tv Washington Journal CSPAN May 2, 2012 7:00am-10:00am EDT
bureaucracy. he has written about their recent gsa and secret service incidents. then, we are joined with our spotlight on magazine series. we discussed aig and its bailout. >> within this framework, we will work with the afghans to determine what support they need to accomplish two narrow security missions beyond 2014. counter-terrorism and continued training. we will not build permanent bases in this country, nor will we be patrolling in cities and mountains. that will be the job of the afghan people. ♪ host: president obama from afghanistan yesterday in a surprise visit where he met with troops inside an agreement outlining the role the u.s. will
play in the country. our first 45 minutes, you'll hear more of what he had to say. also, we want to get your thoughts and what he has to say role will beu.s.'s in afghanistan. 202-737-0002 republicans. 202-737-0001 democrats. 202-628-0205 independents. you can also produce a baby a social media. twitter -- -- you can also participate via social media. twitter and email. there is a copy of the agreement
thank you. could you tell us about specifics that were played out in yesterday's's agreement and what that means for the u.s.? guest: we agree that we will be in afghanistan for another 10 years. the agreement will last from 2014 until 2024. we will provide broad outlines of how the u.s. will remain here. it does not talk about specifics or specific amount of money. does not talk about a specific number of troops. as you said, that will be dealt with in a separate bilateral agreement. they will sort out the status between the two countries. we think that the plan is that the u.s. will try to retain 20,000 troops in afghanistan
post 2014. they will do a variety of things. most of them will be counter- terrorism. to try to eliminate the remnants of al qaeda in the country and prevent the reestablishment of that group or other extremist groups that could threaten the u.s. \ host: does the agreement -- host: is the agreement spell out what is done in terms of training? guest: it does not even refer to the amount of funding. that is one of the issues that will be addressed at the nato summit in chicago. president obama's home town. basically, the afghan army and police will need $4.1 billion per year to operate. at a level of about 352,000. so, those specifics will be addressed in a separate context.
this agreement provides the broad strokes of the u.s. president's post 2014 year. host: tecumseh the afghan security forces, what kind of confidence does this place and their ability to go forward? guest: they control about 50% of the populated areas of the country. by control, i do not mean that they are running things. they are in the lead. the u.s. and its allies are acting in a support role. they hope to have 352,000 afghan army and police personnel trained by the end of the year. whether they are up to the task is the big question. they have not actually had to take over the difficult places. the south, the east is still a place where there is a lot of
fighting. so, quality of the fighting force is a big question. of course, the training of these forces and the transition of these forces is a basic part of the exit strategy that the president has outlined. host: yesterday, we heard reports of explosions and activity of the taliban. what can you add? guest: the taliban struck at dawn shortly after the president took off. the president of arrived in kabul late at night and left before sunrise. the taliban attack a housing complex on the outskirts of the city. that complex houses international contractors, european union delegates, all sorts of people.
about seven people were killed. that involved a suicide car bomb. assault rifles. hand grenades. host: of photos of the president meeting with the troops, can you tell about the interaction between the president and troops? guest: he spent 30 minutes shaking hands with them. he met 3000 of them at the airbase. it is a large air force base located outside of the capital. -- capitol. he spent a lot of time, you know, shaking hands and being with the troops. he also spoke to the troops about the, you know, all osama bin laden being killed in an operation that was staged one year ago. host: finally, tell us a little bit about things that you saw at the meeting. things that were not reported.
maybe some observations from the hole event with the president. guest: a lot of people were commenting on the fact that the president of arrived in the middle of the night when most afghans were asleep. he left afghanistan before most afghans woke up. the average afghan did not even know he was here. as you know, for security reasons, the trip was completely secret. he arrived here a couple of hours after nightfall. he left shortly before sunrise. a lot of the afghans woke up, you know, without even realizing that the president of the united states had come here. a number of afghan politicians pointed to that. they said that for someone who came here to reassure the afghan people that they are safe, he sort of slipped in and slipped out. host: patrick quinn. thank you for your time this morning.
guest: thank you . host: if you want to comment on the signing of the agreement in the future role of the u.s. in afghanistan, the numbers are on your screen. 202-737-0001 democrats. 202-737-0002 republicans. 202-628-0205 independents. @cspanwj on twitter. rockford, and illinois. democrat's line. go ahead. caller: i was just listening to the comments made and i think it was a good thing he did and understand that people talking about him slipping in and slipping out but under the circumstances, that was the best way for him to go over there. he did not go over there with a lot of bells and whistles to let them know that he was coming. i think it is a good thing that he signed a treaty with afghanistan and do not pull the troops completely and leave them
with no one be. host: about the future role in afghanistan, how much it should we take? caller: i do not think that we should take the lead. they should let the afghanistan people take a lead in be there to assist them. host: afghanistan veterans, if you want to participate -- 202- 628-0184. that is for afghanistan veterans. our next call is from mississippi. republican line. hello. caller: hi. i would like to voice my opinion. as a taxpayer of the united states, i am sick and tired of our money going to other countries. i feel like after we get out of there in 2014, that should be it. i am tired of my tax money going
for stuff like this. i think is time we take care of ourselves. we are falling apart. this country is headed for bankruptcy. if you watch the news, you can see it. it is written on the walls. this is absolutely ridiculous. when will this ever be over? i am a republican. i was totally for getting osama bin laden. but i think enough is enough. when will we stop giving our money away? host: specifically, why is the time now? caller: i think enough is enough. like it has been said over and over, these people have been fighting ever -- 40,000 years and they will never stop. it is obvious. -- for 2000 years and is never
going to stop. it is obvious. all of this money, $55 billion or what ever they have promised in the next 10 years, it is utterly ridiculous coming from a country that is headed for bankruptcy. host: louisiana democrat's. dave, good morning. caller: i am an independent. host: sorry. caller: a problem. thank you for letting me voice my opinion. it is a good thing that the president has come on television and that the american people know exactly what is going on. you know, you hear the republican screaming about giving time lines. i think is important to approach to this on a measured approach. we cannot just take these troops out. these guys would be slaughtered if we just decided to take them out all at one time. i think the president is doing a great job.
i would also like to say that is really -- it is really sad to witness the double standard that is being played out. people forget that president bush, at the beginning of the rocky war, -- iraqui war, had a sign with mission accomplished. the war had not finished. they said he is keeping us safe. as soon as president obama says something about osama bin laden, he is politicizing. when are we going to wake up? america? that is what i love about c- span. you can always go and listen to the words verbatim coming out of these people's mouth. they say one thing one day and the next thing they are all against it because the other party is in charge. trust me, if george bush in dick
host: two opinions from the opinion pages. the editorial pages. you can get your thoughts on the phone lines. we also have a line set aside for afghanistan veterans. boston, massachusetts. we are talking about the future role in afghanistan. bill, republican. good morning. caller: this document was signed for political reasons. to give obama something to talk about for the next six months. how many people are listening to this show -- this is something that does not take effect. as soon as they started to take off, it was over. all we were here about now is -- all we will hear about now is,
i went to afghanistan and this is what is going to happen. guess what, these people are still wearing the same clothes they were wearing 1000 years ago. this trip was purely his reelection campaign. host: what you think about the current role in afghanistan for the u.s. and how should that play out in the future? caller: i think we learned nothing from the russian experience and what happened to them. we have spent more than the russians did. all that proves is that we are not learning anything from history. nothing whatsoever. host: california. you are next. eric, independent line. caller: yes. i did not vote for obama. i voted for mccain. the reason was the suge and obama did not -- surge and obama did not supported. i do not think people could ask
much more from obama when it this speech. host: what was excellent about it? caller: what i really enjoyed -- thought was good was basically, he set out like this is the plan. this is what we are setting out to accomplish. this is what we are accomplishing. with the elimination of osama bin laden and with trying to get afghanistan to a point where they can stand on their own. host: are you comfortable with the future role the u.s. plane? caller: i think we are doing what we can. as far as criticism, i do not think we should be giving those details. they should be between the -- they should be doing whatever they can do to get it done. there is a consensus for everyone to want to get out, but
we have to make sure that when we do so, we do not have to go back. with any kind of al qaeda influence. host: the caller mentioned the senator mccain. he said -- district heights, maryland. hello. caller: give me a minute please. listen, the lady that called, the first republican, everything she said, i agree with. gaddafi, who sang, and osama bin laden -- all of them should have been put on trial so the world could hear what they had to say. it was easy to assess gaddafi and the bogus trials. we will never know how they felt about america.
the wikileaks want to shed debt down. the american media will not talk. it is amazing how uninformed american people really are. the taliban and al qaeda do not want to kill americans for the sake of our lifestyle. that is a bogus -- that is a bunch of lies. the people who could inform us of what our government has done to that part of the world with the oil and the resources, they assassinate them or kill them. we really do not know what is going on over there. with president obama signing the treaty with karzai, i am so sick and tired of these politicians taking my tax dollars, going where they want to go, doing what they want to do for the benefit of the capitalistic system when nannie and% do not get anything out of the deal. -- when 99% do not get anything out of the deal.
if they want to have a government like we said they want to, do you not think there would be more killing of each other to get the people out of the way like we did in our revolution? i mean, it is so sickening. thank you for hearing me out. host: karzai commenting this morning -- on yesterday's agreement. host: florida. republican line. caller: i would just like to say that i think everyone is focusing too much on foreign policy. president obama needs to focus on the economic problems here in america. host: as far as the agreement signed yesterday, what are your thoughts? caller: you know, like the man said, we do not know what is going on behind the scenes. it all sounds good and
everything but our problem in america it is to create jobs and help us keep our houses. that is what he should be focusing on. host: san antonio, texas. independent line. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i appreciate it. i love your show. it keeps me informed. i am proud of president obama. i feel that he represents us very well and we do need to continue having foreign policy. i mean, that is just the way it is. i am glad that our troops are coming home. we have lost so many troops. a do not see many changes in afghanistan but i am proud of him. i do not like that there is a much money going here. hopefully between now and 2014, that will change and maybe we will not give them all that money. overall, i am proud. there are a lot of people have talked to that have been impressed with president obama.
host: a column over. this is a story out of ohio about five men charged with the bombing of a bridge. a picture shown here. five suspects arrested. official described and & -- host: i am shifting the paper a little bit to show you that. there is a response from the occupied cleveland group according to what happened
yesterday. this is the of facebook. host: phoenix, arizona. thank you for waiting. patrick on our republican line. caller: i applaud the president on the signing of the treaty. it is an investment. i understand the in vigil was -- the individuals who want to get out. but if you do not want to keep a foot in the door to keep good relations with the afghans, i think it opens up more of rian's -- iran's involvement. just ask karzai met with, jenna amajenidad last week.
the commander of the ship and the ones who put the sign up have nothing to do with the president. he rewrote history because george bush was the one responsible for getting saddam hussein but he did not jump up and down about it. that is no indictment on the president. do not agree right history, even if you are an independent. host: part of the speech dealt with the topic a truce to withdraw. here is what he had to say. [video clip] >> last year, we remove 10,000 troops. 23,000 will leave by the end of the summer. after that, reductions continue at a steady pace with more and more of our troops coming home. as our coalition agrees, by the end of 2014, the afghans will be responsible for the security of their country. host: another response from but
diamonds he did in the hills there. -- hidden in the hills. they need the help we are providing to them. what we are doing is good and i'm glad we are getting out of there. caller: i am an interest-rate quad leader -- infantry squad leader. i had helped training. they're not ready. they are lazy. they are not ready to take care of their own country. we can only do so much for them. eventually, we will have to stop holding their hands. host: can you elaborate on them being lazy? [laughter] caller: [unintelligible] there are ready to take charge of the taliban. they're scared.
there are corrupt. i mean, for a couple of extra dollars on a paycheck, they will do something else. they will give away locations. host: with the afghan forces -- the u.s. forces taking a secondary role, what are your thoughts on the security of the country once that goes into effect? caller: i am breaking up. host: what you think about the security afghanistan once the u.s. disengage is and takes the role it will take as a secondary role? caller: i think that is good. we have been doing that. we have been trying to let them be in charge and plan their own missions. hunt down their own bad guys. we are sitting back watching. hopefully, they can pick up the
pace and step up to the challenge. host: virginia. this is on our democrat's line. good morning. caller: good morning. first of all, the young warrior who we just talked to, he hit the nail right on the head. he is so right about the fact that corruption is rampant in afghanistan. it does not take very much for a soldier in afghanistan to go from one side to the other. then, you know, tomorrow, they try to get back on the same side he was on originally. what the president is doing is right on point. definitely, we have to transition. transitions like this -- they did not happen overnight.
there was a gentleman who spoke about five or 10 minutes ago. he is not as informed as he thinks he is. it is not an overnight process to go from fighting a hot war to taking up a support role. that is not a light switch you can turn off and on. it will take time. you know, the good thing is, we have a plan. that is all. host: one more clip from the president. this is him speaking yesterday, talking specifically about the way forward in afghanistan. [video clip] >> as we move forward, some people will ask, what do we need a time line? the answer is clear. our goal is not to build a country in america's image or to
eradicate every vestige of the taliban. these objectives would require many more years. many more dollars. most importantly, many more american lives. our goal is to destroy al qaeda and we are on tap to do that. afghans want to assert their sovereignty and build a lasting peace. that requires a timeline to wind down the war. others will ask, why don't we leave immediately? that answer is also clear. we must give afghanistan the opportunity to stabilize. otherwise, our games could be lost. al qaeda could establish itself once again. as commander in chief, i refused to let that happen. host: and via twitter --
host: ohio. republican line. hi. caller: thank you for c-span. i have to give my hat off to mr. obama. 10% obama, 90% military. after all, the structure was already there. they were already looking for osama bin laden. you know, osama bin laden's ability to control the world was gone. seven years ago. he was out of the picture for so long. it did not matter, but it does matter, symbolically. as a republican, it is about time mr. obama starts to leak. -- lead. i took my hat off when he took care of the pirates. that was a great thing. that will not change my voting. just this one -- he led the country down for the first two
years in office. that was the most important. your first expression -- your first look at somebody, that is when you get your idea in hand. he paid way too much on this health care and i do believe it was actually a nancy pelosi and harry reid -- they put him on the whole. -- in the hole. host: we leave it there. a couple of stories from the paper. "the wall street journal." host: from "the wall street journal." this is from "washington post."
host: washington. our line for veterans. good morning. caller: good morning. yeah, good morning. how're you doing? host: fine, thank you. caller: i am in afghanistan veteran and i am a father of two boys who are veterans. i believe president obama did not have a lot of time the first two years to implement any of the policies that our government allowed him to. i believe that he has done the best he could with what he had. my son has done for 13 months to worse. -- four 13 months tours. i think we need to pull out and get our troops home and lead the country handle its own troops. and see if they can get things
back with out the expense of our own the soldiers. host: -- is afghanistan ready to take that on? caller: i talked to the boys the night before last and they feel that we have done pretty much all we can do. we have trained them. we have given them tools and the ability to implement their own laws. we are not, at the expense of our own troops and families, going to get any further than where we have. president obama is doing the best he has with what he has and i am proud to have a president that went out there after terrorists. he has done his best to get this country back on track. and we need to concentrate on problems that we have in this country and quit worrying about what everybody else is doing. host: we will still have a presence going forward. caller: correct. host: your thoughts? caller: well, we can get just as
much done without the expense of our troops dying. each country is responsible for their own actions and the actions of a resident. -- their residents. i am looking forward to my son's coming home. no more soldiers dying due to policies that they do not want to implement. it is time to pick up the road said do the best they can. we have done all we can for them. we should get out. host: the president address the agreement when it comes to what it does militarily and what it does for the people of afghanistan. that was co-signed by president karzai. here is what it said peop-- [video clip] >> as you stand up, you will not stand alone.
it establishes the basis for our cooperation over the next decade including shared commitments to combat terrorism and strengthening democratic institutions. it supports afghan efforts to the advanced development. it includes commitments to transparency and to protect the human rights of all afghans. men and women, boys and girls. host: here is a tweet -- host: a few more phone calls. this is democrat virginiais's line. good morning. -- this is a democrat. good morning. caller: i am very proud of president obama. i think that they are not giving him a fair chance to do what he is doing. the republicans -- i do not
agree with them about anything. how was he supposed to do anything if he keeps getting blocked? i do not understand that. host: what you think about the agreement yesterday and the position the u.s. will take in the future? el like he -- from what he signed yesterday, i feel like he cannot bring the troops home at one time. if he did, it would be wrong. host: michigan.
go ahead. frank kamahl independent -- frank, independent line. caller: an underlying situation no one is mentioning is we have the repeating cycle. if he were alive and 80's, you would understand this because here in the u.s., we do not have the the climate, nor the atmosphere to produce heroin. heroin is produced in afghanistan. oddly enough, the biggest kingpin of heroin is karzai's brother. a lot of this torrealba -- we have seen a repeating cycle. we had cocaine coming in in the 1980's which was brought to us by our own cia. if people want to truly understand what is going on in our society and our country today, a study up the drug history. study of who the real people in
charge are and how the drugs get there. host: we will leave it there. delaware. republican line. caller: yes, i am calling. thank you for having me on the line. i am calling to say that i am a longtime republican. i hear people saying that obama did this for the election. i do not think so. one caller said what he did in the first two years, he did not do much of anything. you have to remember what he was given. i do not think anyone would want to take what he was given in the first two years. i am a republican but i voted for obama because it seemed as though the first two years, what bush had given him -- who would
want that? for him signing the agreement yesterday, it was a wonderful thing. it was a good thing. it will help us. he cannot remove all the troops at one time. i think that it would make it -- it makes it unfair for him because of the fact that they expected to be superman. and do everything in a short time. that is unfair. if it was someone else, they would not put that much on any other president. you know, i commend him for what he did. some will have to stay over there. i think that what he has on his plate coming in was unfair for people to think he can change it in two host: years at 3:00 is -- in two years. host: at 3:00 is, newt gingrich
will withdraw. you that live on c-span. you can also go to c-span.org to see more. one more call. jacksonville, florida. democrat's line. caller: good morning. we have had our footprint in europe for seven years after world war ii. we will be there and tell -- in afghanistan and tell 2024. -- until 2024. you do not gain territory. you just move the forces. to where our enemies are. russia -- we do none need troops in europe. we have to have a print in the ground. we should have had one in iraq. we have to have one in afghanistan.
host: the footprint will be? caller: you'll not have 90,000 troops there. you want to be training the forces. we're not trying to make another america. we have to protect them so the country does not produce another zero osama bin laden. you have to create a footprint. europe, that was seven years ago. bring the troops out. we do not have to defend against russia anymore. our land -- to read is our enemy. -- korea is our enemy. next, we hear from david lampton. he talks about the u.s. and china. talks are taking place about the future economic and other strategic areas. later, we hear from a professor from new york university. he joins us to talk about bureaucracy. we take up those discussions
when we come right back. ♪ >> sunday -- >> i do not regard this as just a biography of lyndon johnson. i want each book to examine the climb a political power. i am saying this is political power. see what a president can do in a moment of great crisis. how he gathers and what does he do to get legislation moving to take command in washington. that is the way of examining power. i said, i want to do this in full. i said, let us examine this. >> robert caro.
his multivolume biography of the 36th president. this sunday at 8:00 is on c- span's "q&a." also, sunday may 20. >> between 1971 and 1973, richard nixon recorded nearly 4000 hours of phone calls and meetings. >> always agree on the little things and then hold on the big ones. i have done this so often. i make them all feel good but then do not give him the big one. >> every saturday on c-span radio, you're more of the tapes including discussions with future presidents, a key white house advisers, and intelligence agency heads. hear conversations with gerald ford, reagan, and george h. w. bush. in d.c., listen at 90.1 and cspanradio.org.
>> "washington journal" continues. host: this is david lampton. he is there china studies program director. secretary clinton and vice and are holding talks with china. what are they about? -- secretary clinton and secretary geithner are holding talks with china. what are they about? guest: economically, they are about trade relations. the mounting trade deficit the u.s. has. we need china to rebalance its economy as we are restructuring our economy. we will talk about how to proceed on a secured -- we will talk about how to proceed. on the security front, we talk about syria. number 3 always injects itself randomly into this yvette. -- event. host: do these topics stay the same when these talks are hosted? guest: the basket of issues
keeps a certain continuity. there is a basket of cultural and human rights. there is the security basket. what is in the best it keeps changing, or somewhat changing. here's the economic basket and that keeps evolving. for instance, i would say the exchange rate issue between the chinese dollar and the u.s. dollar has been very substantial. now, with some progress in revalue in the r&b -- rmb, it is a non-issue. the basket stays the same. what is in it or the emphasis given to different components changes over time. host: this year is different in the sense that we have a couple of different events happening at the same time these talks are
about. there are stories about the blind chinese dissidents and what is happening with him. what is the difference -- what is the latest and why does this matter in terms of what we are talking guest: : -- what we're talking about? guest: a lawyer was detained and a bruised and under house arrest in his home. -- abused and under house arrest in his home. he escaped. he ended up in the u.s. embassy, apparently seeking medical treatment. it was unclear whether he would seek asylum or he had expressed the desire to stay in his country under safer conditions and his local treatment. overnight, he got the medical treatment that he needed. he went to a beijing hospital under his own volition. he had always wanted to stay in china. he received assurance from the chinese government that he would be able to continue legal
studies. under safe conditions. he made the judgment that that was acceptable to him and apparently left the embassy under his own speed. if this had not been resolved before discussions, that would have been an additional issue that would have clouded the economic and security issues that both sides had initially planned on talking about. there is a whole nother set of issues that you could not write the script for. you have an ongoing transition to a new generation of leaders. and come right you have had, i will say, a purge of the major member -- and, you had had, i will say, a purge of the major leadership. this is revealed -- has revealed fisher lines in the chinese leadership between people that want to accelerate
reform and liberalization and those working in the propaganda apparatus. these two things me up because he became a world issue by virtue of his treatment from the public security apparatus. and so, it is my hope that this will weaken the more retrograde security part of the argument going on in china. the central government has had to promise the u.s. it will protect the chinese citizens against its own local police. needless to say, that is not an invasion governments would like to make. host: david lampton, our guest talking about the u.s. and china. if he went to asking questions about the nature of the talks,
call us on the lines. 202-737-0001 democrats. and 202-737-0002 republicans. 202-628-0205 independents. @cspanwj -- twitter. email@example.com -- e-mail b. with the new leadership coming in place, does that telegraph any possible changes in the nature of the talks about to take place? guest: you are correct. the heir apparent visited the u.s. vice-president biden has been his counterpart in the u.s. government. they have talked both in china before the recent visit and during the recent visit here. actually coming in europe, as well. -- actually, in europe, as well. biden and the vice-president of china have been developing a relationship.
as a government, we have concluded that this is a person with experience in and policy proclivities' we can work with. have the luxury of deciding who it wishes to deal with in china but we have a sense that this is a person of wide exposure. he has been the party leader of the the most cosmopolitan coastal cities. he has experience with foreign trade and economic issues. he has some experience with the people's liberation army, which is present -- it is two predecessors did not. we hope we should assume civilian leadership. i think we have concluded we can work with him and we want to keep pushing forward the dialogue with a new generation. that is why these randomly
intervening events could pushes away from that and are not necessarily welcome. host: david lampton, from john hopkins. we're talking about u.s.-china relations. melinda, you were up with david lampton. caller: hello. i was just wondering, do you trust china's military? considering they are stealing our information from the internet and being given the planes shot down from iran? i mean, i do not trust them. i would not put it past them to attack us. guest: well, you raise a good question. that is the issue of what you might call mutual strategic mistrust in this relationship. certainly, the u.s., not only
the u.s. security apparatus but citizens certainly have legitimate concerns about china detective a. sometimes that is local authorities and sometimes national. sometimes it is freelance hackers in society at large. who china is is sometimes not entirely clear. but, we have some legitimate concerns. some of which, you have raised. of the whole array of security issues we face, it is not the job of militaries to trust each other. it is the job of militaries in both our country in china to prepare for and welcome the eventuality is. i think we're trust comes in is building trust between civilian leaders that presumably are able to control their military and that has not been easy. i think you raised one of the security concerns that is rising
on the american government. and in society. it is not just an assault by both government-affiliated entities and also citizens acting in some on clear relationship with the chinese government. there are government networks and also, attacking intellectual property in the economic area on american corporations and so forth. if you think that america's future is our innovative capacity, howard capacity to add value, new inventions, penetrating our intellectual property and stealing it is really a fundamental threat to american security in a very fundamental way. this is one of the growing areas
of concern and i think, a legitimate concern. i do want to say that china has a much bigger security concern than the u.s. that is when china's leaders get up in the morning, they are not principally thinking about the u.s. or the u.s. military. they have concerns but they are thinking about how to stay saddled with power in china. that is a very turbulent society. i think china's leaders are on balance to have they did, productive relationship with the u.s. i think there are several indications of that recently. certainly, the quick resolution of this embassy standoff on these talks is an indication that the chinese want a relationship, at least a
reproductive -- at least a productive relationship. the job of leaders is to enable security apparatus is to take into account the legitimate problems we face. not to lead the military security apparatus to ride over the relationship and keep in balance our economic interests, cultural interests, along with our security relations. the security relationship is very important. also, we have very important economic interests in this relationship. host: off of twitter -- guest: top on that list would be day in and day out, the korean situation. we have north korea continuing to test missiles.
usually, unsatisfactory. there is the possibility of another nuclear weapons detonations. we are worried about that. china is -- china goes up and down but is exasperated with its north korean friends. it wishes north korea would not keep presenting problems that china has to intervene in because it haswe think that lats latest missile test, the chinese have put pressure on the north koreans to tone down and keep things moderately stable for the next period of time. so, that is very important. the of the unfolding situation with respect to ron in the last few weeks. china has been somewhat more willing to support sanctions on the regime, so it has been
marginally more cooperative there. cutting back on oil purchases from iran, a major source of revenue for them. we're not sure if they're doing it because the price of oil is high and will start buying when the price drops. there is a lot we do not know about the chinese motivation. syria, of course, they have been reluctant, particularly after the experience with muammar gaddafi in india, they are lucky -- they're not looking to move with intervention. >> is that because the is an interest? >> -- guest: the chinese are very nervous, with the libyan situation, about the popular
uprising leading to western support for the incursion and regime change. the chinese are reluctant to endorse any process that legitimates the outside world intervening with domestic circumstances. host: jackson, florida, independent line. caller: this china still communist? -- is china still communist? guest: a good question. do you mean -- do they have eight communist party that is a control oriented party that has its fingers on all of the relevant policy but instead of a of course, china is a country ruled by a communist party. but if you mean by communist
that there is an affirmation and belief in the ideology of karl marx and friedrich engels, the idea that they are in opposition for -- in opposition to capitalists around the world, that capitalism needs to be destroyed, no, and probably has not been for 20 years. in all economic sense, china has been notable by the rapidity of its move toward capitalist economic organization, adopting comparative advantage, meaning that they should trade with the rest of the world, export when it is good at exporting, importing what it is not a good effort -- producing. i would say they are not communist and do not aspire to
be communist and is moving away from that kind of economic and social organization as rapidly as possible. what they are is 83 million people, an organization roughly the size of iran. a means by which you get your hands on the levers of control in society. it is a ruling organization, not a belief in ideological organization any longer. host: tony on twitter is asking how you would describe relations with china over the last four years. guest: i would say come up and down. i think that what is encouraging in u.s.-china relations from a historic view, we have had eight administrations, including richard nixon, who went to china in 1972.
basically, every administration has come in and wanted to just the relationship in some way that they thought their predecessor was deficient in, but as it is -- as they discovered the discrepancy, they moved back to a fairly continuous policy, so you have ronald reagan coming in unhappy with policy. bill clinton coming in not happy with george herbert walker bush. but what has always happened is they have seen the difficulties in dealing with china and have always moved back towards the center. this represents the kind of stable physicians that we talked about in the trade-off between economic, security, and human rights. every administration is looking for the appropriate balance that americans can except, that are in our interests, and that china
will work with. i think president obama has done a pretty good job dealing with china. frankly speaking, george w. bush did a pretty good job in the latter part of his second administration. often administrations have a rocky beginning. in the case of obama, he had a rocky beginning as much as his trip to china did not go how he would have wished early in his administration. we had a series of incidents along the way. the obama administration has been struggling to balance human-rights amongst these other interests. host: lancaster, pennsylvania, republican line. caller: good morning, sir. i was reading on the internet that not long ago, i was
surprised that the chinese war document is based on asymmetric war against the united states. they know they cannot win a guns and bombs war, so they will engage in and a financial control situation with us. if that is the truth, can you tell me why our political leaders would just voluntarily barrault trillions of dollars from people that displayed the kind of philosophy towards us? i will hang up, if you could try to validate or enlighten me on this. guest: i have always interested in the assertion that the chinese military is looking for asymmetric ways to find american weaknesses and overcome them. i think all military's do that.
the u.s. military is looking for vulnerability, potential adversaries to develop means to overcome that. i think that that is the nature of the military, chinese or not. the next question is -- what kinds of capabilities this china trying to develop? certainly, they're looking to trained many engineers, have lots of good math skills in its educational system, and have the comparative the advantage in this new computer cyber area. they have relatively good capabilities for china. china exploits its capabilities to acquire information to the internet, legal or illegal, and also to interfere with american communications and navigation in the event of war.
of course, you have actors in china not acting with government sanction at all. as all societies do. on the financial side, you said the fact that china is acquiring financial power, it has probably about $1.16 trillion in u.s. debt of various descriptions. that is worrisome. i think that the figure is $40 in borrowed money. americans borrowed from the japanese, south koreans, and chinese. but, of course, americans are the largest holder, so you have to keep in mind that americans hold most of the american debt. the chinese, also, because they
have so much debt, are in fact hostage in some sense to the united states, because if we have on sound fiscal policy, the value of the dollar will fall, there for the ball -- value of the assets goes down. china has loaned us so much money that they are in fact dependent on us running with sound economic policy. while we talk about all of the economic grievances we have with china, and they are certainly a legitimate, china has a fundamental bone to pick with the united states about whether we are running sound on this global historic value. they do not think we are being very good stewards of their assets. one of their concerns is when we're going to move our budget more towards balance, raise our
savings rate, and reduce our consumption. in fact, i do not think that the financial aspect you have referred to gives china very much leverage at all. it enters into a whole new set of worries that the chinese have about us and how good we will protect their assets. host: there is an article about a chinese human rights lawyer, medical care, and the assurances that he and his family can live a normal life. is that possible? guest: maybe not normal for china. as i would understand it, we will find out in -- find out more in the next hours and days. certainly he has expressed a desire to remain in china. that was a high priority. i also presume he did not want to leave his family and friends
who provided a support network for him. i would take it, until i learned otherwise, that he did this voluntarily. will he be able to lead a normal life? in this and the central government is undertaking for that affect. when he was headed to the hospital, where he went to the embassy, i understand that secretary clinton talked to him and was clear on what he wanted. she also made a statement about expectations for his treatment. as far as i can see, the administration has done all that it could. apparently he did not ask for asylum. he did not ask for it, you can hardly force it upon him. of course, in china you have this problem of local verses nationalist. can all the people important to
him be protected from the public security apparatus? i do not know. i think it would probably be difficult. host: we have to give back to phone calls, but what kind of support did he get in china? guest: certainly he got support getting out of detention, driven to beijing, the national capital, some considerable distance. he also apparently had some help, including american embassy personnel of some description, getting into the embassy. there was a chain of custody here that appeared along the way. i assure the one of the concerns he had, and concerns the u.s. government had, for what would happen to other people. that was an issue. we will see how this will go. we will see the expectations
that he will go to to go to university, to try to live a normal life. the chinese government has gone to the undertaking that his family can be with them. he will have a normal life, whatever that means. host: florida, democratic line. are you there? go ahead, please. caller: yes, i would like to know if you would not agree with the fact that china seems to be more open to change than the russians were. guest: i think that that is definitely, definitely true. i will do a couple of examples. -- i will give you a couple of examples. if you think about the cold war and you think about how many students and scholars went to the soviet union from america, and how many soviet scholars
came to the united states in the same time. , -- time. needless to say in the entire 70 + years of the soviet union, not many made the exchange. very early in 1978 we agreed to an almost unlimited exchange of students and scholars from china. they have opened themselves up intellectually to the outside world. intellectually, it is not even close, how open china has been intellectually, compared to the soviet union. one of the first things he did
in 1978, 1979, was open up china to foreign investment. he believed the first thing he had to do was open the economy with foreign capital, technology, and management. meeting with robert mcnamara in 1980, he said that they needed help. they wanted world bank money and experts to help them. the hallmark of chinese policy is the shot -- policy of reform and openness. you did not hear that until glass nose in the 1980's. that was not effective, certainly not compared to china. many of the problems that we have with china are really a result of the changes and success of the past. when china was closed off, we did not have trade deficit
problem. it was when they opened up. many of the problems we have with china are a function of success, not failure. they are important problems, but we need to recognize that 20% of the world's people are moving rapidly in this same direction. we do not know the destination, but it does not bear any resemblance to the soviet union. host: this is from twitter. as china use north korea as a tool? guest: i think that you have a triangle here. china uses north korea to influence policy of the united states -- look, in their view, americans want china to put pressure on north korea. well, if the americans are selling weapons to tie one,
maybe we can get them to slow down on an issue that we care about. conversely, north koreans use the china u.s. north career relationship to exert pressure on both of us. i think the north koreans are extremely worried about the chinese and want to have direct negotiations with the united states so that they are not so dependent on china. i would say that in this triangle, every party has their own objective and of what they do with one party will influence their relationship with the other. this is a very complicated relationship. host: tom, port charlotte, florida, go ahead, please. caller, go ahead. let's try one more line. louisville, ky. gene, republican line.
caller: yes. i have a few questions for mr. lampton. if you could, could you give us a comparison of the chinese military compared against the u.s. military? specifically their army to ours, there navy, the number of ships, the naval technology. same thing with the air force. as well as their strategic nuclear capability. finally, what affects has the trade embargo had on china? should we close our bond markets to china of to improve our own economy?
we need to have a better deal. host: thank you. guest: certainly, i am not spending most of my time on the structure of the pla, but i do have a knowledge of that. starting with a comparison of it military's, strategically is no comparison. china has always believed they only needed a small number of nuclear weapons, because they assumed it was unacceptable. certainly, 10 cities would be unimaginable be unacceptable to americans. unlike the soviet union, they did not feel they needed 21,000 strategic weapons.
so, china has always striven to have a huge buildup in that regard with regards to their own resources. but the numbers, 200 to 400 warheads, that would be in most of the estimates they you would hear compared to thousands in america. of course, we have very effective diversified delivery vehicles, like submarines, bombers, and so forth. the ultimate question is, how many billions does it take to deter the americans? the chinese are probably correct. you do not need the numbers of the soviet union. now, china is building up those numbers, we believe, slowly, but i do not think it will achieve or even wants to achieve anything like the soviet union
did. the other dimensions of the chinese military is that they're shrinking their land army and increasing their air force. the next war in china, that is what mao was planning for. asked what they wanted to fight a war on their own territory. that the war needed to be fought on the shores. -- off the shores. so, china has been developing each of these dimensions. but china is increasing its capabilities and developing some capabilities that are worrisome to the united states. anti-satellite capabilities, but china, overall, counting just
weapons systems, has a relatively weak capacity compared to the united states. there are certainly areas we're worried about. your other question, the ability of the united states to close its markets, you used the word embargo. it would be interesting if we went down that road, because so many basic consumer items, target or wal-mart, anything, so much is in fact assembled, if not made in china. certainly, one of the major effects would be increasing the cost of living, particularly for the lower income american consumer public. this would not be cost free to american consumers. earning dollars presumably under this scenario, china would not have a need to invest back
without foreign investment in the united states, increasing employment, particularly in the auto parts industry. i think that the administration, when they look at the economic relationship, this is like two scorpions in the bottle. they each get one thing and then they will be in worse shape. host: from twitter -- guest: well, if that was the only basis that we had to compete, the price of labor, no. but we cannot compete with vietnam, probably indonesia or india. even if we were not competing with china, we would be competing with other low labour cost producers in those areas.
those jobs, which suggest -- where is the american comparative advantage with technology and innovation, maybe the products of china, vietnam, or india, simply do not have the capability abroad. a complex international division of labor, where we have the highest value added components of production innovation, this brings us to the real challenge, competing with low labor costs. americans do not want to work for those wages. but we want to have a higher wages. that means education, money into research and development. we have got to crash ahead in those directions. it is certainly true that china pursues many abuses in the labor
realm, broadly speaking. of course, american companies have a responsibility to oversee this as well. basically speaking, on low-cost labor jobs are going somewhere else. we have to keep our eye on the ball and look for our advantage. we have always been an innovative society. that is what is so threatening about this intellectual property cyber theft. that goes to the core of our genuine advantage. that is where we should be a very serious. host: i know what, democratic line, surely, go-ahead. -- iowa, democratic line, shirley, go ahead. caller: itunes i and to my paging channel every day and get the news and -- i tune in to my
beijing channel every day and get the news and advertising. if people did this, they would get a different sense of who they are and what they do. they are only spending a fraction of their money on armaments compared to us. they are using their money to purchase french ships in the form of investments. including shale up in canada, billions of dollars of investment there. it would be very interesting if you went into the wage slavery in this country, in our prisons. we keep accusing other countries of doing all the nasty things that we do. host: at this point, the china have a free media?
guest: obviously not. china has an enormous propaganda apparatus. the party line comes down with directives every day, providing guidelines on sensitive issues. if you have a bit of a historical perspective, what happens is you have more media sources in china right now than you did four years ago, five years ago, and so forth. and the government subsidizes the media less, meaning the media has to generate its own viewers and readers, going for heavy advertising. they care about the stories and programs that people want to see and read. i hesitate to call it a free media, because of someone goes too far, the system comes down on them. what is happening is you have
more initiative in the media to bring the stories up, then the system reacts. so, not a free media, but i would say freer, and going in the direction of a market driven and commercially oriented media. we know the consequences of that. host: one more call. independent line, go ahead. caller: can i read you from this book, "china: a gathering threat"? host: we do not have that much time, caller. tell us your thoughts. caller: [unintelligible]
at the same time, there is a factory for chinese service [unintelligible] host: what is your question, caller? caller: this china pose a real become a serious, serious threat? -- does china pose a really, serious, serious threat? guest: first of all, i would say that china recently did have joint military exercises with the russians. of course, they have done this with a large number of countries that have had military exchanges with england, india, and has
exercised military cooperation with the united states. i would say that a hallmark of their military is trying to deal with more countries in the world in an exchange of military exercises. yes, the russians they are keeping a close eye on. china lives in a very rough neighborhood. the fact of the matter is that china probably has more interest and positive relationships with us than it does with the russians. when all is said and done, the russians have suspicion of the chinese because of their long border. there is a lot of chinese illegal immigration and all sorts of issues. the russians are worried about selling weapons to china, because china is the nearest big power and has always been a problem, in their point of view.
do not overestimate the fears the chinese neighbors have of their neighbors. the fact of the matter is, the u.s. can have border relations -- better relations with china and china can have with most of its neighbors. we have some advantage. host: paul light, thank you. coming up on the program, we will speak with -- david lampton, thank you. coming up on the program, we will feet paul light. later in the program, we will continue with the series on the insurance company, aig, with robert from bloomberg business week. first, an update from c-span radio. >> the taliban warned that they would start their annual
afghanistan spring offensive tomorrow. this can hours after their attack on a foreign housing kabul.nd in cobble -- c it normally leads to a surge of militant attacks as the taliban tries to take it for of multiple territories and intimidate the government. in the meantime, human rights watch is accusing syrian government forces of war crimes during its two week offensive in the northern province shortly before its cease-fire went into effect. reports this morning say that unemployment across the 17 countries that use the euro is at its highest level since the common currency was launched in 1999. the unemployment rate was 10.9% in march.
meanwhile, on wall street, stock index futures gave up early gains on fears that the recession could deepen in the second quarter. opening bell futures are down over 30 points. those are some of the latest headlines, on c-span radio. >> i do not regard this as just a biography of lyndon johnson. i want each book to examine the kind of political power in america. to see what the president can do in a moment of great crisis. how he gathers and what does he do to take command in washington. i want to do this in full. i suppose it takes 300 pages. that is why i said it. >> volume for i am "the years of
lyndon johnson." this sunday at 8:00, on c-span's "q&a." >> "washington journal" continues. host: joining us from new york is paul light, a public service professor at new york university. good morning. how are you? guest: fine, how are you? host: fine. what is the message you're trying to send in your printout? guest: i never title the is op- ed's. i thought it was an appropriate title. it says we're not dealing with a basic, systemic problem to create the incentives and permissiveness that lead to the kind of things that we saw from the secret service, and we will continue to see them.
it is as predictable as the sun coming up in the morning. it is a matter of time. host: as far as bureaucracy, how does that affect the operating of the federal government? guest: we do not often find out about misconduct until after the fact. i think that we have to get better at sending the signal that this kind of behavior is not to be tolerated under any circumstances. the second thing is, we have a hierarchy within the federal government that goes very deep and is difficult, if not impossible for the minister raiders of these agencies, the secretaries, to see what is going on at the very bottom. now, in this case the minister raiders' new fairly soon after the clown conference in las vegas that something had gone
wrong, but she did not do anything about it. she did not send a signal immediately, which was unforgivable behavior. she said -- she should have done something. the perpetrators, going after them, if you will, was effective, but after the fact. the organizational problems in government, neither party seems to want to do anything about it. president obama does not talk about it. mitt romney, the businessman candidate, does not talk about it. it is time for a big overhaul. host: no one wants to talk about it, why is that? guest: i think it is an issue that is fundamentally boring. there's not much capacity left
on capitol hill or the executive branch to see this through and push forward a comprehensive reform that we need. we need to look at the contractors who work for the federal government, the civil service system. it is a complex issue and, you know what? it is not very sexy. members of congress do not get reelected because they worked on the engine of government. it is not as much fun as being the miscreant before the committee, doing the perp walk, being at the helm of promising that this will never happen again. it helps to make careers, but does not solve the problem. host: on capitol hill, making sure that we get efficiency for the dollars that we spend, none of that spills into the operations of the federal government itself?
guest: we are not focusing on the right type of reform. the turnover is much higher. there are also proposals floating around to reduce the workforce. it should not happen at the bottom of government, where americans want social security checks on time, we want inspectors on the oil rigs. and you go down the whole list, we want people and federal inspectors at the poultry plants. it really is a failure of putting the resources where the matter most. you have this huge hierarchy filled with low-level and high- level managers, lots of overseers, but not an of people on the front lines doing what americans want them to do, which is working on the economy so that we are safe.
there is a lot of talk about efficiency and policy cuts in the number of federal employees, but not much conversation about the contractor work force and having better oversight of what happens there. it is just not a sophisticated approach to the problem, which is the basic structure of the engine. president obama promised last year that we would do a major overhaul. my father was an auto repair guy. you need to do more than changing the air filter. you have got to take a look at the whole engine, where we are headed, and how we do it. that is hard work. host: our guest, joining us to talk about bureaucracy and government, wrote an op-ed entitled "the broken
bureaucracy." paul light, if you want to asking questions, for democrats, 202-737-0001. for republicans, 202-737-0002. for independents, 202-628-0205. you can also reach out to us on twitter and firstname.lastname@example.org as well. you talk about the ethics system and government hierarchy. but compared to the civil service system, can you describe what that is and how it plays and your thoughts on this subject? guest: it has not been significantly reformed for the work force that comes into the job every day now. we have got about precontracted employees for every set. they often sit side by side in
the same workplace. we have not reformed the hiring process very much. we can get people on the job fast, but the commotion, the pace system, they probably spend more time on the job that is almost automatic. you go through performance angles to tell workers that they are not doing the job, or that they are doing a great job, and there are a lot of federal employees who do their work well. you know, we do not do a very good job at all with these performers. signaling in the vans that you have to do a job well. we do it after the fact. telling agents that they cannot drink 10 hours before you serve
the president. that is kind of a minimum set of standards that we should not have to tell our secret service agents. we should not have to tell them to behave properly. it is a carrier of culture within that organization, culture from the top. i am very supportive of the director who said there is something wrong in that unit of government where we have to ask them to behave as if they're representing the united states and not their personal interests. really? this person goes ahead with the over the top conference, is the approval of the process, moves all the way up the service and does not do anything? approval does not go any
further? it is a serious problem that goes to the core of how we operate government. host: job -- joe, go ahead for paul light. caller: i am going through n.c., va., talking to a lot of voters who are upset with this gsa scandal. mitt romney, congressman graves, they have pledged that they will do something about it. to make it more efficient for the american taxpayers. the need to elect people who are committed to doing something about the bureaucracy. i do not think that president obama and the democrats are
really committed. we need more people like tom graves. you remember that, professor. guest: i think that both candidates need to lay out their plans for making government more efficient. everyone talks about it. going back to harry truman, i have not seen a president with support from the recovery -- republican congress in the last overhaul of the federal government. every president comes into office saying he will do something about it. jimmy carter, ronald reagan, the war on waste, the government spending more, more employees with a much more cumbersome civil service system after he left. every president promises
something, but most do not do much. it is just not an issue that holds much public interest or media interest. it is downright boring. i do not know if mitt romney will be able to do anything about it. i sure hope that president obama will outline some of the steps he promised when he said, last year, about the big overhaul of government, they should both be called what they're actually going to do. it is not just abolishing the department. we have got to organize properly. mitt romney said that he wanted to abolish the housing and urban development fund. i do not know if that will make a bit of difference in the program. a lot of this goes up to capitol hill and that committee
structure and encourages members of congress to enact those programs in their pet agencies. we have to fit -- fix congress as well. host: rich, democratic line, good morning. caller: professor, i am a criminal justice and law student, international. [unintelligible] our program director was from nyu. i took a course in an administrative law that was extremely and lightning. in history, i found how this originated to be very on point. prior to the roosevelt administration, the government was very small.
there is a book called "in the shadow of fdr." so highly influenced by the new deal and the expense of growth of the executive branch, that seems to me to be where it originates. yes, the 1950's were a big change from the 1940's, but this is sort of like something that cannot be disassembled, at this point. host: we will leave it there. guest: i hope you had a good experience with my fellow nyu professor. we like to think we put out the best.
so, let me make clear, truman and the republican congress actually did some things to fix this for all that was created by and during the first 100 days of the roosevelt administration. it was a mess, coming out of world war ii. the head of the overhaul was grover cleveland. a great administrator before he became president. we can disagree on the kind of president he was. but he did a terrific job in trying to clean up this for all of the federal government. that is the overhaul the gets talked about as the last successful overhaul. actually, the last overhaul in general. truman, congress, with herbert
walker, doing something about this. we do have sprawled. we have a ton of overlap. the government accountability office released a report last year, you can go to their website to take a look at the report, and it is just stunning how much information overlap we have. getting a lot of money by consolidating programs will be difficult, because a lot of them came from capitol hill and they have their sponsors. we have a great opportunity, right now, with the retirement of of these people from the federal government. we will lose half of our work force over the next 10 years. baby boomers will move on.
we are going to retire. i do not hear anyone talking about reshaping the federal government, which is so frustrating. we need someone to step forward. someone like senator mark warner, who has been working on this for the past three years to four years. you know, it is just not moving, the candidates are not talking about it. what you can do with retirement is start asking hard questions about what kinds of jobs we need to fill and what kinds of jobs we need to eliminate. that involves a lot of conversation and analysis. you tell me which candidate is going to do it. i do not hear a word coming from
obama. host: our guest highlights three things about ethics systems, government hierarchy, and the work of the civil service system within the federal government. we are talking about the larger aspects of federal bureaucracy. mike, independent line. you are on with paul light, new york university. caller: we went to the same problems on a work level in the money area. you try to coincide your areas until the money lined up. we had an administrator who did
not have the time. why doesn't someone pick up the ball? seems like all the statistics are right there. why is it not you? guest: i have a great deal of respect for the government accountability office. their first rate and have a lot of information. but what is happening there right now, the number of analysts over there, we are not asking them, comprehensively. they did produce this enormously important report. they have a lot of capacity there, but congress has to ask them to add. congress has got to get into
this. mark warner needs to reach across the aisle and talk to grassley. saying -- what can we do with the finance committee? as democrats and republicans? we have a number of other people doing this, but they need to be supportive through strong analytical agencies. we should not be cutting gao staff right now, we should be augmenting them so that they can get into this overhaul business and draw on the enormous knowledge that they have about fixing some of these problems. it is happening, here and there, with state and local government. we see it happen, from time to time, but in washington this is what we call an eyes glaze over issue. it is just not very much fun. when you go back to the voters
and they say -- what did you do for me over the last four years and you say to them, i have been working on government management reform, it is a nonstarter. the public needs to say -- look, we want government to run more effectively, be more efficient, and we understand it will not a fault -- involve always cutting the federal work force. we need a different kind of worker that will spend less on personnel and have more employees. we have a bad distribution of workers. we have so many workers at the middle, so many political appointees at the top, and not enough workers who actually do the job that americans want done.
the backlog of veterans waiting for decisions is enormous. the backlog of people waiting for decisions on all sorts of issues is enormous. there are not enough workers at the bottom. the baby boomers in the middle are about to retire. they do not know anything about the conference planning process. lo and behold, we have probably got the most visible scandal of the last three to four years. i am telling you, another one is coming. i do not know where it is going to be or what it will involve. we had a federal case that was just announced yesterday. another one on kickbacks and bribes.
that is why i like the peace. the fourth what is going to continue. who knows where the next one will be. caller: the problem with the government is that is not run like a business. and they need to cut everything in the government by 10% and tell the managers that they need to provide the same or better services. they would just get rid of the extra people who are not doing any work. if they cannot do that, you hire someone else from within the can. guest: i agree with you, to a
point. i think that as people exit the high-level management jobs, that is where we should focus. as someone reaches a job as a top level, midlevel manager, they look at the job and say -- do we really need that? the way the system works, we're going to fill that job with the next person in mind. my argument is, stop that. they talk about cutting 100,000 employees, but we know that when you enforce that kind of cut at the bottom of government, it will hit very hard. the turnover rate at the bottom is much higher than at the middle and higher levels. i would argue to you that we
need to reduce the number of managers and senior level people who got to their jobs because they happen to spend 30 or 20 years on the job and moved up steadily. we need to take as jobs back. we need to remove them from the hierarchy. i understand that their managers and senior professionals in the federal government, technical employees, doing great jobs, very important jobs. but one of the things we have seen is that over time, the number of clerical workers, the number of lower-level technical support personnel, everything they do has become almost automatic. the performance appraisal process is highly inflated so that the vast majority are rated as above-average.
you tell me how businesses and nonprofits do it? they have to reserve the high ratings for a relatively small number of people. we should think about whether we fill that position or go down to the bottom and get people we need to deliver the promises that we have made. host: new mexico, good morning. caller: good morning. a comment on government nepotism. every time i go into a government office in albuquerque or mexico, i see a lot of people's names that are the same name as the person that is across the hall. i do not mind it. the only way to get a good government job is if you're born
into it. guest: i do not know what the answer to that question is. the board that is responsible for overseeing the kind of behavior might have something that you can look at. i think the bigger problem is favoritism, that you don't get promoted on the basis of your performance. not every employee believes that. half of federal employees believe promotions are not based on merit. whether that is true is open to debate. people could say that i did not get that promotion and it must have been favoritism because i'm wonderful.
nobody has yet to see how much of this is favoritism and whether the federal employees on the front lines are right about this issue. we're back to the fundamental question of what is driving this behavior systemically, not finding it after the fact if in fact it occurs, but preventing it in the first place. we need somebody to step forward and say, i'm going to do would. -- i am going to do it. somebody like john glenn who worked on these issues with bill roth. we got some good legislation out of that, some big legislation. senators like warner are working on improving that legislation. absent an over all, we will be
in the same situation. host: carl from florida. caller: i like your honest views about things. i am impressed. carl and mary shelden vs. u.s. we testified in front of congress and we are told by congressman henry hyde and congressmen john conyers that we would be protected under national security. we have had 3 attempts of murders on our lives here. we have given this information to all of the authorities in this country, including the
attorney general in washington, d.c. host: so, call -- what is the question to our guest? caller: why is my family and i after we testified on behalf of the american people, why are we being treated this way? guest: the federal government does not do enough to protect its whistle-blowers. we don't create an environment in which whistle-blowers' feel comfortable coming forward. i do not know your case. you should look me up and send me information about your case. sight, pogo,ver tried to figure out ways
to protect whistle-blowers. there was a senior gsa employee who saw this conference plan, across her desk. she said to the commissioner of the public buildings service, this looks bad to me, but he did nothing about it. she was a whistleblower and work with the inspector general. a terrific job after the fact. we did not do a good job about creating that stack, that protective stack where you can go up the pipe and report your concerns without being the subject of retaliation. i think we have to protect the whistle-blowers who want to
report but worry so much about retaliation. host: we have a question on twitter. if the government could operate more efficiently. guest: can the government operate more efficiently? host: the role and the process of looking into the role and different branches of the a federal government. guest: all power to them. we have to avoid the tendency of congress to focus on the scandal du jour, to say basically government is absolutely terrible and this happens all the time. most federal employees are working hard. we do not do enough to prevent
this kind of behavior in advance and we have some employees who need to be fired. an earlier caller said, why does this happen? my view is that we do not pay a price for creating these hierarchies. i get calls from the federal managers who say, why are you denigrate what we do? there are a lot managers that do good work. there are too many layers. if he wants to work on it, i am behind him. we have to do this in a bipartisan fashion. otherwise, it cannot be done. this is tough enough to do on
its own with having it become a partisan issue. the president wants to move ahead. he should ask congress to create a blue ribbon commission that would pose significant reforms that would go through congress on some kind of it fast-track process. that is the only idea i have that they can do right now. were not as efficient as should be or as good with the taxpayer dollar as we should be. we should get more aggressive about eliminating duplication. that costs us a lot of money. on our republican line. caller: i am 67. you're not addressing public
service unions. there are more dramatic than what is going on in the private sector. you hark back to truman that made dramatic changes. i think ronald reagan sent a bigger message when the fired the air traffic controllers. you cannot have a debate without taking on a very real and honest fashion the role of union, power, benefits, and accountability. guest: look, we have to bring the unions into the debate. no doubt about it. they have strong support on capitol and in the democratic party. i think the unions will come to
the table about significant reform. they understand the issues and they are getting pounded. they have solved some of these problems together in the past. are they going to have to give a little bed on the promotion structure -- a little bit? i think they might be willing to do that. we have to sit down and work on this. my hunch is that right now the unions will sit down and talk. then we will see where this goes from there. do we want a bloodbath for a debate? we need to see what the unions can bring to the table. let's give them a chance.
some of them are highly motivated to work through this. i agree with your statement about the need to work with the unions and to deal with the unions. i think it can be done. the first step is to get them to the table. let's see what happens. host: we have a comment on twitter from jim. it really happens. our disciplinary problem is a nightmare. i have other business. i have to get this other veteran's disability process of moving faster. i cannot deal with going through the performance appraisal process and taking this on
because it can take months if not years. it is a distraction and difficult. maybe 1000 federal employees were separated last year out of 2.2 million. sounds like a small number. i hear from the federal employees that their agencies are not necessarily attracting the talent they need and they are upset that poor performers are not dealt with the aggressively. nothing more demoralizing then working your behind off to deliver services and finding somebody sitting next to you who was punching the clock and putting in the time, going home at exactly the specific minute, second that the day is over and not putting in that extra
effort. we have to deal with the disciplinary process. that is something that is fundamentally broken. i agree with the caller. how many is enough? i do not know. how many firings is to o many? the process needs to be streamlined. we can show our high performers that performance does matter. host: dan from memphis, tennessee. caller: i'm glad you brought ronald reagan. while reagan said -- ronald reagan said the american people
treat you right. we do not need unions. that was the biggest untrue thing he ever said while in office. they are not hiring black people. period. --e called for in kentucky. i have called for it in kentd in kentucky. they are not hiring black people. guest: look, i think many americans want the services the government delivers. they want veterans to be dealt with fairly. they want support for older americans. they want things done to protect
the food supply and the drinking water. now, is the just department doing enough about enforcing the laws? the department of labor enforcing the laws? we need to make sure that government has the capacity to honor the promises it makes. it is all part of the conversation that should be going on. fightgoing to have a big after inauguration day about the priorities of government as we decide whether to raise the debt ceiling. that's the big event of 2013. president obama knows it and candidate romney knows it.
that will be a big debate. it is going to be twice as ,, 10 times as difficult as the debate we had last summer. host: paul light, you can read it for yourself on our website. thank you. guest: glad to be here. host: an update on the government bailout of aig. our guest is roben farzad to discuss this. >> jobs numbers has come in from adp. businesses added 119,000 jobs last month. that was lower than in march.
the report covers hiring in the private sector. government figures will be released on friday. stock futures fell after the report was released. dow futures are down about 60 points. newt gingrich is planning to end his campaign today. he thanked supporters yesterday in a video message that the posted on its website, saying " there help was vital -- their help was vital." he did not mention mitt romney in the video. newt gingrich speaks today live at 3:00 p.m. eastern time. you can watch his remarks on c- span or on c-span radio.
an update on the chinese activists. he is now in a beijing hospital getting medical treatment after china assure his safety. he said he will not be seeking asylum. with him are his wife and six children. he received a phone call from hillary clinton -- with him are his wife and two children. he said, "i want to kiss you." [video clip] must treat's political books. david boren on his "letter to america." and sunday, local of the history
of on american history tv on c- span3. tour the oklahoma city bombing memorial. a look into african american life and into native americans. the local content of vehicles explore the lives in cities across america. this week, oklahoma city. >> "washington journal" continues. host: time for spotlight on magazines. a story by roben farzad that aig may not be as healthy as it looks. can you describe what aig is? guest: in theory, aig is an
insurance conglomerate that has been around for 100 years. they sell insurance willing to aviation. all the bread and butter things you expect an insurer to do. there were selling insurance on mortgage-related securities. all of wall street and investors were buying trillions of dollars of. when that jig was up, they found themselves insolvent. the government had to come in and bail out the company in 2008 . host: how does the company look? guest: it has been under government ownership for almost four years. it is hard to separate out what aig would be doing without the
treasury and the federal reserve. tens of billions of dollars in tax shields. the business looks a bit lackluster. the life insurance business is a tough environment. when you get access money after paying out claims and expenses, the interest-rate environment is not very helpful. it is not like you couldn't that back into a treasury and get a good rate. host: the tax situation is highlighted as is the ability for aig to buy back stock. guest: the two are linked.
the treasury and federal reserve combined in the throes of the financial crisis put up about $180 billion to backstop aig. when a bankrupt company changes control, you're not allowed to move over the operating losses. this goes back to the 1980's. people were looking for companies with tons of losses. you could use that to wash away gains on income when you acquire it. the treasury department listed that ban on being able to carry over operating losses. gain.d a tax shield aig is not going to have to pay
taxes. that is a huge selling point to tax holders. treasure claims the break-even price is $29 a share. aig has been trading in the low $30's for weeks. this tax benefit alone is worth $5 or $6 a share, it has been estimated. it makes a difference for it being break-even or having a loss. citigroup and allied financial also received the benefits. host: we're taking a look at the fiscal condition of aig.
our guest is joining us from new york. 202-737-0001 is the number for democrats. 202-737-0002 for republicans. 202-628-0205 for independents. twitter -- twitter.com/cspanwj. here is the headline -- is aig looking good in terms of those who report on these issues? guest: it is in the eye of the beholder. the government wants to run a victory lap with aig. the country is much better off because we did have the courage to back up the company.
that is a huge selling point in an election. we took the most radioactive epicenter and we protected it. we did not allowed to take down other institutions which had trillions of dollars of exposure. that, too, is linked to what the government wants to do in the short term. aig is not necessarily ready to compete on its own. "we do not want to be in the business of running an insurance company. we tried to stanch the losses." now they're saying this could be a net for the government or at worst break-even. host: gary from ohio.
caller: good morning. i am concerned about all these insurance companies that have been backed up and backed up the banks. these people do not go through a regular bankruptcy. it is supposedly saved this one and that one. the insurance has went up about 800% since 1980, all insurance companies across the board. they fixed the price the same they do with oil or coke and pepsi. if you have two companies and that is the only choice you have, you don't have a choice if they are working together.
guest: the insurance business right now is a competitive. it is exceedingly hard to go up prices-- you have prudential, travelers, various different international units that are competing for the same bucks in a weak economy. aig was the one underwriting these policies, these credit default swaps, which we know is sub-prime sausage making. this was the weakest link. if you let this go, it was a matter of it being a related-- goldman sachs may well have failed.
when treasury and the federal reserve or face with the terrifying prospects in fog of september, 2008, we said we have to do our best. host: we have a question on twitter. guest: definitely. they are not underwriting securities related to the mortgage market. they are a bit more aggressive in terms of their personal investment and aig hs in junk- rated securities or non-rated securities. they are nowhere near what they were doing in 2005, 2006, 2007. many of those divisions have been lopped.
off. there is in a market for these things anymore. sub-prime is a division of yesteryear. wall street is not dancing to the song anymore. that is something that ended for aig back in 2006, 2007. caller: yes. i was curious why aig can carry losses forward and it was illegal for agriculture and businesses for a long time now. guest: the treasury says it is in the benefit of the taxpayer. the treasury is not there to try to game this thing.
if allowing them to carry over losses which they accumulated over years, we will let them do that. that will be at cross purposes with the taxpayer. they are doing this with the other bailout recipients/wards of the state. that is a huge controversy. elizabeth warren is running in massachusetts and that amounts to a bailout. the stock price goes up and the insiders benefit from that. you are depriving the public coffers of billions in tax revenue in a time when we are running huge deficits.
treasury pushes back. their interest is not to interpret legal provisions but to return this company back to private hands. host: how do the stock owners view the health of aig? guest: it is kind of bifurcated for now. -risk/high-high des reward play. other banks are bidding on them again three years into a bull market. that's great. treasury is selling billions of dollars of this company. there is around $40 billion of ownership. why would you, and in the 30's if the treasury will keep
dumping that stock at a lower price? aig is trading at half the 60% the worse case of liquidation. competitors are trading areone ut one time. there is a way to much uncertainty in the near future. host: roben farzad is a "bloomberg businessweek" senior writer. caller: excellent guest an excellent moderator this morning. the government depends upon reports of credit reporters. up to three days before the
collapse of aig, it receives a- plus credit ratings and reports and that is what the public was depending on. how can this be prevented in the future? guest: the credit rating companies were complicit in this. threwbody their arms up. e didn't know." looking at e-mails that investigators have uncovered pointed to an environment of willful ignorance. people knew this could not go on forever. the ceo of citigroup said it
will keep dancing as long as the music is on. aig was no picture of hale health in 2008. it would not be good for money if claims were submitted. it was downgraded shortly before it was bailed out. once aig was downgraded, then collateral could be called. that forced the federal reserve to come in and backstop it. host: ben from maryland. caller: my grandfather sold insurance his whole life. he got hurt by the great recession. my philosophy is never again.
what has to be done to prevent this from happening again? it doesn't mean that 3 ceo's won't try this again. guest: we have short-term memory when it comes to wall street. we were coming off the internet stock bubbles. real estate was getting its own group together. -- getting its groove together. we can extend the american dream to millions of people that would otherwise not be privy to that dream. wall street and main street were doing great. things felt great in 2006.
the government came belatedly to that after its hands were forced. look at what it had to do for bank of america and citigroup and for various regional banks. many provisions in place in what the federal reserve pushed through and consumer finance protection that was signed by the white house to protect this same crisis from happening again. who knows when the next one will happen? it could be about commodities or derivatives that regulators do not immediately understand as well as they should. there was mr. bernanke, hank paulson, timothy geithner -- they never imagine a aig was out there being such an epicenter of systemic risk.
regulators are backward looking in this country. host: a question by joseph ramirez. guest: how would you define a criminal? they were risking their own hide in doing this. maybe they knew that the government would not let it fail. private profits and socialized risked -- that is what has been so unsavory about this entire process. you had a return of occupy wall street yesterday. so many of these companies were paid 100 cents on the dollar.
people are still having to contend with high unemployment and low purchasing power. they feel it is not a level playing field. when and if aig is given back to private hands, there will be the bonuses. the treasury can say we are net made $10ers, we billion. at what point did you stop being punitive? host: is aig going to take a hands-off approach to mortgage securities? guest: aig is realizing that the market is stepping back. -- snapping back. with other banks bidding for
those assets, aig wants to be back in the game. you cannot make money taking excess reserves after paying out claims and costs and put them in treasures that yield so very little. host: david on a republican line from florida. caller: i was wondering whether your investigation had any information -- it was my understanding that the company was parked under the aig umbrella and at countrywide was such a bad actor. i wonder if your investigation turned anything up on that. guest: countrywide was a cheat and a blur of the mortgage bubble -- was a cheap in a
bowlenabler. this is after the ceo made huge profits. the company was bought by bank of america. bank of america took money from taxpayers. this is all interconnected. plausible deniability. "we had no idea this was and triple-a rated." there has to be a term for that. they look at each other and it was so off the charts. "how could you blame us?" host: sherry. caller: i owe the irs money on
in, i did not receive. i think it is time we stop giving tax breaks to corporations who are not willing to live up to the risks that they take. there is no win-win-win situation in my area and the joke is on us. guest: thank you. host: robert from new york. caller: i'm trying to understand why the bloomberg news aig -- corruption. blind trusts, billions of dollars while the american people suffer. why did not go after individual
people? some kind of punishment in jail. people would have some kind of a say in it. guest: it brings up the prospect of debtors prison. this was such a dispersed game, an elaborate system of funding and fiction and self-delusion. blame is so meted out. you have to disabuse yourself of the notion that a corporation is an individual. an individual does not have such systemic exposure. they cannot determine the fate of trillions of dollars in financial institutions.
that is a function of what tens of thousands of individuals do in acting for a corporation. this is a gray area. there were certain -- the heaad product's division -- there were toxic policies. he got away with it and he was paid quite well. his is not a household name and this we forgot in three, four, five more years when aig love gone to other executives. host: robert from california. caller: the home of pollution by government.
you have a pervasive mindset that persons will file claims against them are bacteria that need to be eliminated. i'm a former government employee that blew the whistle on government corruption back in 1997. as a result, i was eliminated from my duties. aig had a claim -- i was on permanent disability. aig never paid a penny even though they contract to pay disability to persons who are off claim. the plausible deniability -- a
corporation cannot claim they did not know. these people know -- how does the john roberts decision of march 2006 that prevent public employees from blowing the whistle impact everything that was going on? guest: there are ample protections out there for whistleblowers for people to come out and to say something. they can take it to the press or to prosecutors or attorneys general. to wall street. weather and it is the blogosphere -- the world has
changed several times over since 2006. i am not familiar with the decision you're talking about. the burden of proof is on the company. they have to come out and justify anything in a prior and farm that would have been looked at as excessive. host: you quite about tarp that it is doing better than it is -- could you expand on that? guest: his claim that it is around $43, $44, and not the $29 that they calculated. treasury wants to look at this that the taxpayer will break
even or make a profit. he said there will be a loss, $10 billion to $16 billion. this is an amazing turnaround that the government will be able to wash its hands about this and claim they did not lose money. there are other ways you could put that money to use. that's not what the treasury set out to do. he plays an important role in this conversation. he was an insider. he knew how tarp was structured, how and when treasury and the fed look the other way. treasury honest in an election year.
there is such a huge premium placed on being able to tout this ahead of november. host: susan from texas, good morning. caller: it is never brought up about bill graham and the republican congress doing away with glass-steagall and the fact that had with what has happened over the last few years. this thing about people in the supreme court. they have declared them people. host: what about the first part our caller brings up? guest: look at the great frontline documentary that were done on the aspects of the financial crisis and bailouts. look at the oscar-winning movie.
this is a bipartisan movement to liberalize reforms on the banking system. you're the left and you want access to housing finance extended to millions. people on the right are anathema to an unnecessary amount of regulation of what ever sector. they aligned in a way that bush and clinton -- you had an unleashing of a huge in varmint of deregulation. we have the scandals in 2001 to 2003. you had wall street firms able to underwrite this. after the fact did people realize that the taxpayer was on the hook for a saving a multi-
trillion dollar global financial system. that now is 20/20 hindsight. host: nobody took it seriously. guest: if you tried to pound the pavement on capitol hill before 9/11, would they have listeneed to you absent the crisis? i think so much of that applied to the horrors of the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009. you have to take for granted that the government and the regulatory bodies are not asleep at the switch and they understand what these companies
are doing. you saw many regulators and senators say, i am shocked. "i have never seen something like this happen." so much of the backlash is applied to that. host: eddie on our republican line. caller: john mccain saw it coming. the regulators said do not do it. they did not listen. i remember somebody from the house yelling out. there was no money down. now we have to bail them out. it is congress, barney frank, the housing and banking. guest: i am amazed at how much
little conversation there's been about the situation. there is quite a bit of universally in terms of lessons learned and neglect from creditors, regulators, all manner of people across the food chain. go back and look at tom brokaw or dan rather or somebody covering the crisis at the time. banks were losing tens of billions of dollars and the savings and loans were being billed out by the government. there were executives the work from what were frog walked out. they will find a way to game the system. looking for a better return on
investment for their shareholders. there has to be a balance that strike.rraregulators host: james. caller: i believe america was played. the emperor has no clothes. the interest rates are so low. these interest rates cannot stay this low forever. they're talking about another two or three years, the interest rates. could you correct me and tell me i'm wrong? guest: that is a crucial point that you're making. wanted to keep interest rates at or near this low until 2014. there are huge implications in
this. they can take your savings and taking your checking account and park them into treasury securities and capture the difference. they repair their balance sheets. this is a reverse robin hood. those having to accept a less than inflation rate of savings. you can scarcely get 1% on your cash. it takes a picture of your economy and you wonder where it would be without low interest rates. you can get a 30-year mortgage for around fou4%. financial institutions benefit
from this, the argument is out there. host: jerry honor democrats line from indiana. caller: i find that laughable are not in jail. they are the key to this thing. one fired joe gregory because joe great was going to turn a mhim in. guest: the rest and consternation out there that nobody has been thrown in jail for this. there are some small fry players that one out of business and there's been evidence of fraud. this was a perfect game of plausible deniability, salutary
neglect. i don't know if you want to call a conspiracy. it is impossible to imagine the prosecutor bring out a dick fold or somebody from aig and having a case to throw them in jail for life. if you go to many of the occupy protests, that is a central frustration. host: the tarp inspector general put out a report looking at smaller financial institutions to pay back tarp funds. could you summarize what the report said? the tables are turned in a way that it's still
benefits be too big to fail firms. they are much bigger and even too bigger to fail. smaller players did not have such systemic involvement in bringing down the entire system. it is easier to align itself with trends in the market in the way to fill out the tarp then for a smaller banks. we're coming off of the worst part in terms of visibility. the government is not getting any kind of payback. some are saying we have disconnected from the taxpayer and that we are independent again. aig is usually motivated to raise the cash and to do
whatever it has to do to get the government off its back. host: there was a chart in the "the wall street journal." any comment on that? guest: this is still a problem. it speaks to small banks. you think the economy is getting healthier. this speaks to a deficiency in tarp. there are still banks that are not in the headlines such as citibank and bank of america, that are having a tougher go of it. host: aig may not be as healthy as it looks. that is the article written by our guest. you can see it on our c-span website.
newt gingrich announced the suspension of his campaign today on c-span at 3:00 p.m. "washingtonfor was journal." we'll see you tomorrow at 7:00 a.m. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> this weekend, "washington journal" is live from north carolina and our guests are listed on your screen. "washingtonou