tv Washington Journal CSPAN July 30, 2012 7:00am-10:00am EDT
caller: good morning, america. i cannot believe we're still spending --so and the money over there. this unemployment for teenagers is the highest since world war ii. it is 7% teenage unemployment. look around the neighborhood and there are abandoned homes -- it is 70% teenage unemployment. the mood of america is something wrong. afghanistan is part of that wrong. we don't have the money to spend over there. have a good week, america. host: it would be expected in a war zone, according to "the new york times."
host: is separate power line problem has not been put up for bids. about in thealking report that questions u.s. spending on projects in afghanistan and asks whether it titi detrimental to the u.s. efforts. we would like to hear your comments on this. four of the five projects involve building power lines.
host: taking a look at some other stories in the news. we will listen to mitt romney, republican presidential candidate. he was in israel and talked about u.s. support. [video clip] it is today when iran's leaders deny the holocaust or speak of wiping this nation off the map. only the naive would dismiss this as an action of rhetoric.
the ayatollah's are testing our defenses. they want to know who will look the other way. my message -- will not look away nor my country ever look away from our passion and commitment to israel. as the prime minister said, if an enemy of the jewish people said he seeks to destroy us, believe him. we have seen the horrors of history. we will not stand by. it would be foolish not to take iran's leaders at their words. have targeted diplomats and killed their own people.
they provided weapons that have killed american soldiers in afghanistan and iraq. it is iran that is a leading state sponsor of terrorism. we have a duty and a moral imperative to deny iran's leaders the means to follow through on their intentions. host: mitt romney speaking in israel. is is the headline in "the washington post." the headline in "the new york times" -- "the washington times" has a this headline --
host: a new inspector general report questions whether spending on projects in afghanistan is hurting the u.s. effort there. we have some tweets. this one from fred. our next call is from gilbert in oklahoma. caller: good morning. the report and everything else i have been hearing, it is disturbing. all the problems we have at home.
we are worrying about israel and iran. aboutthinking reconstruction and iraq and afghanistan. the inner cities are falling apart. unemployment, transportation non existent. i think it is horrible. i do not understand why are we an avid supporter of israel? what are we getting for the billions of dollars that we send there? we have people in florida with children living in cars and homeless. we're spending billions and billions of dollars all over the world. we have bases that we've to pay for in over 130 countries. host: how much is the issue of
afghanistan figure into your vote? caller: i would vote for anybody -- ron paul, especially, if we can get out of all of these foreign countries. ron paul has it right. we have problems at home. read the book "the rise and fall of the roman empire." host: let's look at steve's tweet. veronica from washington, d.c., good morning. caller: i want to know why mitt is so anxious to go to war when his sons have not served. i do not think it is there.
host: do you think the same for president obama/ caller: if he had sons, i would say the same thing about him. his kids are no better else than anybody in america. host: what do you think about the situation in afghanistan? caller: obama is going to bring them home soon and i hope it happens today. host: the new inspector general report says projects the u.s. is doing in afghanistan may turn out to be harmful to our goals there. caller: these people are fighting all their lives and all your lives. they have been fighting since we started. those people in those countries are never going to stop fighting. we have been there from the get go -- we haven't been there from
the get go. host: casey from memphis. caller: i wanted to agree with the last two callers. we might as well put it in order to bring them all home. we shouldn't do their fighting for them. host: ok. grover from north carolina. caller: yes. host: welcome. you're on the air. turn down your tv. are you with us? what do think about the new report about afghanistan? caller: i am 80 years old.
the money we're spending in afghanistan and these other countries, we could spend it here. i have been running around on these highways for 43 years driving a tractor trailer. it is a shame that the money we spend in these other countries, that we cannot fix our infrastructure in this country. it is ridiculous. host: how much does this factor into your opinion of politicians at the presidential level or at the local level? caller: at the local level, a it is bad. congress, it is worse. they will not do anything in congress as long as there is a black president. this is a factor. it is not going to change
anything as long as obama is president. the congress is not going to help him. i should know. host: we are talking about the new inspector general report. here is the headline in "the washington post." we have a senior correspondent with "the washington post." this is your story we're looking at. you write that it goes further than any other report has before. guest: traditionally these reports to look at reconstruction programs have focused on issues of waste and fraud and abuse. or buildings that have been built with leaky roofs that have
collapsed. projects that have not met their technical goals. this report looks at the broader strategy. by pumping in hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars into large infrastructure projects -- road projects, etc. -- the in estates can achieve a benefit -- the united states can achieve a benefit and win over the afghanistan population and helped to stabilize the country. the report finds that the simple process of trying to plan and fund these projects is such a long process that whatever
benefits it might improve likely will not accrue until after the u.s. combat forces depart afghanistan at the end of 2014. this report looks at a bigger issue which is in some cases by promising all this to the afghanistan people, that you'll get all these services and because of these delays and real questions about the afghan government's ability to sustain these projects once u.s. funding ends and to maintain them with skills and technical personnel, lack.states lackethey the united states is creating expectations gap which can be counterproductive.
host: give this a timing issue. your reference your story and how some of these projects may come to fruition too late. guest: the u.s. forces are in the process of drawing down in afghanistan. troops are going to start coming home and they are in the process of doing so. between now and the end of september, an additional 12,000 or so troops are coming back. likely more will come back next year. the united states is committed to withdraw all the forces by the end of 2014. the point of these projects is to support the military mission
in trying to stabilize afghanistan. if the projects did not come online until after the troops leave, there is a disconnect there. these projects are a sign of ongoing u.s. commitment to afghanistan. that is part of the overall u.s. government strategy. show the afghan people that the united states is not going to abandon them when combat forces leave. that is perhaps a defensible argument. when this fund for afghan infrastructure was created by congress in 2010, the argument made by the state department and the defense department was that these would help with the military effort and the overall counter insurgency campaign over there.
it is that disconnect that the inspector general has honed in on. host: we have a tweet that criticizes that. is that true? guest: diesel plants are costly. the afghans did not have the money to buy the diesel. there will not be able to keep these generators running a less to go to a foreign donor and ask for that money. money going to efficient diesel as opposed to more pressing needs. the focus should have been on more sustainable power. the strategy was to use these
diesel generators as a temporary solution until hydropower generator in the mountains to the northwest of kandahar city would be repaired. and new turbines would be installed up there. there is a gap between what will be produced by the hydro power plant and what is offered by the generators. when they switch from the generators to the hydropower plant, assuming they can secure the area and install the generating a new power lines and that there is enough security from the dam to the city, that the taliban is not stealing power along the way. the dam will produce less
electricity than the generator. there will be a drop-off in electricity in kandahar city. unrealisticing expectation by giving people a short-term fix that will be much greater than what the long-term solution is. host: senior correspondent with "the washington post" the author little america,"ca thank you for speaking with us. the reporter said that it is calling into question the entire strategy. what you think of this? in new york state.
caller: i think we need to get out of there quickly as possible and we need to spend our money in their own country. thank you for taking my call. host: marcia's joins us from texas -- marcia joins us from texas. caller: i am independent and i did vote for obama. this is an election year and there is a problem with jobs and the economy. bring home those troops will cause a big problem in terms of the economy. i believe things will change after this election if obama is elected. i don't think things will change until after the election. this is a political environment.
thank you so much for your call. host: how much are you thinking about the issue of afghanistan as you look at candidates and think about your vote? caller: i am kind of on the fence. no matter who vote for, i probably will be holding my nose a little be it. as far as afghanistan, that money should not be spent the re. no matter how much we think we know, we do not know what the bargain was in terms of afghanistan and why that money was promised. i think we need to wait and see what happens after the election.
we should have been there to begin with. what people do not understand is the amount of money spent on private security corporations in afghanistan, we have over 180,000 civilians that are being paid on average $5,000 a day. -- $1,500. they make more than our troops make and that is criminal. people need to realize what is the payoff in this whole thing? what is the purpose in this? everybody decides that we have to fight the taliban or the al qaeda. none of this is going to stop and we need to be here in the united states to protecting our interests. host: what do we do at this
point? is there an obligation or responsibility to the people and the american service members who lost their lives over there? caller: is there a responsibility to the afghans? i think we have created a bigger problem and we would save face if we left now. if we continue to allow our troops to stay there, how many more families are going to suffer losses of troops and their lives? is that fair to them? host: we have a tweet from jodiy. let's talk a little bit more about politics. dick cheney made comments
yesterday about the vice- presidential pick of candidates for senator john mccain. here's what he had to say. [video clip] >> i think of it as their our two lists. there is a big list that has a lot of folks on it. i did it for ford and for george w. bush in 2000. i had some calls from prominent republicans who said it would help if i was on the list. some body could leak the fact that it was on the list. the tough part is the smallest. the test to get on the smallest is is the person capable of being vice president and that is usually a small list. >> what about other
considerations? >> they should never be allowed to override the first proposition. i think that was one of the problems john mccain had. i like governor palin. i know her, i met her. based on a background, she had been governor for two years and i don't think she passed the test of being ready to take over and i think that was a mistake. host: former vice president dick cheney on abc's "this week." davis instory by susan "usa today." you can see sarah palin with her husband campaigning.
"the conservative moment helps fuel republican 2010 election victories across the country is transitioning from a protest movement to one that is targeting locals. i think it is a maturing of the movement. one of the biggest tests of strengths of the movement to upend the gop establishment. health is tomorrow when ted cruise is favorite to upset the content governor in a primary runoff, a race to replace cable hutchinson -- kay bailey hutchison.
endorsements from gop activists brought in national attention and money." here's another race, this went looking at the battle over a democratic seat that could alter the balance of power. jim carlton reporting from "the wall street journal." "locked in a dogfight. is a virtualontest dead heat. and on president level of money is flowing into the senate race in a state with just 1 million people."
in new inspector general report questions whether it is harming u.s. goals there. rick joins us from tennessee. good morning . caller: several things about afghanistan. we should get out as soon as possible. when you make an obligation, it would not look good if we just pull out and that is not going to happen. look at the history of the united states involvement in foreign countries. yeah, it is a wonder why we ever went there and did not stick to what we were therefore, to rid ourselves of al qaeda and take them out of commission.
i listen before about the inspector general report, talking about energy and power needs in afghanistan. nothing was mentioned about helping them build their own alternative energy set up like solar and wind power. we're talking about it here. why not apply it there were might be feasible? when is our policy going to be about afghanistan drugs, the poppy harvest? we have not addressed that. we're high consumers of products from that crop that is produced there. afghanistan -- we pull out now, talk about oppression and what
that will look like. it will reverse quickly and it will be ugly. i don't think this country should put ourselves in that position to let that happen. we do need to apply it, especially now that we're trying to solidify what our health care needs are going to be. we talk about the human cost in terms of u.s. citizens, particularly our military. military people understand that they are technically warriors and that is what their role is and they understand that there is a possibility that they will be putting their lives in harm's way. they understand that and their families understand that and that's the sacrifice that is
made. host: thank you for your call. 1934 americans have died in afghanistan, according to the state department. we have some comments coming into was from facebook. host: you can join that conversation by looking for c- span on facebook. ron is up next from cincinnati. caller: we have a congress that controls our money.
they use it wherever they want. they can pick and choose. this is one particular place. corporations can make a lot of money. take the people that will keep the money at home as much as possible and only spend oversees what you have to. if they cannot run this, will happen to the rest of it? it will all be gone. just like the roman empire. people have to wake up. who does the best for the people? now you need material over there. -- we are winning
against russia and that is a socialist state and we took them out. now there is a communist country we're giving everything to. are they going to say, i onw it w? it no host: we have a tweet from jan. we were talking about mitt romney and his overseas trip. robert gibbs talked about mitt romney's comments that he made about the olympics and what it means about romney's preparation for the world stage. [video clip] >> mitt romney wondered whether london was ready for the olympics. voters wonder whether mitt
romney is ready for the world. he goes overseas in the olympics they have been preparing years for an question whether or not they are ready makes you wonder whether he is ready to be commander and chief. >> that was the beginning of his trip. >> let's be honest. if you cannot handle smiling and talking about the olympics -- >> the athletes will make sure that the games work. let's >> move on -- >> let's move on. "st: robert gibbs on abc's this week." from "the baltimore sun
host: our question this morning is on u.s. spending in afghanistan. let's hear what john has to say. caller: good morning. we were at war with afghanistan. imagine if somebody killed your family members. will you put a new roof on their, or do something that says, leave these people alone. we have angered a giant and they are coming to get us. host: what does that mean to you? caller: we have to make an example to the world. host: ok.
ronaldwgumbs tweets. withus?are oe, are you .e're waiting for you to speak caller: in september, 2010, " popular science" did an article on afghanistan. mineral wealth. i haven't heard any mention of it yet this morning. to people who are writing these articles about overseas, i wish they would do their background checks a little bit better because the article i am reading that afghanistan should be able to do what they want to
do with their own country and have money to do with, and that's all i'm going to say. thank you and goodbye. host: we have a tweet from monty. deborah from north carolina. good morning. can you turn down your tv and talk with us? you are on the air. we'll let that caller go. and reminder to turn down your 's.pau that's all for this segment. the article should be posted online by the special inspector general. reports about the efforts in afghanistan's and u.s. dollar
spent overseas. coming up next, we'll look at the week ahead in congress with paul kane from "the washington post." 13 states are planning to make cuts in medicare. phil galewitz will tell us why. we'll be right back. [video clip] >> we did not begin with a city in kentucky. we began in 1778 -- >> join "book tv" from
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and special. >> the former president of bennett college rates on african-american economic history. this sunday, your questions and calls for the author of " surviving and thriving." live at noon eastern on c- tv."'s "book >> "washington journal" continues. host: paul kane is a congressional reporter for "the washington post." i you expecting a big drum up before congress leaves town? guest: i don't think it'll be as dramatic as in years past. it went down to the last day and
were crazy meetings into the night. last year we were dealing with ike allt ceiling he sorts of high drama. this year is an election year. they have gone if you must pass things already done this summer. there are a few things they are trying to get done. a house vote on competing tax plans. the senate has approved the vote by a couple of votes. the house will reject that and approve the republican plan to approve the tax cuts for everyone. that will be there major task for the week. there will try to improve the
nation's cyber security from computer hackers. it is unclear whether they will get through all of the big amendments. the drought in the midwest and farm country has wreaked havoc on the economy. there has been a farm bill that has been languishing in the house for quite some time. there is talk about doing a one- year extension of that bill and that is probably the other must- pass item. there is still postal reform that is still lurking. a couple of defaults would kick in if nothing is done. it is not clear if there is momentum in the house to get that done. host: here are the numbers to
call. democrats, 202-737-0001. republicans, 202-737-0002. independents, 202-628-0205. guest: we have about 18 days left. this week than it 5-day break and then the republican and democratic conventions and they are back in mid september. because of some issues like jewish holidays and other place, there are 13 days in september and early october. at that point, the only thing they will try to do it most likely is a six-month extension of government funding. mostly from here till election
day, the focus will be campaigning for those 50 to 60house races which will determine the majority and the senate races. host: a recent start of that a new proposal by republicans on energy legislation. they say gop senators -- how much of the work being done right now is about laying the groundwork for the messaging back home? guest: just about all of it. everything they are working on is messaging to give people a clear choice of what they would
do, or they are positioning themselves for what could be an amazingly important lame-duck session in which you'll have some issues being decided in terms of taxes, automatic spending cuts, sequestration -- i hate saying that word. there have been a lot of positioning for that session. outt now there's not a law some of the short checklist. host: paul kane, congressional reporter with "the washington post." caller: all i hear any more on tv is how the government in the news and everybody is trying to
divide the american people. it is like you want to see is so divided. democrats promise you the world and they barely give you the carrots. the republicans say they fight for our rights but then they keep their mouths shut. nobody cares about us. all yous are doing is trying to destroy america. host: what is your solution? caller: get all new people. term limits. none of these people live with these law. our education is one of the worst in the world. we sit back and make things better for the teacher.
what about the kids? wait until the next election. what about now? host: a lot anger and concern about what is happening. d.c. congress wrestling with that -- do you see congress wrestling with that? guest: the most conservative lawmakers are more conservative than ever. there is an amazing amounts of people call polarization. that goes to her point about the way she feels that people are trying to divide them. the country has never been more narrowly divided. there is a good chance the senate will end up in a 50-50 deadlock with whoever ends up
winning the white house having the tie-breaking vote. the closer the margins, the more narrowly divided the country is. people feel more polarized by it all. the senate contains --retain is controlled by democrats, this is an issue they will have to tackle the next congress. with a newly elected president whether the second term for obama or the first term for omney, and needs be a coming to grips. host: "is uncle sam helping or hurting the economy?"
some people say that congress needs to work together and they need to work for compromise. a vocal minority want to stand on principle regardless of the gridlock. that could lead to higher taxes. guest: you were talking about the texas senate race. the primary is on tuesday. have an old-fashioned conservative in the lieutenant governor and state crews is part of the new dynamic -- and ted cruise is part of the new dynamic. they had their first round of balloting and had 1.5 million people voting in that race and dewhurst came out on top.
now they expect about 350,000 people. they are part of a stand on principle. people is thethat cruz favored. -- people think that cruz is the favorite. get a more principled group of people on the right and on the left. it makes that bridging the divide a heck of a lot more difficult than if you had more participation from all corners, especially centrists and independent voters. host: we have a democratic caller in washington. go right ahead.
caller: the democrats do not know how to explain the tax cut. the tax cut is for $250,000 of your income. if you make above that, you still get the tax cuts. it is supposed to be for everybody. it is for people under $250,000. some of these guys don't know how to talk. guest: the caller is referring to -- sometimes say the tax cuts, the democrats are trying to get tax cut for those making $250,000 and under. it makes it sound like lebron james is not going to get the
tax cut. lebron james gets tax cuts on the first $250,000 that he would be making. the rest of his income would go up to 39%. my colleague has written about this extensively. the average millionaire would see an $11,000 to $12,000 benefit. it is an argument over how big of a tax cut to give the millionaires and above. host: we see a headline here. guest: the senate democrats have said, give us a vote on the
democratic bill and john boehner has said, we will give you a vote and we will beat it. they have 242 republicans. democratic plan. it has not been officially determined, but they expect to, among the series of options, they will vote on thursday on the democratic bill. you will see a very what the caller called a very polarized vote. almost all the democrats will be voting for it. they will lock that down before they move on to passenger republicans. host: paul kane is our guest. michael, good morning. caller: good morning. hello. host: what do you have to say? caller: what does the obama
administration plan to do with the tax passes soaring across america? in china they are doing some program or to reduce the gaps. i want to know will happen with gas prices everywhere. guest: the caller raises a good point. the average person out there seize $2.50 per gallon and thinks that it is too high. the truth is that up here they were bracing for $55, even. there was a price spike back in january and february, which was unusual, because there is usually a hit that comes in the summer. the reality is that there has been an increase in output and slowly but surely the crisis has
flattened out in that $3 range. it has taken some of the wind out of the sales for republicans that wanted to make this a central issue. you do not hear them talking nearly as much about the keystone pipeline, which was a real focus for them last fall and early winter. i think that by the convention the return to that will be a good issue for independent voters. they will be framing their votes in the fall. we will see how those prices go up or down in the final few weeks before the election. host: your paper has this headline -- "the house is ready to take up relief."
host: what are the chances that these are going to go anywhere? guest: this is one of the only pieces of legislation that has movement from the back burner to the front burner because of drought relief. initially there was a bill that would say between 23,000,030 $3 million. the house was just going to move their bill through committee. this was part of the idea where they were trying to get positioning for the fall and have a lame duck session. it was all about bidding over who would save more and have that in reserve as they go to these talks on taxes. instead, this drought has really hit the midwest. both for economic reasons and genuinely trying to help out these farmers for political reasons, the midwest has become
such a key battleground in senate and house races, i think that they basically decided they had to do something, rather than waiting for the fall. i think you will see action on this this week. the senate could approve it and you would have that issue lifted for about one year or so and get some sort of relief to the farmers in the midwest right away. host: let's look at some numbers. the cost of the legislation would put it at $621 million, paid for by reductions, rather, in conservation programs and direct payment to farmers.
happens, and has happened over the last 18 months, you have a hard line of republican conservatives that do not want to see any deficit growth. the fight often becomes -- how do you pay for this? how do you offset the cut to pay for this legislation? this issue has always been one that has befuddled the public a lot. lawmakers as well. people do not realize that so much of what the usda does is administer this food stamp program. it is an automatic program the to see when the economy as hard hit. it is just to growth, with spending on food stamps.
host: ben joins us from ithaca, new york. caller: thank you for taking my call. i am wondering, before there was a bill introduced by the fed -- i am wondering if action was taken and where the white house is on that. host: i believe that that passed on thursday afternoon. a colleague of mine coined the phrase -- "dr. no finally got a yes." ron paul has been pushing this bill for quite some time and passed the house by a fairly partisan vote. his son, the senator from kentucky, is pushing the bill in the senate, but as of now it is
sort of an owl liar issue for the senate and is probably not going to receive a vote there. senator paul has been pretty tough in his fight so far. he may try to get a vote on it, with an amendment to one of the bills it has to tackle over the next two months the three months. host: from fox news, the final vote, eight co-sponsors actually voted against it. guest: i stand corrected. that was a big win for dr. paul. that was one of his most important legislative victories so far. with the become law? probably not. but the issue of the handling of the bailout four years ago continues to resonate with an
intense group of voters. rand paul will be here to keep carrying the flag. host: welcome. caller: yes, why do they do nothing about the keystone pipeline? president obama seems to think it is a big joke. i am wondering why. caller: -- guest: that is an issue that will be decided by the presidential campaign. the senate will likely change hands and you will, basically, see that implemented. that is something that will be completely determined by presidential campaign. it is just a deadlock situation where the senate does not want
to pass the plan. there are plenty of votes for it in the house, not enough in the senate. if mitt romney wins the presidential, i think you will see it built. host: atlanta, georgia, jim, good morning. caller: what i wanted to bring up is -- this is the second anniversary of the black man built up in south st. louis and nothing has been done about that. the democrats have taken out of a crowd. if he were not in the crowd, he probably would have been beaten to death. also, black leaders looked in the other direction. comment, thank you. guest: i am not entirely familiar with the issue that you have brought up, but in terms of
a broadening of race relations issues, this is something that of, and senate democrats have pushed. you have definitely seen a movement in terms of civil rights and gay rights issues. i think that there will be other issues decided largely by the presidential campaign. host: when you look at some of these things that are being delayed, refresh for us what else is being put to the back burner until we see who remains in control of the white house and congress. >> you have the expiring bush tax cuts the we have talked about. there is the automatic spending cuts -- guest: you have the
expiring bush tax cuts that we have talked about. there is the automatic spending cut. there is a slew of tax cuts and alternative energy tax breaks, everything from bow and arrow makers to research and development. all of this stuff is coming into line on the 31st. because of his inability to strike a grand bargain, they have basically decided they would take it to the people. that is what barack obama said to eric cantor so famously in the middle of last summer in that big standoff at the white house. he was tired of what eric cantor was saying. he pushed back the chair and said eric, let's take this to the people. for the most part, i think that is will we will see happen.
the breakdown in the capital, whoever holds the presidency, they will hold a real advantage. host: are you seeing lots of behind-the-scenes talks going on when it comes to issues of fiscal cliffs and the debt? guest: right now we're seeing are the initial talks. chairman, subcommittee chairman talking, floating ideas. starting today, john mccain is going to do some barnstorming of key swing states. florida, north carolina, virginia. there are trying to raise attention to the whole issue of potential cuts to the military. people are doing these things, but we are not at a point where they are sitting down in a room
the way that we would normally see with some deep, serious negotiations. they're generally waiting on that until december. host: paul kane, reporter for "the washington post." prior to that he worked for "roll call." he has also worked with "the record." among his stories then, covering the fbi in the gifts for cash scandal. he also cover the newt gingrich revolution and, early in his career, he was a copy editor for china daily in beijing. james, mesa, arizona. go ahead. caller: what do you mean, have
the economy moving? i doubt that it will start growing in the next few years. it is pretty bad right now. host: james, what do you think? how do you think that relates to what congress is doing? guest: i do not think that they're looking out for the best interest of the middle class and lower class people. how do i put this? they care too much. that is just my opinion. i am interested in seeing what mr. king has to say. guest: in terms of long-term growth in gdp, the reality is that most economists see a fairly middling recovery for the next few years.
not many people are predicting a big jolt to hiring. one thing that some people say could change that would be some kind of a grand bargain that would allow for some entitlement reform, some tax reform. for a change in the corporate tax structure. as they say, it would create a sort of long-term confidence in to sort of where everything was going in terms of the government, government debt. i think that that might spur a lot of the money. corporations have been quite profitable, but they are uncertain. like on greece or spain. if there is a long-term prospect of where we will be, some of
that money might come off the sidelines. we will also see, as a part of this grand bargain, democrats probably pushing some kind of extra stimulus money to pump into the economy for the short term. that might help. host: talk to us about the cr. guest: the continuing resolution. the fiscal year runs through september 30. usually we get into the end of september and they only have a couple of those bills and you have to get into a fight about keeping the government opened at the previous year's levels. this year, we are seeing that
take shape in july. punting on the second down. they are trying to agree to do a six month specialized government funding battles that they agreed to in last year's debt ceiling law. that is more than most conservatives wanted to spend. but they seem to have signed off on this in the house so that they could issue off into next year a new deadline, which would be march 30. their hope was that they would have president ron need to negotiate with. -- president romney to negotiate
with. if democrats hold the senate and the president is reelected, they will probably not move on their behalf. host: this twitter message -- host: here is a story from the influence alley of "national journal." host: we had representative levin on yesterday. at 10:00, the ranking member of ways and means. quickly, let's hear what he had to say. [video clip] >> do you favor a six month cr to carry level government?
guest: if necessary. we cannot have another potential meltdown. we would have to extend it and, if it takes six months, that might be the last thing to do. host: what does it mean to hear him say that we might have to do it? guest: there is still a lot of exhaustion in congress right now for what they went through last year and the idea that they pushed it so close and almost went over the cliff. you saw the market's actually start reacting at this time last year. there was a downgrade. they know that in november and december you have all of these other things about a cliff. they do not want to add
something on top of that to make a cliff and the steeper. if they can push of government funding until the middle of march, next year, they will try to do that to avoid anything that could create any more drama or anxiety. host: kathy is watching us from alabama and joins us on the independent line. caller: good morning. thank you for c-span. i would like to offer a bit of a consolation to the american people. we have been calling in to shows like this because we are very frustrated. we feel polarized by the whole situation we are faced with. we have these candidates, none of them are offering us a real outlook for the future.
i would suggest to everyone that this is contrived to get us to a place where we would look at the fact that these are our representatives. these are the people that we select and send it to represent us. to the rest of the world, these people represent the american people. this is what we need to be concerned about. how we appeared to the rest of the world. and we need to go to the world lobbyists to see how we will perform as a government that is governed by the people. i think it is obvious, the people are frustrated. we need to ask ourselves how we got here and how we get out of this.
there is a very good article that i suggest everyone go look at, "the anger agenda." do not fall for it. guest: she is summing up a lot of the frustration that you heard from several callers in several parts of the country this morning. there is this feeling of a divide between people and their representatives. how you bridge that has become a critical issue for them. i do not know the answer right now. there needs to be more engagement by voters. part of that means getting gauged in the primary process. voting in primary elections. the state of california is trying a new thing where they have everyone throwing a primary together. anyone can vote for anyone that they want and the top two people
come out. that gives a lot of votes if they want to push for people who they think will be more representative of them. they are trying this in california for the first time ever this year. host: a couple of twitter messages -- host: looking at another comment coming in -- host: you have talked about energy a little bit already. tell us more about that, and the cyber security bill that you mentioned. guest: that is something that
will really be decided by the elections and who holds power. if republicans can win control of the senate, it gives them a strong hand, whether or not it is obama or romney in the white house. by executive order, obama will probably implement the rest of the pipeline. you will see that become a hallmark issue. in terms of technology, the cyber security bill this week is a big piece of legislation that this administration has been pushing since they won. whether it is terrorists or criminals, there could be a cyber-attacks for government computer systems and the private sector. the initial hope was that they would have a partner from homeland security administer
this really tough program that would force them into maintaining standards. the chamber of commerce has fought back. now they have been allowed to be an optional program. some people say that that has watered it down too much. others say that that is the best we can hope for at this point. at all this week we will have a bunch of different amendments and votes. there are a lot of issues at stake here and it is not clear if we will be able to pass this back, but i hope the minute -- i think the administration is hoping to get this out of the senate. host: president obama wrote an op-ed saying that they were taking the threat seriously earlier this month.
host: vermont, beverly, a democrat, hello. caller: good morning. thank you for c-span. it is really great. i really wanted to speak about governor romney, who spoke at the vfw meeting. it kind of sent up a red flag. the first thing he mentioned was he was going to build up the armed forces, the navy. he was going to get a stimulus package going. to build up the military. i could not understand why we needed to build up the military to such proportions. guest: that will be an interesting issue. a lot of the freshmen republicans that stormed into the capital in january of 2011, many of them hold non-
traditional views for republicans on military spending. they do not see it as the sacred cow that many have in the past. alan west, florida, a former member of the army and air force reserve, he led the fight to kill off a new pilot suit. these are people that do not necessarily want to spend more from the pentagon. i think that a president romney, if he were to be elected, might not get as much support for that as you would think on the bill. the traditional conservative republicans have been around for a long time. they would probably be supportive.
host: joe, md., independent caller. welcome. caller: first, wanted to comment -- well, several comments. regarding ron paul and the federal reserve, this is a group of bankers who are responsible to no one. it is a very serious thing. since 1976 the founding fathers resisted the federal reserve. then it was instituted. anyway, we do not have time to go into the details, but i would ask you to do some background on that. i think it is dangerous for our country. this is something that lately i have been digging into. i agree with ron paul.
host: we had him on last week and he talked about the growing interest in his issues, he feels, since the correction of the banks a few years ago. that it was held to the forefront, with more people supporting his position for auditing the fed. guest: that is why you see a vote for more than 300 to audit the fed. to some degree they have tried to react to this. ben bernanke has done things that no fed chairman never dreamed of doing, including holding a press conference. his expos say where people came in and looked. they are trying to meet these concerns that are out there,
from maryland to arizona. it is probably not enough to appease some of the critics of the fed. it is still just an issue in terms of the intense support that comes from a small group of voters. until it gets bumped up higher among some broader electorate, it is not yet something that we've seen pass. host: how can they plan without a budget? guest: they did not pass a full annual budget this year. what was enacted last august, one year ago, in addition to
elevating the debt ceiling and instituting a process to save $2 trillion, senator reid and senator mcconnell came up with a framework for the top dollar amount of money that would be appropriated each year. last year it was $1.043 trillion. this year it was $1.04 trillion. senator reid says that that is our budget. now they know the top line figure to spend. the fight is just dividing the pot. house republicans, then, this year, implemented a budget of their own that was $20 million less than what they had agreed
upon last year. senator reid use that as a pretext to say that they went back on their word and we will not bother going trifle formal budget process. we know the top line #: let the appropriation committee do it themselves. now those bills are probably not coming to the floor either and you will wind up in this situation of having another cr, as my friend treated in to make fun of it. that is his belief, the republicans went back on their word and that there was already a framework for handling the budget and it was not necessary to do the entire budget. mitch mcconnell would disagree, i am thinking that we at least need all the votes, but that is what elections are for. to let voters decide. host: paul kane, thank you so
much for coming in. guest: thank you. host: coming up next, kai -- phil galewitz of kaiser health, talking about a state plans their being made to cut medicaid. we will talk with richard williams, formerly of the fda, who will weigh in on what needs to happen to make food safe. >> an update on u.s. spending in afghanistan at this hour from auditors. they have concluded that $200 million was wasted on the program to train an iraqi police. baghdad says that it is neither needed nor wanted. the development program, drawn up to be the largest in the world, was envisioned in the multi-billion dollar pushed to
train forces after the u.s. military left the country last december. president obama is at the white house this morning, where he will be presented with credentials from one dozen new foreign ambassadors, including the world's newest nation, south sudan. the obama administration loosened its sanctions against myanmar this month after reports that there had been a release from house arrest of an san su chi. an update in syria, a brigadier general that was deputy chief of police in the region had defected to turkey, and officials say that the general was in a group of 12 officers who crossed into turkey late yesterday. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio.
[video clip] >> privacy becomes an artificial construct created by laws, institution, and enforcement. >> until a few weeks ago, rod beckstrom was the president of icann. tonight, on c-span 2, "the communicator's." >> "washington journal" continues. host: phil galewitz is the senior correspondent at kaiser health news. the big story today was 13 states cutting medicaid benefits with federal expansion at risk. when you talk about states' pension medicaid, what are they doing?
guest: a lot of things. they're cutting programs and eligibility. there are also reducing benefits and asking them to pay more for such things, like going to the emergency room, only allowing them to have home health benefits so many times per year. host: here is what kaiser health found. alabama is cutting doctors' and dentists' by 10%, limiting brand name drugs or most adults. and how much leeway is there to change the medicaid programs? is there a limit? guest: yes, there is. for the last couple of years, 2009, they have not been able to reduce the eligibility.
and they cannot make it harder for people to enroll in the program. but there are optional benefits to give the states leeway. again, states are going up to 200% in popularity. there are limits to that. the fed will have to approve of a fair amount of these. guest: here is an example of one thing making the cuts, hawaii, making the change. -- host: here's an example of one thing making the cuts in hawaii. now it is only limited to a family of four making $30,000.
where are you seeing the most changes? guest: they have taken a number of steps in terms of provider fees. about 12% one year ago, it was another 6% cut every six months. alabama, as you mentioned, did a number of states. illinois is facing major budget problems, like a lot of states. medicate gets hit a lot when you come across it. host: we are talking about cuts the states are making to the medicaid program. what does this mean? guest: in 2014 the big part of the obama health care law takes effect.
nationally, if you are below the poverty level, which for a family of four is 31,000, you automatically qualify for medicaid. right now there are a bunch of different eligibility rules in different state. henning and if your a child, pregnant, or disabled, it is very simple. many people do not know that they are eligible because states have these byzantine rules in terms of determining eligibility. host: let's get to the phones and take a call. ken, pine bluff. caller: can you show me the [unintelligible] host: this is a good question.
guest: this is a glass half full, glass half empty kind of question. 37 states are not cutting. i do not believe that they were on the list, these 13 states that were cutting. there was alabama, colorado, connecticut, florida, hawaii, illinois, maryland. and wisconsin. some believe that this is good news. there is a lot of talk that they have not been able to afford medicaid going forward. but today we're looking at 37 states not cutting. they will call this good news and say that things are actually getting there. more than half of the states were cutting medicaid. in a sense it shows conditions around the country improving somewhat.
host: are you seeing an ideological connection here? some have been resistant, like governor rick scott. guest: ideology comes into it, to a degree, but it has to do with trying to balance the budget. california has been a big supporter of the health care law. they are looking to cut more payments to hospitals, looking to making it harder for people to go for free. illinois is a state that has looked to do some of the health- care laws for these financial challenges. they had to make these cuts as well. more of what we are looking at right now is states having to
cut their programs. host: good morning. caller: i wanted to make a statement. this is something that republicans are using as a ploy. they're using it as a ploy to make the president look bad. could you add to that? guest: let's talk about options that the states face. -- host: lets talk about options that the states face. guest: right now, states and federal government have been splitting costs. at least by 50%. under the expansion of health care law, 17 million more people will become eligible. there will be paying 100% of the
expansion for the next three years. in the years following, the states will begin to take up 10% of the costs. the fed said that this was a great bargain for the states. but it is not that easy. even if you are only paying 5%, 6%, or 10%. these are still being picked out and states worry that they do not have them. millions of people out there have qualified for medicaid, but for some reason did not sign up. they will have the individual mandate, where the people are required to carry insurance. we expect that there will be a lot of talk about the mandate.
in terms of people that previously would have qualified, they will now be enrolling. for those people the previous it would not have qualified, they will still have to pay their own traditional match, picking up 40% to 50%. host: is the obama administration concerned that there will be a group of poorer americans who are not covered? even though the goal was to get all americans covered? if they are porous, covered under medicaid, what about the things -- those who cannot afford to buy their own insurance? guest: a big reaction will be created by the supreme court's ruling in the case. before the supreme court it was
expected that this would be a great deal, that all states would take it and it would be built in as a provision of the law. they would build in all of the medicaid plans. the state would be giving up one-third of their annual budget. the supreme court ruled that that would be coercion. that it could not be done. over the next year, next 18 months, we will see the states decide. again, the fed is offering a lot of money. there are a number of republican-led states who have said no, we are not going to do it. states really have another year to decide.
we could have some states expand. we could have some the to not. the states that do, it will not be 133% in terms of medicaid, all the way up to 400%. you get to qualify for subsidies in this new state health insurance exchange. going on line to buy health care. host: when we say 133% of the poverty level, that is $130,000 for a family of four. medicaid, some states are making cuts to the program. here are the numbers to call. for democrats, 202-737-0001. for republicans, 202-737-0002. for independents, 202-628-0205. robert, republican, new york. good morning. caller: the you for having me.
i am a registered republican. quickly tell my father knew henry kaiser, who was given the position of setting up when he was putting the system into place in california. he was a wonderful psychologist, but not good at working in an organization. the thing that makes our health care system so difficult to change is this huge, multibillion-dollar industry. each one should fighting for a share of the pie. that is the way that it is now. using many, many different, powerful lobbies, each of them
fighting health-care reform. but many of the states that are very opposed to the health care act to a terrible job of providing health care to their own people, like louisiana and texas. they do a bad job of providing public health, yet those governors are amongst the most rabid against putting in sensible reform. guest: thank you for the call. yes, henry kaiser was a major industrialist and his money was made available to a private family foundation -- i will quickly note, it is not related to kaiser permanente in any way. it is independent of that. but he is right, over the next year we will see hospitals and doctors pushing states to take
the money into the expansion. they are going to say that this is good for people's health and they are more likely to seek preventive health care. recent studies show the being on medicaid lowers your mortality rate. the number of states that have said they are against the law are ones that have not had good medicaid benefits. in the southwest they have -- they face a big crunch. medicaid is different in every state. how good the program is a really depends on where you live.
host: louisiana is one of the states that is making cuts. "- coast of this twitter message from jim -- -- host: this twitter message came in from jim. host: first of all, tell us what happens when a state like louisiana cuts reimbursements to doctors. how do doctors feel about it? what happens to patients? are there any repercussions? guest: doctors do not work for free. if they're going to get paid less, they will typically do a
couple of things. again, getting down to a level where the person probably stop seeing you patients. they will stop seeing existing, stops the new, and they may stop seeing medicaid patients altogether. sometimes hospitals get cut as well. hospitals may cut some programs because there revenue sources are stopping. with some hospitals, like one we found in new hampshire, the rates got low enough that it was not worthwhile to continue seeing medicaid patients. they had to tell them to go elsewhere. and basically left them less access for care. on the other hand, what the obama administration has done is put a lot of money into
community health centers. they are a wonderful resources poor people, the uninsured, even the insured to go for health care. you can get a lot from community health service centers, but it may affect you getting out. host: we are talking to phil galewitz, correspondent for kaiser health news. this recent headline about cutting health benefits in states, in addition to working in kaiser health, phil galewitz serves as a board member of health news in florida, a nonprofit. he has been covering the health beat for about 20 years. nixon, pennsylvania, good morning. caller: i am on social security
disability. i feel that where i apply for medicaid, i tried to get it but i did not get it. i was being refused monday by $200 when it is $1,200 minimum to get this medicaid. just trying to understand why. why can we not get any help from anyone else? how come the government cannot help us? thank you very much. guest: you will be getting help in 2014. but that has been one of the problems with medicaid. as your income changes slightly, you go on and off the program. some states in the last couple of years have made it easier. no matter what happens to you
and your salary over one year, you will still be eligible for the program. but not all states have done that. obviously, some states have seen this as a cost. cost is a big issue. that is why if you miss out by a few dollars, the state will look at it as an expense. host: chicago, republican line. hello. caller: i have a couple of points. every morning i sit here and listen to callers calling in and i hear the same mantra, poor mr. obama, everyone hates him. evil republicans want him to look bad. in this situation, take a look at the reaction.
california and arizona, two of the most liberal utopian states are going broke. all that i can say is that for everyone who has been screaming and demanding for government to take over your health care, welcome to the future. mr. obama made it perfectly clear during his campaign that a pain pill will do just fine. welcome to your future. thank you. guest: thank you for the call. you are right. liberal states are showing that they cannot afford this program. costs are bad around the country. i do not think that you can separate politics from policy. a lot of people out there want to reduce government investment in health-care.
that may go into whether the states expand or not in in 2014. for years they have had trouble balancing a budget. they have had difficulty. one of the problems is not that the program has been inefficient to operate -- in fact, there are so many more people in the program right now, it is the pay providers who have helped them. so many more millions of people are in the program because they washed out of health benefits. host: recently we had a story from kaiser health news about saving money in illinois, where they limited it to four prescription drugs topping the
there is not much. it hurts. obviously, it hurts patients who are taking multiple brand names, like in the case of alabama. id is another place to cut. it does not heard everyone. it could hurt some. it puts doctors and patients in difficult positions, because some work with patients to have asthma, diabetes, and it can be tricky to get the right drugs or the right dosage. right now they're being told they will not have all of this coverage. it is another cost. states have tried to say it is a matter of saying they are throwing things against a wall to see what will work. they have tried to pick certain,
brand name drugs over others. they are trying all sorts of different ways to pay providers. it seems like medicaid has been one big experiment for the last several years. it is an ongoing battle and drugs is just one of the latest issues. only over the last 10 years have we seen states doing this. host: connect ticket, karen, independent caller -- connecticut, karen, independent caller. caller: being that we all pay so much for insurance, we're going to go to a one payer system, why not just cut the insurance company out of the equation?
why not reform the medical malpractice care patients rather than hiring staff? it is such a waste of money. maybe there is a co pay or something. considering how much we are all paying for health insurance, you within the state would try to provide medicare. why not just fund our hospitals? guest: something that hospitals are the problem. they have an incentive to build up their hospital beds and keep you there a long as possible because it more revenue they will make. the argument for the other side is that the insurers will argue they have done a job in managing
costs and giving oversight to whether or not you were getting appropriate care. with medicaid, it split. half of them are in medicaid managed care. other companies like united healthcare and aetna oversee the care and you get medicaid, similar to getting private insurance from an employer. this is growing. more and more states are saying we cannot control medicare costs anymore. they're not sure they're doing a good quality of care. they are hiring these private insurers and putting them in charge of your care. it has been a mixed bag. people look at it in terms of how the control costs and improve quality. and is still uncertain whether or not this is working, but it is clearly a trend for the states. it it helps their budget because
they can give the health insurers a set amount of money and they can treat people on medicaid for that amount of money. it will cause the insurers more money and they are at risk and not the state. but as one big reason they have moved to medicaid managed care and you will see more of that regardless of what happens to the federal health care law. host: here is 8 tweeted about conn. -- a tweet about connecticut. tell us about a place like connecticut. guest: for some people, they're looking to eliminate coverage for some adults with assets over $10,000 and limited income. they're not cutting the whole program just for those with a limited amount of people in the
state. connecticut, like many other states, are facing issues and they're looking for some places to limit to some degree you will qualify. again, this just may be a short- term thing. in 2014, and things that are being cut now may be changed in 2014. as we pointed out, states cutting medicaid happens every time the economy goes down. it's nothing new. this year, we're getting closer to the expansion and people are worrying about how we can cut right now on the verge of this major expansion. will this hurt if we want more doctors and want them to expand services? will it look bad to cut them now? some states are saying they cannot afford it and here's an example of what happens when they say that. may we face the same challenges in 2014?
the expansion, if the president is reelected, if it goes through may not eliminate these things. it may expand eligibility, but people will raise the question if we peak -- keep paying doctors less it will still have a problem. host: phil galewitz, you mention that states are trying things out whether it is cutting money to providers as an effective way to cut costs and serve the needs. how much are states talking to each other? how much are they talking to the federal government? is the secretary of health and human services in regular contact with the administrators of these programs? guest: we hear that they are. we are not privy to what these conversations are. we would love to hear more.
there have been letters and documents since the supreme court law that they're open and they want to give states as much flexibility as they can. states have also been clamoring to want to know more from hhs and the fed about the ramifications of the roruling from the supreme court. will they have to go to 133% of the poverty level? another question is if states expand in 2014 to 133%, in 2017 when the states have to pay their share, can they drop out? these are questions we have been waiting on for hhs to determine. we expect to hear what they say. host: here's a story of phil galewitz wrote for kaiser news a little after the supreme court ruling.
is the picture of the three big players in this. rick perry, texas, and rick scott, florida with secretary sebelius. guest: if you read some of the letters from rick perry, it reads more political than on policy. some people think is just looking towards more presidential ambitions. there's a lot more we have not heard from in the federal government on giving these directions. with medicaid, there is some time. a lot of people are thinking that the states will not have to decide until next summer they're
going to expand. that is different point out from the health insurance expansions -- exchanges being set up in the health care law where the states really need to know by one week after election day of the state for going to move forward because this will be brand new. around the country. the state not going to move forward, they will set up the exchange in your state. host: phil galewitz, senior health care correspondent from kaiser news. he was a kaiser media fellow for one year before that. he has worked at the zoo is seated press in new york and at harrisburg, pa. -- he worked at the associated press. caller: i live in florida now. you were talking about governor scott in florida cutting back on
medicare. i find it totally ironic that he would be the one cutting back medicaid proposals in this new program after he and his company were found guilty of defrauding medicare and medicaid of the most money in the history of medicaid and medicare. then the people in florida turnaround and elect him to govern her after he was found be the largest the fraud in medicare-medicaid history -- largest defrauder in history. i do not get on name brands on my coverage. they turn around and put me on generics. it was really good before i left. they also carry a lot of generic drugs rather than the name brands, so it's nothing other
than unusual. this is why people in florida voted. they take whatever propaganda they hear a the truth. they need to sit down and read up. guest: as most people know, rick scott came from the health industry background where he the largest hospital chain, in the 1990's. as you mentioned, the hospital chain was involved in a major medicaid settlement over some cases of fraud. bricks got was not indicted -- indicted. was not the has been clear saying
government is too much of a player in health care. to some degree, what he has been saying on medicare expansion fit for his policies have been for a number of years where he wants to cut government out of health care. he wants to see less of a role for it. that is his position and he has been against the health care law from the start. is this a matter of him of being against the wall and sees this as a way -- against the law and sees this as a way of sticking to his in ideological guns and saying medicaid is already big enough? host: corpus christi, texas, jack, republican line. caller: addressing what one of your callers had said earlier about being in florida, i grew up there when i was a young boy. i was talking about this with
one of my childhood friends i spoke to recently, brandon kelly. we were talking about how florida has been cutting the funding hospitals. i looked up the statistics and it's bewildering. to cut money to the hospitals. host: and money to the hospitals. guest: hospitals make the biggest chunk of medicaid. when they are looking to reduce medicaid spending, that's the first place they look at. hospitals are big institutions. they looked at this like hospitals can spread out the cuts. hospitals in the inner cities and save the institutions that seem mostly medicaid patients, or the big portion, they are who hurt. the suburban hospitals are not not any affected so it's
even spread. this is why hospitals continue to cut. hospitals know these cuts will mean more costs to them and cutting services. it has been an area that politicians, including those in florida, continue to look at an area as where the money is. that is where they will try to cut costs. host: a floridian. caller: i'm glad you took my call this morning. i was a rescue worker at the world trade center. i have a few illnesses from that. i have health coverage because i worked for the subway for 35 years. always remember how you vote. you could be doing very well one day and the next day not so well. you may need medicaid one day.
always think of that. unless you are a multi- millionaire and then the chances are you will not become poor. if you are a regular person -- think about it. think about medicaid and think about how you vote. thank you. guest: a lot of people do not think about medicaid than they do the assistance program, medicare. if you live long enough, you will qualify. it has not gotten a lot of attention. they look at it as sort of a welfare program. the birthday of both programs that were created in 1966 for both programs. more attention is being paid to medicaid than ever before because of the expansion and the options now that state have to the biggest expansion ever.
you are right. you never know when people going to lose their job, their insurance, and they will have to qualify. it is largely a lot of children who qualify. in many states, kids can qualify when their parents cannot. many states make it easier for kids are pregnant women to qualify. that is when you see the largest number of people in the program today. with the expansion, a lot of adults to do not have kids will now be able to be eligible as well. it's a program that has helped millions of people. it does have this -- it's problems and a lack of providers in some areas. people question the quality of care and oversight, but for many it is a lifesaver. host: a final comment off of twitter.
guest: this is another part of the health care law. it is hundreds of millions of dollars to enable the state to try to do new payment delivery models. that has been one of the questions going forward. how do we make this more efficient? traditionally medicaid pays doctors and hospitals directly. some people think it drives unnecessary treatment. state want to experiment with different ways of paying. giving a hospital a bundled payment, one payment for all services. if they get all the money altogether at once, they will find a way of splitting it up and it would be a more efficient way. that is just one example. there are a lot of different
ways that states want to experiment. yes, you need money to do that. host: the headline in "usa today." talking but the federal expansion of the medicaid program at risk. you can find similar stories on the kaiser health news website. our guest, phil galewitz, senior correspondent for kaiser news. thank you for coming in. next, richard williams to talk about food safety in our regular "your money" segment talking about the work the fda does to keep your food safe. first, a news update. >> checking in on the campaign trail, republican presidential candidate mitt romney spoke to a jewish donors in israel about their economic success saying, "as you come here and you see the g.d.p. per-capita in israel and compare that with the g.d.p.
per-capita aoss the areas managed by the palestinian authority, you notice such a dramatically stark difference in economic vitality." his comments are outraging palestinian leaders who called his comments "racist and out of touch." governor romney travels on to poland today, the last leg of his trip. former vice-president dick cheney in an interview with abc news says he did not to the point of raising the issue of gay marriage even though he supported it. he went on to say it would not have done much good and probably prospects sunk bush's for office. reaction to the interview from the arizona senator john mccain speaking earlier on "fox and friends." he responded to his criticism
of his 2008 presidential pick, sarah pailin, with a comment of his own. "he's always glad to get comments four years later." he disagrees with the former vice president of the use of torture. he had questioned john mccain is a choice of the former alaska governor as his running mate saying sarah pailin was not qualified to take over the presidency. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. [video clip] >> we have to be very clear in the many ways that we are self and own our history and we make decisions is vital and special. >> julianne malveaux. sunday, your questions, calls, emails, and tweets on black
economic history. live on noon eastern on c- span2's "booktv." >> washington journal continues. host: richard williams join us. we look at how federal dollars are spent on the programs that help americans, who they help, and what the end result is. today, food safety and how the government regulates food safety and monitors it. richard williams is the former director of the fda's center for food safety from 1980-2007. that was quite a long tenure. he is currently at george mason university. guest: thank you for inviting me. host: let's get to the basics. how can people get sick from food? guest: the biggest problem is to
microbial pathogens in food than they are everywhere. it is very typical to eliminate them and they come in at every stage of the food-processing, transportation, and in the home. about 40 million illnesses every year, one out of every six americans, will get sick leading to thousands of deaths per year. host: how do you monitor the safety of food? have you catch problems in the process? how do you keep it safe? guest: is pretty much a web of what people have to do. it starts with food processors humana -- who monitor their processes. the federal safety it is in three agencies, the environment protection agency keeping ground water safe and pesticide.
the department of agriculture is safe -- response will to keep food and poultry safer. then it goes to the consumers who are responsible themselves making sure that a properly cooked and store their food. host: here is a chart here from the fda. initially, and they identified a threat and it tries to figure out what the problem is. then it talks to the company, work with them to try to find a solution. there is a chain of events that has to happen when a problem is identified. guest: it has been the same since the fda's existence created over 50 years ago. in conjunction with the centers for disease control, we will investigate where the problem came from and trace it back to the farm but costa. -- that caused it. the important thing to note is we are getting a lot better had
it. we are at the prestigious of being able to make a significant dent in that 40 million illnesses. up until recently, it was the book to trees a problem back to -- it was difficult to trace a problem back. now we can trace it back to the firm that caused it. in addition, using the same technology using with criminals, we have a fingerprint for the small microbial pathogens to positively identify the company that caused it. it is causing a revolution in the food industry. host: let's take a look at the numbers. the fda food program for 2012 had a total budget of $882 million. the amount of the budget before user fees is 886 -- $866
million. the user fees total $16 million. what are the user fees? how did a factor in? guest: those are in other areas of the food and drug administration. i do not think the amount of money we spend on the fda is excessive, but i do think there resources could probably be shifted to be more effective. host: what would go towards if it were to be shifted? guest: we have asked the government to anticipate problems and pass regulations to make sure they do not occur. finally, we asked them to inspect plants to make sure they are in compliance with regulation. that worked well for the first 50 years. we made a lot of significant changes. in the last 30 years, we have made very little progress. what i would like to see is for the fda to shift its resources
away from the system of trying to anticipate every problem in the complex food industry and try to regulate and spend more towards improving the system to hold firms accountable putting the incentive on them. host: richard williams from george mason university and the former director of the fda's center of food safety. you would like to join the conversation, here are the numbers to call. anna joins us from tucson, ariz., on the republican line. good morning. caller: thank you very much. i enjoy your program. i try to get through. my question is why did the fda
pass orange juice with arsenic? they came back and passed it through. guest: i'm not quite sure a understand the question about passing it through. host: what is your concern? tell us more. what is the problem you're seeing? caller: arsenic is a poison. babies a drink a lot of orange juice. every day people drink a lot of orange juice. i'm 73 years old. i do not drink orange juice now it comes from florida. host: do you know anything about this case? guest: i confess i do not. in trace amounts, are some it
can show up from time to time. does it show up at levels that are dangerous, is the question. host: tell us about monitoring through domestically verses internationally. she mentions the elderly and in funds. we have seen contamination coming in from china. -- she mentions the elderly and infants. guest: we do have to take the problems in the ones that target the most vulnerable. the fda does monitor thirds, but the systems are different. right now, we have 1 million entries every year from foreign lands we sample about 1% of them. what we rely on is information from around the world about what problems may be occurring and then we go and try to sample as best we can. ultimately, for the system to work, we have to trace problems back not just to domestic manufacturers but the foreign importers of the well. we have to hold them accountable.
host: here is a graphic from the fda about when cargo comes in from overseas. it shows the cargo comes over and there is no fee for the first examination including a lab analysis, a food label examination, and once the fda determines it is good to go it can come in. if there is a problem, there are fees a company must pay for the second examination to see if it can be imported. guest: the issue is whether or not the fda is able to catch things. these foods can in in very large container shipments. if the fda thinks there's a problem, they have to find that container, and packet, and sample. there are two kinds of examination. one is just physical. look at the label to see if it is actually correct. the harder problem is to take the food and sample it. these things come through very quickly. fresh produce will spoil if you
do not tested quickly. they come in quite quickly. fda has to make a quick determination. we look at maybe 1% of what comes in. host: pennsylvania, john, independent scholar. caller: the the food department have the same rules like on nt on whistlertmen blowing? and also, what is your feeling on monster foods like monsanto? guest: i'm not familiar with the fda is doing in terms of spying on their employees. i think the frankenfoods issue,
we have zero cases. people actually do come in and say this is what we're going to reduce. we have found no harm from genetically modified food up until now. i do not think it is something we should be concerned about. host: democratic caller from kansas. good morning. caller: if she is doing his job, he should know about the oranges. they were infected by pesticide even though it was not one allowed in the united states. florida orange juice makers were putting it in the jews, yet when people try to say something they take great risk. i have had cancer. i'm really concerned about -- when jews maker of recording it in the orange juice, people say something and they are at great risk. i'm really concerned about bpa and cancer.
we do expect the fda to not only do things after the fact. you should be very aware of what is going in to the seeds, feeding antibiotics to the animals. you cannot connect a lot of the things right of way. modifying foods and changes the structure. if it is not so harmful, then all we ask for is labeling. we don't want bpa. we would like bottles without bpa. we do not want banned in this -- pesticides coming in. we cannot trust anyone. host: margie is talking about just the initial labeling of products. one caller mentioned genetically
modified food, or frankenfoods. and in talking about the and akron destructors. how is labeling done? how does the fda decide how food is able to come in, be eaten, be consumed? guest: the fda does not decide on reticular food. when there is a problem, the fda will sample it. -- the fda does not decide on a particular food. if the fda believes the problem is serious, they can put a company or country on automatic detention meeting you can i get the food in until you prove -- meaning you cannot get the food in until you prove you are supplying safe food. for imported food, there is monitoring. they did not decide what food
will or will not be allowed. you did not ask to enter food in. independent host: college in mount clemens, mich. -- independent caller. caller: it should be called fast death association. they put drugs on the market that supposedly go detesting but then they are recalled because they cause death. they put food in our system. people are begging for labeling so we know we are getting genetically modified foods. they refused to do it. host: militias take a step back and talk about -- let's just take a step back. and makes the decision on who should -- what should be on the labels? guest: it's decided by the fda.
the food label is a very small space. there are 10,000 different things it can put on a food label and you want to get the most important things that are on there. for genetically modified foods, the fda has looked at this over a number of years. genetically modified foods do not alter the food in a way that changes it from those that are not genetically modified. we have been genetically modifying foods for 100 years through crop reading only now it's more sophisticated. -- through crop breeding. host: what we're looking at this morning is food safety, when code is contaminated how the fda reacts, how it deals with it, and how it can prevent contaminated food entering the system. our guest is richard williams,
the mercatus center policy richards director at george mason -- resesarch director. next caller. hi, mark. caller: thank you for taking my call. i was concerned about the conservatives and steroids -- preservatives and steroids they're putting in canned goods so they can stay on shelves for a long time. i have seen on eggs, they look like dots where they have injected something in them? i do not know if that is true or not, but it looks like they have injected maybe something into the egg to save longer. guest: food additives was a serious problem, and
particularly when the fda was first born. we found food manufacturers intentionally adding things that were potentially harmful to people. the fda now has a system in place for food additives can not be added unless there preapproved for a specific food. the system works quite well. you will not generally find any food additive that will be harmful. you should not find any at this point. the fda about which the risk to make sure it is safe. host: let's talk about the food safety modernization act and what some of the aspects are when it went into place and how the rollout is going. it requires producers to put in controls to prevent hazards in the food chain. it establishes a product racing system to track food. tell us about those two and what it does. guest: the food safety modernization act requires 50 new regulations. it requires preventative
controls. this is something i want to talk about. in addition, it talks about traces. asking the fda to anticipate where all the problems are and trying to regulate those problem, the fbi has been doing that very successfully. not so successful in the last 30 years or so. i do not believe that regulations that are coming out now, we are asking the fda to anticipate problems in a very complex food supply. i think the better thing for the fda to focus on is the safety aspect. here's why. if a plant is caught producing contaminated food, they face an enormous amount of cost. they're going to have to recall that food. that's costly. second of all, they can have lawsuits. there's a tremendous loss in
sales. it will affect your brand. if you are a small firm, you can go out of business because people will not buy from you. here's what's changing in the world of food. before, we used to have contracts that would call for on-time delivery of food of a certain visible quality. now we find there are millions of contracts going in play between food manufacturers who are concerned about not having to bear these costs. when the fda can inspect plants, once every 5-10 years, they inspect themselves once per year or less. some firms inspect themselves once a week. it's making a huge difference. that means it's not necessary for the fda to anticipate every single problem. the food industry is doing it in cells. what the fda can do to make it better is to focus on tracing
back ontting the on uus manufacturers. the more we can do that, the more we can do. it is better to start shifting resources not something that will really work for consumers and reduce the rate of food borne disease. host: this establishes fees for domestic and importer inspection. this is from the congressional research service. richard williams, a story in "the washington post" yesterday shows your advances in fighting food borne illnesses. -- fewer advances.
what is holding out getting this implemented? guest: we start with the assumption that the fda or any federal agency that is because it's a problem that we will have a solution. that's not necessarily the case. these are very complex problems. the fda right now trying to deal with produce safety. there are a number processes. the issues the fbi managed to tackle like filthy plants, dangerous additives, pasteurization for milk, those are easy problems to solve. they were very obvious. the problems are not so obvious now. just because we say there is a problem and we tell the fda to go out and find where the issues are to pass regulation does not mean they will effectively be
able to do that. so you ask what is holding of deregulation. i have been out of there for a few years now, but maybe they just do not have solutions that work. the fda will pass regulations of the pressure is put on them. whether or not the regulations will be effective at reducing food borne disease is an entirely different question. host: new hampshire, independent caller. good morning. caller: mr. williams, i would like to talk to you about genetically modified foods, hormones, animal parts fed to animals, these sorts of things. is are the things in food safety that has me upset. i will not buy corn or soy because i did not know what is genetically modified and what is
not. i only buy organic meat and produce for the same reason. i'm on a very limited budget which means i'm not able to buy a lot of good food very often. i would rather go hungry than eat some of the things that are put in animals and produce nowadays. at the very least, mr. williams, i know you do not say there is not a lot of room on the packaging, but take out a lot of things that are not as important for people. at the very least, put labels on things. let us know what we, as consumers, believe what is safe to eat and what is not. i do not care what you believe is safe. i care what i believe is safe. guest: thank you for that. it has to be consumer choice. you consume what you believe is safe. again, for the fda to label
genetically modified foods and this point would require legislation. the fda does not have a statutory regulation to do so. the fda does not have the authority to label that right now. for most people, however, if you're concerned about what you make you should be more concerned about nutrition than safety. in terms of the impact on american's health, nutrition is going to be a much bigger issue than food safety. host: talking about sued -- food safety and not getting sick. you mentioned 48 million people get sick every year from food borne illnesses. what can people do at home? guest: the steps are simple. a refrigerated foods that need to be refrigerated properly. i think that is one issue we have seen. the number one issue is make sure that food are cooked
thoroughly. you should not eat your eggs ronny. you should not -- eggs runny. you should not eat raw meat. host: richard williams, former director of the center for food safety at the fda from 1980-2007 mason university in the mercatus center. caller: good morning. it's a pleasure to get in. i want to commend you and mr. williams on this program this morning, food safety. at the beginning of the show come you had mentioned that the fda looked at domestic and
international imports. they have recalled salami from haiti they have found is made from excrement. people are developing cancer. the have jurisdiction over the dominican republic? -- do you have jurisdiction? can you do to help that country that has been victimized by this product? guest: if it is made for imports to the united states we do have jurisdiction. they rely on them permission like this to make sure they can reject food that has been improperly handled contaminated. -- they rely on information like this to make sure food has been
properly handled. host: james, independent scholar. florida. caller: i've got a question. it seems like people who work for the fda a lot of times end up working for monsanto and vice versa. is this revolving door in conflict of interest? it seems like those two should be working against each other as a check and balance and not hand in hand. you said nutrition is the most important and not genetically modified foods. you should look at the food chart by recommending grains, oats, and organic fruits. thank you for taking my call. guest: some of the employees go
to work for the food industry. some of them come from the food industry. that's an important part of the fda. the fda always have a problem of trying to figure on how food is being produced so it's helpful to have people who come from the food industry who have the deep knowledge about how food is produced. host: let's move on to michael in new orleans on our independent line. caller: good day. sir, we either live in a [unintelligible] for a democracy. in vermont, after 90% of his constituents moved to label gmo foods, he is buckling under monsanto's threat that they will
sue. i do not care if gmo foods are harmful or not, but when 90% of your constituency to label them, you better. is tyranny. you are able to arrest -- it is tyranny. you are a tyrannist. host: do you have any concerns about food borne illnesses. guest: after this schill called -- host: our guest no longer works for the fda. he was there from 1980-2007. he is now with the mercatus center policy research center at george mason. in connecticut, hello. caller: first of all, i am
heartened by listening to the callers who are well educated. do not listen to the fda. they have not been advocates. they have been in the pockets of big food companies. monsanto is the most egregious. this tells you that we do not know that much and it's hard to keep up. that's all i can say. guest: anything to say? -- host: anything to say? guest: there is a problem throughout washington with regulation caleld capture. in some cases, regulatory agencies to respond to the larger companies and it is a concern. i think this is one reason why i would prefer to see the fda focus more on holding firms
it depends on the fda looking for solutions. what do we really want? do we just want a regulation on the books? or do we want to see something that might actually sold to -- solve food safety problems? imported foods are faced exact same standards of domestic food otherwise they're not allowed in. host: kileen, texas. caller: good morning, libby and mr. williams. did i see earlier in this segment that the budget was $866 million for the fda? host: the total budget is $882 million for the food program. caller: ok. that is a wonderful return on investment compared to a whole bunch of government programs.
over 100 years, the fda has safeguarded our food supply. just look at the average life expectancy in the 1940's -- from and the fda the 70's and the food supply is one reason from it. from the upton sinclair administration to where we are today, there is no guarantees, but i believe this program is one heck of a return on investment as opposed to the defense department, homeland security, and other government programs. i would like your reaction, mr. williams. guest: thank you for that. the return on investment in the fda probably have been worthwhile and that was particularly true in the early years when we saw a number of important problems.
when the fda required that milked be pasteurized after the discovery of pasteurization, that cut 25% of all food borne illnesses just from that. my concern now it is we have had three or four decade where we have made little progress in making food paper. the only way to go forward is we have to shift the way we do business. we have to look at what is going on in the market now. we have to look at the incentives we can create make food manufacturers take responsibility themselves. they need to bear the cost of these food borne illnesses. if we do that, and i think we are on the verge of giving out, so we can look at the trace back system, i think it will make a quantum leap in food safety. i do not think we will get there by just trying to mask the fda to anticipate every single problem that will occur.
the food system is very complex to 50 years ago. you asked us to regulate the way every problem, and regulate all the plans, there is simply too many of them. we have an opportunity now to make a difference. we need to get the fda's focus away from passing more and more regulation and more toward holding firms accountable. host: richard williams, take us through what happens when an illness is detected in food. let's say there is an outbreak in illnesses in california and to trace back the product and getting them sick. how complicated is the effort? have you spread the word and get the product off the shelves? guest: generally, you find a number of people getting sick. but some think it's really a difficult to detect. it's very similar to what you
get if you have the flu. sometimes it's much worse. sometimes people go to the hospital and you need it to get doctors to take samples and figure out what exactly is making them sick. what actual pathogen is making them sick. it generally they're reported to the centers for disease control which will then collate all of them permission and work with the respective agencies, the fda and the usda. then we will look at what food was implicated. then we can try to look at where they bought the food. then we can trace it back to the firm or the plant that caused the problem. once they get there and they are reasonably certain they have the right plant, the fda and the cdc, and the usda have this system in place. it is a system of fingerprints. each microbial pathogens as a fingerprint, just like a human
fingerprint. if you have a sample from a contaminated person and some of the food from the batch is still there, they can match the fingerprint. when they match the fingerprint, it's positively identifies that firm. then all of the cogs kick in. they all look at this plant and say they do not want to be them, have their brand effected, have all of these recalls. it used to be a there was an outbreak, it was extremely large, it would go to one of the largest national networks. every outbreak now gets reported. all of them are on the web. if you want to know about an outbreak, you can put an rsf feed on the web and it will alert you. when you get the outbreak, you often see an alternate companies
saying, "we don't have that problem." it is becoming more and more likely that if you are a food firm, you cannot sell your product unless you take the proper controls. that is why you have to sign these foods a contract which are often much more stringent than the federal government. they make sure they're in compliance. that is what is changing the system. host: glendale, texas. caller: i'm wondering about food safety with inspectors. why do we not have enough food inspectors? a second point about the wal- mart meet hacking program and the irradiated meat with prepackaged meat, do you see any concerns? guest: both good question. why do we not have enough food safety inspectors? we never will have enough inspectors to make that much of a difference.
that me read you something here. "the fda identifies over 51,000 foods subject to inspection from 2009. 56% were not inspected at all. 14% respected a single time. the remaining 30% inspected two or more times." unless you're willing to put in billions of dollars, you will not seek a greater rate of inspection. my point is there's no reason to. we're seeing contracts that are much more stringent than if the regulations that can change rapidly as the science changes instead of regulation which takes four or five years. this is what will make the plant exercise due diligence. it will not be fda inspection. it will be the private market. the fda needs to make the private markets work better. let me address irradiation.
.n my mind, it's a big failure if you are concerned enough about the amount of irradiation, one of the fda lab scientists explained it to me. the amount of radiation you would get by consuming food that has been irradiated is like you're sitting outside and you stood up and you're that much closer to the sun. that's the extra amount of irradiation you again. it's not a concern. if we had irradiated more foods, we problem could have eliminated millions of cases of the disease. host: next caller from wisconsin. caller: i support most of what you're saying about three stability. i work in the food industry. -- i support what you're saying abotu traceability. there is unemployment aspect to
increase regulation. the good save the modernization act is unfunded for an increase in inspectors. as you mentioned, there is no way to hire that many inspectors in this budget environment. with the strict protocol, you're going have fewer food producers, less local food production and increased costs in food production as a result of we do move away from accountability issue. i do appreciate your aspect your consideration that we do want more traceability, more accountability, and less of an aggressive inspector protocol. that is more appropriate. thank you. guest: thank you. i agree. host: democratic line, madison, missouri. missouri.