tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN February 23, 2012 1:00pm-5:00pm EST
the land. when freedom rides rally just -- rallied us. when a dream shared with all the world. like some of you, i remember those days quite well. i will never forget the terrible tragedies and the great triumphs that marked the civil rights movement. i believe we all have good reason to be proud of the dramatic improvements that this movement and this department has helped to bring about in the decades since. it is impossible to deny it the obstacles and the persistent problems that some americans -- that so many americans still face. cities, theres are communities where the doors to learning and job opportunities remain firmly closed.
we have the promise of -- where the promise of equal justice is on the build and where thousands of children are growing up at risk and in need. that is why, as we gather to celebrate this month, we must ease this moment to reflect and consider how much for their we still have to go. but women iname, american culture and history, shines light on women's rights. my late sister-in-law, who with the help of attorney general robert kennedy, introduced the university of alabama. my angela's words inspire still today. -- maya angelou's words inspire
still today. there is a limitless promise for every citizen. even today, in 2012, the work of securing justice for all americans must go on. as members of this department and as servants of our fellow citizens, each of us has a special role to play in advancing our nation's history of progress and america's ongoing work to live up to the founding principles. over the last three years, many of the professionals in and beyond this hall helped to advance these efforts. because of you, this department is moving forward to make real the promise of a fair and just america. we have restored and we have reinvigorated the work of the subtle flaw rights division, whose mission remains -- work of the civil rights division his mission remains strong. across all our components and offices in this country and throughout the world, we have made sure that all americans
have an equal opportunity to serve and strive in this department. although i am proud of the record of progress that we have achieved, this is no time to be satisfied. i am not satisfied. we cannot and we will not become complacent. in particular, we cannot ignore the growing concern i have been hearing from americans in communities from coast to coast. the fear that some changes in state voting laws may signal that decades of hard earned progress now hang in the balance. the citizens understand and appreciate the fact that throughout our nation's history, no force has proven more integral to the success of the great american experiment than the ability of a diverse array of citizens to participate in our democracy. fair and equal access to the ballot box represents the cornerstone of our system of governance. president lyndon johnson may have put it best when he signed
the landmark voting act into law in 1965 and observed the right to vote is quite simply almost basic right -- our most basic right. that is why this department and the voting section have taken meaningful steps to ensure integrity, independence, and transparency in the enforcement of the voting rights act. we are, for example, continuing to suggest changes to voting rules. as long as i have the privilege of serving as attorney general, this work will continue to be a top priority. all of this is only the beginning. we must remain vigilant in safeguarding the civil rights of all americans. every day, we must dedicate ourselves to that vital efforts into the common cause of insisting that this great country lives up -- into the common cause that this country lives up to opportunity and
justice for all. as we pause to honor our nation's past and to reaffirm the future that we will share in together must build, we are fortunate to be joined by a distinguished panel of the party leaders from the civil division, attorney recruitment and management, the federal bureau of prisons and the executive office of u.s. attorneys. we will take part in a wide range of conversations about the opportunities in challenges facing african-american women in legal and law-enforcement professions. i would like to be able to hear the wonderful insights, but i have to leave. this will be recorded so i can see all the great things you'll be talking about. i applaud the remarkable work that all of you have done. i am grateful for the opportunity to celebrate with you throughout this month. let us keep up the great work and keep focused on the great work that remains to be done people -- the great works that
remain to be done. thank you very much. [applause] >> again, we are so fortunate to have had attorney general holder today and throughout the course of the year when we hold special service programs. at this time, i would like to introduce the facilitator of today's panel, miss suzanne bell. she is the deputy director for legal management in the executive office of u.s. attorneys. since 1995, suzanne has held a number of important positions in the justice department, including deputy director for the office of attorney recruitment and management and assisted u.s. attorney in the central district of california. she is a strong advocate for diversity and has helped draft management plans. she serves as a member of above doj's executive group.
the program will be available on our video library. we will move back with part of today's "washington journal." >> we're talking about in grass and -- an agreement on drilling below the maritime border. what is the agreement do? >> the agreement does several things and it has a significant impact, especially for u.s. companies. for 10 years, companies on the u.s. side of the border have been reluctant to drill in the area that gets within close distance to the border because if something happens, there was not a clear definition of who was responsible, who would clean it up if an accident drifted into the other country's
territory, who would be responsible? this removes uncertainty from all of that and it will open up a pretty significant area, at least on the u.s. side. it may pave the way for greater dissipation between the u.s. and mexico to jointly develop some of these border strategy's. >> we are going to put up statistics about the area that is breaking up. can you talk about these two tracts of land and the history behind why they have been shut down? >> on the u.s. side, there is the area about the size of the state of delaware. ideas about 107 million barrels of oil that is in the ground. the problem has been, mexico really views oil wells very differently than we do in the u.s.. they actually have the constitutional protection that says that mexican companies or the mexican oil company has to
own the oil. the government has to own the oil. they get a significant portion of the budget revenue from oil production. that has basically prevented foreign companies from drilling in mexico, either on land or offshore because foreign oil companies like to own a piece of the oil. they like to get a percentage. mexico has not been able to do that. >> if u.s. companies still in mexican waters, do they have access to selling that oil or do they have to sell it to mexico? >> the interior department says that they have worked out a formula that will benefit u.s. companies and still respect the mexican constitutional requirements. we do not know exactly what the details of that are yet. both governments have to vote on it. this has always been a very contentious issue in mexico. i am sure mexican lawmakers will
be looking at this thing very carefully. host: we are going to show a map. when it was announced that there was an agreement, they said it would clear up legal grey areas. what are other areas this agreement actually clears up? the big issue -- guest: the big issue was a liability. when you get into the border issues, if you have an accident on one side of the border and the oil drips into the waters of the other country, who is responsible for the clean up? who pays for it? this creates a joint agreement where you would actually have inspectors from each country expecting wells on both sides of the border. they have agreed to a new set of standards which are the u.s. standards that have been adopted after the deepwater horizon. it relieves a lot of uncertainty. in the past, u.s. companies have
been afraid to go much closer to this maritime border because they did not know what their liabilities might be moving forward. host: were they the stricter standards of the two? guest: yes. mexico has not had a lot of offshore drilling activity. not a lot of deep water activity. they are destroying their first alter a deep water well which is more than 5,000 feet of water. this is new territory for them. host: you say the u.s. inspectors are now expecting mexican rigs that are out there. do we have the capacity in the government to inspect all of our wells and theirs? guest: this has been one of the biggest challenges, especially in the gulf of mexico. the bureau of ocean energy management has beefed up its inspection staff. they're continuing to add people. it is an open question as to how effective this regulation is going to be going forward and
whether or we will have enough people to get to all of these rigs. i do think the government is going to make the old red -- ultra deepwater wells a top priority. host: we are talking with a business columnist with the ok houston -- with the "of houston chronicle." give us a call. 202-737-0001 for democrats. 202-628-0205 for independence. in mexico,202-628-0184. tell us why this agreement happened right now. was there outside pressure coming into the area? guest: it had more to do with the fact that the administration has said that it wants to open up more domestic drilling, more
areas to domestic drilling. if you are going to do that, this is a no-brainer. it is in a place where we already have a lot of drilling nearby. there is a huge operation close to it. you have infrastructure in place. new wells can tie into that. it is a way for the never -- for the administration to say okay, we are trying to encourage domestic drilling without having to get into the messier discussions of opening the east coast. host: we will open up the phones for comments and questions. steve is on the democratic line. good morning. caller: good morning. i support the agreement. i think it would be a good economic thing for both countries. i see it as a long-term strategy to impact our nation's economy. host: how is this agreement.
how has this agreement then received politically? guest: ids to be passed by our congress and the mexican congress. -- it has to be passed by our congress and the mexican congress. there is not a lot of drawback. this is an area where we have had drilling activity nearby. i do not think you will see a lot of political opposition to it. it is an issue of dealing with the liabilities across the builder and getting the two -- across the border, and getting the two government on the same side. caller: the -- host: the api says that this is a positive step that determines the value -- demonstrates the value of opening new areas to responsible domestic offshore development. this announcement also shows the need for u.s. energy policy that emphasizes more domestic that element, such as areas offshore
of virginia, north carolina, and south carolina to maximize u.s. jobs and investment to energy development here and at home. what are the statistics of some of these areas that api wants to open up? guest: api's job is to promote oil production as much as possible. it would love to see these areas opened up for new drilling. the we some movement on that -- we saw movement on the east coast before deep water. it is more controversial because you have a lot more tourism in those areas. for example, even in florida, especially on the gulf coast, there has been resistance to allowing drilling to come in. if there are other economic issues. these get to be tricky, especially in an election year. part of the reason you can do this now is, it is safe. it is not politically risky and
it is something that mexico would like to see happen because mexico's production is declining. to the extent it can increase offshore production, it will benefit mexico, as well. host: jim on twitter writes about mexico's oil exporters. i used to be the number two and now it is in deep decline. where does it right now in terms of u.s. getting oil from mexico? guest: there is still a major source of oil for us. i think mexico is number 7 oil producer in the world. it has declined. the project and are, including those from the mexican oil company, or that the production is going to continue to decline. they do not have the technical expertise they need to develop these new resources and that is part of the reason that they are hoping to get more offshore activity because there is a lot of oil out there that really has
just not been tapped. host: andre is from new york. caller: basically, when clinton left office, one of the things he did was to regulate oil. what kind of impact is that having on, you know, what we are paying for gas today and why do we need to drill in the gulf? guest: well, the reason we need to drill in the gulf is because i have not noticed people driving a whole lot less. the recession is taking a bite out of demand, but that is largely temporary. there are more and more cars on the road every day. as a nation, we continue to contain -- consume more oil than any other country on earth. in the short term, to meet that demand, we are going to mean more production. the other thing that is happening in terms of the u.s. relative to the rest of the world is that other countries
like india and china are starting to use a lot more oil. even middle eastern countries. i was in saudi arabia last year and they are concerned about the increase in domestic demand for their oil. as more and more countries draw on this sort of the available pool of oil, if you will, that is being exported, that means that there is less for countries like the u.s. the more we can do to promote production either in our territory or in this hemisphere with friendly countries like mexico and canada, the more secure our supply will be in the future. host: let us go to maryland. teresa is on the republican line. good morning. caller: good morning. i would like to know why we are drilling with mexico. it was the oil companies in the u.s. who built the refineries,
give them everything they needed because they did not have the wherewithal. as soon as it was all up and working, they took away the percentage that the oil refineries were supposed to get an nationalize everything. i am sorry -- i do not believe in using foul language, but "screwed." go ahead and do keystone. take the oil in alaska's, which is abundant -- yet, we are doing this to people who have already done so much damage -- guest: you are talking about nationalizing of the mexican oil
industry, which was back in the 1930's. you are right. a lot of companies went into mexico and began drilling and set up a lot of the infrastructure. mexico was the first country that led this sort of nationalization boom that we saw throughout latin america and south america in the 20th century. if you talk to some mexican nationals about it, they have a different view. they say the u.s. companies came in and were pumping out oil, they were taking all the profits, they were basically consuming the natural resources that should have been shared by the mexican people. they were exporting them to the u.s. and elsewhere. you know, i think those issues, as far as the oil industry is concerned, are very much in the past. certainly with regard to mexico, you know, what they see now is a real opportunity, especially offshore, to develop some of these resources. keep in mind, even if you leave the mexican part of this deal out of the question, what we are
really talking about, the most immediate benefits of this agreement, will be to remove the cloud of uncertainty on the u.s. side of the border so that companies can drill in u.s. waters right up to the maritime border. not have to worry about, you know, potential liabilities if there is a problem or, you know, worry about mexico being concerned about drilling. host: we have 25 minutes left. another comment on twitter -- " this mexico plan -- does mexico plan on building in the refineries and helping with our guest supply oil reserves? " >> they have been purchasing products -- guest: they have been purchasing products from us. because the recession has kind of crimped the u.s. demand for gasoline.
all of these things -- there is a flow to them. as demand picks up in the u.s., mexico will have to make tough decisions about whether it needs additional refining capacity or whether it can find other places to buy refined products. host: we have a democrat. good morning. caller: i have a few questions. i would like to answer the lady who was on before asking about the pipeline coming down because i learned at the other day from this fellow's "houston chronicle" that china has put in $16 billion of investment in the canadian oil stands and that pipeline will carry that oil for china down to his border and then over to china. i have nothing against china. i would like to also ask him about the quality of this
investment in mexican oil because i have read and heard that mexican oil is tar-kind of hard to refine. guest: well, you know, mexican crude is heavier than west texas crude or light sweet crude. their refineries here in the u.s. that are perfectly capable of -- there are refineries here in the u.s. that are perfectly capable of refining have rear crude. most are actually heavier grades. more refineries have been adapting to process it. >> -- host: charles is on the line. good morning. caller: good morning, gentlemen. i have a question regarding fed
-- regarding the emergency equipment. is that going to be required in this deal with mexico? if so, i happen to be the person who invented it. at least according to the patent office, i am. you can ask -- host: what is it? caller: this is a dog used to shut it down. -- valve used to shut it down. we had an agreement with a man in texas, which i'm sure you know where that is. he has a company where i lost control of the valve.
how these people are moving in it, there is another company called wild one well in houston -- host: let us give him a chance to answer. guest: the agreement requires wells on both sides of the boundaries to have this -- to have a response plan in place. they have used the helix system. i am not sure whether they use your capping stack or not, but it is the helix system that is going to be used in case of a containment. host: you wrote a book. he talked about the oil spill back in 2010. the duke study that capping stack that charles was talking about? -- did you study the capping step that charles was talking
about? guest: my book cannot be for the analysis was done on blowout preventers. i wrote about the capping step because they used that to finally cap the well. in terms of the response plans overdeveloped around it and what was done after, a lot of that was done after my book came out. the industry has tried to take some of the lessons learned on the condo and apply them to a broader spill plan. one of the things that the accident pointed out was that there was no coordinated response to a spill of this magnitude. you now have an industry that has one response program that has equipment in place and then you have the helix system, which has also met federal standards for spill response. you have two different systems that companies can choose from. the idea is to basically have equipment and a plan in place so that if something like this happens, you can respond more quickly and more effectively.
host: but go to california. good morning. are you there? caller: okay. i know you are from texas. i was originally raised in texas, west texas. my question deals with the refinery in and the glutton they're generating and why they gas prices are going up because refineries do not want to release that surplus to lower the prices -- we are getting into the issues with canada and mexico. we have the state department involved. everybody is taking their time, but the bottom line, the dollar is being transferred to the company. it is a world economy.
china needs it. india needs id. mexico needs it. we are getting a shortage of this right now. we are getting that shortage for a least another 10 years. can you be specific on the refineries and how they are making their money? thank you. guest: well, the refiners are exporting a little bit more gasoline and diesel than they have in the past because demand has not been quite what it has been, domestically for the u.s. that is necessarily bad. anything that increases our exports benefits our economy. they're keeping people employed. i do not see the export of refined products as a bad thing at the moment. you know, longer term, you are absolutely right. this is a global market that -- the price of oil, which is the
determining factor in the price of gasoline at the pump, is basically controlled by these geopolitical events we have seen. the recent rise in price has much more to do with iran that it does anything that has happened domestically. -- than anything that has happened domestically. i think we are going to see prices continuing to go up. we see an increase in prices, you know, as we head towards the beginning of summer because more people start driving. host: when will the opening of this new area in the gulf of mexico impact prices at the pump? guest: ideas going to be a while before we start to see an impact -- it is going to be a while before we see an impact. they have not sold elises yet. they're hoping to do that later this year, but it might take two years before things get through
the pipeline. pardon the pun. they will start bringing them into production. it is likely to be several years down the road before we see any of that production coming into the market. >> -- host: what guarantee do we have that the oil drilled will actually go to the u.s. and not sold for foreign interest? guest: i do not know we have any guarantees. we are talking about a commodity. it tends to go where is the most demand and where it can get the highest price. to the expense -- extent that the u.s. is the biggest consumer of oil, there is a good chance it is going to go here. it is economically more sensible to produce it in the gulf of mexico -- the least amount of transportation you have to do, the more economical it is. the first choice would be to get that oil to refineries on the gulf coast. host: eugene on the independent
line. you are on. caller: good morning. everybody says drill, they become a drill. -- drill, baby, drill. how much does the u.s. government get paid? the drilling done by bp or shell -- howard -- how is this one to benefit us? thank you very much. guest: the government gets revenue -- royalties, which is a tax on a production that comes out of any oil that is ruled on federal property, if you will. if it is onshore, offshore -- the offshore lease has a higher royalty rate and represents a
large revenue potential for the federal government. also, the gulf of mexico gets billions of dollars in other revenue. this is a significant source of revenue for the government, which obviously could use the money at this point. host: we also get money from selling the leases. explain that. guest: yes. they have a lease sale where they divide the gulf of mexico into blocks, territories, if you will. they leased out the specific blocks and then you have to submit a plan on how you plan to drill and what time frame and that sort of thing. there are various conditions that come along with that, but they have an option which works just like any other where companies bid on these different blocks based on where they think they have the best chance of finding oil. host: earlier this year, back in january, after the december sale that we were talking about earlier, a democrat from
massachusetts talked about the december sale and he was concerned about a lack of competition in the gulf oil lease sale. you pointed out that the sale in december attracted about 190 -- 241 bids for 191 tracks. he said in a letter that 3700 tracts covering 21 million acres attracted no bids at all. just three companies combined to submit 71% of the bids. can you talk about the competition going on out there? guest: yap. in their two issues. now, we are going to lease it, come on in the -- there is a lot of your logical analysis that goes into this. companies determine which blocks are going to be the best prospects. which ones -- we are talking about projects that can run billions of dollars to develop.
it is not a decision companies want to make lightly. they do not want to drill a dry hole, which means they find oil. not necessarily every piece of land that is available for lease is going to be one that companies are going to take a risk of drilling on. that is an issue everywhere. with every federal lease sale. the issue of competition in the gulf is something that has gotten a lot of attention since the deepwater horizon accident because as we increase the safety requirements, the additional equipment, that sort of thing, you know, again, you are talking about very expensive project. it is very difficult for smaller companies to compete on this. it is one of the big concerns -- , to the new safety requirements going to cost and how -- how much are the new safety requirements going to cost and how much will we have to put into it? we have seen only the large companies taking the risk of going back in, now that the new
rules are in place. if you will see competition increase to a greater extent as more of these lease sales get done and people gain confidence in the process. host: we have a democrat next. if you are on. guest: -- caller: thank you. thank you c-span. our high price of gasoline is because the environmentalists will not let us build refineries. we have not built one in 30 years. i live in the northeast where there are several idle refineries. there are concerns about more refineries being idle. i wanted to comment on that. would you comment? guest: the issue of building refineries got a lot of attention a few years ago. as part of the reason no new refineries have been built is that is very hard to get a permit to actually build a new one. the other reason is that refineries are expensive.
$10 billion, in some cases. companies have to look 20 years out and say, what kind of demand do we see? the fact is, you know, oil companies, including the big ones like exxon mobile, have said they see u.s. gasoline demand declining when you get out about 20 or 30 years because we will start using more alternative fuels. if you look at it from that standpoint, companies do not want to invest billions of dollars in something that is going to be obsolete in a couple of decades. there has not been really desire on the part of the companies to build the refiners. what they have done and what we are seeing on the gulf coast is that existing refineries are being expanded so that they are actually increasing refining capacity without building new plants. the reason that is a good compromise is that, for one thing, it is cheaper. it is easier to get permits to expand its facility that is already there that is to build a new one.
host: illinois, we have rob. caller: good day. i would like to start off with a comment and then and with a question. my comment is, i was watching a congressional hearing about the keystone pipeline and one of the people said that he would not have even pledged or admit that the oil was going to be sold to the u.s. and basically the u.s. was going to be a middleman to sell it to china's zero china would not have to drive all the way -- sell it to china ships so that china would not have to drive all the way over here. if we start going into war with iran, would that not raise gas prices? is that not unwise? guest: the war might be unwise for a number of reasons, but it will definitely raise gas
prices sharply. this goes back to the issue i was talking about earlier. if something like this happens, if we see a spike in prices, we are going to be worried about where the price goes and the impact on our economy, but we are also going to be worried about supply. if iran were to cut off oil supplies to europe, all of those countries are going to be scrambling, trying to purchase additional oil somewhere else and the market. to the extent that we have friendly countries with long- term agreements that are supplying oil to us, canada, mexico being at the top of the list, it provides a long-term benefit for the u.s. that he could help prevent things like gas lines and things like that in the future if something were to get out of whack. host: mack writes on twitter, oil speculation plays a huge role in affecting the oil pricing. can you comment? guest: it does have an impact.
there is no doubt about that. it has an affect both ways so when prices are going up, speculation can add to the increase or add to this -- but, it always works on the other side. they are betting prices will fall. the overall expect -- the overall scenario is that it is easier to blame the speculators, but the bigger impact is opac and saudi arabia. host: another question on where we are drilling. would it not make more sense to drill in the arctic and the gulf as far as impacting people and fish populations? guest: i too would have less impact on people and fish and we would not -- it would have less impact on people and fish.
unfortunately, drilling for the oil is only part of a problem. you have to figure out how did the oil from the wealth that is 50 miles offshore back to the refinery -- you have to figure out how to get the oil from the well offshore. in mexico, they are drilling close to shell's refinery. other wells can link to this held up and low oil will flow. from there, it is closed. that infrastructure is incredibly beneficial and it is something that companies looked at. you do not have much of that in alaska. obviously, you have the trans alaska pipeline. it is part of the reason that the gulf of mexico is so attractive. host: we have an independent from cincinnati, ohio. you are on the air. caller: yes.
i watch c-span all the time. i appreciate the show, also, but i have a comment on the pipeline. in the beginning of the broadcast, i t was said that there is not a lot of drawback holding us up. every time you speak of the map, it is constantly changing the line of where -- would it not be -- could it be lining up to a spot for factories for new energy resources that president obama is trying to give us our own
resources without having to resources from other countries? we have the strongest minerals. other countries need them. we have the strongest field -- steel. is the pipeline going to mean made from our steel? -- be made from our steel? people are purchasing more sufficient cars -- guest: i am not sure where the steel for the keystone pipeline would be manufactured. that project is a long way from actually happening. you know, what we were dealing with with keystone was that the company has to submit an
application to the state department to cross the u.s. border. that is where this whole political firestorm erupted. over the issue of granting the permit. one of the things that gets lost is, even if the permit is granted, that does not mean the public will get built. if you talk to companies, they're people who feel that, you know, that will not actually happened. once he's done gets the go ahead, you will see other -- once keystone gets the go-ahead, you will see other pipelines reversed the flow. what we need now is pipelines that go out of the midwest. as the economic incentives increase for there's companies to reverse the flow of pipelines, we may see that happen. that would take away the need for the keystone project they are talking about. host: can you talk about the jobs argument? that was a big issue in the keystone debate. what is the actual number of jobs that the keys to a pipeline
would have created? guest: i am not sure anybody really knows the number. it went anywhere from zero to 200,000. it depends on how you calculate it and the ripple effect, if you will. it would represent a lot of construction jobs, while the pipeline was being built. those are not jobs that are going to last forever was the project is done. actually running and maintaining a pipeline is not terribly labor-intensive. we do not know how many jobs would be generated from the increased flow of oil and that sort of thing. i think it is hard to say, but i think the extremes of those estimates are all wrong. i do not think we will see 200,000 jobs or zero. it is somewhere in the middle. it is very hard to put a number on it. host: we have a couple minutes left. before we head over to a house
democratic steering and policy committee hearing on women's health, we will get a few calls in. we have an independent from maine. caller: yeah, i was wondering if the oil companies are lying to the american people about how much oil they are pumping out of the gulf of mexico? if you took 1000 wells that have the same capacity as another one, you are looking at 50 million barrels per day. dao has are to come out and said that the oil companies are under reporting. -- has already come out and said that the oil companies are under reporting to our congress. is anyone checking this out? guest: well, underprreporting is probably as old as the oil industry itself. you have seen this become an issue on land and offshore. it is hard to know on a day-to-
day basis how much actual production is coming out of the well. the government relies on the companies themselves to report this data. there is verification of that in the bureau of energy management, which used to be mineral management service. they have a verification process and that is how they find out. he will seek is where a company gets sued over underreporting. it is an ongoing problem. it is partially because -- partially because a lot of these wells are in remote areas. we up to rely on the companies themselves to provide data. they're supposed to provide it accurately, but sometimes they do not. sometimes there are mitigating factors that make it hard to understand. host: one last question, the estimates that were given out or that their 122 million barrels of oil in this new area that is being opened up. how did they come up with that
figure? guest: they come up with that figure based on the assault -- the geology. in many cases, what they hope for is that that number is low. certainly, the oil companies that have looked at it think that the actual number could be much higher than that. but, oil companies tend to get very excited about these things. they tend to overestimates of the government underestimates a little bit. that is a rough idea of what we are looking at. host: we're into leave it there. thank you so much. guest: thank you. >> we will hear more about gas prices and energy policy very shortly. president obama is at the university of florida this afternoon to promoted energy strategy that the administration says will reduce dependence on foreign oil. we will have that live for you at 2:30 eastern here on c-span. live at 5:30 eastern as james car right take part in a -- james cartwright takes part in a
conversation about iran to attack nuclear problem. live on c-span. >> tonight, from this year's world economic forum, see the heads of the world bank and imf along with other global leaders as they talk about the future of the world economy. >> no one is immune in the current situation. it is not just the eurozone crisis, it is a crisis that could have collateral effect around the world. we will hear from others, but what i have seen and what we are seeing in numbers and forecasts is that no country is immune and everybody has an interest in making sure this crisis is resolved adequately. >> i have been in public service, public finance, for over four decades. i have never been as scared as i am now about the world.
what is happening in europe, looking back at our experiences in 1980 that we had and the crisis in 1990. this is a very big issue. first of all, i agree entirely with christina that nobody is immune. we are all connected. >> you can see the whole discussion tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. we will have more from the world economic forum tomorrow including a panel on the political and economic future of africa. plus, the ceo of several major corporations talk about the role their companies are playing in the global economic recovery. >> live saturday on "american tv" 5 civil war historians make their case for 1862's person of the year. the forum from the museum of the confederacy in the library of
virginia in richmond ends the day with an audience both. c-span3 the words can join on twitter. live starting at 9:00 a.m. eastern on c-span3. >> this is a live look at the podium at the university of miami field house. president obama is here this afternoon and will be speaking at 2:30 about gasoline prices and the administration's energy policy. it is expected to start at 2:30, but this deal could start any time. we will go there live. in the meantime, a discussion from this morning's "washington journal" on the proposed change in business taxes. >> we are joined to talk about the president's new corporate tax cut plan. take us through the new proposal but the president released yesterday. guest: the treasury department relates -- relate the
president's for more. that is important because it does not have a lot of detail. they have sort of set the parameters of what they want corporate tax reform to look like. the first thing i he would do is reduce the corporate tax rate from 35% to 28%. that is a big change. they would do that by getting rid of a lot of what we call tax expenditures, special preferences in the code that typically only benefit one industry, like the oil and gas tax breaks. they're going to get rid of a lot of those things to help bring the rate down. then, they have some pretty -- then they have some pretty interesting new rules about taxing foreign profits the u.s. national corporations have. there are manufacturing incentives in it. host: we have a few details of the plan that did come out yesterday. he said there are a few details in there.
the plan would cut the corporate tax rate from 35% to 28%. lower taxes on manufacturing to 25% or lower for advanced manufacturing activities. require companies to pay minimum taxes on overseas profits. small businesses will expand up to $1 million in investments and eliminate lukes o -- coples for oil and gas industries. make permanent research and experimentation and reduce tax breaks for people going overseas and give a money back to them u.s.. why is this plan guest: coming out right: -- why is this plan coming out right now? guest: this is a very popular refrain on both sides of the aisle. what some people think the code is way too complex. there are too many special breaks and we ought to reform
the system. i would like to think that part of the reason it is coming out now is citizens for tax justice along with the institute on taxation and economic policy released a report where we look at the fortune 500 companies and we pulled into the report those that were profitable over the three years we've looked at, which was 2008 to 2010. we saw the average tax rate for those multinational corporations was 18.5%. you hear that we have the highest tax rate in the world, 35%, but the actual rate that corporations are paying as much less than that. in our study, we found that 78 of the companies had at least one year in that three year timeframe where they did not pay taxes at all. 30 of the companies did not pay taxes in any of those three years. host: our corporate tax rate
under the obama plan, we are currently at the highest in the world? where will 28% take us? guest: that will put us in the middle with our major trading partners and the other members of the omcb. host: if you want to join in on the conversation about the president's framework that was released yesterday or mitt romney's proposal that he talked about in the debates and released over the past couple of weeks, give us a call. 202-737-0002 for republicans. 202-737-00014 for democrats -- 202-737-0001 for democrats. what is the opinion about the plan that was released yesterday? is it good? guest: some of the basic pieces
of the framework are good. we are concerned that it does not look like the plan will raise any revenue. the deficit, of course, is a concern. long-term debt outlook is a concern. we think that the administration is leading a lot of money on the table. there is a lot of room to raise revenue from corporate tax reform. >> -- host: the editorial calls it a welcome stars. it says that the tax framework central reform reducing the top corporate rates from 35% to 28% do away with loopholes and subsidies is a sound approach which will bring the rate in line with that of other events stations without busting the budget. even if they made it past the lobbyists, it is too small farm
making up for the top rate. -- for dropping the top rate. how much money will they bring in by closing the loopholes? how much will we lose by lowering the corporate tax rate? guest: the tax breaks in the plan, reducing the rate to 28% and some of the other incentives that are in the plan will cost about $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years. also, we can identify about $300 billion of savings from eliminating some expenditures that they particularly pointed out, like ending the method of accounting for inventories in some companies. that leaves a 0.9 trillion dollars gap. that will presumably come from reducing other tax breaks, may be slowing down accelerated depreciation. there are over 150 tax
expenditures in the tax code that benefit businesses. there is a lot of room for them to find the revenue. we hope they will and we hope they will find more than just a shortfall, but actually it raise the revenue. host: when guy faris said this is going to be done without increasing the deficit, -- when timothy geithner said this is going to be done without -- without increasing the deficit, is it possible? guest: yes. host: let us go to the phones. good morning. caller: good morning. my question is, taxes in general raising revenue -- i would like to see less government spending in general. why do we need to raise revenue and have more government spending the money when bureaucrats are spending the money instead of spending the money rather than the people of
america? the government does not spend money well. government does not solve problems. if the government solve problems, then we would not have government anymore. we have bureaucrats only. i just do not get it. raising the corporate tax rate will only run more business and money out of this country and take it away from people who are working and need food and shelter like me. >guest: the issue with the budget is that the things that cost a lot of money on not the things that we think of as spending. but they're things that people are entitled to, like medicare, medicaid, social circuit, and then of course the defense budget is a huge piece of the budget. even if you eliminate all the other government spending, you still would not make much of a dent in the budget. you really would have to reduce those programs substantially to be able to do a significant amount of cutting the size of
government. on the other hand, there are a lot of things the government does that we can do ourselves. you and i cannot build roads. you and i cannot have a military. you and i cannot provide for public schools. and those are the things that we want government to do and we have to figure out how to raise the revenue to do those. >> a couple of different plans out there to do it. was compare the obama plan to a couple of those out there. this is from "the washington times" talking about the proposals. this one lists mitt romney's proposal, the tax income right under his rate -- the tax income rate under his proposal would be 25%. compare what you think is feasible among those different
plans that are out there. guest: actually, the president's plan is the only one that is feasible. the joint tax committee a couple of months ago looked at the corporate tax and said that, to lower the rate below 28%, you have to get rid of every special tax break in the business tax code. and that is just not possible. if you look at romney's plan, for example, and he lowered the corporate rate to 25% and lowered the individual rate to 28%, the only way we can afford that is if we make huge cuts, not just in domestic discretionary spending, but huge cuts in medicare, medicaid, and social security. host: a common from 20 -- -- a comment from twitter --
that is exactly right. back in the 1950's come income tax provided 20% of total revenues. corporations are not paying that much tax. there are very few corporations that pay a higher rate. a lot of corporations pay a single-digit rates and a lot of them pay less than 0%. they actually get so many tax breaks that they get checks back from the government. host: in the president's proposal, there is a chart in there about the effective tax rate for a few different industries. tell us about some of the ones that are closest to the current corporate tax rate construction at 31%. some of the lower ones out there are 14% for utilities. the president is specifically targeting oil and gas. that is one of the few that he
laid out. what is the oil and gas industries current tax rate? guest: their effective rate is close to single digits because they get so many tax rates. and there are quite a few industries whose effective rate is close to a single-digits. so our corporate tax sets winners and losers. the president lays out in this framework that the tax should not distort economic decisions so much. you should not decide what kind of business to go into and what form of businesses you should be and, like a partnership or corporation, just based on tax consideration. you should do it based on the economics of the deal appeared hos. host: who are the winners and losers on the president's plan? guest: the financial industry
may pay a higher tax rate. the retail industry pays a high tax rate right now. you can see their tax rate come down. host: who are some of the companies that are actually paying the highest corporate tax -- theaddax guest: highest corporate tax? guest: retailers like nordstrom's. caller: i am calling to ask a question about the supreme court has said that corporations are people. so why are we discussing reducing rates, the income tax rates, on corporations? guest: one of my favorite signs recently in the political discussion is that he looks out over the occupy washington
encampment and says, if corporations are people, why has not texas executed one of them yet? that is a really good question. a lot of commentators and some of the members of congress yesterday brought up the issue that, if we are going to reform corporate taxes, we need to reform individual taxes, too. i think that is a pretty good argument. a lot of businesses are not actually taxed as corporations. their tax on individual returns because they are in a partnership or an s-corporation. you cannot separate corporations from everything else. host: a question on twitter -- will we see the sort of movements? guest: i think what you have to keep in mind is that, when you
cut taxes, you make up the difference by raising somebody else's taxes or by cutting spending or by increasing the deficit. tax cuts are not free and they do not pay for themselves. so you have to figure out, if you are to reduce taxes somewhere, you have to make up that difference. the president's plan would reduce taxes for some corporations, but overall, it is designed not to lose revenue. host: mary is an independent from boston, massachusetts. caller: i was just wondering how president obama is coming out with a plan that the republicans have been talking about for months, which is, you know, about the tax loopholes, lowering the tax rate and now he is trying to take credit for it, which to me is totally ridiculous. so my question to you is would do not think that a fair tax going across the board would be
the easiest way? we have the people on the right, the left, and the people like me who are in the middle saying, people, please, work together for the country. vote for the people, not the politicians. guest: the problem with a fair tax on the individual side is that income tax -- individual income-tax is are just one of the taxes we pay. there are state and local taxes and sales taxes, income taxes, property taxes. when you look at just the federal income tax, that is a very progressive tax and mostly paid by higher income people. but the other kinds of taxes are highly regressive, meaning that they have low income -- they hit low income people the worse. for example, in oklahoma, taxpayers in the bottom 20%, the
poorest 20% in oklahoma pay almost 10% of their income in just state and local taxes. but the top 20% pay less than 4% of their income in state and local taxes. so you cannot just look at the income tax if you really want a fair tax fowhere everybody is paying similar amounts. yet to look at all the taxes together. host: that is some of the reaction out there since the plan was released. some said that the plan should not just look at the core reform rate, but also the individual tax reform rate. talk a little bit about the efforts on how we would actually do both of those at the same time and whether we should do one and then the other. guest: we really like the way they went about it in 1986, which is the last time we had a major tax reform. in 1986, the reform both the
individual side and the corporate side. they brought the rates down, eliminated a lot of special deductions, which is what the president's framework proposes to do. and they got rid of a lot of the games people play by getting rid of the special preferences and were able to do an overall reform. they did not lose revenue. host: this is a statement from dave camp, the house ways and means chairman. he wrote that more than half of business income is taxed as an individual rather than the corporate tax rate. and a corporate-only proposal does not address the needs of those job graders. again, that was dave camp, chairman of the house ways and means committee. we will go to long island on the
republican line. good morning. caller: i was wondering how will these changes affect the individual as far as the a and p tax or the higher rates that we pay as individuals? guest: the french art does not address individuals at all except for one provision that affects managers of investment funds like private equity funds. i think that is where some of the chatter can from yesterday. a lot of businesses don't operate in the corporate form are passed through entities and you have to reform that, too. the present plan tries to give those small businesses relief by ratcheting up the amount of equipment and capital improvements they can deduct. right now, that has been limited to 400 thousand dollars and the present plan would take that to a million dollars.
that big a relief for many small businesses. host: but the president h laid out plans before. can you talk about the ones he has already talked about in the state of the union address? >> he has in the one everybody knows about is the bgffett rule. it needs to be enacted because of the way we tax work at much higher rates than the tax income from wealth. the reason warren buffett has ch a low rate is because he gets a preferential rate on capital gains and dividends. somebody else who might make this amount of money but makes it from wages or stock options would pay much higher rate. most of us have to work for a ving. we think they should not be paying a higher rate than people
who have a lot of wealth and are living off the income from their wealth. host: more on the democratic line from new jersey. caller: good morning. the republican talking points about our taxes has aays been that president kennedy cut the tax as needed and it was president johnson who did that and we have the highest corporate tax rate and a world. it is high at 35%. they never talk about the added value tax that the rest of the industrialized nations do pay. when the tax cut, the lbj tax cut when from some 90% to 74% in corporate taxes and there were no loopholes.
i am quite pleased with the tax proposals that president obama has proposed but i think that if there was a value added tax, thereby increasing our revenues and that makes a good deal more sense. i am close to 6 feet tall and the general electric tax return when printed out was taller than i was. they paid less than nothing. guest: that is exactly right. i don't feel too sorry for ge because they have created their own problems. each tax return is a function of how complicated their corporate structure is. and how many schedules they have to separately filed for their foreign subsidiaries and for all the things they are doing. the fact that our major trading partners and many other countries in the world have a value added tax is pressure on
our income taxes. they can lower their core rate or lower their individual rights because they have a value added tax. a couple problems with that is th it tends to be highly aggressive so it hurts people of the lower income level and it is very politically unpopular. i think it would be tougto get a host: a question from james on twitter -- guest: there would be a lot of tax attorneys out of work. tax tends to hurt pooreople more. in the income tax, it more progressive, but that's harder to do with the sales tax. it depends on your frame work about who should bear the cost
of government. host: ar talking with a belt the wilkens, senior counsel for the citizens for tax justice. tell us more and how yoare funded. guest: >> it has been around more than a 30 years. we have as our mission to do what we can to make sure the tax system is fair and equitable and that it raises enough revenue to do the things we want government to do. so we do a lot of research. we do analysis of different plans and legislative proposals that are introduced. we try to figure out who will pay that t and get that information out there so people can see. host: where does your funding comes from? guest: are non-profit. we get a lot of contributions from individuals foundations,
labor unions, across the board. we get a lot of support from many different places. host: harrisburg, pennsylvania, john on our republican line. when you tax a company, the company adds a higher price for their products, so you are taxing the consumer. i would like to speak about warren buffett. he is an investor and could just sit on his money. instead he puts it into banks so they can lend money to other people and help them grow business. we want to encourage investors to have a lower rate. third, when you do put taxes -- cut taxes on businesses, they create job growth and that means more people working and more tax revenue collected.
i will hang up and hear your comments. thank you. guest: warren buffett does no need the government's help. he has plenty of money and will inst it and put it to use where he thinks he can get a good return on it. income taxes don't make a profitable don'tunprofitable and vice versa. income-tax only taxes whatever is left after you divest all of your business expenses and pay your employees and pay for training and make capital investments and whatever else you do. on the issue of whether or not corporations past taxes on to consumers, i would say this. if that were true, corporations would not care what the tax rate was. they would not fight to get the tax te lowered, because they are just passing it on to their consumers. preserve to indicates tha maybe some of
the tax burden falls on consumers, maybe some of it falls on workers, but the majority is actually paid for by the shareholders. corporate stock in this country is owned almost all by the top 5%. host: now that the oposals are out there, how long until they will actually get done? guest: i don't think we will see anything this year. in an election year and with congress as divided as it is, i don't think anybody thinks this plan will be on the legislative agenda anytime soon. if you look back at 1986, tax reform did take three years or 40 more yearand was a hot topic during president reagan's first term. and then after a couple years with a lot of negotiations and wrangling over the details it did finally get enacted. we could see a couple years down th road. host: do you think this was a political move to put this out now? or a plan to start the process
and get it done in the next couple years? guest: probably both of those thgs. i think everybody thinks tax reform needs to be done, so they wanted to get it going. all the republicans have a plan out there. the president wanted to draw distinctions between what their plans would do and what his would do. host: mike from northridgeville, ohio, on the line, a democrat. caller: my comment would be, restore taxes. we made no references to the earlier attacks systems used in the country. ryan now we are talking about systems from about 1982 the present. -- right now. in 1952 the tax rate for individuals was 92%. almost nobody believes that
until they research the facts. i think that the term loophole rather than the incentive is a misnomer. that is my comment. guest: you are right that tax rates have come down a lot and the tax obligation has fallen more to workers than to high- income people. something that we really work hard to make sure that the changes coming up will be more fair. host: kansas city, missouri, carlotta independent line. good morning. aryou there? i think we lost him. straight to riverview, michigan, bob on the republican line. caller: good morning.
i would like to ask, is it not true that when we lower taxes will generate more revenue? guest: that is actually not true. it's a good talking line. sounds like a great idea, but if you lower taxes, there would be so much economic activity that the taxes lost would make up for the tax cut. historical data does not bear that out. we know that when tax rates are cut, we lose tax revenue. host: in the president's plan released yesterday, what were the loopholes or things you wanted to extend in their? guest: the president did want to continue special manufacturing deduct an authority in the tax code and the wanted to make it bigger for manufacturers, but he wanted to narrow the scope of
companies that would qualify. right now, engineers and architects, due date manufacture anything? does the oil and gas industry manufacture anything? they pulled oil and gas out of the ground. so he co>> what's this anytime on c- span.org. we will now go to florida. >> i would like to welcome you to the university of miami. as a biomedical engineering major, i am at the university of miami that is on the leading edge of health and well-being around the world. they're hoping to expand knowledge and applications in a wide variety of industries, including the energy sector. i am proud to be a part of this
young generation of engineers and students' right here on campus that is leading the way to build a brighter future for energy in our country. we are honored that president obama came down here to the university of miami to talk about the importance of american energy. and he takes a good week to do it. this is national engineers week, or e-week, as we like to call it. the college is hosting high- school girls today as national "introduce a role to engineering de." -- engineering de." -- engineering day." and now, on behalf of the university of miami, students, faculty, and staff, please welcome the president of the united states.
is that you? it is good to see all of you here today. i want to thank erica for that wonderful introduction. she said her parents are tweeting. i also want to thank your president donna shalala. senator bill nelson is here. give him a big round of applause. [applause] former astronaut -- and my outstanding friend debora watson. [applause] it is good to be back in sunny florida. i must say that i do not know how you guys go to class. [laughter]
i am assuming you do go to class. it is just too nice outside. in another life, i would be staying for the next weekend tonight and then go up to orlando for the nba all-star weekend. but these days, i have a few other things on my plate. [laughter] .just a few. i have a fascinating demonstrations of the work that some of you are doing at the college of engineering. cheers] let me just say that we need more engineers so i could not be prouder of those who are stunning engineering.
it is fascinating stuff. i understood about 10% of what they told me. but the work could not be more important. what they were doing was figuring out how our buildings, our manufacturers, our businesses can waste less energy. and that is one of the fastest and easiest way to lose our dependence on oil and save a lot of money in the process and make our economy strong. so cutting edge stuff is being done right here. [cheers] that is what i am here to talk about today. in the state of the union, i laid out three areas where we need to focus if we want to build an economy that lasts and is good for the next generation, all of you. we need new american manufacturers. we have to have new skills and education for american workers.
and we need new sources of american-made energy. right now, we are experiencing just another painful reminder of why developing new energy is so critical to our future. just like last year, gas prices are climbing across the country. this time, it is happening earlier. when gas prices go up, it hurts everybody. everybody owns a car, everybody owns a business -- it means you have to stretch a paycheck even further. it means you have to find even more room in a budget that was already tight. some folks have no choice but to drive a long way to work. and high gas prices are like a tax straight out of your paycheck. i get to letters every night that i read at of the 40,000
that are sent to me. at least two of them said, you know, i am not sure i will be able to keep my job if it keeps going up so high because it is hard to manage the budget and fill up the tank. a lot of folks are going through tough times as a consequence. some politicians, they see this as a political opportunity. i know you are shocked by that. [laughter] last week, the lead story in one newspaper said gasoline prices are going high and republicans are licking their chops. [laughter] that was the quote, the lead -- licking their chops. only in politics to people greet bad news. you pay more and they are licking their chops.
since it is an election year, they are dusting off their three-point plan for $2 a gas. step one is to drill and step two is to drill and then step three is to keep drilling. we heard the same line in 2007 when i was running for president. we hear the same thing every year. we have heard the same thing for 30 years. the american people are not stupid. they know that is not a plan. since we are already drilling, that is a bumper sticker. it is not a strategy to solve the energy challenge. [cheers] [applause] that is a strategy to get politicians through an election. you know there are no quick fixes to this problem. you know we cannot just drill
our way to lower gas prices. if we are to take control of our future -- our energy future and start avoiding the annual grass price hike, which happens every year when the economy starts getting better, the man starts increasing -- demand starts increasing, turmoil in the middle east or some other part of the world -- if we are to avoid being at the mercy of these events, we need to have sustained all-of-the-above strategy. yes, oil and gas, but also wind and solar and nuclear and biofuels and more. [applause] we need to keep developing the technologies that allow us to use less oil in our cars and trucks been less energy for our buildings and plants and our factories. that is the strategy that is the only real solution to the
challenge. it starts with the need for safe, responsible oil production here in america. under my administration, america is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years. that is why we have a record number of oil rigs right now, more working on oil and gas rigs in the world combined. over the last three years, my a demonstration has approved dozens of new pipelines, including from canada. and we open millions of acres for oil and gas exploration. all told, we plan to make available 75% of all offshore oil reserves, from the gulf of mexico to alaska. earlier this week, we joined mexico in an agreement that will
make more than 1.5 million acres in the gulf available for a portion production, which contains an estimated 172 million barrels of oil and 304 billion cubic feet of natural gas. so we are focused on production. that is not the issue. and we will keep on producing more homegrown energy. here's the thing. it is not enough. the amount of oil that we drill at home does not affect the price of gas by itself. the oil market is global. oil is bought and sold in the world market. and just like last year, the single biggest thing that is causing the price of oil to spike right now is instability in the middle east. this time, it is around iran. when uncertainty increases, speculative trading on wall street increases. and that drives prices up even
more. so those are the biggest short- term factors at work here. over the long term, the biggest reason oil prices will probably keep going up is growing demand in countries like china and india and brazil. i want you all to think about this. in five years, the number of cars on the road in china more than tripled, just in the last five years. nearly 10 million cars were added in china in 2010 alone. 10 million cars in one year, in one country. think about how much oil that requires. and as folks in china and india and brazil aspire to buy a car, just like americans do, those numbers will only get bigger. so what does that mean for us? it means that anybody who tells you that we can drill our way out of this problem does not know what they're talking about
or just is not telling you the truth. [cheers] [applause] young people especially understand this. i talked to lee and sasha. you guys are so much more -- i talk to malia and sasha. you guys are so much more aware. the u.s. consumes more than a fifth of the world oil, 20%, just us. we only have to% of the world oil reserves. concern -- which consume 20% and we have to%. that means we cannot rely on fossil fuels of the last century. we cannot allow ourselves to be held hostage to the courworld ol market appeared we have to develop new sources of energy. we need to develop new technology that allows us to use
new energy and use energy smarter. we have to rely on american know how, young engineers right here, after you who are focused on energy. [cheers] [applause] that is our future. that is exactly the path that my administration has been tried to focus on for years. and we are making progress. that is the good news. in 2010, our dependence on foreign oil was under 50% for the first time in over a decade. we were less reliant on foreign oil than we have been. in 2011, the united states relied less on foreign oil than in any of the last 16 years. that is the good news. and because of the investments we have made, the use of clean renewable energy in this country has nearly doubled. thousands of american jobs have been treated as a consequence. ve beenaking -- ha
created as a consequence in. we supported the first new nuclear power plant in three decades. our cooperation with the private sector has positioned this country to be the world's leading manufacturer of high- tech batteries that will power the next generation of american cars. may many do not use any oil at all. we put in place the tavis: fuel economy standards in history for our cars and pickup trucks and the first standards ever for heavy-duty trucks. and because our cars will average nearly 55 miles per gallon by the next decade. that is nearly double of what they get today. [cheers] [applause] i remember what it was like as a
student. you probably have one of those little beaters. who knows a kind of mileage you get. [laughter] i can tell you some stories about the cars i have had. i bought one for $500. but by the next decade, you will be buying new cars. hopefully sooner than that. and that means you will be able to fill up your car every two weeks instead of every week. something that over time will save the typical family more than $8,000 at the pump. and it means this country will reduce our oil consumption by more than 2 million barrels a day. that is not only good for your pocketbook. that is good for the environment. [cheers] [applause] all right, but here's the thing. we have to do more.
we have to act even faster. we have to keep investing in the development of every available source of american-made energy. this is a question of where our priorities are. this is the choice we face. first of all, while there are no silver bullets, short term, when it comes to gas prices and anybody who says otherwise is not telling the truth. i have directed my administration to look for every single area where we can make and invest -- make an investment and help consumers ahead. we will look at every single aspect of gas prices because we know the burden that it is putting on consumers. and we will keep taking as many steps as we can in the coming weeks. that is short-term. but over the long term, the energy strategy has to have the
right priorities. we had to have an incentive strategy in place. $4 billion of your tax dollars goes to the oil industry every year. $4 billion. they do not need a subsidy. they are making near-record profits. these are the same oil companies that have been making record profits while the money you spend and at the pump for several years now. how do they deserve another $4 billion from taxpayers in subsidies? it is outrageous. it is inexcusable. [cheers] [applause] and every politician that has been fighting to keep those subsidies and place should explain to the american people why the oil companies should keep more of their money especially in times like this. ."
a century of subsidies to the oil companies is long enough. double that enclave energies that have never been more promising. that is what we need [cheers] to] [applause] . this congress needs to renew the clean energy tax credits that will lead to more jobs and less dependence on foreign oil. the potential of an all-the- above sustained energy strategy is important. miami became the first major american city to power its city entirely with solar and renewable energy. right here in miami. [cheers] [applause] the modernization of your power grid is one of the largest projects of its kind in the
country. on a typical day, the wind turbine at the miami dade museum can meet the energy needs of a south florida home and it helps juno beach. a lot of work is already being done right here. and the role of the federal government is not to supplant this work, take over this work, direct this research. it is to support these discoveries. our job is to help outstanding work that is being done in universities and labs in to help businesses get new energy ideas off the ground. it is public research dollars that, over the years, helped develop technology. companies are now using it to extract all the natural gas out of show rock. the payoff on these public
investments to not always come right away. some technologies to not pan out and some technologies will fail. but as long as i am president, i will not walk away from the promise of clean energy. your future is too important. [cheers] [applause] i will not give up. i will not cede the solar energy industry to china because we refused to make a commitment here in america. i will continue to do whatever i can to develop a resource of american energy. our future -- so our future is not controlled by events on the other side of the world. [applause] today, we are taking a step that will make it easier for our companies to save money by taking on new lighting systems,
advanced healing and cooling systems that can lower a company's energy bills and make them more competitive. we're launching a program that will bring together the nation's best scientists and engineers and the entrepreneurs to figure out how more cars can be powered by natural gas, a fuel that is cleaner and cheaper and more abundant than oil. we have more of that. we do not have to import it. we may be exporting it soon. we're making new investments in the development of gasoline and diesel and jet fuel that is actually made from a plant-like substance. algae. you have a bunch of lg out here, right? [laughter] if we can make energy out of that, we will be doing all right. believe it or not, we could replace up to 70% of the oil we import -- 17% of the oil we import with few we can make right here in the united states.
it means lower cost and more jobs and good for our economy. none of these steps will be a silver bullet. it will not bring down gas prices to more. remember, anybody who says they have a plan for that is what? i am just saying. [cheers] [applause] we will not overnight solve the problem of the world oil markets. there is no silver bullet. there never has been. part of the problem is that politicians pretend that there is and we put off new energy sources that would make us more efficient. we have to stop doing that. we do not have the luxury of attending. we have to look at the facts, look at the suns, figure out what we need to do. we may not -- look at the science, figure out what we need
to do. we may not have a silver bullet, but we have limitless sources of energy, boneless -- boundless intelligence in engineering, and all was can put together these new energy sources. that is the easiest thing in the world -- the easiest thing in the world is to make promises to lower gas prices. the harder thing is to tackle the energy problems. it will not happen in one year or in one term or in one decade, but that is the kind of commitment we need right now. that is what this moment requires. i need all of you to keep at it. i need you guys to work hard. i need you guys to dream big. i need those of you who are a lot smarter than me to figure out how we will be able to tap into new energy sources. we have to summon the spirit of optimism and willingness to
tackle tough problems like previous generations to meet the challenges of their times. to send a man to the moon, to connect an entire world with their own science and our own imagination -- that is what america is capable of. that is what this country is about. history teaches us that, whatever our challenges, all of us, whatever we face, we always have the power to solve them. this will be one of the major challenges for your generation. solving them will take time. it will take effort. it will require a bunch of scientists and the most creative companies. and it will require all of us as citizens, democrats, republicans, everybody in between -- elliall of us will he to do our part. if we do, this is in our reach. we have done it before. and when we do, we will remind
prices. we will open up the phone lines to talk to you about gas prices and what the impact of rising gas prices means on your wallet and on your vote spirit these are the numbers to you. you can also participate on-line at facebook dot com/c-span -- facebook.com/c-span. also, on twitter, if you use @gasprices. the president is also in in florida to hold a couple of fund-raisers. then the president has to orlando before returning to washington this evening. "the miami herald" says that
today is the presence 14th trip to florida since he has become president. most florida polls showed the president's approval rating under 50% in a state that is still plagued by high unemployment and home foreclosure rate. president obama speaking today about gas prices. it is also likely that we will hear from mitt romney on gas prices. the president talked yesterday about taxes and mitt romney responded with his tax plan. tomorrow, we will cover mitt romney speaking in detroit at the economic club. we will have that here on c-span at 12:15 p.m. eastern. let's get the phone calls. first up is christian in san francisco on the republican line. how are they hurting your wallet and what does it mean for your vote? caller: they hurt my wallet because it is not just
transportation. it is also the cost of goods going up. i am paying more for everything else. host: what is the gas price like in the san francisco area? caller: the cheap gas -- i filled up yesterday -- the cheap gas is about $3.95. it is about $4.20 per gallon. host: thank you for calling. we are getting a look at the president. we got our signal back momentarily of the president meeting with students. hortense in dallas, texas on the democrat line. are you there? we will wait for hortense to get all . we will show you all of this letter on our program scheduled. hortense in dallas. caller: i am here. host: make sure you meet your televisions and you deny get feedback. caller: first of all, i think
president obama has done an excellent job. the gas prices have nothing to do with our president and the job he has done for us. i believe a second term is exactly what he has done in his first term. host: the associated press quoted the president saying that simply calling for lower gas prices is just a bumper sticker and not a real strategy. make sure you mute your television and not get feedback. caller: what i really wanted to say was that he talks about wanting to find more efficient ways of energy in this country. the more gas prices go up, the more everything else goes up. the more you have people in party and hungry people in our country. host: the average gasoline price
nationwide according to aaa is $3.61 per gallon. part of the issue of the rising gas prices may be affected by the situation in the middle east, certainly with rising talk of iran's nuclear program. we were joined this morning by the business reporter for "the houston chronicle" was on -- was asked by the collar about the nuclear growth in iran. >> it will definitely raise gas prices and raise them pretty sharply pretty quickly. this gets back to the issue i was talking about earlier. if something like that happens, if we see this huge spike in price, we will be worried about where the price goes and the impact on our economy. but we will also be worried about supply. if iran were to cut off oil supplies to europe, all european countries will be scrambling trying to buy additional oil
somewhere else in the market. to the extent that we have friendly countries with long- term agreements that are supplying oil to was, canada and mexico being at the top of the list, it provides a long-term challenge for the u.s. aid could help prevent things like gas lines and things like that in the future if something were to really get out of whack. host: that was from this morning's "washington journal." was go to the republican migrant how are gas prices in garland? caller: it is almost $4 per gallon. because i am not working, it is very hard to find a decent- paying job and if you do, you have to drive so far. right now, just looking for a job and having to buy high- dollar gas is a problem for all of us. i do not know what the solution is, other than the fact that i think, at the gas line that they
could have done on board with, every little bit would help until we come up with a better solution for fossil fuels. host: what was the reaction in your area that the keystone pipeline would be postponed temporarily? caller: i think most people are disappointed. most are disappointed. like i say it it may not solve the problems, but it would create some jobs and it will create a little extra things that we need. anything that would be creating jobs, you do not want to be opposing now. so they were pretty disappointed about that. host: we are asking you about the impact of rising gas prices on your vote and on your wallet. this is rodney on the democrat'' line from florida. caller: yes, i was calling because i feel like, with the
oil spill in the gulf, it does not matter how many oil drills we drill. it is more damage to the environment. we need to find a cleaner source of energy, especially in florida with all this son. that is all i wanted to say. host: thank you for the call. this speech indicates that the white house is very conscious of the effect that rising gas prices could have on the president's reelection bid, which has been buoyed by recent good news on the economy. here is national, ball on our republican line. caller: there is a man from florida who is worried about the environment. i want to let you know that all of these companies here in nashville are sponsoring $1,000 for solar panels print that is one solution. but we have the technology to go
to mars or the moon and use hydrogen oxygen. so why not utilize that energy and technology and put people back to work and work on that infrastructure? and tell the arab countries we do not need your oil anymore because the majority of the synthetic oil is made from coal anyway. host: deborah from minnesota -- on our democrats line is thomas. go ahead. caller: all we do is somebody says no and all the sudden we are fighting city hall. i do not understand why things are going like they are. this country's going down to hell real quick. host: what do you think -- how do you think that a president can have an effect on the price of gas? caller: no, i think it is all you know and if you know people well. the same things never change. host: if you deny get through on
the phones, remember facebook.com/c-span. -- if you do not get through on the phones, remember facebook.com/c-span. lindsay marie rights -- here is charles from st. louis. caller: yes, i wanted to say how it impacted me. i travel to physical therapy every week. when barack obama took office, i used to spend $10 to get there. now i spend $20 to get there. it hurt my wallet pretty bad. host: thank you for checking in and next up is merced, calif.. i hope that is right. merced, california. >> i was wondering, if i understanding this -- israel has
found gas there. why don't we look into that instead of the arab countries? >> we are likely to hear more reaction to the comments of barack obama from mitt romney. he is speaking tomorrow from detroit. you may remember a couple of weeks ago, we covered rick santorum speaking there. you can follow this year on c- span. we have elaine from california on the democrats line. >> i had a question and a comment. from 1997-2008, in san francisco county and sonoma -- i was
paying 5.2499 for gas for my car. in 2008, after obama assumed the presidency, the gas prices began to fall, as low as 3.29. only in the last 14 months, did i see a gradual increase, up to the point of 4.49. not as high as 1998-2008, when i would play $4.89 for gas, then $5.34. -- $5.24. >> the average is $4.49. >> it varies. i go to chevron, and the arko
stations are -- arco stations are cheaper, but they have issues with legality. >> my question is that since my records show that the route most of the george bush administration, and until the advent of the obama administration i would pay close to $5 per gallon for regular gas, throughout the northern california counties. these have always been the highest standard in the nation, as well as new york city. my question is, where are the statistics coming from that say that the gas during the barack obama administration has increased, and the proof, in my credit card file, is that i was consistently paying just about $5 per gallon the route the
later days of the bush administration? >> in virginia -- harvey, independent color. >> a person called in about the technology, we can put a man on the moon and so forth. the oil industry crisis, which is used to regulate the liberty of people, in the constitution we have the right of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. happiness is out the window and liberty is being controlled by gas prices. if congress approves the pipeline, -- the gas companies know that they will lose their subsidies, and they will raise the price. they increased the gas mileage in cars, and there is less consumption. and the company has to raise its price to keep up with a profit
margins that they have to return to the people. >> we have not heard the last of this, and when the house and senate come back next tuesday, next monday -- they will take up the transportation bill. the gas prices and the keystone pipeline will be part of that conversation. mary is on the republican line. >> i said i am the poet laureate of the state of washington. >> go ahead with your thoughts. >> my husband and i are still working. i will be 74 on march the sixth, he will be 77 on march 24. we will celebrate our 56th wedding anniversary, on the 24th
of march. we cannot afford to go to our jobs. we have been at the same work for 54 years. he has installed a bowling alleys coast-to-coast. and the fuel for our truck, -- all of the time. every time that we go south -- it costs us $200. $200 to fill the gas tank. >> you travel all over the state? >> mary, the poet laureate of washington. you can check in to weigh in with the topic that we have been talking about. we will be live at 5:30 with a
discussion on u.s. policy options to iran. we will hear from the former central command commander, and james carr right. this will be live at 5:30 eastern. >> tonight, from this year's world economic forum in davos, switzerland, see the leader of the international monetary fund and other world leaders as the talk about the future of the world economy. >> nobody is immune in the current situation. this is a crisis that could have a spillover effect across the world. we will hear from others, but what i have seen, and what we see in the numbers is that no country is immune and everyone has an interest to make certain that this crisis is resolved adequately. >> i have been in public
service, involving public cup -- public finance for four decades. what is happening in europe, looking at the experience and the crisis that we have -- the crisis we had in the 1990's. this is a very big issue. first of all, i agree entirely with christine, that no one is immune. >> you can see this whole discussion tonight on c-span. we will have more from the world economic forum including a panel on the political and economic future of africa. and the ceos of several organizations -- with the role that they are playing in the economic recovery. >> this forum on the middle east included a former deputy defense
minister that said that israel is not trigger-happy for invading iran. the woodrow wilson center president begins this 90-minute discussion. >> ok. good morning. i am jane harman, the president and ceo of the woodrow wilson center, for almost one year now. time flies when you are having fun. it is an honor to be the head of this extraordinary center. this panel has attracted an enormous amount of press attention, as it should. the title is, israel, iran, and the arabs. this is something that we need,
and the presence of the press does remind me that -- as everyone here knows, a highly- regarded reporter lost his life in syria last week, and just today, the news is that a noted journalist and her photographer have been killed. these are people who put themselves at risk to give us accurate information. the wilson center also endeavors to bring you and the press, and the policy makers accurate information, at less risk than those in more theaters. we think that this matters enormously, to use the convening power of this institution to provide safe political space, where people from different countries with different perspectives can speak candidly
and at civilly, -- civilly, and this is what we are attempting to do today. i want to recognize joe gildenhorn and his wife, holly esfondilari is the director of the middle east program, and aaron miller can defend himself in a few minutes. let me say a couple of things about one of the panelists -- and the topic. in 1991, i made the decision to run for the u.s. congress. this was the first elected office i sought since junior high school treasurer. someone suggested i should toward the middle east, a place
i love and visited multiple times as a member of congress. i was introduced -- to one of the most highly-decorated military persons and medical doctors, trying to run -- and we had lunch, and the symbolism of lunch in joppa, along the mediterranean sea, walking distance from tel aviv. we talked about what it was like to run for office. we were both elected at the same time. he reminds me that he has a think tank in israel, but this is not paid, this is voluntary. this makes them a better person than i am. but at any rate, we will address the subject of the iran, and how those in the region see them, and certainly,
speaking for myself, this is probably the most confusing and complicated timing -- time in foreign policy in my lifetime. the opportunity for miscalculation and the stakes are huge. the mistakes will be compounded, not just over time, but almost immediately, given the amount of social media and attention that is paid to the region. it is extremely important that least we get the facts right. and we have a different view of what to do but it is important to get the facts right. let me offer one bit of perspective as a former, long- time member of the house intelligence committee and the homeland security committee where i studied intelligence closely.
intelligence is a prediction. this is not science. the intelligence about the weapons of mass destruction -- many people all over the world believed this, not just a few people in the bush white house. we saw that this intelligence was dreadfully wrong. as you try to measure the capabilities and intentions of iran, think about this as a kind of matrix. the information that we have, and the israelis who are studying this, is likely not to be perfect. if you think the intelligence is imperfect, the views of policymakers and policy commentators are likely to be false as well. i think it is important that a panel like this is real down, as deeply as possible, into the views of the different countries
in the region, and a very knowledgeable commentators. remember, the opportunity for miscalculation is enormous. i think as we search for the best answers, we have to be mindful of the implications of a nuclear-arms to iran would be for the region and the world. i think this would be huge. i applaud that the administration -- they are ahead of the nuclear-arms to iran. trying to find out how to make the red line's stake is the hard part. and i applaud the efforts of the wilson center, to try to bring new of very good conversation, and i can't think of anyone better than david miller, who worked for six administration so far. i will not say his favorite
one, six secretaries of state. he is not that old. six secretaries of state. he talks so knowledgeably on this issue, and welcome to all of you. welcome to the audience and the broad audience. this is the time it is important to understand the facts, and this is a big honor to have an institute that cares deeply about making certain that we present the facts. thank you very much. >> thank you very much. you have large shoes to fill, but your experience and style and your wit has made it the pleasure and honor to be here with you. we welcome your generosity, in
supporting these programs. i hope this will be wilson was committed to the notion of breaking down this, we need the best of both worlds. i invoke his. there, -- rarely has american influence been has constrained, in dealing with these problems. three of them in particular, i would define and highlight some
of the challenges that we are facing in the united states. iran has continued to take the oxygen out of the conversation. we have a crisis and there is no question about that. this is literally transforming the world as we know it. leaving america uncertain and unbalanced. and the much-promised land, what to do about the israelis and palestinians, has offered more process than peace, showing the triumph of experience over hope. these challenges need to be examined. and this is what our analysts are going to do today. it does not take a profound bit
of thinking to make the decision that they will be playing at the end of the year. and well into this administration. it is now time for a cruel and unforgiving analysis, kroll and non-forgiving analysis. -- cruel and un-forgiving analysis. america is not a potted plant, and only basing our policy on the way you want the world to be rather than this is, this is a prescription for disaster, particularly for a great power. not enough thinking has been replaced by -- premature action. there are not three better
palace to grapple with these issues today. all of them have rich analytical experience, they have had experience in and around government, and this is the best of the analytical tradition, and they will each speak for 10-12 minutes. i will take the moderator's privilege of that, and then we will go to your questions. and your questions, i hope -- everyone will be able to identify themselves. questions, ask questions. i will try to be cruel and unforgiving in exercising my power, such as this, in trying to control this discussion. -- each will address any or all
of the three issues identified. welcome -- we will begin with you. >> we make the distinction between the origin -- so the most important issue for israel, is to reach a final agreement with the palestinians. not because of humanitarian reasons. and the fact that this would finally design and shape and protect the character of the democratic and jewish -- if we come to the essence of israel, what they are about, this is the most important. removing the stress of the regime in iran.
how has the last year effect of this? maybe the most important issue. what we see -- three or four -- countries in this region -- are brutally fighting with their identity, to preventing their fragmentation. libya, iraq, syria, and lebanon. in a more broad sense, what we see is, from the border of china, to the atlantic ocean, not all, but most of the countries are dominated -- were heavily influenced by the ideologies of political islam,
which can be very radical. since the cold war, -- this is dominated by one ideology. the strongest emerging power of all of these changes, this trend in political islam, which is theological -- a religious basis, denied the existence of the jewish state, opposing compromise on this issue. this political power, is most physically embodied by the -- the modern issues in egypt. how this may affect the most
important issues, the israeli and palestinian peace process. the changes, -- there is some loss in the political arena, and it may bring about a situation that -- in the year from now, it will be more difficult for abbas and the current palestinian leadership. this is the best partner israel could ever have, to maintain their current positions. especially if hamas will have a strong endorsement, -- and the readiness and the ability of the palestinian leadership, to maintain their current position -- this may be in danger.
and what may happen, -- a year from now, two conditions that do not exist -- another israeli government, which is committed to reaching the agreement, -- and an american president who is not constrained by what ever -- he has to take under consideration in an election year. an american president who will be able -- to not have to bring the two parties to march the extra inch, the inch that, on their own, the two parties, will never march. he may bring them through this.
in the beginning of the next year, the real possibility of -- a new situation where israeli and palestinian -- if the current palestinian leadership will survive. if we have to look for anecdotes, to better understand the situation, you remember, for certain, many in the audience, this was seen on the podium in egypt, when the agreement was about to be signed, and arafat, for a bizarre reason, said he would not sign this. and the secretary of state and the region -- the international leader, arafat did not sign and
president mubarak loudly whispered to him -- "sign, you dog, sign." today, no one will tell any leader to sign. mubarak is in the cage, unfortunately. in a few minutes that they have -- they make a few comments, in the most clear way i can. the first one, no one in israel is triggered-happy about iran. nobody. we all know the repercussions, we all know the unavoidable price, and -- all of us --
almost all of us believe in a certain situation, this price is worth paying, or that we don't have another choice. this is the second comment. there is no government in jerusalem, which may except nuclear iran. not only because of the philosophic argument, when the regime is committed to the destruction of israel, we can't allow them to have the tools to do this. we have to see one step -- further, beyond the immediate horizon. for the moment, -- from the moment that iran has nuclear weapons, saudi arabia -- they
will have a bomb of their own. in those three countries, we have conditions that are, in a way, similar to pakistan. a very strong islamic influence, and unknown mechanisms -- of how this nuclear weapon is controlled. my children and grandchildren will have to live in a region where we have one iran and three pakistans. no government has the right to leave this reality for our children. this is strategic -- and my
third comment -- the real problem is not the nuclear project. the problem is the regime. the subversion against moderate regimes in the region. left alone, the oppression -- the deployment of thousands and thousands -- with iran and israel, and also in lebanon. there is no other country which is so -- domestically kroll, kroll at home and brutal and aggressive outside.
they deployed thousands of missiles, targetedthe only cound where most of the population can tomorrow night go and live in shelters -- who is behind it? the regime in tehran. i talk about this real perspective, although it is not only our problem. but the problem is the regime with imperial ambitions and with no real inhibitions. and this regime must be toppled. it happens that the ring of people want this regime to be changed.
legislation. stop coddling the regime. engagement is a given state. they get at whose expense will it be? israel? the iranian people? the gulf countries? i advise all those -- the liberators and speculators of israel can do and will do, please assume that there is no operational problem if we cannot find operational solution. >> thank you very much. you have sharpened the arguments. we really appreciate that. >> thank you. as a lawyer i feel a compulsion to start with a caveat. we are talking about a changing situation. we are talking about a
situation that nobody can predict. we should approach recommendations with a great deal of humility. with that said, i will start by saying the the outer world and iran are not natural allies. on paper you see many points of tension between the two. the persian versus the arab. we sit the merging every now and then whether with the arabian minority in tehran, it is something that is there. the more that you have the suni, dealing with the shiites becomes a vulnerability.
finally, there is an issue of geopolitical aspirations. who is going to be the hegemon in the area? we see this exemplified and what everyone calls the persian gulf. it was what i was brought up to know as the arab gulf. these issues continue to define aspects of their relation. these are issues that transcend which are jim governs the area. -- which regime governs the area. they are more worried about a nuclear iran that a nuclear israel. israel's ability to influence
arab politics is limited. iran with nuclear weapons is a bigger problem for arab government than a nuclear israel. this is true in jordan, egypt, and elsewhere. iran however saw to replace this narrative with a super narrative -- another directive that allows them access to the arab spring and arab public opinion. that is a narrative of resistance versus accommodation. through cultivating that includes iran, syria, and other palestinian organizations, they try to present a different narrative. this is resistance versus
accommodation. this is a narrative that has good traction. as long as the anti-israel, anti-arab, anti-u.s. protest defines discourse. that was the case for a long time. the palestinian story, the headline is in the first page. this narrative suffered tremendously with the advent of the arab sprained. -- arab spring. these narratives are no longer the main narrative in the arab spring. they are not dead. there are their simmering. at some point i would assume they would come back to the forefront. for the time being, they are not what defines the arab discourse.
look at the arab media, you would see a palestinian issues rarely emerged. it is what is happening in syria and elsewhere. equally, the arab spring came back to expose some of the essentials that were laid tent -- latent over the past year. for example, iran blamed characterization of the arab spring is the islamic spring simply does not correspond. these arab movements, even though some of them are being coopted by the islamist movement was not initiated by the islamic movement and was not islamic in nature. there is a degree of disconnect between the messaging that made it more difficult to receive. this is compounded by iran's sectarian response to the arab
spring. in the iranian plan which was blown out of proportion compared to what was going on in syria. syria in particular, i would say it is the. -- is the pointthat made iran the the biggest loser in the arab spring. by supporting syria whose oppression is seen every day on tv screens, we see it in arabic media is much more disturbing. the fact that this regime is killing suny citizens, all of this reduced iran's influence and their ability to influence public opinion. in the palestinian case, this was particularly felt and
affected in terms of where hamas -- and effective in terms of where hamas is going and how they are managing the situation. hamas traditionally has been closely allied to iran. it was made possible by resistance. there were moments where the alliance reached tensions that were threatening to hamas. when saddam hussein was executed and the founder feel that called hamas a shiite organization. they maintain a sense of relationship specifically through the lens of syria. in this regard, syria really worked as a support operation. money and support come from iran to our arab brothers in syria
to hamas. as you receive it, the support becomes clear. this filter no longer exists. i must find itself facing an -- hamas finds itself facing an unpopular alliance. iran does not popping as much money into hamas for mnay reasons including its lack of support of syria. this has hurt hamas. it forced them to start looking for another home. another patron. this in many ways explains what we see today. they are looking to try to find
another place. the muslim brotherhood, they will not host hamas as long as they are involved in terrorism. they don't want this issue to be the defining issue with the est. -- west. it forced hamas to make tough decisions. this tension though, it is still in many ways remains . the prime minister of hamas says we still have options in the region. by and large, we see a tension. we see it -- the trajectory of events is forcing hamas to find a place that they use --
the era of the spring weekend -- the arab spring has weakened hamas' influence. this has not changed iran's military capabilities or its military options, but it has allowed some of the arab leaders to come in a more aggressive way with a more forgiving public opinion. i am talking about finding a silver lining in this cloud. i would say right now, as's -- hamas's influence is reduced and from a counter-terrorism pointed the. i would like to go back to where i started. i will conclude there. this is a snapshot. if things remain where they are
today, iran's influence is reduced and we have a better way of managing the the iran ideological hegemony. what happens in israel is essential. -- what happens in syria is essential. the direction of the arab spring, where it is going, who will be in charge at the end of the day, is it anti american, how we in the united states approaches -- approach to these new relations. iran has always been much more flexible in its ability to support its friends in the region. after the 11 on war as we were --
after the lebanon war, they were supplying more money. and both scenarios present a potentially dangerous threat. an attack on israel or the -- on iran by israel or by the united states could go one way and potentially create sympathy to iran. on the other hand, a nuclear iran would also affect the balance of power and start a nuclear race. i will conclude on a positive note. i will say until we see these things -- until these changes happen -- and it will not happen in a day or two, we have an opportunity to start bringing some of the influence and organizations that have been close to iran to a place
that is more comfortable. as we. believe we should do this at any price. hamas which should not compromise on our positions. re in aze that we ae moment of strength. thank you very much. i am looking forward to the discussion. >> thank you so much for those observations. >> he was so much. it is a great pleasure being here. i want to echo what the congresswoman said in the opening. woodrow wilson truly is quite amazing in creating the political space for conversations that you rarely find anywhere else. i feel very privileged to be on the panel to partake in the conversation. i am going to address two key issues that have not been touched upon. one is iran and the arab world in the aftermath of these
recent uprisings, the other is the very interesting israel iran you s triangle. to preface, when you have significant changes, transformation as was mentioned earlier, taking place in the region, it forces all actors to take into account there are new moving parts. they have to put them into the new equations. figure out how they fit and they do not fit. you have to reassess our recalibrate their perspectives vis-a-vis their enemies and friends. it is something that is very interesting to analyze on how the perspectives -- the divergent perspectives between the united states and israel is taking place on the issue of iran. i will get back to that later. on the first issue of iran and the arab world, i think it was quite correct the way it was put that iran's basis for power in the region has taken a significant hit. it has taken a significant hit because of the way that these
arab uprisings have developed. the iranians initially welcome this. i had hoped for it to happen. -- they hoped it would happen. but the thought that it would take place with a very strong anti-american component within it. so far we have not seen that. i think it is quite interesting to see that even though currently down what is happening in syria and the massacres that are taking place there, it is very visibly viewed on arab tv, that has caused a huge loss for the iranian influence and their soft power in iran. in a matter that unfortunately, the iranian government, their own impression by their own people did not. -- their own oppression by their own people did not. during that time in which that super narrative was still on the
israeli palestinian issues and still on the perspective of the u.s. being too heavy-handed in the region, in that context the arab public opinion was not particularly affected by the way the iranian government was mistreating its own people. now, however, in the context of the new narrative, you see the sectarian diane mentioned -- sectarian dimension is having a negative effect for the iranians. they are counting on playing the long game in this. they're counting on the fact that we have seen in the region in the past periods in which arab regimes have embarked on extensive oppressions of their own populations. once that is over, the natural gravitation has been to go back to the narrative in which the israeli-palestinian issue is at the center. that is something that the iranian government very early since 1979 has try to perpetuate. it is through the palestinian issue, it is through political islam they have saw to bridge and divide in order to present iran as a potent canada for --
candidate for regional leadership. as others put it, it is viewed on the other side as iranian hegemonic aspirations. whether or not that happens remains to be seen, but i think it puts some urgency on the issue that he was mentioning earlier. as long as the israeli palestinian issue remains unresolved. as long as it remains a bleeding wound in the region, there will always be opportunities to bring the narrative in the region back to that. we will return to a scenario much more similar to what existed before the arab uprising. i think it is quite interesting to take a look at how israel, the united states and israel have had very close perspectives on a run for quite some time.
there has been in flute -- there has been quite sometimes when they have been at odds with each other. since the arab uprising, the divergence between the united states's perspective and israel oppose a perspective on a whole set of issues in the region have actually been quite interesting to observe. with obama coming into power embarking on diplomacy as was described as i eve from the -- as naive from the israeli perspective, putting the israeli-palestinian issue back a little more into the center compared to what the bush administration did, and then the is -- and then the reaction of the handling of the arab spring are three issues in which the israeli american perspective have been divergent on. on the issue itself, it has been quite clear 24 hours after president obama won the elections in november of 2008,
she was asked what she thought about it and the idea of the united states and iran is engaging in diplomacy. she said in this region there is a tendency -- there is a reality in which talking to your enemies can be seen as a sign of weakness. she was asked in a follow-up question whether israel supports obama's idea of engagement with iran. she said no, categorically. once the netanyahu administratiomn came into power this became even more acute. from the israeli perspective, the key divergence. is what to do with the issue of enrichment and iran. if there is a successful negotiation, the most likely outcome of a negotiation is
that there would be some limited level of enrichment left on iranian soil, obviously under very strict inspection. that in and of itself the israeli fear is it would permit iran to be a virtual nuclear power which would shift the balance in the region. it would have negative repercussions. the bush administration had opted the 0 in richmond which -- zero enrichment which was identical to the current israeli government. obama has kept this issue quite vague and ambiguous -- vague and am big u.s.. -- and ambiguous. there is no statement from obama even to this day where he clarifies what his opinion is on
enrichment. there is a statement that enrichment is unacceptable nor is there a statement where in richmond would be acceptable. here are a few fears on all sides. on the israeli side, there is a fear that the ambiguity is the americans accepting enrichment at the end of negotiations. the u.s. needs to adopt its position now to even get negotiations started. tehran would not come to the table if it was clear that the american position is not to come to the table. -- is not to accept enrichment. obama has tried engagement and the israeli government had a position that was quite clearly to make it more difficult, whether it was to push for a deadline of only 12 weeks for diplomacy. it is interesting, 20 years of sanctions did not work but diplomacy needs -- it may miraculously resolve this in 12 weeks. whether it was to push for sanctions before negotiations began.
something the obama administration vehemently o pposed. or whether it was the idea of obama not talking about all options being on the table. not taking any options of the -- options off the table, but the obama administration in the early days of its engagement tactic wanted to pursue demilitarization of the narrative of the discourse in order to get the iranian guards down in order to be able to begin some proper negotiations. the israeli response was to do exactly the opposite, fearing that if there is one not -- if there was not a clear military option on the table, there would not the emphasis for the iranians to compromise. here you see a divergence of how they view it. these may not the radical or strategic, but at a technical level they have been quite problematic. we see that today. there is even higher pitch when
it comes to the debate of whether israel will strike iran the, what the u.s. thinks about it. i think it has reached a certain level because it also has gone over into the american election campaign. what we have seen just in the last couple of weeks is how after the obama administration in the late summer of 2010 adopted an assumption that was very much supported by israel, it read that the only time the iranians have successfully agreed to compromise on the nuclear program has did when they have been faced with an endowment and a credible military threat. that was in 2003. the idea has been to ratchet up sanctions as well as military signaling to recreate the impression that such a military threat does exist. as a result, force the is for -- force them to face the options that they have tried to leave it for so long.
the danger, of course, is that it creates a very explosive situation. the slightest spark can get a war that i do not think the obama administration and once to have, but the one to give the impression that it could happen. -- it does not want to have a, but they want to give the impression that it could happen. you could see it when there was the slightest fascination of a -- this latest assassination of a rather unimportant information about a person in the iranian government. for the first time secretary clinton went to the podium categorically denying any american involvement in this assassination. they condemned it as well. during the bush administration, there was no condemnation of terrorist attacks against iran. later on, there were statements issued of the hillary clinton going to the podium and saying
it. the one to get the maximum leverage for a negotiation. the wanted to get the maximum leverage for negotiation. they did not want to spill over into open conflict. one last point to give you an impression of how tense the tactical differences have become. two weeks ago, nbc reported that three american officials confirmed or give their assessment that israel is behind the assassinations. they're doing so in collaboration within the iranian terrorist organization which is on the u.s. terrorist list. this was quite explosive. it is pointing a finger at an ally. they have trips by dempsey back and forth. this open conversation about
these differences is ultimately serving the interests of the running government according to israel. edging the interests of the iranian government. -- the interests of the iranian government. what are the solutions to be found? i am not going to even try to give you a solution within 12 minutes. let me point out that i think one of the positives that currently does exist here, i think the administration is quite clear on not wanting a military confrontation. they're not a situation similar to what existed a couple of years ago in which there were strong factions within the administration that actually favored it and were happy to see it develop in that direction. you have a situation now in which there is a deliberate strategy to try to force things to climax in order to get decisions to be made. there is no desire, at least not that i have been able to detect and washington in the administration for a military confrontation. thank you. >> let me make just a few observations and then go directly to questions.
no. 1, i think it is quite clear that you are dealing with a situation in which there will be no solutions, no concrete determinative solutions. to at least three problems we have identified. there is no diplomatic breakthrough between the u.s. and iran. i will get back to this in a minute. there may not be a direct military confrontation coming either. we end up back here like a cartoon. it is tom and jerry -- the cat and mouse trying to avoid the worst of both possible outcomes.
>> the conventional, transactional diplomacy that we have come to characterize in our diplomacy may not be well- suited to even producing a more constructive outcome. for get a solution -- a more constructive outcome. the problem is the transformational approach. the bold and decisive initiatives are also extremely problematic, which brings me to my second point. you have a president who came to washington wanting to transform both the domestic, political environment and alter the trajectory of american foreign policy, but he has ended up -- and i am not being critical -- as much more of a trans actor -- transactor. could make the argument, without being too critical, that he has evolved into a much less ideological, much less restless,
much more disciplined version of his predecessor in the last several years of his predecessor's administration. the surge in afghanistan -- a very tough policies on national security with predator drones, guantanamo, tougher sanctions on iran. great caution on the arab- israeli issue. you do not have a transformational approach. you don't have a nixon to china. you do not have an administration that will ask three basic questions. what do you want from iran? what does iran want from us? how do we both get what we want? those three questions were critical to the kinds of transformational diplomacy that preceded the kissinger-nixon gambit to china. those questions may be asked, but is there await action in operationalize them?
-- a way to actually operationalize them? in a matter of the year, we have seen both our friends and enemies, literally go the way of the dodo. it is a new experience. it was basically divided into two types of authoritarians. the egyptians, the tunisia enns and the adversarial authoritarian. the iraqis played both roles. our friends are gone. so are our traditional enemies, with whom we have actually found a way to more or less coexist. we are at a new experience. as preoccupied as it is, it may offer up an opportunity for a
new and greater role. three countries, frankly, right now are in a position to be much more consequential to the future of this region than any other -- any single arab country. israel, iran, and turkey. those countries are still capable of acting -- i am not suggesting always to the good -- in ways that can change the nature of conflict or peacemaking in this region. just a set of observations. i have the moderator's prerogative. i will ask each of you the question that i presume is on the minds of everyone in this room and most of official and unofficial washington. i want to do it in a very provocative manner. here is the question. by the end of this calendar siteswill iran's nuclear -- by the end of this calendar
year -- will iran's nuclear sites to be struck in the military action? i will be very hard on this one. i want a yes or no from each of you, initially. i want -- if the answer is no, i want a one-sentence, maybe two- sentence explanation as to why. [laughter] will israel or the united states strike iran's nuclear sites by the end of this calendar year? if not, very briefly, why not? i will gladly give you my view after you give me yours. [laughter] trita, why don't we begin with you? >> no. i think the risk for a military confrontation is higher than it has been in the past. but let's not forget, we have been seeing this movie about five times now in the past
decade. israel has been about to do it and then not doing it. i think it is still less than 15%. if there is another round of talks and they fail, then i would change my prediction. >> by the end of the calendar year, you and i will be having -- all of us will be having more or less a version of the same conversation? there will be no unilateral military strike against iran's nuclear sites? >> from the israeli side. am i will take the easy way out and say yes -- >> i will take the easy way out and say yes. [laughter] >> that is the easy way out? >> i see an escalation of rhetoric. i see all the players basically pushing themselves further into a corner. all it takes is a spark. i do not say -- see how it can be stopped. >> by the way, are you a
moderator or an interrogator? [laughter] my answer is no. because i believe that it will be clear in this town that the danger of and is really -- of an israeli strike -- to take serious economic action against iran. and we have two no -- >> we have yes. nos and one will add my answer, which is no. it is possible, but not probable, or one single reason. for israel, this is not a discretionary war. the basis for discretionary war, which carries this kind of consequence against the returns -- consequences, against the return of what could actually be achieved -- the balance is simply not compelling.
i will simply say no. no-strike between now and the end of the calendar year. no strike between now and the end of the calendar year. one final question. this has been a very uplifting session filled with all kinds of hopes and aspirations for this very troubled region. i would like to add to each of you -- ask each of you. is there any good news that you can identify for us? ghaith, why don't we start with you? >> when you have a transformation, a fluid situation, it is full of danger, unknown, and also opportunities. we are not the only ones who are not clear. all of the players are in a situation of attention. that is the time to really start engaging with the way of playing on these insecurities. some of the things that were thought impossible in the past, limiting iran's power, limiting
their influence, are now open. the question for us is, as we look at this, do we take a very conservative view and just do a minimum? are we going to be more risk taker and take the kind of bold moves that will allow us to have more influence? if we simply do nothing, it is out of our control. there are things that we can do that -- we are not the main influence, but we can do a lot in order to put our interest in a stronger position. >> trita? >> you have challenge us on this issue, which is really unfair, asking people who follow the middle east to point to some good news. that is really not what we're supposed [laughter] -- supposed to be doing. [laughter] i would say there is a far greater realization in the administration and levels of constraint that existed before. i do also believe that, by 2013,
there will be more political space to take a courageous action. the question is, can conflict management be successfully pursued in 2012, making sure that nothing further deteriorates in order to get out of the political season that we are in right now, in order to have at least a little more boldness and political space to address these issues in 2013? if i could pick a fight with my fellow panelists, i would say, i think one of the frames that i think have been dominating the conversation -- the options are between bombing iran and having -- there are four options on the table. we should have the space for that. we are not at the point where such negative options are the only ones remaining on the table. as we analyze and correctly point out that iran's influence is reduced in the region, we also do the opposite of again
putting iran as it is the most important actor in the region. sang if we can get hamas out of iran -- i am not saying it would be a bad or good thing. it's not as of these problems did not exist before iran was involved. iran is not at central. we are permitting this entity to gain far more influence than it deserves. even when we also correctly point out of that soft power is reducing. in some ways, it has become an ability for us to escape the inevitable responsibility of addressing the real problems, because it is always so much easier to just point to one or two actors and put the -- not necessarily the plan, but to put the onus of the analysis there. >> if you look plainly, no good news, only bad news. we cannot have the privilege of being optimistic. there are few sources of hope.
the first one is that the iranian people didn't say its last word. i do believe that, again, without this american/european side, i believe our revolutionary situation -- a revolutionary situation can be created in the iran. it is almost unavoidable. the question is when, not if. this is something which i strongly believe can change the regional picture. that is one thing. the second, i believe there is another people, my people -- they believe in the next year they will choose a more reasonable government. the third one -- >> you have three optimistic points? that is almost unfair. [laughter] >> when you hear the fourth one -- i am not sure you will --
[laughter] i still believe that a palestinian delegation -- pragmatism will be strong enough to confront and to overcome the trend of radicalism in the region. i know -- i believe in their wisdom. have tothing palefails, i say that they still are the strongest military power between the caspian sea and the atlantic. this is my fourth source of optimism. >> thank you. my own answer to my own question is things could be a lot worse. [laughter] let's go to your questions. please identify yourself. yes. wait for the microphone, please. >> thank you.
i am from the u.s. government -- a former u.s. government employee. mr. sneh, you put a lot of emphasis in your remarks on the islamic dimension in the region. you spoke about an ideology of islam that is normally used in connection with political systems or movements, such as communism. could you elaborate, using the same terms -- could you elaborate? using the same terms, could you refer to an ideology of christianity? but can you explain it better, the last point? -- >> can you explain it better, the last point? >> you say islam has an ideology. does another one of the monotheistic religions, like christianity, also have an ideology that could be more
dangerous or less neutral? >> i do not think there is a comparison here. today, there is no overlap between religious christianity and political ambition. the problem in the region -- in our region and other regions is the fact that our religion is translated -- a a religion is translated to a political and empirical ambition. that is the point. not only by iran. imperial ambitions are natural. when it is motivated by religion, it gives it a more reckless and relentless and brutal style. whenever you look at television, you watch it. you cannot watch television
without seeing how the combination of religion, politics, imperial ambition is transformed to unimaginable brutality. > barbara slavin. thank you for an interesting discussion. this is for former minister sneh. when israel looks at the down sides of an attack on iranian nuclear program, can you consider the casualties' that it would cause within iran in terms of bombing sites that are full of radioactive and other toxic materials? as israel ever done any kind of study that would look at the numbers of people who would be killed and injured in the iran, if it were to mount such a strike? is that even a factor in the
israel's calculations -- in israel's calculations? >> i have to be very careful in answering your question. we are on the gray line between dancing -- between ethical questions and operational questions. i can assure you that israel is very careful to avoid that kind of damage. >> [unintelligible] >> it is between a moral issue and an operational discussion, which i am not allowed to answer. i have so many wonderful answers to give you, but i cannot. [laughter] >> in the third row here. >> as a follow-up to that question, there has been a tremendous amount of analogy and analysis of what would happen
with a nuclear iran to the arab countries along the persian gulf, western europe, and also, maybe eventually, to the united states through venezuela. how do you deal with those realities of a nuclear iran? yes, you or this other gentleman. >> could you clarify that question? >> [unintelligible] -- but also, i think people are forgetting the serious reality of a nuclear iran and of the sunni countries on the persian gulf, that are extremely concerned. [unintelligible]
>> i do not think there are any elements that necessarily would view a nuclear-armed iran as a positive. on the contrary, it is a endless list of negatives that would come around if you have further spread of nuclear weapons in the region. we have to take a step back. whatis actually nowt we are discussing. we're not discussing whether iran should or should not have nuclear weapons. when the negotiations are focused on is whether there should be in richmond and iran. -- enrichment in iran. we are taking this issue to a far higher level of hysteria that it does not deserve to be on right now. the iranians have a mighty and impressive arsenal of zero nuclear weapons. [laughter] that is not to say we should not be careful and we should not be very prudent in trying to look at every option, but -- what we are not talking about is weapons. we're talking about containing a -- containment or hitting a nuclear capability. the nuclear capability is
immensely the equivalent of a nuclear weapon in some states. and the vast majority of states, that is not the case. that is where you have some of this difference in the analysis and perspective. i believe that at the end of the day if we permit ourselves to view some of the nuances, we increase our own decision making space. we can find ways to resolve the issue. instead of forcing ourselves into a fabricated choice of thinking that we either have to bomb or accept a bomb. we are not there. we should not be there. we're not there yet, you say, but we will be there very quickly if we rush towards the kind of a -- that type of framing. we can take a step back and take a look at the nuances and open up the issue and see the many options that do exist. >> let me offer a brief comment. it cuts to the core of the motivational character of the regime. why would a regime. -- why would a regime want nuclear weapons? while history is not a great guide here, outside of the five permanent members of the security council, they all have
nuclear weapons. -- outside of that, only four countries possess them. north korea, india, pakistan, and israel. i would argue to you that these are countries -- 34 shore, the but used -- 3 for sure, israel does not really fit the model. to some degree, maybe. they marry profound insecurity with an element of grandiosity. that is to say, they are entitled and fundamentally insecure at the same time. i would argue that is the worst conceivable marriage when it comes to individuals and in the lives of nations. sitting in tehran, if in fact you argued and they heard -- you argued we must change the regime, the best hedge against
that would be the possession of a weapon which raises the cost of regime change and increases the capacity to realize your own regional ambitions. it is circumstantial, but i find it, frankly, very compelling. if the north koreans wanted a bomb, we could not stop them. if the indians and -- the indians, israelis, and pakistanis were first to develop. preponderant on the motivational character -- the preponderant on the motivational character is that they want the capacity to be able to produce it. i do not want to monopolize the discussion. we have to get to questions. your point is really critical. expand the options. if every problem is -- if you only have a hammer, then every problem is the proverbial nail.
that is the way we think about things. there is no question. we also cannot forget these other pieces. >> i would like to continue -- to follow up with what you ask. it is very important. we all speak about nuclear projects, but there is another project, the development of ballistic missiles which can be delivered today -- today. to delhi, moscow, athens, outsid eof the -- outside of the range of the iranian missiles. the next big development, which may take years, will be under this range of missiles. the leverage of the nuclear blackmail will apply to many important countries. if you remember the declared and
mission of the regime -- declared ambition of the regime is to be the defender of the muslims, you can imagine what leverage that would have. now to the other point -- the issue of enrichment. if you take the discussion to the very technical issue of enrichment, we are probably beyond this point. the amount of low-enriched uranium is very high right now. what the regime prepared is a huge number -- of the dodd said ahmadinejad said 9,000 -- of centrifuge. the issue of enrichment is
actually beyond. they need between six months to one year to take what they have and to turn it into military and-grade -- military-grade uranium. the issue of -- they cross the threshold of enrichment to the point that they are in a very short distance from a bomb. the issue is not the technical problem of enrichment, but where this regime is leading to. what strategic goals -- it needs the long-range missiles, bombs. that is the question. it is not a seminar on nuclear physics. it is about geopolitics an update of nations -- and the fate of nations. israel is not the only one.
we mentioned the gulf countries -- bahrain, uae -- they are all under threat not less than israel. fortunately, we have the ability to confront the threat, but we are not the only ones. >> a tiny one. this has turned into a seminar of -- at the end of the day, if you are focused on the intentions, you are left either with bombing or an ability to monitor and verify what they are doing. as president reagan said when he signed the agreements with the soviets, he talked about, trust, but verify, in the case of iran, which is obviously mistrust, and verify. you have no way to make any real judgments about the intentions of the other side. even if you bomb -- this is the other thing. we talk sometimes about a
military solution. that is quite a charitable way of describing it. it is not a guaranteed solution to receive the title of military solution. even in that case, in the previous situations, it has doubled and tripled the exact desire which you pulled out, which is for them to get nuclear. if there is military action, we are more likely to see a nuclear weapon state in the iran within two years than if we continue on the path of trying to find a diplomatic solution. >> may i ask a blunt question? you're the chairman of the iranian-american association, right? what is your opinion about the regime? >> my opinion of the regime, as i said earlier, is this is a deeply repressive, and democratic -- un democratic regime.
i find it not tending to hear that one cares a lot about the iranian people while one talks about taking military action against the country or by imposing the strictest, crippling sanctions against the country, pain that will be borne by the -- >> what is your action? i read every single publication of your organization. you are diligent enough to send them to me by mail. i am diligent enough to read them. but, you e-mail me, some time. i appreciate -- >> you e-mail me comments some time. i appreciate that. >> i fail to find what is your operational recommendations. you're against military operations. you are against sanctions. on the other hand, we face a direpressive regime. you think that this regime will relinquish power at some public?
-- point? >> despite you're talking point, i believe i have far more faith -- despite your talking point, i believe i have far more faith in the iranian people than you do. when you have repressed and pushed back the pro-democracy movement but it makes it more difficult. in order to pursue what they were doing more successfully in the early-2000's, that space has become almost minimalize as a combination of the repressiveness of the regime, which is whetted with the increased tension in the outside world. if israel really wants to see a democratic iran, rest assured, bombing iran is not want to bring that about. nor will it bring about a friendship that exist between the iranian people and the jewish people prior to the 1979 resolution. >> my first comment -- bombing iran is not my desire. i have said a thousand times it would be a last resort.
i would like to avoid it if possible. how do you think that, without sanctions that can make iran on governor doyle, this regime will be toppled -- make iran ungovernable, this regime will be toppled? how can it happen? offer them more incentive? incentive for the iranian people, not for the iranian regime. >> if you take a look at what actually has happened, the greatest amount of flux inside iran incidentally coincided in 2009 when the u.s. significantly reduced the pressure. you are assuming sanctions actually bring democracy. we have 10 cases that have had the level of intense embargo
like sanctions that we are pursuing. in only one case was there democracy. that was south africa. 35 cases in which non- democracies have transitioned into democracies, only one was under sanctions. on the other transitions were in the absence of sanctions. the argument that sanctions bring democracy is unconvincing. there is no evidence to support it. pursue policies that have a good combination of what reality is and what we would like to see. this is turning more toward what we would like to see it without any absence of inherent support. you need to get into the conversation. >> i would like to refer to this point. the dead presidents like cuba
does not mean it is the best bloodless way to bring out a regime. >> targeted decisionmaking -- >> to justify being -- we have to get it right. right for the palestinians. >> i am not a physicist. i do not understand these conversations. from my point of view, it is about interests. what i am hearing you saying is that i should trust and on certain process whereby they may or may not rise against their government and this will change the equation. every indication is that if
iranian regime is pursuing nuclear weapons. that is my sense. trusting that this is going to change today -- to a lovey- dovey approach is not going to work. there are huge costs to a nuclear iran. you said we are giving too much freedom to iran's influence. hezbollah and hamas would still exist. they would be unfriendly to israel and others. they would not be as capable without iranian support and encouragement. we have other organizations that are not beyond using [unintelligible] to achieve goals. we have a limited time to act.
the military is not the preferred option. a nuclear iran is going to transform the regional map and our interests in the region. they cannot be simply to trust the iranian people to change their government. that is my view. >> we have time for one additional question. >> i am the head of the iranian delegation in the european parliament. i would like to come back to the question of uranium enrichment. i believe this is the only way there is a diplomatic breakthrough. it is not a technical question of the uranium enrichment.
it is the political question of the iridium -- uranium enrichment. the obama administration has said zero in richmond. many other countries have not said -- zero enrichment. many other countries have not said zero enrichment. they think they have the right to enrich our peaceful purposes. this is one of the things. the other thing is that uranium enrichment is so much in the iranian identity today that saying zero in richmond would be suicide for anyone. that has to be an acceptance for peaceful purposes. the inspectors can do it. would the israel ever accept a limited degree of uranium
enrichment in iran as they have the right in the treaty? >> you represent the european parliament. the last 16 years, during 10 years, european countries did exactly that. they negotiated with the iranian regime about the enrichment and variations and finally they came to the conclusion that the smart ayatollahs used this negotiation to gain time. you call it critical dialogue. at a certain point, all of the western european leaders -- the french, the german, the british -- who so advocated this
dialogue, discovered they had been cheated. they used the time to progress toward what a nice -- weaponized uranium. there is no sense to go back to this utile talk about in richmond. the sanctions started -- there is no sense to go back to this utile talk about -- f and richutile -- futile talk about enrichment. let them have all the technology in the world what ever they like. this regime despises the culture at and the values of your
society, if you do not know it. >> we have come to the end of the hour. delay need for a banking bill -- join me in thanking our panel for a fascinating discussion. thank you all for coming. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> here on c-span, we will be live at 5 a lot 30 eastern as james card right takes part of that 530 eastern as james cartwright talks about iran and
u.s. options to deal with its developing nuclear program. that is live from the center for a strategic and international studies at 530 eastern. >> tonight on c-span, from gobbles, switzerland, see the heads of the world bank and the international monetary fund as they talk about the teacher of the -- live from davos, switzerland, see the heads of the world bank and the international monetary fund as they talk about the global economy. >> we will hear from others. what i have seen and what we are seeing in the numbers is that no country is immune. everybody has an interest in making sure this crisis is resolved adequately. >> i have been in public service and public finance for
over four decades. i have never been as scared as now about the world. what is happening in europe, looking at our experience in 1980 and the crisis we had and the crisis we had in the 1990's, this is a big issue. first of all, i agree entirely withchrist -- with christine that nobody is immune. we are connected to each other. >> we will have more from the world economic forum tomorrow, including a panel on the political and economic future of africa. and the ceo's of several major corporations to talk about the world their companies are playing in the economic recovery. >> at a campaign stop in phoenix today, mitt romney criticized rick senator's performance in
last night's debate. the-rick santorum -- rick performance in last night's date -- debate. >> thank you so much for welcoming me here and other members of the national executive committee. i hope to have the opportunity to see you this morning and to describe why i should be the republican nominee for president and to earn your endorsement. i would like to have your endorsement and your support in this effort. i want to step back and talk about my view for the country and what needs to be done. i will go back as early as i can remember, my first school days. this was in detroit and michigan, detroit, michigan. -- this was in detroit,
michigan. each of the parents who send their kids to school that morning believed that if their child was raised with the proper values and got a great education and was willing to work hard, they would have a home of prosperity and security. that has always been america's promise. if you have the right to values, you can be prosperous and secure. that promise has been broken in the last three years. you have 25 million people out of work or have stopped looking for work or can only find part- time jobs and need home -- need full-time employment. you see people in who have homes worth less than they all. the president's policies have been the opposite of what was needed to turn this economy
around. he was proud to say he did not cause the recession. but he did make it worse. he made it harder for the american people to recover from that the economy. sometimes i wonder why that is and why that is so hard for people in the government to understand what it takes to make an economy work. they have never worked in a really got me. if you send people to lead our economy who have never had a job in the private sector and expect them to make things better in the private sector, you are expecting them to make things better. the american dream is not owning your own home. it is getting your kids out of it. kids are graduating from college and cannot find a job. we have a president and the people around him who do not understand how the private
sector works. and i do. i remember what it was like to work with folks who had little private sector experience. we face a tough economic time. i wanted to see if we could save money by hiring a for-profit jail management company to come in and run our prisons and jails in massachusetts. i thought they might do a better job at lower cost than the large union companies. i said let's get a bid. the response was interesting. they said they cannot possibly be lower cost than we are. they said, they have to are in a profit in we don't. i said, i do not think you understand how the private sector and the free economy works. the free enterprise system works because of an incentive for
profit. enterprises and individuals have an incentive for profit and they'd buy opportunities to do things better and better at lower cost. that is what makes our economy work. that is why america's economy leads the world. i looked at the president's policies that have been born in the halls of government. almost everything he has done has been the opposite of what was needed. look at the regulatory burden he put in place. he gave a speech at the state of union address that said we need less regulation. he had an initiative to reduce regulations and after the initiative was over they had reduced regulation by 0.19 =05
-- 0.10%. if i am president, i will say to all the obama era regulations, i will eliminate all of those that killed jobs. those regulations are killing us. [applause] on energy policy, the palace -- the president says he is for all of the above sources of energy. he makes it impossible to drill offshore for oil. he gets the epa to keep us from having a reliable source of natural gas. it i am president, i will take action to remove those restrictions -- f. i am president, i will take action to remove those restrictions -- if i am president, i will take
action to remove those restrictions. with regard to tax policy, this president's proposals have raised taxes on corporations, obamacare being the worst example. i was with a business a couple of days ago. they make diagnostic tests for people having various forms of testing being done by their physicians.-- they are looking at a 2.5% tax. the burden on this company is $5 million in new taxes. do you think that causes them to add jobs, to grow their facilities, to add employment? this president as added taxes on corporations.
that is a big company, a corporate -- a public company. do you realize how many people work at companies that are not c corporations tax at the corporate rate, but are taxed at the individual rate? they are llc's. do you know how many people work at those companies in america? 55% of americans work at businesses taxed at the individual rates. what is the president also plan for the individual rate? he wants to raise -- what is the president also plans for the individual rates -- president's plan for the individual rate? he plans to raise them. higher taxes do not create jobs. higher taxes kill jobs.
this president does not get how his policies are hurting america. what was my plan for taxation? for corporate entities that are taxed at the " red level, i will reduce the tax rate -- or corporate entities that are taxed at the corporate level, i will reduce the tax rate. at the individual level, i will lower the marginal rates by 20%. [applause] i have to do both of those things without adding to the deficit. i had to reduce the deficit. how do i do that?
we can maintain the level of progressivity that we currently have. i will not lower the burden paid by the top 1%. i will lower the rate by 20% for everyone. i will cut back on the size of government. i will cut programs. in massachusetts, we went through the budget and cut back programs we could not afford even if we like to them. i will get rid of a lot of programs. my test is simple. is this program so simple it is what bowery money from china to pay foreign -- borrowing money from china to pay for it?
regulations, energy policy, tax policy. let me mention one more. this is the one you find most interesting. crony capitalism. brush aside the principles of free enterprise and fair play and tilting the playing field toward the people who financed his campaign. that kind of crony capitalism we have not seen in this country to the extent we have seen it in this administration in history. you can see it through out the policies in this administration. trade policy. it is a good thing for american jobs to be able to sell goods to countries around the world. even nations like china have figured that out. in the last three years, china and the european nations have individually form a free-trade agreements with other nations around the world with 44 different agreements. do you know how many agreements
this president has worked out? zero. why isn't he doing that? why did he dragged his feet on our free trade agreement with columbia and south korea? organize unions did not want it. bowing to them, he holds off on trade. even before his stimulus went into effect, what did he do the two weeks before the stimulus? he issued an order forcing the government to use only union labor on construction projects. he bailed out the auto makers in a way that did not follow the normal process of bankruptcy, but gave the auto companies to the uaw, the people who supported his campaign. he fought for card check. he put in place labor students at the labor relations board. -- stooges at the labor
relations board. his decision on bowling was one of the most egregious decisions we have seen in -- bawling -- boeing was one of the most egregious decisions we have seen in a long time. he flies in the face of what it takes for entrepreneurs and innovators to decide to hire people. i do not think he understands how these kinds of decisions are hurting the american people and making it harder for our economy to rebuild. the longer it takes for this economy to grow again, the more people in america are suffering. his policies are hurting the american people. what are we going to have to do? we are going to have to change that policy. instead of having a president
that bows to special interests, we need a president who bows to the ingress of the american people. we need it -- in just -- interests of the american people. i was delighted to hear my introduction regarding the things i did in massachusetts. my legislature was 85% democrat. we battled and i thought in -- i fought every way i could. they passed a card check law. it was passed and it reached my desk. i vetoed it. we were successful in fighting against this legislation.
we also had restrictions in our government contract. i prevented state employees from receiving government pay while they were doing union work. i stopped the practice of having people going into political action committees with their union dues. if i become president of the united states, i will curb the practice we have in this country of giving union boss is an unfair advantage in contacting. i will end the government favoritism toward unions in contacting for federal contracts. i will fight to repeal davis-day again. -- davis-bacon. [applause]
i did not know that was going to get that kind of response. i would have said that earlier. we will make sure workers in the the country have the right to a secret ballot. i will fight for right to work laws. [applause] one other thing i will fight for is to say, we cannot have unions -- union bosses taking money out of the paychecks of their workers to go into a political action committee that is directed to the cause of the candidates selected by the chief executive officer of the union. that is an un-american practice that has to end. i hope you watched the debate last night. it was kind of fun. i enjoyed it. it was an interesting night.
i did not expect what happens. we saw senator santorum explain why it did or voted four things he disagreed with. he said this was taking one for the team. i wonder which team he was taking it for. my team is the american people, and not the insiders in washington. i will fight for the american people. he explained why he voted against the repeal of rights to work laws. he said it was against this principle, but he did it for the team. he explained why it bolted to protect davis- -- voted to protect davis-bacon. he explained why he voted for no
child left behind even though that was against his principles. he explained why he voted for the bridge to nowhere even though that was against his principles. i did not know when i -- when i have ever seen a politician explained in so many ways why the voted against his principles. i appreciate the work you are doing. i know how hard it is. i do not know any industry that is more cyclical than yours. i have a family heritage in our industry. my grandfather was a general contractor. he went from arizona to idaho and to utah. he went broke in each state.
my father told me he went broke more than once in his life. i remember listening in to my father talking to his brother. ofey were talking about paying some of theirr'athes loans. my grandfather did not walk away from those obligations. he and his sons try to pay off its loans that he could not pay it throughout his life. it is tough in our industry with the ups and downs. most people have no idea what lath and plaster is. you do not put up -- put it up anymore, but you tear it down. my father can put nails in his mouth and spit them out pointy end forward. i know how tough it can be and
what of times you are going through. the fact that you are sitting here is a testament to your economic conservatism. if you are not a fiscal conservative, you are not in business. you know how to balance budgets. it deals lady president of the united states, i am will balance budgets. i will reduce -- if i am the president of the united states, i will balance budgets. i will grow our economy and get people back to work. i will lower the corporate tax rate and the individual marginal tax rate, bible and the regulatory burden that is crushing this country. -- i will and the regulatory burden that this