tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN May 4, 2012 8:00pm-10:30pm EDT
organizations and what they do is not that they are veterans organizations. the great service that they perform is the connection that they create between our veterans and us. really, it is more of an impact on us. which is much more incredible. which is a recipient going and educating a new generation or saving a child and making sure they get through college to become a doctor or telling -- connecting a community to be able to understand and appreciate the value for what veterans do and what they can accomplish. this is about changing and enriching america. it is not about helping veterans, as important as it is. on behalf of all of us, thank you for what you do. [applause]
>> the libertarian party will select its presidential nominee this weekend at the party's convention is las vegas. our live coverage begins tonight with the debate between the party's candidate in about one hour. it continues tomorrow at noon when the delegates vote for their nominee. the president and first lady will be on the campaign trail tomorrow starting off in columbus, ohio, on the campus of ohio state university, for the first of two rallies. you can watch at 12:55 eastern, online at c-span.org. they make a stop at a virginia
commonwealth university. "washington journal is on the road this weekend live from north carolina ahead of the state's republican presidential primary on tuesday. tomorrow, a broadcast from -- weboro b'rith reach will talk with the city's mayor about state politics. spend the weekend in oklahoma city with booktv and american history tv saturday at noon. including the governors must read political book. also, rare books from galileo, copernicus, and others. sunday at 5:00, oklahoma history on american history tv on c- span3.
a look into african-american life in 1920's oklahoma. native american artifacts from the special collections at the oklahoma history center. our local content vehicles explore the history and literary life of cities across america. after kraft for the secretary of presa soldiers for their service. he said the agreement signed
between the president makes it clear at the u.s. will finish the job in afghanistan. >> could have been rejected afternoon. -- good afternoon. thank you very much for that introduction. it is always a great pleasure to be able to be with you, especially here at you have shown tremendous leadership. soldiers and families are a part of our military family. i like to recognize that if and in fourth that who serve in our
military. we thank you for all you have done. thank you to general bradley. we have seen a lot of new things that may fort benning the best insulation in the world. [applause] it is an inspiring sight to see so many soldiers gathered in one place. this is a big crowd. one thing i have learned in life, especially as a member of congress, if you've never have enough sledgehammers.
you have to have more power than he ever-a fight. when i heard i live 12 fever, i -- when i heard i would be here, i asked someone to spend some time off kelley hill. he said this for date is not fancy, but they are tough. he told me about each of the units. that make of this for gave. -- four day. -- brigade. i hear you like to sound off. i went to see if that is true. we have the queen of battle. we have the can do battalion.
memories of fort benning. like many of you, this was the first introduction to real army life. it made me a soldier. it made me understand what being a soldier was all about. i have had a chance to visit here. the treatment i am getting here today as secretary is nicer than what i got here as a lieutenant. although the chow is about the same. the main reason i am here today and the main reason when i go to other posts and visit the battlefield, the main reason is to thank you. thank you for making the
decision to step forward and serve this country. each of you has made a very courageous and important decision to serve this nation at a time of war. i am a believer in public service. our democracy depends on those who are willing to serve. , and make this country a better place for those that follow. i am the son of italian immigrants. my parents came to this country in the early 1930's. i used to ask my dad, "why would
you do that? why would you travel to a strange country?" they came from a poor area in italy. they had the comfort of family. they had no money or skills. they had no language ability. why would they do that? my father said the reason that he and my mother if it -- did it was to give their children a better life. that is the american dream. that is what all of us want for our children and what our children will love for their children, a better life.
this a secure life. we depend on you to make sure that you protect this country, that we keep america safe. kids can enjoy the opportunity this country has to offer. i thank you for your willingness to put your lives on the line, and i also want to thank your families. they have to sacrifice as well. long periods of absence, long moments away on holidays, special events with in the
family. half of the american people. i thank you and i thank them for their sacrifice, for their dedication, and for their loyalty to this country. as far as i am concerned, all of part of ouries are a fighting force. this country has asked the soldiers of this brigade and the 93rd infantry division to shoulder a heavy burden over a decade of war. the hammer brigade deployed four times to a rock -- iraq.
from the initial march to baghdad in 2003, to the worst days of the insurgency, to operation new dawn, soldiers of the brigade fought, and yes, died, to give iraq a chance to govern itself. many of you deployed there. many of you lost brothers and sisters in that fight. 77 years from that brigade gave their last full measure of devotion in iraq. we will never forget these brave men and women, nor will
we ever forgets what they accomplished. they put their lives on the line to achieve an important mission. because of their sacrifice, the american people are safer today. because of all that you have accomplished, we were able to bring iraq and the iraq war to an honorable conclusion last december. this week, the president made an important trip to afghanistan. we are now working to try to bring that war to a response will end as well. last year was in many ways a
turning point in our airport in afghanistan -- effort in afghanistan. violence increase for the first time in years. their security responsibility was able to secure their country. that began as well. the caliban -- taliban has been a weekend. they have been unable to organize a group to regain territory that has been lost. they have been weakened. their momentum has been broken. has beens leadership decimated. we recognize the first year anniversary of taking down osama bin laden.
that was due to military professionalism of soldiers who went in there and did a mission they do repeatedly in afghanistan. it was for that reason that i was confident that that mission would be accomplished. afghan national security forces have grown steadily. they are more capable of being able to engage in operations to provide security and to do the job they have to do if their country is going to be able to be strong and sovereign in the
future. we have accomplished transitions. we have transitioned areas and afghanistan that represent 50% of the population. in may, we will do another series of provinces that will be transitioned. by the end of summer, 80% of the afghan population will be under afghanistan security and control. the strategic partnership agreement that president barack obama signed in kabul this week affirmed that this transition plan is on track. it sends a signal to our enemies and our partners that we will
finish the job right in afghanistan. [applause] we have a commitment to afghanistan and to its people. if we keep our eye focused on this mission, as i know you well, we will defeat al-qaida and deny them the ability to rebuild. we will deny them the safe haven that they used to plan an attack on our country. they may have attacked us once. they will not do it again. [applause] too much blood has been spilled. too much progress has been made
to lose sight of the mission. there is no doubt there will be challenges ahead. we will face a determined adversary. we will face extremists. we will try -- they will try to attack america. our enemies are losing on the battlefield. they will seek any opportunity to damage us. they have sought to take advantage of a series of troubling incidents that involved misconduct on the part of a few who do not represent the vast majority of those in uniform who serve this country.
that brings me to the last point i want to make. i need everyone -- and all of your fellow service members -- to always display the strongest character, the greatest discipline, and the utmost integrity in everything you do in visiting the infantry museum, i had a chance to see those on the values as you enter that museum. loyalty, to the -- duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, courage.
those are the standards. those are the standards that marked men and women that serve in our military. you are proud to wear a uniform of your country and you strive to live up to the highest standards that we expect of you. the reality is we are fighting a different kind of war. we are living in a different kind of world. when i was a lieutenant, -- it takes only seconds for a picture to become an
international headline. those headlines can impact the mission that we are engaged in. it can put your fellow service members at risk. it can hurt morale. it can damage our standing in the world. they can cost lives. i know that none of you deliberately acts to hurt your mission or to put to our fellow soldiers at risk. you are the best. that is why i am here today. i want to tell you that i need you. i need your leadership. i need your career to. i need your strength. we need to make sure that we always abide by the highest standards.
i know these incidents represent a very small percentage of the great work that our men and women to across this world. it is a very small percentage of people that sometimes make these terrible mistakes. these incidents concern me. they have to concern you. they do concern our service chiefs. a few who lacked judgment, lack leadership, can hurt all of us. it can hurt all of us who serve this country with distinction. they concern us because our enemies will seek to turn them,
these incidents, in their favor. at the moment that they are losing the war. i want you to always remember who you are, and the great country that you serve, and that we are all part of. you are part of the best fighting force on the face of the earth. [applause] never forget that. it is greatness -- it's greatness lies in the quality of our people.
we have great aircraft, tanks, technology, but it is the character and the standards that each of you bring to the battle that makes us strong. we can often be better than our word, but we can never be better than our actions. our actions speak a lot for all of us. never forget that, and never forget that you have a responsibility to look after your fellow soldiers and to represent the american people that you are sworn to defend. i know that all of you can meet this challenge. you are the best. i have the greatest confidence in your ability to make all
americans proud. by demonstrating the finest character and willingness to fight. the bottom line is that all of us have to be willing to fight to make this country great. there is a great story that i often tell. the rabbi and the priests who decided they would get to know each other and learn about each other's religion. one night they went to a boxing match. just before the bell rang, one of the boxer's made the sign of the cross. the rabbi nudged the priest and said what does that mean? the priest said it does not mean a damn thing if he cannot fight. [laughter] we often prayed that our country
will be ok. and that somehow we will prevail. it does not mean a damn thing if we are not willing to fight for it. [applause] the hammer brigade is always willing to fight to keep america safe, to make sure our children have that better life, but most importantly to always make sure we have a government of, by, and for people. god bless you. gold bless this brigade. god bless the american people. thank you very much. [no audi[applause]
thank you. if you have some questions, i am happy to answer. >> i am lieutenant walker. with the military transitioning away from counter insurgency and towards a hybrid threat like we trained against, what will be the role of the armored force during and after this transition? >> we have been going to the process of looking at strategy
for the future. we are at this turning point after 10 years of war and because we are facing a record deficit. it is important to look at how we protect the finest force. the service chiefs resat down with the service chiefs and asked, what do we need to make it the best force in the world for now, 2020 and beyond? we came up with a strategy that involved five basic elements. number one, we know we'll be smaller because after you draw down after these wars, regardless of budget constraints, we were likely to be much smaller and leaner, and we will be. we need to be agile. we need to be quickly deployable. we need to be technologically advanced. we need to be flexible.
this has got to be a force that is able to move and move quickly and be able to engage quickly. secondly, we made the decision, we have to focus our attention on two key areas of the world that involve the greatest threats to our country. one is the pacific. and to maintain a strong presence or strong force projection in the pacific and the other is the middle east. make sure that we are there, we are present, and we are able to deal with potential conflicts in that part of the world as well. thirdly, that we also need to have a presence in the rest of the world. and to do that, we talked about developing a capability to have rotational presence in other areas, to be able to rotate brigades, other forces so that
whether it's europe, whether it's africa, whether it's latin america, we can engage, we can do exercises, we can provide advice and assistance and develop the kind of partnerships that we need in the world of the future. and that's a role that will be played not just by special forces and not just by the marines but the army as well. fourthly, we have to be able to engage and defeat more than one enemy at a time. if we're fight aguiar in korea, we have to be able to confron a war or an enemy in the middle east and be able to do that. so that requires a strong fighting force. require what is you're training for, requires your ability to engage. in the end, it is boots on the ground that make the difference and that's what you represent. lastly, we've got to invest.
this can't just be about cutting. it's also about investing in the future. and that means we have to invest in the technologies of the future. we've got to invest in cyber. cyber is a whole new battlefront for the future. we face cyberattacks now every day. you can use cyber to basically paralyze this country. you can break down the power grid. you can bring down our financial systems, bring down our government systems. we've got to invest in cyber for the future. we've got to invest in space because there are new technologies being developed every day. we've got to have that capability. we've got to invest in unmanned systems. the ability to be able to have the very best to engage whatever enemy is out there. we've got to invest in special forces operations because those
are key operations that we are going to need for the future as well, today and the future. so investing is important. and being able to mobilize quickly if we need to which means we've got to have a strong guard and a strong reserve in order to be able to do that. so that's in a word is a summary of the strategy we put in place and built our budget around. and that means that every branch of our military has to be prepared in the best way to engage whatever enemy we have to confront. let me tell you as an old army guy, the army is going to help lead the way in the future. [applause] >> mr. secretary, we have time for one more question.
>> ok. go ahead. >> good evening, sir. my name is sergeant palmer, 110-sa. my question is with the army cutting back, what is the purpose of cutting brigades? >> sorry, say that again? >> what is the purpose of cutting brigades, sir? >> on the army, just specifically on that issue, and obviously the general and i have discussed how we approach this in terms of the future. as i said, as a result of 10 years of war and the drawdown that will take place both as a result of iraq and ultimately in afghanistan, the decision was that we would gradually have to reduce the number of brigades in the army as well. and the number we're looking at -- over 10 years, by the way. this senate going to happen next year or the year after. it's going to be a long
transition. we'll go from 580 which is the high point we're at right now and gradually reduce to a 490 which is above the number we had before 911. so we are going to still maintain brigades. we are still going to maintain a strong army in the future. that's important. and it's going to be an army, as i said, that's going to have to engage in some of these missions we talked about. so while there will somebody transition down over 10 years, and while that will happen in the marines and elsewhere, the key for us is going to be to maintain the finest military that we can for the future. the other point i want to make is that we have also made a commitment -- the one thing we don't want to do. every time we come to these periods where, you know, we draw down after a war, we've made terrible mistakes in the
past, terrible mistakes. whether it was world war ii, whether it was korea, whether it was vietnam, whether it's before all of the soviet union, what happened in the past is that when that threat went away, we cut across the board and we hollowed out the military. we are not going to repeat that mistake. i am not going to cut across the board. [applause] >> so whatever army units we have, the army brigades we have, the marine units that we have, the navy, the air force, we're going to give them the best equipment, the best training, the best kind of benefits that they need in order to be the strongest military in the world. so that's one of the things we tried to do in our budget is to make very sure that as we make summary reductions over the next 10 years that we also
invest and make sure that you have what you need in order to be able to fight the battle. the other thing that we made clear is we are not going to break faith with you in terms of the benefits that we promised you. we're committed to you and to your families. [applause] >> we ask you to go to war, we've asked you to deploy time and time again. and for that reason we said those who are serving today are going to get the benefits that were promised them. and we will do that. so this is -- you know, this is a challenging period. it's not going to be easy. we face a fight in the congress, probably face, you know, some additional challenges as we go through this. but in the end, i am convinced the service chiefs, and that all of us have put together a strategy for the future that will do one thing, it will keep america the strongest military in the world, it will protect
this country, and it will give our kids that better life that we all care about. thanks very much. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corps 2011] >> the libertarian party selects the presidential nominee this weekend at the
party's national convention in las vegas and c chance's -- c-span's coach particular -- kicks off at 9:00 with a debate between the party candidates and will continue at noon eastern with the nominee and votes. michelle obama on the campaign trail tomorrow and will be stopping at virginia commonwealth university at richmond in the afternoon and c-span will have live coverage of the event beginning at 4:35 eastern. we'll be live in about 20 minutes with the libertarian party's national convention. until then, here's a portion of the conversation with former congresswoman jane harman on foreign affairs and cybersecurity. >> jane harman, the head of the wilson center is our guest for the next 40 minutes. and as you know, our newspapers are just filled with stories about the standoff between the united states and china over the blind dissident. how serious is this issue? >> well, it's very's serious because he's important and human rights are important.
i served in the white house of jimmy carter who put the human rights issue on our agenda and is one that is obviously important. i was in beijing, as was republican congressman chris smith in 1995 when hillary clinton at the fourth u.n. conference on women said women's rights are human rights and so forth. and for a long time we had this tension with china and now comes someone who is very courageous and have spoken against china's one-child policy and of course abortions and has a terrible story to tell, and he was in our embassy for six days. apparently not asking for asylum but then changed his mind afterwards and there's been a huge effort to find a way forward. so i think it's very important. the last i have heard is that maybe there will be a way for
him to get a visa, to study in the united states. i assume presumably with his family, his wife and his child, if that can be achieved expeditiously, that may be a good outcome. but very good people are working on this. >> how is the human rights discussion complicated by this which is exemplified by the headlines, u.s. cites progress in economic talks with chinese government? guest: the reason hillary clinton and tim geithner were in beijing, they arrived in the middle of this drama, was to pursue what are called strategic and economic -- strategic and economic dialogue, s.e.d., established by hank paulson in the bush administration. it matters because every six months there are face to face talks between senior u.s. officials and chinese officials. i learned from long experience and many battle scars in
congress that if you know someone, it is much harder to demonize that person and it is in our interest in the u.s., strategic interest to have a cooperative relationship with china. host: we are going to put a number of quick issues, all big topics, on the table here with jane harman and then invite your participation. you can begin dialing in or send us a tweet at c-spanwj if you'd like to be a part of the discussion. the other story i want to bring to your attention is osama bin laden's documents. what are we learning, and you're probably learning more of the average consumer reading the newspaper about what those documents are. >> i haven't had a chance to look at them. they just were made available yesterday and i know a lot about the context. what comes to mind is "people" magazine page, the stars are just like us. we learned most wanted terrorist in the world had all kinds of anxieties, thought he
was becoming irrelevant, had fights with his senior partner, was closer to somebody else, wasn't sure what relationship he wanted with his affiliates. but with all of that still in some way kept his eye on the ball. i think there absolutely is a good reason to be relieved, no one celebrates the death of anyone but to be relieved this man is gone. host: this week your organization made some news by inviting john brennan to speak. we covered that on our network as well. was asked many questions. one of those was actually on the state of al qaeda. i want to play that for our audience and get your reaction because as you know, there are many conservatives who are saying the threat is continuing to grow. let's listen to mr. brennan's assessment. >> al qaeda is losing badly and bin laden knew it at the time of his death. in documents we seized he confessed to disaster after disaster. he even urged his leaders to
flee the tribal regions and go places away from arkte photography and woman barredment. for all these reasons it is important for pakistan to execute large scale potentially cat strovic attacks against our homeland. compared to 9/11, the core of the leadership is a shadow of its former self. al qaeda has been left with just a handful of capable leaders and operatives and with continued pressure is on the path to its destruction and for the first time since this fight began we can look ahead and envision a world in which the al qaeda core is simply no longer relevant. host: jane harman? guest: let's talk about what he said. he was talking about al qaeda core. when al qaeda attacked us successfully on 9/11, those attacks were planned and staged by a core group, think of a
vertical hierarchy, that was trained and based in afghanistan. led by poblee. -- led by osama bin laden. what john brennan is saying is that core has been decimated. i agree with him by a variety of actions, many of them now we can disclose this, by using u.s. drones but the takedown of osama bin laden himself was the most important action we took. ok. so the core has been decimated. that doesn't mean that the new, loser affiliated structure is decimated. al qaeda is no longer a top-down organization, it's a horizontal organization with affiliates and affiliate wannabes all around the world. and some of those have some capability. but i agree with john brennan and the wilson center was honored he asked to give that talk at the wilson center. i agree with john brennan that al qaeda core is decimated and that the chance for a catastrophic terror attack against our country has been substantially reduced by
actions we've taken against al qaeda and by actions we've taken in the homeland to protect american citizens. host: he made news when he discussed more details about the u.s. use of drones. michael gersten writes about drones, policy, and in fact the president has expanded the amount of money we're committing to it as a military strategy. his headline, is a drone too far? what should the principle behind use of drones be? because obviously there's sometimes collateral damage and what are your thoughts? >> we should use drones carefully. and i thought brennan's speech where he made clear he was not going to reveal our sources and methods was the location of particular operations. that was correct judgment. he was careful and explained the circumstanceses under which we may choose to use drones. he made it clear we don't always use drones. i think it's true, he may have
said this but i believe this, there is a backlash of the use of drones in some places and we have to calibrate carefully when we will use u.s. military power. a view i have, and i think he agrees with it and would hope michael gerson would agree with it, what we need to do ultimately is win the argument with the next generation of would-be terrorists and have to persuade them strapping on a suicide vest is a less attractive option than joining an economy, hopefully in their own country where they can learn and participate in the opportunities that the world offers. that's what we have to do. host: in fairness, mr. gerson puts a question mark at the end and his ultimate position is he believes the president's policy, though it's right to debate it because it's complex, is the president's duty to protect the u.s. people from violence and the rules of law which is exactly what he's doing. he's supportive. guest: that's good. debate is important. one of the best things about john brennan coming to the wilson center is he said there
needs to be transparency in these counterterror programs that we have and i'm putting out there what this program is and how we use it. and i personally, as a long time member of the house intelligence committee, over eight years, saw what we do and how we do it. and my view is, was and is that it is done very carefully and that there is, in this case, full consultation with congress. >> one last big issue for me and then we'll get our viewers involved. that's cybersecurity. there's a new report out from fema and here is reporting by michael schmidt of "the new york times," it was the report's findings about cybersecurity that appeared to be the most troubling and they continue to drumbeat from the obama administration about the need for congress to pass legislation giving the department of homeland security the authority to regulate computer security for the country's infrastructure. guest: very complicated subject. i think most viewers do understand how vulnerable we are not just in our defense
space, not even just in the dot-gov space, the rest of the government, but in the dot-com space, that's what you and i use to communicate with people. and that a lot of the damage a cyberattack could do would be to the private sector, not just communications between corporations and their data on their customers or competition, but the private sector has a lot to do with running our infrastructure in this country, and that can hurt a lot of people if it jams. but bottom line, congress has to act. there are competing bills. the collins-lieberman bill is a stronger bill and i personally would make it even stronger but at the moment, the alternative bill offered by senator mccain in the senate, this is my personal view, not the view of the wilson center, and some collection of bills that the house just passed have more traction. we absolutely need to act and the department of homeland security, if it's given a stronger mandate, has to be
well organized and effective to do the mission. host: before coming to lead the wilson center where she is, by the way, first female head of the organization, spent time in congress as representative, democrat from california, and became the democrats' lead member on the house intelligence committee. her specialty is national intelligence and security issues. let's get some calls for jane harman, beginning from paramus, new jersey. antoine, go ahead. caller: welcome, congresswoman. the time line for this kind he's dissident is a little strange. i believe the moment he walks into the american embassy he got in touch with the state department and then they kind of paraded the cockamamie story and gets him out five days later and then the president talks to the japanese prime minister and said he just read the things in the paper.
do you have any information, can you explain what exactly was going on? guest: i don't have any information except for careful reading newspapers and some knowledge of the players. but my sense is that that is not quite right. that he -- we, the embassy personnel, by putting him into an embassy car in an alley helped get him in the embassy. he spent six days there, and the reports i've read, and i don't think there's any contri addiction -- contradiction but while in the embassy you was askedly if he want another sile up and he said he did not. -- want asylum and he said he did not, but changed it after he was escorted to the hospital to be with his family and then there was a question whether he was adequately protected and so forth. but one thing we know, he had full access to communications to talk to outside media. i mean, if he could be beamed in on a cell phone at 4:00 a.m.
china time during a one-party hearing in the house of representatives yesterday afternoon, nobody was blocking his access to communication. i'm hopeful, let me make clear, i'm hopeful that something will be worked out fast, that the chinese will agree to and that will be appropriate to let him leave the country and study in safety in the united states with his family. host: next question is from kalamazoo, michigan, this is ralph. you're on. caller: i'm wondering how much money is being spent on, let's say for the department of homeland security and domestic security? and how much is being spent on the spying agent's, let's say like the national security, the n.s.a. national security administration, because i'm reading that we're spending, what, billions and billions of dollars. we're hiring above a million government workers and we're
building office space and facilities all across the country for this, i guess you would call security apparatus. i'm curious, how many billions and billions of dollars are we spending and how can we hope to balance the budget when the costs are exploding on that spending? guest: you raise an important question. we spend billions on both but we spend more billions on our overall intelligence budget. i'm not sure whether that top line is totally declassified but i want to agree with you that we spend a lot more on that than we spend on our homeland security budget. there is a question about whether we have got this in the right balance, and you are correct, at least in my view, that we have spawned a huge industry for outside contractors, that needs to be more carefully looked at. bottom line, we need to spend the right amount of money to protect our country. that's the point of all of this
activity, and to protect americans traveling abroad and to protect americans' strategic interest. but i think that congress should be doing more to balance the budget. i personally have said for over a year and a half that the simpson approach to cutting trillions from our deficit debt is the right approach, the right categories. congress should obviously fine-tune this but i agree with your bottom line, that we should be mindful of excessive spending in this country. host: i think this is a related question from matt smith on twitter. you were informed of president bush's domestic spying before the public knew about it as an insbell member, did you support this policy and if not, why no protest? him guest: i'm glad someone asked me that. i was believed on what was then called the surveillance program, t.s.p. in a top secret
way. i was one of the gang of eight. the gang of eight is the chairman and ranking member of the house and senate intelligence committees, that's four, and the majority and minority leadership of the house and senate. that's another four. that's the gang of eight. and there were briefings over a period of time, i think about two years in the situation room and in the vice president's office, cheney, at the white house of this group. top secret briefings, could not talk to anyone. i said when finally a book was published or maybe it was a series of articles in "the new york times" and the president, partially declassified the existence of this program. i was finally free to talk to people. i was -- around christmastime, i believe it was around 2005, could have been 2004. i was free to talk to people and that was the first moment i learned that this program was being operated outside of the
foreign intelligence surveillance act. i spoke out immediately and consistently and ultimately congress amended the foreign intelligence act and made certain any activities of this nature were fully covered by the law and subject to oversight by congress but it was a very difficult chapter and a surprise to me that we were not -- that the bush administration at that time was not complying with the law that congress had enacted in the late 1970's. host: our next question from for jane harman comes locally from fairfax. you're on. caller: i miss you as the intelligence center of the congress of the united states. that position is way empty. but the other question is since the body count in china is about 86 million people, wouldn't it be easier and less messy for the chinese to simply let people who disagree with
their policies leave the country? guest: good question. what i think about that, yes, i actually think that opening up china in several ways, opening up the economy inside of china, opening up the government and making its processes more transparent and allowing people freely to leave are better policies. i actually think very slowly and not without bumps and hiccups, china is moving in that direction. as you know, i'm sure that the transition process to a -- the fifth generation of leadership in china, that process starts in the fall and will be finalized next january, and china watchers like joe nye who is now the head of the u.s. trilateral -- the u.s. delegation to the trilateral delegation predicts when china gets there, it will open up. there's a fight going on between the oldies and the
newspaperies, between the traditionalists and the technocrats in china. and things like this chen problem and the bochilive problem, the former governor of the chen king province who now has been exiled and ostracized for activities that are claimed to be corrupt, those things are exposing some of the big problems in china. our task as the united states is to find the way to help china change. not to back china in a corner so it won't change but to help china change and to become much more of an ally of ours in areas where china can seriously help us and protect the world against catastrophe like iran and north korea, china's neighbor, and i would also hope that china could change its policy, which i think is
misguided, on syria and could help us, along with russia, which needs to change its policy, move out the bashar government and structure something else, what i call a yemen type solution which would be far better than the carnage going on and the prediction of instability for a long time and that would accomplish moving syria away from iran which i think would be another way, without using military force, change iran's passionate about the issues. washington times."
guest: i do not know why, but the first thought that goes through my head is change the subject. wag the dog -- the russian economy is not that great care of it is that nato shield is ever put up, it has -- great. that nato shield has nothing to do with russia. russia did transfer a lot of technology to iran, syria against my personal wishes and those of many others in congress, like senator john kyl, who pushed back vigorously in the 1990's. so, somehow this reads like crying wolf, and i hope we will have calm reactions. i do not see that as a threat to russia or to us. host: ben, silver spring, maryland. you are on.
caller: hi, i will not ask you about your expertise on the internal workings of china, because you are way out of my leader on that one. -- league on that one. i'm sure you are fluent in mandarin. this "exposure of the drone program" at the wilson center, that was very enlightening. the man did not answer anything. he just came out and said this is a drone program, we are doing it, so now we are transparent. does that make sense to anyone? i do not have any power, i understand that -- host: what would your question be?
guest: i think he is asking why don't public officials tell me the truth? i do not speak mandarin, but i do get the drone program. i think what john brennan was telling you, was we are using the program, but not where we are using the program because we cannot show bad guys where we will be next. again, why would he tell bad guys who we are going to take out? he was telling you that this is a program that we use very carefully, and we do understand the downside of violating the rule of law, and he will not do it, so he might not have been satisfied, and might not like the program, but he came to talk about the program, and we need to have discussions about this, and you're entitled to discuss your views.
host: david on twitter asks -- guest: yes, intel-getting is harder. it means that al qaeda is global. the rise of islamist parties in the middle east -- you see this. the moslem brotherhood is just one of them. there is a new book called "the islamists are coming," which documents that there are over 50 groups coming to rise in the middle east, but the groups coming to explain themselves is a real hit on al-qaida.
somebody gave me a poll this morning, he would be fascinated. in egypt, unfavorable views of al qaeda are now 71, favorable 21. jordan, 77 to 15. pakistan, 55to 13. turkey, 73 to -- the islamist parties mean that a al qaeda killing more muslims than non muslims, that whole approach has lost favor around the world. that is a great thing. the other point i would try to make is that our capability against cal -- al qaeda is much greater than was before 911.
even copycats in our country, our ability to find these people and take them down before they harm us is much greater. >> next as bethlehem, pennsylvania. bob is a democrat. caller: good morning. when we were in office, they had an agreement with russia. russia and the united states were holding simulated earthquake disaster in the pacific. it happened from 1994 to around 1998. in that process, russia and the united states held a very close relationship with one another. this past week, russia and china had naval disaster --
drills for the past week in the pacific. if you look at the internet, you will see there are two leaders in the navy shaking hands. can that possibly be like a compliment to our government, saying wait a second, to governments that contradicted one another have worked together. back in the 1990's. maybe this is a complement to the united states. guest: yes. cooperative arrangements of countries around peaceful activity certainly emergency preparedness, are good things. obviously navy relationships which we have with lots of
countries, including country that are not our closest friends, we used to have those relationships with pakistan and stopped. our relationship with pakistan has declined as you're well aware. relationships especially like this strategic and economic dialogue that hillary clinton and tim geithner were in beijing to have during the middle of this chen guangchen issue. >> we take you now to las vegas where the libertarian party is holding its presidential convention at red rock resort. a debate between the parties to candidates, former republican mexico governor jerry johnson and libertarian activist and former party vice chairman, r. lee wrights. >> good evening. welcome to the delegates of the 2012 libertarian national convention. welcome to our friends in the c- span audience and all support
the cause of human liberty. this is the presidential nominating convention of the libertarian party. tonight is the final candidates debate. only two candidates have survived a rigorous process to qualify for this debate. and they are coming onstage, mr. lee wrights. [applause] he hails from burnett, texas. and our second candidate, gary johnson. [applause] i think you all know gary is the
former governor of new mexico and he is currently a resident of telson, new mexico. each candidate will have a three minute opening statement in which they can tell you just about anything they would like to tell you. after that, we will have questions and each candidate will have 90 seconds maximum to answer the questions that are posed. there is a possibility of a bottle of something comes up in one man's response -- of rebuttal of something -- if something comes up in one man's response. that is 30 seconds. then the concluding statement. we have in front of us a timer. to help us keep order.
delegates also have had the opportunity to submit questions. we have some of those. i will try to present those, perhaps paraphrasing to fit better into this format. with that introduction, i would like to begin. we will alternate in the response time. that seems fair. mr. johnson, will you begin with your 3 minute opening statement? >> governments in this country needs to occur under strict adherence to the u.s. constitution. the bad news is that this country is in really deep trouble. we are going to experience a collapse in government. we are going to experience a monetary collapse given the fact that we are borrowing and printing money to the tune of 43 cents out of every dollar.
that is the bad news. the good news is that we can fix this. we went to the moon. we can fix this. we need to stop printing money. we need to slash spending and do that now. [applause] as president of the united states, i am making three promises. first promise -- i promise to submit a balanced budget to congress in the year 2013. [applause] that is not promising a balanced budget because congress will have to go along with that. but i will submit a document with a $1.40 trillion reduction in federal spending -- a 43% reduction in spending. [applause] second promise, i promise to veto any expenditures that
exceed revenue. as governor of new mexico, i may have vetoed more legislation than the other 49 governors in the country combined. i have no aversion to be going -- vetoing legislation. [applause] i suggest to you that under those -- with those promises kept, that spending will be lower than any other possible scenario you can come up with. lastly, i promised to advocate on throwing out the entire federal tax system. no income-tax, no corporate tax, no tax withholding. abolish the irs. [applause] replace it with a consumption tax which i think from a libertarian standpoint sets the
stage for zero attacks. i think the pressure will be on the consumption -- i think the pressure will be on that tax to reduce it, reduce it, reduce it to the point where we do not have taxes and the longer. at a minimum, it is a improvement over what we currently have. it is cost neutral. the gives america competitive edge when it comes to exports. it is the answer when it comes to exports and when it comes to china and when it comes to jobs in this country because in a zero corporate tax rate environment, at the private sector does not create tens of millions of jobs, then there is no environment under which that will happen. thank you. [applause] >> mr. wrights.
>> thank you for having me. i feel like i am at a family reunion. [applause] i wish america could be in this room with us to feel what we have here. something that is so different from the politics of america today. i am running for president. this is for you, america. so i can leave you alone. [applause] the greatest problem we have in this country right now is we have learned to seek our solutions from government. what makes us different is we learned that he government is not the solution. government exacerbates all the problems that we have. my campaign promise, my main campaign promise is when i become president, the first act going perpetrate is i'm
to declare peace. [applause] i am not just talking about the foreign interventions we are involved in which are way too many. i am talking about the wars we have right here at home. the most devastating wars we can have are bringing us economically and morally. -- of the 60's. president johnson. a war on poverty. no more poor people. the war did not work. president carter gave us the federal education department. he knew how hard it was for us to raise our children. it wanted lawrence. white it out. -- wipe it out. been turning out functional illiterates ever since. the most devastating war this
country has ever known, the war on drugs started by president nixon, has got to stop. [applause] we have done the research. what we have learned is war does not work. it does not solve the problems. you do not teach people it is wrong to kill people by killing people. [applause] you do not teach foreign countries it is wrong to bomb people by bombing other countries. [applause] that is why i'm glad to be here tonight to be able to offer libertarians and americans rational alternatives and true choices. something be so sorely needed. join me in saying i am not at war. it's enough of us say it, they cannot have them anymore. [applause]
>> we're going to go into the question and answer portion. i have a couple of questions to begin with which i think will be of particular interest to the delegates of the libertarian party convention. my first question is to you, mr. wrights. tell us about your discovery of the libertarian party and what brought you to join it. >> i discovered the libertarian party in the latter part of the 1990's. that is when ashley join the party. my journey was different than other people. i do not know that my father has ever voted. i am not sure he even knew what the war -- a word libertarian meant but he raised a libertarian. someone that knows how to mind their own business when they are supposed to, be helpful to your neighbor but keep your nose out of their business when they do not need it. to be responsible for yourself.
this is a live tour is, ladies and gentlemen. it is more than a political party and more than the people like dental this room. -- in this room. we have made a personal choice to live responsibly for ourselves, not to seek help from government agencies in but to be sufficient on our own. so just the natural way i was raised as a child brought me to the libertarian party. in 1976, i was a brand new voter. i lived in north carolina and there was no libertarian party at the time. even then, i cannot bring myself to register as a democrat or republican gary the only thing i have ever been registered besides a libertarian is an unaffiliated voters. libertarians have the answers to the problems of this country. we can give to them now. [applause]
>> in 1971, i got a book handed to me that said here is what it is to be libertarian. it was a very short reed and it said after you have read this, please pass this book on so that others might share and understand what it is to be a libertarian. when i read that book, i quickly recognize that i was a libertarian and i had been 1 cents. basically i came -- once since. basically i came away with the notion that he will always be able to predict where a libertarian stands on all of the issues because a libertarian will look at freedom first. everything has its bases in freedom. as long as that freedom does not impose on others, then you should be free to exert that freedom. i passed that book on. i remember attending a
congressional debate in new mexico in the early 1980's. there were democrats, a republican and a libertarian. the discussion afterwards was who won the debate? everybody. the libertarian won the debate but who are we going to vote for because the libertarian will not win. that has been the course of the libertarian party. arguably, i got to serve eight years as governor of new mexico as a libertarian governor under the guise of being a republican. [applause] i have come out of the closet and i hope -- [applause] and i hope i am the first, if not the first of millions to do the same. [applause]
>> thank you. mr. johnson, from my own past experience, i know there are a couple of questions that always come up to libertarian candidates. so i will present them one at a time. what is the libertarian party? >> what is the libertarian party? the libertarian party is a party that is going to stand up for personal freedom. the libertarian party is that party that will advocate on the government's absolute responsibility, the notion to protect us against individuals, corporations and groups that would do us harm. the libertarian party encompasses the best of both the donkeys and elephants. that is the notion that the donkeys have released the up
historically -- stood up historically for civil liberties. i do not think they have done so well as of late. republicans historically, the party that's the up for dollars and cents. i do not think they have done so well of that as of late. i do not know if they have ever done well by that. so i am telling people that the libertarians and, as the best of both parties. the notion of fiscal responsibility and the notion of social tolerance wri. [applause] that is where i stand. i think the majority of americans stand. that gets your foot in the door. what are the problems facing this country, the solutions to those problems? as someone running for president of the united states, do you have a resident to suggest you
can actually carry out what it is you're talking about? [applause] >> mr. wrights. >> the libertarian party to me personally is my family. [applause] what it should be to everyone is a home, just like for us. the libertarian party is america. americans. everyone of us. the realize the problems we face in this country are caused more times than not in the government that is supposed to be serving us. we end up serving the government instead of the other way around. we understand that, we realize that and this is our way of defending ourselves against the aggression of democrats and republicans that care more about corporate interest, banking interests, special-interest
lobbyists than they do the people they are supposed to represent. [applause] i will yield the rest of my time. [laughter] >> we will see if we can make good use of it. the second of those ever-present questions to libertarian candidates is -- what is libertarianism? >> i went into that and the bit earlier. libertarianism is a life choice. we decide that we want to make our own decisions without anybody being in involved in that -- involved in it. decisions about our marriage and who we will spend the rest of our lives with. the most intimate questions we need to resolve the in our lives should be solved by us, not a set of bureaucrats hundreds of
miles away more interested in somebody else than they are about me. [applause] libertarianism realizes it is ok to be different. a government that cannot protect us at the mall when we are able- bodied cannot take as we take care of us in our old age. these are all things that make up the libertarian party. knowing that we are better to make our own decisions that to make those decisions in -- put in those decisions in the hands of someone else. every time i put decisions into the hands of someone else, my fate becomes uncertain because i have gifted them the power of -- over me. libertarians no better than to do that. we know the importance of that and that is why i am here. [applause]
>> mr. johnson, what is libertarianism? >> just do not tell me what to do. [applause] and of course if i am going to put others in harm's way, or do harm to others, yes, government needs to be involved. libertarianism is individualism. the power of the individual, the power that i have as an individual -- what is the best thing that i can do for others surrounding me to affect their lives in a positive way? it is to be the best that i can possibly be. i think that the libertarianism,
the freedom to make choices for ourselves. those choices in the context of not doing any harm to others. [applause] >> this one will go to you first, mr. johnson. do the libertarians really want to end the federal government's war on drugs? would doing so leads to excessive drug use and crime? [laughter] >> 40 years ago when the libertarian party was founded, what were people saying at as a whole? that is the crazy party that wants to legalize drugs. that was 40 years ago. 40 years ago when i heard that, i wanted to understand what that meant. it did not take long to understand how much better it
would be to decriminalize legalized drugs. i came to that understanding. we should be able to make our own choices when it comes to drugs. let's legalize drugs. control it, regulate it, tax it. libertarians 40 years ago talked about legalizing drugs. now in this country we are at a tipping point where 50% of americans now support legalizing marijuana. that has never happened before. who deserves credit for that? the libertarian party deserves credit. [applause] so i think there is an opportunity here with the liberty union -- libertarian
party. we have been talking and that the issue. we understand it. what else is the libertarian party talking about? i think there is an opportunity here to change the world and i am talking about the libertarian party changing the world. [applause] >> well, there is a drug problem in this country, a horrible drug problem, and it is called the drug war. [applause] now, i have heard it all, i have been around a long time. libertarians want your children to get high all the time. we do not. we want to stop killing. wars are people killing each other. our kids killing themselves over drugs? no, they're killing themselves over the money that can be made, and exorbitant product because we have prohibited it.
america needs to take a lesson from her own history. we had a little prohibition problem in the last century. we prohibited alcohol. how did that turn out? we created one of the largest criminal organizations the world has ever known. the mafia was little more than street gangs, unorganized, petty crimes. day out on alcohol and turned it into a criminal enterprise that is still -- they outlawed alcohol and turned it into a criminal enterprise that is still going today. we need to learn from our own history. the wars don't work. stop sending people to prison. send them to treatment. [applause] >> where do libertarians' stand on the question of whether individuals have the right to
own and carry guns? >> [laughter] well, i don't know about the rest of you all, but it is not a good idea to crawl in my window after midnight. [applause] i do not dial 911. [laughter] the founders knew exactly what they were doing and i have often said that the only mistake they made in the bill of rights is that the second amendment should of been the first. without that, without the ability to defend ourselves, all the other rights go away, folks. it can be taken away easily. the founders of this country did not institute the second amendment because they were afraid of their neighbors.
they knew they needed them to protect themselves from government. now remember, the american revolution was kicked off when the british marched to take away their guns. they tolerated everything else, the taxes, but when it came to take their arms away from them, this country went into revolution. make no mistake. i believe in gun control. that is why i use both hands. [applause] >> mr. johnson. >> i think government needs to occur under strict adherence to the united states constitution. i do not know how the second amendment could be any clearer. i will tell you, running for governor of new mexico the first time -- and i have run for two
political offices in my lifetime, this being the third, but governor of mexico and governorn ogovernor as of new mexico, what was really an issue was concealed carry. it was the issue of the day and i had many republican opponents in the primary, all of whom were very well established, but when it came to the question of concealed carry, everybody was singing to tap dance. when the question came to me, i said you know what? that sounds like a really good idea. it sounds like you would actually reduce gun violence, not increase in violence. [applause] and that ended up as headlines in the paper the next day. i am not the guy who is going to sign off on legislation or
promote legislation as the number of bullets in the clip, the size of the gun or the caliber of the weapon. >> mr. johnson, you get the first crack at the next one. what does your party want to do about the problems associated with illegal immigration? >> illegal immigration, then thing. legal immigration, a good thing. i think we should make it as easy as possible for somebody who wants to come into this country and work to get a work visa. not a green card, not citizenship, but a work visa that would entail a background check and the social security cards and other applicable taxes would get paid. now, if we implement a fair tax, taxes are not an issue of all, whether you are legal, illegal, a visitor, a u.s. citizen, you're not going to be able to avoid paying a fair tax.
with regard to the 11 million illegal immigrants in the country right now, we need to setup a grace period by which we can document those in legal immigrants. what is the reason we have 11 million in illegal immigrants? it is the unintended consequence of reagan setting up his amnesty in the 1980's and putting government in charge of quotas, matching a businesses with potential employees. that was a breakdown from day one. if you want to come into this country and work, you can i get a work visa, and yet you know if you come across -- you cannot get a work visa, and yet you know if you come across the border, you can get a visa. that is the phenomenon that has occurred. the other problem is violence around the border. that is drug-related and prohibition related. legalize marijuana and arguably 70% of the drug violence in mexico goes away.
>> this is a good subject, particularly for libertarians because illegal immigration is an area where we can truly show how the government has made things worse. how many of you watch stossel? he did a report a couple months ago, and it turns out that if you are a ph.d. and you live in india and you want to immigrate to this country, it takes to between five-seven years. that is a reasonable amount of time, most folks would say. [laughter] wait. it gets better. if you are an unskilled laborer from south of the border, it takes to 131 years. i do not know about you, but i
do not know too many 131-year- old people running around. the reason we have a problem is because we have made it impossible for people to follow the law. if you write a law that can be followed, nobody is going to follow it. [applause] i mean, we have literally, literally made it easier to swim the rio grande then to climb mount bureaucracy. that is the problem. >> the social security program does not appear to be sustainable as currently constituted. what would a libertarian president do about that? >> i know what i would do about it. libertarians believe in contracts. we believe in the sanctity of
those contracts, individual contracts. that is what we base our -- the way we do business with each other. social security is a contract. our government has made a contract with each one of us individually and a promise to take care of us. good lord. what i propose to do about social security is honor the contract that we have our team made but stop making new contracts that we know are bad. let's stop lying to young people in this country and telling them the money is going to be there when it ain't going to be there. [applause] we need to stop lying to america. stop telling people they're going to get something when they know that they are not. they are already bankrupt. honor the contracts we are made and stop making new bad contracts. let people keep their money and plan for their own retirement. you take better care of
yourself than the government can never take of you. >> social security is a problem that has really paled in comparison to medicare. social security is absolutely stable, if you will, and it happens through the following way. it is a system that needs to take in more money than it pays out. to reform social security, raising the retirement age, coming up with their means testing, at changing it from the wage index to the inflation rate and then perhaps having an often/opt out provision. if we adopt a fair tax, it does away with withholdings from your payroll check. so no more contributions to social security. no more employer match. that would come out of the proceeds of the fair tax. by comparison, social security,
a very flexible. it is money that we have all paid in. it has been paid into the excess of $3.50 trillion to date, more than what has been paid out, but of course, the government has spent that $3.5 trillion. i would suggest that this is very fixable, very doable, and this is a problem that pales in comparison to medicare, medicaid, and perhaps we could argue the reduction of spending when it comes to the military. [applause] >> interesting you should mention medicare and medicaid since that is my next question. we of federal medicare, medicaid and obamacare, maybe, depending on the supreme court. how will libertarian president deal with the problems of providing medical care for
america's underinsured, elderly and poor? >> as governor of new mexico, i ever saw the reform of medicaid in new mexico. we took it from a fee-for- service model to a managed-care model. ed we saved hundreds of millions of dollars and improved health care in the state. at that time, i believe if the federal government would have block granted the state of new mexico 43% less money for health care for the poor, done away with all the strings for the mandate, than i could have overseen delivery of health care to the poor, those truly in need. i believe that health care for those over 65, which is the same phenomenon, would have occurred if i had been given oversight of implementation of the delivery of health care to those over 65. the federal government, which is always been a federal program when it comes to medicare, if it
were to make medicare a safe program, a block grant the state's 42% less money or have the states never send it to washington in the first place, but i maintain that with 50 laboratories of innovation and best practice, the states, that we will actually come up with some fabulous solutions for health care delivery for those truly in need and those over 65. but the notion that washington knows best, washington top-down has the answers, that is what has us in a state of bankruptcy at the moment. [applause] >> as far as medicare goes, it is not just a matter of money. it is not just a matter of budgets. lives,alking about ladies and gentlemen. we're talking about care being rationed once you get too old.
the government gets to decide if you need to extend your life and not. that's crazy. it is not about money. it is about saving lives. knowing that we're better off taking care of ourselves, let me keep my money and purchase my own doctor. i can do a better job and i do not want anybody in the way when i'm sick between me and that doctor. i do not want an insurance company telling me you cannot do such and such riney to go to another doctor so i can get any. i do not need a bureaucrat telling me i'm going to take care of you. they have lied to you too many times. they have lied to all of us. [applause] if you removed everything, and i mean literally, everything, from the federal budget except for social security, military budget and medicare, we would still be putting our grandchildren into debt. we have got to stop these programs that feed this crazy
spending indiction that we seem to have. if you have a crack addict, you do not give him more crack to get him off of it. if you have a spending addict, you do not keep giving him money to make him stop spending. we have to stop government. get it out of the way. let us take care of ourselves, please. [applause] >> there was a major financial collapse in 2007-2008, leading to what some call the great recession, and leading to a federal bailout of large companies, including banks. what would you have done in those dismal economic circumstances? >> no one company is too big to fail. no one.
why did they take our money and give it to the corporations? why? gettingtions are people elected, aren't they? why do the banks do what they do? the top eight contributors to the obama campaign were banks. bailouts. come on, folks. who is going to give you a bailout when you need it? the government says they will, but then they say they are sorry, this is regulation. you don't cut it. i do not hear that when i'm in trouble. i want to figure out a way to get out of it. i don't expect my neighbors to come over and bail me out, and i certainly do not want to bailout carmakers, banks that going to fail, fannie and say, all of them. let them fail. >> capitalism on the way up,
communism on the way down. [applause] look. there were some incredibly bad decisions made by wall street. they should have been rewarded for these four decisions by being allowed to fail as opposed to as billing amount -- poor decisions by being allowed to fail as opposed to us bailing them out and on top of that giving themselves bonuses. there was an incredibly bad decision making that was allowed. and the point that he the one of the rules and regulations that played a role -- let me point out to you that one of the rules and regulations that played a role was as a result of an iran.
congress came up with sarbanes oxley. -- a result of enron. congress came up with sarbanes oxley. i thought wow, this is a rule and regulation that makes total sense. it turned out that on december 20th, there was $180,000 transaction and a multi trillion dollar mortgage derivative markets, and because of the law, everybody had to mark their assets down from $1 to $0.50. that was a huge price of butter of the collapse. cipitator of the collapse. [applause] >> since the 1930's, the federal
government has provided subsidies and loan guarantees to farmers. as president, what would you do with regard to these programs? >> do away with the department agriculture first of all. [applause] we need to get farmers back to farming. the biggest program that the department of agriculture came in with this to pay people not to farm. i cannot understand how that helps farmers, frankly. do not do what you know how to do. do not do what you've learned how do. do not do what your parents have learned how do. we will pay you not to do it. at one time, that might have seemed pretty attractive to me. don't get paid to do nothing. that's not a hard job. the problem is, everybody else is paying for it, me, you. i do not want to pay everybody not to work.
it does not make sense. and yet the largest thing they have done is pay people not to work. it is crazy. do away with the department of agriculture. that is what i would do. [applause] >> i am promising to submit a balanced budget to congress in 2013. included in that budget is a 43% reduction in farm subsidies. if there's any way to line out subsidies for ethanol, that is something i would completely line out, believing that it takes more energy to produce ethanol than it produces. [applause]
>> mr. johnson, the president has the power to issue executive orders directing power from the executive branch. what, if any, executive order would you issue in your first week in office? >> i will tell you that i had no aversion to implementing executive orders as governor of new mexico. one of the things i did as governor was issued an executive order for the reform of welfare in new mexico. the notion that if you could work, you would work. the notion that if somebody was making $100 from the government, how about if the government reduce that to $70, but then if you worked and made $70 you could make the 70 and take the 70 or the 100 40's as opposed to -- i am using this as an
example, but the point is if you could work he would work. it was an executive order. it was challenged immediately by the legislator that it was unconstitutional that i was doing this by executive order as opposed to legislatively. i will tell you that all of the help wanted signs in new mexico went down. they all came down. everybody the could work was working. it worked. the supreme court ruled after about a month that when i had done was unconstitutional. the help-wanted signs went back up and the legislator never cottoned to law -- never codified into law something i had proven had worked. controlling all the agencies,
controlling all the rules and regulations, do not underestimate the power of that when it comes to change. i have seen positive change from the standpoint of reducing the time in the amount of money that it takes to comply with government. [applause] >> mr. johnson won over by about 20 seconds. >> that's all right. >> i had about a minute left from the previous question. >> do we have a banking role? >> we have to be careful. we are having too much fun now. >> anyway, this is about the executive orders he might issue. >> i can only think of wine, and that is to repeal all previous executive orders. -- can only think of one, and
that is to repeal all previous executive orders. [applause] i want a government that fits inside of this. [applause] if you cannot see it, this is a cato pocket constitution. look how small it is. huh? i would repeal every one of them that has come before me. >> the next question is somewhat of a follow-up to that one. the united states has 14 non- defense cabinet level departments. as president, are there any of
these you would work to eliminate? >> those are the first ones to go. our problem again, we have so many government bureaucrats and regulators doing nothing. i learned something i was in the service. it bodes well for me from time to time. i found it if i walked around with a clipboard in one hand and a screwdriver in the other, they left me alone. i could go get a cup of coffee. i have my clipboard. i have my screwdriver. he must be doing something. leave him alone. we have government agencies doing that right now. act busy. act busy, they will leave us alone. and they are right. they acted busy and we left them alone. it is time not to leave them alone anymore. let's do away with all this nonsense. we have to reduce government. we have to reduce spending. that is the only way to return america to the prosperity we
deserve for ourselves and our children. [applause] >> mr. johnson. >> i am promising to submit a balanced budget to congress in the year 2013. that is a 43% reduction in current federal spending, unprecedented. slashing federal spending by one $0.40 trillion. i'm absolutely open to debate -- to one $0.40 trillion. -- to $1.4 trillion. i'm absolutely open to debate about what to eliminate. the time specific about our housing and development, education, homeland security. [applause] homeland security being incredibly redundant, education.
i don't think that america understands the department of education was established in 1979 by jimmy carter. i do not think americans understand it when it comes to education, when the federal government gives each state about $0.11 out of every school dollar that every state spends, it comes with $0.16 of strings attached. it is really a negative to take federal dollars. [applause] return education to the states. 50 laboratories of innovation and best practice. that is exactly what we will see. we will see some fabulous success the kids and elated. we're also going to see some spectacular failure the gets avoided because we are so competitive. [applause] >> mr. johnson, according to the constitution, the president as commander-in-chief of the armed
forces. if elected, how would you exercise that power with respect to the deployment of u.s. armed services personnel? >> in a non-interventionist. i do knocked -- i do not want to use american military might anywhere. but i think it is one of the primary responsibilities, if not the primary responsibility of the president of the united states to be vigilant about military threats coming from anywhere. to my knowledge, right now there is no military threat anywhere, of the to say that we should not be vigilant to what may in fact be military threats, absolutely. we talk about preemptive strike. well, pre-emptive strike is the notion that if the trigger is cocked and the trigger is going to get pulled, i think we want to have a president that is going to be vigilant and will have the intelligence to make those decisions and be on top
of this decisions. but that would be also -- submitting that to congress for a declaration of war for any military conflict anywhere. [applause] non-interventionist. let's stop using our military, let's stop with the unintended consequences that come along with our military might. i ran. i ran, to my knowledge is not a military threat. we should be vigilant to the fact that it may be, but it is not. isn't iran and unintended consequence of us having taken out iraq. [applause] >> if i were commander-in-chief, there would be no deployments. [applause]
i am serious about this, folks. i will declare peace. let's be clear. i am not a pacifist. we will put an end to end we will go right back to being in peace. we will not occupied for 10 years to 20 years. we will not send our men and women over there for nothing. we will bring them home. [applause] we will not deploy troops anywhere. we will bring our workforce home. we will let these children need their fathers and their mothers and let them know them. [applause] have not enough people died in this world already? [applause] no more deployments. just bring the troops home. and let's do it now.
i will quickly and with this. i was in hawaii at the state convention with a friend of mine. every morning, he listened to npr. drive me crazy. [laughter] but i am a nice guy so i went along with it. this guy went on about a young man that was going off to war. and they tell about how he was in the third grade when 9/11 happened and how this young man had waited his whole life to go to war. hoping it would not and so he could get a break. i am sure he is not alone. we should not be raising children like that, folks. nobody should have to grow that way. [applause]
>> mr. rice, i think you get the next one as well. if it is somewhat of a follow- up. perhaps, in the broadway, can you summarize the foreign policy, the overall foreign policy that you as a libertarian president will attempt to put into place. >> somebody told me before i got up here that i should not talk about foreign policy. i said i could not help it. our foreign policy creates more enemies than it does anything else. [applause] because our foreign policy is what i like to call a news in neighbor policy. think about it. what is worse than some removing next door to you -- you have never met them before -- and right away there in your business all the time? say, neighbor, that tree in your backyard, it does not look right
and i will come over the stricken with my chain saw and cut it down. don't you worry about it. i will cut it down. that makes you want to go to work, doesn't it? [laughter] [applause] it won't be worse than that if that neighbor lived on the next street over were denied even lived in the next street over or the next town or, worse yet, live around the world. that is why we have any said -- enemies. stop being a nosy neighbor appeared star being a good neighbor. that is my foreign policy. i do not know what they were worried about. that was not so bad. [laughter] >> mr. johnson, you will have 30 seconds extra if you require it. >> i do not want any manner
service women to lose their lives while i am president of the united states. [applause] my father is here. and dad, raise your hand. 92 years old. [applause] my dad is here. my father paratrooped into normandy the day before the d- day invasion. my father was bayoneted in the back and lost a lung. that is a sacrifice that i don't see any other american undergo. i am completely opposed to foreign aid. the idea that we're barring and printing money and turning it --
turning around and giving it away to a foreign country, i think that is crazy. we should follow a policy of non-intervention. but i would also like to distinguish that from isolationism. a think we need to take debate and discussion and diplomacy. we want to be a part of mutual benefit for all. balanced budget. a promise to submit a balanced budget in the year 2013. that will entail a 43% reduction in military spending. what is a 43% reduction in military spending? it is reducing nuclear warheads, it is the military footprint around the globe curley, removing your cells from the current conflicts that we are involved in, it is research and development and intelligence. it is the military in your form and the civilian support staff
that goes along with that. the biggest threat to our national security is the fact that we are bankrupt. [applause] >> mr. johnson, you get the next one, right? am i right? ok. two choices -- since 9/11, the federal government has given us the department of homeland security, the transportation security a ministration, and the national defense authorization act. how would you approach the problems of domestic security? >> i vetoed 750 bills as governor of new mexico. i have thousands of line-item vetoes. only two were overturned. it made a difference when it came to billion dollars in
overspending and laws passed that would have just added time and money for us to have to comply with government. i have no aversion to vetoing legislation. so how does that apply to the president of the united states? if i would have been president of the united states, i would have vetoed homeland security. don't do it. [applause] incredibly redundant. these were activities that were already taking place and they give the state of new mexico money for a homeland security department. it just became an added title. there was nothing added when it came to homeland security, when it came to the federal government. when it comes to tsa, i would never have established tsa. i would have left airport security to the airport, to the airlines, to the municipalities, to the states. and i dare say today that
airline safety would be as safe and less intrusive. the national defense authorization act -- i would have vetoed it. not allow detainment without being charged in the united states. [applause] >> i can honestly say that i would do all of that. [laughter] [applause] homeland security, there is no more redundant department than that. we have one called the national department of defense. that is where it should stay. tsa has been in existence for 10 years, ladies and gentlemen. there's only one thing that they have never confiscated -- a terrorist. [laughter] they have all your pocket knives and the pointy pens and your big bottles of water that you cannot have on an airplane.
they have all that stuff. but they do not have a terrorist. what good are they? they just make me leave for my airplane most of the time. i don't like going through it in the first place and i'm kind of ornery. i remember the first time i went through the scanners and i had to go up there and do my little -- [laughter] i stepped out and there is a guard in front of me. he was trying to be pleasant. he said how are you today, sir? i said, i am fine until i had to go through that thing. and then he launched into an explanation as to why i had to do that. and i stopped him. i said, i know why you're doing it. he folded his arms and said, okay, sir, tell me why i am doing this. because somebody told you to. [laughter] [applause]
theater, that is what it is. and the training, i'm sure, was reprimanded because she reacted the same way you all did. [laughter] >> a change in course a bit. would you say are the essentials of the libertarian domestic economic policy? >> the essentials to that are getting government out of the way. [applause] i hope i am not spoiling one of your questions, david. if i do, i apologize. we are asked many times what can the president do about creating jobs. i looked into that and i found that there is a way that the president can create jobs, by firing people. [laughter] [applause] i know it sounds funny, but it is true. we have done the research. for every regulator, for every bureaucrat loses their job, 150
private sector jobs are created. [applause] this will not be hard. you're fired -- you are fired, you are fired -- 150, 150, 150. that would be my answer to it. start firing people. [applause] >> mr. johnson. >> about a year ago, they came up with a report on who had the best jobs record when it came to their time in office and i had the best record and came to jobs [applause] and my response to that was the same as the response to that when i was governor of new mexico. i did not create one single job as governor of new mexico. the private sector created jobs. [applause]
but don't underestimate the power of the executive when it comes to appointing the heads of all the agencies, appointing all boards and commissions -- in essence controlling all rules and regulations. don't underestimate that. and i will tell you that, in new mexico, rules and regulations got better on a daily basis and they got better from the standpoint of taking less time and money to have to comply with what it was government wanted. so, in new mexico, i will argue that businesses went to bed knowing with certainty that things were not going to get worse because johnson would not let them get worse and he would always be advocating on the part of the free-market. [applause] i really believe that taking the money out of politics -- i really think that implementing
the surtax would issue pink slips to half of washington lobbyists. i really believe that in a zero% corporate tax rate environment the -- there's new environment in which that will happen. [applause] >> mr. johnson, what is the proper role of the ago government with respect to education? and what would you do to implement that world? >> i think i answered that earlier, but i will reiterate. i would abolish the federal department of education -- [applause] believing that come if we give education back to the states, the laboratories of innovation and best practices, that that is exactly what we will have. as governor of new mexico, no governor was more outspoken than me regarding school choice.
i really believe that the only way to improve education in mexico was to bring about school choice. i've proposed for six straight years a full-blown voucher system that come in my opinion, would have brought about competition to public education. in this environment giving education back to the states, if i am still governor of new mexico and i am one of those governors given control of how education gets run and reformed, i will add the kid on the part of bringing competition to public education. [applause] >> i, too, would abolish the federal education department because i do not believe in child abuse. [laughter] [applause]
what could be more important than educating our young people? too important to turn it over to any government agency. [applause] education should be taken out of the hands of the federal government and i would go further and say that it should be taken out of the hands of the state government. [applause] education belongs in the communities where those children will be educated, where the families get together and hire teachers and are able to keep an eye on how well their re- education progresses. to hat -- not to have all the strings involved with state involvement in fedele -- and federal involvement, which
has caused us to come up with so many in literature. my daughter was in school. we did the research. it cost in excess of $9,000 per student to educate our children and give them a pretty crappy education, by the way. i think we were 47th in the country at the time i put -- at the time. i put my daughter in private school for $3,000 a year and she got a great education for a third of the price. that is a real-world example of how we can do better than government, folks. [applause] >> it is my turn. >> it is your turn. >> yes. >> 1 would be my turn? -- when will it be my turn? [laughter] the housing sector is in the doldrums. what, if anything, should the
federal government do about that? >> get out of their way. i hate to sound like a broken record. has anybody been paying attention? freddie mac, freddifannie mae, l of that stuff -- the problem is that the mortgages belong to people should not have had them. and now they cannot afford their home. they could not afford it in the first place. [applause] some common sense back to government. let's bring common sense back to america. let's think about these things and not just turn it over to government and say, ok, i don't have to worry about it anymore. i have never been so worried as when government is involved in something. [applause] >> government absolutely bears responsibility for making loans available at interest rates and terms that were completely
unrealistic and the individuals involved in taking these loans had a personal responsibility to understand whether or not they could afford when it was there were buying. i just think that, if the mortgage market for housing had been allowed to collapse, which it was not allowed to collapse, he free-market had actually come to bear, we would have seen a market bottom and we would have seen it very quickly. and for a lot of people who had saved their entire lives, they would have found that the $180,000 home that they had been saving to buy was now available for $70,000 and would have been able to purchase that. this is the land of opportunity. it to look at the mortgage collapse, this would have been the opportunity for millions of americans that were not giving that opportunity. the government stepped in and
created another bubble with regard to real estate print it propped it up. we arguably still have not seen a market bottom. or at least it is an artificial come back, if you will of the real-estate market. so government does bear responsibility, but so did the individuals who took out alone. >> the internal revenue code is a complex monstrosity. compliance alone costs individuals and businesses billions every year. in addition to the actual taxes they're forced to pay. what would you propose to improve the situation? >> i propose abolishing all
federal tax. income tax, corporate tax, tax withholding, the irs -- abolish the irs. [applause] i know a lot of you do want to have anything to do with taxes. i do not want to have anything to do with taxes. as governor of new mexico, not one penny of tax went up over the eight years as i was governor. that never happened ever. the key here is slashing spending, something that has never happened before. i am advocating on the part of the fair tax, which is supposed to be revenue neutral. but by many analysis, it is actually a tax reduction. good thing. but i think the start is and it is an improvement over what we currently have -- let's get rid of the irs. [laughter]
let's get rid of income tax. [applause] >> i agree. we need to abolish the irs. we need to give away -- do away with the income tax and replace it with nothing. [applause] there is no such thing as a fair tax. [applause] there is nothing fair about a tax that allows the government to collect as much money as it does now and gives no break to the american people. it may be fair to government, but it is not fair to us. we do not need a national sales tax. we need tax cuts and to slash the spending. that is where prosperity comes from. there will be an economic boost by replacing one taxila another. that does not work in economics. we have to cut taxes.
we have to stop spending the money. we have to stop borrowing 43% of the money we do spend. and stop printing bad money, money that is not worth the paper it is printed on. this is a favorite subject of most presidential campaigns. they will stand up -- the democrats and republicans especially -- i will cut your taxes. the president cannot cut your taxes. the president cannot raise your taxes. the president can do away with your taxes. only congress can i will advocate to remove the stain from our constitution and abolished the 16th amendment. [applause] >> of course, an american audience listening to both of you on this last question will come up with the next question which is how would you pay for the essential functions of
government if we eliminate the income tax? >> if we just had the essential functions of government, it would not be that hard to pay for it appeared the problem is we have government doing everything that it is not supposed to. we could find this country on the terrace and an excise tax that are outlined in the constitution if government was this small. this small! how much can it cost for a government that is this small? [applause] we would not need all the taxes. stop paying for golf courses in tampa so underprivileged children can learn the craft. [laughter] we laugh, but it is in there. stop paying for learning the meeting habits of tree frogs in oklahoma or whatever. good lord! you should look at the budget ended -- and examine it sometimes and all the pork that
is in there for constituents. we're paying for too much. let's reduce government. get it down to a manageable size. you'd be surprised how easy it would be to balance the budget. [applause] >> i think that my advocacy of a 43% reduction is really unprecedented. and that you need to have -- we will need to have a president there will be able to articulate and take on the debate and the discussion over what entails a 43% reduction in federal spending. the unprecedented, something that has never happened before. [applause] and that needs to be the concentration. that said, i think, at a minimum, abolishing the federal income tax, abolishing corporate tax, abolishing the irs,
replacing it with a consumption tax is an improvement over what we currently have. and i would like you to know that, as president of the united states, i would like to articulate the need for dropping that tax. as opposed to what we have now, which is corporate interests, which is government for sale, both parties with their hands out and taking money to grant an individual or group or a corporation their special compensation, their special upmanship, if you will, that is what has this country in outrage. i share in the outrage of the tea party, which is that we spend too much money and we need to slash spending, but i also share in the out -- occupy wall street which is that this country is for sale and we are selling it. politicians are selling it. [applause]
>> the federal reserve system -- [laughter] okay, next question. [laughter] the federal reserve system was created in 1913. before that, inflation was virtually nonexistent. but now the federal reserve system is a central bank, which is common in most people's view, essential to our economy. what is your position with regard to the federal reserve system? >> i would argue that we had bouts of inflation before the federal reserve was created that were equal to or exceeded any inflation we see today prior to the establishment of the federal reserve. i would abolish the federal reserve if given the
opportunity. but abolishing the federal reserve -- [applause] but abolishing the federal reserve is not the end all. the and all is stop printing money. if the federal reserve were abolished, treasury could still print money and would still print money just like they did before there was a central bank, just like other countries that don't have a central bank lent money. the key is to slash spending and abolishing the federal reserve -- what does that do? it brings about transparency. that is a good thing. in lieu of abolishing the federal reserve, let's audit the federal reserve. let's bring transparency to the federal reserve. [applause] the federal reserve away from their dual mandate of price stability and full employment, which, in my opinion, is a strong u.s. dollar and weak u.s. dollar and it does not work. we need to have strong dollar policy is coming from the federal reserve.
we need to have competitive interest rates when it comes to the federal reserve. and right now, if the federal reserve board to make interest rates competitive, we would be in the midst of a monetary collapse. [applause] >> i agree with them and the fed. [applause] unfortunately, here we go again. i have stayed true to this throughout the whole campaign. i will not stand up here in front of my family and like you. [applause] i will not tell you something that i will do something that i cannot do. the president cannot abolish the fed. congress created it and it can take it up. but i would repeal all legal tender laws. [applause] we return competing currencies to the market.
heartbreaking, money that is worth something. and pretty soon, the federal reserve will go away because they know that it is not worth the paper it is printed on. people do not want that money. [applause] we do need to audit the fed. we need to do away with them. the quickest way to do that is to repeal the legal tender law. let's return commodities -- let's return medals to the commodities market. bad money will go away. [applause] >> the congress tends to pass very large at, convoluted, complex, multipurpose laws. some people have suggested that congress passed a one budget at a time act. a time act.