the journey home. host: the president's announcement is the lead story in just about every newspaper in the country this morning. it will be our topic for the first 45 minutes. today is saturday, october 22. for the first 45 minutes, we want to find out what you think about what the president had to say yesterday about u.s. troops
obama says troops out of iraq by december 31. announcement marks the close of one of the longest and divisive awards in the country's history. the war in iraq by the numbers. 4482, the u.s. military deaths in iraq since then. $700 billion, excluding the human toll, the cost of the military operation in iraq, according to the defense department. 170,000, the height of the u.s. involvement, the number of u.s. troops serving in iraq. 39,000, the number of u.s. troops remaining in iraq today. 160, the number of troops that would remain after december 31. to help us get some more perspective on this story, we
bring in by telephone, and james kitfield. welcome to the "washington journal." give us a little bit of perspective on this. talk as to how the president to got to where he made the announcement yesterday. guest: this is a case of political ambivalence on both sides. president obama ran for election on the idea that he opposed the iraq war. he thought it was a mistake from the very beginning. he has a lot of company on that opinion. he came to office convinced that we need to get out of iraq. on the iraqi side, there was an understanding that they needed continued american help, but it was very unpopular politically.
it is one of the countries in the middle east where elections matter. it is very hard for iraqi politicians to run for election and say, i am for the continued presence of american troops in my soil. we have political ambivalence on both sides. it led to, i think, -- it was a premature withdrawal of american troops. the training wheels are off and i think a little prematurely. host: president obama is following up on the status of forces agreement, which was signed back in october 2008. correct? guest: president bush signed that, the idea being that iraq would be able to stand on its own 2 feet. the assumption was there would be some follow along that would
follow that. it was important to say that this war was not going to last forever. host: there was some discussion among leaders here and the leadership in iraq about whether or not to leave a certain number of troops in iraq. tell us about that. guest: the american military commander thought he needed a residual force of around 15,000 troops. that would be a force that could continue to train and equip the iraqi security forces. the security forces have a lot of capability, and i have seen them in action. but they are lacking some key things, such as air power.
such as surveillance reconnaissance, intelligence, drones. the american military position was a residual force of around 14,000, a 15,000 would be prudent to. with the obama administration came down to, again, was about 3000 or 4000. to protect our embassy over there as well. that was the starting point of discussions. and then the iraqis basically could not come to a political agreement or any iraqi politicians was willing to stand up and say, let's have this residual american force. he was looking for some political support that he did not get to make that proclamation.
then they threw in this poison pill of, we will not give the american forces community from a rocky lot -- community -- immunity from iraqi law. that was the poison pill. host: on the front page of the baltimore sun, they have a list of numbers that includes 160 -- the number of troops that would remain in iraq after december 31. what are they going to be doing? guest: i imagine the 160 will probably be assigned to the embassy. they will probably be assigned to the iraqi air force. be some people who have to do the normal, sort of paperwork, basically.
160 is administrative. you did not do a whole lot. it is basically nothing. they will be doing some sort of administrative paperwork, acknowledgment of the fact that we have a huge embassy there. there will be a lot of u.s. contractors to try to take up some of the slack for security, as well as training. you can consider that 1600. zero. host: thank you very much for being here this morning. one of the headlines -- all u.s. troops to leave iraq by the end of the year.
obama decision draws gop rebuke. withdrawal could pose security issue for baghdad. scott wilson writes in a friday morning video conference, president obama and the iraqi prime minister agree to a complete military departure that will fulfill a promise important to obama's reelection efforts. let's go to the telephones. milwaukee, wisconsin, robert. caller: good morning. all prizes to president obama and to nato -- praises to president obama and to nato. he kept his promise.
as far as the republicans are concerned, there is nothing that president obama can do that was satisfied the republicans. the republicans are just totally anti-obama. everything he does, they despise. he wanted -- they want him out of there because he is a black person. maybe herman cain can do better. host: let's go to washington, d.c. caller: i am calling for -- i am calling from florida. southwest florida, fort myers. down here, at least the was in
my party discussions, think it is a great idea that obama is pulling out of iraq. it is a long time coming. it is one thing that he consistently underestimates the size of -- tot: let's move on massachusetts. caller: i would like to talk about the iraqi situation. i am very happy. it is obvious to the american people who watch public television and sit the moment of silence every nine to with our millet -- every night to our military people dying. it is interesting to note if anybody enlisted in the service prior to 10 years ago, they have never known peace. that is all i have.
our line for republicans. caller: i want to give credit where it is due. even though i think there has been a minor bit of progress here in foreign-policy by obama, i am a supporter of mitt romney. i think the economy is something that we will need to focus on a lot more. i believe mitt romney is the person you'll be able to come through. i was disappointed that the president took a cheap shot yesterday. i was disappointed that the mitt romney took a cheap shot at the president. i hope everyone can step ahead and take a few lessons from ronald reagan. host: let me get to your response to this. this is in "the new york times
this morning. in the article, he writes mitt romney scorned mr. obama for putting the sacrifices of american troops at risk and question whether the president had been motivated by naked political calculation or sheer ineptitude in negotiations with the iraqi government. how far do think that will play with republicans as far as helping mitt romney denomination? caller: as i just mentioned, i thought both obama and mitch romney took a cheap shots at each other. let me mention one other thing. we have an enormous embassy there where we can put in our
air force, nuclear bombs, and of major control over iraq. even though there is a big pullout coming up here and there is a lot of discrepancies that we will be talking about for the next 12.5 months, i think the cheap shots they took at each other -- by the way, i do support mitt romney over everyone else. but i would like to see newt gingrich remain in the debate. i would like to see rick santorum drop off. i think newt gingrich's is pushing mitt romney's responsiveness and is helping him become a much stronger candidate. i seen mitt romney ground every day. host: we will have to leave it
there. your thoughts about the president's statement yesterday? caller: i think it is a good idea. i am glad we're pulling out of there. it is about time. my only concern is that these guys are coming back to a country with high unemployment. where are they going to find a job? my suggestion is president obama puts them on the southwestern border in hopes of border control. host: the president and his announcement yesterday talked about how he sees the u.s. and iraq relating to each other going forward. >> this will be a strong and enduring partnership. with our diplomatic and civilian advisers and the lead, it will help the rockies strength and institutions that are just come out -- iraqis strengthen
institutions. we will partner with in iraq that stands for regional security and peace. host: our next call comes from lake geneva, wisconsin. caller: my name is mark. i am from wisconsin. i work 40 hours a week, make $8 an hour. and i am happy. as long as i have security, and i know that i can eat, i am happy. i do not feel like i should have to go on government assistance. unfortunately, i have to take it because it is the only way i can afford to eat. i think it is kind of pointless
of working a 40 hour week job. host: what does this have to do with the president's announcement yesterday? caller: i think the president -- what was the announcement? host: let's move on to california online for democrats. caller: am i on? host: go ahead. caller: i am hundred% -- i am 100% for bringing our troops home. the guy that called earlier is exactly right. it does not matter what obama does. the republicans are against anything he tries. it is really pathetic that this country needs so much help. host: this is a press release
that comes from -- today, president obama fulfill the promise he made to the american people in 2008. he made it possible for the war -- to bring these troops home. we want to show you part of a response that came from some republican candidates. this is in the washington post. rick perry said he was deeply
concerned that obama had pledged political expediency ahead of sound military security judgment. michele bachmann cited it as another example of the president's foreign-policy weakness. jon huntsman called it a mistake. kansas city, kan., our line for republicans. caller: good morning. good morning. thank you for taking my call. i have a couple of comments and a custom. first comment, i thank them so much for their service. what are we going to do now that 39,000 troops we are bringing home?
maybe we can use some of them to seal the southern border. put him on the ground. host: what about the thought that maybe some of these troops will be reassigned to the mission in afghanistan? what about the thought by some that some of these troops will be reassigned to afghanistan in order to wrap that situation up? caller: i do not agree with that idea, sir. let's bring them home. to their families. have them help secure our borders. we can use them for homeland security. host: let's move on to ohio on our line for the democrats.
in afghanistan. i feel like we are in the red zone. i think the complete mission over there, we're pulling out too early. i did what not -- i did not want my brothers to keep going back, but it has been a hard fight. we are real close. i think iraq, whether you like it or not, i was on the invasion of the there. it is probably a lot more westernized than afghanistan. afghanistan is back in the dark century. there was a shot of establishing a good democracy. i think it was one of the reasons for some of the protests of the there for everybody.
host: you do not think with the situation the way it is now that people who are running iraq can establish a democracy? caller: i think they can, but they are lacking some vital tools to keep it altogether. i do not want to -- i think we were keeping it together and giving bad government support, plus the -- giving that government support, plus the training and air forces. host: when was your last two or in iraq? -- tour in iraq? >> i left afghanistan in 2009. there are a lot of political
views on both sides. but iraq is the best shot as far as establishing some type of stability in that region. it is right up against iran. we're right there and we can see it. i notice political on both sides and i am not blaming the president. i think he did want to stay in very little bit longer. he is taking the advice on some very smart officers. host: we have this tweet. next up is pennsylvania. caller: good morning. i think a lot of people should know that the war in iraq is being transferred from the
department of defense to the state department. even though they are withdrawing troops, been replaced by private security. the cost is going up. the state department will be spending more money in iraq and the department of defense. i think this is a phony move to help him get reelected. thank you. host: the lead editorial in this morning's wall street journal -- "leaving iraq behind." the u.s. will continue to discuss how we might help iraq train and equip its forces.
this is no substitute for a more robust long-term presence. detroit, mich., on our line for democrats. caller: he is bringing the troops home, i am so happy because war is very expensive. probably that would help to boost the economy. court is so expensive. host: how do you see id helping the economy in detroit? caller: i think it would help boost it. it is awful. i am thinking it will help because i of always been told
that war does not help, it hurts. caller: i am from florida. we have done the best we could in iraq. the only way is down. we have done the best and we need to get out of there. do what the president wants. host: ohio, go ahead. caller: this is going to be great for our economy because it frees up some money. i do not think president obama does could make any republican happy.
they stated that clearly at the end of the first debate. it was not supporting the people that elected them. the only thing that matters to republicans is defeating obama. host: in the baltimore sun this morning, this story regarding the capture and killing of muammar gaddafi. libyans ask about gaddafi's qaeda way -- hideaway.
on the topic of muammar gaddafi, the president talked about that in his radio address this week and reiterated his announcement of the troop withdrawal from iraq. the president said it is now the time to start focusing on nation-building here in the united states. >> in iraq, we have succeeded to end the war. than already removed more 100,000 troops. iraqi forces have taken full responsibility to the security of their own country. thanks to the extraordinary
sacrifices of our men and women in uniform, the iraqi people have the support -- have the chance to forge their own future. the rest of our troops to be home for the holidays. in libya, our brave troops help to prevent a massacre, save countless lives, and give the libyan people the chance to prevail. we achieved our objectives. as the end these wars, we are focusing on our biggest challenge as a nation. rebuilding our economy and renewing our strength at home. west virginia on airlines for republicans. caller: i think we need to realize that not one person can do everything to please everyone. president obama was working with the republicans at the beginning of this administration when they
said they needed more troops. they got more troops. he also made a promise to the people of the united states that we would not be staying there indefinitely. i think what he is doing is very fair. i think the republicans should take a little bit of note and work more with him so that both sides receive fair treatment, whether it is economic. as the country, we need to stand together. if you are going to blame someone for anything, blame them for not doing anything or not trying to do anything. host: did you vote for the president and the 2008 election? caller: i did. host: will you vote for him again in 2012? caller: if i did not see the republicans taking a better stand, i probably will. it is not --
host: a better stand in foreign policy? , " as far as working together with the president. he is our president. i am concerned about who is the president right now. he deserves our support. i do not agree with everything that he does, but he deserves our support. the republicans need to learn to work with them. host: we will leave it there. in the miami herald this morning, a story about marco rubio and the controversy that has erupted over dissenters -- whether or not the senator has exploited his family's immigration story.
to allow 40ng back or 50,000, who knows the exact number? at the end of the year, they make $200,000. it allows us as taxpayers to find them -- fund them. instead of bringing them back over here so they can be abused the same way i was when i returned from vietnam in 1966. host: are line for democrats, calling from indiana this morning. caller: i am really glad that the troops will be coming home at the end of the year. president obama promised got
during his campaign and is kept that promise. i do not see anything disingenuous about it. he has kept the promise, and i think there is no more we can do for those people there. we have given them our best. it is up to them whether their country works for does not work. host: this is the lead editorial in this morning's new york daily news.
back to the phones, miami, florida. caller: good morning. host: what are your thoughts about the president's announcement yesterday? caller: is a great announcement, but we will actually have trainers. host: what is wrong with that? caller: there is nothing wrong with that. we have troops in japan 56 years later. what we need to do is go ahead and make everything -- and do one thing. our troops out. we have to get out of
afghanistan, pakistan, somalia. we have to get out of all these other countries. we need to get those troops home, save our money. then we have an opportunity to reinvest in america. we have a chance to make a better america. announcement is a bittersweet milestone anymore that as consternation dearly love repeatedly reminding us of the courage, a sacrifice, and selflessness of our nation's men and women in uniform.
forest policy. -- foreign policy. it is time to get out of that country. when there democracy has issued about our troops will not have immunity, it is time to get out. i was against the war from the very beginning. it was a misguided war. this president has handled it very well. i am very proud of the obama administration. i am proud -- host: let's begin your response from this tweet -- lets me get this response from the street. caller: it is ridiculous. we should have been out a long
time ago. when we went in, and just take care of it. they used too little troops. to me, it was never meant to be won in a war setting. if it had, we would have taken care of it and the beginning. i think what he says is ridiculous. host: let's move onto new york. caller: in the beginning, we should not have been there in the first place. we got in there, we did not have enough troops. we just wasted art u.s. dollars before the iraq people. the republicans do not want to
pay attention that america needs that money home. we need jobs in america. that is what we need. we need to bring that money home so that we can be a prosperous country. we need to get out of the people's country. host: this e-mail sense, i am very happy to hear there will be a full troop withdrawal. this is a good time to reflect not only on the cost of the war, but on what we got out of this war. also, a tweet from delaware.
next up is lawrence on airline from democrats calling from virginia. caller: i am a military veteran, at this time that we get out. we cannot impose our will on people. freedom must be earned and not forced upon each other. unless you are deployed, you do not understand what that means to sacrifice. they must do it for themselves. it took us over 200 years and we still did not get it right. host: we want to remind our viewers and listeners that later on this evening, he will be able to watch the ioa faith and freedom -- iowa face and freedom coalition. it will be live on c-span radio as well.
among some of the speakers, they include candidates herman cain, michele bachmann, rick perry, newt gingrich, ron paul, and rick santorum. that is thefaith and freedom gathering. you'll be able to see that live this evening on c-span. our last call comes from jim in vancouver. caller: thank you for c-span. i would like to make a few comments. i was in iraq in 2006 and 2007. what i saw was all the contractors there. there is an extremely high unemployment rate there. host: what is it that the iraqis could be doing that the
contractors are taking away from them? caller: everything. after we bought their cities, they would try to rebuild them -- bombed their cities, and they would try to rebuild them. about the only job was security officers working in neighborhoods. we are paying them $300 a month to do that. these are the same people that are shooting at us. i think that we need to take a big look at our overall policy towards that entire region. they simply just want to be left alone. host: we will leave it there. coming up in 45 minutes, credit- card and debit counseling programs. make sure you have some paper and something to write with it.
an update on the deficit reduction committee. that is coming up after this break. you are watching "washington journal." we will be right back. ♪ >> this weekend, a republican candidate travel to the iowa faith and freedom forum. starting at 7:00 today. every weekend, on american history tv, the people and events that document the
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>> "washington journal" continues. host: our next guest is here to talk to us about the deficit- reduction committee. they have a november 23 deadline. are they going to make it? guest: they better. john boehner and others like to say that failure is not an option. it is a big number. as others have said, if it was easy, it would have been done before. november 23 is literally a month from tomorrow.
host: what is the status of the work of the deficit reduction committee so far? guest: not many people know. you and i do not know. 12 members of the committee have been very quiet. they have kept discussions very much among themselves. the fact that they are still meeting and still keeping quiet suggests to some that they're making progress. but this is -- but if there is a deal, it probably will not be reached until the last minute. it happens to be the day before thanksgiving. i think the status is it is going to take a while to play out. host: there was a meeting this
week with the members of the deficit reduction committing and the group known as the gang of six. what was being talked about behind closed doors? >> the gang of six is a group of six senators who talk about ideas to come up with a major deficit reduction. one of the criticisms that has been made of the gang of six is that they never lay down a specific proposal. the gang of six did talk about the process of how to get there. the gang of six, those senators came then -- in, apparently, and
they wanted to advise the 12 members of the joint committee. host: we are talking about the workings of the deficit reduction committee. they have been working behind closed doors. they do have an open hearing later next week on wednesday. you'll be able to see it live on one of the c-span platforms. if you want to get involved in our discussion with richard cohen, give us a call. you can also get in touch with us electronically by e-mail, twitter, and facebook.
what to show our audience senator tom harkin of iowa. he is our guest on "newsmakers" tomorrow. he has been influential in trying to work on some of this deficit reduction. during the conversation, he talked about the committee's work. he said it might be better if the senate did not get something produced by the committee. instead, followed by the -- follow the regular legislative process. >> in some ways, i think we might be better off if we did not have something from the super committee. and moved ahead through the normal legislative process. >> does that mean it committee chairman gets more of a say how do shape those cuts? >> absolutely. when you have more of a say so,
you are buying into it. you have some ownership of it. if it is just 12 people making a decision, nobody has ownership. if you go through the process of the legislative process and committee chairs and committee members, you have some ownership. it has a much better chance of succeeding. host: if you want to see the entire interview, you can watch "newsmakers" tomorrow at 6:00 and 10:00 on c-span. it is also available online. your thoughts about what senator harkin said about ownership? if there aren't enough people involved in this process, they feel no ownership. guest: he seems to be suggesting that has been out --
an idea that has been out there. maybe the joint committee will not itself come up with the actual $1.20 trillion. they might take the approach that the joint committee could recommend, could mandate, that the amounts of money for the committees to put together legislation, to send their proposals to the house and senate sometime later. beyond the deadline of the committee. i think this would only work if there were real specific ideas
coming out of the joint committee on how to reach $1.20 trillion in cuts. not only specific ideas, but deadlines. that would raise the same old problem dad's days -- the same old problem that these are the committees that have not produced the spending cuts or the deficit reduction. i think this would only work if there was real deadline and drove proposals. -- and proposals. this may have been a second idea. in the law that created a joint committee, there was put in place what is called a sequester. that is washington talk for -- a sequester would be spending cuts
that would result automatically if the joint committee fails to reach its goal. these cuts would come from defense and domestic spending. there are some people who say that those cuts might be preferable to making other cuts in domestic spending. host: we're talking about the workings of the joint deficit reduction panel. there deadline is november 23. there also known as the super committee. our guest is senior congressional reporter with "cq." our first call comes from new york. caller: good morning. caller: good morning. i enjoy your program. i would like to know if the
deficit committee would be include in their own salaries, perks, health care for themselves and their employees as part of the reduction? they seem very concerned when it involves social security. according to mr. simpson, we used the milk of social security, and we are not entitled to it at the same rate. perhaps he could reduce his pension substantially, and perhaps the government could not fall on their own salaries, unlike the rest of us who have to negotiate, of course, and collective bargaining is now under attack, but congress does not bargain. guest: so far, congress has not reduced salaries for the members of the house and senate. in the past year there have
been some reductions in congressional overhead for staff, and some of the other expenses at the capitol, but, frankly, it is real money. it is $100 million here, or one- half billion there. going to bethere's deficit reduction it will come from all lot of places, but the amount of money that could be saved with cuts from congress is a small amount of the trillion dollar deficit, if that is the goal. cuts,'re going to make you have to go where the spending is. host: next up is kathleen, on our line for democrats, calling from coventry, connecticut. go ahead. caller: good morning.
i do not know how the super committee members were chosen. it makes sense that democrats had to choose republicans, and republicans had to choose democrats. my second point is if we do not get money out of politics, are we dealing with the symptoms of a corrupt system? while there are differences that matter, the others do not because money is fueling and everything. thank you. guest: there are 12 members of the joint committee. they were appointed in august -- these 12 members were, and they were appointed by the leaders of the house and senate. the house republican members, the three of them, were appointed by speaker john boehner. the three senate members were
appointed by senate majority leader harry reid, and so on. clearly, the party leaders selected members of the joint committee leaders hoped would do the job, number one, and number two, would be responsive to the interests of the leadership and would come up with something that could pass. having said that, and now it is up to these 12 members. we can talk more about the individuals, but not even the party leaders know what is going on behind those closed doors. host: following up, we have a tweet from scott king. guest: fair question. under the constitution, congress, the house and senate separately, sets its rules.
that is a phrase in the constitution. it is setting its rules. they can set up committees. this unusual committee in that it is a joint committee, and also because whatever comes out of the joint committee will go to the house in and senate floors under terms that will not permitted amendments and will not extend the discussion -- filibuster in the senate. this is kind of an extensive use of the rules, but if someone were to challenge, if some person were to go to court and challenge it, my guess is that judges would say this is in the power of congress. host: our next call for richard
cohen of "congressional quarterly", comes from gilbert .n our line for independencts caller: as a man of 61 years old, i am pessimistic about this deficit committee. i checked out the people on this committee. upon a final decision that possibly could be made by this group, would congress still have to vote on their final decision? guest: yes. caller: if they still have to vote, and i am in concurrence with senator harkin -- why even have the committee? i am looking forward to the day after the decision. >> i see what you're saying --
guest: i see where you are saying. congress will have to vote, but they cannot make changes. senator harkin was talking about giving the committee the rights to write the legislation. as far as we know, the committee will write the bill with no opportunity to amend. harkin is suggesting that the joint committee and give the power to other committees of the house and senate to separately write legislation. as i mentioned earlier, this is an approach that has not worked so far. the committees, but they're all, in the house and senate, have not been -- on their own, in the house and senate, have not come up with the deficit reductions. >> our next call is on the
republican line out of texas. kent, you are on "washington journal." caller: i am in florida. i have heard of two ways of getting the deficit, and i have a third way. one would be a national lottery. 810-dollar quick pick tickets. out of that $10 ticket, 50 cents would go to the post office, to take care of their money problems, another 50 cents would go to funding the program, and the idea is you have $9 left over. $4.50 of that money would go for nothing but paying off the de
bt, and the other $4.50 would go to prices. host: how many tickets would you have to sell to cut the deficit in half? caller: i bet a lot of people would buy it. host: we will leave it there. the two sticking points -- raising taxes, which was something being put out by the democrats, and cutting spending, including cuts in defense and entitlement programs, something the republicans seem to be hanging their hats on. the democrat said we will not go for entitlement cuts without raising taxes, and republican said we're not raising taxes, you know, we're just not raising taxes. so, has there been any movement on either one of those points in the workings of this super
committee that leads anyone to think that once the decision is made on november 23 that the chambers will vote this thing through? guest: we do not know if there has been movement. we know they are talking to each other. that is the basics. in reality, as you suggest, the fact that the joint committee can only agree to a proposal if it is done on a bipartisan basis with seven votes coming out of the committee, you need some democrats and some republicans, and this will only work, if i could use a little visual here, they have to join
hands, put their arms around each other and make a deal. so, that is why the discussions that are taking place privately, quietly, in back rooms, are important. they will test whether at least some of these 12 members can come together to take steps that so far no party has been willing to take on its own. there is no question that if there is willing to be a deal, there will be pain in both parties to get a majority to vote for something. host: our next call comes from grace in cleveland, ohio, and our line for democrats. you are on "the washington journal" with richard cohen of "cq." caller: i do not understand why people are only text on social
security off to $100,000. that would bring in a lot more income. we are told to go big. the only way to go big is to let the bush tax cuts expire, and that is the only way we are going to instill confidence in this market. i will take this off of the line. thank you. guest: the proposal to tax all said. its social security benefits is out there, -- to tax all social security benefits is out there. i do not have the precise figure, but it would certainly raise maybe more than $100 billion over a 10-year period. the idea is that everyone, including the wealthy especially, should pay taxes on all the social security income they receive, where as in current law they just pay -- i'm
sorry i did not know the specifics, but only some social security income currently is taxable. there are some that say that there is pain involved in getting to let least $1.20 trillion. make that paying for everyone and go beyond the $1.20 trillion, given the federal debt is not about $14 trillion and will not be paid off anytime soon, even with a lottery. but, there is a case for going big, going beyond $1.20 trillion, and everyone knows the pain is spread around. host: the next call for richard cohen comes from wayne on our line for independence from dinwiddie, virginia. caller: i do not seek
representation on behalf of the independents. i think all the committee members are either democratic or republicans. that being said, it looks like they could have just picked some private citizens to do this committee thing. i am sure they would have a lot of people to select from. other than that, i just wonder on this committee if they are doing something to combat watch it like the energy speculators that are killing this country. host: if you were chosen to be on the super committee, which kind of suggestions would you make, wayne? caller: everything should be on the table, from taxing everybody from the bottom to the top, and even like a one-year thing, where everyone would have to
ante up, bring the deficit down, and maybe two years later and do it again. host: richard cohen, your thoughts? guest: virtually every option has been tried. not precisely wayne's proposal, but something close to it. there was a commission created by president obama that was chaired by former senator alan simpson and by erskine bowles. that was a bipartisan commission that included some private citizens, and members of congress. they actually came up with real proposals -- $4 trillion roughly of deficit reduction. they made the recommendations to the president. i think it was last year, 2010. the proposals were made to congress, and do you know what
happened? nothing happened. there are serious proposals, but we have a government where the action needs to be taken. only the congress working with the president can legislate. you need to have an action- forcing mechanism, and when you have a citizens commission, there is still a need for congress and the president to legislate, and that has been the problem. host: how much pressure do the members of the deficit reduction committee feel to reach a deal, and is there any talk about going beyond the $1.20 trillion? guest: if they could, they would, and they might, but it will be hard enough to get to that. they might say enough already. i think it is clear they are filling all lot of pressure. i ran into one of the members of
the joint committee this past week. i spoke very briefly with house ways and means committee chairman dave camp. i did not say this out of sympathy for him, but it was clear to me that he was working hard, even during a week when the house was in session, the joint committee members were here, talking to each other, trying to get their work done because they know the deadline is approaching. host: battle creek, mich., cindy, you are on "the washington journal." caller: i am kind of confused. the first person that called best about the shared sacrifice of everybody, including you guys in offices, and you come back
with the statement that it would be very little of what we could do. i thought every little bit helps, and the leadership should be setting the example. regardless of it is $1 million or $1 trillion, should there not be some examples from the top of the so-called shared sacrifice instead of just the middle class and under? i am a little confused. could you help me? host: mr. richard cohen? guest: it is not up to me to put together a proposal but your point is well taken that it might create more support for results. congress has made cuts in payroll staffing. they have not cut their own salaries, but i am also saying
secondly, even if members of congress were to take no salary at all it would be a very small part. they make $160,000, $170,000, if they stopped taking that, the 535 members of congress, i think that would be less than $100 million. again, it is a small of -- $100 million in a year is a small about of the goal. -- amount of the goal. yes, there has to be shared sacrifice, but you have to go also where the money is. what congress spends for itself is a relatively small amount. host: our next call comes from .arylain
caller: i would like to know how the panel is made up, is the democrats, republicans, and independents? guest: they're all members of congress, and virtually all are democrats and republicans. there are six democrats, six republicans, and six from the house, and sit -- 6 from the senate. they were selected by the leadership. the party leaders, in selecting the members, i think they looked for those leaders felt would be representative of congress as a whole, and number two are the kinds of numbers that would work hard and maybe come up with a deal. host: the chairs from the senate
side, senator murray. guest: a democrat. host: and from the house side, camp. how were they picked? the guest: senate majority -- leader harry reid selected patty murray. john boehner selected the house co-chair. the co-chairs to not have a significantly greater influence of power than the other 10 members of the joint committee. they have one vote each. the co-chairs job is basically an organizational role.
i think all 12 of them have been in congress for quite a few years, although it includes two senate freshmen who previously served in the house, but all 12 know their way around, and it will be up to them individually to a figure out whether they can find some common ground. host: coming up next week as a mentioned earlier in the segment is an open meeting of the deficit reduction committee. their witness will be cbo, congressional budget office director doug elmendorf. this'll be his second appearance testifying in front of the panel. what are they trying to get? guest: doug elmendorf and his death of the congressional budget office are kind of be -- staff of the congressional budget office are kind of the
experts when it comes to spending and deficit. the joint members will have this open session to ask doug elmendorf to the kinds of questions they have been asking him privately, but by testifying publicly with the cameras on, this will be part of the education process, not only educating the members of the committee, but helping to educate c-span viewers who watch the hearing. the elmendorf will describe how you get to $1 -- $1.20 trillion. he will make clear that it is not easy. it is a bit of a cliche, but it is worth keeping in mind. if it was easy, it would be done already. they have to get to $1.20 trillion in cuts over 10 years. there will be tossed medicine that will have to be swallowed
by everyone -- tough medicine that will have to be swallowed by everyone, and doug elmendorf would have to figure out how much they would have to cut the deficit. host: our next call comes from james, calling from missouri. turn your television down, all right? james, are you there? caller: yes, sir. i have a comment. i have been listening to this the whole time and he is talking about cuts, how they made staff cuts, this and that. the staff cuts seemed to me to be adding fuel to the fire with people on unemployment and everything else. they still have not made any cuts to their own salaries yet. what they are talking about is where the money is coming from
-- the social security and this and that, where all of these might not be affect them, but they're talking about people that have worked all their lives. this is what they're going to base their income off of being reduced, but yet people in congress to make that kind of money, they are not even taking cuts yet. host: we are talking about $1.20 trillion in cuts they want to make. given the congress and the senators salaries, it will not add up to the one. not -- $1.20 trillion. beyond being symbolic, what else is cutting their salaries going to do? caller: every single american who has paid their money in the
are reliant on it for their future. their future -- they are making the cuts, cuts have to come from all around, and yes, it will make a difference. guest: i think some of the calls we have received -- people who have called in who object to or prefer not to have cuts in social security, these calls illustrate in very real terms the pressures the members of the joint committee and ultimately the members of congress who have to vote on anything from the joint committee -- clearly, members of congress would prefer to not cut social security. ok. so, if you take social security off of the table, all of those big pots of spending from the government, you go to medicare, which is even more money, frankly, than social security -- several hundred billion dollars
a year spent on medicare. another several hundred billion dollars a year are spent on the pentagon. these are areas where if you're going to make spending cuts, that is where you go. let's also put on the table because it leaves some people believe there should be taxes increase in tax increases. additional revenue is another step -- tax increases. additional revenue is another step. republicans prefer not to have the tax increases. that would be a step, just as cutting medicare or the pentagon is another step. all of these are hard. then you can toss in congressional salaries as part of an overall deal. host: with the president's announcement of the troops coming out of iraq by the end of the year, will that help the folks that say we can bring down this deficit by cutting defense spending?
guest: shirt. when president obama submitted his recommendations one month or so ago, he included money that would be saved in as he described it, by pulling troops out of iraq and afghanistan, to which republicans, some republicans including house speaker john baker said this is phony savings that we have known all along -- house speaker john boehner said this is phony savings, but we have known all along u.s. troops would be leaving iraq and afghanistan. then we have an accounting mechanism of how much real savings that would be from the baseline budget. it is up to the scorekeepers to determine how much money is actually going to be saved by reducing the pentagon military
presence overseas. host: richard cohen, as we mentioned, is the senior congressional reporter for "congressional quarterly." he joined the magazine staff in 1973. in 1990 he won an award for distinguished reporting of congress, and in a past life he was an aide to senator edward brooke of massachusetts. our next call comes from jerry in north carolina. caller: can you hear me? host: yes, gerry, go ahead. caller: the federal reserve is a british bank that has been operating on our shores without paying a single dime in taxes. what if we were to tax the federal reserve added standard corporate rate like everyone else as to pay retroactively for 98 years.
guest: i am not sure what you mean that it is a british bank. it was set up by u.s. law, i believe around 1913, and they have a building they operate out of 1 mile or two from here, and the federal reserve and soft has some influence over the -- itself has some influence over the banking system and how to manage assets, -- help to manage assets, but i'm less sure how you would tax the federal reserve which is a government agency. host: back to the phones, cleveland ohio on our law and for democrats. you are on "washington journal." go ahead. caller: raising these taxes is great, but the most concern is putting people back to work. we cannot pay taxes if we are not making money.
i think when people make money they feel more like paying their taxes because they want to help. one of the big concerns, too, is the import/exports, and i look at labels a lot, and lately i have seen them even on american soldiers uniforms that are being made overseas, and even american flags. i think we need to get more pride like we used to have. host: we are going to leave it there. we're getting a little away from the topic, cliffs. richard cohen, i will let you have the last word. guest: cliff mentioned a relative issue. they have had proposals to try to address the serious unemployment problem. there is no question that if you get more people working the government has more revenue coming in, and the economy is in better shape.
the jobs problem is real. various steps that have been taken by the government have really failed to address the problem. so, that is another issue that is on the platter right now for congress. whether in the deficit committee or elsewhere, there probably will be recommendations and those will come to the house and senate for the next few weeks to try to address the jobs problem. host: richard cohen of "cq" thank you for being on "the washington journal." coming up, a discussion of exotic animals, but after the break we will talk about credit counseling with susan keating. today is saturday, october 22. we will be right back after this break.
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alert button for our schedules in your in box. >> "washington journal" continues. host: susan keating is here to talk to us about credit. to set and debt counseling. welcome to the program. -- credit card and debt counseling. tell us about the national foundation. host: it is a pleasure to work for a foundation that has been around for 60 years. it is a membership organization that has helped millions and millions of american consumers with their financial situation. we have 90 members, 800 offices, a 2500 counselors. we are in communities all over the u.s.. we are there to serve individuals and families. host: we pulled a couple of articles.
this came from "usa today." the headlined "fewer people in that troubled seeking counseling and other help pic." "people need more help than ever, but they're not coming to us." host: has that been your experience? guest: we have seen all kinds of situations. the last number of years have been extremely difficult for individuals and families, with everything from problems of the housing front to being overburdened with credit. to said that, large numbers of student loans, -- credit. to said that, -- card debt.
there has been changes and responses in direct response to some of the new regulations that of god into effect. -- that have gone into effect. those changes have had an impact on the amount of debt that some consumers still have. we are seeing a confluence of events that really is in some cases good, but in most cases, we are concerned because we know there are a lot of families still in financial crisis. host: we got this from a daily finance.com. what is the correlation between soaring credit card debt and the year 2006? host: it is hard to know.
certainly, going through the financial crisis we saw many families reconsider their financial circumstances. they had to. many sought help. others worked through how to get their finances under control. all of those things have sort of been processed, and basically we sought a reduction in the amount of consumer debt, but people fall back on old habits. now, in some cases, where families are seeing more stability, we are starting to see the old behaviors' again of people basically spending too much or more. host: we're talking about credit card and debt counseling with susan keating, president and ceo of the national foundation for credit counseling. if you would like to get involved, we of mixed up blinds. for folks living in the eastern
and central time zones, -- host: you can also reach us electronically. a lot of folks, when they get into trouble they think of bankruptcy as a way to get out of that situation. bankruptcy -- first option or less option? guest: it is really the last option. if i could leave any message to american consumers is that if you are feeling overwhelmed and you do not know what to do about your financial circumstances, there are people that could help you, and you really do need to reach out. one of the things our calls are so terrific in doing is helping to get past the -- counselors
are so terrific in doing so is helping to get past the root cause of the problem, look at the auctions, and fundamentally bankruptcy should be a last option. it should not be the first. there are other alternatives. again, in many cases, just with some changes in behavior, basic thinking, and practices around financial activities, many times families can simply get back on track. host: we have this from the nfcc website. the majority of americans do not have money available to meet and unplanned expense. if you are already in trouble, either credit card debt or other times, how you turn that around to have money set aside for and unplanned expense?
guest: it gets back to having a financial plan. all consumers should have a plan and stick to the plan, and part of it should be to put money aside for unplanned, and, you know, basically, events or expenses that are surprises. i would just say that people historically have not been -- particularly this last decade -- very good about putting money away for the unplanned or unanticipated situations. what we are seeing is an uptick in savings, and i think if there is any silver lining coming out of the financial crisis that we , it isl experienced i that more money families are getting more thoughtful, more responsible in putting plans together and saving money.
host: our first call for susan keating of the national foundation for credit counseling comes from florida. gerry, you are on "the washington journal." caller: you mentioned consumers are not necessarily using services as often as you thought they would be at this time. my thought is that that is prevalent with many companies. if you go, there is no telling who you end up with. that could be one of the problems. guest: go ahead. caller: i would like to know, maybe a little bit what your agency or industry group, i guess, is doing about some of the banking practices, more
specifically reducing the credit card interest rates, helping to change what happened in the obama administration -- some of the unsavory banking practices with regards to credit cards. i'm hoping you can leverage. guest: first of all, thank you for calling in. i have to tell you, any time there are individuals and consumers that are global, -- vulnerable, we see bad actors crop up in any sector, who basically want to take good vantage of people. very unfortunate, but that is a true statement. what we have seen over the last number of years are emerging companies that really try to look like a nonprofit credit counseling. they feel there is a market. there are people with housing
problems, credit card debt, and by basically stepping in and trying to connect with those consumers, there is a market there. there are certainly a problem. the other thing i would say is that creates a boring of the lines. going back to the earlier comment about what is happening and why people are not reaching out to the non-profit sector and so forth, consumers really do not know who to trust right now. the problem permeates all kinds of different sectors and industries -- government, and so forth. consumers do not know who to trust. one of the challenges is helping consumers understand the difference.
i would just say that if consumers need a trusted adviser, go to the nfcc website. connect with the agency. if the nfcc brand is associate with that agency -- we are accredited. that is a long answer, but that is where i'd like to start. the second, there has been sweeping changes in legislation around credit card practices, and certainly with the card act that went into effect recently, we are seeing some adjustments and changes in terms of what issue worse and companies can do
relative to -- issuers and companies can do relative to fees and payments, and so forth. i would just say there has been a lot done to address some of those practices that have been problematic. i would also say that we are not -- we are not a lobbying organization. we are really about -- we are 5013c's, all about helping consumers with financial counseling. host: our next call comes from ben in ithaca, new york. you are on with susan keating. caller: thank you for taking my call. thank you for being on the show. this is important stuff, and far-reaching, i think. you addressed why i called a
moment earlier, and that is how to clarify who is listed and who isn't -- legit and who is not. i will ask if you could address payday loans, i think they are called, as a means of extending credit. the other thing is here in difficult we have some great credit unions. they keep their money locally and they do huge amounts of counseling. we take profits from within the organization -- pardon me, funds, for education for people trying to build a credit, although their credit card i am not too sure about. if you look at credit unions, they have an inherent interest in the fiscal health of their
community. if you talk about payloads, i would appreciate it. >> -- payday loans, i would appreciate it. guest: payday loans are really part of the gap for people that have not been able to get easy access to credit, and they have really served a niche. by themselves, these are not bad things. there are times when people need money, and they need it quickly, and they may or may not have the ability to go through more traditional sources to get that access. on the other hand, there have been some incredible abuses and problems with payday loans. one of the things that we really encourage clients for any service, financial service- related product or service they're using 2 digit looking to utilize it is -- they are
looking to utilize, is ask the right question. find out what it takes to get bad loans paid back and so forth? what is the company extending that credit? the thing that is very important to the nfcc and to the government in terms of a lot of the regulatory reform that as happened over the last couple of years is really under predatory practices, and where consumers are being taken advantage of. were they subscribe for a product and end up worse off over the long term because they did not understand what they were signing up for, and the fees and interest rates are so of egregious that there is no way to get out of that hole. pay loans, conceptually, there is a need for quick access to credit at times, shorter terms,
that sort of thing, but i think it is a slippery slope and we have to be careful. in terms of credit unions, credit unions served a terrific niche, and there are very important as a part of american financial services. nfcc and many of our agencies have a terrific relationship and in many cases provide a lot of the financial education outreach and support services to a number of credit unions. again, we see them as playing a real important part in community financial-services host: our next cal in -- services. host: our next call comes from cindy, in salt lake city, utah. part of thet
problem that people are being charged content interest on their credits -- compound interest on their credit cards? the wealthy are giving refinances. credit counseling is great. in utah, we have problems with credit cards and mortgage foreclosures. utah is the 10th highest state in mortgage foreclosures. so, which the banks having such low interest rates, -- with the banks having such low interest rates, why are people still being charged 20% or 30% under credit "congressional quarterly -- cards?
>> part of the challenges -- guest: you have raised a lot of questions. part of the challenges are that many americans really do not understand what the interest rates are, how those services work, and so forth. one of the things that i think some of the reasons, you know, requirements, regulations are addressing are more the filters of information. we have been working with financial services companies and the government to help simplify the language. when you get a stack like this of documents, and within the documents there is information about how a product or service works in legal terms, that is a challenge. anyway, one of the things said is important is to understand
the information about how the products and services work. secondly, in terms of what nfcc agencies do, we do not just provide after-the-fact crisis support, but over the last couple of years we have done more than that, seemed about 3 million clients a year, and we do more on the intervention fund than the prevention side, but our mission is about financial education. if, in fact, you have an interest in learning more, where just getting better education, there are all kinds of financial education class is that our agencies provide -- 1-on-1 education support, and so forth. again, because these are nonprofits, it is not about having to defend the wealthy.
these are available to people, and basically you could afford to go and have that support. in addition, check the nfcc website. it is nfcc.org. you will find all kind of educational tools, tips, and information on that website. if there is a particular area, whether it is mortgages or credits cards, and try to understand better how they work, or if you should consider bankruptcy -- again, there are a lot of tips, guidelines, and also calculations you could do. again, if that does not answer your questions, go on to our 800 line, and i think you will find we are there for everyone. host: we got a tweet --
guest: that is a great tweet come up because one of the things our agencies are finding -- tweet because one of the things are agencies are finding is that even when people are paying off their credit cards , there is still the need to try to buy the basics and sort of do what people need and a day- to-day basis. what i would come back and say it is if the house is under water, if there is large credits card debt, people need to take a holistic view of what the financial situation is, what the income levels are or not, and we
have millions of americans on an toyota or under-employed right now, -- americans on deployed or under-employed right now, but basically figure out a way -- nfcc agencies provide the most number. we are the largest provider of counseling in the u.s.. please, reach out. what everyone needs to do with is look at the reality of -- do is look at the reality of today. everyone has been impacted -- the wealthy, the middle class, the poor. everyone has been impacted. we all have to reassess and take a look at where we are, look at our options, and basically, if people are seriously in debt, there is help available.
we will not solve everything, but whether it is on the mortgage side and either modifying those loans, or looking at the options available to the government programs. on the credit card side there are tools. if you work for an agency, for example, some clients have the option of a debt repayment plan for unsecured debt, and that is a plan where you can pay off that unsecured credit over a period of five years. i cannot tell you how many stories of people with incredible circumstances that have really gotten back to financial stability, and there are some extraordinary stories. i wish we had all lot of time to go through those because every time i hear one of those stories, i realize that every american has options and
alternatives. what we need is to know where to go to get a trusted adviser and get back on your feet. one last thing i would like to say on that is if you are under water on your mortgage loans, the first call should be the financial institution. again, if you are not happy, where you are not able to sort of get a resolution, what the nfcc counselor does is actually act as your advocate, the homeowners advocate into the financial service company. it looks at the debt, your income, and tries to help rebalance and look for solutions. host: we continue discussions regarding credit card and debt counseling with susan keating. we have a tweet from c-span
junkie. guest: you know, yes. let's face it. with interest rates there are not a lot of incentives to put large blocks of money into savings. on the other hand i really do believe that people need to have a secure fond to deal with -- fund to deal with rainy days, problems, unexpected event, medical crises and so forth. i think it is really important to have savings be a part of the portfolio in terms of how you ultimately invest.
again, depending on funds available, your appetite for risk, there certainly are options. i think it is really sort of taking a look -- looking at your financial circumstances, repositioning, and figuring out what is the best for each individual and no one thing works for everyone. host: this also has to do with saving. it was in this morning's "wall street journal." they write that focuses the financial crisis erupted, millions of americans have ditched their credit cards, accelerated its mortgage payments, and cut off lines that were used like bottomless. the banks.
it is sort of like they are saying if you are saving in not putting money into the economy, then you are sort of hurting the recovery, which may, in the long run, come back to bite you. >> it is like my father always said to me -- everything has to be in moderation. we are coming out of the worst financial crisis of our generation, and i have to tell you -- certainly, by not spending and by not putting everything on credit cards and so forth or buying larger houses than we can afford, that is having an impact on today's economy. on the other hand, you know, we ended up where we were because people bought too much house,
because people just felt that by using a credit card, we could cut debt on the card, and -- we could put debt on the card and it was not really something that had to be paid back. it was too easy and too available. i think it is very heartening that people are becoming a bit more responsible, and i think that the economy, the issue there is not about going out and buying more stock -- stuff. the issue is about getting people jobs, basically getting people back employed. i think it is also solving the housing problems that still are -- they're still is a huge issue in this country. we have got to create, from my perspective, a national housing action plan, which we do not have today. i think if we address jobs and address the fundamental problems
inherent in the housing issue, the issue of houses being underwater, houses being foreclosed on, on and on, that that will make a big difference in the stability and growth of this economy and how quickly it takes us to come out of the current slump. host: almost sounds like you are running for office. guest: i am not running for office, but i do have some strong points for those who are. the stories are very compelling. we know what is happening, and what is occurring now is not a cross any gender, class, economic spectrum. everybody has been impacted. i think we are, as a country, having to sort of, you know, i just because we were out of control. we need to get back on track,
and i am heartened that we're seeing some signs of that. host: our next call comes from trinidad, colorado. tom, you are on "washington journal." caller: i wanted to ask about my options with you. i have $35,000 or $40,000, and about 75% of it is credit card, and that was when they were handing out mortgages and heading up credit cards like cocaine, and i ran into a medical problem. i do have one family member, but there's a lot of strings attached as far as getting help, but i was starving and homeless for a while. i was doing all right up until about five years ago. the last couple of years have been horrible as far as employment goes.
also, i wanted to ask about post-patriot act. my dad is a career that, and it seems like our banking system has become more like north korea -- my dad is a korea vet. wanted to know if you could go over a few of the options. guest: let me tell you -- if you are considering bankruptcy, and it sounds like you are, one of the requirements of the bankruptcy legislation that went into effect several years ago is that all individuals that are thinking about and contemplating bankruptcy go through what is called a pre-filing counseling session. probably close to half of what our agencies provide is counseling to people that are contemplating bankruptcy. i would really suggest if you
have not taken the pre-filing counseling education program that you do that. because what that pre-filing counseling does is help you understand what your options are, and that is really what your question was. i am not personally a certified counselor. we have over 2500. we have many in colorado, and again, i encourage you to get a professional certified counselor to take you through what your options are. >> susan keating is president and ceo for the national council of credit counseling. good morning. i will make a long story short. tw years ago, i fell on hard times. my wife was gravely ill. she had spent eight months in a hospital, had to do what i had to do.
i had credit cards for 20 years. i paid them faithfully, never was late. she was out of work, obviously, so i called literally 5 credit consultants and companies and told the my situation, and they said, "we can help you" but they said i had to stop paying my credit card bills for two or three months before they can help me. i do not consider myself a deadbeat, and i do not want to stop paying my credit card bills. i wanted to work with me. i was paying $700 a month in credit cards. i wanted it to work out so i would pay less, and i could not do that. i was ashamed of myself. i had to resort to chapter 7 bankruptcy. that was the best thing i ever did. it is not a bad thing to do. you pay the lawyer $1,000 and start off with a clean slate. my point is i tried to pay off my debt, and they would not work with me.
in my case, it was the best thing i ever did, and i have a clean slate. host: are going to leave that there. he is the second caller who has mentioned chapter 7. explain the difference between chapter 7 and chapter 11. >> -- guest: those other two forms of bankruptcy. one deals with secured debt and the other is more comprehensive. what i really would say on the bankruptcy issue -- i know he is the second caller that raised this -- you talk about debt consolidation. i wanted to get at that because many americans have been scanned by companies that are representing that they are going to consolidate, take care of credit, and the individual ends up in worse shape than when they started with the company. i wanted to mention something that is important for everybody, that the federal trade commission in 2010 actually came
out with a ruling to address the abusive practices of a settlement company. the settlement by itself is not a bad thing, and again, there are alternatives to a debt settlement, particularly through non-profit agencies that pay the full debt and so forth, but the federal trade commission has addressed a lot of those abuses. i would say to everyone if you are reaching out and trying to get help, as he was, and if it sounds like it is not going to work for you or you are uncomfortable with the company or practices, check with the better business bureau. check to see who you are dealing with. i really encourage everybody to look for a qualified, accredited, non-profit agency. second, i have been hearing in a number of the comments -- there
really is -- people feel shame. they are embarrassed. it is devastating to be in financial crisis, and i would just say i really want people to know -- you are not alone. the spirit of what you are just suggesting there is there are options and bankruptcy may be the last auction, but bankruptcy is there as an option for people so that they can eventually get back on their feet. i applaud anybody who is looking to get help and get that financial stability. >> we have -- we had host: an item from sky news with the headline "debt collectors banned from social networks."
if you are being harassed, for lack of a better term, by debt collectors and they are on your facebook page, on your twitter line, what kind of steps can you take to get them off your back? is there any sort of federal law or federal regulation that would prevent them from doing this in the first place? there really guest: is. i would say -- guest: there really is. if you are being harassed, i would connect with the state's attorney general's office. i would report it. companies are not allowed to do that. a lot of the legislation that has taken place as the federal
and state levels and also regulations over the last number of years has been a round curbing the success of an abusive and predatory practice. if something is happening and it does not feel right and you feel that you are being targeted for attacks, basically, report it. go to a law-enforcement agency and report it. host: next is mobile, alabama. caller: can you hear me? i wanted to know -- how does that credit counseling affect your credit report and your credit score? guest: with individuals with credit counseling, it does not impact your credit score -- when i talk about credit counseling, it is an education advisory
counseling session, and it lasts about an hour. it is a review -- a full, comprehensive review to help you build an action plan for your financial future. most clients that our agency's counsel leave and basically get back on track. they do not need to necessarily go into a repayment plan. however, the counseling agencies do have tools and solutions such as debt management plans that are up to five-year plans that can basically consolidate your credit cards, your unsecured debt, and help you to work that through. basically, what we have found is that clients who go on to those plans get into a regular system
then of getting their loans paid off, so it is not a negative situation with your credit position. host: next up is tri-city washington. george, you are on the "washington journal." caller: my on? credit-card payday loans -- used to be after seven years, that goes away, so they sell it to another correction agency. the laws are overly in favor of the loaner. and you in your job have a vested interest, so to speak in people being behind in their debts because of these over very
laws. guest: absolutely not. we have no vested interest other than to help consumers be financially stable and basically, our mission is around education. if you connect with an agency in your community, you will find it is a non-profit agency. it is doing all kinds of education work. many of our agencies work with the faith based organizations. they work with the y's, the schools, colleges, hospitals, medical services to help provide education and tools so that people can be financially better informed and in a better position over the longer term. host: susan keating of the national foundation for credit
counseling. thank you for being on the program today. thank you guest: very much. host: the lead in the "columbus dispatch" has the headline -- coming up after this break, a discussion about laws that deal with the ownership of exotic animals and the situation that brought on what they were dealing with in ohio. our guest, joan shatner, is with the george washington university animal law program, and she will be here right after this break.
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produced a billion dollar budget surplus. mitch daniels on his book and decision to not run for president in 2012 at 8:00 eastern on c-span's "q&a." this weekend, six republican presidential candidates travel to iowa for the faith and freedom coalition candidate forum. watch our live coverage starting at 7:00 p.m. eastern today on c-span's "road to the white house." this weekend, live coverage from the texas book festival with juan williams of political correctness, sally jacobs on barack obama's father, and robert morgan on westward expansion. throughout the weekend, panels on the debt, pakistan, a mexican drug cartels, the art of
nonfiction, and the arab spring. look for the entire schedule online at booktv.org. "washington journal" continues. the analog host: program director at washington university's joins us to talk about exotic animal ownership -- host: the animal law program director. for the purposes of this discussion, what would be considered an exotic animal? guest: [inaudible] wild, anything non native to the particular area, basically any and domesticated animal basically referred to as [inaudible] host: throughout the course of the discussion, we will refer to the situation that happened in
it should not have come as a surprise. ohio lost do not regulate and do not ban the ownership of exotic animals. in fact, it is harder for a private citizen to own a pit bull-style dog in a higher than it is for them to own tigers, leopards, lions, and monkeys. and, of course, everybody was well aware that these animals lived on his farm. it was really such a tragedy. unfortunately, the lives of the animals were lost, and fortunately, no humans were actually injured in the incident. but like a said, it should not have come as a surprise. host: we have a map that looks at regulations of exotic species state-by-state. we will go through this. for those watching it color, and
who is not these days? the black states are the ones that we show here than private ownership of exotic species altogether. the dark blue states -- some exotic animals are allowed. the lighter blue states require owners to obtain licenses or permits. the white states have no regulations but may require veterinary certificates or other documents. so far, there has been no discussion about any sort of federal laws or federal regulations about the ownership and keeping an exotic pets. guest: the reason is, as many people know, the federal government is a government of limited power. the states have the power to regulate and protect the general public and the general health. the federal government wants to
enact a law and have to find a particularly enumerated powers. in this instance, there are two powers under which they could regulate animals. one is, of course, their treaty of power. the endangered species act might be enacted under that. more commonly, it is the common cause power. there are a handful of federal laws, particularly the animal welfare act, the endangered species act, as i mentioned, and the captive wildlife safety act, which presumably have some effect in this context, but they only regulate the transport of animals over state lines or can really only regulate conduct that affects interstate commerce. the private possession in a state of animals of any kind, wild or domestic, are basically under the exclusive authority of the states and local jurisdictions as well. host: right now, there are no
federal laws that govern the situation that the folks had in ohio. guests: the individual was keeping them as pets. he was not selling them. he was not using them for research, and he was not using them in any promotional contacts, and that is why federal laws would apply at all. host: the governor says the animal order is an adequate. an executive order on ohio's dangerous animal problem.
give us a sense, in the case of ohio, how were the law is different under the case of governor strickland? guest: he had issued an emergency executive order that did, i believe, prevent the ownership of wild animals by individuals convicted of a felony or convicted of animal cruelty. however, it was still legal, my understanding, for individuals to have owned these animals. i dare say that organizations you have mentioned have been lobbying -- you know, the legislature in ohio and other states that have this particular problem. ohio is the fourth in the united states in a dangerous incidents involving large, exotic animals.
i think florida is first in terms of the number of incidents that have been reported where animals have harmed and injured humans. in fact, in 2003, there have been 22 incidents reported just in the state of ohio. they have been working with the legislature, trying to get laws enacted and unfortunately have not been successful. host: we are talking about laws on the exotic animal ownership with joan shatner, the animal lot program director at george washington university. if you would like to get involved in the conversation, by all means, do. the numbers if you are in the east and west time zones. and we have a special line for exotic pet owners -- 202-628-
animals and private ownership of wild exotic animals. by definition, wild animals from an animal welfare perspective deserve to live in their native habitat and to be able to express their natural instincts and activities, and generally speaking, it is very difficult. their physical and emotional well-being i believe is jeopardized when they are in captivity. second, there is a public health and public safety issue with respect to wild animals that do not exist to some degree with respect to domestic animals. on a public health side, there are certain diseases that wild animals carry appeared with wild animals it is much more prevalent. the other thing is from a public safety standpoint, and probably much more important, wild
animals are wild. they are unpredictable. they cannot be tamed in the same way that domestic animals can. they raise these public health, public safety, and welfare issues that other animals do not. in terms of the right to private ownership, you own a home, you own a television set. there are all sorts of things we own that are not sentient beings. animals are. we need to treat their ownership differently than we do ownership of other items. host: our first caller for joan shatner of george washington university's and a lot program comes from michael in illinois. you are an owner of an exotic animal, is that correct? caller: i am actually not. i had a comment, and she was starting to pick up on what i was thinking about. the whole issue revolves around the welfare of the creature's
involved. it is really a sad commentary on human nature that many people want to keep these pets -- exotic pets for the -- i do not know how you put it, but just so the notoriety of it takes place, and eventually, they might get bored with these animals or something might happen, and then they get abandoned. i end up giving a lot of donations to an outfit in california, and they take in an exotic animals and tiger haven down in tennessee, and there is one in texas. the state's -- the behavior of the people is the issue, and when they behave irresponsibly, that is really when they should be crackdown. i think that law enforcement
fellow is just a plain idiot. they did not have to shoot all of those animals, but the police tend to be macho in these situations, and they are trigger happy as far as i am concerned. that is actually my point, but it should revolve around the welfare of the animal. guest: i appreciate that, very much, and i agree with you that it should revolve around the welfare of the animal. the problem with respect to bands compared the regulations and licensing scheme is when you band, it is relatively easy to enforce that have a lot. if you have a licensing or regulations came, which several of the states do have, it is difficult to enforce, and generally speaking, most of the regulations that to impose certain minimal requirements with respect to the handling and care of the animals, are just, in my mind, not sufficient. like as said, with respect to
wild animals, i do not believe they can be sufficient to really meet their particular needs. i do want to address the issue of how the law enforcement in ohio dealt with the issue. i was extremely sad and upset by the very same thing. my first reaction was could they not have tranquilized the animals or used some other means to address the issue? i think as a practical matter, the answer here was no, and at least what i have heard is one, it was rough terrain, a wooded area. it was getting dark, and clearly, from a public safety versus the lives of the animals perspective, public safety is going to trump. what i believe they should have had in place -- they should have been ready for something like this to happen if they realize, one, that they have many people in the state of ohio and elsewhere that have these
animals. they should have had something in place to deal with this type of situation. like i said, given the situation as it was, they did not have it, but i believe that was irresponsible on the part of the government not realize that this could have happened and had something in place to do with it. if i could make one more comment about what happens when you no longer want the animal, that was an excellent point. very often, you have a little bear cub or a tiny tiger cub. they are adorable, and the problem is they grow up to be big. they might still be adorable, but they are big and dangerous and become unmanageable. then what do you do with the animals? unfortunately, very often, they have to euthanize or, really, killed. or you could try to find a sanctuary for them, and there are some wonderful sanctuaries out there, but they do not have the room, and they do not have the resources to handle them. for these reasons, i think banning the ownership -- the private ownership of exotic
animals is really the way to go. host: the man who allegedly freebies' 56 exotic animals before fatally shooting himself in his driveway, according to various reports. back to the phones, terence, you are on the "washington journal." go ahead. terence? all right, let's move on to california. leon, you are on the "washington journal." caller: yes, i have desert tortoises. i do not know if they are exotic or not, but in california, they are an endangered species. they are very domicile, which today are very domicile -- they are very docile, once you take
them in, you are never allowed to take them into the wild because there are various diseases. but i have many animals, not so exotic, but they all come to me, and i have to care for them, and i even have an insurance policy that if something happens to me, they are taken care of. that is my first priority. host: i am not sure the tortoise is an endangered species. california is one of the states that ban private ownership of exotic species. is this gentleman still on the line here? guest: i must admit, i am not quite sure of the status of those tortoises. it is possible they would not be one of the listed -- california does list big -- the specific
species. some states just say exotic or wild animals. california actually lists the species. i am not familiar specifically with california's law. it is possible they do allow the ownership of the tortoises. host: our next call comes from john in albuquerque, new mexico. you are on the "washington journal." caller: it was horrific watching them should those animals. i am was -- i was glad they were able to bring in a leopard. in new mexico, we have theirs, and they have a lot of drab, and they come into the town. people go inside, drink a cup of coffee. the game and fish department comes out. you see about 10% of them on the news when they come into the
city of albuquerque, but we dart the bare or cougar. we do not kill them. it is just inhumane what they did to the animals. once you have domesticated a large cat or a bear, it is dangerous. it is like having a loaded gun. but there are good people that do care for these animals. he led all those animals go pier that does not mean he was not a good caretaker of the animals for so many years prior, but i do not want to take away the benevolent individual that has the land and wherewithal to care for these circus animals. many of them were of use. many of them were taken by poachers as little cubs and race -- raise, and you cannot let them go in the wild. it would be killed by the others and eaten.
host: we are going to leave it there and get a response. guest: couple of interesting points. when you mention where you are, fairly often, there's come into town, and you handle them. a few distinctions -- one is obviously, your state is better equipped to handle this and deal with this. but i also think that the ban comes into town -- the straight man that comes into town is a different situation -- the straight there that comes into town is a different situation than 56 animals -- the stray bear that comes into town is a very different situation than 56 animals. they were not prepared. i think they did attempt to tranquilize one of the tigers, and unfortunately, that did not work successfully when the tiger was actually hit with a tranquilizer gun.
the report is he went more reserved than anything else and they had to shoot the tiger. -- he went more berserk than anything else. i think they could have addressed that. the other point about the benevolent person who wants to own these animals, it really depends on where they are coming from. i believe we should actually have sanctuaries for animals to our surpluses from animals being used to do research, from the zoo and other places that they want to retire the animals. in terms of the poachers, the problem is that people are willing to purchase from the poachers. then you are incentivizing people illegally taking animals from the wild. there was a huge black market in the trade of exotic animals. in fact, there are millions of exotic animals in the u.s. today. it is a billion dollar industry, and much of it is black market.
incentivize that by allowing people to own these animals i think is problematic because it is difficult. host: joan shatner direct stake -- directs the gw animal law program. professor shatner also directs the animal welfare project and is a faculty adviser to the saldf. back to the phones. louise. caller: when george bush was president, he overturned 30 years of the endangered species act. he even allowed trophies of endangered animals to be
imported from other countries. president obama reverse some of the danger that was done, but wild animals like lions and tigers -- i have read that they are bred in captivity in privately owned lands mostly in the midwest, and this is the wealthy hundreds to be able to come in and kill these animals easily. do you know anything about this? guest: yes, unfortunately, i think that is true. there are people breeding these exotic animals, and part of it is because you hear about the special hunting reserves where they place the animals in an enclosed area and then give people the right -- the opportunity to shoot at them and kill them for their trophies. personally, i am appalled by that activity, and i personally believe that we should outlaw it. i do not think they are doing that with endangered species. that would be technically illegal. it is interesting -- right now,
they are considering -- you know, currently, the chimpanzee is listed under the endangered species act, and they are reconsidering the decision as we speak. wild chimpanzees are endangered, but captive chimpanzees -- and there are thousands of them, or millions of them perhaps in the united states being used for research, entertainment, and the like. i believe that is very irresponsible and has really -- has made it very challenging to maintain the chimpanzee population in the wild, never mind the horrific activities and research. chimpanzees are something like 98% dna -- chimpanzees are probably our closest relative, and the fact that we use them in these ways i find to be very immoral and perhaps should also be illegal.
host: our next call comes from rockville, maryland. caller: thank you. i spend a lot of time in the northern virginia horse farm area. certain counties, some of them known to be illegal. there are all these things appear that our insurance rates. [inaudible] they have had the discussions. the legislature has done their homework and said these are the rules. this is the insurance. this is the care guideline, etc. i think the biggest message from what happened in ohio is states have to have discussions. they have to determine what is appropriate care. they have to -- you know, people who own these animals should probably have some kind of
liability insurance. the discussion has to happen and it is not happening. before you and host: answer, want to remind our viewers that -- host: before you answer, what to remind our viewers that virginia is one of the states that allows some exotic animals. guest: liability insurance is often one of the requirements in states that regulate the spirit voices, in my mind, are a bit different than exotic animals in terms of the type of care that we can provide to those animals. like i said, i want to stress that i believe no regulation can properly handle the private ownership of exotic animals. at least the bears, the cats, the large caps, primates, and the like, but, you are right. in terms of the discussion, i will say the upside of having this horrific tragedy is often
it at least generates or creates a dialogue and it brings to the attention of the general public. in many organizations, it has been on their radar screen for a while and they have been attempting to get top legislatures to address these issues, especially in states that do not have any laws at all, but once you have a situation like this, it raises the attention of the public and we start having a dialogue and we hope we will end up with a better legal and social situation after the fact. host: i want to remind our viewers that we have a special line set aside for exotic pet owners, and you can send us a tweed or an e-mail and tell us about your experience with the opening and keeping an exotic pet. next up is daytona beach, florida. turn down your television, okay?
caller:? -- caller: hello? i live in daytona beach, florida. joan, you are doing a wonderful job. could you tell me what the laws are in florida as far as owning a potbellied pig? i have a friend that has won, and she has raised it from birth, and i just wondered what was the law on that. guest: it is hard to know the individual states and their individual laws because they are across the board very different, and they handled the situations differently. i believe florida allows some exotic animals, and they're listed as the no. 1 state in terms of incidents. you mentioned potbellied pigs. i do not believe they would fall under the classification of
exotic animals, so that would be different as well. i do not have in front of me the individual loss from each state, and this is why most people think we should have a federal law to govern this. unfortunately, other than the commercial transport and sail across state lines of animals, which they can regulate and govern within the state, it is up to each individual state in terms of the laws governing private ownership. host: how are exotic animals defined? the gentleman talked about a potbellied pig. guest: potbelly pigs have become a little bit more common in the general sense. the exotic nature is more the wild, the fact that they are on domesticated animals generally speaking. this is another problem with the laws. you have laws that just a wild
and domesticated animals, and you have to litigate extent there's a question as to what constitutes a wild animal or not. that is why at least in terms of states that are banning or regulating this, when the specifically define which species of animals are covered, there are rules so it can be more easily enforced and owners know what is and is not governed under the law. host: linda sends us this and says -- guest: yes, generally speaking wildlife that are not owned by private individuals are under the auspices of the state. that is where we have various hunting laws and other types of laws that the states have governed when you can and cannot hunt, and it is designed to protect the public's interests.
very often, most of the private ownership of wild animals -- they did not necessarily go and take a beer from the wild in the state and bring it and try to on that animal. it is more usually barring in exotic animals that are often non native to the state. host: according to the chart we found this morning, west virginia is one of seven states that have no loss on on exotic pets. >> right, it would be legal, but like a said, by definition, while life as specifically defined are defined as all the animals that are not privately owned. host: sharon in dallas, texas. caller: i live about 5 miles from downtown dallas in a critique of an area, and a couple of years ago, some idiot
decided he could not handle this bindle tiger, so he shot him five times and put him on the service road up by 35 -- of i- 35. but a reward out for him and have not found him yet, but hopefully, they will soon and he will get what he deserves. guest: that is quite horrific. there are animal cruelty and neglect laws of the books of all the states, and then must include the intentional abuse of animals. often, while life is exempt from those laws, however, presumably, if you have a wild animal that is privately owned, then the owner is subject to those neglect and cruelty laws. host: our next call comes from birmingham, alabama. caller: to me, i think these
animals should not be handled by these people. let them stay in the wild. what these animals got loose or something? and someone hurts. we do not think about that. what is wrong with america? wild animals should be in the wild. host: if this man had not killed himself and someone had gotten hurt, would he be liable for the actions of his animals on an innocent bystander? guest: yes, absolutely. it is pretty clear that that would be negligent if not reckless behavior because he is clearly aware that these are wild animals. they are inherently dangerous, and they are not attainable, and therefore, he could be held liable for the injury of the
public. host: bill is our next caller. you do not own an exotic animal, but you know somebody who does, correct? caller: i did. i think owning of exotic animals as part of a culture of mostly pure flexing of much she's well. you are in ohio. a lot of people, the people you see driving around in large suv 's. they get in over their head on animals. we had a guy in this area who died, and there was a young guy who worked on his property prior to that who got mauled to death by one of this animal spirits the commonalities of that these people have had run-ins' with the law.
they know that owning exotic animals is controversial in the neighborhood. to me, it is a form of flexing. a way of saying this is there something. they on dangerous animals and what to intimidate people and get in the news and get into these wild confrontations with the police, and it have to end up being put down in some wild way. the fact is, i think this is a lot of bunk. i do not think it has to do with caring about animals or being benevolent. i think it is typical ohio flexing. host: for those of us not familiar with the geography of ohio, how far away from you from the incident? -- caller: guest: it is about -- caller: i live about 110 miles away from the incident, but we
have a guy who was like a carbon copy. he also had run-ins' with the law. it is all about flexing and trying to think that you are something special and thinking back -- you know, you handle snakes and dangerous animals and you do it in front of people, and you like to get your mug on the news. you get into these wild confrontations. one thing about these people is they get in over their head and cannot handle it and go berserk and do something crazy. host: we are going to leave it there. the states that do allow ownership, what kind of procedures do you have to go through as far as getting some sort of license to, say, have a bindle tiger or other exotic animal on your property? guest: you are referring to the states that regulate. if you have no laws, you did not have to do anything.
there are 13 or so states that have either a permit or licensing type of provision. typically, you would have to provide a detailed description of the animal. you would have to have liability insurance. if the animal were to harm another individual. you would typically have to have a veterinarian treat the animal can get a health certificate to the animal on an annual basis. often, there are minimal requirements with respect to food, shelter, and enclosure in which the animal must remain. some states also prevents certain people or limit who can own these animals. you have to be over 21. if you are a convicted felon or have been convicted for animal cruelty, whether it be a felony or not, some states prevent those individuals from owning these animals, but that is generally how the licensing provision works. host: barber in austin, texas,
thanks for waiting. go ahead. caller: thanks. just a second. sari, can you hear me now? -- sorry, can you hear me now? ok. i feel so strongly about this that it is hard for me to even talk about it. this sort of cruelty. first of all, we are innovating all the habitats of all the other creatures, there are so many of us. wild animals are to be wild. i agree with all the people who have spoken already. i am so happy that you are here doing this program. i think there is no excuse anymore for using animals in research. it is a form of cruelty. it is completely unnecessary.
there are other, better ways of doing research. i just wanted to mention something good. in texas, there is a large estate where there are many wild animals that have lots and lots and lots of room. there are cheetahs and zebras -- host: a privately owned operation? caller: it did belong to a man who had wild animals there. it looks like africa theory there are low hills. it is a large place. they have even found dinosaurs. the dinosaur bones. in some cases, they take care of animals that did not have any more wild habitats. host: part of the problem, and a 1 get your thoughts -- the woman who called earlier from the
mexico said that they had bears come through, and it sort of like the humans have encroached on the habitat of the bears, but the situation in ohio where you have some of these exotic animals -- it is not in their dna to be in the middle of ohio, and i believe that is what makes them agitated to a certain extent. guest: right. as i said, with wild animals, they are unpredictable, but if they are used to having people around, they become acclimated to that. these animals were perhaps used to him, but they were not used to interacting with other humans, and in any event, they are not going to be domesticated, and you never quite know what the animal is going to do. >> our last call comes from tennessee.
caller: i just had a few thoughts on this subject. all of your veterinarians do not know a lot about exotics. if you have animals, they are going to get out. if you have domestic ones, they are going to get out. that is just what happens. host: we are going to have to leave it there. we are out of time. guest: i want to thank the caller that called in, especially those that shared with us. my personal belief that the private ownership of exotic animals should be banned in all of the states. i do not believe from an animal welfare standpoint or public safety standpoint that licensing and regulation can be adequate to address the issues that are going to happen, and they are difficult to enforce in any event, so let's hope that this tragedy can turn into something positive and start a dialogue and get the states on board to
an act of real legislation. host joan shatner, thank you very much for being with us. tomorrow morning, daniel schorr of johns hopkins university center will be here to talk about libya. alex loss and -- lawson will talk about social security recipients who get a 3.6% increase in benefits next year, and jonathan martin and amy gardner participate in a roundtable discussion regarding the latest developments in the 2012 presidential campaign. thank you very much for watching today's program. we will see you again tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern.