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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  April 22, 2014 7:00am-10:01am EDT

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discusses the need for more oversight of tax preparers. 9:15, robert baker on the political process and the 2014 elections. is next.on journal" you can join the conversation on facebook and twitter. host: good morning, everyone. president obama travels to washington state to view the devastation from the recent mudslides and be with families and first responders. following his visit, he would take off for japan, his first stop on a tour of asian countries. for coverage of the president in washington state today on c-span.org. on the domestic side, we will begin with the u.s. economy and
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your standard of living over the past decade. as it become harder to maintain? here's how we're going to break down the lines. i want to show you a recent pew research poll.
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that is our question for all of you today. adding an idea of your standard of living over the past decade. has it been harder to maintain? take a look at who the middle class blames for the economic woes.
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makes in new orleans, he under 25,000. joe, what to do and describe your standard of living. caller: i make under 26,000. i think it is just the rich. the people of the united states don't want to pay anymore. they want to drive around in cadillac trucks and porsches and they don't want to see anybody else driving these things. labor,ing in mexican their fathers or grandfathers fought in wars for this country. they don't want to pay people when i'm doing labor, i also have to do skill work and i'm not kidding paid for. host: joe, what of your wages been like? caller: they have been horrible. i'm down to $20 until i get paid again. it is horrible. food is going up, gasoline is
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want to dond all you is stay inside and hold on to what you have. really can't do anything. 80's, it seemed like my mother and father were working. in the 70's they were booming. sudden, all i see his money on tv. but i am just looking at it. host: how old are you? i am 42. in the early 90's i was making a good living working offshore in mexico. thatan, no one has seen type of money anymore, and you know what i'm saying? college? you go to caller: no. host: did you parents go to college? caller: no.
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my father worked on an 80 days. my parents made a good living for me and my brother and sister, but my brother and sister are making good money. i am the only one that seems like -- i'm an honest guy and still i don't make any money. louisiana.racism in its not just economics, it is racism. i will just get off the line and listen. i appreciated. what is your standard of living like and how has it changed? this is for terry? i've been married since 1879. i have three grown kids that are 34, 30, and 26, who live with
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us. they have never really been able to start their lives because of the economy. it has made it so rough for us. in 1979.ried we live right inside the kansas missouri school district. it is no longer a credit heard they can't give out any high school diplomas or anything. is in fifth grade and i stayed home instead of working. my husband was a blue-collar guy. his factory job got worse every year. we paid more and more for any kind of benefits and the raises because theyelayed claimed they couldn't give any kind of raises and it was always at the most five percent. our standard of living never went up. , we livedad cable tv
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on the edge of barely making it. at that time we were even making $20,000 a year. now we are up to even as much as $41,000 a year when we break stuff out of his 401(k), but we just can't make things meet. living homeschooling and just barely making it, not even , and i forgot what i was going to say. host: let me ask you about the affordability of where you live. what about housing? is it affordable their? food? we had lived in rental property, very inexpensive rental property owned by this university of missouri kansas city.
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then they obliterated a neighborhood and devastated lives of people born in that neighborhood. they leveled this lower-class neighborhood and give us a relocation offer. and wents had some money were able to purchase a home, even though we had zero credit. when we were homeschooling and paying all the cost of education and staying home, because i did have a college degree, what we did in order to live was eventually we were able to establish some credit, montgomery ward letters by refrigerator, so we got some credit. that is what we lived on. the ymca so living they could have some activities like karate. we were living on credit. we kept building up all kinds of
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credit card bills. it has just been one of the things. today withou in debt credit card bills? caller: oh my god, yes. host: so you make about 41,000 income and that is not enough. so you're still living on credit cards. you mind telling us what your credit card debt is? caller: at this point is $40,000, but it is all low interest. it is wild. all three of my kids are bright and would have gone to really good colleges had we had any at the publicor university situation been more to our kids going into middle son is my
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a genius and he learned at 14 years old how to program video games. host: terry, have to leave it there. washington.oma, what is your story? a way: i have gotten into lower economic situation. can you hear me? i got laid off from my full-time 2008.d 2008 -- in i get a job working part-time in earning about 60% of my previous salary. i was working part-time at a pizza restaurant. there until about six or seven months ago. i turn 62 last year and retired just because of the situation.
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my cousin died who resembles in me, couple years younger than me. it was august or september of last year. really bad feeling. i'm doing pretty good financially. i live in my house and my house is paid for, i have no mortgage. but i am doing a little better now a social security that i was making at the pizza store. a couple of tweets here. we want to get your thoughts on this. we will keep taking your phone calls. keep diving in. you can see how we have divided the lines by income this
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morning. i want to show you this research that was done by redfin about middle-class incomes and how they don't add up to a home in parts of the country in the united states. if you go to redfin.com you can find the research there. this is what they say about the analysis. here's the breakdown of the chart. highlight the differences inaffordability by geography.
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jimmy is in atlanta, he makes between 50 and a hundred thousand dollars. between $50,000 and $100,000. or become harder to maintain over the last decade? caller: it has become harder to maintain. i'm 67 years old and i noticed that every time we have a major
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ka cut, the economy goes put. i have lived through seven presidents. and every time the republicans get in there with their tax cut, the economy dies. it never fails. host: let's go to susan in vermont who makes over $100,000. how far does a hundred thousand dollars get you in vermont? caller: it doesn't get me far. it is really difficult to maintain our home and pay for retirement and our taxes very i'm self-employed and the self-employment taxes are so impossible in terms of trying to make a living and also save for retirement. now they're telling us we are not going to have that much in
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terms of retirement good is very scary. crazy because i am realizing nobody can pay for retirement. tell us more about self-employment taxes. why is your difficult? caller: you're basically getting taxed for the first 15% of any income you make. -50% ofto set aside 40% what i make. if i make $100 an hour, it is really only $50. hard toworking doubly try to get enough to pay our .ills saving is the hardest thing. once i pay the taxes i don't have enough left over for putting any away. host: how old are you? caller: i am 45. host: is that hundred thousand
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does yourur salary? husband work? my husband is only paid a little over 30,000 a year. it is really me you're scaring the load. host: the cost of living in vermont, is it expensive? how do you see it? yeah.: when i first started living there 20 years ago i was making $19,000 a year working for a nonprofit and i was fine. i could save, i had a great life. it sounds weird now, but it is true. $300,t was only about $375 a month. now we just bought a home for a and we hadr 250,000 to get a to family.
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we can't pay our mortgage because a property taxes are so high. it really is taxes. we are paying over $5,000 a year , and it added $400 to our mortgage and it is really high right now. "the new york times" ran this article.
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"usa today" has this article in their business section this morning. it says that eight out of 10 businesses said they expect ways -- wage growth to remain subdued in the next three years.
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it says the obama administration is beginning an aggressive new effort to foster equity in criminal sentencing by considering clemency request from as many as houses of federal inmates serving time for drug offenses. attorney general eric holder talked about this in a video posted on the website of the justice department yesterday. here's what he had to say. in 2010, president obama signed the fair sentencing act. unfair disparities in sentences imposed on people for offenses involving different forms of cocaine. there are still too many people in federal prison who were sentenced under the old regime
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and who, as a result, will have to spend far more time in prison than they would if sentenced today for exactly the same crime. this is simply not right. legislation pending in congress would help address these types of cases, but in the meantime, president obama took a sensible step toward addressing the commutationsgiving to eight men and women who each had served many years in prison for crack cocaine. due to mandatory minimum guidelines are considered severe at the time and are profoundly out of date today, they had four others received life sentences. these stories illustrate the vital roles that the clemency process can play in america's justice system. the white house is indicated was to consider additional clemency applications to restore a degree of justice, fairness and
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proportionality for deserving individuals who do not pose a threat to public safety. the justice department is committed to recommend the as many qualified applicants is possible for reduced sentences. later this week, the deputy attorney general will announce new criteria and the department will consider applications for the president's review. approachand improved will make the criteria for clemency recommendation or expensive. this will allow the department of justice and the present to consider requests from the larger field of eligible individuals. once these reforms go into effect, we will expect to receive thousands of additional applications for clemency. generalat was attorney eric holder talking about new clemency guidelines. here is "the washington times.
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" president obama's lacking behind his predecessors. the front page of the "washington post" has this story.
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that is action by the supreme court today. he sat down with the ceo from that company. if you want to go to our website you can find it there as part of our communicators program. the couple more headlines for you. vice president joe biden has traveled to russia. the headline there, to ukraine.
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"the washington times" is saying that is one big reason why the vice president is there this week.
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we're getting your thoughts on your standard of living over the past decade. richard is calling in. he makes between 26000 and $50,000 a year. our standard of living is deathly gunned down in the past 10 years. one of the reasons is the city of minneapolis is making it almost impossible to own a home in the city. the property taxes here are
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almost double the surrounding suburbs. if you go right across the line in another suburb you can cut your property taxes in half. all the fees and the water are going up. they added an extra fee for water. now they want to go to zero which isneapolis adding another fee to our recycling. one observation i made listen to this program just about every day, it seems like everybody is calling in saying that their job went overseas. why isn't congress and the president doing something about this? can ask about the property taxes? what is a rationale for increasing them from the state? taxes aree property
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local, the biggest chunk of them. that is what i meant, what is the rationale? where's the money going? caller: they built a plank road green mill.storic they replaced that for half $1 million. put in waterted to fountains all over the city and things like that. from thetholes here freezing and melting of snow that are about a foot deep. roadsust don't repair the and they want to have these do good, pie-in-the-sky programs. host: here are some tweets on this issue. rand paul tweeted this out.
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robin oxford, michigan, between 26000 and $50,000. we have an opportunity in this country to stop paying that trillion dollars by becoming energy-efficient. we can get our plants back working. uaw plant in tennessee won't help. there are only 250 people in the plant. the chinese have to work on their line. the thing is, we have to get off this keynesian thinking where
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the government for its money and demonizes people. i'm a small businessman. i came from canada. i am sad that the government talks about these people. i'm 66 years old. i believe this is the greatest country in the world, but i think people have to determine that there is nowhere to go and we have to take care of ourselves. no one is going to take care of this country except the americans. oil. start moving the we will have to deal with the oil. we need it right now until we come up with something better. thousandsusands and of windmills and. they're fine, but they can't produce a power that we need. we have to think smart. that is my feeling. the unions, the afl/cio
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are putting up a pay watch over the years. this from afl/cio in their executive pay watch. hollywood, florida, makes between $50,000 and $100,000. caller: today is my birthday. i listen to every -- i listen to c-span on every day that i'm off. florida which is right outside of miami. my boyfriend is a construction
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worker. i am 47 and he is 53. 100,000 and 110 thousand dollars. even with that it is a complete struggle. every month or so we are reanalyzing our bills and are things. it is not adding up. we are making the money. a normal person would say well, you're making 100 thousand dollars, you have a lot of money. but we do not have a lot of money. we are living from paycheck to paycheck like everyone that is calling in. i feel so much better hearing other people's stories because it is really a struggle for middle-class to just make it every day with two cars, two teenagers, trying to do one or two activities just a glass came from time to time. it is very expensive everywhere you go. it is not as miami, it is
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atlantic, it is everywhere you go. the middle-class is failing. what are some of your big bills every month? vehicles, have three so our insurance total is $600.imately this is my home, so i am in the process of trying to refinance, but i still pay on that. that is about $1300 a month. area areties in this about $750 a month with cable, power, gas and water. month, and this is for living expenses. even though we make more than that, it is still not enough. , it is not adding
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up, just like most people that are calling them, it is still not adding up. elaborately, we don't eat out a lot. we have teenagers so the mcdonald's and things like that. we don't go to red lobster that much. every once in a while, but it is still not having a. every month and put that adding a. host: what about taxes? where we live, this is a little more expensive. year,es are maybe $3000 a less than the later from her is -- then the lady from vermont. we got our tax returns back whattly and we were like,
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in the world? how are we making this kind of money and we are living paycheck to paycheck and write about poverty? host: how old are you and did you go to college? caller: caller: i went to college, i am an rn. my husband works for the union -- my boyfriend works for the union. yes a steady salary. , you doing ok on the books see? in reality, it is not ok. ok.: here's a gallop poll that was taken recently.
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glenin louisiana, -- in louisiana, under $25,000. i would just like to say that your life everything, education, health care, wages, and in. , and ourer, air governor, if you want to call him a governor, seems to think that everyone under $20,000 ought to be paying more taxes and the people that are making $50,000 and $100,000. we have not a chance over here. the oil companies which to stick is 80% of all the oil that they find, they get to keep it, and
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they give the taxpayer, the people that own the oil 20%. the jobs of these to create in the oil companies, lisa pay a lot of money, don't they and they don't hire any more. though companies use other companies contractors to hire you know. arewages that you get there slim to none. he willrnor continues to reject theues money for health care. the politics of the world right now, i would like to say and collaborate with joe that we're suffering down here. if you are making a hundred grand in your herding, you're to come live down here where the health care is three times what it is in texas and three times what it is in new york. we have the worst outcomes, but the doctors get paid the most.
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tweet. another take a look at this pew research center data that they put together at the u.s. workforce.
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we're getting your standard of living over the last decade. "wall street journal" has this one. mark feels will become the new ceo of ford motor. also, president obama is naming a new white house counsel, this in the new york times. charlie savage reports.
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you have probably heard a lot about elizabeth warren's new book. here's a full ad in "the new york times" this morning. this is elizabeth warren's new book talking about the middle-class. we told you president obama is starting today his swing through asian countries, beginning with japan. it says here that the president will be in japan on wednesday. on thursday he will be meeting
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with the prime minister. on friday to visit seoul south korea. he goes to malaysia. of international section "the new york times." on that same issue, "the new york times" reports this.
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this is in many of the papers this morning. this is what the "financial times" reports.
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we will go to kenneth in marianna, arkansas who makes less than $25,000. caller: i have several points i like to make if you would allow me to make those. one of the key problems, what is happening here is half of the house of representatives, those people are millionaires. but they do is pat laws and rules to help their millionaire partners. you have duped and hoodwinked american public, thinking that they are representing them. they're not. , wall street,ies those people are doing well. why's everybody suffering? you have to understand. all of that wealth has transferred from the middle-class up to a very few people. ist they have done redistrict and draw the line city cap them out of office heard all the rest of the american people are suffering very it they hold it together
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with racism. the pit one against another, tell you this person wants to take your job. they keep us fighting against one another. we can't even see it. half of those people in congress are millionaires. to get a few more voices. fred is an olympia, washington. 10 years ago i used to throw a pretty wide loop. i used to put 30,000 miles a year on the truck. i'm not as rangy anymore. here's the thing. up --f we started opening get it out of our heads that
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they reopen it to us. we are going to get cheap fuel. that is not going to happen. i believe that when the housing popped, everybody lost their retirement, everybody lost whatever, hundred thousand dollars, whatever the prices of the houses are back up. people doing the work building ,he houses are making less we're probably going back to 20-year-old prices. host: arizona republic. governor jan brewer will decide today whether to sign to controversial gun measures. one would allow guns in public buildings and events including andming pools, libraries
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city council chambers. "detroit free press" has the headline that the u.s. treasury secretary will be going to talk about revitalization. finally, i want to share this headline from the boston globe, yesterdays marathon there. "unstoppable." when year after the tragedy that struck that city. that and the boston globe this morning.
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don in homewood, illinois between $26,000 and $50,000, you're the last on this. warer: the government is at with the middle-class. the manufacturing in a country fell from 20% of our economy to 10% and it is still falling. government is allowing this to happen. people that are manufacturing overseas are making absurdly large profits. as i had a standard, they have $4 trillion overseas that they want to bring back here and not it the regular income tax on . if this occurs, i think we ought
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to go to washington and express legislatures. our they are really at war with the middle-class. will bel right, don, we talking about tax revenues and spending. we would talk about the countries deficits and debt. back at ourill be table. all of that coming back after this short rate. break. short >> president obama pledged action bold and swift, not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. today, we're passing historic legislation, that allows a promise are president made from
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the steps of the capitol, promises to make the future better for our children and our grandchildren. only eight days after the president's address, this house byl act boldly and swiftly passing the american recovery and reinvestment act to create and save 3 million jobs by really -- by rebuilding america. that is why the bill has the support of 146 eminent economists, including five nobel prize winners, who in a letter to congress's week stated, and i proposeshe plan important investments that can start to overcome the nations damaging loss of jobs. by saving or creating millions of jobs and tube but the united states back onto a sustainable .ong-term growth path
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, created 35 years ago and brought to as a service via your local cable or satellite provider. >> there have been allegations and insinuations that i knew about the watergate raking in an expensive to cover it up. the house judiciary committee is now investigating these charges. i ordered all materials that i had previously furnished to the special crush cuter to return over to me. these include tape recordings and more than 700 documents from private white house files. on april 11, the judiciary committee issued a subpoena for 42 additional tapes and conversations. it concluded there were necessary for its investigation.
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i agree to respond to that subpoena by tomorrow. >> president nixon responded to a house select committee subpoena. sunday night at 8:00 eastern, weekendamerican history on c-span three. is back. the sort of good news is that our deficits are coming down in a short term. from what we're thinking they would be and from where they were before. that is encouraging because a
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lot of it shows that though the economy has been fully recovered, the fiscal situation that was so bad from the financial crisis and look those definites $2 trillion is improving. -- we don't, and is need to focus on getting the deficit down in the short run. i know those numbers are huge and i know what i focus on is the but did -- is the budget deficits. the real problem is that the deficit looking out into the future is so large and projected to grow at unsustainable levels. the deficit may have actually come down too quickly in the short run. the real issue is that we have done nothing that has really fixed our long-term debt problems. we are still looking at a mountain of debt. politicians don't want to deal
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with that amount of debt. host: the deficit is going to fall. here's a headline from cnbc's website. guest: the president is chairing the following deficit. he's cut the deficit in fast over the last four years. the irony is that the president and his economic advisers have said that the deficit is coming down too quickly. we are worried about the effect on the economy. he may be don't want to cheer those immediate short-term fixes to the deficit, but also, when you talk about the deficit coming out, it sounds really good. the truth is, we have to put in a broader context. the definite has been cut in half over the last four years,
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but it grew 750% to you for or debt right now is twice as high .s a share of the economy after war, you expected it to be larger, but you have a plan to grow your economy. right now, we do not have a plan. we have an aging population, health care costs which have improved somewhat and a lot of programs that are expending much faster than our tax faces. is.hen our tax base we haven't done anything critical to get control of what we need to for the longer-term. >> what has shrunk the deficit so quickly. when you have a recession, and we had a huge recession, you
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have automatic stabilizers or changes in your budget. more money is spent on programs that helps people in need. a lot of money goes out there. you deficit grows automatically. two, spent a lot of money and stimulus programs. that stimulus is unwinding. we made a number of policy changes. as everyone will call, we have the sort of nailbiting moments in the country. is the sequester going to hit, are we going to shut down the government? are we going to default? luckily, the answer was no. ones were always had the spending followed by the we put in an awful round of that called a surest of. we raised some revenues are on the fiscal cliff on people making over $450,000 a year, the well-off.
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the policy changes combined with the economic improvements and the ending of the stimulus have brought the deficit down from a trillion dollars to a half trillion dollars. i would add that those are still again, whens, but the economy is weak, it is not the biggest concern that we have. guest: the policy places that have been put in change a really dumb. let's look at our spending cuts. we look at across-the-board spending cuts for the most part. there's a lot of savings you can find in these areas of the budget, but you want those to be put in seek and thoughtfully's think about them. one of the -- of performing really well. we have been underfunding infrastructure in this country for quite some time. we want the spending caps to push policymakers to be more thoughtful.
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in the end, they actually say i don't want to be held responsible for making these tough choices. i'm cutting part of their budget. raised revenues we raise tax rates. it means that people will work less because incentive to work his last. there's a huge opportunity right to reform our tax code. nobody likes the tax code as it is. the same goes true for businesses and families. it is filled with always tax breaks and deductions and exclusions and exemptions that makes tax code incredibly complicated like swiss cheese. we have a chance to reform a lot of us tax breaks and bring down rates, but you could still ask people to pay more in revenues if you want to close the deficit, which i think we need to do, but in a way that would
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help grow the economy. theelp raise tax rates. third piece is what we have not done. we have not double the biggest challenges of the budget, which is the aging of the population and health care costs. social security, medicare, medicaid, all need to be shored up. all face huge challenges. we are facing this challenge. at some point, down the road, frankly, when it will be too late, someone will get around to fixing these programs. track to run out of money in 2016. nothing is being done to fixes. our entitlement programs are the biggest problem in the budget. we need to shore them up, we need to strengthen them and fix them. nothing is being done there. that is my biggest concern. is that why the ceo said we face trillion dollars again and 2022?
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>> it was. the fastest-growing part of our budget is interest. this is the biggest way for item on a budget. there are a lot of places we waste money, but they tend to be smaller line items. the biggest part of our budget, the fastest-growing part is interest payments. our interest rates are the very low. money, isorrow because we have an fixer entitlements, our interest payment to growing so quickly there kind of falling on top of themselves, and because we don't race enough revenues to spend. we don't want to spend a lot of money -- we want to spend a lot of money and we don't want our taxes to pay for it. looking big problem forward is as programs we have not dealt with and our unwillingness to pay for what we do or to spend.
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qe, europe first from memphis, tennessee. a democratic caller. i want to know why the u.s. is in debt if we're the most powerful nation? the question is, will we be able to stay the most powerful nation. it is really frightening -- -- >> basic and simple but irresponsible policy making or .egislating there are a lot of things we want to spend money on. a lot of things make a lot of sense. investments, security for the country, programs to help people retirement.secure
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those are important priorities. but as we go through and prioritize in our budget, in the end, we say, we are not willing to pay for them. no one likes taxes. if you want the government to do things, you need the government to spend the money and cover those costs. instead, i would say a lot of it has to do with the partnership -- partisanship in washington. people who want to do a lot more ,pending, who want to cut taxes those of a easy and fun parts, spending money and cutting taxes. instead, saying we will cut spending and raise revenues to pay for what we're doing, which would be a compromise for it democrats, it would be responsible but hard for politicians to tell voters that so we will do. they take the easy way out and charge the national credit card. have been doing it year after year. in the past, we primarily ran deficits when in war then when
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the economy is stronger, we would get rid of the deficit. we no longer do that. we run deficits in good times and bad. every year you do, that amount of money goes to the national debt. the huge amount of debt is released -- draining the strength of this country. you see it of -- and all of the international countries, wagging a finger in united dates, losing your position of authority to tell us what to do because you are being so irresponsible. >> happening in real-time on that website, we will go to rob, republican caller. >> i am concerned about this. if our interest rate goes from one percent now to normal, like
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five or seven percent, would we be paying five times the amount of interest on that debt? that is one question and maybe give me exact numbers. number two, when we bailed out the banks and they pay back the money for the bailout, where did the money go? three, they had a segment earlier on middle income people feeling like they were taxed too much. wereassuming they considering the contribution to the social security system as what causes them to have a higher tax rate. it is a to me like contribution to their retirement that we will ultimately get. could you speech to those? guest: three great questions. i feel like we have a teaser rate.
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the u.s. has had low rates and are soe people -- rates low and we should borrow more. interest rates go up one percentage point, that would add trillion that we would owe in interest payments over the next 10 years. 120 billion dollars a year in interest payments. if they go up just one percentage point. they can go up significantly more than that but everybody remembers the supercommittee, a group of members of congress who tried to get together to come up with some savings so we would not have the sequester across-the-board cuts take place. betweene trying to save 1 trillion and 1 trillion and a half. they cannot come up with any agreements they agree on. the point is, you would need a supercommittee that would
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actually succeed for everyone percentage increase in interest rates. we are veryows you vulnerable if we borrow less. depending less on borrowing, we would not be so worried on the fact that rates are likely to go up. class countries continue to buy our debt. class yes. we are the safe haven. it is so strange, we could mess up the world economy and when we threaten to default, it could send ripples through the world economy. we could mess up the global blocky and people will our debt. people believe we will do the in time.ng those assumptions are being called into question. our government and say, that is not as stable a government as it used to be. the lack of ability to compromise, the real problems and come together and solve them, in the past, republicans
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and democrats would fight but they would come up with a solution. right now, you have every issue. i think the question is being really arehether we able to govern as we have in the past. if and when other countries become more stable, think countries in asia -- in asia and europe, people start to diversify. that is where the pressure will be. when the bank bailouts, which ended up not costing as much money as they thought, that was credit. fannie mae and freddie mac, money coming back in overtime. excellent question about social
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security. social security taxes or foremostions are families the largest component of the tax bill. i could see it either way. on one hand, you're putting money into the system so the benefits will be there later. it is a pay-as-you-go system. taxes put in my payroll each year, it goes to pay for my father's benefits right now. it accounts for me or even a place where it is safe. we were taking in more money than we were spending this year. come it was used to buy government bonds to help finance our deficit. that money went to pay for defense education, infrastructure, all the moneyent things we spend
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on in the budget every year. money on in the budget every year. now we owe it back to social security but it was used to finance the government. now social security does not run surpluses anymore. every dollar we pay in payroll taxes is now going to pay for benefits directly. we switched from running surplusessurpluses as the baby s started to retire. frankly, that is one of the big problems. we can keep this program making good on his promises. we will need to scale back on benefits, look at the retirement actually overstate in our economy, or raise revenue or we will have to raise some combination of all these aims to fix the system. policymakers know that is what we have to do. we have been waiting for years. baby boomers are starting to retire.
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i it is not about fixing the budget. this is about fixing social security. many ways, they have been used to cover other parts of the budget. they have been used to mingle for other revenues and used as tax dollars. here are a couple of weeks for you. -- tweets for you. -- guest: i guess he doesn't like seeing it because it is depressing? what we have gone through in the past couple of years is remarkable. we had suddenly trillion dollar deficits, the country woke up and started saying, we have to deal with it. someone who's really worried about this issue and how it will harm our economy -- frankly, it means already our economy is going slower, wages lower, job security is lower.
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having these deficits, i know we do not feel the affect everyday. but it affects our economy and livelihood already. people woke up and they were incredibly rate about it. it became the most contentious issue. incredibly important for people who would remember the gang of six. as saw this in the house well. for the most part, soon as you're talking about the sticky, thorny issues of reforming entitlement, cutting spending, and raising revenue, politicians not play grown-up. issue and they were unable to come up with deals. i think basically all the politicians came up with a one
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agreement they could, which is, let's not talk about it anymore and pretend things are ok. we have been talking about and it is really hard. it won recklessly grow the economy. we need to. part of growing the economy is making responsible choices dealing with your deficit. think we are in a position of deficit denial. you have got all of the leaders trying to pretend is not a real problem even though it is. would add to the mix of midterm elections. a lot of people are thinking about running for office. you do not see a lot of acts of political courage during the election. the person who treated us does not want to talk more about the debt but we have to deal with the debt. we cannot sleep and onto the carpet. voters need to ask their members of congress what they would do to confront it.
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>> here is a tweet. -- guest: there is a lot of division about whether a flat tax is the right answer. i do not think so. always had ahas progressive tasco. u are doing, the higher your tax rates are. every year, the government loses over one trillion dollars. the home mortgage interest reduction, the fact we do not pay taxes on health care. if we're willing to trade some of those come even the tax rate -- tax breaks for yachts and second homes, and get rid of some of those, we can bring out tax breaks -- tax rates down.
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so we have the same distribution of who is paying taxes as we do now. income equality is growing in the country. going to a flat tax where the people on the upper and are paying lower tax burdens does not make sense. you could greatly simplified attacks and bring the rate down for everybody. let's go back to call spirit michael in brooklyn, democrats. caller: hello. good morning. i worked more than a 20-year-old. i have no home and car. i cannot buy anything for my children and my wife mary who is responsible for that? [indiscernible] problems --or these [indiscernible] sorry for hear you about
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your situation. talking about growing the economy and growing your way out of it. can the united states grow their way out of the deficit? guest: that call reps on your heartstrings. so many people are suffering in the country right now. it is terrible economic recovery has not been strong as people would want to be. we do not know how to bring more jobs back. there are a number of things we have to do. on bringing the deficit down right now is not the right priority. about how weink will create better incentives for work and job creation. you could best things
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do is reforming the tax code. so it is easy to bring jobs and keep jobs in this country and hire people. another thing we could do is should makewhere we more public investments. some have longer-term growth prospects like education and research. some have more immediate growth prospects as well. infrastructure and direct spending on things that would grow the economy over time. we have to get the debt under control. aboutked a little bit entitlements. howdy strengthen the program so many people rely on so they will be there today. protects they that people who depend on them. ways if we get ahead of pretending we do not have to deal with the challenges but star strengthening them now. you can make changes so every single person who depend on them is protected, does not have we couldprotected increase benefits at a low and
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back are willing to pull benefits for people who do not need them. it seems incredibly sensible to me. should make more public investments. some have longer-term growth the caller makes you feel the pain of how terrible the fact that we are not working as good stewards of our economy now. we are not thinking about ways to be responsible or ways to protect people falling through the cracks there we are not feeling with longer-term challenges of dealing with a sustainable economy. class we're talking with maya macguineas. budgettter handle is at talks, if you want to follow them. she is on a committee for face the debt campaign. federal spending highlights the failure of u.s. capitalism to toate adequate jobs and even sustain itself. you are next, david. you are on the air. caller: two quick points.
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i would think if you raise your taxes, you have a less disposable income, you would probably work more than -- rather than last. my second point, more important last time i looked, the u.s. workforce is 22 million. every seventh employee was the government employee. six people who pay for that. in the government and the private sector. the comparison between the two, it is day and night. the government job is a breeze. all expenses paid, no sweat. seriously. harder -- effort and
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you are carrying the weight of all the government employees, i do not want to take up more of your time, but that in a nutshell. will have her respond. >> you have the personal experience. we tend to treat government workers as one big group. it is a diverse group. government employment has been recently and wages have not gone up for employees. in some ways, that is changing and the government is becoming a less desirable place to work. remove away from the government private sector. the government shutdown was incredibly insecure for a lot of workers at the time. be you observation would have the most talented people working for significantly less wages and other areas, there are huge bureaucracies where people
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are not working, incentives are not to work. it has become a place where people are not fired. it is true of the entire government. figure out where in the government -- policy experts are phenomenal. how're happy to figure out to figure out these policies. i prefer the ones not as partisan. at the same time, what we need to do is look at the government much more specifically in the program. the laborould include force. much of our budget is focused on how much we will spend and how much we will tax, but it does not do much to evaluate the performance. if we changed priorities, and we
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do not do that most of the time, but if we spent a lot more time budgeting to actually evaluate how the bureaucracies are working, we could find a lot of savings in that area and it would make the government much bring in some and of the private sector competitiveness efficiency better help old. >> the new game for extremely rich tax avoidance. i want your take on the affordable care act. >> will that add for deficits? that is the $100 million question. it has been interesting because the fight over the affordable care act is weak. it has been distracting from a lot of other important issues entitlementof full reforms. a lot of ways to make changes to it and improve it.
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what we're seeing right now, we have seen a significant dry out -- that is a real problem. not growing as fast as they had before but still fast. some of the most recent studies we are looking at are showing it is not really the result of the aca. the slower economy or things that are not as likely to stick. law,ems in the health-care there will not be that much that would control costs. for when theyid put it in place. past, we put in a prescription drug plan and mexico -- massive taxes. they paid for the health-care law and that is a start. the question is, was it going to include things that help control thecost of health care? answer, i am pretty sure, is a little bit but not nearly enough.
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expanded coverage so massively, and was a huge opportunity to control costs spear once again, with the government said, the easy part, let's expand coverage. partll see that hard controlling costs later. it will be harder to do because we waited and it will not be connected to cut -- expanding coverage. >> lifted you make of the data released last week on medicare and how much doctors are getting on medicare payments? that that we need more transparency. there are huge things we're learning about discrepancies in how much different doctors are collecting for medicare. it is terrific we are showing the data. tore are people jumping conclusions and some doctors making a lot more for good reason. for the large part, i think anyplace we can make the data more transparent, when a half the with government programs like this, will be very good for helping to control costs.
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health care is really hard. we need more information. we need more transparency. those of us trying to navigate the health care system, it is overwhelming. i cannot go on the internet and look at millions of different cost of different doctors and figure out exactly what i need to be doing or my health care. to get the transparency data out there and have people starting to use it to figure out where we are making -- it is a step.aul and an important host: some of the analysts said it is largely due -- to prescription drugs. money step.of that
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is for the drugs seniors need. yes.:
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there for decades is my prediction, but if you run a surplus, you're not adding to the debt that year. the second question is about the fed. there are a lot of questions out there which nobody knows. nobody knows how the unwinding of the assets the fed has purchased and the balance sheets will affect the overall economy. that is the important question. will we be able to do it? the bigger question is how it will affect the overall economy. disruptive toy
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interest rates or will we be able to gradually unwind, not purchase the treasuries anymore, and start to put them in open markets slowly over time. the question was about debt ratio to gdp. thet: i'm not sure about 21%. you might be talking about the size of the government compared to the economy at 21%. debt is about 73% of the overall economy. numbers. that is the debt we have borrowed from the public. there is the debt we owe ourselves to the social security trust fund. and howloser to 100% much we promised ourselves. it is projected to go up slightly over the next 10 years. we studied this. there is no magic number on what the debt would be.
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there is no international standard that would be reasonable or doable. a reasonable plan that came out on how we will get the debt controlled in a gradual way. you look at the plan that is like that, that dealt with all parts of the budget and grow the economy and protect the most honorable, you would probably want to shoot for getting your disruptivedebt to about 60% ofa decade or so. there is no magic number. the trick is that you want your debt to not grow faster than the economy and it has been peer that is the problem and that is when things are unsustainable. if you look at something like the president posses budget, just scored last year, while it would manage the debt for a couple of years and it did not grow faster than the -- van the economy, it didn't -- van the economy --
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these are dry and boring numbers. have ason why is if you debt level like in 2008, you have fiscal flaccid at flexibility. if you have a national emergency, something with a huge opportunity and your debt levels have moneyyou then on your credit card you can borrow. right now, our debt levels are so high that if we have another down and below, because there is no way we will have the economy growing steadily, you have it grow up and down like it did before. up and down, we are constrained. our hands are tied behind our back there and we do not have the same borrowing power and it before. other countries keep lending to us right now. because our debt is as the risk stop at somecould
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point. we need to make sure we get our debt into a reasonable zone. 62% would be reasonable. below 40% would be historical averages. so that we will be able to borrow when the need comes up, which it certainly will. independent caller. peace, the politician speaking out there. i believe the problem is people who talk about in your budget projections are pretty laughable. about his left was the politicians who kept talking about the social security trust fund a few years ago. politician doublespeak. host: you're breaking a little bit. what he thinks talking about a tenure budget is foolish yet felt -- foolish? policies or change iran
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the world and interest rate goes disaster and we have to get basic controls of the budget under control. i will let you go that point because it is difficult to hear you. guest: i get the point. i talk about things in 10 years when we do budget? then the politicians going change and all over again, sometimes for good reason because the world has changed and sometimes because there are different politicians in place. it changes regularly. the reason i think it is important is because what we course understand is the we're on where we're headed. in particular, if you look at things where we have government programs that make promises to people, they need to understand what they can and cannot count on. to know noteget from the social security administration saying this is the kind of in a fit you are so
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far unlikely to get. what the note does not say if the administration does not have the money to set aside to pay for that. long-term projections are critical. do not look beyond this year in the budget, we would not know social security -- the trust funds will run out of funds in a decade. we would not know disability would run out into years and medicare were no longer cover its costs the way it was originally planned. you have to look at do not looks year in the budget, we would not the choices you make today. another way to say it is we could not -- budget measures have a profound effect on the coming years. faster than the economy or more each year. something that is not permanent. you have to see the long-term projections. the important thing is to look .t those projections
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it is not that that is the budget or the plan. trackuld help us stay on to make decisions to help policymakers. just like you want companies to spend more time thinking about the sustainability, our country needs a longer-term plan. it has to be a long-term plan. we're falling short where we have to think about the media policies. -- the media policies. host: don. caller: good morning. you are riding a dead horse. the real issue in this country is economic equality. it is economic inequality not only here at around the world. [indiscernible] point, capitalism
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in the 21st century, that what -- 95% of ourwith money went from the top one .ercent that is af taxes, real problem. if, like suggested, that we start taxing the upper one come youf the bracket do not like to hear that because your corporate sponsors who sponsored your $4 million for ray or little get-togethers in washington, are part of the corporate community. of your am not sure last point, which is sort of it is a, but i agree
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tremendous challenge, one of the biggest facing the country right now. a picture is actually -- absolutely integrated with the inequality issue. as you go to the book, one of the points was some people are only making their money from capital and labor. how do you spread the benefits of capital? there needs to be more shared capital if and when that is when the capital will be. a sweet -- guest: i do not think it makes any sense there is a tax break there. i do not agree we will have an 80 or 90% tax rate. that would really harm the economy. i agree we should have a progressive tax system, but i do not think it is the only solution. this book is luckily starting a tremendously important dialogue
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in this country. not, -- notill have come up with solutions. it comes from the fact wages are shifting and jobs are shifting because it is a more open global economy them before. short-term solutions in terms of minimum wage a sweet -- are not nearly enough. they are scratching the surface of the benefits of economic growth, which has been muc. >> how is the group funded? guest: by foundations. the fix the debt campaign is funded by corporations and individuals. the campaign is built to build the whole citizen network of people pushing for fiscal reforms. 23 states, and people are interested. we have over 100 members of
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a reallyand it is phenomenal campaign where people are able to get involved. we were concerned the business sector was not involved in fiscal issues for some time. we encourage them to come out and how we need to look at all parts of the budget and fix the debt. it has been terrific to see how much interest there is across the country. is -- he website check them both out. thank you. up next, we will talk to the advocate.axpayer nina olson. after this is a different c-span radio. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] thet president obama visits seattle area today to look at the damage from a mudslide that happened last. the mudslide killed at least 41 people and buried dozens.
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groups continue today through the wreckage. a stopover for the president as he travels to the pacific region. working on a trade deal in the u.s., but no agreement has been reached. a considerable distance over trade and farm products and vehicles. just days before president obama is scheduled to visit. south korea says there is evidence of heightened activity a the nuclear testing ground friend a new kind of test. north korea has carried out
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three nuclear tests. the most recent of risks is february 2013. every time that happens come united states security council reacted with increased sanctions. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> what we are seeing right now, where we are inventing computational capabilities more and more into our environment. one technologies disagree this. i consider the smartphones we carry around, 70% of the population carries around, to be a trademark example. we are becoming human centers because we are carrying around an extremely powerful computer in our pocket. it takes the form of different centers that exist in the physical world around us. , an easy pass on the new jersey turnpike.
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certainly, surveillance cameras that collect data and send that somewhere else, this is all part of the same thing. the embedding of computers into our real world. >> saturday night at 10:00 eastern. our book club selection, read book and join the discussion. ormer gang member turned off an college. booktv every weekend on c-span two. host: we are back. a familiar face to our viewers. welcome to the table.
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let's remind our viewers what is the taxpayer advocate. what do you do you know -- what do you do? my job is to make recommendations for mitigating problems, by improving iressa procedures or changing tax laws. host: you do that in an annual report to congress. guest: two. the one i really make the recommendations is december. is first thing i recommended that the irs adopt a taxpayer bill of rights. in the past, i recommended congress enacted. it is important for taxpayers to know they have rights. will do something toward restoring faith to the irs. the irs is actually very interested in that. we will see something happening
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in the next couple of months. the idea is we have the constitutional bill of rights. knows youh everybody have the right to free speech, the right to free assembly, the right to free exercise of religion, those are very broad concepts. things underneath that. our tax laws, tax rates do not know about them. in a way for taxpayers to understand. if they're talking to the irs, they can say, don't i have the right to appeal? that prompts the discussion, that prompts the irs employee to say, yes, and here is how you claim it. or, it may be no, you do not. ? en, why do you not
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it begins a dialogue. what are the remedies if your rights are violated? where are the gaps? .ou may have rights if you do not have quality tax service, what is your remedy? i think it begins the conversation and educates taxpayers. the other thing is that we did a national survey and found less than half of the united states tax there is believe they have iressa andre the only 11% know what the rights are. if we are in that kind of , taxpayers will not be able to protect themselves at all. host: is there a bill of rights on the state and local level? guest: some have it. charters of rights and conventions of rights. california, new york,
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pennsylvania. a lot of the states have them. they are on their websites. i think they educate taxpayers. that is what we are hearing from the states. the other thing i find important is it is a way to educate employees. rights is bill of really a roadmap for an effective tax administration. if you're going to do animate -- an initiative, you should go through those rights and make sure your initiative, is structured in a way to give meaning to those routes -- rights, so i just see this the whole tax system. it needs to be articulated and taxpayers need to know about it. an informed tax there is the best protection for a fair tax system. you have been a national taxpayer advocate since 2001.
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in the latest report, you reported the major problems facing the irs today, unstable and chronic underfunding that puts at risk the irs posses ability -- guest: the irs posses budget has been declining over the years even as its work has increased. at this point, we have 146 million individual tax returns, many returns are married filing jointly. we answer 10 million calls last year. 109 million calls, 10 million letters. our workforce has declined by eight percent. our budget has declined by eight
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percent. work as increased and the actual workforce and capabilities have decreased extraordinarily. i feel, i have to say this betweenthat imbalance work and ability, it really taxpayers. is you haveans questions. you will not be will to get them answered. of our correspondents overage at the end of our last fiscal year. that means something that may we do not openf up the mail and deal with what you're telling us. comes to the good taxpayers from all of this. the strongest ways of
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saying that is, here we are and people have filed income taxes. a large number of taxes have filed extensions. there was no one at the irs answering basic tax law questions on the phone. on april 16, you want to call marry --should i should i file jointly, am i single, there is no one to answer. we do not have the money to --ff the calls after a full april 16. will chances are good he not get audited by the irs this year. guest: we have a slightly less than one percent audit rate. that may sound outrageous, but it is fairly constant for the rest of the world. depending on what type of taxpayer you have, your chances are greater than others. income get audited
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more than middle-class taxpayer. isne percent audit rate about one most of the world does. he will not audit yourself out of noncompliance, get yourself out of the tax cap by doing major audits. what we found, we have done a number of studies that found the greatest drivers of taxpayer compliance, and also the norms of your society, the community around you, the community around you, yourround business community, whatever, that will influence your behavior as well. that is much more influential than enforcement. host: does this mean you could get one by the irs? guest: you could try. i practiced in private practice before the artist for 27 years.
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i used to say to my clients, you could do whatever you want. my experience is that the iressa will find you. do you really want to live that way? i would consider to say -- i would continue to say that to taxpayers. the audit rate does not represent the full picture. there are two categories of audits. real and unreal audits. the audits the irs uses in the audit rate where you are sending out a letter and saying, we will look at your books and records. do a ton of other work. you left off a w-2 from your return. 1099 you have not reported. that is not in the numbers. there are millions of contacts a year that do not get into that. he will not have a contact from the irs. many of you probably just
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finished up or asked for an extension. we will take questions and comments. proposal on irs to prepare for tax returns on citizens. always prepared tax returns. from the first day the iressa irs opened. the irs is no longer preparing for this population of taxpayers. i find that outrageous. we have an obligation to help taxpayers if they needed to put their for their return. another thing i've been record -- recommending for years, the to a paper return
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where you're sitting there with a paper return on your desk and their publications and instructions, but you do it .igitally but it would be free and free for -- to electronically file it. there is something there now and i have recommended it for the last few years, that the irs make available to taxpayers, get .he information a w-2 posses, the 1099 posses, get that earlier so taxpayers could download that information, either directly into the software program they're using, or just printed out and give it to the preparer or themselves so they do not lose the w-2. it would cut down to, the non-audit communications. to me, that is a basic service government should provide to its
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taxpayers. we didn't estimate there are very few taxpayers if you downloaded that information into a government form, who would be able to just hit a button and say, send this to the irs. these are my taxes. we do not know whether you have dependents, whether you are married, whether you are eligible for and earned income credit. we cannot prepare their return electronically. very few taxpayers have [indiscernible] let's get to calls. democratic caller. caller: how about preparing and irs martial law and then just have all the auditors concentrate on corporations like exxon and all of them and profit billions and we see they do not even pay millions of their fair share of taxes. we should do that for maybe a year. guest: there is a whole unit of the irs that focuses on large
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businesses and many entities are under audit year-round where the audit teams are in the entity and looking at different issues for the whole year. they are basically under continuous audit. the largest corporations have activity on the -- the problem with the internal revenue code and how it is structured for the large entities and how they can move activity offshore or not. you are reading the press, there are certainly a lot of conversations about corporate tax reform. that is the big issue internationally. the irs is not alone. there is a lot of activity there. i do not think pulling individual auditors off would help. we would have to take a year and a half or more to train them up
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to understand the complex corporate returns. next to will go patricia in ohio, republican caller. caller: two questions. one, why is all of this nexus very? -- necessary?ust why don't we just reform the tax code? ,e hire people to do our taxes when the tax code is at fault here. my second question is, why in the world people give money back when they do not pay taxes. thank you. those are two really good questions. the first, tax reform, i agree with you. every of the year i make is a problem forecast bears, the complexity of the internal revenue code. really, but complexity of the revenue code is because we do
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not have test prefaces -- the money in order to come up with a very simple task code is all concentrated in major test .refaces the home mortgage reduction, the employer exclusion for health insurance payments, the exclusion for retirement plan, the preferential rate on capital gains, dividends, all of that is where the money is in the code. if you really want to get rid of all of that, get a flatter tax and less provisions in the code, you will have to give up something. that is something we would have to pay. the special preferences are us. we are the special interests. we get the benefits. that is a refundable tax credit. that is a provision of structure that has been around for a long time.
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it is one of the largest, second largest in the government at this point. poor. the working it is a supplement to the income. that they have to pay any taxes including the social security tax. people can argue about whether we should deliver the program through the internal revenue code or as a direct spending program, a welfare program. i would argue it is less expensive for all taxpayers to deliver to the internal revenue code. if you think about it as a spending program delivered to more sense. makes you may not want us to do those spending romance and that is partly all right. congress has beefed it up many
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times since 1975 when it was first enacted to where it is today. four million words long. taxpayer businesses spend 6 billion hours yearly to comply. there have been 4700 changes to the code since 2001. this is off from the national taxpayer advocate's website. their day-to-day put together. to the head of it. we are going to our caller. caller: i saw your presentation to congress a couple weeks ago. i was wondering if the irs was going to make it mandatory, a voluntary program, since they lost the appeal. tohought it was a good idea at least have some level competency. i was wondering why they seem reluctant to make it at least voluntary in the interim until they can do that.
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guest: by way of background for therest of the colors, are a group of taxpayers who are not attorneys and enrolled agents are people who have taken an exam administered by the irs. eckstein years before i became a tax attorney where anybody can basically hang up the shingle in order to repair returns. the tax law is getting more and more complex since i first started practicing in 1975. it becomes more of an issue if you have not demonstrated any level of competency. a few years ago, and i have recommended this for many years, the irs decided they would require on enrolled return repairs to take a test and then take continuing education every year to keep them up-to-date on the changes in the tax laws and make sure they do not make errors from the years before.
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most recently, a circuit court of appeals held an injunction against the irs from instituting that on a mandatory basis that it has exceeded statutory authority. while we're are waiting for congress to clarify that, i think the irs is seriously considering opening this up on a voluntary basis. if you would like to come in, is certified test preparer, whatever, and that would give taxpayers comfort that the person they go to has demonstrated some kind of competency. gotwhere, because they have software plugging the numbers. they are gone. if you have a question from the irs, they are gone, they are not
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anywhere. i think the irs will do some action on that. host: "the washington times." -- guest: i admire dan a lot but i have to disagree with his analysis there. see everyday the cost to taxpayers, individuals who have gone through on enrolled and in confident. there is no way for the taxpayer to know whether they are qualified or unqualified or unscrupulous or out right unfortunate. the costs to the individual taxpayer and the cost to the government of this are ridiculous.
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as you have the government walking away from doing free tax preparation itself, and you're opening up to the field and bringing more and more low income and vulnerable and elderly taxpayers into the tax system, you have a population that can be preyed upon. for those who don't know --host: for those who don't know, dan irs in prepares for the the case that you are referring to. let's go to loretta, next, in cleveland, ohio. caller: good morning, greta. good morning, ms. olson. use tax cuts,s loopholes, offshore banking, carried interest, it means that they have never paid taxes like the rest of us. what is going on there? host: nina olson? guest: large corporations are, as i said before, more than one
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percent audited. they have a very hefty audit rate. but it is the operation of the law. don't do tax policy. so, the way that the law is structured in corporate tax .eform is a function of the law i think that that is where people need to express their opinions to their legislators. there is something interesting going on. i was just at an overseas conference and one of the hot topics was starbucks what was happening in the united kingdom, where they had paid no taxes at all. people want up boycotting starbucks. it was not so much that it had an impact on their purse, but it had an impact on the reputation. more and more i am hearing from tax directors in corporations that they are considering
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reputational risk. how people react when they find out a large corporate entity is not paying taxes to the community where they are receiving revenue from. i think that that is a very interesting thing that is beginning to surface, which may be will lead to some corporate tax reform, or at least some change in corporate behavior. this is from john in north carolina -- host: carol says -- host: your thoughts? on these ongoing investigations? is not just one ongoing investigation fix. one of them in particular is criminal. i cannot really talk about that and i don't really have personal knowledge about the individual actions of any individual.
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i do believe that those investigations are ongoing and that they will conclude and that actions will be taken in accordance with those investigations as conducted by congress and various other places. i think that there is a fair amount of independence and those investigations. my own take about what happened, as i looked into it for my own organization to see through my organization's eyes what went on there, i do think that it was really on top of everything else just managerially indefensible, that no one noticed that these taxpayers, that their returns have been held and not acted upon. and that employees who had been asking for guidance on how to proceed -- no one had paid any of those requests any address for over a year. leaving aside everything else, that is just unacceptable.
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it puts people in a decision where they decide they have to do something, so what do i do? the more important point about all of this is that the irs -- we are dealing with c4 organizations, they have the difficult task of saying -- how much political activity is enough? the law saysof that you have to be operated exclusively for social welfare. social welfare does not include political activity. exclusively sounds like you have to operate 100% for social welfare, but the u.s. supreme court has held that you can do an insignificant -- they have said substantial other purpose, implying that you could do something else that was insubstantial. since that supreme court case have said that you can do and it's -- and insubstantial amount.
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what is insubstantial? 80%? 40%? right now the irs is saying that are doing nos you more than 40% of your activity, that is insubstantial. i don't know how you get from 100% to 40% when the law says exclusivity, but the irs is there making that decision, and it is an almost impossible task. what you see in the reaction that people have had to it is it undermines their faith in the irs, which is not a good thing for us. host: another tweet here -- i am not sure about the actual appeals function. they get at resolution in about 95% of their cases. a settlement. that could be that the taxpayer some100%, or there is
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number in between. for the taxpayer advocate service, when they come to us, we have about 75% relief rate. in and ask for specific relief and we got it for them. many other tax payers that we get relief for, but it might not do precisely what they ask. but we did get them something. but a 75% release rate for us is pretty good. host: what is your staff like? how many people do you have? have 1900 employees, 74 offices across the state's. experiencing a we call significant hardship can go in and get help. meaning that some in the irs is doing or not doing is causing economic urban, or they tried to resolve the problem through the system in the system does not work. we have about 250,000 cases per year. host: george's next, independent
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caller. caller: good morning. you partially answered my question. the irspaper says that refocus his concert -- conservative group anti-tax status over clinton's statements. i thought we had free speech? familiar witht that article, maybe i can answer this generally. again depends on what type of nonprofit it is. if you are a 501 c three there is an absolute i -- and absolute ban on political activity. part of the law that has been upheld by the courts. insubstantiale amount of legislative activity, promoting a particular position or something like that, but if you are a traditional nonprofit you cannot do any electioneering or make political statements for
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a candidate or get involved in campaigns. so, without knowing the facts of that, if they did make political statements, that is basically basis for a revocation of their tax exempt status. they can do what they want, politically, but they have to pay tax. >> what was the impact of the affordable care act on the irs? guest: it is going to be a lot of work. it is a whole new line of business for the irs. it is going to bring in some new taxpayers. certainly a new provision. we are going to be doing the reconciliation for the premium tax credit starting in the 2015 filing season. people will beginning the premium tax credit during the year if they signed up in advance, then they will have to reconcile. others will claim it at the end of the year if they have not gotten it by the end of the year.
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there is a provision for those who are not covered by insurance , we will have to figure out what exceptions apply and if you are subject to that additional charge. on the business side, you know, some of the taxes on the business side for not covered in have -- covering have been delayed, in the code dealing with insurance companies, medical devices, things like the irs is a very large piece of this. they have been doing better at getting information out to taxpayers. there are good questions and answers, but they are not doing so well with being there with humans, if you call and want to talk to them. i am watching very carefully and am very concerned about how they on the individual
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mandate, the penalty, whatever it is called, and how they will collect overages of the premium tax credit. i canre is one message get out it is -- if you are going to get the premium tax credit and you get it now during the year, if your life circumstances change you need to call the exchange again to see if your amount has reduced or increased. if you have another child, you may get a premium, another tax credit. if you got a significant raise on your job it may mean that you will owe money at the end of the year. a lot of people may have reduced refund. my organization is working right calculator, so that they can come to our website and figure out if their increase in pay makes any difference to them in terms of their credit. taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov.
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is that website. jim, tennessee. caller: how are you doing? towardsal cynicism washington is this right now, my , althoughontributions legally that may not be a prosecutable bribe if you sell your vote for campaign prost -- campaign contributions, that is moral. it seems to me that our congress because all of those loopholes have been bought and paid for and they will not do anything about it. >> the strongest voice to taxpayers have is their own.
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you have to make it uncomfortable for the members of congress. want a different tax code? you need to speak up and write your congressman, write your senators and tell them what you want in the tax system. you are the taxpayers of the united states. your voice is incredibly important. on my website we have a place where we ask taxpayers to write in their ideas on tax reform. we publish those ideas, periodically. i read them and i am constantly impressed by foot to taxpayers , ifhe united states think they have suggestions for the tax code. it includes not just writing me, but that you should be very vocal with your congressman. if you want a balanced and fair tax code or you have recommendations for what needs to happen, you need to pepper
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your members of congress with ideas. to me, that is the only way that we are going to get tax reform, if the taxpayers of the united states create a groundswell for it. that is your job. it is my job to point out to congress where the tax laws are harming the taxpayers. for the twitter audience, you have a twitter handle. if people follow you there, what kind of information will they get? guest: a bunch of things. some of it is practical tips, links for good information about the affordable care act, etc. it might be a retreat of some article or something like that. be built tweet about when i testified before congress. we are trying to be very pragmatic and practical and helping taxpayers find their way around the irs and educating them about the need for the taxpayer bill of rights, things like that.
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bruce, republican caller. caller: salmon, peaches, we got those -- >> host: you're on the air. caller: let me call you back. sorry, every time i listen to the stack shows it always brings a back to the old ben franklin quote about taxes -- don't tax me, tax the guy behind the tree. people grasp that the concept of corporations, that they really don't pay taxes , guest: that they collect taxes. well, i was born on benjamin franklin's birthday, that warms my heart to quote him. i think that that quote again goes to the point we were trying to make, that the tax system is complex and is where the most
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money is, for the biggest -- the biggest tax breaks are in terms of dollars. it goes out to taxpayers with individual tax preferences, benefiting the middle class, the upper-middle-class. i think if you are going to have tax reform, everyone is going to have to give a little bit and that is a hard sell to make when you are coming out of a recession and people feel they have given a lot in terms of jobs and reduced pay, things like that. but i think that that is what you will get in terms of giving up some kind of a break, you will get a fairer and easier, simpler, less complex system. you may have some confidence that the guy behind the tree is actually paying an equivalent amount to what you are paying. and we have no confidence of that today. host: from twitter --
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d.c. resident and i drive around with that license plate proudly. that is my personal opinion. think that it does feel, what you don't have a represent -- representative, it feels like taxation without representation. host: go ahead, california. i went to a tax preparer in 2010 and was told to refile. the tax preparer owned to businesses and never gave me back my paperwork. back, irwork that i got was in the office.
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this is not right, that this individual put a lien on me with my social security number and is still in business. guest: that was the point of getting regulation over return preparers. they were required not only to but they brought them under the enforcement authority of the irs so that they would not be able to put penalties and fines and block that preparer from being able to practice right now, stopping them from being able to practice, they would be building a criminal case and getting the justice department to seek an injunction . that is all very long, hard, difficult, and expensive to do. i think that the number for the
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is on the screen and you should call that number to see if we can at least work through some of the problems that have been raised that have affected you. you might also consider calling your consumer protection bureau in your state. some of the consumer agencies under the state attorney anerals, they might have state consumer protection agency that gets very involved in this activity with preparers. they know it is preying upon their population. >> how do they define the middle class? >> they don't have a definition, it would just be the information coming in and divided by 1/10 of the population. say that it is not the one percent, that it is above the 400% federal poverty level.
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about $10,000, $11,000. for our viewers interested in calling in, what is the number for the taxpayer advocates? let me see, 877-ask -tsk1. host: they can also go to the website? guest: they can. and there is an office in each thee where they can see taxpayer advocate office in their state and call it directly. nina olson, thank you very much for your time. appreciate it. up next, we will talk about the league of young voters after a
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news update from c-span radio. as -- vicepresident joe it president joe biden has a blunt message for russia about its activities in ukraine, saying it is time for russia to stop talking and start acting to reduce tensions. the vice president also announced that the united states would provide an additional 50 million dollars to provide the government with political and economic reform. the vice president is in kiev meeting with officials and leaders. back in the united states some student loan borrowers using relatives as cosigners are alarmed to learn that they must immediately pay a loan in full if that cosigner dies. complaints related to this issue are growing more common because the practice is catching so many consumers by surprise. in lenders have clauses their contract that explained that this could happen as many consumers don't realize it.
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it affects private student loans, not federal student loans. the consumer bankers association said in a statement that its members work with customers carefully and compassionately and that it is common practice for them to relieve cosigners from loan obligations. in more than 190 companies -- countries there marking the 44th earth day today, marking the modern earth movement. india earth day network will host a beach cleanup event. those are some of the latest headlines. years, c-span brings public affairs events to
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washington, putting you in the room for conferences, offering complete gavel-to-gavel coverage of the u.s. house. c-span, created by the cable tv industry 35 years ago. follow us on twitter. we are back. the executive director of the league of young voters, here to talk about the role they will you in 2014, 2014, what do think it will be. guest: in places where young people are active, we expect a big turnout. what do we see from the youth vote in 2010 in an off year election?
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gold people often --guest: assay that young people did not turn out in 2010, which isn't true. as an election guide, a pair -- guy, we know that we cannot just push people to the polls. host: why is it going to be tougher? guest: election fatigue. , peopleople are hurting have not felt the recovery yet with respect to young people. host: so, what are you doing? what is your group doing to get them to turn out? we use twitter, instagram, tumbler, on the ground with in virginia, was consonant, atlanta, georgia,
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ohio. are you feeling in your organization that you don't have what you did at this point in 2010? we have seen a scale back on investment in the youth sector that has mostly been felt in communities of color that have not done a great job in passing the reins of the progressive sector. a couple of weeks ago, they were pushing people to pass the reins who were smart, connected, knew how to use the internet. what is going on in these communities of color? malethe african-american youth? and his connection to the government? host: --guest: many polls show them to be cool on the president and on the government, which i think is true.
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it is a huge initiative to infuse the sector, not a piece of policy in congress, but it good time for pushing on that. host: what do you think this will do for the african-american communities? for the young, male, african-american communities? a few years ago there was a study showing that and criminals. 40% are on their way to college or graduating, which is huge. we think having an african-american president gives us leverage. yesterday i was part of a giving more holistic images of african-american males.
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website, myour brothers keeper, this is what they put together -- i the time they hit fourth grade, 82% of hispanic and -- hispanic boys, 42% of african-american young men are reading below proficient of levels. they are more likely to be victims of murder. so, what does that say? what does the president plan to do about it? the be haveys that a lot of problems in our community, which is true. we have been hit the hardest in the war on drugs. one of the problems i have is that it is problem-based. every day young men are taking the kids to school. a recent study said that young african-american men are more likely to spend time in their children's lives on the narrative.
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get involved on twitter. put your story on their. the key thing with our president is that he has always encouraged people are to get talking. host: let's show viewers about what are the president -- what the president has said about it. [video clip] >> with my brothers keeper we have a more focused effort on boys and young men of color who are having a particularly tough time. in this effort, government cannot play the only or even primary role. we can help give every child access to preschool and learning from an early age, but we cannot replace the power of a parent
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reading to their child. we can reform the criminal justice system to make sure it affected, but nothing keeps a young man out of trouble like a father who takes an active role in his son's life. [applause] in other words, broadening the horizons for young men and giving them the tools needed to succeed and require a sustained effort from all of us. parents, parent, turn off the television, help with homework. they will need to do their part to make sure that their kids don't fall behind. business leaders will need to create more mentorships and apprenticeships to show young people the opportunities out there. science, engineering,
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helping to develop the ethical framework that is the foundation for productive life. begin doing together. black and white, democrat and republican. how is this going to work? guest: when that was taking place, i was in a room in new orleans with 50 different mayors . this was an amazing meeting. when people were passionately telling people that they wanted solutions. there are efforts across the country to get into roundtable , conversations
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taking place, the webinars, this is only going to work, and my opinion, if the philanthropy community is strong. it is time that they stepped up and demanded changes. areoften the conversations like old media. host: the president is talking about the roles that private teachers will have to play. what is he expecting from teachers? how is it going to work? you keep asking me how it will work, you keep putting me on the spot. we are in the process of being designed.
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it usually takes a year or two to get through. aree civil rights leaders attempting to design the programs. our mayors have template -- conveyed a 60 organizations. often there is criminalization wehout improvement. host: are talking that young voter politics with the executive director of the league of young voters. rodney, los angeles, republican caller. caller: when you have 95% of the
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african-american community voting for an image, the rubber is no hitting the road. it may be the bottom of every group, but there is a reason for that. when you push my community to be progressive instead of conservative, which we have been traditionally, this is what you get. your political organization seems to be pushing progressivism, a code word for the democratic party. when we as a community need to bothf anything, having parties compete for interests instead of giving a blank check for one party and the other party is not paying attention. i would like to get your your political views
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in our community and why you are not pushing that. thank you. guest: we are nonpartisan organization. the league has worked with republicans, democrats all across the spectrum. competition we need in the political system. think that what has happened that it hasrs is allowed them to not fight hard in congress. it has been because of congress and not obama. to beis a willingness innovative and far-reaching. again, i am glad it is an initiative and not a policy, it never would have passed. host: he could have done this earlier, without congress.
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until this point had he done enough for the african-american community, community of color, and younger people in the community? i would say yes and no. he came out of the box with lily ledbetter, helping young woman -- young women to make sure that they are competing for the rest of their lifetime with men in terms of minimum wages. if you look at the people signing up, it is young people overwhelmingly trying to get health care. the struggles have been obama needing momentum. if he had come up with his brothers keeper in the first been shotould have down, spending too much time talking about the birth certificate, race baiting, other stuff that happened the first time that we sort of forgot about but was really prevalent three or four years ago. he isam proud of what doing now. i think you will take this momentum and lead with. host: you're in the field out there during campaigns.
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maverick tweets -- guest: republicans are not the only ones have -- who have done voter suppression through history, which is important for us all to remember. unfortunately a lot of republican lobbyists have pushed this idea. voter id, birth certificate checks, it hurts their ability to be competitive and we will find a way around it. host: here's a tweet -- i think that a lot of young, black men have only known poverty, but a lot have not. this has been a time of extreme success for black men across the country. there are more black millionaires than ever before. able to get people, to help people get out of it. it is harmful to the community
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to only use the pathos frame. host: guest: another trip --host: another treat -- well, i have a phd from ucla. you can tweet me and i will tell you how much i owe the government. there are great examples of young people -- there were just a story about his young brother getting into an ivy league institution. these sometimes make the news because they are different kinds of stories, but across the country young, black kids are kicking but, latino kids are kicking but, and i am proud of them. host: if you would like to follow our guest, his handle is bikobaker. our democratic caller is the next on the line, lidia. president obama is one person.
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i raised four sons on my own after my husband and i divorced. they all graduated from high school and college. if the parents are not stepping up to the plate, it is incumbent upon the entire community -- our churches could do a lot more than they are doing to have mentor ships to counsel our young people. our young, black men are branded as criminals from the time they are in the fourth grade. the war on drugs is a war on black men, let's be clear about that. felony conviction, they have been kicked out of the workforce, they cannot vote, and when they get out of prison they can't find a job. back to prison. lack people had better understand that this is one of the most important elections in their lifetime. take thepublicans
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senate, the civil rights act is gone. roe v wade is gone. women, black people, young people, hispanics, asians, native americans, whatever you want, understand that we have to get out and do what we have to do to register and vote. host: ok, lidia. guest: lidia, you have to come out on the campaign trail with me. you have a lot of passion and energy. the one thing i will say, the black male achievement program, my brothers keeper, is not just going to help. that is the way it has been framed. people have been stepping up and standing out. i appreciate you raising four kids, for males, i know that was tough. argumentt about the that the community needs to get out and vote because of what is at stake in the senate?
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we have focused guest: we have focused --guest: we have focused on local elections, for the most part. most of these tactics have taken place at the state level and been implemented at the local admin is of the level. we want people to vote, but we are really focused on the elections and have been for the last 10 years. >> sylvia, d c, republican caller. good morning, you're on the air. i wanted to ask a question, there is a great population of young african-american men aging out foster system. when we think about how we will be moving populations and seenations forward, i have myself in a position that says that if i am going to make any efforts to change the way our community is affected and
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plagued by poverty, i would begin with those in the generations moving forward. what do you foresee for those young people and those in my brothers keeper calling out for justice in the system, system the you know is unfair, unjust, and often times it is only due asthe fact that we are african-americans failed to stand up and take hold of our youth and move them forward. host: -- guest: i appreciate your concern about those in the foster system and those in the war on drugs, i was part of a conversation two weeks ago in oakland, this is a conversation we were having. how to deal with those who have been institutionalized their whole life. in the state of california they have been able to reduce child
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incarceration from 10,000 members, people in these youth institutions, to about 700 over the last 10 to 15 years. the one thing is we cannot look at kids in foster care programs or juvenile detention institutions as deficits only. withe spent a lot of time these kids and they have a lot to say. host: yesterday the administration announced clemency and the guidelines. you want to weigh in on that? guest: that is huge. both republicans and democrats coming to the point saying that the war on drugs was a failed war. young people of color were arrested at larger rates for the same activity as young white folks for many years with greater consequences. jim crow talks a lot about how the war on drugs is a set up system to diffuse casualties.
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i think that is a huge effort. going to start calling him fourth-quarter barry. no, i want to that. someone will probably beat me up. host: we have a fourth line this morning for 18 to 25-year-olds. we want them to join the line as well. gabriel is one of those. go ahead. caller: i wanted to touch base here and let you know i am very excited about the young voters out there, people who are interested in my particular age range, they want to see things happen. they want to see things change, but they have got so many ,nitial additional problems college costs, working additional jobs, it is tough to keep up with. that is one of the first things. the second part that i wanted to
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say real quick was that fundamentally where the is theation is driving work in this country. somebody has to take initiative into the population the drives people towards success. by without get working hard, i don't know how they can understand how the world works if you are not willing to jump in. lastly, i think that african-americans are mistreated in the judicial system. i think it is an atrocity and it is unfair, unbalanced, there is
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a corporate interests behind that. all right? guest: i agree with a lot of what you said. i would encourage us to think about how workers changed. in my grandparents worked in factories, 9-to-5. studies show that young people are on their smartphones all day. the struggle has been that we have not built an economy that takes advantage of the skill sets that exist. host: the best way to reach the youth population? guest: social media. young people are overly indexed on those. host: from twitter -- -- an historian of the
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late 20th century and there has never been a program like this in my lifetime. never. the last time we even had this healthy a conversation about race was when lbj was around. my argument would be it is because we focused on deficits and not assets. we can only will you not just work with the black kids. carlos, you are on the air. 95% of the time custody is awarded to the mother. it has become impossible for the
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father in the child's life. especially in the hispanic community. the father is really castrated from the kids life. the system is inherently built to keep the father out of the child's life. standing up for their kids, we are told by the family court system not to be in a child's life. a tough question. i personally have friends who have had these difficulties because of these child support cases. again, that is not the president's purview. that is the local court system. knowing this from friends, there have been legal remedies for people to get involved. i encourage you to find an advocate for a friend to find an attorney.
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host: democratic line, florence, alabama. caller: hello? host: new are on the air. caller: thank you for what you're doing. i wanted to share this -- in 2010 me and three and four of my other friends registered over 700 young people at the university of north alabama. how we shouldow get a charter of the young voters in this city or state? me.t: you can e-mail places we start chapters, and other places we help people with tools. if you were able to register 700 people by yourself, you might not need an organization, maybe just a little bit of legal
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support. youuld love to talk with and connecting with people on our team. the south, alabama and recession mississippi, we don't think of them as young people that turn out, but alabama and mississippi had some of the highest young people turnouts in the country. georgia, on the 18 to 25 line, go ahead. caller: my comment is basically that a lot of people are forgetting about the brainwash music out there. media isc, this actually affecting these children. is pushing the fact that they are promoting drugs, promoting go get the money, you ain't got to work, a lot of people. they keep pushing this type of music and we keep supporting the music and everyone says it is just entertainment, but words are powerful.
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in the 1970's we had words of wisdom, words of power. black power. words of encouragement. , raised by good parents, the challenge with this music is it is just too much. we have to get the sec to get back on track and stop some of this stuff. it does not matter if it is black, white, chinese, the music is corrupting the children and grandchildren. i came ontoe c-span, before i had a job in politics, i was an editor at a sports magazine and cultural corresponded to a big hip-hop magazine, 10, 15 years ago. i relate to a lot of which were saying. i don't believe that we should push censorship. that would make things worse. but i do look to programs, like
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snoop dogg with his new campaign , a legendguns allowed in rap, pushing nonviolence and antivirus. the other thing i will say is that young people the music they're listening to now is a lot less violent than the gangsta rap i listen to. my father's records were not always positive were clean. i think sometimes we look back and try to point fingers and i think we need to support young people and give them arranged to create a better context. host: your phd is in history, what did you study? guest: late 20th century, the impact of drug policy on youth. invesco, next, republican caller. mr. baker, i want to say
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a couple of things. the first two years of obama's presidency, he had the house, the senate veto proof. he could have gotten anything past. anything he wanted to do for the black community he could have done it. he promised everybody everything. and he did nothing. is not all the way true. if you remember there was a time that i did not even know existed thehe culture, filibusters, first two years, even though there was a democratic majority there were a lot of tricks going on inside the building across the street from us over here. unfortunately, i felt obama was not as bold as we would have liked, but he was systematic and trying to bring the country together. the tea party was showing up to rallies with pistols.
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i was actually concerned in a place like wisconsin because of the racial tensions that have bubbled up. do you think the president has done anything to heal the racial divide in this country? i think healthy conversation sofas to heal. i don't have a hard time talking about race. i am sure that most young people along with young white folks, are on the same page. if they were looking for one man to heal 400 years of history? that is not going to happen. expectations are too high. i don't think that we should put that pressure on him. tell youngdo you voters, young white voters, african american, spanish, etc., about the power of their vote in numbers when they turn out?
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what kind of impact could they have? guest: across the country, young people are winning offices. in wisconsin,d milwaukee, organizing, people and thingst to hear have been impacted at the policy level. and i would approach more of that, if we can lift our voice >> good morning, -- caller: good morning, thank you for .aking my call this is a rare conversation you all are having. , remember the last elections
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talking about ged. the people that own their home? black men in the white man have to realize we have to get out and there are times where i will go to the high school for football practice and i walked down the line, i will talk to a black football player, [indiscernible] we have got to help out with the teenagers.
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it is going to take all the wealth. democrats and republicans need to be concerned about the youth coming up today. iw.c-span.org --guest: appreciate your work. i would love to hear more of your stories, across the country people like you are changing the conversation. david, florida, independent caller. caller: hello. host: david, you on the air. caller: excuse me. i am 62. but i was younger i was quite liberal. as i got older and had a family and work for years, i became and we haveative
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andexamples right now anybody, asian, hispanic, black, if you are not white, come on board we are against them? that is what we hear no -- nowadays and don't points -- no one pointed out. when mr. baker says he was a ,art of this group you was with they are bipartisan? the realistic. .ll the people i really do disagree. if you look at the polling amongst young people, there has been talk that they are closer to libertarian at times.
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this is why i encourage my progressive friends to be intentional with the messages, i feel they are losing a generation of people who could be lifelong democratic voters. ando my facebook status scott walker is one of the most infamous or famous republicans .n the country right now we are going to work with them. host: jim from twitter says -- i see young man of color working with their kids every day.
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taking down the streets, their kids to school. the struggle has been what i would call a progressive victories of the 60's. the new society. they were unfortunately pulled back in the 80's. withve been misdiagnosing notdlessness, unemployment, the men and lives with their kids. host: what are you referring to? guest: the rise of the new right . conservativism. progressiven, more than today's conservatives. ronald reagan was pushing for background check. today republicans are fighting so staunchly against their own policies. same thing with cap and trade.
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they see obamacare as a republican concept. for the sake of political gain, as opposed to trying to help, folks have been on the polls and outward,kerry host: detroit, independent caller. -- albert, detroit, independent caller. caller: i told them no. [indiscernible] they except that. unfortunately, there is a lot of confusion across the country. mencourage you, if you treat -- tweet me there is a map that lets you know what is going on. host: guest: for voter id laws? --host: covert -- for voter id
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laws? guest: we have got to do a better job informing people. host: they can find that on your website? guest: sure can. is theirgvoter.org website. the executive director of the league of young voters, appreciate it. thank you for your time. that does it for today's "washington journal. i'll he will be back tomorrow with your calls, tweets, and e-mails. we'll see you tomorrow morning washington journal. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] >> prom departing shortly for washington state where today he'll tour mudslide ded

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