tv Washington Journal CSPAN June 30, 2012 7:00am-10:00am EDT
phil "of washington journal" is next. host: the justice department says it will not prosecute for attorney general holder. and speaker boehner says that he could have him arrested, but he won't. we begin by looking at the aftermath of this week's house vote to hold the attorney general in contempt of congress. we want to know what you think should come next. here are the numbers if you want to get involved in the conversation.
right before thursday's vote in the house regarding the contempt charges, this is what the chairman of the house oversight and government reform committee daryl issa had to say. [video clip] i never thought this would come. after 18 months of investigation, through countless areas of negotiation in order to get the minimum material necessary to find out the facts behind fast and furious and the murder of border patrol agent brian terry, i thought we would find an accommodation sufficient
to get the information to the american people while at the same time preserving the ongoing criminal investigation. i am proud to say that our committee has maintained the ability for the justice department to continue their ongoing prosecution. neither the majority nor the minority has allowed any material to become public that would compromise that. host: then the house voted to hold attorney general holder in contempt. the first call comes from melbourne, florida. caller: hello, how are you doing? i think they should drop this whole thing cricket is a ridiculous wch hunt by a political hack. host: what do you think they're trying to get done? caller: i think they're trying
to embarrass president obama during an election year. that is all it is. host: mike from texas. caller: to questions and a quick comment. the observation i would make -- host: just lost signal. are you still there? he is gone. war from the article by lee and coldwell on cbs news'.com who writes the host: after the vote on
thursday, this is what the attorney general had to say. [video clip] we will not allow election-year politics and gamesmanship affect this process. it is the base of a crass effort and a great disservice to the american people. as a result of the action taken by the house, and unnecessary conflict will ensue. it is clear that they were not interested in bringing an end to this dispute. ultimately, their goal was a
vote along with special interest that they have no engineered. host: the boat to hold the attorney general in contempt. next is richard from dallas, texas. caller: yes, well, what should happen next is they should have a full hearing on it. you cannot go to the attorney general's office because he is obviously the one who is held in contempt. but the gun running was a policy decision for gun control. it was obvious what was going on with the phoenix office with the hundreds upon thousands of semi-automatic weapons going south of the boarding and day were being let go.
host: what you think the house oversight committees try to get to? whether or not the president and the attorney general knew about the gun walking or what they're doing after they found out about it? caller: that is the $64,000 question, isn't it? i doubt, personally, that they knew what was going on because the government is such a labyrinth. but the program itself obviously got the go-ahead from somebody. as far as this one agent, they always talk about the one agent being killed. they don't know how many of the people have been killed by those guns because most of those guns have not been retrieved. host: richard in dallas, texas. little do you can get involved in the conversation by social media.
host: byron in ohio on airline for democrats. do you agree with tj? caller: it is mark. i don't believe that. it is a very political time. and these guys are making a -- of the representatives. making such a big deal about this jtf soldier that all the republicans never say anything about the number of
people that are getting killed in this country with legislation that they keep pushing regarding the national rifle association. that is why i think they're so hypocritical. come on, there are so many guns in this country. they are everywhere. i live in ohio. i can run up to the fair grounds in any county and purchase these guns and then go seldom after that. it is ridiculous. that is all i have to say. host: we will go to mount vernon, texas. caller: i just wanted to comment about this holder situation. host: go ahead. caller: first of all, i think they're covering something. i am not sure what. i think the plan, when it
started, was a good idea. what happened to the program was mismanagement from the lower level to the senior level. it has become a division in our country. i am terrified what happened with the black caucus. they have become racially divisive. i don't understand. i am 69 and i don't understand things like this going on in my government. i do believe calder. knowsdo believe holder coul what is going on. i believe obama knows what is going on. there's so much conjecture about conspiracy. i believe that it will cause the elimination of our gun laws.
question. i will comment on it variant -- very honestly. they came out and said it was racial. they made an indictment that it was racial. the naacp was with them. rangel is a crook and they reelected him. i don't understand that. how, i don't understand the attorney general can attack our immigration policies and not of course -- i don't understand it any more, sir. i really don't. if those people, the voices in d.c., would get out and talk to real people out here, not only in these coast, but to real people who live across america, and not just white people, but blacks and mexicans, too. i think they're taking this
country down the path of irreplaceable independent spirit host: the next call on the independent line. caller: people are placing their party above the country. they are far more interested in advancing their own party than they are in the national interest. host: are the democrats doing this for the republicans? caller: both parties. in this case, it is very much the republicans, in my opinion. both parties are guilty of this. i would like to urge all americans out there. we need to break this problem. until we do, we will never solve the problems that we have in this country. host: chris, you are on
"washington journal." caller: i think this goes much bigger than what we're seeing with their government. it is a true fact that -- as far as the republican party hunting down holder, when you look at congress, this is the most dysfunctional congress we have never had. it is based on a lot of racism and you have a situation where -- what congressman really takes is oath of office when they put their money in a cayman island? and they want to discredit holder from coming after them. that is the bottom line. host: in "the washington times"
caller: yes, sir, excuse me. host: what you think should come next in the aftermath of holding attorney general holder in contempt? what you think should come next in the aftermath of voting to hold the attorney general in contempt of congress? caller: we have all the evidence. you can go back to the march 2009 and you can see where they're coming out and they say that obama -- if you go back to the interview that they have been the news media, you had eric holder in command. you have janet a potano and several others and they said that obama funded this.
obama authorized this. as far as what should be done, he should be arrested. host: also from houston texas, the independent line. caller: they probably have not been following the news much. attorney general holder, as far as i'm concerned, he is the highest lawman in the land. he knows nothing about the people in the states. if issa wanted to find out how this program started and what is going on, he would not have prevented the atf from testifying. he has a select memory or select witnesses that he would like to
call. besides that, president obama has exerted executive privilege so they will not get the papers they're seeking in any way. so they just need to let it drop and get back to work. it makes me sick to know that we texans hate the president so bad. host: lee on the line for democrats. caller: i believe there is some sort of racial motivation behind the attacks on eric holder. we like to believe that this is some sort of post-racial
colorblind society. but it is not. racism is often hidden and covert or unintentional. white people simply don't know that they're being racist. in terms of what one caller referenced about eric colder and immigration, to be quite honest, prior to the european arrival in this country, there were mexicans everywhere, native americans everywhere. host: what you think should happen next? move the story forward for me. caller: in terms of eric holder, he is not going anywhere. so it needs to be dropped. we need to move on to more substantive issues.
preface my comments by saying that i am an african-american republican. you asked the question earlier if this is racially motivated. the congressional black caucus continues to incinerator make the charge that this is racially motivated. i am really tired of this. i am an african-american. it is the democrats, especially the african-american democrats, that have this projection that everything against the president is racially motivated. that is not the case. i wonder if they would have the same attitude is the border patrol agent had been black. for example, the want to get to the bottom of what happened to trayvon martin?
you have the white house and the justice department blocking the investigation. that issa'srget committee and congress, who have the responsibility as charged by our constitution, to found out what happened, oversight responsibility. they have been going through this for over a year. the justice department, since the first day, said they knew nothing about it. the white house said they knew nothing about it. then less than a year later, they had to rescind that statement and said, oh, yes, we had something to do with it, but now we will let you know exactly what we didn't have what was done. this was not racially motivated, this contempt boat. this was not a political ploy.
they are going after holder because he is going after the voter i.d. lot? holder was not going after the vote friday law until over this year -- until earlier this year. african american democrats are apologists. they would vote if it was trayvon martin. the border patrol agent was killed and they need to just drop it. host: the tuesday edition of "the help" has this headline --
law enforcement activity. but i have an old friend that i went to high school and college with and he worked in the department of energy, out at the area 51 insecurity. he is of the opinion that the atf is the third sharing of federal law enforcement. i don't have any anti- government or revolutionary -- i am not an anarchist. but if you look at fast and furious and atf has their hands all over it and they mismanage things, as far as fast and furious, i think it had its purpose, but it got out of hand. and we have a massive problem with a failed drug policy where there are billions of dollars going over the border to mexico to import marijuana and hard
drugs. i think they need to decriminalize drugs been these united states. and everything that was sold for medical marijuana or whatever state you want to put it in -- host: we will leave it there. we're talking about the vote on thursday to hold the attorney general in contempt of congress. we have two tweets. we have one from j thomas. back to the phones. barbara, you are on "the
washington journal." what do you think should happen now? caller: drop this mess. this is nothing but a witch hunt. as far as this african-american calling in, i know you let him run off at the mouth. i am african-american. this program was started by bush and his attorney general. if issa wanted to get down to the brass tacks and knuckle, what does he call in that attorney general? send in all kinds of documents. you have two strong black man with no criminal record, no smear on them. hall of a sudden, they want to take down the two most powerful blacks in america. if they don't have a criminal record already, we want to give them one.
issa said from day one that this president was the most corrupt president he has ever seen. how can he say that when nixon was indicted for watergate. this is nothing but tragic. guess what. it won't work. host: next, the line for republicans. your honor " washington journal." bonita? are you there? caller: yes, can you hear me? host: yes, go ahead. caller: i wish the republicans would leave this alone. i know they all stick together. him being the president and bush being the president, they know
what is going on. host: you are on the line for the republicans. you support the governor -- support the president and his use of executive privilege? caller: only because he is trying to protect bush and bush's republican. host: mavis is on the line for independents. caller: my whole fought on this is that it does not racially motivated. mr. issa has said numerous times and mr. mcconnell, they are only trying to make mr. obama look bad. they said that from day one.
make obama look bad. i am a white man and obama is the best thing that ever happened to us. and they ought to get off of this. one border agent died and what happened over in afghanistan and iraq -- look at how many soldiers died over there because of george bush's the legal wars. george bush and cheney and all of his people. host: let me ask you this, looking at the november election, do you think that raising fast and furious and the attorney general will have an effect on whether or not the president gets reelected? caller: no, i don't. i think every day will realize how stupid -- everybody will realize how stupid the republican congress is and what they're trying to do. host: we will continue our
host: back to the phones, the line for republicans. caller: happily, mississippi. host: where is that? caller: we are near a murray, mississippi, near tupelo, mississippi. host: tell me, what do you think should happen next regarding the attorney general and the house oversight and government reforms committee investigation into document alighted -- documents related to fast and furious. caller: it don't matter will what color the man is. i think all this racism is being thrown around. i don't understand it. it does not matter what your skin is. if you have done wrong, you have
done wrong. and i am not saying he has done wrong. if you have done right, you have done right. but if it leads to be investigated, i think our government is smart enough to see if they need to investigate this. i think obama has been good for our country. i don't know how to say it, the word i am looking for. what if obama was what? what if the attorney general was white? they would get on with their work that they need to do, investigated and it would be over. host: market's rebound following the e you deal -- the eu deal.
things like watergate, the lady said earlier, nobody died in watergate. over 300 something mexicans have been killed with these guns that eric holder and obama have allowed out there and they killed people. host: patrick is on the line for democrats. caller: i am after them, i think. host: patrick, you are on. your after nobody. patrick, are you there? let's move on to daniel for democrats. caller: i want to commend the gentleman who called earlier about the facts on fast and furious at how we're colder lied to congress. he should be held in contempt.
host: what should happen next? caller: they should follow through on it. i don't know if i agree with the gentleman before, that they should go to jail. but he should definitely resign. it is not about race. we have five young black gentleman died in willmington last week and they were all under 20 years old. i will hear -- i won't hear al sharpton or any of the other guys down here say anything about it. if a white person was down here killed, there would be here raising all kinds of that. obama has got us so mad and he is doing it on purpose. and there is no trying to get us together no more. he just wants to be divided and he thinks he can win the election that way. it is really making me upset.
host: daniel, you're a racist now? caller: i said i have never been a racist before, but he is dividing us more than ever. it just makes me so upset. it is affecting my family, my life. i cannot watch the news anymore because every democrat takes up with these crooks. this is a corrupt administration. whenever you bring them up on their cricket this, they cry racism. -- on their crookedness, they cry racism. host: in the hill --
host: monterey, calif.. caller: are you there? host: what do you think should be the next step in the ongoing saga? caller: i have been listening to the arguments and it seems that people don't pay attention to the facts. during the bush administration, they had the wide receiver program that had 14 guns that were electronically tagged and they tracked them in coordination with the mexican
government. fast and furious was started in the obama administration under the auspices of holder and there was no tracking and it was thousands of guns, not just a few guns, but thousands of guns. these are the facts. and eric holder has created his own tension in the teapot because, 18 months ago, if he had lit up the program in front of the congress and said this is what our plan was and this is what we wanted to do and this is how we expected to do it, it probably would have been okayed. the fact that the border agent was killed, that is incredibly unfortunate. it is horrible that that happened.
but police officers die yearly. we have hundreds of police officers killed in the execution of their duties. host: in "the wall street journal" this morning -- host: that is in the weekend edition of "the wall street journal." our last call comes from new castle, pa., the line for democrats. patrick, you are on "the
washington journal." go ahead. both from new castle, delaware, go ahead. caller: the congressional black caucus are racist and the black panthers are racist. you will find that blacks commit 80% of the interracial complex against white people. i think we should keep the mexican illegals in this country and send back the blacks to africa where you'll be long. thank you. host: representative rob andrews, democrat from new jersey, will join us. and republican efforts to repeal the health care law following the supreme court decision on thursday. matt kebbe of freedomworks will
be with us. will will be right back -- we will be right back. >> next week and, head to the state capital named in honor of thomas jefferson with book tv and history tv. former senator and missouri first lady, jean carnahan. and the stories behind eight miniature babylonian tablets. on sunday, on american history tv -- >> at one time in 1967, this was called the bloodiest 47 acres in america. >> a missouri state penitentiary.
also, walk through the halls of history at the state mansion. next week and, from jefferson city, saturday at noon and sunday at 5:00 p.m. eastern on c-span 2 and c-span 3. >> this is the conversation we need to have in this country that nobody's going to have. what role should the government play in housing finance? >> in a " reckless endangerment," gretchen morgenson. >> if you want to subsidize housing in this country and we want to talk about it and the populace agrees that it is something we should subsidize, then put it on the balance sheet and make it clear and make it evident and make everybody aware of how much it costs. but when you deliver it through these third party enterprises,
fannie mae and freddie mac, you deliver the subsidies through a public company with private shareholders and executives who can extract a lot of subsidies for themselves, that is not a very good way of subsidizing homeownership. i think we have seen the end of that movie in 2008. >> more with gretchen morgensen on c-span's q&a. "washington journal" continues. host: representative rob andrews, democrat from new jersey, joins us. he is here to talk to us about the student loan package that was passed this week in congress. the headline in the "new york times" said congress approves the $127 billion transportation and student loan package. the article by jonathan weisman says that the $6.7 billion
student loan provision extended to 3.4% interest rate on step for those for one year financed by changes in pension laws and the length of time that students can get this loan. first, congressman, tell us what exactly this student loan does for students and why was it so important to get this thing passed this week. guest: people with student loans, effective tomorrow, would have seen their interest rates double. it would have gone from 3.4% to the 6.8%. that would be unsustainable for about 7 million or 8 million students from the country. what this means is that people will be able to keep their student loans at the same rate they are right now without them bubbling.
that is welcome news. host: this extension cost $6.87 billion. is that correct? guest: it does. if the rates had gone up to 6.8%, the government would have collected a lot more revenue. in order to keep the rates lower, we had to find it somewhere else to offset it. host: where we find it to offset it? guest: companies will not have to put as much money into their pension plan as they originally thought. this will keep the pension plans safe. this was money that wasn't necessary. when companies do not have to put money in the pension plan, they don't get tax deductions for that. when they don't get tax deductions for that, corporate tax revenues are slightly higher. this means, this year, there will be about $28 billion worth
of money that companies won't put into their pension plan and hopefully will use to hire people, to buy the equipment, to reinvest in their business. so it is kind of a win-win for students to get the continuing lower interest rates and businesses get the ability to reinvest and grow jobs. it was a good idea all-around. host: we're talking with rews.sentative ander we would like for our callers and listeners and viewers to get involved in the conversation. we have a special line for college students --
we want to encourage college students to call and encourage their parents to call, too. i'm sure there will be relieved about this loan situation. and we will be taking your comments and questions by twitter, facebook, and e-mail. rep. andrews, why were the loan interest rates limited to a one- year extension? because guest: there was not enough money immediately identifiable to extend it further. i would have liked to see it extended for five years. but this gives us another year to find spending cuts or revenue to make it permanent. a five-year extension would have been better.
but avoiding a disaster that would have occurred for a lot of families and students fell as necessary. host: paulette is on the line for democrats. caller: i am interested in why this took so long. elected officials were elected by the people. what do the people have to sit on pins and needles to wait on the work by a elected officials? i also want to know why is it that, when the next officials are elected to do things, they do this divisive behavior, not on behalf of the people, but on behalf of their own personal interests? guest: i am not sure i know the answer to that question either. i think that waiting to the very last minute was a big mistake.
we made a proposal, the democrats made a proposal in january. we offered to pay for it by reducing tax breaks for big oil companies. the republicans had a proposal that would pay for it by cutting preventive health care that would have gone to women's health clinics and outpatient clinics or people for primary care. so there was a disagreement on how to pay for this. it got into this gamesmanship where it went too far. i agree with that. i think the decision could have been made in january or february. but there seems to be desired -- sometimes, on both sides of the political aisle -- to make decisions to make the other party look at other than to work to the to solve a public problem. have fully -- happily in this case, it works. it should have happened in
january or february. host: tom and the maligned for republicans. caller: 2 points i would like to make. the first is regarding the stallone's. -- thehere something student loans. isn't there something where they are starting the interest rates while they are still in school? that is the first question. the second question is a little off topic and it is regarding the health care law. when the health care law was first passed -- i am assuming you voted for it -- now that it has been changed from a penalty or whatever you want to call it to a tax, would you have voted
the same way as far as voting for a major tax increase in this country with the situation we have going on as far as our economy? i will take an answer off air. thank you. guest: with the first question, it was not a prior law that some graduates and students have to begin to pay their interest while they're in school rather than wait till they graduate. i wish that were not the case. as for the reduction law that we passed august 1, that was not part of this decision. i would vote for the health care decision again. there is no massive tax increase on the american people. there are two kinds of people that will pay higher taxes under the health care bill. the first is couples with an
income in excess of about $400,000 a year. they will pay a small surtax. and individuals who can afford health insurance but who opt not to buy health insurance and use the emergency room and have everyone else pay their bill, they will have to pay a small tax or penalty, which i think is kind of reasonable and fair. if someone cannot afford health insurance and the roof -- and they refuse to buy it and expect their neighbors to pay their bills if they use the emergency room, this law says they will not be able to do that. they will have to take responsibility for their own situation. i did support that and i would again. host: wilmington, vt., mike is
on the independent line. caller: there is a better way to fund education. i believe there's a lot that can be done for the education of americans. i would like to suggest that we don't need military bases in germany. the russians will not send 100 tank divisions to invade. in this nuclear age, there will not be nuclear wars amongst major powers. secondly, i would like to suggest that how we begin the process of nationalizing oil and start in those delicate areas like alaska where there is severe danger of dissolution by the oil companies.
they do what they want to again. there is very low prices for the american people. i think you for listening. i will take your comments of the year. guest: i appreciate the specific ideas. i agree with the first one. i don't think we need the base presence that we have in europe or asia. i would close most of those bases and maintain our assets more as a naval base or exceed- based power overseas. sethink you're right -- or a a-based power overseas. i would agree with this. when private sector energy developers develop on federally- owned land, when they own the
rights to drill for oil or natural gas on federally-owned land, i think they should pay a much greater share of the money that they received from exploiting that oil and natural gas to the public treasury. i think that would create jobs. it would help reduce our deficit and be more fair for the american people. host: the next caller is from lafayette, louisiana. a student. where do you go to school? caller: i will be starting this fall. thank you for taking my phone call. the question i have is regarding the interest rates. i wanted to know if the freeze applies to the federal and private loans -- but before you answer that question, for the moderator, i am an african- american female and i have been
listening to c-span for many, many years. i have a request. when people call and who are obviously mentally ill and make race, please cut them off. that does not add to the discourse. we believe in free speech but there is no place for that. host: representative andrews? guest: i will handle the student loan question. this does not apply to private loans. it does apply to date back guaranteed student loans like stafford loans or plus loans for the federal government. or direct loans directly from the federal treasury. if you borrowed your money from sallie mae or a private institution, this does not apply to that loan. if you borrowed money through the stafford program or the plus program or the direct student loans, it does.
i wish you well with your education. host: times it is hard to separate the mentally unstable from the stable, but we do the best. next up is david on our line for democrats. go ahead. caller: good morning. i am going to be your second mentally ill patient. i have two points. what mechanisms are in place to make sure money is spent for tuition and books? i am involved in a business with the schools and universities and i noticed that when loans come through, students tend to go buy cars and then drop cl asses. when i was in school, all loans
paid for work tuitions and books and if you did not get good grades, you did not get the books. i would like you to answer that question, please. guest: in some cases, the loan check is to really payable to the college in and the student. in other words, until the college signed off on the check, the funds do not get processed. presumably, that is how it goes for tuition and other needs. in some cases, that is not true. in some cases, the check is written to the student. there is not a mechanism to track with the stupid does, but more importantly, there is a mechanism that if the student does not pay the loan, there can be waged garnishments that what occurred.
the student is held responsible for that. there is a very successful and pharaoh collection mechanism to make sure these loans are paid back. in many cases -- i think it should be in all cases -- belen is made payable to the college or university campus student so we can be sure the money goes directly for the educational expenses. under any circumstances, the student is legally responsible to pay the loan back. we are talking with -- host: we are talking with rob andrews regarding the deal but prevent student loan interest rates from rising. representative andrews graduated and has a law degree from cornell. did you have college loans? how long did it take you to pay them back? guest: i think i graduated with $50,000 worth of debt.
this was in 1982. that was the covenant -- equivalent of $150,000. i paid my wallet back in five years. when i first graduated, i was able to get a good job as a lawyer. i did not yet have the responsibility to children or mortgages. i wanted to get bilal off my back. i paid it off in five or six years. host: do you remember what the interest rate was? guest: well over 10%. 11% or 12%. i went to college in the 70's. interest rates were higher. i am extremely thankful to the taxpayers of this country that allowed me to borrow the bunny. i wanted to pay it back as soon as i could. host: next call is from charlie. our line for republicans.
go ahead. caller: the i understand you write that the money is coming from the private industry to pension funds? i would like to know -- guest: it is not really coming from pension funds. here is what is happening. the law requires companies to put a certain amount of money into pension funds each year to keep them stable. frankly, the amount of money the companies have to put in the is too much. the companies would be better off to have the money spent as they see fit on wages or dividends or reinvestment in their business or keep the cash in the business. the employers came to west and both democrats and republicans agree that this extra pension funding is really not appropriate. it does not help the companies
or the economy. by letting them put a smaller amount into the pension fund, they pay slightly higher taxes because they do not have a deduction. the companies themselves favor this. this is not a tax on people who did not want it. host: the next call from oregon. michael on our lines our independence. caller: thank you . now that the e-mails are out about what happened, would you stand behind the rest of us to ask the state to take that joe paterno statue down? guest: i would not do that. i think that is up to penn state as to what they want to do with the statute. there was out -- what happened was deplorable. i think it is up to the trustees to decide what to do on that. for a political official interfering in that, that would not be appropriate. host: next up as kentucky.
go ahead. caller: hi. you said that the private sector would be paying the student loans or paying for the difference in the interest rate. by not having to pay into pension plans. i understand -- what happens is these companies decide to go ahead and pay into those pension funds. will they still be getting those tax credits? are we going into more debt in the long run? guest: accompanies decide to pay in, the rates will stay low. it seems to me that they will hire people and if they do that and there is less unemployment, federal revenues go up and the deficit goes down because you have more people working and
more people paying taxes. i really see this as a $20 billion investment of private sector funds into jobs and economic development across the country. i think this is really a win win. the students get the lower student interest loan rate, but the economy gets a $20 billion injection of private capital into hiring and the purchase of supplies and equipment and more economic growth by our companies. we are used to seeing bills that are very highly controversial in washington. this one passed yesterday with about 350 votes in the house, a high percentage of the senate. this is something the two parties worked out together and agreed on. i think it is good for the country. host: by any measure, it was a busy week on capitol hill.
we want to get representative rob andrews to weigh in on other items. to that end, we would like to show you or let you listen to the republican radio response for this weekend, coming from senator john barrasso. he says republicans will repeal of the health care law with something americans really want and will not cut deals behind closed doors. we will listen. [video clip] >> in the middle of a tough economy, president obama pass a health care law that has made our the economy even worse. by forcing expensive new health- care mandates through congress, he has made it harder for americans to find good jobs and provide for their families. with unemployment at over 8% for over 40 straight months, we cannot afford for this tax to stay in place any longer. once we have repealed the law, we will tackle the serious
problems that plague our health- care system and our now getting worse. we will replace this law with a real reforms that will lower cost and improve access to care. we will not make the same mistakes the democrats made. we will not raise taxes in the middle of all recession. we will not push through a 2700 page bill the american people cannot afford and do not want. unlike president obama, we will not cut deals behind closed doors to protect special interest groups. or include political carve out for some states at the expense of others. what we will do is make sure that our health care system is truly patient-centered. host: representative andrews, are you and your democratic colleagues comfortable with supporting the affordable care act now that it has been upheld
by the supreme court? guest: i think we support it. the american people will continue to support it. i think the public deserves a better and clearer factual record. let me go through a couple of things the senator said. he described the plan as a massive tax. he is wrong about that. there are two kinds of people who will pay higher taxes under the new law. if a couple makes more than $400,000 a year, they will pay slightly higher income tax. very slightly. if a person who can afford health insurance refuses to buy health insurance and instead wants his or her neighbor to pays for their emergency room
bill and their health care, if they try to pass out that cost upon other people in their committee, to a pay a slightly higher tax or penalty. that's it. the discussion of a tax increase for most of the american people is wrong. the senator said that the republican mantra is that it is a job killing health care bill. since the day the health care bill was signed, companies have added 3.5 million private sector jobs. the facts do not bear that out. when the senator talks about real problems for real people, i think he is focused on the right thing but reaches the wrong conclusion. the real person who has breast cancer or asthma or diabetes who used to be denied health insurance coverage because of their pre-existing condition cannot be denied coverage under this law. cannot be charged more for it.
the senior citizens who are paying thousands of dollars a year out of pocket for prescription drugs has very real support to help them pay for prescriptions. the small business that wants the same kind of purchasing power that a lockheed martin has will now have it under the law. the reality here is the reality of the health care law is very different than the critics describe. i think one of the reasons the critics were so hoping the supreme court will strike it down is that they are concerned that once the law actually comes into effect and people see what it does, it will change the politics. in 1965, almost every republican in the congress oppose medicare and voted for a much weaker alternative to medicare, which really would not work.
by 1972, a republican president, richard nixon, ran in part on a platform of expanding medicare. between 1965 in 1972, medicare became so popular with the american people. i think once the affordable care act moves from the distorted political criticism it has received over the last few years into the real lives of the american people, you will see the politics changed dramatically. i think that is why republicans were so disappointed when the supreme court upheld bilal on thursday. host: we have this week -- host: florida. daniel on our line for democrats. you are on the "washington journal." go ahead. caller: good morning.
i had called regarding the student loans and to patient rather than health care. -- the student loan situation rather than health care. my father was an educator of considerable renown. he quite often was solicited by private industry to work for them, rather than be a teacher. or a professor. this is so many years ago but here is my message as a child educator. that is, as soon as the federal government got involved with financing education, tuition
costs skyrocketed. i think that should be addressed. incidentally, when and if the president obama the sites to forgive all student loans, how will that affect -- what about the people of actually maintain in paid their loans? how will they feel? host: sorry about that. we will leave it there. rip entries? guest: i think -- representative andrews? guest: president obama has not decided to forgive all student loans, number one. number two, everybody has to pay their own back to borrow. there are certain circumstances where if a person served as a police officer or a day care teacher or working as a firefighter fighting these blazes we see and colorado and
makes a tenure commitment, they can have their loan reduce. most americans think that is a good idea. one thing that is a good thing about c-span is that it does give voices throughout the country a chance to correct the record when there are statements made that are not correct. with all due respect to the gentleman who just called, this idea that president obama is about 24 give everyone student loans is categorically false. host: we have a tweet -- and guest: wow. long time since i have been in law school. i cannot think i can answer the legal question. college loans cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. there is an idea is here that
the lender does not have any real security for the loan that is otherwise made -- i disagree with that law. i think you should be able to discharge your student loan in bankruptcy the same way you can a credit card loan or mortgage. i would favor changing the law to permit people to discharge their student loans if they become bankrupt. host: not so, tennessee. our line for republicans. if you are on the "washington journal be." caller: i am calling because i think they should have a warning sign when you sign up for your it started month. he will have to repay this. you will owe thousands of dollars. the cautious. do not run around and spend your money. get a part-time job. take your class. go to a cheaper school. do not get out of college all in all of this horrific money because you breeze through college.
my question for the congressman is, all the people sign for student loans at a rate of three. what ever it was. if the law would have changed to double, those people signed a contract that their loans would be 3.7%. their loans would not have doubled. only people taking new loans would have to double. what was all of this about? you poor kids, your loans are going to double. that was my main reason for calling. thank you. guest: it is true that they sign a contract, but they cited for a year at a time. if a person finishes her school year in may and is going to go back in september, she gets a different loan for the new school year. what what has happened here is that although elantra would have had four freshmen and sophomore
year party went by, that would have been everything 4%. in order to go back to school, that would have to be at 6.8%. because student loans are at a year at a time and we are in the summer where most people are not in school and will go back in the fall, it would have affected everybody in american higher education. host: next up is georgia. trip is on our line for independents. caller: good morning representative andrews. i just feel like there is way too much money spent on aid to students. it has become more like an entitlement. some of my daughter's friends get the pell grant and student loans. a lot of them place the money on having a good time. i think it is all part of this massive entitlement and bubble
that has been traded in higher education. i do not think everybody should go to college. i think the democrats and republicans are just pandering to the college students, like everybody else, because they are afraid to make the real cuts to balance the budget. i am interested in your comments about this. thank you. guest: thank you for your views. i do not agree with you, respectively. it is not a coincidence that in the old days, the only people who could afford to go to college were the children of wealthy people. or people who were really, really talented as sports or some other field. or very, very lucky. starting with the gi bill in the 50's and then going to the expansion of student loans and pelc rents in the 60's, things began to change. there had been negative changes.
but, i think they have been far outweighed by the positive changes. our standard of living is higher. our technology is dramatically better. our medical system has improved. i do not think there are many americans who would prefer to live in the world of 1952 over the year of 2012. i think the progress our country has made in large part has been due to educating more americans, to giving the sons and daughters of truckdrivers and waitresses in schoolteachers and carpenters and bricklayers the chance to get a college education. i think is fair to them and us. i think is good for the country that more people have the chance to get a higher education. i think the future of this country very much depends upon educating our people to the highest level they can.
as trip implies, and i agree with him, people should have to work for this. it should not be a giveaway or entitlement. it should be an opportunity for every american. i think this agreement that was made yesterday helps to advance the cause of greater opportunity for all americans. host: we are talking with representative rob andrews. this is the headline in "the wall street journal" -- host: st. paul, minnesota. julie, you are on the "washington journal." caller: thank you for taking my
call. my question is -- thank you, thank you, thank you. you had the suntans and needles. my daughter is one of the 7.1 million financing her education by taking out the stafford loans, in addition to four other people contributed to her education. she does work hard. she has two part-time jobs. she is taking classes at community college to make do. we are calling her education together. guest: i wish her well. i know how hard she is working. caller: thank you. why do you all put everything in a package? how do student loans connect with commerce? it seems like our laws are getting so convoluted by mixing
everything together all the time. is it four times say? thank you. host: stay with me for a second. before the representative answers, tell me, as a parent, how much are you on the book? [laughter] [laughter] caller: i am trying to pay head. i take out 0% interest from credit cards. i am just limping along here, trying to pay it as i go. i do not want to be saddled with the interest. one other thing with the gop -- the republicans keep talking about the deficit that we are saddling our use with. education is the key. that is a no-brainer. we have to put money into education. input output. no-brainer to me. guest: what happens to julie's
daughter is really the story of what will happen to the country. if she can get a high quality education, she might be the one who starts a business that employs five or 6000 people. if she does not, i think your chances of success are a lot less. the country's chances are also. the reason we do things as packages, part of it is for time because you get up against the deadlines like we had in the case of the highway bill and the student loan bill and the flood insurance bill. the other reason is, it is like herding cats. [laughter] if you are trying to get 15 cats to go in the same direction, sometimes eat is easier if you put cabinet that the other end of the trail. to get some of these big bills done, you have to have something for the people that want a flood insurance and it just makes it easier to get done. i would prefer that we take up these issues one issue at a time
in a vote on them separately and clearly. sometimes, you just cannot. in this instance, the trade-off was, we were able to keep the student loans at 3.4%. we will labor -- we were able to extend highway projects that will employ a couple million people, doing stuff that needs to be done. we will able to keep the real estate market going by ableb making sure that people who live by a river can buy and sell properties. host: we have an article here from "cq."
host: you called for guidance on the cuts. guest: yes. i met with the corporate ceo's. that is what we have to do -- we need a smaller defense budget. in a world where we are leaving iraq and afghanistan not soon enough, in my opinion, in a world where we have the ability to blow up the world 24 times -- i do not think we need a 25th or 26th. i think a smart, but smaller strategic budget makes sense. across the board $500 billion defense cut, that does not make sense. i think we should not have the sequestration. i think we should have, instead, irrational plan that produces a smart, but smaller defense
budget. we should do that as soon as we possibly can so that we do not have men and women who worked in the defense industry on pins and needles worried about whether their jobs are at risk. i believe that congress should act sooner rather than later for a smaller, smarter defense budget. get rid of sequestration. let the defense companies have some certainty as to what environment they will be working in. host: let us go to don on our line for republicans calling from obama -- calling from alabama. caller: i am a mother of a college student. she is on student loans. i wonder why a person with a pelc grant and a person with student loans go to college. guest: really good question.
the student with the program by definition comes from a family that does not have much to begin with. the the family with a student loan and has a little bit more than that. i am not so sure i agree with that system, either. i have often thought that how much you have to pay back should be a function of how much you make after you graduate, not how much money or family had before you went in. i have often thought we might want to switch to a system where what they paid that depends upon their economic success, not on how much their family had before they went into college. i would like to see an expansion of merit-based scholarships, not just me-base. i think if your son or daughter is the best mathematician or the best musician or the best artist, they should have an opportunity to earn a scholarship based upon their
ability, not how much their house is worth or how much money they make. i would like to see more merit scholarships. host: we will squeeze one more call in from texas. kim is on our line for students. go ahead. caller: thank you for taking my call. then you can answer. i appreciate you doing that for the student loans. i do follow it. i have to follow this, now. the moral of the story is, in texas, we are proud of you democrats. stay strong. that your bills. we need somebody to represent us. the south is getting an understanding. we have a lot of student loan theft from the schools. i have two children. they graduated with $80,000 debt of peace -- apiece. i followed the trading scandal because i learned to trade.
i understand the situation going on. a lot of americans do not understand how everything is. i do understand commerce. many democrats to come down here and be our representatives. we do not have anybody for our voice. democrats do not do their job of getting out to vote. they get overwhelmed. anyway, we have a lot of that going on. host: we're going to leave it there. i am running out of times. -- i am running out of time. guest: i think the question really gets to the main point. there are two views about how to make the american economy stronger. the our view is you build from the middle class out. you strengthen the people who borrow the money to buy the houses and pay the bills and volunteer in the committee is -- communities. a strong economic policy for americans depends on a strong
middle class. republicans think the wealthiest americans paid over taxes and have to follow fuels', the rest of us will all be better off. but to discounting, we will have a choice between those two basic views of how america runs. i am confident that our view that says the strong middle class is the basis for the future of the country will prevail. as it did during the clinton years, when 600,000 new businesses were started and 23 million new jobs were created, i think that is the right thing for america and that is what i am fighting for in my community in washington every day. thank you for the opportunity to be here. host: representatives rob andrews has been talking to us live from philadelphia. thank you for being here. guest: my pleasure. happy fourth of july. host: in the "baltimore sun."
healthcare law has republicans back on the attack. we will be speaking with mitt kibbe freedomworks to talk about the efforts to repeal the health care law. later in the program, we will talk with david pollock. you are watching "washington journal." we will be right back. >> purchasing power of gold, specified as a weak units, was constant for four sentries. it seems to be the record of the gold standard is a record of growth and of personal accountability. >> this weekend, we look at the
origins, departures, and arguments for returning to the gold standard. saturday evening just past 7:00 p.m. also, more from "the contenders" our series on key political figures who ran for president and lost, but changed history. charles evans hughes was the last supreme court justice to be nominated by a major party. that is at 7:30 p.m. "american history td" this weekend on c-span3, >> "washington journal" continues. host: mitt kibbe joins us via skype from ohio. he is here to talk to us about republican efforts to repeal the health care law. he is also the president and ceo of the freedomworks and the author of a book. welcome to the program.
the ground of the columbus ohio. i am here for a gathering of the tea party groups and frustration at what justice roberts did immediately translated into a doubling of attendance at our conference. people are fired up. ohio is the center of the universe when it comes to the 2012 election. everything matters here. the house, the senate, the presidency. i do think the unintended consequence of the supreme court decision is going to be another referendum on obamacare and you will see democrats running against obamacare. even though they voted for it. he will see the president not try to talk about it, but thanks to the supreme court, we have no choice but to continue the fight. host: what you think about the chief justice's role in this and what does this mean to you and your organization? guest: it is hard not to view
what justice roberts did as a blatantly political decision as opposed to a constitutional judgment of the merits of obamacare. there is a lot of evidence. he was with the dissent, which would have been the majority, until the very last minute. the idea that somehow, sometimes the obamacare mandate is intact and sometimes it is not, it is has done a lot of damage to the law of the land. it looks like justice roberts did not have the courage to rule in a certain way. he felt intimidated. let me read it from page 6. this is justice roberts. members of this court are invested with the authority to interpret the law. they possess neither the expertise or the private of to make policy judgments. those decisions are trusted to our leaders who can be thrown
out of office if people disagree. it is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices. it is his job to defend the constitution. that is the oath he took. he is basically saying this is a hot potato. i will not touch it. you the people have to do this. he is almost goading americans to oppose obamacare. i think that was heard loudly and clearly. host: i have something i would like to read from you from "the baltimore sun." this is an analysis.
host: your thoughst, mitt kibbe. guest: at that one moment, he defines his career, he picked politics. i find that to be a tragedy. i do not know why he did that. i think he just was not up to the moment to make that decision. he will be remembered for the rest of history as the chief justice that played politics. host: we are talking with mitt kibbe of freedomworks, coming to us live via sky. -- skype. if you would like to get involved, the numbers -- 202- 737-0002, republicans. 202-737-0001, democrats. 202-628-0205, independents.
via twitter, facebook, and e- mail, also. your group said it will double down on efforts to repeal the law. what do you mean? guest: we are launching a national conference at 3:00 p.m. we traded a website and we are asking all of the activists to go out on july 4 and recruit other people to this cause. hall of the states where the tea party movement had such a powerful impact in 2010 -- these are the battlegrounds for 2012. florida. ohio. michigan. wisconsin. all of these states are places where people do not want the government in charge of that has killed. -- their health care. that is the battle cry. we did not plan on making 2012 a mandate on obamacare, but that is what we will do. we will put our own individual
mandate. host: our first call comes from texas. jan on our line for democrats. go ahead. caller: thank you for taking my call. i agree that this is not the greatest health care reform, but i want to point out that in 1994, the republicans took over both house and senate and i would assume the supreme court was pretty right wing. those were two branches of government. in 2000, you took over all three. the medical care costs have gone up and up and up. the republican party did nothing. first of all, you keep calling it obamacare. all this money is going to insurance companies. i believe you has some investments in insurance or hmo's or something like that. i would be really careful -- i think people are very interested in different parts of this. i think it can be protected if we keep working at it.
the republicans did nothing for 14 -- 12 to 14 years. please do not keep saying obamacare when it goes to your insurance people. thank you. host: go ahead. guest: that is actually a great question. i it wrote about this in my new book. it is important to understand that obamacare was an unholy collusion between kim -- big government and big businesses. it mandates to buy a product. imagine if we did this with mcdonald's and mandated everybody had to eat a big back for lunch, every day. this is a corporate sponsor bill.
the health care decisions that all of us will have to make what we are lying in the hospital bed, i think we need to move from a top-down system where there is someone else making a decision for you to a choice where patients make decisions. we have to move in that direction because the top down system is crushing us. it is not providing proper health care to the people who need it. host: next up is larry on our line for republicans. good morning. caller: i was always told that there is a 3% sales tax on all real estate. i want to find out if that is true or not. guest: there is a tax on real estate. there is a whole bunch of taxes.
some of which have absolutely nothing to do with health care or reforming our tax code. these are just taxes. because of the decision, we know that obamacare is the largest tax increase in the history of the world. i think that will damage the president who so adamantly insisted when he was trying to pass the bill that there were no tax increases. host: we have a tweet -- host: back to the phones. north carolina. zack on our line for independents. caller: as somebody who has a pre-existing condition and has been turned down because of that, i have a back injury, i
was quoted a price that was more than my monthly income. i see these conservatives going out there and kind of stonewalling the president. the we elected the president and the congress to do a job. i do not see this as fair. he is not doing the job we hired him to do. i have been turned down. i have pretty much a paralyzed right lake because i had to go to the emergency room, where everybody says, we can always go to the emergency room. they are under the gun of the administrator. they can only do so much. i did not get the treatment i needed. i ended up with a drop foot condition that may never go away. $1,000 i am quoted for an
operation. i fall in between the cracks of the state-run health program and actually being able to purchase for private companies. it is not right. these people need to get off their hands and get with it. host: before i let mitt kibbe answer, are you saying is the president in the congress who are not doing their job? caller: the congress and the senate. not doing it. the president seems to me -- i did not vote for him. he seems to have well in tensions. i am not saying i am an expert. i am saying it is overpriced for somebody in my shoes. in general hard-working person and a lower income person. host: mitt kibbe, the response? guest: i understand your situation. you lost your insurance because you lost your job because of your condition. i think that is the point i was
making earlier. we need to get away from a third-party middleman that controls your health insurance. you were dependent on your employer and when you lost your job, you wash your insurance with a pre-existing condition. if we had an individualized market and you had purchased the right catastrophic care with the package you wanted, that would not have happened to you. the opposite end, what the president is trying to do, is he wants to make sure that anybody with a pre-existing condition cannot be turned down for health care. that sounds great. that sounds good. you are creating an incentive for nobody to buy health insurance until the moment they get sick. that does not make sense, either. what we want to do is get middleman out of the process, encourage people to be responsible, so that you have insurance when you can afford it, but that translates to
having insurance when you need it. host: we have a tweet -- guest: absolutely. i wrote a chapter on health care in my book. i feel pretty strongly, not just in opposition to the government imposing more control for dictates from the top down, but moving away from the current system. i am not an advocate of third- party systems or of the current tax code that discriminates between people who purchase insurance through their employer versus people who try to purchase it on the individual market. this is the driver of this rapid health inflation. this is why people cannot afford insurance and it is why people that are unemployed it is a
mandate -- that is why people are unemployed. it is a mandate that prevents people from buying insurance. this all goes down to giving the individual patient more control. the democrats want to keep adding to the problem. host: we are talking mitt kibbe kibbe of mitt freedomworks. our next call comes from new hampshire. go ahead. caller: this is the best thing that can happen for the little guy. the republicans are trying to say that this bill comes between you and your doctor.
that is absolutely not true. what they want to do is make it between you and the insurance companies to give most of the power back to the insurance companies. this gives us, the little guy, a brick. -- break. host: describe the difference in your health care situation today versus where it was before this law was signed by the president. caller: i am fine. i am on medicare. this guy who has a problem -- guest: i think the very nature a
government run systems means that we will continue to pay more and more and more and get less and less and less. if you look at government- dominated systems coming you see ramp it cost inflation, which leads to ration care. that means we will not get better choices about what here we get. there is a mythology here. the health insurance companies helped president obama write this bill. that is where the individual mandate came from. to force everybody to buy a mandated package -- that is where this came from. that is a good deal if you are an insurance company. we are trying to get that collusion of big government and big business out of the way.
i would like to see government and insurance companies held accountable. that is where we have to go. the difference between benefits, top-down systems, that are bankrupting this country and another system is the power of the individual. host: jessicas on our line for republicans. you are on. caller: what is frustrating to me about the whole situation is that president obama is not putting one minute of thought into practical solutions. he is so ideological that he has missed very basic practical solutions to the millions of uninsured and unemployed. any young adult would say that this is a problem.
take the unemployed. begin to offer them training programs at a much lower cost. 116,000 people who are unemployed -- [unintelligible] use the other people who need to be employed to provide the service to the people who need a service. host: jessica in bedford, new york. go ahead. matt kibbe. guest: how do we tap into the dispersed -- dispersed genius of america? and the choices of all of these individuals all across the country?
the president is a smart guy. some people argue he thinks he is the smartest guy in the room and if we get all of the smartest guys in the room together to redesign our economy and our health care system, that somehow the handful of people know better than the dispersed the genius of america. that is the clash of our lifetime. top-down versus bottom-up. the choice in competition and tapping into the individual knowledge of time and place, that is what i referred to as the market spontaneous order. versus the pretense of knowledge of thinking that somehow, you could gather all those bits of information and use the course -- the power of government to redefine the economy. it is bankrupting our country. host: we are talking with matt kibbe of freedomworks.
this weekend on sunday, on our program "newsmakers" our guest is representative henry brant waxman. he was a key player in passing the affordable health care act. he talks about the supreme court's's decision upholding the law and what is next as the leaders pledged to repeal the law. he will be talking about energy issues, including the keystone qnexa pipeline. we want to show you some of the interview with rip or latin -- one representative waxman. [video clip] >> . cantor said there would be a vote july 11 on repealing -- rip. cantor said there would be a vote july 11. do you think there'll be more democratic dissention? there were three democrats who reported it earlier.
will there be more? >> i did not know. [laughter] there are more republicans than democrats in the house. they will pass it. they want to repeal and replace -- we do not know what they would replace it with. they want to repeal it. there are 30 million people who will get insurance through this bill. there are a lot of americans who might need this bill because they could lose their jobs. people are losing their jobs. if they have a child with an illness, they are not going to be able to get health insurance for that child or somebody else in the family when they go to buy insurance. this bill ensures americans have the security of health insurance. i wish the republicans would say, they lost. the supreme court said it is constitutional. let us do something to get people working. let us get something to get the economy moving. let us not rehash this issue over and over again. host: matt kibbe, your response
to what representative waxman guest: had to: -- representative waxman had to say? guest: repealing the law and getting the economy going are related. the drag on the economy is too much government. we have awknowledged that this is the largest tax increase in american history. it will fall primarily on small businesses and people that choose not to purchase a mandated health insurance product. it will fall on any economy that is struggling. it is essentially flat line. i have yet to meet an economist that things that raising taxes during a deep recession is a good idea. i have yet to meet an economist that thinks that inflating our way out of this by borrowing more money we do not have and literally printing dollars to
solve the problem -- this is a train wreck. we have to repeal obamacare. we have to fire this president and replace the current congress with one that is actually willing to confront some of the economic problems that we have. host: next up is washington. kathleen online for independents. caller: yes. i have three questions. they had a tryout program beginning for obamacare in oregon and my son is completely disabled. he cannot get on disability. he tried to -- he has no insurance. he could not get insurance under obamacare for this type of program. my daughter is in the medical field. she went to sunglasses and it begins on august 1 -- went to sunglasses ended because on august 1. toy will have cars take people to the clinic and
determine whether they can see a doctor or not. the doctors are quitting. doctors are quitting because they cannot afford it. i am a senior. i cannot get the type of doctor i need any more. they say because they are no longer taking any more medicare patience. that is where we are at. host: your thoughts? guest: finding doctors that are willing to take ons new take -- take on new patiens is hard. medicaid does not pay doctors the full cost they incur. this is the very nature of a closed top-down system. demand is high. supply gets squeezed. you can start cutting reimbursement for doctors and obamacare is very aggressive on this. you are going to wait in line
for a doctor. i think we need to understand that there are problems in our health-care system. there are problems with that small percentage of the population with serious health care problems. why would you choose a 100% solution that forces everybody in a single system to solve what is 1% of the problem? it does not make any sense. clearly, there is an ideological agenda. host: next up as california. democrats. you are on the "washington journal." caller: good morning. i overheard this gentleman saying that it is unheard of to lower --
the insurance companies. the insurance companies are killing us. guest: that has never worked in america. it will not work in health care. i would love to get a third party is out of the system. if it is big insurance companies that illegally denied claims, let us solve the problem. why -- i would assume that the collar's dad got his insurance
through his employer. what if, instead, moving forward, we allowed people to save for their own health care needs coupled with a catastrophic plan that will solve your problem when you get really sick. but that gives you is controlled. you are not waiting for an insurance company to decide whether or not you are covered. you have control of the patient. you get to make choices for yourself. i despise the idea that somebody that you do not know, whether they are sitting in hhs in washington, d.c. or a blue cross blue shield decides whether you get the treatment you need. that is what we are getting away from. we are trying to create a patient-centered system. it is not a republican or democratic thing. host: in the "financial times" --
figureid if you don't out a way to pay for this, the states are empowered to say we will not do this. the republican governors have said we will not implement these changes. we now have massive uncertainty moving forward. everything comes down to the election of november in 2012. you are going to see every republican in a competitive state running away from the top down health care system. there is no place to hide now. host: the new york times says it is time to set up exchanges. health care reform is here to stay. guest: i think republican governors are doing the right thing. this is going to be a different kind of mandate in the election.
it is taking it back from washington that does not care. i applaud the republican governors. they have a responsibility to play against the top down system. host: next up is louisiana. sybil, thank you for waiting. caller: i wanted to ask him about medicare. what did they cut? guest: it was funded by a $500 million reduction in medicare. medicare is radically underfunded. the revenues are not enough to pay the benefits for those who need it.
it was one of those phony pay force -- pay fors as the college in washington. they're going to squeeze the payments for reimbursements to doctors and lawyers. there's going to be less money in the system bringing more population into it. you do not have to be a genius to figure out if you have less money to fund down more patients, it is a recipe for disaster and a bad idea. host: we have a tweet. it is obamacare and works. we would like to add this article from the new york times -- romney onthe's health care.
tell us about what governor romney set up and what the president set up nationwide. how would the system be different if romney ran for president in november? guest: i would challenge the premise that romney care is working in massachusetts. it is a disaster. it is a top down system that has driven up the cost of the health care system and has not gone as promised in terms of covering the uninsured. the difference between what romney did in massachusetts and romney has done on the federal level is big. mitt romney has made it clear that state experimentation is fundamentally different from the one size fits all talk down system mandated by the federal government. you have federal issues, issues of competition between states.
most importantly, you have the question of individual freedom that i happen to think is the most important. i care about the patients, the choices of individuals. i do not like middlemen in my health care system. i do not like chronic care or obamacare. host: we have a tweet. how much with your solution cost? you want all the benefits without paying for it. guest: i think the opposite is true. top-down systems like obamacare are going to cost trillions of dollars over time. when medicare was created in 1965, cbo underestimated the cost by 700%. it is a fiscal time bomb. if you move power and money out of washington and give individuals more control, you are taking future liabilities of the federal books.
the biggest scam in federal budgeting is the almost $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities that do not show up on the books. even bernie madoff would have been embarrassed by this accounting. in the private sector, people go to jail for this. in washington, we pretend it does not exist. i think it is irresponsible and destroying the millennial generation who will bear the cost and not get the benefits. host: eric is on the line for independents for matt kibbe from freedomworks. caller: the first thing that flashed into my head was the scene from "the jerk." you can anything from this shelf or this shelf are limited in your choices. it is interesting people talk
about the bad insurance agencies getting out of the way. now you are going to put an un elected bureaucrat in the way. people think they will become angels looking out for them. you people are so deceived. also like to hear mr. kibbe talk about the history of employer paid health care. it was after world war ii accompanies started offering health care. guest: we're the only country that does it this way. most of us get our health insurance from our employers. that was a perversion of resulted from wage and price controls during the second world war. the government said you cannot pay people for the work they do. what they decided to do was to start providing fringe benefits like health care.
that has put the middleman, our employer and insurance companies, between us and health care. it is a perversion based on wage and price controls. fast forward to today, obamacare is fraught with price controls on the treatments you need when you get sick. how is that going to work? it is going to corrupt the system further. it is going to guarantee when you need the service, you are probably not going to get it. host: we have been talking with matt kibbe president and ceo of freedomworks. he has been coming to us live via skype. is also the author of "hostile takeover." matt kibbe, thank you for being on "washington journal." the lead editorial this morning says the death toll in syria
spirals upward. after the break, we will be talking with david pollack from the washington institute of near east policy. he will be here to talk about the yuan a holding an emergency meeting on syria. he will discuss that after this break. we will be right. -- we will be right back. caller [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> the author writes about the president. >> harry truman goes to the white house and says to eleanor roosevelt, can i pray for you? she said no, we need to pray for
you. >> there are a lot of promises made. they would have to rent a large hall to get all the people that jack kennedy promised the vice- president see to that year. calvin coolidge made have been the last -- calvin coolidge may have been the last jeffersonian. he believed in presidential power resisting -- >> your questions and comments at noon. the middle east expert on the obama administration's response to the arab spring and israel- palestinian peace process. that is sunday night at 9:00. "washington journal" continues. host: david pollack is here to
talk to us about the united nations emergency meeting on the situation in syria. the meeting is taking place in geneva on the crisis in syria. welcome to the program. the lead editorial says it is time for more than talk. they write, if the participants in geneva do find a way to take action, we would find it encouraging. signs indicate they remained stuck in irrelevancy. the quarrel about whether iran or syria -- saudi arabia should be at the table. your thoughts?
guest: i agree with a lot of that. i think this is some hope the russians may soften their position and accept the proposal or a modified version of would present progress region that would present progress. the russians have already compromised on iran's attendance at this meeting. that was a russian request or demand. they drop it. they found a way around it by agreeing iran did not come neither with saudi arabia. i think that is a sign of progress of a sort, at least a procedural point. the next question is what about the transition plan for syria. it is true annan's proposal
recommended a coalition government formed in syria and implied it would include the opposition but exclude president assad. that was implied, not stated explicitly. the russians have had a lot of problems with any kind of externally imposed or recommended transition that pushes assad out of power. i still think the meeting might give russia an opportunity to say we would like to find a way to make this work peacefully. we still have not convinced assad to do that. maybe we do not want to try to convince him. to move inind a way that direction. that might mean getting assad to
agree to invite the opposition into his government. it is a long shot, but if they can get that far, and i think it would mean the beginning of the end for assad as the president of syria. that is probably the only way out of this turning into a civil war. host: the united nations security council members are gathering to discuss kofi annan 's for an interim government in syria. you have laid out who the players are and their interests. in that discussion, you never mentioned the united states. where are we in this? what are our interests? what are we doing to move this interim government into reality? guest: our interest is to get assad out.
we have been clear about that since january when president obama said as much in his state of the union address. that has been a repeated request or position of the u.s. government ever since. besides the diplomacy where we're trying to convince other countries to accept this notion , we are also supporting the opposition behind the scenes. we're giving them support. we're supporting other countries supporting the opposition, especially turkey. they are providing sanctuary, money, training, weapons, intelligence, and political
support. all of those things are creating a tragically violent but still more level playing field inside syria, balancing the power of the opposition and the power of the syrian regime. host: in "the washington post" -- secretary of state clinton met with her counterpart in advance of the meeting. is russia closer to being on board with any sort of peace deal as a result of the meeting with secretary clinton? guest: honestly, i do not know what happened at that meeting. they have not said much about it. this is an extremely delicate moment in the negotiations. the public russian position is still tough. i am guessing because russia has
already agreed to some procedural compromises like leaving iran out of the meeting and because russia apparently has agreed not to sell certain new kinds of weapons to the syrian government, although this is unofficial, i am guessing the russians are prepared to deal. we do not know yet how prepared they really are. host: we are talking about the united nations emergency meeting today in geneva to discuss the situation in syria. our guest is david pollack from the washington institute for near east policy. if you would like to get involved in the conversation, give us a call.
you can also send us messages via e-mail, twitter, and facebook. the first call is from las vegas, nevada. johan, on the line for democrats. caller: yes, how long will we wait and see assad. allies these people? host: -- brutalized these people? host: you have an accent. where are you from? caller: kenya. host: he wanted to know how long we will wait, the u.s. and perhaps the world at large, to
sit back and watch what is going on in syria with a side -- with assad and not take definitive action. guest: it is a great question. i am sympathetic to your point of view. what is going on is a tragedy. it is true has gone on too long already. the problem with taking definitive action is any action with direct military intervention by the outside powers to stop the violence and get assad out of power is risky and difficult and does not have an international consensus behind it. i would say what we have been doing and continue to do as the u.s. government is take half-
measures. they are not working. i agree with the caller. we need to take stronger action, but that probably means giving even more support to the syrian opposition to level the playing field in syria and put more regime and assad's his supporters including russia to change their policies. it is going to take more time, i am afraid. the realistic outlook, this is not my personal preference, but i am trying to give you a sense of what is likely to happen, a realistic outlook is that there will be several more months at least a fighting and diplomatic maneuvering. eventually, i think we will succeed in getting this dictator of power and stopping the
killing in syria. host: our next call for david pollack comes from connecticut. caller: the full massacre reminded me of milosevic. the cia guys are in turkey. the united states army is the master of asymmetrical warfare. we should be sending in our top guys, putting in -- sending the modified ied's. we should really deliver a punch. host: leave it there. david pollack? guest: i am sympathetic to the caller's point of view, personally.
at the same time, i think we're doing quite a lot to support the opposition without sending in our own people in to syria. it may be for the time being worth continuing to do until we get a better feeling for how much more would be required to tip the balance against us. if we go in ourselves know, we do not have enough international support to make a clean break. in other words, do it in a way that would be relatively quick and effective. we might face serious opposition, not just from the syrians, but from the russians and probably iran.
i think we may come to the point where we will want to and will provide more direct support for the syrian opposition, but we're not there yet in my view. host: next up, sam on the line for republicans. caller: a little background. kofi annan, how long has he been in the united nations? was he there when the rwanda massacre and genocide took place? guest: yes, he was. he has been in the united nations system for quite a long time. he was there in a senior position during the rwanda massacre. then he became secretary general, the highest career position in the united nations,
during the late 1990's and onward until ban ki moon took over. he retired from the united nations after two terms as secretary general. now he has been brought back out of retirement to take on a special envoy role. your question, i think, implies that kofi annan's record suggests he has not been very effective in the past at preventing massacres, weather in rwanda, the balkans, or iraq where he also dealt with saddam hussein. i remember that well. i was involved in the state department at the time observing and trying to react to kofi annan's maneuvers with
saddam hussein, another bloodthirsty dictator in the middle east. his record, i would say, is at best only half-measure. today i have some hope he has learned from those mistakes. his latest proposal as he spells it out publicly in the "washington post" is a step forward. he is presenting a plan now not just for a cease-fire or dialogue but for a new syrian government that would include the opposition and probably exclude assad, the dictator of syria today.
for kofi annan, i think this is a bold step forward. i hope it succeeds. host: the next call comes from frank on the line for independents calling from new york. caller: if assad was offered an opportunity for safe exile, would that give him incentive to step down? i believe that was done with an african leader in the 1970's or 1980's. he lived out his life in europe somewhere. guest: that is a really good question. thank you for that. i am not sure, honestly. my best guess is he will not take an offer like that until the very last minute. he is still fighting to the death, and the death of lots of other people, his own people. host: war that to become the
situation, -- if that were to become a situation, where with the offer him a place to live out his life? guest: that is easy, either russia or iran. those are the only two. friends he has lived in the world except for -- those are the only two friends he has left in the world except for hezbollah. they would not offer because that would arouse a lot of problems for lebanon in the future. there is talk about this. there is talk the western powers, including the united states, offered assad safe passage to come to geneva right now and the negotiate -- and negotiate his own transition of power. those reports were just rumors.
they were officially denied. it is hard to tell what is going on behind the scenes. there were some e-mails leaked a few months ago that showed or suggested strongly the arab countries in the gulf supporting the opposition also informally offered asylum to assad to help solve the crisis. i do not think he is ready to do that. if he is smart, you will do it and -- he will do it and not wait much longer. host: our next call for david pollack comes from todd in washington state. caller: everyone is talking about how we should replace assad, but no one is asking the question of who we would replace
him with. we do not know anything about the rebels. everyone wants to send troops in. everyone seemed to be willing to send our young soldiers to the gulf to darfur random causes, but we have no idea of what we're fighting for. i would like your answer on that. host: david pollack? guest: i appreciate the question. it is an excellent question. i would say a couple of things. for the foreseeable future, no one is talking about sending our own troops to fight in syria. we are talking about supporting the opposition without getting ourselves caught in the middle of it directly. your question is, do we know enough about the opposition to support them or even figure out
which ones are worthy of our support a wreck my short answer is -- which ones are worthy of our support? my short answer is we do. we have been in contact with them on many levels. even though i am not in government anymore, i personally have a lot of contacts with members and leaders of the syrian opposition, even through skype and e-mail with some of the people in serious fighting against the regime. i think it is fair to say very mixed group, a motley crew, but there are enough people and leaders armed and unarmed in the opposition that are basically
from the to their supporters -- are basically friendly to their supporters. host: are you concerned the government may need monitoring your transpositions -- may be monitoring your transitions -- are you concerned the government may be monitoring your transmissions? guest: yes. for people subject to intimidation, the key is to set up your -- fewer connections that we're confident can get around the regime monitoring. they are ruthless. if a cop people, they would disappear. -- if they caught people, they would disappear. we do not want to put anyone in that position.
there are parts of syria today already outside the government control to a great extent. there is an area in the north around islip that is basically under rebel control. there are areas in the far east of syria, especially the kurdish areas, that are pretty much outside the control of assad's regime in damascus. from those areas, we're relatively free to communicate with people, even inside syria right now. host: david pollack is a senior fellow at the washington institute for near east policy. he spent some time working for the government as a senior adviser for the broader middle east, at the state department, and also served in other state
department advisory positions covering south asia and the middle east from 1996 until 2001. back to the phones, new haven, connecticut. kristin is on the line for democrats. caller: i have a question from a money standpoint. what have we gained or accomplished on the libya situation? order we going to get for our money -- what are we going to get for our money? we are going to spend some money definitely. guest: it is a serious issue you are raising, especially these days when our own economy is not in great shape. my short answer to your question is nothing, unfortunately. we're not going to get the tangible economic benefit of any
of this. not in libya where we supported the opposition directly, and i do not think in syria either where we have been spending money in small amounts in indirect support for the opposition and may end up increasing that expenditure. that is the fighting continues, which i am afraid it will. we do not get a payoff in economic terms, but what we do get is a payoff in terms of our strategic interests in the region and in terms of our own value as a supporter of human rights and the country willing to stand up against massacres of thousands of innocent civilians. that is the payoff we get for
our willingness to be a part of this crisis. host: our next call comes from don on the line for independents from houston, texas. go ahead. caller: i am wondering why the option of assassination is not on the table. it would stop this and be warning to other tyrants that they cannot assassinate thousands of other people. host: when you say "we" are you talking specifically about the united states? caller: i am talking about the syrian people with aids from the united states or any of a civilized country. host: yeah. guest: tough question. i think the syrian opposition would assassinate assad and his
closest henchmen if they could. there is some evidence, although the details are murky and not confirmed, the they tried to do that and came close a few weeks ago with food poisoning, believe it or not. there were solid reports that top lieutenants was in the hospital with food poisoning along with some of his cronies, and that that may have been an attempt by the syrian opposition on the inside with inside help from bodyguards and so on to assassinate those guys. it did not work. i think that helps to answer your question. it is hard. if it's a hard thing to do -- is
a hard thing to do from a physical standpoint. these guys are isolated, well- protected. the lookout for each other. -- they look out for each other. it is not easy to get to them even with all of the intelligence and other capabilities we have. if we could, to follow your line of reasoning from my own best guess about what is feasible, if we could launch a predator drone against assad and leaders in syria the way we have been against al qaeda for a long at, myif we could do the own view is it would be risky
but on balance an acceptable response to the situation. host: one of the headlines in yesterday's of the washington times. rocket launchers reach out post as bombs reached damascus. if there were to be some drug activity, is it possible the u.s. or other western allies might be working with turkey along the syrian border -- if there were to be some drone activity, is it possible the u.s. or other western allies might be working with turkey along the syrian border? guest: we're working with turkey. host: is it doing it out of its own self-interest? is it trying to ingratiate itself to nato? guest: it is a nato ally. they are doing it out of their own interest.
we have a common interest with turkey at this point to counter the syrian regime in every way that we can safely. i do not think there is much sign the turks are going to intervene directly inside syria with drones or any other direct military intervention. they are supporting the syrian opposition and will continue to do that. host: the next call comes from wind up on the line for republicans from illinois. -- from one on the line for republicans from illinois. -- linda on the line for republicans from illinois. caller: if he does not get out,
will he go on trial for crimes against his people? guest: it is an important question you are asking. my own view is the evidence of other cases points in opposite directions. it is a hard choice to make. it could be threatening to bring this guy to trial will scare him and his cronies so they will act against him to save themselves from criminal prosecution if the regime does fall. it could also be threatening him and his top supporters inside the syrian government with a criminal trial would only make him more desperate and determined to hang on to power
at any cost. they would be afraid they have no way out. i think in this situation might own resolution of the dilemma leans towards the latter point of view. threatening them with criminal prosecution -- first of all, you have to catch them. we're not anywhere near that at this point. secondly, i am afraid that might make it harder to catch them in the first place because they're going to think we have a way out, so we have to fight to the bitter end. i would be more inclined to offer them a way out without getting put on trial the way we
saw in the case of another dictator in yemen. after a year of fighting against his own people, he was offered an honorable exit and accepted it. that more or less ended the civil war in yemen. it does not bring into account for anything he may have done in the past, but at least it presents greater. shed -- but at least presents greater bloodshed in his country. i would be willing to make an offer like that to assad. i think various governments are considering that option as we speak. host: miami, julio, you are on the "washington journal" with
david pollack from the washington institute for near east policy. caller: are you concerned about the news, the person who has won the elections in egypt considering he is a number of the brotherhood and all it entails? guest: i am very concerned about the. it is going to be a very difficult relationship. with the new egyptian government, i am afraid i think we have no choice but to try and make it work. he is the elected president of egypt now. egypt is a very important country for us and our other friends in the region.
it is not going to be easy. if you ask, how is this new egyptian president of the muslim brotherhood going to deal with the crisis in syria? my answer is that even though he is from the muslim brotherhood and one of the main opposition factors of assad in syria is also the muslim brotherhood. i think egypt will be too preoccupied with its own internal issues for a long time to play an active role. the one area or one of the new areas where we have something in common with the new egyptian government, coming from the
muslim brotherhood which it does, would be to work together on the syrian prices. i do not think egypt is a good position to do that. host: the next call comes from new york city. ozzie is on the line for independents. caller: assad was democratically elected. over 50% of the people supported him. to bring arms against the democratically elected president is an outrage. in 1953, the cia went down with the leadership of kermit roosevelt in the revolution and installed the sha.
-- shah. guest: thank you for the question. you are raising an important question about when it is or is not legitimate for the united states to interfere. i accept that in another country's internal affairs. but i have to say the historical at assad was not ever democratically elected. the elections that have taken place in syria are completely fraudulent. there is no other candidate running against assad for president ever. he has proven to be ruthless -- a ruthless, bloodthirsty dictator that has already massacred about 15,000 of its
own people -- of his own people in the past 16 months. that death toll is rising every day. if we do intervene in syria, it is not against the democratically elected leader. it is against a dictator murdering every day hundreds of his own people. host: did you have a follow-up? caller: i do. to my knowledge, the people are coming into the streets and supporting him. the idea he is murdering civilians is fabricated, and outrageous lie.
the assassinations of women and children -- host: we will leave it there. we need to get to more calls. mr. pollack? guest: a think there is a lot of propaganda on both sides of the crisis in syria. it is absolutely clear assad is massacring hundreds of innocents syrians every day. while it is true there are some atrocities committed by the opposition as well, they are on a tiny scale, a tiny fraction of the mass murder the syrian regime is committing. the opposition is acting mostly in self-defense.
it is true there are some people in syria that support the sod -- support assad, but they are a minority of the population and a smaller minority every day. host: how much influence does the arab league have? guest: the arab league has taken a weak position, especially compared to their strong position on libya not even a year ago. that is because there are few countries in the arab league supporting assad or reluctant to press for a showdown against him. those countries include two of serious natures, and on --
lebanon and iraq. for their own reasons, they have interests in not going fullscale against assad. the arab league is divided on this issue. individual countries within the arab league are strongly supporting the opposition. those include saudi arabia, qatar, and others who prefer to keep quiet about it but are hoping assad falls. host: nancy on the line from our -- for republicans calling from austin, texas. caller: we were sure some -- we
were shearson, have weapons of mass destruction. you may want to google clean break. all of these countries we're going into and overthrowing -- this was a documentary in 1996. all of these countries we're going into our coverage there. this has been a strategy. my question or comment has to do with what the other woman was talking about. we think we have the right to go in and overthrow other sovereign nations and put in somebody we choose. how would we feel if another country did that? doing thate're not in syria, but we do it everywhere else. guest: i would say a couple of things. you are right about the iraqi weapons of mass destruction, but just because we were fooled in one case does mean we're being
fooled in this case. i can tell you from my own discussions with syrians inside and out, it is clear to me what is going on in syria is mass murder on a huge scale by the syrian government. this is not an issue of overthrowing a government because we do not like it. it is an issue of overthrowing a government because it is massacring its own people. i do not think and hope you do not think it would be the right policy to stand by and let this happen and do nothing about it when it is in our power to help the periods -- to help the people of syria. host: the next call is from shreveport, louisiana.
caller: mohole -- the whole situation in syria puts me in mind of the white man's burden 2012. this is regime change. you fomented this opposition in syria. this is about regime change. if you look at george bush, the terrorists will come to office in united states, the kind of lies you have told, you are the no. 1 figure pointer in the world. host: david pollack, you get the last word. guest: thanks. you are citing george bush in your question. this has nothing to do with george bush.
this is happening now and the president obama -- under president obama. the syrian opposition was not created by the united states. the syrian opposition started as a peaceful mass uprising by the syrian people against a dictator. host: we're going to have to leave it there. david pollack is a senior fellow at the washington institute for near east policy. thank you for being on the program. we want to let our viewers and listeners know what is coming up tomorrow. we will be taking a look at the political reaction following the supreme court decision on the affordable care act. later in the program, we will be joined by ron