tv Washington Journal CSPAN December 14, 2011 7:00am-10:00am EST
and then representative john yarmuth, a democrat from kentucky, and a member of it the budget committee. at 9:15 a.m. eastern, we will be joined by richard brookhiser, the author of a biography of president james madison. host: will the -- well, the house passed the payroll tax cut extension last night. senate democrats declared it dead on arrival and president obama promised to veto it. where does that leave the year and the budget negotiations? it has still to be determined. we will discuss those issues with two members of congress later on "washington journal." in other news, the national transportation safety board proposed a nationwide hand-held cell phone driving ban, and that
is what we want to talk about on this first segment of "washington journal." what do you think about a nationwide cellphone driving ban, hand-held driving ban. you supported? -- do you support it? please, allow 30 days between your calls. you can also send us a tweet -- and you can send an e-mail -- remember to include the hypen in that case. and finally, you can vote on our facebook page -- no hypen there. here is "the washington times" and how they play the story this
here is deborah hersman, who is the board chairman. >> when it comes to using those electronic devices, it may seem like it is a very quick call, a very quick check, a tweet, or and update. of but accidents happen in the blink of the night. of the ntsb knows full well how fast things can go on working perfectly fine to being all over. it just takes seconds. lives are lost in the blink of an eye. you can't take it back. you cannot have a do over. and you can't rewind. these things are permanent. and we know that this recommendation is going to be very unpopular with some people. but we are not here to win a popularity contest. we are here to do the right thing. at the ntsb is the safety conscience and safety compass of the transportation industry.
host: back to "the washington times" article -- again, we want to get your reaction to the national transportation safety board's proposed nationwide ban on the cellphone is while driving. we are going to put the numbers back on the screen and we will begin with a call from new york city. you support such a ban. why? caller: you know, i am a driver, an experienced driver. and i don't have any fancy blue to -- bluetooth.
and i have all the headsets. and even when not texting -- and texting is really impossible to focus on the road, it is so clear. i knew a few years ago when some other legislation was passed that when you fumble, like to plug in the that had set into your cellphone while you are driving, for example -- plug into the headset into yourself on what you are driving, or trying to dial someone -- not to mention, i am in the insurance business -- clearly you should be doing nothing else when you are driving the vehicle. any use of the cell phone, e- mail and, and texting is out of control. even when you try to set the rate you station dial, it can also be a distraction. of course, they will not ban
that and it would be ridiculous. but as an insurance adjuster, i am in such an agreement with this that i cannot begin to tell you. host: as an insurance adjuster, have you adjust it an accident where texting has been an issue -- adjusted accidents where texting has been an issue? caller: i have begun to incorporate in my questioning whether someone has been handling such things when the accident occurred. host: will an insurance company not cover an accident when texting is happening? caller: covered, accidents are covered. host: regardless. caller: there are no exclusions for using a hand-held device. host: do you think that is something that should change? caller: now you are opposing something new. no, i don't think it should change, because what they do is they take a look at the policy,
and going forward, if an accident occurs, just as if somebody was drinking, they cover an accident if there is alcohol involved, but what happens to your premium the next time around it remains to be seen. host: mark from new york city, thank you for calling in. this is how "the wall street journal" plays this story. our next call comes from the petersons from texas. merry christmas to you. caller: merry christmas to you, peterson. -- merry christmas to you, peter. host: do you talk on your cellphone when you drive?
caller: no, and neither does she. host: do you think there should be banned? caller: yes, it is dangerous. you cannot concentrate on the road with all of those buttons. it is just dangerous. host: how is everything else going down there? caller: we were dry but we are starting to get a little bit of rain today. host: all set for christmas? caller: all set, peter. caller: we were making one more. one more christmas -- because he is 71 and item 81. host: i just talk to my mom and she is 81 and she is getting ready for us to come out for christmas. caller: we have been married 45 years, peter. host: i am not even that old. caller: we did not want to hear that. host: not quite the truth. all right, got to let you go. thank you for calling and merry
christmas. "the houston chronicle" this morning -- that is the lead story this morning in "the houston chronicle." jamie in manassas, virginia. you support the ban as well. caller: absolutely. listen -- there is so much going on on the roads with the congestion, the volume of traffic. there are so many people on the road and some of the things i have seen, you just have to shake your head. shaving, putting on makeup. phone use is the last thing we should be doing while behind a vehicle. there are so many things we need to focus on. the last thing we need to do is get on the phone and lose our concentration.
host: are you calling from a cell phone? caller: i am stationery, not on the road. i am a licensed hazmat driver and i am carrying flammable products on my truck. and there are people that just do some of the most extraordinary things right in front of me, and i am looking for emergency escape routes. improper lane changes. host: does your company have a policy about talking on the phone or taking business calls? caller: absolutely. what the ntsb trying to implement about the hands free device must be in use -- that is a good start. but i think it has proven it is not an effective procedure. they need to -- i think we have
gone beyond that. absolutely no phones in the vehicles. host: you agree with even the hands-free ban? caller: it kind of helps the driver not be so preoccupied in one sense, but just the fact that you have to carry on a conversation and focusing your attention on something else, i think we need to go with a total ban. i think that is the safest and most practical thing. host: all right, jamie. thank you for calling in. alex is calling from atlanta on the opposed line. caller: good morning. first-time caller. thank you for c-span. i kind of agree with the general idea that there are a lot of distractions on the road. however, i don't believe that banning cellphone from the car
in general is the right way to go. really, we need to look at what the real distractions are four drivers and work on those as opposed to making a blanket whatment without seeing the full effects are. host: it sounds like you are calling on a cell phone. are you driving? caller: i am driving. and i and a very careful driver with a blue to the system. host: hands free? caller: handsfree, and my eyes never leave the road. host: are you listening to c- span on xm? thanks for calling in. if you want to make a comment and vote on a facebook page on whether another should be a nationwide cellphone while driving ban --
deirdre, from alexandria, virginia. please, go ahead. caller: i do phone -- you cannot use a cell phone on fort belvoir, you cannot use it there, but out on public i use my cell phone. i listened to c-span every morning. but it is a fact that it is ext or useou do not tax the cellphone -- so if there is a van i would not do it. they need to hire a law enforcement's -- the problem will be enforcement, i think. host: are you using handsfree device? caller: no, i am not.
host: you are guilty of texting? caller: all the time. probably the worst is the texting part. host: randall and spokane, washington -- in spokane, washington. you support it. caller: i am in a state that does not allow in a typical offense to be caught using a cellphone or texting while driving. i actually support it and think that the penalty should be increased almost to a do you y -- dui, because mainly when you are texting your eyes are not on the road. i don't drive that often and i bike around town and walk around town, and the amount of times i have been cut off by cars who have somebody on a cell phone or somebody texting, it has become a major problem to the point where distracted -- penalties
need to be stepped up. host: what do you think about handsfree, if you have bluetooth? isn't it like singing to the radio? caller: but if you are listening to the radio it is more background noise. but if you are holding a specific conversation over even a handsfree device, you are still thinking about that conversation and it is still a distraction. host: colorado, ray, you are opposed to such a nationwide ban. caller: i am opposed. i am a handsfree and i have driven over millions of miles. 82 years old and i have not had an accident in over 40 years. i think handsfree, you can keep your eyes on the road all the time, and pilots talk and fly all the time. i agree with the texting part.
and if you are not handsfree, i think it should be inactive. host: you use a handsfree device and talk on the phone? caller: yes, i do. host: you don't see any problem with continuing that? caller: no, i don't. host: ok. thank you for coming in. this front-page story -- "drop that cell call." said lewis. chloe, you support the ban. caller: there are three types of distractions when you are on the phone -- visual -- you know, you are looking down on your phone -- there is manual, taking your hand off of the wheel -- but the cognitive gets lost and conversation. people highlighting handsfree saying it is not fair because it is handsfree, but the entire
cognitive distraction keeps your mind off of the road. it has been proven study after study that cognitive distraction is a major problem and handsfree is just as dangerous as hand- held. when you are driving, your mind should be on driving. i was horrified that that man who called in before, i am so glad he has not had an accident, but he is 82 using a bluetooth. the attitude that pervades in america is, well, i know it is unsafe but i am safe when i do it. i think it is an attitude we have seen in many studies. aaa came out with a steady around d.c. beltway that many people know it is dangerous, but then you have a large percentage to still text or speak on the phone while driving. the driving test should be the most important thing when you
those are some of the comments we have gotten from twitter.com. to matt from taylor, arkansas. you are opposed. caller: because of the logistics and forcing it. do we put a camera in everybody's car? that is the question i want to ask the guys suggesting it be implemented. i don't understand this. host: do you use a cell phone
while driving? caller: yes, i do. host: all right. the front-page of the "detroit free press." you can see the big graphic on the front page. florida -- victoria. do you support such a nationwide ban, and why? caller: i have had two different accidents by people on cell phones. one was pulling out in a parking lot while i was going through it. and the other sideswiped me, not realizing that i was beside him. it told both of my cars. -- totaled both of my cars. and the irresponsibility of driving and not paying attention. what did these people think?
that's because they have phones they can chat away and cost other people's lives? being a driver, the privilege to drive here in this country, and not be responsible of the other driver with children in their cars. this one guy who decides what to me had three little boys in his car -- this one guy who side swiped me. we could have all been killed. only by the grace of god were we .tarepared i am forgetting the cell phones off the road, out of the cars. -- i am for getting the cell phones off the road. the government has to step in -- big brother has to tell us to do another thing. why don't we americans become more responsible for brothers
and sisters who are on the road with their children? thank you. host: to reset in columbus, ohio. you also support such a ban -- teresa, from columbus, ohio. caller: i was an accident in 2002 that caused the blast and severe headaches, the woman was on the cellphone. i received nothing. my whole life was changed. my husband is a construction worker, and they have almost been hit numerous times. it is ridiculous. i also do real-estate, and i have to turn iphone off when i am driving and people get upset with me because i will not answer my phone while i am driving. i think the world needs to understand that people's health is more important than the use of an instrument other than the car when you are driving. host: facebook.com, you can vote on whether you support the
nationwide cellphone driving ban. currently, 73 votes in favor and 25 votes are opposed to it. north carolina -- brendan, you it. opposed to caller: taking it totally out of the car -- as far as limiting phone activity, you know, that could help a little bit more from the distractions. bluetooth, you have now the cars where you can speak in the car and there is a microphone in there. i think they are trying to blame the cell phones to much. i don't think the whole texting thing -- you know, but when you are driving on the phone, i
think they should be blaming weatherperson in the people -- blaming the person, or the people -- yeah, what happens if somebody calls you and it is a big emergency and you are too scared to pick up the phone because you are going to get a ticket. a text message -- somebody is in the hospital. i don't want to pick up my phone because a cop might see me. host: that was brendan in north carolina. ctia, which is an interest group, or and association, which represents the cellular phone companies, this is their statement. the head of it is a former member of congress, republican from washington state -- from oklahoma, i am sorry. he played for the seahawks when he was in the nfl.
rebecca is in st. petersburg, florida. you support the ban. caller: let me be clear that i am so excited that you are asking finally for opinions, because i think it is a band that should be in place years and years ago. i agreed with a caller earlier who stated that it is not just about texting, but it is about talking on the cellphone. and it is not just about
handsfree vs not handsfree. there are lots of statistics to back up the information that we are not designed -- our mental capacity does not allow us to be adequately able to speak on a cell phone and maintain our focus for driving. yes, we are able to do this, but we are impaired. it is like drinking and driving. you can still visually see it but your response time is cut down so dramatically that it is the equivalent of being under the influence. that is how it should be regarded for cellphone drivers. they are under the influence of their cell phone. and so, their mental capacity is diminished because they are not focused on their driving. host: let's leave it there, rebecca. thank you call judy thank you for calling in this morning.
robert in alexandria, virginia. you are opposed to such a ban. caller: i have been enjoying c- span's morning show for years. i am opposed to it. i am frankly stunned that so many people are so willing and quick to give away any kind of freedom they have in this respect. it is usually assumed -- i live in the d.c. area, the suburbs, and i do not talk on myself on when i am driving because the traffic is so crazy and there is so much constructed -- construction. but i drive frequently on the countryside. this would not make any sense in the middle of nowhere. are you going to hit a deer or something? i am just so stunned that people cast off talking on the phone -- or even a headset, which i use while i and driving. i am, you know, i don't see anything to improve people's driving or their skills.
some more tweets -- a lot of them on this issue. those are some more of the twitter comments we have had this morning. cincinnati, you support the ban as well. caller: i support the ban. mainly, everything i heard and support of it -- like rebecca hit the nail on the head. it is a matter of concentration. tests have shown that drinking,
it is the same as if you were drinking. i don't think it has got anything to do with taking away your liberty or freedom. if you've got an emergency, pull over and get on the phone -- if there is an emergency. it is unsafe. you can kill people. i have had people come had on to me while texting -- head on to me while texting. i think they should immediately put a ban on all cell phone use. host: i think we could do all three hours on this issue, but there is other news. this is from "the daily caller." in "the wall street journal" --
the national transportation safety board -- by the way, on their web site is for the ntsb.gov. rick from memphis, you are opposed. why is that? caller: good morning. my views on any kind of bans against electronic news -- goes against the grain of our government. why are we using our government to convince our population to police themselves from doing things that are obviously unsay ?fe the texting should stop immediately. but there is no way the government should be intervening in the use of over-the-counter electronics. we should also consider that all of this cellphone use on the road now has become a part of our economy. if you took away the use of self
loans and in commerce, you would drastically reduce our economy -- if you took away the use of the cell phones and e-commercwe. caller: i did not say why the caller before me -- just having a hand for unit. texting is completely wrong. you should not do it. you will say a person, they will be going 30 in a 45, absolutely oblivious to the world around them. my sister was in a wreck. it was her fault. she was on a cell phone. she would not even take responsibility. it is not the right thing to do. i did not seeing banning handsfree anymore that you could ban talking to someone in the front seat with you. if your hands are free, it is not like you are eating lunch.
people can make an argument against that, but that is my point. host: georgia. david on the opposing line. why are you opposed to such a ban, david? david? caller: how are you all doing? host: what are you opposed to a ban on cell phone use while driving? caller: i am against thit becau, if think people are not paying attention while they are driving -- a lot of times around here, just a small town here, several times -- me and my mother have been hit lots of times because people do not watch what they are doing. so, therefore, i think they need to do away with it. but it is okay, i would think,
lucie, why do you support a nationwide ban? caller: first of all, let me say that i am glad you opened this up for discussion. by the way, good morning. i am sorry. the reason i support it is because i have had my cell phone or maybe a good 7 or eight years. and the very first time i got my phone, i was in my car. and i don't know how many calls i must have received within probably 5 or 10 minutes. while driving, i refuse to answer my phone. and when i was going straight ahead, i came across an accident. i did not know what caused the accident. but later on i heard on the news that there was a distraction to that driver. and they were -- the law
enforcement officers were pinpointing the fact that there was a cell phone being used. they did not know how it was being used but there was a distraction. since then, i have refused to answer my phone while i am not behind the wheel. i have been in vehicles where there have been other people driving, and i have seen the driver text somebody or using the phone and i have made comments, is it really necessary. if there is an absolute emergency you need to get on the phone, that could be understanding, and i think law enforcement would understand that. if you tell them you have an emergency, in that case, what you need to do is pull over to the side of the road. i think it is ludicrous. host: we will leave it there. it thank you so much.
"the washington post" continues its series looking at the republican presidential candidates. today it is about newt gingrich. i already looked at mitt romney, rick perry, and michele bachmann. tomorrow, ron paul, and friday, jon huntsman and rex santorum on the same day -- rick santorum on the same day. obama set to welcome troops home from iraq.
that to your calls on a proposed nationwide cellphone driving ban -- back to your calls. robert on the opposed line. caller: somebody is going to pay for this. anytime you oppose a law -- impose a law, the american people are burdened with more taxes and insurance premiums. where does it stop? look at our economy now. it needs to be on an individual basis. someone is going to pay for this. and it will be in claims for insurance -- they love this. more money and more burdens on the taxpayer. i do not know what people are thinking about. host: david, beaver falls, pennsylvania. you are in support of such a ban. caller: yes, sir. good morning, first off. i would like to say i support
the ban fully. several years ago i obtained my cellphone, and like most of us, i thought i could handle it and i was not even going fast, about 25 down a residential street, and i hit a curb and busted a tire. and i thought about it, and that just as easily could have been a child playing. host: were you on the phone? caller: yes, i was. i was dialing. and it was a hand-held cell phone. since then, i have completely cut it out. i will let the phone rang. we think we are so self important that we cannot even take -- we have too much of a sense of self importance. that important, pull off the road and call them back. host: what about opposing making it handsfree? caller: i still think you are distracted from the road.
a lot of tweets this morning. it might be worth loggin on if you want to read them yourself. daniel on the opposed line. caller: hello? host: you have to turn down your volume and go ahead and make your comments. caller: i oppose anything -- well, not any thing -- when the federal government comes in and tells you what you can and cannot do in your car. with the cell phone, a lot of people use them responsibly, use the hands free, and it is not the place of the government federally to tell you cannot have a phone or you should use a handsfree. whether or not insurance companies, like, say you did in
an accident and it is reported you were on your phone, then there is a higher rate for you in the future. but it is not the government job. it is actually kind of upsetting that the federal government would even think about doing that. host: all right, thank you for calling. two final twitter comments. this is linda, referring to the caller who talk about self importance. this morning, tom tweets in -- finally, on our facebook page, if you want to go and vote. 107 in favor of such a nationwide ban and currently 44 votes opposed.
you can vote facebook.com/cspan. we have three segments coming up. historian richard brookhiser will be out here at 9:15 a.m. eastern time talking about a article he has written about james madison, part of a larger book. prior to that, senator yarmuth, democrat from kentucky, from the budget committee. we will be talking about some of the budgetary matters coming on. up next, senator tom coburn, republican from oklahoma. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] cash
>> for the past few months we have examined the political lives of "the contenders," 14 men who ran for president and lost but had a lasting impact. we will talk with a history professor james baker, a real clear politics editor, and a presidential historian, to see what they learned from this series, friday at 8:00 p.m. eastern. to view the episodes, go to c- span.org/thecontenders. >> today i am proud to welcome prime minister al-maliki, the elected leader of a sovereign, self reliance, and democratic iraq. we are here to mark the end of this war. to honor the sacrifices of all of those who made this day
possible and to turn the page and begin a new chapter in history between our countries. in normal relationship between sovereign nations, an equal partnership based on mutual interest and mutual respect. >> as american troops prepare to leave iraq this month, look back at key people and events of the nearly nine-year war on line at the c-span video library. archived and searchable. it is watching -- washington, your way. >> this weekend on book tv on c- span2, in "throw them all out" -- saturday at 7:00 p.m. and sunday at 11:00 p.m. eastern. also, walter isaacson on his best-selling biography of apple co-founder steve jobs. that is saturday night at 8:00 and sunday at 10:00 p.m. in "after words" robert guest
argues cheap travel and internet helps immigrants stay in touch with their home countries and it fosters innovation and economic growth worldwide. watch book tv every weekend on c-span2. >> "washington journal" continues. host: on your screen is senator tom coburn, republican from oklahoma and member of the senate finance committee. before we began some the discussion of the budget issues, we just chatted with our viewers about the ntsb's proposed nationwide ban on cell phone use while driving. guest: i think two things. first of all, it is not the federal government's role, it is the state's role. i think it is a correct decision -- unless you have totally handsfree, everyone who has done that has experienced a near miss or a problem. we do not have the capability. but it is not the role of the
federal government but of the state governments. that is part of our problem. we have this tremendously large federal government that imposes its will, even when it is right, or when it is wrong, on the states. and this is really a state issue. they are responsible for speed limits. they are responsible for insurance requirements. they are responsible for every other aspect of it, and we should not be transferring that to the federal government. host: now to some of the topic at hand for you all up on the hill. this is "the wall street journal" this morning. the house passed its bill last night on the payroll tax extension. from your reading on what is in that bill, would you have voted in favor of the house bill? guest: probably. i think, first of all, we ought to describe what is the problem giving a tax cut this week. we are actually undermining the
social contract with social security. i think it is fine to have the $900 to $1,000 for working families, but we ought to do it through a tax credit rather than undermining social security. because once we lose the contract, that will be ultimately what will proceed, given the budget problems in front of us. social security will be a program for the poor and not a program for america. so i think it is dangerous. and we will borrow money against our children ultimately to pay for this. so, what we are saying is we are not willing to really make the hard choices now that unnecessary to fix the problems. we would just push that off and take the benefit. that is what we have been doing for 20 years, under both parties, and that is why we are near a crisis now in terms of our budget. host: senator harry reid already declared it dead on arrival. it will not happen. so, what happens next in the senate? guest: there are other ways to
get bills up. we had this kind of unilateral -- trying to convert the senate into the house. what is wrong with voting on it? it may be dead, but let us vote and see where we stand. the big problem today in washington is the leaders of the parties are making the decisions so members of congress are protected from having to make a vote. in other words, i did not want my team to have to make a vote on this, so we are not -- just not going to vote on it. if you are elected to come up here, you ought to have the courage to vote one way or the other and be able to defend it. the fact is, as we have politics on the senate rather than policy, the direction is always about the next election instead of what is getting ready to happen to our country. i have real concerns over senator harry reid's leadership in the senate this year. we have had 14 substantive votes the whole year. we have had 15 political votes.
the rest of it has been nothing. and it is because we have not done i'll work. so, for him to say it is dead -- it is not dead. i could go down to rule 14 myself -- go around the leader, and some of us might not do that. let's have a vote. and if you think that is wrong, vote against it. but let's not not have votes. host: even what the house passed, the fact they did the payroll extension, does that affect what goes on with the continuing resolution and the budget? and the senate is bringing up the balanced budget amendment? guest: none of it -- to the average american, what is happening in washington today does not make sense. everybody agrees, we are not going to have a government shutdown. everybody agrees we are going to continue to get this tax credit or tax break on social security or the equivalent. the question is, the parties are trying to score points. it is sickening.
that is why only 9% of americans have any confidence about what congress is doing. it is all about, how we make each other of bad or good, or ourselves look good and somebody else look bad? it is all based on the election in november 2012. the problems in front of our country are so great -- those are small problem, whether and how we fund the government -- but what this problem -- coming as we will have a debt load where we could not even manage to the interest if we did not change what we do. this sparring, political gamesmanship, which the american people have already rejected, the matter who is in charge, republican or democrat. so there are very few grown-ups willing to look past the next election. it really does not matter who wins the next election and terms of the problems that are coming to us. they are very big problems. they are solvable but not with the behavior we have today.
host: senator tom coburn is our guest for the next 40 minutes or so. and also send a senator coburn a tweet or an e-mail. and we are guinta being with a call from sarah from dixon, illinois, on the independent line. caller: hi, senator coburn. i agree with a lot of your views, but i was wondering, how do you feel about the wage disparity, and do you feel that the bush tax cuts have contributed to that? guest: you know, i don't know now -- first of all, the way we get rid of the wage disparity is opportunity and growth. i did not know what has caused it but it has been exaggerated -- especially as we have seen
the downturn. and we have seen it before in large economic cycles, that happens. but i think there is a principle -- i am one of the few republicans that believes if you want to have a tax cut, you have to pay for it. if you are going to reduce the revenue to the federal government you have to reduce expenses so you are not borrowing the tax cut from your grandchildren and children. the way to solve the disparity, 1, is to take all of the loopholes and favoritism out of the tax cuts, out of the tax code, for those who have had the ability to advantage of themselves. rather than raise taxes, what we ought to do is lower taxes, taking away the tremendous advantage that the well- connected and well-healed have in terms of the tax code. there is tons of that. and there are billions and billions of dollars each year we could raise by eliminating
special favors in the tax code for the very wealthy. host: in the house bill, this is from "the wall street journal" -- not included was an extension of the patch for the alternative minimum tax. guest: the alternative minimum tax started out to get 150 millionaires who were not paying their fair share. now almost everybody on the east coast and west coast and some on the gulf coast, the wealthier states, are being hit with an alternative minimum tax. nobody intends for that to happen. so, it will eventually get patched. i do not know why it is in there. i am not in on it. but eventually that will change. it just tells you what isn't -- wrong with our tax code. we have an alternative minimum tax and every year we patch it. we have a debt ceiling and then every time we come against the
we raise it. what normally would come through, we fix every year. that tells you the dishonesty of the process. and that is why what we need to do -- actually, what i believe we ought to do is by april 15 of next year, we ought to pass a bill right now selling a book 15th of next year, the tax code as we know it is dead. one of their revenue requirements that will not hurt the economy and the real things we need to be spending money on in terms of expenditures, what is required to find that? and can we continue funding the entitlement programs that way that they are without reform eminem -- reforming them and have a viable future? had we modified discretionary spending, we would be in surplus right now. in other words, had we pay for the bush tax cuts by offsetting
the additional tax revenues that would be decrease, by decreasing the federal government, the federal government would be in surplus right now. if we would not be in trouble and have $15 billion -- $15 trillion worth of debt. in spite of the two wars. my background, most people know me as a doctor but i am an accountant by training and spent nine years in business. we continue to shoot ourselves in the foot over political positioning rather than doing the best right thing for the country. and we do not have a problem in front of us that we cannot fix. what we lack is the courage and leadership in washington to address it and not worry about whether you're going to get reelected. it is time that that is what needs to happen. the country is facing in the near future much more difficult problems than we ever faced in our lives in terms of the consequence of our spending and borrowing against future. host: looking back, senator
coburn, was there a time when the gang of six could have come and make a difference? guest: yes. i think that is true. we could have, but we had to come together and it was also a time where there were actual better policies out there that i agreed with more than i agree ,ith cut, cap, -- cut, cap'n and balanced i agree with more than the gang of six. but we did come to an agreement which will raise revenue, and cut expenses, and cut entitlements, not to the degree that we had do, butso i would m. one of the reasons we are in trouble as a country is not because we cannot get along but because we got along and passed bills that we should not have. otherwise, we would not running trillion dollar deficits and would not have a tax code that is disproportionate, would not
be funding millionaires on unemployment and all of these other things which come to about $28 billion a year in terms of tax loopholes. we get along too well when it comes to helping our friends. we would be m in much better shape at we not pass a whole lot of these things. host: next call comes from florida, scott on our democrats line. you're on the washington journal. caller: let me correct you on something. the reason that the senate is not getting bills passed is because of the republican filibusters, i believe. but anyway, let's get to the tax issue. guest: let me correct you on that. since senator reid has been leader, here is a bill coming you can have no amendments -- why would we vote for that? i do not think you are accurate
when you say we are a filibuster. you call for a filibuster as soon as you do not allow for amendments or input from the minority. the senate was designed so that everyone has a voice, what you're the leader or the lowest member of the senate. what senator reid has done has essentially shut out the voice of support the state's -- a 40 states. caller: remember the statement of the republican leader that their job was to make obama a one-term president. our founding fathers intentionally made the tax system the way that it is because they understood that what the balanced budget amendment, there were going to be times when the government is not bringing in things like today's economy, what government needs to help people. and they need to spend more money so they cannot have a balanced budget and just in the 18% like the republicans want to do.
-- in just and a 80% like the republicans want to. -- spend the 80 -- the 18% like their republicans want to. one person instead of the beginning the original $400 tax break instead of obama had put in, is now getting $319. that means he is paying $80.93 for someone making more money to get more than the $400. guest: i am not sure that i know his point. our founders did not have an income tax. that came far later. what our founders did say is that you never borrow money or create a spending program with which you have not laid attacks for. i would tell you both parties have been totally guilty of doing that. we just about medicare part d.. it is up $14 trillion charged to
your children. no one has ever paid the revenue on and yet we have promised a benefit. when that was passed, it was done as a political maneuver during the second bush election, that we would take the price of prescription drugs off the table. now we're going to charge $14 trillion to kids that are not even born yet to pay for the prescription drugs of seniors today. for reforming the tax code. i am all for everybody paying an equal amount. at their share, as the president says, but when the top 20% in this country pay 80% off all federal income taxes, i do not think you can make a logical case that they are not paying enough. what we have done is that the federal government is twice the size of was 10 years ago. we can have the around the corner of the debate of should we grow government or shrink government or raise taxes, which
comes first? when the government is twice the size that it was 10 years ago, my voters make -- is to make the government smaller. we have to wonder billion dollars of duplication in programs. a couple of examples. 37 job training programs and not one has a metric and all but three overlap one another. why would we spend $18 billion on 47 separate job training programs? we have 82 teacher training programs for a 82 run by the federal government, not one has a metric to say that it works. why do we need 82? why not one? why is that role for the federal government? we have had incompetent congresses and in combat and oversight of this federal government and when there is something we're doing, we need to make sure we're doing it effectively. host: carlotta republican line, you are on the "washington journal."
caller: i like to see you run for president and see you in the white house for the next eight years, because when you talk, the common man, the average man such as myself can understand what you're saying. most of these politicians talk in circles. but the average people just do not understand. i am glad you gave that democrat a history lesson on our income tax. thank you. guest: the only thing i am running for his dinner. i am and my last term as u.s. senator and one of the things that gives me insight is that i am term limited. i think could be a great application across the border in washington. i think it makes you focus on what is really important, why i am here, we need more oversight and we actually know what we're talking about. we have actually researched it. we're the no. 1 utilize for the
gao and the congressional research service. they are fantastic organizations. just to tell you how politics works, the gao got its budget cut twice as much as the senate cut its budget cut this year because they did not like some of the reports they were putting out. and so we're going to spank you because you have embarrassed us because we were not doing our job. we need to keep the gao funded and congressional research because that is where a lot of the knowledge will come from to solve our problems. host: your term limit is self- imposed. guest: that is right. i will be out in 2016. host: why did you do that? guest: first of all, the assumption of not accepting term limits is that no one can do this as good as i can, that is arrogance. arrogance leads to poor judgment. number one, power leads to
arrogance which leads to poor judgment which we have seen a lot of. number three is that our founders, if you go back and read, they believed in the concept of rotation. none of them with the exception of alexander hamilton believed that people ought to make a career in politics. most of them could not believe that anyone would be so stupid as to make a career in politics. this was about to be service for the country not for the individual. what we see conflict in both republicans and democrats is that you see this tension and conflict over what is best for my political career best of what is best for the country. and too often what is best for the below where rigid the political career wins. that is not best for the country. i think a constitutional amendment which we will never get unless we have a constitutional convention because the people appear will never vote themselves term limits, but the concept of term limits, but the american people can force term limits. unless you would hear and to proceed to a self adhered --
self-imposed term limits, we're not going to vote for you. host: any thoughts of running for president? guest: i have thought about the weaknesses of our potential nominees but nothing serious. i probably not have the skills it necessary for that. host: this week. -- this week. tweet. guest: how the probably vote for newt gingrich simply because when you're limited the two options you get one or two options. first of all, one of my discussed with the media today is the headline today is about the republican race. we have a lot more important things on our plate right now than that. when we concentrate on that, it means we're not concentrating on these very real problems in
front of our country. we have $15.3 trillion worth of debt. if interest rates rise one point, we get happen unless additional $163 billion per year on interest. that is what we would have to cut from other programs. you think about that. howard debt in net interest cost is the lowest it's ever been as far as rate and our maturity of debt is the shortest it has ever entered which means when interest rates rise, and they're going to rise for us because there will come a point in time when people will not want to lend us money, much like europe is going through. if we have not made it hard choices ahead of time, we need to concentrate on reforming our entitlements and tax code and create of vibrant economy that is not based on a tax code that is fair but yet causes capital to flow in a job creation. that is what we need to do.
and nobody is doing that. we're now working on the real problems. we're working on the political sparring and the threat of a shutdown. not that will happen but it makes for great news. none of that is going happen. all the politicians know it. americans are sick of posturing. they want to hear the real problems and possible solutions. they are grown ups and we are not acting like grownups. host: an independent from south carolina, phil, you're on the "washington journal." caller i called with two things in mind. the term limit issue which i wholeheartedly believe that is the only way that is going to be fixed because of what you said about the fact that everyone is looking for their own interest as opposed to looking out for what is good for the country, you see a day in and day out if you pay attention to this stuff. the other thing i wanted to talk about that is how i would support you wholeheartedly in a
run for the president. you talk about your skill set. you have the skill set. it is obvious and it was brought up i think by the guy about three callers back to said that you speak in a way that people, the common people can understand. i do not always agree with you from everything and i have been disappointed in some of your positions. guest: talk to my wife. caller: and a grand scheme of things, you're the most qualified to lead this country and you really ought to step up. guest: i have great difficulty trying to do that. host: jacksonville, florida e- mail.
he uses the keystone pipeline issue in house. guest: i would tend to disagree with them. first of all, the way that the senate works or does not work in the last quarter years, the way it has worked before then is that you could do that. because you have an open amendment process for every senator's rights were protected. what they would do is go down and make a serious amendment, lucid, and then they would think two or three times about another amendment and probably would not offered. now everyone offers amendments because you can. so you have this tension. the senate was designed to function on the basis of mutual respect. everybody had a privilege but that privilege should not be taken advantage of. the way i believe senator reid has run the senate is that he has ruined the decorum because he is trying to protect people
from votes. look, this is a big boys town, a big girls tempered if you cannot defend your road to your constituents you have no business being here in the first place. but you have no longer if you are not going to take votes. because you are not doing the job. not taking the vote is not doing the job. i cannot tell you my frustration and disappointment. and the republicans have done this, too. they have worsened it but is much more exaggerated now than it has ever been. it is dysfunctional. i tell you the thing we need. we do not need single bills. we need real leadership in this country there recognizes with leadership come severe criticism and stern evaluation of what you're doing, and with real leadership you can very plainly and cogently explained what you're trying to do and
defended. but not leading and not defending and not having a great answer for the american people means we do not have the qualities necessary for our houses to work. and i think that is what the election ought to be about. who is the real leader? even including the president, where is the description of the problem in front of us? it is not just class warfare and dividing america. our problem is that we are highly indebted, we're spending more money that we have come of spending more money on things if we do not need, we are in two words, we are weak in our farm policies because we are weak economically. our future is at stake. where's your plan? republican candidates and president, where is your plan to solve the real problems in front of us as a nation? none of them have a plan. of americao iswed a plan -- america is owed the plan.
how do we handle the impact on the euro? what is our obligation to those that follow us and do not have an obligation to handle it in the best way? and where's the discussion in the presidential race about where the real problems are in this country kerman no one is talking about them. they think the american people do not know. the american people know that we're in trouble in the war real leadership to address those problems, specifically with specific answers, specific things. and then have the debate, but not having the debate is not healthy for us as a nation. host: joseph ramirez tweet sen. -- tweets in: guest: a ilana so that i have been disappointed in washington since i've been in politics. i have been highly critical but i think it deserves it.
just think for a minute. we have a farm policy where we have given far and made out to 16 different countries that alone more than $10 billion of our debt. we are borrowing money from foreign countries and giving them foreign aid. if they had enough money to loan us that money, why are we giving them? i can show you what is wrong. those of the symptoms of the problem. the problem is the lack of oversight. the lack of attentiveness of both the administration and members of congress in fixing the very real problems. the reason people do not have confidence in congress today is not republican or democrat. it is career politicians. in both parties. host: robert, republican, champaign, illinois, good morning to you. caller: real quick ones.
i think you should run for president. i think that term limits are a good thing but we have a good check for term limits coming up here in 2012. throw them out. anyone in there, get rid of them. if they have been there more than eight years, let the democratic senator from illinois. he has been in there so long, go back to chicago. mayor daley let's dogs go up there. if you do away with percentage raises, what is 2% of nothing? my brother gets more on social security than i even get, because i didn't care because i
am a small business and this month i will be 79. i will not be here too much longer anyway. host: thank you for calling in, sir. guest: one of the interesting points he made -- how bad is it if we are stimulating the economy, what you give someone who pays taxes on 100,000 social security, if we want to stimulate the economy, why not do a refundable tax credit. if the idea is to give the money back to people to increase in economy, to get them to spend it, to the very well that they have earned income, will they make a change in their pattern of purchasing by doing the 2%? so we ought to have an income limit on this, number one, and
do it through a tax credit rather than social security. one of the points your listeners may not know, this is $117 billion last year, we went into the market, the world financial market and borrow the money to replace the money that we did not pay into social security. everybody knows that we have been stealing for social security for years. when we put that money back in, we get no credit. actually we're going to pay for this twice. we're going to pay for the actual loan, and then because we're not get any credit for putting the $117 billion in, our children will still pay back the $117 billion the other part of the $2.7 trillion. from an accounting standpoint. it is costing $234 billion, not
$117 billion if you're a generation have down the road like my grandkids, they are going to pay twice as much as what we're getting the benefit for. it is silly. host: houston, lee, your on the ."ashington journal beca p k caller: tax breaks and tax cuts do not work. we're still in the same situation. let's be honest about that. the real thing that we should do is give a tax break for everybody. let's go back to the clinton years. [unintelligible] breaks, tell tax me how much money that you're
getting for tax breaks, and another question, if you or republican, you're saying to their american people you are not talking about me because you're now representing me. you are not representing all the people. host: we got the two points. thank you for calling in. senator coburn. guest: on novel approach. if you are republican, you cannot represent the american people. a lot of people in oklahoma disagree with me. and there are a lot. they can still believe that i can represent their viewpoint. i would dispute your second statement. i am really sorry you feel that way because that comes from injury and disappointment. look, we started getting in
trouble in the late 1960's. it is not republican or democrat. when we can double the size of the federal government over the last 10 years, and that as republican and democratic administrations both, both have responsibility for that. and cannot figure out a way to pay for it as we do it, that as a problem of failed leadership in terms of congress. one not communicating that to the american people and not doing the oversight and not creating the bills to do it. there are a lot of lessons in life but the one thing is, you're going to ultimately pay for everything that you buy one way or the other. whether it is a promise -- think about what we have done since the mid-1970s, when medicare started. the average life expectancy of someone on medicare was 70 years of age. of course that is now 79.
the average employer and employee the coupled pay and $110,000 and medicare. when we first article were paying out was the same. now we pay in $110 and the average couple takes out $350. how long you think medicare will last? it will be bankrupt in less than five years. everyone says do not touch medicare or social security, do not fix these things. that is because they are fearful because they are depended on it. we have cost of letting the politicians put partisan gain to enhance the fear of people losing. no one in washington wants anybody totally dependent on either of those programs to suffer anything by what we do. but that does not mean we do not have to fix them for the future and make major changes to them to make sure that they are viable. and we can do that.
all of us will give up something if we are out of a hole that we aren't. everyone will see something different, the very rich will see something different, those on benefit programs that are questionable whether or not they are eligible, they will probably not be on there anymore. those truly depended will continue to get help. we have to adjust that, otherwise, if we do not do it, when we come to the day of reckoning on our debt, when we are looked at like europe is looking at today, someone else will be telling us what to do, not your elected representatives. the international financial world will tell you what we will be doing. so we need to take the pain that we will have to take and make sure that it is meted out in the proper order. when i talk to my colleagues on the other side and some of my closest colleagues are the most liberal, i find a more intellectually honest, oftentimes. the very people they want to help and unless we change these
now are the very people are going to be heard if we do not fix this. what i would tell you is what we have to do is rebuild confidence of the we a people appear to see the whole picture and want to support the ones that need it most. host: a tweed. guest: they did say that because we are borrowing money. whatever we do not collect in terms of taxes, we are borrowing from our children. so no it does not have any affect on the trust fund right now. it has an affect on your children. remember, every dollar you borrowed today, you will pay back with interest. if it is over 30 years, a compound 1.4% over 30 years, it will be twice as much as we're
spending today. the worst thing to do is to borrow money and increase programs now and pay for over a long period of time. we cannot manage the debt of we have now. there will come a point in time when our interest rates are going to skyrocket. why would we set ourselves up to be greece? they're saying it does not have any affect because we are borrowing -- we are stealing from our children today to get this tax credit. that is exactly what we're doing. that is what we did last year. we went out in the market and borrowed $107 billion to fill the hole and so it did not have any affect on the trust fund, but they also said that we're not getting any credit for the $107 billion. so there is another $107 billion that our kids are not getting credit for. that is why it cost twice as much. host: what has been the effect of grover norquist's tax pledge
on the republican party? guest: it has been highly exaggerated by the press because it is a good fight. it is not true or accurate. if people stood up to him to more, he did not have the resources to affect hardly any election other than to complain about it. if you think in this time of divided government that we're not going to be able to come to an agreement without some revenue increases, you might as well go find another country to live in. there is no way we're going to solve our problems without a compromise. part of that compromise is having more revenue. and you can do it anyway you want. so it is like sticking your head in the sand. you're not going to get 60 tom coburns in the u.s. senate to pass something like that. it will never happen. we have immediate problems that need to be solved. we need compromise now. every year we wait to fix this problem makes the problem that much more difficult.
i think that he has been highly exaggerated in terms of his influence. he is highly inconsistent in terms of his effect. i think that you are -- you saw the super committee, the former club for growth, offer up almost $350 billion worth of real revenue increases. i do not think it had any affect on that. i do not think it would anybody if it solve the problem for the problem is that they are not going there until they can actually solve the problem. host: a final tweet. guest: probably so. host: senator tom coburn, our regular gas, we appreciate you coming over to talk with our viewers. one hour and a half left to go. we have our final segment at 9:15 a.m. eastern time. historian richard brookhiser to
talk about his magazine article/book on james madison. we will get some then and now comparisons, i hope it coming up next, representative john yarmuth to talk about the budget updates. >> more on president to politics. the des moines register reports that the new political director for newt gingrich's pilot campaign has agreed to step away from the job after commenting on mitt romney's religion. he said, "a lot of ed rendell locals believe that god will give us four years of obama just for the opportunity to express -- expose the cult of mormon." he made the remarks during a focus group. as for well they can it's are today, mitt romney host fund- raisers across new york city while his candidate visit to iowa and new hampshire.
newt gingrich talks about brain science research at the university of iowa. rick santorum is its urbandale and the morning. rick perry hosting a town hall meeting in council bluffs and ron paul this is the new hampshire towns of and hers, hillsboro, and dairy. tonight michele bachmann joins new perry -- newt gingrich for an anti-abortion documentary that features mike huckabee. for more, go to our website. c-span.org/campaign2012. those of some of the latest updates on c-span radio. >> much more to the newly designed c-span.org. more videos making it easier to watch today's events live and recorded. more features with 83-schedule play out. even receive an e-mail alert when your program is scheduled to air.
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>> "washington journal" continues. host: now on your screen we want to introduce you to congressman john yarmuth, democrat of kentucky, a member of the house budget committee, his first time on the "washington journal." last night's vote on the payroll extension tax cut, 10 democrats voted with the republican majority. why did you vote against it? guest: i was concerned primarily that the bill and the package had a lot of items in there they were significant changes to some very important fundamental projects and programs in the country, and they were put in that package without any discussion, any analysis of what their impact was on the economy, things like changing the eligibility rules for unemployment insurance and reducing the number of weeks of eligibility. new rules on restricting the epa and knitting mercury and
other toxic things. it was basically a horse trading bill, which is what we end up doing now. we do not compromise at all right now. if you want this, then you have to take this. they are unrelated. a keystone pipeline to me was not a deal breaker but certainly totally unrelated to the payroll tax. that was not -- that was my primary objection to the bill. host: the support extending the holiday? -- do you support extending the holiday? guest: absolutely. one way that you meet that demand, and we have a demand gap that ends up in jobs being lost because there is not enough business, people do not hire or lay people off. to the $120 billion back through -- back into the economy
for the payroll tax, it will be spent because it is in a weekly basis rather than being in one check. that would help put a floor under this economy. host: what did last night's vote -- where does the continuing resolution and the continuing funding of the federal government sit into -- fit into what happened last night? guest: i heard senator coburn speaking. one of the things he neglected to say is that we're trying to figure right away to pay for this payroll tax holiday, to replenish the social security trust fund so that that double costing mentioned does not occur. in the senate, they would like to tax incomes over them -- over $1 million a year. i strongly support that. in this bill, that would cut medicare programs to put the cost back on middle-class america and not the people to invest afford it.
that is really one of the fundamental debates about this payroll tax holiday, how we will pay for it. the republicans do not want to tax very wealthy people to do it and i think democrats do. host: i want to get your reaction to dave camp talking about the unemployment issues within the bill. here is what he had to say. >> it will extend unemployment benefits scheduled to expire at the end of the month, but does so live permanently reforming the program and adopting the president's plan to wind down recent expansions of programs. since 2000, extensions of unemployment benefits have added $180 billion to the debt. we're putting an end to that deficit spending. this program is fully paid for and it contains significant reforms such as allowing states to screen and test unemployment insurance recipients for drug erae, overturning a 1960's labor department directive, requiring all unemployment
recipients to search for work. a ged program if they have not finished high school, and to participate in reemployment services. it implements of program integrity measures such as new data standardization to crack down on waste, fraud, and abuse. just as we did in connection with welfare reform, we're giving the states flexibility to design their own reemployment programs, similar to the sorts of programs the president has taught it like georgia work and other subsidies. guest: first of all, you're talking some very fundamental reforms in programs that you do not just into a bill with no hearing, no discussion, no analysis and said this is great stuff. he makes it sound like it is an article of faith that those items are good. that forcing someone to have a ged as a prerequisite to get unemployment benefits is something that we ought to do. maybe that is a good idea, but
you do not say automatically you look at these people off if they do not have a ged. the idea of drug testing, why don't we drug test everyone to get a federal benefit? why don't we test farmers to get farm subsidies? some of these ideas are good rhetorical ploy is but they do not stand up to an in-depth analysis for the bottom line is that as far as i'm concerned, if you want to do that let's have hearings on them and discuss them and figure out what the implications are and then vote on them. do not just to commit a big package. host: the house is going to be out of session shortly. will there be funding past for a week, for a month? guest: my sense of the discussion as of late yesterday is that if i would bet on a continuing resolution for a week or so rather than an omnibus bill. there are too many of the so- called writers, policy changes
that do not relate to policy changes -- funding, they should not put them in funding bills but one that is absurd to me they would hold up the bill is travel restrictions to cubans for cuban-americans. we're fighting that battle 50 years later? that is going to hold the funding of the government. to me, that is why the american people are so cynical about congress. with very good reason. host: you foresee the house being hero for christmas? guest: we will come back for a day or two to cast a kind of those that we need cass. in some cases, there have been some of these crises that we've come up with, that basically agree to do it on unanimous consent and they have one person convened the house and call for a vote. it is sustained on a voice good. that is a possibility but i cannot a imagine we get an amount -- an omnibus bill this week. host: john yarmuth is a member
of the house budget committee. as we continue our conversation, the first call comes from maine on art democrats line. caller: listen, i've been back- and-forth with you guys, listening to you. i think the major problem is that you fellows have lost your tax base. it gave all the jobs to china and india and everything. it literally just lost your tax base. usually manufacturing could pull us out of recession and it just is not here anymore. i do not hear any of you talking about it. you say nothing about it. euskera around it, we need to do this and that. you keep making more trade agreements with other countries, panama and south korea, and there goes manufacturing jobs. to hear you guys argue back and forth about it, no one is dealing with the problem.
guest: i think you're absolutely right but i would take issue with you because democrats and house have actually advanced an agenda that has a number of proposals designed to make it america. that's a double meaning. we want every individual american to make it america but also a domestic manufacturing theme as well. a number of proposals to do that involving tax incentives for businesses to make products in america and hire people in the united states. i voted against the trade package is then obviously there were enacted because i do not think they do help some of those jobs in the united states, and some isolated industries they do. not overall. i think we are trying to do that. in the house, we are in the minority and we cannot advance our own agenda and that is unfortunately. host: lancaster, pa., you are on a with congressmanyarmuth.
caller: the previous caller stole a lot of my thunder. the tax question is spot on. we tax money coming back into the countries from these multinational corporations but do not tax it going now. we have an extraction economy in this country. we need to modify the tax code to make our people more productive. if we are 70% consumer-based, and we do not produce what we can send, i do not see a way for. we need to produce more in this country and punish the corporations that basically take the capital out of this country and then import the product back again in. we need to change the way we've been doing business in this country is evident with its financial collapse that you have
financial concerns that are growing exponentially. they do stuff it in and transparent. you have these credit default swaps, they go on and we do not even know how many are out there. they could come back and bite us at any time. europe is now in recession. host: we're going to get a response from the congressman. guest: you hit on a very important issues. again, the manufacturing segment of the economy is very important. in my district, we have been able -- we have a ge appliance manufacturing facility there with the head of the consumer- products division in louisville. we have been able to bring back 1000 jobs from over seas, from china and mexico, because of the tax policies of united states to
incentivize those companies to make energy efficient appliances year in the united states. you're absolutely right, we have to do that or we cannot continue to buy products from china and vietnam and korea and not make them ourselves. we get into the financial thing, very complicated discussion, and i probably do not have enough time to do that. i will say one other thing on the manufacturing, this is a global economy. we cannot avoid that. corporations will make their investments and make their products where it is most advantageous for them to do it. what going to has found -- ge has found, the cost of transportation's office says the lower labor costs. we need to look at certain areas where we can make up the very small incentives that difference. at in corporations will act to bring products back.
host: what were your views about the deficit reduction committee, the so-called super committee, not coming to any agreement? guest: i voted against that whole proposal because i thought was a bad idea and could now work. we have a hard enough time passing anything through both houses of congress. the idea that 12 people could do something where more could not do it, improbable to me. it turned up to be right. i am not afraid of the sequestration because i think it will force us to read seriously examine the defense budget and impose some of the same cuts on them and the same frugality that we are now being asked to do across the domestic programs. it would be a shame and i hope the president remains true to his word that he will veto it if
we try to circumvent the sequestration. the alternative is to come up with another option. i know one who thinks that simpson-bowles was a very thoughtful package and we should have discussed it. i still think there is an opportunity to pick that up and see what the american people think about it. they really have not thought about it as potentially it deserves. host: where, when, how? caller: our budget committee could take it up and certainly the senate could and we could have hearings on it. i really think the ways and means could as well. that is important for us to do. the american people get what the media feed them for the most part. they're getting everything in polar perspectives. i do not think the american people really know the extent of what simpson-bowles proposed or how it might impact compared and that is what most people are concerned with. i was involved with over year on
a daily basis on health care reform. how does it affect me? i understand that totally particularly with health care, a very personal thing. we need to let the american people know. so far we are not communicating effectively but that proposal, once it came out of the commission, it was basically drop in never heard of again. i think it deserves a discussion. host: you talked about polarization. u.n. mitch mcconnell represent the same state. how do you work together? guest: i have known mitch for 40 years. it is safe to say that mitchen i agree and almost nothing. we're still civil with each other. i talked with him a week ago about some issues of all appointments and our states. when the issues involving kentucky are concerned, we are able to work together. but on the big questions, he is a very different role now. he is and leadership. his mission is to basically --
heard his 47 republicans through the legislative process and with them into shape. his focus is not as much on kentucky as it once was. but when there are issues involving kentucky, we can work together. host: what about your relationship with john boehner? guest: we get along very well, actually. we are golfers, and golf transcends a lot of things. john is a very delightful person. i think he is an a very difficult spot. he is trying to do what speaker pelosi had to do when the democrats were in control, and h and ander actuallyd a divorced caucus. before the last election, republicans were not very diverse. he has a very difficult task for now. host: next call from arlington, virginia. caller: thank you for your
service, sir. the use the words force people to take a ged, and have an open debate, because we do not know the implications. and you just mentioned health care. i am wondering where you voted on health care pressure market seems to me that as a knowledgeable voter, that health care bill was not fully exhausted to a debate. we do not know what the implications will be. some of it will have to be forced into health care you also speak about being in the minority. and for 40 years before the gingrich revolution back in the 1990's, the democrats were in charge. it is momentum that has brought us up. the current state of this welfare state was with the
democrat party. it is nearly impossible to turn it off. please address that and you mentioned before that the average voter is sick and tired of both sides. on the right and left. forcing the ged and not having the third debate -- host: thank you. guest: let's talk about health care. i have to laugh when you talk about health care because you're talking about 18% of the american economy, something that affects everyone. affects everyone in different ways. that was the big problem with health care reform. we did not have a bill because we had to start the debate five different committees, working on legislation. so we could not with any meaningful extent explain to him individual family how it would affect a bird that was the big
problem. -- how it would affect them. that was the big problem. the administration probably made a mistake in not investing its own proposal early on, saying that this was the baseline in you tweeted. they said that here are our principles and you drafted. we spent that months debating the public option which the american people did not understand because it was a nebulous concept. the health-care debate was a very unusual situation. again, most people just wanted to know how it affected them. i think there was exhaustive debate on the health care reform act. again, it went on for more than a year, and the problem was that there was never one proposal of until probably the end of 2009. one to actually discuss. the issue of a ged and being
forced to get a ged, you're not just being forced to get a ged, according to the proposal that passed last night you have to have a ged in order to receive unemployment benefits. the idea of doing that when somebody has to pay $75 to get a ged and to take a course of instruction, just to say that someone who is unemployed, you have to have a ged in order to get unemployment benefits, how will they pay to get that g.d.? -- ged? and no that is the most controversial aspect of the affordable care at, but that was discussed extensively. host: we started our morning by talking with our viewers about the national transportation safety board's proposed ban on hand-held and cell phone use in the cars. what are your thoughts about
that? guest: that is very difficult. as someone who talks a lot on my phone and the car, once you provide that kind of technology to the american people and they get used to using it in a certain way, it is very hard during that end. it is human nature and that is one of the -- i guess, the fundamental debate that we have constantly around here, the heavy hand of government and when you impose on individual liberties or public safety? in kentucky you can talk on your hand-held phone but you cannot text. in washington, and you cannot talk, but i guess you could text. i do not think it is against the law. it probably needs to be some kind of national standard on this. but again, if you are in
wyoming, and you are in the car for six hours driving across the state, a prohibition there might not be the same as a prohibition in washington, d.c. there is a complexity here that we probably -- maybe the ntsb has done that. i like to see their analysis to see if it is justified or not. host: reminding our viewers about that conversation, if you go to our facebook page, you can vote on whether you support the nationwide proposed ban. curly 146 votes are in support of it. 63 votes are opposed to it. facebook --albany, georgia, thank you for holding for you are on with congressman john yarmuth. caller: i wanted to see what he was trying to tell me. it seems like the congressman as
saying when it comes to people going in the military, [unintelligible] when it comes to people paying taxes, they're trying to set the middle class should pay the taxes because they do not want to tax the rich. and so forth. soak the middle class is going to have to put out for the country and bring back a common laborer jobs, what do we need the rich for? i do not see why we need them at all. guest: i had this debate some of times in the budget committee and on the floor and in my community. the idea that by asking people who make over $1 million a year to pay a little more would in any way affect either their lives or their job-creating incentive is really such a phony argument. i come from a family of people
who started in small business. iran's small-business, my father did, both my brothers did, they built theirs into big businesses. if you ask them -- my sister is a small business woman -- if you ask them if they ever made a business decision based on their personal income tax rate was, they would laugh at you. they are concerned about whether they can make a profit or not. and he said the next dollar i may, i can only keep 60 cents instead of 65 cents so i do not know if i want to make it, that is totally absurd. that is not how business people thing. there is a fundamental issue a fairness did. -- of fairness here. i do not know what i consider air, but so far the middle class has made an enormous sacrifice for the last 10 years. their standard of living has declined, their disposable income has declined in real terms, and that is the biggest problem we have in the economy.
meanwhile, the share of our national and common share of national wealth on by it and earned by at the top 1% continues to go up. they are doing very, very well and we're asking them with the lowest tax rate we of ask of the wealthy in the last 60 years. it seems there is of fundamental issue of fairness that we ask those very fortunate people, and i am one of them, to pay a little more while everyone else is suffering. host: the next call comes from his home of louisville, ky. caller: thank you for taking my call. two things. first of all, the comment about senator mcconnell, as far as his eyes taken off the cake -- off the state of kentucky and has focused he is onrding his senate colleagues, the issues
that he is undertaking are germane to kentucky, number one. number two, something that is always bothering me about the burbage used as far as raising taxes on the rich, and the fact that they hung a certain share of the well as in the country, the fundamental issue there is that the total pot -- it is not a limited pie. it is constantly growing and growing. what people earn does not take away from other people, it just grows. that is something that has not been articulated well. it makes it seem like people are taking money from the middle class. we are also small business owners, and i disagree totally with what the representative is saying about the fact that people say i do not want to earn
more because my next dollar will be taxed 60 percent signed. it is a disincentive to tax people and onerous amount of taxes like that. guest: we obviously have a fundamental disagreement about the tax issue there. my point on mitch mcconnell is his focus is now on national. everything the government does have an impact on kentucky, but his primary focus is not on the interest of the state right now, and has not been that since his leadership position. his primary -- most of his energy is spent dealing with feeling minority issues of the senate. that is just an observation. i did say, and i think this is true, that when issues
regarding kentucky, whether it is the bridge contact and will will -- in louisville or ge or the ford plans we were able to help grow, then we're able to work together, as are the mutt -- the other members of the house delegation and senator paul as well. host: congressman yarmouth is in his third term. former editor and founder of " leo newsweekly." vice-president of university relations at the president of univ. of louisville. guest: there is one in most big cities that is called the alternative weekly. i founded it in 1990. it is still going 21 years
later under new management. i sold it in 2003, but it is doing well. it is a combination of commentary news and a guide to what is going on in the city. all of these papers he evolved originally from "rolling stone." it was rock and roll, the revolution of the 1960's and all of those things put together, and it has evolved into these very important alternative newspapers that serve the urban areas. i am very proud to abounded it. i am very proud it is still alive since most publications do not make it a year. host: what made you run for congress? guest: well, it was really the last thing i was thinking about back in 2005. i was very frustrated with the
bush administration and very much concerned about the iraq but my biggest concern is the bush tax cuts. i said this is not the time to give tax cuts to very wealthy people when so many people are struggling. i spoke to a guy named jack conway, i thought he would run for the seat and had almost been the incumbent in 2002. he decided in late 2005 not to do it, and i said now he will have a free pass because there was not anybody out there with in the name recognition that could take her on. after a couple of months of agonizing over it, i decided while i was not sure if i wanted the job, that if i could be one of the 15 seats but exchanged hands back in 2006 and take control of the house, that that would be something i've would be
proud to a been a part of. fortunately we took 36. i am still here. i do like the job. -- fortunately we took 30 seats. host: you are a member of the government oversight and reform committee. you have been holding a couple of big hearings, especially with john karzai, correct? -- jon corzine. we have not dealt with that yet. i was on the oversight committee in my first term when we were in the majority. now i am back on it in my third term. it is a very important committee. one of the things i think we do not do nearly a good map job is providing oversight of government programs. the public is rightly concerned about waste and abuse and things that do not make sense that go
on in government departments and agencies, as well as in congress. that is really the role of the oversight committee, as well as other committees. my concern about what has happened this year is that the committee is basically been used to advance ideological points for the most part, not in every case, as opposed to actually looking at problems and government. now we're looking at things like the nuclear regulatory situation. we of a hearing on that today. -- we have a hearing on that today. we have had a series of the reconstructed, very important hearings. they have been frustrating as well, because right now we have a 50,000 defense department contracts, which are in line to be audited and have not been audited. we know this represents hundreds of millions of dollars that are
being wasted. the magnitude of our government requires we do a lot better job and starting the money. host: next call for congress in yarmouth. cleveland, ohio. bob on the independent line. caller: thank you for voting against the stupid bill. do you see a solar technology moving into the south? guest: there is a lot of really important and positive things going on in the energy field, particularly in the solar field. i know there is a company near denver, colorado, that has developed a film that you can put over things, and it actually has solar power film you can put on groups and cars that is almost like saran wrap. if you look across the entire
range of what we're dealing with, the real positive news is in the energy field. the important thing from my perspective is most of these projects and developments are public/private partnerships, whether the federal government provided incentives and the private sector ran with them and is now developing them. i am frustrated a lot of times when we say the government put up $100 million in only created 100 jobs. the idea is the 1000 jobs can be 50,000 jobs if the company develops it appropriately. the idea is they can be the next intel or microsoft. these are incubator-type investments. the company in denver went from a handful of people now at 2000 people and on its way to doing great things. that is a long way of answering
saying yes, i think there is great potential in energy. technology is advancing and very rapid levels in ways that will make the cost benefit much more attractive when you are considering it verses energy provided by fossil fuels. host: orlando. please go ahead. caller: i want to make three points. number one, tax cut. you just made that comment. you do not give tax cuts, mr. congressman. it is already beat individuals' money, and there are a percentage of the people that are ready paying taxes. when you say giving someone tax you make the assumption it is your money. what you're doing is taking the money in using it for a program.
number two, you are talking about voting for the payroll deduction bill in which they're adding on a keystone pipeline and things of that nature. i think if you remember, and someone made reference to the health care bill, obama, one of the things he wanted the health care bill was dealing with pell grants. i am sure you voted for the bill, because someone was talking about how the house of senate did what ever it is they did. the fact this bill does not take effect until 2014, so you and everyone else has had more than enough time to review the bill and see what was in it and whether or not it was good for the country. guest: i did not get the point of what bill was talking about with the bill taking effect in 2014. the health care bill? host: i presume the health care bill, but was also talking about
the keystone bill. guest: on the tax point. individuals pay that on their income. the question is, this is been the history of our country that we do things as a government that the people cannot do for themselves. that is the abraham lincoln line. that is paid for the taxes, pay for the military. taxes pay for the schools to educate students. so it has always been a well accepted things that you contribute to the common projects and benefits, and that is the way we do it. i am sorry to my used that we give a tax cut. you could say we are reducing taxes. of pell grants, a po creanc in the debt ceiling there were
carved out so that in sequestration the cuts across the board did not hit medicate, pell grants and other categories. if that is what you're talking about, that was very much relevant to the bill, because you had to decide at that point if you went into sequestration, where those points fell and did you want to exclude some of those areas. we said we do not want to impact medicaid any more. we limited medicaid cuts to 2% for providers. their work food programs as well. that was part of a budget document. -- there were food programs as well. host: a tweet for you -- well, i do not think the
president opposed the keystone pipeline. as a matter of fact, the administration was on its way to approving the components for the keystone pipeline. the president said he wanted to delay the analysis until after 2013. i think the veto was that you do not want to basically hold the payroll tax reduction to extraneous legislation. they could have brought that as of individual piece of legislation and chose not to do that. i think they were just trying to make a political point. they are not all that concerned about the pipeline, but they could have brought it up as a freestanding piece of legislation, and that is what they could have done instead of putting the package together that bmakes it unacceptable to the senate and the president. host: last call comes from
kathrin and stan island. island.- in staton caller: my point is the budget can be fixed. all the spending in the waste goes on. int is all the cuts they're doing for millionaires and fat cats, how time they're going after us to be elected? i know the present as bid to new york city four times to have fund-raisers for $35,000. poor people cannot afford that. the wall street people. why eight you know say the truth? on one side you want to bash of
those people, and then you go back and get the money from them. i guess that is a comment about the president. you have hit a point that i think is the very important issue facing the country right now, and that is money and politics. we have to get money out of politics because of his point -- poisoning the system. there is no question it influences policy in a way that american has lost his or her voice. i am introducing a constitutional amendment today. it is one of several to overturn citizens united. i would love to see a public financing system for all federal elections and get that kind of influence out of the system. it would do a great thing to restore confidence. let me say one thing about
spending, every budget, if your household budget and state and a girl budget. spending side and revenue side. let me say one thing about spending, every budget, even in your household budget and state and federal budget have the spending side in revenue side. 1.1 billion of the deficit was from the reduced revenues of the bush tax cuts in 2001-2003, war spending and prescription drug plan put into effect without being paid for. that was the vast majority of the deficit at that point. this is why i think simpson- bowels was an important piece of legislation. spending is a problem, but so is revenue. we have to deal with both of
them. host: this comment from lola -- that is her take on the earlier conversation we had from the gentleman from orlando. guest: there is no question that all sorts of crazy things find themselves in two big pieces of legislation. sometimes that is ok if you have enough time to deal with them. we're up against the deadline to fund the government by friday. the payroll tax holiday ends at the end of this year, as do unemployment benefits. we're looking at 3 million people losing their benefits by february if we do not act. we're up against a very serious time constraint right now, and that is why i think packing things together at this late date is much more disagreeable that might be in a different context. host: we've been talking to
john at yarmouth. coming up next, richard brookhiser. -- john yarmouth. he is a new book out this year on "james madison." we will chat with him about this article on the weekly magazine feature after this news update. >> defense secretary leon panetta speaking to u.s. troops earlier in afghanistan tells them their sacrifices are paying off, but also demanding pakistan do more to secure its side of the border. tension between the u.s. and pakistan followed nato air strikes that killed two dozen forces last month. meanwhile, in a statement earlier, word that pakistan's president will be discharged from a hospital in dubai after suffering a stroke-like symptoms yesterday.
his illness triggered speculation he could be losing his grip on power, but that has been denied by officials. more on the russian billionaire, just two days after announcing he was running for the russian presidency, the new jersey nets basketball team owner announced today he hopes to make a formal offer to buy a publishing house. that includes russia's top business daily, other publications, and broadcast nations. they herald -- they hold a presidential election next march. time magazine announced their cover choice of person of the year, and their choice, the protester. the editor said there was a lot of consensus among the magazines that and just fell right. those are the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> for the past few months on c-
span we have examined the political lives of "the contenders. : this friday we will talk to jean baker, carol cannon, and richard norton smith to see what they learned from the series. to watch additional video and review the video, go to c- span.org/contenders. >> there is much more on the c- span website. more features. an online schedule has a three- network layout so you could quickly scroll through the programs and even receive an e- mail alert with your program is scheduled to air. more access to the most popular series, a campaign 2012, but tv and american history tv, and more availability. use the channel finder to see
where they are available across the country. for get-giving ideas, click on c-span products. -- gift-giving ideas, click on c-span products. host: every wednesday in the last hour of the washington journal, we'd like to feature a recent magazine article. today richard brookhiser joins us to talk about his recent peace in "american history magazine" on james madison's life. here is his peace -- -- piece 00 ---
that is a lot of statement about james madison. guest: i just wrote a book about him, and going into that before i started, i know he was the father -- knew he was the father of the constitution. we all know that, but the story that presented itself to meet a creative and determined politician he was. he was really ahead of the curve of long all the other founding fathers of foreseeing the way american politics would go in helping to push it in that direction. host: you write --
guest: one thing that impressed me about him predict early was his ability to learn to do things that did not come naturally to him that were useful politically. this was of a man who was very shy, painfully shy, who is not a good speaker. he had a very low voice, soft voice. one person described it as croaking, and when he had to go head-to-head with patrick henry to ratify the constitution, madison opposed -- madison supported it in henry opposed it. he took him on and beat him. james madison was not a journalist. alexander hamilton was a board
journalist. he did it when he was a teenager, all of his life. yet when hamilton decided the constitution needed a prom -- propaganda campaign, one of the people he turns to is congressman james madison, and madison's steps up to the plate and rights 29 of the 38 but released papers. papers.alist host: what was james madison's republican party? guest: this is the party to oppose the politics of the washington administration that he and thomas jefferson did not like. domestically it was alexander hamilton's program. hamilton, the former merchant square born in the west indies, he thinks he is bringing the united states to a new financial world, he thinks he is
establishing american prosperity and paying off debts. madison is a virginia planter. they did not like the new world and do not understand a lot of it. they think hamilton is enriching his wall street cronies, new york baker cronies, so they want to slow that down and roll that back. the other big dividing issue is foreign policy. washington is inaugurated in at 19 -- 1889. the french revolution begins, and 25 years of world war follow from that, mostly between britain and france. we are the little country on the edge of the super power broker. who do we support it anyone? the federalist inclined more towards britain. they are the main trading partner.
madison and jefferson see a fellow revolutionary state we should support them. that is another flash point. host: when did the terms republican and federalist start to get regular use or are these terms we have taken? guest: they were terms that the people themselves used. madison began calling his own party to republican party in 1792. he does that in a newspaper essays he is writing as a congressman for a newspaper that he is helped set up, which is called "the national gazette." we had newspapers through but colonial times, more per capita
than anywhere around the world. a lot of these newspapers wrote about colonial issues. with the emergence of the national political party, then for the first time we also had a national political newspaper to support that. phillip ferno?the look for guest: he went to college with madison. then his life took a downturn. he was the ship's captain, wrote poetry. his career was not on the upward trajectory that madison's was. madison introduces him to thomas jefferson. he gives him essentially a no- show jobs and makes it a court translator. he tells of you will have enough time to do anything else that you wish. what he and madison wish for now to do is to edit a new newspaper in philadelphia that
will be called "the national gazette." he sells prescription -- subscriptions and it comes out on halloween. very soon this is hammering out alexander hamilton and even president washington to the point that one cabinet meeting speaks of the rascal ferno. host: we're board to put the numbers on the screen if you like to -- going to put the numbers on the screen if you would like to call in. we're talking to richard brookhiser about james madison. new book out. we covered him on "book tv." on "american history magazine" mr brookhiser has written about
james madison. is a political look at james madison. why did you decide to write a book about james madison? guest: he was a little underdone of all the founding fathers. we have had a lot about washington. we always have a lot about jefferson. hamilton and even john adams. there seemed to be a bit of a hole with james madison. the one thing that tilted me was a morning in august, 1814 when the madison is president of united states in his second term and the war of 1812 has been going on for two years and were comes to the capital that the british are going to attack washington d.c.. they landed in maryland and have made a left turn marching north, they are coming to the capital.
what president madison does that morning is saddled of course, his own horse, then his own horse goes lame, the soviets to borrow someone else's horse, borrow a set of pistols, and this short ailing man who has never heard a shot fired in anger, the least military person you can't imagine, he writes out with the rest of the cabinet for maryland where the british will have to come if they come to the district from the east to see the beginning of that battle, which will determine the fate of the capital. i thought that is pretty impressive. i would of expected washington to do that, and redaction, but madison did it, too. i thought that was pretty gutsy. host: according to one of our twitter followers, this is the
day of george washington's death. do not know if that is true or not, but i trust him. let's go to calls for richard brookhiser on james madison. stephen from connecticut. caller: listening to your stories, i love the dolly madison story where she is running through the white house telling servants to pack up all of our work before the british burned the place to the ground. i have heard a lot that james madison was more the founder of the democratic party, the modern party. what is his take on how he relates to the modern party? the current democratic party is james madison's republican party. it -- he kept in the republican party from the 70 90/80 20's, and then they call themselves the democratic party, which
still exist. the oldest political party in the world except for the tories in britain. it changed a constituency many times over the years. at has gone from southern slave- owning planters to modern multi- cultural list. it has changed a lot of the policies. the one element of continuity is a fear of a certain kind of rich people, which both madison and jefferson had. these were hamilton's banker friends. they did not like them, did not understand them. these were also the creditors in planters. that is something i think is woven into the dna of their party, which was first republicans, but then has been democrats to this day. host: any contemporary political
arguments you could compare to the madison-hamilton arguments of 200 plus years ago? guest: the military. jefferson and madison feared war. there was a war scare in the late 79 these that look like we france that lookwi like we were going to go to war. this is when they passed the alien act and the sedition act, and national sedition law. jefferson and madison thought these measures. ironically, madison when he became president he asked
congress to declare war against great britain. politicians resume the war of all -- role of war making politician. he did that only after he exhausted all other options. he tried a trade embargo to try to control britain's actions that was a disastrous failure. so madison throughout option after option and tried it and did not work, so finely he asked in june of 1812, he asked congress to declare war. it is quite narrow in the senate and little bigger in the house. america went into the war with great reluctance. host: next call comes from a combined rouge. -- baton rouge. caller: i feel like i should be calling in on the bed rest line
instead. i have enjoyed your books. guest: he always had girlfriends. caller: that peg leg will do it every time. i was wondering if you could address a little bit about the evolution in two parties. it infuriates me today when i hear people say there should not be parties, it is what is good for america. everybody has a different view of that. madison, jefferson, washington -- they were all against parties, but especially jefferson and madison, they were the fathers of the party system. guest: the founders had a notion that they themselves might be above partisan struggle.
they were historically minded enough to know that factions would always appear. about them ins the the federalist papers. he has his gloves on when he is looking at the factions. yet they very soon set up the first two-party system in american history, which is republicans and the federalist. madison is really the first of them to understand that factions are not necessarily bad things, but a party can be a force to accomplish necessary things. in madison's mind that is inclining towards france and foreign policy and resisting
alexander hamilton's financial plans and schemes. these are important goals for james madison. how do you accomplish that? you have to accomplish that with political action, and in our republic, that means a national party, so he gets over the early reluctance to have such things, to endorse such things, and he becomes a founder of a party himself. host: what was his relationship and early relationship with james monroe? guest: lonrho is seven years younger and then james madison. -- monroe is seven years younger. the only issue is, will they take their place in line to succeed each other to get to the white house? there is a moment at the end of jefferson's second term when it
looks like madison wants to jump ahead of james madison, his elder in this lineup, and become president before he does. ase of madison's task, jefferson secretary of state, he has to figure out politically, how do i showed him aside? how do i kill him? he is to kill him gently and 41 election cycle and the bring him back and make nice again. the way madison does this, a nice little study in politics, not quite the politics of personal destruction. he did not want to destroy him, but shove him aside, and after he won, i will bring him back. ran against him
were congress? guest: he thought the constitution was too strong, so he opposes it. patrick henry gerrymanders a congressional district for james madison to run in, which is mostly counties that have opposed the constitution. he also imposes a residency requirement, which is actually unconstitutional but not challenged and overturned for a number of years. when james madison was first running for a seat in the house of representatives, he has to run in an unfriendly district. james monroe and him go at it. this is one of the first experiences of public debate. this is something he was not good at. he did not like doing it, but they had a series of debates.
one of them was front -- in front of the german lutheran church, and it was no way. they had to debate outside because they thought it would be in piraeus to conduct a political debate inside the church. it went on for a long time, and it was snowing and cold, and in madison have to ride back home to what will your -- montepillar 12 miles away, and he got frostbite on the way home and bore the scars the rest of his life. host: you write in this article, then he debated before monroe. he recalls an appearance in front of the lutheran church. "there was a dutchman whose very boats might turn the scale. -- very votes might turn the scale."
next call comes from lancaster, california. the washington journal." caller: i was wondering how madison felt about the way native americans were treated. we should have a call in on boating of the legal immigration. -- voting of illegal immigration. guest: he did not give a great deal of thought about them. they were enemies. one of his reasons for declaring war on britain in 1812 is he calls it warfare renewed by the savages. he refers to a shawnee leader in what is now indiana. he was a very capable leader in diplomat. he reached out to indians as far south as what is now mississippi
and alabama, and also working with the british in canada. he saw the threat that the united states posed to the indian nation and wanted to bottle as up and walk us, and he came pretty close to doing it. he lost some battles and finally killed in a battle in what is now ontario in canada. after they are negotiating a peace treaty, britain abandons the indian allies to leave them to their fate. host: a dumb question but a fun game, if madison were alive today, which party would he belong to? guest: i cannot go that far. the farthest i go is how would he have voted in 1860? let's say he live to be 109 years old and the country is splitting apart on the issue of slavery, which is something you persalts and feared.
he was a slave owner. he dies in 1836. he sees the fight over missouri in 1920. he lives to see the nullification crisis of south carolina, the battle over the tariff. he sees what could be coming, so i consider the candidates who ran in 1860. he would not have voted for abraham lincoln, because he was running on a platform of restricting the expansion of slavery into the territory. madison did not think there was a constitutional power to do that. he would not have voted for john breckinridge because he would air as johnm as an err calhoun. he might have voted for stephen douglas. he had pretty good relations with andrew jackson, who was
president. i think he probably would have voted for the fourth guy, john bell, a canada of the union party. he was from tennessee. this is a party that wanted the union to be maintained and everyone shut up about slavery. his running mate was a man named edward everett who have published an article by madison -- about madison in his retirement when he was expressing alarm over calhoun in the southern secessionists. that is how he probably would have voted. 4 sumpter, what would you done? i cannot imagine he would have succeeded. he was such a strong unionist, and one of the last thing he writes, a little piece he wanted published, and it was called "
advice from my country." the point he makes is anyone preaches the unit should be treated like pandora with the box open or a circuit creeping into paradise. that was his great fear. host: were he and henry clay friends or allies? guest: they were. there is a wonderful story about dali. he goes up to hurt at a reception and says everyone loves this is madison. that iss back becaussaying because miss madison loves everyone. she would rather like you've been dislike you. that is why she was such a great hostess. host: irish girl tweets in -- yes, she did.
she was at the laying of the cornerstone of the washington monument. she and allies that hamilton, alexander hamilton's widow, they brought these old ladies who live in washington together, and they were on the podium -- this was 1852, i think. host: next call comes right here in washington. ernest, you are on the air. caller: am i talking to richard brookhiser on tv? host: yes. i have one question. during madison's state of time, did madison take an oath of office, and what type of office did he take when he was president? host: oath of office?
caller: i want to know if you took a pledge it -- the difference between an oath of office and pledge. guest: he took an oath. it does allow you to say -- most president say i swear. ffirm.s allow you to say a fir quaker's cannot swear oaths. he was not a quicker and use the form in the constitution. host: a tweet for you -- yes, one of madison's lifelong principles -- he moves a lot -- around on a lot of things in his life, some things
never and one of those is religious liberty. this is the first issue that got him into politics before the revolutionary war. madison was an anglican. baptists were being very roughly treated in colonial virginia. there was one baptist that was thrown into the culpeper jail, and he said when i tried to preach the words of my dear redeemer, i stood on a bench outside and through water in my face. this was very rough, nasty stuff, and it enraged james madison. this was a lifelong principle for him, he stood up for a baptist in his own state. he did not want the state of virginia to support religion in any way, looking at any sorts of restrictions on the exercise of it. in the virginia declaration of
rights he changed the language in 1776 when he is 25-years-old. the original language of george mason was for toleration of religion, and madison changed it to free exercise, because imply someone to tolerate. what the calller specifically referred to, this is when the principles of the declaration of rights were finally enacted into law, and this is a law thomas jefferson proposed as the 1979. it had not caught on a bed. jefferson is now in paris as a diplomat, so madison is the guy in the virginia legislature who was making this happen and making israel. after it does get signed into law, he writes to jefferson in
paris and says i flatter myself that we finally attempted to control the human mind. host: this tweet is talking about the patriot act. guest: what would madison think about the patriot act? his conduct as president and was pretty hands- off. i know he was asked by several people to pass a national sedition law. by his own attorney general, by a congressman he put on the court. they both suggested we need a national sedition law, and he would not do it. i think that might be a guide for his conduct now. host: 1 years was the president?
guest: he was elected in 18 08 and leads in 1812. -- what years was he pr esident? host: how many books have you written about the american revolution? guest: i think this is my fifth biography. i have written about george washington, alexander hamilton, adams. jamen i wrote a book called "what what the founders do? " host: if you go to "book tv" you can type been richard brookhiser and watch him talk about his books. he is currently a columnist with
"american history magazine." you have been with them a long time. guest: since 1977. host: omaha, neb., go ahead. caller: i am also a writer of american revolutionary times. particularly james matter. -- james madison. [inaudible] guest: that is a little high. madison did not get the constitution he exactly wanted. he writes a letter to jefferson as they're wrapping up deliberations in september 1787, and it is a little downcast.
he is telling his best friend, and he is writing it in seifert, in code so prying eyes cannot read this, but is making complaints about the document they just finished. everybody in philadelphia, and everybody involved in the ratification to date lost on something or another. enough people agreed that a change had to be made, and the document that came out of philadelphia was good enough, and one thing that is very impressive about madison is when he loses a fight, he never sulks, and if he does, he never just sulks. he always thinks, what do i do now? where do i go from here? he is always thinking, how do i go on? how do i proceed? that is what he did after
philadelphia with the constitution. host: did he play hardball? guest: you did not want to be in his path. the history of the early republic is littered with the bodies of the people that stood in his way. it is new yorkers. this first republican party is based on an alliance of virginia and new york. it is more complicated than that, because the great virginians have to find new york allies. then they have to make sure they always stay in the no. 2 slot. if they start getting too ambitious, they have to find ways to shuffle them off the stage. there is a list of people they do this to, robert livingston, aaron burr, george clinton, jefferson second vice-president
cash and madison's first vice- president. -- of that facility and madison's first vice-president. you just go down the list. and they're very good at finding these guys and getting rid of them. host: in your magazine piece you rate madison's most important contribution may have been figuring out how to make politics work day in and day out. he was the first founding father to understand the importance of public opinion, and that part a new stage in his thinking. guest: public opinion was a new phrase at the end of the 18th century. it is hard to imagine that, but it was a new concept of that was first used in france. madison was one of the first people in the english-speaking world to use the phrase "public opinion." he writes essays for "the
national gazette" where he talked about public opinion, and he says there should be one empire of reason over the whole country, and every citizen must be this at all over the rights of every other citizen. what is new about this is someone like george washington of course believed in popular put to him that happens at election time. people would vote and the people who got elected would do their job until they were either removed from office or reelected. for him it is kind of a cyclical waves thing. madison is saying this is 24/7. it should go on all the time. the people always have to be watching what is going on in the nation's capital, what is going on with their representatives, have to let their
representatives know what they think. the representatives also have to address them, address the people. also the representatives tried to manipulate people, of madison does not come right out and say that. he grasps the world of 24/7. we find it very fatiguing, but madison is saying this is what has to happen. this is only way people can be sure of protecting their rights. host: if last call for richard brookhiser comes from national, tennessee. caller: what was madison's take on slavery at the time? guest: slavery, nothing inspiring there. he does not free any slaves in his will. slavery is an issue he does not want to see on the table.
the other things that are more important to him. he does not want to face it or address it. the best you can say is that he is a unionist all his life, and the defense of the year ended will solve -- solve the problem of slavery. in terms of box about slavery, he is less inspiring and less useful than alexander hamilton, george washington who freed in his will. the slaves host: just to follow that up, freelancer tweets in -- guest: all the virginians. john tyler. the two adams, no. i do not know it van buren did as a young man and gave them up
later. host: this tweet from jim hines -- well, the resolution of the war of 1812 it is status quo ante. that is what the diplomats decided against. nothing changes. some of the issues that madison raised such as british trade restrictions -- there were left off the table. you could certainly say it had a result. i think the result was an issue of national self-respect. the united states went from a nation that no one had to pay any attention to, to a nation that even the great britain have to give consideration to. psychologically it was a second war of independence. host: richard brookhiser