Skip to main content

tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  July 1, 2013 7:00am-10:01am EDT

7:00 am
former senior executive for radio free europe talks about the purpose of the broadcast and how the government determines its effectiveness and concerns with leadership and oversight. "washington journal"is next. host: good morning. the congress is out of session all week for the july 4 recess while president obama continues his overseas trip to africa, visiting tanzania today. student loan interest rates are set to sharply increase today after congress failed to come to a compromise last week. and obama administration officials now have exactly three months ago before new health insurance exchanges are scheduled to open as part of the federal health-care law. we will get to all of those issues this morning on the open "washington journal." today marks for months since
7:01 am
the across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration went into effect. we want to hear your take this morning. tell us your take on the impact and how it has impacted your life. democrats can give us a call at -- we have a special line set up for federal employees today -- 202-585-3883 or can e-mail, but we guess, join the conversation on facebook. it has been four months since sequestration went into effect and we want to get your take on the impact, how you are seeing it in your neighborhood, how bad
7:02 am
you think it has been. some stories from the papers today, we will take a great to open " washington post" -- you right to " washington post" - -
7:03 am
we're getting your thoughts this morning, four months and. some comets are ready on our facebook page this morning, www.facebook.com/cspan.
7:04 am
we are getting your thoughts this morning. politico referring to sequestration as a long, slow burn.
7:05 am
we want to hear about those local impacts in your neighborhood and your take on sequestration for months in. we will start with an know enough from colorado on our
7:06 am
democratic line. from colorado on our democratic line. my husband and i are both disabled and very poor. we cannot afford a computer. that is a bias toward wealthier people. host: your thoughts on sequestration? caller: i'm calling from colorado and for some reason we sit here with the lightning rod and through every day wondering which neighborhood is going to burn? ourestration has cut firefighters and the equipment they need to stay on top of these fires. it is really going to hurt. we are expecting a drought, more wildfires.
7:07 am
we have horrible problems and dead trees everywhere. we are living under a cloud of fear. host: do you think the ones that were made before march when these cuts went into effect, do you think iraq sure it -- do you think they were accurate? i don't think anyone foresaw, or they just to not care. the wealthier are getting more of what they need and everybody else is going by the wayside. we have a beautiful state and our tourism industry -- no one wants to come here as a terrorist now. have ammer they cannot campfire, they cannot go to our parks.
7:08 am
it will keep rolling on. i do not know what will take to wake people up. it is just insane. they throw parties to afford put truffles on a hot dog. host: we will take your point. some of the fires raging out west, here is the front page of "the arizona republic," talking about 19 firefighters that are killed out in the town of the ine now in -- town of yarnell arizona. e will go to the line at leaste set up for federal employees. tell us about the impact of
7:09 am
sequestration on your life. caller: it has put a hold on a lot of spending in the federal government. i came from state government and when i first got here it seemed different the way the spending power to reject it seemed different the way the spending patterns and people seem to do. been employees that have federal employees all of their lives, they get upset about that because they are used to doing certain things like traveling and getting every person going to the same place. the president has put different holds on and mandatory things have happened. you cannot have a bunch of federal employees at the same conference -- we are not sponsoring conferences. the one thing federal employees left to do is go to conferences. it is not the norm now.
7:10 am
we save hundreds of millions of dollars now. some of the spending they do in the federal government, that has been cut back by the president. that is a good thing. there is no way they would cut something that provides for the government -- that is misrepresentation by different people. the atmosphere of politics is just awful. host: bob from greenbelt. the mall from the call. a little bit more from "the washington post close " this morning -- thisshington post" morning --
7:11 am
7:12 am
we're getting your take on sequestration. nick is from tennessee on our independent line. caller: i could go back to when the progressive movement started in the 1900s. the federal government has gotten bigger and bigger. we have a huge behemoth sitting on our we of two diseases, political correctness and economic --
7:13 am
from the date a child is born that they owe the government $60,000 and ordered to pay the debt. sequestration has given me a glimmer of hope that we can start of this beefs -- we can starve this beast. the stock law was a law where do insider trading. it was a big hullabaloo. theye dead of night brought it back in the president signed it. that is how polluted and poisonous washington is now. sequestration gives you hope? do you think things are going to get better? caller: it shows something can be done. whatne to do is go further.
7:14 am
people say it is going to be painful. there is pain. host: make from fairfield, tennessee. i want to go back to our federal employee line that a set up. waiting on that line from georgia. good morning to you. caller: good morning. i wanted to make a couple of brief points. what sequestration means to me is that it is real. as of last friday i got another letter -- a more permanent letter. i didn't even really belread it. it is here upon us, it is going to happen. i am under the tea dop umbr-- under teh dop umbrella. i have no problem looking at where you can reduce duplicate
7:15 am
over-layers. what i find hard to swallow is there seems to be no equity. if you are under the dod, in d.c. i have friends that are not affected. i have many friends whose agencies have been able to divert funds and avoid it all together. bearerybody is going to the cross then everyone should -- host: let me get your response to a tweet -- what is your reaction to that? host: i find that laughable because i was in the private
7:16 am
sector for 10 years. when it turns out i went to the federal government. it is not that i am being uncompassionate. there is this misconception that everybody working for the federal government is at top of the gravy train. job have the security of and good benefits but it does not like people are getting rich. if you want more security, if you want a federal job than get a federal job. >> a couple of stories about impacts in specific states from today's paper. here is "usa today."
7:17 am
here is a local story from hawaii --
7:18 am
that story from a local tv station out in hawaii. back to our phone lines, scott is at fort meade, maryland and our federal employee line. caller: i am a little bit different from a lot of your callers, i am a military member. i worked side-by-side with
7:19 am
civilian work force. people are hurting awful bad. as a military member i can tell you that our budget in the marine corps has been cut quite a bit and has cost us to suffer from some challenges. you do not feel it the day it is being cut but you will feel it the day after. what we're seeing is a lot of challenges being presented to us. it is forcing us to be adapted to these things, which is at what a lot of services needed to do. i am not debating sequestration may be necessary but what i am going to do is that -- is say that it will pay down the road for some of the other acquisitions of weapons that we need in order to fight the next war. feel let down the road. host: thank you for the call. here is a tweet from john
7:20 am
steinbeck -- we are taking your calls and comments on our facebook page. several opinion pieces on a number of different papers on this issue, on the four month anniversary of sequestration taking effect back on march 1. here is a headline from one of those opinion pieces in "the huffington post close " -- post" -- ton it is comforting to our business
7:21 am
community that the government has been controlled go with the cuts. even the president to take action to keep our government finances from completely going off the rails. it is encouraging to see the economy respond, more housing increase investments, higher sales, increased growth, even a 4% rise in the dow since march 1. the story not our economy continues to improve, due to many factors. let us not forget the fed stimulus. too much austerity can be a bad thing but so far so good. let us hope this belt-tightening continues, it is painful, but it is working. just ask the business people. we are taking your comments and thoughts throughout this first 45 minutes of the washington journal. the texasturn to
7:22 am
legislature started a special session today. -- thank you for joining us. give us a sense of what is going on in this special session. a recap what wendy davis did last weekend. ofst: in the closing hours our first special sense a certain -- a special session we had senator wendy davis top for in atalk for hours filibuster attempt. the abortion bill would have required facilitate upgrades to admittingd require
7:23 am
privileges, doctors to give it committing privileges to hospitals within 30 miles of the clinic. those last two parts of the bill -- abortion advocate rights would say they would close down all but five clinics in the entire state because of the cost of upgrading to an ambulatory surgical center. in parts of texas there are no hospitals within 30 miles so they would not be able to comply with the rules. she talked for 11 hours, was not successful in finishing until the midnight deadline. she broke three rules of doing the filibuster so she had to sit down. that is when other democratic senators tried to continue to debate the rules, to debate the points, to debate the votes that
7:24 am
were coming up on getting past the filibuster. a large crowd of people in the senate crowd -- in the senate gallery started cheering and screaming and shouted down republicans as they tried to pass the bill at the last second. kut: ben philpott is with news. what is expected to actually happen in this session? 30-day it is another session. the reason the filibuster work is because it was able to begin with 13 hours left in the session. republicans do have mass majorities in the texas house and senate. the bill is expected to pass this time. there are not enough
7:25 am
parliamentary procedures for democrats left. the one final one they could use is they could not show for work. you have to have two-thirds of the body there to continue to work. democrats do have enough people in the house and senate to break forum. there is a note going around today that it looks like the texas house, which is supposed to dabble in a special session at 10:00 a.m. texas time may not have a quorum. different lawmakers stressed that that is more about planned vacations than any planned protest. host: stay with us for a second. we are going to show our viewers -- wendy davis was on "meet the press." here is a listen to what she said. [video clip] >> i do not think it is never
7:26 am
acceptable to conceive an argument on incredibly important issues like this. what we saw in the capital last week was people who really have grown weary of our politicians trying to boost their own political careers on the backs of women by bullying them, and others, in order to promote agendas that heart them personally -- that hurt them personally. this is a matter of personal liberty in texas. we hold dear to intrusions' against personal liberty. fight again at the session on monday. i do not think that we will can see that the battle is over. even if this bill passes, obviously there will be challenges to it going forward. philpotts, you said
7:27 am
that she cannot filibuster for 30 days. how have her efforts changed the conversation on this issue? guest: texas democrats have not had a statewide win since 1984. this is a completely republican controlled legislature since 2003. democrats have not shown up and -- the public has not shown up much of what is going on since. that small protest over education funding -- what changed was in a few days youing up to the filibuster didn't see other abortion-rights groups getting to the capital, query coordinated shirts --
7:28 am
--ring coordinated shirts there are some abortion-rights republicans in the mix with this as well. something you have seen out of democrats, an energy or excitement for a sense of we can make a difference, that you have not seen her around the capital in a long time. appreciate you coming on with us this morning on "washington journal." comments thisyour morning. we have been reading some of the editorials and opinion pieces on the subject. here is a piece from today's washington times, asking what austerity, in reference to sequestration --
7:29 am
if you want to read more from that that is in today's " washington times" -- washington post closed " this morning -- washington post" --
7:30 am
7:31 am
we are taking your calls on this issue. we will go to georgia on our republican line. good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call. i would like to comment on that guy talking about abortion. talk about sequestration. caller: what hurts me about sequestration is that the president and all of his cronies -- they are hurting the worst of the best people in the government.
7:32 am
like cutting the white house and visits from children and the schools, it does not make any sense. why don't we cut real things like all the spending that goes to africa? the hundred million dollars going to africa. i know the president has to travel and have security but does he have to do it now? he can really show leadership by saving it for later on when the government is doing better. tot: we want to go brooklyn, new york, a retired federal employee. a your take on the sequestration for months in -- your take on sequestration four months in. caller: i used to work for the federal government. worked during the clinton administration.
7:33 am
what i know that most people do not realize is that the employees took whatever work they could. another thing i want to mention is that people have the impression that federal employees get some much vacation and pay. what most people do not realize is that it is very common for employees not to take it. you save it up because if you do not have enough time, you want andave your vacation time, there comes a time that you accumulate enough and if you do not use it you just lose it. it is very trying for federal employees to lose leave.
7:34 am
it is up to you to know if you can keep up your work and have some functioning rule. host: thank you for the info. a tweet that came in -- i want to read a few other stories that are happening for you. this is from "the wall street journal" -- in that story there is a picture of congressmen bob goodlatte, who was on "state of the union,"
7:35 am
talking about the senate passage of the immigration bill. [video clip] >> we would love to have this bipartisan group produce a bill that would inform the house, just like the senate bill helped form the senate. a 70% republicans in the senate voted against the immigration bill. the compromise is going to have to come from getting the bill out of the house and then going to conference with the senate to work out differences. the senate bill gives legal status to 11 billion people -- 11 million people before solves all problems with securing the border, with entry/exit visa systems. in 1986 -- >> we average that, during the reagan years. is there any way that this house of representatives is going to
7:36 am
pass a bill that includes a pathway to legalization for undocumented workers? >> when you use pathway to legalization as opposed to citizenship, i would say yes. >> that is congressman bob could lot from virginia region congressman bob goodlatte -- congressman bob goodlatte from virginia. jeb bush talking about the case for imigration reform. this story notes --
7:37 am
on the sunday shows yesterday, nancy pelosi was on "meet the press" and was also asked about the issue of immigration. [video clip] >> we would not be where we are right now had it not been for 70% of hispanics that voted democrat in the last election. that cost any epiphany in the senate. all of a cent we have already passed comprehensive immigration reform in the senate. i believe that the members of congress, many more, have been directly affected themselves by the number of hispanics in their district. it is certainly right for the republicans to say they want to win the presidential race. talkingveral members about immigration, that was nancy pelosi on the "meet the press."
7:38 am
we have a couple of moments to talk about the impact of sequestration. the headlines in "the washington post" this morning -- we are taking your thoughts on how you see the impact of the sequestered. sequester. caller: you should the article a little while ago about the fire shows -- the fireworks show is being cut. paragraph to skip a in there that shows that for two years the people in charge of these operations knew that these cuts were coming and they did not make the arrangements to compensate for it. the new two years in advance
7:39 am
that the sequestration was on the way. different departments did not bother to take any steps. those people should be fired and two departments in which the people did take the proper steps, so that their people would not guilty sequestration pain, those people should be promoted and put into places where they can make a difference. they are the ones that can see. we the people are broke. we do not want to see this. we made the arrangements -- they need to make the rich as to protect the people from the effects of seeing today. thank you for your time. host: thank you for the call. not in theation was article, that is in open " usa today." it does note some other bases canceling ceremonies that marks the nation's birthday.
7:40 am
july 4thou jammin' has been scrapped. the article goes on to note the -- note thesey's fact that new jersey postulant base is canceling events as well. caller: it is amazing watching the media today. a month ago, with the irs scandal -- i am reading a book right now. it shows how the irs between 2003 and 2008, with the treasury department, stole 10 trillion dollars. five trillion dollars from the banking, 2.5 from pensions and
7:41 am
2.5 from insurance. you are talking about the fact of the sequester. -- the fact of the sequestered. you should be talking about the effects the war of iraq had on this country. about $4d talk gasoline and how it is affecting this country. background there is the capital. if you go back to the constitution, the title of this book is "taking back the rough belt." i'm talking about sequestered. the background is the capital. absolutelyering has done nothing. for you people to come on and try to fool the american people
7:42 am
while ignorning -- there is 175 billion dollars sitting in apple computers, a balance sheet. that is $175 billion. the walmart hears are sitting on $250 billion. host: your take is these sequester is small potato? caller: it is a tool the media uses to not address the real problems of this country. host: thank you for the thoughts this morning. i want to point to other stories today. as we noted at the top of the program, student loan rates are set to double today as the calendar flips to july. --s from fox news
7:43 am
"republicans have proposed linking student loans to the financial markets instead of letting congress said federal lending rates. president obama included a variation of that market-based approach in the budget he sent to congress earlier this year." that story is in fox news from today. if you would like to read more. also, several of reports in several of the papers onrnal
7:44 am
on that same issue, wikileaks founder julian assage was on the shows yesterday. he said snowden, -- here is a bit of what he said this week -- [video clip] >> there is no stopping the publishing process at this stage. great care has been taken to
7:45 am
ensure mr. snowden can't be pressured by any state. canceling the passport has left him more room in russia. is that a great outcome by the state department? is that what they wanted to do? every citizen has a right to their citizenship. to take someone's principal component of citizenship is a disgrace. he has not been convicted of anything. there are no international warrants out for his arrest. to take a passport for -- a passport from a young man is a disgrace. he is a hero. he has told people of the world and the united states that there is mass, unlawful interception of their communications, far beyond anything that happened
7:46 am
under president nixon. president obama has turned around and said it is ok. host: one other international story, this on the front page of "the washington post" -- there is a shot from that scene on sunday. we want to take one more call on this issue of sequestration, being the four month anniversary of sequestration taking effect. we will go to neutrally, pennsylvania on our independent line. the federal budget has gone up more than last year, so
7:47 am
it is a cut and an increase. the administration is correct -- the administration is trying to create as much pain as possible to get publicity for this. over you think it was hiked back in february? caller: yes. the federal government borrows 40% of every dollar. the federal government is going to have to shrink by 825% or 30% over the next few years. it is too big, there are too many employees. if you look at the past and the soviet union, they had more federal employees when the craft -- when they collapsed. host: this story on the front page --
7:48 am
that is it for this segment of "washington journal." up next, the nation's taxpayer advocates say the irs is near crisis. nina olsen joins us. in three months a major component of the federal health- care law begins when the insurance marketplace is open for enrollment. julie rovner will update us on how preparations are going. we will be right back. ♪
7:49 am
>> making the transition from journalism to books is exhilarating and completely overwhelming and frightening. >> why did you make that choice? >> i have long wanted to be working on a book because of the freedom that it allows you, to really dive into a topic and losers self, and have -- and lose yourself, and have a time -- will take your calls, e-mails, facebook comments, and tweets, noon eastern on "book tv," on c- span2. had a tremendous role. going to camp every winter was huge. he thought so. it was not just valley forge.
7:50 am
it was every winter of the eight long winters of the revolutionary war. she hated it. it was dangerous, she was a prime object of hostage taking. she was key to troop more rapid he felt that very strongly. she would organize the other officer's wives. they would cook for the soldiers, and there's the soldiers, pray with the soldiers come up with concrete -- and i agree with the soldiers, put up great entertainment. washington said he could not have done it without martha. he backed her to come to camp every year. her, "ladyadored washington is here." >> we continue our conversation
7:51 am
on first ladies, from our washington to michelle obama, tonight at 9 eastern on c-span. journal"ngton continues. revenueth the internal service in the news quite lately we turn it tonina olsen, who served at four years as the national tax payer advocate. for those that have not heard of the national african service, tellus a bit about what the work is and how you are connected. inst: my office was created the 1980's, amended in 1998. we are charged by congress to help taxpayers solve their problems with the irs and to make administrative and legislative recommendations to get rid of those problems or mitigate the problems. i have about 75 offices around
7:52 am
the country, one in each state as required by law. that helpyees now solve taxpayer problems. >> are you part it -- are you funded as part of the irs? in order to have -- to help taxpayers with the cases we had to have access to the information. if we worked in the treasury department you would have to carve a big hole in lot to protect privacy. yearve 300,000 cases per of individual and business taxpayers. host: you have been doing this for 12 years. is it an appointment process? guest: by statute i am appointed by secretary of the treasury. i was appointed by larry summers in january 2012. i showed up to work on march 1, 2001.
7:53 am
one of your jobs is to do a mid-your report on the irs. on this your's report you referred to them as an institution in crisis. explain. guest: a think the irs has been shrinking over the years as its work load has been growing. its work load has not just been in court or tax administration, where the job is to -- it collects about 90% of the federal revenue, two 0.2 trillion dollars per year. $two 0.2 trillion per year. it administers an enormous number of payouts to taxpayers, --h on the individual side they may have received the economic stimulus statement.
7:54 am
we have a home buyer credit, we have the federal adoption credit. on the business side, a large number of benefits. we now have health care coming down the line. it has really changed over the last couple of decades into not just a revenue, collector but a benefit, administrator. >> targeting of conservative groups for irs scrutiny, what insight can you share? guest: i found out about it listening to lois lerner at an american bar association conference. we referred the 19,000 cases we have received since january 1, 2010. there were only 19 cases dealing 3).h 501 (c) (
7:55 am
i do think that what we did in our june report -- we released a special report in which we provide our analysis. we do not have investigatory staff. we are not like the inspector general nor are we conducting an investigation. there are six concurrent congressional investigations and an fbi investigation. they do not need somebody else poking in at that level. we took a look at our work and we took a look at what we know about the exempt organizations functionally and what we understand about the law. we made 16 concrete very actionable recommendations to prevent this from happening again. >> we are taking your calls and questions this morning with nina olson. your national taxpayer advocate.
7:56 am
the lines -- one of those folks is mapped on baltimore, maryland on our independent line. caller: i just wanted to question a point he made about the irs and being -- having a reduction. if anybody goes to new carrollton they will find a building right next to the irs building. there is a building almost as 110,000at has employees, all to an irs business. ha -- all of doing irs business.
7:57 am
you make a point about the use of contractors. i think contract and has been reduced. the contract and has been reduced. the irs has had a reduction of employees by about 5%. it used to be 100,000 regular employees and now it is down to 80,000. about new carrollton as an example, what you see is a centralization of irs employees a certain large sites. i have a problem with that. what is being produced in particular are some of the more local offices. i have a problem with that because i believe if you have an irs out in the community than it is better for the irs than the taxpayers. they are members of a community where they are forced to relate
7:58 am
to tax payers, given the economic conditions they are experiencing in their community. our employees are being centralized in large sites around the country. they have no idea what is going on in the rest of the country. a think that shows up in the way we deal with taxpayers on the phone. taxpayerstanding of -- the numbers show that the irs has had significant attrition. our staff has been reduced significantly. even as our workload -- you can have reductions in staff due to efficiency and productivity. our workload has grown enormously. the reason i make this point, and it may sound like something strange who is a tax payer advocate, but a point about this
7:59 am
is if the irs has less resources to serve taxpayers, what is going to do is turn to more automation, less being available on the phone, court taxpayer service, and that is going to harm taxpayers. be anyone out there to pick up their phone. that is a bad thing and that is quite hard taxpayers. -- and that is going to harm taxpayers. again, my earlier point was about automation. as the irs looks to save money and do more with less, it turns to automation. in fact, what i would like to say is tax is messy and taxpayers do not have clean,
8:00 am
neat, tidy lives. they have a situation that has never been encountered before. irs needs to talk to these people and find out about their circumstances and be able to help them. with automation you are not able to. employees does the irs have? 87,000 right about now. i have seen their contracts shrank. i have personally felt there was a big issue about contrasting out a lot of the work. several years ago there was an action to contract out debt collection. i was particularly disturbed about that one because i think collecting taxes is an inherently government function and i questioned the efficacy and the numbers showed it was not very effective. where were paying commissions to private collectors. she has been in this job
8:01 am
since march, 2001. lead in nationwide organization of approximately 2000 tax payer advocates to help u.s. taxpayers resolve problems and work with iris to correct procedural problems. with the irs to correct procedural problems. guest: when i make recommendations, i submit them to the commissioner, and by law he has to respond to them in writing within 90 days. the recommendations that we make an annual reports, we have a 55% agreement rate. congress makes legislative recommendations. congress has a pretty good record of at least acted upon. they hold a hearing or someone drops a piece of legislation. it depends on whether congress
8:02 am
is an acting legislation. there has not been a lot of legislative activity on the tax front. jimmy walker writes, why has the government given so much power to the irs? no government excess without taxes. there are only certain ways for the government to raise funds. the agency that collects taxes is the internal revenue service. it is by law the most powerful creditor in the united states. it can do anything that any private creditor would have to go to court and show it has the right to do. the supreme court has said all that taxes are the lifeblood of government and the government agency that collects them should have the power to do things that would not hold up
8:03 am
the life blood coming in. i have also said the money we are giving up are the lifeblood of the taxpayers and we need to have the ballads and protections. that there are some folks believe the irs should be abolished. here is an article by peter more ssey. simply he writes irs is not a neutral tax collecting institution, but a collection of glass -- grass-roots activists and enjoying virtually unchecked power to enjoy the personal reputation and finances of those that oppose liberal ideas and inflect terror on ordinary americans through the arbitrary interpretation of tax rules and onerous audits. at the uptake on iras. you want to respond to that? a tough take on the irs.
8:04 am
guest: if you want the government, you have to bring in revenue somehow. if that is the case and will bring it in through taxes as opposed to the government owning businesses, you will have to have an agency to collect it. he will have to replace it with some kind of agency that collects what ever revenue we have. i believe the irs has the power to destroy lives. that is why i exist. that is why congress created my job. protect taxpayer rights. irs forced before the 27 years since 1975, before i came into this position. peoplenot seen any trying to go after any one group of people for their political beliefs. i deservencludes what or have read in the inspector
8:05 am
general report. i have, however, represented tax payers and worked for taxpayers that advocated for taxpayers where the irs actions have the power to destroy the business and lives. these are the powers congress has given it, but very important taxpayer rights to check the powers. my job is to make sure the rights are respected. --t: question on twitter guest: the highest percentage of people audited are the people who make over $1 million. the next highest are the lowest income who receive the earned income tax credit. there is about a 1% audit rate of individual taxpayers. your chance of getting audited it's very minimal. that is what counts as a legal
8:06 am
great in terms of going into the books and records. this brings audit rate of much higher, which may be that you made a mistake on your return that is inconsistent from one page to the next and they send you a notice on this unless you disagree. this goes way beyond math. there is other stuff for europe left off. let's say you have a 1099 form and you left it off your return. the irs will send you a notice to say we have noticed this and document matching. if you do not respond, we will send you a bill. there's a lot of activity there. host: we are talking with me now olson -- nina olson. lydia up next. caller: good morning.
8:07 am
the idea to abolish the irs is ridiculous and will not happen. you advocate for taxpayers. who advocates for the workers of the internal revenue service? i was watching of formal -- former director of the cincinnati office. has alwayst office been understaffed and overworked. he said that is one of the problems. the number of the tax-exempt organizations have ballooned in the past 10 years, and the fact that office -- the staff at the office has not increased. who advocates for these workers that have been accused of all kinds of crimes when they are overworked? not fullyations are filled out because the internal revenue service has changed
8:08 am
exclusively for social welfare to primary. who gave them the authority to change the status? host: this is something you talk about the report. guest: the employees in cincinnati have their own attorney and things like that, but i can say that since 2005 i have been pointing out in my december report where i am told by law to identify 20 of the most serious problems that tax- exempt and governmental entity organizations has been understaffed in many ways. they are directly relevant to this issue. exempt organization unit has been getting an increasing number of
8:09 am
applications. the slow identified cycle time in handling applications. this was one of the most serious problems of taxpayers. in my report this june my " back was advocating for more staffing in the unit. no, this will be fine once we get to the backlog. they never got through the backlog. they have not hired more staffing. the other thing really important, for years i have advocated -- there were only nine people in irs who are responsible for educating and conducting out reach to the entire exempt organization sector. i think that is insane. it is a huge sector of the economy. it controls trillions of dollars.
8:10 am
we have nine people to educate them about what their role is? aboutck of understanding what 501c4's are supposed to be doing is significant. on the issue are primarily purses exclusively, the law clearly says charitable organizations -- and it has said that since the law in 1913, that they have to be operated exclusively for either charitable or social welfare purposes. to qualify for tax exemption. the supreme court set up one. that a single, non-charitable would disqualify you. so what they said by implication is that you could have been in substantial non-
8:11 am
exempt purpose. yearsss did that several later by an acting something called an unrelated business income tax. they would pay tax on that. that followed up with court cases, but also regulation and revenue ruling. regulations are issued by the treasury department. they said they have to be operated exclusively, means primarily. that is very hard to understand, but that has been the revolution -- evolution of law. saying primarily there can be done-exempt activities going on that would be subject to tax, or that they could do non-business activities that would not be for
8:12 am
social welfare. that does not answer the question about how much. i think that is where the real problem came in. activity doitical they do before it becomes a substantial and are no longer primarily organized for social welfare? >> the calller asked about training. what is the irs budget each year? nott: for training, i do know that. i do know it has been reduced by 83 percent from 2010 to where they projected to be by the end of the year. the overall training budget. i do not know what the trading budget is for the overall organization. i do not have the precise number. it is in the report, but i do not know that myself. the: james is up next on republican line. good morning.
8:13 am
hear you veryot well. i have my tv turned off. i would like a couple of things answered if i could get them. i am a disabled veteran. . live on a fixed income i live on that. i stood there and hear all amut this all irs stuff -- i 55-years-old and i have worked all my life. i have spent 21 years in the military, and this is my pension for the rest of my life. what i really curious about is where does the accountability come from?
8:14 am
it their corn to start taking taxes out of my money because of obama care and all that other stuff -- i do not know how to explain what i am trying to say. host: this might be a good time to talk about the taxpayer bill of rights. you are ahink if veteran and receiving the care, you would not be subject to any of the shared responsibility is what they're calling it. so i think there is that, but i think the issue of accountability is very important. for several years now i have been recommending that congress enact what is called a taxpayer bill of rights that basically says to taxpayershave these 10 rights, and they are a can the to the constitutional
8:15 am
bill of rights, and they will let taxpayers know there are protections that they have, so that they can say, don't i have the right to appeal? are these new protections? are specificere protections. we did a survey in 2012 that was a representative sample of u.s. taxpayers nationwide and found that only 55 percent of them did not know they have rights before the irs. only 11% to what they were. if you only have 11 percent went about precisely what their rights are, there is something wrong. proposing an educational effort? guest: it is. it is also more than that, to provide a constructs for the irs
8:16 am
to look at the initiative and analyze them according to the foundational right that taxpayers have. in my report i look at the exem organization funion issue that has just occurred, and i look at that in light of what i am proposing, and i found by operation of the program it violated eighth of the 10 foundational rights. the right to be informed of for one thing. to be told why your application is being held up. what information is additionally needed. the right to be assisted. the lack of organization -- help that these organizations got was absurd. the right to appeal. ,ost of the organization's after the application is 270 days old, get to go to the united states tax court, which would then have looked of the ruling. have the right to
8:17 am
go to the united states tax court. they can go on the web site and you will see the june report. there is a discussion of that. that is all geared discussion and the list of the rights. i would also say i also propose five taxpayer responsibilities. to beave a responsibility honest, to pay timely, to respond timely to reasonable inquiries. also, you could call into foradvocate case lined specific issues. how do they use that line? they have significant
8:18 am
hardship as a result of something the irs is doing or not doing or about to do, they can call. significant hardship fall into three categories. one is. the irs will levy on your paycheck, a bank account. they're not releasing a lead against property in the to go to closing. on the other hand, systemic processes arehe not working right. they are taking too long to get to an answer, or you have an issue that the rules do not address and they're treating you as a cause and you need to get through the bureaucracy. the third issue is the violation of their rights. 18-77-275-8275. 8271. caller: good morning.
8:19 am
thank you for c-span. i guess witchy e and the big corporations that do not pay any taxes and the jobs that have been shipped overseas that we have lost that tax money, so it is the middle guys that will pay to keep the country running. the main thing i was calling about was when i done my income taxes i of $398. i made a mistake and sent them to hundred $98. lo and behold i got the notice i owe them $100 with $1 service charge and 40 cents interest. it was due on june 26. and i send them a check. they got it on the 24th. i called the bank and it was cashed. they send me a notice july 8 they have not received the money.
8:20 am
paper, envelopes and return envelope. i did not know how much it cost to send a second notice out, but have they check their own records, they would have found it was paid and i put all the information on the check that they asked me to put. if this is being duplicated thousands or millions of times throughout the country, that might be one way they could save money. excellent make an point. this is something we have made the point about in the annual report. the irs has a huge backlog in correspondence. partly because it has moved the same people who handle the mail coming in also handle the phones. when the phone traffic goes up, they move people from mail on to the phones and vice versa. we have more backlog in correspondence that i have ever seen in my working for the irs
8:21 am
or representing taxpayers. what happens is just what you described. we get something in from the taxpayer. check, theere is a employees are required to take the money and deposit it to the federal reserve. the money gets deposited but processing your letter does not get processed quickly enough. did you have -- did you have mail that is queued up by the computer to go out if we have not made an entry that you have responded specifically. we see that over and over again. the irs.a notice from the call on the phone. a 17 minute wait to get through on the phone and we only answer three out of phone calls -- three out of four phone calls. so they could not get as on the phones of the right as a letter. that literally goes against the
8:22 am
wall on a shelf waiting to be processed. they do not get a response and the call on the phone again and then they sent another letter. we have created three pieces of work that we did not need to create if we had handled the first piece of work. what i have to say about that is automation can do a lot, but it cannot pick up the phone and talk to live taxpayer. that is where i say the budget cuts have really hurt the irs. there is really no solution to processing the mail and answering the phone better than more bodies dedicated to that. money in the long run, but no one listens to me about that. host: you bring up the issue of phone wait times. it is something you bring up in the new report. but it's on hold to reach the irs back in 2004, the average is three minutes.
8:23 am
2012 of 500% increase to about 17 minutes on hold waiting for the irs. just one of the issues you can see and reports. yourat you can see in report. talking to the national taxpayer advocate. mark is up next from philadelphia, pa., on the democrats' line. caller: good morning. i am enrolled agents and have been practicing for 40 years. ,his whole thing with the irs seven congressional committees investigating and the fbi. my response is who died? is this katrina with thousands of people died? more congressional committees investigating the irs then investigated 9/11? it is comical.
8:24 am
it is a political witch hunt directed by the tea party republicans who are trying to whip up third base for the 2014 elections. there is no irs scandal. practicing for 40 years. it all the republicans are trying to do is that the budget. they are ready have but want to gut it going forward so that they cannot enforce obama care. leads to a question on twitter. is the irs reacting like the tax-exempt issue is a scandal? he believes they are not a scandal. what has the reaction been inside the irs? is an the calller enrolled agent. that is someone who actually is authorized to represent taxpayers before the internal
8:25 am
revenue service, and that person has taken a very complicated able toorder to be represent taxpayers before the irs. the irs obviously is reacting to major failing. i actually believe it is a major failing. that leaving all partisanship aside, it was a major failing on the part of the irs and part of management and transparency and completely avoidable. let me just say, i have maybe applications. it does not matter. these entities were stopped for like ong for it looks the basis of the level of
8:26 am
political activity seemed to be occurring in them. have tot thing we recognize is every single taxpayer and the united states is subsidizing the tax-exempt status of the charities, and 501c4's. there are 27 organizations. all whole laundry list that are tax-exempt. they are among the largest. so there is a reason for the irs to look at applications very closely to make sure that the subsidy is not being given to someone not entitled to it. i think we all want that. the issue here is that people started seeing organizations, and that they were suspect. personally cannot a pine on anyone's motives. organizations 200
8:27 am
were stopped of which the inspector general said one-third involved the names to party -- etc..rty, patriot and and they also included other names. i do not know what the other names were. i see this happening. employees take shortcuts when they do not have good guidance and training they will even -- and shortcuts for themselves. what they used for words, words that had meaning as opposed to concepts. so that you could do the same screening, and you might even identify the same groups, but you used concepts. the irs does have a revenue ruling and revenue procedure guides out about what are questionable activities. they did not do that.
8:28 am
host: nina olson, a full-time post. previously worked in private tax law practice. do you do your own taes/ xes/ guest: i do. i do them initially first by hand and then go on line and use a tool. host: bill on the republican line is our next calller. and are you there? turn down your tv. franklin is from conway, missouri, on the democratic line. caller: thank you very much for c-span. and i have a question. when the irs collects the money, where does it go then? who gets the money? if you could draw a verbal graph
8:29 am
of where the money goes. the first thing is and you may have noticed this, but the checks are written to the department of the treasury. get thedoes not even money. the deposits it into account that is the department of the treasury. that goes into the larger budget of the united states government. so the money itself does not go to the irs. we deposit it into accounts that are under control of the treasury department and the federal government. host: question on twitter. why is the u.s. tax code so complicated? it makes people who make honest mistakes in to criminals. ofst: that is a subject books. we have for the past however many years made the complexity of the internal revenue code of the number one most serious
8:30 am
problem for taxpayers. we have tried to discuss it in any number of ways. 1.2s $1.2 billion for -- billion hours. you make as the ball mistake, and you are stuck in a long, involved a conversation with the irs. i think that what has happened is we have not had structural cracks -- tax reform since 1986. over the years provisions did enacted. we have said there has been more than one tax law change per day for the past five or six years. this is ridiculous to have that happen. it is impossible to keep up your head you get the perplexity creep. it is broadbased. he said that is not fair to me so you carve out an exception for that group. someone else says that is not
8:31 am
fair for me. suddenly you get all the set -- statutory provisions. but because of a trap for the unwary. all hell breaks loose. you have to have foundational tax reform. you go back to taking every thing on the table and just simply saying, what provisions do we wanted to have in our tax law? what policy things do we want to run through the code, and then, is it something that irs can administer? even if it is a good idea, if the irs cannot administer it, it cannot go in the law. host: the national tax payer advocate. you could read a recent report. the advocate taste wine if you have questions about an individual case --
8:32 am
thank you for coming on to it. up next, in three months a key part of the federal health-care law begins when insurance marketplace is open for business. towards us less -- towards as next to discuss how people will shop for health insurance. first, we will take a newsbreak with c-span radio. inpresident obama has landed tanzania and will soon hold a press conference for the country's president. c-span radio covering that event. the last of his african trip. this morning door is english- language paper has the headline "obama mania."
8:33 am
the former president is they're working on the president's emergency plan for aids relief. a bilateral commitment by the united states government to support hiv/aids prevention, treatment and developing countries. george bush began the program in 2003. president obama's administration has continued it. tomorrow they will join together for a ceremony taking place at the u.s. embassy in honor of the 1998 bombing that killed 11 people. he will also meet with embassy officials. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> making the transition from journalism to books is exhilarating and completely overwhelming and frightening, but wonderful. >> why did you make that choice? pico i have long wanted to be working on a book because of the freedom that allows you to dive
8:34 am
into a topic and lose yourself and go off on a tangent and have enough time to really explore it fully. sunday. the best-selling author will take your calls, emails. three hours live sunday at noon eastern on c-span to. this morning we continue our peer rot -- periodic look at but a health-care law, and with a key component of that law set to kick in and exactly three months, we're joined by national public radio's julie rovner to discuss health care exchanges. first, what exactly do we mean? what is happening on october 1? guest: on october 1 people will get to sign up for health insurance to do not have it, and
8:35 am
also people who do have it. i keep getting a lot of questions from people who ask are these just for people who are uninsured? the answer is no. if you are 14 million in that uninjured market, you can go to these marketplaces and buy insurance. also for small businesses. those under 50 workers can go to the exchanges and by insurance. people in the individual market, people who do not have insurance and small businesses. the coverage does not become effective until january 1. a six-month sign of time. starts october 1. it begins october 1. everyone is excited about that. october 1. open enrollment january 1.
8:36 am
about the difference between the federal and state -- exchange in state-based exchange. >guest: from a consumer's point of view, it should be invisible. there are paper applications and lots of people to help you. basically it should say welcome to what ever state your in exchange. it will make a difference. the state will do it or the federal government will do it. it may make a difference depending on how much publicity there is, how much marketing there is. the states doing it themselves are able to draw down more government to go out and publicize the exchanges. the way it runs should basically be invisible whether it is run by the federal government, state or in partnership. there are seven partnership exchanges. some states say we would like to have some control over how best
8:37 am
runs, but we are nervous about doing it ourselves so we would like to partner with you and more of your help in doing this. o now there is this bird -- third hybrid exchange. host: these partnerships exchanges are noted on this chart. the light blue exchanges here. the darkest blue are the declared a state-based exchanges. everything else defaulting to the federal exchange. that: those are states said we do not want anything to do with it. some of them are states that were worried they would not be able to do this, that it is a really big undertaking. some thought let me see if the federal government can do it and if it works, we will take it over later. that was an option that they offered.
8:38 am
we're taking your calls in this segment. if you have questions about how things will work with the federal health-care law, we have vner here. if you are outside the u.s. -- penalties, the issue of penalties for those that did not sign up for a health-care plan by the time this program kicks in. penalties are actually a fairly small. this has been a source of discomfort for the insurance industry. basically they signed up to say there would be no more -- they could no longer turn people down for having pre-existing
8:39 am
conditions were no longer charge people for having pre-existing conditions, which meant sick people could sign up. an exchange, there is a new requirement that everyone has to have insurance. the penalties are fairly small. penaltyfirst year the is not $95. the penalty is the greater of $95 or one percent of the taxable income. for most people larger than $95. there are a lot of exceptions. truly cannot afford insurance, you do not have insurance. these penalties go up. when they get the highest, i think $695 or 2.5% of your taxable income. they cannot put you in jail. they cannot basically do anything. basically as a tax penalty.
8:40 am
you,will not come after except by attaching your tax refund. they are basically not born to be able to collect your penalty. rovnertalking to julie of npr. give us a ring. here to answer your questions. pa..do from philadelphia, caller: good morning. can you hear me? i have not been able to get through in a long time and then i am the first on the board. good. i want to ask you a question about health care that will take effect and exchange is coming up in three months. medicare, theyl did not have supplementals, and that can be pretty expensive. will they be able to get in this year with medicare but have an exchange -- a supplemental?
8:41 am
have medicare you are considered to have coverage. the exchanges are not for people who want to buy supplemental coverage. they are for people who basically did not have any coverage. if you have medicare and would like to buy supplemental coverage, you still can. this really is not aimed at the medicare population. there are some provisions of the affordable care at the did expand. there was improvement in the prescription drug coverage. there was some new, preventive measures that went into effect, but basically not a law aimed at the medicare population. seeing stories are racing to october. here is the stories withheld exchanges. what needs to be done
8:42 am
before october 1. guest: there are a lot of people who do not know this is going to happen, particularly people that could be helped the most. the people who could be helped, people who will get large subsidies. people who were not injured, but if they go to the exchanges are eligible for significant help in purchasing insurance. insurance, if you do not get it through your job, is expensive. entirehave to pay the amount, it costs a lot of money. one reason it was so expensive is there are subsidies. if you go on to the exchanges and make between 300%-4 under percent of poverty, you get a lot of help. many of the individuals were eligible for help do not know about it. there are a lot of programs going on, a lot of outside groups. the federal government had some
8:43 am
money, but they wanted more. congress would not give them more. there has been controversy that the department of health and human services have been asking. the insurance industry would benefit from this. health groups that provide free care would benefit. there are a lot of us better out during a lot of publicity out. there was talk about getting professional sports groups involved. they were trying to get young people who were not insured and really need and should be injured and need them to get into the pool to offset the sick people we're talking about. although we did see the nfl say they will probably not be involved. they were approached by republicans in congress who said he did not want to be involved in this and it might hurt your brand. i think maybe they did not want to be involved in the controversy.
8:44 am
host: it was a letter that mitch mcconnell and the texas senator said to the nfl, nba, and a few of the other professional sports leagues warning them about their brand. guest: that is right. the nfl responded late friday afternoon and was worried about getting involved in what seems to be the continuing political controversy. host: what was the obama administration's response? briefing lastas a week and said they had been talking to the nfl. there was unconfirmed talks there were involved with the nba because the season stretches out over the side of time between october and march. the nfl obviously goes again during some of the main sign up time. when massachusetts did their lot in 2006 and 2007, they partnered with the red sox to try to
8:45 am
attract young men who were important to get signed up. a group that is unlikely, largely unlikely to have open -- health insurance. that proved to be very successful. the massachusetts law was not nearly as controversial as this law has been. it is though, pretty much the same thing. host: here is a story from politico. obama care because mom said so. talk about the effort to get mom's involved. guest: there has been a lot of studies, for all the talk about getting sports stars to encourage young men to sign up, it turns out the most influential person to influence a young man is his mother. to ageare young guy, up 30, and your mom says you should really have health insurance, you are more likely to do it. there's not a lot of encouragement and a lot of the
8:46 am
effort is aimed at mom's of the young men who are trying to get their sons to go out and sign up. --lio sebeilius a guest: she is a mom herself of sons in this age cohort. to the phone calls. republican line. caller: good morning. thank you. nothing could be worse than what the insurance companies put us through with the premiums, pre- existing conditions. the cherry picking that has gone on for so long. why shouldn't people have to buy insurance? i am a moderate. they have medicare, medicare. they can afford to complain. sadly, these red states will make the poor people suffer. and i am just wondering, what
8:47 am
can people in the red states do to help themselves with their own legislature will not even help them? i will take my information off the line. bigt: one of the controversies on going, one thing the supreme court did last year when it upheld the law is it made the medicare part of this optional. it said the law can go into effect but states do not have to expand the medicare program. -- the medicaid program. they assumed the medicaid expansion was going to happen, and that would give health insurance medicaid coverage up to 133 percent of poverty. so therefore, it did not allow people with income under 100% a party to purchase insurance on the exchanges. that means we have half the state's expanding medicaid, but half the states that are not. in some of the red states they are not expanding medicaid. it means for some people who are
8:48 am
not eligible for medicaid, they are not eligible for help in the exchanges. there will be a significant number of people that are not eligible for anything. they will show up at some of the exchanges were places where you can go for a sign of the bed and say what can i get? the answer will be nothing. that will be its own political issue i think as this enrollment phase moves forward, because they will not be eligible in a lot of the states to be -- if you are not disabled or parent, you may not be eligible for medicaid at all or at an extraordinarily low -- some states have medicaid eligibility that perhaps 15 percent of poverty. so you have to have basically almost no income to get on medicaid. if you are between debt and 100 percent of poverty, you may not be able to be eligible for any help at all. -- if you are between that and
8:49 am
100 percent of poverty, you may not be eligible for any help at all. o juliee are talking to do we npr,r who works for the taking your questions on the health care exchanges that are set to open october 1. paul is up next on the independent line. good morning. caller: good morning. i think you have answered most of everything i wanted to know. i am 66 on medicare, well below the $14,000 per year figure and have been waiting and hoping on this to have additional insurance because i cannot afford supplemental policy. listening to you, i do not qualify. guest: that is right. if you are on medicare, that is considered to be sufficient insurance to satisfy the requirement that you have
8:50 am
insurance, but the exchanges do not provide supplemental insurance for medicare. it is for people who do not have regular health insurance. it is not a way to get supplemental medicare insurance. host: what is your next up? -- step? caller: that is a good question because those of us on medicare who cannot afford supplemental, we know it is not enough. programs whoare cannot -- for people who cannot afford supplemental insurance. have you looked into those? there are programs that if your income is not one of for medicaid, there are several programs that will help you pay your co-pays and deductibles. yournk you can contact social security office and they can help you walk through those. host: julie rovner here to
8:51 am
answer your questions on health care issues and health care exchanges set to open on october 1. kelly from jacksonville, ark., on the democratic line. caller: good morning. i appreciate c-span. it is like a window into the federal government. i watch you every morning. what the go back to last calller was talking about about being on medicare and everything. i was wondering how much medicare may be cut because they are trying to put money into the other programs, and also, why is there not been -- like the other gentleman, we do not inlify for medicaid here this state. they told me the last four times i replied that i was not qualified. when you go to the doctor, you
8:52 am
still have the co-payment of $30. if you are disabled, you are sick. you were probably going to 5-$6 every two or three months. it gets quite expensive. i was wondering what the federal government might have to help supplement that part that i could at least a healthy? programsere are besides medicaid. there are about 9 million people that are dual eligible. having on the basis of low incomes. there are other programs that can help low-income medicare beneficiaries pay the additional bills. programs that can help pay for the prescription drug coverage. as to the first question about cutting medicare to pay for the affordable care act, there were reductions made to pay for the health-care law, but that did not mostly affect beneficiaries. there were mostly cut from
8:53 am
provider payments. they were mostly done with the agreement of the providers that they were able to take the reductions because they would get a lot of those back because they would no longer give away free care because so many more people would be injured. particularly came from hospitals. host: richard butler rights in -- where are the doctors board to come from? why should anyone be a doctor when income will be dropping and education increasing? guest: this was addressed in the law. one thing that will be happening is they will be training mid- level providers, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and more nurses. a lot of care does not have to theirvided with md after name. there was money in the law to
8:54 am
train those. many in the law to train more primary-care doctors. certainly that is one of the ways that the federal government hopes to bring down the overall cost of health care, by having -- you do not have to go toward doctor every time you need medical care, you could go to some other kind of provider. there are provisions for new types of health organizations, medical homes, accountable care organizations were doctors and hospitals joined together to keep patients healthy, rather than waiting until they are sick to treat them. the idea is to change the way health care is provided and make it more efficient. in so this was definitely something that was considered when the law was being passed. obviously it 30 more million people will have insurance, you will need people to provide the care. host: back to the issue of
8:55 am
exchanges. yes, and the business insurance -- business exchanges are called shop exchanges. people are a little bit more worried about them. and they seem to be going at it a little bit more slowly. the federal business exchanges will not have the types of choice that i think a lot of businesses were hoping for. there will not be -- business owners will be able to go in and choose plans, but they will not be able to provide a choice of plans to employees. this is a case where it will look different in the exchanges that are run by the states and once they're run by the federal government, at least for the first year the business owner will make the choice of plans. in state-run plans there will be a choice that employees will be able to go in and shoes.
8:56 am
i think in later years there will be more choice. that was the idea that employees would get. right now the small business, the employer chooses the plan and everyone has to go without plan. for the first year that will still be the case, a leader on the idea is people will have employees, even small businesses will have a choice of plans. host: we talk about what needs to be done before october 1. are there certain states and a much better position to open up exchanges and other states? guest: yes, in a word. everyone has been looking at california. california in pretty good shape. maryland and connecticut and calotte -- colorado are in pretty good shape. those are the state's people have been looking at as the leaders. certainly there is a report a couple of weeks ago that said -- it came out in june but look
8:57 am
back a month and said the federal government is not as far along as it should be. federalose are the exchanges and all the other states, the latest blue. guest: a number of help reporters sat down with the kathleen sibelius and she insisted it will be ready to roll out october 1. basically we will have to see. this was a huge undertaking. things are happening, but a lot has to happen. basically a lot of computers have to be able to talk to each other. that is the big thing. there is a place called the wrong door. wherever anybody shows up to sign up, they have to be corrected to the right thing. for subsidy,igible you have to sign up under the subsidy. the entrance company has to be able to coordinate with irs to know what your income is. a lot of people are concerned
8:58 am
about whether these computers are born to be able to talk to each other. that is the big worry. host: does this policy come from the fear that it is so hard for people to come and look at these things in the first place? guest: it is supposed to help the consumer. a matter where you show up, you will be corrected to the right place. the: emily from virginia on republican line. caller: hello. is how will the networks for these exchanges be established, and how well the doctors know whether or not they will be able to participate in the network's, and if the reimbursement level will be sufficient to cover the services? i work for a specialty practice and a large metropolitan area. tost: the networks are up that insurance companies to decide whether or not they want to participate in the exchanges.
8:59 am
that is one of the things we're waiting to see. beenederal government has kind of quiet about telling us, telling the press, who was in the exchanges, which companies. they keep insisting there will be plenty of competition, but that is really what we're waiting to hear, which companies will participate where, and as it turns out, plans will participate in some exchanges. they will only participate in some parts of the state, and this is turning into a network issue. parts of the state where it is more difficult to put together a network. the other thing we are hearing is in order to do this for the amounts of money they're being paid and for the amount of premium, some of them are doing it by having smaller networks. perhaps in order to pay the providers with the providers need to be paid, they need to have a we are seeing -- definitely it
9:00 am
is up to the insurance companies to put together than networks and the insurance companies come to the exchange saying they will -- saying they want to be on the exchange and this is the network we are offering. host: rachel, texas, independent line. caller: my sister had a brain aneurysm two years ago and she does not have insurance. insurance companies deny her insurance because she has a pre- existing condition. thaterry -- i know that perry said he is not going to take obamacare. my husband, he listens to a lot of talk radio and i told him we will still be able to keep the insurance at his job that we have through his company, and he said, no, they are lying to us, that we will no longer be able to keep the insurance. to go with be forced some insurance that will cost us
9:01 am
a whole lot more money. -- i am concerned about my sister. she just goes to these cheap clinics. and she has a lot of problems. i am wondering how that will affect her. ry does not want to take the insurance. guest: there will be a texas exchange. it will be run by the federal government. your sister will be able to get insurance, even though he -- she has a pre-existing condition. this is one of the things this law has done. she will be able to go to the exchange. she will be able to sign up and get insurance regardless of her pre-existing condition. and depending on her income, she will be able to get a subsidy to help her afford it, depending on how much she makes. as to her -- your husband insurance, assuming his employer wants to continue to offer insurance, then nothing will
9:02 am
change. if his employer continues to want to continue offering insurance, which is the idea behind this law, was to not really mess with the continuing process of employers providing insurance and most surveys suggest that most employers will continue to offer insurance. it is a good way to maintain a healthy workforce and to be able workers.t and retain presumably your sister will be able to get insurance and nothing should change for you. host: daniel is from richmond, virginia, on the democratic line. you are on with npr's julie rosner -- julie rovner. caller: you mentioned that people on medicare will not necessarily be included in the health-care law. mention they might be helped with medical, i believe you
9:03 am
said. i wonder if you could expand on that a little bit more. guest: it goes back several years. there have been several programs enacted over the year to help people with lower incomes pay -- if they don't , andsupplemental insurance there aren't as many as they used to me come a which is why i am blanking a little bit because i have not looked in a while. but there are programs to help people who don't have supplemental insurance. if they have low incomes but not low enough to qualify for medicaid. medicare.gov there is information there and i believe if you go to social security administration office they can help you with that. to track julient rovner's story you can see it at npr.org. larry brown from oklahoma on twitter says -- i am a disabled
9:04 am
vet and the va provides my health care. am i required to buy insurance be fined under obamacare? guest: no. i see that question a lot. basically if you have medicare or medicaid or insurance by your employer or tri-care or insurance by the va, you satisfied the requirement to have insurance. you don't have to do anything else. jerry is from rochester, new york. on the republican line. caller: thank you for taking my call. i would like to get back to that a care, and specifically, medicare advantage. it is my understanding when affordable care act was passed into law it was finance partially through cuts to medicare, specifically $200 billion but to medicare advantage. .y question is this i know starting in 2014 there will be that the medicare advantage and they will increase each year. as i see it, the only options available for those of us on
9:05 am
medicare advantage r, one, to pay higher premiums, two, to , or,ve reduced benefits three, to lose some of the extra benefits provided by medicare advantage. my specific question relates to medicare advantage partc -- and mailedd like to say i e- my congresswoman, representative slaughter three times on this, and today have not received an answer. so, i am hoping you can help me. thank you very much. guest: everything the caller said is correct about the cuts to medicare advantage. what this was really about was in 2003 when the republicans passed -- largely republican medicare prescription drug law they gave large increases to medicare advantage program. this is a private insurance program for people who want to go into private health plans instead of the regular medicare. a lot of people talking about having medicare and medicare supplemental insurance. that care advantage, you
9:06 am
basically do instead of having traditional medicare and medicare supplemental. bigblicans gave big, increases to medicare advantage basically on the theory they wanted to get a lot of people into medicare advantage and eventually phase out original medicare. to the point where medicare advantage was being paid basically 114% of what it cost to provide traditional medicare. thatccracken said, well, was kind of ridiculous, you are basically over care -- democrats said, well, that was kind of ridiculous, you are basically overpaying and he took money back and said they will only pay medicare advantage 100% of the cost to provide traditional medicare. but as the caller points out, is the result of that is a lot of people are getting extra benefits under medicare advantage and it is true when the cuts be given going to affect, a lot of people are going to start losing a lot of the extra benefits, and they are not very happy. that is basically where are. the affordable care act did -- part of the medicare cuts to pay for affordable care is to take some of the additional money
9:07 am
given to medicare advantage in 2003 and they are taking that money away. that is essentially where we are. that is what is happening. host: a question from our facebook page. guest: this is actually a very complicated situation. yes and no. members of congress and their staff get their health insurance the same way every other federal employee get sick, the federal employee health benefits program. there was a provision that was slipped into law that required members of congress and their staff to get their benefits through the federal health exchanges. to say, we will make you do it like everyone else on the exchanges. that would be different from the healther federal employees get their coverage. because, remember, the way the law said, if you have employer-
9:08 am
provided insurance you don't have to do anything. now it is saying, ok, members of congress and staff, you have to do something different and going to the exchange. which was still all well and good although now there seems to have been a glitch, if they go into the exchange, they may not get their employer -- their regular employer subsidy. right now in the federal employee health benefits plan the federal government pays about 70% and the employer pays about 30%. there is some question about whether it a go into the exchange -- and most will go either in the exchange and washington, d.c., or maryland and virginia because that is at least where most of the staff works or lives, that they might not get any health and they may not be eligible for subsidies. the office of personnel management is still trying to sort it out. in the meantime, there are lots of very unhappy members. host: for people who want to learn more about the exchange program in their state, is there
9:09 am
a central database to go to figure out what the name of their state plan is or what the website is? bland and as brand-new relaunched health care.gov that the government launch week in a basically has all the information getting ready for this. it provides a lot of background information and can direct people to what they need to know. from don is up next cambridge, nebraska, on the independent line. good morning. caller: good morning. how are you? host: good. go ahead. caller: i am so curious. if it is such a good thing, why are you guys trying to push it through my children's school -- to come home and tell me it is such a good plan? don't believe in it. as a matter of fact, i just got a hold of my good buddy rush limbaugh the other day and i got a bumper sticker coming saying
9:10 am
abolish obama care. i fight it tooth and nail. me is whenhat gets you are pushing it on my children to come home and talk to me about it -- what a sad deal. what a sad deal. get out of my children's -- host: a reporter from national public radio reports the these issues on npr. have you heard about an effort to put into schools? guest: i have not heard about an effort to push it school. that is something new to me. host: something teachers are talking about to your child? caller: what are they doing out in california? moneyre spending all this going into kids in school saying go home tell mommy and daddy. guest: not something i heard about. host: let's go to sherry and clearwater, florida, on the republican line.
9:11 am
group of am with a nurses that says we need to have health care providers, real remark the competition, homeopath, i believe the uk uses -- herbs arencture mentioned in the bible. we have got to have other forms of health care, to have freedom of choice. our doctors,rs -- trust me, do not have all the answers. if we don't have competition, we will never bring down the prices. and if doc yours don't want to -- the doctors don't want to take the lower prices, perhaps they should not be in that field. host: are any of those remedies included in the health care bill? guest: that is an ongoing fight about what can be reimbursed in insurance. that is not something that the law really addresses. host: let me get your take on this tweet from stella. until 11 million
9:12 am
people are put on medicaid. back to the issue of medicaid. insurance will skyrocket when that happens. your take on that. -- the bign't concern with more people on medicaid is whether there will be enough providers to them. but not that -- host: boost prices for other people? guest: no. host: emanuel from mississippi on our democratic line. good morning. caller: good morning. thanks for taking the call. a couple of things. i do not know if she addressed it earlier that insurance companies and hospitals have to do with running the costs up. i spent two days in hospital and got a bill for $40,000. it is insane and individual tylenol tablet can be listed as $10. the other thing i would like for her to address is, part of the provision that speaks to the amount of your money that has to go toward health care or you get a refund rather than funding all of these trips for executives to
9:13 am
exotic places. i have not heard her talk about that yet. that the 80-20 rule, a new rule to try try to hold down insurance premiums. it basically says that insurance depending- basically on the market, only 15% or 20 % can be spent on administrative costs and profit. if they go over that,, then they have to issue a refund. it came out last week with the numbers for 2012. actually said the refunds will be smaller and fewer this year, which is actually good good news because it means that more insurance stayed within those limits, within the rules. they didn't have an excess on profit and administration. of the idea is to keep most the premium dollars spent on health care.
9:14 am
as the caller's comment about excessive prices charged by prices -- hospitals and doctors, there has been a lot of attention on that recently be less recently. not so much the hospital charges $10 for the tylenol. the charge -- they are putting in the amount they are amortizing for having an emergency room open 24 hours a nurses the cost of the and the cost of the facility and the cost of everything else. that is not to say that health care is not expensive and going up. art of this is an ongoing effort to try to get the nation's entire health bill in check. obviously people are very unhappy about the idea of people being required to have health insurance, but there is an argument that if everyone is covered there would be fewer people who then have to have care given to them basically when they go out and get run over by a truck.
9:15 am
perhaps that is the first step you have to take to start to rein in what the nation as a whole spent on healthcare. that certainly this is highly contentious, highly controversial, and there's very little agreement on exactly what to do about it. host: last call on the segment from sam, fort myers, florida florida, on the independent line. caller: good morning. specific questions. cobra, and is ending her parents have been helping her with those payments. it comes to one and now. onically she has been living student loans. she is a graduate student. living on student loans, along with her health care. she is way under the poverty level. probably does not make $10,000 a year part time as a college student. how does it all fit into the system? guest: a lot of people saying
9:16 am
how on earth cannot afford health care if i do not make any money? the answer is, you will not be required to. people like this will be able to go to the exchange. this is a problem area. if you don't -- hundred percent of poverty, you are not eligible for the exchange but if you are under that, in a state that expand medicaid, you will be eligible for medicaid but if you are not in a statement that expand medicaid these are the people who are not going to be eligible for anything. the: julie rovner is national health policy correspondent for the national public radio. thank you so much for joining us and taking caller questions today. guest: my pleasure. host: up next, our weekly "your money" segment in which we look at u.s. sponsored broadcast to other countries, including voice of america and radio free europe. but first, a news update from c- span radio. eastern time. an elite leads crew of firefighters called hotshots
9:17 am
train to battle the nation's fiercest wildfires was overtaken by an out-of-control lays in arizona. it killed 19 members. it's as they try to protect themselves from the flames with fire resistant shields. president obama has sent his condolences, calling the 19 deceased firefighters euros. it is the most firefighters killed battling a wildfire in the united states in decades. turning to international news, the head of the united nations raisingagency is concerns about theft. he says that well over 100 cases of nuclear theft and related incidents are reported to his agency each year and that this would just be the tip of the iceberg, in his words, because many more go undetected. he is urging more member nations to ratify an agreement securing nuclear materials and facilities. meanwhile, former united states ambassador to the united nations is replacing tom
9:18 am
donnellan as the national security advisor. his last day was yesterday. susan rice's first day on the job is today. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> they had a tremendous role. talking about martha, the things she gave george. but that going to camp every went there was huge. he thought so. it was not just valley forge that it was every winter of the eight long years of the revolutionary war. and she hated it. it was dangerous. the roads were dangerous. she was a prime object of hostagetaking. but she was key to troop morale. and he felt that very strongly. she would organize the other officers wives, and they would have -- that they would cook for the soldiers, so for the soldiers, and as the soldiers, pray with the soldiers, they on great entertainment for the soldiers.
9:19 am
duringfe believes rainbow war that washington's genius keeping the army together. washington would say he could not do it without martha -- could not have done it without martha, and he begged her to come to camp every year so she could work. the troops adored her. lady washington is here. ours we continue conversation on first ladies, lesley stahl, cokie roberts and yell university law and clinical science professor discussed first ladies, from martha washington to michelle obama. tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. washington journal continues. host: every monday in this segment of "washington journal" we look at how your money is work in different federal programs. this week we look at u.s. international broadcasting efforts. we are joined to do this by ross johnson, senior stop -- senior scholar at the wilson center.
9:20 am
let's start by explaining the purpose by -- behind u.s. international broadcasting -- voice of america, radio free europe being some of the examples. of thethis is one american foreign policy soft power instruments, one of the smaller ones in terms of budget. it is perhaps the way america communicates best with the world. to provide is accurate, credible, relevant information to people in countries that lack a free medium -- free media and don't have trustworthy and fair domestic media of their own. is to counter centrists it -- censorship which props up authoritarian government. it is to support human rights, democratic institutions, civic institutions. the terrorism and extremism --
9:21 am
counter and extremism, and to help the world understand that the united states is about. host: what we will talk about the program is voice of america, radio free europe, radio liberty, radio free asia, radio , which servesi cuba, and the middle east broadcasting network, incorporated, which includes tv.o sawa and alhurra the 2014 budget is about $731 million for this program? guest: that is the president's budget request, seven hundred 30 million. host: higher or lower than past years? guest: it has been -- currently under sequester it is 720. it has been higher, 750. three quarters of a billion dollars. in 51about 3500 employees euros and production centers. programs are produced in about 60 different languages.
9:22 am
aboutestimated to reach 200 million people per week. who are read if that is people increasing, or are we seeing a drop off in recent times. guest: that is an increase. i think the last jump up to about 200 million is an audience in latin america, through placement on local stations, and so on. so, the numbers go up. programs through all kinds of media. from all -- old-fashioned shortwave radio, to handheld devices. ont: what is being produced the stations? what is the programming? guest: it is news, information. a lot of it -- and that is one of the point of this whole enterprise. a lot of it is information about what is going on in the country that the audience lives in,
9:23 am
where they don'to t to good local coverage from media. some of the context,, what is going on in pakistan that relates to what is going on in afghanistan. and some of it is about the united states. american life, american policy, discussion of american policy. so, it is news and information. there is some lighter material material as well. radio marti broadcasts american baseball games to cuba, because that is of great interest. of people think about these programs perhaps in a cold war cents. -- radio freerica europe, and voice of america being broadcast during the cold war. you did a recent study. the 21st century vision for u.s. local medium to with the wilson center. differenceshe between the cold war mentality of how international broadcasting works and how it works today. in the cold war, it was
9:24 am
us and them. united states versus some of the western countries and it was the soviet bloc -- soviet union, soviet controlled eastern europe. information was sealed off. we talk about the iron curtain, but there was an information curtain. so, either you've got the local regime controlled news or you've got news from outside or you had no news. countriesve got some like that. north korea, i would say, is one. still pretty close off. cuba is one. but you've got in a lot of countries that don't have free media, a huge amount of arab world.in the hundreds and hundreds of arab language satellite tv channels. this from the broadcasting board of governors shows the areas in red where u.s. international broadcasting reaches some of the countries where there is not free media. guest: that's right.
9:25 am
and where we have partially free media -- you have lots of voices but you don't necessarily have the kind of accurate fact check -- fact checked, reason the contextual discussion the u.s. broadcasters strive strive to put on the air and the internet and the handheld devices. host: we are talking with ross johnson, wilson center senior scholar who has done a lot of work on this issue of u.s. international broadcasting. our phone lines are open. give us a call. we want to hear your take on the $731 billion -- $731 million budget a year. what are your thoughts on voice of america, radio free europe and some of the other efforts. as folks are calling him, mr. johnson, talk about how these different stations that we went through are managed in terms of the federal money going to them. is a: the management topical issue right now in washington. the house of foreign affairs
9:26 am
committee held a hearing last week. chairman royce and ranking member engle presided over this hearing. the issue is really is what is at the top of the instruction. all of these networks we talk about are doing, i think, great journalism. they are doing a great job. but the structure that the congress created was above rise -- improvised, let me put it that way. with the end of the united states information agency where voice of america had had its tone, something else had to be done. broadcastingis the board of governors, which the congress set up the way it's set it up, but it is something as if a corporation had a board of directors and no ceo. the board of directors had no with specified authority or powers. wasthe board of directors
9:27 am
interfering, getting involved in management rather than just the big policy issues. that is the situation we face today. thatnk there is consensus reform is needed. there are a lot of different views on what that reform should be. host: the board of governors you talk about -- there are eight people on the board but currently only half the positions are filled, correct? guest: nine people. a to be appointed by the residence and confirmed by the senate, and ex officio secretary of state usually represented by undersecretary for public diplomacy. host: why haven't all of these conditions been filled yet? guest: a question i have not had the answer to. there have been resignations. people have left. why the positions have not been more quickly, i don't know. know the president has indicated a couple of nominations, but so far they are just nominations. host: you talk about some of the controversy surrounding the management issues at the
9:28 am
broadcasting board of governors. this is jim glassman appearing at a hearing last week that you brought up. he is a former chairman of that word. he said congress needs to do a better job verifying the mission for international broadcasting. here is a bit of what he said. [video clip] the law aspirate be a tool of policy and an independent unbiased information protected from government interference. in fact, the mission should be the same as the state department itself. the specific goals of u.s. national security and foreign policy. good journalism is not the end but the means. this is my most important message to you. you need to resolve the law andction by clarifying the mission. it is simply unfair to call the bbg defunct or even dysfunctional when congress and the executive branch have not provided bbg with a clear sense
9:29 am
of what they wanted to be and what they want it to do. mr. johnson, mr. glassman goes on to advocate for the bbg to be put under the state department. talk about that proposal. is it something you agree with and studying these different groups? guest: it is one way to go. it is not the course that i would recommend. think in his testimony he talks about the importance of credible journalism. that is crucial. he says journalism is not the end but the means. i think that is true. this is journalism for a purpose. if there were no purpose, as a taxpayer i should not be supporting it. tois a purpose i tried indicate at the outset, providing accurate and rate -- a free information for people who do not have -- in the american interest. i think to achieve that goal, you've got to have a certain
9:30 am
distance from the day-to-day policy of the united states. that means a certain distance from the day-to-day activities of the state department. so, i think it makes sense to keep distance between all of these broadcasting operations at the department of state. host: talk about the idea of propaganda. you write in the report on u.s. international broadcasting that it is essential to avoid propaganda of any kind. credibility is paramount. hard to win but easy to lose. talk about how it relates to these specific international broadcasting organizations. guest: credibility is crucial. it is a means to an end, but absolutely crucial. one of the things that broadcasters learned early in liberty,war -- radio radio free europe earlier in the cold war, is nothing will turn off an audience quicker than propaganda. nobody understands propaganda better than people who live in closed information controlled societies. to stay away from
9:31 am
propaganda. you got to stay away from spin. host: our current effort seen as propaganda? guest: inevitably anything that governments do will be seen as propaganda. i do not think it is a fair description. i think if one looks fairly at the content of the programs, i don't think you could accurately described them as propaganda. host: we are taking your cold in this segment with ross johnson, a senior scholar at the wilson center. for those who do not know, what is the wilson center? guest: the wilson center is the nations's living memorial to president woodrow wilson. it was chartered by the congress , and it is a center for scholars around the world. and itin-house staff, conducts a national conversation on key public policy issues on a nonpartisan basis.
9:32 am
your we want to hear thoughts on u.s. international broadcasting efforts. voice of america, radio free europe. richard from minneapolis, minnesota, on the republican line. good morning. caller: good morning. yes, i think this is a wonderful program. i think the budget should be increased. i want to know what happened when the soviet union collapsed. did you have to move the transmitters closer to the soviet union? and i want to know the effort in .ran, cuba, and north korea and probably the people in north korea don't have access to radios. maybe you should just drop in radios from the heirs everybody could have a radio. st: ross johnson, do you want to start with the soviet union? guest: excellent questions. with the collapse of the soviet
9:33 am
union, the united states and many respects declared victory, hope for a peace dividend, sought to reduce expenditures and all kinds of foreign affairs programs, including international broadcasting. that affect at all the broadcasters. it affected radio free europe and radio liberty, which no longer afford to operate in been, inhere it had munich. so the operation was moved to prague in the czech republic on invitation of pleasant -- president vaclav havel at the time. it was not necessarily to be closer to the soviet union but to operate within a reduced budget. host: what you quote in your report from different people and the other side who felt the impact of radio free europe and radio liberty. you quote east german spymaster markusol after the cold war, he wrote in his memoirs that " with all the various means to use to influence people and the
9:34 am
ease during the cold war, i would count radio free europe and rias as the most effective." the americanand sector. that was the american and german station in west berlin that reached east germans especially. host: you also quote a soviet dissident allogenic filter nation -- alexander filch he wrote "the mighty military force which reside and airwaves and whose power in the midst of communist governments cannot even be grasped by the western imagination." very much a fan. widespreade was praise for these stations in the regimer, both from the people like markus wolf, the spymaster of east germany, and from the dissidents and opposition leaders like walensa solzhenizin, like you said.
9:35 am
one still find endorsement and praise of the international broadcasts from the oppressed, from people in prison in iran, .orth korea, china keeping hope alive for people who are prisoners of conscience, if you will, is so important. host: sierra vista, arizona, on the independent line. you are on with ross johnson. caller: good morning. i was just thinking while he was speaking about avoiding propaganda in the radio broadcasts in our own country. radio has been taken over by conservative talk. you've got like rush limbaugh and stuff.
9:36 am
i know armed forces radio carries rush limbaugh. really, what we are trying to do for foreign countries i feel to thisshould be doing country. i know we have freedom of press here to but a lot of the things they say, it is almost like yelling and screaming fire in a theater, which i was told you even in a country when you have freedom of speech. i would like to know what your comment is on that. guest: that gets to american media and not u.s. international broadcasting. of,e is certainly a level what should i say -- and yelling of partisanship in american media that i regret. and i don't think we should be trying to echo that in the u.s. international broadcasts.
9:37 am
host: you talk about some of the competition that u.s. international broadcasting has a with some of the private entities? cnn international, bbc world. how does it stack up in terms of viewership and listeners? guest: one of the reasons why i think that this program is important for the united states, our allies -- western democracies the set with economic problems like every are cutting back. the british, the germans, the french. people who are putting the big money into this soft power, if you will -- global media -- are not the democrats. mesh is doing that, china, iran. 's russia is doing that, china, iran. there is a place for the united
9:38 am
states voice to be there and be heard, i think. arguing in your report for more funding? 731 million dollars enough? guest: there are those who say it is not enough. i am sure more money could be put to good use provide a we resolve some of these dispute issues about management, about which broadcast network focuses on which countries. internalhere is some reform that is needed. and then one should to the congress make the case for more funds when it is needed. sevent out that this hundred and 20 million or 730 million we are talking about is less than 1.5% of the total foreign affairs budget of the united states, which is about $52 billion. host: some internal issues that were brought about a hearing last week by former bbg
9:39 am
broadcasting board of governors member. here's what he had to say. [video clip] >> it is not in the culture of and makeo be strategic these kinds of decisions, but there is a huge institutional impediment. when you begin your brought -- budget process every year, and you've got all of these duplicate services and you know if you start putting them out of business, you know you are going to have all kinds of people running to their congressman claiming that armenian service member number two was just put out of business or this is going to cause human resource problem's of massive proportions. you fund them. you continue them. and that's got to stop. host: isn't as bad as a he let out in those comments there? guest: members of congress like to get involved in these issues, and we have seen it over the history of broadcasting.
9:40 am
given the political system, i suppose it is never going to stop. reformed and well- managed international broadcasting operation where it is clear who is in charge of think the temptation and the possibilities for that might be reduced, and that would be a good thing, in my view. host: again, we are taking your calls with ross johnson, senior scholar at the wilson center here in d.c.. host: if you are outside the u.s., here are some of the broadcasts on voice of america, radio free europe, -- and you hear some of, we want to hear from you -- phones oning on the the republican line is andy from new york. caller: i wanted to challenge this notion that somehow our
9:41 am
actions with radio free europe and all of these countries somehow equates to providing real information. really what you are doing is providing america's spin and how appropriate that your center is named after woodrow wilson who hired the father of american propaganda to sell world war run -- world war i to the public using psychological tricks, the herd mentality, to get people whipped up into a frenzy for war. the idea we have a very accurate media in the united states is really just an illusion. itget disillusioned because fits into the phony choices of republican versus democrat arguing over wage issues. but if you talk about the real issues like the nano thermite dust in the world trade center it becomes an immediate conversation stopper. how can we represent ourselves as a free press and beacon of free speech in the world when we do not even have our own house in order and we do not address
9:42 am
the real issues that people are talking about, and it takes citizen journalists to bring these issues to light and basically fight against tremendous media machine that is trying to keep things from being heard by the general public. host: let's get ross johnson a chance to jump in. guest: the american media scene is obviously not perfect, and you can find things about it that that we regret perhaps did not exist some years ago. nonetheless, it is a free media. we can see all of the opportunities to correct what some view as bias or distortions. but the point i would like to make is that when you talk about the international broadcasting programs, so much of the content is generated i people in those countries. yes, it is american funding and ultimately it is american standards, editorial standards,
9:43 am
but not defending any particular american policy at the moment, but american values. if i take the example of radio liberty. the radio liberty bureau in the moscow, with staff and prague, these are russians putting together the program. they are exposing abuses in russia. time, they are demonstrating how a professional media operation should operate. the editorials decisions on the content that finally makes it to the airwaves? you say it is produced by a lot of people over there but how far up the chain in the u.s. do these different broadcast have to go to before they get approved to be on, say, voice of america or radio free europe or radio marti? guest: decisions of the chief editor, respected servants, russian service of radio liberty, of the somali service of the voice of america, of
9:44 am
radio marti. like any media operation you've got an editor in charge who is not the publisher and not the owner. sure, the publisher can change the chief editor but it cannot happen unless there is a good reason and if that happens very often the whole operation is falling apart. work at radio free europe from 1990 eight until 2002. what did you do there? 1988: i worked there from through the whole period, and i was director of radio free europe at the end of the cold war. to be my privilege directing this operation as the cold war ended and as we got this outpouring of acknowledgment from eastern europe. so, my job was to make sure we have the right chief editors for the broadcast services that were my responsibility. i was never involved in day to
9:45 am
day editorial decisions. it was not my job, it was their job. you had people in these chief editor positions who were from -- who were immersed in the culture, the language, the whole history of their respective country. and they could relate to issues and: or over in bulgaria far better than someone like myself could. host: could you talk about what the day was like the day the berlin wall -- berlin wall came down? guest: i have to smile because the data berlin wall came down i was actually on a trip, and i was in southern california watching it on television. [laughter] to yourom talking colleagues, what was radio free europe broadcasting on that day? guest: it would have just been covering it from start to finish. but i think more important is what we were doing in the months coming up to the fall of the wall.
9:46 am
the east germans -- they started to be able to leave hungry want to they had gotten themselves to hungry and they could get to west germany from hungary. we covered that. and that, in a sense, was the catalyst for some of the changes that came along in all of these other countries. host: still some confusion about the programming and what goes on. "the of tranquility" right in and asks -- guest: absolutely. a lot of audience research has war,done, and in the cold when the the reasons why these stations had that ability is they did cover the bad as well as the good in the united states. covered watergate, and vietnam and the opposition in the united states to the war in vietnam. when ite of america, started in world war ii, said we will bring in the news, whether
9:47 am
it is good or bad. if you don't do that, then you are a propagandist. comment from "c-span democrat" writes -- host: back to the phones. david is waiting in montgomery, alabama. i think we lost david. reno,l go to mark nevada, on our independent line. good morning. morning, mr. wilson. i was wondering about the challenge al jazeera had getting established here in the u.s.. recently they have gotten a major broadcasting. it has been a challenge for them. how do you explain that? -- : guest: i could have mentioned al jazeera before as one of the great, big, well-funded
9:48 am
operations. i guess al jazeera english has had trouble getting on cable networks and distribution mechanisms around the united states. of it is probably commercial calculation. some of it, i suspect, is political. voice from the arab world that we perhaps do not want to encourage having here. i think that is a mistake. english is often an excellent source of news on .he middle east i don't think it is a good idea to try to prohibit or discourage its availability. host: talk about efforts by other governments to block the visa broadcasts that we send into their countries. here is a tweet -- "do we get radio signals into north korea? to satellites help with the signals?"
9:49 am
guest: blocking the signals, that goes back to the cold war and that was radio jamming, noise to interfere with the radio signal. it still happens today in north korea. it happens in cuba. it happens in some of these most repressive countries. case of the new method of delivery -- we just had a case in azerbaijan interfering with a direct satellite -- interfering with a satellite in essence. but the message gets through. it got through in the cold war to the soviet union and it does get through to north korea and through the radio -- not so much the tv -- but the radio, to cuba. and that is a bit of a cat and mouse between the broadcasters and the jammers and the people who try to interfere with it. host: talk about how we measure success today with these international broadcasting
9:50 am
efforts. "boring file clerk" writes in on twitter -- "if we're broadcasting reruns of seinfeld, what exactly has been a reaction? is this what they think of amerco -- american?" guest: it touches on a real issue many do not have the answer to. much of the world is about america through american popular culture and that is not always the best advertisement of the united states. is not the job of these u.s. funded international broadcasters to further distribute that kind of thing. programs -- iht mentioned covering baseball games for cuba, that kind of thing is very useful. but it is not the job of these to send out a lot of -- well, soap operas and that kind of program.
9:51 am
certain marks of success? how does the broadcasting board of governors measure their success? guest: success can be measured easily and with great difficulty. track howause you can , watch,ple listen received sms, and so on. we get up to 200 million. the real question is, what difference does it make? how do you judge influence? how do you judge impact? the short answer is, you can't expect to do it quickly. , ite are long-term programs was during the cold war and it has to be the believer today. yes, we want to track how many people are actually getting in some way, shape, form, the prog shouldn't kid ourselves that we would know what effect it has very quickly.
9:52 am
host: david is waiting from massachusetts on our democratic line. good morning. caller: good morning, sir. good morning, mr. johnson. thank you for taking my call. it is so important that america, the bastian of freedom, be represented that way in the world. but i have to tell you, i am a 52-year-old gentleman, veteran, american born and raised, and just came through an extensive tour through europe with my oldest son. the rest of the world just simply does not believe the media in this country, as it was pointed out to me, which i did not believe that the time. but upon investigation when i returned home recently, there are 15,000 media outlets and newspapers, etc., throughout this country, and they are owned by six corporations. just six. abroady of the questions that we ask year never are even
9:53 am
allowed such as 9/11. the rest of the world does not believe one word of it. they simply do not believe it. , it isn my investigation laughable to believe the government official story. host: mr. johnson, talk about the idea of credibility on these cubacasts, whether it is or in the arab world, talk about the issue of credibility? just drawings not on what is in the american press or television or anything like that and the repackaging it for a place like cuba. you need to bens credible and you need to be relevant. world of theth the audience -- what are the issues, what are their concerns? how can we contribute in some way to that?
9:54 am
the local content and the local reporters. we don't have anybody reporting directly out of north korea at the moment but we certainly do out of cuba. sanchez, a cuban blogger, was a recently allowed to leave and he was here in washington. she provides content to radio martí. that is one piece of the puzzle. read ability also involves balance. -- credibility also involves balance, it involves accepting, and what i said earlier, when it comes to the united states, covering the negative as well as the positive. internationale broadcast efforts, are they covering the edward snowden nsa leaker story, a story that caused the united states some embarrassment in the world?
9:55 am
guest: certainly covering the snowden story. one can look of the websites of radio liberty, voice of america, the english-language websites them and judge of that coverage. the veryalso covering controversial issue of the use of drones for targeted killing in the travel -- tribal areas of pakistan in support of the american effort in afghanistan. yes, you don't walk away from controversy. and you don't walk away from negative views of the united states. what you want to do is put them into context. yes, as the caller mentioned, there is a lot of conspiracy thinking about 9/11 in the middle east and the rest of the world. you can never counter that completely, but you need to try to talk about what actually
9:56 am
happened. you need to present the reviews. you need to have a context, responsible context. host: michael from a queens village, new york, on the the independent line. you're on with ross johnson. guest: good morning, mr. johnson. thank you for your service. i wanted to ask you to guarding the methodology and actually your craft. when you are actually broadcasting, whether it is by radio or television, how do you actually market the american product of the american way of life and values to different audiences throughout the world, especially the parts of the world that do not seem to like the united states of america, whether they are just shouting against the u.s. or they are burning the u.s. flag? how do you actually market -- i know you mentioned before -- the american messaging product to the region. the 9/11 conspiracies in the middle east -- how do we get the people there to
9:57 am
understand and to respect what america is? american point of view. as well as to maybe help americans to understand the people of the middle east. guest: an important question. thank you. tohink often the best way cover the united states, to provide information about what we really are, the pluses and minuses, is through the eyes of people from one of those countries. so, for example, you would not necessarily want to organize a program covering american seeitutions as we would them here in washington. rather, do it through the eyes of pakistani immigrants to the united states, or cuban thegrants, or as we did in cold war, ian immigrants who o w york, joined the pta , found out about different aspects of american life.
9:58 am
tell the story through their eyes and the things they found good, the things they found disturbing. i think that is often more mightive than how we think about doing it here inside the beltway of washington. host: mr. johnson, last question for you on your report come of the 21st-century vision for u.s. global media, which people can check out online at wilson center.org. talk about in a minute or so we have left the rise of social media and how it is changing u.s. international broadcast efforts. guest: it makes the whole business much more interactive. there was also a -- always audience feedback, but with social media you can get a lot more audience feedback quickly. input. get citizen you still need an editorial process. and it is a delivery platform. so, you can get out your news, your information, through social
9:59 am
media. but it is a tool -- like any technology, it is a tool that can be used for good or for evil. and i don't think we have seen the end of that story yet. host: ross johnson is a senior scholar at the wilson center. you can check out his work at wilsoncenter.org. thank you for joining us today. and that is our show today on "washington journal." we will see you right back here at 7:00 a.m. tomorrow. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] we're looking live at the u.s. capitol on this monday.
10:00 am
congress congress is not in session this week. lawmakers are at home for the fourth of july recess. members took care of items including passing an immigration bill in the senate. wasitem that was not done passing the student loans. more than 7 million students will see interest rates on their student rate double from 3.4% to six .8% after the failure of congress to pass legislation. they successfully deferred for a year last summer. lawmakers love for the weeklong recess without implementing any of them letting the deadline passed. staffordnts renewing loans after today's deadlines can expect to pay an additional 3000

107 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on