tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN July 8, 2013 10:00am-12:01pm EDT
"washington journal." we will see you back here at 7:00 tomorrow morning. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> the pentagon begins its furloughs today, 20% pay cut for an estimated 50,000 workers for the next three months. the furloughs were ordered by the defense secretary in response to the sequestered. president obama laying out a vision for better government services delivered at lower
taxpayer expense. the president meeting with his cabinet this morning to discuss his second term plan for smarter government. he then plans on delivering public remarks from the white house. we will have live coverage at 11:50 eastern this morning. congress returns today from a week-long fourth of july break. the house and senate meet at 2:00 eastern. later this week, federal spending. the senate voting today on a traditional nomination. -- judicial nomination. the key legislation this week is to deal with subsidize student loans. you can see the house live here on c-span. the house energy and subcommittee on health looks at the medicaid system and considers ideas for possible changes. you can see the hearing live on c-span 3 at 4:00 eastern. the cia director will be live
discussing the u.s. dependence on foreign and domestic oil and how it affects national security. no man needs a strong partner, honest partner, more than the american president, sheltered and cocooned in what harry truman called the great white prison. that is what i concluded after five years and hundreds of interviews. greatoth presidents with spouses were willing to speak hard truth is that others were unwilling to speak to the big guy. those presidents have a distinct advantage. let me give you an example, if pat nixon had been able to cut through her husband's paranoia, watergate might have been avoided, but she had long given up on her husband by the time they reached the white house. they were leaving virtually separate lives, as you will see in this portrayal of the saddest
of all presidential couples. she was quoted as saying -- i do not give him advice because he does not need it. is there a man or woman alive that does not need advice from the person who knows the best? >> a talk on presidential marriages with author kati marton, tonight at 9:00 eastern on c-span. >> no a debate on how much to tax the rich with former greek prime minister, george times"eou, "the new york columnist paul krugman, newt gingrich, and former reagan advisor arthur slapper. they discuss the merits of higher taxes on the wealthy and merits of economic growth. int of an annual munk debate toronto, canada, bringing to get an newsmakers and leaders to the current issues.
-- bringing together newsmakers and leaders to debate current issues. ♪ ï»¿ >> you did not know which one of your arguments would be totally destroyed. and then you have to come back, you are shaken up. >> tax change. >> you do not know what to say, but you will have to say something. aboutannot believe i am to say this but the dr. kissinger you have have six minutes. >> would africa be better off? >> it is a hypocritical argument. [laughter]
>> you are finding it annoying. [laughter] >> you are all in this. the united states cannot pull itself out by running a surplus unless you find another planet. >> we remain totally unlike japan, a place where everybody in the world wants to come and the place where everybody wants to put their money. >> we created colonialism and fascism and every bad thing was in europe. nor are we in the house of commons. >> big deal. >> he will get there. i promise. >> it is much more frightening
to have a real gun pointed directly at your face than reading about it. [indiscernible] >> the last time iran attacked a neighbor was in 1859. >> imagine a world without religious faith. no scripture, no place to worship, because of that faith dedicate their lives to others. >> it makes us objects in a crude experiment and to supervise this is a dictatorship. a kind of divine north korea. [laughter] [applause]
>> ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the munk debates on taxing the rich more. i am the treasurer and i have the privilege of once again acting as your moderator. he wants to begin tonight of by welcoming you, over 3000 people -- i want to begin tonight by welcoming you, over 3000 people to another munk debates. enthusiasmte your for the simple idea to which this series is dedicated, more and better debate on the big issues of the day facing the world can only be good for us. hello, to the national
television audience watching this debate. and across the continental united states on c-span. and hello to you, our online audience watching live right now. it is great to have you as a virtual participant in tonight's proceeding. the presence here on the stage in a matter of moments are four big thinkers. a burning question of our time, tax the rich more would not be possible without the generosity and foresight of our host tonight. i hope you will join me in a warm round of applause for peter and melanie munk. bravo. [applause]
now, we are mere moments from getting our debaters out here center stage. first, i need your help with three simple tasks. number one, you should never say this in a concert hall, i will. power up your smartphones. with a twitter hashtag, #munkdebates. you can engage in conversation over the next hour and a half. we also have another technological innovation we want to sprinkle you. -- spring on you. a qr code. those of you watching can also access our mobile online poll through the following url www.munkdebates.com/vote. everything i've said sounds like ancient greek.
i salute you for your knowledge of ancient languages. do not worry, relax, enjoy the debate. that moment has, were we start to get our debaters -- has come where we'll get our debaters onstage. please welcome the first -- the former prime minister of greece and one of foreign policy big thinkers, george papandreou. [applause] his fellow debater, a nobel laureate in economics, a tenacious columnist with the
"new york times" and a scourge to billionaires everywhere, paul krugman. [applause] one formidable team of debaters deserve another. we have them for you now. first, welcome the intellectual father of reaganomics, a columnist who has claimed he has never seen a tax cut he did not like, dr. arthur b. laffer. [applause] our final speaker tonight
joining dr. laffer is none other than the former u.s. representatives and recent candidate of the republican party and one of the most influential politicians of his time, the honorable newt gingrich. [applause] 2 final piece of business. first, i am going to ask our projector operator to show the debate countdown clock. those of you have been to debates before remember we have a clock and when it hits the final moments, it appears on the big screen. we want you to join me for a round of applause during their opening and closing statements. that is going to keep our
debates on time and our debaters on their toes. finally, time for a pivotal moment. we are going to see how this audience voted on tonight's resolution as they came into this room. the resolution to tax the rich more, let's have the results. there you have it. 58% in favor. 28% opposed. 14% undecided. let's drill down with our second question. how big that potential swing vote was in this audience. depending on what you hear tonight during the debate, are you open to changing your vote? let's have that number. wow. 79% said yes. only 21% said no. it is a debate that is very much
in play. time for our opening statements. the side arguing in favor well -- will speak first. paul, you are up. >> good evening. thank you for being here. thank you for the invitation. i am delighted to be here in this lovely city. which among other things has a much more interesting mayor. [laughter] that is not what we are here to talk about. we're here to talk about taxing the rich. there are some big philosophical and social issues involved here. i believe that my colleague is going to address those. i am going to keep my part quite mundane. i want to talk about three mundane issues. the first is, should we be
thinking about raising anybody's taxes? the second is, can we raise significant sums by taxing the rich more heavily? and should we fear the economic consequences if we do raise taxes on the rich? on the first question, look, we are living in a time certainly in the united states where we are currently being told there are good, humane things would like to do, but we cannot afford. we are short on money. the debate involves one which is food stamps which is been a lifeline to a lot of people. would taxing the rich make any difference? if you look at the top one percent in the united states, and 2011 they had a combined
income of $1 trillion not cap -- not counting capital gains. if you can raise 0.07%, that would negate the food stamp cuts we have to make. the point is, there's a lot of money at the top. significantke a difference in allowing us to have a better society than the one we are headed for. can you actually collect more money from the top? will raising taxes? we have a lot of evidence. our top tax rate has ranged from as low of 28% to 91%. with a lot of variation. it is true that higher marginal tax rates cause revenue to decline.
we have good estimates of how high does the rate have to be to put us on the wrong side of the curve? probably 80%. we do not have to worry about taxing so heavily that we lose revenue. we can collect more and put it to good use and were willing to raise tax rates from the top. finally, what about tax rates and the economy? disastrousve effects? that's what you always hear.
the classic example came some time ago. at least 20 years ago in 1993 when president clinton raised top tax rates. there were many predictions this would have terrible effects on the economy. you knew this was coming. a fellow by the name of newt gingrich said it would kill jobs and lead to a recession and will force people out of work and into unemployment and increase the deficit. i know what your answer is going to be. you are going to say, all the good stuff happened after republicans took over congress and started cutting taxes. that is not going to wash. first of all, during the first two years of the clinton administration, the u.s. added millions of jobs. 278,000 a month before you guys moved in. cbo, year, according to that clinton was in office, the tax rate on the top 1% was higher than it was in any year of either the bush one or two administration.
the u.s. economy experienced an epic boom. some people figure that it does not happen. by the way, we have had much higher tax rates for our generation after world war ii. it is considered inconceivable now. that did not stop the 25 year period to be the test -- to be the best we ever experienced. should we raise taxes on the rich? yes, for various reasons. can we actually raise more money that way? yes, we can. should we be afraid that it will hurt the economy? no, we should not. let's do it. [applause]
>> very well done. 25 seconds to spare. nothing better than when you find those quotes to turn against your opponents. we like that. speaker gingrich, you are up next. thank me say, i want to peter munk for creating something like this. you former teacher, when are talking and you realize a large part of your class is behind you, it creates a certain tone of insanity. i am counting on those of you here to watch back. i want to approach this from a different angle.
first of all, the debate is not about raising the tax rate. we had 70% tax rates and 90%. you had really good attorneys and cpas and you never paid them. we had a presidential campaign in which mr. krugman's candidate ran against my party's candidate. it was all legal. it is like the current president's choice for the commerce which turned out to mistake her taxes by $80 million. it was not a big mistake. it will be like me and you filing $300 wrong. the fact is, really rich people do not earn incomes. they get money. lotsis why bill gates has of money. that is why he does not care what the tax rate is. he is not going to pay it. i'm going to make three quick cases. first about morale a team. -- morality. i want to commend the 21% who said they do not care what the 4 of us say. that may mean canadian audiences
are more candid. let me start with morality and practicality and then a question of focus. i love the way it is phrased. raise taxes on the rich. why? what do we mean by rich? you live in a neighborhood and drive a certain type of car. the person next you drives a better car. they happen to like cars. you have to like something else. since i drive a better car, should we tax them more? you have another friend that happens to work two jobs and they have a slightly higher income because they earned it. should we raise their taxes? why? this is not about charity and contributions and morale a t area the power to tax is to -- morality. the power to tax is to -- if you are successful enough, we should rip you off. you owe it to us. how dare you be so successful. if that is the strategy, the right answer is not to go out
on a fancy tax rate that learners can get around. we know how much bill gates is worth. we know how much warren buffett is worth. why should they have more than $1 billion net worth? we could get $1 billion this year out of two people. why should they be allowed to be successful? the american answer has been, you know, when has this become a big deal? microsoft is a big deal. it improved the lives of the lot of people. it may have made on particular person successful and encouraged another generation to sound like to invent microsoft. signal,end a different why waste your time?
i would argue, in wartime and in the crisis, you can say to people, we need everything we can get. as a strategy to say to people in general, if you are successful, we are going to punish you. it is bad. as a practicality, i want to say come to america, be an entrepreneur and create jobs and great wealth and new ideas and we will reward and honor you. peopleeve that pulls ahead. that chinese has followed the strategy of creating a lot of billionaires. they have moved people -- 600 million people into the middle class. the price of that was dramatic,
radical economic growth. that is good, not bad. i want to raise the bottom. i want to find a way to help everybody. our number one focus is the jobs. trading opportunity for everybody. as solving the problem of the poor. -- and solving the problem of the poor. ofs is the wrong focus politics. big government today is a failing your credit institution. look at all of the things you have in the private sector that has improved. look at the handheld device almost all of you have that enables you to vote tonight. look at all the breakthroughs. look at the government. i will close with one example. the founder of the google driverless car has a goal to
lower the cost of college education by 90%. by improving access to learning. there's a world out there that we can improve dramatically. it is not a function of taxation. as a function of breaking through the boxes we have been in. that would be a better focus than trying to figure out how to punish people for being successful. [applause] >> i can see those republican primary debates have kept you sharp and on your toes. he says great opening statements. up next, george papandreou speaking for the pro team. [applause] >> thank you. let me thank you, when i was a teenager in canada, it was very hospitable to my family who are in exile because of dictatorship in greece. it is an honor to be here with the speakers. we are talking about a very important issue. that is inequality. everybody knows there's a story in inequality created in the
1920's. it has undermined basic principles of fairness and justice in our societies. i am in favor of this proposition because i believe we need to ensure fairness and a just society. iadmit, there's a value which cherish. beyond the moral reparative i feel that is important, i would like to relate a personal experience to you. when i became prime minister, i had huge deficit made by the previous conservative government. i had to raise taxes.
theain task was to revamp tax system because there were loopholes, lack of transparency, and a lot of tax evasion. the greek people, who were paying for the debt of greece, were at the same time seeing we were paying back our lenders, a global financial system was aiding tax evasion through tax havens. and steady trickle down economy, we had a trickle out economy. -- instead of a trickle down economy, we had a trickle out economy. $32 trillion is offshore in 2010. revenues are lost. there is so much being lost they could five times deal with the lending goals. when i say inevitable tax, i also believe in a strong, global governance which must include transparency, closing loopholes, financial regulations around the world.
a second point, tax revenues are a democratic decision for each country. i believe in progressive taxation because it is the bloodline of a social contract among a basic bargain in our societies. conservative argument is we need a race to the bottom because of global competition. they say we should emulate the emerging economies with a lower taxes, lower benefits, lower environmental standards. less education and less of a safety net for pensioners. they are proposing to undermine this basic bargain that holds our society together. is there another way? gordon brown said we need to overhaul our economies, structure, and create high-tech equipment and promote education. that is bringing our iphones and blackberries and this innovation.
that is what he says is going to be the firepower to deal with the emerging economies of china and india. otherwise, he said we will have a decline in the west. they have high competitors because they have invested in human capital. finally, the -- the thing we hear is if you have high-tech, there will be tax avoidance because the lobbies will be pushing for changes. high-end fee is a huge concentration of wealth in our societies and around the globe. politics has undermined democratic politics.
we are captive and that means that governance -- governance does not exist because we are not dealing with the public good. and that is, i say, a new threat to our democracies. now, if you put that to ancient greece, how do they intend democracy? what does it mean about democracy? to disrupt the concentration of power. today the concentration of power is undermining the justice system, our politic, our public good. that's the key question with the markups here. i like to end with a slide if you can show it. which shows that there's a democratic demand.
the first bar -- that's what the real income distribution is for the united states. the second one what people believed the distribution is. the third is across the board despite the politics what people want the distribution to be. so there is a democratic demand in our society to have a more equal society. to have it more equal and just economy. and i think there's a reason for that because if you look at the more equal societies around the world, all of them show they are top on anything, whether it's life expectancy, health, jobs, homicide. they are tough. they are the most efficient and most humane societies. that's why we need equality in our societies. [applause] >> well done, that's probably in your third or fourth language. impressive, indeed. up next, you're going to get our opening statements. >> thank you very much. by the way, that was a great one on the mayor. i had a little experience. i mean, i had little experience
just before coming over here tonight. i was in the health club in the hotel. a beautiful city here. i thought i'd exercise a little bit. you can tell i'm an exercise freak. i was on the health club working on the machines. i didn't even break into a sweat or anything. but this gorgeous lady walked into the health club. just absolutely beautiful. i happen to be with the manager of the health club. i tapped him on the shoulder and said, excuse me, do you have a machine to attract someone like that to someone like me? and the man said, yes, i do in fact. he walked me over to the bemo, atm. [laughter] let me just say all of the aspirations that all three of you have mentioned tonight are all correct.
this question is what happens in the real world. if you raise tax rates on the rich, you will not get the money you expect and you will probably lose money completely. if you look at the u.s. tax code, we put in the progressive income tax in 1913. at that time the highest marginal income tax rate was a high 7%. by 1919, we raised that rate to 19 -- 7%, excuse me, in 1919. we had a depression going into world war i. after world war i, we had a campaign in 1920 between the democratic candidate, roosevelt moving on to keep woodrow wilson's tax rate high. calvin coolidge wanted to drop the tax rate. they wanted to return to normalcy. they cut the highest tax rate in america from 77% to 25%.
the period was culled, "the roaring' 20s." production soared. the tax revenues from the highest 1% of earned income earners went way, way up. we went into the 1929 with the largest tax increase. we raised the highest marginal income tax rate in the deession, from 25% to 83%. there was a depression in this period and revenue trillions the highest 1% of income earners declined as a share of gdp. go to the post-world war ii period with truman's cut rate tax, boom, tax rates on the rich went up as a share of gdp. if you look at the period of jack kennedy. jack kennedy cut the highest tax rate from 91% to 70%. we have the go-go '60s, a beautiful period of expansion. tax revenue went way, way up as a share of gdp. the period i like to call four stooges -- johnson, nixon, ford, and carter.
the largest asemblance of bipartisan garbage ever put in the united states. [laughter] the share of gdp declined from the top 1% and the economy was in a shambles. then ronald reagan and bill clinton, two administrations that cut taxes dramatically. from 1980 to 2007 in that period, the highest -- the revenue from the top 1% of earned income earners went from 1.6% of gdp to 3.1% of gdp -- a huge surge in revenue from the highest income earners. we cut taxes from everything that crawled, swam, flew. it didn't matter what it was, we cut their taxes. revenues from the bottom 95% actually went down during this period. you know, when you look at the evidence, the evidence is very clear. raising tax rates, you don't get the money.
these people as prime minister said, they can avoid taxes. they've got the ways and the means. they can hire lawyers, accountants, the per dee yam specialists, lobbyists. they can raise the income, the tightening of their income. the composition, the volume of the income. if you raise rates, they're going to get around it, they can do that. what you have to do it is lower rates and broaden the tax rates to collect the money. see what happened in britain recently. brown was prime minister, cameron came in. the first thing he did was raise the highest rate on earned income earners from 40% to 50%. what happened, a couple of dip
receptions and revenues went way down. look at what happens here in canada. in the recent period, you have tax rates and corporations for 15%. restrained yourself on stimulus spending. your economy was far better than you think he did. your unemployment rate is way higher than it did in the u.s. it didn't go up near as much, now lower than u.s. debt levels, done a much better job. we need to not fool around with the ad hoc attack here and there. we need total tax reform. we need to tax all income across the board, unrealized capital gains. all of these gifts, all of these things that are done, the tax exempt, the 501-c-3, all of the gifts that are charitable. slap them all with one last rate across the board. by raising tax rate and wishing it will do some good, you'll delay it from fundamental tax reform that we need right now. thank you.
>> the notion that economics is a dismal science. well done. and i think we're going to have a plenty of time to talk about the economics. but i wanted to start on the minds of many people in our minds about the politics of this debate. the richest 400 people in america demand more wealth than $150 million of their fellow citizens, your fellow citizens. so outside of any economic consideration, why would you -- why would you be opposed to taxing the rich and a corrective, a preventive to america backsliding into the guilded age and the top -- >> the question back to you in a sense, which is under what right does the state step in and say to somebody, we now have decided you are doing too well. we're going to punish you
because you're doing too well. >> i get a little -- >> what's the appropriate debate -- >> yeah. >> looking for something like pissed off. but -- but if you start saying why do you want to punish the rich, it's bankruptcy. nobody on my side ever says it's about punishing the rich. i don't hate the rich, i don't dislike them. i say one of my best friends. >> you are one. >> i'm trying not to be hurt by the policies that i abdicate. -- i am high enough to be hurt by the policies i advocate. hopefully we can drastically cut the cost of a college education. i hope so. we used to have a way in a lower class, working class kids in the united states could get a good
college education which was going to excellent state universities that were heavily subsidized. that option is largely gone now because the subsidies are gone. the state university tuition has gone way up because there isn't enough money. we need more money. one way to get more money is tax the rich. not going to solve all of our problems, but it will solve some of it. i want to say that the notion that we're going to base our tax policy on the belief that we, a
modern 21st century nation, with all of the institutions that democratic governance are completely incapable of policing tax evasion. that we're hopeless -- [ applause ] >> one second. look, there are two totally different arguments that paul has made. the first argument is that, you know, we need all of this money because government is so inefficient and the prices keep rising so much. take the case of education. what happened to the salaries of faculty members. what happened to administrators. nobody who's for government wants to talk about the necessary rethinking of how we spend the money. and so i have a question -- before you tell me i need to raise taxes, are you going to defend it. the second thing is that i find chilling -- we're in the early stages of an irs scandal in which the irs agents with enormous power are saying things like "what prayer were they saying at the meeting." the 83-year-old woman who held friday morning coffee sessions, what are they doing -- 83 years of age, what exactly is she doing. you may be comfortable, both of you, with a government so powerful that it can guarantee nobody could escape taxation.
that's a government so powerful, it frightens me what it will do with that power. >> i think -- first of all -- first of all, i'm not saying that i'm in favor of government or in favor of markets. i grew up in greece where we had the state system -- i didn't like the state then. that was a very authoritarian state. we need a government that's democratically accountable to our citizens. what i'm saying is the concentration of wealth today means the government is not serving the public good. it's serving special interests. that's the problem.
and i want to add to that, i don't think you're against government. i think you're in favor of government. but you're in favor of government for very specific interests, for big business. i'm in favor of government that will serve the people and the public good. and i'm not against the americans. i just want to make sure that the market also serve basic -- >> no one disagrees on you on this. are we wanting them to raise tax rates? the answer to that is that doesn't serve the people. raising taxes is not the way to go to have government serve the people better. creating prosperity is. getting revenues in. having tax reform, which is exactly what you talked about. we need a broad-base tax without all of these deductions and exemptions and exclusions and lower rates.
this sh the whole principle. what did we do in the '86 tax act. you about policies. the lowest income tax rate to 50% to 28%. we raise the lowest rates from 12.5% to 15%. we cut the number of brackets from 14 to four. we drop the corporate rate from 36% to 24%. the vote in the senate, 97-3 in favor, including mr. lefty westy. and my neighbor, great friend, al gore. bradley, kennedy, joe biden, including all of these guys. they all voted for it because they know it's the right thing to do to create growth and get the revenue for government and to reduce the need of spending. >> careful economic studies of the '86 tax reform, which, by the way, i did admire. i do believe that equalizing the tax rate on capital gains and on different forms of income is the right way go. >> yes, it is. >> however, there have been many studies attempting to identify the effect of that tax reform on the greater growth good,
productivity, output, they haven't found a damn thing. >> oh, come on. >> it's just not visible. >> show the effects of the 86 tax act. they used the same irs data. you look at all of these. >> we need to step outside. the spread sheets at each other. [laughter] >> good point. let's time -- we wanted to -- apart from the minutia, it's important. speaker, again, why do you believe that fundamentally, you're going to get this that's going to lift all boats through a policy of not taxing the rich. and why do you think paul krugman and george were wrong. >> let's go back to the point that the prime minister made. this is to understand the kind of gap here. 400 families have a lot of power. fine, you want to raise their taxes up to take away that power. you want to take enough money away from bill gates so he doesn't have power? that's like $53 billion to $1 billion. even at a billion, billionaires
have a lot of power. you get down to a question. what are we talking about. what are we trying to accomplish in terms of the signals we send about the kind of society we're in. the primary reason the poorest people in america are trapped in poverty because government fails them. the government schools fail them. the neighborhoods fail them. the opportunity to have jobs fail them. the public safety system fails them. i would like to see a politics that focuses on how radically do we have to reform the experience of poor americans in order to break out and give them a chance to genuinely climb. i'm more interested in the next 1,000 people rising from poverty than i am in trying to go out and find somebody who i can
reach into their pocket and take money from. and i would argue that $4 trillion a year, the problem with the u.s. government is not absence of money. it's absence of competence. [ applause ] >> if you go to europe. and i would say canada is pretty much in that sense a european country. we are seeing that of course if you haven't been competent in government, you can have good government that's democratic. i'm talking about a transparent government. a transparent government is not simply to weaken the concentration of power, which i do believe affects politics. i've been a prime minister and i know how media and politics can be controlled when you have such a huge, amazing concentration. when i want, however, is through this is to empower our citizens. because today, actually, i should say they're not free, they're very dependent. they're dependent because there's huge unemployment around the world and developed growth. and they're not getting the basic needs. basic services that they want. in countries where they do have higher taxes and government and the services are good, you have good education, good health care, and at the same time, a sense of cohesion and the most highly competitive economies in the world. why? because we have invest in the
human capacity. and these people aren't dependent. they feel very independent and free to be innovative and move forward. >> two more quick interventions. we'll move on. that's not saying we raise tax rates. we all agree with you. everything you said. how do you get the money. by raising the tax rates, you won't get what you want. sweden -- they've been the biggest tax cutters. have you seen their performance recently. it's amazing what happened in sweden. the best way to achieve your dreams and your goals of a truly democratic is by lowering the tax rates, broadening the tax rates so everyone pays their fair share.
you get the revenues and you create barriers. >> they're not in favor of a flat tax. they had a good tax rate. and recently the inequality that's in for sweden in the last few months, the rise in inequality has created riots in some of the suburbs. so i think we have to see is a real cohesive society is one that's placed. >> paul krugman. >> i've seen two things. one is a history of taxes in the economy and all i can say is none of it is true. the -- america has become -- among the advanced countries, america has the land of least opportunity. become the country where people who start at the bottom have the least chance of making their way out. people are more trapped in poverty from generation to generation. more trapped in the bottom percentile. and a lot of that is not because government is failing -- doing the job. it's because government is not doing its job because children don't have adequate nutrition.
it's very hard to work your way up to get a good education and work your way up to middle class if you're hungry all the time. a lot of kids in america are hungry all the time. it's hard to work your way up if you're sick and not treated. a lot of children don't have adequate health care. the reason they're not given those things is not general philosophical principles or the way it's sold. it's we don't have the money. we can't raise money by taxing the rich because if we do that, we'll destroy the economy. it's certain and it's a part of our story. [applause] >> good point to transition on it. let's go to the first of the video interventions. we did it last time with success. going to experiment again. the contributor, former u.s. treasury secretary, former economic advisor to president barack obama. let's listen to larry summers. >> yes, we should tax the rich more in the united states. the united states we have
growing pressures on if public sector, a rising population over 65, nearing or past retirement. rising in things to buy. a television set that changed by a factor of 100 over the last generation. the public sector buys health care. we have rising tempers. that's going to put pressure on if public sector. some needs to be met by cutting wasteful spending. there isn't that much to cut. revenues will have to increase. where should it come from? on grounds of fairness, it should come from the wealthy. on grounds of major changes that have taken places -- it should come from the wealthy. the share of the top 1% has gone from less than 10% a generation ago, to more than 20%. and it should come from the wealthy because they're the ones that have been able to escape and avoid the most taxation over the years to arrange inappropriate tax loopholes and
tax expenditures. >> speaker gingrich. come to you. this is a key part of this debate, especially here in canada. aging society, shrinking workforce, a sense that we're all going to have to pay more to cope with demographic challenges that much of the west faces. so is that why you have a history given the not for this side of the debate and you said, we're right. everyone is going to play more including the rich. >> let me take two examples. first of all, dr. krugman's appeal to children who do not get adequate food in a country that has a women, children, and infants program, it has food stamps, prenatal care, a program specifically designed for
children. despite spending billions of dollars, you may be commenting on the ineffectiveness of government to reach every child, but not because we're spending a lot of money to ensure every child has good nutrition. one thing there that i thought was amazing that i don't think larry understood he said. and he said the difference in television price and health care is changed by a factor of 100 -- meaning televisions today are 100 times less expensive relative to health care than they were say in 1960 -- or 1950. he doesn't stop and say, gee, why is it that we're able in the private sector to produce, for example, hand held computers called cell phones at declining costs with rising capability and we can't in government control their end get the same kind of breakthrough.
so i'm arguing -- we're on the edge if there's the courage to do it of a breakout of how we think of all of government. i'll give you a specific example. i'm conservative and therefore supposed to be pro defense. i tell people i'm a hawk, but i'm a cheap hawk. you could have 20% out of the budget and have a more agile, more effective, better defense department if you modernize it. before i raise taxes to pay for a bloated, inefficient oligarchical system that's running behind reality, i want to overhaul the pentagon. then come talk to me about taxes. don't tell me i have to be comfortable with the poor governance. we spend billions in multiple bureaucracy. according to dr. krugman to get the job done. [ applause ] >> actually we spend -- we spend a fair bit, but we spend on helping the poor. something well under hat this year that canada does. we're not that generous, we are not. we're the least generous in our country of helping the poor. as it happens -- to pick a
program -- which is on the firing line, by the way, your party. one correction. i say it as a -- as a "new york times" columnist, i'm not allowed to do endorsements. you have no idea who i favored in the last year's elections. probably not mitt romney. i may have no proof. i have every idea. >> this is true. but as it happens, foot stamps on the firing line as we're talking about cutting the current agricultural bill and the paul ryan budget calls for savage cuts in the food stamp program. that's the program that the government does very, very well. bureaucracy is minimal. spending goes to the right people.
there just isn't enough of it. there's not enough to ensure that everybody who needs nutritional acisse tans receives it. it's too small. health care, good job. medicated a surprisingly sufficient program. better, by the way. health care is one of the areas where government consistently is more efficient than the private sector. but, again, not enough. if we're going to use electronics, why can't we say hair cuts against cell phones? that doesn't change much either. that's a really, really bad argument. [laughter] >> let me bring george papadreaou into this. why in the contest of this debate are these gentlemen wrong in terms of saying, look, these systems aren't working. they don't need more money. they need overhaul reform. maybe they need financial pressure. the fear of the reduction of
funds in order to reform themselves? >> well, to the first point -- my mandate in my campaign was to change government and make it more transparent. but if you talk about government and bureaucracy, now, i had to deal with that is bureaucratic inefficiency. that's what i was fighting in greece. we were having joint capitalism. we had to change. i had to bring in a prescription to cut out 30% of the waste which i did. i would add one other thing. it's good education, like many countries in europle to fi people very easily. but then the welfare state says i'm going to train you, retrain you.
i'm going to get you back on the job market. you're going to be better then. what that does -- that is a boom for business. and that's why both businesses are competitive. i don't want to punish business. i want to make sure that the moneys are used in the right way. if that means higher taxings. if we want to have the capacity of our society to create the i would add one other thing. it's good education, like many countries in europe, you have businesses that are able to fire people very easily. but then the welfare state says i'm going to train you, retrain you. i'm going to get you back on the job market. you're going to be better then. what that does -- that is a boom
for business. and that's why both businesses are competitive. i don't want to punish business. i want to make sure that the moneys are used in the right way. >> i agree. well, this is all off of the point. the question is raising tax rates. the best welfare as john f. kennedy said is still a good high-paying job. it's far better to get people off of welfare by jobs. people don't become prosperous with a handout, they become prosperous with jobs. >> i agree with you making
he said blacks are hired last and fired first. the only way the blacks are going to get jobs and keep them, there are so many jobs around that they have to hire them. prosperity is the answer. it's the answer to all of things. it's the answer to tax revenue. it's the reason we can provide more service. don't kill the prosperity. if you tax people who work and pay people who don't work -- do i need to say the next sentence to you? come on, help me on this. >> you've had your time, but i want to give paul krugman in this and then move on. >> i think, again, i'm disappointed that sort of cosmic nature of these arguments as if we're talking about destroying -- as if the kinds of tax changes that we might be contemplating are things that could have stopped -- stop jobs from trying to invent a computer in their garage, right? not talking about punitive
taxation. we're talking about some more. i think we phrase it as if it's all or nothing, as if we have to have no attempt at progressive taxation, no attempts to provide benefits in that progressive taxation or you have to have taxation at levels that you have to detroit stroi everything that's wrong. what we do know, the scandinavian stories come in. societies that collect 40% of gdp in taxes. they function. they function very, very well. that tells you right away a notion that taxes are in themselves extremely destructive. they can't be right. question is how can you focus the taxes on the rich. there's a lot of evidence that we can do a significant amount of it by focusing it -- having progressive taxes, not some of it, but all of it. are we for a free society or not.
>> why do we want to go to taxes. >> first of all, the question is rather global. tax is more. little more, not more. they're rich enough to move power away from the families. give me a specific example. would you rely on a 75% tax on the wealthy, too much, too little. it's clearly leading a number of wealthy frenchmen to decide they like luxembourg. is that the krugman world view? >> france can't do it. france is one piece of europe and it's too easy to move to luxembourg. if all of europe did it, it would be workable. if the united states did it, it would be workable. the noble laureate, the revenue turned out to be 33%.
50 highest revenue. >> optimal. >> but in any case, the point is we used to have that by the way. we had tax rates in that range all through that great generation of postwar growth. am i suggesting that the united states should have the tax rate, no. it doesn't have chance to happen. do i move in that direction? no. that's okay. what i'm doing is crazy? >> no. >> i'm sorry. but i think this is a useful dialogue. if -- if you're going to go to 72% rate, if you could do it, i imagine why, it would be the 1950s style. 70% with large enough loopholes and nobody faded. or will it be a cleaned out system? you get 73. >> at 73, you get some
differentiation for capital income. but not nearly as much. by the way, if you look at the effective rates of taxation were, the top .5% in the 1950s. they were high. they were over 50%. >> almost always that way. >> in our remaining minutes here, i want to internationalize this debate a mis. it's not just about canada and the united states, it's a conversation that's happening around the world. to do that, i want to go to the final video contribution tonight. a big one from asia. the dean of the school of public policy in singapore. we caught up with him via satellite recently. let's listen to his intervention. >> thank you. about 20 years ago, i group of chinese economists met a group of indian economists in terms of -- they explained to the economists what reforms they would undertake. when they finished, with some trepidation, he said, citizen,
do you realize if you realize, if you carry out these reforms in china there would be rioting. and the chinese said, we certainly hope so. that's exactly what happened. as china progressed, it produced the largest number of -- but at the same time, china turned out the largest public reduction program in human history. getting 600 million people out of poverty. a new middle class. so you can see that as long as the rise in equality also benefits the majority of people, the people of china and asia accepted it. >> good point. an important one in this debate. let's have george papandreou weigh in on this.
why is the china model wrong? lifting people out of poverty. we'd kill ourselves for that gdp growth right now, wouldn't we? >> absolutely. i disagree. i don't think it's because of inequality. i think the chinese government invested heavily in industries. it brought people out of poverty, yes. but the rising in equality in china is facing a steady -- it's facing a dead end. because firstle of all the chinese realize -- they don't have a pension or welfare system. if one child per family worked, there would be a big gap in the younger generation and the older general ration. they have a big problem there. they have a problem with needing to k5i9er to needs of a new
working class. and i'm sure we know it here because we know the companies that do the apple, the iphones, the other industries, they are asking for better conditions thirdly, they have a major environmental problem. they realize they need more money to create a better society. i don't think it's inequality to help them. it's inequality that's underminded a society. i feel the chinese will move to a social system that will help the chinese people. >> you mentioned china in your opening statement. george papandreou thinks the model isn't open. it's in serious trouble. >> it's a consequence of its own success.
you have a china with so many cars, a problem with air pollution. you have people so many people working they have a problem with transportation. china with so much of a need of goods and services they need to go to the policy which is, for example, you don't want several hundred dead pigs floating down the river. unlike 60 years ago, the chinese have generated enough wealth that they can actually deal with the next generation of problems which, in 1930 would have been starvation, slavery. people who had no hope, a level of poverty that's unimaginable. big problems, big country. going to have big solutions. >> the central planning of government in china? >> not talking about that. the more billionaires, the
better, china doesn't allow inequality. it doesn't go after the rich the way you would want. >> i said last time on these -- anyway. latin america looked at this. 28 years ago wide spread acceptance of the liberalized markets. don't worry about inequality. you'll get the wonderful asian takeoffs. the latin american companies did that. they liberalized, some good things happened. no take off. growth didn't take off. really disappointing. after a long time, trying to figure out what do the asians have that the latin americans didn't have, they had wealth educated populations and really good infrastructure. just having policies to let inequality rip without providing the other things does not produce growth. since the last ten years or so, countries like mexico have started to tackle equality seriously. its's working. they actually -- inequality is coming down. poverty is falling fast.
true gofrt action for the marketplace. and it looks like that is starting to improve the growth prospect as well because of better nutrition and better education. the actual lesson is not -- china and inequality in china succeeds. you need to look at comparison. it turns out letting the rich pay more is -- the rich run wild is not enough. >> the rich doesn't run wild. but we're talking about raising taxes on a flawed system where all sorts of income are taxed. these people are gouging the system, not because tax rates are too low. you haven't defined income properly or put it in the right context. it's tragedy what is happening. but without what happened in china, they did three things, tax cut, sound money, and free trade. the three pillars that supplies the economics. these decisions and problems
we're talking about are those of prosperity, not economy. china was educated but now they're in really bad shape. they now have options. >> you get to settle the scores with each other in the three minutes each. the opposite order of the opening statements. art, you're up first. >> one example of man who's been trying to raise tax rates on the rich for a long time. he is one. his name is warren "bue-fay." he's a french foreign person from nebraska. warren buffet, by the way. me and my friends think we should pay more. he wrote letters to "the new york times." that letter said that he paid a little less than $7 million in taxes.
but that was 17.4% of his income. it was half the tax rate of his secretary. i'm a math whiz. i took the $7 million income and 17.4% tax and got that his income was a little less than $40 million. now that's a large, large level of income. but let me tell you what also happened to warren buffet in that year of 2010 where he reported $40 million in income -- his wealth in run realized capital gains, not taxed, unrealized capital gains rose by $10 billion. his gift to the bill and melinda gates foundation which were tax free were only $1.6 billion. i don't know how much he gave to his sons' and daughters' tax exempt foundations are. the income is what you spend, what you give away, and the increase in your wealth.
his income in 2010 was $12 billion. he paid $6 million in taxes. that's .06% of his income. that is not fair. but all the tax rates he wanted to raise were the ones he doesn't have to pay. here's the dilemma. we shouldn't raise tax rates as they stand. we should change the tax code or lower the tax rate. if we had a 12% tax. now i did jerry brown's flat tax when he ran for president. jerry brown's california when he ran for president in 1992. we had two flat rate taxes. one on business sales and one on personal growth income. no on other taxes, none. he did a 12% tax on warren buffet, it would be 1.44
billion. that's what i consider fair. thank you. . >> fighting words. you ear up next, george papandreou. >> i don't think paul is asking to punish the rich, we have so much wealth -- we have so much wealth whether it's the united states, china, europe. a huge amount of wealth. but it is highly unequally distributed. and all we're saying is part of that amazing wealth in the hands of a few, 100 to 1,000 people around the world, could go a long way. major issues we have to deal with. climate change, unemployment. in my country, young people have youth unemployment at klose to
60%. is that a sustainable society? we need to give them the trading, the hope, the prosperity. so we're talking about a small portion of their wealth to make our societies more efficient and prepare for major challenges the younger generations will face, which is climate change. certainly, in all studies, we have seen that higher equality in societies -- any side, perform better in any category. life expectancy, math, literacy, infant mortality. teenage births, obesity, even happiness. even the rich live longer in equal societies.
so we're not punishing them. they will get benefits. finally, i want to give a personal experience. i was first exiled, the pleasure of coming to canada. and in canada, i came from a country which was not only a dictatorship, but there was no social contract. there was no bargain between society, citizens and the different facets. if we don't have a just society, we will have class four. class four to complete it. a cohesive society. i found it here in canada with all of the difficulties and i know canada does go through the difficulties, it's a society that welcomed refugee, migrants, and was able to integrate because it respected, it helped, it invested in us. it invested in human capacity. that's all i'm saying. we need today to use some of the
wealth that exists to invest in the human capacity of our society and of our citizens. in doing so, we will not only have a more efficient and better economy. we'll have a much better economy, a much better society, a much better life. thank you. speaker, your final words. >> 60% youth unemployment in greece is a tragedy. ask what's the underlying lesson we can learn about a system which is failed so decisively that 60% of the young people don't have a job? i'll give you two examples. i was inspire bid the last message from singapore. i had a chance to spend time with the senior minister who had developed modern singapore.
and he said what's the key to why you were so successful? he said, i was a graduate student in great britain in the labor government in world war ii. i watched everything they did to create a socialist society. when i got to be prime minister of singapore, every time i encountered a problem, i'd say, what would the labour government have done. then i would do the exact opposite. and i want people -- i want more let's favor freedom, the permanent tension in every society. what works? there is a bridge in china. it has two famous societies. mount a tribe by coercion to create an equal society.
he had driven intellectuals out the the farms. he caused chaos late in his career. and he -- at great cost to himself, three times imprisoned by the state, was arguing that what they were doing was against the way people were functioning. in the more famous speech, he said, i don't care if it's a black cat or a white cat, i care that it catches mice. what he was saying was revolutionary. he was saying to the communist party of china, don't lecture me aboutology, capitalism works. if we don't give people of china job or hope, they're going to throw us out. he risked his life there. he spent 20 years in that. while i have a problem with the chinese dictatorship, there are few achievements since world war ii that have helped more human
beings than the application of free trade, hard money, and the right of people to work really hard and rise. i would rather see the 600 million chinese rising in a society of inequality than see them smothered in a society of absolute equality. >> you get the final word. >> wow, so at the moment i'm feeling that there's been so many straw men out here that created a fire hazard. no one is advocating a society of complete equality. no one in this group at any rate. nothing like that. i want to say a word because i spend a lot of time on the eurocrisis. if you think it's that excessive government, whatever, that greece is proving an ideological point, what about ireland?
ireland has suls taned the low tax rates, especially for the euro in the case of apple. all around hailed it as the role model, shining model said george osborn before he became the chancellor of chequer. they're not as bad as greece. that's what they're going to run on -- not quite as bad as greece. that's not what it's about. [ laughter ] >> what are we talking about? >> god knows the former speaker of the house, i of all people shouldn't have to say, politics the art of impossible, policy is the art of the impossible. we're not going to turn the united states to cuba. what we might do, hopefully what we can do is something like what actually president obama suggest in the last several budgets which was closing more of a
loophole for the rich to take advantage of. i want to say the two great sins of recent history are the 2003 bush tax cuts, which gave special treatment to dividend income, and that cut in the capital gains tax rate in the '90s that was under somebody's leadership in the house, i can't quite remember who. i want to raise a few extra income from the top 1%. that we'll do. i don't think it will solve all of our problems. it's a start for reducing the excessive power. the fact of the matter is that in the past, we had more progrelszive taxation. in the 1930s with a much more progressive tax system than we had before, we came out with the society -- the society that wasn't quite as plutocratic as
it had been before. that i like to do. i'm not worried about us sliding back into the guilded age. we have slid back already. we eve clawed our way back to the kind of society we used to be. last few weeks in the city of toronto, the equality of public debate, the quality of executive leadership. so you've given us a nice respite from that. and events like this, countless others in the city remind us despite what happens in city hall, despite an international
reputation that we may have to start to unwind, we are a city of sophistication. we are a city of substance. we are a city of civility. we thank peter for reminding us -- thank you. now for the crucial part of tonight's program. we're going to review quickly the audience vote at the start of the evening. we begin tonight with strong support for the motion. have those numbers up yet. be it resolved, tax the rich more, over 50% were in favor. 58%, 28% opposed. 14% undecided. the number of you that would change your mind over the course of the evening -- i like newt
gingrich's remarks. 21% were adamant, you were not budging. see if you were budging or not. each one of you has a second ballot in your program. please use that, vote wisely, vote once. we'll announce the winning results in the south lobby a little before 9:00 p.m. you can purchase books for mung debates. for those of you watching on-line, the show continues. the web cam town hall starts now and it's free cast. share your analysis with the debate with fellow experts and one another. ladies and gentlemen, thanks for another great debate. let's vote. glad you're here. thank you.
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> congress returns today from a weeklong fourth of july date. the house today has built dealing with corporate accounting. later this week, there'll spending with the senate owning on a judicial nomination. legislation for the week expected to deal with subsidized student loans. you can see the senate live on 2 and the house here on c- span. today, looking at the healthcare system and considering ideas for possible changes. that hearing is live on c-span at 4:00 eastern. 3 is live withspan a former cia director discussing how u.s. and dependence on foreign and domestic oil affects our national security.
no man needs a strong partner, honest partner, more than the american president, sheltered and cocooned as he is in what harry truman called the great white resume. that is what i concluded after five years and hundreds of interviews, those presidents with brave spouses, willing to speak sometimes hard truths that others are unwilling to speak to the big guy, those presidents have a distinct advantage. let me give you an example. had pat nixon been able to cut through her husband's paranoia, watergate might have been avoided. but pat had long since given up on her husband by the time they reached the white house. they were leading virtually separate lives, as you will see in my portrayal of this saddest of all presidential couples. i don't give my husband advice, pat was quoted as saying, because he doesn't need it.
or woman alive who doesn't need advice from the person that knows him or her best? >> as we continue our conversation on first ladies, i talk about presidential marriages and how first lady's help to shape american history. that's tonight at 9:00 eastern on c-span. >> presiden barack obama is laying out a vision for better government services delivered a lower taxpayer expense is today. the president is meeting with his cabinet this morning to discuss his second term plan for smarter government. public remarks and we will have live coverage in about 20 minutes, at 11:50 eastern. while we wait for the presidents comments, here's a look at this morning off "washington journal." the first taking call reject
them with us. explain what your role is with the southern baptist commission. >> it serves two purposes. one is to speak to the churches of all moral and ethical concerns. the other is to speak for the churches and the larger cultural to talktical are enough about the southern baptist convention to the results of the cases. guest: i do not think many of us were surprised by the actual rulings but many of us were surprised by the language on the dome of case, which essentially said there is no reason to define the marriage as the union between a man and a marriage --
between a man and a woman for a marriage. goodlieve there are reasons for the government to see marriage as being distinctively the union of a man and woman. that was surprising and disappointing. i was here in washington waiting by the television sets to see what this court would do. >> you said not surprised by the ruling itself. >> i was surprised by the language behind it. i think justice scalia is right that it will be difficult for the court to allow courts to define marriage in the way they currently do. i think the language there is setting the court up for roe vs. wade type of decision in the future. is ourhe thing that role by a social security -- social conservatives today?
for a long time, social conservatives in america at a kind of silent majority view of themselves. they had a moral majority view most people agree with that except for some elites,. \ way the christian church was at the beginning of its existence. are speaking to the larger culture in ways that are sometimes going to seem freakish the larger culture. cause us to become outraged or despondent. i think it is a realistic view of who we are. host: talk to this headline in "usa today." this is from june 26. there is the decision that was praised.
guest: there has always been a mainline protestant group with an american christianity that has adapted itself to the ambient culture with a comes to issues of christian sexuality and 62 revive an ethic to meet that. the orthodox teachings of the christian church are standing right where the church has always stood for 2000 years on these issues. host: this is an opinion piece from last week's "delmarva news" what is your response?
guest: i think the issue is not really religion. it is why does the state care about this at all? why should the state care about what a relationship is or is not to? when it comes to marriage, the breeze and the state has to be a man and a woman is different than other relationships. melt/him of sexuality brings about possible consequences of children and the state has to be involved unless we have some kind of "lord of the flies so" to were the state does not have an interest on whose children belong to whom. as a different recognition. we are saying not that the should somehow stigmatize people. we say that children have a and distinctivething about that family structure that the state has an interest in.
russell moore, president of the the southern baptist convention. the phone lines are open. we mentioned you are appointed to the post on june 1. guest: i was at the school of theology so i was working to train pastors and missionaries. host: did you workaday -- as a practicing preacher? guest: i did, and louisville, ky for 4.5 years. guest: biloxi, mississippi host: you work for a mississippi congressman?
host: back to the doma case, impact how religious nonprofit groups do their work in terms of receiving money from the government? concerns that could come out of particular case. i don't think we yet know. we have seen some difficult cases already in massachusetts are going to place children only in families with only a mother and father married to eachthat is very concerning to those liberty, even people who disagree on questions of what marriage and sex wells it ought to be. -- sexuality ought to be. which should protect the free
all really work on. guest: i think we would allwe say that marriage's twothat is a limit. what we think it is because of children. state a firm ally of two people. we don't need the state to do that. is because there is something between a man and woman that is relationships. we think that is because the state does not create maris for it does not define it. already exists. which is a debate and argument good will and american culture
new york, on a republican line. you. mentioned earlier in regards to children and held there is some of the benefit of having a sense as a male and female. i did not fully understand your point on that. couple can be good parents. good parenting is good parenting. the question is whether or not a child needs a mother and a father and whether a mother and father bring something distinctive to the task of parenting. i believe that god did not fatheris to simply to be
to and they bring something unique. i think that is the reason why every human civilization has recognized that the flourishing and a father, whenever possible, our present and active in the care of that child. host: here is a tweet - and woman and there were the result of these unions. that's what racist white supremacists were trying to do away with. they were trying to keep it happening. i don't think there is a things. exploiting the same-sex marriage debate to children.
guest: one thing i wanted to communicate is that this is not evil people. conservative evangelicals you people on the other side as being the villains, a sense of outrage or a sense of persecution. what marriage is and why it is important. that gives us an opportunity for parents to talk to childrenwhy do we care whether marriages are in tax? families are stable?
she is exactly right. there is all sort of government meddling. baptists have been so reluctant to take government funds. there is always the appeal to take caesar's coin. that is the reason we should be independent of the state. host: this comes in on twitter from r harrington. guest: there are various polls.
this is such an interesting conversation. people should look and see where demographically americans are and what sorts of new alliances are forming. host: explain the southern baptist convention. guest: 16 million people, the largest protestant denomination in the united states. a group of people who are committed to the gospel of jesus christ, people who know christ and follow christ. mandate of the affordable care act known as the contraceptive mandate.
>> we met with a group of possible religious group. we would not have agreed but we should notgovernment mandate contraceptive coverage through the affordable care act in a way that violates the consciousness of religious organizations. we are trying to say with love and respect we appealed for them to back down on this. if not, we would appeal for a legislative solution to this problem. host: what are the solutions the administration has put forth so far?
accounting games to try to say the money is free, when in reality it is coming from the employer. and to define what a religious organization is, which leaves lots of people having to choose. host: where is the line the administration drew on that? worship,uses of churches, and not very much further beyond that. religious organizations, those who carry out the missions of the church in other ways do. we are asking for an accommodation in the semi the united states has in other areas over the years. host: mark is from ashburn, virginia.
caller: i am from a legal side of this divination that they redefine this. marriage like this and polygamy,i would describe myself a bisexual polygamist. how would the court define me? guest: that is an interesting question. i am not sure where this is going to go in terms of expanding the definition of marriage. there are some polygamists who would like to see the definition of marriage expanded even further.
i believe there is a distinctive good that comes to honoring the union between one man and one woman for life. host: does that speak to this question on twitter from sean? aest: it depends on what political issue is. we are involved in the local process whether we like it or not. all of us are accountable for the functioning of the government. we will be held accountable for actions and that is all of us. when we go into the voting booth, we are making decisions in the common good of everyone else. i think there is a way in which the church can become a
political action committee in a way that destroys the mission of the church. the church can say, we do not speak to anything that we believe to be political. if we care about our neighbors, we have to speak to those things for the human good. there are all sorts of issues that we could disagree with, and the scripture does not speak to them at all. there was a day that there was a christian position on foreign aid in ways that there is no clear biblical authority for that. there are some issues we must speak to.
host: let's talk about the state live now to dining room where president obama is about to lay of his vision for better government services off delivered at lower taxpayer expense. he met with the cabinet to discuss the second term agenda. thepresident is tasking budget director to lead the effort. the administration has chosen 43 individual fellows to help find ways to improve government efficiency. live coverage now on c-span. [no audio] [applause] this could >> thank you. thank you very much. thank you, everybody. please have a seat.
thank you so much. i was first when running for this office i had the opportunity to visit global headquarters in mountain view in silicon valley to discuss ways we could use technology to allow more citizens to participate in the democracy and bring the government built largely in the 20th-century into the 21st century. after all, we had already set up to build a new type of campaign. and then we trusted them with that technology to organize on their own. the idea was simple, instead of bringing more people to the campaign, we wanted to bring the campaign to more people and let them determine its course and nature. if you want to make phone calls or knock on doors, you did not have to come into a field office first, you could get the information you needed on your phone and go out and do it.
help youhe tools to connect. we were doinglt what we needed to get elected and once we were elected. once we got to washington, instead of an operation humming with the latest technology, i had to fight really hard just to keep my blackberry. as anyone knows, dealing with the federal government is not always high-tech, and not the ways user-friendly. over the past 4.5 years, we have worked diligently to change that, just like we did on that campaign.
we started by recruiting some of the smartest people from the private sector to work side-by- side with some of the smartest people in the public sector to work side-by-side and get it done. i appointed the first chief technology officer. technologyhief officer, todd park, and the chief information officer are working with their teams to innovate and apply the best technology to help solve some of our biggest challenges from creating jobs to reducing health-care costs, to keeping our nation secure. we are the first to confess that progress does not always come quick, and major challenges still remain. we have made huge swaths of your government more efficient and more transparent and more accountable than ever before. we have done it by focusing on three areas. ways to deliver
services but citizens expect and smarter, faster, and better ways. for example, until recently when a natural disaster struck, teams from the mouth had to rely exclusively on in-person inspections to figure out which families needed help. now they utilize aerial imagery and get housing assistance to those that needed the most more quickly. after hurricane san the most folks were able to sign up for assistance using mobile apps. ina agents went door-to-door some areas with ipad is helping residents who have lost power and sign up for disaster released without leaving homes. making sure we are delivering services better, faster, and more efficient. second, we have identified new
ways to reduce waste and save taxpayer money. for example, just by working to get rid of overlapping i t systems, we have eliminated -- identified 2.5 billion in savings across the federal government, and that is just the beginning. i propose and signed into law the elimination of dozens of federal programs and cuts even more that are either duplicate, not working, or no longer needed. taxpayers deserve the biggest bang for their buck, especially at a time when budgets are tight and we have to do more with less. now anyone can visit whitehouse.gov to see your taxpayer received. a little reseat that tells you how and where your tax dollars are being spent. the first time in history we have opened up huge amounts of government data to the american people and have put it on the internet for free.
search and you can down load more than 75 datasets. data on everything from what different hospitals charge for different procedures, credit card complaints and weather and climate measurements. business owners are now using that data, the people's data, to create jobs and solve problems that government cannot solve by itself or cannot do as efficiently. that hasis a company used open government data on general energy trends and whether to help family save more than $300 million on energy bills. founded by toy emergency room doctors that is using three lead-downloadable data about health care providers from the department of health and human services to help more
than 9 million people find the clothes as doctors and hospitals that meet their needs. the list goes on. these companies have now hired hundreds of people and are still hiring. already of people have used these applications that were created as a consequence of releasing the data. we have made good progress on all fronts, but now we need to do more. today i met with all my cabinet, including the new cabinet member somewhat extraordinary experience, and i directed the cabinet to develop an aggressive agenda that delivers a smarter, more innovative and accountable government for its citizens. we will continue to adopt good ideas from the private sector. burwell leadews for the effort. she was part of a team that
presided over three years of budget surpluses in the 1990's after philanthropic work at the gates foundation and walmart foundation. she has come back to help us move this effort forward. she is not the only one. we have welcomed a new class of presidential innovation fellows. i would love for the press to meet some of these folks because they are extraordinary. they have vast technology expertise that have volunteered to come serve their country in the private sector. helped tole, scott wu found a company that helped recent redwood said with a business turn it -- with good ideas turn into a business. founding an innovator shopping site that adapts your taste as they and 40 other fellows are taking this private
sector expertise has and bringing it into the government. making it smarter, more user- friendly. many, for example, shopping centers use this. if you are applying for federal benefits, we think you should be able to track the status of application and real time, just like you could follow the location of a package all the way to your doorstep. these are things in the pipeline right now. currently when our government asked for bids on a project it is usually written a complicated language with complicated requirements that most people do not understand. we're working to make things simpler so it is easier for small businesses to bid on projects, and will help businesses create more jobs doing work